Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Discussion

Dear Busy Gal Classic Reading Society Members,
Gals! We need to resume our book group activity.  So, if you are one of the few who have read our last selection "A Diary of a Young Girl' by Anne Frank, thank you for reading! I would like to give the host of that selection time when it is convenient for her to lead the discussion on that book. So, don’t be sad. However, we need to move things along. 
Since it is December and the Christmas season, I have been thinking of our dear prophet Thomas S. Monson.  He has shared with us three selections that he reads every year at this time.  One being ‘A Christmas Carol ‘ by Charles Dickens, he also reads 'The Mansion' by Henry van Dyke which is a very short Christmas story, his last selection is to read from Luke the Christmas story of Jesus birth.
Most of us are all so busy this Christmas season and are familiar with 'A Christmas Carol' . I thought that it would be good to read 'The Mansion' by Henry van Dyke since it is shorter. And chances are we'll  watch the Charles Dickens movie and we will probably read from Luke with our families at some point this Christmas.
If you would like to participate in this book group discussion you can read this short Christmas story online and don't need to purchase the book.  It can be found at this site:
It is also free on the Kindle and I think if you have a smart phone or device you can download a Kindle app. and get it there also.
It is about 17 pages on Microsoft Word at font size 12 if that gives you any idea of how long it is to read.
I will host the discussion at my house and would like to meet Friday January 11, 2013.
Feel free to let me know your interest in participating with this classic reading group. I have found the classics to be very beneficial especially as I have been in the schools, having that knowledge has helped me help the kids.
If you are new to the book group, you can see our ‘Purpose’ statement on our blog. We would like to stick closely to the classics and high school and college reading lists and classic authors. Feel free to look at the other selections we have read in the past found on the left column at this blog address:
Thank you all for your participation.
Sincerely,  Sharon Stevens

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Fall

Our book group continues on for all you stalwart reading gals.  We have finished 'The Fellowship of the Rings' by JR Tolkien and had a fun time watching the movie at Kris's house.  We enjoyed the food and discussion of the first of the series sparking a nagging interest in some of our readers to read through the rest of the books. Whew! You go Gals!
Our next selection is 'The Diary of a Young Girl' by Anne Frank.  A book often found on the reading lists in our children's schools. Some of us have read this book long ago in school but it will be a good refresher for those of us who haven't read it in a while and will be a good book to discuss.  Bobbie will host this book and when she decides on a date for the discussion I'll post it for you. So, don't forget that if you need a library copy of this book and it is gone you can inter-library loan it for no charge if you tell them it is for this book group.  Also, some of you may be able to get a copy at your children's schools.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Middle Earth Food and Recipes

Don't know what Hobbits eat?  Here is a link for you to find a few tasty Shire and Middle Earth recipes to bring to book group.  See you tonight.
Come you are all welcome to come and participate in the discussion.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Club Discussion

Hi Everyone!
Hope your summer has been going well! We just got back from a great time with our kids and in Glacier Park.

After hearing from a few people, how about we meet on Friday, August 17th. Chip and I will be out of town one more time for a short trip the 2nd weekend in August and this week is fair. Hopefully, most of us will be back in town by the 17th since school is starting soon after that.

If you haven't finished the book, you still have time!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Date for ''"The Fellowship" discussion

I hope that you are all enjoying Frodo's journey and have made it past the Bridge at Khazad dum! Lots more adventures to come for Frodo and Company!

We need to set a date for the book discussion and to watch the 2nd half of the movie. I'll be out of town  the last two weekends in July, and the first weekend in August is the fair. I will not be out at the fair every night, so depending on how everyone feels about that we could do it that week (Tuesday, July 30th or Thursday, Friday or Saturday), or wait until the 2nd week in August. I know several people are out of town and hopefully, will be back by then.  Let me know what your preferences are and when you will be around.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Busy Gals Classic Reading Society

Our Busy Gals Classic Reading Society has been in existence since April 24, 2009.  At that time we had our first meeting.  The book was 'The Count of Monte Cristo' by Alexandre Dumas.  Since then we have read 23 books.
There are a few of my friends who wanted to read the classic literature and books we should have read while in High School.  And having children currently in High School we wanted to read some of the things they were being asked to read.

 Purpose for the Busy Gals Reading Society
            “To become well read in great classic literature, to study the grand masters, to become more intelligent, “to seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” D& C 88:118.”

Our Refined Heavenly Home By Elder Douglas L. Callister

So, welcome new members and come along and read with us.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Fellowship of the Sisters, part 1

Thanks for everyone who came on Tuesday night to watch Disc 1 of "The Fellowship of the Ring"! We had a blast! Great food (spinach dip, pasta salad, two great green salads, fried chicken, taco dip, etc., YUMMY!) and our own "Fellowship" as we watched Frodo and Sam on their big adventure to save the world. ("Keep it secret! Keep it safe!) Love this book and this movie!

Keep reading and let me know when you would like to meet to have our book discussion and watch the 2nd disc. I'm thinking around the week of July 9th - 14th. The 13th is a Friday and would work for me. Check your calendars and shoot me an e-mail so we can get this date set in stone!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hi Ladies!
I hope you have begun and are enjoying reading "The Fellowship of the Ring." I love this book and I love the messages and themes in it of love, friendship and sacrifice.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy was written during WWII and echo many of the things that were happening in the mid-19th Century.  This book is a story of good vs. evil with one side composed of different races and peoples (like the Allied forces) and the other side representing domination and evil (like the Nazi regime). It also is a story of how one person can make a difference. As you read, think about these themes and also what things represent these ideas, like the "One Ring of Power." What does that represent?

Since this is a rather large work and the movie that goes with it is about 3 1/2 hours long I had the idea of getting together later this month to watch the first half of the movie. I'm always up for a party and I'd love to have all of you come and watch the first half with me! We can have food (elf food? hobbit food? dwarf food?) and enjoy the movie. I have to admit that these movies (all three of the trilogy) is by far, my favorite movies ever!

Since school is out perhaps we can meet on weeknight if that works for most of us. I know there is a lot going on with YW Camp, Scout Camp and the Trek. I was thinking that the last week of June would be a good week after these events are over.

Let me know if you would like to do this and if sometime in the last week of June will work for you. I'll host and cook for you all and we can have a fun movie night!

PS the first disc of the movie ends with the Fellowship setting out on their quest. I believe if you get to the chapter "The Council of Elrond" you will have covered the first half.
PPS. I have a copy of the book on CD if anyone would like to download it and listen to it

Monday, May 21, 2012

Last Book Discussion

We all had a fun time at Kayleen's, discussing her book selection, 'Anne of Green Gables'.  We had a wonderful display of food.  The food was a variety of elaborately named dishes.  One common theme being the abundance of strawberries as ingredients or as the main star of the table.
As Anne Shirley would set a table for her first tea, Kayleen and Jennifer A. enchanted us with a beautiful table to please our eyes as we ate the food that pleased our taste buds.  The movie though not completely true to the story was fun but long, so us old gals didn't finish it and had to go home to bed.
Kris G. will host our next book, she has chosen 'The fellowship of the Rings'.  So, get reading it will take a little more effort to read than our last book.  Around 432 pages.  I guess then you have your summer reading.  Listening to the book is also acceptable.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Anne of Green Gables Book Discussion

Kayleen has this month's book selection, 'Anne of Green Gables' and would like to have her discussion of this book on May 4, 2012 at 6:30pm.  Because of Anne's love for naming things lovely names your dish you bring should be given a new lovely name.  A movie will be shown after the discussion.  Car pooling is encouraged, if you are interested let me know and we can arrange to meet at the church at 5:30 pm and leave by 5:45pm.  Since this book group is not a church function child care will not be provided so make sure your husband can watch or you have a babysitter or someone who will trade babysitting with you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Ad Campaign

Hey Gals,

I am sending this on for those of you who check this blog.  Get on and make your profile it will be an important weekend for spreading the gospel and sharing our feelings and beliefs about our Savior Jesus Christ.

Love Sharon

Easter Advertising Campaign - April 6-8, 2012
Dear Profile Owner,

The Church is launching a three-day advertising campaign this weekend in conjunction with Easter. The campaign will take place on YouTube and Facebook. The focus is to help those not of our faith understand that we believe in and follow Jesus Christ. The campaign features members of the Church sharing their beliefs about the Savior.

Short advertisements will be shown on YouTube on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 6-8). We anticipate the ads will be viewed a minimum of 15 million times. The advertising will link to a specially designed page has been created where visitors can share why Jesus Christ is important to them, learn more about our beliefs in the Savior, download the Bible videos app, or order a free Bible (U.S. and Canada only).
Visitors to the Facebook page will also be encouraged to share their feelings about Jesus Christ. It is hoped that thousands of Church members and nonmembers will express their testimonies of Jesus Christ during the Easter weekend.

Church members are invited to be involved with the campaign in several ways:

1. Tell family and friends about the campaign and encourage them to tell their family and friends. Encourage family and friends to participate on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday by visiting or

2. Encourage family and friends to look for the YouTube ads and visit

3. On Friday, Saturday, or Sunday Church members are encouraged to visit and share their feelings about Jesus Christ.

Note that the page will not be "live" until early Friday morning.

We believe this will be a unique opportunity for Church members to engage in conversations with those not of our faith about the importance of Jesus Christ in the lives of God's children.

Media Division,
Missionary Department

Friday, March 30, 2012

Great Expectations on PBS

I thought you all may be interested in this link:

The next two Sunday evenings Masterpiece Theater will present Charles Dickens "Great Expectations". I know I will be taping it on our DVR for sure! We haven't read this book, but it's a classic for sure!

If you didn't get a chance to see "Little Dorritt" you can watch it online on the PBS website. It just finished up playing for the last few weeks, and is still available on the PBS website.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Johnny Tremain Book Discussion

Okay Ladies, we are going to meet at Kris Gifford's house tomorrow night at 6pm to discuss Brandi's book pick Johnny Tremain.  The food request for the evening will be Boston/colonial style food.  So be creative and lets have fun.  Here are some links to places you could find a recipe to make.  It isn't necessary but is fun to bring something new that you wouldn't normally eat.  Good luck and see you tomorrow

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration

Here is a direct link to a great "music video" called: "Too Late To Apologize: A Declaration". It goes great with our story, "Johnny Tremaine", that shows us at some point, for the "colonists", it was "too late (for England) to apologize"! It's a fun video!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Johnny Tremain

Hello everyone! I was both excited and nervous when I was asked to make the next book selection for us "Busy Gals." I am not well read in the classic genre, and seem to be pretty simple minded when it comes to reading them. I take things at face value, so I wanted to try and find a book that didn't have hidden meaning or philosophy. However, the purpose of this book club is to "to seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” D& C 88:118 so, I wanted to find a book that we could learn something meaningful from. I love historical fiction,  where I can learn history from the viewpoint of someone actually living it.  Instead of just facts, you read about their emotions, so the cause and effect become more real. Most of the classics that have historical aspects to them, are about wars. Some of them were reviewed to be pretty graphic with war scenes, and I am not a fan of blood and guts. I chose Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes  in hopes that since the main character is not a soldier in the war, and it is a children's novel, that the war scenes would not be very graphic. The book begins just prior to the revolutionary war and continues through the Boston Tea Party, the British blockade of the Port of Boston, the midnight ride of Paul Revere, and the Battles of Lexington and Concord. I read this book sometime during my school years and all I remember from it, is that something happens to his hand. I am excited to read it again with my adult perspective and see what I think about it now. I am curious what you guys think about it being a children's book, but one of the themes being about the philosophies behind starting a war. I guess we shall read it and find out just how much philosophy we get out of it.  There is a Disney movie made in 1957 that we can watch when we meet. I will be going out of town for the first couple weeks in March so I was thinking about  meeting sometime around the 23rd. How does that sound? I hope you enjoy my book pick! Brandi

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Selection For February

Brandi has our next selection. Starting right now we will be reading Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A good time was had by all!

We had fun at our "O'Henry" meeting in Crane. Food was delicious (Bobbie even brought "Oh Henry" candy bars), and the discussion was fun. We liked the "twist" in most of the short stories, but found some of the stories hard to understand. The 1950's movie that included 5 of the stories gave a decidedly "Hollywood" version of the stories (not quite what we had hoped for!), but we sure had fun! Looking forward to the next selection!

Next book selection?

Do we have a next book selection yet?

Friday, January 20, 2012


Our next meeting will be Friday, January 27, at 6:30 PM at Peggy Ann Strupp's house in Crane. 11539 Highway 16. Bring food to share: the theme will be "camping food" or "comfort food". A few stories mention breakfast foods, so that's a possibility! Many of the "Heart of the West" stories mention western foods or camp cooking. "Voice of the City" stories all took place in New York, so be creative! We'll eat, discuss, & watch the movie of 5 of the short stories. Please try to read ONE MORE STORY before Friday - something not on the list - so you can share it with us. SEE YOU THERE!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Be sure to let me know if Friday, Jan 27 will work for you.

Here is a list of stories you should read before we meet:(*indicates my favorites)

*The Gift of the Magi (classic Christmas tale later made into a full-length movie with Marie Osmond)
*The Ransom of Red Chief (great bratty kid story)
*The Last Leaf (touching tale of empathy & sacrifice)
The Clarion Call (choices about loyaty)
The Cop & The Anthem (vagrant tries to get arrested)
Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen ((unexpected consequences)\
*One Dollar's Worth (images of strong women; creative solutions to protect those we love)
*Hearts & Hands (short - but I had to read it twice to "get" it!)
*Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking (a small act of kindness makes a big difference)
A Chapparal Christmas Gift (a good heart makes a difference)
Christmas by Injunction (an attempt at doing good ends oddly but well)
The Pimienta Pancakes (all's fair in love & war)
An Adjustment of Nature (all's fair in love. A bit hard to read, but great plays on words & cute ending)
A Retrieved Reformation (can people change?)
The Reformation of Calliope (the power of a mother)
The Theory & The Hound (odd, but worth discussing the "theory")

*And for those of you who want a challenge: *"Hygeia at the Solito" (this one is longer & hard to understand - uses references from the turn of the century that we aren't familiar with - but it has TWO great twists & a nice message). Email me if you need some guidance on this one!

Email me if you are reading on an e-reader and can't find some of the stories. I can tell you what book they were published in & help you find them in your e-reader table of contents. All of the stories are also available online @


If you are just starting to read the O'Henry stories, or if you've read some but not all, make sure you read the ones that will be in our movie. Here is the description:

John Steinbeck introduces five of O. Henry's most popular short stores. In "The Cop and the Anthem" a homeless alcoholic is increasingly frustrated in numerous attempts to get arrested and jailed for 90 days in a warm cell rather than face the rigors of a New York winter. In "The Clarion Call" a NYPD detective has a crisis of conscience when he is torn between his duty to arrest a childhood friend for a murder only he knows he committed and the debt of honor he owes to him. In "The Last Leaf" a naive young girl is stricken with pneumonia after being seduced and jilted by venal actor. When she loses her will to live, her devoted sister and an eccentric Greenwich Village artist try to help her to survive. In "The Ransom of Red Chief" two bumbling con men kidnap the son of a rural sheriff for ransom but find they've taken on more than they can handle. In "The Gift of the Magi" an impoverished but devoted young couple struggle to pay for Christmas gifts worthy of their mutual love.

Fun! I'll post a list of the minimum stories you should read in a different post!


Who could meet next Friday night, January 27? Send me (or the blog) a "yes" or a "no", and we will decide. It would be about 6:30 PM in Crane.
Peggy Ann