Joan Ruth Smith Stout

Joan Ruth Smith Stout
March 16, 1931 -September 5, 2007

Our Message

Joan Ruth Smith Stout passed away on September 5, 2007. She was my beloved mother and grandmother of the beautiful girls pictured to the right, Kim, Tiffany, Tara, Chelane, Stephanie, Tristen, Sara, Telisa, Mikel, Jenny and Ashling. My mother died due to complications from malnourishment, or in other words, an eating disorder. I believe it started in her teens and she was completely unaware of the insidious disease that took route in her mind. She was somehow blessed to give birth to four children, three boys and a girl. Joan loved her children with devotion and passion even though much of the time, she felt poorly. Stomach problems, headaches and heart palpitations were a daily occurrence for her. As her only daughter, I was oblivious to her plight until my very own sweet daughter started on that same journey in her teens. By then my mom had been suffering from her eating disorder for a good fifty years, and there was no redirecting her thoughts. Unfortunately for me, I was angry for a while when I realized that the route of all her illnesses was through lack of nutrition. That was shameful on my part, and I am sure that only added to my mom's illness. I hope she knows now how foolish I was. However, through the journey of Telisa's eating disorder, the girls in our family have learned much, especially Telisa! It is for this reason that we collectively, as Joan's Girls, are choosing to send the message out to the world of what real beautiful bodies need to support good physical and mental health!!!!!!! We watch with horror the unhealthy and unattractive images on TV, Movies, Magazines etc. We witness some of our dear friends struggle with body image issues, and frankly we are sick of the comparing and obsessing over one's size versus one's health!! We believe in good health, we believe in eating the food provided for us by our Heavenly Father, we believe in balance and moderation, we believe in exercise in moderation, we also believe the best exercise is done while serving others, we believe that God created many types of bodies and we thank Him for that! We believe in modesty and we believe that our bodies are a gift from Heavenly Father! We believe that true beauty comes from within. All of Joan's granddaughters are true beauties. Our legacy to her will be our commitment to the TRUTH of what is beautiful and praiseworthy. We seek after these things. We will strive for good health and the truth in all we do!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Real Beauty

Beauty Redefined: Rejecting the Media's Impossible Standards

Lexie Kite and Lindsay Kite - January 18, 2011


They’re sad facts that many of us know: You will never see an average American woman represented in the mass media as a “beauty ideal.” And it is completely reasonable to assume that every image of women you see in the media has been digitally manipulated. So why is thatwhere we get our standard for what is normal and beautiful?

In a world where a constant—and we mean constant—flow of media images far exceeds the number of women we could ever see face to face, this abnormally thin and digitally-enhanced feminine ideal has become the norm in our minds. A counterfeit, dangerous, unattainable norm.

Be Ye Therefore “Perfect”?
Unfortunately, we as Latter-day Saints are not immune to these harmful media messages. Though no religion-specific data exists to show rates of eating disorders or body image issues, numerous accounts from diligent parents, priesthood and auxiliary leaders of struggling girls, and women speak for themselves. And one of Forbes magazine’s annual rankings may indicate that our quest for perfection took a wrong turn somewhere along the way: Salt Lake City, home to the worldwide headquarters of the LDS Church (and where an estimated 50 percent of the population is LDS), was ranked the “Vainest City in the Nation” in 2007 and 2008, and was in the Top 5 in 2009. This ranking is due to the city’s record-breaking amount spent on beauty products and treatments like Botox, an amount that is ten-fold the amount spent in cities of comparable size. If you’ve looked at the billboards along any Utah freeway, you won’t be shocked to hear Salt Lake City has the most plastic surgeons per capita, at six per 100,000 residents, trumping New York City and Los Angeles.

When Thin is Too “In”
In the last 15 years, the media’s depictions of women have compacted into a standard of beauty that is further from reality than ever. Consequently, women’s body hatred has skyrocketed. When asked their ideal body weight, 75 percent of U.S. women chose a number that was actually 10 percent or more underweight. This is particularly significant considering 67 percent of U.S. women are classified as overweight or obese by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And as obesity doubled in incidence from 1980 to 2004, there was also an incredible rise in eating disorders during the same time period.

Women’s reported bodily “disgust” doesn’t seem so shocking when we consider the dramatic shift in our definition of beauty over the past 60 years. Take the iconic Marilyn Monroe of the 1950s, at 5 feet 5 inches tall and 140 pounds during the height of her fame. Though corseted and exceptionally busty, her figure represents a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) of 23.3. (BMI is the standard used by the World Health Organization to determine a healthy weight.) Her fuller figure stands in stark contrast to today’s beauty elite, who most often take the form of a rail-thin and surgically enhanced feminine ideal. The “Sexiest Woman Alive,” as ranked by men and women alike, is actress Angelina Jolie, at 5 feet 7 inches tall and close to 100 pounds, which equates to a 15.7 BMI.

This is startling, considering a BMI of 18.5 and below is considered “underweight,” a distinction that can result in dire consequences like malnutrition, bone loss, organ failure, infertility, and a severely weakened immune system—none of which we ever hear about in a media industry that represents underweight as normal.

The Lies We Buy
While it would be easier to call this a media conspiracy and pin the blame on a scheming mastermind, the truth is that there is one simple motive behind it all: money. The beauty product and weight loss industries are flourishing at our expense—somewhere to the tune of $100 billion per year.

In one revealing example from the 90s, a prominent women’s magazine featured gray-haired models in a fashion spread. When one of their foremost advertisers, a hair color company, withdrew its entire ad campaign from the magazine upon seeing the un-dyed hair, the magazine was forced to avoid featuring gray-haired women in a positive light in any of its pages. The same pressure exists throughout any media outlet that features advertising for appearance-focused products, and it would be a challenge to find one that doesn’t.

This plan to convince viewers that female worth is dependent upon appearance is incredibly successful. But once we recognize we’re in a battle, we can start to defend ourselves.

The Battle to Take Back Beauty
If you’ve read this far, you’re already equipped with a few self-defense skills. We can start by training ourselves to ask and answer pivotal questions, such as the following, about the media we’re exposed to on a regular basis:

• Who is advertising in these pages or on this screen? (Look for ads, commercials, and product placement that may affect the media content.)
• Do I feel better or worse about myself after viewing this media?
• Is the media I consume promoting real health or unattainable ideals that focus solely on appearance?
• How are women presented in my media choices? Are they valued for their talents and personality? Do they look like me or the women in my life?
• Are my health and weight-loss goals based on concrete measures of fitness or wellness, or are they motivated by a desire to look a certain way or fit into a certain size?

By acknowledging that very few girls and women feel comfortable in their bodies, we can begin to realize it is the standard that needs changing—not us. We should never feel like our bodies are some sort of burden to bear instead of a precious gift we’ve been given!

Learning to recognize and reject the negative ideas so prevalent about women’s bodies is a wonderful step toward being comfortable with our looks and taking better care of ourselves. The ongoing process of redefining what “beauty” and “self-worth” mean ignites a spark of change that can spread to many others within our realm of influence, from a daughter who sees her mother appreciating her body rather than criticizing it, to sisters who forsake worldly judgments and embrace every woman as a friend.

Redefining Reality
When it is so easy to get caught up in the way we look, sometimes the best way to improve self-esteem is to forget ourselves for a moment. That might involve visiting someone with stories of a time when media consisted of radio melodramas and newspapers, or shoveling the driveway of a friend whose health restricts him or her from being able to do so. Forget about expensive makeup and diet pills—the best way to improve your appearance is to have a little more light in your countenance! Service in any capacity fills us with love and light that radiate from within and draw people near.

Since we’ll see more images of women in one week of media than we’ll ever see face to face, we must regularly give ourselves a reality check by remembering what real beauty looks like. This definition accounts for much more than superficial attractiveness, whether it’s the acknowledgment of an inspired church lesson or a well-played soccer game, a tasty meal or endearing laugh lines on the face of a friend. Though media definitions of beauty aren’t going to loosen up, we know we can reclaim our power by turning away from images that hurt us and looking directly at one another. We can take control every time we turn away from media that causes us to feel sub-par or portrays women as sexual objects instead of thinking, feeling humans, or when we speak out about what we perceive as harmful.

When billions of dollars and countless hours are spent fixing perceived “flaws,” we must recognize that where we spend our time and money reflects our priorities. When appearance is our concern over other things, such as health, cultivating relationships, or developing Christ-like characteristics, we must re-prioritize. When girls and women judge and are judged based on their appearances, we must redefine what we value. If we find media ideals have more influence in our lives than we’d like, we can work to reject those distractions that prevent us from moving on to more uplifting things.

Since these controlling ideals are held in force by silence, with women feeling shamefully alone in their “disgust,” we all need to keep the conversation going. We can constantly point out the unrealistic nature of media images and talk to loved ones about re-thinking beauty. Using these strategies to recognize and reject harmful media messages, we can not only defend ourselves in the battle to define beauty, but we can win the fight for girls and women everywhere.

*Read the full article in the January/February 2011 issue of LDS Living.

© LDS Living magazine Jan/Feb 2011.

© 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

For Valentine's Day...

I made these awesome Red Velvet Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup this morning! I got the recipe from Whipperberry! A super cute blog! Jason loves Red Velvet (I've never been a huge fan) so I thought I'd make these for him this morning since he'll be gone all day tomorrow.  I actually really like them and the syrup is killer good!!!  Jack also loved them which is really saying something since he is Mr. Picky Eater! Jason unfortunately is still asleep because he doesn't feel well but I'm sure he'll enjoy these. Either way they are super cute and yummy! I was kinda bummed that I don't have a heart shaped cookie cutter (how is that possible!) since I have every other shape known to man! Anyway I thought I'd share since they are a fun festive treat! Enjoy!
I love you all and Happy Valentine's Day! xo

Red Velvet Pancakes

1 1/2 C. Buttermilk

4 Eggs

4 Tbsp. Butter, melted

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 Tbsp. Red Food Coloring

2 C. Flour

2 Tbsp. Cocoa

1/3 cup Sugar

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Melt butter in separate bowl, then add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and food coloring. Blend well. Pour in dry mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour ½ cup of the whipped batter on a greased skillet. Pan fry on medium heat until browned. Flip over and brown again. Top with desired toppings and serve warm.

{To make a heart shaped pancake (optional), place a heart shaped cookie cutter on the skillet, and pour batter into the cookie cutter. Remove form before flipping.}

*Optional toppings include syrup, butter, whipping cream, and shaved chocolate.

Buttermilk Syrup

1 C Butter

1 C Buttermilk

2 C Sugar

2 T Vanilla

1 t Baking Soda

Bring the first three ingredients to a boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir and Serve.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Couldn't Resist... Made me think of Sara!

The link at the bottom takes you to 8 different ways to make them but the Apple Pie seemd festive and the picture looked "yum-azing"!

To get started, make a basic caramel apple:


6 apples (stems removed and a craft stick stuck down the center)

1 package individually wrapped caramels from the candy aisle

2 tablespoons milk


Melt the milk and unwrapped candy in the microwave for two minutes, stirring once.

Let cool before dunking in the apples.

Set apples on a baking sheet.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Apple-cinnamon-caramel is the flavor trio of fall. Sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar onto your caramel apple, or, for some extra creamy creativity, roll the caramel apple in fresh whipped cream, then layer the bottom portion with the cinnamon sugar for that "pie" look.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sending a shout out!

Just a quick shout out to all you ladies!  I love you ALL and miss you much!!! xoxo That is all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A bit of validation for us Mommies...

My friend just posted this and I loved it so I thought I'd share!  Enjoy!!


Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .
Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.
Relax and enjoy. You're funny.
Or you're lying about having friends with kids.
Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.
Internet searches?
I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.
So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.
It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.
It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.
It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

Write to Tell Me About It, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pamper Yourself!

I hope all the mommies had a beautiful Mother's Day! xo Mother's Day got me thinking of ways we could pamper ourselves on all the other days of the year and I found some simple ideas that always feel good! I love foot soaks and hand scrubs and such. And since our hands and feet take quite a beating and I thought I'd share a few ideas that I came across!! Enjoy! Love you all!

Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipes:

Recipe #1 – Brown Sugar Scrub

1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of almond oil
1/4 cup of liquid Ivory hand soap
1/4 tsp of vanilla

Recipe #2 – Lemon Sugar Scrub

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 TBS lemon zest (grated)

Recipe #3 – Lavender & Rosewood Scrub

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup almond oil
1/2 tsp vitamin E
6 drops rosewood essential oil
4 drops lavender essential oil

Recipe #4 – Tea Sugar Scrub

2 cups white sugar
1 cup honey
2 TBS tea
5 drops vanilla

Recipe #5 – Yogurt Sugar Scrub

3 TBS baby oil
1 TBS yogurt
1 TBS white sugar


  • Mix ingredients and use as a body scrub/exfoliator.

Homemade Foot Soak Recipes:
Recipe #1

1 part Epsom salts
1 part Baking soda
drops of choice essential oils (optional)

Recipe #2

4 bags chamomile tea
1/8 cup dried parsley
4 drops essential oil of choice

  • Steep ingredients in 1 gallon of hot water for 10 minutes before soaking feet.

Recipe #3

2 cups Kosher salt
1 cup Epsom salts
drops essential oil of choice (optional)

Recipe #4

1 1/4 cups Epsom salts
1 1/4 cups Kosher salt
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch

Recipe #5

1 cup lemon juice
3 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup milk

  • Mix together well in a small bowl then add to 1 gallon of water and soak feet.


Single Ingredient Ideas:

  • 1 cup honey per gallon of water
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salts per gallon of water
  • 2 cups brewed coffee per gallon of water

Essential Oil Ideas: peppermint, lavender, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, mint

You can also add marbles to the bottom of the basin to rub your feet over while soaking, quite soothing!

When your garden is in full bloom, add as many flower petals as you like to your favorite recipe for a special, pampered experience.

P.S. is an awesome site for all kinds of simple homemade ideas of all kinds!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

All is Well!

The last two posts were sent to me by Carin, Stephanie's mom. I thought they were super appropriate for our Joan's Girls Blog. What an inspiring example Stephanie Nielsen is to all of us!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fabric Flowers

Here's a fun craft idea for our next girls trip perhaps! I'm thinking we should plan a girls trip in the fall, 2nd week in October at the St. George house. What do you think?

Heather Bailey, the most cutting-edge fabric and surface designer in the industry, shows us how to create a sassy fabric flower made entirely from sewing scraps.

To find instructions on how to create Heather's fabric flower visit her website at .

Heather Bailey is a playful and inventive designer of all things happy. With a B.A. in Apparel Design and a knack for style, Heather has run successful businesses in both children's and women's accessories. Her designs were eagerly snatched up by celebrities and were offered by many of the world's most exclusive stores including Fred Segal, Henri Bendel, and Bloomingdales, as well as high-end boutiques in Japan, Hong Kong, and Paris.

Fresh and imaginative, Heather's designs have been featured in top fashion magazines, such as InStyle, Glamour, Seventeen, and Mademoiselle. Her work has also been showcased by the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA), in recognition of her artistry and superior construction techniques.

Creative expression is one of the great joys of Heather's life and her hands are never still. Sewing and crocheting by the age of eight, and quilting by eleven, Heather has a long-standing love for traditional women's handicrafts. Over the years, her interests have grown to include knitting, spinning, weaving, stained glass, upholstery, ceramics, bead making, faux finishing, silver smithing, painting and children's illustration. Designing for different mediums, Heather has honed a smart and lively aesthetic that infuses every aspect of her art.

Through all her adventures, sewing has remained Heather's grand passion. This passion and Heather's flair for art and color, have now happily married in fabric design. Freshcut™, Heather's all-original debut collection for Free Spirit, demonstrates Heather's talent for modern design, as well as her love for vintage nostalgia.

Heather is a busy young mother of two. Her children come first, but when they're content, Heather is busily sketching fabric designs, dreaming up new projects and patterns, and recording it all on her weblog.

To Heather, "Handicrafts foster a feeling of sisterhood among women. From quilting bees to craft blogs, I'm thrilled to be a part of the growing movement toward creative community."


Discover more about Heather's fabric designs, sewing pattern line, and scrapbooking supplies at, or for free project patterns and sewing tips visit her blog at:

See Heather Bailey speak at:
Startup Princess Annual Conference "Touchpoint"
Sept 11th 8-6pm at Noah's South Jordan
Speakers, Lunch, Breakout Sessions, Boutique, and more

Sign up at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

God is Watching over Us

I know my month was February, but when I read this article I couldn't help but think of all of you--especially you who were in Mexico as mission president and mission mom and family. It is a long article, but incredible. I hope you enjoy it.

Editor’s Note: President Larry Laycock and his wife, Sister Lisa Laycock head the Santiago Chile East Mission and had spent the two weeks prior to the 8.8 earthquake visiting each missionary apartment and preparing them for an earthquake. They brought specific instructions on what to do, supplied water purification bottles for the missionaries, told them how to create a 36-hour kit for emergencies and how to stay in communication should an earthquake strike. They prayed with each missionary and dedicated their apartments. Why? Because of a special experience that alerted them to what was coming. They told their missionaries, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

They have 171 full-time proselyting missionaries in this mission.

Special thanks to the Laycocks for allowing Meridian to publish this letter that Sister Laycock sent to her family shortly after the earthquake sharing their remarkable experience of kindness from the Lord. They are in Chile with their son, Landon.

The picture of the missionaries on the cover and in this article were taken at a March 1st gathering. These are post-earthquake smiling faces.

Dear Everyone,

I am writing to let you all know how very grateful we are for your prayers, concern, and love. Please keep praying! We need the Lord's help and guidance in order to do all He would have us do to learn what He would have us learn from this earth quake tragedy, and to minister in the way He would have us minister.

During the past few days, we have witnessed many events which serve to remind us that the Lord is in charge and that as missionaries and members of His church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are performing His work, and as President Monson teaches, "When we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to His help." I want to share with you a few miracles that will help you to understand our profound feelings of gratitude.

When we were set apart for this calling, Elder Scott of the Council of the Twelve Apostles taught us many important lessons. He spoke from personal experience when he was a mission president in Argentina. One message that he shared with us is this: "At times, during your mission, you will be awakened in the middle of the night or the early morning hours with thoughts of specific things you should do for certain missionaries. Do not ignore these thoughts. They are promptings from the Holy Ghost who will communicate with you in the stillness of the night or the peace of the early morning hours. He will speak to you then because that is when you are still enough to hear."

Elder Scott further instructed us to keep a notebook beside our bed so that we could record these precious promptings. He said that by the next morning, we would be likely to forget the promptings if we didn't write them down.

We have been astonished at the fulfillment of Elder Scott's prophetic words. We have received many promptings in the exact manner that Elder Scott described. We are so thankful that Elder Scott taught us how to recognize and act upon these precious promptings. Had he not taught us, we may not have given these promptings the attention they require.

Nearly two-and-one-half weeks ago, I was awakened at around 4:00 AM by just such a prompting. I did not hear a voice, but the thought was as clear as if it had been in the form of spoken words: "There is going to be an earthquake. Prepare your missionaries." I sat up in bed and immediately remembered Elder Scott's counsel. That morning I told Larry what had happened. He immediately set to work organizing our missionaries to prepare for an earthquake.

In talking with our office missionaries to arrange for them to put together a list of everything we would need to both Spanish and English...we discovered that the Lord had also let two of our office missionaries know of the possibility of an earthquake (in the form of dreams) and the need to prepare our mission.

We set a goal and arranged our schedule so that we could visit every apartment in the mission to check for safety and to review with our missionaries what to do in case of an earth quake. What a wonderful experience we have had as we have met with them and shared scriptures with them about being spiritually and physically prepared. "...if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" (D&C 38:30).

We instructed every missionary to have a "go-bag" (36 hour kit). We reviewed our emergency action plan with them of where to go and what to do if they had phone service and in case they did not. We gave everyone a paper with all instructions in English and Spanish, and we reminded them that "this life is the time to prepare to meet God" (Alma 34:32-34). We shared with them our thoughts and feelings about the need for spiritual and physical safety.

Some of them became frightened and asked us if we knew something they didn't know. We smiled and repeated "...if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." We didn't want to unduly alarm them, but we did want to impress upon them the need to be prepared. We tearfully reminded them of our recent transfer conference where we had shared our feelings about our dear Elder McKay Burrows who was unexpectedly called home in January while serving his mission in he was prepared in every way to meet God. We reissued our challenge to "be prepared" in every way. Then we knelt with them in their apartment and dedicated each apartment, asking for a blessing of safety and security to be upon every apartment.

When the earthquake came, we were prepared. We did not experience the panic that many felt. We knew we were prepared. Because of the words of the Lord's chosen Apostle, Elder Scott, we had listened and heeded the quiet, but clear promptings of the Holy Ghost. We were blessed with peace in the midst of chaos. We learned an important lesson: our preparation helped us to avoid panic and fear, but the Lord, in His wisdom, allowed us to experience enough discomfort to know that He has all power. He is in charge. We are nothing without Him. We are dependent upon Him for every breath we take. Only He can save us from death and destruction. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is our perfect example. If we follow Him, we will be saved through obedience to the laws and ordinances of His Gospel.

As the earthquake became more violent, the mission home groaned and wailed. The power died, so the whole city was black. The windows made a hideous screeching sound, and flying objects banged against swaying walls. The printer/fax machine, books, book ends, and fifty-pound television burst from the entertainment center and crashed to the floor, cabinets emptied, drawers flew open, the refrigerator moved, water sloshed out of the toilets, the floor jolted up and down as we ran across it trying to hold onto the walls to keep from falling down, and the piano toppled over like a small toy. As we made our way to the back yard, I remember thinking, "God is all-powerful. He is our only refuge from this horrible mess." I prayed and prayed for Him to still the earth.

When we reached the back yard, we watched in terror. By the light of the moon we could see the swimming pool water form giant waves and crash out onto the rocks. House and car alarms screamed into the night...some from being crushed by falling debris and others, I guess, from the bizarre movement of the earth. I am not sure if the intense rumbling sounds came from the earth itself or from everything else that was shaking so violently. Finally, it stopped.

When the calm came, we had to sit down because our legs were weak and unstable. My legs stayed wobbly all day and night yesterday. Today the muscles in my legs hurt like I ran a marathon. The aftershocks have been extremely unsettling. Each one begins like the one last night started. We just close our eyes and wait to see if it escalates or dies down. .I have never experienced anything like this!

We were awakened this morning by a very strong after shock. Larry jumped out of bed and yelled, "Welcome to another glorious day in Chile!" We just had to laugh. We moved a mattress into the floor in our bedroom and made Landon sleep in our room. He was in his room with the door locked the night before and we couldn't wake him up. He never locks his door, but he was playing a joke on Larry because every morning Larry wakes him at 5:30 AM for seminary by tickling him unmercifully. So Landon had decided to stop him.

When we couldn't open his door, in the middle of the quake, we thought he was trapped, so we screamed and banged. Landon thought that everything was falling off the walls because we were banging so hard on the door. I think we scared him more than the earthquake did!

Today, we attended a strong ward where Larry was invited to speak. The entire chapel and beyond was filled. People were so humble and so teachable. Larry taught the importance of doing the small things. He taught about Jesus Christ and the opportunity we have to love one another and to share what we have with others.

It was a great blessing for us to be with these beautiful Chilean people. Some have lost their homes...or at least parts of their homes. But they are strong and they want to serve the Lord. He taught of the scripture in Luke 21:11,13 which says, "and great earthquakes shall be in divers places...and it shall turn to you for a testimony." He also welcomed the sweet young woman who was in the congregation with the missionaries...her first time attending church...and then he invited her to be baptized from the pulpit. He asked her to please invite us to her baptism, and she said, "I will." The Lord always knows what His people need.

Landon was reading in Alma 15:17 today. He said, Mom listen to this. This is what is happening here in Chile just like in happened in Ammonihah. The people were humbled and "checked as to the pride of their hearts and began to humble themselves before God, watching and praying continually that they might be delivered from Satan, and from death, and from destruction."

Our hearts are filled to the brim with gratitude for all of the blessings we have received in the Chile Santiago East Mission. We see miracles every day. In the midst of great pain and suffering, we can always find our Savior. He stands with His arms open, pleading for all of us to humble ourselves and come unto Him. He loves us. He invites us to accept His gift...the atonement. He invites us to repent. He wants us to love one another and to serve one another. He wants us to bring our families and those we love to Him. We can do it. We can do all that He asks, no matter how difficult it may seem. "With God all things are possible"

We are having a devotional tomorrow for all of our missionaries to talk about the last week of Christ's life in preparation for Easter. We want to remind our missionaries to teach and preach with increased vigor of Christ. Last Monday in our office meeting, Larry suddenly stopped in the middle, and said, "During the prayer, I had a very strong impression that March 2010 is going to be our best baptizing month we have ever had in this mission."

Now we know why he received that feeling. We are going to prepare to bring many souls to the waters of baptism in March. Please continue to pray for us and for the people of Chile. Please pray for the missionaries to have strength and courage to do all that is being required of them, even in difficult times.

We are so thankful that the tsunami did not turn out badly in Hawaii. Who would ever think that an earthquake in Chile could threaten the shores of Hawaii? Thankfully, the Lord is in charge. He is the one to whom we must turn for refuge from every storm. He has the power to save us.

Editor’s Note:

The letter ends here, but President and Sister Laycock told us:

“We’ve never experienced anything like the earthquake. We have had 90 aftershocks, some stronger than others. Our legs are wobbly. It is a scary feeling to experience an aftershock because it brings back all the feelings we had during the earthquake.

“We love being with our missionaries. Because they were prepared, they were immediately able to turn their attention to helping others. They were never concerned about themselves. They were concerned with those who need help and by mid-morning the day of the earthquake, we were able to dispatch them to help others. We told them to investigate the needs of their neighbors and help in any way they could.

President Laycock noted, “The Spanish translation of Luke 21:13 says that there will be earthquakes in many places, and it will give you the occasion to bear testimony. We met with 10 sisters this morning, and one of them mentioned a neighbor next door whom they always asked if she would have time to speak with them, and she always said no. Yet in the crescendo of the toll of the earthquake, she was speechless with fear and not prepared. When the sisters said, ‘Could we pray with you?’, she answered, ‘I have time to pray with you.’ It opened the door to a teaching opportunity to share the gospel.

President and Sister Laycock said, “Everyone we talk to has been so willing to talk about Christ and God’s power. We’ve been sharing God’s love with them. We are seeing God’s love everywhere. People are reaching out to one another. They are serving one another. The news reports looting. We are seeing a different side. We are seeing people who want to communicate with God, who are sincerely looking for the truth.”

Monday, February 22, 2010


Kathryn and I thought the cute Olympic commercials should be on Joan's girls.
Thank goodness for moms!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

I know that Kathryn sent this to most, if not all of us recently, but I thought it was worthy of a Joan's Girl's Post.

Truly one of the most important things we can do is recognize the gifts all around us in every day life. After all, when experiencing a calamity or big change in life, all we want is to get life "back to normal", back to familiarity, back to routines, back to the ordinary. I hope we can all focus on finding and thanking our Father in Heaven for each of the precious gifts in each and every ordinary day.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ways to Feed a Marriage

I found this little list in Grandma Joan's Dayplanner, so I thought I would pass it on. It's mostly in shorthand, so here's what I can transcribe:

1. Communication
2. Compliments!
3. Fidelity
4. Expressing gratitude
5. Acting with kindness
6. Sacrifice for each other
7. Spending time together
8. Making your spouse feel loved
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Grandma Joan

I wish this photo was in color. I'm certain my Grandma Verna made this dress for her. I don't think my mom wore any store bought dresses!
I love to look at the surroundings. Check out the crepe paper on walls!!
Grandma was the Gold and Green Ball Queen her Senior year, and she was Valedictorian at St. Ignacious High School! I remember her telling me she didn't feel comfortable as the queen- you can see that in her expression. Several of the girls were mean to her- jealous I imagine. I think that's why she felt more comfortable riding the wind on her horse!
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The Life of Grandma Joan

Grandma Joan riding her favorite horse, Ginger! She LOVED riding a horse. I believe that is when she was happiest!
Grandma grew up next to a Lumber Mill in St. Ignacious, Montana!
Her favorite dog, Chum!
Grandma Joan with her neice, Sally. I'm certain my Grandma Verna made these dresses. Check out the detail work!! She loved to dress up her daughter Joan. I remember Mom telling me if there was an event that my mom needed a new dress for, if they didn't have any money, my Grandma would take apart some of her own clothes and sew a new dress for my mom and would be out of this world cute!!!
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love Today!
love the ordinary
love the possibilities
love yourself
love your work
love new things
love doing everything
love doing nothing
love your family
love your friends
love being in love
love to play
love the moment
love simple pleasures
love taking chances
love your mistakes
love taking your time
love the open road
love your own backyard
love the outdoors
love a good walk
love to eat
love the earth
love your neighbor
love helping others
love your children
love your memories
love every birthday
love to be amazed
love new beginnings
love what's next
love life!
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Lessons from life and death!

It's been almost a month since there has been a post on our Joan's Girls website. Primarily because one of Joan's boys passed away this month, her Eldest son Gary, my younger brother and father or uncle to all the rest of Joan's girls! We were heartbroken at his sudden passing. I could of had a longer conversation with him the last time we spoke, but I was busy getting ready to rush out the door. Sunday, October 4th I invited Gary and his wife Lena for dinner. They chose not to come because Gary was in too much pain from his back surgery a week and a half prior to his passing. If we only knew the last time we were going to see or speak to a loved one! I talked to Gary Sunday morning, but later that afternoon when he returned my call, I didn't pick up because I was cooking!? I can never forget that lost opportunity. Please learn from my mistakes. I know we all have flaws and imperfections but REALLY, if we could just come together and treat each other like it's that last time we are going to see or talk to one another in this earth life. The lessons I've learned from the latest passing of a loved one in my life is to: forgive faster, forget judging EVER! and love unconditionally always! It sounds so easy and it should be!

Monday, October 5, 2009

So Blessed...

I know this is random but I'm inspired at this moment after reading a couple of your blog entries to relay how truly blessed I feel to have ALL you wonderful, smart, beautiful, spiritual, kind, funny, sweet, etc. women in my life!! I am eternally grateful to all of you in so many ways and I just wanted you all to know that and that I think of each of you all the time and wish that I could spend more time with each of you! I love you all! xo
Dancing Hearts

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Letters to Grandpa

I know my turn to post a blog on here has come and gone several times and I have dropped the ball each time. I don't have any great recipe, story, or words of wisdom to share, just a simple request. As we all know our dear Gramps is not doing so well, and he has been on my mind a lot lately. Unfortunately I have not been up to visit him near as often as I would like. My days just seem to fly by as I am running from one thing to the next, so I have been trying to think of something I could do to let Grandpa know that I love him and that even though he is feeling alone without Grandma, he is not really alone. So this is where you all come into play. I was thinking that maybe we could each write Grandpa a letter sharing some of our favorite memories we have of him, advice he has given us, or something he has done for us that has made us feel loved. I know he has touched my life in ways he probably doesn't remember and I would like to remind him of those things. So there is my challenge! I hope you will all take it to heart!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Peanut Butter, Marshmallow, Chocolate Covered Oreos

12 Oreo Cookies
12 t. Peanut Butter
12 T. Marshmallow Cream
1/2 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 T. Heavy Cream

1. Place Oreos onto a wax paper covered baking sheet. Spoon peanut butter evenly over Oreos, spreading gently. With cookie scoop, place marshmallow cream over peanut butter layer. Place entire baking sheet of oreos into freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.
2. Place chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals until chips are melted. Stir in heavy cream until shiny and smooth. Spoon chocolate over cookies, spreading carefully around edges. If marshmallow cream starts peeking through a few minutes after coating with chocolate, just add additional chocolate over white areas.
3. Place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes and serve. Keep leftovers in refrigerator. Makes 12 Cookies
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy for No Reason!

This is a book I am currently reading and enjoying very much! Here is a questionnaire from the book. If you want to take it you can find out where you are on the happiness chart according to this author! It might be fun to take the test with your spouse or older kids. Dennis and I took it together with our friends in St. George while we were there last week. It turned into about an hour long fun discussion.
Rate each statement on a scale of 1 to 5:

1= Not at all true
2= Slightly true
3=Moderately true
4= Mostly true
5=Absolutely true

1. I often feel happy and satisfied for no particular reason.

2. I live in the moment.

3. I feel alive, vital and energetic.

4. I experience a deep sense of inner peace and well-being.

5. Life is a great adventure for me.

6. I don't let bad situations keep me down.

7. I am enthusiastic about the things I do.

8. Most days I have an experience of laughter and joy.

9. I trust that this is a friendly universe.

10. I look for the gift or the lesson in everything that happens.

11. I am able to let go and forgive.

12. I feel love for myself.

13. I look for the good in every person.

14. I change the things I can and accept the things I can't change.

15. I surround myself with people who support me.

16. I don't blame others or complain.

17. My negative thoughts don't overshadow me.

18. I feel a general sense of gratitude.

19. I feel connected to something bigger than myself.

20. I feel inspired by a sense of purpose in my life.

Scoring: 80-100: To a great degree, you are happy for no reason.
60-79: You have a good measure of being happy for no reason.
40-59: You have glimpes of being happy for no reason.
Under 40 You have little experience of being happy for no reason.
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Monday, August 31, 2009

Ideas for church lessons

If you haven't found this already, it's a good place to prepare lessons for church, what with all the extra cute stuff and everything...

Monday, August 24, 2009

A good reminder

So I came across this article today. It's mostly the same as things that have already been posted here. But I still thought it was a good reminder...I often need good reminders! ;)

Friday, August 21, 2009


"Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you."
- President Harold B. Lee

Today I am grateful for the CHOICE that I have to be happy.

I hope everyone has a HAPPY weekend!
(that cute smile belongs to my niece Kinnie Elizabeth)
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Beautiful Mind

Try to read the paragraph below:
then consider what it actually says.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabridge Uinervtisy,
it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod
are, the olny iprmoertnt tihng is taht the frist and
lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a
total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.
Tihs is bcusease the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe and the biran
fguiers it out aynawy.

The brain is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Easy as Pie!


Make a pie crust and roll out on floured surface.


Dusting with a little bit of flour on both sides will make the dough easier to work with and move around.


Cut out dough with heart shaped or round cookie cutter.

Pie Dough

If you're careful you can get enough for 8-9 pie pops from a 9-inch pie crust.


The circle shapes are easier to assemble than the heart shapes because they give you more room in the center for the filling.

Circle cutouts



Now it's time for pressing down the lollipop sticks.

Pie filling

Add a teaspoon or less of pie filling or jam.


Don't put too much filling or it will squeeze out.

Pie Pops, pre-baked

It's time for sealing it. What you do is, you break a lollipop stick into a small piece and you press it down all around it. (But not too hard.)

Brush the tops of the pies with egg whites.

Pecan pie filling

You can also use pecan pie filling

The pops baked in the oven on 375 for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops started to brown. Remove, cool and enjoy!

Pie Bite

"I thought I would love these more than I did. But… (and I can't believe I'm saying these words) … They needed more fruit! A little too much pastry to pie filling for me. But still good, still fun to do and still super-cute!" (comment from the author)

I heart pie pops
This recipe is from the website Bakerella. It looked too fun to pass up! I think I would sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on the top of the each side. .... great to make with kids! Let me know when you have tried them!