Thursday, January 30, 2014


My daughters are learning some of the lost arts...   I think they are extremely talented after just a few months; thanks to their wonderfully proficient and skilled teacher, Joyce.  (Unfortunately Joyce is moving and my daughters are mourning the loss of their mentor and friend.)
Kotten Kandy wanted to learn how to quilt.  She envisioned a Young Women's quilt - with all of the YW colors (for the values).  Her dream is now a reality.  Isn't is absolutely gorgeous?  She can't wait to make another quilt....  She is planning on making a similar quilt for her sister but bordered in blue instead of green.
Key Lime Pie thought is would be awesome to learn how to crochet.  So Joyce taught her.  And she made this beautiful infinity scarf.  She has plans to make about 8 more scarves and then she wants to sell them (for $10)....  She is also working on a afghan.  She can always be found with a crochet hook in her hand these days.
We also had Young Women's New Beginnings last night.  Kotten Kandy and Key Lime Pie both participated a lot.  They sang a special musical number.  (It was gorgeous!)  And  Kotten Kandy wrote (and directed) a musical skit.  The theme for the night was "Diamonds in the Rough."  So she was asked to write a skit telling about each of the YW values along with the theme.  She did an amazing job!  If you want to read her skit (which turned out so cute) keep reading....
I have such amazing daughters, if I say so myself!

Years ago there was a place called the land of Diamond that was because everything in the land of Diamond, had one. The barns, the houses, the carts, everything even the people. Everyone in the land of Diamond had a Diamond everyone that is for the exception of Gwen. Now although Gwen was born to a set of normally Diamonded parents and although she was physically perfect in every other respect she was born without a Diamond. And as time passed Gwen became increasingly aware of her uniqueness and so did everyone else, which made life in the land of Diamond rather uncomfortable for her and her parents. It wasn’t easy being the only Diamond-less person in the land of Diamond.
Now, when she became of the age of twelve the people realized she was in violation of the law. Which was, that all things and all people in the land of Diamond must have one and since Gwen didn’t have one she was in violation of that law. Which called for her banishment. Now the King who was a good king was painfully aware of his duty to the law. And he could only arrive at one conclusion, Gwen had no Diamond and therefore was guilty of being in violation of the law. And so it was that she was banished from the Land of Diamond to the Diamond-less Desert.
The next day Gwen’s mother and father and all the towns people gathered to bid a sad farewell to Gwen. So Gwen set off for the Diamond-less Desert, were all things are Diamond-less.
Finally Gwen arrived at what appeared to be the entrance to the Diamond-less desert. There was a huge sparkly barrier with a small sign at its base which read “This way.” Once Gwen was over the barrier she had her first encounter with a Diamond-less girl. She was not at all like Gwen had expected, you see she was beautiful. Though she had no diamonds to be seen, she had a white pearl.
 Hello, (moment pause) Who are you?
 I am faith, I am a daughter of God.
Your rock is so beautiful.  It’s not a diamond.  What is it? 
It’s a pearl.  It represents faith. I am a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves me. (holds up her pearl) I have faith in his eternal plan which centers on Jesus Christ, my Savior.  (Faith hands the pearl to Gwen.)
(takes the pearl) Thank you. (moves on)
After the encounter Gwen was confused. You see the words that faith had said to her had confused her. So she moved deeper into the desert and came upon two girls, both Diamond-less but beautiful.

Uh, hi. My names Gwen.
I am Divine Nature, I am a daughter of God.
I am Individual Worth, AND I am a daughter of God.
                What beautiful rocks you have.  Their colors are amazing.
Mine is a sapphire.  It is blue.  I have inherited Divine Qualities which I strive to develop.  Here. (Hands her the sapphire.)
Mine is a ruby.  Red represents that I am of infinite worth with my own divine mission which I will strive to fulfill. Here. (Hands her the ruby)
(smiles) Thank you.
Now Gwen moved on feeling even more confused, she looked at the three beautiful stones thinking about what the girls had said, when she bumped into another girl.
Excuse me.  I think you accidentally bumped into me.
I’m sorry.  Hello, I’m Gwen.  And I’m a bit lost in my thoughts.
I love thinking.  In fact, my name is Knowledge.  And I am a daughter of God.  I see that you are looking at my precious stone.  It is an Emerald. 
                Knowledge sounds interesting.  What do you do?
I continually seek opportunities for learning and growth. (hands her the emerald) 
(nodding)  Cool.  I have been learning a lot ever since I was banished.  It was nice meeting you.
As Gwen moved deeper into the desert she met another young woman.
(sticks out her hand) Hi, I am Choice and Accountability, And,
I am a daughter of God.
(smiles warmly) Yes, yes you are!
My name is Gwen.  What does Choice and Accountability mean and what stone are you carrying?
C & A:
This is a fire opal.  Isn’t is beautiful?  I will choose good over evil and will accept responsibility for my decisions. (hands her the fire opal)
                Taking the stone, Gwen walked away in deep thought.
                Hi, I am Good Works, I am a daughter of God.
                I am Gwen. (pause) What’s Good Works?
I help others and build the kingdom through righteous service.  And this is a star sunstone (hands her the stone)
                Thank you.
Again Gwen moved on, her thoughts swirling with all that she had heard. Walking farther than she had before she came across another girl.
(tentatively) I am Gwen, and I am a daughter of, (pause) And I am a daughter of God.
Me too.  I am a daughter of God and my name is Integrity.  I have moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong.  I see that you have met many of my sisters and they have shared their stones with you.  Here take my amethyst. (hands her the amethyst.)
                I should be getting on my way. Thank you for the purple stone.
                Your welcome.  Remember our names.  The stones will help.
Gwen moved away still confused but strangely excited. And she happened upon a girl sitting on a rock.
Come and sit, (patting next to her, Gwen sits down.) I am virtue, I am a daughter of God.  And this is gold.
                Gold?  Virtue?
                Both the color Gold and Virtue were unheard of where Gwen came from.
Yes, I prepare to enter the temple and remain pure and worthy. My thoughts and actions will be based on high moral standards.
And I am Gwen, A daughter of God.
                What else are you?
                I am, diamond-less.
                (smiles) No, you aren’t. (hands Gwen a Diamond.)
                Thank you so much!  Now I can go home!
In the distance, Gwen could see the diamonds of her home glimmering in the sunlight.  She nearly ran to see her family.  The entire town came out to meet her.
                What are you doing here?  You were banished to the Diamond-less Desert.
Well, I went to the desert and it’s not ugly at all.  In fact, everyone I met was beautiful and taught me great truths.  I am returning with a diamond that represents I am a Daughter of God.  I also have with me (holds up each stone as she says) Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity and Virtue.
                Wow!  Ooooo!  Ahhhhh!
And thus we see that it takes all 8 values to become a beautiful diamond… a true child of God.  And the people of the land of Diamond all went on quests to the Diamond-less Desert to learn and grow and become true children of God.

                And we all lived happily ever after!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I decided to write a couple of book reviews for three reasons:
1.  To keep a record of the books I have read in 2014
2.  So my posterity can know what books I've read and what I thought of them.
and 3.  So others (if interested) can know my opinions about different books.
bonus 4.  Because I like book reviews!

So far in January, I have read two books.

I first read:  An Increase in Learning - Spiritual Patterns for Obtaining Your Own Answers by David A. Bednar.
I loved learning about the difference between Knowledge, Understanding and Intelligence.  It literally opened my mind to a hundred verses in the scriptures in a new way and gave me insight and appreciation for all of my life experiences.  I loved that the book encourages you to look deeper for understanding and for ways to apply gospel principles to improve my own life.  My perspective on learning has changed entirely, and wonderfully.  The Holy Ghost is truly our teacher.

This is is no way an easy book to read.  It is a "search, ponder and pray" type of book.  But I definitely recommend it.  I can hardly wait to read this book again and study it more.  I DEFINITELY recommend this book!!!!!!

The second book I read:  Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America by Glenn Beck.
I really enjoyed the stories in this book.  (There are 12 stories.)  These stories tell about courage, honor, and love for our fellow human beings.  Each story is informative and well documented.

And all the stories can be put into one of three categories.  Glenn Beck tells us those categories are:  "The good guys win; the good guys win, but it takes a while; or the good guys lose because people put their trust into politicians instead of each other."  I loved the life-lessons you could learn from these TRUE stories.

After reading a few of the stories, I even re-told some of them to my YOUNG nieces and nephews who LOVED them and begged me to tell them more.  I felt like a hero telling them stories to inspire that were true.

I am not a huge fan of the quality of the writing...  But the stories are fascinating and educational.  I'm glad I read it, but I think I'll just TELL my daughters the stories instead of have them read it (unless they want too).

I hope these reviews are helpful to you, my posterity and friends....

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Kotten Kandy and I received our Personal Progress medallions on Sunday.  It was so neat to stand with my daughter and get our necklaces together.  And what was even more awesome is the testimony that both of us strengthened as we worked towards this achievement.  I truly love the Personal Progress program.  It is faith promoting and helped both of us gain a great appreciation of our Savior and His Atonement.  We loved delving into the scriptures and studying about Christ and the roles of women in His plan.  We both grew spiritually.
All three of us with our medallions.
I'm sooooo proud of these two special daughters of mine!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Scott and I went to Idaho and Utah last week for an adult-only, McCallister, family reunion.  We had a total blast and wish it could have lasted longer!  Spending time together was the best part of the experience, but coming in at a close second was attending a temple session together.  We also had fun learning about our pioneer ancestors and viewing beautiful art work from the Provo display "Sacred Gifts."
The whole clan:
Tara & Zane, Mil & Dad, G.J. & Ken
Sundy & Scott and Kristi & Ben
Did you know that I am a direct descendant of the pioneers that settled South Jordan?  We learned a lot about the wonderful women and men (my ancestors) who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the 1800s.  Their stories of faith and devotion were inspirational to all of us.  My brothers, sister and I were excited to hear these stories and receive copies of them from my mom.  
This is the statue that celebrates the founding fathers
of South Jordan - which is our direct heritage!
We attended the Jordan River temple and enjoyed worshiping there with my family.
What a beautiful temple
(and Scott took his endowments out here!)
We also played games.
Great game!  And I actually didn't loose.  Right, Zane?!
We visited.
The McGirls:  G.J., Mil, Me, Tara and Kristi
My brothers got in a snowball fight.
Don't let his good looks fool you - Ben is trouble!
Zane thinks he's "the man!"  His throwing stance proves it!
And we attended "Sacred Gifts."  It was spectacular.  It was an opportunity to experience moments from Christ's ministry through the artistic talents of three painters: Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann and Frans Schwartz.
Christus Consolator by Carl Bloch
This is one of my favorite paintings displayed.
The Mocking of Christ by Carl Bloch
Another one of my favorites.
Agony in the Garden by Frans Schwartz
This was Scott's favorite.
We played so hard that Zane, Ben and Dad couldn't keep their eyes open.....
Scott and I also had the opportunity to give our Christmas gifts to my family.  So now, you (the reader) can see what Scott and I spent hours creating for our family and daughters and friends for Christmas.  We call them General Conference Count-down Blocks.
Our Family Reunion was awesome!  And we can't wait to get together again...