Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Month, New Theme

Yeah for the arrival of October! October means cooler weather, harvest time, pumpkins, costumes, candy corns (YUM!), apples, and Halloween, of course!

The new scripture study theme for October is Fruits of the Harvest--scriptures about harvest time, reaping, and sowing. The scriptures are a little more varied this go around because the harvest theme is used in several different ways. This will allow you to teach your family about the Law of the Harvest (you reap what you sow), missionary work (the field is white and ready to harvest), and the resurrection (Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection). So there should be lots of good family scripture discussions in October.

To make this theme fun I have made a matching game--Pumpkin Patch Match. There is a poster of a pumpkin patch and then jack-o-lantern pieces. The object of the game is to match which jack-o-lantern was made from which pumpkin. My kids are rarin' to go with this one because it looks like lots of fun.

And then to make it even more seasonal, I have decided to put the numbers 1 through 30 on my jack-o-lanterns and use it as a count down calendar for Halloween. On Halloween day itself we will carve a REAL jack-o-lantern and read a few Halloween scriptures (which I will post later).

So, if there are a few people out there who want to test out this theme for me, let me know by sending me an e-mail.

Hip-hip-hooray for October!

Monday, September 29, 2008

10 Quiet Conference Activities

Yep, it's nearly that time again: General Conference! I love watching conference, but it is a challenge to keep kids engaged and yet quiet. Here are 10 quiet activities kids can do while "listening" to General Conference. It is worth putting a few of these together ahead of time to make conference more enjoyable for the entire family!

1. Coloring

Is there anything better to a kid than a new coloring/activity book and a new pack of crayons? Maybe Color Wonder and Aquadoodle, but not much else... If you have a child that is too "mature" for coloring, try a word search, Soduku, or crossword puzzle book and a new pen. My kids like those four-color pens.

2. Dry erase board and markers

Kids L-O-V-E playing with dry erase boards. Wal-Mart has some 9" x 12" kind that have some tic-tac-toe and other game starters along one end. Be careful to make sure kids are not using the markers over carpet or upholstery, though.

3. Primary Conference Activity Packets

These are going around on the Internet and I know our Primary presidency handed some out yesterday at church. Basically it is a compilation of Friend magazine activities and religious-themed coloring pages. If you would like a copy of one of these, send me an e-mail (address in side bar) and I will forward one Pikes Pickles sent me (thanks Stefany!).

4. Write a Letter

If you have a missionary in your immediate or extended family, an older sibling away at college, or just a relative that lives further away kids love to write letters! You may even try making a fill-in-the-blank form letter if they are age 8 or younger. Or just have them draw pictures about what they have been doing or a story they heard in a conference talk. Be sure it gets mailed between or after sessions!

5. Sticker Books

There are tons of these at grocery stores, big box stores, and book stores. Look for them in the coloring book area. Or you can staple some paper together to make your own "book" and then let the kids choose their favorite stickers from an assortment of stickers you have purchased.

6. Folder Games

These are becoming more and more popular and you can find some free ones on the Internet. Or you can buy one of the Finch Family folder game books that have a number of cute patterns to use. Putting them together requires a little bit of preparation ahead of time, but I think it is so worth the effort since you can use them time and time again.

7. Quiet Books

These were extremely popular when I was a child. And when I was a new mom a group of women in my ward got together and made these. Each of us made multiple copies of two pages and then we swapped. You may not have time to make one of these before Conference, but maybe an older relative has one put away somewhere. I only pull our book out for stake and General Conferences, so the kids love to use it and are not tired of it.

8. I Spy/Where's Waldo books

Kids will spend hours pouring over these books to find all of the hidden people and/or objects. In fact, I think this will be a purchase I make this week since my kids have pretty much memorized the other two we already own! Here's where you can get it on Amazon.com.

9. Storybooks/Novels

For kids of reading age, provide them with a new book to read. Maybe the next one in a series they love. Just make sure they spend some time listening to conference too!

10. Friend Magazines

Dig out some old back issues of the Friend magazine for kids to look through and enjoy. I usually find I need about two issues per kid, but only provide one at a time per session. Since these are gospel-related, I feel no guilt letting them browse through the Friend during conference and church.

If you have other activities your kids enjoy during conference, be sure to leave a comment! I would love to have more ideas to draw from.

Scripture of the Day: #10: Thou shalt not covet -- Deuter. 5:12

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning

Don't you love slow, lazy mornings? I do. I wish I had one this morning.

I awoke this morning to the feeling of Sweetie Peach climbing into my bed. It wasn't all that early, but it was during a dream that I would rather have forgotten. You know those not-quite-a-nightmare kind, but definitely not pleasant? This one involved a child falling down a long flight of concrete steps and landing on his head. Sad, huh? Any one for dream interpreting out there?

After a few minutes of pondering what that lousy dream was all about I got up and started into my routine. While eating my breakfast Sweetie Peach came and snuggled close to me again and I realized she was awfully warm. She also complained her head hurt. I got some baby aspirin for her to eat, so the fever is down somewhat and her head is not hurting so much.

Then I was off to make everyone else breakfast--a Sunday tradition of muffins, scrambled eggs, and fruit. I started doing this three years ago when we had church at 8:30 am and I was concerned about getting everyone out of bed and ready on time. My solution was to get them all to the table to eat by 7:15 am; then afterwards they could go and get ready for church. The strategy worked well. It is my kids' favorite breakfast of the week. Although it looks like Sweetie Peach will not be eating it this morning...

And now I am off on a walk to deliver the nursery manual to Mimi since it is either her or her husband's turn to teach this week and I forgot to get them the manual earlier in the week. After my walk I will need to get ready for church, put Sunday dinner items to cook in the crock pot, and help the kids get ready for church.

But what I really want to do is go back to bed and try waking up again with a pleasant dream.

Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter The Well Rounded Woman's giveaway of my book. Click here and then leave a comment to enter.

Scripture of the Day: #9 Thou Shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor -- Proverbs 12:22

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Year of Miracles #23

This week's miracle reminded me how the Lord uses our scripture study, family home evening, and other instruction times to prepare us to handle difficult situations. Kind of like when you are struggling with something and you go to church and the sacrament talks, Sunday school lesson, and RS lesson all touch on similar topics that help you with that issue. Has that ever happened to anyone else out there but me? I hope I am not the only one.

So here's what happened. Of course you all know we have been studying the 10 Commandments this month. That came into play {no stealing, adultery, or murder involved though, thank heaven!}. Then on Monday I taught FHE from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. The specific section we studied was about using clean language. And part of my FHE lesson was a story from the Friend about a girl who took the name of the Lord in vain.

So, can you guess what happened? Yep, that's right... one of my kiddos {which specific one shall remain anonymous since many of you know them} was overheard by a sibling taking the name of the Lord in vain. It was that darn OMG phrase that is so popular.

It was quite the "coincidence" that this happened right after all of the lessons and instruction we have been having in our home. But I was very grateful for the recent-ness of it because I felt better prepared as a parent to correct in a loving manner. We had a little talk about that darn phrase and how saying it was not showing respect for Heavenly Father. Apparently the kiddo 'o mine meant to say "goodness" but didn't quite get there. We decided "holy moly" might be a better phrase to use because it wouldn't lend itself to as much of a slippery slope.

It all ended well (I hope) and said kiddo felt bad that those words had escaped from his or her mouth. Hopefully all the lessons and the parental correction will have a lasting effect. That's the next miracle I will be praying for.

Scripture of the Day: #8 -- Zechariah 5:3

Friday, September 26, 2008

Free BYU Online Classes

I have a busy day today, so just a quick personal scripture study tip for those who loved going to college: did you know BYU offers some FREE online religion courses, including Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants? I took both of these classes while attending BYU and loved them--I learned so much. And every once in a while I get a hankering for going back to college. This would be the perfect way to do it! And get some extra great, stupendous personal study time in to boot! What could be better?

Scripture of the Day: #8 Thou shalt not steal -- Deuteronomy 24:7

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Police Beat #8

BYU students are one of the highlights of my week :-)!

A male was seen disposing of a cup out the window of his truck at Wymount Terrace on Jan. 16. A female witnessed the act and returned the cup to the owner. She asked him not to litter, and while driving away, the male threw the cup out of his window. A second witness called the University Police and reported the act. The male, a non-student, was cited for littering.

At 7:20 a.m., March 20, police received a report of animals being found in the men’s restroom on the seventh floor of V-Hall of Deseret Towers. The responding officers found five live chickens in a cardboard box, 50 dead goldfish in the sinks and a layer of straw six to eight inches deep covering the bathroom floor. An investigation led to the identification of the truck that was used to transport the straw. Charges are pending against the owner of the truck and police are continuing an investigation to identify others involved with the incident.

A naked man was reported on BYU campus on Jan. 10. Police found a man wrapped in a blanket, sitting in his truck with the heater running in lot 3 of the Harris Fine Arts Center. The man had fallen into a pond while playing Frisbee golf and had stripped out of his clothes to maintain warmth. He was waiting outside of the HFAC to pick up his girlfriend from class.

A police officer found an old laptop, three pictures and a vegetable juicer at the N. Eldon Tanner Building on March 23 at 2 p.m. Police are investigating whether the property was stolen or items from a Relief Society swap meet.

Two male freshmen poured gasoline over two lanes of road and set it on fire on Sunday between 2 and 3 a.m. Police were called to 900 East across from Deseret Towers. The suspects have been turned over to the city prosecutor. No citation was issued.

Scripture of the Day: #7 -- Psalms 24:3-4

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My niece Melissa tagged me to get me to tell a few
things about myself. So here goes:

8 Favorite TV Shows:
Project Runway
The Office
The news
Masterpiece Theater
Rachel Ray Show
Gilmore Girls (I am still holding out for season 8/movie)

Favorite Restaurants:
(I hardly ever eat out, but here's what I came up with)
Olive Garden
The Landmark
Autumn Moon (for take-out only)
Paradise Bakery
Pei Wei

8 Things that Happened Yesterday:
Ran carpool
Worked on some bank reconciliations for my mom
Went to the public library
Made dinner (tuna casserole)
Taught FHE
Changed the sheets on my bed
Did a load of laundry

8 Things I am Looking Forward To:
Cooler weather
General Conference
My birthday
Reaching goal/lifetime at Weight Watchers
The day we can replace our old minivan
The day we can redo our kitchen
Serving a mission as a senior

8 Things on My Wish List:
Good books to read
A day at the salon for the works
A new outfit from Coldwater Creek
Night out--dinner and the movies
A little bling for my ears
A new(er) car
A new kitchen
A trip to Yellowstone next summer

I am supposed to tag 8 people, but I will just stick to 2:
Jody and Misi

Scripture of the Day: #7 -- Genesis 2:24

Monday, September 22, 2008

One Matters for Impact!

My brother e-mailed me this today, and I liked it so much I thought I would share. Enjoy! And have a good evening!

One Matters for Impact!
By: Mitt Romney

I don't remember when it was exactly that I finally went past the sandbar. My family had a summer cottage on the shores of one of the Great Lakes. For the first forty or so feet, the lake is shallow, warm, and protected from big waves by the sandbar. That's where I spent most of the hot summer days as a boy. I liked it there. One day, my brother got me up on water skis. Perhaps fearing that a turn would make me fall, he drove the boat, and me, straight out into the
deep. By the way, this lake is over 100 miles wide. I screamed at him the whole terrifying ride. He took me about a half mile out. But ever after, the deep water was where I wanted to be: surfing in the breakers, water skiing, diving. I got out of the shallow water for good.

Over the years, I have watched a good number of people live out their lives in the shallows. In the shallows, life is all about yourself, your job, your money, your house, your rights, your needs, your opinions, your ideas, and your comfort.

In the deeper waters, life is about others: family, friends, faith, community, country, caring, commitment. In the deeper waters, there are challenging ideas, opposing opinions, and uncomfortable battles.

Almost every dimension of your life can be held to the shallows or taken into the deeper water. Your career, your involvement with others, your spouse and your children, your politics, each can be lived with you comfortably at the center. Or, they can draw you out of yourself, into service and sacrifice, into selflessness.

At some point in your life, a few of you may be presented with the opportunity to step off your career path, to give yourself fully to some kind of service. When I was asked to leave my investment company to run the Olympics in Salt Lake City, I dismissed the idea out of hand. I was making too much money, I didn't know bupkes about running a sports event. The job would pay me nothing. The organization was in the worst condition of any I had ever seen.

And, after the Games were over, the position would lead nowhere. It was a dead end.

I took it. It was the highlight of my professional life. I gave more of myself than I ever had before. I came to know and respect remarkable people. There are currencies more lasting than money. It can be enormously rewarding to take the unobvious course, to jump into the deep water.

Bias is shallow thinking and shallow water. Read widely, particularly from people who disagree with you. Argue to learn rather than to win. If you don't respect, I mean really respect, the views of people who disagree with you, then you don't understand them yet. There are smart people on both sides of almost every important issue. Learn from them all. If you have life all figured out in neat little packages, you're in Neverland, not the real world. And it's boring there.

There's one more thing I've seen in the people who swim in the deep waters of life. They don't fashion their values and principles to suit their self-interest; they live instead by enduring principles that are fundamental to society and to successful, great lives.

I learned important lessons about those principles from some of the Olympians I saw in Salt Lake City, like bobsledder Vonetta Flowers. Vonetta was brakeman on USA sled two. All the attention, however, was on sled one, the sled that had taken the World Cup and was a lock for the Olympic Gold. But just before the Olympics, the pilot of sled one dropped her partner and invited Vonetta Flowers to join her.

Vonetta had a tough decision. On sled one, she'd get a gold medal for sure; the first Olympic gold to be won by an African American in the Olympic Winter Games. Those of us rooting for US medals hoped she would jump to sled one. She didn't. She decided that friendship and loyalty to her longtime teammate on sled two was more important than winning the gold.

Of course, sled one did well. But when sled two beat them all, coming in first, the crowd went nuts. And tears dripped off Vonetta's cheeks. Friendship and loyalty above gold.

You live one time only. Don't spend it in safe, shallow water. Launch out into the deep. Give yourself to your family, to your career, to your community. Open your mind to diverging viewpoints. And live, not by what suits the moment, but by the principles that endure for a lifetime. Jump in, the water's fine!

Scripture of the Day: #7 Thou shalt not commit adultery -- Psalms 24:3-4

Sunday, September 21, 2008

10 Commandments Stuff

After surfing the web for fun 10 Commandments items to share I have compiled the following list:

1. Click here for a pdf of the above sign of the 10 Commandments for kids.

2. A joke to tell: A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six-year-olds. After explaining the Commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother,” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?”

Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest in his family) answered, “Thou shall not kill.”

3. The Living Scriptures has a dramatized Old Testament series that includes Moses and his many famous stories. You can learn more about this series here.

4. A list of goofs in the movie The 10 Commandments can be read here. One goof noted is the safety pin that can be seen on baby Moses' diaper while floating in the basket down the river.

5. The Prince of Egypt movie costs only $8.99 on Amazon right now. I don't think my kids have ever seen this movie although it came out when Patch was only a year old. Val Kilmer does the voice of Moses and God in this animated flick.

6. Did you know David O. McKay met Charlton Heston while on the set of The 10 Commandments? You can read about it and see a picture of them together here.

7. Finally, there is a cute craft book offered by Oriental Trading for dirt cheap. So very cute for kids to put together and color! Click here to go to learn more.

Hope you are having fun with this month's theme!

Scripture of the Day: #6 -- Genesis 4:10

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Year of Miracles #22

More than a month ago I started planting seeds for my fall garden. I started with some onion, cucumber, squash, and carrot. Then a week or so later I decided to add some parsnip and green beans. So I planted them and waited.

And waited....

And waited....

After over two weeks, neither the parsnips or green beans had sprouted. But mold had started to grow. I think my mistake was putting a piece of plastic wrap over them to simulate a "greenhouse effect." They must not have been able to breathe good enough.

Anyway, after three weeks were up I took off the plastic wrap and left them sitting there while I wondered for a few days if I could plant more seeds in the same soil. I wasn't sure what to do.

But then, early this past week, I noticed something... a green sprout had begun to grow from a parsnip seed. I thought to myself, "Maybe I didn't quite kill them all off." And as the week progressed, ALL of those parsnip seeds sprouted and started to grow.

I have to admit I am amazed and am grateful these seeds sprouted. For some reason it brings me comfort as a mom. Like, even if I make some mistakes as a parent there is hope my kids will sprout and grow. But then again, the bean seeds have not sprouted... looks like I had better brush up on my gardening and parenting skills.

Scripture of the Day: #6 Thou shalt not kill -- 1 Samuel 26:21

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Book Review & Giveaway

Tara over on The Well-Rounded Woman recently posted a great review of my book. She has been testing out the August/September theme with her kids, so her review means a lot to me. Here is part of what she writes:

"Becky's concept is to make scripture reading visual, thematic, interactive, and fun for children. Each month features a theme and poster or display that includes small pieces for the kids to choose a daily scripture. My boys fight over who's turn it is, so we always do two…You could totally come up with these ideas on your own, but I would never have done it. Becky has done all the hard work for you, including the illustrations, background, and scriptures. To me the best part is that this book could grow with your children."

And in addition to writing the review, she is offering a giveaway of the book. Head on over to her blog if you want a chance to enter!

Thanks Tara!

PS, while you are over there, be sure to read her evaluations of Project Runway episodes this season. I love here analysis on each of the outfits and designers.

My New Favorite Rice

Last week was throwing together a rice dish with veggies mixed in with it and it turned out so good I recreated it last night for dinner. It is totally yummy so I thought I would share my genius-ness with you! Here's what you need:

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. grated zucchini
1 T. chopped almonds
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 c. minute brown rice
1 c. water (+ more as needed)
salt to taste

Saute the veggies in the olive oil for three to five minutes until they are soft and start to brown. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on a medium heat until the rice is soft, about 12-14 minutes. Add extra water if the rice appears to be dry before getting soft.

For those of you counting Weight Watchers points, 1/2 cup has 2 points. Enjoy!

Scripture of the Day: #5 -- Malachi 4:5-6

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Police Beat #7

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." e. e. cummings

(Good thing those BYU students and police officers are willing to comply!)

In late December police received a call from a man who claimed he was being stalked by a woman he worked with. Police said the woman believes she is supposed to marry him and won’t leave him alone. Officers advised the woman about the possible consequences of her actions. The case is pending to see if there is any further activity.

On Jan. 15, at approximately 6 p.m. in Heritage Halls, 40 pieces of silverware were stolen from an apartment in Robison Hall. The thief took the rack containing the silverware directly out of the dishwasher.

Around 2 p.m. on Sept. 25, a Green Jeep pulled into the parking lot of the N. Eldon Tanner Building and stopped in front of a student. One of the occupants told the student that he needed a pair of shorts and tossed him a pair, then drove off. This case is still under investigation.

Three items of clothing were stolen from Wymount Terrace laundry room #2 on Nov. 29. Police said a couple were doing their laundry and placed some clothes in one of the dryers. When they returned, the clothes were gone. Police said a brown jacket, a long-sleeved white shirt and a pair of pink Spandex pants totaling $40 were stolen.

Four juveniles were caught supergluing coins to the marble floor of the Marriott Center concourse Tuesday night during the BYU basketball game. The four boys were turned over to an adult advisor and have been referred to juvenile court. Police said the damage has not been determined.

Scripture of the Day: #5 -- Proverbs 6:20

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

10 Commandments File Folder Game

Last year I made a file folder game of the 10 Commandments to try and teach them to my kids. The main concept of the game is to match up the commandments to the roman numeral tablets. This is one of many file folder games I have made, which my kids love to play with--both at home and at church.

I have recreated the file folder game and have uploaded it to Google Documents. Here is a general idea of what it looks like (one page of it anyway). I think it turned out pretty good, although Google changed some fonts on me.

So if you would like a free copy of this folder game, either send me an e-mail (my address is in the sidebar) or leave a comment with your e-mail address in it as I have to send you an invitation to view/print the .pdf file. Since it is my first time using this program/service you will have to be patient with me.

Scripture of the Day: #5 Honor thy father and thy mother -- Proverbs 4:10

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thanks Mom

My parents and I at Chartier in Paris

I have such a great mom! She is talented in many different ways and is a fabulous grandmother. Just yesterday she and my dad got back from a business trip to Chicago. While there she picked up some darling nightgowns for Kitty and Sweetie Peach. The girls had been complaining a few weeks ago about how they wanted new nightgowns, but all we could find were regular pajamas. I had completely forgotten the conversation, but my mom hadn't.

And last night when my parents stopped by for a few minutes she brought a copy of my family newsletter from last month. Every month I write a one-page newsletter for extended family. I usually save a copy in a binder as a historical account for our family. But somehow I forgot to do that last month. So I called my mom (knowing she has been trying to save her copies) and sure enough she had hers. She even went so far as to make a copy of it, which she kept for herself, and then gave me back the original.

My mom is also helping me to bribe my kids into making good choices and working hard in school. We had a little problem with Kitty and a spelling test a few weeks ago. I was worried about the situation and talked about it afterward with my mom. After Steve and I have done what we could to help as parents, my mom also told Kitty if she got 90% or better on three tests in a row she could choose a reward: power shopping with my mom, a pedicure, or a movie. Kitty is very motivated now!

Anyway, I was grateful for these thoughtful acts of kindness my mom extended just this weekend. She is always doing things like these, but I don't say "thanks" often enough. Thanks mom!

Scripture of the Day: #4 Exodus 31:17

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fall is in the Air

Maybe I am just willing it here, but I can practically taste it... FALL! I love fall. It is my favorite season of the year. (Although here in Arizona there are really only three seasons.) So my anticipation is building and the excitement is growing because fall is almost here.

Every year as fall draws near I get the urge to watch You've Got Mail. I love the seasons in that film. There is the fun fall festival and the scene celebrating Thanksgiving. And remember some of the great lines in it that have to do with fall? "A bouquet of sharpened pencils." And don't you think Meg Ryan's hairstyle in You've Got Mail is just so cute? Much better than some of her other film hairdos.

On Saturday my friend Heather and I went to a darling fall festival at the Blissful Living Studio. They had so many cute crafts and a fun fall schedule of classes to look forward to. Seeing all the Halloween and pumpkin decor really got me in the mood for fall. And the decorations there have inspired me as to decorating my house soon. I think I will put together a fun display on my entry hall table.

Another fall thing I look forward to is getting out my thick, warm comforter and putting away the cool summer bedclothes.There is just something about snuggling down under nice warm blankets. I am hoping within the next month I will be able to do this. The change is always so nice.

Other things I love about fall:

Our neighborhood Halloween block party
Hay rides
oh, and...
my birthday!

Hurry up fall. I can't wait!

Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 58:13

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Year of Miracles #21

I honestly can't recall any miracles from this past week. I have thought and thought, but nothing is really coming to mind. I guess I need to pay more attention in this upcoming week. Here, though, is a miracle that happened when I was a child.

My family was driving on vacation in the mountains and passed a car parked by the side of the road. A couple was standing next to the car, but nothing appeared to be wrong. Shortly after passing the car, my mother had a strong feeling we needed to back to see if they needed any help. My dad turned the car around and went back to the couple we had passed. After pulling up behind it my parents went to go and see if any help was needed.

The couple in the other car was elderly and very nice. And yes, they did need help changing a flat tire. The husband had recently had heart surgery and was not supposed to exert as much physical strain as changing a tire would require. They had worried and wondered what to do until our family stopped to help

My father set to work changing the tire for them and soon after both cars were on there separate ways.

Scripture of the Day: #4 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy-- Genesis 2:2

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Police Beat #6

Smile! The weekend is almost here! And BYU students are getting into trouble again...

A blind deer was found by a resident at the Wymount Terrace. Provo Animal Control was called and they came and took care of the animal. They knew it was blind because it was running into things.

Someone called to report that the ducks and turtles were being stolen from the pond on the south end of campus. Police found that children were playing by the pond with the animals.

BYU police responded when they heard an explosion near a Helaman Halls dorm. Upon further investigation they discovered the remnants of an Axe Body Deodorant Spray Can. They have no suspects.

A male student posted fliers in female dorm halls asking for dates to satisfy a dating requirement for his marriage preparation class. The fliers not only violate BYU policy but were disturbing female residents. Police discovered that the student was not enrolled in that class and the professor he said he had has retired.

Auxiliary services reported suspicious-looking money found in the BYU Laundry building. A worker received a dollar bill with a picture of Santa Claus glued over George Washington. The worker was also told where he could buy similar money online. The bill was tested to be authentic.

Scripture of the Day: #4 Exodus 31:17

***Don't forget to head over here and enter into the giveaway of my book this week on crazymamaof6's blog. You have until tomorrow. Good luck!***

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ten Commandments Test

So how are you doing with the 10 Commandments so far?

Need some extra help?

If you are a visual learner, check out this cute website that provides picture cues/clues to help remember the 10 Commandments. There is even a little quiz at the end to see how well you remember after reviewing the pictures. It might be helpful to print the pictures out, glue them onto 3" x 5" cards, and make some flashcards for your family to use, too.

Stay tuned for another fun 10 Commandment game to be posted next week!

A Journal Enrichment Night

An "action" shot of Heather (r) and Konni (l) at the dessert table.
(All right you caught me! I did partake, even though I am trying to watch those sugar grams!)

Last night I was a guest speaker in Saratoga Ward's quarterly Enrichment night speaking about the use of blogging and other forms as a way to journal. Saratoga Ward is in Gilbert, which is where I used to live. It was really fun seeing old neighbors, good friends, and familiar faces. The best part about speaking to a group of familiar faces is the relaxed atmosphere it lends to... I wasn't nervous to speak at all. I did feel as though I rambled on telling my story and experiences, so maybe I should have been more nervous. Still it was a fun experience. After my schpiel they made darling journals out of composition books by decorating the covers with scrapbooking paper, ric rack, faux jewels, and some cutout phrases (i.e., inspired). I was told I could make one, but I really needed to head home. But I may just have to make one on my own...
Just getting started on the journals

Scripture of the Day: #4 Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy -- Genesis 2:2

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Scripture Vocabulary

One of the downsides of using the KJ version of the Bible is that the language is unfamiliar and challenging--especially for kids. And the language of the BoM is pretty much the same. Be sure to take a second or two to explain (by repeating using a good synonym) to your children to help them better understand what the scriptures are really saying.

I am in the process of compiling a list of definitions of the more common but challenging scripture vocabulary words that children need help learning. Please excuse these simplified definitions; my point is to be able to help younger kids, so the definitions might not be as exact or detailed as what you might find in an official dictionary.

Every once in a while I will add to the list with an additional post. But here are the beginnings:

Adversary: Satan or another person who is against you

Begat: became the parent of (i.e., Abraham begat Isaac)

Charity: to love and/or care about

Epistle: a letter

Exceedingly: very

Hypocrite: someone who says one thing, but then does the opposite

Persecuted: teased or laughed at for a belief

Ponder: to think about something a lot

Privily: privately or secretly

Raiment: clothing

Thee, thou, thy: all forms of the word "you" in referring to Heavenly Father or Christ

Thine: yours, in referring to Heavenly Father or Christ

Wroth: angry

Ye: also meaning you

Yea: yes

Scripture of the Day: #3 -- Joshua 2:17

Monday, September 8, 2008

Book Giveaway

This week CrazyMamaof6 is hosting a giveaway of my book--not the CD-rom this time, but the actual book. Thanks Julia for hostessing it! Check it out and leave a comment to enter.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Recovering Book Addict

The book that stole my Saturday
afternoon and evening.

So what is it about a good book that is so thoroughly addicting?

Why is it some books thrill you so much it becomes impossible to lay them down?

I love the urgency of learning detail after detail until the plot comes to its breathless crescendo and then folds itself up neatly and softly fades away. A book like this is the best way to forget about personal troubles and lose yourself in a far away dream land.

The only problem to this comes in consequence to being a mother, an employee, and (at times) a wife. Only when I read a book of this caliber do I find it perfectly acceptable to let my 5-year old Sweetie Peach make her own lunch of peanut and jelly sandwich, applesauce, and chips. I could care less about the sticky (not to mention crunchy) counter and floor left after this culinary accomplishment was achieved. I must read!

Only when reading addicted books do I find myself able to rationalize the delay of working on my reports expected by my boss. Certainly I can stay up a few extra hours, or get up earlier than usual, to take care of the work assignments due tomorrow. I must read!

Only when engrossed it this kind of literary delight am I able to ignore my spouse's evil eye as he comes home from work to find the children and house in a shambles. "Marriage is a partnership," I think to myself. "Today it is his turn to do the cleaning and caring. He'll appreciate me more for having to do it himself." I must read!

Saturday was like this after I made the decision to purchase a book that looked interesting. I got home from shopping and sat down to read. At six o'clock pm (after three hours of reading) when Kitty complained she was starving I reluctantly put the book down and started a pot of rice to cook (so I would have a reason to get back to reading). I read until five minutes before the rice was done and then threw together the ingredients for haystacks. Fifteen minutes later I had served dinner, eaten my own, and was back to my lovely book where I stayed until finishing it at 10 pm.

I did feel a bit guilty after I finished: I had sent the kids to bed with a call of affection and a reminder for them to say their prayers as they shuffled down the hallway. No tucking in. No bedtime kisses. What kind of mother am I? I blame it all on the book. It was too addictive.

Do you have another one I can read?

Scripture of the Day: #3 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain -- Lev. 18:21

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Year of Miracles #20

For the past three months I have not had any consulting jobs to do. This is fairly typical of summertime, but this summer it has been particularly hard. I think it is due to the higher grocery prices and gas prices... the higher expenses just make it harder to make ends meet. I still have had some work to do for WG, but again the income has been lower than usual. A lot lower.

The first part of this miracle is that I have actually been tracking our expenses. You see, I am not a budgeting kinda gal. I don't like to be told what I can spend and where and when. I just want to be able to spend it.

Now, dear reader, don't jump to conclusions here; I am a responsible spender {i.e., live within my means and have refrained from going into any debt except for the mortgage}, but still I don't like budgeting. Oh, to live budget free! Maybe I should have married for money ;).

But getting back to my miracle, this past spring our wise bishop counseled the ward members to work on their budgeting skills. So in the beginning of June (note I did not start in the spring when the actual counsel was given; maybe I should have...) I started a spread sheet and started tracking our spending to get a good feel for what would work for a budget. Thank heaven I did this because after three months of it I can really see what the impact of my lack of earning (or shortage thereof) truly is! Maybe bishops really are called through the power of revelation!

The second part of this miracle is that as a result of seeing the negative impact of my lack of earning is that I started praying for more work opportunities. To be honest I have been hesitant to do this because I hate to have the clash of working and being a mom. But what's necessary is necessary.

On Thursday I had a call from a previous client asking for bids on two projects--which I attribute as a direct answer to prayer. Granted the bids have not yet received actual project approval, but I will exercise my faith in their behalf. I mean, tomorrow is fast Sunday, right? I'll let ya know what happens...

Scripture of the Day: (for commandment #2) Leviticus 26:1

Friday, September 5, 2008

Police Beat #5

It's hard to believe some of these were actually reported to the police at BYU. It seems some local residents up there are a bit paranoid... or at least have no sense of humor:-).

Someone stripped the left front turn signal off a 1987 Dodge Raider in the 2nd level parking lot in the JFSB. The estimate damage is $25.

Someone cemented ceramic animals on rocks of the waterfall near the Bell Tower Sept. 5. The officer took down 14 different ceramic animal figures that were half-cemented to the rocks.

A female student reported that someone was tapping at her window at John Hall in Helaman Halls Sept. 3 and she saw a mannequin head on a pole. There were 15 people in the area with two heads on poles. The case is closed and there are no suspects.

A father was trying to play Cupid between a Bookstore employee and his son. He tried to pressure her to go out with him but she told him that she didn’t want anything to do with her son.

An older male was reported for suspicious activity after someone noticed him opening all the washers and dryers in the laundry at Wyview Park. When he was confronted it was learned that he had personal items in each of the washers and dryers.

Scripture of the Day: (still on #2) Exodus 32:8

Just a reminder: be sure to enter Pike's Pickles giveaways this week! You can enter for all five days, or just those you are interested in. Today's giveaway is the game Blink.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This and That

I am always on the lookout for scripture study ideas to post. This morning I stumbled across this nice booklet on the Creation you can print out. It has good photos and drawings that children would enjoy. And in addition to using it for a scripture study session, it would likely work nicely as something for kids to look at during the sacrament. So throw it in your church bag and pull it out when needed.

Speaking of church bags, why is it they are always a big mess? Here is a list of what I found in mine when cleaning it out this morning:

6 used sacrament cups (my kids think it's fun to keep them)
3 fliers for a ward activity that took place two weeks ago
3 nearly completely used pads of paper
2 clear mint wrappers
2 rulers (one purple one with tracing shape cut outs)
2 folder games
1 coloring book (found in foyer and adopted)
1 Go-Fish game
1 quad
1 mini hymnal
1 green pencil sharpener with shavings catcher
1 travel package of Kleenex (half used)
1 photo of me and Sweetie Peach removed from bulletin board at church
1 used Kleenex
1 hair clip with pearls
1 princess-themed charm bracelet (child size)
1 black permanent marker
1 pink pencil case full of crayons (+2 crayons found stray in the bag)
1 blue pencil case full of colored pencils (+2 colored pencils found stray in the bag)
1 #2 pencil
1 Kotex light days pad (just in case ;)
1 bookmark with photo of my niece on it
1 travel size Magna Doodle (or as my kids call it, "magnet noodle")
1 VT interview reminder card from last year
1 safety pin
1 car key
1 beaded necklace crafted by Kitty
1 Barbie lipgloss
My missionary lessons flip chart
various other unidentifiable trash items

You may note that all of this is just to make it through sacrament meeting; none of it is for my calling in the nursery. Just to give you a picture of me on Sunday mornings going from the car to the building, envision this: me carrying this bag of sacrament meeting survival needs, my 4-inch thick nursery lesson binder, usually one of my kid's scripture totes, and a lunchbox with the nursery snack items (granted this is only every other week). I am beginning to think I need a shopping cart to get it all into the church building.

So what is in your church bag? What survival items do you have in your bag that keep you from getting kicked off the island? I think I will tag Shazbraz and Kim with the challenge of this post. I want to see, photo included!

Scripture of the Day: #2: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images -- 2 Kings 17:12

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day Fun

Labor day was lots of fun.
We spent the afternoon with my parents (Mimi and Papa).

First there was swimming:

Including Papa's famous tsunami (which the kids adore!):

Then there was delicious BBQ ribs, corn, fruit, and baked beans to eat:

And finally, a movie to attend
(which I would not highly recommend, in case you might wonder):

I hope your labor day was fun too!

Scripture of the Day: (Still on the 1st commandment) Micah 5:13

PS, Don't forget to check out Pike's Pickles Week of Giveaways (link in yesterday's post)--today's giveaway is a car first-aid kit.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

CD-rom Giveaway

If you are interested in possibly winning a free copy of my book on CD-rom, Pikes Pickles is holding a contest on her blog. In fact, she is having a WEEK of GIVEAWAYS (how fun is that!!). All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog--plus you can get extra entries if you mention it in a post on your own blog. So what are you doing still reading this?!? Get on over there and leave a comment! And be sure to visit her site every day this week to see the other great things she will be offering for her Giveaway Week... I know I will be!

Monday, September 1, 2008

New Month, New Theme

This month's new family scripture study theme is based on the 10 Commandments. During this theme we will spend three days reading Old Testament scriptures that corroborate and help clarify the teachings for each of the 10 Commandments. The scriptures are placed each day on Moses' tablet. For this set all of the scriptures are magnetized. I am hoping by the end of the month my kids will have the 10 Commandments memorized. We will do this by repeating them out loud together each morning.

Scripture of the Day: #1 Thou shalt have no other gods before me -- Joshua 24:15