Monday, May 23, 2011

Loving this quote

I am tempted to put this on a canvas and hang it up in my house. What do you think? Too long?

“There is no such thing as instant greatness. This is because the achievement of true greatness is a long-term process. It may involve occasional setbacks. The end result may not always be clearly visible, but it seems that it always requires regular, consistent, small, and sometimes ordinary and mundane steps over a long period of time. . . .

“True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a one-time effort or achievement. It requires the development of character. It requires a multitude of correct decisions for the everyday choices between good and evil. . . .

“As we evaluate our lives, it is important that we look, not only at our accomplishments, but also at the conditions under which we have labored. We are all different and unique individuals. We have each had different starting points in the race of life. We each have a unique mixture of talents and skills. We each have our own set of challenges and constraints to contend with” (“What Is True Greataness,” in Brigham Young University 1986–87 Devotional and Fireside Speeches [1987], 115).

Scripture of the Day:  D&C 88:44-45

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cultivating Gratitude #12

We have been having the most beautiful weather the past few days and I would be remorse if I did not say how grateful I have been for it. I have loved hearing the birds sing outside my window when I awake. It has been the perfect walking weather, too; I have walked and biked more this past week because it is so inviting outside. Nothing makes me more grateful for nature than a beautiful day.

Spring it is with us and Summer is near
And beautiful weather for the time of year
Such beauty the poets and the artists inspire
Of talking of Nature could one ever tire
Her green of September Mother Nature wear
And the perfumes of blossoms in the evening air. 

                        -Francis Duggan

Scripture of the Day: D&C 89:11

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Book Review: Blank Slate

A few weeks ago I purchased Heather Justesen's new e-book Blank Slate and installed it on my Nook. I was really in the mood for a good read and this one had a nice twist to it. Although a bit longer than most LDS romances, I enjoyed the plot and found the main character, Adriana, to be well written. Her thoughts and feelings were believable in the unusual circumstances of the plot. Her character was three-dimensional for me.

Synopsis: Adrianna Mueller may be a world-renowned concert pianist, but when she wakes from her coma after a serious car accident, her ability to perform has disappeared as completely as her memory. As she recovers from her injuries, she struggles with the expectations of everyone—her family, friends, and fiancĂ©, Brock—who all want everything to go back to the way it was.

Everyone except Gavin, Adrianna’s brother’s business partner, who finds himself drawn to the woman she is now. But he has his own problems. As he tries to get a handle on a former employee’s embezzlement, he fights his growing feelings for Adrianna.

And then a trip to the emergency room shakes everything up, leaving her to stumble as she tries to regain her footing all over again.

Read additional reviews of Blank Slate on Goodreads here.

Other books by Heather Justesen include Rebound and The Ball's in Her Court.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 59:18

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whitney Award Winners

Late last week the winners for the Whitney Awards were announced. I always like to see which books won because I can count on these books being good, clean reads. And, as it is time to start putting together my summer reading list, the Whitney Award winners help point me in the right direction.

Best General: Band of Sisters - I have already read and reviewed this book, which was excellent and well deserving (read my review here). Congratulations to Annette Lyon!

Best Historical: Trespass - I have not yet read this book by Sandra Grey, but will likely add this to my summer list.

Best Mystery/Suspense: Cold as Ice - Have not yet read this either; looks scary.

Best Romance: Cross My Heart - Cute book! You can read my review here.

Best Speculative: The Way of Kings - Haven't read this, but might give it a try. It looks like something my son would enjoy. This book also tied with another book (Mr. Monster) for novel of the year.

Best Youth - General: The Healing Spell - May have to check this out on behalf of my kids.

Best Youth - Speculative: Matched - This book is at the top of my summer to-read list. It was a NYTimes best seller and is on my book club list to read as well.

Best by a New Author: Paranormalacy - Looks so good!

Novel of the Year: Tie between The Way of the Kings (see above) and Mr. Monster - The cover on this book does not attract me . . .  but I am considering it as a summer read.

Congrats to all the winners! I hope this list provides my readers with some great ideas for what to stock their Kindle or Nook with before heading out on vacation.

Scripture of the Day: Eccl. 3:1

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mom's Day

My girls and me

First off, congratulations to Tamara for winning the $10 gift card in the Spring Blog Carnival hop I participated in last week. I appreciated all the participants who left a comment. The winner was chosen using

I hope everyone had a fabulous Mother's Day! Although I was a bit under the weather it was still a fun day. The best part was that I had the day off at church. Being Primary president usually makes for busy Sundays, but yesterday the priesthood took over. One of the bishopric counselors even told me from the podium in sacrament meeting not to go and check up on Primary, but really he did not have to worry about it. I was too intent on enjoying my time off!

Other good parts of my mom's day:
  • A NAP!
  • Visiting with friends in RS while eating cheesecake. (Loved seeing you there, too, Nancy.)
  • My dh and the kids made frozen pizzas after church so I did not have to make dinner.
  • Went to visit my mom and we had fun talking and then watched the season finale of The Amazing Race.
  • Getting another gasoline gift card--thanks Mom and Dad (I have been collecting these for all the holidays and my anniversary since the beginning of the year to make sure I can take the kids on a good summer vacation).

Hopefully your day was as fun as mine!

Scripture of the Day: Jacob 5:27

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shifts in Reading Patterns?

If you are looking to participate in the Carnival, scroll down to the next post!

Another interesting article from Shelf Awareness... I am finding it easier not to pick up books again that I have on my Nook as well. Although, for the most part these are free books--so I do not feel the necessity to read them if I don't have to. Those I have paid for I make sure I read all the way to get my money's worth.

"Since getting an e-book [reading device], I've found myself spending more money on books than I did a year ago, and spending it faster.... It's also changed me as a reader. For one thing, it eases, to a potentially dangerous degree, the switch from one book to another. Like many readers, I read half a dozen or more books at a time, dropping one and picking up another according to mood. And, like most such readers, I sometimes find that when I put aside a book I choose not to pick it up again.

"For those who read this way, the e-book presents extra temptations. You need only press two buttons and Book A will disappear, making room for Book B; automatically, the page you were reading on Page B when last you turned to it magically appears. I've self-imposed rules against the behavior this encourages, lest I find myself never finishing anything." --Robert Fulford in his National Post column, "Death of the book: Long live e-books.

Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 61:11