Thursday, June 30, 2011


Coming this next Tuesday - JULY 5TH is our first Summer Craft Night. It will be at Jeanne Grant's Home starting at 7:00. We will be making Fabric Flowers, which you can attach to flipflops, slippers, headbands, clips for the Hair, Pin on a Jacket, attach to a necklace, or put it on a hat. The flower material will be free. If you have a glue gun, scissors, a jar candle or needles, please bring them with you.

Signups will be available in Relief Society this Sunday. Since it is a quick turnaround, we just want to get a headcount for supplies. If you go back to older posts on this blog - you will see a link, which will show you how the flowers are made. Come share a relaxed summer evening with us.

Father...I'm Home!

I have seven children. They are all grown now but when any of them come through the front door (they all still have their keys) and they will yell, "Mom, I'm here!". I love it. I love it that they know this is their home and always will be and that I care when they come home to visit me.
When I walk into the temple, I always say in my mind..."Heavenly Father, I'm here...I'm HOME." It is the same visual for me as when my own children walk through my door. In my mind's eye, I see our Heavenly Father very busy in another palatial amazing room - maybe at His desk - and when He hears me call He comes to the door of His office to give me a wave or hug as a welcome. Then He goes back to what He needs to do and I go about what He has asked me to do.
The temple is not an obligation to me (this has been a process) or a place where someone has to remind me to visit. It is HOME.
Both of my parents are dead. I often enter the doors of the temple with lots on my mind and heart - much of it I might share with my parents if I could.
But this appreciation has added to my perspective of what the temple is all about - going to my REAL home - visiting with an ETERNAL PARENT.
We will have our Relief Society Generation Project 2 Temple Day on July 12. It is for all the sisters in the Dallas 4th Relief Society who understand that we are not just having a day of service or finding a babysitter to fulfill a relief society event or taking a day off of work to get Jeanne Grant off our backs!!!
We are taking a moment, together as a family, to go to our REAL home. We have our own key, we can walk through the door and say, "Heavenly Father...WE ARE HOME!"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Going on a Spending Diet

The real title of the article I read in the paper was, "Could you shut your wallet for a month?", and it was written last February by Amy Dunn from North Carolina. I enjoyed the article a great deal. We can all improve our provident living by improving our spending habbits. Consider her challenge--attempting to live our lives without spending money.

What does this mean? Well, that would be "YES" to paying mortgage, regular monthly bills, and auto fuel for minimum travel. Otherwise, it's a "NO" to dinner out, new cloths, gifts, entertainment, and weekly trips to stock up on groceries. That means eating all meals from what's in the pantry/freezer, amusing ourselves without spending a dime, and getting creative with gift-giving. Necessary doctor visits are OK. Also, set aside a certain minimum dollar amount per week (according to the size of your family) for some fresh groceries. That's basically it...if it's discresionary, it's off limits.

AND NOW FOR THE BLESSINGS/LESSONS. After trying this exercise, the author explains the benefits she experienced. Money was spent more consciously and living was more simple. There was more time when there was less shopping. This meant freedom--more time with family, more time to read and work on projects. Buying less meant less clutter to manage, less to clean/dust/maintain. Money was saved by shopping sales and using coupons. The home was purged of bargain-priced clutter and new purchases were considered more carefully. If it wasn't needed, it wasn't a deal, no matter the price.

Now, if this sounds too hard, then how about simply writing down all of your discressionary spending for a month? Then, take a long, hard look at that and see how you can modify your spending habits so you can more quickly get out of debt and build your savings for the rainy days ahead.

President Hinckly urged us to "Look to the condition of our finances." He said, "I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourself in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as possible, and free yourselves from bondage."

I can only say that I believe the words of the prophet are true! LET US KEEP TRYING TO IMPROVE!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


The Relief Society is sponsoring a special "beginner" course into indexing for New Family Search. It will be held on SUNDAY, JUNE 26, in the Relief Society room during the second hour of our block of meetings. David Grant has conducted this class for other wards and has a "simplified" handout and way to get started.
We are preparing in all ways possible for our Dallas 4th Relief Society Generations Project II - July 12 - Dallas Texas Temple - to remember and celebrate all those who have gone on before us!

"Attendance at sacrament meetings increased, and talks in sacrament meeting were more scripture based and more gospel oriented. Fast and testimony meetings became more spiritual and included more heartfelt testimonies of the Savior. The number of full-tithe payers increased, and the number of temple recommend holders increased substantially. More young people chose to serve missions. There was an increase in Church activity among the less active who had chosen to index, and also among less-active family members of indexers."
Family Search Indexing

RS Lesson Tomorrow

Tomorrow's lesson is taken from Elder Scott's General Conference talk The Transforming Power of Faith and Character (Oct 2010). This is such a great talk and there are so many quotes that I love. Here are a few of my favorites:

"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day."

"A consistent, righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression. Your faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His commandments will strengthen your character."

"You cannot be passive in life, or in time the natural man will undermine your efforts to live worthily. You become what you do and what you think about."

Please read this talk before tomorrow so you will be prepared to participate in the lesson. Click HERE to go to the talk.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Knowledge is POWER!

Remember to look at the free online courses offered by BYU Independent Study. The one we talked about yesterday uses "The Family - A Proclamation to the World" as its text!

**I have a great BYU pen for anyone who lets me know they read this blog entry!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Good-bye Smiths

In case you didn't know, President and Sister Smith (the Dallas Mission Presidents) are coming to the end of their mission. I've had the opportunity to get to know Sister Smith a little as I've attended church meetings and baptisms for the last few years. Each time I see her, I am impressed with her strength of testimony and love she shows to those around her. One of the first times I heard President Smith give his testimony, I felt the Holy Ghost confirm that President Smith has been called of God to serve the missionaries in Dallas. It has been such a blessing to us as a ward to have the Smiths be a part of our ward family. I wanted to express my personal gratitude to Sister Smith as well for the big hugs and words of encouragement she always has for me. I will miss them and I'm sure you will too.  May the Lord continue to keep and bless them.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sunday's Lesson

Hey Ladies.

Sunday's lesson (June 19, 2011) is from the Gospel Principles book. It is lesson 36 and the title of the lesson is "The Family Can Be Eternal."

We will be focusing a lot of the lesson on family relationships. Please read the lesson and come prepared to discuss your ideas on how to create a family that not only can be together forever, but that WANTS to be together forever. :) Thanks so much!

Getting to Know You in 10 Questions #5

Alissa John

Um WOW! Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. I went on vacation and had sick kids, and.... my dog ate my computer. All valid reasons (well except for the last one) but I have vowed to be more diligent. Today I am spotlighting, well me! So here are my answers.

1.) What do you like to do in your free time? I like to sew. I love music and theater. I love to sing and to talk.

2.) What is your favorite ice-cream flavor? Chocolate chip cookie dough.

3.) Would you ever like to go bungee jumping? No. I am a chicken.

4.) What is the first thing you notice about people What they are wearing. I like getting fashion ideas from others.

5.) What is the last movie you watched? Um... the last DVD I watched was an episode of the Gilmore Girls.

6.) What is the last book you read? The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

7.) What/where is the furthest you have been from home? I lived in Australia for a year and a half when I was a little girl. I was even baptized there. I wish I still had the accent.

8.) What is a special, strange, or secret talent you have? I like to sing. Not especially strange, but I don't think anyone in the ward knows it.

9.) If you could have any super power, what would it be and why did you choose that one? I would have a time turner thingy like Hermonie Granger does in the third Harry Potter book. That way I wouldn't have to worry about scheduling my time out... my time would just be infinite,

10.) If you could have any job in the world and be amazing at it, what would it be? Hands down I would be on Broadway. No questions.

Thanks for reading this! I'd love volunteers, so please let me know if you'd like to participate by commenting below!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dallas 4th and the Dallas Mavericks!

Many do not know this (Mary Kay Tanner would), but for a brief while, the Dallas 4th Ward and the Dallas Mavericks shared some history.
When the franchise first started, Dick Motta (the new head coach) and his wife Jan and son moved into our ward. We were all so excited. We did not see him much but his wife Jan was very active and served in the Relief Society with Mary Kay and also in the Primary with me. (She also made the BEST Italian Cream Cake ever!!)
The team was terrible and the games hardly attended and so Jan would make sure any one who wanted tickets could have some free ones to many of the home games - of course NOT on Sunday!
During the time the Mottas were in our ward boundaries, we were "annexed" into what would become the Richardson First Ward.
Here it is, 31 years later, and the Dallas Mavericks - are CHAMPIONS. Of course, we were "annexed" back into the Dallas 4th Ward so we have been CHAMPIONS for MUCH longer!!

Friday, June 10, 2011


We are discussing lesson 35 "Obedience" on Sunday, June 12th. I keep thinking about how we need to become like a child in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Children are constantly learning to obey and are often more willing to be obedient than adults. Let's follow children's examples.


"Strengthening the Marriage"

This is a great opportunity for a great price!

"Strengthening the Marriage" Course
Starts June 11
at the Carrollton Stake Center

6 sessions/classes
Saturdays from 9am-10:30am
$15 per couple

Taught by Melissa Gluff

Register with Julie Bateman at LDS Family Services 972-242-2182

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Compassionate Service

I know the Summer gets full of camps and high cooling costs and bored children etc etc.
But we do have several sisters in our Relief Society who would love to have a visit when we can muster up enough "personality" to do it.
Jo Grice have been moved to a residential care facility and the address is:
1821 Sacramento Terrace - Plano TX
They have an "open door" policy and I know she would enjoy seeing anyone familiar!
Iris Perkins is at Medical City - Dallas. She has had some extensive surgery and would enjoy visitors (if she KNOWS you!!!). She is in the North Tower - Rm. 958.
We are also going to need help for Iris as she returns home to recover.
Also, Joyce Hall has been ill and Ilene Neblett has lost her father.
Just a reminder that we are all "mortal" and can use the faith, prayers, and service of others.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Tomorrow in Relief Society we will be studying a talk by Elder Uchtdorf from the April 2009 Priesthood Session, entitled "We are Doing A Great Work and Cannot Come Down". Our lesson will be on "Setting Good Priorities" in our lives. We are going to compare two different accounts in the Scriptures, so please bring your Book of Mormon and your Bible.

One account is in Nehemiah in the Old Testament starting on page 649,where Nehemiah is rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem. The other, is the story of Lahonti, and Amalickiah in the 47th chapter of Alma. What did they have in common? What were Lehonti's mistakes?

What are our priorities in life?
If we find we've become distracted, or we're too easily pulled away from what is important - what do we need to do?

Come and let's discuss it together in Relief Society -

A Day of Fasting and Prayer

In today's newspaper, I read where our Governor, Rick Perry, asked other state governors to join Texas in a day of "Fasting and Prayer" for our nation.
It makes no difference how we feel about politics, it is easy to be heartened and grateful for ANYONE to see the significance of fasting and praying - especially for this wonderful country.
David and I were pondering on the myriad of things to fast for this month, and as I read the article, I decided that I, too, want to fast for America.
As I read the Book of Mormon, and am reminded of the warnings given to the individuals who populate this land, I often feel helpless in the face of all that is transpiring.
Yet, the Governor of the State of Texas has asked people to do the very thing that will draw upon the powers of Heaven!
June 5th, will be for me, a day of fasting and prayer - for the United States of America.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Recipe For Using Your Food Storage

I know some of you may have ordered "Tomato Powder" in #10 cans the same time I did (two or three years ago) . I just recently pulled mine out so I could rotate it. It seems to work pretty well and the directions are easy enough on the can. You can use this in place of any canned tomato sauce or tomato paste. It stirs up instantly. Lately I used it to make a jar of spaghetti sauce go further. Instead of using two standard size jars/cans of spaghetti sauce, I just used one and then used my tomato powder/water plus some very simple seasoning. This is just basic cooking...nothing amazing...so don't expect gourmet. Sometimes that's just what we need, though...quick and easy ways to rotate. So, if you have a large-ish family and don't mind leftovers for the next day, or want to freeze a portion of sauce for another occasion, you can give this a try.
Beef (or any meat) Spaghetti Sauce (Extended with Tomato Powder)
1. Cook 2 lbs. of Ground Beef as usual and drain/remove fat.
2. Add one can or jar of pasta/spaghetti sauce (about 26 oz)--any flavor.
3. In the empty jar/can put 1/4 c powder and 1/2 cup water, or you can go further with 1/2 cup tomato powder and 1 cup water and shake/stir to the consistency you like. That's what the directions are on the can, but I used closer to 1/2 c. powder and 2+ cups water because I like it runnier. Just add the amount of water you like to the amount of powder you like to make it what you want.
4. Add seasonings to taste... Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and Italian seasoning. I'm sorry to say, I don't always measure my seasonings, but start with about 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano and Italian seasoning. You can always add more. You're on your own for the others I mentioned. If you are a spaghetti sauce connoisseur, then add whatever else you like. (If you really are a spaghetti sauce connoisseur, then you're probably making the whole thing from scratch and you need to be giving us YOUR recipe!
That's basically it. Freeze half for later if you like. Good Luck.