Saturday, December 24, 2011


This is a recipe from my childhood. Mom used to make these at Christmas and put a few slices on the "cookie plates" she made for neighbours and friends. Just like banana bread it is better a day later rather than immediately. However, Ralph and I couldn't wait and thought it tasted pretty good the day Kristen and I made it. Kristen made some in mini loaf pans to give away. I love its moist, chocolaty flavor.


Sift into a mixing bowl: (I don't sift)
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. cocoa
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice ( I have left this out if I don't have it.)
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce ( I just used what was in the can because it wasn't very sweet anyway. In the past, I have used my home made applesauce.)
Beat 200 strokes or 2 min. with an electric mixer on low.
If desired you can stir in any of the following:
3/4 c. chopped dates
3/4 c. chopped raisins
1/3 c. diced citron
3/4 c. chopped nuts ( I don't like fruitcake so usually leave these 4 ingredients out.)

Pour into greased pans. ( 1 tube pan or two medium loaf pans) and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour for tube pan, accordingly for smaller pans. You may frost cakes with white buttercream frosting when cool.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

This week Kistin and I made Gingerbread Houses my way which is usually the easy way. We used to make 3-D gingerbread houses at my sister, Priscilla's house the day after Thanksgiving. Besides all the preparatiion, Priscilla used to talk about using "dynamite" to get her kitchen clean afterwards.
I just make gingerbread cookies and use gingerbread house cookie cutters. I decorate with colorful mini M&Ms as well as other candies. (I love the taste of gingerbread and chocolate.) I think I have included the recipe before but your favorite rolled gingerbread cookie recipe would probably work fine. I use the recipe from the red and white Betty Crocker cookbook.
for Rolled Ginger cookies. It's not Christmas until you've eaten a frosted gingerbread cookie. Besides, it tastes a lot better than eating a whole gingerbread house.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fried Rice

This week Kristen and I made fried rice which she said her husband was looking forward to. I think I have posted this recipe before but I will include instructions here as a refresher. I like this recipe. Besides tasting good, it is a good way to use leftovers.


In a large skillet, saute in vegetable oil, chopped (small, about 1/4" or so)onions, celery, shredded carrots and leftover meat (diced). I have used chicken, turkey, ham and bacon. I imagine other meats would work if you want to try them. When heated add cooked rice (at least two cups. There are no measurements in this recipe because it just depends on your taste and what you have available.) Add a little more oil if rice sticks to the pan. Flavor with 1-2 T. of soy sauce. Be careful not to add too much as this will make the dish too salty. (I usuually set the soy sauce on the table so individuals can add more if they want it. I have also added frozen peas and bits of scrambled egg.
This can be tailored to suit your families' circumstances and likes or dislikes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"God commands that we be honest in all things. When we lie, cheat or steal we open ourselves wide to Satan's influence and close ourselves to God's influence. If we want to have the Spirit to guide and comfort us, we must be honest with God, with ourselves and with other people." ... Family Home Evening resource manuel

Story: "Recently our grandson, Adam, was traveling with Sister Stone and me on a trip. About noontime we we stopped for lunch. When the waitress gave me my change, I realized that she I realized that she had charged me for only two sandwiches instead of three. I felt this was a good time to talk to Adam about honesty and so I explained what had happened.
"I said we could leave now and keep the extra change and no one would ever know the difference, or we could tell the girl that we still owed her for a sandwich. Our decision wasn't at all difficult to make when we decided that if we kept the money that didn't belong to us we would be breaking the commandment, 'Thou shalt not steal".
"Adam and I approached the girl at the counter and I explained to her that she had undercharged us. She thanked us for telling her of the mistake. We continued on our way with a good feeling, and I am sure Heavenly Father approved of what we had done." (O. Leslie Stone, "Be Honest", Friend, Jan. 1975, p. 7 )

Have a family member read this statement by Mark E. Petersen and invite each member to comment on it.
"We come to the point where faith and works meet each other. Here we ask ourselves: Do our works verify faith?...
"Honesty, truth virtue and kindness are hallmarks of true Christianity. If we lack them, we can hardly say that we follow Christ.
"Whether it be lying, or cheating or robbery or deception; whether it is in the home, in business, in sports, or in the classroom; dishonesty is completely foreign to the teachings of Jesus." (In Conference Report, Apr. 1982, pp.19-20 or Ensign, May 1982, p. 15.)

SCRIPTURES: Exodus 20:15, Ephesians 4:25, D&C 51:9, D&C 63:17, thirteenth article of faith.

ASK: What are several manifestations of dishonesty? (Lying, cheating, stealing. )
READ: Proverbs 6:16-19
DISCUSS: Many of the of the sins listed in Proverbs are associated with dishonesty. Help your family realize that dishonesty is at the root of almost every other sin and that they cannot receive the blessings of the gospel if they are dishonest.

Sugested hymns and songzs : "Shall the Youth of Zion Flter?" Hymns no. 157
"Dare to do right" Sing With Me B-81

Persons of the week: Chad and Emily's family whose family visited for Thanksgiving. They brought two beautiful poinsettias, Taylor warmed up to grandpa and I loved watching Kennedy use her strategy and thinking skills learning a new game.

Friday, December 2, 2011


This week Kristen and I made honeybutter. The recipe came from a girl in our ward called Missy Babcock. If you live in Rexburg, you have to know how to make honeybutter. It was a feature at a popular restaurant when I went to college here, when my children went to college here, and probably still is today. Anyway I am glad to have this recipe and I'm glad to pass it on. It is an easy 1-2-3 recipe.


1 cup butter (softened)
2/3 c. honey
3/4 c. powdered sugar
(we added 1/2 tsp. cinnamon but you can experiment with your own ideas. I wanted to try some strawberry jam that didn't set up.)
Mix and serve on scones (If you're in a hurry just fry some unbaked bread dough on a skillet. Even easier, use Rhodes bread dough found in the grocery store.), toast or warmed (in the microwave) rolls.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


For this week's family home evening I have included a link to either a printed copy or a video of Ralph's BYUI Devotional talk. (Thanks to Ralph for setting it up.) Most of the family has already heard it and he is glad to have it over with but I thought it was very good so it is wortth reviewing.
Hymn: Ralph got to choose the songs for the devotional and he chose "Be Still My Soul" because the composer is Finnish and Ralph likes the message.
Persons of the Week: This summer I think everybody in the family, including kids, ran in some sort of race, a marathon, a half marathon, or some other distance. Congratulations to all!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Conference at the Cabin

This weekend we are going to listen to the LDS General Conference in Island Park at the cabin. Ralph has been scrambling to get all his projects finished before winter sets in. Hopefully he can just relax and enjoy being up there. His devotional talk at BYUI isn't until Tuesday, Oct. 4th so I don't know if that will happen.

Emily and family will be there and I am looking forward to that too. While the men are at General Priesthood meeting on Saturday night, Kennedy and I are going to make a treat for them. I know it is a tradition in some areas for the women to go shopping but I would rather they have something yummy to come home to.

Below is the recipe we will be making which is a favorite of Ralph's and sooooo easy.

Cherry Cheecake

1 graham cracker crust (We will be using a store-bought one but you can crush some graham crackers and make your own.)
1 large package instant vanilla pudding
1 8 oz. package cream cheese

Mix cream cheese and pudding plus milk (according to pkg. directions) in a blender. Pour into graham cracker crust. Chill or freeze until set. Top with 1 large can of Wilderness Cherry Pie Filling. Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to Life as Usual

We spent a good summer in Island Park and now we are home in Rexburg and Ralph is back to work as Director of the Library. He is scheduled to speak at Devotional on October 4,. In my opinion, he is doing a good job at both but I think the stress level will go down after Oct. 4. and great-grandma has a new foundation, while we have a new front porch on our cabin.

Stephanie from downstairs has been great help. Last week we made Wacky Cake, a good cake to make if you are out of eggs, and this week we are making a microwave dish called Beefy Enchiladas. Also Ben brought his six kids to the cabin and taught them how to make Foil Dinners in a bonfire. I will include the instructions here.


2 1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. cocoa
Mix the above dry ingredients in a 9x13 or 9x12 pan using a fork. When thoroughly mixed, make 3 holes or wells in dry ingredients, large, medium and small. In the large well put 1/2 c. plus 1 T. of vegetable oil. In the medium well put 1 1/2 T. vinegar. In the small well put 2 tsp. vanilla. Pour 1 1/2 c. cold water over all. Mix all ingredients in pan well with fork. Bake cake in 350 degree oven for about 20 - 30 minutes. Cake will be soft so it is best to frost it in the pan.


Brown 1 lb. ground beef with 1/2 to 1 finely chopped onion. In a large pan mix together ground beef and onion with the following ingredients:
2 cans tomato sauce
1/2 can enchilada sauce (We don't like food very spicy)
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cumin
Mix and simmer a few minutes or microwave 5 min. on high.
Fill and roll flour tortillas with following ingredients:
refried beans
grated cheese
ground beef and tomato sauce mixture (Reserve some sauce and cheese for top.)
Place rolled tortillas in microwave dish and cook in microwave on high for 9 minutes

Ben carries over this skill from his scouting days but we used a few conveniences to update it to the 21st century and make it "kid-friendly".
Layer the following on a heavy piece of aluminum foil:
1 frozen beef pattie (It will probably be thawed by the time everything is assembled and ready to cook.)
salt and pepper to taste
1 slice of onion (We had to explain to kids that they did not have to eat the onion if they didn't like it but that it was necessary for flavor.)
Frozen hash brown potatoes (shredded works best)
Very thinly sliced carrots
Any other very thinly sliced vegetables of your choice
Place a double piece of tin foil on top and seal the edges well by folding over.
Write names with magic marker on outside of packet.
Place packets in fire coals until cooked.
These make a good camping meal but somehow don't turn out so good when cooked in the oven.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


For various reasons it has been a long time since I posted a BLOG so I will try to catch up with a couple of recipes. I have made these with Stephanie but not posted them. We are kind of into easy summer recipes now.

Shrimp Salad

Cook 1/2 to full package of small pasta such as alphabet macaroni or small pasta shells. (Depends on how much you want to stretch 1 can of shrimp. Stephanie and I used 1 pkg. of small pasta shells.) in boiling, salted water.
1 can small shrimp (drained)
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1 cucumber (diced)
1/4 c. sliced radishes
1/2 c. chopped celery
2-3 chopped hard boiled eggs
(If you don't have all the vegetables, use 3 or more of them.)
Mix about 3 good squirts of hot sauce (I like Louisiana Hot Sauce.) in 1 c. mayonaise (I like Best Foods.) for salad dressing and pour over salad ingredients. Toss until mixed. Serve on lettuce if you wish.

Yummy Summer Drink

1 small can frozen orange juice
1 small can frozen lemonade
1 large can pineapple juice
5 mashed bananas
4 cups sugar
10 cups water
Mix all ingredients and freeze in a shallow pan. (Mixture should not be more than 1 in. deep.) When frozen fill glass about 2/3 full of broken up pieces of frozen mixture and pour 7-Up over. Serves 30 (or 2 people who really really like it)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Exercises for the Soul - Money Management

i saw this lesson in the FHE Resource Manuel and reflected on what we taught our children which I am sure was not perfect. I thought this was a good lesson.

Scripture: Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
Proverbs 16:8

We should use the financial resources with which we are blessed to perfect ourselves and build up the kingdom of God. ( Family Home Evening Resource Book )

A Practical Experience In Budgeting: This uniqie way to help family members understand their part in helping with the family budget was suggested Dr. Dwayne Belt of the Brigham Young University faculty. You may wish to use some of his ideas or adapt them to the needs of your own family:
"I told the children to sit in a circle on the floor to prepare for a special activity for Family Home Evening. To their astonishment, I gave each one of them a large bundle of one dollar bills. My wife and I also had a bundle.
"All of this money together is the amount earned each month in our family", I said .
"Tonight you are all going to help Mom and Dad spend it."
[Note: It might not be practical to have this much currency in your home. You may want to make paper bils or use play noney or money from the Monopoly game. If possible, place a real bill on top of the bundle. ]
"For some time my wife and I had felt that one of the important things we should teach our children was the wise use of money. Although we felt the children should not be overburened with concern about the family budget, we believed that a better understanding of our financial resposibilities and goals would contribute to the harmony we desired in our home.
"You need to know that there are some things we are required by law to pay", I explained. " After those things are paid, there will be other things we need and must pay for, and then we can use the rest of the money as we wish."
"Tithing was quickly agreed upon as the most important thing we have promised to pay followed by other Church donations. Each person counted out his share and handed it to me.
"We have always paid our tithing first even when we 'owed' only $9.00 a month, and we have always been blessed for it," I reported to the family.
"So we continued on down the list - taxes, social security, house payment, insurance, utilities annd many others. The children looked distressed as their piles of money began to get smaller.
"Occasional questions arose about things such as retirement funds. These were discussed in an attempt to help each one see the reason for these kinds of programs.
"In our family," I said, " savings comes under the list of things we have promised to pay. We have promised ourselves that we would save regularly to prepare for missions, college or family emergencies. To help us keep that promise to ourselves my employer pays some of our money to our savings account each nonth."
"When we had exhausted the list of the things required by law and promises, we moved to other things we needed. Food was mentioned first, followed by clothing and medical care.
"Soon we began to mention a few things we would like to do or to have, and as families often do we found that we had too much month left at the end of the money. Long before our list of needs and wants was exhausted, the piles of one-dollar bills had disappeared.
The children stared in disbelief. My wife and I smiled knowingly.
Some of the comments were:
"I'm sick1"
"What do you do at Christmastime?"
"I didn't realize how fast we spend the money you make, Dad."
"Boy, it must take a lot of time to figure out the budget and pay the bills each month.
"It's all the dozens of little things that really add up."
"You sure have to plan ahead."
"Is it wrong to buy things we don't actually need?"
"It is not wrong to have and enjoy many of the beautiful and wonderful things in the world,", we told [our children], "as long as we keep two things in mind: First, our desire for material posessions should always be secondary to our desire to serve the Lord and your fellowmen.
Second, acquiring luxuries should always be secondary to acquiring necessities."
'That was fun.', said one of the children,'but what does money have to do with the gospel?'
" We have been told that our Heavenly Father gives us no temporal commandments. Everything he tells us to do is for our eternal good. And every part of our life, including handling the family finances, is part of living the gospel."
"That evening the following commitment were made
"I will keep track of what I spend for an entire month and then make a priority list for using my allowance."
"I am going to be more careful about the little things I buy that I could get along without."
"I'm going to try to save $100 from my allowance and baby sitting by the time school starts next fall."
"I'm going to pay my tithing the very first Sunday after I get my allowance, without fail."
"With an occasional reminder, our family have noticeably made sincere attempts to use our resources financial more wisely since this experience. We will never forget the night we helped 'spend' the family income." ("They All Held The Money," The Instructor May 1970, pp. 158-59.)

Suggested Hymn: "Count Your Many Blessings" Hymns no. 202.

Person of the Week: Alayna Hill for drawing a cute picture of fish in a fishbowl. I like all the wonderful pictures my grandkids make.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Porcupine Meatballs

Last week Stephanie and I made Porcupine Meatballs. Every time I make them I remember a friend who said, "Do they really use pocupine meat in them?" No, they use just regular ground beef and are called pocupine meatballs because there is rice in them which pokes out like miniature porcupine quills. At any rate they are delicious and easy to make. I am also including this week's recipe which I may have posted before. It is for Ann Landers Economical Pound Cake. She says that there is no excuse for not giving a gift because it is inexpensive and it tastes good.

Porcupine Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
3/4 c. uncooked rice (Ralph got Uncle Ben's Instant Rice and it worked ok but before that I had always used just regular raw rice which I think I prefer.)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 can tomato soup
1 cup or can water
1 T. minced onion

Combine meat, rice, salt, pepper and onion. Shape into small balls. (about 1 1/2 " in diameter) Combine and heat soup and water in oven safe pan or pressure cooker. Drop meatballs in soup mixture. Close lid securely. Place in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When using pressure cooker place regulator on vent and cook 10 min. with regulator rocking skowly. Let pressure drop of its own accord. (I have never used a pressure cooker.)

Economical Pound Cake

3/4 lbs. good quality margarine or butter (I used butter.)
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 C. flour, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon extract or 1 tsp. grated lemon peel (I always use lemon extract because I never have a lemon.)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
7/8 C. ginger ale
Cream eggs (the recipe says eggs but I think it must mean butter.) and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and flavorings and mix well. Add flour alternately with ginger ale, mixing after each addition. Bake in two loaf pans in pre-heated 275 degree oven for about 1 hour and 45 minutes or until skewer or tablle knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan before turning out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Exercises Fot The Soul - Forgiveness

I, the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. -D&C 64:10
Gospel Truth: Forgiveness is using the power within us to overcome anger, feelings of revenge, and unhappy and bad feelings. Oue Heavenly Father commanded us to forgive everyone, and he will help us as we try to keep this commandment. (FHE Resource Book).

Print the letters F,O,R,G,I,V,E, on seven small pieces of paper. Mix them up and give them to family members to make into a word. Give them help if needed. When the word is complete ask each family member to complete the sentence, "Forgiveness is ________________.
Read the above gospel truth and D&C 64:10.

All of us will have to exercise the principle of forgiveness in our lives, sometimes repeatedly or for great injustices. I am thankful that my father showed me the importance of forgiveness in his life.

Personal story: Shortly after my Dad was called to be Bishop when I was a teen-ager, a distant relative called the Stake President and told him lies about my father and that he should not be Bishop.. In my youthfulness, I was livid and thought we should take legal action against this relative. My father calmed me, ignored the claims and showed me the principles of forgiveness. Life went on and this relative faded into the background. I am greatful for his example as I have had to use these principles multiple times in my own life.

Expeience by Cheif Blue of the Catawba Indian Nation: "One day my eleven-year-old son went squirrel hunting with six other Indians. He saw a squirrel run up a tree and cimbed up to scare it out on a limb. After he had done this he called to the others to hodd their fire until he could get down. One of the Indians in the hunting party had always been jealous of me and my position as chief. He and his son both both shot deliberaately at my boy. He was filled with buckshot from his knees to his head. The Indians carried my boy towards home and found a spot where they lay him while they ran for the doctor. A friend came and found me and said, "Sam, run home at once; your boy has been shot.." I ran all the way home and found my boy near death. The doctor was there and said that the boy would not live. He was right; the boy died in a few minutes. The man and son who had done the shooting were in my front yard visiting with members of the crowd that had gathered. They did not appear to be upset at their deed. My heart filled with revenge and hatred. Something seemed to whisper to me, "If you don't take down your gun and kill that man who murdered your son Sam Blue, you are a coward.."
Now I have been a Mormon ever since I have been a young lad and I knew it would not be right to take revenge. I decided to pray to the Lord about it. I walked to my secret place out in the timber where I have always gone to pray alone when I have a special problem, and there I prayed to the Lord to take revenge out of my heart. I soon felt better and started back to the house. But again I heard something inside whisper, again I turned back and prayed until I felt better. On my way back to the house I again heard the voice say, "Sam Blue, you are a coward." I turned again and went back to pray and this time I told the Lord he must help me or I would be a killler. I asked him to take revenge out of my heart and to keep it out. I felt good when I got up from praying. I went back to the house a third time and when I reached the house I went out and shook hands with the Indian who had killed my boy. There was no hatred or desire for revenge in my heart. (See Marion G. Romney The Power of God Unto Salvation, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year[Provo,3 February 1960] pp.6-7.)

Ask: Was it too much to expect Chief Blue to forgive his son's killers - especially when they did not repent? How did Chief Blue's strong desire to overcome hatred and revenge make it possible for him to forgive? Where did he get the strength to forgive?

If desired and if time, you may want to contrast the above experience with the parable of the unmerciful servant. (See Matthew 35).

Emphasize the importance of wanting to forgive, believing we have the power to forgive, and receiving the blessing of having hatred and revenge taken from our hearts.

Possible Hymns: Should You Feel Inclined To Censure, Love One Another (LDS Hymnbook)

Person of the Week: Jacob Hill When he went to meet his Preschool teacher, she asked if he was always as happy as that day. His mother said yes! Conggratulations to "happy boy", Jacob!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Exercises For The Soul - Sacrifice

The greatest sacrifice ever made was that of our Savior, Jesus Christ, when he took upon himself our sins and laid down his life for us. Anciently people were commanded to worship the Lord by offering their choicest animals as a sacrifice, in similitude of the Savior's yet-future sacrifice. As part of his gospel, the Savior instituted a different sacrifice-the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, commemorated at the sacrament table. And in this dispensation, the Lord has added to the law of sacrifice and gospel law, revealing tthe law of consecration. When we receive the law of consecration, we covenant to give our time, our talents, and to offer ourselves-our hearts filled with gratitude, love and humility. (Family Home Evening Resource Book p. 219)

Discuss the following experiences: Experience 1, While getting ready for baseball practice, David overheard his mother on the phone trying to get a baby-sitter so she could visit her sick mother. After two neighborhood girls said they were busy, David volunteered to stay home from baseball practice and tend the baby. During the hours he was with his baby sister, he felt more love for her than he ever had before.
Ask: What made David happy?
Explain: When we make a sacrifice, there is not always happiness immediately. Sometimes we have to wait a period of time before we can feel the resultant happiness or just feel good we have done the right thing.

Personal Experience: At one time in my life I was feeling like I needed to look for more charitable experiences so I began to pray for opportunities to give charity. I felt impressed to call my mom and offer to stay with my great aunt for the day while she did whatever she would like. ( She had been responsible for the care of her aged mother-in-law and my great aunt for about two years). I thought she would want to spend the day shopping at the mall or some such recreational acticvity. When I offered, she said."Thank you. I was wondering how I was going to get to the temple." I was glad I had listened to the prompting.

Relate the following incident to your family: A whole family gave up a comfortable life in a fine city and spent approximately ten years travelling to a new continent where they prospered and found freedom to worship Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Who were they? (The family of Lehi.)
What sacrifices did they make? (Gave up home, wealth and country.)
Why did they leave their home? (They followed the direction of Heavenly Father.)

Read Matthew 19:16-22.

Ask: What did Jesus require of the rich man in addition to following the commandments?
Why did the rich man leave in sorrow?

Assignment: Challenge family members to make at least one sacrifice for another member of the family, relative or close friend during the week. If desired, experiences can be recorded and shared at the next Family Home Evening.

Possible Hymns: Any of the Sacrament Hymns. "As I have Loved You", LDS Hymnal

Person of the Week: Josie Manwaring for organizing and putting on a fun carnival to help raise money for the girls in their ward to go to Girl's Camp.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Exercises For The Soul - Journals

" Every person should keep a journal and every person can keep a journal." - Spencer W. Kimball "A journal is a continuing record of meaningful experiences that affect our lives. Through his prophets, the Lord has commanded each of us to keep a journal. As we record our activities and feelings, we can more clearly see the Lord's influence in our lives." -The Family Home Evening Resource book. WHY KEEP A JOURNAL? Help each family member understand how a journal can bless his life. Personal experience: I am not a very good "journal writer" but I am so glad I have some things recorded. Recently I decided to re-read the only journal I succeeded in keeping for about a year of my life when I was a teenager. There are not wonderful, faith-promoting experiences in it but mostly teenage trivia like a brief description of my 16th birthday, my first real infatuation, and my feelings upon moving to a new school and making new friends after doing the same thing only a year before. There is this tantalizing entry which taught me what not to do. It goes something like this: "I had an interesting day today but I am so tired I'm going to bed. "I will never know about the "interesting day". Still, it is interestinng to me to see that I had many typical feelings of a teenager. Scripture: To help famiily members understand why the Lord and his prophets have asked us to keep records, read and discuss 2Nephi 25:23. HOW DO I BEGIN A JOURNAL? When my children were very small I decided to help each one of them keep a journal. I got an inexpensive folder for each child. I would write what each child wanted to put in their journal. I could also put pictures the children had drawn in them t00 showing something they wanted to include in their journal. The first night I sat down with Ben ((then about 5 years old) and asked him how he wanted to start. I offered several suggestions like, "Dear Diary". He said, "I want to write 'Dear Children'. Since then I have used that perspective when recording events and feelings. As I have mentioned, all my attempts at keeping a journal have been short-lived. Here are some simple ways to keep records: -I kept my first check register after we were married. It is interesting to me what we spent money on and to see that we spent only $11.00 a week on groceries. That included something special for Sunday dinner like a roast. - I would make notes on my calendar of not only activities but things my children did and said that I wanted to remember. Every year I kept my calendar. -When I was in college I began the habit of keeping a notebook which listed my activities for each day. I kept this up most of my married lufe. I even listed phone calls I had to make and menus I planned for dinner. I saved all the notebooks. They not only helped me to be organized but now I am glad to have that record. There are many things I would have forgotten had I not kept a written record. -When there was an important event I would write down my feelings and store them in a box along with other poems and articles I had written. ( e.g. I am glad now to have a record of how I felt when each of our children were blessed.) -Instead of a Book of Remembrance, each of our children has a 'Box of Remembrance". At the end of each school year, each child could save their favorite school project. (I included my favorites as well as certificates and ribbons.) Each child now has their own "Box of Remembrance" and box of memories. -There are certain objects I have wanted to keep. No one will know why they are important to me when I am gone so I have typed up a brief history of each item. ( e.g. my music boxes, and each item of furniture and decoration at the cabin.) This way others will know that the reason we keep the black rocking chair is that it was the chair grandma Kern gathered her family around every morning for family prayer.) WHAT SHOULD I WRITE? Discuss the following suggestion by President Spencer W. Kimball: "Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are 'made up' for a public performance...The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative." ("The Angels," New Era Oct. 1975 p. 5) Discuss what makes a journal entry seem vivid and real. (details, descriptions using the senses and feelings). (See autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 5th edition, Salt Lake City, Deseret Book Co. 1961, pp. 233-34.) Assignment: At this FHE or at another time, encourage family members to write down an experience or feelings they think would be valuable to their children. Hymn resource: "The Golden Plates", Sing With Me, B-57. Person of the Week: Sam Manwaring for his creativity in making a "Star Wars" book for grandma Kern and a car out of a cardboard box.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Summer Squash Casserole

Stephanie wanted to make this because she got some zucchini in her "Bountiful Basket". The recipe says you can use yellow crook-neck squash instead of zucchini but I never have. Zucchini used to be so prolific in my garden that I was always looking for recipes which used it. I even got a recipe from my sister-in-law for zucchini brownies. When I tasted this casserole this week, it tasted as good as I remember it. Summer Squash Casserole 2 lbs. summer squash (about 6 cups) 1/4+ c. chopped onion ( I have used as much as 1 cup.) 1 can cream of chicken soup 1 c. dairy sour cream 1 c. shredded carrot 1 8 oz. pkg. herb stuffing mix ( or make your own with dry bread cubes and your choice of herbs like poultry seasoning, sage and dried parsley.) 1/2 c. melted butter or margarine In saucepan cook sliced squash ( about 1/4 in. thick slices) and chopped onion in boiling salted water for 5 min. Drain. In a large bowl, combine soup and sour cream. Stir in shredded carrot. Fold in drained squash and onion. Combine stuffing mix with butter. Spread half of stuffing mixture in bottom of 12x7 1/2 x2 in. baking dish. Spoon vegetable mixture atop. Sprinkle remaining stuffing over vegetables. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 min. or until heated through. Makes 6 servings.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Exercises For The Soul - Sense of Humor

"Good humor is truly medicine to the soul. Humor can ease tension, relieve uncomfortable or embarrassing situations, change attitudes, generate love and understanding, and add sparkle to life. A properly developed sense of humor is sensitive to others' feelings and is flavored with kindness and understanding." (Family Home Evening Resource Book p. 197) Scripture: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Proverbs 17:22 In January of 1847 the Saints endured severe trials at Winter Quarters. They had been brutally forced from their homes and were suffering from cold, starvation, and the loss of loved ones. In the midst of their sorrow came a revelation to help prepare them for their journey west. Read; D&C 136:28-29 Explain that the Lord wants us to feel joy even during hardships and trials. Describe: How a pressure cooker works. ( The sealed pot builds up a tremendous amount of steam inside it in order tospeed up the cooking process. As a safety measure, however, it releases excess steam through a safety valve, which keeps the cooker from exploding.) Point out that pressures and problems can build up in all of us until we feel like exploding in anger or tears. One safety valve the Lord has given us is a sense of humor. Discuss: How can humor release frustrations and put problems in a different light? True story: When we lived in Canada, my dad had to have a clean white shirt evey Sunday morning. (He was the Branch President of our small Vanderhoof Branch.) My mother didn't always have one ready which is understandable because we got all our water out of the creek and things had to be washed by hand. One Sunday morning we were waiting in the car to go to church while mom put the finishing touches on Sunday dinner which would cook while we were away. When mom hurriedly joined us in the car we all looked at why she gasped and ran back into the house. There sat my dad in the car with his Sunday suit on, a tie around his bare neck, and no shirt. My mother said it was the fastest she had ever ironed a white shirt and he always had a clean, pressed white shirt waiting for him in the future. I learned a great lesson that day. Using humor, my dad was able to change behavior without nagging or causing contention in the family. Help family members understand that humor must be appropriate to fulfill its proper purpose. Read the following from Elder Richard L. Evans: "There is both dignified and undignified humor. There is loud-mouthed humor, uncouth humor. There is evil, offensive humor. And there is high-minded. delightful humor." (Richard l. Evans' Quote Book p. 221). Discuss what makes appropriate humor. Stress that humor that degrades, embarrasses or is based on sarcasm or indecent situations is inappropriate. We should never make fun of another's physical indirmities or handicaps, ethnic or racial differences, the sanctity of the body or sacred things. Help family members understand that even people in important positions in the Church see humor in serious matters without making light of spiritual things. We, too, can be light hearted without being light-minded or silly. Assignment: As a family, try to find humor in a problem you are facing right now. Encourage family members to help family members see the humor in future problems. Role-play some possible embarrassing situations and let family members find humor in the situations. (e.g. At a party someone points out that you have on one black shoe and one brown. Possible response: "I have another pair at home just like them.") Possible song: Smiles (Sing With Me p. D-5) Persons of the Week: Bella and Maya Kern for making beautiful St. Patrick's Day cards and sending them to Grandma and Grandpa Kern.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


This Stephanie and I are making Lazy Dazy Oatmeal Cake. The recipe is in the red cookbook we made called "Cooking Lessons". Last week we made Clam Chowder. I think you all have this recipe. If you want it give me a call. ( I made a mistake and told Stephanie to use 1/2 as much flour for thickening as it called for. I felt bad but it still tasted delicious and I think I am always going to use less thickener as I liked it less thick.) I thought I would include a recipe Stephanie made for us. It is super easy and tastes good! Mexican Casserole tortillas (She used flour tortillas) 2 cans Hormel Chili with beans 1 can cr. of chicken soup 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped grated cheese Cut tortillas into 1/4s and cover the bottom of a casserole dish with a layer of tortillas. Mix chili, cr. of chicken soup, and chicken pieces together. Cover the tortillas with 1/2 of this mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Repeat layering tortillas, chili mixture and cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 min. What could be easier than that?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Exrcises For The Soul - Adversity

"Adversity is part of Heavenly Father's plan for us here upon the earth. We are here to be proven - to do whatever God commands us to do. (See Abraham 3:25) As we struggle to meet trials, we grow and develop qualities that we can attain in no other way. When we seek his help, our Heavenly Father will strengthen us and make us equal to the trials that come to us." (Family Home Evening Resource manuel) Scripture: "Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. Doctrinw and Covenants 122:7 Discuss: As we cope with our trials and adversity we can develop God-given strengths. (See Gospel Principles manuel 1979 p. 11 and 2nd Nephi 2:11) Story: Relate Joseph Smith's experience in Liberty Jail as found in D&C 121 and 122. Ask: What are some of the blessings that came to the prophet and have come to all of us as a result of this experience? (He studied and increased in knowledge and understanding while there. He continued to receive revelations and, through his writings, direct the church. He grew in compassion.) Read Joseph's statement: "I think I could never have felt as I do now if I had not sufferedd the wrongs I have suffered. It has awakened my soul to the love of God" (History of the Church 3:290). Read D&C 121:7 Ask What can we learn from the fact that the prophet Joseph Smith received the blessing of peace in the midst of affliction in Liberty Jail? (We can pray for and receive peace of mind in any adversity that may come to us.) Tell: about a trial from your own life or one of your ancestors that has strengthened and blessed you. If desired, family members can tell of their own trials. (For example, Sickness can increase our compassion for the sick and our appreciation of good health.) Encourage family members to recognize trials as challenges and remind them to seek the Lord's help in overcoming them. Compare life to a kite. The following parallels may help in your discussion: Kite: Each one of us is like a kite. Wind: Trials, like the wind, push against us each day. The resistance it provides, keeps us up and going. String: We have the gospel which, like the string of a kite, directs, controls, and anchors our lives Activity: Have family members help make a purchased or homemade kite. Fly it. (This can be a separate activity at another time.) Person of the week: Kennedy Oman for making a card and bringing other gifts to her sister, Taylor, when she was sick and in the hospital.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Easy Calzones

Stephanie and I used Rodes frozen bread to make a variety of things yesterday, I love to use Rhodes frozen bread dough. I learned about it when I was a busy, young mother. Even though home made bread dough is a good art to learn, this makes a good alternative. I like my daughter-in- law's approach. When people compliment her and ask her for the recipe when she uses frozen bread, she just says, "It's an old family recipe. " and usually doesn't have to go any further. I learned while taking it to the cabin over the years, it is pretty hard to destroy and tastes good hot or cold. Although you can make many things with the bread (scones, a variety of dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, pecan rolls, monkey bread, hotdog or hamburger buns,), we concentrated on making calzones. I don't know if it the MS or that I am close to the Sr. discount age, but I can't multi-task very well these days. Yesterday I was trying to give instructions to Stephanie and BLOG at the same time. I didn't do either one very well. Here is the recipe for Calzones given to me over the phone by Emily Reil Kern.

Easy Calzones

thawed frozen Rhodes bread dough ( one thing I learned over the years is that you can punch down raised Rhodes one or more times without ruining the quality of the bread dough.)
Tomato sauce or sauce you like such as Prego or Ragu
Anything you like on a pizza (we used pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, canned mushrooms, black olives.tomato sauce.)
Roll out into a circle about 1/4 inch thick 1/2 0r 1/3 of a loaf of dough. ( I had never made these before and should have had a clue that 1/2 a loaf of bread would make a lot.)
Spread some tomato sauce on 1/2 of the circle of dough leaving a margin of at least 1 inch around the edges.
Top with your choice of pizza toppings being careful not to overstuff.
Pinch the edges together making a semi-circle. Dough can be sealed with beaten egg brushed on.
If a shiny crust is desired, brush crust with remaining beaten egg.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 - 25 min. or until crust sounds hollow when tapped.

We each ate 1/2 calzone for lunch and were very full. Later in the week Ralph cut the calzone into strips. Two strips were plenty.
Top with

Thursday, March 10, 2011


"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
- Matthew 16:26

I love this scripture. " Our Savior's the perfect example of unselfishness. If we are to follow his example, we must be concerned with the needs and feelings of others. We must be able to put our own wants and needs aside to show love and concern for others.' (FHE Resource book, p.222)

(Scripture Story) Review the story of the rich young man (See Matthew 19:16-22)
Ask: Why was the young man unable to do what the Savior asked him to do?
Define selfishness. (clinging to your own comfort, advantage or position at the expense of others). Theodore M. Burton has said that true love is the exact opposite of selfishness. (See Conference Report Apr. 1979 p. 100 or May Ensign, 1079, p. 72).

President Monson's story: When President Monson was a young boy, he received a train for Christmas. His mother had purchased a smaller wind-up train for Mark, a needy boy in the neighborhood. She allowed young Tom to keep an oil tanker out of the wind-up train set. But when he saw how happy Mark was with the wind-up train, he ran home, got the oil tanker, plus another car from his own train, and gave them to Mark. (See " Mark's Train," Friend, Oct.1977,p. 16.).

Write the following teachings on wordstrips or slips of paper. Have family members draw them out of a bowl and explain how they relate to unselfishness..

1. "Love one another." (John 13:34)
2. "Whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it."(Matthew 16:25)
3. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." (Matthew 6:33)
4. "Let every man esteem his brother as himself" (D&C 38:24).
5. "Love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matthew 22; ).
6. Any others of your choice.

ASK: Why has the Lord placed such emphasis on our learning to become unselfish? (Point out that selfishness comes naturally and easily, and it takes struggle and growth to rid ourselves of self-centeredness. But one of the purposeses of this life is to overcome our weaknesses and become Christlike.)

Assign: One or more members of the family to become reporters throughout the coming week. Ask them to observe others during the coming week and prepare a report on their acts of unselfishness.

Possible Songs: Jesuz Said Love Everyone, Sing With Me B-51 or Who's On The Lord's Side? Hymns 175

Person of the Week: Alayna Hill She practices doing math so much she is getting really good. She even does Sudoku puzzles which I can't evven do.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


This week we made 3 Bean Casserole. This is a hearty and good tasting dish which is easy to make. I used to make it when I was assigned to take a meal to someone. I had a friend whosehusband was out of work for many weeks. She was thankful for every one's generosity but confessed that she was really tired of turkey. This casserole avoids many specific food allergies, tastes and other idiosyncracies and tastes good too. When I tasted it recently, it was just as good as I remembered it.


2 #303 cans pork 'n' beans. drained
1 #303 can red kidney beans, drained
1 #303 can small lima beans, drained
1 lb. hamburger browned witth
1/2 c. diced onion
1/4 lb. bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces
Add: 1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T worcestershire
Mix all ingredients andi smmer for 1 hour on stove ( The recipe says you can bake it in a 350 degree oven for two hours but I have never tried this.)

Add some bread and butter, a salad or fruit and you have a meal.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MaChel's Story

(I couldn't find the story when I wrote the most recent FHE BLOG on self esteem so here it is now,)

In my Dad's family tree at least one person of many, many generationns has been blessed with the Wiser Gap...a large space between the two front teeth. I have fun pictures of me in grade school smiling my way through until about 5th grade when I was teased about my teeth. From then on, I never I never opened my lips to smile until I was a junior in high school.

Dad was a poor farmer and money to fix teeth (especially when mine looked just like his) was not really an option. But when I was in high school Dad got a new job and things were much improved. My older brother and sister were married and so Mom, who had listened to me over the years, understood and took me to see Dr. Hall in Twin Falls. I had two surgeries to remove skin between my teeth. Then over a five month stretch of healing, making gooey molds, and then resizing my two front teeth down to little slivers - painful and disgusting - Dr. Hall fitted me with caps. They were disgustingly yellow and did not fit my mouth, but these were the olden days when this was al new stuff. I just kept my mouth closed for two more weeks until my real porcelain caps were ready and put in place. They matched. They felt great. And they alm0st t0uched, just a barely noticeable, small sliver left of my Wiser Gap. A huge improvement!

Mom said I didn't have to go back to school that day, but I insisted. I felt like an entirely different person. I wanted to show off my teeth! I chatted with everyone, smiling all the while. No one said one thing about my teeth! I thought they were just being nice. Finally with 4 or 5 of my closest friends around me, I burst out, "Look! Look at my teeth! I can hardly stand how much I love them." They looked curiously at one another and then Karen said, "They look great but why are they new?" Exasperated I reminded them of the horrid space and all I'd silently suffered to come to this moment. Connie said, " Isn't that weird? I never noticed." AHHHHHHH! Could it really be true that it didn't matter? It mattered to me, but it was unbelievably surprising that I seemed to be the only one. Worrying over the Wizer Gap took years of energy. Amazing huh?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Exercises for the Soul - Self Esteem

Twice in the last month.

I have seen evidences of low self esteem in my grandlids. One actually said, "Grandma, I don't feel very good about myself." While I know struggles with self-esteem continue into adulthood, (in fact, I beleve it is the root of most other problems), it has been on my mind and it is never too early to give your family some coping skills.

Scriptures: That I know of, there is no reference to self-esteem in the scriptures. I discovered that there are lots of scripture on the "worth of a soul" which is essentially the same thing. Look up the worth of a soul in the topical guide and discuss how self-esteem is important.

Adk: What are things we should not do if we are feeling low self--esteem or insecure? ( make fun of others, brag about ourselves whether true or untrue, treat serious issues lightly or jokingly)

Ask: What are some things that will help if we are feeling low self-esteem or insecure? (practicing until we become confident, asking someone with confidence to help us, humbly acting as if we were confident even though we may not feel that way, pray for help).

Many times we feel like everyone else is better than we are. This seems to be especially true about junior high age. This is a time when we have to decide how we are going to deal with it. I am impressed with the great way all of our children are addressing this with our grandchildren. ( giving them opportunities to develop skills and many other ways).
I remember being jr. high age and crying to my mother that I was sure I was the only one in our school that had to take a bath in a wash-tub by the cook stove. To make things worse, my mother would hang a curtain across the kitchen and I was afraid the tall missionaries or someone else would drop in.

Usually, most people don't even notice our insecurities. Here is an example.
True story from MaChel Stimpson: ( I cannot find the copy of the story shee gave me so I will post it later.)

Ask: Each family member to go around the room and list something each person is good at. (These can be intangible qualities too such as always showing gratitude or encouraging others.)

Suggested songs: I Am a child of God in either the LDS Hymnbook or the Primary Children Sing book.

Persons of the week: Jack Manwaring and Tango, the big dog he is helping to babysit while Victor and Virginia are visiting back east. Tango has very good manners and Jack is very nice to the dog.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Stephanie and I made Oven-baked fried chicken this week. I like this recipe because it is not greasy, it is good hot or cold, it doesn't make a "grease splatter mess" in your kitchen, and it is as easy to make for 3 or 23. I think I posted this recipe last year but here it is again in case you missed it.


1 c. flour
1 T. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 cut up chicken
1/4 c. good quality oil

Put flour in a strong paper bag. (I use a gallon-size plastic zip-lock). Add salt, pepper and paprika. Pour oil on cookie sheet and tip to coat pan. Can be heated if desired. Shake rinsed chicken pieces in bag to coat. Put coated chicken pieces in oil skin side down then turn over skin side up. Sprinkle chicken with Savor salt or Season-all. Put in 400 degree oven for 15 min. Then turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake 30 min. longer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Exercises For The Soul - Honesty

"God commands that we be honest in all things. When we lie,cheat, or steal, we open ourselves wide to Satan's influene and close ourselves to God's influence. If we want to have the Spirit to guide and comfort us, we must be honest with God, with ourselves, and with other people." ( FHE Resource Manuel).

Ask: Each member of your family to give the definition of a lie. Compare it with Marvin J. Ashton's: "A lie is any communication given to another with the intent to deceive" (Conference Report Apr. 1982 p. 10 or Ensign. May 1982, p. 9).

Explain: We can communicate a lie without ever speaking a word. A nod of the head or just keeping silent can deceive.

Ask: What are some ways we can deceive? (Recommending a questionable business investment, pretending not to hear mother call, using flattery to get our way, or withholding immportant facts).

True story: While I taught piano lessons, Sara loved to cook even though she was only about six years old. One day she decided to make cookies. In between piano students I went into the kitchen and saw beautiful, warm cookies on the counter. They were light and fluffy and cooked to perfection so I quickly ate a few. My next piano student came so I began teaching. About half way through the next lesson I began to feel a rumbling in my tummy and I was so thirsty I couldn't get enough to drink. When I asked Sara about the cookies she said,"i couldn't remember whether to add 1/2 teaspoon or 1/2 cup of baking soda." She had added 1/2 cup which is about 50 times more than a recipe usually calls for.
I learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Just because something looks beautiful and good on the outside doesn't mean the inside is good. I wanted my inside to be good too, even though no one could tell for sure what it was like by looking at the outside.
Being honest is like that. You may not be totally honest inside. Even no one will know from the outside, there will always be a bad feeling inside.

Activity: You will need to have asked one family member in advance to answer each question falsely. Ask that member a simple question - for example, "Where were you just before FHE?" As he or she answers falsely wrap a long string or yarn around him once. then ask a follow-up question - or example, "Why were you there? As he answers falsely again, wrap the string around him once more. Continue to ask him follow-up questions, wrapping the string around him each time he gives a false answer. Explain that you asked the person to give false answers to show how one lie leads to another one and how fast we can become trapped by lies.

Discuss: how easy it is to tell a lie. Point out that even the smallest lie is a sin. (See D & C 42:21.) Be sure the members of your family understand they can repent of any lies they may have told.

Persons of the week: Kennedy Oman and her mom who came to visit this weekend and made delicious Valentine's cookies which we are still enjoying.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spinach Soup

This may not sound very good but Ralph and I like it. Also it is a good way to convince your kids to eat healthy vegetables and makes a good recipe when you are trying to use all those haed boiled eggs after Easter. When we first moved to Finland the R.S. Pres. gave me some women's magazines like Finland's version od Good Housekeeping. They had an article and some pictures of this soup. Shortly afterward we went to dinner Nico and Leena's house. She served this soup and called it her "comfort food".

Leena's Spinach Soup

3 T margarine
5 T flour
1 qt. milk
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (150 g.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
white pepper to taste (I don't have this so I skip it)
Melt margarine, add flour and mix with a whisk. Add only half the milk and stir until mixture is smooth and boiling. Gradually add the rest of the milk. Add frozen spinach. Mix all ingredients including seasonings. Cook a couple minutes until everything is heated through.
Serve with hard boiled eggs. ( I used to pour soup over halved lengthwise but Ralph served it with sliced eggs and it worked well.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Exercises for the Soul - Heart Attack

I saw this idea on a BLOG Sara gave me. I have seen variations of this but it was good to be reminded again. Even though this has a valentine theme I think it would be good for a family any time of year A "heart attack" is simply a bunch of hearts cut out and stuck to the wall. On each heart is written a short sentiment about a family member. (e.g. I love _______ because...). I think it would be interessting to see both what is written abouut each family member as well as to learn each's feelings about others. Hearts can be displayed in a bedroom. Who doesn't like reading about themselves over and over. Hearts can also be decorated with stickers, pieces of yarn, colored pencils, or whatever. Refreshments can be valenttine cookies or candy and you have an easy, worthwhile and fun family home evening. There are lots of songs and humns about love like,"Love At Home", "Love One Another", and "Happy Family".

Persons of the Week: All the in-laws who have brought such great love to our children and grandchildren.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken and dumplings

Tgis morning Stephanie and I made Cicken and Dumplings. They are not my favorite thing to eat but Ralph loves them and iit is nice to know what they are when you sing "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain". I think most of my family has the recipe but I will include it here. You start out by making your favorite chicken soup recipe.

Basic Dumpliings

2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk gradually and mix well with a fork. With a Tablespoon, ( a regular spoon from your table service is fine) and divide into 10-12 portions. Drop dough portions in bubbly, hot stew. Cook for 12-15 min. with the lid on the pot. Serve dumplings with stew.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Exercises For The Soul - Judging Others

This is probably the trait I have had to work on the most. I have inckuded two of my learning experiences.

My mother's experience: We moved to a new ward and my mother noticed a sister on the front row of the chapel. She was there every Sunday with a whole row of little kids that she wrestled all through church. Finally she would pull a clean disposable diaper out of her bag and fan herself until the end of the meeting. My mother told us how nuch she admired that sister for coming to church every week even though her husband didn't support her. It turned out she was the Bishop's wife.

My experience: After the temple was built in Rexburg, they had a cultural celebration to celebrate the opening of the Tenple. They did a dance with irrigation pipes. I thought it just showed what a "hick" farming community we lived in. A while afterward we went to church in West Yellowstone, MT while staying at our cabin nearby. The speaker was the West Yellowstone Fire Chief who reminisced about the great fire of 1988? in the Park and its direction towards the little city of West Yellowstone. They knew it was coming but didn't know what to do. I remember being at Grandma and Grandpa's cabin in Island Park and seeing the orange glow over the mountains. Finally they dynamited a big pond in the Madison river for water and all the farmers from down in the valley brought up their irrigation pipes. They saved the town of West Yellowstone from burning down and changed the way I felt about irrigation pipes.

Activity: Before FHE hide pieces of wrapped candy inside wadded up pieces paper and place around the room so it looks like garbage. Encourage family members to look inside the crumpled paper until the candy is found and allow the candy to be eaten.

Explain: Sometimes something or someone looks like garbage. If we will allow ourselves to investigate further, we might change our judgements and find the hidden goodness inside.

( The candy can be FHE refreshments)

Person of the week: Jessica Kern for being nice to younger cousins even though she may have preferred older kids her own age.
Scripture: John

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pumpkin Muffin omission

I forgot to include one item that makes the pumpkin muffins taste just like the pumpkin bread at Great Harvest. I add a package of chocolate chips before I bake them. I like semi-sweet ones and Ralph likes milk chocolate. Both are good so it jusy depends on your own preference. I made a double batch andwe have been enjoying pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins all week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Janet;s Pumpkin Muffins

Both Ralph and I got a nasty virus at the first of January so everything got put on hold for awhile but both of us are feeling better now and it is time to play "catch-up".
I have a new girl to help me as Hailey has decided to devote full time to her two children. She still brings up dinner once a week and I still enjoy her association. The new girl is Hailey's friend, Stephanie. She has a different personality but is very nice and I like her a lot. She wants to cook together too so this week we made Pumokin muffins. This is a recipe I got from another teacher.


2/3 c. sgortening or oil
2 2/3 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin (l lb.)
2/3 c. water
3 1/3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp.cloves

Bake at 350 degrees 25 min. in cupcake pans or 70 min. in 2 loaf pans