When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Friday, April 29, 2011

If I knew I could

This week, I am linking up again at The Gypsy Mama for a fresh dose of five minute Friday.  I am loving this challenge.  It gives me an entirely new perspective on writing. 

On Fridays, we throw caution (editing, revising, and worrying) to the winds and just write. Without wondering if it’s just right or not.

For five minutes flat. You’re welcome to play along. The rules are easy.
Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got.
Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.

And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.{Pretty please turn off word verification for the day to make this easier!}

The prompt this week is:  If I knew I could......


If I knew I could.....
go back and change anything in my life,
I would spend more time smiling
and less time worrying.
I would spend more time in anticipation
and less time wanting to hurry.
I would spend more time snuggling my little ones,
and less time getting mad over silly little things.
I would spend more time reading to them,
playing with them, and loving them,
and less time resenting the frustrating everyday moments
that seem to happen when you least expect it.
I would spend more time enjoy the stage they are currently in
and less time waiting for them to be somewhere else.
If I knew I could....
I would spend more time being the person that I have always wanted to be,
and less time trying to be the person that others expected me to be.
I would write, I would paint, I would laugh at myself, I would love life.
I would spend so much more time being grateful for the things I do have,
and not so much time wishing for the things I don't have.
I would share my faith more with others,
I would accept them just as they are,
I would love them more,
and not get angry over the things that don't matter at all.
If I knew I could....
I would choose to be more Christ-like in everything I do.
I would share those things that I love the most.
I would cherish every moment.
I would look for God in all the world around me.
I would be who He wants me to be.


Ok, now it is your turn.
What words of wisdom can you write in five short minutes?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Most Embarassing Moment

Today, I am linking up at Mama Kat's for her writer's workshop.  And also over at Peanut Butter in my hair for the Bigger Picture Moment.  I hope to see you there!

The Prompts:
1.) Describe a time you spoke up for someone who couldn’t speak up for themselves.
2.) The Royal Wedding…ten gift ideas.
3.) What is going on in the bedroom? Describe a memorable sleeper.
4.) Photo Story: Take a walk through your neighborhood this week and share some pictures of what Spring looks like where you live.
5.) Something embarrassing that happened at school.

I chose to write about something embarrassing that happened at school. 

I lived in a time when girls wore skirts to school and there were many more rules involving good and bad behavior.  We had to be respectful.  Yes, maam and no sir were expected of us for all replies.  We were not allowed to yell at a teacher or to make any rude or unsightly gestures or comments.  The boys occasionally got in fistfights out back, (so did the girls, but it wasn't usually mentioned) and resolved their differences with a quick punch in the nose. 
Everyone participated in sports, whether you wanted to or not, and if you weren't any good, you were always chosen last.  It was not uncommon to have boys misbehave and receive a swat on their backsides from the paddle for there efforts.  Most of the teachers in Junior High School used that method.  If they did not, they were perfectly willing to send you to the principals office to receive your swat. 
I don't even remember a case of any parent disagreeing with the punishment in those days.  As a matter of fact, if you got swatted in school, most of the kids found themselves with more punishment when they got home.  It was a much different time to live.  Teachers were always right, and we were not allowed to argue with them. 
One day, in my seventh grade math class (which I loved) the teacher was working with the students at the blackboard. (yes, we were rather old, fashioned back then and used the old kind of chalk boards).  The kids around me were all goofing off and I was doing my math work.  I liked to get it done before I went home so that I would not have to do any homework. 
One of the boys next to me snickered and smashed his fist down on his desk.  The teacher turned around to glare at ME!  "Patty, get up here!  I looked up from my book in surprise to see him looking at my hand which was flat on the desk by my book.  I got up and went to the front of the room, still not understanding what was going on.  He made me bend over and grab my ankles, (in a dress I might add), brought out his paddle and gave me a swat on my behind! 
Now, understand that his paddle was made from a two by four and was solid wood with holes drilled in it.  Let me just say for the record that "sting" is not near enough to describe what that swat felt like.  With tears litterally springing to my eyes, I made my way back to my seat with all the giggling and snickering going on around me.  I was trying my best not to bawl like a baby.  My face was a brilliant red color and my eyes were glistening with unfallen tears. 
I heard about that swat for weeks!  It felt like literally everyone made fun of me.  I was one of the very few girls in that school to ever get the paddle, and probably one of the very few ones who really were completly innocent.
Probably the most embarrassing part was simply that everyone knew that the swat had made me cry, and they all called me a baby for the rest of the year. 

I have found that my own life has had a lot of moments like that.  Times when I am blamed for something I did not do, or something I did not really say.  Times when the people around me don't want to give me the benefit of the doubt.  We can be so quick to believe the worst of those around us, and so slow to forgive them their mistakes.  I have learned, things are rarely exactly as they appear.  There are always two sides to any accusation, and when people have something bad to share, most of them are more than willing to drag your name through the mud and talk about it. 
I have learned that life is not usually fair, and the sooner you can understand and deal with that, the happier you will be.  I have learned that for Every. Single. Trial.  There are an amazing amount of blessings, if we will just trust in Him and follow through. 
Life is not fair!  Every single one of us have heard this or said this or felt this at one time in our lives.  As a child, I remember my grandmother telling me (when I happened to be inconsiderate enough to blurt out how life wasn't fair), "Fair is the place you go when you want to see the pigs!"
I like to think about how it really isn’t fair that one person should should suffer for the sins of others.
It really isn’t fair that some people can commit horrible crimes and then be completely forgiven and cleansed without seeming to suffer for them. It really isn't fair when someone is sick and dies through no fault of their own.  It really isn't fair when a child is abused, or an adult has no family to care for them. 
No, the world sometimes isn't fair; the gospel sometimes isn’t fair, life sometimes isn't fair.  But that is the amazing thing about the Atonement.  It is not about being fair.  It is about mercy.  It is about love.  The love that our Savior has given each and every one of us.  I am so thankful for His mercy and love in my life.  I know that I need it, every single day, I need Him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (nearly) - Happy Birthday Josh!

Happy Birthday Josh.  I hope you always remember how much you are loved.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Way Too Cute

I recently entered a contest on the website of  Just Be where I actually won a drawing and the prize was this fabulous skirt!  I didn't post about it sooner because it was a surprise Easter skirt for my youngest daughter.  I totally love it (and so does she).  It is so fun.  It has layers of twirls and was perfect for Easter morning.  I love the way the fabric is so different, yet blends together in a unique and fun way.  Suzi also makes purses and skirts in many sizes and shapes with different fabrics.  I wanted to thank her publicly for her amazing gift.  I am hoping that you check out her site too and find something you love as much as I do.  I will be shopping there again soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Devotional - Sunday Will Come

Today, I am enjoying Easter with my family.  I hope you are doing the same.  I loved the message.   We each have trials. We each have our own Fridays.  Now matter what we are enduring.  Sunday Will come.
Happy, happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Simple Moment - Lyla Ann

This Moment

A single photo – no words – 
 capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment 
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment 
that brings a smile to my lips, 
and joy to my heart.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Five Minute Friday - The Hard Love

I am participating today with The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday.  This is a time for us to just write and not worry whether it is just right or not.  
Here is the way it is done:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing or tweaking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you.
That is all. Here are my few words for my own Five Minute Friday.

The Hard Love
by Patricia A Pitterle

My sweet baby, toddled forward
weaving to and fro
left and right
on two chubby unsteady legs.
She wobbled too far to one side,
and like a tree in the wind
toppled over.
I picked her up
kissed her tears away
and set her on her feet
to try again.
Love can seem so hard!
She did not understand
why I would not rescue her
from the trials of her world.
Her vision only saw 
the pain.  
The rewards to come
were hidden from her view.  

My sweet daughter
wondered out into 
the big, bright, beautiful world.
She skipped off to school
holding a backpack in one hand
and a lunch box in the other.
With a smile and a wave
she started her journey.
The bus brought her home
later that day.
With tears streaming down her face
and a sob in her voice, 
she told me about the children
who made fun of her 
that day.
The ones who would not understand
That is was OK not to be like the rest.
I hugged her tight
and kissed her tears away
and set her on her feet 
the next day
to try again.  
Love can seem so hard!

She did not understand
why I would not rescue her
from the trials of her world.
Her vision only saw 
the pain.  
The rewards to come
were hidden from her view. 

I have discovered that 
I am like my sweet child
who only sees the world 
from her own point of view.
I want the pain of living
to go away.
I want the trials to end.
I want the heartache to cease.
I cry out to a loving Heavenly Father
who dries my tears 
and sets me on my feet
to try again another day.
Love can seem so Hard!
I do not always understand 
why He will not rescue me
from the trials of my world.
My vision only sees
the pain.
The rewards to come
are still hidden from my view.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Home, At Last

Simple BPM
Today, I am linking up for two prompts.  The first is over at Undercover Mother for the bigger picture moment.  The second is over at Mama Kat's for her weekly writing prompt. 
The Prompts are:
1.) Something students these days should know.
2.) If my Mom were a blogger.
3.) Describe a phone call you won’t forget.
4.) A list of 10 Celebrity DON’TS
5.) Write a poem about your favorite place to be.

I went with a poem about my favorite place and added a spitual twist on it.  I hope you like it. 

Home, At Last
by Patricia A Pitterle

The waves
Wash in with a whoosh
And break away
With a tug and a whisper
Of silk, against my skin.
Each and every time
I feel the
Push and pull
Of the sea,
My mind clears
And I breathe in
The sweet tang
Of the ocean breeze.
I taste the salt
On the air that surrounds me.
I see the blue-green hue
Of the tumbling water
And watch the clouds dance
Across the blue, blue sky.
The waves
Are cool upon
My bare legs
And the sand
Is gritty and shifting
Beneath my feet.
I stand there,
In awe of the world
That encircles me.
My mind clear of the fog
That constantly surrounds me.
I utter a quiet sigh,
And feel home, at last.

Life is much like
The ocean that I love
The waves of trials
And adversities whoosh in,
And then break away
With a tug and
A whisper of hope
They ebb and flow
In constant contact
As I make my way
Along the path
That leads back home.
I experience life
In all of it’s many moments;
Light and darkness,
Joy and sorrow,
Pleasure and pain,
Birth and death.
The sands of my trials
Shift and move
Beneath my feet,
Until I am not sure
Where adversity ends
And faith begins.
I stand in awe of heaven above
And the love of my Savior,
Who is the rock beneath my feet.
When my journey is over
And the sand is all swept away
I know I will find myself
Standing on the solid ground
Of His Eternal Love.
I will truly be home at last.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Living Water

Today, I am doing a post over at MMB
The Post is titled Living Water and is about the Savior.  I hope that you each take a few moments and go over there to visit and read. 
I will be back tomorrow with my favorite Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Honesty- The Best Policy

"Honesty is more than not lying.  
It is truth telling, truth speaking, 
truth living, and truth loving."  
James E. Faust

Honesty, It should be the only policy.  This past Sunday, the lesson in Relief Society (the women's meeting) was on honesty.  It was a very good lesson.  It is one that has made me rethink my own stand.  You see, I have always believed in honesty.  Sometimes, I was naive enough to think that everyone else expected and admired that trait. Years later, and a life lived much longer has taught me how much the culture we live in does not admire or want honesty.  Think for a moment about the advertising that you see all around you.
The advertising world would have us believe that everyone worthwhile is skinny, or beautiful, or sexy, or single, or married, or childless, or wealthy.  And hopefully, if we really think about it, we will realize that all of those things are actually an endorsement of dishonesty.
If you are old like me, you will remember the days when cigarettes were advertised on TV.  When the man smoking them was always a rugged "man's type of man".  When he was a cowboy, rough, lean and totally physically fit.  The Marlboro man comes to mind.  Yet, they did not tell you in those long ago days, just what cigarettes could do to your body.  They did not tell you the risks, only the perceived benefits.  I am sure that is the way with many things today.  When you want to know about those things, you really have to ask yourself is, "do they care about me?  Or are they trying to sell a product or service?"  If you answer, yes, to the second question, take a longer and closer look at what you think you want in your life.
There is an old saying:  "A half truth is a whole lie."
In our lesson we talked about three ways of being dishonest.  The first was telling a lie,  the second was stealing, and the third was cheating.
Lying is intentionally deceiving others.  This can be with the spoken word as well as the unspoken silence.  We can intentionally deceive with a gesture or a look, by silence, or by only telling part of the truth.  Whenever we lead people to believe something that isn't true, we are guilty of dishonesty.
The scriptures teach us, "Thou shalt not steal."  Stealing is taking something that doesn't belong to us.  It can also be copying pictures, poetry, CD's, movies, or written words.  I found this one interesting because of all the stealing of photography that is going on over the internet right now.  I know photographers who have found their work on another's site, advertised as someone else's work.  It seems to be a big problem.  Taking words or thoughts that aren't yours and claiming that they are.
Cheating is also dishonest.  Cheating is more than when we get something we don't deserve.  Some people cheat their employers by not giving a full day's work for a full day's pay.  Maybe they extend their lunches, or take extra breaks, or check their email, or write on their blog.  Yet, those employees are more than happy to accept full pay for their less than stellar performance.   Some employers are not fair to their employees (hence, I have lots of extra work to do with grievances).
One of the things I found most interesting in all of this is that we must never excuse our dishonesty.  To the Lord, there are no acceptable reasons for being dishonest.  When we excuse ourselves, we cheat ourselves, and we become more and more unrighteous.
The promise is that if we work on becoming completely honest, we cannot be corrupted.  We are true to every trust, duty, promise, and agreement, even if it costs us money, status, friends, or our very lives.  By being honest, we know where we stand.  We know our own character.  We know what we have done, what we will do.  We know that we will have nothing to be afraid of.
We talked about being dishonest about our own feelings, our faults and our desires.  How many of us receive complements, that we worked really hard for, we deserve them, but we cannot take them.  We have to offer and excuse, we have to put ourselves down.  Part of honesty is accepting the good as well as the bad.  Part of honesty is being able to look at yourself, with all your faults and failings, and still know who you are and what you want to become.
The 13th Article of Faith states:
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Today, let us all reflect and find a few more ways to improve our honesty with our fellow men (and with ourselves).  Remember just who the "father of lies" really is.  I don't know about you, but I want to stay as far away from him as possible.

"Once it was said among our people that a man's word was as good as his bond.  Shall any of us be less reliable, less honest than our forebears?"  Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Devotional - Easter Sunday

“In our hour of deepest sorrow, we can receive profound peace from the words of the angel that first Easter morning: ‘He is not here: for he is risen.’”
“As one of His special witnesses on earth today, this glorious Easter Sunday, I declare that this is true, in His sacred name—even the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior—amen.”
—President Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Simple Moment - Baby Steps

This Moment

A single photo – no words – 
 capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment 
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment 
that brings a smile to my lips, 
and joy to my heart.

Friday, April 15, 2011

On Distance - Five Minute Friday

Linking up this week for five minute Friday from The Gypsy Mama.  The rules are simple.  

Just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how to play along:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in. 
3. Go leave some comment love for the five minute artist who linked up before you {and if you love us, consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks to say howdy}
It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.
This weeks challenge is simply: On Distance

I am thirty three years away from the time I held my very first baby girl in my arms.  When I felt her heart beat next to mine.  I am so many years away from watching her first smile, her first step, her first laugh, and her first hug.  The one where she used to want to hold me instead of having me hold her.  I am so far away from the young mother that I used to be then.  From the days sat on the edge of a lake to the days spent in my new found mountain home.  I am 32 years away from  my first son who learned to run before he ever learned to walk.  I am miles away from the days when he would sit on the top of the fridge and throw eggs down on the floor for his dog to eat, then help himself to a Popsicle, before he climbed back done to the floor .
I am 31 years away from the little boy who always wanted to be like his big brother.  He was the one who climbed high up in a tree and couldn't get himself down.  He was the one who always had a kind heart and a tender soul.
I am 30 years away from the daughter that we called affectionately "Muppet". From the girl who cut her own hair short because she hated to have it long.  She cut it so short that the only way to save it was to cut it into a very short little pixie cut.  From the girl who always laughed and smiled and quietly played by herself when necessary.
I am 28 years away from the son who always got lost!  No matter where I took those children, that boy could disappear in the blink of an eye.  He was the one who always loved to be held and read to.  He was the one who didn't want to grow up too fast one moment, and in the next moment wanted to be big like the brothers.
I am 27 years from the daughter who was the baby for so very long.  The one who slept with me, snuggled with me, loved me through the hurt and pain that life brought.  The one who was so emotional and who always tried her best to be who she wanted to be.
So many things have happened in my life, and yet, no matter how far along the road I go, it is just a glimpse back to find the joys of yesterday.  For my love and joy is wrapped tightly in the arms of my family.
So much distance has passed, and yet, it isn't very far at all.  It all seems like yesterday and I am left looking down the road of things passed and knowing that life is good.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I am a crooked line

I am Linking up for two things today.  The first is for this poetry challenge at Danabugseyeview for the poetry bus.  There are no rules except that it has to start with this phrase:  I am a crooked line. 
The second is for the Bigger Picture Moments over at Alita's Place 
Spend a few moments visiting others as they also write.  I Hope you like it.

I Am A Crooked Line
by Patricia A Pitterle

I am a crooked line,
Wondering across the pages of life
To and fro,
From side to side.
I want to go from here to there
In a straight line,
But that does not seem possible
For me.
My way
Weaves along the light.
I can see the path;
It beckons me,
But when I try to walk it
Something always seems
To get in my way.
I wonder off into the wilderness
Of life
Until I see the light again.
I warms my heart
and beckons my soul.
Until, once again
I work myself
Back to the narrow way.
I am a crooked path
And that is OK
Because He knew that I would wonder,
He knew what I would be.
And yet,
He still loves me.
He straightens the path behind me,
And lights the way before.
Until, finially,
I see my path
Becoming not quite
As crooked as before.

We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us today at Alita's place! Grab the button, link up and share your Bigger Picture with us!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Strength in Togetherness

Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we.

(Sigh) this past weekend, winter returned with a vengeance.  It rained, the wind blew, the hail fell, and finally, the snow covered my mountain home.  Somehow, in the middle of all this white loveliness, I noticed some big, huge, perfect snow flakes.  They were simple and crisp.  They were six sided and totally fragile.  When the girls caught them in their hair, or on their hands, the snow would melt away to nothing.  By itself, the flake was almost nothing.  But when it became part of many falling crystals, it had the power to stop the traffic.  It could trap us in our own driveway, it could keep us from our journey.
Tonight, the girls and I were watching an episode of Mythbusters from Netflix.  It was the show about the myth of the phone books.  For this one, the myth is that you can't rip a phone book if the pages are married together (or interlocked) with another one.
They first tried using human power to pull the phone books apart.  It did not work.  Than they tried to pull them apart using two cars.  Those were also unable to pull the books apart.  Finally, they had to use an armored tank and a personnel carrier from the military.  Those were finally able to pull the phone books apart.    The interesting part is that it took more than 8000 lbs of pressure to pull those books apart.  It is not something that was easy to do.
Think about this for a minute.  How easy are phone book pages to rip?  (Just ask any one year old that has discovered the joy of ripping them!)  I would never have imagined that the phone books had the potential to be that strong.
Any one of us, is probably not as strong as we think we ought to be.  We can be blown and tossed in the wind.  Ripped and torn apart in the trials of everyday living.  But together, we can accomplish those things that need to be done.  We can combine our time, our talents, and our work to accomplish so much more than any of us ever imagined.  Like the soft, white snow, individually, we are not as strong as we would like to be, but collectively, we can be all that is needed.  We can stop the traffic if we need to.  We can change the world.  We can change what people see and what they do simply by making a stand and then standing together.
With all the problems going on around us today, I think we need to remember how much we can change our tomorrows by working together today.  

Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), football coach for the NFL once said:
People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Charity Never Faileth

"I invite you to not only love each other more, 
but to love each other better."  
Bonnie D Parkin

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching the women a lesson on Charity.  It was wonderful.  I always feel like I learn so much more than the sisters that I teach.  I had a sheet of thoughts that I put together to add to the things taught in my lesson.
"Real charity is not something you give away; it is something you aquire and make a part of yourself".  Marvin J. Ashton
Charity, to me, is the pure love of Christ.  It is the greatest of all the virtues.  Charity is a process, it is not an event.  It takes time to develop.  It takes time to learn.  Love itself, is not a feeling, it is a verb.  It is a doing word.  It requires us to do things for others.  Charity is so much more than just doing things for others.  It is doing them with your heart, and your mind.  It is choosing to behave in a Christ-like manner.  Not only doing a Jesus did, but loving as He did also.  He sees each one of us, and can love us in spite of the things we have done wrong.  He loves us even if we have made bad choices in our lives.  He can look past the outside and find the good that others might not see.
We discussed the parable of the good samaritan (which is one of my favorites!) and we also discussed how it is possible to love others.  We might not be able to love in quite the same way that the Savior did, but we can make Him the center of our lives and follow His examples and teachings as we strive to become more like Him.
There are four ways which we can all work on in order to become more charitable.  They are:

  1. Study the life of Christ.  We can follow His example and be more like Him.
  2. Pray to have greater charity.  Especially when we have uncharitable feelings toward others. 
  3. Learn to love ourselves.  Yes, this is important!  The Savior taught that we must love others as we love ourselves.  He did not say to love them instead of ourselves.  Part of loving ourselves is to try and understand our true worth as children of a loving Heavenly Father.  It is to realize that He forgives us when we repent and we must also learn to forgive ourselves.  
  4. Avoid thinking you are better than others.  We can have patience with their faults.  We can seek to understand them and serve them.  It is through service that we find the way to love.  
You don't always know what battles your neighbor is fighting.  The person that you don't get along with may be battling things that you could not bear.  Most of us turn one face to the world and morne and grieve in private.  You have no way of knowing what I am going through (unless I have shared it with you) and if I have, you might not understand what a battle it is for me.  
I used to have a friend who once said to me, "Patty, I do not know how you can endure the things you have endured.  I do not understand how you can be the person that you are.  Any of those multitude of trials would be so difficult for me to handle.  Honestly, I do not know if I could bear them.  I do not understand why you must endure so many while I do not have even a few of the trials that you do".  This wonderful friend later in her life, endured things that I am not sure that I could have endured myself.  
You see, we all walk through times of pain and discouragement.  We all despair, we all lose hope, we all walk to the edge of the cliff and journey along danger's path.  None of us are ever completely alone.  Even though there are times that we feel that way.  Even though there are times that we don't feel His love, It is important to remember that He is there. 
We really can't possibly know what others are going through.  We can imagine, we can vision, we can dream.   But we cannot know.  But, the Savior does.  He loves you perfectly.  He has suffered for all, that we might not suffer if we will only believe, repent and follow Him.  
May you find a place in your heart today for charity.

I shared a recipe for Friendship Fudge
this is the easiest fudge I have ever made, and my children totally loved it.

Friendship Fudge

4 cups Powdered Sugar
3 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened margarine (I used real butter)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix it all together, roll it into a log, slice and serve.

Just so you know, we made it last night for family night, and there is none left today :-(
I did not need the calories anyway!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Pure Love of Charity

"Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life."  

A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while they were eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and watched her next-door neighbor hanging out her wash.

“That laundry’s not clean!” Lisa exclaimed. “Our neighbor doesn’t know how to get clothes clean!”
John looked on but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.
A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out her window and see a nice, clean wash hanging in her neighbor’s yard. She said to her husband, “Look, John—she’s finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it.”
John replied, “Well, dear, I have the answer for you. You’ll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!”
From President Thomas S. Monson "Charity Never Faileth".  General Conference October 2010

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Simple Moment

A single photo – no words – 
 capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment 
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment 
that brings a smile to my lips, 
and joy to my heart.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Learning to work

"Opportunity is missed by most people
because it is dressed in overalls 
and looks like work." --Thomas A. Edison

My daughter had the opportunity to help her dad lay the tile for our house.  She really loved the hard, physical work.  She spent time with her father and helped him wash down the tile and the grout.  She thought that kind of work was "fun".   She was so proud of her accomplishments.  She was genuinely pleased with the result of her labor.  Yet this same daughter really hates to do her "chores".  The tile work, which is much more physical and labor intensive, held more pleasure for her than a dish drainer full of clean dishes.
Have you ever noticed, that the things we need to do everyday, are the ones we try the hardest to get out of?  It is the normal, everyday chores that get the better of us.  One of the things I am trying to change in my own life is how I look at the work that is tedious and monotonous.  One of the most interesting things that I have read lately was someone who simply referred to the typical housework as her chance to bless her family.  It was her opportunity to show them how much she cares, how much she loves them.  By referring to work as blessings, she was able to change her entire outlook on it and also change the way she did (or didn't) get it done.  
So today, I am working on "blessing" those that I love and live with.  I came home from work to find my visiting daughter Emily, getting the girls to work in the dining room and kitchen and she was cleaning off all the cupboards.  So, I got out all the scrubbing supplies and started on the stove.  (This is probably one of the jobs that I hate the most).  
Honestly, it felt good to scrub and watch the dirt and grime go away.  It felt good to be blessing those that I love.  It felt good to see the change.  I really should have taken before and after pictures, but let us just say that the kitchen looks amazing.  And honestly, I didn't even mind doing it.  Just changing my outlook made it a pleasure and a blessing.  I think I might have learned something to change my life today.  

Work is Love made visible.  

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Linking up today with Mama Kat's for the Writer's Workshop.  
Hope to see you there.

by Patricia A Pitterle

Trials in my life
Come and go
Like the waves
In the ocean;
Rushing up onto the beach
Of life
With a dash and a swirl
And large splash
Of dismay.
Then running back
Out to sea.
Leaving me gasping
For air;
At the blessings
Of relief and solitude.
The ebb and flow,
A constant force
In my daily life.
Often so much
A part of it
That I cannot imagine
What life would be like
Without the continual
Pounding and crashing
Of  waves upon
My shore.
Yet, the storms fade
Into times past
And for a short while
The waves gently
Brush the sands
Of life,
And the sun
warms my mind
With remembering.

Life is often full of
Stormy weather.
And yet,
It is also full
Of the overcoming of it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Linking up for Wordless Wednesday over at MMB 
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Small Grain of Sand

Tonight, I was watching the news as they talked about the problem of road rage in the metro area.  There are so many people who, when they get behind the wheel of a car, become someone totally different than they are on a normal basis.  As I listened to the report of yet another shooting due to people cutting each other off, making gestures, trying to ram the other car, and even going so far as to follow a driver home, I am finding it hard to understand how anger can become more important than your personal safety.  
What makes people believe that they are invincible and always right when they jump into the driver's seat?  Last I checked, none of us drive correctly 100% of the time (don't tell my kids!).  We all make mistakes.  I guess, I don't understand how normally rational people become Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when they get behind the wheel.  
One of the scariest instances of this that happened in my life was when my family was driving with my sister on the freeway.  I truly don't remember what we did when we were driving, but my sister waved the "I love you" sign language sign as a way of telling the driver that we were sorry.  
That driver bumped into the back of our car when we were stopped and then took off.  We had six or seven little kids in the car with us, and it could totally have been disastrous.  No one was hurt, but I learned a lesson I have never forgotten.  
People don't always know or understand what your intentions are.  They become "all right" and "all knowing" when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle.  You really can't trust any other driver's behavior.  So now, I go out of my way to try and not offend other drivers.  I have had too many experiences that have been too close for comfort.    
As the news was reporting on this today, I thought of a poem that is one of the first I ever memorized.  

The Oyster

There once was an oyster whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand had got into his shell.
It was only a grain but it gave him great pain,
For oysters have feelings although they're so plain.
Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
That had brought him to such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government, cry for election,
And claim that the sea should have given him protection?

No--He said to himself as he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it, I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around,
as the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate destiny--stew.

And the small grain of sand that had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.
Now the tale has a moral;
For isn't it grand what an oyster can do
With a morsel of sand.

What couldn't we do
If we'd only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.

~ David Cohen ~

So, my point today is simply this, we can't change or decide how anyone else is going to act.  We can't fix those things that we are not responsible for.  All we can do is take care of our own actions and reactions.  I can't change the fact that drivers get mad at me, but I can change my actions that encourage that type of behavior.  I don't have to behave badly back.  I don't have to get angry or upset at the behavior of others.  I can  make my own pearls out of the sand that life gives me.
This is hard!  But I think it is possible.  I am the only one that can change the way that I react.  It is completely within my control. 

"Don't spend your precious time asking, 
"Why isn't the world a better place?"  
It will only be time wasted.  
The question to ask is rather 
"How can I make it better?"  
To that, there is an answer."  Leo Buscaglia

Monday, April 4, 2011

Last Night, I Ate Potatoes

A long time ago, for Halloween, one of my friends dressed up as a sack of potatoes.  On her back, there was a sign that said:  
"You are what you eat;  last night, I ate potatoes".  
We thought it was funny way back then, but today, I have been thinking more and more about that Halloween from long ago.  
I think there is another lesson here.  I think we take things in with all of our senses and not just tasting.  I think we hear things, touch things, see things, and smell things as well as taste them.  If we are not careful about the things that go into our bodies, or our minds or our thoughts, we will start to tolerate and than accept those things.  They will slowly become a part of us.  They will influence who we are inside.  They will influence the person we become.  When I think about that, I realize that I want to be the type of person that others want to be around.  I want to be an example, but more than that, I want to be Christ-like in all I do and say.  
My daughter taught me this great lesson just last night.  We rented movies this weekend to watch after conference.  We all enjoy a family movie night every once in awhile.  Usually we watch kid oriented movies, but the girls are getting older, and sometimes they like to watch what we affectionately term "chick flicks" around here.  So, there was a movie available for rent that I wanted to see.  It has someone starring in it that I normally like.  It did not have a bad rating (PG is our normal tolerance for movies in our home).  We rented that movie and turned it on last night to watch together.  After less than two minutes, my daughter looked at me and said:  "Mom, I don't think this is a movie that we should be watching.  I think we need to turn it off."  
My husband agreed with her, and I am ashamed to say that I did not.  There was a part of me that thought for a moment, "I really want to watch this, why can't you just wait and see if it gets better?"  I thought it, I resented turning it off, but I did not say anything about it.
We turned off the movie and watched Tangled (for the 3rd time) instead.  It took me until this morning to realize what had happened.  (sometimes I am just a little bit slower than I would like to be!)  
Somehow, in my life, I have eaten the potatoes of movies that have dulled my senses to what is right and what is wrong.  I have let the world tell me what is good and what is bad.  I have let the smells, tastes, touches, sights, and sounds that surround me, separate me from those things which are most important of all.  
We are made up of so much more than just the things we eat.  We can be so much more than the world expects us to be.  But first, we have to choose not to partake of those things that take us away from our Father in Heaven.  
I would never dream of telling anyone else what to watch or read or talk about in their homes.  I would never dream of telling you that you are wrong or right in that choice.  But for me, I am choosing to be a little more conservative in my choices.  I am choosing to follow my sweet young daughter whose internal conscience has not be influenced by the things that surround us in the world today.  
I am choosing not to eat the potatoes of the world.
I am choosing to follow the counsels of the Prophet of God
I am choosing to be different.

John 13:17  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.