Sunday, July 31, 2011

on God's love, and saving children from darkness

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I recently read an article in The Ensign, which is a monthly publication put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The article was titled, "Defending the Family in a Troubled World", and it was adapted from an address given by Elder Bruce D. Porter, who is a member of one of the leadership quorums (the Seventy) in the Church.

I found the article helpful, and I found two portions to be of particular interest to me, one because it clarified a principle, and the other because it gave me great comfort.  I'll quote those below.

"God's love is sometimes described as unconditional.  It is true that God loves all of His children on earth no matter how often or how far they may stray.  But while God's love is all-encompassing, His blessings are highly conditional, including the very blessing of being able to feel and experience His love.  The further human beings stray from the path of righteousness, the less they will be capable of feeling diving love, because it is conveyed into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  This does not mean that God loves us less when we stray, only that we, by our choices and actions, have distanced ourselves from His love.  How wondrous, then, is the gift of repentance, by which we can be brought back into accord with His will and feel again of His love."
(emphasis in original)

* * *

"Regardless of what the future may hold, God has ordained that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, the parents of the Church will be given power to help save their children from the darkness around them.  As the hearts of fathers and mothers turn to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents, we eventually will witness the rise of a generation refined and prepared to meet the Savior at His coming.  The triumph of God's kingdom in the latter days will be a triumph not only of the Church as an organization but of tens of thousands of individual families who by faith have overcome the world."
(emphasis my own)

The article in its entirety can be read here.  

Image courtesy of Lea Shariff

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A couple of newbies and a not-so-newbie.

I got a little behind in my lion posting, which is kind of a shame, because we have two NEW lion seekers, and some really fun shots from an old veteran this time around.  Intrigued?  I thought so.

Read on:

This from Grandpa P (and you can read the whole post, which is quite interesting, here.)

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(Brentwood, Nashville Area, Tennessee)

These are also from Grandpa P.  If you go here, you can read more about them, AND read more about a well-known guy who was raised on a mountain top in Tennessee.  These shots were taken in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.  Grandpa P is pictured in the third picture down, if you're interested.  (I don't recognize the man in the first shot.)


These are from my friend Tonia.  She was visiting Portland with her sister earlier this month, and found these for our viewing pleasure.  Nice, huh?

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This one is from my cousin Rebecca Bingham.  Rebecca (like Grandpa P) is currently serving an LDS mission, and (not like Grandpa P) has been stationed in Valley Center, Kansas recently.
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A big thanks to all three of you!

* * *

In case you were wondering, we are getting quite a collection of lions.  If you want to see for yourself, there's an easy way to do it.  See, in addition to posting them as they come in, I've been adding them to the original USoSL post here (which you can also find by clicking on the "I'm a Seeker of Stone Lions Button over there on the right side bar).  So, click and look my friends, please feel free to click and look.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Crashing the Party--Part Four (the grand finale)

As the day ran out, we put the all but the very youngest girl in two bunk beds that had been placed in a little loft just above the living room/kitchen area.  It took them quite a while to settle down, but eventually all but Heather were sound asleep.

I had warned Mark and Krista about Heather's habit of bursting into song just at the point when you thought she had fallen asleep, and asked if that was going to be a problem with their girls.  As it turns out, the Corry girls are heavy heavy sleepers, so neither Mark nor Krista thought it would be a problem.

That was a good thing, because around about 10:00 or so, as we were chatting about who-knows-what, the air suddenly rang with the rousing sound of:

 "Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you!  Happy A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-LMNOP!"

Mark & Krista (who had forgotten about my warning) each gave me an incredulous look and busted up laughing.

One of the more randomly hilarious moments of the trip.
(the other little girls slept through the whole thing, thankfully)

* * *

The next morning, we drove to the KOA, where we rented the biggest bike they had and piled in for a hour of adventure.


At the direction and navigation of Mark, Kamree, Kirsten, and Eliza, we rode uphill and downhill, and off-road and on-road.  We tried to get down to the lake, but were unsuccessful in our search for an entrance that was within our willingness to pedal.  At times it was a real work-out, and at times it was more of a breeze, but for the whole hour it was a barrel of fun, fun enough that I think we Cantwells might need to make it an annual tradition of some sort.




After the ride, we feasted on ice cream and shakes, and eventually made our way down to the pool for swimming and fun.  It was Heather's second time doing any real swimming (and her first time with her own flotation device) and she absolutely loved it all.

And when we were all tired out, and had enjoyed all the fun we could muster, we loaded up in our respective cars and made the trek home, exhausted, sunburned (just a little bit), but completely and utterly satisfied.  Not bad for a 23-hour trip.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crashing the Party--Part Three (a quick question)


What could possibly have these girls paying such rapt attention?


Why, the beloved Backyardigans, of course!

(It was actually the M&K Corry girls who introduced Heather to this fine group of singing animals.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crashing the Party--Part Two (the lake)

No Corry lake gathering (or Cantwell lake gathering, come to think of it) would be complete without a session of skipping rocks.

I like this picture so much that we have it on our wall.

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Picking up seashells, while not a hard and fast family tradition, always adds to the experience.


. . . and, should you find a prime stick while looking for seashells?  Well, so much the better!


This is Eliza.  At about 9 months older than Heather, I've found her example to be an extremely helpful motivator.  Why, just a few days ago I persuaded Heather to let me wash her hair in the bathtub without any tears or whimpering because, "That's how Eliza does it".  (Which feat we witnessed first-hand while we were in Bear Lake.)
Worked like a charm.

Of course, to look at this, you'd assume that this girl does absolutely no whimpering or crying whatsoever, right?


(But, it's a small price to pay for all this joy, and a nearly limitless supply of such smiles.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another Round-Up, July Edition

Well, it's that time again.  I hereby present to you another installment of "things Charlotte has found in magazines and on the internet that she wants to be able to find without having to Google them."  

Read on--or feel free to click off and check back another day.  

From the Web:

I'm completely inspired by this woman and her freezer meals.  She makes it look so easy, and now that we're the proud owners of a deep freeze, I think I just might be ready to venture back into the freezer meal fray.

Update:  I DID venture back into the fray.  I'm lovin' it!

I have a pump of foam soap from Bath and Body Works that I just love.  However, I'm not a big fan of Bath and Body Works Prices.  So, when it's all gone, I think I'll try this method of refilling it.

I'm hoping for a bumper crop of tomatoes in a month or so.  If that happens, I'll be clicking back to this post to refresh my memory on all the great things that I can do with my tomato harvest.

This cake looks divine, and not too hard to make.  Maybe I'll make it for my next "fasting reward" treat.

UPDATE:  I made it.  It was delicious!  However, I felt guilty enough about all that is in it that I'm not going to put it in the 3-ring binder of recipe joy.  I know my limits and this cake is just too tempting to have the recipe that easily accessible.  

I'm not sure whether or not I'll end up doing one of these "get my button" deals, but I've always wondered how.

Someday I want to try this cucumber punch.

I like this idea--weaving using a hula hoop to make a round rug.

Molten Chocolate Cake--from a Crock Pot.  Katie says this dessert took like 5 minutes of actual work.  I'm all over that.  (It might have to wait until the next Fast Sunday though.)

Some of these ideas are genius, particularly the ketchup bottle-come-pancake batter dispenser one and the store your sheet sets inside of a pillowcase one.  (although, now that I think about it, putting the pancake batter into the ketchup dispenser is kind of a pain, and probably more work than I want to do.)

I love putting wreaths on my door.  This one looks particularly fun, and something I might be able to manage . .  if I only had a collection of seashells.

Ever since my mom and I went to Rome together all those years ago, I've had a love affair with Margherita Pizza.  The California Pizza Kitchen Version is a passable imitation, but I'm interested to try out this recipe (with fresh garden tomatoes of course!) to see if it's worth the extra work.

I like some of these tips (from India) on Home Remedies for Common Ailments.  Particularly the one for dark circles under the eyes, and the one for treating light burns.

I'm forever on the hunt for "the" chocolate chip cookie recipe--the one that I will love forever.  I thought I had it in my mom's knock-off Mrs. Fields recipe, but my tastes have changed since my childhood, and that one isn't doing it for me.  So, perhaps I'll try this one and see if it's the new winner.

And here's another one to try:

Or, maybe this one:

I love putting wreaths and other decor on my door, and I especially love this one.  Will I ever get around to making it?  Probably not--but it sure is fun.

Ever since we painted rocks, Heather's been mad to do more painting in the backyard.  I think I might try this next time, since apparently these paints wash out of clothes easily, (unlike the acrylics we've used for the rocks).

I'm forever on the lookout for Star Wars themed things.  This woman put on a whole Star Wars party for her son, complete with wookie cookies, Little Leia Cupcakes, and (my personal favorite) a garbage masher cake!
Now, we all know I'm not going to actually take the time to make this anytime soon, but it's still kind of fun.

Ali has complied an excellent list of a whole bunch of blog link parties all over the internet.  You can find that here.
Jam Hands

Speaking of jam, I like this printable to be used to turn a jar of homemade jam into a gift to be envied.  Always fun.

I have white blinds in my kitchen just like this lady.  I think I'll try her little tip of using rubbing alcohol to get them clean from the dirt and grease than inevitably find their way there.

I want to try this recipe for black bean brownies.  We'll see if they pass the Charlotte muster test.

And from the various magazines(and other printed matter) that I peruse :

To easily clean your microwave oven, place 1 cup water and 2 Tbs lemon juice or baking soda in a bowl and place in the microwave.  Heat on high until the mixture boils, then let it boil for 5 minutes so the steam accumulates on the walls and door of the oven.  Remove the bowl and wipe down the interior.  (From Mary Alice Warren in Waco Texas, by way of the back of an advertisement for Designer Checks.)

To clean the drip pans from your electric cooktop, spray them liberally with oven cleaner, and then place them in a plastic garbage bag overnight.  In the morning, take them out and wipe with a paper towel.  Then wipe again with a damp rag.  (From Tena Atford in New Market, Alabama--also via Designer Checks Advertisement.)

To clean bathroom and kitchen drains, pour 1 cup of baking soda into drain, then 1 cup of vinegar.  When it starts to foam, flush the drain with hot water.  (Taste of Home Magazine)

To freeze herbs:  Chop them and fill the sections of an ice cube tray with them.  Then, carefully pour water into each herb-filled compartment and freeze.  (I've got basil, cilantro, and spearmint in my container garden out back, I'm hoping to be able to salvage that bounty for the winter.) (Better Homes and Gardens)

More herb care:  Don't feel guilty about taking herbs from your garden to use.  Grabbing a pinch of this and a pinch of that when cooking keeps plants bushy and compact and encourages new shoots.  (Better Homes and Gardens)

Uses for Fresh Dill:  Enhance seafood salad dressings, eggs, chickens and soups.  For a quick side, add some finely chopped dill leaves to plain yogurt and toss with cucumber slices.  (Better Homes and Gardens)

Uses for Fresh Basil:  Lends itself to Italian, Mediterranean and Thai cooking quite well.  Is good with tomatoes, eggplant, squash, spinach, zucchini and other mild vegetables.  It also enhances poultry stuffing and pasta sauces.  (Better Homes and Gardens)

Some eyecare dos and donts:  If you have an eye infection and use steroid drops, they might make the redness look better, but the infection could get worse--even to the point of having to have an eye removed.  Also, Pinkeye isn't always benign.  A number of patients end up with light sensitivity and even vision loss.  Many physicians treat it with antibiotics which won't help if the cause is a virus.  At the Optometrists, they do a rapid test for adenovirus, and if that's the cause they treat it very differently than if the cause is bacterial.  (Readers Digest)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Crashing the Party--Part One (the playground)

Back in June, one of my brothers (Mark) took a little family trip to Bear Lake with his wife and kids.  Now, it was in the height of the craziness of opera prep (when everyone is working like crazy to build scenery and sew costumes and learn choreography and spend lots and lots of money), and so we weren't able to join them for all that long, but we certainly weren't going to let them be that close and not see them.

As it turned out it was a quick trip, but a full one.  In fact, between the time we arrived at 5ish on Friday night and the time we left at 4ish on Saturday afternoon, we managed to squeeze in at least four days' worth of fun.

The condo where we stayed had a really fun playground on the grounds, complete with one of the old school merry-go-rounds, the kind that I had at my elementary school.  It was Heather's first time on a merry-go-round, and she (as well as the cousins) really enjoyed it.

Kamree hams it up for the camera.

Kirsten has her moment as well.  


I don't know who that little girl in the striped shirt is, but I love the expression on Heather's face.

One thing I just love about being with Mark and Krista's family is the way the girls just adopt Heather as one of their own sisters, shepherding her along and treating her as one of the gang.  Since Heather has only the slightest idea that she's not the same age as any of them, it all works out really well for her.



Next up, joy and games in the lake.

Stay tuned.

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