Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Missionary Monday - Princess Five and the NY Skyline

Hello to all my wonderful friends and family! I just wanted you to know that I love you all very much, and I hope you all get A's on your finals, and/or get to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Also a big shout out to my sister who's birthday is this week!

This week we had transfer calls and Sister "Companion" and I will be staying in Kearny! #blessed 
Some fun things that happened this week:
•We were knocking doors and a man opened his window and shouted down asking who it was (this happens often), we told him we were missionaries sharing a wonderful message about Jesus Christ, and he shouted, "Nope, you've got the wrong number", and slammed the window.
•We were walking down the street and we heard someone yelling "Hermana's," and one of our friends who we have a very hard time staying on contact with came running out of a restaurant, and we were able to set up an appointment with her! Right after that, not 30 seconds later, two of our friend we were teaching English class but had lost contact with came out of the laundromat right in front of us and we were able to exchange contact information again because they had changed phone numbers. God's timing is perfect!
•We were walking down the street and through window I saw a wool llama/alpaca tapestry so we went and knocked on there door. This cute old lady answered and was telling us they weren't interested but then we mentioned the tapestry and how beautiful it was, and she immediately let us in to see it. They are a couple from Ecuador, they came to the states about 30 years ago with 80 of their family members! they shared their beliefs with us and we were able to teach them about the book of Mormon, we have an appointment with them tomorrow!
•We taught a young man named Issa this week, he is a whopping 6'10", he is from West Africa, and he follows the Muslim religion. He has a lot of similar beliefs that we have, and a lot of interesting views of the scriptures, as he has grown up reading both the Koran and the Bible. But we were able to share the book of Mormon with him, and we really hope he understands, and feels the importance of it.
•About a month ago, I told a story about a little girl who started kissing a picture of Jesus when we handed it to her. Well we have stayed in contact with her dad, Jarek, and we were finally able to meet with him last week with a member! We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and called him yesterday to see how it went, and he said he had read and had felt so much peace from reading! We have another appointment with him this week!
This week was challenging, and through it I have been refined a little bit, and I continue to learn and grow so much every week, thank you all for you love and support, I love you all!

Hermana Princess Five 

Isabela(Jarek's daughter)
Knocking doors with one of the young women from our ward.
A low quality picture of our view of the New York skyline, that does not do the view justice.

Monday, April 29, 2019

What Brings you Joy - Sharing What Brings Me Joy

I have been pondering on "JOY" lately and in the past few weeks, I keep having the word show up in songs, shows, text, pictures, songs I have been listening to, and songs I have been singing. 

I had a cousin send me a picture of her on her vacation standing in front of a stained glass window that had "joy" in it. She Skyped me last night, and we talked about Joy for a long time. She shared that she has a little note on her computer to "Protect my Joy" as she feels that if you don't have joy in your world, you won't have any to share with others. 

Joy is my middle name and my mother shared that it was something she KNEW needed to be MY name. She told me that when my older sister was born, she thought, this isn't "insert my name and middle name" so she held onto the name and when I was born, she said she saw me and knew that I was the one that was to be named with that name. 

I don't know why I needed a specific name, but I had been pondering about it for about a month and a half and was praying during a sacrament portion of the Sunday services at church. I believe that God is my Father in Heaven and that He is loving and Kind, and wants my happiness. 

I was praying saying that I wasn't feeling "joy" in my life recently, but that I was just doing what I felt needed to be done. I was doing what others needed from me and being so tired and not feeling well, it has been hard to find the "joy" that I believe HE wants for each of us. The answer I feel He gave me, was that my middle name wasn't "Joy" because I would always have joy, but because I would bring Joy to others. When I pondered on this, I believe it is true. I find the most joy in my life through serving and bringing Joy to others. 
Fast forward to this morning. Our church choir was singing an Easter medley and it was a compilation of three or four Easter Hymns. There was the mention of Joy three times in the songs and at the top where it tells you how to sing it said, "Joyfully" at the top on several pages. I have practiced that song several times and didn't notice it until today while singing it. Even while singing it, I didn't notice that it said "sing joyfully" until the choir director pointed it out for the choir to sing it "joyfully!"

I leave that meeting and head to our woman's meeting and on the board at the front are four flowers and on the center of the first flower is the word "JOY" and I laughed and asked the teacher after the lesson mentioning "JOY" if I can have the flower. I show it and share about it in my video below. I then cut the word "Joy" out in the center circle so I can put it on my current gratitude frame. 

I get home, take a short nap, get up and make some lunch after a wonderful video chat with my girls and grandchildren. I decided to watch "The Office" on netflix as the new shows are so horrible with so much swearing or adult content and so I started watching yesterday and just having it playing while getting my meals ready and eating them. I am eating my meal and up comes an episode Season 1, Episode 4 called "The Alliance" and about half way through, Michael says, "That doesn't bring Happiness. You know what does? JOY!" 
I couldn't believe it as I had already decided to write my blog on Joy anyway but I thought that was so funny that all of those things happened today. I do believe that my Heavenly Father wants me to find happiness. I had been pondering during church about how you could help people "find" that joy. I share on the video how I believe if you ask people of different ages what brings them joy, the younger will name "things" that money can buy. I think the older you get, the more your family brings you joy. 

It would be interesting to take kids and have them do service and then give them the thing they said would bring them "joy" at the beginning and see after the service which brought them more joy. I then looked up how many times "Joy" is in the scriptures. In the King James Bible, it is mentioned just under 200 times. 

Anyway, I include more on the video I made about this, but I just wanted to share that I believe that Joy is created by individuals for themselves by doing service and taking care of their own needs and that unless you are filled, there isn't much you can share. 

I hope you have a JOYful and Blessed Day! 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Hand Cranking Ice Cream Makers - Fastest Easiest Yummy Ice Cream Recipe

For many years, I have taken crank ice cream makers camping with our family. We also used to make ice cream at home with regular motor ice cream makers. 

I haven't gone camping over Easter for the last few years and each time I find a hand crank wooden ice cream maker, I have purchased it as they are hard to find. I would sell the older ones in rough shape and then keep the better ones. 

I purchased one recently and decided that I really don't need more than one crank bucket. It is more of a novelty now that we aren't going camping as the kids are always busy. 

I had someone come today and they wanted to buy the oldest looking bucket. He has an old washing machine motor he wants to put on the crank on a pulley system. 

I was surprised that all three wooden buckets were by the same maker, "Sterling Freezer" Woodenware by Richmond Cedar works, but you can see by the look that they changed over the years. 

I made a video sharing my favorite ice cream recipe. I collected many recipes for homemade ice cream as my mother had cut out recipes from all sorts of newspapers and magazines for years so when I first purchased the makers, I tried many of the recipes and ended up throwing many away as they were so much work. 

I happened upon the recipe I share in the video and on a former post and since that time, I have never tried another recipe as this one is so fast and easy and I could make it camping. 

Here is the recipe:

1 pint cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
cookies, candy bar, nuts, fruit or other flavorings or mix in items. 

Here is the link to my first post on this.
Here is a post where I share about it camping and show making it at sand dunes. 

Here is a picture of the happy couple taking one of the makers to its new home. 

Have a sweet and blessed day! 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

My Mother's Been Gone For Three Years, But Not Gone Forever

Princess Five wrote an email and sent a few pictures this week and then sent these pictures after so some of the things in that post this week are explaining the pictures in this post. 

Here is a link to that post. I know that my mother is making herself known the past week or two as it is the third anniversary of her death and funeral. I have shared many times in the past few years, about how I see a rainbow around times when I would want my mother there or days or anniversaries around my mother. 

I smiled when Princess Five sent this picture of a rainbow on her mission this week as it is so my mother! I think my mother was just letting her know that she is around and things are good. 

Tonight, I am working on my blog and emails, replies to comments etc, and there was a video on YouTube that showed up and there was a video about a little autistic boy getting some help using a certain product. 

I have not searched that product type for many months and haven't had that show up on my feed before. I decided to listen to it as I uploaded things. 

I laughed out loud when the product name ended up being my mothers name! Seriously can't make this type of thing up! I laughed as I knew I was going to post about that tonight. I really feel like my mother is connecting with me this week and it is interesting that some family members I haven't had any contact with in many months all contacted me this week not even realizing it was an anniversary of sorts. 

I am grateful I know that there is life after death and that my mother is still around doing her thing. 

Have a Blessed Day! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Teaching Others How To Prune Fruit Trees - It's An Art

When you drive up to my house currently, this is the view. 

The fruit trees are in bloom and since I prune them in the fall, they look beautiful in the spring. The better part is, I don't have to prune when they are flowering as I used to have to fight bees on the blossoms and would knock off potential fruit. I learned many years ago that fall pruning works best for me as the trees look good all winter. 

This past Saturday, I got a call from my friends mother asking if I wanted to earn some money pruning her five fruit trees. I shared with her that I fell a few months back and have a pinched nerve in my right arm and I still have the trees in my back yard I didn't finish this fall to prune and I didn't feel I would have the time, energy, or ability to prune five mature trees that haven't been pruned regularly. 

I did tell her I would be willing to come show her how I would do it and give her advice on pruning them. She said she would like that. So, I packed up my tools and headed to her home. I told her it is hard to hire someone to do your trees as each person has different things that they want from the tree. 

If you want low fruit looking like a bush, the lower tree works. Most of the trees she had looked more like big bushes and because it is near their trailer parking pad, the trees had become a bit lopsided having that side of the trees pruned more than the yard side. 

On some trees, she didn't mind having a lower base "bowl" as she wanted more fruit etc. For the most part, she wanted a tree look with fruit over head but didn't want to use a ladder. I told her how I would do it and then ended up pruning four and part of the fifth tree for her. I thought I would be "ok" doing it since the trees were smaller than I thought, but my arm hasn't been the same since I pruned them. 

The pinched nerve has got my right arm a bit swollen and numb somewhat so it wasn't the smartest thing I did, but she did pay me. I  normally wouldn't take pay for helping someone, but felt like I should take whatever she felt fair in offering. Also, things are tight and it allowed me to pay someone to aerate and thatch my yard which it needed, so it was a good thing. 

You can see the above tree looking more like a bush and now at the right, it looks more like a tree and will fill out as she trains it by pruning it how she wants it. The last tree pictured below, I cut out the center branch and left the last few small branches for her to finish as I thought she had gotten the hang of which to cut off. She has since texted me several times thanking me as her trees look so good now. It is weird that none of hers were in bloom but lives a bit away from me, so we pruned just at the right time. 

I have several posts on pruning. Here is a link to the first where I describe how I prune them flat on the top. 
Here is one where you can see me in the tree using the hedger.  
Here is a link to one where I made a video.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Missionary Monday - Princess Five In Newark - Namaste

So it turns out that "Namaste" actually means "Hello" in Hindi, so who knew? we met a very nice young couple from India while knocking doors, we asked them about their religion and what they believe, and let's just say it was a unique experience testifying of Jesus Christ to someone who had never thought of him as their savior. They were incredibly kind, and we set a return appointment with them for the English sisters next week to receive a Book of Mormon!

The other day we were on the bus with the English sisters and we had all decided to sit in a different seat to increase our bus contacting opportunities, I was the only one who had somebody sit by them, his name was Moses, he was 10. In the 15 minute bus ride, Moses and I became good friends, he apparently is going to college next year to program computers, sadly though, he was a little more interested in Roblox than learning about the Gospel😅

Our friend Noemi is on date for June 1st!! She is the mom of our congregation secretary, and she is amazing, we are beyond excited. This was actually my first time extending a baptismal invitation, and I might of mumbled through it a little because I was so nervous, and she did not understand right away, but she is now on date and that's all that matters.😁

We went to a train station and set up a table stand with the English sisters, and a lot of people had places to go and not a lot of time to talk but I did get a kiss on the cheek from an old man so that was fun. 

We had a Book of Mormon request from a man named Luis and he basically told us he wants to be baptized, and how in the last four years he has turned his life around. We hope to have a lesson with him this week with a member, so we can understand better what he wants, because Spanish👍🏻

Fir milinge ("see you later" in Hindi)
Cuídense ("take care" in Spanish)
Love you all!
Hermana Princess Five

East Newark is part of our area as well.
And I liked this sign so I took a picture with it.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Glass Blowing - Stained Glass - Pulling Glass Classes - Part 2 My Candy Dish

I shared last blog post about my sweet Princess One giving me a wonderful gift of Glass Blowing. 

I wasn't really thinking when I went in or when I called that the first two options weren't actually "glass blowing" but it was wonderful just the same. 

I would at some point like to try the glass blowing session but it does take longer and cost more money. 

There is an age limit for glass blowing classes at this studio, gladly, I am over the limit! ;-) I think it takes a bit more skill and time to create something using the glass blowing techniques.

Even thought my experience was short and doesn't take much "skill" I LOVED it and think my weird shaped candy dish is adorable and unique so I LOVE IT! It also represents that someone took the time to think about something I enjoy and wanted to give me an experience to do something I enjoy or make something I enjoy. I think it was a SUPER thoughtful gift on her part. 

Any project you make takes 24 hours to "cure" and bring the temperature of the glass down slowly so the item doesn't crack in cooling quickly. I had decided to spend a few days in the area since the drive is long and I can see family while there so it wasn't a problem for me to drive to pick it up the next day. 

I made a video about the place and the experience and shared some of the other items you can make and the other classes they offer as I really think it would be a fun family activity for each person to get to make their own glass item. It helps allow the creative juices to flow as they get to pick out the colors and the item they want to make and then see the final product and use it. 

I think for the value, it is well worth it. Dinner and a movie is about the same price as this opportunity and this will give them something to keep and cherish as well as a fun memory. Maybe it would be a good incentive "prize" for the child to earn and get "one on one" time with a parent as well. I can't imagine any child wouldn't enjoy this experience. 

I highly recommend this experience and think that you would be able to find places in any state that offer this even if you do have to drive over a state line or a few hours, make a day or weekend out of the experience as I did. It was well worth it! 

I thought this platter they had at the studio was cool as it looks like a jellyfish. Enjoy! Have a Blessed Day! 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Making a Glass Candy Dish - A Thoughtful Gift Part 1

Princess One is really good at seeing what someone likes and gifting them things they would enjoy. She has suggested many gifts due to my talking about them and for Christmas, she hit the nail on the head again! 

She wrote me the cutest card having the kids sign it or draw their hand on it and gave me the gift of a glass experience! That may sound like a weird thing to give someone but if you come into my house, I have hand blown glass pieces all over my house. 

I LOVE that each piece is unique and one of a kind! I know it isn't very functional and have tried to get rid of some pieces but rather than having plants in my kitchen window, or candles like I used to have, I now have colored glass pieces. 

She thought it would be fun for me to have my own experience blowing glass or making something glass. She looked around online to find a place that would offer those experiences and be close enough I could travel to do it. She found several options and then picked the one she thought would be best for me. 

She had me look online at the things I could make as you have to schedule your appointment according to the time it takes to make the item. One the website I didn't see the type of flowers I saw at the actual studio but for the most part, what you see on the website is what you will make. 
I love that at the studio, they have flowers in all colors on the color selection stand and you can mix and match the colors that you like together so basically, anything you make will be unique to you as you will pick unique colors and you will pull it differently or blow it differently than anyone else. 

I asked my girls which they thought I should make and they all said that a candy dish would be more functional but I really liked the flowers once I got there but figured I would do the candy dish as it will eventually end up with Princess One and the flower isn't as functional. 

The worker was super friendly and allowed me to do as much as possible giving me a good chance at the experience. I thought it was funny that she asked me if I wanted her to "fix" the odd shape of the bowl but I really like that it is more of a leaf shape. 

I think it would be a fun date or family activity with my girls at some point. I loved that Princess One was thinking of something that brings me joy. 

I have been uploading the video all day and then took a video of the dish and I am on my third attempt to upload it so I am going to do a part 1 and 2 for this so I can share the finished product on my next blog.  The video is super loud due to the fans to keep the room cool as there were three furnaces keeping the glass at over 2000 degrees so there are parts in the video where it is hard to hear but even if you watch it in fast speed, it is cool to see how it takes shape and see the experience. 

The studio has classes for blowing, shaping and stained glass. I LOVE that they give you the opportunity to learn those skills. I spent another 1/2 hour looking around the studio and marveling at all the beautiful art. Even the bathroom had many pieces of art on the wall. 

There are three pieces in there for sale I would LOVE to buy. There is a $90,000 stained glass window of Christ. There are two huge chess pieces all in glass and they didn't have prices as the small pieces 1/10 size were $100. The last set I would love is the elements. Earth, wind, fire, and water. 

They had the coolest dip in the floor where they filled it with led lights and have all sorts of glass in it and you walk over it. Very creative. I'll share more in my next blog. 

Have a Blessed Day! 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

My Mothers Tulips - A Blooming Spring Blessing

I posted a blog two years ago about some tulips I dug up on the land where I grew up.

I shared that I also cut some and took them to my mothers funeral the year prior. It was three years ago this month that my mother passed away. 

After her death, we sold the land where I grew up and it was just about two years ago that I went to the land and dug up the tulip bulbs. 

We sold the land and they were going to develop it. The tulips would have been destroyed or lost. 

I was sad when last year, not one tulip came up. I figured I had killed them off or they didn't like the soil in my yard as I have had other tulips and other flowers die in my clay soil. 

Imagine my JOY this past week when I pulled in from being out of town to see spots of red in both of my front garden beds! 

Today I was raking up some downed twigs and branches in my back yard, and I spotted a ton of red tulips coming up in the bag garden bed! I had forgotten that I planted some of the bulbs in the back garden! 

I remembered that I wanted to spread them out to give myself a good chance that some would survive! It looks as if they all survived but took a few years to bloom! 

I smile every time I see them. They are the same flowers that I enjoyed as a child. I can't believe they have survived for so many years. I hope that they last forever bringing me joy each time they bloom! 

It is interesting to me that they bloom around the time my mother died. Just a sweet reminder of her! 

I'm feeling blessed and hope you are as well!