The Book of Mormon: A Pattern for Parenting

In January, I chose a word for the year. Not a big list of goals, but a word that would inspire me to change some things in our home, attitudes, and habits. 

That word was intentional.

I wrote about being tired of reacting instead of being PRO-active. One of the areas I decided to be more intentional about was my choices of books. Another area that needed (still needs) improvement is my parenting skills. Most of us probably feel that way.

I have a lot of books on my shelf that I have purchased over the years thinking that I would read them someday…and I realized that I actually haven’t read some of them.

The Book of Mormon A Pattern for Parenting was one of those books. I had read the first two chapters and never finished it. How I wish I would have finished it sooner. I would be a much better mother!

bom pattern for parenting cover

For those of you who don’t know what The Book of Mormon is, I’ll give a quick background for you.  In the Old Testament days of Jeremiah, there were several other prophets in addtion to Jeremiah.  One of these was Lehi. You don’t find his story in the Old Testament because God instructed Lehi to leave Jerusalem before it was destroyed. The Lord preserved Lehi and his family and a couple of other families from the destruction of Jerusalem by sending them across the ocean to the Americas where they could live in righteousness and peace if they would be obedient to the Lord’s commandments. The story of Lehi’s family is recorded in The Book of Mormon, including the visit Christ made to them after His crucifixion.  The Book of Mormon in no way replaces the Bible – it stands with and strengthens the Bible as another witness that testifies to the divinity of Jesus Christ and His mission in saving mankind from sin and death. 

As the people in the Book of Mormon are human beings like us, they made mistakes and they made good choices. The book reflects this and shows lesson after lesson the people learned as they made those choices.  Author Geri Brinley has taken those lessons taught in the Book of Mormon and shows us how to learn from scriptures the kind of parent we should be. Each principle is illustrated with the examples found in the Book of Mormon, as well as quotes from modern prophets and apostles.

Topics covered and explored in this book are Teach Your Children, Good Parenting, Children’s Needs, and Fight the Good Fight. The appendix is a gold-mine of practical tips and references for all 15 of the principles discussed throughout the 4 main topics including Hands-On Teaching Ideas, Additional Resources for Parents, Parenting Principles Scriptural References, and Scriptural Theme Index. 

I found this to be a book that required some time to read and some time to ponder, so it was not a book I devoured in one sitting. I was reminded, encouraged, challenged, and inspired not just to strive to be better but intentionally DO things to make our family more unified in the gospel of Jesus Christ and our love for each other. This is a great book for any parent who is seeking for more than most parenting books offer!

 The Book of Mormon: A Pattern for Parenting is available as a paperback and a Kindle book from Amazon. 

I did not receive any form of compensation for my opinion. I am just sharing my experience!

Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails

As many of you know, I started using Essential Oils several years ago and love them. They have improved our lives in many areas. We use them in our laundry, as aromatherapy, to treat sunburn, poison ivy, bug bites, in food preparation, for cold, and even for pneumonia and bronchitis. There are literally hundreds of oils – and many books that will tell you about them and what they are good for. I have a few of them and I love reading about the oils, but… if I know what my problem is, I want the practical, nitty-gritty recipes! How much and how often?  

modern medicine cover

One of the oil books I bought was Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails by Dr. Scott A. Johnson.  I really like this book for several reasons. While he does give basic information about essential oils in the beginning, he also gives you a list of 40 essential oils that would be the most valuable to have in an emergency situation if medical care is not available. (Some of you may be thinking that is nuts…but think about natural disasters that are happening all over the world where it is so hard to get drinking water to people, much less medical care.) Then the rest of the book is filled with recipe after recipe of oil solutions for everything from  abdominal cramps to congestion to flu to staph infections and strep throat to whooping cough.  Each recommendation includes the dosing methods and the timing of administering the doses.

I appreciate that this book is concise and to the point. I have several other oil books that I refer to as well when we have a specific problem, but I find myself turning to this one first because of it is easy to find my information and move on with the problem. This is a great little resource to have on hand.

As always, this book is a resource and not intended to replace medical advice when needed.

All opinions are my own. I am not getting paid for this review.

How To Finally Escape the Clutter Trap!

Ha! If that title doesn’t stir some interest, you are either on top of all the little things in your life, or you are in denial of your problems!! LOL

Okay, seriously:

I have been in denial for years about the need to deal with all.the.stuff in my home…the piles on my desk, the craft supplies, the toys, the books, the movies, the clothes: you name it, I have too much. Most people probably don’t see it that way since I keep things mostly tidy and put away.

A place for everything, and every thing in its place” has been my pride for years.

 I know, though, and I am sick of storing it, cleaning it, saving it, and moving it around.

I have been pondering how to return to a more simple life since Christmas – part of my intentional goals for 2014 – and have been receiving little nudges of inspiration for several months – a talk at a homeschool conference talking about the need for a habit of simplicity, a General Conference talk about the need to draw our line of when enough is enough in a talk titled Where Your Treasure Is, how much happier the kids are when there is less stuff to deal with, how much easier my day goes when I try to do less cramming of stuff and enjoy the moments more, and several friends who have been inspiring me to report on my changes as I attempt to simplify our lives. Even on the SCM forum there are entire threads discussing the desires of many moms for simplicity in their homes, their schools, their lives.

It was in one such thread that How to Finally Escape the Clutter Trap by Robin Konie was first suggested and recommended. It was available as an immediate download PDF file and it was on sale, so I bought it. I read most of it the first hour it was on my computer and it literally was changing the way I viewed my stuff in my head and my heart. That was about a month ago, and since then I printed it out and have read it several times and learn something every time. It continues to motivate me to make real changes and begin to live the way I want.

The Clutter Trap cover

The book deals with the myths of why we save (or hoard) stuff. There are several types of personalities that save stuff, and she deals with the emotional reasons behind the motivations by laying out the myths and facts side by side without condemnation for each personality. Then she offers practical ideas to help you learn how to deal with the emotions about *stuff*.  This is not your usual how to organize your bath cabinets or your closet.

Now – I must say that I have heard a lot of this verbally in all its various forms over the years. Seeing it all spelled out in easy to see, read, and comprehend is probably what made it all start to stick and make real sense. In fact, I have over 40 boxes of GOOD things that we are not using and don’t need or want waiting for my yard sale next week. (My wonderful sister is driving 9 hours to help me with this – she knows that I hate to do it, and she is very good at it!) Once the sale is over, the stuff left over will be donated around town to various places. I have hauled out multiple bags of trash…and I am learning not to guilt myself into keeping things that aren’t bringing me a sense of happiness. (If nothing else, it was worth the cost just for that! ;) )

Since I bought the PDF, the author has released the book as an ebook available from Amazon – way cheaper than the original PDF. Yippie! You may get your copy of The Clutter Trap for only $2.99. Click here for more information from Amazon.

Do you struggle with too much stuff, too??

I did not receive any form of compensation for my opinion. I am just sharing my experience!

A Book

Stack of Classic Books

A Book

by Edgar Guest

“Now” – said a good book unto me -
“Open my pages and you shall see
Jewels of wisdom and treasures fine,
Gold and silver in every line,
And you may claim them if you but will
Open my pages and take your fill.

“Open my pages and run them o’er,
Take what you choose of my golden store.
Be you greedy, I shall not care -
All that you seize I shall gladly spare;
There is never a lock on my treasure doors,
Come – here are my jewels, make them yours!

“I am just a book on your mantel shelf,
But I can be part of your living self;
If only you’ll travel my pages through,
Then I will travel the world with you.
As two wines blended make better wine,
Blend your mind with these truths of mine.

“I’ll make you fitter to talk with men,
I’ll touch with silver the lines you pen,
I’ll lead you nearer the truth you seek,
I’ll strengthen you when your faith grows weak -
This place on your shelf is a prison cell,
Let me come into your mind to dwell!”


It’s a little later than I planned, but…

I still want to show you what I made for HorseyBug for Christmas.

I was really pleased with how things turned out. =)

In another post, I shared how HorseyBug received my mother’s childhood doll and her doll bed. They (the doll and bed) are moving along in years and holding up well, but the bed has been well used. My dad had to make a new bottom for it when I was little and mom had to replace the mattress. She couldn’t find one that fit, so she used a little changing pad that is also starting to show definite signs of wear.  Here’s what the bed looked like before Christmas:

doll bed

I made a bed skirt and fixed the mattress:

The new mattress

made a bumper pad:

the bumper pad

made a quilt and pillow so the bed looks like a mini-crib.

the quilt and pillow

Here is the finished project:

the finished bed

I thought it turned out so cute!


I recently read a thread on the SCM forum started by a mom who was struggling to de-stress and be more relaxed in her relationships with her family. Another mom responded and in the midst of her experienced wisdom, she recommended a book called “Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions” by Lysa TerKeurst. Having struggled with my own raw emotions (see here), I was intrigued and bought the book.

Unglued Cover


(Photo from Amazon)

I tried to read this one a bit slower than normal so that I could have time to process what the author talks about it. (I like to gulp my books too quickly and then it is hard to remember what I am supposed to be learning.)  ;) Like Charlotte Mason said, though, we need time to reflect and think upon books to really learn from them and I felt that this topic is one that needs reflection and considered thought.

Lysa (the author) starts by inviting us onto a path of imperfect progress. She reminds us that we can’t become perfect overnight and that it is okay. She then goes on to explain that there are several ways we become unglued – not all of us are screamers! Most of us have ways we cope with our raw emotions that make it hard for us to deal with certain aspects of our lives that end up affecting our relationships with ourselves and others. She outlines several questions to answer to help us understand the kind of Unglued that we are, then proceeds to give ideas on learning how to understand them and change our reactions. Lysa also teaches how to plan our reactions ahead of time so that we can be more prepared for those moments that cause us to become Unglued.

I think that one of my favorite things about this book is that she reminds us that the Atonement of Christ was for these kinds of moments, not just the “bigger” things – that the Atonement is at work in our daily lives as we strive to become better cultivators of our relationships. That really resonates with me as I have been reading other books about the Atonement and accessing the forgiveness and love that is there every day – not just as a one-time only service. This allows me to give myself some grace in my daily life and gives me hope of better  relationships – not just with my family and friends, but also with my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst is available for purchase here. I am not getting anything out of this – I just really appreciated her book. :)

A Delightful Missouri Spring Hike

We recently went for our first nature hike of the year. I say “hike” because this was not on our usual paved path – we went to a Missouri State Park and explored a cave and hiked one of the trails around it. We had been about 7 years ago, but I was pregnant with JuneBug then and not able to do all of the trail. We have wanted to go back in April ever since because the information said that if we hiked in April we would find the bluebells in bloom.  Yay!

We saw a beautiful Yellow Warbler, a hummingbird, several different varieties of butterflies, tons of flowers, lots of white dogwood and pink red buds in blossom in the underskirt of the forest. A highlight for me was a turtle swimming in the creek (jitterBug found him while we were hiking about 30 feet higher on the edge of the trail). We watched him paddle several feet, climb out, and start to crawl away on the opposite bank. Pretty fun.  :)

It was such a beautiful sight as we rounded a curve of the (rather steep!) trail and both sides were lined with the delicate, but resilient little flowers. I forgot my camera, of course, but here is a close up picture from the Prairie Moon Nursery:

Mertensia-virginica (Virginia-Bluebells)


The girls were amazed and kept saying “But Mom, they’re not blue. They are purple and pink.” They were more purple than blue, and they were gorgeous! There had been a very hard rainstorm the night before, but the flowers were still standing tall.

There were several trees that caught my attention as well.  There were naked tree branches that had some brown flowers hanging from them. We noticed several and I made a mental note to look them up in our guides when we got home.

paw paw tree blossom

(Photo from

Aren’t they neat??

We stopped in the Visitor’s Center which had some field guides out in to be used. I looked them up and discovered that they are paw paw tree flowers. That was really fun because our family has the “way down yonder in the paw-paw patch” song on several CD’s, so it was fun to make that connection.

I looked and looked at their guides and finally caved in. I got two.


(photo from

One is for Missouri Wild Flowers – I actually have several of those – but this one is newer and has easier identification photos, plus some fun info about different plants, like the Scarlet Pimpernel which is actually found in our part of Missouri – but that it another story for another day.


(photo from

The other one is one that I am so excited about!! It is for Missouri Birds – and again, I have several of those – but as an educator, I LOVE the ease of use and the fantastic layout and design. The large pictures and splendid colors are perfect for use in helping us draw these birds in our Nature Journals.

Another highlight for me was JitterBug asking the attendant for a pen and paper so she could make notes for her nature journal as we went through the little museum. All the girls were clamoring for my attention so that they could show me something they really liked or were interested in. JuneBug asked me to read her some of the little educational boards in front of an animal display. She was so pleased when the lady told her that she had answered the question right.  ;)

The question: What animal eats more frogs in Missouri: the raccoon, the muskrat, the Green Heron, or the mink?

The answer: the mink!

I learn something everyday. ;)

I love spring in Missouri. It’s always such a treat to get out and explore while the weather is perfect and the bugs aren’t so plentiful.

What are your favorite spring things?