Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 is coming to a close ...

Cheers to an incredible year full of love, laughter, learning and moments to cherish!! :)
I recieved the following as part of an email from a dear friend ...
Kiss and hug often. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably.
I plan on doing all 3 in '08 - how about you??!
Happy New Year's EVE ...
(Kiss someone you love at midnight!!)

Friday, December 28, 2007

The end of an email
(Send one with love - It goes a long way!)

How do you end your email messages? Do you close them with - bye, adios, all the best, best, yours, yours faithfully, with love and appreciation, love, thank you, be in touch … maybe you leave the ending statement off or simply sign your name?

I find the end of emails to be so interesting – The way a person ends an email is like a little glimpse into his/her soul or mood at the moment :) ...

Below are a few of my personal closing favorites:
(I added a little commentary so you can glimpse into my reasoning on all this!)

Happy Friday!
(Adapt the happy for whatever day it is, happy Monday and so on)
I like using the word happy at the end of anything. I feel this is a way to share happiness…
Just typing the word does wonders. Happy, happy, happy …

Create a GREAT day!
Several years ago, I was an Empowerment Leader/Coach and presented seminars/classes for corporations and private groups. This phrase was very fun to use and share – still is! Get out there people and CREATE something GREAT. Create, create, create ...

May it go well with you!
I used to work for a company called Just Roses and would occasionally be asked to work in one of their shops where the customers spoke very little English and Spanish was the native tongue. My brother, Robby, was fluent in Spanish and I asked him to give me some Spanish lessons to help me better communicate with the rose shoppers. Specifically, I wanted to say something nice to them at the end of our interaction. He taught me to say: May it go well with you (in Spanish) and you wouldn’t believe the smiles that phrase brought each time I said it! (For all I know, I butchered it so bad that I was really telling them to hurry and fly to the moon) but all in all I think we had a little meeting of the minds! And the farwells were happy ...

Lastly, my favorite way to close an email is with one of my favorite words - LOVE.
So few people end anything with that word or emotion – why? Are we afraid the word LOVE
will cause more trouble than good? (Something to think about)
Let’s try in 2008 to share more positive feelings, kinder words and end with MORE LOVE.

We can do this one email at a time … Join me on my quest to ACT with MORE LOVE.
How about this ending:

Happy Friday night - CREATE a splendid Weekend ...
Sending love and always love,
PS: Que te vaya bien (kay tay vah-yah bee-ehn)!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Music & Lyrics –
Starring: Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant

Have you seen this show? If so, you’ll recognize the song I posted via You Tube…
It’s the theme of the show and makes its way into the corners of the mind! I can’t get it out!!

Favorite scene: Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore in his apartment recording the demo of the below posted song.

Happy Wednesday!!

Cheers to love, life, movies and the day after Christmas!!
(We’re cleaning and de-junking the house) ...
Making room for all the NEW toys and surprises from Santa and loved ones.

Way Back Into Love (full version)

{Take 1} Posting a You Tube Video ...

Monday, December 24, 2007

My Grown Up Christmas List ...

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath the tree

But heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end

Oh, This is my grown up Christmas list
(Lyrics from one of my favorite Christmas songs)

Merry Christmas!!
Ahhh it's the night before Christmas and all through the house ...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The holiday food drive
{Tis the season to give ...}

Special thanks to all those who donated to this year’s Jason Lee Elementary food drive! We ended up with 24 boxes of food – which enabled us to give 4 boxes of food to 6 different families. Together, we MADE a difference … !!

Cheers to Christmas and the wonderful spirit of giving.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Leavenworth, Washington
{The Enchanting Little Bavarian Village}

Last Saturday, we loaded our car (with kids, sleds a couple of movies and a few munchies) and headed for Leavenworth. This little town is nestled in the mountains and is completely charming and enchanting! We wanted to be part of their tree lighting ceremony and found ourselves with thousands of others counting down 10-9-8 until the town lights were all shining! We bumped into Santa Clause, a reigndeer, Father Time and even met a big fuzzy bear. It was such a magical day for us! I highly recommend visiting Leavenworth during the holidays… There is nothing like standing on a dark winter night in a crowded street full of thousands of people singing Silent Night ...

PS: Good Morning America recently filmed their show live from Leavenworth as it was chosen as one of the top 5 places in the USA to enjoy a display of holiday lights!

Feel free to visit the Leavenworth website:
Photo credit: Our son Kade

Friday, December 14, 2007

NEWS FLASH: Mascara and sad movies don’t mix.

Tip for the 'silver screen' eyes:
Give your lashes a break when you watch “Griffin & Phoenix” …
(Romantic Comedy, Love story) 2006, PG-13
Estimated tears: 1,200 (give or take a few)
Trust me ... Waterproof mascara won't work for this film.


Friday, December 07, 2007

A night at the Ballet ...
My daughter and I attended the Nutcracker by the Mid-Columbia Ballet tonight! OH it was splendid! I think ballet is so romantic and moving.
Good night - I'm off to dream of dancing snowflakes swirling around a giant rat king!
(Could be an interesting night!)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Topics for the dinner table …

I heard it once said that you should never discuss politics or religion around the dinner table (especially true when there are guests present). Lately, don’t you find that everything ties back into religion or politics? I think that is WHAT we MUST discuss around the dinner table. Below are three topic starters – feel free to toss ‘em out over the big plates piled high
with delicious grub.
Faith and religion in America. I’d encourage you to watch Mitt Romney’s speech given earlier today about this very subject. No matter what religion or political party you belong to … I believe you’ll find his words have merit and truth. And are definitely worthy of ‘table talk’.
You can watch the Mitt Romney speech via the below link:
Gas Prices. We are in need of changes in this area. Throw out those two words in any setting and I guarantee you’ll tap into a rich source of oil price woes and disgust of our current petroleum situation. (I just walked in from filling up my rig with gas and had to laugh at myself when I went to the display board and it said: Would you like your receipt? I always press yes. It serves as tangible evidence that I actually DID spend that much on one tank). Yipes! See the banter and passions are flying already!
After the hearty meal and passionate discussions, you’ll most definitely want to wrap it all up with my favorite subject. Throw out this quote and let the emotions run wild:

“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”
~ George Sand

Cheers to dinnertime and the conversations that make it lively!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Starry, starry night (Vincent)

The way to know life is to LOVE many things.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

This is one of my all time favorite songs!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

Lunch with Lauren …
(My thoughts on a snowy Thursday afternoon)

My daughter and I have had the opportunity to share lunch time together for most of her life!
(She's 5 so that's a lot of Mom & daughter lunch times)...

Every day before lunch I say to her – “Lauren, I’m the luckiest Mom in the whole world.” And she then says: “Why?” And I reply: “Because I get to sit by you and eat lunch with you everyday!” And we both laugh. This little routine has been going on for a long time.

Today, we were in a rush to eat so we could get her to preschool on time. I quickly made the usual peanut butter only sandwiches (cut into 4 little sandwiches) with some chips, a glass of milk and a napkin.

As I went into the dining room, she said: “Mom, why are you soooooooo lucky?”
I looked at her and said: “Because I have you for a daughter and we get to sit together and have lunch!” “YUP” she yelled.

And even though we were in a big hurry, we still had time to chat about letters of the alphabet, the falling snow outside and would it still be there after she got done with school, and could we make a big snowman later, and did the word Milk really start with M b/c on Blues Clues Steve said cow started with C ….

I love you Lauren. Thanks for all the wonderful lunchtimes. I thank Heavenly Father everyday for blessing me with three awesome kids who add more meaning and magic to my life than I could ever express in words.

Signing off –
I can’t wait for the kids to get home from school so
we can build a snowman or snow creature in the backyard ….

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An ‘Enchanted’ Evening …

What happens when an animated princess from fairy tale land lands in modern day New York?
First .... She becomes REAL and so do her dreams!
I know I’ve said this before but I feel I need to say it again. There is just something wonderful about seeing a movie on the BIG SCREEN! As a family, we went to the newly released Disney movie: Enchanted. This movie is absolutely adorable. The actress (Amy Adams) is purely enchanting and actually makes the character believable! And Patrick Dempsey makes the perfect leading man. The movie is full of songs, critters, dancing, laughs and is sure to be a classic. I loved it and laughed out loud through many parts of the movie!! Favorite quote: Patrick Dempsey (talking to Giselle) :
“What did you do…Escape from a Hallmark Card?”

Rated: PG / Genre: Romantic comedy with a twist of real and animation.
GO SEE IT!! (5 stars)

The enchantment didn’t stop there… After the show, we walked outside to a winter wonderland of falling snow. That’s another thing I find magical – the first snowfall of winter!

Cheers to the enchanting moments ... :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I’m thankful for …

- love, a home, books, the opportunity to serve, my relationship with our Heavenly Father, music, the earth, time, life, good health, a sense of humor, my family, knowledge,
friends and freedom!

(My list goes on and on….)
What are you thankful for??! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Life’s a dance, put on your dancing shoes, take a chance
(lyrics from "Put on your Dancin' Shoes")
Steve Winwood
I love that sassy red shoe ... :)
Don't you??!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You've Got Mail
A movie that makes me laugh - out loud!
Kathleen Kelly: I love daisies.
Joe Fox: You told me.
Kathleen Kelly: They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?

It's been a dark and really cold November day... I woke up with the flu and felt really yucky. Luckily, I don't get sick very often :)!! What did I do to lift my spirits? I watched "You've Got Mail" and laughed really hard. I think Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are so adorable in this movie...

Cheers to the flu and movies that help combat the tough days.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Love is …

Have you ever sat down and decided you just needed to write something? Tonight I had a writing flash … I grabbed a piece of paper and decided to do a free write. Let it all just flow.

The first thing that came out of my pen was: Love is. Have you ever tried to write about love? It is a beautiful experience and one worth the time!

Try it – grab a piece of paper and at the top write – Love is … And let the feelings that come to you rush out onto the page.

Here’s a few of my thoughts –
Love is … patient, kind, funny, vulnerable, serious, honest, good, forgiving, respectful,
love gives us wings to fly, there is no fear in love, love helps us become
our greatest potential, love is air … love is all around us!
(and my list goes on and on).

{Bottom-line - love is a beautiful and powerful thing}

PS: I like what Oprah says about love:
“Happiness is never something you get from other people.
The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.”

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tis The Season for Pumpkin Pie ...

I think it is safe to say that the Holiday Season is upon us!
I am amazed at how fast the years fly by!! You blink and miss it ...

I looked out my window this morning and enjoyed the wonder of fall and the falling leaves full of orange, brown, red and yellow. It's gorgous out and I have some major leaf work ahead of me!

This time of year makes me want to watch old movies, bake (and eat) pumpkin pie and
make crafty things for Christmas ...!

Cheers to the seasons that fly by ...
mmmmmm I can taste the pumpkin pie --

(Little rhyme for the road)


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Book Expo & Publicity tips for Authors

Publicity TIP
Authors Take NOTE ...
I had the privilege of meeting Rick Frishman while attending the Publisher’s Marketing Association (PMA) University courses in Washington D.C. during BookExpo in 2006. If you are an author I highly recommend you sign up for his newsletter. Below is a powerful reminder about believing …

******"A Rick Tip"******

This week- it will actually be a "Harvey Tip". This is from my friend Harvey Mackay. We at PTA have handled Harvey for years and consider him to be a mentor. Below are 3 Tips from Harvey. You can sign up for his newsletter at

Tip number 1:
Believe in yourself - even when no one else does.

Life is not a parabolic curve. It doesn't go straight up. There are a lot of lumps and bumps. A lot of throttling up ... and throttling down. I've never met a successful person who hasn't had to overcome either a little or a lot of adversity.

Anytime I feel like quitting I just look at a framed poster I have hanging in my office
of one of our people:

He failed in business in '31.
He ran as a state legislator and lost in '32.
He tried business again in '33 and failed again.
His sweetheart died in '35.
He had a nervous breakdown in '36.
He ran for state elector in '40 after he regained his health.
He was defeated for Congress in '43, defeated again for Congress in '48, defeated when he ran for the Senate in '55 and defeated for vice presidency of the United States in '56.

He ran for Senate again in '58 and lost.
This man never quit. He kept trying till the last. In 1860, this man Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States.

So it seems like if we want to triple our success ratio ... we might have to triple our failure rate.
Reprinted from "Rick Frishman's Author 101 Newsletter" Subscribe at and receive Rick's "Million Dollar Rolodex"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Call Reunion in Afton, Wyoming

Breathing in Memories
A random Tuesday post about the people and places that help make us who we are ...

During the summer, my family and I were able to attend a The Call Family Reunion in Afton, Wyoming. This reunion occurs every other year and has been running for 30+ years. My Grandma Call (she is 91 and still kicking) had 14 children and my Mom is number 10. I spent many summers at my Grandmother’s ranch in Wyoming. We looked forward every year to seeing our cousins and exploring the mountains, streams, grass and fields that decorated my Grandma’s land.

Many of my favorite memories as a youth happened at the Call Family Reunion. I learned about cowboys and farming, about working the land, about the power of uniting as a family and the importance of relationships! Most of all, I had FUN…

I had not attended a reunion in about 10 years and my children had only heard stories of the infamous Call Reunions of my youth. I heard that this would be the last official Call reunion and decided I needed to return to my roots and give my children the chance to experience the ‘magic’ for themselves! As we were driving into the town of Afton, all my memories came flooding back. The tears flowed and I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to return!!

We pitched a tent on my Grandma’s land and enjoyed every moment of that reunion. It rained the first night (all night crazy rain) and our tent had a hole so you can imagine the riot we had!! That didn’t deter us from the fun and memories of that awesome weekend.

On the last day – we were all saying our goodbyes. There were over 250 people in attendance!! I was sitting in my Grandma’s living room with my cousin Kendall and he was so quiet and still and I asked what he was doing? He looked up at me and said: “I’m breathing in memories!” And so I sat down with him and in silence we remembered many wonderful times from our past.

One particular memory stands out with him… Every year his family would bring their 4-wheelers up to the reunion and let everyone use them. I had never driven one before and Kendall was brave enough to tag along for the ride! We drove up my Grandma’s canyon and much to our shock and dismay I drove the 4-wheeler up a tree! The tree bent way over and lucky for us, flung us back safely to the ground. Kendall and I laughed very had about that memory and many others.

And then we hugged and said goodbye. And every time I think of my Grandma and her heavenly place in Afton, Wyoming, I breathe in memories of people and places I love.

Feel free to visit the Afton, Wyoming website:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

"I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too ..."

I love Halloween! This year, I dressed up in three different costumes ... Can you believe?
The first costume I was a retro 50s gal (Poodle skirt and all), second time I went to a dance with my husband and he was Superman (I was Lois Lane) and last night - I couldn't resist being a witch! The funnest part about the costume, was the eyelashes - WOW ... talk about make your eyes jump out! Ladies, if you've never tried wearing big, full, black lashes - I highly recommend it... Amazing things happen!!

I do hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween! I am feeling the 'Halloween jet-lag' today and I think the peanut butter cups might help give me the 'kick' I need to resume the warp speed pace of life these days!!!

Signing off -

Witch Wendy... Hee hee hee
{Riding off on my broomstick now} Zooming out of web site ... (LOL)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

In today's paper, (Thanks to an article by the Washington Post) ... I learned that the candy we eat says something about who we are. Hmmmmmmm!! My favorite candy is Reese's peanut butter cups. Do you like those too? If so, here's an 'inside scoop' about what this candy says about you and me:

A generous soul. You understand the salty in life, as well as the sweet.

I so hope my kids get a whole lot of those yummy chocolate, peanut butter yummies tonight ... Because I plan on being really generous and giving them to myself to devour ....

Cheers to a the sweet and salty.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Trick-or-Treat bag Instructions/Ideas ...
meow / cat bag ...
(for my daughter who loves to pretend to be a cat) :)

Ghost bag ... the tombstone says: R.I.P
(for my oldest son who wanted something a little scary)

Pumpkin bag
(for my youngest son who just wanted something happy)

Easy Felt Trick-or-Treat bag -

Supplies needed:
2 felt squares (can be matching colors or different)
Shapes for the bag (ghost, cat, pumpkin …)
Let your kids draw their own shapes ... they love it!
Felt squares for the shapes (I used different colors than the ones for the bag)
Ribbon for handle
Buttons for embellishments
Sewing machine

Step 1:
Cut your desired shape (cat, pumpkin, ghost …) out of the felt pieces that are going to be sewn to the felt that will be the bag. Then hand stitch the shape to the front of the bag. Kids can help with this part!

Sew a button to the front of the bag – for embellishment.

Step 2:
Use a decorative stitch and sew around the sides and bottom of the two felt pieces.
I just sewed them together. Back to back … I like the stitch showing on the front of the bag.

Step 3:
Sew the ribbon to the top of the bag for the handle.

Ta-dah - its spooktacular!!

Created in 2006 by Wendy Christensen & her kids ...!
Feel free to use the idea and have some special Halloween
moments at your home ...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Two quotes for the road ...
(Turtle pace please !)

I recently read an interesting article about frustration. This article was talking about how easy it is for people to get down and out about their business endeavors or other things going on... Have you ever had that? I like to call them 'frustration moments' – sometimes, they hit hard! But do not let them stop you from trying to achieve!!

There is a quote I use that comes in handy with the ‘frustration fits’. I found it in "Life's Little Instruction Book" by H. Jackson Brown:

"Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years."

I like that quote - it helps put things in perspective!

Another quote I like to use is -

"Every step of the journey is the journey"


Cheers to life and the beautiful lessons that come from our day to day moments.
Use them well!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

{Tuesday night movie wrap}
Movie: "Sweet Land" (PG)
Official movie website:

Are you looking for a good love story??!
Add "Sweet Land" to your movie queue... You won't be sorry.
I cried, I laughed and I enjoyed every moment of this beautiful film!

The movie starts with the following quote:

"Let us hope we are all proceded
in this world by a love story"

Yeah - the film had me at "Hello".... :)
Ahhh how I love a good love story.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Product of the week...

If you are looking for a way to spice up your dinner tonight - I highly recommend you grab a bottle of Frank's RedHot Chili & Lime sauce. Add it to your salad, steak, grilled chicken or to your favorite Mexican dish! YUM … :)

I give this hot item - 5 stars out of 5.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dancing with the STARS ...
We needed some 'mood music' in the house tonight so I pulled out our "Monster Mash" CD full of Halloween-ish type songs. I had no idea the songs would have such a powerful impact on our MOOD. :) Before I knew it, the front room turned into a dance studio and we were busting a move, getting our groove out...WOW!

My son, Kaleb, has moves that defy the laws of gravity!! Would you like to have your own Monster Mash night in your house? OK all you need is the following playlist (turn up the volume) and bust a move baby!!!! :)

Monster Mash
(Party Music)

1. Monster Mash
2. Ghostbusters
3. Spooky
4. Bad Moon Rising
5. Macho Man
6. Abracadabra
7. Soul Man
8. Wooly Bully
9. Stayin' Alive
10. Batdance
What 'stars' are you dancing with? :) ...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Saving the Praying Mantis...

I seem to have an internal signal (a beacon perhaps) that sends a flashing light out to praying mantis creatures. They are the only ones that can sense it and are reluctant at first to receive the much needed rescuing - but in the end are grateful (I believe) to have been saved!
It's possible that they pray for my services? :)

In the past month, two praying mantises have taken advantage of my "I can save you signal." The first rescue mission occurred at the grocery store. My daughter and I were on a quick dash to grab a few things for dinner and to our surprise - there in the back of our grocery cart was a big, green praying mantis. It was hanging onto the metal cart with all its might. My daughter and I immediately knew we had a mission. This creature needed to be rescued from the store. As we shopped, the critter would move along the cart assessing the situation. It seemed tempted to jump into the fresh produce section but we assured it would be better off out of the store. At the check out stand, the cashier (who was a guy) said: "Wow, that thing is creepy. You want me to take care of it?" Lauren and I gave him a look from the dark, scary place and replied: "We love these things - we'll make sure it's safe!" Mission Accomplished, we let him go outside on a flower garden. One praying mantis safely rescued. Ahhhhhhhh ...

My second mission happened yesterday. I was making dinner and heard our dog growling outside the back door. I couldn't figure out what she was getting so upset about so I opened the back door and there on the door was a big, brown praying mantis. Sadie (our dog) felt this creature was invading her space... So I got a big stick and took the praying mantis to my rose bushes in the front yard. Another praying mantis saved!

I think I need to get a special badge to wear that says:
Proud to be a praying mantis HERO!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ahhhh the magic of a Cross Country Race –

Have you ever attended a cross country race? If not, you need to go at least once! Last weekend, I was driving through my town and noticed a bunch of school buses and kids in running shoes jogging all over town. This kind of action and school bus invasion could only mean one thing – It was Richland Invite Cross Country weekend! I couldn’t help it – I got all excited like a giddy school girl with a crush on the History teacher. {Remember those days??!}

Anyhow, I dashed home and informed the family that I would be attending that meet the next day. And anyone who wanted to join me could. Were they as excited about it as me… no. But that didn’t squelch my enthusiasm.

My oldest son, Kade, and I ended up on the Cross Country course on Saturday after his soccer game. He was a bit sluggish and wasn’t overly excited about being there. Did this hamper my CC excitement? NO! And after watching the JV boy’s race … my son was very into the entire energy and feel of the event. No way was he leaving until he had seen the big guns run the Varsity race.

The winner of the Varsity boy’s race (3.1 miles) won with a time of 15:06!
This kid was flying and it was inspiring to see him run the miles with such ease and speed.

As Kade and I were walking to the car he asked: “Mom, that was fun I’m glad we did that.”

And with a HUGE smile and a couple of tears running down my face I replied: “Kade, Cross Country running for me helped me become who I am today.”

“I’m going to run Cross Country.” He said.

{Big smiles and more giddy excitement on my end}

I can’t wait to cheer for him and watch him grow and become through the magical experience of being part of a team and feeling the satisfaction that comes from finishing something challenging.

Cheers to the challenges in life – the hills, the finishes, the miles, the wins, the losses and to all the memories!

The above runner’s tag was from my freshman year in High School. Our Varsity boys and girls team had qualified for the State Meet. It was the last cross country race I saw my brother run. He was the #1 runner at our school. He died the following summer in a car accident … I do hope he finds time to remember all the miles he ran and races he won!!! I reflect on those quite often.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Random Tuesday Musings ...
"No. I don't think I will kiss you-- although you need kissing badly.
That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often--
and by someone who knows how."
–Rhett Butler (Gone with the Wind, 1939)

(Click the link to hear the famous Rhett Butler quote ....)
I don't know if it's just me but it seems like those classic movie stars from days long gone
knew how to kiss and sweep a girl off her feet .... !!
Cheers to old movies and kissing - 2 of my favorite things!! :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wiggle Like a Fish on YouTube

Footage from our Opening Act for the Nickelodeon LIVE Show - Enjoy the clip and feel free to share it with your friends! Come on - Get up and Wiggle ...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Stay true to your dreams,
To your heart, to yourself,
Let your own unique voice be your guide.
Stay true to the things
that you care about most,
And you’ll always know joy deep inside."
- Artwork by Wendy Chrstensen 2006 -

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Microwave Caramel Popcorn ...
{A Sunday night favorite}
I remember as a teen loving Sunday nights ... My sister, Amy, would always make caramel popcorn in the microwave and we would sit around and eat and laugh and talk. I come from a family of 7 children and I have fond memories of our Sunday night chats together. We talked about school, our teachers, our cross country meets, our dreams, our Saturday night dates, and things we were looking forward to during the upcoming week. I have 4 younger sisters and often, we would tell each other to stay out of our rooms and out of our clothes (That was a big deal back then - NO sneaking off in my clothes - Got it?) Funny to think that that was the BIG issue back then. If I had any of my sisters home/close by tonight, I'd make them a huge batch of caramel popcorn and let them choose anything they wanted out of my closet. :) And I'm sure we would talk all night until sunlight ... What a fun thought!! Amy, Katie, Jennie, Robby & Erica - I love you. I am so thankful we are a family with fun memories that will last forever!

Below is a recipe for Microwave Caramel Popcorn: (YUM) -
4 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Place the popped popcorn into a large brown paper bag. Set aside.
In a 2 quart casserole dish, or other heat-proof glass dish, combine the brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave, then take out and stir until well blended. Return to the microwave, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave, and stir in the baking soda. Pour syrup over the popcorn in the bag. Roll down the top once or twice to close the bag, and shake to coat the corn. Place bag into the microwave, and cook for 1 minute and 10 seconds. Remove, shake, flip the bag over, and return it to the microwave. Cook for another 1 minute and 10 seconds. Dump the popcorn out onto waxed paper, and let cool until coating is set. Store in an airtight container.
Cheers to popcorn, brothers and sisters, and Chilly September Sunday nights ... :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Arts and Entertainment - Friday September 28, 2007

Did you read the Tri-City Herald this morning?
WE did! My husband (Tory Christensen) has two shows this weekend ...

Music & a Movie!
The first show is at Smoovies in Richland, WA at 6:30 pm (Friday, September 28, 2007)
Following the music, Madagascar will be playing on the BIG SCREEN - outside!
Bring your blankets and umbrella ...

(The paper says the concert is at Flat Top Park - it's not).
The second show is on Saturday, September 29th, 2007
3:00 pm at Howard Amon Park in Richland, WA
Bring your camera if you want to get a photo with Wiggles the Fish.

Both shows are free and open to the public.

See you this weekend! :)

Check out the Wiggle Like a Fish website:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mitt Romney - The Man, His Value, and His Vision

"Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values, and His Vision"
by Lisa Ray Turner and Kimberly Field
From the Publisher -
There aren’t too many people who have earned simultaneous Juris Doctor and MBA degrees from Harvard. Mitt Romney is one of them. But he has always liked the toughest challenges. He first made a name for himself as the brilliant turnaround miracle worker from Bain Capital. And he's the one who turned the debt-ridden, scandal-plagued 2002 Olympics into a marvelous success.

Now he is campaigning to be our next president. He is a staunch advocate of free market economics and a devoted husband and father who believes in traditional values. Can he win? Will voters give him the chance to apply his management proficiency to our federal government?

Authors Lisa Ray Turner and Kimberly Field examine Mitt Romney as a man of incredible ability and driving energy. They examine his history, his policies, his alleged flip-flopping, and particularly the controversy surrounding his religion. As a team, they offer a unique perspective on this last issue: Lisa is LDS (Mormon), and Kim is an evangelical Christian. You’ll find their insights fascinating.

"As a Democrat, I haven't made up my mind yet about the 2008 election - but I do think it's time people got over their prejudices and found out who Mitt Romney really is. Turner and Field's book deals candidly with all the tough questions, and gives you full information so you can make up your own mind. That's something we aren't getting from the national media."—Orson Scott Card, award-winning author of The Ender's Game series

Feel free to check out the Mapletree Publishing Website:

Note to Mitt Bloggers & the Media:If you would like a review copy of this book - please email me at ... (I am the Publicist for Mapletree). Please feel free to share your reviews and thoughts about the book via your blog(s) and/or websites.

Thank you.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I was driving along this weekend and a great, new song by James Blunt came on the radio. The tune to this song is ultra catchy and I’ve been humming/singing it all weekend.
... Singing here we go again

Do you want this song stuck in your head too? OK click on the link below and sing along …. (1973 begins playing soon after you enter this site).

PS: I think I like this so much b/c it’s the year I was born … That and the song is fantastic!

Cheers to 1973 ladies and gentlemen!

Below are a few fun facts from that year:
#1 Song: “You’re So Vain” … Carly Simon
Popular Movies: Paper Moon, The Last Tango in Paris,
The Sound of Music (reissue) and American Graffiti
Most popular fiction book: "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" ... Richard Bach. (Macmillan)
Most popular nonfiction book: "The Living Bible" ... Kenneth Taylor.
(Doubleday and Tyndale House)
Most popular Television Show: All in the Family (CBS)

"Johnathan Livingston Seagull" -If you have not read this book (please read it)!!
You can read the entire book via this site:
An exceprt from the book that made Richard Bach ultra famous -
And though he tried to look properly severe for his students, Fletcher Seagull suddenly saw them all as they really were, just for a moment, and he more than liked, he loved what he saw. No limits, Jonathan? he thought, and he smiled.
His race to learn had begun.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Do what you love -

I have this little book called: "What I know for Sure" and it's a collection of columns Oprah wrote for her O Magazine. I absolutely love this little book. It is so inspiring, motivating and thought provoking.... (How could it not be? We're talking about Oprah here).

Anyhow as I dashed out the door this afternoon to run my son to soccer practice, I grabbed this little treasure. It has been a while since I've had time to just get lost in the pages of a book. For me, reading is like taking a vacation! I put a blanket on the grass, let my kids play at the park and just devoured every word. By the time soccer was over, I had finished reading every word of Oprah's collection. I felt totally rejuvenated!

Page 39 was one of my favorite sections - (Below is an excerpt)

Ignoring your passion is like dying a slow death. Your life is speaking to you every day, all the time - and your job is to listen up and find the clues. Passion whispers to you through your feelings, beckoning you toward your highest good. Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, stimulated - what gives you your juice. Do what you love, give it back in the form of service, and you will do more than just succeed. You will triumph.

Cheers to LIVING a life of PASSION and PURPOSE!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Riding with Joann"
A sitcom - inspired by LIFE!

I do a lot of mailing at this mail stop around the corner. Special thanks to Warren for always being there to help me with the packages! Over the past six months, I’ve been in that mail place at least 25 times to ship CDs, books and other ‘dreams in the makings.’ One day, I was in there to mail off my film treatment to California – so it could get an official Writer’s Guild of the West number assigned to it. As usual, he asked, “What are you up to now?” And as usual I said, “Just chasing down my dreams!”

I was in the mail center today and he asked if my sitcom was being produced. I told him no and asked why he was wondering. He told me heard about a new sitcom on ABC called: “Carpoolers” and hoped it was mine! (For the record: It's not my sitcom).

The working title of the sitcom I wrote is: “Riding with Joann” – the idea was based on true events from my life. When my husband and I were first married, we only had one car. This very nice, kind lady offered to take me to work everyday. Her name is Joann and we carpooled for about a year. I learned a great deal from her and our daily commute!

My sitcom is clean, funny and suitable for audiences looking for good, inspiring, uplifting entertainment (packaged in sitcom form). If you know of a producer who might be interested, please send him/her my way!

The pilot episode is ready to roll … Let me know if you need a film treatment. It’s registered with the WGA (Writers Guild of America, West).

Cheers to our little moments that inspire bigger ones!!!
And to the daily ‘commute’ with its ever changing scenery, challenges and humor ...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Take time for YOU ...

Earlier this year, I was asked to teach a class on raising emotionally healthy children. This was a really great exprience and it caused me to to do some deep thinking and reflection on the importance of our individual emotional needs.

Below are a few of the points I shared:

It’s important that we KNOW ourselves and respect ourselves enough to maintain our ‘emotional foundation’. That way, we have a base to pull from in order to maintain the NEEDS of our children.

Each family unit (no matter how big or small) has NEEDS. And they are like the weather- always changing and not at all predictable! It's important to regulate our own emotions and needs so that we can deal with the emotional storms that arise from day to day.

The following quote helps us realize the importance of needs -
To reach his/her full potential, a person’s physical, mental, emotional,
social and spiritual needs must be met.
There is one word in that sentence that jumps out at me. Hopefully it jumps out at you too … it’s the word MUST. In order to reach our full potential, certain NEEDS MUST be met. And emotional stability can be achieved as we meet the needs in the above mentioned areas.

Take a moment now and write down three things you do each day to nurture your own emotional needs. Here’s some examples:

1. Call a friend and talk (social/emotional need).
2. Get outdoors - walk by the river or take a jog (physical need).
3. Say a prayer during the day or read something uplifting (spiritual).

The important thing about that activity, is identifying what needs are not being met and then finding a way to create ways to meet the needs. If this requires the help of another person – please don’t be afraid to ask for their support. Such as your husband, friend or children – kindly encourage them to add a degree of love to your life … maybe by listening, giving you a hug or taking a walk with you. We have families so that we can build emotional security. If you are out of the habit of caring for your own needs/emotions – make it a goal to create time for you. (Even if it is just 5 minutes a day)

As we care for our needs (which often requires those around us) we are better able
to raise emotinally healthy children.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Let your clarity define you ..."
~ Rob Thomas
(Lyrics from "Little Wonder")
Paper Airplanes ...
There is something very appealing about paper and things we can do with it! I have been fascinated by the art of origami for a long time. I love it when a person can grab a piece of paper and turn it into something magical in a manner of moments. It's a great talent!
I've mastered the jumping frog - it's a big hit with the kids!
Recently, I've been trying to find a good paper airplane folding recipe ...
I bumped into a website called: and found the below
instructions for folding a Deltry paper airplane!
Let me know if it works for you :) ...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is for ...
{Fanny pack (n.) - a horrible fashion faux pa}

Warning! If you are wearing a fanny pack, own a fanny pack, collect fanny packs or happen to adore fanny packs - you won't like this blog entry.

I have nothing against people who choose to wear fanny packs. I believe you can't help it and have been abducted by 'fanny pack aliens' who brain washed you into wearing one. I don't know how they got here - the aliens or fanny packs, but they are here. Gasp!

Just recently, I read an article in the paper about how these horrible little things are coming back into style. Why? Please someone tell me - why?

Other names for fanny pack: "belt pack", "hip pack", "junkie pack", "body wallet" and "the pouch"

Whatever name it goes by, a fanny pack is still a fanny pack. Here's what I have to say to one the next time we meet:

"Farwell you sad, little pouch - go back to fanny pack planet."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Take a Front Row Seat ...

Check out the Ralph Lauren 2008 Spring Fashion Show. Simply click on the link below:

PS -A few of the dresses/outfits reminded me of Audrey Hepburn and scenes from: "My Fair Lady." I kept expecting Professor Henry Higgens to take a turn on the runway shouting: "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain."

Cheers to Ralph Lauren! And his style that never goes out of style...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Remember …

I love seeing all the flags out today. Six years ago our world changed ...
and it’s nice to see that we have not forgotten that tragic day and the lives that were lost.
To me, today serves as a reminder of how precious life is, how fragil freedom is
And that there are evil people in the world.

Take a moment today and say a prayer for America (and the world),
for freedom, for peace, for life, for our soldiers and for healing…

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Great hair in 4.2 minutes!

Have you seen the Suave Advertisement with the picture of a woman
wearing dirty dishes on her head? It's attention grabbing ..
The copy says:
The average mom devotes 87.9 minutes a day to meals and
only 4.2 minutes to her hair.
Hmmmmmmm ....
I decided I needed a faster, easier hair style (so I could make the most out of
my 4.2 minutes of hair time!! :)
Cheers to sassy, short, savvy hair!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

"Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten."
~James Russell Lowell

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An object regarded as having magical power
Just in case you wanted to know: A big part of publicity work involves research.
I spend a great deal of time checking things out online and researching the market
before I ever make a pitch. And tonight as I was clicking around,
all I could think about was ice cream.

I really need some! (To keep me awake and full of pep :)) ...

MMMM what shall I fill the sugar cone with?
-Mint Chocolate Chip-
PS - Check out the site below ...
(You can make ice cream in a bag!!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Did you know that more than 130 countries around the world have a legally required minimum vacation time (3-5 weeks per year?) And did you know that employees in America are lucky to get two weeks per year? That’s a thought to ponder …

Fast fact: In 2005, U.S. workers collectively turned down 1.6 million years of vacation time to which they were entitled. (Associated Press “Labor your days away: U.S. workers aren’t holiday takers”)
The article also said: Every one who has sacrificed work time to enjoy more vacation
said they were delighted with the choice. Those who put their career first and
didn't dare take vacation have bitter regrets.
Hmmmm - I guess we better use our vacation time and enjoy a few moments away from
the office!! Make a goal to take a trip and use your vacation time (before it slips away).

I really want to take a cruise to Alaska, spend a weekend in Vegas or sip lemonade in Hawaii ....
What are you doing with your vacation days? :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Down Came the Blackbird ...

We have a little collection of Nursery Rhymes that we read at night (to our daughter) ... My favorite one to read is "Sing-a-Song of Sixpence" The drama factor with this one is second to none! Try it out loud if you'd like - (read with expression and passion) I add an English accent just for the fun of it!

"The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes;
Down, Down, Down DOWN came the blackbird and pecked off her NOSE!"

What is my daughter doing while I read this? She's hiding under her blankets to protect her nose from the pesky blackbird (that happens to be my hand) and she's laughing until she can hardly breathe.

Sometimes just to spice the story up I'll change the word nose to toes ....
Cheers to the stories that linger from one generation to another!

How does your nursery rhyme go??? .... :)