Money Madness

By Jessie Christensen

“Mom, how much money is in your bank account?” This was the question my son chose to spring on me the other night during the chaos of cleaning up dinner. I hesitated a bit, partly because I wasn’t sure of the exact amount and partly because I wasn’t sure how much to share with my son. I did finally tell him an approximate amount of money, and then we talked a little bit about how it might sound like a large number, but that we had quite a few bills to pay and how much they were in relation to the amount of money currently in my bank account. After listening to me for a minute, he launched into a detailed explanation of his savings and expenditures of tokens in an online game that he has been playing lately, then ran off to take a shower.

As I finished cleaning the kitchen and thought more about our conversation, I realized that I haven’t talked to my kids much about money. I don’t know what their thoughts and attitudes are about it; other than a few random conversations about our budget and sporadic FHE lessons about tithing, the topic doesn’t come up much in our house. I do know, however, that even if we aren’t talking about, they are still forming attitudes and beliefs about money from the things they see and hear around them. A few years ago I read a book about budgeting that focused on the psychological issues surrounding money—the premise of the book was that no budgeting system will ever fix your money issues until you figure out and solve the particular money beliefs that are driving your behavior. Until I read that book, I thought I was doing pretty well when it came to money management, but I was able to discover some unpleasant truths about myself and the way I handle money (like being scared to talk to my children about it, for example).

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How To Be Selfish

By Kellie Purcill


Step one: Find something you want to do, eat, read, try, sing, experience, avoid, write, touch, smell, grow, cut, photograph, make, keep, throw out, and/or enjoy.

Step two: Do it.

Step three: Stone yourself with grief and recriminations for doing what you did until you’re emotionally broken and bloody, or soak in the satisfaction, smiling so wide your ears hurt.


 Selfish is a cranky word, all spikes, hisses and barbed wire. I know very few women who haven’t – at some point – chewed their lip or hangnail, worried that they were being selfish. Not because they chatted to their eighty-five year old neighbour for ten minutes, but because they didn’t talk to her for longer (even though they had to pick up the kids from school, or get to work, or any number of equally necessary and/or important responsibilities). Selfish not because they donated money to the latest disaster fund appeal, but because they didn’t think to give more, and cancel the book they’d pre-ordered which was now waiting for them at the bookstore. Selfish for not going to the temple, Relief Society meeting, and Tupperware party this week when she was PMS’ing so badly the cat curdled, the milk molted and she snarled daggers at everyone who dared even breathe in her general direction, let alone suggested she was mixing her metaphors…

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Release the [Control] Freak!

By Kellie Purcill

I’m not in control of my life.

Sure, parts of it are neatly, docilely in place, waiting like an obedient dog told “Stay.” The other parts rampage all along the opposite end of the scale. Some areas need to be held carefully between thumb and forefinger as they squirm and resist my attempts to make them be still and behave. Further along the “While I’m Hieing to Chaos” spectrum, sections of my life behave like cats, with total indifference to my cajoling and saunter off, tail held high so I can see exactly what they think of my efforts. Then there are the areas that are wheezing, cranky camels – I don’t know why exactly they are there but I’m wary, not even attempting to approach, and pretty certain they are going to start spitting. Soon. And I’m going to be the one left with the mess.

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handsWith four children to parent while serving in an inner-city Spanish branch, Jenny Pocock (alias jendoop) hardly has time for gardening, reading, blogging, painting, and ignoring housework. She’s always up for something new, as proven by moving with her family from Utah, to Indiana, to Colorado, to Pennsylvania. In this spirit of adventure she’s earning her degree from BYU’s BGS program with her eye on becoming a psychologist, while being a stay at home mom. Her husband is the mix too, he’s really the one that keeps her on track. And he says she can’t skydive. Read more of her current adventures here.

Before we begin, let’s all say a silent prayer for my children and their future therapists. I promised myself that I would never post something personal about them – but here I am, doing just that. It is justified… I think.

My 14-year-old daughter had problems in her math class a few months ago. After talking it over we came to the heart of the matter; she didn’t understand a concept when it was explained in class and wouldn’t ask for outside help. This was especially troubling to my husband, who works in a career that is all about math. The man has been waiting years to share any of his useless- I mean, amazing math knowledge with his children. Now there was an opportunity and his daughter was depriving him of it.

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By Leslie Graff

outsourcing_edited-1Outsourcing. As I listen to NPR driving about town, people talk about the future of American jobs, they fret over customer service call centers in India and the dangers of outsourcing, but lately it’s been a different form of domestic outsourcing I can’t get out of my head– outsourcing in our homes.

In business the commodity to be saved is money, but in the home it is convenience. As a part of our modern world, I feel the historical work of home life shifting away from me.  I feel a constant battle between the cartoon angel (Leslie the Family Scientist) and devil (Just-Enjoy-Yourself Leslie) on my shoulder.

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