Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!!!!

A Basket of Blessings 

Some time ago, a family was going through a challenging time. Their world seemed to crumble around them, and all of their attention and energy was consumed in their problems. Recognizing that this was not how they wanted to live their lives, they decided to turn to heaven for help. 

That's when a miracle happened. No, their problems didn't disappear. Rather, a good friend of the family helped them see that they had what she called a "basket" of blessings—and it was "overflowing." The mother of the family said: "We realized that we were surrounded by goodness and were being cheered on from every side. We began as a family to express our gratitude to each other as well as to the Lord daily." 

So each night the family would gather to talk about the blessings that they noticed had been added to their basket that day. "The more we expressed gratitude," the mother observed, "the more there was to be grateful for." Challenges became more manageable as they recognized that God had been close by all along. 

We all have a "basket of blessings," though we don't always remember to look inside it. There are blessings large and small all around us, even when it seems that blessings are hard to come by. Very often, our basket fills most quickly with small and simple blessings: a beautiful day, a kind word, a good friend, a loving family, a smile, or something that makes us smile.

With the coming of New Year this might be a good time to notice these blessings. Doing so could inspire us to be more intentional about expressing gratitude to the Lord and to countless others who bless our lives. And it might lead us to share our abundance with others, especially with those whose basket may not be quite as full.

As we live in thanksgiving daily we will find that our basket of blessings truly is overflowing, and our outlook on life will improve in all of the most important ways. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

is good

It is better to

little things, little ways, little moments

It probably goes without saying that everybody wants to find happiness. Who wouldn't like to be happy all the time? But life isn't that way, is it? And maybe it isn't meant to be. After all, if we never felt sorrow and distress, would we really appreciate happiness—or even recognize it? Religious leader James E. Faust put it this way: "Happiness is not given to us in a package that we can just open up and consume. Nobody is ever happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rather than thinking in terms of a day, we perhaps need to snatch happiness in little pieces, learning to recognize the elements of happiness and then treasuring them while they last." 

That may be part of the secret to the pursuit of happiness—to savor the "little pieces of happiness" when they come along. It may not be as difficult or elusive as it seems. Surely we've had enough personal experience and divine counsel to know that there are steps we can take, habits we can form, things we can do that—while they may not guarantee happiness—at least greatly increase our chances.

Ask anyone who seems genuinely happy, and they will tell you it's a choice—sometimes a daily choice. That means being positive in our thoughts, words, and actions. It means looking for the good and, in some cases, overlooking the bad.

As we do, we will find moments of joy and little pieces of happiness all around us. One man has found that listening to some beautiful music always brings him joy. A family makes it a point to look for the sunset every evening. A woman discovered happiness in doing at least one little thing for someone else each day—sending a thoughtful text or making a phone call to see how a loved one is doing. Each is a small moment, but they add up to become great treasures. 

Your pursuit of happiness can be that simple. Happiness, you'll discover, is right there in front of you and even inside you—in little things, little ways, little moments, little pieces of happiness.

Lloyd D. Newell

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be YOU ti ful

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Monday, August 7, 2017

bloom where you are planted

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be still

"Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak."

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Courage defines all 
other human behavior
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a moment of awe

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,"  and for many of us, that means too much time apart from nature. Surrounded by walls, buildings, and window coverings, we don't get outside, or even look outside, as much as we could. 

Many experts agree that, in general, the more time we spend in nature, the better we do on just about every measure of wellness you can imagine: vitality, happiness, creativity, focus, even kindness and compassion. The benefits are different for each person, but most of us notice that connecting with nature improves our mood and clears our mind. So much about nature invites us to contemplate life's meaning and purposes—looking at a horizon gives us a sense of the vastness and grandeur of this earth; walking in a garden or among trees helps us see life's continual process of change and growth; and watching the ebb and flow of an ocean tide suggests a rhythmic pattern of highs and lows, always changing but always reliable. In short, the natural world can help us understand and even feel a little better about our place in the universe. 

So why don't we get out more? Perhaps life makes us feel too busy. But the fact is, to get the benefits of nature, we don't need to become mountaineers or plan an exotic tropical vacation. Even in small portions—going on a short walk, looking out a window, pausing to look at a beautiful sunset, smelling a flower—nature can lift our spirits. We can find nature where we already are, all around us. All it takes, in most cases, is a brief infusion of beauty, a moment of awe that can help sustain us throughout the day. As one researcher wrote, "I think we can say pretty certainly that having a little bit of awe every day in your life would make you happier, kinder, and more compassionate."  So look for ways to spend some moments, however small, in nature. It can help make your life a little richer, a little better, a little more beautiful.

Lloyd D. Newell

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

His Hands

I LoVe YoU

In As Much

we need to

I Am sorry

go for it!


the 'stuff' our great-grandmothers were made of; 
if not for their fortitude, 
you sure wouldn't be who you are today . . .

one woman one faith a trial of Hope . . . looking to last hill

I can do this . . . we can do this

press on

cheer up

Friday, August 4, 2017

Carry on

as they did for us

is my fear holding God back?

French Strawberry Cake


1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
16 ounces fresh strawberries


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
5. Fold in strawberries. Spread the batter in the prepared cake pan.
6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar evenly over the top of the cake batter.
7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.
8. Let the cake cool completely in the pan and slice and serve the cake from the pan.

Recipe Notes

I used a 9-inch, light silver metal cake pan for this cake. I also used fresh, not frozen strawberries.

The cake is meant to be "custard-like" in the middle. Not under baked but not "crumby" like a traditional cake.

We're growing

Sunday, July 30, 2017

You will be missed Janae Scanlon

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Janae Scanlon, dearly loved daughter, sister, and favorite aunt, passed away July 15, 2017, in Phoenix, Ariz. She was born Jan. 22, 1980, in Twin Falls and was raised in Jerome and Hailey.
    She graduated from Wood River High School in 1998, and attended classes at Rick's and Boise State. She excelled in high school debate and ever after, her quick wit and articulation could make colorful any conversation. The spark in her blue eyes, dimples and infectious laugh made it impossible not to laugh along with her.
    Janae had a kind heart and lifelong love of animals, from the turtle she loved as a child even when winter's hibernation continued well past winter, to her beloved cats, Tonka and Shoonka, and dogs Sophie, Harley and Paisley.
     Janae is loved by many. As the middle child in a large family, she was generous, kind and loud. A conversation with her on the phone never required speakerphone to be heard by all in the room. Even as a small girl, she was always the one who had money and candy and she shared all she had quickly and easily. She worked hard to be the favorite aunt, slipping babies chocolate and whispering "NaeNae" in their ears, mailing toys and presents, remembering birthdays, and always that unfailing generosity. Kaleb, Anna, Avery, Ella, Owen, Luke, Stella, Rhys, Hailey, Burke and Nora loved Janae because she loved them so much.
    A huge extended family is heartbroken at her passing: her parents, Carla and Owen; siblings, Bethany (Craig), Kyle (Carolyn), Cali (Zac Efron), Cade (Krystal) and Jordan (David); her Grandma Joyce, whom Janae unfailingly called every Sunday; and her cousin Aaron, with whom she was very close.
     A service to remember and celebrate Janae will be held Saturday, July 29, 2017, at 2 p.m. with visitation beginning at 1 p.m. at the Sun Valley LDS Chapel, 300 Spruce Ave., Ketchum, Idaho. Because of her irrational and celebrated dislike of ham dinners, her family will hold instead a picnic dinner at her Hailey childhood home, 110 N. Angela Dr., from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Janae's memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Whoever is happy will make others happy too. Anne Frank

The best and most beautiful things in the world 
cannot be seen or even touched 
they must be felt with the heart.

Helen Keller

Upon what are you reflecting?

"If you are irritated by every rub, 
how will your mirror be polished?"


"Prayer is not asking. 
It is a longing of the soul. 
It is daily admission of one's weakness. 
It is better in prayer to 
have a heart without words 
than words without a heart."

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

this can be a positive or it can be a negative if we don't chose wisely

"What we love determines what we seek. 
What we seek determines what we think and do. 
What we think and do determines who we are  and 
who we will become." 


"Love is spelt T.I.M.E."

“You can do hard things.”