Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Yesterday afternoon, I learned that I have been tying my shoes incorrectly! Maybe many of you have already heard about the correct way to tie your shoelaces, but I was completely clueless. How did I find out about this life-changing information, you ask? Well, I watched this (short) original TED video on Netflix, given by Terry Moore, from 2005:

After I picked up my kids from school, I had my entire little family watch the video too. We actually had to watch it several times to make sure we were doing it correctly. We also figured out some pretty interesting things about ourselves. Read on! :)
  1. My daughter and I have been tying our shoes incorrectly, but my husband and youngest son have been tying them correctly. I said to Greg, "Good job! Your parents weren't dorks!" Ha ha. Just kidding! I just find it fascinating that some families got the shoelace tying right from the beginning, while others got it wrong. (Or, maybe it was just me?!)
  2. Even more interesting was the fact that even though I'm right handed, I've been tying my shoes left-handed because my mother is left-handed! So intriguing, right?!
  3. Additionally, even though my daughter and I have been tying our shoes incorrectly, we've also been mirror images of each other! I have no idea how this happened??? I fully would have expected her to tie her shoes exactly like me - you know, like how I copied my left-handed mother exactly. Maybe this means my daughter will be a strong individual? Maybe it also means that I'm reading way too much into a shoelace tying experiment. ;)
  4. We discovered that my youngest son has been doing his initial start of the shoe-tie backwards, so when he creates the loop the way Mr. Moore does on his first try (where it's wrong), the overall effect is actually correct! Say what?! I seriously don't know how our son chose to change the way he ties his shoelaces from what Greg and I taught him. What a fortuitous mistake he made! :)
  5. My oldest son wanted nothing to do with our little family shoelace tying experiment. He just shook his head at us and happily went back to eating his Peanut M&Ms and watching his tablet. This shows me that he's officially in the, "My parents are lame." mode of teenagerhood. I'm pretty sure teenagerhood isn't a legitimate word, but I'm using it anyway. Hey, if Dr. Seuss can make up words, so can I! Ha ha.
Yep, fascinating.

After our family shoelace tying experiment was complete, Greg said to me, "That's it. I'm going to back to Velcro shoes." I laughed and said, "Just like an old man!"

*I mean no disrespect to the older generation with my comment, for I know we'll be a part of that classification in just a few short decades! It was just super funny to think of my hot, Nike-basketball-shoe-wearing husband reverting to big Velcro-fastened sneakers! ;) See his shoes below for effect. Yes, I created this lovely photo all by me'self! (Sorry, I don't mean to brag, I just really really love it!)

I know our family experiment yesterday made an impact on my children, because during the car ride to school this morning, my daughter very happily told me, "Mom, my tennis shoes are tied nice and tight - the right way!" Yes, folks, it's the little things that matter so much. :)

I sincerely hope everyone can save themselves the hassle of retying or double-knotting their shoes throughout the day, for I know Terry Moore's short three-minute video has changed my life for the better!

Also, I'm very happy this TED video initiated such a fun discussion between the members of my little family - it's something we'll remember forever! Thank you, Mr. Moore!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stunning Medical Advances

One personality trait that new readers might not know about me, is the fact that I'm absolutely fascinated and completely enthralled with the human body. I love to study and learn about our bodies via medical books, medical/science websites, and discussions with others. I love wondering (some might call it daydreaming) about my theories and hypotheses of ways to help improve people's health. I simply want people to feel utterly happy and physically blessed for as long as possible! :)

No, I never finished college/university or went to medical school because I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mother more than anything I've ever wanted in my entire life! Well, other than marrying my amazing husband, Greg! It's because of him that I'm living my motherhood dream—he's such a great guy! However, I fully plan to pursue higher education and get a degree (or two, or three!) as soon as my babies have flown the nest.

That said, I have always greatly enjoyed my hobby of medical research. There are literally not enough hours in the day for my insatiable medical-questions appetite. I'm totally addicted to learning and love it more than you can imagine...so much that it's hard for me to turn off my brain's questions! Oh, and lest anyone get the wrong impression, I must clarify that most of my time is spent doing family and church things.

Anyway, today I stumbled upon two stunning medical advances. Thus, I just have to share the great news!

First, for all of you loud-volume-listening iPod users, or owners of window-blasting car sound systems, Harvard Medical School has published an article titled, "Hearing Restored after Noise Damage," by Mary Leach. It's remarkably good news for anyone with hearing loss caused by noise trauma, so be sure to read the full article!

Here is the link to the original scholarly paper on Science Direct titled, "Notch Inhibition Induces Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration and Recovery of Hearing after Acoustic Trauma." I highly recommend watching the video under the summary, as it makes their long paper make much more sense to us non-genius types. ;)

Secondly, this article is for all of those lovely, adorable, sweet, wonderful human beings with Down Syndrome and their endlessly vigilant, selfless, and diligently caring family members. Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health have discovered a possible new drug treatment to help those with Down Syndrome improve their learning and memory! The Johns Hopkins Medicine article is titled, "Experimental Compound Reverses Down Syndrome-Like Learning Deficits in Mice." Again, please do yourself the favor and read the entire article. :)

Here is the link to the summary of the original research article on Science Translational Medicine [American Association for the Advancement of Science]: "DOWN SYNDROME   Hedgehog Agonist Therapy Corrects Structural and Cognitive Deficits in a Down Syndrome Mouse Model."

I hope you enjoy reading about these wonderful medical advances as much as I have. I'm truly so grateful for intelligent people who choose to bless our world by sharing their talents, thereby increasing them!

Matthew 25:20-21:
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mackenzie Day

12 years ago today, my family lost our sweet Mackenzie. If you'd like to know more of her story, please read the Church News article, "Mackenzie's Dance". I've included the link to her story previously, but I feel it's worth sharing again.

Even though the years have passed,
my heartache and tears for my baby sister have not...

Yet I know Mackenzie does not want us to miss her so terribly and cry such sad tears, so I am doing something different this year. I put together this typographic design with several things (but it's definitely not an all-inclusive list) that represented Mackenzie's unending and amazing goodness.

To honor Mackenzie, I would love it if you will choose at least one thing from Mackenzie's list and do it today.  I plan to celebrate "Mackenzie Day" each and every February 11th from here on out! :)

*Mackenzie, my darling, smarty-pants, beautiful sister, I love you so very very much!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Love Life, Live it Well!

Good evening! While I should be getting ready for bed right now, I simply cannot go to sleep until I post some lovely words from Elder Russell M. Nelson. *But before I get to those words, I must explain why I found them in the first place.

You see, I'm teaching a lesson in my ward's Mia Maid class tomorrow, "How can I find comfort when someone I care about dies?" This wasn't the lesson I thought I would be teaching, but I really wanted to teach it—because, sadly, I have a lot of experience in this area. Yet I thought I was scheduled for a different lesson, so you can imagine my smiling face when I read our ward's Young Women calendar (that is handed out once a month) and found out I was indeed teaching the very lesson I wanted to teach! Yay!

By the by, this situation has never happened to me before. Usually, whatever Sunday lessons I have scheduled online stay put. (The Mia Maid Class Presidency makes the decisions as to what lessons they want taught, and I put them in the order of their preference.) And usually, I don't really care what lesson I teach—I love them all! But this particular lesson was special to me...especially at this time of year...

Coincidence? I think not. Now I have another fun example of divine intervention to add to my spiritual arsenal. :)

Anyway, the lesson I've prepared is wonderful because of the resources available within my church—which are completely centered around the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Most of the lesson focuses on how we can find peace and comfort when our loved ones die and we are left behind. Believe me, it's so important to find that comfort—as I've had personal experience in finding that comfort for nearly 12 years now. But I found the words in the final section of Elder Nelson's talk (under the heading, Time to Prepare)—about what we should do before we die—to be very inspiring. Thus, I must share them here. (I'm so enthusiastic about them!)

Also, I feel that too many of us put blinders on when it comes to death. I don't think any of us really want to face the facts that one day we will be separated from our precious bodies and our loved ones. I remember reading somewhere that more than 90% of Americans believe in Heaven. Even for those who don't believe in Heaven, all of us must face the reality that one day we will depart from this earth. Thus, I wish everyone would read Elder Nelson's words and deeply take them to heart! :)

Without further ado, here are Elder Russel M. Nelson's inspiring words from his 1992 General Conference talk, "Doors of Death." (Emphasis added by me!)
"Meanwhile, we who tarry here have a few precious moments remaining “to prepare to meet God.” (Alma 34:32.) Unfinished business is our worst business. Perpetual procrastination must yield to perceptive preparation. Today we have a little more time to bless others—time to be kinder, more compassionate, quicker to thank and slower to scold, more generous in sharing, more gracious in caring. 
"Then when our turn comes to pass through the doors of death, we can say as did Paul: “The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:6–7.)
"We need not look upon death as an enemy. With full understanding and preparation, faith supplants fear. Hope displaces despair. The Lord said, “Fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.” (D&C 101:36.) He bestowed this gift: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.) 
"As a special witness of Jesus Christ, I testify that He lives! I also testify that the veil of death is very thin. I know by experiences too sacred to relate that those who have gone before are not strangers to leaders of this Church. To us and to you, our loved ones may be just as close as the next room—separated only by the doors of death. 
"With that assurance, brothers and sisters, love life! Cherish each moment as a blessing from God. (See Mosiah 2:21.) Live it well—even to your loftiest potential. Then the anticipation of death shall not hold you hostage. With the help of the Lord, your deeds and desires will qualify you to receive everlasting joy, glory, immortality, and eternal lives. For this I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
I fully and happily "second" everything Elder Nelson said. But I have a special feeling come over me when I read his words, "I know by experiences too sacred to relate..." For I, too, know, absolutely, by experiences too sacred to relate, that our loved ones are very nearby. The veil between this earthly life and the spirit world is very thin. Thus, I have faith and confidence that if I love my life and live it well, I will be blessed here and when I walk through that "door of death" to the other side.

To go along with my lesson, this past Tuesday I created this handout (below) for "my" Mia Maids to keep. I believe this beautiful scripture (1 Corinthians 15:22) was written with the divine purpose of giving everyone hope! :)