Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pioneer Day Food, Games, Activities, Crafts

We invite all to learn more about our Pioneer Heritage and participate in family activities or events.  The words that come to mind as we contemplate the hard work and sacrifices of so many who came before us is "Blessed, Honored, Pioneer".  It's in that spirit that we share the following ideas for families:

What is Pioneer Day in Utah?

July 24th is an annual commemorative celebration of the arrival of the first group of 'Mormon Pioneers' into the Salt Lake Valley.

Here is a brief synopsis from Wikipedia:

Pioneer Day is an official holiday celebrated on July 24 in the U.S. state of Utah, with some celebrations in regions of surrounding states originally settled by Mormon pioneers. It commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, where the Latter-day Saints settled after being forced from Nauvoo, Illinois, and other locations in the eastern United States. Parades, fireworks, rodeos, and other festivities (such as songs, dances, potlucks, handcart re-enactment, pioneer related activities) help commemorate the event.  - Wikipedia - Pioneer Day

Here are a few activities that you can do together as a family.  We hope that all of us are better people through remembering and commemorating what our predecessors have done for us.

Pioneer Day Commemoration (Pres. Hinckley)
The Mormon Pioneer Trail
What is the significance of Pioneer Day?
Pioneers: An Anchor for Today

More ideas can be found on our Pinterest page.

Make your own butter

Play some Pioneer Games (pulling-sticks)

Learn about Pioneer children and families
Make Pioneer Biscuits

Craft your own Pioneer Candles

Enjoy a hearty dutch-oven dinner!

Pioneer Day Articles:
Huffington Post
Time and Date
Mormon Share (activity ideas)
Mormon Tabernacle Choir (concert)
and... find other fun ideas on:
Pioneer Day - Pinterest

Our own little Precious Pioneer

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mormon Mom Planners

Hello all!  Are you trying to get organized?  Are you wanting help in finding ways to best focus your time and energies so as to be most effective?

Here is one great (and very cute) way to get yourself in order.

We love the title of their planners "Mormon Mom Planners" as it goes right along with our mission here! We're happy to be connected with them and to offer you this special link where you can see all their new products and decide which one will work best for you.

We're big into 'simplification' and have found that truly 'less is more'.  As we write things down, and follow the Spirit, we'll be guided as to what to include on our lists of 'things to do' and what can be removed.  That's the beauty of having that special guidance; we realize we're not alone in this.  He is there to help us and to guide us into all paths of righteousness.

Best wishes to you as you plan, prepare and perform; that you may choose the most important experiences and ideals (remember Good, Better and Best) and leave the others alone.

For us, at the daily top of our page are three mandatory items; sincere prayer and meditation, personal scripture study, and daily 'walk w/God' (usually outside and around the park.)  We've found that these basics help everything else function and flow more smoothly as we're more in-tune with what matters most.

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 26th, National ALL or NOTHING Day!

Today, we share the story of blogger, Heather Von St. James, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma 10 years ago.  She and her husband, Cameron, had just welcomed their precious baby daughter into the world when Heather was given only 15 months to live.

Her cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos fibers on her dads work jacket as a little girl. Mesothelioma is very rare, but usually takes most patients within a year after diagnosis. Luckily, Heather was a candidate for a highly intensive surgery that involved a heather chemotherapy solution, and the removal of one of her lungs.
Thankfully, Heather beat the odds and she and her husband, also a blogger, are on a mission to share their story in hopes of helping others and spreading awareness of mesothelioma.

We don't know their religious affiliation - but, kindly, her husband would like to honor her and share her story. We support that (as we're ALL about home and family) and are grateful to know of his deep and abiding love for her and the way in which he is seeking to honor her life and help others.

Because of what they have experienced, they are working to
 "encourage others to live in the moment, and to make the most of each day."

We invite you all to read and share their story on your various sites.

Thanks and....Happy July 26th; National 'All of Nothing Day'; a day to celebrate living life to the fullness.  It's with that in mind that we recognize Heather and her wonderful husband, as well as all of the rest of you who have overcome odds in your life and are striving to live life in a way that is happy, fulfilling, and a blessing and those around you!

Blessings to all!

Heather's Story

Monday, July 13, 2015

Aunt Nancy's Fresh Apple Cake

For last night's dinner I needed to use up some apples and thought that apple cake sounded good.  So, I flipped through some of my Mom's old recipe books and found this one in an old ward (church) cookbook.  It's from my precious Aunt Nancy (who'll be 91 next month) and I loved the thought of her recipe being part of our family meal.  The cake turned out deliciously well, so I thought I'd share it with the rest of you. (This recipe works well with a few substitutes for those who are gluten intolerant or off sugar.)

Aunt Nancy's Fresh Apple Cake

3/4 c oil (or part olive oil and part applesauce)
1 1/2 c sugar (or equivalent of honey or agave)
3 eggs (farm fresh are best)
3 c flour (a combo or white, wheat, rice or almond)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon (optional) 
1 c. nuts (we used walnuts - optional)
2 tsp vanilla
3 c shredded apples

Beat eggs, sugar and oil.  Add remaining ingredients (apples and nuts last).  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 min in large, greased, cake pan. Top with ice cream or whipping cream.  Enjoy.

Aunt Nancy's Fresh Apple Cake

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Watermelon Drink - Super Easy

There's nothing else quite like fresh watermelon during the hot summer months.

Here is a super easy way to make 'watermelon juice' with no waste.

It's also quick and easy in the Nutri-Bullet to make morning green drinks - which provide delicious and nutritious blends of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts for a healthier life.

Fill container with diced melon

Blend 10 seconds


Friday, July 10, 2015

Funeral Services for Beloved President Boyd K. Packer

"The Eagle has left the building" were some words that came to my mind today as the sacred funeral services of our beloved President Boyd K. Packer ended.  I couldn't help but weep for the loss yet feel deeply grateful to know that He is still serving; just in a different place.  

We will miss him greatly. He has been a cherished leader for most of our lives. He was a great witness of Christ in his eternal beliefs and knowledge.

I am one who was greatly strengthened by him; his teachings, his example, his testimony.

On many occasions I have turned to his words to help me know what to do in a particular situation.  I have always been fed, strengthened, and renewed after reading and pondering on his timely messages.  For that, I am deeply grateful.

One of my very favorite messages of all time was a powerful sermon he gave at BYU while I was a student there. I will never forget the witness I received in my soul of the goodness of his life and of his apostolic calling.  It forever changed me. 
Let the Lower Lights Be Burning  (particularly the last story in the article)

Watch full funeral services here:

Funeral Service Report