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Mmmm: Spicin’ it up on a summer day

Chinese spices

Spices add so much to make food flavorful and delicious. I got this spice mix at Costco, and it’s great! I used it in a recipe last week that I adapted from sixsistersstuff.com. They make this Chinese chicken recipe in the crockpot, which is a great idea! (There’s a video of how they make it on that page.)

Chinese honey sesame chicken

I made mine on the stove pot , and this Chinese Honey Sesame Chicken recipe is quick, nice for a hot summer day. (I started the rice a few hours before in the rice cooker, using the delayed cook feature. Lucky for me! I’m not always thinking ahead like that….)

Happy Cooking,

Liz :)

P.S. You could add pineapple to this easily if you wanted.



candy bar quote

This week we got a letter “A la familia.” The first paragraph was in Spanish, and the rest were  journal entries. Reading all that news was heaven! It is manna from heaven to hear from him–so much more than the weekly email sentence or two :).

So here are some of the excerpts:

  • [They were at a member's home, "armed only with super glue (cuz all the [hardware stores don't] have nails…???)….Of course, I only had enough super glue to fix one chair, which I did…while [my companion gave] me encouragement from time to time, including ‘Go Bob the Builder!’ (in Spanish). But because we showed up to fix the chair just because, we ended up encountering her sister…[who] we’ve been looking for…with no success cuz she always works. So we had a little lesson, and I felt the Spirit really strongly and was so grateful of the way stuff turned out.”
  • He mentioned some of the challenges of working with different personalities: “A mission isn’t all good stories and baptism. But it shouldn’t be tougher than it needs to be….All I want to do is get some stuff done. You won’t read this for 2-3 weeks, but I would love a little prayer for me…”
  • “I gave my first blessing in Spanish today!! It was super cool. I didn’t think I could do it, but it went fine. The lady was sick, and asked for a blessing. it was cool.”
  • “I gave another blessing today. We only taught one lesson today; every single other appointment fell through. Super disappointing day. But it was cool that I had a little food to eat [from the package we sent him]. That’s always the best. Thanks, Momma.”
  • “We taught a really cool lesson today. Our investigator…always tells us she isn’t ready, has doubt, but we know she is. We taught solely the Book of Mormon…[and] today she told us she has a testimony that it [is] a true book. Woo hoo!”
  • “Today was a big day. I started this week waking up at 6:05 am to exercise a little more, cuz sometimes my time is cut short when it’s my turn to shower. So I woke up, started exercising, then my comp got up, and we went to fill up the font at church. He told me the night before we weren’t going to run, …but we got to the church, turned on the hose to fill up the font, and he said we were going to run. So here I am in my [floppy] sandals, running through Huancavelica. And then we encountered a place where you turn trains around, and I pushed that around for some more exercise….And then I got to study in the sun on my bed, which is nice cuz it’s dark and cold in our study office. Then we went to [our investigator's house] to pick him up. His dad and sisters came! That was cool. We brought him a cake, and after [my companion] baptized him, we ate it….[Later] we prepped for the Noche Missional [Missionary Night]. We cooked popcorn in a pot, and I put it in bags and all that. We rented a projector to watch, “A Light of the Nations,” a performance in Spanish of multicultural stuff that happened at the conference center….We had 31 people come. That’s like half the normal assistance [=attendance--some of his Spanish is filtering into his English :)] of the [congregation], and 5x what we usually have for a Noche Missional. The popcorn was super salty though. Our other investigator…came and told us the movie really clarified the Book of Mormon, and now she will enjoy reading it more….And then [the branch president] told me I was giving a talk tomorrow…”
  • “Today I gave a talk on love. I said, ‘Love is giving your friend more than half of your candy bar.’ Also, I got the privilege to confirm [our newly baptized member]…a member of the church….I also helped confer the Aaronic Priesthood and ordain him a priest. Funny to think I’m an Elder.”




Mary Ann Cato Dana

(This is the first time I’ve ever seen this photo of my great-great-great grandmother, Mary Ann Cato Dana, thanks to Family Search today! She left England and crossed the plains in the Jesse B. Martin company in 1857, when she was nearly 24. I wonder what she was like. We named our daughter, Eliza, after her daughter Eliza, who is my great-great grandmother.)

Family Search is SO awesome!

Last week we had an FHE (family home evening) in which we watched a little video about how to find ancestors, logged in, and found ancestors who didn’t have their temple work done within 15 minutes!

I went to the temple last weekend to do work for someone in MY family tree! That was the first time in my life I’ve ever been able to do that!

And last night, we checked out a new feature that allowed us (me and Lane) to log in and see which of our ancestors were pioneers, and which of those pioneers had stories connected to their trail crossing. It was amazing!

I learned that my great-great-great-great grandmother, Lucinda Box Barney, came across the plains when she was 13. During the trip, her mother was trampled to death by stampeding buffalo, and later, her husband was shot to death by Indians when he was holding and singing to their little baby girl, who was my great-great-great grandmother, Melissa Veresta Barney Blain. Lucinda wasn’t able to attend her husband’s funeral or ever locate his grave! Can you imagine?*

Finding out about my ancestors and what they endured for their faith in Christ humbles me. My life seems so easy compared to theirs. I know my life would have been so different if they hadn’t made the choices they did. Where would I live? What would I believe? Would I have had the gospel? Would I be addicted to something instead of being healthy because I wasn’t taught the Word of Wisdom? Would I have gotten a college education? Who would I have married? Would I have the chance to be a mother?

There are so many ancestors I want to thank for their choices, determination, hard work, and service someday.

Today, I’ll just say thank you in advance until I get to do so in person.

And thank you to the folks at Family Search for their wonderful service and hard work!

Happy Story Discovering,

Liz :)

*This is the story as recorded on her page in Family Search:

“Lucinda Box was born 7th Of November 1838 White Water, Indiana. She was the daughter of John Henry Box and Elizabeth Haynes. They came to Utah in 1851 when Lucinda was 13 years of age.

“One night when they camped, her mother went down to the creek, a short distance from camp to get some water. A terrible wind came up and caused a herd of buffaloes to stampede. She was unable to get out of their way, was knocked down and trampled.

“Before she died the next morning, she asked Lucinda to take care of her smaller brothers and sisters. They wrapped her body in a piece of cloth and buried her in a shallow grave. As it was necessary they continue on their journey. No more time was spent on the burial than necessary; Lucinda sat in the back of the wagon and watched the grave as long as she could see it. She had two brothers, Martin and Andrew, one sister Malinda.

“When they were approaching Payson, Utah, something went wrong with their wagon. Apparently they were alone at the time and her father had to walk for help. The Indians were all around at this time, and the children were quite frightened. Their father put the sides down on the wagon and told Lucinda to stay inside and keep the little ones quite until he returned. She told of how frightened she was, but no one came around.

“They settled in Payson, Utah. On 25th of December 1856 she married Charles Thomas Jefferson Barney. They had four children, three daughters Melissa Versita [Veresta as shown on her gravestone] and twins Ella Jane and Lillie Malinda and one son Henry.

“On December 10, 1862 her husband was sitting by a window holding Melissa on his lap singing “ I’ll Hang My Harp in the Old Willow Tree” when he was shot by the Indians. He died within a few hours after being shot.

“Melissa was cut some by the glass but not seriously injured. Lucinda sent her brother Andrew, who was staying there at the time for help, he told of how frightened he was to go.

“Because Lucinda had four small children, and the weather was cold and the snow deep, she was unable to go to the funeral or grave site. Some friends told her approximately where the grave was. She never did find it. The Sunday before Charles was killed he went to church saying it seemed that he just had to go. During the meeting he arose to his feet and spoke in tongues. The Bishop asked if anyone could interrupt what he said, on lady raised her hand, but refused to tell anything, saying she couldn’t repeat it, she just cried.

“Lucinda went back to live with her father. In her later years she lived Spring City, with her older daughter Melissa and her family. Lucinda was large in stature and a very neat and well refined woman. She died in Spring City on the 9th of August 1925 at the age of 84 years and nine months. She was buried in the Spring City Cemetery.”


RWM: Dance, Pioneer, Dance!

Dance pioneer book


Pioneer Day is tomorrow! I love knowing how the pioneers, after long days of walking the hot plains, would circle their wagons together, get out their fiddles, and kick up their heels in a dance. SERIOUSLY! This is impressive.

This fun book is one that you have to read in the rhythm that it’s written, like a dance song. It makes you want to get up and dance, too!

Ephraim's rescue

Another recommendation we have is a movie called Ephraim’s Rescue, and there is some sweet Scottish dancing, and a true story about the miraculous healing of some frost-bitten (as in black) feet.

The whole movie is based on journals of those who made that amazing journey. If you don’t know this story, prepare to be truly inspired.

When I visited the Winter’s Quarters Visitors’ Center, I discovered two special parts of my family history: my great-great-great grandmother, Lucy Morley’s, grave, and her husband, Isaac Morley’s, violin. Apparently, he was one of those pioneers who pulled out the fiddle to play for others. Wish I could have heard him. (I will try to find that photo.)

This was a sweet detail in my life, since I play violin, and never knew about this connection to my ancestor.

Happy Dancing (and Reading)!

Liz :)


3T: Add some soap

dish soap and oilI was reading in Utah Valley Magazine the other day some advice from a long-time plumber (May/June 2014 issue, p.90) that I thought I’d try to remember and put into practice.

Funny thing about last night: after I had made some scones with leftover frozen roll dough (that had been thawed like 5 days ago), I went to pour the used oil down the drain when I told Lane that I had read this advice from a plumber, to add dish soap when pouring oil down a drain.

As I was telling him, I realized I had seen Lane do that very thing at least a 100 times before.

So this morning, I was thinking about that. Did the plumber say that about the soap? Or did I just get that from Lane? As I considered, I remembered something about pouring cold water down the drain, and it dawned on me what I had read was to add cold water when pouring boiling water down the drain.  I went back to the magazine to verify, and saw that I had mixed it up and attributed to the plumber what I had learned from Lane.

Good thing my husband just laughs along with me.

Well, both pieces of advice are good. Thanks, Plumbers Lane and Kelly Barney!

Happy Avoiding Plumbing Problems,

Liz :)

P.S. “…You’d better find them handy!”


Elder Livi's mission president transfer board

This past week, in the Church (of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) newsroom (click on the link to see the whole article), there was an article with a lot of photos in it, all about missionaries and members in Peru. We didn’t spy our son there, but we did see this photo of his mission president and wife by the transfer board. This is where each missionary’s picture is, and the mission president prayerfully reviews this when it’s time to move missionaries around to different areas. Transfers are typically about every 6 weeks, I think.

There will be three temples in Peru in the near future. The one in Lima has been there some time:


And the one in Trujillo is “nearing completion:”

Peru-Trujillo Temple-rendering

Three or four weeks ago, Elder Livingston was moved to a new area in the middle of a transfer. Of course, he was sad to leave Huancavelica:


But a new area welcomes new opportunities, like learning from a new companion and getting to know all of the wonderful members and investigators there.

Huanuco first photo

And now he has ANOTHER new companion! This time someone who is not from Latin America, so he will get to speak English for a while. He is getting lots of bug bites! (I think I spy bugs on the wall in this photo?) He won this loaf of bread at the grocery store! Somebody looks excited…


He’s such a goof. He took this photo at someone’s home. They said they killed the animal in THEIR YARD in the jungle! I wonder if I need to send him bug repellant and wild animal repellant?!?

skin on wall

I live for news from him! It is so great to hear from him again!



Mmmm: Yee haw! Our western dinner

Western dinner

Last week Eliza, our resident chef, shifted suddenly from her tea party plans with Anna to making a western dinner for all of us. She got a fried chicken recipe from Paula Deen and our favorite baking powder biscuit recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. I am not kidding: it may have been the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten!


We had dinner on pie tin plates, drank out of pint jars, had our mismatched silverware wrapped up in flour-sack dish towels. (“This fork is what we ate with when I was a child;” “That spoon is from our Roseville days;” then Rebecca asked, “Where is this fork from?” I answered, “D.I.” ) The table cloth? Our collection of bandanas spread over the card table.

But the most fun part was yet to come: We did line dancing for about 10 minutes before Rebecca and Eliza taught me and one of Julia’s friends a dance they learned at a BYU dance camp this summer, to the tune “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from “Hairspray.”

Man, that song is fast. I bet if we had videoed our performance, the video might go viral.

Or not.

Happy Boot-Scootin’ Boogie and Fried Chicken Eatin,’

Liz :)

P.S. In our cookbook, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup shortening. Online it says 1/2 cup. Just FYI.

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SOS: To the temple

MiamiLane and I traveled together recently on a business trip, which was fun, but when we went to the temple last weekend, which is not far from our home, we felt closer to each other than we even had when we went on our trip.

wedding photo

I have found that going to the temple together is one of the best things we can do for our marriage. It gives us perspective. We learn ways we can change to make family life better. It helps us have the Spirit more. It renews us. It’s where we began our eternal marriage, and it’s what helps keep our marriage strong.

Happy Going to the Temple,

Liz :)


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FF: Slip-n-slide pics

_MGL1063The slip-n-slide was a BLAST! All the children (and a couple of adults who finally gave into going down after they saw how fun it was) climbed up and slid down, over and over, wearing expressions mostly of fear as they sped down the hill and onto the grass. We laughed a lot and took lots of photos. Julia slip n slide Boys like to push the envelope sometimes, don’t they? This leap over the head was ended by Uncle Lane about as fast as it started. But I was glad I captured it on film first! slip n slide leap over head Hayden Pete Lane was the last one to get into the action, going down in his clothes. I was happy when the grass stains came out. (Maybe it was all of that dish soap that helped make the riders slipperier. (Is that even a word?!?) Lane slip n slide

And of course, there has to be a little hose action to rinse someone off… water hose slip n slide

Happy Having Fun, Liz :)

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Psst! Sharing your pool

neighbor's pool The past few summers, we have had a neighbor not far from us as well as a neighbor of my mom’s who have both been so generous in letting us come and swim at their pools. We don’t go often, but we feel SO grateful when we can.

photo 4

I appreciate their example of sharing such a wonderful part of their home. On a hot Utah day, it sure is nice to take a dip. We try to tidy up when we leave.

I thought it was a great idea that one family attached some laminated instructions on their poolside table. They have a constant flow of neighborhood guests that come to use their pool. Considering how costly pools and related equipment are, I think it’s only fair. I especially liked the line, “Oy vey.”



Happy Sharing,

Liz :)


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