Friday, November 29, 2013

How glorious our ultimate homecoming can be

No matter what else we are or do in life, we must never forget that we are God’s literal spirit children. We were His children before we came to this world, and we will be His children forevermore. This basic truth should change the way we look at ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and life itself.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The moment a child is born the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the Mother never.  A mother is something absolutely new.
“Our feelings of separation from God will diminish as we become more childlike before Him. That is not easy in a world where the opinions of other human beings can have such an effect on our motives. But it will help us recognize this truth: God is close to us and aware of us and never hides from His faithful children.”
Henry B. Eyring
“Have you ever thought of yourself as a junior angel crowned with glory and honor? Every one of our Father in Heaven’s children is great in His sight. If the Lord sees greatness in you, how then should you see yourself?

L. Tom Perry

“If he could have his way, Satan would distract us from our heritage. He would have us become involved in a million and one things in this life–probably none of which is very important in the long run–to keep us from concentrating on the things that are really important, particularly the reality that we are God’s children. He would like us to forget about home and family values. He’d like to keep us so busy with comparatively insignificant things that we don’t have time to make the effort to understand where we came from, whose children we are, and how glorious our ultimate homecoming can be!”
Marvin J. Ashton



2 tubes crescent rolls. Roll each crescent roll out and cut lengthwise in 2. This recipe will make 32 mini croissants. Each croissant will get a generous teaspoon of this luscious cream cheese pumpkin pie filling: 4 oz softened cream cheese 1C canned pumpkin 1–2T pumpkin pie spice 3–4T sugar Beat together until fluffy and creamy, about 1t on each triangle of dough. Roll up. Mix 4T sugar & 1T pumpkin pie spice and roll each in it! Bake at 375* for 13-15 mins

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Heritage that bonds them together

“The Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than the truth can be imparted by personal contact even with heavenly beings. Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten”

Joseph Fielding Smith

Character is woven quietly from the threads of hundreds of correct decisions. When strengthened by obedience and worthy acts, correct decisions form a fabric of character that brings victory in time of great need.

Richard G. Scott

 Family is woven together like a quilt with a heritage that bonds them together.

family is like a patchwork quilt With kindness gently sewn Each piece an original With beauty all its own With threads of warmth and happiness Its lightly stitched together

To last in love throughout the years Our family is forever."

Walking, I am listening to a deeper way.  Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.

Linda Hogan

“Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: ‘The biggest mistake I made as a parent is the one that most of us make. … I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of my three children sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less’
M. Russell Ballard

Sparkling Cider Pound Cake with Sparkling Cider Glaze

Sparkling Cider Pound Cake with Sparkling Cider Glaze

1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. butter extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup Sparkling Cider

1.   Cream butter, shortening and sugar together in a large bowl.
2.     Beat in eggs one at a time along with the butter extract.
3.     In a small bowl, combine salt, baking powder, and flour and stir to evenly combine. Add alternately with 1/2 cup sparkling cider to the wet ingredients and beat until well incorporated.
4.     Pour into a greased and floured 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan.
5.     Bake at 325 degrees F for about 60-70 minutes or until the top is golden brown and until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
6.    In a medium bowl, whisk sparkling cider and powdered sugar until smooth consistency is reached. Poor over cooled pound cake.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Let the Thanksgiving Begin

By Emily Freeman
You might recall that I have two missionaries serving right now.
So the Typhoon in the Philippines has haunted me.  The missionaries unaccounted for.  
It’s filled my prayers and my thoughts.
Yesterday in seminary we talked about the tender mercies we had witnessed over the weekend.
One boy raised his hand and talked about his neighbors whose daughter is serving in the Philippines.  ”She is missing,” he said, “But we are not worried, her brother prayed about it last night and had a really good feeling that she is safe.  The whole family feels peace right now.”
I said, “Wow, that is a really good tender mercy.  It speaks to the power of the Holy Ghost. And I am impressed that his witness was so strong that his whole family can hold onto it.”
“Wait!” another girl said from across the room, “Are you talking about my cousin?”  After a few moments of exchanging names and house locations they realized they, in fact, were talking about the same girl.  ”We received a phone call a half hour before seminary,” she said, “They found her.”
I watched relief flood over the boys face as the witness he had relied on was confirmed.  
She was safe.  Just as her brother had said.
After seminary I prayed that the same would be true of all the remaining missionaries
and felt a confirmation in my heart.
This morning I woke to this.
It is November.
Let the thanksgiving begin.

Amish Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Caramel Icing

Amish Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Caramel Icing

Yield: 12 rolls


1/3 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted


1. Prepare rolls: In a small saucepan, heat milk and 2 Tablespoons butter just until warm (120 - 130°) and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly.
2. In large mixer bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar and salt. Add milk mixture and beat with an electric mixer until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flours. Add half of flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Beat mixture on low speed for 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly (dough will be very soft). Turn into lightly greased bowl, then grease surface of dough lightly. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
3. Punch dough down. Turn onto floured surface. Knead a few turns to form a smooth dough, sprinkling with enough additional flour to make dough easy to handle. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 12x10-inch rectangle.
4. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Beginning with long side of dough, roll up jelly-roll style. Pinch seam to seal. With a sharp serrated knife, gently cut roll into twelve 1-inch slices. Place rolls cut-side-up in greased 9-inch-square baking pan.
5. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls about 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from pan to waxed paper-lined wire rack. Cool 10 to 15 minutes.
7. While rolls are cooling, prepare icing: In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cool over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and cool mixture slightly. Stir in vanilla, salt and powdered sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. If necessary, add more powdered sugar for desired consistency.
8. Drizzle icing over warm rolls.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Count your blessings every day, slowly and thoughtfully


Rian B. Anderson
Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.
It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted so bad that year for Christmas.
We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. So after supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible.  I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures.
But Pa didn't get the Bible; instead he bundled up and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores.  I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard.  "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.
We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.  But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house.  Something was up, but I didn't know what.
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up the big sled unless we were going to haul a big load.
Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me…I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed.  He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said.  "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.
When we had exchanged the sideboards Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?"
"You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked.  The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.
Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "why?"
"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."  That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon.  He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.  When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.
"What's in the little sack?" I asked.
"Shoes. They're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunnysacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence.  I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us. It shouldn't have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?"
"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?"
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all.
Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.  "We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out on e pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last.
I watched her carefully.  She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.
"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said, then he turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring enough in to last for awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up."
I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and, much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too.
In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks and so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy filled my soul that I'd never known before. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference.
I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.   I soon giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time.
She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said.  "I know the Lord himself has sent you.   The children and I have been praying that He would send someone to help us.
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get.
Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two older brothers and two older sisters were all married and had moved away.
Widow Jensen nodded and said,  "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, "'May the Lord bless you,' I know for certain that He will."
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunnysacks and I knew what I had to do. So, Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."
I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Just then the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.
For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night; he had given me the best Christmas of my life.
Count your blessings every day, slowly and thoughtfully.

Eggnog Sweet Potato Pie

Eggnog Sweet Potato Pie
1 1/2 pounds Red Sweet Potatoes or Yams
3/4 cup Eggnog
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Dark Brown Sugar
4 tablespoons Butter (melted)
5 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
1/2 Lemon (juiced)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Premade Pie Dough
Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon Confectioners’ Sugar
instructions Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a pie dish with the pie dough and crimp edges. Place sweet potatoes in a stock pot and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain and allow to cool before handling. Peel and discard skins. 
Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and break up and mash using a spoon. Begin adding the remaining ingredients, mixing as you add until well combined. Use either a very stiff whisk or an immersion blender to create a very smooth batter. Adjust to taste.
Transfer batter to the prepared pie crust and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled place in the fridge and chill. Pie can be made a few days in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Serve with ice cream, caramel sauce or Whipped Cream.
Whip cream and sugar to a soft to medium peak. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The memory of it sometimes lasts forever

A smile cost nothing, but gives so much.
It enriches those who receive it,  without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it,
and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.
A smile creates happiness in the home,
fosters goodwill in business,
 and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged,
sunshine to the sad, and it is nature's best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed,
or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile.
Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile
so much as he who has no more to give.


I must use this moment wisely

I May Never See Tomorrow

I may never see tomorrow;
there's no written guarantee
and things that happened yesterday
belong to history.
I cannot predict the future,
I cannot change the past,
I have just the present moments,
I must treat it as my last.
I must use this moment wisely
 for it soon will pass away,
and be lost forever,
 as part of yesterday.
I must exercise compassion,
help the fallen to their feet,
Be a friend unto the friendless,
 make an empty life complete.
The unkind things that I do today
 may never be undone,
and friendships that I fail to win
 may nevermore be won.
I may not have another chance
 on bended knees to pray,
to thank God with a humble heart
 for giving me this day.
Author unknown

Friday, November 1, 2013

Will I ever be big enough to fill his shoes

“The father is the protector of the home. He guards it against the intrusion of evil from without. Formerly he protected his home with weapons and shuttered windows. Today the task is more complex. Barred doors and windows protect only against the intrusion of a corporeal creature. It is not an easy thing to protect one’s family against intrusions of evil into the minds and spirits of family members. These influences can and do flow freely into the home. Satan can subtly beguile the children of men in ways we have already mentioned in this conference. He need not break down the door. Fathers, you will have to live close to the Lord. Develop a sensitivity to the impressions of the Spirit.”

A. Theodore Tuttle

“My father was truly a great man. I remember one day putting my feet in my
father’s shoes. I was amazed at the size. Will I ever be big enough to fill
his shoes? I wondered. Can I ever grow into the man my father is?”
Joseph B. Wirthlin

“We’re not going to survive in this world, temporally or spiritually, without increased faith in the Lord and I don’t mean a positive mental attitude I mean downright solid faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the one thing that gives vitality and power to otherwise rather weak individuals.”

A. Theodore Tuttle

“Strength to do battle against evil begins with enlisting the strength of God. He is the source of all true power.”
Gordon B. Hinckley
“The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.”
Thomas Carlyle
“…Find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick
one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your
life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and
if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you
will have less and less to give to others”
M. Russell Ballard
“Those who stand firm, steadfast, and immovable are given great inner hidden powers and unseen strengths.”
James E. Faust

“Yielding ourselves to the Lord always requires sacrifice, and often a sacrifice of our sins. How many favorite sins are we holding onto that alienate us from the Spirit and keep us from turning our lives over to the Lord? Things such as jealousy, or holding onto a grudge, or being casual about what we watch or read? Imagine the rippling impact on our lives and our families if every one of us determined at this moment to sacrifice something that is dulling our spiritual senses!”

Sheri Dew
The Holy Ghost is… known as the Comforter. During times of trouble or despair or simply when we need to know that God is near, the Holy Ghost can lift our spirits, give us hope, and teach us ‘the peaceable things of the kingdom,’ helping us feel ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.’”
Craig C. Christensen
“Let us make certain there is oil in our own lamps.
 Let us live our lives so we can have the gift of the Holy Ghost operating evermore constantly in our lives.”
Spencer W. Kimball
“One day we will take that unavoidable step and cross from this mortal sphere into the next estate. One day we will look back at our lives and wonder if we could have been better, made better decisions, or used our time more wisely.
…….. the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I met a stranger in the night, whose lamp had ceased to shine;
I paused and let him light his lamp from mine.
A tempest sprang up later on, and shook the world about,
And when the wind was gone, my lamp was out.
But back came to me the stranger-his lamp was glowing fine;
He held the precious flame and lighted mine.
Author Unknown