Monday, September 24, 2012

Personal Progress

Recently I have been working on getting the person that I want to be and the person that I am a little bit closer to being one person.  I have tried and failed at a lot of the goals I've set and it's becoming increasingly frustrating for me.  I can see what I want, it just seems like every time I take a step in the right direction I'm actually stepping onto a moving sidewalk that's going in the opposite direction.  I've had the thought a few different times over the past year that I should redo my Young Women's Personal Progress, and I've even gotten as far as looking up a book on the church website, but I never went to get the book and so I never started.  Earlier today while I was on the phone, I thought about it and since I was already killing time on the computer I decided to look it up.  I went to the link and was very surprised to find that it's all online now!  I, being the computer geek that I am, was instantly motivated to start on it.  I've decided that in order to keep myself accountable, I'll be writing about it on here.  That way there is at least the possibility that someone else knows about it.

The first paragraph on the Personal Progress homepage is this:

You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose. You have a noble responsibility to use your strength and influence for good. Your loving Heavenly Father has blessed you with talents and abilities that will help you fulfill your divine mission. As you learn to accept and act upon the Young Women values in your life, you will form personal habits of prayer, scripture study, obedience to the commandments, and service to others. These daily personal habits will strengthen your faith in and testimony of Jesus Christ. They will also allow you to recognize and develop your unique gifts.

Basically that is exactly what I am trying to do anyway!  I'm going to start with a few goals and go from there.

First goal:

Faith 1 - Learn about faith from the scriptures and living prophets.

  • Read Hebrews 11; Alma 32:17-43; Ether 12:6-22; and Joseph Smith--History 1:11-20.
  • Read two general conference talks on faith.  
  • Establish a habit of prayer in your life, beginning by saying your morning and evening prayers every day for three weeks.
Individual Worth 1 - You are a daughter of Heavenly Father, who knows you and loves you.
  • Read Psalm 8:4-6; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Doctrine and Covenants 18:10; Abraham 3:22-23; and Joseph Smith--History 1:1-20.
  • Record how these scriptures teach you that Heavenly Father knows you, loves you, and is mindful of you.

Good Works 1 - Learn why service is a fundamental principle of the gospel.

  • Read Matthew 5:13-16; 25:34-40; Galatians 6:9-10; James 1:22-27; Mosiah 2:17; 4:26; and 3 Nephi 13:1-4
  • For two weeks record the quiet acts of service that your family members and others perform.  
  • Acknowledge their service in some meaningful way.

Integrity 1 - Integrity is the willingness and desire to live by our beliefs and standards. Learn about what integrity means for you personally.

  • Read Moroni 10:30-33 and think about what it means to "deny yourselves of all ungodliness."
  • Read the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth and reflect on how the Lord's standards differ from the world's standards.
  • Record appropriate standards for behavior, dress, conversation, literature, movies, internet, music, and other media.
  • Write your plan to stay worthy to attend the temple.  After keeping this plan for at least a month record your feelings in your journal, and continue to keep to your commitment.

So here goes nothing... Week #1 here I come.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

For the past few months I have been avoiding using our oven at all costs.  We had an old oven in our apartment that got almost as hot on the outside as it did on the inside.  Last month, after I got burned from touching the OUTSIDE of the oven, Greg decided to call maintenance.  They said they would come look at it and 3 days later they knocked on the door with a brand-new oven!  They set it all up, we turned it on, and... the house stayed the same temperature!  Amazing what working appliances can do.  So, now that I can cook at a comfortable temperature, I have been baking everything.  Today I was craving lemon (I know, weird!), so while I was at Wal-Mart I picked up a lemon poppy seed muffin mix and a cake pan and went home to make my very first lemon poppy seed cake!  It was delicious!  And double success, Greg thought so too!  In fact I probably won't be making it again anytime soon, because I've eaten way too much of it already.

My yummy cake!

1 Box Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Mix OR Lemon Cake Mix
1 cup water
4 eggs
1 lemon pudding mix
1/3 cup oil
butter or margarine
cinnamon sugar

(This recipe is for a denser cake, more like a pound cake.  If you don't want it to be dense, just follow the directions on the box for the batter and then continue with the rest of my instructions)

Coat the inside of the cake pan with butter.  Make sure it's really well covered.  Pour some cinnamon sugar into the bottom of the cake pan (it doesn't really matter how much, you'll just put the excess back), then move the pan around until the whole inside is coated with cinnamon sugar.  Pour in the batter.  Bake according to the directions on the box (I think my box said 40-45 minutes.  I did it for 40 and it was perfect!)

Dump out while still hot and enjoy!!!  

If you want a glaze as well (I'm not gonna lie, the glaze was delish) just get a carton of your favorite frosting and spread it on while it's still hot.  I tried cream cheese frosting on the first one and lemon on the second one and they were both amazing!