Tuesday, March 28, 2017

April 2017 Visiting Teaching Handout/Poster

The following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard that I put in my handout this month is a very powerful statement.  I've read it over and over again, letting the words sink deeply....eligible to receive personal revelation....blessed by ministering angels....commune with God....receive fullness of the Gospel....becomes heirs alongside Jesus Christ of all our Father has.  I felt this statement was so powerful that I had to add the entire thing, not leaving out a single word.  I'm thankful for the privilege of receiving a visiting teaching message each month.  Each message always seems to be just what I need to hear. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Relief Society Birthday - March 2017

March is the official month for Relief Society Birthdays.  March 17th marked 175 years since the organization of Relief Society by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842. 

Relief Society helps prepare women for the blessings of eternal life as they increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement; strengthen individuals, families, and homes through ordinances and covenants; and work in unity to help those in need.

On March 11th, our Ward celebrated the Birthday of Relief Society.  We (The Relief Society Presidency) didn't tell anyone what we were doing because we felt that maybe some would feel they couldn't do our project and would not attend......Shhhhhh, it was our little secret.  It was basically a mystery to everyone of what we were doing with the exception of those who were involved with setting up, assisting with preparing food,  and the project itself.

My second counselor's mother owns a florist shop in Rigby, Idaho.  She contributed most of the decoration and our Relief Society Meetings (Homemaking) Assistant also contributed to the decorations.
Our table decorations were not nearly as elaborate as the other decorations.  They were just basic dandelions, made out of white, yellow, and green paper.  The reason for the dandelions?....The theme for our birthday celebration was centered around dandelions.  A Wish, or a Weed?
We started with a lunch of chicken salad croissant sandwiches, vegetable trays, Jell-O, and cupcakes.....serving 25 ladies, which is a lot for our tiny ward.
Our chicken salad was just thrown together by the presidency, not using a recipe.  We had enough requests for the recipe so I asked each of the ladies who were helping put everything together how much of each item they cut, chopped, or mixed together and this is the recipe we came  up with.
Serves: 28 - 30 Large Croissants
28 - 30 Large Croissants
3 Cooked Chickens; Shredded/Cubed
3 Apples; Chopped
4 Stalks Celery; Chopped
1-1/2 Pounds Red Grapes; Halved or Quartered
2 Cups Hellman's Mayonnaise
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 - 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1. To a large bowl, add chicken, apples, celery, and grapes; stir to mix.
2. In a medium bowl, add mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, and pepper; mix well.
3. Add dressing to chicken mix and stir till all ingredients are combined.
4. Place chicken mixture in croissants when ready to serve.
Since it was our Relief Society birthday celebration, we (The Presidency) decided we needed a cake or cupcakes for dessert.  We decided to make cupcakes so I made picks to go in the cupcakes that depicted the theme of our celebration.
When we were almost done eating, we talked about Relief Society historical facts and how this year was the 175th birthday of Relief Society. 
I then gave a brief talk that was centered around dandelions and how to some they are considered an annoyance, but to others they are beautiful.  These are just a few point I brought out about dandelions.....
1. How many of you have been gifted with a bright, yellow dandelion bouquet, or a single dandelion stem?  It was a symbol of love.  The dandelion is a child's flower.  As dandelions turn to seed, children love to pick them so that they can close their eyes, make a wish, and blow the seeds into the air.
2.  Like a dandelion; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.
3.  The many uses for dandelions...food, cosmetics, medicinal purposes, etc.
4. Dandelions......Some see a Wish....Some see a Weed.
Two stories about dandelions were also presented:
After the final story was given, it was time to reveal our little secret.  We told the ladies that we were all going to paint dandelions.  For each lady, we had a painting canvas, painting easel, paints, aprons, brushes.....everything....everything they needed to complete a masterpiece.   We had 21 sisters painting.  The tables were so full that my counselors, myself, and one other sister actually painted ours when some of the ladies had finished and there was room at the tables for us. 
Here is my picture.  I still want to add some different colors of green to the grass to add a bit more depth and texture to my painting.  Whether that will happen or not, is yet to be seen.  I'm a tole painter (years ago)....not an artistic painter.  But, it really was a fun day! 

I think I just may be looking a little differently at the dandelions that I'm sure will be gracing our yard in a few short weeks.
A WISH.....or a WEED!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spring Snow?

On March 1st, I took a drive around the valley just to get some snow scenery pictures.  It was an absolute beautiful drive.
As I got back into town, I saw this.....and I chuckled.  And yes, that is Christmas decorations they are taking off the light poles and putting in the back of a truck.
As of yesterday, March 17th, I walked around our home and took more pictures.  The snow has melted a lot in two weeks time but we still have a ways to go.  And yes....ha, ha...our outdoor Christmas lights will come off the house as soon as the snow melts and I can get to them.  I'm thinking possibly July.
But then again, the official start of Spring is this coming Monday.  Who knows.....a lot can happen in two days.

Friday, March 17, 2017

I Guess That's One Way To Get Lunch

Our trees have nests, magpie nests to be exact.  Obnoxious birds!  As I was walking around taking pictures today, I don't know how I saw this, but look....what do you see.
Do you need a closer look?  Ok.....let me do some cropping.  Do you see it now?
More?  Ok.....a bit more cropping and I think we'll be there.
She (Mese) was still hard to see, so I called kitty and she stood up.  I actually wasn't sure if it was her or her twin brother (Sia) until she stood up.  I named them by taking their name of breed (Siamese) and splitting it in two.  I can hardly tell them apart except Sia is a little bigger.
These pictures were taken around noon-ish.  My thoughts were......"Hmmmm, If Lunch Doesn't Come To You, You Go To Lunch!" 
Funny cat....it's been over two hours later and she is still in the nest.  Now that's perseverance!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Time Out For Women - 2017

Each year, it has become a tradition that my two daughters, my sister, and I attend Time Out For Women.  With the exception of missing one year, we have attended five TOFW programs.  To give you a little insight about TOFW, I went to their web page and retrieved the following information: For 15 years, Time Out for Women has been inviting faithful women to step away from the daily routine and make space for themselves and their spiritual lives. What started as an inspirational weekend event full of music, cheering, presenters, friends, and laughter has grown into a worldwide community of like-minded women seeking good. Whether they connect through TOFW.com or at a local event, TOFW women are choosing to be uplifted, reenergized, educated, entertained, and inspired with thousands of women all over the world.
The past three years we have traveled to Layton, Utah, whereas before, we were attending in Idaho Falls.  Each Time Out For Women is fabulous but because of the places being held, we all prefer attending in Layton.  The venue (Davis Conference Center) is much bigger so there is more room to walk around plus the seating has a lot more leg room.  We book a hotel (Holiday Inn Express) within walking distance to everything.
This year (February 17th - 18th), we left much earlier to reach our destination.  We left early enough that we could attend a session in the Ogden Temple.....A perfect way to start our uplifting journey.  I took pictures but it was an overcast, windy day and my photos did not turn out too good so I found the following picture on the lds.org site.
After leaving the temple, we drove to our hotel.  Upon entering our room, we were greeted with cute, little towel animals sitting on our beds.
We had a surprise Christmas party for my youngest daughter.  She was really sick at Christmas time and was unable to come home for Christmas or have Christmas with any of the family.  I also had a stocking for each of us.  Fun!
After celebrating Christmas, we changed our clothes, then walked to Marie Calendars to get something to eat before attending the evening session that went from 6:30pm till 9:30pm. While there, we had someone take our picture but they didn't know how to use my camera so all of the pictures were blurry.  This is the best one out of the 4 she took.
The evening presenter were fabulous.  You get so involved in what they have to say/sing that before you know it, it is over.
During intermission, they have a place set up where you can purchase CD's, books, clothing, etc.  There's lots to buy, but there are also lots and lots of women. 
I immediately made my purchase.....and missed having to stand in a long line.  And yes, this CD is fabulous!
On the second day (February 18th), we got up early, ate breakfast, packed our bags, loaded the car, then walked across the street to attend the program, which started at 9am.   We arrived fairly early but not nearly as early as others.  The hallways were already jam packed with women....women everywhere, wanting to attend this session.
Just a little humor here.....When you have this many women, gathered together in one location, the need for bathroom time is critical - ha!  To make accommodations, the men restrooms are converted into women restrooms.  All the stalls were there for use, but the urinals were converted into planters.
The Saturday presenters were just as fabulous as the Friday evening presenters.  
To wrap up the entire weekend of TOFW, I'll run through the list of information that was written in the beginning of this blog.
If you would like to see our previous years of TOFW, you can click on the following years......2012 - 2013 - 2015 - 2016.