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!


+29 Recommend this on Google
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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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Learning To Like Yourself

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think.
~ A. A. Milne

We teach our children from the time they are young to be proud of who they are; to like who they are. We help them find what they are good at and encourage them to develop their talents. We take notice of their accomplishments and praise them for trying and doing their best. However, as adults, we often forget to put this into practice ourselves.

We need to notice what we accomplish throughout our day and give ourselves credit (and even reward) for what we've done. For some, getting out of bed and dressed is quite an accomplishment. Checking off just one or two of our "to-do's" is something to celebrate!

So is finding something about ourselves that we like. It's not always easy, especially when we're having one of those days (and we all have them). Think about what it is you like about yourself. It could be one of your features, a personality trait, something you're good at, something you've accomplished, something you made, something you did. Just find something you like about you and focus on that for a day. Be proud of who you are. It's not boasting or bragging … it's liking yourself. And that's a good thing.

If we are going to successfully teach our children to like who they are, we have to be brave enough to like ourselves first. After all, we teach by example.
Braver Stronger Smarter

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

You Are Enough

It's easy to feel small and insignificant in such a big world. It's not so easy to feel like our actions make a difference or have any impact on those around us.

Knowing we matter, matters a lot! Understanding we are important, is important. Realizing we make a difference, makes all the difference. We need to know and feel that we are enough! So how do we get to that point?

Start by knowing that you are a child of God. We all are. Regardless of our religion. Regardless of our status. Regardless of where we live or what we do. Regardless of our trials or shortcomings. We all matter. We are all important. And we can all make a difference because we are all God's children. He created the world. He created us. That means we have capabilities that even we are unaware of. We have potential to do great things. We are all royal sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who knows us and loves us. But, we often lose sight of this and crumble when the world tells us we aren't good enough.

As a society, we try too hard to fit in, to impress, to one-up those around us. If we spent less time trying to "keep up with the Jones'" and more time trying to live up to our own divine potential, we'd realize that we are already enough, just the way we are. If there are people around us who tell us otherwise, we're hanging around the wrong people.

This world would not be the same if you weren't in it. It's that simple. So go through your day knowing that you are making a difference to someone, somewhere, somehow. You are doing it simply by being you. You Are Enough!
Knowing We Matter

Friday, April 4, 2014

Reach For The Stars

No longer do we live in a day where the traditional, stable careers are waiting for post-graduates with a degree in hand. Nor do we live in a time where it's strange to dream. The world is changing almost as fast as freshmen change their majors (I can say that because I was one of them), and dreams become realities ... if you make them.

Regardless of what your goals are, remember to reach for the stars! Today, the world encourages us to think outside the box, do the undaunted, test our limits. Don't be afraid to try new things and venture into unchartered territory. Create your own destiny and make things happen!

I watch as my 10 and 12-year-old sons create jaw-dropping 3-D rides and buildings on their iTouch devices within minutes. At first glance, adults might want to say, "Do something productive." But, who's to say my sons (among other millions of 10 and 12-year-olds) won't be the next designing engineers for Disney or the next great architects of the future? Of course, all things in moderation. (My boys have to earn their electronic time.)

Speaking of electronics, look at the apps that we use on our devices every day. Many apps are developed by teens and pre-teens! Learn how to code, add some imagination and you open doors for success ~ no matter how old (or young) you are.

But, it's not just about careers or technology. It's about having goals and working to make them a reality. Do you have a bucket list? What's on it? Perhaps it's running a marathon; writing a book; starting a clothing line; climbing Everest; traveling around the world; paying off your mortgage. There are no limits out there for what you can do! The only limits are the ones you put on yourself. So reach for the stars, spread your wings and fly. You never know what you can do 'til you try.
Reach For The Stars

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You Are Loved

Valentine's Day is a holiday that brings on some really strong emotions: either you love it or you hate it!

If you are in a relationship, this holiday might mean flowers or a romantic dinner. If you're married, it might mean staying in, wondering if your spouse remembered to get a card. If you're married with kids, it might mean preparing treats to pass out at school and hoping your (child's) Valentine's box doesn't embarrass him/her when it's next to all the Pinterest-designed boxes.

If you're single, you just hate this holiday! End of story.

Well, whether or not you are a fan of this love-struck day, spend some time focusing on how many blessings you have and how many people (family, friends, neighbors) you have around you who love and care about you.

Don't look at this Valentine's Day as a day just for lovers, but as a day to celebrate those you love. Instead of "love notes", write notes of gratitude. Let your family, friends, and loved-ones know how much you appreciate them. Write notes to your spouse reminding them of your favorite memories of when you first met. Leave notes in your child's lunch, folder, or room telling them how proud you are of them. Send a text message to a sibling or parent who might live far away. Reconnect with a long-lost friend through social media or a traditional card-in-the-mail gesture. (Everyone still loves getting a little something special in the mail!)

If you spend a little time and put a little effort into praising those you love and showering them with your gratitude and love, you will be reminded that you really are surrounded by people who love you and you have much to be grateful for. Then, maybe this holiday will become one you treasure.
You Are Loved