Webinar on the Importance of a Liberal Arts Education

Here is a recording of the webinar my friend Olivia did for our meeting last week to spread the word about Altus Family Liber School of Tucson, Arizona. It is wonderful! I learned so much from it!

I encourage you to watch it, even if you:

  1. Think you know every thing there is to know about a liberal arts/Thomas Jefferson Education (TJED)/leadership education.
  2. Know nothing about the liberal arts/TJED/ leadership education.
  3. Don’t think you care about the liberal arts/TJED/leadership education.

In the webinar, Olivia tells some some fascinating stories that leave me wondering about how I can better ensure that my children are not just highly trained and skilled, but are truly educated in God’s way, which is the way of freedom and noble character. She tells stories to illustrate the difference between being highly trained and poorly educated versus being highly trained and highly educated. I find the difference fascinating! I invite you to watch and learn more about a liberal arts education. I have posted some video clips from some of the stories she shares in the webinar.

The above clip is John Adams in the courtroom involving the Boston massacre trial.

The clip below is from the bathroom speech scene from the movie Hidden Figures.

Then here is a video summary of the Melanie Bailey story that Olivia referred to. These are all so inspiring!

What can we do to help our children be like these courageous people? What education can we create for our children that fosters the character and empathy of John and Melanie, and discourages ignorance and apathy?




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Webinar on Thomas Jefferson Education Thurs. May 4

Heads up to all parents who want a change in their child’s education! My friend Olivia Votaw, former public school teacher turned homeschooling mom, will present a webinar on Thursday May 4 at 7 PM Arizona time all about the Thomas Jefferson Education philosophy.

The purpose of this meeting is to gather up families interested in participating in a community school based on the Thomas Jefferson Education philosophy. Olivia is leading a TJED-based family school here in southern AZ, but if you aren’t in this area, you might be able to find a school already running in your area. My three oldest kids, ages 19 to 23, all “graduated” from a TJED-based once-a-week scholar project school (Liber Academy) and they each had a fantastic experience! I found it was the perfect fit for what they needed in growing their reading and writing skills and gave them a social outlet. It also gave me a place to connect with other like-minded parents with lots of opportunities for my intellectual growth. I have so many fond memories of book discussions with the other parents!

So on May 4 please join us at 7 PM Arizona time either by phone or internet using the information below. Even if you are a veteran to TJED like I am, I promise you will learn something new. Especially if you are a veteran, invite a friend who is new to homeschooling to join, and you will both learn something new!

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/681 9401808 (copy and paste in your browser)
Or join by phone:
    +1 (415) 762-9988 or +1 (646) 568-7788 US Toll
    Meeting ID: 681 940 1808
    International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoo mconference
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Nourishing Traditions Free Kindle Format for Amazon Prime Members!


Just last week. when my college attending daughter and son were visiting on semester break from BYU-I, along with my mother-in-law, a question came up about food. I knew the answer was in the book Nourishing Traditions, pictured above. So I dug up my copy and found the quote, feeling satisfied that I could answer their question. I know this is totally a first world problem, but that book is so stuffed with amazingly juicy tidbits about the dark side of the manufactured food and nutrition industry, not to mention gems about the history of traditional food, that it would be so awesome to be able to have a more portable copy that is digitally searchable. It would have made it easier to find the answer to the question if I could have been able to search for it using a digital copy on my phone.


It is as if God heard my silent wish, and granted my request before I even voiced it here on this blog! I am sooooo thrilled to find out that you can get a Kindle version of Nourishing Traditions for free if you are an Amazon Prime member! Now I can easily search for terms in this book in the palm of my hand and find answers from the book even quicker. So…go get your copy today! After you sign into your Amazon account, if you have a Prime membership, you will see that the description for the book says that it is free for Amazon Prime members. Even if you aren’t a Prime member, I encourage you to get a Kindle copy.

This digital copy might be just a loan, I am not sure. From my understanding, you can “check out” one Kindle book a month for free if you are an Amazon Prime member.  I think that this Nourishing Traditions format falls under that. If anybody knows differently, please let me know. Here is what one web site says, “You can borrow one book a month by going to the ‘Kindle Owners’ Lending Library’ in the Kindle Store on your Kindle device. Books with the Prime icon can be borrowed for free for the month (as long as you’re a Prime member). Correction: There are no due dates, but you can only have one book out at a time.” (http://lifehacker.com/5856052/borrow-kindle-books-for-free-from-amazon–if-you-have-prime-membership)

Anyway, just knowing that this book has been released in Kindle format is so exciting!!!! Nourishing Traditions is the Cadillac of nutrition/cookbooks. It is a hefty 674 pages, a true Bible of nutrition. This is the book that influenced Serene Allison of Trim Healthy Mama fame to stop being a vegan, and introduce animal products back into her diet. After she did, she noticed that her health improved as well as the health of the babies she conceived after going on a WAPF foundation. She lost her stomach pooch and her babies had stronger teeth. (See the THM book, p. 544 (the original big thick one that has the plan and the recipes combined, to read the story.) If you are a vegan or vegetarian, I urge you to read Nourishing Traditions. It will most likely help you to resolve any health problems you have. Then after following the principles, if you still have a weight problem after switching to unprocessed foods, read the THM books.

The work of Weston A. Price, which this book is based on, is also what convinced Diane Hopkins of lovetolearn.net and hearttoheartwithdiane.com. to stop being vegan. It is also what got me to change from being vegan and vegetarian as well. I have noticed that I am healthier and feel more vigorous when I have some animal products in my life. I get sick a lot less often for sure! I used to get at least one or two colds or the flu a year. Now, I don’t get any. I am thinking it’s probably the Vitamins A and D from meat, cultured dairy I eat (yogurt). and the cod liver pills that make a difference. As a Word of Wisdom follower, I still eat meat “sparingly.” I don’t eat it at every meal, and I am learning to like more than just the muscle part of meat. I take my liver pills every day and make bone broth out of bones. I’m still working on learning to actually cook with liver. 🙂

Here is a great quote from a fan of the book, copied from the Amazon page:

I found this book through the book “The Maker’s Diet” which was given to me when I was 18 and sat on a shelf to be picked up 2 years later after the birth of my first child. I was struggling to breastfeed after having a major loss of blood (OBGYN’s mistake led to this and a major birth trauma). I had virtually no milk supply. Tried everything! Persevered for 6 horrible long exhausting weeks before I finally gave up. I did not even become engorged upon stopping, that’s how low my supply was. Looking back now i was very malnourished from a terrible diet of fast food and soda during pregnancy, plus the major loss of blood after birth- there’s no way my body could produce anything. My teeth were crumbling, horrible cavities everywhere. I was very much against infant formula but I had no other choice, so i started my son of Enfamil. He was colicky, constipated, constant projectile spit up, not sleeping well, and I was DEPRESSED. I was even having to use infant suppositories for him. This is NOT NORMAL!! No matter how common it is, it’s not normal…
I began reading a lot to try and help keep my mind off of the deep depression I was experiencing (Lack of sleep, stress of being a young new wife and mother, no family in the area, plus my very unhealthy and hormone depleted body). Then, one day I came across the book that I had placed on a shelf two years prior (The Maker’s Diet- a great book). When I started reading through some of the recipes, I noticed many of them were referencing this book called “Nourishing Traditions”. I went to Barnes and Noble and bought this book the same week. Instantly saw how informative it was and how packed with recipes! I love it!! It opened my life to a completely new way of thinking/eating/ living. One of the first recipes i came across was the infant formula recipe. I thanked God because I knew he led me there, as I had PRAYED and cried out to God to help me find some way to feed my baby, and in the midst of feeling like such a massive failure for not being able to nurse my son, I realized that God had used my dad to give me The Maker’s Diet, which I would pick up two years later out of desperation, which would in turn lead me to Nourishing Traditions… Long story short, I used the website provided in the book to scout out a source of raw milk locally, and within that week I found a raw milk cow share and signed up, and ordered all of the ingredients that I needed and started making my son’s formula. From the first feeding, he was a much happier baby! He stopped fussing so much, he started SLEEPING through the night, AND he was NEVER AGAIN constipated! His bowel movements turned to mustard yellow, seedy, soft just as they were when I was nursing him.
Fast forward to two years later and having completely embraced the Nourishing Traditions lifestyle, my husband and I decided to try for a second child. This pregnancy went much differently. I took care of myself, the nourishing traditions way. I drank superfood green smoothies every single day with home made raw milk kefir, ate healthy (not 100%, but I tried to give my body everything it needed!), plenty of butter and coconut oil and eggs, took whole food supplements and herbs instead of synthetic pharmaceutical prenatals, and never once saw a doctor- only my midwives who I had a home birth with. Gave birth to my 9lb 4oz 23″ long baby girl, ELEVEN days late (hey, she knew when she was ready!), at home with no medication, in an inflatable birthing pool. It was awesome. My milk came in within 2 days (holy heck did it come in!!), she never lost weight, she slept much better, was very alert and nursed very well, had no digestion issues and has always been SO HEALTHY! My son is very healthy too (thanks to being able to start making his formula at 6/7 weeks of age), but he did catch and still does tend to catch more illnesses than she ever has. I really do attribute this to the type of diet i ate while pregnant with her, versus the SAD (standard american diet) i ate while pregnant with him, as well as the first 6 weeks of powdered formula and the drug exposure he had during birth in the hospital….
ONE THING I have noticed that is astounding to me is the difference in their facial structures and teeth/jaw formation. After reading Weston Price’s “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, as well as Francis Pottenger’s “Pottenger’s Cats”, it makes sense to me why this is so. My little girl has such a beautiful and wide jaw, with perfectly straight and spaced teeth which i know will allow for her permanents to grow in without crowding, while my son has very crowded teeth and a more narrow jaw and has already had cavities while my daughter has had ZERO. (SEE PICS!)
It really does make a difference what you eat before conception, during pregnancy, and what you feed your child.. (Btw, I supplemented with WAP homemade formula and eventually switched her to it completely when I decided to quit nursing- don’t judge me)
I’m not saying everything in this book is completely 100% for everyone, but it worked for me and my babies. All of the information also led me into a completely different life as far as nutrition and eating. I try to stay away from grains completely these days as I have some long standing digestive issues, but if I do have them I believe they are best soaked or sprouted like this book says. Also, try sprouted nuts- SO DELICIOUS and so much better for you than roasted or even raw. Lots of good recipes in the book, and you’ll get a ton of practice in the cooking and preparing of different foos. If nothing else, get it for the baby formula recipe and information pertaining to childhood nutrition. My favorite and most used part of the recipes in this book are the fermented foods and dairy.

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Family Night Movie Review: The Climb


This is the movie I wished I had unearthed and watched with all of the clan before my big college kids and Grandma left last Friday to go back to Idaho and Utah. I was planning on having a movie night while they were here, but it just didn’t work out. What with Family Home Evening, camping one night, our church youth group meeting, a trip to the temple over two hours away, our church women’s meeting (Relief Society), and a baseball game, there wasn’t an open night to watch a movie. We even didn’t go to two baseball practices to make the family movie night work, but I ended up leaving my journal at the Relief Society meeting so I had to go back and hunt it down, after my daughter and mother in law ditched me to go use the restroom without telling me! This led me to walk all over the chapel looking for them! Such  rigamarole! We wasted a whole hour with all that, including driving down incredibly bumpy back dirt roads to my friend’s house, since she had picked up the journal after I left. The kids and Grandma left Friday morning, the morning of our night of the week when we “only” had a baseball practice going on and nothing else. So we finally got to have a family movie night on Friday, after baseball practice. I discovered this gem of a movie and it just so happened to have an Easter message.

It’s called “The Climb” and I heartily recommend it with 5 out of 5 stars. You can watch the whole thing above. It is the story of two young single adult men who each make their own journey. Each one yearns to find fulfillment by proving himself in a quest to climb Chicanagua, a mountain in Chile. They act as foils for each other, as one climbs the mountain in dedication to his deceased wife, and the other climbs in order to “one up” his estranged father. The movie features even more contrasting relationships, all centered around the father/son relationship, which all point towards the father/child relationship we each have with God. Each of these relationships give the viewer lots of food for thought.

I love that the movie mentions the Bible, and commitment to God. If you watch this movie with young children, be prepared to answer any questions about “the birds and the bees” as there is  mention of pregnancy out of wedlock. It’s all done tastefully. If your children are used to hearing about people expecting babies then they probably won’t bring up the issue at all.

I also love that the movie shows a romantic relationship that ends in marriage. Those are hard to find in today’s movies. But ultimately, what I love about this  movie is the message of sacrifice and the symbolism that this sacrifice represents, the Ultimate Sacrifice of our elder brother, the Savior Jesus Christ. So if you believe in Easter being a season, and not just a day, watch this movie for Family Home Evening or Family Movie Night soon, even though Easter is “over” and talk about how it relates to Easter.

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New Vaccine Documentary Series Starts April 12!


Vaccines are certainly a hot topic today. It’s imperative to educate yourself on the issue of vaccines so that we minimize the chance for regrets. As a parent, you can’t escape the issue. Is every single vaccine needed for every child at the time recommended by the AAP, in the same doses? Why is it, if vaccines are so safe and effective, that on a whole, the children of today are sicker than children of 100 years ago, 50 years ago, and even 20 years ago? Why is that serious childhood diseases like polio have decreased, but chronic illnesses like autism and respiratory diseases like asthma have increased?

I invite you to watch “The Truth About Vaccines,” a series of online videos that will be showing over the next week, starting Wed. April 12.  It is produced by Ty Bollinger, a parent and investigative reporter. He’s the same guy who brought us the “The Truth About Cancer” docuseries. This “docuseries” will help you in your search of the truth about vaccines. Please go here to enter your information to get the link to watch each episode in the series of “The Truth About Vaccines.”

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Chocolate for Easter that Won’t Make You Fat



I know these rustic chocolate chunks don’t look very pretty, but. . . they are soooooo delicious! I ran out of my homemade chocolate stash this past week so I had to make more. I didn’t have the patience to hunt down my cute Easter molds that I got from amazon years ago like the ones here and make Eastery-looking chocolates. That will have to happen this coming week, in time for Easter. The best thing about these chocolates, regardless of how they look,  is that on top of being super yummy, they are not fattening, as long as you don’t eat them with carbs and exercise portion control ;-). Like, don’t eat the whole batch in one sitting! Which is hard to do by the way, because of the wholesome natural fat in them that is so satisfying and filling. Just stop eating when you are pleasantly satisfied, or barely satisfied, if you want to lose weight.

These are low carb chocolates. That means they are low on the glycemic index.  I used the recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. The authors have generously uploaded the recipe here.  I like to use cocoa butter instead of coconut oil. I get it from iHerb.com for only $6, NOW brand. This is a super deal, as I used to pay $10 for the same size container at my local health food store, and on amazon the same stuff is over $9. The cocoa butter makes these chocolates taste like “real” chocolate when I do that. They are super easy to make and totally worth it to have on hand. A batch usually lasts me a week or so.


I melt the cocoa butter by gently heating the container it came in in a pot of water on low heat. While the cocoa butter is melting I get out a loaf pan and line it with wax paper or parchment paper. Then I mix the ingredients together and pour the mixture into the pan and set in the freezer for a few hours to harden. Then I lift out the wax paper, with the chocolate on top of the paper, peel the paper on the sides back,  and cut or break into chunks. Oh my! eating a chunk of this chocolate, or two, or three, after a THM S meal is the perfect crowning touch to a lovely, nourishing, dining experience. I love, love the slight salty taste from mineral salt (I use RealSalt) mixed in with the chocolate-y taste and the smooth, fatty, velvety cocoa butter taste. It all combines to make heaven in my mouth!

I’ve also made chocolates using the wellnessmama.com recipe here. Those aren’t low carb though because they are made out of honey. If all you have is honey and coconut oil, not any of the special THM sweeteners or cocoa butter, then by all means make some chocolate that way. I am a firm believer that God made chocolate for women to be happy! If you are at your goal weight, then eating honey is OK now and then, according to the THM authors, Serene and Pearl. But if you want to lose weight, they recommend avoiding honey and using sugar alcohol sweeteners and stevia. Some people do claim to have lost weight using more whole foodsy ingredients of honey or maple syrup, and some of them are in a Facebook group called “THM Whole Foods Style.” I know that Wardee, over at traditionalcookingschool.com, says that she is OK with using stevia, the Sweet Leaf brand, and that she lost 30 lbs on the diet.  So if you are a true food purist at heart, you might want to try the Sweet Leaf stevia, as the sweetener in your skinny chocolate. Forget the “doonks,” using a dollhouse-sized spoon for measuring the stevia! I have found that I need about 1 tsp of stevia per 1 tsp of cocoa because cocoa is so bitter. You will have to experiment with that, taste testing and adjusting before you put the chocolate to set in the pan.

Here’s a video of Pearl, one of the THM authors, explaining how to do another version of homemade chocolate. It’s a little bit different from the recipe I linked above in that it uses cream and peanut butter. Skip to the 5:17 mark if you want to get right down to the business of making chocolate with the recipe. The part before that is Pearl talking to her mom with some of the back story of the THM Plan, which is interesting but may be annoying if you have a chocolate craving that has to be dealt with right away! (Note, in the video Pearl recommends using NuNatural stevia, but it seems the general consensus around the THM community is that the company changed the way they make it and it no longer tastes as good as it used to. THM makes it own brand of stevia now, which you can find here, or you can find Sweet Leaf brand at your local Kroger chain, iHerb, or amazon.) Enjoy this recipe, and don’t forget to save some chocolate every week to chop up finely and use to make THM chocolate chip cookies!





If you want to branch out from making chocolate and want to try other healthful candy options, I love this post here by Wardee of “53 no junk candy” recipes you can use for Easter, or all year round.

Here are some variations of the THM Skinny Chocolate recipe here: coconut almond, peppermint protein, and peanut butter. Yum, yum, yum! I can’t wait to try those versions. Happy chocolate eating everybody as you get ready for Easter and then celebrate Easter! Remember, you can have your chocolate and still be healthy.

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My Favorite Podcasts, Internet Videos, and Books for My Learning Pleasure


Have you noticed that if you don’t keep the wonder in your life alive, your brain starts to die? Your spirit too. That’s because your brain is part of your spirit. I really love this Ensign article that explains why it’s important to keep a sense of wonder alive. Wonder is part of staying humble to learn new things, whether it’s in regard to academic stuff, like studying how lightning travels upwards, the history of Machu Picchu, or nurturing your testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have been a stay-at-home mom for over 23 years. I love it because of the freedom I have everyday to listen/watch/read about new ideas and share new ideas with my kiddos during our homeschooling day.  After high school, I went to college, and then after college I worked temporary jobs until I got a permanent position working as a lab assistant for a medical professor at the University of Utah. I worked the 9 to 5 grind analyzing radioisotopes until two weeks before my first baby was born, then I quit my job to be a SAHM.

I distinctly remember the day I graduated from college, which was back in April of 1992, hey that means I am coming up on my 25 year anniversary! I was so happy that I had accomplished my dream of getting my bachelor’s degree, and even happier that I could now read whatever I wanted to without feeling “guilty” that I was taking time away from all the assigned reading and writing I had to do for school. I felt such freedom to read whatever I wanted. I felt like a kid in a candy store!

Here is a list of some of the things I do for intellectual stimulation to nurture my happy, inquisitive, curious self as I go through my chores and supervise my kids in their homeschooling tasks and pleasures. If I don’t keep a constant flow of new ideas streaming into me, I’ve noticed I get bored, grumpy, cynical, and despondent. My life feels bleak and nihilistic. I start to drag my feet to do household chores. But when I can listen to something while I work, suddenly life is so much easier, and more fun and meaningful, so that I breeze through my chores. Chores like fixing dinner, mopping with my kids, or cleaning out my fridge become enjoyable. I let my kids listen to stuff too while they work when I feel too busy to read aloud to them and it helps them work faster too. I love having the audible app on my phone to help with that.

So here is my list. These are listed in random order of subjects, not according to preference. I love them all, to say I have a favorite would be to say I have a favorite of my seven children.


Podcasts/things to listen to (search in your iTunes store or stitcher to subscribe):

More Academic Stuff

-The Tom Woods Show, a libertarian perspective on economy and other stuff. Last Friday’s episode had my three favorite libertarian celebrities: Tom Woods, Connor Boyack, and Ron Paul, all in one episode! You can also listen on YouTube (as is the case for some of these other podcasts)

-Wallbuilders Live, this gives  me a conservative, Christian perspective on current events as well as America’s founding period.

Classical 89’s Thinking Aloud. This gives me very interesting insights into a wide variety of topics, from music, to economics, to politics, to philosophy. I almost bought a used car from the host, Marcus Smith. As soon I heard his voice, I recognized him from this show. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him and found out he knows my dad.

-the Dave Ramsey Show

-The Dangerous History Podcast

-Classic Tales. This podcast just did Pride and Prejudice, in several episodes. Highly enjoyable!

The Classic Tales Podcast

-Read Aloud Revival

-The Luminous Mind, by my homeschooling friend Rebecca Bohman

-Wise Traditions, the podcast for the Weston A. Price organization

The Apple Seed from byutv. This podcast features my high school classmate, Sam Payne, pictured below, telling delightful stories from near and far. I love it!



LDS Stuff

-I love, love, love to listen to General Conference and Ensign magazine articles and stories on my Gospel Library App. These aren’t podcasts but I am listing them  here. During breakfast time I play Friend and New Era stories for my children. It is sooo interesting and fun to hear all these stories and talk about them. They make me cry and laugh as I hear about people living the gospel and having their prayers answered, and see the hand of God in their lives.

-The Mormon Channel podcast

-BYU Speeches

-BYU-Idaho Speeches


books on Audible

here are some deals, of which we picked up a few, like Anne of Green Gables and the Green Ember. I also got The Seventh Sense on Audible because I was reading the book for the Liber Communities Summit. I find it hard to make a ton of time for reading so I am so grateful that I can often find books I am reading on Audible and switch back and forth, and listen while driving or doing housework or grooming.


Things to Watch:

First, stuff on youtube. Here is some academic stuff:

Universal Model videos to explain a much needed model for science based on natural law,  not theories.

Roman Roads Media, full of videos about the classics from a Catholic perspective. I’m LDS, not Catholic, but I find these videos useful for understanding the classics.

The Great Books, from the Great Books TV series that was on cable TV in the ’90s. These are more useful videos for understanding the classics of the western world.

The Ten Boom Institute, founded by my friends Blaine and Audrey Rindslisbacher. These are video book reviews of classics, both for kids and adults.


Knowledge Hub

Physics Girl

Mises Media, to get a liberty-based perspective on economy, philosophy, and politics

Crash Course, I take the secular humanism of the Green brothers with a grain of salt because I like the quick synopses of literature, science, philosophy, history, and more.

Wallbuilders, again, I like David Barton’s Christian perspective. I also find other YouTube videos by Wallbuilders founder David Barton by simply doing a YouTube search for his name.

LDS Stuff on YouTube

This one below about DNA Evidence and the Book of Mormon is my current favorite. It is almost 4 hours long and took me a week to finish it but it was so worth it, it’s so fascinating! I am intrigued by the “Heartland Model” of Book of Mormon geography. I’m not ready to accept it as gospel truth but it is fun to think about.



Mormon Channel 


Latter-day Learning. These are videos put out by American Heritage School, an LDS-based private school that LaDawn Jacob‘s parents helped to start. You can watch videos of their conferences, including the most recent one here.


Hard to Find Mormon Videos. Oooh, this channel is full of gems! It has some oldies but goodies,that I can’t find anywhere else, like “The Phone Call” and the “Free to Choose” series from my 10th grade seminary days when we studied the Book of Mormon. Plus old BYU film productions. It also has some old church firesides and The Fourth Witness, a video about Mary Whitmer, who was the fourth witness to the plates that the Book of Mormon was translated from.

YabbaDabbaDooTheChurchisTrue Don’t you just love that name? This is another gem of a YouTube channel, featuring the oldies but goodies Mormon films, like “Spiritual Crocodiles” and “The Mediator” below. But wait there’s more, it has firesides by church speakers, like John Bytheway and Troy Dunn and George Durrant. Wow! These make for great watching, especially on the Sabbath Day for my kids, and we can listen to the firesides on car trips when I have them captive. It also has audio goodies for adults, like a lot of Truman Madsen lectures. Wow, I think it must be someone who is an insider of Deseret Book?

BYU Religious Education Channel The BYU Easter Conference has videos here, as part of the BYU Religious Education Channel. It also has videos from the Sidney Sperry Symposium and the BYU Scripture Roundtable discussions.

BYU Virtual Tours. This channel has tons of cool videos showing places where American history and LDS Church history  happened.

BYU Maxwell Institute. These videos show the Institute’s work in weaving faith and scholarship together.

Hugh Nibley on the Book of Mormon

BYU Women’s Conference. I remember going to the session with Gladys Knight, pictured below, ages ago.

BYU Speeches


Other Spiritual and Philosophical Stuff


C.S. Lewis Doodles. These videos take C.S. Lewis writings and have a narrator speaking the words while someone draws out the ideas. They are so wonderful!

Theology, Philosophy, and Science


Holistic Lifestyle/Traditional Cooking stuff:

The Healthy Home Economist

Eileen McKusick

Traditional Cooking by Wardeh Harmon


Home, Health, and Happiness

and this series of videos from an event called “Nourishing Vermont 2016.” The one below is about the use of audible sound to heal. So fascinating!0


Family History Videos on YouTube

BYU Family History Library





Other Videos, not necessarily on YouTube

Book of Mormon Evidence Videos


The Kid Should See This, this is a supercool site that curates the best videos about science, nature, and technology, suitable for children to watc

I joined the Trim Healthy Mama membership site so I have been watching the “In the Kitchen” videos as well to increase my cooking skills regarding fuel separation. Sometimes the two sisters get a little too cackly and chirpy when they interrupt each other, but overall I enjoy these. After cooking almost three meals a day for over 25 years, it is great to get more inspiration, especially on how to cook tasty food for a large family and lose weight at the same time.


I love all the shows from BYUTV, like American Ride and The Food Nanny and Relative Race. There’s so much more than Studio C. Great stuff! YouTube has some clips from these shows.


Things to Read:

Of course first comes the scriptures, which I focus on first for the day. I make it a point to have my scriptures be the first text that I lay my eyes on every morning. After the scriptures, I read blogs and Kindle books, listen to audiobooks on CD and the audible app, and read old-fashioned print books. I like the video above by a vlogger Heather who gives great tips on how to read when you are a mom. I’ve done most of them!

Here some of my favorite blogs:



duggarfamilyblog.com Because I am fascinated by big families!

batesfamilyblog.com Ditto the above.

mormonmomma.com, done by an acquaintance, Alison Moore Smith, from whom I bought my used piano back in 2005. She is a veteran homeschooler mom and highly opinionated. I just love highly opinionated people when I agree with them most of the time, LOL. When I don’t agree I still appreciate their energy, if I think they are at least half-right.

my daughter’s blog, which is here, I love getting a peek into her college life


momdelights.com  This is a woman who went from a U.S. soldier to a mom of 15 kids! I love her easygoing tips on frugal living, homeschooling, and practical crafts, like how to do download McGuffey Readers and then put pretty bindings on them. Something I fantasize about doing, haven’t found the time to do it yet!


Then I have my books, which I love to collect by finding killer deals of classics at thrift stores. I often share what we are reading here on this blog, like here.



In the past few months, since 2017 started, I have finished The Seventh Sense, like I mentioned above, and Before Green Gables, the prequel to Anne of Green Gables. With both of those books, what helped me “get through” them was having audio versions. I got the Seventh Sense on audible and Before Green Gables on CDs from the library. I would not have been able to “read” them without those audio versions.

I am having an online discussion for Before Green Gables, so please go here and make a comment if you want to join the online discussion. It had lots of sad parts but what do you expect, Anne was an orphan in rural Canada! Even though it was sad it was a joy to read because it gave depth to all that happens in the Green Gables book. Some of my girlfriends in my book club said they wanted to throw the book out the window because of all the sadness, but I just knew that Anne would overcome all the sadness, and she did!



I have kept track of a sliver of what I have read in my life, on goodreads.com, and would love to be your friend there. So sign up please and friend me! I love to get book recommendations from friends.

Happy Reading!


Celestia’s books





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