Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hospital Visit Again

Our weekend didn't end as well as it started.  Coming from an incredible spiritual high, Jessi spiked a fever as I was preparing dinner for our family and friends.  It definitely made a damper on an otherwise wonderful weekend.  After chatting for a minute with our physician friend, he suggested I call Jessi's GI Doctor since she was still experiencing severe GI problems.  I called, mentioned to him what was going on and he felt we should take her to the Intermountain Medical Center Emergency Room.  We quickly finished our dinner, which was actually breakfast food  (More on that later), Jeff and Luke gave her a blessing and I took her to the hospital.
Sunday night at the largest ER in the state is quite an interesting place to be.  There was lots of down time as we waited our turn for help, but after extensive laboratory work they found every thing to be normal, including the C Diff.  We were so afraid that it had reared its nasty head again, but thank heavens it is still gone.  They pushed a lot of IV fluids to relieve the dehydration which helped her feel immensely better.  Final prognosis is it is probably Post Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome or PI-IBS,  which occasionally develops after a severe bacterial GI infection.  She is still running a fever, though not as high.  We are still waiting for instructions on what happens now.  Unfortunately this can be persistent for a very long time.  Once again we are asking for your prayers in Jessi's behalf.
       She did have an elevated heart rate when we arrived at the hospital, but it slowly came down some as she was rehydrated.
 On Sunday I had decided since it was close to Halloween to have a different Autumn Menu than the typical Sabbath Dinner.  We had Gingerbread Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup and Breakfast Casserole.  We have a neighborhood lunch once a month, and my next door neighbor did a brunch instead of lunch and this is what she served.  Here are the recipes for the pancakes and syrup and I used a basic breakfast casserole recipe that most people already have.


1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 salt
1 egg
1 1/4 C milk
1/4 C molasses
3 TBL cooking oil

Stir all dry ingredients together.  Mix egg and milk until combined.  Beat in molasses ad oil.  Stir dry ingredients into liquid just until blended but slightly lumpy.  Cook on griddle.  Must serve with buttermilk syrup!!


1 tsp baking soda
1 C butter
2 C buttermilk
2 C sugar
1/2 C corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients (except vanilla) in a big POT ( biggest you've got).  Bring to a boil stirring more than occasionally, but less than constantly.  Continue to stir and boil at least 7 min until a golden tan color.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Extra syrup is also very delicious over vanilla ice cream.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Awesome Weekend

Amy, Jessi and I spent Friday evening and all day Saturday at the Salt Lake City TIME OUT FOR WOMEN.  Wow!  It seems to get better every year that I attend.  Each speaker was incredible and seemed to have a message tailored just for me.
I was so impressed that cute 18 year old Jessi would come with us and enjoy it!!  She has a deep inner spiritual soul for one so young.
 It is always a challenge for Amy to get babysitters for her children for the two days, so I'm so thankful for her diligence and desire to be there also.
One of the presenters explained why I always feel so driven to attend these kind of events and to have as many of my family with me.  He spoke of how a marinade always seems to make any meat taste better.  It is because it becomes enveloped in the flavors of the marinade.  It has permeated every fiber of the meat making it more tender and flavorful.  This idea was then related to our personal lives and that regardless of our original intention we will eventually become what we surround ourselves with.  Whatever we choose to marinate ourselves in is what we will become.  So every time that we immerse ourselves in wholesome, spiritual and uplifting experiences we obviously become more wholesome, spiritual and uplifted.  In today's world I believe that we need every drop of goodness to permeate our souls to keep us strong against the adversary.

Saturday evening after the TOFW conference we had the adult session of our Stake Conference which is always my favorite.  It was a great conclusion to my day.
Sunday was our family session of Stake Conference which was awesome, especially because Jeff was one of the speakers.  Unfortunately a couple of speakers before Jeff took way more than their allotted time and Jeff knew our stake president had an important message for our stake so he kept his talk extremely short.  I felt bad he didn't get to present his entire message, but he gave an incredible testimony of the Atonement.  There is no message more important.

Oh how I wish every weekend I could be immersed in this much goodness.  I guess I will just have to hope it holds me over for some time.  Obviously I need to improve my own personal study so I can feel the spirit as deeply on my own as when it is shared with me by others.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quotes For The Day

Each morning when I open my email I'm greeted by a new "Happiness" thought sent by Gretchen Rubin author of the Happiness Project.  Some of them I read, smile and then delete.  Others I read, smile, ponder and know that they have touched my heart and I need to remember them.  I would like to share a few of my favorites.

“My favorite thing is to go where I've never been before.”
-Diane Arbus

"If you make it a habit not to blame others, you will feel the growth of the ability to love in your soul, and you will see the growth of goodness in your life."
--- Leo Tolstoy

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”

"Let us decide on the route that we wish to take to pass our life, and attempt to sow that route with flowers."
---  Madame du Chatele

The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.”
-Yutang Lin

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."
----George Moore

The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.”

-Ayn Rand

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Thirty five years ago during this autumn season I met, became best friends, and then fell in love with my dear husband.  We had a whirlwind courtship, engagement and marriage and the crisp air and amazing colors of fall remind me of that incredible time of my life each year.

We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend at a USU football game on a Saturday in late September and then discovered the next Monday that we had two classes together.  After becoming study partners in these classes, we spent every waking moment of each day together playing in the leaves at the park, enjoying Logan Canyon, feeding the ducks near the river where I lived, and becoming acquainted with each others Dreams, Desires and Devotions.  We were becoming one.

All of these moments together were solidified by the hues of oranges, reds, golds and muted greens of the season.
Several years ago when we were remodeling our home, I had a good friend come give me suggestions on decorating.  She asked me to ponder and feel what I wanted the mood in our home to be and then to describe it with colors.  I immediately knew I wanted to surround myself each day with the colors of oranges, reds, golds and muted greens of Autumn.  Each day I wanted to REMEMBER the feelings of those moments when Jeff and I were SOLIDIFYING our relationship and KNOWING that we wanted to be together for eternity.

      I love Autumn and I love Jeff----even more--much more now---than I did in this same season 35 years ago.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Choice

Jessi and her boyfriend Spjut (Mitch) carved this pumpkin on a date with several other couples last weekend.  The pumpkin is quite ordinary, sorry Jess, and it in itself is not what I am blogging about. It was the conversation about it the next day that has had me pondering for several days now.
One of the other girls in the group hosted them at her home.  Jessi mentioned about how she liked going to her house because this particular girl's mother did so much for them.  She was talking about the cute pumpkin cookies the mom had made and then continued to say that while they were busy doing something else, the mom cleaned out all of the pumpkins for every couple.  I was beginning to feel very guilty and inferior because I knew there was no way I would be cleaning out all of those pumpkins, when Jessi said that this girl mentioned that her mom was so bored and had nothing to do so she liked doing these things for her.
THEN I made the comment about how I wished I had that life, that I was so bored that I had nothing to do but clean out pumpkins for my college age daughter and friends WHEN Jessi and Jeff immediately and simultaneously said  "You would hate that.  You would absolutely hate not having something to do."
I immediately knew they were right.  I chose the life I have, as crazy as it is at times.  I choose to volunteer, I choose to take classes, I choose to take friends to lunch, I choose to play with my kids and grandkids, I choose to blog, I choose to travel and I choose a myriad of other things to do because I don't like being bored.  As out of control as my life seems at times, I now realize it is because I have chosen it.
The interesting thing about this is the epiphany that every other woman has chosen how they want to live their life.  Yes some may have much more responsibility in earning a living or caring for elderly parents or young children, but we all have a choice on how we spend our discretionary time.  My neighbor whom I envy at times because she has kept her life so simple and stress free has chosen that life style.  It works for her, and though I think I desire it, I certainly don't change my life to acquire it so I now realize that if I really wanted it I would change how I live.
The great thing is that we never need to judge one another on how we utilize our time.  No one will choose the same thing we do and that is Okay.  If that sweet mom wants to scoop out those pumpkin seeds---good luck and have fun.  My kids will be scooping out their own.
 We can even choose whether to be happy and content with our lives, no matter what has been thrown at us, or we can choose to be miserable.  The choice as always is ours.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Faces On The Mountain

Our family (minus Ben's family and Kevin) ventured to South Dakota to visit Mt Rushmore.  We rented a large SUV so Amy's family, Jessi, Jeff and I could travel the 10 hours together in one car.  Carly and Tyler brought two cars for their 7 hour journey so that Carly could caravan home with us because she needed to be in Utah for a marathon the next week.
It turned out to be a great meeting spot for us.  As I watched Blake and Lucy, and even Clara and Callie play together I missed having Cody, Macey and Mackayla with us so much.  It would be awesome if we all lived close.  Cousins are so cute together.
We were pleasantly surprised with the beauty of the South Dakota Black Hills and surrounding area.  There was so much to see and do and we had so little time.  We might have to explore there again another time without small children because there were many scenic drives that we would of loved to have taken.  It is amazing to me as we visit different places through out the country that there are many completely diverse but equally beautiful areas to see.  How grateful I am that the Lord blessed us with such a wonderful world to live.
We did many fun and different things that the grandkids seemed to enjoy greatly.
We started at Reptile Gardens.  Reptiles, especially snakes, are not my favorite but the kids loved it.
Blake petting the snake.  She loves them at our farm, but this one was quite a bit bigger.

This tortoise is real.  They were amazing to watch and to touch.  

 After a quick lunch we ventured through Bear World.  Now that is more my style.  I love the bears
and especially the wolves.  This place was first class.  The animals all seemed so healthy and content.
 The Girls.  We do have a great time together.
 Jessi enjoying the bear back rest.
 Jessi enjoying her personal "bear" back rest.  This one would be my favorite!!
 That evening we went to a Chuck Wagon Dinner that was at the location where they filmed parts of Dances with Wolves.

The next morning was spent at Mount Rushmore, or as Lucy referred to it "The Faces on the Mountain."  Wow, I expected it to be huge, but it is truly indescribable.  The massiveness and exactness of the faces is overwhelming.  
 The Entrance to Mt. Rushmore.
 A dear man offered to take a picture of all of us.  We almost all made it into the picture!!
Three of our original five!!
 Custer State Park was such a beautiful drive.  We saw many animals on the wildlife loop.  In all the places we have driven to observe wildlife I have never seen wild burros.  They were the hit of the drive.  They would stick their heads right in the car windows if you would let them.
 They had already rounded up the Buffalo for the winter so they were gathered in this field instead of roaming free through out the park.
 We saw many mountain goats and also big horn sheep and lots of deer.
Clara and Lucy at one of the beautiful lakes.
I love my family!!  I love traveling to new places!!  When you get both in one---Life is Great!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Great Weekend!!

General Conference Weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year.  I love it and I have a dream of one day being so organized that I don't have one thing to do and I can sit and and bask in the spirit of each conference session without any interruptions.  It's a great dream, but will probably never happen. For now I will always try to enjoy each moment that I can.
I always felt a real let down when the last AMEN is pronounced, knowing it is over for six months.
This year the new announcement on lowering the age for eligible missionaries completely rocked our home.  Jessi, if she desired and was healthy, could turn in her mission papers in less than a month.  How great it is for these young sisters to have that option available to them.  I think it is the greatest thing ever.  I know there will be so many of them that will jump on this opportunity.  The world will not know what hit them when this incredible force for good is unleashed.  Talk about a "Mormon Moment."  Each country will be filled with so many young men and women sporting black names tags introducing them as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I love it.
As Pres. Monson  spoke of hastening the work of the Lord, it made me realize that the time of mere playing and using time unwisely is in the past.
I'm excited to read each of the talks again.  How lucky we are to have the internet and the church website to listen to them or read them as many times as we desire.  The world is a great place!!!

Amy came over for Sunday afternoon conference and brought these fun bottles.  If the word was mentioned during a talk we got to take a treat from the bottle.  She made them for her kids, but honestly the adults enjoyed them much more.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oregon Adventures

In the past few years I have traveled to Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Hawaii and Alaska with  multiple layovers and connections.  I have never lost a suitcase or even had one delayed.  I believe that suitcases changing airlines and having multiple stops and arriving at the same time and place that the owner does should be hailed as one of the greatest wonders of the world.  I have been incredibly fortunate.  However last week when I flew on a nonstop, 1 and 1/2 hour flight to Portland my suitcase was missing when I got there.  The airline knew where it was, but all I knew was it wasn't in Portland.  As I left the airport they assured me that my suitcase would be delivered to Ben's house in just a few short hours.  24 Hours later we were still waiting for it to appear.  Go figure.  At least Ben and Carrie had an extra contact case and a children's toothbrush for me to use.  What else do you need?
I love Oregon!!  This was only the second time I have been there, but it definitely ranks as one of my favorite places.  Of course I have never been there during the rainy season so that may change my mind somewhat.
Carrie has the greatest friends there.  I just love the kind of people that she knows.  They are trying to be self sufficient and are so not into materialism.  She had told me that nobody wore makeup in Oregon.  How great would that be?
She has friends who have incredible gardens, growing every nutritious vegetable known and a few not so known.  One of them owns bee hives so they can have fresh raw honey.  Another cute lady built her own house.  She did it, not her husband, she did.  It was a beautiful home.  The amazing thing is they have six children.  Carrie has a neighbor who had an overabundance of basil so she invited Carrie to come to her house and they made Pesto.  Another lady, who has seven children, writes the most incredible, well thought out, intellectual yet spiritual blogs I have ever read.  Ben and Carrie mentioned that she has a complete one year supply of food for her entire family of nine.  I met almost all of these women. They seemed incredibly kind and unassuming, concerned about others and of course they just love Carrie and her family.  I would love to visit and become acquainted with each one of them.  I'm sure they have incredible stories.
We had a great time and it was so fun to see the grandkids.  They have grown up so much.  Cody is so proud that he is now in kindergarten.  The two girls are wonderful.  We had an awesome visit even if it was cut short because of the funeral.
We spent a couple of days at the coast.  It is only about an hour drive from their home.  The first day we headed to the Aquarium.  I loved it.  Check our Carrie's Blog to read a fun version of our experiences.

 On Saturday Ben came with us and we went to the tide pools.  (I love tide pools, could be one of my favorite things to do.)
 Cody really loves them too.  He can tell you about all the marine life that he finds.  I'm so impressed with his interest and knowledge.
 We went on a whale watching adventure.  We saw whales, but they are too difficult for me to get pictures of.  We also did some crabbing which was fun.  This is Ben pulling in the crab cage with Cody watching closely to see what we caught.
 Playing with the Crabs!!  Mackayla thought they were great.
 Macy not so much.

 After that adventure we stopped by the beach for a little sand play.  I think kids and beaches were made to go together.  Children are never happier than at the beach.  Obviously it doesn't matter if it is even cold.

I can't wait to go back.  It is an incredible opportunity this year to soak up as much of this culture as I can while they live there.  I absolutely LOVE it!!!