Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012 ...


Every year we act out the nativity story and ponder the real reason for Christmas! I was the angel bringing tidings of great joy. My boys were Wise Men and my husband and daughter were a shepherd and sheep.

We finished by singing 'Silent Night' and felt so very blessed to be together at this magical, wonderful time of the year. And so very thankful for the birth of our Savior and the impact His life has on each one of us.

Merry Christmas ... may this special day be filled with love, with kindness and with moments that will warm your heart for days to come!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A paper snowman ...


Love the look on this snowman's face ... He's looking forward and enjoying the 'snowy' moment.
Reminds me to do the same ... (no snow yet but when it hits - I'll be out catching the snowflakes too).

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy whatever is 'falling' from your sky ...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A soft heart


Soft Heart drawing by Jennie Stanfield

A soft heart - is a heart that is open to love, to learning, to forgiving, to giving and for becoming ...

This Thanksgiving let your heart be soft and full of love! Enjoy the blessings of the holiday and pause to be grateful for the blessings in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving from my soft heart to yours.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The road to Success

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.
~Author Unknown
Have you ever really stopped to think about what it is that makes a person, a family, a business, a church, a leader or a country successful?
I have.
The one common factor I see in all things/people that are successful (to me) … is that they never ever give up.
Next time you feel like stopping and parking for a while – remember that nothing great happens when we STOP. In order to become and achieve … we have to keep moving forward and reinventing ourselves.

I love this quote by Walt Disney - "Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things ... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

Cheers to the the road and opening new doors.  Enjoy the journey ...!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

[Chocolate]



All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now
and then doesn't hurt!

Lucy Van Pelt
In Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.

Monday, September 17, 2012

5 Tips for Public Speaking - ADD some WOW!



Recently, I bumped into a very funny comic strip by Ted Goff. The drawing contained a Speaker at the podium on stage in front of an audience. The audience was being soaked by the sprinkler system in the ceiling. The caption under the comic reads: "You're not allowed to use the sprinkler system to keep your audience awake."

When it comes to public speaking, I believe the Speaker has a responsibility to his/her audience. 

What inspired this post? Last week I attended a lunch meeting and there was a guest speaker. About 10 minutes into the speech I could hear snoring. So I looked around the room to assess the situation. Sadly, there were more people asleep than awake. There were about 50 of us in attendance and as the speaker dragged on - I found myself making mental notes about the value of an uplifting, inspiring and educational speaker.

Below are 5 ideas on how to improve your next public speaking presentation -

1. Be considerate of your audience and their time.

If you have been asked to address an audience and are given a specific time to present your ideas and thoughts – stay within those time boundaries. Nothing is worse than a boring speaker who feels like he/she has a captive audience and holds them ‘captive’ beyond the agreed time limit.

2. Prepare your presentation with the audience in mind.
Imagine yourself sitting through your own presentation. Would you find yourself bored to tears or worse – snoring? Or would you be engaged in the message? Better, try your presentation out on a friend and ask them for feedback. Don’t be offended if they brand you are boring. Consider it a gift and then revise and reinvent your presenting skills.

3. Monotone is not an option.

Record your voice and pay attention to the sound and rhythm. If you find yourself snoring and distracted – do something about it. Monotone is a sure way to put your audience to sleep in a hurry!

4. What would a Hero do?
Who is your favorite Hero? Is it Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, your Grandma, your Coach? Have someone in mind when you prepare your speech. Imagine how he or she would present the material. Most likely, they would be energetic, enthusiastic and inspiring. You can do the same. Put that additional effort into your speech and you’ll find yourself being a ‘hero’ to your audience! 

5. Leave the audience inspired!Think back to the last time you heard someone give a really inspiring speech … What was it that moved you? Was it their passion? Was it their personal stories? Did they really care about you as an audience member? Did they value your time and effort to be there? Most likely, the answer is yes to all of those questions. When it’s your turn to WOW the audience – dig deep, care about the people present and most of all leave them on a happier level than when they arrived. Even if your topic is boring – YOU can make it exciting with your energy and your commitment to empower those present.

Follow the above 5 tips and you’ll find yourself speaking more than you ever imagined.
And you won't need a sprinkler system to keep your audience awake!

Wendy Christensen is an Author, Speaker, Marketing Director and cofounder of Wiggle Like a Fish. Website: www.LittleMomentsThatMatter.com



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stop and Look!



{Yaquina Head Lighthouse}
 
{Whale Watching}
 
 
Earlier this month, we made a trip to the Oregon Coast. As part of our time there, we spent a morning visiting the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. As we were running back to our car (to warm up) - I heard an elderly man's voice shout: "Look! The whales!"

Forget about getting warm. I have always wanted to see a whale out to sea ... I ran back to the man and asked where I could see them and he told me something that will stay with me for a long time.

"People never stop to look - you can usually always see the whales if you just stop and look!"

So we did. We stopped and we watched as the whales did their whale 'dancing' in the sea and enjoyed the magic of the moment!

As we were driving away from that beautiful lighthouse and the dancing whales, I made a little mental note to myself -

"Wendy: Always remember to stop. Look. And BE amazed at the miracles around you!"

Friday, June 08, 2012

Perspective ...

Perspective / The way a person sees the events and moments in life.

I wonder if we are given kids to teach, or to learn from?
-Author Unknown

Last week I took a bike ride with my daughter to the park. We went to see a live band do cover songs from the 60s and 70s. They were really good and it was fun to spend time together - on our bike ride home, we bumped into the weed pictured above. She stopped her bike in front of the big round ball and said: "THAT is the best thing I've ever seen!" and then she asked if she could take it home with us ...

She couldn't get it to break free from the stem so we rode home and got scissors and then rode back so she could cut it down and bring it home. She named it Steve and placed it in a glass jar on the back patio.

I couldn't help but reflect on her perspective ... so many people would see that big round ball as a thousand weeds. She saw it as a thousand wishes and a beautiful piece of nature that deserved to come home with her, be named and admired!

How do you choose to see the events in your life? Is it with wonder and awe or woe is me and doom and gloom?

The way we 'see' and act determines our experience and ultimately our destination and happiness.
Today - Choose to look, see and appreciate the good and magic in the moments that decorate life!

Name them if you want, take them home ... celebrate all the wonders of THIS DAY!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lesson from a turtle ...


"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
James B. Conant

It's easy to live inside our shells and keep to ourselves. It's only when we dare step out of our comfort zones and 'get out' when we really discover, learn and break through the fears that so often keep us stuck inside.

Today - do something different. Stick your neck out ... Enjoy the progress of new steps and new direction. Could be exciting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CAN-DO vs. NO-CAN-DO


If you think can-do, and you’re creative and persistent, it’s amazing what you can accomplish.
CAN-DO People                                                                             NO-CAN-DO People
Take initiative to make it happen                                              Wait for something to happen to them
Think about solutions and options                                            Think about problems and barriers
Act                                                                                                    Are acted upon

Sean Covey / "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens"

Today - tell yourself you CAN-DO IT and take the first step towards your goal or dream ...!
And then keep doing it!




Monday, April 23, 2012

BE a Solution Seeker ... (Act now!)


Solution - the act of solving a problem, question, etc / way of resolving difficulty: a method of successfully dealing with a problem or difficulty
I find that as challenges and problems arise, the best and most empowering response is to always seek a solution. So many people give in and decide to be victims to the less than perfect situations in life and start to blame everything around them for the state of their lives. And instead of stepping up and claiming the challenge they slump down and begin to blame.
I’d like offer FOUR simple ways to BE a solution seeker-
1.      When a challenge or problem hits – stop and ask yourself - “What’s GREAT about this?” I learned this invaluable tool while taking a class (10 years ago) called: Being Your Best.
This one tool has been so very helpful in my life. Our minds will always seek proof to
affirm whatever thought we give it.  Example: You own a little, old car. It’s not a Porch, a Lexus or anything savvy - but it’s yours! Instead of spending precious time wishing for something else and being ungrateful for the wheels you have, you can stop and ask yourself this powerful question: “What’s GREAT about this?” Your mind can instantly shift into positive mode and begin to list off all the great things about the car!  (It’s paid for, it saves me a ton on insurance and gas, I own it, I have a way to get around, and I’m not walking everywhere and so on). When we choose to focus on what’s great about every area of our lives, we are better able to create positive solutions to the challenges before us.
2.      When you find yourself in a slump – try the gratitude ABCs. This one exercise is one I use often and especially enjoy sharing it via my live workshops. You simply list A through Z on a piece of paper and then next to each letter, you write down something (you love or appreciate about you or your life) that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Example: A) A loving family. B) The birdfeeder my son made me in the backyard. C) Chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven … and so on. Again, this provides a mind shift from what’s wrong or missing – to what you love and appreciate. Solutions always follow a positive thought – the ideas come and you find yourself leaving ‘victimhood’ and stepping into a powerful Solution Seeker! Go ahead – jot down your appreciation ABCs – it feels so good.
3.      Write down the pros and cons.  Oftentimes, we don’t take the time to really think through them. One of the best ways to analyze a challenge is to write about it. Vent it out on paper. Here’s a simple excersise to try: Fold a sheet of paper in half. On one side, write Pros. On the other side write Cons – or Good stuff/ Bad stuff. Then make a decision based on the good and bad you find about the challenge or choice at hand. This is a kind gift you give to yourself as it provides an opportunity to think on paper! This also equips you with the power to choose what you will do. If you feel comfortable, talk to someone you trust about the decision and let him/her be part of your solution.

4.     ACT! Solutions don’t just happen – we have to act on the decisions we make and keep acting until we reach our desired goal and destination. Begin and keep moving forward!
Choose to be a Solution Seeker – don’t fall into the blame game or be a victim in your own life. Step up and seek the good and continue to live a life you love – filled with purpose, passion and productivity!

Afterall, it's always your next move, your next choice and with each little moment - we CREATE the LIFE we LIVE.
Wendy Christensen - Author of "It's the Little Moments that Matter", Co-founder of Wiggle Like a Fish and Founder of Book Beginnings.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Begin where you are ...

"The first step is to fill your life with positive faith that will help you through anything. The second is to begin where you are." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Guest Blogger - Julia Hathaway: Celebrate Every Day!

Did you know that there is a reason to celebrate almost every day?
Literally. I have to admit, I am not a big fan of the big holidays. Instead, I like to find joy every day by celebrating the hidden, the obscure, the ordinary little holidays that come each year. Let me give a few examples.
On February 15th I buy gumdrops. We've been known to make math graphs or build gumdrop structures with toothpicks on this day. Why? Because it's National Gumdrop Day!

March 14 (3.14) we make pies because it's Pi Day.

Every January our family tries to read 100 books for Book Blitz Month.
I discovered that one friend's favorite candy is jelly beans and so every year she gets a little jar of jelly beans on Jelly Bean Day.

My kids' favorite: National Park Week. I'm not sure if it's National Park Week or National Park Week, but we celebrate it in the latter sense.

During that week, each child has a day to choose which park to visit in our city. This is my favorite way to bring joy into the monotony of life. By celebrating these seemingly insignificant holidays I am given permission to build memories, to live in the moment, and to create joy in my life. These are the little moments that matter to me.--

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" - - 2 Cor. 3:17
www.directionliving.blogspot.com
************************
Julia Hathaway / Blogger and Founder of S.M.I.L.E.
(Visit her blog and enter to win some really inspiring prizes!)
PS: Thanks for your positive energy and for the little reminder to slow down and celebrate! :)
YOU are inspiring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Celebrating 9 years of little moments!

Every Author starts somewhere ... Read more about my journey HERE.

My first book signing at Wild Goose Designs in Richland, WA ....

It's been 9 years since I wrote my "Little Moments" book. Amazing how fast time flies! When I finished writing the book, I remember feeling really timid about sharing it with other people. We can thank FEAR for that. So many times, fear stops us from doing or even attempting the very things we long and dream of doing!

I'm no longer afraid to share my ideas, my thoughts or my little 'moments' ... :)
Feels good to say that! Over the past 9 years, I've been able to share my positive attitude and perspective via TV, radio, newspaper, Internet and in live events. Thanks to the book, I was hired as a Literary Publicist and continue to LOVE that area of work and creativity in my life!

I've enjoyed every moment and thank everyone who has helped and been part of this amazing journey! What I know for sure, is this -

As we dare to dream and take the steps necessary to make our dreams real, the doors open and as we continue to walk through them and learn - we find ourselves LIVING the dreams we had only dreamed about doing! Feels good. Today, take that step (break through the fear) and chase down a dream! You can do it - it all happens one little moment at a time.

Please enjoy a complimentary copy of "It's the Little Moments that Matter" ...
Simply click HERE.

Wendy Christensen
Author. Speaker. Publicist
www.LittleMomentsThatMatter.com

Slow down and enjoy the little moments - because they matter!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Inspiration from a greeting card ...



I bumped into this card while waiting in line at the Post Office last week and had a little 'change in attitude/perspective' ...

Read the rest of the story {here}

Special thanks to Tawna Allred for inviting me to be be a guest blogger on her blog!

Hold with both hands ... each precious, glittering moment of your life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meeting Josh Romney ...


With Josh Romney (son of Mitt Romney) -

Back in 2007, I was the Publicist for Mapletree Publishing Company. One of the books that I was able to promote was a book about Mitt Romney called: "Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values, and His Vision" by Lisa Ray Turner and Kimberly Field.

I was excited when I found out that Mitt's son, Josh would be in the Tri-Cities this morning. He was here locally campaigning for his dad. I was touched by his passion, his energy and the belief he has in his Dad as our future President.

I enjoyed his presentation and enthusiasm! And agree with him ...

PS: Mitt Romney has my vote.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Build sandcastles ...

Walk in the rain,
Smell flowers,
Stop along the way,
Build sandcastles,
Go on field trips,
Find out how things work,
Tell stories,
Say the magic words,
Trust the universe.
- Bruce Williamson

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Someone special ...



Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart. ~Author Unknown

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Your worth ...



I love that quote ... it's a great reminder that the stuff inside (who we choose to be and become) matters more than the stuff we own or aspire to get.

Happy Sunday! Fill today with love. :)

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Guest post by Allison Brooks


You are Smart, Beautiful, and Strong:
Being a mom with cancer
by Allison Brooks

Having cancer scares women on so many levels; the words “You have cancer”automatically make women feel less confident, less attractive and less powerful than they felt when they woke up that morning. Women worry how to tell their friends and family and whether or not their husbands and boyfriends will still find them attractive throughout the cancer treatment process. They also worry about what is going to happen to their bodies; the fear of losing their hair and looking sick are overpowering for some women.

Unfortunately, women with children of their own have even more to worry about. If a woman is diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, like a late stage breast cancer or mesothelioma, it is sometimes harder to tell their children and treatments can be harsher. But, throughout the cancer treatment process, it is important women feel as confident and good as possible, which is why it is imperative to remember that even though a woman has cancer, she is still a beautiful woman and mom and nothing could ever change that. From this point on, women need to work a little harder to feel confident.

To regain a little of confidence that cancer took from a woman, she needs only to look at her children. These little people that she created and raised are a walking, talking testament to what a wonderful woman and mother she was and still is. To raise beautiful, confident children takes a beautiful, confident mother and that alone should make any women feel more powerful and gorgeous as both a mom and a woman – with no regards to her cancer diagnosis.

While this helps, it may not always be enough, which is why women need other ways of regaining their confidence. One way to do this is to take on a new project; one a woman has always wanted to do but has never had the time or energy to do. Tackling a new project is a great way to give oneself a sense of accomplishment so women should grab a pen and start making a list of all the things they want to accomplish in their lives and make it a point to start marking things off that list today.

For example, a woman that loves classic love stories but has never read Gone with the Wind should do so. A woman that says every year she is going to organize all those photos into beautiful albums to hand out to friends and family at Christmas should. A feeling of accomplishment provides women with a feeling of confidence like nothing else.

Finally, something every woman can do to feel like a beautiful woman and mother in spite of her cancer is to look in the mirror everyday and write down one thing she loves about herself. And to make it more fun and personal, make an “I love you/me because” mirror. Every day should be something different until she finally realizes how much beauty she actually possesses.

Visit Allison Brook's blog

******************************

Allison,
Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece on my blog! I appreciate and admire your passion to help others along their way. :) I agree with you on reading "Gone with the Wind" - every woman needs to slow down and enjoy that one!PS - YOU are beautiful! (always)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Moxie.

Moxie - The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.

Years ago, I was able to fly across the country and visit Washington D.C. and as part of the trip there, I made a visit to The National Air and Space Museum. I found that place to be very inspiring!

I loved bumping into the display for Amelia Earhart. That lady had moxie!

I find myself really drawn to those who have the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage. Their stories are inspiring, motivating and touching.

This month, find your moxie. Live with it. Get that spirit and courage out... come on! Let's 'fly' and LIVE with a 'can-do' attitude!

Monday, January 30, 2012

WE made this FUNNY video about the Valentine Aardvark -

Hi ... I'm Betty Jo and this is my brother Billy Jack!
http://youtu.be/ZBXZZNHQ72w

Billy Jack and Betty Jo get a visit from the Valentine Aardvark!
(FUNNY)

Created by: Wendy, Kaleb, Kade and Lauren Christensen.
ps: The bloopers at the end are hilarious! :)
LIKE the Valentine Aardvark on Facebook.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

3 Relationship Tips ...



TIP 1: Respect Matters.

Background: Randomly at night as I am driving kids to and fro, I’ll catch bits and pieces of the John Tesh Radio Show. I can honestly say that his tag line ‘Intelligence for your life’ is true. I always learn something. I just now visited his website and was surprised to see that he is blonde. For some reason I picture him with dark hair. OK back to the tip.

One night he was talking about relationships and the number one thing that
makes them last. It’s not money, looks or even attraction. The number one factor (drum roll please) is RESPECT.

I’ve thought about that little nugget of info and totally agree.

TIP 2: Color can set the ‘love’ mood -

Background: I love the Better Homes and Gardens website. I get so much inspiration from their decorating tips and ideas. One day, as I was surfing their smattering of d├ęcor ideas and photos – I bumped into a little segment on romantic bedrooms. Oh la la la – I bumped into tip number 2.

Blue in a bedroom makes it more romantic. Blue it is. Can you guess what color made an appearance in my room? Yup, blue.

Tip 3: The storm stops at the door.

Background: One day, I picked my daughter up from a friend’s house and was
moved by the wood sign outside the front door. It said: The storm stops at the
door.

Our homes are special places that should be filled with peace, love and positive energy. Relationships need a safe place to flourish and grow!

The ‘storms of life’ can be left outside – this allows the good stuff to bloom
inside and opens a platform for better communication! When there is positive
energy in the home, there can be positive feelings and relationships!

What tips have you bumped into lately?!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Goodbye Dark Clouds - Hello Mt. Rainier!

(Leaving the clouds behind ...)
(From the plane - looking down at Mt. Rainier)

November and December have been quite gray this year. We had an air stagnation problem and the dark, gloomy fog and clouds hovered for weeks! Then my husband and I took a trip to LA for the Biggest Loser Finale and it dawned on me how ‘dark’ the days had been.

When did it hit me? While I was in a little airplane flying above the clouds and as we lifted higher and higher, we eventually broke through the cloud barrier and into the blinding, beautiful sunshine! My spirits lifted with the brightness of the sun! And to my surprise, I looked down (via the tiny window) and found myself staring at Mt. Rainier. It was a great moment!

And it helped me appreciate the opposition we face in life. Some days can be stagnant (with dark clouds) and some days are ultra sunny with beautiful moments and views. I’ve decided that the important thing is our reaction to each and every day. Our focus and our desire to see the good in the dark and light – is what matters and makes all the difference. Looking down at Mt. Rainier reminded me that as we climb higher – we leave the ‘dark’ behind! :)

Today: The sun is shining! I’m off to appreciate it and make the MOST of it!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2012 ... LIVE it.

It's a new year. That usually means new goals ... I heard something I really liked on New Year's Day about having a winning attitude and decided that would be my goal!

I am going to approach each new day of this year with a winning attitude! You can too.

Cheers to winning.
PS: Believe. Act. Do ...!! :)