Doctrine & Covenants 89: 18-19

"And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures."



My bishop came as talked to our young women last Sunday about exaltation. He started off the conversation by asking why Heavenly Father sent us here? He then gave us a disclaimer saying that only his answer was going to be right. So we all took a guess and ended up with some version of returning to Heavenly Father. Which wasn't the answer that Bishop was looking for.

Sometimes we get stuck on the seminary answers. Go to church, read my scriptures, say my prayers, be married in the temple. Well these are excellent goals to be sure but we can't stop there. I can see a young woman or a young man thinking - if I can just get married in the temple all will be well, I made it. However, as many of us know that is just the beginning. There is so much more to belonging to Christ's church. Bishop compared it to mountain climbing. He said that there is a mountain in Colorado that has six false peaks but you can't see the next peak until you are up and over the last one. If no one told you about those six false peaks you might find yourself on the third peak and looking up to realize that there is yet another peak. Then thinking that this surely has to be the top peak and it is just a little further, I am cold, tired and hungry. I can go just that far. Then you realize its not the top peak you would become discouraged and depressed. If we don't explain that these commandments; going to church, reading scriptures, saying prayers, being married in the temple are just steps and not the peak then are we really giving out youth the best that we have to offer?

It is easy enough to become discouraged with all the knowledge that we do have. I know how overwhelming it is to think of all the things that we need to teach them but I know with Heavenly Father's help we can do it. I know that He truly hears and answers prayers and that He knows us, our wants, our needs. He is there if you will just seek Him. I am so very grateful to be a part of this church. I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and I am grateful for church leaders who pray for us and bring us Heavenly Father's words. I am excited for General Conference coming up. Listen closely and you will find that Heavenly Father is talking directly to you. How amazing is that?


Not just a salad.

by Sweet Basil

My dinner tonight was a green salad, but not just any green salad. It was made of romaine, spinach, green and yellow pepper, a handful of peas, and tomato. Then I sauteed, in a little apple juice and brags liquid aminos, half an onion, 2 garlic cloves (love garlic), a few chopped walnuts, and a good bunch of mushrooms. This I put right on top of my salad hot and steamy (don't knock it till you try it). It coats the salad and makes a great healthy dressing.

When I listed my plan I failed to make clear that the veggies and fruit and the quarter cup of nuts is all I am eating at this point. I have made a few exceptions like the liquid aminos, some better than bullion (no msgs), and a few peas (frozen and warmed up in a little hot water.)

I really want to reset my body. I am paying really close attention to the way I feel by keeping a journal. The journal really helps. I record how I am feeling, if I am stressed out, feeling sick, hungry, what I am eating and how I made it. Especially if it was good because then I can make it again.

Like my oriental soup I made last night. And my family loved it! I was going to wait to share it but it was so good you are going to want to go get the stuff and make it ASAP.

The recipe came from The Original Fast Foods but I had to tweak it a bit because that is what I do. And I didn't have all the ingredients. And as you will see I don't measure all the time. Sorry.

10 cups of water or so
some chicken bullion, (What kind of vegetable is that you ask? The only kind I have at the moment. Next time I will try it with vegetable bullion to see if there is a difference.)
1 onion diced
1 cup of chopped celery
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped

Cook just this much for a bit.

2 cups of broccoli
2 zucchini, diced
a bunch of mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp of dry ginger

Cook that up but not too much because mushy broccoli is gross.
Then you put some frozen peas in the bottom of the bowls and I added a little cooked brown rice for everyone else but myself (but only for now.) Add the soup. The best part, I think, was the cayenne pepper that I added to mine and the Mr's and it was GOOOOOOD! Let me know if you try it and what you think.


We Aren't Ever Really Starting Over

...Just Continuing Our Journey.

By Sweet Basil

I was reading some of the old posts and came across one written by yours truly and it was interesting to see where I was a year ago. I had started a challenge that I was not truly committed to. (Time and a season for everything.) I also had the reasons why I wanted to do this particular challenge but I really didn't know why why and how to do it. There was a will and not until this last summer did I find the way.

A little background...

I grew up in a home that was fairly health conscience. We had fruit trees and a huge garden. Most of my memories of home was spent outside. Climbing trees and having a snack, learning times tables while picking raspberries, eating zucchini straight from the plant. Sunny, snowy, rainy, it didn't matter. I loved it! Boy, did I take that for granted.

It has been nearly 16 years since I lived there. When I left home I started eating more and more convenience foods. Carl's Jr. became a favorite and I would sometimes go there two times a day. I didn't know then at all the damage I was doing and how hard it would be to break those seriously bad habits. Food can be so seductive.

It has taken me years to recognize the addictions, physical and emotional. These last few months I have learned more about my body than ever before. I came to realize I was just feeding my family healthy most of the time because that is what I had learned from my parents. Then last summer I was introduced to a few books: The Original Fast Foods ( which most of my studying is from now) and Eat to Live. Last summer I read through the books quickly, applied a lot of the recommendations, lost a bunch of weight, got rid of my constant tummy aches and headaches, felt really good and was a lot calmer and more patient with my kids.

Problem was, I missed some key steps because I had hurried and hadn't taken the time to really study. Pretty soon, I was back where I had started only this time some healing had taken place and I no longer suffer from pain. But the weight was coming back. I had learned a lot but didn't understand the body systems and what was happening inside of me as a result of my food choices.

After buying my own book (cause you shouldn't mark up a friends) and really studying I am coming to understand. I am internalizing it and teaching it to anyone interested. It is EMPOWERING! I have real desire now and am learning to overcome my weaknesses.

It is not always easy to find time to study but I thought the same thing with exercise. I am on day 31 with a challenging exercise program. I haven't missed a day. Six days a week. Never thought that was possible. It has been hard but really rewarding. I feel stronger and proud that I have stuck with it. I know Heavenly Father is pleased with my efforts because he has helped me on those days that I just didn't have it in me. I still struggle sometimes but more often I look forward to my workouts.

Next step... learning a new way to eat. As I learn more I will share.

The plan:
Eat many many more fruits and veggies(leafy green, solid green, and non-starchy vegetables). I ate a green salad for breakfast with fruit the other day. I was not hungry until lunch. Surprised? I was.

A quarter cup of nuts or seeds. That 's it.

Simple, huh?

Sound extreme? It is, but for a great purpose right now. I want a body that repairs, rebuilds, cleanses, and works properly. I want vitality and mental clarity. And to continue this journey of health. I know the way I was eating last summer helped. I healed me and I also learned some great ways to eat veggies. I have eaten more veggies since June last year than the last 16 years put together, I think.

So, I will continue this way, not until I can't stand it any longer, but until I feel free of addiction, and feel it is time to add something else.

I am excited to share this part of my journey and hopefully I can inspire you to do the same.

Heavenly Father wants a powerful people and our bodies are the vessel for our spirits. If the vessel is weak mentally, or physically by our own doing then our spirits can not thrive. Can we do that if we don't understand the most awesome creation on earth? And how to take care of the temple Father has given us?

So, lets continue the journey...


Reasons I Do What I Do

I have been thinking a lot about Embers post "Why?" There are many little reasons why but it really comes down to my faith and my testimony in my Savior and the Plan of Redemption. I want to return to live with my Savior. I want to be together forever with my family. My family is my rock and my strength and my reason for living. They are the motivation that keeps me going, and helps me to improve myself. Times are tough right now but I know with out a doubt that they would be even harder with out the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost helping me know I am on the right path and helping me overcome my weaknesses. I know that everything I do to help my family to be strong spiritually, emotionally, physically, & mentally will bless us. The Lord needs us to be as strong as we possibly can be in every way possible. I know that some of our trials we face are physical ones-- either due to our own past or current neglect of our bodies or because of the negative changes man has made to our environment, or due to nothing in our control. I do believe one tactic Satan uses is to use "food" that is messed with that it no longer provides nutrition and causes dis-ease in our bodies. Satan does this to make us physically and mentally weak. When we are weak we can't truly perform our missions we were sent here to do. I know that there should be balance in all things and that building us up spiritually should be first and foremost.

I have really enjoyed the talk by Sherri Dew that Sweet Basil shared with us here. I read it one Sunday night, and the following night (Monday) I gave a FHE lesson on it. That following Saturday I sang in the woman's stake choir for our Stake Women's Conference where we were blessed to hear from Sherri Dew. She talked about the same thing but she has added so much more to it. The spirit bore witness to me that yes indeed, I was saved (and so were you!) for these, the last days. He has confidence in me and I need to have more confidence in myself. One thing she said is that when she was a teenager some one told her that "you can have a spiritual experience everyday". She said it changed her life. How amazing is that! We are truly God's children. He loves us. The promise and covenant of Baptism and the Sacrament is true! We can have a spiritual experience EVERY DAY! But it won't happen unless we want it and do what we know we need to do in order to be worthy of the Spirit.

I feel it is vitally important to teach our children about the Spirit. How to recognise it, what it feels like, and how to seek and receive personal revelation. You can't teach something like this with out knowing for yourself how to do these things. But, this is life long learning process-- something that grows as our relationship grows with our Savior. You don't need to feel as if you are perfect at it in order to teach it. As long as you are personally striving for and working on this, you can teach it.

I believe in the power of natural health care. I am NOT saying that I don't see the need for traditional western medicine. It is necessary at times. I believe, because of personal experience, that Chiropractic works. Yes, my husband is a Chiropractor and I will, in a future post tell you of my personal conversion to Chiropractic as a primary form of health care-- not just a way to take care of a bad back. I believe in whole food nutrition. I know that it can and does heal our bodies. My husband has been blessed with the knowledge of how to use whole food nutrition to heal and strengthen our bodies. I love being in charge of my health care! One scripture that I like is found in Alma 46:40

"And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land--but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate--"

How powerful is that?! I know our loving Heavenly Father planned the earth so well that he gave us natural answers and cures to remove the causes of disease with in us! No matter where we live or what we suffer from, we can be healed by the plants and herbs found here in the earth. I have learned and seen for myself the damage that man made chemicals that we can be exposed to on a daily basis can cause many health problems and conditions, and therefore I try to avoid as many chemicals as I can. Alternatives that I have found that have been tried and true for my family I like to share here on this blog with you.

I do what I do because I believe in strengthening my family in every way possible so that we can live to do what we were sent here to do-- to help prepare the way for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If we get to be the lucky ones to be alive when He comes what an amazing blessing that will be. But if not, I know that what I am able to teach my family and others, will be passed on to future generations to help bless their lives as well.


Seeing His hand

As we get closer to the last days I am struck at how very close He is and how much His hands are in our lives. This post is about being grateful.

I attended the adult session of our stake conference not too long ago. A sister got up to talk about adversity. I am guessing she is in her mid thirties and I am pretty sure she has 4 or 5 kiddos at home. With few tears, she proceeds to tell us how the temple is and was a necessity in her life. Three years ago her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer and lost his battle just this last September. She stood up there and was grateful for her time with her hubby. She was especially grateful for the temple and the blessings therein. I can't get her out of my mind. I am amazed at her strength in such a sad and difficult time. She could have turned bitter and angry but instead she choose to see His hand in her life and in his death. She is truly an example of the believers.

My cup runneth over and I dont know how else to say the things in my heart so I will make a short list of the things that I am grateful for. Please understand that He is responsible for all of them. It is His tender mercies that I want to give thanks for.
  • temples
  • quick trips to visit family
  • good roads across Wyoming
  • paychecks
  • honest and trustworthy employees
  • my Bishop
  • working with the young women
  • going to girls camp
  • a husband who gets up and goes to work everyday
  • a teen who get up and goes to 5:30am seminary without fuss or complaint
  • drawings/love notes from my babies
  • 10 second tidies
  • good examples
  • family who have become my friends
  • getting prepared
  • food storage
  • rain
  • thunderstorms
  • heating blanket
  • texting and skype
  • good friends
  • prayer
  • shoulders broad enough to bare my burdens

This list is not in any order but things that came to mind. I try to be a grateful person and I know that this list is short but I hope that it will give you ideas of things to be grateful for in your own lives. You dont have to look hard or far to see His hand. He is right there infront of you. He is standing there with His arms strechted wide open waiting for you to enter. Its up to you. Times are going to get harder do you really want to face them without Him. I don't!



Dear Twenty...

By Sage

Please forgive this bit of self-indulgence; I justify it by pointing out that a healthy attitude and a healthy outlook will only enhance a healthy body and spirit. With that said, I am going to indulge away… (ahem):

Dear Twenty-year-old Self,

Today you turn 40. In the zeal and ignorance of youth, you thought this day would never really come. You watched friends reach it, and you heard siblings complain about it, but you didn’t think it would ever happen to you. Well, my friend, it happened. Here we are.

Now don’t you feel sorry for me, Twenty! I’ve earned every one of these 40 years, and I’m celebrating! That’s right, I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve reached the big Four-Oh. More importantly, I’m celebrating the fact that I’m no longer you, Twenty.

I’ve graduated from college and am midway through a master’s degree; I’ve completed two triathlons and a half-marathon; I weigh what I weighed in high school; I have a successful 20-year marriage going, three astonishing children, a lovely, comfortable home, and I have met so many more truly wonderful people in the years since I was you, Twenty! I’ve snorkeled the technicolor waves of Aruba, ferried across Canadian waters alongside a pod of Orca whales, parasailed in Mexico, and explored the cobbled streets in Spain. I’ve published a book. I ski down Colorado’s sunlit slopes regularly, and run and bike the trails under its clear blue skies along the river. You, Twenty, could not say any of the above. I’ve read so many more books, made so many more friends, sung so many more songs, and learned so much since I was you. Please don’t be offended, but I would never be you again. The only thing you were, dear, was younger—and that’s no accomplishment. I don’t want you back… well, maybe I would take your skin, but that’s all. And even then, please leave me my stretch marks because I treasure every moment that formed those silvery badges of honor!

The truth is, Twenty, that I love being Forty now. Thank you for who you were then, and the decisions you made that brought me where I am today. You did the best you could, and I appreciate it. I know I never won that Oscar, that Grammy, or that Nobel Peace Prize you thought you were destined for, and I would say I’m sorry but I’m not. Those things aren’t going to happen, and that’s okay. It’s better than okay, it’s right. You set me on a good path, Twenty, but the truth is that I’m over you. Where I am now, who I am now, is just better. No hard feelings, alright? You had your day.


Your Forty-year-old Self


Why Am I Doing This?

By Sweet Basil

Recently I read a talk entitled You Were Born to Lead, You Were Born for Glory by Sheri Dew. I suggest you read it. It is full of hope, inspiration, and direction.

So, while thinking of Embers post, the comments, and this exciting knowledge just gained from Sheri Dew, I found I am doing this because God put his trust in me. I want to prove worthy. I want for myself, my family and friends to be Spiritually, Physically, and Mentally in shape to finish this race victorious against evil. I feel a real need to do my part. Can you imagine the party we will have?

The Primary motto for this month is "The Scriptures are the Word of God." Holy writing. Words of our prophets today as well as in the past. A part of being spiritually fit is being armed with the Word of God. We not only need to read our scriptures but we need to know them and use the teachings in our lives. We follow the examples of those who turn their will, and their lives, over to Father and are blessed for it and we will be too. We recognise when maybe something is not in line with Gods teachings (like our music) and gives us a reason to turn away. We want our children to be armed with the Word of God right? Do you know and use the scriptures? Do you ask Father for help to understand how it applies to your life? When you have a passion for something it inspires others. Arm yourself, and your children, family, and friends will follow. We all want to please him!

There are conspiring men in these last days that, I believe, trick us to think bad things are good. He is so sneaky. Have you ever noticed how most social events have food at them? Not always a bad thing. But most of the time the healthy stuff is sacrificed for the taste and "please we have plenty of food, come and get some more." Start seeing it for what it is. Our bodies are built to have whole foods. Refined foods are not whole. No wonder we crave more. Our body knows there is something missing. Refined foods do not give our bodies the energy we need to get things done. It is hard to keep up day after day after day when our body is not being fed what it needs. A lot of times we end up crashing, but we don't crash to our beds, we crash in front of the TV and get hooked and stay up way too late and then it starts over. Convenience foods become our friends because it takes to much energy to peel a carrot and really, um, those cookies taste way better than a carrot.

Well, after feeding ourselves the right things, our energy returns, and carrots taste good again. Get that junk out of your kitchen, out of your body and don't bring it in again. Break the emotional bond. Every choice you make matters. Stop funding satan's sneaky sneakiness. Turn off the TV! Get strong physically with food that hasn't been tampered with and by exercising those muscles that Father gave us! Our bodies are so complex but it is really simple to take care of them. Take control and conquer the natural man or woman.

We continue to stay mentally fit by learning, experiencing, trying new things and asking Father for guidance. Search for truth. Before we came to earth we learned straight from our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. I know that when we are studying and find things that just make sense, it is because it is connected to our training we received in heaven. It resonates with us because we learned it before. Also, we need to know who we are, who we have always been. Do you know who you are and what you were born for?

You were born to lead. You were born for glory!


Amber Necklaces- Educate Me!

By Sapphire

Hi everyone, I'm new around here. So go easy on me!! :)

(Information used is directly from

What is an Amber Necklace?

Baltic amber is not a stone, but a fossilized tree resin. Each bead is a unique piece of history - a fossil from an ancient forest which existed tens of millions of years ago. Our Baltic Amber is imported from the Baltic Region and is the most esteemed type of amber in the world.
Baltic Amber has been used for pain relief, strengthening the body's immune system, restoring energy, and helping to break the cycle of chronic inflammation.

How & Why it Works:

When Baltic amber is worn on the skin, the skin’s warmth releases trace amounts of healing oils from the amber. These oils contain succinic acid and are absorbed into the skin.

Baltic Amber Benefits:

Pain Relief - Baltic amber contains analgesic properties and helps with many types of discomfort associated with dental issues, headaches, joint pain, etc.

Strengthens the body's immune system - In many different and subtle ways, succinic acid helps boost the body's own natural healing ability and immune system.

Restoring Energy - The human body naturally produces succinic acid. The salt of succinic acid (succinate) is one of the most active substances in the processes of cellular respiration and intercellular energy creation. Succinic acid restores oxygen and energy supply to depleted cells and helps the body return to a normal, functioning state.

Maintaining Wellness - When the human body reacts to stress, the body’s cells begin to use oxygen more quickly. Oxygen plays a central role in the intercellular creation of energy, and a lack of oxygen can result in feeling lethargic. Oxygen is alkaline- forming in the blood and maintaining a slightly alkaline blood ph helps keep us healthy. Whenever the body functions in a state of low oxygen, it is much more susceptible to illness.

To help break a cycle of (chronic) inflammation - Where chronic inflammation is present, disease lurks. When the body’s cells are chronically inflamed the human body’s immune system response is to increase production of free radicals. Chronic overproduction of free radicals results in inflammatory-related disease. Chronic inflammation is a common denominator of many seemingly unrelated diseases.


I started hearing about amber necklaces/bracelets around a year ago. I know a lot of parents that put them on their children for teething. I was very interested in them. I have an illness called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and one of the things I suffer from is chronic inflammation. I bought an amber necklace in hopes that it might work/help and I thought, well if it doesn't work at least it is super cute and I can just wear it anyways.

I honestly can't tell if they do help or not. I really can't tell a difference. I have questioned a lot, can/do these really work? I did buy the darkest color, and I heard AFTER I bought it that the lighter colored ones work better. So maybe I'll try a different one.

I have a huge strong testimony and love for essential oils. They work and I know without a doubt they do. They come from plants, herbs, etc. So why can't a necklace made out of fossilized tree resin work?

I have heard moms say that the second they put them on their babies, that are teething, they stop crying. I really don't buy that. I don't think it could work that fast.

Sorry, I know this post is a bunch of rambles, my mind is usually going 100 miles a minute, but it is something I really wonder about and I want your input.

Do you think they really work? Do you or your child/ren ever wear one? What is your personal opinion on them? I really do want to know. Please help educate me!



By Ember

I just got back from the gym. This was an enlightening morning, due in part to me dumping some 'questionable' songs from my playlist. I didn't realize they fell into this category until I had them 'in my ear'. I am not the sort to purposely listen to below standards music but had left them on there like a dummy. I filled up my playlist with revival hymns. I know, doesn't sound like good quick tempo-ed music. And it really wasn't but it did give my mind a chance to meditate as I repetitiously worked on the elliptical machine.

I have another question for you today as I absolutely love reading your responses.

What are you doing all of this for? I mean really. What is it that truly absolutely motivates you to change; to continue on; to work through the struggle and pain that sometimes accompanies life? Why do you fight to improve your life, your health? I am not necessarily talking about your eternal perspective here. Of course, that is a HUGE part of it and I mean in no way to downplay or degrade that. But sometimes, at least to me, it seems so abstract. It's hard to focus on something like that at times when there are just soooo many distractions. There are just too many things I feel I should be doing and I feel like I'm failing much of the time. I don't want to feel that way. I recognize it is a tool that satan (yes, I meant to not capitalize that and never do) uses against me. I want to remove that power from him. The only way I've found that I can is to get to work. Well, sometimes getting to work seems extraordinarily difficult without a motivating factor. I am a goal oriented, passion driven person. I have to know why I am doing something. I have to feel it. It's a strength that can also be a weakness when I lose my focus. I have been struggling with the latter and praying to find new focus and reason to continue on. The answers were not really coming, even with a temple visit included. Why was I doing all of this? The homeschooling, home cooking, food storing, money saving, exercising? Why?!? It is so hard to keep up with and I feel so behind and failing. I had lost my vision for my life and that of my family's which was once so clear.

(I don't mean I won't walk blindly, in faith. I just know for me, having a sense of purpose makes all the difference.)

Today, on that elliptical machine while texting with my brother 600 miles away, it hit me. You know the kind. The 'feel-it-tingle-from-head-to-toe-but-somehow-equally-quiet, almost DNA changing, resolution kind. It's not even a new revelation, but I had lost the 'feeling' of it.

I am doing all of this so that I am AWAKE, as the scriptures admonish us to be, and PREPARED! I am determined to be strong enough to not only endure the last days, but to endure them well. And strong enough in all area's of my life.

I had forgotten that Heavenly Father, truly does bless every effort to improve ourselves and will magnify that.

I can't express how encouraged I am to be surrounded by like-minded women, even if it is only through a computer. I am strengthened by you. Your focus, your passion, your gifts and work ethic truly amaze me. We are a part of something wonderful. Yes, scary at times, but truly awesome. We get to do this together! We aren't Noah or Enoch. We aren't alone with our little families. Isn't that incredible?

Why are YOU doing this? (Whatever your 'this' may be.)


Homemade Laundry Stain Remover/Spray

I am always trying to find ways to make my own products of common household products because I like to avoid harmful chemicals and I love to be frugal. Here is one recipe I have been using for 1-2 years. It is tried and true as I have 6 young kids who do spill and otherwise mess up their clothes.

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover/Spray

1- spray bottle (I use my spray bottle from the store bought laundry spray)
1/4 cup liquid glycerin*
1/4 cup liquid soap- your choice- I use Dawn just because I know it is good at getting grease out, but you could use a more earth friendly one.
1 1/2 cup water

Mix the glycerin and soap together in a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill slowly with water (to avoid making too many bubbles) to the 2 cup line (that will add the 1 1/2 cup of water needed). Mix and pour into spray bottle. To use, spray on stain. Stains can be sprayed in advance and left to sit on stain until laundry day or just before laundering. For grease stains, I use a bit of full strength Dawn on it and then spray with this spray. For chocolate, mud, or ink stains, I apply some glycerin then spray it with the spray and let it sit a day or so. All other stains I use just the spray.

*Glycerin may be hard to find as most pharmacies are no longer carrying it. I have found it online at soaping supply stores. Don't buy the thin watery ones as things have been added. The glycerin you want will be thick and a bit sticky. I buy it in bulk to save more money. The glycerin is very important as it helps to loosen the stain so it can be washed away.


Spill It

By Ember

I mentioned long ago that one of the most important factors of holistic living is the ability to be honest with yourself. We live in a world that has NO problem pointing out faults. And we likely spend a lot of time focused on our own and those around us. I know I surely do. And yes, this, by the way, has a lot to do with health. But I am focusing on spiritual health here.

So, I have a challenge for you, fellow contributors and readers. I want us to each be brutally honest about our strengths, in particular those things we know are our divine gifts. Can we not all become comfortable with acknowledging the good in ourselves and those we are involved with? What would happen if we weren't seen as bragging or being conceited and proud? What if we could just accept that divine heritage we are each born with and are developing? How would the world ultimately be changed is we became Greatness Seekers. Well, maybe not the whole world, but certainly OUR world would change. Right?

What makes you special, GREAT even?

I will go first. (Hey now, no "Wow, she's boldly conceited!" allowed. Remember, we are trying to get rid of that thinking. :-) This feels really risky in truth. And somebody has to start.)

I have the divine gift of being able to see the invisible person. I always have. It's that person who is sitting on the sidelines, hoping, praying that someone will notice them. Not only do I see them, I do something about it. I introduce myself and I make sure others have the opportunity to meet them too. I have met the most amazing people as a result and I feel so grateful for this ability. This has also given me the chance to learn so many new things and see the world through a new perspective.

I have learned how to keep a secret really, really well. I guess you could call this being trustworthy. I view the things that people share with me as little gifts of themselves. And it's a good thing since most people seem to spill their guts to me. Hmmm... What would we call that? The gift of breathing truth telling serum? Heehee.

I am strong, in body, mind and spirit. I stood in a cemetery, a year and a half ago, after burying my much beloved grandfather, where generations of my ancestors are also buried. I looked at their names on the headstones. And I kid you not, it was one of the most tangible spiritual moments of my life, but I could feel those women telling me that this was their gift, passed down to me through my blood. I am strong because they were and they gifted it to me. What's even more awesome is being able to recognize that same quality in my own daughters. I also seem to instinctively sense it in others.

What are your gifts? Please share openly, without fear of ridicule or feelings of conceit. Use a fake name if you must. I did.

You are amazing and accepting that is part of acknowledging your divine inheritance. I wish I could find words to persuasively express this truth. Yes, Heavenly Father wants us to overcome weakness and sins which requires recognizing them. However, He never wants us to forget who we really are. He expects us to accept the talents/gifts He's given us and not bury them in the sand. He wants us to cultivate greatness and our gifts of the spirit. They lie within every single one of us.

This is your time to shout to the world, who you really are.

So, my sweets, spill it!



By Sassafras

Here is what I learned today. Since I started the Eat Clean Diet, I would hit a wall about 5:00 or so and it would last until 7:30ish. It was awful. I had no energy, I could barely function. I kept thinking "wait a minute here, I am supposed to be feeling all this energy. But I am not. And where is my bed?" I would eat dinner then crawl in bed by 8:00 when I would get my second wind and be good to go until 11:00. At which time I would tell myself to go to bed because I have to get up early in the am.

Then today I was naughty and had Old Chicago for lunch. I will admit that good pizza is my weakness. However, I was a good girl and ate my whole salad first. I had three of the four pieces of the personal pizza. I had a bunch of running around/work to do this afternoon and definitely not any time for my afternoon slump. Then I realized (with the help of Heavenly Father - as I'm not smart enough to figure this out on my own) that I have not been eating enough carbos. Which your body/brain needs. That is why I would be better after dinner.

I wasn't doing it on purpose really. I just don't know enough yet. I was trying to follow the diet but not very well I see. So carbos it is. Good ones. And no more foggy, sleepy, lazy afternoons for me.



By Sweet Basil

I am so glad we are up and running again. I am grateful to learn from each of you. There is so much I want to know and not enough time to learn it all. I have been blessed and motivated by your words. Thank you. I just wanted to reiterate the reasons or goals for this blog. This is Fathers way of enriching our lives. We learn and pass on what we learn. This was such a great idea Ember, and I hope we can really make it fly this time.

This last year has been full of learning and studying about myself. For a long time I had suffered from stomach aches and headaches. I had just gotten used to them and accepted them not knowing what to do or where to start. All that changed when I moved and met a wonderful woman, mentor really, that taught me, advised me, and put me on a plan. She explained that I had been abusing my body knowing and unknowingly and that I needed to follow a strict plan to heal. She also helped me understand how important the role my Father in Heaven has in my overcoming these obstacles. I followed her plan and it was hard. I started feeling better and I found I could think more clearly and was so much more calm with my children. I know now why I get headaches and what makes my stomach hurt and can avoid those things. I also have learned that I can take my weaknesses to Father and he teaches me how to turn them into strengths.

There is a great book called The Original Fast Foods by James and Colleen Simmons. You can find some great ideas and healthy instructional videos here. Since reading this book and watching how to prepare some really healthy meals we are eating so much healthier and many more veggies. Some of the recipes are absolutely wonderful while others... um, not so great. But I really believe it takes a lot of time and experimenting to find what works for you and your family.

Remember as we study great books, learn, and share we will become the women we are meant to be! The women Father expects us to be. Leaders and instruments in his hands to help others and bring them closer to him.


Homemade Deodorant

By Apple Blossom

I find joy in making and creating things that are natural and healthy and not full of chemicals. One product I have not had to buy in almost a year is deodorant. I make it myself. It works too! I have tried several "natural" ones available at health food stores with no luck. They didn't seem to work for me and I hated how expensive they were. I absolutely love that I am not rubbing a heavy metal (aluminum) on my underarms daily that has been linked to breast cancer and dementia. It is simple and very quick to make!

Homemade Deodorant

1/4 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
about 4 TBSP coconut oil
10 or so drops your favorite essential oil

Mix dry ingredients together, then with a fork add the essential oil and the coconut oil until you like the consistency. I have melted the coconut oil and mixed it all up before-- it is easier to mix but it will separate a bit after it cools to room temp. You can store this at room temp (that is what I do) or keep it in the fridge. It wont spoil as coconut oil has a shelf life of 2 years. At room temperature it will be more like a cream that you dip your fingers and rub on. In the fridge it will be a solid-- use like any other solid deodorant -- but it will be cold. I found that in the summer time, my house gets too hot and is it constantly a liquid, so in the future for summer time, I will use less coconut oil so it will be 'drier'. As for essential oils, most coconut oils have a coconut sent so you might want to pick one that compliments that scent. I have found that I like grapefruit or lemongrass essential oils. Use citrus essential oils with caution as they may make you more sensitive to the sun. I have no problem with that as I don't go out showing my armpits to the sun.


Who Me?

By Sassafras

A lot has happened since I last posted. And yet my life has stayed the same. Thankfully.

First and foremost on my mind; I am year older and hopefully, a year more wise. As is often the case, with the new year, I look back and try to ponder on my growths, trials and especially my triumphs and laughter. This year I have been pondering on being a mom. I often wonder what on earth I was doing when I had my first kid at 21. I thought I knew it all. Could I have been any more wrong? I thought it would be so easy and that I would be able to figure it out and be able to get it done generally by myself and if not me, then my better half would step in and all would be well. Yep I could be more wrong. Now I know that I know nothing. I do learn new things everyday. I finally learned that I cant do this all by myself. Even with my better half. I need Heavenly Father. I need the Holy Ghost. I need a living prophet to lead and guide me. To help me in all aspects of my life. Especially with my kids. Dont get me wrong they are good kids. For the most part they are obedient and loving and young. Young, that's the problem. I have no idea how to raise teenagers. I have no idea what the life of a teenager boy looks like. I refuse to even attempt to get them throught this awful, terrible, exhilerating, trying, most changing, most learning, fun, exciting and growing time all on my own. I need Him. I need the partnership and constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I can not compete with all of the crap (yes crap) that bombards them each and every day. I cant shield them from it, as much as I would love to. I cant take it for them. But we can give them the tools and the foundation to give them the best chance. And that is my plan for this year, among other things.

Second thing on my brain; I told you a year ago when we first started this blog that I kept loosing my hair. I thought that it was my medication. So even though I am not a doc - nor do I play one on tv, which we dont have but that is another post - I decided to start cutting back on my meds. It was fine at first. I didnt notice any real side effects. I did accomplish what I set out to do and my hair didnt fall out so much. But then my body started to show the effects of no thyroid medication. I gained 7 plus pounds, I started not sleeping, my brain became foggy - to say the least and as always I had a runny nose and was perpetually cold. One night after praying for help and reading my scriptures I was prompted to get back on my meds full strength. I cant go against a prompting so I decided that He would show me how to not loose my hair. As I was talking with Ember one day, she suggested that I try some Cayenne Pepper like they tell the men to do. Because Heavenly Father is so good to me, I was once again prompted that I need to change from the in-side out. That if I would change my eating habits that everything would work out. That is when Ember told me about the . I have been mostly doing it since Monday morning. I say mostly because I still have some food that I am not willing to throw away. Food that is not aweful but not necessarily the best for me. Like cheese, minute barley and taco seasoning. I figure if I just eat them sparingly and follow the rest of the diet it should all work out, right? I have, however, not had any sugar (other than in my food - and no that wasnt chocolate!) and that includes pop. Which I am a huge fan of. I had headaches for three days but luckily they werent bad. I have lost a little over under three pounds - even during my period. Which doesnt happen for me - I usually gain 4. Since I eat every 3 hours or so my metabolism has kicked in and I am not nearly as cold as I once was. Another benefit was/is my nose doesnt run like a faucet. I thought that was a genetic thing.

Now I face this new year with a sense of purpose. I love having control over my life and being able to say no. I have plates of goodies from Christmas and candy in my drawer but neither one even appeals to me. I still crave pop but I can easily walk away from that too. I hope that this is a life style change for me and therefor my family. I actually set goals this year. I never do that. I think they are acheivable and I am so excited to accomplish them. I am so very hopeful this year. I cant wait to take it all on. Yep, even the trials but especially the triumphs and bring on the laughter!


The Truth About Exercise

By Sage

I'm so glad we've decided to give this another try! Hopefully Hidden Treasures won't be so hidden now. Since I last posted (an eternity ago) I have begun work on a graduate degree, which has effectively taken over my life. But I'm finding that elusive balance now (I think)and hope to be a regular contributor again.

My role on this blog is the exercise motivator, and judging by the hordes of cardio-machine clogging New Year's Resolution-ers who have been at the gym lately, people are feeling pretty motivated after their weeks of holiday-induced reckless abandon.

Good for them. Are you one of them? I hope so. But let me caution you: I have been a regular at my gym for over six years now, and I've seen the New Year's Resolution-ers come and go... they come in January and they go in February. Do NOT let that be you. Here's the truth about getting in shape when you're currently not in shape:

1) It's hard--at first
2) It hurts--at first
3) It's discouraging--at first
4) It can appear futile--at first

But the part that most people don't stick around to learn is this: it gets better! And that's also the truth. I've been trying to tell my teenage daughter this for years and she won't test the theory so she doesn't believe me. You know that awful, throat-clogging, stomach-clenching feeling you get when you're climbing up a steep hill after never having rolled off the couch to speak of for over a year? It stinks. You'll get that same feeling when you first start working out; expect it. If it doesn't feel like that, you're not really working out. You're just moving, which is better than nothing, but won't help you meet your goals. If you're out of shape and starting to work out, you will probably (nay, you should probably) feel slightly sick. Should you throw up? No! Should the thought occur to you from time to time? Most likely. You should feel wasted, spent, exhausted, beat up, like your patootie has been well and truly kicked. Great! Do that again tomorrow. And the next day. Do not quit; grit your teeth and resolve that you're in in for the long haul, and you'll be amazed at how quickly your body will adapt! But you have to be consistent to get there. No matter what anybody tells you, twice a week will not get you far. Again, it's better than nothing, but you won't see the results I know you're hoping for.

Working out does not hurt me anymore. I'm almost never sore. I'm never out of breath. I don't feel sick. I feel worked-out, but energized and exhilarated at the same time. I work hard (an hour and a half MWF, an hour TTH, with some kind of recreational exercise on Saturday and a long walk on Sunday)but it isn't hard anymore. I run fast and long, I bike fast and long, I ski, hike, and swim hard. I run and am not weary; I walk and am not faint. Five years ago I couldn't have said any of this. I was overweight and had no idea there was an athlete in me anywhere. Now I've run two triathlons and a half-marathon, and I'm telling you that if I can do it, anybody can do it. And that's the truth.