Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A list of books

Hello Friends!
How are you? So, it has been over 2 years since I last wrote on this little blog....I am going to do a life update soon. For today, I am going to share some list's of books that would be great to read to your child!

Children's Books:

Ron’s Big Mission by Corinne J Nader
Ruth & the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey
She Stood For Freedom by Loki Mulholland
Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford
We March by Shane W. Evans
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
What Was the March on Washington by Kathleen Krull
Malala Warrior With Words by Karen Leggett Abouraya
What Was Your Dream by Mary Kay Carson
Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
 100 Women Who Made History by DK Publishing
28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World By Charles R. Smith
Ruby Bridges Goes To School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
The Civil Rights Movement for Kids by Mary C. Turck
I have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.
What Was Your Dream, Dr. King? By Mary Kay Carson
 If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King by Ellen Levine
Who Was Nelson Mandela? By Meg Belviso
Walking to School by Eve Bunting
We Shall Overcome by Debbie Levy
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Star of Fear, Star of Hope by Jo Hoestlandt
Cheyenne Again by Eve Bunting
Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter
 Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton
 Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou
A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai

I would like to add that a majority of these books are about important people in black history and the civil rights movement. While it is super important to read these books, it is equally important to read books about ordinary black kids and adults having ordinary lives. One example of a book like this would be "Crown An Ode To The Fresh Cut" By Derrick Barnes. This book is about a young boy who loves to go to the barber shop and get new hair cuts. He talks about how he feels while he is there and how he feels when he gets done. This type of books show children that it is ok to be just be an ordinary black person. They don't know have to be famous, or an actvist (they can if they want, but they are great, just being kids!) I am going to compile a list of these types of books soon and I will put it on here.
My friend Allison has a wonderful instagram account that showcases books full of diversity and inclusivity. Follow her account @children's_books_that_matter

Books for Adults:

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
White Rage by Carol Anderson
The Skin I'm by Sharon G. Flake
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
 Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
 Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? By Beverly Daniel Tatum
Waking Up White by Debby Irving
Whistling Vivaldi by Claude M Steele
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zin

Stay tuned for more list's in the future!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 12, 2016


I have been trying my best to do the #lighttheworld service projects that the LDS church has challenged us to do for the month of December.
Today we are supposed to teach someone about Christ. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak about Jesus in Sacrament and I wanted to share a portion of my talk here on this blog.

A few years ago, before we adopted Sophie, Dan and I were supposed to be living the "dream."
I had a great job teaching first grade with my best friend, Dan had a brand new kidney and was finally healthy! We had a beautiful home that I loved so so much! We were both done with school so we had so much free time! We enjoyed lots of dates and I enjoyed lots of girl's nights with friends. I should have been so happy, but instead I was walking around in an almost constant state of sadness. Infertility treatments were not going well for us and all I could think about was having a baby. Every time another friend announced a pregnancy, my soul was crushed! I wish I could say that I am exaggerating here, but I am not.
One night, I grudgingly went to relief Society and this Mormon Message on my plate.

I know that I was meant to receive this Mormon Message (they were randomly set out on each seat)
A light bulb went off! I could feel that a change was coming.
Right when I got home, I went straight upstairs to pray. I realized that I had been saying all the wrong prayers!
I had been praying for a Miracle, a baby! What I was failing to realize is the greatest Miracle Baby of all had already been born. My Savior, Jesus Christ.  I was 25 years old and that was the first night that I knew the full potential of the Atonement. I imagined the Light of Christ filling up all the dark places in my heart with happiness and joy!
Do I still experience sadness??? Yes! I do! There is so much sadness in this world, but I do not allow myself to wallow in it! Instead, I allow Christ into my heart so I can be happy!
Please, if you are feeling sad, let the Light of Christ into your heart this Christmas season!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

On Letting Go, Halloween, and Perfect Moments

Hello Friends,

How are you? Are any of you feeling a little tense lately? This election season has been a bit crazy! What have you been doing to reduce stress? Have you been able to let go of stress? Even when it isn't the election season, we should be finding positive ways to get rid of stress and negative energy.
I have been doing a few things.

October and November brought such beautiful weather and colorful leaves. In the afternoons, the kids and I often enjoy jumping on our trampoline which is under one of our walnut trees. One of my favorite things to do is lay on the trampoline while the kids are running around me, throwing leaves at each other and laughing. I like to lay there and just think about things. There are a lot of things to think about, you know. One afternoon, as leaves were falling on my face, I thought, I can be like this walnut tree and let go of my "leaves". Leaves could mean negativity, bad habits, stress. I realized that I have some habits I would  like to change. The main one being time spent on my phone. I have been more conscientious about my interactions with other people and putting my phone away while I'm playing with the kids and talking to Dan after the kids are asleep.

When I start to feel stressed or tense or negative energy, I just visualize the trees letting go of their leaves and I imagine my stress, and negativity floating away. Have you ever noticed that after the leaves fall, new leaves do not grow back until the Spring. We need time to get rid of the bad habits before new ones can grow. Oftentimes, I forget about this and try to start too many things. This Fall, I am getting rid of bad habits and waiting until winter or maybe spring to start good ones.

I have also been enjoying afternoon runs with my great friend, Shannon. I really love this time to be out in nature! The weather has been perfect running weather and the colors are so bright and bold. Shannon and I see eye to eye on a lot of issues and it is so refreshing to discuss things with her.

I hear many people say all the time "you cannot give from an empty cup". I believe this! It is so important that we take time to do the things that we enjoy so that we can give back to the people we love. One way that I fill my cup is having a girl's night with my bff, Kae. Oh, how I need this time with her. I look forward to our time together so much! We eat without having to feed anyone else, walk around Target, laugh, cry and discuss important issues. I am a firm believer that all women should have a best friend, other than their husband.

Anyway, I got a little bit off track. Those are a few of the ways I have been "letting go"!

Our Young Women's lesson on Sunday was about gratitude. I really love the month of November to take time to express our gratitude. Our teacher asked us all to think about a "perfect moment" we had throughout the week. Immediately, a perfect moment came to mind. I wanted to type it out so I can remember it when I read over this post:) We attended a wedding reception last week and they had a dance party. Sophie and Eli quickly ran to the dance floor and started dancing. The group made a circle and the two of them went in the middle and started showing off their best moves. I sat on a chair and just watched. I didn't even think about grabbing my phone to take a video, I just enjoyed their energy. Eli was doing the worm and Sophie was break dancing and clapping. It was such a happy moment that I want to remember always. After the song was over Eli ran over to me and said "Mom! I danced in the middle and I did the worm"! After the dancing, the bride threw her bouquet. Next, Sophie came over and exclaimed "mom! The bride threw her bouquet and a bunch of the flowers flew out so I let the teenager catch the main one and I picked up all the little ones off the ground! I'm so excited!

Lastly, Halloween was such a lovely day! The kids had so much fun!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of Fall! Remember to be grateful for the small and simple things, because they are what bring us the most happiness!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Chicken Soup For My Soul

This post is about how chicken noodle soup really is good for the body and the soul....

I got home from work and just felt heavy and tired. Do you ever feel heavy and tired?
I hope that you have ways that make everything better.
I'm tired because I didn't spend enough time in my classroom this summer and now I am paying big time!
There is so much that goes into getting a classroom ready that people may not know about.
Luckily, I have kind family members who help make it go faster and funner (Thanks Katie and Dad!)
I'm feeling heavy because I have what I call the pre-fall blues. I think they it's a real, diagnosable thing!
What happens is Summer is over! Some of you may understand how sad this is!
My Bestie, Kae sent me a meme that pretty much summed it up... "I'm a teacher because I'm solar powered and I get my energy from the sun" so true! I really do get so much energy from being in nature with the sun shining on me. Does anyone else feel this way? I love taking my kids on adventures and summer time is the very best time for adventures!
Don't get me wrong, I love Fall! Fall is also a great time for adventuring....its just that the adventures are shorter and fewer. I love leaves changing, the weather cooling, hot cocoa, fun holidays. The problem is in the back of my mind there is this nagging feeling that Winter is right around the corner and the struggle is so very real for me in the Winter. I have lots of coping strategies that get me through (sun lamp, sledding, hot coco, girls nights, valentines day) but Winter is just hard for me.

Enough rambling, lets get to the point.
I was feeling tired and heavy and my dad called and asked me to make some chicken noodle soup because he was sick and it always makes him feel better.
So, I went to work making chicken noodle soup and boy was it good for my soul!
As I was cooking, I tested here and there and with each sip, my heart got a bit lighter.
I got thinking how lucky I am to be able to make soup for my dad who gives so much to his children.
Dan got home and started playing with the kids, their laughter and happiness filled up our whole house.
I am so lucky to have a husband and two children to laugh with!
I went up stairs to switch laundry over and caught a glimpse of my cute new decor pillow and pillow cases on my bed! So lovely and cute! Actually, I'm pretty lucky to live in a home that I love!
I went in the pantry and realized I had plastic bowls and since I already had a sink full of dishes, I was happy to be able to use plastic...less dishes, yay!
By the time I was done making the soup, my heart was feeling much less heavy and much more happy!
I hope that I can remember this evening during the long, cold days of Winter:)
What do  you do when your heart is feeling tired and heavy?


PS: I know that many of my friends are really suffering with heavy problems, I do not want to make light of their sadness. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with my friends who are suffering and tired and heavy with problems:)


Chicken Noodle Soup:
  • start boiling some chicken stock this can be any mixture of salt and pepper, chicken broth, chicken boullion cubes and water. I just keep adding stuff till it tastes good. Bring to a boil on medium high to high heat
  • while you are waiting for the broth to boil, chop up some carrots, when your water is boiling add the carrots
  • now, start the celery..clean it and chop it up. When the carrots are softened (not all the way but kind of soft) add the celery to the broth and carrots.At this point, turn the burner down to mediumish
  • make the noodles! mix up one egg with two tablespoons of milk or cream and half a tsp of salt. 
  • add one cup flour and mix it till it forms a ball
  • roll out pretty thin with lots of flour
  • cut into strips. As you cut them add a bit of flour and fluff it together.
  • when you get them all cut, add to them to soup
  • lastly, chop up some cooked chicken and throw it into the soup
  • we love to serve to soup over mashed potatoes, and don't forget to garnish with lots of cheese and crackers!