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Monday, September 27, 2010


APRICOT-GLAZED PORK ROAST (from http://www.recipegirl.com/)

Serves: 6
Points: 6

2 to 2½ lb. boned, rolled pork loin roast
½ c. apricot preserves
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme

Preheat oven to 325°F. Unroll roast; trim fat. Re-roll roast; secure at 1-inch intervals with heavy string. Combine preserves, mustard, and thyme in a bowl; stir. Brush 1 Tablespoon apricot mixture over roast. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert meat thermometer into thickest portion of roast. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink), basting once with apricot mixture. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Bring remaining apricot mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and cook 2 minutes. Serve with roast.

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Get out the Kleenexes!

I LOVE these videos! Enjoy. You may want to scroll down and hit pause on my music player in the sidebar before you watch it so you can hear the beautiful music.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


PEACH AND BANANA BRAN MUFFINS (from http://www.pinchmysalt.com/)

Serving Size: one muffin
Points: 4

6 oz. dried peaches (about 1 c.)
boiling water
2 T. vegetable oil
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 C. buttermilk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 C. wheat bran
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. mace (or substitute nutmeg)
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Cover peaches with boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes; drain and cut into coarse pieces. In a medium bowl, stir together oil, egg, buttermilk, bananas and brown sugar; set aside. In a large bowl, combine both flours, wheat bran, baking powder, soda, salt and mace; whisk together well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don’t over mix, but make sure the flour on the bottom of the bowl has been stirred in. Fold in chopped walnuts.

Spoon the batter into 12 greased muffin cups, filling the cups to the top. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 – 22 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT-Importance of Scripture Study

"...being in the scriptures is one way we receive the Holy Ghost. Of course, scripture is given through the Holy Ghost in the first place (see 2 Peter 1:21; D&C 20:26–27; 68:4), and that same Spirit can attest its truth to you and me. Study the scriptures carefully, deliberately. Ponder and pray over them. Scriptures are revelation, and they will bring added revelation." (D. Todd Christofferson, "The Blessing of Scripture," Ensign, May 2010, 35 )

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Feasting Upon His Love

I read the most beautiful verse this morning and wanted to share my thoughts. I was reading in Jacob 3 and I LOVE verses 1-2:

". . . Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause. . . "

"O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and fest upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm forever."

It struck me that all the promises in these two verses are CONDITIONAL. Do you remember in high school geometry, learning about "if, then" statements? This verse is an "if, then" statement as well, meaning that in order for the promise to be fulfilled, something must first be added to the equation. So, in my nerdy way, I wanted to write verse one in equation form:

look to God+firmness in mind+prayer+exceeding faith=consolation in afflictions+mediation+justice

There are tons of these "if-then" statements in the scriptures. I had an institute teacher once teach us to look for three different types of scriptural passages:

1. Principles
2. Doctrines
3. Storylines

Principles are "if-then" statements. They are conditional upon something. Doctrines are true regardless of actions on our part. An example of a doctrine would be "there are three degrees of glory." Storylines are just that; they are verses that tell the history. I have used this framework to study my scriptures for many years. As I am marking my scriptures, I simply write "P" for principle, "D" for doctrine, or "S" for storyline in the margin. This has been a great help for me in my scripture study. It helps me to better understand and focus on what I'm reading and understand what I need to do to claim the blessings that can be mine through righteousness.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--My Father in Heaven

I love soup! Can you tell by the last few recipes I've posted? Growing up, my mom was FAMOUS for her soups. She made THE best beef stew, taco soup, chowder, vegetable soups, ham and bean, chicken noodle. . . you name it! I loved watching (and smelling) her prepare it, too. None of this canned convenience stuff. Her soup was truly a work of art and a labor of love. A good pot of soup would take her at least an hour to make, often more. She was expert at turning a fridge-full of leftovers into a tasty, masterpiece of a meal. This week I've made soup three times, in anticipation of Fall and to better utilize the bounty of my garden. And each time, I was so grateful for the lessons my mother gave me. As I served up these bowls of love, I felt closer to my mommy.

Thinking along these same lines, I wondered what my own Heavenly parents are like. I wonder what they have passed down to me. I wonder what things they long to teach me. I know that some might feel that thinking this way could be considered sacrilegious, but our church teaches that our Heavenly Father loves us tenderly and intimately, which is doctrine I cherish.

In college, I sang in the institute choir and served in its leadership program. Our director, Brother Castleton was an amazing man. He loved each of us so much. He had white hair, a round belly, and twinkling eyes. He was so kind to us as he taught us not only about music, but about life. I remember once after we finished singing "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," in rehearsal, the spirit was so evident. Many of us actually had tears running down our cheeks that day. He stopped and waited for a minute or so, respectful of that moment, then quietly and reverently said: "Brothers and Sisters, that is the Spirit of God. Remember how you feel right now and never do anything that will offend the Holy Ghost."

I imagine my Heavenly Father to be a lot like Brother Castleton. In fact, sometimes when I pray, I imagine his face. I love the quote by Ezra Taft Benson:

"Nothing will startle us more when we pass through the veil than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us."

I look forward to that day! I love him so, and it means worlds to me to know that He loves me even more dearly.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


"When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden."
(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Love of God," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 21 )


"Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter. Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect."
(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Continue in Patience," Ensign, May 2010, 56 )


HEARTY SPINACH AND SAUSAGE SOUP (from http://www.pinchmysalt.com/)

Serves: 6
Points: 6

1 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 lb. red potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
5 – 6 c. chicken stock (homemade, or low-sodium broth)
1/2 c. pearl barley
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
1 large bunch of spinach, thick stems removed, roughly chopped (about 4 cups, packed)
salt, to taste
herbs or seasonings of your choice – I used some fresh thyme

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onions are softened. Add potatoes, 5 cups of stock, and barley. Turn up heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until barley is tender. Meanwhile, squeeze sausage from its casings, crumble and brown it in a skillet. Drain fat and set the sausage aside. When barley is tender, add spinach and sausage to the soup and fresh herbs if you are using them. Add more stock if necessary or desired, bring soup back up to a simmer and let cook for another 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


"[The] early Saints were indeed homeless, but they were not hopeless. Their hearts were broken, but their spirits were strong. They had learned a profound and important lesson. They had learned that hope, with its attendant blessings of peace and joy, does not depend upon circumstance. They had discovered that the true source of hope is faith—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." (Wilford W. Andersen, "The Rock of Our Redeemer," Ensign, May 2010, 16)


It's time for another verse dissection! I love to pick apart verses that I've heard a million times to make sure they haven't become so familiar that I miss out on their beautiful messages. Today I was reading a good old scripture mastery verse. . . 2 Nephi 31:20:

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father, Ye shall have eternal life."

Wow! What a beautiful passage this is! It almost seems like a little syllabus from a Professor, doesn't it? First, we are told to press forward with a steadfastness in Christ. I noticed in the footnotes, the words commitment, dedication, perserverance, steadfastness, and walking with God. Am I fully committed to live the gospel of Christ? Am I dedicated to the cause of building up Zion? Am I willing to perservere through adversity, doubt, my own weaknesses, and all other difficulties that are simply part of life? Am I steadfast in my devotion to the Savior? Do I walk each day with God, exercising faith in His will for me?

Then I love the phrase "a perfect brightness of hope." I love that we are actually commanded to hope. God knows that it will take time for each of us to reach our spiritual potential. He also knows that at times, we are bound to become overwhelmed with the task of becoming our best selves. But here, He offers us a lifeline...hope. What a beautiful message of abiding and understanding love from a Father who cares about each of us on an intimate level.

Next I wonder if I truly love God. I mean, of course I love Him, but do I show it in all my actions? Do I love my fellow men or am I so caught up in the minutia of life, that I rarely think of others?

Do I have the courage to press forward, even when life is hard? What about during the times when my faith is tested? Am I feasting upon His word as if my very spiritual life depended on it? Do I hunger and thirst for what He alone can offer?

Will I endure to the end? I have often wondered exactly what "enduring" implies. I think I now have a glimpse of its meaning...in verse 16 of this same chapter it explains: "...unless a man endure to the end, in following the example of the Son..." Again, this is such a beautiful message!

If I can live my life according to this verse, I get....eternal life! Exaltation! To live with my Father and with my loved ones FOREVER! Sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn't it? I am so thankful for this specific verse and for the lessons it teaches me about the gospel and about the love of a Father and a Brother.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


WEIGHT WATCHERS CORNBREAD (from http://www.laaloosh.com/)

Serves: 8
Points: 3

1 c. uncooked cornmeal, yellow
1 (14-oz.) can of creamed corn
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 packets of Splenda sweetener
1 tsp. table salt
1/2 c. reduced fat buttermilk
2 large egg whites
2 tsp. corn oil

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat an 8-inch square cake pan with non-fat cooking spray (I prefer the butter flavored kind). Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, Splenda, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix well with a fork and set aside. Combine creamed corn, buttermilk, egg whites and oil in a medium bowl; mix until blended. Fold mixture into dry ingredients and blend. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. Cut into 8 squares.


“He is your beloved Heavenly Father, who seeks your good, your happiness. He desires with all the love of a perfect and pure Father that you reach your supernal destination. . . . All you have to do is trust your Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His plan.” --Dieter F. Uchdorf


Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of Tyler's losing his job. I thought for today's post, I'd reflect a little on what this IMMENSE and challenging detour has meant to our family. It has been significant enough, that we have a invisible line through our family's timeline, delineating the before and after. All of us have experienced pain, confusion, anger, frustration, helplessness, and grief, but what has come as a sweet, merciful surprise is, that more often, we have felt guided, protected, and cared for. Here is a short list of some of the lessons of the last year:

1. Never take anything for granted. Now that Tyler and I are both working crazy schedules just to keep food on the table, our time together and at home is limited. As a result, we really make our family time count. No more sitting around, watching TV or playing video games. No more feeling picked on because of the countless tasks that need to be done. On my days off, I actually ENJOY cleaning now. In fact, I look forward to it! I now love doing homework with my kids. It has become a special, more appreciated part of family bonding. I love Saturdays, when I am able to clean, cook homemade meals, and take the dog for a walk: all things that I wouldn't have even thought twice about before Ty lost his job. I even love the opportunity to sink my hands into a sink-ful of hot, soapy dishwater, while watching my kids play tag in the back yard.

2. Always make time for family. Tyler and I have really had to improvise with our date nights, since money has been so tight. We now work in the garden, borrow movies from our parents, rather than rent them, go for long walks, and experiment with new recipes, where before, we would simply go to dinner and a movie. We have found these new activities to be even more romantic and FUN! A few weeks ago, we all wound up at home...together...at the same time! It was so unheard of, given the craziness of our hectic lives, that we decided to take an impromptu road trip to Arctic Circle in Tremonton, where we went inside and ordered 59-cent ice cream cones. It was actually heaven on earth, to sit there with my cherished family, all together and share such a sweet, appreciated moment with them. It's hard to explain how sweet that night together felt...

3. Just do it! The day after Ty lost his job, we both started the hunt for alternate employment. Three days later, I was hired to work at Farmers Insurance. Since that time, I have studied for and taken my licensure exam and now I am a Licensed Property and Casualty Producer. I also started my own little photography business, something I never would've had the guts to do, if not for the need to make more money a year ago. I am so grateful that I was led down these paths because my confidence in myself, and in the Lord's ability to help me, has grown immensely.

4. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Tyler and I have sort of switched roles during this whole ordeal. I have had to put myself in more of a breadwinner role. I understand more about what he struggles with day-to-day: the anxiety of going to work in the morning, the stress of work-related problems that are difficult not to bring home, etc. And meanwhile, he has had a chance to step into my shoes. He's realizing that it is hard work keeping a house, making meals, and helping the children with the schedules and studies. We really have learned to love and appreciate each other on a whole new level. I think we've grown closer in the last year than we'd ever been before.

5. Lean not unto my own understanding. Before this last year, I'd always just thought, "If we ever lose a job, we'll just find another one." But that wasn't God's plan for us. After applying for hundreds and hundreds of jobs--in his field and not--without much luck at all, we started realizing that maybe this is a crossroads for us. As we began praying and really searching to understand HIS will for our family, we came to the decision to have Tyler go back to school.

We are still learning new lessons daily. Though at times, I long for everything to just be "all better," as I look back on this trial, I can see glimpses of the good that have come. I long for stable employment, financial security, and fun trips, but even more, I long to be close to my Heavenly Father and to do things His way. And I know that He leads us daily and that His angels are around us to buoy us during the hard times. I can truly say that I wouldn't have it any other way!

Friday, September 17, 2010



Serves: 6
Points: 6

6 ears corn
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 slices smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon gold, cut into small cubes
2 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 T. fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
2 canned chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
One container vegetable or chicken broth (32-ounce) or (4 cups)
2 c. evaporated skim milk
Lime wedges, chopped flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped scallions and crumbles cotija cheese or queso fresco, for garnish (all optional)

Pre-heat a grill or broiler. Grill or broil the ears of corn until charred, 7-8 minutes (cover the grill to give the corn a smoky flavor). Scrape the kernels from the cob.While the corn is charring, in a soup pot, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Add the onion, potatoes, celery and garlic to the pot. Add the bay leaf and thyme, season with salt and pepper, cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Using a food processor, puree the chipotle chiles. Stir into the vegetables, then stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and keep warm. Rinse the food processor bowl.Add one-third of the corn kernels to the food processor, pour in 2 cups of the soup and puree. Pour the mixture into the remaining soup and lower the heat to a simmer. Stir in the remaining corn kernels, the milk and reserved bacon and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve the chowder in bowls with the lime wedges, parsley, scallions and lots of cheese.



"It is in moments of disappointment, heartache, and loneliness that we often make decisions that forge our faith, mold our characters, and fortify our convictions about the only source of strength and solace that satisfies. And that is J e s u s C h r i s t."

"Our ability to successfully negotiate this spiritual minefield called mortality improves dramatically if we are clear about who we are and what is important. And what is important is eternal life."

"Yielding ourselves to the Lord, from whom we may obtain greater strength than we will ever muster on our own, is the only source of strength in this life and happiness in the life to come."

"If there were ever a time when the Lord needed righteous, determined women who can distinguish between the adversary's deceptions and the voice of the Lord, it is now. If there were ever a time when the Lord needed women who stand committed and consecrated, it is now. If there were ever a time when the Lord needed women of integrity and purity who live in the world but rise above it, it is now. If there were ever a time when the Lord needed His daughters to be alert to what is happening in society and to defend the sanctity of the home and family, it is now. If there were ever a time when the Lord needed us to have a clear vision of who we are, where we are, and what is important—it is now."

‎"We no longer have the luxury of spending our energy on anything that does not lead us and our families to Christ."

‎"There is one thing the power of God and the power of Satan have in common: Neither can influence us unless we allow them to."

"The last days are not for the faint of heart or the spiritually out of shape."


"If only we could catch the vision . . . that we will in due time inherit eternal life, if we could only glimpse it, I tell you there is nothing that we are called to pass through but what we would willingly describe as a blessing." --Brigham Young

Thursday, September 16, 2010



Serves: 5
Points: 6

2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 half red bell pepper
1/4 c. fresh parsley (or cilantro)
5 bell peppers (red or green)
14 oz. shredded cooked chicken breast
adobo (or salt)
1 (15.5-oz.) can white beans
1/2 c. shredded cheddar

In a medium pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, parsley and red pepper. Saute until soft, about a minute. Add chicken and season with cumin and adobo. Add beans and 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until it thickens and the liquid reduces. Adjust spices to taste.Preheat oven to 350°. Cut peppers in half removing seeds and stem. Place peppers in an oven-proof dish. Fill each pepper with 1/3 cup of chicken and bean mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth on the bottom of the dish. Cover tight with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 350°. Remove foil, top with cheese and bake uncovered another 5 minutes.


"When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective." --President Spencer W. Kimball


Did you ever hear your mother or grandmother use the phrase: "Do a good turn daily?" I've been thinking those words a lot lately and I'm not quite sure why. It may have something to do about all the "Me, me, me" prayers I've been praying lately. I'm sure that at this point, it would make great spiritual sense to start thinking more of others.

I have one friend (and hero), Becky, who is battling AL Leukemia. She is a young mommy of three beautiful, sweet kiddos, and despite her physical pain and discomfort, she is always thinking of others. She faithfully posts thoughtful, spiritual, optimistic status updates on her Facebook page. Just the other day she wrote: "When trying to fight these difficult and painful days of this lousy cancer, it helps to remember the suffering my Savior did for me. I am so grateful for my Savior."

Her attitude is a much-needed reminder that the Savior loves all of us. There are so many suffering all around me, and so much I can do to help. It's truly time to "forget myself and go to work!"

Thank you Becky, for your sweetness. Thank you for reminding me of all the Savior was called upon to bear. Thank you for reminding me of all the miracles and tender mercies in my own life. And thank you for helping my heart to become softened, more willing to bear the sufferings of others. What an example you are to me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


You're never going to believe what my new calling is! I'm scared silly, but very excited too. On Friday night, the Stake President called and asked my husband and I to come in to his office on Saturday. I thought maybe Tyler was getting called to the Elders' Quorum Presidency, but in the back of my mind, I also knew that they would be releasing the Stake YW Presidency soon, too. I was called to be...the Stake YW Secrectary! I truly feel so inadequate for this calling. Secretary-ing has never really seemed like something I would be good at, and by nature I am a little...how should we say this nicely...DISORGANIZED! But the wonderful thing about the gospel is that Heavenly Father gives us so may opportunities to turn our greatest weaknesses into amazing strengths. I feel so loved to know that He has confidence that I can do this. I know that He will prepare a way for me to be an AWESOME secretary and "accomplish the thing that the Lord commandeth..."

Tonight is my first meeting, so I've got to run! Love you all!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


BLACK BEAN QUESADILLAS (from http://www.eatingwell.com/)

Serves: 4
Points: 8

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed
1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, preferably pepper Jack
1/2 c. prepared fresh salsa, divided
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
2 tsp. canola oil, divided
1 ripe avocado, diced (optional)

Combine beans, cheese and 1/4 cup salsa in a medium bowl. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread 1/2 cup filling on half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Serve the quesadillas with avocado and the remaining salsa.


"Paced progress not only is acceptable to the Lord but also is recommended by Him. Divine declarations say: ‘Ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now’ (D&C 50:40); ‘I will lead you along’ (D&C 78:18). Just as divine disclosure usually occurs line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, so likewise we will achieve our spiritual progress gradually." (D&C 128:21; 98:12) (Neal A. Maxwell--"Men and Women of Christ" [1991], 23).


I was at my brother's house tonight and for some reason picked up their copy of the "New Era," which I hadn't read yet. I was so touched and moved by the First Presidency Message by Elder Bednar, entitled "Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept." The article started out with a question which I have OFTEN asked myself: “How can I tell the difference between my emotions telling me what I want to hear and the Holy Ghost telling me what I need to hear?”

I would highly suggest that you read this deep, informational article, but I would also like to share some key quotes that helped me understand this principle better:

". . . we tend to believe the Lord will give us A BIG ANSWER QUICKLY AND ALL AT ONE TIME. However, the pattern repeatedly described in the scriptures suggests we receive “line upon line, precept upon precept,” or in other words, many small answers over a period of time."

"Most typically we receive a series of seemingly small and incremental spiritual impressions and nudges, which in totality constitute the desired confirmation about the correctness of the path which we are pursuing."

"Remember, Nephi tried several different approaches before he was able to successfully obtain the plates of brass from Laban (see 1 Nephi 3–4). And he did not learn how to build a ship of curious workmanship all at one time; rather, he was shown by the Lord “from time to time after what manner [he] should work the timbers of the ship” (1 Nephi 18:1).

"As described by Elder Richard G. Scott: “When we receive help from our Father in Heaven, it is in response to faith, obedience, and the proper use of agency” (“Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayers,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 30)."

"If you and I would distinguish our personal emotions from the impressions placed in our hearts and minds by the Holy Ghost, then we must desire and seek, ask and discern, hear and obey, and then again desire and seek and ask and discern and hear and obey. Our faith and diligence and obedience are ongoing invitations for additional spiritual knowledge and insight. Faith leads to obedience, which yields wisdom and an even greater desire for added light and truth."

"It is not just that we have grown older, nor have we simply become smarter and had more experiences on which to draw, as important as those experiences are. Rather, the Holy Ghost has over time been expanding our intellect, forming our feelings, sharpening and elevating our perspective, such that we increasingly think and feel and act as the Lord would under similar circumstances. In short, we have made steady progress in obtaining “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)."

"As you ponder the principle of 'line upon line, precept upon precept,' you will be able to discern more clearly the consistent help from heaven you have received in your lives. And your faith in the Savior will be stronger, and your hope for the future will be brighter."

Good stuff, right? Here's the link to the article: http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=07d3321a03faa210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=024644f8f206c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


"The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired." — Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


GRILLED CHICKEN CHOPPED SALAD (adapted from http://www.realsimple.com/)

Serves: 4
Points: 8

1/4 c. whole-grain mustard
1/2 c. apple juice
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. plus 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. chicken cutlets
4 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, cut lengthwise in half
1 large red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 (5 oz.) bag salad greens

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, apple juice, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and 1/2 cup of the oil. Transfer 1/2 cup of the mixture to a large resealable plastic bag and refrigerate the rest. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Add to the bag, seal, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium. Place the zucchini, tomatoes, and onion on a baking sheet. Add the salt and the remaining oil and pepper and toss.
Grill the chicken and vegetables, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop the ingredients. Divide the salad greens among individual bowls and top with the chicken, vegetables, and the reserved dressing.


“Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life." --President David O. McKay


". . . may I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you." (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Because She is a Mother," Ensign, April 1997).

Monday, September 6, 2010


LEMON-THYME CHICKEN (from http://www.health.com/)

POINTS: 5 (including couscous)

1 T. lemon zest
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 lb. chicken cutlets
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. uncooked couscous
3/4 lb. zucchini (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 lb. yellow summer squash (about 2 medium), halved, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 c. fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
Chopped fresh thyme, for garnish

Place the lemon zest and thyme in a small bowl; toss. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Sprinkle half of the lemon-and thyme mixture evenly onto one side of each cutlet. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook the chicken, herb side down, turning after 2 minutes. When the chicken is golden and cooked through (about 4 minutes), transfer to a cutting board. Cover chicken, and keep warm. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; gradually stir in the couscous. Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cover couscous, and keep warm.

Sauté the zucchini and squash (in the same skillet used for the chicken) over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and tender (about 4 minutes). Stir in the remaining lemon-and-thyme mixture, chicken broth, and couscous. Spoon the couscous mixture evenly among 4 plates; top each with a chicken cutlet. Garnish with thyme.


"We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues." (Thomas S. Monson, "An Attitude of Gratitude," Ensign, Feb. 2000).

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Gratitude Journal

Today I was looking at my list of 30 things to do in my 30th year and I have picked start a gratitude journal as my next task. Since I already have this blog, I'll probably be periodically posting these blessings here to share with you. Here are a few gems for which I am grateful from the past week:

I love teaching. I love that I get so many opportunities to teach in Young Women's and to help fill in for my hubby, who is the Sunday School President. I love preparing the lessons and handouts, studying, learning, presenting, and bearing my cherished testimony to others. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach the Gospel Essentials class AND my YW in the same day, and for me, it was heaven. The GE lesson was about the millenium, which was a wonderful lesson. I learned quite a bit in studying that I didn't know. I look forward to the millenium, a time when I will be able to rest from my labors and truly enjoy my family as well as serve in God's kingdom. It was truly refreshing to read about the time when all my hopes will come to fruition and I will be able to live with the Savior in my midst. Just imagine! No contention, no temptations, no sin, no heartache, no disease. Ahhh. Sign me up for that!

My YW lesson was about temple marriage, and I could hardly speak at some points, as I shared with the girls the love I have for temples and the opportunity I have to be with my sweetie FOREVER and EVER if I do my part to live a righteous life. It was so sweet to reflect on how good our life has been in our almost ten years of marriage. I am so grateful for this man: his willingness to serve our family, to honor the priesthood, to care for each of our needs. He makes me smile daily and laugh often. I honestly don't know what I'd do without him. The most wonderful part of our love story is, that through the plan of salvation, I can be with him for "eternity and beyond!"

(More gratitude coming soon to a computer monitor near you!)

30 in 30 update: This week I wrote an unexpected thank you note, forgave someone who's hurt me, and smiled big on a very hard day. Plugging right along!