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Showing posts from October, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: Sports, Chili, and Neighbors Edition

I love fall. There's a bit of a nip in the air, yet the daytime temperatures don't require a heavy coat. The beautiful colored leaves contrast against the blue of the sky--until they fall to the ground and provide a delightfully crunchy walking surface. Fall elicits cozy feelings, but doesn't trap us inside our houses. Fall brings sports games, chili cook-offs, and association with neighbors. 

1. I'm thankful for nice people, even (and perhaps especially) when there are accidents. I got rear-ended this week, but there was no real damage to cars nor people, and the overriding feeling I took away from the experience (besides unbelief at being hit) was how nice the young man was who hit me. He was remorseful, gracious, and pleasant. If I Have to Have a Fender-Bender, Let it Be in Provo.

2. I'm thankful for Hruska's Kolaches. Yes, this is a repeat from last week, but can I just say YUM! As I'm typing this, I am realizing that we ate kolaches last Saturday, again …

Six Sentence Story: Menu

It's time for another Six Sentence Story! Each week, Ivy of Uncharted gives a cue, and, more often than not, I can record a family memory based on the clue. (Sometimes I do write fictional pieces based on the cue, but not this week.)



Her first-born was turning two, and Mom, trying to plan the birthday dinner, decided to ask the little guy what he wanted to eat. 

"He'll probably request ba-sketti, or perhaps hot dogs, but letting the birthday child pick the meal should be a tradition in this family," she thought to herself.

"Hey, Jake, what should Mommy cook for dinner? What would you like to eat?"

Though she clearly heard his response, it still caught her off guard, and she wondered about the economic feasibility of adopting the "birthday child chooses the menu" tradition.

Still, a promise is a promise, and that night (after a quick trip to the grocery store) the little family feasted on salmon. 







If I Have to Have a Fender-Bender, Let it Be in Provo

Ivy, over at Uncharted, is having a contest, asking for the best opening line of a country western ballad. When I was typing the title of this post, I could almost hear the twanging of guitar strings. That title, perhaps like many country western lyrics, was born of experience.


Monday morning, I was on my way back home after picking up some kolaches from Hruska's. (Yes, I had tried them for the first time on Saturday morning, and went back on Monday morning for more. If you've had them, you'll understand.) I was stopped at a 4-way stop, waiting for the car to the right of me to proceed before making a left turn, when BAM! a car plowed into me from behind. I couldn't believe it. I made the turn, pulled over to the side of the road, and the offender pulled up behind me. 

A young man, presumably a BYU student, got out of the car and immediately said, "I'm so sorry!" I didn't see any major damage to my car's bumper, so didn't bother to even get his …

Ten Things of Thankful: Closing Escrow Edition

We moved to Utah over the summer, knowing the move was the right thing to do for our family, though we didn't have all of the details hammered out ahead of time. We signed a year-long lease on a rental house. We trimmed, packed, stored, and moved our belongings, many of which are now in a storage unit here in Utah. We knew that this year would be a year of transition, as we sold homes in California and looked to purchase a home here in Utah. 

1. I'm thankful for the peace of mind that comes when we follow promptings, especially because action often requires a leap of faith.

We didn't expect to find our new home as quickly as we did. We planned on having our California houses sold before we made an offer on a Utah house, but instead we found ourselves involved in three simultaneous escrows. I could easily get caught up in the stress of it all, but if I truly thought about it, the stress was superficial and the peace was enduring. Everything came together, and in case the post…

Six Sentence Story: Yard

Today is Thursday, which means that Ivy of Uncharted is hosting another Six Sentence Story blog hop. The timing of this week's cue (yard) is impeccable. This morning, John and I are going to sign final escrow papers on the purchase of our new-to-us home. I've had "yard" on my mind quite a bit lately. 

The house itself stood still and firm, waiting for the couple to turn their attention to it, but not even its wrap-around porch could redirect their excitement from the yard. 

The green grass in the front yard grew with reckless abandon, unconcerned about the purple-flowered weeds, caring only about reaching ever-closer to the bright blue sky.Two fruit trees--pear and apricot--rooted deeply under that green grass, proud of the fact they were not hidden behind the man-made abode, but could be seen from the street. Maples, pines, and quaking aspen each contributed their own character, but although they were native to the area, perhaps nothing said wild quite as well as the …

It's Almost Party Time, and You're Invited! #FamilySearchIndexing

Have you ever found information about an ancestor online? Perhaps you've stumbled across an obituary, or a census record. Maybe you've discovered a newspaper article, or a marriage license. If you have, you understand what a thrill it is to learn something about someone who is related to you. 

Have you ever wondered just how that information gets published online? In brief, digital images are taken of paper records, and then, thanks to many volunteers, the names and dates from those images are indexed. People like you and me can download a batch of records, then carefully transcribe what is written. 

Indexing is simple, and you can return a batch anytime. There is help available every step of the way, and each batch is indexed by more than one person, and any differences are arbitrated. It's a no-pressure, interesting, helpful project, and can be done by people of all ages. 

Why am I mentioning this? #FamilySearchIndexing is hosting an event on October 20-22, with the goal of…

Ten Things of Thankful: Autumn Splendor Edition

I was reminded last week that I haven't done a photo-heavy Ten Things of Thankful list in a while, so I determined to capture in pictures the beauty of the fall season. John, youngest daughter, and I headed up Provo Canyon to see the colorful display of the changing leaves. We saw not only trees, but animals, a waterfall, and other things that caught my eye. Hope you enjoy!

I am thankful.

What have you noticed this week that makes thanksgiving swell in you? Comment below, and feel free to write your own post to link at the Ten Things of Thankful blog!





Six Sentence Story: Spirit

Every Thursday, Ivy graciously hosts the Six Sentence Stories link up. This week's cue: Spirit. Like many (though not all) of the stories I write, this one is true:

The thought--"Your baby could be born today"--popped into her mind so suddenly and unexpectedly that Easter morn, she knew it was the Holy Spirit who interrupted her concentration on the Sunday sermon. She smiled with anticipation and tucked the premonition away.

Two months later, the phone rang. 

"A premature baby girl will be ready to leave the hospital in the next few weeks, and needs a foster family."

As the social worker shared details about this tiny baby, a quick consultation with the calendar confirmed that the infant was born on Easter Sunday. 

"Yes, of course we will take her."






It's Never Too Early: "A Sacred Christmas" CD Review

I know what you're thinking: We still have eleven weeks before Christmas Day arrives! I'm still trying to figure out how to make the Halloween costume for my child! I can't possibly think about Christmas yet!

Put your panic aside. This post aims to be as calming as the music I've been listening to lately. I love Christmas music, and I listen to it pretty much constantly from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Day. I decided to break my "wait until after Thanksgiving" rule when Garth Smith graciously sent me an early copy of his latest CD, A Sacred Christmas, in exchange for a review. I'm glad I did!



Garth Smith's piano solos invite the peaceful feelings of the season, and provide the perfect background to a quiet evening. A Sacred Christmasfeatures not only his amazing solos; various vocalists and instrumental artists join in on some of the tracks. Traditional carols make up most of the album, but the arrangements that might not be as familiar (San…

Ten Things of Thankful: Messages from General Conference

As promised earlier, here are some messages that stood out to me from this fall's General Conference, ten thoughts for which I am thankful:


Those are just a few "sound bites" from conference; if you'd like to get the full experience, you can watch, listen, or read all of the talks here

Did any of those quotes stand out to you? What are your thoughts?

Be sure to visit the Ten Things of Thankful blog and feel free to link up your own list of what you are thankful for this week!





Ten Things of Thankful: Hope for a Routine Edition

As regular readers know, I moved across state lines in August, and I've found myself struggling to find my groove and establish an everyday routine here. I'm finally starting to see the end of some of the tasks associated with moving, and can look ahead to settling in. This week, I'm thankful:

1. The escrow on the sale of our primary home in California is now closed! Within the next few weeks, we should be completely done with escrows, and I'm happy to start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Inspections of the new house came back with only minimal issues--nothing that would give us great concern. I'm starting to think about paint colors, etc. and things we'd like to do when the house is officially ours. 

3. We were able to figure out how to get the treadmill inside the house. It had been sitting inside the garage since our move, but recently (and with the help of a nice stranger who was walking by and noticed we could use a hand), we were able to get i…

Movie Review: #TheStray

Wednesday evening, I had the opportunity to attend the premiere of the movie, The Stray, distributed by Purdie Distribution.(Disclaimer: I was provided free tickets and compensation for my review, but the opinions expressed are my own.) What an exciting time! I sat on a bench across from the carpet and watched the stars--including Shiloh, the dog--walk the red carpet prior to the screening. A woman sat down next to me, and I discovered she is the mother of Enoch Ellis, one of the child actors. She mentioned how she carefully reads the scripts before allowing her son to accept a role, and how happy she was with the script of The Stray.



After watching the movie, I understood her delight. The Stray is a true story about a young family and a dog that showed up one day. The story is sweet, but not sappy. (You might want to pack a tissue or two, though.) The message of love, faith, and family comes through in an authentic way--the meaning is shown, but not beaten into the audience. 

The film …

Ten Things of Thankful: Live Studio Audience Edition

I started writing this post a few days ago. Yesterday morning, I woke up to the news about the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Like everyone else, I am stunned at the horrific crime, and pray for peace, comfort, and healing for the victims and their families.

Even though the mood of the nation is heavy now, I'm going to go ahead with this post. We can find things to be thankful for even in dark moments. Our homes can be havens of peace, joy, and love, even when evil rages in the world. The terror of Sunday night does not negate the good moments of the previous week. 

So, if you can put aside the major news outlets for a moment, I'll take you back through my week and share some bright moments in my life--things for which I am thankful.

Last Monday evening, John and I continued our quest to discover all the gastronomic delights in Provo. We ate dinner at Cafe on Fire, a Persian restaurant with attentive, personable service and fresh food. Though dinner was fine, dessert at Rockwell Ice…