Friday, December 31, 2021

2021: The Top Ten, part 1

As we ring out the old year, let's take a look at our top favorites from 2021. This is the first half of the Top Ten.

No. 10 - If only we had this back when I was a missionary!

No. 9 - Again, another tool that would have been super useful!

No. 8 - If you've spent any time in the foyer during sacrament meeting, you know this is true.

No. 7 - A key to communication is speaking in the language that people understand. We offered a translation service to help you better understand your missionaries.

No. 6 - This happened to the best of us, more often than most would like to admit.

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the best. Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

2021: The Runners-Up

 Before we get to the Top Ten Countdown, let's take a quick look at those that almost made it. 

No. 5 - Turkey cartoons for Thanksgiving are a house specialty. This one was one of my favorites, especially the parody of Nighthawks.

No. 4 - Thanksgiving isn't the only holiday on this list. Valentine's Day brought us this one, featuring Brother Brigham.

No. 3 - We still have pandemic issues. Here's one I'm pretty certain most of us can relate to.

No. 2 - Missionary work is a prominent theme in my cartoons. How do different people respond to the missionaries?

...and the No. 1 Runner-up. A scene straight from missionary life!

Tomorrow begins the official Top Ten of 2021!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

2021: The Sketchbook

Here are the top favorites from the Sketchbook this year.

No. 5 - A major concern for some folks this fall was what it would be like to go back to working in the office after working at home for so long. At least for us here, that didn't happen.

 No. 4 - As we enter year 2 of the Great Pandemic, its influence is still felt in the comics.

No. 3 - Sometimes there's nothing better than a visual pun. Other times, there are lots of things that are better! I really should have used the word "sluggish" though.

No. 2 - This was one of my favorites, even if it happens almost every week!

No. 1 - Not everyone in the United States celebrates Independence Day the same way.

 Come back tomorrow for the Runners-up to this year's Top Ten!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2021: A look back

In a normal year, this is where we'd take a look at the top memes or other strips. But because we haven't had a normal year for a while, I'm going to focus this look back on things that weren't gags/cartoons.

Coloring Page: This was for one of our projects at work in the Historic Columbia Gorge, where we (the Oregon Department of Transportation) are reconstructing the Mitchell Point Tunnel. We held a coloring contest to go along with the groundbreaking and got quite a few creative entries.

Perspective: Another work assignment, this was part of a leadership seminar. The lesson was on seeing from another person's point of view, and used the old Sufi tale of the wise men and the elephant as an introduction. Elder Uchtdorf used the same story in a devotional, too!

Finally, a meme! A reminder to be safe in work zones, with a Mandalorian twist.

Making book: At long last, I got my Halloween collection to the publisher!

One fast meme: Not really a cartoon, but more of an illustrated saying. A good reminder about fasting.

Come back tomorrow when we revisit the most popular offerings from the Sketchbook!

Monday, December 27, 2021

Sketchbook: Seeking for the Church

This was us yesterday. If we get snow here in the valley, it's usually just a couple of inches at best. That's enough to wreak havoc. 

Our snow is also more wet than snow in Utah, for example, so it makes the roads a little more slick. And we live in the hills, so ice and slick roads means that things close down way more often than I would expect being a native Utahn.

Yesterday we had at least four inches of snow by the time church was supposed to start. And the forecast was for snow all day. Our stake quickly decided that this was a Sunday to have church at home. I was OK with that — I was scheduled to speak this week. It's a lot easier to do that at home!

We have snow and cold temperatures in the forecast for the rest of the week. It should be exciting for us!

Speaking of exciting times, we start our annual year end review countdown on Wednesday! Be sure to check back for highlights of this past year!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Light the World: Treats Times Two

The Light the World prompt for today is to make two plates of treats to share with a friend, then have them choose someone with whom to share the other treat plate.



Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Light the World: Sharing Light

One of my favorite parts of the Nativity is watching what the shepherds do. They made haste to do what the angels told them to do — go and find the babe — and then they "made known abroad" what they had seen and heard.

The Light the World prompt for today is to share an inspirational story from your life in order that others may be uplifted. That's certainly what the shepherds did that night in Bethlehem!

Monday, December 20, 2021

Light the World: Together Time

For Light the World today, the suggestion is to gather as many family members as you can online for a virtual hangout. 

For our family, we often get everyone together to play Among Us, since it's easy for the littles and not too difficult for the older people either.

What if you don't have family you can virtually gather with? A perfectly valid option is to go online and do some family history work! What a great way to bring family members together on both sides!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Light the World: From Luke 2 to You

 This might be cheating, but I’m reposting from last year’s Light the World. This was so much fun to do!

Today's Light the World prompt suggests that we read a verse of Luke 2 and then pass it off to a friend. I asked a couple of my cartooning buddies to help me tell the story of the Nativity: Summer Bird and Arie Van De Graaff.*

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was the governor of Syria.)

"And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."

"And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night."

"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people; For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

"And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them unto heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

"And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."

"And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

"But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

"And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

(Luke 2:1-20)

*As an added bonus, the last panel includes hidden pictures for you to find! Download a printable copy!

Special thanks to Summer and Arie for joining me in this project. They are amazing people!

Second bonus: There's also a video version — take a look!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Light the World: Songs Worth Sharing

The Christmas season has a sound all its own, from jingling bells to brass bands to sacred choirs to the stillness of the falling snow. But one of the most joyous sounds of the season comes when finals are complete!

Share a song today: a carol, a hymn or whatever it is that brings you joy. Make a beautiful noise!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Light the World: Secret Shepherd

Life is so much easier when you have someone to help you get through challenges and difficult times. 

Today's Light the World prompt is to acknowledge your personal secret shepherd who has helped guide you through your life. 

It may be cliché, but for me that person is my wife. She's always there.

Who has been there for you?

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Light the World: Christmas Dinners

The suggested service for today is to provide food for someone in need. I don't know if there's much else to say — we've all been hungry. Help out where you can. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Light the World: Shining Star

Who has been a light in your life this year? Dedicate the star on your tree to that person, says the Light the World suggestion for today.

With all that's been going on in the world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. That's why it's so important to look for the light and to be the light. Like yesterday's challenge of saying hello, often a simple gesture can make a huge difference!

On a completely different note, I'm not the only one who thought of Earth, Wind and Fire when I read this prompt, am I?

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Light the World: Season's Greetings

The suggestion for today's Light the World is kind of easy: Say hi to someone new. That simple act can make a big difference!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Light the World: The Gift of Prayer

As Elder Peter M. Johnson said: "Every day, every day, every day."

It's such a benefit to be able to pray, to talk with and receive answers from our Father in Heaven! Take the time each morning and spend some time on your knees.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Light the World: Save a Seat

Today's challenge for Light the World is to invite someone to join you at church. Or you could join them.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Light the World: Recipe for Rejoicing

Today's Light the World suggestion is to make and share a traditional recipe from around the world. 

Enjoy! Be creative!

If I want to get inspired, I watch The Great British Bake Off. If I want to get discouraged, I step into my own kitchen.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Light the World: Showtime

Today's prompt for Light the World is to invite someone to a concert, play or program — or something. Even if they say no, the important part is making the invitation. It's always nice to be invited.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Light the World: Light the Family Tree

You can find out a ton of interesting things as you look up your own family tree! For today’s Light the World, learn something about an ancestor and share it! …although I may not share the real reason my uncle had a red nose!

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Light the World: Full Attention

Today let's take the time to put down our phones or other electronic media and pay full attention to the people around us when we're talking. Concentrate on the important things, like friends, family, finding food...

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Light the World: Health Caring

Express love for someone who has cared for you is the Light the World suggestion for today. 

I know in our home that if the kids are sick, mom is the one they call for. My job is to either find mom or clean up. 

Monday, December 6, 2021

Light the World: Magic Memory

One of my favorite quotes from Pres. Hinckley goes something like, "If it wasn't for Easter, we wouldn't have Christmas." 

Today's Light the World is to share a Christmas memory with a friend or family member, along with a message of why they are important to you.


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Light the World: Fast Relief

I heard this statement in a lesson once, and it stuck with me. It helps explain why sometimes it's easier to fast than others. 

For today's Light the World, the suggestion is to "go without for a meal or two" and donate the cost of the meals to a charity that feeds people in need. 

Editor's note: Snicker Snacks and the jagged line on the cereal bowl are throwbacks to Peanuts — the jagged line was on Charlie Brown's shirt (a recurring motif you'll see in numerous comic strips for that exact reason), and Snicker Snacks was often the cereal of choice in the strip. Bonus points in your Comics History class if you got those references!

Friday, December 3, 2021

Light the World: The Christ Child

Today for Light the World, we're encouraged to watch the video The Christ Child with friends, family or both — or maybe even the pizza guy. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Light the World: Wise Man's Gift

Today for Light the World, we're looking for that wise man or woman who has blessed your life.

If you're like me, it's probably difficult to narrow it down to one person. There are so many relatives, teachers, advisors and mentors who have touched my life so deeply!

One who comes readily to mind is Larry Leishman, my deacons quorum advisor. He taught me that even a 12-year-old kid can make a difference, even in the face of adversity. 

Who has been that Wise Woman or Wise Man for you?