Archive for May, 2012

Wednesday Words-The church and the Gospel

May 30, 2012

This week’s Lesson was on a Talk given by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom titled Converted to His Gospel through His Church (full talk found HERE)


In his talk, Elder Hallstrom says “Sometimes we use the terms gospel and Church interchangeably, but they are not the same. They are, however, exquisitely interconnected, and we need both.”

He latter explains:

“Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed.

By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants?”

Elder Hallstrom is not saying that the church is bad, he is saying that we can’t have all that the Father has by simply being active in the church.  We need to also work on developing an understanding of the Gospel so that we have a strong testimony of the Gospel.  His talk points out that activity in the church is a great way to steer us towards our testimony.


By Way of Announcements:

Our ward is responsible for filling a temple worker spot for Thursday.  So if anyone is available to work at the temple on Thursday (tomorrow) from noon-4pm please contact Kashann Casper.  She says she is willing to babysit if you need her to.

Monday Menu-Deceptively Delicious

May 29, 2012

One of my favorite recipe books is Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious

I like it because of the information and ideas.  It’s a great reference guide that explains what nutrients are found in what vegetables and how long you should steam or cook each individual vegetable.  The idea behind the book is that you can steam and puree your veggies, then hide them in the food you serve your family.  Since I have a picky eater and I myself am a little picky at times, I love it.  When I get veggies I steam and puree a bunch at a time, then freeze the extra so I can use it another night.  I normally always have 1 or 2 different types of pureed veggies in my freezer.  Then when I am making dinner, I normally toss in one of the frozen veggie portions if there are no veggie’s in the recipe I’m making.  It saves me the time of making a side dish and getting more dishes dirty.

Click Here to find a couscous recipe I found online that is very similar to the one in her book that I love.  (The only thing this recipe is missing is a little garlic)


Spotlight…Jeffra Kill

May 25, 2012

Thank you Jeffra for letting us all get to know you more. I hope you are all ready to read about some really great adventures!

(Note: The slide show has a few pictures, so wait a few seconds to see the them all.)

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I grew up in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee in a family of 4 kids.  I am the oldest and only girl.  As a kid I would have characterized myself as responsible, intelligent, and independent but I think my little brothers just thought of me as bossy and called me “the other mom”.  I grew up playing outside, loved animals of all kinds, read any book I could get my hands on, and enjoyed all the seasons in New Hampshire.  I especially loved sapping season where our family made our own maple syrup.  We were raised being the only members of the church in our area and back when church Sunday school was in the morning, sacrament meeting was in the afternoon, and all the classes were throughout the week, we had a 2 hour round trip to church 4 times a week.  When I was in the 3rd grade we had some families move into the area that were Mormon and we started a little branch that met in our home.  They were such good times!

 Throughout school I was a good student, played the clarinet and piano, loved art and foreign language and culture, sang in the school choir, was in plays and musicals, and liked spending a lot of time with my family.  Our family participated as cast members in the Hill Cumorah Pageant every summer for probably about 6 or 7 years and really grew to love the Book of Mormon and church history.  As a family we also hosted numerous foreign exchange students from countries all over the world.  I spent a lot of time babysitting as a teen, and had a very successful business that enabled me to earn all my money for college.  I loved working with kids and knew then that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.

 When I was 16 I had the opportunity to travel as a foreign exchange student to Ecuador and live with a family there for most of my senior year of high school.  It was a great experience where I was able to practice my years of high school Spanish and become fluent.  I traveled all over the country, including the Galapagos Islands.  While I was in Ecuador I applied for BYU and got accepted.  It was a good thing I got in because it was the only school I applied for.   

 My years at BYU were so much fun!  I did a double major of Elementary Education and Spanish Education.  During my studies there I did a semester abroad in Concepcion, Chile, took time off to serve a mission in the Barcelona, Spain mission, and later did my student teaching in a 5th grade at a public school in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico.  By the time I was back from Mexico I was totally addicted to traveling and was constantly planning my next trip.

 I moved back to New Hampshire and over the years have taught middle school Spanish, 4th grade, and elementary (K-5) grade Spanish, University Spanish and Teacher Education courses, and pretty much everything in between.  Also, since graduating from college I got my Master’s degree in Education and as a grad student took a group of college juniors on a semester abroad to study literacy in New Zealand.  I’ve also done quite a bit of personal travel to places like Thailand,Samoa, Fiji, Poland, Czech Rep, Bosnia, Croatia, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Germany, Peru, Italy, etc.  One summer my best friend and I hiked the Camino de Santiago- a 500 mile medieval pilgrimage route across the north of Spain, and survived to tell about it! It was incredibly difficult, but one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  Most recently I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Argentina so I spent last summer visiting public schools, meeting with officials from the Argentine department of education and other local and national educators and lawmakers.  What an amazing experience! 

 Probably one of my favorite things in life is church.  I have always loved going to church and being involved as much as possible.  I have served in just about every calling a sister can have.  Most have been difficult in one way or another, but they have helped me to grow, learn and strengthen my testimony.  My favorite calling so far has been as a temple worker.  I have seen some immediate blessing from when I started serving in the temple 3 years ago and I believe that meeting my husband was a direct blessing from that service. 

 Karl and I initially met online of all places, and after writing all of 2 emails to each other, our first meeting was under the Christmas tree in my hometown of Wolfeboro.  We joke about our meeting being just like a TV Hallmark Christmas special, “Boyfriend for Christmas” or some other cheesy title, but it really was magical and amazing.  We got married last August, bought and moved into a “fixer-upper” house in Eliot, I began a new teaching job as a Spanish teacher at Marshwood middle school, and we started working on our family immediately!  We are expecting a little one (and are waiting to be surprised on the sex of the baby) in July and know there are lots of other changes and surprises in store for us!

A few of my likes, in addition to travel, education and kids are gardening, cooking (NOT baking), letter boxing (like geocaching), genealogy, reading, outdoor activities like hiking, camping and kayaking, photography, animals, and trying new things. 

“Words” with Friends

May 23, 2012

I came across this clip on mormon channel:

“Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high.” Richard G. Scott

I have STRUGGLED at getting in my scripture reading. I remember I used to spend 30+ minutes a day reading and I miss that time. Things like this remind me that taking the time to read our scriptures will bless us more than getting the “other” duties of life completed.

I relate so much to the sister in the video clip. There are times that we wonder if things will get better. As the other sister said, they don’t get better but we learn to adapt and use the scriptures in our lives. When we do this, we then can help others and that’s when we see changes. The scriptures will “illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high.”

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday (or Thursday if you get this through e-mail) and that we each will find a scripture today that will touch our lives for good. Then in return our scripture study will be our “words with friends.”

~Joy Gleason~

Monday, Monday….

May 21, 2012

I’ve had the Monday, Monday song stuck in my head all morning. Maybe I’ll pass it on to someone else.

I hope everyone is loving the warm weather and in the same boat as me. I abhor cooking in the summer. I try to stick with one day a week and get all my bread made and anything else I can think of. I’m used to having an air conditioner because it’s not fun to be without when it is 90+ and 100% humidity. We’re getting accustomed to the use of fans. Of course, the recipe I’m giving you uses the oven, but only for 10 minutes. This is worth the little bit of heat for the yumminess.

I thought I’d share a favorite sandwich recipe which does involve 10 minutes in the oven. We love these and they are very filling.

Veggie Melt

3-4 cups sauteed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, onion, peppers, etc.) – chop them into small bite size pieces once cooked

Mozzerella, provolone, swiss, chedder or anything your family loves (we use swiss or provolone or what we have on hand)

Pesto sauce (make your own or buy a jar)

8 slices of bread – I prefer panini, but we’ve used italian, rosemary, wheat and sourdough.

Tomatoes thinly sliced

Olive Oil

2 cookie sheets

Directions: Turn oven on to 350. After you have sauteed the veggies and cut them in bite size pieces, separate them into 4 servings (approx. 1/2 – 3/4 cup). Put a thin layer of olive oil on a cookie sheet and place four slices of bread on the cookie sheet. Place one slice of whichever cheese you like best on each slice of bread. Put the veggies on top of the cheese and then put a slice or two of tomato on veggies. Before putting on the last slice of bread, spread on a little bit of pesto sauce or a lot depending on how much you like. Put the last slice of bread pesto sauce side down on the sandwich. Take your other cookie sheet and put a little bit of olive oil on the underside. YES, the underside…the bottom. Now put that on top of the sandwiches and push down like you are trying to stack your cookie sheets. (This is your own little sandwich maker using two cookie sheets.) Put the contraption in the oven for 10 mins. Pull them out and enjoy your nice summer veggie melt with a glass of lemonade and some pita chips or a yummy spinach salad.

Happy Sandwich making ~ Joy Gleason

Sister Spotlight: Joy Gleason

May 11, 2012









This week’s spotlight will be Sis. Gleason. She was kind enough to provide me with her story for this post. My apologies for the formatting, I’m afraid I need more practice with wordpress.


I grew up in Midway, Utah. I am the youngest of 8 children. I will admit to anyone, the youngest is spoiled, but they deserve to be spoiled. All my siblings have come to this understanding. One week after high school graduation, I moved to Logan, Utah to go to Utah State University. I graduated in Business and Information Technology Education.


My last year of college, I met Brian. A mutual friend tried to set us up and I wasn’t going to support anyone in school, so I wasn’t going on any dates with anyone who was still in school. (This came back to bite me.) After I graduated, I contemplated a mission. Everyone in my family had served a mission and my parents were serving a mission in Mongolia. It was a struggle to decide, but I knew it was the right thing to do. On my 22nd birthday, I left for Georgia.


I got a job teaching in Provo at an at risk high school and as luck would have it, Brian got a teaching position at my old high school and I happened to be living at home until I got enough saved up to move out. We were married after our first year of teaching. Remember how I said I wouldn’t marry someone in school? Technically, Brian wasn’t in school, but was accepted for a masters program. It came back to bite me and it was for more then the 2 year masters program.


We moved to Logan, so Brian could go to USU and I taught math and computer classes in Preston, ID at the middle school for two years. In 2007, Brian was accepted to University of Georgia for a Ph.D. program and we moved when I was 7 months pregnant. We were there 1 1/2 months and had Jocelyn the week before classes started. Perfect Timing!


After four fun and adventurous years in Athens, Georgia which we loved so much, we applied for jobs all along the east coast. All but one of the jobs were at private schools. We had offers, but nothing felt right. Brian applied at UNH and it was the only university job he applied for. We didn’t think he’d get it since the first interview didn’t go so well due to some power outages with a snow storm in Georgia. LIttle did we know, this is where we were supposed to be. It was a hard decision, but we received a clear answer to come here and it was hard to turn down the private school jobs.


Through all this adventurous times, I’ve enjoyed working as a teacher, but I’ve enjoyed staying at home more. It was a huge struggle for me at first, but I started some great hobbies. I love to sew. I am not a pattern follower when it comes to sewing. I prefer to come up with a pattern on my own. I also love to do recycle sewing. I’ve been able to create clothes for Jocelyn by using our old shirts and pants. I’ve made some fun quilts out of old mens shirts and sheets.


I also work from home for as an auditor for a company out of Utah and it’s been a great job for me. It came at the right time for me.


I enjoy exercising. It may not seem like it, but I do. I used to run in college for fun and I was told by a doctor I shouldn’t be running on my ankle, so I stopped. I have decided I may have ankle issues when I am 50 or 60, but I need to enjoy by 30’s and 40’s! We love to go for family bike rides and we’ve found some great trails around here. It’s a workout to pull Jocelyn on some of the trails, but we have fun doing it.


We love camping and we are excited to be in an area that we can actually have a fire while camping. (It’s too warm in GA to have a fire. We would take an AC instead.)


Monday Menus: using staples from the pantry

May 7, 2012

I’m not the best at elaborate menu plans. Even when I try to keep it simple, I forget something important. So it’s been really important for me to figure out some nutritious meals for my family using what I always have on hand for those times that I didn’t make it to the store or when I’ve forgotten an ingredient.

I saw a recipe for enfrijoladas on Tasty Kitchen Blog today and I’m sure it’s something my family would love, with a green salad on the side. I’m always making burritos or tacos last minute, but I think this might be an interesting way to mix things up. I would probably end up going without the cilantro because, even though I love it, it’s one of those ingredients I frequently forget. I think we will be trying this in the next week or two.

One favorite that I usually have the ingredients for is chocolate sheet cake. It’s another recipe that is compatible with my last-minute lifestyle. My mom has always used a slightly modified version of the Lion House cookbook’s recipe, and that’s what I use as well. I love that I almost always have everything I need on hand, it only takes about 15-20 minutes to cook, I can frost it warm, and then it can be served warm or cold (I use a fudge frosting that uses granulated sugar instead of powdered, another plus because I don’t have to worry about lumpy frosting).  Or, if I don’t want to bother frosting it, I can cut up some sort of fruit to put on it (usually bananas or strawberries for me), then top it off with some whipped cream. That hint of cinnamon really holds a special place in my heart. Mmmm, maybe this will be dessert next Sunday.

Chocolate Sheet Cake:

  • 1 cube butter
  • 1 cube margarine (or you could use shortening, I usually double the butter, who said cake needs to be healthy?)
  • 4 T cocoa
  • 1 c water
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t salt

Lightly mix butter, margarine, cocoa and water in a large, microwave safe, mixing bowl.  Microwave 3-4 minutes, then stir.  Add all dry ingredients, buttermilk and vanilla and mix again.  Then add 2 eggs and mix well until there are no lumps in batter.  Pour into greased sheet pan (10 x 15 in.) and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until cake tests done.  Frost with fudge frosting.

Fudge Frosting

  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c milk (or 1/2 c for thinner frosting)
  • 5 T butter
  • 1 c chocolate chips

Melt butter with sugar and milk in small saucepan.  Bring to boil, then boil for 1 minute.  Pour in chocolate chips. Remove from heat.  Mix in chips until melted and frosting is smooth.  Quickly pour and spread on hot cake before frosting sets up.

I hope you find something here you enjoy.  Please let me know if you have any favorite go-to recipes for last minute, I think my family is getting sick of grilled cheese sandwiches.

-Lori Trauntvein


Sister Spotlight: Erin L.

May 4, 2012

I was born in Idaho, but mostly grew up in Highland, Utah (other than 4 years in Indiana… 8th-11th grade). I was attending UVU when I met Jeremy in December 2000.  We were uncharacteristically impulsive and were engaged and married by July 2001.  We lived in Provo for the next 3 years while I worked at the Utah State Hospital and Jeremy finished his Bachelor’s degree at BYU.  From there we moved to Ohio for Optometry school.  Jeremy attended Ohio State for four years. I worked for a medical supply company for the first year and the following summer we adopted our oldest son (Jaron).  Jeremy was able to take a month off that summer and we “fought” over who got to hold the baby for a couple of weeks until he left for Officer Training for 5 weeks.  (Jeremy was on a military scholarship with the US Navy while in his last 4 years of school).  After years of infertility our new little baby joy was added to, five months later, when our second child was born (Emmaline).  (and this is why it’s confusing that they are  not twins but are in the same primary class).  We traveled back to Utah a lot for weddings, our baby sealing, baby blessings, and of course the summers…. Those 4 years are a total blur.

Our 3rd child (Kate) was born in October 07 and we moved from Ohio to Utah in March 08 for a 3 month externship and from there moved to San Diego CA, for a real life job.  We got used to the sunny weather and friendly faces fast and really soaked up our 3 years there.  We seemed to average a group of visitors about every 3 months and we traveled about every 6 months.  We enjoyed the zoo, museums, beaches, Sea World, a trip to Disneyland, and Legoland.

From there we packed up the van and made a long summer of moving across the country.  Discovering New England in these short few months has been a lot of fun and we hope to see a lot more of it…..  (now that we’re getting back into a normal routine).  Our 4th child (Christian) was born in October 2011.

My Likes and Dislikes:

Likes: I like cooking, I just don’t do anything fancy, (I don’t like thinking of what to make for dinner). 

I love chocolate

I love getting out for a run/walk/jog or going to the gym. (and miss getting this opportunity)

I love playing outside with my kids, playing catch, riding bikes, or digging in the dirt.  I secretly love the smell of dirt and sunscreen (even though as a mom that now means more work for me).

I love the fourth of July and/or spending the summer with family, camping, in the sprinklers or at the pool.

I love my house clean although I don’t know how to keep it that way.

I am a night person and dislike mornings.

My Favorite hymns are “For the Beauty of the Earth” and “Abide with Me.”

I love music of all kinds.  Right now I like Michael Buble, Bruno Mars, Brad Paisley, Adel Damien Rice and Zooey Deschanel.  It’s always changing. 

I’m really enjoying my calling in Primary and have loved getting to know the primary children.  I look forward to getting to know the ward better!

Monday Menus: Wheat

May 1, 2012

I really enjoyed the all the participation we had at the wheat class I taught last month. Everyone was able to see how we crack wheat at our house with a $8 Coffee Grinder we bought on Ebay. It can also be cracked in the blender for pancakes.


I usually use White Whole Wheat because it . . . . tastes better for baking.

Here are a few recipes.

Cracked Wheat Cereal (what we eat for Breakfast)

1 cup cracked wheat

3 c water

1/2 tsp. salt

Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes or until cereal thickens.

Serve with milk and sugar/raisins/ berries

Steamed Wheat

There are many uses for steamed whole wheat. Here’s how to make it.

Crockpot Method

1 cup whole wheat

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups boiling water.

Cook overnight on low or 6-8 hours.

Or cook on the stovetop covered with 3 cups water and check it frequently. Takes about an hour and a half.

Wheat berries can be added to anything for a yummy texture. They will store refrigerated in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

I add them to chicken or tuna salad sandwiches. They can replace pasta for any type of salad you would use pasta in.

Jen Martin makes a oil/vinegar  vegetable salad that uses steamed wheat that we tried at the class. Pam Belanger uses her steamed wheat to make the strawberry walnut salad that she brought to the linger longer last Sunday. They are both so yummy. Pam used a store bought light raspberry walnut vinagerrete for her salad.

It can be eaten for breakfast with other hot cereals or by itself. I add it to soups, or casseroles or just toss it in when I make spinach salad. Also it can be added to homemade bread dough.

At the class we sampled wheat berries in a simple french bread recipe

3 cups flour (I use half wheat and half bread flour)

1/4 tsp. yeast

2 tsp. salt

1 5/8 cup hot water.

1 cup cooked wheat berries

Combine dry ingredients then add water. Mix until combined and then leave out to rise for several hours or even overnight. Dough will be sticky. Form 2 loaves with wet hands instead of oil and bake on a cookie sheet in a 425 oven for about 15 minutes.

We have many more recipes to share. Please let me know by leaving a comment if you have any questions for recipe requests.

Have a great week and use your wheat!