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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Feliz Navidad Everyone!

For a little time over the Thanksgiving Holiday our entire family was together. And this is how we spend that time:
So Feliz Navidad to all of you!
And a couple more things:
I put an incorrect link on the Perfection Creme giveaway a couple of weeks ago. SO SORRY! Check them out here.
AND .. just one more day to enter the CHRISTMAS JARS and CHRISTMAS JARS REUNION giveaway. Click the link at the top of the page for giveaways and you will be directed to the post to enter. (Sorry, I'm traveling and am posting from my iPad - not quite as easy to link up and to pretty-fy this post.)
That's it for now ... MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, November 25, 2011

anatomy of opening a mission call

By way of explanation for my non-LDS friends:
When a person decides to serve a mission, he/she goes through a process of earning money (the missionary supports himself for the 2 years)
taking care of medical and dental things (missionary must be in good health and dental things [braces, wisdom teeth, etc] need to be taken care of before beginning service); preparing spiritually and being interviewed by bishop and stake president.
When this is completed, everything is submitted to Church Headquarters and the prospective missionary waits (im)patiently for his/her call to arrive via the postal service.
It's a big, exciting day when the call arrives.
Bryan was working in Arizona, so when his call came on a Thursday to our home in Nevada, family members drove the few hours to deliver the call and watch Bryan open it.
Until the packet is opened, the missionary doesn't know where he is assigned to serve or the exact date he begins service. It's like Christmas - opening the call!
His a pictoral anatomy of Bryan's experience
(quite typical!):
Brad first shares a bit about Trevor opening his mission call 10 years earlier
Trevor's records as his wife, Caci, tries to sneak a peak
Bryan opened the call and read outloud ... we could feel the anticipation in the room!
"... you are assigned to serve in the Philippines Quezon City North Mission ..."
We were all so excited that it our jumping around made it hard for Trevor to get verbal reactions on video!
Trevor and Steven are our most recent returned missionaries - Trevor served in Russia and Steven (Brooke's husband) served in the Philippines! He immediately began teaching Bryan Tagalog.

proud family

things finally got quiet enough for Bryan to make a few phone calls

We are all so proud of Bryan and excited for his 2 years of adventure, service, spiritual growth. He begins on February 1st.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This Thanksgiving I am grateful for:
(and extended family even though they're not pictured!)




Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This week's memorization will actually take me more than a week - probably 3 weeks, I'm thinking. It's "The Living Christ"
I won't be the first to memorize this. In fact, I know of about 15 young women in my area who will probably beat me to it! But here's to memorizing meaningful words!!
I expect this week to get the first 3 paragraphs memorized.
Anyone want to join me?

Here it is in its entirety:


As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary's cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to "become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His "other sheep" (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised "dispensation of the fulness of times" (Ephesians 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: "His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

"I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father" (D&C 110:3–4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

"For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

"That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God" (D&C 76:22–24).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—"built upon the foundation of . . . apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20).

We testify that He will someday return to earth. "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together" (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

make a miracle

I was really inspired on Sunday
when I sat in on a class for the youth.
The teacher talked about how we should be inclusive of all - not limiting our lives to those we think are "important" or "popular". It was a great lesson.
Then she challenged the youth, and the challenge hit me, too - as something we should all do:
"make a miracle this week", she challenged.
"It doesn't have to be something big. Maybe just learn someone's name and say 'hi' each day; maybe smile at the shy student; maybe sit by someone who's alone."
I realized as she spoke, that the obvious miracles will be for the recipients of those kindly, small acts. But I believe the greater miracles will be what happens in the hearts and souls of the givers.
I've made it my goal to "make a miracle" every day this week.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I'm so happy to announce that Annalee won the Perfection Creme giveaway!

And with Thanksgiving this week, causing feelings of gratitude and anticipation of the joy of giving at Christmastime, I'm oh-so-excited to announce another giveaway:
Jason F. Wright is a gifted author. By far, my favorite book of his (and possibly my all-time favorite Christmas book) is
This book helped our family create a tradition - actually, our favorite holiday tradition. We've had experiences since first reading this book that have actually been life-changing. It's a novel, and a very gripping novel at that. But mostly, it's an experience. If you've never read it, please pick up a copy - I promise, it will kick of this season of joy in a new way and you'll be glad for it!
I ran into Jason at our local Deseret Book Store where he was stopping for a few hours on his book signing tour. He took a few moments with me and shared this Silver Strand of his:

To win an autographed copy of Christmas Jars and Christmas Jars Reunion, leave a comment on this blog post.

Additional Entries: (please leave a separate comment for each entry)
*Be a Silver Strands follower
*Share a Christmas miracle you've experienced with me
*Visit - you'll be glad you did!
*Blog about this giveaway and share the link with me
*Facebook about this giveaway
*Tweet about this giveaway

Good Luck Everyone.

Friday, November 18, 2011


That's my youngest, Azure, on the right. The other one is either Brooke or Sierra ... can't tell. I know the girls won't really like this picture - they're all 3 photo-hogs. They love taking great pictures of themselves! So this one wouldn't measure up for them. But for me it's one of my favorites. That I can't tell which sister is next to Azure makes it all the more meaningful. Seeing 2 sisters curled up beside each other, sharing a single blanket. Well, there's not a better gift for a mother, now, is there? There are some great quotes about sisters. These few I'm sharing with you really strike a chord in me - about my own sisters, and about my daughters:
When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? ~Pam Brown
A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garretty
Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister. ~Alice Walker
How do people make it through life without a sister? ~Sara Corpening
When mom and dad don't understand, a sister always will. ~Author Unknown
I love you girls.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Lots of things come to mind when the word "green" is said.

But right now, for me green means:
Green signifies life (remember biology class?) ... and when it comes to Christmas, green symbolizes eternal life.
PLUS - it's a really pretty color, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

to memorize


It's time for me to memorize something fun. So this week, I'll tackle Lewis Carroll's "JABBERWOCKY"

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

(wish me luck!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Denalee-I'm a Mormon.

Hi, I'm Denalee

I'm a wife, a mommy and a grandmother; I've worked in TV & marketing but the best job I've ever had is at home. And I'm a Mormon.

Two of my favorite bloggers have created posts recently that inspired me to share these thoughts:
Camielle at RealWomenAreAlaskan is helping to debunk myths about Mormons including "cult" ideas. Please read her post here. It's informative and thorough.
Lindsey at the r house posted her I Am A Mormon profile recently and it inspired me to create mine.

You can see my profile in its entirety here. On my profile page I share some thoughts that are really tender in my heart. I would be so happy to share this part of me with you. Here's an excerpt:

About Me

I have a passion for life. I see life as a gigantic gift in which each day is a new little present. I've learned through my own trials of infertility; Multiple Sclerosis; contested adoption; financial disaster; losing loved ones ... that there is joy and peace to be found in everything, at every moment in every day. It just requires submission to God's will - and then the peace flows and joy fills in the holes that sorrow and pain have created. I love learning! Especially learning about what nature has to offer. I dabble in essential oils, whole organic foods, living water, and exercise. I can't get enough of reading good books! It's easy for me to become so absorbed that I have learned to get my "must-do's" finished before picking up a book. It's bound to be hours before I emerge from the turning pages! Although I help make money for our family, homemaking and nurturing are my passions. I LOVE PEOPLE! Everyone has a story and I want to hear them all. This brought me to the great experience of hosting tv talk shows in Alaska and Nevada. I'd love to continue work in television because I'm also a big ham who loves the camera. For me, LIFE IS GREAT!

For those who don't know, "Mormon" is a nick-name which members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were given because of our acknowledgment of The Book of Mormon as scripture. With the nick name and the scriptures, it is thought by some that we are not Christians. But we are! The subtitle of The Book of Mormon is: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We read and believe the Bible - both the Old and the New Testament as well.

For more about what we, as Mormons believe, click here. For more about my personal feelings of faith, click here.

I sincerely hope to have not offended anyone with this post. Also, please know this: I acknowledge all people as good, as brothers and sisters with the same Heavenly Parentage regardless of faith or absence of faith. In opening my deep feelings, I hope that you have understood it in the way I feel it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Giveaway AND a precious SILVER STRAND

My cousin, Susan, is an amazing woman for many reasons.
You'll find her amazing because she's offering a giveaway! Yay for giveaways!!
More on that at the end of the post. The real prize in this post, though, is her sharing of one of her Silver Strands:

As one looks back over their lifetime, it is much easier to see the miracles or silver strands, interwoven with daily life. I recognize many silver strands in my life. One huge miracle unfolded in the spring of 1999.

After about 12 hours of toughing out some severe abdominal pain, believing I could “will” it away, I finally succumbed to a trip to the Emergency Room. I suspected appendicitis as the pain was high in the abdomen and very sharp at times. Over a period of many hours, ER doctors and specialists became involved, trying to make an accurate diagnosis. Eventually I was admitted for the night and was told they had asked my gynecologist to stop by the hospital the next morning. He did come to check on me and delivered the news that I needed a hysterectomy and I needed it soon. Emergency surgery was scheduled for early that afternoon.

Not many hours after I moved from the recovery room into my hospital room, some medical professional stopped by to suggest that I get in touch with an urologist to have a spot on my kidney checked. Survival was the order of the day and I didn’t pay much attention to that admonition. Once home, I was looking at a six week recovery period and with small children still at home and businesses that required my attention my focus was on getting well.

One day shortly after I arrived home I got an unexpected phone call from an urologist’s office, saying the doctor had been asked to stop by my room at the hospital but had not done so before I was released. Driving myself anywhere was not an option as I had a very large and very fresh incision. I couldn’t imagine the urgency to go see another doctor. I jokingly said that they must have found out that my insurance paid well and wanted a piece of the action.

Somehow I made my way into that doctor’s office within a few days of his phone call and was shocked when he showed me a spot on my kidney that had been detected when they were trying to identify the source of abdominal pain. This spot was totally unrelated to the original problem. He told me it was either a blood filled cyst or a malignant tumor. Shocked, I agreed to have a biopsy. Within a matter of a few days, the diagnosis was back. I was told I had renal cell carcinoma! My name and cancer had never been in the same sentence. This would mean another major surgery just six weeks after the first. I was reeling!

I had no symptoms, no reason to believe I had any kidney problems. It took all the strength I could muster to prepare for the second surgery. My family needed me. My business needed me. I would be down for another six weeks. But I had no choice.

The affected kidney was removed. It was determined that the cancer was all contained in the kidney. I didn’t have to have chemotherapy or other treatments. How blessed I was that the female related problems had manifested themselves exactly when they did so the problem could be found before it spread through my entire body. They don’t think I would have had any symptoms until it was too late.

Ever grateful for this blessing, the blessing of finding a serious problem before it was out of control, reminds me of the silver strands that are interwoven in our lives. We all have them. Recognizing them is the secret.

Did I tell you she's amazing?! Now, one more thing before the giveaway announcement. Susan owns and runs at least 2 companies: Techno Hue and Seven Arrows Color Connection. She also champions the cause of living life to the fullest through her website: Celebrate Life. If you want to be uplifted, check out all of those sites.


Perfection Crème

Certified 100% Toxic Free

· Provides plumping action within a short period of time. Less wrinkles and sagging skin.

· Contains tightening agents for both lifting and firming as well as bio-peptides. Bio-peptides reverse the collapse of skin tissue causing lines and wrinkles.

· Visible decrease in wrinkle depth within 14-30 days.

· Repairs and prevents skin aging by stimulating the skin’s defense mechanisms against oxidative stress.

· Lightening of dark circles gradually and effectively over 90 days. Repair of microcirculation by anti-inflammatory action.

· Clinical tests resulted in tremendous reduction in the pigmentation of dark circles under eyes by 45%.

· Dramatically lessens puffiness under eyes by reducing inflammation.

· Reduction in appearance of spider veins.

· Use as effective rosacea treatment.

· Rejuvenates aging skin.

· Provides younger and more rested appearance with immediate well-being effect.

· Maintains optimal moisture throughout the day and night for firmer, younger looking skin.

Long term action creates long term, permanent results

*Leave a comment

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES: (separate comment for each entry please)
*Be a Follower of Silver Strands
*Check out Seven Arrows Color Connection & tell me about a product you love
*Check out TechnoHue and tell me something you learned about color
*Check out Celebrate Life and consider sharing your story on the site
*Blog about this giveaway & link to it
*Facebook about this giveaway
*Tweet about this giveaway


Friday, November 11, 2011

happy birthday DAD

I know, I know ... everyone thinks they have the best Dad in the world. But mine really is best.
Here's why:
Rooms light up when he walks in
Everyone feels like they're the most important person in the world when in his presence
He knows how to help me put things in perspective
He never laughs at me, but he always knows how to make me laugh
Just being near Dad creates instant peace
Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

count 'em ... it really works!

In a slump? Everything going wrong?
This really works: make yourself count your blessings.
Be grateful for a full 5 minutes - only dwelling on each gratitude item for a couple of seconds. It's hard at first to get past the first dozen or so ... but after a minute, everything changes! Troubles leave, burdens lift, the clouds dissipate. Everything becomes clear and absolutely beautiful.
"We can lift ourselves and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude."
President Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I've been diffusing peppermint essential oil throughout the house lately. It's such a refeshing, invigorating scent! Plus, it makes it feel like holiday time ... and I'm a total sucker for the holidays. And wow! Talk about a festive looking leaf!
So I've been thinking about peppermint. It's an amazing plant, really. Peppermint oil is an excellent digestive, anti-inflammatory, and an antiseptic. It helps the respiratory system and helps with circulation. All of this while also tasting delicious and making us happy!
So I did a little search and found this amazing blog:
with an entire post dedicated to peppermint dessert recipes! Check them out.

Here's to peppermint!