Monday, January 28, 2008

Beloved Pres. Hinckley -- We will miss you!

Pres. Hinckley passed away last night. It was sad to me at first, but the more I think about it, the more I realize what a joyful thing it is. In his 97 years on earth he lived so faithfully, enduring so well to the very end, and accomplished so much for the kingdom of God. Can you imagine who is likely in his company now? His beloved wife, his dear friend James E. Faust, past Church leaders and prophets, his mother who died when he was young, perhaps the Lord himself!

I looked in the last Conference report to see what his last full-length talk was about. It was "The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain", a very appropriate topic for one who has led the Church into its now-worldwide visibility. This is from the final paragraph:

"I leave with you my testimony of the truth of these things, and I invoke the blessings of heaven upon you. May the windows of heaven be opened and blessings showered upon you as the Lord has promised. Never forget that this was His promise and that He has the power and the capacity to see that it is fulfilled. I so pray as I leave my blessing and love with you in the sacred name of our Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."

To read a beautiful tribute to Pres. Hinckley, visit Meridian Magazine here.

I'm leaving for Texas now, to visit Becky, Daniel and Seth, and also my mom, who will be there. Wish me a safe trip! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

There must needs be opposition. . . .

This poem by Emily Dickinson surprised me by expressing clearly how I have felt about the gospel since losing Benjamin. It helps me understand the WHY. I have always appreciated the gospel, and the beautiful doctrine of eternal families, but I don't think any of us appreciate it fully until it is applied specifically to our family--when a brother, a mother, a son has died. "To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need."


Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory,
As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Exciting Events for Baker Boys

Fluffy lost a top front tooth, which is noteworthy of itself,
but even more remarkable, the Tooth Fairy came the very first night! :)

Exacto won 2nd place in the School Spelling Bee and will go on to the County Bee!

Words spelled correctly included: dragon, famous, idiom, chronic, mantilla, and spherical.

Spelled down on libretto. (spelled it "l-a-b-r-e-t-t-o")

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, sweet Hyrum!

Hyrum Christian Baker was born 4 years ago today, on January 9, 2004. He weighed 7 lbs., 10 ozs. Even as a baby he was delightful and had great charisma. His facial expressions have cracked us up since he was a few months old. By the time he was a year and a half old he could sing on pitch, and hasn't stopped humming and singing since. He is very good-natured but dramatic, and makes us laugh with almost everything he says.

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We love you so much, Hyrum. You bring joy to our family. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Two months

If he were with us, Benjamin would be two months old today.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Southern New Year's Day (sans football)

I tried a new recipe for New Year's Day. Evidently it's not optional to have black-eyed peas around here on New Year's. I have no clue how to fix them, so I pounced on this recipe from my neighbor. It is SO GOOD. I ate probably half the pan singlehandedly over the last two days! :)


Black-Eyed Corn Bread

1 tsp. butter
1 lb. spicy loose fresh pork sausage meat
1 med. yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 c. white cornmeal (I used yellow)
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk (I used regular milk with a 1 tsp. lemon juice - let it sit to curdle a little)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 c.)
1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained
3/4 c. canned creamed-style corn
1/2 c. canned chopped green chilies
1/2 c. drained sliced pickled jalapenos, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13-inch baking dish with butter. Break sausage meat into chunks and put into a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, breaking sausage up with a slotted spoon until meat is just cooked through - about 10 minutes. Transfer sausage and onions to paper towels to let drain.

Whisk cornmeal, flour, salt and beking soda together in a large bowl. Beat eggs, buttermilk and oil together in a medium bowl. Add egg mixture to cornmeal mixture, stirring until cornmeal mixture is just moistened (batter will be lumpy). Stir in sausage mixture, cheese, black-eyed peas, corn, green chilies, and jalapenos. Pour batter into prepared dish, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake until golden brown - 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

And for your "Gee, Whiz" file:

Black-eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Year's Day in the American South and in some other parts of the USA. In some areas, they are served as a starchy side dish, cooked with or without fatback and/or diced onion, and often served with a hot chili sauce or a pepper-flavored vinegar. In other areas, they are served in a traditional dish called "Hoppin' John" made of black-eyed peas cooked with rice, sometimes pork (such as hog jowls, neckbone, hock, or fatback), and seasonings.

The traditional meal also features collard or mustard greens or cabbage. This is supposed to bring good luck and financial enrichment. The peas stand for good luck, the greens symbolize paper money. Cornbread also often accompanies this meal.

These "good luck" traditions date back to the U.S. Civil War. Union troops, especially in areas targeted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, would typically strip the countryside of all stored food, crops, and livestock and destroy whatever they couldn't carry away. At that time, Northerners considered "field peas" and corn suitable only for animal fodder, and as a result didn't steal or destroy these humble foods. Many Southerners survived as a result of this mistake. (from Wikipedia--hope it's true--ha).