Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sorry to be really random, but....I am.

It is so nice to be finally feeling like I am getting back into a routine!  Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks...  It's been nice enough to play outside a couple of time and windy too so we have had a few days where we could fly kites!  (A benefit to having 3 acres with NO trees right?)

On St. Pat's day we made green eggs...

Kayley decided it was time to grow a beard...

On Pi day we had fun learning how to determine the circumference of a circle.  We also enjoyed eating round foods like Chicken Pot Pi and Andy's Mint Pi....

Maggie went to her first eye exam where they dilated her eyes.  That was pretty funny.  

Frozen came out on DVD... Maggie was in heaven!!! 

No children were harmed in the making of this picture.


The girls went to a fun Star Wars themed birthday party.  Can you tell which R2D2 is Kayleys and which one is Maggies?  :) 

I introduced Kayley to Annie.  She danced around the living room just like I did when I was 7.  What a good good as I remembered!

Now that I'm getting a little bit back to normal 
I hope to get back to blogging more frequently!  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Another Good-bye

We said another tearful good-bye last week, this time to my moms dad, my Grandpa Clifford.  He will be sorely missed by many.  It was a bittersweet week filled with more reunions and a parting but the morning of his funeral was "good fishin' weather" which sure lends a feeling that all is well.  
All is well.

Power to Become by Elder David A. Bednar {Deseret Book review}

As followers of Christ, our desire is to become like Him. In fact, we have been commanded to do so. But how? 
In Power to Become, Elder David A. Bednar explores how the Savior makes possible His divine commission, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48).Chapters in this thought-provoking book highlight the importance of the Atonement, the spiritual gift of personal peace, the importance of priesthood ordinances, and the responsibility we have to obey willingly and endure valiantly. 
"As we increase in learning about the Savior and His gospel," Elder Bednar writes, "as we strive with ever greater consistency to act in His doctrine, ordinances, and covenants, then we are blessed with power through His Atonement to increasingly become like Him." Power to Become introduces vital tools we all can use to invite these eternally significant blessings into our lives.
This amazing book, Power to Become, by Elder David A. Bednar is the 3rd in his series about setting spiritual patterns of living.  The first 2 books, Act in Doctrine and Increase in Learning focuses on learning truth for ourselves as we seek answers in the scriptures and by studying gospel principles.  He then helps us act upon the truths that we have discovered as we come closer to understanding Christ and the examples He has set for us.  Both books were great and came with DVDs that show Q&A and group discussion with Elder Bednar.

I'm super excited that he has come out with a third book in this series to help us along as we continue learning more about following Christ.  In Power to Become Elder Bednar references the scripture in Doctrine & Covenants 11:28-30 where the Savior says "that as many as receive me, to them will I give power to become the sons of God..."  Elder Bednar has a strong desire to help his readers answer complex gospel questions for themselves and through this book he guides us along sharing insights on everything from the atonement to priesthood power to obedience.

So insightful!  Full of spiritual learning.
Also, here are a couple of things that I really, really like about this book:

Note Taking:
Extra-wide margins allow for note taking directly in the book.  There are pages to write your thoughts and feelings, to research, study, etc.  Ok, seriously, I cringe at the idea of writing in such a lovely book...but...that sure is a nice feature!

Related Readings:
There are a lot of options at the end of each chapter to encourage further study.

Check out the QR code!  It takes you to Deseret Book's website called Seek.

On Seek you can view videos of group discussions that take the concepts learned in each chapter a little deeper.  How cool is that?

This book is another great read to add to your gospel study!  I really enjoyed it and I think you will too!

Power to Become currently retails at in hardcover w/DVD for $23.99 and as a Bookshelf eBook for $12.99.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed herein are my very own.  Thank you so much Deseret Book!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore {Deseret Book Review}

Women today are bombarded by harmful messages in society about their bodies and appearance. We often feel inadequate and overwhelmed by the impossible-to-achieve ideals touted in the media. And sometimes our harshest critics are the eyes looking back at us in the mirror. No matter the source, when our image of personal beauty is threatened, it's important to remember who the rightful beholder of true beauty is—is our Heavenly Father.  
The essays in this uplifting compilation, much like their authors, come in every shape and size, but each reaches toward the same conclusion: beauty is truth. And the truth is that everything God created is beautiful, your body included—freckles and all!
In this day and age, with modern media telling us what is beautiful and what it not, it is easy to get caught up in the trap that we are just not good enough.  I am not thin enough.  My teeth are too crooked.  My hair is so flat and thin.  Should I color my hair to cover up the gray?  Ugh!  Why can we not look at ourselves and see our true beauty and our worth?  Satan has set a trap for women in attempt to convince us to forget that our bodies are temples, beautiful and of value to our Heavenly Father.  He wants us to "resent them as prisons and abuse them with unhealthy words, unrealistic views, and harmful behaviors."  We don't want to do that!

This little book is a compilation of essays from several authors, everything from favorite Time Out For Women speakers to young children.  Edited by LaNae Valentine and Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen, each essay is thoughtfully written sharing perspectives on what makes a woman truly beautiful.  I enjoyed each essay and many really gave me pause and helped me to reflect on my inner dialogue.  I do not always speak kindly to myself and I need to do better.  Every soul is great (and lovely) in the sight of God and when we accept this we are free to see how beautiful we truly are.

I enjoyed reading this little book, each essay can stand alone, but together they make up a wealth of inspiration.

Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore currently retails at for $15.29 in paperback and for $13.99 as a Bookshelf eBook.

Don't forget the Deseret Bookshelf eBook app is completely free and is available for iPad and Android devices.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you Deseret Book!

Longing For Home: Hope Springs {Shadow Mountain Blog Tour}

All right, do you remember, a while back I read a great book called Longing For Home by Sarah Eden.  It was SO good and I loved that it combined a lot of things that I love into one book (ie. Irish lassies, fiddles and Ceili's!)  If you don't recall or are new to my blog you can check out that review HERE.   Toward the end of that review I mentioned that Sarah Eden kind of left you hanging...I mean, would Katie Macauley find a home in Hope Springs?  Who would she chose?  The devishly handsome Tavish O'Conner or steady Joseph Archer?  Would this feud with the Irish end?  Ack!  I just didn't know!

In the second book, Longing for Home: Hope Springs we get to find out!
Katie Macauley gave up her lifelong dream of returning to Ireland in order to make a home for herself in Hope Springs, Wyoming, but her future has never been so uncertain.Katie’s heart still remains sharply divided between playful Tavish and steady Joseph, though she feels ill-prepared to make a decision. Furthermore, the town is more divided than ever with both the Irish and the Reds stealing property, burning buildings, and endangering lives. In the midst of the growing unrest, tem­peratures drop quickly, too quickly, and Irish nightmares of fam­ine and cold resurface as the little Wyoming town struggles to beat the harsh winter. 
Katie makes one sacrifice after another to keep the peace and help see her loved ones through the difficult days ahead, but will her efforts be enough? Can the town make amends before their hatred consumes them all? And will Katie find the love she has been searching for as well as a home to call her own?
The feud rages on between the Irish Road and the Red Road!  The townspeople try so hard to get rid of the "paddies" by starving them out that they drive up the prices at the mercantile offering "Irish prices" that the Irish just can't afford.  With winter coming rapidly the Irish face the real possibility of repeating the dreaded famine.  Then, when a dear friend is critically injured, the Reds refuse to back down the prices for much-needed medicine so Katie offers a trade that the local merchant Mr. Johnson accepts.  She will work for him in exchange for his word that he will be fair in pricing to both the Reds and Irish.  Working for Mr. Johnson is sheer misery but Katie's spirits are continually buoyed by the 2 men who vie for her attention.  The fun loving and handsome Tavish and the serious but equally handsome Joseph.  Katie is confused by her affection for both men and struggles with her heart and mind in trying to decide.  As the feud starts causing physical harm to people and property Katie is caught somewhere in the middle and becomes the victim of tragedy.  In the aftermath of so much suffering, how can she choose between Tavish and Joseph?  Will the feud ever end?  Will she find a home in Hope Springs?  Katie remembers her father sharing with there that "hope springs eternal."  And thankfully it does.
I'm not going to spoil the ending but I will tell you that I was thrilled with how the book turned out when everything fell into place.  Whew!  It was another wonderful read by Sarah Eden and a perfectly Proper Romance!

Longing for Home: Hope Springs currently retails at for $12.99 as a eBook and for $14.39 as a paperback.

Learn more about author Sarah Eden 
by visiting her Facebook page and enjoy the video!

Disclaimer:  I received Longing For Home free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own...
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