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I have been married to Ryan for 7 years and I love being married to my wonderful husband. I am a religious Christian and I love God. I live in the United States and have lived in China. I love being free and those who sacrifice(d) for my freedoms (not just servicemen and women, but all who work to preserve and teach freedom.) My hobbies include photography, music, ceramics, time with Ryan, and trying new things. I believe in the family and marriage. I love spending time with my family.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Because I Have My Father

This post was originally going to be "Why I Love My Husband."  Then I realized, I had really no idea how to start this post.  Do I begin with my annoyance at a meme that degraded fathers and husbands?  Do I start with the inspiration from the I Stand For The Family Conference?  Do I lead off with how my dad was a wonderful strength in my life and example of what a man should be to his wife and kids?  Do I open with an introduction of my husband himself and go from there?  I have no idea.  I just know I love my husband and am grateful for life with him and I want to tell you why.  The truth is, there is too much to say before I talk about my wonderful husband, Ryan.  So unless you want to read a bajillion paragraph essay on why I love my husband and why he is important I have to start with some other things.  I really don't want to spend the day writing a bajillion paragraph essay, although the topic would be a good thing to write about. 

Some people believe that the hook up culture is the only way to go.  Or that all they can expect from a man is half of him.  Some ladies out there think they don't even need a man and wonder why they would ever want to get married.  Well, everyone has their own opinions, ideas and experiences.  These are mine.  I have grown up with a wonderful example:  My dad. 

When I was a little girl, I dreamed about my wedding day and being a mom.  Just like my mom.  She got married to my dad and became Mom.  That's how I was introduced to marriage and family; the example of my parents.  Their example, teachings and harmony at home was how I knew that I wanted the same thing when I grew up.  I was completely my daddy's girl, but I loved my mom and somehow knew that I was to inherit what she had: like her, I was going to grow up and become a woman, wife and mother.  I was going to find a good man like my daddy and we would get married and have kids and I would be the mother and the man who became my husband would be their father.  I knew what kind of man I should marry because of the influence and mostly, example of my father. 
Aha!  Ryan, you didn't think that his would make it on the blog when you pulled the face, did you?
jk.  Here's the real pic.

As I said, I have always been a daddy's girl.  I loved it when my daddy would bring me a treasure from his business trips such as one of those little poppers, a hat, or my space place-mat.  I loved it when he would call me his song bird, when he would sing and when he would convey that he was pleased when I sang or that I ought to keep singing.  I hated it when he took me to my room, sat on my bed with me and talked about my bad behavior and how I needed to change it, but I am really grateful he did that.  I hated that he made me sweep the front porch when the missionaries were coming over, but I'm grateful he was firm about it and stuck to his guns.  I loved that he took me trick or treating and that one year he dressed up as buried treasure by somehow putting gold coins all over his clothes.  I love that he worked, even when he was out of a job.  I loved that when I was a kid he took me on the roof to fix the shingles after a big windstorm and torn them up.  I love that he never spanked me, but when I was in trouble I knew I had to shape up.  

I love that he took me to work with him on occasion and sometimes we would get a burger.  One time when we were coming back from work, I asked if we could go out to eat.  It was dark, so surely we would get there after dinner.  He responded, "No.  Your mother has made a good meal for us."  His dear wife had worked hard on making dinner for us and we weren't going to go out to eat.  He mowed the lawn and did house fixing stuff instead of paying someone too much to do his job.  He took us camping and on other family trips.  He played guitar and sang with us kids and my mom.  He led us in Family Home Evening where we would sing, read a scripture and have a lesson about how to better follow Christ and become more like He is.  He served in church capacities.  Instead of coming home to the T.V. he would come home to his family. 

He took my mom out for dates every Friday.  They regularly went together to the temple.  He always honored my mom and his marriage to her and specially celebrated their anniversary.  He would take my mom to see plays, go out to eat somewhere special and fancy, he would bring her roses.  Every Mothers Day growing up, he would wake us kids up early and bring us downstairs to plant flowers in some flower pots for her.  When he came home from work, us kids would race to the door and lovingly attack him as he found his way to my mother, "Hi Julie." and a hug and a kiss. 

Wake up!  It's Christmas!...almost.  Some mornings if we were not in a mood to get out of bed, dad would prep for his shave and come ask us who wanted a kiss. 
I was that teenager who was proud of her father and wanted the other kids to know what a cool dad I had.  I loved it when her dad was at the youth dances doing the Electric Slide and I loved it when he danced with me.  He was so cool that anyone who saw him would obviously like him.  He would do funny things and good performances on stages and served the youth at church.  I loved when my dad came to girls camp and youth conference.  He was not afraid of the youth.  He knew not only that it was important to teach them, but also how to teach them.  Some winters, he took me to shovel the driveway of the widow he was assigned to home teach in our ward (congregation.)

Dad has taught all of his kids. 
This is the night Todd became my sister's fiancee. 
When I was an older teenager, he talked to me about problems.  He was firm, but it was always in a loving way and I knew that I had to be the one to make a difference.  I had to be kinder to my sister, choose whether or not to go with a boy, and work harder in school.  As a young adult I would call him up and tell him life was getting hard and he would encourage me and I would be able to move forward and make good things happen.  The year I moved to University and met my husband, was really, really rough and if it were not for my dad, I would not have made it up there.  Who knows what would have become of me?!

The steady influence, example and work of my father have really built me.  He is half of who I am.  I am not telling you that to be a good man, husband, or father, a man has to have the same characteristics, or learning, or experiences as my father.  Each man has to be himself.  His best self.

Growing up, I saw my dad was good with a camera, a guitar, his voice, his brain, his hands, his character, but most importantly his roles as a husband and a father.  I don't know that I really realized he was such a good husband to my mom, but as I have listened, looked and learned about people in this life, it is completely obvious.  Some things are so obvious, you don't realize them until you see, hear, or otherwise find out about counter-examples.

Because of him and my mom, I had a stable and secure life.  I never had to worry.  When I was about 4, I worried, "What if my dad smokes and I don't know it?  What if he is not faithful to my mom?"  Children care about what happens with their parents.  The truth is my dad was not that kind of man and I trusted him.  He was never the kind to go do things that would lead to addictive behaviors.  He didn't flirt with danger.  I still trust him.  He lived and lives a solid, moral, family and God life.  If he was ever afraid of our family not making it, whether it be financial, or some other way, I never knew it.  Maybe some men out there are scared?  Hold on.  You can make it.  You are everything to that family of yours.  They depend on you. 

I love my dad.  He isn't perfect but he works hard, shows his dedication and becomes greater every day.  He loves God and leads our family to Him.  He loves my mom.  I am a girl, but I am my daddy's girl and because of him, I grew up knowing what a happy family is like.  I grew up knowing how a man is supposed to be and how he ought to treat me and what to look for in a husband.  Because of my dad I have a better life.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Wonderful Week

So, my cousin inspired me to do this "Wonderful Week"... event...  I guess that is what I will call it.  I was texting him after he had a long week and wishing him a wonderful week.  Well, it got me thinking.  I decided to record the wonderful things in my own week.   Now, I am inviting you to record your Wonderful Week!  I hope you have fun. 

Wonderful Week Rules:
  • Every day write down at least 3 wonderful things that happened in your life the previous day.  (Okay, if you can only think of 1, then start with that.  Some days are harder than others.  That is okay.)  
  • The things can be something that was exciting, happy, hard, something you were grateful for, learned from, whatever as long as it is wonderful.   Wonderful definition:  "Extremely good."  Synonyms: inspiring delight, pleasure, or admiration; extremely good; marvelous.
  • Invite friends and family members to do this with you.  If you are reading this, consider yourself invited.  
  • Adding pictures and alliteration in headers is completely optional.
  • You can do this online or in a journal.  If you don't have anything to write on, just make a mental note of it each night/day and share it with someone.  
Basic summary:  on Monday write down something good in your life from Sunday.  On Tues. write down Mon.'s happy thing, etc...

My Wonderful Week as recorded on fb.  Yes.  I know the punctuation/mechanics are not consistent.  Sorry.  Almost.

Wonderful Week: 

Marvelous Monday: Made my bed, killed a spider in my makeup bag, canned pears, visited with my sister and brother in law who just returned from Belgium.

Terrific Tuesday! On Tuesdays I get to go to ceramics class. It is totes fave. Or whatever the new lingo is now-days.  Also, I accidentally changed the background on my computer to canning jars. I don't know how, I just did. I guess my fingers are too fast for my computer! (okay, or my computer is just really slow...) Anyway, the pic is a honey pot I made. Now it is in my kitchen, all glazed and prettified and holding honey. and another thing I started throwing.

Wonderful Wednesday. I went to the hospital to make sure I am immune to chicken pox. The reason this is wonderful is because it means I have a job! Yay me. And, my sista' came to play! We went shopping at 5 stores and would have gone to another one if it was open.

Thoughtful/Throw Back Thursday - Going back to my roots. (Bethany, will you post that picture of you and me and Matthew B. on here? I know it is blurry.) Where I came from, where I began. We went to a rally for Stand for Marriage. We were asked these questions and given time to think about their answers and significance: Who are you? How much of who you are is because of your father? How much of who you are is because of your mother? Whether you had both parents in your life or not, it has affected you and who you have become. Also, it ended with 600 people singing All Through The Night. It was awe inspiring to see and hear these people singing the lullaby showing the strength and protection a family affords.
Also, I went to ceramics this day!

Fabulous Friday: I learned all about the Family at the Stand for the Family conference. Wow! It was amazing. And my mom treated me and my sister to lunch! Thanks, Mom! And everyone at lunch, it was so fun to be with you! I got a "musical" tooth pick. lol. And saw the Provo City Temple under construction! We saw some missionaries with hard hats and vests pass us on the street. I said hi and then when we had passed I was so excited I could hardly talk. I said, "Mom! That's them!" And pointed to the tabernacle. Translation: "Mom! They are missionaries who are working on the temple! Did you see them? I'm so excited!" I got to talk to my Auntie about healthy food/eating (Which I am just getting into and it is so great to hear about people who work to eat healthy and actual food.)
I also watched The Music Man with Mr. Hubby! I enjoyed the movie before, but until Friday night, I did not understand the complete brilliance of the movie and story.

Super Saturday: Went to the temple with my sweet heart! Also went to an emergency fair and got information we are combining into a binder. Worked at ceramics for a bit. Ryan and I picked produce from our garden, read our books under our big backyard tree and got to spend the whole afternoon and evening together.
  Thank you to my cousin who inspired me to have and record a wonderful week! Love you.  Jeannine Now my Wonderful Week up to date as of this moment. (Because Sunday is not over!) I hope the things I wrote made sense. I'm in a hurry. 

Sacred Sabbath: Well, my "Wonderful Week" is over. One wonderful week, anyway. Here is my last post of the week:
On Sunday I got to hear the Marine Band with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, live at Music and The Spoken Word. It was amazing! Then we went to the Ogden Temple Dedication with my family. It was so beautiful and I learned so much. Mostly about the peace the gospel brings when we accept it. We headed to my family's house and just enjoyed everyone's company, playing, visiting, singing together. My Auntie and Uncle came by with one of my cousins. In the evening my sister was watching the neighbor kids, so they came over and joined us in scripture study. (Which was AMAZING!) It took a bit to get into it because we have lots of people...  But it was so incredible! I love learning the word of the Lord. 

If you feel like you need a pick me up, I invite you to record something wonderful that happened to you each day this week and see what happens.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Breadsticks - light and fluffy

These are spectacular.  I have tried them.  They are very versatile and although the recipe below gives a suggestion of a dill sauce (which is delicious, by the way) they also work well with marinara, garlic and parmesan, or cinnamon and a honey butter sauce.  Any way you want it, that's the way you need it.  Any way you want it. 

Marie's Breadsticks

2 T Yeast
3 cups hot water
2 T sugar
combine in mixer and let stand, yeast will look foamy.
1t salt
7 cups flour add one at a time, the last cup add a little at a time until the dough pulls away from your mixing bowl and forms a ball.  
knead 6 minutes.  
Let stand about 10 minutes

roll out, let stand a few minutes on tray

Bake 400  12 min or until turn golden on top.  Then spread with butter right out of the oven.

Dill spread
1 t garlic salt
1t garlic powder
1/2 t dill
1/4 t italian seasoning

Friday, September 12, 2014

Scripture Tangents and Meanderings

I've been thinking about some things lately, and now, when I am functioning on 3 hours of sleep, I am willing to write it, so I hope it makes sense!
God is gracious.  He says, Hold on to me and I'll lift you up.  I'll guide you out.  Trust me.  I know more than you do.  My ways and thoughts are not the same as yours.  They are better.  Remember to have faith and trust in me. You will be happy you hung in there. 
Okay, those are a lot of things that I have been taught, including different scriptures and talks by his servants and it can be summed up in that little paragraph. 
Mostly, I'm just thinking about this because sometimes you realize you have to rely on the Lord to guide you through whatever storm is ahead and sometimes you realize you really have to rely on the Lord.  I try to remember these lessons.  I try to remember that my way and time is not God's way and time, but if I unite my heart, or my will, to His, things work out.  I don't know how, but they just do!  (Okay, I do know how.  It is because God is all-knowing and he loves his children and our happiness is his work.  And God's work and way is light and truth.  Whatever is light and truth is happiness.  So, he makes things work out His way.)  Maybe that is actually why and not how.
Sometimes I recognize miracles the Lord gives me and I think, "Wow!  How did that happen??  How did it come to pass and fruition just so?  In such a way that I am incredibly blessed!"  God is a god of miracles.  He is not dead.  He makes things happen and I guess they are miracles because 1: we could not do it ourselves.  and 2: His ways are not our ways, thus we do not have the understanding to comprehend all that he does.

Wow.  I think that is so incredible.  Miracles are so incredible.  God's love is so incredible.  Hard choices, or rather, working through them; working through all the tarry sludge to get to the clean air and sunshine is incredible.  Have you ever been in a dark place but held on to the Lord, no matter how hard it got, and then realized you were no longer in that dark place?  I think that's cool. 

Also, I did want to share a couple scriptures with you.  They are from Alma 36.  Alma is a grown man.  He's talking to his young adult sons.  In particular, at this point, he is speaking to his son, Helaman.  (Helaman is awesome, by the way.  And so is Corianton, but Corianton had to learn to live up to his awesome potential in a way that was harder to do than Helaman's.  I think that is an interesting insight to life today, but I guess this is a discussion for another topic/post/discussion...)
Alma's Words:
And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
It seems that Helaman was on a good path in life.  But his father still had to teach him.  And, you know, I feel like I'm on a good path in life, but I still need gospel teaching in my life.

So, Alma tells Helaman how he was such a rotten young man, so rotten that an angel had to come tell him to shape up.  I mean, he was trying to destroy God's work.  I have no idea what he was thinking!  But he was really caught up in it.  So much that an Angel had to come remind him of reality and that he was in big trouble:
And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.
In other words:  You have done it.  You don't have to do anything else in order to qualify for eternal destruction.  Wow.  Talk about a wake up call.  Then, something incredible:  Alma is in a coma for 3 days.  But it's not really a coma.  It is something where he is just out as far as his physical body is concerned, but his spirit is busy as all get out re-learning  the gospel.  I wonder what it took for him to go to that state.  Was it because he couldn't deny the power of God in the angel?  Was it because as soon as the angel spoke, he realized the truth?  Maybe that question doesn't really matter right now.  Let's get to my point.  (Which I already stated in the beginning of this post.)

So, Alma tells his son about his experience and the change of heart he had in becoming converted to the Lord.  (It is so incredible and powerful, but you really need to read the rest of Alma's story - what happened before chapter 36 and the many other things in 36 that I am not even talking about.  It will increase the meaning and power of the experience for you.)
 And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.
Alma then tells his son that if he holds on to God he will be saved and happy and blessed but if not, he will have to be miserable forever.  He was not talking to a rebellious kid here.  Do you know what this means?  This means that our teenagers and our young (and older) adult children need to hear the words of the Lord.  We need to study the words of the prophets of God.  It is just a way of life: learn the word and will of God at all times (whether you have kids in the house or it's just you) and in all things (turn your heart to God.) and in all places.  (Home, work, the park, school - even though imbicile teachers will tell you you can't, the store, the camp-outs and vacations, everywhere.) 

Okay, here is the verse, because it is really a lot more beautiful in his words:
And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory; yea, and I will praise him forever, for he has brought our fathers out of Egypt, and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity from time to time.
Yea, and he has also brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem; and he has also, by his everlasting power, delivered them out of bondage and captivity, from time to time even down to the present day; and I have always retained in remembrance their captivity; yea, and ye also ought to retain in remembrance, as I have done, their captivity.
my son, this is not all; for ye ought to know as I do know, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land...
Isn't that beautiful?!  If you keep God's commandments, you will be sustained in your trials and you will be lifted up!  God is merciful and He is gracious.  He loves his children and will help us through the messes, even if we make them, if we will hold on to Him and trust in him.  God's love and mercy and grace is so beautiful.    

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Apple muffins - sugar free

Okay.  So I am sort of experimenting with altering my diet so that I eat more natural food and less processed, etc...  So, I made these muffins and I really hope they turn out!  (fingers crossed - figuratively, of course.  I can't effectively type if they are physically crossed...) ;)

The following recipe is milk free, sugar free.  I used this recipe for guidance and made my own alterations. 
And by sugar free, I mean the only sugar in the muffins is still connected to it's original source. (apples and pears.)

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground mace  (*I couldn't find nutmeg, so I improvised.) 
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. fresh pear  (*I microwaved mine to soften it.)
1 apple pureed (*with ~1tsp of water and 1/2 tsp lemon juice added.  You could use ~1/2 cup of applesauce instead.)
1/4 c. butter, melted  (*I used 1-2 Tbls butter and about 3 Tbls coconut oil.)
1 tsp. vanilla 
2 c. chopped apple 

*optional add nuts or a crumble topping if you want to.  

Preheat oven to 400.  Mix dry ingredients first.  Add oils and wet ingredients.  Scoop them into muffin tins.   (Batter should not be runny.)  Put the muffins in oven and change the temperature down to 350.  (Fahrenheit)  Cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  

These worked out but I needed to cook mine longer.  And next time, I will just add butter or coconut oil for the oil and I will probably use a little more.  And I will use apple sauce or pear sauce for the sugar content, again. 
Also, having the oven up too high and then lowering it to the cooking temperature when you put them in was a good idea.  It makes them rise faster, I guess so that they will be tall when you take them out.