Friday, August 31, 2012

Off to Kindergarten

The older kids are starting to settle into their school routine. The bus is finally starting to be more reliable for Neal. This week Lilly started kindergarten. Monday night she reminded us that she would need a backpack. Of course, she would. I had been so busy getting everyone else ready for school earlier that I had completely forgotten to get her a backpack. "Get me a Hello Kitty backpack" she instructed as Utah Dad and I headed to the store.

The cute Hello Kitty backpacks were too small. The only other Hello Kitty backpack was made of clear plastic. Since I know what the insides of my kids backpacks looks like after a few months of snacks and papers being shoved inside, I knew immediately that the clear backpack would not work. Instead, Lilly ended up with a gigantic backpack and a Hello Kitty clip. She was satisfied even though it was amusing to watch my tiny girl lug her huge backpack to school.

Lilly has enjoyed her time at school and she has a darling teacher. However, on Wednesday morning when it was time to get ready to go, she protested. "I want to stay home and play Barbies." It was a short argument and she now seems resigned to her new schedule.

Since Lilly is gone in the morning at school, Molly, Utah Dad and I are at home alone. Lilly and Molly have lately become such good playmates and they've never really been a part. I was worried that Molly would miss Lilly terribly. Actually, Molly is rather enjoying her time alone with her parents. Now I'm worried she enjoys being the "baby" just a little too much. This is her argument every time we work on potty training. Little stinker.

I, however, miss Lilly so much. It's hard to believe she is really old enough to go to school. She was born after we moved into our current home and it's fun to see all the other babies that were born that year too at school now. It's crazy how fast they grow up.

(By the way, isn't it interesting the different color light you can get on the same day. These two pictures are taken from two separate directions.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

In The Shadow of the Banyan - Book Review

In 1975 the Khmer Rouge "The Revolutionaries" took control of the country of Cambodia. Forcing people from their homes and into work camps, over a million people were brutally murdered by the communists. Vaddey Ratner takes her own personal experience as a child during this time and weaves it into a simultaneously beautiful and horrifying novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan.

The narrator, Raami, is a seven year old girl and the daughter of a royal prince and poet. As her aunt says after they have been driven from their home by the conquering army, "The problem with being seven . . . is that you're aware of so much, and yet you understand so little. So you imagine the worst." Raami does not have to imagine the worst. The worst is bent on destroying her family and a country.

This is not just a tale, it is the story of our shared human history. Our recent history. A history that should be remembered so that it can be prevented in our future. It should take it's proper place with We the Living by Ayn Rand and Dreams of Joy by Lisa See and other books that detail that tragedies that follow evil regimes intent on destroying liberty.

Bringing her own experiences and pain into the story, Ratner excels at creating overwhelming scenes of emotion. She writes with a passion that is rare and the intimate scenes that Raami describes between her parents as they prepare to be separated are exquisite in their intense love and despair. While tragic, In the Shadow of the Banyan is also full of hope. This novel will rip your heart out and then slowly put it back together.

Just trust me on this one. Read In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner as soon as possible.

**I received a complimentary copy of In the Shadow of the Banyan in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. **

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of School!!!

As usual, I can't believe the summer is already over. We've had a crazy, busy, fun summer and we're sad to see it end. Even so, there was an electric buzz of excitement at our house this morning. The kids headed off to their first day of school.

Actually, Neal went to school yesterday for a few hours. As a seventh grader heading into his first year of middle school (gasp) he got to go yesterday and have a some time to check out the new school before the eighth graders arrive to intimidate. I was the mother that sent him off to the bus stop on the other side of the neighborhood and assumed that he would actually get to school. Imagine my shock to come home from a meeting hours later and discover that the bus never showed up. Another mother (who was waiting with her son at the bus stop like a good, doting mother **cue the guilt**) drove the kids to school after it was apparent that the promised bus wouldn't arrive.

So, hopefully as we repeated the adventure this morning for the first official day, the bus actually came and picked Neal up. Because I'm still the mother that sent him off to walk to the bus stop by himself like a big kid.

By the way, Neal headed off to middle school this morning with the very same backpack he has used since preschool. That's got to be some kind of backpack survival record. 

Amberly was so excited for the first day of fourth grade. She was practically bouncing this morning as she hopped out of bed, hurried to get ready for school and rushed out the door a little too early.
She went to school with a new backpack. Somehow her backpacks never last through an entire school year. 

Last night during his "interview" with Utah Dad and me, Thomas insisted on telling us a story.

"Once upon a time, there was a little boy who was about to start first grade. And he was really scared. So, in the morning he went and hid from his parents . . . His parents found him and took him to first grade and when we got there everything was OK. It was fine."

Thomas started first grade this morning. I walked with him to school and he chattered all the way. Once we got to school and he found his friends he kept reassuring them all that it was going to be a great year. Probably trying to reassure himself. He's such a great kid and I'm excited for him. He is going to have a great year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Phantom at the Venetian in Vegas!

At the beginning of the summer I was visiting with a couple of friends. 
K was excitedly telling us about how she had bought tickets to see 
Phantom at the Venetian in Las Vegas 
for her birthday.
It sounded fabulous and my friend R and I joked about buying tickets and going together.
I mentioned it to Utah Dad that night. He immediately got online to check ticket prices and was instantly convinced that we should go. The next morning I sent an email to R. Her husband quickly jumped on board and before we knew it we had bought tickets to the show and made reservations at the hotel.

I had to convince my parents to stay with the kids. They had seen Phantom of the Opera and been to Vegas so my mom's rule that she will only babysit for us if we go somewhere she had already been was a moot point.

Since having children 11 years ago, Utah Dad and I had only spent one night together without the kiddos.
That time hardly counts. I was 8 months pregnant, terribly sick with bronchitis and I spent the day in the hotel while Utah Dad was at work meetings. I read two books that day. It was actually marvelous, but I digress. Utah Dad and I have also never traveled with friends before. We were a little nervous, but we shouldn't have been. R and J were awesome. Not only did we have hours of fabulous conversation, but we went in their car that uses CNG (compressed natural gas) and we saved a ton of money on fuel! I'm sold on the CNG vehicles, by the way.

We checked into the beautiful and luxurious Venetian hotel; took some time to relax, freshen up and get dressed for the evening and then met our friends for dinner. We walked around the hotel and checked out all the marvelous menus at Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse and Table 10 or Wolfgang Puck's Postrio Bar & Grill. Ultimately our cheapskate sides won out and we ate dinner at Grand Lux Cafe. The food was very good and didn't break the bank, so we were all satisfied.

After dinner we headed over to the play. Phantom at the Venetian is a 90 minute show. It includes all the music but cuts a lot of the dialogue. Personally, I would have been OK with seeing the entire Phantom of the Opera but I really did enjoy this entertaining show full of amazing special effects and a talented cast. It was the perfect length to take the kids. I know Amberly (who regularly watched the movie version of Phantom of the Opera) would have loved this show.

There are only 3 more weeks to enjoy this show!
I could see it again tonight.
I wish I could see it again tonight.

I forgot my camera, so I was very grateful that R & J had their camera and were willing to take and share pictures.

Our only mistake for the trip was to go outside to walk the Vegas strip. It was so hot. It was so crowded. It was disgusting. We should have just stayed in the marvelous hotel. There was plenty to do in there and we wouldn't have ended up sweaty, exhausted and sick.

 A good butt shot is always nice. Isn't the Venetian cool? With so many restaurants and shops and beautiful decor, we kept ourselves busy.

The next morning we had the delicious buffet breakfast at the Grand Lux Cafe where we ate enough delectable, wonderful food to justify the expense.

And . . . this is the amazing part. Not only did my parents watch my kids and keep them alive while Utah Dad and I were enjoying ourselves, they built the shelves/entertainment center that I've been wanting in my family room. They are so dang awesome. (Ignore the primer spill on the carpet. I am a klutz. Fortunately I am getting new carpet in the next few weeks. And the weird old guy in the picture frames. I still need to print some pictures.) My parents really are the best.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Featured on LDS Women's Book Review

As part of Utah Book Month, I'm featured on LDS Women's Book Review today. Head on over and check out the interview. Don't forget to check out the other book blogger interviews and author interviews this month! And definitely don't miss the fun challenges!

The Mirrored World - Book Review

The Mirrored World by Debra Dean is the resplendent and fascinating tale of St. Xenia, a holy fool in eighteenth-century Russia. Told by Xenia's beloved cousin, the story tells of Xenia's passionate love for her husband, then her visions of tragedy followed by turning away from the material world to serve the impoverished of St. Petersburg.

Debra Dean tells this historical tale with an eye for the details of Elizabeth's eccentric court and then the paranoia that plagued Catherine the Great. I read the majority of the biography Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie earlier this year and I think my prior knowledge of the society and history in Russia helped me enjoy and understand The Mirrored World better.

Dean has an engaging style of writing that is at lyrical and luxurious. She succeeds at bringing the history of St. Petersburg to life with her eye for detail and her knowledge of the history. However, much of the story is simply told by Dasha and was lacking the passion that Xenia allegedly felt for her husband Andrei. Overall, The Mirrored World is worth the read and one that is sure to pique your interest in Russian history.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Mirrored World in exchange for my honest review.**

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Seven Silly Eaters - Book Review

The other night at book club we started talking about our favorite children's story books. After all, we were supposed to read Revolutionaries and had all gotten stuck/bored and given up around the first chapter. We clearly had to talk about something else. During our conversation, I felt that earlier passion I used to have for story books. I rushed upstairs and found my favorite on the shelf in the boys' bedroom, then read it aloud to the other ladies.

It's been some time since I've reviewed a story book and I've mentioned this particular book once before years ago before anyone actually read my blog. You can check out the earlier review along with some of my other favorites **here**.

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Marla Frazee was one of the first picture books I purchased when Neal was first born. A friend had shared it with me and I instantly fell in love. It's remained one of my favorites even after it was joined on the book shelf by hundreds of children's books.

A story about seven picky eaters and their exhausted mom is whimsical and clever. Though it is written in rhyme please avoid the trap of reading it in a sing-song voice. The story will make so much more sense if you pay attention to the punctuation. The illustrations add so much more to the story. Even though the father of this large family is never mentioned in the poetry, he plays a large role in each illustration. Also, I covet the lovely lake-front property and rustic cabin where the Peters family lives.

As a fan of large families, I am especially fond of this amusing, yet lovely story. Every mother will recognize the initial joy followed by the overwhelming feelings of frustration. And children might just see themselves in the picky eaters. Yet the story exudes love, service and joy and ultimately a spirit of teamwork and cooperation.

The Seven Silly Eaters was published in 1997 but if you haven't read this wonderful book before, track it down and enjoy it with your children.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS - Does the Spirit of the Dragon Live in ...

Legendary Once-in-a-Millennium Event Celebrating 
The Year of the Dragon!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® 
Presents DRAGONS

Coming To Salt Lake City, September 20 – 24, 2012

Let The Dragon Games Begin! Searching the farthest reaches of the globe, Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey has gathered the best of the best circus performers to honor the Spirit of the
Dragon! Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over this fantastical tournament of
champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with astounding circus feats of bravery and
athleticism that will take you on a wondrous journey to discover what it takes to believe in your
dreams. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONS is a never-before-seen
circus adventure of legend and spectacle coming to the EnergySolutions Arena from
September 20–24.

Representing mighty “Dragon Tribes” that possess the Strength, Courage, Wisdom and Heart of
the great mythic beast, some of the extraordinary performers in The Greatest Show On Earth

  • Famed Shaolin Warriors display ancient Kung Fu martial arts and unbelievable strength.
  • Making his American debut is Alexander Lacey presenting the only mixed-cat act of its kind in the United States featuring both tigers and lions together.
  • Cossack Riders charge the arena floor with unrivaled equestrian acrobatics.
  • Like the mighty winged Sky Dragons, The Flying Caceres amaze with their aerial bravado on the only double-decker trapeze in the world.
  • Plus even more remarkable displays that pay tribute to the dragon including the frenzied daredevil motorcyclists in the Globe of Steel, high-flying thrills from the Russian Bar Renegades and Teeterboard Titans troupes, exciting double motorcycle high-wire stunts,along with the majestic Ringling Bros. Asian elephants and much more!

Be sure to arrive early to join us for several exciting interactive elements before the show starts!
Opening 90 minutes prior to each performance, all ticket holders are invited to tour the Animal
Open House to get up-close with our amazing animals. Then one hour before show time,
families can step onto the arena floor to meet our performers and animals on the show floor at the
interactive All Access Pre-Show, FREE admission to all ticket holders.

Thursday, September 20 – Monday, September 24

EnergySolutions Arena  

Ticket prices are $18, $25, $40 (VIP), $60 (Front Row) and $85 (Circus Celebrity)
Discounted Opening Night tickets available for only $11 each (not valid on VIP/premium levels)
All seats are reserved; tickets are available from the EnergySolutions Box Office and all SmithTix
locations, charge by phone at 801-355-SEAT or 800-888-TIXX and online at or

There is alsoa special online discount code available for my readers to get $5 off tickets for the $18 & $25 price level – discount code is MOM that can be used for online purchases only; discount is valid for these select performances only – Friday at 11:30am; Saturday at 11:00am; Sunday at 1:30pm; Monday at 7:00pm

Local Families Can Help Donate To Eliza’s Wish Charity 
To Get Free Circus Ticket
Plus Join Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson 
For Fun-Filled Dragon Egg Hunt
at the EnergySolutions Arena on Tuesday, August 14th

Strength, Wisdom, Courage and Heart are the four traits used to summon the dragon in the show and
these same characteristics couldn’t be more descriptive of Eliza Williams, a local Utah girl who suffers
from MLD (Metachromatic Leukodystrophy). Eliza’s family started “Eliza’s Wish” which not only rasies
awareness about her disease, but also collects and donates books for “Eliza’s Library” which provides
books to doctors’ offices and children’s hospitals all over Utah.

As a special charity promotion, Salt Lake residents are encouraged to bring a new or gently used
children’s book to donate to “Eliza’s Library” on the morning of August 14th at the EnergySolutions
Arena to receive a FREE TICKET* to Ringling Bros. presents DRAGONS.

*Limit 2 tickets per family, available on a first-come first-serve basis, subject to availability to first 100
families in attendance

Plus, the first 300 young circus fans (ages 2-12) in attendance will get to participate in a special Dragon
Egg Hunt where each child will get access to the specially designed “Dragon Cave” inside the
EnergySolutions Arena to hunt for one rare golden dragon egg that can be redeemed for a variety of cool
prizes. Ringling Bros. Circus Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson will also make an advance visit to
Salt Lake to meet with kids and take them deep into the dragon’s cave to help them hunt for the elusive
dragon eggs.

The Williams Family will be on-hand to speak about “Eliza’s Wish” book drive and will also be available
for media interviews, along with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Ringmaster Johnathan
Lee Iverson.

Tuesday, August 14th at 7:00 AM MDT (*No line-ups before 6:00am please)

EnergySolutions Arena (Southwest side of building – Door #1)

301 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

** I am a Feld Family Ambassador and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Even though I received these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine. **

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Green River Trip - Out and About in Utah

My parents planned river trips for the family reunions on both sides of our family. They reunions were on back-to-back weekends. Because of some other commitments we were only able to attend one of the reunions. Fortunately, all of my brothers and sisters were able to attend the same reunion. It was fun to see cousins that have moved away from the area and that we haven't seen for years.

Floating the Green River is one of our regular family reunions but because of pregnancy and young children, I haven't been on the river for years. In fact, 16 years ago Utah Dad and I got engaged the night before the river trip. That might actually have been the last time I was on the river. This year, my mom graciously volunteered to stay with the small children and we took Neal, Amberly and Thomas with us. Neal went with Utah Dad a few years ago but this was the first time on the river for Amberly and Thomas.

Manipulated by the cousins who really wanted to be together, we ended up on the same raft with my brother and his wife and two of their children. My dad was on our raft too. With such a fun group we were insured of a great time. My siblings, cousins and their families piled onto several additional rafts and we headed down the river starting just below the Flaming Gorge Dam.

We had a great water fight battle right off the start. Thomas screamed like a little girl and we were all soaked to the bone. It was awesome! Thomas did eventually get into the spirit of things and enjoyed himself.

As we went down the river my brother Nate on our raft noticed that one of our cousin's head had poked above a large rock in the middle of the river. "They're waiting to ambush us," he whispered. Calling to our other brothers on another raft we made a plan to go on either side of the rock and ambush them instead. We pulled the raft up to the other side of the rock. Nate jumped out of the boat, climbed up the rock and cannon balled into the water next to my cousins' raft.

Nate, in the water below the raft, grabbed onto the nearest life jacket and pulled. He met with strong resistance so he braced himself with his feet against the side of their raft and yanked harder, finally pulling the victim into the cold river. Our raft rounded the big rock just in time to see Nate being chased by a very determined and accomplished swimmer. Nate's expression was of sheer panic. We were in awe as his pursuer placed a hand on his U hat and dunked him under the water. (He did recover the hat.)

My first thought was "which guy in that raft has a pony tail?" Then she turned and I recognized my cousin Robb's wife. All the guys had hurried to the other side of the raft and left the woman at the mercy of Nate's surprise attack. We teased Nate about being "taken down by a lady". It was seriously awesome.

We stopped along the river to jump and dive off the cliffs into the cold water. We watched the guys jump from the highest cliffs. Neal jumped off. Amberly jumped. Thomas jumped. I am terribly uncoordinated in water (even more than on land) and I have never ever jumped into the river. My sister-in-law Michelle insisted that our sister-in-law Jen and I join her by jumping off (a lower, wimpy level). She counted to three and I had every intention of not jumping off but she was pulling on our hands. We had to go. It was terribly cold but actually rather fun and I did jump off a second time.

Yes, I have very, very white legs. Did I mention that my family is Finnish? We are not supposed to see the sun.

This stretch of the Green River from the Flaming Gorge Dam to Little Hole is a pretty light weight river trip for families with young kids. It can take a few hours or much longer (we went slow and did some of the small  "rapids" more than once). And the view is gorgeous!

We had a marvelous time on the river this year. The weather was perfect. The water was cold. And the company was fantastic.

Thanks to my sister Angie (who went down the river on a kayak with her husband) we have all these wonderful pictures of the trip.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Winners of the Katherine Nelson BORN BRAVE CD Give-away

It's time to announce the winners of the Born Brave CD from Katherine Nelson! Congratulations to the following 7 people :

Heather H
heather abbe

Please email me with your information so that I can send your CD to you right away!

Utah Book Month : Interview with Suey from It's All About Books

I am excited to be part of "Utah Book Month" and I'm especially honored to be able to interview Suey from It's All About Books. Suey was one of the first Utah book bloggers that I discovered and one of the few I've been privileged to meet in person. Her blog is always full of fun information about new books and since she also works at the Orem Library, she always seems to know about the fun "book" things happening in Utah. I've read and enjoyed several of her recommendations.

I sent Suey my list of questions earlier and I enjoyed reading her answers and getting to know her just a bit better.

Have you always loved reading? What is the first book you can remember loving as a child?

Yes, I have always loved reading... for as long as I can remember. Some of the first books I loved as a child were Ferdinand the Bull, Make Way for Ducklings, Mr. Pine’s Mixed-up Signs, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Nancy Drew and the Little House books.

You work in a library. Do you also have a library at home? How is it organized?

Ah, yes, I do have a home library! Several IKEA shelves line my basement family room walls! I have a very loose organization to them.... classics in a section, other fiction in a section, a little non-fiction section, Newbery Award winners, YA books, kid books, picture books, and a random section of new hardback, signed, local author books. Plus if there’s a big series of books, they are grouped together off by themselves. It’s a bit of a mess actually, but the sort of mess that makes me happy.

I read that you regularly host a neighborhood book club. Which books have you read that inspired great discussion with your group? Was there a book club pick that everyone loved? One that everyone hated?

Well, everyone hated Love in the Time of Cholera, and The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. We still laugh about how terrible those books were! Books that inspire much discussion are the ones where there is differing opinion... for example The Kite Runner, a book that I was amazed at how many people didn’t like it. Also, Bel Canto and Ella Minnow Pea sparked some good discussion. Books we all loved: The Wednesday Wars, Precious Bane, North and South... and many more.

Have you ever liked the movie better than the book? Which one?

Rarely do I like the movie better, but there’s a few that would fit. For instance, big fat classics where the book is hard to read, but the movie is awesome... like The Way We Live Now... or Bleak House. Gah, I’m sure there’s more but I can’t think of any right now!

Which literary character would you like to be friends with?

I’d love to be friends with Anne Shirley, or Lizzy Bennet, or Jo March... for starters!

How long have you been blogging about books? What inspired you to begin your blog?

I’ve been at this now for 5 ½ years! Wow! I was part of several online book clubs and they all started talking about book challenges and how they keep track of them on their blogs. I was feeling left out, so I finally started one... after pondering on it at least a year! Also, I just wanted a place to gush about books without fear of being looked at weirdly. 

Do all of your children love reading? How have you inspired them to love books?

Actually, I have a couple of kids that don’t really like reading.  Makes me sad. The girls love it... or at least enjoy it, and the boys, not so much. I try to inspire them by reading the same books as they do and talking about it together. I also have a lot of books on hand (see the library above!) that they can choose from whenever the mood sets in. 

Do you prefer e-book or the "real" thing?

I am very new to the e-reader experience, but surprisingly, I’m really enjoying it! However, I think I’d still say at this point that I prefer the real thing. 

Get to know Suey more by visiting her blog. And check out all the other fun things happening during Utah Book Month. There will be more interviews with Utah Book Bloggers and interviews with Utah Authors.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Pigeon Pie Mystery - Book Review

Filled with eccentric characters, a clever plot and biting wit, The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart is a delightfully fun read.

The Princess Alexandrina, affectionately nicknamed Mink by her father the Maharaja, is destitute following the scandalous death of her father. Queen Victoria invites her to live in the Hampton Court Palace. Filled with fabulously eccentric characters, Mink and her maid Pooki set about making themselves at home in the supposedly haunted surroundings. After Hampton Court resident Major-General Bagshot dies after eating the pigeon pie Pooki brought to the picnic, Mink must become a detective to clear her beloved maid's name.

Julia Stuart's writing is full of charm and humor. The plot is full of comical twists and turns and includes an awkward but endearing romance. The answer to the mystery (while not wanting to give it away) was darker than I expected from such a fanciful and quaint story. The characters are droll and curious but none are particularly memorable. In fact, thankfully Stuart includes a list of characters at the beginning of the book because I was constantly getting Lady Bebb, Lady Beatrice and The Countess of Bessington confused.

Overall, I really enjoyed the refreshing lightness of The Pigeon Pie Mystery.  It is a great, quirky summer read.

** I received a complimentary copy of The Pigeon Pie Mystery in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. **

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Katherine Nelson's Born Brave - Review and Give-away

I'm back from my month-long blogging hiatus (sorry, it's been a crazy month) with a very exciting post regarding the new CD release from Katherine Nelson. You might recognize Katherine Nelson from her role as Emma in the movie Emma Smith : My Story or as the female voice of The Nashville Tribute Band. Now Katherine is making a name for herself  as a singer/song writer with the release of Born Brave, a musical tribute to women.

"When we strengthen women, we strengthen the world. We are all born brave." - Katherine Nelson

I've had the privilege of enjoying Katherine Nelson's new CD for the last few weeks. Fans of The Nashville Tribute Band will love the music from Katherine Nelson. Her songs are inspiring and beautiful and a reminder of the strength and value of women who have inner strength to face all of the trials and darkness in life with light, faith and bravery.

I had the CD playing in the background this morning as I was trying to help the kids start their day. Utah Dad called me back in the room to listen to the song Good For Me again. "Read the words" he counseled. The song is a wonderful reminder about why I chose to stay home with my children. It certainly takes a measure of bravery--the kiddos can be a tough bunch. It is certainly worth it.

Katherine Nelson is very talented and her music is encouraging and strengthening. Sometimes even the women born brave need a reminder. From the upbeat anthem to the sweet and tender lullabies, Born Brave has a song for every woman.

The CD also includes the song Emma, a beautiful tribute to one of the very bravest of women. I recently read the section in the Doctrine and Covenants where Emma Smith was commanded by God to make a "selection of sacred hymns" for the Latter-day Saints. D&C 25:12 continues : "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." While Katherine's music might not be sung during Sacrament Meeting, I think Emma would be pleased.

You will, however, be able to hear Katherine's music often if you tune into yourLDSradio. You can stream LDS music 24/7 online or on your phone. You can also find yourLDSradio on Facebook.

Through a twist of fate and the generosity of yourLDSradio and the producers of Born Brave, I have seven copies of Katherine Nelson's Born Brave CD to give-away to my readers. 

To enter to win a copy of Katherine Nelson's Born Brave follow these simple rules :

1. Leave a comment on this post.
2. Post about this give-away on Facebook, Twitter or your own blog for up to three extra chances to win. Leave an additional comment for each time you share.

This contest will be open to entries until Sunday, August 5th at 11:59 pm MST. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Monday, August 6th. This contest is open to residents of the US only.