Monday, March 21, 2016

He'll Carry You

He'll Carry You - Hilary Weeks ( LDS ) with Lyrics

He knows your heart
He knows your pain
He knows the strength it took just too simply breathe today
He sees the tears that you cry
He knows your soul is aching to know why
He hears your prayers each humble word
When you said you couldn't face another day he understood
He knows the path that you will find
Though you felt alone he's never left your side
He knew there'd be moments when no earthly words
Could take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you
He'll bring you peace and leave you hope
And in the darkest night he'll comfort you
Until you know the sun will rise and each new day
You will have the strength to live again
And when there are moments when no earthly words
can take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you
He hears you when you're crying in the night
He hears you when your soul longs to find
Till the morning will come
And the light of the dawn reassures
That in the moments when no earthly words
can take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Prioritizing Our Lives

Navigate This Life Confidently


The things that must be taken care of to ensure the blessings of eternal life for me and my family.
  • Inviting revelation (praying always)
  • Studying scriptures daily
  • Taking time to ponder and fast
  • Making and keeping covenants (sacrament meeting, temple)
  • Loving one another


Things we have to do as a part of mortal life in order to be self-reliant and be of service to our families and the Lord.
  • Strengthening marriage and family relationships
  • Homemaking (cooking, cleaning, working)
  • Living providently
  • Giving compassionate service
  • Doing temple and family history work
  • Sharing the gospel
  • Serving in the Church


These add variety to our lives, but they won't save us.
  • Crafts
  • Hobbies
  • Recreational reading
  • Lunches with friends
  • Movies
  • Travel
  • Blogging and recreational computer time
What is on your list?

Relief Society General President

Monday, August 24, 2015

Missionary Mom

Sister Williams and Sister Olsen

Sister Shelby Williams has been called to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She will be serving in Independence, Missouri Mission for 18 months. We would love to have you follow her on my journey. Sister Shelby Williams

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Brunch with Mom and Eggland's Best Eggs

There is nothing better than spending time with my Mom and having great food.
I was so excited when I was connected by Egglands eggs with this opportunity to host a brunch and offered a fun giveaway, I LOVE Egglands Best Eggs. There are so many great recipes on the Eggland's Best website. As I looked through the recipes I found a Breakfast Burrito: and a Sunny Side Breakfast Pizza Recipe: . But I decided on a yummy Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata. 
We had a wonderful time!

Did you know that all eggs are not created equal? When compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs contain:
· 10 times more vitamin E
· Double the amount of omega-3’s
· Twice the amount of vitamin D
· 3 times more vitamin B12
· 25% less saturated fat
· 38% more lutein

Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata
Biscuits with fresh raspberry jam
Banana Nut Muffins with real butter
Strawberries and mandarin oranges with orange juice 

 A few of Mom and Dad's friends

I cherish my time with Mom 

Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata


  • 5 Eggland's Best eggs (large)
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, low-fat
  • 1/4 cup yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Spray a 9" tart pan or pie pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Dice onion and set aside; if using fresh broccoli, wash well and cut florets from stems.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper until fluffy.
  5. Stir in cheddar cheese, onion, and broccoli.
  6. Pour egg mixture into pan and sprinkle parsley on top.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are set; allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Food Storage 101

Emergency Preparedness can be broken down into the following categories:

First Aid

Our friend Mark Smith, a Preparedness Consultant, teaches that in order to have a well-rounded emergency preparedness plan, you should always be storing food.  If you are working on your first aid kit, buy bandages and some food.  Pick up some bottled water and food.  Order a camping stove and some food.  This is why we focus primarily on food storage.

Eat what you store and store what you eat!

If you did a quick search for "how much food storage do I need" you will find many websites that have a food storage calculator or a list of foods that you need to store.  This list will usually include several pounds of lard, pearled barley, gelatin and molasses.  When you are in the middle of an ice storm heating water over a candle, do you know what to do with barley, gelatin and lard? 

You need to be familiar with your food storage.  If you choose to store food that you don't normally eat, make sure you slowly incorporate these foods into your diet now.  If your body does not have the enzymes to digest the new foods, there is a high possibility you will get either an upset stomach or other numerous digestive problems.  An emergency situation is not the time to introduce new foods to your diet.

Getting Started

Make a list of your favorite simple meals and begin storing the ingredients.  All of the ingredients need to be shelf-stable.  For example, my family loves Terriyaki Chicken Bowls, so I store rice, freeze-dried chicken, freeze-dried broccoli and bottled terriyaki sauce.  If there is a power outage, the chicken in the freezer won't last long, so the freeze-dried chicken is ideal.

I found it easier to plan my food storage by planning an entire month of meals.  Then I figured out what ingredients I would need to make each meal.  The longer the shelf life, the better.  If you like spaghetti, but the shelf life of the sauce is only a year, either plan to rotate the sauces so you eat them within the year, or store the ingredients with a higher shelf life.  (Shelf Reliance) Thrive Life has a great tomato powder with a shelf life of 8 years.  With the powder, you can quickly throw together an amazing spaghetti dinner right from your food storage.

The 3 Enemies of Food Storage:

1. Heat
2. Moisture
3. Light

Store your food in a cool, dry place.  If you are storing shelf-stable food such as cans or buckets of legumes and grains, inside your home works just fine.  If the temperature is above 80, it may shorten the shelf life a bit.  The cooler, the better.  This is why our Grandparents had cool, dark root cellars.  If you use glass mason jars, storing the jars on the counter is not recommended because the light will compromise the food.  As for moisture, this pertains to your freeze-dried, dehydrated, grains and legumes.  With cans, there is always the possibility of rust due to water or moisture.  Make sure your dried food is not exposed to any moisture.  You can take extra precautions by adding oxygen absorbers and storing in mylar bags.  If the mylar bags are sealed, they keep out light and moisture.  You can pick up food-grade buckets with lids at any hardware store, or try asking for used buckets at restaurants and bakeries.  A good rinsing and you have free storage.  I usually purchase my mylar bags from Amazon online for the best price.


It is better to have and not need, than need and not have.  We recommend starting with a 2 week supply, then save 3 months, 6 months and so on.  If you decide you want a year supply of food and you start by storing rice, then have a situation such as a job loss, you will be eating rice for every meal.  I recently learned of the term,appetite fatigue.  This means you simply cannot stand to eat that food any longer. and you will take less and less and end up in metabolic decline.  You could literally starve to death sitting next to a bag of food.  So start by buying ingredients for a few full meals each time.  By starting small, you will build a well-rounded food storage.  Don't forget to store condiments and seasonings as well.  Chicken is chicken.  It's the sauces and seasonings that make it a wonderful meal.

Freeze-Dried vs. Dehydrated

Freeze-dried flash freezes food at the peak of ripeness, then uses a vacuum to pull only the moisture out, leaving the nutrition and enzymes.  The dehydrating process uses heat to cook out all of the moisture.  Dehydration has a shorter shelf life and sometimes requires adding preservatives.  Due to shelf life, nutrition and taste, I prefer freeze-dried, but there are some foods such as carrots that are better dehydrated.  Freeze-drying a carrot turns it completely white.


I use my food storage for everyday meals, so preparation is no different than any other food, except it is usually quicker because i don't have to slice and dice.  I do have to heat and eat though.  Since this is food for a possible emergency, you need to think about what tools you will need to have on hand to prepare and cook your meals.  If the power is out, you aren't using the stove, blender or microwave.  You will need to invest in a few tools that do not require electricity.  Also, if you plan to rehydrate anything, you will need to plan for a water source if the water is not available.  .   

My Personal Recommendation:

After months of comparing food storage companies and different methods, I personally chose THRIVE food from (Shelf Reliance) Thrive Life.  Thrive is by far the best tasting food and usually the best price out of all of the brands I have tried.  They offer mainly ingredients rather than pre-packaged meals, so I can use my own personal recipes.  Most of the product line is freeze-dried with an average shelf life of about 25 years.  The cans are coated inside as well as outside to prevent rust.  Being on a budget, I LOVE the Q FoodPlanner.  I quickly filled up an online shopping cart of everything I wanted and set a monthly budget by reallocating my grocery budget.  I have found this actually saves me money because I am not making as many trips to the grocery store and not wasting any food.  THRIVE food is by far the best brand I have tasted.  I had to laugh when my neighbor's daughter was surprised when she tried it and said, "mom, this tastes like real food." 

What Is Fresh?

I think we can all agree that Fresh food is best. My question is, what is fresh really?  Fresh produce is picked straight from the vine when ripe. When picked too early and allowed to ripen on a truck, that produce delivers almost no nutrition by the time you bring it home.  The fruits and vegetables that are too ripe to make the trip to the store are sent to be frozen.  This is why frozen food generally has more nutrition than "fresh" from the shelves.  Even better than frozen is the freeze-dried method.  This is when food is flash frozen at 60 below zero, then put in a vacuum where all the moisture is turned to vapor and removed completely.  This method instantly preserves the shape, color, texture and flavor and has more nutrition than any other method of preservation.

I love that (Shelf Reliance) Thrive Life flash-freezes their produce within 48 hours of harvesting to ensure the most nutritious and best-tasting food on the market.  By using the freeze-drying method, then sealing it in a double-coated can, protected from light, moisture and air, the food has no way to decompose, giving it a shelf life of 25 years or more.

I can get the best vegetables straight from my garden in the summer, but what about during the winter?  Here in Oklahoma there is absolutely no way I can acquire a fresh pineapple or mango because it has to be imported.  With Thrive food I can open a can of pineapple in the winter 15 years from now I am confident I am getting the best nutrition.

Is THRIVE the only food on my shelves?  No, I buy all of my wheat locally because it is cheaper.  I still get bulk items such as beans and rice at local stores (the rice at the Asian food store is fantastic!)  I still jump on sales at the grocery store and visit the local LDS cannery.  I have food stored that I have personally canned in the past, but don't have the time or space this year to have a garden, so I store food the best way for me.

Whether you choose to grow your own garden and can and dehydrate your food, use coupons to stock up on canned goods, or purchase freeze-dried, I urge you to insure your family's most basic needs.  Emergencies happen at the most inopportune times, make sure you are always ready!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I am grateful for the snow

We so funny, we are never happy the way things are. 
So instead of complaining about the snow, I am going to look at the positive.

Provo Temple in the Snow by Temples by Tyler
Snow is beautiful
Snow is peaceful
Snow is refreshing
Snow is cleansing
Snow is a miracle
Snow is bright
Snow is reflective of light
The snow brings us much needed water
I am grateful to live where it snows.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another Grand baby on the way!!

As much as I love my children (all 9 of them) there is nothing better than being a Grandma. Age is a funny thing, for the most part we never feel any older and yet it shows in everything around us.

Each stage of life both has it pros and cons. As a young mother there were days I thought I would not survive, the sleepless nights, the messes, homework, dishes and laundry.  As a mother of teenagers the emotional drain, the heartaches, the joys in accomplishments, the busy schedules. As a mother of young adults, trying to guide and yet not push too hard, and the with the range of age of my children I still deal with most of that, it’s complex, a balancing act with at times I have failed miserably at it.

There are those “you’re doing a great job” parent moments in the midst of the craziness and busyness that you realize these children have been entrusted into my care, I can only hope I have taught them what they need to know.
Number three is on the way (due in July)!! What joy this brings me. Really being a Grandma is the best gig in town. We are very Happy for Alissa and Trevor.      

Monday, April 30, 2012

...with full purpose of heart

But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.

                                                                                                              Mosiah 7:33

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jocelyn's List of the Best Christmas Books for Young Children 2011

I have so enjoyed Jocelyn's List of books from past few years and have made it a tradition in our family to read books with the kids each night, even my older kids have enjoyed this. We have added to our collection each year, it has been so so fun. Thank you Jocelyn.

Jocelyn's List 
of the 
Best Christmas Books for Young Children

Christmas is Here (Words from the King James Bible), Illustrated by Lauren Castillo

The Last Chimney of Christmas Eve by Linda Oatman High

A Shepherd's Whisper (A Christmas Classic)

The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans

Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect by Richard H. Schneider

A Small Miracle by Peter Collington

The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell

Who is Coming to Our House by Joseph Slate

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

The Christmas Orange (I like the version shared here best.)

This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. More

Mary's First Christmas by Walter Wangerin Jr.

The Animals' Christmas Eve by Gale Wiersum

The Donkey's Dream by Barbara Helen Berger

A Christmas Dress for Ellen by Thomas S. Monson

The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs 
(We love the wordless DVD with its amazingly peaceful soundtrack!)

Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon

Santa and the Christ Child by Nicholas Bakewell

Morris's Disappearing Bag by Rosemary Wells

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween JibJab

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

My kids have so much fun doing these on JibJab. Shelby put this one together.

Taco Soup

Taco Soup

2 lbs hamburger meat
1 medium chopped onion (can use dehydrated onions)
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans whole kernel corn
2 large cans stewed diced tomatoes (can use Mexican style)
2 small cans tomato sauce or 1 large
1 package taco seasoning mix (optional)
1 can black olives, sliced or quartered

Brown hamburger and onion in large soup pot or crock pot
Add all the other ingredients, do not drain the vegetables
Simmer for an hour or two

Serve over Fritos corn chip or crushed tortilla chips
with shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa on the side

Recipe freezes well

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Family: A Proclamation to the World - Celebrate the Family - Our Family Photo Essay

The Family: A Proclamation to the World was given in 1995 to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and to the World as a guide to help all of us understand the importance of the family and how to have a happy family in this life and the next. 

As I put together this photo essay; it has given me time to reflect on the eternal nature of families and to see how truly blessed I am. This past year has been a hard one on me, with Donny working away a good amount of time, my health, cancer scare and surgery and with just the craziness of everyday life of a large family and all its demands. I am very grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and the blessings it bring into my life. 

To read the Proclamation in its entirety, click on the link below.

"Family is central to the Creator’s plan for 
the eternal destiny of His children."

"All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny." 

"'Children are an heritage of the Lord'(Psalm 127:3)."

"Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, 
to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, 
and to teach them to love and serve one another"

"Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan."

"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." 

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families 
in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide
 the necessities of life and protection for their families."

"Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."

"The family is ordained of God."