Sunday, 14 December 2008

Marie's Sunday Six Smile Makers

One of the things I like most about Sundays, next to being able to go to church and partake of the sacrament and being with my church brothers and sisters is being able to share my Sunday Six Smile Makers with each of you. I am rather late getting them posted today as I didn't have enough time this morning. I had been up rather late last night working and then had to dash off early to church so you had to make do with a repost from an earlier time. I am going to make up for that now, hopefully! Six things this week that made me smile . . .

1. This is called a moon dog. Moon Dogs ,or 'mock moons' are the analog to sun dogs. When the Moon or the Sun is observed through a cloud deck that contains icy particles such as cirrus clouds, the icy particles can serve as a screen and diffract the light from the Sun or Moon into a variety of wonderful shapes. Most of us have seen lunar haloes or haloes around the Sun. In the far northern latitudes near the arctic circle, spectacular halos and other 'glories' can be seen. These can be quite complex with multiple concentric circles, arcs portions of arcs, all arrayed in spectacular geometric designs. On this Thursday night past I was on my way to work about ten o'clock in the evening and I was mesmerized by the sight of a moon dog hanging high in the evening sky. It was a very cold night and the sight was so beautiful . . . magical even. It truly made me smile. It was so bright that I didn't even have to use my flashlight to see my way along the pathway, neither did I need it to make my way home in the wee hours of the morning as it was still so bright. I love that my life contains magic moments such as these and am so thankful that I have a heart that is able to take them all in.

2. This is my sweet friend Lura of Grammy's News, holding her grandson Austin. They are both enjoying some of my reindeer cookies! Lura is an angel to me. She is one of those people that you meet in life that as soon as your spirits touch you feel an immediate kinship and it is as if you have always known each other. Lura makes me smile. Every word she writes, every comment she leaves, every little e-mail she sends . . . the minute I see the word Lura my heart breaks out into song and smiles. Yesterday the post man arrived carrying a huge box. Todd looked at me and said . . . "What did you order now???" I was flabbergasted. I had not ordered a thing, but there on the cover was the most magical mailing label and I could see it was from sweet Lura. What oh what could she have sent to me??? Inside I found the most beautiful pair of pajamas and a wonderful little Chef Gingerbread doll, wearing a lovely little apron with the words, "Chef Marie" embroidered on the pocket, words that I know Lura herself put onto it. My heart was touched and tears sprang to my eyes. That this sweet lady so far away could care so much for me made me smile. Lura, I truly do love you, and not because you send me wonderful things like cozy pink pajamas and cute lil gingerbread chef's, but because you embody to me love in it's purest sense. Selfless, caring and Christlike. If I am brave enough I will post a picture soon of me in my pink pj's holding my new little gingerbread friend. (don't hold your breath though, coz you might faint waiting. ;-) )

3. This past Thursday evening at our Young Women's activity night we made Gingerbread houses. It was so much fun. Even though I was tired from having worked all day, and having taught a seminary lesson . . . and even though I knew I still had a whole night's work facing me when I finished at Young Women's and got home, it made me smile. I just love the young women in our church. They are such wonderful girls and so full of life and promise. I have been so blessed these past several years to be able to work with them. I can remember when I was first called to be a leader of these girls, I thought to myself, oh no, I cannot possibly have anything in me that these girls could want or use, but I have enjoyed every minute of it so far. I remember praying that I could love these girls and guess what? Heavenly Father answered my prayers because I do love them so very much, even when they are being moody and hard to get along with! I am thankful for answered prayers, young women and gingerbread houses that make me smile.

4. This is Michael. He is our Bishop's youngest son. He's a great guy and very musical. I really enjoy him. He is really funny and articulate and really loves the Saviour. He's also very talented. I can remember a few years ago when I had first come to our church ward here where I live now, I walked into the Primary Sunday school rooms and Michael was there with another young lad. The other young lad made a rude comment about me, and it made me cry. I didn't think I would ever be able to like these boys, and my feelings were really hurt. Guess what? Another answered prayer because I adore this young lad! He is magic to me and every time I see him he makes me smile. His spirit is so abundantly full of life and he is just such a special young man. Today in church he sang the most beautiful song, and he sang it so well. It brought tears to my eyes and I was so filled with the spirit of the Lord and the magnitude of what He did for us. Michael makes me smile.

5. This is the song that Michael sang this morning. It was not the first time I had heard him sing it. Listen to the words and let them speak to your heart. It will make you smile, it will make you cry, it will touch your heart. I will always love this song and I am going to teach myself how to sing it so that every time I want to feel closer to the Saviour I can sing it to myself. It makes me smile to think of how much the Saviour loves us. I am so thankful for that love. (Make sure you pause my music before you try to listen to the video. It's right at the bottom of this page!)

6. Buttermilk Pancakes make me smile. They remind me of Saturday mornings when my children were growing up. I always made them buttermilk pancakes on Saturday mornings and we always had them with sliced peaches, maple syrup and oodles of butter. Try it, you might find that they make you smile too!

*Buttermilk Pancakes*
Serves 4

Light, fluffy and tender, these delicious pancakes are a tried and tested family favourite. Try them as we do, served up with cold sliced peaches for a real taste treat . . . don’t forget the butter and Maple syrup!

2 large eggs
2 cups plain flour
2 TBS caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
4 TBS melted butter
1 to 2 TBS sunflower oil for frying

Beat the eggs with a whisk until frothy. Sift together the dry ingredients and then whisk them into the eggs along with the buttermilk and melted butter. Whisk until smooth and no lumps of flour remain. Try not to over mix.

Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle pan until fairly hot. Lightly coat with some sunflower oil and spoon roughly about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the pan for each pancake. I can cook about three at a time in my skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the surface of the pancake is covered with bubbles and appears a little bit dry, (about 4 to 6 minutes). Flip over and lightly brown on the other side. Remove to a warm oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the pancakes, greasing your pan again as needed.

Serve up hot with butter, maple syrup and tinned peaches to your loved ones and stand back and await the applause!


  1. I am so glad that you got the package and that it made you smile. It gave me great joy to send it to you....It would have gotten there sooner if my machine had not eaten up the apron and made a hole in it. I wanted to finish the doll and mail it to you before we left for Utah in Nov. but I had no time to fix the apron before we left. The post lady said that it might take 2 weeks or longer for you to get it. I only mailed it a week ago so you got it really fast. I am happy. That makes me smile.

    Each time you look at the cute little chef smiling at you consider it a smile from me. When you slip your arms into the soft pajamas I hope that you will feel the hugs that come with them.

    You brighten my life more than you know. I am glad that a little piece of me can be there with you, Todd and Jess in your Cozy Oak Cottage. I look forward to the day when I can really step into Oak Cottage and give you a real hug. I am not as cute as your gingerbread chef but I know that you will love me anyway.

    Thank you for your love and friendship. Thanks too for the kind things you always say about me. I surely wish that I were as good as you say I am. I am not but I love you for thinking I am...maybe you would not feel as complimentary if yor really met me....maybe I had better never visit you and spoil the image....haha.

    Have a good week my dear. I will be thinking of you. Love, Lura

  2. What a wonderful song Marie! I am sure it was so special being sung by someone you care about so much. He sounds like a sweet young man. Your pancakes look so delicious and cozy on a cold winter day. I may make them for Christmas morning. I hope you are having a better week this week!


  3. what a beautiful song! and another lovely entry!

  4. I downloaded that song to listen to last night, but forgot about it until this morning, and honestly I was in floods of tears first thing in the morning, but tears of gratitude!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  5. I haven't heard "His Hands"in a long time. Thank you. I needed that reminder of the Savior.

  6. how sweet of lura to send you all that! what a great friend she is to so many. she is a wonderful lady. i'm glad you have so much to smile about this week. i think lura's sunday six idea is a great one-it helps you to reflect on the week and find the positive.

  7. I have heard that song many times but have never seen that video... it's amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Isn't my mom great? I feel so blessed to have her as my mother!

  8. That song is one of my favorites too and when you hear a YW or YM sing it you know they really understand what the song is all about. Thanks for reminding me


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