Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Treats

I LOVE HALLOWEEN!  Why exactly I am not sure.  Every once in a while I drive around and see the creepy decorations splattered all over people's yards and I wonder how we got here.  Decorations like: dead bodies, skeletons, death, ghosts, guts, brains, bloody weapons, headstones, graves, creepiness.  Every once in a while, I can't help but think that Halloween is the strangest thing ever.

Nonetheless...I love it.

Tonight Romney and I have been invited to an adult only Costume Party.  I have been asked to bring a dessert of some kind.  Instead of resorting to my usual browies or chocolate chip cookies, I decided to make it a little more fun and have decided to make Eyeball Cakebites.  I have never made cake bites before....this should be interesting.

I found a website full of darling and creative Halloween Treats.  The site is  (There are recipes and instructions for each of these treats on that site).

Here are a few of my favorites:

Forked Eyeball Cake Pops

String Cheese Fingers with Green Pepper Fingernails
Carrot Fingers

Apple Mouth Bites

Skeleton Gingerbread Cookies

Happy Halloweening!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Legacy

Helen Shuman Heaton
A few years ago, after my dear grandma Helen passed away, I knew that her life story had to be preserved.  I felt an overwhelming urgency to get it written down.  She led a remarkable life.  She grew up during the Depression in a remote part of Georgia surrounded by her loving siblings and family.  She had countless inspiring experiences that shaped her into the remarkable woman she was.

Over the course of her adult life, she started and stopped several journals.  For the most part, she wrote in spiral notebooks, carefully using up each line and margin.  (Clearly a reflection of her belief that nothing should ever be wasted).  The journals were hard to follow because most of the pages had been torn out and the order was completely mixed up.  Furthermore, her big curly handwriting made it seem at times, like I was reading and transcribing an ancient script.

I poured and scoured over her writings for months.  I studied pictures and faces in every photo.  It was an exhausting yet exhilarating experience to see it all come together.  I am grateful that her posterity can now turn through the pages of her book to catch a glimpse of who she was and the legacy she left behind.

(She has been on my mind.  Fall was her favorite season).

The Passing of Mary May Murdoch "Wee Granny"

 A few weeks ago, Nan sent us a copy of a compilation of stories and life histories of her mother's living family members.  The book is over 600 pages and is filled with stories and experiences that describe where and how the Murdoch relatives have ended up.  It took four years to compile.

One of the stories is about a lady named Mary May Murdoch.  Because of her tiny 4'7" frame, she was also known as "Wee Granny."  She died crossing the plains with the Martin Handcart Company.  Her last words were to be told to her son John who had left months earlier with the Saints.  She said, "Tell John I died with my face towards Zion."  A remarkable story.  Click here for a touching tribute to her. 

For the book, Nan, Dwight, Romney and each of Romney's siblings took the challenge to write their own life story.  It is a treasure to have this written down.  Their stories describe some life changing experiences that have helped shape them into the remarkable people they are.  I am confident that these stories will be read over and over for years to come.


The importance of history has been weighing on my mind.  I have just finished reading the new Relief Society manual called, "Daughters of My Kingdom."  It too, is a collection of stories that describe the history of the Relief Society program.

A lot of emphasis has been placed on this manual from the church leadership.  The General Relief Society Board has stressed that "Relief Society sisters have a glorious heritage and the manual will be an important resource for preserving that heritage." 


So, what is it about a history that is so valuable?

I have come to the conclusion that understanding our history and the legacy will give us the courage to be better.  Learning our history will help to define us.  Learning our history, changes our perspective of our self worth.  I firmly believe that until we recognize where we come from...where we will end up is unsure.

A friend of mine sent me a link to an amazing music video.  Click here to see it.  It is an inspiring song by Hillary Weeks.  (Grab a Kleenex).  It is a tearjerker, but the message is basically that our past experiences and history changes our perspective on life.  It allows us to see things from a different view.  Furthermore, it is clear that if you know where you've come from, it will give you the strength to face the uncertainty of your future.

Our histories shape us.  We all have valuable lessons to be learned from the past.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Miracle

Yesterday we decided to bust out and take advantage of living in a beautiful place in the mountains.  We loaded the car and much to the kids dismay, we drove to Estes National Park.  The weather was absolutely beautiful and the temperature was in the mid 70's.  I tried to be the mom that talks up the excitement about what we were about to experience, but I'll be honest, I don't think one other person was looking forward to a nice hike in the mountains.

(When did I become the outdoorsy one of the bunch??)

We ended up having a nice time and I would post pictures, but my laptop is broken and since I don't want to download our family photos on Romney's work laptop, I will save the pics and details of our day for a later post.

The drive home was unreal and my stomach still drops as I think about all that could have gone wrong.  We miraculouslyavoided a deadly car accident.  It is truly a miracle that we drove away from scene with our car and family intact. 

On the drive home, the traffic was steady on the 2-lane canyon road.  I carefully drove down and tried not to pay too much attention to the steep cliff on my right  As we carefully made our way down the winding road, I noticed that the huge semi-truck behind me was getting really close to my bumper.  I was a little concerned.  Suddenly the truck got really close to us and then swerved left into the lane with on-coming traffic.  Then the truck swerved back into our land then and we heard this huge scraping sound.  

I turned around and saw the truck was scraping along the steel barrier that separated the road from the cliff.  Smoke was billowing out from the tires.  Fortunately, there was a pull-off spot right in front of me.  I somehow made my way into the pull-off spot and watched the truck slam into the steel barrier.  I was sure that the truck was going to roll off the cliff.  Smoke was everywhere.

Romney got out of the car and ran to see if the driver was hurt.  The truck was literally hanging off the cliff.  We learned that driver’s quick and careful reaction saved my family. 
His brakes went out and he swerved into the barrier with the hopes that it would slow him down.  He said, “I knew that you had a family in that van and I did not want to hit you”.  He was literally willing to sacrifice his life by possibly toppling over the cliff in order to avoid ramming into us.
We got several pictures and my stomach still turns as I think about all that could have gone wrong. It was quite humbling to realize that we had been protected.
We were part of a miracle.  I still can’t believe it.
Romney and I profusely thanked the driver.  I even hugged him as we left the scene.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hi, I'm Alecia...

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that our church would be participating in wide reaching media blitz in several cities, including Denver. The media effort is simply to clarify misconceptions and basically improve the overall public image of our church.  As the spotlight has been thrust on our church in recent weeks due to the controversial remarks made by a pastor of different faith, I realize how important this media effort truly is.

At the media blitz meeting, those in attendance were challenged to go to and not only familiarize ourselves with the site, but also create a personal profile.

My family loves this site.  We love the short videos and we watch them all the time.  The idea however, of having a profile about myself made me feel a little uncomfortable.  I was a little reluctant...but then I I mentioned here, as long as there is a conversation going on about my church, I would like to be a part of it.

So, I did it.  Feel free to take a peek.

Tonight a friend sent me a link to this cool video about Brandon Flowers, the lead singer for "The Killers."  He is a Mormon and he also wants to be a part of the conversation.  Here is a link to his "I am a Mormon" profile.

To my friends and family...I would like to challenge you to do the same thing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A First & A Last

Yesterday was a first for Sophie.  Her first field trip.  First bus ride.  First.

Yesterday was a last for me.  Last Kindergarten field trip.  Last kid I'll experience freaking out with excitement to ride a bus.  Last.

(Sorry, I am feeling a little sentimental that I am "graduating" to a new phase of motherhood.  A wonderful and still enriching phase, but a different stage nonetheless).

Despite my nostalgia, yesterday was so great.  Sophie's class got to go to a local pumpkin patch for a day on the farm.  It was so fun and we had so much fun together.

We rode on a hayride pulled by a tractor, picked our own pumpkins right off the vine, played in a corn maze and pet some fidgety goats.

We ended our date at Chick Fil A with some other moms who are also "graduating" with their last kindergartener.  So fun.


It was a perfect day.

I am finally feeling better.  My back is healing.  I found out that I tore a muscle in my back.  I have had to literally stop all activity, but I am getting stronger everyday.  I feel that it is a great sign that I am no longer aware when the next 4-6 hours has arrived for another round of ibuprofen.

So...I guess I am not a granny afterall...well, at least I was thinking that until last night.  Sophie and I were watching TV and a lady in her late 60's/early 70's came on the screen. Sophie told me that I kind of look like her.  I asked her, "Really?"  She replied, "Yeah mom, your skin is getting all wrinkly like hers."


Thanks for that Sophie!! The joy of motherhood......

(I guess my years of perfectly bronzed skin is catching up with me???)
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