Family Movie Night: Star Trek IV

Without realizing 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the first airing of Star Trek, back in May my friend Tom and I started podcasting about each of the Star Trek films. I did this not having seen a single episode of the show. I had seen Galaxy Quest and the 2009 Star Trek reboot film but that is it. When I found out it was such an important year for Star Trek it felt all the more meaningful to understand this significant cultural phenomenon- to see what all the fuss is about you might say.

The Bag of Fun- Autism at Church

One of the most beautiful things I’ve learned recently, as a special needs mom, is the power of letting your child be himself. I’ve been trying to fit my son into a box, figuratively, for a long time.  And I’ve been so frustrated as he has popped out of that box time and again.  I’m learning to let him be himself, and become more flexible in my expectations of what the “right way” to do things is.  It has been especially helpful at church.  Let me illustrate.

Accepting God’s Will

Greetings my friends!  It’s been a while, I know, but I’ve been making great progress in my life and with my little family!  My little family has taken our first real vacation!  My daughter flew on a plane for the first time.  We went to Disneyland, visited with my oldest brother and his family, and became acquainted with the Emergency Room Staff at Garden Grove Hospital. Everything was wonderful!  Well, except for that last part.  At least now I know what kidney stone pain is, and how to recognize and prevent it!

Attitude Affects Mental Health

We all have something that makes us uniquely ourselves. It is one of the beauties of human creation that we are all different, and yet we are all the same, but our attitudes about who we are and our worth in this life can and will affect our health and happiness.

You Were Born to Be Baptized

I recently attended a niece’s baptism. Since moving to Idaho this was the first extended family event I have been able to attend. It was a wonderful occasion, and was well attended by both the ward and extended family. The talks we always hear at these occasions were well thought out and delivered. But the thought that came into my head was different from anything I had thought of before. “You were born to be baptized.” I hadn’t ever considered that concept before. This is what I would like to discuss.


“Self-inflicted gunshot wound leaves a town in mourning as a vivacious little girl leaves this earth just a little too soon.” This was the third or fourth story of suicide in recent years that has come from my home town. It left me pondering many questions. Why would she do that? How can her family cope? Why did she not know how much she was loved? Could I have said or done something, or reached out at the right time?

My Incredible Journey on the Road to Jericho

As I re-read the record of my journey along the Road to Jericho, I jotted down notes about the lessons I learned as I struggled to follow in the Good Samaritan’s footsteps.  What an amazing journey this year has been! Yellow sticky papers with scribbled notes do not adequately reflect the change in my heart that has happened one decision at a time in this journey.

Unique to Him

Like any child, my Down syndrome son has a lot of behaviors that seem to be unique to his personality.  Not unique in that no other child has ever done such a thing, but that the way the behaviors combine adds up to something recognizable as just “so Joey”.

Giving Your Very Best to the Lord

It’s been a roller-coaster ride in our home this week. Our feelings have been near the surface and still are. My daughter’s boyfriend entered the MTC yesterday. Frankly, I didn’t expect the rush of emotion I felt.


Rationalizations get us nowhere. No, actually, that’s wrong. Rationalizations send us spiraling out of control on a path of self-destruction. We can rationalize anything.  It is the easy way out—for now—but it always comes back to bite us. There is so much negativity around us, but I am optimistic about the future. I believe in our ability to turn things around to better our lives and seek for good. I think that begins with a hard look at how we see the world around us—beginning with our own actions. We need to stop rationalizing our behavior and be obedient to basic gospel principles.


We may still be in for a few more weeks of warm weather, but Apples in all their delicious varieties are beginning to come back to the markets again.

Just Empty the Trash

We live in close proximity to a dumpster. Actually, we live in close proximity to two dumpsters.   Our commitment to a trash-free environment consists of the following steps. 1) Remove bag from trash can. 2) Walk bag 50 steps to dumpster. 3) Open lid, insert bag, close lid. 4) Turn around and walk 50 steps back to townhome. 4) Place new bag in trash can. All-in-all, it takes about 120 seconds.

My Living Journal

All my life I have been taught to read and ponder the scriptures, so I could apply their insights and guidance to bless my life. Honestly, as a young man, I didn’t really understand the concept of pondering scriptures. I would read a few verses and then wait to see what insights filled my mind and heart. The intent was good; the results rewarding. But I still didn’t really see the benefit…at least not immediately.

A Hidden Miracle in the Book of Mormon

Miracles are events that surprise and amaze. For example, the parting of the Red Sea was not something the children of Israel could have foreseen as they ran from the approaching Egyptian army. The Book of Mormon has many miracles and wonders listed in its pages. I recently found one that I have never heard anyone talk about. I was amazed that the event has been right in front of me all these years, but I never recognized it for the miracle it is. I’ll actually show you two ways the Lord rid the people of the Gadianton robbers.

Picnic Lunch

This last couple of weeks my normally sweet husband has been a bit of a bear. His job is demanding longer hours with one difficulty following on top of another. This means lots of tossing and turning at night; a little less patient than his usual saintliness (Honestly, I’m usually the family bear and he’s the calming one!);  and a lot less time for us to really connect and talk as a couple.

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