Saturday, December 24, 2011

Little Touches

We're in Utah for the holidays. Kristin's home is beautiful with so many special little "touches." Here are some of her fun Christmas pillows.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Believe it or not, I'm old enough to remember when there were only 7 operating temples in the world, and I had seen them all. Recently, our primary asked people to submit a list of all the temples they had visited and they marked them on a big world map on the bulletin board at church. Randy and I have quite a list -- certainly nowhere close to all of them, but some pretty fun ones -- New Zealand, Hong Kong, Switzerland, London, Sweden, Hawaii, Cardston, Kirtland, Palmyra, Nauvoo, Winter Quarters, and lots of others in the USA. Now that our kids are in Kennewick we just added another. It's beautiful!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Can too many cooks spoil the soup (salad)? Not when the combination includes Rob, the favorite uncle. Wherever we go, it's always better when Uncle Rob is there. Who else would get up at the crack of dawn and play Power Rangers until the adults want to get up? Who else would spend hours playing computer games or making Boys in the Kitchen a fun and successful activity. We're always happy when you're with us, Rob!

Christmas Attitude?

One of the bishops' wives gave me this refrigerator magnet. I thought it was quite clever. I've never been part of the "Inn" crowd. Sure hope I'm one of the Stable few.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Luncheon

I had my annual Christmas luncheon for the bishops' wives today. I don't think it was the nicest luncheon I've ever hosted, but my table looked pretty, and I made a personalized journal for each of the sisters. Checked that right off my "To Do" list. I only have one week at home during this entire month, and it seems like I will never get everything done. I had my classic "stress dream" last night. It's always the same dream. I'm trying to clean a friend's house. I've been there for hours and have only cleaned the living room and one bathroom. I'm working as fast as I can, but just can't seem to get anything done. Help!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Baby Blessing

Life events seem to get in the way of my blogging. We recently returned from a wonderful life event -- the blessing of our nineteenth grandchild -- Blakelyn Kamille. With four brothers around her, she is really treated as a princess. These are the little shoes I made for her blessing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How Sweet is the Gospel?

I'm just finishing up my fourth year as gospel doctrine teacher. Two more lessons to go, and I'm hanging on by the tips of my fingernails. My well has only a few liters of water left. I feel like I've shared every personal experience, every good story, every insight I can squeeze out. Yes, I know that men like Daniel Ludlow and Gerald Lund probably teach gospel doctrine for 17 consecutive years, but HELLOOOOO, I'm not Daniel Ludlow!

Tomorrow we will be discussing the book of James. I thought this idea by Bruce R. McConkie was cool. Paul wrote his letters for the benefit of those members of the church living at that time. Occasionally there are gems that benefit us today. James, on the other hand, wrote his letter for the members of the House of Israel today, and a few individuals from his day might possibly have benefitted from them. As I read James with that thought in mind I could truly get the picture.

Take James 1:5-6. It wouldn't surprise me if James wrote that scripture specifically for Joseph Smith. He said that no passage of scripture had ever come to his heart with more power than this one did. And think of the countless individuals who have been blessed because Joseph read and acted on that scripture. I like this quote by Bruce McConkie: "Thus, this single verse of scripture has had a greater impact and a more far reaching effect upon mankind than any other single sentence ever recorded by any prophet in any age."

Anyway, if you're ever feeling uncertain about whether you've prepared a good lesson, may I suggest that a treat during class goes a long way toward improving what you have prepared!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pie Scrap Treats

Do you make pie scrap treats for your kids. Then you're a great mom. I make them for myself! Fortunately, I've reached the point where I don't make a whole pan of them. Here's my favorite pie crust recipe:

For every pie crust you plan to make, begin with one cup of flour.
For every cup of flour, add 1/3 t. salt.
Use half as much shortening as you have flour. Cut with pastry cutter until fine crumbs.
Use half as much cold water as you used shortening.
Mix gently. Squeeze together into balls. Roll out on well-floured counter. Try not to handle your dough too much. Bake at 450 degrees about 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eleven, Eleven, Eleven

Yah, surprise, it's me! Every day I think I'll blog, but quite truthfully, my life is pretty boring right now. Nothing of interest about me, but I did remember that tomorrow is one of those three amazingly unique days that will happen this year -- 11/11/11. Now if you check this post tonight then you can be ready to celebrate tomorrow at 11:11,11/11/11. Hey, open a can of Fresca, or go to Costco for one of those poisonous chocolate covered ice cream bars with chopped almonds. Or call me and remind me to celebrate.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rob's B'Day

It was Rob's birthday this week. Here's the "funky" quilt I made for him. It has minky on the backside, which makes it a really cozy TV blanket. Hope you enjoy it, Rob!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Windows

I just can't resist posting this. Maybe it's because we did just replace our windows a year ago, and I AM blonde!


Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with
that expensive
double-pane energy efficient kind, and today, I got a call from the
contractor who installed them. He was complaining that the work had
been completed a whole year ago and I still hadn't paid for them.
Hellloooo,............just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am
automatically stupid. So, I told him just what his fast talking sales
guy had told me last year, that in ONE YEAR these windows would
pay for themselves! Helllooooo? It's been a year! I told him.
There was only silence at the other end of the line, so
I finally just hung up. He never called back. I bet he felt like an idiot.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Soup Weather

We've had some beautiful Indian summer weather, but the temperature has really dropped. It's time for soup! This blog was never intended to be a cooking blog, but every once in awhile I have a recipe that I think is worth sharing. This is one of my new favorite recipes.

Colombian Chicken Soup

3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs and/or legs
1 large white onion, peeled and cut into quarters
2 leeks (white and light green parts only) cut into 1-inch rings
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 handful of green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ears of fresh corn, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces (optional)
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (I cut on the diagonal for interesting shape)
2 lbs potatoes (gold, red, or Idaho), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 chicken bouillion cubes
1 Tbsp salt, or more to taste
1/2 teas ground pepper


4 scallions chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
3 Tbsp white vinegar
1/4 teas salt

Boil chicken in 8 cups water. Simmer 10 minutes, frequently skimming off the foam.
Add all the vegetables, the garlic, cilantro, bouillion, salt and pepper. Stir a few times to distribute the vegetables. When broth returns to a boil, lower heat, partially cover pot, and simmer about an hour. Stir with a large spoon, breaking up some of the potatoes to thicken the soup slightly.

Serve the soup with a spoonful of the Aji. You can also garnish with sour cream, avocados, and cilantro springs, if desired. Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Isaac's Birthday.

Happy 9th Birthday, Buddy! I really wish that I were there having breakfast in bed with you. I love this picture of you and me together. Many times when I look at pictures of me I think, "Seriously? Is this what I look like?" And then I quickly delete them from my computer. But not this one! This is actually what I think I look like, except for the flashing white eyes. Of course, I look way better because I'm close to you.

Isaac collects fossils and rocks, and I like to help him add to his collection. Once I gave him a piece of petrified dinosaur egg shell. That was cool! I've tried to give him this crinoid fossil I found in our garden, but he says, "First of all, grandma, it's too heavy for me to carry (like 50 pounds), and second of all, it's too big for my collection box." Funny boy! Love you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Don't be too quick to judge

One of the wonderful things about serving on the Alumni Board is the opportunity to have my eyes opened to so many things. We are often quick to judge BYU. We are unhappy because our kids didn't get in. We are angry because BYU asks us to donate when, after all, we are paying tuition (Let's face it, tuition pays for a very small percentage of your student's education. It's like every student who attends BYU gets an almost full-ride scholarship from the church, yet we are so annoyed that the university calls once or twice a year and asks us for a small donation). Some think Bronco Mendenhall should lose his job because BYU lost to Utah. Others are upset because BYUTV didn't broadcast all of Education Week. It goes on and on. We have so little vision about the goals and purposes of BYU. And sometimes we forget who is really running the university. Every time President Samuelson speaks to the board he reminds us that he takes his orders from a living Prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he's not likely to question him.

One of the really interesting presentations we heard last week was from Scott Swofford, who is the content manager for BYUTV. He shared a few emails he had received containing scathing criticism about how programming has changed and suggesting that he might be headed straight for He - -. Not everyone understands that blessing the lives of the Latter-day Saints is only one of the purposes of BYUTV. It's broader purpose is to attract non-member viewers from around the world, thus opening doors for missionary work. (It happens with some frequency). As brother Swofford mentioned, when non-members click onto BYUTV and it is a man wearing a suit with a lei around his neck, they are most likely going to continue channel surfing. However, if they tune in and it is a guy riding a Harley around to historical sights it might just pique their curiosity. Check out "American Ride". If you pay attention you'll notice that every episode ends with the message that this little part of our history was in preparation for the restoration of the gospel.

The more I know about BYU the more I love it. All of the very best things in my life were put into place while I was a student there. It has blessed the lives of all our children, and now our grandchildren are preparing and praying for the opportunity to go there. I'm grateful to be able to give back in a small way. Go Cougars!

Monday, October 10, 2011


Okay, so I got home from my board meetings Saturday night, dying to post about the birth of our #19 grandchild, who was born a week ago. BUT, no name, and consequently, the parents were not ready to release any pictures. It stopped my blogging dead in its tracks. Who wants to see pictures of women wearing navy blue blazers with Alumni Board patches on the pocket when I knew people were waiting for news about a new baby. Just couldn't do it. So here she is: Blakelyn Kamille.

After four boys, this is a real change for this family. A few months ago I asked Isaac how he felt about having a baby sister. His response: "Boring! Now we're going to have Barbie dolls everywhere, and we'll have to watch Barbie movies, and have all this pink stuff around." I think they are actually pretty excited about this adorable little pink bundle.

Navy blue blazers tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flight Delays

"I'm leaving, on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again. OhhOhhhOhhh." Actually, I do know when I'll be back. I'll be back on Saturday in time for our stake conference Saturday evening session. I hate deadlines and tight connections, always fearing that something will go wrong. Don't you hate it when your flight is delayed and you have to sit there for hours! Once in a while, amazingly, it can be a huge blessing. Yesterday, Randy and one of his colleagues were on their way to China and when they got to Chicago they discovered they would have a 7 hour delay. Quick trip to the airport, Sunday dinner together, a nice walk and some conference, then back to the airport. That's the second time Randy has been delayed in Chicago. I can't think of a better place to have it happen.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Today our little Soren turns the big #1. I was with the family a year ago when he was born, but have not seen him since. He looks an awful lot like his brother Max. Happy Birthday, Soren!

Tomorrow our 19th grandchild will be born. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Opportunity

Three years ago I finished a four-year term on the BYU Alumni Board of Directors. I always considered it such a privilege to be working with amazing individuals from all around the country. In preparing to write this post I went back and read some of the entries I made in my journal about the experiences I had. In almost all of them I expressed amazement at how I ever got asked to be involved. I never understood it, but I always felt it was a direct blessing from Heavenly Father for which I will always be grateful.

A few weeks ago I got a call from BYU. They need someone to serve on the board for just one year and wondered if I might be willing to fill in for them. WOULD I BE WILLING?! I'm thrilled! I jumped in with both feet and quickly prepared for the annual Alumni Chapter Conference, which was last week. I love everything BYU. Being back on campus was like going home. The conference was a nice blend of being instructed, sharing ideas, and meeting new people mixed together with some pretty fun stuff. We got to see the Jimmer Fridette Exhibition Game. Yes, that's him -- #32.
We toured the new BYUTV broadcasting facility. Tom Holmoe was our breakfast speaker, and we saw the BYU vs UCF football game. Cosmo came to our tailgate party and I got my own special hug. Some people think Cosmo may be a girl, but if so, she's really strong!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


My class reunion was really interesting. There were 150 kids in my graduating class. Twenty six of them have passed away and were honored at a little memorial service where we talked about each of them and released red and gold helium balloons in their honor. Two of my closest friends were among them.
The majority of my classmates still live in Utah. It was interesting to see how their lives have remained interwoven through fifty years. I felt a little bit like a satellite orbiting around at a distance. I have stayed in touch with a small group of girls that I still adore. They have been so loyal to me over the years. We are truly Best Friends Forever!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Finished Project

Well, I'm home and the finished project looks great. Snapped a couple of pictures just as it started to sprinkle. O'Donovans really exceeded my expectations. I expected to see a finished walkway and a lot of dirt and dug up plants to fuss with. They brought in sod and re-planted all my plants -- perhaps not exactly as I would have arranged them, but at least I don't have to do anything with them this fall. I've hated our front porch for years, and most of our company just came in through the garage rather than try to negotiate our front steps. I've locked the garage door and want everyone to use and enjoy my beautiful (and safe) front entrance. Come see us!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day Four

Are you tired of seeing our porch yet? This is the end of the fourth day. Two more to go. Unfortunately, I leave tomorrow for Utah to attend my 50th Class Reunion. By the time I get back it will all be over but the bill.

I used to think that people went to their 50th High School Class Reunion in wheelchairs. Now here we are calling each other to see if we should wear Mary Janes or boots and wishing that we'd lost ten pounds this summer instead of gaining ten pounds (Perhaps I should have changed my goal from eating one Magnum ice cream bar every day to one Magnum bar every other day). Oh well, too late for that! I keep reminding myself that my classmates also do not look just the way they did the day we graduated. I'm taking my senior yearbook with me so I can study names and faces on the plane. Cedar City Class of 1961, Here I Come!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Geography Lesson

My blog post from August 12th describes my 29 hour road trip across the country with Travis and the boys. What it doesn't describe is something that I thought was really cool about the trip. As we drove through Wyoming we crossed the Continental Divide, which is the dividing line separating waters that flow to the Pacific Ocean from waters that flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Now we've crossed this line so many times over the years it has become kind of old, but it was fun to explain it to the boys. But what was really cool was that as we drove through Oregon we crossed the 45th Parallel, which is the line that is half way between the Equator and the North Pole. To cross both these lines within 24 hours was kind of unusual and presented an opportunity for a mini geography lesson. Here's something you might not know about the 45th Parallel. At this latitude the sun is visible for 15 hours and 37 minutes during the summer solstice. That's a whole lot of daylight. We lived in Oregon one summer when I was eight and the thing my dad talked about for years was that you could read a newspaper outside at ten o'clock at night. On the other hand, in winter you only see the sun for less than 9 hours. Not good.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sun, Water, and Patience

In the Spring I wrote a blog about the beautiful flower beds at the Temple and my dream of converting one of my perennial beds into an annuals bed that would look like one of the beds at the temple.
After tearing out all the perennials and planting several flats of annuals I didn't have a lot of confidence that it would become something "Sehenswerdig" (or worth seeing) on my blog. Here's what happens with a little sun, water, and patience.
It doesn't exactly look like something you'd see at the temple, but it has filled in nicely and been pretty to look at as people have walked and driven by. It's not even over, and I'm already excited to try again next year.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day Three

Four men, ten hours of work, 94 degrees, lots of cold water and watermelon, lots of perspiration, and it's starting to take shape. Working half a day tomorrow.

Thursday, September 1, 2011



End of First Day:
End of Second Day:
Hopefully this is going to look better. They say sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. I think this is one of those times.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Project 3

We're starting a new project this morning. I'm really excited!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Young Punks

So, wanna see what those two "wet behind the ears" kids looked like? Yikes, we were actually young once.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Man I Married

When you have to "sign in" to get into your own blog you know it's past time to post a new blog. I've been trying all week to write something about Randy. Why should it be so hard to write about somebody I love so much?! On Wednesday we celebrated our 44th Wedding Anniversary, and yesterday was Randy's birthday. Two good reasons to tell the world what a great man he is.

Divorce is such a terrible thing and I always feel sad for those who find out that the spouse they thought was so perfect turned out to be less than they had hoped for. For me, it was just the opposite. I'm honestly so grateful for heavenly guidance. I don't think I was smart enough to realize that when I agreed to marry Randy I was getting WAY MORE than I expected! It's hard for me to express what I think about my sweet husband, but I will share something that I wrote in my journal twenty-nine years ago

"Randy has been going through a challenging time the past few months. I have been thinking today of his many successes. It helps me to see with better perspective what a great man he is.

Successes & Strengths:

1. Passed through teen years without giving in to peer pressures. These days it seems there is something glamorous about having strayed or rebelled and returning. We sometimes forget that having remained faithful and true is still more honorable.
2. Eagle Scout
3. Filled honorable mission. Has to his credit (with Lord's help) several converts who have remained active and faithful and are a strength to the Church.
4. Married ME! In the temple!
5. Graduated from college.
6. Graduated from Law School.
7. Graduated from Library School.
8. Fathered six WONDERFUL children
9. Served as Branch President at BYU, providing strong leadership and counsel to many students.
10. Served on three high councils.
11. Served as Sunday School President.
12. Received Master M-Men Award.
13. Nominated to Outstanding Young Men of America.
14. Was a successful and beloved seminary teacher.
15. Owns a beautiful home.
16. Musically talented -- much envied for his beautiful singing voice and guitar.
17. Has traveled widely.
18. Always had more friends than he could even foster and nurture. Associated with highest calibre people. Respected and envied by them.
19. Completed extensive scout training, including Philmont and Woodbadge.
20. Skilled with hands. Builds and repairs everything.
21. Very diversified -- known as a person who knows something about everything.
22. Remains calm in crisis and is sympathetic and compassionate. The children always prefer Daddy when ill or injured."

Now, that was written in 1982 when we'd only been married 15 years and before I realized what a Giant he is. He's magnified every gift and talent, served in incredible ways, and exceeded all my expectations. I'm trying very hard to hold onto his shirt tail!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Feeling Bad

I guess everybody has days like this. We had one this weekend. We totally forgot to attend a going away get together for someone in the ward. But I did remember to make the ten dozen dinner rolls for a friend's wedding reception, and we did remember to go to another reception, feed the missionaries, and make homemade ice cream for Randy's home teaching family, so we're not total losers yet!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Glass Harp

A friend sent me this link to hear a glass harp. Since my granddaughter, Emily, plays the harp that caught my attention. I expected to see a harp made of glass. I found this really inspiring. I can imagine that Mr. Tiso has had to practice at least as long and hard as someone who plays it on a real harp. Check it out.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hats Off to Lefties

Today is International Left-Handers Day. If you are a lefty, here are some reasons you rock:

Only 10-15% of the people on the planet are left-handed.
Many presidents (Obama), inventors (Bill Gates) and celebs (Oprah) are left-handed.
You never have to worry about left-handed equipment (i.e. scissors) selling out.
You can always count on getting special table-seating considerations.
People like me are always amazed at the things you have learned to do (like writing, eating, crocheting). It looks so awkward and un-natural to me.

Hats off to all you Lefties! But please, try to pick a hat less ridiculous than this one!

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's Official

Just returned from ten days in Kennewick, Washington. Yes, I got to help Travis and the boys with the 29 hour drive from Chicago. Britt (and her big belly) got to fly, making it possible for me to be the chief sandwich maker, snack passer outer, movie projectionist, and potty assistant for the trek.
So glad to get to go and to see where this cute little family will make their new home. What a wonderful place to live, but oh so far away!
And how official is this?