Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Happy October!

This is an update about our past week. There are pictures below for your viewing pleasure.

Last week was a good week. The weeks are getting better and better. It's been kind of a struggle for me lately--I guess reality is sinking in; I do have 4 kids!

Well, here's the juicy low-down for all of you who are interested in our everyday happenings.

Monday Lee bought spark plug wires in an attempt to "fix" our van. The van has been acting up lately. Initially when we drive it on any particular day, it runs great. But if we drive it a second or third time the same day, it starts jerking and laboring and yeah....

Tuesday we had FHE. Lee did a lesson on sharing the gospel. I love doing the sharing time sections out of the Friend for FHE. It's fun to have pictures and cutouts and such for the boys to look at or paste onto something.

Wednesday I went to a local park with the boys. The equipment was old, very old, and there was a lot of dirt. I didn't mind either of those things that much. The park was clean and in a decent part of town. The thing I didn't like was the flies! I brought lunch for me and the boys, and had the food in the diaper bag. Well, the flies flew into the diaper bag and were trying to get into the sandwich bags to eat the sandwiches! GROSS! One time I even folded the bag over and set in on the ground by the girls' car seats. When I picked it up there were flies in my diaper bag. I will not be going there anytime soon.

Wednesday night I went to Home, Family and Personal Enrichment. The presentation was on bee keeping. There is a fellow in our branch that has 38 beehives! (He did have 50, but because of the drought this summer he lost 12.) Bees are amazing and the presentation was great. Did you know that honey is basically bee vomit? Sounds appealing, huh?! For refreshments they had freshly baked rolls (the YW were baking bread) and honey from this fellow's own bees. (And lemonade.) It was very good.

Thursday Lee took the van into Coastal Tire to get it repaired. The guy did find a problem with some wires underneath the spark plug area and got it fixed. Since the van was gone, I walked to the library with the kids for storytime. Clark and Cal both went in by themselves. I enjoyed talking with Jean and Joy again.

That is something that is great about Whiteville...our location. EVERYTHING (almost) is less than or about one mile away. So it's no big deal that we don't have our van. The church, library, post office, 2 grocery stores, hospital, pediatrician, optometrist, court house and a bunch of attorneys at law, along with a bunch of other establishments, are all within a mile! Just last night we went on a walk to the grocery store.

Friday night I recieved an email that Ashley Simmons passed away. He was my very first baptism on my mission. I was in Rancho Palos Verdes and Palos Verdes Estates (California). I remember the very time we first met him. I was with Sister Munkhzaya from Mongolia. Our mission was big on OYMing (Open Your Mouth). I saw Ashley outside in his yard, so we went over and started talking to him and he agreed to have us come over! He went through the discussions fairly quickly. The night he was baptized he was ordained a Preist in the Aaronic Priesthood, and then baptized his daughter Erin that same night. His son Sean was too young at the time to be baptized, and his wife was never interested. Ashley was also baptized on September 11th, 2001. Yep, the same day as the whole ordeal with the Twin Towers and the planes. It was a wonderful ending to that day. And he also recieved his own endowment on September 21, 2002. The exact day that Lee and I were married/sealed in the Provo Temple! He was a faithful member the rest of his life (as far as I knew). I was sad to hear of his passing--died of lung cancer--but also very glad that he has the gospel and had recieved the temple ordinances that were available to him.

Saturday we all walked to the library together. Before that Lee picked up our van for the weekend. The timing belt needs to be changed, but our van could be driven a little bit before it's replaced. After the library I went to Walmart. On the way home the van started acting weird again. We hoped that the wires that were fixed underneath the spark plug area would have solved the problem of the van jerking and having a hard time accelerating. But it didn't. We hope a new timing belt will solve it.

Saturday night we all went to another baptism. Lee and I switched off being with the kids in the nursery. After the baptism the Relief Society President and her counselor starting setting up refreshments for the broadcast. They invited Lee and whomever else to stay. They had some yummy refreshments. I loved the General Relief Society Broadcast. All of the talks were great. Sister Beck is doing a fantastic job!

Sunday, church went well. Clark and Cal went to primary together. Since there is no nursery, Cal goes in with the other 3 or 4 kids that are there. They all meet as one big group. It seems that Sister Hall does lots of great little activities, so I think Cal doesn't mind at all being in there. And Cal follows Clark in practically everything. So if Clark likes something, Cal normally does too.

I am not sure, but in my observation of Southern folks, it seems they call women "Miss" and then their first name--whether or not they're married. For example, Dr. Lewis' wife Linda, people call her Miss Linda. In a way they've adapted that at church. I am Sister Ruth, Lee is Brother Lee. It's kind of fun using every one's first name. But they still call the Branch President by his proper title, so that is good. (His name is President Skipper--and that's his last name.)

We have been booking it through April's conference talks. We have 5 or 6 left. We want to finish reading April conference before Saturday. And we are well on our way.

The kids are doing well. Shanna is starting to get up on her knees sometimes and I don't like that! I want her to crawl s o m e d a y, but she is only 5 months today. I would rather she wait till she was 7 months! Hopefully Haley won't start crawling anytime soon. It is so fun seeing them look at each other and smile. They are great girls.

Cal and Clark have been enjoying being outside. It's been great going on walks around here. Clark likes to find "mountains" and ride down them on his trike. He gets going pretty fast. I'm sure he'll have even more fun when he goes mountain bike riding with his Dad!

Tonight I was reading to Clark and Cal about a girl who imagines being a firefighter when she grows up. Later in the book when it showed the firetruck by some cars, Clark asked me: "Where's cheek-o?" I could not figure out what he was saying. "What?" I asked. Clark then repeated himself, "Cheek-o. Kid." OH!! He was saying chico. That is Spanish for kid or boy. I am glad that he interpreted it for me. He wanted to know where the girl was. Sometimes we kind of wonder if we are messing our kids up by having Lee speak to them in Spanish. But at times like this, it seems very worth it and rewarding! I was very proud of Clark.

Have a great day or night or afternoon everyone. We hope you enjoyed your visit! Before I sign off I wanted to pass along a couple recipes and a name of a book that you should all check out and read. Book first. I am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey. I love his teachings and philosophy about money. One of his books, The Total Money Makeover, is great. It is pretty short itself. But if you want something even shorter, read his book The Money Answer Book. It's basically a reference book for common financial questions.

And now for the recipes.....enjoy! (To get the full effect, I would use butter, not margarine in all of these recipes.)

Sour Cream Coffee Cake (I got this from Teresa Yorgason.)

Bake at 350ْ for 35 minutes in a 9x13 pan or a bunt pan.

1 C butter
1 C sugar
Cream together.

Mix in:
2 beaten eggs
1 C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

2 C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp soda
¼ tsp salt

In the pan, layer half the batter and half the topping mixture—recipe below, and repeat.

1/3 C brown sugar
¼ C white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Brownies (This I got from Gianetta Schauerhamer. These are WONDERFUL homemade brownies.)

½ C butter
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 ½ C sugar
1 ¼ C flour
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup of nuts (optional)

Grease 9 x 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter with 1 cup of chocolate chips, after melted and removed from heat, add vanilla. Sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together. Mix in the butter and chocolate chip mixture. Beat in eggs.
Stir in remaining cup of chocolate chips. Bake for 30 minutes.

And hey, since we're on the brownie topic, here is another divine brownie recipe.

MINT BROWNIES (And this is from Celia Mason.)

2 squares unsweetened chocolate (I use the unsweetened powder following the directions on the package 6 Tbs coco and 2Tbs Crisco=2 squares unsweetened chocolate)
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
dash salt
1/2 cup nuts

Frosting:2 Tbs butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs cream (you can just use milk if you don't have cream)
3/4 tsp peppermint
green food coloring (if you want)

Chocolate glaze:1 square semi-sweet chocolate, melted (I use semisweet chips)
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter. Beat eggs until fluffy. Stir in sugar, chocolate mixture and vanilla. Addflour, salt, and nuts. Pour into a 9 inch pan. Bakeat 350 for 25 minutes. Cool.

For frosting: work butter into powdered sugar. Addcream and 3/4 tsp peppermint. Stir and spread on brownies. Refrigerate while making chocolate glaze. Combine chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Pour over brownies and tilt pan to spread.

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