Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Scripture

Alma 1:30

And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ooooh, good one.

Yeah. I love this video. =)





So, Obama, which is it? Men become fathers at conception, but it's ok for mothers to murder those same babies?

The Greatest Story Never Told

"The Greatest Story Never Told" Today's Economy in Perspective
By Patrick Toomey

There is a debate going on today over whether our economy is in recession. Polls show sagging public confidence. But some perspective is sorely needed. The fact of the matter is that we in the United States, and to a lesser degree the entire world, have just lived through - and continue to live in - the greatest period of prosperity in human history. Over the last 25 years, more wealth has been created, more people have been lifted out of poverty, standards of living have been elevated more dramatically, and the quality and length of life have improved, more than ever before in recorded history. Unfortunately, as Larry Kudlow says, this is "the greatest story never told." We need to start telling the story, and also to think about its causes.

First, let us focus on the United States (and I say this with full knowledge that the State of Michigan is a unique exception among the 50 states to America's extraordinary recent prosperity; but the causes of Michigan's peculiar problems are a topic for another day): Average economic growth in the U.S. has not only been positive for almost the entire last quarter century, but for much of this period the rate of growth has accelerated. Our nation's total economic output in 1982 was $5.1 trillion; last year it was $111.3 trillion (in real 2000 dollars). Per capita economic output in 1982 was $22,400; last year it was $37,807 (in real 2000 dollars). The average unemployment rate in the 1970s was nearly 7%; it has been declining, on average, every decade since, and has remained below five percent since 2003. The service sector of our economy has been on fire, growing from $1 trillion in 1982 to $5.5 trillion in 2006. And do you know how far back one has to go to find the year when American's total manufacturing output peaked? All the way back to 2007! Yes, U.S. factories produced more last year than in any previous year in our history. That's the "hollowing out" - as its critics like to say - of America's economy.

This expanding economy has, of course, resulted in huge gains in wealth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average began the 1980s at 825; today, despite its recent declines, it remains above 12,000, a 1,400 percent increase. And with the democratization of the capital markets that has occurred through savings programs like IRAs and 401(k)s and investment vehicles like mutual funds, the average family's wealth has grown dramatically, too. in 1983, 19 percent of American households owned stocks; in 2005, 50 percent were investors. In 1989, the median family net worth was $69,000; in 2004, it was $93,000.

These gains in income and wealth have resulted directly in a better standard of living for virtually every segment of American society - including the poor. Among families living below the official poverty line in the early 1970s, less than 40 percent had a car, almost none had color televisions, and air conditioning was virtually unheard of; in 2004, 46 percent owned their own homes, almost 75 percent owned a car (indeed, 30 percent owned two or more cars), 97 percent had color TVs and 67 percent had air conditioning. The poor in the U. S. have an average of 721 square feet of living space per person, as compared with 430 in Sweden and 92 in Mexico.

Similarly, technology has become accessible to all sectors of society. There were 9.8 million cable TV subscribers in 1975, and 65 million in 2006; 2.1 million personal computers in 1985 and 243 million in 2007; 340 cell phone subscribers in 1985 and 243 million in 2007.

Health indicators track similarly. Infant mortality dropped from 20 deaths per 1,000 people in 1970 to seven deaths per 1,000 in 2002. In 1980, American life expectancy was less than 74 years. Today it is 78.

Nor is America totally unique in this regard. While we have led the world in most measures of prosperity and growth, other countries have been enjoying the broadest expansion of wealth in history as well. A recent issue of The Economist documents th tremendous world-wide improvement in both the social conditions in poor countries and the alleviation of poverty: Between 1999 and 2004, some 135 million people emerged from destitution and there are now twice as many countries with fast-growing economies as there were in 1980.

You can read the rest of the article here.

There is also an article entitled "Whatever happened to the contract with America?" by Dick Armey.

Furthermore if you go here you can read a couple of articles by the Iron Lady herself. =)

This Week's Menu

Sat 28th June
Breakfast: Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Lunch: Tortilla, cheese, salad
Dinner: Ben's Sloppy Joes (see below) salad
Snacks: Orange, milk

Sun 29th June
Breakfast: Date and walnut oatmeal and milk
Lunch: Soup and bread
Dinner: Pot Roast, caprese, salad, bread, some kind of yummy dessert. (The Montebellos and the Missionaries are coming over)
Snacks: orange, milk


Mon 30th June
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Tortilla, egg salad, salad
Dinner: Easy gourmet tuna mac n cheese (see below), salad
Snacks: orange, milk, edamame.

Tuesday 1st July
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Soup and bread
Dinner: Darn good beans..see recipe below, salad
Snacks: orange, milk, plain popcorn

Wednesday 2nd July
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Tortilla, hummus, banana peppers, salad
Dinner: Frugal Lasagne...see recipe below, salad If you'd rather go el yummo rather than frugal, try the second lasagne recipe. It's way more expensive but oh MY! It's a nutritional powerhouse and the children go absolutely NUTS over it. =)
Snacks: orange, milk, edamame, plain popcorn

Thursday 3rd July
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Soup, bread
Dinner: leftover/salad/whatever
Snacks: orange, milk, plain popcorn, edamame

Friday 4th July
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Barbeque, salad. Mmmmmm. =) Happy Independence Day! =)
Dinner: leftovers.
Snacks: orange, milk


Ben's Sloppy Joes
1-1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 or 3 celery stalks, chopped
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can of water
About 3 or 4 tablespoons ketchup
About 2 or 3 tablespoons brown sugar
About 2 or 3 tablespoons vinegar

Brown ground beef and celery. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. (Add enough water to bring it to the thickness you want.) Serve on buns with sliced cheese, if desired.


Easy Gourmet Tuna mac n cheese
4 cups of cooked macaroni
3 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of minced onion
3 tablespoons of flour
3 cups of milk
dash of Worcestershire sauce
14 ounces of water packed tuna
1 cup of grated American cheese
4 pieces of bacon
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

First, in a small saucepan on medium low heat, melt the butter and add the onion. Then whisk in the flour and gradually add the milk, whisking. Cook until thick and smooth, occasionally stirring. Then, add the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

Grease a baking dish and put in half the macaroni, half the cheese, and half the tuna fish. Then pour half the sauce over it. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. Top the baking dish with the bacon and put in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Serves 6.



Darn Good Beans
2 lbs. pinto beans (4 c. dried beans)
6 bullion cubes (beef or chicken)
2-3 lbs. German sausage, cut up (you can substitute Polish or country-style)
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 japapeno pepper, fresh (you may substitute sliced canned jalapenos)
2 onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/8 t. garlic powder
1lb. can tomato sauce
Salt to taste

Soak beans overnight. First thing in the morning, drain water from beans, put in a large Dutch oven, cover with fresh water and begin cooking over low heat. Slice sausage very thin. Add everything to beans and cook over low heat all day, stirring frequently and adding water as necessary to prevent burning. (You can cook these in a crockpot on high.) Add salt to taste.

For thicker bean soup, add 3 T. flour mixed with ½ c. water at least 1 hour before beans are done. These are excellent as is, or spooned over cooked rice and served with hot buttered cornbread.

SERVES AN ARMY (really 12-15) (From Kitchen Keepsakes)



Frugal Lasagna
8 lasagna noodles. I use the no-cook kind.
1lb of hamburger
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 packages of Mexican cheese
1 10 oz cottage cheese

Brown meat, add spaghetti sauce. Lay 4 (uncooked) noodles in bottom of glass casserole dish. Layer one layer of spaghetti sauce, meat mixture using 1/2. Then 1/2 package of Mexican cheese. Top with half of container of cottage cheese. Add second layer of uncooked noodles. Layer of spaghetti sauce, meat mixture (using last of mixture). Remainder of Mexican cheese and cottage cheese. Top with aluminum foil. Cook at 350 for 1 hour when you remove foil do so carefully some of cheese will be stuck. Allow to cool about 10 minutes and serve is good with garlic bread but not necessary.

Submitted by: TPZDEER to a frugal menu site



Other lasagne recipe
Janna's Extra-Easy Delightfully-Delicious Lasagne by Janna Sweenie
http://goinside.com/97/10/lasagne.html

Start with:

1 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 cup chopped Vidalia onion
6 cloves garlic, crushed

Brown the above ingredients and drain away that fat.

Then Add:

4 cups of V-8 vegetable juice
12 oz. fresh mushrooms
8 oz. can tomato paste
3/4 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. ground sea salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

Simmer with hamburger mixture for 30 minutes.

Now you need:

1 package lasagne noodles, uncooked (not the no-cook kind. The regular everyday cheap kind. Only don't cook them first)
15-oz. package cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups cups parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a 9x13 pan, place half of your uncooked noodles on the bottom of the pan. Then add a layer of hamburger sauce and then cheese. Repeat the noodles and the layering. Cover with foil and bake for half an hour in a 350 degree oven. Remove the foil. Then bake for 15 more minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

World Illiteracy

It is my assertion that the world is more illiterate than it was 200 years ago. Yes, "education" is available to all, but it is hardly what even our parents would call education, never mind what Benjamin Franklin would call it!

It always bugs me that others talk about Americans in those times as illiterate. I mean, for goodness sakes, with their illiteracy they wrote things like this!

Those guys could WRITE! And not only could they write, people could read and understand them.

Take for example Paine's "Common Sense" (I thought that particular version of the book was apropos to my argument. =D) - a book that is taking me weeks to get my head around. It sold 120,000 copies in the first three months! 500,000 copies in the first year alone...and keep in mind that the population of the States at that time was 1,500,000.

ONE THIRD of the United States bought the pamphlet...which was probably a financial sacrifice for them. They loaned it to others, and all devoured and fervently discussed the book that I'm struggling through until the entire colony was on fire with it. So, who's the illiterate one?

Friday, June 27, 2008

What a blessing!

Emily got her patriarchal blessing tonight.

That was quite the experience.

Not only were her questions answered...but my request was too. I didn't think it happened like that. I thought it was only the person who was receiving the patriarchal blessing that had their prayers answered. I guess not.

Immediately following the blessing, the patriarch looked at Emily, paused for a second, put his hand on her shoulder and said "You are a beautiful person." He wasn't talking about how she looked.

I thought getting my patriarchal blessing was special. I was right. =) Hearing my daughter's just took it to another plane. How thankful I am to my Father in Heaven for his sweet and tender mercies.

For Heidi

Most recent pics of the chilluns.







Thursday, June 26, 2008

A friend sent me these thoughts.

October 1988 Conference (Ensign November 1988)
Ezra Taft Benson - I Testify
"I testify that America is a choice land. God raised up the founding fathers of the United States of America and established the inspired Constitution. ..

"I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14-16; D&C 84:49-53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18-25.)...

"I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer's leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. God's wrath will soon shake the nations of the earth and will be poured out on the wicked without measure. (See JSH 1:45; D&C 1:9.) But God will provide strength for the righteous and the means of escape; and eventually and finally truth will triumph. (See 1 Ne. 22:15-23.)...

"I testify that it is time for every man to set in order his own house both temporally and spiritually. ..

"I testify that not many years hence the earth will be cleansed. (See D&C 76:41.) Jesus the Christ will come again, this time in power and great glory to vanquish His foes and to rule and reign on the earth."


Ether 8:18-25
18. And it came to pass that they formed a secret combination, even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all...
20. ...it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people...
22. And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed...
23. Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain - and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
24. Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you...

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road Mormon Style

I'm getting all these nifty things here.



Laman: To usurp the authority of his older brother chickens and to take possession of their coop.

Brigham Young: Because this is the right place in the road.

Thomas: I don't really believe the chicken crossed the road.

Noah: Are you sure there weren't two chickens?

Lilburn W Boggs: I don't care which side of the road the chicken's on, you have permission to kill it.

Elder's Quorum President: It was the 31st and he had to get his Home Teaching done.

Relief Society President: That's where the refreshments were.

The Doctrine and Covenants: "The duty of a chicken is to cross the road when there is no other poultry present."

Mark Hoffman: Would you like to buy the chicken's original diary documenting his crossing of the road?

Lamoni's servants: We don't know why it crossed the road; all we know is it's wings had been cut off.

Martin Harris: I have never denied seeing the chicken cross the road.

Temple Square Guide: The acoustics are so good you can hear the chicken cross the road from any seat in the Tabernacle.

President Merrill J Bateman: I'm not so much concerned that the chicken crossed the road but that its feathers were not knee-length.

Gerald Lund: Not only did this chicken cross the road, but his whole family crossed the road as well. The grand, panoramic story of this chicken's family will be told in my soon-to-be-released 36 volume set "The Cluck and the Glory."

Nephi: It is better for a chicken to cross the road than a nation dwindle in unbelief.

Lorenzo Snow: As the egg is, the chicken once was; as the chicken is, the egg may become.

Up waaaaaaaay too early....

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetable of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives. And Satan created fast food and the 99-cent double-cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?" And Man said, "Supersize them." And Man gained pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair. And Satan brought forth chocolate. And woman gained pounds.

And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad." And Satan brought forth ice cream. And woman gained pounds.

And God said, "I have sent your heart healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them." And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds. And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2. And Man gained pounds.

And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil."

And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery. And Satan created HMO's

Up waaaaaaay too late

Parenthood

Motherhood -- If it was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor!

Shouting to make your children obey is like using the horn to steer your car, and you get about the same results.

To be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.

The smartest advice on raising children is to enjoy them while they are still on your side.

Avenge yourself -- Live long enough to be a problem to your children.

The best way to keep kids at home is to make the home a pleasant atmosphere -- and to let the air out of the tires.

The right temperature in a home is maintained by warm hearts, not by hot heads.

Raising a teenager is like nailing Jello to a tree.

Parents: People who bare infants, bore teenagers, and board newlyweds.

The joy of motherhood: What a woman experiences when all the children are finally in bed.

Life's golden age is when the kids are too old to need baby-sitters and too young to borrow the family car.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string ~ handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of grandchildren.

A child outgrows your lap, but never outgrows your heart.

God gave you two ears and one mouth... so you should listen twice as much as you talk.

There are three ways to get something done: Do it yourself, hire someone to do it, or forbid your children to do it.

Adolescence is the age when children try to bring up their parents.

You know the only people in this world who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who've never had any.

Cleaning your house while your kids are at home is like trying to shovel the driveway during a snowstorm.

Oh to be only half as wonderful as my child thought I was when he was small, and half as stupid as my teenager now thinks I am.

There are only two things a child will share willing: communicable diseases and his mother's age.

Money isn't everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch.

Adolescence is the age at which children stop asking questions because they know all the answers.

An alarm clock is a device for awakening people who don't have small children.

Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?

How do you cope when the apple of your eye becomes a bone in your throat?

No wonder kids are confused today. Half the adults tell them to find themselves; the other half tell them to get lost.

The persons hardest to convince they're at the retirement age are children at bedtime.

Kids really brighten a household; they never turn off any lights.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

AWESOME! =D =D

ROFL! =D I'm just thrilled to pieces with this result. =D

94

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Monday, June 23, 2008

This week's Menu

Sat 21st
Breakfast: Date and Walnut oatmeal and milk
Lunch: Tortilla, cheese, salad
Dinner: Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, salad
Snacks: Orange, edamame, milk

Sun 22nd
Breakfast: Date and walnut oatmeal and milk
Lunch: Soup and bread
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognaise and salad
Snacks: orange, milk


Mon 23rd:
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Tortilla, hummus, black beans, salad
Dinner: Soy sauce chicken, rice, peas, salad
Snacks: orange, milk, edamame, plain popcorn
(To make soy sauce chicken: rinse chicken and put in baking dish. Pour in some soy sauce ...i don't know, maybe a cup or something. Add some lemon juice. Maybe 1/2 cup. I really don't know. I just kind of bung it in. Cover tightly. Cook at 350f for an hour or so. El yummo.)

Tuesday 24th:
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Soup and bread
Dinner: chicken pie from leftover chicken yesterday..see recipe below, salad
Snacks: orange, milk

Wednesday 25th:
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Tortilla, hummus, banana peppers, salad
Dinner: mujadarrah...see recipe below, salad
Snacks: orange, milk, edamame, salad

Thursday 26th:
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch: Soup, bread
Dinner: cucumber and avacado sandwich...see info below Salad.
Snacks: orange, milk, plain popcorn

Friday 27th
Breakfast: Strawberry and banana smoothie
Lunch:Tortilla, tuna, mayo, salad
Dinner: leftovers or waffles or something really simple.
Snacks: orange, milk



Chicken Pie recipe:
1 2/3 cups cooked mixed veges.
1 cup cut up cooked chicken
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup


2 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup cold butter or shortening.

Mix all the ingreds for the filling and place in pie dish.

In another large bowl, stir together all the dough ingredients except the butter. mix the butter in with a pastry cutter or fork, continually cutting the butter into smaller and smaller pieces. Once they are small like peas, work the dough with your hands. Roll it out to 1/2 inch thickness on a flourerd board. Flop it over the pie dish.

Clean up the edges. Bake 350f for 10-15 mins.



Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mujadarrah)

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced into rings
1 1/3 cups uncooked green lentils
3/4 cup uncooked rice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)

1 Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions, and cook about 10 minutes, until browned. Remove from heat, and set aside. (I actually cook them on low heat with the lid on, for a long time. I like really well fried onions)
2 Place lentils in a medium saucepan with enough lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes.
3 Stir rice and enough water to cover into the saucepan with the lentils. Season with salt and pepper. Cover saucepan, and continue to simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until rice and lentils are tender.
4 Mix half the onions into the lentil mixture. Top with sour cream and remaining onions to serve.



Avocado and Cucumber Sandwich

1/4 cup & 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon & 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon & 2 teaspoons Ranch dressing
10 slices wheat bread
15 slices avocado
20 slices cucumber
10 slices tomato
1/2 cup & 2 tablespoons sprouts
5 cups grapes


1. Mix together mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and Ranch dressing. Spread over bread slices.
2. Layer avocado, cucumber and tomato slices onto one slice of bread. Top with sprouts and second slice of bread.
3. Serve with grapes.


Now I just have to get hold of some seeds so I can sprout 'em. =Þ If I can be bothered, more info on sprouts later! If I forget....perhaps you can look it up on dogpile.

Scout camp

Well, Ben's off to scout camp. I hope he has a great time! Bert bought him an awesome fishing rod ($16, Walmart =D) so he should have a great time fishing. =) He took with him his prerequisites for his merit badges, so he should come back all ready to receive them. Hooray! =) I hope he has a good time and isn't teased too much because it's his first year at camp.

Kenz Sherwood is going with them as a youth leader, so that's absolutely fantastic. I'm not sure whether to pity Kenz or the boys....probably both. =D =D

Civil War

You know, I thought I'd posted this letter already, but I can't find it. Bizarre. Maybe I just THOUGHT about posting it but never actually got around to it?

In any case, how come people in the mainstream don't think like this now? How come people aren't taught to write like this now? What a beautiful, beautiful letter, with beautiful sentiments. It breaks my heart to read it. Every time I see it on The Civil War I bawl my eyes out.

****************************************

July 14, 1861
My dear Sarah,

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days -- perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure -- and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine 0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing -- perfectly willing -- to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows -- when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children -- is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death -- and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me -- perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours -- always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Scripture

Alma 7: 23

And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

Generally depressing list

1. So tired my head is swimming
2. Remember Emily's freakout almost exactly two years ago? That ain't nothin' compared to what she's put me through the past couple of days. I thought we were all DONE with this?
3. Someone told me today that parenting young adults was worse than parenting teenagers. Just Shoot. Me. Now.
4. I had plans to run away, but I have too many responsibilities next week. This SUCKS.
5. Ben's off to scout camp tomorrow - 5.30am. He's excited to get a break from the family. I'm excited for him as well. =) I hope he'll have a wonderful time.
6. What is with toddlers that won't stay in bed when you put them there?
7. I have decided that I really don't want any more children right now, thanks. Because those cute little babies turn into teenagers who rip out your heart, throw it on the floor, stomp on it, sneer at it, spit on it, then go tell all their friends how mean you are.

I'm fantasizing of driving off into the wild blue yonder in my wild blue van and leaving it all behind.....

....except Bert took the wheels off my van yesterday to fix the brakes...but couldn't find the parts...so the wheels are still off the van. So no running away for me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tightwad Frugality - Great gifts that don't break the bank

From 63 gift ideas for under $10. Actually, I think some of these gifts would cost over $10, but maybe they're less expensive in this woman's area.


1. I skipped this one acos I don't drink coffee. Please click on the link if you want to see the coffee idea. =)
2. Pound of pistachios
3. Child's artwork, framed
4. Journal with special inscription inside
5. Teacup with box of herbal tea
6. Deck of cards and book of card game rules
7. Homemade cocoa mix in a pretty jar
8. Collage of special photos
9. Gel pens and pretty stationary
10. Bottle of sparkling cider
11. Home baked bread, include recipe
12. Disposable camera or rolls of film
13. Basket filled with deli cheese and fruit
14. Craft supplies
15. Holiday serving bowl or platter
16. Pretty basket filled with special jams or mustards
17. Decorative napkins and napkin rings
18. Fancy chocolate bars tied with a ribbon
19. Gardening gloves with a plant or flower seeds
20. Photo album, hand decorated is even better
21. Makeup tote
22. Prepaid photo developing envelopes
23. Homemade cookie mix with instructions for baking
24. Variety of bread mixes
25. Special coffee cup filled with candy
26. Fancy magazines tied together with a pretty ribbon
27. Gourmet popcorn and flavored oil
28. Locally made barbeque or steak sauce with basting brush
29. Pancake or waffle mix and a bottle of real maple syrup
30. Movie theater gift certificates
31. Board games
32. Jar of sourwood or pure honey with biscuit mix
33. Note cards and book of stamps
34. Picture frames, buy them on sale!
35. Specialty cookbook
36. Pretty glass jar filled with candy
37. Collectible sports cards
38. Muffin mixes with muffin pan
39. Books, there are still a few for under $10
40. Set of dish towels and dish cloths
41. Nail polish kit
42. Pretty night shirt
43. Basket filled with kitchen gadgets
44. Video rental gift certificates
45. Pepper mill and fresh peppercorns
46. Handwritten copies of your favorite recipes
47. For the pets, gourmet dog biscuits or cat treats
48. Baking pans and supplies
49. Prepaid long distance phone cards
50. Small clock or radio
51. Pretty box for keepsakes
52. Colorful Post-It notepads
53. Address book
54. Christmas ornaments
55. Puzzles
56. Blank video or cassette tapes
57. Sewing supplies
58. Flashlight with batteries
59. Favorite quote embroidered on a nice handkerchief
60. Makeup brush set
61. Expensive socks, still under $10
62. Special soaps and bath puff
63. and don't forget my absolute favorite... home baked cookies!

Tightwad Frugality

From Tips for Frugal Living:

1. Go with one car.
2. Go with a smaller house.
3. Go with a smaller car.
4. Rent rather than own.
5. Look for used first.
6. Eat out less.
7. Eat out frugally.
8. Brown bag it to work.
9. Adopt a minimalist wardrobe.
10. Stop online impulse buys.
11. Don’t shop.
12. Use a 30-day list.
13. Cut out cable.
14. Use the library.
15. Find free entertainment.
16. Frugal exercise.
17. Stay healthy.
18. Commute by bike.
19. Carpool or ride the bus.
20. Walk.
21. Sell your clutter.
22. Frugal gifting.
23. Quit smoking. Uh. Yeah. Or just don't even start.
24. Alcohol in moderation. Uh. Yeah. Or no alcohol at all.
25. Sweets in moderation. And do the homemade thing.
26. Drink water.
27. Batch your errands.
28. Stay home.
29. Stop using credit cards.
30. Cancel subscriptions.
31. Make your own.
32. Do it yourself.
33. Stop paying interest.
34. Reduce convenience foods.
35. Travel frugally.
36. Cut the cell phone.
37. Cut your own hair.
38. Maintain stuff.
39. Save energy.
40. Save gas.
41. Only buy bargain clothing (when you need clothes).
42. Telecommute.
43. Plan ahead.
44. Cook ahead.
45. Wash clothes less.
46. Sun-dry clothes.
47. Eat less meat.
48. Save on groceries.
49. Frugal Christmas. This also helps keep Christ in Christmas.
50. Eat a cheap breakfast.

Tightwad Frugality - saving on groceries

From Tips for saving on grocery shopping:

1. Always go with a list
2. Plan out a weekly menu
3. Don't go hungry
4. Have a budget
5. Do a rough running tally, or take a calculator and add as you go along
6. Keep a list on your fridge and write down what you've run out of
7. Keep things stocked for quick and easy meals (Mac n cheese, spaghetti, or whatever). This will keep you from running for fast food when you're too tired to cook
8. Buy in bulk - but only if it makes sense
9. Keep your receipts and use them to make a spreadsheet. This will be your price list to comparison shop or whatever
10. Buy frozen veggies
11. Cut down on meat
12. Pack your own lunch
13. Make your own lunch snacks.
14. Make leftovers for lunch
15. cook a lot, then freeze it
16. Try crock pot dinner
17. Clip coupons - but only for items you're already planning to buy. Personally, I always go generic so coupons don't work for me.
18. Look for specials
19. Try store brands
20. Consolidate errands
21. Eat oatmeal or other non-sugary breakfast
22. Stock up at sale time, if it's an item you normally use.
23. Comparison shop
24. Plan one trip a month for staples, then one a week for perishables
25. Avoid trips to corner store or garage station. Unless you live where we do and go to the Walgreens on 96 and Downs - they have the cheapest milk.
26. Look into co-ops. Sometimes you can save, sometimes not.
27. Use everything; never throw food away. Unless it's bad, of course.
28. Don't buy junk food. Unless you're jonesing it for some chips or chocolate as I'm doing at the moment. No! No! Resist! Maybe I'll make that chocolate cake and vanilla sauce. Except I noticed this mornig that I'm out of vanilla. AGGGHHHHH! Ok, homemade milk shakes it is.
29. DON'T BRING THE CHILDREN. Or if you do, practice saying "No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. If you ask again, you WILL be grounded."
30. Go for whole foods. It takes longer to cook, but it's cheaper and healthier. Oatmeal, beans and rice baby! =)
31. Clean out your fridge before you go make your menu, list, and go shopping.
32. Stick to that list!
33. Use store savings card.
34. Don't eat at restaurants.
35. Don't buy frozen dinners or prepared stuff. Avoid!
36. Drink water
37. Get cloth grocery bags....but only if you can get them extra cheap or free. The store I go to gives me 5cents for every cloth bag I use. Living in Germany I picked up a lot of cloth bags. I take about 12 with me when I do my monthly shop. =)

Tightwad Frugality - saving on gas

From 20 tips to save on gas:

1. Maintain your vehicle.
2. Keep your tires inflated.
3. Don't drive during rush hour.
4. Telecommute.
5. Remove weight.
6. Minimize idling.
7. Drive slower.
8. Accelerate and brake easier.
9. Use higher gears.
10. Buy a fuel-efficient car.
11. Roll up windows on highway.
12. Don't top off.
13. Park in shade.
14. Walk.
15. Cycle.
16. Live closer to work.
17. Group errands.
18. Carpool.
19. Use cruise control.
20. Don't buy hot gas.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fun stuff

Candace blogged about this website wherein you can enter your birthdate and it shows you all kinds of fun information. I thought my numerology thing was pretty dang good! It pretty much nailed me....even the negative bits. =D (I was a 6) There's also a link where it tells you about your name. Pretty interesting stuff.

Enjoy. =)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Stormy Weather

After a traumatic night last night, with most members of our family being deeply hurt, today dawns clear and bright.

Ok, I lied, it dawned dull and stormy, and Emily was still in an appalling mood. And, furthermore, the hurts of last night are going to take quite a lot of time to recover from; especially Ben's. That one was pretty dang deep. I would smack the person who hurt him, but she's in a bad way herself this morning, because...

She's once again taking the ACT. And she was freaked out about it. The poor girl really was in a mess last night and this morning. It's a good job I felt sorry for her because her mood has been baaaaaaad since yesterday afternoon. I thought I hated testing when I was younger, but I REALLY REALLY hate it now that my children are going through it.

Emily feels under such HUGE pressure, because everything rides on this test. Oh please please Lord, let her get in the 30s! If she doesn't, it's going to be baaaaaaaad and she'll be so upset and disappointed and discouraged and may feel like she needs to take it again in October and frankly, I don't think our family can survive going through this again.

In other news, we went to visit the Facer's in their fantabulous new home yesterday. Oh how I like that family! I think we overstayed our welcome though...dang! and I opened my big wide mouth and shoved my foot in several times. *sigh*. I hate feeling like an idiot. Why can't I remember I'm just not good in social situations so it's important that I close my mouth? But it was wonderful seeing them anyway. =) One day, when I grow up, I want to be like the Sister Facer. I also want to be like Sisters Drennan, Dunnigan, Adams, Stolworthy etc.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm never going to grow up though. *sigh*.


Ok. It's been a sad 24 hours. I need to do something happy like...make a cake with some vanilla sauce again.


Crazy Chocolate Cake by Dede Dalton
Note the lack of eggs in this recipe. It's amazingly delish.
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp soda
6 big Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2/3 cup cooking oil. You may substitute applesauce for half or all the oil.
2 cups warm water

Mix in a 9x13 inch pan with a fork: Flour, sugar, soda, cocoa, and salt. Make 3 indentations and add one of the following in each hole: Vinegar, vanilla, and cooking oil/applesauce. Pour warm water over all. Stir until well mixed. Do not beat. Bake at 350f for 30 to 40 minutes. Cover immediately with foil (this is a really important step) and do not uncover for one hour. This will kill you...but it's very important. Keep tightly covered. Very moist and yummy!


Vanilla Sauce
I wrote the original recipe with modifications in parentheses. It made a thicker, richer sauce.
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch (2 Tbsp)
2 cups water (1 cup)
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla extract (a big dollop)

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch.
Whisk in the water, stirring until blended.
Bring mixture to a boil and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla. Serve warm.


In other news, Bert and Andrew have just left to see our home teacher, Ron Hope, race his Rat Trap. Emily didn't go because of the ACT, Ben didn't go because he didn't want to, and I didn't go because I wanted to stay home to provide moral support for Emily. I hope Bert and Drew have a good time. =)

Excellent article; setting goals

I encourage you to peruse this excellent article by Candace Salima.

Where are you going? If you don't know where you're going, how can you head there?

Write down your goals. Be sure to include all aspects of your life: spiritual, physical, financial...even geographical if you wish.

Write down where you want to be in those areas when you're:
80
50
ten years from now
five years from now
two years from now
one year from now
six months from now
one month from now
next week
today
in that order. Work backwards, it helps give direction to your day.


If it helps, imagine what you'd like people to be saying about you at your funeral, then work towards being that person. For example, if you want people to talk about how sweet, kind, generous, good humoured or whatever you are, then work towards being that person.

After you write out your goals, keep them in a prominent place...but here's a hint, MOVE that prominent place often. Sometimes when a list stays in the same place, after a while we don't see it anymore. Perhaps type up your list/chart and put it in your journal, using it as a bookmark. Every day before you write, take a minute or two to review your list and rededicate yourself. This daily reminder will keep you heading in the direction you want to go and you'll remember to make choices throughout the day that bring you closer to your goals.

If one of your financial goals is to be frugal, perhaps put a sticky note on the inside of your wallet/purse that says something like "Do I REALLY want this? Can I make do with something else that I already own? Do I really want to clutter my house with this purchase?"

Try these websites:
1. I know Dave Ramsey is really popular around here...his Financial Peace University is just down the road and I drive by it often...but I find him a little...I don't know...caustic or something.

However, I HIGHLY recommend crown.org. It's a mainstream Christian-based programme that uses something called a money map, but I find the programme is very sweet, gentle, and easy to follow. Their main premise is that you need to be financially stable so that Heavenly Father can use you for what HE wants you to do...for example, you can't go on a mission, donate to the humanitarian fund, or even afford your food storage if you don't have the financial resources to do that.

They recently switched from Howard Dayton to Chuck Bentley, and while Chuck is a very nice gentleman, I do miss Howard. He so obviously truly cared for those who called into his programme. He was advocating basically the same things as Dave Ramsey, but was much kinder and more encouraging and...well, loving really...when talking to callers. Plus, I always felt...I don't know...like I was listening to a scam artist with Dave, though that may be a harsh criticism. If you're trying to save money, it's pretty hard to feel pushed into buying all his stuff, you know...

2. http://www.feedthepig.org/ Sorry about the freaky pig guy, but he does have some good ideas.


May the Lord bless you on your journey. =)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An email landed in my in-box this evening. I am tired, and because I had just a few moments previously been contemplating my son's onset of puberty with accompanying lack of brain use, verbose and irrational arguments, and all that irritating stuff, I was a bit peeved.

Thus, I wrote a reply. The reply put me in a good mood. =) Lots of giggling ensued. Please find below the original email, followed by my email response. Enjoy.

A Message from John Cleese to the citizens of the United States of America :

In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Then look up aluminum, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut 'without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels.

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) -roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. Australian beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.

12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try - the Australians and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due the Crown (backdated to 1776).

16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.

God save the Queen.

Only God can.

John Cleese



Note: This is not really from John Cleese. Go to http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/revocation.asp to read all the variations. I don't usually participate in sending this garbage, but this one had both Christian and I laughing. It was posted on TWTM forum.


My response:


Those dang arrogant Brits! They never got over the fact that a bunch of untrained Americans beat their well-trained army. HA! Over 200 years and they haven't got over it. =D

I have to say though....the English have a long memory. The Lancashires and Yorkshires never forgave each other and are still fighting the Wars of the Roses on football grounds. My mother says "The best thing out of Yorkshire is the road to Lancashire." Guess where she's from? =D

Furthermore, I was raised with a superior attitude towards the Irish, and a pathological hatred of the French....the English have been despising those dang Europeans ever since William dared wrest the crown from Harold. And then I had the GALL to go and marry a descendant of William the Conqueror! Am I nuts???? What a traitor! =D

1. Then look up aluminum, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.


If you're going to claim aluminum is pronounced incorrectly, then you should spell it correctly: "tin foil".

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut 'without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary toacceptable levels.

Yeah, this one's right. =D Also, one never does "good". One does "well". "You ran that race very well, Johnny" Not "You did good".


3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

Uh huh. And Liverpudlians use perfect Queen's English....as do the Geordies...and the Londoners...and Brummies....

Actually, I have to giggle whenever they play "pomp and circumstance" at American graduations. The first time I heard it I was shocked and confused. Why on EARTH were they playing "Land of Hope and Glory" at an American graduation?



5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

No, English people wouldn't DARE resort to therapists. They just ride horses tearing up the countryside and rip foxes apart for fun.



7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

Bert worked for a German car company. German cars? Not so great. And we all know how wonderful English cars are, don't we? That's why the industry is still going strong over there.


8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

Implementation of this insanity will cause me to commit suicide. American stop signs, right-hand driving and Imperial measurements are a logical breath of fresh air.

Though I really do enjoy the roundabout in downtown Franklin... =)


9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) -roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

Not to worry, this one will be here before the end of the summer.


10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

No Englishman worth his salt would ever use the word "catsup". This was written by an American Anglophile. Noob. Probably someone from Kansas, or someone who had a girlfriend in Kansas who unceremoniously dumped him. Also, English chips must not only have MALT vinegar on (and no other kind of vinegar) but also a heart-attack's worth of salt and a boatload of mayo AND ketchup. Also, they must be accompanied by either a battered cod, a battered sausage, or a potato fritter. And wrapped in last week's newspaper.




11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. Australian beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.

Being LDS, I have no opinion on this. Other than....get rid of the lot of it and drink chocolate milk instead. It's yummier. =)



12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try - the Australians and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

Yeah, PANSY, I'd like to see you face down 350lb muscle running like a freight train right for you. "Nancy" my eye.


13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

Cricket? Are you INSANE? The most boring game in the WORLD and, furthermore, according to Douglas Adams, the most EVIL game in the world. Only English people would be so appalling as to make a game out of an attempt to destroy the known universe.



14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

Yeah? Well we want to know what happened to the princes in the tower, and what the deal is with Stonehenge, so suck it up. This is another evidence that this was written by an American. No-one in England could care less about JFK, and most don't even know who he is.


15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due the Crown (backdated to 1776).

Not going to get much money out of us at the moment. Recession. People being kicked out of their houses, having their cars repo'd and not having enough food to eat. Back taxes? How about we charge you for all the money we had to expend kicking you out after your ignorant and intolerable acts of aggression?


16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.

Again, LDS here, so I don't drink tea....though I used to drink it and it was AWFUL. Only the English could love a drink that leaves you with a drier mouth than when you started...with a nasty aftertaste added on to it. Though I must admit, chamomile tea out of wafer-thin china is....an indescribable experience. Oh my. Hold on a mo while I get hold of myself. There's nothing quite like it. Also, crustless cucumber sandwiches. Oh my.

However, "rich tea" biscuits are GROSS and should be banned as torture devices. You need those keebler M&M cookies. In fact, every English person needs those Keebler M&M cookies....might get 'em to loosen that upper lip. And they also need to quit putting root beer smelling ointment on their cuts!

Actually, I must admit it took me several years to drink root beer because it smelled like germolene. It also took me several years to eat peanut butter. I thought it was gross....then Emily nagged me into eating a reeses peanut butter cup and all of a sudden the light went on over my head. "OH! THAT'S what peanut butter is for!" =D

But I still like marmite.

Father's Day Ideas

If you just don't know what to get that special man in your life for Father's Day, why not try these?






And take a "aww" and giggle at this one too. Surely? Surely? Now? =)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Giveaway

Ms. Parker is having a giveaway! =)

So check it out....and good luck. =)

Monday, June 09, 2008

silly test

Trek

"...being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things." - Mosiah 26:39

Bert and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary last Tuesday - the 3rd. =)

Which means sometime in the next month I will celebrate the 21st anniversary of my baptism. What a great decision that was! What joy it has brought me in my life! I'm so thankful I had the zeal, the fire, and the courage to step into that baptismal font and utterly change the course of my life.

Andrew played his last soccer game of the season on Saturday 31st May. We then went to CiCis pizza with the team where the boys were given a trophy each. We're so proud of Andrew and his little trophy. =) I'm looking forward to the fall season.

Ben has been taking a break from homeschooling the past couple of weeks. It's been nice. =) He watched episode bazillion of Ken Burns' "Civil War" this morning. We'll take a break from that for a little while. I think "Transformers" is set to arrive in the next nexflix shipment. Emily's excited. =)



Emily went on Trek Thurs 5th - Sat 7th June. She dressed in pioneer clothes, some of which she'd made herself, and was driven to the Trek in Southern TN. She was nervous.

They arrived late morning on Thursday and were assigned to "families". Emily was made "Big sister" in her family. =) There were just ten children in theirs; most other families had 12. Each family piled their stuff onto their handcart, which by the time they were done weighed about 700lbs. Then they set off.

Handcarts were organized thusly: Two in the yoke. Ropes were attached to each side of the yoke; two pulled on the rope on each side about two yards apart. Right up front, holding both ropes was the guide. Everyone else pushed from behind or walked alongside. In Emily's group there were five boys, including Paul Grayson and Travis - and five girls, including Laura Schaumann, Nicole and Emily.


On the second hill, their handcart broke.


Emily said the yoke was the most difficult place. Lifting 700lbs was almost more than she could physically do...and then they had to pull it. She got blisters despite her work gloves.

They pulled five miles that day. The pioneers pulled an average of 9 miles in the morning, 8 in the afternoon.

Going up hills was so hard. They hated the hills. When the cart broke down they were at the top of the second hill. No shade. It was about 95f. They tried fixing the cart with bungee cords Emily had, but it was beyond repair, so another cart was brought to them.

They sat for an hour in the blistering sun waiting for it, as the rest of the company pushed on.

When the new handcart arrived, they put their stuff on it - Emily said they "put it together" - did they actually assemble it?

Then they had to catch up with the other group...double quick, no rest, up and down hills.

The company waited for them a little while in the shade of some trees. They got a shady break. When Emily's family arrived they continued on. No shady break for Emily's family.

They were so tired, and fell behind. They were encouraged, faster, you must go faster. You must catch up. No rest. Full sun. Up and down hills.

No lunch.

Emily had done her time in the yoke and was now guiding at the front of the rope. They crested a hill and all of them groaned...before them lay the tallest, steepest hill.

"Emily", called Paul, "Come get in the yoke with me."
Emily was a little confused, "I've done my time in the yoke."
"I know. Just come in with me."
Ok. Emily obliged.

Down the hill. Beginning that tall, steep one. Emily and Paul in the yoke, bearing the burden. Going up...

....and then all the boys in the entire company ducked out of yokes, let go of ropes, stopped pushing.

And all the girls felt what it was like for the pioneers when the country that had beaten, raped and killed them...the country that had forced them out...now came upon them on the trail and forced the men to leave the women and children and join the army. The women and children had to continue on alone.

Emily was in the yoke alone, pulling 700 lbs of weight uphill. The cart was sliding backwards. Emily yelled for Nicole, who immediately ducked into the yoke and started pulling.

And those five girls, alone, began pushing that handcart up that steep hill. Just like their pioneer forebears (except Emily who doesn't have any =D) had to pull and push mile after weary mile....

At first, the boys stood to the side, yelling encouragement. Emily said you could tell it was killing them to let the girls do it by themselves. Then the leaders pulled the boys behind, so the girls were truly alone.

Emily and Nicole were pulling that handcart, with the three other girls on the ropes. Her arms and legs started shaking violently with the exertion. Her back muscles started cramping.

Driving to the church to drop Emily off, we were asking each other "How did the pioneers do it? How did they do what they did?"

Emily was thinking this as she attempted to pull that handcart. She thought, with full fervency and tenderness of heart, "Lord, if you wanted me to pull a handcart all day, every day, for the rest of my life, I'd do it. It's the hardest thing I've ever done - and I'd do it. The gospel is so worth it. It's worth all this! Lord, I'm so willing to do it, but I'm physically unable to. I can't physically do it. Help me do it, Lord!"

She said the boys were pulled back behind the wagons, and she felt someone pushing. She, Nicole, Laura, and the other two girls pulled that 700 lb handcart up that long, steep hill. As soon as they got to the top the boys gratefully rushed in to take the carts and the girls collapsed. Emily was still shaking from exertion.

"Were you pushing?" she asked Paul
"No, we weren't allowed to touch the carts or help at all."

So who was pushing?

‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it. … I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.

‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay....



They pushed on until dark. For dinner they had rolls and chicken broth, with a little rice and chicken in it. Emily was lucky she didn't feel hungry, though she forced herself to eat something. Most of the youth were starving, though they'd eaten more than the pioneers had.

They camped out in a field by laying down their tarps and sleeping bags, sleeping under the stars. The field soon was covered with dew and they were soaked through. They didn't sleep much.

The sun rose...and so did they...at 4.30/5am. No point continuing to lie down - they were soaked anyway.

Breakfast was cornmeal mush. Cornmeal and water. They were lucky and were given a little brown sugar. Emily said it was disgusting, but she choked it down although she still wasn't hungry.

The second day was dedicated to pioneer activities. Emily ripped the head off a chicken and fired rifles. This blew Bert and I away. You did WHAT with a chicken? She said the idea was to grab it by its head, swing the body around, then snap it like a towel. It wasn't working for Emily so the guy grabbed the chicken's neck and body, looked Emily in the eye and said, "Are you ready?" then pulled hard and the head came off.

Makes me want to vomit.

Emily said one of the girls was freaking out as Emily was swinging and snapping the chicken. Emily...who was hot and mad by this point and doesn't suffer fools gladly even at the best of times...looked at the girl like she was nuts and said, "It's your DINNER!" Did the girl want to starve? I think Emily has "The Look".

Then Emily dipped the chicken body in boiling water (not fun in 90f weather) and pulled off its feathers. Then she eviscerated and cleaned it. They barbequed it but it wasn't ready to be eaten by the time they had to move on to the next station so they didn't get anything but a tiny piece. Bummer!

Travis was shooting a musket. Emily was impressed. Travis said "I bet you can't do it." Uhm....hello? This is EMILY you're talking to. She can do ANYTHING. So she shot three long-bore old-fashioned rifles. And perhaps a pistol, I can't remember. Yes, this is the girl that wows the guys by firing rifles, killing chickens, pulling handcarts, and driving a stick shift. Is there nothing she can't do?

The favourite station for boys and girls alike was the hair washing station. They loved it. =) They reveled in hair washed clean in cool water. And afterwards they dunked their hot, blistered feet into the rinse water. Ahhhhhh. =)

They had trail mix, apples and juice boxes for lunch. Dinner was beef stew. Emily said it was the most delicious thing she'd ever tasted. Must have been getting hungry by that point. =)

The next day was meant to be a long haul handcart day. Unfortunately, that night one of the youth from the Huntsville Stake wandered off and got lost. Also, a soldier who had gone fishing in that area was missing.

Lying under the stars, the youth again had no sleep because of the torchlights and helicopter beams. The youth were not allowed to search - the leaders didn't want to lose any more of them. So the 99 were kept in the fold while the shepherds searched for the one.

The rangers in the tiny county where they were said their resources were too stretched thin looking for the two missing people to be on hand if any accident befell the youth on the trek the next day. The rangers strongly recommended closing the trek early. The leaders concurred.

The handcarts were broken down, the gear packed, the rides starting to arrive, when the missing youth wandered back into camp. Thank goodness he was safe!

I'd been praying for Emily, and, anxious to see her, arrived at the church about an hour and a half early to pick her up.

It was sooo good to see her. She'd already divested herself of her pioneer garb. =) After complaining long and hard about her bonnet, declaring she would NEVER wear it, she admitted it was WONDERFUL and was so useful in that weather. She also said you wouldn't believe how useful bandannas were. She used hers for all sorts of things.

Emily told me about Trek on the way home. We cried sweet tears as we felt the Spirit when she talked of her testimony as she hauled that heavy handcart up the hill.

How did they do it? Day after day?

Emily said "They did it because they had to."

Because their testimony burned in their hearts. And that fire drove them over the Rocky Mountains, to home.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Give rice, improve your vocabulary.

In honour of the fact that I'm astonished at the vocabulary involved, I herewith include examples of the Rice Test:

Mazzard - Sweet Cherry (I guessed)
effete - degenerate (Learned about this one from Georgette Heyer)
comfit - candy (GH again)
banshee = Gaelic death spirit (I guessed, based on the circumstances these creatures appear in the books I read. Notably, Terry Pratchett)
tractable = docile (GH again)
aegis = protection (Educated guess based on elimination)
sere = withered (I got this from some other old fashioned book)

marcel = wavy hairdo Dang it, I got that one wrong. I said it was a European pastry or something.

esprit = liveliness Dang it! I said it was free will. I should have known, based on the usage of "esprit de corps"

rorqual = whale Dang. I'm not doing very well right now.


pogrom = massacre Phew! Back on track. =)

eructate = belch Ha ha, who knew? I said it was to lurch. =D

arcuate = curved (total guess)
incommodious = uncomfortable (GH again)
marcel = wavy hairdo
esprit = liveliness
rorqual = whale
fallacious = illogical
(Some old fashioned book I read had this in it)
eructate = belch

gravure = printing process I said it was a romance. =Þ

fisc = treasury (A guess, based on "governmental fiscal policy")

insuperable = unbeatable I hate it when I get them wrong.

spelt = wheat Does it? I thought it was a different kind of grain. Oh well, in any case, I guessed and got it right.

Well anyway, you get the general idea. It's LOADS of fun. You'd be amazed at what you can figure out through elimination, looking at the roots of the words and deciphering their meanings, then relating it to the answers etc. Plus, hungry people get rice. It's a win-win situation.

I've currently donated a paltry 1220 grains of rice. Must work at it some more.


Click Here to try it yourself.

Awesome game!

Go here http://www.freerice.com/index.php, play the game and donate rice!

Woo hoo! I love this game! Who'd'a thunk I knew so many amazing words? It all comes from reading those old-fashioned out-dated novels. And Georgette Heyer. =D