We Seek After
These Things
Recently returned from serving the people of Honduras for 3 years

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Things you NEVER wanted to know . . .

Recently I've been tagged on FACEBOOK and here on my blog site for some personal information. Since it has taken me days to try to come up with some random information that ANYONE would think interesting, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and post it to both sites. So in a nutshell, here is some really RANDOM stuff that you NEVER wanted to know.

(Been tagged twice now - better get going . . .)

25 Random Things

1. I have 10 cool, beautiful purses on my shelf but always use the SAME one.

2. I hate it when people SCARE me.

3. As a youngster, my favorite books were the L. Frank Baum series, including Ozma of OZ.

4. My favorite gum is Eclipse, POLAR ICE, and I go through a lot of it.


5. I am a computer geek (I admit it, most people are too nice to say so . . .)

6. But I can and have fixed innumerable computer problems of all sorts.

7. I tear up every single time I say the "Pledge of Allegiance".

8. I once set my dorm kitchen on fire and put if out with the fire extinguisher.

9. My favorite place to shop is Barnes & Noble.

10. The biggest miracle in my life was having LASER EYE surgery, I once was blind (almost).

11. I am always late.


12. I once ran into my own husband in my car.

13. I think MOOSE TRACKS ice cream is absolutely the BEST!

14. I made up a middle name for myself as a child and used it all through elementary school.

15. I can converse BRIEFLY in three languages.

16. I am terrible at expressing my feelings.


17. I sometimes let my husband cut my hair.

18. My friends and I have tickets to RASCAL FLATTS for Feb 26th in Salt Lake City.

19. I really CAN play the piano.

20. My favorite places in the world are Keeawakapu Beach-Maui, Paris France and Lake Powell.

21. I used to run home from school everyday to watch DARK SHADOWS, anyone remember it?

22. I once shook hands with Ronald Reagan.

24. I married the cute boy that lived around the corner.

25. I Have a testimony of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.

(Except for the last one!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Temple Dedicated in Draper, Utah

Living just over the mountain from the new Draper Utah Temple, we have been watching the construction one step at a time from the groundbreaking in July 2006 to the hoisting of the majestic, gold leafed Angel Moroni in July of 2008. I stayed up until midnight the night before reservations were available online so that we would be sure to secure tickets to attend the open house. Not since 1981, when the Jordan River Temple was dedicated, have we had a temple dedication in the Salt Lake Valley. So it was an occasion our family looked forward to with great anticipation.

We were not disappointed. Even during the 12 minute introductory film shown by missionaries, followed by their personal testimonies, one could feel the spirit bear witness of the special work and function of our LDS Temples. The film features testimonies by President Monson, Elder Holland and Elder Packer and specifically denotes that it is our Heavenly Father's home on this earth, and is thus inscribed with the words "Holiness to the Lord", designating it as his home. Elder Holland shared his witness of the importance of temple ordinances, "I don't know how to speak about heaven in the traditional, lovely, paradisiacal beauty that we speak of heaven--I wouldn't know how to speak of heaven without my wife and my children. It would not be heaven for me."

Following the introductory film, everyone is transported to the Draper Temple by bus where a silent temple tour continues. Each person receives a brochure about the temple that describes it's different rooms. The tour ends in the cultural hall of an adjacent meeting house decorated beautifully with family history displays, and light refreshments. One has the chance to ask questions of the many missionaries and member volunteers who attend to the cultural hall thoughout the open house period.

In an unusual move for the church, they invited the press to attend a special tour of the temple before the public open house began. While they were not allowed to bring their cameras into the temple they were supplied with film from the church that included footage of many of the temple rooms. You can see these videos on ABC video sights. You might be interested in watching them if you will be unable to attend the Draper Temple open house in person. (As is usual for the press, they try hard I think, but frequently fail to get all their facts exactly correct.)

Wednesday, January 28th, Meridian Magazine (I finally found the right link) features an article about the new Draper Temple and will have photos released by the church of many of the temple rooms.

I have a testimony of temples and love the tranquility, light and peace that we can partake of when particiapting in temple ordinances. I'm grateful to have this place of serenity in this world and try to participate often. I look forward to having this beautiful temple nearby my home, and hope you all that live nearby will have the opportunity of visiting with your families during their open house. The Church website provides this information -

Open house organizers request that advance reservations be made online at www.lds.org/reservations (maximum of 10 reservations) or by calling 1-800-537-6181 or 801-240-7932. Group reservations can also be accommodated by calling these numbers.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 20-22 March 2009, the Draper Utah Temple will be formally dedicated. Latter-day Saints in the area served by the new temple will attend 12 dedicatory sessions.

After its dedication, the temple will serve approximately 60,000 members of the Church in Draper and surrounding communities. It will become the 129th Latter-day Saint temple worldwide.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Books, Books and More Piles of Books . . .

For a while I put a moratorium on purchasing any more books. I did okay for a couple months and then I just couldn't resist. But as you can see . . . I'm getting further and further behind.

Do any of you have a nightstand that looks like this? And . . . YES, I really am reading all of these books at the same time! And . . . YES, I really do keep chocolate on my nightstand. I'm a firm believer in chocolate every night before bedtime! I need all the antioxidants, endorphins and serotonin I can get :)

If you don't participate in GOODREADS, you really must give it a try. Come on over and be my friend!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

"The Rest of the Story . . . "

We have had many experiences over the last six years with an organization called Guide Dogs for the Blind. Kelsie made up her mind when she was 12 years old that she wanted to be a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs. Her older brother Dustin introduced her to the organization when he observed one of his school mates bringing a "Guide Dog" puppy to his high school classes and Dustin knew it was an idea that Kelsie would immediately fall in LOVE with.

Kelsie did lots of research online at their website Guide Dogs for the Blind and decided that yes, she really needed to get involved in this volunteer humanitarian activity, and decided to learn to raise a guide dog puppy herself. Kelsie knew it would be quite a battle trying to persuade her Dad that this was a worthwhile endeavor. She did all her homework and came up with solutions to ALL the problems she knew he would present as obstacles. Somehow she managed to persuade him to let her participate in the organization and she began going to classes to learn to train the dogs.

They have a youth group in our area with great leaders. At any given time there are about 10-15 guide dog puppies being raised in Utah County. And so began our many wonderful, and some not so wonderful experiences with raising cute, wiggly, sweet and frequently naughty Labrador puppies. The way it works is the puppy raiser, after attending 6 months of weekly training classes, receives an 8-10 week old puppy, bred and owned by the organization. They come to you on a 'puppy truck', almost as adorable as the puppies themselves. The volunteer puppy raiser commits to spending 15-45 hours a week on training the puppy, providing socialization, taking the puppy to classes, planning outings, grooming, feeding, walking, potty training and loving the puppy. The loving part comes easily. They are so adorable!

The training, walking and potty training is much harder and requires a great deal of discipline and donated time by the puppy raiser. When the puppies are 14-16 months old, after approximately one year in the home of the puppy raiser, they go back to Guide Dogs for the Blind on the not so cute anymore (since in reality it's now taking the puppies away instead of bringing them) puppy truck. This, of course is so difficult for these young kids as they give up these much loved puppies that they have trained and worked so hard with. But they are inspired youth, and do it willingly, hoping to give the opportunity for increased sight to someone less fortunate than themselves. I so admire each one of these young people for their time and sacrifice.

Kelsie's first Guide Dog puppy was Cardinal, and he has since graduated from the program and is living with his visually impaired partner in Santa Ana, California. We've been able to keep in touch with him by email for the last couple years. He is actually quite famous! You can see a video of Cardinal and his partner, Frank Frand, here and also here. They are both active in fund raising for Guide Dogs with a program called Tee-off For Dogs!

Her second guide dog puppy, Conan went back to Guide dogs on the puppy truck in November of 2007. The first of December we got a call from them saying that he didn't pass their stringent physical exam. An ex ray of his elbows revealed a mild amount of elbow dysplasia which disqualified him from being a "working" dog. They have a cute, fancy name for the puppies that don't graduate from the program; "career changed" dogs. So we have a "career changed" guide dog back home with us again.

Kelsie currently is involved in lots of activities as a senior in High School and is unable to raise another guide dog puppy. So we kind of miss the puppy cuddling, but not necessarily all the extra time and energy right now. But it is a wonderful organization that does so much good for visually impaired people - increasing their quality of life, and making it possible for many of them to have opportunities and experiences they would never have otherwise.

Why do I share all of this today? Well, interestingly enough, I ran across this interesting piece of information on the Guide Dogs blog, "No Bones About it". Surely everyone heard about the miraculous landing of the US Airways A320 in the Hudson River this past Thursday . . . Who would have guessed that the pilot, turned hero, was a fellow Guide Dogs puppy raiser? In addition to saving the lives of all 155 people aboard the aircraft, he continually donates his time and energy and has raised several puppies for Guide Dogs and donated much effort to the cause of the visually impaired. Yep, Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, famous pilot, now hero, heartily receives our commendation for a job well done!

To borrow a popular phrase . . .
AND now YOU know the REST of the STORY!

i am blissfully domestic kitchen

Stop by Blissfully Domestic for more Blissfully fun stuff

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So Many LDS Resources!

The other day I was reviewing some principles we studied this week at Book of Mormon class, and wanted to see if I could find some other inspiration and thoughts about the doctrine.  I just love my Book of Mormon class, and even though I don't REALLY  make many New Years Resolutions, I have recommitted myself to attending the class faithfully on Mondays!  It brings the spirit into my life, my home, my relationship with husband, children and even extended family as I study the principles and doctrines of the Book of Mormon on a regular basis.  Not to say that I have this principle down by any means . . .

I am constantly a work in progress . . . under construction . . . 

But I wanted to highlight a few wonderful places that I've discovered that maybe others would like to visit also!  I can see that many have taken Elder Ballards (read this article) comments to heart about sharing their love of the gospel through modern technical resources.

"Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration."

Some that I frequent the most:

Just about everything you would ever want to know about serving a mission, mission preparation, actual missionaries and lots more.

Great for family or personal scripture study and FHE activities.

Many referenced articles to enhance your lesson preparation or personal study

News, updates and lots of fun and interesting commentary published by Deseret News

Of course the LDS Church's official websites:

There are also a lot of fun new LDS sites created everyday - some of my personal favorites:

a really fun sight that I have started blogging on recently
Come see my most recent post here! - AKA Metaphysical Molly

Safely Gathered In

Safely Gathered In

Zarahemla Times
comic relief from an old friend from High School

Happy Browsing - Hope you find 
something new!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Of Feathers & Fur . . .

Anyone who has been to our home, or knows me, understands that I have a penchant for "all creatures great and small". My husband loves to tease everyone and point out to all who enter, the sign that hangs in our family room that states

"Welcome to the Zoo"

He thinks we really do live in a zoo!

Perhaps we do. Although I must admit, our current situation IS better than it has been in the past. We have two large indoor house dogs - Cleo and Conan, our salt and pepper Labradors. Although they are large, they really think they are lap dogs. We also have two kitties, Kia and Minnie, who think that they belong in the house during the snowy Utah winter times. As you can imagine between the 4 of them - the fur does fly. (I think I need to invest in the vacuum bag business . . .)

As if that wasn't enough - I frequently feel the need to adopt all the outside critters as well! Currently, it's the winter flocks of birds that are passing through. They continue to amaze me as they come in so many different shapes, sizes and colors. Each one of them has their own unique personalities as well. Last year I invested in some new binoculars so as to keep an eye on them even better. They love to pass through our yard, despite our kitties, which they seem to tease always managing to stay just out of reach, because we have so many trees with edible berries on them in the winter time. I also put out bird food for them s o I can watch them at the bird feeders off our patio.

They are really hilarious at the feeder and can empty a bird feeder of 2 pounds of bird seed in a matter of hours. Many of them take turns sharing, almost offering their perch to the newcomer searching for a place to light. Others, chase all the flock away before they settle down to peck, searching for the choicest morsels, keeping all to themselves.

Here are some of the birds at the feeder -

Here is my kitty watching the birds at the feeder -

I'll be sure to post more photos as the winter goes along. I always keep my birding guide book close by as I try to identify my winter visitors. I think my hubby is always glad when I keep the visitors outside, especially when I insist on feeding them!

i am bd bread

Stop by one of my favorite sites - Blissfully Domestic, for the weekly blog carnival.  I'm linked!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heavenly Dessert - Recipe to Share!

Thank you to my friend Donna Sterzer for this new favorite recipe. In fact, so many of the family's favorite recipes have come from her originally. She is a wonderful and inspiring cook! Thank you Donna for bringing this to our New Years Eve celebration, it was an instant favorite.

Kelsie and I later made it for her Girls Preference Dinner - and it was the hit of the evening!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake -

Crust: (I used one Oreo pre-made pie crust, dumped into the prepared cheesecake pan and pressed into the pan and up the sides) OR:

1-3/4 C crushed chocolate chip cookies or chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 C. sugar
1/3 C butter, melted

3-8 oz pkg cream cheese softened
1 C sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C sour cream
1/2 t. vanilla extract

1/4 c butter softened (I used margarine)
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1 T water
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 C flour
1-1/2 C miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and up 1" on the sides of a greased 9-in springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low until combined. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat just until blended. Pour over crust, set aside. In another mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add water and vanilla. Gradually add flour. Stir in 1 C. chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls over filling, gently pushing dough below the surface (dough should be completely covered by filling. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 min (I baked for only 40) or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Sprinkle with remaining chips. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield 12-14 servings.

Stop by 11th Heaven's Homemaking Monday for more great HOMEMAKINING ideas!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Not at all Crafty Really . . .

Just wanted to share my favorite project from Christmas . . . I saw something similiar at a craft barn in Midway Utah and wanted to customize it to work for me.

I searched throughout my house and came up with all the appropriately sized frames I could find and spray painted them all black. The original had all matching frames, but I really like the random size, shape and texture of these frames.

Then how to do the lettering - after considering many options, I decided to see if my DIL, Cami could help me out by doing the letters on her Cricket scrapbook tool with the vinyl. That worked really nicely, she used two different fonts to continue the random look for size and shape. The vinyl just goes on top of the glass in the frame.

Must admit . . . I really like how the project turned out! It kinda reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures . . .

Matthew 21:22
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive

This post linked to the creative and fun 11th Heavens Homemaking Haven - be sure to stop by!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blast From the Past

As a special gift for my husband this year at Christmas time, I thought I'd take him on a little journey down "Memory Lane".  He really loves that kind of thing anyway.  So I dug through our basement, old photo albums, wedding photos that no one has looked at in 20 years. (sadly - most of my kids haven't even seen my old wedding photos).  I sat in the office and scanned photo after photo for the best part of the day. 

 And here is the finished product.  I love the modern digital scrapbooking options that you can find on places like shutterfly.com and snapfish.com.  Anyone can publish a book in a short period of time!  If you haven't tried it yet, you must check it out!

I started at the beginning with just him and me.  I'd almost forgotten those days!  Then added a photo journal page for each child and the family as the family kept growing and growing and growing. 

It was a big hit of the holiday season - everyone has enjoyed the book. My children sat and poured over the photos, commenting that they had never seen this one and that one.


It would be a great idea for Father's day - start thinking ahead!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Top Memorable Moments from 2008

While we have many - here are my favoritist (love that word again) that come to mind:

Our black puppy Conan came back to us. He was a Guide Dog puppy we were raising for Guide Dogs for the Blind, but he was disqualified due to some elbow dystocia. So Kelsie and I made the 24 hour trip to Boring (yes, it's really called that), Oregon to pick him up on New Years Day. We drove 12 hours straight there, picked up one excited wiggly black lab, ate dinner, and drove 12 hours straight back in the worst snowstorm imaginable.

Karianne graduated from the nursing program at BYUI and came back home to live with us again! It was wonderful to celebrate with her, and we loved having her back home again. We all celebrated with her when one month later she passed her RN boards and started her new job at Primary Children's Medical Center. Way to go Karianne! Now she's working and completing her bachelors degree in nursing - Busy girl!

After 28 years of houseboating at Lake Powell, we finally found just the houseboat for us. It's call the "Sunsation", is a little bit older, but still has all the comforts of home. We share the boat with 10 other families and have one set week per summer, and the option for use in the spring and fall. We spent our first week on it during the summer and had just the greatest time ever!

This wasn't to exciting but it was certainly memorable - I remember Norm calling and telling me that Cory had been injured on his bicycle. While traveling to work (a combination of Trax and biking) he had been hit by a car, pushed off the road, and landed on his head and shoulder. Thank heavens for helmets! His only injury was a broken clavicle. What a miraculous blessing! He had a couple weeks off work because he couldn't use one arm, and then was back into everything, including riding his bike to work - go figure!

We consider Kelsie finally cured, healed, and over her bout with Mono. She had a rough go of it this last year trying to keep up with school, get good grades, communicate with teachers, make up assignments, go to bed early, take lots of vitamins and other elixirs; play softball just enough to keep up with the sport but not jeopardize her health, work part time at both Jamba Juice and the Orem Owls, and still maintain any kind of a social life when you have to go to bed like at 8:00 pm every night. You go girl!

Karianne waited and waited for her ideal apartment to become available
in the Salt Lake area so she could move closer to her work at the hospital. (You know as a night RN myself - I worried about the long drive home for her after a night shift!) She outlasted all her potential roommates who ended up making alternate plans. Finally, the perfect situation came along. A remodeled house just east of Westminster College with six beautiful LDS roommates, a good ward and a private bedroom. We got her all moved in and decorated her little bedroom adorably, and she is living happily ever after.

We had the wonderful opportunity of taking my niece Chellese through the Salt Lake Temple in preparation for her temple sealing in the St. George Temple. She is beautiful, and is marrying Evan, a wonderful guy who seems just right for her. We all felt the spirit so strongly, and I'm so grateful to have been able to be part of those special moments in her life.

On September 26th, Norm and I celebrated 28 years of marriage! Because I was involved in several out of town conferences for my work at Alta View Hospital right before and after our anniversary we didn't get to celebrate until the middle of October. But we spent two nights at the Zermatt hotel in Midway Utah and it was beautiful.

All of my family - my whole big extended family - got together in Las Vegas for like the first time ever. It was the first time I can think of when every single grandchild was off work, out of school, healthy and able to come on vacation with the family. The kids absolutely adored spending so much time with their cousins. Especially their cousins from La Verkin that they don't get to see very often. We spent hours prowling around Las Vegas in the dark, watching the fountains at the Bellagio, riding the roller coaster at the New Yorker, shopping and more shopping. By day we spent lazy days hanging out at the pool, laughing, playing games and just having a great time.

My cute as can be, daughter-in-law, Cami nearly cut the end of her finger off with an Olfa cutter while quilting away in her apartment. We're so happy to report that after many weeks of pain, dressing changes, medication, and time off from crafting of all sorts - it has healed up so nicely without the necessity of a skin graft that many medical professionals thought she was going to require.

Our miraculous little blue Toyota Corolla is still being passed from kid to kid. Dustin had the great opportunity to drive it around when he was a senior in High School back in the year 2000. Then it bypassed Cory, going straight to Karianne when she got her drivers license in 2004 with nearly 250,000 miles on it. It lasted her many years driving back and forth to Rexburg Idaho which we thought would never happen, then passed on to Cory who needed a car for a while while his bike was being repaired after his biking accident. Finally, with 280,000 miles it fell to Kelsie (in her senior year of high school) to drive to Orem and back every day. It's still parked in the driveway and running perfectly!

Norm had the shortest church calling ever! He was called as the Young Men's President in September, was just getting everything organized, getting to know all the Young Men, coordinating all the activities between the Priesthood arm, Scouting and the Young Men's program, and then in December they released him! They called him to serve in a Stake position on the High Council. It was a devastating release for many, and we're still waiting with faith to realize the blessing that's sure to come. But Norm just loves to serve - and he serves with all his heart in any position.

And last but certainly not the least - Dustin graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Business and Finance! We're so proud of him. He has accomplished this great goal while working more than part time over the years, changing his major once, serving a two year mission to the New York South mission, getting married, and moving three times. Yea Dustin! Congratulations and we can't wait to host a big party to celebrate with all your family and friends!

It's been a wonderful year, and we look forward with great hope, faith and love for all our wonderful family, friends, and neighbors who are wonderful examples to us, surround us with greatness, and give much more than we can ever return,
to a wonderful year ahead in 2009.
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