Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Our light

Our light may not only lead others,
but warm them as well. 

Neal A. Maxwell

ten little fingers, ten little toes.

On Christmas He came. On Easter He rose.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

The only disability in life is a bad attitude ~Scott Hamilton

"I didn't have any symptoms, I just went in for my normal check up and they found the beginnings of the brain tumor coming back. 

"I have a unique hobby of collecting life threatening illness," You know, I survived cancer in 97, seven years later 2004 
I was diagnosed with a pituitary brain cancer. First thing, "okay that's not fair." Alright, I have had cancer, I get a pass for a while.

But then, you know when I told my wife, the first thing she did without even a beat of emotion or anything else she just grabbed both of my hands and she started to pray. And it was powerful, I mean it changed everything for me.

Because I realized where you go when you are truly up against it.

Ironically, I was born with that brain tumor, but for those years that I skated I was not symptomatic at all and then it came back six years later in 2010 and that time we did surgery and now it is six years later and it decided that it wanted an encore.

I learned as a parent that if your kid falls down and you go, are you okay and they go, I'm not, I don't know, I'm freaking out.  You kind of set the stage. Right, so when this one came back my 12 year old son he came to me and he said, "Is your brain tumor back?" and I go yeah it is! And you know, here we go again. So I set the tone.

Because anytime, you know, cancer's a tough thing and it's just really devastated a lot of families. I lost my mother to cancer and it changed my life forever. But we choose, I choose to truly in everything that we do celebrate life, "The first thing I teach skaters at my skating academy is how to get up  because we're going to fall," I wrote a chapter in my last book, The Great Eight and it's called "Fall down, get back up, and smile like Kristi Yamaguchi" And every night I would watch Kristi and she took a hard fall on a really difficult jump
at the beginning of one of her programs and she got up and like that, went right back to her program like nothing had happened. And so I'm sitting there going, Did she just fall or not? I think she did, okay I'm confused because, she's joyful and I realized in that moment there's a life lesson there. Yeah, I'm going to fall down, I'm going to make mistakes, I'm going to do all kinds of things that I'm going to wish didn't happen. But it's what's next it's how you get up … The more times you get up, the stronger you are to face the next thing, which will happen because that's life." 

Scott Hamilton October 21, 2016

A moment to reflect

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ~ ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.

You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella.

And you realize in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you're not perfect, that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are, and that's okay. (They're entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche.

You begin to sift through all that you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and the familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK. And that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect; and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his/her touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.

You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes-bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state ~ the ego. You learn negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never settle for less than your heart's desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with Spirit by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life that you want to live as best as you can.

~Author Unknown~

Melting Time - Paul Larson Original

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Come and behold him

Christmas Light Cupcakes

Christmas light cupcakes made with an embellished cake mix recipe and the best vanilla butter cream recipe ever. This cake recipe works for any kind of mix you like, just make sure to match your pudding to the mix.
  • 1 box milk chocolate cake mix
  • 1 small box chocolate instant-pudding mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Vanilla Butter cream
  • store bought black frosting
  • M&Ms
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two muffin tins with 18 paper liners.
  2. Add cake mix ingredients to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat well, about 3 minutes, scrapping the bowl occasionally.
  3. Divide batter evenly between muffin tin. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  4. Using a large round tip, pipe butter cream in a swirl onto the cupcakes. Draw a black line around the surface of the frosting. Stick M&Ms vertically into the side of the cupcakes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the butter is pale, very smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. This takes about 30 seconds if you butter is really soft, a bit longer if the butter is cooler.
  2. Add the sugar one cup at a time. Mix until it is incorporated before you add the next cup.
  3. When all of the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, beat on low speed for 15 seconds.
  4. Increase the speed to high (or just high enough so that it doesn't make a mess). Beat until whipped, light, and perfectly smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl once or twice. The frosting will look like it is getting really soft, but it will stiffen and increase in volume.
  5. You can use this right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Christmas Light Cupcakes

Our finest gifts we bring


What we are striving to be

As he arose a changed man on Christmas morning, a repentant Ebenezer Scrooge exclaimed, "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."  Like Dickens's fictional character, we each learn that life's most important moments are only transitory if they don't become part of our everyday lives.  Life's celebrations are not left behind us if we let them live on in our hearts, embracing the present and shaping the future.  By letting life's special moments live on in our hearts, we can make a "holy day" out of each holiday, can experience a rebirth on each birthday and a new beginning with each new year.

The joy and hope that accompanied a child's birth can calm and comfort us as we clean up after the toddler or discipline the teenager.  Reflecting on beautiful wedding day memories can keep love growing in marriages.  And our feelings of communion with the infinite can return to strengthen us whenever loss, fear, or doubt confronts us.

Family traditions, our social gatherings, even the preparations and decorations for special events can help our hearts preserve the remarkable realities that make life truly worth celebrating.

Over nearly twenty centuries since it first appeared, Bethlehem's star has continued to shine through all those who have been willing to be guided by it.  When the meaning of life's special events lives in our hearts, our celebrations are measured by who we are and what we are striving to be.

~* HaPpy DeCembEr *~

On Christmas Eve 1822, Catherine Elizabeth Moore was preparing food for the poor and discovered that she was short one turkey. It turned out to be a fortunate mistake, because as her husband rode in his carriage to the butcher's, the bells jingling on his team of horses inspired him to pen a whimsical Christmas poem for his children. After dinner that night, Clement Clarke Moore presented to the family what has become a treasure to us all: "'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house…." And as he read, his children were enchanted.

Since that day, this classic has appeared in countless newspapers and almanacs; it has been recited, illustrated, and performed around the world. Most important, countless youngsters have cozied up on the lap of a parent or grandparent and read of a "miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer." 

Clement Moore was a prominent theologian, a professor of classics, and the author of the leading Hebrew dictionary of the time. But that Christmas Eve, he wasn't writing for publication or praise. This poem about a jolly old elf, sugarplums, and carefully hung stockings was for his family. Perhaps his inspiration came from his love for his small audience. Perhaps it was his way of showing his children what a gift of the heart looks and feels like. 
Each of us can give such priceless gifts of the heart. Our gifts may not rhyme, sparkle, or come wrapped in ribbons, but they will be cherished. Cards made at the kitchen table, pictures taken at the last family gathering, handprints of toddlers, recordings of childhood reminiscences, homemade ornaments that promise years of fond memories in their own priceless way, these and many other expressions of love say, as did Clement Moore's gift to his children, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

Just Before It's All Gone - Paul Larson Original

Monday, November 28, 2016

. . . if

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: 

If you can dream & not make dreams your master
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And which is more you'll be a Man, my son!

Struggle to Survive

A farmer's son once watched with great compassion as a tiny chick stirred within its shell. Slowly the bird made a small crack in the egg, its tiny beak just poking through. And then, weary from its efforts, the bird paused to rest. 
Thinking he would help, the young boy pried open the shell with his thumbs, pulling away fragments of the shell until the bird was free. But in his eagerness to make life easier for the young bird, he sealed its fate: Without strength built from pecking open its own shell, the bird could not survive. 
Obstacles are a part of life, but most of us don't realize what a vital part they are, building in us the traits we need to succeed in life. We often see difficulties and failures as doors that have slammed, opportunities we've lost, when in fact these trials can be gifts. 
Look at the everyday heroes around us who overcome setbacks a child without sight who learns to swim, a single mother who puts herself through nursing school and later helps all her children through college, a man who takes on an extra job to support his family during tough economic times. These are people who refuse to be beaten; they persevere through the storms and use challenges as a catapult. 
Every bird in flight is an example to us of this same perseverance. Each one had to break through its shell, one chip at a time, determined to live, determined to fly. The shell was an obstacle but also the very tool that built strength and tenacity. 
Those who understand this truth refuse to let bumps in the road define their entire journey. If we resolve never to give up, then our obstacles, instead of becoming final verdicts, can launch us to greater heights. 

Joni Hilton 

Blessings arrive in unexpected packages

Life is filled with unexpected blessings. Often they come in the form of rewarding opportunities or wonderful experiences. But many times our most cherished blessings come from adversity that inspires personal growth. 

Not long before former White House press secretary Tony Snow died of cancer at age 53, he told reporters he was "a very lucky guy." "Blessings arrive in unexpected packages," he explained, "in my case, cancer." He went on to say that those with potentially fatal diseases "shouldn't spend too much time trying to answer the why questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things." Instead, he suggested, focus on how "your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matter."

Indeed, once we get past the unanswered questions, we might be surprised to find that our hardship has led to a blessing we've long sought. For Joseph of Egypt in ancient times, a famine became an unexpected blessing. Without it, his brothers, who had sold him into slavery and staged his death, would have never come to Egypt seeking food, and they never would have had opportunity to repair their wrong. The famine reunited Joseph with his family. 

Truly, it takes faith and courage to see life's challenges as blessings, especially when they can be so difficult and so unexpected. Who could ever be fully prepared for a life-threatening illness? a job loss? a natural disaster? And yet all of these hardships can become turning points: opportunities to learn, to love more deeply, to develop greater kindness and patience, to forgive and cast aside old grudges or resentments. 
We can be blessed with wisdom when we understand, in very personal ways, that on the other side of suffering is a depth of feeling, a perspective on life and love that we might not otherwise have known.

Natural Religion - Paul Larson Original

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Comfort and

She touched the hem of His garment.

Master Healer

 Dear God,
I am praying every person struggling with health problems.
Please heal them and let them enjoy life.

Through the deluge

"It is because Jesus does understand so fully that He can help so effectively."
Brad Wilcox 

He is There

Captain's Son - Paul Larson Original

What would you do

If today were your last, would do you what you're doing?
Or would you love more, give more, forgive more?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

next step

God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day. 

Don't allow the disappointments in life to make you bitter. Learn the lessons God wants you to learn, and move on to the next step God has for you.

what you believe

Jesus said if you had the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains and
anything was possible
now I heard this as a child and I really believed it and so the question is what
do you believe do you believe that you are worthy of happiness
do you believe that happiness success abundance comfort fulfillment peace joy
love is a part of your birthright is that what you believe or do you believe
something else because you will manifest the life that you believe.

Rush of Nature - Paul Larson Original

Be Prayactive

see the good

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Practice the pause

Sometimes carrying on, just carrying on is the superhuman achievement.

When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself.

When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause.
When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. 
And when you pause, pray.

Embrace what is now

"Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test."

Believe in miracles Hope is never lost

You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be MOVED.

In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you. 
Andrea Dykstra

I want to be the woman who overcomes obstacles by tackling them in faith instead of tip toeing around them in fear. 
Renee Swope

Dinner Rolls

Makes 24 rolls
Tip: The fat in whole milk is absolutely essential to the lightness and flavor of these rolls. If you're in a pinch, 2% milk will work, but try to stay away from 1% or skim. If you're going to put all this work into these rolls, you want to make sure they taste amazing!
2 cups whole milk 
1⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1⁄3 cup butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 packages (4 1⁄2 teaspoons) active dry or bread machine yeast
2⁄3 cup warm (105–115 degrees F) water
8–9 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 beaten eggs
1. Combine milk, 1⁄2 cup sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts into salty-sweet perfection.
2. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm. I usually rub some ice cubes along the sides of the pan or pop the entire pan in a sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture down faster. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
3. While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If the yeast hasn't bubbled, you'll need to repeat this step with new yeast.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes. Add beaten eggs.
5. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft—it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Don't worry, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they're so soft and light; if you add too much flour, they will be heavy and dense. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.
6. Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half. Spray two 9 x 13-inch glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces. We like to use a pizza cutter because it cuts right through dough without sticking to the blade. This dough should be very easy to work with, almost like Play-Doh. Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan. Use a kitchen scale if you want to ensure that the rolls are exactly the same.
7. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15–20 minutes to go, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
8. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until golden brown.
9. When done, remove from oven. Rub a stick of cold butter over the tops of the rolls. Eat one now while it's still hot—that's your reward for making the world's best dinner rolls!

Maple Cinnamon Butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons 100% real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
Place butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and beat (with a hand mixer, or the whisk attachment of your stand mixer) until combined and smooth. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, pie spice, and extract. Beat slowly until combined and then whip for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy. Serve at room temperature and drizzle with maple syrup before serving.
If you're making ahead of time, store in fridge, but allow time to bring to room temperature before serving. For best results, stir or re-whip before serving. Lasts for about a week or so in the fridge, several months in the freezer.

Monday, November 21, 2016

If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink

The giving of Thanks

 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Psalms 50:14-15

Twice Blessed

In a gospel full of magnificent beauty, perhaps the concept of forgiveness is the most beautiful gift of all. It is a divine grace, bestowed in its purest form through the Savior's Atonement and available to each of us daily as we receive and extend mercy. And each single instance of forgiving immediately becomes a double blessing, touching both the person who forgives and the one who is forgiven.
S. Michael Wilcox

Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.

Forgiveness is the greatest expression of love.
¶Then a said JesusFatherforgive them; for they know not what  they do.