Wednesday, September 30, 2009

That time of year again

Me and my emergency backpack hiking in the wilderness!

Today I realized it is time again to replenish my 72-hour kits. I always use the October general conference as my reminder. I have to admit this year I was tempted to ignore it. I had a number of reasons:

- Money is a bit tight and I have other expenses coming up (i.e. Patch's b-day).
- I am tired of throwing out stale food.
- I am extremely busy for the next week (actually two).
- I am lazy ;-).

But I decided to do the right thing and take care of it. I can always trim money elsewhere. And I would sure hate to have trouble arise and then be stuck with a backpack full of gross, stale food!

So I pulled out the backpacks, emptied them, made a list, and went to the store. After gathering all the items I headed up to the cashier. I have to admit I was a bit embarrassed by all the candy, granola bars, and instant foods I was purchasing. Do you ever wonder what cashiers think of your food choices? I don't usually, but this time I did.

When the kids got home and saw all the stale junk food waiting for them they were so excited. Kitty claimed the Snickers bar right away. Sweetie Peach grabbed the Starburst. I had some of the rock hard beef jerky. It was lousy, but I ate some anyway. With dinner the kids drank Gatorade (that hardly ever happens around here, so they thought they were way cool). Pretty much everything else went in the trash...

I tried not to think about it.

We will all be brushing our teeth for an extra 60 seconds before bed tonight.

And I will sleep better knowing we are a little more prepared for the unexpected.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: 3 Nephi 27:27

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Something New to Try

Have you tried the Pillsbury seamless croissant dough yet? I picked up a can to experiment with and used it tonight. I browned some chicken breast, added some veggies and a can of cream of potato soup. Once this was bubbly I laid the dough on top and put the lid on the frying pan for 10 minutes. Then (just because I wanted to get the top browned) I put it under the broiler for a few minutes. My kids loved it and I liked making it because it was easy.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: 3 Nephi 11:29

Monday, September 28, 2009


Today was a day of miscommunication.

Scenario 1:

My turn to carpool the neighborhood kids home from the elementary school this week. But I traded Friday as we are headed out of town. Somehow the conversation got me confused and I did not go to get the kids. Until the school called, that is.

Scenario 2 (an hour later):

The phone rings and Kitty answers. After hanging up she yells to me that I need to go get my son and cohorts from junior high. What? I KNOW this is not my week to carpool them. So I call to talk to the mom whose turn it was. Not home. I check the caller ID. The house number for one of the carpool kids had called, so I called back to find out what Kitty's conversation had been. Turned out they were simply looking for their son and I did not need to go get them from school. Two minutes later Patch walked in.

Scenario 3 (an hour after that):

Kitty and Sweetie Peach are playing with friends Carli and Anna. They leave to go to Carli's house (next to us). But within 10 minutes Kitty and Sweetie Peach return without friends. I tell Kitty to call Carli's house to have them come back because Anna's mother had brought her over to play at our house, not theirs. She calls. Anna does not show up. After 10 minutes I send Kitty and Sweetie Peach to get her. They return with the report that Anna has headed for home -- walking (1/3 mile away)! I send Kitty after Anna on the scooter while I Anna's home to make sure someone is home and let them know what is going on. Five minutes later Kitty returns without Anna. So I get in the car, drive the route to Anna's home (don't see her on the way), and knock on her door. Anna is home already and it turned out when Kitty had called her she thought it was her mother was calling to tell her to come home.

Hopefully that is the end of the misunderstandings today.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: Helaman 5:12

Sunday, September 27, 2009

And The Winner IS...

Congratulations to entrant #24:

Kyle is Neat

as the winner of the Adobe Premiere Elements 7 software!!

Who named pioneers and the B Attitudes as two of the chapters in Adventures with the Word of God.

Kyle, send me an e-mail [rebecca (at) irvinemail dot org] to let me know how I can get the software to you. Congrats!

Thanks to for picking the winner.

Scripture of the Day: Alma 41:10

Play General Conference Millionaire for FHE

This is a little game I wrote for sharing time today. It is based on the television game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? It went pretty good, so I thought it might be a fun game to use for family night tomorrow in an effort to prepare for general conference next weekend.

How to play:

  • One adult is needed to be the moderator/host who reads the questions to the contestants.
  • A second adult (with a phone) is needed off-site who can be the "expert."
  • A family member is chosen to be the first contestant. The host reads a $1 question and lets the contestant give an answer. If the answer is correct then the host asks the $10 question. As long as the contestant keeps giving the correct responses then the host continues to ask higher dollar amount questions.
  • I gave the primary kids three of the "helps" that are offered on the game show: phone the expert (using an actual telephone call); switch the question (to another one of equal dollar value); and ask the audience (any other family members present). Each of these "helps" can only be used once.
  • Once the contestant gives an incorrect answer, their turn ends and another contestant gets a turn.
  • I did not offer prizes since it was Primary, but it would have been cute to have some $1000 Grand candy bars or some other type of reward to offer.



The person leading GC sessions is said to be: a. conducting; b. driving, c. bossing (a)

Which of the following might be a topic spoken on during GC: a. pizza, b. giraffes, c. Jesus (c)

Which book is often quoted from in GC: a. Harry Potter, b. BOM, c. Curious George (b)

At the end of each talk speakers usually: a. say goodbye, b. give a sigh of relief, c. testify (c)

Raising our hand to show support for the church leaders is called: a. sustaining, b. voting, c. stretching (a)

At the beginning and end of each session, these are said: a. poems, b. prayers, c. Gregorian chants (b)


T or F: only men speak in GC. (false)

T or F: Those speaking in GC fasted and prayed before writing their talks. (true)

T or F: We should not study the words spoken in GC. (false)

T or F: President Hinckley encouraged church members to use GC talks for FHE lessons. (true)

T or F: GC talks are considered to be scripture (true)

T or F: A ticket is required to get into GC. (true)


Name the prophet who will preside at GC next week. (Monson)

Name one of President Monson’s counselors. (Uchdorf or Eyring)

Name two foreign languages GC is translated into. (Many answers here)

Name two ways people can participate in (see/hear) GC. (internet, radio, TV, etc.)

Name two reverent activities kids could do while listening to GC. (color, Friend magazine, etc.)


How many men are in the First Presidency? (3)

How many times does GC take place each year? (2)

How many sessions take place during GC (including priesthood)? (5)

How many apostles are there? (12 if kid is young, 15 if kid is older and smart)

How many quorums of the seventy are there? (2)


What is the name of the choir that always sings at GC? (Mormon Tabernacle)

What are the names of three of the apostles? (any of the 12)

What is the name of the location where GC is held? (Conference Center)

What days of the week are GC held on? (Sat and Sun)

What are the two months of the year in which GC is held? (April and October)


A song sung in the middle of conference, where the audience is asked to stand, is call what? (rest hymn)

GC talks are printed in what magazine in the month following conference? (Ensign or Liahona)

Speakers at GC are generally taken from which two groups of priesthood leadership? (Quorum of 12 Apostles or Seventy)

If you accidentally miss GC, what are three ways you could find out what was said? (Read Ensign, listen on internet, ask someone, etc)

Women speaking in conference are generally leaders in which organizations? (RS, Primary, YW)


When the prophet enters the room at GC, what does the audience usually do? (stand up)

The pulpit in the Conference Center is made from a tree that grew in whose yard? (Pres Hinckley)

The building where GC used to be held was: a. Assembly Hall, b. Tabernacle, c. SL temple (b)

What unique thing is found on the roof of the conference center? (garden or waterfall)

If you don’t have a ticket to get into GC you can try waiting in what line? (stand-by line)

Good luck, and have fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Last Chance to Enter the Giveaway

Today is the last chance to enter my 500th post giveaway! To enter, scroll down to the giveaway post and leave a comment according to the post instructions. I will be posting the winner first thing in the morning. Good luck!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 37:35

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My To Do List

Today is one of those days... Not that numerically it is a lot, but a few of the items are simply very time consuming. And several of them are on the computer, which can make my back very tired. Unfortunately, sometimes that's the way life goes. Here are my goals for the day:

1. Complete research report on new burn dressings product (estimated time required 5 hours).

2. Exercise (1 hour needed).

3. Mopping and vacuuming (1 hour needed).

4. Edit proof of Family Home Evening Adventures (it came yesterday! yay! - a few hours needed)

5. Start preparing Sharing Time for Sunday (30 minutes needed)

Looks like no naps today!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 37:6-7

PS, If you have not yet entered my 500th post blog giveaway, scroll down a bit to do so! Deadline is Saturday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

500th Post & a Giveaway!

I can hardly believe this is my 500th post! I started this blog about a year and a half ago. It has not always been easy to keep up, but writing it has enriched my life in a number of different ways. I only hope it has enriched the lives of my readers a little bit as well.

To celebrate this milestone I am giving away a copy of Adobe Premiere Elements 7! It is (according to the box) "the #1 selling consumer video-editing software" and has "sutomated options that make it easy to create incredible movies in minutes. Get started quickly; enhance your stories with knockout visuals and sound; and share your movies on YouTube, your own website, disc, and everywhere else."

To be entered in the giveaway drawing visit my publisher's website (or if you have a copy of Adventures with the Word of God just pull it out), then come back to this post and leave a comment that names two of the different scripture study topics/themes in my book. Get a second giveaway entry if you become a follower of my blog (leave a second comment to indicate so).

You have until Saturday night to enter. Good luck!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 34:32-34

Monday, September 21, 2009

Housekeeping Issues

1. Recently my publisher encouraged all the authors to get on Facebook and Twitter. All this technology seems to take too much time as I am going through the learning curve. I still need to do Twitter, but I did get on Facebook. I even have a fan page. Feel free to become a fan or send a friend request for my personal Facebook page.

2. Tomorrow will be my 500th post! Woo hoo for me! Be sure to check in... there will very likely be a giveaway!

3. I had word from my publisher last week that the cover design of Home Evening Adventures with the Word of God (scheduled for release next month) will be done within a few weeks. I will be sure to post it as soon as I see it.

4. Those of you who indicated you were interested in reviewing a copy of Home Evening Adventures with the Word of God as part of a blog tour, watch your email. I will be getting that set up in the very near future. If anyone else is interested in joing in on this, leave me a comment and I will be happy to add you to the list.

5. Read this article is on the front page of the Denver Post today if you want an update on Harrison.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Police Beat #50

The BYU Police are back on the beat!

Have a Great Weekend!

September 3: A student checked out seven library books last winter. He just reported the $140 worth of books being stolen from his car.

(Comment: I wonder what the late fee fine is too? I hope his parents are in a generous mood this weekend.)

September 3: A student went to the ID center to purchase a new ID card after losing his. It was discovered that his card had been stolen and was used to purchase $45 worth of ice cream from a Smith Fieldhouse vending machine.

(Comment: Identity theft at BYU: $45 worth of ice cream; identity theft anywhere else in the world: $100,000+.)

September 4: A backpack was stolen from the Cannon Center. When officers arrived they looked through the cubbies one more time and found the backpack.

(Comment: I hate it when I get disoriented in the cubbies area and can't find where I was sitting.)

September 5: Fireworks were reported between the Wilkinson Student Center and the Harris Fine Arts Center. When officers arrived they discovered that it was smoke from a celebratory BBQ.

(Comment: Sounds like the way my husband barbecues :-)

September 6: Two male subjects were knocking doors in the female area of Wyview Park. They identified themselves as missionaries. When the police arrived the two male students said they thought it was a novel way to meet girls.

(Comment: Were they asking the girls the "golden question"?)

September 6: A 27-year-old student saw a baby duck fall into a grate on 500 E. 800 North. When the officer arrived the baby duck could not be found.

(Comment: That little duck "ran off to play. But when the daddy duck says quack, QUACK, QUACK!" he will come waddling back.)

Scripture of the Day: Alma 32:21)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wake Up!

At institute this past Monday our teacher told us a funny family scripture study experience she had had recently. Their family has had difficulty getting their teen daughter to wake up and come to study. She just kept falling back asleep. Finally, our instructor arranged with her husband that the family would hold scripture study in the bedroom of their sleepy daughter. The first morning of the arrangement they headed into her room and opened the scriptures to carry on their study of the Book of Mormon. This is the first verse (completely unplanned) my institute instructor read:

"Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent..."(2 Nephi 1:14)

She said they all started laughing and had a hard time finishing study time without chuckling!

(Image Credit)

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 4:30

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Primary Kind of Day

I spent 8 hours doing Primary stuff today.


E. I. G. H. T.

Count 'em.

Hour 1: Run to Seagull Book to pick up Faith in God stuff.

Hour 2: Run to Wal-Mart to purchase program incentive items (I admit I bought nylons, too)

Hour 3: Wrote agenda for presidency meeting while eating lunch.

Hours 4 and 5: Presidency meeting. Yep. 2 full hours. Ouch!

Hour 6: Met with two cutie 11-yr-olds about Faith in God awards.

Hour 7: Writing and sending Primary-related e-mails and preparing items to be photocopied for Primary.

Hour 8: Delivering Primary related materials to bishopric counselor and more e-mails.

Not that I don't love my calling, but can I take a few days off please?

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 3:19

Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Review: Alma

One of my favorite LDS fiction series I discovered this year has been Heather B. Moore's historical novels based on the Book of Mormon. Moore takes the scriptural characters and their exact story lines, and adds greater detail, more characters (especially female ones you will wish were actually mentioned in the BoM), and lots of accurate cultural research. And the end result? Books that make you almost wish your daily scripture study was as easy and exciting.

Moore's first historical novel in the prophet series was Abinadai, which follows in the footsteps of her Out of Jerusalem series. Her latest novel is Alma, based on the story of Alma the Elder. Beginning shortly after the death of Abinadai, Alma covers the life of the prophet Alma as he leads believers to the Waters of Mormon and beyond. The demise of King Noah and the kidnapping of the daughters of the Lamanites are both depicted in Alma, as well as the experiences of other logical individuals that do not appear in the Book of Mormon. In particular, the widow of Abinadai features prominently in Alma, as well as Maia, one of the wives of King Noah.

One of the best characters in Alma Moore creates is that of Amulon. Taken directly from the scriptures, Moore is able to breathe life into Amulon. His motives, desires, and actions contrast strongly with those of the prophet Alma and help to keep the storyline moving at a quick pace.

If you are interested in reading a bit of Alma yourself, you can read the first three chapters online here. Just be warned--you are likely to be addicted.

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 2:17

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Member Missionary Moment #17

This post is part of a year long series where each week I strive to complete and item from a list of 101 Ways to do Member Missionary Work. Feel free to join me in the work!

This week's moment is taken from section 2: Full-time missionaries and ward missionaries, number 9 ("Read and become familiar with the principles in the missionary guidebook, "Preach My Gospel.")

Preach My Gospel is 244 pages of testimony building material. Two summers ago our ward had a reading challenge using Preach My Gospel and I was able to become somewhat familiar with it (I admit I did not completely finish the challenge). I like the way it is organized--the teaching principles are easy to follow and the supporting scriptures have come in handy for talks, scripture study, and family home evening. Getting to know this book helped me to revisit to basic, most important principles of the gospel and refocus in on teaching with the spirit.

I highly recommend you get to know Preach My Gospel as well. What's even better is the free podcast available for the book, which is broken up by chapters (anyone need a super quick FHE lesson idea?). Or, instead, utilize the FHE lessons based on PMG designed by the blog Errand of Angels.

Scripture of the Day: Jacob 2:18-19

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Definitely Yum-O

This evening I made Barley-Kielbasa Pilaf, a recipe I found in the October issue of Rachel Ray magazine. It caught my eye because the picture showed a lot of veggies and barley (which means fiber); I figured it would be pretty low in WW points. Actually, the recipe as written in the magazine had a lot of oil, but with the oil reduced and a few other changes implemented, this recipe rocked!

Note: This recipe is kind of chopping intensive, and it takes a good 45+ minutes to make. But even my husband liked this one, so I think it will be a keeper!


3 T. olive oil (real recipe called for 1/4 c. + 2 T.)
1 1/4 C. pearl barley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped (not in original recipe)
1/2 C. onion, chopped (not in original recipe)
1/2 t. salt

Spray a saucepan liberally with Pam and then add 1 T. of the oil. Cook the onion, celery, and garlic in the oil for about 3 minutes. Add the pearl barley and toast it in the pan for an additional 3 minutes. Add the salt and 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes.

3 C. diced butternut squash (about 1.5 lbs.)
3/4 lb. kielbasa, chopped (I used 95% fat free turkey kielbasa)
4 C. cauliflower florets
2 T. dried parsley (original recipe uses 1/2 C. fresh)

Spray a large frying pan liberally with Pam and then add 1 T. of the oil. Add the butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat until browned. Add kielbasa and cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes (until squash is tender). Empty squash and meat into a separate bowl, then add the last tablespoon of oil to the frying pan. Add the cauliflower and a few tablespoons of water seasoned with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.

By this time the barley mixture should be done. Add the squash mixture, parsley, and barley to the cauliflower. Stir to combine. Serve warm with breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top (I did not do this--it tasted great without it).

The recipe in the magazine says this serves four, but there was so much I stretched it to serving 6 (serving size was still about 2 cups). My changes/calculations with 6 servings put it at 7 WW points per serving.

PS, still no Police Beat posted--hopefully next week.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 32:8-9

This got me thinking...

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
Albert Einstein

I have had a lot of opportunities the past few months! I hope I have (or am) making the most of them.

(Image Credit)

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 32:3

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Movie Review: Julie & Julia

I had been wanting to see this movie for about a month when my mom called me on Saturday and asked if I wanted to go with her to an afternoon showing. I rushed through the grocery shopping to make it on time, but definitely felt it was worth it. Julie & Julia is a cute show about two women: Julia Child (famous chef and cookbook author) and Julie, a New York wanna-be writer working a boring government job. Julie decides to blog about cooking her way through Julia Child's famous cookbook (Mastering the Art of French Cooking). 547 recipes in 352 days.

The story, well crafted by the talented Nora Ephron, goes back and forth between Julia's life in Paris (where she learns to cook) and Julie's life in New York blogging about her cookbook journey. I loved the French scenes and the 1950s fashion--it was really beautifully done. The contrast between the two time periods (worlds, really) is nicely highlighted. For example, while Julia Child lived in a beautiful French home, Julie's 900 sq. ft. apartment over a pizzaria was not decorated to be New York chic. I appreciated that honesty.

I also loved Meryl Streep's acting and would have liked the film to have given her more of a majority of the time rather than balancing it out with Julie (not that Amy Adams does a poor job--she doesn't). Streep's ability to bring Julia Child back to life is likely to get her several nominations, if not awards.

What did I not like about Julie & Julia? The use of occasional swear words (when they really were not necessary), an underwear-kissing scene (quite a few sexual references, to be honest), and Ephron's blatant support of the DNC (does everything have to be political nowadays?).

Would I see it again? Definitely. This may even be worthy of my library in the future. Especially if we get a ClearPlay.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 28:7-9

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The 5 Ws

Keep in mind when reading scriptures as a family that the more background you can give, the better your children will understand and appreciate the scriptures. If you feel inadequate in your knowledge of the background, then make answering the 5 Ws part of your family study assignment.

  • Who: Look for who is speaking or writing the verse(s) being studied. This is usually found in the chapter heading.
  • What: Determine the main topic of the verse(s)--if it is part of a story, for what church talk topic might you use this story? Look at the footnotes for TG (Topical Guide) synonyms.
  • Where: At what location was the verse(s) given? Occasionally this is given in chapter headings, but you may have to search earlier verses to find where.
  • When: What year is it? The dates for verses are given down by the footnotes in the Book of Mormon; in the D&C check the section header.
  • Why: What precipitated the writing of these verses? Sometimes the why is given, other times you and your family may have to think of possible reasons.

Working together as a family to answer these 5 Ws will help your kids learn how to use footnotes, chapter headings, and other study helps (such as the Bible Dictionary or Topical Guide). Additionally, you will find there will be more family discussion about the scriptures read in general.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 9:28-29

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Mormons Made Simple Video

Earlier this year I posted a video from Mormons Made Simple. They have recently posted two new videos on their site--this one on LDS missionaries is my favorite of the two.

Mormons Made Simple has also launched a new program called the Facebook Missionary Challenge to help members share their beliefs online. Be sure to check it out!

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 2:27

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Friday

Those darn BYU Police have not been on the beat for a few weeks now. I am beginning to go through withdrawal! Hopefully, since BYU starts up again soon, the police will be back on duty as well.

But in the meantime, here is another of David Letterman's Top Ten Lists to get you laughing as Labor Day weekend starts. It's a football one to honor the beginning of the season. Enjoy!

Top Ten Signs Your Team Won't Be Going to the Superbowl

10. Last year's mascot is this year's quarterback.

9. They dump Gatorade over the coach after they win the coin toss.

8. Just to be on the safe side, they often punt on the first down.

7. Inner-ear condition makes it impossible for starting halfback to stay between sidelines.

6. Team beaten by local teens in halftime "Punt, Pass, and Kick" competition.

5. Incredible goal-kicking mule no longer willing to play for apples.

4. Players constantly addressing each other as "girlfriend."

3. They are only giving 109 percent.

2. During last quarter, you notice players leaving early to beat the traffic.

1. Instead of helmets, halved honeydew melons!

(Image Credit)

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 2:25

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I am feeling guilty

Today I had to do something that I now feel guilty about. It had to be done though. My husband wanted me to take care of it, as well as my parents. And even I feel somewhat glad that I have done it. But in the doing I had to be sort of unkind to someone I care about. This person has not been kind to me at all lately (sometimes family members treat each other that way), but it still does not justify things in my mind.

I hate feeling guilty.

Maybe Nephi felt a few twinges of guilt after slaying Laban.

(No, I did not kill anyone.)

Note to self: Never loan money to a family member again.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: 1 Neph 19:23

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Month, New Theme

Welcome September!

September means:
  • Beginning of the best time of the year,
  • Labor Day fun,
  • Football (Go BYU!),
  • Cooler night temperatures,
  • The desire to wear sweaters (although still completely impractical in AZ),
  • Time to start planning for Halloween costumes, Christmas shopping, and Patch's birthday,
  • And apple season! Yum!
And since it is a new month it is also time for a new scripture study theme. Is everyone ready to move onto Book of Mormon scripture mastery scriptures? These are some of the best of the best, so enjoy.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: 1 Nephi 3:7