Jenny Smith

Read to find out everything you ever wanted to know about me, Jenny Smith, PLUS a whole lot of things you don’t:

Jenny Smith
Jenny Smith

Hobbies

Jenny Smith
Jenny Smith – self-portrait, 2010

Hi, I’m Jenny Smith. Born in the boondocks and living on a farm, I’m a designer, tomato enthusiast, gifted data organizer, and innovator. If I’m not online, I’m doing something on the following list:

  • Watching Star Trek: Enterprise! Crying because Enterprise was canceled! fReAkiNg because there is going to be a new Star Trek Movie (please, God, don’t let it be lame!). Waiting not-so-patiently for the new movie to be out on DVD because IT WAS GREAT! There is a God! Waiting for the next Star Trek film to come out.  Evangelizing for Star Trek Discovery.
  • Reading
  • Watching a movie (favorites: Pride and Prejudice, While You Were Sleeping, Horatio Hornblower series; Much Ado About Nothing; Emma; Sense and Sensibility; Victoria & Albert — good grief. I sound like an Anglophile — Lion King; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Hunt for Red October; Princess Bride; Lord of the Rings; all the Star Treks except Generations — the one when they killed Kirk)
  • Working in my calling as Beehive Adviser, Ward Activities Director, Education Counselor to the Relief Society President, Visiting Teaching Coordinator, Relief Society President, Ward Activities Director, Young Women Secretary, Young Women Secretary (again after ward split), Seminary teacher, Ward Music Chairperson, Young Women President, communications specialist and Primary Substitute.
  • Before I started this website, I had served variously as a Beehive class president, Laurel class president, FHE mom, Relief Society secretary, Relief Society public relations chair, youth Sunday school teacher, Mia Maid advisor, Relief Society nursery leader, Primary teacher (CTR 7), and Primary teacher (CTR 7 again after a move — didn’t learn enough the first time, I guess).
  • Laundry. Again. Hubs has taken this over and ensured I’ll never leave him.
  • Toting kids to piano and Scouts and band and art and voice and mutual andEmpty nesting

Whar’ you stay?

I have lived in northern Virginia since 2006, where I live on a 300+ acre farm that’s been in my family for 8 generations now.

I grew up in a small town in Mississippi where I attended a small LDS Branch until age 18. Though living there was a trial in many ways, I gained a very strong testimony of the Gospel there. My daddy is a first-generation convert, and my mother’s family has several generations of Mormon ancestry.

the Farm
Poplar Grove Farm, Est @1820

After High School graduation, I attended Brigham Young University, where I got my Bachelor of Arts  in Design, emphasis Industrial Design. I love school, and in addition to the required BYU Religion minor, have partial minors in Marketing and Computer Science, all of which have helped greatly in creating, tweaking, and promoting my websites. I went back to school in 2020 and got a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Learning and Technology so that I could do studies on cell phones in the classroom to help gospel teachers manage phones effectively.

After marrying an Aggie I moved to Logan, Utah. Next we lived in Sandy and then Riverton, Utah, until 2006.

I’ve had the good fortune to acquire an incredibly supportive husband and two very good-natured children. Both kids have flown the roost, and are attending university.

Is that you in the picture at the top of the website with your feet sticking up in the air?

(This question refers to an older version of the website that used to have a different header image.) You’d be surprised how often I am asked that question. Sorry to disappoint, but no — it’s not me. I buy most of the photos for this site at iStockPhoto, including that one. 

This is me with a James Doohan lookalike at Dragon*con 2011
This is me with a James Doohan look-alike at Dragon*con 2011

Which is your favorite Star Trek series?

Gosh, I don’t know. I love The Original Series, or The Next Generation. I went to college for the last 2-3 seasons of DS9 and missed most of the last part of those, so I guess I like those the least. I liked Voyager alright, but never got to love Janeway, and LOVED Enterprise — what was Paramount thinking???? I even donated to the Save Enterprise fan fund to pay for series production. Arg. I am enjoying both Discovery and Picard, and I like the Kelvin timeline. It’s Star Trek, I pretty much like it.

What do you watch on TV since Enterprise was canceled?

Mostly NCIS, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, the Office, and Murdoch Mysteries.  Stuff I can binge watch on Netflix.

There’s just nothing on….

Favorite Book of Mormon story?

I love the parts in Alma that deal with Alma, Alma the Younger and Corianton. I love to read how they made mistakes and yet grew into stalwart church members, sharing the wisdom of their experience with others (me included). It helps me understand that God doesn’t expect perfection, just best effort, and that past wrongs don’t prevent future rights.

Favorite scripture?

John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Jenny Smith
This was my first selfie. Really. Jenny Smith, 2014.

Favorite color?

Blue.

Favorite food?

This is a hard one for me. I love to eat most anything. I am especially partial to Southern foods like gumbo and grits. I love catfish and boiled peel-and-eat shrimp, but now that I’m a Westerner-by-marriage I like steak and salmon. I make a mean Fried Green Tomato and have finally gotten my yellow cornbread recipe right for this altitude (originally written in Utah). I could live on tomatoes and corn.

Confession: I am EXTREMELY picky about orange juice. I only drink Simply Orange.

Confession 2: I don’t like pie. Not apple, not key lime, not chocolate… I hate the slimy crust layer. Ick.

Favorite tomato

Yes, favorite tomato is it’s own category. Get on board. I like the following types of tomato

  • Grape tomato – Juliet (hybrid)
  • Saladette – Stupice (but I’m looking for a better one)
  • Slicer – Cherokee Purple
  • Beefsteak – Bear Claw
  • Paste – Anna Russian Oxheart or San Marzano
  • Other heirloom – David Haas Pennsylvania Pink Plum
  • Other hybrid – lately, Early Girl (formerly Better Boy)

You’ll notice I don’t list a cherry tomato. I don’t care for the way cherry tomatoes pop and ooze seeds and gel everywhere. Large grape tomatoes are the smallest tomatoes I can really enjoy. I like love am obsessed with growing tomatoes and have grown as many as 24 varieties in a single year. I like to grow heirlooms — especially colorful ones, but I’m not a purist. There are several kinds of hybrid I also like to grow and eat.

Favorite restaurant?

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite. We eat at as many different places as possible, trying to support local restauranteurs when possible.  Here locally I love Eileen’s, FoodE, The Happy Clam, Smyrna, El Gran Charro, Soup and Taco, La Petite Auberge, Mama Chepa’s, Freedom Society, Riobiolina, Saithong Para Thai, Fahrenheit 132, and Worst Deli.

Favorite Vacation?

With Daughter in England, 2010
With CutestKidInTheWorld in England, 2010

Anywhere with bad weather and broken internet access. :)  Our family visits the Shenandoah National Forest every year during the fall to enjoy apples — that’s probably our favorite vacation spot.

I do like to travel and have visited several countries including:

  1. Mexico,
  2. Canada,
  3. Bahamas,
  4. England,
  5. Scotland,
  6. Ireland,
  7. Northern Ireland,
  8. France,
  9. Italy,
  10. Turkey,
  11. Greece,
  12. Israel,
  13. Egypt,
  14. South Korea,
  15. Dominican Republic,
  16. Grand Cayman,
  17. Jamaica,
  18. Honduras,
  19. Belize,
  20. Denmark,
  21. Iceland, and
  22. Norway.

I crossed the Arctic Circle in 2017 on the Serenade of the Seas.

I’ve been on cruises to the Bahamas several times, did the Mediterranean twice, Baja, Northwestern United States, Western Caribbean, looped around Cuba visiting several countries, and even did one transatlantic cruise — solo!

I’ve visited these US states:

  1. Alabama,
  2. Arkansas,
  3. Arizona,
  4. California,
  5. Colorado,
  6. Connecticut
  7. Delaware,
  8. Florida,
  9. Georgia,
  10. Iowa
  11. Idaho,
  12. Illinois,
  13. Indiana,
  14. Kansas,
  15. Kentucky,
  16. Louisiana,
  17. Massachusetts,
  18. Maryland,
  19. Maine,
  20. Michigan,
  21. Minnesota,
  22. Missouri,
  23. Mississippi,
  24. Montana,
  25. North Carolina,
  26. Nebraska,
  27. New Jersey,
  28. New Mexico,
  29. Nevada,
  30. New York,
  31. Ohio,
  32. Oklahoma,
  33. Pennsylvania,
  34. South Carolina
  35. South Dakota,
  36. Tennessee,
  37. Texas,
  38. Utah,
  39. Virginia,
  40. Washington,
  41. Wisconsin,
  42. West Virginia,
  43. Wyoming

Plus the District of Colombia.

Other Interests/Oddities

hanging tomato
No ferns hanging on my front porch — just tomatoes….
  • The week I got married, I attended two graduation ceremonies (both mine), attended four receptions in four states (all mine), attended two weddings (one was mine), and attended a funeral (not mine).
  • I have a tomato obsession and recently got into growing heirlooms.  At right is a Stupice growing in a hanging container on my front porch
  • Amateur Radio Operator: KC5FTK
  • Member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe, of Pocahontas fame.
  • Recipient of “Protector of Children Award” from StrengthenTheFamily.net for recognition of efforts to protect children from exposure to indecent materials
  • I’m a (reluctant) member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and have been a secretary in that organization. I’ve also helped dissolve our floundering chapter in 2018.
  • Served as both Member and Secretary of the Board if Directors of a local non-profit organization, the Patawomeck Heritage Foundation.
  • I am a terrible singer, but I’ve sung in the ward or branch choir in every church unit that I’ve lived in.  Too easily guilted….
  • I created the first ever database of LDS lesson helps. I also created the first and only faceted search for the same. I was the first independent person to share lesson help for every lesson in an LDS manual for free. I created the first database-driven tagged index of LDS clip art and handouts. I created the first database of free Doctrinal Mastery. I was the first person to ever provide Seminary help to other teachers without charging a fee or requiring registration.
  • Along with Russell Simon (Brother Simon Says) and Sharon Haynie, I created and administer a 10,000+ member Facebook group for Seminary teachers. It has become so influential that Seminary leaders in Salt Lake use it to disseminate information and monitor happenings among teachers. It is the largest public group of its kind.
  • I am a contributor to the LDS leadership podcast and website of Leading Saints. I have done two interviews, refused some, I tweet during General Conference for them, take episode notes, and write articles as occasion permits.
  • I participate irregularly in book club. The quality of my vacations is rated by the number of books I complete — I go for 3 on each trip.
  • I like reading challenges. I participated in the Book Of Mormon Translation Reading Challenge and completed the BoM in the same amount of time as it took to translate it .  Once I read the BoM in two days. Would not recommend. Another time I did it in two weeks to earn an Honor Bee for YW.
  • Far from the Madding Crowd. I relate to Bathesheba.
  • I read the entire Starr Report. Would not recommend.
  • In 2012 I read the court opinion on gay marriage and changed my stance from opposed to believing the government can not prevent licensing gay or other marriages. I believed our activity with Prop 8 was a mistake, and I still think the Church should stay out of this issue and deal with it only as it affects its own membership.
  • I argue with authors by writing in the margins of books. It’s a problem.
  • Never Trumper.