The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Yesterday I returned from our ward (congregation) Girls Camp.  With my call as Young Women President comes the annual summer girls camp.  Last year it was a stake camp (all wards in our geographic location) and lasted for five days.  This year it was only three days, but I still came home exhausted (and a little stressed about all the school work I haven’t done).  But even with as tired as I feel, the camp was a great success!  The girls and leaders had fun, unity was forged, and many expressed feeling closer to God.

Though I came home with almost 500 pictures I can only share a few here to allow for anonymity.  Our theme was a “Survivor” theme–“Look to Me and ‘Survive.'”  Most of the usual camp activities occurred.  We did a craft, went on a hike, played games, acted silly, enjoyed the scenery and the wildlife, but it did rain both evenings which prevented us from having campfires and roasting marshmallows.  It also made it too wet to go on a snipe hunt, which was a bit of a disappointment to the older girls.  😉

Here are a few pictures that perhaps give a bit of taste of what camp was like…

Inside one of the cabins

One of the girls put my hair up into a "drill team" 'do

Appetizers for dinner

A visitor

Service project

The best part for me was being at camp with my daughter, Hoob.  She really blossomed in a leadership position AND she received the award for being the funniest.  🙂

I will take these experiences any day…whether school work gets done or not.

Listening to the General Conference of our church this weekend.  It always seems that the messages shared are meant just for me.


Joy, happiness, pleasure, contentment, cheer–things many of us seem to be searching for but somehow miss the mark.  For the next two weeks I am going to deliberately look for and create joy in my life.  I have always admired joyful people and consider the trait of being joyful a divine quality worthy of emulating and developing in myself. 

For the next two weeks my blogging schedule will change from my normal Monday/Thursday posts to a short daily post reporting on one or two things that brought me joy the previous day.  I might end up reporting on things I am grateful for or those “happy accidents” that happen to all of us that bring us clarification and a new perspective or I might report on deliberate acts on my part to bring joy into my life.  Each day will bring something new.

Today’s report (Joyful Report #1) comes from a deliberate act on my part last night.  Hub had to leave to take care of some things at his parents’ house while they are out of the country serving a mission for our church in St. Maarten.  Juju and Shroom were called away to a dinner at their mother’s house.  Squid serving a mission in Uruguay and Huh attending college out of state left just me, Mack, Hoob, and Yawlin at home.  

I was tempted to let the three kids watch tv and give myself some “alone” time to read and get other things done that I’ve been dying to finish, but instead, I chose to spend the time with my kids.  We try to keep Sunday as a family day around here anyway, so my request to turn off the tv and play a game didn’t receive much resistance.  It was a simple game, one adapted from a book, but we had fun.  We laughed.  We teased.  We ate kettle corn and drank root beer.  And while all of it was going on, I was happy, I was joyful, I was content with my life. 

Mission accomplished.

Until tomorrow…enjoy!

Here is one more game for family game nights.  We played it on Monday during our Family Home Evening and had a blast!  It is called Who, What, Where, When, Why.  

Each player has a piece of paper and a pencil.  On the top of the paper each player writes down a Who (Grandpa, President Obama, Michael Jackson, Uncle Ted, etc.).  Next, fold down the paper so that the Who can’t be seen.  Pass the papers to the person on the left.

Without looking at who is written on the paper everyone now writes down the What (ex. played baseball, went grocery shopping, had a nightmare, etc.).  Details make it fun.  Again, fold the paper down so that the What can’t be seen.  Pass to the person on the left.

Without looking at what is written on the paper now write a Where and repeat the folding and passing.  Next comes When and then Why.  Once the Why is written the papers are passed one more time, unfolded, and everyone takes a turn reading what is written on their paper.  Some of the results can be quite hilarious!

Here are a few examples from our family (please remember that we have teens):

Lady Gaga…became addicted to doughnuts…in the middle of the Gateway Fountain…after the earth was destroyed…because there was a pee stain in the jeep.

Kweenmama…started licking the ice cream while crying…in Neverland with Peter Pan…when she decided to come out of the closet…because Shroom ate a pickle.

George Bush…farted in public…at the Museum of Natural History…after Max started barking…because all of the kids showed disrespect.

Hoob…hated Julius Caesar…in the Pacific Ocean…on Hub’s birthday…because he was claustrophobic.

Jimmer Fredette…was lazy all day…at Hogwarts…on September 17…because he was sick of school!

President Obama…spent all afternoon doing homework that was unnecessary…in a cold, foggy graveyard…when Max’s paw hit the ground…because he was trying to win the lottery.

Our grouchy neighbor…jumped off a cliff with a time bomb in his hand…in the library…on April Fool’s Day…because he was very hungry.

Try it with your family!

This is an easy, yet yummy, recipe for any group gathering.  I will be making many batches of these babies this weekend for my nephew’s open house before he departs to Cali, Colombia on a mission for our church. 

Milk Chocolate Crinkles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large bowl blend 2 eggs and 2/3 cup shortening.  Add about 1/2 of a German Chocolate Cake mix (dry) and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Stir in the remaining cake mix.  Form dough into 1″ balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10 – 12 minutes.  Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.  Frost with chocolate frosting if desired.

Yum yum!

We were running out of time.  Hub had been expressing his desire to see the ice castles in Midway for about a month, ever since he read an article in the newspaper about them.  Another article, and Hub made an executive decision that this family was going to drive to Midway for Family Home Evening this week because it is the final week for the display.  So, even though the drive is two hours round-trip, and even though it is cold, and even though the kids had homework, we went.

And everyone decided it was worth it.

Yes, we did have hot chocolate afterwards.

****Ice Castles were made using pvc pipe and sprinkler heads.

Feeling a little guilty about neglecting my blog (why should I feel guilty?  Sometimes life happens and priorities take precedence!) I now quickly post some of the morphed sentences in our family’s latest round of our favorite game called “Morph.”  Juju was in charge of the activity for Family Home Evening tonight and chose to, once again, play Morph.  There are never complaints about playing the game.  It is always good for a laugh.  I have written how to play the game in a previous post.

Our latest morphed sentences:

“Hub is writing a statement.”  Morphed into “Insects like playing golf.”

“Mack touched Brad’s bum today.” Morphed into “Shroom did a sing-a-long to the Black Eyed Peas.”

“Scientology is cool.”  Morphed into “Will Smith lost his toes that night.”

“Max was drinking out of the toilet.”  Morphed into “Hub drank from the toilet.”

“Shawn Spencer and Hoob are pleased to announce their engagement.”  Morphed into “‘I’m in America?!?’ the boy exclaimed.”

“I forgot to bake a cake.” Morphed into “Lassie Face doesn’t like Jewish people celebrating birthdays.”

I tell ya folks, the game makes for a great group activity!

The Event – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert

Guest Singer – David Archuleta

Performances – Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday morning (a shortened version of the concert for “Music and the Spoken Word”)

Tickets – Free (distributed lottery style); Four per household allowed

Seats in the Conference Center – 21, 000

Seats available for the four performances – 84,000

Requests for tickets – 1, 515, 963

Requests for tickets – From all 50 states and 57 countries

Number of requests that did not get tickets – 1, 416, 000

Did we request tickets?  Yes.  Did our household get tickets?  No.  But are Hub and I going to the concert?  YES!  We, along with my parents, get to enjoy tonight’s performance because one of my sisters got tickets and gave them to us.  We will meet another sister and two of her kids for dinner in downtown Salt Lake City and then walk to the  Conference Center to enjoy the show.

Last year we got to see the Sunday morning performance with Natalie Cole as the guest singer.  It was excellent!  These performances always are. 

Do we consider ourselves lucky, blessed, fortunate to have tickets tonight?


Last Sunday, as I was opening the door to our church to enter, Shroom threw a snowball at me…and missed.

“Ha!  You missed!”  I gloated.

After church he tried again.  A snowball went sailing past my head as I walked up our front porch.  And again I gloated, “Missed again!”

On Wednesday evening there were seven teenage girls sitting in my kitchen with me sampling various ethnic dishes for a mutual activity.  Side note:  Mutual is what our church calls the weekday activities we have with our youth.  As the Young Women President of our ward, I participate in an activity every Wednesday.  Shroom and one of his friends entered the kitchen and begged for some of the food.  We were kind and allowed them to sample from the dishes representing China, Argentina, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, and Norway. 

After they were done eating, the two boys left the kitchen and the girls and I continued to laugh about the fortunes that were found in the homemade fortune cookies that two of the girls had brought.  Suddenly a snowball hit me right in the chest sending bits of ice and snow all over our plates, the girls all gasped, and I heard two teen boys run from the house laughing.

Shroom had finally succeeded.

Because he left the house so fast and because I still had guests, there was no going after him.  But, that night before going to bed, I posted on Shroom’s Facebook wall:  Be afraid…be very afraid!

The next afternoon Shroom came into the kitchen looking for a snack.  He saw me and said, “Be afraid, be very afraid, huh?”

I smiled my most wicked smile and said, “Oh yes, you should be very afraid.  I always get revenge.  And it usually comes when you are least expecting it.” 

Shroom got a slightly panicked look on his face and said, “Be nice to me.  I just had three cavities filled today and a bunch of other work done on my mouth.”

Which was true. 

But, I wasn’t done.  Still conjuring up my most wicked of voices I said quietly, “How sad for you.”

Shroom took one look at me, gave a half-smile, and exited the kitchen quickly–without a snack.

Now, I am all talk, and I will probably never get around to getting revenge…

…but it sure is fun messing with his mind!  😉


Updates:  After TWO trips to the emergency room, a failed ultra sound, and lots of pain and discomfort for Mack, a ct scan finally revealed that Mack DID have an ovarian cyst that had burst.  Thankfully the worst is over and she is back to attending school and filling out her college application.

As for my new ‘do…I love it!  I have received many compliments.  I haven’t gotten around to taking a picture of it yet, but even if I do, I’m not sure I’ll be posting it on my blog.  I’ve tried to keep us as anonymous as possible.  I don’t know…I’m still undecided about that one.

     “Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

     This is a wonderful time to be on earth.  While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good.  There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach.  Our lives are blessed in countless ways.

     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.  Someone has said that ‘gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.'”  –Thomas S. Monson

Happy Thanksgiving!

Next Page »