Friday, February 27, 2009

Police Beat #30

Happy Friday!
I have a very busy day today--I hope your day is fab!

Feb. 18 Two male solicitors went door-to-door selling magazines in Wymount Park, violating the BYU and Provo city soliciting ordinance. Neither solicitor had a license. They were both issued citations and escorted off-campus.

(Comment: I did not know your could get subscriptions to the Ensign or Friend from the missionaries. Good to know.)

Feb. 18 A woman at Wymount Park requested that an officer help her get her money back from the male solicitors selling magazines. She said before she realized, she wrote a $65 check for a subscription. The officer directed her to cancel the check.

(Comment: $65... That's a lot of Ensign subscriptions. She must have got a Liahona subscription too.)

Feb. 21 Grounds workers reported students tying a tight rope around the trees west of Bowen Hall. Students complied when asked to leave.

(Comments: The grounds workers then used the tight rope to trim tree branches previously difficult to reach.)

Feb. 22 Police received a complaint from Wyview about three male individuals with white masks dancing around a car while the complainant and her boyfriend were inside. They said they felt threatened. The masked men were gone when police arrived.

(Comment: Making out in the car is just an invitation for evil spirits to be in your company.)

Feb. 23 An employee in the BYU Bookstore called police to report a student violating Bookstore policy on the text floor by studying out of a textbook. The male was asked to leave and he refused. The suspect was gone when police arrived.

(Comment: It was probably one of these textbooks. I don't blame the guy for not wanting to buy it.)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 88:123

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Time to Change It Up

I am sore today. And very tired.

Yesterday I did an extra hard workout tape with Amazing Becky. It was a Jillian Michaels' (trainer for the Biggest Loser) workout. Even though it was the beginning level, I had to work out a lot harder than I normally push myself to do. I was actually sweating {whereas during my regular workouts I just get a nice glisten started and then hit the shower}. But with Jillian my thighs and triceps are sore.

Actually, I really like exercising--just not so hard I get so sweaty that I get those big sweat stains on my clothes. Yuck. And generally not the same thing for too long a time period. I get bored too easily.

Here are my favorite workout routines:

1. 5 minutes on mini trampoline followed by 10 minutes of aerobics. Repeat two more times, varying the aerobics styles (1st time low impact, 2nd time step, 3rd time high impact).

2. 2 minutes on mini trampoline, 1 minute free weights, 2 minutes making beds/picking up clutter quickly. Do this five minute cycle 9 times for 45 minutes and a cleaner house.

3. 10 minutes kickboxing tape followed by 20 minute yoga workout; 10 more minutes of kickboxing tape followed by 20 minute pilates workout.

4. 2 minutes step aerobics followed by 1 minutes free weights for upper body workout, 1 minute mini trampoline, and 1 minute lower body exercise (i.e., squats, lunges, etc.). Repeat this 5 minute cycle 9 times.

5. 2.5 mile power walk--often this is up and down my street so I can watch the kids playing in the front yard (I live on a short street); occasionally I add bursts of running, but I am really not built to be a runner.

6. 5 mile bike ride (not so boring because the scenery changes enough to keep me interested).

These are the workouts that I have used for the past several years. But I guess doing the new workout tape proved I need to change things up a bit. I guess my body is too used to doing these favorite workouts. Or I am just not pushing myself as hard as needed. I have not been sore for several months, so that kinda proves the point.

So I think I will set a goal to try a new kind of workout at least twice a month for the next three months. I have been thinking it would be fun to do an in-line skating workout. I also enjoy tennis, but haven't played for a while (about 5 years)--anyone know of a free court to use around here? If I throw in a new workout tape or two I think I can more than meet my goal. I will let you know how it goes.

Scripture of the Day: Titus 2:4

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Double Up

This scripture tip comes from a former VT companion of mine. She was frustrated because her family schedule made it very difficult for everyone to be together at the same time for scripture study. One child left extra early in the morning for work and another was taking evening classes at college and did not get home until extra late. She struggled with what to do and said the solution she found (or was prompted to) was to double up--hold two scripture study sessions each day.

Her first family scripture study session in the morning was where most of the Book of Mormon reading got done. Each family member (minus the one gone to work) took turns reading and the session lasted 10 to 15 minutes depending on the length of the chapter. Standard stuff.

The second family scripture study session was during dinner time and was typically a topic based discussion. She would read (or have a family member read) a verse from the scriptures and a supporting quote from a general authority. Then the family would take time to discuss the importance of the verse, concept, or principle and discuss ways to apply it in real life. This discussion lasted for the first 5 to 10 minutes and then often led into other general family conversation at the dinner table.

Although my friend originally balked at the thought of doing two sets of family scripture study a day, she said that making the extra effort to make sure every family member was there during at least one session definitely benefited her family.

Maybe the double up solution could benefit your family too!

To see more of Scripturemom's family scripture study tips, click on the Scripture Tips link below.

Scripture of the Day: Ephesians 5:25

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's Official

- Yesterday I received my first ever royalty check for my book--so I can now officially claim to be a paid author. Yay for me!

- My spring veggie garden is also officially under way. The weather here is just gorgeous and I am enjoying having the doors and windows open during the days. I have planted some zucchini and cucumber and another bell pepper plant in the garden. And my lettuce and tomatoes are loving the springy temperatures. Today I will plant some green beans and maybe some other seeds I have on hand.

- My husband has officially found the grossest way to get Kitty (daughter #1's nickname) to take her amoxicillin pill: he dumps the powder on top of a Reese's Peanut Butter cup and feeds it to her. I don't know if I will ever be able to eat a Reese's again without thinking of this grossness.

- Speaking of not eating Reese's anymore, I am officially less than five pounds away from reaching goal at WW. 4.2 left to go. I am trying to get there by mid-April.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 93:40

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Language of Nephi (Part 1)

Following is a guest post by David Woolley, whose knowledge on ancient languages fascinates me. I appreciate him writing this series, which will continue once a week over the next month.

by David G. Woolley

What exactly was the Language of Nephi? A spoken tongue from an oral tradition? A written language? Did it adhere to the modern dictionary definition of a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs or was it something completely different? Was it like modern English or Spanish or French where each written letter represents a sound in the spoken tongue? Or was it more like the flowing, artistic Chinese logographic characters with no connection to the sound in the oral language? How was the Language of Nephi related to the reformed Egyptian characters Moroni tells us were passed down and altered over the centuries? (Mormon 9:32)

Nephi tells us he made his record in the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. What did he mean? He spoke Hebrew in Jerusalem's market place and over the dinner table with his brothers and sisters. He spoke it traveling the trade route across Arabia and in the New World. Despite the possibility that he may have learned one of the many dialects of the four major Mayan languages spoken across Meso America, he likely continued speaking Hebrew throughout the remainder of his life.

When Nephi mentioned the learning of the Jews in the opening verses of the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi 1:2) he was likely referring to all things Jewish. Religious observances and belief. The system of home and institutionalized education. Merchant trade. Theft. Perfumes. The Laws of Moses. Robber bands. Weaving. Music. The agricultural practices of olive, wine and grain. Robbery. Prophets. Architecture. Dancing. Blacksmithing. Bartering. Conspiracy. Prophecy. Carpentry. Sorcery. Milling. Baking. Corruption. Money changing. Taxation. Military tactics. Graft. Financial loans. The collection of debt. The fishing industry. Stone cutting. Government opression. Irrigation. Soothsaying. Reading. Writing. And arithmetic. In essence, the depth and breadth of Jewish ways. The learning of the Jews was what today we would likely call ancient Jewish culture.

Nephi grew up in Jerusalem. He observed the performances and ordinances of a people living under the rule of the Law of Moses. He understood their traditions. He celebrated the Passover and the harvest feasts. The metaphorical symbolism of their holy days was as natural to him as drinking water from Jerusalem’s ghion spring. Shepherds herding sheep were a common sight. Listening to temple priests reading the law from the steps of the temple was required religious education. He likely heard the shofar horns at the temple and knew the aroma of frankincense sold in the market. He'd felt the dry heat of a Jerusalem summer and the taste of oil olive cultivated and pressed in the surrounding vineyards. All of this was part of the learning of the Jews. And from those experiences he understood the metaphors and poetry of Isaiah. It isn't surprising that Nephi insisted that an intimate knowledge of all things Jewish was necessary to understand the writings of Isaiah (2 Nephi 25:5). He'd seen with his own eyes the things of the Jews. He understood the writings of the prophets in a way his Meso American children, unfamiliar with Jewish culture, could not. It was a carefull balancing act. Nephi wanted his children to understand Isaiah, but he was careful to hold back cultural knowledge he believed had the potential to introduce the sins that contributed to the destruction of the Jews. Nephi understood the need for cultural awareness in order to fully understand the writings of the prophets in the same way that Meso American linguist Sir Eric Thompson understood how best to interpret Mayan writings. According to Thompson the reader, "had to have a good background in mythology and folklore to understand the texts."

A number of Hebrew linguistic patterns have been identified in the translation the Book of Mormon text including the transliteration (the preservation of pronunciation of a word during translation) of Book of Mormon names from their original form into English. Mayan linguist Dr. David H. Kelley of the University of Calgary believes he's identified the first Hebrew words adopted into the Mayan dialect and preserved in the names of three of the twenty days making up a Mayan month. One of the day names on the Mayan calendar is k, pronounced k-eh, which means hand. The Mayan glyph used to communicate the name is the picture of a hand and it corresponds to the Hebrew letter k pronounced kaph which also means hand in Hebrew. The very next letter in the Hebrew alphabet is lamed and the next day on the Mayan calendar is lamat. The Mayan day immediately following lamat is mulu which means water and the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet after lamed just happens to be mem which also means water. It is a sequence of three Mayan days which correspond to three sequential letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

Despite this evidence and other influences of ancient Hebrew words and grammar on the Mayan language, there continues to be no evidence of Egyptian in any Mayan word or linguistic pattern. Or is there? Nephi thought in the conceptual framework of an Israelite from an authentically Jewish culture. He normally spoke and wrote in Hebrew and there is little doubt that he kept his records, at least conceptually, in Hebrew. So what did Nephi mean when he said he wrote his record in the language of the Egyptians? Centuries later Moroni essentially reaffirmed Nephi's statement when he wrote that, "we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech" (Mormon 9:32). It seems rather confusing unless you understand exactly what was meant by the Language of the Egyptians. Its a complex puzzle that researchers are finally unraveling and the and a more complete mosaic authentically places the Book of Mormon into its ancient New World setting.

Join us for Part II of this series, the Language of Nephi, when we take a closer look at the Language of the Egyptians and how it may have influenced Mayan writing like the glyphs you see pictured above which had their beginnings around 550 BC near the likely location of the City of Nephi. Today the ruins burried underground and pictured to the right (click to enlarge) are known as Kaminal Juyu and the language that disseminated from this location was the civilizing force that catapulted Mayan culture into the most advanced civilization of the ancient New World. Is it possible that the Language of Nephi influenced the only ancient American culture betwen Alaska and Tierra Del Fuego to develop a written language? Join us for our next logographic post as we decipher the Language of Nephi.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Year of Miracles #44

Last Thursday evening Steve and I stayed up late (to avoid traffic) to tow the van to the fix-it shop. At about 10:45 pm he hitched the van up to his Dad's old truck (borrowed) and we headed toward downtown Mesa. Kitty came along because she was having growing pains in her legs and couldn't sleep.

The towing part itself was uneventful. I am getting pretty experienced at it and good at making sure I don't rear end the towing vehicle. The miracle came when we all got in the truck to head home and it would not start. Yep, the battery needed to be jumped.

So I got out the trusty cell phone to try and find someone to come help and bring us some jumper cables at what was now 11:30 at night.

First call: answering machine

Second call: answering machine

Third call: answering machine

(Seriously, people of Mesa, what's up with not answering phones at night? It might be someone needing jumper cables.)

So finally I called my parents in Gilbert and my dad said he would come right down to help. But right then Steve found jumper cables hidden behind the seat--a very convenient coincidence. So we called back and told my dad not to bother coming, used the van to jump the truck, and headed home.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 131:2

Friday, February 20, 2009

Police Beat #29

Hope your Friday is Fantastic!

Feb. 17: A female student reported receiving an offensive phone call around 2 a.m. The victim didn't answer the call, but received a sexually oriented voicemail from a male claiming to be a student from the BYU booster club. She ignored the call and alerted police.

(Comment: Actually it turned out the call was from the BYU rooster club--a complimentary wake-up call service available to BYU students. This female student was late to her Spanish exam as a result of this misunderstanding.)

Feb. 16: A male stole a jacket from the BYU Bookstore on Feb. 9, but police were unable to locate him. The suspect returned to the bookstore on Feb. 16, wearing the stolen jacket, and once more left the store before police could find him.

(Comment: Maybe if the BYU police add a game or two of Hide and Seek to their training sessions they could find criminals like this.)

Feb. 16: Police received a report of a 40- to 50-year-old man walking around a parking lot north of Helaman Halls. The man was not doing anything wrong, but was "acting suspiciously". Police responded and discovered the man was waiting to get picked up.

(Comment: Yeah, it is every 40 to 50 year-old males' dream to be "picked up" by college co-eds. Hopefully BYU girls aren't that desperate.)

Feb. 12: Police received a report of a patron in the HBLL looking at pornography on a computer. Officers determined it was not child pornography and no action was taken.

(Comment: What?!? Adult pornography is okay to look at in HBLL? Not child porn, but adult porn. They ought to post a sign becuase I would bet a lot of students are confused about that.)

Feb. 16: A Wymount tenant alerted police of a suspicious man in a suspicious vehicle driving between Wymount laundry facilities. The man turned out to be a Wymount tenant who was looking for an open washer and dryer.

(Comment: It was probably better he didn't find an open washer. We all know what happens when a man tries to do the laundry.)

Scripture of the Day: Titus 2:4

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This place is crawling with Mormons!

So yesterday I put up my post about needing LDS people for a focus group. I also sent out a few e-mails to some friends and family. But you would have thought I put an ad in the Ensign, the Daily Universe, and the Church News for all the calls I got! And e-mail responses too! I had my quota of group members filled within a few hours this morning pretty much. Which is completely crazy. Recruiting for a focus group typically takes a week or two. Not one day.

Seriously, what is up with us Mormons being so well connected? It reminds me of that game we all play with each other at social gatherings.

"Oh, so do you know {fill in the blank with Brother so and so's name}?"

"Yes! He was my home teacher back in college."

"Really? He was my home teacher for a while, too."

"I'll bet he made you that yummy Oreo pie."

"YES! Oh, so delicious. And I have never been able to make it as good as him..."

Admit it. You've had that conversation with someone before. Probably several someones. I know I have.

In fact, I would be willing to be that someone out there probably recognizes a person in the random picture I found on the web of people leaving the conference center.

Does that make us weird? Is this what the scriptures meant by peculiar? Maybe...

But I have to admit this is one of the things I love about Mormon culture. If there is anything of praiseworthy or of good report {read easy way to earn $100}, we make sure our loved ones all know about it!

Scripture of the Day: Moroni 7:45

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Random Happenings in My Corner of the Universe

1. On Sunday I had a very pleasant surprise during ward conference: my favorite seminary teacher (currently on the stake high council) spoke to the adults during Gospel Doctrine. Brother Calton was my seminary teacher for two years for what was called the lunch bunch class (we took seminary during our lunch hour and were allowed to bring our meal to eat during class). Those were some of the best two years of high school for me and my testimony of the Gospel flourished from Brother Calton's teachings. And it was wonderful to be under his tutelage again on Sunday.

2. Patch complained recently that a girl at school was lucky--she got to get out of school early to go put her dog to sleep.

3. Despite several small "repairs" my van is still not working. The garage door is not functioning either. I am beginning to feel cursed.

4. Steve has really bad allergies. Spring is a hard time for him. When he mows a lawn he wears a gas mask to protect himself. But usually he still has problems. He had a really hard time sleeping last night.

5. Kitty is doing a book report for school on a biography of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in the U.S. I need to get a costume together for her to wear that looks like it is from Civil War era. I guess I will be hitting DI looking for pieces. The problem is her size... I don't know if I have ever even seen one in a girls' size 8/10.

6. My shoulder aches from sleeping on it wrong or something. But I don't want to take any ibuprofen because I have my weigh-in tomorrow and don't want the extra water weight it will cause. So I will suffer with it until after my weigh-in.

7. I biffed it in the parking lot of the grocery store on Valentine's Day evening (no comments on the lack of date night, please). I rode my bike to the store to pick up a few groceries and while leaving to come home my bike basket came loose and scattered groceries all over the place. I lost my balance, but was able to recover without injuring myself. But getting home with all the groceries safely was tricky.

8. I am working hard to get my manuscript parts off the the publisher this week. With all the pictures I drew for it (jpeg files)and the word files it can be tricky to make sure I get everything to them.

Scripture of the Day: Moroni 8:17

Monday, February 16, 2009

One Last Reminder...

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for my book!
You have until midnight tonight to leave a comment here.
Good luck!

Thanks much to Jia at Modern Molly Mormon!

Scriptures and Good Parenting

"In the future, infrequent family scripture study may be inadequate to arm our children with the virtue necessary to withstand the moral decay of the environment in which they will live. Where in the world will the children learn chastity, integrity, honesty, and basic human decency if not at home?

"These values will, of course, be reinforced at church, but parental teaching is more constant. In my opinion, the teaching, rearing, and training of children requires more intelligence, intuitive understanding, humility, strength, wisdom, spirituality, perseverance, and hard work than any other challenge we might have in life. This is especially so when moral foundations of honor and decency are eroding around us. To have successful homes, values must be taught, and there must be rules, there must be standards, and there must be absolutes...." (James E. Faust, "The Greatest Challenge In The World- Good Parenting", General Conference, October 1990; see Ensign, Nov 1990, p. 33)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 121:41-43

PS: Happy President's Day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Year of Miracles #43

What do you get when you try to tie this Art Masterpiece cave art painting...

(Lascaux cave painting, France)

...into a Valentine craft kindergartners can make within a 15 minute time period? Answer: My weekly miracle! On Thursday I learned from Sweetie Peach's class mom that their Valentine party was during my Art Masterpiece time and would I be able to turn it into a Valentine craft and then stay and help with the party? I said "yes" without first looking at the painting--and then about panicked when I saw it was a cave painting. "What do I do with that?" I asked myself.

I called and talked to my good friend Heather -- we are good at generating ideas together. Then I did a little research on the Internet. All I could think of was to use crumpled paper bag and then have the kids draw cave type figures on it. And maybe I could throw a catchy Valentine saying on it to try and make it fit the holiday. But still it did not seem quite right. Just wasn't working for me.

So I mentioned the problem in my prayer that night before bed. And during the night the idea came to me. My focus was all wrong! I should not focus on the cave painting part, but on the stick figure part. Cave artists usually used stick figures. I could show the kids how to draw stick figures and then make that into a Valentine.

So when morning came I pre-cut some hearts, found some pastel paper in my scrapbooking stash, and made a sample for the kids to see. Here is what Sweetie Peach's finished product looked like:

It went great, took the perfect amount of time, and was not too challenging for the kids to do. In fact, I think they enjoyed learning how to do stick figures. I was really grateful for inspiration that made the experience fun and enjoyable.

Scripture of the Day: Moses 6:58

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my book (click and scroll down) on Modern Molly Mormon this week! Today is the last day to enter.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Police Beat #28

A Special Valentine's Edition of the Police Beat!
(some of these are worthy repeats)

March 12: A male student posted fliers in female dorm halls asking for dates to satisfy a dating requirement for his marriage preparation class. The fliers not only violate BYU policy but were disturbing female residents. Police discovered that the student was not enrolled in that class and the professor he said he had has retired.

February 8. A suspicious red vehicle was reported in a parking lot near LaVell Edwards Stadium. Upon being questioned the couple sitting in the car claimed that they were just studying.

Nov. 6: Officers responded to a call concerning a disorderly person in the atrium of the HBLL. The subject at issue was wearing a red shirt, a scarf around his neck, a red mask around his eyes and holding several roses. He was holding a sign that read, "Ask me for ... A-Hug, A-Rose, A-Hand, A-Date, A-Nything else." When officers told him he wasn't allowed to solicit in this manner, he continued to argue and told them he wasn't going to stop. Officers then explained that he may be arrested for disorderly conduct but he said he had diplomatic immunity and could not be arrested. When officers told him that it is necessary to receive permission from the dean of student life to demonstrate on campus, he agreed to follow through with the dean and left the area.

March 24 between 7 and 8 p.m., a male suspect acted suspiciously toward a female student seated next to him at a fireside in the de Jong Concert Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center. He was described as a white male in a wheelchair, approximately 30 years old with dark brown hair, facial hair and pale skin.

March 15, a male student received four calls from a possibly female caller. She asked if he “would like to sleep with her,” then requested that he bring her flowers if he came. When he replied that he was going to call the police, the caller requested that he ask the police to bring flowers also.

On Jan. 23 at 8:55 p.m. a 35-year-old male non-student was arrested for forceful sexual abuse after he inappropriately touched a female police officer seated next to him at the International Cinema.

A 43-year-old visitor was assaulted at 8:10 p.m. on March 12 in the Marriott Center. The victim, who was attending the dance competitions, reported she was bending over to get a drink from the drinking fountain when something hit her on the back. When she stood up she noticed a sharp pain on her lower left side, and she reached back to find a metal object in her back. She tried to get the object out of her back, but had to receive assistance. The object turned out to be a long finishing nail stuck an inch and a half in her back. She was transported to the Utah Valley Medical Center for treatment. While she was being treated, she emphatically stated, “Don’t tell my husband about this!”

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

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 1:2

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my book on Modern Molly Mormon this week!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oatmeal-Peach Muffins

Yesterday for Achievement Days we frosted some sugar cookies for Valentine's Day. I had only one bite, but was still wanting a yummy baked item. So I decided to make these Hungry Girl oatmeal peach muffins instead of eating the cookies. I had printed this recipe a few months ago and had been wanting to make it; I always have a stack of "need to try recipes" it seems. The results of this one were delish, especially for only one WW point apiece.


1 1/4 cups regular oats (not quick or instant)

3/4 cup Bisquick Heart Smart baking mix (I used the low fat Pioneer brand)

1 cup skim milk (I used 1/2 cup 2% and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk)

1/2 cup Egg Beaters, Original

1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin

1 cup canned peaches in juice or water; drained & chopped

1/4 cup SPLENDA, Granular

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ALL ingredients in a large bowl and stir well. Spoon mixture into a 12-cup muffin tin sprayed well with nonstick cooking spray. Bake muffins for 20 minutes, or until muffins have puffed up and tops are firm and golden. Allow to cool before removing from muffin tin.

To read the exact nutrition stats on these muffins click here and scroll down.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 25:26

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my book on Modern Molly Mormon this week!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Touch of Human Kindness

Several years ago I was given a copy of a BYU education week address given/written by Elder Bruce C. Hafen and Sister Marie K. Hafen called "The Touch of Human Kindness: Women and the Moral Center of Gravity." I highly recommend you read it; it is excellent. This post summarizes some of the key points of the full article. But as a side note I can say I have personally met the Hafens, although they likely do not recall meeting me. As a BYU student I worked with the catering services and served them on many occasions. Once while manning a punch bowl the Hafens asked me a few questions about my experiences as a student. I found them to be very kind in all of my interactions with them.

"What is happening to us? We are now living through the biggest change in attitudes about family life in five centuries. An Atlantic Monthly writer believes today's massive family disintegration is part of what he calls "the Great Disruption," a wave of history as big as the shift from the age of agriculture to the Industrial Revolution some 200 years ago.2 And so today, many people are skeptical about the very idea of "belonging" to a family. After long seeing family bonds as valuable ties that bind, some now see those ties as sheer bondage.

"It feels like vast forces are eroding our foundations of personal peace, love, and human attachments. Whatever held family relationships together suddenly feels weaker now. At times it feels like a kind of ecological disaster, as if a vital organism somewhere in the environment is disappearing...

"Let's consider now four ways in which modern society has devalued that nurturing. Perhaps seeing more closely what we're losing will help us regain it..."

1. Motherhood:
"The critics who moved mothers from dependence to independence skipped the fertile middle ground of interdependence. Those who moved mothers from selflessness to selfishness skipped the fertile middle ground of self-chosen sacrifice that contributes to a woman's personal growth. Because of these excesses, debates about the value of motherhood have, ironically, caused the general society to discount not only mothers but women in general."

2. Sexual Behavior: "In the rush toward women's sexual liberation, we seem no longer to expect men to marry. So we've given up not only the double sexual standard but also the power of marriage to tame the male wanderlust. And the losers in this hasty bargaining were not men but women-and, even more so, children."

3. Marriage Bonds: "Our antimarriage culture now literally throws out our babies with the bath water of resentment toward the very idea of marital commitment. As you know, rates of divorce and illegitimacy have raged out of control for years. We live in "fatherless America," with a third of all children in this country now born out of wedlock, and over fifty percent of new marriages expected to end in divorce."

4. Nurturing Human Relationships: "If the adversary can convince LDS women to criticize each other rather than connect with and support each other, he wins the day by driving wedges into natural, womanly relationships of strength. Some of these wedges come from rigid women, who are too narrow in the degree of personal choice and diversity they will tolerate in other LDS women. At the other extreme, some wedges come from LDS women who dangle one foot in Zion and the other foot in Babylon, not wanting to be thought weird by their non-LDS friends."

Scripture of the Day: John 14:15

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2 a.m. Happenings

At 2 a.m. this morning Kitty came and climbed into bed with me. Or rather climbed over me to get into my bed. This is what happened after that:

Kitty: {sniffle, sniffle, snort, sniffle. (2 minutes later) A-Choo!}

Me: Kitty, maybe you should go blow your nose.

Kitty: In a few minutes.

(A few minutes later)

Kitty: {sniffle, snort, sniffle, sniffle, A-Choo!}

Me: Kitty, please go blow your nose. You are making a lot of noise and keeping me awake.

Kitty: {sniffle, sniffle, A-Choo!} Where are the Kleenexes?

Me: I don't have any right here. You will have to go get some from the bathroom.

Kitty: {Climbs over me to get out of the bed. She turns on the bathroom lights and then blows her nose. Comes back to bed by climbing over me again, leaving the bathroom lights on in the process.}

Me: {After trying for 15 minutes unsuccessfully to sleep by ignoring the bathroom lights being on, I get out of bed and turn the lights off.}

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 2:25

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my book on Modern Molly Mormon this week!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Guest Poster Child

Be sure to check out Modern Molly Mormon's interview with me today! They are also hosting a giveaway of my book you can participate in. Yay for giveaways!

Scriptures for Valentine's Day

I did not realize before compiling this list that most of the romantic scriptures are from the Old Testament. The roots of the House of Israel were hot blooded, I guess :-). Anywhoo, if you are looking for a scripture or two for Valentine's Day, here are my favorites:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ("Two are better than one...")
Ecclesiastes 9:9 ("Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest...")
Songs of Solomon 1:2 ("Let him kiss me...")
Ruth 1:16 ("Entreat me not to leave thee...")
1 Corinthians 11:11 ("Neither is the man without the woman...")
Ephesians 5:25 ("Husbands love your wives...")
D&C 42:45 ("Thou shalt live together in love...")
Moses 3:24 ("Therefore shall a man leave...")

Want a romantic scripture story? Try Isaac and Rebekah's.

BTW I also highly recommend Orson Scott Card's fictional adaptations of the wives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob called the Women of Genesis Series (Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel and Leah).

There is also a good Valentine's scripture chase activity on Sugardoodle here.

Scripture of the Day: 1 Nephi 8:37

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Year of Miracles #42

Yesterday my husband took the van out to run some errands. A short time later he called me to say he was not able to get the van to start (something was wrong with the ignition lock). When I arrived to pick him up I found him there with the van loaded onto a tow truck. While he was waiting for me, the tow truck drove up and unloaded another person's car. Before the tow truck left, my husband asked if he was free to tow our van home. Sure enough he was available.

I have to admit I did not initially like that this had occurred. The expense of it and the frustration of additional problems with the van bothered me. But the more I have thought about it, the more I realize that it was a blessing. This saved us the trouble of trying to: a.) work on the van while it was more than 8 miles from our home and tools; and/or b.) trying to tow the van home with our four-door sedan. Somehow I cannot envision the latter going well.

But I am continuing to pray for something to happen to take care of the van problem once and for all. A lightening strike would be good...

Scripture of the Day: Mark 10:7-9

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Romantic Movies

A few romantic movie recommendations for your upcoming Valentine's holiday. Too many romantic comedies are not clean enough for a really solid recommendation. But I feel very comfortable recommending these to you.

1. Last night I went to see New in Town, the new romantic comedy with Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. It was very cute--funny and charming. And clean, too. There were a few common swear words, but I would definitely recommend it. This may even be one I purchase for my chick flick collection.

2. I also recently watched an oldie but goodie called The Shop Around the Corner. This stars Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan and was the inspiration behind the movie You've Got Mail. Shop takes place in Hungary and Stewart and Sullavan play co-workers in a store who are also (unbeknownst to them) pen pals. You can watch the entire film on YouTube (although it is in ten minute segments; here is the first of the segments).

3. Another romantic oldie (also available in segments on YouTube--click here) is Adam's Rib. I adore Katharine Hepburn movies and this is a classic about a married couple who are lawyers arguing opposite sides of an attempted murder case. It was one of the first films to push for equality for women, including in marriage. It is a very funny movie; Hepburn and Tracy are great together. However, Adam's Rib is not quite as good to me as Hepburn's most famous romantic lead role in The Philadelphia Story. I recommend both very highly, though.

4. Of course I would be crazy not to recommend pretty much any and all of the Jane Austen books a la movies. I once took a film literacy course at BYU and ever since have loved seeing how books are translated into movies. I even like to compare different translations. For example, I love the more literal translation of the BBC Pride and Prejudice; however, the music and cinematography and the acting in the 2005 film version I love equally--just in a different way. One of my newest favs is the Sense and Sensibility that was part of "The Complete Jane Austen" series that aired last spring (watch it on YouTube here; warning, the opening scene is risque, but the rest of the film is clean).

5. Lastly, another more modern romantic (clean) movie I love is While You Were Sleeping. Sandra Bullock stars in a story that is not just about romantic love, but family love as well. If you watch this one, try to count how many times you see people falling down in the film.

If you have a clean romantic comedy to recommend, be sure to leave a comment so I can check it out!

Scripture of the Day: John 13:34

Friday, February 6, 2009

Police Beat #27

Time for another edition of Police Beat!

Jan. 27: A witness reported seeing two males yelling and shoving each other in the parking lot north of the JKB. The incident involved the driver of a car who had driven over the foot of a man on a motorcycle.

(Comment: Bet that guy re-thinks his dream of becoming one of H*ll's Angels!)

Jan. 28: A student discovered his snowboard, valued at $300, had been stolen from his car in a lot north of the Jesse Knight Building. The victim is unsure if the back of the truck was locked, and there were no signs of forced entry.

(Comment: Probably some MBA student used it for a little fun on the Tanner building stairs.)

Feb. 2: A suspicious man was reported entering the new OIT building on the west side of campus. Police responded and discovered the man was a subcontractor working on the heating system.

(Comment: Working on the heating system or carrying some "heat"? Were those BYU cops duped again?)

Feb. 2: A large male in a red hoodie entered the north side of the Wilkinson Student Center mumbling to himself and appeared to be intoxicated. Police searched the WSC but were unable to locate the man.

(Comment: Hmmm... large male... red hoodie... a Santa Clause siting at BYU!)

Feb. 1: Police received multiple complaints about a student dressed in an ape costume who was harassing students in the library atrium. The suspect received a warning and was told to leave.

(Comment: I see nothing wrong with offering starving college students bananas. I guess they just prefer junk food.)

Scripture of the Day: Matthew 18:10

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

London Snow

I love this picture! Actually, I think I just love London so seeing this picture warms my heart (a bit ironic with the cold snow, huh?). I stole it from a news site where there was an article about London getting shut down last weekend due to snow. It snowed only once while I was there on my mission, and I was there over two full winters. It was only an inch or so then and only stuck around for a day or so. But like all first snows of a season, it was magical and beautiful. It seemed to be a gentle reminder from Heavenly Father that His love is all around us.

Scripture of the Day: Malachi 4:5-6

Games People Play

Time for a new scripture tip: Make a game out of family scripture study!

Kids love to play games and find it easier to pay attention while playing. They have to pay attention if they want to win. So I suggest designating one or two days a week of your family scripture study as a "game day."

What games do you play? So glad you asked. Here are a few suggestions:

1. The Friend Magazine has a number of "Fun Stuff" game articles using scriptures to teach. Here, and here, and here are three examples. There is even one in the current issue using the Family Proclamation. We played this during FHE Monday night and the kiddos loved it.

2. Use a book of games. I saw The Big Book of Sacrament Time Activities recently at a church bookstore. Many of the games in it are scripture based and require looking things up in scriptures. There are several other books out there with games that would work just as well.

3. Play charades with scripture stories. Provide a few costumes and some reminder pictures from the Gospel Art Kit if needed to make things fun.

4. Stefany from Pikes Pickles recently sent me a .pdf file of a game called Scripture Taboo. I played it with my Achievement Days girls last week and they had a lot of fun. I would be happy to pass the file on if anyone is interested (leave me a comment with your e-mail address).

5. Make your own games. Play Hang-man using the name of someone you have been reading about recently in the scriptures. Make a crossword puzzle with this website using words from the scriptures. Play scripture chase. Or use scripture verses with words like "right," "left," "forward," "up," and "down" to make a treasure hunt.

Whatever games you decide to play, you will be a winner with your family!

Scripture of the Day: Ecclesiastes 9:9

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Great News!!

Great news to share with all of you: I just had an e-mail from my publisher that the manuscript I sent in a week and a half ago has been accepted for publication! I am so excited and grateful the work I put into it over the past year was good enough. I'd say a few fireworks seem appropriate right now :-)!

Now on to the rush of getting everything sent off to the publisher....

Party Pics

The cord to my camera went missing for a week, but now that I have found it I wanted to post some of the cute pictures from Sweetie Peach's party last week. The animals looked so cute. And I think the kids had a fun time. I know they especially loved it when the pinata fell but did not break open, so my DH took it up on the roof and threw the candy out for them to catch.

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 13:24

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thanks Jamie!

Jamie made this awesome blog button for me today! She is a lifesaver--I owe her big time.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Year of Miracles #41

This little miracle happened a few weeks ago...

The kids and I were riding our bikes around the neighborhood to expend some of the pent up Sunday energy. The weather had been a bit rainy and cool. It was so nice out and our ride was going well. Until we got about a mile from home, that is. Then Patch crashed on his bike. He was not seriously hurt, but the brake on the back tire was messed up and I could not figure out how to get it to stop clenching. The tire would not move, making it impossible to ride his bike.

We stood there for a few minutes while I contemplated what my next move should be. The rain was starting up again and we were gwtting a little bit too wet.

Then a car came down the street and pulled into the driveway of the house by which we were stranded. A nice man came to see what was the problem. I could pretty much tell he was just getting home from his ward (he had on a suit and carried a scripture tote; also there are four wards in our square mile, so I felt the likelihood he was a member was pretty high). After I explained the problem he offered to take the bike home for us in the back of his car while I rode home with the rest of the kids.

So he and his wife loaded up Patch's bike (and Patch, so he could direct them) and I took off home with the girls. I was really grateful to have help so quickly and appreciated the service that nice couple rendered.

New Month, New Theme

I am excited it is February. I love all the spring-y pinks and reds and whites that make this month so fun. To go along with Valentines Day, the theme this month is "Love at Home." I made this advent calendar of a home (pic above was before I added the numbers for the flaps). You lift up flaps on the windows, garage door, front door, etc. to read scriptures that go along with the theme. We have already been testing it for several weeks and the kids are enjoying it, so I think this one is a success.

Scripture of the Day: Genesis 18:19