Thursday, October 1, 2009

October :)

New month, new stuff going on. I've started a blog for 8pizza (and we are having contests & giveaways all the time so check it out)! Princess is done with swimming lessons and is going to the casting class for her dance studio's annual Christmas program tomorrow. Flu shots will be complete this week (just the regular ones folks, no need to panic) and October is jam-packed with great things like:

* My friend Michelin is having her twice a year Ladies Night Out at her bookstore (which happens to be where we hold our writing group) on Saturday the 3rd from 4-7!

* Next Thursday I head off to the Northwest women's American Night Writers Association retreat at Silver Lake! And I've been asked to do a writing exercise presentation! There are still spots available, so let me know if you want to come! It's very reasonably priced and we have a great time. Changed my life last year!

* My husband gets Columbus Day off :)

* Thursday the 15th, I am hosting an Arbonne party with Nicole, with the proceeds going to the orphanage that Michelle's little girls live: Hope for Little Angels of Haiti--so please let me know if you'd like to attend or order so I can get you an invite! Michelle will be headed to Haiti to see Destina and Avrie the very next day, but said she should be able to come! Nicole has also said that any party booked from this one will be able to do the same thing--donate the proceeds to the orphanage!

Other than that, we are just busy. Princess is reading more words each day and Bear is speaking in these amazing, complete sentences. They are tall and healthy and happy, and I am grateful.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Life is busy. You probably knew that, but lately I'm remembering a lot of things I already knew but had been too busy to know that I knew. Like that life is busy, and that it's okay. I am making no more blogging promises, because life is busy and I like it that way and I can't guarantee that I'll post more :)

September has been full! I'm working fast and furious with 8pizza, and Princess is doing swimming lessons and dance classes. Bear is talking in complete sentences and it is wonderful to hear them play together. We have been attending a home school park day group on Fridays and the kids have adored that with our amazing Indian Summer weather.

"It has been said that the gate of history turns on small hinges, and so dopeople's lives. The choices we make determine our destiny."- Thomas S. Monson

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The trip was great, photos will be forthcoming. Bear's 2nd birthday party was last week and we had a fun time, even if the numbers were sparse. Princess is having a princess party the end of August, and we are busy preparing for that. I'm eBaying and writing a little (mostly with Amanda's encouragement), and cleaning house (literally and figuratively) and enjoying the sunshine!

I realize this is sort of a lame excuse for an update, but it's better than nothing, right? Right?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Winners for Days 7, 8 & 9!!! And my week so far...

Day 7 - Heather Justesen of Utah
Day 8 - Valerie Bongards of Germany
Day 9 - June Kirk of ?

Congratulations ladies! Lots of fun stuff being won these days :)

Ran some errands, caught a couple sales and picked up some great stuff from Craig-listers for inventory! Watch for hard-to-find toys of the prehistoric variety come Christmas-time!

Home. Had a headache and so I didn't get as much done as I hoped, but I ordered some great new baby & toddler girl dress sets for 8pizza, and chatted with Amanda a bunch. She challenged me to work out 40 minutes this week, and I did get myself together and exercise for 25 minutes! For dinner we had our own version of The Samoan with thinly sliced red onions and sadly, no provolone. We used a Boboli crust, which was fine, but their sauce packet was horrifying with this combo and we . . . won't be doing that again. Next time I will use a sweeter, spicier sauce. All in all it was good, but I now understand why the Flying Pie doesn't put onions on theirs!

Dropped off the stuff for The HFPE Summer Social invitations to the lady taking care of them, took Princess to dance class, picked up lunch and came home. Cleaned the kitchen, started the laundry. Prepped for dinner by making tuna salad and chopping toms and lettuce to add to it on our whole wheat tortillas for dinner, and slicing watermelon to eat with it. Tonight my husband has a meeting after I have a meeting, so I'm hoping the kids go to sleep quick and easy and I can get at least a 15 minute workout in!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Winners of DAy 5 & 6 and My Weekend!

Woohoo! Day 5 winner is Wendy Steed of Idaho and Day 6 winner--winner of MY gift certificate to 8pizza on eBay--is Gayle Oreluk of Illinois! Congratulations ladies!

Saturday was great! Spent the day travelling and visiting with my family and playing on the beach. I miss the beach so much! There just aren't huge stretches of easily accessible sandy beaches here. One of the few drawbacks of my current fair city!

Sunday has been nice! Gorgeous weather, nice dinner with my husband and kids after a spiritual day at church. Looking forward to a new week with lots to do and some fun stuff as well!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Winners of Day 3 & Day 4 and My Friday!

Okay! So I fell of the blog wagon yesterday. Sorry everyone.

Day 3--Debbie Lambson of Utah

Day 4--Gloria Lyons of Michigan

Woohoo! You ladies ROCK!

Cooler today. I planned to be home all day, but Craigslist called . . . Some transactions just don't go as well as you hope, and I ended up having to explain to Princess on the way home what the phrase "ripped off" means. Ah well.

We stopped at one yardsale too, and she got a transformer and I picked up a couple Gap boys shirts. They had a ton of baby clothes too, but they were all on a blanket on the ground (my absolute LEAST favorite way to peruse clothing), which still would not have deterred me except that their were fleas jumping all over the place! I could see them! I was creeped beyond belief! Needless to say, I said "no" to the stuffed animal requests and paid fast and high-tailed me kids to the car. Not to worry, the shirts I bought were on the other side of the yard, hanging on a rack, and owned by someone other than the baby clothing seller. Ew. Still feeling crawly.

Other than that, we had an Italian dinner, with more mini mozzarella ball excitement. I have these great olive tongs (mine are not as cute as those pictured), and I was using them for the cheese as they're just the right size. Baby Bear freaked out. He wanted the tongs. He wanted the tongs and the cheese. He did not want to eat the cheese with his fingers or with a fork, he wanted to eat the mini mozzarellas with the tongs. He climbed on the table and prostrated himself in his desire for the tongs. We gave him the tongs. He spent the next twenty minutes making us laugh into our napkins at the hilarity of this little kid trying to get the ball into the tongs, the tongs into his mouth, release the ball from the tongs and then attempting to extract the tongs (which were now sprung open) from his mouth and repeating the process.

Yay! Road trip tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Treasure Hunt Day Two Winner and My Wednesday

And the winner is . . .

Phyllis Lamken of Idaho!

Congratulations Phyllis!

Long, hot day today. Took Princess to dance class and mailed a few packages. Went to the massage therapist. As I was driving home I saw my friend Joan, walking. I picked her up and dropped her off at her massage appointment! That was funny.

These days I am mostly working on sorting out the new inventory I brought home from my trip--I've got some wonderful stuff and I can't wait to get it listed! Anything you're looking for? When do you start shopping for Fall clothes? There are lots of theories on this at the seller's board I am part of, but I thought I'd ask some "real" (non-seller) people :)

Princess spent the day adoring her new "pet" seahorse. She found a little plastic one she got last year and decided today it was her most favorite thing in the world. We even had to google what seahorses needed to be happy in their habitats . . . in case you wonder; sea sponges and shrimp to eat, stuff to curl their tails around, and stuff to hide behind. She spent hours today creating a habitat for it.

"Habitat" is one of her favorite words these days, and tonight at dinner we had some fresh mini mozzarella balls from Costco which concerned her because they were in a tub of liquid. Worried her until I told her that it was just what they needed to stay fresh and delicious. Then she says:

"Ah. So it's their habitat?"

"Sort of."

"That's great! I bet they are soooo happy in their little habitat! And we want them to be happy little mozzarella balls, right Mom?"

Right. I hate it when my midnight snacks are grumpy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Treasure Hunt Day One Winner and My Tuesday

And the Day One winner of our Summer Treasure Hunt is Terry Fleming! Congratulations, Terry!

It was a long, hot day, which we gratefully spent at home. Breakfast, snack time, lunch, snack time, naps (sadly not for mommy), snack time, dinner, playing in the mud in the back yard (and the baby tracking it in for Daddy to clean up), baths, stories, favorite things and bedtime. Nice.

I got most of the laundry done today, caught up from the trip. I am down to a pair of canvas shoes, the bath mats, one whites/lights load and a pair of my husband's black socks which can't go in with any of the previously mentioned items.

I did good on my Most Important Stuff, better than I have lately anyway. Drank 64 ounces of water. Wrote 100 words. Wrote in my journal. Made dinner (melon, steamed broccoli, mac & cheese with hot dogs--hey, it's better than McDonald's right?). Still have high hopes for a 15 minute work out (just cleaned up the living room, which is the most important indicator of whether I will exercise or not) and a few minutes a scripture study.

Yesterday I drove the new van, who's name is Ruby Kke (not a typo, pronounced Kiki), around doing errands yesterday and totally felt like the captain of my own starship :) I think it is going to work, and the novelty of the doors opening and closing by themselves has not worn off yet!

Got to talk to my sister at length, who is now engaged and trying to navigate the bizarre seas of planning weddings that involve masses of bits and pieces of families, and budgets, and what everyone else wants her to do and what she wants to do. She's so adorable about it and I'm so glad that she's mine :)

We'll be taking the car, who's name is Sky Blue Kke (even though it is really sort of dark turquoise) to my sister's this weekend and I am excited to see my hometown--it has been almost 9 months since I was there last and I miss seeing my family and my growing-up place.

More tomorrow. You know I really signed up for this contest to force myself to blog every single freaking day for a month, right? I'm hoping it will form a habit :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Yay! Check out the contest!

Okay, so I write, but my contribution to the contest created by Joyce has nothing to do with writing :) Check it out though and have some fun--there are some great things there! Additionally, if you post a comment under the contest entry on my blog, I'll give you free first class shipping on any one item from my eBay store during the month of June!

Just comment on the entry titled "Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig For Clues and Win!" and then shop at my store 8pizza on eBay during the month of June and one item ships free! After your purchase, request an invoice and tell me you want to use coupon code TREASURE! Logo is courtesy of my dear husband who whipped it up for me in time for the contest--thanks sweetheart! Sorry it's not a button--I haven't figured that out yet :)

In other news, I have started planning the kids' birthday parties for August, and working on a great theme for our church ladies' summer social this month. I promise to add info on our Night Writer's publication and an image of the cover too this week :) I had a great little trip with the kids over memorial day weekend, and in spite of having to purchase a new dryer and a new vehicle last month to replace our dead and dying ones, we are still planning to travel in July--want to see us and live in OR, WA, CA, ID, AZ or UT? Drop me a line! We might be able to swing it!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and Win!

Some friends and I have put together an exciting contest to kick off your summer! Beginning June 1st, we will be giving away a prize a day. That’s right: 30 days, 30 treasures! There should be something for everyone: romance, mystery, historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction; children’s picture books; a variety of non-fiction; and just to liven things up even more, we’ve included a few exciting non-book prizes: a free 30 page manuscript edit, for you aspiring authors out there; an eBay gift certificate; and a gift-certificate for a Vinyl Expressions Quote. How can you win one of these fabulous prizes? Follow the rules below:


You can send in an entry for each day’s prize, or only for those prizes that strike your fancy. The rules are simple:

(1) Go to the website or blog indicated for each day, find the answer to the question for that day, then email the answer with your name and mailing address to
(2) Please send a separate entry for each day and type the day you are entering in the subject line. (Such as: June Treasure Hunt, Day 1; June Treasure Hunt, Day 2, etc).
(3) Deadline for each day: Midnight PST
(4) The winner will be contacted and announced on the day following the deadline. You do not have to wait until the designated day to enter. You can start sending in your entries right now, or begin entering at any point along the way. And check back at (See June 13 for a link) each day between June 2nd-July 1st to read the names of the winners.
If you have any questions, feel free to email the organizer of this event, Joyce DiPastena at now…let the treasure hunt begin!

June 1
SPONSOR: Aubrey Mace
PRIZE: autographed copy of my new YA fiction book, My Fairy Grandmother.
QUESTION: What is the title of my upcoming book to be released Fall 2009?

June 2
SPONSOR: Rachel Rager
PRIZE: By Love or By Sea, romance, autographed copy
QUESTION: What question does the stranger ask Alice? (Hint: Read excerpt of By Love or By Sea on the “Reading Room” page.)

June 3
SPONSOR: Josi S. Kilpack
PRIZE: An autographed copy of culinary mystery Lemon Tart OR a pre-ordered copy of English Trifle (release date is August 2009)
QUESTION: How many original recipes are included in the culinary mystery, Lemon Tart? (Hint: click on “Lemon Tart” tab on website)

June 4
SPONSOR: Cindy R. Williams
PRIZE: Arizona Glyph Award Finalist: Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today Children’s snuggle, giggle picture book. Autographed by the author and the real Chase McKay.
QUESTION: What is the name of the dragon book Cindy is completing?

June 5
SPONSOR: Kersten Campbell
PRIZE: Autographed Copy of the Motherhood humor book: Confessions of a Completely (In)Sane Mother
QUESTION: What does the dog beg for when he escapes into the neighbor's house in the book Confessions of a Completely Insane Mother? (hint: if they click on the book they'll find the answer)

June 6
SPONSOR: Lara Niedemeyer
PRIZE: $20 gift certificate towards merchandise and shipping at my store—8pizza on eBay
QUESTION: What is the lowest priced item and what is the highest priced item listed in 8pizza’s store? (Hint: use the “Sort By” feature).

June 7
SPONSOR: Kathi Oram Peterson
PRIZE: Autographed copy of The Forgotten Warrior, YA Inspirational Time travelQuestion Who is Tarik?

June 8
SPONSOR: Donna Hatch
PRIZE: Autographed copy of paperback of the Regency Romance, The Stranger She Married
QUESTION: What is Cole accused of doing?
WEBSITE/BLOG: (Hint: read the excerpt under “Bookshelf” tab for The Stranger She Married)

June 9
SPONSOR: Diony George
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Torn Apart, a fictional novel based on a true story. "If it could happen to Alyson, it could happen to anyone..."
QUESTION: What TV station interviewed Diony about her book? (Hint watch video for the answer)

June 10
SPONSOR: Tina Scott
PRIZE: autographed copy of Coyote's Grand Adventure - children's picture book
QUESTION: What did Coyote always dream of doing? (Hint: Look under “Library” tab)WEBSITE/BLOG:

June 11
SPONSOR: Cindy Beck
PRIZE: Winner's choice of one of the following anthologies featuring Cindy's stories (autographed copy): My Dad is My Hero, Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors, or Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers.
QUESTION: What was the name of my horse? (Hint: You can find the answer by going to the website and clicking on the button marked "Books."

June 12
SPONSOR: Valerie Ipson
PRIZE: $15 gift certificate and free shipping for a Vinyl Expressions’ Vinyl Lettering quote (check out http:// for examples of prize)
QUESTION: What is Valerie’s personal writing quote? (Hint: see quotes in right sidebar under “OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF WRITERLY PEOPLE: Valerie’s “personal quote” means just that…her very own quote!)

June 13
SPONSOR: Joyce DiPastena
PRIZE: 2007 Whitney Award Finalist: Loyalty’s Web, medieval romance, autographed by author
QUESTION: What is HelĂ©ne’s prayer when Gunthar brushes her cheek with his thumb? (Hint: Click on “Excerpt” tab on website)

June 14
SPONSOR: Joan Sowards
PRIZE: LDS Word Puzzles
QUESTION: What is Bednar?

June 15
SPONSOR: Anne Bradshaw
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Please, No Zits! & Other Short Stories for LDS Youth, but non-LDS will enjoy it, too! - YA genre (12 upward)
QUESTION: What does author Jeffrey S. Savage say about Please, No Zits? (Hint: scroll down right sidebar on blog)

June 16
SPONSOR: Laurie LC Lewis
PRIZE: an autographed copy of
BOOK ONE of her Free Men and Dreamers series, Dark Sky at Dawn.
QUESTION: What current political situation has caused a verse of the Star Spangled Banner to be nearly forgotten? (Hint: click on “news” link on website)

June 17
SPONSOR: Jaimey Grant
PRIZE: FREE download of the eBook of your choice (Betrayal, Spellbound, Heartless, or Redemption)
QUESTION: What was the title of the very first Regency romance that Jaimey wrote from beginning to end? (Hint: Check out the post titled: "My Mind : What a Twisted Place to Live")WEBSITE/BLOG:

June 18
SPONSOR: Danyelle Ferguson
PRIZE: Free 30 page edit of your manuscript ($30 value)
QUESTION: How does Danyelle's business card describe her? (Hint: check right sidebar on blog)WEBSITE/BLOG:
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES: Danyelle says: “If they live in the USA, I will print their 30 pages, hand edit, then mail back. If they live outside the USA, I will edit the .doc file and email back.”

June 19
SPONSOR: Walnut Springs Press
PRIZE: I Can't Believe It's Food Storage by Crystal Godfrey (non-fiction)
QUESTION: What is the most recent new release listed on our blog? (Hint: check out post for April 13, 2009)

June 20
SPONSOR: Caroline Gregory and Shawnette Nielson
PRIZE: Puppy Stew, Children’s Picture book. Finalist for Foreward Book Of The Year award. (Note: If you would like an autographed copy, please note that in your entry).
QUESTION: “In order to stay warm, what do you wear underneath your shoes?” (Hint: look under the “Witchisms” tab on website)

June 21
SPONSOR: Marion Webb-De Sisto.
PRIZE: An autographed copy of her ground-breaking book, Crystal Skulls.
QUESTION: Does this book explore ancient crystal skulls or contemporary ones? (Hint: Take a look at “Books” in the main menu)

June 22
SPONSOR: Inglestone Publishing
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Counting the Cost by Liz Adair
QUESTION: What is the name of the main male character in Counting the Cost?WEBSITE/BLOG:

June 23
SPONSOR: Cecily Markland/Inglestone Publishing
PRIZE: Autographed copy of children’s picture book, If I Made a Bug, by Cecily Markland
QUESTION: Who is the illustrator of If I Made a Bug? (Hint: the “bookstore” tab)WEBSITE/BLOG:

June 24
SPONSOR'S NAME: . Jacquie Rogers
PRIZE: Faery Special Romances (YA novel)Autographed in USA, not autographed elsewhere.
QUESTION: Why does our family support Neurofibromatosis research? (Hint: Click on “Neurofibromatosis research” link and read Mercedes Rice’s story)

June 25
SPONSOR: Terry Deighton
PRIZE: Cup of Comfort for New Mothers (non-fiction, anthology)
QUESTION: Name any two titles from the Cup of Comfort series. (Hint: Look in the store.)WEBSITE/BLOG:
WINNER: June 26

SPONSOR: Leatherwood Press
PRIZE: Messiah: The Little-known Story of Handel’s Beloved Oratorio, by Tim Slover
QUESTION: Who was the art designer for Messiah: The Little Known Story of Handel’s Beloved Oratorio? (Hint: see post for May 15, 2009)

June 27
SPONSOR: Dawson Publishing
PRIZE: Copy of The No Cussing Club by McKay Hatch
QUESTION: How many members of the No Cussing Club are there to date

June 28
SPONSOR: Nicole Zoltack
PRIZE: Woman of Honor (fantasy romance ebook)
QUESTION: What color is Caelan's eyes?

June 29
SPONSOR: Sarah M. Eden
PRIZE: An autographed copy of the Sarah M. Eden Regency romance of your choice
QUESTION: "Name all 7 Jonquil brothers." (Hint: check out "The Jonquil Brothers Series" tab)WEBSITE/BLOG:

June 30
SPONSOR: Marsha Ward
PRIZE: LDStorymakers Writing Secrets
QUESTION: Who is Rulon? (Hint: Click on “Man from Shenandoah” under “Novels” link on website)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Today I am really enjoying the sunshine and blue skies. Princess and I sat on the front step and had lunch together and the smell of the spring air was dizzyingly wonderful. It's a smell I have always loved; heat, earth, growth. True intoxication at it's finest. It has been a day to stop and breathe it all in.

Our health insurance has an online wellness center that has a lot of little classes you can take. Last week they sent me an email reminding me that if I wanted to win a weekend getaway, I'd better get busy and finish my Stress Management Lifestyle Improvement Course pronto. I could use a weekend at a spa, let me tell you, so I've been doing a some here and there the last few days.

I am currently on Phase 2 Step 1, and yesterday it talked about how to assess your personal stress level and take a balanced approach to the everyday stress in your life. Paraphrased (this is what I wrote down and put up on my desk so I can memorize it):

1. Appraise
Does the situation threaten me OR does it provide and opportunity that could turn into something good?

2. Letting Go
Can I let go? Is the situation out of my control OR can I do something about it?

3. Be Rational
Is this a hassle or a HUGE EMERGENCY?

Going through these three steps whenever a person, place or thing begins to cause stress in your life seems like a lot of work, but it also seems as though it might actually help sort the daily wheat from the chaff and make my life easier.

The first instruction was really an interesting thing to me. I am great at reflecting back on something and realizing what a fabulous lesson it was; I am not as good at being grateful for a trial in the middle of it. I think I would like to be and so I am going to work on that. Cultivating flexibility and the talent of seeing a bigger picture and purpose in our mundane struggles makes good sense to me.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
~G. K. Chesterton

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My First EVER Blog Give Away!

Okay, I am Courtney's number five, so it's all here fault :) Here goes:

The first five people to respond to this post will receive something made by me. HOMEMADE!The item will be my choice made just for you!

Restrictions and Limitations:

1. I have complete creative freedom.
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It will be done within the next 6 months.
4. You have no clue what it will be.

It may be personalized note cards. I might bake something. I might not think of anything until 6 months from now...The catch? You must re-post this on your own blog and offer the same to 5 people who comment.

The first 5 people to leave a comment telling me they are in (and posting their favorite color), will win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift from me! Be sure to post a picture of what you get! Anyone past the 5th comment will be entered in a drawing for another item!

The quote below is an interesting one, and depending on how you see the world you can replace the first word with lots of things. I like Divine Providence myself :)

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast;
in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.

Monday, April 20, 2009

In spring there is a renewal of all things...

Including my determination to keep up with my blog :) So here's an update to get you started. Since December:

**The contest I entered on New Year's eve? I won first place and they've chosen a couple of the other submissions I sent in to publish as well. I am stunned. I am ecstatic. I am grateful. They'll be published in the Fall 2009 issue of Segullah. Segullah also invited me to join their staff as a member of the poetry board.

**I entered another poetry contest, a local one, with word coming about that next month probably. I'm not confident about it, but I loved the idea so much I had to send something in. The winners have their poem engraved on plaques and posted in a "poetry garden" on the grounds of the public library for a year and they and the honorable mentions get the poems places on the city buses!

**I entered ScriptFrenzy and am failing miserably at it so far.

**The kids are growing. The kids are amazing. Princess is getting ready to be popcorn in her spring dance recital. Bear loves to say "I'm a pirate: aarrrggghhh".

**I finally opened an actual eBay store front called 8pizza and am loving how much simpler it is to deal with than the onesie twosie stuff I have done for years! Here is the first of some very nifty promotions I'll have coming up: sign up for my store newsletter (one email every other week and the occasional spotlight email) and get $1 off your purchase! Sign up by going to my store site and finding the Store Newsletter sign up button on the left side half way down. Free local pick up for locals and lots of "best offer" items too--don't be afraid to haggle with me just because you know me!

**My husband is not attending school this quarter and we are stunned at the time we have to hang out as a family. It's cool :)

**Night Writers (the writing group I go to) is producing its first publication; a year book of sorts that will include writing of many genres from the ladies in the group. It will be finished this week, and we are having an publication reception this Saturday evening with readings by the authors, autographed copies of Night Writer's Ink and treats. If you're interested in coming, drop me a line and I'll tell you when and where!

**Facebook has sucked me in and takes up way too much of my time, but it's sure the heck fun.

**I have lots of travel planned for the summer, and I am so excited to get to see some of you! We'll be doing a six-state road trip as a family and the kids and I will be doing some flying on our own too. Raise your hand if you want postcards!

I missed the blog. It's good to be back.