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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sara . . . Sara . . . Smile

There's someone very special I really must introduce:

Meet Sara!


She is engaged to my son Cory and they will be getting married in January.

We are so excited.

She is so darling and brings out all the best qualities in my son (and that certainly makes a mama happy!)

It's really fun thank you to youtube.com, you can view their proposal right here online.

Cory proposed at the Jon Schmidt concert at Thanksgiving Point. Jon was introducing his latest greatest hit, "Love Story Meet Love Story" from his new album "Bonus Tracks", and called Cory down out of the audience to come make an announcement, and finished by dedicating the song to Cory & Sara.

Little did we know that Cory had made arrangements with Jon Schmidt in advance (he actually got to speak with him . . . sigh . . . I'm so impressed . . . thank you Jon!) and they had it all planned out, what a perfect song for a proposal. Once again, I am a lucky mom, I got to be present at another wedding proposal, I'm really liking this! I think it should be a family tradition :)

Sara will fit into our family perfectly - she likes ballroom dancing, reading and hiking! She is a busy student, working and now planning a wedding. In fact she reminds me a lot of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs about a Sara - "It's you and me forever - Sara Smile!"


We love you Sara!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Light Thoughts . . .

What is your favorite kind of Halloween candy?

You know I think I like it all. I'm so sad this year that I will have no trick-or-treaters at home to raid their candy bags. I tried to persuade my college freshman daughter to come home with her roommates and trick-or-treat but they prefer to attend the college Halloween activities there instead - go figure . . .

Can you be addicted to chocolate chip cookies?

I know for certain that I am. If I don't have them frequently I get all headachy, can't concentrate, daydream of chocolate chip cookies hot out of the oven . . .

What does one do about a chocolate chip cookie addiction? Chocolate Chip Cookies Anonymous anyone?

I so wish I could cat nap like my cat . . .

I've just been watching the cat all day - do NOTHING!

It hasn't even budged for the last 5 hours. I think it's still breathing. Wish I could sleep that well, even in the middle of the night . . . I don't sleep that well. (I do have another new funny, well, maybe not SO funny cat story, but that is a blog for another day . . .)

I thought the Visiting Teaching message this month was beautiful:

A little Halloween candy here, a few warm chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk there, and a cat nap in the sun with a little one . . . that's my kind of nurturing . . . the rising generation:)

“Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. … Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." -- President Gordon B HInckley, Ensign, July '97

Just Get the Shot Already

Have you had your flu shot already?

Good for you!

This bloggy public service announcement is brought to you from a reformed anti-flu-shot antagonist.

For years I didn't get the annual flu vaccination, despite the counsel of the medical community, despite the fact that I am an RN working in the health community, despite it being provided free and totally convenient for me to access. I did once upon a time, like many of you, get sick with flu type symptoms after receiving the vaccination, and in my head (wrongly, I might add) associated those symptoms with the flu vaccination and decided I wasn't getting THAT again.

And now this year: What a dilemma . . . should you or should you not get the H1N1 flu vaccination. Or even the regular flu vaccination for that matter?

You should get both, and I'll tell you why.

There has been much information circulating this year concerning the pros and cons of the flu vaccination. Particularly the H1N1 vaccination. Employers requiring their employees to get vaccinated (can they really do that?), news stories of vaccinations being rushed into production, discussions over what populations are really at risk to the flu virus, the severity of the disease and the symptoms. And all would be somewhat factual in nature.

Here is the reason why you and almost everyone should get vaccinated.
Because . . . (da da da da!)

It's not about YOU!

You might be in a low risk category for getting the annual or H1N1 flu virus, you might not have much chance of getting hospitalized or even dying from a flu virus. You might be particularly healthy, strong and have never had the flu in your life. But guess what? It's not about YOU.

It's all about protecting those in our communities, homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces who ARE at an increased risk. These would be pregnant women, people living in households with babies under 6 months (alright, who NEVER comes in contact with someone who fits into THAT category?) ((additional note - since infants cannot be immunized, and are in one of the highest risk categories, they must be protected by preventing illness in those around them)), medical personnel who are likely to be in contact with infected patients, young people between 6 months and 24 years old, and nonelderly individuals who have underlying conditions such as asthma, respiratory illness, or a compromised immune system.

Did you know you are actually contagious and spreading the flu virus before you experience any of the symptoms yourself? So while it is good advice to stay home when one experiences flulike signs and symptoms, in reality it actually may be too late. You may have already spread the virus to your pregnant daughter, your infant or other young grandchildren or neighbors, your immunocompromised friends or family members.

"While the disease seen in the current 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual." - CDC "2009 H1N1 Flu(Swine Flu) and You" Oct 20, 2009

Is the flu vaccine safe, and particularly the H1N1 Vaccine safe?
CDC medical professionals expect the H1N1 vaccine to have a similar safety profile as other typical seasonal flu vaccines, which have a very good safety track record. Over the years, hundreds of millions of Americans have received seasonal flu vaccines with minimal side effects recorded.

Are there some people who should not receive seasonal or H1N1 Flu vaccines?
Yes, it would include people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, or have previously had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine, children less than 6 months of age, those who currently have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they are recovered to vaccinate).

Please read these helpful information sheets to determine which type of seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccine YOU should receive:

So, don't get the flu vaccine because some employer is mandating it. Don't pass it by because some political outspoken professes our government is taking away our agency. Just get the shot already because it is the single most effective way to decrease the spread, complications and repercussions of the flu, and protect not only ourselves, but our family members, neighborhoods and communities.

If you're interested, there is tons of information, just about everything you would ever want to know - at the CDC, Flu Information Update Center.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Off my Rocker

Hey, if you're wondering if I'm totally off my rocker today. You're probably right. Let's look at the bright side; at least I'm out of the rocker :)

I'm blogging elsewhere today about such totally mundane things as

"Poison in the Pantry"

over at the Welcome Mat today.

Come on by and take a look!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It Seemed like just Yesterday . . .

I was putting those tender tomato plants into the ground. Covering them gently with the bag o'water to protect the young seedlings from the inclement spring weather. Watching for the sun to come warm the soil where they were just beginning to grow. Each week cautiously adjusting the water, providing nourishment through fertilizer and training the new tendrils up and over the supporting cages. I remember I was so excited, as I am each year, to see the new tomatoes begin to appear on the vines, I could practically taste those home grown, sun warned tomatoes, fresh from the garden.

Soon the neighboring squash, corn and green beans began to produce their bounty also. The zucchini was overflowing and we baked loaf after loaf of zucchini bread, stir-fry zucchini, zucchini casserole and chocolate zucchini cake. And still the zucchini overflowed.

The raspberries were luscious and warm each morning on our bowls of cereal. They made great smoothies and wonderful jams. The peaches turned out beautiful in their golden jars, like a treasure they line the pantry shelves. The ripened pumpkins now grace my front porch with their presence along with the now crispy and dried out cornstalks. Each one dressed up fancy for Halloween with their black plastic ties. Spicy salsas rich with homegrown peppers, onions and cilantro make their way from my kitchen to neighboring kitchens in an effort to share the plentiful crop.

It was an abundant and blessed summer. I express great gratitude for the abundance, for the beautiful treasures of life. Even now the tomatoes continue to ripen inside the garage, whole tangles of entwined vines and tomato cages, protected from the outside and much colder climate. Each night the frost appears on the grass and the reddening autumn leaves. But the tomatoes are protected and will provide that same home grown, fresh off the vine taste well into winter.

Some welcome the frequent change of seasons. Looking forward to each new and different time period, with their changing patterns and colors, the shorter or lengthier days. The changing skies from the summer blues to the grayer skies of fall and winter.

Me, I go with heels dragging. Pulled along reluctantly like an stubborn puppy. I know that right around the corner many new, different and marvelous experiences lie in waiting. Yet, if I could only remain behind, linger longer enjoying the summer sun and bounteous harvest for a few more weeks, a few more days. Give me that summer sun to warm my back while I lie beneath it reading my books and magazines just one more time. Already, amidst the cooler temperatures and the falling rain I miss it's warmth.


Yet such is life. The seasons change, kids grow , each one of us changing and growing inside and out, each year, prepared or unprepared, the time goes by. Although I'd prefer to just remain, enjoying a perpetual summer, give me a week or two to resist and I'll be happy to move on. Looking ahead with anticipation, family and friends to nourish. And before you know it, those young tomatoes will be going into the ground again.

Meanwhile I'll be busy here, one day at a time.

Monday, October 12, 2009

You Rock Blog award - Passing it on . . .

Isn't this the most ROCKIN' blogger award you've ever seen. I think it is the cutest thing ever. I'm so honored that Joy has passed this award along to me.

Everyone needs a little Joy in their lives. She truly provides "Joy in the Journey" to all those who come in contact with her. And I have so appreciated our bloggy friendship this last year. I was just looking back at this blog year in review and realized she first visited my blog on January 5, 2009. I have appreciated her visits and comments ever since. They mean so much to me! YOU are certainly in for a treat when you visit her blog if you aren't currently acquainted with her.

I am excited to pass this award on to some blogs that are truly "Rockin' my world"!

Hmmm . . . there are really so many!

Victoria - The Welcome Mat - I know you are OFF and out and ABOUT, but you certainly "Rock my world" and I'm so happy to present to you the "you rock blogger award". When you're caught up on your sleep and in between things, come on by and collect your award.

My next nominee would be Tammy, Time Flies - down in sunny AZ. She is a mom, wife, shopper of bargains and a decorating addict. I really want to live at her house over Halloween. It's pretty scary looking! And besides, her political agenda always gives me something to contemplate.

Finally, Andrea at "Teach me to Walk" gets her very own "you rock blogger award". She always has something inspirational on whenever you drop by. And she has the cutest "Little Boy" ever! She takes time to stop by frequently, always with an encouraging word - thank you Andrea!

Now it's up to you all to pass it along . . .

The rules of the award are:
1. You must post a link to the person who gave it to you.

2. You must pass it on within the next week.

3. You must post a comment on the blogs of the peopel you honor, letting them know you have given them an award.

That is it!! So very easy.

As I was reviewing this year, I can't believe how quickly it's going by. Thank you all for sticking with me through thick 'n thin, hard times and good times, graduations, weddings, birthdays and more! Just sharing in your experiences let me know that we're all in this together. But me, I'm still just taking it one day at a time.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

My CURIOUS incident of MY dog in the night time . . .

(Be prepared - sorry this is veeeerrryy long!)

First of all, I really must introduce you to Conan. Conan the Barbarian, as he is frequently called around here. We didn't name him that, but frequently he earns it.


Conan came to us three years ago through Guide Dogs for the Blind. Daughter Kelsie, is a "a puppy raiser" for Guide Dogs for the Blind. That means she went through training and is now able to provide that initial training that puppies need before they become official guild dogs for blind and sight impaired people.

Usually the puppies arrive at your home at the age of 8 weeks and remain in your home until they are 14-18 months, when they return to Guide Dogs to begin their formal training to become active guide dogs. During that time they pretty much go with you everywhere to learn basic obedience, socialization and general people skills. One of which is to totally ignore people food. Yep, that's right.

They never get so much as ONE taste of people food. I'm sure many people would think that they are totally deprived, but we can't have Guide Dogs wandering around and taking food off the plates of the blind people can we?

So Conan came to us through Guide Dogs. He actually did really well during the 14 months he was in our home, he had a mostly sweet mellow disposition, intelligent and quick learning, a very happily adjusted black lab puppy. His one fault was that he loved people food. If you didn't watch him every second he thought nothing of helping himself to whatever tasty meal was left at his eye level. We corrected and corrected him, and although he became much better at ignoring the people food, he was never completely trustworthy when your back was turned.

Then he discovered chocolate! Chocolate is actually poison for dogs. Especially the darker chocolates. Conan discovered some lying about in an open backpack pocket and after one taste he was hooked! He could sniff that chocolate contraband out if it was anywhere in his vicinity. So we always had to be sure that any and all chocolate was never left where he could dig, chew or otherwise gnaw his way into it.

At the age of 16 months Conan returned to Guild dogs to begin his formal training. One of the first things they do is a complete physical exam complete with xrays to check for any potential structural problems with the dogs. Turned out he did have a potential problem; some elbow dysplasia that disqualified him from being a working dog. So as occasionally happens, Conan came back to us, his "puppy raiser", where he has remained ever since, or for the last 18 months. And is now happily ensconced in his place in the family along with our other yellow lab, Cleo. They both have beds in our bedroom but actually sleep on Kelsie's bed, even though she is away at college, I think they're hoping for her to return home in the middle of the night like she so frequently used to do.

While we tried hard to cure him of his people food addiction, once he was no longer being formally considered for a guide dog position, we slacked off a bit and didn't correct his behavior like we once had. Gradually I came to the realization that he needed some interventions for this undesirable behavior. It came in the form of a stimulation trainer collar. Or in other words a "shock collar". Which allowed us to correct his behavior from across the room, from out of the room etc, when he thought no one was watching. This is where my story actually begins.

So his new training method is coming long just beautifully. We would occasionally leave the most tasty of people food dishes out in plain sight, right at his eye level. After the first correction he figured out that it really wasn't much fun to take a bite out of these tempting people food dishes. We tried all of his favorite foods, peanut butter sandwiches, spaghetti, cold cereal - nothing was temping him. One day a peanut butter sandwich sat right within his reach for an entire day with me in and out of the room and he never once touched it or really even looked at it longingly like he did at the beginning of his training. "Ah ha", I thought, "he is cured". I thought, "he is really ready for the big guns". Into a lovely glass candy bowl went a huge mound of Hershey Kisses. I sat it on the table in plain sight, right at his eye level. Then proceeded to go about all my daily chores. I was so proud of him. Not a Hershey Kiss did he touch! I never even saw him looking at the dish with that twitch in his eye which he got sometimes when he tried to pretend he was ignoring and not interested in something.

Off we went to bed for the night, really forgetting about the huge bowl of Hershey Kisses sitting on the coffee table in the living room. At 2:34 am, we were woken from a sound sleep to the sound of clanking glass and something tipping over or falling from its position. I knew at once what it was and without waiting an instant I shouted at the top of my voice, "Conan, YOU get out of that CHOCOLATE" and made a mad dash for the candy bowl in the living room. He heard me coming and began gulping down great mounds of Hershey Kisses, hoping to consume the entire bowl before my arrival. Now, two weeks later, he is still living, not showing any ill effects of his nighttime incident of raiding the candy bowl.

Well, I can only laugh at him and his antics. He sure had me fooled, pretending he didn't even know the chocolate was there, and all along he was plotting for a middle of the night raiding of the candy bowl while everyone was sleeping, hoping he would never be caught in the act. If he hadn't knocked the bowl off the table in his haste we may never have discovered his devious mind.


While my husband really thinks he is a disobedient, misbehaved excuse for a "man's best friend" kinda dog, I have to keep reminding him they are so much alike. Both, perpetual little puppys in an adult body who refuse to entirely grow up.

There's not much he can say about that:)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Making Time for Dinner

A friend of mine is a Woman with a Mission - she has deep feelings as do I concerning the importance of Family togetherness time at dinner. Research shows that families don't eat dinner together like they once used to. Often times it's piece meal at home as family members dash in and out of the door, off to various activities, sports or employment. Other times, it's fast food, which can loosely be called food sometimes. Either way - it's not doing our families or children any good from a nutritional standpoint and from something even more concerning that current research is now identifiying.

Columbia University has a research team that has directly linked increasing substance abuse amongst our youth to a lack of family time at the dinner hour. The good old fashion event where the family gathered around the table discussing the issues of the day in addition to consuming a good home cooked meal.

If this is a concern of yours, which isn't it for any mom out there trying to do the that she can for her family? I have a great new place you can go to for information, hints, tips and encouragement!

Let me introduce my great friend, Alice Osborne, mother to 7, step-mom to 5, grandmother and step-grandmother to 14. As a published author and professional presenter, I have no doubt that she will have a great impact upon this most important topic.

I would invite you all to stop by her new fun and very important blog "Making Family Dinner Hour Possible". Please check it out, and if you like refer your family and friends to it. And if you like, please feel free to CONTRIBUTE! She has designed it as a community blog, and this is a great place to share all your experience and thoughts on the matter.

And I know that you ALL have great experience and wonderful thoughts to share, that would be beneficial to so many people!

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Favorite Things . . .

I love to participate from time to time in the photographic essays over at I Faces.

Usually I will post my entry over at my other blog site, Just me the Picture Taker, but today I thought I'd post it here - where it belongs - right in the middle of things.

These are . . .

A Few of my Favorite Things:



While I could probably go on and on and on . . .

  • books
  • my garden
  • cleo, conan, kia and minny
  • temples
  • chocolate & peanut butter, separate and together
  • flowers
  • family games (our favorite "settlers of catan"
  • a handful of cosmetics
  • moose tracks ice cream
  • homemade salsa (recipe here)
  • the prophet
  • my camera
  • rascal flatts (they make almost any chore infinitely more pleasant)
  • baking cookies
  • february in st. george with mom & dad
  • autumn in alpine
  • guide dogs for the blind
  • quilts
  • fireworks
  • diet coke
  • the fruit from my garden
  • house boating at lake powell
  • cilantro dressing
  • the deer that pass through my backyard
  • scriptures
  • my daily dose of hot chocolate
  • the streets of paris
  • my husband - he IS the greatest
  • each and every one of my children and children in law and future children in law

Yep, I think those are top on the list.

I Faces is an entertaining place to visit, stop by sometime.

More treat images at i♥faces. You're sure to love it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

GC Weekend . . .

We look forward to it for weeks.

It's like a favorite holiday.

We all anticipate and plan our favorite General Conference Weekend food for days and days.

The kids all come home so we can cook, visit, play games and partake of a inspirational feast that fills us up both physically and spiritually.

Saturday morning comes and in our PJ's, we all pile on the couch and every available chair and eat breakfast and watch the morning session of General Conference.

It is wonderful!

We had an especially terrific and unexpected treat this weekend. Karianne and Greg just happened to be passing through Salt Lake City on their way home from their delayed honeymoon in Hawaii. We thought we were just going to take them out to lunch during a four hour layover but instead we got to bring them home with us - hip hip hooray!

A Favorite GC moment - I know I take my proximity to the temple for granted, sad but true. It was just delightful when President Monson announced a new temple in Fort Lauderdale FL, and Kelsie's roommate, who is from Fort Lauderdale literally jumped up off of the couch and cheered! I'm humbled . . . I need to be better . . .

Here is one of our favorite GC weekend foods: What are some of your favorites?

Did you have a favorite inspirational message?

So many good thoughts, but I so enjoyed Elder Bednars message on showing and expressing love to family members. To parents, and children, for everyone. "We should remember that saying 'I love you' is only a beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need to consistently show it. We need to both express and demonstrate love." A wonderful thought! I don't think there's anyone who couldn't relate to his antidotes concerning the FHE and scripture study episodes of his family. We're all so similar in so many ways . . .

Streusal Blueberry Muffins

1 C. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg
2 c. flour
1/3 c sugar
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c. frozen blueberries

2 T. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Slightly beat egg, add in all ingredients except for topping. Fold in the frozen blueberries. Turn into prepared muffin cups or muffin liners. Prepare topping by cutting butter into dry ingredients until crumbling. Top muffins and bake at 400 degees for 18 mintues. Makes 12 large muffins.
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