We were on our way to Utah for Thanksgiving 2018 when the truck started sputtering and spasming. Fortunately, we weren’t miles and miles from civilization when it happened! We were pulling into Kingman, Arizona, where we would spend the next six and a half hours while our fuel pump was replaced. Hey… at least they were able to get it fixed that very day… even on the day before Thanksgiving!
Time to revisit my family’s 2013 European vacation and exhibit more photos!
Happy travels… wherever you go!
It’s always fun for me to photograph the Chandler/Gilbert YMCA Prayer Breakfast! I don’t know the names of the men on each end in this photo, but from left to right, starting with the man wearing a red tie, are as follows: the event’s keynote speaker Dave Munsey, who has worked in the television and radio industry for more than 50 years and started the “Watch Your Kids Around Water” program; Gina Labenz, event co-chair; Kevin Hartke, Chandler mayor-elect; and Christine Ellis, event co-chair.
Being a volunteer in my community for several years, I’m happy to have Gina, Kevin and Christine, all of whom volunteer their time more than I do, as friends. Each of us attends a different church. In fact, Kevin and Christine are pastors at their churches. I absolutely love to talk to people of various religions because we always enlighten each other with our personal testimonies of God. We all have felt and seen His direction in our lives. And hearing those testimonies come from people of so many religions is powerful.
The prayer breakfast brings together numerous people of faith each year. It is a time to get to know and inspire each other, and to pray together in a united front of faith. That does wonders for a community!
I whole-heartedly recommend prayer–in groups and individually. As we humble ourselves before our Father in Heaven and sincerely invite Him to give us guidance, comfort, strength, forgiveness, or whatever we long for, He does.
Have a prayerful day!
On September 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States of America was signed into law. I encourage you to read and discuss with family and friends this remarkable document. I believe, as did the extraordinary men who helped bring it forth, that this work was inspired by God.
Pocket-size copies like these that I’ve photographed can easily be found for only a few dollars online and at some bookstores.
God bless America! The whole world is much better off when she shines as brightly as she can.
First time in the mesmerizing Bryce Canyon!
The rock spires are called hoodoos, and Utah’s Bryce Canyon boasts more of them than anywhere else on Earth. Plenty of information about them can be found at various websites online.
When I saw the middle branch in the above photo, I immediately thought of a vulture head and General Grievous from Star Wars. Someone might first imagine an octopus! The branch beside it (to the viewer’s left) could be a snake, or even a dragon taking flight. What else do you see?
Though it seems that these branches are in a dark cave at the bottom of the canyon, they’re at the top of the rim, near the trail! [I admit to manipulating the lighting & colors of these photos.]
Here’s a children’s song I composed. Click on the link below and enjoy!
Two years ago, Tanner had the idea of creating a round Jurassic World birthday cake with green frosting, chocolate candy rocks, and the kicker… blue jello surrounding it to look like an island (See May 31, 2016 post). I thought it was brilliant! I made one large box of jello in a jelly roll pan. Once it was firm, I traced around one of the empty 9″ cake pans with a knife and scooped out the big circle of jello so the cake fit nicely into it. It helps to frost the cake, then use bakers blades to transfer it into the circle. (I also made a Star Wars cake for him a week or so later. I’m glad he likes my cakes! See April 29, 2016 post.)
This year, Tanner decided to combine two of his favorite movies–Star Wars and Jurassic World–and have the Indominus Rex battling clones on the fiery planet Mustafar. Strawberry lava jello surrounding a rocky chocolate land mass! A tasty place to stage a fight.
Of course, any embellishments, such as Lego characters, must be quickly added, and the cake must then wait in the fridge for guests to arrive. Tanner put the action figures in place.
I scooped lava into bowls for those who dared to eat it! (I dared to, and it was yummy!)
Sydney went full Star Wars for her birthday cake.
Both of my kids helped me make their cakes. (Actually, I helped them.) Sydney even decorated her cake and cupcakes by herself. Fortunately, Star Wars toys, including Legos, are rather easy to clean before and after we exploit them in our cakes.
Notice the fun details Sydney added to welcome her guests: lightsabers in the cupcakes, Kylo Ren in the bowl of packaged muffins. (I put Ahsoka Tano in with the clementines, and Sydney let her stay and lounge.)
A paper Jabba the Hutt (I don’t remember where it came from) hogs the chips!
Obi-Wan Kenobi wishes Sydney a happy birthday with the poster she made.
Have a great day! And if it happens to be your birthday, I wish for it to be your merriest one yet!
Every two months in The Arizona Beehive Newspaper, I offer activities that families can do together to strengthen relationships and their testimonies of Jesus Christ, whom I believe with all my heart is the Savior of the world.
Here is one that is about to be published in the April/May issue:
“Scrambled Eggs” — a match and learn twist on the traditional Easter egg hunt.
*Write verses of scripture regarding Jesus Christ onto slips of paper. (Perhaps coordinate this lesson with the one below, using verses from your chosen stories.)
*Write questions that are answered in each verse on separate slips of paper.
Examples: How old was Jairus’s daughter when Jesus raised her from the dead? (Mark 5:42) Who came to strengthen Jesus as He atoned for the sins and sorrows of the whole world? (Luke 22:43) How many chapters tell of Christ visiting the Nephites after His resurrection? (See the paragraph above 3 Nephi 11 in the Book of Mormon.)
*Place each scripture verse in an Easter egg of a different color. Perhaps add an edible treat too!
*Place each question in other eggs, with corresponding questions and answers in the same color.
*Hide all the eggs (enough for each family member–except for the person preparing the game–to find at least one matching pair) around the house or yard.
*Assign each person a color or colors to find.
*Send everyone on the hunt!
*Once all eggs are found, take turns opening one pair of corresponding eggs at a time. Read the question, then read the scripture to discover the answer.