Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hang 'Em High by Tristi Pinkston

Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.

Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana. When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her. They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son. What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.
***
Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.


Second, come to the book launch!
You are invited to an
August Authorama!
Saturday, August 13th
Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem
12 – 4 pm
Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,
and Dutch oven cobbler
prepared by world champion cook
will all be there to sign books.
This is one book launch event
you will not want to miss!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Thought July

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
--Joseph Campbell

I've pondered this train of thought many times as I consider my hopes and dreams of life's grand adventures. Will I be ready to dive in when the opportunity presents itself? I feel like I've experienced some great adventures already and what I've learned is that most of the time I thought I was ready for those adventures long before I actually was and I'm glad that God has a hand in my life.
Are you ready for your adventures?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Raspberry Pickin' Tips

 I love this time of year at my parent's home in Idaho because the raspberries are ripe for the pickin'! There's nothing like the burst of flavor packed into those red gems. I've picked raspberries for years and years, but it wasn't until about four years ago when I learned the best tip ever for raspberry picking.

All you need is a milk jug and a belt and you will be able to pick raspberries, hands-free!
No more balancing containers while trying to move branches loaded with berries. My mom and I both mourned the loss of so many raspberries when we accidentally dropped handfuls or even the container. We used these little green baskets (old strawberry baskets), in the picture below to pick raspberries when I was younger. Look at how many more raspberries we can get in the milk jug.

Take a used milk jug. Wash it out. Cut out a hole in the top. Loop a belt through the handle of the milk jug and then put the belt around your waist. Start picking!

I recommend only letting the milk jug get about half-full of raspberries because the weight will smash the berries in the bottom if you don't empty your jug before then.

Even my eight year old daughter has been able to help pick with this method and we're all enjoying the berries.
What about you? Do you love raspberries? How do you like to eat them? Breakfast, lunch, dinner, ice cream...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Thought July

It's a toss-up as to which are finally the most exasperating--the dull people who never talk, or the bright people who never listen.
--Sydney J. Harris

Had to smile at this one! I'm still working on being a better listener like I mentioned in this post, click here. How about you? Do you appreciate the talkative types more or the quiet listeners?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grandma, Alzheimer’s, and Me

My grandma has been displaying signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia for some time now. Unfortunately, because she won’t allow anyone to go to the doctor with her or she forgets about appointments, we’re not exactly sure which she is suffering from. 
Here are a few links to some resources about these diseases. 
About Alzheimer’s Disease which is a form of Dementia, click here 

Dementia, click here.
Regardless of the finite medical description, I know my grandma is confused and troubled because of the deterioration of her mind. In her more lucid moments, she says more and more often that she is confused. During off days, she’ll say, “I’m just so mixed up today.”

She has a terrible time remembering names, even the names of her own children. She’s lost the ability to recognize time and calendar days. We’re also worried that she is forgetting to eat. There are many areas that family is focusing on to help my grandma. I don’t live near my grandma, so I’m trying to help in the topic of conversation.

If you’ve ever tried to carry on a conversation with someone who had Alzheimer’s or Dementia, you probably know it can be frustrating and depressing. It’s painful to watch someone you love struggle with something as simple as the name of the grocery store they went to that day or the name of their grandchild that just celebrated a birthday.

It’s hard to understand and deal with the embarrassment and confusion that ensues. For example, my grandma called me wanting to know when the parade was (for the 4th of July) because she didn’t want to miss it. I told her it was on Monday and I wanted to cry because I couldn’t just say, “It’s on the 4th of July, Grandma.” My mom said that she had told Grandma about the parade the day before also. My mom got my grandma a calendar to mark off the days, but my grandma gets confused and marks off the wrong days.

Most of my contact with my grandma is over long-distance phone calls.  This makes it tricky when she’s trying to tell me about a trip that she just returned from and she can’t remember the name of the city or country she traveled in. I’ve found it helpful to talk to my mom first and find out what my grandma has been up to. Then when my grandma struggles, I can fill in the blanks.

  • Keep the conversation going. I try to keep the conversation alive and help my grandma over these memory speedbumps. I’ve jotted down the names of my grandma’s siblings and parents so that when she talks about them, I can supply names. I think having a list of relatives and friends of your grandparents available is a great idea, so that when they can’t remember a name you can prompt them.

  • Enjoy the opportunity to reminisce about the past. As people age, sometimes current events slip through the cracks and old memories resurface. I’ve seen this happen with my elderly relatives. As they approached their later years they regaled us with stories from their youth. Some of these events happened thirty or even fifty years ago and yet they can recall them with vivid detail. 

  • Help your loved one have as much independence as possible. When my grandma first started to go downhill, she said that if she couldn’t drive, she didn’t want to live. Driving is a huge part of independence and it’s difficult for people to give it up even when they know they shouldn’t be driving. I would encourage you to make a plan for your loved one at the first signs of deterioration about what steps they would like to take to help them retain their independence without endangering others.

Finances, living arrangements, transportation, and other necessary aspects of life need to be arranged into a kind of living will with stipulations that will keep your loved one safe and happy.

  • Don’t give up. There will be many good days mixed in with the bad. There will be times when your loved one is quite aware of her surroundings even though she may seem otherwise. Continue to treat her as an adult.

My mom said that in some ways her mother is now in the role of child and my mom has stepped into the role of caregiver. It’s difficult to move into this stage of life because there is a great sense of loss attached to it, but there are also boundless opportunities for service and love.

I’m still learning about Grandma and Alzheimer’s. Each time I’ve seen my grandma over the past couple of years, I notice the changes. I’m trying to capture the special moments before my grandma’s memories are lost.

What positive experiences have you experienced with these diseases that take so much from those we love?

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's Time For a Change

 When I went to visit family over the 4th of July weekend, my awesome little sister took some new author pics for me. We had a lot of fun walking around my parents beautiful yard and posing. I have to crop and resize a few, but I'll be updating my profile pics and other areas with some new faces.
Here's one of my favorites, I'm sitting on the wooden swing my dad made for our swingset--he also made--with our horse pasture in the background.

I'm going to be updating my blog with a whole new look which I hope will make it easier for my readers to navigate to the information they want.
I'll be changing the entire background to a different color scheme, layout, etc. So don't be afraid if you visit and see a transformation in process.

I'd love your feedback.
What do you like about my current blog?
What would you like me to add or change?

Friday, July 15, 2011

EZ View Craft Desk Grand Prize Winner

Today's the day! I'm excited to announce the lucky winner of The Original Scrapbox's incredible EZ View Craft Desk.

I have one of these beauties (in white) and let me just say that this person is going to be one happy crafter!
11 blogs participated in this giveaway and each one picked a preliminary winner.

In no particular order, here are the prelim winners. Each of these people won a Ribbon Box and one entry into the grand prize drawing.

1. Dorangela from Somewhat Simple
2. Brittany from RachelleWrites
3. Silvia from ModPodgeRocks!
4. Trulie from IHeartNaptime
5. Trina Rae from A Girl and a Glue Gun
6. Julie from Whipperberry.com
7. Rachel from Lil'Luna
8. Karen from Craftaholicsanonymous.net/
 9. Summer from oopseydaiseyblog
10. Jenny-Jo from Sugarbeecrafts
11. Mariah from ScrapboxUSA Blog

And the Grand Prize Winner is....

#8
Karen Shoemaker, she was the prelim winner from Craftaholicsanonymous.net/

Congratulations Karen! The Original Scrapbox hopes that you enjoy your beautiful new EZ View Craft Desk!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Thought July

I overheard an awesome quote in church about the power of one.

"If you've ever underestimated the power of one, then you've never slept in a room with a mosquito."
--Jolene Miller quoting unknown

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On Tour with Blank Slate by Heather Justesen

Today I'm on the blog tour with Heather Justesen and her new book, Blank Slate. Read on to find out about a special discount on this new book!
I've been looking forward to the release of this latest book for several reasons. Heather is a talented writer and I enjoyed her two previous books, visit Heather's website to find out more about those books http://www.heatherjustesen.com

Also, I LOVE the cover--it is perfect for the storyline.
I was lucky enough to read this story early on and see Heather work her magic with authentic characters and wonderful plot lines.

Here's a blurb for this book:
Adrianna Mueller may be a world-renowned concert pianist, but when she wakes from her coma after a serious car accident, her ability to perform has disappeared as completely as her lost memory. As she recovers from her injuries, she struggles with the expectations of everyone—her family, friends, and fiancĂ©, Brock—who all want everything to go back to the way it was.

Everyone except Gavin, Adrianna’s brother’s business partner, who finds himself drawn to the woman she is now. But he has his own problems. As he tries to get a handle on a former employee’s embezzlement, he fights his growing feelings for Adrianna.

And then a trip to the emergency room shakes everything up, leaving her to stumble as she tries to regain her footing all over again. 



And another fun tidbit--Here is one of the endorsements you'll find on Blank Slate.
"The twist in this story kept me turning pages to see if Adrianna would have a chance at finding love and figuring out the turn of events that opened her heart in the first place. In Blank Slate, Heather mixes the perfect amount of drama and mystery to create and unforgettable romance."
--Rachelle Christensen, author of Wrong Number


I think Heather's books are excellent and so I hope you will too!
Blank Slate is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and also for the Kindle

Here is the link for the Smashwords version:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/55747 
But you'll probably want to click on the following link because from now until the end of July, if you go to this Smashwords page http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/55747 and enter code WV49Z, you can download the book for only $1.49!
 
You can visit Heather's blog for more fun:  http://www.heatherjustesen.blogspot.com
And here is her website:  http://www.heatherjustesen.com 
Stop by to check out more of the stops on her blog tour and see what everyone is saying. 
What have you read lately?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Preliminary Winner in the EZ View Craft Desk Giveaway

It's time to announce the winner of one Ribbon box and One entry into the grand prize giveaway of an EZ View Craft Desk!


Wow! There were a ton of entries and it took me quite some time to go through all of them. I enjoyed reading about all of your different crafting loves and how you would use The Original Scrapbox Products to organize your stuff.
So thanks again to Random.org here's the preliminary winner of the Ribbon Box. She will also be entered into the grand prize giveaway held here on my blog on Friday, July 15, 2011.

Congratulations to...

  Supermombritt !!

Please email me within 24 hours with your full name, address, and phone number. If I don't hear from you with your info by that time period, I will select a new winner.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

EZ View Craft Desk Giveaway

This Giveaway is Now closed.
Come join us for a crafting celebration!
We're celebrating with The Original Scrapbox.com with one of their most popular items, The EZ View Craft Desk (value $595.00 U.S. Dollars). This desk has a clear plexiglass top so that you can easily see all of your supplies organized in four different drawers with various compartments. I was lucky enough to win one of these desks two years ago, here's a link to my post about the desk.
On July 15, 2011 we'll give away one of these beautiful desks!
http://theoriginalscrapbox.com/catalog/ezview 
Check out the versatility of this desk, with "Design Your Own" Capabilities.


There will be 11 preliminary giveaways with a chance to win an entry into the Grand Prize Drawing for one EZ View Craft Desk.


Enter to win the preliminary giveaway of one Ribbon Box (value $19.95) and One entry into the Grand Prize Drawing for an EZ View Craft Desk in your choice of color.




If you are selected as a preliminary winner of the Ribbon Box, you will then be entered into the grand prize drawing held on www.RachelleWrites.blogspot.com on July 15, 2011. On that date, a random drawing will select a winner from all of the finalists to receive one EZ View Craft Desk (value $595.00 U.S. Dollars) in their choice of black or white.

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

Giveaway open from Thursday July 7th- Monday July 11th at 11:59pm.
Giveaway Rules:
*You can only enter under one name
* 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.your comment of how you entered with required links (make sure your email addy is available).  Visit all 11 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 how you would organize your crafts with one of our products.

Extra Entries:

  • Follow ScrapboxUSA on Twitter and  RachelleWrites, then 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

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

Kimboscrafts.blogspot.com
Somewhatsimple.com
iheartnaptime.net/
Whipperberry.com/
SugarbeeCrafts.com
LilLuna.com
RachelleWrites.blogspot.com-that's me!
Craftaholicsanonymous.net/
Modge Podge Rocks
oopseydaisyblog.com
The Original Scrapbox Blog




*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.

Thursday Thought July

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
--Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Little Corner of Crafter's Heaven

 As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of The Original Scrapbox! They have so many wonderful pieces of organizing furniture as well as fabulous accessories.

This past October, one of my dreams came true when I was able to bring a Workbox home. This beautiful limited edition Cherrywood Workbox to be exact.

 I brought my new baby home shortly after that and I guess that's part of the reason this post has been so long in coming. :)
First I had to put in dozens of shelves and unfold all of the cool canvas totes/drawers that come with it. I felt like a kid at Christmas!

My kids were excited about the Workbox

and I was even more excited that these amazing storage cases come with a lock on the top!


 My sister helped me fill almost all of the cool storage containers with scrapbooking supplies--everything from paper, brads, buttons, stickers, to my Stampin' UP! stamps and inkpads.
Here's a pic of the crafty sisters--so glad that pregnant belly is gone now and I can hold my sweet baby!

I've been working to fill it ever since and I still have a few storage drawers available for my next crafty tool! Look at the neat fold-out work table that comes with it! I put a piece of velcro on the back of my rubber stamps to hang on the wall covered with felt. I got this idea from another Workbox owner on the Scrapbox Facebook page here.


 And the fun didn't end once my Workbox was in place. The cardboard boxes it came in are still being used as a "house" for my kids. I love this pic of my hubby with our little boy inside the cardboard house eating a popsicle.

Knock! Knock! Can I come in?
Thank you Original Scrapbox for a houseful of fun and new creative energy!

I'm kicking off another fun giveaway celebration for The Original Scrapbox on my blog in a few days, so stay tuned to see what's up next!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

I'm grateful to be an American and excited to celebrate my freedoms today!

Are you planning on attending a parade for the 4th of July? Please stand for our United States flag and show proper respect. Encourage your children to place their right hand over their heart and notice the flag. Hopefully you'll have an opportunity to teach them about what our flag means and symbolizes.

Here's a great link to flag education http://vfwpost3142.com/flag.html

I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends, great BBQs, patriotic celebrations, and of course FIREWORKS!!!
What is your favorite thing about the 4th of July?

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