Monday, November 14, 2011

Congratulations Sue

Thanks to all who participated in the November Giveaway Hop. According to, the winner of the giftcard (from comment #7):


I will be e-mailing the giftcard to you shortly Sue. Have fun shopping!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the November Giveaway Hop! 
A big thank you to Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Tristi Pinkston for co-hosting this hop!

There are over 400 blogs each signed up to host a giveaway.  This hop runs from November 8 - 11.

The winner of the giveaway on my site will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon! Use it to buy one of my two books (Adventures with the Word of God or Family Home Evening Adventures), or anything else you like.

To enter:

1. Follow this blog
2. Like my author page on Facebook (here)
3. And leave me a comment about one of the topics in either of my books that interests you most (click on linked titles below to read more about my books - see under book description for some topics listed):

Good luck!

Scripture of the Day: Psalms 75:1

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Winners

I hope everyone had a great Halloween - I know our family did. Below are some pictures of our Hallowee-related activities.

But first, according to, the winner of the Amazon giftcard for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is

Congratulations, Mo! I will be e-mailing the giftcard to you shortly! Thanks to all those who participated in the hop.

Here are the kids in their costumes: Patch is mustard (again - 4 years in a row now, I think), Kitty is a Greek goddess and Sweetie Peach is Alice in Wonderland. Thanks to my mom for buying the costumes for the girls this year (she spoils us)!

Sweetie Peach and her jack-o-lantern.

At the neighborhood pre-trick-or-treating block party.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! A big thank you to Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Rhianna from Diary of a Bookworm for co-hosting this hop!

There are over 400 blogs each signed up to host a giveaway.  This hop runs from October 24 - 31.

The winner of the giveaway on my site will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon! Use it to buy one of my two books (Adventures with the Word of God or Family Home Evening Adventures), or anything else you like.

To enter:

1. Follow this blog
2. Like my author page on Facebook (here)
3. And leave me a comment about one of the topics in either of my books that interests you most (click on linked titles below to read more about my books - see under book description for some topics listed):

Good luck!

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 3:19

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Head is Under Water

Yep. I am buried over here. I am working on a big research report about black and earl grey teas (yuck!). So far the powerpoint report is over 500 slides long. And I would not be surprised if it needed a few hundred more. So, although I did not intend to take a blog break, please forgive me as I take a few more days to get this report wrapped up. If it weren't for fall break and the kids out of school I might have been able to finish it faster, but spending a little time with them on their holiday is more important than a yucky tea report. So, please bear with me.

See ya soon!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Book Review: Not My Type

A few months ago I reviewed Melanie Jacobson's book The List (which I adored - read my review here). And as soon as her newest book, Not My Type, was released a month ago I bought the e-version to read. And I have to say Jacobson has real talent. I love her wit and humor, her character development (especially the dad in this book), and her use of thank you notes as a literary device. Such great work! So great I have already read this book several times and have been referring to it (more like dissecting it) as I try to improve my own writing skills. I can't wait for Jacobson's next book!

From the back of the book: Twenty-three-year-old Pepper Spicer is not living the dream. She ended her engagement at the last minute because her fiancĂ© — a musician and soon-to-be reality TV star — wanted her to sacrifice her own career ambitions for his.

Now she's stuck at home sharing a room with her little sister, trying to pay off massive debt for a wedding that didn't happen, and spending Friday nights Facebook-stalking everyone who has a better life. Her therapist father urges her to choose her career dreams and count her blessings by writing weekly thank you notes, but gratitude is a tall order when she botches an important job interview and has to settle for writing an undercover dating web-zine column — the last thing in the world she wants to do. Still, as Pepper (byline: Indie Girl) chronicles her bizarre and hilarious blind dates, she gives her father's challenge a try and slowly finds herself leaving self-pity behind. Life takes a major upswing as Pepper's column hits the big time and she tastes the exhilarating thrill of success. But there's one tiny problem: the intensely hot man she's falling for is having issues with her job (again). Will Pepper trade her personal ambition for another chance at love?

Read the first chapter of Not My Type here.

Read additional reviews on Goodreads here.

Scripture of the Day: Psalms 37:8

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ask the Editor #4

This episode of Ask the Editor tells about some of the new words included in the 2011 version of the dictionary. I was surprised to hear cougar (as an older woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man) was only added this year. And there were a few others I had never even heard of before. As always, these videos help me learn something new!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 5:46

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dear Wal-Mart,

I know we have not had the perfect relationship over the years, but I wanted to take a minute to thank you for what happened this past week. I will be the first to admit it - I am truly thankful for the Wal-Mart employee who found and turned in the iPad my DH left in the cart last Thursday night. By the time I realized the iPad was not to be found (late Friday night), my DH (at that point it stood for dog house rather than darling husband) was gone camping and had not taken his cell phone. So by the time he returned home Saturday afternoon and realized he had left it at your store, we were almost certain the iPad was a gonner.

My hopes were raised when the Mobile Me app couldn't find it - I began to reason it must be in a safe at the store if the homing device was being blocked. Maybe it was me wishful thinking - I mean, I truly and desperately did not want to tell my mother the iPad she had gifted me was already missing. But when the weekend manager was not able to contact the head manager and give a definitive answer about the iPad, and the Mobile Me app wasn't tracking it all weekend, I have to admit my hopes grew.

Sorry to drone on like this. Really, I just want to say I could have kissed the feet of that manager when she called this morning. Only, being on the phone and all, I couldn't see her feet. And when I got to the store to pick it up and saw the dirty floor in there, I just decided to go with a handshake and a gushing "thank you."

Although I have doubted at times, there are really a few good points about shopping at Wal-Mart.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Too Much Change

So, is anyone out there liking the new Blogger interface? I tried it for a week and found I preferred the old version. And I thought the new version looked too sterile or boring. I miss the blue and find the orange kind of meh. If you like it, please share what you like. Maybe I am missing something.

And then there are the facebook changes, which I am not hip on either. I do like the idea of video chat options--totally nice. But the news story concept is just not needed. Facebook people are totally messing with a good thing. And they are making changes every month it seems. Are they not aware that some people out there need time to adapt to change? Not everyone is as high tech as Mark Zuckerberg.

Scripture of the Day: Revelations 1:4

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book review: Minor Adjustments

Minor Adjustments is Rachael Renee Anderson's third book. I loved her first two (Divinely Designed and Luck of the Draw), so I was excited when this new book was released recently and downloaded it on my eReader right away.

Although Minor Adjustments has a fun romantic element to its plot, similar to Anderson's first two novels, it is different in that it tackles the serious topic of child custody. This marks new territory for Anderson and shows she has the depth of talent for thought-provoking literature.

One thing I especially liked about Minor Adjustments was that the plot did not take the hard challenges facing the characters and then provide them with an easy out. The long distance relationship and custody battle were not wrapped up simply; the decisions made by the main characters were complicated and emotional. I found myself wondering what I would do if I were faced with such a situation. And although I questioned an unethical decision made, I honestly could not say I would have not considered that option myself if I had been walking in their shoes. (Probably I am getting a touch too ambiguous now... sorry! I don;t want to give away too much.)

Needless to say, this was an enjoyable book. I am very interested to see what Anderson comes up with next.

Amazon's product description: Chicago businessman and bachelor Devon Pierce doesn't want to be appointed guardian of Australian four-year-old Ryan Caldwell - but Ryan's solicitor, Stella Walker, won't take no for an answer. Little does Devon know that this "minor" adjustment will grant him a future he never expected to have. Told in a fast-paced, poignant, and witty style, Minor Adjustments will take you on a journey filled with humor, growth, romance, and love.

Watch the Minor Adjustments book trailer here.

Read additional reviews on Goodreads here.

Scripture of the Day: 1 Cor. 12:3

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Top 10 Things I Did This Weekend

In no particular order...

1. Watched Project Runway - (pretty boy won again; not sure how I feel about that.)

2. Went to the temple - a definite highlight

3. Supported an eagle scout project (now if I could get Patch to work on his!)

4. Took my girls and four other neighborhood kids on a slushy run to Sonic. (Kitty called me the best mom ever for doing this.)

5. Had my annual fold-laundry-while-watching-You've Got Mail fall celebration - and now I am totally in the mood for fall weather!

6. Made French Puffs for the kids for breakfast. (See recipe here.)

7. Went for a walk Saturday morning and enjoyed a nice breeze.

8. Read a novel by Marcia Lynn McClure -a short, but sweet, one.

9. Worked on the outline and background materials of a new novel I had an idea for (not sure if this will ever go anywhere).

10. Did not have a fight with my DH even though he was majorly in the wrong!

Scripture of the Day: John 16:13

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ask the Editor #3

My DH kinda got me hooked on these Merriam-Webster Ask the Editor videos. I have learned something from every one I have watched, and have even begun using some of this new-found knowledge in my writing. So, I thought I would start sharing some of them with you. Enjoy!

This installment is about adding slang to the dictionary, which is something many complain about. I have even questioned this practice. But I do like the added sense of history we get when we keep track of slang word over the course of time. What do you think?

Scripture of the Day: Matt. 7:7

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review: Jane Austen Ruined My Life

My friend Mary recently watched an episode of Hoarders, which ultimately resulted in my inheritance of three boxes of books. After taking several days to sort them into three piles, I now I have a good supply of "to read" books on my list. And Jane Austen Ruined My Life was one of them. {Thanks, Mary!}

Written by Beth Patillo, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is one of three similar books about smart, modern-day women who are obsessed with Austen books and characters. I have read two of them now, and prefer the first one I read (Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart, which I will review for you soon). The most recent one, The Dashwood Sisters Tell All, came out in April of this year and was not in Mary's treasure trove. And I am not sure I will buy it. "Why," you ask? Because, although I liked Jane Austen, I did not love it. I found myself skimming rather than reading, and have little desire to reread sections of it.

My main issue with this book is the ending. ***WARNING: Skip the rest of this paragraph if you want to keep the end of the book a secret.*** The main character cries early on when thinking about her broken marriage and her unfulfilled dream of having children. But in the end, instead of commitment and the life she has dreamed of, she chooses another road. I am probably giving away too much of the ending here, so I won't say anything more--but this did not make sense to me.

To be honest, the cover of this book is great. I love the photograph, the red dress in particular, and the contrasting font color in the title. The cover alone sucked me into reading this book.

From the back of the book: English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should -- a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn't as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated.

Read additional reviews on Goodreads here. Jenny has a review there, too.

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 29:18

Friday, September 9, 2011

Catching Up

I thought I would share a little about what I have been up to lately in this post. But first things first: thanks to all those who left a comment for the giveaway. The winner (according to is:

Congratulations and happy shopping!

Okay, now back to what I have been up to lately.

First of all, teaching seems to be going well this semester. I have three classes all back to back in the middle of the day. Perfect for me because it is while the kids are at school. The students are fun as usual, although I have one with restless leg syndrome who keeps standing up during class. This drives me nuts, but I don't know what to say. I did tell him he has to stand at the back of the room so he isn't blocking anyone's view. But otherwise I am at a loss. Any advice? Please?

My writing has been slow as a result of work hours. Plus I had to finish a required online course for work (so glad that is done now). And then Primary has been somewhat busy, too. I really need to nail down a set time to do my writing. I miss it and have things buzzing in my mind that want to get out and about. I did get another article accepted by Mormon Times yesterday, so that will be coming out soon. But, on the down side, I also had a manuscript turned down recently. I think I am getting more used to rejection though as I did not take this one too hard.

Patch has hit the teen scene harder lately. Attitude-wise, I mean. After a few experiences I won't detail here (I am sure he would prefer to avoid that embarrassment) I realized it was time to shift gears with him and back off a little. He is needing his autonomy more and more as he gets older. And it seems it is time for him to take it to a new level. Not that I am ready for him to do that (would I ever be?)--just that he is ready for it.

I read two great books this week and am looking forward to doing reviews of them on my blog here in the next few weeks. I am beginning to be convinced that there are some really great new fiction writers emerging on the scene. And I kinda wish I was one of them (my green-eyed monster is showing a bit now).

And lastly, I saw these were going up for auction soon in New York. I'll take one of each, please...

Scripture of the Day: Deut. 8:3

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop! A big thank you to Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Heather from Buried in Books for co-hosting this hop!

There are 300 blogs each signed up to host a giveaway.  This hop runs from September 1st to 7th.

The winner of the giveaway on my site will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon! Use it to buy one of my two books (Adventures with the Word of God or Family Home Evening Adventures), or anything else you like.

To enter:

1. Follow this blog
2. Like my author page on Facebook (here)
3. And leave me a comment about one of the chapter topics in either of my books that interests you most (click on linked titles below to read more about my books - see under book description for some chapter topics listed):

Good luck!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 68:25-28

Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: Matched

I recently hosted a book club meeting where we discussed Ally Condie's book Matched. I had bought an ebook version of this while in Yellowstone this past summer - we were staying in Snow Lodge and had a wonderful time relaxing, enjoying nature, and reading (of course). I finished this book in a day or two because is was imaginative and had a quick moving plot. What was particularly interesting was Condie's ability to take good ideas and turn them bad through the use of extremism and a dysfunctional society (qualifying this book to be part of a new genre called 'dystopian'). I look forward to the upcoming two books of this trilogy.

From the back of the book: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Read additional reviews of Matched on Goodreads here.

A few other books by Ally Condie include: Freshman for President
Crossed (second book in the Matched trilogy)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Check It Out

Here is a link to the latest article I have had published by the Deseret News. Enjoy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Smile for Your Weekend

I majored in advertising in college, so I love to look at funny ads. Here are a few fun print ads (taken from here) that made me smile. Enjoy!

Tires That Grip the Road

Cafe Rico, an Intense Wake-Up Call

Rowenta: 2100 Watt Vacuum Cleaner

Folgers: For Mornings Less Complicated

Duende Azul Costumes

Never Let Their Toys Die

Scripture of the Day: Mormon 8:23

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ask The Editor #2

My DH kinda got me hooked on these Merriam-Webster Ask the Editor videos. I have learned something from every one I have watched, and have even begun using some of this new-found knowledge in my writing. So, I thought I would start sharing some of them with you. Enjoy!

This installment is about ending sentences with prepositions, a problem we all worry about :-). I love the quote attributed to Winston Churchill at the end!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 26:1

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review: The List

Some of you may recall that The List by Melanie Jacobson was on my list of books to read for the summer. I bought the Kindle version to read on my iPad and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I would have to say this is the best LDS romance I have read in a while! (I confess I have already read it three times, it was that good.) And i am so looking forward to Jacobson's new book being released next month.

But back to The List - I was impressed with the dialogue. I read on Jacobson's blog that she is a fan of Gilmore Girls, which I love as well. If you love quick witted, fun banter, then this book will impress you. And the use of IM-ing was a nice touch, as well.

The main character in The List, Ashley Barrett, was a more complex character that I typically find in LDS romance. She was very well rounded and was motivated by factors many relate to. As for the male lead, Matt Gibson, I loved his grand gesture to win over Ashley's heart (a la Pride and Prejudice).

From the back of the book: Ashley Barrett doesn’t want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn’t care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college—the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that’s why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals—from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi—she’ll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master’s degree). But when Matt decides he doesn’t like the "leaving" part, Ashley’s carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down—or might set her free?

Read additional reviews of The List on Goodreads here.

Also by Melanie Jacobson: Not My Type

Scripture of the Day:  Mosiah 13:11

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Preparing LDS teens for seminary

Hi all! Here is the link to my latest article picked up by Deseret News. And a huge thank you to my friend Lori for contributing - she was a lifesaver!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hate that Autocorrect

This morning on Good Morning America they showed some funny text autocorrect gaffes that got me laughing. After checking out the website I thought I would share a few. Too bad the website these are pulled from isn't cleaner - I would check it out more regularly. As it is, I will not likely go back. But, here is a laugh to get you ready for the weekend.

Scripture of the Day: Deut. 6:7

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The missing website

Thanks all for checking out my article on Mormon Times - it had over 9000 hits! Here is the website that was edited from the article. I had blogged about this site several years ago. But I still think it is worth a second mention. Variety is definitely the spice of life when it comes to family scripture study.

Have you ever wanted to see a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon in person? The next best thing is already available online at This site has page-by-page digital images of a first edition available for viewing. Why not also use it for some of your family scripture reading? If it feels like your family has read the story of Nephi and the brass plates one too many times, try reading it from this online first edition Book of Mormon. It feels like a whole new experience.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 9:8

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review: A Better Reason to Fall in Love

On a recent boring Friday night I bought an ebook version of Marcia Lynn McClure's book A Better Reason to Fall in Love.This was the first book I have read by McClure and my lackluster evening was certainly brightened by her fun-loving, humorous style. I loved her incorporation of the six-degrees of separation as related to Kevin Bacon - a clever device I have never seen used in a book before. McClure's main characters were charming, although I kept waiting for a roadblock or challenge to overcome in their relationship; it never came. So, although it was a bit idealistic, I will likely be reading more of McClure's work in the near future. {Sadly, I have a lot of humdrum Friday nights to fill.}

Book Excerpt:
“Boom chicka wow wow!” Emmy whispered.
“Absolutely!” Tabby breathed as she watched Jagger Brodie saunter past.
She envied Jocelyn for a moment, knowing he was most likely on his way to drop something off on Jocelyn’s desk—or to speak with her.  Jocelyn got to talk with Jagger almost every day, whereas Tabby was lucky if he dropped graphics changes off to her once a week.
“Ba boom chicka wow wow!” Emmy whispered again.  “He’s sporting a red tie today!  Ooo!  The power tie!  He must be feeling confident.”
Tabby smiled, amused and yet simultaneously amazed at Emmy’s observation.  She’d noticed the red tie, too.  “There’s a big marketing meeting this afternoon,” she told Emmy.  “I heard he’s presenting some hard-nose material.”
“Then that explains it,” Emmy said, smiling.  “Mr. Brodie’s about to rock the company’s world!”
“He already rocks mine…every time he walks by,” Tabby whispered.

Read additional reviews on Goodreads here.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 88:118

Friday, August 12, 2011

Back to School

This past Wednesday the kids started back to school. I always have mixed feelings about this--it makes me sad to see them getting so mature and grown up (I miss my babies!). But they are always so excited to start back that it is contagious. And I have to admit I love having a cleaner house and some more quiet personal time.

Here is Patch (middle) with his friend (and friend's sister). This year Patch starts high school and is going to the same HS I attended. Honestly, this makes me feel OLD! I love how his expression in this picture reads, "Get it over with already, Mom!" He is such a teenager now.

And here are Kitty and Sweetie Peach. Kitty starts sixth grade while Sweetie Peach is in third. Sweetie Peach is wearing her bling-ed out tennis shoes, which Patch said had "too many sprinkles" on them. Kitty has been wearing t-shirts she got from Justice these first few days of school, including this hedgehog one. I'm not a fan of Justice, but the girls love their t-shirts.

This should be a good year of school. I have an easy go of carpool this year and kids in only two schools. Next year, though, I will have kids in three different schools - YIKES! I won't worry about that today though (so the Scarlett O'Hara in me thinks); I will think about that next year.

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 13:11

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ask The Editor #1

My DH kinda got me hooked on these Merriam-Webster Ask the Editor videos. I have learned something from every one I have watched, and have even begun using some of this new-found knowledge in my writing. So, I thought I would start sharing some of them with you. Enjoy!

This first one is about pluralizing the word 'octopus.' It is nice to know there is more than one right answer for this mystery. Although, octopolese (sp?) sound kinda cool...

Scripture of the Day: D&C 90:15

Monday, August 8, 2011

Deseret News Article

Last week I had an article accepted for publication on Deseret News' online site. It went live this morning, so here is a link for you to check it out. Be sure to leave me a comment!

PS, They actually cut out one of the websites listed in the article (originally it was six). Next week I will publish my original draft of the article here on my blog so you can get the full effect.

Book Review: Montana Summer

My good friend Jen let me read this book, which was written by her relative Jeanette Miller. Montana Summer, published by Covenant Communications, is an LDS romance that addresses breaking up an engagement more seriously than any other book I have read previously. The author handles the challenging emotions of the situation in a believable and morally-grounded manner. And the emotional quality of the writing was potent without being overwhelming. I was pleasantly surprised by this debut novel and look forward to seeing more from Miller.

From the back of the book: "Life has never looked so promising for Shelby Hamlin. After weathering a lonely childhood, her father's death, and her mother's rejection for joining the Church, she is now engaged to someone who appears to be the ideal man: Brad Thompson, an ambitious BYU student who's stalwart in the gospel. And when Shelby travels alone to Brad's hometown in Montana while he's in California, she's warmly embraced by her future in-laws--with the exception of Cameron, Brad's resentful brother whose own engagement recently ended in bitter scandal. But as Cameron becomes Shelby's increasingly frequent companion in Brad's absence, their initial sparks of irritation become the glowing beginnings of a complicated romance. And as the two explore the breathtaking scenery of Big Sky country, Shelby's heart pulls her away from her carefully laid plans. Can she have the love she's always wanted without destroying the family of her dreams?"

Read additional reviews on Goodreads here.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Timothy 2:15

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lighten Up!

I am saddened by the news of the passing of Sister Chieko Okazaki today. Sister Okazaki made a tremendous impact on my life during the time I transitioned from young women to Relief Society. I remember looking forward to her talks and feeling her optimism.

I am one of many who purchased and read her book Lighten Up! In fact, it still sits on my bookshelf, dust jacket in near perfect condition, despite my use of her book in a number of talks and thoughts. I am sure I have read it two or three times, but I think maybe it is time to read it again. Here is one of my favorite quotes from her book:

"Let's remember that charity begins at home. Let's focus on loving our children for who they are right now and eliminating the feeling for them that they have to compete and struggle and achieve to be good enough. Let's focus on loving ourselves for who we are right now. We don't need to compete with an image of impossible perfection. Let's focus on letting love flow to our sisters and brothers. Let's accept and rejoice in their diversity. Let's offer the gift of understanding and acceptance. We don't need to judge. We don't need to compare. There's room for all of us. Let's allow our love for Jesus take the form of simple kindness and courtesy whenever we see a need."

Just a few weeks back a friend brought me three boxes of books she was getting rid of, and there among many others was Lighten Up! I remember thinking, "Oh, how could anyone get rid of such a great book?" But, she did.

So I have an extra copy of Lighten Up! In honor of Chieko Okazaki's memory I thought I would pass it on to any of my readers who might be interested. Leave me a comment telling me your thoughts and memories of Sister Okazaki if you would like this free copy. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Scripture of the Day: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What? A new blog post by who?

Yeah, I know it has been a while. Let's just call it a summer vacation.

Truthfully, what really happened was burn out. Last month I finally turned in a manuscript--after pushing quite hard to wrap it up. I decided to take a break for a few days, but it ended up stretching into several weeks. I was just worn out, sick of writing. So it was totally unintentional that my little vacay would last so long. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, though!

But I think I am ready to get back into my writing. I have been working on my fiction manuscript, debating what to do as my next big project, and even wrote an article (which has been accepted-yay!-but not posted yet) for Mormon Times. And now I am back to my blog.

It's good to be back.

Scripture of the Day: 3 Nephi 11:15

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Have you seen this yet?

Too, too funny!

Scripture of the Day: Moses 1:39

Monday, June 27, 2011

Remembering Joseph Smith

The very first prophet of the latter days was Joseph Smith. Born December 23, 1805 to Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph was an outgoing and athletic boy. He worked hard on his father’s farm growing up, but always enjoyed having fun. As a young man Joseph Smith was called as a prophet and directed to restore the true gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. He did so, establishing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830. In addition to restoring the Church, Joseph’s greatest accomplishments include the restoration of the priesthood authority and power to the earth, translation and publication of scripture (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Bible), and the restitution of temple covenants. During his lifetime Joseph saw the Church grow from a small handful to over 26,000 members. Today is the sad anniversary of the death of Joseph Smith. He died at the hands of a mob in Carthage Jail in 1844. 

Here are a few ways you can remember Joseph Smith in your FHE this evening:
1. Sing or listen to "Praise to the Man" (Hymns #27).

2. Read D&C 135, which recounts Joseph Smith's deaths and major accomplishments.

4. Look at some of the historic photographs from Joseph Smith's life on

5. Take a virtual tour of the Carthage Jail room where Joseph Smith died (also on

Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 12:9

Saturday, June 25, 2011

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Raelena of Through The Haze book reviews blog! She is the winner of the $10 gift card, which I will be e-mailing shortly.

Thanks for all those who participated in the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop this past week. I enjoyed reading all of your comments. Have a great weekend!

Scripture of the Day: 3 Nephi 25:6

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop! A big thank you to Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for hosting this hop!

The winner of the giveaway on my site will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon! Use it to buy one of my two books (Adventures with the Word of God or Family Home Evening Adventures), or anything else you like.
To enter:

1. Follow this blog
2. Like my author page on Facebook (here)
3. And leave me a comment about one of the chapter topics in either of my books that interests you most:


Good luck!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 68:25-28

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Signing

Come and see me this Friday at the grand re-opening celebration of Latter Day Cottage in Tucson, AZ (7012 E. Broadway). All week long there has been an extravaganza of authors at signing events there to help celebrate. With me there on Friday will be Margaret Turley (Save the Child), Anna Arnett (Lolly's Yarn & Baby Boomerang), David Arnett (The Baltimore Principles), and Roger Stark (The Waterfall Concept). See you there!

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 10:1