Book Review: You Have No Idea

This is a paid review for BlogHer.
I was compensated for this review, but money could never rob me from my truthful opinion.

I will give one lucky and random chosen commenter my dog-eared copy of this book.
Leave me your e-mail address please along with the best advice your mother ever gave you.
I will choose the winner on Mother’s Day.

You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss by Vanessa Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“I was upset. I was frustrated. But I didn’t want to kill myself, as was reported. I look back at stories and headlines written about me at the time. They’d say things like ‘Vanessa’s dark days or Vanessa’s hit rock bottom.’ I knew it would be tough, but I also never doubted I would succeed. When you know this, you don’t have dark days, you don’t hit rock bottom. You just have days when you want to scream at people: ‘You have no idea what I can do!'” I just love this quote by Vanessa no page 66.

Vanessa Williams is an extremely talented American icon. After reading this book, I have no doubt that the reasons she has accomplished all that she has are her determination and confidence, her God-given talent, and her wonderful parents. I really enjoyed this book. I don’t follow pop culture very much, but I remember so vividly when our first black Miss America was robbed of her title. I really enjoyed reading Vanessa’s side of the story. I also enjoyed reading about all that Vanessa has accomplished including Broadway, TV, and a successful recording career: all while also being a caring and involved mother of 4.

Perhaps the best of this book, the part that really made it unique, was that all the stories were told from the perspective of Vanessa and her mother. This was my favorite part. I loved their dynamics, I truly related to their mother/daughter relationship from page 1. When Vanessa was a girl her mother told her to never ride doubles on a bike, she did, and she was severely hurt. Funny, same thing happened to me. Everyone needs a mother like Helen and everyone should listen to her, and if they don’t believe me then they should read this book and learn from Vanessa’s mistakes.

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Little Orphan Annie

While I was growing up,
my sisters and I loved Little Orphan Annie.
We didn’t just like it, we were obsessed with it.
I guess we kind of wished we had a Daddy Warbucks too.
Even though we had great parents,
we wanted Daddy Warbucks’ house.
And Pun-jab.
We also wanted to dance like that
and sing like that.
One thing bothered me about the movie though.
I know, I can only think of one thing. Weird.
Little Orphan Annie’s rat tail.
Imagine my surprise when Caroline was sportin’ the same “do” last night.
I cringed all up inside.
My little girl Alice wanted to brush it and make it right.
Yeah, I am weird.
And a little obsessive.
Even orphans deserve good hair.
Especially if they are on TV.
This video is for my little sister Renee.
I want her to know that I finally forgive her
for placing the VHS Annie in the VCR
with peanut butter all over her hands.
And like Annie taught,
there is always tomorrow.
And this tomorrow we will be watching Annie on DVD.
And the next tomorrow we may even have Blu-Ray.

Did I tell you my new secret obsession?
I want to make Caroline famous.
She deserves to be the modern day Shirley Temple.
She is sooo dang cute.

If we dyed her hair red she could play Rosie.
And if LG lost 80 pounds and grew his hair out he could sooo be Matt Damon.
I guess Abigail will have to play Scarlett Johansen
since I am nowhere near close.
Man, all we need is a zoo.
See it always goes back to Daddy Warbucks.

(We loved the movie by the way,
but beware there is a lot of language)


I guess I better get these Halloween photos up
before Thanksgiving gets here.

Our girls got some killer deals
at K-mart on their costumes.
Sometimes it pays to be late.
50% off plus another 20% off coupon.
Then I got another discount on Abigail’s
because we had to sew a strap on.
I told the girls that we would only spend $5 on each of them.
They gladly subsidized with their own money
so they didn’t have to make their own costumes.
I think we spent a total combined of $30.

I can’t say that I was disappointed
since making our own costumes
would require my help.

I was going to dress Caroline up
as Shirley Temple
but she barely cooperated
for wings,
so what would have been the point?

Have I told you how much of a handful this kid is?
I wonder where she gets it from?
We dumped Caroline back at home with dad
after knocking on the condos
close to home.
Here are the girls out about in the neighborhood
with our two friends Natassja and India.
It seems we should live somewhere more exotic
than Utah
when we have friends with names like that.

I just loved this shot with the pumpkin.
Notice that we use pillowcases
for carrying Halloween candy.
It’s what my mom used to make us do
when we were kids
and the tradition has stuck.
Best costume of the evening.
Obama and his Secret Service agents.
These boys are awesome.
My girls enjoyed following them around the neighborhood
on our perfect weathered evening.

I enjoyed taunting Obama at every door
that us Utahns only give our candy to Republicans
who work for their own stuff.
I’m silly like that.
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We love our Veteran

We were so happy when we got the word
last month
that Uncle Tyler got home
to his base in Italy
safe and sound
from being deployed
We are so grateful for the sacrifices he makes for his countrymen.
We are also grateful for the sacrifices made by his family.
Thank you to all our service people.
You are our nation’s greatest assets.

The thrill of Halloween

Thank you to Laurel for providing the Thriller photos.
Her daughter Sylvia threw an awesome
zombie party a while back.

We were the lucky neighbors
who opened our door to the zombie apocalypse.
Pretty dang freaky.
It’s no wonder somebody called the cops.

The other day, I was driving to the grocery store
with my 8 year old Bella.
Thriller came on the radio.
I turned it up and rocked out.

It was dark outside and we were waiting at the red light. Next to us was a big silver truck. In the passenger seat was a young man between 18 and 20. Driving looked to be his old man. They wore hunting garb. I wouldn’t have noticed them at all if it wasn’t for a silly exchange. They must have been listening to the same radio station because as I turned my monstrous arms towards my driver’s side window in a classic Thriller dance move, the boy stared straight at me and started cracking up. He turned to his old man and said something. The old man veered over and smiled as I sheepishly put my hands back on the wheel.

Bella was instantly mortified. “Man, mom, you even got his dad looking at you!” I laughed and kept enjoying the music, with just a little less subtle dance moves. It was two weeks from Halloween. It was dark outside. The moon was almost full. I had just one of my kids in the car, and Thriller was playing on the radio. What’s not to love? I just had to dance. And sing.

As my daughter’s face was bright red and I continually fought off her attempts at turning off the radio while simultaneously putting forth my subtle Thriller moves, I thought to myself, “These are the mothering moments that I love the most.” The ones that are so easily forgotten unless I write them down.

Yes, it’s moments like these that are the thrill of being a mother. The Thriller moments happen so few and far between. The moments when as a mother I know I am just one big grown-up kid and I am cool! All it took was a mortified 8 year old daughter and two grown hunters to seal the deal.

It’s just the Thriller…..(c’mon you know you want to sing along)

Happy Halloween y’all.
I hope yours is just as thrilling
as I am sure ours will be.
We started the day
with a before dawn wake up call
for costumes, make-up, hot cocoa, and orange eggs.

Don’t forget.
Today is your last day to leave a comment 
for a chance to win my copy of the book
Lunch Wars.
Please eat all your Halloween candy in honor of Amy Kafala.
She will love it.

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I have funny friends.
They make my facebook world wondrous.
Here are some great shares from this morning.
They are telling about American life.
 Even American Chinese food isn’t always safe.
 Health departments nationwide
are having an influx of crazies and marital strife.
Cookie monster says get your own job
and pay for your own cookies.

What I love about Mormonism

If you know me personally
or have been reading my blog
for any given amount of time
you are right to guess
that this is going to be a long post.
There are so many reasons
I love my church.

I love The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints.
There are so many reasons why,
but the main reason is that is makes so much sense.
Intellectually, I have not found another religion that answers my questions
about the universe as well as mine does.

Another reason I love my church is
I believe it to be exactly what it claims:
The Church
Jesus Christ.

My 18 months as a full-time missionary
teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ
harbor some of my fondest memories.

Lately, the Mormons have been receiving a lot of national attention
due to Pastor Jeffress’
claims that we are an Un-Christian cult.
(btw – this is not a new mindset.
Many people agree with Jeffress)

I thank the First Baptist Church of Mayview
for their disagreement
in church sign form.
You know how I love the church sign.

Here is another Baptist church sign.
It’s not as supportive.
Yet it’s funny.

I was recently impressed with this news story in Knoxville.
Thank you to WATE and my favorite reporter Josh Ault
for reporting the Mormon side of the issue.
Normally in the Bible belt,
Mormons aren’t given much of a voice,
so this story was emotional to me.

All kinds of people have stepped up
to stand with the Mormons
in our claim that we are Christian.

Some of my favorites have been
a Catholic reporter from Florida
who claims to not have attended church in 45 years,
but says 
even though he could never 
give up coffee and alcohol to become a Mormon
if in need of spiritual guidance
he would
go to our own
spiritual giant
over some judgemental
and closed minded Baptist preacher any day.
(his own words)

Each of these stories were touching to me.
You see, I lived in Knoxville TN
for the past 8 years of my life.
And every day I had to defend my claim
to be a true Christian.

It’s not the first time that politics have brought attention to the church.
I recently heard JFK’s address from
way back when at
the Mormon tabernacle in Salt Lake City
and fell even more in love with the man.

A while back I sent an e-mail to a friend about my beliefs.
I kept feeling God nudging me to do so. 
It didn’t turn out so well.
She got upset with me and I felt really bad.
I don’t go through my days trying to offend people,
but I do try to follow the voice of God on a daily basis.

After her e-mails condemning me and my church
I took comfort in the verse of the Bible that talks about
how Christ was persecuted so why should we not be persecuted for His sake?

I can honestly say that I don’t know of any church out there
that  today receives more persecution than mine?
It’s funny because in a way that is an even greater testimony builder for me.

I know I open a can of worms here,
and I know that I lose readers on my blog
because I talk openly about my faith,
but I choose to lose readers
because when this life is over
and God asks me about my blog,
I want to look at him with a clear conscience
when I say that I tried to make every aspect
of my life a testament to Him.

Here are some of the doctrines I love the most about my faith, straight from The Holy Bible.

1 Peter 5:22(Mine is the only church that I know of that no one receives any money for filling a ministry) aFeed the bflock of God which is among you, taking thecoversight thereof, not by constraint, but dwillingly; not for efilthyflucre, but of a ready mind

John 20:17 (Jesus and His Father are seperate) Jesus saith unto her, aTouch me not; for I am not yetbascended to my cFather: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my dFather, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

John 17  (Why would Jesus pray to His father if they weren’t distinct individuals?) The Intercessory Prayer

Amos 3:7 (God designed a pattern of dealing with his children on earth by calling prophets if he is the same forever why would he change that?) Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he brevealeth hiscsecret unto his servants the dprophets.

1 Corinthians 15:29 (baptism for the dead – do you know any other church who practices it)  Else what shall they do which are abaptized bfor the dead, if the dead crise not at all? why are they then baptized for the ddead?

1 Corinthians 15:40-41 (three degrees of glory compared to the sun moon and stars – any other church you know of talk about this) aThere are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the bcelestial is one, and the glory of the cterrestrial is another. There is one glory of the asun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the bstars: for one star cdiffereth fromanother star in dglory.

Hebrews 5:5-6 (Do you know any other church that has the lesser priesthood Aaronic and the higher priesthood Melchizedek?)And no man taketh this ahonour unto himself, but he that isbcalled of God, as was cAaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my aSon, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a apriest bfor ever after the order of cMelchisedec.
Malachi 4 (this talks about the prohet Elijah appearing to open the work of sealing – the hearts of the children turned to their fathers – sealings can only be performed in God’s temple – do you belong to a church with a temple? What if I told you that Elijah already appeared and that this work was already happening preparing the way for the Second Coming? You wouldn’t believe it because it is just way too spectacular, right?) Behold, I will asend you bElijah the prophet cbefore the coming of the dgreat and dreadful eday of the Lord:And he shall aturn the bheart of the cfathers to the dchildren, and the heart of the echildren to their fathers, lest I come and fsmitethe gearth with a hcurse.

Here is another little ditty that has been in my filing cabinet for years.
If it doesn’t get you thinking, I don’t know what will.

The true church must have the same organization as Christ’s Church (Ephesians 4:11-14)
The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20)
The true church must claim divine authority (Hebrews 5:4)
The true church must baptize by immersion (Matthew 3:13-16)
The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)
The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)
The true church must be a missionary church (Matthew 28:19-20)
By their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20)
The fruits:
I don’t know of any other church that has grown as fast. From 1 to 12 million members in 200 years.
I don’t know of any other church that gives as much community service or humanitarian service.
I don’t know any other church that has teenage kids that go to Bible study at 6 am on school days worldwide.
I don’t know of any other church with 10’s of thousands of missionaries serving throughout the world at any given time.
I know a whole lot of really good people (the best) who are members of my church.
I don’t know of any other church that is completely run by unpaid volunteers.
I don’t know of any other church that teaches self-reliance and emergency preparedness like mine.
Our church welfare system is a-maz-ing. Heads of states and countries look to it as an ideal.
Mormons are known for their focus on family and the strength of their families.
How about that Mormon Tabernacle choir?

Anyhow, that is probably enough for today. I could go on and on about all the great things about my church. I could sit here for weeks and talk scripture and philosophy, but if I know one thing it is that when it comes to God, nothing can teach a person better than the Holy Ghost. He testifies of all truth. So I will leave you with the testimony that I have gained through the power of The Holy Ghost. I have prayed, fasted, and studied diligently to receive answers from God, ever since I was a kid. My testimony is a culmination of my life’s efforts and with this I will leave you.

My testimony is this
I do belong to The Church of Jesus Christ
I believe that Christ’s original church was lost in apostasy
when Christ himself was crucified and all of his original apostles were murdered.

I believe that this same Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind,
appeared to a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith
in a grove of trees in upstate New York in 1820.
Jesus Christ told Joseph Smith to join no existing church
because as prophesied they all draw close with their hearts but not with their hearts.
Christ then called Joseph Smith to be a modern day prophet
and modern day prophets have been on the earth ever since then.
I listen intently to the words of these living prophets and apostles every 6 months
and try to change my actions according to the counsel that they give.
They are truly inspired leaders and testify of Christ in word and deed.

I get mocked for these beliefs,
but I could never deny them
because my religion is true.
The Holy Ghost testifies this to me repeatedly.

We are nicknamed Mormons because we have The Book of Mormon,
The Book of Mormon is a second witness of Jesus Christ
and takes nothing from the Bible but adds to it.
It is through the teachings of both the Bible and The Book of Mormon
that I have tried to build my life on the rock, who is Christ.
One of the scriptures in The Book of Mormon prophesies of a day
when people would say, “Bible Bible, we’ve got a bible”, as an argument
against The Book of Mormon,
but to me all one needs to do is consider that 
The New Testament built on the Old Testament
and think about the hundreds of sects that 
all believe differently from that same Bible
to know that additional revelation is needed for clarification.

I believe that one of the greatest blessings I have
as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ,
besides eternal salvation through Christ,
is that my family has been sealed together
for time and all eternity
in the temple of the Lord.
I can’t imagine living a day
without this knowledge.
It buoys me up
and has helped so many
stand strong in faith
after they’ve lost a loved one.

Most of all, I believe in Christ.
He is my King. He is my Jesus.
He lives. He is my best friend.
He has given me a flawless example
of how to live my life
and he atoned for my sins
by giving His own life.
He thought of me and my struggles
and worries while he bled from every pore
in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He suffered so I don’t have to.
I have witnessed Jesus Christ work miracles in my life
and the lives of many others
and I would be lost without Him,
in this mortal life and in the immortal life to come.

Grandma, why can’t I wear bloomers?

Abigail won an award at school
for this project.
I have found it interesting how her ideas
keep showing up all over the internet.

What a smart girl.









I guess we are only partially American,
because Abigail is never really wearing that,
even if the rest of America is.

Modest is hottest.

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Thanks Sheila for the youtube share.
Love this video.

Thank you Steve

“Thank you Steve” has been trending all day.
Here is my thanks.

Thank you Steve for being such a visionary.
You believed in technology and its ability
and you also believed in something of even greater importance:
you believed in the contributions that only you could give
in unlocking technology’s potential.

It doesn’t take a genius to measure what you’ve done,
but anyone who was a child of the 80’s or before
has a better grasp of what life would be like without you.

For example, if it were not for what you started Steve,
I wouldn’t have found out about your death for another few days.
The blog post that I read this morning announcing you were gone
probably would not have been there without you.

Without Twitter,
I would not have the slightest idea about
the Westboro Baptist church
who plans to picket at your funeral.
I guess they are a bunch of whackos.
At least that is what all of America is saying.
They also think that you should be greatly flattered
that they are giving you so much attention.
Negative attention via their i-phones.
The shame.
I think you probably think that is rather funny.

Without facebook,
I would not have known that you were so ill
that you stepped down
from your position at Apple
weeks ago.

The Angry Bird references this past weekend
at our church’s worldwide conference
would have left my church members with one less laugh.
Yes, you had your part there too Steve.

The games that my 2 year old begs to play on her dad’s phone
would probably also be null and void,
as well as her ability to navigate the touch screen.

The i-tunes card that my daughter won
for her entry into The U.S. Constitution art contest
would not be the coolest prize in the world,
even though it sits in her room
awaiting Santa to bring her that ITouch she really
really really really wants for Christmas.

Most important to me Steve are the memories.
I can envision as plain as yesterday
the times when as a young girl
I would sit at my dad’s McIntosh
in total awe.
Could something really be this cool and easy?
And we had one in our house?

It was a 2.1 or something like that. I really have no idea what it was,
but it was a dinosaur and all we did on it was word process and play tetris.
It had a floppy drive that was pretty fancy.
I had no idea what the disks actually did, but I liked to put them in
and click the button of the newly invented mouse to make the diskette come back out.

You see, my dad had eagerly learned
the new technology at his office in downtown SanDiego
and brought his training home to his seven children.
He created us each a folder with our name
and would be so frustrated when he would find saved documents everywhere but our folders.
Personally, I think he liked feeling like the hero when we were repeatedly relieved
that he was able to find everything we saved in no man’s land.

Without you Steve, at this very moment,
I would not be sitting at my PC
writing about you for the world to see
at their leisure.

Because I would be stuck writing a letter
by hand to my local newspaper.
Or I would just keep all my sadness to myself.

Steve Jobs, you changed the way we live our lives.
As a nation and a world,
because of you,
we are more connected, informed, and intelligent.
What more can I say than that?
You changed the world my friend.
You changed every person in the world.
Not very many people can say that.
It must be so awesome to gain a new perspective
and sit up in heaven to see how it all played out.

After I go on google and find one of your best quotes,
paste it into a google image via google picasa,
I will then
publish this post,
and finish it off by
linking it up on my twitter and facebook.
The world will read it.

And I will be sit at home
playing tetris for the next hour.
And then our family will watch every Pixar video.
In your honor Steve.
Rest in peace my favorite online friend.

Here are some must watches.
Did you know that Steve Jobs was adopted?

Funny Politics

Dear Mitt Romney,
I know I helped you last time,
even though you never acknowledged it.
Not only did I tell 
about my support,
but I gave you a whole whoppin $10
which I am sure was used ever so wisely,
seeing as how you can still
afford to campaign a second time around.
But since 2008,
I have become disenchanted with US politics.

So please tell your family members to stop
e-mailing me to ask me for money.
Thank you very much,

I have always loved political cartoons.
Here are a few more current.
You can call these political photo pins.

This is a picture of one of the oldest politicians.
How he got his head up there upside down is beyond me.
Maybe it was decapitated by his constituents and then shoved back up.

Please feel free to share your funniest joke at any politician’s expense.