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Monday, February 28, 2011

Motivational Monday - "If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear"

It is hard to understand why or how so many good and wonderful people can discount what the prophets have said, again, and again, and again, and again concerning what will suddenly happen to the world in the future.

President Benson said:
“The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.”

It is important to note that the people who didn’t get on the ark, suffered and died by the very calamity that for 300 years had been prophesied would come upon them. People, including members of the Church, have always had a habit of believing that things won’t change drastically, or that terrible things could happen to them. It is a part of human nature.

Edited from: If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear Gordon B. Hinckley Ensign, Nov 2005, 60

I do not hesitate to say that this old world is no stranger to calamities and catastrophes. Those of us who read and believe the scriptures are aware of the warnings of prophets concerning catastrophes that have come to pass and are yet to come to pass.

There was the great Flood, when waters covered the earth and when, as Peter says, only “eight souls were saved” (1 Pet. 3:20).

If anyone has any doubt concerning the terrible things that can and will afflict mankind, let him read the 24th chapter of Matthew. Among other things the Lord says:

“Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. …
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
“All these are the beginning of sorrows. …
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! …
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:6–8, 19, 21–22).

In the Book of Mormon we read of unimaginable destruction in the Western Hemisphere at the time of the Savior’s death in Jerusalem. Again I quote:

“And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.
“And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
“And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.
“And the city of Zarahemla did take fire.
“And the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned.
“And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain. …
“… The whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth;
“And the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.
“And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate” (3 Ne. 8:5–10, 12–14).

What a terrible catastrophe that must have been.

The plague or Black Death of the fourteenth century took millions of lives. Other pandemic diseases, such as smallpox, have brought untold suffering and death through the centuries.
In the year a.d. 79 the great city of Pompeii was destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
Chicago was ravaged by a terrible fire. Tidal waves have swamped areas of Hawaii. The San Francisco earthquake in 1906 ruined the city and took some 3,000 lives. The hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, in 1900 killed 8,000. And more recently, as you know, has been the terrible tsunami of Southeast Asia, where thousands of lives were lost and where relief efforts are still needed.

How portentous are the words of revelation found in the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants concerning the calamities that should befall after the testimonies of the elders. The Lord says:
“For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
“And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
“And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people” (D&C 88:89–91).

How interesting are descriptions of the tsunami and the recent hurricanes in terms of the language of this revelation, which says, “The voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.”
Man’s inhumanity to man expressed in past and present conflict has and continues to bring unspeakable suffering. In the Darfur region of Sudan, tens of thousands have been killed and well over a million have been left homeless.

What we have experienced in the past was all foretold, and the end is not yet. Just as there have been calamities in the past, we expect more in the future. What do we do?

Someone has said it was not raining when Noah built the ark. But he built it, and the rains came.
The Lord has said, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).

The primary preparation is also set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein it says, “Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come” (D&C 87:8).

We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. This is a first priority. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments. We in this Church have evidence enough of the penalties of disobedience in the examples of both the Jaredite and the Nephite nations. Each went from glory to utter destruction because of wickedness.

We know, of course, that the rain falls on the just as well as the unjust (see Matt. 5:45). But even though the just die they are not lost, but are saved through the Atonement of the Redeemer. Paul wrote to the Romans, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord” (Rom. 14:8).

We can heed warnings. We have been told that many had been given concerning the vulnerability of New Orleans. We are told by seismologists that the Salt Lake Valley is a potential earthquake zone. This is the primary reason that we are extensively renovating the Tabernacle on Temple Square. This historic and remarkable building must be made to withstand the shaking of the earth.

We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing” (D&C 109:8).

Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come.

We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm. We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day.

Now what I have said should not occasion a run on the grocery store or anything of that kind. I am saying nothing that has not been said for a very long time.

Let us never lose sight of the dream of Pharaoh concerning the fat cattle and the lean, the full ears of corn, and the blasted ears; the meaning of which was interpreted by Joseph to indicate years of plenty and years of scarcity (see Gen. 41:1–36).

I have faith, my dear brethren, that the Lord will bless us, and watch over us, and assist us if we walk in obedience to His light, His gospel, and His commandments. He is our Father and our God, and we are His children, and we must be in every way deserving of His love and concern. That we may do so is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

It has been 6 years since this talk from President Hinckley - What have you done  in the past 6 years to prepare? Are you prepared? Start today.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Primary 3 Lesson 9

Primary 3 Manual
Lesson 9

Priesthood Blessings and Ordinances

Journal Page

I am lazy and I don't make paper windmills for this lesson IF I can find them to purchase. I found some and gave each child their own windmill. 

I colored the handout and copied it colored. Then I cut them out for each child. This way it was ready to use for the questions answer game at the end of the lesson. 

 These pictures for another coloring sheet are from the Nursery Manual "Behold your Little Ones". The first 3 pictures I used are from the Lesson 28 "Heavenly Father Blesses Me through the Priesthood. I needed one more picture that I took from Lesson 26 "I can be Baptized and Confirmed. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Birthday Wishes

I feel loved! That is how my birthday left me feeling. I love my family and friends! The wonderful messages, cards and phone calls brightened my day. I tried to keep it quiet, but people actually remembered!

Brady made me a card. Homemade cards are my favorite!
 He made me feel happy, loved, valued, cherished - wow! Such a great card! I was surprised that he took the time to make me a card. That he actually thought about it is wonderful!
 When I came home from work, this fun gift was tied to my door knob from Maralee. Maralee is always creative and thoughtful. I served in a Primary Presidency with Maralee and just love her!
 I also received a telephone call from Stephanie, a great friend from my ward. She sang me the cutest song. It was really kind of her to remember my birthday... Still smiling about the cute song she sang to me!

Jason and Sharon brought me a cake and doughnuts. I told them I didn't want to do anything special. I was tired. Thursday is my biggest cleaning day and I was exhausted. I think more exhausted because I really didn't have a weekend for downtime last weekend and that really kills me... I need a day off. I was so tired that at 8:30 pm I told Brady we needed to pray so that I could go to bed. I was tired. 
 It was wonderful to see Jason and Sharon, and I felt bad that I was such a dud and tired. 
 Ella, a girl from my Primary class sent me this beautiful birthday card in the mail. How thoughtful!
Look at all those beautiful pictures se drew. She also brought me a heart full of chocolates on Sunday for Valentines day. What a sweet girl (and parents). It makes my heart melt!
 One of my customer's remembered my birthday too! It happened that I cleaned their house on my birthday. There was lots of special wishes from them.
Mary Kay and Steve and their children Cody and Kelsey, plus Fran and Don gave me a card and $25 gift certificate for the Cheese Factory..  Mary Kay also gave me a box of Chocolates last week for Valentines day. She is always giving me extra gifts. They are good to me!

A couple of years ago they built on to their house to let Steve's parent live there. Their original house is big, and they built on another house (1200 square feet or so) for Fran and Don. Cleaning their house is like cleaning 2 houses - it's a big job - but a good job too. 
Thanks for all the great phone calls from my Mom, Sister Chris, Brother Richard and Rhonda. Email messages from my sister Cindy, niece Tracy and Zoey Michelle and Rhonda too. 

Lots of love spread around. Plus, blogging messages. I have to put what Ann Marie wrote me in the comment section - I have to add it to a post so that it will print in my book (I don't print comments). Here is what Ann Marie wrote me - she is soooo nice! 

Today I am grateful that your blog is open.. since your not on FB anymore.. and I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to wish you a HAPPY Birthday!!!

Since I can only comment to you here.. in the open.. I guess everyone is going to get to read my novel comment! lol!!

So... Happy Birthday to you.. Happy Birthday to you.. Happy Birthday dear Sondra..... Happy Birthday to you!!!!

For your birthday... I'm going to list a few reasons why I love and adore you!

1- I love your dedication to your family.
You put so much love and effort into everything you do for them -- and it shows!
I love that you show unconditional love to them.. even if they don't make the choices you would wish for. You truly are a wonderful mother.

2- I love your dedication to your calling!
You give it 100% and it shows with your structure.. enthusiasm.. and the fact that you make time for the kids with parties and things that are not required of you. Any child is lucky that is taught by you!

3- I love how much you serve. Even though you get paid to clean.. I know many women would say that you go above and beyond to help them... just because you are so kind and generous.
I will always remember that older woman that died a while back -- and when you blogged about her.. I could feel that you gave her MUCH love and charity.
I know you are full of it.

4- I love that you strive to be happy.
You have had a hard life ( like I have ) but you choose to find ways daily.. to bless others and make your family happy. You look for ways to eat healthy, be prepared.. and you are grateful.
I know life isn't always easy for you.. but you still try each day to be positive and happy.. and that is truly admiring!

Something will be in the mail.. but maybe not until next week. Sorry! I am not up to par.. but Organizing and a sick family has taken over me!

I hope you have a fabulous day and weekend!
Love ya! XO

Anther great Birthday. Thanks everyone for making me feel special!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Oreos

Brady and I love these OREO cookies. I quit purchasing the ever shrinking OREO's from the store and we were in withdrawal. I decided to try it out and loved it! Below are two recipes, one with a cake mix and the other from scratch. I have made both of them, but tend to use the cake mix recipe more because it whips up quickly.
I make 1/2 of this batch with the cake mix. It is perfect for brady and me, but if you have more then 2 people in your family - make the full recipe. You'll be glad you did.

2 Devil's food cake mixes
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup Shortening

8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter (or 1/2 stick)
4 cups Powdered Sugar

Combine cake mix, eggs and shortening. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.

I use a "1 teaspoon spoon" of cookie mix per cookie on the cookie sheet. I like them small (you can see the comparison with the real OREO above. The real OREO is darker brown. You can also see my teaspoon by the frosting bag. That is what I use - small uniform cookies. I've also used a bigger scoop, but prefer the small size. 

Bake in 350 degree oven for 9 - 10 minutes. I bake mine for 9 minutes. 

Remove to cooling rake. After cooled, put frosting on one cookie and put another cookie on top. Yum!

10 TBSP butter (1 cube plus 2 TBSP)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup flour

Mix together butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy.
Add in egg, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder and mix until thoroughly mixed.
Next add in flour until blended well.

Form into "tiny balls" and bake on a greased cookie sheet
375 degrees for 9-10 minutes.
Remove from cookie sheet and completely cool on a rack.

Cream Cheese filling
1/4 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 package)
1 to 2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Cream together for one minutes.

After cookies are cooled spread cream cheese filling on the bottom side of one of the wafers and then place another wafer similar in size on top to make a sandwich cookie. Squish together and store in an airtight container. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review: Shadows of Brierley by Anita Stansfield

With a few of his remaining coins, Ian purchases a copy of the book from which he hears a "preacher" quoting, an act that somehow gives this troubled prodigal the courage to leave the dark alleyways London and begin the long journey home-home to his beloved Brierley and to the woman whose heart he hopes to win.

 Little does he realize the impact this book will have on him and his family as they struggle with the grim consequences of unrestrained compulsions and passions, and the seemingly insurmountable challenges of mental illness. 

As the threads that hold the tapestry of the MacBrier family together threaten to unravel, Ian realizes that . . . The Book of Mormon had been destined to come into his hands, and he was destined to follow where it led him. In The Wanderer, set in the lush highlands of nineteenth century Scotland

I am an avid Anita Stansfield reader. This is her new book and saga. It was a pretty good beginning to the series. The mental illness is a hard part of the story and I wonder how they will handle it going forward. There was quite a bit of tragedy in the book, but good too.

I can't wait until the next book comes out, their conversion to the gospel and travel to America (or the other way around). It is a making of a great saga. 

Thumbs up - but it might be because I am an Anita Stansfield fan. 

***Update: I actually read the next book to this series and hate it. I wouldn't start this series unless you like tragedy and no connection to the characters. I feel like Anita Stansfield has lost her story telling ability. I don't have the same involvement in the story as I used to. I don't think I'm an Anita Stansfield fan anymore in her new books. It's just not the same as the way she used to write when you felt part of the characters and story line. Plus, I'm not much into reading about tragedies with no happily ever after. Hated the series and didn't even start to read book 3. Don't read ***

Book Reviews from Author Lori Wick

My sister Christine gave me a couple of christian books to read. It was unusual to read non-LDS books, but I did enjoy them. 

The biggest thing from the two books below was the understanding that the characters are born in sin - "Adam and Eve's sin". They were humble and undeserving of Heavenly Father's love because of the sin. That was a hard concept for me, because I know that Adam and Eve's sin was taken taken care of by Jesus Christ during the Atonement. I am not born with their sin. I believe I am a divine Child of God and He loves me. I also believe that I am responsible for my own sins. I am not perfect, but can be forgiven when I repent. 

I loved that they were righteous women, who loved to serve God. They always had a prayer in their hearts and their religion guided their life. I prefer LDS/Christian romance novels, because they have high standards. It was enjoyable to read a novel in a different religion perspective on life. 
Here is a quick overview of the book "Bamboo and Lace"

 Shy, lovely Lily Walsh leaves her rural homeland, the tiny Asian country of Kashien, to visit her brother Jeff in Hawaii. Everything is new and exciting to Lily: grocery stores that overflow with food, chewing gum, coffee makers, and the luxury of hot showers. Most thrilling of all is Jeff's best friend, the handsome Hawaiian Gabriel Kapaia, who teaches her how to play tennis and golf, and encourages her to become more assertive. Despite her conservative father's disapproval, Lily falls in love with Gabe and must choose between pleasing a parent and following the tug of her heart.

This book was a hard read for me. In this book Lily came from a foreign country and is regarded as a low human being. She was not allowed to look up with her eye's or look into a man's face. I would hate to be taught that way. Thank goodness I am American and am equal to a man. The book was slow. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it.  

An overview of this book:

After the tragic death of his wife, Alec Riley struggles to put his life back together. He and his three children are lost in their grief...until Sophie walks unexpectedly into their lives. Having left her native Czechoslovakia, Sophie has discovered the land which seemed so bright with promise is far from her dream. A highly educated woman, Sophie now finds herself keeping house for Alec and his family
How can Sophie find peace in her new job? Will God use her gentle spirit to help heal Alec’s broken heart?

I really did enjoy this book. Also a woman who came from a foreign country. She was very smart and spoke many different languages being a translator in Czechoslovakia. However, English was not one of her strong languages and people in America treated her like she was dumb because of her broken english. It made me think, if I treated  people with foreign accents like they were dumb because they can't speak english well. 

Sophie is a strong, loving, funny and God fearing woman. She had courage to move to America on her own without knowing anyone. She healed Alec's family and Alec's heart. I laughed out loud several times and cried too. It was a great story.

The religious references from the author's point of view were difficult for me with my knowledge of the gospel. But, I loved the morality and Christian theme. I loved that they were great missionaries and tried to spread the "word" to all who would listen. I do prefer LDS romantic novels - but these were a good read too. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Primary 3 Lesson 8

Primary 3 
Lesson 8
The Church of Jesus Christ Has Prophets to Teach Us

Journal Page
 Handout from the manual (currently broken on you can click on the picture below to enlarge, save it and paste it into Word, Paint or anything you are comfortable with. Then print. 
**Don't forget to assign a male member to come in and portray King Benjamin at the beginning of the lesson.  I invited Brother Price to be King Benjamin in our class:
 He brought in a rake to explain how he worked with his own hands. 
His son Benjamin is in my class. He was named after King Benjamin, so of course, I had to ask his father to come in and talk about why he loved King Benjamin. 

 I love this Prophets wheel even though it only goes to President Gordon B Hinckley. It's a great way for them to learn who the other Prophets were all the way back to Joseph Smith. 

 I cut it out and give it to the children put together like this:

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day
  We started off the weekend with pink heart pancakes. Yummy Tradition!
Then I ran Brady to play practice bright and early Saturday morning.

I came home and whipped up a batch of cupcakes for my Primary Class party.
Then I set up my living room for the party. 
 I did not take ONE pictures during my Primary party. I can't even believe I did that! Only 6 kids came out of 13. BUT, we had a ton of fun. Pizza for lunch and some crafts. Here are the crafts we did.
 Lollipop butterfly, monkey book marker, I love you sign to color, an airplane to color and fold. I also gave them a pencil and bubbles. It was a fun party! I love my Primary children! Friday evening I put together all the kits for the party - I add glue dots for easy assembly. The airplane, butterfly and monkey kits came from Oriental trading. The heart sign came from Michael's. 

After the party I cleaned up the house and put everything back into order. 

THEN I had to start working on Brady's seminary devotional. I started making sugar cookies. I had to make 2 batches because Brady's seminary class is huge and we needed 36 cookies and I can only get 30 cookies out of a batch. The extra is for our family and friends. 

Saturday I cooked the cookies, put together the cupid poop, and laminated and cut out the book markers.

I finally figured out where to purchase bulk red hots! At Winco in the bulk section. They are located by the chocolate chips and baking supplies - NOT by the candy. I bought little zip lock bags at Zurchers and attached the cupid poem. They turned out cute. 
I've been battling a cold this past week that has put me to my knees. I seldom get sick and it was terrible. Not to mention running at full speed ahead to get all the Valentine things ready. I ended up decorating the sugar cookies Sunday morning before our 1PM church. I'm glad I did this because we had the Baptismal Preview Sunday evening. 

Saturday I also finished preparing my Primary lesson and Baptismal Preview talk. By the time Sunday evening came around, I was exhausted and kept tripping over my thoughts and words during my talk. I'm sure it was fine - but not my best moment. I was happy that 10 children came to the preview (out of 13). It was a fun evening for the children. 

After the Baptismal preview, I put the ribbons on the book markers for the devotional. As you can tell, it's been busy weekend. 

Now it's Valentines day! I took Brady to school so he could drop off the Valentine goodies to the Seminary building. I will stop by Jason and Sharon's house to drop by some love this afternoon. 

It's been a busy and LOVELY Valentine weekend.

I hope some love is spread around you today! Enjoy the day!


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