Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Gift for ME!

For the past 4 years I have published almost in the 100's of books. Many of them were presents for family and friends, sports teams, teachers, and special people celebrating special times. Watching those people open their presents and find a book made a especially just for them, makes my heart fill with joy! I can't even explain the emotion that runs through me every time that happens. Many times I hear back from a customer telling about their experience when they've given the gift of story to someone they love. And they too cannot explain the overwhelming joy that brings a tear to the eye.

Tuesday afternoon I was pulling into my driveway and stopped and grabbed the mail. As I opened my mailbox I saw a brightly-colored package with some "Happy Birthday's" written all over it. It had to be for me because my birthday was this past week. I was so excited! I had no idea who it could be from, but I hurried up and tore it open and to my surprise I received a Cherish Bound Book in the mail as a gift from my "Bestest Friend" in the entire world.

I sat in my car for about 15 minutes reading this story...remembering so many amazing times that I had forgotten about, and laughing hysterically as if she was sitting right next to me. I couldn't help but let a few tears pass.

She took the time to write a story about our friendship, how we met, how we've connected through Cherish Bound and our families, our struggles and triumphs, added great quotes about best friends and even added some pictures from when we first met all the way up until the present. She custom designed a beautiful cover in digital scrapbooking software and added a cute photo of us from about....10 years ago.

This book is a treasured gifted. I've never really been on the receiving end of this process. I'm always giving the books or helping people create the books to give to others. But this time, the gift was for me! Not only did this help me remember how blessed I am to be helping people do this all over the US, but it reminded me that the power of story is really a gift. It's a gift that needs to be shared and passed on no matter how young or old you are, the gift of story is priceless! I will never forget the feeling I had as I sat there in my car reading a story that was written just for me.

Yep, It's a Contest! What Story Would You Tell....For Free?

I have 1000's of stories always running circles in my head. At night I go to bed thinking about the next story I want to share with my family. I'm full of stories, JUST LIKE YOU! But I'm actually telling mine...are you? Would you like to get started? Yes! Great! Then here's how you can win $29 in Publishing to start your first Cherish Bound book or your second...third...maybe even your fourth!

Leave a comment and tell me what story you would tell if you could publish a book through Cherish Bound. Who would it be about? Why do you want to share it? Any photos, memorabilia, letters, etc. that you would want to include? You have until Sunday, Aug. 10 to leave your comments and then my 5-year-old son will pick a winner by random draw! Let's hear 'em!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...14 years today

For more Wordless Wednesday visit

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Interview on Wahm Talk Radio with Kelly McCausey!

Welcome to those of you who are joining me from I hope you had a great time learning about Cherish Bound and hopefully I can spark some ideas about blogging your businesses and what you love! I'm new to this concept and by no means am I claiming to be a pro....I'm just doing something I truly love! So check out my blog, leave some comments and let me know if you have any questions!

Here's the direct link to the interview

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why A Storytelling Festival?

When I tell people that I'm heading off to Cherish Bound's National Convention and I'm going to a Storytelling Festival...I always get the deer-in-the-headlights look and then a Huh? Storytelling Festival???

This year we'll be spending our convention nestled in the beautiful Utah mountains at the Mount Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. So why here? Because we're the experts in Family Storytelling. As consultants we're out in the middle of families and communities teaching them about the power of story and the simplicity and basic truth of the well-told story. My goal is to make sure everyone I know has at least one story to pass on to their families. I've learned through Cherish Bound as well as immersing myself in story that storytelling is not only an art, but it's a glue that will bind a family together. Story is magic for families.

I've attend 2 major storytelling festivals; Jonesborough, TN and Four Corners in New Mexico, as well as a handful of smaller ones. There is a unique energy that permeates from these festivals. I was one who had stereotyped storytelling and never gave it a chance, until I found Cherish Bound. We are encouraged to learn about the roots of storytelling, where it comes from, and get a better understanding of it so we can sincerely help families and those we come in contact with. I had no idea the impact it would have one me. I realized we're all storytellers at heart...some share on the stage, others through written pages, and a majority of storytellers are people like you and me....curled up on our couches with our children.

I have fallen in love with "storytelling". I get goosebumps when I think about sitting under the beautiful white tents waiting for the next storyteller to take over the thoughts and my heart! I literally lose myself in their stories and forget where I'm at. I could go on and on and on about I will. But in tomorrow's post. I'll tell you about my incredible experience at the Jonesborough, Tennessee, storytelling festival that I attended in October 2006!

Learn about storytelling and the Timpanogos Story Telling Festival by visiting Cherish Bound and The Festival's home page!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And the Winner is.....

On July 10th I posted a Tuesday Traditions and I requested to hear all about your traditions. Thank you to those of you who responded! You have amazing traditions and your children will have so many amazing stories and memories to pass down.

My five-year-old drew a name from a hat to win Cherish Bound's Family Traditions Journal and the winner is....

JEN from

Make sure you pop back in and read the amazing traditions that were posted in the comment section! Tuesday Traditions #23

Wordless Wednesday...Who Wins?

14 yr. old daughter? 5 yr. old son? 30-something Dad?

For more Wordless Wednesday visit

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #25

As you can tell, I think family traditions are important. They bring us together as a families, help us remember the past, where we come from, and at times, they can bring a sense of normalcy to a family.

My kids love the anticipation of family traditions, whether it's a simple routine at dinnertime, a special breakfast on Mother's Day or an annual holiday event. A friend of mine said they have a tradition of hiking a specific trail on 4th of July and spend the evening on the hilltop watching tons of different firework shows across the valley. Or maybe it's spending a girls-only weekend each year with your best friends! I personally love muddy flag football on Thanksgiving morning...others probably love the cooking, but you can find me rolling in the mud conquering the gridiron.

And that brings me to another one our family's favorite traditions....Sports. It's no secret, I've mentioned it plenty of times. But this weekend's events moved our love for sports to the top of our traditions list.

Raising athletic children means we'll be spending weekends and most weeknights at the practice fields and on the sidelines supporting, cheering, yelling, screaming.....and of course encouraging our children along their path to athletic success. There's nothing I'd rather do on a Saturday morning than stroll up to the far end of a soccer field (need space with the heard that I bring), double stroller, a backpack filled with toys, probably a scooter or bike, and a Diet Coke. Some days it's the softball field, whatever, wherever, I don't care. I just want to be on some type of athletic arena.

So this past weekend, my second oldest daughter's softball team made it to the State Playoffs!! It's was a long journey, but worth the hard work and sacrifice. My daughter's team one 10 straight games to become the Florida State Champions! The emotions that we shared as a family, the excitement we shared with the team and their families is indescribable. I would love to give all the details, but there are just too many thrilling moments. But what I do want to share is that our family bonds when we're together. We will be on the fields every weekend and there's no changing that. Some people think of it as roadblock or deterrent from family time, but we have a family motto...a family that plays together, stays together. My daughter had all 6 of us on the edge of our seats, banging the fences, and cheering for her all weekend. Not one person asked when will it be over, how much longer, how many more games! We were there as a family, supporting one of our own and building on a tradition that makes our family the rock that it is!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #17

If someone would have challenged me to "Scrap" 7 scrapbooks with photos, stories and all the cute stuff in a 7 month period (back in my scrapping days) I probably would have gotten "7 pages" done....TOTAL! For one, I took too long because I used too many embellishments and I'm a perfectionist. Two, I'm too busy. I can't sit and work on a scrapbook, clean it up, get it back out....and so on and so on. And Three, I'm extremely competitive and I would have NEVER even take the challenge....don't like setting myself up for failure.

Well, Cherish Bound challenged it's consultants to join the "Story Club". In order to be apart of the "Club" and receive a GRAND PRIZE at convention we have publish 7 small 5x7 Story Books by the time convention rolls around at the end of August. Each book "theme" had to come from one of eight different Story Starter collections. Guess what? I did it....okay, I'm almost done. I have 2 more to go!

The eight Story Starter Collections are Love Collection, Family Collection, Legacy Collection, Giggles & Giddy-up Collection, Butterfly Collection, School Collection, Holiday Collection, and Early Childhood Collection.

So far I've completed and received my wedding book coming from the Love Collection. My son's Preschool book coming from the Early Childhood Collection as well as his T-Ball book from the School Collection. And my most recent arrival was the Christmas Traditions book we did as a family from the Holiday Collection. I just completed a 2007 Family Yearbook book from the Family Collection and I'm currently working on a Hero's book from our Legacy Collection. (Can't say who that's for....secret!) The final and 7th book will be a children's book from the Giggles & Giddy-up Collection.

I loved this challenge for many reason. I'm been able to complete some fairly large memory keeping moments that have been weighing on me. I've also experienced first hand how easy it is to complete simple story/photo books. It doesn't have to be big 100 page life story books. Everyone can simply tell their stories in small "chapters" and create a beautiful collection of books.

As soon as I get my entire collection and my "Grand Prize" I'll be sure to post a picture of my newest library!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why I Love Working From Home!

After reading Kelly McCausey's reasons about why she loves working from, I realized that I too not only love working from home, but have my reasons why I wouldn't trade it for the world. If you would have asked me 10 or even 15 years ago what I'd be doing now, I would have never said that I'd be a work at home mom. That thought would have never, ever crossed my mind.

But today, I am a work-at-home-mom; otherwise known as a WAHM. There reasons why I have to work, need to work, want to work, whatever you want to call it, but there are only a few reasons why I do it and who I do it for. It's for my five kids and my sweet husband. As much as I would fight tooth and nail to never-ever-ever work in some dreaded office, I could do if I had too, but only if I didn't have my five kiddos and hubby. Having them in my life, at the top of my list makes me want to be at home and take care of them first...while running a business from home.

I have children ranging in ages from 14 to 1-year-old twins and I don't want to miss anything. I don't want to miss their soccer games after school. I don't want to miss their sweet smiling faces when I pull up in the carpool line and their eyes pop with excitement and they run to greet me. I don't want to miss our few quite moments we spend together just before everybody makes their mad dashes out the door to the bus. I don't want to miss it....I want to be a part of every moment and live in it with them.

This too is my life, right now, and I'm so blessed to have it! I'm blessed to be able to run kids to a bus stop and then run back into my office to answer emails, jump on a conference call, and help my customers write their stories. Take a break to grab a bag of Cheerios and a sippy cup of apple juice and change a few diapers....and then run back in the office during nap time and jump back into business mode. Another break to turn on the crock pot so my hubby can have a warm dinner and few other phone calls with adorable twins causing a ruckus in my office. Thank goodness for mute! How exciting is that? Some might call it crazy, hectic, insane, but I call it life. It's my amazing life and I love WORKING FROM HOME! Cherish Bound offers me the freedom to be a mom and wife first and then run a successful business.

So why do you love working at home? Grab this meme image, write a post to share your why (with pics of your who!) on your blog and link back to this post. Don't forget to share your link in the comment section.

Tuesday Tradition #24

I've mentioned in other posts about our family spending one evening per week together. We usually find time Sunday evening because weeknights are just crazy for us. With so many other commitments it's hard to get all 7 of us at home at the same time. So Sunday evenings are set aside just for us.

We did a fun activity a few weeks back that not only was good quality time, but also helped us keep our tradition of preserving our memories and stories in a forward motion. We all love memory keeping and of course, we do all of our stories and books with Cherish Bound. The finished product is extremely exciting to get and we love seeing all of our family's books on the shelf, but it's the process of putting these books together that is becoming a great family tradition.

We used Cherish Bound's Christmas Story Starter and answered various questions...favorite traditions, favorite gifts, memories, stories, people, etc. Each of us took the time to answer the questions and of course it brought up lots of memories for all of us. We all remembered different stories and each of us had stimulated each other's memories. We talked about family we hadn't seen in quite some time and people that we missed. Some of the youngest can't write very well yet, so they drew pictures and interpreted them for us.

We sat there and talked for a few hours. Talking as a family and having good conversation is scarce now a days, but we make it a point to spend time together, quality time! Those few hours a week are what keep our family tight and help our kids remember that we're on their side they do have people who love and support them.

After we were done we gathered just a few pictures to go in our book and we published it that night! This past week we got our book in the mail and it was so exciting to sit down and look at our great work, but also to read the stories over and over and over again!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

10 Ways to Make Time for Your Children

Today I was browsing through and came across this great article
"10 Ways to Make Time for Your Children" by Derek Semmler

It's a great piece of advice that we can all use here and there, and I think many of those ideas are "family traditions". They're great ways to get our families talking, bring us closer together, and they'll help us enjoy the time that we have together! Check it out and enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #16

Can I just tell you all how much I love "DIGITAL" scrapbooking? I'm over the traditional paper stuff, but I have to say I'm pretty impressed with how much fun digital scrapbooking is. Now, I can see how it could get a little over the top obsessive and with my OCD personality....I have to be VERY careful. But I've found some great places for FREE down-loadable digital scrapbooking....stuff. ( I don't even know the word for it is...ha! Sorry) I've played around with it and have had some fun.

The best part about it is the only messy place is my computer screen! I can keep all my "paper" and junk in the computer and on the screen. No pens, papers, stickers...NOTHING! Well, none that are tangible objects. They're ALL DIGITAL! I can close it up and walk away without anyone touching anything, using anything, or destroying my piles and files, and whatever else I used to lug.

Anyway, this is just a post for me to vent about something I think I like a little bit...Remember, it's still about the stories, but Digital Scrapbooking might lend a little fun if you get an extra hour or two to mess around!

Here are some of my favorite free digital scrapbooking sites. (one of my favs!)
scrapgirls free downloads

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #23

What are your family traditions?

I'd love to hear what kind of traditions you celebrate and practice in your homes. I always love listening to other's ideas and stories and I'm sure you all have some amazing traditions to share!

Share them in the comment section and feel free to leave your website, blogs, etc. I want to fill up this posts with 100's of tradition ideas!
So anyone who leaves a comment will be in a drawing to win Cherish Bound's new Family Traditions Journal.
Last day to enter will be Friday, July 18th (Midnight EST)

Okay....let's hear 'em! Who's first?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Some of My Hero's and People of Influence

There are so many people in my life that I would consider "Hero's". My mom of course is at the top of my list..."Super" hero is more like it. CP (she knows who she is) is probably one of my most favorite people on earth..."bestest" friend ever and a true hero in every sense of the word. I adore Carol Rice, co-founder of Cherish Bound, and rank her at the top as well. Their influences and examples of being a hero are all different, yet each one has touched my life and changed it in more ways than one.

Another personal hero is Nelson Mandela. Wow! What an incredible man! If only the world could have a few more Nelson's around...what an amazing place it would be. The stories I've read about him and the faith that he exhibits on a daily basis put him on my Hero Pedestal!

Just recently I added another hero to my list...Christopher Columbus. Now I know that may seem odd, but recently someone special shared a quote by him with me. It's one of those goose bump quotes.

"Our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my enterprise called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?"
My spine tingled as I read it and I became so intrigued by this historical hero. Not only because of his faith, but his will and determination to go the way he was intended to go. I don't think many people realize what a hero he was....and still is to this nation, and to this world!

Cherish Bound has great Mini Story Starter for $1.50 called "My Hero's and People of Influence". I love it because it's simple, small and "mini". It has 10 questions, a sample story and ideas to help you get your "Hero" story started.

"This mini will help you develop a story about influences-those people who have shaped your beliefs, development and character. Your heroes might be sports, religion, politics, entertainment, or even super-heroes. Think about school and music teachers, coaches, and professors. Maybe your hero is your best friend, partner, sibling, cousin, roommate, companion or neighbor. Is there a professional hero such as a boss, partner, co-worker, or mentor that has been a significant influence? Our everyday heroes are everywhere. Use this mini and the Lessons About Life story starter to discover your hero and their special traits." --Cherish Bound

Cherish Bound also offers a beautiful designer book just for the "Hero's" in your life. Look around because there are "Hero's" all around you....thank them.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...And the Tradition Passes On

My husband's proudest moment...his oldest daughter teaching his youngest son how to fish!
For more Wordless Wednesday visit

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #22

A Colorful Fourth of July!

I love the 4th of July! It's another event on "my list" that brings out that warm fuzzy little kid excitement in me. There are 1000's of fun 4th of July Family Traditions! Here is one my favorites that we do every year....

We buy a few very large boxes of sidewalk chalk and each of our kids, usually the neighbor kids too, and any cousins or family that happens to be visiting draw HUGE brightly colored sidewalk murals. Up and down the sidewalk in front of our house, up the large driveway and anywhere they can find a piece of cement, they scrambled to draw, color, and create beautiful sidewalk masterpieces.

It's so much fun to see each little square of sidewalk colored so differently and the creative ideas that they come up with! Plus we always end up with a few squares saved for a game of hopscotch too.

Here a few other favorites!
  • Homemade ice cream
  • Matching 4th of July outfits for the little ones
  • The famous berry Fourth of July cake
  • Picnics & BBQ's
  • "I Love My Country Because....." finish the sentence
  • Declaration of Independence 101 (Educate your family)
  • Crafts and Projects for decorating and eating (
  • And of course.......THE FIREWORKS!!!

You're invited to my ONLINE PARTIES!

I'm bringing Cherish Bound to you!
Learn about Cherish Bound from the comfort of your own home...even better, your COMPUTER! Yep! Join me for an online Cherish Bound Party!!! They're fun, interactive, you can win lots of fun stuff and you can learn about Cherish Bound and how the process works!

  • Saturday, June 28th 12:00 pm EASTERN Gathering
  • Monday, June 30th 3:00 pm EASTERN Gathering
  • Tuesday, July 8th 12:00 pm EASTERN Opportunity Party
  • Tuesday, July 15th 10:00 pm EASTERN Family Story Profile
  • Tuesday, July 22th 12:00 pm EASTERN Gathering
  • Tuesday, July 29th 10:00 pm EASTERN Writer's Workshop

All you have to do is go to, select "Chat Room" from the left side and enter a username. No password necessary. Just login and join me in the party room!