Friday, June 27, 2008

On the Newsstands June 26, 2008

Art: "Oil Isn't Just What's in the Ground" by Gaynell Parker

In a world that looks at oil prices as something related to cars, I thought I'd start talking about oil Paint. (grin.) You see, oil isn't just for cars, what's in your skin, or what you use to cook.

Righhhhttt. I can just hear you... Oil paint is (in my opinion) the standard for art and paint. It's been the primary medium for centuries, and actually hasn't changed a great deal in all these years.

Many of the great masters from the 1500's used oil paints for their work, and it's proven itself to be a medium that lasts, with proper care, for ages. Rembrandt is probably one of the most famous, and I'm always amazed at how he was able to use oil to create depth and feeling in a flat canvas. His painting of the Musketeers (the one pictured above -- sorry it's so small) is one of my favorites. -- Read More

Books: "Forged in the Refiner's Fire by Candace E. Salima & Elizabeth A. Cheever" by Alison Palmer

What is your greatest challenge? What is the hidden sorrow that brings tears to your eyes every time you try to express your worries and concerns to your Heavenly Father?

No matter what trial, station, or stage of life you may be in Forged in the Refiner’s Fire can offer a source of understanding, hope, and comfort. Co-authored by Elizabeth A. Cheever and Candace E. Salima, Forged in the Refiner’s Fire is a collection of true stories. On every page and in every chapter you will read of real people with a variety of very real problems who have learned to rely on the Lord and come out stronger than they were before. -- Read More

Home & Family: "Let's Kick Back and Have Some Fun" by Muriel Sluyter

This fake world of ours is run by plastic people, who want our money... all of it. To accomplish this, they must convince us that products that have no real value are indispensable. They have to create discontent within us. They must convince us that we are too fat, too thin, smell bad, wear unfashionable clothes, aren't sexy enough, etc. Creating dissatisfaction opens our wallets. Let's watch them in action.

When I turn the TV on, chances are that I will see someone pumping iron or running. (He may be unable to tell right from wrong, but my, oh my, does he look good!) Perhaps, he is working at one of those weird machines that exercises every part of the body. They are capable of finding and torturing muscles that didn't even exist when I was a kid. And, that's because a sadist invented those muscles the day I turned forty. -- Read More

Jewelry: "Mythological Jewelry, Part 2" by Nichole Giles

My niece asked me earlier today how I landed this awesome job of blogging for the Neighborhood about something as fun as jewelry. “Well,” I told her, “the person in charge had the right connections and knew just who to ask.”

Not that I’m saying I’m a jewelry expert. I’m not. Or, not in the sense that I have any training. I just happen to like it a whole lot, and makes me really happy. One of these days I’m going to start making it myself and creating fabulous pieces. But right now, I’m too busy writing—and researching the history of jewelry. I’m having a ball learning more about jewelry through the ages, and the impact it had on society. It’s fascinating. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Gardening & Landscaping: "Great Perennials" by Heather Justesen

I wanted to highlight three more of my favorite perennials this time. Most perennials bloom only for a few weeks each summer. These, however, are plants that put out gorgeous blooms for most of the summer, and come back more beautiful every year. All three of these dies back to the roots in the winter and grow new stems.


I bought these plants last spring in six-inch pots and they did reasonably well last summer. There are a number of varieties, and those familiar with the Latin names of plants will know that the herb sage is also in this family. I wouldn't try cooking with this beauty, though I intend to blog on flowers that people do commonly eat at some point down the road. Anyway, Salvia comes in all kinds of colors and shapes, from purples and blues, to reds, oranges and yellows. and there are plants that thrive in almost every zone. Mine started blooming early in May and will continue through the cool fall months. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "Roller Coasters and Chocolate" by Barbara Salsbury

First, before I mention chocolate, I need to tell those of you who have responded to my blogs, that there was a bug in the blog. Your comments went into cyber space on another planet. However, the blog bug has been fixed. So please talk to me again. I did not ignore you. The blog bug did.

When it comes to defining a disaster or crisis it’s important to understand that what can be - and is - a crisis for you and your family might not affect anyone else in the same way. For example the trauma of losing the family’s income, having to do with less, no longer being able to participate in activities that friends are involved in, drastically altering your ability to do almost anything – simply because you can no longer afford it – can be a significant crisis to deal with. I’ll just call it a roller coaster ride. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Dutch Oven: "Getting It Off the Ground" by Keith Fisher

Back when our forefathers cooked in Dutch ovens, Chances are they cooked in a campfire on the ground. It was a back bending proposition and probably took longer than it should. Some folks still cook on the ground or in a hole. Today, I’d like to show you a better way.

As a Boy Scout, I learned that if I lay my sleeping bag directly on the ground, most of my body heat is absorbed into the earth. If I use a tarp or piece of plastic under my sleeping bag, I sleep warmer at night. The same holds true for Dutch ovens on the ground. You might suggest that’s why we put coals on the bottom. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Error. Does Not Compute" by C.L. Beck

Despite a nostalgic bent for old-fashioned writer’s tools—the quill pen always looked cute to me—I can’t seriously argue that any previous inventions were ever as handy as the computer.

With a computer, a writer can whip out a story in no time, use grammar and spell check to improve the manuscript, and then delete any errors in the blink of an eye. It can be saved as a file on the hard drive, a CD or on a zip drive. Come flood, earthquake, or mud slide, multiple backups ensure all is not lost. -- Read More

Missionary: "Senior Missionaries" by Rebecca Talley

When we think about missionaries, we generally envision young men in suits and white shirts and young women in simple, modest clothing serving the Lord before they marry. To the world, our missionary force seems to be viewed as one of young people. However, many senior couple missionaries also serve.

My mother-in-law served a mission with her husband in Boston, Massachusetts. They worked in the office and both of them enjoyed their time in the mission field immensely. A couple in my ward served a mission in Texas. They both speak fondly of the time they spent there, teaching people about the Book of Mormon. In fact, they shared a story about their mission just last week in Sunday School. Couples who choose to serve missions can provide valuable service to the Lord. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Lava Hot Springs" by Cheri Crane

We spent this past weekend at a wonderful place not too far from home---the famed Lava Hot Springs. This hot spot is located here in Southeastern Idaho. It is a popular resort where a myriad of fun activities await the weary traveler or the excited tourist.

We arrived on Friday in preparation for yet another family reunion. About 3 months ago, I had made reservations at a place called CottonWood Campground. I had asked for a campsite in the trees and we weren't disappointed. The RV site we were assigned was wonderful. Not only was it in the shade of tall cottonwood trees, but it was next to the Portneuf River. -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Where Do I Start?" by Kim Thompson

Have you always wanted to scrapbook, but don’t know where to start? Do the rows and rows of stickers, embellishments, adhesives, and albums at your local craft store make you feel completely overwhelmed? Do you have piles and piles of pictures in no semblance of order?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

First, buy a large plastic container then go through your house and gather all of your photos and memorabilia into one place. Look in drawers, old photo albums, shoeboxes, picture frames, closets, files, the attic—wherever you tend to stash stuff. Then purchase archival quality photo boxes for all of your photos. -- Read More

Services: "The Literary Council and I" by Liz Adair

I googled “Literacy Council” and counted more than 100 listings before I had to stop and begin writing this post. There are more; I just don’t know how many. It gives me goose bumps to see all those organizations of people dedicated to one thing: teaching people to read. Many councils have added the task of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to the services they offer, and that was what I did when I was a volunteer with the Whatcom Literacy Council in Northwest Washington.

Just as one of my children was hitting some rough waters navigating the shoals of middle school, I read in the paper that they were looking for people to help out. I felt that if that child focused on serving, it would make this stage of growing up a little easier, so I called the Literacy Council. I told them that I’d like to volunteer, that I had worked as a reading specialist in the public schools for several years, but that it was a package deal: my two children would work with me. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "Sports Criminals" by Steve Christensen

In today’s sports world it is not uncommon to read a story weekly or even daily about an athlete that is in trouble with the law. We have all heard about the steroid use in Major League Baseball, drugs used in the summer and Winter Olympics, and all kinds of criminal activity in the NFL and NBA. This trend of behavior has got to slow down because at this rate, all the professional sports programs will be obsolete in 5 years because all of the athletes will be in jail or suspended from the sports programs.

I enjoyed watching sports as a child. I remember the great players in basketball- Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Dr. J. I remember the awesome football players- Joe Montana, John Elway, Tony Dorset, Eric Dickerson, and the great Chicago Bear’s defense. I am not much of a baseball fan, but I do remember watching Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens, and Pete Rose play. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation/Movies: "Passage to Zarahemla" by Linda Scanlan

If you're a fan of LDS movies, but enjoy the action of Sci-Fi then you will love "Passage to Zarahemla" The plot is based on a Twilight Zone experience when two time periods occupy the same space in Leeds, Utah.

Kerra and Brock leave LA suddenly. Their mother has died, the gangs are after stolen merchandise, and the state wants to separate the kids into foster homes. What else could Kerra do except run to the only family members she remembers? Her father's kin. -- Read More

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On the Newsstands June 23, 2008

Art: "Art in the City" by Gaynell Parker

Summer time is a great time to experience the arts. Not only are there many opportunities at the local fairs and festivals and farmers markets, but there is also the big daddy of them all, the Utah Arts Festival.

This has gotten very large over the years, from the small thing it was in the early 1980's to now. This year one of my fellow writers and talented artist is doing a demo there with her group of painters. Hazel Jensen will be demoing oil painting. She does great work, so you should go and check her out. -- Read More

Books: "Counting Blessings by Kerry Blair" by Alison Palmer

Several months ago I learned a beautiful lesson from one of the sweetest people I am privileged to know. She taught me about problems and elephants. Yes, that seems like a strange combination but when she explained it, it worked. I learned that problems can be just like elephants: it’s all in the perspective. Even the smallest elephant, held in front of your eyes can become huge and block out everything else around it. Big elephants cause the same problem. Every problem needs to be part of a bigger perspective. If all we ever look at is our elephant, then we miss out on everything else in our lives and in the lives of those we care about. -- Read More

Home & Family: "Kids Will be Kids" by Muriel Sluyter

Recently, we had a fascinating experience at our house, or, to be more precise, in our barn. I had gone to the barn to do morning chores when, to my surprise, I discovered that someone had been there during the night.

The signs were everywhere. The fascinating part of this hilarious episode was the criminal's apparent goal, which seems to have been to feed a baby animal (an orphan?) some goat's milk. Now, it is true that goat's milk has saved many an orphan, but it is unusual for the young critter to be brought to the goat in the middle of the night, without the owner's knowledge. -- Read More

Jewelry: "Mythological Jewelry" by Nichole Giles

Because my current novel project involves a little Greek and Roman mythology, I’ve had to do research into the history of Greece and Rome. The ironic thing is that research for my novel is leading me toward wonderful information for my jewelry blogs, and vice versa. Interesting, huh? But really, really fun.

On to the Greek influence.
During the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C., Greek jewelry was often modeled after larger pieces of art—only made miniature—depicting religious, mythological, and heroic scenes. Often, jewelry was bound together with a certain kind of knot called the Hercules knot, because it was said to possess mystical and magical qualities. Craftsmen who specialized in working with gemstones and gold were producing exceptional works of art by incorporating overtones of contrast, harmony, clarity, unity, and rhythm in their work. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Gardening & Landscaping: "Water-wise Planting" by Heather Justesen

Just the word Xeriscaping brings visions of rocks and cactus to most people’s heads. They think of those poor desert dwellers whose city ordinances prevent them from growing ten square feet of grass and shudder, grateful it isn’t them.

Wikipedia says the word “refers to landscaping in ways that do not require supplemental irrigation.” And that “Plants whose natural requirements are appropriate to the local climate are emphasized, and care is taken to avoid losing water to evaporation and run-off.” The Greek translation for this term is ‘dry landscaping.’ -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "The Headline: Food for Thought and a Bonus" by Barbara Salsbury

As the year progresses the headlines that cause fear, and the struggles with the economy are not going away All these things are affecting more and more of us, more and more. My son is on active duty. War and all of its horrors are in our own basket, as well as yours as we live in these times. The failing economy continues to wreak its toll on what used to be called our budgets.

And so, I encourage you to do what you can, where you can, when you can. As an individual you or I cannot resolve the situations that are generating the fear from the headlines. Nor can we resolve situations in the city, state, or country. BUT, what we can do is resolve to do something, to create our own safe haven in attitude and action in our preparedness program. Even if you are in a small apartment there has to be one corner that you can set aside to hold a few things that will benefit you. If you can’t create a “safe room”, plan and create a comforting “safe corner.” -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Dutch Oven: "Snacking Around the Campfire" by Keith Fisher

Have you ever sat with your family around a campfire? You ate supper hours ago, but you were hungry for something, You don’t know what? Digging through the camp kitchen might not be a good idea (especially if you’re not the cook). I may have a solution for you.

25-years ago, I used a tool that pleased a troop of boy scouts and brought me high praise. I’m not sure where the tool came from, and I haven’t seen it for years. I looked for a picture on the internet, and found this on an antiques website. It’s worth a little money now—I wish I’d kept tract of mine. As you can see from the picture, it’s a campfire popcorn popper. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Bats in my Belfry" by C.L. Beck

One summer, I was sitting near the door that leads down to the furnace room, when I heard a “scritch, scritch”. Thinking it was Slippers, our cat, I ignored it and continued with my vastly important project of checking email.

Pretty soon, “scritch, scritch, shuffle, shuffle” caught my attention again.

“Slippers, I’m not getting up to let you out. Just sit in the dark and dream of mice.” -- Read More

Missionary: "More Mission Prep" by Rebecca Talley

In an earlier post, I mentioned ways families can help young people prepare to serve missions. Suggestions included having regular Family Home Evenings, having consistent scripture study and prayers, setting an example of faithfulness, encouraging high-school age children to attend seminary, providing opportunities for children to gain and strengthen testimonies, and finding time to discuss the gospel.

In addition to these, other areas in which parents can help future missionaries prepare include: -- Read More

New Neighbors: "In the Good ol' Summertime" by Cheri Crane

I think summer has finally arrived. Here in Bear Lake Valley, we feel like we've jumped straight from winter to summer. There was no spring to speak of. =) We endured a series of wintry storms during what should have been spring. But summer has arrived, and it is gorgeous. All of the moisture we received has contributed to the brilliant green color of the hills and surrounding farms. Flowers are blooming all over the place, wild and otherwise. And the flowering trees are beautiful. This is the first year that my row of lilacs has actually bloomed. I've been nursing them along for years---last year I had high hopes for them, but the blossoms froze. This year, not only did my lilacs bloom, but so did my flowering crab tree. This is a huge event in my life. -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Memories of Dad" by Kim Thompson

I realize I’m a week late with a post about Father’s, but I’ve been moving, so I’m allowed to be a week behind. Right?

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”
—Jim Valvano

Valvano’s quote pretty much sums up my relationship with my dad. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I finally realized all the things he’d been telling me all along were really for my own good. He is the most patient, loving man I know and I count myself lucky to be his daughter. -- Read More

Services: "Four Simple Gifts" by Liz Adair

About ten years ago, with our last child perched and ready to fledge from the nest, we left the house we had lived in for 25 years and moved temporarily to a small town on the other side of the state. Same house for a quarter century = same ward family for that span. Oh, boundaries had changed and people had moved in and out, but we were old timers, elder statesmen. Everybody knew us. We had grown gray serving in that ward.

Suddenly, we were in a new ward, and we found that with the new locality had come super powers. We were invisible. When we walked in the chapel the first Sunday, not a head turned our way. No hands were offered. No eye contact was made, even accidentally. It was as if we didn’t exist. I pinched my husband just to check, but though his buns are spare, I had hold of real flesh. We were still there, all right. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "Swimming: The Ultimate Summer Sport" by Rachelle Christensen

I enjoy swimming. I don’t get to go as often as I used to but I enjoy it when I have the chance. I’m guessing that what defines people’s like or dislike of swimming is knowledge. If you know how to swim, you generally enjoy it.

I grew up near the mammoth Snake River in Idaho. When I went to Utah State University for college and someone showed me the Logan River, I actually laughed out loud. “That’s not a river, that’s a creek!” I said. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation/Movies: "Return with Honor" by Linda Scanlan

Isn't life funny in that what you so carefully plan out for yourself, seems rarely to happen the way it is planned. This summer was to have been a fast moving action filled summer scheduled with girls camp, art camp, family reunion, boating and fishing. All of that was for June. This schedule was planned as skillfully as choreography in a musical is planned.

Enter one emergency surgery. Out the window goes the elegant meal planning for guest. No longer is the routine bulletin easily completed. Laundry becomes the stereo-typical mountainous chore that has depressed women from the beginning of time. Nothing is on schedule. The train has derailed and the station is no where in sight. -- Read More

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

On the Newsstands June 19, 2008

Art: "I Stand All Amazed" by Gaynell Parker

Sometimes the words of that song come to me for different things. Usually, when I come across something that is astounding, and obviously touched by the spirit. I thought as part of my blogging for your entertainment and information, I would look up the list of LDS Artists.

What I found simply amazed me. There were people I'd never heard of before -- and I felt bad that I hadn't known of them. Several of them are watercolor artists, and I wanted to highlight them today, since we've been talking about that medium. -- Read More

Books: "Spires of Stone by Annette Lyon" by Alison Palmer

Are you a fan of Shakespeare? It seems he’s a guy you either love or gag at the thought of. Personally, I like the guy. He’s old school and can be cumbersome to read, but his writing is full of interesting tidbits.

If you’re like me and have a soft spot for Shakespeare, you’ll love Annette Lyon’s latest book, Spires of Stone. This is the third book in Annette’s historical temple series. The first two, House on the Hill and At Journey’s End are good reads as well, but Spires of Stone is my personal favorite. Why? Yep, you guessed it: Shakespeare. -- Read More

Home and Family: "Our Forefahers' Message to Us" by Muriel Sluyter

In the 1700's and early 1800's, liberty was on the minds of the world's truly great people. John Curran said, "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." Those are strong words, but they are true, and they will never cease to be true.

When Benjamin Franklin was asked, "What have you given us, Mister Franklin?" He replied, "A republic, Ma'am, if you can keep it." He also said, "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher, said it perfectly: "The republican form of government is the highest form of government, but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature - a type nowhere at present existing." -- Read More

Jewelry: "Carnival Finds" by Nichole Giles

For those faithful readers who were waiting to hear about the Roman influence on the history of jewelry, I apologize. I’m afraid if I don’t touch on this subject now, while summer is just getting into swing, too many people will miss out on wonderful treasure finding opportunities.

Last weekend was the Summerfest celebration in Orem. Not only is Orem very close to where I live, it is also where my husband works as a police officer. Since he was the watch commander during the parade and fireworks, of course we had to go. On Friday evening, during his off time, we took the kids to the carnival in the city park, taking time to wander around the craft booths and food stands. -- Read More

LDS Department/Gardening & Landscaping: "Hardscaping: Taking it on First" by Heather Justesen

Today we’re going to talk about hardscaping. What is that? In a nutshell, hardscaping is any non-living portion of your landscape. This includes sidewalks and driveways, retaining walls, patios or decks, gravel paths, and any other undead, er, non-living components.

In our yard I’m going to be installing gravel pathways between my flowers beds soon. Last summer I put down pieces of cardboard and covered them with the stump grindings the tree-removal company left behind at my parents’ house. It made for a charming walkway that kept me from getting too muddy when I moved the water around. The wood shavings are deteriorating now and returning to the soil, along with the cardboard, so I’m getting a lot of weeds and dirt starting to come through. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "Make Sure the Stuff in your Cupboard is Edible" by Barbara Salsbury

Make sure the “stuff” in your cupboards can be made edible – or it won’t do anyone any good!

In this blog let’s discuss a few ideas that will pertain to the foods portion of your pantry. As you learn more about Preparedness Possibilities you may discover foods that perhaps you have heard of before but not thought about in a preparedness perspective. Or you may find foods that you had considered preparedness foods but not thought of in an every day perspective. That definitely does not mean that your foods should be limited to wheat, dry milk and honey. -- Read More

LDS Outlet/Dutch Oven: "Be a Hero in Your Camp" by Keith Fisher

There is a scene in the first few minutes of Lonesome Dove that wets my appetite. It opens with a shot of Gus sitting by a campfire in the front yard of the ranch. He opens the lid on a Dutch oven and checks the bread rolls he’s been baking. Finding them done, he takes the pot into the ranch house and sets it on the table.

How would you like to eat hot rolls with melting butter on a camping trip? What if I promised strawberry jam? -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "License Plate Frame Slogans" by C.L. Beck

Words are everywhere. Just look around and I think you’ll agree. For example, there are tee shirts with all kinds of sayings. In light of having reached the ripe old age of plenty-nine, one of my favorites is “I’d rather be over the hill than under it.” Appliances all have instructions on the boxes. Steam iron manufacturers now list the caution, “Do not use while wearing clothes.” I find that advice to be a little ambiguous. I can't decide if it means you should iron naked, or you shouldn’t iron the clothes while they’re on your body.

The written word is in our mail, on our televisions (oh, yes, you know you’ve been reading that little ticker tape at the bottom of Fox News), as well as imprinted on our sunglasses and license plates frames. Hey, it’s even in our underwear! For the moment, though, I’d like to ignore the underwear (not wearing it, just writing about it) and concentrate on the advice you see on the rear of vehicles. -- Read More

Missionary: "In the World" by Rebecca Talley

We have been counseled to be in the world, but not of the world. I’ve carefully considered this counsel over the years to determine what it means.

The world is a scary place. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes of listening to the news to realize the evil and wickedness that surrounds us. Reports of murders and acts of violence are commonplace. Even more frightening, are the reports of school violence. When I was in high school, I’d never heard of any school shootings and now, it’s not uncommon to hear a report of another student bringing a gun to school and opening fire on other students. Even in our high school, a student was apprehended with a gun and my children were in a lockdown situation for a few hours. On that same day, my younger children were in a lockdown in our elementary school while a member of our community was in a standoff with the sheriff’s department. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Water Moments" by Cheri Crane

Is it me or has the stress factor in life increased several notches lately? Everyone I know seems to be enduring a plethora of challenges. Our family has been hit with a variety of unpleasant trials in recent months, including the untimely death of a loved one.

Whenever I'm feeling a bit down, it helps to have what I call a "water moment." I find that I'm drawn to water. I'm not sure why, but water has always fascinated me. (No cheap shots about how easily entertained I seem to be.) -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Digital Freebies" by Kim Thompson

I'm in the middle of moving and I’m going through withdrawals without internet access. I’m at my parents today using their SLOOOWWW . . . dial-up connection, so my blog today isn’t going to be long.

With the advent of digital scrapbooking there are lots of places on the internet where you can get free digital layouts and products.

Digifree – The digital scrapbooking freebie search engine uses an automated system to search blogs for digital scrapbooking freebies and then posts them (with images) for all to see and download. What a great way to find free layouts and embellishments - no wonder this site is Top 50 Scrapbooking Blogs number one site! Check it out. You'll be amazed at all the fun free things you'll find. -- Read More

Service: "ANWA the Incubator" by Liz Adair

One of the best bargains I’ve come across lately has been the $20 I pay annually as my dues to American Night Writers’ Association (ANWA). One day, I asked Marsha Ward how they could get away with just charging $20 a year for dues. Marsha is an author, but she’s also founder and membership secretary for ANWA. Her reply was succinct: “Volunteers.”

ANWA is unique among writers’ groups, because one of the prerequisites to membership is that you are LDS. Another is that you’re a woman. There are no age restrictions. The youngest member was twelve when she joined; the oldest (I’m guessing here) is about 85. -- Read More

Sports and Recreation: "Lakers and Celtics" by Steve Christensen

he Playoffs for any sport are always an exciting time. The NBA playoffs are no exception. Each team has a renewed sense of hope, a chance to win the Title, and they get 7 possible chances with each team they play. The players “kick up” their energy and playing level another notch. The crowd seems to get louder and more obnoxious. This is the time of year that most basketball fans look forward to all year long.

This year, the teams that made it to the NBA Finals were the Lakers and Celtics. What an awesome rivalry over the years: two of the greatest teams in NBA history squaring it off in 2008. 2 of the NBA’s best players will go head-to-head, Kobe Bryant (this year’s MVP) and Paul Pierce. I am not really a fan of either player, but those 2 should be able to make this year’s Finals pretty exciting. There are also 2 great veteran role players for each team- Kevin Garnett (Celtics) and Derek Fisher (Lakers). -- Read More

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On the Newsstands June 16, 2008

Art: "Sorry, Just Any Old Brush Won't Do" by Gaynell Parker

Okay. I mentioned that I would discuss paint brushes today. How many of you have even looked at paint brushes? That's what I thought. I'm not talking about the cheap things you buy for your kids to do the little water paint pictures with, I'm talking quality brushes that are going to last for a long time.

I'm the queen of cheap, honest. It drives my hubby to distraction. He's told me several times in our marriage that one pair of expensive shoes will last three times longer than three pairs of cheap shoes. What he didn't understand is that I like more variety than that -- except when it comes to my painting supplies. -- Read More

Books: "Please, no zits! Anne Bradshaw" by Alison Palmer

Want a reminder that we are a world wide church with youth that struggle, no matter where they live? Then pick up Please, No Zits by Anne Bradshaw it covers the problems of the average teenager and those that are down right scary.

Okay. For me personally, the name and cover aren’t really to my taste but I’m not that young anymore, thank goodness. I asked one of my own teenage girls what she thought of it and she reported that the cover was too busy for her and didn’t really tell her what to expect from the book. -- Read More

Home and Family: "Clans" by Muriel Sluyter

Back in Scottish/English history, the never-ending raids over the Border, from first one side and then the other, finally culminated in the Battle of Culloden. The English won and, being in power, decided to put a stop once and for all to the fighting. Now, Scotland had a system of Clans which kept families firmly organized and fighting as a unit.

The English, understanding the strength and power which came from the tight, loyal families, took drastic measures to rip the Clans apart. The plaid, the Clan's tartan, could no longer be worn, and the wearing of kilts was outlawed because kilts were made of the individual Clan's tartan. The Scots didn't have to ask which Clan a person belonged to; the tartan was adequate identification. -- Read More

Jewelry: "The Art of Egyptian Style" by Nichole Giles

Cro-Magnon jewelry, which was generally made from bone, rock, and shells. That’s all good and fine for the people who lived 100,000 years ago—I’m just glad to know that people from that time had many of the same impulses that we have today. But the real stuff, the good stuff—which was established and manufactured—started in Egypt, sometime around 3,000-5,000 years ago. By that period of time, jewelry was being made in large workshops attached to temples or palaces, and was commonly worn as a symbol of wealth and religious power within a community.

Interestingly, the people who wore these expensive pieces in life also wore them in death. Burial practices during that time required offerings to the Gods, also known as grave goods, which included jewelry. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Gardening & Landscaping: "Landscape Plan Part 3: Other Considerations" by Heather Justesen

So you have a good idea of what you want to do with your yard, or that trouble spot in your yard—time to start digging, right? Wrong. Before you get the shovel out there are a few caveats you need to consider. What kind of soil do you have? Is it heavy clay, super sandy, filled with rocks, or—as one of my writing friends said about hers—a few inches of soil on top of a lava flow? When you water, where does the water go? Does it puddle up and is it going to end up in your basement (if you have one)?

My ground is very clay, which means digging when the ground is dry is nearly impossible. I’ve found the best way to dig holes is to get it really wet one day, let it dry for part of a day so it’s not slick mess, then dig, because the clay retains moisture really well. It also is very full of nutrients. Unfortunately, it’s a pain for roots to work through and it puddles really easily because it takes a long time for water to soak in. The other difficulty I had with my yard was the rocks. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "A Few Things to Add to Your Preparedness List" by Barbara Salsbury

Has the onslaught of severe storms affecting many parts of the world lately made you think twice? What has the Doplar Weather Radar been predicting for your neighborhood? Perhaps you have recently been prepared to get through a short-term emergency but have already had to use most of the supplies that you had on hand. Are you breathing a sigh of relief because you made it through … this one? Don’t allow complacency or careless forgetfulness to deter your consistent action plans.

This year Mother Nature is not alone as she lurks around the corner waiting for us to relax. Her companions are the twins “Les Power” and “Les Fuel”. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Dutch Oven: "The Musical Sound of Sizzle" by Keith Fisher

How could I resist? It was big and shiny, and it pulled me down, down, toward . . .

I exercise a ritual every spring—perhaps you do the same. I head to the home improvement store to pick up sprinkler parts. I also check out, (covet rather) the collection of new barbecues.

The store displays thousands of the little beasties, chained together to keep them under control. There are no gags on their mouths, however, so the units call out as they lie in wait for me. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "That's One Heavy Horse" by C.L. Beck

As a kid, I always wanted a horse. However, when you live on a lot the size of a Kleenex, in the suburbs of Washington D. C., the neighbors don’t take kindly to the fragrance of road apples.

The dream never died and when we moved to Utah, the hunt was on. Our son had never ridden, so a calm, gentle horse was a must. When we explained that to the owner we visited, his family exclaimed in unison, “Spooky!” It was a weird thing to say—as far as I knew, we didn’t look like Lily and Herman Munster. When I realized ‘Spooky’ was the name of their horse, it should have been a clue to the animal’s personality. But I figured maybe they’d named her that because she was born on Halloween. -- Read More

Missionary: "Eternal Perspective" by Rebecca Talley

Recently, I received an e-mail with several photos of people “holding the sun.” Each photo showed someone with the sun in their hands, between their knees, or on top of their nose. Of course, we can’t hold the sun because, among other things, it’s far too large. But, from the perspective of these photos, it appeared that people were actually doing just that.

Objects in the foreground always look larger than what is in the background. A six-foot tree may look as though it looms over mountains in the distance, depending on your perspective. A telephone pole a few feet away may appear much taller than one a mile down the road, even though they are both the same height. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Cow Camping Adventure" by Cheri Crane

The following lyrics (sung to the tune of "Home on the Range") pretty much sum up the camping trip my husband and I embarked upon this past week:

1st: Oh, give me a camp
Where the cow people vamp
Where they frolic wherever they roam
They run through amuck
Ignoring our truck
Making our campsite their home. -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "5 Tips to Better Photos" by Kim Thompson

Do you want to take better photographs? There are simple ways to make photos more engaging. I recently read an amazing book, Photography for Scrapbookers, by Tracy White. She presented 5 tips for better photos:

1- Pick up your camera, hold it to your eye and look around. What do you see? Are there toys on the ground? Are you cropping your husband’s head off as you focus on your little one? Now move the camera around so you eliminate those distractions. -- Read More

Services: "Wayjay Says Goodbye" by Liz Adair

We had family here over the weekend. Lots of family. It used to be no big deal, when we had a big old farmhouse with lots of bedrooms, three sitting rooms, and a barn. That was before The Big Downsize when we sold the farm and moved to town.

However, we managed to find a place for everyone to be more or less horizontal at night, and I cooked for everyone in my postage stamp kitchen. I had forgotten what it was like to be mother to that big a brood: how many dishes get dirtied, how much food has to be prepared, how many dirty clothes there are to wash, how messy the house gets. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation/Movies: "Jack Black and Kung Fu Panda" by Linda Scanlan

What do you get when two satellite engineers meet? It's impossible to see the end result.

Jack Black was the literal result of two satellite engineers, marrying and having a child. For those of you who regularly watch Black's movies, we are talking about Hubble satellite technology and not dish satellite technology.

Jack Black has made "title" waves at the box office with films such as "Nacho Libre", "School of Rock" and "Shallow Hal". His newest release "Kung Fu Panda" has been talked about in my household for the past two months ever since my children (all teens and older) saw the previews in theater. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "The Love of a Father" by Steve Christensen

Every so often you hear or read a story that makes you feel good inside and may even bring tears to your eyes. I came across such a story a few months ago. It is a story of a father who gave something to his son that was very special. His son was disabled at birth being strangled by the umbilical cord. His name is Rick Hoyt and his father’s name is Dick Hoyt. You may have already heard this story or seen the video on YouTube, but I was able to do a little research on this man and his son and found some other very interesting details that you might not be aware of.

When Dick first took his son Rick for a run, by pushing him in his wheelchair, he was sore for weeks. But then Rick typed “Dad, when we were running, I felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore”. -- Read More

Weddings: "Cowboy Up and Be a Man" by Muriel Sluyter

To fathers, wherever you may be: You are your daughters’ prototype of Heavenly Father and our Savior. They cannot see the Savior, but they can see you. They will judge Him by your actions, by your integrity, by your very character. If you fail them and Him, they will fail both you and Him. That is, admittedly, a heavy load, in fact, a heavy eternal assignment, but it is the assignment you shouldered the day you became the father of a brand new little girl. Your task? Don’t moan. Don’t cry or try to escape your responsibility. Just cowboy-up and be a real man. Get the job done! Be your little girls’ example of what they can expect from their loving Savior, Who actually will require much of them during their mortal life. -- Read More

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

On the Newsstands June 12, 2008

Art: "It's Ama-za-zing-A Little Water, a Little Color" by Gaynell Parker

I'm terrible when it comes to names. Ask my children. It's even worse when it's the name of something, such as a paint color.

When I first started painting, I had no idea there were so many shades of red: Carmine, Grumbacher Red, Vermillion, Indian Red, Rose Madder and my favorite, (the tube is almost gone) Alizarin Crimson. You'll notice none of them were just plain red. And that's just what I use, I know there's lots more available.

In my ignorance, I figured they were all shades of the same color. -- Read More

Books: "The Peacegiver and The Holy Secret" by Alison Palmer

Have you read The Peacegiver by James L. Ferrell? This book quickly became a bestseller among LDS fiction and rightly so. It’s a sweet book of redemption. It tells the story of a man, a simple man just like many of us, who needs to understand who his Savior really is. He needs to learn what Christ is capable of accomplishing in his life if given the chance.

That’s a lesson most of us need to learn. It’s easy to forget, or feel unworthy of what we see or read about the Savior. It seems like another place, another time, another more humble and deserving individual. That’s the place the main character, Rick Carson, finds himself. He is lost in his own sorrow and bitterness for what feels like a failed marriage and a failed life. -- Read More

Clothing: "Clothing Enhances the Woman, but Does Not Make the Woman" by Candace E. Salima

Let's face facts. We all have those days where our hair is perfect, our makeup Hollywood perfect and our clothes drape on us as we were a New York fashion model, except for the toothpick thin anorexic look, which doesn't look good on anyone.

I love a stylish set of clothes as much as the next woman. I'm not immune to that fantastic feeling which comes over you when you step out of the house like you're going to conquer the world. But I'm much more comfortable in a pair of faded 501s, shirt and sandals. Either way, I can still walk out my front door and conquer the world. -- Read More

Home and Family: "Feedin the Wrong Wolf" by Muriel Sluyter

A Cherokee Elder was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said, "A fight is going on inside me... it is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego."

"The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith." -- Read More

Jewelry: "Cro-Magnon Adornments" by Nichole Giles

In my blog, Historical Treasures, I promised a discussion about jewelry worn during the Cro-Magnon period. Before I launch into that, let me share a few random thoughts. It is not only women who are drawn to jewelry.

Very often, when people think of jewelry, they picture a sparkling gem, a pendant hanging from a chain, and other delicate, feminine forms of adornment. However, jewelry, by definition is any kind of body adornment—including but not limited to patches, badges, hair accessories, watches, hats (or headdresses, depending on the time period) decorative parasols, canes, purses, belts, shields, breastplates, money clips, wallets, buckles, buttons, and on and on and on. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Gardening & Landscaping: "Landscape Part 2-Putting it on paper" by Heather Justesen

In my last blog, I discussed the importance of an over-all landscape plan before you begin to make changes. There are several reasons for this, but the most important reason is so you don’t have to redo some of the work later due to poor planning.

You can see my landscape plan, a plan I drew up early in 2007, and worked on over the course of several months. It’s light because I drew it all in pencil—much easier to make changes that way. I drew it on graph paper and used every 1/8th-inch square to represent one square foot in my yard. I measured out sidewalks, driveway, the house and walkways. It doesn’t have the precision of an architects rendering, by any means, and I have made a few changes in the yard that aren’t reflecting in the plan, but overall, it’s my map. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "Summer: A Time for Picnics and Preparedness" by Barbara Salsbury

My blog title the 3 P’s in a Pod stands for Practical, Personal Preparedness. In today’s blog it can be for Playing, Picnics and Preparedness. As schools get out and the weather warms up thoughts usually turn to vacations, family and fun..

I have a suggestion to make. As you plan how your budgets will be stretched or tightened in order to take those family trips or have weekend picnics, add your preparedness program to the top of those lists. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Dutch Oven: "Tinfoil Treasures" by Keith Fisher

In this blog, I’ve talked about all things outdoors when it comes to cooking. I’m reminded today, of my teenage years—when cooking at scout camp meant burned food, poor cleanup, and starvation. If I only knew then, what I know now . . .

In scout camp, I learned a few vital lessons. One of them was; unless you’re roasting hotdogs, a roaring fire is not the place to cook your food. The heat of it drives you back, the smoke is hard to breathe, and you have to dodge the people standing around. I’ve since learned to trust the heat from coals. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Weirdness in the Universe" by C.L. Beck

Some say that Latter-day Saints live in their own little universe. I say it isn’t so. Let me tell you, if we lived in our own world, we’d make sure it was a lot more logical than this one!

The universe we currently reside in is filled with weirdness, and it only seems to be getting weirder. I came to that realization the other day after eating some mixed nuts. It prompted me to make a list of the illogical things in life. -- Read More

Missionary: "Warming Our Neighbors" by Rebecca Talley

Some years ago (more than I’d like to admit), I was a young mother with two small children. My husband had been offered a job in another state so we moved our little family. We hadn’t lived in our new ward for long when the missionaries stopped by. We invited them in and they shared a short message with us about being member missionaries. They then asked us to make a list of 10 names and to pray about the names until we had a list of 5 names. They said they would return the following week and for our list of 5 names and the times we could set up appointments for them to teach the people on our list. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Revel in Reunions" by Cheri Crane

A huge summer tradition for most families is the ever-popular, (oft-times made fun of) reunion. Mentioning this word can trigger a variety of memories. Truthfully, some of my fondest recollections of past summers involve reunions. As I was growing up, I always looked forward to the annual Sibbett reunion. This meant camping in a cool location like Alpine, Wyoming, eating lots of good food, and the yearly program. The Sibbett program involved a lot of music, humorous readings, and dancing. It was usually concluded by my grandfather and his brothers getting up to sing funny songs like, "My Nose Stuck Out a Feet," or the traditional: "Pinto Pony," a song written about the Grays Lake area, the place where they grew up. -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Scrapbook Blogger" by Kim Thompson

What is a mommy blogger?

A mommy blogger is a small part of the blogging world that consists of moms who blog about their children. Some mother’s blog about daily activities, and others only record major milestones in their children’s lives. Other mommy blogs cover a variety of subjects, including their children. The blogs are as varied and unique as the women who write them. But they are all an amazing look into the life of being a mother. -- Read More

Services: "Praying for a Computer Tech" by Liz Adair

So, here’s the scenario: You’re a free-lance writer and editor. You own a laptop and a desktop, and though you do lots of work on your laptop, your desktop is the brains of your outfit. All your writing is housed and archived there. When the laptop crashes, it’s inconvenient but not earth shattering. Though the budget is skinny, you manage to scrape enough money together to replace it. However, when the desktop goes gunny sack the next week, things look very, very black. Jet black. Inky. Is there another way to intensify the word? Super black, because, since you’re always working right up against a deadline, you never have time to install a really good, fail-safe, automatic, back-up system. It’s always at the head of your Good Intentions List, because you know how important it is. But you never get around to it. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation/Movies: "Return with Honor" by Linda Scanlan

Isn't life funny in that what you so carefully plan out for yourself, seems rarely to happen the way it is planned. This summer was to have been a fast moving action filled summer scheduled with girls camp, art camp, family reunion, boating and fishing. All of that was for June. This schedule was planned as skillfully as choreography in a musical is planned.

Enter one emergency surgery. Out the window goes the elegant meal planning for guest. No longer is the routine bulletin easily completed. Laundry becomes the stereo-typical mountainous chore that has depressed women from the beginning of time. Nothing is on schedule. The train has derailed and the station is no where in sight. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation/Sports: "Backyard Baseball Memories" by Rachelle Christensen

I love playing baseball. I don’t really like watching it—don’t boo—it’s just I’d rather hit the ball than watch it on the screen. But my favorite kind of baseball is the backyard baseball of my youth. I grew up on a farm and our house sat on about 3 acres of various pastures for our horses and cows, so we had to improvise a little when we played.

We had a huge back yard which is about the size of a regular building lot nowadays. We had room for all 3 bases, even if it wasn’t regulation distance. The plates were definitely not regulation either. We used paper bags, pieces of paper, whatever we could find—but the best was when a little old lady that loved to crochet made a special “base” for my little brother. She put something on it to make the yarn really hard and we about wore that thing out. -- Read More

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On the Newsstands June 9, 2008

Art: "Art and Beauty with Spiritual Eyes" by Gaynell Parker

I was gazing out at my back yard which is decked out in green to celebrate the onset of summer, when it occurred to me -- A lot of what we view as art is sometimes a spiritual thing.

We've all heard the phrase that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think it goes even deeper than that. How many times have you been listening to a classical, instrumental or vocal piece of music and been moved to tears?

It's not a visual thing. It's not something that has to be held in your hands. It's in the spirit. -- Read More

Books: "Jaroldeen Ssplund Edwards" by Alison Palmer

Have you ever heard of the Daffodil Principle? I’d almost be surprised if you hadn’t. Just for fun I did a quick internet search for just those words and came up with 165,000 results. The Daffodil Principle is a way of looking at our lives and goals. It helps us see what we can accomplish with just two hands and two feet. It helps us see the beauty of what we do accomplish every day. I love daffodils and I love the principle behind this message.

I was first introduced to the Daffodil Principle in its smaller form as a sweet chapter in Sister Edward’s book Celebration! As a young mother, it was one of the few resources I read that actually made me feel good about where I was on my journey of life and my ability to do just exactly what the Lord needed me to do. I picked it up at the bookstore in a moment of discouragement thinking, “If a woman with 12 children can find ways to celebrate every day, I want to know her secret.” -- Read More

Clothing: "Is Modesty a Thing of the Past" by Candace E. Salima

We live in a world where modesty seems to be a thing of the past. I look around, even in bastians of Christian communities where it would seem the standards are higher, and still, the skirts grow shorter, the shirts skimpier and the daughters of God look more and more like the women of the world, even, one might say, ancient Babylon. And yet, it grows more difficult to find clothing one considers modest, yet attractive.

With the latest brouhaha over Miley Cyrus' Vanity Fair photo shoot it has brought a few points home to me. -- Read More

Home and Family: "Brothers Fight Back to Back" by Muriel Sluyter

A mother of my acquaintance, in an attempt to keep her twin sons from fighting, told them that brothers only fight back to back. The boys tried mightily to follow her instructions. Soon, in a state of extreme frustration, they returned. Turning their backs to each other, they demonstrated the impossibility of landing a blow no matter how they tried, and, oh, how they tried!

Even though we all had a good chuckle, the principle remains intact. Brothers should never fight, except back to back. To whom does this apply? Obviously, it applies to siblings and, yes, their parents as well. All homes would benefit from parents who never fight with, but only for, each other even though that principle (a correct one) has little credibility these days. -- Read More

Jewelry: "Historical Treasures" by Nichole Giles

Last weekend we finally took our kids to see “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.” Only our oldest son had seen even a portion of any of the previous three, and so none of the kids had any expectations for the outcome of this one. Gary and I were not so fortunate. Sadly, I found myself disappointed.

However, as in all of the great Indiana Jones stories, there were a handful of scenes in which the main characters come across a horde of treasure. Now, part of the reason people love Indiana Jones so much is because of the way he reacts when he sees the treasures. He doesn’t look at the piles of gold and jewels as his chance to be rich. On this point, I wasn’t disappointed. When Indy entered the treasure filled cavern, he walked around in wonder, recognizing the pottery, sculptures, artwork, and jewelry as an archeologists dream come true. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Gardening & Landscaping: "Planning Your Landscape" by Heather Justesen

I mentioned last week that I've had the opportunity to landscape two yards from the beginning—actually, we didn't finish the first yard before we moved, but I had my plans.

Whether you're starting a new yard from dirt and rocks (or rocks, rocks, more rocks, and a little dirt in the cracks as my current yard is made of), or you want to make some changes to only a small section of your property, it's important to start with an all-over plan. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "Some Bewareness Needed for Evacuation Kits" by Barbara Salsbury

With so much going on in the world that affects the level of panic we have toward whether or not we are prepared, I thought it time to give you a few hints about 72-hour kits.

First, most likely, the title or name that has been accepted as “The Name” for these kits is incorrect or at least a misnomer. As you consider putting together a “72-hour Kit” you must recognize that the kit most likely will need to contain supplies and foods for a situation that can extend much longer than three days. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Dutch Oven: "Easy Cobbler or Faking Your Way Into Fame" by Keith Fisher

Last time, we talked about having fun while you cook for large groups. One of the ways it can be more fun is to make it easy on yourself. There are many shortcuts and cheats you can use, and I’m going to tell you one.

How many of you have been to an event where somebody makes Dutch oven cobbler and it’s delicious? Have you noticed how many people rave over it and don’t care how it’s made? Did you also know that most of those cobblers are really what we should call dump cake? -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Finding New Canyon Lake" by C.L. Beck

In the 23 years we’ve lived in Utah, we’ve never found the local fishing hole named New Canyon Lake. The last time we tried, we had a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and we still ended up light years away.

The time before that was even more interesting. It went something like this:

“Did you bring the map?” I asked my husband, Russ. -- Read More

Missionary: "Ideas to Assist Missionaries" by Rebecca Talley

When Elder and Sister Vaughan J. Featherstone were serving a mission in Texas, Sister Featherstone was feeling frustrated that she couldn’t find any time for herself. She was so busy with her mission duties, she couldn’t find any time to devote to herself. She prayed about it, and the answer came that this was not her time, it was the Lord’s time. She then realized that she needed to focus completely on her mission and not worry about herself. (Ensign, Nov. 1978, pg. 26). -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Scotland Forever. . ." by Cheri Crane

Ah yes, it is time to discuss a bit of culture. Since my Scottish roots go extremely deep, I decided to begin with some fun tidbits about my heritage. At an early age I was told by my mother that we had Scottish ancestors. Her grandmother, Agnes Colston, was a native of Scotland. Agnes and her mother were intrigued by the LDS Church, an interest not shared by Agnes' father. My second-great grandmother possessed a feisty, independent nature, and when her husband forbad her to have anything to do with the LDS Church, she sent their daughter (Agnes) with the Mormon missionaries who were on their way back to the United States. This did not set well with my second great-grandfather. =) Soon both mother and daughter were on their way to the States. They eventually linked up with the Church and journeyed West. Thanks to their courage we have a strong link to a wonderful legacy. -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Summertime Fun" by Kim Thompson

Are your kids out of school and looking for something fun to do? There are tons of amazing kids scrapbooking and craft activities you can sign up for at local craft stores. I checked out three stores in the Utah area to see what they offered to help keep your kids busy this summer. Look what I found: -- Read More

Service: "Small Random Acts of Kindness" by Liz Adair

My guest blogger today is Dr. Ron Shook, Associate Professor of English at Utah State University. He's also my brother. When I told him I was yourLDSneighborhood's blogger on service, he began telling me his theory of the Good Samaritan. "Don't tell me," I interrupted. "Blog it." So he did.

This is his blog: One evening I’m standing in the regular line at the grocery story with one item. I think I had a loaf of bread. It was a Saturday, which meant that all the families in the area were loading up for the weekend; -- Read More

Sports & Recreation/Movies: "Movies, Scriptures and Prophecy" by Linda Scanlan

This past week I underwent an emergency surgical procedure, which has left me with a little more time on my hands than usual; hence more research has occurred. This blog is a result of that research and thought process.

Have all of you seen "I am Legend" with Will Smith? A Sci Fi adventure film about New York City being annihilated and left with only mutated beings in control. Then there is Will Smith struggling to survive by day, and locked in tight at night. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "Sports, Sports and More Sports" by Candace E. Salima

I live in a house with a husband, nephew and a "missionary son*." I'm surrounded by men, no question and it's a unique experience. You can probably guess where I'm headed with this. Two of the three men in my home love sports. Especially the Lakers. Me, I'm a Jazz fan. But unlike BYU football, I never miss a game, I've had to listen to these Lakers fans hoot and holler because their team is taking it all the way to the top. Which is completely besides the point, because I do actually have one.

I'm a wife. That's my calling. I'm a writer. That's my profession. I'm a homemaker . . . that's my curse. (I really hate to clean. Hate it! Hate it! Hate it!) -- Read More

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?

by Gaynell Parker on Musings of an LDS Writing Mom
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

Well -- today is the first day (well, school calendar wise) of summer. I informed my 12 year old son that it wasn't official until the 21st, and he gave me this confused look. I love making them confused -- at least I do it often enough that I must enjoy it...

He's the one holding his nose in the photo above -- we were at one of the smelly pots at Yellowstone that year. That's a trip we probably won't be making soon, gas prices being what they are. ~ Read More

Arts & Entertainment/ Movies: Review of Prince Caspian

by Candace E. Salima on Dream a little dream...
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

My husband and I went to see Prince Caspian, the sequel to Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, with high hopes and every one of them was met. When C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia, so long ago, he could never have imagined that one day they would be brought to life through the medium of film, advanced technology and fantastically so.

Briefly, our four intrepid heroes have struggled to exist in war torn Europe and are finding it difficult to be mere children where they were once kings and queens of Narnia. But upon their return to that magical land, they find that Narnia has been conquered and the Narnians, what is left of them, have been driven into hiding from their invaders. -- Read More

Clothing & More: Beautiful Souveniers

by Nichole Giles on Nichole's Fairy Squeaks
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

A few years ago, I opened my mind to a number of possibilities I hadn’t allowed myself to consider before. Life is all about possibility, and as I came to understand this fact, I realized that our family could actually go on a vacation that didn’t involve theme parks.

We mapped out a few options, checked pricing against our proposed budget, and gave our children a vote. After having spent a good portion of our parenthood traveling back and forth between Disney destinations, we were surprised that our children voted unanimously on a Baja cruise. -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: Cooking Has Its Own Rewards

by Keith Fisher on The Camp Cook in your Backyard
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

We raced up the canyon at eight in the morning. My cooler was on the verge of being pitched out of the truck at any moment. Every curve in the road brought a new threat of losing the load. We were expected to cook a Dutch oven dinner for the teachers and staff on the last day of school, and we were late. Of course we arrived safe, and everything went well. The two pots of chili, two fourteen-inch pots of corn bread, dairy-case bread, three cobblers and mandarin orange dream cake were delicious. The shredded cheese, sour cream, and honey-butter condiments were a nice touch. The cooks had a great time. -- Read More

Home & Family: Words of the Past

by Muriel Sluyter on Rocky Mountain Straight Talk
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

Do we gain by listening to the teachings and warnings of our predecessors? Did they know things that we have yet to learn? Can their hard-won wisdom save us from committing critical errors that will cause us grief and misery? Yes, especially if we have enough sense to act on their warnings.

Let's examine the writings of some wise men of the past: John Adams our second President, and the man primarily responsible for shepherding our Declaration of Independence through Congress, said: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." ~ Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: Beating the High Cost of Eating

by Barbara Salsbury on Three P's in a Pod
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

Most of us are experiencing shock at the checkout counter as the cost of our groceries continue to skyrocket. It's so difficult to live from payday to payday that the idea of trying to stock a pantry, let alone build a reliable preparedness program, almost seems like a joke. Except it isn't much fun to pinch pennies until they scream and always have more month than money.

Get enthused about putting buying power back into your pocket and being able to have the budget to build a preparedness program at the same time. The skills and strategies that you will find in my blogs are NOT the typical "how-to-shop" tips. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: Making a Self-Watering Planter

by Heather Justesen on Heather Justesen
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

After I wrote my previous gardening blog, I began looking into different ways for patio gardeners to keep their pots watered. I know I have a tendency to let my watering slide, which is why I didn't use my large pots last year, but I knew there were various ways to make up for the problem. Last summer, a neighbor of mine complained that she had to water her patio pots twice a day during the hottest part of the summer--something that would definitely be the death of my plants. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: They're Baaaack!

by C.L. Beck on Write Up My Alley
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

On March 19th, the swallows returned to Capistrano. Yes, I know that was a couple of months ago, but I’m a slow mover. I never even hear the latest news in town until it’s dead and gone, so I’m lucky to remember that there are birds that show up someplace every year.

Back to the swallows ... their return always seemed so romantic to me. I envisioned a handsome Italian man holding a cheesy manicotti in one hand and a creamy cannoli in the other, wooing Sophia Loren, as the birds encircled them. The swallows would symbolize their eternal love as they fed pasta and pastries to each other (the couple, not the birds). -- Read More

New Neighbors: Favorite Summer Vacation

by Cheri Crane on Crane-ium
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

As we head into the summer months, it's natural to reflect on past summers, and past vacations. Today I've been thinking about one of those favorite moments, the last time our family went on a camping adventure in the Grand Teton National Park. It was just before our oldest son was to head off on his mission, and before our second son went off to college. Things were changing in our family and we tried to make the most of this treasured time together. -- Read More

Religious: Obedience

by Rebecca Talley on Rebecca Talley Writes
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

After Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, Adam offered the firstlings of their flocks unto the Lord. An angel appeared to Adam and asked him why he was offering sacrifices. “ . . .And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me,” (Moses 5:6). Adam didn’t know why he was offering these animals, only that he had been commanded to do so. Adam was willing to be obedient even when he didn’t understand why. -- Read More

Scrapbooking & Crafts: Acid-Free Albums

by Kim Thompson on Scribbled Scraps
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

Acid and photographs don’t mix. Photographs already have acid in them from processing. When those acids are combined with other acids from paper, stickers, adhesives, and page protectors a chemical reaction occurs. Over time, this causes your pictures to become discolored and brittle.

Remember the old photo albums that had sticky pages. You’d peel back a piece of clear plastic and then stick your photo to the page. Acid free? Guess again. Mom and Grandma just thought their photos were getting ‘old’. Little did they know the album they were using was causing premature aging of their precious photos. ~ Read More

Services: In-Flight Service

by Liz Adair on Liz Sez
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 5 June 2008

My first commercial airplane flight was aboard a DC6, flying from Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington. The year was 1955 and I was fourteen years old. I wore a gray suit with pink accents—blouse, gloves, shoes and hat. Everyone dressed up to travel back then.

We walked out of the airport and across the tarmac to climb a flight of roll-around stairs where, at the top, the brilliant smile of our stewardess welcomed us aboard. Flight attendants were, by job description: female, young, pretty, single, and registered nurses. They were there to serve our every need. ~ Read More

Monday, June 2, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: Hey, That's my Bedspread

by Gaynell Parker on Musings from an LDS Writing Mom
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 2 June 2008

Our Relief Society met Wednesday and held a mix between a quilting bee and a bag sewing party. One of the women in the ward wanted to learn how to make a quilt for her daughter, so we decided to set one up and put it together so that it could be done quickly.

We have several women in the ward who quilt -- some with more dedication than others. One of whom brought her daughter's quilts for decoration and example; one's they had made together as projects over the past couple of years. The daughter graduated this year, and now has three quilts to her credit. They were gorgeous, and I told the lady next to me (who was a neighbor as I graduated high school) that it wasn't fair. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/ Movies: Turn Around

by Linda Scanlan aka L.S. Keilbart on I Knew I Could Fly
on yourLDSneighborhood Newsstands - 2 June 2008

I love watching modern day versions of scriptural events. The movie "Turn Around" is based on the story of Alma the Younger.

Colton is the guy that doesn't care what others think. He has strayed from the path of righteousness. He's the guy your mother has warned you about not getting involved with.

Sara is typical "Molly Mormon". She attends all her meetings and has a strong testimony of the Gospel. -- Read More