My name is Christina Shelley Albrecht, but I usually go by Tina. I grew up in Orem, Utah near the Provo, Utah Temple, the Missionary Training Center, and Brigham Young University. Since my dad has worked at BYU all my life, I pretty much grew up on BYU campus and loved it. So it’s not much of a surprise that I chose to study at BYU when the time came. I graduated from BYU with a degree in Linguistics and a Master’s Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
While in my graduate program, I married my handsome country cowboy, Ryan Albrecht, and moved with him to his native land of none other than Kline, Colorado, population … maybe 100. We live about 20 miles from Durango, Colorado and about 30 miles from Farmington, NM with our three lovely daughters. I write books, enjoy occasional public speaking opportunities, support other moms through my website, and enjoy doing my best to bring love and joy into my home and into the homes of my friends.
What made you decide to start writing books?
When my oldest daughter, Leia, was two years old, I wanted to start having regular family home evenings and scripture study. But how? She was like a tornado! So much energy! And ZERO attention span.
When I prayed about how I could make family home evening do-able with a talkative, excited two-year old when my husband and I were exhausted at the end of the day, I got some specific ideas. I bought a Gospel Art Kit and the book “Stand a Little Taller”, which has scriptures and quotes in it for every day of the year. I’d show a gospel art picture and tell a story for FHE and for scripture time I’d read a page from the book I had. It worked well. Until…
My second daughter, Hana, joined us. I still used the daily scripture study book, but I was ready for a change when it came to FHE. I started using the nursery manual Behold, Your Little Ones, It was fun, easy-to-use, and we all loved it. But then, as Hana became a toddler and Leia turned five, I noticed that Leia was starting to ask more questions and think more deeply. I realized she could learn a lot more than she could before, but we still had the attention span issue to work with. Plus, we were still pretty tired by the end of the day when FHE time came around.
Somehow I knew exactly what I wanted: a 2-in-1 book that correlated FHE topics and daily scripture study topics but kept everything in bite-sized pieces. That way we could fit it all in effectively despite rushed mornings and tired evenings. Also, since we would be discussing the same topic all week, we could share different ideas over a longer period of time, giving us more opportunities to receive inspiration about what we should talk to our girls about.
Thinking, “You can find anything on the internet,” I got onto Google and found … nothing! I was shocked! Sure, there were some FHE idea books and websites, but nothing that combined home evening and scripture study topics in one easy-to-use resource, which was an absolute must for me. So, I created the book I wanted and offered it to some friends along the way. The feedback was so positive that I decided to publish it for all LDS families to enjoy.
Is FHEasy the first FHE book you wrote?
The book FHEasy is actually the third book I’ve written that combined family home evening and family scripture study. However, it is the first book to be published. The first book was for all ages and had a very different organizational pattern. I really liked it, but when I used it in my family I found that the scriptures, quotes, topics, and activities were more suited to older children and adults. My kids, ages 5 and 2, couldn’t pay attention long enough to get through the quotes and scriptures much less learn from them, and they liked simpler activities. So I wrote another FHE and scripture study book that was specifically tailored to children ages 8 and under, and my family loved it. It was perfect for us!
When I submitted the book for publication I truly thought no one would want to publish it and I would just self-publish the book and call it good. I was shocked when not one but two publishers expressed interest in the book! After talking back and forth with the publishers, I decided to work with Cedar Fort Publishing. Together we decided to double the size of my book, put in more quotes, correlate several church manuals into the lesson plans, and include a Church history section … along with adaptations for younger and older children. I also decided to include as many scripture mastery scriptures as possible and refer to things on the internet for lesson enhancements and general education. It turned out to be very different and much more comprehensive than my first two books, and hopefully much more useful to families.
Besides writing books, what things do you like to do?
I love music and reading and really nourishing foods. I sing and play the piano and enjoy singing full voice to my favorite broadway musical CDs. I love to read self-help books like “The Success Principles” and “Remembering Wholeness”. I also love the budding genre of “proper romance” novels. A few of my favorite light, clean novels are The Kiss of a Stranger, Longing for Home, A Beauty So Rare, Edenbrooke, and To Win Her Heart.
Walking, biking, and doing yoga are some of the joys of my life. I absolutely love flowers and plants, but I’m not very good at keeping them alive, so my favorites are cut carnations – they last a long time, they are bright and cheery, and I can’t accidentally kill them. I also enjoy learning about the medicinal use of plants and occasionally teach people about essential oils and how to use them to support health, improve mood, and make their homes smell wonderful.