Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #19

Hope your weekend is going great!
Don't forget to take part in the LDS Book Reader Survey--tell your friends about it too!

Scripture of the Day: Moses 4:22

Friday, February 26, 2010

LDS Book Readers Survey

Please take a minute of your time to participate in the LDS Book Readers Survey. It is only 8 questions long and the results will be openly shared on this blog in a few weeks. Thanks for your time and assistance!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Need to Laugh

I need to smile, to laugh, to ROFL today. So here are a few things that tickle my funny bone. If they make you laugh too, then I have more than done my duty today!

Scripture of the Day: 1 Corinthians 7:3

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Last night I tried using the newly designed First Presidency message in the Ensign for Family Home Evening and it worked quite well. If you have not noticed, this year the Ensign received an updated layout with some helpful additions. In the First Presidency Message article they have included a section for youth as well as for children (so far it has been activities for them to do).

With Patch now at age 12 and the girls being younger (9 and 7) I am trying to include little bits of age appropriate things for each of them. I started by reading a quote from the lesson, asked a few questions, and then we went through each of the youth and kids sections. The lesson held their attention and even evoked a few questions. So the overall verdict: definitely worth repeating. Kudos to the staff at the Ensign.

For those of you familiar with the intro to Family Home Evening Adventures and my yearly FHE planning style (I blogged about it here), this will be one of the weekly lessons of the month this year for the Irvine family.

Scripture of the Day: The Family Proclamation, paragraph 7

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Photo of Joseph Smith

I received this e-mail today and thought I would share because it was so amazing. Personally I think he is handsomer than the artistic renditions have depicted. What do you think? Do you think it is real?

The Reorganized LDS Church or Community of Christ Church only recently uncovered it in their archives and asked our church to help authenticate it. The Church has stated that it is "almost certainly authentic." All existing "photos" of the Prophet Joseph Smith are artist conceptions, most
of which were taken from models made from the death mask after the Prophet Joseph had died.

This photo is reportedly taken of him at the time of his incarceration in the Liberty Jail. The article in the Meridian says the Church has actually had the photo for a couple of years working on its authentication.

The LDS Church is not authenticating this picture, but they are fairly sure that this is a true picture of Joseph Smith around the time that he was going to or released from Liberty Jail. It may be the only reported daguerreotype ever made of the Prophet and was buried in the archives of the RLDS Church until they recently found it and released it.

**Update: Read this blog post for more info about this picture.**

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #18

Have a fabulous weekend!

Scripture of the day: D&C 25:5

Friday, February 19, 2010

I am working on it...

"Procrastination may seem the easy way, as it momentarily removes the effort required to accomplish something of value. Ironically, in time, procrastination produces a heavy burden laced with guilt and a hollow lack of satisfaction. Temporal and, even more importantly, spiritual goals will not be achieved by procrastination."

--Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, "Do It Now", Ensign, Nov 2007, 49–51

Scripture of the Day: Eph. 5:22-23

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cowboy Caviar

Tonight I am headed to a baby shower for a good friend and am taking this yummy dish: cowboy caviar. I love munching on this stuff; other than the tortilla chips you eat it with, it is really tasty. You can find numerous recipes for this online, but this is how I make it:


1 15 oz can of pinto beans, rinsed
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1.5 C. frozen corn
1 C. finely diced bell pepper
1/2 C. diced green or red onion
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 ripe avacado, diced
Cilantro to taste
juice of 1 lime
Italian dressing to taste (about 1 cup)

Other optional ingredients other recipes use: black-eyed peas, northern beans, olives, jalepenos.

All you do is mix everything together and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two to let the flavors marry. Serve with tortilla chips or as part of a salad on a bed of lettuce. I am so looking forward to this baby shower!!

Scripture of the Day: Ephesians 5:25

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Dates with Paul

For the past several months I have been rereading the New Testament. Currently, I am deep into Paul's letters and have begun referring to my scripture study time as my daily "date with Paul." I am coming to appreciate more fully Paul's personality, experiences, travels, and writings. To help my studying I have been doing a little secondary research into Paul's life and thought I would share a few findings.

Here is what the Bible Dictionary says about Paul, "[Paul] was known in early life as Saul; his Latin name Paul is first mentioned at the beginning of his gentile ministry.

"He belonged to Tarsus, in Cilicia; was a Pharisee and a pupil of Gamaliel; was active in the persecution of Christians; and took part in the martyrdom of Stephen.

"He started for Damascus for the purpose of further persecution and on the road saw a vision of the Lord Jesus, which changed the whole current of his life. After his baptism by Ananias, he retired into Arabia, and then returned to Damascus, where he preached. Being compelled to flee, about three years after his conversion he went to Jerusalem, where he stayed 15 days, Barnabas introducing him to Peter and James. Being in danger, he retired to Tarsus and there remained six or seven years, preaching in Syria and Cilicia. He was then brought by Barnabas to Antioch, and after one year paid a visit to Jerusalem. After two more years’ work in Antioch, he started with Barnabas and Mark on his first missionary journey. Then came another visit to Jerusalem with Barnabas to attend a conference with the other apostles, after which they returned to Antioch. He then started on his second missionary journey, which lasted about three years, and ended with a visit to Jerusalem. After a short stay in Antioch, Paul began his third journey, which occupied about 3 1/2 years. On his return to Jerusalem he was arrested and sent to Caesarea, where he remained a prisoner for two years, and was then sent for trial to Rome, suffering shipwreck on the way. He remained in Rome two years and was then released. He then appears to have visited Asia, Macedonia, Crete, and perhaps Spain. At the end of about four years he was again taken a prisoner to Rome, and suffered martyrdom, probably in the spring of A.D. 65."

A physical description was provided by the Prophet Joseph Smith, as recorded by B.H. Roberts, "He is about five feet high; very dark hair; dark complexion; dark skin; large Roman nose; sharp face; small black eyes, penetrating as eternity; round shoulders; a whining voice, except when elevated, and then it almost resembled the roaring of a lion. He was a good orator, active and diligent, always employing himself in doing good to his fellowman." (B. H. Roberts, Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, p.86).

In fact, "Paulus" in Latin means 'small.'

And speaking of the Prophet Joseph Smith, I found this really interesting observation on this blog, "I believe that Joseph Smith had a personal and deep relationship with Paul. Their lives are parallel. Converted through seeing the Lord, chosen to be a great church leader in building the Church, persecuted, imprisoned, and martyred."

If you haven't read the New Testament lately, don't overlook the value of this book of scripture. There is so much to be learned and appreciated in it, much due to Paul.

Would you like me to set him up with you?

Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 13:4

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Last Friday night Steve and I finally bought a van. We found a fabulous deal on a Honda Odyssey that has a ton of optional extras and only 19,000 miles. To be honest, I can hardly believe we own this van. For those of you who may not have been reading my blog for long, I have been trying to get my DH to buy a new vehicle for several years. It has been such a long, frustrating trial. Here is a brief time line of the van drama:

2003 - We purchased our Grand Caravan (used)

2004 - Started having regular problems with the engine

2005 - Had a terrible overheating experience on a trip to California. Although it was repaired, the engine was never the same after this and there remained thereafter a constant dinging sound whenever idling. I started making $250 pretend car payments to a savings account as a way to save for a replacement vehicle.

2006 - Had $1000+ in repairs

2007 - Had $1000+ in repairs

2008 - Had $1000+ in repairs

2009 - Van stopped working in late spring. I put my foot down and refused to let my husband get it fixed.

Honestly, the purchase of the Odyssey has been a real answer to prayer for me. I admit I was not all that patient during this trial, but I am extremely grateful to the Lord for His blessings. I had wanted an Odyssey more than any other vehicle, but for 99% of the time we looked at cars we were not looking at Odysseys (or even Hondas) because we did not think we could afford one. Additionally, this van is in my favorite color (navy blue) and is nicer than anything we would have ever thought we could get. So, in a way, I can tell that the desires of my heart were known and my prayers were answered.

Scripture of the Day: 1 Peter 3:7

Monday, February 15, 2010

Washington's Wisdom

In honor of president's Day I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes from George Washington. He was an eloquent man with a brilliant mind. I even have his portrait hanging in my bedroom because he impresses me so much. No other man could have been our first president!

"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."


"Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."


"Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse."


"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."


“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Scripture of the Day: Gen. 2:18, 24

PS, today I posted on ANWA as well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #17

Had this problem before? I have.

Have a great Valentine's Day weekend!

Scripture of the Day: 4 Nephi 1:11

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine Loves and Hates

LOVE: Pinks, reds, whites, and lavenders--the colors of Valentine's Day. After all the black-colored winter clothing it is always so refreshing to see springy colors in the stores.

HATE: Candy overload associated with V-Day. My kids think it is a free-for-all!

LOVE: Visiting the holiday aisle at the store and seeing all the decorations, boxes of Valentines, candies, and other fun stuff. I could spend 30 minutes there every time I visit the store!

HATE: That Easter stuff is already out and Valentine's Day is not over yet. In fact, yesterday I went to buy conversation hearts at the grocery store and they had none. But they had a million Cadbury eggs out! Not cool!

LOVE: Treating my family to a little Valentine's Day treat each day. I have a little heart-shaped envelope for each of them on the family room wall and I put stickers, a lollipop, cards, and other fun items in each day of the week leading up to Valentine's Day. As soon as they get home from school they run to see what is there.

HATE: That my DH is not a fan of V-Day. He usually goes out at midnight the night before to find my some flowers at the local grocery store. And we might go to dinner (like Arby's). But that's about it. :-(

LOVE: Being able to share feelings of love and friendship with others during this chilly time of year. It is a great way to warm up the heart!

Scripture of the Day: Moses 3:21-24

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentines Night

Tonight the girls and I put together their Valentines. Usually we do it the night before their class party, which would be tomorrow night; however, ward temple night is tomorrow, so we got busy a night early. This is always a fun time we spend together!

This year Sweetie Peach opted for Hello Kitty store-bought Valentines. I picked up some Laffy Taffy candies to go with them. We had to punch holes and tie the candy and cards together with ribbon because the tape did not do a good enough job holding them together. It wasn't too hard. And there were exactly three candies left over for the kids to enjoy (score!).

Kitty, on the other hand, has been wanting to make these cell phone Valentines for two years (we originally saw them in the Family Fun magazine). We were unable to find the button candies last year. But during the year we noticed they are sold at Cracker Barrel restaurants in the classic candy section. So a few weeks ago I picked up a package. Then today I stopped at the scrapbook store to buy silver metallic paper. We have them put together most of the way, but since there are 28 kids in her class the process is taking a bit longer. We should be able to finish them pretty quick tomorrow, though.

What are your kids doing for Valentines this year?

Do you prefer store-bought ones, or handmade ones?

Scripture of the Day: D&C 49:15

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Benefits of Age

Tonight I am at work. I just finished moderating a focus group composed of teens. And it was so painful!! There were nine of them, but the group just did not gel. I would ask question after question and they would sit there, afraid to speak, to express themselves. Even now, as they are waiting for their parents to finish up in another group, they are all sitting there not talking to each other.

It was so painful to deal with that it took me right back to high school. I can remember feeling that uncomfortable often back then. Once I asked a friend from church to take me with her to a neighboring school's football game. This friend was pretty and popular. She was active in student council and had many friends. At the game she flitted from friend to friend while I sat there not knowing what to say to anyone and feeling extremely insecure.

Let me just say that tonight I am glad not to be in high school anymore. I am so glad to know who I am, feel good about what I have become and the choices that I have made. That it is easy to sit next to someone I have never met before and talk, express opinions, and try to get to know them.

Age has its benefits!

Scripture of the Day: Matt 25:10

Monday, February 8, 2010


Did you enjoy watching Emma? Here is a clip that was cut from the Masterpiece Theater showing last night. I am not sure why because I think it is one of the best scenes. Plus, there was about five minutes of commercials after the screening was over last night. I would have rather watched this scene than the ads. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #16

I don't usually get political on my blog, but this was too humorous to pass up.

Have a great weekend!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 131:2

Friday, February 5, 2010

Double Duty

I love it when I find something that can help me multi-task. And yesterday I found a book that does just that. How Does the Holy Ghost Make Me Feel? (Carnesecca, Deseret Book 2010) is a cute children's book with a very practical side. In a simple manner it tells of the many different ways the Holy Ghost can make us feel, and then also provides scriptural references on each page.

Last night Sweetie Peach read the book (with a little help from me on a few different words) and really enjoyed it. She particularly liked the illustrations. I loved that she was learning eternal concepts while enjoying herself.

I also love the scriptural references because (you know me...) next month I will use the book for our morning scripture devotional and we will work through each different reference in the book. There are more than enough for the month, so it will be an easy-peasy task!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 132:15-16

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A new pet

I ran out of time to post yesterday. Work ran late and then after dinner I took the girls to run errands. I got a lot done, except for posting. Which is too bad, because I needed to tell about out new "pet."

Steve was out changing the oil on the car in the night (he is such a night owl). He was doing it on the driveway (because for some strange reason the previous owners of this house carpeted the garage) when at one point he looked over and saw a large mouse on the lawn. Using a bowl, Steve caught the mouse and put it in an old terrarium we had sitting in the garage. He gave it a few pretzels and some water and then placed it on the back porch.

On the terrarium he taped a sign that reads:

"Don't Touch! I Bite!" (with a picture of a skull and crossbones)

Of course the kids think this new "pet" is super cool. They have shown it to all the neighborhood kids and have been proposing names for it.

But I think it is awful. What if we have mice in our house somewhere? What if the kids get bit? Who is going to take care of this germ-infested creature?

As you can tell, pets (in general) are not my forte. What should I do?

Scripture of the Day: Luke 20:34-35

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Look Around You

Many times while writing this blog I struggle with knowing what to write. Honestly, I think I live a pretty boring life. I like to go to bed early, I rarely go out, and that leaves little to post about.

Today, however, I read on LDS Publisher the following quote, which made me think.

"Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day.
The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them.
Most people don't see any."
—Orson Scott Card

I am not seeing enough.

So, I decided to look around my office to find something to write about. And I did.

In our home office I have hung up my degrees, as well as Steve's. Steve and I both worked hard to graduate with Bachelor and Master's degrees. He at ASU, myself at BYU. We started dating about the time we were going to graduate school and had to lead a long-distance relationship for six months while doing so. I was glad to be able to finish my thesis courses in Arizona so we could get married. But now I am straying from my topic.

The four framed certificates figure prominently on one of the office walls. Inspecting the certificates closely reveals a lot about where we went, who we are, and our general backgrounds. But one of the most interesting things are the signatures on the certificates.

Steve's degrees are both signed by (among others) Fife Symington. Who is Fife Symington? He is a former Governor of Arizona. Here is what Wikipedia says: "Symington was indicted on charges of extortion, making false financial statements, and of bank fraud. He was convicted of bank fraud in 1997. As Arizona state law does not allow convicted felons to hold office, Symington resigned his office on September 5, 1997." Symington was not all bad, but the conviction is a black mark on his record; he was later pardoned by President Clinton.

My degrees are signed by contrastingly different people:

  • Ezra Taft Benson (former US Secretary of Agriculture, prophet of LDS church for 10+ years)
  • Rex E. Lee (former BYU president, man who has argued in front of the Supreme Court more than any other person)
  • Gordon B. Hinckley (former LDS church president)
  • Merrill J. Bateman (Emeritus general authority of the LDS church, former General Sunday School President, president of BYU 1996-2003)

These signatures tell a wonderful story about BYU. This institution is led by some of the greatest leaders of our time. Although it is not a perfect place (certainly not going to be lifted up to heaven any time soon), I am so proud to have such men endorse my education. I loved my time at BYU and will always hold a corner of my heart in reserve for the way my life was positively impacted and blessed by these good men.

I hope I can live up to legacy they have given me. And pay attention enough to the world around me to see the stories worth telling.

Scripture of the Day: Matt. 22:4

Monday, February 1, 2010

Come see me!

Today I am posting over at ANWA--it's a true story that wrapped up last night. I think you will enjoy it. Come see me and leave me a comment!

Have a great Monday!

PS, I will post February's new theme later today.