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Thursday, March 31, 2011


"I say again, FOLLOW THE BRETHREN. In a few days there opens another general conference of the Church. The servants of the Lord will counsel us. You may listen with anxious ears and hearts, or you may turn that counsel aside.... What you shall gain will depend not so much upon their preparation of the messages as upon your preparation for them."
-Boyd K. Packer

Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice
Thomas S. Monson
Need some ideas to help your family get more from conference? Check out some of these resources:

Check for many other articles and videos having to do with conference.

From a earlier post on this blog

From Meridian Magazine


‎"Our being edified at conference depends on us. It becomes necessary that we prepare our hearts to receive and profit by the suggestions that may be made by the speakers during the progress of the conference, which may be prompted by the Spirit of the Lord. I have thought, and still think, that our being edified does not so much depend upon the speaker as upon ourselves."
                           -Lorenzo Snow                                     

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homemade Pretzels

One of my favorite recipes for pretzels originally appeared at King Arthur Flour. The recipe is not currently available from King Arthur's website, but I am posting it here. I like this recipe because it is so tasty I always have all the ingredients in my cupboard. You can use all white flour or substitute whole wheat flour for half of the white.  This recipe is one of my grandkids' favorite recipes to "help" with and they frequently ask to make pretzels when they are here.  This recipe makes 8 pretzels, but I think you could also make this recipe into more, smaller pretzels or into pretzel bites.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup very warm water


1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds (optional)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix to just combine. Add the water and mix well, adding more flour, as needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, smooth and quite slack. You want a really soft dough that isn’t overly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag; close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 500°F (Yes, it really says 500!). Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into eight equal pieces. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda, and place it in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved; if it isn’t, it will make your pretzels splotchy.  (I stir it a bit just before I brush a new pretzel)

Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (14 to 22 inches long), and twist each rope into a pretzel.

Dip each pretzel in the baking soda wash (this is what gives the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color). I prefer to brush mine with a silicon brush--it's easier for children to brush than dip.

Place them on the prepared baking sheets.

Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bake until golden brown, 7-9 minutes.
Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you’ve used it all up. The butter gives them a wonderful flavor, do not skip or use less butter.
You can also top with sesame or poppy seeds or sugar/cinnamon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hearts and Hands 2011 Final Tally

Dear Sisters,

This is a small note to thank you all for your hard work and service in making Hearts and Hands 2011 happen. We did Hearts and Hands 6 weeks earlier than last year and the numbers are incredible. Thank you all. Please express our gratitude to all of the sisters in your wards and branches for their compassionate service. It was a pleasure working with you all.


The Hearts and Hands committee

Hearts and Hands 2011 Final count

Children Hygiene 109
Women Hygiene 295
Men Hygiene 223
School Kits 121
Quilts - Twin 120
Quilt - Lap 64
Quilt - Baby 95
Hooded Towels 320
Clothing Protectors 97
Layettes 90
Friendship Bags 154
Teen Bags 113
Hats 10 trash bags worth
Polar Fleece 76
Fleece Hats 3 boxes full


Women's clothing and accessories
Boys' jeans 12-34W: 1 box full
2 extra boxes of food
6 boxes of extra school supplies divided up among schools
2 boxes of puzzles, clothes, misc.
2 boxes full of individually wrapped snacks and juices8 extra boxes of diapers
roughly 50 boxes of clothes and 3 boxes of hangers

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hearts and Hands 2011

Saturday was our 11th and final Hearts and Hands service project.

We spent the day pinning,







 and organizing.

As always, we are amazed and touched by the amount of donations that poured in.

We are grateful for every donated pencil, diaper, backpack, can of food, and clothing item given.

Those who receive these goods are so thankful.

We know many incredible women who spent this past year piecing and finishing quilts, putting together clothing protectors, and collecting needed goods.

Thank you to the sisters who brought the delicious soups for our luncheon.

 I sampled several of the soups, but couldn't quite decide which was yummiest.
Hearts and Hands has always been a great place to see old friends,  

catch up on each other's lives

and enjoy the company of our sisters.

Naturally, this year was no exception!

 Thank you to each sister who came and spent an hour or the day working.

We know you are busy in your own lives.

Last year when we picked the day for Hearts and Hands

we tried hard to pick a "free" day.

Of course, over time we discovered we picked the same day as the scout show and prom.

 We know many of you wanted to be with us, but had personal or family responsibilities today.  We missed you, but we understand.

Hopefully, if you came you had a chance to meet some of the great people who come from other churches in the area.  These wonderful young men have been coming with Pastor Mike from the Community Church for many years.

We will be sad to see the end of Hearts and Hands, but we also feel good about the decision to turn things over the wards and branches.  

Of course, we encourage each of you to find ways to give community service on your own.

We can even provide you with a list of the fabulous charities we've worked with over these last years.  If you are interested contact Francine Palmer or Rexene Tilley for this list, as well as information about the kind of donations we having been providing them.

There are many local organizations that would appreciate your time.

Thank you, sisters, for making Hearts and Hands such a positive, successful project each year.

Maybe you went home like I did: sore muscles, tender, bleeding fingertips,
but a heart full of gladness for the privilege of serving

and a deeper appreciation for my own blessings.

 By the end of the day our distribution tables were again overflowing.

We give a special thanks to the sisters from both stakes who were ward and branch coordinators, project leaders, creators of posters and advertising, and organizers of all kinds.  Thank you, Francine and Rexene for all of the time and effort you put into making this year's event so wonderful.

We are indebted to priesthood brethren from several wards who set up hundreds of chairs and tables, then came and took them down and helped us clean up.
 We love our missionaries who cheerfully loaded waiting charity vans and chairs with our finished products.