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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Storm Sandy

Click here to read about the church's efforts to help with the aftermath of Sandy.

Click here if you would like to make a donation.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Service Opportunities

Are you looking for a way to give meaningful service this holiday session?
Billings Family Service is looking for workers to help with their Christmas programs  
Dec 17-21
9-12 or 1-4.

Volunteers will be helping families choose gifts for their families for Christmas
at the AMR building on 4th Avenue near the Metra.
  If you are interested, call 259-2269 and ask for Linda.
Family Service is a wonderful charitable organization in our city. They stress "hand up" aid, not "hand out". They were one of our most favorite area charities to work with when we were still doing Hearts and Hands.
 Check them out at

Thursday, October 11, 2012

General Conference

The messages from our recent General Conference are now available to watch, listen to, or read. Go here to find it on

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Relief Society Dinner Recipes

Wasn't the Broadcast amazing? It was the perfect evening of fun, food, and spiritual feasting as we came together and enjoyed a meal and each other's company, then watched the Broadcast. We appreciate those who baked cakes and helped out in the kitchen when we ran into some last minute surprises. Here are the recipes from the evening. If you think you detect a theme of "quick and easy" recipes, you are right!
The first recipe comes from Lillian Nehring:

1 lb LEAN ground beef
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion, chopped
4 oz cream cheese (or less, depending on taste)-you can use light cheese if you want
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in a frying pan, adding 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper or to taste until well-cooked for best flavor. Remember that the canned soup is salty, so don't get carried away with the salt. Add onion and cook till soft. Add soup and 1/3 cup water, heat through and add cream cheese. You can add more water if it's too thick. Serve over potatoes, pasta, or rice.
Pretty easy!

 Many of you asked about the tossed salad-we just thought it up, trying to imitate a salad from that unnamed Italian pasta restaurant. 
We used:
 romaine lettuce
cherry tomatoes
marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (they come in a jar)
 peppercini, chopped (they also come in a jar)
black olives
grated Parmesan cheese
We just eyeballed ingredients--add more or less of individual ingredients according to your own taste. 
Serve with Italian Dressing.

The dessert recipe was from Six Sisters' Stuff, a blog with lots of yummy recipes.
Pumpkin Dump Cake

15 oz can pumpkin puree
10 oz evaporated milk
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1 cup butter (melted)
1 cup graham crackers crumbs
1/2 cup toffee pieces (you can find these by the chocolate chips at the store)
1 yellow cake mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
Combine pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, and spice. Stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with cake mix, followed by graham cracker crumbs, and toffee pieces. Pour melted butter evenly on top. Bake 45-50 minutes until center is set and edges are brown. 
Serve with ice cream or whipped topping.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

There are many needs in the families of our Relief Society sisters.  Please remember them in your prayers, asking for comfort and understanding and love.  Sweet is the peace of sister's praying for one another's welfare.

The Billings East Stake Relief Society Presidency invites you to this wonderful General Relief Society broadcast.  We will begin the evening with a dinner @ 5:00 p.m., and the broadcast @ 6:00 pm.  If you are in the Billings area, please come join us and meet, via satellite broadcast, our new General Relief Society Presidency.  We will look forward to their wise council along with that of one of the General Authorities of the Church:
Relief Society sisters worldwide are invited to view the satellite broadcast of the general Relief Society meeting, which will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time and will be broadcast to many areas of the world.
All women 18 years of age and older are encouraged to view the broadcast. They are also encouraged to invite friends and neighbors who may benefit from the meeting.
Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president; Carole M. Stephens, first counselor; and Linda S. Reeves, second counselor, will speak, along with a member of the First Presidency. This will be the first Relief Society broadcast since the general presidency’s reorganization in spring 2012.
Live video streaming of the broadcast will be available at in 16 languages: ASL, Cantonese, Cebuano, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog, and Tongan.
Archives of the broadcast will be available in those same languages at the same site within 24 hours. Live video and audio will also be available in English and Spanish at
Those wishing to attend in person can contact the ticket office for more information.
Those wanting to invite friends and associates to participate in the meeting can use the general Relief Society meeting event on the Church’s Facebook page.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Third Annual Wild Women Triathlon

We had a wonderful evening at the Billings East Stake Wild Women Triathlon.

We appreciate all those who helped us  by passing out water along the paths, watching crossings at busy streets, manning the boats and watching out for the swimmers. We especially appreciate Brenda Snizek and Ranee Berg for heading things up, figuring out distances and paths, and finding volunteers.

It was a perfectly beautiful day-not too hot.

 Although our numbers were down a little from last year, we were happy to see so many familiar faces returning.

We had a good cross-section of athletes- some women just swam, or just ran, or did a partial triathlon of some combination of things. We were happy to see them all!

The whole bunch--isn't this an amazing group of women?

We appreciate our family members who came to cheer us on.

The first leg of the triathlon is swimming.

 Followed by biking.

Some of our future thriathloners testimg the water.

 We even had two incredible sisters who are pregnant participating, like Sister Oliver, there on the left, due this month.

We look forward to the Fourth Annual Wild Women Run and hope to see you there. Put us on your calendar for next August--you've got 12 months to get ready!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

                        3rd Annual Wild Woman Triathlon

 Date and Time: Friday August 17th at 6pm


                                    Fun! Fun! Fun!

Do all three events or get a team together and each of you can do one event. This is a guaranteed fun time!

First, resist the voice in your head saying "I could never do that".  This is not a competitive race but an opportunity for individual achievement and good old-fashioned fun. 

You can do as much or as little as you choose in each event or you can choose to do just one or two events--totally up to you. 

For the swim,(at Lake Elmo) you can use kick-boards or any floatee type device you choose. We will stay close to the shore also.

For the bike portion, we will bike across Main to Mary St and onto the bike trail, biking for as much as 15.5 miles round trip or for as short a distance as you choose. 

For the run, we will go around Lake Elmo three times for a total distance of 3.1 miles. You, of course can choose to do less.

This is such a great time to share with your friends. You can certainly also bring non-members.

For additional information please contact:  

Brenda Snizek: 256-5476

Ranee Berg: 896-8471      

There is more information on Facebook. This information was taken from the post on that site. Just look up "Wild Woman Triathlon" and the information will be there.

Let's Do It!!!!                           

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to Cut up Leafy Herbs

Are you growing herbs in your garden this summer? Nothing tastes better than garden-fresh herbs, except maybe garden-fresh tomatoes, peas, lettuce, berries,.......

Here is a quick and easy way to cut up herbs. I'm using fresh basil in this demonstration. Pick the amount of basil you need.

Stack leaves, largest on bottom, smallest on top.

Roll leaves together lengthwise.

Cut these rolled leaves into thin strips.

Ta-da! Uniform pieces, quick and easy. 
Bon appetit!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good Things Will Come

I love this story from President Holland about his experiences as a young father.
He reminds us that no matter how challenging the way, good things will come to those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Chris.

You can read the entire talk here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Greek Yogurt and a Recipe

Have you discovered Greek yogurt?Greek yogurt has become extremely popular in the last few years--for good reason! Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is creamier and tangier. Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt, one third the amount of carbs, and half the sodium. But be warned: it also has less calcium and more fat (which you can avoid by buying low fat or no fat varieties). I still love my regular yogurt, and regular yogurt is a healthy food choice, but Greek yogurt is increasingly my go-to food as a sour cream and mayo substitute, a base for sauces, and as an ingredient in many dishes.

Recently my daughter shared this quick and easy recipe with me:

Shrimp Tacos
1 lb frozen shrimp, defrosted, peeled, and deveined
6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (substitute parsley if you don't like the taste of cilantro)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced-about 5 cups (I used bagged coleslaw for this)
8 corn tortillas
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat tortillas over medium heat in a dry skillet until warm and starting to form small brown spots.  Set aside on a plate. Mix yogurt, cayenne, lime juice, cilantro, and salt in a small bowl, set aside. Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet and add cabbage. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the cabbage is just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Cut shrimp into thirds, so you have little bite size pieces. Saute shrimp in two teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper over medium heat just until done. They cook fast-be sure to watch them. Build your taco: place a scoop of cabbage on the warmed tortillas, top with shrimp and yogurt sauce----yum!

I made this a second time, using leftover fish sticks I had made for the grandkids. This time I made the sauce with no cayenne pepper and I used parsley in place of the cilantro. I just chopped up the fish sticks, warmed them, and added them to the taco like the shrimp. My grandkids liked the fish sticks better this way.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

" a Man!"

Fathers do so much for their families. Have you told your dad today how much you love and appreciate the things he has done for you?

This is a tender story and message from D. Todd Christopherson about his own father.

You can read the entire talk here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gardening Ideas

Do you know what today is? It's the day that we officially reach our last average frost date, meaning that your garden can be safely planted. With our warm Spring weather, you've probably already gotten well into your gardening, but it's not too late to try something new. 
Annette Draper from Skyview Ward passed along some helpful gardening videos:

Container Gardening

Vertical Gardening

Hoop House (Greenhouse)  
Annette found these videos on
Thanks for sharing, Annette!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

He is Risen

If you haven't been to the Church's YouTube Channel to see the New Testament videos that they've been making, you're missing out!  This new release is on the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

 You can watch this video by clicking here.  Have a Happy and Blessed Easter!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Relief Society Birthday Luncheon

On Saturday, March 17th, we commemorated our Relief Society Birthday with Temple service and a luncheon. We had such a wonderful, meaningful time serving together, making us all more aware of the value of sisterhood and friendships. Following is the salad that was served:

                              Book Club Chicken Salad

6-8 chicken breasts
8 oz sliced almonds
4 Tb. sugar
5 heads Romaine lettuce
10 -12 oz spinach
1 pound bacon
1 cup craisins
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Cook chicken breasts on the grill, in the oven, or simmer until cooked through. Cool and cut into small cubes. 
In a small skillet, heat the almonds for a few minutes and then add the sugar and a pinch of salt. (I used less sugar than this recipe calls for). Stir until the sugar is coated onto the almonds and the nuts are toasty.

1/4 red onion
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tb raspberry jam
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth.
Toss all salad ingredients together and then toss with dressing.
Serve immediately.

Serves 15-20 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Corned Beef! Yes, you can easily do this yourself!

Our family has made our own corned beef for ages now. It is less expensive than buying it ready to cook and you can control the quality by choosing the grade of meat yourself. Seriously, this is the easiest process and you will enjoy the outcome.

Here is the process:

Buy the meat:
I bought a rather flat three pound chuck roast for $2.99 per pound. If your meat is more square shaped, the curing process will take a few more days.

As you can see, the salt is Morton's Tender Quick. It is very inexpensive and you can find it with the salts in any grocery store. As per the instructions on the package of salt, you just rub the salt onto the meat and then seal it in a plastic bag or container. It needs to cure in the refrigerator for several days. The package states that it just take a few hours, but I have had much better results letting it cure for several days--at least three days for a flat piece of meat. 
After letting it cure, you rinse it off and simmer it gently until tender--3 hours or so. Enjoy!

This is a post from 2009, encouraging each of us to try this new method. How many of us
enjoyed the knowledge that we gained from this post?

Corned Beef--cabbage optional!

We, in our family really enjoy home-made corned beef. It is actually just cured beef. Most meats can be cured, cooked and enjoyed.
The product that you need to buy is very inexpensive. It is Morton Tender Quick and it is sold in the salt section of your grocery store. The directions on the package are very clear and easy to follow. It takes about one minute to prepare the meat, then you refrigerate it for several hours (up to 4 days for larger pieces of meat), then simmer in water until cooked through. You will know, after you cook the meat, if you have let it cure for long enough because the meat will not be cured in the very center and will be a natural meat color, rather than the reddish cured color. We sometimes eat ours with cabbage that has been simmered with the meat or we also enjoy corned beef in sandwiches such as the popular Rueben.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Celebrate Relief Society's birthday in March

This presentation is a wonderful spiritual reminder of the blessings that are ours as we worship and serve in the Holy Temples of our Lord.
To celebrate Relief Society's birthday this month, we hope that each of you will join with your sisters and attend the endowment session at the Temple.

Date: Saturday March 17th at 9:20

A nice lunch will be served in the cafeteria after the 9:20 session. 
Please set this time aside and plan to attend and worship with your sisters in the gospel.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stake Conference Weekend

Here is the schedule for this weekend's conference:
Leadership: 4:00 pm
Dinner for all adult members: 5:30 pm
Adult session of conference 7:00 pm
Stake conference 10:00 am   

We look forward to seeing you!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finding Joy In The Journey

This beautiful message from our Prophet seems appropriate for the month of February.   

If you would like to read President Monson's entire talk, go Here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Water Storage

Few things are more crucial to life than water. People begin to feel the effects of not having enough water long before a lack of food.  Water storage is important for times when water systems are disrupted or polluted. The rule of thumb is to store 1 gallon per person, per day. One gallon is enough for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. Church and Government guidelines suggest storing 2 weeks of water per person.

There are a few ways to approach water storage, and you may decide to focus on one storage method, or use a combination of systems.

1. Use your tap water.  Water from a safe, pretreated source may be stored in appropriate containers. Store water in clean plastic food containers, such as juice or soda bottles. Do not use milk cartons as they will break down over time and leak. If your water source is not pure, or is questionable, add 1/8 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water.Be sure to use household  bleach that is not scented, thickened, or which has other additives.

2. Purchase bottled water and store away from heat and light. Don't forget to rotate.

3. Use one of the ceramic filtered water bottles available on the market.  This method makes it possible to  have clean water without storing large quantities of water. An added benefit is that they are great for hiking and camping.  Make sure to get the type that filters contaminated water, and not just makes tap water taste better. The church sells the filtered bottle pictured on its website. You can purchase it here.  This bottle will filter 99.99% of pollutants and contaminants. This particular bottle holds about 28 oz, and you can produce 100 gallons of clean, safe, drinkable water for the $22 cost of the bottle.

For additional water storage information go to this earlier post, or read the Church's information found here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

"I am satisfied that happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one's companion."
-Gordon B. Hinckley
(Read the entire talk here.)

Sisters, may your lives be filled with love of friends and family, but most of all, the assurance of the unfailing love of our Savior.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Worldwide Training Meeting

The Worldwide Training Meeting from Saturday is now available at You can read it, listen to it, or watch it  here.  This broadcast has wonderful and timely messages for every member of the church, whether currently serving in a leadership position or not.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Slow Cooker Cranberry Roast

After the holidays, I'm always left with a can or two of cranberries. I can pretty much be sure I will not touch these cans until next Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My sister-in-law recommend a great recipe from, and it uses just a few ingredients along with those leftover cranberries and a slow cooker. What could be better?

 Slow Cooker Cranberry Roast
 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (3 lb) beef chuck roast (my sister-in-law used a pork roast instead, and I did too)
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour

 Put the dry soup mix in the bottom of your crock pot. Place the roast on top, and add the can of cranberry sauce. I sliced my cranberries up a bit so that I could get the lid on, but it melts as it cooks and you don't need to cut it up.

 Cover, cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Remove meat from crock pot and set aside.  Turn slow cooker to high and whisk in butter and flour until thickened. Serve sauce with roast.

This was so good--it has become an instant favorite at our house. It has a delicious tang to it, but you'd never guess the secret ingredient is cranberries!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Don't you love President Uchtdorf?  One of my favorite talks from his many memorable messages was given at a Women's broadcast several years ago. Here's a "Mormon Message" taken from that talk, about 2 minutes long:

If you'd like to read the entire talk again you can find it here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Family Home Evening Love

This idea comes from the blog of one of my extended family members. My niece-in-law made cute little containers like these for each family member. She said they had a Family Home Evening lesson about love. They then encouraged their children to write love notes to each other which they read each night.

I thought it was such a cute idea that I stuck some vinyl letters on some boxes for my grandkids so that I could put notes and small surprises into them when they visit. They were delighted! It wasn't long until they were drawing their own love notes to me, each other, and their Mom. These tin containers come from the dollar section of a local Heights store, and I've seen slightly larger, slightly more expensive versions at the fabric stores in town. Any container will do- a small bucket, a box, a jar--I even think my grandkids would love to have made and decorated their own container.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

George Albert Smith

Today we had our first lesson from the new 2012 Relief Society manual. I hope you will take the time to read the introduction in the manual-it will give you an even better appreciation for this amazing prophet of the Lord. This youtube presentation has a video of President Smith speaking, and covers many interesting stories and events from his life.