Friday, February 27, 2009

Food Class Update

Lets see, 24 women signed up and 11 ended up coming. That was OK by me! Even 5 or 6 would have been perfect! Next month it will be a "Cooking with Children" class. I think I will handpick 3 children in the ward to participate.

If you want recipes Cami, I will email them to you. I just need your email address.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Tomorrow I am teaching a cooking class in my ward. "Dinner for 2, or Dining Alone." It is geared for cooking in smaller quantities. Lots of women signed up - we shall see how many show up!

Our ward has lots of young married couples and single women. Their concerns are time, budget and healthy foods. I will post on whether it was a successful evening!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today was a good day for our family. We need those once in a while.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This past Sunday we had our last ward conference. We visited our Spanish Ward. They have the smallest Primary in the stake. I had the privilege of speaking to the children. It was such a treat to share with them a message and my testimony, but more importantly, it was a testimony to me to feel their love and excitement for Primary! These children were beautiful. Every one of the boys were either in a suit and tie or a white shirt and tie! And the girls were dressed in their Sunday best.

But the best part of our visit was singing time! They learn all the songs in Spanish. Their chorister knows the songs and teaches with such great enthusiasm - it was contagious! And the children's voices - oh how sweet and joyful. Even though their numbers are small, their voices were anything but small! If we could only capture that moment and share it with others - I guarantee you would smile and feel unspeakable joy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


It takes me forever sometimes to craft a proper thank you to friends and family. One of my daughters is sooooo good about expressing and sending thanks.

If I was to recieve this as a gift, I think I just might be able to find the right words!





OK! So this is how this works...the first 5 people to respond to this post will receive something made by me for you.
My choice.
Made especially for you.
Of course there are some restrictions and limitations:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It will be done sometime this year.
4. You have no clue what it will be... it may be a story. It may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. I may draw or paint something. I may bake something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure. ;-)
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? The catch is that you must repost this on your own blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on their blog.

The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did will win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!!

Oh! And be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


This purse/tote pattern is from Anna Maria Horner. It is not on the market yet, which saddens me because I need a new bag to carry my books in. Doesn't it look cute? I also like her fabric line.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Von and I met at a Regional San Diego Young Adult Conference in July of 1973. At the time we didn’t think much of each other. I thought, “He just couldn’t be 21 and a returned missionary too!” (He was really cute, but he looked much younger than I, the graduated senior of one month!!) And Von thought I was an obnoxious flirt.

We saw each other occasionally during the year of ’73 at BYU, he even asked me out. But I couldn’t go because of finals, and besides, he was too short.

The next time I saw Von was the following fall semester of ’74. School had started and social life was in full swing. I was talking to a girlfriend when Von came walking up. I did a double take this time! Wow, had he changed. Tan, sun-bleached hair, looking very good in his Mexican embroidered shirt and big bell-bottom pants! My – he sure was cute, and what a flirt! We went out that night. All I remember was that I didn’t get home until 2 AM, and I had forgotten my keys. We must have had a good time.

The next Friday I didn’t have a date. I remembered where Von said his classes were, so I intentionally made myself cross his path that afternoon. Sure enough, I landed a date that evening with Von.

We had a good time, but Von was preoccupied that evening. His brother, Garth, had hurt himself playing basketball and his other brother, Mark, had been in an accident in the mission field. After that night I kept wondering why he hadn’t called back, or the fact that he seemed to disappear (his sister, Sheila’s daughter, Andrea Jane had drowned)

Winter semester had begun and I could tell it was going to be a very dry dating season. And it was becoming even drier because I started turning down dates. I was tired of all the games.

One night I had gone to bed at 8 PM (unusual for me), feeling a bit depressed about men in general, only to be awakened at 9:30 p.m. I had company. I threw some clothes on and went up to see who in the heck would be coming by at that hour!

There was Von, with Pud (Robert Peek) and Kit in tow! Von wanted to know if I’d go with him to a Young Men’s initiation the next evening. I said “Sure, why not?”

We had a terrific time! Then Von asked me out for the following night, but I already had a date for the basketball game.

My date had his uncle’s season tickets for the game at the Marriot Center. When we got there, we started into the row where our seats were, me leading the way. My seat just happened to be next to an old boyfriend! This old boyfriend was one I had been really serious with, then he dumped me! It still hurt 1 ½ yrs. later. So here I was, sitting between one I had pursued and one who was pursuing me! That evening was the most miserable date of my life. I kept using my date’s binoculars watching Von in the Young Men’s section. He sure was having a great time, and I was wishing I was there instead of where I was.

Von called the next day, and I was thrilled. He asked me out for a fireside the following day, Sunday. Then everyday after that he was coming by to see me, or meeting me after a class. After about 3 weeks of this, I was questioning myself about this relationship. I was sick for my birthday, so Von had my roommates make me a cake, and then he told me he had a special evening planned later when I was feeling well.

The next week he took me to see Saturday’s Warrior. When we got back to my apartment and we were alone, I told him I needed to know what was happening between us. I was full of questions, like, “Why was he dating me only? Did he like me?” (I was fishing for a “I love you!!!” line”)

Von then proceeded to tell me about Julie. He was waiting for her to graduate. His intentions were to just date me until she came to the Y. He said he decided to date me because I would be fun to “bide” time with. That hurt! (I later found out from Robert, that the three of them had gotten together earlier that evening and had gone over all the girls Von had dated, and I was the CHOSEN ONE). Being the inquisitive person that I am, I had to know if these were still his intentions, because I wasn’t about to be dumped again. I would be the dumper this time! Von then told me that his feeling for Julie had changed. He said he was “in-like” with me. I could live with that!

Von and I were spending more time with each other, and he kept dropping the “WE” word. I had been praying for an assurance that this relationship was worth pursuing. I felt very good about it, and even asked my parents up for Easter weekend, so they could check Von out. Mom was able to come and spend the weekend with me.

During this time, some young men that I had dated previously started to show up on my doorstep (literally), asking me out. These were guys that I had considered “marriage material” at one time. I had to make a choice, either go out with them and jeopardize my relationship with Von, or just tell them I wasn’t interested. I chose the latter. It wasn’t until after I was married and read my patriarchal blessing did I understand “Find a companion of your choice…” I did make a choice.

General Conference was coming up, and Von told me his parents had changed their minds and were coming after all. The day before they arrived, I had received a letter from Von’s brother, Garth, whom we just took to the mission home the week before. This letter had a lot of insinuations and advice that I felt was inappropriate! After all, we weren’t engaged, nor had we even discussed marriage. This letter really upset me and I wanted to talk to Von about it, but Von just laughed it off and wouldn’t discuss it. I pushed the issue, so Von left. Overwhelmed at what I could be losing if he didn’t come back, I went out looking for him! I had invested too much of my emotions to end this relationship right then. I loved him and knew we were to be together. I spent over an hour looking for him when I remembered his cousins lived around the corner from my apartment. When I got there, Von was there, smiling and then gave me a great big hug. He said “I was wondering how long it would take you to find me!!!” His roommate had told him I was out looking for him. I felt better, but I still felt insecure about what was going to happen.

The next night we picked up Mom and Dad at the airport then dropped them off at Uncle Dee’s home. We all had some birthday cake that I had made for Von. The following morning we met them at Temple Square for Conference. I had never been to General Conference, so this just added to the excitement of anticipation! Von’s parents sure asked a lot of questions, especially Dad!
That evening we went to the Ding Ho restaurant. I was really looking forward to a Chinese meal, especially the shrimp! As the meal began, so did the questions! My appetite soon diminished, these questions were getting very personal. Mom must have sensed my distress because she quickly pointed out to Dad that uncle Ron and aunt Jean were walking in the door.

While introductions were being made, the waitress brought the fortune cookies. I noticed Dad sliding the cookies towards him and then tearing off a piece of his paper placement mat. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. We finished our meal and Dad passed out the fortune cookies. We all took turns reading ours, and then it was Von’s turn. He said he didn’t want to read his. But “NO” would not do, especially for Dad. So Von handed me his fortune. It read, “You will get married this summer to Ann.”

My heart skipped a beat, and I looked up at Von. He said, “Well?”

“Well, what?” I replied

“Do you want to get married?”

Mom was very in tune that day. She suggested that we might like to talk in private. So we left the restaurant and went outside.

And of course my reply was YES!

Later as we were driving home to Provo, Von told me he had planned to ask me that evening on Temple Square (but Dad stole his thunder!). The fact that he loved me enough to want to marry me compensated for Dad speeding things up.

Until we got married, Von and I experienced some adjustments, sometimes making me wonder if I was really making the right choice. But every time I inquired of the Lord during some difficult times, all doubt would go away and my mind would become very clear, that yes, it was the right choice.


I came across some memories that I had shared with my friend Kathi. We grew up together in Yuma, AZ. Here is a picture of Kathi and I playing in the corral back of our house. Even though we raised many animals there, when there were none - it was our play house!!! Lots of dirt.

"Oh, do I remember those days! Riding my bike down a GRAVEL road with no hands; running through the tall Johnson grass in the back field, blazing trails for new hideouts; fishing for crawdads with thread, a straight pin and a piece of bacon; playing dare at the canal as to who would jump in at the locks! (never did that); catching baby frogs or were they toads at the canals edge, loading them into a big bucket, and finding them gone the next day (come to think of it, that must be why we always had so many toads covering our front porch!!!); making mud pies after the yard was irrigated; running and playing ON SUNDAY, in the irrigated yard and your (Kathi's)beautiful dirt/muddy driveway - the original slip and slide!!!; Climbing trees and getting scratched because the tree had so many thorns; trying to catch catfish at the Colorado Rivers edge on our farm; exploring a deserted little shed on the farm, only to have mom and dad tell us some evil people were lurking around and would kidnap us if we didn't stay close to the barn!; collecting all the pods from the mesquite trees and acting as if they were rattlers from a snake; teasing Randy Lines that the little red things on the pepper plants were sweet - burned his mouth off!; juggling places to sit on the "tailgate" of the pickup as we went down bumpy dirt roads, and sometimes, someone fell off, only to stop and jump back on amidst the cloud of dust; everyone gathering to eat as many pomegranates as we wanted, throwing the seeds at one another and then going home with red stains all over our hands, mouths and shirts and our moms would yell at us to be more careful about our clothes. Eating as many oranges, tangerines, pecans or apricots as we wanted - right off the tree; swinging as high as we could in the old tire swing; wishing I had zinnia's and flowers in my yard like Doris Power's!; making plaster-of-paris and balloon art projects; playing in the eucalyptus grove of trees; carving messages or figures out of the eucalyptus bark; feeling lucky when the neighbors would let you ride their horse; feeding the baby calves at the farm, where they smelled so good, drooled all over you and sucked your fingers so hard you'd think they would pop off. You wonder why we always took a bath at night? Simple answer - we were so dirty we had too!"

Now - what memories do you have?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have tried to establish relationships with the sisters in our ward; but for the most part I have felt disconnected with the members. It has been difficult. The members who have been here for many years have a hard time opening up their hearts to the transient members. One such sister admitted that her attitude has been, "Why put forth the effort in trying to know them, they are going to leave!" This made me sad, because I most likely will be one of those transient members - and I think that I have something to offer!

Anyway - this past Sunday was Fast and Testimony Meeting. It was a good meeting. However, as I was listening to some of the sisters speaking, it came to me that these women needed a hug. So after Sacrament meeting, I went up to those women and gave them a hug. It felt good to do that. Then when we were in Relief Society, I had another impression that I needed to seek out a Spanish sister in our ward and give her a hug too. As I was waiting for the meeting to end, the spirit filled my heart and whispered to me that there were a lot of lonely women in that room that needed me to reach out to them. It was if the veil parted and I was able to see these sisters as our Heavenly Father saw them, and feel how much He loved every one.

After the closing prayer, I bee-lined it over to Sis. Gomez. It was if she was waiting for me. I spoke with her a bit, and then told her that I needed to give her a hug and tell her how much I loved her, which she quickly responded and hugged me back. Then she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and a look that said, "Thank you. I needed someone to say they cared."

Such a sweet feeling came over me and an assurance that I needed to always be willing to share a smile and hug with others. It is what everyone, even the whole world,needs.

So for those reading this post, though you may be few - know that I love you.

Trying to love as God loves is powerful - try it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


_Tom Jones Comment from Heather Flottman's Blog_

Heather's full post-

Heather- you hit the nail on the head here.

First an introduction. I'm Senator DeMint's staffer that handles the CPSC issues for him. A couple quick things.

If your readers could:

1) Call their Senator Monday and let them know that the problems with the CPSIA still exist. There are still liabilities issues out there, its not clear yet what retailers reaction to the order will be (its great to not have to test for a year but if no one will sell your goods that a bit of a hollow victory), PIRG is going to sue to overturn the order and the order doesn’t do anything to deal with State AGs. And of course all the problems come back full-bore in a year. Please try to impress these things on your Senator’s office.

2) When you are on the phone with the office make a very specific ask. Let them know you want the Senator to co-sponsor the DeMint bill. Have their staff contact me. (I work on the Commerce Committee and my email is in the “Global Email Directory.” (they’ll know what that is) I can also be called through the DeMint front office phone line which is 4-6121.) Also let the person on the phone that you’d like a written response on whether the Senator will co-sponsor issue. Finally say thanks for talking to you. The person who answers the phone has the lowest job on the Congressional totem pole and when the phones get hot it can be very stressful. Throwing a little sunlight their way helps.

The main line for Congress is 202-224-3121. Tell the operator which state you are from and ask to speak to one of your Senators. Once you’re done with that, hang up and do it again with the other Senator.

Thanks again for all your help with this. If it wasn’t for you guys being so engaged on this issue, it wouldn’t be moving like it is.