Monday, January 31, 2011

Carpool Conversations

Last week was my turn to carpool for kindergarten pickup. With three little girls- age 5- in the backseat chattering away, I can't help smiling as I drive.
Here's how the conversation went (names have been changed to protect the innocent) hee, hee:

Mandy: Can you come to my house today?
Kristy: No, I'm grounded.
Phoebe: Oh, man!
Me the Mom Driver: What did you do to get grounded?
Kristy: Me and my sister fought.
Phoebe: You farted?
Kristy: No, we fought.
Phoebe: You farted?
Kristy: No, we fought. Do you know what fought means?
Phoebe: No
Kristy: Fought means to fight, not fart.
Phoebe and Mandy: Ohhhh...

Me the Mom Driver (Trying really hard not to laugh too loud.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Thought January

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a debate that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between the two "wolves" inside us all. One is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.   

The other is Good. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
   
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:  "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

About Me

I was born and raised in the small farming town of Rupert, Idaho and I’m a dirt between the toes, irrigation boot-wearing, ponytail flipping in the wind as I drive the 4-wheeler FARM girl all the way!
I currently live in Utah County and I miss those farm days, but I’ve been in Utah now for about 13 years. I’m married to my incredible husband, Steve, and we have three wonderful kids–2 girls and one boy.
I graduated as a valedictorian from Minico High School and then moved to Logan, Utah to attend USU. I graduated from Utah State University in ‘99 with a bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in music. Go Aggies! I love USU–that’s where I met my husband!
I enjoy so much of life–there’s so much to learn and experience. I love reading almost any genre/age group and usually read over 50 books a year from a variety of different authors. I love running, making cards with rubber stamps, crocheting, knitting (on a loom), playing volleyball, singing, playing the piano, telling felt stories and giving puppet shows to my kids and their friends, and cooking.
I’ve enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. As a child, I loved to make up poems and write short stories. I loved daydreaming and writing stories in my head--alway carrying on some narrative with a character when I was working in the fields. I used to wish that I could be a cat and sleep in the sun so I wouldn't have to weed the garden. Still sounds kind of nice sometimes!

A few interesting tidbits:
I started a cleaning business after I graduated from college and with my crew, we’d clean 80 college apartments from top to the grimy bottom in 9 days.
I finished my first novel–a middle-grade reader in 2001. I learned a lot from writing that book (which will take a serious rewrite to be publishable) and it set me on a path to gain all the knowledge I could to be a successful writer.
I enjoy singing and playing the piano and have composed several original songs. I co-produced a children’s CD about American Tall Tales for Story Time Felts in 2008 with 7 original songs. They’re so much fun!
 
Twenty-four of my short stories have been published by Story Time Felts as part of their product line for creative children.Check out Story Time Felts.com to see the Figures To Tell item #6218- The Itsy Bitsy Spider-that two of these stories accompany. I created a bug story for each month in the year 2008. Each story features a different holiday. It has been so much fun to see my stories illustrated and turned into felt figures. I also worked on the Community Helpers project for 2009, creating stories, poems, songs, and other info about different community helpers each month. 


Monday, January 24, 2011

Trasherrific Craftiness

Okay, I think this is really fun. You'll have to tell me what you think of my trash-turned-treasure!
My mom came to visit last weekend and we were making some cards on her awesome Big Shot Press from Stampin' UP! So cool--want one! I'm going to host a catalog party for my sister so I can get one.

I dug out some paper scraps for another project and found a box I had saved. I brought out the box--it was from a Mary Kay Makeup Product (my sister sells MK) and I showed my mom.
"Look at this cool box," I said "What should I do with it?"
My mom got a twinkle in her eye and said, "Run as fast as you can to the garbage."
We laughed and then started brainstorming.
And here's what we came up with...

I used my favorite red sticky strip tape--it's a double adhesive. I actually turned the box upside down to create this little masterpiece.

My mom helped me measure and cut some darling patterned paper to cover it with.

I was almost finished when I realized I needed to line the inside of the box to so I could hide the makeup instructions. I used two strips of black ribbon as a hinge for the box lid.

We made some cute little cards with the Big Shot that fit perfectly in the box and my mom had envelopes to go with them.

Then we added a chic flower made from the same paper and again using the Big Shot and I stuck it to the top of the box.

Voila! A darling gift! Now I just need to part with this and let someone else love it.

How about you? What have you created lately from something ordinary? What are some of your hobbies?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Thought January-- Pearls

My sister emailed me this story. I've read it before and it was such a great reminder. I hope you enjoy it!
Pearls

The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box..

"Oh mommy please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?"

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.

"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself.. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere, Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you."

"Then give me your pearls."

"Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favorite."

"That's okay, Honey, daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"

"Daddy, you know I love you."

"Then give me your pearls."

"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."

"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one.. Daddy loves you."

And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style.

As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"

Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here daddy , this is for you."

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny ...

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure. So it is, with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures.

God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Perilous Prize-- A New Kindle

I am thrilled to show you the latest addition to my library!

I won a Kindle from Tamara Hart Heiner and her publisher WiDo Publishing. I earned points from a contest she held to launch her novel, Perilous.
I'm reading Perilous right now and can't wait to see what Tamara has in store for the teenage girls in her novel who have been kidnapped.
Here's a little blurb about her novel:

Jaci Rivera has plans for her sophomore year-- to make the honor roll and eat too much pizza with her best friends, Callie and Sara. Her biggest concern is Amanda, the pushy girl who just moved into town. What Jaci doesn't plan for is catching a notorious robber red-handed, or being kidnapped. The desperate thief drags her and her friends 2,000 miles across the Canadian border. Then Jaci finds something out about her family. Something which irrevocably connects her to their kidnapper, and makes her question their chances of escape. 

About the Author

Tamara Hart Heiner lives in Arkansas with her husband and three children. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English. She teaches English in the mornings and spends the rest of the day avoiding the laundry and other chores, all in the name of parenting. Sometimes she gets to sit down in front of the computer and write for a few hours.
Perilous

Thank you Tamara and WiDo for this awesome prize!

I'm still learning all the neat features of my new Kindle. But I'll let you in on a little secret...I have been kind of a reluctant follower of the ebook frenzy. I was really uncertain as to how a computerized screen could replace my beloved paper books. But then when I was setting up my Kindle and practicing downloading books selected from the Free list on Amazon, I came across a free copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. This is a monster sized book, over 1200 pages and small print. It's been in my to-read pile for a bit and I had thought, "Man, I won't be able to shove that monster-sized book in my purse."
Ahem...
With one click, I downloaded a free copy of this book and now I'll be able to carry that book plus thousands of others with me wherever I go.
I'm looking forward to getting to know my Kindle better and I'll be writing more posts in the future on ebooks.
Do you have an e-reader? What are your feelings on ebooks?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday Thought January

If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
--Benjamin Franklin

What new thing are you going to learn this year?
I'm going to work on learning to enjoy the small moments more--especially those with my kids.
I'm continuing to learn about the craft of writing by reading books and attending conferences.
And I want to learn more about nutrition and how to keep my family healthy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Little Things To Be Grateful For

When you notice your shirt is inside out before you leave to take your kids to school.

A diaper built to keep the toxic waste from puddling on the floor

Air Freshener

Yep it's been one of those days!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday Thought January

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
--Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, January 3, 2011

20 TIPS FOR A POSITIVE NEW YEAR by Jon Gordon

My mom sent me this in an email and I wanted to share it with you and also post it as a reminder to myself. 
I really like these ideas--a few of my favorites are #1, 3, & 9.
What do you think?
From Jon Gordon (Updated 2011 Version)
1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can know that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
2. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement: My purpose is_______________________.
3. Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a “thank you walk.” It will create a fertile mind ready for success.
4. Instead of being disappointed about where you are think optimistically about where you are going.
5. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
6. Remember that adversity is not a dead-end but a detour to a better outcome.
7. Focus on learning, loving, growing and serving.
8. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.
9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
10. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.
11. Live with the 3 E's. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.
12. Remember there’s no substitute for hard work.
13. Zoom Focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask: “What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?” Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions.
14. Implement the www.NoComplainingRule.com. Complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick.
15. Read more books than you did in 2010. I happen to know of a few good ones. :)
16. Get more sleep. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte.
17. Focus on “Get to” vs. “Have to.” Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.
18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished____________.
19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.
20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

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