29 August 2007

Prevenient Grace - - Incredible experience

Hi Family, we have just returned home from the UCA Entre' Act Dinner and Concert. This is the first of the season concert which is a fund raiser and preview of what's to come this year. It was held in the Garder Concert Hall. Amazing evening of lovely dinner and a delightful concert. Guess what?! They performed Prevenient Grace! The accompaniement was piano tonight, and it was incredible. Oh my goodness, what can I say? This piece was so fantastic - - so difficult to describe in words. We were so glad to have Stan and Gina and Joni and Jesse there. Carole and Ken Smith were with us as well. Of course Dallas was singing which made it extra special too. To hear the beautiful words of Stan's sonnet put to the most inspiring music was just breath taking. We are so grateful to Stan for this wonderful piece of art, to Barlow Bradford for the music that lifted our hearts and souls, and for Dallas who was part of the vocal instrument that brought the beauty of it all together. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure that all of you can imagine the feeling of Dad and me. Couldn't keep the tears from flowing. Wonderful and many comments after the concert. So many of the choir members came and expressed their appreciate of this beautiful piece and the depth of meaning of the finely tuned words. Barlow was most complimentary to Stan as he spoke to introduce the piece. He explained the meaning of Prevenient Grace, read the text carefully and made very appreciative comments. We can hardly wait for all of you to hear it at the Collage Concert in September. I am assuming you all received your letter and invitation from us. Please take some time to become familiar with the words of the sonnet. It will make your musical experience even better. Please make your plans early and know that it is a once in a lifetime experience. You just can't miss it. You will love the whole concert, and be thrilled to know that Prevenient Grace is the Finale number. It is huge and so beautiful. Thanks again Stan and Dallas for this experience tonight. The memories and feelings of tonight will remain vivid in our minds. Loves. . . .xoxoxoxo Mom

Latest from Heber

Hey family. It is a late Wednesday night, and I thought I would say hello. I am working away from my old environment and working into my new life as a self employed dude. It has been a great experience thus far. Today I fulfilled a dream of mine to actually possibly do business with one of my brothers. Stan treated me to lunch and boosted my confidence like only Stan can. What a treat to see Jesse there as well.

We are quite confident that Landon has forgotten where he came from or who we are. Actually, he still calls home to find out how to steam vegetables or how to make ice, but other than that he is living large and in charge. I got a call last week from him right after he had auditioned for the non-music major symphonic orchestra. The department head made him a member of the band on the spot, as well as the pep band. He also thinks he has a shot at playing base drum in the Badger drum line. This is Landon. He has always liked being involved. He is really liking the campus I think, and enjoying his art classes immensely. Some of you may not know, but as he was interviewing at BYU with the animation department, they told him that he had more computer animation skills than most their Juniors, but he didn't know how to draw. They encouraged him to get an associates in art. So, he is fully invested in the SCAD (Snow College Art Department) and thinks they all walk on water. He is loving it.

The kids are all in school, and today Nettie met her preschool teacher. She was able to identify all her ABC's, and numbers up to 20, and all her colors. So why go? It is hard for Carolyn to see this.

We need you to remember Carolyn in your prayers. She will be going in for a biopsy on her thyroid soon, and she is worried about it obviously. We are working through getting new insurance, so it is even more of a stress. But, I am confident that the Lord will take care of her.

We love you all. Fun to hear from you.

Painfully Funny...

I'm not saying ANYTHING about beauty contests or pageants. Ok? I'm not saying anything. And DON'T keep watching it, over and over and over...

28 August 2007

Got it figured

Hey all! Finally got this blog figured out. Think its totally awesome! I just wanted to say Shelbs and Mady, I am so sorry we didn't really get to say a long goodbye (probably better that way...no tears and such) and I miss all of you guys so much! and Mades, sorry you didnt come with us hiking and we didnt get to go to that fun store here...but I finished your amazing hippy pixel and will be sending it to you asap. I love you all family! ahh we are so cool!

of little graham

I hope nobody minds if i just post a whole of pics on here. he is just delightful! His First Bath, of course given by the proud new grandmother!

mommy's sassy new hair cut calls for kisses...daddy gets jealous.

Three weeks old
98th percentile for height
Grown 3.5 inches in 3 weeks


we just love him. eat him.

Another Recipe

Ok, this recipe for banana bread could be my all time favorite! It is from my peep Kristina Werner, who is my kindred spirit I met at a Stampin' Up! regional conference in SLC. She basically rocks. Anyway, I made this recipe as muffins...and they are really the best banana bread I think I've had. I dare you to try them!

Michelle’s Banana Bread—From Kristina Werner
1/4 lb (cube) butter
1-3/4 c. sugar
4 eggs
3-5 bananas, mashed
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
Cream sugar and butter, add eggs one at a time. Add mashed bananas. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Coat rectangular 13x9 pan (or two bread loaf pans) with butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar in pan. Pour batter in pan(s) and sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. **I just sprayed the bottom of my muffin tin with pam and then put the cinnamon/sugar in...delish!!"

NOTE: If you use 5 bananas, you should have just enough to make 24 muffins (bake 20-22 minutes). The less bananas used, the more “cake-like” it will be. :)

So I dare you, try them...these are what we'll make when we have yucky "go bananas..." at our house! Hope you enjoy!

Betty Crocker;)

Award Winning Brownies!

"I'd like the thank the acadamy...and all those people that helped me with these brownies...wait, I made them all by myself!"

It's true, I made some brownies for a "brownie cook-off" at our ward party on Saturday, and am so excited to tell you that I WON!! These brownies were deemed "the perfect brownie". It was so exciting! Now, they aren't gooey brownies, Tyler likes things undercooked and gooey, these aren'those brownies. But, they are fudgy and chewy and very good!! The recipe gives a recipe for a frosting to use, but I didn't think they needed any frosting or anything, so I didn't use the frosting. Now, I'm new to liking brownies, it was about last November that I discovered a new taste bud-and it really started to enjoy brownies. Before that time, I could just leave them, never even had the desire to eat them...but that all changed on November day.

I thought I'd share the recipe with you and let you have joy in eating them as well! The best part is that the recipe calls for stuff every kitchen has-nothing special or unusual. So, with out further chatter, may I present the Best Brownies.

Best Brownies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar

**Just a note, I just stirred everything by hand, no need to mix with a hand mixer or anything like that...I believe that just stirring by hand makes the consistancy of the brownie better...and I know!**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 Minutes. Do not overcook.

To Make Frosting: Combine 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.

Enjoy Fellow Brownie Lovers...Love you all!!!

26 August 2007

The Work Moves Forward in Texas

Today, August 26, we were blessed to witness the growth of the kingdom here in north Texas. Elder John B. Dickson presided at our stake conference and carried out his assignment to divided the McKinney Texas stake and create the Allen Texas stake. It was truly a great weekend. Our current stake presidency all resided in the boundaries of the new Allen Stake and were called to continue to preside over that new stake. The new stake president for the McKinney stake is Meredith Packard. I told Wendee two months ago when it began to be clear that indeed the stake was going to be divided that I felt Meredith would be called. I was right.

I had the opportunity of speaking at last night's evening session of conference.

We are grateful to be living and serving in this part of the Lord's vinyard at this time. The Church continues to be strong and the growth vibrant here in Texas.

Love you all.

23 August 2007

21 August 2007

The Adventures of Marco Polo-Continued


I know it has been a while since I posted a worthy blog, and I had some time today to work at home-half the time, I swear my neighbors think I'm unemployed because I'm out in the morning shooting water down the gutter, dressed in my tank top with cut off levi shorts....waiting for something interesting to happen...

Seriously, the other day I ventured up to the wild country of Twin Falls, Idaho, where I had to meet with a new client. Feeling the movements of nature descend upon my colon, I decided to pull off and take care of business. Whilst at the gas station taking care of said business, I suddenly hear the door open.....slowly, creakingly,....and then someone began to clean the bathroom...I sure you can understand my surprise, considering that the door to the bathroom pointed right at the check out counter. So I scream, "HEY! I'm taking a $#$% in here! Close the FRICKIN' door!" No answer.......I hurry and take care of myself and go out of the stall, and low and behold there is this dude, cleaning the sink. I ask him, " Dude, did you even hear me in there?" He casually looks up and I notice something odd about his face...he has 2 eyes, but one eye is frickin' HUGE....about twice as big as the other eye! And he just stares at me....like I'm the freak or something. So I slowly backed off, and said, "For future refernece, perhaps its best to let your patrons know that you are coming in to clean...I mean, seriously man....the smell coming out of here can't be good for your business as you are leaving the door open for all to enjoy".... Again, he says and does nothing...but stares at me with the evil eye....Scared the crap out of me.

The summer in Phoenix has turned the local population into a leather goods store...considering the damaged skin in that city, we will never be out of leather for purses or luggage for that matter....heck they could sell their skin in Ensenada Mexico.

On my last adventure to Montana, I had to stop at the local Wal-Mart to get something shipped...Interesting thing about Walmart in Montana...for most of the towns it represents the hub of entertainment and food....for entertainment, you can watch all the white trash beat on their kids, and for food, there is always the local McDonalds that sells cat and dog meat in their burgers. I know that I witnessed a transformation of a normal person to a Walmart person-no kidding, its like watching a werewolf horror movie or something..the slow slouching of the back, the bucking of the teeth, the general change of khaki's to faded levi(amazing!), the lashing out at their children to " shut up! Or I'll give you something to cry about!", amongst other abominations-like all the overweight women wedging their bodies into spandex tank tops....ahhhhhhhh!!!! Goodie!! Lumps are good!!!!

Tune in next time for more adventures of Marco Polo

Welcoming the Newest...

hi everyone. it has been a while since i have been on here needless to say, but it though y'all'd (yeah that's right, that's Texan for "you each would") want to hear it all.

first of all, i am my mother's daughter and was 11 days over. we were waiting for my cervix to "ripen" a they put it and so finally i was scheduled for induction on Tuesday morning, July 31st. all was going well, i got dilated to a 5 and then asked for the epidural. after 8 hours of good labor they were getting worried because his heart rate was dipping way low during the contractions (down in the 50's when they want to keep the baseline around 120). his little heart was just getting tired and it taking a long time to come back up. they had me on oxygen, lying only on my left side, and so dang numb it hurt. about 7pm, a whole bunch of nurses whisked in saying that the doctor decided to do a c-section. i was already in tears being so worried about the baby, but when i heard this i absolutely lost it, and cried through the whole procedure. they had him out in less then 10 mins from the time they told me, but the doctor nicked his little cheek, just along his right cheekbone. his dad's feet for sure though!

the new grandparents!!

we sure love him. he has just been delightful. he doesn't cry much, just grunts. content to be held. in the sunlight, his hair has a dark coppery tint, so who knows. cross all your fingers and toes! Graham Michael Ragsdale
8 pounds 8 ounces
20 inches
31 July 07

20 August 2007

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! What a wonderful example of a happy and successful marriage! You are both so awesome!! Keep up the love!!
Just wanted to let you know... I married the greatest guy in the world! 22 years ago today. oooo I love Him!!! What a great life I've had and all of you have added so much to my happiness. Thank you. I love you all and had so much fun with you this summer. We are sorry we didn't get to be with you the whole time. We've had so much going on. A lot of changes, a lot of stress. The kids all started school today, including Landon down at Snow College. We helped move him in on Saturday. What fun he's going to have. Already girls were stopping by to see the new cute guy. The kids miss him like crazy, especially Abby. She is very sad and lonely. On Sunday morning I asked Sunee to help Dallan put his shoes on and he said, "But that's what Landon's suppose to do!" I don't think the little ones realize he's going to be gone for a while. Thanks Mom and Dad for the visit and treats for Landon. He wrote in his E-mail this morning, "I think I better keep an eye on my food from Grandma, my two roommates, who are football players, were checking them out!"
Another big change...I just took the crib down. Very, very sad day.

We Have Landed!

I feel quite silly posting after Dallas's great post for Stan--AHH speachless--

But the Hyde Home has a new phone number and here is our updated info--though we do miss our Briarwood Drive--here is our "new drive"

1025 Stinson Road
Lucas, TX 75002


Our blog sight: mattandangiehydefamily.blogspot.com

We are actually starting to function I feel--though i am still enjoying finding a place for every little thing--don't we love to organize!

19 August 2007

Prevenient Grace Announcement

To get a better view, click directly on the image. It will enlarge in another window in your browser. Also, be watching your mailbox.

15 August 2007

Captain Bo

We sure had a great time in Utah! We are still struggling to adjust to the time and all. My kids miss their cousins and I miss my siblings and inlaws. It is just so great of a vacation. We found a Taco Time in a gas station around here! It is new... I picked up 9 cripsy bean burritos today. We were so excited. Craig is flying in tonight from China. He had a great trip except he brushed his teeth with hotel water yesturday....ooops. He is not feeling great. Good thing he is almost home. Shelby is making cookies and we are getting everyone to bed. I went school shopping to buy "supplies" today....I never knew Prong folders were so hard to come by....The past four years they sell out everywhere. GET A CLUE! Well I love everyone!

Happy Birthday to Sunee

Sunee turns 9 today!!! Happy Birthday dear Sunee, Happy Birthday to you! For we all love you so, for we all love you so, Happy Birthday dear Sunee, Happy Birthday to you. xoxoxoxo G.G.

Graham Michael Ragsdale

What an adorable Great grandson we have!!!! After going to the MTC we visited Estee and Lee and their new little doll. I loved holding him and looking into his sweet little face. He is a keeper for sure. So very good looking! I want to say beautiful, but then that isn't too masculine, is it? However, he is amazing!!! Estee wasn't feeling up to par today, but hopefully after a trip to her Dr., she will be feeling better. I hated to see her not feeling well. Keep her in your prayers. I will say that Estee and Lee have a wonderful little son and we are so excited and grateful for them and for him. We will have a family gathering when folks are in town for the UCA Concert. Then you can see for yourselves. You can hardly wait! Such an angel sent from heaven. xoxo Mom

Elder James goes into MTC

A great big pay day!! We accompanied Stan, Gina, Dane and Elder James to the MTC today. Thrill beyond words. . . He is going to be one great missionary, I can tell. He will be in the MTC for 2 months - - leaves on Oct 15. I told Gina I would put his MTC address on the blog so everyone can send him mail. I am sure she will fill us in on how we might send him E-mail, packages, etc. It was truly a wonderful experience today. His address is : Elder James Graham, MTC Mail Box # 289 Mex-Montw 1015, 2005 N. 900 E., Provo, Utah 84604-1793. (I could have made an error on the Montw part, but that is what I heard Gina say. If it needs correction, we will tell you pronto)


Next year - let's ALL do the SkyCoaster! - Tyler

12 August 2007

Happy Anniversary to Amy and Craig, and more

Hi dearest family, It is Sunday night, Aug. 12 and I have just sat down to see what is on my computer. I won't tell you how many e-mail messages I have. What makes me disturbed is that I haven't seen the blog for a while. First of all I want to tell Amy and Craig HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! Nineteen, isn't it? That is way hard to swallow. Though Craig is in China without Amy, I hope he gets the good wishes too. Just wanted to tell you all how thrilled we have been to have you all here and together the past couple of weeks. It is been a big blow out of fun and our house is much too quiet today. However, today was a great one because of James. We had a treat in hearing him deliver a great missionary address. You know, it was just one of those fond wishes coming true. Another one! James was wonderful and taught me a lot. His talk was about service and it was truly excellent. He looked so much like a missionary and sounded as if he were already a missionary. What a blessing! We love him and want him to know that he has the support of our family. We pledge to him our prayers, thoughts, letters and love. How blessed we are to have two wonderful Elders serving the Lord full time. Landon will be joining Austing and James just after the first of the year. Our cup truly runneth over. . . Stan and Gina hosted a huge crowd at their home after the meeting and put on a spread of food that was gobbled up quickly. Thanks Stan and Gina. As most of you know, we are praying that the Lord will bless the elements tonight - - that we won't have wind. Our Farmington mountain fire is not out yet and it truly causes us stress. Wish we could have a big rain storm and put it out completely. It is great to hear from each of you. Thanks Scott, for putting Austin's letter on the blog. We will write our own to him. Love to each of you and thanks again for making our life so enjoyable!!!! We love having you near us and love to hear you talk and laugh and visit and show love for each other. Hooray for our new little Great Grandson!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loads of love and prayers for each of you! Mom

We made it....

Hello to all! We made it back to Germany. I guess you could say that all is well, but dang, we are SO TIRED!! We had a pretty good flight, once the 2 hour wait in the plane was over! There was something wrong with the hydrolics on the plane, so they had us go back into the gate, but then just sit and wait for 2 hours. That part of our journey can be summed up by saying....DEATH!! myles kept asking why everyone wasn't getting off..."we drove back to the airport! aren't we in germany yet?" by the time we did take off, myles had very heavy eyes and they only stayed open for a few minutes of being in the air. he slept for about 6 hours...i loved it. lucy was tossing and turning and trying to sleep, she ended up sleeping with her legs standing on the floor, just bend over the seat...and she was not to be moved! it looked so uncomfortable! anyway, we made it.

we were getting some stuff unloaded and then went down and sat on the couch-and we all fell asleep...we all hit "the wall". now we are experiencing that same feeling, of not being able to keep our eyes open...it's almost 9 pm here, so we hoping to stay up for another hour....but it is like torture!

we love you all so much. thank you for making our time together wonderful. and if you don't have your passports yet, i'd get them going soon, it takes a while to get them now days and when you see that screaming airline deal to europe, you will have to act fast!!!

i'm off...love you!!!!!

08 August 2007

Elder Austin Graham - August 8 Letter

August 8, 2007

Hi everyone,

Estee and Lee, your baby looks awesome. I love the name. I wish I could us it, but that would not work very well. Graham Graham. NOPE. Maybe I will use Rags. Rags Graham. That sounds good. Well, I am so happy for you and wish I could be there to hold the little bugger.

I hope the reunions were a blast, whoever went.

So yes, President Ashton is staying until September. The other President is named Middleton. It is a real blessing to have President Ashton. He is one of the best examples for me and how I want to be, besides you dad.

That story of William Walker is what gave me the idea of going and doing that (going to the high bluff overlooking the city and praying for divine intervention). We really did rededicate the area. It really does work, because the Lord is really blessing us with people to teach. When and if you all come up here, we will definitely go to this look out place. It is beautiful.

We have not been able to meet with the other pastor again. But we are being very careful. I know that the only thing that will change his heart is the spirit. But he is going to have to be humble. In the end, all we can do is testify of the truth. As for other churches, it is really interesting to see, and it really does make you thankful for what you have. I love the restored and the fullness of the gospel. It is true.

I am allowed to drive. That story is just that I had a bad feeling about driving home that day. But I am the one who is driving everywhere. My comp got a ticket, and doesn’t want to drive, so I do, and I can. I am being more and more careful. It is funny how the mission changes you.

The Pow Wow was really fun. It was not as big as everyone said it was going to be. It is supposed to be the biggest, but there were a lot of them all over up here, so it was smaller. But it was still really fun. I got some video of it. I will send to you all when I can. It is really awesome.

Grandma, thank you so much for the recorder. I am having a lot of fun with it. I am going to record some of our lessons and it will be a great tool to help us learn what we need to do better. Thank you so much. I love you.

Well, on with what happened this week.

We went down to the island again. On Friday, we were really having a bad day. We were talking to people all morning and stopping by people but we were just not having much success. It was worse than a usual bad day. It was really bad and we were both getting very frustrated with the people and the members. We went in for brake and prayed that the Lord would help us and that we would not be frustrated. We showed the Lord that we had faith and went back out. God will come through for you EVERY TIME! He loves us. Let me tell you. He really does. He sometimes is just trying to teach us. I relearned a great lesson that day; you can’t do God’s work without God. He blessed us with some wonderful contacts on the street. We still didn’t teach, but God lightened our load. If you will ask him, he will make the trials of your faith easier. He won’t take them away, but he will help you learn from them and grow. With every trial, there is a lesson to be learned.

I have another great lesson that has to do with following the spirit. We were driving around on Monday and on our way to someone’s house, when I had a bad feeling, and I have learned that you really need to pay attention when that happens. I very quickly pulled over to the side of the road and told my companion, "I need to pray". I asked him what he wanted me to do. We continued on our drive. We passed one of the part member family’s houses. The Fishers. She is a LA and RC. Robert has got himself deep into Anti. He was going to be baptized but read too much stuff on the internet and now thinks that Joseph Smith was a fraud and that he was trying to manipulate people. I felt that we were supposed to visit them. I quickly flipped a U turn and drove to their house. We walked around the back of the house and all of the sudden you could feel that something was wrong. The spirit left and we both felt really dark. They were all on the back porch. Robert was sitting with his hands to his face and Stef was trying to comfort him. He really looked bad. Stef went inside and we began to talk with Rob. We asked him if he had read the scriptures that we had left him. He began to get into all the new anti that he had found. The devil was at work. We quickly finished our conversation and left. Now why were we supposed to go there? We were supposed to learn how anti is spiritual poison. It really is. Don’t play with it. It is bad stuff. We prayed for Robert. He looked so miserable. It is really sad.

But we have had some great success. We have two new families. They are not golden, but if they will allow the spirit to teach them, they will be awesome. The first is Sandy and her 3 kids. Right now she is just out to prove it wrong, but if she prays, we all know what will happen.

The other is Jerry and her 2 kids. The first thing that she said to me on the street was that “Jesus doesn’t love me”. We asked for her number and asked her if we could come and share a message about a prophet and the restoration. When we showed up at her house, she said she thought we were going to call. She was going to tell us that she was not interested. But when we started to teach her about faith and prayer, she really stared to get interested. We gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to pray. It was a really strong lesson. She has had some hard times with religion and has really been turned off by other churches, but she likes us and is willing to try.

It was a great week. I am really sorry it is so short, but I have to go. Mom, I can’t come back until next Wednesday. Sorry.

I love you all and pray that everything is well.


Elder Graham

07 August 2007

Checking In...

Hey folks. Just thought I would say hi. I was checking the Blog and found that no one has posted since I did last.....what does that mean....

Abby and Landon just finished and incredible day with some friends in hiking Timp to the top. Started at 6AM and finished at about 7PM. Amazing. they collapsed when they got home. Kelsy Nelson went with them and had to turn back after 1 mile. She couldn't make it. Landon and Blake ended up carrying another one of their freinds down the mountain to her father. She had forgotten her inhaler and gotten really sick from the altitude.

It was probably a good thing you went to Lagoon Madey. Coming from sea level and climbing to 12,000 feet would not have been good. They would have been hauling you down too.

We love you all. I am up to my neck in the transition from my office to the new digs. But all is well.

Love to all.