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Monday, November 30, 2009

Motivational Monday - "Forever Family"

Families are ordained of God and are the most important social unit in time and eternity. Our Heavenly Father’s divine plan of happiness allows family relationships to endure beyond the grave.

The family is the fundamental unit of society and the primary setting in which children develop virtue. God has placed families at the center of His eternal plan for the happiness of His children.

In a family, children learn about love, trust, loyalty, cooperation, and service. They learn how to behave in a community and develop the attributes of good citizenship. The health of any society lies in the strength of its families. Thus, strengthening families will strengthen communities and nations. Home should be a haven, free from the conflicts of the outside world—a place where everyone feels safe, respected, and accepted. Ways to facilitate this feeling of harmony in your home include:

• Loving and serving one another. The Savior Jesus Christ demonstrated perfect love in His unfailing service throughout His life on Earth. Serving others teaches humility, builds self-discipline, creates unity, strengthens work ethics, and leads to greater love and compassion. 

• Spending quality time together.

• Instituting and maintaining family home evening once a week. Family home evening nights should be centered on building and maintaining family relationships. Activities can include games, songs, discussions, treats, short lessons, family stories, and so forth.

• Adopting a family hobby.

• Spending time in wholesome recreational activities.

• Communicating effectively. Good communication skills can help your family express love and respect for one another and develop feelings of confidence and self-worth.

• Consistently building unity with your spouse. The partnership of marriage and the resulting family are central focal points in God’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

• Establishing limits for use of electronic equipment in the home. Agreeing on reasonable time limits for television, computer, video games, and other electronic equipment will facilitate stronger family communication.

• Teaching children about Jesus Christ and helping them follow His example. Children need help in learning to recognize the Holy Ghost. Teaching them how to know what they are feeling is from God will help them to understand right and wrong and will aid them in making good decisions throughout their lives.

• Participating in children’s schoolwork and activities by volunteering to coach, lead, or chaperone; attending sporting events, performances, and any other activities whenever possible; getting to know teachers and coaches; finding out about long-term projects or assignments and assisting with goal setting and planning.

• Taking family vacations.

• Preparing and eating meals together can stimulate conversation.

Information obtained from You can also know more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) from this link.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cross Country End of Season Banquet

Last Thursday November 26th, we enjoyed a night together with Brady's cross country team. They brought in pizzas as the main course. I was shocked because we were assigned side dishes. I brought baked beans (which was the only side dish)... People also brought lots and lots of desserts. It was a great evening to enjoy the success of the team this year.

They played a video of highlights through the season. We didn't get one - which was kind of sad. Then the coach presented the certificates to JV teams and school letters for to the varsity team. I hope next year Brady will get a "letter".

Here is a quick video of what the coach said about Brady and "me"... it's funny and a little embarrassing. ha ha.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Motivational Monday - Thankful For My Family

Sometimes, not often enough,
We reflect upon the good things
And those thoughts always center
Around those we love.

And I think about those people ---
Who mean so much to me ---

....and for years
Have made me so very happy.

And I count the times I have forgotten
To say

And just how much I love them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's the Holidays and I'm Busy!

Sunday Brady and I went over to Jason and Sharon's new apartment and played "Life Twists and Turns". It was a blast being together in their new apartment and playing games. I didn't bring my camera - so there are not any pictures. (They are all shouting for joy).

I'm excited to say that we finally watched "UP" this past weekend. I loved it... It is my favorite Walt Disney show right now. I was a cry baby within the first 1/2 hour... and I never cry. It is very heart warming and funny... Of course I own it now.

Tomorrow is the Cross country team's banquet to end the season. Awards will be given, lots of good food, and presents to the coaches. Last year they made up a DVD with highlights during the season. I hope we get one this year too. I've hurried and put together a baked bean dish to take to the pot luck tomorrow. I'll post the recipe tomorrow.

Whenever there is a holiday in the month, my work load increases. This coming Thanksgiving season is no exception. I wish I could wave my magic wand and the work would be easier and done sooner.

Unfortunately it increases. My customers want extras done to get ready for the company they are expecting for Thanksgiving. Plus next week I want to leave town Wednesday afternoon as soon as school gets out for early release. That means I need to get 5 days of work done in 2 1/2... Yup, I'm working my tail end off - trying to get it all done before the holiday - because I am taking 4 days off (unheard of when you work by yourself and it's a holiday and customers want clean houses).

In the midst of all the extra work to get out of town for Thanksgiving ... I really have got to get my Christmas shopping done before I leave for my extended family. I was able to put a dent in it tonight, but will have to tackle it again this weekend.

On top of that.... I feel a soar throat coming on. I need to medicate myself and head to bed. If you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks... know that I am lurking and busy ... but around.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brady's Talk in Sacrament Meeting

Good Morning, I've been assigned to speak on a talk give by Elder Kenneth Johnson called, "The Proof Is in the Doing".

The talk starts out by discussing a painting a father and a son acquired from their business of selling secondhand furniture and household goods. They were careful to only buy items they could sell for a profit.
One day, the son found a painting. He looked at it, and thought how nice it would be if he would discover an antique or painting of far greater value than the previous owner had, but decided that this painting was not valuable.

His father felt it would be worth having the painting checked by a friend of his, who managed an art gallery.
Several days later, the father’s friend informed him that the painting probably had a value of at least $29,000, which took place in the early 1970s. They were very excited by the news and sold the painting for more then the quoted price.

In telling this story, he said, “I can’t imagine why anyone would be prepared to pay so much for such an ordinary painting.”

In reflecting on the response of the young man. He had no interest in the painting. He judged it to be of little or no value.

How do we judge the value of the gospel in our lives? Do we really appreciate our indebtedness to the Savior?

President Hinckley said, " The religion of which you are a part is 7 days a week. It isn’t just Sunday, it isn’t the block plan, it isn’t just 3 hours in church, it isn’t just the time you spend in seminary—it’s all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year."

The First Presidency tells us that we are choice spirits who have come forth in this day when the responsibilities and opportunities, as well as the temptations, are the greatest. We are at the beginning of our journey. Heavenly Father wants us back. The decisions we make now to live the gospel will determine what will follow through our life and throughout eternity.

There is a promise, that as we keep the standards and live the truths in the scriptures, we will be able to do our life's work with greater wisdom, and will and bear trials with greater courage. We will also have the help of the Holy Ghost.

We all want victory in our lives, some of us want to serve an honorable mission, we want a temple marriage, we want all of the wonderful blessings that Heavenly Father will give us. All of this comes with "doing the things we should everyday".

We are responsible for the choices we make: In 2 Nephi 2:27 it says "Wherefore, men are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men or choose captivity and death"
We are free to choose for ourselves, but we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions. When we make wrong choices, it delays our progression and leads to heartache and misery. Right choices lead to happiness and eternal life.

If we want a happy family, we have to do our part to build a happy home. We need to be cheerful, helpful, and considerate of others. We need to participate in family activities, family prayer, family home evenings and family scripture reading.

Some of you have financial problems. There is never enough money in our homes. Some are struggling to get by. However, there is a way to ease up on our struggles, which is payment of tithing. This was God's promise that He would open the windows of heaven, and pour down blessings upon those who walked honestly with Him in the payment of their tithes and offerings, and He has the capacity to keep His promise. It is my testimony that He does keep that promise.

Prayer unlocks the powers of heaven in our behalf. Prayer is the great gift which our Eternal Father has given us by which we may approach Him and speak with Him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be prayerful. We cannot make it alone. We cannot reach our potential alone. We need the help of the Lord”
With all of our doing, the most important thing we can do is to cultivate in our hearts a testimony and knowledge of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, who opened the way of salvation and eternal life. I hope that in all we do, we will somehow constantly nourish the testimony concerning the Savior. I know that when we have a true testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, all else will come together as it should, and we will have victory in this life.

I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Also wanted to share the email we received from Brady's leader in the young men's program - Bryan Mecham:

I wanted to let Jeremy and Brady know how much I enjoyed your talks. They were excellent. Both of you brought a great spirit to the meeting. I was so proud (in a good way) to be able to say that I have been associated with you over the years. Your messages were great. Jeremy, you are right it does take a village to raise a child and I want to thank you for being part of my village as I continue to grow and be raised you have helped me in many ways. Brady, I have never heard it put the way you did today but it makes a lot of sense and we can show appreciation to Heavenly Father for his gospel by living it 24/7 and 365 days a year. I know that if I would have focused on this very counsel throughout my life, I could have avoided some of the trials that I have had. So thanks for reminding me that living the gospel is more than just a Sunday activity. I promise if we all follow this counsel from this day forward, we will avoid a lot of heart aches and unnecessary challenges.

Nathan, thanks for starting off the lesson so well today in quorum meeting. You did a great job of introducing the topic. I liked your visual object lesson to introduce the tools of the scriptures. Very well done.

Young men, as I said to day in quorum meeting, I appreciate your examples and willingness to do the Lord's will. I am truly blessed to be able to associate with such great young men and great adult leaders. Thanks for all you do. I truly mean it when I say that I appreciate your outward appearance. I am glad you take seriously the importance of grooming and cleaniness as you officiate in the sacred ordinance of the sacrament. You truly are an example to those who are looking up to you. Many will be blessed if you continue to set this example through out your life.

I appreciate the way you recite the mission of the Aaronic Priesthood and the chosen scriptures. I kind of feel like Helaman as he talked about his 2000 stripling warriors. I am glad for the 7 stripling warriors I currently get to work with! I am also grateful that you have such great mothers. Be sure to let them know of your great love for them.

Anna Kunkel

Ann was my oldest customer and passed away last week at the age of 99. She was a very delightful woman and we will miss her.

Anna Kunkel
Anna P. Kunkel, 99 of Meridian passed away on Nov. 8, 2009 at her home. Family and friends will gather at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 16 at Dry Creek Cemetery for grave-side services under the direction of Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel. Anna, daughter of John and Cora Byers was born in Johnstown, Pa. on August 1, 1910. Anna was married to Raymond Kunkel on Nov. 25, 1931. They had 50 wonderful years together before Raymond died in 1982. They had one Son, Donald, and made their home in Allentown and Quakertown, PA. Anna was a fine Christian woman. Her love for the Lord was evidenced by her desire to use her musical, teaching and administrative gifts in serving God. She will be remembered for loving her family deeply. We will miss her. Survivors include her sister Mary, one son Donald (Kathryn), of Meridian; grand-children, Donald and Jon; and great-grandchildren, Darcy and Maryl. We extend our thanks to St. Luke's Hospice for the kindness and compassion shown to our Mother. In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to St. Luke's Hospice.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Motivational Monday "Happy Thanksgiving Proclamation"

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
By the President of the United States of America
November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express gratitude for all that we have been given, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives. We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God.

Every Thanksgiving, we remember the story of the Pilgrims who came to America in search of religious freedom and a better life. Having arrived in the New World, these early settlers gave thanks to the Author of Life for granting them safe passage to this abundant land and protecting them through a bitter winter. Our Nation's first President, George Washington, stated in the first Thanksgiving proclamation that "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor." While in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, asking God to heal our wounds and restore our country.

Today, as we look back on the beginnings of our democracy, Americans recall that we live in a land of many blessings where every person has the right to live, work, and worship in freedom. Our Nation is especially thankful for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who protect these rights while setting aside their own comfort and safety. Their courage keeps us free, their sacrifice makes us grateful, and their character makes us proud. Especially during the holidays, our whole country keeps them and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

Americans are also mindful of the need to share our gifts with others, and our Nation is moved to compassionate action. We pay tribute to all caring citizens who reach out a helping hand and serve a cause larger than themselves.

On this day, let us all give thanks to God who blessed our Nation's first days and who blesses us today. May He continue to guide and watch over our families and our country always.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 27, 2008, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to strengthen the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


I thought this was interesting that President Bush gave a Thanksgiving Proclamation and gave thanks to God. Makes me wonder what Obama will do and who he will give thanks to. You can read more of Presidential proclamations here

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let it Snow!! - 1st Snow Storm of the Season Tonight

The forecast for tonight's weather is SNOW! We are suppose to recieve our first measurable snow storm and could wake up to an inch on the ground.

My instinct is to build a fire and hunker down during a storm.

However, Brady my favorite Boys Scout had other ideas. Or I should say, what do the Boys Scouts of America do when there is a storm coming in?

They go camping.. Brrrrrrrrr  

Although I love having Brady participate in the scouting program and admire that he can campout in the middle of a stormy night - it is something I have no desire to do. I guess this is what grows hair on their chests and make them men.

I'll just stay home, put my feet up, start a fire, pop some popcorn and watch The Notebook. :-D

Black Bean Brownies

Do not try this at home. Brady had to make up an assignment he missed in his Foods and Nutrition  class at school. He had to make brownies from black beans. He searched the internet and found a recipe and proceeded to make yummy brownies.

Black beans, flour, sugar, oil, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, peppermint extract (I think was the death of this recipe), salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips. I am not going to share the recipe because they were awful - yuck..

Rinse the black beans really good... then he put them back in the can and added water to replace what he drained and cleaned off.

You blend everything together in the blender - no mixer used.

We only had big chocolate chips - no miniature chocolate chips to spread over the top. Brady just put them in our handy dandy chopper and chopped them up. It looked really good. Then he baked those dreadful brownies.

Looked good, very moist, but YUCK... the peppermint extract was overwhelming and made the whole thing unbearable to eat. Plus, we could still taste the black beans in the recipe - which for brownies is just wrong.

We will not be making them again. Assignment complete.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Comment Spam

Unfortunately I have become a victim of SPAM!!! I can't believe I am getting comment spam... I hate it and now I am forced to add a word verification to my comments. I sure hope that helps delete those SPAMmers who have targeted my blog.
I keep deleting it, but it is becoming a pain to see it pile up.

I'm sorry that I have to use that bothersome word verification. I hope it will end this influx of SPAM I am getting. This is just a heads up. Again....sorry for the inconvenience.

The 5 Senses

This week I've seen quite a few things illustrating how important our 5 senses are. I have never thought about how our senses are important in storing and keeping wonderful childhood memories. I know about it, because certain smells, sights and sounds bring a flooding of memories back to my mind.

I watched a wonderful video from "Roots and Wings" about Setting the tone of your holidays with your senses.

Then on Sugardoodle there was a great singing time for the 5 senses of Autumn.

It got me thinking about how important senses are in your life. I've never thought of filling your home with things that tickle your senses. Although that is exactly what I do.

As you know I'm divorced and for the past 10+ years I have to share Christmas with my son's dad. Sunday while we were driving home from the airport from Brady's 4 day visit, he told me he spoke with his dad and told him he wanted to stay home for Christmas.

He then proceeded to tell me - it was because our house is decorated so cute, it smells good and we play Christmas music.

I laughed because I had watched the Roots and Wings video earlier that day about the very same thing. I am glad that even though we have a difficult situation - I still make great memories for my children's senses and it really means a lot to them.

I love the smell from our "real" fireplace and the warmth from sitting in front of it.

I love this Primary Song for Autumn.

It’s autumn time! It’s autumn time!
The leaves are falling down.

It’s autumn time! It’s autumn time!
It’s all around the town.

It’s autumn time! It’s autumn time!
It’s yellow red and brown.

It’s autumn time! It’s autumn time!
Pretty colors can be found!

What does Autumn FEEL like?
What does Autumn LOOK like?

What does Autumn SMELL like?
I love fall smelling candles and I am really enjoying my Sentsy gift. It is making my house smell wonderful.

What does Autumn SOUND like?

I always have music playing. I admit I have been listening to a lot of Christmas music these past few weeks. I also like soft music playing in the background. I love singing all the time. I bust out singing a Primary song all the time. It drives my kids crazy - but it's me. I love to sing!

What does Autumn TASTE like?

When the air gets cold and crisp, I seem to bake more. Yesterday our home had the nice aroma of freshly baked bread.
Ooooh and how I love the smell of turkey cooking in the oven.... Then seeing and tasting it.
Our senses really do play in important place in our lives and making memories for our children.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moving day for Jason and Sharon

About a month ago Jason and Sharon came to me and asked if they could live here after their current lease ended. They needed to save money in order to put down a deposit and rent on a new place. I thought about it and decided it would be better if I just helped them get into a new apartment. They went forward and found a cute one bedroom apartment near Cole and Fairview.
Moving day was approaching and they needed to rent a truck. They came over and booked the truck on my computer with my credit card. As they rented the truck we discussed when they would pick it up, where it was located and what time I would be available. They had the day off, but I had to work. I told them I wouldn't be ready until 12 noon - maybe 11:30 if I hurried. I asked them if they wanted me to call them when I had almost finished vacuuming the house. Jason said he would just be there waiting for me. I shook my head and said OK... I'll be there as soon as I could.

Monday came and I went to work. While I was vacuuming, I had a prompting to go get my cell phone out of the car. However, I didn't listen to that prompting and just kept hurrying to be done. I finished at 12 noon like I thought ..... I loaded the car and checked my cell phone...

18 calls and 3 voice messages .... LOL!! They were totally freaking out (this comes from not acting upon a prompting). I called them back and told them I was on my way.

Of course they didn't listen to me as we discussed the time I would be available AND I didn't have my cell phone on me -- so (of course) it was my fault. Isn't it always the mother fault for everything?
The truck was rented (after getting lung cancer by standing in their shop - eewwwww). I asked if they needed my help to move and Jason assured me they could do it. We then parted ways.

I checked on them later in the day and they had to make a second load - but it was going smoothly.

Then about 8:30 pm after I had returned from cleaning the business I clean .... Brady and I had just sat down to watch G.I. Joe and the telephone rang. It was Jason - a VERY frustrated Jason.

They could not get the drying to go through the doorway to the laundry room. What??

They wanted me to come over. I didn't want to - I just got home from work and wanted to relax. I asked if it could wait until tomorrow. The frustration level was really high after working hard all day moving and they couldn't figure out how to get that darn dryer into the room.

I knew I had to put on the DAD hat and head on over.
The problem was the vent connection on the back of the dryer that was preventing it to go through the door - can you believe it? I tried to move it several ways and it was NOT going to get through the door. We decided the only way it would get through the door is to trim it down about an inch. We needed a hack saw. I didn't want to run all the way home and back again so I headed to some near by stores. It was after 9PM and most were closed like Home Depot... Shopko didn't have one (can you believe it?) There wasn't anything I could do that night and so we left it in the hallway.

The next day Jason was able to trim it and get it through the door - Yeah!

Then the connecting hose was not long enough to work - so they had to go purchase another one. Boy that dryer was a pain!!! But, it is in and now they can laugh about it.

The apartment is cute. I'm glad they are in their new place and it is closer to our home and their work.... and double glad they are not moved in with me *grin..

Moral: I am always wrong
Always act upon a prompting
My children don't listen me when I speak
AND moving isn't very fun....I hope next time it's when they purchase a house and they won't have to do it again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pilgrims or Indians?

One of the things I enjoy is decorating my home for each holiday. Thanksgiving is no exception.

However, the question came to my mind as I was decorating this year .....

Do you prefer "Pilgrims" ?

Or "Indians" in your Thanksgiving decoration?
Me, you ask? I prefer Indians, because I used to be one. I used to be a Pocatello High School Indian. I still hold that Indian Pride within my heart. Therefore, I am partial to finding Indians to adorn my home.
A couple of years ago while shopping with my mother, we ran across this beautiful Indian doll. Of course I fell in love with it, but didn't purchase it. I loved it and it was hard to walk away.

Imagine my surprise for Christmas that year when I opened a present and there was that beautiful Indian maiden. I love her. She sits on my Fireplace hearth during the Thanksgiving season. She is my favorite Thanksgiving decoration. She is 30 inches high - very large and makes quite a statement.
In the window above my Kitchen sink are these beauties.
Or course you will see quite a few Turkeys ......
And Pilgrims around my house this time of year.

But Indians have a special place in my heart! What do you prefer?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Motivational Monday - "Appreciation"

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.
Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight
We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them."

The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have.

Appreciate every single thing you have --especially your friends!

"Life is too short and friends are too few."


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