Archive for March, 2011

Thursday Thoughts: Service, Lesson from 3/13/11

March 17, 2011


“I am among you as he that serveth” (Luke 22:27)

How We Can Serve

We must seek inspiration and be tuned in to the Spirit. We can ask in our prayers to have opportunities to serve. We should develop our talents so that we are able to serve in our own way, both large acts as well as small acts of service.

Why the Savior Wants Us to Serve Others

President Spencer W. Kimball said, “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”

Mosiah 2: 17-18 says:

“When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of  your God…

“And if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then ought not ye to labor to serve one another?”

We Receive Blessings through Service

President Spencer W. Kimball said, “We become more substantive as we serve others–indeed, it is easier to ‘find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!”

We love those we serve. We get to know those we serve better.

Opportunities to serve abound. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of service.

“When we willingly serve others in the spirit of love, we become more like Christ,” (Gospel Principles, p. 166)


Wednesday: Words of our Leaders

March 16, 2011

“We don’t know when or how earthquakes will hit us. They likely won’t be literal shakings of the earth, as happened in Peru, but rather quakes of temptations, sin, or trials, such as unemployment or serious sickness. Today is the time to prepare for when that type of quake comes. Today is the time to prepare—not during the crisis. What are we doing today to engraven in our souls the gospel principles that will uphold us in times of adversity?”

Elder Walter Gonzalez

October 2007 General Conference

To read the rest of the address (and gain comfort knowing how the church has responded in other earthquakes), see here.



Tuesday Tips: Dried Beans

March 15, 2011

We all know that dried beans are inexpensive and good for you, but I always forget to soak them overnight. Isn’t it enough to remember to floss and brush your teeth, wash your face, make lunches, throw in a load of laundry, blah, blah, blah. Do I have to remember to soak beans too??? Sheesh. I know that you can do a quick-soak on the stove-top, but that just adds on even more kitchen time that I don’t have, so in the past, I would rarely use dried beans, opting instead to buy canned beans and let my dried beans in food storage sit there waiting, waiting, waiting in their 10#  cans until I could get my act together.

No more waiting. I discovered that the crock pot really, really likes dried beans.

Sort and rinse your dried beans, place them in the crock pot, add a tablespoon of salt (yes, I know many sources say that adding salt to dried beans makes their skins tough. Don’t believe it.), cover them with water (maybe 5 inches over the level of beans? Or within an inch of the top of the crock pot. They suck in a lot of water.), turn the crock pot to high, and cook for about 3 hours.

1 lb of beans equals about 2 1/4 cups of dried beans.

I cook kidney beans this way for chili, chickpeas for hummus, pinto beans for refried beans, white beans for Tuscan white bean soup (on the menu this week!), and black beans for salsas and salads.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday: Menus and Meals

March 14, 2011

In honor of pi day (3.14) today, we’ll be having pie of some variety. I’d rather do a pot pie instead of a dessert pie, because dessert pies rarely get eaten completely in our house, but of course I never remember it’s pi day until pi day is upon us, and I’m not prepared for a savory pi day. With one child sick, I think I’m going to have to make do with what I’ve got on hand. Ah ha! Quiche! That counts, doesn’t it? {NB: come make pie crusts with us April 13th!}

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll be having corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot. Yes, I know it’s not really Irish, but it’s what we eat on St. Patrick’s day.

In honor of the day after St. Patrick’s day, we’ll be having reuben sandwiches with the leftovers.

In between, we’ll be having Tuscan white bean soup, pasta with ragu sauce, and  homemade pizza.

And one night, in honor of being tired, we’ll be having cheese and crackers. Tra la.

Here’s my recipe for pizza dough (via Norr’s Ark, Rochester, NY). I usually double the recipe, making four thin crust pizzas so we have leftovers for the next day. It’s a fast recipe, which makes it one of my go-to recipes on nights that I am not prepared to face The Kitchen.

1 1/4 c warm water

2 1/2 tsp yeast

1 1/2 tsp sugar

Brew these together for 5 minutes. Add:

3 c flour

1 1/2 Tbsp oil

1 tsp salt

Mix together, kneading for 3-4 minutes. Cover and let rest for 12 minutes. Cut in half for 2 thin crust pizzas or leave whole for one thicker pizza. Stretch into round, cover with sauce and toppings. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 min. We own a pizza stone, so I make the pizzas on parchment, then slide the parchment on to the preheated stone for a nice crust.

One pound of mozzarella and one 14 oz can of either pizza sauce or jazzed-up tomato sauce covers the four pizzas. I make two of the pizzas with pepperoni and black olives for the carnivores in the family, and two of them with black olives, red peppers, banana peppers, onions, and feta cheese for the others, um, that would be me.

Happy Monday!

Friday Favorites: Movie Night

March 11, 2011

One of my children’s favorite traditions is Friday Movie Night. We pop some popcorn, choose one box of theater candy to share, and take turns picking the movie. Some of our favorites are Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep (hilarious British claymation), Holes (based on the Newbery-award winning novel by Louis Sachar, rated PG), The Muppet Show (still funny even after all these years), the old Disney movies (classics), and many of the Pixar movies (Toy Story, Cars, Finding Nemo, etc.).

Thursday Thoughts: Lesson from 3/6/11

March 10, 2011

“Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.” (D & C 138: 2)

The Lord’s house is a house of order in many different ways: church organization, spiritual law, natural law. We know what to expect.

If we are to emulate our Father in Heaven, we, too, should have houses of order.

President Monson said in April 2000 conference address:

“In a very real sense, we are builders of eternal houses. We are apprentices to the trade–not skilled craftsmen. We need divine help if we are to build successfully. The words of instruction provided by the Apostle Paul give the assurance we need: ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?'”

So our houses are both our physical households as well as our own spiritual selves.

How can we create houses of order? The answer, in part, is found in D&C 88:119, which contains a hierarchy of sorts or a blueprint of action:

“aOrganize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a bhouse, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;”

We are told to organize ourselves, physically and spiritually, both our households as well as our physical and spiritual selves.

Prepare every needful thing. Determine what is needful for each of us individually. What are needs and what are wants?

When we establish houses of prayer, fasting, faith, and learning, the result is a house of glory, a house of order, and a house of God. We cannot achieve a house of God until we establish a house of order. We cannot achieve a house of order until we establish a house of glory. We cannot achieve a house of glory until we establish houses of prayer, fasting, faith, and learning.

President Monson continues: “When we remember that each of us is literally a spirit son or daughter of God, we will not find it difficult to approach our Heavenly Father in prayer. He appreciates the value of this raw material which we call life. ‘Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.’ His pronouncement finds lodgment in our souls and inspires purpose in our lives.

“There is a teacher who will guide our efforts if we will but place our faith in Him–even the Lord Jesus Christ. He invites us: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

President David O. McKay said in a conference in 1909:

“The safety of our nation depends upon the purity and strength of the home; and I thank God for the teachings of the Church in relation to home building…Our people are home-builders, and they are taught everywhere, from childhood to old age, that the home should be kept pure and safe from the evils of the world.”

Mosiah 4:27: “See that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.”


March 9, 2011

In considering the needs of the sisters of our ward, several things are abundantly clear:

1. We are geographically dispersed, which makes attending activities difficult.

2. We are busy (um, who isn’t?), which also makes attending traditional activities difficult.

3. The sisters in the auxiliaries often feel disconnected from Relief Society, by nature of their callings.

These things have the potential to leave the women of our ward feeling isolated if they can’t attend activities or overburdened if they do attend activities.

We are not about guilt, ladies, and we don’t want anyone to feel isolated.

I’ve been a part of several online communities over the past several years, and I’ve found great support in them. However, I’m finding that far too often, the social network sites are home to bad language and crass references, and are becoming places that I’m not comfortable in.

Hence, this blog.

We want to create an online home for the women of our ward: a place to gather, a place to be uplifted, as well as a place to find information.

We plan on posting several times a week, with postings as following:

Mondays: Menus and recipes

Tuesdays: Tips (Cleaning, organization, childcare, life)

Wednesdays: Words of our leaders (a midweek spiritual boost)

Thursdays: Thoughts (review of our weekly Sunday lessons)

Fridays: Favorites (books, movies, things to do, links)

We will label each post, so you’ll be able to find information from previous posts.

We hope that this will be a resource for each of you, as well as a means of facilitating our ward community.

Please note that this is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can contact the blog administrators at portsmouthwardwomen (at) gmail (dot) com.