Thursday, April 06, 2017

Bunny Love Boxes

This was a fun project.  This family has ordered an Easter Box for their little girl every year for the past nine years. Each box tells a story about her life, including a tiny love note from dad inside the lid.
#handpaintedloveboxes #Easter

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Hidden Treasure of Glaston

I can't say enough about this book. The Hidden Treasure of Glaston is an adventure story about two friends in Medieval times searching for the Holy Grail.  The book won the Newbery Honor in 1947. Eleanore Jewett did a marvelous job unfolding the plot, building characters and relationships, and creating a story that's just a lot of fun to read. Delightful!
Great book for 10-12 year old readers that has some good messages, a little bit of history, some interesting vocabulary, a great story, and absolutely no garbage.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017


#IndianBride #southasianbride
#caketoppers #wedding #weddingcake
#weddingdress #handpaintedloveboxes

Peanut Butter Cookies

For years I looked for a great PB cookie recipe. After some fiddling.. this is it. Delish!

1 cup Crunchy Adams Peanut Butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. good Mexican vanilla
3 eggs
4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Guittard milk choc. chips
1/4 cup granulated sugar to roll dough

°375 for 9 minutes 

Saturday, April 01, 2017

In Search of Beethoven

In Search of Beethoven is part of a wonderful documentary. It seems to end in the middle of the story as if they ran out of money.
That said,  it's well worth your time. It's a story of triumph over trial and faith in God's plan. The world would be far poorer without Beethoven's beautiful music,  without his Ode to Joy.

Endure courageously, millions!
Endure for the better world!
There above the starry canopy
A great God will reward.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Man Called Ove

I  loved this story. All of us are a little broken,  a little crazy. In the end,  the people in this story look into a ginormous heart and see greatness. And, they all get together and bust power hungry, government thugs. Charity conquers all.

"She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sabbath Scripture Chain

Liberty is synonymous with Christ. Without Christ, there is no liberty.
Unfortunately, the world has this backwards. The world believes that faith is restrictive and commandments make people slaves when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free... Galatians 5:1

Long Way North

Creative,  great story, beautiful art. Viewable on Amazon Prime right now.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Baptism & The Gift of the Holy Ghost...

D&C 18:22 And as many as repent and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved.

SAVE, verb transitive [Latin salvo. As salve is used inn Latin for salutation or wishing health, as hail is in English, I suspect this word to be from the root of heal or hail, the first letter being changed. Gr. See Salt]

1. To preserve from injury, destruction or evil of any kind; to rescue from danger; as, to save a house from the flames; to save a man from drowning; to save a family from ruin; to save a state from war.

He cried, saying Lord, save me. Matthew 14:30. Genesis 45:7

2. To preserve from final and everlasting destruction; to rescue from eternal death. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15.

3. To deliver; to rescue from the power and pollution of sin.

He shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Romans 6:14-18
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Who is qualified to be baptized?

D&C 20:37
37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of  Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of  the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

What does the act of Baptism represent?

Romans 6:3-5
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in the newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.

What covenants are we making when we are baptized?

Mosiah 18:8-10
8 And it came to pass that he said unto them; Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;
9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life--
10 Now I say unto you, if this be he desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his spirit more abundantly upon you?

Baptism is precede by faith in Jesus Christ (faith strong enough to act) and by repentance. It must be followed by the Gift of the Holy Ghost to be complete.

2 Nephi 31:13-14
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and not deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism-- yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his work behold, then shall ye receive the Holy ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came of the voice of the Son unto me, saying; After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost and can speak with a new tongues, yea even the tongue of angels, after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

How do we recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost?

1. I will tell you in your mind and heart D&C 8:2-3
2. The Holy Ghost will speak peace D&C 6:23
3. The Lord will give us a spirit of courage 2 Tim 1:7
4. The mysteries of God are unfolded unto them 1 Nephi 10:17-19
5. The Holy Ghost will show us what to do 2 Nephi 32:5
6. The Spirit leadeth to do good D&C 11:12
7. The Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and the Son D&C 46:13
8. The Holy Ghost can teach the truth of ALL things Moroni 10:5, John 14:26

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

I could give all to
Time except – except
What I myself have held.
But why declare
The things forbidden that while the
Customs slept
I have crossed to Safety with?
For I am There,
And what I would not part with I have kept...

~Robert Frost

Sunday, February 12, 2017


The Proclamation on the Family makes a powerful statement about mothers...

Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of her children. 

What does it mean to nurture?

Webster 1828

1. That which nourishes; food; diet.
2. That which promotes growth; education; instruction. (Ephesians 6:4)
NUR'TUREverb transitive
1. To feed; to nourish.
2. To educate; to bring or train up.

Sheri Dew taught: The word motherhood defines women's eternal roles; it describes their nature as nurturers. Nurture is a rich word. It means to train, to teach, to educate, to foster development, to promote growth, and to nourish or feed. Women have been given the great privilege and responsibility to nurture in all these sense of the word...
Sheri Dew, "Are We Not All Mothers?" Ensign, Nov. 2001, 97.

You are the guardians of the hearth. You are the bearers of the children. You are they who nurture them and establish within them the habits of their lives. No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Stand Strong Against the Wiles of the World," 101.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Nephi 22:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. 

Doctrine & Covenants 93:39-40 And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. 
But, I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.
Mosiah 4:14-15  And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

Nephi 25:26 We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we teach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophesies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

It's not that important to have a mother in the home to change diapers, make meals, and clean bathrooms because a maid, even a government program can do those things. But, mothers are needed to nurture and no amount of tax-funded boondoggles can repair and replace a missing mother. Too often mothers feel they are relegated to drudgery, they are not. In thinking this way, they miss the mark entirely and miss out on the most creative, challenging, and rewarding work there is; the work of preparing a child in every way for their earthly work while leading them on the path toward their heavenly home, pointing out every glorious vista and star along the way. 

Grandma Rhea's Recipes

If you visit my grandmother, she will make you a delicious, original, and beautiful treat. This is my piece of Strawberry Pudding over Pecan Shortbread Dessert from my visit with Grandma on Saturday.

My cousin has made my Grandma's recipe book available online. So if you love cream and butter, here you are....

Grandma Rhea's Recipes

I love you Grandma!

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

This is a wonderful book appropriate for any child who is able to read it. I love how it teaches children that even they can be courageous and do great good.

Wikipedia synopsis: Snow Treasure is a children's novel by Marie McSwigan. Set in Nazi-occupied Norway during World War II, it recounts the story of several Norwegian children who use sleds to smuggle their country's gold bullion to a waiting ship bound for the United States. 

Always remember that you come of liberty-loving people who think freedom is a greater heritage than gold.
~Marie McSwigan,  Snow Treasure

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

Anita is a little girl growing up under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Its written like the diary of a pubescent girl and frankly focuses far too much on puberty to the point of annoyance.
The story of communist oppression, tyranny, and revolution in the Dominican Republic needs to be told. This book didn't do it.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

This book is a compelling, well-written, fictional story. The overarching theme for me is that when we harm others, we harm ourselves.
However,  I decided that it's one I wouldn't choose to use at school. While the book makes several important points, I think when talking about this topic with young people, I will choose an non-fiction section.
This is a heartbreaking topic and an important topic and I wouldn't want a young person to think, "this is just a story."
Still, to those who are familiar with the real history, this story has something to add to the way we think about these kinds of events.

Monday, January 16, 2017

First Women by Kate Andersen Brower

This book wasn't my favorite.  It's kind of like reading a gossip rag about these women who are put under a microscope. I just felt bad for them. It seems like a lot of them weren't married to very nice men. It's no wonder so many of them supported ERA.  But, like any gossip rag, it's difficult to know how accurate it is.
I'm happy to move on to another book.

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea is a perfect film. I loved everything about it.  The art is gorgeous.  The music is beautiful.  The story is tender and sweet.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

God's Smuggler by John & Elizabeth Sherrill

This is a book I read right before Christmas 2016, but I keep thinking about it and wanted to at least note a couple of quotes that caught my attention from the book.

“I became aware of the slow wearing-down process the government was exerting on Christians. The effort seemed to be centered on the children. Leave the old folks alone, but wean the young people away from the Church. One of the first churches Nikola and I visited was a Roman Catholic one in a small village not far from Zagreb. I noticed that there was not a single person under twenty in the entire congregation, and I asked Nikola about it. In answer he introduced me to a peasant woman who had a ten-year-old son. “Tell Brother Andrew why Josif is not here,” said Nikola. “Why is my Josif not with me?” she asked. Her voice was bitter. “Because I am a peasant woman with no education. The teacher tells my son there is no God. The government tells my son there is no God. They say to my Josif, ‘Maybe your Mama tells you differently, but we know better, don’t we? You must remember that Mama has no education. We will humor her.’ So? My Josif is not with me. I am being humored.”
― Brother Andrew, God's Smuggler

But God is never defeated. Though he may be opposed, attacked, resisted, still the ultimate outcome can never be in doubt. Every day we see fresh proof that indeed all things, even evil ones-- work together for those who are called in his name. ~Brother Andrew

Friday, January 06, 2017

Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto

Weapons of Mass Instruction is a difficult book to read as an educator, but having been schooled in the public schools there's no question many of his points resonated. However,  I don't agree with every argument because I believe children take the reigns of their agency at varied stages and that it is the responsibility of adults to:

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Gospel instruction teaches us to write the words of God upon our hearts, to feast upon the word of God and to serve that feast to the children in our charge. And, I agree with the founders that character education is imperative. Children do not teach themselves or their peers correct principles in my experience. Also, I have found that the ability to study all knowledge in one changes everything and that combining the fire of truth and the fire of learning build something greater together.

Still, this is a book has great wisdom and many thoughts not just worth considering, but worth acting upon.

I've concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress genius because we haven't yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves. ~John Taylor Gatto

Thursday, January 05, 2017


Sisters ❤

The Boy on the Wooden Box

The Boy on the Wooden Box is the story of a man who, as a boy, was saved from Nazi death camps by Oscar Schindler.
This book handles a challenging topic in an age appropriate way, in my opinion.  Read in a classroom setting,  there's great opportunity for rich discussion about the topics of character, courage, and charity.

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.  ~The Talmud

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Come on Seabiscuit by Ralph Moody

A great story about a beat up horse that no one thinks much of and the beat up people he carries with him on his monumental journey to win the Triple Crown. Full of character building wisdom, Moody's writing has an optimistic Horatio Alger quality that makes this is a great read for almost anyone, especially those who love horses. I love this book.

A little bit about Tom Smith, Seabiscuit's friend and trainer HERE...

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe

Last year I made a goal to read a great book each week. I almost made it. I didn't quite finish two on my list. This year I plan to repeat that goal and add a paragraph or so about the book.

The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe is my first book of 2017 and a short read. Wolfe sermonizes about the shallow evidence Darwin brought to his still shallow theory that is considered granite solid in public schools and much of the scientific community, but which falls apart when the smallest bit of logic is applied. Wolfe sites the time frame and the millennia which can't account for the evolution of human speech.

He is critical of the linguist Noam Chomsky as well and the assumptions he has presumed to pass as science for half a century.

In the end, he correctly assigns the followers of Darwin and Chomsky as religionists as he, an atheist, remains a man whose faith resides solely in himself.

To say that animals evolved into man is like saying that Carrara marble evolved into Michelangelo's David. ~Tom Wolfe

There's a great review of the book in the Financial Times HERE