Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Jacob's Birth
“That night, January 27th 1975, I kept waking up and praying my thanks to Heavenly Father for the wonderful experience He had given me to be a mother. I am so grateful for His guiding hand and above all His merciful answer to my prayers when I called upon Him during my suffering. He has answered my prayers so directly and so quickly to help me give birth. I truly praise his name for being a merciful God.”                                                                                              Jeanette’s Journal Sept. 9, 1976

My due date was still two and a half weeks away. I was in early labor off and on Saturday and Sunday. I prayed to the Lord because we had an awful blizzard on the way home from Sunday School. I was worried that with the drifting snow we’d get snowed in. I was afraid we wouldn’t get to the doctor in Rexburg from out in Hibbard, six plus miles away.

My labor and the blizzard eased up Sunday in the afternoon and Jack was able to give his talk as assigned in Sacrament meeting. Monday I resumed harder labor. I wasn’t sure if I should head to the hospital yet, but once the contractions got intense Jack could see I was having difficulty walking around the house. He insisted it was time to go to the hospital.
I don’t think I could have made it through it if it hadn’t been for the special blessing Jack gave me before we went to the hospital, and his strong support being with me throughout the delivery. We went to the Madison Memorial hospital at 4:00 p.m. My dad stopped into the labor room to see if I needed a priesthood blessing. When he heard I had received one, he waved and wished me well and went home to await the news.
Our Family Home Evening was up in the hospital bringing to earth a choice Spirit of Our Father in Heaven. Jacob was born at 8:30 p.m., 6 lbs. 15 oz., 19 inches long with lots and lots of dark black hair. We were lucky that Doctor Passey was in the hospital to deliver him, because he wanted to come in a hurry. The doctor said, “It’s a boy!” and then Jack and I repeated together, “It’s a boy!”
It was in the delivery room that Jack said he thought of Jacob to be our son’s name. I had also thought of that name in the labor room. It was such a special experience.
They wrapped Jacob up in a little blanket with a warming foil around it. He looked like a little baked potato when they held him up to me. Then they tucked him into my arms and rolled me to my hospital room down the hall. By then Jack had already left the hospital to let everyone know we had a baby boy.
Grandma and Grandpa Jaynes came to see Jacob in the hospital nursery the next day. Grandma made a very special effort to visit because she was still recovering from the prior weeks abdominal surgery. Grandpa helped her walk very slowly. She was overjoyed to be able to come. Grandpa thought it was really exciting to have a new grandson.
Grandma and Grandpa Sommer were in Oahu on vacation, so we told them over the telephone. They brought Jacob home a darling bib from Hawaii.  -Jeanette’s Journal Sept. 9, 1976

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Impossible to Find

I lost an ear ring this week, going from house to house at the Anderson family's progressive Christmas dinner. In hindsight I knew that clasp had been slightly loose when I put it on. After the party I removed the left ear ring and when I went to remove the other all I felt was my bare earlobe. I freaked out!

The next morning Kent called his mom & siblings. They hadn’t seen it. We went to the church house to see if we could find it where the festivities had ended. Kent went inside to search, I looked in the snow where we had parked the night before. "Maybe it fell off out here." I thought as I strained to find it in the slush.

Deep inside, I knew it was hopeless. The only way I would get that ear ring back would be through the Lord. I said a silent prayer. It wasn’t the first time I had prayed to find jewelry.

When I was a child I lost a metal vending machine ring somewhere in the grass. I had been doing somersaults and cartwheels at the neighborhood park and climbing on the metal stadium benches. By the time I realized the ring was gone, the only lights to search by were the ones on the ball diamond. I raked the lawn with my fingers everywhere, summoned playmates to help me, praying earnestly, but I never found that ring. I finally gave up the effort and sadly walked home. I thought to myself that just because my prayer wasn’t answered this time that didn’t prove that God was not listening. I knew He was.

Now decades later I would ask Him again, and my prayer was just as simple. "Please, please, please help me find it." I admitted to the Lord that I knew I would never find it on my own, but I also knew that He knew precisely where it was. I asked if He would please put it in a place where I could find it and that if He did so I would call it a miracle.

We went home and I sent out emails with a picture of the ear ring to the nieces and nephews to whose homes we had been, siblings who would have cleaned up and might have found it and anyone else I could think of. It was still missing.

Then the next day I was at the "W-store" and I opened my wallet at the checkout counter and began fishing for some coins and there it was. The matching ear my coin purse. I couldn’t believe it. How could it have gotten there? I know I didn’t put it there. It couldn't have randomly fallen into the smallest possible spot in my purse, a coin pocket inside a wallet whose only opening is a tiny slit between the teeth of its zipper?

I went home for the other ear ring, and with both cradled in my hand I knew it was the miracle I had prayed for. Something impossible for me to accomplish was granted to me from a loving Heavenly Father and His Son. Something seemingly small and insignificant by comparison to the creation of galaxies unnumbered.

God can do all things, (even the smallest of things) for the good of his children. He is the Good Shepherd leading us home, caring for His sheep. God was listening when a child offered up her simple prayer for help long ago at a ball park, and to that same child standing in snow covered boots in a deserted parking lot talking to the only one who could really help. I am so thankful to the Lord for helping me find my special wedding day jewelry. I am thankful I know He is always listening. It has made all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vegetable Oil Burners and Lamps

My guilt about the oil in my food storage going rancid drove me to find a way to recycle it rather than tossing the investment out the window. I found some interesting ideas on how to use it for fuel to cook indoors and for lighting a shelter. It may give off a slight odor, but in an emergency with no power, I will appreciate the light and cooking it offers. By the way, Buddy Burners (tuna cans stuffed with a roll of cardboard and filled with wax or animal fat) if used indoors will set off your smoke detectors. I needed to improvise a type of indoor burner using the old oil that didn't put off a ton of smoke.

Oil & Sand Burner
This burner is made from a tuna or cat food can by pouring oil into a can half full of sand. Using a toothpick for a wick you wrap it with cotton and stick it into the sand filled can of oil. I used a can with a low profile and inserted three wicks. It boiled water fairly quickly.

Vegetable Oil Lamp
This is as simple as placing a wick into a bottle, filling it with oil (or shortening) and lighting it. Wicks can be purchased at a hobby store, or made from twine wrapped around a thin piece of wire. I used a couple of nails and wired them together criss-crossed to create a stand for the bottom of the bottle and then attached the homemade wick. You can even wrap wire around the lip of the jar and make a handle to hang or carry it. Who says guilt is a bad thing?


I decided to give it a try. If it didn't work, oh well. Guess what? I made a car battery powered low watt spotlight. I will use this makeshift light if a power outage outlasts my candles, or we need to shelter inside a small room and don't have enough ventilation for candles. Let me walk you through how I did it. By the way, if I can do it, anyone can!

First, gather some supplies:

Light bulb in socket, and spare bulbs
Wire, high-resistance
Battery clamps
Wire connectors
Tools to strip the wires and to crimp the battery clamps onto the wire

Always use the same light bulb voltage as your battery. Since my car battery is 12 Volts, I used the 12 Volt bulbs in my landscape lights. In fact, I used the landscape light. You can also purchase small 12 volt bulbs and sockets at a radio supply store. LED lights draw the least amount of power from your battery, and are the brightest.

I used some old speaker wire we had laying around but you could use high-resistance door bell wire and anything in between.

Measure then cut the length of wire you need to extend from your car battery to where you will use the light. I plan to bring the car battery inside.

Separate the two strands of high resistance wire on both ends and strip them to expose the bare strands of wire.

Now strip the ends of the landscape light wires, to expose the bare strands of wire.

Then connect the landscape light wires to the ends of the high resistance wires using cap connectors.

Next, connect the battery clamps to the other end of the exposed wires and crimp down on the ends to secure the wire.

When you are finished test it out by connecting the positive and negative clamps to your car battery posts. The light should come on. If it doesn't you may have to replace the light bulb.

Consider how you will position the landscape light in the room. Will you mount it to a wall, hang it from the ceiling, attach it to a stand? Have the supplies on hand to secure the light into a useful position. You might also consider adding mirrors, white boards or reflective material, such as aluminum foil to better reflect the light.

Now you are ready to light up a room for reading or playing games while you wait for the power to be restored.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Family Preparedness

As some of you may know Kent and I are into preparedness for any contingency; so to motivate myself and share what I am doing each week I am writing this blog. Here are some recent activities:

I have baked brownies in the sun oven a couple- maybe three times. They've turned out just great. If the electricity goes out for long I can still make comfort food.

Mmm-Mmm Better Brownies
Original recipe makes 1 9x9 inch pan
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease & flour a 9x9 inch baking pan or use parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Toothpick test about 2 ½ inches from edge.

Today was my first time baking a loaf of whole wheat bread in it.
I adjusted the oven position toward the sun to maintain 350 degrees. I had read on-line that the bread wouldn't brown up as well in a sun oven, but as you can see, it definately did!

One Loaf Whole Wheat Bread
Makes aproximately a 1.75 lb. loaf
1 cup warm water (temperature is about like a baby’s bath water)
1 ½ tsp. SAF instant yeast
2 tbls. oil
2 tbls. honey
2 1/3 cups *Freshly Milled Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. Vital Wheat Gluten
1 tsp. Dough Enhancer
1 tsp. Real salt
2 tsp. liquid lecithin (optional)
*may need additional Freshly Milled Whole Wheat Flour

PROOF YEAST: In a small bowl combine the warm water, yeast and honey and let stand in warm place 5-10 minutes until yeast bubbles up to make sure the yeast is active.
Meanwhile, combine 2 2/3 cup of the wheat flour, Vital Wheat Gluten, Dough Enhancer and salt in large mixing bowl (or in an electric mixing bowl). Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour the yeast mixture, oil and lecithin (optional) into the well of dry ingredients. Mix all wet ingredients slowly pulling in the flour mixture from the sides of the well until smooth.
ADDITIONAL FLOUR: The amount of flour you add next will depend on the moisture and protein levels in your wheat. Add the flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your floured finger when you “tap” it lightly. You might stop stirring and tap the dough gently with your floured finger occasionally to see if it sticks. If it does just add a little more flour.
Knead the dough on surface dusted with flour for 5-10 minutes until gluten forms. **Let sit in a warm place for 45 minutes to one hour or until doubled. Then punch it down and form dough into one loaf to place into a 4x6 greased loaf pan. When it has doubled in size again in the loaf pan you should be able to put a small dent in the side of the loaf with your finger and the dent will not come back out, or it will come back out very slowly.
Place loaf into the preheated sun oven or if baking indoors a cool oven (not preheated).
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Keep rotating the sun oven to keep the temperature up to 350 degrees. Remove baked bread from oven onto cooling rack. If desired, brush butter over top of loaf. Let cool slightly before cutting with serrated edged knife.
**Proofing Tip:
Place dough to rise in an oven with the oven light turned on, this brings the oven temperature up to around 100 degrees, the desired temperature for rising dough.

Here is another idea I found in a book titled Nuclear War Survival Skills. You can download it free from the internet. Last week I made this 2-handled fan for sheltering-in-place so you can circulate the air inside your shelter easily. Using this simple fan you will be able to pull some oxygen back into the shelter to replace the carbon dioxide being exhaled into the shelter by its occupants. The first symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning are a headache and labored breathing. You might want to make a couple of these fans.

You will need:
a hammer; wood saw; Needle nose Pliers; lightweight wire; work gloves

For the frame you will need:
2 dowels or sticks 14 inches long- about ¾ inches wide or in diameter
2 dowels or sticks 22 inches long- ¾ inches wide or in diameter
4 pieces of wire or strong string about 15 inches each
4 very small nails

For the blade you will need:
Glue; scissors; 1 piece of old pillowcase or bed sheet cut to about 16 x 18 inches

You may want to use work gloves. Start by making the frame. Measure and mark the wooden rods to the designated length and cut with a saw. (Two 14 inches and two 22 inches) Mark the 22 inch long pieces at 6 inches from the end.

This is where you will nail the crosspiece which leaves two 6 inch handles. Be consistent so that the cross pieces are nailed to the same sides of the long pieces.
Use one very small nail to connect each corner;

Then tie securely with wire or string.

Now you can attach a cloth blade to your frame. Use waterproof construction glue and attach a small piece of fabric to the sticks of the frame and let it dry.

For comfort using the fan wear lightweight gloves or you can do as I did and tape the handles with Duct tape. You're now better prepared for sheltering-in-place.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

First RV Camping Trip

For this maiden voyage we stayed five days at Red Canyon campground, nestled among the Ponderosa Pines and under the towering Red rock formations called Hoodoo’s - elevation around 7,000 ft.

Getting there was tricky dodging semi’s stopped on the sides and in the middle of the road putting chains on their wheels. Luckily we tucked in behind a snow plow to get down the other side of the summit.

We set up camp before the snow storm hit, settled into the warmth of the trailer with hot chocolate in hand snuggled under our Vellux blankets from J.C. Penny’s.

By the next afternoon Kent and I were out exploring the red rocks of Southern Utah. We drove to Panguich, and then to Kanab. We stopped at a Moqui (pronounced Mow-as in mowing the lawn and Key) Cave with indian artifacts and dinosaur tracks, then hiked up to see the Pink Sand Dunes Park.

We stood over the stunning sights at Bryce Canyon Point, and then drove from Escalante to Boulder.

My favorite part of sightseeing was called Long Canyon Slot; a narrow place in the red rock canyon wall that we discovered in an unmarked section of road.

One night the evening weather cooperated so we had pizza at an out of the way outdoor cafĂ© where they promised live Friday night music. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay long enough for the entertainment to arrive but we did enjoy visiting with the locals.

When the weather cleared up we got the chance to enjoy the campsite outdoors. We enjoyed our new hammock and Kent and I read. Kent read a law thriller and I purused short stories by an Indian author who won the Pulizer Prize. Kent bought me some of my favorite kind of jewelry -turquoise- at an Indian shop on main street.

On the Sabbath, Kent and I went to the Panguich Second ward for sacrament meeting. For being such a tiny community of under 2,000 people we were surprised to see around 250 in attendance. Made us yearn to live in a tiny town as we listened to how much they loved their little city way of life.

Our last afternoon we ate a scrumptious meal of Dutch Oven chicken, hash browns with onions, corn on the cob, Caesar salad and lemonade. Kent made Peach Cobbler for dessert. It was delicious.

Now that’s what I call camping!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Signs of The Times of Christ's Second Coming

This short video
reminds me that we are living in perilous times, as the God of the Universe foretold would precede the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every day we see evidence that He is calling for his children to turn back to him for guidance and protection.

Christ lamented over the people in his day who were headed for destruction in the city of Jerusalem,

"How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and you would not!" (Matt 23:37)

He continues to beckon to each of us today to turn to him for a place of peace and safety amid the gathering storms. My prayer is that we will hear His voice and follow him safely in.