Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When was the last time you cried?

I know you all get them, the emails that want to know more about you. What your middle name is, favorite color, food, ect. And without fail the question "When was the last time you cried?" is always on there. I would like to explore that a little bit, and I mean a little bit. Here is a slight opening into my thoughts on crying. Emotion. Deep emotion. 

My face is the book to how I feel or what I think. I do not try to hide fear, anxiety, joy, anger, or frustration. These emotions are on my face for the world to see. But that is where I draw the line. Crying is not something I am comfortable with. There is a reason I refuse to read certain books and watch certain movies. It is not cleansing for me to cry, so the chick flicks are not something I enjoy.  But the good news is (and I am sure you are on the edge of your seat) I do infact cry, a lot.  And I am here to tell you when and were, then the question that haunts me can haunt me no more. 

Let me first start with defining crying.  Crying, to me, is tears in your eyes (may or may not spill over) and an ache in your heart. Sobbing is another beast...I do not do that! So let me tell you what makes me cry and when the last time I did it.

Love. Love for my country. Love for the American Flag, for the National Anthem, for the Star Spangeled Banner, for the Pledge of Alliegence.  Love for the soliders and their families that sacrifice all they have.  Love for the Olympics and the pride I feel when I watch the athletes compete for my country. Love for my religion. Love for my Savior Jesus Christ.  Love for my Heavenly Father, the scriptures, the callings, and the blessings poured down upon my head.  Love for my religious leaders, the time and effort they put into their calling, the familes that allow them to do so. Love for my family and the knowledge that I have taken a path they did not have planned for me. 

Children.  Children with disabilities, that are treated unfairly. Children with disabilities that are treated fairly but still have the cursed disability.  The breath taking beauty of my children.  The God given talents that they are blessed with and watching them perform with those talents.  Listening to them tell me of their hopes, dreams, and ambitions.  The unbelievably open future at their fingertips.  Stepping back and watching them interact with others.  Hearing others compliment them on their special Spirit.  Seeing sickness devour their bodies.  The fear of heartaches they have to endure as part of life.  The thought of one day letting them go, having to step back, trusting the world to love them as much as I do.  The frustration of not being able to give them all they desire. Looking them in the eyes and seeing disappointment. Knowing they are mine. Mine to protect, mine to hold, mine to love.

Music.  Anything by Enya, John Schmidt, or Paul Cardall. Song Titles: You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift, Fireflies by Faith Hill and Ocean City, Second Chance by Shinedown, Over the Rainbow by everyone, White Flag by Dido, Doesn't Matter by Linkin Park, The Reason by Hoobastank, Fall for You by Secondhand Serinade, My Immortal by Evenascence, Whatever It Takes, Lifehouse, What About Now by Chris Daughtry, Breathe in Breathe out by Matt Kearney. Any and all Musicals, especially when a dear friend is performing in it, or my daughter.  The one musical admitedly openly weaped at was Wicked in New York City.  Soundtracks that can transport me back to the movie, taking me away from the stress and kaos of my life. Lord of the Rings, of course, and don't leave out Pirates of the Carribbean, and Harry Potter.  Peter Pan, Legends of the Fall, Last Samauri, Narnia, Memoirs of a Geisha, Stardust, Beowulf, Last of the Mohicans, Slumdog Millionaire, Pans Labrinyth, August Rush, Kingdom of Heaven, and Gladiator. Hans Zimmer and Alan Silvestri are well known names at my house. Music that can take my heart and wrench it, tug at it, lift it, or dash it away. And many many more artists that have slipped my mind...

So when was the last time I cried? Every minute of every day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


These are some pictures I took of my nephew this week.

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Friday, August 21, 2009


Sunday was an inspirational day for me. We had a great RS lesson from the Joseph Smith manual on friendship. Joseph Smith said some very profound things that made me reflect on my feelings about friendship. Some of the attributes of friendship were, "...faithful, long suffering, noble, true, companion, social, kind, generous, mirth loving, holy, pure, just, undaunted, firm, unchangeable." When I look at that list I can think of many many friends that fit that description and, like Joseph Smith, I feel greatly blessed.
"I don't care what a man's character is; if he is my friend-a true friend, I will be a friend to him, and preach the Gospel of salvation to him, and give him good counsel, helping him out of his difficulties." In one of my book clubs we discussed what animal we are most like, a couple of friends said I was closest to a Wolf. Fierce and deadly if crossed, but loyal and protective to the pack. My friends are many things, but none of them are perfect and I try to look past that to the heart. They are my friends and no matter what others say about them, or how they are judged I continue to stand by them, giving them advice when needed, and hopefully peace of mind when they are troubled. That is what loyal means to me. I may not agree with what they do, but I never leave them alone in their trials. And on the flip side, friends may not agree with me, or what I do, but knowing they support me gives me the lift I need to keep going.
The last paragraph I really liked was a letter Joseph Smith wrote while he was in hiding, "These I have met in prosperity, and they were my friends; and I now meet them in adversity, and they are still my warmer friends. These love the God that I serve; they love the truths that I promulgate; they love those virtuous, and those holy doctrines that I cherish in my bosom with the warmest feelings of my heart, and with that zeal which cannot be denied..." Trials are the true test of friendships. I have a handful of friends that I have been through the fire with and they are still my truest and most loyal friends. They forgive me my weaknesses, my grouchy days, my weeks of no phone call, and they still come to my aide at a moments notice. I can only hope that I am also that type of friend to them. "...that I may toil for them, and administer to their comfort also. They shall not want a friend while I live; my heart shall love those, and my hands shall toil for those, who love and toil for me, and shall ever be found faithful to my friends. Shall I be ungrateful? Verily No! God forbid!"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pictures I Love!

Here are a few pictures I took of beautiful things and people. I hope you will all look at these pictures and have a strong desire to save a 3rd world country. This will aide me in my endevours to save the world via my new camera! Thank you!

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The People I Love

This is a picture of the children I love more than life. We are at Antelope Island and my fabulous sister A took the pic of us!
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Friends and Lunch

Yesterday was a blast from the past. M who I went to elementary school, Jr. High, High School, and roomed for with 2 years at Ricks College, contacted S (who went to Ricks with us) and I. Thank heavens for M and her determination to get us together, because she set up a "play date" for us and we got together for an afternoon of catching up. Our kids had fun playing in the water and we had fun chatting and laughing. It was so good to see them again and I look forward to our "girls only" night when we can shed the children! We did miss M2 who couldn't make it from a state far away :( and hope to catch her the next time she is in town!
I walked away rejuvenated, feeling younger, and joyful. These ladies are great examples to me and their friendship means a lot. It was a breath of fresh air, uplifting, and I could go on and on about how wonderful it was...but I will spare you the bliss!
I did however have an incident on the way out of the park which gave us all something to say: Hayden: "Did that guy want to marry you? I don't want him to be my dad!" Hunter: "Is that the craziest man you have ever met? Compare that to the guys in NY...which is worse?" Harley: (rolling her 13 year old eyes) "He should have been talking to me!" What a way to end the day!
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Friday, July 17, 2009


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince just came out in theatres and I was lucky enough to be invited to help throw one of the biggest Hogsmead Festivals in the state of Utah. D and I went as Fred and George Weasley. It was a kick in the pants to mess my hair up and then look D right in the face and begin a serious conversation!J an old "midnight showing" friend ( standing in the background) was in charge of the festival and he did the most amazing job! It was really fun because, we met up with old midnight movie friends (I am not sure if it is a good thing or not, but there were many people there that recognized me and called me by the name capt. jac...then looked at me and said, "what is your real name?"), and made new ones. It was fun looking at everyone in costume...takes me back to my youth (or the last midnight movie I went to...)
Lucius Malfoy and Belletrix Lestrange freaked us out so much that we had to take a picture with them. We tried to get them to smile, being Fred and George, but we were shot down one joke after another. In my opinion they should have won the costume contest!

Here we are the Happy Weasley family. Mum, Fred and George, Ginny, and Ron...ahhhh the memories! (And yes, this was one of those hair moments!)

Then we have Professor Dumbledore, Professor Trelawny, us, and Ginny (that little sister of ours just tags along...little sisters!) And good 'ol Hagrid. Wouldn't be a party with out him!

And last but not least we have the Gryffendor Quidditch Team of which we are a part of...Beaters we are! The best in the business.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Can you feel it?

A couple posts ago I wrote about the need for a new camera. I wrote about the things I would do with a new camera like: bring world peace, build schools in 3rd world country's and such. Well, I am proud and giddy with joy to announce the arrival of my new Sony a350. I would like you to know I am still learning how to shoot amazing photo's, but while I am learning I think I have taken some doozies.
I honestly have no idea who this woman is, but I loved her dog and she was so cute trying to teach her to jump in the water I could not resist. (Does this make you want to build a school in Africa?)

This is a picture of my nephew's hands. His dad was holding him at Wheeler Farm and I looked over and a vision of world peace came to my mind. (Do you feel like the world is more at peace after viewing this photo?)
For an Enrichment Group we are doing a Photo Class. As one of our "lessons" we went up to the temple and took some pictures of the flowers. Unfortunately the hail storm that happened the day before gave us slim pick'ns because the flowers were pretty thrashed, but I got a few good ones! (Does this make you want to read a book and become more knowledgeable?)
I took this picture at Bear World in Rexburg, Idaho. This little guy was just hanging out in his den and I loved him. (Does this make you want to hug your loved ones?)

This is in Yellowstone National Park. We went there for a family vacation this month and I got some beautiful shots of nature at it's finest. (Do you feel like exercising and eating healthy foods after viewing these photo's?)

So in the end I feel like I am well on my way to achieving my goals. As long as you keep viewing and reading my messages (of peace, love, and knowledge) this world will slowly become a better place!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire


In many words: This is one of the best movies I have seen all year. In fact, this movie is easily in my top 3 favorite movies (The Last Samurai, Lord Of The Rings, and Slumdog Millionaire). Slumdog Millionaire is a story about an orphaned boy who made it onto the T.V. show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. When Jamal is 1 question away from winning 1 Million Rupee's he is arrested and charged with cheating. The police interrogate him (Jack Bauer style) but find out that he knew the answers not because he went to school and had knowledge, but because of where is life led him as a young orphan. The movie flashes back to his youth as he explains how he knew each answer.
Slumdog Millionaire left me feeling sad, happy, entranced, angered, compassionate, free, stunned, delighted, smiling and uplifted. I have not stopped thinking about this movie all weekend and plan on purchasing it soon. I will be watching it often and I look forward to the day when I can share this movie with my kids. The music defiantly helped sell the movie for me, we purchased the soundtrack and have listened to it all weekend.
This movie is rated R because of torture and violence. However, after telling my kids the story of the movie there were 3 scenes I let my children see. I believe that the story was told so beautifully I wanted to share that with my kids. I would not let my children watch the entire show, just enough for them to get the point. My husband and I did have to turn on the subtitles after about 10 minutes of trying to decipher the English. I am glad we did, it really helped us with words we would have otherwise missed. I recommend this movie to any adult who wishes to be inspired.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jodi Picoult

April was the month of Picoult for me. I started listening to My Sister's Keeper on my iPod while reading The Pact without considering what my mental state would be at the end of the month.
I will start my reviews with My Sister's Keeper. It is a book about a family with a child suffering from leukemia. Because of this, Anna was conceived as a "harvest child" and genetically engineered, through in vitro fertilization, so that she would be a genetic match for her older sister Kate. When Anna was born, her cord blood was donated to her sister, but when the leukemia returned she then had to donate blood and bone marrow. Kate's kidney's fail when she is sixteen and Anna is thirteen. Kate's only chance for survival is a kidney transplant. Because she would be a closer match than an unrelated donor and no other family member is a match, Anna is expected to donate one of her own kidneys to save her sister. Anna decides to hire a lawyer to become medically emancipated from her parents in order to gain the right to make decisions about her "donateable" body parts. Her parents, mainly her mother, fight her every step of the way refusing to see Anna's or Kate's needs over the need to have a child live.
This book was a soul searching journey for me. I do not have a terminally ill child, but I do have a child with a disability and he needs a lot of extra love, care, money, and time. As mad as I was at Anna's mother it forced me to my knees when I thought of what I would and DO do for my child. I realized how much my other children suffer at the face of H. This book made me look hard at the deep love I do have for my 2 older children. I see the pain in their eyes every time we have an "unfair" moment at our house, while simultaneously seeing the pain in the eyes of H because his LIFE is "unfair". I am a mother stuck between a rock and a hard place which, much to my displeasure, made me identify to the mother in this novel. I hated her but I understood her. At one point in the book Sara, the mother, has no sympathy for Anna (who is in pain after donating marrow to Kate) when Kate has pain every day of her life. The realization made my toes curl and my fists clench...until I remembered the lack of empathy I have for my 2 children. Painfully I remembered thoughts such as: "I expect this from H, I should not have to deal with it from you" or "you have no right to complain about how hard your life is...have you seen your brother's lately?". I was horrified at the face in the mirror.
This book had me in tears daily, mourning their sick daughter, their "not sick" daughter, and "not there" son. I looked into my heart and saw how much each of my children mean to me individually and am trying to express that to them. I believe reading this book has made me a better mother and person. I recommend this book to anyone, yet I have no desire to re-live it through the movie coming out in June.

Now, onto The Pact. One word: Haunting. This novel terrified me, angered me, stunned me (as in taser-stunned). Here it is in a nutshell: A suicide pact between a boy and a girl. One dies, one lives.
If you are a parent continue reading at your own risk...For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. They've been soul mates since they were born. So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There is still a bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father's cabinet-- a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. After an autopsy Chris is taken into custody and a trial takes place.
This book for me was like driving down the freeway and seeing a horrible car wreck. You know that whatever you see will haunt you forever, yet you can't look away. Both sets of parents dealt with the tragedy differently yet horribly. The raw fact that your child could be suffering for YEARS and you, as the mother or father did not know it, was too much for my heart. Micheal, Emily's father, took the stand and said something to the effect of: it is easier to point the finger than to admit that you did not know your daughter was in pain, that you failed her. (And the tears for all the wrongs you have done as a parent start to flow). In my mind there was no good way to end the book, too many lives were shattered by horror to pick up the pieces and go on. This tragedy is truly the definition of hell for a parent. Even so, the actual ending was very very disappointing more so because of the authors admission to "not wanting to get hate mail". I think Picoult knew how the book needed to end, but took it the other way and I was not impressed. I would not recommend this book and pray they do not make it into a movie!
Both of these books really made me look inside myself and face the demons that we all have. My best friend once said, "It is the realization that hurts the most". After reading these books I understand what she means I have always known-but facing them hurts worse than the knowledge of them.
Now that I have finished these 2 books I will be taking a couple weeks to recover in the sun thinking happy thoughts of my children's future before I start 19 minutes, another one of Picoult's books that is sure to throw my emotions into a tailspin...I know, I know, gluten for punishment.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Girly (to the tune of Loathing from Wicked)

"What is this feeling so sudden and new,
I felt the moment I laid eyes on you.
My pulse is rushing
My head is reeling
My face is flushing
What is this feeling?
Fervid as a flame
Does it have a name?

Unadulterated [girly]
For [my] face
[My] voice
[My] clothing
Let's just say
I [love] it all
Ev'ry little trait, however small
Makes my very flesh begin to [glow]
With simple [beauty product]
There's a strange exhilaration
In such total ['fashionation']
It's so pure, so strong!
Though I do admit it came on fast
Still I do believe that it can last
And I will be [girly]
My whole life long!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A New Camera For Me...

Here are 3 good reasons I need a new camera:


The sad news about these beautiful pictures is that my camera did NOT take them...my camera would have made them out of focus and the pixel's would have been grainy. No the truth is my sister took these pictures with her AMAZING camera that I think I should have. I believe that I would help the economy, or build a school in Tibet, or even bring world peace with a new camera that could take stunning pictures. I believe that when I took a picture (and I would be taking them non stop with a new camera!!) people would stop and stare, stunned at the beauty of my pictures and that would inspire people to do great things (such as build a school in Tibet, then I would be asked to go and take a stunningly beautiful picture of it). Maybe my sister and I could go into business together and that would bring family peace-Ok, ok, maybe I should be happy I have a camera and a family and focus on that...ha focus...but wow I would look great with a new camera, I would definitely do great things with a new camera...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Grigori Rasputin

Since the beginning of my reading life Grigori Rasputin and the Romanov Family have been an itch I just could not satisfy with one or two scratches. Their lives fascinate, horrify, and intrigue me to no end. That is why when I discovered the book Rasputin's Daughter, I was delighted. While I was reading the book I felt like I couldn't soak the words up fast enough which lead me to read it again 1 year later. I had done more research on the mysterious monk and reading it a second time was much more enjoyable. Then I suggested the book to my book club and after 3 years of having it on the list it finally made it into a month! I am so excited for my friends to read this book and get their opinions on it.

Rasputin was born a peasant in the small village in Siberia. When he was young his family noticed he had healing abilities. The Tsarista of Russia, Queen Victoria's granddaughter- Aleksandria, heard of this humble peasant who had the ear of God, she petitioned him to visit her. Her request was that he, Rasputin, heal her son and heir of Russia, Alexi.
Rasputin's Daughter is a book about the time Rasputin spent healing the young Tsarovich, his devilish deeds he performed in the name of God, and his daughter's relationship to him and to his murderers. The story starts at the beginning of the downfall of the Tsar and ends with the murder of Grigori Rasputin.
The book tells us that the desperate relationship between the Tsarista and Rasputin was the fuel the revolutionist needed to bring down the Romanov Family.

Rasputin, as much as he intrigues me, was in fact, a disgusting peasant who had no education, ate all meals with his hands, drank until he fell to the floor, and molested women by the dozens. Rasputin had power and whatever evil deed he required of them, they must have felt it was worth his healing hands or his note of favor because they surrounded him daily. There are few people in the world that have been born of lowly birth and risen only to bring down an entire nation, Rasputin was one of them. I look forward to hearing what my book club has to say about this book and this man the Russians called Father Rasputin.

Monday, February 23, 2009


This month the kids have been listening to Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I read this book 5 years ago and LOVED it. I loved the darkness of the villains, it seemed like someone finally got it right with how dark and evil villains should be. The idea was amazing and I was hooked. I got my book club to read it and they also liked it. This year I thought my kids were old enough to handle the book, so we opened it up and started to read. They were instantly hooked when Dustfinger appeared at Meggie and Mo's doorstep. We listened to most of the book and the characters came to life for us, the narrator did such an amazing job reading it.

Much to our delight the movie Inkheart came out last month and we couldn't wait to watch it. We were worried it would be scary and dark, maybe too much for some of us. But we put on our brave heart and went as a family so excited for the adventure.
I had high hopes for this movie, Andy Serkis has been a long time favorite villain of mine, and I couldn't wait to see what Basta and Flat Nose looked like. But much to our disappointment the villains were more comical and nonsensy than scary and dark. Basta was a short, greasy, man with a small mustache. He was shorter than everyone which took the fright right out of him. Flat Nose, well, he was silly more than scary. Hayden said, "Flat Nose was an idiot, he was not scary at all, he looked like a dork. In the book his nose was missing not gigantic." Capricorn, played by Andy Serkis, just didn't capture the pure ink dark heart of Capricorn, I expected him to start mumbling about his "precious" at any moment (I could not help giggling when he was angry..."stupid fat hobbit"). Even my kids were disappointed in the characters. They really wanted to see what Basta looked like because they were afraid of him. Dustfinger was exactly as we pictured him, Paul Bettany did a great job, he was believable and we were sad for him just like in the book. And Farid was as I pictured him, but the kids thought he would be younger and shorter. Farid was Hunter's favorite character so he was a bit disappointed, but the rest of us were happy with him.
In the end, the movie was a great family film. It was not scary in the least bit, or intense really. If you want the full emotion and feeling of a great story I recommend you read the book, the movie felt like such a let down...to bad 'cause we LOVED the book! I would wait until it comes out on DVD and then only rent it from Red Box ($1) I am glad we went, I am glad the kids watched it, but the consensus was we would not watch it again. However, on the way home the kids asked when we can start reading Inkspell (the sequel). I love books and I love when my kids love books too! Long live the written word!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Book Thief

World War II. An event the "Greatest Generation" does not like to talk about. A momment in time where some people gave in to the fear and hate, but some people did not. It breaks my heart to read of the inhumane events that took place during that time, but I am fascinated by the true life stories of those who have risen from the ashes.
To be a Jew at that time...no words can express the sorrow. This book touches on what it was like to be a Jew from the start to the finish. It also talks about what it was like to be a German during the war, a story no one has ever told me before. The German families were given the choice to support the Fuhrer or die like the Jews. Hitler convinced an entire nation to willingly allow human suffering on such a vast scale. Those who tried to resist like Hans and Alex, were recruited and made to serve as soldiers for a cause they didn't believe in. This is a tale of the Jew, but it is also the tale of the German. Not the German consumed with hate and burning, but the German that is consumed with fear and sorrow.

This book is about the power of words. The words that took down a world. The words that took down neighborhoods. The words that took down families. "It's a burning testament to how words can overcome adversity, but also to how they have in extreme circumstances been used to create fanatic hatred. It's about the tragedy of what happens to the human soul when the power to express or write words is taken away from it. It shows that whilst words are an inspiring force in translating feelings, and in expressing the inexpressible, they can also destroy the very things that we hold most dear. They help us to survive and to endure the loss of those that don't."

Which leads me to my next thought: survivors guilt. "To live. Living was living. The price was guilt and shame." (pg 227) There are many examples of this in the book. Rudy's father, Hans, Robert, Max. "When they come and ask you for one of your children, ...you're supposed to say yes." (pg 446)

Zusak has written this book from Death's point of view. He took words (death, war, and sorrow) and painted them in such a way that you could smell it, taste it, touch it, and see it. "For me, the sky was the colour of Jews. When their bodies had finished scouring for gaps in the door, their souls rose up. their fingernails had scratched the wood and in some cases were nailed into it by the sheer force of desperation, and their spirits came towards me, into my arms. We climbed out of those shower facilities, onto the roof and up, into eternity's certain breadth. They just kept feeding me. Minute after minute. Shower after shower." (pg 372)

This book is one I recommend to anyone, children, young adults, adults. This is a book that will open your eyes to the power of words and the power of love.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hotel for Dogs

I am trying to figure out when I became an 'animal lover'. This is not something that I was raised to be. I was taught by my dad to respect animals and coexist with them, I was taught by my many cousins and friends to be terrified of them, but there was never the heart melting and wanting to hold them in my childhood, youth, or young adult life.
We have seen 2 movies this winter that have really got me thinking. And when people ask me if it they were good movies, I think about whether these people like dogs or not in order to answer them.
First was 'Marley and Me' Of course, Marley reminded us of Shrute our yellow lab (who lives with Kimmy now) and we cried because we miss him so much (I know...why would we miss the destructive, depressed, ADHD dog?) And when he dies in the end...well it was a blubbering mess of tears for our family! (I previously posted about a book I read that also messed with my dog Psyche) Then this past weekend we went to see "Hotels for Dogs".
One of the lead actors was a Boston Terrier and we all OHHHHHed and AHHHHHed that it looked just like Charlie our little Boston. There were many homeless, ugly, dirty dogs in this movie and we laughed at some of them. But for the most part as each new dog was introduced there was a collective "OHHHHH he is so cute" from my kids. And in the credits there were pictures of the crew with their animals, we could not pull our kids away until it was done. And I will admit I was also glued to the screen! Again, when did this happen?? I love Charlie and would be devastated if we lost him or he died. My mother-in-law even said, "I have grown quite fond of Charlie."
And it is not just my dogs, but it runs into Hunter's hamster, Squirmy, that I love and take care of, the other 3 hamsters we had over the summer (Phillip Johnny Bob, Optimus Prime, and Pigeon Larry), my friends' agoraphobic dog Chloe, racist dog Reeda, and the rare kangaroo Marley. This concept is baffling to me, I am an animal lover...wow I didn't see this coming! (This does not mean Hayden is getting a King Cobra-don't worry!)