Monday, December 20, 2010

And Another Thing... Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop


Midwinter's Eve is the longest night of the year so why not spend it entering some great book giveaways!?!
The is a quick hop that runs from 12:01 AM on Tuesday, December 21st to 11:59 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd. It is sponsored by I Am A reader, Not A Writer.

Each of the 125 participating blogs is hosting their own giveaway with their own entry requirements. All participating blogs are linked up through a Midwinter's Eve linky. After you have entered one giveaway hop to the next giveaway on the list.

Here on my blog I am giving away an autographed copy of my latest book, Family Home Evening Adventures. All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment on this post naming one of the chapter topics covered in Family Home Evening Adventures. Hint: you can read more about my book here.

Good luck in winning lots of fun things! And Merry Christmas!

One More Thing... Please Vote!

A few weeks back I entered a short story into LDS Publisher's 2010 Christmas Story Contest. Now that all of the stories are posted it is time for voting. I am not supposed to say which story is mine, but you can vote for two entries by unpublished authors and two entries by published authors. Plus, I am sending you all a telepathic message. If you aren't receiving it, something must be wrong with you ;-).

To vote, simply leave a comment that has the word "vote" in it. For complete voting instructions, click here.

Scripture of the Day: Matt. 1:18

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Break

I am taking the next two weeks off for the holidays. I hope all of you have a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year! Catch you in 2011!

Scripture of the Day: Luke 2:1-15

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Busy Week

Just a few quick notes on what is going on over here in my corner of the world. Mostly I have been swamped with work. On Tuesday I worked 4 jobs! And none of them were even writing :-(. It was awful, but had to be done. One of the jobs was a one day deal, so that is permanently over. I almost have my grading done for MCC, so that will also end soon. Can I tell you how much I am looking forward to the Christmas holiday?

Today Kitty is in the school spelling bee. I may actually be more nervous for her than she is for herself. I hope she does not get out too quickly or on a word that is too easy. I was recently watching a rerun of Psych and laughed when one of the main characters said he lost the school spelling bee when he misspelled the word 'failure.' Now I do not think it is so funny!

I also have my annual exam today. Yuck. Love doing that every year.

I have been spending money like it's going out of style (although, with the possible devaluation of our national currency, maybe it is going out of style). Christmas time is always like that, though. I will spend probably another good amount before I am done.

Today is is cloudy and might rain--at least the weatherman says so, and it smells like rain outside. I love rainy days, so I am enjoying it.

And lastly, M&Ms have been a downfall for me these past two weeks! At my mom's office, where I put in a few hours of work each day, a co-worker of hers keeps putting out this big bowl of them. And I just can't seem to resist. But I think I have found a solution: buy a bag of Skittles and dump them on top of the M&Ms. I do not like Skittles and know I would not dig through them for the M&Ms (embarrassing!).

Hope your week is not as crazy as mine and that you are enjoying the holiday spirit!

[Image Credit]

Scripture of the Day: Alma 7:10

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cultivating Gratitude #3

I finally got my Christmas shopping started today and I am feeling so much better about things. I think my lack of Christmas spirit earlier was stress due to feeling behind the curve. I am not exactly caught up, but now I am feeling better. The best part was the shopping I was able to do over the Internet -- which is what I am thankful for today!

Here are the top ten reasons I am grateful for the Internet:

1. Shopping -- 3 gifts bought online today and sent directly to those I would have had to send via mail. And no driving or lines to wait in (yay!)
2. Email (how did we ever live without email?)
3. Facebook -- I love keeping touch with friends from the past.
4. News -- I admit that I love reading up on the news online--maybe because the kids always have control of the TV.
5. Selling -- occasionally I sell unneeded things. So easy to do.
6. Recipes -- always able to find a good recipe to try.
7. Movies -- instant watch on Netflix is fabulous.
8. Maps -- no need to get lost ever again.
9. YouTube -- I have used a number of clips for teaching purposes, I love watching the shorts made by the LDS Church, and (of course) just for fun.
10. Blogging!

Scripture of the Day: John 1:14

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Need a Little Christmas

Remember that song (I don't know what show it is from), but it says, "Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute. Need a little laughter, happy ever after..."? I could use a little of that same Christmas umph over here.

Maybe I should get started on the Christmas shopping--that might get me more into it. About all I have bought thus far are two teacher gifts for the girls' school teachers and two {darling! thanks Mimi!} necklaces for my SIL and niece.

Or maybe I should finish decorating the tree. The kids started it over a week ago and I have not taken time to finish it (as if I had much time--although, I did read a whole book this past week, I confess).

Don't get me wrong. I have been thinking a lot about the reason for the season, about Christ's birth and the spiritual implications of His coming. I have been listening to lots of Christmas carols and have been enjoying the lights in the neighborhood.

My problem is just getting into the decorating and the present buying and the baking and all the other stuff that will make Christmas traditional and magical for my children (but makes it a lot of work for me).Somehow I wish there was a way to make Christmas look like all those magazine ads and television commercials without me as the mom have to spend oodles of time and money. Realistically I know it will never be that picturesque, but the mountain of effort before me has my brain putting up a wall that prevents me from doing much.

So all you moms out there, send me a little Christmas spirit. Preferably right this very minute. I need it.

Scripture of the Day: Luke 1:31

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cultivating Gratitude #2

(If I had the gumption to take my picture while working I might look a bit like this--okay, maybe not so pretty!)

Here it is at 8:30 at night and I am still so busy that taking time out to write this post is questionable. And yet, if I do not write it, I will feel guilty about not taking time to cultivate gratitude in my life. So, here I sit typing away and have decided to be grateful that I am busy. I have the opportunity to work--to earn a little extra Christmas money. For this I am grateful, especially after reading headlines this morning that unemployment numbers in the country rose again last month. How hard it must be to want to work, to want to provide for one's family, and yet not have a job to go to--or even sit at one's computer to do at 8:30 p.m. on a Saturday night.

I am truly grateful for opportunities to work.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 19:6

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Coming to the End

Yesterday I gave my last class lecture of the semester. There is still another week of classes, but group presentations, exams, and other scheduled assignments have made it so that all my lecturing is complete for the semester. And I can feel a physical sense of relief from being released from that burden of preparation time. Whew!

Now, I do not mean to imply that I dislike lecturing. I actually rather enjoy teaching, especially when the students have good comments, ask good questions, and seem engaged in the discussion. [All things I need to work on developing.] However, teaching two different classes and having to do the prep work from scratch for each was very time consuming. I have felt much too busy for the past four months--as though I was thrown into the fire head first.

But I am coming out of it alive--and with only minimal burns that I will work on next semester.

And I am counting the blessing of being able to teach two sections of the same class next semester. Yay for having the prep work cut in half!

Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 7:14