Friday, October 30, 2009

An Arizona Snowman

The elementary school had a pumpkin contest this past week and this was our family's entry. Every entry had to be based on a character from a book. Ours was Frosty the Snowman. He looks pretty good compared to the book, but not good enough to win a prize. Oh, well!

Does anyone know if you can cook with white pumpkins?

Scripture of the Day: D&C 130:22-23

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time for the Tooth Fairy

This morning Sweetie Peach lost her first tooth. She was so excited! What's odd is that two nights ago I dreamed she lost her first tooth. Yesterday she came home from school and showed me how loose it had become during the day. Then it came out while brushing her teeth this morning. Maybe there is something to be said about mother's intuition.

And, yes, that is Patch acting like a goof trying to get in the picture.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 130:20-21

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boo on You!

You Have Been BOO'd!

The air is cool, the season is fall,

Soon Halloween will come to all.

Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore...

Tricky witches at your door.

The spooks are after things to do,

In fact, a spook brought this "BOO" to you.

The excitement comes when friends like you,

Copy this note and make it two.

We'll all have smiles on our faces,

When we see who Boo'd who's places.

I was Boo'd by Leah!

The following 4 ladies have been officially BOO'd...

Believe It {Or Not}

Truly Delightful in Every Way!

Pikes Pickles

The Lyon's Tale

This BOO party was started by Toni@The Tattered Cottage. Please keep the fun going by following these instructions.

1. You have 24 hours to work your spell

2. Copy and post the Halloween Boo Poem with the instructions for playing.

3. Pick 4 blogs you enjoying visiting and tell why you enjoy visiting them, with a link to their blog and remember to link back to me.

4. Go to the original BOO Party post at the Tattered Cottage and add your McLinky.

5. Let's see how fast and far this spreads between now and Halloween.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 121:34-36

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reformed Egyptian and the Book of Mormon

This is a reprint of Michael R. Ash's article appearing on Mormon Times. I love reading about the history of language and the written word, and this is so interesting about the Book of Mormon's reference to reformed Egyptian. Enjoy!

One of the few things upon which believers and critics agree is that Joseph Smith could not read ancient languages -- at least in the typical sense. The Book of Mormon was not "translated" by the same method as scholars who, conversant in two different languages, translate ancient texts.

When Nephi began his record he said: "I make a record in the language of my father,
which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians" (1 Nephi 1:2). A thousand years later the prophet Moroni told us that the Nephite record was written "in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech." This script, he explained was more abbreviated than Hebrew and it was unique to the Nephites; altered according to their language and unknown to anyone else (Mormon 9:33-34).

The critics, however, assure us that 1) good Israelites would not have written in pagan Egyptian, 2) there is no such thing as "reformed Egyptian," and 3) there should be evidence of Hebrew language in the ancient New World.

First, would a devout Israelite have written in Egyptian? We now know from archaeological evidence, that some Hebrew and Aramaic texts -- languages used by the Israelites in Lehi's time -- were written in Egyptian characters; sometimes even in modified Egyptian characters. The translation of some ancient Egyptian documents such as Papyrus Amherst 63 had eluded scholars until they realized that while the characters were Egyptian, the underlying text was Aramaic.

Second, is "reformed Egyptian" a fictional script? It's important to note that "reformed" is an adjective synonymous with altered, or modified. "Reformed Egyptian" was the unique name given to the script by the Nephites. We wouldn't expect other people to use the exact same term. Likewise, the scholarly terms "cuneiform" and "hieroglyphics" are modern non-Egyptian designators for scripts from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Neither the Mesopotamians nor the Egyptians used such terms for their script, but this does not lead to conclude that these people or their writing didn't exist.

As a side note, we find an interesting detail in early Mormon W.W. Phelps' account of Martin Harris' visit to New York scholar Charles Anthon. Harris took a written sample of the Book of Mormon text to confirm that it was real before investing his funds into Joseph Smith's plan to publish the record. Harris said that Anthon thought it was real but changed his mind when Harris told him that the plates were delivered by an angel. Harris came home convinced that Joseph had a real ancient record and assisted Joseph in the translation.

According to Phelps, Anthon told Harris that the characters were an example of "shorthand Egyptian." This unique phrase wouldn't have been part of Phelps' or Harris' vernacular but was a distinct scholarly expression used by those who were acquainted with different Egyptian cursive scripts such as Hieratic. It seems likely that Anthon, as Harris claimed, recognized that these characters resembled some sort of modified Egyptian script (although he wouldn't have been able to read).

Evidence also demonstrates that other scripts in the ancient world were modified according to the material upon which they were written, and today we know of a number of "reformed," or modified, or altered Egyptian scripts. During Lehi's day, in fact, Hieratic and Demotic were examples of actual reformed cursive Egyptian scripts.

Third, why is there no evidence for the Hebrew language in Ancient America? There are two answers to this question. A) We know from Moroni that through the years their Hebrew language had undergone changes. Language typically changes over the centuries and it's likely that the Lehites, as a small incursion into an existing native American population, would have adopted the language of their hosts. Many scholars think that there is no reason we should ever expect to find Hebrew in the ancient New World.

B) Other scholars, especially professional linguist Dr. Brian Stubbs, believe that there is growing evidence for traces of Hebrew in many New World languages. As a professional, Stubbs avoids the pitfalls of amateurs who simply spot instances where two languages have similar words and similar meanings. Stubbs has been able to show the advanced parallels that linguists look for when identifying related languages. At least one non-LDS Rhodes Scholar and professional linguist has expressed a favorable opinion about Stubbs on-going research.

The Book of Mormon's "reformed Egyptian" fits neatly into what is currently known about ancient history and the modification of Egyptian texts. In the next installment we'll examine the translating aides utilized by the prophet.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 89:18-21

Sunday, October 25, 2009

When was that?

Understanding the chronology of the Book of Mormon or Bible can go a long way toward building understanding and appreciation for these special books of scripture. Use a timeline to help your kids get a feel for when and where things are happening in the scriptures. You could have your family create its own timeline as you study by mapping events and people out on a posterboard. Other options include:

- This gorgeously designed wall map (order online here).
- This 1976 Ensign version you could print out and use as a bookmark.

- There is a simple, easy to understand timeline of the Bible online here.

- A timeline using artwork from Arnold Friberg is available here.

- The LDS seminary bookmarks with timelines on them are available as pdf files here (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon).
Scripture of the Day: D&C 88:123-124

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons #2

Have a great weekend everyone!

(Cartoon Credit)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 84:33-39

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Favorites

Project Runway, which I watch online

Folk art landscapes

CZ rings -- a new one every few years!

Tiffany perfume [which I believe is no longer made :-(]

Emilie Loring books -- mysteries with a touch of romance

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers

Hot chocolate--Year round!

What are some things that are your favorites?

Scripture of the Day: D&C 82:10

Monday, October 19, 2009

Learn Something New Every Day

Yesterday I had to write a talk for Sweetie Peach to give in Primary. Kitty was supposed to give it, but due to her bad cough cough Sweetie Peach was good enough to step in for her. The topic was on The Family Proclamation and how it teaches us the importance of marriage.

Now for years I have head the word "ordained" used in church. Men are "ordained" to the priesthood. I got that. But when reading the phrase, "The family is ordained of God," I was curious to know how the word "ordained" worked. It did not quite fit into my familiarity with the the word (or its definition).

So, I looked it up on and found this definition: " to enact or establish by law, edict." There was also this definition: " to decree; give orders for."

I was surprised. This definition was a lot stronger than I would have guessed. Not that I did not already know that to be married/have families are a commandment, but my understanding was improved after having done this little dictionary exercise.

Not sure you understand a word in the scriptures? Take time to look it up and learn something new.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 82:3

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Neck of the Woods

Things are quiet around here... not too much going on, which is really the way I like it best. Here are a few happenings:

1. Patch passed the sacrament for the first time today. I had to stay home with Kitty (who has a bad cough), so I missed it. But Steve said he did a great job, as though he had done it a hundred times before.

2. Sweetie Peach was making gingerbread cookies (from a mix) this evening. Steve let her dye half the dough green. Quite tasty looking...

3. We have played the board game Ticket to Ride every day the past four days. Patch beats me every time... what am I doing wrong?

4. I cooked my food storage turkey today. I buy a new one every November during the sales and store it in the deep freezer. If there is no reason to use it during the year then I have to cook it in October. It tasted yummy! Now I am looking forward to Thanksgiving.

5. The kitchen/laundry room water heater has not been working for a while now. The circuit breaker it is on died and we need to replace it to finally fix the problem. I am getting tired of boiling water to do some loads of laundry.

6. I am off to bed! Good night :-).

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 76:22-24

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons

After 52 weeks of the Police Beat post I have decided it is time to shift gears for a while. I know some of you will be sad about this, but if you want to keep up on the antics of BYU students, click here to read the regular Police Beat column on your own.

Instead, I have decided to post some fun LDS-related cartoons to help brighten up your weekend. Here is the first selection... Enjoy!

(Image Credit:

Scripture of the Day: D&C 64:23

Friday, October 16, 2009

Scripture Collages

Something I have done with my kids in the past is a scripture collage. It is a fun way to help teach kids what some basic scripture/religious terms mean. And since it is a hands on activity, your kids may never even realize they are having scripture study! Here's what to do:

Supplies needed:
  • Magazines to cut up (past Ensign issues or Friend Magazines work best)
  • Glue sticks
  • Pair of scissors for each family member
  • Poster board
  • Marker

First, decide on a scripture to make the collage about. I have found that scripture mastery verses and verses with lists in them work well. For example, the famous verse on charity (Moroni 7:47) worked well with the collage my daughters did today (see photo). They asked me numerous questions about "charity" and--I think--learned a lot about this difficult concept.

Second, read the scripture out loud to your family. Then write the scripture reference and key words at the top of the poster board with the marker. Take time to define any words your kids may not know the meaning of.

Third, give your kids the magazines, glue, and scissors. Tell them to find pictures that show what the words to this scripture mean. Let them cut and paste while you talk about the pictures and how each might work to fit into the collage/definitions of words in the scripture.

Fourth, post the finished collage where the whole family can enjoy it!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 59:9-10

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm swamped

Sorry for the lack of posts. I am swamped right now with a deadline for my market research work. I have to be done by tomorrow morning (I may be up all night tonight), so maybe I will back on track as of tomorrow. I do have a good idea for another scripture tip to post--just haven't had time to write it.

See ya soon!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Family Home Evening Adventures

I just received a copy of what the cover of Family Home Evening Adventures will look like. Don't you love it!?! I appreciate that it is colorful and has some similarities to my first book (Adventures with the Word of God). Many thanks to Angela at Cedar Fort (Horizon) for the great design work!

Family Home Evening Adventures should be in stores in time for holiday shopping!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 58:42-43

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Articles of Faith of Mormon Culture

A friend recently e-mailed me this, which made me smile. Enjoy!

1. We believe in SUVs and minivans, as the form of transportation, and in knee length shorts, which are always nice, and in the multilevel marketing.

2. We believe that church ball players should be punished for their own fouls, and not for unsportsmanlike aggression.

3.. We believe that through bread crumbs, cheese, creamy soups, and rice all casseroles can be saved through obedience to ward cookbooks and creativity in the mixing bowl.

4. We believe that the first layers and ingredients of the Dip are: first, beans; second, cheese; third, chopped tomatoes; fourth, the gift of sour cream; fifth, olives; sixth, salsa; seventh, guacamole, that is, if you have it.

5. We believe that a Mormon should have a distinguished or a cute name, that it is appropriate to name a child after a church leader or a historical figure including an ancestor, that alternative spellings and French prefixes only add to a name, and that when referring to the names of General Authorities, middle initials should be a part thereof.

6. We believe in the same wall decor that exists in many Mormon homes, namely, framed family proclamations, vinyl lettering, inspirational word signs, family photos, pictures of temples and Jesus, and so forth.

7. We believe in the gift of the re-gift, church books, crafts, family photos, baked goods, emergency supply kits, and so forth.

8. We believe in sparkling grape juice so long as it is nonalcoholic; we also believe in bringing root beer and sprite to ward parties.

9. We believe in all that we have scrapbooked, all that we will now scrapbook, and we believe that we will yet scrapbook many great and important things pertaining to our family, friends, pets, and vacations.

10. We believe in the literal mixing of ketchup and mayo and in the generous application of ranch dressing; that CBAs (church-based acronyms) will be used to describe YM/YW, PEC, the Y, NCMO, and CTR; that Mitt Romney will get Mormons to vote for him any time he runs; and, that the Mormons will enjoy reading Twilight and The Work and the Glory.

11. We claim the privilege of trying to identify common acquaintances with any visitor at church, and allow all other people at church the same privilege, and let them name drop the names of Famous and general authorities how, where, or what they may.

12. We believe in being subject to scoutmasters, pampered chef hostesses, and the writers of the U.S. News and World Report Rankings for professional schools, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining Glenn Beck.

13. We believe in being above average, good at crafts, optimistic, and being fifteen minutes late everywhere we go. Indeed, we may say that we follow BYU football. We believe rumors about famous people joining the church, we hope to meet the three Nephites, we have endured many pyramid schemes, and hope to be able to endure all pyramid schemes. If there is anything cheap, free, sold in bulk, or given away when somebody is moving, we seek after these things.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 58:26-27

Friday, October 9, 2009

Police Beat #52

Yay! So Glad it's Friday!

September 19: People were reported to be on the Y with flashlights at the Y mountain trailhead. Police showed up and the people left the area.

(Comment: Being on the Y mountain trailhead with flashlights is against the law? Next time, hikers, leave your flashlights at home and you will be legal.)

September 21: A report was made about a suspicious individual walking around with an electronic device at Valley View Park. It turned out to be the housing security officer.

(Comment: Electronic devices make ma suspicious, too, especially cell phones, electric toothbrushes, and key fobs.)

September 21: A call from Helaman Halls was made reporting suspicious conduct. A female reported her picture has been taken twice. She said someone knocked on her window and took her picture. It turned out to be two males, one in a red coat and one in a yellow shirt. The police were unable to locate the two men.

(Comment: She should be flattered--her photo was chosen for February 2010 in the BYU Co-ed calendar.)

September 21: There was a report from the WSC of a woman who left her backpack unattended for a short period of time. Someone took a can of women’s body spray and $30 cash.

(Comment: Chanel No. 5 will get them every time. Just follow the scent and nab your man--or maybe woman.)

September 20: Officers responded to a burglary call in Helaman Halls. They met with the complainant who said she was watching TV when someone reached into the bathroom, grabbed a toiletry kit and threw it at her. The police have interviewed some people but have no suspects. The case is currently under investigation.

(Comment: My best guess is that it is the roommate that likes her the least. They probably fought over her taking too long in the bathroom.)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 25:12

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Book Review: Santa Maybe

I picked up Aubrey Mace's newest book, Santa Maybe, last Friday while visiting the Cedar Fort offices. I read it over the weekend and loved it. Then, on the drive home from Utah, I read it to my kids (my stop-the-bickering strategy); they loved it, too. Here's what the back of the book says:

Dear Santa,
I've been a good girl this year. (Well . . . pretty good.) I have a nice life and there's only one thing that I really want one thing that's missing. If you happen to have an extra one lying around your workshop, I would really like a husband. I promise to take good care of him.

Love, Abbie

With a successful bakery to run, super cute nieces and nephews to spoil, and plenty of good friends to keep her company, Abbie s not about to start crying over the fact that she s doesn't have a boyfriend to spend Christmas with. But when her sister convinces her to write a note to Santa, Abbie has no idea that a little Christmas magic is about to land her the man of her dreams. Or rather, that man is about to land smack dab on the floor in front of her Christmas tree with no memory of how he got there.

Now Abbie and Ben have to figure out where he came from, who he really is, and if he's actually available.

Aubrey Mace, the award-winning author of Spare Change, has done it again! This light-hearted holiday romance is sure to please even the most cynical scrooge. Told with humor, sweetness, and Aubrey's signature wit, this is one Christmas story that will keep you smiling all year round.

So here are five reasons I think this book is worth a read:

1. Great way to get in the holiday spirit! The fun plot involving Santa will have you planning for the season in no time. Additionally, it is the perfect lightness for those upcoming busy holiday weeks. I even love the touching little fruitcake part near the beginning.

2. The main male character, Ben, will make you drool. 'Nuff said.

3. The plot of Santa Maybe will keep you guessing--this is not a predictable book. It even has a little sense of mystery about it.

4. Mace does a great job with her character relationships. The main character (Abbie) has a fun -- yet realistic -- relationship with her sister, a few different friends, and even her parents.

5. Santa Maybe will make you smile. There are several parts that got me laughing, not to mention the ending, which left me wanting more.

The only drawback: you will be hungry every time you set Santa Maybe down. There are so many references to yummy baked goods that it might just make you have to break out the mixer and recipe book. The chocolate mousse cake, in particular, sounded delectable.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 19:16-19

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Trip Pics

Day 1: After a visit to my publisher we stopped by my alum, BYU. Can you find the Y up on the mountain?

Later, after checking in to the hotel, we fed the ducks at the nearby pond.

Day 2: Can you tell by this pick it was not an easy day for me? I would like to smack the stranger who took this picture for us and did not get the whole SLC temple in the background. I wonder what he thought we were doing getting our picture taken in that location if not for the background?

Steve and Patch going into the Conference Center.

After dropping off the guys at priesthood we spent a little time in the VC.

Day 3: I got to hear this beautiful music!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 18: 10, 15-16

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tender Mercies

This past weekend we were up at General Conference. I had not attended conference since before I was married, which was before the Conference Center was built. I admit I have always wanted to go see the Conference Center, but my trips to Utah (let alone that far north) have been rare over the past 12 years or so.

The purpose of our trip was to take Patch to attend the priesthood session. He turns 12 this week and for more than three years I have had this trip in mind, hoping to provide him with a testimony-building experience. Luckily, thanks to our amazing nephew, we were able to get fabulous seats to the priesthood session. I walked Steve and Patch to the door of the Conference Center to take their picture. My dream of this day had come true.

And then I walked away feeling sad that it was not me getting a chance to attend a session.

You see, we did not have tickets to any other of the sessions. Although we could have attempted the stand-by line, I knew my DH would not be thrilled to do so knowing how we could be watching from our comfy hotel room beds. So as I walked away I resigned myself to having to come back another time to see conference in the future.

But later that night a tender mercy happened. Our nephew came up with a few more tickets for the Sunday morning session (as well as for The Spoken Word). I was so grateful for the opportunity. The seats weren't as fabulous, but I was still so happy to be there. I am so grateful for moments like these where I know the Lord really knows me and the desires of my heart.

(I will be posting trip pictures soon!)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 14:7

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Classic to Always Remember

“I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns. I find myself loving more intensely those whom I must love with all my heart and mind and strength, and loving them more, I find it easier to abide their counsel.” (Spencer W. Kimball “What I Hope You Will Teach My GrandChildren and All Others of the Youth of Zion,” an address to Seminary and Institute personnel at Brigham Young University, 11 July 1966. See also _The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 135)

(Image Credit)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 10:5

Friday, October 2, 2009

Police Beat #51

Happy Conference Weekend!

A man was driving south on 900 East when he heard a loud clinking noise on the driver’s side of his car. Believing someone shot his vehicle with a BB gun, he exited his car to investigate. When the police arrived, they could find no one or any damage done to the vehicle.

(Comment: The ROTC must have been practicing again.)

A hot air balloon was reported floating over campus. The officers responded and confirmed that there was a hot air balloon, but as BYU does not own the airspace no action was taken.

(Comment: This must have been a freshman calling in. That's about all I can think to comment on that one.)

A caller reported there was an injured duck in the intersection of East Campus Drive and 1060 North. An officer arrived and took custody of the duck, gently removing it from the road. The officer called Provo Animal Control and they came and picked up the animal.

(Comment: That duck finally climbed out of the drain...)

A Wyview resident was awoken from the noise of his window being opened. The resident saw a college-aged male trying to climb in through the window. The victim hit the suspect’s hand as he reached into the room and the suspect ran off.

(Comment: "Take that, you housebreaker!" Those self-defense classes they taught {in what were formerly known as} Enrichment really paid off for that sister.)

A resident of Budge Hall was walking through the hall at 1:30 a.m., yelling. When police arrived, the suspect said he was giving Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He was told to stop.

(Comment: Apparently he was NOT dreaming... that was the problem. And that he was causing nightmares for everyone else on his floor.)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 8:2-3

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Month, New Theme

October is finally here and that means a new theme for the scriptures of the day--our last set of scripture mastery scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants. Enjoy!

BTW, I will be out of town to attend conference. As a result I will be unable to post the summaries of the conference talks. I will likely have highlights next week, though. I hope you all tune in, enjoy hearing the words of our leaders, and feel of the spirit.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 1:37-38

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