Monday, May 26, 2014

Remembering those who have given all, the Honor Guard.

On this Memorial Day, I have chosen to remember those who have bravely served and given all.  The honor guard is one of the last respectful things that we do for our Veterans.  I hope you thank a Veteran today and remember those who have preceded us into the Rest of the Lord. To my Father-in-Law, my Son-in-Law and various other family and friends who have chosen to serve, I express my sincere appreciation and thankfulness.  (The information that I am reposting was shared previously after the passing of a beloved extended family member).

At the grave site, the Honor Guard was present.  I was deeply touched by the deep tradition of reverence, and respect paid to this veteran.  In researching this tradition, I found the Following from the Department of Defense:

What can the family of an eligible veteran expect? The core elements of the funeral honors ceremony, which will be conducted are:
- Flag folding
- Flag presentation
- Playing of Taps

The veteran’s parent Service representative will present the flag. 

A member of the Honor Guard related a verse that appeared to include the following words...

"On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, or Air Force), and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciate for your loved one's honorable and faithful service."

The flag is folded 13 times, and each fold has a meaning:

The first fold of our Flag is a symbol of life. 
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life. 
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world. 
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance. 
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong." 
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of ourRepublic. 
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day. 
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded. 
The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born. 
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. 
When the Flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our Nation's motto, "In God We Trust." After the Flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

We do live in a nation founded in Christian noted in the meaning of the folding of the flag.  Take a moment to reflect on the goodness that you enjoy not only due to the service of our brave Military.  The Lord is mindful of us all, and we would be wise to be mindful of him in all that we do.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

For A Little Princess.....

We are awaiting the arrival of a new little Princess in our family.  Her parents are anxiously awaiting her birth and are gathering as many pink and purple items in anticipation of her arrival.

Our Daughter-in-Law requested some 'hand made' items for this little one, so my Daughter and I got busy and had some great fun together. These sweet Bibs were some of the things that I made for my future Granddaughter.  Not only were they fun, but also were very doable.

You can make a pattern off any Bib that you may have.  I had a pattern already. I cut out two large pieces (one for the front and one for the back).  I also cute out two pieces for the pocket.  One out of a contrast fabric and one out of a clear plastic.  I had this plastic left over from another project that I did some time ago.

I took the two pocket pieces.  I serged them together with the plastic piece on the bottom.  I tried it the opposite way without any real success. Trust me, putting the plastic piece down on the bottom works very well. 

Here is the finished edge after serging.

Sew the Bias Tape on over the edge you just serged.

Here is the piece with the Bias Tape sewn on the top edge.

Take the two large pieces.  Put the wrong sides together.

Pin the pocket to the bottom of the Bib.

Serge around all edges.

See how clean the edges are after Serging?  I love that aspect of a Serger!

Sew a piece of Bias Tape around the neckline.

Now, you will sew a very large piece of Bias Tape around the perimeter.
Advance a long piece of Bias Tape before your starting point on the Bib. Determine how long you want it to be as this will be a Tie for the Bib.  

Sew the Bias Tape around the perimeter of the Bib.

After sewing around the perimeter, leave a length of the Bias Tape at the end. This becomes the other tie for the Bib.  Sew along the length of Bias Tape (Tie end).  Go back to the first Tie and do the same.

Aren't these sweet?  They have a type of 'waterproof' pocket that can catch all kinds of 'treasures' when the time comes for her to begin to eat solids.  

Take Home Message:

I made these from scraps.  I hate to admit this but I am really not kidding. I had made receiving blankets and burp clothes already from these fabrics (with my Daughter of course). All I needed to purchase was the Bias Tape. The rest of these sweet bibs were made from scraps.  (I hope my Daughter-in-Law doesn't mind!). The Bias Tape cost me just under a dollar per Bib.  

You Can Do This!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's a Matter of ......Augratin Potatoes (made from Dehydrated Potatoes)-Revisited

A few weeks ago, I had my family over for yet another Sunday Dinner.  It seems like the only time I do anything 'in-depth' anymore with the busy schedules we keep around here.  So, what do you do when time is of the essence?  Use your tried and true recipes...that's what!

I made the Potatoes Augratin which has been a very, very popular post on this blog.  It is repined over and over on Pinterest.  I happen to like  it because it is so good and so very easy. Here are the step by step photos to show the simplicity of this delicious dish using your Food Storage Staples.  

Melt butter in a saucepan.

Add flour and milk to the melted butter.  (I use my powdered milk here). Stir and cook until the sauce is smooth.

Add your shredded cheese and stir as it melts to keep the sauce smooth.

Place your dehydrated potato slices in the casserole dish.  Pour the sauce over the potato dices.

Bake....and enjoy!  It takes just a few minutes to prepare and I promise you really won't have left-overs when you are feeding a crowd.

Au-Gratin Potatoes (using dehydrated potatoes) (by James Parrish)

3 cups diced dehydrated potatoes 

6 tablespoons of butter 

3 tablespoons of flour 

1 1/2 cups of milk 

1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese 

Salt and pepper to taste 
Preparation of recipe: 
1. Place potatoes in a shallow baking dish. 
2. In a small saucepan over a low heat melt 6 tablespoons of butter. 
3. Take the butter and add the flour to it. Stir well in order to blend together. 
4. Gradually add the milk. 
5. Continue cooking and stirring continuously until a thick sauce is formed. 
6. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese melts. 
7. Pour the sauce over the potatoes that are in the baking dish and mix them gently. 
8. Bake potatoes at 400° for 30 to 40 minutes. Final product should be golden brown. 


3 cups dehydrated potato slices
1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. onion powder

pinch of salt and black pepper

1 Tbsp. dried parsley or chives (optional)
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 3/4 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potato slices into a medium casserole dish. Combine remaining dry ingredients and sprinkle on top of the potato slices. Dot with butter. Pour boiling water over all and stir gently to combine.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. You can broil it for the last 1-2 minutes if you prefer the top to be a little more browned.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

On this Mother's Day....

(Dear Reader, in honor of Mother's Day, I am reposting this very popular post.  It has been read over 25,000 times. I hope that you will have a very blessed Mother's day and celebrate with those you love and those who love you:).  LRH)

Well, how was your Mother's Day?  Did anyone cook for you, give you presents or gifts?  Did you receive hugs and kisses?  Well.....if you are a should have received all this and more!

Mother's Day has unique beginnings from early Egyptian and Roman Goddesses.  England celebrated a "Mothering Day" that the English Settlers chose not to celebrate, most likely because everyday was just a struggle in survival.

More recently, Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamaition of 1870 began the holiday we know as Mother's Day in American.  There were efforts to make July the 4th Mother's Day, but that was soundly defeated.  Another American woman, Anna M. Jarvis proposed a  Mother's Day in 1908 to remember the service of her own mother.   It was associated with her church congregation, and white carnations were given out as they were the favorite flower of her mother.   Through her efforts, President Woodrow Wilson signed Mother's Day into an national observance by 1914.

Despite how you feel about your feel about the commercialization of Mother's Day, consider the demands that you have made on your mother when you were influenced the commercialization of your childhood.  She deserves all the wonderful things you care to share.

Happy Mother's Day to every kind and worthy mother.  I will end with the wonderful words from Elder Faust:

“There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation”

James E. Faust, Ensign, Aug. 2004, 3

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How To Light A Fire.....With Water!!!!

Summertime is upon us!  There are lots of fun things to do and many plans to make.  Well, look what you can do with water when you may want to light a fire. 

I like the fact that this method uses many things that we have usually have on hand.


Monday, May 5, 2014

If You Ever Serve in a Young Single Adult Ward....

I have had two different homes over the past 3 years. The above picture shows one of two different church buildings that reside on the same lot. Each building has 2 different Chapels, Relief Society Rooms, Gymnasiums, 4 Bishop offices, and a variety of classrooms.  This was my first 'home' beginning 3 years ago.

This became my second 'home' during the 2nd year of our service. This is the James E Talmage building on the campus of Brigham Young University (Provo).

In my second home, I was greeted weekly by Kung Fu Panda at the front door!

Inside this room, the Auditorium was transformed into a Chapel for Sacrament Meeting.  Then, it transformed again into a Classroom.  Everyone loved the cushy seats and Multi-media facilities.  One of my favorite Sunday School lessons was a "Family Feud" type of game that was put up on the big screen. Everyone loved that lesson!

Toward the end of my service opportunity, we again returned home to this beautiful building with this fabulous backdrop.

Each Semester started with new members of our Young Single Adult Ward providing their information.  We did it with a 'high tech' option using Google.

Then, new members were asked to write their name and apartment number on the glass of a frame.  They held these frames in front of them as their picture was taken for the Ward Directory (or Ward Menu depending upon who you were talking to).  I had the opportunity to take the photos, crop and enhance the photos (everyone wanted to look good you know) and publish our cyber Ward Directory/Menu for everyone in the ward.

There were lots of 'Fun and Games" from Sponge Volley ball, a giant Slip-N-Slide etc...

As well as taking on new challenges a few hundred feet above the ground.....

To providing needed service for others.

One common theme was food....

and food...

and more food....

Oh, and more food (Break the Fast).

If you are wondering where I am going, I am offering a very public "Thank you" to all of the Young Single Adults that we have had the opportunity that we have had to serve with them over the past 3 years.  Yesterday was a bitter-sweet day. My husband and I were released from serving with these incredible individuals. As it turned out, the Chorister did not arrive in time to lead the music in Sacrament Meeting.  I decided to pinch-hit.  Little did I know that the closing hymn was "God be with you 'til we meet again".  Let's just say I did a lot of smiling with tears streaming down my face as these tremendous young people sang this hymn with us.  I cried for 3 hours straight as I received hugs and "thank you's" from so many.  

So, today as I reflect on the tremendous opportunity I have had, I have decided to offer advice and suggestions to others who are called to serve with and blessed by these tremendous individuals. 

The Little Red Hen's suggestions for Sisters called to serve in a Young Single Adult Ward:

  • You need to carry an Apron in your car:  I am not kidding.  You need an Apron as there is food at nearly every turn.  You will have the opportunity to provide meals and snacks for Family Home Evening, Break-the-Fast (each month), Barbecues, Camping Trips, Repelling Activities, Relief Society Weekday Meetings, and even Ward Council.  Don't be overwhelmed by this, just enjoy the journey. These YSA's traditionally don't eat a balanced diet or cook for themselves. They will express their appreciation and thanks for everything you do here. The hugs are 'payment' enough in my view.
  • Learn to cook for a crowd:  I won't lie, this was overwhelming for me initially.  If you don't know where to turn, you really do have options. Check with trusted friends and family.  Often, I used Google and Pinterest to find new ideas of things to try.  You can even do a search for "Cooking for a Crowd" and find a lot of options. I learned that I can make a large Cheesecake in a Flat sheet cookie pan, make 'perfect' pie crust, make a variety of salads (pasta and fresh), make pulled pork in a Roaster Oven, and more.  I have learned to make a boatload of rolls using my bread machine to mix my dough.  Oh, and always have zip-loc type bags ready at all meals/snacks that you offer. These fun people are always game to take any left-overs with them!  I once learned that a YSA young  man ate a Queso-Blanco cheese ball and crackers from my home for a week as he didn't have time to go shopping.  I wish this was an exception....but it really isn't for some:)
  • Learn to be Digital!  These folks are 'wired'.  They really don't know what it is like 'not' to be near a cellphone or computer. It has been part of their entire life.  I have learned to use Powerpoint and video when I taught classes. They are very attentive and you will have increased participation. As you might expect, there is constant change in a YSA ward.  I learned how to have orientation information, presentations, and the 'handbook' with highlighted information on my IPAD.  I have had to pull them out to help the newly-called Sisters learn what their responsibilities (at a moment's notice) as the Stake Leaders may not have a chance to orient them for up to a month due to scheduling.  I also provided training at Relief Society Presidency Meetings and answered questions using my digital media. The Church has tremendous materials for our use, and these young folks respond very well to it.  I have never received as many texts as much in my life as I have been by these good young folks.  Some of the texts were pretty funny as well.
  • Be Flexible:  Things do not always go as planned.  Be ready to jump in at a moment's notice. This is not the time to be shy!  Give encouragement where it is needed as well as praise.  This is often the first real opportunity for some of these young folks to serve out from under the umbrella of their parents. There will be meetings as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late at 10:30 p.m. (please know these times are the exceptions).  But early and late do occur. The reason being is because this is when these good folks are available.  
  • Take notes:  I am not kidding, not only will you need them, but others will as well.  I opened one note on my IPAD and took notes for Ward Council. I kept the same note and just added on to the top of it during each meeting. When someone had a question about something that happened previously, I had the answer!
  • Take pictures!:  I am so glad I did this.  The reason being that after the first 2 years, our ward was dissolved to make way for the second MTC.  At the 'end of the semester' party, I had enough photos to make a video that included everyone and so many of the memories we had made together. Just know that we didn't have enough tissues at the end of the video.
  • Be friendly!:  Remember how stressful it was to go to a new ward as a Young Single Adult?  Now times it by 170-200 people and you can get an idea of how tenuous it can be for these young people.  Extend your hand and introduce yourself...over and over again. Also ask for their patience as you learn their names.  I tried to use Mnemonic devices to associate something unique about each YSA to their name. I was not totally successful with everyone, but this memory technique took me a long way. It was easy for these YSA's to know who I I was the token "Old Lady of the Ward".  I was traditionally the only 'mature Sister', in church on Sunday.
  • Chances are that you will need to be ready to help serve at Stake Functions:  The Stake Leadership is full of wonderful people who are trying to do a whole lot for a tremendous number of people.  Even the best-laid plans need a little help.  I often dropped into the kitchen (with my apron!) and asked what they needed.  I was never turned away.
  • Bring a pair of 'sensible shoes':  When you are cooking and serving in High can take its toll on your feet and back.  I often had my 'dressy' Sketchers (which were flats) in my bag and would change into them while I was working in the Kitchen. When it came time to go to the Dinner or Chapel, I would change back into my High Heels and stash my Sketchers.
  • Learn how to safely transport food:  This may seem simple, but it is so important.  In my case, (and also in the case of so many others), you are traveling to serve these tremendous YSA's.  I traveled 30 minutes each way.  I have learned how to pack a cooler, how to use a Hay Box to transport hot food and how to time things to be ready at the right time. It takes a little planning but has great rewards.
  • Be ready to be a shoulder to lean on: Some of these young people are faced with oppressing challenges.  These have ranged from the death of a parent, loss of a sibling, loss of a scholarship, having to be relocated back to their country of origin, job loss, not being accepted into the program you were hoping to have as a major, and certainly broken-hearts.  Listening is such a needed service and has been something that I have had to consciously work on as well as to develop a deeper sense of patience. I have always needed more patience and probably still need more.  One thing is for certain, I have learned how to be more patient while serving in this calling.
  • Be ready to be lifted:  When friends and family members have asked me what my experience is like, I cannot say enough positive things.  I have had the opportunity to be more 'fully utilized' in my service.  Often, in traditional wards, I have been serving through music (which is very honorable)  In this ward, I have had the opportunity to be a 'jacklyn-of-all-trades' and I love it.  If your experience is like mine, you are lifted and blessed each time you interact and serve with the beautiful young people.
So, to the members of the Young Single Adult Wards that we have had the opportunity to serve with, I want to offer my sincere and deep appreciation.  My life has been greatly blessed due to my association with all of you.  I have gained new friends and watched so many of go on to greater things.  It is my hope that I can watch you continue on your trajectory towards you goals in your personal and professional lives.  Thank you for being such a positive light for me personally.

"'Til me meet again"

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