Friday, April 30, 2010

The Ward Talent Show

We held our ward's talent show tonight, and it was a blast.  So much hidden talent in our ward it took my breath away!  My youngest son Kevin was the MC, so of course my unbiased view is that he was the best!  Here are some photographs.  We had dancers, singers, musicians .... the Priest's Quorum, with Kevin, sang "My Girl" and impersonated the Temptations which was a lot of fun.  In addition there was a lot of display talents (including a short story I wrote and you can read on my writing blog) and tons of yummy goodies for the culinary talents to be shared.  What a fun evening. 

AJ recorded some of the acts, and if we can work it out, I'll post some videos later this weekend.  Enjoy the pix!

Now see?  Don't you wish you'd been there too?  Maybe we'll see you there at the next talent show, and you'll find your picture here too!


Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.
Brian Adams

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: The Help

The Help, Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel, is one of those books where the characters stay with you long after you put the book down. The story of three ordinary, yet amazing women, in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s, The Help bring to light the life of two black women working as maids at the dawn of the civil rights movement.

Aibileen and Minny have stories to tell of what life is like for them, and Skeeter, one of the privileged young white women of the time who is trying to listen to those stories and write them down into a book all the while having her eyes opened to the cost of the life she has known. Taking on this project, this book that describes what life is like for a black maid in the Deep South, the chances they take and the consequences of it, you see how much was sacrificed to move us forward.

As these three women come together an incredible story comes out; a timeless story that transcends race, age and time…that we are all the same. We are all women with a heart, a mind, dreams, fears and joys.

Their stories are scattered among the chapters, each written in their own voice. Stockett’s ability to do that is so good, you feel as if the book truly were written by three different women.

While the book is sad at times, there is a triumphant feel to it. These women show a courage and a tenacity that is inspiring. In some ways it was reminiscent of A Thousand Splendid Suns by revealing how little really is different between us as women.

A favorite line from the book sums it up best: Wasn’t that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.

Pick this book up. You won’t regret it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I don't know why, this just makes me laugh....

Friday, April 23, 2010


A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Herm Albright

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pooter Soup

This is a favorite family recipe.  I've been eating it since I was a little girl, and now my husband and boys love it too.  My kids renamed it "Pooter Soup" when they were little ... you can figure it out.  Whenever we have a ham it's a good way to use up the last of the ham and the bone.  Hope you give it a try and enjoy it!


1 small bag navy beans
1 medium onion chopped
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
2 small carrots, diced
1 ham bone or ham hock
Salt and Pepper

Soak navy beans overnight. (At high altitude, I soak them for two nights.) Rinse, then put them in a large pot and cover with fresh, cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

While simmering, prepare vegetables, and place in crock pot along with ham bone. Pour beans and hot water into crock pot adding more water if necessary. Salt and pepper as you wish, then let cook in crock pot all day long. I like to give it at least 8 hours.

You can also cook this on the stove the same way, just cover and simmer all day. We like to serve it with corn bread. A good way to use up a ham bone after Easter, it great on a cold, wet, rainy day!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends. ~Richard Bach

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review: Not My Daughter

Barbara Delinsky is an author I enjoy reading. Her books are often compelling and deal with such a wide variety of topics and situations that women can all relate to and empathize with. Her latest offering, Not My Daughter, comes straight from the headlines. In a small town in Maine, three teenaged girls make a pregnancy pact. These girls are in the top of their class, come from good homes and are preparing for college after graduation. None wants to get married, or even to have the babies fathers be a part of the picture. To make matters worse, one of the girls is the daughter of the high school principal, who happened to have been pregnant at 17 herself.  Their daughters soon find that an idea that seemed exciting in it's inception turns out to have consequences none of them could have anticipated.

In this small, conservative and inflexible community the principal finds herself under attack from the school board and the local newspaper, and as she fights to keep her job, she, her daughter, the others girls and their mothers find themselves struggling to defend themselves as women, and more importantly, as mothers. When do mother's trust that they've raised their children with the skills to make wise decisions, and how long do you monitor their day to day activities?   And how long do parents need to be held accountable for choices their children make?  Hard questions to answer.

The thing I liked about this book, aside from Delinsky’s talent as a wonderful writer, is that she brings up some hard topics and deals with hard choices many of us have to make as we go through life. Sometimes bad choices can be turned around, relationships repaired and open communication is the key. Delinsky is always good at showing her readers that we all have reservoirs of strength to pull from and that we can overcome and triumph over whatever adversity is thrown at us.

However, Not My Daughter is full of tension and contention. It was a very emotional read for me, and most of the time when I would put it down that tension would stay with me. A sign of a good writer and a good book, but I would caution you if you read this that you may not want to read it if you are feeling stressed out. Other than that, this is a terrific book by one of the best in women’s fiction.

What To Do

I have been communicating with my mother's cousin recently.  Her mother, my great aunt Charlotte, is my mother's closest friend.  More than an aunt, Charlotte is only ten years older than my mother and since my mom was a little girl she and Charlotte have had a special bond, a deep love and friendship that goes beyond aunt and niece.  She means everything to my mother, and now it looks like Charlotte is on her last journey.

At 98 she has lived a good life.  A teacher, she has always loved talking and learning and reading and being part of everything.  Now, blind, deaf and increasingly isolated and weakened, her daughters, and all of us who love Charlotte, are preparing ourselves to say goodbye to her.

And I don't know how to help my mother do that. 

Charlotte's been a part of her life, a big part, for more than 80 years.  I can't imagine the hole that will leave. 

I'm so grateful to know that this is only temporary, and our sorrow is for ourselves because we will miss knowing she is here.  And when we meet again it will be joyful.

I guess the one thing that I can remind my mom is that Charlotte's love for her will not end.  And she will see her again someday.

Friday, April 9, 2010


"Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts."
~ Unknown

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Soup's On!

I think the turkey turned out great!  Twenty pounds of deliciousness, let me tell you.  We were all too full for the pumpkin pie and probably won't eat until tomorrow, even though we ate at 1:00 before Stan had to leave for work.  And the house smells so good!

I know we look like a bunch of drunks, but the bottles on the table are Sparkling Cider.  We're collecting the bottles so we can make homemade rootbeer (my grandmother's recipe) this summer.

Hope you all had a good Easter dinner too with lots of good conversation and time with your family.  We sure did!

Check It Out and Let Me Know

I've just posted a new short story on my writing blog.  Please feel free to read it and let me know what you think!  Thanks.

Friday, April 2, 2010


The time came when He stood alone. Some Apostles doubted; one betrayed Him. The Roman soldiers pierced His side. The angry mob took His life. There yet rings from Golgotha’s hill His compassionate words, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Earlier, perhaps perceiving the culmination of His earthly mission, He spoke the lament, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” “No room in the inn” was not a singular expression of rejection—just the first. Yet He invites you and me to receive Him. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Who was this Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief? Who is the King of glory, this Lord of hosts? He is our Master. He is our Savior. He is the Son of God. He is the Author of our Salvation. He beckons, “Follow me.” He instructs, “Go, and do thou likewise. He pleads, “Keep my commandments.”

Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.

Thomas S. Monson, “Finding Joy in the Journey,” Ensign, Nov 2008

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good Things Come To Those Who Blog

Earlier this week I talked about a bad day we were having ... trouble with our two cars and Kevin needing new lenses for his glasses.  It felt so overwhelming that I didn't know which way to turn.  I prayed that we would be given the wisdom and knowledge to find a way to take care of everything.

Well, good things do come to those who blog.  First, several of my sweet friends offered to drive us or help out if we needed to get somewhere.  And several also told us about a place where we would be able to purchase more affordable lenses for Kevin.  It warmed my heart to know that my friends cared enough to offer their assistance and to share their information like that.

Then the day afterwards my sweet friend Trisha called and said they had the same problem with their car window that we did and that her husband was willing to come over and see if he could help.  And he did!  It was so great ... he came over after work on Tuesday and helped Stan and Kevin get the window back up in position and fix it so it won't go back down until (and if) we decide to get it fixed at the repair shop.  Yeah!  Now we don't have to worry about the snow that's coming!

Last night my darling friend Tara and her husband brought us chocolate cupcakes, which was so great!  Chocolate is my drug of choice, and it really hit the spot, let me tell you!

Today another of my sweet friends, Sarah, called and offered us the use of a car that they are not currently in need of until we can get the van fixed, since the van cannot be driven until we get the coolant system repaired.  She was so adorable in her more than generous offer saying, "I'm not taking no for an answer," and "I don't have $600 to give you to fix the van, but I can let you use our car."  This is going to help out so much.  AJ is unable to attend his evening classes tonight because Stan had to go to work and cannot drive/pick him up as he did on Tuesday.  And getting him to work has been dicey too, plus with Seminary and school starting up next for Kevin again I didn't know how we were going to coordinate things since I won't have any money until late next week. 

I have to say, that terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day we had is turning out to be a lesson in love and generosity for our family.  And blessings are pouring down on us!  Thank you to all our friends!