Saturday, 28 February 2009

Something for You!

The first five people to respond to this post will get something from me!
My choice. For you. Handmade.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.

2- What I create will be just for you.

3- It'll be done this year.

4- You have no clue what it's going to be (nor do I at this point).

The catch is that you must re-post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they want to receive a homemade gift from me will indeed receive one.Be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!!!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Dieter F. Uchtdorf - CREATE

When President Uchtdorf gave this talk, it spoke to my soul. The words and thoughts were exactly what I needed to hear at the time. This video is beautiful. I could watch it over and over, but I don't have time, I need to go create. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Sweet Sixteen

Sixteen years ago I welcomed a new little person into my life. People used to call her the gerber baby. Her dark hair formed the cutest little curls and she had beautiful dark brown eyes. I loved just sitting and holding her, amazed by her.

I can hardly believe how much she's changed. My tiny baby has grown into a beautiful young woman - taller than me by several inches, long honey coloured hair, but still the same big brown eyes.

Her talents constantly impress me and I can't wait to see what wonderful things she accomplishes in her life. This year she started taking voice lessons and is developing her beautiful voice. I love to listen to her sing. She also encouraged me to start a writing group for her and some friends. I'm interested to see where her writing - which is already quite good - takes her.

As we celebrated her birthday this past weekend and it reminded me of my own sixteenth birthday. My mom made a big deal over my eligibility to date. I figured no one would ask me out, but played along with her anyway. Imagine my surprise when she told me to get dressed up on my birthday as I had a blind date. I didn't know what to think, knowing she was up to something, but not able to figure out what.

The night of my birthday, I put on a dress and tried not to be too nervous. The doorbell rang and my siblings ran to answer it. My dad stood there holding a single rose. I was so relieved to see him. He said he thought it would be a good idea for my first date to be with him. He escorted me to the car and said we had a few minutes before we had to leave for the restaurant for our reservations.

We drove around town then down to the 'fish pond'. There in the camp kitchen, they had set up a card table, covered it with a white table cloth, and my rose was the centerpiece. My dad pulled out a chair for me and my uncle stepped up to the table, a white dishcloth folded and draped over his arm. He handed us the menus - hand lettered by my grandma - and took our orders.

Since my birthday is in August, the weather was beautiful. My mom is a good cook, so the meal was scrumptious and my father was great company. What a wonderful opportunity to sit and visit with him.

After we ate salads and the main course, we left and went out to the cemetery. Dad talked to me about our family as we visited the graves of my grandparents. Listening to him I gained a new appreciation for my heritage and my father had for his family. After spending some time there (probably to give my uncle time to pack up the table and dishes and get back to the house.)

When we returned to the house the whole family waited for us, then we opened presents and had cake and ice cream. I think it is my most memorable birthday. I felt special and felt like my parents were truly acknowledging a milestone in my life. In the long run, I was correct. I didn't date much at all, yet Dad made my first date something I remember with fondness.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Grout, Edits, Readers and Other Misc. Things

First of all, Happy Sweet Sixteen to my oldest daughter. More on that tomorrow.

Tonight I had a wonderful blog planned and had just pulled out the computer to write it when my husband called me upstairs. So instead of writing, I helped grout the slate up by our fireplace. The job needed to be done and it looks great, but now it's late and I'm tired. So the planned blog will have to wait until tomorrow.

It seems to happen more often than not lately - all my good intentions for blogging and writing don't amount to much. To be fair, I am almost done edits on Double Deceit. Now I'm looking for some readers who can give me some good feedback. I'm experiencing a little self-doubt right now and am ready to throw the whole thing away, but I think it's because I've been looking at it for too long. A change in projects is exactly what I need. While I'm waiting for feedback, I'll be working on a few things for the first chapters contest from the LDStorymakers conference.

I'm also still trying to get all the Whitney finalists read, and I'll start reviewing them soon. With all this, at least I don't have time to be bored.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Win a Free Book

Anne Bradshaw at Not Entirely British is holding a contest. Go on over to her blog to find out how to enter. You can win a signed copy of the book Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack. I haven't read it yet, but I am planning to. I always enjoy Josi's books. From the back cover of Lemon Tart:
A Recipe For Murder
5 families living on Peregrine Circle
1 flowered curtain tieback
1 missing child
1 body in the field

Mix with a long list of suspects and top with two very different detectives. Increase heat until only the truth remains.
Cooking afectionado-turned-amateur detective, Sadie Hoffmiller, tries to solve the murder of Anne Lemmon, her beautiful young neighbor-a single mother who was mysteriously killed while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie’s search is Anne’s missing two-year-old son, Trevor. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects-including her!

Armed with a handful of her very best culinary masterpieces, Sadie is determined to bake her way to proving her innocence, rescuing Trevor, and finding out exactly who had a motive for murder.

For an added treat, original mouth- watering recipes for Sadie's Lemon Tart, Homemade Alfredo Sauce, Carrot Cookies, Brownies, and Granny's Gingerbread Bundt Cake are sprinkled throughout the book.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

25 Things

This tag has been floating around facebook for a while, but so far I've ignored the people who tagged me. Then Christine tagged me on her blog so I decided to have a go at it. With all the other tags I've done plus the '100 things about me' I did when I reached my 100th post, I'm struggling to think of something new, but here goes...

  1. I'm much too easily distracted. In fact, I'm using this blog as a distraction from some editing I need to finish.
  2. My 20 year high school reunion is coming up this summer. I'm still trying to figure out how I got this old.
  3. It will be nice to see people, but almost half my graduating class still lives in town, so I see them all the time anyway.
  4. I bought a baby name book just before Christmas to use as a reference book for my writing. When my step-daughter stayed for the weekend two weeks ago, she saw the book and it freaked her out until we explained why I had it.
  5. I get to play the organ in church this Sunday. Funny thing, I don't play the organ. Should be interesting.
  6. People have offered to give me organ lessons many times in the past. I've always refused because I remember a lady who played the organ for at least 30 years with very few breaks. I never wanted to be "the organ lady."
  7. On my side of the family, I am an aunt to eight nieces and six nephews and my brother announced yesterday that they are expecting another one. Despite my best efforts, I've never been the favorite aunt, but I love them anyway. :)
  8. I try to go walking every morning I'm not working. This gets quite interesting when there is tons of snow and ice on the ground.
  9. Despite my increased activity level, I'm still not losing any weight.
  10. This makes me sad.
  11. I've trained my kids to love old musicals. Oldest daughter was watching "Calamity Jane" the other night and told me how the movie helped her get bonus marks in Social Studies. The teacher was going to give bonus points to the student who could answer this question first: "What is another name for Chicago and what state is it in?" She said she got the points because she remembered the song. Who knew this would come in handy at school?
  12. We are on a serious Howard Keel kick right now. In the last month we've watched "Kismet", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", and "Calamity Jane." I'm trying to get a hold of "Kiss Me Kate" to watch next.
  13. I sub at the school as a teachers aid.
  14. I don't like getting up in the morning and not knowing whether I actually have to go to work.
  15. Subbing can be incredibly boring. I'm learning to take a note book for those quiet times so I can plot or outline, or whatever. Anything to keep the mind working.
  16. I can't wait to go to Utah in April.
  17. I like to cook, but only on my terms. Cooking dinner every night is not on my terms.
  18. It is stressful to try to come up with nutritious meals everyday.
  19. I need to get back into the habit of making homemade bread. Actually, I should teach my kids how to make the bread.
  20. I wish I could find more time to do the crafty things I love. I have so many unfinished projects right now.
  21. I used to be part of an embroidery guild. I'd love to get one started up again.
  22. I love getting catalogs in the mail. I hardly ever order anything, but I love looking at them.
  23. I love getting mail. I wish people wrote letters like they used to. All I get any more are bills.
  24. I like lists. I make them, but hardly look at them. It seems like writing stuff down puts it in my head and for the most part, I remember things without having to consult the list.
  25. Except for phone calls. I hate making calls. If I know the person, I don't want to catch them at a bad time, and if I don't know the person, I just don't want to call at all. Guess I'm afraid I'll sound like a fool. So I tend to forget about making phone calls until it's too late. Most people don't like the phone ringing at 11:30 p.m. which is when I usually remember that I forgot to call earlier.
So there you go...25 things, plus a bonus video. I'm not specifically tagging anyone, since most people I know have already been tagged. If you want to play along, go ahead, then let me know so I can read what you come up with.

Monday, 16 February 2009

They Do Exist!

I've been trying to get together a critique group for months now. To start with, I put up a poster at the local library and then I waited. After several weeks with no response, my husband thought I should advertise further afield. I considered it, but always felt like there had to be other writers here. Maybe they were in the same spot I was several years ago where writing was something never to be shared with anyone for fear of being laughed at.

After three months of having my poster up with no response, I decided maybe he was right. Then the responses started coming. No one called, but several people approached me at church, or work and asked if they might be a good fit for the group. It seems my theory was correct. They almost seemed ashamed to want to talk about it.

With a little encouragement, each person opened up and told me about the projects they were working on and within a week, I had formed a group with six people. Not only that, I held a separate meeting for my son, daughter, and some of their peers who like to write. We read several pieces at our first meeting, and I heard a lot of talent there. Both groups have decided to meet twice a month. I'm just guiding the youth group, so I only have to get new work written for the adult group. I can't wait to really get going on this.

So even though I wondered if I was the only writer in my town, I've finally discovered there are others. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I've saved the things I love the most for last...

My youngest daughter always brightens my day. Even at eleven years old, she is still my cuddly kid. I look forward to her hugs and those moments when she just wants to curl up next to me as we read together. I love her silliness and her ability to laugh at anything.

My oldest daughter has always been the child I relate to the most, probably because I see myself in her. She is highly creative and musical. I love listening to her sing. I especially admire her desire to do the right thing and treat people well.

My son is extremely bright and I love to talk with him and hear his ideas. I learn from him every time we have a conversation. Even though he is almost fifteen, he still comes to me once in a while and tells me he needs a hug.I love that too. I love that he still needs me, even though most of the time he tries to pretend he doesn't.

I've saved my Valentine for last. My husband makes my world complete. Without him to pull me along and cheer from the sidelines, I would be dreaming of my dreams rather than pursuing them. I love his ability to feel empathy for others and his willingness to serve. He often puts the needs of his friends and neighbors over his own. I don't have to try to imagine life without him, as it took me many years to find him in the first place. Every morning I wake up, glad that we have another day together, and excited to discover the adventures life has in store for us.

Words really are inadequate to explain how much my family means to me. I love them so much. Without them life would be a lonely and scary place, and every day, I hope they get some glimpse of how important they are to me, because they are my whole world.

Friday, 13 February 2009


I love home in all its forms.

My home is comfortable and protects my family from the weather year round. Our home is peaceful and full of happy memories, fun and love. When I am home with my family, it is the safest place on earth, and my favorite place to be.

I also love my community. This little town I call home is a wonderful place to raise a family. We are surrounded by people who care about us, and though we have some of the small town annoyances, like everyone knowing everything about you, those same annoyances often turn into blessings.

I call Canada home and I love living here. Like any other country, we have our problems, but it is home. I love that we live on the prairies, yet can see the mountains. I love the change in the seasons and I even love the beautiful snow we got this morning.

So where do you call home? What is your favorite thing about where you live?

Thursday, 12 February 2009


I'm so excited for the newest baby in our family. My baby sister had her second baby two days ago and I can't wait until I can get down to see them. I love babies! They are so fresh from God and bring such a wonderful spirit with them. I love to just sit and hold them and talk to them. They grow up so fast, I sometimes miss the babies my children used to be. I guess now I get to start looking forward to grandchildren.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Books and the Whitney Finalists

I love books. As a little girl I would get up an hour before everyone else so I could read before Mom and Dad got out of bed. Now I just read whenever I have a free moment. I love escaping into a different world or seeing our world through someone else's eyes. Right now I'm looking forward to reading the Whitney nominees that I haven't already read. The nominees were announced yesterday. Here's the list:

Whitney Award Nominees 2008


Seeking Persephone by Sarah Eden

Servant to a King by Sariah Wilson

The Sound of Rain by Anita Stansfield

Spare Change by Aubrey Mace

Taking Chances by Shannon Guymon


Above and Beyond by Betsy Brannon Green

Do No Harm by Gregg Luke

Fool Me Twice by Stephanie Black

Freefall by Traci Hunter Abramson

Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson


The 13th Reality by James Dashner

Alcatraz vs. The Scrivner’s Bones by Brandon Sanderson

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague (Book 3) by Brandon Mull

Far World: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George


Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

The Great and Terrible: From the End of Heaven by Chris Stewart

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, Book 3) by Brandon Sanderson

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

The Wyrmling Horde: The Seventh Book of the Runelords by David Farland


Abinadi by H.B. Moore

Isabelle Webb, Legend of the Jewel by N.C. Allen

Master by Toni Sorenson

The Ruby by Jennie Hansen

Traitor by Sandra Grey


Bound on Earth by Angela Hallstrom

The Reckoning by Tanya Parker Mills

Waiting For the Light to Change by Annette Hawes

Fields of Home by Rachel Ann Nunes

Keeping Keller by Tracy Winegar


Bound on Earth by Angela Hallstrom

The Reckoning by Tanya Parker Mills

Spare Change by Aubrey Mace

Traitor by Sandra Grey

Waiting For the Light to Change by Annette Hawes


Bound on Earth by Angela Hallstrom

Fool Me Twice by Stephanie Black

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, Book 3) by Brandon Sanderson

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Traitor by Sandra Grey

Saturday, 7 February 2009


I love how the future is so full of possibilities. Looking at the way life is and the way I want it to be is a great reminder of how incredibly capable my Father in Heaven made me. There are so many different paths I could take and so many things left to achieve. Sometimes I wish there was more time to try them all. I often wonder where all those possibilities will take me and what options I'll be looking at ten years from now.


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

Friday, 6 February 2009

Friday Night

I love a Friday night at home, with nothing on the agenda. This evening I sent the two teenagers off to a stake youth dance and then went downstairs with my youngest daughter, my step-daughter, and and my husband to play the wii. Follow it with a bowl of ice-cream and some visiting around our new wood-burning stove, and it makes a perfect evening. I'm going to top it all off by sleeping in tomorrow morning until at least 8:00 a.m. This is a great beginning to the weekend.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


I love the town I live in. It is a great place to raise a family and we have wonderful friends and neighbors. Community involvement is something else I love. My husband and I both feel it's important to do our part and help our town be a better place. He serves on the board of directors at the local handicap association and I serve on the public library general board, the cultural arts society, and the elementary school council. All this keeps us very busy, and sometimes I wonder if all the time spent is worth it.

On the other hand, all these organizations are vital to the well-being of our community in their own way. At so many annual meetings, when these boards want to elect new officers, no one shows up. So the board continues on, leaving many members feeling different levels of burnout, but unwilling to see the organization die because of lack of involvement.

It's truly a balancing act, and I have to constantly examine my commitment level in my head every time a new task comes up. But I am able to work on so many different things because I've learned to say 'no' to the things I know I really can't handle. Meanwhile, I do what I can for these organizations because I want my family to have access to the benefits they provide. If all the volunteers quit, what kind of communities would we live in?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves.

Henri Frederic Amiel
1821-1881, Swiss Philosopher, Poet, Critic

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.



"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."
Helen Keller

Monday, 2 February 2009


I'm learning to love my morning walk. Exercising isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I try to think of enjoyable activities, but I find that I look forward to it a little more every day.

Just after Christmas, a new friend asked me if I would like to walk with her every morning. We've been walking for about an hour every day that I'm not subbing at the school. Some mornings it has been awfully chilly, but we just tie our scarves a little tighter and walk a little faster. I'm noticing I can walk farther, faster, and I'm less out of breath than I was just a month ago. I'm also becoming addicted to my pedometer and will sometimes stay up a little bit later if my step count hasn't reached 10,000 for the day. Now if the extra weight I keep carrying around would start to melt away, I'd really love it.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

February Love Challenge

Christine challenged us to post about the things we love during the first 14 days of February, so here goes...

This seems a little frivolous, but I love Super Bowl Sunday. You can go read this post to understand why.

Let's just say:

two buckets of ice cream
chocolate sauce
caramel sauce
candy sprinkles
Whoonu game

= Super Bowl Sunday
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