Friday, December 23, 2011

I Survived!!

Hooray!!! I survived my first semester back in school. At first, I was really scared and intimidated to hit the books again. I had to keep reassuring myself that I was a good student and would eventually get the hang of everything. Fortunately, I was right. :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Getting The Hang Of It!!

Six weeks!! I've been back in school for six weeks now!! At first it was hard to get used to all the online learning tools. In fact, I was pretty intimidated in the beginning. I had to keep reminding myself that before long the new and overwhelming would become the old and familiar.

I am happy to say that I am starting to get the hang of being back in school. I am enjoying my classes and getting into the groove of everything. As I mentioned in my last post, I am taking Audiology, Speech Pathology, and Phonetics. I enjoy learning and find my classes interesting. And to a large degree the new and overwhelming has indeed become the old and familiar.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Fall Line-Up

I start school on Monday! Yikes! I will be enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Speech Pathology Teaching Program at Nevada State College. I'm more than a little nervous. It's been a very long time since I've been a full-time student. The good news is that my classes will all be online, which will be convenient since it would take me about 90 minutes to drive one way to NSC.

Here are the classes I'll be taking:

Introduction to Speech Pathology

Introduction to Audiology

Introduction to Phonetics

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Graveyard Book

I recently finished reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It is utterly unlike anything I have ever read before. I absolutely loved it! It is a children's book, but like so many children's books, is actually better reading for adults than for children.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blueberry Muffin Recipe

 A few months ago I watched the movie Julie and Julia and decided to begin my own cooking project by making all of the 50 recipes I had saved in my recipe box at Well, I started cooking with great gusto, but soon remembered why I seldom try out new recipes. Quite simply, it's because family typically turns up their noses at them. Nevertheless, I recently tried out a new recipe for blueberry muffins. The result: an amazingly scrumptious muffin. Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2  teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, or until done.

These are so delicious! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August 2nd-This n' That

I can't believe the summer is almost over!! Where has it gone?
In just a few weeks the kids will be back in school and so will I!! On August 22nd I start my first semester of classes in the Post-Baccalaureate program in Speech Pathology at Nevada State College. When I first tried to register for my classes, they were all full :-( . However, some new sections must have opened,  because when I checked back I was able to get into all three classes. Hooray! This fall I will be taking courses in Audiology, Speech Pathology, and Phonetics. The best part is that they are all online. I feel like finding this program was really an answer to prayer!! I'm both nervous and excited about hitting the books again.
I have to admit that we have been watching a lot of movies/TV this summer. In our family we have a rule that PG-13 movies are outlawed until a child's 13th birthday, at which time PG-13 movies deemed appropriate are allowed. Makenna turned 13 a few weeks ago and began devouring a feast of PG-13 movies. She especially seems to like scary/suspenseful ones, so we have watched a lot of those lately, including The Ring, Red Riding Hood, When a Stranger Calls, The Glass House, and The Village. I think The Village is my favorite. I also like scary movies, so it's been kinda fun to share that together. Next on our list are Premonition, What Lies Beneath, and The Sixth Sense.

I've started a new (as opposed to no) exercise program recently. My sister gave me The Brazil Butt Lift exercise program for my birthday. I really like it! It's super hard and really works the whole body. I was going to include a picture of the case, but it was practically pornographic, so I decided against it, opting for a generic exercise picture. And no, that isn't me in the picture. I've been alternating walking with using the exercise DVDs. I haven't seen any miraculous results yet, but hopefully I will soon. It feels good to be back into an exercise program!!

I celebrated my 27th (okay, okay 37th) birthday by adding some bling to my wardrobe. You probably can't tell from the pictures, but these jeans by Miss Me have a whole lotta bling. I can't believe how heavy they are!!  They probably weigh twice what my other jeans do. I'm probably getting to old for them, but I figure it's either now or never. My sister also bought me a really cute black top with sequins in the front, so I will really be the Bling Queen.
The kids and I have watched a lot of documentaries (yep, it's been a really exciting summer) lately. My favorite by far was The Human Family Tree by National Geographic. I don't know much about the Human Genome project, but what I do know totally fascinates me. I would LOVE to trace what the experts call my "deep ancestry." There probably wouldn't be any big surprises, but one never knows!

So that's about it for me and my life. Hope you are having a great summer!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Speech Pathology Teaching Program

Whew!! I just received my official acceptance letter in the mail from the Speech Pathology Teaching Program at Nevada State College. I wasn't really worried because the program isn't all that competitive, but it's still a relief to know that I am for sure in. I start classes next month!!

Home Sweet Home

Last night I attended the St. George temple with my parents, sister, and friends for ward temple night. The St. George Temple has always been a favorite of mine. I love old-fashioned things, and have always adored the castle-like look and ornate decor of the oldest temples. Although I had attended the St. George temple to perform baptisms and to witness a sealing, I had never actually gone through a session there before, as my stake is assigned to the Las Vegas temple.  However, the Las Vegas Temple was closed for maintenance, so my ward went to the St. George temple instead.

As usual, I was struck by the beauty, both inside and out, of the St. George Temple. However, I spent the whole time longing for the Las Vegas Temple, for its familiar rooms and passageways. Although I love the St. George temple, the Las Vegas Temple certainly holds the fonder place in my heart. I guess it will always be Home Sweet Home to me.
Last night as I was pondering my strong preference for the Las Vegas temple, I remembered an experience I had during the Las Vegas temple open house when I was 15.  My sister and I decided to volunteer as guides to help direct visitors through the temple. I remember standing outside the temple practically bursting with anticipation as I wondered where we'd be assigned-to the locker room, or the cafeteria, or a sealing room or maybe an endowment room? Well, by some miracle we were assigned to the most coveted location of all, the Celestial Room. Serving in the temple that day was a truly amazing and beautiful experience. I felt the spirit of that sacred room and enjoyed seeing people of all cultures and nationalities passing through it. It was a day I will always remember.

A few weeks later, my parents decided to volunteer at the open house and of course I joined them. As we were checking in my mom mentioned to the person in charge, "Now she's not 16 yet, just 15 1/2. Is she old enough to work inside?"

Let's just say I wanted to kill my mom, especially since the answer was no, I was not. Instead of being able to serve inside the temple that day, I was relegated to helping visitors put on shoe coverings in the parking lot. And to supreme embarassment, I started crying which was definitely not cool for a 15-year-old girl. I ended up having an okay experience serving in that capacity, but it certainly couldn't compare with the one I had experienced earlier in the Celestial Room.

I realized that day the importance of always being worthy to go inside the temple and of just how awful it would be to be kept outside because of unworthiness. Even though my inability to serve inside the temple had nothing to do with choices, and everything to do with age, I still saw an awful glimpse of what it would be like to be kept out of the temple or the Celestial Kingdom because of sin. It was an absolutely horrible feeling. That day I vowed to always be worthy to enter the house of the Lord and that decision has guided my choices ever since. My experience that day is one of the prime reasons for my preference for the Las Vegas Temple and why it still holds a special place in my heart.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

100 Totally Random Things About Me

Okay, so this is probably way more info than you could possibly care to know about me, but here it is, 100 random facts about me.

1. I have always been a bookworm.

2. I sometimes get really antsy when I watch movies in a theatre.

3. I hate talking on the phone.

4. I am obsessed with things that smell good-perfume, scented lotions, candles etc.

5. I love wearing really high heels. I fully realize that I will someday break an ankle, but until then....

6. I graduated from BYU.

7. I spent a semester abroad at The BYU Jerusalem Center.

8. I served a mission in Tacoma, Washington.

9. I have a weakness for designer jeans, though I only own a couple of pairs.

10. I think Retin-A is one of the greatest inventions in the history of the earth.

11. I am always trying to lose weight.

12. I am currently the second counselor in the primary and I love it!!

13. My hair is naturally curly, though I rarely wear it that way.

14. I love learning, both formally and informally.
15. I wish I was a neat freak.

16. I am grateful to have some truly amazing women as my best friends.

17. I have four wonderful children.

18. I wear contacts.

19. I studied Sociology in college, with the intention to eventually go on to get a masters degree in social work.

20. My favorite store is Down East Basics.

21. My favorite books include Rebecca, The Far Pavillions, Gone With The Wind, Jane Eyre, and  Phillippa Carr's Daughters of England series.

22. I like mystery/crime television shows like CSI, Bones, Criminal Minds, and The Mentalist.

23. I love chick flicks.

24. I use four different acne medications to keep my skin clear.

25. I have two older sisters and three younger brothers.

26. My family used to spend a month traveling the country each summer.

27. I get nervous flying on airplanes, especially when there is turbulance.

28. I fantasize about having a summer cottage in England.

29. I have a white/blue personality type on Color Code Personality Type.

30. I am an INFJ on the Myers-Brigg test.

31. I love to go for long walks in the evenings with my son Matthew.

32. My daughter Makenna lives in a constant state of mortification regarding some aspect of my appearance.

33. I really enjoyed serving in the Young Women's organization.

34. I am shy in big groups of people, but usually fairly comfortable in one-on-one conversations.

35. My daughter says I own way too many green shirts.

35. I adore lip gloss.

36. I loved playing with Strawberry Shortcake Dolls when I was a little girl.

37. I'm interested in English History.

38. My son Kevin says I should cut my hair because it is EVERYWHERE!

39. I love taking bubble baths.

40. I enjoy visiting with my girlfriends.

41. I love Colonial and Victorian homes.

42. I lived in Newport Beach, CA for five years.

43. I wish I wasn't such a worrier.

44. I am very close to my mom and my sister Tammy.
45  President Kimball kissed me when I was a baby.

46. I love frilly, feminine tops.

47. My favorite foods include cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, and carrot cake.

48. I dread the day when my children will start leaving for college.

49. Sometimes I love to cook. Sometimes I hate it.

50. Both of my grandmothers served missions before they got married.

51. I am always freezing cold in swimming pools.

52. I like suspenseful movies.

53. I enjoying staying in touch with friends through Facebook.

54. I was on the dance team in high school.

55. I try to avoid being out in the sun for very long because my skin is so fair.
56. Every other year I spend a week with my parents in their time share at Williamsburg, VA.

57. I would love to spend a week in the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

58. I love small towns.

59. I wore braces for two years.

60. Los Lupes, The Cheesecake Factory, Golden Corral, and Mimi's Cafe are a few of my favorite restaurants.

61. I love Mexican food.

62. During the past year, my favorite part of each day was watching my five-year-old jump off the school bus and come running towards me with a big smile on his face.

63. I'm not scared of spiders. I wish I could say the same about snakes.

64. I love fashion and clothes.

65. My dream home is the Colllinwood house plan by Frank Betz.

66. I love homes with hardwood floors and crowned molding.

67. When I was in high school I used to memorize poetry while curling my hair into countless spirals.

68. I had HUGE eighties hair.

69. I've always been interested in personality tests and testing, even ones with little scientific validity.

70. Math was my hardest subject in school.

71. I was super studious when I was in college.

72. I am considering the possibility of learning to shoot a gun.

73. I worry about hurting people's feelings.

74. I am most productive in the mornings and the laziest in the evenings.

75. As a kid I didn't like having red hair, but now I love it.

76. I am left-handed.

77. I am horrible at sports.

78. I have little interests in the lives or activities of celebrities.

79. I hate camping.

80. I look forward to General Conference, and not just because it means I don't have to get ready for church. :-)

81. I usually like doing laundry. I hate cleaning toilets, especially the one used by my three little boys.

82. I often listen to lectures from The Great Courses series while I am running errands.

83. When I was a little girl, my brothers and I loved to explore the sand hills behind my parents home. For some reason we referred to them, "The hills of Canada."

84. I love to bake chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, I like eating them even more. :-(

85. I like taking naps.

86. I enjoy eating out, although I don't do it very often.

87. I am excited/nervous to go back to school this fall.

88. I am very grateful to have a living prophet!

89. I worry too much about what other people think of me.

90. I am 5 feet 4 inches tall.

91. I enjoy traveling.

92. I have been to 48 states. Someday I'm going to make it to Alaska and Hawaii.

93. I like to volunteer in my childrens' elementary school classes.

94. My world revolves around my family.

95. I love being a mom! The older my kids get, the more I seem to enjoy motherhood.

96. During my semester abroad in Israel, I also visited Jordan, Egypt, and France. I'd love to travel the rest of the world.

97. My last name has no connection to the town in which I live. Just a random coincidence I guess.

98. Each summer I question my decision to live in Southern Nevada.

99. I love hugs!!

100. I just finished  reading the Hunger Games Series.

Whew!!! I can't believe anyone actually made it through all 100 things about me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Bachelorette

So, I probably shouldn't admit this, but after years of  avoiding reality shows (with the exception of American Idol) like the plague, I have managed to get myself hooked on the current season of The Bachelorette. Years ago, when the first seasons of The Bachelor and Bachelorette came on, I became a loyal fan. But after awhile I became disgusted by the silliness and shallowness of the shows, and vowed to stay away from those types of programs. And I did really well until one recent weekend when I was home alone and feeling a little lonely. I started flipping through channels and ended up watching the Bachelorette. Next thing I knew my daughter and I were going online to catch up on all the episodes we'd missed and anxiously awaiting our weekly Bachelorette fix.  Yep, we are obsessed!!! 

Unfortunately, my two favorite contestants have already been kicked off.

Lucas-What can I say?? I have always been a sucker for blonds and for accents.

Blake-Super Attractive and Super Smart.

I am still wondering what possessed me to start watching this show, why I became so hooked, and why I continue watching even though I am tired of Ashley and of all the guys who are left. Luckily, it will all be over in a few short weeks.

 I have learned one good lesson from watching this show (besides the fact that I was an idiot to start watching it again). It was that even the best looking, smartest, most amazing individuals get their hearts broken sometimes. That's a good lesson for me right now. So I guess I have gotten something out of this crazy ridiculous show.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Recent Activities

I finally decided to act on all the recommendations I'd received, and took a stab at The Hunger Games Series. I loved the books, especially the first and second ones. I'm sending out a big "Thank You!" to all my friends who recommended them to me!!
After finishing the Hunger Games series, I decided to stick with the Young Adult Genre by reading "I Am Number Four."  I enjoyed reading the book and am looking forward to seeing the movie.
While running errands in my car, I've been listening to a series of lectures on British History, a topic that has always interested me. They are part of The Great Courses Series, which I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in learning.
My daughter Makenna has been watching a lot of Twilight Zone episodes lately. Often, the whole family, myself included, end up watching them with her. I actually kinda like them. :-)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This n That

Just wanting to share some of the things I've been up to lately....

First of all, I was accepted into the Masters of Social Work program at UNLV. Second, I decided to decline admission. It was a hard decision. I still second guess my choice at times, but overall I feel good about it.

I've decided instead to study speech pathology. Nevada State College has a two-year post-baccalaureate program that prepares students to become speech pathologists in the schools. After that I can  pursue a masters degree in speech pathology. Although I've always been interested in becoming a licensed social worker, there are more jobs available and significantly higher pay in the field of speech pathology. Plus, the educational requirements seem somewhat more family friendly than those of an MSW program. Anyhow, I feel good about my choice to pursue speech pathology. My application is due on July 1st, so I've been scrambling to fulfill the admission requirements, one of which is passing scores on the Praxis 1 Exam.

I drove to St. George this morning to take it. After three hours of intense test taking I came out with a 188 on the Math Section and a 186 on the reading portion. Both were passing scores. The writing section included an essay section so I will have to wait for my score on that one. It's a relief to have it over with!!!

I recently finished the book Chesapeake by James Michener. I loved it! More books by James Michener will definitely be on my future reading lists.

I took a short break from listening to lectures on Egyptian History and switched over to English History, something I've always loved learning about.  One of my dreams is to someday spend a nice cool summer in a little cottage in England, far away from the hot desert sun of Nevada. Someday.....

Serving in scouts is something I'd always hoped to avoid, so I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't incredibly thrilled when I found out that as second counselor I would be overseeing the ward scouting program. To my surprise, I have quite enjoyed being involved in scouting. The boys are at a super fun age. I helped out with day camp yesterday and had a lot of fun.

So...that's what I've been up to lately.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alton and Zelma Leavitt

This is a picture of my grandparents, Alton and Zelma Leavitt. They have both passed on. I miss them very much. I am dedicating this post to writing a little about them and their lives.

My grandfather was born April 6, 1906, the fifth of six children to enter the family of Alonzo and Udora Hunt Leavitt . When he was a young teenager his parents left Virgin Valley and moved to Overton, NV. The family, who had always been poor, lived in a tent-like structure for about a decade until they were able to transport a home from St. Thomas when the city was evacuated after the completion of Hoover Dam.

My grandfather excelled at academics and anxiously awaited the day when he could attend college. After completing his High School education, he snuck on a train and traveled to Salt Lake City to study engineering at The University of Utah.  He had a wonderful first semester and looked forward to continuing his educational studies. However, upon coming home for Christmas break, he discovered that his family was barely surviving. His dad was arthritic and could no longer provide for the family as a farmer. With a heavy heart, my grandfather chose to abandon his formal education to stay home and help support his parents. For the rest of his life, he mourned his lack of education. Nevertheless,  he did not regret his decision,  for he said it allowed him to know his parents as few children were given the opportunity.  He spent many years working as a custodian at the local school and was always a little embarrassed about it. However, I admire him for the self-less decision he made.

My grandmother grew up in Ursine, NV, the daughter of Samuel and Laura Blair Hollinger. She had two older brothers and one younger sister. Her father, like most men in the area, was not a member of the church. I imagine that must have been difficult for the family. The family was dealt a heavy blow when he died from a tooth infection at a fairly young age. My grandmother eventually served a mission in the Northwestern states back in the days when few women served mission. (Incidentally, my other grandmother served a mission as well.) Back in those days, Overton and Ursine were part of the same stake and she briefly met my grandfather when she came to Moapa Valley to report her mission. Shortly afterwards a well-meaning relative sent a note to my grandfather and signed my grandmother's name. My grandfather realized it wasn't really from her, but they ended up getting together nonetheless. They were both in their thirties when they married.

They settled down in his home in Overton, raised two sons, and enjoyed a quiet life in the country. They raised their sons to value education and made great economic sacrifices to send them both to college. After their boys were grown they served a mission to Kentucky.

I grew up next door to my grandparents and they were an important part of my life. I remember bringing my kindergarten class on a field trip to see my grandfather's immense garden. I remember my grandmother calling on the phone to tell us that she was making pull candy or tuffies (scones). I remember my grandmother holding me on her lap as she rocked me in a rocking chair. I remember running down the hill to their house many, many times. I remember them working in the temple and telling me stories about their mission. They were both very kind and very dear to me. I feel blessed to have had such wonderful grandparents!

It's been many years since they passed away, but I still think of them often. My grandmother died when I was a sophomore in High School. One weekend she, along with my grandfather, my dad, and my brothers, went up to Eagle Valley to stay in the house where she grew up. She died that night, probably in the very bed where she was born. My grandfather greatly mourned her death until the time of his own passing when I was in college. I often think about them and wonder if they are watching over me. I hope they are. I can't think of better guardian angels.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


For the past year I have been serving as the second counselor in the primary of my ward and I totally love it! I get to spend time with loveable children, work with wonderful leaders and teachers, and share my testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What's not to love?!!

Julie Klassen

Few things bring more joy to my heart than the discovery of a new author. A few weeks ago I read this historical romance novel by Julie Klassen and totally loved it.

Then, I read this one and totally adored it.

I am currently reading this one-

And look forward to reading this one-

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Egypt Excursion

Lately I've been thinking how fun it would be to go on a cruise down the Nile River. I traveled to Egypt during my study abroad semester in Israel. I loved it-the pyramids, the museums, the temples-all of it! There is something exotic and magical about Egypt and I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to go back someday! Unfortunately, a trip to Egypt, is not in my plans for the near future, so I'm exploring Egypt in the best way I can for now, by listening to a set of audio lectures on Egypt from the Great Course Series. I finished the set on The History of the Human Language and decided to try the set on Egypt. I've listened to the first twelve lectures, and have really enjoyed them. If I ever do get to return, I'll appreciate it all the more because I'll know more about the history of what I'm seeing.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


The weather has been so nice lately (And you know how rarely I can honestly say that here in Southern Nevada!)  that my son Matthew and I have been able to go on several long walks together. The best part about these walks is that they have facilitated some wonderful conversations. For example, the other day as we were walking, Matthew confided, "Mom, usually when people ask why I want to be in the military I say it's because I want to help protect our country, but it's really because I like to watch things explode."

I got a good laugh at that. Since then I've been thinking about the topic of Motivation. I believe that many people, myself included, deceive themselves about their true motives. They may tell others and even themselves that their intentions are pure, but the reality is quite different. For example, I've known people who have given their time and efforts to serve others but seem far more concerned with extolling their acts of service than they ever were with actually trying to help another person. Similarly, I've seen people give elaborate gifts and then be incredibly hurt and angry when the gift wasn't properly appreciated. Was the gift really to bless the other person or to enable them to receive the gift of praise and gratitude from the recipient?

Recently my home teacher mentioned that he and his wife had been discussing me and had both commented that I was a person without guile. I was appreciative of the comment, but also very uncomfortable with the high praise and unsure of its validity. As I thought about their compliment, I was reminded  of a wonderful book by Terry Warner entitled, "The Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves." I would highly recommend it!!  Dr. Warner discusses the importance of being honest with ourselves, rather than mentally justifying our choices and twisting our motives to stay in the right. It's a wonderful book!!

In response to my conversation with Matthew and my subsequent pondering of the topic, I am going to try to more critically examine my motives. Am I really making a choice for the reasons I think I am, or is there a deeper and less flattering motivation that I conceal from even myself?  I want to let down my guards and be totally honest with myself and see what I can discover about myself and my motives. I'll let you know if I make any great discoveries.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Passing It Down

Recently my son Matthew attended Astrocamp with some of his GATE classmates. He spent a wonderful weekend learning about the solar system, launching bottle rockets, swimming, and playing with lights and lasers. I couldn't wait for him to arrive home and share all the details of his exciting adventure. However, my enthusiasm dissipated when I learned that the mother of one of his classmates had died unexpectedly in her sleep while her son had been at Astrocamp. Although I was not acquainted with this mother, and in fact had seen her only once, I was deeply affected by her death and how it would be experienced by her young son. To make matters worse, the boy's father is suffering from cancer. As I thought about their family and heartache they must be experiencing, I couldn't help but wonder how my kids would fare if I were to leave them. And I wondered if I had been successful in passing down to my children those things which are of most value to me.

Although I have succeeded in passing down many of my values and interests, I haven't been very successful at passing down my love of reading. Don't get me wrong, my children are good readers and diligently complete their required reading. However none of them have a passion for reading, and that makes me very sad. I long for them to gain the education, insight, empathy, and experience they can gain from reading good literature.

One of my goals for the near future is pass down my love of reading. As I've pondered exactly how to do this, I've come to the conclusion that my kids need to spend more time reading, and as they do so they will learn to love it. Currently, I require my sons Matthew and Jonathon to each read for thirty minutes each morning, but I think I'm going to add some afternoon reading to that. I am also going to start giving Makenna a daily reading requirement. Kevin doesn't read yet, but I'm going to increase the amount of time I read with him. I'm also going to make an effort to read books with my older children as well. Hopefully, as I increase my efforts, I can help my kids to learn to love reading as much as I do.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Recent Readings

I recently indulged my love of romantic suspense by reading these novels:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mascara Review

Maybelline One by One Volum' Express Mascara- I love this mascara!!! It makes my eyelashes look super long and full without getting clumpy or messy. Try it!! I think you'll like it!

The Story of the Human Language Part One

Just a note: My blogs haven't been letting me space paragraphs lately. Sorry!! I don't know what the problem is, but it's really bugging me. I just finished listening to the first 12 lectures on The Story of Human Language. I really enjoyed them!. They are great to listen to while I clean the house or chauffer the kids in the car. Here are a few random things I learned:

  1. A human language is always slowly morphing into another one.

  2. Sounds often change to become more like the ones before or after them. Vowels shift around in the mouth, consonants soften, and the ends of words tend to fall off.

  3. The first language has now morphed into 6,000 languages worldwide.

  4. In language an expression that began as a colorful one (peach keen!) dillutes into normality or disappears altogether and is replaced by a new colorful expression.

  5. Semantics shift over time. For example, silly originally meant "blessed," but over centuries the meaning gradually drifted until it eventually came to mean "silly."

  6. Languages of the Indo-European family are spoken throughout most of Europe, as well as in India and Iran. According to linguists, the language most likely began in the southern steppes of modern Russia in about 4,000 B.C. Linguists assume it did not begin in the Mediterranean because there are no common words for "palm tree" or "vine". They probably did not originate in Europe either because there is no common word for "oak".
So there are a few of the facts I learned about language. I just received an e-mail notification from the library, that Part Two has arrived and I am looking forward to learning more.

Reading with Kevin

I have a wide variety of interests, most of which I enjoy sharing either through conversation or blogging. However, one notable exception, is my religious insights, feelings, and experiences. Those are very private for me and I rarely discuss them with anyone unless I am teaching a lesson. However, recently I had an experience that gave me pause. A sister I was visiting teaching mentioned that she had read an article about how a lot of missionary work was being done through blogging. I've thought a lot about her words since and decided that I need to share more of my spiritual insights in my blog. Of course, I am still of the belief that many experiences and impressions are far too sacred to share. Those I will keep private. But I am going to try to be more open about others and write more posts of a spiritual nature. So here goes.... Each morning I have my kids do their daily reading before they go to school, and this morning was no exception. When I asked Kevin, my five-year-old to go choose a book, I expected him to bring back, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?" his current favorite book, but instead he brought back this book: and this one I was pleasantly surprised. We first opened the "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus" book. Someone, my mom I think, had given it to us for Christmas, but we hadn't read it yet. Kevin really enjoyed it because it had pull-the-tab, lift-the-flap, and turn the wheel acitivities. What kid doesn't enjoy those?!! However, he also liked it because he loves learning about Jesus. He often tells me that he loves Jesus even more than he loves me, and that makes me happy. Next, we turned to the Book of Mormon. At our primary "Scripture Power" activity back in February we gave each primary child their own mini Book of Mormon. The primary children, including my own, all seem to love them. I asked Kevin what story he wanted to read in the Book of Mormon and he requested the story about Jesus and the children. So we turned to 3 Nephi:17 and read part of the account of Jesus and the children. To be honest, at that point Kevin was still pretty distracted by all the tabs, flaps, and wheels of the other book, but I still enjoyed having the experience with him. And yes, we do have family scripture study, so studying the scriptures with my children wasn't an unfamiliar activity, but studying one-on-one was and Kevin and I both really enjoyed it. I am so grateful that I am able to raise my kids with the knowledge of the Savior and His restored gospel.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This morning I studied one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi: Chapter 11. I've always found it interesting that I can study a verse of scripture that I've read countless times before and be suddenly struck with a new insight that somehow I missed every other time. Or perhaps it's an old insight, but it hits a different chord. This morning as I was reading 3 Nephi 11:37-38, I was struck by the concept of being reborn. Of course this was not a new idea to me, but it moved me in a way I had never experienced before. I love the concept of being reborn and I hope that to some degree I can be reborn every day as I repent of my sins, draw closer to the Savior, and do a little better than I did the day before.

Easter Dresses

I'm still searching for an Easter dress. I'm not concerned with it being traditionally Easterish (pastels and frills), just flattering and stylish. These are the top four contenders. Please leave your vote.