Friday, December 31, 2010

Surprise! Two babies!

On Christmas Day, Janette and Seth surprised us with the news that they are expecting a baby in July.  Then Rachel and Isaac surprised everyone by saying they are ALSO having a baby in July.

Woo  Hooooooo!

And these are Janette's ultrasounds.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gingerbread houses #2

 Isaac's Native American village with fondant campfires.
 Seth's old country store and Janette's Federal style building.
 Zac's missile firing into space, and the accompanying entrance to the underground bunker.
Bryce's Dr. Suess style house.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gingerbread houses #1

We all got together and made "gingerbread houses" on Dec. 23. Several members of the family enjoyed doing all the construction work of building houses out of graham crackers. Adam made this one to look like an abandoned military school he had seen once.

I saw clearance sale "Haunted House Gingerbread Houses" on sale at Sam's for $2.99 each, so I bought two (we just decorated them Christmasy instead of Halloweeny).  I loved it because it was easy to help Elizabeth and Thomas decorate their houses, instead of making the houses out of gingerbread or graham crackers.

This is Elizabeth's. She chose to decorate the snowman this way, he looks like he has just run face first into a fence post.

When I told Thomas to put buttons on his snowman, I didn't picture him putting them in those particular locations.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Confessions of breaking a ski lift

Several injured as chairs drop from Maine ski lift

This photo provided by Al Noyes shows skiers and lift chairs on the slope, lower right, after a lift derailed on the state's tallest mountain in CarraAP – This photo provided by Al Noyes shows skiers and lift chairs on the slope, lower right, after a lift …
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine – A chair lift derailed in high winds at Maine's tallest ski mountain Tuesday, sending screaming skiers plummeting as far as 30 feet to the slope below and injuring several of them.
The Sugarloaf resort in Carrabassett Valley, about 120 miles north of Portland, said about six people were injured when five chairs fell an estimated 25 to 30 feet. The resort's ski patrol evacuated the lift, which had passed an inspection.
None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, the resort said. The injured were treated and taken to hospitals. About 220 people were on the lift at the time, and inspectors were headed to the scene.

I saw this headline today, and it reminded me of something I did back in 1977 or 1978.  My sister Cindy and I were on a ski lift at Sundance.  There were no restraining bars across the front, or anything holding us in, and nothing to rest our feet on.  We were just sitting on a bench, which had bars going up at the sides, (you could hold onto them like holding onto the chains of a swing.)

We were about 20-40 feet up in the air, and my legs with their heavy boots and skis were hanging down.  I started swinging my legs and skis sideways to make the chair go back and forth.   Cindy was probably telling me to stop it.  Suddenly, swinging the chair caused it to derail off the cable, and our chair fell about 5 feet, maybe more.  I can remember almost being thrown off, the drop was so violent.  Thankfully the chair was  being held up by the backup cable.

She and I were lucky we had been holding on because our rear ends slipped off the chair and we had to scramble back on.  We looked around and the whole ski lift was stopped.  Luckily no one had fallen off, but we were all stranded up there for I think a half an hour, in the freezing cold wind, waiting to get rescued.

I can remember Cindy threatening me the whole time "I'm going to tell them that you broke it!"  but she didn't.

I think this is one of the worst things I ever did.

The First Christmas alien

I discovered someone in my family had added a new element to this nativity scene.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Homemade gifts

Notice what time we got up on Christmas morning to open our presents.  Its really sad.

I tried to make a bunch of home-sewn gifts this year. "June Cleaver" kitchen aprons, crayon aprons, and a tablerunner.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow, and I got a treadle sewing machine

We got 6 inches of snow on Christmas night, so church was cancelled today.  We had our own little church this afternoon, it was nice to share our thoughts with one another.

Adam and Tiffany found this sewing machine in a second-hand store, and then asked Seth and Janette to help them dismantle it and oil it. It seems to work great, although I haven't had time to play with it yet.

I am very excited to have this as an emergency preparedness item, for when there is no electricity.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I love parodies of "Twas the Night Before Christmas".  I got this one off a preparedness site,

‘Twas the night before Christmas & out on the ranch
The pond was froze over & so was the branch.
The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.
The kids were all home on vacation from school,
And happier young folks you never did see-
Just all sprawled around a-watchin’ TV.
Then suddenly, some time around 8 o’clock,
There came a surprise that gave them a shock!
The power went off, the TV went dead!
When Grandpa came in from out in the shed
With an armload of wood, the house was all dark.
“Just what I expected,” they heard him remark.
“Them power line wires must be down from the snow.
Seems sorter like times on the ranch long ago.”
“I’ll hunt up some candles,” said Mom. “With their light,
And the fireplace, I reckon we’ll make out all right.”
The teen-agers all seemed enveloped in gloom.
Then Grandpa came back from a trip to his room,
Uncased his old fiddle & started to play
That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.
Mom started to sing, & 1st thing they knew
Both Pop & the kids were all singing it, too.
They sang Christmas carols, they sang “Holy Night,”
Their eyes all a-shine in the ruddy firelight.
They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,
And Pop read a passage from God’s Book of Truth.
They stayed up till midnight-and, would you believe,
The youngsters agreed ’twas a fine Christmas Eve.
Grandpa rose early, some time before dawn;
And when the kids wakened, the power was on..
“The power company sure got the line repaired quick,”
Said Grandpa – & no one suspected his trick.
Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned fun,
He had pulled the main switch – the old Son-of-a-Gun!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Wayne!

Wayne is my hero.  He replaced the kitchen faucet a few days ago, and he hated every minute of it, but he got it done. 
Here is his home office.  He is the 2nd counselor in the Young Adult ward, so he is in charge of the dances.  There is no where else to store the huge speakers for the church dances, so he has had them in his office for a year.
Just last week he had the brilliant idea of plugging his ipod shuffle into the speakers.  AND HE BLASTED THE MUSIC.  He said, "Why didn't I think of this before?"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Visited Barbara

I visited Barbara for the first time in years, and took photos of some photos she had of her kids.  Jennifer's son looks a lot like Jonathan!

 Here is Jonathan and his wife, they live in Hawaii.
 Barbara and Don's house is just beautiful.
And here is my friend Barbara, I wish I hadn't lost touch with her for all those years.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zac on Cumorah Work Crew!

Zac was notified yesterday that he will be in the Hill Cumorah work crew for July 2011!  He has wanted to be on the work crew so badly, ever since Mark P. was on it.

He will be one of about 25 young men, 17-18 year olds, who will arrive at the Hill Cumorah a week early, and set up all the stages, light towers, electricity, etc. all over the hill.  Then he will be one of the people who run the lighting or manage the props or blow up the water cannons or run the pyrotechnics or shine the super powerful xenon light up into the sky.  I am so curious as to which crew he will be assigned, I hope he has a wonderful experience.  And after the pageant, they stay another week and take everything down.

The work crew are like the rock stars of the pageant, all the girls in the cast flirt with them but they are like missionaries, they have to be apart and aloof.  But they can still appreciate the attention.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Conference Call, also Nature gone wild

Last night my siblings, parents and I had a one hour conference call, talking about emergency preparedness and food storage, and giving each other advice.  We are all very convinced of the urgency of this.

My sister set up the conference call on  She gave us the phone number, and the access code, and we just had to call at the specified time and start talking.  It was fun to have everyone on the line at once.

If there was something noisy going on at our house, we could press #6 and we would be muted, but could still hear.

It was free if you had free long distance.  Or it just cost whatever your long distance charge was.  The conference call set up was free.

Here is an interesting article that was on the Drudge Report this morning:

"2010's World Gone Wild: Quakes, Floods, Blizzards".  This article listed all the natural disasters of 2010. And of course, if you replace every time they wrote "caused by global warming" with "foretold by prophecy, happening as a precursor to the second coming"  then the article would be quite true.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bryce and Tara home!

Bryce and Tara got home last night.  We are happy to have them here for two weeks before they go back to BYU.

The Real Meaning of Christmas

 One of my favorite YouTube videos for this season.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lunar Eclipse on Dec. 21

Here is a YouTube from NASA explaining the lunar eclipse which can be seen Dec. 21.  I think Wayne will be outside with his telescope!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jack Black's confession

Wayne and I were watching the DVR of last night's Tonight Show.  Jay Leno was interviewing Jack Black, and asked him what was the secret of his happy marriage.

Jack Black said that the key to a happy marriage is finding a TV show that you both love and could watch together.

Jay asked him what show Jack and his wife watched together...............

and Jack answered .............................................................................................................................PROJECT RUNWAY!!

Wayne and I both started laughing hysterically, because we love that show!  We thought we were the only couple in the world that watched it together.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas, Food Storage, and Corndogs

I finally got the tree decorated last night, after Zac put it up a few days ago.  Now there are a million boxes to put back up into the attic.

I went to the Greensboro cannery with Seth and Janette yesterday and brought home a bunch of food storage.  I felt proud of myself until I talked to my mom and found out she had been to Welfare Square a couple of days before that, and had canned and brought home FOUR TIMES as much.  We all seem to  be feeling the urgency.

Tara sent a text to Seth (she knows I haven't figured out texting yet) and told him to tell me to be sure and have corndogs in our freezer when she gets home.  That shows you what type of good home cooking she has been missing at college.

She and Bryce are flying home on Saturday evening.

And here is another article showing evidence that our financial system is going down: 
Investors all over the globe are starting to wake up and realize that America's debt problem is unsolvable. David Bloom, the currency chief at HSBC, raised eyebrows when he recently stated that "if yields are rising because people think America's fiscal situation is unsustainable, then its Armageddon." (page 8)

Read more:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Its spooky when the world is saying it

Here's the statistician John Williams on Dec. 8, 2010 saying to get food storage.  I hope he isn't correct, but if he IS correct we better all have our food storage sooner rather than later.

Notice the disbelief of all the other people on the video as they interview him.

On another blog I saw the YouTube video of the collapse of the snow-covered sports stadium that happened on Sunday.  The blogger was saying, think of the snow as the weight of debt upon this country.  He said the sports stadium collapse was a great metaphor for the dollar.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I am curious about the gathering of the saints which will take place during the very terrible times at the end of the world. I read this quote in the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, Religion 324 and 325, p. 60.

"Elder Harold B. Lee explained....
...The Lord has placed the responsibility for directing the work of gathering in the hands of the leaders of the Church to whom he will reveal his will where and when such gatherings would take place in the future. It would be well---before the frightening events concerning the fulfillment of all God's promises and predictions are upon us, that the Saints in every land prepare themselves and look forward to the instruction that shall come to them from the First Presidency of this Church as to where they shall be gathered and not be disturbed in their feelings until such instruction is given to them as it is revealed by the Lord to the proper authority."
(In Conference Report, April 1948, p. 55)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Preparing for an Ice Storm #2

(Photo I took in Cary, NC in 2001 or 2002, I can't remember.)

We have lived here in North Carolina for almost 23 years, and have gone through several big ice storms and snowstorms. Even a few inches of snow is bad here, because there are no snow plows to clean off the roads, so after even a relatively small snowstorm the roads all turn to ice.

When a winter storm warning is announced, make sure you do all your laundry and have lots of foods that don't have to be cooked. You probably won't have any power for a few days, so you will also need a source of heat.

Don't worry about the food in your fridge and freezer, it won't thaw out with the temperature so low.

Once Wayne was out of town and I tried to cook homemade biscuits laid on top of the fireplace shovel, holding it above the fire. My arm got so tired and so hot from the fire that we ate them half raw.

My friend stepped out of her door after an ice storm and fell on the ice and broke her arm and had to make her way to the hospital in a 4-wheel vehicle. My son and daughter both broke their hands sledding on the same day during a snowstorm, we also had to find 4-wheel drive vehicles to take them to the doctor.

Our electricity was out for only one or two whole days, but during some of the events our phone was out for longer. Other people's electricity was out for up to 3 weeks, depending on where they lived.

Our water supply was fine, I was even able to take a shower because we had a gas water heater, but the bathroom was ice cold.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Preparing for an Ice Storm #1

(This is a picture taken in Cary, NC in 2001 or 2002, I can't remember the year.)

Here is a great post that was posted on Totally Ready on June 11, 2010.

When we were living in North Carolina an ice storm knocked out our power for four days. It was a bit miserable, but now makes for fun stories. We started to hear the crash of trees falling all around us, followed by flashes of blue light from the wires they took down with them. We couldn’t leave the kids in their room, even if they were sleeping through it. We brought them into our bed so we could be sure they were safe. We had a family come over to take showers at our house by candlelight because their well wouldn’t run without electricity (yes, I know it should have been by glow stick instead of candles). I was most surprised at how nicely the chicken nuggets turned out by cooking them in a frying pan over our gas range!

I have some great pictures of the huge pine trees that fell literally right next to the house, one taking out our fence, and one breaking it’s top off when it hit our roof. Now, seven years later our son who was five still talks about our adventure.

There are some simple things I wish I had done for that power outage.

Keeping a bunch of disposable plates, cups, and utensils in the cupboard since we had no dishwasher would have been a huge help. And lots of large trash bags.

A bunch of flashlights and batteries stored up would have been great. Glow sticks would have been even better because lighting a candle or running a flashlight all night for the kids wasn’t an option.

I wish I had had a games which were new and thus exciting.

I wish I had stored more food that couold be eaten without cooking.

I also wished I had taken the advice of the neighbors. Being new to the area, and just moving there from Utah, I thought all of the panic about stocking up at the grocery store for the snow coming was silly. What I didn’t realize is that there are no snowplows for anything except snow removal on the highways, so when it snows, you are stranded. I could have gotten the laundry caught up while I had the chance.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Laughing quadruplets

(Remember:  The Nativity Celebration at the Apex Stake Center runs through Saturday night. )

Here is the epitome of joy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rationing board for Obamacare

This doctor explains why he will be retiring in Jan. 2013, when Obamacare kicks in. He said that there was recently a survey in the Journal of American Medical Association and New England Journal and Investor's Business Daily which reported that 46% of doctors have said they will leave the practice of medicine, rather than do business under these rules of rationing.

He asked over 100 members of Congress what would be the penalty if he chose to treat a patient that the national coordinating council has determined he should not treat.  They told him that he would be given a fine of $100,000 for the first offense, and arrested for the second offense.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

The three stages of a man’s life:
1. He believes in Santa Claus.
2. He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus.
3. He is Santa Claus.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Susan Sargent can decorate my home

If you have ever seen my sofa pillows, they are covered in Susan Sargent fabric.  They go beautifully with my purple sofas.

Someday I am going to buy all of her stuff.  She has the colors that I love.

Monday, December 6, 2010

White board memories

On November 20 I wrote about going to Seth's and Janette's house, and seeing their white board on the wall.  On it, Seth had written the following:

I was speaking to Seth's friend, Michael G. at the Young Adult ward yesterday, and told Michael about it.  He said, "Oh yeah, that was one of my favorite things about going to your house!  You had a white board in the kitchen hanging on a pillar, "the Words of Wisdom", and Seth wrote funny things on it all the time!"

The only one he could remember was "Don't stick your neck under a guillotine blade."

Can my other kids remember stuff anyone wrote on there?  I'm sure it wasn't just Seth who wrote it.

Last night, Zac was extremely helpful and we hauled 3 tables and a 4 ft. Christmas tree and 14 burgundy tablerunners and 12 burgundy cloth napkins down to the stake center so they can decorate for the stake Nativity Celebration.  (All the burgundy stuff came from Adam's and Tiffany's wedding, I loan it every year.)

Now for a week I will have no table in my sewing room, which is a drag because I am in the midst of sewing all sorts of Christmas presents.  Then when I get the tables back, I only have one more week before I have to tear down the sewing room again, because it has to be Bryce's bedroom while he is home from Christmas.  So now I am starting to feel panicked about all the sewing I still have to do.

Also, I am tired of putting up our Christmas tree alone every year.  So I told Wayne and Zac, when they finally want it up, they are going to have to put in some labor.  Until then, no Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Flowerpot Nativity

Very clever! Who would have thought of this?
This set is owned by the Taylors.

Remember to go to the Apex NC stake Nativity display, this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Isaac told his 4-yr-old daughter "There is no Santa"

Rachel posted on Facebook that Isaac told their daughter that there is no Santa.   I have to take some blame or credit, or actually ALL the blame or credit.

When Adam was a tiny boy, we went the normal Santa route, until I heard Adam tell everyone that Santa, He-Man, and God were all the most powerful people in the universe.  That hurt my feelings because I didn't want him equating those two make-believe people with God.

So we went ahead and had Christmas just like everyone, but we just never made a big deal about Santa at all.   We even called the kids' biggest present each year their "Santa" present, but that was just a title we gave it, we never really claimed it was delivered down the chimney.

The kids heard about Santa from everyone else, and saw Santa decor everywhere, but they just never heard it from us.  When any of our kids finally asked us if Santa was real, I would tell them "No, he's just pretend" but then I would ask them not to tell any of their friends because I didn't want their parents to be mad at us.

I have a strong desire to make Christmas a Christ-centered holiday, so I steer away from Santa decorations, reindeer, elves, and sleighs.  I am fine with the more middle-of-the-road non-Christ decorations like gingerbread houses, candy canes, wreaths, Christmas trees, poinsettias, they seem innocent enough.  But what I REALLY like is nativity scenes.  That says Christmas to me more than anything else.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Check out my other blog

In case you haven’t been reading my other blog, 
which is all about provident living, let me list some of the recent posts:
Dec. 1- Our ward’s provident living challenge for December: count up your three-month supply in the  “grains” category, and buy a year’s supply of salt.
Nov. 30- I’m planning a cannery trip Dec. 9.
Nov. 29- The financial report of two large food companies show rising prices in the next quarter.
Nov. 28- Hinckley’s talk “Time to Get Our Houses in Order” 1998 Nov. Ensign.
Nov. 27- How to melt hardened honey.
Nov. 25-26- Our ward’s youth activity on Emergency Preparedness.  See how three families in our ward measured up!  (Family #1- Anonymous, Family #2- Blake and Amelia, Family #3- Mike and Mitzi)
Nov. 24- Where to buy Alfalfa Sprouting seeds
Nov. 23- Buying a manual grain mill/wheat grinder
Nov. 22- I preserved cheese with wax, two months later it is still good with no refrigeration.
Nov. 20- I cooked with my solar oven
Nov. 19- Reusable canning lids
Nov. 15-16- Why we can’t say “the Church will take care of us when hard times come.”
Nov. 13- FoodStorageMadeEasy asked their followers to read “One Second After”, about a possible disaster that ruins all electricity.  Read all their comments.
Nov. 10-12- Photos of my first visit to the cannery, and what I learned there.
Nov. 8-9-  Heidi’s recipes for delicious bread, and my resolve to buy white wheat in the future because she uses it. (I have all red wheat now.)
Nov. 4- Sugar prices going up.
Nov. 3- Our ward’s provident living challenge for November:  Store 10 more gallons of water, and plan for a winter power outage or ice 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nativity Celebration, and Wooden Puzzle

Our stake's Nativity Celebration will run Dec. 9-11 in Apex, North Carolina.  It is a wonderful event to go as a family .  Please go to this website to see about 50 photos of the event, where about 600 nativity scenes will be displayed.

This is a really nice jigsaw nativity set that belongs to the Crenshaws.