Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

I hope that all of you have a wonderful Christmas Eve and a beautiful Christmas! I love this time of year for the beautiful music.
I tend to get a little homesick for the Christmases of my childhood this time of year too. This picture is one my mom took of our corral out past the pastures by our house. Isn't it beautiful?
One of my family's Christmas traditions was to host a little program on Christmas Eve at our home. We usually invited Grandma and some other neighbors or widowers. It is one of my favorite memories. Many times we would read through the Christmas story and incorporate songs to go with each section of the story.
My family is pretty musical, on a typical Christmas Eve you would hear all kinds of singing, violin solos, trombone solos, piano solos, and more. I enjoy singing and so I loved to sing songs like "Silent Night" or "Breath of Heaven." I loved when we would all feel the Spirit so strongly and I could look and see my dad wiping his eyes or tears rolling down my mom's cheeks.
I'm far away from that time it seems now, but I am enjoying the day when my own family will be able to carry on the tradition. Right now we sing "Once There Was a Snowman" and "Jingle Bells" and then we run around the room and laugh. I'm so grateful that I have had so many wonderful Christmas memories in my lifetime and that they continue on with my sweet little girls and my loving husband.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Contest Results

Okay, the Christmas writing contest is officially over at the LDS Publisher blog. I can now reveal which stories were mine. In the published author category I wrote #15 Christmas at Fielding House and #20 I’ll Cry for Christmas. I didn’t win, but I did receive several votes on each story with some good comments. I enjoyed writing the stories and it was fun to get feedback from a real publisher. She mentioned that she had to narrow down her choices from six very good stories in the published author category and listed #20 as one of those. I was excited about that.
Thanks to anyone who might have participated. I’ll keep you up to date on my writing endeavors.
Now I'm off to finish up the last of my Christmas projects. One of which was to sew matching stockings for my family, a total of four. They are cute and my girls are excited about Christmas. I've went through all kinds of baking goods, especially sugar, as I made several batches of tempting toffee crips and my sister and I did our annual hand-dipped chocolates. It's fun to have traditions that keep the holidays bright. I hope that you and yours are enjoying the holiday as much as I am.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Vote For the Best Christmas Story

Run on over to LDS Publisher’s blog and check out her Christmas story contest. I have two entries posted, but I can’t tell you which ones they are until the voting is over. That’s what makes this contest so much fun. All entries are posted anonymously and then there is a reader’s choice and a publisher’s choice winner.
There are two categories, published author and unpublished author. If you scroll down to my publishing credits, you might figure out which category I am in.
I hope you like the stories and of course I hope you enjoy mine enough to vote for them, even though you won’t know which ones I have written. I really had a lot of fun writing the stories and it helped get me into the Christmas spirit even more.
Hurry and read some neat Christmas stories and vote and then check back here for results. Vote for the story that captured your interest and touched your heart, one that was well written and full of the feelings of Christmastime.
Be sure to visit and vote between December 16th and midnight December 19th. The votes will be tallied after that and winners announced. You may vote twice in each category and you can vote either anonymously or by using your name or Google ID. Make sure you are clear when voting. You can make any comments pertaining to the story, but you must say I am voting for this one, if that’s the story you’re choosing.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Is Home

The holiday season is definitely upon us and I'm enjoying it but struggling to keep up! I love all of our fun Christmas traditions. One of my traditions is to write a new poem during the holidays. I thought you might enjoy a poem I wrote a few years back about this time of year.
Merry Christmas!

Christmas Is Home

Home is a cozy fire crackling
As a family sings “Silent Night.”
Laughter as a little child sees
Their first Christmas light.
Home is putting the first ornament
On the Christmas tree
And wishing for toys
On Santa’s knee.
Because Christmas isn’t Christmas
Without home, and a house
Isn’t a home without Christmas.

Music from pianos, voices, and violins,
Signals it’s Christmas Eve again.
Sacred verses bring to mind
The Virgin Mary’s miracle birth,
When our dear Savior came to earth.
We invite him to our home each day
And at Christmas time in a special way,
We remember him.
For Christmas isn’t Christmas
Without Christ
And a house isn’t a home
Without CHRISTmas.

Written by Rachelle J. Christensen
December 2004

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Here's a Great Book to add to your list

I would like to recommend a wonderful book that I have been reading this past week. It is called Please, No Zits! Written by Anne Bradshaw.
I think that everyone should try to get their hands on this book! This book would be great if you are a teenager, have teenagers, work with teenagers, are related to teenagers… you get my point.
Anne has put together a great collection of stories, very well written with some great examples of what teenagers deal with on an almost daily basis. I love her descriptive imagery. In her stories she weaves in just the right amount of details so that I felt I was there, even if it was halfway across the world in Scotland! So many of the scenarios brought back memories of my own teenage experiences and I couldn’t believe how right-on Anne was with her stories.
Add this book to your Christmas list and pick up a few for gifts. Thanks Anne, for a marvelous look into the teenage world.
Here are a few reviews for the book and other info:

Please, No Zits! is a collection of fast moving short stories set in America, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. It is a fun read that motivates without preaching. The stories are also recommended for Family Home Evening discussions. More information and full reviews can be found at Anne’s website, and her Blog.

"Think Chicken Soup-meets-John Bytheway and you get Please,No Zits! & Other Short Stories for LDS Youth."
LDS Review

Please, No Zits! will be enjoyed by young people anxious for a good story, and by parents who will find themselves reading these stories to their children. I can envision some interesting conversations, opportunities for young people and their parents to discuss the things that really matter — those things that will last into eternity. Parents and children do need to talk with each other more often, and these stories can be an exciting way to engage your children in ways that will stay with them forever.--Jeff Needle--Association for Mormon Letters

Please, No Zits! is now in many stores such as Deseret Book and BYU Bookstore. It is also available at Latter-day, and on

LDS Review


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