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Showing posts from October, 2018

#LightTheWorld

Happy Halloween!

All we lack is a bunch of balloons, but we are going to remedy that soon. We'll be home tonight for trick-or-treaters, but our house might be approaching Paradise Falls by then. 😉
🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈

What are your plans today?

Tuesday Travels: Zipline Utah

I received a birthday gift this month that I never expected: a voucher to go zip lining at Zipline Utah. I am so thankful that my children view me as adventurous and willing to try things that are outside my comfort zone. Zip lining fit the bill perfectly. 😃

John and I drove up Provo Canyon on Friday. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day; the sun was shining and the temperature was near 70. We wanted to go before the weather turned more winter-like (though Zipline Utah is open year-round).
When we arrived, there was another couple signed up to go on the course (The Screaming Falcon) at the same time as us. We were all suited up, then were driven to the platform, high on the hill. We could barely see where the zip line ended, 3900 feet across Deer Creek Reservoir. 



The staff did an excellent job explaining how to position yourself, how to keep from twisting in the wind, and how (and when) to brake. We were told we would be traveling between 55-65 mph, and were told how to figure ou…

Ten Things of Thankful: Life's an Adventure Edition

Color is all around me, as fall puts on its bright display. Our high temperatures are approaching 70 this weekend; but then are forecast to drop to the 40's by Tuesday. Now is the time to embrace autumn, to live in the moment, to be present and intentional. Today's TToT is a bit of a selfish one, because I am writing it as much for me as for you readers. This afternoon, I am being brave and adventurous and will have 3,900 feet of fun, as I tackle the world's longest zip line over water. This post is my pep-talk to myself, as I think about all the lovely colors of autumn, the moments I have been present and intentional this week, and anticipate beautiful views and a rush of excitement as I zip line for the first time today.

Ready? Let's get started!

1. I'm thankful for the vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds of the changing leaves.

2. I'm thankful for the satisfying crunching sound I hear as I walk through the fallen leaves.

3. I'm thankful for fun projects compl…

Six Sentence Story: Classics

Linking up with Denise of Girlie on the Edge today with another Six Sentence Story. Today's prompt: classics.


Words spoken instantly transport me back to childhood. "Kerplink" evokes the smells, tastes, and sights of blueberry picking with Sal; "terrible" needs to be followed with "horrible, no-good, very bad;" "caps" are always for sale for fifty cents; and "I think" is not followed by "therefore, I am, " but rather, "I can," and repeated as a mantra.

The power of classic children's literature turns two-year-olds into "readers," as they recite, verbatim, the words of The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, and allows exhausted parents everywhere to speak, without even looking at the book, the text beginning with, "In the great green room. . . ."

The power of classic literature also transforms large stone buildings, with their steep entry stairs and heavy wooden f…

Wednesday Works: DIY Painted UP Mailbox

For the first time since the 1990's, we have an individual mailbox, as opposed to a community box. The mailbox that came with this house is small and missing its handle. That was just enough reason for me to decide to replace it with a personalized box that would make me smile every time I saw it.

Do you remember the Pixar movie, UP? I love that movie: it has a cute married couple, an adorable dog, and a lot of heart. During one scene early in the show, Carl and Ellie paint a mailbox that look like this one:

The movie mailbox was my inspiration. John purchased a big white box, we visited a craft store for some outdoor paint, and we figured out how to make a John & Kristi mailbox.
We started by trying to find a font similar to the one used. "Learning Curve" on PicMonkey seemed close to the one used for the names, and I used "Alter Ego" for the "and" sign. I did need to edit it a bit in the PicMonkey program. The "and" sign was bolder than th…

Tuesday Travels: Four National Parks in Four Days

Last month, my parents, husband, and I took a trip unlike any other that we've taken before; we visited four national parks in four days. Our usual method is to explore a place in depth, but for this particular trip, a broad overview worked for us. So come along as I recap our whirlwind tour of Capitol Reef, Zion, the Grand Canyon, and Bryce.

The first day of the journey, we left our house in Utah county in the morning around 9 or so. By early afternoon, we had arrived at Capitol Reef National Park. The red rock formations, deep canyons, and obvious evidence of the earth's movement gave us a sense of awe. 

We stopped at the Gifford House Store and Museum for a bite of pie before we going on the Scenic Drive. 

At the end of the scenic drive, we got out to hike part of the Capitol Gorge trail. 

Along the trail, we wondered how in the world these names were carved into the rocks so neatly. We also were curious as to how the people even reached that spot on the mountain; they must hav…

Monday Mentions: Jane and Emma Movie

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see a screening of the movie, Jane and Emma. I always face screenings with a bit of trepidation, because I really want to be able to give a good review, but recognize that not all films deserve high praise. Fortunately, in the case of Jane and Emma, I was very impressed. 

Jane and Emma is based on real people, Jane Manning and Emma Smith, and tells the story of their friendship in Nauvoo, Illinois in the early 1800's. I appreciated the fact that the writers did not gloss over the challenges that Jane faced as a black convert of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the prejudices of some of the other church members. Though I'm sure that being familiar with the history of the church added to my enjoyment of the film, viewers who have no background knowledge will still appreciate the story of friendship, loyalty, and faith.

The acting was first-rate, the writing was solid, and the musical score added to the feeling of …

Ten Things of Thankful: Oh, the Things I Can Do (when I'm not distracted!)

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm coming off of a social media fast. I enjoyed my time away immensely. Although I really appreciate all of you, my readers, I also would encourage you to take time off from your devices every now and then. 

I must admit there were times that I would see/hear something and think, "Oh, I can't send out a tweet, or post on Facebook," but then I realized that I could still enjoy the moment without having to share it with the world. 🙂

Now, however, I will share with you ten things I've been thankful for in the past two weeks:

1. I'm thankful for General Conference. This year, both the April conference and the October conference brought changes in the way the church operates. Most recently, it was announced that starting in January, our Sunday meeting schedule will decrease from 3 hours to 2. This is to better align with the idea that church is to support the home, and that gospel-learning is primarily a home responsibility. I'm very e…

Social Media Fast Ends: Here's What I Learned

When Russell M. Nelson urged the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to take a 10-day fast from social media, I gladly accepted the invitation. Although I had actually been revving up my use of social media in the preceding days, and felt like I was getting into more of a groove with my blogging and online presence, I also recognized the value in what President Nelson was suggesting. He said:
The effect of your 10-day fast may surprise you. What do you notice after taking a break from perspectives of the world that have been wounding your spirit? Is there a change in where you now want to spend your time and energy? Have any of your priorities shifted—even just a little? I urge you to record and follow through with each impression.I knew immediately that I needed time away from distractions. A smartphone, computer, and even my Fitbit constantly turned my attention away from what was happening right in front of me. Little minutes here and there added up to big chunk…

Social Media Fast: Blogging to Return Mid-October

As many of you know, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Tonight, at the women's session of General Conference, President Nelson challenged us to take a 10-day fast from social media. Although technology can be used for good, it is easy for me to become unbalanced in my time. I decided to accept his challenge and am looking forward to focusing my attention elsewhere. 

The posts that I've promised for next week will be delayed; they aren't ready to schedule to publish yet. However, I will return to blogging and other social media platforms later this month. 

You are welcome to join me in the break, if you'd like. I'm thankful for you, and will catch up with you when I return. 😊

Ten Things of Thankful: Grand Week Edition

The past week and a half has been a blur, as my parents came to town and we visited four national parks in four days. I'll publish a post next week detailing our adventures, but for now, let's just say we all had a grand time!

I'm so thankful this week:

1. That my parents could come to visit.
2. That we could enjoy the beauty of nature.
3. That we could laugh (a lot!)
4. That my parents extended their trip on both ends, so we could visit with other relatives and enjoy other sites (like Moon's Rare Books) as well.

Sometimes, after a vacation, it is hard to get back into a routine again. I'm thankful to be easing into things:

5. John and I were able to attend a meet-up for bloggers here in Utah. We were served dinner, learned about the #LightTheWorld Christmas campaign for 2018, listened to the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir, and watched a showing of the movie Jane and Emma. While we were there, we also just happened to run into someone who used to live in our area in Cali…

Six Sentence Story: Crunch

Each week, Denise ateGirlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Story link up. It's an enjoyable challenge: to write a sentence of only six sentences, based on the prompt word. This week's prompt is "crunch."

As a little girl, she read the papers, and knew that the Peanuts gang and others derived joy from jumping into big piles of fallen leaves, but she couldn't imagine exactly how that translated into fun. The leaves on the oak tree in the neighbor's yard turned brown before falling to the ground, and the Oregon rain kept them constantly soggy. 

She grew up knowing the jokes about Oregon's weather (Oregonians don't tan, they rust, and Rain is liquid sunshine), but didn't truly appreciate the underlying truth until she moved out-of-state for college. She couldn't get over the fact that the sky was cloudless most of the time, and that weeks could go by without precipitation--even in the fall!

Walking to her apartment after class one day, she was st…

Wednesday Works: DIY Fall Wreath

Since moving into our house in July, our front door has been naked. I couldn't stand that any longer, so ventured into the abyss of the basement to find the box labeled "wreaths." Alas, though I found that box, I didn't find a fall wreath. I probably should have tackled unpacking and organizing all of the boxes in the basement, but what fun is that? I decided instead to pick up some supplies and make a different autumn wreath. I also thought, "Maybe I should try my hand at making a YouTube video."


Basically, I spent 10 minutes explaining my complicated technique of how to shove stuff into a grapevine wreath. You don't have to be crafty in order to make a wreath. 😊
Do you like to decorate for fall?

Tuesday Travels: Moon's Rare Books

Last April, John and I stumbled across a little shop in Provo, Utah that we enjoyed so much that now anytime anyone visits us, we make sure to take them there. Moon's Rare Books, though it is a store, is set up more like a museum, and welcomes visitors who are just there to look.


As you walk in the front door, you step onto a floor made of 200-year-old bricks imported from France. Glass cases hold ever-changing displays of books, historical artifacts, and movie props. Several pioneer furniture pieces, made of pine but carefully painted with a feather to give the appearance of a finer wood, sit in the front of the store. 

Heading further back, you feel like you are walking down a narrow street in old England, with little shops on either side. Each is themed differently: one is dedicated to classic first edition books, one to Mormon/Utah history, one to Bibles, and the remaining two to pioneer household items and children's books and toys. 



The store employees happily give free tou…

Monday Mentions: The Great Alone

A month or so ago, I decided I would join the local library's book club. I read September's selection, The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah, and then realized that I would not be available for the first meeting. In lieu of discussing it among book club members, I thought I would give my impressions here. I won't delve deeply into the plot, as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might want to read it. 


The Great Alone tackles the big topics of veterans' mental health and the complexities of family abuse. Despite the seriousness of the themes, hope and love weave their way throughout the pages. We follow a man, his wife, and their daughter on a journey to Alaska, where they relocate and have to learn quickly how to survive. 

The book is well-written and believable. It does not provide societal solutions to the challenges posed, but brings to life the importance of improving mental health services and support for battered women. 

Have you read The Great Alone?  What we…