Thursday, October 23, 2014

VISIONS OF HOPE by Annie Henrie—book review/#amreading #books #bookreview

VISIONS OF HOPE by Annie Henrie. This beautiful book contains some wonderful artwork coupled with inspiring scriptures and truth. The pictures were a little different than my taste and they didn't hold my son's interest as much as I would have liked them too, but the artist is obviously very talented. Everyone should take a look at her work.

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The most fundamental questions in our lives—questions about where we came from, why we are here, and where we are gonig—are answered when we have a true understanding of the plan of salvation. Now, our understanding is deepened and enlivened by this beautifully illustrated depiction of God's eternal plan for His children. In her unique, richly textured style, fine artist Annie Henrie offers a visual interpretations of the plan of salvation, including pre-earth life, the Creation, the Fall of Adam and Eve, life on earth, the spirit world, the Atonement and the Resurrection, and the kingdoms of glory. Accompanied by text from the scriptures, each exquisite image testifies of God's love for us and of His plan of happiness.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher, however the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SPELL CHECK by Julie Wright—Book Review/ #amreading #books #bookreview

SPELL CHECK by Julie Wright. Julie's books have always been fun to read and this one is no exception! I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put it down. The situations are hilarious and the magic incredible. I loved all the webs Ally weaves and how she figures out how to untangle herself and others. It is a delightful, funfilled read that anyone would love.

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A skeleton is rattling its way out of the closet marked "FAMILY SECRET! KEEP OUT!"
Allyson Peterson believes that being hanged by the Salem High Witches is the absolute worst thing that can happen. But when her powers, wrested from the trolls of ancient Sweden, manifest themselves, she realizes that a prank hanging by vindictive cheerleaders is the least of her worries.
Ally accidentally sends her parents to the jungle to fight anacondas, turns her brother into a mute, and curses the entire cheerleading team with an illness that has no cure, proving that her spells need a little checking. Her Swedish grandmother shows up to help her through the worst part of all-surviving the Troll Trials and saving the guy of her dreams from a vengeance that has festered through-out generations.
The power is in her, if she can just get the magic right.
*A review copy was provided, however, the opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


This week has been another lesson on perspective. A high school friend of Hubby and me had their five-week-old baby return home. It’s an experience I wish no one ever had to go through and yet many people are. It has brought back many memories and I’ve relived many of those precious times we had with Lion.

Here’s the perspective. As I’m complaining and struggling to get sleep, this sweet family is planning their child’s funeral. As I got frustrated with my kids this week for whatever insignificant reason, I remembered this family and what they are struggling with. Even now as Bear is waking up after not more than a twenty minute nap, I’m remembering how precious life is and how blessed we are to have Bear with us.

And as if the point needs to be driven home, there were several FB posts (I’m spending way too much time on that these days) of different friends with children or themselves in the hospital for various reasons. Life is precious and I’ve taken it for granted lately. I could easily blame the lack of sleep, but that would be an excuse. We are very blessed to have our health and to have wonderful healthy kids that keep us active. Life is short and we should savor every moment of it.

Along with learning of the death of this sweet baby, I have found myself fighting to not read into everything little thing with Bear and Tigger. Visions of my little ones in caskets want to push their way into the for front of my mind and I’m struggling to keep them at bay. Fears of losing my little ones are rising again, and as much as I’m there for this sweet family, I’m not sure I’m ready to see another little angel in a casket tomorrow. (If you haven’t figured it out yet, I usually write these posts on Friday night and schedule them to go live on Saturday morning.)

On a lighter note, Bear was able to be blessed last Sunday. It was wonderful to have so many family and friends around us. We missed those family members that were not able to attend and we’re ever grateful for the support of so many loved ones.

As I dressed Bear in a little white suit, my mind flashed back to the times I dressed Lion in his little white suit. Once for his blessing and the other for his burial. It brought tears to my eyes. Then as Hubby blessed Bear, I couldn’t help but envision one other person standing next to them. How we miss our sweet, little Lion.

I guess the point of this post is to not take life for granted. Give those you love a hug. Tell them you love them. Try not to wish time away because we just don’t know how much time we have with each other. I used to blow off these statements as a clique and didn’t really understand their meaning until recently. Don’t make the mistake I did and underestimate the truth to and the power of each of those statements.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A REFUGE FROM THE STORM by Boyd K Packer—Book Review/#amreading #books #bookreview

A REFUGE FROM THE STORM by Boyd K Packer. I have always enjoyed President Packer's talks and this book is no exception. It covered things I already know as well as expanded my knowledge of the priesthood, the family, and the Church. The subsections were small enough that I could read one or two and then put the book down put still understand where I was when I picked it back up again. It's a wonderful addition to any library.

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In our tempestuous day, where can we turn for refuge
It is no surprise to anyone familiar with prophecy that the latter days are stormy ones. "We live in a very dangerous world that threatens those things that are most spiritual," writes President Boyd K. Packer. "The adversary is about. His objective is to cause injury."
But there is a place of strength and peace, a true refuge from the storm. In this powerful book, President Packer discusses the priesthood, the family, and the Church, three important forces that, working together, create a haven from the world. "The gospel of Jesus Christ enables individuals to become exalted by being part of eternal families," he writes. "The gospel contains the purpose, the doctrine, and the plan. The priesthood is the power and the authority. The Church has the means and organization. The exalted, eternal family is the end of the gospel plan."
This apostolic counsel will help you build an unshakable foundation for eternity by strengthening your understanding of core doctrine regarding the priesthood, the family, and the Church.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher, however the opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Have you ever relived a past experience and just kicked yourself for how you reacted or what you said or even what you did? I’ve done a lot of that these past few weeks. How I wish I could turn back time for many things, some of them more recent than others. I’m not sure how to stop those things from happening. Sometimes I wish my memory wasn’t very good (although that’s dwindling with having kids). Not that I’m bragging on having a good memory. Frankly I’m surprised at what I remember and what I don’t. It can be the tiniest, little detail of something that happened years ago for something that I can recall, but I can’t remember what I ate yesterday. :)

Sometimes I have a hard time letting things go and I’m thinking that’s why I seem to relive all the stupid moments of life. I’m working on it but it doesn’t make it any easier. As long as we’re learning from the past right . . . ?

And I’m doing it right now. I had a thought for what to write next and between the time I had the thought and my fingers began to move, I’ve already forgotten. :( So frustrating.

Anyway, along with reliving those moments, I feel a bit like it’s been a Mommy’s fail week. It’s most likely nothing more than being incredible tired and worn out, but I feel that way nonetheless. I think what triggered it is reading someone’s post and hearing a couple other people with newborns talk about how their babies are sleeping through the night at 4 weeks or they get a 12 hour night at 3 months and how it was worth sticking to a schedule and all that. Can I just say that’s incredible frustrating too?

I don’t know how many of you out there have children like that. If you do, you are very blessed. If you don’t, you are blessed too but in different ways. I do not have children like that. And I don’t care how many people say every baby should be able to sleep through the night and it’s something that’s trained and it’s not up to the child but the parent or that it’s a copout to say that some kids are better sleepers than others. (I’m sure I’m missing some of the sayings.) It’s not true. And you may say that I’m wrong in that statement, but that’s my belief.

Here’s why.

I did everything by the book with Tigger, and I mean everything. I had him on a schedule. I followed everything little thing the books said to do to get your baby to sleep through the night by a certain age. It didn’t work. Tigger didn’t sleep through the night for a long time, and even now I’m very grateful every night he sleeps without waking up. He wouldn’t sleep without me holding him.

Again, people will say that’s my fault. Just remember, I did everything by the book. I didn’t hold him all the time. I let him cry it out. I did it all and he still didn’t/wouldn’t sleep.

So with Bear I’ve tried things a little bit differently thinking it might help. It hasn’t. I’ve tried to get him on a consitent schedule and he flat out won’t follow it. Maybe I’m not good at letting him scream it out but to me if a child is hungry you feed him even if it’s not according to “the schedule.” And everytime I feed him he eats an entire meal. It’s not like he’s snacking.

Anyway, it can be irritating when people say things like that. To me, every child is different and some children are sleepers. Others are not. Bear still doesn’t have things figured out, although he’s doing better. It’s one of those things.

I am very blessed though. I have three handsome boys and a wonderful husband with family close by. Life is good, even through the eyes of a very sleep deprived person. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

IT'S BETTER TO LOOK UP—Book Review, #amreading #sharegoodness

IT'S BETTER TO LOOK UP. I loved this book. It's great to be able to sit down and read an inspirational story in about five minutes. All of the stories are familiar but it's a great, easy way to have a quick spiritual boost in the middle of a hectic day. I highly recommend this book to any and everyone.

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We all love to be taught with stories. The Savior shared many in his ministry, and His prophets and other Church leaders have often emulated that great example. Gospel lessons come alive when they are presented in this way.
It Is Better to Look Up gathers more than fifty of the most memorable personal experiences shared in general conference over the years and pairs them with stunning photographic images. The result is an irresistible volume filled with remarkable true accounts of God's hand in our lives.
You'll love browsing through such gems as "In Harm's Way," by President Thomas S. Monson; "Man Down!" by President Henry B. Eyring; "Lift Where You Stand," by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf; "You Stupid Cow!" by Elder Mervyn B. Arnold; "Worldly Promises," by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson; and dozens more. These short pieces are perfect for a quick moment of inspiration in a class, a home evening, or personal devotional time. Each one is presented with a scripture to complement the gospel message.
Featuring stories from every member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, plus many additional leaders past and present, this beautifully illustrated book will soon become a family favorite and a precious keepsake.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher, however all the views are my own.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Dreams. Living your dream. What is your dream? What have you sacrificed to make your dream a reality? Or have your dreams changed? Was it hard to let go if they have changed? Or do you wish that things had gone differently with your dreams?

This thought process was brought back to my mind this week when Hubby came home from a business trip. He had the opportunity to see a young, humble musician living his dream. Hubby was impressed with not only the talent but the sacrifice he and his family made to get him there. He was also impressed with how humble he was and who he thanked at the end of the performance.

At one point in time I had a dream of being a professional musician. I could have made it to, however, there came a point in time when I had to make a choice. Family or dream. Subconciously I chose family even though my actions may have stated otherwise for a little while. But I still have moments in time when I think of that dream and wonder . . .

I am very happy with where I am right now, minus the lack of sleep because Bear is waking up. :) Yet at times I really wish I had been able to make some of my dreams a reality. Maybe that’s why writing has become so important to me. Maybe that’s why the fact that I’m struggling to get anything written is becoming depressing. Maybe that’s why I don’t want to have to choose between writing and family at the moment. It would feel like I’m letting go of another dream.

Life is not easy and this is one of those things that seems to make it more difficult. How much are we willing to sacrifice? How much am I willing to sacrifice? Is there a way to have it a complete win-win? I’m not sure because life is full of give and takes. With those give and takes comes life lessons. So what am I supposed to be learning at the moment? I’m not a hundred percent sure beyond the standard patience and such.

So with dreams consently changing (at least it feel that way) I find it a hard knock sometimes when past dreams come to the surface again. Life is good though. Dreams are good too, but don’t be afraid to let them go and change them. I believe that’s part of the growth we have during this life. So go ahead and Dream Big! :)