Changing Your Christmas Experience

Photo by Tyler Delgado on Unsplash


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Everywhere you go.  My decorating, however, has still not happened but I have finally taken down my fall decor.  I left it up as long as possible because it is my favorite season AND it took forever for the leaves to change this year in our part of the world. On the other hand, once it got here it lasted a good long while.

How about other Christmas prep?  Are you done with your shopping?  Have you hit the stores as often as I have?  Actually, Wal-Mart meets my prep needs pretty darn well.  Don’t you even turn your nose up at that.  I like to shop local and also avoid all the traffic and drama in the larger cities.  My family has simple tastes and they don’t demand the trends like some.  I am grateful for that.

I have had discussions with the family this year about simplifying Christmas and I feel that the small things we are doing to take some of the stress out of our December will be good.  Here is a great article from Power of Moms that I recently read about transforming Christmas — one family’s experiment with giving experiences.

With 4 grandchildren and another on the way, I am hoping we can make a difference in our family’s Christmas experience.  We want them to know what the true meaning of the Christmas season is–celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ–and how important it is to savor family over stuff.

The Christmas season is also the perfect time to serve others as Christ did. Here is a great little video about that.  Fit some of this into your Christmas List this year.  And you don’t have to do it just at Christmas, you kn0w.





Life’s Plain, Common Work


I found this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson that I just really like.  He is one of my favorite poets–did you learn about him in elementary school?  I did and even then I could tell he was way cool.  Anyway, just wanted to share this because it really helps me to be grateful for the simple things…


Life’s Plain, Common Work

The best things in life are nearest:
Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes,
flowers at your feet, duties at your hand,
the path of right just before you.
Then do not grasp at the stars,
but do life’s plain, common work as it comes,
certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.

Ahhh…I am enjoying the breath in my nostrils right now. Or is that baby formula?  Because I think that is what is going on in the photo. Correct me if I’m wrong.


Image by

Conference Nuggets 2018


It’s that time of year again, folks.  The Semi-Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints happened last weekend and here are the nuggets I would like to share with you:


  • Our Sunday meeting schedule has been restructured so that we can have a more home-centered, Church supported Gospel study experience.  
  • A renewed emphasis on the name of our church–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–so that we may better represent who we are and whose Church this is.
  • We live in a remarkably revelatory time in the restored Church.
  • Center yourself in Christ, hold fast to what you already know and wait on further instruction.
  • Keep on the covenant path.
  • Achieve the conversion the Lord expects you to.
  • Establish righteous patterns.
  • Know the WHO and WHY of serving the Lord.
  • If we will make Jesus Christ the center of our lives, everything else will fall into place.
  • Trials happen because this is mortality.
  • Pray to the Father to bring you to someone for Him.
  • Our Heavenly Father knows how to exalt YOU.
  • The Lord requires our help to minister to His flock and gather His sheep.


Wow!  And that isn’t all but I didn’t put them all in here.  If you watched the conference, then you have probably noted some of these same nuggets and added more of your own as you felt inspired.

Have a peaceful Sabbath Day…

Apple Pie and A Family Connection


Father’s Day weekend means I am in the kitchen making apple pie from scratch.  Sometimes, if anyone else wants some pie, I end up making two–one for “Dad” and one for the rest of us.

I already had several bowls out for various other dishes that I was preparing for a Saturday Father’s Day dinner, so I reached for this vintage red and white Pyrex bowl that used to be my Grandma Davis’.  I also have the small yellow and white one, but I have no idea whatever happened to the two in between.

I prepped the apples and placed them in this bowl to await the pie crusts being ready–they were chillin’–and realized that I was standing in my kitchen, using Grandma’s pie recipe and using her mixing bowl.  No doubt she had used this very one to make many a pie.

That was such a sweet moment for me.  Grandma passed away many years ago after battling Alzheimer’s–Mom passed only 2 years ago from the same horrible disease.  

Mom actually shared the recipe in our family cookbook as “Mother’s Apple Pie” (she called her mom “Mother”). So this really was a double serendipitous moment.

Connections like these are important.  They bind us to our families–earthly and beyond the veil–in ways we don’t even realize.  

Looking forward to more moments like these.

Have a great Sunday.

Just a Mom?


It’s Mother’s Day.  What thoughts have been going through your mind as you have anticipated this day this week? What feelings have come to your Mother heart?  I hope they are good feelings and thoughts.  

I hope you know what a contribution you are making in the lives of your children, your family, your community.  But…

We don’t always feel that way.  Sometimes we struggle to feel like we are even noticed, much less making a difference.  

And this day can sometimes put a lot of pressure on us if we don’t feel we measure up to the ideal, because we are all supposed to be perfect in everything, right?  

And if you don’t have children yet, does that mean Mother’s Day doesn’t apply to you?  Is it just a reminder of what you don’t have?

Let’s turn this day around.  Let’s turn our thoughts and feeling around. 

This video.  Watch it now, then watch it tomorrow, watch it whenever you feel like you are not enough.  Because you are.




Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash

Video courtesy of



This past weekend I attended Time Out For Women–a two-day conference sponsored by Deseret Book Company.  It was wonderful!  Beautiful, uplifting, powerful inspiration and music.  The following are some of the “nuggets” I picked up.  I hope you can be strengthened from these:


  • Every answer is in the scriptures.

  • If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you’re fighting. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

  • Be centered in Christ

  • Look to the WORD, instead of the WORLD.

  • Your trial will turn you to the scriptures and to Christ.

  • What God doesn’t PROTECT you from, He will PERFECT you through.


  • The Lord will meet you where you are, but He doesn’t intend to leave you there.



The Voice of Truth


I was editing some old posts the other day and came across this draft that my sister, Amy, had written up.  She was one of our original Mavens when we started this blog about 8 years ago.  It was a really good post, so she gave me permission to publish it today.  We can all use this.  Her words are below:

“I don’t normally go for popular christian music but my daughter, Logan, has a song on a CD that she listens to over and over and over (the autism factor) while traveling in the car to and from school. One beautiful autumn day, amidst the fall foliage of the southwest Virginia mountains, we were driving along and the lyrics to this song spoke volumes to me. I’d obviously heard it many times before but my spirit was not yet to the place it needed to be for the message to get through to me.

The lyrics touched me on so many levels. There are many gospel lessons to be learned therein. I especially love the references to the waves and to the story of “the giant”. Those waves and that “giant” are things we confront daily as we struggle to conquer our own Goliaths. Satan wreaks havoc with us as he tries to persuade us that we’ll never win. But, the voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says do not be afraid.”  This is beautiful and we all deal with our own Goliaths.


Crashing Waves Photo by Jordan Donaldson | @jordi.d on Unsplash


How Strong is Your Magnet?

 I posted this in 2015.  Somehow the topic keeps coming up to me–just had a conversation about this a couple of days ago with my daughter.  Looks like a still have some work to do on my magnet.  What are your thoughts?
Do you have women that you look up to, that have qualities and traits that you would like to emulate?  Is there one in particular that you would really like to hang out with, spend time with, hoping that some of what she has will rub off on you?   These could be qualities like humility, the ability to light up a room when they walk in, someone who is well-versed in the scriptures, or who knows just the right kind of service to give.  Maybe it’s someone who knows how to perfectly put a room together, knows just the right style and colors to wear to enhance her already natural beauty.  Whatever it is, temporal or spiritual, you might feel you lack that and want some of what she’s got.
Well, this is pretty typical for me.  I often observe women that I know that have something about them that I wish I had about me.  Maybe I do have it deep down inside, you know, but it just hasn’t emerged yet. As I sat in church one Sunday, pondering over this issue because I had just seen one of those women in the congregation, I likened the pull I had toward this person to a magnet.  Why am I pulled to her?  Why is this someone who doesn’t naturally gravitate towards a friendship with me, beyond just an occasional chat in the hall?  And then it occurred to me.  How strong is MY magnet?  My pull must not be strong enough to bring someone like that in.  Do you understand what I mean?
As I thought about this whole magnet analogy, I realized that at some point this woman had paid the price, prepared herself, and had done what she needed to be the kind of person the Lord wanted her to be–and I am sure she has more to accomplish.  The more temporal traits were just something she developed, as well.  
Have I paid the price?  Have I prepared myself and put in the time and prayer to develop traits within myself that are there for the taking?  Probably not to the degree that I should.  So instead of comparing myself to others and coming up short, I just need to do what I need to do to bring out the traits and qualities the Lord instilled in me and hoped I would recognize and strengthen.  Then my magnet will pull others to me–those with whom I can associate and we can strengthen each other.
Just some Sunday morning musings for you to consider, if you’d like.  Thanks for listening.
Image from FreeDigitalPhotos/Danilo Rizzuti.

Because of Him


I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Easter Sunday.  We have been watching the sessions of our faith’s General Worldwide Conference from Salt Lake City.  How appropriate to also be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ during this time.

Please enjoy this short video with your family as we all remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, and all that He did for us.

Balance vs. Chaos


I have just finished reading  Amanda Sullivan’s book entitled “Organized Enough“.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am passionate about de–junking/de-cluttering/streamlining…whatever you want to call it, I love to ORGANIZE!  

Somehow, though, over the last year and a half, I have lost structure and routine and the peace that it brings to my soul.  Oh heck, I retired a year and a half ago and that’s when it started.  Do you know what I mean?  

My scheduled little life blew up in my face when that Monday – Friday,
12 -5pm routine was just GONE.  

You start saying yes to all kinds of stuff because you’re like “Yes, I have all kinds of time now.  Bring it on!” 

You lose the focus and planning that got you through your busy–but orderly–days.  

Your cleaning routine…LOL…what routine? I am lucky to get the laundry done in 2 days instead of on Tuesday when it’s scheduled.  Where did all those dirty clothes come from? We’re Empty Nesters!

Cleaning is hit-and-miss.  

You DO get to travel more, though! We’re driving all over the place–doing the good, better and the best.

But here is the sweet stuff:  visiting family and going to the beach more often because you don’t have to find someone to fill in for you at work. You can finally serve others because you have the time to do it right when it is needed.

Don’t get me wrong.  Retirement is a good thing and there are lots of great things you can do with your new-found freedom, but you do need to balance everything and put things in their proper perspective.  

For the first time in my life, I find myself running around like the proverbial “chicken with her head cut off.”  You know you’ve been there, too.  I saw you the last time I was there.  

You are working on one thing, like getting through the layers of TO DO/TO FILE/TO PAY piled on your desk, and you think of something you need in the next room.

You go to that room and see something that needs to be taken care of, and BAM!  About 20 minutes later you remember you were supposed to be organizing your desk for the umpteenth flippin’ time.

This book is a great resource for you if you crave balance in your life and you are tired of just doing a balancing ACT, which  leads me to something I highlighted on p. 196, in the chapter on cultivating the habit of consistency:

“A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods (Ann Rice)…”

Consistency and routine free up your brain for more important tasks…Scientists have shown that we experience a mental drain when we switch back and forth from one task to another and…when we have to think too much about our next move.  Consistency, whether it’s about what we wear to work or the time of day we open our mail, eliminates the back-and-forth deliberation and the decision making, so we don’t have to think about it.  We just do it.

So I am re-learning something that I realized years ago: you have got to get the ‘housekeeping’ done in your life.  

A good routine can take care of all those things that just have to be done every week, and leave you with the physical and mental energy you need to do the things that give you peace and make your heart smile.

I hope all of that made sense to you.  Comment below and let me know what you think…


A personal note:  Today is my sweet  Mom’s birthday.  She passed away from Alzheimer’s almost 2 years ago.  What a sweet, quiet spirit she had.