Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Countdown Complete

Upon arriving in Helena I was having so much fun with family that I became completely distracted from my Christmas Countdown. It has been an enjoyable, memorable, and wonderful Christmas Season.

December 18th - Matthew 5:8 PURE IN HEART "Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean." Goethe

December 19th - 1 Corinthians 13:7 ENDURANCE "Problems are only opportunities in work clothes." Henry J. Kiser

December 20th - Proverbs 1:4 WISDOM "Close your mouth and open your eyes; you need little else to make you wise."

December 21st - Romans 14:16 JUDGE NOT "We also have an abundance of that which we condemn."

December 22nd - John 15:12 SHOW LOVE "If you haven't got charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble." Bob Hope

December 23rd - Proverbs 4:11 LEADER "You have to face the music before you can lead the band."

December 24th - Philippians 4:8 HONEST "Nurture great thoughts, you will never go higher than your greatest thoughts." Benjamin Disraeli

December 25th - Luke 2:11 CHOSEN "Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies."

I've really enjoyed reflecting on this Christmas Countdown during the month that we celebrate the Saviors birth. It's been nice to reflect on what the Savior has brought into this world: His most wonderful and beautiful life, example, and sacrifice. How I hope in this new year that I can become more like the person that He wants me to be.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Countdown Dec 17th

John 15:13 FRIEND "Love is a friendship set to music." E. Joseph Cossman

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Countdown Dec 16th

Hebrews 6:15 PATIENT "Patience is counting down without blasting off."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Countdown Dec 15th

Matthew 11:29 MEEK "The best way to be right or wrong is humbly."

Christmas Countdown Dec 14th

Matthew 5:48 PERFECT "Let's grow where we're planted, not exist where we're stuck."

Christmas Countdown Dec 13th

Leviticus 19:2 HOLY "He who gives always his best, soon finds his best is better."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Forest

A friend of mine gave me the pattern for these tree napkins.

Christmas Countdown Dec 12th

Matthew 5:16 GOOD WORKS "I see, I forget. I hear, I remember. I do and I am changed."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Countdown Dec 11th

Daniel 6:26 STEADFAST "God left man to be on his honor; not to be alone." - Senator Everett Dirkson

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Countdown Dec 10th

Luke 6:36 MERCIFUL "A person who doesn't thank a friend is ungrateful, but a person who doesn't thank God is unmerciful to himself."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Countdown Dec 9th

Mark 5:19 COMPASSION "Tho the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." Helen Keller

Christmas Countdown Dec 8th

Matthew 5:9 PEACEMAKER "Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace." Amelia Airhart

Christmas Countdown December 7th

Colossians 3:20 OBEDIENCE "It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong."

Christmas Count Down Dec 1st - 6th

Dec 1st - John 13:15 EXAMPLE "Example sheds a genial ray which men are apt to follow. So first improve yourself today and then your friends tomorrow."

Dec 2nd - Matthew 18:4 HUMILITY "Pride is concerned with who is right; humility is concerned with what is right." Ezra Taft Benson

Dec 3rd - Colossians 3:13 FORGIVENESS "He who has injured thee was either stronger or weaker than thou. If weaker spare him, if stronger spare thyself." Seneca

Dec 4th - 1 Corinthians 16:14 CHARITY "Love makes the world go round, but laughter keeps us all from jumping off."

Dec 5th - John 12:26 SERVICE "There are a lot of formulas for success that work -- if you do."

Dec 6th - James 2:18 FAITH "Remember, it wasn't raining when Noah started the ark."

Which Would You Choose to Deck Your Door?




It was wreath making again this weekend. We always have such a good time. I also made centerpieces with some pine... My place smells divine!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Masterpiece Complete

I finished my quilt a few weeks ago, but I didn't want to take pictures of it until I had a chance to wash it, and get all of the fabric pencil off if it. Here's the finished product!

Little Bear

Mmmm....My friend and I enjoyed HUGE sandwiches and delicious fruit at the Little Bear this weekend.
She only order a half sandwich, which was the smart thing to do. I order a whole, and ended up taking half of it home for later. I have yet to sample their ice cream, but I've heard it's delicious.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Sister Missionary Forever

Since the beginning of the school year and my return to Thompson Falls, it feels as if I've once more returned to the mission field. Shortly after coming back, one of the sisters in my little branch came up to me, asked how I was, and we enjoyed a nice chat. I commented that a new branch member (who'd come while I was away) asked if I was the new sister missionary. I had laughed and said, "No." The sister whom I was now talking with smiled and said, "You will always be a sister missionary for us."

The school year was well underway and a few weeks back a young man in my branch approached me in the hallway at Trout Creek School and exclaimed, "You're a sister missionary! What are you doing here?!" I explained that I was, in fact, not a sister missionary, but the Speech Language Pathologist at the school and that I taught his older brothers in Sunday School at Church. He then gave me a confused look and said, "What? Well, It's the same thing."

Then this weekend I volunteered to drive the sister missionaries around on Saturday evening so that they could conserve miles and still make all the visits they had planned. At the first visit the young man set his baptismal date. Yea! As we were talking to his Foster Dad, the young man turned to him and said (referring to me), "This sister missionary is going to play the piano at my baptism." I laughed and clarified.

Later, I took the sisters to a home where they were teaching three young children the gospel. I've met them all before and I teach the oldest sister in my Sunday School Class, but apparently I still have that missionary glow, because sure enough, they kept referring to me as one of the missionaries.

I returned from my full time mission in The New Jersey Cherry Hill Spanish Speaking Mission in April 2006, but I'm still a missionary!

Vineland, NJ - One of the Sister Missionaries in our Branch is from here! It's where I spent nine months of my missionary service.

One of the many wonderful families in Vineland.
Both Zeferino and Apalonio were baptized the week after I left the Lakewood, NJ area.

Marleny and her daughters are wonderful members of the Church, with such beautiful testimonies of the truth.

Canning is more fun with friends

This autumn I canned apples. LOTS of apples.

Apple Sauce, Apple Butter,
& Apple Juice - something was wrong with these apples and they wouldn't turn into sauce like they were supposed to, so we put the juice in freezer bags, and we're going to turn it into apple cider later.
Behold the best invention in the world: A Sauce MakerMmmm....Now I think I'll go make some fresh bread so I can have some apple butter on top!

Reasons to Visit Thompson Falls, MT


River views

The Cedar Forest

Devil's Club - Nasty Prickly Plant
Time to contemplate while trains roll through the town
The Huckleberry Fun Run

The Hanging Bridge


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We cannot do everything

As I reestablish my school year routine, I am grateful for the advice I read in the Ensign in a talk entitled "All Things in Wisdom and Order". Elder Taggart of the Seventy said--in speaking with a mother of twelve--she commented, "We cannot do everything, all the time, all at once. We can, through the years, do many things, at different times, one at a time. It is important to see choices as opportunities, not as frustrations." I love this. "One at a time" is my new theme for the year. I cannot do everything, but I can, through time, do many things, at different times, one at a time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Four Wheelin' & Hiking

What a great way to end my summer fun at home: Mom, Dad, and I went up to the Tizers yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We drove into Tizer Lake, then hiked into Hidden Lake. It was so beautiful I could have stayed there all day....except for the mosquitoes. Of course it wouldn't have been true four wheeling if there hadn't been any rain (fortunately, it didn't last too long), and we discovered a ton of hiking trails. It's a shame you can't access any of them unless you happen to own an off-road vehicle.

We visited a Hidden Lake,
enjoyed the sunshine,

Encountered flowers so beautiful I couldn't resist stealing a few,

Survived mosquitoes so fearsome that they almost tripped Dad.

And avoided being enticed into eating monster mushrooms.

All in all, it was a great adventure.


Saturday, July 24, 2010


My sister's littlest said her favorite part was the snacks.
My sister's oldest said she liked launching from the raft to the canoe.
Pippi said that she enjoyed her brief freezing swim and climb as she boarded the canoe.

I just loved the splashing, the floating, the pleas for more snacks, the laughing screams for help to reboard the raft, viewing the Pelicans and the rocks, squeals of concern from the more imaginative young children-sure they saw an alligator or a shark, the jokes, the laughter, the trip.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Damage Report

1 outfit doused in gasoline
1 vomit covered T-shirt
1 room covered in crayons, pens, pencils, markers, and paper
1 room covered in boxes, cords, electronic parts, wood chips, and saws
1 book attacked by scissors

And I find it really hard not to laugh.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Storm before the Calm

I wish I could describe in detail and attach pictures of what our house is like from dinner time until the nieces' and nephews' bedtime. Exhausted children screaming, purposefully knocking food to the floor, running away from the table and being firmly asked to return and finish their meal, infants still too young for the yummy foods grabbing and crying because they are not yet allowed to fully participate in the mealtime ritual, the discovery of one innocent covered head to toe in shoe polish, dog food serving as dessert for a toddler, the drying racks on the deck being used as pretend fishing poles until requested to put them away, tears about bath time, food, toys, everything....

And then the sweet moments: calls made playing on walkie-talkies, sweet boys who rescue their sisters (from the mistaken impression that shoe polish is lotion) and run to get an adult to help, sharing carrots, marshmallows, and toys, children curled up contentedly for bedtime stories, beautiful sunsets, toddlers saying the cutest things imaginable such as "Door-open!" "are you a boy or a girl?" "are you Mommy or a kitty?", babies snuggling against their mommies and giving the most precious smiles imaginable, little girls sharing in the joy of holding dolls, dressing up in grandma's old jewelry, campfires with all the children finally wearing shoes and "flaming" (not roasting) marshmallows.

Yes. I love it when my family at last gathers together.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sun Rise - Sun Set

This week I managed to go running as the sun was rising and setting, and I've realized that I've got to start spending more time near the river! It's not even a mile from my home, but this week was the first week that I ran along it and it was beautiful. The first two shots are from this morning and the last two from Wednesday evening.

I was feeling a bit Tevye-ish...Sunrise...Sunset....

Do you see the family resemblance?

Among Our Family Traditions

Somehow we always manage to make time to stop at the local candy shop....
(I love the Parrot)

And introduce our new friends to the Walking Mall...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gold at the End of the Rainbow

During the week of St. Patty's day my "speech friends" and I are going to go on a search for the "gold at the end of the rainbow". I've designed maps of the school buildings for the occasion. We're going to have a great time, but the best part of all was making the maps:

Trout Creek

Thompson Falls

St. Regis


I've already done this activity with the kids in Hot Springs, so I didn't have a picture of the map since I left it there.

Adventures in Quilting Pt 2

Quilting weekend was so much fun! I kept meaning to snap more pictures of the beautiful scenery, but sometimes being in the thick of things is more fun than photographing. We stayed in a lodge just outside of Polson. The lodge had windows on three sides looking out at Flathead Lake. Mostly I worked on my quilt, but I did attempt to design my own bag to carry all of the basic bathroom ameneties when I travel (it was a flop so I'm not going to show it to you...everything kept falling out of the pockets...).

I cut and sewed most of my quilt strips together during the "Quilt Camp", but I didn't have time to sew it all together, so last weekend I spent some time doing that. I've still got about half of the quilt top to go. It reminds me of a kite:

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Wherever I may roam, Montana is my home.