Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lilia in REAL time...

SO as I type this Lil is in the process of labeling papers for people coming to dinner tonight. She already made mine. It says "PaM" when I told her my name was mom she said, "yeah but everyone else calls you Pam!"

Without any assistance she has written some others

DAVED (David)
LiLia (herself of course)
LaEcy (Lacey- almost!)
KiVEN (Kevin- we are dealing with issues where she gets "eh" and "ih" confused)
STEVE (Steven- she said she calls him Steve- backwards s)
JoolE (Julie- I love it!)
WENDE (Wendy)
and gRAMo (Grandma- backwards g- if you think about it, a short "o" DOES make the ah sound...)

While doing Steven's she had the "st" written and said, "Look mom! St! Like Stairs, and stars, and steps, and street, and stickers..." she just kept going and going... it was cute! I LOVE that she is reading so well.

I love my daughter! She is so awesome!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Food for "thought" Friday

Wheatie Cookies are one of my all time favorite cookies. My great grandmother gave this recipe to her granddaughters, and my mom has made them for me and my siblings for as long as I can remember. When I moved out, my mom passed this recipe on to me. And lemme tell ya- it sounds weird, but they are SO DANG GOOD! Trust me- just try em!

Wheatie Cookies

1 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 c. coconut
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. wheaties (hence the name) or other flake cereal (use bran flakes if it makes you feel better about eating them!)

Cream shortening and sugars. Add beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Add coconut and mix until incorporated. Sift dry ingredients (or stir with a wire whisk) and add to wet ingredients. Blend in vanilla. Stir in cereal. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sleeping Through Gethsemane

Last night I went to a fireside that was (to say the least) awe inspiring. It was so fantastic, and so inspirational. The speaker was a woman named Diana Hoelscher. She was FANTASTIC! This was the third opportunity for me to hear her speak, and sadly, only the first time I have actually made it there. Luckily, she will be coming back one more time in a few months. Well- I did something at this fireside that I rarely ever do- I took notes. And because I FOREVER want to remember what she said, and because I know myself so well, I decided to put these notes in blog form. Why? Because the piece of paper I took the notes on will only survive so long, but my blogs will last forever!

(They really will! I turn each years posts into books! More on that later...)

((As fair warning, those not in a spiritual mood may not appreciate this blog post, but I am still riding the spiritual high this speaker left us on last night and this post truly is for me. ALSO I am paraphrasing just about everything that is not quoted scripture. All the blue links will take you to the LDS.ORG website for cross references within the scriptures...))

So- on to the notes!

She started this off with an illustration:

(Forgive the blur- click on it for a clearer picture...)

The red numbers are the points I found very relevant. My notes will keep referring back to this picture...

First and foremost, though people blame Eve for the fall, and YES she was the first to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, she also knew she HAD to.

God gave two great commandments to Adam and Eve. Don't eat from the tree, and multiply and replenish the earth. Problem is, there was no way to do BOTH at the same time. While in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were still spiritual beings. They had no blood coursing through their veins, and they were still able to stand before God. In this state they could not procreate. It's as simple as that. Eve ate of the fruit, Adam followed suit, and both were cast out of the garden. They fell.

Point 1: Because of the fall, we were physically separated from God. But not from his comfort.

We are required to follow the laws of Justice and Mercy. As stated in Alma 42: 12-15 (the important parts are bold- she only went throught 12 and 13, but then described what is written in verses 14 and 15)

12 And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state, which aman had brought upon himself because of his own bdisobedience;

13 Therefore, according to justice, the aplan of bredemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would ccease to be God.
14 And thus we see that all mankind were afallen, and they were in the grasp of bjustice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.
15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself aatoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of bmercy, to appease the demands of cjustice, that God might be a dperfect, just God, and a emerciful God also.

Point 2: We are required to do the best we can and work as hard as we can to return to live with God again.

Point 3: Because we are not perfect we can not make it on our own. We needed the Atonement to make up the difference. To bridge the gap between us and perfection.

Point 4: The atonement consisted of three parts:

First, the Garden of Gethsemane.

-Jesus Christ knows what EVERY temptation feels like.
-No one knows what it feels like to be me. To know my thoughts and feelings. No one- except Christ.
-Christ absorbed vicariously all pains, hurts, anguish, heartache, illness, and even loneliness in The Garden.
-When you were lonely and a friend stayed with you. Where did your loneliness go? When you were in sick and were given a blessing of healing, where did that illness go?

Second, on the cross.

- While on the cross the feelings of Gethsemane returned for a second time. He cried "aMy God, my God, why hast thou bforsaken me? " (Matt. 27:46) And eventually, he gave up the ghost.

Third, the resurrection.

-Alma 7: 11-12
12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.
-definition of succor: Topical guide definition- to help. From Medieval Latin succursus, from past participle of Latin succurrere, to run to the aid of (like you might run to the aid of your hurt child...)

So Who is God? Heavenly father? Jesus? it can be confusing... The answer: It doesn't matter. Jesus never did anything that didn't sustain our Heavenly Father.

God is the title of the highest level of the priesthood. Christ has attained that level of the priesthood.

My mother has the glory of being a mom. When I become a mom, will I be equal to her glory? No- because my becoming a mom, made her a grandma. When I become a grandma, she will become a great grandma, etc. So it is with Christ and Heavenly Father. All glory given to Christ sustains Heavenly Father and his glory.

Point 5: At what point is my work enough? When I die? Is that when the Atonement takes over to catapult me into perfection? Is it when I am resurrected? No. It is when I am baptized. THAT is when the covenant is made. When I promise to do my best, to work my hardest, and in return I can return to live with him again.
"When I was baptized I made a covenant to take upon me the name of Jesus Christ and to serve Him and be obedient.
Heavenly Father has given me the Holy Ghost. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can be forgiven of my sins when I repent. If I keep my baptismal covenant, I can return to live with Him." (Faith in God pamphlet)

Sometime after your baptism, or maybe even just before, conversion happens. When everything you have been taught just *clicks.* This conversion is a necessary part of the plan.

Point 6: Repentance is where you transfer your pain and sins to Christ.

-We need baptism because without the covenant of baptism, repentance goes nowhere.
-It doesn't matter where you do, repent! It may be best to be alone. For us mom's, alone time is practically non-existant. If the only place you are alone is in the shower, so be it. Brushing your teeth, driving the car... The place is not nearly as important as the act...

Point 7: There is NO DIFFERENCE between your baptism and taking the sacrament.

- How amazing is it to have a cleaning lady come once a week? 10. Times. Better.
- Every week the sacrament takes away all of Satans amunition.
- Every week you can renew your baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament. You are clean. And pure. And perfect again. EVERY WEEK. It is a wonderful feeling. And it is addicting. You begin to need it. To CRAVE it.
-Remember every Sunday is a new beginning.

Repentance is the key. You need to ask for forgiveness, and try with all your heart to not repeat the transgression.

So, should you really repent for things you KNOW you will do again? Should I repent for raising my voice to my children, to thinking bad thoughts about someone I don't necessarily like?

-Even the little things. You may do it again, but you can't break the habit on your own. **Diana Hoelscher made a point out of telling us that this part is her personal feelings. There is no documentation to prove it, it isn't written in some book or spoken in the scriptures or any general conference... this is her feelings** You can;t stop by yourself. Ask for forgiveness and as you continue each night/week to ask forgiveness with sincerety and faith in God, He will help you overcome it. He will purify your desires. Trust in Him.

Alma 34: 14-16
14 And behold, this is the whole ameaning of the blaw, every whit cpointing to that great and last dsacrifice; and that great and last esacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, finfinite and eternal.
15 And thus he shall bring asalvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
16 And thus amercy can satisfy the demands of bjustice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of cjustice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal dplan of eredemption.

And finally-
Choose a date for your "rebaptism" (meaning the day you take this into your heart and remember that the sacrament IS your rebaptism). The night before pray to be forgiven of those things you can not remember, and if it needs be that you repent for it individually , "bring it forth to my memory." For these items, don't say "I shouldn't have done that." say, "I know what I did was wrong" and try with all your heart and mind to refrain from repeating the sins.

-Satan will work hard to keep you busy so you don't repent. DON'T LET HIM DO IT!

Diana ended this fireside with a promise that if you do this- you WILL be cleansed. You will feel pure, and clean, and you will learn to rely on these feeling and come to crave this feeling each Sunday.

Odd and interesting tidbits I loved:
* No matter where you are, prayer should feel like home. Like comfort.

* Abraham 3:4
4 And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its atimes and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a bday unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand cyears according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s dtime, according to the reckoning of Kolob.

If you do the math, that means 22 years is 31 minutes. A long life of 88 years is just over 2 hours. Would you want to return to heaven after your life and be sent to the Telestial Kingdom because you couldn't hold it together down on earth for 2 hours??

Friday, March 20, 2009

Food for "thought" Friday

So for St. Patrick's day, I make Corned Beef and Cabbage every year. Last year, I made one that was (for lack of a better description) "Eh." So this year I did a bit more searching for the RIGHT recipe. And I do believe I found it!

Corned Beef and Cabbage (adapted from

1 (2 1/2 - 3 lb.) corned beef
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 lb white onions, peeled (or a couple handfuls of dehydrated onion)
1 can beef (or chicken) broth
2 cups water
3-5 potatoes (I used plain ol' idaho baking potatoes), sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1 lb baby carrots
1/2 to 1 head cabbage (to taste or as much as fits!), quartered and de-cored

This is prepared in a pressure cooker for best results. Place water and broth in cooker with rack. Cut slits in beef and place sliced garlic in the slits. Place meat on rack. You may need to adjust the amount of water/broth based on the size of the beef and the size of the pressure cooker (the instruction manual should tell you how much). Close cover and cook on medium high until rocking. Turn down to medium(it should continue to rock) and cook for 1 hour. Run pressure cooker under cold water to release pressure. Once safe, open lid and add all the vegetables and as much cabbage as you can fit until it hits the "full line."

Replace lid and cook on medium high heat until rocking. Lower heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes. Run under cool water again until pressure is released, then removed lid and serve!

I suspect this recipe would be fantastic if crock potted. I would suggest you cook the meat for 8-10 hours on low. Adding the veggies about half way and adding the cabbage an hour or so before serving since cabbage cooks quickly.

If any of you try this in the crock pot PLEASE lemme know how it turned out!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nothing much and then some!

So I have felt the need to blog this last week or so, but for the life of me, I can't seem to come up with anything worthy of blogging! So let's start out with some Ism's for ya...


The other day Lilia was trying to get me to play along with some game or another that she had made up, but I was in the middle of cooking dinner and was unable to play her game properly. She looked at me and said, "Mom! I am frustrating! You are making me frustrating!" Now, I know what she meant. I was frustrating HER... but that's NOT what she said. I apologized for upsetting her, but in my head I couldn't help but think "you have no idea kiddo..."

Lil has always been one for bargaining. Be it dinner time, bedtime, play time, or any other time. She is always on the market for a better deal. She knows that at dinner time she is required to eat so many bites of food before she is excused from the table. She knows the routine for bedtime. But neither bits of knowledge keep her from trying to cut a better deal for herself. For example: A few nights ago she was required to eat 5 bites of the main dish- she ate one bite... decided she didn't like it and said, "Mom- I have a better good idea. I will eat 3 bites and be done!" (RIIIIGGHTTT) She does this with EVERYTHING. I tell her it's time to come in from playing at the park- "Mom, I have a better good idea! I can stay out and play for longer!" She is so full of BETTER good ideas!

Lilia is SO excited to go to kindergarten! She can hardly stand it! I wonder if she realizes that big kid school is every day... She asks me almost every morning if she is old enough to go to big kid school yet. sadly, it seems all her friends in preschool will either be at the other school or (if the parents get their way) in the other time slot... I have asked for afternoon preschool where most all the other mom's I know want their kids in morning. We'll see how it goes!

Lil has officially started learning long vowels. It's been tough! ((I am thinking the best thing I could have done for prepping myself for kids was to take child psychology classes and child education classes!)) I fully expected her teachers to be the ones to teach her the rules for long vowels... But who really expects a preschool teacher to teach their children 1st grade reading skills!? With the help of my mom and my cousin I have given Lil some pretty good rules for long vowels. Neither of which is foolproof, but seriously- what grammar rule is??

Rule 1: If there is an 'e' at the end of the word and a vowel nearby (we haven't discussed just how close yet) the 'e' gets scared and the other vowel calls out it's name. Example: Cake, make, bake. Rule Breaker (or at least bender): takes.

Rule 2: If two vowels go walking (two vowels next to each other) the first one does the talking! Example: wait, bait, heat. Rule Breaker: point.

At this stage I am so eternally grateful that I married Joe. When Lil is in highschool there is no doubt she will easily overtake me in secular knowledge. At least DAD can help her with her homework!


Lacey is finally starting to make progress toward speaking! Her latest accomplishments?

She can count: "eee-two-eee-two-eee" (that would be 3-2-3-2-3)

She is getting better with animal sounds. Though she can't quite place a sound with the name of an animal, she can moo when she sees a cow and neigh at the picture of a horse. My personal favorites are the rooster (which for a while was doodle-doodle-doo but as of this morning was cocka-doo) and the pig (she sounds like she is choking on something when she makes the pig sound- it's pretty funny)

She is also an excellent mimic, but only on her terms. The other day I was trying to give Joe a greeting from Lacey while he was getting in the shower. Lacey was standing at the bathroom door and this was the convo that took place.

Me: Say "Daddy!"
Lacey: Daddy!
Me: Say "I love you!"
Lacey: No
Me: Daddy!
Lacey: Daddy!
Me: I love you!
Lacey: Uh-uh
Me: Daddy!
Lacey: Daddy!
Me: All done? (hehehe)
Lacey: All done?!

Just today she started thanking me. As I was getting her clothes out of her drawers I would hand each piece to her and she would give me a smile and say "Tee koo!" Love it!

And finally- She has learned a new favorite word around our house. The word is: Dam. I chose to spell it like that cause I refuse to believe she learned a bad word! Though it took us forever to figure out WHAT she was saying for real, I was relieved to realize she was only saying "jump" Seems she is a lot more like her mother than I thought! (See below for explanation)

Baby Pam-ism

When I was a toddler (around 18 months) I had a favorite saying that had my parents thoroughly befuddled. "Cocoa sh*t!" It became a real problem when I stood up during the sacrament at church (that would be a very quiet time) and yelled, "Cocoa sh*t! Cocoa sh*t!" Talk about mortified! Later that day, while explaining to the bishop that my parents had NO IDEA what I was saying, my oldest sister (then 8 or 9) said, "Duh Mom! Coke is it!" ((Do any of you remember those commercials? I totally do! Then again, I am constantly harassed by my siblings and mom about this story, so I have no choice but to remember those commercials!))

Friday, March 6, 2009

Photo Blog- time for some catch up.

So starting at the beginning... Valentines day wasn't super fancy. But- Lilia and I DID put together a totally PINK dinner for Daddy. We had Cornbread (dyed pink of course), Creamy PINK Chili (it's usually white), peaches, pink lemonade, and of course some lovely decorated sugar cookies for dessert!

(Lil helped me decorate the cookies)

A few weeks ago Joe and I FINALLY started a long awaited project. We decided to FINALLY tackle the final wall in out kitchen. This specific wall had caused us all kinds of grief since it originally was wall papered, then the vinyl part of the wall paper was removed, and then paint was slapped up over the remainder of the wall paper. Trying to remove the painted over paper was proving rather difficult, so instead we decided to buy ourselves a 3 lb box of joint compound and RE TEXTURE the wall by hand. It took us about 8 hours to get the new texture up, and I then spent the next couple days priming and painting. This project isn't quite finished yet since I am gonna add a faux finish eventually, but it is in considerably better shape now!

The other day I decided to make some oatmeal bread. I got the first part under way, then added the yeast to some warm water and went to occupy myself elsewhere while the yeast did it's thang. Well I kinda sorta forgot about the yeast, AND the bread. About 45 minutes later this is what I found...

(It was all over my cookbook! But MAN it looked cool...)

Joe's birthday was last Sunday. It was a pretty low key birthday for him, but after the excitement of last year, I figured a down day would be fine. Though to be fair, it was a REALLY down day. Both girls were sick. So- we spent all day (no kidding- all day) watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy on TV. It started at 11 and ended at 9:30 pm! Sometime during the course of the day I caught these two pictures.

(I sure do love him!)

And finally- it seems lately that Lilia's favorite thing to do is ride her bike around in our basement. She usually does so without the aid of her helmet and pads, which is fine with me since I don't think she is in danger of being hit by a car down there... Anyway- she DOES like putting her helmet and pads on Lacey. Lucky for Lil, Lacey loves it too!

Welcome to the family!

Meet the newest member of our family. She is 3 years old, and quite peppy. Don't mind her pale complexion. I suspect she is a bit nervous and will warm up to our family quite nicely. Her name is Vanna:

(As in Vanna White- Read: Van of White)

Draper Temple Open House

So Joe, and I (as well as most of my family) went to the Draper Temple Open House with the kids the other day. It was so beautiful! It was a bit cold, but the temple was absolutely beautiful inside and out.

A couple highlights...

* We saw the baptismal font, and I asked Lil if she wanted to swim in it. Her response:
"No, that's for Heavenly Father and Jesus to swim!"

* Before leaving, I asked Lilia if she wanted to see the temple. She got really excited and was so happy to be able to go inside the temple. She then said, "I can't wait to see the beautiful bathrooms!"

*When I told my uncle the previous story he asked Lilia why she wanted to see the bathrooms, and this was the following conversation:

Uncle Dan:
Why do you want to see the bathrooms?
Lil: Because they are beautiful and CLEAN!
UD:What makes you think they are clean?
L: Because it's the temple! (that was on my prompting)
UD: Oh... do you want to see the sealing rooms? (if you don't know, that's where marriages take place)
L:(looking up at the ceiling and giggling) That's silly!

* Lacey was pretty fussy before we got inside the temple, but it seemed that as soon as we arrived she calmed right down. Both my girls were exceptionally well behaved and reverent inside the temple.

* The Draper temple has some amazingly beautiful rooms in it. The paintings were incredible, as were the murals in a couple of the rooms.

I truly hope that everyone in the Utah area takes the opportunity to walk through the Draper Temple. It is absolutely beautiful and such a wonderful opportunity!

Food for "thought" Friday

I found this recipe online, and was pretty happy with the flavor. Spicy, but not too much. Enjoy!

8 Can Chicken Enchilada Soup

2 cans chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can corn
1 can white chicken breast
1 can northern white beans
1 can Rotel tomatoes (flavor to your liking) -I like mild....I'm a wuss.

Add all cans not drained in a large pan and heat through. Just until it boils then turn down the heat. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, and cheese.