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Thanksgiving Yumminess

November 19, 2012

I am very excited about some recipes that will be made at our place this week. It’s sad that I only make them at Thanksgiving, but after looking at the ingredients, I’m okay with it. After living in Georgia as a missionary and then later after Brian and I got married, I have come to love some great southern recipes. I decided to share a new family favorite, Sweet Potato Souffle. In the south, this is considered a vegetable side dish. I honestly think it is more of a dessert, but I’ll keep with southern tradition and include it as a vegetable side dish. I grew up with the marshmallow sweet potato stuff and I honestly disliked it. I dreaded when my mom made it. Once I had this souffle, I decided I would never let a Thanksgiving go by without it.

Enjoy! (If you are going to the church for Thanksgiving, this will be there.)

3 cups peeled, cooked, and mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk


1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans (that is pronounced pea-can)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 Tbs. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except for cream. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Add cream; mix well. Pour into greased casserole dish. Add topping. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

~Joy Gleason~


Friday Spotlight

November 16, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

I visit teach Joan Tracy, who lives in York, Maine. I decided that she would be a good person to spotlight because so few people in the ward have met her. It has been difficult for her to get to church because she cannot drive right now due to problems with both arms.

Joan was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee but grew up in Bell, California, which is near Watts. It was a lot different then than it is now. When she was about 14 or 15, her family moved to La Mirada, a nicer area also in California.

When she was 17, Joan married Bob Tracy. Three years later, they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Six months after that, they moved to New Hampshire, Bob’s home state. Joan joined the Church in the Manchester Branch, though she was baptized in Concord. They lived in the Manchester area for 18 years, where they adopted their daughter in 1975. In 1979, they moved back to California to help care for Joan’s mother, who died in 1980.

The Tracys moved to Frazier Park, California, which is in the mountains between the Santa Clarita Valley (where I lived for about 15 years) and the San Joaquin Valley, the big central valley of California. It snows in the winter, so Joan had no problem adapting to the cold when she moved back to New England.

About six months after they moved to Frazier Park, their son Jason was born. This was after 20 years of marriage! Joan found out she was expecting the week before Halloween and her son was born the week after Christmas. Her cousin was jealous and upset because she felt that Joan had the shortest pregnancy on record. Joan was planning to go to an amusement park after her appointment with the obstetrician, but instead she went to the hospital and had a C-section. She is very proud of her son, who among other accomplishments was the yoyo champion of the world in 1997.

While the Tracys lived in California, they bought several video stores. Joan also worked for the phone company for 18 years. Bob died on May 1, 2005. Joan continued to care for his mother, an Alzheimer’s victim, for two and a half years until she died in 2007.

Joan has a good friend from her ward in Frazier Park whom she has known for 35 years. This friend moved to Wells, Maine, and urged Joan to join her there. In 2011, Joan retired from the phone company and came to York. She got a job as a visiting companion/helper, but after a very short time had to give it up for the present.

A couple months after she arrived in Maine, Joan broke her right arm and has been in agony ever since. She has had three surgeries on that arm and now has radial palsy of her left hand, caused by a bruised nerve which will take months to heal. Although she no longer has to wear the braces continually, she is still unable to drive, to lift anything heavy, or to open most cans, jars or bottles. Since it is difficult for her to cook, she greatly appreciates the meals which the Relief Society sisters have brought her. She especially enjoys visiting with those who have the time to spend with her. Thank you so much to all who go out of their way to serve!

Joan loves eating peaches, spinach, watermelon, shrimp and lobster. She loves reading, watching movies, visiting people, and sightseeing. In August, she and her friend Char from Wells went to Boothbay with the York Senior Center. They had a good time shopping, going for a boat ride, and attending a lobster bake. Next month she is planning to go with the Seniors to Conway, New Hampshire for three days of fun including a sleigh ride, shopping, and shows. She is also planning to go to California to visit her son for Christmas and his birthday. In spite of her handicap, Joan does her best to keep up her spirits and enjoy life. Let the good times roll!

Wednesday Words

November 16, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

Sorry to be forever late. I have trouble posting on Wednesday because that is the day I have cub scouts. Anything other than cub scouts has to go to the end of the list. When I get home, I have forgotten what was on the list. What list? Where? You get the picture…

Our lesson Sunday was taken from Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, George Albert Smith, Chapter 21: The Power of Kindness.

From the Life of George Albert Smith: President Smith ‘taught that we should “meet our problems in the spirit of love and kindness toward all.”‘ We learned of an incident where workmen fixing the street near his home on a hot summer day stopped using bad language only after he brought them a pitcher of lemonade and invited them to enjoy it in the shade of his trees.

President Smith believed “that there is innate goodness in everyone.” On his deathbed, he told Elder Matthew Cowley, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who was visiting him in the hospital, “Young man, remember all the days of your life that you can find good in everyone if you will but look for it.” Elder Cowley stated that President Smith “did not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but he loved the sinner because he knew that God was love, and that it is God’s love that regenerates human souls and may, by that process, transform the sinner into a saint.”

Teachings of George Albert Smith: “The Spirit of the Lord is a spirit of kindness, not harshness and criticism.” … “As a people we are advised not to be critical, not to be unkind, not to speak harshly of those with whom we associate. We ought to be the greatest exemplars in all the world in that regard.” In our present day, there are members of the Church who “check their membership at the door” when they attend sports events, where they feel free to heap abuse on members of the opposing team. This is “contrary to the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Don’t do it.

“We should look for the virtues in others and offer sincere praise.” The lesson manual quotes President Smith praising Apostle Francis M. Lyman for his outstanding example of this behavior. He pleads with us to “be generous with one another” and “as patient with one another as we would like others to be with us. Let us see the virtues of our neighbors and our friends and speak of those virtues, not find fault and criticize.”

“Kindness has the power to lead people from their mistakes.” “Let us not complain… because they do not do what we want them to do. Rather let us love then into doing the things that our Heavenly Father would have them do. ..We cannot win their confidence or their love in any other way.”

“Love and kindness in our homes can lead our children to listen to our counsel.” “It is our privilege as well as our duty to take suffienct time to surround our children with safeguards and to so love them and earn their love that they will be glad to listen to our advice and counsel.” “Live in such a way, in love and kindness, that peace and prayer and thanksgiving will be in your homes together.” There is a long story in the manual about a sister President Smith knew whom he ran into on a train. She was traveling to be near her young son who was in the hospital in Oregon, suffering from pneumonia. He had left home at 16 without telling anyone where he was going; his family’s first clue was a telegram from the hospital. She stayed with him there until he recovered, cheering him with thoughts of good things he could do when he was well. He resolved to return home, change his life, honor his parents, and never again be ungrateful for their support.

Most of this lesson we did not cover, but instead got sidetracked with a discussion on charity (goods and services). In our present-day lives, we could all use more kindness (behavior and attitude which cost nothing), and it is good to be reminded of our obligation to practice the Golden Rule. Read the whole lesson if you haven’t already!

Monday Menus: Sweet Snacks continued

November 13, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

As I was putting away the two recipes I just posted, I found another one. This is the one I thought I had typed first in my last post.

Nut Candy

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup water

3 cups walnuts

Pour first four ingredients into medium pot. Boil for three minutes. Pour nuts into boiling mixture, then remove from heat. Stir until cloudy, then pour onto wax paper. Cool and break up into bite-sized pieces.

Monday Menus: Sweet Snacks continued

November 13, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

As I was putting away the two recipes I just posted, I found another one. This is the one I thought I had typed first in my last post.

Nut Candy

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup water

3 cups walnuts

Pour first four ingredients into medium pot. Boil for three minutes. Pour nuts into boiling mixture, then remove from heat. Stir until cloudy, then pour onto wax paper. Cool and break up into bite-sized pieces.

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!


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.

Sister spotlight9-21-Gina Udy

September 25, 2012

Our sister spotlight is of a wonderful new member of our ward Gina Udy.  I know her as the awesome new Sunbeam teacher and have enjoyed each opportunity i have had to get to know her better.  Here is a little bio she was kind enough to write for me 


I was born in Salt Lake City and am the third of four children. I did all the things kids do, including getting lost at the mall, being bitten by a snake, and being part of a jump rope troupe. My mom was a convert to the church and was baptized when I was small. When I was five, our family went to the temple to be sealed – I can remember a few details about that day. Mostly I just remember being happy we were finally going to be “together forever.” 

There’s not much to tell about the rest of my childhood – I was happy, my family was close, we went camping and played games together. I went to junior high, then high school, then college. When I was 23 I moved out on my own. That may seem late to some people, but I went to the college near my parents’ house, and I was happy there and in no hurry to leave. Nor were they eager to have me leave – it was hard telling them I was ready to go. 

I met my husband in a single’s ward for the first time when I was 22 and he was 23, but we remained mere acquaintances for quite some time. After he’d served a mission and I had grown up a lot, we met again when we were both 25. Four months later we were married! We both worked and he went to school. In spring 2003 he graduated from the University of Utah with his mechanical engineering degree. In September 2003, he got a job offer from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and we moved across the country to beautiful Maine. I was six months pregnant with my oldest daughter, Kamber. I cried when we moved. A lot. And then I cried some more. Blasted pregnancy hormones! Finally, after about two years of pining for “home” I realized I kind of was “home” in Maine. Then we had our younger daughter, Taylor. They both bring us a lot of joy…and a lot of laughs. 

A little over a year ago we decided to move closer to the shipyard. I never dreamed it would take so long to finally find “the” house, but it’s definitely where we’re supposed to be. Now I’m enjoying some quiet time in the mornings while the girls are at school (Taylor comes home before lunch). Some of my favorite hobbies are sewing, reading, beading, decorating, scrap-booking, gardening (so far only flowers, not veggies…but I’m working on it!), and spending time with friends. I also like to do odd jobs around the house. You could say I dabble in lots of things.Image


So if you see sister Udy in the halls, don’t forget to introduce yourself and take a moment to get to know this great new member of our ward family