Prayers For Paris

Photo credit: REUTERS
Photo credit: REUTERS and

My heart is so heavy from these vicious attacks in Paris last night. Imagine being out with your family or friends after work and suddenly you hear gunfire. Confused, you turn your head toward the sound and see bodies, laying in a huge pool of blood everywhere. Your chest pounds in fear when you see the machine gun pointed at you seconds before the spray of bullets end your life.

Or if you live in the U.S., you may have seen President Obama talking on the Today show saying that ISIS has been contained, and now he is on the news offering the French government any assistance they need.

I can’t imagine the horror that these people experienced, and the shock that they are now in. I’m praying for the people of Paris and the country of France as they deal with their grief.

Resident Ghosts

Since my family and I moved into our brand new house in 2013, there have been numerous signs of a spirit here. When I first began spinning my first ghost story with my co-author, Anthony F. Rando, I didn’t believe in them. To me, it was just a fun story to create.

However, I soon began experiencing things that typical ghost hunters search for: a cold presence, the sight of the spirit moving and then disappearing, my computer, T.V., radio, etc. turning on by themselves with no one in sight.

I believe one of my resident spirits to be my sweet mother-in-law, and the other spirit is my grandmother. They probably don’t actually live in my house, but visit me often, especially late at night when I’m downstairs. Often, they seem to want something from me, but I’m too tired to figure out what it is.

It has stirred up my desire to work on my novel, “The Enchanted Locket” again. I recently found a Texas monthly magazine that highlighted my novel’s location, Galveston Island, though this article does not actually mention ghosts. It does mention that great storm that created over 6,000 potential ghosts from their terrible Great Storm of 1900. So, along with my real estate investing work, I’ll also open up my long lost document and visit my neglected characters…

Growing Up!

Noah and Jim It’s hard to believe that my ‘baby’ is growing up. Noah turned 12 three weeks ago, and in the church I belong to (Mormon), he receives the Aaronic Priesthood. My husband, who helps teach his class, gave him a blessing as he placed his hands on Noah’s head, along with my brother and his other teachers, that he would continue to be a faithful servant of God.

Today was the first Sunday that he served the congregation the bread and water, and he looked so grown-up. He is one the tallest Deacons in his quorum, which should help him play basketball with them tomorrow. I LOVE him and his sweet spirit, and am so proud of him!

I found a financial partner!

I’m excited to announce some great news: I’ve found a finance partner for my real estate investment business! He funds the full loan amount with the exception of the appraisal fee, and I can put down as much money as I want and receive more of the profit, or put no money down, and they keep a small percentage of my profit.

One of my closest friends, Anthony, has always wanted to flip (rehab) distressed homes and then sell them at retail value, and has agreed to do the rehabbing projects for me. He lives in New York, but we will focus on the southern area of New Jersey. Anthony is REALLY talented in updating homes that need a lot of TLC.

Now that my twelve year old is back in school, it’s time for me to focus on my business and make some $$. The new family theme we chose about reaching our potential includes me putting the time and effort needed to succeed, which is precisely what Jim and I teach our sons. For effort, time, and faith in yourself = success, because even our mistakes teach us important lessons that lead to achieve our potential.

I updated the theme of my real estate business website to reflect my business cards. Click here to check it out!

New Tradition

back to school feast 2015

Tonight my family and I started a new tradition: a back-to-school dinner feast with a theme for the year. I discovered this idea from blogger Stephanie Nielson from

After searching for ideas, Jim and I settled on reaching your highest potential, both in school and as a child of God. I found this wonderful quote from a talk from President Gordon B. Hinkley, a prophet who died in 2008. Here is the quote I used:

“You have the potential to become anything to which you set your mind. You have a mind, a body, and a spirit. With these three things, you can walk the high road that leads to achievement and happiness. But this will require effort, sacrifice, and faith.”

Potential Plaque

Noah's crown

We will talk about reaching our potential every day, especially as this theme includes adults as well. Jim also gave Noah a back-to-school blessing before he went to bed that he will have a great school year and enjoy learning.


Six months ago my faith and resilience was challenged in a VERY unexpected way. My son revealed a hidden pain and struggle, along with some terrible decisions that have led me to self-doubt and guilt.

Because, seriously, how could I NOT have known this whole other side of him? I knew he had the typical teenage angst that comes with finding his way in this world, but this was a whole other level.

I’m grateful for the gift of the Atonement. I KNOW that my Savior, Jesus Christ, knows me, loves me, and atoned for my sins. He also felt my feelings of despair, confusion, pain, as well as my happiness! He knows how to help me help my family overcome our unique challenges, and for that, I’m full of faith, and grateful for Him.

I’m a Mormon, and if you’re interested, click on this picture to read about my faith.   temple-i-believe-blue-silhouette

A Grateful Heart

I love Jim. He is a patient, supportive husband who is my best friend. We have been through many challenges in our almost twelve years of marriage, and I’m so grateful that we’ve grown stronger as a result.

Jim and Jen I’m so grateful that Jim is my husband, because he is my other half. A number of my friends do not have happy marriages, which saddens me, yet helps me remember my blessings.

Missing My Son

Life is tough at the moment. My fourteen-year-old son has been at a residential ranch since April. He had a traumatic early childhood, and some of these memories have come back to haunt him.

Seth with his long curls.

My husband, Jim, and I talk to him every Sunday (except on the weekends we get to visit him). He suffers from a mood disorder that causes dangerous, scary behavior, where we end up calling 911 so he can be evaluated. My heart is sad at his absence, but the alternative is even more frightening.

I’m grateful for my faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, who will heal our minds, bodies, and hearts when we pray for His help. I’ve prayed for patience throughout this trial, to avoid pulling Seth from the ranch healing program. They progress through five levels of both reading and work before their graduation. I love knowing that they have year round school to help his reading fluency.

Seth after I cut off his beautiful curls.
Seth after I cut off his beautiful curls.

So while it’s difficult not knowing when he will be able to return home, I’m glad to know he’s in a safe place where he can work through his suppressed anger and sadness. I look forward to the day when he is healthy and happy!


I have experienced numerous changes in the last ten years. Changes such as infertility, adoption, and unemployment to name a few.

Now I am ready to begin making deals in my new real estate investment business. In my mind it seemed I’d be a bit older when I began writing my life story. However, with my memory problems, and the fact that I haven’t recorded my life events in my journal, now is the best time to begin.

I want to publish my memoir someday because I’ve experienced immense joy and have overcome many obstacles that I want my children and grandchildren to read someday.

Happy Memorial Day!

Today I think of my beloved father-in-law. He’s a World War Two veteran who sadly left this earth in 2011 at the age of 90.

I’m grateful to all of our veterans, from every war, who fought and died so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today. It is my hope that we as a country will remember the veterans who are alive today, whose wounds may be unseen.

Happy Memorial Day!