Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday mornings in Kindergarten ...

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child....~ Forest Witcraft

I have had the awesome privilege of helping in my daughter’s kindergarten class every Thursday for the past school year. Today was an extra special time in the class! I don’t know if it was because we’ll only have one more time together next week or if it’s because we’re all friends and look forward to our 45 minutes together on Thursdays … Maybe it was a combination of both?

We talked about the letters CH and how together they make the CH sound … the kids drew pictures of cherries, cheese and chocolate. We talked about how much we liked all of those foods and our favorite kinds of chocolate.

Tonight is the Kindergarten musical and all the kids were giddy with excitement for the upcoming performance!

“Miss Wendy, will you be there to watch us?” Many of them asked.
“Yes! I’ll be in the front row – wouldn’t miss it for anything” was my reply!

Our time ended and it was time to line up for recess. One by one the kids hug me and tell me they can’t wait for for the program tonight and our time together again next Thursday…
I was teary as I left the school. Only one more week and its summer – I will truly miss my Thursday mornings in Kindergarten.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

{Wednesday Movie Moment}

Two Weeks Notice

... she's rather like the building she loves so much. A little rough around the edges but, when you look closely, absolutely beautiful. And the only one of her kind. And even though I've said cruel things and driven her away, she's become the voice in my head. And I can't seem to drown her out. And I don't want to drown her out. ~George Wade
(Watch the clip by simply clicking on the Two Weeks Notice text above)

Ahhh the power of a love letter ...! :) This one gets me every time.
Don't you love how movies capture our hearts and leave such lasting impressions?
Me too ...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A weekend escape to the mountains...!

My husband and I celebrated our 16 year anniversary last weekend - Ohh la la!
It was the perfect trip :) We were surrounded by gorgeous Mountains, flea markets, yummy food and antique shops galore! Special thanks to my romantic guy for the weekend escape!
Loved checking out all the cool vintage shops!
Just had to snap a photo of this huge bowl of lemons. We stopped along the highway to check out a giant flea market - There were food vendors sprinkled throughout the town and it was so fun to get lost in the crowd and busy flow of people!

I fell in love with this antique set of rose china - oh it was gorgeous!

We were driving along the highway and stopped to capture Mt. Rainer on film! I love mountains and find them so inspiring and full of WOW! We were blessed with splendid weather - couldn't believe how perfect it was!!

We made a visit to the Mt. St. Helens monument and looked in awe at the mighty mountain that 29 years ago caused all sorts of havoc in our state! From this sign, there was a great view of Mt. St. Helens :) My photo didn't turn out so well of that mountain but I did get this sign :)!!

Check out that vintage bike - LOVE it. I think old stuff is so charming and romantic ...

Grabbed a peach Italian Soda at the flea market... :) Yum!! PS: Found some cool, old stuff at bargain prices!
Note to self: Take time to spend time with the ones you love! It enriches the relationship, creates lasting memories and most of all - REMINDS us that time together doing the things we LOVE adds value to the journey of life!! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do what it takes to make your DREAMS REAL!

Have you ever had a day or a moment that quietly whispered to you? Maybe the day shouted at you or just gently talked… I had one of those yesterday. The day told me much about my past and my present.And it came in a song!

Let me set the stage: My husband and I were invited to be guests on a local radio show. It went really well – I talked about my “Little Moments” book and my husband sang songs from his CD. The last song he performed was the title track: “Wiggle Like a Fish” … the lyrics go: You gotta wiggle like a fish, slither like a snake, turn yourself around – DO WHAT IT TAKES.

That “do what it takes” struck me as I stood in that little studio room listening to him sing! My mind flashed back to when I first dared to write the pages of my book (2003). I had a new baby, and two little boys. I wrote late at night and early in the morning. The words and ideas just kept coming and I knew I had to do something with them. I didn’t know anything about the publishing world or how to even get a book made. Eventually, I found a way to cut and bind a few copies and was putting them together for Christmas. While picking up the newly bound handmade books, I bumped into a lady I had met a couple of months earlier while visiting her gift shop – Wild Goose Designs. To my surprise, she remembered me and asked what I was doing at Staples on Christmas Eve. I told her I was picking up my books.

She stopped and said: “I didn’t know you were an Author!” I told her I didn’t know I was either!

She then invited me to do a book signing at her shop on Valentine’s Day. This propelled me into the next stage – making lots of books! I found a local copy shop that would print and cut them. I handmade all the covers and took them to be bound. (Lots of steps involved).

The book signing was a riot! And at one point, the handmade book ended up in 4 shops around town. I found myself doing more book signings and enjoyed radio and TV interviews. I then tried to find a publishing house to pick up the manuscript. For the record: It has been rejected by 4 thus far.

But during that search, I was hired by one of the publishing houses to be their Literary Publicist. I did that for 3 years. And as I was learning and growing in the publishing world, I thought it would be fun to do something with my husband’s singing talent. And we started Wiggle Like a Fish! And all of that flashed through my mind as my husband sang his “Wiggle” song and I couldn’t help but think … “WOW! Look what has happened and who we have become in the last 5 years!”

I share the above story to simply say that when we choose to dream and take the steps necessary to make the dream REAL, our lives change and before we know it, we are no longer the person we used to be. We find ourselves in an entire new space in life and the doors that are opening are open because we dared to dream and do! We dared to push down the fear barriers and continued to walk into the unknown. We dared to DO WHAT IT TAKES. And if necessary – turn ourselves around to get where it is we want to be.

My ultimate goal when I first wrote the book was to have it published. I thought that would be the best thing to happen. But this adventure continues to teach me that there is NOT just ONE final outcome or destination for our dreams.

I am continually reminded that EVERY STEP of the Journey – IS the journey! And yesterday was just a little reminder that the little moments matter – because what we choose to do with our time ultimately decides who we will become…

A Morning Show Moment :)

Good Morning!
Talking about: "It's the Little Moments that Matter" on the Mix Morning Show

Doug Daniels (Morning Show Host)
with Tory and Wendy Christensen

We had such a great time talking and singing LIVE on the Mix Morning Show!
Thanks to everyone for tuning in ....

PS: If you ever encounter the grumpies - simply stop what you are doing and shout -

Peace. Love. Llamas!

My oldest son, Kade, ran for Vice President of his Middle School. I enjoyed being a part of his campaign and watching all the effort and time that went into running for this position!
My favorite part of the entire process was the night he read me his speech. He told a story about a llama that went to middle school and didn't fit in. He ended it with a very sweet statement about reaching out to all kids at his middle school and his desire for everyone to have a friend and a positive middle school experience! He had my vote :)....

It was fun to be part of his excitement when he received the - Congratulations! You won! phone call.

PS: I love you Kade - Keep sharing the peace and love - I know you will be a GREAT V.P. at your school.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Catch us LIVE on KONA / 105.3 FM ---!

Tory and Wendy Christensen

Catch us LIVE on the Doug and Denise Daniels Morning Show!
Wednesday, May 20th - 2009
8:15 AM
KONA 105.3 FM
We'll be talking about the "Little Moments that Matter"
And "Wiggle Like a Fish"

PS: There will be singing! :)
Tune in and be part of the FUN!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

TOP 3 Reasons to make YOU a priority!

Hi ... That's me - on my way out for a bike ride! :)

A day is 24 hours. An hour is 60 minutes. There are 60 seconds in a minute. Tick tock… Tick tock – Hear that? Time is marching on!

I find it absolutely amazing how much we can fit into a day, an hour and even a minute! When was the last time you did something JUST FOR YOURSELF?! Today: Create 5 minutes (or more) just for YOU! Choose something you love to do and do it!

TOP 3 Reasons to make YOU a priority -

1. You’ll discover or rediscover the inner greatness of you.
Sometimes we lose that when we get too busy.
2. You’ll be rejuvenated by the time you had just for you.
Energy will flow through you as you make yourself a priority!
3. You’ll prioritize your time differently as you will realize the importance
of having time to do the things that matter to you.

Added bonus: The people around you will notice the skip/hop in your step because of who you are becoming just by making yourself a priority!

Take FIVE and enjoy being ALIVE!

PS: I posted two items today: See my 'FIVE Minutes of blogger FUN' below ....

And I think to myself: WOW!

"Be authentically YOU!" ... Lauren, Kade, Wendy and Kaleb

Lauren - My Ladybug! Photo Moment: Mother's Day Tea party!
Presented by Lauren's Kindergarten Class ....

Lauren - My Princess, my friend, my only daughter! :)

Kaleb - My baseball star, my Curious George, my funny kid!

Mother's Day Card by my son, Kade - 2009.
Kade - My Dreamer, my Artist, my Soccer Star!

I thank Heavenly Father everyday for blessing me with 3 wonderful kids who call me MOM!

Friday, May 08, 2009

I hope you dance ...

Morrie Schwartz and Mitch Albom

There are certain moments in life that leave more of an impression than others do. I really believe this has to do with where we are (emotionally, physically and spiritually) at the time the moment happens and the state of our soul when the event occurs. There are times when a quote, a talk, a smile, a hug, a kind word, or a page from a book hit me in such a way – I can hardly believe I was fortunate enough to bump into it!

The lasting moments linger with us because we connect with them in an emotional way. Our life collides with the external event and becomes etched on our heart forever!

When these times happen, I usually write them down as a way to preserve them so I can use it again for another day in the future. Do you do that too? I suspect the answer is yes and that is why blogging is so powerful and important. We use our entries to collect, share and preserve the things that matter to us!

Today, I bumped into one of my favorite books and just seeing the title of it made me smile and remember the first time I read it! The book is “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. I read this book at a time when my heart/soul really needed it. It was as if Morrie was talking directly to me.

There is a chapter in the book called – The Thirteenth Tuesday We Talk about the Perfect Day
Mitch Albom asks Morrie how he would spend ONE day if he were perfectly healthy. The answer is so beautiful and simple. And just typing about it brings tears to my eyes! His answer was:

“Let’s see … I’d get up in the morning, do my exercises, have a lovely breakfast of sweet rolls and tea, go for a swim, then have my friends come over for a nice lunch. I’d have them come one or two at a time so we could talk about their families, their issues, talk about how much we mean to each other.“Then I’d go for a walk in the garden with some trees, watch their colors, watch the birds, take in the nature that I haven’t seen in so long now.

“In the evening, we’d all go together to a restaurant with some great pasta, maybe some duck – I love duck – and then we’d dance the rest of the night. I’d dance with all the wonderful dance partners out there, until I was exhausted. And then I’d go home and have a deep, wonderful sleep.”*

Mitch Albom then asks – “That’s it?”
I love how this book flows. The next Tuesday, they said good bye. And Morrie passed away….

There are so many things we take for granted – like walking outside, having lunch with a friend, going swimming or dancing.

Last weekend, I was able to attend the Washington State PTA Convention in Seattle, WA and as part of the event they had a big banquet (complete with a DJ, dance floor and dancing)!

I couldn’t get Morrie’s “Perfect Day” out of my mind and as soon as the music started, I hit the dance floor. It was wonderful – I danced all night – like no one was watching!

It felt so good and I realized as I let myself get lost in the music and the crowd how lucky I am (you too) for each new day to - live, love, learn, dream, and dance! Thank heavens for the moments/words/people and books that stay etched on our hearts ! And for the opportunity we have to create 'perfect days'! :)

PS: If you get the chance to sit it out or dance – I hope you dance!

*Excerpt from "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom, page 171.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Happy Tip #1 ...

{Plant Flowers in your yard ...}

Commentary: Yesterday, my daughter and I spent the afternoon together!
First, we had lunch (we sat on big high chairs, sipped on water and talked about our day).
Next, we spent an hour in the flower section picking out flowers for the yard.
Then, we came home and got our hands totally dirty with the dirt of the Earth ...
Just after we started to plant, the rains came pouring down - that didn't stop us!

Finally when we were soaking wet and the flowers were safely 'tucked in' ...
We dashed inside to dry off.

Cost of the flowers = $45.00
Memories created = Priceless!

PS: Be one who creates happiness!