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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Of General Conference and Cinnamon Rolls . . .

It's that amazing and inspiring time of year rolling around again . . .

Every 6 months, every Spring and Fall the anticipation begins to build as our family takes the weekend off from our normal schedule of activities for the upcoming LDS General Conference weekend.  It's a tradition in itself with the anticipation rivaling a Christmas morning.  The best part is I know that my family scattered now around United States makes the same plans for breakfast in PJ's, snuggling on the couch with quilts and blankets, listening to General Conference (thank you to the LDS church for an internet broadcast!).

It's a time we can gather together, family, friends and neighbors are invited, for the feeding of both body and soul.  The nutrition of the mind and body are of equal importance at this time . . . so I'm planning my General Conference menus today!  The one recipe that is always on the menu are the morning General Conference Cinnamon rolls!  If you don't have this recipe - you NEED it now!  The recipe is meant to be started the evening before - but I do it the morning of all the time also.

Then comes the nourishment of a spiritual nature, peaceful feelings, confirmations of the spirit, answers to questions pondered, and even the words of reprovement leading to thoughts of self improvement.  It's all part of the package deal. I love that this frequently leads to stimulating family conversation, testimonies of our Savior, gratefulness for modern prophets who testify of gospel principles that apply to us each day.

Pajamas, quilts, cinnamon rolls, yummy family gathering . . . yes, I think we all look forward to this family time, and every family time . . . because of our knowledge that we can be a forever family.  What could be sweeter?  Not even those cinnamon rolls :D

But hmmm . . . pondering the rest of the menu . . . thinking crock pot, maybe pulled pork . . .

Would love to hear what your family favorite recipes are!! ??

Wait!  I think I'm hearing a little  . . . "from the crossroads of the West" . . . beginning . . .

For more information:
What is the Purpose of my Life?
Prophets and Apostles Speak today
Conference has Changed since 1911, but the Message hasn't
Music and the Spoken Word

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Good Earth . . .

I'm presenting in book club this month . . .

The Good Earth
by Pearl S Buck

A poignant tale about the life and labors of a Chinese farmer during the sweeping reign of the country¹s last emperor.

A novelist "is a storyteller in a village tent, and by his stories he entices people into his tent... And to farmers he must talk of their land, and to old men he must speak of peace, and to old women he must tell of their children, and to young men and women he must speak of each other. He must be satisfied if the common people hear him gladly. At least, so I have been taught in China." -Pearl S. Buck, from her 1938 Nobel Prize Lecture

"On 2 March 1931, Buck's novel The Good Earth was published. It immediately became an international bestseller, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932, and made Pearl Buck's name a household word.  The Good Earth portrays a Chinese peasant family whose husband and wife struggle with the harsh farming realities of northern China. Through laborious effort and dedication they struggle to more financially secure conditions but are never free from the various difficulties and disappointments that are the lot of humankind. By vividness of character portrayal and authenticity of setting, Buck was able to convey her material so that people the world over could identify closely with the events and characters presented... Chinese critics denounced The Good Earth for giving an unflattering portrait of Chinese life and for several alleged inaccuracies... Buck refuted these charges and demonstrated that the critics were distressed because they felt that any picture of Chinese life should focus on the intellectuals and the well educated and that the harsh realities of peasant life should be ignored" (ANB). On the strength of The Good Earth, Pearl Buck won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Sounds wonderful!  I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!

We're celebrating this week around our home . . .

Just had to share these gorgeous photos - I just love 'em!

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These cupcakes are full of sugar and spice and everything nice
for that's what little girls are made of . . .

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Karianne's cute tummy starting her third-trimester - yay!

Looking forward to this new baby :)

We're getting closer . . .

If you're interested in making these fun cupcakes the recipe is here -
Martha Stewart S'Mores Cupcakes

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And the Answer is . . . One Bite at a Time

If the answer is
One Bite at a Time

well then obviously the question would be what . . . . ??

Come on, I'm certain you have one of those big extra-large sized elephants in your life!

Like the one sitting in the middle of your living room
or the car
or the backyard . . .

Don't have an elephant?

Please come by and take a bite of mine - hee!!

My problem with eating an elephant is which juicy morsel do you prefer to begin with?
You could try his toes, where no one is likely to even notice that you took a bite . . .

You could try his trunk, where it would still be little and tiny, but a bit more obvious,
or maybe a big bite right out of his ear . . . hmmmm . . . that always seems to be my problem . . .

Where to begin?

But I've noticed the hardest part of eating an elephant is just getting started.  I would really love to hear how you decide which end of your elephant to begin with.

But for now . . . 
I think I'll just go frost those cupcakes,
 find two things on my list of things to do that are urgent for today,

 then go for a walk . . .

I think I need a little fresh air . . . 

those elephants
they certainly have a way of
crowding you right out of the house :)

Oh - and a little music always helps when you are elephant eating . . . just found out these guys will be in town on Sept 9th - I really must go, hope I'm done elephant eating by then :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Jambo . . . Mambo . . . to you too!

I'm sure you've all gathered by now that our youngest 

Kelsie is volunteering in Tanzania

far far away on the opposite side of the world.

In a world much different from the one we experience here
in our homes of ease and comfort.

Just wanted to share these updates from her . . .

Each email, text message, Facebook post and blog update tugs at my heart . . .
you too can follow her adventures 
(even from the comfort of your sofa :)

I'm sure you can tell that I'm just so pleased and proud of her efforts.

And I'll accept any prayers on her behalf as well, we sure miss her around here but are so glad she has this wonderful opportunity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Last Days of Winter

I keep thinking we are experiencing the last days of winter here in Utah!

These are photos from our early March cabin trip, for all our family and friends who now live outside of Utah, or far from our family cabin . . .

This is what you're missing out on!
And can I say . . .

We are really missing you at the cabin also!

(location: Uintah mountains, just off the Mirror Lake Highway in between Kamas Utah and Mirror Lake.  Also known as the Soapstone Basin Road - for all you heavy duty snowmobilers out there)

This beautiful area has been a favorite of our family for many decades now.


This is me!
My old girl - Cleo, the blond on the right is getting pretty old.
She loves the cabin and would curl up and die if we left her home.
But I have to do the one mile hike up the mountain with her in the snow each time we visit.  She is no longer able to run alongside the snowmobile.  Of course Conan, the black one, frolics all the way up running circles around us.


Always a great place to visit with family and friends.
Thank you DAD for letting us use your snowmobiles each winter.
We sure enjoy having this great opportunity.

cabin collage2

Just a few of the winter scenes . . .

So   I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E  !!!!

And there is sooooOooO much snow in our Utah Mountains this winter!

cabin collage3
No cabin trip would be complete without lots of
yummy food
and family and friends!

cabin collage1
Sorry Karianne and Greg!
I should have pulled out my camera more before you had to take off,
but I did get this photos of Norm and Karianne (below)


(we still are very fond of our 2002 Utah Winter Olympics jackets as you can see!!)

I have to explain the significance of this photo - 
there is soooo much snow on top of the wood pile that the kids
dug a tunnel running all the way through upon the top of the roof
from one corner to the other.
It was quite amazing!


Just one of my favorite photos from the trip.
Hope you enjoy!
Here comes the sun! I feel it warming up soon :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fortuosity, that's me Byword ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

What does Fortuosity mean!

No such word as fortuosity appears in any dictionary, but it appears to be an attempt at forming a noun meaning the state or quality of being fortuituous.

Someone at Yahoo Answers defines it as:
 1. Occurring by happy chance; lucky; "profits were enhanced by a fortuitous drop in the cost of raw materials." 2. Occurring by accident (lucky or unlucky). [ETYM: Latin fortuitus; akin to forte, adv., by chance, prop. abl. of fors, fortis, chance. Related to Fortune.]

I know what it means to me . . .

Fortuosity - that's me lifestyle . . . at least this week!
There's no doubt my life has been fortuituous!It all began when I had the opportunity to hear this wonderful person speak at our Stake Womens and Young Women's Conference -

Yep - Stephanie Nielson
I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you how AMAZING and INSPIRING she is.
It was a life changing evening. 

Friday night Norm and I attended "Bowls for Humanity" and came away with not one but TWO gorgeous pottery bowls, and bowls of soup and rolls for dinner besides. 


After our pottery pickin's - we headed off to a private concert that we had been invited to by no other than

Marvin Goldstein

Yes!  Held in the home of an amazing family in Orem, it was our great pleasure to hear Marvin Goldstein do his awesomeness on the piano along with the vocally talented Vanessa Joy.

Saturday - was our Sara's (new cutest little daughter-in-law) Birthday.We partied here -


Bruges Waffles and Frites
The home of the most amazing Belgium waffles and Frites in SALT LAKE CITY!

Then on the way home - the hubby and I caught an early movie . . .

"The Tourist"
I loved it!  So cute - you must see it if you're a Johnny Depp fan, the scene where he's running across the rooftops in his flannel pajamas . . . only Johnny Depp could pull that one off ;)

And finally last night -


Hairspray at the Hale!
Totally hiliarious, happy and heartily hip!
My cute neighbor plays the lead - Tracy and was incredible.  So much fun!

And of course on the way home . . . my favorite yogurt from  here.

 . . . small . . . original . . . mangos . . . tiny chocolate chips
I can't wait to see what will be next.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Cleaning of the Bedroom Closet

OK . . .
Yes, you inspired me . . .
It's taken some time to really sink in . . .

But there's not doubt that
you inspired me!

I cleaned out my Master Bedroom Closet!

What a chore.

I found the darnest things in there . . .

Who inspired me you ask?

This amazing lady - Alice, a dear friend and neighbor
she also happens to be the author of this just as amazing and awesome book. And she also was the guest speaker at our evening Relief Society meeting in February.

What did I learn after this cleansing process?

  • Never buy t-shirts! ( I NEVER wear them!)
  • I REALLY don't need 3 pairs of black flip flops!
  • I do need 10 pairs of CROCS in ALL colors!
  • I'm addicted to hoodies . . . I'd as soon part with my Sunday best clothes than my hoodies!
  • I really am going to lose weight - I AM NOT giving up in this area!
  • Books belong on the bookshelf
  • Hangers multiply somehow!
  • If I keep unmatched socks long enough, sometimes the mate actually does show up - amazing!
  • I REALLY wear a lot of black - hmmm . . . what does that mean?
  • Sorting through my swimsuits made me LOOOONG for Lake Powell
  • For someone who HATES socks - I have way toooo many of them
  • I haven't worn hose to church since almost forever   
(I bought a pair in 1995 just in case I needed them in an emergency - still in the wrapper!)

So . . .
Off to good will it goes

My closet now looks like this!

Well, maybe not exactly like this :)

But I do have tons more room and I feel so much better now!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Going . . . Going . . . Gone - I think I'm gonna miss YOU!

And just like that the youngest of my heart is off on her own.

We're not talking Rexburg, 4 hours up I-15 anymore.

No sireeee!

My baby is off to Tanzania!

Kels - I'm gonna miss you, but at the same time, I am so amazed that you would spend all your hard earned money, gather and shop for supplies and pack your bags at least 40  different times.  To fit in all those cute little things for the orphanages.  You will be a wonderful volunteer and all those babies are gonna love you!



And here is Kelsie's experience of the first few days in Tanzania

Hey everyone!

Wow, crazy adventures! Not really actually...ha. So We've been here a few days so far and we've all had our turn with being sick. Cami hasn't gotten too sick yet though luckily. Yesterday M'Liss was sick all day and so we didn't do much except walk to the Cafe and play card games and play around the Hostel and such. They make breakfast and dinner which is great. I love the food here so much. Last night they made an avacado salad unlike anything I've ever had before. 

The Hostel is pretty sweet, no home or anything, all the windows are broken and covered with bars and such and there are lizards everywhere! We have this tiny little cat that is around and it attacks lizards visciously everytime I see it which I am grateful for, yet a little bit disgusted with. There is also a little dog which is cute. I want to play with them...but no worries mom, I've kept my hands to myself. This morning I got sick and threw up a few times which was extrememly unpleasant but I think it was just something I had to get out of my system because I'm feeling fine now. 

We've been walking around Moshi town today to get a phone so that we can call Taxi's and such. This morning M'Liss and Cami went to Tuleeni orphanage to see if Mama Faragie was there but she wasn't...so we are put off volunteering or another day. We're trying back tonight and tomorrow morning. Then on monday we are tagging along with Hugh from London to a small village about 45 minutes out. We hitch a ride on the back of a truck, most likely a brick truck or a truck taking supplies out to a sugar plantation and then ride on the back of a guys bike for another 10 or 15 minutes to get there. I'm pretty excited about it! I'm thinking that I'll be teaching out at that school for the next while. We'll see how I like it. 

Also, everyone lied. They have paved streets, true they have ditches and are trashed but they have them in town. However, the place where our Hostel is pretty scetch, don't worry though, i'll be fine as long as i don't walk out after night. Everything is going really well, and I'm loving it here! I can't wait to get to work. Talk to you all soon!! Much love!


p.s. I can count to 39 in swahili and now know how to greet people and say thank you and no thanks. stuff like that. watch! i'll be pro when i get home. ;)

You can keep current on all the
Tanzania Humanitarian Service
Adventures right here!

Thanks sweetheart for the update - I think I'm developing a new love for email!

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