Archive for April, 2012

Sister Spotlight-Bri Lee

April 27, 2012

All week I was trying to think of a favorite thing to post for Friday Favorites and as I began this morning I realized that we are doing Sister spotlights on Fridays now instead of favorites.  So I’ll just do me, but next month I will plan ahead and do someone else.

All Bout Bri Lee

  • I grew up in the Seattle area of Washington State and I LOVE that area.  All of my family and Sam’s family still live there, so we are the weird ones who live on the other side of the country.
  • I am the youngest of 4 kids and normally enjoyed being the baby.  I think it taught me to be a good but smart follower.  So I’m content to let other people take the lead, but I know when it’s not smart to follow.
  • I competed in gymnastics all through Jr. High and High school -I was no olympian candidate, but if you want to see a video of my routines I have them posted on my Facebook page
  • I also dove for about 2 years

  • The Christmas after high school I met Sam at the singles ward and we were married the following August

  • After living close to family for about 2 years we headed off to BYU where we both studied and had Gwen

  • While we were there Sam had been trying to convince me that the military life was the way to go.  I resisted heavily, but after about 4 years of him tossing the idea around I realized it was no day dream and that if I didn’t allow him to give it a try he would always regret it.  So he applied for a Program with the US Navy just about 6 months before we graduated and he got in.
  • After graduation the next year of our lives was CRAZY.  Our stuff stayed in storage and we moved 8 times.  I asked myself everyday what I had allowed him to do to our lives.  Once all the trainings and temporary stations were over we settled into a small town in the middle of nowhere where we had Maggie and the Navy gave Sam his first real assignment that would last for a year and a half.  There I realized being in the military is a great life and I was grateful for it.

  • Next we headed off to the California coast for Sam’s first deployment.  We were stationed there for a year and a half, 2/3rds of the time he was gone for deployment, trainings or, or on special assignments.  I found it to be difficult but doable.

  • Now we find ourselves here in Maine where we are welcoming our third child into the Lee family, a boy 🙂  He is due June 25th, just in time for my girls to be out of school and in my hair all day long.  So we have family coming out to help us with the kids for most of the summer.

  • Some of the things I enjoy doing at this point of my life are…
    • sewing
    • blogging
    • playing with/reading to my girls
    • enjoying the fact that Sam gets to be home SO much more often than he used to.
    • playgroup/spending time with other Moms/adults
    • catching up with old friends
    • exploring the area so we can enjoy its beauty and fun for the 2 1/2 years we have left here in Maine
    • day dreaming about where we might find ourselves in the future.
  • Some of the things I don’t like
    • cleaning my house -I’d much rather make a mess than spend time cleaning it up 🙂
    • Static
    • when the inside of my van is cleaned out-I think I depend on the random toys, coats, pens, papers and other things that get collected in it over time, so every time I clean it that means that I actually have to be prepared when I leave the house.
    • Putting my kids to sleep after a long day.  It seems like it should just take 5 minutes, but I takes FOREVER and I am so close to freedom it is hard to be patient with them when they are so silly because they know that they have 100% of my attention.  So I normally have Sam do the scripture story and prayer time part of our routine so it is still a good experience for them.

Wednesday Words-Stake Confrence

April 25, 2012

I thought I’d post today about the topic that was focused on during the adult session of Stake Conference.


The speakers discussed repentance in general, repentance in missionary work, and repentance in temple attendance (meaning we need to do more.)   They tried to explain that it was not that they think we are all bad, but that we are all great people and they wanted to see us become better.  So they explained that one of their goals as a stake presidency was to help the members to “Grow”

I thought this quote was a good way to remind us that

“Rationalization for bad choices will not be effective, but repentance will. Those who repent will be particularly blessed by the Atonement.”

Quentin L. Cook, “Strengthen Faith as You Seek Knowledge,” New Era, Sept. 2008, 6

I thought this was a good quote for the goal of growing because we probably often rationalize why we don’t have time to go to the temple or share the gospel.  And we probably all have room for growth in one of those areas.

April 23, 2012

A few years ago My Mom got me a subscription to Disney’s Family Fun magazine.  We have enjoyed it, here is one of the recipes we found in it.  It is just a guide to making foil dinners and it has some flavor combination ideas.  My kids love it and every time we make them they like me to pull out these pages so they can visually see what seasoning/sauces they want me to prepare and they love deciding for themselves what veggies they will put in their dinner and how much.

Here is the link to the recipes on the Family Fun Website.  Hopefully this reference will give you some good ideas for your next camping trip, backyard BBQ, or even a fun FHE dinner cooked in the oven.


  • No emergency Essential orders this month
  • There will be a linger longer on April 29th
  • If you have any infant girl clothes that you can donate, please bring them in so we can get them to a little girl in need.
  • If you have any garage sale type items you are willing to donate, the boy scouts will be having a garage sale soon and would like any items you are willing to give them.  Bri and Sam Lee will be collecting the donations at their home.  Please bring them by or call them to schedule a pick up.
  • Please make sure to check the building cleaning schedule to see when it is your turn to make our building a nice place to be.

Friday Favorites–two days late

April 22, 2012

I am sure the reason this is two days late is because of my busy life, but I also think it is because I wasn’t sure what to write about.  After going to the adult session of conference last night, I think I shall write about my memories of that session.  I won’t remember all of the names but here goes.

The first speaker was a sister who talked about her “meditations”, wise sayings that she has on her refrigerator. She used those wise sayings to guide her talk about how life doesn’t always turn out the way we have planned it or envisioned it, yet, with the gospel and God in our life, we can still survive and grow. She talked about her struggles to raise her family when she suddenly found herself divorced and alone.  She said that she found her strength and guidance from listening to the prophets, whom she felt spoke directly to her.  Br. Perkes from the Somersworth Ward talked about repenting, and how repenting can bring change not only to our life but to the life of others.   He told us a story of a missionary who had a companion who wasn’t doing what he should, like refusing to get up for scripture study and resisting proselytizing.  When the first elder  went to the mission president for advice, he was told “repent”, so he did. When he changed his behavior, the companion surprisingly changed his.   We heard Br. and Sis. Wilkey talk about missionary work and its importance,  and finally Pres. Watson, who discussed the importance of growing, and that repentance is just one way to grow.    He particularly talked about the importance of going to the temple.  He reminisced about a time before we had the Boston Temple when we had  a stake goal of sending 500 people to the DC temple. I remember that goal;  I was one of those 500 people who went to the DC temple 16 years ago. Wade was a baby and I was going  for my own endowments.  What blessings we have now with the Boston Temple so close.

These are the kinds of talks that are given during the adult session of each stake conference.   I am always tired when I go because Saturdays are always so full of things to do, but I always leave the Exeter Stake building fortified.  If you haven’t gone to the adult sessions before, or haven’t in a long time, I encourage you to go in the fall. I know that parents will small children have a hard time doing this, but perhaps you can trade off so that one parent goes in the spring session and the other parent goes during the fall session.  We all need spiritual food and guidance, and the adult session of stake conference is one place to get it.  —Pam

Wednesday Words

April 18, 2012

For Family Home Evening, Wade and my daughter Emily and I watched a Priesthood session of conference by Richard  C. Edgley.  He spoke about reactivating less active members.  He relays this story below:

“One Sunday morning some 30 years ago, while I was serving in a stake presidency, we received a telephone call from one of our faithful bishops. He explained that his ward had grown so rapidly that he could no longer provide a meaningful calling to all worthy members. His plea to us was that we divide the ward. While waiting for such approval, we decided as a stake presidency that we would visit the ward and call all these wonderful, worthy brothers and sisters to be stake missionaries.

About the third person I visited was a young female student attending the local university. After chatting for a few moments, I issued the call to serve as a missionary. There was silence for a few moments. Then she said, “President, don’t you know that I am not active in the Church?”

After a few moments of silence on my part, I said, “No, I did not know you were not active.”

She answered, “I have not been active in the Church for years.” Then she said, “Don’t you know that when you have been inactive, it’s not all that easy to come back?”

I responded, “No. Your ward starts at 9:00 a.m. You come into the chapel, and you are with us.”

She answered, “No, it is not that easy. You worry about a lot of things. You worry if someone will greet you or if you will sit alone and unnoticed during the meetings. And you worry about whether you will be accepted and who your new friends will be.”

With tears rolling down her cheeks, she continued, “I know that my mother and father have been praying for me for years to bring me back into the Church.” Then after a moment of silence, she said, “For the last three months I have been praying to find the courage, the strength, and the way to come back into activity.” Then she asked, “President, do you suppose this calling could be an answer to those prayers?”

My eyes started to water as I responded, “I believe the Lord has answered your prayers.”

She not only accepted the call; she became a fine missionary. And I’m certain she brought much joy not only to herself but also to her parents and probably other family members.

There were several things I learned or was reminded of with this and similar interviews:

  • •I learned that many less-active members have loved ones on their knees daily petitioning the Lord for help in rescuing their loved one.
  • •I learned that it is not all that easy or comfortable for a less-active member to just walk back into the Church. They need help. They need support. They need fellowship.
  • •I learned we have less-active members who are trying and willing to find the path back to activity.
  • •I learned that many less-active members will hold callings if asked.
  • •I learned that a less-active member deserves to be treated as an equal and be viewed as a son or daughter of a loving God.”

We have the ability to help reactivate less active or inactive members by participating in our visiting teaching.   Showing love and concern for our inactive sisters is what our Heavenly Father and our Savior wants us to do.  We have no idea which sisters are praying for help to become active in the church again.




Monday Menu–a day late

April 17, 2012

I started writing this post last night, but it was late and i was very tired and hot.  Why am I hot in April?  So I tried to save  it as a draft and went to bed.  Lo and behold, I can’t find it today. I guess it must be in some hidden digital vault.  So here I go again.

I am always thinking about food storage and other supplies, and I have learned so much over the years that I feel confident to share what I have learned with others.

I didn’t always have food storage. When I was first married, we bought a few bags of wheat, and then we didn’t even know what to do with them. We didn’t store them properly and eventually, we threw them away. Yes, we threw them away.   That was such a waste, and I was determined that before I ventured into food storage again, I would learn more about it.

When I started up again, I bought regular food from the grocery store to start my supplies.  When I bought a can of beans, I bought two of them. When I bought tomato sauce, I bought twice what I would usually buy.  One was for my food storage and the other one was for that week’s use.  I did that with many of the items we used, especially staples such as flour, sugar, shortening, etc. After several weeks I had a  small stock of food that I could use in an emergency.  I date all of my food and try very hard to rotate it.  I also stock up on sales from the store.  I shop at Market Basket in Lee and they always have great sales on the things I use in my food storage.

I learned through trial and error that flour will keep fresh and bug free and flavorful for about a year after purchase if you store it with Bay leaves.  I buy King Arthur flour when it is on sale and store it in 5 gallon buckets. I put in 4-5 bags of flour into each  bucket (I dump it right into the bucket) and then put 5-6 bay leaves on top and then seal it.  After about a year it starts to have a strong taste and smell, so I use it within a year.  Market Basket regularly has baking goods on sale during the holidays and in the spring, so I use those times to stock up on things like flour, sugar, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

A few years ago I learned about vacuum sealers, and I now have one and use it regularly.  I seal things like nuts, chocolate chips, stuffing mix, pancake mix, and brown rice in wide mouth canning jars. This year I sealed a box each of my favorite  Girl Scout cookies for enjoying later in the year. I even have a jar of the peppermint Three Musketeer bars. I love them and they are so hard to find.   Vacuum sealing allows me to buy items that don’t usually have a long shelf life and extend it.  I also use the plastic bags and seal my meat and even my cheeses to extend their life.

I can fruits from the local farms and vegetables that I grow in my garden.   I make my own apple pie filling, apple sauce, apple butter, jams, pickles, salsa and relishes every summer. I can give them away as gifts or just enjoy them myself. My daughters regularly take my jams out to college with them.  Kelsie walked off with the last of my blueberry-peach jam.  I have even ventured into the unknown and canned meat.

As you know we have the group orders that we do every month through Emergency Essentials.   This is just one of many companies that sells freeze-dried and dehydrated food that has a long shelf life, sometimes up to 25 years, depending on how it has been stored.  We have the church’s storehouse in Worcester, MA, that provides food such as wheat, oats, rice, etc. that can be sealed in Mylar bags or #10 cans.  And speaking of Mylar bags, you can buy them from and seal your food yourself.  Last summer I used my iron to seal up my grains and beans that I had been storing in 5 gallon buckets.  This allowed me to put them into smaller, safer packages.  Just pour the grain or beans into the bag, throw in an oxygen absorber or two, leave enough room for sealing, and then seal with a warm iron.  It can get messy, but it worked for me. I know Kashann has done this too.

And my final thought–oxygen absorbers can be bought from the church website, too, and they seem to be priced the cheapest with them.  They come in different sizes, but the church sells the size that is most appropriate for Mylar bags and #10 cans.  They come in packages of 100, and should be sealed up tight to keep them fresh if they are not all used at once.  Last year I found a new use for my oxygen absorbers and I wanted to share this use with you.

I try to rotate the food in my three  day emergency kits every six months, but sometimes a whole year will go by before I get around to it.  I put in my kit instant oatmeal, pop-tarts, granola bars, Luna bars, fruit gummies, and hot chocolate.  After a  year they all taste pretty yucky, and I always feel bad that all of that food goes to waste.  Last year I put the items into different quart sized ziploc bags and just before I sealed them up, I slipped in an oxygen absorber.  This year when we rotated the food, a year later, I might add, we found that the old food tasted good. In fact, it tasted pretty fresh, like it was just bought.   Now I will use oxygen absorbers in my three day kits every year.

If all of this seems overwhelming, remember that I started a little at a time. What I have now is probably 20 years of trial and error and learning new ways to store food. And if we help each other, we can all be successful.  Pam


Friday Favorites: Ariane C.

April 13, 2012

My name is Ariane, pronounced (air e in).

I am from St. Louis, Missouri. I have 4 sisters and 4 brothers. I grew up dancing (studio dance and school dance teams) and playing the violin (4th grade thru college Freshman). I like politics as my Mom is an elected official so I was always helping with her campaigns since I was about 10. I grew up participating in the City of Joseph pageant in Nauvoo.  This is where I gained a testimony of the gospel and restoration. I love all kinds of music from classical to 80’s synth pop.  My favorite hymns are Redeemer of Israel and Come Thou Font of Every Blessing.
In 1998, I met Mike at BYU (Provo). He was going to school at Ricks at the time. We were engaged 2 months later and married 4 months later in the St. Louis Temple (this was after our sophomore year). I graduated from BYU in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Film (I went to school with the kids that made Napoleon Dynamite).  My work history consists of working for film festivals and a marketing agency (and a few other jobs here and there).  I enjoyed making TV commercials, radio, web ads, etc.  I quit when I had our daughter, Phoebe.  She is now 2.  She is my best friend, if I am allowed to say that!
I stay home with Phoebe (best job ever).  Phoebe and I stay busy with library story times, activities at the Seacoast Science Center, local play groups, dance classes, sign language, playing at the beach, cooking and shopping! But I continue to do freelance marketing from home (I run the social media – Facebook & Twitter – for a credit union in Maine, as well as write internet articles for a private jet company out of Pease. My current big project is redesigning a website for a local staffing agency.)  I also fly home to St. Louis each November to work the St. Louis International Film Festival.  It’s so fun!
I love to dance, everything from hip hop to swing dancing with my hubby. I love cooking and baking.  I love eating chocolate.  For my 30th birthday, Mike took me to Hershey, PA where I spent the day in their chocolate spa.  Loved it!  
Life before Phoebe, I was a scrapbooker then a blogger.  Now there isn’t time for any of that. I love watching Top Gear BBC (yes, I’m a car nut) and Modern Family. My all-time favorite TV shows were Mad About You (love Paul Reiser) and Wonder Years. My favorite movie is Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) and All My Loved Ones (Czech film).  Mike says he can’t watch movies with me because I ruin them for him – guess that is my film background.  
I love to travel, domestic and international.  Our most recent trip was to Chile for Mike’s mission reunion.
I love taking drives in our cars.  We love going on Mini rallies in our Mini Cooper.  In a former life, I must have been a rally race car driver, because I like to “drive it like I stole it!”  Ha ha! I’m allergic to animals so it is limiting when it comes to going to people’s homes.  I am also allergic to fish and shellfish.  Not fun when you live near the coast (I grew into the allergy when we moved here.)
I am a big Apple geek.  My iPhone is my universe.  Sadly, I’m always on it.  Whether it is reading news, checking weather, doing social media work, emails, taking photos/video or watching videos and playing games with my daughter, it’s like an appendage to my body!  If there isn’t an app for it, forget it!  
I am a primary teacher (6 year olds) which I admit is not my favorite calling as I’m not good with kids or chaos.  My favorite calling was working with the Young Women.  My husband worked with the YM and me with the YW, and we were the stake youth dance DJs for years.  It was so awesome working with the kids, we really got to know them and hung out with them outside of church activities.  I love Personal Progress and made it my personal mission to help the girls get their medallions. 
We’ve lived in NH for 10 years, recently moved from Dover, before that we lived in California.  We are loving living by the beach in Rye.  But our goal is to move to St. Louis to be near family.  Not sure when that’ll happen. We celebrate 14 years of marriage this August.  (We’re older than we let on…)
Thanks, Ariane, for being our sister spotlight!Image

Book Group This Thursday evening at Kristie’s House

April 11, 2012

Hello All,

If you are planning to attend, please send me an email or call 767-7182 and leave a message.  I would like to make it potluck if everyone can bring something to share. 




Wednesday Words: George Albert Smith

April 11, 2012

This week’s lesson came from chapter 7 of Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith.

“As I think of the experiences of people in the world, on occasions of this kind, I marvel how we have been blessed. I have no more doubt about eternal life and the immortality of the soul than I have that the sun shines at midday.… It is a sad thing to part with our dear ones, even temporarily. We send them upon missions, or they go to other parts of the world to live and we miss them. When an occasion like this occurs it seems that they are more distant, but as a matter of fact they are not, if we but understood. … Instead of extending the condolence that sometimes might go to those who are bereaved, I feel more like rejoicing this day that I know that this is not the end. …”

“This life is not given to us as a pastime. There was a solemn purpose in our creation, in the life that God has given to us. Let us study what that purpose is, that we may progress and obtain eternal life.”

Announcements and a few changes…

April 9, 2012

1. Stake Conference is coming up the weekend of April 21 and 22. Mark your calendars!

2. Our mid-week activity will be this Wednesday at 6:30. We’ll be having a wheat workshop taught by Kashann Casper.

3. The Emergency Essentials order did not go through, as they were out of stock. Sister Smith will be returning checks.

4. The MOPS group has an on-going mall-walking date on Thursdays at 9:30

5. Book group on Thursday evening at Kristie J.’s house.


Let me know if I’ve missed any announcements!


We’re going to make a few changes to the blog, as this has been a year-long experiment. Namely, we’ll be posting fewer times each week (M-W-F), and the format will be a bit more open. We’ll continue to have a Monday recipe, and a Wednesday spiritual thought, whether that’s a recap of a lesson or a talk, or simply a quote. Friday will be a free-for-all.

Please comment if you have any thoughts about the format or any suggestions for us!