Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Missionaries Serving Throughout the World

My Mom and Dad are serving in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Dad and Mom (Elder and Sister Tanner) With Elder and Sister Pieper of the Seventy. June 2010 in the Canada Halifax Mission office.

Zone conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 21 Jun 2010


And my nephew is serving in the Guatemala City North Mission. In just the past few weeks in a matter of 7 days, residents of Guatemala and parts of neighboring Honduras and El Salvador have had to cope with a volcanic eruption and ash fall, a powerful tropical storm, the resulting floods and landslides, and a frightening sinkhole in Guatemala City that swallowed up a small building and an intersection. Gage said many thought it was the end.

Tropical storm destroys dozens of member homes
By Jason Swensen

Church News staff writer
Published: Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thousands of members in Central America were left reeling from a two-fisted combo of natural disasters that killed hundreds, destroyed homes by the thousands and prompted a ongoing Church humanitarian response.

Guatemala's Pacaya volcano erupted May 27, spewing lava and rocks and blanketing sections of Guatemala City — located 19 miles to the north — in ash and debris. The eruption forced the evacuation of hundreds of families living near Pacaya, including several member families. The international airport in the Guatemalan capital was also closed because of the ashy conditions.

Associated Press

A massive sinkhole covering a street intersection in downtown Guatemala City is an indication of the heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Agatha, causing a crater that swallowed a three-story building.

Two days after the volcanic eruption, Tropical Storm Agatha made landfall along the Guatemala-Mexico border. As it moved south, Agatha dumped more than a foot of rain and triggering deadly landslides in parts Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The flooding has claimed almost 200 lives, including some 150 in Guatemala. Dozens of others were injured or were still missing at press time. Meanwhile, an estimated 129,000 people in the region had to be evacuated to safer locations.

Photo courtesy Central America Area

Within days, Guatemalans had to endure the eruption of a volcano and the destruction of a deadly tropical storm. The catastrophes caused major destruction in the city of Xela.

All missionaries and members are safe and accounted for. Still, the double-disaster has exacted a sobering cost to Central American Latter-day Saints. An estimated 1,200 Guatemalan members have been "significantly impacted" by the storm and volcanic eruption, according to Church welfare services. Four-hundred members in El Salvador and Honduras, respectively, have also been affected. About 70 member homes were destroyed or washed away during the flooding.

Photo courtesy of Central America Area

Members from the Quetzaltenango Guatemala El Bosque Stake collect and sort donated clothing to be distributed to victims of recent natural disasters in Guatemala and neighboring Central American countries. The Church has provided food, medicine and other emergency provisions. future humanitarian efforts will help members rebuild and replant fields that had been washed away in the flooding.

Many members were devastated by the disaster. Sister Sara Perez, a widow and mother of six children, lost all of her possessions when a mudslide washed away her home near Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Photo courtesy Central America Area

Tropical Storm Agatha caused damage to tens of thousands of structures in Central America, including homes seen here in Xela, Guatemala.

"I was with my children when the mudslide hit our home," she said in a filmed interview with public affair workers from the Central America Area. "The corner of our home just collapsed. Fortunately, the Church members have been here to help."

No Church meetinghouses were harmed by the disasters and many building are being utilized to shelter LDS families who have been displaced.

Authorities and priesthood leaders in the Central America Area went into action at the first sign of trouble. Many members families were evacuated before Agatha hit and coordination between Area Seventies, stakes presidents and Church facilities managers has been ongoing from the beginning.

Luis Echeverria, AP

Aerial view of the sinkhole in Guatemala City.

The Church provided emergency food, water, clothing and tools to victims and local priesthood leaders. The Central America Area was also working with civil authorities in the three affected Central American nations to purchase and distribute medicine, building supplies and other relief provision.

As Pacaya settles and the storms clear, the Church plans to continue providing basic necessities to those in emergency need even as it evaluates the long-term impact to be felt by affected member families. Priesthood leaders are developing a plan to construct and repair home, providing Church-purchased building materials and member labor. Some families will also be provided seeds to replace crops washed away by the deluge.

Local leaders being lauded for their initiative, efforts
By Jason Swensen
Church News staff writer
Published: Saturday, June 12, 2010


Members left decimated by the recent flooding and mudslides in Guatemala and neighboring countries are finding relief thanks largely to the hard work and capacity of local priesthood and Relief Society leaders.

Photo courtesy Central America Area

Members and missionaries in Guatemala City, Guatemala, fill relief kits with food and other emergency provisions to deliver to victims of recent natural disasters in Central America.

Elder Williams in the Rain (around end of May)

Elder Williams (around June 2-9)

Gage loved this sign, it means sharing the glory of God! How wonderful!
(around June 16-19)

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Lindsay Learns to Ride a Bike

Now that is a face of pure joy and achievement!
Way to go, it only took a little over an hour to learn, she's only 5.
We are so proud of you!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Today is the day that honors our hard-working, catch-playing, meat-grilling, don't-date-my-daughter, advice-giving dads.
Every year on Mother's and Father's Day at church they hand out some kind of gift. In the past they have done a bag of Hugs (kisses) but this year the gave out a can of Dad's rootbeer. I thought this was very clever of them. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In a Patriotic Mood - by Pleasant Home

(I love this picture)

The picture above is from an amazing website - Pleasant Home. This is a project she did using fabrics from her store Pleasant Home on Etsy. Be inspired!!  

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hulling Strawberries With A Straw - Great Idea!

Let me tell you, I have found so many smart and talented women out there in the blogosphere. Here is a great example!!

This post is from Amy @
 New Nostalgia 

"My quest to recapture the simplicity of yesterday and apply it to today."

My girls and I spent the afternoon at a strawberry patch, picking strawberries with good friends of ours (Hi Carm!)  It was so much fun! We came home with almost 40 lbs of strawberries. I plan on making freezer jam, strawberry pancake syrup, smoothies, popsicles, and strawberry bread.

We started the big job of washing and hulling the strawberries right when we got home.  I plan on mashing them up, then putting them in jars to freeze, thanks to this post I read. (she talks about why she likes to mash them instead of freezing them whole).

I am so happy that I learned this secret to easy hulling from my step mom.  All you have to do is poke em' with a straw!  You start at the bottom of the strawberry, push the straw up, and the stem and white bit just pop right up!  My girls think it is quite fun, & my middle girl wanted to just keep going, even after hulling 10 lbs with me.  I said "Wow, honey, you are quite the hard worker"  She said "yup, as long as I have gum in my mouth" ???  I guess blowing bubbles while hulling strawberries is her thing.

Have any other ideas of how I can use up these berries?  I would love more ideas and recipes if you've got 'em!
This post is linked to:
Tip Me Tuesdays @ The Tip Junkie

Monday, June 7, 2010

Powdered Laundry Detergent

I shared with you in a post about some of my kids that suffer with eczema. I have heard a lot about people making their own Laundry Detergent, not only is it a great idea for saving money but really a great idea if you suffer from allergies or eczema.

Powdered Laundry Detergent
2 - Fels-Naptha bar soap grated (comes out to about 4 cups) You can find this in the grocery store laundry aisle. Grate it on a cheese grater 

2 cups - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*

2 cups - of Borax comes from the grocery store laundry aisle and some hardware stores.

1/2 cup - OxyClean or Baking Soda (not necessary, but we add it) 

Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 6 Cups detergent. (Approx. 80 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased. Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Old Fashioned Handmade Lye Soap, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile, Zote White bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can often be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.

Inexpensive Fabric Softener Recipes
(instead of fabric softener which is so bad for you and the environment, you don't even want to know)

1  Cup White Vinegar - Add vinegar to rinse cycle. Works great. Removes residue and odors. Also helps to keep washing machine and hoses fresh and clean too.

25-30 drops essential oil – optional. (Straight vinegar works just fine though.)

A great website - 10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes & Homemade Laundry Detergent FAQ

Singing In The Rain (Gene Kelly)

I love this!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Am I Doing Enough?

Recently, Sister Julie B. Beck, General Relief Society President, came to speak at my local Stake Center for a fireside. I felt so very blessed to be able to hear her counsel and guidance. Throughout the fireside many questions were asked but one question in particular stood out to me: "How can I do it all? How can I know I am doing enough?"

I was very interested in Sister Beck's answer.

"You will never have enough time, money, or energy to do all the things you would like to do," she stated.

She went on to say that the thing that helped her the most was to prioritize.

Sister Beck divided her life into three categories:

1. Essential Things (things you must do to attain eternal life):

  • Pray Daily -- don't wait to pray, because you will never have a convenient moment.
  • Scripture Study -- every day spend time in the scriptures.
  • Temple Attendance -- whenever you can.
  • Regular Church Attendance 
2. Necessary Things (things you need to do to get through life):
  • Eating, sleeping, bathing
  • Serving
  • Getting an education
  • Managing your resources
3. Nice-To-Dos (things that are not essential but you enjoy doing):
  • Reading, gardening, sewing
  • Using the computer
  • Watching television or movies
Sister Beck counseled to focus on the Essentials, then the Necessary, and then the Nice-To-Do's. She also said to look at all things, such as trials or new experiences, as opportunities instead of challenges. Your attitude makes a huge difference, and what you do now affects who you become. Your main focus should always be Eternal Life.
After I left I felt edified and uplifted. So maybe I can't do it all, but I can do as much as I can . . . and you know what?

That's good enough.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Happy Pink Saturday - Flair

Happy Pink Saturday!

Whatever you do, do it with Flair!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Today it's all about Ballroom Dance!!

They did it!!!

BYU are the 2010 Blackpool Latin Formation Team Champions

It was an 8 team semi final and a 5 team final!!

BYU BDC sweeps Blackpool Festival formation competition!

BDC Latin team with coaches and choreographers

Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Company won 1st place in the Latin team formation competition tonight at the Blackpool Dance Festival. That is back to back wins, Standard and Latin! Congratulations to the dancers; their coaches, Lee & Linda Wakefield and their professional choreographers. They have put in many upon many hours.
 Katie, Ian & Toffer.
 BDC Latin team with trophy
 Alissa (that's my girl) & Toffer with trophy.

2nd place: China
3rd place: China: Beijing Dance Academy
4th place: Germany
5th place: Utah Valley University
Winter Gardens - Ballroom
This post will contain all the info and pictures from Blackpool (England) for the BYU Latin Formation Team. As soon as I hear how they did!

Alright Latin team. Today is the day. You know what to do. Leave it all on the floor and bring it home! Go BYU!

Welcome to Feel Good Friday! ~ 5 Good Things

I love this idea!!

I have found that a lot of my bloggy friends reading posts about being positive, so I thought I might try my very own meme.  I just want everyone to feel good and have some happy thoughts as you begin the weekend.  
Are you with me?!  

Step 1: 
Pick one of these prompts and write about it on your blog!  You can: 
  • Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was, I bet you can find 5 things.   
  • Write about something that happened to you this week that really made you smile.  Was it your child, husband, or maybe a complete stranger did to you?
  • Write about something that YOU did for someone else that really made them happy or laugh.
  • Is there something you treasure so much that every single time you look at it, it brings you happiness?  Post a pic and tell everyone about it.
  • Having a hard week and can't find one good thing about it?  Well then, what is your happy place?  What do you think of that makes you happy? A past vacation?  A childhood memory?  We want to know!
Step 2:
Come back to my blog on Friday and link up with Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.  Then go and read at least one other blog and leave them a comment to make their day brighter.

Step 3:
Have fun.  Feel good.  Smile. 
Then, start looking for all of the good things you can write about for next week!  Once you start looking for the "good"  you will find it everywhere!

5 things that made me really happy this week.

1) Monday was Memorial Day; I could not help but think about the freedom we enjoy. There are so many who have given their lives for what we have. Donny put our American Flag out in the front yard. It made happy to watch it blow gently in the spring breeze and for what it represents. As I enjoyed a great BBQ with my family I know that I am truly blessed.    

2) The weather this week has made a turn. We have had a very cold and rainy spring. This week we have had blue skies with puffy white clouds. I love feeling of the sun on my face.

3) Something that makes me happy, this week and every moment for just over two months is my new grandbaby. Her amazing blue eyes, her wonderful smile, her yummy rolls and cheeks. Babies are the closest thing to heaven we can get.

4) My in-laws have been in town for two family weddings, what has become a tradition for our family when Grandpa comes to visit is he takes my kids shopping for shoes. It makes my heart happy to see my kids in their new shoes. Thank you Dad.

5) Another thing that has made my heart happy this week is to see one of the dreams for my daughter Alissa happen. Alissa dances on the BYU Ballroom Team and is in Blackpool, England at the Blackpool Dance Festival (World Championships) The Standard Team competed on Wednesday (June 2nd) and Won and now The Latin Team competes today (June 4th) Alissa is on the Latin Team. Go Alissa , Go BYU, Represent for the USA!!

The winning team for Standard with the trophy
Look at that amazing ballroom in the background

The BYU Standard Ballroom Formation Team - Champions!!