Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christms Eve!

On Christmas Eve, we eat pozole, which is a traditional Mexican eaten on holidays.We put on the tablecloth and use our fine china. Pozole is made of chicken broth, with chicken and hominy in it. For toppings you add lettuce, radishes, onion, oregano, chili and fresh lime juice. Yummy!After dinner, we had a small "Christmas Recital". Libby accompanied on the piano to the family singing Angels We Have Heard on High, and Jesse, Mary and I sang the First Noel. Jesse played What Child is This, arranged by Jim Brickman, and I played I Wonder as I Wander.

We then went to the Living Room and talked about the Savior's life, as we went around the room and each person talked about their favorite part of Christ's life. This is a really special thing to do with the beautiful lights of the Christmas tree lighting the room.

Then it was on to the Family Room, where we enacted the Nativity, complete with authentic clothing from our Semester Abroad in Israel 19 years ago. We even have our Joseph and Mary! (The Superman t-shirt underneath is not authentic - ha ha).
Josh was the innkeeper.
Peter was the shepherd,and Jesse was the angel.Libby was the wiseman following the star (that was swinging around on the fan, thanks to Josh).
Since we're in between the baby stage and the grandkid stage, we had to use a doll for the baby Jesus. Of course, I was delighted to have the real thing for Libby the Wiseman to give to baby Jesus - real Frankincense, real Myrhh and gold. (Have I mentioned that I love essential oils?)
And then comes the kids' favorite part - the opening of the first present from Santa, which is, surprise, surprise - a pair of pajamas bottoms.

Oh, no, the pajamas are not the kid's favorite part of the night. Their very favorite part of the night comes after family prayers, and then the kids are up to the Entertainment Room and making a "Fort". The Fort consists of every blanket, sheet and pillow in the house, except for Mom & Dad's bed. This year they even brought in matresses off their beds! They pile these all together and then all the kids sleep on it for the next week or so. They love this tradition! And they really went all out this year and organized every step of it.

Next post: Christmas Day!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Essential Oils

Wow, it's been a long time since I've blogged. I used to write every week, and now I've only blogged twice in about four months. Yikes.

The reason is because I've had a new passion take over my life: essential oils. I became a distributor of Young Living Essential Oils in April, and started using and sharing the products seriously in July. That coincides to when my blogging fell off.

Can I just tell you that I've absolutely fallen in love with essential oils? My family will laugh when they read this. Their going to say that's a huge understatement. Ha ha

The first thing is that most of them smell SO GOOD. I've never been big on scent. I haven't worn perfumes, burned candles, or used the Glad plug-in things, etc., mostly because they give me a headache. So when a friend of mine, that I trust a lot, began using oils and becoming very excited about them, it piqued my interest and I began using them and learning about them. They smelled wonderful! And when I learned of their therapeutic value, I was enthralled. To have something smell good and be good for you at the same time - wahoo!

Another thing that helped is that a family moved into our ward while we were in the Spanish branch that has used essential oils for about 13 years, and my friend Karen has taught me and tutored me on the how, why and practical application of the oils. She is amazing and I have learned so much from her.

I have been using herbs, homeopathics, and other alternative medicine modalities since I worked at Nature's Sunshine when Josh was born. What I've found is that essential oils are the "Cadillac" of natural supplements, and they really are powerful.

There are many uses for them, especially for infections. Microbes quickly become resistant to antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs, but they don't become resistant to essential oils because the compounds in oils are so complex that microbes cannot overcome them. And if they do, the plant changes it's essential oil (because it also protects the plant itself), and once again the microbes are not resistant to it.

I'm having so much fun learning about these oils and sharing them with people. A web site I can recommend is, if you are interested in hearing the stories people have about how well they work.

I'll post some of our own stories soon!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cider Festival 2009

These are events from October 17th, 2009:

Last year we didn't have the Cider Festival, the first time in eight years. So it meant even more to have it again this year. On Friday night, after a whirlwind of cleaning, our guests started to arrive.
First to come in were my youngest brother Craig and his wife Jaclyn. Next came my younger sister Angelina with her husband Rodney, and their four children. They also brought my Mom and Dad with them. This is my Mom's report of getting here: 'We had a good ride over on Friday late afternoon, going through the Craters of the Moon route. The scenery is interesting but it took us two hours longer...we were seven hours on the road and we were in the dark for the last two hours and Dad was tired and confused. When we drove up to Lorena's house and he got out and saw Bruce, he just said...'Oh.....Oh....', and hugged and hugged him. He was SO glad to see Bruce. He said, 'How did you get clear out here?'"

Dad said that same thing two or three more times in the house, "How did you get clear out here?" I think coming in the dark really confused him, but in the morning when he could see out the windows he wasn't disoriented anymore.

A few hours later my niece Linsdey Kay came with her three friends Ryan, Jeff and Garrett from Provo. What fun to meet them and make some new friends. Good choice of friends Lindsey!!

On Saturday morning we had crepes for breakfast and then took off to the orchard to pick apples. All except for Mom and Dad - they stayed at the house so Dad could have a rest. Man, we had fun at that orchard! The trees were mostly bare, so we had to hunt for apples. While we were there my other nieces came, Darcy and Clarissa. Unfortunately Clarissa's husband Josh couldn't make it - we missed you Josh - but it was sure fun to have Clarissa here. (BTW - I missed doing the Yoga! Next year for sure...)
Tim, Darcy's friend, took a ton of pictures while he was here. I have sprinkled some through this post, but here is the link to all the pictures he took:

Thanks so much Tim! If anyone else has pictures, please send them to us or post a link!

So with that many people looking for apples, we ended up with 11 bushels! Every apple was a prize, and we found some HUGE ones at the tops of trees that had to go into a contest.After we came home, we had club sandwiches for lunch, and then everyone worked together to get things setup for the Festival. (Thank you so much for all your hard work!)

It started about four and went to six in the afternoon. We had some fabulous fiddlers: David, our friend and neighbor, and Kaylee, Michelle and Nicole - our Clark cousins that come every year. And we did some square dancing to the Virginia Reel. And of course the fresh apple cider and homemade doughnuts were delicious. For the first time this year we added chili to the menu, and thanks to some very dear friends that brought the chili, that added a lot to the party. Bruce takes the kids on hay rides, and you'd think these kids had died and gone to heaven to get the chance to ride down to the end of the lane and back on a hay wagon. Bruce borrowed his Dad's old red tractor, and it was very authentic. I was going to say it "looked" authentic - but, really it "was" authentic! It was beautiful weather, the best we've ever had for the Cider Festival. Towards the end, the teenagers were having fun playing games, and it was fun to sit around and visit with friends.This is our filly Cookie that was born in April.This is Jaclyn feeding Lady an apple.

THANKS SO MUCH to everyone that came and contributed. We had a fantastic time and enjoyed it the same as we do every year. And we came out with about 9 gallons of cider and some to send home with the out-of-town guests, so that is a bonus!

This is definitely one of the highlights of the year, every year, and we look forward to next year!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Four Months Worth

Oh, that's a scary title. Judging from how long my posts were when I was only reporting on a week, this could be book length! :)

Highlights of the last four months:

Jesse goes to Blanding, UT with her best friend Kalli.
Bruce & Trevor win the Horseshoe Tournament at our Ward Campout,
and the rest of us have a great time.

Josh, Joseph and Bruce go an a High Adventure trip in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (yes, that's really what it's called), with the Teachers and Priests.

Summer fun for Libby and friends:Canyon County Fair:
Peter gets first place in the Market show for his class, and earns a blue ribbon in Showmanship.
Mary tells about her fair experience on her blog -

Josh, Joseph and Jesse go on a roadtrip with soccer buddies to watch a Salt Lake REAL game. Josh gets to go down on the field at half time to participate in activities.

On the way home from our Trek in Wyoming, we went through Jackson Hole. This has to be one of the most beautiful spots on the earth.(A little tired Josh??)

Our friends Greg and Rachelle were kind enough to treat our WHOLE FAMILY to dinner at Bar J Chuckwagon. It was fabulous! We loved the dinner and the entertainment. Libby was completely taken with the cowboy music and had to buy a CD afterward with her own money. We listened to cowboys crooning all the way home.
We stayed overnight at Mom & Dad's after the long trip from the Trek. This is all of our shoes drying out,and visiting Dad at the Care Center.We were so surprised when Dad got up and walked us out to the front of the care center. He came home shortly after this. Thanks for your hospitality, Mom!

In August, Bruce's brother Gary, Heidi, Kaylee, Kaleb and cousin Daniel came to visit.
Daniel, Kaleb and Peter had a ton of fun together. Peter went back with them to Oregon, and spent a few days.Have to get in the picture of the cousins playing a serious game of Risk! Josh insisted that I remark on how he dominated everyone else, especially Joseph...Soon after this, Jesse, Joseph, and Josh had Two-a-day tryouts for the High School soccer team. Bruce was the Boys JV Coach, so he was involved as well. They were successful, because Jesse made the Girls Varsity team, and Joshua and Joseph made the Boys Varsity team! Holy cow!
We knew Josh would be on Varsity for sure, but Joseph making Varsity was awesome, and Jesse making Varsity as a freshman - WOW! Joseph did have a bit of a scare for about two weeks when they moved him and two other guys down to JV. But he handled it extremely well, and kept working hard. When Josh got sick for a few days, they asked Joseph to take his spot, and Joseph played well enough that they kept him on Varsity for the rest of the season, even when Josh came back.

And then the kids started back to school! Libby is in 2rd grade, Peter in 3rd (both at a local Charter School), Mary in 7th at the Middle School (all by her lonesome), and Jesse in 9th, Joseph in 10th and Josh in 12th at the High School. They are having fun being there together.

At the end of August, we had the great privilege of going down to Utah for our nephew Josh's wedding to Rachel in the Salt Lake Temple. That was wonderful! They were married in the same room that Bruce and I were, so there were wonderful memories. We had a great time being with Bruce's side of the family. A few weeks later, Josh and Rachel came up here for their Open House, and we had the honor of having them stay at our house. I got to talk to Josh and Rachel 'til one the morning. It was so fun! I was the DJ at their Open House and got a few people to get out and boogie. :)

Josh went to Homecoming with a friend named Genny. They look great together, don't you think? This is a great group of kids. I'm so thankful Josh has good friends.

The next few months were filled with soccer games! Monday through Thursday night we had Varsity games, and then on Saturday Mary, Peter and Libby had games. It was fun, but very, very busy.

Josh, then Bruce, then Joseph all had a bout with the swine flu. It was miserable for them, but they came out OK, without any complications. This was a miracle for Bruce especially, because he had influenza about five years ago and developed pneumonia as a complication. Once you get pneumonia, you are more susceptible the next time to get it, so we are so thankful that he was OK this time.

We enjoyed General Conference, as always. Pres. Holland's talk was a classic on the Book of Mormon, and there were many others I enjoyed thoroughly.

In the District Tournament for the Boys JV Soccer team, which Bruce coached, his team took first place, which our HS has never done before. Congratulations Bruce!

In the District Tournament for the girls, Jesse's team played hard and won their first game. Unfortunately, they lost their next two games to finish the season. Jesse really had a great season! She came out and started almost every game and the coaches played her on defense most of every game. Way to go Jesse!

In the District Tournament for the Varsity boys (Josh and Joseph), the boys came back and took 2nd in the District! This was a total surprise, because they were in 7th place out of 8 teams during the season. They were able to go to State, which is always so fun for the team. They lost both of their games in state, but they were SO CLOSE. In the first game, they lost only by a PK, and in the second game it went all the way through two ten-minute overtimes, and through a 5-on-5 shootout with the score still tied. Then it was down to a one-on-one shootout, and our guy missed and the other guy scored. Josh and Joseph were both in the line-up to shoot next if it came to it, but it didn't. It was a heartbreaker, but they came back from so far down, that there was nothing to feel bad about! Congratulations Josh and Joseph on a great season!

Mary's team struggled throughout the season because they didn't have a true goalie on their team, but she played well and worked hard. I got to ref a lot of her games, which was fun for me. Yesterday she got in a tangle and went down hard, and then got up and went at it again as fast as she could. It was one moment when I wanted to be Mom and cheer for her as hard as I could. On the other hand, if I hadn't been the ref, I wouldn't have been out there to see it up close like I did. Good job, Mary!Peter was really a star on his team. One time he even scored on the kick-off. He made a goal recently to be a really good keeper, so we'll see what comes of that!

Libby, well, let's just say that Libby has not QUITE caught on to what the soccer thing is all about. One game I told her I'd give her a quarter for every time she kicked the ball. This is about the first time that she actually went for the ball instead of running around on the edge of the crowd!

Oh well, none of our kids have gotten what soccer was all about until the second half of U8, so she still has another half of a season to get there. :) If she doesn't, hmm, I don't know quite what we'll do. A child not playing soccer?!? Now, don't get all worked up over this - we'll survive if she doesn't. Ha ha

To be continued next week with a report on the Cider Festival!