Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blogging For Dummies Part 3: How to upload a photo

Refer to my previous posts on blogging if you need to catch up, Part 1

and Part 2

Click on New post to begin and if you have your text ready, go ahead and type or paste it in. Make sure you click on the COMPOSE tab because it makes uploading a photo soooo much easier!

I am giving directions on how to upload a photo which is saved to your computer because that’s how I do it. Click on the lovely little box on the right hand side that is right next to your ABC checkmark. If you put your mouse on this box it will say, Add image. Once you have clicked on the box, it will open up a separate Blogger window to upload your images. Click on BROWSE and a window will open up with access to all of the files on your computer. Go to the file containing your picture and highlight the picture, then click on OPEN.

Now you are back to the image box and you will see some code in the bar before browse—this is your picture.

Now you can choose, what size you want your picture to be and if you want it Left, Center, or Right.

Click on UPLOAD IMAGE and wait while your picture loads. The box will then say, “Your image has been added” and you can click on the blue box DONE and the image box will close and take you back to your post draft box.

Every time you load a photo, no matter where your cursor is on your text, the picture will appear at the top of your blog post. YOU CAN MOVE IT THOUGH! All you need to do is click on your picture and drag it down to where you want. If you chose LEFT for your picture to upload, you obviously can’t drag it to the right side of the screen, but hopefully you knew that already.

I uploaded a photo of my daughter and I sledding and dragged it down to match up with my text here.

You can upload several different photos and move them around the box.

If you upload your photo and all you see is a bunch of numbers and text with , you are in the EDIT HTML tab of your post. I had to learn this the hard way. You can cut and paste those symbols wherever you want in your text and I know some prefer to move their images this way. But I would rather click on the COMPOSE TAB and see my picture and then move it.

Once you have your picture in place, you can click on publish post and then view your blog.

I hope these simple instructions can help those who haven’t tried to tackle uploading a photo yet. It’s very easy and fun. Just remember to be safe, click here for more information about blogging safely.

Happy Blogging!

What else would you like to learn about on the social network stop at Rachelle’s Writing Spot?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Read with your Children: The Watson’s Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Man, I just love the Weird Watson’s! You’ll have to read the book to find out why they’re called the Weird Watson’s.

The award winning,The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
by Christopher Paul Curtis is a laugh out loud book that is hard to keep to yourself. It was a Newberry Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor book along with several other awards. You will love reading this book! Certain sequences beg to be read aloud. I was rocking my baby while reading and had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing too loud.

Curtis weaves a delightful story with so many humorous events and then ties it into a very serious event from the Civil Rights movement in Alabama. He shows how traumatic events can affect children. And then he brings back the humorous side to the story.

This is an incredible book to read and to read aloud to your kids It’s a middle-grade reader super for the whole family.

I think it’s important to read children’s books because it keeps you in touch with your child’s world. I want to encourage everyone to read with their children. Pick up a book and read to your kids. Reading to them creates a bond with you and encourages them to read on their own.

Reading brings up topics for you to discuss which may not be broached otherwise. I know from experience that reading has brought up so many ideas and philosophies I wouldn’t have considered. Reading helps you open the world for your child and see that there is so much happening around them.

If you like The Watson’s Go to Birmingham, you’ll probably also love Newberry Medal winner, Bud Not Buddy, also by Christopher Paul Curtis

yourLDSneighborhood has added exciting new things to its website. Please drop by and take a look, browse around, check out our vendors, our radio station, our authors, our musicians and more. Check out the Neighborhood. And while you're there, subscribe to the yourLDSneighborhood Newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world-all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Forgotten Warrior by Kathi Oram Peterson

Forgiveness has never been an attribute of sixteen-year-old Sydney Morgan's. Loyal and loving to her mother and sister, a crisis forces her to find her absent father, which in turn begins a chain of events leading her to the last place and time she would have ever expected.

The Forgotton Warrior follows Syd as she is transported back to Book of Mormon times by touching a mysterious clear stone. She meets Chief Captain Helaman; nursemaid, Mariah; and the stripling warriors. They believe Syd to be a boy, and worse yet, Helaman's second-in-command, Tarik, thinks Syd is a Lamanite spy and threatens to kill her.

Come follow Sydney as she desperately tries to find her way back home, fights to gain Helaman's respect, and despite herself, falls in love with Tarik.

*You can enter a special "Latter-day Stripling Warrior Contest" on Kathi’s website. Click on events to find out the details of how you can nominate a youth girl or boy between the ages of 8-18 to be Latter-day Stripling Warriors simply by writing down a kind deed or deeds that the youth has done.

Kathi will send each and every entry that has a return address a certificate that says "_____ is a Latter-day Stripling Warrior.” It will be signed by her and three of the heroes in the book. The grand prize winner will receive a $50.00 gift certificate from

*Rachelle's Review

Peterson has some great ideas in her debut novel to bring the period of the two-thousand stripling warriors to life. I had a difficult time when the viewpoints switched from Sydney to Tarik because I felt Tarik kept repeating things that had already happened. I found much of the novel to be redundant as Peterson continually reminded the reader again and again of every emotion, event, etc. I would've like to see her give the reader more credit--in that they would remember these key points after the second or third time they were reiterated.

Instead of spending so much time repeating things already introduced I would suggest investing more into building up the characters to be more believable. The flow of the book felt interrupted to me as it jumped between reminding the reader of the important plot points and trying to introduce other secondary characters. Syd’s overall concern for her family while she was in Book of Mormon times felt more like an afterthought and did not seem authentic to me.

I would've liked to see Peterson create a stopping place for book one as this feels like I was left hanging in the middle of the sentence. There was a lot of up-movement and then no issues were resolved. Usually in a series of books I like to see some issues resolved in each book but the major conflict continues on throughout the series.

It was fun to “see” Helaman brought to life and I enjoyed reading the fight scenes and trying to picture Syd’s karate moves. I’m hopeful that the sequel to The Forgotten Warrior will be able overcome some of the struggles book one experienced.

Here's some info about the author:

Kathi Oram Peterson was born in the small, sleepy town of Rigby, Idaho. In her childhood, her parents owned a store on Main Street. Whenever they couldn't find her, they'd look in the nearby drug store behind the book display. There she would be curled up with a book. Though she grew up, married, and had a family of her own, her passion for a good, heart-thumping, action-packed story has never left her. After raising her family of two girls and a boy, she went back to school and earned her English degree at the University of Utah. Upon graduation, she worked for a curriculum publisher writing and editing concept and biography books for children. Leaving the workforce, she decided to devote her time to writing inspirational novels. Over her writing career she has won the “Heart of the West” and “Golden Pen” writing contests and placed as a finalist in St. Martin’s Press’ “Malice Domestic Contest.” She has also served as President of the Wasatch Mountain Fiction Writers.

She is currently working on another series set in Rome and Bethlehem during Christ’s birth.

You can visit Kathi's website and her blog.
Buy The Forgotten Warrior at Deseret Book or Seagull Book.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Love List Day 14- I Love Reading

I love reading because it is magic! Reading makes me think about things I never would’ve considered before. I’ve learned about different parts of the world, unusual occupations, weapons, vehicles, the French Revolution, fairies, dinosaurs, the FBI, trolls, horses, the Civil War and you get my point. Reading has opened up the world for me to see just how big it is and how complex people are—that each life is filled with so many dynamics.

I love to read because I can get lost in a book and leave behind my own troubles for awhile. My favorite treat to myself is to read. I enjoy reading all different types of books as long as they’re clean and love to talk about the books I’ve read and enjoyed.

Some books I read just because they are enjoyable—pure recreation. Others I read because I’m in a mood to ponder things, to learn about things. As I’ve read more and more and also learned more about the art of writing, I’ve gained a more critical eye. I notice parts of a book I didn’t before. I can see how the writer used dialogue sparingly in a scene to allow the reader to fill in the blanks of emotion. I notice how certain writer’s blend beautiful words of description into a scene so carefully that I feel I am walking through it as I’m reading. I also notice some of the things which don’t make the book compelling enough to finish and have started to question what makes a book really great, a classic, for example.

There are so many facets to reading which I enjoy and I know that as time goes by, I will continue to discover more that I love.

I have my very own book club on this blog--Rachelle's Book Club. If you’d like to see any of the reviews I’ve posted, just look on my sidebar and click on a title. I really enjoy hearing what other people think about books. I try to read the scriptures each day, a book for fun, and a few paragraphs or chapter from a book concentrated on something I want to learn about.
I hope everyone can find a few minutes to read a great book every day.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Love List Day 13- I Love Cats

I love animals and especially cats. I know it seems people either love cats or hate ‘em, but I’ve always loved felines. I think if people hate cats, it’s because they’ve never had a cat that loved them like mine do. Maybe they never had a cat greet them when they come home with a special meow.

This is a picture of me with my favorite cat of all time--Tiger. I made her a special crown--complete with masking tape to attach it to her head! :-)

My cats are outdoor cats and it’s amazing how they seem to always know when we step outside. At three o’clock in the morning when my daughter had croup a couple weeks ago and I took her outside to help her breathe, both of our cats showed up. Patches, our female feline, jumped right into our laps and purred as loud as possible and Tigger—the male came meowing around the corner as if he was asking, “What are you doing awake at this hour?”

I’ve loved many cats and dogs through the years and sadly had to say good-bye to more than I would’ve liked, but I do have good memories. When my husband and I moved into our first home we acquired some wonderful farm cats from my parents. Mowgli, my favorite little cat, was so petite. She looked like a year old-kitten when she was full-grown. Whenever Steve or I would walk through the garage she would try to get on a shelf or the car so she could jump onto our shoulders. It was the funniest thing. Every time we sat down on the front steps, she would be on someone’s shoulder as fast as she could.

When I was young, our cats often had kittens in the window-wells and so I would pop out the screen of my basement window and sneak the kittens inside. The poor things endured being dressed up in baby clothes with bonnets and anything else I could think of.

One of my favorite games was to play with my little brother and sister with the “Queen’s cats.” The cats were in danger and we had to save them. We would wrap all the kittens in a blanket and carry them off to a “safe spot” to rescue them. I don’t remember much else about the game, but we probably had some of the tamest kittens around.

I think people who love animals have a tender heart. I watched my mom and dad nurse many a tiny kitten or puppy who was the runt of the litter back to health. My dad

was the in-house veterinarian, always working on the animals to make sure they were healthy.

Maybe some of you will think I’m silly—but I’m betting that others will have the same wish—I hope if I get to heaven I’ll get to see my pets again. It only seems fair, doesn’t it—that animals who were so loving and brought so much joy to my life would have a chance to be loved again?

Blogging for Dummies Part 2 *How to Publish Your First Post

1. Click NEW POST along the top of your screen on your blog page. A new window will open up and you will be able to type directly into the window to create your first post if you like. I prefer writing in Microsoft word and then cutting and pasting my text into the box. This is very simple. I type my draft, hit CTRL + A which selects all and then hit CTRL + C which copies it to your computer’s clipboard. Then click inside the window of your post box on your blog and click CTRL + V and your text will be pasted within the window.

2. A few hints. You cannot use exclamation points! in your title. That’s dumb, I know and maybe it will change one day, but that’s how it is now.

3. What are labels? In the little white box at the bottom of your post box it says “LABELS FOR THIS POST” These are tags for your post and are useful because not only do they categorize all of your posts, but they are basically a search optimization tool within your blog. This means if you write a blog about “How to potty train your child with no mess” or “How to communicate with a screaming three-year old” when some stressed out person is looking for information on this topic and they type it into a search engine on the internet, your blog may come up. Yes, it may be on the 25th page of searches, but it could be there. Again, another reminder if you don’t want everyone looking at what you write, you can make your blog private.

Some people like to categorize their blogs into a few main topics and label each post to go with those topics, ie: potty training, temper tantrums, chocolate addictions, etc. Others will put many different labels on their posts to create more traffic on their blog and optimize searching. *Note, the combined length of all the labels must be at most 200 characters or it won’t let you publish!
Each blog has its own search bar at the top which you can turn on or off if you wish in the settings area of your blog. In my blog, if you type in Social Networking in the search box, it will bring up each and every post I have written on the topic of social networking. It’s an awesome feature! So the tags you use will help in searching your own blog as well.

4. In an upcoming post I will talk about and tell you how you can see exactly how someone found your blog through a keyword search. You can check it out now if the suspense is too much for ya, click here.

5. In the post window do you see that little green world with a chain-link by it? That is your hyperlink tool. You can link to any website or webpage in the world with this little tool and it’s so easy, I promise! Just type in a word that you want to link up, like, THE BEST BLOG IN THE WORLD, then using your mouse cursor, drag it over the world and highlight it.

Next click on that little world/hyperlink tool and it will open up a small window on your screen starting with http:// This is where you type in the URL or web address for the webpage you would like to link to. So with “The best blog in the world” highlighted, you could then type next to and click OK. Voila! You are linked. A quick tip if you’re linking up lots of pages. I open those pages in another window and then go up to the address bar, click on it and the whole address turns blue and then click CTRL +C, then I return and paste that into the hyperlink box by using CTRL + V.

6. How do you send someone a link to your blog? Well, you can either send them your address and have them search for the blog or there’s an easier way. Just click on the title of any blog post and the address or URL will change to the specific location of that blog. For example, if I wanted to share my “Blogging for dummies” post I could tell people to go to and then search for the post in my search box or find it in my list of tags on the sidebar—but all I really need to do is click on the title of my post, “Blogging for dummies” and then send this URL All you have to do is cut and paste the URL into your address bar and it will take you right to that post.

7. Now you’ve written your first post, titled it, added a few labels/tags, and even linked up to another webpage. Are you ready to post it? Click on preview on the right hand side of your post box and it will bring up an idea of what your post will look like. *Note: Your post will not look exactly like this on your screen, especially if you add pictures. This is also dumb *Google-take note* but that’s how it is right now. The preview is a general idea of what it will look like, but the spacing, etc. is usually a little different.

8. Click PUBLISH POST and it will publish and then you can click VIEW BLOG and see your very first post! Congratulations! Stay tuned for more information on blogging. There are tons and tons of tools, called widgets, which you can use to build your blog and there are more basic things you can do when posting, like uploading a photo which I will cover in an upcoming blog.

*Please note that you can always go to to find details on everything available from blogger. Please let me know if you have other questions, I'd love to help!
Good luck and Happy Blogging!

yourLDSneighborhood has added exciting new things to its website. Please drop by and take a look, browse around, check out our vendors, our radio station, our authors, our musicians and more. Check out the Neighborhood. And while you're there, subscribe to the yourLDSneighborhood Newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world-all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Love List Day 12- I love Music

I love music. I started taking piano lessons when I was six and took lessons all through college. My favorite piano teacher in my youth was Jolynn Flake—she was amazing and did well with the hard-headed girl who hated to count! I always tried to have someone else play the music for me or listen to it somewhere so I could play by ear (as far as counting goes) and not have to count.
When I was in college I practiced daily in one of Utah State University’s practice rooms for one hour. Something that I would’ve thought torture as a youngster, but I finally learned to appreciate the art of practicing. I love playing the piano. It’s very difficult for me to do much of that now because every time I sit down to play my girls run up and want to start playing with me. I’m okay with that because I see that they will probably love music as much as I do and I know there will soon be a day when I can play more.

I love singing. I remember singing often with my mom who also has a wonderful voice. I loved my vocal lessons and enjoyed practicing all the time. I sang a lot when I was out in the fields weeding or moving pipe. I love writing my own music and creating my own songs. I am not gifted enough to just sit down at the piano and churn out a new melody, when I write my songs I have to sing them first and then get help with the accompaniment.

I’ve always enjoyed singing for other people, most of the time not even feeling nervous. I love to sing for others because I hope that they can feel the spirit of the music like I do, that they can feel it touch their soul and awaken something, almost like a memory of where they came from. I believe music is a gift from God and He wants us to love music.

I enjoy sharing music with my children. Every night before they go to bed I sing to them. Sometimes we sing nursery rhymes, hymns, or primary songs; sometimes I can recall silly songs from my childhood like “Kookaburra sittin’ in the old gum tree,” an Australian song that I learned when I was in the first grade.

I love to listen to music. I’ve always loved country music and of course, the 80’s, but I also like classical, rock, inspirational and pretty much everything except rap.

My favorite inspirational artist is Hilary Weeks and I’ve been listening to a lot of her music lately. I also like the new country star, Taylor Swift, and am amazed at her young brilliance. Goo Goo dolls, Jimmy Eatworld, Rascal Flatts, Celine Dion, Louis Armstrong are a few of my other favorites, but really there’s so many I couldn’t name them all. I love listening on iTunes and my iPod, but the most fun is listening with my family. It’s so great to enjoy something like music together.
I come from a very musical family and I’m thankful for the love of music we share.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm entering a contest

Anne Bradshaw conducts great give-aways often on her blog and I wanted to try to win this week's book.
Click here if you'd like to learn more about the book on soft-spoken parenting. It looks like a winner to me. :)

Thanks Anne!

My Love List Day 11-- I love Rupert

I love Rupert, Idaho. This is the small farming town where I grew up—I think the population is just over 6,000 nowadays. I love Rupert because that is where my parents are and because I loved my childhood. We actually lived outside of the city limits by quite a few miles and our home, like most in the country, was surrounded by fields. Potatoes, Sugar beets, beans, alfalfa, wheat, barley, onions, even turnips were some of the crops produced in the fields around my home.

I loved being outdoors and hearing the crickets chirping, frogs singing, and a sky full of stars so bright and clear on a summer night. I loved riding my bike up and down the roads and only having a handful of cars pass by. I loved running and jumping in the canal and going for a swim or floating on a tube. I loved horseback riding and loping through the fields—the exhilaration of a horse running full speed with my dad riding by my side. I loved our huge garden and picking raspberries with my mom.

I love the old town square in Rupert that used to be lined with shops of all kinds with successful merchants. The square is still there, but the stores have changed. I love the Christmas lighting ceremony on that same town square, each year on the day after Thanksgiving. We were “Christmas City USA” and even had fireworks to light up the night.

The 4th of July parade couldn’t be missed with my favorite fighter jets from Mountain Home Air Force Base to kick off the parade each year.
Boating on the Snake River with my friends. Playing at the Minidoka Dam and raking leaves in the hugest piles you’ve ever seen.
Driving for over twenty miles to get to a friend’s house and it was still Rupert. Everywhere you drove, people waved at you and you knew most of them or they knew you because they knew your parents.

These are a few of the things I love about Rupert. I know it’s mostly the people that make the town, but the town lent its character to me and helped build my memories over the years. I couldn’t have picked a better place to grow up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Love List Day 10--I Love Running

I love running. I didn’t discover a love of running until six or seven years ago. I was a farm girl with strong legs and arms for lifting pipe and it was really hard to run very fast in irrigation boots. Hee, hee!

Some of my friends were on the track team and the coach even bothered me a few times to try high-jumping because I’m 5’7” but I didn’t want to give up my job which started in April and lasted until October usually. That was right during track season, so I never learned about running.

Now I know about running. I’m not the greatest runner, but I’m not the worst. I love it because running is something that is a challenge and it’s all up to me. I have to make myself take the next step. Every time I run, there is a time when it’s difficult—sometimes it’s when I start, sometimes it’s after the first mile, sometimes it’s only 200 yards from the finish line—but every time I conquer that weakness inside me that screams for me to stop, I feel so alive, happy, and free!

Running makes me feel like I can do anything, maybe that’s in part because I never pictured myself as a runner. I hope that I’ll always be able to enjoy running, but I know there aren’t many guarantees in life so I’m going to enjoy it while I can. I’m so excited to participate in some fun runs this summer. I missed out on all the 5K races last year because I was pregnant, but I can’t wait to hit the streets this year! In the meantime I’ll get my treadmill warmed up and try to outrun this snowy weather.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Love List Day 9--I Love my in-laws

I love my mother-in-law and father-in-law. None of the mother-in-law jokes apply to Nancy. She is truly a kind-hearted, charitable person who wants nothing more than to see her children and grandchildren happy. Nancy passed on this cheerful, bright attitude to her son, my husband.

Francis is also kind-hearted. He is soft-spoken, but everything he says is meaningful. He has a great sense of humor which I think he passed on to his son and he never speaks ill of others.

I appreciate my in-laws for the love they have given me from the first day we met. They have helped me so much through different stages of my life: childless, one child, two children, three children now! I want to thank them for the great example they are to me and let them know that I appreciate all the many things they do for me and my family. I love you guys!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Love List Day 8--I love homemade bread

I love homemade bread. I make my bread from freshly ground whole wheat and honey with a dash of my secret ingredients. I love my Bosch mixer because I usually make 5 loaves at a time and freeze a few so we can always have homemade bread. Hot bread from the oven, so soft, with melted butter and drizzled honey is better than pretty much any dessert around my house. I love making bread because it reminds me of how my mom used to always make it.

If someone could capture the smell of homemade bread baking and put it in a candle or something, that would be awesome. It tastes good, it brings back good memories, and it brings together my family now because my daughters love to “help” pat the dough and of course eat a little bit. Hmmm, I think I need to make some more homemade bread this week.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Love List Day 7--I love my mom and dad

I love my mom and dad. My parents are amazing and I love them so much. They taught me to work hard, dream big, and laugh long. My dad is a big tease and I learned the fine art of sarcasm from him. I also learned that even though life is tough, it’s worth taking by the reins and going somewhere. He instilled in me a determination so stubborn and unfailing that I know I tested his limits many times. When I set my mind to something—the course is set. Thank you Dad for teaching me to get back on the horse every time I got bucked off—this is figurative as well as from actual events!

My mom has a silly side which kept us all laughing. I loved April Fool’s Day because she always did something cool, sometimes the whole community got to take part—remember the Styrofoam cake that made it all around town, Mom? My mom read to me and allowed my creative spirit to roam free. She listened to my stories, funny lyrics made up to Christmas carols and hymns, and poems. I love talking to my mom and miss the regular two mile walks we took at least four times a week through most of my high school years.

My parents taught me how to work hard. Anyone who has ever done hard labor on a farm knows what I mean. Pulling weeds taller than myself, moving pipe, gardening, watering trees by the heavy 5-gallon bucketful, digging up puncture weeds in the truck yard, cooking, cleaning—no one can say I don’t know how to work. I am so grateful for this lesson because I’ve learned that everything in life worth having takes some work to get. The work may not all be physical, but there is still some kind of work involved. I won’t give up on my dreams because I know if I keep working hard enough I will find success.

I love my mom and dad for so many reasons, I could write pages and pages, but I will tell you that they have sacrificed so much for me and all their children to make our lives wonderful. They have tried their very best to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and serve others and show me how to do likewise. They have always given me love freely and encouraged me in every endeavor.
It has always been important for my parents to be proud of me because I am proud of them. Thanks Mom and Dad! I love you!

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Love List Day 6 *To Celebrate Valentine's Day, each day I am writing about something I love

I love writing! From the time I first learned the craft of reading and writing, I have always enjoyed writing poetry and making up stories. I used to climb the giant Poplar trees in my parent’s pasture as a kid and sit on a branch and think up great dialogues for the characters in my stories.

I have learned so much about writing over the past five years and have just completed the first draft of my fifth book. Writing is so exciting because it seems with every word I write, more are bursting forth. Writing is like my daily vitamin—it makes me happy to create—to see those beautiful words on a page!

Writing can also be very personal and private because I put so much of myself into the characters I create and work so hard to make the words into a great story. Writing is magic because with just one word, I can change the meaning of a sentence, the direction of a story, the outcome of my character’s life. One word can elicit emotions such as fear, hope, love, or joy. String that one word to another and then another and soon there is a manuscript sitting with 57,426 words just waiting to be revised and polished.

I love those words—all of them—they are like my little pets and I can’t wait to show them to you and hope that you will love them as much a I do. I will groom my words and tie ribbons in their hair and shine them until they sparkle. Some of you will love my words and ask for more and others may hate them, but I will still write. I will write those words one at a time, filling up pages and pages because I am a writer. I inhale the air from the most marvelous creation of the world surrounding me and I exhale words. I love writing and yes, I must breathe to live but I also must live to write.

Check out Day Dreamer for the creator of the love list and everyone who is participating. Thanks Christine!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blogging for Dummies Part 1

Have you ever wanted to start a blog or even started one, but you’re not sure how it all works? Well, this post will contain a few tips to help you take advantage of the many wonderful aspects of blogging! Sorry just couldn’t resist on the title there!

This post will mainly be directed toward blogging with Blogger—the king of blog hosters. Blogger is awesome because it was created by Google who also created Gmail and everything Google creates totally rocks!

For those of you who are expert bloggers, you may not learn anything from this post, but I’m betting you know someone who would like to read this so send them over!

I learned almost everything about blogger through trial and error and clicking on help icons. My friends have also given me a few tips I would’ve missed out on otherwise. My point is, I’m not an expert, but I’d like to share what I’ve learned to help others get started because I LOVE BLOGGING! WELCOME TO BLOGLAND!

I have already written a post about blogging etiquette, click here to read some useful information and helpful tips.

Anyone can start a blog on whatever topic they want. So that is the first step.

  1. Decide what purpose your blog will serve. Is your blog for education, promotion, business, family, soapbox, etc. I have also posted about this topic. If your blog is for family—keep it that way—and just select private in the setup and then you will be able to setup an invite to send out to only those you want to be able to view your blog. Click here to read a little more about blogging safely

  1. Log into and select “Create Blog”

  1. Choose a Blog Title and a URL, which is the web address people will type to reach your blog. My URL is and my title is Rachelle’s Writing Spot. You can check the availability of the names you want to use and Blogger will automatically tell you if your choice is available or not. Sometimes if you modify the name slightly you can get the URL you want.

  1. For every step of the way, Blogger provided a “learn more” link, usually in blue, which you can click on to read more detailed instructions. I have found that Blogger provides many types “help” through these links and providing questions and answers that other people have submitted.

  1. You can choose from a variety of themes to give your blog the look you desire. Click on CUSTOMIZE and this is how you can change the features of your blog. Click on PICK NEW TEMPLATE to choose the background and setup of your blog. Within the themes you choose, you can alter the colors and add your own pictures to individualize your blog.

I chose the Minima template and then posted my own photo in the header. I clicked on FONTS AND COLORS and then chose my own colors for each part of my blog. You can play around with the colors until you get the perfect setup for your blog.

There area also many free templates available for your blog on the internet. Here's a couple links: to find more type in “FREE BLOG TEMPLATES” in Google Search and you’ll find gazillions. Just be careful when you’re switching around templates. Some of them erase all of your sidebar material whenever you switch templates—not fun—just look at my sidebar. Do I want to redo that every time I change my background? Nuh-uh!

  1. Now your blog is setup and you can immediately post your first blog entry if you would like, but there are many other components you can add to your blog along the way. I will cover some of the blog widgets and how to’s in another post as this is getting lengthy. My next entry in this category will give you step by step instruction on how to publish your first post.

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My Love List Day 5--I love my kids

I love my children! I feel so blessed to be a mother of three beautiful children. I love watching my 5 yr, 3 yr, and new baby of almost 5 months grow and develop each day.

Many days are difficult: temper tantrums, potty training, sleepless nights, spit-up, messy diapers, crying, whining, crying, teasing--did I mention crying?

We must taste the bitter to know the sweet and so I cherish every good moment and there are many of those too. I appreciate the opportunity I have to hear them singing, watch them dancing, to receive beautiful works of art, to cuddle while we read a story and tuck them in at night. I love the funny things they say and do and the chance they give me to laugh and smile each day.
I'm so grateful to my Father in Heaven for entrusting these sweet little spirits to my care. And so I'd like to say to my kids, "I love you! I love you! I love you!"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Love List Day 4

I love a graham cracker spread with creamy honey-nut roasted peanut butter and topped with bits of dark chocolate--Dove dark chocolate that is--and a glass of milk.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Love List

I love my husband, Steve. He is my tall, dark and handsome hero and the best father to our kids. He is one of the most thoughtful people I know. It makes life worth living to know that he loves me and is constantly trying his best to make me happy.

I love Steve because he makes me laugh, makes me feel beautiful, gives me confidence to follow my dreams and holds my hand through the hard times.
I also love him because I never have to ask him to take out the trash, mow the lawn, put up Christmas lights, or shovel snow.

I love him even though I have to ask him not to leave his socks wadded up in balls and to take the Kleenex out of his pockets before the wash because it means he's human and not just some prince in a fairy tale. He's my prince and even though our life isn't a fairy tale, it's pretty good. I love you Steve!

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Love List

I love being healthy! I really appreciate it now as we are going on the third week of icky sickness around here...RSV, ear infections, sore throats, coughing...sleep deprivation. Yes, I definitely love it when my family is healthy and I love how good it makes me feel when I'm trying my best to be healthy.

I also love that life is ever-changing with challenges and triumphs so we can appreciate the good when we're going through the bad.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Love List

One of my blogger friends, Christine, shared a wonderful idea to do during February. She is sharing something that she loves each day from February 1-14 and encouraged us to do the same. I really liked her idea and so I'm going to try my best to post something each day for the next 14 days. If you would like to see other blogger's love lists, you can go to and click on her links there.

February 1, 2009

Something I love...
I love my Heavenly Father and His son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that Jesus Christ gave His life for me and gave me the gift of the atonement. Every day I make mistakes, but each day I am trying my best to be Christ-like and show Him I am grateful for the gift of love He gave me.
If you would like to learn more about my belief in Jesus Christ, click here.


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