"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Mother's Day Book

Someone from Deseret Book contacted me to see if I'd like to review a copy of a new Mother's Day picture book for moms. I'm a mom. I love books. I love picture books. And I love the idea of books as gifts. So I said yes.

The book arrived in today's mail. It's a small, fun shape - less than 6.5 inches tall and 7.5 inches long. And it's a bright pink!

Once There Was A Mother by Emily Watts, Illustrated by Destin Cox

From the publisher:
"Mom" was the biggest word in her world.
It made her want to dance, and it made her want to hide.
And on some nights, when the house was dark and still and the moon peeked through the window, it made her wonder.
For every mom who has ever wondered if all the little things she does in a day make a difference, Once There Was a Mom offers hope and encouragement. Take it from someone who, like you, has read story after story, sung lullaby after lullaby, and even taken the batteries out of the toys once in a while! The truth is, little things are much more important than we may think. With contemporary, stylized illustration by artist Destin Cox, this charming gift book will bring a smile to the face of mothers of any age.

I read it to my 14 year old daughter and my 4 year old son (the oldest and youngest in the family who happened to be nearby when the mail arrived). My daughter said it was adorable. My son said it didn't have enough explosions (note: It had zero explosions).

I thought it was cute. It's definitely not a book geared to kids, but meant for moms... moms of all ages. It doesn't gloss over how hard it is being a mom, but it doesn't drag you down with how hard it is either. The page below is one of my favorites. My daughter and I both especially loved that the books the mom has are titled "Again" and "Again." And I love the artwork. Simple, but beautiful.

It made me smile. It made me tear up. Overall, this would be a cute gift to give to a mom for Mother's Day (coming up May 14th)! I would be happier to receive this than to receive chocolate. Well... who am I kidding, I'd like this AND some chocolate!

The book can be found here: Deseret Book

Friday, March 10, 2017

Shocking Cookie News

My senior year of high school, for a Personal Progress project at church I gathered favorite recipes, copied them onto cute cards, and filled a recipe box so I had yummy recipes to cook up at college. My dad is famous for his chocolate chip cookie recipe so that recipe was a must. His are delicious. Mine our delicious. But for years (21 to be exact) I've wondered why my cookies bake up flat (but still delicious) and his bake up ... not flat. Every few years we discuss this... melted butter vs. softened butter, etc. As far as I've been able to tell, we do everything the same. A few years ago, he switched to a new recipe and shared it. That recipe is also delicious, and halves more easily, so I switched too. For an event tomorrow, I need a lot of cookies and his original recipe makes more, so I reverted back to it. Again, I asked him about the melted vs. softened butter (the recipe says melted, but we both use softened). Then I asked him about oven temperature. I'm a more experienced baker now than I was before, and the 400 I have written down seemed high. He was shocked. He never bakes cookies above 350 or 375 so he checked his old recipe (clipped from the back of a bag of Mrs. Field's chocolate chips) and that recipe says 300! So I stopped texting him and gave him a call and made my parents read me the entire recipe. It's not the recipe I have written down! Where did I get this recipe. I've been claiming it as my dad's cookies for 21 years! But this does explain why our cookies always bake up differently. ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thoughts I Can't Post on Facebook ;)

1. Why do people take vacations with other people?! I mean, I sort of get it, but I can't think of another family I'd want to go on a long vacation with (no offense) or another couple Jed and I should go on a getaway with (again, no offense). That doesn't mean there aren't families I like or couples I like, I'd just like my vacation to be MY vacation. The way I want it and the place I want.

2. Why do adults (without kids) go on Disney cruises!??! Also, why do they do this with other couples?!?

3. I'm intrigued by the number of only children I know who have lots of kids. Granted, maybe their parents wanted more kids and had fertility issues (I'd be an only child if my parents hadn't adopted my siblings), but for all those people having only one child, I'd pay attention to all the only children choosing to have more kids themselves.

I think that's it for now. I'm sure I'll be back with more random thoughts. :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


I don't know how authors spit out a book a year. Or even a book a decade for that matter.

I started this story at least 15 years ago.

Maybe in another 15 I'll have it finished.

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