Thursday, February 26, 2009

Warm Spell

Yesterday I made my way to Denver - it was between 60-70 degrees outside. On the home front, it has been very warm as well. So much that Tuesday I did a 4 mile hike. Unfortunately, it was warmer than I thought and I kept falling through the snow - up to my knees - but it was absolutely beautiful. It is starting to feel like spring. I'm just wondering if it will last and be an early season, or if we will get the usual large amounts of snow that generally come in March and April?

The girls have been intermittently riding their bikes to school again, and are enjoying splashing and rolling around in the mud. The lot next to our house is empty and the other day I caught one of my children in her bare feet sploshing around in the mud on their lot - just oozing it between her toes. While I'm sure it was cold - I could definitely understand her need to get her feet into the dirt. She must take after her mom.

I'm headed out today to snowshoe while we still have some snow before it all turns to mud!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wild Country

If you read my blog last year, you may have noticed my incessant ranting about the weather. I freely admit that I ranted. That said, I was thinking yesterday about how well I've done NOT even mentioning the weather this year and am very proud of myself - apparently, I've found other things to ramble about.

I also recognize that my attitude has changed in regards to the weather (namely snow.) I live in the mountains, where it snows. Sometimes A LOT. This year (in my humble opinion) has been much milder than last year was, and this year I've been able to begin snowshoeing again. I'm thrilled to say that of the past 8 weeks, I've snowshoed 7 of them. And I love it. We've been lucky, most of the Thursdays have been sunny and not too bitter cold (there was one week that was just awful bitter cold, but we made it.)

So, last Thursday as my friend and I were out shoeing, we went our normal distance and turned around to come back. As we got about 1/3 of our way back, we heard a howl. We pricked our ears and began to scan the mountainside. The howl came again and we were able to distinguish where it was coming from. A coyote. I have had no experience whatsoever with wild animals and didn't know whether we should continue on, or go back. However, my friend had her dogs with us, and she had just recently researched coyotes. Apparently, they shouldn't be out during the day (this one was) and they are often in packs (that's when we should worry.)

Now, on a side note, for years I've carried around mace on my keys - you know, just in case. I've also been teased incessantly these many years for carrying it around with me, as it is sort of big and bulky and cumbersome. But I didn't cave.

I have to say that I pulled out my mace and stood at the ready as we passed the coyote - he was still part way up the mountain, but he wasn't THAT far away, and he sort of followed us. I knew that my trusty mace, and the dogs would protect us. If not, it was a race between my friend and I as to see who would be lunch.

Several years ago though, I read an article about living in the mountains and wild country and a thought stuck with me. It is important to realize that these animals are not living in our territories, rather, we have moved into their territories and built houses, shopping etc etc. We need to respect the plants and animals whose territories we have moved into.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Blog with my Favorite recipes

After constantly forgetting to send people copies of requested recipes, I decided to dedicate an entire blog to my favorite recipes. While I still have lots more work to do, this at least gives me a standard place to find my recipes when I need them.

Feel free to peruse, try out, and comment on anything.
The address is:


Monday, February 16, 2009

It is official - after a night with 104* temperatures, we hung out at the Dr. office and the final verdict became - probably the flu, and positively strep - yes at the same time - how's that for a double whammy?

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We are officially sick at our house. We thought we'd kick it, but all evidence points to the contrary.
On Tuesday I volunteered at the school. I arrived home for my 20 minute break before my lessons started showing up and received a phone call that one of my children had a temperature of 102 - would I please come and get her?
We decided to hang out at the DR. office and her flu test came back positive.

The whole family (except the sick one) received prescriptions for tamiflu and immediately began taking the medicine.
I went to the library that night to stock up on videos and boy - we've seen a lot of Harry Potter in our house. The thing is - she acts totally fine when she's got motrin in her for the fever - she drives me bonkers she's so fine. Then it wears off, and she's not so fine.
Well, she was bummed to miss her Valentines day party at school, but it came and went. And her sister came home on Friday with the same cough, and the beginnings of a fever. Tonight she was hitting the upper ranges of 102 as well. We did the cool bath thing and I started to get a little worried as her eyes started to roll - but I think we're okay. She had a blessing and we are bracing for a rough night and for another week for me with a sick kid at home.

Praying that I and my husband don't get it. I've had the same cough and had a couple of days where I didn't feel so good, but can't decide if it has just been the power of suggestion...

And yes - I'm apparently losing it because I thought that I should maybe post about this twice - I must need some sympathy, or an excuse to get out of my house since I'm obviously beginning to wander around in slippers and repeat things.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do re-gifted flowers count?

Aren't my flowers pretty?

Someone just re-gifted these Valentines Day flowers to me.
I think my husband might feel relieved cause he's off the hook. The card says - "Just Because,
From, Your husband."

I couldn't stop laughing.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

FHE ideas from Preach My Gospel

I was asked to teach a class for Enrichment tonight on:
Family Home Evening Lesson Ideas from ‘Preach My Gospel’
Since I went to the work of reading through and pulling out bunches of ideas, I thought that I'd better post them somewhere so someone may benefit from them.

Family Home Evening Lesson Ideas from ‘Preach My Gospel’
Get Inspired and determine your purpose - what is your purpose of FHE?

Start right - Songs & treats, flexibility & fun – no one likes a lecture or book report

Lehi’s vision. Suggested songs: Nephi’s courage (CS), The iron rod (Hymnal)
Week 1: Using a poster board read through and illustrate Lehi’s dream as found in 1 Nephi 8. Work in teams, or have each family member draw their own element of the dream. Post in conspicuous place, and during the week talk about what each item might symbolize.
Week 2: Focus on 1 Nephi 11, and label your illustration of Lehi’s dream with the symbolic meanings. Set up a rope (inside or out) which leads to a tree/plant which has marshmallows or divinity etc. hanging from it, have each family member follow the rope (possibly blindfolded) to reach the end. Focus lesson on holding to the rod and enduring to the end.
Week 3: Family flag and song. Based on Lehi’s vision, discuss faith, gospel ordinances, enduring to the end, attitudes, and sharing the gospel as they relate to Lehi’s dream. Discuss the story of Captain Moroni (Alma 46) and the title of liberty. Determine what is most important to your family, and discuss and make long term family goals, and identify short term goals which are necessary for reaching long term goals. Make a family flag and a family song as a reminder of the family goals.

Principles and topics. Start on page 30 and break each subject down (30-88.)
Remember it isn’t a marathon – break it down into topics such as:
God is our Loving Heavenly Father (pages 30-34) etc.
The Savior’s Earthly ministry and Atonement
The Apostasy
The Restoration – the First Vision
The Book of Mormon
The Holy Ghost
Make sure you prepare beforehand (D&C 11:21.) Study the scriptures, suggested questions, activities, and ideas to figure out what YOU want to teach. Prayerfully determine what will be most important for your family.
As you focus on each topic, use the internet, primary manuals, conference talks, the Friend, church magazines, videos, publications, FHE manuals etc. to search for lesson ideas, stories, songs, object lessons, and games for each topic.
Suggested sites:,16783,4225-1,00.html

Gospel principles video. Have family members be news reporters. Divide into teams and research gospel principles of faith, repentance, baptism, and the Holy Ghost using the Bible Dictionary and scripture references found in the topical guide. Have each member or team ‘report’ and make a video (or at least present their findings by way of a ‘news cast’.)

Journal Night. Have a Journal FHE. Read some important passages from your journal to your family or from an ancestor’s journal. Have each family member come up with a question, and have everyone respond to it in writing in their journal. Answer the questions in the Personal Study activity on page 18.

Ideas for Study and Application. Use ‘Preach My Gospel’ as a manual, using the activities and suggestions found at the end of each chapter under the Personal, Companion, District and Zone conferences and Mission president headings. Many different ideas, penetrating questions and related scriptures compiled in these sections. Simply modify for your family’s needs.

Blue Box discussions. Use the blue boxes in the text (page 8 for example) – they have a question and a theme. Read the related scriptures together and have a gospel discussion. A great way to start is to try and restate a verse in one’s own words, or use a dictionary to discover words that children aren’t familiar with. Make it fun by having a scripture chase to find each scripture or act it out.

Activity Boxes. Use the activity boxes – full of ideas and applications – make your lesson from these (i.e. p. 22.)

Get to know your scriptures. Learn how to use the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Maps, Gazetteer, and Abbreviations

Scripture Marking. Lesson on learning to mark scriptures, page 24

A Picture is worth a Thousand Words. Organize family into groups and assign a chapter from the Book of Mormon. Have each group identify a story, scripture event or teaching that is meaningful from their chapter. Have each group sketch or describe how they visualize this, or their mental image they have formed regarding what they read and why it is meaningful to them. Identify the doctrines found and discuss them. Moroni 10:3.
For a twist, give them a piece of paper and have them make something (origami style) that was talked about in their chapter.

Kids teach. Get children involved in the discussion by preparing beforehand and having them teach the lesson or tell the story.

Missionary Night. Work with kids before the lessons, and have them be missionaries teaching parents and family members the principles.

Size and Time adaptations. Use suggestions found in text (pages 30-88) which break lessons up into small, medium or large lessons.

Word Match & Definitions game. Page 44

Questions of the Soul. Make a list of questions of the soul. See if your family member’s questions are similar to the ones found on page 107. Put the questions in a jar – have someone read out the question, as well as the chapter it is found, and have a scripture scanning race to find the answer within that chapter.

References of Christ. Personal study activity on page 112 (#1)

Sermon on the Mount, Contrast and comparison. Personal study activity on page 112 (#4)

References of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon. Highlighting references of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon activity - page 114 (#6)

Sunday Talks. Practice preparing and giving talks – use page 124 ideas 1 & 2 and prepare talks to give to each other pretending it is sacrament meeting. Practice sacrament meeting behavior.

Personal attributes exam. Pretend that your family has just been resurrected and the personal inventory questions on page 126 are the questions you will be asked at the judgment bar. Have each family member complete the self evaluation and grade themselves, then identify focus areas and record personal insights and goals in their journals.

Cultural Night - Once a month have a ‘cultural night’ and study the ideas, beliefs, foods, and customs of a different culture. Take time to focus on different religious backgrounds

Different religions FHE - explore different religious ideologies and customs. Pages 45-46 give a very brief overview of a few.

Family ‘To be a friend’ action plan. Use ideas from page 167, 215-217. Figure out what you and your family can do to be part of this process. Make fellowshipping goals; put them into action and report back.

One minute messages. Divide the family into teams and put several principles or topics into a jar to be drawn out. Time each family member and give them two minutes. One minute to think and plan, and then one minute to teach the principle.
This could be adapted into a game show with a competition between both teams teaching, and being scored by the judges etc.

Elder Ives Likening the scriptures game. Two contestants face each other and an abstract word is given. The first contestant to figure out how to liken that word to a gospel principle wins a team point. Contestants then go back to their teams, and the teams are given a specific scripture (seminary scripture mastery – whatever, but the same one (Family Feud style)) and a time limit within which they must come up with as many personal applications as possible. Points are awarded for each valid personal application which does not duplicate the opposing team’s answers.

Service lesson by a five year old. 45 seconds talk about the importance of service - that it makes you strong, and helps others and helps Heavenly Father.
Thinking of musical chairs, hand out stuffed bears or animals, one less than participant number. Instead of musical chairs, play musical bears, and while singing a song, pass the bears to each other around the circle. When the music ends, whoever doesn’t have a bear gets to have an on the spot service done for them by the other participants (i.e. backrub, foot rub, glass of water, make their bed etc.) Continue until everyone has had a chance to serve and be served.


I generally don't respond to tags but since I've been mentally away from blogging for a while, I thought I would - thanks Lauren
i am: content
i think: that generally I should keep quiet about what I really think.
i know: that someday my house will stay clean
i want: summer to be here
i dislike: lots of things
i miss: the beach
i fear: losing my husband and kids
i feel: like I have too much to do, and I don’t want to do any of it
i hear: wind chimes, a plane flying by and my child turning pages of her book
i smell: like Carolina, one of my favorite perfumes, and I’m congested
i crave: simplicity
i cry: mostly only during movies and books
i usually: mentally debate whether I really want to exercise or not each morning
i search: for peace – I’ve fallen in love with the Book of Mormon again, I get so grounded from it.
i wonder: what life will really be like once my husband is officially DONE with school.
i regret: speaking before contemplating the full effect of my words
i love: life
i care: about those around me
i always: seem to be humming something
i worry: about bad roads
i am not: high maintenance
i remember: details, but not as much as I thought I did
i believe: that I am a daughter of God and that He loves me
i dance: in the kitchen with my husband and with the kids around the house
i sing: or hum constantly
i don't always: make my bed, or clean my house, sometimes I just read
i argue: to explore ideas
i write: all over the place in my scriptures
i win: few battles with my children
i lose: almost any game I play against my husband
i wish: that I was independently wealthy and that I had a housekeeper to clean for me
i listen: mostly to 80’s and Spanish rock
i don’t understand: some people
i can usually be found: busy
i am afraid: of cranky people
i need: to laugh - OFTEN
i forget: to express my love towards my family
i am happy: pretty much overall, just trying to savor each moment

I tag anyone who wants to respond

Harry Potter fest

While our kids had the chance to go to 'learn to ski' two days last week with their school, one of them came home with a nasty cough. She fought it and finally lost the battle, the dr. said something about bronchitis, and her flu test came back positive.
Yuck! We picked up a puzzle she and I have been working on and since she's been reading Harry Potter, we checked out some videos from the library and have been having a Harry Potter fest. I don't think she's missing school very much!
The bummer is that she missed Valentine's Day at school last year as she was at grandmas while we were away celebrating our anniversary. This year, she'll miss is cause she's sick.
Poor thing!


It is true - I've totally neglected blogging for a while - due to some other diversions which came up. After finishing my cell phone contract a year ago, I had been thinking about getting a new phone. I did lots of research and finally decided on an LG Incite. While this is a pretty cool phone, I found recognized something important about my self. Mainly, I'm a simple girl who doesn't have the time or energy for lots of distractions. There were some amazing aspects about the phone, but when it came down to it, there were so many bells and whistles to sort through, I could never find the application I wanted without taking a year. I just wanted simplicity, and I learned I really hated the touch screen and the time it sucked from my life.

As such, this morning I sent it back my bells and whistles phone and received my simple phone yesterday. My new phone is an adventure.

While it is a simple flip phone, it has some pretty cool features which include meeting U.S. Military Specifications 810F for: shock, vibration, solar radiation, high temperature storage, altitude, high and low temperature operation, and blowing dust. I'm pretty relieved that my phone will make it through solar radiation! Cheek aside, I'm excited to have a new phone that will do what I need it to without much fuss, and I'm happy to have my life back.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yes, I said Skijoring

Yep, that IS a horse dragging a skier with a rope through the snow. Here in our little rural mountain paradise, it is one of the highlights of winter. Officially called skijoring, it is quite the trip to watch.

First you arrive about 30 minutes late. You find that all of the snow from part of a field has been scraped off to make some awesome jumps, and so you are mucking around in the mud (wait - I thought it was mud.) You find a great place in the middle so that you can see all of the action, and then you wait for about two hours while the officials realize that the wiring for the timer isn't working. You wander on down to the port a potties, and then later to the concessions stand for a pulled pork sandwich. Back to your observation point and about thirty minutes later, the action begins.

How to describe this sport? I like to think of waterskiing. Except the skier is on snow, going over big jumps, and catching rings on a stick - kind of like jousting...oh, and the skier is pulled by a horse. Snow, by the way, is much less forgiving than a lake - so there are always paramedics standing by to help with the dislocated shoulders and such.

To warm up, the skiers are whipped around, pulled by snowmobiles, and then after they ski, (or jor), they get dragged back to the starting place to do it again.

As a friend coined it - a cross between hardcore cowboys, and dead head ski junkies - the perfect mix!

I have to be honest - this is one of the funnest snow spectator sports I've ever seen - I love it! And our kids - well, they had fun sliding and jumping down the snowbank the entire time.