"Choose you this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Carob Brownies and homemade icecream

I really like the flavor of carob, and also it's health benefits.  So, I adapted this recipe of Grandma's cake brownies as follows:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup carob powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup milk
1 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients.  Add wet and mix well.  Pour in greased cookie sheet with sides.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 min. until toothpick comes out clean.
Frost with carob frosting:

1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbl. Carob powder
slight amount of milk-about 2 Tbl.

My kids and I love these!

EASY Homemade Icecream:  4 cups half and half, 1 cup sugar, 2 Tbl. Vanilla.  Mix, freeze:)
I have also used homemade unsweetened yogurt instead of the half and half, and some of the kids really like that sweet/sour combination.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Family History- back to Adam and Eve:)

The kids and I had a great time Sunday looking at our family history on familysearch.org.  It is amazing, and you do not have to be a memeber of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints to use it.  Just set up your free account, type in your self, parents, grandparents, etc.  and all of the sudden, it will connect with information others have put in that have common ancestors with you, and BINGO!  You can go way back.  It is so FUN!!!!  Jane and I were looking and she kept going back on one of our lines, and we went all the way back to ADAM AND EVE!!!  Then Natalee did the same thing on another line!  It was so exciting!  If you haven't tried it, you really should!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Learning Co-op

We had a wonderful time with our learning co-op group this week.  After orchestra and choir classes, we went and sang to the people in the rest home.  It was fun to do a little something to try to cheer and brighten their day.  Then we went to the park and played kickball and soccer and saw the ducks.  We also started our "Standard of Excellence" program, where the kids are challenged to memorize different scriptures and poems and to get their practicing done 5 days a week.  There are rewards, of course, for this effort :) Jed's triumphant pose after passing off him memorized scripture.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Answered Prayers

So many times our prayers are answered, and we don't recognize or remember it.   I think it is a good thing to keep a record of the Lord's hand in our lives.

As I was talking to a friend last month, she mentioned how sad she was that she hadn't heard from her grandson in a long time and how much she missed him and wanted to see him or even just hear his voice.  We all decided to pray for him that there would be some kind of communication from him or his mother.  Last week she excitedly told me that she had finally gotten a text and that her grandson is going to come see her this summer.  She is so happy and we are all so grateful that the Lord has answered our prayers for communication.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Building Baby Brains

I heard a great talk this weekend at a Legacy Conference I went to.  It was given by a lady named Marlene.

She has been doing research on how baby's  brains develop.  Apparently, when a baby is born, there is about 70 percent of the brain that is not wired, or developed yet.  It is up to us as mothers to help the baby's brain develop properly.  Things like touch, playing, tickling, exercising, music, speech, love and attention  help the baby's brains to develop the brain connectors.  The more they are used, the stronger those connectors become.  Things that involve both sides of the body help the brain learn to make both sides work together-it develops coordination.  For the first 18 months, the brain is developing these essential skills.  They need lots of fat to help develop their brains.
If babies are neglected, their brain is like a wilderness.

As they grow, they get to keep the connectors that they use, and the ones that they don't use, they loose.  Mostly they will keep the ones that bring them pleasure and help them learn new things (things that are interesting and exciting to them).  It is important to keep helping them discover and learn new things, to keep the brain active.

Babies learn while they are in the womb to recognize their mother- by smell and by sound at first and then later, by sight.  They do know if MOTHER is the one taking care of them or not.  Surely we would not want to turn over the building of our baby's brains to a babysitter or daycare provider.  It is a privilege and honor to play such a big role in our baby's life.

Speaking in love relaxes them, and when they are relaxed, they learn the most.  I'm sure that goes for all of us:)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sisters Reunion

I have some really awesome sisters and want to be with them as much as I can, which, unfortunately doesn't happen very often because we live so far away from each other.  Last weekend I went to Utah and another sister came from Wyoming so we could all be together.  We spent time in the temple and also went to a Legacy Conference where we learned ideas on how to be better wives and mothers.  We really enjoyed each other's company. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Did you think to pray?

I traveled by myself to Utah this weekend and had a great time with my sisters for a little sister's reunion. One thing we didn't get was much sleep.  On the long way home, I was very tired, and it is amazing how low thoughts can become when we are weakened by a lack of sleep.  I felt like I was being targeted by Satan's buffetings.  I was trying hard to fight it off.  I listened to several books on tape, but in the end I was still had a melt down.  Today as I was thinking about it, I realized, I FORGOT TO PRAY!  I did pray for a safe trip and that prayer was answered, but why didn't I spend time pouring out my heart to the Lord?  I was too busy looking horizontally for my comfort and distractions.  I should have been looking vertically.  How could such a thing be?  I thought I had learned that lesson!  I can't believe I forgot!   Some of my best prayers have been when I was in a vehicle alone and had lots of time to talk to the Lord.  I guess I got what I deserved-next time I hope I remember to PRAY:)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

9 Way to Grow Closer to God

Sister Linda K. Burton, General Relief Society President, gave a wonderful talk last Sunday at the CES Fireside on ways that we can grow closer to God.  I really enjoyed it.  You can read it here: https://www.lds.org/church/news/sister-burton-shares-nine-ways-to-draw-closer-to-god?lang=eng, or watch it here: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/ces-devotionals/2014/03?lang=eng .

Here is a brief summary of what she talked about:

1.  Sincerely and humbly pray.
2.  Act promptly on spiritual impressions.
3.  Search the scriptures daily.
4.  Live the law of the fast.
5.  Be worthy and worship in the temple.
6.  "Trifle not with sacred things."
7.  Be prepared to move forward with faith.
8.  Let the Lord decide the details of what He chooses to reveal and when He chooses to reveal it.
9.  Heed prophetic warnings.

  “It is my deepest desire that we will increase in our ability to hear and understand the promptings of the Spirit and act on the promptings that we get from the Holy Ghost.” —Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Starting to GARDEN! YES!!!!!

Still dreaming of a hoop house, but until then, these old trampoline pieces will have to do the trick.  There are strawberry starts, swiss chard, brussell sprouts, asparagus, and whatever else I don't remember under there.  Then I tacked down a heavy-duty freeze cloth, and am hoping for some great crops this year!  

 Started some seeds about 3 weeks ago, and they are coming along nicely.  Time to be separating them!
 The tomatoes and pepper starts are in a insulated spot with some heat.  The cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce are in the greenhouse without any heat.  And they are coming up great.
 Found these at the thrift store, so I though I'd give them a try:)  We'll see how they grow.  When I tried the upside-down tomato hangers, I was NOT impressed at all!  Tomatoes don't want to grow upside down!  Mine were bending and heading to the sky.  Hopefully the strawberries will be happier.

Loving the signs of spring!

- Planting -
 Leaves budding -
 Daffodils budding and blooming -

 Moving the cows off the field -

 Lots of little calves -