Archive for October, 2012

A celebratory announcement

October 23, 2012

Yesterday, Lisa Jensen had her baby, a little baby boy who weighed just over 10 pounds!  Did I say little?   Lisa and baby are doing well and are home today in their Durham home.   I am sure she would enjoy a visit or a call.



Friday Spotlight: Pam B.

October 19, 2012

Friends, I wanted to spotlight our RS president this week. She is a woman I truly respect, and I’m grateful for the many long hours of service she gives to our Relief Society.


I was born in Shirley, Massachusetts at the Fort Devin’s Hospital while my father was  stationed in Japan, and except for this short time  in the Bay State, I have lived most of my life in New Hampshire, growing up in Newmarket. I have two brothers and one sister.  My mom was an inactive member of the church, and even though she told me about many its aspects, I never joined the church until I was 18 years old and a senior year in high school. I had already been accepted at BYU before I even had met the missionaries.  I guess you could say I was a golden contact. After graduating from BYU, I came back to New Hampshire (I am a New Englander through and through) and found a teaching job at Exeter High School, where I have been ever since. This is my 32nd year at EHS.
A few years later I met my husband and we were married. We had four children together, Jenny, Emily, Kelsie and Wade. We have lived in Lee for the past 22 years and love the country setting. For most of those years we lived next door to my husband’s brother and his family and across the street from my sister Patsy who moved from Utah one week before Kelsie was born. Then seven years ago I got a divorce from my husband, and the kids and I moved when I bought a home on the other side of town. We have lived here ever since and have made it our home. Two and half years ago I became a grandmother when my granddaughter Sophie was born and she now has a little brother named Garrick. When I have any free time, I spend it working on my gardens or working on my food storage with canning and vacuum sealing. I believe in being self-reliant as much as possible. I have been the relief society president for the past five years, and one of my goals is to help the sisters find ways to do that for their families.


Don’t forget this weekend is Stake Conference. 7:00 pm Saturday night for the adult session, 8:15 am Sun for youth, 9:00 for the rest of us to practice our choir piece. Have a lovely Friday!


Wednesday Words: Word of Wisdom

October 17, 2012

Friends, as a church we are often known for our abstinence from coffee and alcohol and cigarettes. President George Albert Smith said this:

I look upon the Word of Wisdom as kind advice of our Father in heaven, who desires to see His children become more like Him. … I take it as the fatherly counsel of one who, knowing what I needed, said to me: “My son, these things are not good for you, and if you will avoid them I will give you the companionship of my Holy Spirit and joy while you live in the world and in the end eternal life.” How foolish I would be then to partake of these forbidden things, having the assurance that it is the counsel of the Lord I should abstain therefrom. I would feel under condemnation if I should partake of them, when He who knows better than anybody else says that they are harmful, and has warned me against them. …

… He thought it of enough importance to give it unto us, and to warn us, and if He who knows all things thought it necessary to give advice and counsel upon these temporal matters, how carefully we, who know not what the morrow has in store for us, should observe that divine counsel. I feel that the Latter-day Saints have in the Word of Wisdom a law that will exalt them and lift them above those who fail to keep it.

But the word of wisdom encompasses so much more than abstinence from harmful substances. The abstinence part is “adapted to the capacity of the weak or the weakest of all,” but surely, so are the other parts of it–the things we should be doing.

Our Heavenly Father not only tells us what we should avoid, but tells us what we may use with profit. He has said to us that all grain, all wholesome herbs, the fruit of the vine etc., are good for man. Flesh of beast and fowls of the air; and these things he refers to we may use with prudence and thanksgiving; and I want to emphasize with thanksgiving.

We observe that compliance with the laws of health produces mental and physical strength, and we discover that through disobedience thereto, mental and physical deterioration follows. It is our Creator, the Father of our spirits, who gave us opportunity to dwell upon this earth, who has said that certain things referred to in that revelation are not good for us. He has made us valuable promises, if we will obey this law,—promises of wisdom, of health and strength, and that the destroying angel shall pass us by and not hurt us, as he did the children of Israel.

I’m grateful for the word of wisdom. I have felt the power of it, with high energy, quick healing from injuries, clarity of mind and purpose, and strength.


Monday Menus: Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

October 15, 2012

Friends, this is my favorite fall cookie. I probably only make it once every couple of years, because otherwise I would eat the whole batch. It comes from Martha Stewart.


    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
    • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
  3. If you’re feeling fancy, you can transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806) and pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. I never feel this fancy, and instead scoop spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
  4. Make icing: Put confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add butter to confectioners’ sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; stir until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time.


Friday Favorites by Pam

October 13, 2012

Each Friday we spotlight a sister in our ward.  My hope was that I would be able to spotlight Samantha Purtell.  Unfortunately, Samantha never saw my email requesting her information, and then she was pretty busy this week having her baby.   So I would like to announce that Louise Purtell was born Wednesday.  I can say that she is a beautiful and precious addition to the Purtell family and that Samantha is smitten with her.   Samantha is home with little Louise, so I am sure she would love a visit in the coming days.

Wednesday Words by Pam

October 13, 2012

Well, getting this blog out seems to be difficult for a lot of us, and it is obvious that it is for me, too.  I thought I would talk about our RS activity from Wednesday night.   Ginger wanted to share her feelings about journal writing and its importance in our lives.   She started by saying that Pres. Monson’s in his talk during General Conference, drew upon his own journals for the stories he wanted to share.  How important his journals are to him.  If they are to him, our journals are important to us.

First, all of us forget much of what happens to us in life.   I know that when I read my old journals from college, I am amazed at how much of what I wrote about I had forgotten.   Without that journal, I wouldn’t remember so much from those years I spent at BYU.  And our children.   What will we forget about their growing up?

Ginger shared another story from one of her books about writing.  In it the author talked about her grandmother and her memories of the old woman.   She knew very little about her grandmother’s life, and she certainly didn’t know about her childhood.  What could have been revealed if only her grandmother had kept a journal.

Our children might choose to tell our life’s story, but won’t it be much more accurate and interesting if we write our own story?   Keeping a journal will help us do that.

So here are some tips in keeping a journal.

Choose a journal that you will want to write in.  The choice of paper and the way it is constructed might make all the difference in your success.

Choose fun colors to write in.

Write five minutes  a day.   If you write for five minutes a day, you can fill up a whole journal and maybe more in  one year.

Have a hard time deciding what to write about?   Start with a list of things and let inspiration take control.

Write about your first memory.

Write about childhood memories.

Write about an embarrassing moment.

Write about a memorable day in your life.

Write your testimony of the gospel.

These are just a few ideas that might help you start writing in your journal and sharing who you are with your family.

Monday Menus by Pam

October 8, 2012

Since we are getting closer to the holidays and all of the good cooking that goes with them, I thought I would give you two fudge recipes. (Donna’s recipe was my inspiration, by the way.)  One of these recipes I just found on the Prepared Pantry website, and I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but I intend to soon.  The other is one that I have made many times and it is delicious.  Both are easy to make.


5-Minute Microwave Chocolate Fudge

1 lb of chocolate wafers (for candy making)

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1/2 tsp baking soda

1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Line a 8 x 8 pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper

1. Place all of the ingredients except for the nuts in a medium-sized microwavable bowl.  Stir together.

2. Cook the mixture in the microwave at reduced power and in short intervals, stirring between intervals, until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and continue stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. Fold in the nuts.

3. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the prepared pan.  Refrigerate until set.  AFter it is set, grab the edges of the foil or parchment aper and lift the block of candy from the pan.  Cut the candy into squares with a sharp knife.


Scotch Fudge   This recipe is from an old roommate from BYU whose name is Susie Dong.

1- 12 ounce package of butterscotch chips

1 1/4 cup of peanut butter

1–14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

Melt the morsels and the peanut butter together in a small pan.  Add the sweetened condensed milk and blend well.  Pour into a foil or parchment lined 8 x 8 pan.   Chill until set.  Cut into squares.