Thought Box

FREE Visiting Teaching AND Home Teaching handouts!!!

"CIRCLE OF SISTERS", compiled by JoLyn Brown, is a collection of short stories about Relief Society and Visiting Teaching that was published by Walnut Springs. Four of the book's 50 stories were written by me! Available NOW for purchase at Deseret Book and on Amazon. I am one of the featured authors on JoLyn's blog. Click HERE to see. Click HERE to read a review by Sandra Nazar at the Deseret News.

Enjoy Today ... Before It Slips Away) WON in the SHORT STORY CATEGORY for
Turning the Pages 2012 Book Of The Year Award! (STILL so cool!) Thanks to all of you who voted for me!! * To Read Reviews about this book, click on the MY BOOKS tab above. Makes a great gift!


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Thursday, November 26, 2015

I Am Thankful For ...

Taking the time to count our blessings helps put into perspective how much we have to be thankful for. Even in times of trial and sorrow, being thankful can help us see the light at the end of the tunnel and gives us strength to endure.

It's so easy to be thankful for the sunshine on a beautiful day when life is going well and everyone seems to be happy, healthy, and safe. But, we also need to remember to be thankful for the rain and the stormy clouds. After all, if the sky were always blue, eventually we'd forget to look up.

I am so thankful for miracles that happen every day. Little things let us know we have a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over us and is aware of our struggles, pain, fears, and sorrows. I am thankful for a loving and supportive family, both immediate and extended. I am thankful for a hard-working, talented, devoted, (and handsome!) husband who does everything he can to take care of his family. I am thankful for my beautiful children who teach me everyday the importance of service, patience, kindness, and love. I am thankful for wonderful friends and neighbors. I am thankful for my testimony.

Now it's your turn. What are you thankful for?
I Am Thankful

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

When Children Teach

We recently took a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone. Our first night in Jackson Hole, my husband and I took our kids and sat around the fire pit in front of our hotel. We laughed as we told stories and jokes (that really weren't that funny!).

Then, our almost 14-year-old son said he wanted to have more of a fireside and talk about something spiritual. I told him to take the lead. He said the topic was families. He explained why he thought families were important and asked us to each take a turn doing the same.

When we made our rounds, a strange man (in his late 20s) came out of no where, walked over to the fire pit, sat down, and asked if he could join our party. He was obviously drunk and was swearing. My first instinct was to tell the man to watch his language in front of my kids, but I had a strong feeling I needed to stay quiet. So I did.

My son, who was standing, leaned in towards his dad and quietly asked if he should keep going. My husband said "Yes." As we watched his nervousness turn quickly into confidence, my son updated this stranger on our fireside and invited him to take his turn in telling us why family is important to him.

I fully expected this man to get up and walk away, saying this wasn't the type of party he was looking for. But, he surprised us all by participating. He looked uncomfortable at first and his speech was a little slurred. However, only moments into speaking, he seemed completely lucid, was fully into our fireside, and his language was MUCH better. Without sharing details, he informed us that his family didn't understand him and he often left home for weeks at a time without checking in. But he knew his family loved him.

When the man finished, my son wrapped things up by baring his testimony. Without hesitation, he said that we are all part of Heavenly Father's family and He will always love us, no matter what. He reminded us that we need to pray so we can know of His love for us. He also told us how important it is to tell our family members how much we love and appreciate them. He closed with, "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

This man had moist eyes as he thanked us for letting him stay and participate with our fireside. He said it was something he needed to hear. Then he told us he liked our family values. We asked him his name and took turns shaking his hand as we said good-night and left.

Back in our hotel room, my son broke down with uncontrollable tears. It took him a minute before he was able to speak. He told us he had prayed for weeks for a missionary experience. We believe it was no coincidence that this man staggered into our "fireside" that night. Although we will probably never see this man again, we all witnessed, if just for a moment, how the Spirit can change people.

I am so proud of my son for having the courage to continue his spiritual message in front of this stranger and bare his sweet testimony with so much power. I am also proud that this mama listened to a prompting and kept her mouth shut (for once!). Had I let the protective mother-bear lose and told this man to watch his language, a great missionary moment for my son would have been lost.

We prayed for this man that night in our family prayer. We prayed that, if he was able to feel of the Spirit that night, he would hang on to that feeling and know of Heavenly Father's love for him.

What a great example our children can be to us. As parents, we need to know when to teach and when to sit back, be quiet, and let our children teach us. When we do, who knows who else they will teach along the way.

Has your family experienced a missionary moment like ours? If so, please share in the comments. We would love to hear about it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Say This Write ~ It's NOT just a blog!

I've had a lot of people ask me when I'm going to publish another book. It's in the works, I promise! But, the last couple of years I have been so busy with the PR side of Say This Write, there hasn't been a lot of time for the creative writing side of things.

Yes, Say This Write has a Public Relations Business side! It's been a little overwhelming at times but I've loved every minute of it. I have designed billboards, brochures, posters, banners, resumes, thought box plaques, wedding invitations, and more. It's been FUN, to say the least!

Don't miss out on the action. If you have a company/business and need promotional material, check out what others have already discovered: Say This Write, Public Relations the Write Way. Just click on the "Public Relations The Write Way" tab above. It has all the links and info you'll need. But, feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Reading

If your kiddos have not started school yet, you might be wondering how to keep them entertained for the rest of the summer break. Keep them reading!

Reading to and with our children is one of the best ways we can help them continue learning throughout the summer. But it can be difficult to encourage if your kids don't enjoy losing themselves in a good book. So what can you do to make it fun and exciting for them?

* Read together and act out the story. Bring the book to life by reading the story, letting the kids pick out who they want to play, creating costumes, and acting it out.

* Find out what genre they enjoy reading. This can take some time. Try comic books, magazines, brochures, anything that might spark an interest. My husband didn't enjoy reading at all when he was younger. Once he realized he loved reading about money (making it, investing it, saving it, etc.) it opened so many doors for him.

* Talk about each chapter. I had one of my boys do this to help with his reading comprehension years ago and he continues to do it today because it helps. It gives the reader a break at the end of each chapter while reassuring he/she understands what they just read. It also presents the parents with the opportunity to ask questions like: "What do you think is going to happen next?", or "If you were the writer, is there anything about that chapter you would have changed?"

* Have an award for each book completed. Some kids work harder when there is an award at the end of the road. Let the child choose the award. You might be surprised by their efforts.

There are so many resources to help parents and children have access to reading material. The library and the web are obvious (and great) choices. If you want to try a new alternative for your younger readers, is a company that delivers new books to your door each month. They are offering a special promotion in honor of John Newbery's birthday -- a "Buy One, Give One" deal. The creators of want to share the gift of reading by giving the next 250 new customers a coupon for a FREE one-month subscription -- a gift subscription! Sign up and send a friend a free one-month subscription. What a great friend! I've also attached a $4 coupon below.

Whichever method you use and resource you utilize, keep your kids reading! Not only is it great for the development of these young minds, it also creates great bonding, quality family time. "The more that you read, the more things you'll know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

Click here for the $4 coupon:

Summer Reading

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Roses Are Red" by J.B. Kantt

Looking for a good summer read? Check out this new title, the first in the "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" series by J.B. Kantt. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Roses Are Red cover
After her foster mother's unexplained death six months ago, fourteen-year-old Isla Timearth just wants things to go back to normal for her and her twin brother, Monty. But “normal” can only go so far for a closed-off girl with abandonment issues and an anxious boy who gets frequent nosebleeds. Still, the troubled redheads give it a shot by returning to the summer camp they’ve been going to for years. 
Aside from her crush showing up unexpectedly, the summer starts out as Isla expected: she participates in multiple activities with her friends, while her brother shies away from doing anything with anyone. But camp traditions get rained on when their biological mother shows up unannounced and, as far as Isla’s concerned, unwelcome. 
Knowing that Mother Nature is the mother of all mood swings, Isla isn’t all that surprised to find out that her temperamental biological mother is the terrestrial goddess. What does surprise her is that Monty, the favorite twin, already knew but never told her. Despite being annoyed that such a huge secret was kept from her, Isla has always questioned the loyalty of her own flesh and blood. But once more family secrets start to unravel around her fellow campers, Isla finds out whether blood really is thicker than water.

Meet J.B. Kantt:
The first story J.B. Kantt ever wrote was for a creative writing class application during her college days. Little did she know that a step towards fulfilling her undergraduate language arts requirement would also be a step towards fulfilling a passion for writing she never knew she had. Now, despite her dreams of becoming a developmental pediatrician, not a day goes by that J.B. doesn’t think about becoming an author as well. When she’s not hitting the books, she’s working on her next book (in between volunteering and practicing taekwondo). 
Her debut novel, Roses Are Red, is the first of the Blood, Sweat, and Tears series. J.B. hopes that her journey to publication helps other writers realize that through hard work and dedication, anything is possible, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been writing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Let It Go

Relax! This post does NOT contain a video of me singing (trust me, no one wants to hear that!). If you're in need of a Disney song performance, go to YouTube to get your fix ... AFTER you read this post, of course.

Well, it's a new year and since most of us have probably given up on New Year's resolutions already, perhaps there's some extra time that needs to be filled, right? Or maybe you gave up on new goals because you just don't have any extra time.

Consider this: let go of grudges. You know, all those bad feelings you're harboring for one reason or another. You may not realize it, but if you are angry, bitter, or hurt because of something or someone in your life, it can and will take over every minute of your day.

Being angry takes time and energy. It's something that might make us feel empowered, at first, but ends up binding us in the end. We become enslaved by the negative feelings and it takes over everything. It affects the way we behave and the way we think. We think the offending party is going to suffer from our wrath, bitterness, and hatred. In reality, the offending party may have no idea they have done anything wrong in the first place. Therefore, you aren't hurting them in the least. You are only hurting yourself. Your self-proclaimed power that you think you have over the offensive party by harboring bitter feelings is only making YOU miserable.

So, at the beginning of this new year, let it go! Let go of the bitterness. Let go of the hatred. Let go of the jealousy and rage. Let go of the resentment. Just let go. When you do, not only will you feel free from the bondage you've created for yourself, you will feel lighter and happier like a weight has been lifted.

We are taught in the scriptures to forgive everyone if we want to be forgiven, (D&C 64:10; Luke 6:37). We need to remember that Christ has already suffered for any isolation, betrayal, pain, or wrongdoing that has been done against us. Forgiveness is not always easy, but it sure makes life more enjoyable.
Let It Go

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book Review for JoLyn Brown's "RUN"

When Supermom joins Dad on his latest project, sixteen-year-old Morgan is left with her aunt. Instead of dating the cute boy from her high school track team, Morgan will spend the summer in a small town near Kanab, Utah, five hours from home and all of her friends. Her plan is to keep a sane distance between herself and her aunt's six boys. What Morgan doesn't expect is being attracted to the neighbor kid who hangs out with her cousins. How can she like two guys at the same time?

Just when her life couldn't get more messed up, Morgan stumbles across an abandoned house and learns she lived there when she was small. The house and its secrets haunt her - it turns out she's been dreaming about the place for years. All she wants is to hold onto what she loves. But as the summer passes, she wonders if she's going to lose everything. 

JoLyn's writing makes you feel as though you are in Morgan's "shoes" throughout the story. You can almost feel your eyes fill up with tears as she learns the secrets of her family's past. You experience the twitter-pated butterflies in your stomach as she goes through the ups and downs of young love. You feel the annoyance that turns into appreciation as she adjusts to her obnoxious, prank-pulling cousins. You can feel her need to run as anxiety, anger, and confusion creep into her life. The new friends she makes and the relationships that develop during the summer in Kanab make it as hard for the reader to put the book down as it is for Morgan to leave this "other life" she's discovered ... and loves so much. Well done, JoLyn! I can't wait for the sequel!

Learn more about JoLyn Brown and her books by visiting

JoLyn Brown