Monday, November 19, 2012

Blah Blah Blah and Cookies

The kids have half- days all week until Thanksgiving.
That gives me 30 minutes to blog this afternoon before my Supermom powers need to be activated again for the day.
Lately, it seems like they are needed all of the time. That's not a bad thing at all. I love being a mom, it just means I am not able to spend time on the blog. I have this idea that my posts should have some sort of point, however, life doesn't always provide me with a clear, easy to blog about point, so I just put off posting. I think I was happier when my posts had no point and I didn't pressure myself. I need to find the balance still.
Isn't that just the story of every one's life? You struggle to find balance, you struggle to decide what the focus needs to be and to juggle it all. You don't want to let  go of the other things that you still hold dear, you just can't put them at the top of the list for awhile.
My life is still making progress, going in a direction that I believe is good, it's just busy.
And, even though they are noisy and they leave Go-gurt wrappers all over the house and 'forget' do do their homework every single day--I prefer to have the kids here at home than anywhere else. I love half days, I love school breaks and I love having the little beasties around.
It wasn't so fun when we had no power, but that didn't last forever, thankfully.
Zane has been gone a lot lately, helping crews from the church clean up the areas that are still living a nightmare in our area. He's always sunburned and covered in dirt, but I could not be more proud of him.

In stake conference last month, we gained a new stake president, but 'lost' our dear Bishop in the process.
He'll be a great Stake President, though,  that's for sure.

Yesterday, they called the new Bishop.
He is absolutely awesome.
 I cannot say enough good about this man.
We are so excited that it was hard not to cheer when the announcement was made.
Our new Bishop was one of the first to extend a sincere and loving hand of friendship to us when we moved here, he and his wife absolutely radiate joy and are a ray of sunshine. They are honest people, hard workers and spend so much of their time serving others that we are humbled to even have such wonderful people in our lives, to count them as friends.
We love their children and spending time with their entire family, we love how our new Bishop has always looked out for our sons, even making sure he connected with Parker when he was here this summer.
 His friendship and heart that is turned to the Lord reminded me of what it was like to have Jeff Kendall as our Bishop in Taylorsville. Jeff Kendall changed out lives forever, he changed our family and I personally learned that no matter what the storms may be around you, that with the Savior, the words "peace , peace be still" and turning your life towards Him will bring you comfort and joy. He taught me how to find peace, that I deserved it and to embrace it. It was a new concept for me as I spent the first 30 years of my life just trying to outlast the storms. Come to Jesus and there will be still waters.
That knowledge changed my life for good.

My heart is filled with happiness over the calling of our new Bishop.

He is the best of us, an example and this man is a blessing to everyone who meets him.
We (already) love Bishop Hawkins.
When the announcement was made that a new Bishop was called and we'd find out on Sunday who it was, we were all wondering who it would be. We were speculating on who we thought was already kind of playing the role, who would bring specific spiritual gifts to the ward and having a lot of discussion about how leadership is chosen in the church.
We talked about how sometimes you 'click' with a leader, sometimes you don't. Sometimes leaders make mistakes and screw up and it's hard to know what to do with that. Personalities can clash, mistakes from the past can rise up and surface and weaknesses are often exposed in both the leaders and the congregation. People are not perfect.
In church this week, one of the speakers shared a quote she'd heard and I loved it:
"Church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners."
Sometimes when there are leadership changes in a ward, we forget that those who are called have their own struggles and trials,too.
Always, the Lord has something for you to learn.
Always, there is a purpose.
There have been leaders that, in all honesty, I could not stand on a personal level. Sometimes it was really hard for me to pick out the good from when they said when it was being drowned out by who was saying it.
I had a choice.
 I could decide that the leader was a jerk and therefore, none of the counsel applied to me, or I could decide that I wasn't going to let someone else's annoying personality or bad choices decide whether or not I felt the Spirit.
I would pray that I could hear the message that God had for me, instead of the grating voice of the person who pushed my buttons.
In every instance where I asked the Lord to help me get something out of a meeting or an interaction I was going to be having with that leader, the Lord helped me out. I left the encounters surprised that I wasn't angry or upset and I had a good spiritual experience, in spite of the fact that a person I thought was a total jerk was delivering the message.
I didn't leave with a burning desire to invite them over for dinner, but I did leave with the comfort that God knows what he is doing and even when there are a lot of problems, he sees a bigger picture and he will make sure that everything is okay.
(I'm not writing that because there are any concerns or problems with our new leadership change, it's just a topic we have been discussing in our home this week.)
I made these cookies:
They were ohmygoshsogood
Chewy and crispy.
This one goes in my cookie rotation for sure. It uses a lot of butter, but oh, it uses it well.
Butterscotch cookies
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized slices plus 2 Tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2- 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

    Sugar Dredging Mixture
    • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
               2 tablespoons sugar


    1 Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside. Mix together the sugar dredging mixture in another bowl and set aside.

    2 Place 10 tablespoons of butter into a thick-bottomed skillet over medium heat. The butter will foam a bit before subsiding. Once the butter takes on a tan color and begins to smell nutty take it off of the heat. Add the other two tablespoons of butter and mix it in until it melts.

    3 Pour the brown butter into a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the brown sugar and salt and mix. Add the egg, egg yolk, soft butter, and vanilla extract and mix together, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once. Add the flour mixture in three increments being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom once or twice. Mix just until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be very thick, the texture resembled gingerbread cookie dough.

    4 Take 1/2 to full tablespoon-sized pieces of dough (you can make them a bit bigger or smaller to your liking, just make sure the pieces of dough are all the same size) and gently roll them into ball shapes.  Roll them in the sugar dredging mixture until well-coated.

    5 Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges have browned a bit. Be careful not to over-bake. Allow to cool on the sheet for one minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


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