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Friday, July 29, 2011

Sun Oven Bread

When cooking with a sun oven, you will need black pans - the thinner the better. I've seen where people have spray painted their pans or glass canning jars. Very clever. I opted to purchase several Granite Ware pots. 

This $25 sun oven comes with 2 large oven bags. I have re-used them several times. You can also use oven bags - which I re-use. 

In the instructions, they say to put rocks or sticks under the pot (in the bag) to let the air flow underneath the pot. I thought about what I could use that wouldn't melt, and I thought about using metal sockets would be a great alternative then rocks or sticks *grin. Single woman with tools - what else am I going to do with them?  Just kidding - but they work great and when I am through with them I can put them away nicely in the case. I won't have to store rocks or try to save some I've found. (I know I am weird). 

I tried baking bread in a large roasting pan 2 times. The first time I didn't know how long it would take, so I kept checking it and checking it. When I opened it later in the day, the center had collapsed. I was disappointed, but chalked it off to how many times I disturbed the bread. 

I decided to try it one more time and not disturb it at all. I knew it would take at least 5 hours to cook in the sun. I refrained from checking it until I thought it would be done. 

When I opened the pan, this is what I saw:
The center had sunk again. Very sad. It browned and cooked, but sunk.

In speaking with one of my friends, she suggested not to let it rise at all. She said that the sun oven probably didn't get hot enough to kill the yeast and it kept rising. 

At this point, I know I can cook bread in the sun oven in an emergency. But, I don't think I will try it again until I have an emergency. I thought I would post my experience in trying to bake bread in my $25 sun oven in Idaho. 

I hope this helps you as I try to do different experiments with it. It is a learning process and so far I really love cooking with it. I love practicing so that when an emergency arises, I will be prepared and be able to continue to cook for my family without added stress. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Primary 3 Lesson 29

Primary 3
Lesson 29
Having Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

Journal Page


A couple of year ago my team teacher Stacie made the children "Faith" rocks for a handout. I loved it and wanted to share what she did. 

I found flat clear rocks at Craft Warehouse for $2.00. I had a sheet of Vellum and Mod Podge.
I typed up the words to print off on the vellum sheet:
Then I Mod Podged the words onto the rocks. I haven't completed them all, but thought I would share this idea in case you'd like to do it too. I'll post another picture when I have them all done. 
A great comment with another idea: 
 I got the rocks and Mod Podge only to realize I didn't have the vellum. So, I used a Sharpie, wrote in reverse and Mod Podged over it. (Yes, I could get the Sharpie off by rubbing it)
I'm going to put my stones in a bag with a finger flashlight. I can't wait for Primary! 

Sondra says: I LOVE the idea with the finger flashlight in the sack with the "Faith" rocks as I hand them out to each child to take home. I am going to use this idea too!
A friend of mine, Cherie is a Primary Teacher for the 4 year olds. She gave them homework to find out the name of the brother of Jared. She told them she would bring a treat next week for any child who could tell her the name of the Brother of Jared. 

I didn't know the Brother of Jared had a name, so I googled it. 
His name is:
Mahonri Moriancumer

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jason's 27th Birthday

My dear sweet baby boy, Jason had his 27th birthday Monday. I thought I would throw in a picture of his 1st Birthday. (Way back Wednesday)
Where does the time go? It goes by quickly. I loved being a mother. Jason was a great son and we sure had a lot of fun together ... just the 2 of us. Don't you love the cake I made? 

I arranged my work schedule to have Monday night off to celebrate Jason's 27th birthday with him. 
 He requested art supplies for his birthday. I did my best to get him a good range of supplies. 
 It's always a wonderful day when we can spend it together. He wanted to go to dinner at a Chinese place in downtown Boise. It was delicious! I need to get the name of the restaurant from Jason so that I can put it on my blog. I will definitely go there again - Yum!
 Silly mustache boy - He's a crack up. 
Jason posted this picture of the art supplies I gave him on facebook. I can't wait to see all the wonderful things he creates now that he is stocked up on supplies again. 

It was a wonderful evening and birthday for my oldest son!

Happy Birthday Jason! I love you!
We took a couple of pictures of Jason and Sharon for a possible Wedding invitation photo. This one was a good one, but not as crisp as we would have liked it. We are going to try and take more pictures later this week. Hopefully we can get a good one and get the wedding invitation made up and sent out. I can't believe it's almost August ... time is ticking by quickly. Wedding date is September 18th. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

4th Day of Pioneer Trek Journal by Brady

Other links to this Pioneer Trek Journal here:
Leaving for Pioneer Trek
Pioneer Story of our Heritage, Peter Maughan
Returning from Pioneer Trek
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

And below is Day 4 Journal, enjoy!

Saturday, July 16, 2011
I was very proud of myself during breakfast this morning. This is the first time I have ever finished a whole package of oatmeal. I think what helped me was that I piled on the fruit and the texture wasn't as bad because it was freshly mixed with water and not sitting in a big warm pot and getting extra sticky and gooey. 

We took down camp and went in the front of the wagon train. We had our pictures taken in front of our handcart as a family. Someone, I think Lisa said something like, "Why couldn't we get our pictures taken at the beginning of the trek when we were all clean? Why are they taking it at the end when were all dirty and ugly?" I liked it, for it was a very true question.
We had about 3 miles left in our journey and we stopped at the last mile or so and had a spiritual lesson about this woman who came across the plains barefoot. When she was at Salt Lake, she saved up her pennies for eight years in order to get a pair of shoes. Well some of the other saints were coming in very late in the season, during the winter. They really needed supplies to help aid the saints coming in if they were to make it. The woman in the story gave her new shoes to help the needy pioneer Saints coming into Salt Lake City. 

When the handcarts came in, the people in the city would come out to welcome the Saints. Everyone except her were looking at the faces of the Saints. She was looking at their feet. When she saw her shoes, she recognized the owner, who was an old friend from the country from which the woman came from. 

We were then asked if we wanted to take off our shoes and do the last mile barefoot. 
Going barefoot in silence was the most spiritual part of the whole trek for me. The pioneers averaged probably 14 - 16 miles a day. On our hardest day we did about 10 miles. Now that I feel the pain in bare feet for 1 mile, I realize how strong the testimonies of the pioneers would have been to start, carry on, and strive to join the Saints in Salt Lake. 

You cannot accomplish this thing merely on a hunch that the church was true, you would have to have knowledge of the truth. I have yet to hear of a stronger test of faith in current day religions then what the pioneers faced.

People on the trail died for this church, and you cannot do that because a prophet asked you to ... unless you KNOW it is true.

Now the trek is over and after we welcomed the Martin Company, we took off to return back to all these great and wonderful things we have today ....  like toilets, showers, ice, electronics, cars and all of the other things our current day society has. 


Update: I was asked for the story our stake gave about the girl who saved her pennies for a pair of shoes. Here is the story if you are interested:

The story you are looking for lists the following footnote: Gerald N. Lund, Selected Writings of Gerald n Lund: Gospel Scholars Series, 319-321. Here is the story as told to the youth of our stake:

One of my favorite stories is about a woman named Ellen Breakell Neibaur. She was in English girl. She married a German, Alexander Neibaur, who had come to England to study dentistry. They were in Preston, England, when Heber C. Kimball went on his first English mission. Ellen and Alexander were converted. Eventually they came to America and settled in Nauvoo. When it came time to leave on the westward journey, the Neibaurs were extremely poor. It took all of their money to buy a team and wagon and enough supplies to get them through. She didn't even have enough money to buy a pair of shoes, so she wrapped her feet in rags and came all the way across the plains barefoot. After they reached Salt Lake, traveling in the second company with Brigham Young in 1848, her husband became a teacher. She took in laundry. For the next eight years, any time she could save a penny or two, she put it aside. After eight long years, she finally had reached the point where she could buy a pair of commercially made shoes from a mail order house. She ordered a pair of high-top patent leather button shoes. They arrived sometime in September 1856.

Just a few days later, on October 4, a company led by Franklin D. Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve rode into Salt Lake with some very disturbing news. They said, "President Young, we have two more handcart companies stranded out on the plains, with over a thousand people." Brigham young was stunned; three companies had already come in safely, and he assumed that was it for the season. He had no idea there were more, so he had called all the supply wagons back to Salt Lake. The news reached him on Saturday afternoon, October 4. In General Conference on the next day, October 5, Brigham Young stood up and said, "I will now give this people the subject and the text for the elders who may speak to-day and during the conference. It is this. On the 5th day of October, 1856, many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with handcarts, and probably many are now seven hundred miles from this place, and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them. The text will be, "to get them here." President Young then called for teams, wagons, food, and clothing to help those who were stranded. And Ellen Neibaur, after eight years of waiting, had not lost sight of what the covenant was and what mattered. She took that brand-new pair of shoes down to the wagon team and gave them to the rescue effort. It was customary, when a new company came into the Valley, for all the Saints to go out and line the streets and greet them. When this particular company came in, everyone went out to greet them, because this was the first of the two besieged handcart companies to be rescued. Ellen Neibaur went out. Normally the Saints watched the faces of the people coming in to see who they were. What do you think Ellen Neibaur was watching that day? She wasn't looking at faces. She was looking at feet. She wanted to know who had gotten her shoes.

Now, here comes the beautiful end to this true story, a great example of faith and covenant, and an example of the power that follows. When Ellen Neibaur saw her shoes, she looked up and, to her absolute amazement, wearing them was an old friend from Preston England, who had joined the Church since Ellen had left England! Ellen's sacrifice had helped to save her friend's life and had helped her come to the Valley safely. That is the lesson we can learn from this wonderful, wonderful people. Gerald N. Lund, Selected Writings of Gerald N. Lund: Gospel Scholars Series, 319-321.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

3rd Day of Pioneer Trek Journal by Brady

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today's sleeping conditions were bad compared to last nights. Last time our camp had tall grass which acted like a cushion. Last night was like sleeping on a rock. I could only sleep on my back. When I turned to sleep on my side, the ground would jab into my pelvis and my ribs. Braden would roll in his sleep, taking up some of my space and when trying to gently push (kick) him back failed, I sucked it up and attempted to lay on my side. To add to that, I had to pee about an hour before I went to bed, but with people still up, I was too lazy to walk all the way to where the port-a-potties were. 
Then my allergies were still bad, even though I took Benadryl. My right nostril was clogged, with absolutely no hope of even clearing with a tissue. So the whole night I was sleeping with my mouth open which made it really dry. So I am sleeping on a hard ground, Braden is ramming into me, my nose is clogged and my mouth is dry and I have to go pee. 

Finally I decided to get up and leave the tent to go get some water and pee. When I sat up, my nose cleared up, but when I came back, it switched from right to left nostril, but I was able to breath out of my nose. After I was able to go back to sleep after leaving, the night then went pretty okay.
For breakfast, we had breakfast burritos, with some rubbery eggs, really crispy bacon, cheese (which was the only normal thing) and a small tortilla which popped when I folded it. I already don't enjoy breakfast burritos as it is, so breakfast was a little light. 

During one of the worst hills ever on our trek. They decided to have the "Priesthood Pull". That was a nightmare. So we had a spiritual gathering with just the Priesthood and then we embarked on our painful journey. There were supposed to be spectators that would be "angels" and help those carts that were struggling. Well, I for one was struggling. I was panting as hard as my body would let me, so I was probably hyperventilating a tad. It was as intense as sprinting the last 400 meters or so of a mile or a cross country race. 
We were one of the carts who got support, which I think more got support from the "angels" then didn't. Then we came to where the women were. The first person I noticed was my Ma. When we approached her, she joined to help push. When we passed other women in our family they came to help push as well. I was so relieved, but still panting like crazy. 
When we were able to stop, sister Blacker gave me a hug. Then Ma came and did the same. After the embrace, she pulled out a piece of candy, a lifesaver, which is exactly what it was. It was the best thing that has enter my mouth all week. I think, because of the exhaustion, it tasted extra good. When we got to a snack break, shortly after, all of my sisters came and gave me a hug, followed by comments of how bad they felt for us. According to them, they were slightly exhausted just walking up the hill. 

For some reason, due to my rapid breathing, my lungs decided it was time to move mucus out of my lungs and for the next 10  minutes or so, I was coughing bunches. Lisa started to command us (especially me) to take a break. She didn't really want me pushing for a while and flipped a little when I was slightly pushing the back of the handcart shortly afterwards. I assured her I was fine and continued pushing the back. 

It is more of a recovery for me anyway. Pulling is the thing that really sucks. Besides, especially me being the older brother, it feels wrong not to be helping in anyway and just walking beside the handcart. 
Lunch was taco salad, and the highlight was Lisa building a tower of rocks. We also had a spiritual lesson about a man who helped provide shoes and clothing to the Saints and had some fruit leather. 


Then shortly we arrived at our campsite and (after using the bathroom) started to set up the tents. I also really increased relations with Lisa, and I am her new favorite brother, and she my sister. With the games Ma has us playing like Scum Frog, we have really become a true family up here. 

Next came the part I was personally looking forward too: THE DANCING. 
We started out with "Oh, Johnny" which was a circle dance. Then we did the "Virginia Rail" which is where you and a partner line up in front of each other making a guy line and a girl line. Then step in and out doing things with your partner, then the lead couple do something special. The last was what I think I'm pronouncing right, "Cotton Eye Joe:", which is really fast, makes me loose my breath and is played usually at all the stake dances (which I should start attending now)
After that, we gathered with our companies to talk about the purpose of Trek and our theme, "Go and bring them in", which is to rescue the pioneers who were in trouble. We wrote a letter to ourselves which should be mailed to us in a few months. Tonight is the last night of Trek. I really enjoy the camping out and how close we have become as a family (personally the exhausting pulling which caused me to sweat until my shirt was ruined, I could live without) and tomorrow is supposed to be a really short 2 miles or so - is what I over heard. 


Hopefully I make an entry tomorrow, but If I don't, then I would just like to say that I truly enjoyed this trekking experience, and I would do it again if I had the choice. It is a wonderful experience, and everyone can enjoy it equally if they let it. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

2nd Day of Pioneer Trek Journal by Brady

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I had a weird dream last night apparently. I met up with Edwardo to tell him about it, his comment was something like "No more beef stew for you before you go to bed". 

We had pancakes, sausage and apple sauce for breakfast along with some instant mix orange juice tang. Of course pancakes is an understatement, due to the fact that everyday I've been home this summer, I have made myself pancakes. Cooking them almost perfectly and using sugar, vanilla and milk. These were just mixed with warm water and were burnt and a little raw. Pa was cooking . . . ., but even then, I blame the stove. 
We set out and today was a lot harder than the first day. I looked at my shirt when I took it off for bed. It is completely covered in sweat and dirt. The color has faded from my sweat, literally, it is pretty sad. 
It has white around the edges of the sweat marks making it look like it is tooth paste drool, all over my back and my tummy area. I'm so glad I get to change my shirt tomorrow. Seriously, I don't think it is washing out, we might have to burn it when I get home. 

At lunch, I had worked so hard that I have actually experience true hunger. Being at home 24/7 is something I have not had in a while. We had tacos/burritos for lunch, and smelling the meat cooking gave me goose bumps.

Also when we stopped, I was a little worried because my arm started to cramp up, but I massaged it out and drank more water. I also helped set up our shelter today, and used a scout knot the second time today. I was proud of myself . *Grin!
Today was also the last day of cold water. All the ice has officially melted after leaving lunch. 

We also had the women's pull today. They said that a few of us were called on missions and selected like one person (male) from each family. Ours was Adam. Then they said that usually the men died while on the trail then women for multiple reasons. Then I guess the rest of us just temporarily died. . . . . Which was weird, one of us getting called on a mission and then five of us die ....
Adam was the lucky one in my opinion. The hill wasn't that bad in my opinion, and we have 7 girls including Ma. They were fine, thank goodness. One of the wagons, a girl or two were crying. 

We played lots of games, most of which were dumb, all word games. My favorite was Wallie's World. You listed off things you could bring and couldn't bring to Wallie's World, and when you packed enough stuff (figured it out) you could get in. For obvious reasons, I can't tell you the secret. 
When we got to camp, the people in charge forced us to play pioneer games .... err ..... I mean ..... we wanted to play games. Not like we were exhausted or anything. 
I had fun though and might have gotten a tad hyper. At the end they had an announcement for missing items that were found. I think there was a pair of glasses and a tin cup with a green carabiner. I looked at my empty belt loop and sheepishly walked up to redeem my cup in front of of the whole stake. Then when I turned around to see my family I just bursted out laughing.

(Brady told me he took it off to play the "stick pull" game. It was in the way and then he had forgotten it.)
We also had "port-a-potty" duty, in which our family had to take a Lysol Sanitation wipe and clean the bathrooms and change the trash. It was grody smelling, but I got over it. 

We then had family home evening and then went off to bed.

Dinner was chicken stir fry.

Hopefully I am not totally fatigued tomorrow (when Harry Potter comes out) ... and I'm still praying that I won't break out. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

1st Day of Pioneer Trek Journal by Brady

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The first thing in the morning, I was sure to eat as much as I could and left to the church building feeling a little bloated. (Up at 3:30 am to make pancakes for Brady and he also ate a yogurt).
When we were organized, I found myself on the bus number 6 with my family and I think 2 others. I wasn't sure where to sit, so I followed my older sister Sierra. She found an empty row and I asked if I could sit next to her.

Shortly after we met, a kid with ADHD was sitting in front of us AND because it was 4:00 AM'ish .... the kid had not taken the pill and was high wound and crazier then I had seen them. (edited out the kids name and detail). Sierra was just wanting to "kill" the kid the whole morning. However, things settled and I was able to get a few more hours of sleep.

Every hour the "kid" would wake me up with their impulsive behavior, and I would try to prod them off all groggy and try to get more sleep. After the rest stop, I think the kids pill was taking affect. And though the kid still wasn't the most pleasant of company, Sierra and I were able to carry out some conversations (since the kid wasn't being as compulsive and hyper.

When we got off the bus, the first thing I needed to do was re-learn everyones names again. I had only met them once before a while ago and could barely remember any of them. So we have:

*Sister and Brother Shelton as my Ma and Pa

*Sister and Bishop Blacker as adult tag-a-longs. They were there for support or something. I don't remember seeing them on the actual trail though).

*Cooper - is the jock brother I did not think I would get along with. However, he is more social then I thought and does a good job with helping along the way. I think just because of his social aspect he is the one I like the most so far, even if he can't handle some of the singing that we randomly do sometimes.

*Braden is the one who's name I got the quickest because it sounds like mine and I had not met him yet. He reminds me of myself when I was 12 on my first trek, (Half a man, but you can sure feel him).

*Adam makes me smile when I see him. He is so small. I think he is my youngest brother and has a twin brother. The things that came out of his mouth just make me smile.

*Thomas, he is the most quiet one, who looks a lot like Braden when they both wear glasses. I haven't really paid much attention to him, maybe I should find ways to involve him more.
*Lisa, she reminds me of my cousin Autumn, because of her personality mainly. One of the first things She asked me was, "If I like Winnie the Pooh". I told her, "Not really". And then she sarcastically added that she didn't know if we could be friends. She warmed up to me though.   ^_^

*Sierra is my oldest sister. She seems to know a lot of people from my ward. She is a little deaf, so she talks kind of loud, and she doesn't care a hoot what most people think about her. That could be why I like her, someone here to enjoy life instead of being reserved.
*Ryelee is (awkward moment) probably my best looking sister. Can't remember that much about her but that when we were both pushing in the back of the hand cart, the wind was blowing her skirt into my legs - almost tripping me up here and there.
*Sage is my youngest sister. She is more of a "crazy one" according to Sierra. She can't see to stop stepping in cow pies though. I think she mainly carries the baby (rice baby names Sarah)
*Rachel, I decided wears the halo. I don't know if it's because she is so calm all the time, but she has a different vibe that just emanates tenderness. Apparently, I don't know her from like school or something. I could have sworn I did, but she thinks it could just be from the dance instruction pioneer activity from mutual.

Lastly is Mackenzie (I know I butchered that spelling) She is from my ward, but I don't "notice" that much about her. I think she participates well and gets along with the girls, so it should all be good. (Sondra - Mackenzie just turned 12 and left Primary).

After the bus ride was lunch, and I didn't think I was getting fed dinner, so I crammed until it was hurting, which gave me a bit of a tummy ache and made me want to puke from the beginning of the trek. One of the things I didn't want to be this year was to be in the last of the pack on the wagon train. And guess where we start out? In the freaking back of the wagon train. Whatever, I got over it. I think tomorrow we will be in the front due to sub company orientation in the wagon train.
We had some pioneer stories as our spiritual thought. One about a mother who almost couldn't make it, so her daughter (or her sister, can't remember) prayed and they found a pie in the middle of the road which was able to help them carry on to Salt Lake. After the "devos" as I would call it, we were given a small slice of apple pie.


Next we talked about pioneer men who died carrying their company across the frozen river. Afterwards we had to cross a very muddy stream (because we were in the back it was extra muddy). Then shortly after we made camp and HAD DINNER! Beef stew in a can.
Way better then 4 years ago where they gave us a flour biscuit and broth. I suppose I didn't need to cram lunch in after all. Brother and Sister Shelton weren't kidding when they said we wouldn't starve.

I guess I have President Osborne to thank for that. The idea of starving us the first night was discarded thanks to him, my Ma explained to me.

Now it is time to go to sleep.... just hoping and praying that I don't break out (horribly) while I am up here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Returning From The Pioneer Trek

Saturday our Pioneer Trekker's arrived home safe and sound.

Brady looks like such a stud in his hat and sunglasses.
Ma, Brady and Pa at the end of the trek.

Brady had a wonderful time with them. He has been very lucky with the Ma and Pa's he has had for both treks ..... they have been wonderful! I'm thankful for their sacrifice to be with our children and take care of them during the journey. 

The first trek in 2007, the food was terrible. The first night they only gave the kids broth and flour biscuits. Then during the trek they had pioneer food, jerky, mush, etc. It was hard for the kids. Brady declared that he couldn't look at another piece of jerky for 3 years after that trek.

This year, they didn't starve the children. Good meals the whole trek. Thank you President Osborne!! Having real good food helped the children enjoy the trek much more this year then the last time. (more about that later)

Sunday, during sacrament meeting they had the Ma and Pa's and support workers from our ward stand up to recognize them. Then the Bishop had the youth stand up - our STRONG youth, our Valiant Soldiers. It was wonderful to recognize them. It was more then just walking and pulling a handcart, it was also a very spiritual journey. During Sunday school and Young Men's and Women's classes, they discussed the journey and bore testimonies. Brady really could feel the spirit strong throughout the trek.

He also did not get one blister on his feet. However, he said one girl from his family had the record of the group -- 11 blisters. Poor girl. If you go on a trek, don't wear new shoes, and purchase expensive wool socks. Gell-in's in your shoes helps too. Brady did Gell-ins (gell inserts) the first trek, but not this one. All the socks we purchased were expensive $12 a pair wool sock - expensive but worth it (although we had a deal, purchase one and the 2nd at 1/2 price). He will use them for boy scout hikes, camp outs and at this point in his life, he will wear them until they wear out. Good socks AND good shoes that are broken in are the key to no blisters. 
As soon as we were in the car to go home, Brady handed me this. Guess what it is? A journal!!! He wrote it for me, so that I could put it in my blog / journal. This was the best present he could have brought back to me. 

There are 4 days in his journal. I need to work on getting it typed out and added / with a few more pictures. 

The journal also was a hymn book. The first few pages were the words for many songs they sang on the trail and at camp. The songs are:
High on the Mountain Top
We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet
Come, Come, Ye Saints
For the Strength of the Hills
Carry On
How Firm a Foundation
True to the Faith
Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked
Little Pioneer Children
To Be a Pioneer
The Handcart Song
Whenever I think About Pioneers

I'll leave this blog with the words of "To Be a Pioneer"

You don't have to push a handcart,
Leave your family dear,
Or walk a thousand miles or more
To be a pioneer!

You do need to have great courage,
Faith to conquer fear,
And work with might for a cause that's right
To be a Pioneer!

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