Monday, October 29, 2012


This was the first year that Jerry and I dressed up for Halloween together.  It was also my first couples' costume ever.  I've always thought that Jerry looked a bit like Russel from UP, the Pixar movie.  I'll let you decide.

UP is one of my favorite Pixar movies, and I've always thought that Russel was such a fun character.

As I mentioned, this was a couples' costume.  I attended as the house that the balloons carried away.  The strings are tied to my back belt loop.

My costume became a problem when we played "Hide and Ghoul Seek."  Not to brag or anything, but our costume rocked!

Thanks to Jen for providing most of it!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Last week, Jerry was out of town.  To fill what could have been very long days, I decided to work on sewing projects for Christmas gifts.  I'm still a sewing beginner and have decided that I like small projects that rely on a lot of straight lines.

I did three different things: cloth-covered notebooks, crayon rolls, and a bag.  If after reading this blog you feel inspired, Google instructions which are all over the internet.

I feel a certain amount of satisfaction when I take something wrinkled and frayed ...

and turn it into into something that looks tidy and complete.

I made eight cloth covered notebooks.  In order to avoid boredom I tried pockets on a few.  On the last two I sewed on ribbon.  I liked it better than the pockets.

Here are the final products.  (I made three BYU notebooks which are not all pictured.)

I decided that the younger crowd that I am making gifts for would not appreciate notebooks so much.  Then, I remembered that everyone at church as little cloth rolls to store their crayons.  With the help of some online instructions, I came up with this.

Last, but certainly not least, I made a bag to hold craft supplies.  It's pretty simple, but I think I have decided on a new technique.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I have always loved the sweet sounds of church bells.  When I attended BYU, I anticipated the first few measures of "Come, Come Ye Saints" every hour.  In Boston, the Park Street Church bells would play hymns at noon when I finished my internship at the Congregational Library.  The reassuring melody of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" was the only thing I liked about that internship.

In Edmonton, Jerry and I lived very close to an Anglican Church.  The bells tolled every hour and played hymns at noon.  Most memorable of all was midnight on Christmas Eve.  The bells rang for about half an hour as we listened in our cozy apartment.

Here, there are a lot of churches, but few church bells.  Luckily, we live in reasonable proximity to the sounds of the Catholic Church bells. At noon I am serenaded by "How Great Thou Art."  After an inspiring day of General Conference, the bells inspired me with their call to Saturday evening mass.

I"m hoping that in the future, I have enough control over my destiny to find myself near some church bells.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Almost Accomplished

Within two weeks, I will have accomplished a New Year's resolution of sorts.  I will have completed 100 books this year.  I'm not sure whether to be proud or depressed about this accomplishment.  Seriously, who has that much time?  I've read some incredible books this year - some short, some long.  I've also read some duds, but that is to be expected.

Here are five of the books which I loved.  I loved more than five and if you want a complete list become my friend on Goodreads.

Ida B ... and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and Possibly Save the World, by Katherine Hannigan

Ida B. loves her life on the farm with her parents.  She is friends with the rocks and the trees and the mountains.  Her parents teach her school at home and that is how she likes it, but when her mom gets sick her whole life changes and she decides to have a hard heart.  If you like quirky characters and stories with a strong moral, this is the book for you.

How They Croaked: the Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous, by Georgia Bragg

Was this book gross?  Yes.  Was it awesome?  Yes.  This includes the fascinating and gory deaths of historic figures like Cleopatra and James A. Garfield.  It's factual, a little sarcastic, and a lot of fun.

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

This is probably one of the most talked about books in the past couple of years, and it deserves all the praise it receives.  It tells the story of an Olympian who survives a plane wreck and Japanese POW camps.  When he returns home he is able to put his life back together.  Every part of this lengthy book is exciting and inspiring.

Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creek

 Because of my interest in children's literary history, I set a goal to read every Newbery Medal winning book.  I avoided this book because I didn't like the cover.  But seriously, the old cliche is true.  Read it.   It's wonderful.

 Wonder, by R.J Palacio

 This is another book worth the hype.  A kid with severe deformities decides to enter school starting the fifth grade.  Here he endures bullying, the challenges of finding friends, and other associated difficulties, but finds himself.  Okay, so I hate middle school angsty stories with classic bullies, but this one really was excellent.

And now for the books I don't recommend ...

Olive's Ocean, by Kevin Henkes

If you are actually reading my summaries, you will notice that I don't like  angsty, middle-school novels with bullies etc.  Yeah, this was one of those.

Fairies and the Quest for Neverland, by Gail Carson Levine

I love Gail Carson Levine, but I did not love this book.  I wish I had seen that Disney logo before wasting my time.

Small Persons with Wings, by Ellen Booraem

Maybe I should just avoid books involving fairies.  If you like fairies, you might enjoy this one.  

The Night Circus, by Ellen Morgenstern

In my opinion, this is the most overrated book of 2011.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham

Not all Newbery winners are winners.  This piece of historical fiction spent two much time explaining little bits of history and word origins and not enough time telling a story.