Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I couldn't resist sharing this joke

Okay, when I read this joke I laughed so hard that my four year old started laughing with me.
This is especially for my brother-in-law, Marcus, who installs security systems for Platinum!

THE BEST HOME SECURITY SYSTEM
1. Go to a secondhand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 work boots.

2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo Magazine.

3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.

4. Leave a note on your door that reads:

Bubba,
Big'un, Duke, Slim, & I went for more ammo and beer. Be back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls - they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up bad. I don't think Killer took part, but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of 'em in the house. Better wait outside , 'Cooter

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vocalize Music Workshop

I wanted to spread the word about this fantastic music workshop I'll be putting on soon. This is the second time I've taught this class and it is so much fun!


Please email RachellethewriterATgmail.com with questions about the class or about purchasing our awesome vocal training and warm-up CD "Fine Tune Your Voice!"

Vocalize

Professional vocal workshop presented by

Rachelle Christensen and Craig Hancock

2 Classes: October 23-24 or November 6-7 Friday & Saturday

*Workshop held at Sage Mountain Studios Friday 4pm-6pm Santaquin, Utah

Saturday 8am-2:30pm with lunch break for 30 minutes (Bring a sack lunch)


Ages 8-12 Junior Class October 23-24

Ages 13-18 Senior Class November 6-7

  • 4 hours of vocal lessons and group master classes- Value $150.00
  • Vocal warm up CD- Fine Tune Your Voice - value $20.00
  • Professional Studio recording session with CD – value $100.00 Record your solo and one group song learned during the workshop
  • Record with Craig Hancock, music specialist with 3 Solo Albums
  • Vocal instruction by Rachelle Christensen, teacher with 14 years experience
  • Group vocal, theory, and composition classes, including performance presentation
  • Vocalize Workshop Graduation Certificates
  • We will help you learn how to write your own song!

This music workshop is valued at over $275! You will receive top of the line vocal and performance training!

COST: $50.00 each or 2 students from the same family for $85.00

Bring one song you are familiar with for your solo recording. Bring an accompaniment or karaoke version of the song.

*Sage Mountain Studios Recording Special!

Music Camp Attendees can purchase a one hour session for only $35.00! This is a $15.00 savings and you can record an additional solo to be added to your CD.

Register by October 16th Hurry classes fill up fast!

Limit 20 students

Monday, September 28, 2009

Win an Entry in the Grand Prize Drawing for a Workbox from The Original Scrapbox.

This Contest is now Closed
Thanks for your entries. Visit my blog again for new giveaways coming soon!


Enter to win your choice of a Ribbon box or the ScrapMaBo
b and qualify for the amazing Workbox giveaway taking place on October 12, 2009.

Yes, you read correctly. I am giving away either a Ribbon Box (click here to read more about how much I love mine!) or a ScrapMaBob (these are so handy!) and that winner will be entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway-- a Workbox in their choice of color/style.

Qualifier Contest runs from September 28-October 8, 2009
How would you like to own every crafter's dream organizing system? The Workbox does it all for

Scrapbookers
Stampers
Cricut lovers (special place to store it)
Quilters
Artists
Anyone with a creative bug could fill this th
ing up!

The whole thing folds up, hides the mess, and then easily moves wherever you need it to go on wheels. This is a sturdy piece of furniture which will hold everything imaginable in a beautiful storage space.

This is the huge prize giveaway I've mentioned on my blog and I'm so excited to get it started!
The Original Scrapbox will give away ONE Workbox to a lucky qualifier. There will be 10 finalists selected from 10 different blogs to be entered in the final giveaway .

Do you want to win your very own Ribbon Box or a ScrapMaBob and then be a finalist in The Workbox Giveaway?
*Note: the contest will be open to residents of UK and EU countries as well as the United States and Canada.

EARN EXTRA ENTRIES

You may earn 1 extra entry each for doing the following (Please note in your comment each thing you do-I'll be checking.): No purchase necessary to enter. Entries that do not follow all of the entry requirements will not be considered.


  • Visit The Original Scrapbox website and choose your favorite product. Leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite is and why you would like this product.
  • Become a Facebook fan of The Original Scrapbox here.
  • Facebook the contest and share the code for $100 off shipping: 100writes
  • Tweet about this contest with link backs here and share the code for $100 off shipping:100writes (copy and paste http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/ right into the text box).
  • Subscribe to my feed and/or become a follower and add http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/ to your link list.
  • Sign up for my newsletter-- email: rachellethewriterAT gmail.com
  • Add my button or my Scrapbox button or banner to your sidebar/blog
  • Comment on any non-contest post (must contribute to the conversation)
  • Refer a friend to this contest, make sure they tell me who sent them
  • Email 3 friends about this giveaway and CC me: rachellethewriterAT gmail.com

RECEIVE 5 ENTRIES FOR THE FOLLOWING (Make note in your comment of each entry type you complete. Thanks!)

  • Blog about this contest with a picture of the Workbox. If you have a private blog, it will not be eligible for this part of the contest. In your blog post, please use the tags: The Original Scrapbox, Scrapbook storage, Workbox. If you would like to link back to me, http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/ I'd appreciate it.
  • Blog (preferably a separate blog) about any other item offered from The Original Scrapbox and include this information word for word: Enter this code when you place your order to get $100 off your shipping: 100Writes-- If you would like to link back to me http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/ or any of the other 9 bloggers holding the contest, I'd appreciate it! Thank you!

More ways to enter to qualify for the contest:

There are 9 other awesome bloggers holding a contest to get an entry for the Workbox Giveaway. Stop by their blogs and enter for more chances to win:


Make It and Love It


Vanilla Joy


Auntie Thesis


The Mommy Files


My Organized Chaos


Life As Lou


PriscillaStyles


Cricut Christmas


Capadia Designs


Get as many entries as you can by telling your friends about this contest and stay tuned to my blog for more incredible giveaways! Good luck and remember to follow the rules correctly to earn more entries in the contest.

On October 10, 2009, I will announce the name of one winner who can select their choice of the Ribbon Box or the ScrapMaBob and then go on for the grand prize drawing of The Workbox .

Then on October 12, 2009, I will hold a drawing using Random.org to select one winner from the 10 entries to win The Workbox!

*All comments on my blog are moderated, so if yours doesn’t show up right away, don’t panic! I check all comments before I post them to my blog.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Ultimate Giveaway is Coming

Okay, I'm teasing you a little. There's only 3 more days until you get to find out how to enter the most awesome giveaway I've ever seen!

I'm so excited! I want one really bad!

Come back on Monday to find out what I'm giving away!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Let's Be Friends Award

Friends are the best part of life! I'm so happy to be surrounded by so many good friends. Nichole gave me a Let's be Friends award and this is what it means:

"Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers."

These awards are so fun because now I get to give it away to more friends!

Jenn Wilks

Josi Kilpack

Cathy Witbeck

Heather Justesen

Tristi Pinkston

Janette Rallison

Melinda Morley

Kristi Stevens


Thanks Nichole! I'm so thankful you're my friend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When You're One, You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

I promised more pictures of the big day when I posted pictures of my cake decorating for the kids' birthdays here.

At first Dawson just swirled his finger in the frosting, but once he got a taste...


He went for a touchdown.


Steve loved the present I made for Dawson--I said it was from Dad. A football blanket in the Green Bay Packer colors.
I can't believe my boy is one. We love you Dawson!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Since I love the Moon


I love watching the cycle of the moon as it grows to a brilliant full moon, shedding its luminescent glow on the darkness of the world and then as it wanes to a tiny sliver hanging in the sky. I love the moon because my mom loves the moon. I have several fond memories of stopping what we were doing in the house and running out to see the spectacular orb of light rising above our ancient locust trees and peeking from the clouds.

My mom sent me this information about the upcoming Harvest Moon and I wanted to share it with you.

Fall officially begins with the Autumnal Equinox on September 22. The 2009 Harvest Moon is on October 4! The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox. The Harvest Moon usually comes in September, but sometimes it will occur in early October as is the case in 2009; the next time won't come until 2017. At the peak of the harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon. Full moons rise the same time as the sun sets. Usually the moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night.

Most nights, my husband and I step out on our front porch for a moment and see if the moon has made it over the steep peak of the mountain overshadowing our neighborhood. Take a second this week to watch the moon rise and enjoy this beautiful time of year.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Birthday Cake Time

We've had lots of fun birthdays lately and lots of fun cakes to go with them!

For Gracie's 6th birthday we did a Barbie Princess cake.

My mom always made elaborate decorated cakes and she taught me how to use different decorating tips and techniques.



I decorated Minnie Mouse for Maggie's 4th birthday.



I'm definitely not a pro, but I have a lot of fun creating cakes for my kids.
Today is Dawson's 1st birthday and I had so much fun making his very own football cake and then a big Football field for the rest of the fam. Steve made the goal posts for me out of straws. He was pretty proud of his contribution to the cake. Thanks honey!
More pictures to come of my little guy eating his cake!! Can't believe he's ONE YEAR OLD already.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Moon Movie Trailer

Okay, today my friend Nichole sent me a link on Facebook (it's on her blog too) to the new movie trailer for the next Twilight movie, New Moon. I got a little excited! I've even got a countdown widget on my sidebar now!

New Moon was my favorite of the Twilight books because I am a huge fan of Jacob. In fact, even after finishing the series I still am.

Here's a post from 2007 you can read on this very subject--includes plot spoilers! Man, I forgot how much fun I had reading these books and I read them before all the controversy among writers and readers really hit the fan.

I'm going to have to go back and re-read them, all but #4.
I would have just liked to skip Breaking Dawn and rewrite Bella coming to her senses and falling for Jacob so she could be human. With Breaking Dawn, I did see a great resolution to the whole problem with Bella not being able to enjoy traits of human life, but I hated what happened to Jacob.

*But, all you Edward-lovers out there don't send me hate mail because when you see the trailer, you'll know why I'm soft. Jacob is a hottie and I'm sorry Hollywood, but Edward just ain't doin' nothin' for me. His hair is way too freaked out like he continually has his finger in an electrical socket.

Okay, enough rambling, go check out the movie trailer for New Moon and tell me what you think!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Honoring Patriot Day and Celebrating Our Wedding Anniversary

My husband, Steve, and I are celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary today. It's our magical anniversary, 11 years on the 11th and we're excited to go out on a date.

I love my husband and appreciate him so much. He is my biggest fan and best supporter. He makes me laugh and he takes the trash out and does dishes. :-)
I think Steve is very good looking, tall, dark, and handsome, but he looks so good to me because of the kind of person he is. I love you Steve!

Today is also Patriot Day or 9/11. On our 3rd wedding anniversary the unthinkable happened. Terrorists breached our precious land of America and stole some of our innocence.
Today the Boy Scouts placed a flag on our lawn in remembrance of 9/11. My six year old daughter asked me what the flag was for and I paused.

How do you explain to your child that we now have a day called Patriot Day because someone hated America so much that they were willing to kill innocent men, women, and CHILDREN to display that hate?

I told my daughter a little bit about what happened eight years ago today. I told her that some very bad people flew two airplanes into some tall buildings, and crashed some other airplanes that killed over 3,000 people.

Her jaw dropped open and she said, "Why would someone do that?"

"Because someone taught them from when they were children to hate America and they never tried to learn for themselves the truth," I said knowing that my answer was somewhat above her grasp but wanting to speak the words anyway.

"Mom, that is so bad," she said.

"I know," I told her and I explained that many people including little children died that day. That firefighters and other who tried to save them were crushed by the huge buildings as they collapsed.

Her mouth fell open again, "Mom, that is way worse than a scraped knee," she said.

I smiled. "It is so much worse." And then I told her that the flag helps us remember the people who died, the people who tried to save them, and that America is still a wonderful place.

I know that she won't yet fully understand what we talked about, but someday, maybe even today, she will probably see pictures of the twin towers or the wreckage left behind and she will remember what we talked about.

I still don't understand how someone could be so evil and full of hate to commit such acts of terror. But I do know that America rose from the wreckage with a spirit of patriotism that we need to remember every day how blessed our land is and how blessed we are to live here.

So Patriot Day is and always will be my wedding anniversary. Some say it's awful that our anniversary is on the same day, a day when we're celebrating our love for each other, and it's tainted by sorrow and memories of 9/11. But I'm okay with having my anniversary on 9/11 if only to prove that no matter how much hate abounds in the world, love will conquer all.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cinderella For A Day

Yesterday I was cooking dinner and dashing around the kitchen as fast as I could to feed my three kids--you know how this goes, hurry and get the baby some food in his high chair so he'll stop screaming, get an alternate menu item prepared for the picky 4 year old, blow on the food that's too hot for the six year old.
Mom, I need a drink.
Mom, can I have some milk?
Mom, where's my napkin?
This is too hot!
I need a spoon.
Can I have some water too?
Mom, she took a bite of my bread!!
Can I give Dawson a bite of my yogurt?

Anyway, you get the picture. As I'm scurrying to and fro acting the perfect serving girl part, Gracie (6 yrs) looks at me, smiles, and says,
"Mom, you're just like Cinderella because you work so hard and you don't complain. You just give everyone their food and you don't ever get to eat."

See, once in a while somebody notices what it's like to be a mom. Thanks, Gracie. I'll try to remember that I'm just like Cinderella next time I'm trying to rock my baby to sleep, the 4 year old is puking on the couch downstairs, and the 6 year old gets home from school just in time to say, "Eww, gross. Maggie threw up!"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My 200th Post and Blogoversary Surprise

Wow! My lovely blogger dashboard informed me that I have published 199 posts and so I decided I better celebrate for my 200th post! And celebrate times two because my two-year blogoversary is just days away!

Over the past two years, I have enjoyed posting on all sorts of things. I've learned a lot about blogland and enjoyed making new friends through my blog.
Click here to see my very first post!

I did a lot of research and writing for yourLDSneighborhood.com and that was fun while it lasted. I continue to write an occasional article for their newsletter as well.

One of my favorite things to post about is my love of books. If you check out my sidebar, you'll see Rachelle's Book Club and you can click on any of the links and read my reviews. I try my best to keep my reviews subjective, honest, and helpful to the inquiring reader.

Another fun thing I love about blogland is the great contests and giveaways. I've also hosted a few of those.

And lots of fun and wacky posts along the way too. Click here to see Rachelle's Top 10 Reasons to be a Writer.

My blogoversary surprise is that I have a secret!
I'm so excited for a HUGE giveaway coming soon on my blog. Check back here near the end of September and I will give you a few clues as to what I'm giving away. If you guess right, you'll get an extra entry in the contest before it even opens. Believe me, you are going to want as many entries as you can get in this giveaway. It is the biggest giveaway I've ever hosted and we're talking big $$$ that this prize is worth, people!!

Another tidbit for my 2nd blogoversary:
When I started this blog two years ago, I was hard at work to make my dream of becoming a published author true. I sent out tons of queries and I have a lovely file folder filled with rejections. Being a writer can be very disheartening at times, discouraging at others, and downright crappy at others, but wait, there is a little bit of time left in between all those crappy times where you can see a rainbow with your dreams fulfilled at the end.
I'm doggedly determined and I've kept writing and doing all I can to get closer to my dream.

In 2007, I saw a small light at the end of the tunnel when the first chapter of my romantic suspense novel, Wrong Number, took second place in the suspense category of the LDStorymakers first chapter contest. The certificate is still hanging on my wall behind my computer to offer motivation. Now, some of you may already know that I received a publishing contract for Wrong Number, but in light of how far I've come I wanted to mention...

After several revisions and late nights with tired eyes, Wrong Number is on the publishing track. Sweetwater Books, the national imprint of Cedar Fort, will publish my suspense novel and it's slated for release June 2010 for the national market! I am thrilled! My nonfiction book, Lost Children: Coping with Miscarriage is also slated to be published May 2010 for the LDS market.

It's amazing how much can happen in two years time. I hope you all have a wonderful September and keep chasing your dreams, because someday soon with enough determination and perseverance, you'll catch your dream!

Remember to check back later this month for my big announcement!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Book Review for Organize As You Go by Marie Ricks


Marie’s new book, Organize As You Go, is now available online and wherever fine books are sold


I was so excited to read this book because I own one of Marie’s other awesome books, Project Organization.




I have to confess that I have had a difficult time getting through many “organizing” books because, well….I get bored. So the fact that I finished this book should attest to what a great read it is. Really, I was so excited with the short, simple steps/chapters for organizing different areas of my life.



Organize As You Go - Successful Skills for Busy Lifestyles

My favorite part: I loved step 15—Taking control of endless emails. I currently have 63 new emails in my inbox and it bothers me that there are so many I haven’t even opened. But I am implementing Marie’s wonderful idea of categorizing my emails and creating an Answer Later file within my email box. There are many more ideas about this, but you’ll have to read her book to see how totally awesome they are so you can break free from the endless chain of emails!


There are several more tips for parenting, holiday planning, traveling—pretty much everything you can think of, but the organization tips were my most favorite.

I liked Marie’s ideas for organizing digital photos and am excited that now I’ll be able to find specific pictures in a snap.

I also especially loved the idea of “Do the worst jobs first” to get them over and done with so you can enjoy the rest of the day.


I wanted to ask Marie a few questions


Tell us a little about yourself.

Marie has been sharing home organization skills for more than 20 years now. She began teaching in 1986 at the local community education center where she developed an eight-week, sixteen-topic course including time management, food preparation, closet and cupboard organization, budgeting, teaching children to work, and shopping skills.

Her classes have proven popular both in San Jose, California and Utah County, where she now lives. She frequently teaches home organization principles at L.D.S. Church Enrichment Nights and at other community gatherings. She also does in-home consultations, i.e. she has seen a lot of dirty laundry, cluttered closets, and stacks of untidy paperwork, all of which is very exciting to her.


Tell us how you came up with the idea for this book?

This book is a compilation of my organizational experiences during the last year, the skills I have tested and found noteworthy, and the concepts that are shaping my improved organization skills. Even as I'm learning, I desire to share.


Any hints as to what you're working on next?

I'm currently writing a parenting book, The Children You Want With the Kids You Have, which will be published with Deseret Book in 2010. It will focus specifically on teaching a good work ethic, when to begin, how to instruct children, and the best methods for sure success.


What advice would you give aspiring writers?

My first book, House of Order Handbook, took 17 years to write, so my best advice is to keep at it around the other stewardships in your life. Write, write, and write some more. I did this initially by writing in my daily journal. Then I began writing my first organization book as a suppliment to my weekly organization classes. I self-published this first book and it was just a fledgling trying to fly. My second book, Master Menu Cookbook took only one year to write and was self-published, my fourth, Organized For A Mission, A Guide for Parents and Missionaries, just a few months (again self-published). My third book, Project Organization: Quick and Easy Ways to Organize Your Life was accepted by Deseret Book.


Any other fun tidbits?

Yes, no matter where you are, you have something so special and unique about you; you can't but help share it. Find what you have a passion about, explore it, and then share freely. The rest comes with hard work and perservance. Good luck to all fledglings trying to fly!


Thanks Marie for a great interview and a great book!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Cookie to Share

My first grader, Gracie, came home from school last week and I met her at the door. She was excited to tell me that someone had a birthday in her class.
"Look at what we got," she said as she held up a large chocolate cookie. "It's pretty big, so I brought it home to share with Maggie."

I noticed that her cookie was still in its packaging unopened, and the chocolate frosting looked warm and gooey. She had walked all the way home with her delicious treat and not even taken a bite.

"Gracie, you are the best sister. That is so nice," I told her and then I blinked a lot because my eyes suddenly felt really wet.

I love my two girls. They're pretty close in age, have plenty of tiffs, and they aren't perfect, but I know they love each other.

I'm glad that Gracie has a little sister. I have a big sister and a little sister. I have lots of great memories of sharing cookies, toys, and giggles with my little sister.

A sister is a best friend. I hope they'll still be best friends ten years, twenty years from now...forever.

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