Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I've read two books in the past three weeks!  I LOVE reading!  And I LOVE when I find time to read (or make time to read)!
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson was fascinating!  This book is non-fiction and vividly portrays Chicago in the late nineteenth century.  The story goes back and forth between preparation for the World's Fair of 1893 and a terrible serial-killer that rivals Jack the Ripper operating nearby.  My sister-in-law recommended this book, and I'm glad she did.
This was a compelling book and I learned a lot.  Burnham, the architect and overseer of the fair, builds the White City.  (I only wish there had been more pictures because it sounded amazing!)  Here are a few interesting facts:  Cracker Jacks and Shredded Wheat were created just for this fair; The Ferris Wheel was created by George Washington Ferris; Mr. Ferris was trying to "Out Eiffel the Eiffel Tower."; and Landscape Architecture really played a huge part in the fair.
Henry H. Holms was a young, charismatic doctor who had blood-curdling obsessions.  He killed at LEAST 20 people (mostly women).  He created his own house of horrors only a few blocks away from the fair.  He said of himself, "I was born with the devil inside of me.  I was born to murder."
I've also read The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury this week.  I really like Ray Bradbury's writing style, and I decided that since I've read a lot of his other stuff, I better read this one too.  I have been wanting to read it every time I think about tattoos, etc.  (Not that I think about "human art" very often.)  For someone who has never read this book:  This book is a collection of short stories, most of them sci-fi, about a man who is completely covered in tattoos that tell stories about the future.  Most of the stories are about space, and have pretty dark themes of revenge, futile searches for paradise, and Armageddon.  A lot of the stories made me think and question and learn.  Some of the stories I didn't like at all.  (They were too dark for me.)  But others made me smile.  And others made me think.  Overall, I'm glad I read this book.  But it is definitely NOT my favorite of his.  I prefer Dandelion Wine.  I also liked Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes.
I'm going to start my next book now....

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Key Lime Pie went to Mormon Prom tonight with a couple of GREAT friends!  But first Key Lime Pie's awesome YW Advisor, Sister Clary did her hair.  Isn't it amazing?
Sister Clary and Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie had never pinned a boutineer before... She was so nervous.
This was the exciting moment after she successfully completed the task.
Look at this beautiful corsage.  Her first one ever!
Here she is:  Key Lime Pie and Spaghetti!
And of course they doubled with a crazy couple also:
Jolly Rancher and Muffin
We had to get a couple of "normal" pictures!
Great "normal" pic!
Here's how they really are!
Being arrested?
Marmalade really looks up to these two beautiful young women!
And someday she'll go to Mormon Prom too!
Both girls had their hair done by Becca Clary!
Key Lime Pie is REALLY going to miss her friend
when she moves in a few months to another state....
These silly boys didn't want to be left out of the pictures....
Jolly Rancher, Muffin, Key Lime Pie and Spaghetti
They are GREAT, GOOD, MORAL, FUN kids!
They are bound to have a GREAT, GOOD, MORAL, FUN time!
I like 'em all!  (Of course, the one in the purple is a particular favorite of mine!)

Friday, April 24, 2015


Why did my oldest daughter have to grow up so fast?  She went to Prom this evening with two girl friends: Muffin and Starburst.  They all looked lovely!  Here are my favorite pictures.  (Be glad that I didn't post all 112 pictures!)
These women are KILLING the competition!
Starburst, Muffin and Key Lime Pie
Here's Key Lime Pie - all grown up!
I LOVE their hair-dos!
Kotten Kandy did her sister's hair.
Mom is MEGGA impressed!
I have NO talent in that area!
Where did Kotten Kandy learn to do it?
Apparently Key Lime Pie needs more practice!  :-)
Please stop being so photo-genic!
I LOVE this girl!
Strong, beautiful, moral women!
She's gorgeous!
Muffin, Starburst and Key Lime Pie
Rockin' it!
Having fun...
and they haven't even done anything but take pictures!
Showing a BIT of leg!
Scandalous!  Can you tell whose shoe is whose?
A real smile!  All I had to do was say "Twizzlers!"
This mom is excited for her daughter, but also a bit mournful that she's growing up so fast.  She is a wonderful, young lady.  I love her happy personality.  And she's not only stunningly beautiful, she's also spiritual to boot!  I'm blessed!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


So... Key Lime Pie is REALLY looking forward to Prom.  Here is a picture of her dress.  (Her hair is NOT done and neither is her make-up.)  But she purchased her own dress and is really excited.  (I've decided to call her date Twizzlers.  He's a cute kid.  I'll post pictures of him when they actually go on their date....)
Kotten Kandy also decided to dress up the other day.  She got herself a new outfit with an anchor theme because of the YW theme: Embark!  She also splurged and got herself some BRIGHT red lipstick and blue mascara.  She said she was channeling Effie Trinket.
Aren't my daughters absolutely beautiful?!  And what's even better is they are gorgeous inside and out!
I also finished reading a book by John Douglas called "The Cases That Haunt Us."
Lately I've been thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.  I'm thinking I'd be interested in something in criminology.  John Douglas is one of the very first behavioral analysis investigators.  He "started" the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Bureau for the FBI).  So I decided to read a few of his books to see if it's really something I'm interested in.  I LOVED it.
In "The Cases That Haunt Us" Douglas looks at some of the more infamous murders of all times and adds his professional perspective.  He writes about Jack the Ripper, The Zodiac, The Boston Strangler, The Lindbergh Kidnapping and even the Jon Benet Ramsey case.  I thought all the chapters were intriguing and his insights were amazing.  His logic, reasoning and experience are compelling and captivating.  I really enjoyed reading every story.  Truth is often stranger than fiction.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


I'm a poet!  I love how my title rhymes.  It's the little things, really.  And I guess it makes me a little nerdy that I like how news and reviews rhymes!
Key Lime Pie had a really awesome night at work on Saturday:
1.  She was asked to Prom by one of her friends at work.  He's a cool kid.  And Key Lime Pie is really excited to go.
2.  She also received the Employee of the Month award.  She got a bonus and is excited that somebody noticed her work ethic.
What a fun night for my oldest daughter!
I have read quite a few books that I haven't had a moment to write about.  So:
I finished the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson.
The Well of Ascension is the second book in the series.  It continues the saga of Vin and Elend.  I thought this book started off kinda slow.  But once it got going, I liked it as much as the first book.  I was frustrated when Elend didn't live up to his potential at one point.  I was shocked by a twist with a character named Zane.  And I was glad I still got to share in the lives of the characters I fell in love with in Mistborn series.
And The Hero of Ages finishes the series.  I cried at the end.  I think it ended well, but I was also sad about the ending.  Does that make sense?  I don't want to give anything away, but I really loved these characters and I cried that some of them died, although it was probably for the best.  I recommend these books - but be warned that they are kinda violent.
I also read Taking the Stairs by Rory Vaden.  Actually, I listened to it on our trip to Colorado.  I really liked this book.  My husband and brother have been begging me to read this book, but I hadn't made the time.  It is an amazing book.  I want to re-read it with a hard copy now.  My perspective has changed a lot from listening to it.   Here are some of my insights:
I need to just do... to just do it now.  I need to pick up the phone, send a thank you card, read a book, go back to school, etc.
Another thought:  "Success is never owned.  It's rented, and the rent is due everyday."  I need to pay my dues to be a good mother, a good disciple of Christ and a good wife.

One of the biggest "aha" moments was when Rory Vaden told the story about a woman who was frightened.  He said, "It's OK to be scared.  Do it scared."  I thought about my depression and how sometimes I let that get in the way of doing good things.  I changed the phrase, in my mind, to "It's OK to be sad.  Do it sad."  That mantra is amazing!  I'm trying to live by it!  I really liked this book.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


We took our cousins home.  :-(  We already miss them.
Singing in the Car - selfie
But the trip was fun.  Kotten Kandy and I spent the entire trip listening to musicals.  We "watched" them using our imaginations.  And we talked about them.  And we reviewed them.  I love having a daughter that loves musical theater as much as I do.  So I decided to share what musicals we listened to and some of our thoughts about them.  I'll go in the order we listened to them....
First we listened to Pippin.  I first saw Pippin at Ricks College.  (Yes, I know it's now BYU-I.)  It was incredibly life-changing to me.  I could relate to the title character.  I, too, had felt that I was "extraordinary," but I wasn't sure why.  I knew that the only thing truly "fulfilling" was love.... but I wasn't sure, at the time, if love was going to be a part of my life.  (I hadn't met Scott yet.)
I REALLY love this musical.  I also really like Ben Vereen who played the narrator.  He is an amazing talent!
Kotten Kandy said her favorite song from this show is "Love Song."  Why?  Because she thinks it is one of the sweetest love songs ever.  It is.
Stephen Schwartz is my all time favorite musical composer.  Besides writing Pippin, he also wrote another favorite of mine:  Children of Eden.  That was the next show we "watched."  I once heard an interview with Stephen Schwartz where he said that this was probably his favorite show that he wrote.
Children of Eden is the story from Genesis.  It isn't doctrinally sound... but I love it non-the-less.  I LOVE it when they name the animals starting with aardvark and including a unicorn.  Kotten Kandy loves "Lost in the Wilderness" because it has a driving beat.  The Snake's song in the Garden of Eden is also fun!  Scott and I saw this show live in Las Vegas.  It was great!
So... Kotten Kandy and I decided to stay with the Stephen Schwartz theme and moved on to the musical Godspell.  I LOVE the music from this show also.  But don't see the Broadway show.  It is not reverent or even uplifting.  I saw it at Mesa State College years ago and they did a good job and were respectful....  Interesting to note: this show is about the Savior and is written by a Jew.  My favorite song is "We Beseech Thee," because I love the non-sense section in the middle of it.  Kotten Kandy loves the opening song because of the message:  "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!"
We then finished listening to our Stephen Schwartz musicals with Wicked.  Is there any show better?  This musical came out in 2003.  My girls were 3 and 4 years old.  They fell in love with the idea of two best friends who were both "good."  (Elphaba, the "wicked" witch is "just a misunderstood, green girl.")  Kotten Kandy used to sing all of Glinda's parts, while Key Lime Pie sang Elphaba's role.  I have wonderful memories of my young daughters singing their hearts out to this soundtrack.  I also think "For Good" is one of the most poignant songs I've ever heard.  I absolutely love the lyrics and message.
Since Easter is this weekend, we moved on to Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Jesus Christ Superstar.  My father showed me this musical at a young age so as to teach us what SOME other religions believe about Christ.  Some of the music is really profound and helps draw me closer to my Savior.  The song "Can We Start Again, Please?" makes me cry every time.  I think I would be asking the same thing if I had been one of Jesus' disciples back then.  Kotten Kandy loves the song "Everything's Alright."
Les Miserables is one of my all time favorite musicals, although it's gotten almost TOO popular for me.  Does that even make sense?  Kotten Kandy and I have both read the unabridged book.  It's HUGE!  But it makes the musical even better when you have read the story.  I love the message of the musical:  redemption and repentance are possible.
We decided to listen to Grease next.  Why?  Because the music is fun and after listening to such "heavy" musicals we needed to "lighten up."  There is nothing better than jamming to "You're the One That I Want" with your daughter!  (Side note:  Scott said that I reminded him of Olivia Newton John as the innocent Sandy when we got married.)
The Music Man was next on our list.  I know some people are "purest" and like the 1962 film, but my girls and I prefer Matthew Broderick's version in 2003.  It makes us smile and want to sing barbershop!
Sweeney Todd was next.  From happy and innocent to raving mad and scary.  But Kotten Kandy and I think this musical is funny in a sick and twisted way.  Kotten Kandy likes the song from the above picture: "By the Sea."  I like the song about eating priests, and violinists.  It makes me laugh.
We then moved on to Dracula.  Both of us have read this novel also.  The music, especially the violin solos, are haunting and beautiful!  Our favorite song is "The Master's Song" sung by a crazy man named Renfield.  It's, well, crazy.  :-)
We decided to listen to more Andrew Lloyd Webber after Dracula.  So we put in Evita.  I liked Evita before the movie version, but the film cemented my love.  I was surprised how good Madonna was in the movie, but the real reason I like the film = Antonio Banderas.  He can sing, act and has an accent!  He's a triple threat!  I love it when he sings "And the Money Keeps Rolling In."  Kotten Kandy loves the song "What's New Buenas Aires?"
Have you heard of the musical Curtains?  I hadn't.  But I knew David Hyde Pierce starred in it on Broadway, so I purchased the soundtrack.  It's silly and fun!  My favorite song is "We Are a Tough Act to Follow."  Kotten Kandy likes "Show People."
As our quick trip drew to an end, we decided to listen to Oliver.  The 1960s show is still as wonderful as ever in our minds.  But we decided to "recast" it for our own movie (And I hope someone somewhere reads our casting of the show so we can have this musical made professionally.  :-)
Artful Dodger:  Daniel Huttlestone
Fagin:  Sacha Baron Cohen
Mr. Bumble: Johnny Depp
Nancy and/or Nancy's Friend: Anne Hathaway and/or Amy Adams
The rest can be cast by Hollywood!  :-)

So now you know how we travel.  It was loads of fun singing and spending time with my sweet, youngest daughter.  And I LOVE sharing musicals!