Friday, April 29, 2011

The Jaredites


This Sunday we will be discussing the Jaredites in the Book of Ether. I invite you to read chapter 3 and chapter 6 to help prepare for our Relief Society lesson.

You can also read this talk by Elder Eyring. Click HERE.

See you Sunday.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We had a wonderful evening of Cooking 101 at Joanne Poulsen's home this evening. Wendie Ke, taught us how to make Chinese Spring Rolls. They are made with water softened Rice Paper, which is filled, much like you would fill a burrito, with the most incredibly healthy ingredients. They are very easy to make and so light and delicious. They would be a lovely summer meal.

She also made two delicious sauces to dip them in. One a hot sauce, you mix with 7up, and the other uses peanut butter, coconut water and Hoisen sauce.
We ate Spring Rolls till we popped, and several sisters made one to take home to their husbands. The recipes will soon follow in a blog by Sister Wicker - so check back!

Thanks to Joanne and Esther Davis, and Wendie for this fun immersion in the Chinese food culture.

Coming in July - we will have Fruit Pizza and Mango Smoothies.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Come join us this Thursday April 28th for our COOKING 101 CLASS. It will be at Joanne Poulsen's Home at 7:00 p.m. We have our own Wendie Ke, a native of China, who will teach us how to make authentic, delicious Spring Rolls. Increase your cooking skills, and enjoy the sisterhood of the Dallas 4th Ward Relief Society. Bring a non-member friend or neighbor and let us help you "love her into the gospel"!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Getting to Know you in 10 Questions #3

Wendie Ke

I am so lucky that I get to visit teach Wendie Ke. She has a sunny bright smile, and a very welcoming personality. I am also glad that my son gets to have her as his nursery teacher. He feels her love for him every Sunday. Here is a little more information on Wendie.

1.) What do you like to do in your free time? Learn something new.

2.) What is your favorite ice-cream flavor? Caramel.

3.) Would you ever like to go bungee jumping? Yes.

4.) What is the first thing you notice about people? Whether they look ok.

5.) What is the last movie you watched? Tangled.

6.) What is the last book you read? The Bible.

7.) What/where is the furthest you have been from home? America; my hometown is in China.

8.) What is a special, strange, or secret talent you have? I don't know if I have any.

9.) If you could have any super power, what would it be and why did you choose that one? I wish I could have the power to convert people to believe in God because they can have eternal salvation and the world will be perfect.

10.) If you could have any job in the world and be amazing at it, what would it be? To be a food taster (Sorry, don't know what to call that position) Go around the world, taste different food from different countries and introduce to people through a TV series.

Thank you so much Wendie for being willing to participate. I would like to add that I think Wendie's special talent is courage, bravery, and strength. I know I could not move to a foreign country, that speaks a foreign language, on my own. I admire her strength and the blessing she is to our ward.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Redemptive Nature of Life - Easter!

I was sorting dirty clothes to wash and so I was bending and lifting - and then - I felt a wave of gratitude.
Last year at this time I had been recovering from open heart surgery. I had this 8 inch incision down the front of my body and it affected all my movements for months to come. Bending and lifting anything would make me wince in pain and break out into a sweat.
Yet slowly my body began to heal and restore itself in an amazing way. And despite the seriousness of the surgery or the recovery, here I am at 59 years old, bending and lifting just as I had years before.
The Lord has blessed me with a body that would heal - almost on its own! Then the question comes to me, am I taking the time to heal my Spirit that is housed by this body? The healing of my spirit body is my responsibility. The atonement is in place for me, but the healing is not automatic as the cells in my physical body.
I love Easter. I need to be reminded that as much as I need a yearly physical, I need to take a personal "spiritual" physical of how healthy I am as an endowed daughter of God.
Happy Easter! See you all this Sunday.
**Just a note: Our own "Neal Maxwell" Karen Bateman will be speaking this Sunday for Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Could Possibly Happen in Dallas?

We had a great group attend the 72 Hour/Preparedness Class last night at Kim Adair's home. We couldn't answer the question - What might happen in Dallas ? But Kim had so many ideas for us, about how to prepare ourselves, our children, our pets if anything did happen! In the Dallas 4th Ward, we have such a wonderful resource in Kim, who has literally spent her married life, assessing Preparedness needs for her family and slowly acquiring them.

A month ago, we took a written survey in Relief Society, and 40% of families had 72 hour kits for each person, 55% had a 3 months supply of food, and 60% had a water supply for 72 hours (which is 1 gallon per day, per person).

One idea from last night, is not only do we need to put a 72 hour kit together, but how you pack it, is also important. The first thing at the top or in a side pocket should be a light source - a small led flashlight is great to put in a side pocket, so you will be able to find the rest of the contents in the dark. - maybe a small poncho next in case the emergency is weather related. Just thinking through varies scenarios, helps you to plan your 72 hour kit packing so it is less stressful for you. There are a variety of good dense protein foods/bars for your kit. They should be together in a sealable bag, so they can be more easily rotated every six months - Conference weekends would be a good time to rotate.

Kim always makes a fun treat from her storage, last night it was Chocolate Ice Cream, from her Chocolate powdered milk - She also gave everyone there a "Party Favor" which we could choose from rain ponchos, light bulbs, hand warmers, and bottled water. It was a fun, informative party!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting to Know You in 10 Questions #2

Laura Nelson

Laura and her husband Cortney are the first people Kyle and I met when we moved into the ward. They have a baby boy named Noah. They are wonderful people, and just celebrated their 2 year anniversary. So if you see them at church congratulate them! Let's learn a little more about Laura.

1.) What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to spend time with my family, read, bake, yoga, long walks, bike rides...and pretty much anything outside and in the sunshine. I also love a good pedicure :)

2.) What is your favorite ice-cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip

3.) Would you ever like to go bungee jumping?
Not a chance. That doesn't even sound remotely fun to me. I'm terrified of heights.

4.) What is the first thing you notice about people?
I always notice a smile first. I think it can tell a lot about a person's personality

5.) What is the last movie you watched?
Despicable Me - it was so cute. I may or may have not cried at the end.

6.) What is the last book you read?
One Thousand White Women. It was a great read - I'd recommend it to anyone. Also, I'm also almost finished with Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and it is such a cute book.

7.) What/where is the furthest you have been from home?
Peru - I hiked Macchu Picchu. One of the best trips I've ever been on.

8.) What is a special, strange, or secret talent you have?
I'm a registered yoga instructor, although not that talented at it :)

9.) If you could have any super power, what would it be and why did you choose that one?
If I could have any super power, I would like to be Samantha from Bewitched and with the wiggle of my nose be able to be dressed and ready, clean a room or be anywhere (or not somewhere) in an instant.

10.) If you could have any job in the world and be amazing at it, what would it be?
I'd love to be a travel writer and photographer, and be able to explore the world (all with my family of course :)). Or, be a professional chef/baker with my own show on the Food Network. I'd take either one. :)

Thanks Laura for being willing to participate!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jonah and Me

I am always in the habit of trying to "liken" the scriptures unto me. I had an experience with this during our hail storm last Thursday night.
I had not watched the weather and was unaware of what might be coming our way. I was preparing for bed when the winds, lightening, rain, and amazing amounts of hail started to pound on our "1970's quality" windows. I could not even figure out the direction of the storm as all of the windows on all sides of the house were getting pounded. We live behind an open field and the wind was gusting so hard I was worried we could lose our fence.
Being a brave pioneer sort, I huddled in the hall with my ears covered repeatedly praying or asking David if the worst had passed.
My mind, somehow, went to Jonah. You remember the story of how Jonah did not want to preach to the people in Nineveh so he boarded a ship and a fierce storm came up and the sailors tried to fight for the safety of the ship and did not want to throw Jonah over - and Jonah had to plead with them to do so.
It was humbling for me to think that I might not have had a second thought about throwing Jonah overboard if it meant quieting the storm.
It all gives me pause and once again, I hope I am who I want to be in the best of times and the worst of times. It was one of my "good to know" moments!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hello Sisters, (Sorry this is all squashed together in one paragraph...for some reason I can't get it to format correctly...) I would like to remind everybody that the Wheat Montana grain, etc. order is due soon. Your money needs to be in the hands of Julie Anschutz in Allen by Monday, April 18th. That means your check should be in the mail ASAP!!! I hope many of you take this opportunity to build your food storage. I've had several people ask me about empty 6 gallon buckets/pails and lids. This company also sells these and Gamma Seals too, so this would be a chance to order some at the same time. Shipping costs for empty buckets/lids and gamma seals will be $2.00 per item and $1.00 per item for bucket openers and oxygen absorber packages. If you're interested in a whole lot of buckets, then I have a more local source where you might could save some money ordering in bulk. If you have any question about the best thing to do, then please get in touch with me. If you are interested in a canning event after ordering wheat/grain in large bags, let me or Cathy Meyer know so we can try to coordinate this. Good Luck! Kim Adair.

A New Series

Hi. My name is Alissa John and I am new in the ward. The Relief Society Presidency has asked me to add a special new series of posts to the ward blog. The series will be called "Getting to Know You in 10 Questions," unless someone can think of a better/clever/cuter title (ideas are welcome, please leave them in the comments below). I will ask a different woman from the ward the same 10 questions and then feature those answers, along with a picture of the person, on our lovely, lovely blog. I will do this until I run out of women to ask :)

I decided the first person I should interview would be someone that I will work very closely with for the undetermined future... that's right, you guessed it, my visiting teaching companion. Lets learn a little bit more about Natalie Marstella.

1.) What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to go to my children's activities. I likes to visit with others. I also enjoys sewing and have recently learned to quilt.

2.) What is your favorite ice-cream flavor?
Half Baked by Ben and Jerry's (which is a combination of chocolate chip cookie dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice-creams.)

3.) Would you ever like to go bungee jumping?
No! Not into thrill seeking.

4.) What is the first thing you notice about people?
Probably their teeth.

5.) What is the last movie you watched?
The Justin Beiber Movie in 3D, with Taryn (who is her daughter in case you didn't know).

6.) What is the last book you read?
The King's Speech.

7.) Where is the furthest you have been from home?
I WON a trip to London about 10 years ago so my sister and I went to London and Paris. Way fun!!

8.) What is a special, strange, or secret talent you have?
Oh goodness ... Not sure on that one... Maybe talking to people I don't know... Making friends.

9.) If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
I would want to be magic where I could allow myself to be a stay at home mom but make every financial aspect of my life still work out!!

10.) If you could have any job in the world and be amazing at it, what would it be?
Work/own a bakery. I love yummy foods ... Obviously!! :/. Once my kid's are gone I would love to be Ty Pennington and work on Extreme Home Makeover. What a great job to be able to bring such happiness to people's lives!!

Thank you so much Natalie for being willing to participate. If any of YOU readers want to be highlighted please just leave a comment below with your email address and I will get a hold of you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Double the Blessings

Dear Sisters, Do you remember last November when we had a sacrament talk that discussed fast offerings? Well a promise was given about the many additional blessings we would receive if we doubled our fast offerings. I decided to do a test and see if this was true. So I have doubled since. I will tell you about my research findings when we meet to discuss Tithing and Fast Offerings (please read our lesson, chapter #32) this coming Sunday. Warmly, Shirlee

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fiesta of Friendship Follow-up

Thanks Caiti for all these fun pictures! We're so glad so many of you came to our RS Birthday Party.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Dear Sisters, In preperation for Sunday's RS lesson #31 on Honesty I would like us to ask ourselves the following; "If I were to leave this earth tomorrow would the word Honest be used, by those I left behind, to describe me?" Also, is there a difference between being an Honest Person and being a Critic? Thank you, Fronda Wiseman

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

General Conference 2011

Conference is over but I am still carrying such a sweet feeling of peace from the great talks given.
Anyone have a favorite yet???

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"The wonderful thing about books...."

"The wonderful thing about books - and the thing that made them such a refuge for the islanders during the occupation - is that they take us out of our time and place and understanding, and transport us not just into the world of the story, but into the world of our fellow readers, who have stories of their own."
I was hesitant to read this book as I do not like "cutesy" titles. Books that are "too" clever kind of wear me out. The book had been suggested often by several women in our interest group but set aside for other considerations. I finally decided to check it out of the library in its CD format. I listened to it and had to READ it. The above quote comes towards the end of the book but says it all for me. I read to - for a moment - go somewhere else in time and place. Reading gives me a break from my reality or it puts my reality in perspective. I have not had much time or opportunity to travel and experience exotic locals or people. Not physically anyway. But because of my love of reading I have been EVERYWHERE and been able to meet so many fascinating people - at least in my mind.
We are having a review of this book, THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY on Tuesday, April 5, 7:30PM at Barbara Doerk's home.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thinking About Your 72 Hour Kits...

I hope you are enjoying conference weekend as much as I am. I love to hear the words of our prophet and apostles and leaders! I challenge you to listen for the encouragement we receive on how we can be better prepared physically and how the church welfare system works. If the church was not prepared in advance, how would it be able to send so much assistance to those who are right now desperately in need? Is this not an example, a teaching, and a warning to us that we should be individually prepared for whatever may come our way? I was once given a suggestion that I would like to pass on to you. General Conference weekend is a great time to think about rotating your 72 hour kits. You can use this time to do a couple of different things. First, you can check for expired or near expired contents of you kit and put these items on your shopping list for replacement. What kinds of things will need rotating? Food and water, clothing, medicine, batteries, light sticks, lotions/sunscreens and anything else with an expiration date. Second, you can familiarize yourself with what is in your kit so that you know where things are when you need them. Some of you may have larger scouting-type backpacks that hold quite a bit of stuff. You may want to think about where things are placed in your backpacks. If you're out and about with your 72-hour kit and it suddenly starts raining, it would be nice if your poncho was in a place that was easy to reach. The same thing goes for your light source. You would want to have that easily accessible in case you're caught needing light when it's dark. We will be having our 72-hour kit class soon (April 19th) and I would like you to think about what you would prioritize as the MOST IMPORTANT things to have in your emergency kit. When you come to our class, we will talk this over and see what what we come up with!!!