Today I left Utah and came home to Arizona, but before doing so, I had the opportunity to go to Jonah's Primary Program practice. I quietly sat in all my ugliness (I hadn't put any makeup on or done my hair before we left although I had showered) and listened as he and all the rest of the Primary children practiced their program for tomorrow. What sweet voices. The program was all about families and how they can be together forever - through all eternity - not just until death do they part. When they sang "Families Can Be Together Forever," the tears started rolling down my cheeks. Sweet tears. Tears that I know this is true. Tears that soon my cousin, Wendy, will experience death but that we know we will be with her again someday. Tears that were just touched by such young and tender voices.
As the practice progressed, I worked on writing Jonah's talk that he was to give tomorrow in Primary. It was about how the prophet helps us have eternal families. I had forgotten that Jonah needed a talk for tomorrow - until this morning. I had offered to help him with it since I was sort of filling in on mommy stuff for the week and knew Jen probably wouldn't feel much up to do it.
When Jonah and I left for the church that morning, I had no idea what to write. In fact, I sat there struggling with it since I had no scriptures or reference material with me. But then, I said a little prayer and asked Heavenly Father to guide me as to what to write. Next up on the practice - Jonah and three of his peers - singing "How Firm a Foundation." It was SO BEAUTIFUL. Of course, you could hear Jonah the most...and his big wide grin at me...well, that just melted my heart. But, even more so, it was the inspiration I needed to write his talk:
How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!I then understood. I did not need scriptures or reference material to write his talk. I already had that! I needed to use the knowledge - the foundation - that I already have. I have 40 years worth of knowledge of this truth stored up in my little brain. Plus, I had the children on my side. It was so perfect. Every little bit of the program that they were practicing was meant for me to hear. As I continued to listen, I found bits and pieces that fit perfectly with what I was writing. By the time the practice was over, I had the talk written. I felt spiritually uplifted from both the talk and the program. What a wonderful way to end my stay in Utah.
What more can he say than to you he hath said, Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed, For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
Yesterday, I made a cake for the family. I'd found this cake on the Picky Palate website and thought it looked absolutely divine! Now...if anyone knows me, they know that I do NOT like to bake - AT ALL. But, this looked SO GOOD that I decided I would try it.
1 box Pillsbury Devils Food Cake Mix
4 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
8 oz sour cream
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 bag mini or regular chocolate chips
FROSTING (this is half of what was originally called for)
2-8 oz packages softened cream cheese
1 stick softened butter
8 oz (1/2 bag) powdered sugar
1 cup melted creamy peanut butter
1 bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup minis, halved (freeze bag for an hour before cutting, it’s much easier)
1. Preheat oven to 350*. In a stand or electric mixer add the cake mix, eggs, oil, water, sour cream, pudding mix and chocolate chips. Beat until well combined, about 1-1/2 minutes. Will be thick. Pour evenly into 2 well greased 9 inch cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center of cakes. Let cool completely.
2. To prepare cream cheese frosting place softened cream cheese and butter into a mixing bowl, beat on med-high speed until creamy smooth. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until a good spreading consistency forms. Important: Refrigerate for a good hour before frosting.
3. Turn cakes onto wax paper and with a large serrated knife cut each cake in half width-wise to form 4 layers. Place one layer onto a cake stand. Spread a VERY thin layer of frosting on the layer. The frosting should be 1/8" or less. Drizzle 1/3 of the melted peanut butter over the top of the frosting. Place another cake layer on top and repeat frosting and peanut butter until top layer is placed. Spread remaining frosting over entire cake then top with halved Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Minis.
Mmmmm, GOOD. This is a picture of MY actual cake. It's actually a miracle that I made this...I absolutely DO NOT like to bake!