Sunday, November 30, 2008

{Gift Baskets}

I am finishing up my gift baskets and this morning I made up Bakerella's red velvet cake balls - so easy I must say! I am not a good dipper so mine didn't look as pretty as hers but you couldn't really tell the difference once I drizzled some white chocolate across the tops. I also made up some peanut butter fudge this evening and will attemp to make Bakerella's pumpkin pecan chocolate cookies tomorrow to finish off my gift baskets.

Of course, I have the goodies hidden from the kids as they had too much pumpkin pie over the weekend and got into my first (horribly made I might add) pumpkin fudge - the recipe had waaaay tooo much sugar in it and before I could throw it out the kids got a hold of it. This weekend has been a nightmare of extreme "sugar crash" from the fudge as the pumpkin pie was sugar free and made w/splenda instead of real sugar - unlike the pumpkin fudge.

I will get a picture of all three of my goodies created once I have them all nicely packaged before sending them off to their new respective homes. Just be patient it may be another day or so as I am waiting on pictures to come in for my Christmas cards.

On a side note I do have my tree up and decorated and I am rocking out to my festive Christmas music while merrily cleaning up from Thanksgiving and rearrangement of the furniture. I just love Christmas - well really any holiday that lets me celebrate w/friends & family because they get the day off!

Did I mention that I almost took Christmas away from the kids yesterday as they pulled the baby gerbils out of their warm and cozy cocoon of warmness early in the morning and when I found them they were soooo cold, I wasn't sure if they would make it thru the day or if mama would take them back because the kids had touched them.

You should have seen me - I was like a crazy woman - shouting "If those babies die - NO CHRISTMAS FOR YOU!" I was like the "soup nazi" in Seinfeld. I got the gerbils for the kids to enjoy and see the miracle of life without having to get preggers myself again. I didn't realize how attached I was to them and how bonded I have become with the mama gerbil....any ways I digress, the babies are good and growning and mama took them back and warmed them up real good - all 3 babies were moving around and jumping like crazy this morning. (good thing too, because I don't think I would have followed thru on the "No Christmas" maybe no gifts...

Anywho, it's time to hit the hay, I am going to volunteer in Aaron's class tomorrow. I finally figured out the best days to do it for both Sam & Aaron's classes. Monday's I will be in Aaron's class and Friday's I will be in Sam's class. Should be fun.

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thank you "Mrs. Griffin" for sharing this touching story on your blog - I balled like a baby (it must be that time of month, right? lol)


Friday, November 28, 2008

{Finally I can play Christmas Music!!}

I am so happy, I can finally pull out my Christmas albums - I don't like to pull them out until after Thanksgiving. I don't want to cheat Thanksgiving by playing the next holiday's music, lame I know but the stores already devote NO time to Thanksgiving by giving more presidence to Halloween & Christmas.

I can't wait to pull my tree out of storage and start decorating it after the first of December!! (yes, I have a fake tree - my last real tree gave me sucha fit that we decided money wise it was a good investment) Now I just have to figure out where I am going to put the tree....

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and had lots to be thankful/grateful for this year. I know I did and still do. I can't believe 2009 is creeping up so fast - it seems just yesterday I was told William needed surgery that he might not wake up from. Life has been extremely crazy but we have gotten thru another year and are looking forward to the many more years to come.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

{Thanksgiving Day: What really happened}

I want to start this post off by going over the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

* Being able to spend another year with my husband and hopefully many more to come.
* Having 3 beautiful children who bring joy and laughter into my life on a daily basis - regardless of the frustration I sometimes feel. (I wouldn't have it any other way)
* Being able to spend a fun filled day with my family - enjoying this wonderful holiday.
* Being able to prepare our meal w/all the modern conviences that some in the world may not have. (I would like to have a modern convenience of a stand mixer - hint, hint)
* The ability to capture memories on film for my family to look back on with fondness.
* Having a wonderful and loving husband who cares and continues to do the little things that make me happy.
* Many blessings the Lord has given to me and my family over the past year.


The start of Thanksgiving began around 1 am where I went to Wal-mart to pick up last minuet items for the Thanksgiving "feast". Around 2 am I checked on the gerbils to see if babies had arrived (nope not yet) and then headed off to bed. I only got about 4 hours of sleep before I needed to get up and start preparations and start working on the dinner.

The rolls went in the oven w/the green bean casserole, then the turkey drumsticks (yes, you read right - drumsticks) and the turkey thighs went into the oven (No, we did not do the whole bird). Soon the pie went in along with 3 loaves of wheat bread. While they cooked I took a quick shower and then checked on the gerbils (BABIES had arrived!!).

Soon Clay was back with Jeanie and Ruth helped me create grandma's famous - fruit salad - she also helped me fix mashed potatoes and gravy. Around 1pm we dined on our "feast", (it really looked like a feast, we will have left overs for days!).

Afterwards, the kids and Jeanie watched "Bambi" while I gave Patten a much needed bath. Once Patten was dry we dined on pumpkin pie w/wHip cream (if you have seen the family guy where Stewie puts the emphasis on the "h" in whip you would laugh too - because we were all saying it like "w-Hip cream"). William and Clay went off their separate ways to play their respective computer games.

I gathered everyone to get a group shot outside w/a tripod and self-timer - boy was that a hoot. Clay went down for a nap and I gathered William, Jeanie and the kids together for our fun craft project, (ya know build a turkey with cut outs of your feet & hands - super cute for sure). I decided to put a fun twist on it buy using what I had laying around which included lots of scrapbook paper in fun designs and patters as well as solid colors too, markers and glue sticks. Just look and see our masterpieces below!!

Soon after a "Meet the Robinson's" and "Wall-E" it was time to take Jeanie home. I went with Clay because it was dark and a very long drive and knew he would need some company to keep him awake for the trip back.

Totally a side note but did you know Tom Cruise plays in "Tropic Thunder"? Well he does and his character is just too funny.

Anywho, when we got back - kids were in bed, ASLEEP! and here I am writing my blog, after which I will be headed off to dreamland myself. Below are the images captured during the day. Enjoy!!

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{Happy Thanksgiving - Gerbil Style}

Our Gerbils, Shadow & Stewart are now proud parents again of THREE babies. Shadow must have delivered early this morning because they were not there last night. Below are a few pictures of our new family members!!

Happy Thanksgiving!! (Now back to cooking)

(Click to view larger)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

{It's DONE!!}

Thank you all for your wonderful ideas for my newsletter. I have always wanted to do it since being married but never really got around to it and because I put it out there - I actually got it done!! Now to just hook up my printer and print these babies out so that I remember to put them with the cards being sent out.

Yesterday, William, Ruth and I went to go see Sam preform in his class Thanksgiving program. I borrowed my uncles digital point and shoot because it also did video's and recorded the whole thing - now if I could just figure out how to post it here!

I will post the video once I figure it out (might not be until after the new year - but I will post it).

This next month is going to be tight, we are going to keep it simple this year - nothing big or fancy but really the kids don't care one way or another as long as they can open their presents Christmas morning. Not only do I have Christmas this month but also Ruth's & my birthday as well as a few cousins too, not to mention an anniversary or two as well. (what a month to be tight right?)

I am so grateful I did almost all my shopping and planning for Christmas early this year, because the only things I have left to do are baking and putting it all together. (I still have a few things to buy but nothing that will break the bank - I hope.)

Isn't it Dave Ramsey who says "live like NO ONE else so you can LIVE like no one else". I really like that phrase, I have been listening to him for over a year now and really enjoy his no nonsense approach to being financially free as well as spiritually free too. We are working on our baby steps - it truly is hard to live like no one else when there are adds all over TV saying DEBT is ok. Our philosophy is "if we don't have the money in the bank, then it'll have to wait."

Well, I better go and get stuff ready for Tomorrows dinner. My Uncle Clay is going to go pick up my Aunt Jeanie tomorrow morning and I still need to get all the fun projects together and start getting things ready to just pop in the oven.

Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

{Holiday Newsletter}

Ok, so this year I am going to try and get out a newsletter to go with my Christmas cards. Of course I am stumped as to what to throw in there to fill up the space (I want it to be 2 pages). Here is what I have so far (just the topic titles):

Wiese Family Newsletter


* Family updates - extended family & what they are up to

* William's progress since brain surgery

* We've moved

* Contact information

* Ruth and being Almost 3

* Sam and being 5

* Aaron and being 7

* How the biz is doing

* Desert Recipe

* Quick & easy dinner

So What do you think? Am I missing anything that might help spice it up? Should I add some scriptures to it too? maybe even a possible "mini lesson"? I forgot how hard this is...

Monday, November 24, 2008

{Am I made of money?}

Do I appear to be made of money?

NO I am not made of money but my kids sure think I am! They lose coats, gloves, scarfs and all other sorts of important outterwear and then expect me to replace it - well not anymore!! I have already spent in total since we moved to Idaho in October a grand total of $200 in replacement items.

I told them if they lose anymore they won't be getting replacements until next year when it's time to buy new clothes. I am tired of spending money we just don't have on replacements - even second hand stores are charging alot for outterwear. (at least here they are).

I hate living in the middle of nowhere!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

{Camera Phone pictures}

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I was messing around with my new cell phone and took these pictures of the kids & Patten. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

{More from "in front of the lens"}

I was sooo happy when I picked up my mail today and found the wonderful treasure that Dana photographed last weekend. I had fun playing with some quickly. I am already thinking canvas & oodles of prints for my walls & family too. Below are my plays. Thank you again Dana!! you so ROCKED it!! It was so nice to not have to run back and forth for the self timer and have someone else in control. I can't wait to get out and photograph with you some more!!

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{Too much is a bad thing!}

While going on my quest to find information about "too much sugar" I came across an article that caught my eye. You will see why in just a moment - first I know you are wondering why I was searching for articles on too much sugar and it's effects.

Well, let me explain: When we moved to the Fruitland School district from the Beaverton school district the kids were getting cupcakes, cookies and candy at the new school EVERY day. At their old school they would only get such sweet treats once in a while because of someone's birthday and a parent brought it in special. I figured they were getting so much because it was October and thought it would discontinue after Halloween was over.

Grandpa always said when you assume - you make an ass out of you and me - and I did because it didn't stop. I talked with the teachers and the principle and told them that it's not healthy to give the kids so much sugar filled "snacks" during the day and it needed to stop. I was made to feel like I was a bad mother because now they were going to have to exclude my kids from getting those treats at snack time and give them something else. One of the excuses they gave me for not having healthy snacks is that "the parents" bring in the snacks and they can't control what the parents bring in. EXCUSE ME! Who is the Teacher and Rule maker for the school?

Here is my problem: Sam would come home so hopped up on sugar that he wouldn't be hungry and then would have a sugar crash and start fighting with Ruth. When I would go to pick up Aaron he would already be in sugar withdrawal and he and Sam would go at it. It effected their sleep - making it impossible to get them down at a decent hour and then Aaron would wake up at 3 am and get into things and wake up his brother & sister (4 hours before they would need to get up!).

I am also trying to instill in my kids good, healthy habits for when they are no longer under my wing and out on their own. With diabetes being on both sides of their family tree I want them to know moderation and why it's important to have sugary processed food sparingly. It's not that they can't ever have them it's that they can't have them every day.

Well I went in today and talked to both their teachers and principle again to reiterate my reasons and brought in a few articles on the subject as well. I am not trying to ban sugary items, just limit their consumption by my children. Too much of anything is not healthy or good for the body. I also wanted to let them know that the kids can have a cupcake or cookie every now and then (say if a child is celebrating their birthday) just not every day like it has been. I also let them know that because of the boys not having soo much sugar at school they are sleeping better and have not fought as much at home (they still fight and will still fight - it's in their nature).

I then handed them the articles I found and went on to volunteer in Sam's class. They were finishing up their costumes for the play they will be putting on this next Tuesday. (yes, I will be taking pictures and maybe take a small video clip of the event on my new phone - if it's here by then).

So on to the articles that caught my eye:

Too much Sugar may cause "brain decay" © 2004 in the American Academy of Neurology & written by Janet Jankowiak, MD

It is well known that too much sugar causes tooth decay, but might it also cause "brain decay?" Recent research suggests that it just might. With the growing epidemic of obesity in the US, the number of people with diabetes is also increasing. Diabetes is due to the body’s inability to maintain a constant level of sugar in the blood, as it should. Over time, this results in problems in many parts of the body, including the kidneys, heart, muscles, nerves and brain. People with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke at a younger age. In addition, they may be at a greater risk for a decline in mental function—brain decay—or dementia. Fortunately, improving eating habits and avoiding excessive weight gain may prevent many cases of diabetes. read the rest of the article click HERE

How much sugar is too much sugar for children? © 2004 Baylor College of Medicine

Although children burn extra calories received from sugar during daily activities, some may eventually end up overweight if they consume a high-calorie diet on a daily basis. Children who are overweight face an increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease when they get older...........There is a place for sugar in children's diets, but moderation is the key. read the rest of the article click HERE

And here is an interesting article that came up when I googled "side effects of sugar crash in children"....

Are children overdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder? by Melissa Nykorchuk

Attention Deficit Disorder is defined as a marked inability to concentrate and to remain focused on task. ADD effects between 3 and 5 percent of all school aged children. In a classroom of thirty children, this would translate into one student being diagnosed with ADD. As any teacher can tell you, there is more than one student in the class diagnosed with ADD. In fact it is likely that in a class of 30 students, 5 of them will have the diagnosis of ADD. Most likely four of the five will be boys. This statistic means that 16 percent of the children in the classroom have ADD, a clear indication that ADD as a whole is diagnosed too view more please click HERE

This article hit a spot in me because before we changed what the whole family was eating I was constantly asked if Aaron had ADD because he couldn't focus and sit still for long periods. I knew he didn't have it but it's so frustrating to be asked if he did have it. HE of course no longer has this problem.

Our families life style has changed dramatically in the last year. We don't have sugar in the house, we don't eat sugary cereal in the mornings (it's either cherios, kix, rice crispies, chex or something hot like oatmeal or eggs & bacon). We eat fairly healthy and only make cakes, cookies or other sweet items on occasion as part of a celebration. And then the sugar is cut in half. We eat lots of fresh fruits and vegies, grains and don't eat out at fast food places. If we do want to sweeten our hot cereal or tea we use honey.

With my own family history on both sides of bad health I want to do everything in my power and instill good eating habits into my own children so they will have a better footing in their adult lives and hopefully never have to face real health problems that could be prevented.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

{I've been tagged!!}

I was tagged by Kayla. Thanks Hon!

Here are the rules:

1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Write 7 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag.

Here are 7 random things about me:

1. I am the shortest person in my family.

2. I have lost 25 lbs since September.

3. I am almost finished with my holiday shopping!

4. I really want a cat but hubby doesn't like them.

5. I enjoy playing D&D with my hubby.

6. I miss my friend Sarah!

7. I have a stalker and his name is Patten.

YOU'RE TAGGED: Bethany, Ruth, Barbara, Ericka, Paula, Chrissy & Carla

{Turkey Day}

With Thanksgiving fast approaching I thought I would create a little icon for the holiday in photoshop. Enjoy!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

{"Light Bulb" moment}

I made it this morning to church - I only took Aaron & Ruth with me (thinking it would be less hard - just so you know it WASN'T!!). I struggled with them thru Sacrament and was delighted to drop them off at their respective classes so that I could make it to my own class. I had problems getting them to their class though as EVERYONE wanted to welcome me into the ward (something I have not been accustomed to in a VERY long time), it was overwhelming to say the least.

I finally made it to Sunday School where we learned about Mormon and all the wars he was in. Half way thru the class another gal came in (nothing unusual, people chat in the halls and filter into their respective classes late), I normally just glance their way to see if it may be a nursery or primary teacher to get me for one of the kids and then turn back to listen to the lesson. She, however, caught my eye because she was wearing MY DRESS! And others noticed too as I heard the women behind me whisper about how we looked like twins. You would think that any woman in that situation would be mortified, but not me! I thought it was great to know I am not the only one who shops online at Lane Bryant. Although I don't know if she got hers during their awesome sale like I did mine. After the class we laughed about it too because she noticed her dress on me.

During Relief Society I had a "light bulb" moment. The teacher was speaking about how we would get more out of our scripture study if we have a question or an answer we are looking for and the following popped into my head:

During my writing class in college our teacher would ask questions and so on and we would answer, but usually no one would ask her any questions. I just figured that if it was important she would mention whatever I needed answered sometime during her lecture. If not, then I would just struggle with it. NOW here is where my "light bulb" moment happened I realized that if I were to get anything out of my college experience and take away anything new and get what I paid for (A good understanding and education) I had to ASK the questions and GET the answers from the teacher. Not just expect the answer to magically fall out of her lectures.

The same is true about the scriptures and the gospel and just life in general. If you want to make the most out of your life and get the best possible experience and LEARN everything you need to learn to grow spiritually then you have to ask the questions to get the answers you seek. The lord is not going to hand you all the answers, but if you put forth the effort and ASK for help and or guidance from the lord you will see tremendous more gain then if you had never asked.

Just thought I would share my "Light bulb" Moment with you all.

{Swap'N Trade - Our turn behind the lens}

Here is a slideshow of the images taken of us during yesterday's swap'n trade. Didn't she do an AWESOME job!! It's so much easier to get a decent family picture when I am not the one behind the camera. THANK YOU "D"!!

Click HERE to view the slideshow.

This was one that just made me smile when I saw it in the slideshow - she ROCKED it and made us feel so comfortable.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

{Swap'N Trade}

Once I moved to Idaho I wanted to get to know the other photogs in my area and was contacted by a sweet gal on one of the photography forums I am apart of. We hooked up today and swapped services - she photographed my family and I photographed hers. We met at a beautiful park in Boise called "Katharine Albertson Park". It was a gorgeous day and the colors of the season were so vibrant.

Here are just a few images that I edited from the many that I still need to edit thru. Enjoy!!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

{Everyone Has had it and some still have it}

That's right! Every single person in my family has gotten the nasty little bug that the boys brought home from school!! Sam got it first and was sick for 1/2 a day, he passed it on to me and I am still fighting the darn bug! Then Ruth and Aaron got it on the same day BUT only had it for about 1/2 a day. NOW William has it and I hope he got the short version and not the long drawn out one that I have (fingers crossed - toes too). He is sleeping now - I hope he feels better in the morning.

So there you have it - we all have had or still have it!! I told you it would spread and eventually everyone would get it. I just don't get it - I washed every stitch of bedding - washed dishes with bleach in the dishwasher, made the kids wash their hands and cough into their elbows....Seriously, where did I go wrong? Oh, wait - I know! It's because we didn't get the flu shot right? Wouldn't that just be the ultimate in cosmic payback (for what I am not sure).

Anywho, just thought I would share our "Sicky" news....

{Possible Cure for AIDS}

By PATRICK McGROARTY, Associated Press Writer - Thu Nov 13, 1:01 AM PST

BERLIN - An American man who suffered from AIDS appears to have been cured of the disease 20 months after receiving a targeted bone marrow transplant normally used to fight leukemia, his doctors said.

While researchers — and the doctors themselves — caution that the case might be no more than a fluke, others say it may inspire a greater interest in gene therapy to fight the disease that claims 2 million lives each year. The virus has infected 33 million people worldwide.

Dr. Gero Huetter said Wedneday his 42-year-old patient, an American living in Berlin who was not identified, had been infected with the AIDS virus for more than a decade. But 20 months after undergoing a transplant of genetically selected bone marrow, he no longer shows signs of carrying the virus.

"We waited every day for a bad reading," Huetter said.

It has not come. Researchers at Berlin's Charite hospital and medical school say tests on his bone marrow, blood and other organ tissues have all been clean. view the whole story please click HERE.

What a great story and hopefully this will help researchers to find a cure for AIDS. I think this could be the breakthrough they have been looking for and potentially save millions of lives effected by this disease. I have been following the AIDS epidemic since middle school. I have lots of old stories that I clipped from newspapers and printed from the internet. I know everyone seems to think AIDS is a disease that only effects homosexuals but it is not a discriminatory disease and effects heterosexuals as well as children and everyone inbetween. It can be managed if you have the correct medicine (which doesn't always work for some) but there are countries who are being ravaged by this deadly disease because they cannot get the medicine or nutrition they so desperately need.

Just thought I would share....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

{Wishful thinking & my new Stalker}

I just wanted to let all my friends and family know that I am not expecting. I have received countless emails about my nausea and illness that has recently come on this week.

I have been on the birth control Mirena since my postpartum checkup after Ruth was born and I don't plan to get it taken out until I have lost all the weight I want to lose before having another baby. (which by the way I have lost 23 lbs so far since September!!)

Yes, we are going to have another baby and will be trying at a later date but for now we are not trying and I am not preggers - just sick with some bug the boys brought home from school that is causing my nausea, light headedness and stuffed up nose & throat. Sam had it first and I have it and now Ruth has it too - just wait and soon I will be cleaning up throw up for days to come.

I do thank everyone who kindly reminded me to go get a pregnancy test but since I am being visited by Aunt Flow and I am using the Mirena birth control - I think it's a bit hard to get preggers right now. I will let everyone know when we are trying and when we have a bun in the oven.

For now, I am content to just take care of my family and try to get Patten, our new dog, to quit stalking me and start hanging out with the rest of the family while preparing for the upcoming holiday season. I almost have everything I need for my christmas presents and Thanksgiving is going to be a bit non-traditional but there will be pumpkin pie!

Did I mention that William said "it's a good thing Patten is a dog otherwise I would have to get medieval on him for stalking my wife". Yes, the dog has a "puppy" crush on me and follows me everywhere and sleeps at my feet and gets all agitated when leave the house. He won't go potty for anyone but me, William has tried and he just lays down waiting to be taken back into the house so I can take him out. He gets all whinny, upset and cries - trying to scratch his way in when I won't let him come into the bathroom with me. Seriously when was it ok to not have a moments peace in the bathroom while doing your business??

It's insane crazy and getting rather annoying but William doesn't mind too much - he hates to take the dog out to go to the potty anyways. Wasn't this supposed to be his dog?? Ruth and Patten compete for my attention, Ruth usually wins out but doesn't mind sharing my lap with Patten. Oh, and he is afraid of Stewart & Shadow, our gerbils. Which they find odd because he could just eat them all up in a few bites, but they do take advantage of it. I think they find it amusing - I know I do.

Oh and did I mention he likes to lick my skin! It's gross, if I am wearing my jammies (which are capri length) he has to lick my toes & exposed legs and if he sees my arm or hand he just has to lick 'em. I really need a spray bottle with water in it so I can spray him when he does it - it's just gross and icky. I mean I like animals and all but don't need them licking on me like I am some sort of salt lick/next meal type of thing. Am I just weird? I do like the fact he doesn't bark much and is very well behaved and calm in the house and loves to play with his "stuffies" (aka: stuffed squeaker toys). He really likes it when the kids grab one end and play tug-of-war with him. Now if we could just get the stalking under control and the licking of my skin - he would just be the perfect dog....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

{Sam's Bug & a Smaller ME!}

The day before yesterday (Friday) Sam found a new friend that William named "Bob" (this is the name he gives anything he doesn't want the kids to destroy or kill). Bob is a large black beetle and didn't mind being carried around from place to place. Sam kept him alive and ended up placing him in his backpack (which we later found out about because Aaron freaked when it was time for bed and Sam pulled him out). Needless to say William took Bob outside and set him free. At least Sam will have these images to comfort him!

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Guess what!! I am now a whole 19 lbs lighter!! I just weighed myself and I now weigh 280 lbs. Since moving to Idaho I have lost 4 more pounds!! YEAH!! I still have a long ways to go to my goal but at least I have gotten rid of 19 of those pesky pounds. I had William take a few pictures of me so you could see the new me - at least the me of today!!

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I found out I am in Fruitland 3rd ward, not 2nd ward. Which is nicer because they meet at 9am instead of 1pm. I met with the 2nd ward clerk to find out we were in 3rd ward. I met my new bishop and the councilors. Several of them live around us. I think it's going to be a great ward - now if only I can get the boys to behave themselves so I can actually hear sacrament would be nice!
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