Amazing Jana orchestrated a goodbye party for our Bishop Jerry and his wife and my friend Judy tonight since they are sadly moving away. She decorated everything so cute to match the theme, no surprise because have I mentioned that she's amazing. Sweet Mindy made such a neat video slideshow of their family pictures... cute Aimee and the primary made a quilt with all the childrens handprints on it... and the young women put on a hilarious skit. We were so worried we wouldn't have enough food to feed 200+ people, but just like the "loaves and fishes" there WAS enough for everyone... and then some.
I had been cooking (and cleaning) all day (totally worth it for such a fantastic woman like Judy!!) and several catastrophes happened along the way- burned butter that I forgot about cooking on the stove for caramel corn exploded when I poured it in a jar shooting shards of glass and melted grease everywhere, and Tade having a freak attack upon waking up from a nap panicked and peed all over the floor, I swear it was like he was holding the pacific ocean in his bladder (along with an "Oh Shiz" moment when I realized just how much pork I actually needed to cook) but things always turn out in the end, and even my sweet sister Sadie made some cookies to help me out... Thank you girlie!
This is some of what I brought...
30 lbs of Pork
I got the recipe from a cookbook from Sadie's mother in law Vicki... she is all things fabulous-
Pulled Pork Recipe:
for every 3-4 pounds of meat add
1 cup of salsa
1 cup of brown sugar
(I also added chopped green peppers and onions)
cook on low for 8 hours in your crockpot.
about Jerry and Judy's future adventures. I heard her say tonight that she has lived in Idaho all her life and how weird it is to move to a different place. Funny how one state over can have such a different atmosphere, but I remember feeling the exact same way about my move from Utah to Oregon, and then Utah to Idaho. Change is hard at first... starting over is never easy... but it will get better with time, and they both have such warm and friendly personalities that making friends will be effortless.
visit Judy's great blog, she is also a wonderful photographer!
God delivers messages through goosebumps. Just a moment ago a conversation with my grandmother from last week about writing and poetry and life and missions slid into my mind. When she said, "I like my voice" it left such a powerful impression on me that I haven't been able to forget it... like a song that plays over and over again in my head. Grandma Mary was sharing her wisdom about growing as a writer and praying for gifts. If you want something, if you lack a gift, pray for it she says. Let the spirit guide you, write for yourself, and for God, don't compare yourself to others. I asked her so many questions and she answered so many... she has always been my mentor. I have grown through the years listening to her poetry, her songs, her stories about dragons and Joseph of Egypt. I have recently struggled with my own voice as doubt and discouragement creep into my head. I yearn to express what's in my heart, and I have felt with the over-abundance of writers out there, that I am but a mere whisper. Then when she said, "I like my voice" it hit me, don't write to please "them", write just because it's who you are... let it flow, cultivate your expression, meld it into something organic, not forced. Sometimes I feel like I'm in preschool, making sentences with a limited vocabulary... like I know something is inside of me wanting to get out, and I can't translate my emotions into human language. I want to be able to say that "I like my voice".
Minutes later after I thought about my grandmother, I opened an email message from my mom saying that her dear aunt Helen, my grandmothers sister, had passed away suddenly last night. It feels raw to talk about this, but I can't help but notice the timing of my thoughts and the way the spirit was telling me something deep and important if I would listen, and I did. Sometimes getting answers to prayers is like retrieving broken morse code, snatching parts here and there... when at a magical moment, the dots and dashes come together to complete the whole message, making perfect sense... harmony. My great Aunt Helen was an amazing poet. She won many awards and was as graceful and talented as a woman could be. She will be so missed, but we have her words, her voice. We can carry her and visit her thoughts when we read her poems. Because she has opened her heart and shared it in ink, we have her with us always... in that respect, writing makes you eternal.
The following are some of Helen's poems taken from the book-
Bread and Milk and Music- Three Sister's Voices
by, karen keith gibson, helen keith beaman, and mary keith boyack
I never thought seeing my kids in work boots would melt my heart like it does, but guess what, serious meltage. Now if I could just acquire an affection for the smell of manure left on those workboots, then the circle of life would be complete. Addy and Landon religiously feed their steers at 6:30am and 6:30pm... give or take a few minutes:) I'm so impressed by their work ethic and care for these tender animals. Without reminder, Landon replaces the steers muddy mucky water with fresh clear water even in the pitch dark, and Addy always takes time to scratch their dirty heads to gain their trust and let them know she's a friend. Since they started taking care of them a few months earlier than last year, I'm afraid it's going to be twice as hard once auction time comes to part ways. But how grateful I am for all the lessons they're learning, and it makes living in these long, cold, annoying winters worthwhile... almost.
Chris, despite his eyes being closed during general conference talks, always seems to be able to recount the messages with perfection... how does he do that? Aahhh, he looks so cute all tuckered out... I just want to cuddle right up next to him.
The kids colored while listening.
Tade was having difficulties. Just keeping it real people. As a side note, his name seemed to come up in every conversation I had with my friends in the days before.. I am excited to implement new things I've learned, and I know someday this "special" stage he's in will pass... it will pass right?
It's so cool that anyone around the world can just hop on the internet and stream live feed of conference right in their home. Every single talk today was so terrific and taught me something. I can't wait to read them again and highlight and dissect each inspired message.
Addy made yummy smoothies for everyone as a Saturday treat. She has been cooking and baking so many fun things lately, perhaps I should put her in charge of a couple meals during the week...
what do you say Ad? Looks like a yes.
The kids cousin Elaine who goes to school at BYU Idaho sang beautifully in the choir during the afternoon session. The music during conference is equally as wonderful as the spirit felt during the talks. Elaine is in the light blue shirt on the right.
The girls always sneak away for dinner and dessert while the guys are at the evening priesthood meeting. Tonight we had Cafe Rio salads and Orange Leaf frozen yogurt. I was in a fruity mood, but couldn't resist a few gummi bears.