Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Quiet Book

Making the first quiet book was fun - after it was all done. Now that I have one under my belt, I have a better idea of what will work and what won't. I had several patterns that I didn't get done in the first one. My mom has lots of notions and so what does all that add up to? The courage to try again!

Page one: A counting page. It has a marine theme. I found the cutest little buttons - crabs, starfishes, fishies, and silver seals. The single button will be an airplane - Coast Guard, supposedly.

Page two: A peek-a-boo page. You move the mittens down and...

There is a little girl, who will have a ribbon in her hair to practice tying.

It's only sketched now. I will color it in and take another picture of it later. For a little reader, they could just practice playing peek-a-boo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Mileposts in America

In reading around the net this morning, I read the post of a friend who shared this link. America now has more people employed in government than in manufacturing. Wonder what that will portend? It doesn't bring peaceful feelings to my heart.

Second picture: The increase in mortgage foreclosures.

My Mom was born in 1929. The year of the Great Depression. I have been thinking a lot about how they must have felt then. A young couple with a new baby - and the economy in the hole. Probably not unlike a lot of people feel now. They must have been scared. They must of wondered "why?"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cookie, Cookie - Which is the Best Cookie?

I found these two totally decadent chocolate chip cookies recipes (did I mention Tom and I started going to Weight Watchers again? If you can't eat, you might as well surf for recipes!)

Since we are practicing self discipline - I'm putting out a request for samplers. Try these two recipes and let me know which one is the best, in your opinion. If I am going to break it down and figure out the points - I want it to be for the best cookie. When the sugar craving gets too bad, I will have a recipe in reserve. There are days when I am perfectly willing to eat salads and veggie soup to trade for a good cookie!

Here we go:

Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Annette Brower
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 ¾ c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3 c. oatmeal
12 oz. chocolate chips, more or less

Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes

Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Kris Smith
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup Crisco
1/4 milk
1 egg
2 2/3 cups oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
(I always add about 2 cups chocolate chips)

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

Joseph Smith

Class today was interesting. I'm repeatedly humbled by the opportunity teaching Gospel Doctrine gives me to grow and learn. It teaches me HOW to read the scriptures. It creates the curiosity in me to look deeper, research more. Every Sunday, I am the biggest recipient of knowledge.

I'm basically a straight arrow person. And I have to say that getting a testimony of Joseph Smith's vision did not come easily to me. In taking the missionary lessons forty years ago (holy cow - how did that happen? 40 years??!!), there were things that I did not question. I believed that that we should still have prophets and apostles. I believed that I had a "father" in heaven - a personal, loving parent - not some ethereal formless god. He had looked after me for years and I spoke to Him.

I wasn't sure about the Book of Mormon. It was hard for me to read. But - I received a witness that David O. McKay was the living spokesperson for the Lord. He was a prophet. In order for that to be true, all the rest had to be true and I accepted it in faith. I've wondered why my testimony started in that way - but it was enough. For most stuff.

When I went on my mission, we had to memorize the discussions. We had to testify to the fact that we knew that Joseph Smith DID see a vision, that he WAS a prophet. I could repeat his testimony almost word-perfect. But I couldn't bear witness. I COULD (and did) bear testimony that I believed those things to be true. And I felt badly about it. I felt like a phony.

I thank that same loving Heavenly Father for sending me to New York for my mission. I was born in Missouri, the "show me" state. Doing always teaches me more hearing or seeing. I got to see the birthplace of the Restoration. I walked the Sacred Grove - in the snow. I will never forget that day. I felt the spirit there. I didn't get my testimony, but I WAS touched. He knew what I needed.

I came back to California and went to school. I attended church. Sitting in Relief Society, one Sunday, I got my testimony of Joseph Smith. I don't know what the lesson was on that morning. They weren't talking about the Restoration. But the Spirit took me back to that grove and gave me a witness that what I had been testifying to actually DID happen. Faith wasn't necessary any more. I knew.

And there I was today - teaching this wonderful experience - WITH a testimony of it's truthfulness. I don't know. It was just so choice. It was the way I always WANTED it to be like while I was on my mission. I could stand there and FEEL the power behind his words:

"I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation."

Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History 1:25

In our little branch we talk a lot about the importance of having a personal testimony of this. We believe that times and occurrences in the world are such that we won't be able to stand the things to come without this personal witness. I know what it is like to be able to say that I know the church is true and yet not be able to say that I KNEW Joseph Smith did indeed have a vision telling him that what he was looking for wasn't on the Earth at that time. I know the peace that knowledge brings. I hope the same is true for you.

We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. He lives and looks after it as a bridegroom cares for His bride. It's true.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spring is Coming!

Back in October, I knew the "dark" was coming. I spent a day planting bulbs.

It was a beautiful day when they were planted. We are enjoying the same type of weather this week. I decided to check them again. I now have proof that spring is coming - perhaps sooner here than other places. I can handle the rain and wind that might be coming - I have crocus growing! This is the strawberry pot I wrote about. I planted daffodils and tulips in the top. The crocus was planted in the little "balconies." One has emerged.

I planted two basins of crocus.

As a mortal being, my memory is short. I get depressed when the days get short and there is mostly darkness. The storms wear on me. Our lovely ocean view often gets obscured. Sometimes the waves grow large and threatening.

And then a little bulb pops out of the ground. The promise of spring - and bigger promises come to mind.

First come the crocus. Then daffodils and tulips. The trees start blooming. The forest turns a thousand shades of green as each tree spouts new leaves in its own turn.

Then comes Easter. What a wonderful plan.

Celebrity Sighting in Waldport!!

Who knew Scooby-Do was in town??!

He didn't sign any autographs.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bead Crochet

I tried combining two of the things I like to play with - beads and crochet. I tried this with Tom's discarded fish line. I thought it might work like those "floating necklaces" I've seen. It's different, but I really like how it looks.

They kind of remind me of Christmas lights. Maybe this would work for your ID badges, too, Samara, Chrissy? It's 20 lb line and has a little built in stretch because of the crochet stitch. What do you think?

The shot below is a necklace I tried making for Faith. I like how it twists.

I made myself a key chain holder, so I could find my keys easier in my bag.

And this little girl's bracelet. I'll have to see if the button/loop fastening works or not.

Sunday -Sunday

Ever have one of those periods when EVERY thing falls apart? It's like a spiral-effect. Things aren't going well. I start feeling depressed and frustrated, which adds negative energy, which saps all my intiative. Everything starts looking hopeless.

I find myself in this cycle over and over. And the answer is always the same. I am becoming casual with Deity. My grasp on temperal success depends on my dedication to spiritual things. Truly. The routine, mandane things build spiritual strength. Provides armor against the attacks of the Advisary. Mine has been growing thin. Now I am just talking about routine prayers and scripture reading. But reducing those leaves me vunerable. The power of the scriptures in my life can not be over-stated.

When I was working nights at the plant, I would get scared - unless I studied my scriptures. I saw it over and over. Still I forget.

We are going to the temple. There is ALWAYS adversity when you are preparing eternal covenants. ALWAYS. I KNOW that. I was even thinking that. Still I wasn't prepared for the direction from which it came.

Somehow, the Spirit got that through to me yesterday. Thank God. Whatever would we do without the Atonement.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Night

I can feel the brain cells dying by the hour. The boredom is killing me.

WHAT DO RETIRED PEOPLE DO???? I have finished my lesson. I have played computer games. I have facebook-ed. I have crochetted. I'm sick of TV. If I watch another movie I am going to scream.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Five things Tag

I wasn't tagged, but I did it anyway. I read it on Chrissy's blog and thought it would be fun to do. I tag anyone whom is likewise moved.

5 things I was doing 5 years ago:
1. Living in St. Helens, Oregon
2. Working graveyard shift
3. Making beads for girl's camp
4. Working for the City of Portland's Wastewater Plant
5. Enjoying our bird, cat, dog and guinea pigs

5 Things on my to do list for today:
1. Have plumber look at Mom's toilet
2. Replace caulking around roll-in shower
3. Go back to Weight Watchers
4. Get estimates regarding house's settling problem
5. Work on my journal entries

5 things I would do with a million dollars:
1. Buy a house with some acreage
2. Donate to church educational fund
3. Establish college fund for all grand children
4. Go to Alaska
5. Buy camping supplies for the stake

5 Places I have lived:
1. Cortland, NY
2. Hanksville, UT
3. St Helens, OR
4. Rowland Heights, CA
5. Lenexa, KS

5 jobs I have held:
1. Cost Accounting Clerk
2. Accounts Receivable Clerk, NASA, Moffet Field, CA
3. Wastewater Operator
4. Admitting Clerk, on Ortho Ward
5. Driver in Auto Auction

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Week of 2009

We've set another temple date - this time at the Portland Temple. We have an appointment for January 31st, at 2pm. I will be taking Mom to get her endowments Tuesday, the 27th. then she will be sealed to Poppo and Tom and I will be sealed Saturday. David and Jill Bozeman are flying out, so Dave can be Tom's witness. They will only be here for the weekend, but I'm thrilled they can make it.

Found an email address for Ann Finwall and was able to get a short note from her. She is teaching at the satellite college campus in Yreka, which just seems perfect. She says she has been there about a year.

Monday, January 5, 2009