Friday, December 15, 2017


As our granddaughter's mother said,  "If you're not in the Christmas spirit yet, you will be after watching this."
You can also see the video by clicking here

This is the youtube video of the song she was watching.

You can also see the video by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

What a Difference One Year Makes

This picture popped up on my Facebook page this morning as Scott was tying his tie to get ready for his day.  
 What a difference one year makes!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

What Are You Thankful For?

Random people on the streets of New York City share a variety of grateful responses to one simple question: What are you thankful for?

You can also see the video by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Need Thee Every Hour

This past Sunday we were able to watch the Face to Face program with Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard.  This beautiful closing hymn performed by a men's a cappella  group comprised of students from the Logan Institute of Religion.  Enjoy
You can also see the video by clicking here

Monday, November 13, 2017

Veteran's Day 2017

On Saturday, we paused to remember our family  members who served in the military as we celebrated Veteran's Day.  (George Magnusson- U.S.N., Kiefer Harris-U.S.A.F. and Bryce Jeppson, U.S.M.C.) 
It was fun to hear about Lisa's school honoring the family members of students and staff who who have served.  The librarian collected the photos of the family members and made a beautiful Power Point with their pictures and music.  Lisa said it was neat to watch the middle schoolers applaud to each picture.  So, to all you veterans out there, remember the students at Butler Middle School are cheering you on!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Halloween 2017

This was our first Halloween away from our family as we are serving our mission here in Belize.  
 It was fun to receive pictures of the family in their Halloween costumes.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

This picture is from a few years ago

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oven Mitt Christmas Present Game

You better Belize we'll be playing this game this Christmas.  Can hardly wait for Rachel, Lisa and Sam to join us.  

I first saw this video on this Sharpe Designs Facebook page.  
You can also view the video by clicking  here.  

Here are the rules from the Youtube page:

"Santa's Hat" is HiLARIOUS! We had so much fun!

Games Rules:
All you need is a hat, gloves (oven mitts), and two dice! You must put on the hat and gloves on prior to opening the box! You can ONLY use your hands to open! The person to your left rolls dice until they get a double! When they do, your time is up and everything goes to the left! The person that opens all boxes and gets to the gift, wins!

We all can unite and share LAUGHTER! Happy Holidays Everyone!

I would change the rules to roll a 7, 11, or double.  Have fun!  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Primary Singing time in Belize

This past Sunday I was able to help with singing time with the children in our Spanish congregation.  The only thing is, I don't speak Spanish. (I can understand a little bit of Spanish) Fortunately, the children can speak both Spanish and English.  They have learned the songs in Spanish that they are going to sing for the Sacrament meeting program in a couple of weeks and they just needed a review.  

I decided to  download the songs  in Spanish that we would be reviewing.  As the children sang the songs with the recording,  I found activities that they could do as they sang the songs.   

With the song, "As a Child of God", I talked about the time signature that is found at the beginning of the printed music -- 3/4.  I explained that the 3 means that there are 3 beats per measure.
I then passed out the below shakers and told them that we would shake the music makers to the beat of the music with the first shake being the down beat.  I explained that we would shake the first shake a little lower than the other shakes while saying down-2-3, down-2-3, etc.  
I got these containers at the dollar store.  They are toothpick holders.  
You can also use plastic Easter eggs and fill them with beans or rice.

Then we repeated the song, this time shaking the music makers and singing the words at the same time.  Lastly we put down the music makers and did a 3/4 conducting pattern just like the chorister does as we sing the hymns in Sacrament meeting.  

Here is a video of "As a Child of God"
You can also see the video by clicking here.  

Next we sang "Nephi's Courage".  I used the follow position cards (aka Primary Yoga!) as they sang the words to the song.  During the chorus, we took a break from the yoga positions and marched as we sang.   I got the idea for this activity off of Camille's Primary Idea webpage.  You can get to the explanation on how to use these pictures for singing time by clicking here.  This activity is a great way to practice any song as you sing the song over a couple of times for review.

Here is a video of Nephi's Courage
You can also see the video by clicking here.  

Another easy and simple way to practice a song  is to use the below cards.  I have the children sing the whole time and they  stand or sit, whenever a card is being held up or not.  Sometimes I have both cards up.  Then they all stand up.  Next you could hold up just the boy card, and then the girls sit down, etc.  
To get to the above picture to print, click here and then go to the music activities link at the bottom of the page and it will be on the second page of the pdf.  

For the last activity I passed out the below picture to every child and I taught them the Smiles song.  (In English)  I loved learning this song as a child and was glad to share this happy memory with them.  
You can get a picture of the smile/flown face by clicking here 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Our Mission to Belize

One month ago today, on July 10th, we arrived in Belize to begin our 23 month mission to the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission.  We'll spend our time in the country of Belize.  You can read about our experiences by clicking onto the blog-link to the right side of this blog: Mission to the Maya under My Blog List or by clicking here.

I will post a few pictures so you can get a taste of some of our experiences.

We entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo, Utah on July 3rd.

This is our district in the MTC.  These senior missionaries are all assigned to various places throughout the world.  Our teacher is the third from the left on the back row.      
Our arrival day in Belize
We are with all the missionaries serving in the country of Belize at a Zone Conference in Belize City
 Our first training with the zone leaders
 We are with a set of missionaries and the senior missionaries serving in Belize
 With the sisters serving in Orange Walk
Having a Skype district meeting
Getting ready for a service project with the Belize City Branch President and his neighbor.  
 Visiting with a member of the branch presidency from Orange Walk
Visiting with a couple from the Belize City Branch
On our way to go to church in San Pedro

I found out  when you buy a whole chicken from the grocery store in Belize they mean the whole chicken, including the foot!
Be sure to click on the link to our mission blog to learn more about our mission experiences.  Our blog address is:

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dr. Laura's Wisdom

For years I listened to Dr. Laura on the radio.  She has had a big influence on my life.

This morning as I was scrolling through my Facebook page I saw these three quotes from her.  Thank you Dr. Laura for your words of wisdom.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"I felt His voice take the sword out of my hand"

Recently a friend was recounting to Scott and I a tragic and terrible relationship she was in. Lines from the movie Ben Hur came to mind.

A line from the movie sets the stage for the last lines.  "No water for him!" is our desire for revenge.

You can also see the video by clicking here

At the end of the movie, Judah Ben Hur describes the change that came over him when he saw the Christ and experienced a mighty change of heart. He repeats the last words of Jesus, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do", and then Ben Hur declares "I felt his voice take the sword out of my hand."

You can also see the video by clicking here

Friday, June 23, 2017

Then and Now

On Mother's Day weekend, 2015, was the last time the Scott Magnusson family were together before Sam left for his 2 year mission to Chile.  Kristine had just returned from her mission to Oregon and Sam was preparing to leave for his mission.  
In May, 2017 Sam returned from his mission.  Two months later in July Scott and Kathleen will leave for their mission Belize.

Last week we were blessed to gather together once again at Pineview Reservoir for a family reunion.
 Ogden Temple
The biggest difference is that we have more brothers!  We love that since 2015 Dave M. and Bryce have joined our family as husbands to Renee and Kristine.
We can't wait to see what changes will happen over the next two years when we'll gather again in 2019.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Great Advice from Occupational Therapist, Victoria Prooday

On my Facebook feed I saw a link to a blogpost by Victoria Prooday titled:  The silent tragedy affecting today’s children (and what to do with it).  Victoria starts out her post by saying:

Here is my new blog post. I encourage every parent who cares about the future of his/her children to read it. I know that many would choose not to hear what I say in the article, but your children need you to hear this message. Even if you disagree with my perspective, please, just follow the recommendations at the end of the article. Once you see the positive changes in your child’s life, you will understand why I say what I say!”
I was very interested in what Victoria said on her blogpost and encourage you to go read her complete post from by clicking here
  Here are the recommendations at the end of her article:  
If we want our children to grow into happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and go back to the basics. It is still possible! I know this because hundreds of my clients see positive changes in their kids’ emotional state within weeks (and in some cases, even days) of implementing these recommendations:
Set limits and remember that you are your child’s PARENT, not a friend

Offer kids well-balanced lifestyle filled with what kids NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “No!” to your kids if what they want is not what they need.
  • Provide nutritious food and limits snacks.
  • Spend one hour a day in green space: biking, hiking, fishing, watching birds/insects
  • Have a daily technology-free family dinner.
  • Play one board game a day. 
  • Involve your child in one chore a day (folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table etc)
  • Implement consistent sleep routine to ensure that your child gets lots of sleep in a technology-free bedroom
Teach responsibility and independence. Don’t over-protect them from small failures. It trains them the skills needed to overcome greater life’s challenges:
  • Don’t pack your child’s backpack, don’t carry her backpack, don’t bring to school his forgotten lunch box/agenda, and don’t peel a banana for a 5-year-old child. Teach them the skills rather than do it for them.
Teach delayed gratification and provide opportunities for “boredom” as boredom is the time when creativity awakens:
  • Don’t feel responsible for being your child’s entertainment crew.
  • Do not use technology as a cure for boredom.
  • Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, malls. Use these moments as opportunities to train their brains to function under “boredom”
  • Help them create a “boredom first aid kit” with activity ideas for “I am bored” times.
Be emotionally available to connect with kids and teach them self-regulation and social skills:
  • Turn off your phones until kids are in bed to avoid digital distraction.
  • Become your child’s emotional coach. Teach them to recognize and deal with frustration and anger.
  • Teach greeting, turn taking, sharing, empathy, table manners, conversation skills,
  • Connect emotionally - Smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, or crawl with your child.
We must make changes in our kids’ lives before this entire generation of children will be medicated! It is not too late yet, but soon it will be…

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Picture Perfect?

My niece, Liesel, shared this video this on her Facebook wall with this comment:

I love this. We never know what's going behind the scenes of "picture perfect". Life is tough and everyone's got their junk to deal with.  "Comparison is the thief of joy." (T. Roosevelt)

The above clip was taken from a talk Elder Stevenson delivered at the BYU 2017 Woman's Conference.  You can view Elder Stevenson's whole talk below or by clicking here and going to 17:48

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The project, "Removed"

I first read Erin Stewart's article titled: "Learning and failing to put down my phone and pay attention to my kids" on Deseret New's FB page.  Erin's article lead me to read this story from where I got the material to do this post.

American photographer Eric Pickersgill removed the smartphones and digital devices from his portraits of everyday life. The project “Removed” aims to show our addiction to technology and hyper-connectivity, and Pickersgill knows that he’s also amongst the addicted.

The photographer was inspired by a chance encounter in a New York cafe. Family sitting next to me at Illium cafĂ© in Troy, NY is so disconnected from one another,” Pickersgill writes in his notes from that day. “Not much talking. Father and two daughters have their own phones out. Mom doesn’t have one or chooses to leave it put away. She stares out the window, sad and alone in the company of her closest family. Dad looks up every so often to announce some obscure piece of info he found online.”
He achieved the surreal effect in his photos by asking strangers and friends to remain in position, removing their cellphones, and then taking the shot.

Click on this link to see more photos from Eric Pinkersgill's project called, "Removed".

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Find Lasting Peace through Jesus Christ

Sam’s two year mission is almost over.  He comes home May 2nd.  Every Monday for the past two years, we have enjoyed reading about his experiences through his weekly emails.   Todays email was especially touching as he described teaching a family who was receptive to the message he and his companion shared.   He described how the message brought them peace:
we found a family to teach.  they really want to listen to us because a couple of years ago their 3 month old baby died. they basically told us that they haven’t had peace in their lives since. we watched the church’s new video, Prince of Peace, and we had a super good visit with them as we introduced the Plan of Salvation.  the best part of the lesson was when a friend of theirs (who was also listening) told them that their child died as a punishment. we were then able to testify to them that that wasn’t true. that God would never do that as a punishment and that they would one day have the chance to raise their son. the spirit was so strong in that moment. we have a lesson with them on tuesday and so we are way excited for this week. 

This is the video that they shared with the family.
As you watch the video, you, too, will feel peace.  

You can also view the video by clicking here

We are blessed that Sam has been able to serve his brothers and Sisters in Chile for the past 2 years.  We’ll see you in 3 weeks, Elder Magnusson!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Cancer is a Disease of Love"

It seems as if we will all have be touched by cancer sometime in our lives.  Either ourselves, a family member, or a friend will fight this disease.  Over the past 30 years my mother has battled breast, colon, and skin, cancer.  She eventually died of Parkinson's last year.
In 2007 I remember hearing a talk given by Steven Snow as he talked of his own mother's battle with cancer.  His statement, "...cancer is a disease of love" intrigued me.  His next sentence explains the opportunities that come our way as we face cancer.

"A few years before my mother passed away, she was diagnosed with cancer, a disease she fought with great courage. As a family we learned, strangely enough, that cancer is a disease of love. It provides opportunities to mend fences, say goodbyes, and express love.”
Steven E. Snow
Oct. 2007 LDS General Conference

I am grateful for the many different opportunities that have come my way to mend fences, say goodbyes, and express love.

The quote was taken from this talk by Steven E. Snow.  
You can also see the video by clicking here.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Marion Harris Family

I spent most of the day scanning family pictures.  These are pictures of my Dad's family.

From left to right:  Joe, Marion, Elaine, Marguerite, and my dad, Kiefer

Elaine, Kiefer, Joe

This is a picture of my dad with his siblings years later at a family picnic in Utah.  
I have happy memories with my Uncle Joe and Aunt Elaine.