Monthly Archives: August 2015

Back to School Lunches

This week we are featuring a series of back to school tips to help both parents and kids ease into the new school year successfully. Check back each day for more ways to make the most out of your year.

School starting again means new clothes, school supply shopping, and the ever-dreaded lunch packing. Are you tired of the same boring sandwich every day? Are you looking to add variety to you and your kids’ lunches? Then look no further than this post for fun ideas to make lunchtime more exciting for you and your whole family!


cucumber flowers from Madigan Made

Encourage your kids to eat their veggies by cutting them into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Flower-shaped cucumbers, heart-shaped carrots, even star-shaped watermelon; the sky’s the limit when you combine fun shapes and food! Find more fun ideas for cookie cutters here.


sandwich sushi rolls from Kraft

Unleash your child’s (or your own!) inner samurai warrior with these sandwich “sushi” roll-ups from Kraft. Simply put your favorite sandwich ingredients on flattened bread, roll them up and tie them with a thin green onion piece. Get the full recipe at here.


mason jar lasagna from The Food in My Beard

Need something a little more indulgent in your life? Look no farther than this mason jar lasagna. Filled with layers of tomato, pesto, and warm cheesy-goodness, this is a lunchtime winner for sure! See the full recipe here.


nacho box from Momables

Send your kids to school with one of their favorite after-school snacks: nachos! Customize to your child’s nacho-preferences with re-fried beans, nacho cheese, ground beef and shredded cheese. Throw in some fresh fruits and veggies, like corn, olives and tomatoes, to make every lunchtime a fiesta! See some different nacho combinations here and here.


pizzadillas from Cooking Light

Indulge you and your your child’s everyday pizza cravings with these Pizzadillas. Simply add pepperoni to your traditional quesadilla and add a marinara dipping sauce. This meal is sure to be the envy of all your coworkers and your child’s friends. Find the full recipe here.


pb&j banana burritos from Mission

Put a spin on the classic peanut butter and jelly with these PB&J Banana Burritos. Just spread peanut butter and jelly on a warm tortilla and wrap the gooey deliciousness around a banana. You and your kids will love the fun texture and flavor the banana adds to this classic lunchtime staple. See the full recipe here.

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lunchbox creation station from Mom Advice

Feel like you need to streamline your lunch production? Create a lunchbox creation station where you or your kids can throw together a lunch quickly and easily! Plus, watch your kids get excited about being able to customize their own meal. See one mom’s station here.


mango black bean mason jar salad from Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

Mason jars aren’t only good for lasagna, but happen to be perfect for salads too! Just fill up your jar jar and pour it into a bowl when you are ready to eat; your ingredients will be perfectly layered with greens on bottoms followed by toppings and dressing. Find the recipe for this mango black bean mason jar salad here and recipes for apple walnut salads, burrito bowl salads, Asian noodle salads and even more here.

Tips for a stress-free school year (part two)

This week we are featuring a series of back to school tips to help both parents and kids ease into the new school year successfully. Check back each day for more ways to make the most out of your year.

Parents staying stress-free is a high priority for many families with kids going back to school this month, but it is also important for kids to keep stress levels low. As kids ease naturally into the new school year they will be more successful. Here are 10 tips to share with your kids to help them have a great school year.

  1. Make sleep a priority. Kids who are well-rested do much better in school. Have a consistent bedtime and stick to it as much as possible.
  2. Try a homework app or planner. Let kids choose an app or planner they like. Encourage them to list their assignments each day so they do not forget anything. Having responsibility over their own schedules can be fun for kids if they get to use a new tool.
  3. Review goals and assignments weekly. To stay on top of long-term assignments and big projects, have kids discuss their goals each week and reflect on what they have accomplished so far.
  4. Set goals for the year. Kids can set long-term goals for things like grades, or number of books read. Keep track of these in a planner or weekly discussions to see how each goal will be accomplished.
  5. Layout clothes the night before. Avoid any early morning “can’t find anything to wear” breakdowns by picking out an outfit each night. Check the weather the night before so you can plan an appropriate outfit.
  6. Have a few dollars for emergencies. Keep a small emergency allowance in kids’ bags, in case of emergency or a forgotten lunch.
  7. Know the back-up plan. Make sure kids know the plan for various situations, such as what they should do if they miss the bus.
  8. Get rid of distractions. Don’t have cell phones or other distractions in the room when kids are completing homework or going to sleep.
  9. Establish a routine. Get in the habit of waking up on time, getting ready, and out the door in an orderly manner. Make sure everyone knows where backpacks and folders belong so they are easy to grab as you leave the house.
  10. Encourage kids to practice stress-management. Teach children simple techniques for stress management and encourage them to implement these techniques when they feel overwhelmed. Exercise, reading, and meditation can all help lower stress levels.

Tips for a stress-free school year

This week we are featuring a series of back to school tips to help both parents and kids ease into the new school year successfully. Check back each day for more ways to make the most out of your year.

It’s back to school time—excitement and stress are in the air. While back to school season is often full of stress for parents and kids alike, it doesn’t have to be. Today we are sharing 10 of our favorite tips to help parents sending kids off to school stay stress-free. Be sure to check back tomorrow for 10 more tips for kids!

  1. Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, make lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, and make a mental list of what needs to get done in what order.
  2. Be realistic when setting schedules. Make sure to set a realistic standard for your day. Leave room for breathing time and flexibility. If your schedule gets off track, it will be much easier to manage.
  3. Don’t take on too much all at once. Say no to extra projects, social activities, and invitations that you know you won’t have the time or energy for.
  4. Decide what area will be used as homework space. Kitchen table or family office, just make sure to have a specific spot in your home where homework gets done.
  5. Schedule down time. Time without a schedule can be valuable time to connect with children, relax, or catch up on things you missed throughout the day.
  6. Get some personal, quiet time. Journal, read, work on personal projects, or whatever really lets you relax. If your kids can be left alone, wear earplugs. They will know where to find you if anything goes wrong, and you will have some quiet time to focus.
  7. Be prepared. Spend an hour making a checklist of ways to be prepared for inconveniences or emergencies. Keep a book in your car for long wait times. Get your cars serviced and filled up with gas. Set a family plan for procedures during various situations.
  8. Talk to teachers about classroom involvement. Use the beginning of the year to discuss with teachers how you can be involved throughout the year, even if you only have a small amount of time to spare.
  9. Choose a time to focus on family conversation. Have a time set each day when you can connect with your children, chat about what is going on in their lives, and enjoy stress-free conversation.
  10. Do something fun each day. Most importantly, make sure you are smiling, laughing, or just enjoying the moment at least once a day. With so much going on, a bit of joy and happiness can relieve stress and turn your whole day around.

Convocation: Gaining confidence and trust

This is the third of three college convocation addresses given last week.

Disbelief, doubt, uncertainty are antonyms for one of the most significant words in the English vocabulary. Confidence, expectation, and hope are all synonyms that build the compelling foundation for this motivating force. It is called trust.

How has trust factored into where we are today? How have we, as a class, after countless “learning moments” specifically when taking into consideration the very first IV we ever started and where we are at now, come to be wearing caps and gowns today?

It seems that a combination of that confidence, expectation and faith have led us to trust that we would. Barbara B. Smith once said, “Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living. It is the beginning place, the foundation upon which more can be built. Where trust is, love can flourish.” Now with trust in God and our education, what kind of potential does our nursing career hold?

As I have progressed in the nursing program, I have learned that possession of this value opens the doors of treatment. As this well-known hymn illustrates: “in the quiet heart is hidden, sorrow that the eye can’t see.” In order to get to the place of optimum healing, to truly see what the “eye can’t see,” trust provides “a foundation, upon which more can be built.” Trust from patients in our skills combined with our trust in God and ourselves will loosen the tight chambers of the human heart allowing the nurturing light and love of God to enter.

Mary Raymer speaking at the August college convocation.

Mary Raymer speaking at the August college convocation.

I had the opportunity this summer to volunteer at a health clinic that provides free services. Day after day I interacted with individuals, young and old, whose faces betrayed their worry and stress. As they watched their funds drain and their body’s break down, they came to the clinic, sometimes, in desperate need.

I began to see that my simple foreign language skills and limited understanding of the patients’ cultures, were not nearly as important as the fact that they trusted me. As I sat down with patient after patient I realized that their faces were changing from worry to relief because they knew they were being cared for by confident and compassionate health care professionals. Trust in God and our abilities allows us to see through a clearer lens and to practice the Healer’s Art as it should be done.

Have you ever coaxed a child to jump into your arms while they were standing in a high place? I think most of us have experienced the trust of a child in this way. However, it is our turn now.

We are taking that leap of faith into the work force, leaving behind our phenomenal instructors and loving family members, to get to a new place. There will be times where we will look back to the ledge from which we jumped wondering if that leap was a good decision, and in those moments I say to us all, that trust in the enabling and refining power of God will allow us to keep moving forward.

As Rosemary M. Wixom once said “As individuals we are strong. Together, with God, we are unstoppable.”

I trust that BYU’s incredible nursing program with its remarkable staff has adequately prepared us to take this step. I trust that God will never, ever leave us, especially as we strive to “Learn the Healer’s art”. And I trust that as age begins to add to experience and fine tune our lives that we will begin to embody the theme of our graduation: “You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith.” Thank you to our friends, family and faculty to whom we owe so much.

Congratulations class of 2015.

By Mary Raymer—A December BYU College of Nursing baccalaureate program graduate that spoke during the August college convocation on Friday, August 14.

Convocation: Being an instrument in God’s hands


This is the second of three college convocation addresses given last week.

This moment is a celebration of the culmination of years of study and practice in mastering the Healer’s art.

I would like to acknowledge the wealth of experience and wisdom of our wonderful faculty who have worked tirelessly to instruct and support us over the last few years. I am proud to be associated with you and consider you friends. I would also like to thank the many family and friends who consistently and patiently offered encouragement and support despite, at least in my case, a fair amount of neglect, and without whom we would not be standing here today.

I would also like to recognize my truly remarkable classmates. Over and over I have been inspired by the caliber and capacity of these thirteen extraordinary people. To give you a small glimpse, among us we had a single mom of six kids, another mother with multiple autistic children who have significant health challenges, and several fathers working nearly full-time while going to school to support their families, not to mention those with significant church callings. During the program we celebrated weddings and new babies, and came together during trials such as life-threatening cancer. I don’t have words to express the love and gratitude I have for each of you.

Now as BYU nursing graduates we have the unique challenge and opportunity to dedicate our practice to becoming more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. As the Master Healer, Jesus performed many miracles.1 He restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. He healed the lame and they walked. He cleansed the lepers and even raised the dead. No pressure…

Despite this lofty goal, I left BYU with my undergraduate filled with confidence, enthusiasm, and a solid educational foundation. Then I got a job in a cardiac ICU. At the end of my first long night shift alone, I stumbled out to my car, slumped down in the driver’s seat, and broke into tears. I was devastated by my own inadequacy and the realization of the responsibility I had for the health and wellbeing, and even the very lives of my patients. I was overwhelmed and afraid. I wanted to quit.

Instead I turned to prayer. I told Heavenly Father, “I don’t know enough to do this.” His reply, “It’s okay, I do.” My heart was flooded by a warmth of the love Heavenly Father has for His children. I made a conscious decision that morning to base my practice on being an instrument in God’s hands as He seeks to bless my patients and their families.

For the first year of my RN practice, I spent every drive to the hospital in fervent, almost desperate prayer. “Help enlighten my mind to the understanding of complex medical conditions.” “Help me appreciate the needs of my patients.” And most of all, “Help me not to kill anyone.” That may sound extreme, but it was a reality for me.

Through faith, I was blessed to see miracles. Slowly but surely my fear and inexperience was replaced by competence and then confidence. I expect that I, and many of you, will experience a very similar course as we venture into new areas of practice. Don’t give up! You’ve worked too hard and have too much to offer. Remember, God knows all the answers, and He wants to bless both you and those whom you serve.

There will always be a place for faith in the Healer’s art. My most memorable times in nursing were not those filled with a surge of adrenalin and a flurry of activity, but the quiet moments during which the influence of the Spirit was felt. For example, seeing prayer aid a suffering woman to find peaceful sleep, celebrating as priesthood blessings and the prayers of a faithful family brought their beloved wife and mother out of a coma days after doctors had given her no hope of recovery, and crying with a husband as he gave his sweet wife up to God while holding her hand and retelling stories of her lifetime of selfless service.

My faith has been strengthened through these and other miracles of healing, both small and large, physical and spiritual. Through the study and practice of the Healer’s art, my faith and testimony have grown and my life has been enriched.

As we go forward, I’d like to echo President Monson’s challenge “to undertake a personal, diligent, significant quest for what [he called] the abundant life – a life filled with an abundance of success, goodness, and blessings.”2 And I’d like to add, filled with miracles. Through faith, miracles are possible. We have the tools. Now let’s go forth and perform miracles!

By Ann Rogerson—A recent BYU College of Nursing master’s program graduate that spoke during the August college convocation on Friday, August 14.

  1. Luke 7:22
  2. Monson, T. S. (2012). Living the abundant life. 42(1),4-5

Convocation: Trust, faith and confidence in ourselves

College convocation is a time to share great insight and information — although it is sometimes forgotten. This week we will reprint some of the addresses given last week.

In the January 2012 Ensign, President Thomas S. Monson stated, “You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith.”

Some definitions of belief are: trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.

I want to focus on having trust, faith, or confidence in “the someone” being ourselves.

A few of the recent graduates of the BYU College of Nursing master's program.

A few of the recent graduates of the BYU College of Nursing master’s program.

Belief is an extremely powerful tool. Many of us here are familiar with the Placebo Effect. The Placebo Effect is a phenomenon in which a placebo – an ineffectual  treatment, using inactive substances like sugar, distilled water, or saline solution given to a patient in place of real medication – can sometimes improve a patient’s condition simply because the patient has the expectation (or the belief) that it will be helpful.

Many think the Placebo Effect occurs because the patient believes in the substance or the treatment. The patient’s thoughts and feelings somehow cause short-term physical changes in the brain or body. The patient believes they will feel better, and so he or she does feel better for some time.

The mind and body can accomplish amazing obstacles with the simple act of believing.

Henry Ford used to say: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”

Here are some notable examples of individuals who chose to believe in themselves, despite experiencing rejections and repeated obstacles.

Abraham Lincoln was born into poverty and was faced with defeat throughout his life. In his career, he lost eight elections, failed twice in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.

Notwithstanding, he continued to believe in himself and in his abilities and as a result became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.

Walt Disney’s first animation company went bankrupt. He was fired by a news editor because he lacked “imagination”. Legend has it he was turned down 302 times before he got financing for creating Disney World.

J.K. Rowling was penniless, recently divorced, and raising a child on her own when she wrote the first Harry Potter book on an old manual typewriter. Her manuscript was rejected by twelve publishers. She finally found one who agreed to publish the book but was advised she get a day job because there was “no money in children’s books.”

All of these people were successful because they believed in themselves and weren’t afraid to go and make the mistakes necessary to achieve their goals.

Midway through my program I was walking through campus and happened to see a sign that said, “You can do hard things”. This made a deep impression on me. That semester in particular had been especially difficult. I was in the middle of a very challenging clinical rotation and was struggling through some of my classes. I doubted myself more than once that semester. But when I saw that motto, it reminded me that as long as I believed in myself and believed in my ability, then I could get through these challenges- no matter how hard they were. This gave me the courage and the drive to finish out my clinical and classes, because I knew I was capable of doing hard things.

Belief is not a passive principle; it needs to be accompanied by action.

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb, is a good example of combining belief with action. While we all remember him as a successful inventor, many would be surprised to learn that he tirelessly conducted thousands of failed experiments before his first successful lightbulb was created. When questioned about these supposed failures, Edison replied, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Because he believed in himself and persevered, he created an invention that has blessed mankind for many generations.

Pres. Monson stated, “Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities.”

At the end of the day, we should remember that we will achieve far greater things when our belief in ourselves is accompanied with a firm belief in Christ. Nephi understood this when he said, “If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.”

As we are completing this chapter in our lives and starting a new and exciting one, I hope we can remember that the boundaries in our healthcare careers, our personal lives, and our spirituality are limited only by our belief in ourselves and in God.

By Tia Peterson—A recent BYU College of Nursing master’s program graduate that spoke during the August college convocation on Friday, August 14.

Laughter: the best medicine

According to The Washington Post, “humor has been shown to decrease health-care workers’ anxiety, create a sense of control, and boost spirits in difficult moments.”

For that reason, we are sharing some humorous stories today from nurses around the country.221fdcec88710d005cdd65ab554f93a1

“On a busy med-surg floor, the doctor stopped to brief me on a patient’s condition: ‘This patient is a fellow physician and my favorite golf partner. His injury is serious and I fear he will not be able to play golf again unless you follow my orders exactly.’

The doctor then began listing orders: ‘You must give an injection in a different location every 20 minutes, followed by a second injection exactly five minutes after the first. He must take two pills at exactly every hour, followed by one pill every 15 minutes for eight hours. He must drink no more and no less than 10 ounces of water every 25 minutes and must void between. Soak his arm in warm water for 15 minutes, then place ice for 10 minutes and repeat over and over for the rest of the day. Give range of motion every 30 minutes. He requires a back rub and foot rub every hour. Feed him something tasty every hour. Be cheerful and do whatever he asks at all times. Chart his condition and vital signs every 20 minutes. You must do these things exactly as I ordered or his injury will not heal properly, and he will not able to play golf well.’

The doctor left and I entered the patient’s room. I was greeted by anxious family members and an equally anxious patient. All quickly asked what the doctor had said about the patient. I stated, ‘The doctor said that you will live.’ Then quickly reviewing the orders, I added, ‘But you will have to learn a new sport.'”

— from Scrubs Magazine

“A hospital posted a notice in the nurses’ lounge that said: ‘Remember, the first five minutes of a human being’s life are the most dangerous.’ Underneath, a nurse had written: ‘The last five are pretty risky, too.'”

— from Scrubs Magazine

“Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down, I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.’

— from Scrubs Magazine

“One evening while administering medication to an elderly lady the following exchange took place:nursing-quotations-funny

‘Hi, I have your medication for you.’

‘Oh, okay.’

‘I’m gonna give you some Pepcid for your stomach, but I’m putting it in your IV.’

(Patient looked a bit perplexed) ‘Okay. Uhmmm…I have a question.’

‘Oh, what’s your question?’

‘Well, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I was just wondering …why Pepsi and not Coke?’

— from Scrubs Magazine

I was the only nurse on duty during the morning shift and together with a nursing aide, we were caring for five newborn babies. We liked to talk in shortened sentences to save time and incredibly, we could understand each other easily.

During the shift, one of the babies being monitored was undergoing photolight therapy with standard order of resting intervals whenever her body temperature became elevated. While providing morning care to another baby, our nursing aide shouted from the other side of our unit.

‘Hey, baby G’s temp is 37.6. Shall I kill the lights off?’

‘Wait, I’ll double check the chart.’

Unnoticed by us, a relative approached our area to borrow a pen.

‘Yeah, 37.6 is not safe. Kill it off!’

‘You better be sure. This is not going to be easy! She’s gonna cry hard!’

I glanced at the relative and she was looking positively horrified! She didn’t know that we were just talking about the photolight machine that had a very noisy light switch.”

— from Nurse Buff

Share your fun nursing stories in the comments!