what is a squiggle?

According to fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Hill, a squiggle is a beginning point, a small, wiggly line on a page with the potential to become something more--a brilliantly drawn fifth-grade picture!

A beginning point. A silly phrase from my preschooler, my teenager rolling his eyes, or my kindergartner deleting my entire 3rd chapter...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book Review: An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon

Okay, so this isn't a new book, but it is a great resource that I discovered while doing research for a story idea. The author, John Sorenson, has some insightful ideas about where the Book of Mormon lands may have been located, and he provides compelling evidence. He offers the reader more than just a landscape by describing other aspects of life, such as animals, building materials, and food items and how they may have related to the Book of Mormon peoples. My personal study of the Book of Mormon has taken on a new dimension since I read Sorenson's book. I definitely recommend it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


With school starting back up, I'm going to have to give my blog an overhaul. You'd think that with over half of the kids in school this year, I'd have more time to write and work on the things I want to do--not so! With the two youngest (and most demanding) still at home, I'll be playing referee continually until nap time (which, with any luck, will continue to be twice a day). So in between keeping my two boys from maiming each other and running the afternoon carpool, and getting some work in on my WIP, I will have limited time for blogging.

Translation: Stories are suspended for the school year. I will try to post book reviews on Tuesdays (when I find time to read--maybe while sitting in the carpool line), specific scripture references and how they relate to real life experiences on Friday, and spiritual boosts on Sunday.

In the meantime, if I am inspired by a story that manages to just flow from my mind like magic, I will include it. Or if anyone has a story that fits a scripture they would like to share, let me know.

All changes will take place starting Sunday (going camping tomorrow). We'll see how this goes.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fictional Story: Doctrine and Covenants 19:35 concluded

On Sunday morning, Jaleen and I gathered the children together in our small living room. She led them through a primary song and then our oldest son offered a prayer. When Jaleen turned the time over to me, I felt my stomach flutter with nervousness. I was quite sure this was one of the hardest I would ever have to do.

I cleared my throat and studied each of my nine kids before I began. My greatest desire when Jaleen and I were married was to give my kids a better life than we'd had growing up. Jaleen had often spoken of life in a large family where money was scarce, and I was determined that my children would never feel poor. Yet, this was what the Lord had asked of me, to share our situation with the entire family, to allow every member the chance to help our budget be successful.

Some of the younger kids began to fidget as I introduced the topic and started explaining what a budget was and what it meant to our family.

Six year old Cameron raised his hand. "Daddy, how can I help you and mom save money and pay for stuff when I don't have any money."

"That's a good question. Although most of you do not have your own money, there are still ways that you can help out. Cam, what are some of the things that you need that cost money?"

He laughed and wiggled his toes, two of which were peeking out of holes in his socks. "That's easy; shoes and socks!"

"Okay, so what could you do about shoes and socks?"

Cameron thought hard for a few minutes. "Mom always says to untie our shoes before we take them off and to not drag our feet. She says that makes shoes last longer."

I nodded and smiled. "That's right. Very good."

As we continued talking, our thirteen year old offered to start collecting aluminum cans to help pay for scout camp, and our teenage daughter promised to start saving her babysitting money for Girls' Camp and to help pay for her own clothes. Once the kids knew what we needed from them, they were eager to help us stick to our budget. All of them came up with ways they could help us.

We closed our family meeting with a song and prayer. Jaleen and I watched the children scatter in all directions as they finished getting ready for church. I finally felt at peace. Even though the process would still be hard and long, I knew that our family was united, and together we could accomplish our goals.