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Peaceful pictures

Hope brings healing.
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Thankful Thursday . . .

Today I am thankful for the first day of summer vacation.
This may seem odd since today technically isn't the first day of summer vacation -- but it feels like it and I love it!
I think this is why today feels like the beginning...
1. On the Monday after school ended I tore my calf muscle running -- yay, 4 weeks in an aircast boot.  At least, that's when I have my next appointment for recheck.
2. I had a big event yesterday that I was in charge of for 100 girls 8-11 yrs. old.  (Except I was thrilled we had a 113 show up with adults).  It was a ton of work, but so much fun.  We had a princess day and they got to learn to dance, decorate cupcakes, and scrapbook frames and mount them around pictures that are being given for a service project.  We had a princess lunch and a fairytale story.  It was a blast, but also a ton of work.  I drew a mural for the wall and my girls painted it.  And then we had an individual picture of all 100 girls on the wall for them to take home.
3. My father in law had his second knee surgery on Monday.  So we've been trying to help as much as we can.
4. My husband left this morning to take boy scouts rafting, biking, rapelling for the weekend.  I finally finished helping him pack up the food and supplies this morning just in time to see them off -- it is so much work getting them ready.
5. My girls go to camp on Monday, and they each need to bring a teddy bear.  They had the great idea that I should make them a special camp teddy bear. (Of course they just decided that this week).  But it was fun to make them.  Neither are perfect and both are very unique to my daughters personalities...but they are made with love.  One was fuzzy, lime green, with mismatched eyes and the other was fleecy pink and white polka dotted with brown eyes and a big bow.  Then we decided I should make a 60s bear for the camp director who is a good friend of mine (hippies, peace, love, happiness theme) for all her hard work.  They all turned out totally different and it was a blast making them, even though I had all kinds of fuzz, fleece, and fur all over my house.
6.  Last night was the first night that I didn't wake up because my leg hurt.  And today it felt great . . . it might have something to do with not walking all over Costco, hauling tables and chairs, or hauling ice to coolers or maybe it's just because it's the first real day of summer break.  :)
Today, my daughters friend came to stay with us from Colorado and it was so nice to do whatever we wanted -- no committments, no hurry, no deadlines, no pending assignments, just summer!
Hope you are all enjoynig your summer.


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Blogger's Block

I hope no one has fainted at the sight of a post from me.  It's been a very long time, which brings me to my subject heading -- blogger's block (Which for me is completely different than writer's block). 
A year ago, I had a lot of changes taking place in my life and my family.  Things were crazy busy and scrambled upside down and moving so fast that I struggled to keep up.  I needed time to process before I shared.  I wrote a thousand posts in my head over the summer.  But there was always one thing holding me back, keeping me from posting --
My Blogger's Block
I assume others have them, but for me, my block is this:

I always feel like I have to go back and fill in all the blanks.  This is of course too overwhelming of a concept (especially when it's been a year since I've posted) and so I simply don't post.

By the time I was ready to share my experiences, too much time had passed and there were new holes that needed to be filled in the story.  (I guess this is why I write novels, so I can tell the whole story).
So I've decided to start today, no back fill, which is really hard for me (although I may at some time post about past subjects).  I always check livejournal and read of your experiences but am out of practice with sharing my own.  Thank you for impacting my life with your stories, adventures, and wise advice.  I hope to someday offer something in return, although I'll admit that I expect I'll start slow.  Baby steps.  :)

My grandmother passed away last night.  She was a month shy of 100.  She told me a few weeks ago that she was tired.  I apologized for waking her when I arrived.  She leaned forward and said, "No, I'm glad you woke me.  It's not that kind of tired.  My whole body is just tired.  I'm ready to move on."  She had been sick and very uncomfortable for quite awhile.  She couldn't remember who I was but she knew I was family.  She never complained.  She always complemented the people who helped her, took care of her.  She loved the other people that lived there.  She used to play games with them, she'd built friendships, but for the last six months, she hadn't been able to get out of bed at all.  Whenever anyone would ask how she was doing, she would say how much she loved being there, how happy she was that her family was close by, and that she had such nice people to work with her.  I know she was in a lot of pain and very miserable.  But one thing that I admire about my grandmother is that she always had a positive attitude.  People enjoyed being with her because she was happy.  She had hard things in her life but her outlook was always bright.  She had been separated from my grandfather for 21 years -- I know she's very happy to be back with him today.  And I hope that I can follow her example and be a positive influence in the lives of those I love and those who I interact with.  I know I have a long way to go to become like her.  But I love her and am grateful that she was my grandmother.

Current news:

 I'm halfway finished with a complete revision on one of my novels and I LOVE the changes! 

My baby will be graduating from elementary school next week -- I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I'm excited for her but a little sad for me.  It's a milestone that makes me realize how quickly time flies.  I'm almost afraid to blink because I might miss a memory.  I want to hold on to my kids as long as I can, but I also understand that it's time for me to let them grow up step by step because I want them to become independent, well-rounded, confident young adults and responsible, caring adults. 
And maybe I don't have to be old just because my children are growing up.  And if I am old, I just want to have and remember those moments when we were together and create more memories and experience more adventures so that I always have those with me, even when they can't be. 

Rain, rain, rain.  Everytime the forecast looks like we'll have an extended period of sunshine, it changes.  My thoughts and prayers are with those all over the country facing flooding, tornadoes, and other natural phenomenon

And I have a new writing friend who just got her website up and running.  If you have a minute and want to stop by I know she'd appreciate it:

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

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Happy Dance!!!

Five for Friday:  Wednesday -- Oops!  I was so happy about finishing my revision, I seriously thought it was Friday, lol.  Yes, I've been living in a different world.  :)

1.  Finally, I've finished my first deep revision of my new novel.  For the past three weeks, I thought I'd finish.  I had two chapters that I knew I'd have to rewrite at the end, and the thought was overwhelming because they were the big resolution chapters.  I set the goal to finish over the weekend, but then ended up rewriting the last four chapters.  I finished this morning!!!!  Yay!  I'm so happy.  This has been the most difficult revision I've ever done.  I have felt like I've sweated blood over it. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I'm actually excited now to start again with a lighter revision, tweaking, adding fun details, a little more characterization here, a dash of setting there.  The novel ended at 84,000 words -- not bad.

2.  It's snowing!

3.  I'm sewing valances for the windows in my kitchen and family room.  I've very excited to get these done.  I've wanted to do them for awhile but just couldn't decide what style to do.  It's been a fun project to do while watching the olympics.

4.  Saturday, I'm going to paint my daughter's room Lime Green -- I hope it's not so bright that she can't sleep at night.

5.  Today, life is good.  That's such a gift.  :)  Enjoy it.

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Five for Friday

Here are five things that made me smile today.
1) It's snowing (which I'll take over the wind we've had any day) and I'm baking chocolate chip cookies (the perfect snow day activity).
2) My son has received full ride scholarships to two out of the three colleges he applied to (we haven't heard from the third yet). The two the he's heard from are his first two choices.
3) I'm six chapters away from completing my first in depth revision on my new novel. I have my critique group and two others reading it right now as I revise and then I'm doing another deep revision. It feels good . . . although the novel itself isn't there yet. I feel hopeful.
4) My kids had Mon. and Tues. off school and we went to Bryce and Zion's National Parks to hike. So now it's a weekend again (and we only had a three day work week). I'll try to post some awesome pictures later.
5) My kids started third term and ended last term strong again. Yay! Everyone came home from school happy even though we're all starting to come down with a crummy cold and haven't felt 100% the last two days.
These are things that made me smile. What made you smile today?
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

I'm so grateful for so many BIG things -- I love spending the day reflecting on them:
God, Family, Friends, Freedom, Home, Food, Clothing, Hope, Church, Health, Neighbors, Faith, 5 Senses, Love!

Books, Chocolate, Flannel PJ's, Fireplace, Hot Cocoa, Snowy Nights, Sunsets, Hugs, Memories, Snow Angels, Fall Leaves, Tulips, Sunshine, Rainy Afternoons, Fuzzy Slippers, Christmas Eve, Prayers, Children's wishes, Smiles, Fresh Baked Bread, Lazy Mornings --

And then I know that there are no small things -- I feel so blessed!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
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Happy Halloween!

Enjoy your night!
By Harry Behn
Tonight is the night
When dead leaves fly
Like witches on switches
Across the sky,
When elf and sprite
Flit through the night
On a moony sheen.
Tonight is the night
When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home
Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls
Creep out of holes 
Mossy and green.
Tonight is the night
When pumpkins stare
Through sheaves and leaves
When ghouls and ghost 
And goblin host
Dance round their queen.
It's Halloween.



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700 more words today on my WIP.  Woo-hoo!
I guess I'm gearing up for Nanowrimo.  Or hoping to, if I'm not too engrossed on my WIP still.  My new idea is ready and waiting in the wings.  Where it may have to take a back seat indefinitely.  I might have to do my own version of Nanowrimo and use my 50,000 words to finish the WIP while it's still flowing so well.

That's all!

P.S. How many of you are doing Nanowrimo this year?

Update:  I just broke 1100 words for the day and wrote my favorite scene of the whole novel . . . the scene is out of order but it came lilke one of those gifts that happens every once in a blue moon where you see it all so clearly -- I couldn't let it slip away.  Had to share.  Hope the rest of you are having a successful evening.


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It's Snowing!

Over the weekend, I hiked up a nearby canyon and enjoyed scenes like these:

Today, it's snowing . . . hard!

I love the changing seasons.


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Where did fall go?

Today we went from red leaves (just coming on) to white hills...and we all wondered where our usual excitement was over the very first snow storm of the year -- but I can't help it, it's just too early.  (Although I did love the rain that came before the snow and hail).

Last night we had red skies . . . no warning at all for what was to come.

The sunset colors were amazing...and my pictures just don't do it justice.  My camera can't capture the true essence of the colors.

I love fall . . . I do hope it's coming back!
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