Friday, June 21, 2013

So happy with the new blog.

Starting a new blog is the best thing I have ever done. I am learning so much and feeling myself become a better person just because I have chosen to focus on what matters most.

Today I wrote about one of the good lessons I learned on the trail last week. I don't know if I would have had my eyes open for it without the blog. It is the best feeling knowing that I am heading in the direction God wants for me. The best feeling!

I think I might start taking one old post from here and repost it over there until I feel I have transferred everything over that I really care about. This way I will also get practice in the editing department. It's the start of something new. It feels so right to be here with you...high school musical is awesome.

P.S. come over and like me on my new FB page inloveathome as the imsofunny FB page will be retired on Monday and eventually so will this whole blog.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In Love At Home

Over at my new blog InLoveAtHome, I have touched on the subjects of

Summer Labor - My kids are earning their school clothes.
Raising Girls - My hubby is the best father of daughters.
Affection - Some girls like it like boys.
Bathroom Serenity - Yes this post is titled "Pooping In Peace" and one of my girls asked if I thought anyone would actually read it.
Sleep - Extra sleep helps parents be happier.

and more.
Come join me where the blogging hasn't stopped
and where I really am learning to love motherhood.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Whole Month

I've been on my new journey for a whole month and it's been somewhat like detox. I don't feel the need to check my e-mail anymore as there won't be anything there for me of social importance. I'm surprised because I am kind of enjoying the solitude. I have had a lot of time on my hands to get in touch with myself.

I'm an attentionmonger. It's been kind of fun to attack this weakness. Liberating to not need people as much.
It also can be lonely. I have become more aware of how extroverted I am. I need more social in my life, but unlike my past I need the social to have meaning. I am trying to focus on quality instead of quantity. I want to start a bookclub. I feel like my bookclub ladies in Knoxville were some of my closest relationships that made a difference in my life.

I've been reading a lot. In the past two days,  I have enjoyed two books: Lucky by Alice Sebold (LOVE HER) and Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson. Both have given me perspective for me. I am blessed. I also need to be happy with a very small sphere of influence even if it's just my own little family.

The one thing I have been feeling a lot in the past month is that there is something out there for me. There is some way that I will make my stamp on the world, I just don't know what it is. I feel like I need to figure it out. It's been a little frustrating.

Am I supposed to adopt more kids? Have more kids? Write an inspirational book? Just keep living my quiet little life and enjoying my family? Then I go back to my self peptalk of "Alice, you can't live your life for other people to notice. You just have to live your life FOR other people."

I think the thing I notice the most about people who truly influence others is that they are comfortable in their own skin. My skin? It doesn't fit quite right. I am working on it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Letting go

I've talked about starting a new blog for forever, but I just didn't have the courage to let this one go.

I still haven't figured out how to completely walk away as I don't want to let my life chronicled here for the past 8 years to be lost forever. I think I will post once a month or so here just to keep this alive for all the work and writing and photos and memories.

But, this is my big announcement. I am finally strong enough to say goodbye. It's a big deal. This place has been my refuge in many many hard times. My readers have been there for me giving me the will to go on. I am bawling as I write this. Truthfully, bawling. I'm going to miss you all. I'm going to miss this support system. I'm going to miss this blog and it's worn torn pages, like a big old journal I've hauled with me everywhere I go. I feel like I am throwing it into a bonfire or onto the shelves of a daycare full of toddlers.

But, God has wisely and ever so gently worked with me to help me to NOT need the approval of others.

Yeah, I'm still a work in progress and some days I do better than others. Today is a struggling day, but I have to do it, it's the right thing.

I am letting go of this blog in the hopes that I will love myself enough, and look to God for what I really need, what none of you really could have given me all along.

I have started a new blog. I need an outlet in this next phase in my journey and I am the kind of learner that learns best by writing. I have debated and even wrestled with the Lord over the new blog. I can't let it become a crutch. I can't want it to be HUGE,  like I've done all along here. The world's approval does not matter. The only thing that matters is if I am living true to my God and what He asks of me.

Right now what He has asked of me is to be home with my kids. Like I said in the last post I am struggling with His request. I have trust issues. I have resentment. I have pride.

My new blog is the place where I will focus on learning to love being at home because that is what He has asked of me, and even though I have been parenting for 14 years I still have a lot to learn. So much to learn.

I can't market it. God has told me that much. I can't write for the approval of others.This is something I will have to battle within myself every day, but in the long run I know it will give me more peace. The only way I can healthfully blog is if I am using it as a measuring stick for my approval or as a place to solidify what I learn. So, I won't have comments enabled on my new blog.

I hesitate to even share the new place with you, but really, I won't even know if you are reading, and I hope I get to a place where I won't care if you are. Not that I won't care about you and our friendship, but that I won't care if I blog for a million people or just me. I want to blog for me and keep it between me and my God because He's bigger than a million people.

Here it is. Follow me on my journey if you'd like.
I hope it will be full of profound wisdom, straight from God.
If you aren't into that kind of thing, I hope you will have a change of heart.
Not because I need you at my new place online, but because God needs you, and someday answering to Him is all that is going to matter.

Wow. This is bitter sweet. It feels like a funeral and a baby being born at the same time.

Thank you all for you friendships. Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

But I don't wanna

Living a life on faith is not for the weak or faint of heart.
It is not easy.
In fact, it may be the hardest thing we are required to do.
Actually, I think I can safely say it is the hardest thing we will ever do.
Not just in this life, but in our whole existence.
This life is the test.
Are we going to trust that God has a plan for us or not?
Are we going to prove that we will be strong no matter what he throws our way?

As I mentioned, I have been feeling the need to be home more with the kids. We originally thought that we would be able to move to make up the difference in our income loss if I quit my job, but it looks like God is not only asking me to quit, but also asking us to stay in our home for now. Double whammy.

I gave my two weeks notice at work yesterday. I don't know how we are going to make it financially except to say that we have a year supply of wheat and I know how to make bread.

God is giving me an opportunity to master the finances. I am about to become even more frugal then I thought was possible.

That's putting it nicely.

What I really feel is what I said in my prayers last night.

"No God. I don't want to do this. I've already been poor. I'm sick of being poor. I trusted you last time when you told us to go to law school with three kids and then open a failed law practiced, and look where that got me. I don't want to do this. Why?"

And the answer comes: "Because you have more to learn."

and then

"And this time it's going to be easier and it's going to have a better ending. Just trust me."

But I don't wanna.

Last night, I closed my prayer in tears, not feeling any peace. Sick to death for Boston. And worried sick for the little girl that was abducted in Provo.

And then today, I made my depressed self get out of bed and pray again.

"Please God, just get me through today. Help me trust. Give me peace. Bless them all."

I head out on my run with a heavy heart.

And 2.5 miles in, my song comes on.

And I remember where I have to look for peace.

As I warm down, I get this news:

And God says
ever so humbly

"See I've got this Alice."

Friday, April 12, 2013

Who the heck is Mae Jemison

About a month ago my 5th grader, Sophia, came home with the information on the school's wax museum. She was to pick an American hero to impersonate. They gave her a list of great choices such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Rosa Parks. We talked the choices over and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, after a long night at work (I now work 4 nights a week to subsidize what we call the Obama tax/health care) I came home and helped LG with the delayed bedtime rituals. As we went through Sophia's backpack, she remembered to tell me that she had chosen her wax museum hero that day because it was the deadline. (Way to be an absent mom! - And how I would pay) My excitement was immediately erased as she informed us that she had chosen....wait for it......

Mae Jemison.

"Who the heck is Mae Jemison?" my hubby and I questioned simultaneously.

"The first female African-American astronaut," Sophia answered innocently enough. (But I know that deep down inside she was really like, "I'll show you, mom, for being at work."

My mom radar immediately alarmed, "Did you say African-American?" as I carefully reanalyzed my 11 year old very blued eyed, very blonde haired, very Caucasian daughter.

It's times like these that I am 100% convinced someone has hidden a secret "gotcha" camera somewhere in the couch cushions. And times like these happen every day at our house.

LeGrand couldn't contain his overly exuberant smile headed in my direction with the subliminal message of, "Thank heavens I have the Y chromosome. It's all you babe."

Today I am proud to announce that I not only immediately committed, but embraced my daughter's dream of being the first Caucasian girl dressed as the first African American female astronaut.

After 2 hours at the thrift store, 1 hour at the sewing machine, 5 hours at the computer, 1 hour printing, taping, and pinning (and re-washing and pinning after the other daughter's judgement error of spilling a bottle of coke on the orange outfit waiting to be worn on top of the nightstand ), 1 hour of wig trimming, 2 hours overseeing the poster making, 1 hour of help with the speech, and 3 hours of searching for the right make-up, a stroke of genius with the snow boots that look like they belong on the moon, and 30 minutes of haggling (and losing) to the girl to let me do it before she went to school, I gladly share the end result.

And yes, she tore off the wig in less than 
two seconds after I turned off the camera.

(I forgot to mention the special trip to Sally Beauty Supply
 for what I learned is called a wig cap.)

And even then the wig was still too itchy.
White girls are so whimpy
about their beauty aides.

It's at times like these that
homeschooling doesn't sound so crazy.

And just in case you moms are ever
called upon for the same task,
here is everything you ever need to know
Dr. Mae Jemison
in the first person
 I was born on October 17, 1956 (which would make me 57 now) in Decatur, Alabama. My parents were Charles and Dorothy Jemison and I was the youngest of three. I am still alive today and achieving many things.
            I was raised in Chicago and graduated high school at age 16 and went to Stanford University on a scholarship. I graduated from Stanford with two degrees! One was a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, the other an Associate Bachelor degree in African and Afro-American studies. I later attended Cornell medical school and achieved the requirements to become a medical doctor.  I then went to West Africa with Peace Corps to be a medical doctor from 1983-1985.
            I then came back to America and became a doctor in Los Angeles, California. I was also a dancer so at the time I was deciding which I should be. Should I be a dancer or a doctor? And I still wanted to achieve a childhood dream, a dream I had since kindergarten, I wanted to go to space. Many people told me that I couldn’t go to space because I was a woman. But I applied to NASA to become an astronaut and they accepted me.
            On September 12, 1992, I blasted off into space becoming the very first African-American women ever to go to space. I went into orbit on the Space shuttle Endeavor and I was in space 7 days 2 hours and 30 minutes. My space mission was called STS-47. On that mission I was the science mission specialist. My mission was a joint operation between the U.S.A and Japan. My experiments dealt with bone cell research. With me I brought a picture of my old dance crew. I proved many people wrong that day. I also fulfilled my dream to be an astronaut.
            Since getting back from space I quit working at NASA. For a while I was a professor of developing countries and advanced technology at Dartmouth College. I got to be the only person who has been to space to act on the TV show “StarTrek: The Next Generation”. I have created the Jemison Group which works to bring advanced technology to people worldwide and fosters a love for science in students. Now I speak at a lot of engagements, am the President of two technology companies, and love to spend time my cats in Houston, TX where I live.

Next year, I am hoping Bella will be wise enough to pick Bill Gates, like this smart neighbor.
Of course, we would have to chop off all her hair and dye it blonde.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's about time.

A gem of further reminding.

God isn't too mysterious sometimes.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My job

This weekend the message came to me for the thousandth time.
It was a clear as a bell, like it always is when I stop to listen.
It was an answer to my two pages of questions to God.

It came from Bruce D. Porter and was entitled Beautiful Mornings.

I do this every 6 months. I write down all the life struggles that I am having in form of questions to God and then I spend a whole weekend listening to living prophets, and I listen for the answers. They always come through the gift of the Holy Ghost. God whispers them directly to my soul. This time there were 18 specific answers all small parts to my journey back to Him, and all connected to one another.

My questions varied from how can I afford to go back to college to should we move to a cheaper place to save money. How can I strengthen my marriage? What is my life mission and how do I accomplish it? How can I be happy in my calling? (I meant my job at church but had no idea until I listened intently that I also needed this answer for my calling in life)

All the answers pointed to my most important title: mom

Pleasing God needs to be my first priority. When I make pleasing God the top priority in my heart, my husband and children rightfully earn their places at the top of my to-do lists. If pleasing God means that I have to quit my job and live on rice and beans, so be it. If it means that I don't get to go back to school for another year or two, it's o.k. I need to live my life on God's timetable and with his rules because He is where I will find the greatest happiness. If I never get the dream house or the coveted vacation because I limped through hubby's law school and supported him through the aftermath (and beyond - for the next 40 years of student loan payments) and encourage my children's extra-curriculars it will be to my glory: eventually.

For me the answer is always that MY JOB is to nurture my children and support my husband. My job is to let go of my need for approval in the eyes of others. I have to let go of the Western culture of acquiring wealth. I even have to let go of my need to achieve certain things because if I am doing it for me and not for Him, it's wrong. It'll never be right no matter how wonderful.

It's so ironic that after recommitting myself and finding inner peace,
my beautiful morning looks like this:

"Mom, do you know what this is?
It's my job to do."

"Mom, move out of my way!
I'm looking for something important.
Can you help me find it?"

Who knew inner peace would be so loud?

or rainy?

and disguised 
as one mess after another
for me to clean?

Once again I am brought to my knees.
Please God, help me to understand.
Help me be humble.
Help me love my job.
Help it to make me happy.

And I just found this on facebook and must include it
for my Mormon friends.

I guess things could always be worse.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Book Review: Parenting with Spiritual Power

Parenting with Spiritual PowerParenting with Spiritual Power by Julie K. Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know the old philosophy that parenting doesn't come with a manual?
Well, it's crap.
If you have The Holy Bible, you have one of the greatest parenting manuals in existence.

If you add to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the teachings of the living prophets, and you are still struggling as a parent, Julie K. Nelson has written this book just for you. I have been so touched as I have read this book: God has given us great stories to help us with the most important work we are called to do as parents. If you, like me, need help in applying those resources, then you need to get your hands on a copy of this book ASAP. It is truly an inspired parenting manual.

I have long studied principles of parenting and found many of the most important theories I've learned over the years in the pages of this book. Truth just oozes from the pages of "Parenting with Spiritual Power." Oozes. As I read I found myself amazed at how many modern-day applications there are in the ancient scriptures. I know that sounds lame, but it's true. I have learned a lot of these truths already in my own study, but to find them gathered together in such an easily applicable format is almost too good to be true: but it's not. This book is full of truth in one easy-to-read resource.

If you want to learn more about depositing into your children's banks of self-worth, setting reasonable boundaries, how to positively correct your children, live sacrificial lives, stomp out anger and develop greater charity as a family, and how to show faith in your children this book is for you. Like me, I believe you will be totally shocked at all you've been missing when studying the scriptures. I've had the handbook in my hands all along, I just didn't realize that I needed Julie Nelson to translate it for me.

Thank you Julie. I recommend this book for all parents, even those that aren't Mormon. What a wonderful and much needed resource for all of us.

You can buy the book for just $11.04 at Amazon or $13.99 at Deseret Book. After reading this book I can honestly say I would spend double that. Really, can we even put a price on better parenting?

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Easter Photos 2013

I've decided I really shouldn't torture the family with a photo shoot more than twice a year. 
It's pretty painful for them (and me) to have the required patience with my budding interest in photography. 

I find solace in one thing:
I am being a great example
of diligent pursuit of hobbying.

I hope that all my girls
will have hobbies
that they love and enjoy
and don't give up
for any reason.
(especially when they are moms)

The pictures may look good
but trust me
they took a good hour or two
and there were many many outtakes.


My favorite moment of the day:
making out with LG
while the kids watched
hammed it up for camera.


My second favorite moment:
watching the girls enjoy the shore.

Note to self:
no guardrails

Crazy Family.

I'm really bummed
we didn't get a good one
of this set-up.

really bummed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Mom Test

It's 12:50 a.m.
Because I am a mom
this is how I spent the last
15 minutes of my life.

I was in a dream
and then there appeared
 my 11 year old
at the side of my bed.
I opened my eyes
she was covered in
florescent paint
and saying
I couldn't quite understand.
She called to me
and so I knew
it was important
but I couldn't
get a handle of what
was happening
in my dream
until I let it
"Mom, I just puked."

I wasn't dreaming.

I flew out of bed
using the wings
that God installed
just for moments
like these.
If I would have looked
back I would
realize that
my partner in crime
couldn't help it
that God didn't
make him for this job
and that is why
he hadn't moved
an inch
or an eyelid.

Before I knew it
I had stripped
down every inch
of that top bunk.
Of course
it was the top.
And of course
I needed those wings
so as not to
wake the one
sleeping on the bottom.

No need to mention
the smell or color
of the foulness
or how it sloshed
from pillow
to sheet
to comforter.
I looked down at my
to see her
use the trashcan
I had somehow provided
before flying into action
on the bedding.
The florescent
colors were gone now.
I blinked to make sure.

Before I could get my bearings
I started to remake the bed
and then thought to ask
do you want to sleep on the couch?"
The answer came quietly,
"Yes mom, that's a good idea
but I have all this gross stuff
all over me."

"Is it just on your shirt?"
"I got a little on my cast,
and it's all in my hair."

In to the bathroom
we flew.
I cleaned
off her arm cast
(and chuckled
at the thought
of the flu
and a broken arm
at the same time)
with a Clorox wipe
in between
the heaves into the toilet.
I applied
the two plastic
bags and rubber bands
that I had so
neatly stored
under the bathroom sink

I then turned her around
and stripped her down.
She's at a private age.
11 is tricky.
Somehow I was
instinctual enough
to just know
to have her step into the
shower before removing
her soiled clothes.

did you start your period, too?"
As in,
on top of
the broken bone
and puking.
She looked at me confused.

"Or did you
just poop your pants?"

She sheepishly answered
that she thought
that wasn't her period.

I plugged
the tub
and started the warm water.
Then I gathered the
dirty clothes
and the dirty linens
and headed to the laundry room.

I got the worst
loaded into the washer
and realized that the 13 year old
never started her laundry
like her told her to
before heading to work
this afternoon
or yesterday afternoon,
depending on the time.
Thank goodness
for adolescent

I grabbed
an extra blanket
and headed back upstairs
to the couch
where I found an
almost empty roll
of duct tape
which someone
had not put away.
The item that
had been alluding
my memory
for the past two days
came to me.
Compound W
needed to be added to
the grocery list.
Baby Caroline's
wart must be attended to.

Compound W
combined with
duct tape
is the best
for warts.
I actually
learned that
before I had
if you don't
count the hubby
and his massive
wart on his right knee
that I cured
shortly after marriage.

I washed and rinsed her hair.
And handed her
some soap
to take care
of the backside.
I held up her right arm
wrapped in plastic.
Placing back the soap
I told her to rinse with water.

I took care of the towel
which I had given her to rest
her broken arm on.
I guess the ledge on the tub
wasn't big enough,
it was floating at her feet.

I ran (I mean flew)
into her room
and grabbed her
comfy shorts,
and a cami
because times like
these are too harsh for bras
(even if she does
normally wear hers to bed)
and she will appreciate
the extra layer
of support.
How do I know?
Because I am a mom.
And I always pass the test
even when I am failing.

Here I sit
watching, typing,
shaking my head in disbelief,
not even longing
for sleep to come back to me.
Because I am a mom.
And I am always on duty.


Notice her favorite
scooby doo blankie?
I made it for her
when she was seven
and without even realizing it
I had grabbed it off
the couch downstairs
while fetching
the other warmer
before flying
back upstairs
30 minutes ago.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Just say no to mom jousting.

I recently read this blog post
after it was shared several times
by my friends on facebook.
Rage Against the minivan wrote it.
Can I rage against the minivan too
even if I drive one?

This is my two cents today.
Parents don't have to tell other parents
what to do or not to do.
Parents have to grow a backbone
and tell their kids to NOT expect something
just because other kids have it.
This is the problem with our society in general.
Parents are all competing
instead of supporting each other.

Sometimes (actually all the time)
we just need to check out of the
Mormon mommy blogger culture.

"Oh, you throw huge themed parties for your kids,
well my kids must have that too."

You read 10 books every night.
You always have ironed clothes.
You have sterile bathrooms.
All your clothes are from Matilda Jane.
You have an elf on the shelf.
You have a 5 course meal every night?
Your kids are each in a music lesson, a sport, and a cultural extra-curricular...
and you have 10 boys and 5 girls?
You have a leprechaun that shows up for Christmas?

Do you see how it can become a really huge problem
when you try to do everything like everyone else?

No. No. No.
That's all it takes.

And guess what?
Your kids don't care.

Or they may care
and then when you say no
they'll figure it out for themselves.

Case in point.

This is Bella
pretending to be
a leprechaun
for Saint Patrick's Day.
She thought that
Caroline deserved some fun
that we didn't want to provide.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Deadly Undertakings

Mr. Luke sent me a copy of this book
with no agreement for my review,
and that makes him really super cool,
and one of my favorite authors ever
along with Julie Ford.

My reviews are always honest.
This book is definitely one that you won't regret buying.

Deadly UndertakingsDeadly Undertakings by Gregg Luke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gregg Luke has delivered once again. This creepy whodunit mystery about a serial killer who drains his 100+ year old healthy victims (yes plural) of their blood and the boyfriend/girlfriend police detective/assistant medical examiner duo who are trying to catch him is a perfectly blended half suspense and half love story. I love a good mystery especially when I can't figure it out until the very end, but even more I am a big sucker for a good love story. Why does it always surprise me when a man can write romance? Nice job Mr. Luke.

Gregg is a fantastic author who knows how to pace a story just right to keep the reader engaged, masters in-depth characters, and draws us into his awesome imaginary worlds: even though you know they are fiction, Gregg Luke has a knack at making them seem very real.

I always love reading books that are set in Utah, but this one was so creepy it almost made me wish it was set somewhere else. The bad guy(s)were oh so bad and the good guy(s) were not just perfectly good but perfectly flawed as well. This story is a great reminder that even broken people can be brave and they especially need to stay vulnerable. I love when there are subliminal messages towards mental health hidden inside the pages of fiction.

I am torn between a 3 and 4 star rating,
I think this books lies perfectly safe at 3.5.

It definitely isn't to be read when you are home alone.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 18, 2013

Winner for a Gaze Into Heaven

Saturday morning
I picked a winner
for my book giveaway.

who was my
#10 commenter.

I find it interesting
that Norina is my winner.

She had a really hard
miscarriage years ago
and when she tried
to explain to me her
I didn't get it.
At all.

Even though
I myself
had experienced
2 miscarriages
of my own
at that time
I just didn't get
the longing that she felt
or the sadness
at what didn't happen.

I get it now.
And even though
I still don't believe
I will personally
be united
with any of my
four miscarriages
(even if this last
one was at 18 weeks)
I understand
others desire for that
and I will welcome
more children 
in the next life
if that is indeed
how it works.

I loved the part
in the book
that talks about
babies all
going straight to paradise
and being cared for by family.
There are no children
in hell.
And that is how it should be.
And that realization
has made my desire for
that much stronger.
I can't imagine
a world
where there
are no children.

I can only imagine that
those reunions
are some of the

Congrats Norina.
I am so happy
to give you this book.
I think that,
like me,
you will love it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bend Out of Shape

I have this great friend 
Lynnae Boyer Weller.
She owns a little business called
Savannah Balloons.
You can learn more about her through her 

Her balloon skills are awesome.
Here is her version of

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I love it when people
can make our world
a better place
with their

I wish I had more artistic abilities.
I plan to read
to explore
if there is something
I have been missing.

Remember I blogged about Lynnae's mom here.
I miss her mom,
she always made me smile.

I hope you all have a great green weekend.
I plan to make some shamrock
clean house,
squeeze in a date with my hubby,
and enjoy
every last minute
or our last lazy Saturday
before Spring sports begin.

I wish you all the
luck of the Irish.

And just so you know
if you google
funny + st patricks day
you are going to
see a lot of stuff about beer
and even some naked redheads.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rescued after 15 years, 6 months, 26 days

Take two llamas.
They are totally different from each other.
One is a pasty white blonde boy from the Bible belt
who is extremely intelligent, mild-mannered, and a lovely person.

The other looks almost Mexican (even though she isn't)
 is from Southern California
and is fun-loving, a total control freak, and crazy like a fox.

They are both Mormon llamas
and they have a lot of the same interests
the outdoors, music, family, education, spirituality, and playing volleyball.

These are the two llamas.
Just for the sake of the story.
They met on their Mormon missions.
They love each other very much.

One day they just knew they had to get married,
so they started making plans.
The boy llama being the shy kid that he was
never proposed
and the girl llama orchestrated every detail of their lives
and was then resentful that they boy
never proposed.

15 years, 6 months, and 26 days later
they land themselves in the
office of the marriage counselor.

They tell their story of
love and marriage
and how the boy llama
had another semester of college
to go in another state
and the girl llama
was all stressed out
and they just got hitched in 10 days.

The girl llama says
"I was a mess, I started freaking out."
The boy llama said
"I married her instead of finishing my semester
because I didn't want to lose her."

The marriage counselor llama
"Aw, that is so sweet.
In your own screwed up way
you let him rescue you.
How romantic."

The girl llama
was like
"Why the heck did I stay up 
all night
Ever After
why I sold out
to the ultimate
love story?"

Isn't he cute?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: Gaze Into Heaven

I love this book SO much that I am giving away a copy. 
Leave me a comment with your e-mail address
and tell me which one of your family members 
you are most anxious to meet in the next life
and I will pick one VERY lucky person 
to get their own free copy.

Giveaway closes on Friday the 15th at 11:59 p.m.

Disclaimer: I received a book in exchange for this review
but my opinions are always true and 100% right.

Gaze Into Heaven: Near-Death Experiences in Early Church HistoryGaze Into Heaven: Near-Death Experiences in Early Church History
Marlene Bateman Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best book that
I have read in several years.
It has completely
changed the way
I view my mortal life.
I have sincerely
become a better
person just by
reading this book.

All of my Mormon friends
MUST READ this book.
And even you non-Mormons
will find this absolutely fascinating.

Gaze into Heaven is a book of complied true near death stories organized in a way that is easy to read. Each chapter is a piece of the after-life puzzle answering individual questions like what is a spirit body like and are there cities in paradise? What a wonderful compilation of early church (Mormon) history this is. The stories are eerily similar. Maybe eerily is the wrong word - I found it absolutely testimony building that all the accounts concurred with one another. "By the mouth or two or more witnesses" and witness they did.

These people who died and went to the other side and came back to tell us what they experienced did not know one another, but as I read their accounts I was stunned at the similarities. As I read the pages my life-long fear of dying dissipated. These Mormon pioneers described the freedom they felt as their spirits separated from their bodies, the joy they felt in the world with other kindred spirits, and the peace they felt in their passing and I found myself looking forward to the experience. For me that is a huge breakthrough. I cannot even explain my phobia of dying, its been debilitating at times. I am truly grateful to Marlene for writing this book and helping me have a greater understanding of my life now and into the eternities.

This book has power in its pages. After getting acquainted with just the first few chapters I felt like I was on hallowed ground just viewing the cover. I didn't even have to open it to feel inspired although I did as frequently as was possible in receiving this balm to my soul. These stories are sacred like the temple and I am so grateful they have been shared.

Buy the book in the stores or online at 
Go to Marlene's website to learn more about the author.

Here is one of Marlene's favorite quotes in the book from the experience of Thomas S. Thomas. 
Thomas' story was one of my favorites also.
Thomas describes what he learned in his near-death experience in the spirit world.
"All mental powers were restored. The fond memories of the past returned...your soul is endowed with wisdom and knowledge and filled with everlasting love...Distance is no barrier to transmit thought without instruments, or to travel under your own power. Your vision is magnified there; your future view is plain; desire for knowledge is inexhaustible; you are master of yourself  intelligence is the key to all realms which makes an endless trail to all advancement and is a place of satisfaction and joy to the soul... 
The grand greeting you first receive is from your closest of kin - father, mother, brother and sisters - and all that are near and dear to you who passed from earthly life and arrived in the Great Beyond before you. Your nearest and dearest friends and many others come to greet and converse with you. They ask about the conditions of their kin, those whom you were acquainted with on earth, and all are anxious to learn of their kin's surroundings and conditions. You will find this a great meeting place of all souls, where information is eagerly sought, concerning earth's conditions, by those who have passed from earthly life and are in this stage of existence. These souls are now busy, in the future existence, working in different habitations. Many are from different spheres. All souls are fully enjoying their positions and surroundings. You read from their cheerful countenances a condition of contentment.."
View all my reviews 

Friday, March 08, 2013

Daddy's Baby

I guess LG had been trying 
to grow his hair out again.
I hadn't noticed
until a few days ago he
lamented to me,
"Alice, I forget how far back
my hair has receded
until I grow it out."

Bad for LG.
Good for me.
I love his hair buzzed.

Imagine my surprise
when Caroline
brought this photo to me
and said,

"Mom this is so strange.
Dad doesn't have pokey hair."

LG I guess
you are going to have to 

We're you trying
to grow it out
at hopes of
those newlywed days?

Better luck next time.

Thursday, March 07, 2013


Did you know that there
are college degrees
in family science?

I never got it when I was younger.
Why would anyone
go to all that school
just to learn how to
be married and have a family?
Can't anyone do that?
Doesn't everyone do that?

I felt that those who majored
in family studies
were just doing so
because they wanted
an easy Bachelor's Degree.
Or they were looking
to build a resume
for their future spouse.
"Look at me,
I want to
spend eternity
in your kitchen."

The older I get,
and the more I attend
marriage counseling,
I am grateful for
the other suckers who
went through all the work
to help me to figure
out the complicated
parts that I never
understood back then.
And honestly: still don't.

just like everyone else,
I get it right,
without any studying at all.
Sometimes I get it right
out of sure dedication
and practice.

In the kitchen,
I need no therapy.

I am the boss.

In one small area
I've got the momming down
to a science.
I'm a PHDmf.
People Hone Down
(my food)

Here is a photo
for evidence.
Tuesday afternoon
this is what my kitchen counter looked like
right before I headed
out to my real job.
(ha ha - we all know
momming is my real job)

white chicken chili, homemade bread,
and after-school cookies

Let me brag for a moment.
Just the other day,
while we were on our way to soccer
Abigail received a text
from a charming young man
with whom we attend church.
We had taken his family
some cookies the day before.
He said,
and I quote,

"I would marry you
just so I could get your mom
in the deal."

Fist pumps were had
all around.
This little exchange
made my day.

Add to the fact
that Abigail's boy buddy
at school
(who has learned to cook
out of sheer desperation
because his mom doesn't)
calls me
"the regular Rachel Ray."


The neighborhood
adolescents' each have
their own
favorites of mine
whether it be
pumpkin bread,
cinnamon rolls,
chocolate chip cookies,
cake pops,
homemade bread,
or pizza.

Yeah I screw up
in the momming

But today I just want to take
 a moment to scream from my laptop:
"Guess what?
When it comes to
all it takes
is some skill in the kitchen!"

Momming comes naturally.
It comes best
while wearing an apron.
You can't learn it at college.
The reason any food is good
is because
the cooking of it has been
practices and practiced
and mixed,
and spooned,
and baked,
with LOVE
til it reaches
the status of

God had it all figured out.
He gave us plenty of time
to get it right while they are young
and didn't know any different.
By the time
they just want to hang out with their friends
the moms who have put
in the most

They can't resist bringing
their friends home
for some down home food.
They don't know it
but they are all getting 
some good old momming
all of the time.

Every bite
includes a
subliminal message
"drugs are bad"
"believe in yourself"
"I love you"
"I'm always here for you"

I might still have a bunch
of stuff to figure out, 
but when I think of
my success in the kitchen,
I know
that even
without a college degree
I'm doing pretty good.
It's not that complicated.
It's called I love my kids
enough to cook for them.

No matter how else I screw up,
I know one thing.
As long as I feed everyone
til I die
I'll always
keep them coming
back for more.

Did I mention
that my girls
have all been fighting
over who gets
which  recipes of mine when they
get married?

I told them I would
make them each their own
recipe box.

Maybe I won't have to cook til I die
after all.