Thursday, November 3, 2011

How Does the World Go On?

My son's friend died Tuesday morning on the way to school. He was hit by a car and died instantly. He was 13. Today is the 23rd anniversary of my brother's death. He was barely 18. As I was thinking about these two young men. I was remembering how I felt when my brother passed away. I wonder how does life go on? When you lose someone you deeply love, your world has stopped. It seems everything should stop but, of course, it does not. I know I'm rambling. It just seems so strange that things should go on normally. Your life is shattered and things just go on.
My brother committed suicide. I don't know if he meant to or not but he was contempleting it enough to form a plan and that is bad enough. October 19 is National Suicide Prevention day. If you are thinking these kinds of thoughts or see the signs in someone else, please, please tell someone who can help. Do something. If someone who has been sad suddenly seems happy or is giving away their things, please do not stand aside but do something. Life is just too precious. Rest in peace dear brother. We all miss you very much.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Liberty Park

After we had looked at all the birds in the aviary, we headed over the Liberty Park. For those who don't know, its all in the same block. There is a pond for boat rides, a couple of carnival rides, a small consession area, a small replica of the canyons in northern Utah, a playground and what they call a splash pool. We started out at the canyons. The designer made a scale model of the canyons in the area complete with rivers. The girls wore their swimsuits so they could splash in the water. The girls had so much fun! After a while, we packed up the picnic and went to the splash area which is really close to the playgound. My children preferred the playground to the splash pool. It was getting late so we finally decided to go home. The children ended up having a picnic in the car on the way home. Before we arrived home, at least one had had enough excitement for the day and fell asleep. Aww. I usually try not to post pictures of other people's children, but I could not get a clear shot of my children in the canyon ponds and I really wanted to show how cool the canyon area is.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dinosaurs At the Zoo? And they move?

On Thursday, I took my son, youngest daughter and my nephew to the zoo. We looked around for a while, compared hands to the ape hand, and height to the ape height. It was very cool to see the wolves. They have such a large area to roam (compared to some of the other animals) and are very shy so it was a real treat. We happened to be there just before the bird show so we stopped in to see that. It was awesome! There were birds flying right over our heads! I wondered why they ask that you don't stand up and now I know. You or the birds could get seriously hurt! Those birds were literally inches away from the top of our heads. There was one bird that was the heaviest eagle in the world. Although the trainer mentioned the name, I can't remember it. It was fun to watch it walk. Wish I'd gotten a video of that one. They had a little pool for it to take a bath in. He was having a good ole' time in the pool and wasn't going to come out! The trainer put a treat on the grass but he wasn't going to be fooled. The trainer had to put a treat on the edge of the pool and quickly put one in the grass before the bird decided he was going back to bathing.

Cute little white birds ran from one side of the stage to the other behind the presenter. Back and forth at different points in the show. They also had a rooster running back and forth and near the end he danced for us. Funny. It's beena long time since I've been to a bird show at the zoo. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised to hear my little girl laugh so much. It really is a family show. Everyone enjoyed it. At the end, they have a small time to take donatation for the zoo. You hold the dollar up and the bird takes it and puts it in the donation box. My daughter really wanted to do it so I gave her a dollar. She was thrilled.

Okay, about the dinosaurs. They are not statues, they are anamatronic (is that the right spelling?) or robots. They move and growl and a couple (mom and baby) actually spit water! There was a triceratops and baby, kentasaurus, allosaurus, parasoralophus, a couple I can't remember the names to and of course, the king of all dinosaurs, the T-Rex. Even its eyes moved. If I didn't know it wasn't real, I would have thought he was sizing me up for dinner. They boys loved it. I was glad to find out my nephew had a good time. I wanted to show you more pictures of the dinosaurs but apparently I didn't download them so I'll have to post some more later.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tracy Aviary

On July 21, while the boys were off to scout camp, us three girls went with my sister and my neice and step grandneice an newphew to the Tracy Aviary and then off to play in the water at Liberty Park. I had a picnic planned but the girls were more interested in the water than the food. Haha. At the aviary, the birds were amazing and they've made some awesome improvements since the last time I was there. Because I have a pass to the zoo, I received a discount at the Aviary which was cool. I like discounts! I think the favorite part for my girls was were they were able to purchase food and feed it to the water fowl. My favorite part were the signets (a.k.a. ugly ducklings or baby swans). Even being so small they were so graceful. They have the owls in what they call the Owl Forest. There is even a little sound system that if you push the buttons you can hear the sounds different owls make. They don't all hoot, and now my children know it too. The size ranges of these owls are amazing. We happened to run into a volunteer who was very knowledgeable. He had a bit of owl scat that he offered to let the children touch. I'm glad mine didn't want to touch it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bingham Copper Mines

Bingham Copper Mine was giving free tours. Usually its $5.00 per carload but for about 2 weeks at the beginning of July, it was free. I didn't know until July 16 and it ended July 17. So we went out to see the biggest open pit mine in the world (I think it was world, but maybe it was just country). It was amazing how big it actually was. Way Cool though! First we parked the car then waited and waited for the shuttle bus. Some of the children thought that was very cool. It was the kind of bus you'd take to Wendover or for an extended tour. Very fancy. When we finally arrived at our destination, we peered over the side of the railing and way, way down to the bottom of the very large pit. The workers looked extremely small. I've included a picture of the tires they use on their very big machines so you could get an idea of how big they actually were. We were able to see what some old mining equipment looked like. Some of it was really cool to see. The museum also had exhibits on what the mining industry might look like in a few years and where they were planning on taking this business. I'm sad to see the mountain become inverted. I understand the need for copper however. Unfortunately, our families recycling efforts just can't satiate the need for copper. If you are ever in Utah, you should take the drive to the copper mine. All proceeds go to a local charity.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to School?

My oldest daughter started year round school last Tuesday. Of course the sales didn't start until now. Oh, well. She only needed a backpack so I suppose I can't complain too much. My youngest started kindergarten yesterday. So weird not to have her voice echoing through the house. Of course, she's only in for a half day. Maybe that's to ease us parents into it. Thank goodness my son isn't in school yet, it was weird enough. My daughter is so excited to be going to school like the rest of her siblings. I only hope this enthusiasm for school and learning lasts. She had a little questionaire of sorts to fill out before school. The one question that stumped me is "One thing that others would never guess about me is . . ." What would you have said?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fertilizer Friday

I enjoy Toostie Time but don't always get to join. Today, at least, I get to join and show pics of my pretty spring flowers. Yay! To see more go Here.

FHE Bible Heros Too

Second edition is also on the women heros (heroines) of the bible. This is the story of bravery and courage from a very young women who saved an entire nation of her people-Queen Esther.
Advance Prep: Make sure to have all ingredients for the treat as well as for any activity you have planned.

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargementand deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s houseshall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?15. Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,16. Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me,and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:14-16

Song: Do What is Right (Hymnbook #237)

Poem/Thought: As an exceptional son or daughter of God, you are sorely needed. There is an urgent need for men and women who will stand for principles against the growing pressures to compromise those very principles. Men and women are required who will act nobly and courageously for what the Lord has defined as right, not for what is politically correct or socially acceptable. We need individuals who have the spiritual, righteous influence that will motivate others to enduring good." Richard G. Scott,, "Living Right," Ensign, Jan. 2007, 14

Lesson: (Sorry, I don’t know where I got this particular story so I can’t cite it. If you know, let me know and I will put the appropriate cite in.)
King Xerxes ruled over the mighty land of Persia. When he needed a wife, his servants searched the land for the most beautiful women. They brought these women to the palace so the king could choose his bride. A woman named Esther was chosen. She was good and wise and very beautiful. But she was an Israelite. A kind relative named Mordecai had adopted Esther as a child, and raised her as his own daughter. He warned her not to tell anyone she was an Israelite.
When King Xerxes saw Esther, he was very pleased! He set the royal crown on her head, and she became his wife and queen. Then the king gave a big party to celebrate!
Later on, a powerful man named Haman became angry at Mordecai. Haman was the most powerful man in the kingdom besides the king. Haman knew that Mordecai was an Israelite, and he encouraged King Xerxes to make it legal to kill all Israelites. (This part may to too much for some little ears. On one certain day, anyone would be able to kill any Israelite and take what belonged to the Israelite and the Israelite would not be able to defend themselves.)
Esther knew this law meant that she too must die. Mordecai told Esther to go to the king and plead for the people so they would not be killed. She could be killed for going before the King when she had not been called to him. She said she would if Mordecai would ask the people to pray for her and she and her maidservents would also fast and pray.
Esther was brave and went to see the King. She invited the king and Haman to a banquet.
"I have prepared a banquet for you and Haman. I would like you to be my guests," said Esther.
So the king and Haman came and enjoyed a delicious meal served by Esther. "Now, dear Queen, tell me what it is I can do for you," said King Xerxes.
"Dear King," said Esther. "If you are pleased with me, I beg you to spare my life. And also spare the lives of my people. It seems unfair that we are to be put to death with even a chance to defend ourselves."
"Who dares to do this?" demanded the king.
"It is cruel Haman," said Esther, pointing to her enemy. The king ordered Haman to be hung that very same day on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Esther and her people were safe!
It took courage and boldness for Esther to approach the king without being invited. She was literally risking her life. This is even more amazing when we realize that Esther was likely between the ages of 14 and 20, a very young woman. One day we may be asked to risk all that is dear to us when we speak up for what is right. But, like Esther, you may be in the place where you are "for a time like this".
(There is so much more to this story for those who would like to take the time to read Esther.)

Discussion/Q&A: Why was it so impressive for Esther to go to the king without being summoned? Why was it dangerous for Esther to go to the king without being summoned? What did she do to have the courage to go to the king? In what situations could we be called upon to summon our courage and stand up to others?

Activity: Script-Tac-Toe: Provide a large tic-tac-toe pattern on the board. Place a number 1-9 at random in each square. Prepare 1-3 lists of 9scripture-related questions each. Have several questions which only the moderator knows are ³FREE spot² questions. When a team chooses a Free-spot question and answers it correctly, they can place their mark over any one unused number on the board. Divide into Team ³X² and Team ³O². Teams take turns selecting a number from the board and hearing the question. A correct answer gets their mark placed in that numbered square. An incorrect answer allows the opposing team a chance to answer the question for a point. First team to make a Tic-tac-toe in a diagonal or straight line wins the game.

Closing Prayer:

Refreshments: Hamantaschen
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 egg, beaten
2 T. orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. apricot preserves
Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Add the beaten egg, orange juice and vanilla. Mix, just until mixture forms a ball. Refrigerate for a 1/2 hour or more. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll out to 1/4-inch thick on a lightly greased surface (when you cut the dough, turn it so that the floured surface sits on your palm, and the greased surface holds the filling and sticks together better). Cut the dough into 3-inch rounds. Makes about 30 Hamantaschen
Treat Time:
Give each family member 2 or 3 rounds. Fill each round with 2/3 tsp. preserves. Then form into triangles by folding up 3 sides and pinching edges together. Bake at 350°F. for 15-17 minutes on lightly greased baking sheets.(This Jewish cookie recipe is traditionally made during the Feast of Purim, to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews because of Esther’s courage. Hamantaschen means “Haman’s pockets”, but traditionally are said to be the evil Haman’s three pointed hat or his triangular ears.)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

FHE Bible Heros

Since Mother's Day is approaching, I decided I'd start my Bible Heros Family Home Evenings with a woman from the Bible. This month, I've picked Ruth.

Advance Prep: Make sure to have all ingredients for the treat as well as for any activity you have planned.

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; they people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. Ruth 1:16-17

Song: I Love Feel My Savior’s Love (Children’s Songbook pg. 74)

I think of loyalty in terms of being true to ourselves. I think of it in terms of being absolutely loyal to the Church and its many facets of activity. I think of it in terms of being unequivocally true to the God of heaven, our Eternal Father, and His Beloved Son, our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ...Be loyal to the best that is in you.”
Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 2003, © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ruth’s Reward
Elimelech lived with his wife, Naomi, and their two sons in Judea. Because of a famine, they moved to Moab, an idolatrous country. There Elimelech died and his two sons married Orpah and Ruth, young women of Moab. Before long, however, both sons also died.
Naomi had been away from Judea for ten years and yearned for her own land and people. She decided to go back home to live, and she asked her daughters-in-law to return to the homes of their mothers. In Moab they could find husbands among their own people.
Orpah and Ruth wept when Naomi kissed them goodbye. Orpah went back to her own family, but Ruth had been converted to the religion and God of Israel. She clung to Naomi and pleaded, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” (Ruth 1:16.)
Naomi and Ruth reached Naomi’s old home in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. Ruth, according to custom, gleaned the barley left by the reapers so she and Naomi might have food to eat. (What it means to reap and to glean? To reap means to cut and gather the crops. The Lord instructed the land owners to leave some of their crops for the poor. These are called the gleanings. The poor would then go to the fields and glen (gather) what was left in the fields.)
The field where Ruth was gleaning belonged to Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi’s husband. When Boaz came to the barley field, he noticed Ruth and asked the reapers who she was. They told him that she was the Moabite, Naomi’s daughter-in-law, and that she had worked diligently.
Boaz told Ruth to glean in no other fields but his. She would not be molested in any way, and she was to eat the food and drink the water provided for his reapers.
Ruth bowed herself before Boaz and asked why he was so kind to her, a stranger. Boaz answered her, “It hath fully been shewed me … how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
“The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” (Ruth 2:11–12.)
The Lord did reward Ruth for her sacrifices; she later married Boaz, and they had a son, Obed. Through Obed, Ruth became the great-grandmother of David, king of Israel, and she was an ancestor of our Savior Jesus Christ.

What gift did Ruth give to Naomi? The gift of loyalty.
What does it mean to be loyal? Being faithful and true.
How did Ruth show her loyalty to Naomi? Instead of returning to her own family, Ruth went to Bethlehem with Naomi. She cared and provided for her by gleaning in the fields.
What great blessings came from Ruth’s love and loyalty to Naomi?
Because of Ruth’s love and loyalty to Naomi she was able to meet and marry Boaz. Ruth and Boaz were blessed with a son, Obed and Obed’s son Jesse was the father of David, a great Israelite king..
What has the Lord asked us to do for the poor that compares to His instruction to the land owners in Ruth’s time? To give a generous fast offering.
What can our family do to loyally serve Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?
Some of the things we can do to show our loyalty to the Lord are being obedient, respectful, following our Church leaders, fulfilling our stewardships, and keeping the commandments. We can also show our loyalty to the Lord by the way we treat others “...when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17.)
“We show our loyalty to the Lord by being obedient to parents, being respectful of our brothers and sisters, following Church leaders, and fulfilling our church callings and priesthood responsibilities. Loyalty includes being obedient to the laws of the land and the commandments of God. Loyalty to employer and employee, demonstrated by an honest day’s work and an honest day’s pay, is part of our loyalty to the Lord, for what we do unto each other we do unto Him. It means standing up for that which is right when our associates would persuade us to do wrong. Rex D. Pinegar, New Era, July 1976 © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Activity: Categories

Closing Prayer: (including blessing on the food)

Banana Chocolate Chip CookiesIngredients:
1/3 c. butter, softened1/2 c sugar1 egg1/2 c mashed ripe bananas1/2 t. vanilla1 c. flour1 t baking powder1/4 t salt1/8 t baking soda1 c chocolate chips (I prefer Milk Chocolate Chips)In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, banana and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to the wet mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. The dough is very stick so refrigerate for 1 hour. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 9 - 11 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. DONT OVER BAKE!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Sunday is very special to our family. Because I want Easter Sunday to be the special sacred time, we do our celebrating the day before. My children get their Easter baskets on Saturday morning. I guess that means the Easter bunny comes Friday night. There have been times when I created a whole treasure hunt for them. I sent them all over the house to find their Easter treats. They have told me that was the best Easter. They loved looking for their baskets. On Sunday, we read about Christ and the sacrifice He made for our sakes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Closed Doors and Open Windows

The company I work for is a telemarketing company. I take incoming phone calls for various companies. The last project I worked for ended on March 31st but I was able to work a few days into April. The OM (operations manager) called me earlier this week and said that because of decreased call volume, my services were no longer needed (or something along that line). When we said family prayer that night, my husband explained the issue to our Father in Heaven that we need the money right now and to provide a way for one of us (him or me) to get another job. The next day, I received a phone call from a recuiter for the same company. They have permanent part-time openings answering for another project. Training starts in May and goes until June. Training is full-time paid. When I go on the phones in June, it goes to part-time. This allows me to contribute to the family finances and still be available for my children when they come home from school. So what I thought was a closed door (the ability to help with the family finances) was actually an open window (this job provides more hours per week than the other one did).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Red Dress

I finally finished the dress I started making in January for my daughter for Valentine's Day. In my defense, I was offered a job so I was working instead of, well, working (on the dress). When I basted the dress together and tried it on the daughter I was making it for, it was already too small, so I finished it and gave it to the younger one. Its a little big now but she likes it and she'll grow into it. I know the dress has red hearts and polka dots and the buttons are flowers so they don't really match but she liked them and that's what matters.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Harry Potter Birthday

My soon-to-be 9 year old loves Harry Potter so she decided to have a Harry Potter birthday party with her friends this year. We started out with a trip to the store to buy some parchment paper for our invitations. We used a Hogwarts crest on top and addressed the invitations as follows (obviously, some things have been changed for safety concerns):

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE(Order of Merlin First Class Grand Sorc. Chf. WarlockSupreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)

Dear (child's name),
We are pleased to inform you that you have been invited to a celebration at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in honor of (my child's name) 9th birthday. You can wear wizard attire, or, if you prefer, dress in the Muggle manner. Magic Wands will be provided by Ollivanders.

The celebration will take place on March 12, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m at Platform 9 ¾ located at (my address was here). Snacks will be available.
We await your owl as soon as possible. If you are unable to reply by owl, you can RSVP to Rachel by Muggle phone at 801-999-9999.

Yours Sincerely,

(your name here)
Deputy Headmistress

I bought a frog mold off of E-Bay as well as some Bertie Botts Beans and some Bertie Bott Bags for the treat bags. My husband found some Hershey bars on sale and thought they would taste better and be less expensive than buying melting chocolate. It was only a dollar for a BIG bag so we made chocolate frogs and edible wants from that (edible wands are pretzel rods dipped in chocolate where the chocolate makes the wand handle).

I bought a gold balloon on the day of the party and wrote 9 3/4 on it so the parents would know where to drop off the children.

Inside, we had a trivia contest, made wands by decorating chopsticks with unicorn hair (yarn), dragon scales (sequins) and phoenix feathers (craft feathers). I had seperated the Bertie Botts Beans and had them taste them and guess the flavor. The winner guessed 4 out of 6 correct. That person won a small bag of Jelly Belly Beans, The person in second place recieved a gummy spider. I wasn't exactly expecting that to take as long as it did so I had to not do the Goopy Gooop or make brooms from pencils but the children didn't know what they were missing out on so it worked out okay.

For snacks we had Bugles (because they are in a cone shape like a hat) and Doritos (because they are in a triagle like a flat hat). I made cupcakes with a chocolate covered sugarcone on the top to look like wizard hats.

It was actually lots of fun and hopefully memorable. I did take a picture of the cupcakes but apparently, I didn't download it yet so I'll get one on here in the next couple days. Have a good one y'all.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Castle Mania

My son had to design a built a castle for school. He had a specific list of things it had to include. It could not be bigger than 24 x 24 inches, everything had to be labeled with a full paragraph (4-5 sentences), no spelling or grammer mistakes, shows hard work and creativity.

This is my son's castle. They had a show in the school for the students and parents. There were some very creative ones. One even had real pea gravel on it. The mother said it was a lot of washing and many jars of rubber cement that achieved the look.
My son received an "A" for this project. He deserved it. He worked hard on this.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Husband Found A New Job

My husband applied for a job on Friday. They called him before the end of day and offered him a job contingent on whether or not he passed the background check. They sent him the required paperwork which he filled out and returned as soon as possible. The company said they would let him know Monday if everything was all right. Although there is nothing in his background that would prevent him from being hired, he was still nervous. He waited all weekend. Finally, it was Monday. The company called him first thing and said they had a paperwork and just had to have someone pull the records. They asked him to call them in the afternoon. He called after 2 and there is no answer. He called after 3 and there was no answer. He called after 4 and no answer. He called home and asked me if I had heard anything. I told him no. He said he would try them again. Finally, he received the call that he had the job. He starts on Valentine's Day. He will be an underwriter for an insurance company. He is so excited!