Sunday, November 28, 2010

2011 LDS primary theme and scriptures

 Here are the themes and scriptures for the LDS 2011 Primary program.

The scriptures are the word of God

"Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3)

The Scriptures Teach of Heavenly Father’s Plan

"For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).

Heavenly Father speaks to us through His prophets

"What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, . . . whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (D&C 1:38).

Jesus Christ Is My Savior and Redeemer

"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" (Articles of Faith 1:3).

The Church of Jesus Christ Has Been Restored

"I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other "This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Joseph Smith - History 1:17)

The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel Make It Possible for Me to Live with God Again

"We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Articles of Faith 1:4).

The Temple Is a House of God

"Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally" ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World," paragraph 3).

My Body Is a Temple of God

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?...The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

The Gospel Will Be Preached in All the World

"This gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (D&C 133:37).

Prayer Is Reverent Communication between God and Me

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5).

Reverence Is Love and Respect for God

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37).

The Scriptures Teach Me about the Savior’s Birth and Second Coming

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16:27).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Biking decisions - looking for a beginning adult bike

So my husband loves to bike. Seeing him do it and hearing how much fun he has makes me want to try biking. I have visions of our family biking around. This means I need a bike. The problem: I never biked much as a child or youth and I'm terrified of falling over. (My balance isn't great.) So I'm trying to find a bike that I can get on and off easily and put both feet on the ground. I want to use it to ride around with my husband and kids and potentially pull a bike trailer with the younger ones in it.

Use the mountain bike I have
cost: $35
  • cheap, I already own it
  • It's a decent bike
  • not the right size
  • bad memories
  • saddle hurts
I got this bike at a yard sale a few years ago for $35. It needs a different saddle and the frame is a little too big for me. I've fallen over trying to get off this bike, so I'm a little worried about riding it again.

Get a cheap beach cruiser / hybrid
cost: $75 - 250
  • can get a step through frame to make getting on and off easier
  • If I don't end up liking riding a bike, I'm not out a lot of money
  • probably will be steel frame so heavy and rusts easily
  • you get what you pay for
  • A lot of beach cruisers are single speed
A hybrid or a beach cruiser seem like what I am looking for, the step through would make it easy for me to get off without falling over. The cheaper bikes (like at wal-mart) tend to be heavier because they are made of steel.

Get a nicer beach cruiser / hybrid
cost: $350 - 600
  • Step through makes it easy to get on and off
  • some have forward pedals that let me put my feet down on the ground without having to have the seat to low.
  • expensive, especially since I don't know if I'll use the bike

cost: $75 - 200 (depends)
  • very simple mechanically. if I got one from wal-mart there isn't much that could go wrong
  • towing is harder without multiple gears
cost: $100- 200
  • more gear choices
  • many have automatic shifters so that the chances of the chain coming off the derailers is slim. Also, I wouldn't have to be moving to change gears
  • more speeds make towing easier
(same as 3 except the shifters aren't internal)

cost: $175 - $600
  • best for towing
  • more complicated for me because gears make no sense
  • chance of chain slipping or jumping

  • stops, but not great for towing
hand breaks
  • stops the bike
Where to get the bike:
  • cheap
  • bikes assembled for you
  • easy returns
  • quality issues
  • better "bang for buck"
  • have to assemble it yourself
  • returns would be a pain
bike store
  • usually better customer service
  • knowledgeable customer service
  • can help you choose
  • more expensive prices (bikes start around $350)
  • can get a good deal
  • have to know enough about bikes to tell if the bike is in good shape
  • no returns

I think what I want is an inexpensive 3 speed bike with hand breaks and step through aluminum frame. I'll probably get it online or from wallmart. My husband is good at bikes and can help me assemble a bike. I want a bike that will need less twiddling, so a three speed would probably be a good match. Since I don't know what I like in bikes, an inexpensive one would let me discover everything I hated about it so when I bought a new, I would know what to look for. Also, I could ride my husband's old mountain bike if I needed more gears.

(update 9/22/10)
I ended up getting a 21 speed Forge Athena from Target.  It was a pain to get set up, but it seems to be a good bike.

Is the new hotmail creepy?

Recently hotmail updated its interface.  I'm still trying to decide if it is creepy or useful.  What it does is look through your email and show you updates from facebook and other social networking sites and also shipping notices.  It's actually very useful.  I'm just not sure I like being reminded that my email isn't private. 

iPod touch 4 review

My background: I wanted a new device to check email, play media and entertain children. My current device is a Nokia n800, but I've also owned a Dell axim and a Sony clie. This is the first apple product I've owned. I wanted to replace my n800 because it was slower and unable to play newer media content. I was also interested in something with a large developer base and wide support.

Why I chose an iPod touch 4th generation 32 gig:
-it wasn't a phone. I am quite happy with my prepaid phone.
-it has a large developer base and plenty of apps
-large amount of children's content, plus controls so nothing bad gets downloaded
-kindle books
-netflix streaming
-beautiful screen

Things I dislike:
-interface not totally intuitive. I could figure 80% on my own, but for the rest...thank goodness for google.
-blogger really doesn't work well
-some free kids apps have ads
-it's a pain to close apps (not as bad as the Dell axim though)
(note: this is how far I got typing on my ipod touch.  After this, the blogger web interface just wouldn't work correctly, so now I'm on a desk top.  I'll use email next time.)
- plugging the charger cable in is a little weird because of the beveling around the screen

Other thoughts:
-mis-touches aren't as common as I had worried
-wifi connects very quickly
-I'm glad I got 32 gig, 8 gig would have been way too small (5 gigs of music, plus a few videos and audio books and apps)
-kids love my ipod, I have to fight them for it
-no flash hasn't been a serious issue so far

Update 10/17/10: I still love my ipod touch.  Games are hard on the battery life, but just web browsing and reading ebooks, it seems to hold a charge for a day or two.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Baby basics

Here's the basics of what you need for a new baby.

for the baby:

1. onsies

2. sleep and plays

3. crib and set of sheets / somewhere for the baby to sleep

4. diapers (1 package size nb and the rest size 1) and wipes

5. bottle (you'll get formula in the diaper bag from the hospital)

6. rocking chair (I recommend a recliner so you can sleep in it too if you have to)

7. light receiving blankets

8. burp cloths

9. place to change the baby (can just be towel on the floor)

10. car seat (can't leave the hospital without one)

11. heavier blanket (for traveling to and from car)

12. front pack / baby bjorn / sling so you can carry the baby and still get stuff done

13. nail clippers

14. swing or baby bouncer so you can set the baby down during the day

15. hat (will probably get one from the hospital)

for you:

  1. (optional) breast pump in case the baby won't eat and you need some relief or so you have extra milk
  2. maxipads
  3. witch hazel pads
  4. iboprophen (sp?)
  5. fan / heater/ white noise generator so the baby isn't so loud when you are trying to sleep and someone else has him

that should cover you for a while

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review: Forge Athena 17" bicycle

My husband enjoys cycling, and I wanted to be able to ride with him sometimes. The bike I had was a garage sale find, but the frame was too big for me. I considered a bicycle from a bike store, but I had trouble paying $325+ for a bike that I might not end up riding that much.* Since I am a new rider, I wanted a step-through frame. I also wanted to be able to put my feet flat. I also wanted multiple speeds, so that I could pull my child trailer. I decided on the Forge Athena based on price and features.

What I like:
  • aluminum frame
  • 21 speed
  • step-through frame
  • quick release wheels and seat
  • name brand components
  • looks stylish (the paint is 2 toned which I didn't realize when I bought it)
  • fits me well (I'm 5'8)
  • upright riding position
  • saddle is comfortable (so far, haven't taken it more than a few miles)
  • very comfortable ride
  • kickstand
What I don't like:
  • can't put feet flat (that's ok, I just lower the seat) and as I get better this isn't a big deal
  • isn't really anywhere to put a water bottle or basket due to shape of the frame and where the brakes sit. The seat post has a shock absorber, so that's out too. I'm going to look at it more closely and see if I can figure out a solution.
  • set up was a pain. I'd advise to plan on spending an extra $50 to get a tune-up from a bike shop. Actually putting the bike together wasn't hard, but getting the bike ridable took longer than I expected. The wheels were out of true (my husband could play "yankee doodle" on the spokes.) The chain was rubbing on the derailleur cage. The brakes were not working correctly at all. One of the pedals was loose. After 2 trips to bike store (stupid derailleurs) and my husband tweaking things, it seems to be working perfectly now.
  • doesn't fit across the back of my sienna, even with the front wheel off. I have to lay a seat down. (my husband's mountain bike and road bike fit there). It would probably fit if I took off the back wheel, but I don't want to go through trying to get the chain on and off.
  • because of the step-through frame, the bike won't fit on our bike rack. I've ordered a bar to fix this, so we'll see how it goes.
My husband's comments:
  • he rode it on one of his usual rides and averaged 13 mph (instead of usual 16-18), but the frame was small for him and he had a bad head wind.
  • he likes way it rides
  • not a speed bike
Would I recommend it? So far, yes. I've had a lot of problems and it's taken me a while to get to ride it, but most of that was initial set up. I'll update this after I've ridden it a little more.

*(Although looking at how much I spent on this bike, the bike store bike wouldn't have been that much more expensive. If you can get free shipping, it would be a better deal.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

ipod touch vs ipad vs laptop vs desktop, an analogy

I've been trying to decide whether I want an ipod touch. Some things about them started bothering me. It got me thinking about windows and doors. A window lets me look outside. I can see what is going on. With most windows, I can open it and let in some air or yell to a friend walking by, and in an emergency I can get out of my house. A door is to let me interact with the outside. It isn't usually as convenient as a window for looking outside.

Ipod Touches and Ipads are like windows. They let me take a look at what is going on on the internet, but they don't let me interact well with it. Text entry is more difficult than on a keyboard. Yes, I can yell out the window at my friend, but if I really want to talk to him or her, I have to open a door. But a lot of the time, I just want to look. I want to see what people have to say, not add my own content.

Netbooks are like french doors, I can see out, fairly well, but I can go outside as well. They aren't quite as convenient as windows.

Desktops are like doors. I can open the door and go outside, but I don't want to sit on my couch in front of an open door all day either. Desktops can't move and are less convenient for a quick glance of what is going on outside. But if I want to go for a walk, they're the way to go.

My silly analogy has allowed me to understand the limitations of an iphone or ipopd touch. They are windows, and I am fine with that.

How to make a stick horse

My daughter wanted a pink stick horse, so we made one. Here's what I did. I used this pattern and watched the video series here. I think it could easily be made in 3 hours. (It's hard for me to judge because I had plenty of "helpers") I used fleece, yarn, buttons, felt, ribbon, a dowel, matching thread, and some heavy duty thread.
Here's what to do in a nutshell
  1. cut stick down to size. Cut grooves for attaching head and padding. Paint stick and let dry.
  2. trace and cut head pattern out of fleece
  3. wrap yarn into a mane. Cut the yarn, then lay on horse's head
  4. sew head together, right sides together. Flip head right side out
  5. draw ear pattern. cut out of fleece. hand sew ears to head.
  6. attaching padding to dowel. (this is a little fabric circle with padding to soften the end of the dowel)
  7. stuff head, leaving room for the dowel end.
  8. sew on eyes.
  9. attach head to dowel
  10. sew on felt nostrils and ribbon bridle.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Every baby born in America should be a citizen

I've been hearing on the radio, hearing on the news, and reading in the newspaper about people and political candidates who don't want children of illegal immigrants born in the USA to automatically be citizens. I think it's a bad idea for some babies to be born citizens and some babies not to be. Let's consider a few scenarios:
  1. Both parents are illegal aliens (or rather, both parents cannot prove citizenship) - then the child isn't a citizen or has to go through a process. Easy enough.
  2. Both parents can prove citizenship. Child is automatically a citizen.
  3. Mother is citizen, but husband is not. OK, what now, does the mother have to go through immigration to get her own child, born in the US, citizenship? What if the process takes too long,will her baby be deported, but to where?
  4. Mother is citizen, but father is unknown. This is like #3, only even more complicated. Because if the father is a citizen, the child should be, but if he isn't, who knows.
  5. Father is citizen, but mother is not. Even more fun, since courts seem to side with a child staying with his or her mother, so maybe citizenship status should be the same as the mother's. But that seems unfair, especially if for #3 and #4 the child has citizenship.
  6. Mother and Father are unknown. This could happen in states with safe harbor laws (where babies can be left anonymously at hospitals.) So, does the baby have to go through immigration to be adopted?
  7. What if the parents are legal aliens? Will green cards require that you accept your future child is not a citizen?
  8. What about sperm / egg donors used for infertility? Usually parents have no idea who the donor is. Would the baby be a citizen if the birth mother is or only if the biological mother / father is?

The end result will be a very complicated set of laws which will probably end with a Supreme Court ruling and a new government bureaucracy.

[edited 7/19/10]
If the laws are the most lenient, that is every case except #1 is a citizen, then I would expect a large number of babies whose mothers suddenly have no idea who the father is.

If the law is closer to the UK's, then the mother's citizenship would be what counts. If the father refuses to sign the birth certificate, the child would not be a citizen if his/her mother wasn't. If the father was and signed, then the child would be a citizen. The problem is if someone signed the birth certificate as the father who wasn't really. Maybe the thought of having to pay child support would be enough to keep people honest.

If the laws are the strictest, that only #2 are citizens, I would expect a large out cry, but worse, a significant number of children who are not citizens of any country. America would still have to school them (because some school districts are forbidden to ask about immigration status). When they became adults, they would have no where legally to go. This is the same problem faced by children of illegal immigrants brought here illegally, but worse because they might not have another country to return to. (Especially if the mother is a native born us citizen, but the father is unknown.) These would end up being second class in the US, unable to legally hold a job. Even if there were a way for the babies to become citizens, it would probably involve a fee and many of the poorest could not afford it, or alternately, the taxpayer would foot the bill.

If not all children are born citizens of American, then who a baby's parents are is of utmost importance. If the government accepts a signed paper saying who the parents are, I suspect there would be a large number of people lying. The number of children being citizens wouldn't be significantly different than they are today. But if the law wants to be sure, it would require DNA testing to prove the baby is the child of the mother and father. To avoid profiling, every name that goes on the birth certificate will have to be tested. That will come at a cost, both economic and to our personal freedom. The poor couldn't afford the test, so either the taxpayers would pay for the test, or again, there would be a large number of children who live in the US, but are not citizens. I also wouldn't trust the government with a large database of DNA.

We need to take a good look at why people feel the laws should be changed. I am trying to be open minded (possibly failing :) ). I can understand not wanting to pay for children of illegal immigrants born in the US. I am not sure changing citizenship rules is the best way to address that issue. The cost of enforcing the change might be higher than just dealing with things how they are. The easiest, and best, solution is to leave things the way they are. Every baby born in America should be a citizen.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

2010 utah state representative race

Val Peterson

Mike Thompson

I hadn't realized I had a state representative race too, this primary. Both of these seem like good men, so it will be hard to decide.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Book Review: The Bishop's Bride: The Honey Moon is Over

I enjoyed "The Bishop's Bride" and was excited that my sister had a copy of the sequel.

Summary: Andrew and Jeanette are happily married, but work and his calling as Bishop are interfering with their time together. Jeanette also feels like she needs to be everything Andrew's first wife was. Throw in a member of the mafia that wants to go straight, Andrew's son's broken engagement, and a dead body, things get pretty exciting, but of course everything ends happily.

Review: I enjoyed this book. It is a lot like the first one. I thought the whole "wait, my fiancee is actually my cousin" thing was a little annoying, but the book worked well once I was willing to suspend reality. There were some fun scenes in this one too. It makes a great Sunday read.

Would I buy it: yes
Would I pay full price: no

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chocolate cheese cake flan

My husband took me to cafe rio a few weeks ago and introduced me to the deliciousness that is chocolate cheesecake flan. It is wonderful, a chocolate cheesecake that is a little lighter than regular cheesecake topped with strawberries and whipped cream. I wanted more, but it's a little pricey, so I decided to make my own. Here's the link ( to the recipe I used. The recipe wasn't that hard other than the caramel. Also, the flan really does taste best with redi-whip on top.

Note: I couldn't get the caramel to come out right. It came out way too hard and lumpy. Next time I might leave it out. If anyone has suggestions on making caramel, I'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

review: Bumbo

So, awhile ago I broke down and bought a Bumbo. My baby was getting tired of her bouncer, but wasn't sitting up by herself yet. I like it. It is soft and rubbery. She likes sitting up in it. I'm not really sure how much longer she will be able to use it, since she is getting a little wiggly. I'm hopeful that by the time she can't use it anymore, she will be sitting up by herself. The main thing I saw that really impressed me is with in few days after she got it, she was able to sit up unaided for a few seconds. The chair had really improved her upper body strength.

My verdict: it's worth buying, as long as you realize it won't be useful for more than about 4 months. Ideally, you would borrow one from a friend and use it, then return it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Me: what are you taking to show and tell?
Son(age 5): a clam shell
me: why do you think clams have shells?
Son: to protect them from creditors.

(This is what happens when you confuse documentaries with infomercials.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Neighborhood Book Club books

Here's a list of what we're reading / have read:

Books 2018
Jan - Me me me epidemic 
Feb - Lilac girls 
Mar- Rangers apprentice: ruins of Gorlan 
Apr- My lady Jane
May- Howls moving castle 
June - Murder on the orient express 
July- Ms bixby’s last day
Aug-The blue castle 
Sep-The crystal bridge- pulsipher 
Oct - a gentleman in Moscow 

Nov/dec - Book of Mormon challenge

January - a place called harmony
February - second season
March - a man called ove
April - Rosie project
May - Molokai
June - Ruby red
July - the 5 love languages
August - dad is fat
September - beauty and the clockwork beast
October - nothing to envy
November - Sue's dad book
Dec -

Jan - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Kondo
Feb - All the light we cannot see - doerr 
Mar - The graveyard book - gaiman 
Apr - The night circus
May - Mary Martha and me 
June - Life from scratch 
July - Partials - wells
Sep - Jackaby - 
Oct - The chrysalids - Wyndham
Nov - The hiding place - tenbaum 
Dec - Christmas jars - wright
Jan -  Home to harmony - gulley 

Jan - The Happiness Project (Ruben)
Feb - The throne of glass (Maas) 
March - Big stone gap (trigioni)
April - Ivanhoe (Scott)
May - Cinder (Meyer)
June - Never Trust a Shadow (Haltom)
July - Patriots (Appy)
August - The selection (cass)
September - Orphan Train (Kline)
October - Tunnels 
November - Increase in learning (bednar) 
Dec - In the dark street shineth (McCullough) 


Jan - An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth
Feb - Blackmoore
March  - Wonder
April - Princess of the Midnight ball
May - The Reluctant Blogger
June - The Emperor's Soul
August - Just Call me Ninja
September - The Agency
October - Glimpses into the Life of Majory Pay Hinkley
Nov - Lawn Boy
Dec - Biography of Santa Clause - L Frank Baum

Previous years:


Jan - Daughters in my Kingdom
Feb - Divergent
Mar - My Loving Vigil Keeping (Kelly)
April - Hitler's Youth (Bartelli)
May- Mrs. Drew Plays her Hand (Kelly)
June - Girl of Fire and Thorns
July - Edenbrook
August - Secret Journal of Brett Colton
Sep - Persuasion (Austen)
October - For Darkness Shows the Stars (Peterfreund)
November - The Scarlet Pimpernel
December - Hogfather (Pratchett)

Jan - To the Rescue (Swinton)
Feb - Sorcery and Celia (Wrede / Stevermer)
Mar- Strong Poison (Dorthy Sayers)
April - The Card Turner
May - The help
June - the Three Musketeers (Dumas)
July - Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand)
Sep- A Year Down yonder (Richard Peck)
Oct- Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)

Nov - Scorpio Races
Dec- How Carrots Won the Trojan War

Jan - Much Ado about Nothing
Feb - The Giver
Mar - Latter Days, Coke Newell
April - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
May - White Mountain
June - The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins)
July- Fable Haven 5 (Mull)
Aug - Teen Idol (Meg Cabbot)
Sep - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver)
Oct- Cold Mountain (Frazier)
Nov- Wednesday's Wars (Gary D. Schmitt)
Dec - A Season of Gifts (Richard Peck)


Jan - Master Your Metabolism by Jilian Michaels
Feb - Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
March - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
April - The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen
May - Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
June - Twenty and Ten
July - My Life by Helen Keller
Aug - English Trifle or some other food mystery
Sept - Aenid
Oct - Return of the King , Tolkein
Nov - Number the Stars
Dec - Agent Bishop


January - Crocodile on the Sandbank, Elizabeth Peters
February - Tuesdays with Morrie
March - Tales of Beetle Bard, JK Rowling
April - Lion and the Lamb, Packard
May - Westing game
June - Melea's book
July - My Father's Dragon
August - tba (religious)
Sept - Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Oct - Love Letters of Joseph and Emma
Nov - Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Dec - Skipping Christmas by John Grisham


John Adams
Princess Academy
To Kill a Mocking Bird

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


After all the commotion a few years ago, the carseat law requiring children to be in booster seats until 8 years old passed in Utah. Now KSL reports HB 113 bill would allow children over the age of 5 to ride without a booster seat if going less than 4 miles and under 45 miles per hour. (It still requires seat belts.)

I think this bill is a great idea. My main concern with the original bill that passed was that it did not take into account realities of driving more than one or two children in a car. Right now, if one of my friends wanted me to take their child home from school, I couldn't because I don't have a booster seat and another one will not fit in my van. There is an extra seat, but with two boosters back there already, a third would not fit. This means that I break the law if I help. This bill would allow for quick local travel. I'd be able to help without the guilt of breaking the law.

One of the concerns raised was how do you tell a child today he has to be in a booster seat, but tomorrow he doesn't. You tell them. Kids are used to having to deal with things that are ok some days but not others. If your child doesn't handle it well, then always make them ride in a booster.

Another concern is that most accidents happen with in 5 miles of home. But I don't think that people will suddenly stop using booster seats. Most of the children will be in a booster and a few will be in seat belts. This won't be any different than 2 years ago. The law isn't allowing for children to be unrestrained. If they aren't in a booster they would be in a seatbelt.

I think it's a bad idea to pass a law that large numbers of people will break. This change will allow people to lend a hand without breaking a law. This bill would allow for the safety of the law, while balancing the realities of moving children around.