Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Thought April- Dayton's Legs

Today I want to share a link to a short video about an incredible 13 year old boy who has already learned a valuable lesson.
https://lds.org/youth/video/daytons-legs?lang=eng

It's encouraging when you think about all the troubled youth there are today to see kids thinking about others and working so hard to make a difference.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Some Secrets Hurt by Linda Kay Garner

Today I want to share the news about a wonderful book I recently purchased.

Some of you may remember this post, Protecting Kids From Sexual Abuse, that I wrote in October. Because of some things that happened in my daughter's second grade class, my husband and I realized the need to address this issue.

 Let's face it, this is never going to be an easy or fun topic to talk about, but it also should not be ignored. The topic of protecting our kids from sexual abuse is sometimes scary or difficult to approach. This is why I think everyone should have a copy of Some Secrets Hurt was written by Linda Kay Garner.


I told Linda I wanted to review her book and she was kind enough to share the following information:
 
 
Some Secrets Hurt1.  The Scary Truth  In the U.S. today more than one in four girls and more than one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18.  One third of those who are sexually abused will never tell anyone. Ninety percent of abused children are abused not by strangers but by someone they know and trust.  Often it is a family member or close friend of the family.  A child is nine times more likely to be sexually abused by someone they know than by a stranger.  Teenagers as well as children are targets for abuse.  Women and men can be abusers.  Older children can be abusers.
 
2. Blurred Lines   Children are confused and bewildered when abused by a family member.  If they tell, will they get someone they love in trouble?  If they tell, will anyone believe.  If they tell, will someone blame them.  Adults are confused about how to handle the situation when the abuser is a family member.  Should they go to the authorities?  Will this tear the family apart?  How far does family loyalty go?  Could the child be exaggerating.
 
3.  Secrecy  Abuse thrives in secrecy.  The abuser depends on secrecy to carry his/her works of darkness.  He or she may enforce the secrecy with presents, flattery, guilt, shame, threats, or fear.  Parents may contribute to the secrecy by choosing not to talk about sexuality.  When abuse is discovered well meaning parents may encourage the child to forgive and forget, thus burying the secret and delaying healing.
 
If we want to prevent sexual abuse, we need to start talking.  We need to open the lines of communication and teach with clarity.  I wrote Some Secrets Hurt as a tool to help parents open that door.  Here are some things that parents can do to help prevent child abuse.
 
1.  Be a Safe Person for your child to talk to.  Talk about lots of things, important and trivial.  Cultivate a strong relationship and be willing to talk about anything. 
 
2.  Teach children about the sacredness of their bodies.  Regardless of your religious preference, children need this anchor. Tell them that no one has the right to touch them inappropriately.  Help them to understand inappropriate touch.  A simple explanation of body parts that are private are those that are normally covered by a swimsuit.
 
3.  Model modesty.  Model appropriateness.  Wear a bathrobe when running around the house without clothing. Close doors when using the bathroom. Teach boys and girls to bathe and dress in privacy.
 
4.  Give children experience in decision making.  Give children opportunities to develop talents, confidence and communications skills.  Be a good listener and teach children that their ideas, opinions and feelings matter.
 
5.  Know the warning signs for sexual abuse and notice anything that feels uncomfortable.  Pay attention to your feelings and check out anything that seems unusual.  Know where your children are and who they are with.  Be involved.  If you discover abuse, stay calm.  If you overreact your child may shut down.  Take step to protect your child and to encourage healing.  
 
I hope you'll have a chance to visit Linda's website and click on the link to her television interview.  If you can, purchase a copy of her book, Some Secrets Hurt, which comes with a parents' guide to help you know what to say.  Please talk to your children about this topic. I learned that we can't wait. My daughter is only 7 years old and we should have already had the discussion before it came up in school.  It's our job to let our kids know they are loved--no matter what. We also need them to understand that they can tell us anything.
 
Like Linda says in her parent's guide---the only thing worse than finding out your child has been sexually abused, is not finding out. 

You can download the parents' guide here, and also be sure to read Linda's compelling blog post, "Under the BandAid."
 
 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicken Farmer

Last year we embarked on a new journey--raising chickens! My husband and I were both raised in farming areas and so our families had chickens, but it'd been quite a while since I had to care for the little peepers.

It's been a fun adventure. Steve built a nice chicken run which is attached to a little coop and our kids have had so much fun collecting eggs.

I was so excited when I found the need to buy myself a pair of mucking boots. I moved pipe on my dad's farm starting at the young age of eight and so irrigation boots were a constant part of my wardrobe for over ten years. So, you can see that my boots aren't anything fancy--in fact pretty cheap--maybe some day I'll get me a cute pair.
Whenever my 2 year old son sees me putting my boots on, he says, "Mom, you be a chicken farmer?"

My hubby loves to tease me and call me a chicken farmer now. The next picture is of our beautiful Barred Rock Rooster who is no longer residing in said chicken pen. I purchased baby chicks locally that weren't sexed and so I ended up getting rid of a total of four roosters. Mister Barred Rock is the fourth. We thought about keeping him because it was kind of fun to hear that early morning crow (not so much when he was crow-happy and singing every hour during the day). He was a showy rooster--look at those tail feathers!

Alas, the stupid rooster decided to bite the hand that fed him and so I sold him. When he started attacking me every time I went to feed, I decided it was time for the rooster to say good-bye to his lovely hens. I like to think I'm pretty brave, but there's a few things I just can't tolerate--mice and attacking roosters. After I ran screaming back into the house, the one day I didn't have my boots on or a rake to fend him off, Steve laughed and told me to get rid of him. He could laugh because the rooster never bothered him!

So things are a bit quieter around the Christensen farm these days, but I can hear the chickens giving their call right now--the one that means, "I just laid an egg! I just laid an egg! Come and get it!" And it sounds pretty nice. I think I'll mosy on out there and talk to the ladies without any fear of getting chased by Mister Barred Rock.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I'm so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and the gift of the Atonement. I know that He lives and I'm grateful for His example. I am far from perfect, but He gives me the strength to keep trying each day to be better.
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Grand Prize Winner of The Sewing Box

Thank you again to all of the lovely bloggers who helped make this giveaway a success. 10 different blogs selected a winner of One Giant Cutting Mat (Retail $39.95) and one entry into the grand prize drawing for the ultimate Sewing junkie's dream come true from TheOriginalScrapbox.com!
The Sewing Box!

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Here are the names of the 10 preliminary winners in no particular order
1. Jamie
2. Kristi
3. Darlene
4. Tamara
5. Pat
6. Beverly
7. Randi
8. Faviola
9. Amy
10. Sue

Thank you for your entries! The Grand prize winner is....

#10  Sue 
She was selected from the Infarrantly Creative site 

Congratulations Sue! We hope you love your new Sewing Box from The Original Scrapbox!
Please email me at Rachellethewriter@gmail.com with your choice of color, either Vanilla or Black.
Keep an eye on TheOriginalScrapbox.com and their Facebook page for upcoming contests and product info.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Thought April

What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.
--Jane Austen

I love Jane Austen's books! Her wit and wisdom spills over to apply to life. Hope you enjoy this thought today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The CutterPillar Pro--My New Self-Help Tool

I have a confession. 
Yes, it is true. 
I am one of those people who can't cut a straight line with a ruler!

I am not a perfectionist, so I've learned to live with my cutting disability and still craft. Today I want to introduce you to the latest, greatest cutting tool for cutting-impaired people like me and even talented cutters like most of the rest of you.

I have had so much fun utilizing the fool-proof measuring and cutting system that is the CutterPillar Pro! I love making cards and there are always tiny rectangles and squares that need to be cut to accent my stamped images.

I made this cute card with the help of the CutterPillar Pro.

They have even improved their ruler system to include ruler enhancement strips to measure as tiny as 1/8" and 1/16".
The CutterPillar Pro is a brand new company and I'm excited to introduce you to them!

I want you to go checkout the CutterPillar Pro Facebook page and click LIKE and then comment and tell them, "Rachelle sent me!"
Visit the website here http://www.cutterpillar.com/ and check out their testimonials and FAQ's about this fabulous NEW product.

Check out all of the nifty features on the CutterPillar--it even has a storage drawer! Click here http://www.cutterpillar.com/features.jpg to see more details.
I'm working on some future contests. Tell me, would you like to have your very own CutterPillar Pro?

We have a Winner! Large Cutting Mat and One Grand Prize Entry

The Sewing Box Giveaway has been super fun! Man, it's taken some time to sort through all of the fabulous entries--over 700 of them!
Hello to all of my new follower friends! Love you guys!

Using my nifty spreadsheet and random.org, I was able to select a winner...
Congratulations Faviola!
She said, "I love the sewing box!"

 Faviola just won One Giant Cutting Mat (Retail $39.95)  and One entry into the Grand Prize Drawing for a Sewing Box in your choice of color. The grand prize drawing will take place here on RachelleWrites on Friday, April 22nd, 2011.
GiantCuttingBoard







Faviola --I need you to contact me at Rachellethewriter@gmail.com by tomorrow, Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 2pm (MST) or I will draw a new winner. I need your full name, address, and phone number.


Okay, everyone check back on Friday to find out who is getting this SEW Sweet Box!

The Original Scrapbox's newest product--The Sewing Box!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The To Do List


I often feel like I don’t get anything done in the day and wonder why that is—why can’t I accomplish the 5 things on my To Do list today? I know that I have four children under the age of seven and that makes it hard to get things done, especially when one is a nursing baby, but I still think it’s not too much to ask to accomplish my measly To Do list.

When I start thinking like this, I usually end up frustrated and discouraged because I get further and further behind no matter how hard I try. I push myself pretty hard and so as you might imagine, I get frustrated often by my inability to be a superwoman.

I was having one of those days again recently—you know the one where you got about 3 hours sleep, have dealt with sick kids, fed all the kids and you’re still hungry and staring at the mountain of laundry, dishes, and schoolwork…And then I had an epiphany. I realized that I have focused so much on the things I can’t get done on my To Do list that I’ve neglected to recognize the things I DO every single day.

I stopped for a moment and thought about a week’s worth of days caring for my family. It’s a lot of work! We’re all busy and so I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one worrying over inadequacies. I want to share with you what I discovered.

My To Do List doesn’t say…

Change diapers
Make breakfast
Braid hair
Feed baby
Drive kids to school
Do dishes
Put in a load of laundry
Feed baby
Pick up kindergarten car pool
Make lunch
Do dishes
Read/do homework with kindergartner
Feed baby
Clean bathrooms
Change diapers
Read & put 2 YO down for a nap
Feed chickens
Rock screaming baby who is teething
Read/do homework with 2nd grader
Feed baby
Teach piano lessons to girls age 7 and 5
Cook supper
Put in another load of laundry
Rock the baby
Change diapers
Bathe kids
Read and put kids to bed

As I said, my To Do list doesn’t have any of those things on it, yet I do all of those and more every day. When I look at that list I can see why my husband shakes his head when I say, “I didn’t get a single thing done today!”

I’m blessed to have a great husband who helps me and keeps reminding me that I am doing the most important things even if they aren’t on my To Do list. My children are the most important duties I will have in this life. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have other ambitions—I do—it just means that I shouldn’t be beating myself up for working tirelessly on the greatest project God could have given me.
I know my Heavenly Father is happy with the effort I put into being a mom and I’m sure He doesn’t want me to be unhappy because I’m focusing too much on my To Do list and not seeing how much I am accomplishing on the most significant projects.

Perhaps I should add something to my To Do list that I can actually check off every day: Be a Mother

Everyone tells me that this time when my kids are young will go so fast and it’s hard to believe them when I’m caught right in the middle of it, but I know they are right. I’m trying to take note of the priceless moments intermixed with all the chaos and be grateful for this magical time in my young children’s lives.

I wanted to share my thoughts with you on this topic because I’m hoping that my epiphany can become yours as well. And if you’ve already raised your children, perhaps you can remind the mothers near you of what a special job they are doing each day.

And for everyone—next time you get discouraged when you look at all the things on your list that you haven’t yet been able to accomplish, step back and look at all the things you have done and DO every day. Pat yourself on the back and take a moment to value your contribution to your home and family. Give some self-appreciation and extra care to YOU for a job well-done.

Remember that there will always be a To Do list but this moment will soon be gone, this day, week, month will come to an end and this year will soon be a memory. I want to make sure my memories are filled with the things that are most important.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sewing Box Giveaway from The Original Scrapbox

This contest is now closed. Grand Prize Winner to be announced soon!
Most of you know that I am a huge fan of TheOriginalScrapbox.com. They have such cool products and I'm privileged to work with them to help promote them. Today I'm launching another promotion.

The Original Scrapbox is hosting a huge giveaway to celebrate the creation of their newest product--The Sewing Box!

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There will be 10 preliminary giveaways with a chance to win an entry into the Grand Prize Drawing for one Sewing Box! 
The Sewing Box is available in Vanilla or Black BeadBoard. This incredible new workspace folds up into a sleek box, hiding all of your sewing projects.



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Enter to win the preliminary giveaway:
You can win One Giant Cutting Mat (Retail $39.95)  and One entry into the Grand Prize Drawing for a Sewing Box in your choice of color.

GiantCuttingBoard


If you are selected as a preliminary winner of the Cutting Mat, you will then be entered into the grand prize drawing held here on www.RachelleWrites.blogspot.com on April 22, 2011. On that date, a random drawing will select a winner from all of the finalists to receive one Sewing Box (value $1295.00).

*The contest is open to addresses in the contiguous United States only.

Giveaway open from April 13th to April 18th, 2011 at 11:59pm.

Giveaway Rules:
*You can only enter under one name and make sure your email is visible so I can contact you if you win.
* It is possible to win more than one preliminary prize, which means it’s possible to be entered into the grand prize drawing more than once.
*All winner’s addresses must be U.S. (48 contiguous state) addresses
*You must complete the required entry to be eligible to win


Here's how to enter:Please leave details in ONE comment of how you entered with required links. I'll put all entries into a spreadsheet and use Random.org to select the winner. Visit all 10 blogs for extra entries into this fabulous giveaway!

*Required entry: You must visit The Original Scrapbox website and leave a comment here on my blog telling me your favorite item.

Extra Entries:

  • Follow RachelleWrites on Twitter and Tweet the contest with linkback in your comment.
  • Subscribe to my blog via email--use the Feedburner link on the right, it has a spot to enter your email address
  • Like my Facebook page, Rachelle J. Christensen and FB the contest with linkback in your comment
  • Follow my Blog-- RachelleWrites
  • Add the contest button(pictured above) to your sidebar with a link to this contest
  • Subscribe to my newsletter. Email Rachellethewriter@gmail.com with 'Subscribe' in the subject line.



SewingBox_023
You can enter the preliminary giveaways with a chance to win an entry into the grand prize drawing at the following blogs:
ScrappinCricut.org

TurnedGypsy.blogspot.com
SewManyChallenges.com
Kathyand3Kids.blogspot.com
Infarrantlycreative.net
Tatertotsandjello.com
 Busy With The Cricky Spartansusscraper.blogspot.com
Thirtyhandmadedays.com
TheIdeaRoom.net





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*Disclosure: I received free product from The Original Scrapbox to host this giveaway. All rules must be followed and correct United States address given for prize to be awarded.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Exciting Kindle News

I've been reading books on my Kindle for the past two months and love it! I've mostly been reading books that are Whitney Award Finalists. Check out the list of finalists here in seven different genres if you need some fantastic ideas to add to your To-Read pile. But that's not my exciting Kindle news!
My exciting Kindle news is that I am now the proud author of a book that is available on Kindle.
Wrong Number

Yes, my suspense novel, Wrong Number, is now available on Kindle and that means if you want to start reading it in about ten seconds, just click on this lovely little link...
Wrong Number
Isn't that the coolest thing ever? Well, I think it is anyway, but I'm a little biased. :)


Monday, April 11, 2011

Celebrating with the Savior this Easter

By Steve and Rachelle Christensen
 
As with most of the holidays, the commercialism of Easter tends to overrun the real meaning of this celebration of our Savior. That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate with our kids, but it does mean that we need to be mindful and creative to be certain the sacred aspects of the holiday are not forgotten.

Easter is to celebrate the atonement and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. If you ask most kids what Easter is about, you may hear an answer about the Easter bunny, coloring eggs, or candy. So how can we celebrate all those fun things and remember the Savior too?

We can start in advance by preparing Family Home Evening lessons on the crucifixion and resurrection.  Read from the scriptures and give an overview of the Savior’s life and the events leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection. You could also include lessons on The Last Supper, the importance of the Atonement in our daily lives, and what Christ’s resurrection means for each of us individually.

Talking about how Jesus might have felt as well as his friends and his mother may help children relate with this most important event. When they realize the difficulties that Christ undertook to accomplish the Atonement, they are better able to recognize the importance of the event.

After you hold your Family Home Evening lessons, keep talking about the significance of the Atonement in the weeks and day leading up to Easter.
Here are a few scriptures to help with your study:  Matthew chapters 26-28, Mark chapters 14-16, and Luke chapters 23-24.

Another activity that can be used as a Family Home Evening lesson or as an Easter activity is “Filling the Empty Tomb”. Get a large plastic egg for each family member and several sheets of stationery. Give each person a piece of paper and encourage them to write a letter to put in the empty tomb.  They can write down thoughts and goals of how to become more like the Savior in the coming year. Talk about how we can “fill the empty tomb” by serving others, studying scriptures, praying, and remembering daily our commitment to be more Christlike.
You could display the eggs in a basket or allow family members to keep their “empty tomb” on their dresser. When Christmas time approaches, open the eggs and talk about the improvements you’ve made and how you can continue to work on your commitment to become more like the Savior.

In our family, we have an Easter egg hunt on Saturday. This works well for us because we have a chance to get together with extended family and celebrate one side of Easter on Saturday, then we prepare to focus on the real meaning of Easter on Sunday.
Some families opt to have the Easter Bunny visit their homes Saturday morning as well. It doesn’t have to be confusing for kids, just tell them you were able to schedule with the Easter Bunny so that on Sunday you could focus on the real meaning of Easter.
On either day you celebrate, it’s a wonderful idea if your children receive gifts for Easter to have the Easter Bunny include gifts that are central to Christ. Gifts such as bookmarks with The Articles of Faith, small pictures of Christ, scripture marking pencils, or a book on a topic relating to church principles are a few examples.
 
Talk about Christ’s resurrected body and instead of eating tons of candy, encourage kids to choose a healthy breakfast to celebrate Easter. We enjoy fresh fruit bowls with eggs and toast, waffles, or oatmeal with diced apples. Discuss how taking care of our bodies signifies respect for our Heavenly Father’s creation and anticipation of the gift of the resurrection.

The most important aspect it to make sure your family understands the meaning of this beautiful Easter holiday. The Atonement is something that we can use each day throughout our lives. Our Savior has given us a priceless gift and He paid the ultimate price in order to give it to each of us. In order to fully receive this gift, we must grasp how it can affect our lives.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cute Dog Quotes

My friend Connie Hall sent me these quotes and I loved them so I wanted to share them with you! You can visit Connie's blog here http://clhall.blogspot.com/

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. - Anonymous

Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. - Ann Landers

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. - Josh Billings

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. - Andy Rooney

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. - Rita Rudner

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. - Robert Benchley

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog. - Franklin P. Jones

If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise. - Unknown

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money. - Joe Weinstein

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul -- chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! - Anne Tyler

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. - Robert A. Heinlein

You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look hat says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!' - Dave Barry

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. - Phil Pastoret

Monday, April 4, 2011

Writer Here in Ephraim Writers Conference

This Saturday I'll be in Ephraim, Utah presenting at this awesome event!
If you're in the area, I'd love it if you'd drop by and say hello. I'll be teaching a class on Blog Promotion and Book Tours. in the morning. I'll also be giving away a copy of Wrong Number.
"Write Here in Ephraim" is an amazing day for writers and readers alike! No pre-registration required, but the first 50 who arrive when the doors open at 8:30 a.m. receive an absolutely FREE full length novel! Door prizes all day until 5:00 p.m, free refreshments, good company, great minds... it sounds like we're all thinking alike!
     Sponsored by the Ephraim Library. Stop by 105 East 200 South at the old South Ward Church in Ephraim if you're in town! You'll be glad you did!

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