Monday, March 28, 2011

Kiki Halbert CT Call

As y'all probably already know, I am on Kiki Halbert's CT.  I've only been on her team for a few months, but I've been a fan for longer.  Now, you may be wondering is there a reason why I am bringing this up or am I just talking to hear myself talk.  Well, there is a reason.  I am here to share with you a chance to join me on Kiki Halbert's CT.  That's right Kiki Halbert is having a call for layout artists.

The call runs through April 10th.  And the requirements are simple.  One layout per kit or element/paper pack that you download and post to three galleries.  You also need to create one blog gift for month, but you aren't actually required to create the blog post.

Kiki has two lines of scrapping products.  At Scrapbook Elements, she designs under her own name, Kiki Halbert.  She also has a line of digiscrapping product at FunkyPlaygroundDesigns under the name Recherche by KH Designs.

Both lines are super easy to work with.  And her kits are very versatile, so that you can work with them no matter who your favorite scrapping subject may be.

Do you think you are ready to apply.  Then go ahead and send an email to  The subject line should read "CT Call" and please include the following info in your application.
  • Your Name
  • A short bio
  • Your Current Creative Teams
  • Best Gallery
  • A little note about why you want to join Kiki's team
I sure hope some of y'all decided to apply.  I'd love to work with you on the team.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Project 52 - Giving it a Try

In both 2009 and 2010, I attempted to do Project 365. With both attempts, I gave up by the end of February. I was just not successful at snapping a photo every single day.

As 2011 approached, I planned to do a Project 52 with a goal to take at least one photo a week. That seemed imminently doable. But 2011 got off to a very rocky start and the project never got underway. I'll have to admit that 2011 is still not a banner year, but it is time for me to get my project underway.

I am going to begin my project on April 3, 2011 (cause it's a Sunday). I'd really like to see myself get a picture a day. But if I set that as my goal and I miss a day (which I would), then I know I will give up completely. So, my official goal is a photo a week.

Of course, I will be sharing my photos and layouts (cause you know there will be both) right here on my blog. I'm really looking forward to getting back in the swing of taking lots of photos. In fact, I decided to get some practice in at grabbing a shot whenever I can by taking some photos during lunch at the park on Tuesday. Here is my favorite.

So does anyone want to join me on April 4th and get started on Project 52? If so, let me know in the comments. Please include the location where you are sharing your photos so that I can follow your new project.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kiki Halbert - Designer of the Month

Did you know that Kiki Halbert is currently the Designer of the Month at Scrapbook Elements?  You didn't?  Well, I was afraid that might be the case, so I am here to make sure you heard about it.

Because Kiki is designer of the month, she is celebrating with a 30% off sale on selected kits (you can find the kits in the Designer of the Month section).  In addition, if you stop by her blog, the CT is celebrating by giving out freebies this week to all of Kiki's fans.

Did you know that Kiki Halbert also has a Facebook fan page?  Became a fan you can know when the next blog freebie becomes available.

I'd also recommend adding Kiki Halbert's blog to your favorite blog reader.  It's regularly updated with recipe cards, tutorials, new product announcements and the occasional freebie.

Are you like me and cannot get enough of Twitter?  Then following Kiki Halbert on Twitter is another great way to see what she is up to now.

Are you ready to come celebrate with Kiki?  Then head on over to the blog because the first freebie is already available.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Music for a Sunday

First, let me say that I love listening to music. I love how you can choose songs that really match your feelings or songs to help you forget why feel the way you do. Music really has such power. And that is never more true than it is on Sunday. Which is why I wanted to share some of my favorite music for a Sunday.

If I was allowed to redo Sacrament meeting, we would probably have speakers once a month. The rest of the time, it would be all about the music. Music really helps me to feel the Spirit. And I know that is not true of just myself, but many people. So for today, I thought I would just share some of my favorite spiritually uplifting songs.

This first song is one of my favorite hymns, even though it is not found in the LDS hymnal (although I wish it were). It is Amazing Grace. This is such a beautiful song and the Celtic Women did such a good job with it (not surprisingly, they have such beautiful voices).

Another favorite of mine is O Divine Redeemer. Now I know why this is not in any hymnal. It is a beautiful song, but not easy to sing. (When I was in the MTC, I was part of a choir that sang this song (yes, anybody could be in the choir lol) when the MTC president's term was over and it was his favorite song and I can tell you this is a hard song to sing. (Although the MTC choir did a beautiful job that day.) Here it is being sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and as always, the choir does a wonderful job.

The final song that I am sharing today is Beautiful Savior. I wish I had a recording of our Junior Primary singing this today during music time. I would just play that cause they sang so beautifully. Since I don't, I am using the performance by a children's choir during General Conference.

Honestly, I could sit here all day and share favorite pieces. Alas, I don't have time and y'all would quit listening before I got to the end. So, to wrap up I just want to share some of my favorite groups/artists for uplifting music.

Kenneth Cope
Dallyn Vail Bayles
Jars of Clay
Mercy River

Tell me, who are your "go to" artists/groups when you are looking for uplifting music?  I'm always looking for new music, so I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Come Scrap with Me

Right now, I am currently hosting two challenges at FunkyPlaygroundDesigns. I have a template challenge going on until 3/25 and a scraplift challenge going on until 3/31.

For the template challenge, we are using this wonderful template created by Michelle Batton Designs.

And here's my layout using the template.

The layout was created using Mother Nature, which is one of the FunkyPlaygroundDesigns collabs.

For the scraplift challenge, we are lifting Easter Goofball from SmallMoments.  Remember when scraplifting, you don't have to duplicate the entire layout.  Just use what inspires you.  Is it the colors?  Then use those colors.  Do you like picture placement?  Then use the same placement.  Remember, it's your scraplift. 

Here is my take on her layout.

I created this layout using Well Suited by Trixie Scraps and Spinkydink Scraps. 

I hope to see y'all come join me in at least one of the challenges.  Of course, I'd love to see y'all participate in both.  Remember, you can win a coupon for $5.00 to FunkyPlaygroundDesigns collab store.

I hope the rest of your weekend is full of peace, relaxation and a chance to scrap.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Healer's Art - Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi

This morning before church, I read a wonderful talk on the healing power of Christ's Atonement from Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi of the Seventy and knew I wanted to share it. This talk was the perfect way to begin my Sunday.  I am now going to make it my goal to begin every Sunday by heading over to and reading a new talk.  It really helped prepare me for church.

The talk speaks for itself, so I am not going to spend a lot of time discussing the contents of the talk.  However, I have highlighted some of my favorite parts.  I hope you enjoy the talk as much as I did.

The Healer's Art

"The Savior can heal wounded hearts, misunderstanding, and hatred if we look to His word and His Atonement.

In August 1978 I received an assignment to attend a stake conference in Seoul, South Korea. After priesthood leadership meeting, I was in the hallway when a sister about 60 years old whispered in my ear in Japanese, “I don’t like Japanese people.”

I was shocked and surprised. I turned around and responded in Japanese, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” I wondered what she had experienced in her life that caused her to feel that way. What damage had my people done to her people?

In my talk during the evening session of stake conference, I spoke of the Savior’s Atonement and His great sacrifice. I shared with stake members the story of Nephi and how the Spirit of the Lord took him to a high mountain. There he saw the tree of life, which his father, Lehi, had seen, and there he saw the baby Jesus (see 1 Nephi 11:1–20). Then an angel asked him if he knew the meaning of the tree his father had seen in vision.

Nephi answered, “Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.” The angel added, “Yea, and the most joyous to the soul” (1 Nephi 11:22–23).

The love of God can help us overcome all prejudice and misunderstanding. We are truly God’s children, and we can take His love into our souls if we will.

Savior, may I learn to love thee,
Walk the path that thou hast shown,
Pause to help and lift another,
Finding strength beyond my own.

Who Am I to Judge Another?

Without planning to, I began to share my connection with the Korean people. I told the congregation that I had grown up with nine Korean cousins. They came to our home, and my siblings and I often went to their homes. I ate Korean food and learned Korean songs. My aunt married a wonderful Korean man. They raised their children in Japan, in the same town where I grew up.

In the middle of my talk, I asked someone to play the piano as I sang a Korean folk song with President Ho Nam Rhee, the first stake president in South Korea. Then I asked President Rhee to help me sing the Korean national anthem, though I hadn’t sung it since my boyhood. It had been a long time since I had learned it from my Korean uncle, but the words came back to me. I then asked the congregation to sing it with me. They all stood and sang their beautiful national anthem. Many tears were shed, and it was hard for me to sing. A wonderful and sweet spirit prevailed.

I told the members of the stake that just as I loved my Korean cousins, I also loved them—because we are all God’s children, because we are all brothers and sisters in the gospel, and because of the love of God (see 1 Nephi 11:22, 25). We all felt that eternal love, and almost everyone in the congregation wept. I told them, “I love you as my brothers and sisters in the gospel.”

After the evening session had ended, stake members made a long line to greet me. The last person in line was the 60-year-old Korean sister, who came to me with tears in her eyes and apologized. The Spirit of the Lord was strong. The Savior’s healing wings carried all of us, and the spirit of peace spoke to the congregation. I felt as one with them.

Who am I to judge another
When I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can’t see.

Your Message Changed My Thinking

I was called as a member of the Seventy in 1977. Since then I have had the privilege of visiting hundreds of stakes. After one priesthood leadership meeting in Taylorsville, Utah, a large man approached me and whispered that his brother had been killed during World War II and that he hated Japanese people. Following the stake conference, however, this same man approached me with tears in his eyes. Crying for joy, he gave me a hug because I had shared my conversion story and my love for Americans and it had touched him.

On another occasion a sister approached me at a stake conference in Georgia, USA, and said she had lost her father in World War II. But after the meeting she said to me, “I have to apologize to you. Because my father was killed by Japanese people, I have harbored hatred in my heart.” Then she said, “You told us that your father was also killed during the war, but later you accepted the gospel, which changed your life. And now you are telling us that you love us. I am ashamed of myself. Though I was born in the Church, I have felt hatred toward your people even to this day. But your message has changed my thinking.”

I have had so many similar experiences. I have been able to meet many people, and because of the gospel, we are able to love and understand each other.

All of My Guilt Has Been Taken Away

A few years later at a devotional held following a visit to Adam-ondi-Ahman, the supervisor of service missionaries in the area asked me to share the story of my conversion. I did so and then thanked the couples attending the devotional for preparing their children to serve missions and for figuratively sending them to my door.

As I shook hands and prepared to leave, the supervisor spoke up. “Before we dismiss this meeting,” he said, “I have a personal confession to make.” I don’t remember his exact words, but in essence he said:

“As you know, I served my country as a U.S. Marine while I was a young man. While serving, I killed many Japanese soldiers. I thought I had served my country faithfully, but for many years, whenever I saw Orientals, particularly Japanese people, I experienced great depression. Sometimes I could not even function. I visited with Church authorities and discussed my feelings with professional counselors.

“Today, when I faced Elder and Sister Kikuchi and their son, a flash of memory returned. But then I listened to Elder Kikuchi share his testimony and conversion story, his love for the Lord and the gospel, and his love for each of us. He said he had hated Americans and American soldiers but that the gospel had changed his life through the Lord’s healing power. When I heard this, I also seemed to hear a voice from the Lord saying, ‘It is finished. It is OK.’”

He put his hands outward, raised them, and said, with tears in his eyes, “All of my guilt has been taken away. My burden is lifted!”

He came to me and hugged me. Then our wives approached, and we all hugged each other and wept.

I have learned that the Savior can heal wounded hearts, misunderstanding, and hatred if we look to His word and His Atonement. He heals us the same way He healed the Israelites of serpent bites (see Numbers 21:8–9; 1 Nephi 17:41; Alma 33:19–21). It is “the pleasing word of God … which healeth the wounded soul” (Jacob 2:8), and it is “with his stripes [that] we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5; Mosiah 14:5).

I would be my brother’s keeper;
I would learn the healer’s art.
To the wounded and the weary
I would show a gentle heart.

I’ll Give You 10 Minutes

I was born in a small community on the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan. When I was five years old, my father was killed by an attack from an American submarine. As a little boy I became bitter toward Americans. I grew up that way, not really knowing what had happened to cause the war.

When I graduated from junior high school, we were so poor. My mother could not afford to send me to senior high school, so I decided to go to work in order to fund my continued education. There was no work in our small village, but I found a job producing tofu (bean curd) nine hours away from home in Muroran, where my mother was raised.

Every day in Muroran I got up by 4:30 a.m., made tofu until noon, and then delivered it to various stores until 6:00 p.m. After work I washed, changed, ate, and ran to night school. I returned home about 10:30 p.m. and jumped into bed at 11:00 p.m. Because of my exhausting schedule, I soon lost all of my energy and became ill.

I was staying in the tofu shop owner’s home, but I quit my job and asked my uncle to take me in so I could finish my first year of high school. Despite medication, I remained sick. I didn’t know what to do, and I became desperate and felt that I might be dying. I prayed hard, saying, “If there is a God, wilt Thou bless me that I might be able to get well.” Then I prayed something somewhat presumptuous: “If I am cured, I want to repay Thee.”

While I was at my uncle’s home, two foreigners knocked at the door early one evening. They were missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One, Elder Law—the senior companion—had been a farmer in St. Anthony, Idaho, USA; the other, Elder Porter—a new elder—was from Salt Lake City. It was cold, rainy, and nearly dark, and they were ready to go home. But for some reason they persisted in knocking on doors.

When they knocked on my door, I was alone. I answered the door and said, “No, thank you.”

These young men were humble and persistent, but I said again, “No, thank you.” Then I added, “You folks killed my father.” I was still bitter.

Undeterred, the elder from Idaho asked my age. I said, “What does my age matter? Please go.”

He replied, “I want to tell you a story about a boy your age who saw your Heavenly Father and your Savior, Jesus Christ. We want to share that story.” I almost froze at the door.

I said, “I’ll give you 10 minutes.”

Those 10 minutes touched me deeply and changed my life. The story the missionaries shared was so profound and beautiful. I found out that I am a child of God and that I came from Him.

The elders came every day because I was sick. During their discussions with me, the missionaries taught me the beautiful gospel of the Restoration. I found my Savior. The gospel gave me hope and the will to live. A few weeks after the missionaries knocked on my door, I was baptized.

Savior, may I love my brother
As I know thou lovest me,
Find in thee my strength, my beacon,
For thy servant I would be.
Savior, may I love my brother—
Lord, I would follow thee.

The healing power of God is magnificent, profound, and beautiful. I thank Him for His mercy, His love, and His miraculous heavenly healing. I thank Him for the reality of the Savior’s Atonement, which by His grace “provides the power to wash away sins, to heal, and to grant eternal life.” 2

I testify that Alma’s words to Zeezrom in the Book of Mormon are true: “If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed” (Alma 15:8).

To Be True Disciples
“I am told that racial slurs and denigrating remarks are sometimes heard among us. I remind you that no [one] who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. …

“We are members of the Church of our Lord. We have an obligation to Him as well as to ourselves and others.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “The Need for Greater Kindness,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 58, 60.

Love One Another

“Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: ‘If you judge people, you have no time to love them.’ The Savior has admonished, ‘This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.’ I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer—with Mother Teresa: no, we cannot.”

President Thomas S. Monson, “Charity Never Faileth,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 124.

He heals us the same way He healed the Israelites of serpent bites. It is “the pleasing word of God … which healeth the wounded soul,” and it is “with his stripes [that] we are healed.”

The healing power of God is magnificent, profound, and beautiful. I thank Him for His mercy, His love, and His miraculous heavenly healing."

I hope you enjoyed this talk as much as I did. I hope this was a wonderful Sunday and that you have a great week ahead of you.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Roku Box

My deepest desire is to go Over the Air (OTA) and Over The Top (OTT) for watching television.  In other words, I want to cut the Comcast cord.  The problem is that I live pretty far from all of the network towers, except for ABC.  I wish that wasn't the case, because the ABC HD channel looks so good OTA because it is not being compressed before being sent to me.

About a week and half ago, received my Roku XDS box from Amazon.  I was pumped when it finally arrived because I've been wanting one for some time.  And my initial impression was positive.  I loved the small size.  It's just so cute.

Getting it hooked to the TV was easy.  Getting all the channels chosen was time consuming.  (Click here to see a list of available channels.)  That took most of the evening.  But we did have time to watch a little television once we were done.

One thing I really liked on that first evening was the fact that once a show gets buffered, it doesn't have to keep re-buffering.  That was a nice change of pace.  And the wifi is strong.  We have the Roku box in our bedroom and it can be hard to pickup the wifi signal in that room.  The Roku box hasn't had any problems.

We've installed more channels than we have had a chance to use.  But so far I have been very impressed.  The video looks good and it is easy to use.

I only have two complaints.  One, I wish there were more channels.  But I know that Roku is adding channels at a pretty good clip so I can be patient.  My other problem is that I wish there was some sort of guide telling me what was available to watch on the different channels rather than having to go to each channel to see what is available.

I am very glad we finally got the Roku Box.  We have used it every day since we received it and it has been well worth the money.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Dumplin - My Lovebird

I post layouts about my dogs a lot. But I'm afraid you don't get many layouts about my feathered kids. Mostly cause they are uncooperative picture takers.  But I do have a layout for you today that features my lovebird Dumplin. Isn't she a cutie?

Dumplin is actually my second lovebird. My first lovebird was named Valentine. I got her shortly after David and I married. We had to wait a couple of weeks from the time I chose her to come pick her up. We picked her up on the Friday before October 2001 General Conference. We had a blast that weekend, she sang along with all the music. We spent as much time together as possible. On Monday morning she died. I have no idea why. Having talked to some breeders, I suspect she was sick when we picked her up. I was devastated. And it was months before I would find another lovebird.

In February 2002, Dumplin came in to my life. She actually reverted to needing to be handfed when we first brought her home. I did it for about two weeks and I think that is why we are so close. In my layout, it says almost nine years but I guess it has been a little over nine years. I love Dumplin very much and I am so glad to have her in my life.

This layout was created using It's a Lovely Day from Merkeley Designs. You can find It's a Lovely Day at OScraps and I think this is a beautiful kit for scrapping your spring photos. And I know there are a lot of you out there more than ready for Spring.

I want to thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Come Join the Playground Peeps

Over at FunkyPlaygroundDesigns, we are having a call for one of our site CTs, the Playground Peeps.

(And if you can't read the image, here are the requirements for the Playground Peeps.)

we're looking for a few creative, outgoing individuals to join the Playground Peeps from April 1 through June 30

.....the requirements.....
create one layout with our store collab each month
host one forum challenge each month
co-host one speed scrap/chat during the three-month period
advertise our storewide sales and promotions
be active in our community on a weekly basis apply.....
send an email to
please include the following information:
your real name
your forum username
other creative teams you are on
links to your blog, twitter and facebook accounts
a bit about yourself & why you want to join the Peeps


I've been on the FunkyPlaygroundDesigns team for a year now. And let me tell you, I have really enjoyed being part of the site. Michelle Batton, the owner, is a sweetheart (and one of the great designers selling at FPD). The forums are busy. The gallery is filled with inspiring layouts. And there are some amazing designers selling in the store.

We are looking to put together a team that wants to have fun, promote all the activities and sales going on at FPD, be active in the forums and help FunkyPlaygroundDesigns continue to be an awesome place to hang out and shop. If you are ready to give us hand, then please send us an email and apply. (Yes, I know that is the scary part. lol)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Charity - Pure Love of Christ

This afternoon I've been thinking about what it means to be a Christian.  To truly act as a follower of Christ would act.  Because there are some self professed Christians that do not seem to understand this concept.

Due to my own lack of perfection, I am not even going to begin to tell anyone how a true follower of Christ should act.  However, I have been studying this topic today and just wanted to share a a bit of what I have been reading this afternoon.

1 Corinthians 13
 1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
 4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
 13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Moroni 7:47
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. 
The Great Commandment by Joseph B. Wirthlin
This was my favorite talk from my study this afternoon.  It is one of the most amazing talks on Charity that I have every read/heard.  I highly recommend taking the time to read it.

Here's one quote from the talk.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation. It takes us as men and women of the earth and refines us into men and women for the eternities.

The means of this refinement is our Christlike love. There is no pain it cannot soften, no bitterness it cannot remove, no hatred it cannot alter. The Greek playwright Sophocles wrote: “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”

The most cherished and sacred moments of our lives are those filled with the spirit of love. The greater the measure of our love, the greater is our joy. In the end, the development of such love is the true measure of success in life.
Charity Never Faileth by Thomas S. Monson

This is my favorite quote from the talk.
Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life.
Love of Christ by C. Max Caldwell

I like this talk because it addresses three different aspects of "Love of Christ".  I still remember how much I liked this talk back when it was given.
  1. Love for Christ
  2. Love from Christ
  3. Love like Christ
This is just something that has really been on my mind this evening. Thank you for taking a moment to read my post. I hope you had a wonderful Sunday and will have an even better week.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Another Wedding Layout

Anyone who looks at my layout gallery knows that I love to scrap my wedding photos. And I am particularly lucky, because I own the negatives, which allows me to post layouts using the photos that were taken on my wedding day by Bee Creative Photography. And yes, I've been at it again. Here is my most recent layout using one of my wedding photos.

The kit I used for this layout is Sophistication from the designers at FunkyPlaygroundDesigns. I think this kit just has such a great romantic feel to it.

And right now, through March 9th, you can get Sophistication for 50% off the regular price. I don't know about you, but I love a great 50% off deal. So don't pass this one up.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Kiss me, I'm Irish

March is always a great time to brag about your Irish heritage.  And that is exactly what I did in this layout using Happy Go Lucky from Amanda Carlson, Michelle Batton and Misty O'Brien.

Want to celebrate your Irish heritage?  Or just celebrate St. Patrick's Day?  Then Happy Go Lucky is the perfect kit for scrapping photos of all the fun.

Looking for a good deal?  Happy Go Lucky is the March FWP kit.  Spend $12 at FunkyPlaygroundDesigns and receive Happy Go Lucky for free.