Book Fair and School visits

We have been finding some new books at the book fair. It has been fun for everyone, even Brandon, to find some new books. Robin has been my sidekick most of the week when school is out. And Maren has found some new books that she has been reading.


We went over tonight to the middle school for Camille’s portfolio night. We saw her work in science, math, English, and social studies. They have done lots of work this year.

I loved this sign (created by Camille) that I saw in the window of her social studies class. Good words to live by.


Running on empty

This week is the elementary school book fair. I love being involved, and I have two spectacular co-chairwomen. They are really making everything happen. I am grateful to them for their hard work. I had to be gone during the set up of the book fair last week when I went to my uncle’s funeral. Today I had a few appointments I needed to keep and missed a couple hours. But for the most part we are all there most of the day. Tonight we had a cookies and milk night with stories in the library. We all went home exhausted from a full day of work. This pretty much sums up how I feel.



To bed, to bed sleepy head. I have been falling asleep during conversations lately at night. So I am going to head to bed early tonight.

Discovering La Conner

P1020416Jacobsen Women Retreat 2013

Julia    Mary Ann   Sue   Melissa   Kristine   Rachel

Today was a day to discover the small town where our inn was situated. It was the small town of La Conner. In the morning some of us went to a yoga class, while others got neck massages and facials. Then we went for a delicious lunch and afterward went to the river where some of the ladies did some glass blowing.We stopped in many of the shops and book stores. I spent time just reading in a book store about Daring Greatly, overcoming fear and letting ourselves be vulnerable. We had lots of great chats and time for beauty. Rachel gave us all these beautiful scarves. It was cool outside, perfect for wandering and exploring.

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Matching tulip shoes, perfect for the weather and wandering in the fields

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Habit and Home

I seem to read mostly non-fiction these days. I finished two books last night and this morning.


In The Power of Habit I learned about how much of what we do day to day is a complex set of habits. If we have habits we want to break, we can overwrite the old habit and create new habits. It takes effort and creating different responses to daily cues. One habit we have been trying to break around here is some of the negative ways we interact — nagging, criticizing, belittling, general disrespect. We have been trying to form new habits in how we talk to each other. I have seen a lot of progress in trying to turn around what we say from the more negative approach to the positive. We are much happier as we have consciously interacted more kindly and respectfully.

Happier at Home is a follow-up book to The Happiness Project. The author contemplates how the happiness she experiences centers around her home life. She outlines nine areas such as time, parenthood, neighborhood, now, and marriage as areas to make specific goals so that home is a happier place. I enjoy the practical nature of her discoveries about happiness.

Here are a couple other books I have started and are on my nightstand. Again, they are non-fiction. Maybe someone has a good fiction book to recommend to me.


Happy reading!


Saturday Learning

This morning we had our annual Women’s Conference in church. I taught the class on Teaching Kids about Work and Money – Empowerment not Entitlement. I learned so much from teaching and from all the comments and insights from class members. Then I attended a class about how to have a healthy body image. I wanted to attend since I am raising so many daughters. Some insights I gained was to limit negative media exposure, keep a strong relationship to God, avoid comparisons, and to value the amazing ways our bodies are blessings to us. I also believe as women we should not constantly comment to each other about how we look and what we wear, rather focus on the whole person.

Another class today taught about valuing each of our children for their individual qualities and strengths. It is based on a book called The Child Whisperer. It talks about four different personality types  — the sensitive child, the serious child, the determined child, and the social child. By identifying and understanding our children in this way, we can honor their styles and love them and nurture them in those different ways. I believe in that way of viewing individuals, but it is easier said than done. I want to read this book.

This evening we gathered for our cousins’ book club and talked about this book.IMG_1322The book describes some boys in an alternative school for kids with behavioral problems. As the boys struggle to get along in school, the main character discovers each of the boys’ hidden talents — reading minds, foreseeing events, etc. The boys decide to use these “problem” areas as hidden strengths by harnessing how they use them. The main character has the ability to sense people’s weaknesses and make comments that point those out and hurt their feelings. His rude comments antagonize the people around him, especially the teachers. As he discovers his ability to sense people’s sensitive areas, instead of being rude he begins to learn how to tell the truth in positive ways. I felt like this character described me in my teenage years and early 20s. I could give the sarcastic zinger that would make people uncomfortable. I hope I have learned to channel that by instead being sympathetic and understanding of what people are going through.

I have had the chance to read, learn, and have insights today and this week during study and active listening. I love the idea of having our difficulties instead be looked at as gifts that just need to be directed in a positive, empowering way. I want to view my children in this way. Even if we have a different approach, both can be valid and used for good.


Spontaneously this morning while I was talking to two different people, the word “entitled” came up. I was talking with some friends about how to help kids be responsible and learn the value of money and hard work. Tomorrow I am going to be teaching a class about how to teach children to understand how money works, and how to learn to work hard. It is based on this book.


I have been using this system with my kids for a year and a half, and it has really given them ownership and responsibility for money management and earning. I think it is a revolutionary concept to save our children from the trap of entitlement. It will be good to talk and explore that concept with the women attending the workshop tomorrow.

Daily scriptures 2013

Before the new year we were all in Idaho for some Jacobsen family time. We went to church up there, and while I was in Sunday School we talked about the end of the Book of Mormon and Moroni’s writings. I had the inspiration to try something new for our family scripture study for the first half of 2013. It came out of a desire to help some of the middle kids read the Book of Mormon for the first time. I took an hour and outlined the Book of Mormon into daily segments of reading — 3 pages a day to finish the Book of Mormon in half a year.

Erik came up with a great spreadsheet for the seven of us to record our reading.


We read separately, in our own copies of the Book of Mormon, and then we discuss and share what we learned, questions we have, insights, favorite verses, or whatever we want related to that day’s reading. I think this is my favorite family scripture study we have ever done. I love the blend of personal study and sharing together after the personal reading.

Robin is the youngest, so I often read out loud with her in this book.


The helpful thing in this book for Robin are the definitions of hard words and the pictures to illustrate the storyline.


Tonight we learned about how Nephi built a temple like Solomon’s temple. IMG_1242

Here is part of the stack of scriptures. Some of the books are my old scriptures from seminary days or my mission. Some are well marked, others falling apart, all loved and cherished.These are some of the best ten or fifteen minutes of the day, sharing spiritual learning all together.

Always someone reading a book….

I stayed in bed a good part of the day, but I do feel like maybe I have turned a corner on my sickness.  So rest makes a difference.

IMG_1154I have noticed that we enjoy reading around here. If I don’t know where Camille is, she is usually on her bed with a book. Today, she stayed home sick and was up on her bed quite a bit. This is one of the things she is reading right now.


I have never read those books, but I want to some day. Maren has been loving The Little House on the Prairie series. She is reading this one right now.


After she reads every night, she writes in a reading log for school. I found her later reading one of the American Girl books about Felicity, the doll she has. Robin, our book loving first grader, is reading everything she can, but tonight, she was reading a Rainbow Fairy book.


Earlier she was reading the Book of Mormon reader after we did our family scripture reading.


She loves to read!

Sure enough, Brandon was in his room reading before bed. Before Christmas all he wanted was a select group of books and clothes. He got a little more than just that, but he has been enjoying all the books he received, including The Mistborn series.


There are a lot of authors out there with the first name of Brandon these days.

Not only does Nicole study French, but she saw this play in San Francisco a few months ago. And she also loved the movie. She is a definite lover of literature. It has been so fun to talk about the books she is reading, being an old English major and lover of books myself. Some of my favorites that she has read recently — To Kill A Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Help, Jane Eyre, and now Les Misérables. It is the long version; she is enjoying a good, long read.


Erik gave me a few books for Christmas, one being this memoir called One Hundred Names for Love, about a man who is a writer and suffers a stroke including the center for language formation. Good writing so far.


Erik is reading a book I gave him for Christmas that I can’t wait to get a chance to read.


Reading on a slow day helps the time pass more enjoyably.  And I know it helps us think, create, escape, and learn.  There is nothing like a good book.  It is great to have a house full of books and readers.

Peppermint Tea and reading

I woke up this morning with a slight sore throat.  So after I got my day going, kids off to school, breakfast cleaned up, I went right back up to bed with some peppermint tea.



I got a blanket around my shoulders and put another one over my legs and got comfortable with some of the books and magazines that I am studying or have read over the last year.  These are books and scriptures that have been guiding my thoughts and direction the last few months.



I couldn’t start my day off better than reading some scriptures and studying Preach My Gospel and a conference talk from The Ensign.  Starting this blog was inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and Happier at Home.  I have been trying to discover some of my dreams and then pursue them.  Dare, Dream, Do by Whitney Johnson has been a guide in doing that.  Katrina Kenison’s book The Gift of an Ordinary Day inspires me about home and the beauty of family and every day life.  I am thinking of drinking more smoothies, green and fruit ones, inspired by Real Moms Love to Eat and Prevention magazine.  Just a few books and topics on my mind.  Nice to have a quiet morning to read and ponder and think.