Posts Tagged ‘Friday Favorites’

Sister Spotlight: Joy Gleason

May 11, 2012









This week’s spotlight will be Sis. Gleason. She was kind enough to provide me with her story for this post. My apologies for the formatting, I’m afraid I need more practice with wordpress.


I grew up in Midway, Utah. I am the youngest of 8 children. I will admit to anyone, the youngest is spoiled, but they deserve to be spoiled. All my siblings have come to this understanding. One week after high school graduation, I moved to Logan, Utah to go to Utah State University. I graduated in Business and Information Technology Education.


My last year of college, I met Brian. A mutual friend tried to set us up and I wasn’t going to support anyone in school, so I wasn’t going on any dates with anyone who was still in school. (This came back to bite me.) After I graduated, I contemplated a mission. Everyone in my family had served a mission and my parents were serving a mission in Mongolia. It was a struggle to decide, but I knew it was the right thing to do. On my 22nd birthday, I left for Georgia.


I got a job teaching in Provo at an at risk high school and as luck would have it, Brian got a teaching position at my old high school and I happened to be living at home until I got enough saved up to move out. We were married after our first year of teaching. Remember how I said I wouldn’t marry someone in school? Technically, Brian wasn’t in school, but was accepted for a masters program. It came back to bite me and it was for more then the 2 year masters program.


We moved to Logan, so Brian could go to USU and I taught math and computer classes in Preston, ID at the middle school for two years. In 2007, Brian was accepted to University of Georgia for a Ph.D. program and we moved when I was 7 months pregnant. We were there 1 1/2 months and had Jocelyn the week before classes started. Perfect Timing!


After four fun and adventurous years in Athens, Georgia which we loved so much, we applied for jobs all along the east coast. All but one of the jobs were at private schools. We had offers, but nothing felt right. Brian applied at UNH and it was the only university job he applied for. We didn’t think he’d get it since the first interview didn’t go so well due to some power outages with a snow storm in Georgia. LIttle did we know, this is where we were supposed to be. It was a hard decision, but we received a clear answer to come here and it was hard to turn down the private school jobs.


Through all this adventurous times, I’ve enjoyed working as a teacher, but I’ve enjoyed staying at home more. It was a huge struggle for me at first, but I started some great hobbies. I love to sew. I am not a pattern follower when it comes to sewing. I prefer to come up with a pattern on my own. I also love to do recycle sewing. I’ve been able to create clothes for Jocelyn by using our old shirts and pants. I’ve made some fun quilts out of old mens shirts and sheets.


I also work from home for as an auditor for a company out of Utah and it’s been a great job for me. It came at the right time for me.


I enjoy exercising. It may not seem like it, but I do. I used to run in college for fun and I was told by a doctor I shouldn’t be running on my ankle, so I stopped. I have decided I may have ankle issues when I am 50 or 60, but I need to enjoy by 30’s and 40’s! We love to go for family bike rides and we’ve found some great trails around here. It’s a workout to pull Jocelyn on some of the trails, but we have fun doing it.


We love camping and we are excited to be in an area that we can actually have a fire while camping. (It’s too warm in GA to have a fire. We would take an AC instead.)



Friday Favorites—Transcendent

December 23, 2011

Transcendent is a teen paranormal anthology that some writer friends and I put together.  I have a short story in it called, Ryan’s Wish. It’s published by Robot Playground. The book will be coming out in paperback early 2012. (I think there is already a release date, but I’m not sure what it is.)

There are seven authors in this book, of them five are LDS.  I decided since it is “Friday Favorites” and it’s also Christmas-time I would have each of the LDS writers help with Christmas gift-giving ideas. So, each will give a plug for their favorite LDS author or book.

Melanie Marks:

I couldn’t really think of a favorite LDS book—except my own (ha!), The Dating Deal.  But alas, it was published years ago and is now out of print and only available in ebook form from places like Amazon and other on-line bookstores.

HOWEVER my very favorite LDS author is Jannett Rallson.  I love her books so much!  Her books are always fun and full of humor and usually for teens, though she has some novels that she wrote for grown-ups under the name Sierra St. James.  Her books always entertain. If you want a clean, fun read be sure to check her out!

Lani Woodland:

I don’t have any inspirational ones but I did really enjoy Kiss of Stranger by Sarah M. Eden. It is hard to find a clean romance and this one totally satisfied. I loved the characters, the regency setting and Sarah’s writing style. If you are looking for a clean romance then this one is for you.

Wendy Swore:

Among my favorite LDS authors (it’s so hard to choose!) I enjoy Jessica Day George’s books because they make me want to believe in dragons and the power to change things for the better. Sometimes her characters use something as simple as knitting to change the course of their lives and save the day, but it’s done really well.

I also love Shannon Hale’s books (The Goose Girl) because her characters find a special power inside themselves that they must accept and develop with courage to do what’s right in the face of terrible odds.

Anita Stansfield and Annette Lyon are my favorite adult reads in LDS fiction. There’s always a little romance, soul searching, and adventure in each book! I’ll stop now, but the field is rich with awesome LDS authors. Perusing those that belong to Storymakers might be a nice place to start.  {Note from editor (me, Melanie): StoryMakers is the organization we belong to for published LDS authors.}

Wendy’s favorite LDS books: Dragon Slippers, Princess of Glass, Towers of Brierley… There are so many good ones!

Evan Joseph:

Right now I’m reading the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. It’s a juvenile literature series (for ages 9-12, but I love them too) about a nature preserve for magical creatures. He manages to include spiritual truths in the decisions the young characters must face.

(Our other LDS author, Melonie Piper, may be chiming in with her favorites later as I only sent the request out late last night.)

So, Portsmouth ward: what are some of your favorite LDS books/authors?

Friday Favorites by Tristi Pinkston

August 12, 2011

I’m an avid reader, and I love watching movies.  Here are some of my favorite things that I can safely recommend to a group of lovely Relief Society sisters.

Favorite Books:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott  (classics)
The Rogue Shop by Michael Knudsen (LDS fiction)
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum (Young Adult fiction)
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (fiction)

Favorite Movies:
Return to Me (PG)
The Princess Bride (PG)

Favorite Television Shows:
The Amazing Race (reality television)
Monk (now in syndication)


Okay Ladies, so that was Tristi.  Glad you got to meet her.  She is a fun LDS writer with lots of LDS books out there–LDS cozy mysteries, LDS romantic suspense, LDS historical fiction–and, of course, the cook book, Bless Your Heart.  Maybe one of her books will become one of your favorites.  Have a great Friday!  🙂


Friday Favorites–Judy Kohl

July 8, 2011

Today for Friday Favorites, I (Melanie Marks) am going to introduce you to one of my favorite people in the ward—Judy Kohl.:

Hi Everyone.  This is Judy Kohl.  Gonna tell you some stuff about me:

I joined the church in Nov of 1963.  I was working at a bank in downtown Portsmouth and was on my lunch hour (yes we hour lunches back then).  Two missionaries stopped me to ask the two well-known questions at that time 1/ “What do you know about the Mormon Church?” and 2/ “Would you like to know more?”  I was in a hurry and I was rude, but I agreed to attend a Sunday meeting.  I was still kind of rude. hahahaha        I met my husband a couple years later and according to my high school English teacher, it was considered a “romantic meeting” (because it wasn’t your typical type of meeting)  My classmate Anne was his sister and she and her father were producing a play and Anne asked me if I’d like to try out.  I did and I ended up being the Leading Lady (The wife) and Anne’s brother Warren was the Leading Man (the husband!)   We both thought each other were weird, so playing husband and wife was kind of uncomfortable.  But we got used to each other and actually fell in love (Oh gag gag gag?  hahahahah)

My favorite types of music are really interesting: Classical (Baroque, Mendelsohn, Schubert–PLEASE no Mozart, nice but “over-kill”) Heavy metal, Pop rock, Celtic/Goth/Fantasy. SUCH AS:::: Savatage, Tran-siberian Orchestra, Metallica, Firehouse, Linkin Park, Plain White Tees, Nickleback, Rhapsody of Fire—Even BOY BANDS like Boy Zone and Westlife.

Not too many favorite movies, although the Star Wars series I still enjoy, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings.  The scariest movie to me is Alien (the very first of the Alien series)

Here something very interesting:::  As a teenager, I was interested only in playing piano and gymnastics.  I was NEVER getting married or EVER going to cook or EVER have children!!!  And the biggest NEVER was I was not going to sew or knit. I JUST WANTED to be a dancer and a pianist!!!

Now I am still working.  I “shuffle” Visa applications around for 8 hours a day at the National Visa Center (these are apps for green card Visas.) I enjoy writing music now that I bought my own keyboard with earphones so I don’t bother anyone in the household.  I am writing on a history type novel that takes place out West in the 1880’s.  What fun I’ve had researching.

That’s it.  Hope this is not too long.  🙂 Judy

So … that was Judy.  As you can now see, she’s a really fun lady that you should all get to know.  I also wanted to add that Judy wrote the music and lyrics to the song the Primary kids sang in sacrament meeting on Easter.  And she wrote the lyrics and music for Mkahyla’s (Thelma Remmick’s granddaughter) baptism.  Also … just so you all know, Judy’s Birthday is next Friday, July 15.  

Happy Birthday Judy!!!  🙂