It must be the holidays or something because I am feeling the busy.


Congratulations to Rebecca Irvine, who won Jana Parkin’s beautifully illustrated book “What Think Ye of Christmas?”. It’s available for sale through Jana’s site if you’re interested in getting your own copy.


Clark rode a sled down the mountain in our back yard and crashed into our house with his head.  He got a concussion, and after the CT scan, we discovered he also had a skull fracture.  His guardian angels must have been working overtime that day because, other than the big shiny black eye, he has managed to come out of it unscathed.  It could have been so bad.  I’m so glad he’s okay.


Matt took Natalie to urgent care tonight, and (go ahead, take a guess . . . . ) she has ANOTHER urinary tract infection.  Only she got this one while she’s been on antibiotics for over a month, so ???!?.  I’m assuming this means back to the children’s hospital we go for more testing.  Oh yay.


Over on Cocoa’s blog, she has an excellent download available.  I used it to create a one-page document with scripture readings for every day of December– Christmas Advent calendar style.  You can click here to download it if you want a copy.


Things get crazy, but I love Christmas time.  It’s for lots of reasons, but partly just because I love Jesus Christ, and I love it when the world pays more attention to Him.


I had my annual exam with Dr. Ladyparts today and survived.  I may or may not have held back tears when I got weighed.  (I don’t have a scale at my house and I really did not want to know.)


If I could create a fictional character to really put my heart into this Christmas, it would be a laundry fairy.  Sorry, Santa, but I have real needs.  And most of them require wands and such.


Can we make a little December pact?  You have permission to ignore my blog.  And so do I.  I anticipate a significant slow-down in blogging to compensate for the acceleration of so many other things. We’ll still love each other next year, right?


GCBC Week 9: Let There Be Light!

“Let There Be Light!”
Elder Quentin L. Cook
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Elder Cook’s talk is a call to action.  He wants us to be more proactive against the forces of evil.

“If we do not black out evil from our homes and lives, do not be surprised if devastating moral explosions shatter the peace which is the reward for righteous living. Our responsibility is to be in the world but not of the world.”

For me, personally, I took away three action items:

  1. Resurrect my Protecting Innocence Project and do my part to fight the influence of evil media.
  2. Be positive, be bold, and remember civility.
  3. My home needs to be a bunker– a holy refuge.

How about you? What are your favorite principles or quotes from Elder Cook’s talk?  Is there anything you learned here that you had not considered before?  What stood out to you as you studied it?  And, most importantly, what did it make you feel or want to do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  Participation kind of dropped off a little last week.  I know it was a crazy holiday and all, so jump back on board and be an active participant.  I’ll be sad if you start falling off the GCBC wagon.  I love your contributions.  (If this is your first time to General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it.)

p.s.  Thanks for your patience with the delay and your sweet comments about Clark.  He is doing fine, and I’ll post more about him tomorrow.

Day in the ER = GCBC delay

I know that Thursday was technically Thanksgiving, but ours was most felt today. Clark sledded into the back of our house and got a concussion and a skull fracture. But for the grace of God, no brain trauma. Poor kid is miserable, but I’m so grateful that what-could-have-been wasn’t.

I’ll try to get General Conference Book Club up tomorrow.

Why Thanksgiving feels good

“A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.  . . . As with all commandments, gratitude is a description of a successful mode of living. The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us.”  ~James E. Faust

Have a wonderful day as you take inventory of all your blessings.  After all, it’s the first day of new greatness.  (And there’s pie of course, which counts for at least half of the greatness.)

Favorite Christmas Books for Families (including a giveaway)

I hope this doesn’t count as playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  I just want to give you some great ideas so you can get a jump start on the holiday season.  We love to read around here anyway, but come Christmas time, I hit the library and clean them out of nativity-related stories (I know, I’m selfish).  We also own several that we love to read every year.  I keep a basket full of Christmas books by the fireplace, and send my children there anytime I want them to settle down.  We all cuddle on the couch and read stories for a while, and we usually read several stories at bedtime as well.  Here are some of our favorites:  (I got the pictures from Amazon.com)

What is Christmas? by Michele Medlock Adams is a sweet rhyming book that talks about the true meaning of the day.

The Donkey’s Christmas Song by Nancy Tafuri:  I love this one about how Jesus loves us all just as we are.

The Fourth Wise Man by Susan Summers and Jackie Morris: You might have to tell it in simpler words to the youngest children, but the story and pictures are beautiful.  (Incidentally, I watched the movie “The Fourth Wise Man” at a zone conference on my mission and it fast became a holiday favorite for me.  I really recommend it as a great Christmas movie to watch with your family.)
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson.  This is one of my favorite stories about a mouse whose selfish ways turn around when the real story of Christmas changes his heart. So sweet.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas is by the same author,but this one doesn’t count for the nativity-type.  The rhyming text is just whimsical, the story is cute, and my kids love it.

my very first Christmas Story: a very simple board book that tells the true story of Christmas with cute pictures

The Shepherd Boy’s Story: another cute Christmas story board book that encourages children to tell others about Jesus.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is an excellent read-aloud about some rotten kids from a troubled family who forced their way into roles in the local Christmas play.  Your children will love reading about all their mischievous antics, and I’ll be surprised if you can read about the actual performance without tearing up.  It’s a great story about the goodness in all of us, even where we least expect it.

Okay, so technically this is not a book. Classic Holiday Stories is a Disney DVD.  I like to read my children some kid-friendly version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, or maybe the original text this year. This DVD has the Disney cartoon, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, which I think is cute and my boys really liked it last year. It will be fun to watch it again after reading the story.

Finally, I recieved this book as a gift from Jana Parkin (a.k.a. Charette in the blogging world) a few weeks ago.  It is called What Think Ye of Christmas? by Ester Rasband. 

Jana did all the artwork for the book in beautiful watercolor paintings.  It is really a lovely book that explains the Christian message behind all the symbols of Christmas time.  It helps you to find and recognize Christ even amidst a commercial wonderland.  “All things bear record of Him.” It encourages you to live out that Spirit of Christ as you celebrate the holiday.  And Jana’s paintings are so masterful and charming.  We went out to lunch the day she gave me the book as a gift, and after I took it home and read through it, I wished I had kidnapped her to come home with me and paint something beautiful like that on my walls.  Would you like to win a free copy of “What Think Ye of Christmas?” Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for this fantastic Christmas book, courtesy of the artist herself.  For anyone who would like to purchase copies as gifts, you can do so here (you can find a discount code on Jana’s blog).  Drawing will be open through Thanksgiving Day.

Do you have any favorite Christmas books in your family?