The Dog Whisperer

So, Adam has been playing with some dogs out in Iraq to pass the time...you can tell you've been away too long when you volunteer to be a chew toy for a man eating dog.  These dogs are trained to capture fugitives, criminals, terrorists, basically anyone, anywhere who is deemed a threat. They are amazingly well trained, and can be called off mid attack.  You may think you would have to be nuts to volunteer for this type of demonstration, but Adam actually had a really good time! And I think his mind is still in tact.... 

This must have been an adrenaline rush!

Don't Move!!!

At the end of the day, Adam said he had a lot of fun, though it scared the beegeebers out of him! I would imagine he was also happy to have made it out unscathed.


It's Friday

Friday is here, and that means favorites....
Keeping in mind that Adam is coming home in a little less than two months (we hope), after a very long thirteen months, these are my favorites right now:
Favorite # 1:
Michael Buble
I really like his music!  It is fun to dance to, work to, and swoon to...  Two of my recent favorites by him are Home and Lost.  Both are original works by Buble, and very heartfelt.  If you haven't heard them, look them up and buy them.  It will be worth your time/money.  I am choosing, however, to post Everything here, as I adore the words.  I can not help but think of my sweetheart when I listen to this song.  I couldn't post the original version, but look it up on youtube.  It's pretty funny/cute.  When you read these words, you will see why I love it, and why it reminds me of my husband.  Enjoy!

Favorite #2:
I recently discovered a BBC movie that I really enjoyed.  It is North and South, based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell.  It is kind of a Darcy Elizabeth/ Pride and Prejudice story, and the two leads are great.  This brings me to...

Favorite #3:
You can watch this great movie, along with a whole series of Masterpiece Theater/ BBC classics like it on youtube in decent, if not fabulous, resolution.  This is a great cure for a night when you are all by yourself, and need something to escape with.  The music is beautiful.  The story alluring, and the acting superb.  This is the first "episode/part."  It is broken down into approximately eight minute segments, and four episodes.  There are a series of other movies that are also very good here by the same poster.  Jane Eyre is perhaps my favorite...but then again, so is the book.


I Have a Fan Club

So, today Amalitta sent me this picture.  She told me that she and Nikky and Tony were working on a surprise for me, and this was it!  They made actual "I heart Liz" shirts.  Okay, this is one of the sweetest, funniest, most flattering things anyone has done for me.  These three young people are some of the strongest youth I have ever known.  They listen to their hearts and to the spirit, and try to do what is right, even when it is hard.  I am proud to know them.  The fact that they think so highly of me is truly humbling!! Love you guys!  Thanks!


Children's Lit

"Excuse me.  I'm reading here..."

So, I was thinking on Friday when I posted my "favorites" that I should post about a favorite children's book.  Then I thought I had written enough for a day....  Well, today, I may post a couple times if I get ambitious, but I will start this morning by making a couple favorite Children's book lists.  I am sure all of you are familiar with my favorites, but maybe there will be a couple you have not read, and want to try.  One of my favorite children's books was introduced to me by a friend in this same way.  So... here goes.

Favorite Picture Books
  • Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak*
  • Good Night Moon - Margaret Wise Brown
  • So You Want To Be President - Judith St George & illus. by David Small*
  • Joseph Had a Little Overcoat - Simms Taback*
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly - Also By Simms Taback-**
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs -  Judi Barrett & illus. by Ron Barrett 
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type - Doreen Cronin & illus. by Betsy Lewin**
  • Giggle, Giggle, Quack and Duck for President - Also by Doreen Conin 
  • No, David! - David Shannon**
  • How I Became a Pirate - David Shannon
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria - Peggy Rathman*
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales - Jon Scieszka & illus. by Lane Smith**
  • The Polar Express - Chris Van Alsberg*  (Anything by Mr. Van Alsberg is worth reading)
  • A Chair for My Mother - Vera B. Williams**
  • Ox-Cart Man - Donald Hall & illus. by Barbara Cooney*
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears - illus. by Leo & Dianne Dillon*
  • Arrow to the Sun - Gerald McDermott*
  • Casey at the Bat - Ernest Thayer & illus. by Christopher Bing**
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble - William Steig*
  • Swimmy - Leo Lionni**
  • Blueberries For Sal - Robert McCloskey**
  • Make Way for Ducklings - Robert McCloskey*
  • The Quilt Maker's Gift - Jeff Brumbeau & illus. by Gail de Marcken
  • Guess How Much I Love You - Sam McBratney
  • Love You Forever - Robert N. Munsch and Sheila McGraw
  • A House for Hermit Crab - Eric Carle
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
  • Frog and Toad are Friends - Arnold Lobel
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day - Judith Viorst & illus. by Ray Cruz
  • Miss Nelson is Missing - Harry Allard & illus. by James Marshall
  • Good Night, Gorilla - Peggy Rantham
  • Stelleluna - Jane Cannon
  • Verde - Jane Cannon
  • Amelia Bedelia - Peggy Parish & illus. by Fritz Seibel
  •  Harry the Dirty Dog - Gene Zion & illus. by Margaret Bloy Graham
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - Laura Numeroff & Felicia Bond
  • The Wide Mouth Frog: a Pop - up Book - Keith Faulkner (Must use voices :))
  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury
  • My Little Book About God - Jane Werner Watson & Eloise Wilkin
  • Oh the Places You'll Go - Dr. Seuss
  • Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss 
  • The Little House - Virginia May Burton*
*Caldecott Medal Winner
**Caldecott Honor 

I would have to say that right now my favorite on this list is The Quilt Maker's Gift.  This book is absolutely beautiful!  It was a Book Sense Book of the Year.  The illustrations are so amazing!  The story is about a King who is told he must give away all his possessions in order to receive the ultimate gift, a quilt from the mystical quilt maker.  It is an endearing story about giving and receiving, and what it is that will make us truly happy.  Read it!  I know you will LOVE it!


Friday's Favorites

Friday is here, and since I missed last week, I will post about a few favs today.  My first favorite was brought to mind last Saturday. 

I love knowing my prayers have been answered!  Last weekend was a wonderful weekend, as I traveled to Washington for Amalitta's baptism.  It was, however, difficult for a few reasons, and I was so happy that God answers our prayers.  I knew he answered many for me last weekend.  There is a quote I really like, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go." -- Abraham Lincoln  I felt this way on Saturday, as I prepared to give a talk at the baptism.  Never before have I been more afraid to speak, but never before have I been so blessed in a speaking experience.  My heart was calmed, and though tears were flowing, I felt so comforted!

Me and Amalitta on Her Baptism Day

My second favorite, came this morning from my sister.  The favorite is laughter!  Julie posted this quote by Sister Hinkley on our family website:
"Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, "We are here in mortality, and the only way to go is through;  there isn't any around!"  (Ensign, May 1998)  I would add, the only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.  You either have to laugh or cry.  I prefer to laugh.  Crying gives me a headache." 

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own. - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Whenever I am stressed or worried about something, laughter is the perfect antidote!  In the past year or so, Brian Regan has become my new favorite comedian.  He is SO funny!  If you haven't watched him much, check him out on youtube!  Here is one of my favorites! 


"Dance and let the joy be unconfined."

So to everyone who went to my dance class on Super Saturday, and everyone who didn't, we had such a great time, that we are going to continue on a regular basis.  For now, we are going to start the class on Thursday mornings @ 10:00 (doors will open at 9:45) at the church.  It will be an hour and fifteen minutes.  We were going to start this week, but do to seminary in the building, we have to check with the school and make sure there will be no glitches.  As for child care, I think Rachel will take care of it for next week, but after that, she wants us to rotate each week.  If we get a enough interest, you shouldn't have to tend children very often at all.  Also, we may add a night or Saturday class if enough people want one.

So, let me tell you why I love to dance, and why I hope you can join me in this love.  Dance is an internalization and an outward expression of music.  It is, for me, the ultimate expression of movement.  One can express joy or sorrow, humor or drama.  Without saying a word, thoughts and feelings can flow seamlessly through our bodies.  I feel invigorated when I dance.  Life blood flows to my fingers and toes.  My muscles contract and stretch in ways I seldom feel elsewhere.  Agnes De Mille, a famous dancer and choreographer, said, "To dance is to be out of yourself.  Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.  This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking."  I love to dance!  It feels at one with my spirit.  I am out of practice right now, and yet it stirs within me all the time.  I can not hear a piece of music without feeling that music in movement.  I believe we danced in heaven.  I think God wants us to dance and enjoy our bodies, if only for ourselves.  It is one of His greatest gifts to us.  "O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?" - William Butler Yeats

Come dance with us on Thursday!  "Let [your] joy be unconfined!"  

*And, by the way, as Dave Barry once said, "Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance."  We want you all there, whether you feel you can dance or not!  It won't be the same without any of you!*  


Friday's Favorites

I thought I would start a new post each Friday.  Kind of like a newspaper column.  I am calling it "Friday's Favorites."  In here, I am going to just talk about things that I really like or enjoy.  It may be a movie, a book, a recipe, a restaurant, or even little things that make me smile.  
This week I am going to share two of my favorites.  
First, I am going to post a recipe that a friend of mine gave me.  This is a fresh salsa, but Tamzen calls it Mexican Caviar.  Thanks Tamzen for one of my new favorite things!

Mexican Caviar

1/2 C oil
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Salt

Mix dressing, then add:
2 Cans (16 oz) black beans - drained and rinsed
2 Cans (11 oz) Mexican Style Corn 
1/2 C Chopped Scallions

Marinade, stirring a few times, at least three hours.

Just before serving add:
1 Large Tomato
1 Avocado, halved, pitted , Peeled, and Chopped


* A couple changes I like:
1. Tamzen told me you could use regular sweet corn, instead of Mexican.  I like this, because I am not a big fan of Mexican Corn.  So I use Niblets.
2. I also add the juice of one lime.  This not only adds to the flavor, but helps keep the avocados green.
3. Occasionally I put in two avocados, depending on their size.

Also, if pressed for time, this can be made all at once without marinading.  Though it is best marinated.

!WARNING!  This stuff is addictive!

The other thing I wanted to share is one of my favorite vacation spots.  Many of you know that my husband and I went to the Bahamas last year.  And I have had a lot of people ask me to give details about where we went.  We stayed on an island called Long Island.  It is an "out island" of the Bahamas.  It takes a little planning to get there, but it is worth it.  The retreat we stayed at was called The Cape Santa Maria Resort.  The island itself has a population of about 4000 people.  It is eighty miles long and as much as four miles wide.  It has the cerulean calm seas of the Caribbean on the west side and the deep, sapphire blue  waters of the Atlantic on the east.  The resort we stayed at is located on the caribbean side.  The water was like warm bath water, and the sand was like baby powder - super soft and white.  It was upper 80's while we were there, but the trade winds were constantly blowing, so even if you are hot, you are instantly cooled down.  Our little bungalow was ten feet from the beach, and about forty feet from the water.  The food was fabulous, and you could even have one of the workers there climb up a coconut tree and have fresh coconut if you wanted to.  The locals were very friendly, and even gave us fresh mangos (a totally different fruit, in my opinion, than we have here) right from their own trees.  We found the most beautiful white sand dollars, and other various shells.  The bonefishing is a total kick, even if you don't normally fish.  It isn't cheap, but having "Docky" guide you on your fishing adventure was well worth it for us.  His web address is:  www.bonafidebonefishing.com  It is so beautiful on Long Island!  It truly feels like paradise!  If you want to find a place for your next romantic or family getaway, go to this website: www.capesantamaria.com.  Also, as a stopover on our trip, we stayed at a bed and breakfast in Nassau called A Stones Throw Away (www.astonesthrowaway.com).  It was really nice, and that combined with this little restaurant close by called The Traveller's Rest, (they serve an amazing dessert called Guava Cake - pure ecstasy!) have convinced me that if/when we go again, I would allow for two nights at this quant place instead of one.  Well, I hope you all enjoyed Friday's Favorites!  Oh, and I would love for you to share your "favorites" with me!



Today, Tommy and Sarah wanted to color.  I was chatting with Adam, so I said "sure," and got out some paper and markers, and let them go to town.  They were coloring quietly and happily , when Tommy says, "I'm in disguise!  I'm in disguise!"  So I look over to see that indeed, he was in "in disguise," and Sarah was attempting to follow suit.  Ughh!  At least it is washable.  I then proceeded to tell Tommy, "we don't draw on ourselves.  Our bodies are temples."  To which he replied, "Temples?  Huh?"  Yeah, not so sure I am doing my job by him.  Looks like we need another FHE on the sacredness of our bodies.  Anyway, here are some pictures.  Enjoy!