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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Strikingly Similar

Ryan called me the other night and said he had to share a funny story with me. He works for Tesla/SolarCity during the off season when he's not selling Christmas trees. As part of his job, they have him go to Home Depot twice a week to man a booth.  While there, he was talking with an older woman (around 60?) who was working a booth next to him. After they told each other their names, she said to him "I'll remember your name because my son's name is Ryan." He said "I'll remember your name because my Mom's name is Joan. She asked him if he had any siblings. He said that he has a brother named Eric. She said, "no way, my other son's name is Eric." They discovered that both Ryan's were 6'3" and both Eric's were 6'2". Ryan said "don't tell me you have a twin." She said "I do! I have an identical twin sister" and she proceeded to pull out a picture of the two of them. Curious if her twin's name was the same as my twin, he asked for the name. She said "it is Jean". Close, but no cigar. Jean and Jane use the same letters though.

I thought this story was hilarious. So many coincidental similarities that it is crazy. I wonder if her parents are named Paul & Lois. I don't think Ryan asked her that question.

Smile, life is Good!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trying Something New

There is something I've been wanting to try for a long time and I finally got the courage to do it a few days ago.  I made "Crusty Bread Bowls." I love soup in a bread bowl, but I hesitated trying to make them thinking that they would be too difficult to make. I found out that they are not that difficult after all. 

The dough rising on the baking sheet

The final result

I got the recipe from my friend Sally's recipe blog. On her blog she said that they were delicious and easy to make so I decided to give them a try. She is the best cook I know, so I trust her recipes. One thing I liked about this recipe is that the bread was not sourdough. I like regular plain bread better.

We were feeding the missionaries the night I made them. I told Alan and the Elders that they were my guinea pigs, but they didn't mind. They seemed pleased with the results. I made cheesy chicken chowder, our family's favorite soup, to fill the bowls.

The final product

I will definitely make them again as I was pleased with the results and they were fun to make. 

Another fun thing I like to make around Valentines Day is this heart shaped chocolate cake with a cream cheese icing and cherry pie filling on top. So Yummy! This cake was a hit at our Ward Valentine's Party.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Priesthood Power

There are so many things that I am grateful for that I couldn't even begin to list them all, but today my main feeling of gratitude is for the priesthood in of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In Gospel Doctrine class today we learned about the restoration of the Priesthood to the earth after it was lost shortly after Christ was crucified. I am so grateful that the priesthood was restored to the earth. Joseph Smith received the keys of the priesthood, thus giving him (and all worthy males in the Church) the authority to preside over and direct the Church. All priesthood leaders receive these keys when they are set apart.

Today I was a recipient of a setting apart - not to receive priesthood keys, but for my new calling as an instructor in the Relief Society (our women's organization). Bro. Melville, a counselor in the bishopric, set me apart and gave me a beautiful blessing. I appreciated the advice and blessings he, through the direction of the spirit, pronounced upon me. The spirit was strong in the room.  I could feel the spirit of the Lord go through their hands and into my head during the blessing. All three men who laid their hands on my head to set me apart were either a current Bishop or a past Bishop (Alan, Bro. Melville, and Bishop Richardson). I appreciated being able to be set apart by such wonderful men who love the Lord and who are willing to exercise their priesthood power in my behalf.

There are some sisters in the church who feel slighted and upset that women are not allowed to hold the priesthood. I'm not one of those people. I don't feel slighted at all. It is very evident to me that the Lord loves his daughters just as much as he loves his sons. Choosing His sons to hold the priesthood does not mean he loves his daughters less. We simply have different rolls to play. What other church allows women to be as involved in the affairs of the church as the LDS church does? In our church women are allowed to say public prayers, teach lessons, hold leadership positions in various organizations, participate in ordinances (in the temple), preach from the pulpit, attend and participate in council meetings, etc. The women in our church are not held back or oppressed at all. We are truly blessed by being allowed to participate in so many ways. I don't need to be ordained to the priesthood to feel like I am just as important as anyone else in the ward, stake, region, or world. 

Women play a different roll than men do inside and out of the church, as laid out by a loving Father. Although women don't officially hold the priesthood, they still benefit from the priesthood. No blessing is withheld from them.

There is a great sisterhood that exists in the church where women can help lift and support each other and help each other reach their potential. I discovered this quote today:

“The women in the church have been taught to live up to their divine potential by fulfilling God's purposes for them. As they come to understand who they really are — God's daughters — they reach their potential as holy women. … Through this organization, sisters receive vision and assurance of their identity as daughters of God”

This is so true! The men have their priesthood quorums to lift and support them, and the women have Relief Society to do the same.

Because of the priesthood, we are able to receive all of the life saving ordinances that we need in order to return to our Heavenly Father and receive his promised reward of exaltation in His kingdom. Because the priesthood was restored, I have been able to receive all of those life saving ordinances. They mean more to me than any worldly treasure. Gold, silver, diamonds, mansions, prestige, and power are fleeting. You cannot take them with you when you leave your earthly existence. The real treasure is exaltation, which you can only get by receiving all of the ordinances through priesthood power. I feel very blessed to know these things and to have a testimony of their truthfulness. Priesthood power (through proper authority) is real. 

The keys of the priesthood were restored on May 15, 1829. Those keys are still upon the earth today. I will forever be grateful for this restoration, for I have seen miracles in my life because of priesthood power.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Great American Gopher Hunt

Sometimes life throws us curve balls and we need to learn to deal with them the best way we can. One curve ball thrown to Alan recently (actually for a while now) is gophers burrowing holes throughout our lawns. They are so pesky. Alan has spent practically every weekend for months trying to get rid of the creatures, but to no avail. 

When I arrived home from the temple last Wednesday I saw something on the counter top in the kitchen. I couldn't tell from a distance what it was so I got closer to check it out.  My heart skipped a beat and I actually did a startled hop backwards when I saw what was there. This is the nice little "gift" Alan left for me!

I was disgusted when I first saw it, but eventually realized why Alan had left it there. Considering how long he had been fighting gophers, he was elated that this one just happened to drown in the pool. One less gopher to hunt. I wish that there would have been a pied piper effect where all of the other gophers would have followed this one into the pool, but that didn't happen.

After trying various methods to get rid of gophers, including traps, flooding, poison pellets, smoke bombs, and chewing gum all to no avail, Alan tried a new method today. I think this is his last-ditch effort. He read online about using car exhaust so he ordered a special hook-up where you can attach a host to your exhaust pipe and run the hose to the hole.

Alan hard at work:

I sure hope this method works. If it doesn't, I don't know what he will do. Maybe he will set off a bomb and blow up the whole yard!

We have been having problems with jack rabbits too. We have seen them in the back yard and around the pool. Last summer while I was closing the pool cover after swimming, two drenched and very scared bunnies jumped out and took off. Last weekend we discovered a large hole in the pool cover. 

We are almost certain it was caused by one of the rabbits. We are hoping that we can avoid the expense of a new cover by having Alan patch it. I hope it works. These automatic pool covers are very expensive! Darn pests!

Welcoming A New Year

It is now 2017. I am optimistic that this new year will be just as good as last year..although 2016 was a great year with the wedding of Cheryl & Parker followed by a trip/family reunion to Canada.

For our December "year of dates", our gift was a certificate to attend a show at LPAC (Lancaster Performing Arts Center). The show we chose to see was called "Cirque Mechanics' Pedal Punk" which was an extremely fun show. Here is a description of the show I found online:

"Enter the world of Pedal Punk, a Steampunk inspired place where cycling is the way to escape the technology obsessed society.  In Pedal Punk we experience the excitement, artistry and thrill that occurs when a wacky bike shop mechanic interacts with cyclists and bikes, he repairs more than broken pieces.  He creates wondrous machines and inspires the cyclist in all of us to become a Pedal Punk."

Here is a picture of the stage before the show began. We were not allowed to take photos or videos while the show was going on.

As you can tell, we are not very good at taking selfies. This is us waiting for the show to start.

Stock photos of some of the acts:

The acts varied, but all were acrobatic and circus-type acts. The show had juggling, contortion, trampoline, unicycle, balance, rope act, comedy, hoops, etc. Every act was amazing and a lot of fun. If you ever get the chance to see it, I would go for it. It was a fun night of entertainment.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Clara Paige's Plight

We received a phone call from Kyle yesterday morning informing us that 2-year-old Clara was eating peanuts in the car on Thursday after Kyle had picked her and Milo up from daycare and she had aspirated some peanut. Kyle could tell that Clara had suddenly become quiet and could hear that she was having a difficult time speaking and breathing - she was wheezing. Kyle pulled the car over to check her out. Clara seemed to be able to breathe pretty well by then, but he and Emily decided to have her checked out at the ER as a precaution. 

The ER doctor discovered that she did, indeed, have peanut in her lungs so he referred her to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane. They took her there yesterday morning to have the nuts removed. 

Here she is prepped for surgery. She looks happy here, but I'm sure she is clueless as to the pending surgery.

Fortunately, the pieces could be removed by endoscope so no incision was needed. Here are the peanut chunks removed from her lungs.

Thank goodness for modern medicine.  A few hours after the surgery, I asked Kyle how Clara was doing and he said that she is perfectly normal now, but that she was a little angry when waking up from the anesthesia.  Poor darling! I'm sure glad that she is ok.

41st Anniversary

Jared told me recently that he had joined a "Toastmaster's Club".  At a recent meeting, he had to get up in front of the group and speak about what advice he would give his 10-year-old self today if he could. I don't know why, but I've been thinking about that a lot lately. What would I tell my 10-year-old self today if I could. Among other things, one thing I would tell myself is not to get married two days after Christmas. It, really, was the only time we could get married because of Alan's dental school schedule (unless we wanted to wait an extra 5 months), but it really isn't a great time to celebrate. I'm still waiting to celebrate last year's 40th anniversary. The 40th anniversary, in my mind, is a big milestone and I wanted a nice get-away, but it hasn't happened yet. 

On our anniversary this year, a mass exodus took place of Stott's and Stronk's leaving California and I was left to clean up the house and catch up on my church duties. I had received "Happy Anniversary" greetings by Alan and family members early in the day, but after a very busy day, I had practically forgotten that it was our anniversary until Alan came home from work with these:

A dozen beautiful red roses and a beautiful card!

Thank you so much, Alan! I love you more today than I could ever imagine. You complete me. Thanks for marrying me 41 years ago even though it didn't take place at the perfect time of the year. I love you!

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