Aug 30, 2008

Summer Book Trek Wrap-up

Well, the summer is coming to an end, and along with it, the 2008 Summer Book Trek. I didn't make it to all the books on my list, and read a few I hadn't planned on. You can find my answers to the wrap-up questions below.

To see other wrap-ups visit the LDS Fiction blog.

1. How many fiction books by LDS authors did you read? Seven

2. Did you read more than you would have read if you hadn't participated in this book trek? No, I love to read. I usually would have read even more than that, but I'm working graveyard and can't seem to stay awake. Lately, sitting down with a book somehow tells my brain it's time to sleep.

3. Did the reviews posted by other participants influence which titles you read? How? No, I already had my books picked out. But I enjoyed the reviews and have added some new books to my reading list.

4. Did the Whitney awards influence which titles you read? How? No.

5. Did the many, many virtual blog tours that happened this summer influence which titles you read? How? The blog tours did influence what I read. I added several books to my list because I reviewed them for the blog tours.

6. Did you finish all the books you had planned to read? If not, why? No, see above post about my sleepy behavior.

7. Did you discover any new authors whom you now love? I didn't read anything I absolutely loved this summer.

8. Did you nominate any of the books you read for Whitney awards? Another thing on my to-do list.

9. Would you be interested in another LDS themed reading challenge either this winter, or next summer? I would definitely be interested. I think next time, I'll keep my list shorter. I don't need another thing to feel guilty about.

Aug 29, 2008

Terrific Titles

A title defines the mood of your scrapbook layout. Because of its prominent placement on the page, it should be given serious consideration.

Before you start putting pictures onto the pages of your scrapbook take some time and decide which titles you will be using. You can also add in captions, poems and sayings to add even more personality to your scrapbook. The titles and other words you add create the theme of the scrapbook.

The title can be as simple as a date or word for an event. However you can convey the mood of your page and tell part of the story by using creative titles. To get an idea, here are some examples:

New Baby
Love at First Sight
Fresh from Heaven
We've only just Begun

Bath Time
Bubble Trouble
Makin' a Splash
Squeeky Clean

Born to Party
Ready, Set, Blow!

From Here to Eternity
I'm Yours

There of tons of resources on the internet for title ideas. Check out The Perfect Title.

If you put just a little extra thought into choosing the titles for your scrapbook layouts, they then become a true part of the story you're telling and not just large words at the top of the page. So think about the event your scrapbook layout is celebrating. And then think again. Look beyond the obvious.

Once you've decided on the perfect title, find a creative way to use it. It doesn't always have to be placed across the top of the page. Below are a few ideas:

-Stretch a long title across a two-page spread.
-Place the title beneath the pictures at the bottom of your page.
-For smaller titles, position your words directly above your journaling on the same block.
-Highlight some of the words in your journaling or quote and let that stand as your title.
-Turn things around! Vertical titles offer a wonderful change of pace.
-Place the letters in your title so that they overlap onto a photograph.
-Run your words across the middle of the page.
-Add a title to one side of a thick photo mat.
-Pick up any magazine or newspaper and flip through it for more title placement inspiration.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Aug 25, 2008

Oodles of Artwork

Now that school has started does the front of your refrigerator look like mine? I already have six or seven pieces of artwork my two younger children made during the first week of school. They rush home, excited to show it to me and then we give it a place of honor on the front of the refrigerator. Unfortunately, the pieces start to pile up and soon there isn't any room left and everytime my ten year old slams the refrigerator door, half of them go flying. I've been researching some solutions and I'd like to share some ideas with you.

One of my favorite ways to keep the memory of every piece of wonderful artwork is to use a camera. Take a picture of your child with his or her art whether it is a painting, a drawing, or a 3-D project. Now, not only do you have a great visual of the art, but you also have a great memory of what your child looked like when they made that special project.

Grandpa and Grandma would like nothing more than to receive original artwork from your child. You could even frame the best pieces so they can display them on their wall. Another fun idea is to use larger pieces as gift wrapping.

Throughout the school year, scan your childs artwork into the computer. At the end of the year, create a slideshow with the artwork from an entire school year. Also include pictures throughout the year and put it to music. My son watches his preschool video over and over. It's a fun way to compile a years' worth of memories in a small storage space.

It would be practically impossible to keep every piece of artwork your child creates. Yes, I admit it, I throw some of it away! I buy a large 3 or 4 inch binder for each of my children. I fill it with plastic sheet protectors and throughout the school year as they bring home art projects, writing assignments, 100% spelling tests--really whatever they think they want to keep--I put it in their binder. At the end of the school year, each child gets a 1 inch binder they can decorate and then they have to go through the larger binder and narrow their projects down to whatever will fit in the smaller one. This ensures that you only keep the most important items and helps to minimize the storage space required, and your child has a binder full of memories for each year of school.

Buy a portable file box from an office supply store then help your child create their very own filing system. Keep it simple--perhaps a folder for 1st grade artwork, 1st grade writing, 2nd grade artwork, etc. All the artwork will be organized and accessible and you'll teach your child valuable organization and filing skills.

Each of my children have a memory box. It is a large plastic storage container that is flat enough to slide under their bed. They use it to put anything they want in it. (I even had a daughter who went through a stage of keeping all the tags she got off her new clothing.) They can fill it to their hearts' content. There's only one rule once the box is full. In order to put something new in, they have to take something old out and throw it away, donate it--you get the picture. This would be an option for saving the artwork that is most meaningful to them.

I hope some of these ideas have sparked your imagination and given you some storage solutions for all the precious artwork your little ones' bring home. If you have other ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Aug 22, 2008

Paper Bag Albums

Paper bag albums are fun and easy to make. They make great gifts and are a fun way to use your duplicate pictures. One fun thing about them is that the bag opening creates a pocket where you can place journaling cards, and memorabilia such as tickets stubs, notes, etc. The pocket is also the perfect size for a photo CD.

You can use any size paper bag, but my favorite are just standard size lunch bags. When folded, they create an album that is approximately 6x6 inches.

Step by Step Instructions:

1) Take 3-5 paper bags and lay them on top of each other alternating ends.

2) Fold the bags in half and crease to create a book. Notice how the open ends create a pocket? Punch three to five holes along the spine. It is easiest to place the holes at measured points and punch through one folded bag at a time.

4) Decorate the pages using patterned paper, cardstock, photos, stickers, stitching, staples, buttons, fibers and any other embellishments you like.

5) Create coordinating tags to place inside the bags open ends for a nice extra touch. Add a ribbon or paper pull tag to pull the page out of the bag opening.

Like any scrapbook, paper bag albums can follow any theme. They are particularly great when you want to scrap one event. Ideas for album themes: Baby’s first Christmas, animals/pets, trips, All about Me, Grandma’s/Grandpa’s brag book, summer camp, holidays, vacations, etc. No matter how you decorate them, paper bag albums make great gift items and are one more creative and unexpected way to use your scrapbooking materials.


Return to the Neighborhood.

Aug 19, 2008

Blog Tour: Surprise Packages by Nancy Anderson, Lael Littke, and Carroll Morris

I'm happy to be able to review the third book in The Company of Good Women series, Surprise Packages by Nancy Anderson, Lael Littke, and Carroll Morris.

Three authors? Yes, each of these women wrote from a single character's point of view. I was quite surprised with the seamless transition from character to character. It's hard to tell the book was authored by three different women.

The story begins fifteen years after Deenie, Juneau, and Erin meet at Education Week at BYU. Each of the three women has personal challenges in their lives they are trying to work through and overcome. Through e-mails, phone calls, and visits, the three women support each other in the face of whatever lifes brings. All the while trying to become self-proclaimed 'Crusty Old Broads'.

So, what exactly is a Crusty Old Broad? According to the authors, a Crusty Old Broad is a woman who, in the face of whatever life sends her way, "pulls up her socks and goes on." Throughout Surprise Packages this is exactly what the three women do. They each face difficulties, but they keep on going. Through personal tenacity and the love and friendship from each other they face life head-on and plow through the challenges and triumph in the end.

I admit this is the first book I've read in the series. I enjoyed it. I loved the idea of the friendship between the three women carrying them through hard times. It was very intriguing to me the way each of the authors wrote one character and then they meshed the stories together.

However, It was a little distracting to me to have so many characters and to jump from one character's story to another within the same chapter. I also am not really a fan of reading so many e-mails. It felt a little impersonal and like it took me out of the story somehow.
Overall, Surprise Packages was a fun read and I'm looking forward to reading the other two books in the series. The authors are delightful ladies and I've included a few interview questions below.

If you'd like to meet them, they will be signing books at BYU Education Week (seems fitting for this story, don't ya think?) on Thursday, August 21st in the BYU Bookstore from 1:30-3:30. Drop by and say hi!

How did you come up with the idea of writing together?
We were vacationing together in Moab, Utah, when Nancy said, "Why don't we write a book together?" We sat down right then and brainstormed about what we wanted the themes of our novel to be. We still have the notes that Carroll wrote in aqua ink!

What were the biggest challenges you faced as co-authors?
1. Merging files and making corrections. On the first book, Lael was the manuscript master. For the last two, Carroll took on that job.
2. Literary liposuction. The story of each character--told completely--would have filled its own book. So cutting the text without gutting the story was a challenge.
3. Writing the third book of the series. We knew we where we were going in the first two books, but none of us had written ahead in book three. We only had general ideas about where it would go.
4. Making the series add up to something. We wanted our readers to finish the series feeling that they'd been changed by the time spent with Deenie, Juneau, and Erin. We hope they will periodically read the series over, like visiting old friends.

Do you three have a new project in the works?
We have an idea for a book that will have the same format as the series--we'll each write from the viewpoint of a character. It's a stand-alone novel set in Powell, Wyoming, during World War II. But it is on the back burner while we're working on individual projects.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That no matter what situation a person is in any moment, the story isn't over yet. Never, never, never give up--on others or on yourself!

What a great question to end with. Surprise Packages is an inspiring read about all that and more. Pick up a copy. You won't be disappointed.

You can read more about the authors and the other books in The Company of Good Women series on the authors' blog or at their website, Virtual Sisters.

Aug 18, 2008

"All About Me" Album

As a devoted Scrapbooker you likely gain satisfaction from scrapbooking about others. But, do you have an ‘All About Me' album? How many pictures do you have of yourself? Or, are you like me and are always the person behind the camera? Will your children know your favorite color, your daily routine, where you went to school, or who your best friends were?

A personal scrapbook will leave behind a legacy for those who never get the chance to know you. While writing this blog, I read about a mother who had terminal cancer. In her final days, instead of resting, she struggled to put together scrapbook albums of herself. Why? So that her two very young toddlers will get to know about the mommy whom they'll never see in person again. The scrapbooks will be constant reminders of their mother's love for them. It's a heart-wrenching story, but it's a wake up call as well. Remember that you don't always have an eternity. Make time now to leave behind a part of who you are.

One fun way to create an "About Me" album is to determine a theme for each page and then design a scrapbook page around it. Here are some ideas to get you started:

- 10 Things About Me
- Circle of Friends
- Crafts & Hobbies
- A Day in my Life
- My Favorites
- Fears
- Where I was Born
- High School Years
- Hopes & Dreams
- I am Blessed
- I am Grateful
- How I'm Unique
- My Quirks

After you create an album all about you, take time often to look through it and discover just how amazing you really are. You'll realize that you aren't 'just a mom'. You'll see that you are a wife, sister, daughter, student, colleague, homemaker, teacher, and friend. As you flip through a scrapbook about you, you'll fondly recall the journey you've been on and all the progress you've made. I know you're amazing, and it's about time the world did too!

Return to the Neighborhood.

Aug 15, 2008

Back to School Crafts

My oldest daughter started high school today. I refuse to believe I have a child that old. At our house, getting ready for school is a huge undertaking. With six children, attending four different schools, there are lots of schedules to arrange, clothes to buy, teachers to meet--you get the picture!

Some of my children are more excited for the new school year than others. There are lots of ways to help your kids get excited for school. Making their own back-to-school crafts is one of them. I've been researching kids crafts online and I found a bunch of fun things you can make with your kids to get them excited about school and get their creative juices flowing.

These ideas came from Family Fun magazine online.


Spiral-bound notebook
Tacky glue
Pipe cleaner
Colored paper

Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Spruce up a plain spiralbound notebook with bold stripes by using tacky glue to stick pipe cleaners (the extrawide, fuzzy type work especially well) onto the cover.

2. Fold the pipe cleaner ends against the top and bottom edges of the inner cover, then conceal them with a glued-on sheet of colored paper.


In just a few easy steps, your child can turn an old pair of jeans into a couple of magnetic pen and pencil holders that mount easily in a school locker.

Old pair of jeans
Puffy paint
Iron-on patches
Cloth tape or colored duct tape
8 adhesive-backed magnets (4 for each pocket), each at least 1/8 inch thick

Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Start by having your child cut each back pocket from the jeans. (Make sure you get the material it's attached to as well and not just the pocket.) Cut closely around the three sewn edges of the pocket, but leave an extra inch of material on the back piece, above the pocket opening.

2. Now start decorating, first attaching any iron-on patches according to the package directions. Once the ironing is done, apply puffy paint designs.

3. Let the paint dry. Then, with the pocket facedown, fold the 1-inch flap of material along the pocket's top edge and secure it against the back of the pocket with the tape.

4. Finally, affix a magnet to each corner of the pocket (add a dab of tacky glue for an even stronger hold, if needed), and it's ready for hanging in a school locker.

There are tons of fun things you can make and do with your children to make the new school year exciting. You can check out more fun and easy back-to-school crafts here. I hope you have a great first week of school!

Return to the Neighborhood.

Aug 13, 2008

Blog Tour - Room for Two by Abel Keogh

I recently heard Abel Keogh speak at a writer's conference. He told us a little bit about his book and I immediately wanted to read it.

The book catches your attention from the very first sentence. "I don't remember the last thing I said to Krista that Saturday afternoon, but I know it was not 'I love you.'"

Room for Two is the true story of the year of Keogh’s life following his young wife’s suicide. The book begins as he steps through the door of his home and hears a gunshot echo from the bedroom. His worst fears are realized when he finds his pregnant wife dead. Their premature baby is rushed to the hospital and dies nine days later.

The first few chapters of this book were difficult to read. Abel describes his experiences in a very vivid way and my heart wrenched for him as I read them. He helps us realize the stark reality of losing a loved one to suicide and the resulting doubts and guilty feelings that follow.

Throughout the book you learn how Abel dealt with the feelings of guilt. “At some point we’re all going to face a devastating affliction and cope with loss,” Keogh said. “How we choose to react to the bad things that happen in our lives defines who we are. We can either learn from our experiences and become a better person or dwell in bitterness and sorrow. I choose to make the best out of a bad situation."

But don't worry that the book is just a depressing account of a very sad tale. It is so much more. Abel's search for peace and the miracle that follows is proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives.

I applaud the courage it took to share such a personal and difficult trial with the world. I highly recommend this well-written personal life story. It's one of the best books I've read this summer.

More about Room for Two, including the first chapter of the book can be read at You can purchase the book here.
Room for Two
Trade Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort (August 2007)
ISBN-10: 1599550628
ISBN-13: 978-1599550626

Aug 12, 2008

I can't find my shoes

It's 7:10, the bus comes in 5 minutes and my child is screaming . . . Mom, I can't find my shoes. Sound familiar?

I always look forward to a new school year. I love the feeling of a new beginning. It's the perfect time to organize your home, get on a schedule, rethink the chore chart, and set goals.

I agree that it can also be a little overwhelming. Sometimes the schedules feel stifling, the homework endless, and the carpools neverending.

With a little planning and organization you can get the school year off to a great start. I think it's helpful for every family to have a master calendar in the kitchen or some other location where the family gathers often. When notes are brought home from school, soccer practice, dance class, and the myriad other places your children are going, transfer the information to the family calendar so everyone is aware of planned activities. If you have more than one child, you can use a different color marker for each one.

To make homework more fun, prepare a healthy snack and set aside time to sit down with your children at the same time each day. Create a homework center with a box that has extra crayons, scissors, glue, markers, etc. Having the supplies on hand you need makes homework easier. Another great idea is to create a reading corner. This could simply be a corner in the kitchen with a beanbag chair or blankets and pillows. Younger children especially like this idea. It makes reading time something to look forward to--even better if you snuggle up with them to read.

A smooth school morning actually starts the night before. There are many small tasks you can perform in the evening before bed to make your morning more pleasant. You can pack lunches and put them in the refrigerator. My kids eat school lunch, but I have a friend who has a great organization system for preparing lunches. She has a drawer full of snacks, a crisper full of cut up fruits and vegetables, and a cupboard full of drinks. She has each of her children get their own lunch bag and then pick a snack, a fruit and veggie, and a drink. Then all she has to do is make sandwiches. You can even make a whole bread sack full of PB&J sandwiches, put them in the freezer, and then just pull them out as you need them.

Make sure homework is done, notes are signed and everything is put back into backpacks the night before. Then put the backpack near the door, so it's ready to grab as the kids leave and there's no last minute searching for a homework assignment, or missing piece of paper. It's also helpful to have clothes picked out the night before, including socks and those pesky shoes that always seem to be missing. This is one area where your kids can feel empowered. It is important for children to learn to make decisions. For smaller children that may not have the ability to pick a shirt and pants that actually match, you can give them the choice between two or three complete outfits.

The most beneficial evening activity I've found is to have a 15 minute family clean-up time. If the entire family works together for 15 minutes a lot can be accomplished, and it puts everyone in a better mood to wake up to a clean orderly house. Sometimes, to make it more fun we put on a CD and agree to work through two or three songs. It helps small children to know there is a specific time when they can stop working

Take the time to sit down with your family and discuss changes that could make your home more organized. Now is a great time to start. Your children deserve to leave for school in the morning from a peaceful organized atmosphere. They will have a better day, and be in a better frame of mind to learn. So start simple. Pick one thing to change and you will be well on the road to a more organized home and family . . . oh, and find those shoes!

Aug 11, 2008

First Day of School Photo Tips

I can hardly believe it's the last week before the kids go back to school. I'm always happy when they get out for the summer, but by this time of the year, I'm happy for them to return to school.

Don't forget the fun photo opportunity that the first day back to school creates. I'm going to share some easy tips with you to make your photos the best they can be.

There's only one "first day of school" each year for every child, so taking a photo that accurately captures this historic event is important. For years to come, both parent and child will look back on that "first day of school photo" with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Without a doubt, parents will want to do a great job of recording this important event on film.

But because the first day of school can create anxiety for both students and parents, Ron Nichols, author of "Picture-Taking for Moms and Dads," shares some tips for creating cherished keepsakes on film without creating unnecessary stress.

Tip 1: Camera, film and a photographic plan should be integrated into that planning. (You don’t want to be scrambling for camera and film as you rush your child out the door to catch the bus.) Hurried activities tend to add stress, so the more prepared and relaxed the parent, the more prepared and relaxed the child.

Tip 2: Be sensitive to your child’s emotions and needs. Preparing your child for both the first day of school, AND the first day of school photo is important. The additional stress of taking a photo before heading off to school might prove a bit taxing for your child. You might wish talk about the “first day of school photo” as a tradition with your child.

Tip 3: Decide where and when would be the most appropriate time to take the photo. If your child’s going off to school on the bus, waiting at the bus stop might be a great place to start. Or perhaps you might even wish to take the photo in front of your house on your way to the bus stop. If you’re picking your child up after school, you might want to take the photo in front of the school. (This can even work out better because the anxiety of over the first day of school will have subsided by then.)

Tip 4: Make it a tradition. The first day of school is a great time to chronicle (photographically) the growth of your child. One day (which will come sooner than you think) you’ll probably take a photo of your child heading off to the first day of college.

Tip 5: Don’t forget to photograph the younger children who may not be going off to school. A picture of a younger brother or sister along with the “first-day-of-school subject” could yield some wonderful images.

Tip 6: Keep shooting throughout the year. Throughout the year, you’ll have multiple opportunities to get wonderful photographs of your child’s school-related activities. Remember to get close, use natural light when you can, AND enjoy every moment with your child! They will be off to college before you know it.

I found these tips helpful, and I hope you did too. If you take some fun back-to-school pictues and create a scrapbooking layout, be sure to send it to me and I'll post it on my blog. Have a great week getting ready for school!

Return to the Neighborhood!

Aug 10, 2008

A Soft Voice

The world today is full of noise—blaring televisions,cell phones, iPods, & video games. We all suffer from a case of sensory overload. Is it any wonder that we sometimes miss the soft voice of the Lord?

“They heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul.” (Hel. 5:30; italics added.)

As a parent, I’ve found that my children respond more quickly and positively when I use a soft voice. I think our Heavenly Father is the same, although he has the skill perfected. He doesn’t force us to do anything. He calmly and quietly encourages us, and then loves us regardless of our choices.

His soft voice rejoices with us when we make good decisions and softly comforts us when we don’t. He steers us toward repentance when it is needed, but calls from Him are always tender and free from condemnation.

“Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that gentleness is better than brutality, that kindness is greater than coercion, that the soft voice turneth away wrath.” –Howard W. Hunter

“We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention.” –Gordon B. Hinckley

In our homes, this can be a model for the way we talk to our family members. Let us not use a loud voice but a soft voice when we talk to those we love. This is the way Heavenly Father speaks to us and wants us to speak to each other.

I hear the voice of the Lord often in my life. At times his voice seems louder than others. I think that is the time when I am more in tune, and when my life is more in line with His teachings. Although there have been times in my life when I have known He is there and heard His voice at times when I probably didn't deserve to have his help. He is a loving father and will never leave us alone. He is always talking, but our ability to hear His voice is based on our own worthiness. Never hesitate to go to Him. Even if it feels like He isn't listening, He is. It's likely that you just aren't hearing Him back.

So what are some things we can each do individually to hear the voice of the Lord more in our lives?

It is our responsibility to step away from the noise of the world. We need to put ourselves in a quiet time and place conducive to hearing His voice. If we strive to hear, he will respond. We can do this through personal meditation, prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance. It is in these moments, away from the cares of the world, that we are more likely to hear His voice.

If we aren’t doing those things, He will still attempt to talk to us. He will never leave us alone, but it’s possible we may not be able to hear. The breakdown of communication will be on our end. Obeying the commandments opens up a line of communication we are otherwise unable to access.

We need to ask for his help and then we need to take the time to listen. He always answers, but we are often too busy going about our noisy, busy lives that we fail to hear. There are lots of outside noises, but often we have inside noises as well. Sin creates inner noise. So do simple things such as hurrying, stress, deadlines, and just being too busy. If we take the time to step away from the noise, we are often more receptive to his voice. We will have a greater desire to follow the counsel we receive, and we will be more aware of His love.

His voice will never get louder. We need to tone down our environment so that we can hear Him. And when you hear him--follow.

Aug 8, 2008

Color outside the Lines

The neighborhood has changed the block I blog on to Crafts and Scrapbooking. So, in addition to scrapbooking articles you may see some regular crafting ideas from me now and then as well. The topic today--Crayons.

Do you remember getting a new box of crayons each year as a child? This is one of my favorite back-to-school memories. I still love opening a new box of crayons and experiencing their rich colors, perfectly shaped tips, and waxy smell. They hold the promise of creative vistas to be explored.

The bigger the box of crayons, of course, the better since that means even more colors to choose from. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 64 Crayon Box from Crayola (did you know the box made its premiere on the “Captain Kangaroo Show?”), the company has released a birthday box of sorts. It still has all your favorite colors, but as an added bonus also contains eight new Kids’ Choice Colors—colors that kids across the country voted on as “in” for 2008. Check out the front row of crayons on the right side in the picture below to see the colors kids picked—they’re all really bright and have fun names such as “bear hug,” “happy ever after” and “awesome.” You can read more about the new colors here.

Fun Crayon Facts:

*The first box of Crayola crayons was sold in 1903 for a nickel and included the same colors available in the eight-count box today: red, blue, yellow, green, violet, orange, black and brown.

*In the last 98 years, more than 100 billion Crayola crayons have been made.

*Blue is the number one favorite color.

*The average child wears down 720 crayons by their 10th birthday.

*According to a Yale University study, crayons are among the top 20 most recognizable scents to American adults.

*The average child in the United States will wear down 730 crayons by his 10th birthday

So, when's the last time you sat down with a box of crayons and let your creativity wander? Now is the time to put away that to-do list and play! And remember, it is perfectly okay to color outside the lines!

Return to the Neighborhood.

Aug 5, 2008

My Books

I'll Know You by Heart

The day Stephanie Roberts met Jared Wakefield, she didn't realize they'd met before. Running from an abusive marriage and trying to safeguard her children, she turns to Jared for support, but he needs more from her than she might be capable of giving. With her abusive husband looming in her past, the difficulties they must overcome to be together seem insurmountable.

Is it possible for love to conquer all? I'll Know You By Heart is a timeless romance that explores the possibility that relationships span the entire realm of eternity. A story about abuse, hardship, and betrayal, it is ultimately a story about the healing power of everlasting true love.

Product Details
Price: $16.95
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group, LLC (March 16, 2010)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 275
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-935546-13-9
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches

Endorsements for I'll Know You by Heart:

"A story of pain, survival, and love, 'I'll Know You by Heart' is a deeply emotional journey of one woman's determination to save herself and her family from a life of abuse and fear. Kimberly Job writes with power and honesty, allowing us to care deeply about the characters but still giving us hope for a happy ending."
- Michele Ashman Bell

"As a divorced, single mom, reading "I'll Know You By Heart" brought many feelings to the surface for me. Kimberly Job delicately weaves into her pages, the trials of divorce, single parenting and finding love again. My spirits were lifted up as I read of the courage and faith displayed by the main character. I can assure you, your heart will never be the same after reading this stirring romance."
-Sheila Windley Staley


Equal to the Task

There’s a new baby in the house—and it’s not the only one crying. New moms cry happy tears, tired tears, and overwhelmed tears—and that’s when the wisdom, sensitivity, and empathy of women who’ve been there prove invaluable. In this book, you meet fifty mommies who’ve lived and loved through those terribly wonderful first months home with baby. From a first time mom faced with keeping her little miracle safe and happy once daddy goes back to work, to a mother who wonders how she will find time for the newest member of her already sizable family, these moving stories provide the support and reassurance mothers need to enjoy their new role—and their baby—to the fullest!

Here is a short excerpt from my story, Equal to the Task:

"What's wrong? Why isn't she crying?"

A swarm of doctors and nurses were in the delivery room, but no one would tell me anything. As soon as Emily had been delivered just moments before, they'd whisked her to the corner of the room. I lifted my head trying to see what was happening, holding onto a shred of hope. Although I hadn't heard her cry, I thought I'd seen her move. She wouldn't move if she were dead, would she?

To read more of my story, as well as the other amazing stories about new life and love, you can purchase a copy of A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers on Amazon.

Product Details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Adams Media (March 18, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1598698710
ISBN-13: 978-1598698718
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
Works In Progress
A Change of Heart

Jessica, a high-powered New York executive, hated by practically everyone she meets, leaves for a business trip, not knowing how much it will change her life--and not necesarilly for the better. She finds herself destitute and alone in a situation her privileged life has made her incapable of handling.

Adam, a recluse trying to escape his former life and all reminders of it, finds Jessica and has no choice but to help. His aloof but tender nature bring out characteristics in Jessica that have always been there, but which she has buried to avoid the pain of past mistakes she would just as soon forget.

Can these two strangers overcome the anguish of their tainted pasts and allow themselves a chance at happiness? A Change of Heart is a story about conquering unrealistic expectations we place upon ourselves and realizing happiness is often well-deserved.

Aug 4, 2008

Tag Time

Recently, decorative tags have been one of the most popular new trends in the scrapbooking and stamping industry. There are lots of fun techniques for decorating these accents and countless ways to use them.

Tags are easy and fun to decorate and a great way to use all of those left over scraps. Tags add dimension to scrapbook pages and make your scrapbook unique. They can be used for titles, journaling, color accents, and more. You can write a fun poem, joke, or event information on them.

The design, color and content of your tag is as varied as your personality or creativity. Tags can be big or small, square, angled or custom cut. They can be white, generic shopping bag brown, or colored. Tags don't even need to be restricted to paper products. Some of the most interesting tags I've seen were made out of wood, fabric, plastic, tinfoil--pretty much anything you can imagine.

You can also purchase generic pre-cut tags and decorate them to your hearts content. Embellishing the tag is the fun part. You can use, ribbon, stickers, eyelets, fiber, wire, etc.

Finished tags can be adhered to a scrapbook layout or used in other fun ways. I like using tags on handmade cards and birthday invitations. You can even make a mini album out of nothing but tags, hooked together with ribbon or a metal ring.

To create your tag trace around a plastic tag template or use a punched out tag. Sizzix has several different styles of tag dies. You can also find tag punches in a variety of sizes.
Try it out. I think you'll find you like creating tags. They are inexpensive, add a unique look to your project, don't take much time, and are tons of fun to make.
Return to the Neighborhood.
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