Friday, October 31, 2008

Police Beat #13

Happy Halloween!

Here are some of the tricky things happenin' at the Y!

A female student walking on East Campus Drive was hit in the back by a substance similar to chocolate pudding. The victim was unable to identify the suspects but said they may have been driving a red four-door car. The victim said the impact of the chocolate pudding hurt her back but did not require medical attention.

A female witness observed a naked man standing in the lobby of the de Jong Concert Hall. After observing the suspect, the victim ducked behind a cement pillar and screamed. The victim had to leave for an appointment but asked her friend to keep watch. The victim’s friend later observed the suspect, now with his clothes on, re-enter the building through an emergency door.

Sometime between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m on January 24, an unknown person or persons left a 50 gallon barrel of hazardous waste on the loading dock of the chemical plant. The waste was tested to be some kind of solvent waste like a grease removing liquid used by mechanics to clean automobile parts. It was contained in a rusty barrel plugged with a shop rag. This appears to be an off-campus organization that wants BYU to pay to get rid of their chemical waste.

On Wednesday, March 29 at 1:45 a.m., officers were dispatched to Helaman Halls to investigate an explosion outside Budge Hall. When they arrived, a vehicle drove up and stopped in front of May hall, blasted its horn for 30 seconds, and then started to drive away. An officer waved the vehicle down and started to walk toward it. The driver put his hands on the wheel and swerved quickly around the officer, almost knocking him over. Another officer was able to pull the speeding car over. The driver was cited for evading a police officer and failing to stop for a police officer, a third degree felony. The driver will have this offense on his record and could potentially lose his car, and his insurance premiums will be sky-high, said University Police.

A 50-year-old white male left an express package at the Women’s Resource Center June 29 at 9:40 p.m. The package was for the recruiting of an individual to become his 12th wife to help him usher in the New Jerusalem. He is described as being 6 ft. tall of slight build. Individuals in the area are asked to contact police if he returns.

Scripture of the Day: Hosea 10:12

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fun with Halloween Scriptures

Tomorrow is Halloween and time for a little scripture fun! Try playing a trick or two in your family with some of these Halloween-themed scriptures. I plan to print some of them out and place one on each of my kids' jack-o-lanterns.

Witch scripture:

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (Deut. 18:10-12)

Sorcerer scripture:

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Rev. 21:8)


And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers (3 Ne. 24:5)

Wizard scripture:

And he (Manasseh) caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. (2 Chron. 33:6)

Haunt scripture:

And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! (Ezek. 26:17)

And 3 Devil scriptures:

And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils. (Luke 8:2)

And he (Christ) shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. (Mosiah 3:6)

But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils. (D&C 46:7)

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Big 3 - 0

No, it is not my birthday. I am not turning 30. (I would like to be a bit younger though. And my birthday is in less than 2 weeks.)

Today at Weight Watchers I hit my 30 pound loss mark!

Yea for me!

I have been within a half a pound for the past month and was beginning to get very weary (part of the problem was the candy corns I snuck a few weeks back--I learned today that 26 of them are worth 3 points. Ouch!).

But this week I blew right past 30 by an entire pound.

Yea for me!

I only have 9 pounds left before reaching my goal weight, but I keep thinking is too bad it is almost the holiday season, which will likely delay my progress some. I will have to put up a count down thingy in my sidebar or something to help keep me motivated. But today I will be happy about my progress so far. No more negative vibes around here.

In other news, Amazing Becky said she saw my book in the Deseret Book flier, so I will be heading down there to get a copy of the flier and to see if it is on the shelves. I really hope it is there!!! Taking my camera just in case!

Scripture of the Day: James 3:18

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Lost Sheep

One of the questions I have had throughout my life is why Heavenly Father would want to have so many children, then put us through this testing process that would make it so so many would not be able to return to live with Him again. It seemed strange to me. But the older I get the more I realize the Plan of Salvation is much more encompassing that I understand; it will reach out and save more spirit children than I previously supposed.

This morning as I was reading my scriptures this verse jumped out at me as evidence of that:

"And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day." (2 Nephi 33:12, emphasis added)

If the prophet Nephi could write that, especially knowing the behavior of his own brothers, then I feel greatly comforted. That special verse also reminded me of this famous quote, which is well worth sharing and repeating often:

Elder Orson F. Whitney said: “You parents of the wilful and the wayward! Don’t give them up. Don’t cast them off. They are not utterly lost. The Shepherd will find his sheep. They were his before they were yours—long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he loves them. They have but strayed in ignorance from the Path of Right, and God is merciful to ignorance. Only the fulness of knowledge brings the fulness of accountability. Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable, than even the best of his servants, and the Everlasting Gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend. …

“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1929, p. 110.)

(I know 2 Ne. 33:12 wasn't a scripture about harvesting or sowing, but I think I will let it be the Scripture of the Day anyway.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Christmas Cards and More

Last week while on a weekday shopping trip to grocery store I saw the Christmas cards were on display. I almost wrote "on display already," but really it is not unusual to see the Christmas stuff out this late in October. I like to look at the cards, so I stopped to enjoy. While doing so I realized I have some pretty set ideas about what I like in a Christmas card. Here are my criteria for Christmas Cards:

1. I prefer a folk art look overall. This is not absolute--in fact my favorite card I have ever bought in my whole life was not folk art style. But generally folk art is what I prefer.

2. There must be an actual reference to Christmas or the birth of the Savior--I prefer not to buy ones that say something generic about the holiday season.

3. Cheap--the cheaper the better. Since I usually also send a newsletter and a real photo to extended family members, I hate to spend all of my budgeted card money on the cards alone. I also send a good 20 cards out to co-workers and clients, so my list is kind of long and postage gets pretty expensive.

So after perusing the variety there I chose some and threw them in my cart. Here is the card I chose:
Cute, huh? I love the Santa--his bag is darling and I love the little tree he is holding.

So am I the only one who has such strict ideas about Christmas cards? What do you prefer? Or do you not really care?

In addition to buying my cards this past week, I also set an appointment with OneHM for our family pic to be taken for Christmas. She is such a great photographer and has totally reasonable prices! We are all good to go for a photo shoot on Veteran's Day, which my husband has off of work as he is a government bureaucrat. In fact, OneHM is having a giveaway on her blog in relation to appointments for family shoots for Christmas. If you need some pics taken too, be sure to mention I referred you so I can get $10 off!

And speaking of giveaways, there is one for an adorable personalized family crest on Lovely Yellow Ribbons. It looks super cute and would make a fun Christmas gift. Check it out!

But don't forget to leave me some feedback about the cards criteria. I am wondering if I am just corny or crazy or completely normal...

Scripture of the Day: D&C 6:33

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Year of Miracles #27

This marks the halfway point for completion of my Year of Miracles series! Yea for me!

On Friday night my husband and I attended a fabulous Halloween party (you may recall my mentioning the fabulousness of the invitations in this post; the actual party itself lived up to the invitation and was tons-o-fun thanks to MimiRight and Molly). Well, while we were there we had the chance to talk with a couple in our ward, the husband of which is the architect for the newly announced Gilbert Arizona temple. I took the chance to ask him how the plans were coming along and (among other things) he related the following miraculous experience with temple building that is a fulfillment of scriptural prophecy.

After the church decided build a temple in San Antonio, Texas they started looking to purchase a five-acre plot of land. None of the sites they looked into seemed appropriate, so they ended up deciding to buy a plot of land that was nine acres. The intention was to use five acres for the temple and use the remaining four acres as a staging area for the construction crews. After the temple was completed then the extra land could be sold off.

Soon after construction was started on the San Antonio temple a truck (or something... I can't remember exactly what it was) collapsed into a hole on in the staging area for the construction. In the hole was discovered a large abundance of agate.

{Now, dear reader, if you are not sure what agate is, please do not feel bad. I was not sure either but faked it during the actual conversation at the party. Basically it is a type of valuable rock that comes in a wide variety of colors and is kinda like a geode. You can read about it on Wikipedia here.}

The man who was contracted to make the windows for the San Antonio temple got down into the hole and removed some of the agate before the hole was filled back up. You see, he had done his research. Because in Isaiah 54:12 it reads, "And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones." He has since been taking thin slices the agate he collected and using it in numerous windows of the newest temples being built. In fact, the new skylight over the grand staircase in the Mesa, Arizona temple has some in it. Next time you are there look at the sunbursts in the corners of the skylight and you will see the agate.

And a literal fulfillment of prophecy.

Scripture of the Day: Psalms 126:5

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fun Pumpkin Games

In keeping with the harvest/pumpkin/Halloween theme this month I have rounded up the following fun pumpkin games to play with your kids. They would also be fun for class parties, birthday parties, and FHE.

1. Pin the Face on the Pumpkin

Reminiscent of pin the tail on the donkey, this game is fun and easy. It can be done with either a real pumpkin or a poster of a pumpkin. Have each child cut out jack-o-lantern faces (eyes, nose, mouth) from black construction paper. Then, have them try to correctly place the face pieces on the pumpkin while blindfolded. Be sure to take a picture of each kid after they pin on the face.

2. Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Jack-o-Lantern

Play this one like Duck, Duck, Goose--the familiar concept with the twist is loved by little ones.

3. Pumpkin Bowling

Use some plastic cups or 2-liter bottles as pins and some small pumpkins as the bowling ball. For extra fun you can draw fun faces or Halloween characters on the pins. Tip: a shorter lane works better for younger children.

4. Douse the Jack-o-Lantern

Place a lit tea light inside a jack-o-lantern. Have kids use water guns to try and put out the candle by squirting through the cut out facial features. This is best played outside. You will likely need multiple candles to make it easier to re-light them and keep the game moving along.

5. Pumpkin Seed Suck

Have kids use straws to move pumpkin seeds from one location to another (i.e., from a general pile to a cup or bowl). The winner is the one who can move the most seeds in a set amount of time.

6. Hot Potato Pumpkin

Have children sit in a circle. Play some fun Halloween music while the players pass around a small pumpkin. Randomly stop the music every so often. The child holding the pumpkin when the music stops is eliminated from the circle. Continue playing until only one is left--the winner!

Scripture of the Day: Galatians 6:7

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Police Beat #12

Time for a good laugh! Hope this brightens your day.

A student reported suffering a dislocated shoulder following a miscalculated high-five.

An 18-year-old female student was a victim of a water gun attack. The victim reported on Sept. 20 that someone shot at her with a water gun and ruined her new hymn book. The victim was walking home from tunnel singing just south of the Marriot Center when the water gun was squirted. The suspects were apprehended and will replace the hymn book and make restitution. No criminal charges have been made.

At Cougar Stadium Saturday afternoon, a boy was assaulted by a man at the BYU-San Jose St. football game. Police said the boy spilled his cup of ice water and got the man wet and he attempted to clean up the mess with his coat. Police said the man grabbed the boy and shook him. Police said the boy spilled again on another man later on who grabbed his nose and told him to stop. The case is still under investigation.

{The following one sounds like me trying to get my kids to practice piano and/or go to their lessons. This mother should be awarded a medal, not prosecuted!}

A piano teacher observed a nine-year-old boy and his mother striking each other and wrestling on the ground in front of Wymount Terrace when the boy refused to go to his piano lesson on Jan. 14. The incident was reported to the Utah Division of Family Services.

A student employee driving a paint truck accidentally ran over another student Tuesday at Wymount Terrace. The students were painting a wall and after finishing, they began to engage in horseplay. The victim hid under the truck. Another student then got into the truck and accidentally ran over the victim. The injured student was rushed to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and is listed in stable condition.

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 7:30

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pursuit of Excellence Study Challenge

Yesterday I read about this challenge, which was mentioned on Diapers and Divinity, and thought I should participate. I love to read the conference talks and usually go through the entire Ensign as part of scripture study time--so it seemed like a fun idea. To participate, I decided to study and read President Holland's talk on angels. (Remember, I told you how much I love President Holland's talks!) If you would like to participate, join in the fun.

"The Ministry of Angels"
by: Jeffrey R. Holland

It is interesting to note the byline for this talk is as follows: "God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face." This is a great summary of what Elder Holland ultimately wants us to take away from the talk.

He starts off defining what an angel is: they are divine messengers sent to bless and help us. {This is a good definition that would help children learn to understand exactly what angels are.} Then President Holland discusses heavenly angels and their role in more depth, saying, "From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children."

Here are some of the things we can learn about angels from President Holland's talk:
- Sometimes angels are seen, other times they are not
- Angels are always near
- The assignments of angels range from the very grand to the very simple
- Angels are usually sent to warn, comfort, and/or guide
- Angels have helped those on earth, from Adam and Eve to the current time and even the Savior Himself

I love this quote from the talk: "I ask everyone within the sound of my voice to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember the Lord has said He “would fight [our] battles, [our] children’s battles, and [the battles of our] children’s children.”10 And what do we do to merit such a defense? We are to “search diligently, pray always, and be believing[. Then] all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.”11 The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble. They are a time to be believing and remember our covenants."

So if you want the assistance of angels, we need to search the scriptures, pray, and exercise faith.

After discussing heavenly angels, Elder Holland took time to discuss how sometimes angels can be people here on earth who behave in an angelic manner; "…not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me."

Then he tells a wonderful story about a boy whose father, coming to rescue his son, seemed at first to be an angel sent in answer to prayer. I highly recommend this story for an FHE lesson. (You can find it here.)

President Holland concludes with, "I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face."

To be truthful, this was a message I needed to hear today, so I am grateful for President Holland's words. His words were my angelic intervention for the day. And I hope they are for you too.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 101:64

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Book Review: The Host

Tonight I am going to book club to discuss Stephenie Meyer's book The Host. Great selection for October/Halloween, right? I thought so--but I was not the one who chose it, so I will not take too much credit.

So what did I think? I really liked it! I was worried I would not like it because I first started reading it ages ago. My sister-in-law, who knows Meyers, had a copy of the book before it was even released. So one day when at her house I read the prologue and the first chapter. I stopped there because it seemed SO WIERD!!! And at the time I recall thinking, "I think I will pass on this book."

But then it was chosen for book club and I decided to try again. This time I skipped the prologue and was able to get into much more quickly. The basic concept that I had found so strange was that there are two spirits/beings who are living inside a single person's body. One of them is a normal human spirit while the other is the spirit of an alien life form. The alien life form has control over the movements/voice/personality, but can still "hear" the thoughts of the human spirit and can access the memories of the human brain.

If you compare this odd arrangement to the more familiar concept of being possessed, then it is easier to see it is not such a far-fetched idea. So once you get the whole two-spirits-in-one-body concept, the book is very exciting and a real page turner. It also turns into a romance, which I liked a lot. A double romance even.

I do not want to give away too much of the plot, but I have to say I thought the ending was good. It may be viewed by some as predictable, but I personally like happy endings and thought Meyer's was able to tie things up in a satisfactory manner. I would rank this work right up there with Twilight. Meyer's definitely proves she is not a one-series wonder.

Scripture of the Day: John 4:35

Monday, October 20, 2008

7 Wonders of the Book of Mormon

The following Mormon Times article summarizes a presentation given by Don W. Perry, a professor of Hebrew Bible studies at BYU, at the Book of Mormon Lands conference held a week or so ago. I thought it was very much worth posting here and hope it helps others in their personal study and testimony of the Book of Mormon. Enjoy!

Donald W. Parry, a BYU professor of Hebrew Bible studies, translates the familiar passage of Isaiah 29:14 not as "I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder," but as "I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder."

"And the Book of Mormon does that," Parry said at the Book of Mormon Lands Conference on Saturday. "It has wonder upon wonder upon wonder. And the people who are humble enough to read it and research it will see the wonder upon wonder. Some of them are physical evidences; others are internal or external evidences. But certainly the most important are the spiritual evidences."

Parry presented several of these "wonders" at the conference -- most dealing with his area of expertise in translation and biblical Hebrew.

1. Book of Mormon names

For 130 years critics ridiculed the name "Alma" being used for a man in the Book of Mormon. According to Parry, the critics said it was a girl's name and obviously stolen from Latin as in "Alma mater."

Parry projected a picture of an ancient land deed from the "Cave of the Letters" in Israel. The land deed, as translated by the Jewish archaeologist Yigael Yadin mentions "Alma the son of Judah."

Other Book of Mormon names that Parry says have been found in ancient Hebrew documents include Hagoth, Sariah, Aha, Ammonihah, Chemish, Himni, Isabel, Jarom, Josh, Mathoni, Mathonihah, Muloki and Sam.

2. Translation speed

Parry is a member of the International Team of Translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls. About 65 members are working on the translation of the scrolls into English. It has taken 50 years to translate 40 volumes, about 2,000 pages. This is approximately one page every nine days.

The King James Version of the Bible took 54 translators seven years to finish. That is about one page a day.

Parry contrasts the scholarship and painstaking efforts of large teams of translators with the efforts of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who finished the Book of Mormon in about 12 weeks. That is about eight pages a day.

3. Poetic parallelisms

Isaiah is rich with what Parry calls poetic parallelisms. Isaiah would write a line, then repeat it in other words. Parry gave Isaiah 1:2 as an example:

Hear, O heavens
And give ear, O earth

"Hear" in line one corresponds with "give ear" in line two. Likewise "O heavens" corresponds with its opposite "O earth" in line two.

Parry said that sometimes parallel lines are restatements, other times they are contrasts.

Parallel patterns can also get more complex when several lines are arranged together in a sequence that repeats the lines' parallels in reverse order. These types of parallel structures are called chiasmus.

"There are 325 good examples (of chiasmus) in the Book of Mormon. This is one of the most remarkable internal witnesses of the Book of Mormon. Three hundred and twenty five! There is no way any of us in 12 weeks -- I don't think even if you know what chiasmus is -- could come up with 325 excellent examples," Parry said.

4. Filling in missing parallels

The Book of Mormon doesn't just quote long passages of Isaiah. Parry said that in at least 20 instances the Book of Mormon fills in missing parallels -- places where the Isaiah in the Bible has a "line one" without a corresponding "line two."

One example is in 2 Nephi 12:5. Isaiah 2:5 only has line one:

O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

In 2 Nephi 12:5 line one is followed by a restored line two:

Yea, come, for ye have all gone astray, every one to his wicked ways.

"It's a perfect parallelism found in the Book of Mormon, but it is lost in the Dead Sea Scrolls and it's lost in the King James Version," Parry said.

5. Literary forms

A Bible scholar in the 19th Century, Ethelbert Bullinger, identified 20 different literary forms in the Bible. Parry said he has found 18 of them in the Book of Mormon so far.

One form is called "climactic poetry" where a passage will repeat key words to a climactic point. Mormon 9:12-13 follows this pattern:

Behold he created Adam
And by Adam
Came the fall of man
And because of the fall of man
Came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son
And because of Jesus Christ
Came the redemption of man
And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ
They are brought back into the presence of the Lord

Parry joked, "Joseph Smith learned about (these patterns) when he was earning his Ph.D. at Oxford."

6. Double meanings

Parry said that sometimes the scriptures will intentionally use a word that has more than one meaning. He explained how Isaiah 53, also found in Mosiah 14, has multiple occasions where a word has two definitions in the original Hebrew.

For example, in Isaiah 53:4 and Mosiah 14:4, it says "Surely he has borne our griefs." The word translated as "borne" or "carry" also means "lifted up," a common phrase for the atonement. Which translation is correct? Parry says both.

7. Testimony

Parry ended his presentation by extolling the power of the Book of Mormon to bring the spirit to people and to help them in their lives, "Brothers and sisters, the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was translated by a prophet, a seer and a revelator: the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know it."

Scripture of the Day: D&C 4:4

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Year of Miracles #26

I wish I had a photo to share of this one, but I did not have my camera on hand -- and it was dark to boot. This evening we received a phone call from my parents. They are on their way home from Colorado, but were not going to arrive until late in the night. My mom was worried about her dogs, who had not been fed since the morning and wondered if we would go out to feed them. Since we were headed to an eagle court of honor out that direction I said no problem. Besides, I felt bad for them. That 15 hour drive is a killer to do in one day. Anything I could do to help ease her burden would be worthwhile.

Well, we left to go to the court of honor. Of course, Steve was driving and since it was Sunday I did not see a reason to bring my purse. Until we were 10 miles away from home, that is. I then realized I did not have the keys to get into my parents' house! Yikes! I decided I would exercise my faith that we would find some way to get in: maybe the neighbor would have a key; maybe a window would be open; you know what I mean. The Lord would help find a way.

So after the court of honor we head over to my parents' house and of course it is all locked up and there seems to be no way in... until I spied the doggie door! Sweetie Peach was too nervous to try getting in by herself that way. And she didn't want to get her church dress dirty. So then I begged Kitty.

"Please! The dogs are starving! Look {pointing through the doggie door}, you can see their food bowl in there is empty."

After a minute or two of skepticism she agrees to try, and sure enough she was able to get right in and then open the back door for us. And then we were able to feed the dogs.

It was just like the saying: "When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a doggie door."

Scripture of the Day: Alma 17:13

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Today I did something I should have done a year ago: I mended my temple dress. Yes, an entire year ago the zipper broke on my temple dress. Unfortunately the breakage was at the lower end of the zipper, which rendered the dress too immodest to wear. The day it happened I was fortunate enough to have change in my purse sufficient to rent a dress to use, so I did not miss out on attending the session. And since I had had the dress for more than 10 years I thought maybe it was time to buy a new dress {yea for legitimate reasons to go shopping!}.

So I looked online and at a few stores, but either the price or the style was never quite right. Buying a temple dress is a big commitment for me--kind of like buying a wedding dress that you have to wear over and over and over again for the next 20 years of your life {unless the zipper breaks, that is}.

And every time I went to the temple I had to make sure I had enough spare cash to rent (did you know it costs $1.75? seriously). It was so inconvenient. But month after month went by and I did not take action. It was a downward spiral that just wouldn't end. Then the economy went south for the winter (and probably next spring and summer, too) and I decided to give up my notion of finding the perfect new temple dress and just to mend the old one. Just not right then....

Meanwhile... this entire time of inaction I kept the dress in my temple bag. I am not sure why. But two months ago I went to attend the temple and realized after I got there and rented a dress that I had forgotten to wear a slip. Panic set in momentarily--then I had the idea to wear my zipper-broken-dress underneath the rented dress. Genius! I was more modest than Catholic nun. Too bad it was July and hot as ________ (think of a word that is an antonym for the temple). Let's just say I would not recommend wearing two dresses at one time to the temple. Take my word for it. But this experience made me realize I HAD to DO something. And soon. Just not right then....

Finally today I got out my dress, removed the zipper completely and got it mended. It looked great. So proud of myself considering my limited sewing capabilities. And it was finished just in time to make the 1:30 session.

But as I was putting my newly-mended dress on in the temple dressing room I got lipstick on the collar. I will be sure to get that washed out soon. Just not right now....

Pumpkin Yeast Rolls

Okay. I saw this recipe in this month's Family Fun magazine and was intrigued. I noticed when reading the recipe that the butter called for was only used to coat the dough before baking, which made me think, "Gee, self, you could easily leave that butter off of the dough and then you would have a much healthier, lower fat recipe." So that's what I did.

Now, gentler reader, please do not think me a hypocrite for deciding to leave the butter out of the recipe and yet show the above picture. {With hand held reverently over my heart} I promise ate my rolls with spray "butter." I borrowed this picture from another website, but I swear my rolls looked just as orange and just as pretty. And they were yummy too. Later that same evening when I fished my DH for a compliment he said, "You make great pumpkin rolls." But probably the fact that my kids ate three each of them is an even better testament to the taste.

Enough rambling... here is the recipe:

3 3/4 cups flour
1 package of bread machine yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg (I used 2 egg whites)
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/3 teaspoons dried sage
1/2 cup butter (I did not use this)

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, sage, and salt. Set aside.

Heat the milk in the microwave for half a minute on high. Whisk into the heated milk the honey, pumpkin, egg, and water.

Blend the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until you have a soft dough. Refrigerate for an hour. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead.

To make cloverleaf rolls, melt the butter in a small bowl. Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into six portions. Divide each portion into three pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then dip into the melted butter. Place three balls each into each cup of a muffin tin. Continue until all 12 muffin cups are filled.

Let rolls rise until double in size (about an hour). Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. (The recipe says it makes 1 dozen, but I made it into 18, which made them 2 Weight Watchers points each).

Scripture of the Day: John 4:36-37

Friday, October 17, 2008

Police Beat #11

Thank goodness it's Friday and time for another Police Beat round-up! Enjoy!

A witness reported four males throwing water balloons at vehicles from the pedestrian overpass on North Campus Drive, Nov. 13 at 3 a.m. Police responded and approached the individuals. They fled and were arrested. The suspects were charged with interfering with officers, throwing missiles and public intoxication. Three of the four suspects were BYU students. The individuals were released after receiving citations and will be referred to the Honor Code Office.

Monday at 12:23 a.m., the doorknob of the Honor Code Office in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower was found coated with refried beans.

On July 5, a grounds worker was mowing the lawn near the track with a large, 1,500-pound riding lawn mower. The driver ran over an unexploded firework from the Stadium of Fire that was lodged in the grass. Upon contact with the lawn mower, the firework exploded, sending the lawn mower and driver one and a half feet into the air. The driver was not injured.

Monday, a vandalism at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum was reported. Someone had scratched the letters “h-e-l-p-r” in a specially tinted window. The replacement will cost $316.

A suspicious male has been contacting a 21-year-old female student in the courtyard area of the Harris Fine Arts Center. He is often in the courtyard playing a harmonica. He is a white male with long, blond, curly hair; blue eyes and a “bigger round nose.” He is in his mid-30s and about 5′8″. The victim often has beard growth and is described as “dirty; not a typical BYU standards person.” Anyone having contact or difficulties with this person, or if anyone sees someone matching this description, please contact University Police.

Scripture of the Day: Matt. 13:30

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Trip to the Carousel

To celebrate Sweetie Peach's last day off of school we took a trip to the carousel at the mall. She and her friend Julie had such fun. Sweetie Peach chose to ride on the gorilla (paternal influence showing here), so Julie obliged by hoping on the Zebra nearby.

Sweetie Peach often poses for the camera and then looks away {naughty girl!}.

Julie has the Next Top Model thing going!

Best of friends

We ended a trip with a cookie from Paradise Bakery. YUM! Sweetie Peach chose ginger snap/molasses while Julie chose chocolate chip. Of course we bought two extra cookies to take home for Kitty and Patch to eat after school.

Scripture of the Day: Matt. 9:37-38

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Craft

Yesterday I made these cute pumpkins to place on my entry hall table as Halloween decorations. The inspiration came from a photo I saw on someone else's blog yesterday, and now I can't find it. Nonetheless, I thought they turned out pretty darned cute, and they were so easy to make. My kind of craft project: easy, fast, little to no mess, and even fun. All that was required to make these was some ribbon and a hot glue gun.

Oh, and by the way, last night for FHE my husband read a story in the Friend that was about the Law of the Harvest--just another teaching tool for this month's theme. It was titled "My Brother and the Puppy," from an interview with Elder Keith R. Edwards, in the September issue.

Scripture of the Day: Revelations 14:18-19

Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Parties

Over the weekend we were invited to an adult only Halloween party. I am excited to go and trying to figure out what costumes to put together. My husband said that since he has to chop down a tree in our backyard we could just use the branches and go as trees. {audible gag} I told him he could go as a tree and I would go as either Isaac Newton (think apples) or George Washington (think cherries). Or anything else--just not a tree. Can you imagine how uncomfortable it would be going as a tree? Anyone have a good costume idea out there for us? Please comment if you do.

Anyway, the invitations to the party were really well done. I am talking Martha quality. They were made by the super talented Mimi Right. Here's a poor quality picture of them--lack of quality due to my photo skills and camera flash. For a much better photo of it, check out this blog post.

If you are interested in throwing your own shin dig for Halloween, there are these darling invitations available for FREE on the Internet. Go here for the download. Note how these invitations go along perfectly with this month's pumpkin/Halloween/harvest theme :-). (Thanks to Pikes Pickles for the tip).

Scripture of the Day: Revelations 14:15

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Educating Zion

One of my very favorite speakers is Jeffrey R. Holland. He was the president of BYU during my undergraduate years. Then, on my mission, he was in the area presidency for the Europe North Area where I had the pleasure of hearing him speak in person several times. Now I usually just relish hearing his talks in General Conference. Today, though, I read a talk he gave on education Zion and thought I would share a favorite part. I felt it put into perspective efforts I am making to help my family study the scriptures, learn, and grow. I hope you enjoy it as well. You can find the entire text of President Holland's speech here.

Brigham Young's metaphor for life was the academy, and the principal schoolmaster was his beloved Joseph Smith. Of Joseph he said, "He took heaven, figuratively speaking, and brought it down to earth; and he took the earth, brought it up, and opened up, in plainness and simplicity, the things of God; and that is the beauty of his mission."15 How plain was that view of life? How simple? To Brigham Young, quite simple. "What are we here for?" Brigham asks, then answers, "To learn to enjoy more, and to increase in knowledge and in experience."16 "The object of this existence is to learn," he taught.
How gladly would we understand every principle pertaining to science and art, and become thoroughly acquainted with every intricate operation of nature. . . . What a boundless field of truth and power is open for us to explore! We are only just approaching the shores of the vast ocean of information that pertains to this . . . world, to say nothing of that which pertains to the heavens.17
Hugh Nibley says, "The treasures of the earth are merely to provide us with room and board while we are here at school."18 And Brigham Young, speaking of property and possessions, said, "They are made for the comfort of the creature, and not for his adoration. They are made to sustain and preserve the body while procuring the knowledge and wisdom that pertain to God and his kingdom, in order that we may preserve ourselves, and live for ever in his presence."19 "And when we have lived millions of years in the presence of God and angels, . . . shall we then cease learning? No, or eternity ceases."20

("A School in Zion;" 1988 BYU Devotional address)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 56:16

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Year of Miracles #25

This week's miracle is Patch. Today is his 11th birthday and suddenly the weather today is cool and lovely and perfect. It was just like that the day he was born.

I went into labor early in the morning on the 10th. He was five days late by then, so when the contractions started I was so happy. I remember being so warm and uncomfortable and bloated while I waited and paced and hurt all that day. It had been the longest summer I could ever remember. Or maybe it just felt that way. But by late afternoon the contractions were finally close enough that we could head to the hospital.

After being checked in to the hospital they were concerned because he had not dropped much and I was not dialated hardly at all (maybe a 2). And every time a contraction would come his heart rate went down. By then it was after 11 pm and the decision was made to do an emergency c-section. I was scared to death. This was my first baby and things were not supposed to go like this.

They took me from the LDR room to surgery on a gurney and then quickly prepared for the delivery. They must have thought the epidural I had had six hours prior was still working because they started the incision while I was still awake. Of course I started yelling at them to stop because it hurt so bad, but the last thing I remember was the doctor telling the anesthesiologist to put the gas over my mouth.

I awoke the next morning, groggy and very sore. I noticed through the window that gray clouds had rolled in and it was windy. Finally, cool weather. But really all I wanted to see was my baby. I asked the nurse to bring him and a short time later she wheeled in the bassinet. All I can remember thinking was how beautiful he was, so white and small and almost shining. And definitely perfect.

Patch is still kinda white, although he has lots of freckles now. He is not small anymore. In fact, I am guessing he will be as tall as I am before his next b-day. And he still shines in my eyes. He is such a great kid and tries hard at everything he does.

Happy bithday Patch! I love you!

Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 17:4-5

Friday, October 10, 2008

Police Beat #10

Yeah for Fridays! And for the antics of BYU students!

A BYU employee was driving down the hill near the Tanner Building, when his vehicle was hit by a water balloon. He thought the balloon came from the direction of the Tanner Building or Helaman Halls. There are no suspects.

A conflict, due to a failure to communicate and talk problems out, was reported between two 18-year-old female students living in M. Smith Hall in Heritage Halls. The roommates have been arguing over apartment chores and accusing one another of destroying each other’s food. Profanity and some hair pulling was involved. This has been turned over to the housing office for a resolution.

Police found a parked car with two individuals in it in the southeast corner parking lot of 2230 North and University Parkway. Police said the couple was there for “romantic purposes”.

An assault was reported in R Hall of Deseret Towers. One male student threw a bug on another male student who retaliated by spraying shaving cream on the male that threw the bug. Shaving cream got in the eyes of the first student and the argument quickly escalated and became a physical confrontation.

An individual reported male students singing to female students outside of Hinckley Hall in Helaman Halls. The males were advised to leave due to complaints.

Scripture of the Day: Eccl. 11:4

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In Support of Proposition 102

I just read this very well written article supporting Proposition 8 in California. It was posted on the blog Sue's News, Views, and Muse. Since I am not as talented a writer as Sue, I thought I would simply post a link to hers since Arizona is fighting a similar fight under the title Proposition 102.

A second great blog post is this one on Pike's Pickles, which includes a video of an interview with some Massachusetts parents of elementary school age children and the impact the change of marriage in their state has had on the schools. It is sad and scary to think about.

Finally, there is a brief outlining 8 specific reasons why the definition of marriage should not be changed. The reasons are very compelling and numerous real-life cases are cited with full footnotes. It is a reliable read.

I urge you to read these and contemplate the tremendous impact society (and our families) will witness if the definition of marriage is changed. It is time to step up to the voting booth and make our voices heard.

October Break, Patch's Brithday Prep, and Other Miscellaneous Stuff

The kiddos are out of school today and tomorrow for October break. Yesterday was only a half day of school as well. They get very excited for these days off, but then by 8 a.m. complain to me that they are bored! Reminds me of when I was their age, complaining to my mom, "I'm bored of it." She'd always say, "Bored of what?" and I would be annoyed :-).

If I did not have some computer work to do I would plan more outings and activities for them... that is the down part of having to hold down a job. But in this day and age having a job is a huge blessing! We will head out to Costco today to buy treats for Patch's birthday, which is on Saturday. He is having a movie party, so we will buy things for a fake concession stand. He is excited to have a shopping trip to buy junk food legitimately.

Getting back to the subject of work, remember I gave a few bids a few weeks ago on some focus group projects? Well, one came through this week. Yeah for me! The money earned from this project will be my Christmas budget money, so I am really grateful for this well-timed blessing.

The ad agency got approval from their client and they called to let me know. I will have to find some North Scottsdale/Phoenix/Paradise Valley residents to attend the brainstorm session (which pays $65 for 90 minutes). Let me know if you know someone who might be willing to participate. The topic of the brainstorm session is shopping.

In other news, I have got to get decorated for Halloween. I started out with an idea last week. The idea required the use of candy corns. So I bought the candy corns but never quite got around to the decorating. Instead I kept munching on the candy corns. I finally had to put them all in a baggie and had my husband take them to work. I just can't be trusted around candy corns!

Speaking of Halloween, check out this fun pumpkin-themed family night I found on The Homespun Heart. It goes perfectly with the monthly theme, so I think I will be duplicating it for my family.

Well, I guess that is enough rambling for today. I hope your Thursday morning is going well!

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 25:13

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Reading the Book of Mormon

Okay, this is a way cool scripture tip. What would it be like to read the Book of Mormon from an original first addition? Amazing, right? I think it would be. Well, now you practically can. On the website there are full color photographic images of every page in the first edition of the Book of Mormon for you to read and browse and be inspired by. I took time today to read the title page and the few pages that follow it--and was just so uplifted.

There are two ways to study with this handy site:

1. You can read by page number. This works if you just want to read from beginning to end.


2. You can read by chapter/verse citation as familiar to us in the current edition of the Book of Mormon. Just pop in the citation and there is a search/find tool that will take you right to what you want to read.

I guess the only thing that would be cooler than this would be to read the Book of Mormon from the original gold plates. But I am guessing that will not happen in my lifetime!

Scripture of the Day: Levit. 19:9

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nancy Drew and the Mysterious Addiction

When I was a young girl I loved reading Nancy Drew mysteries. I was seriously addicted. For several years I would save my money to buy the newest releases. With my $8 safely tucked in my pocket my mom and I would head over the Fiesta Mall (haven't been there in years!) where I would hurriedly make my way to Walden Books for my special purchase. Then I would read the whole way home and every spare minute until I had finished the book.

After a while I must have collected about 20 of the over 70 Nancy Drew mysteries. But then about 10 years ago, in a fit of cleaning and organizing, I boxed those books up and donated them to an elementary school teacher I knew.

Wouldn't you know it, but now my cute Kitty has caught the same Nancy Drew addiction bug I had all those years ago. Yet another reason never to get organized! (I should start a list.) Kitty has been checking them out of the public library and then we read a few chapters each night before bed. Even Patch and Sweetie Peach like to listen now. We also went to see the Nancy Drew movie (which we loved and now own). We have all been sucked into the drama and mystique of it...

Will Nancy survive this dangerous situation?

Will Bess and George be able to get help soon?

Will cute Ned Nickerson EVER kiss Nancy? (hopefully not, thinks Patch)

Lately we have been reading The Clue in the Diary, which was actually given to her by a friend. We are only on chapter 7, but Nancy has already been near a house fire, in a car accident, and nearly run off the road by a truck while on a crickety old wooden bridge. And we are loving every minute of it. I am sure this is the first in what will become a new collection of the beloved Nancy Drew books.

I wonder how long it will take before she has more than 20 of them...

Scripture of the Day: D&C 88:98

Sunday, October 5, 2008

BYU Mint Brownies

Watching all this Utah conference has me in the mood for something I acquired an affinity for as a catering employee at BYU: Mint Brownies. Here is the recipe if you want to join me in this tasty conference treat!



1 c. margarine
1/2 c. cocoa
2 Tbsp. honey
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped walnuts
12 oz. chocolate icing (Use your own icing recipe or purchase some chocolate frosting. You can also search the Internet for chocolate icing recipes.)


5 Tbsp. margarine
dash of salt
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. mint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring

1. Melt margarine and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. Add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool for 1 hour.

2. Prepare mint icing: Soften margarine. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix. Add milk gradually until the consistency is a little thinner than cake frosting.

3. Spread mint icing over brownies. Place brownies in the freezer for a short time to stiffen the icing. Remove from the freezer and carefully add a layer of chocolate icing.

Eat, savor, and enjoy!

Oh, don't forget to enter the drawing for a free copy of my book--today is the last day to enter. Click here and then leave a comment to get yourself entered! Good Luck!

Scripture of the Day: 1 Cor. 15:20-21

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Year of Miracles #24

General Conference was fabulous today! There were multiple talks that I really enjoyed... a lot of great advice to contemplate and then try to implement into my life. And although there is the miracle of being able to hear prophets speak 600+ miles away while sitting on my family room couch...

And the miracle of hearing revelation meant just for me...

And the miracle of a temple being built in Rome ;-) ...

The true miracle this week was being able to listen to the afternoon session with NO kids interrupting! A truly amazing miracle! Between sessions they were playing with some neighbor kids and they ended up watching the afternoon session AT the neighbor's house watched by one of our favorite babysitters (FREE). And the babysitter even made them listen and write a paragraph about what they heard! Won't she make a great mom some day?

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 3:9

Friday, October 3, 2008

72-Hour Kit Time

For the past three years I have let October General Conference serve as my reminder to rotate my 72-hour kits. So today was my big day. I have three kits made and will add a fourth this year, but I only rotate my stuff every other year. I figure there is enough preservatives in all that junk food to make it at least 18 months... and if it is really stale by the time I rotate it, then my kids (or I) will not want to eat so much of it when it should really just be thrown away. (They usually eat a lot of it, though.)

So I headed off to Wal-Mart with my list in hand. First I found the clearance isle for backpacks to make a new kit. This is really the best time to buy backpacks--all on clearance, left over from the big back-to-school sales. I found a nice one for $10. In previous years they were marked down to $8, but I am guessing the economy has taken its toll. Too bad they didn't have this Chewbaca (sp?) pack-pack I saw online! My DH and kids would have loved that in an emergency!

Next I headed over to the food isles, where I made sure to buy duplicates of everything needed on the list:

Peanut butter crackers
Cheese crackers
Granola bar
Tuna lunch kit
Fruit snacks
Beef jerky
3 Chef Boyardee microwaveable meals
2 Chicken noodle soup
Fruit cup
Applesauce cup
Snickers marathon bar
Protein bar
2 juice boxes

They did not have the Altoids at Wal-Mart, so I had to substitute with another brand. But otherwise it was a quick haul, totaling about $44 for the food and new backpack.

Next I was off to home where everything was sorted into the old backpack and the new backpack. And this year I added luggage tags to each backpack with the phrase "odd year" and "even year" on them so I would remember which ones to rotate (yes, I am getting old).

It feels good to get this annual ritual taken care of and off my mind. I feel good knowing I am a little bit more prepared for an emergency and I have heeded the words of the prophets. No guilt feelings during conference!

Scripture of the Day: Exodus 23:15-16

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Police Beat #9

Time for another Police Beat, rounding up those dangerous criminals on BYU's campus:

On March 5, between 12:45 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. a strange letter was received by the KBYU Media Center. The letter had a lump in it, so the recipient put the letter in the microwave hoping to neutralize the substance if it was Anthrax. The letter started on fire and by the time the recipient could put out the flames, the only readable part of the letter was the return address. The return address read, “Shadows of things to come.” Police are unsure about the substance contained in the letter.

On Jan. 22 in the WSC Memorial lounge, a suspicious male was reported. The victim was sleeping on a sofa between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. when a male student woke her up and asked to borrow her newspaper. After giving it to him, she fell back asleep. A short time later she awoke to find the same male stoking her hair. She told him to stop and again fell back asleep. The third time she awoke, the male was stoking her hair again. She quickly left and reported the incident.

On Jan. 22, at 3:57 p.m., a man was reported leaving the bookstore carrying a gun. When the officer located the male they found he was carrying a chrome, toy pistol. When the officer asked the 22-year-old male student why he was carrying the gun, he said his roommate told him it would get chicks. The officers cautioned the male on carrying or simulating a weapon before he was released.

Friday, Feb. 27, Police received a report of an assault in U-Hall of Deseret Towers. Two students were involved in a fight over the control panel to a Nintendo game. One of the individuals involved was issued a citation for assault and referred to the Honor Code Office.

A student found a five-dollar bill in a snack room of the Smoot Administration Building. The student turned it into the police on Tuesday. After 60 days, if no one claims the money, it will be awarded to the student who turned it in.

Scripture of the Day: Lev. 23:10-11