I made these amazing scones last night for book club. I highly recommend using frozen berries instead of fresh or you will have a pink gooey mess. It might also help to roll the berries in a little flour before folding into the dough. Both the dough and the topping needed a lot more cream/liquid. Photo and recipe are courtesy of lecremedelacrumb.com….
We had a nice 4-day weekend with some 50 degree weather. Not bad for February in Utah! The mountains got snow, we got some rain, so we don’t have to feel guilty about loving the sunny, dry days! I also got to dive into some spring flower bed clean-up and pruning. While I was working I had the following conversation with Anna:
Anna (age 7): I wish you would let us use the word, “butt”.
Mom: Well, when you grow up and become a mother, you can let your kids say it.
Anna (with foresight): No, because by then I’ll probably understand why we shouldn’t say it.
Here are a few more quotes that I’m going to blast through without much context, just so I can get them recorded:
Sam, bemoaning the fact that he had to sit at the end of our rectangular table said, “I hate how far away I am from the food.”
Sam was talking about all the animals he is going to have when he grows up. I asked, “What if you marry a wife who doesn’t like pets?” He replied, “It depends on how good a wife she is.”
Lizzie (feeling a little like an indentured servant while doing her most hated chore of dishes), “I will do all of my children’s dishes until they are 10. Because they are my responsibility.” (I can’t remember if the “they” here referred to the children or the dishes)
Lizzie: When you come to pick me up from a friends house, will you call me 1 minute before you get there?
Mom: Sure, why?
Lizzie: Because it’s just so sad waiting around for ten minutes waiting for your life to end.
Mom: You guys are so lucky! Nothing stands in your way of doing whatever you want in your life!
Lizzie: That’s not true. I can’t do anything I want! I can’t be in the paralympics.
Mom: Thanks for not whining about this. (While we were cleaning/organizing their room.)
William: Oh don’t worry, I’m whining in my heart.
Anna to her friend Mary: Hugo, (the dog) can eat anything but drugs, wine and grapes.
William to friend Matthew after some rough-housing in the basement: We need to do this more often…burying your friend alive…in blankets.
Last night after William and Anna had gone to bed Lizzie asked me if I wanted to go for a walk in the snow. At 10 pm we left along with Sam and Grant. We went up the hill to the kids’ sledding spot to see the jump that Sam had built. It was pretty massive. I didn’t dare go down! Then we went higher, across the street to cemetery hill. It was such a bright night we could see everything. The snow was so deep and all was still and lovely. We brought the dogs who love walks but Hugo was too small to get through the unpacked snow and willingly rode on the sled as the kids pulled him up the hill. When we got to the top where the old pioneer graves are we disturbed a herd of deer. It was so picturesque! We all took a couple of runs, had a snowball fight (or at least tried – Lizzie and I can’t hit a thing on purpose) and then headed home. I was so energized by the crisp night air and exercise, I couldn’t go to sleep for a couple of hours! (Which was fine as I wanted to finish the amazing book I’m reading1) This “walk” was a gift. I little moment out of a busy life where things could slow down and we could just enjoy being.
I’ve been thinking a lot on light and truth. I have been feeling very materialistic lately – seeming to desire more and more things – you should see my list! It wasn’t enough to get our big van, now I want to install four wheel drive and a cool rack on top (both of which are SO expensive). It isn’t enough that I have this cool new computer, now I want one that has more storage…and maybe a bigger screen. It isn’t enough that we are going on this amazing trip in the summer, every day I get some e-mail about a great deal for trips to exotic places… The funny thing is, I know that when I seek a greater portion of light and truth in my life, my gratitude increases and my insatiable desire for stuff decreases. I read a beautiful quote today about this:
“No; nor has this earth power to give the joy, to bestow the peace, or comprehend the wisdom which was contained in each sentence as they were delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit! Man may deceive his fellow-men, deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave; but one touch with the finger of his love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into insignificance, and blots it forever from the mind.”
I get from this that the world cannot offer what the spirit can. Seek the spirit and the influences of the world will fade away. I better do a little more seeking and a little less dreaming about all the things I could buy. It would not only fill my soul, but our bank account too!…
I dream about traveling. Put me on a plane to anywhere and I would be happy. Stick me in a car with an open road ahead of me and I would be perfectly satisfied. Start an audio book on said road trip and I would think I’d died and gone to heaven. So, as one can imagine, I REALLY enjoy planning our family road trips – almost as much as I enjoy going on them!
So, what do we have planned for this summer? We only have three more summers before Sam moves out and our goal to see all of the states we can drive to. This summer we will explore the southeast. Here is a map of the way there: And here is a map of the way home:And here is the itinerary for the month:
Leave June 22nd, Thursday – AMARILLO
Drive 13 hours 22 min- Take I-40
See Cadillac Ranch – car sculpture
Spend night in Amarillo – hotel
June 23rd, Friday – NASHVILLE
Drive 13 hours 36 minutes
Spend night in Nashville – Airbnb
June 24th Saturday
Possible places: The Parthenon in Centennial Park, Hatch Show Print Shop, Andrew Jackson’s home (The Hermitage), Historic Belmont mansion, adventure science center
Listen to live music either at Bluebird café, Family Wash, or Station Inn.
Spend night in Nashville
June 25th Sunday – SMOKY MOUNTIANS
Leave at 5 to drive to Cades Cove 4 hours 15 mins –bring picnic lunches
Cades Cove 2-4 hours
Rich Mountain Road
Abrams Falls 1 hour
Laural Falls Trail on the way to hotel
Stay in Pigeon Forge…
Today Vidangel, our favorite (and only) online movie filtering company complied with an injunction that they suspend all filtering. We are so sad. We are also hoping that this is not the death of Vidangel but just a temporary condition while they proceed with the lawsuit. I don’t know how they would possibly win against 4 Hollywood studios (including Disney), but we are hoping. It has been nice to be able to expand our movie watching choices over these last few years. Now we probably won’t be watching any PG-13 movies or any movies from the 80’s, just like before Vidangel came along. I guess I’ll go back to watching BBC period films and just be content with that…
What a wonderful weekend this has been! I love, love, love it when Christmas is on a Sunday. I love attending church and being able to take the Sacrament. It being Christmas, and the Sabbath day allows me to to think of the Savior at his birth and his death and his life anew. Some Christmas traditions that I love? For more than a hundred years, our church congregation has met together on Christmas Eve for a nativity, for no more than an hour and exchanged Christmas wishes. Part of the tradition is for each child to receive a brown paper bag with an orange, some peanuts in their shell, an old fashioned chocolate, some hard candy and taffy. During the many years of this tradition there were years of hardship, most particularly during the depression, when this bag of treats was the only gift some children received.
Another tradition that we enjoy is our Christmas Eve meal. Grant and I go on a date a few days before and select dips, appetizers, chips, crackers, cheeses, pickles and olives. It is an easy and tasty meal with virtually no dishes. Wait! Did I forget the little smokies? Yes, this year we had little smokies. The sauce called for beer. I bought my first can of beer. We let all the kids smell it. They were all disgusted. So much so that some of them didn’t want to eat the little smokies. I’m glad of it. I think I would have been a little worried if they thought it smelled good.
Christmas morning was fun. Anna got two little girl rats and is so excited to finally have her own pets! All of our children have gotten a pet when they turned 6, except Anna. Sam got his snake. Lizzie, a lovebird that was exchanged for a kitten when we developed allergies to the bird. William got Hugo, the dog. The problem is all of those pets and Charlie and Kevin the cat are still living! We are pretty maxed out when it comes to pets. We thought rats were a good option.
Other gifts? Lizzie got a ton of clothes. Sam wanted a new long board. William got a go pro type camera. I got date coupons from my romantic husband and Grant got an authentic Lincoln costume. We had Mom, Brian and Rebecca here for present opening. Later this evening we went to visit my Dad and Sheri. I missed my sisters and brothers who were not here but it was nice to be around family.
The funniest part of the day was at about 9 am. After we had opened presents we were having breakfast and Anna was not being very nice. When Lizzie told her to stop Anna said, “I don’t have to be nice, I already got all of my presents from Santa.” Lizzie replied, “Yes, well, he is watching to see how you act now for next year’s presents.” Anna smugly exclaimed, “He isn’t watching me! He is sleeping right now!” Only Anna would realize the loophole in the whole naughty and nice = presents scheme. So, as I head off to bed I wish one and all, a Merry Christmas!
Get the rusty cogs turning…dust off the blogging skills…
I’m back! I used to love, even crave the time I had to write. It is amazing how easily we get out of the habit of things. (I’m wondering how it is so easy to get out of the habit of doing good things but so hard to kick the habit of bad things – like sugar) So, here I am. I have so much I could write about. In August I started a pretty regular freelance job doing design. I like the people I work with, and the challenge. The money is nice too. I enjoy the positive feedback and the flexibility of working from home. What I don’t like having other people’s projects hanging over me though when I have enough of my own waiting to be done!!!
The kids are doing well in school. Sam thinks he may have pulled his first 4.0 ever and is pretty excited about it. He is also 6’1″ and still growing (He might be MOST excited about that!). He is having an incredible cross country season as the undefeated champion. Now he is trying to compete against himself to beat his own time. Anna decided to keep going with Irish dance and is loving it though she wishes she could do other kinds of dance as well as Irish. She is also playing soccer and really likes that. Her games are most entertaining. As for school, after a rocky beginning in first grade with a teacher she didn’t really like she seems to be settled in and content (if not resigned). Sadly, the teacher looks a little like Mrs. Van Frank, my evil 6th grade teacher who asked my mom in a parent teacher conference, “How can you stand to be her mother?” Anna’s teacher may look like my evil teacher but that is where the similarity ends. She is actually very nice. Lizzie is blossoming in to such an amazing girl with wonderful talents and an astonishing desire for good. She is trying not to be so exclusive with her group of friends. She also has quite a flair for satirical cartooning which I hope to put some of her samples up soon. William is thriving in his club soccer league but realized that maybe raw talent isn’t enough since he isn’t the only hotshot on the team this year like he has been in the past. He is loving school and enjoying his musical pursuits in piano and violin. His epilepsy seems to be somewhat under control. He has about one seizure a month while he is sleeping. We are feeling pretty lucky.
Grant was released from his calling as bishop of our church congregation on September 4th. We have enjoyed a little more time together and although I think he misses the sweet associations he had with ward members and other priesthood leaders, I think he feels like the heavy burden of responsibility that he has carried these past 5 1/2 years has been lifted. I enjoy sitting with him at church again and having him around on Sunday since he is no longer in meetings all day! Things at the school are going well too. We acquired the land (27 acres) through generous donations for the eventual expansion that will include a separate high school building, performing arts center and sports complex. We are all excited for that and wish it could be done now!
I’m not really done. I wanted to record a wonderful talk I read today entitled “Forgiving Oneself” by Elder Chad Richardson. I found it while doing a little study on forgiveness. Read it here. This is my favorite part:
“We must keep sin in its proper perspective. Satan would convince us that we are defined by our sins… He would convince someone who has stolen that he is and always will be a thief.
The Savior, in contrast, would have us understand that we have sins that need to be cleansed, but we are much more than those stains. If I spill ketchup on my shirt, I have a stain. Perhaps it is right in front where everyone can see it. But while I have a stain, I am not the stain. I need to recognize that there is a good deal of my shirt that is clean and white. I believe that God sees the white shirt—the goodness in His children—and offers, through Christ, to remove the stains. If we obsess about the stain, however, it will become who we are in our minds and then in our actions.”
Yesterday was Fathers Day. My dad and Sheri came over for dinner. I felt so grateful to have my father and my wonderful husband together at dinner to celebrate their sacrifice and love. Anna said the blessing before we ate. She said some typical things, “Thank you for this day, please bless the food, help us to have a nice time together etc” and then she paused and suddenly she said to God, her Heavenly Father, “Happy Father’s Day!” I am certain that God, the creator of the universe, the Father of us all, heard this little girl and was smiling down upon her. I felt it.
Some recent happenings:
Anna decided to quit Irish Dance. She admitted that she just did it because Lizzie does and that she wants to try her own thing. Tina, her teacher and the owner of the dance studio sent this sweet e-mail in response to the news:
That is a huge bummer, but tell that girl I will be waiting for her when she decides Irish is the cooolest! Tell her that younger sisters usually get way better than their older sisters!:) All the best!
William tried out for a couple of club soccer teams for the first time. He made both teams and decided to play for Utah Surf. His main motivation is to play more often. He would play every day if he could. He loves it so much. Two weeks ago he was at BYU soccer camp that went from 8-noon every day. They played in 90 degree weather. After playing for four hours one day he had more practice with his new team. I asked him if he was too tired to go. He looked at me with incredulity and said, “No way! I could never play too much soccer!”
Conversation tonight between Lizzie and me:
Lizzie: I would never marry a dentist
Me: Why not? They make a ton of money and have great hours.
Lizzie:It doesn’t matter. It’s like marrying a terrorist.