Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thanks for the Christmas Wishes, Slade Family

Meet the Slade Family.  They are my new Christmas friends.  For the past 3 years they have made funny Christmas videos to share with the world on youtube.  I learned about their gift to the world when their story was featured on the Deseret News website.

Dec. 26, 2015 update:

This family is awesome.  This video is about their 2015 giveaway from the video they made this year.
You can also see the video by clicking here  


I enjoyed watching their videos and I wanted to share them on this blog.  

2011 Blue Christmas video. 2011
Click here to see it on youtube

2012 Food Fight video:
Click here to see it on youtube.  

2013 Santa Claus Comes Tonight video: 
 Click here to see it on youtube. 

2014 Here Comes Santa Claus video!
Click here to see it on Youtube

2015 There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays
You can also see the video by clicking here

Merry Christmas Slade Family!  Thanks for the laugh.

Btw, on each of the Slade Christmas videos, Micah Slade included a link to, which is a nonprofit organization that provides clean drinking water to people in need.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thoughts on the Prodigal Son

Yesterday I had a conversation with some friends about how the Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand in teaching the doctrines of Jesus Christ.   As I was preparing my lesson for seminary tomorrow, I found an example of this with the story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32.  Our church produced a modern day version to the story of the Prodigal Son.  In the movie clip below the young man quotes a verse from the Book of Mormon which teaches us what we, just like the prodigal son, must do to return to our Heavenly Home.

You can also see this clip by clicking here

You can see the whole 30 minute movie by clicking here

Below is another clip of the Bible and a modern day story of the Prodigal Son

You can also see this clip by clicking here

Friday, October 25, 2013

"My soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah" 2 Nephi 25:5

Seminary!  You've gotta love it.

First of all, I'm greeted every morning by wonderful smiling students.  Take Logan for example.  I couldn't help but snap this picture of him when he walked into class yesterday.  What a great t-shirt.  What a great smile so early in the morning.  What a great kid, as all my seminary students are! 

Second- When you are in seminary, you can study and learn more about the great prophet, Isaiah. 

The coming up week in seminary we are going to learn that "great are the words of Isaiah."  3 Nephi 23:1 

*Did you know that:
  • Isaiah is the most quoted of all the Old Testament prophets.
  • The writings of Isaiah deal with events of his day as well as events beyond his time. 
  • The bulk of Isaiah's prophecies deal with the coming of the Redeemer.
  • A major difficulty in understanding the book of Isaiah is his extensive use of symbolism, as well has his prophetic foresight and literary style. (I guess I'll brush up on my understanding of symbolism, prophecies, and his literary style)
*these tidbits about Isaiah are found in the Bible Dictionary

Below is a video telling of Isaiah's writings of the Savior

You can also see the video by clicking here

Friday, October 18, 2013

Is There Really a God?

Today one of my seminary students shared a question he had recently been pondering.  He said that after a discussion he had in one of his school's science class he began thinking, Is there really a God

Robert D. Hales said, "Gaining a testimony and becoming converted begins with study and prayer, then living the gospel with patience and persistence and inviting and waiting upon the Spirit." 

Elder Hales' quote makes me appreciate the effort my seminary students make each day to come to class so they can gain their own personal testimony that, yes, there is a God.  We are His children.  He sent Jesus Christ to show us the way to live and to also to atone for our sins so we can return to live with Him again.   

To answer my students' question, Russell M. Nelson reminds us that, YES, we know there is a God as we ponder the miracle of the human body.
You can also view the video by clicking here.  

This year in seminary we are studying the Book of Mormon.   In this video a young bishop in England describes how the Book of Mormon came to life for him and changed his perspective forever.
 You can also view this video by clicking here.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

SO......this will be a SEWING post....for an apron and child's bib

Thanks to my mother-in-law, aprons have always been part of the Magnusson family.

I ran across this idea for an apron on facebook.  It was posted by Terry Quinn, some random lady on facebook, with 2,929 followers.  I guess you will have that many followers when you post good ideas like this one. 
Sewing idea #1:   Old shirt apron

Need an apron? ... make one  from an old shirt!

Start with a man's shirt. Cut off the sleeves and the back.

Cut around the collar but leave it intact. I cut very close to the seam so that I wouldn't have to hem anything or have any raw edges.

Use your rotary cutter and ruler to make a diagonal cut from the armpit to the top of the shoulder.

Make sure both sides are even.

On the raw edge that you just cut, turn a hem under, concealing all raw edges, and sew it down. Do this on both sides.

The final step is to make the apron ties. You could use ribbon if you wanted, but I chose to cut strips of fabric on the bias to make the apron interesting.

Close all raw edges in and sew your straps on to the bottom of your diagonal cut. Be sure to backstitch several times for reinforcement.

And you're done!

A couple of final tips-

Flip the collar up until you are completely done with the apron. This keeps you from accidentally stitching it down and it just puts it out of the way!

Second, button the shirt all the way down at the very beginning. This will help your fabric stay straighter.

If you have a plaid shirt, that is a good starter since you can use the stripes as your guide for keeping it straight.

Sewing idea #2:    Kitchen towel bib.
My Sister-in-law, Karen, is a whiz at these bibs and kept me supplied when my children were little and now makes them for my grand kids.  This is just another reason why I have the best sister-in-laws!  
You'll want to print up this on a 8 1/2 x 11 paper to get the correct proportion for the hole patten
Happy sewing!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

5 Days and Counting

Kristine is busy packing and getting ready to leave for the Missionary Training Center.  Not only has she been packing and preparing the last few weeks for this experience, she has been preparing her whole life.

Click on picture to read what is says
 We  also enjoyed visits from family members as Kristine has spoken in two different congregations the past two Sundays. 
Sam, Kristine, and cousins Andrew, Michelle, and Camille

Sam, Rachel, Scott, Kathleen, Kristine, Craig, Lynn, Cula, Aliece, David

Great Aunt Cula

Uncle Craig and Aunt Lynn

Rachel, Kristine, and Sam

Friday, September 6, 2013

Something to Think About.....

What do I think? ......I think I need to be wise with how I use this wonderful tool called the Internet.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monrovia/Duarte Seminary 2013

There is no better way to start the day
than with this great group of kids. 

This year in seminary we'll be studying the Book of Mormon.

You don't know what seminary is?  Check it out here explains what seminary is:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organizes religious classes, called "seminary," during the week so that secondary school-age students of all faiths from around the world can grow spiritually at the same time they grow in secular knowledge.

Students today have to work hard to meet high scholastic standards, but many find that taking a #seminary or institute class actually helps them deal with the stress of their other school work. Mormons believe that when we apply the spiritual dimension of faith to our study— even of worldly things— we can amplify our intellectual capacity.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Humanitarian Efforts Around the World

I appreciate my church's humanitarian efforts along with other churches such as the Catholics and other charitable organizations, such as the Red Cross working together to help our borthers and sisters around the world.

You can also see the above video by clicking here

You can watch many more videos that show a brief overview of the history, doctrine, organization and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told through unscripted interviews with members and others familiar with the Church by clicking here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Elder Aidukaitis

We enjoyed a wonderful weekend with a visit from Elder Aidukaitis.  He is a member of the Quorum of the Seventy in our church.  His assignment as a Seventy is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and build up the Church. 

Scott, Sam and Elder Aidukaitis

Elder Aidukaitis attended our Arcadia Stake Conference Saturday and Sunday.  I learned a lot from him.  He has a delightful personality and is a very jovial person. 

On Saturday night I learned that I must choose what direction I want my life to go.  If I have celestial goals, it with help me with my everyday decisions.

On Sunday I learned that as a family, can have a happy  life as we live the gospel and are obedient Christ's teachings. 

I was introduced to Elder Aidukaitis when he gave a General Conference talk in October 2008 entitled Because My Father Read the Book of Mormon.  He has a delightful accent that you can hear as you listen to the video.  I think his accent is from his unusual background.   His father was the son of Lithuanians, but  was born in Scotland. He moved to Brazil when he was still young. His father also had the ability to speak English.  Elder Aidukaitis can speak Portuguese, English and Spanish. 

If you can't view the video, you can get to it 
by clicking here.

Good morning, dear brothers and sisters. I feel a profound joy and honor in speaking to you today. I pray that God may guide my words and that His Spirit may be with us so that “he that preacheth and he that receiveth, [may] understand one another, and both [may be] edified and rejoice together” (D&C 50:22).

I consider June 2, 1940, to be a very important day in the history of my family. On this day my father was baptized into this Church.

Writing to his father, Elder Jack McDonald, one of the missionaries who baptized my father, described the day with these words:

“Last Sunday was an especially beautiful day. We missionaries went out to a secluded spot on the river’s edge, out in the country, and there Elder Jones and I [Elder McDonald] made our first baptism. Antony Aidukaitis entered into the icy waters and became a member of the Church. … Everything was perfect. The sky so blue, the countryside so still, so green, so lovely that none of us could help feeling the presence of some great influence.

“[As we walked] with our new member, he said that he just couldn’t explain how wonderful this day had been for him, how he actually felt like a new man. … That was our first baptism—no credit to me or anybody. He converted himself.”

This event changed the history of my life. I am not sure my father was able to foresee the wisdom of his act, but I love him for what he did that day. He passed away more than 30 years ago, but I will honor and bless his name forever.

My father was the son of Lithuanians, but he was born in Scotland. He moved to Brazil when he was still young. His ability to speak English facilitated his conversion since he could read the Book of Mormon in English, and there was not yet a reliable translation into Portuguese. This language barrier prevented my mother from joining the Church until a few years later, but when she did, she became a powerful example of dedication to others and love of God in our family. She is now 92 years old, and she is here today. It gives me great joy to say that I love her for her great faithfulness. I will also honor and bless her name forever.

I admire the courage my father had to be baptized into the Church in spite of the circumstances he faced at the time. It was not easy for him. His wife did not get baptized with him. The vices of drinking alcohol and smoking were strong temptations for him. He was poor. His mother was against his joining the Church, and she told him that if he were baptized, she would no longer consider him her son. With fewer than 300 members in Brazil, the Church did not have a single chapel there. I am truly astonished by my father’s determination and courage.

How could he make such a decision in the face of so many unfavorable circumstances? The answer is simple: it was because my father read the Book of Mormon. When he read it, he came to know of the truthfulness of the message of the Restoration. The Book of Mormon is a proof that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. Preach My Gospel teaches that “the Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is [the] most powerful resource in conversion” ([2004], 104).

President Gordon B. Hinckley declared: “Those who have read [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power. …

“… Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts … the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God” (“The Power of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, June 1988, 6; see also “The Book of Mormon,” Tambuli, Oct. 1988, 7).

These promises came true for my father and for my family. In accordance with what we have been taught, we read the scriptures as a family every day. We have done so for many years. We have read the Book of Mormon several times in our home, and we will continue to do so. As promised, the Spirit of the Lord has come into the heart of our family, and we have felt a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.

When you know that the Book of Mormon is true, you know that Joseph Smith was called by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. You know that Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son. You know that there is only one faith and one valid baptism. You know that a prophet of God lives on the earth today and that he has all the keys of the priesthood and the right to exercise them, as Peter did anciently. You know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the only name whereby you can receive salvation. You know that God the Father lives and that He loves us. You know that His plan of salvation is perfect, and you have the desire to perform ordinances, live the commandments, and endure to the end.

I feel sad when someone who has been given the Book of Mormon and had these things explained to him still refuses to read it. I feel sad that some people allow themselves to be influenced by others, refuse to investigate the book, and set it aside as something without worth, never participating in the spiritual banquet it offers. To me, this is incomprehensible. It is as if a son or a daughter, separated from a loving father, refused to read a letter from him without even opening the envelope. Those who make such a choice are like spoiled children who refuse to even taste the meal tenderly prepared for them by their loving mother.

God reveals His truth when people follow Moroni’s exhortation in Moroni 10:3–5. Preach My Gospel summarizes Moroni’s instructions as follows:

One, “read the Book of Mormon and ponder its message concerning Jesus Christ.”
Two, “pray to God with faith in Jesus Christ to receive a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration.”
Three, “pray sincerely and have real intent, which means that they intend to act on the answer they receive from God” (111).

To those who may argue that we cannot know these things, I testify that we can, when we are humble enough to do as God has instructed us through His prophets on this earth. To believe otherwise would be to accept the absurd notion that God also does not know where truth can be found or does not have the power to show it to us. Just because someone has not acted on the promise of this book does not mean that others have not done so.

Why do I love and honor the name of my father? Because my father read and acted on the promise of the Book of Mormon. Why do I love and honor the name of my father? Because he did not recoil from the answer he received, even while facing great challenges. Why do I love and honor the name of my father? Because he blessed my life, even before I was born, by having the courage to do what God expected him to do.

I invite all who hear me today to read the Book of Mormon and to apply the promise it contains. Those who do will know that the book is true.

I bear my testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Because of this, I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know that he did not write the Book of Mormon but translated it by the power of God. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God on the earth today, the only man on the earth who holds all the keys of the priesthood and has the right to exercise them. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He lives. I know that God lives and loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Aidukaitis also wrote an article for the New Era magazine entitled:  Caught in a Cumbuca.   He talks about how not to fall into Satan's traps and uses the analogy of being caught in a monkey trap  .   You can click onto the pictures below to read the article or click here to go the the link where the article is found.

 I feel blessed for the opportunity to have Elder Aidukaitis touch my life.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Eight Words to Change Your Mary Hunt

Amen to Mary Hunt's words about financial responsibility.  I really liked what she said about building your strength against the temptation to spend beyond your ability to pay.  She suggests that you ask yourself these questions:  
  • Do I need this?
  • Don't I have something already that will do just as well? 
  • Am I sure this is a good value?
  • Do I have the cash to pay for It?
  • Could I delay the purchase for a few weeks? 
  • Am I willing to sit on my decision for 24 hours before acting?

Eight words to change your Mary Hunt

You hear it all the time, but do you know what it means to live below your means? Have you figured out how to do that? To live below your means is to choose a lifestyle you can pay for with the money you have and still have some money left over.

Living below your means in this high-pressure, credit-based, gotta-have-it-all-right-now society is not exactly easy. It takes skill and determination to go against the tide and buck a system that encourages spending all we have now plus what we hope we’ll get in the future. It takes strength of character to protest against the message that insists that as long as you can get away with it, it’s okay to have what you want now and pay for it later.

Here’s the secret for living below your means in just eight little words: Buy what you need, want what you have. That’s it. Simple, profound and lifechanging once that truth worms its way into your mind and soul.

So how can we truly embrace those eight words and live well in a culture where everywhere we turn we’re tempted to live beyond our incomes? The principle has to become part of the fabric of your belief system. That is the way to choose contentment—to choose joy regardless your situation right this moment. You choose to want what you have. Here are three ways to make that that attitude a reality:

Insulate. Choosing to be grateful for what you have is the way to build a layer of insulation around your life that will protect you from focusing on what you don’t have.  Taking the time to add up the real cost of that new car you have your eye on, for example, can make your older, albeit paid for, vehicle look a lot better.

Isolate. If you are easily dissatisfied or prone to impulsive behaviors, identify your weak spots then remove yourself from them. Turn off the television. Skip past the magazine ads. Limit your exposure to websites like Pinterest. Isolate yourself from mindless shopping. Toss mail order catalogs in the trash unopened. Put distance between you and temptation. Avoid places you are most likely to slip back into your old ways of spending beyond your means.

Self talk. Confronting yourself is a great way to build your strength against the strong current of temptation to spend beyond your ability to pay. Ask yourself these kinds of questions and then expect honest answers:

- Do I need this?
- Don’t I have something already that will do just as well?
- Am I sure this is a good value?
- Do I have the cash to pay for it?
- Could I delay the purchase for a few weeks?

- Am I willing to sit on my decision for 24 hours before acting?

Never feel you must apologize for choosing the high road when it comes to managing well the money that flows into your life. If you’re embarrassed to say, “I can’t afford it,” don’t say it. Instead respond, “I just don’t choose to spend my money that way.”

Living below your means creates margin between you and the financial edge. It is the way to build wealth, reduce stress and improve your options and that leads to peace of mind.

Living below your means is an honorable way to conduct your life.

Question: Do you see spending less than you earn as a way of life? Can you do it?

I got these words from Mary Hunts’ web page.  I suggest you go on her link and look around at her words of wisdom:

I WANT an iPhone.  I have a flip phone.  I think I'll read her Self talk section  again.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Missionary Service

We are getting excited as Kristine prepares to  leave for her mission to Portland, Oregon  soon.

We are happy that Lisa has returned from her missionary service in Argentina.   Lisa reminded me that she left for her mission exactly 2 years ago this month.

As you watch the following video, you'll learn about the life of a Mormon Missionary.  

You can also see the video by clicking here

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ministry Of Angels

Today my friend and I  had a discussion about angels.  From our discussion, I was reminded of a talk given by Elder Holland in the October 2008 General Conference about the ministry of angels. Here are some of his thoughts on the topic:

... My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. “[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.” (Moroni 7:36)....

... I testify that angels are still sent to help us, even as they were sent to help the Savior of the world Himself. Matthew records in his gospel that after Satan had tempted Christ in the wilderness “angels came and ministered unto him"  (Matt 4:11).  Even the Son of God, had need for heavenly comfort during His sojourn in mortality. And so such ministrations will be to the righteous until the end of time. As Mormon said to his son Moroni:

“Has the day of miracles ceased?  Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

“Behold I say unto you, Nay; for … it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men. …For behold, they are subject unto [Christ], to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness"...

...I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind....

Elder Holland then tells a wonderful story of an earthly angel that you can watch and/or read about below:
 You can also see the above video by clicking here.

May I share with you an account by my friend and BYU colleague, the late Clyn D. Barrus. I do so with the permission of his wife, Marilyn, and their family.

Referring to his childhood on a large Idaho farm, Brother Barrus spoke of his nightly assignment to round up the cows at milking time. Because the cows pastured in a field bordered by the occasionally treacherous Teton River, the strict rule in the Barrus household was that during the spring flood season the children were never to go after any cows who ventured across the river. They were always to return home and seek mature help.

One Saturday just after his seventh birthday, Brother Barrus’s parents promised the family a night at the movies if the chores were done on time. But when young Clyn arrived at the pasture, the cows he sought had crossed the river, even though it was running at high flood stage. Knowing his rare night at the movies was in jeopardy, he decided to go after the cows himself, even though he had been warned many times never to do so.

As the seven-year-old urged his old horse, Banner, down into the cold, swift stream, the horse’s head barely cleared the water. An adult sitting on the horse would have been safe, but at Brother Barrus’s tender age, the current completely covered him except when the horse lunged forward several times, bringing Clyn’s head above water just enough to gasp for air.

Here I turn to Brother Barrus’s own words:

“When Banner finally climbed the other bank, I realized that my life had been in grave danger and that I had done a terrible thing—I had knowingly disobeyed my father. I felt that I could redeem myself only by bringing the cows home safely. Maybe then my father would forgive me. But it was already dusk, and I didn’t know for sure where I was. Despair overwhelmed me. I was wet and cold, lost and afraid.

“I climbed down from old Banner, fell to the ground by his feet, and began to cry. Between thick sobs, I tried to offer a prayer, repeating over and over to my Father in Heaven, ‘I’m sorry. Forgive me! I’m sorry. Forgive me!’

“I prayed for a long time. When I finally looked up, I saw through my tears a figure dressed in white walking toward me. In the dark, I felt certain it must be an angel sent in answer to my prayers. I did not move or make a sound as the figure approached, so overwhelmed was I by what I saw. Would the Lord really send an angel to me, who had been so disobedient?

“Then a familiar voice said, ‘Son, I’ve been looking for you.’ In the darkness I recognized the voice of my father and ran to his outstretched arms. He held me tightly, then said gently, ‘I was worried. I’m glad I found you.’

“I tried to tell him how sorry I was, but only disjointed words came out of my trembling lips—‘Thank you … darkness … afraid … river … alone.’ Later that night I learned that when I had not returned from the pasture, my father had come looking for me. When neither I nor the cows were to be found, he knew I had crossed the river and was in danger. Because it was dark and time was of the essence, he removed his clothes down to his long white thermal underwear, tied his shoes around his neck, and swam a treacherous river to rescue a wayward son.”

My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. “[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.” (Moroni 7:36) On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.

May we all believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for, the Lord’s promise as contained in one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, … my Spirit shall be in your [heart], and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”  In the process of praying for those angels to attend us, may we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves—with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and “the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.” Perhaps then we can be emissaries sent from God when someone, perhaps a Primary child, is crying, “Darkness … afraid … river … alone.” To this end I pray in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

You can read/watch  the whole talk by Elder Holland by clicking here....and remember the words of Elder Holland:   "May we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves..."

I did another blogpost about the ministry of angels.  You can read it by clicking here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wake Up, Parents!

My friend shared  the blog post listed below on her facebook page.  The blog title is called  Blood Sweat and Cheers and it is written by  Kristine Thompson.  This is the link to the blog that I  am posting:

 Way to parent Kristine Thompson! Thanks for the informative article. 

Blood Sweat and Cheers

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wake Up and Smell the Sexting, Parents!

I will get some criticism for writing about this, but it’s important for all parents to hear. And when I say “All”, I mean ALL, even those with babies and younger children. You need to know what is in store for you, because it’s only going to get worse.
Sorry in advance, kids. To parents, you’re welcome. Listen up!
My boys would probably say I’m a bit crazy when it comes to their phones and iPods. Maybe not even “a bit”, but just downright crazy. I have reason. I have multiple reasons. I have 4 reasons ranging in the ages of 10 to 19. While I try not to invade privacy, these are my children and I have the right to invade. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyhow. When they turn 18, I stop invading. Yes, my 19 year old is now breathing a massive sigh of relief, but it doesn’t mean he can act-a-fool without getting feedback.

Cell phones are a blessing and a curse. I grew up without one. My kids have a hard time believing that I made it until I was 20 before I had a cell phone. And then it was their dad’s bag phone. My first official cell phone was the monster that had a 20lb battery attached and looked like a VCR with an antenna stuck to the side of your face. I carried that sucker proudly around in my purse (leaving no room in my purse for anything else, mind you). And when I’d get a call, I’d excitedly heave it out of my bag, screw on the antenna, press on the green button 15 times to answer it and stand against a window for reception. Once the call started, I knew I only had a select few minutes to chat because cellular phone charges were highway robbery. I think my first plan was in-state only and it charged me per minute during the day, but it was free nights and weekends. By the evening or weekend, I was so tired from carrying it around, I’d just tell people to call me on my house phone anyway.
I’m almost 40 and have been active in the last 20 years of cell phone evolution. The plans are more reasonable, and the phones are small and lightweight, so one would say that it’s improved since 1993.
This “one” would say No, it hasn’t….
I’d like to rewind cell phone technology back about 10 years with, still, the better plans, but the simple flip phone. No texting, no apps, just calls. Remember that time where you actually used a phone to call people? There’s a concept, kids! I could go on a tangent about how much more personal and important it is to actually speak to a person, but this is not my rant today. My rant is focused elsewhere. I’m here to enlighten my fellow moms and dads on apps – these little things our kids say “Hey, Mom can I buy such-n-such for 99 cents?” And the parent busy with something else acknowledges and may or may not make a mental note of “Junior just downloaded the game, SnapChat”. Guess what, mom. SnapChat is NOT a game. And, guess what else? Most of the "dangerous" apps are FREE!
I had a MySpace page before my kids even knew what it was. When my eldest turned 12, he asked to have one. His dad and I reluctantly agreed under several stipulations:  We set it up with kid controls. We knew the password at all times. And we would be checking it. Weekly. Daily. Whenever we damn well pleased. Then Facebook came along and Myspace disintegrated into cyber air. Like the rest of the world, he migrated over to Facebook, as did I. Same rules applied. Then Twitter came along. Kids left FB in their dust. This mom opened a Twitter account. Instagram followed. Mom followed. Notice the trend? But then things got tricky. Some of the open forum format changed to apps that you’d have to be invited to, to apps that were just between two people, to apps that take a quick photo and within seconds it disappears in cyber space to never be traced. That app? Snapchat. While I could somewhat regulate social networks (and sometimes not successfully. Mom-stalking isn’t fool proof), these other apps had this mom stumped. While investigating on what I could see, I was dumbfounded by some of things kids were posting for the world to see. Where are these kids’ parents? Do they know? Do they care? Am I breaking a Mom to Mom unsaid law by not informing them? I WANT to know. You better tell me, fellow parents! I will knock a Mann kid out. Look, I’ve seen things my kids have posted that have made me go “Woah! Oh no he didn’t!!”. They have had posts removed, comments removed, pictures removed, accounts deactivated, phones taken, iPods taken, phone service disconnected. Yes, we went there. They know what is acceptable and what is not. Simply put:
If you post something that you’d be embarrassed for your Mom to see, don’t post it.” THAT’s my rule. Like or not, you break it, we’re going to rumble.
This leads me to alerting parents who are unaware of the unsaid convenience of, not only texting, but sharing pics, videos, etc.. I’m not aiming usage of these at just teens, but sadly preteens and children under the age of 10 as well. Many times they stumble upon something innocently, whether it’s their peer cursing, borderline inappropriate content, and even outright TRASH. My 10 year old has a texting app on his iPod. He is not allowed to have a phone, but we agreed to let him have an app to text me, his dad, his brothers, and his stepparents. If he wants to call a friend, he can use my phone. He also has an Instagram account where photos and now videos are shared. I can see who he follows and what they post. I’ve unfollowed a dozen or more of his older brothers friends unbeknownst to him, because of their inappropriate posting and language. I am THISCLOSE to deleting everyone but family and his 10 year old friends. My 13, 15, and 19 year olds have/had KIK, vine, snapchat, ooVoo and the usual suspects – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. At least if you’re going to let your children have these apps, be informed:

Facebook and Twitter are social networks. If you don’t know what they are, you need to be hit on the head with a hammer. Both social networks have Inboxes. Check them regularly, parents. Don’t assume your kid is making great decisions if you don’t see anything on their “Wall”. Word to the wise, have them access Twitter from your iPhone and now ALL notifications come to you automatically, even inbox messages. Know their passwords. Always.
Instagram: Pros – fun place to share videos and photos. No inbox feature, so everything is “out there”.
Cons – if you don’t keep up with who your kid is following, you’re being naïve. My 10 year old has 13, 15, 19 year old brothers who all have friends with Instagram accounts. The chances of him seeing or reading something above his 10 year old sweet, innocent brain are great. Know their passwords and check Followers and what they post. Regularly. Unfollow, delete, block, unfollow, delete, block. Repeat.
Vine: Don’t let the description “The best way to share life in motion. Create short, beautiful looping videos in a simple and fun way” mislead you. These looping videos can actually be a lot of fun to share. My oldest son has made some hilarious ones, but vine does not regulate Rated G vs Rated X. If your kid has a vine account or follows someone who posts vine videos, WATCH THEM. Vine doesn’t know or care if it’s a 21 year old adult or an 8 year old kid on the receiving end. And remember, even if they don’t have the Vine app, if the person posts them to Twitter and your kid follows them from their Twitter account, they can watch them there.
KIK: Instant Messenger. Basically if you don’t know a person well enough to know their phone number to text or call them, you can KIK them. My mindset, if you don’t know them “that well”, you don’t need to chat with them about anything. Ever.
User Reviews on Google for KIK:
“This app is awesome and cool my kik is ________. Kik me no guys jst girls from Detroit. I’m 15. Hit me up.”  - I purposely did not post this person’s KIK name, but I can tell you if I see my 15 year old’s KIK name on FREAKING GOOGLE for someone to “hit him up”, he’s going to get “hit up” alright. Hit right upside the head with his iPhone before I crush it into 10000 pieces. And who’s to say this is a 15 year old kid and not some 42 year old creep living in his mother’s basement preying on young girls? Yes, I may have watched one too many episodes of 20/20, but that shit is real, folks!
“Definitely a great app if you don’t like giving people your number. It’s just like texting someone. 27 year old woman looking for friends. KIK is _____________.”
What if that 27 year old woman “looking for friends” is KIKing your 11 year old son?
I will say KIK isn’t horrible if you manage it and know who they’re talking to.
ooVoo: “ooVoo video chat gives you two things no one else can” (now THERE’s a wide open statement) “Free multistream video calls with up to 12 people at a time along with unsurpassed stability and quality.” This is the equivalent to FaceTime for iPhone users, and Skype. Be the mom or dad peeping over from behind the dresser to make sure there’s a recognized person on the other end. And they are age appropriate. And clothed. Better yet, pop a squat beside your kid and say “What up, home dog?”  While it may deduct a few parental cool points, it’ll start to deter the caller to have these ooVoo conversations for fear she’ll have to speak to your super embarrassing mother.
And last, but certainly not least, SnapChat. Don't let that cute little ghost fool you. The official description says “The fastest way to share a moment on iPhone”. Pictures/videos are created, an alert is sent to the receiver, they watch it and within 10 seconds it’s gone. No record, no trace. Parents, THINK ABOUT IT.
Snapchat is bad news folks. My advice is to delete the app if you see it. Period. If they have an iPhone and want to make a video, they can with the iPhone camera or now they can do it on Instagram, which has supposedly regulated their site not to post inappropriate videos. We shall see….
A new app is released quicker than you can blink. And I find that if weren’t for my parental stalking, I’d be completely clueless to all the new ways kids are connecting and sharing information. There are tons I did not cover, but these are the teen faves. The fiancé and I have 4 teens with smartphones, and 2 ten year olds with iPod touches. 6 multiplied by these apps equals A LOT to keep up with. (Ok, 5 since my oldest has graduated to a non-stalking mom. My eyes are still open in the public forum). In this day and age, we, as parents, have to look out for our kids and for each other. I seriously long for the day that my biggest parental concern was cars coming down the street while they rode bikes. I could see in clear view the danger. Technology blinds us to danger, a danger of kids growing up a little fast, knowing more than they should at a young age, and exchanging inappropriate information for it to only *POOF* disappear within a 10 second window and we are none the wiser. Don't be the parent who thinks "My kid would never do that." 
Get wise.
I’m the unpopular mom who takes her kids phone and iPod at bedtime (even during the summer) and plugs them in my room. As recently as last night, I got the big SIGH when I asked my 13 year old for his phone. When he’s 18, he can vine, snapchat, tweet, and kik until hell freezes over. He just better hope it doesn’t cross a public forum that I see it. Just because they are bigger, doesn’t mean I still won’t knock a Mann kid out.
I now stand to be on the Most Hated list by kids because of this blog, but as I’ve seen many post on Twitter after saying something painful, but true:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Go Ye Into All the World, and Preach The Gospel to Every Creature" (Mark 16:15).

Kristine has taken the scripture from Mark to heart 
and has decided to serve a mission for 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  
Kristine writes:   I am going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Not because it's suddenly become the thing to do for young, single, LDS females, not because I am a college graduate that can't get full time job, and not because I am seeking for a next adventure in my life. No, I am going on a mission because I love the Lord. I have a desire to share with others what has made me so happy.

Krisitne opened her mission call at the bishop's house of our home ward 
with some of her friends from Duarte. 

We (Scott, Kathleen, Renee, and Sam) were in Idaho visiting Janelle and Co.  
Rachel and Lisa were in Provo.  Thank goodness for Google+.

This is Rachel and Lisa watching Kristine as she reads about her mission call.

Kristine is showing her Duarte friends a picture of 
her new Mission President, Pres. C. Jeffery Morby

This was our view in Idaho of Kristine as she read her letter from Pres. Monson 
with her assignment to serve in Oregon, Portland Mission.
Her report date is October 9, 2013
Click here to learn how missionaries are assigned to their area of service.  

 We are very proud of Kristine and her desire to bring 
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
 to her brothers and sisters in Oregon.  

Click here to learn about why Mormons send missionaries around the world.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Missionaries Are Called by God

Have you ever wondered how Mormon missionaries are assigned to the area where they serve?   Elder Rasband explains the process. 

You can also see the above video by clicking here

The Divine Call of a Missionary
Ronald A. Rasband
April 2010 General Conference

Missionary work is a subject very close to my heart, as it is to every member of the eight Quorums of the Seventy, whom the Lord has appointed to go “before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.”  Luke 10:1  Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church and the lifesaving blessing to all who accept its message.

When the Master ministered among men, He called fishermen at Galilee to leave their nets and follow Him, declaring, “I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19  The Lord extended those calls to humble men so that through them others would hear the truths of His gospel and come unto Him....

 ...Part of my early training as a new General Authority included an opportunity to sit with members of the Twelve as they assigned missionaries to serve in one of the 300-plus missions of this great Church.

With the encouragement and permission of President Henry B. Eyring, I would like to relate to you an experience, very special to me, which I had with him several years ago when he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Each Apostle holds the keys of the kingdom and exercises them at the direction and assignment of the President of the Church. Elder Eyring was assigning missionaries to their fields of labor, and as part of my training, I was invited to observe.

I joined Elder Eyring early one morning in a room where several large computer screens had been prepared for the session. There was also a staff member from the Missionary Department who had been assigned to assist us that day.

First, we knelt together in prayer. I remember Elder Eyring using very sincere words, asking the Lord to bless him to know “perfectly” where the missionaries should be assigned. The word “perfectly” said much about the faith that Elder Eyring exhibited that day.

As the process began, a picture of the missionary to be assigned would come up on one of the computer screens. As each picture appeared, to me it was as if the missionary were in the room with us. Elder Eyring would then greet the missionary with his kind and endearing voice: “Good morning, Elder Reier or Sister Yang. How are you today?”

He told me that in his own mind he liked to think of where the missionaries would conclude their mission. This would aid him to know where they were to be assigned. Elder Eyring would then study the comments from the bishops and stake presidents, medical notes, and other issues relating to each missionary.

He then referred to another screen which displayed areas and missions across the world. Finally, as he was prompted by the Spirit, he would assign the missionary to his or her field of labor.

From others of the Twelve, I have learned that this general method is typical each week as Apostles of the Lord assign scores of missionaries to serve throughout the world.

Having served as a missionary in my own country in the Eastern States Mission a number of years ago, I was deeply moved by this experience. Also, having served as a mission president, I was grateful for a further witness in my heart that the missionaries I had received in New York City were sent to me by revelation.

After assigning a few missionaries, Elder Eyring turned to me as he pondered one particular missionary and said, “So, Brother Rasband, where do you think this missionary should go?” I was startled! I quietly suggested to Elder Eyring that I did not know and that I did not know I could know! He looked at me directly and simply said, “Brother Rasband, pay closer attention and you too can know!” With that, I pulled my chair a little closer to Elder Eyring and the computer screen, and I did pay much closer attention!

A couple of other times as the process moved along, Elder Eyring would turn to me and say, “Well, Brother Rasband, where do you feel this missionary should go?” I would name a particular mission, and Elder Eyring would look at me thoughtfully and say, “No, that’s not it!” He would then continue to assign the missionaries where he had felt prompted.

As we were nearing the completion of that assignment meeting, a picture of a certain missionary appeared on the screen. I had the strongest prompting, the strongest of the morning, that the missionary we had before us was to be assigned to Japan. I did not know that Elder Eyring was going to ask me on this one, but amazingly he did. I rather tentatively and humbly said to him, “Japan?” Elder Eyring responded immediately, “Yes, let’s go there.” And up on the computer screen the missions of Japan appeared. I instantly knew that the missionary was to go to the Japan Sapporo Mission.

Elder Eyring did not ask me the exact name of the mission, but he did assign that missionary to the Japan Sapporo Mission.

Privately in my heart I was deeply touched and sincerely grateful to the Lord for allowing me to experience the prompting to know where that missionary should go.

At the end of the meeting Elder Eyring bore his witness to me of the love of the Savior, which He has for each missionary assigned to go out into the world and preach the restored gospel. He said that it is by the great love of the Savior that His servants know where these wonderful young men and women, senior missionaries, and senior couple missionaries are to serve. I had a further witness that morning that every missionary called in this Church, and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission, is called by revelation from the Lord God Almighty through one of these, His servants.

Here is a list of the areas in the world where our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have served:

George Magnusson: Tahiti Mission
George and Marian Magnusson:  Utah Provo Mission President
    David Magnusson:  Chile Mission
    Aliece Harms Magnusson:  California Los Angeles Mission
        Matthew Magnusson:  Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission
        Julina Magnusson Fernandez:  Slovenia Ljubljana Mission (assigned to Croatia)
        Enrique Fernandez:  Massachusetts Boston Mission (Cambodian-speaking)
        Andrew Magnusson :  Michigan Detroit Mission 
    Scott Magnusson:  Mexico Mexico City Mission
    Scott and Kathleen Magnusson:  El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission
        Dave Meanea:  California San Jose Mission
        Lisa Magnusson:  Argentina, Salta Mission
        David Anderson:  North Carolina Charlotte Mission
        Kristine Magnusson Jeppson:  Oregon Portland Mission
        Bryce Jeppson:  Spain Madrid Mission
        Samuel Magnusson:   Chile Rancagua Mission
    Stan Albrecht:  Argentina Córdoba Mission 
        Mark Johnson:  Santo Domingo East Dominican Republic Mission
        Jon Walker: Australia Brisbane Mission
        Bryce Albrecht:  Mexico Culiacán Mission
        Mallory Rhead Albrecht:  New Jersey Morristown Mission (Spanish-speaking)
        Nathan Vasher:  Missouri Independence Mission
        Jay Albrecht:  Chile Viña del Mar Mission  
        Marissa Albrecht:  Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission
        Dane Albrecht:  Colombia Bogotá North Mission
        Alec Albrecht:  Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission
        Laurel Albrecht:  New Mexico Albuquerque Mission
    Eric Magnusson:   Ohio Columbus Mission
        Evan Magnusson:  Italy Milan Mission
        Jason Fredrick: Russia Moscow Mission
        Jared Magnusson: Portugal Lisbon Mission
        Spencer Magnusson:  Florida Tallahassee Mission
    Craig Harris:  Mexico Veracruz Mission
    Craig and Lynn Harris: Church Service Missionaries–Hosting Conference Center
        Alan Harris:  Argentina Córdoba Mission
        Shane Harris:  Mexico Veracruz Mission
    Douglas Harris:  Uruguay Montevideo Mission
        Trenton Adams:  Argentina Neuquen Mission
        David Landry:   Argentina Neuquen Mission
        Brennan Shaffer:  Kentucky Louisville Mission
        Jason Harris:  Bolivia Cochabamba Mission
    Russell Harris: Spain Madrid Mission
    Christy Harris:  Costa Rica San Jose Mission
        Spencer Harris: Armenia Yerevan Mission
        Trenton Harris:  Uruguay Montevideo West Mission
        Taylor Howard:  Mexico Tijuana Mission

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I'm Holding You.... An Unexpected Gift

I like this video because it reminds me that Heavenly Father is aware of his children.
You can also view the video by clicking here.  

Strong Families: A Link to Success

Today at church I was talking to some of my friends about my brush with fame with Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

It all started when I read this editorial  in our local paper in 2005

Printed in San Gabriel Valley Tribune Opinion Section on Friday, February 18, 2005

Preschool a link to success

THE link between preschool and success in adulthood is pretty elementary. The corollaries are predictable, and potent. Kids who go are much more likely to get a head start on learning and good, lifelong habits. Kids who don't are less likely to graduate from high school and twice as likely to become career criminals.

The lesson? More preschools are needed so that all children from families of all socioeconomic groups can attend if they so choose. This can be done by increasing the allotment of funds by First 5 California to help start new preschools or expand existing ones in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas.

Passed in November 1998, Proposition 10, which funds First 5, added a 50-cent-per-pack tax to cigarettes sold in the state. The money, about $700 million annually, is used to fund early childhood development programs.

A just-released report by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California found that the state is severely lacking in availability of preschool programs.

Preschool, perhaps the best crime-prevention tool, especially for at-risk kids, often isn't available where it's needed most. For every 10 students enrolled in preschool programs statewide, four are turned away. Many preschool programs in Los Angeles County have waiting lists. Some are out of sight, out of mind for many poor families.

And it's low-income families that most often are out of luck. Children from higher-income families are 50 percent more likely to enroll in preschool.

Twenty-four percent of the state's 3- and 4-year-olds are unable to attend preschool.
It's an injustice that Fight Crime, a statewide coalition of law enforcement agencies, as well as First 5 California, are seeking to correct.

The advantages of preschool aren't lost on state educators, either. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, in his statewide education address last month, proposed universal preschool, replete with standards for what all preschoolers should learn and a credentials program for preschool teachers. We still believe parents ought to make that choice but that more and more are seeking preschools for their children.
The knowledge and learning skills developed in preschool even could close the achievement gap that often leaves blacks, Latinos, the poor and the disabled lagging in standardized test scores, O'Connell said.

There are many obstacles to increasing preschool classrooms. Space, parking, and even neighbors who don't like the use in their back yard are just a few of the problems. That's why First 5 has tried to focus on expanding existing programs.
Still, it is a worthwhile effort. For every dollar spent on preschool, the public will save $17 in costs from crime and social services down the line, according to Fight Crime's analysis.

Preschool could be a smart investment and one that should be considered.

Below is my response editorial which was published in the Pasadena Star News Opinion Section on March 1, 2005 and the San Gabriel Tribune on March 28, 2005:

Strong Families: A Link to Success

I disagree with your editorial, “Preschool a link to success”!  What’s ironic about my position is that I have a degree in early childhood education.  Purposefully, none of my six children went to preschool.  None of my children are criminals.  In fact, they are successful students in elementary, high school, college, and graduate school.  Two are college graduates.  So far, they are all well adjusted, for which I am grateful.

Early in our marriage, I supported my husband as he pursued advanced education.  This allowed him to secure an adequate paying job to support our family, and gave me the privilege to be a stay-at-home mother.  When my children were preschool age, I took them to story hour at our local library.  At home we listened to music, made crafts, went on walks, and made cookies.  We planted a vegetable garden, read books, did chores, and wrote letters to grandparents.

Could it be that the statistics that favor preschool are in reality linked to broken homes and absentee parenting?   I believe that in order to prepare young children for a successful kindergarten and beyond, it is the parent who needs to be in the home nurturing and teaching them, and not relegating this responsibility to a preschool.

I acknowledge that some family circumstances are different than mine. Single parents have fewer choices.  In doing the best they can, they may have to turn to preschool.  Yet, this needs to be the exception and not the rule.

Wise teaching and disciplining of young children by their own parent is really the smart investment that should be considered, not preschool.

Kathleen Magnusson
Duarte, California

Unbeknownst to me, someone sent my editorial to Dr. Laura.   She read it on her radio program on April 7, 2005 and again on June 21, 2006.   My daughters laugh about Dr. Laura's commentary after she read my editorial.  Dr. Laura said, "And this lady has a degree" insinuating that I know what I'm talking about because of my Degree in Early Childhood Education.  I know about this subject because my mom was my "preschool" teacher. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Summer Garden that Almost Wasn't

Tradationally we plant our summer garden over spring break.  This year we were in Utah having a grand reunion after Lisa's return from her mission...

Life was hectic upon our return.  Pony packs of tomatoes weren't found at Home Depot and life went on.    Thank goodness for a volunteer tomato plant that reminded us that we really did want to have our tradational 18 tomato plants in our garden plot so we can  enjoy unlimited tomatoes with our summer meals and homemade salsa stashed away in our freezer. 

Scott is standing next to our volunteer plant
 As I walked through Walmart earlier this week I found some tomato packs along with a squash, cucumber, and pepper plant.  I was so happy to purchase them. I was even happier that they didn't die waiting for the weekend to come so we could plant them. 

 The finished garden
 (Kathleen standing by the row of tomatoes and Scott with the other vegtable  plants).
Now we can't forget to water the garden. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Family Dynamics

These pictures makes me happy.
A sister is a forever friend
Getting Dave as a brother was worth the wait.
Being a grandparent is grand!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom!

Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday.  My Sister-in-law, Christy made this wonderful video to celebrate her life.

This is the tribute I wrote to my mom for her birthday:

This quote by Abraham Lincoln sums up my feelings about my mother:  "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."

My mother has given me everything in my life that is important.
  • She gave me life
  • She taught me the gospel
  • She showed me by her example how to be a good mother
  • She taught me homemaking skills
  • She gives me unconditional love
  • She is my cheerleader
I am blessed to call her mother.  

We love you, Mom!