Monday, October 31, 2011

Worth it?

Would you stick your hand down here just to get a piece of candy? My boys did. 

This was the winner for "best homemade costume" at the BYU Halloween carnival. I thought it was creative. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mother Moment

I'm not quite sure whether this was a good mother moment or a bad one, I'll let you decide. It just struck me as funny at the time:

     Tonight our family was planning on going to go out to pizza with my mom and Barry.Zach and I made the executive decision to feed our kids some left over acorn squash before we left the house so they could get in a vegetable before their fun meal of white flour, red meat, cheese and high-fructose corn syrup. As we sat there at the kitchen table our children struggled a little bit with trying to choke down their portions of the sticky orange mush. (Zach and I had our fair portions too) Our two younger children may have even gagged a little at which point I said to David, "If you gag, just wash it down with some milk." I know, I'm a mean mom, but guess what- they ate it- and we all left ten minutes later to go to the Brick Oven together. It was a great meal served with a little less guilt because of our pre-dinner preparations. The end.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Year of Jubilee- A birthday Poem

I have a special friend that is celebrating her 50th birthday today. She may wish to remain anonymous seeing as how sometimes ladies don't like to celebrate their birthdays after a certain point.  I remember reading this great poem in the Autobiography of Parley P. Prat (and John Taylor's response) and thought it a fitting tribute to my friend to celebrate on this wonderful day.  Of course Parley was killed shortly thereafter on a mission in Arkansas, but I have a feeling she has many more happy years ahead of her. She's the youngest 50 year old I know. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

To my wife HANNAHETTE and others.
     I AM fifty years old! I have lived to see
Seven times seven and a Jubilee.
That period famed in the days of yore
As a grand release for the humble poor;
When the pledg’d estate was again restor’d,
And the bondman free’d from his tyrant lord.
When man his fellow was bound to forgive,
And begin anew to think and to live.
The nations have hail’d the year of my birth
As a Jubilee to the groaning earth.
The triumphs of steam over land and sea1
Have stamp’d the age of my Jubilee.
I have mark’d its progress at ev’ry stride,
From the day it was launch’d on the Hudson’s tide
Till it conquer’d the ocean—grasp’d the land,
And join’d the world in a common band.
I have liv’d to behold the lightnings yield
To the mandate of man, and take the field,
As a servant-runner to bear the news
In an instant, where its lord might choose.

     And, scarce less strange, I have liv’d to behold
A Mormon Sage, with his wand of gold,
Overturn the world, and toss it up
As a teller of Fortunes would his cup.2
All these are facts; but of little worth,
Compared with a Prophet restored to earth.
I have seen his day and have heard his voice,
Which enraged a world, while the meek rejoice.
I have read the fate of all earthly things:
The end of thrones, and the end of kings.
I have learned that truth alone shall stand,
And the Kingdom of God fill every land.
I have seen that Kingdom rolling along,
And taking its seat ’mid the mountains strong;
While the nations wondered, but could not tell
To what these wondrous things would swell.
I have wandered far, over land and sea,
To proclaim to the world its destiny—
To cry to the nations, repent and live,
And be ready the bridegroom to receive.

     I have wandered far—I have wandered wide,
From Maine to the wild Missouri’s tide;
And over the Atlantic’s sea-girt isles
Full many a weary thousand miles.
I have trampled the desert’s burning sands
And the snow-clad mountains of unknown lands.
’Mid the crystal waters of Deseret
I have pulled the oar and cast the net.
I have climbed the steeps ’mid the golden ore,
And roamed o’er the lone Pacific shore.
I have ploughed its bosom many a day
To visit the nations far away.
I have stood on Chili’s distant shore,
Where the Polar Star is seen no more.
I have gazed on the Andes’ heights of snow,
And roamed ’mid the flowery plains below.

     I have toiled with the great in freedom’s cause,
And assisted to give to a State its laws.
I have lain in a dungeon, bound in chains,
And been honored in Courts where Justice reigns.
In a thousand joys, and a thousand fears
I have struggled on through my fifty years.
And now, by the law of God, I am free;
I will seek to enjoy my Jubilee.
I will hie me home, to my mountain dell,
And will say to the “Christian” world—farewell!
I have served ye long—; ’twas a thankless task;
To retire in peace is all I ask.

     Another fifty years will fully prove
Our message true, and all our motives love.
Then shall an humble world in reverence bow,
And hail the Prophets so rejected now.
Kings shall revere, and nations incense bring
To Zion’s temple and to Zion’s King.
I shall be there and celebrate the day
’Till twice ten fifties shall have passed away.

THOU art “fifty years old”—I am glad to see
That thou now canst hope for a Jubilee.
Go rest thee, my friend, for weary and long
Thou hast faithfully striven with a wayward throng;
With a world environed with error’s chain
Thou hast wrestled and struggled, but not in vain,
On thy native shore and on foreign land
Thou hast battled for truth with a master hand,
And their cities, and towns, and hamlets have rung
With the sound of truth, with the voice of song;
And thousands in Zion do now rejoice,
Who’ve read thy works or heard thy voice,
And millions have seen thy bosom swell
With celestial truths thou lov’st so well.

      Let drivelling sycophants bow the knee
To that chameleon shrine, popularity,
And with honey’d lips, bound with mammon’s spell,
Plaster over the vices they dar’d not tell,
And with wheedling, whining, canting tongue,
Daub o’er the deeds of a hellish throng.
’Twas thine the mask from their loathsome face
To rend, and exhibit their foul disgrace.

     Thou hast grappled with sages in error rife,
Thou hast taught to the erring the way of life;
With flaming words and a burning pen
Thou hast bearded gaunt priestcraft in his den,
And said to Baal’s grizzly priests, avaunt!
I dare you in your dark, ghastly haunt.
And the canting, craving minions fled
At the truths thou penned and the words thou said.
With Elijah’s faith and Elijah’s rod,
Thou despised their power and defied their god,
And made the canting hirelings cower
Beneath the truth’s keen withering power.
Thou show’d them their systems were doom’d to fall,
That “Upharsin” was written on Babel’s wall.
Thou hast spent ’midst their hordes a busy life;
Thou art leaving the den of their Babel strife.
Let others now ’mid the nations roam,
And hie thee away to thy mountain home.

     If, sleeping at night, the weary may
Forget the cares and toils of day;
And if by God to man is given
A day of rest in every seven;
If the pledged possession could be restored,
On the grand release by Jehovah’s word;
If the debtor’s bonds could then he broke,
And the slave be freed from a master’s yoke,
And the very land a partaker be
Of the general jubilant Jubilee;
If all bonds were broken on that day,
And chains and manacles thrown away;
If throughout the land, by every tongue,
All joined in the joyous Jubilee song;
If debtors and slaves and earth were free,
Thou oughtest to have a Jubilee.

     If a wish from a sincere friendly heart
Can to thee any comfort or joy impart;
If a fervent prayer to the God of grace
Could smooth thy path in thy onward race,
That prayer would be, may grace be given
To wend thy onward course to Heaven.
May’st thou abound in corn and wine,
And the blessings of plenty now be thine;
May thy family all be free from care,
And a husband’s and father’s plenty share;
May thy sun go down with glory rife,
And dying may’st thou burst into life;
And, when sleeping among the silent dead,
Have the blessings of millions on thy head;
And living with God, may’st thou be free,
And partake of an endless Jubilee.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Happy Couple

This is Mom and Barry together. They are getting sealed next month on Nov. 12 in the Raleigh, NC temple. They met on line at an LDS singles website and just hit it off. He is originally from Oklahoma but he will move to Raleigh after the wedding. Mom arrived on Monday and he picked her up from the airport. We took a few engagement photos yesterday. They seem happy together. Congratulations Mom! 


(Sorry it looks grainy, if you open it in its original size it should look a little more clear. )

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Pictures

These are my three little pumpkins. I decided to opt out of lame school pictures for Gabe and just take some myself along with the other two boys. The only mistake I made was thinking I could do it alone. I should have waited till I had dad for back up and crowd control. There are a few more of Mac I'll stick on his 'birthday announcement' in a few weeks. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fun Fall Idea

This is what I did yesterday with some neighbor friends of mine to celebrate fall.  Granny smith apples covered in homemade caramel, white melting chocolate, and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar (mmmmm..) All wrapped up in a festive leafy bag. I delivered about 10 this morning to different people in the neighborhood to spread the fall cheer. Simple, easy, good= success. The caramel can also be used as a candy on its own if you let it solidify and cut it up into squares.

 Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the pears I picked. Anyone have a good pear recipe?

Friday, October 21, 2011


Naming it Mushroom valley probably wouldn't have attracted the tourists like "Goblin Valley"

Two peas in a pod, only one is 5'0 and one is 6'0

Notice how I'm taking the pictures from the ground on most of these

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A new way to stay awake

Last night I made some incredible homemade salsa. It turned out so well partially due to a good recipe but mostly due to the fresh and delicious local vegetables that went in it. It went on a homemade tortilla, with beans, lettuce, homemade guacamole etc. Its a repeat dinner for tonight. In the 7 1/2 years we've been married, I don't believe Zach has ever had homemade salsa, homemade tortillas, and homemade guacamole on the same night together before. He's a lucky man. It was good eat'n, but that's not the story.

Here's the kicker, or should I say 'licker'. Later on that night as I was sitting in the temple and I realized I had gotten some of the jalapeno oils onto my left hand between my last two fingers. The spot was burning. The only thing I could think to do was lick the inflamed area and try to get the oil off. I was partially successful. When I licked my fingers the burning in my hand decreased slightly but was then transferred to my tongue. I waited a few minutes till the burning on my tongue subsided and licked again. This went on for about 7 or 8 rounds until my hand was feeling some what normal and so was my tongue. I'll have to say this though, I didn't fall asleep when the lights were low. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Hike

Favorite spot

Parquor (?)
Just call me spider man


Pack Mules

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Goblin Valley (part I)

This past weekend we went camping with Ben's family, Tina and Naomi down at Goblin Valley. The weather was lovely, company fun, the hike interesting, and the boys thought they had died and gone to the big play ground in the sky. If my air mattress hadn't deflated it would have been pretty near perfect. I took a ton of pictures so I'll dish it in small doses. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quality not Quantity

       I have mentioned before probably that I am NOT a huge fan of calorie counting for a number of reasons. Mostly because it can be inaccurate by as much as 30% , or basically a useless guess. And even if you are closer to the mark, you are measuring it against an estimate as to how many calories your body actually burns based on semi-useful equations. You aren't listening to your bodily clues when calorie counting and you are spending a bunch of needless time and energy obsessing about something that your body is telling you how to do naturally. 
Well here is another extraordinary piece of evidence that indicates calorie counting isn't what its cracked up to be. It comes from the ground breaking book, The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Cambell II who discuss twenty years worth of data collected comparing the health and nutrition of the Chinese to other nations. This is just one of the many interesting facts included in the book.

United States
Total fat (% of calories)
Dieetary fiber (g/day)
Total protein (g/day)
Animal protein (% of calories)
Total iron (mg/day)

Notice Chinese people, on average, eat 650 calories more, or in other words an entire meals worth of food, and are in much better condition as far as heart disease, obesity, cancer, and other long term health indicators. They are not fat. On the contrary, if they struggle with their health at all it is usually from the diseases of poverty not wealth i.e. pneumonia, ulcers, TB, parasites etc. The majority of their food is plant based, not animal based. There is more quantity but it is of much greater quality.  More fiber, more phytochemicals, more  antioxidants and basically more everything good and less everything bad. Take home message from the book:

Animal products in your diet cause long term disease and obesity- eat the very least amount you possibly can, if any at all. 

As a westerner myself this is a hard one to swallow since it is not uncommon for me to eat meat once a day, but facts are facts. The Lord knew what he was talking about when he said: 
"12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly. 

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be  used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
D&C 89:12-13
Don't just say "hummmm, interesting." 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


"But our tokens of compliment and love are for the most part barbarous. Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself." Ralph Waldo Emerson 1844 Essay "Gifts"
I had forgotten  that last phrase was inscribed on the inside of Zach's ring until I went to take this picture. I saw a similar picture on line and wanted to recreate it. 

'Tis nice to be loved.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Professor Hutchins- Take 2
He needed a picture for the BYU department website

Baby bear getting ready for church