Friday, August 26, 2011

Two New & Exciting Books

Today I'm pleased to introduce two new books that I was recently given a chance to review. The first one touches on a popular four-letter word: DIET. Yes, you heard right, I said the dreaded, "D" word. It's something I've lived with for a long time as a Type 1 diabetic. For years I've tried very hard to count carbs and behave with regard to food consumption. I've clung to the belief that sticking to a 45 carb per meal approach is the way to go and I have avoided all of the fad diets that numerous family members and friends have touted. None of them have ever appealed to me or seemed like a healthy alternative. I've never been impressed with any of them . . . until now. I'm happy to say that the book, "All Diets Work: that's the problem," is a wonderful approach to the age old problem of losing weight in a healthy fashion.

Written by Jen Brewer, an inspired dietician, "All Diets Work," offers 25 tools to help us lose weight in a manner our bodies will like. I love Jen's proposal: "Stop dieting . . . & start eating in a way that helps your body become the healthy, strong body that you want." Jen's wisdom and fun sense of humor shine throughout this 132 page book. I'll share some snippets as an example:

"The function of water is simple: if you don't have it, you die." 

"Some diets tout an eating plan that has you stop eating at 6:00 p.m. Here's the fact--your body does not have an alarm clock that suddenly sounds at 6:00 p.m. and states: "I have now passed  the calorie-burning phase and will being the calorie-storing phase, so anything you eat after this point turns into fat."

"Face your stuff, don't stuff your face."

"I used to be motivated by wanting to look better. Now I don't care what I look like--when you get to be my age, some droopiness is inevitable. What motivates me is waking up and feeling good . . ."

In my opinion, "All Diets Work," is a work of pure genius. Jen Brewer has compiled some very basic, but proven ways to lose weight permanently. This is a book you will want to keep close and study repeatedly. The twenty-five tools that she shares are crucial to healthy weight loss, and the entire book is loaded with common sense. I found myself nodding as I read it through it the first time, agreeing with Jen's suggestions. Finally, I have been handed something that will work for me and won't sabotage the tightrope I walk daily as a Type 1 diabetic. This is the healthiest approach that I've seen in a very long time to losing weight and keeping fit. I'm giving this book, "All Diets Work," a tremendous thumbs up!  You can purchase a copy for yourself by clicking on this link: 

This is Jen's website:  Click here for an inspiring website that will change your life

Jen Brewer also sent me a copy of smaller book written by herself and a woman named Amy Stucky. The title alone hooked me: "Be the Chocolate Chip!" (Okay, I'll freely admit that I'm a chocoholic.) This little booklet contains a wonderful analogy. In it we are reminded that chocolate chips don't melt into nothingness when facing tremendous heat. Written for the youth, it challenges them to remember that they can choose to be 'in the cookie, but not of the cookie.' As a long-time leader of the youth in my ward, I heartily recommend this book. In my opinion, this is something every teen should read and absorb.

 You can purchase this booklet by clicking on this link:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: "All That Was Promised"

Once in a while a book comes along that possesses the ability to link the reader to the past.  All that was Promised is one such novel. Written by Vickie Hall, this historical book plunges the reader into the challenges faced by the early Welsh saints. Persecuted by family, friends, and neighbors, faithful Welsh members of the LDS Church faced overwhelming trials. I've heard similar stories from my husband's side of the family tree. Several of his ancestors originated from Wales, and that may be why this book struck such a chord for me. It also gave me a greater appreciation for how difficult it was for those valiant ancestors who persevered during that volatile era.

I found myself caught up in the storyline from the first chapter. Vickie accurately portrays the setting in Wales and her characters are well developed. My only complaint would be the tendency to jump from one point of view to another within the same scene. Aside from that, I found this book to be an extremely good read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or who has an interest in the Welsh culture.

This is the storyline as described on the back of the book: "An encounter with a Mormon missionary and his unusual message of a 'restored gospel' leaves Richard Kenyon, a young Methodist minister questioning his life's work . . . Richard soon finds himself struggling to recognize the promised blessings of the gospel when violent persecution shakes the fledgling Church in Wales."

All that was Promised is Vickie Hall's debut novel. I look forward to her future works, and I am proud to help promote this new author. All that was Promised can be purchased by clicking on this link: Buy this book

Monday, August 1, 2011

Is It August Already?

So does anyone else wonder where the month of July went? I can't believe it's already the first day of August. On the other hand, between reunions, camping adventures, girls' camp, etc. is it any wonder that the past four weeks were a blur of activity? ;) I think we were all trying to make up for the fact that winter kept us in its chilly clutches for far too long. We pretty much skipped spring and went right to summer about the end of June. =D

I'll post a few pictures today, to prove that we really did have a partial summer this year, complete with cook-outs, camp-outs, and even an excursion or two to Bear Lake. 

We began July with the annual Crane Reunion. This year it was held at the Heise Hotsprings Campground near Ririe, Idaho. A good time was had by all.

Here some of the Crane Clan are enjoying an unique bean bag toss game.

This is a cute shot of our son, Devin, his wife, Emily, my husband, Kennon, and little Parker Crane, enjoying a moment in the shade.

The next weekend we journeyed to Lava, Idaho to enjoy a reunion from my side of the family tree: the annual Glenn Sibbett Reunion. In this shot my mother is posing with her sister and brothers. They are surrounding a painting rendered by my talented uncle (Ben Sibbett). The painting depicts the Wyoming ranch where my mother and her siblings grew up. Very cool. 
And here is a random picture of the reunion itself. Good times--and awesome food. 

 Another event that took place around the second week of July: I hit the half-century mark with regard to age. ;) Yep, my family made fun of me . . . a lot. These are shots from a family BBQ where we celebrated several July birthdays in the Jackson clan. My siblings had a riot commemorating my landmark BD. Pictured above: sacks that highlight the year I was born. Below: special cupcakes made by my talented s-i-l, Shar. It was a fun occasion, and again, wonderful food.

Sadly, I learned later, immediately after the family BBQ mentioned above, that my husband's cousin, Kacey Crane, was killed in a plane crash in Grace, Idaho. This was a tragic loss that tore at all of our hearts. Kacey was only 35 and leaves behind two little boys and a beautiful wife. Our hearts go out to his entire family. Here is a link for a fundraiser for Kacey's family. Several items are up for bid: Crane Family Fundraiser

Kennon has caught some impressive fish this summer. Here's a trout he caught in Bear Lake, out fishing on a boat with his good brother, Jeffy.

This is a random shot of girls' camp this year, held the third week of July. Yep, Bennington Ward was assigned the value color, red, yet again this year. It's okay--we like red. ;) Here the girls are practicing their skit for the program that night.

 From girls' camp we headed to a camp-out with family and friends at Palisades Lake, located between Wyoming and Idaho.

Here Jody & I are hamming it up on good brother-in-law, Jeffy's, boat as the menfolk troll for fish on Palisades Lake. We didn't catch any fish, but we had a lot of fun that day. Thank you Jeff and Dannyel for letting us ride around on your boat.

This is a shot of all three couples: Jody & Doran, Jeff & Dannyel, and Kennon & me at the famed Bar J in Jackson, Wyoming. This is a family oriented dinner and show type of thing. If you've never been, you should check it out sometime. The food is excellent, and the show is hilarious. 
A really cool thing happened during the dinner show. A young couple from our neck of the woods (Bear Lake) got engaged onstage that night. Kelly thought she was winning a door prize and went onstage, not aware that her soon-to-be fiance, Austin, was about to propose. We were thrilled to be there for this event.

 This is the final event we attended that weekend: the PBR Bull riding competition held in Afton, Wyoming that Saturday night. We had excellent seats and could see everything quite clearly. Once again, a good time was had by all--
with the exception of the cowboys who hit the ground fairly hard that night. The bulls were in fine form, giving each cowboy the ride of his life.

The final event of this busy month of July: our immediate family gathered together for a fun time, the first annual Kennon Crane Reunion. We enjoyed a cook-out Friday night, a day at Bear Lake on Saturday, and on Sunday, our cute new grandson, Ryker Glenn, was blessed in church. 

 Here is a picture of our entire family, and my mother. What a fun, wonderful day.

All in all, we did enjoy quite a few events this past month. I still can't believe August is upon us.  ;) I think I could use another month between July and August, but that's just me. I am so not ready for fall to make its way onto the seasonal stage. =D What think the rest of you out there?