My Family

My Family

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grant's Mission Report...

This last Sunday was Grant's (formerly, Elder Herron/Herron Choro) mission report in church. Besides the people who normally go to our ward, around 50 of our family members and friends were in attendance. It was also a missionary farewell - Elder Cori Harker was leaving to go to Brazil for two years. Cori mentioned Grant in his talk - which I thought was great. He said he's always looked up to Grant and admired his ability in understanding scriptures, and whenever there was a scripture chase, he wanted to be on Grant's team so he could win! Hee, hee! We wish Elder Harker all the luck in the world!

Grant was assigned to talk about "The Only True and Living Church". Grant did a good job. He was a little hesitant in speaking, not because he didn't know what to say, but because he hasn't spoken English much at all for 2 years. He stumbled over a few words, but every returned missionary does that. It's endearing. It's fascinating. I love to hear the accents these Elders have when speaking English after they return. Grant's accent is already starting to disappear. The best way to describe it is that whenever Grant is explaining something, it sounds like he is asking a question - his voice goes a little higher at the end of each sentence.

Grant spoke about a 3-step process to knowing for ourselves whether the LDS church or true or not:
1. Desire to know
2. Follow the Commandments
3. Pray

Grant explained that as missionaries, they spent their time trying to get the people they came in contact with to have a desire to know about the truthfulness of the gospel. Why must we desire? In the Book of Mormon, Alma 29:4 teaches that God will grant unto us according to our desires. If we desire to know, then he will show us the way to act, and how to be. He gives us commandments.

Grant taught his investigators that commandments aren't just rules. If they were just rules, they would be an end in themselves. However, commandments, unlike rules, have blessings attached to them. If we follow a commandment, God blesses us. If we don't, then there will be no blessing.

Doctrine & Covenants 130:20-21 reads...
"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated - and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

Doctrine & Covenants 82:10 says...
"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."

So, if we desire, then that desire leads to action. The appropriate action is following the commandments and getting blessings. Every commandment has a special blessing attached to it, and those blessings help us to recognize that God fulfilled His promises.

John 7:17 -
"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

Lastly, even though we might feel like we've received our answer as a blessing, we need to pray. Praying to our Heavenly Father will help us to confirm our witness of the truth.

Grant talked about an investigator he had - a 16-year-old Korean boy. He read and read the Book of Mormon and prayed about the truthfulness of it. He got his answer - a burning in his chest. Grant said that he was so happy to hear about this young boy's experience. He knew it was true. But that wasn't the best part of it all. He didn't ask only once... he asked 5 times! Every time he read, he asked again. Every time he asked, he got another answer. He had great faith and had a wonderful experience. Grant learned a lot from him. He learned that no matter how phenomenal the answer or how sure we are, Heavenly Father will still answer our prayers if we desire to know. Grant talked about a few other experiences he had as a missionary in Japan. Then he bore his testimony. He said each phrase in Japanese first and then translated it to English so that we could understand what he was saying. It was incredible!

Grant was a great missionary. He learned so much and taught others. He bore testimony of the Savior to people in a country that isn't really Christian. What a hard, challenging thing to do. I so grateful that he was up to the challenge. He will always have a special place in his heart for the people of Japan. I can't think of a better blessing than having one of your children serve a mission.

Called to serve Him, heavenly king of glory... chosen ere to witness for his name... Far and wide we tell the Father's story... far and wide His love proclaim...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Making My Memories With Cherish Bound Books

Today's blog is about Cherish Bound books. My blog friend - over on The Misplaced Americans (to see her blog, go to my blog list, find it, and click)is interested in making a book with Cherish Bound. I really wish I was there in Brazil, so that I could show her some of the cool books I've made. But, I'm not. :-( So, I thought I'd take pictures of some of the books I've done and post them here so she could see all the wonderful possibilities! So, here we go...

This book is my very first book with Cherish Bound. It is the first installment of a collection of books about my son, Grant's, mission. There he is, the handsome devil!

This next book is my son, Michael's, graduation book. I photoshopped the picture on the front cover to look like a watercolor - pretty cool. This is a example of the black page background. Inside and out...

This set of small books is one of my favorites. I did these for 3 of my kids for Valentines day. These are some of my favorite pictures and stories of each of them. Here I'll show the covers, the inside of Alex's, and the back of Matthew's. They were all designed pretty much the same...

Next in line - books that I made for both of my grandmothers for Christmas. They are mostly picture books. It was a surprise, so I didn't get the chance to interview them about their lives - that's one of my next book projects (just text). I made these book look alike, so they'd look like a matched set on my parents' shelf. By the way, Cherish Bound archives all of the books people make, so if any of my cousins or Aunts and Uncles want a copy, they just have to go on to the CB website, plug in the number that is on the back of the book and order one. SWEET! This is one of CB's designer books - it's just lovely...

This is fun! It's like a fashion show for my books! You can look inside a few books on CB's website, but mine are cuter... hee, hee!

On to our next fun book. This one is a book about my dog, Cocoa. She's a beautiful chocolate Lab. This book was made using a "Legacy" design. I loved how the colors (browns, blues, etc.) highlighted the pictures...

This next book is my most recent book. My son Grant just came home from his Japanese mission and I wanted a gift to give him when he arrived. I took most of his pictures of landscapes and buildings in Japan (he is an INCREDIBLE photographer!) and made a book - each page is a full-bleed picture and there are no words. Believe me, the photos speak for themselves. Now he's got a professionally bound book for his portfolio. Oh yeah! Here's the cover and two of the inside spreads...

I finally decided that before all of my wedding photos were destroyed by time (fading), I'd get them into a book. This little book was super easy to make. I added some of the fun things we remembered about that day, along with the photographs (don't laugh at our hair - I know we were soooo 80s). The pic of the inside shows Rick and his best man, Glenn Morrell...

This last Christmas, I did books for a lot of the gifts I gave. I made a "cousins" book for my side of the family and one for Rick's side of the family as well. Here is the one of my side. The picture on the inside spread is of my dad being buried in sand by his grand kids! Fun times...

This next book was made for my son, Grant. He was the Sterling Scholar for Technology at Lone Peak High. He made a portfolio - each page done in Photoshop. I just took each of those pages and put them into the book full-bleed. It was the fastest, easiest book I've made - took me maybe a half hour...

My sister adopted a little girl from Guatemala last year. When they got home, we threw a baby shower for them. Using some journaling page from a kit I got at CB, I had each person write some advice for Kris and Ellie and then I took pictures of each person holding Ellie. I put it all together in a cute little book. This is another one of CB's "Legacy" designs - so fun, with the pink rose buds on the pages...

Last summer I ran a summer camp called "I'm An Author" - a Cherish Bound program that helps kids learn to write and illustrate their own books. This next book is the one my son, Matthew did for that camp. I love his stick figure illustrations...

When Grant was on his mission, I made a small book for him to use as an autograph book. I put small pictures from his mission and quotes from his letters home, but left plenty of space around those for people to write. I got both a softbound and a hardbound book. I just looked through the hardbound - which is the one I sent to him. It looks so cool with all of the different notes in there - some are written in Japanese Kanji. The pics of the outside of the book are of the softbound copy...

This is a spread from my "Power of Story" book - a book that anyone who signs up to be a CB consultant gets to make for free. It's a fun little book where you can share a few pictures and stories of your own (yep, that's me - I was a little cutie-pie, huh?)...

This picture is of a small graduation book I made using photos from my two oldest sons' high school graduation. I made it as a sample book for my CB business. The book on the bottom is my "Power of Story" book. The inside spread is from the graduation book - Grant and a good friend, Brady...

Two more books to show you. This one is a special book. When Grant left on his mission, I started a newsletter called "Ye Elders of Israel" - with 28 missionaries. Each month a newsletter was mailed out (with the help of the other families) to each missionary. This is how they kept in touch. This little book, called "We Testify" was a project of mine - each missionary sent me his testimony in English and in the language he was speaking. I also got testimonies from about 20 of the girls they all went to school with. I put them all into a book and CB published it. Each missionary got one of these. It allowed them to share testimonies of their friends all over the world. The inside spread is Grant's. His testimony is in English, Kanji, and Romagi...

Last book (this isn't all I've made - I've made over 35 of my own and 20 of my students)... This is perhaps one of my favorites. It was made using one of Cherish Bound's designer series. It is our vacation to Northern California. I've shown two spreads from inside, because I wanted you to see how colorful the inside is... the yellow page listed each family member's favorite thing about the vacation. FUN!

Well, that's it. I hope you all enjoyed the fashion show. If you are interested in making beautiful books of your own, let me know. Email me at or

Share those memories...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Family Update...

Here's the update on the fam for this week:

It's been kind of a boring week actually. This was Grant's first week home and he spent the week catching up on sleep. He spent some time with friends, too. He fixed up his room, unpacked, and watched some movies that he missed while on his mission (Kung Fu Panda and Harry Potter's Order of the Phoenix). He also signed up to take two classes at the University of Utah this summer.

Rick worked and while he was home, he and Grant started working on the bikes for their bike trip (next week). All of the bikes need tune ups!

Michael has been at school (USU) - he had a paper due this week and a test. He's been listening to lectures on the computer for a biology test coming up next week. He and Ashley are driving down today and will stay this weekend with us, so they can attend Grant's homecoming talk and party afterwards.

This was the first week of the fourth quarter for both Alex and Matthew. Alex was still trying to catch up on some work for last quarter. I think he's done and his report card for 3rd quarter will be pretty SWEET! Mostly A and A- grades.

Matthew, unfortunately, missed 3 days of school this week. He feels pretty crappy in the mornings - I think he has a cold or something. So, he'll have TONS of homework next week. Bummer. He is also trying to finish up some missing work for last quarter. He just got home from a scout activity - a canned food drive. He went around picking up food that people left on their front steps. I love these scout activities!

The coolest thing that happened this week was that Matthew was ordained to the priesthood last Sunday. Grant was able to be there for that (we waited until he came home from the mission to help with the ordination). Matthew was able to pass the sacrament for the first time. He did very well. It was also Grant's first week back in our home ward. He got to shake lots of hands and everyone seemed excited to see him. It was only the second time I've been to church in the last 8 months, so lots of people came to hug me and wish me well.

My week has been pretty good. I haven't done a lot - it's been too cold to walk outside. I had a Herceptin treatment this week and I also went to the plastic surgeon's office to get a "fill". And I had the thrilling experience of having an ultrasound on my neck, in prep for my parathyroid surgery. Yesterday I needed a little retail therapy, so I went with my sis to Taipan Trading. That used to be my favorite store, but it's been awhile since I've gone. I wasn't too thrilled with it - there were too many plants and flowers. Bummer. I just wanted to find some fun Easter stuff. There wasn't much there, so we high-tailed it over to The Quilted Bear and found a bunch of stuff. I stumbled across a 50% off sale on Boyd's Bears. Now, if you know me well, you know that I used to collect these bears. So, you can imagine how excited I was. I found a big, adorable, bunny named Brigham for only ten bucks! SCORE! I put everything I had in my cart back on the shelves and just got Brigham. Here's my beautiful, bunny, baby...

Grant brought me some cool souvenirs from Japan. I got 6 obis (those are the long material things that wrap around the waist of the kimonos. I'm using a few of them on some of my furniture. He also brought me a wooden kokeshi doll. Here are some pictures...

This is my doll and one of the obis (my favorite one)

Have a great week!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fun Friday Tips

It's time for Fun Friday Tips again.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. -Ronald Reagan

The secret to cutting calories without feeling deprived and hungry may be to choose foods that allow you to eat larger portions but with fewer calories:

50 calories each:
1 1/2 tablespoons Haagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream / 1 cup of strawberries

60 calories each:
4 ounces (1/2 cup) of orange juice / 1 orange

100 calories each:

8 pretzels / 3 cups low-fat popcorn

200 calories each:
one-third of a chicken salad croissant / 1 green salad topped with one-half of a chicken breast and 2 tablespoons fat-free dressing

Get the MOST from the calories you take in!


The disposable towels so popular right now don't clean any better or faster, just more expensively. They don't list the chemicals contained in the towels and without that knowledge be cautious using them to dust wood furniture.

An old, clean cotton T-shirt works just fine to dust. Mist the T-shirt with water and go. Lift objects with one hand and dust with the other. It's a little awkward at first but much faster.

Another way to dust - place a clean cotton tube sock over one hand, spritz with water and dust. The sock allows you to clean lamps with ease as well.

Spray a clean white T-shirt with rubbing alcohol to clean TV and computer screens. Do not use old dryer sheets, disposable dust towels or cleansers of any kind on these sensitive surfaces.

Take care using paper towels or newspapers on any kind of glass or plastic. They are made from wood and the small wood slivers sometimes embedded in them can scratch.

Visit your furniture store to find a polish to deep treat your wood furniture. Like humans, trees depend on moisture to live. That moisture must be replenished several times a year or cracking results.
(Thanks to for this cleaning tip)


Whenever our family attends a HERRON family reunion, someone brings this yummy cake. It's my favorite!

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. margarine
4 T. cocoa
1 c. water

Mix flour and sugar together in mixing bowl. Combine shortening, margarine, cocoa and water in saucepan and heat slowly until shortening and margarine melt. Pour mixture over flour and sugar and mix until well blended.

Add the following ingredients to the above mixture and stir until well blended.

2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1 t. soda

Pour into a well greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately ice with the following frosting...

1 lb. powdered sugar
4 T. cocoa
1 square of margarine (melted)
6 T. evaporated milk

Frosting will melt on sheetcake. Spread carefully to avoid tearing the cake.

THANKS to Rick's Aunt Mary Herron for this recipe.

The song of the day is posted on the left side of the blog - under "About Me". This song is one of my favorite John Mayer songs. ENJOY!

New Button

Trying to make my button... here it is!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

BOOK REVIEW - The Jolly Postman

The other day, my son, Michael, called from a bookstore. He was there with Ashley, his girlfriend, and he wanted to show her one of his favorite childhood books. But, he couldn't remember the name. As he described it to me, I went and picked in up off of the book shelf, where I've kept a good majority of the kids' books I've collected over the years. It was a joy to sit there and look through this book. I'd love to share it with you.

The book is called "The Jolly Postman or Other People's Letters" by Janet & Allan Ahlberg. I believe it was published in London. This book is written in rhyme. It's about a postman who delivers letters and packages to characters from popular fairy tales: the three bears, the witch in the gingerbread house, the giant at the top of the beanstalk, Cinderella, the big bad wolf, and Goldilocks. The fun thing about this book is that each time the postman delivers something, the next page is an envelope that is addressed (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Bear, Three Bears Cottage, The Woods) and when you turn that page, you can reach inside the envelope and take out the letter (or whatever is inside) and read it. So, for example, the witch receives an advertisement - Hobgoblin Supplies Ltd. Everything for the modern witch. The page is covered with ads for witch supplies. Goldilocks receives a birthday card from Mrs. Bunting and Baby. It is so charming! I really love books that you can interact with and this one is probably one of the first of it's kind. Imagine how excited we all were when Santa brought another "Postman" book, this one called "The Jolly Christmas Postman". The envelopes in this book have even cooler surprises - puzzles, games, books, and cards.

These books are still available for purchase and I know your kids will love them. Obviously they made an impression on Michael! :-) Here's what they look like:

One of the best things about keeping books and other things from childhood is the memories that come crashing all around you when you look at these things. I can almost remember what the kids' hands looked like when they would pull out one of the surprises from these books. I can almost remember their sweet little voices. And I can't wait to share these books with grandkids! There's nothing quite like a good book to share!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Grant and Jeff Spear

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reunion Time

Well, I'm now the mom of a returned missionary (RM). The reunion at the airport was great. I got there an hour early with the younger boys and we waited there for Rick and Michael and the grandparents. We brought a couple of welcome signs that my friend, Leslie, made. Rick was annoyed that we were going to hold them up! But, out of all of the families that were there, ours was the most understated. One family had tons of people, a huge banner, balloons, and a big video camera on a tripod! Haha! People from the flight kept coming down the escalator and telling us that the missionaries were on their way... I guess a bathroom was the first order of business. So, Grant and his companions were almost the last to come down the escalator. Rick hid behind a pillar at the top of the escalator and saw Grant before we did.

There are no words to describe the feeling I had watching him come down that escalator. I felt such a huge relief. In the few days before he came home, I felt joy, because I was going to see him after such a long time. I was sad, because he was leaving a place and people that he loved so much (and it's not like he can just hop in the car and drive to see them!). I felt sad because it was so nice to have a missionary out serving, because our family was showered with so many blessings. But relief is what I felt when I saw him. There was such a feeling of completeness - our whole family is here again. I guess you don't realize how imcomplete you feel until they come back. It's almost like I held my breath for 2 years and I could finally breath again.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the reunion - he looks so great!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm Soooooo Excited!!!

I was going to do a book review today, but I just can't think straight! I'm soooooo excited. Grant (my wonderful missionary son) is returning home right now. He is on Korean Air Flight #788 and will arrive in Seoul Korea in 22 minutes. He then has a 3 hour layover and then takes Delta Flight #7859 to Los Angeles (back in the USA after almost 2 years!). The bummer is that he has a 3 hour layover in California too. Then on to Delta Flight #1180, and that will arrive tomorrow afternoon (the 20th) at the Salt Lake City airport, where I will be waiting impatiently to see my son come down that escalator.

We are tracking his flights on It's fun to see the updates about where he is. Grant is traveling with 2 other missionaries - Elder Rodney Tonga and Elder Spencer Bateman. I bet they are having so much fun. Grant met Elder Tonga in the MTC 2 years ago. They both served in the Fukuoka mission, but never as companions, so I know Grant is enjoying seeing Elder Tonga again. I'm hoping they get some sleep at some point, but I'm sure they are excited to get home and probably won't be able to sleep.

I've been a big cry baby today. I don't know what's wrong with me. I think that the second I see him, the tears will start to flow again. I'm just so happy that our family will finally be together again. I can't wait to see the huge changes in Grant (I hope he hasn't completely changed, because I really miss the old Grant).

Think about us tomorrow - wish us luck. Pray that Grant and his companions arrive safely.

19 hours and counting.....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Sandwich Heaven

Michael eating a sandwich at a deli in New York City - Spring Break

Ashley's sandwich. The waiter told them one sandwich would feed two people, but they didn't believe him. Each sandwich was around $23.00! And yes, that's an entire head of lettuce on each sandwich!
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My Gorgeous Boys

My Gorgeous Boys