Thursday, May 28, 2015

How to Turn "Mom, I'm bored," into "Let's Join the Writing Club!"

Some days it's just too hot to play outside...
Why not Join
The Writing Club?
When my oldest grandson was in the third grade he had a brilliant teacher who came up with a clever way for her students to remember the writing process. Here's how it goes:

The Brain Drain
 The kids write down anything and everything that comes into their minds.
The Sloppy Copy
This is the first draft. Don't worry about perfection.
The Pair Share
The kids get with a critique partner (or sibling) and work out the bugs of each other's stories.
The Sweet Sheet
This is the second draft where all of their corrections from the Pair Share show up.
Goof Proof
The Teacher (or Mom) acts as editor.
The Glory Story
The corrected Final Draft is published to the classroom computer.
Need more ideas?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review of The Secret Cipher by Whitaker Ringwald

Jax Malone and her cousin Ethan Hoche didn't expect the bizarre birthday present that their estranged great aunt sent Jax to contain a dangerous magical urn. An urn belonging to Pandora's daughter that has the power to suck hope out of the world.

Now they must race to Boston to find and destroy the two remaining urns . . . urns that could rid humanity of both faith and love.

Unfortunately for Jax and Ethan, the existence of the urns is no longer hidden and there are powerful enemies who want to use them to control the world. Their only chance of finding the urns first is decoding a mysterious ancient Greek cipher . . .

The Secret Cipher is the sequel to The Secret Box, a rollicking adventure full of family rivalry, magic, questing, and laugh-out-loud humor.

I wasn't sure this second book was going to be as good as the first, but it delighted me. It was as much fun to read as book 1, with some new characters and added twists that I did not see coming.
It just goes to show that things are never exactly as they seem. The cipher was very unexpected, very unique.
The only problem is waiting for book 3 to come out. The Secret Cipher came out earlier this year so we may be waiting . . .

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

3 Summer Reading Programs

Are you armed with cures for Summertime boredom?
Kids need a good mix of physical and quiet-time activities:
Family Hiking
Water Fun
Kids love a challenge with rewards.
Salt Lake County Library System has a fun program--
contact your local library!
Here's a great link to a summer reading challenge by a home-schooling mom with a free downloadable and lots of book suggestions for each genre.

Cover Reveal and GIVEAWAY!! Don't miss it!

Veils and Vengeance Veils and Vengeance by Rachelle J. Christensen When wedding planner, Adrielle Pyper, goes to Hawaii to orchestrate a destination wedding, she isn't prepared for what she finds. After the trauma of her previous event, the beautiful isle of Kauai is the perfect place for Adri to unwind and do what she does best – plan. She even lets herself indulge in the attention of the groom’s handsome brother. But just when everything seems to be perfect, an afternoon snorkeling trip turns to murder when Adri discovers the body of a young woman. Shaken, but unable to let it go, Adri’s sleuthing leads her into more danger than she could imagine. When a number of “accidents” threaten her own life, it soon becomes apparent that someone will do anything to keep Adri from interfering with their vengeance.   add to goodreads     rachelleAuthor Rachelle J. Christensen Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense and solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and, of course, reading. Rachelle is the award-winning author of six books, including Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, and What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know. Her novella, Silver Cascade Secrets, was included in the Rone Award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.
$25 Cover Reveal Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/15/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. It started from women of the South decorating the graves of fallen confederate soldiers. After the war, the North also decorated the graves of their fallen. Each region had their own date in late spring when they decorated. It was seen as more of  reconciliation than of harboring old wounds.

It became a time to remember our fallen heroes of each war by decorating their graves. To let them know we will never forget their sacrifice.

As a child, I remember my mother called it Decoration Day. She'd cut fresh flowers from all over our yard. She filled buckets of water to hold all of her clippings. We'd put them in the back of our car, hoping they wouldn't tip over. I liked going to the cemetery with my mom in the morning. If we went early it was quiet and peaceful. Later on, it would get busy. I learned respect for the dead as we cleaned around the headstones and decorated all of our family graves along with the military graves. I learned proper flag etiquette. I learned respect and gratitude for all who passed before me. They all sacrificed to make life better for me.

I loved Decoration Day. To a kid, it meant school was nearly over, and all my cousins would get together in the afternoon for a barbecue and volleyball. My chore was cleaning off the patio with the hose--my favorite chore because I could get wet.

I don't think I truly appreciated the sacrifices of those lost and fallen until I became an adult. A few years ago I had the opportunity of visiting the Washington Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Viet Nam memorial, and the WWII Memorial. I felt the sacredness of the area. I knew it was hallowed ground and that the Lord respected their sacrifices. This is where I truly gained reverence and awe for all the sacrifices made in my behalf.

May you enjoy the day with family, but also please take time to remember the cost and those who paid it.