Monday, December 31, 2012

One Word Goal 2013 {Embrace}

This past year my one word goal was "Cherish." And to my surprise, I have thought about that word and how to apply it to my life almost daily for the entire year. I found something to cherish during the trying times (and believe me--we have had plenty this year!)

I cherished the time with my baby, even when he was fussy, because he was mine and healthy and won't be a baby for long.
I cherished the smile from one student during one of my most challenging classes.
I cherish the fact that we were all alive.
I slowed down. I reflected. I contemplated. I cherished.

And now a new year has come. And I need a new one word goal.

I have listened to General Conference from this past October several times. I love so many of the talks. But there is something about Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from Saturday morning that touches my heart. He was teaching how to live without regrets. And that is definitely my purpose in making a New Year's Resolution. I want to choose one word to focus on throughout the year so I can look back on 2013 without regrets.

Near the end of his talk, he stated:
"...No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it."

Embrace.

 
It is perfect because it will help me expand on what I have learned to cherish in 2012.

I am going to embrace those I love.
I am going to embrace my thoughts and ideas and turn them into actions.
I am going to embrace new opportunities.

I am going to embrace the changes that will come, the challenges we will face, the choices we make.
I am going to embrace motherhood: to appreciate the fun parts and to laugh at the hard parts.
I am going to embrace all of the blessings in my life.

I am going to embrace 2013.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Instant Homemade Rolls


Ok so this recipe is not really "instant." But it is as close as I can find for homemade rolls. Seriously start to finish is about 30-40 minutes. Yes. Homemade rolls from scratch in about a 1/2 hour! Yum!


1 + 1/8 c. warm water (1/8 c. = 2 T.)
1/8 c. active dry yeast
1/4 c. sugar 
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
4-5 c. all-purpose flour (possibly more?)
1-2 T. butter (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, yeast and sugar; let rest for 5-10 minutes or until frothy and bubbly.  With a dough hook, mix in oil, salt, egg and 3 cups of flour until combined.  (With a KitchenAide, you can only go up to speed 2 once you add flour or you will burn out the motor.) Gradually add remaining flour until barely not sticky; if you add too much flour, the rolls will take a lot longer to rise but not enough will be too sticky to handle

Divide the dough into 12 equal (ish) portions then roll into balls. (Note: you could use this dough and make any shape of rolls you wanted. But we are going for the speedy method!) Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and let rest for 10 minutes.  (I placed my cookie sheet over the burner that is the heat exhaust for the oven. After about 5 minutes, I rotated the pan. This helped them rise better! If you added too much flour, just let them rise longer and they will still turn out!!) Bake for about 10 minutes or until tops are lightly golden.  Brush with melted butter right after taking out of the oven. (This will make the tops of the rolls softer. Sometimes I do this--sometimes I don't. Casey likes it better with the melted butter brushed on the top.)

Yield: 12 good-sized rolls. {Can also divide dough into 24ths for small dinner rolls.} 

This dough would also make great breadsticks, cinnamon rolls, etc.

Through trial and error, I created a 30 MINUTE HEALTHY ROLLS recipe. It is 100% whole wheat, fat-free, sugar-free and only has 100 calories per roll!! Be sure to check them out! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"The Nativity" FHE Lesson


I wanted to make an FHE lesson to go with our nativity. My plan was to have something that as we went through the lesson we would set up our nativity. I found these adorable nativity cards at Funky Polka Dot Giraffe and used them as a starting place. I also found a FHE Lesson by Jenny Phillips that was kind of similar and I used part of her lesson as well.

Before FHE: Print off pages 4-6 in the pdf document that Jenny Phillips uploaded. (If you want to participate in the activity later, don't look at page 5&6.) Also, you will need to print off all of the nativity cards at the Funky Polka Dot Giraffe. (Click the links above to go print those things.) Cut out the nativity cards and then hide them in your living room/ entire house--depending on how hard you want to make it. If your nativity is already set up, quickly take it down. If your kids ask why tell them it is a surprise for FHE so they will look forward to it.

Opening Song: Picture a Christmas (Children's Song Book #50)

Opening Prayer:

Opening Activity:  Give each family member a paper and pen. Let them all look at the “Can you tell what picture these are a part of?” sheet included in this packet (don’t let them see the answers), and give them 2 minutes to try to figure out as many of them as they can. They can write them down on the sheet if they think they know or want to guess. (If children are too young to write, you can just do it out loud together as a family.) After the two minutes are up, go over the answers, showing them the “big pictures.”

Discussion
1) How much easier is it to tell what the picture is when you see the whole thing and not just a tiny portion of it? (Talk about how maybe they could tell a little of what the picture was, like a house, but didn’t realize it was part of a snow globe. You may be able to get glimpses of what something is, but can’t understand all of it without seeing the big picture.)
2) Christmas presents, decorations, and Christmas parties are just a “tiny portion” of the big picture of Christmas. If we are only looking at the candy and the decorations and the gifts, we will miss what the “big picture” really is. What really is the big picture of Christmas?

Transition: Today we are going to set up the Nativity. Everyone needs to go find one card that looks like this (show the one not hidden). Even if you see more cards, just take one and come back.

Lesson: Read the card then let that person take out that piece from the Nativity and set it up. Once all of the cards have been read for the first round, send everyone out to find another one. Continue until all 10 cards are found and the nativity is set up.

Activity: Make a Gingerbread Nativity and ask about each thing as you are making it. Basically reteach/ restate the quote you read about each piece while you make it. (The link is for a gingerbread nativity that I have seen floating around through pinterest.)


Closing Prayer: