Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Dinner Favorites

Christmas Joys

Evergreen boughs that fill our homes
With fragrant Christmas scents,
Hearts filled with the loving glow
That Christmas represents;

Christmas cookies, turkeys stuffed,
Festive holly berry,
Little faces bright with joy,
Loved ones being merry;

Parties, songs, beribboned gifts,
Silver bells that tinkle,
Christmas trees and ornaments,
Colorful lights that twinkle;

Relatives waiting with open arms
To smile and hug and kiss us;
These are some of the special joys
That come along with Christmas.
By Joanna Fuchs
Christmas brings us all together where we love to share our favorite Christmas stories and past times, and for me my favorite Christmas Dinner treats.  I love gathering with my family on Christmas for a wonderful dinner.  My family for many years always gathered at my Grandparents home for her Christmas Ham and Funeral Potatoes (cheesy potatoes).  After my Grandparents were no longer with us we gathered at my parents home.  But those favorites that my Grandma would make for us were passed down to her children and grandchildren.  One of my absolute favorites is Frozen Fruit Salad.  My Grandma would make two pans every Thanksgiving and Christmas, one pan for everyone and one pan for me.  Yes, my grandma spoiled me. 
Here are 3 of my favorite holiday dishes.  What are your favorites?  I'd love for you to share them with me.    I hope you enjoy these as much as I do every year.

Frozen Fruit Salad

Mix together in sauce pan:
1 cup pineapple juice           4 eggs beaten
4 Tbs. lemon juice              pinch of salt   
1/2 cup sugar                                            
Bring to boil.  Cool.  Add;
6 oz. Cream Cheese         2 cups Heavy whipping cream

Mix together well until smooth.
Now Mix in Fruit.
1 large can crushed pineapple      4 medium apples finally chopped
1 cup finally chopped celery      1 cup mini marshmallows
anything else you want.   I like to add a can of fruit cocktail drained.
by: Margie Jones 

Orange Jell-O Salad

1 large pkg. cook to serve lemon pudding       1 large pkg. orange jell-o
Prepare both as directed.  Cool, mix together and pour into pan over can of mandarin oranges.  Let set overnight.                                                                                                                                                    
1 small pkg. instant lemon pudding.  (mix with 1 cup of cold milk)
cool whip                                                                                          
Mix together until smooth then spread on top of Jell-O. 

by: Irene Losee

Funeral Potatoes or Cheesy Potatoes

2 lb. bag of frozen hashbrowns (or 10-12 potatoes, baked, cooled, then shredded)
1/4 - 1/2 cup butter    
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans Cream of Chicken or Mushroom soup
1 pint sour cream
1 lb. (or 1-1 1/2 cups) of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste. (opt)
Optional topping:
2 cups corn flakes, crushed    4 Tbs. melted butter
 paprika (opt)
Prepare potatoes if you don't have frozen hash browns.  Melt butter; mix with the soup, sour cream, onion (can sauté onion), cheese, salt and pepper.  Fold into potatoes.  Put in baking pan (9x13).  If topping is desired, crush corn flakes and mix in the butter and paprika.  Sprinkle corn flake crumbs over top.  Bake at 350 oven about 1 hour until hot and bubbly.  Serves 8-10 people.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I found these wonderful aprons on a fun blog called Glorious Treats.  They have a very simple pattern that anyone can follow, even me.  After following this step by step pattern I felt like the sewing expert, so of coarse tried another apron from a pattern my mom purchased for me this summer while I was in Utah visiting.  Leave it to say where is the pattern from the blog listed above only took me about 30 minutes, I'm still working on deciphering the other pattern.  Guess I'm not the expert.  The web site for the Glorious Treats blog is http://www.glorioustreats.com/2012/04/easy-sew-kid-aprons.html .  It's always fun to explore others blogs and all their creations when they are willing to share.

I made these 2 with my own little additions for my youngest 2 girls for Christmas this year.  I can't wait for them to see them.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Life of Christ DIY Christmas Ornament

Life of Christ Christmas Ornament

The ward (In the Mormon Church the members are split into groups called wards depending on where they live) that I am blessed to be in has a Christmas Tree that they put up every year.  The families are all supposed to make an ornament that revolves around Christ to put on the tree.  As I was contemplating what to do I came across an idea from a blog I saw not too long ago.  http://wmcraftgoodies.blogspot.com They used blocks like this to make an ornament with pictures of their children on it.  I love it and thought it to be very creative.  I then thought it would be perfect to depict the life of Jesus Christ and I am very pleased with the outcome.

During the Christmas season with all of the focus of the world around us being on worldly things it is easy to become caught up in the commercialism of Christmas and forget why we are truly celebrating.  Jesus is the reason for the season as the song goes.  I love the pictures that I chose to use on the ornament.  I started the first block with the events that surround Jesus Christ’s birth.  The second block I chose pictures that show him at the time he started his ministry, beginning when he was baptized by John the Baptist.  The third block goes on to the last supper and ends with the beautiful resurrection.   Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ gave all that we may someday be able to return to our loving Father in Heaven.  Because of the love Jesus has for all of us he came to earth to atone for us.  The atonement is the greatest gift ever given and he was the only one that could do that for us.  Not only did Jesus atone for us, but he died for us then was resurrected, paving the way for us to one day live again.  During the Christmas Season there are so many that turn their hearts towards the Savior.  Jesus Christ set an example for us in giving.  He taught us his gospel, he performed many miracles, he had compassion for all, but most important, he loved.  In John 13:34-35  it says; “A New Commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  I hope that we can all find ways of showing our love to all those around us not only this Christmas season, but always.  We develop love for others and show our love by serving. 

Life of Christ Christmas Ornament

Step-by-Step Instructions

I used 2X2’s and had them cut into 2” blocks.  I first went to Joanne’s to see if they had any precut blocks, but they had very little in the wood craft section, so I headed to my local hardware store and they were kind enough to cut it for me. The 2X2 I got was only $1.89, so I got several blocks pretty cheap. 

I then took my blocks and drilled a whole through all of them.  After that I sanded them.  They are now ready for painting.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Recognizing the Spirit

The Holy Ghost is a blessing to all of us and we can feel promptings from him so that we may be a tool in our Heavenly Fathers plan.  I know this and have a deep testimony of this, we talk about it often in Relief Society at church.  Just in this past Women’s conference we had such a beautiful example given to us by President Henry B. Eyring.  He spoke of a sister who felt a prompting to simply check up on another sister who happened to be President Eyring’s daughter.  Because that sister chose to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost many lives were blessed.  Click  Here for the link for that talk. 
I have a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ and in his teachings.  I know that I have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have felt his comfort and guidance often throughout my life.  But I have never felt a prompting for me to go see someone or to call someone.  I have wanted to be a tool in my Fathers hand and to be able to be of service to others, but I just figured that maybe I didn’t know how to recognize actual promptings.  

I was given a powerful witness this week in promptings.  While driving into Vienna, West Virginia to run some errands I had an overpowering feeling to call my Sister-in-law.  My brother who is her husband works out of town as well as my husband does so we are left alone with our kids for long periods of time.  My sister-in-law just had a baby about 7 weeks ago and also has 2 girls ages 8 and 3. When I first felt the prompting I shook it off thinking that it was one of my silly thoughts, not a prompting.  But again I had an overpowering feeling to call her.  I didn’t hear an actual voice, but just a clear thought to call her and not only to call her but to go over there if there was no answer.  Well, being in West Virginia I couldn’t call her until I had stopped, so I called once I got to the bank that I was headed to.  Her 8 year old daughter answered who should have been in school.  I asked Kiya, my niece, why she wasn’t in school.  She said that mommy was sick.  So I told her that I was coming over to help.  My poor sister-in-law gets pretty bad migraines and the one she was having was making it very hard for her to take care of her kids.  I was able to take Kiya to school and the other 2 over to my home for the day so that my sister-in-law was able to get some rest.  

Not only was I able to bless their lives by listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, but I received a powerful testimony of the Holy Ghost and how we can be of service to others.  I am so grateful for those that listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  I know that we are often who our Heavenly Father uses to answer others prayers. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yummy Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

One of my favorite treats was the Lemon Bars a friend of mine would make and  bring to work.   I never worried about making them because she was pretty regular about making them and sharing them with us.  It wasn’t long before our unit at work decided to put together a cook book and my friend shared her recipe.  Although the Lemon Bars she brought to work were perfect, I couldn’t get her recipe to work for me.  My Lemon Bars seemed to be lacking, so I changed just a few things and wa-la….Yummy Lemon Bars.  The trick is to use real lemon juice (fresh squeezed), but you can use bottled lemon juice and they will still be yummy.  I also had to change the cook times.  This recipe is doubled.  A special thanks to Jenae for sharing your yummy recipe with me.

Lemon Bars

4 cups flour                                       2 cup softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar                  1 tsp. salt
Blend all ingredients together.  Press into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
Top Layer:
3 cups sugar                                     1 cup real lemon juice
8 eggs                                                            6 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer, pour over cooked crust.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar.


I used to believe that I didn’t have any meaningful talents.  My drawings are pathetic, (ask anyone who has played Pictionary with me.)  I am not a good singer or piano player and I have no rhythm for dancing.   

Since that time I have learned that talents come in many different forms and that I am very talented.  In my old ward (in our church we are divided into what is called wards which is determined by where you live) we held an annual talent show.  The first year I did not bring anything to show my talents.  The next year I made a tasty treat to share as my talent.  

We are new to Vincent, Ohio which is in the Marietta Ward.  About a month after we moved here our ward held their annual Ward Talent Show.  I brought some of my hair bows that I have made and also the 2 pillow case dresses I had made this summer.  I am not a good sewer but I am very proud of my pillow case dresses.  I also had learned how to make my first hair bow by a friend and sister in my old ward.  I became addicted to making hair bows and started to explore all the different types I could make.  Needless to say my girls have no shortage of hair bows. 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, in the “Happiness, Your Heritage,” Nov. 2008 general conference said;

“Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty. …”
I love to take unorganized matter as you would call it and make it into something beautiful whether it is tasty treats or beautiful hair bows.  I am also molding my daughters into the mothers, wives and women of God that they have the potential to be. 

I have learned that talents are not just what we can do with our hands, but spiritual talents and mental talents as well.  As a mother I am continually praying for patience and understanding.  These are talents that I am developing to become a better mother to my precious daughters and a better wife to my eternal companion.  Although I have my hobbies that I really enjoy, I know that the most important talents I can develop is what will mold me into what my Father in Heaven would have me be, and I feel at this time my calling is to be a wife and a mother. 

I am so grateful for talents.  I know that we all have them and they are all extraordinary.  What talents do you have and how did you discover those talents?  Did you come by that talent naturally or did you work hard at developing that talent?  The Lord has blessed us with talents and we are expected to use them for the better of others.  Like in the parable of the talents we can either put to work what we have been given or we will lose it. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Counting my Blessings

This past weekend I have had so many wonderful things happen in my family.  My oldest daughter made the choice to receive her patriarchal blessing on Saturday and my 8 year old daughter chose to be baptized on Sunday.  Not only were 2 of my children making such wonderful choices, but my niece Kiya made the choice to be baptized as well, so it was a double baptism as well as a baby blessing for my nephew Noah.  My heart was full of joy and gratitude for my many blessings.  Unfortunately, what should have been a peaceful and happy evening for me didn’t turn out that way.  Negativity seemed to find me every direction I turned.  Not only from some of those around me, but from other sources that I invited into my home although unintentionally.  One of the main sources of that negativity was the all popular “face book.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love face book and all that it has made possible for me.  I live far from most of my family and many of my friends and I love to keep up with them and hear how they are doing in their lives.  I love seeing the pictures of their children.  I love the silly quotes and the inspirational ones.  What I don’t love is the influence other posts can have on me.  It seems as though more and more negative posts or just plain crude posts are being shared.  I am often offended by many of them and I find that they drive away the spirit.  As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I continually
try to do as the Savior would have me do.  I fall short more than not on so many things.  We have some scripture in the Pearl of Great Price that states the basic beliefs of members of my church; they are called the Articles of Faith.  In particular the 13th Article of Faith states what I have found myself pondering as of late.  It 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.”  I have come to realize that I have allowed many of the sources that drive away the spirit into my life.