Thursday, July 30, 2015

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO by Don H Staheli —#amreading #books #reviews

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO by Don H. Staheli. I think this book is a little gem. I enjoyed all the short chapters on how to really become a better person as a whole, who is in tune with the Spirit. It's great principles to teach that he applied specifically to missionaries and missionary work, but it can work for those looking to teach their children good, independent behavior, and working well with others. I loved the "In Their Own Words" section that had specific missionary experiences from the mouths of those who served under President Staheli. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with children of any age. It is a wonderful resource.

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As a former mission president and missionary preparation instructor, author Don H. Staheli is familiar with the questions, concerns, and needs of new missionaries. He also knows that the most effective missionaries are those who have learned how to be a missionary, not just those who have learned how to do missionary work. The most important elements of good missionary work are the heart and soul of the missionary, he states. This book provides gospel insights, tips, and inspiration that will give new missionaries confidence in their callings and help them to overcome discouragement, recognize the voice of the Spirit, eliminate distractions, set realistic goals, get up in the morning (even when it is cold and dark), find joy in the work, and prepare to bear a bold testimony of the restored gospel.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Monday, July 27, 2015

LOVE ON A WHIM by Aubrey Mace — #amreading #books #reviews

LOVE ON A WHIM by Aubrey Mace. This was a fun, easy read that I completed in an afternoon. I loved the characters. I loved the situation, and I thought Henry's behind the scenes reasoning for hiring Rachel was perfect. I loved how Rachel's pride really came into call and she had to learn from it. The misreading of situations was perfectly real and I just enjoyed the book from beginning to end. I did remember wondering where it took place and when it finally stated where they were having to change my thinking a bit. I could have missed it and in the end it really didn't matter. It was a delightful, clean read that I would recommend for anyone who enjoys a good romance.

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Six months out of law school, Rachel Pearce is completely disillusioned by her job hunt. Despite pounding the pavement with her Ivy League degree in hand, her job prospects are no brighter than the day she graduated. Then in a chance meeting with a former acquaintance, eccentric young millionaire Henry Walker, Rachel finds an unexpected opportunity: Henry is looking for a personal secretary. Swallowing her pride, Rachel sets aside her law firm aspirations for what she envisions as secretarial work—mountains of paperwork and filing. But when she finds her most demanding duty to be daily cookie runs for her new boss, she’s baffled by her unconventional job responsibilities. 
As she’s pulled into Henry’s delightful whims, caught in a whirlwind of private jets and fancy dinners, Rachel finds herself inexplicably drawn to this handsome and charismatic man. But reality always has a way of intruding, and logic tells her that this adventure can’t last. When real life inevitably comes calling, Rachel must decide if she’s willing to trade in her dream of success in the courtroom for a chance at love.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

THE WAY BACK TO HEAVEN by S. Michael Wilcox — #amreading #books #reviews

THE WAY BACK TO HEAVEN by S. Michael Wilcox. The parable of the Crystal Stairs is the subtitle. What a sweet parable. I worked with the author back when I attended the University of Utah. He had a way with teaching gospel principles that reached out and grabbed you. This book is no different. It have me a lot to think about and I loved the personal touches he added to each step of the journey. This parable is a perfect way to describe how one is to return to live with our Father in Heaven. It's is beautifully written and I would recommend it to everyone.

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Our earliest scripture tells the story of those who thought they could build a structure high enough to get to heaven, and of the consequences of that mistaken belief. In contrast, the prophet Jacob dreamed of a ladder sent down from heaven by God, with rungs—steps—that we could ascend to return to Him. In The Way Back to Heaven: The Parable of the Crystal Stairs, award-winning author S. Michael Wilcox helps us discern the "stairs of man" from the "stairs of God." Using the metaphor of a beautiful crystal stairway, he shows us the difference between a focus on "being and becoming" and "believing and doing" in our life's journey. While we may think we know the steps we'll need to take, the author suggests some unexpected—even counterintuitive—yet essential stairs each of us will encounter as we make our way back to our Father in Heaven.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased opinion.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM — #choosekindness #kindness

My heart has hurt the last couple of weeks. I watched my Facebook newsfeed turn ugly, mean, and hateful as the new legislation passed. The things that were said made me so sad. I wanted to post, "Can't we agree to disagree and still be friends?" but knew that my comment wouldn't be received well.

I truly feel that way though. I may not agree with you, and you may not agree with me, but does that mean we can't still be friends? Does that mean that hurtful, hateful things need to be said? I would hope not, but I was proven wrong.

It makes me think of what we are teaching our children. My thoughts turned to my boys and the world they will grow up in. Are we teaching our children that because we have differences we can't and shouldn't associate with each other? I sure hope not.

Part of me is wondering why it seems so hard to be kind to someone who thinks differently than we do. As a musician I've associated with all types of people. I have many, many colleagues who live a different life style than I have chosen. That doesn't mean that I can't have a relationship with them. I have family members who live a different life style, but I love them dearly and pray they still want to keep up our relationship.

I hope and pray that this post doesn't offend people. It's not meant to at all. I'm just hoping that we can see that we agree to disagree and still be friends. That's all.

Here's to spreading a bit of kindness all around, not matter if we agree with each other or not.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Happy Fourth of July. Happy Independence Day. How grateful I am for all the people who have fought and still fight for our freedoms. How blessed we are.

I thought this video was an interesting pairing of people. I also really enjoyed the pictures in the background. They are good reminders on a day like today. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


I had a hard time coming up with a picture to lead into this post, but I think this one will work well.

This is how the conversation went with Tigger the other night.

"Can I have one?" he asked.

"Not right now," I responded. (He was giving me a hug right before bedtime.)

"But I really want one."

"Great. Not right now."

"But I won't eat it."

"That's great. Not tonight."

"But I'm just going to take one and save it for the morning."

"No you won't."

"But I'm just going to put it on my dresser."

"I said no."

"But . . ."

By this time I have to admit that I was less than patient. It had been a long day, and Tigger was stalling for bed. I had gotten them out because I needed some chocolate therapy. I knew I should have hid them but I was slow on responding to my thought. So once again I lost my patience.

After he was in bed and my thoughts returned to this situation I felt bad for my lack of control. And, as it often does when I find myself in this situation, my thoughts turned to my relationship with my Savior. Do I push my Savior like Tigger pushed me? Do I refuse to take the first answer given to me? Do I continue to push after the same answer has been given multiple times? Does my Savior lose His patience with me?

The only question I can answer with assurance is the last one. No, my Savior never looses patience with me. As for how I respond to when answers are given me . . . I'm not a hundred percent sure. I would like to say that I don't push. That I do accept the answer given, and I think there are many times that I do. Then there are those other times.

Like Tigger, I'm sure that I push or I don't hear the answer given. Or I don't want to hear the answer that is given. I know that sometimes I feel I know best but I'm always humbled when things backfire. I feel like I'm drawn to this thought process a lot lately as Tigger is pushing and trying to figure out boundaries. It drives me crazy because he seems to think that anything and everything is up for negotiation, and he's good at negotiating. Hubby continually says that Tigger will make a great salesman or a great politician. His reasoning ability is amazing, and I'm finding I'm having to be very careful with the way I answer things. But I'm very grateful for the lessons he's teaching me. I'm grateful for the self-reflection that he is causing me to have. It is helping me become a better person.

So, I'm doing my best to have extreme patience at all times but I am continually falling short. It's part of the learning process. I'm working on it. But as I'm working on it, I'm reminded of the extreme patience my Lord and Savior has for me. He knows me. He loves me. He is always there for me. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

LOVE IS A CHOICE by Lynn G Robbins — #reviews #books #amreading

LOVE IS A CHOICE by Lynn G Robbins. This has been a very interesting, informative read. A lot of us read about falling in love and the perfect romance. We see it depicted on the big screen. We watch people fall in "love at first sight" and our hearts thrum and we set our expectations on what we believe love really is. This book shows us that love really is a choice. It shows us that we need to take responsibility for our own actions. We need to give marriages a chance, even when things get tough. Now I'm not saying that you should never get divorced. There are always exceptions and situations which are not healthy and people should get out of. All I'm saying is that this book gives great guidance on what love really is and can be. It is one that anyone and everyone who is in any type of relationship should read because it's not just in a marriage relationship that we love someone else.

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We all know that actions speak louder than words. We may say “I love you,” but do our actions back up that claim? Elder Lynn G. Robbins teaches us that love is more than a feeling — it is a commitment, a promise to be responsible, respectful, and responsive to the needs and experiences of other. And like any other action we undertake, perfecting the act of love requires a lifetime of practice and good choices.
As Elder Robbins teaches, the daily choices we make in our marriages and families are what shape lasting love. He helps us to recognize the role that our agency plays in developing forgiveness, patience, kindness, responsibility, and other virtuous traits. We come to see that as we actively try to do things differently, Christ helps us to bethe people He wants us to be — people like Him.
Whether you're engaged to be married, a newlywed, or someone with decades of marriage under your belt, this counsel from an inspired leader will help you develop more Christlike love for those around you. As you draw closer to the Savior through your daily choices and actions, His love will fill your home.

*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.