Sunday, November 30, 2008

The night before Thanksgiving ...

Lauren's welcome sign greeted guests at the door ...

We made centerpieces for the tables ...

We enjoyed fun with family ... (That's my sister Katie with her little Lia and my brother Robby)

The house was perfect for a party :) ...

We played a very crazy game called: Wackee Six - Fast hands are a big help with this game!

Kade the darts champ :)!!

So much to be thankful for - it was a wonderful night :)

Thanksgiving Eve Party 2008 ... We'll do it again next year!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

{For the love of PIE}

That's my sister Katie giving me a lesson on how to make her yummy potato rolls...
Yup ... I'm going to get this bread making skill down :)!!

Future Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecake.

Wendy, Mom, Erica and Katie
{Pie Queens}

Kaleb and my Dad
With a future pumpkin pie ...! :)

Up Next:
Thanksgiving EVE Party
(My house every year)!!!
Starts at 6 PM
***Tune in for more exciting adventures***

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Twilight" was a great movie! We waited in line for an hour and I couldn't believe the number of people that came out to support/see this movie! The energy (in line) was incredible and I enjoyed the style of this show. The leading man (who is a vampire) has so much inner conflict - do I bite, do I love, do I tell her what I am, do I ...?! Poor thing! I think that's what makes love stories so appealing ... that inner conflict. All the famous love stories have it. Conflict. (Say that outloud - CONFLICT).

I've been bitten by the "Twilight" hype and am going to start reading the books!
Cheers to Stephenie Meyer for writing such a captivating story :) ....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Night Live :) ....

Brought to you by my lovely, red Gateway laptop
Filmed on location.
The Events are real and so am I :)

OH - I'm not a vampire.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Rainbow Connection

{The Rainbow Connection}
Graduation program ... A ceremony like no other.
The teachers and staff in a row outside the auditorium - Cheering for you Liz!

"The Rainbow Connection"
Tory Christensen - vocals/guitar
Kurt Gustufson - Bass

Reception ...
Reflections on a memorable day ----
My husband is a high school counselor. He has been for the last decade. I’ve been amazed over the past 10 years at how many kids he has helped and lives he has touched. I can remember one Halloween he called me from work and told me we would have guests for dinner and for trick-or-treating. It was fun to meet the kids he brought home (a freshman and his little brother) who had just been placed in a foster home and were struggling to make sense of their lives. When the night was over, we packed them an overnight bag – toothbrushes, shampoo, and other things they might need. We hoped that dinner and trick-or-treating and a new toothbrush might make their night a little better. After they left, we said a prayer for them - we say our prayers often for kids at high school.

Our prayers lately have been for a senior named Liz. She is dying of cancer and is not expected to live much longer. I don’t know her personally but have been touched by her courage, positive attitude and passion for life!

Yesterday was her graduation ceremony from high school. The school held a special ceremony just for her. I’ve attended many graduations and this was like no other. I cried really hard – I think everyone there cried. It was an event I’ll never forget. 650 people packed into the high school auditorium full of friends, family, teachers, students and members of the community. It was a very touching celebration.

She asked my husband to sing as part of the event. He surprised her with - “The Rainbow Connection” I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. … Someday we’ll find it the rainbow connection the lovers the dreamers and me.

Liz, thanks for being so brave and for living your life with such courage and grace. I don’t know you personally but I will never forget you. You left your footprints on my heart.
Thanks for being a beautiful rainbow ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Being green ...

I love Kermit the Frog ... This song always reminds me to love my authentic color/style! Cheers to being green ... :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

{The Fall Fiesta ...}
Trace, glue, cut --- watch out world! Something beautiful is being created :)
A tree by Lauren and Wendy ...

Leaf Science ...

Look Mom ... My leaf! :)

Lauren wearing her leaf crown!
She is the Princess of our forest :) ...

On Friday morning, I was able to attend my daughter's Fall Fiesta ... We made a craft, enjoyed some munchies and toured her classroom. The entire class sang songs for the parents and celebrated fall. Special thanks to her teacher for doing such an amazing job with a classroom of growing, inquisitive and active kids! :)
Cheers to the leaf ...!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

{Blowing in the Wind}

Last week I stopped to capture this gorgeous tree on film ... I'm so glad I did because all the leaves have fallen and are now blowing in the wild wind!
Wooosh - there they go!! :)
Cheers to windy days in November

Monday, November 10, 2008

{The WRITE Stuff}

Band of Writers ... Book Beginnings Writer's Group!
At the end of summer, I started a writer's group by posting up an invite on Craigs list ... I found some really fun ladies who wanted to join a group of writers. We meet once a month and share our stuff. It's been so motivating and helpful to have a writing deadline and audience. We've got some great stuff flying off the pages! My latest writing project is inspirational/gift and I'm really excited to get it finished and off to a potential publishing house.
Cheers to writing ... If you'd like more info on how to start your own book beginning group (it's easy and fun) - let me know! We are finding that 6 members is a good managable number. Feel free to visit the author beginning blog for author interviews and writing inspiration:
If you do start a writing group - please let me know and we'll hook you into our website! I'd love to see the book beginnings groups start up all over!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pencil drawing by my son - Kade
"Carry On my artistic son ..."

Colored pencil drawing by Kade ... 11/2008
A rooster standing in a shoe - very creative!

Pencil drawing by my son Kaleb - 11/2008
I love this bird's eye ... :)
Kade and Kaleb - I love you!
I hope you never stop sharing your art and talents with the world ...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

{Reflecting on Change}
Old Mr. Webster: 1. to make different in form 2. to transform

I found myself sitting in church on Sunday listening to many people talk and comment on the changes in the world, in their lives and in us as a people. And since then, I’ve had some time to reflect on the realness of change.

First of all, it’s amazing to me how constant change is. If you look around, everything is changing. Our clothes, our technology, our words, our knowledge, our rights, our freedoms, our hair styles, our toys, our seasons, our tolerance, our fears, and our lines of acceptance.

Second, some changes we don’t really see because they gradually happen. For example – As the years go by, our bodies change and become older. Smile lines appear, wrinkles jump out and our once 20 year old figure is now 40. My girlfriend and I have a tradition of taking each other out to lunch to celebrate our birthdays. This year, we laughed about the beautiful smile lines that decorated our eyes and how they were non -existent 20 years ago when we first met. We both agreed that they added life and history to our lives. Thank heavens for the lines and the experiences that put them there. They help tell us and others where we have been …

Third, there are other changes that occur and they are not as beautiful. I think of people who find themselves addicted to substances and harmful habits that bring them down and make them slaves to the external forces around them. I feel sad for people who choose to anchor themselves to habits of abuse such as drug use, pornography, violence and other harmful behaviors and habits. These changes are real and hurt not only the user but those around them as well. This transformation usually leads to a dark, long staircase winding down to a basement of sadness and often tragedy.

Fourth, change is a choice. Regardless of where a person is, they can always choose to change the path they are on. There are programs and people to help those who may be on a slippery and scary road laced with drugs and abuse. There are hands reaching up and hands reaching down. The choice is to hold on or let go. I remember a time when I had to change. I was 15 years old and my older brother had just died in a car accident. I was overcome with grief and anger. Why did he die? I wanted answers and I wanted him to come back. Over time, I learned to deal with his death and decided not to be angry with God anymore for what had happened. I decided to improve my relationship with our Heavenly Father and with His help, I learned to accept my brother’s death and was able to find a place of peace and love for all the memories and good times we shared while he was alive.
With every change, we have a choice! And that to me is powerful.

Finally, change is not going to change. Thank heavens because we wouldn’t learn grow and become without it. I think a new wrinkle just appeared by my left eye… Yup, it's there from change!

Ahhhh cheers to the power of transformation.

Monday, November 03, 2008

1. Kade, Kaleb, Lauren and Tory

2. My daughter singing at the top of her voice ... "I love you Mom"

3. Magazines (latest find: Domino: The Guide to Living with Style)

4. Sappy love stories, movies, letters - I'm a hopeless romantic.

5. Prayers (said out loud)

6. Antique shops (especially ones with old hats)

7. Writing and reading ... Books add so much flavor to life!

8. Inspirational books (A few favorites: The Power of Positive Thinking, It's Never Too Late, Tuesdays with Morrie and Life's Little Instruction Book)

9. Singing - "la la la la live for today!"

10. Finding an old piece of furniture and giving it a new style (I love to restore and restyle stuff)

What makes you happy?!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

... On Halloween Night
We posed for a ghoulish shot at the Uptown Shopping Center festivities.

A little 'catty' fun with my spooksters in the back seat :) ...

Another pose. Yup that's a very buffed SpiderMAN :) ... My son, Kaleb, is the scary pig!!

Another smile for the camera -- Wendy AKA: Cat Woman and Lauren AKA: Wonder Woman - :)

Kade and Lauren at the Uptown trick-or-treat fun ...

Kade and our friend Jack ... what exactly is in that big, black bag??!

...OH it all happened and much more - On Halloween Night!
{Pumpkins by The Christensens}

Beautiful ... Nothing like a bin of potential jack-o-lantern faces at the grocery store! :)
Pumpkin #1 - got it!

Carving the 'love pumpkin' ...

Tory helped Lauren make a very happy face on hers.

Kade and Kaleb working ...

Pumpkin art ... (by us)
Halloween Eve 2008