A Birthday Weekend to Remember!

Awesome Cake at the Nystroms

I’ve had an amazing birthday weekend! WOW!

Last Friday we enjoyed dinner with good friend’s Marty and Jeanne Nystrom and Jeff and Sarah Jones.

A strange wind storm knocked the power out but we managed with lanterns until the power came back on.

My Bestie Jeanne always knows how to make a girl feel special.

Saturday I enjoyed the sunshine and worked in my yard.

The flowers Steve planted for Mother’s day are growing and I’ve added more with my birthday money from my father-in-law.

My yard is looking better every day.

While we watched a movie downstairs, Steve decorated our family room. He’s been teasing me because it took me a couple trips upstairs to notice that huge balloon!

Steve decorated the family room!

Sunday, my “official” birthday was my favorite day. Church with Pastor Jude preaching. Zane and Kelsey over for lunch. Looking at their photos from England and Ireland was great fun.

We laughed over the goofy photos we took with my new iPad!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

It was the birthday that kept on going with dinner at the Halvorson’s.

Barbara and Elling Halvorson were home so I enjoyed hanging with them. Yummy BBQ with Barbara’s potatoe salad.

Elling led a beautiful round of Happy Birthday as they presented me with yet another yummy cake.

Cake at the Halvorson House

More laughs with the photo booth on my iPad with Rod, Randy, John and Kent.

Monday we had a Memorial Day BBQ with Jeff and Sarah Jones.

Ray and Laura Clavero joined us. All the Nystrom’s were there too.

Ray and Jeff - Kings of the Grill

It was a battle for King of the Grill between Jeff’s filet mignon and Ray’s rib-eye steak.

It was hard to go back to work on Tuesday after all the celebrating.

I am truly blessed.

May the God of HOPE fill YOUR birthday with JOY and PEACE and LOVE as you TRUST in HIM.

God Bless Your Heart,

NCWA Writer Renewal Conference – Imagine That

I can’t express enough about the benefit of attending a writer’s conference. I try to attend at least one conference a year.

I come away with new friends, fresh ideas and encouragement to stay the course in my writing career.

There was an incredibly sweet spirit at this year’s Northwest Christian Writer’s Renewal Conference held May 18-19 at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, WA.

Worship by my good friend, Marty Nystrom, added a Holy Spirit touch to the Friday night session.

The lineup of agents, editors and workshop leaders was a beautiful combination.

Agent and Editor Panel

I didn’t come to this conference with an agenda other than networking and sharing my latest writing ideas.

I met with Sandra Bishop of MacGregor Literary Agency and Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency. I came away from those appointments with a few ideas about my next writing project. Once I solidify my ideas, I’ll have the opportunity to pitch it to them at a later date. That’s the power of building a network.

Marshal Younger shared from his heart about his journey as a writer for Focus on the Family’s “Adventures in Odyssey” program. He was melted my heart with his story of how the children of Make a Wish Foundation became part of the script of one of the episodes. His compassion for telling a good story was evident in each session.

The variety of workshops made it difficult to choose which to attend.

I attended the point of view workshop taught by two talented novelists, Lesley McDaniel and Lynnette Bonner.

Grace Fox gave me a list of fresh ideas for marketing my books.

I learned about King Content in Jim Rubart’s energetic session.

Romance was in the air during the romance writer’s panel discussion by Lynnette Bonner, Ocieanna Fleis, Clint Kelly and Kate Lloyd. I will write that romance novel one of these days.

Thankfully each session was recorded so I can listen and learn all throughout the summer.

Since the conference, I’ve been motivated to set new writing goals.

Yesterday I submitted an article to MomSense magazine. I’m excited to write for them after meeting with Alexandra Kuykendall of MOPS, Intl.

I was encouraged about dusting off the manuscript of my personal story Stones of Remembrance and praying for direction from the Lord about where to take it next.

I know a lot of prayer went into the planning and coordination of this year’s conference and I’m grateful for the team of people who pulled it off.

May 17-18 - Writer's Renewal 2013

I hope you’ll mark your calendar for next year’s conference. It is scheduled for May 17-18, 2013 and will again be held at Overlake Christian Church. Will you join me?

Our keynote speaker will be novelist, Jane Fitzpatrick.My calendar is set because I’ll be teaching two workshops next year.

God Bless your heart,



My Message is C.L.E.A.R. Book Signing Fun

My son Gabe and I had a great time signing books at Beyond Necessity Gifts in Anaconda, MT.

MaryPat Clark and Amy Dodd prepared yummy snacks and drinks to make all of the guests feel at home.

There was a steady stream of patrons browsing the store and buying Mother’s Day gifts.

Ethan gets a signed book. Photo by James Rosien of the Anaconda Leader

We were surprised by the wonderful support we received from the community of Anaconda. Gabe and I signed almost 150 books!

Thank you Anaconda. We are forever grateful for the constant support for our family.

We made Anaconda our first book signing stop.

Twenty years ago this community helped us buy Gabe’s first wheelchair. Now Gabe was able to bless them back with his inspirational story.

Gigi chatting with her longtime friend, Lynn (Jessen) Burgher. Photo by James Rosien of The Anaconda Leader

Dee Motor Company and Glacier Bank both put a notice on their digital marquee announcing the book signing.

The Montana Standard Newspaper and the Anaconda Leader Newspaper each ran a great story.

Here is the link to the Montana Standard story written by George Plaven. I thought he did a great job on the article.


If you were unable to make it to the book signing, Beyond Necessity has copies at the store.

Or you can purchase them at our foundation website at www.GabesHOPE.org

I pray that our book touches your life and helps you to live C.L.E.A.R.

God Bless Your Heart.


Reader’s Favorite 5 STAR Review!

Hello there. I hope you are well.

I pray for you every time I think of you. Oh, how much I appreciate your support!

I’ve been busy promoting our new book, My Message is C.L.E.A.R. – Hope and Strength in the Face of Life’s Greatest Adversities, which released on April 13, 2012 on Gabe’s 22nd birthday.

We had a fabulous launch party at a gorgeous house – Serenity House – a gift from Gregg and Lafon Jantz. There were about eighty people who came to support us and hear Gabe’s “Endurance” message.

Available on www.GabesHOPE.org, Amazon or Barnes and Noble

I co-wrote this book with my son, Gabe. It was a blast writing it with him.

It is even more fun as we head out to promote it.

We leave Tuesday, May 8, 2012 on a road trip to Montana to get the word out about this latest book.

Gabe will be speaking at the Anaconda Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday from 3-4 pm.

Thursday, May 10, 2012,  he will be at Beyond Necessity Gift Shop from 3-6 for a booksigning open house that should prove to be a whole lot of fun!

We are planning other book signings later in the summer at the Barnes and Noble stores as well as a few gift shops. So the rest of our time in Montana will be spent planning those future events.


We were delighted to get a five star review this week from a book review website – Reader’s Review.


Hope to see you under the full moon sky this week. It is a SUPER moon and I think we are going to have a SUPER road trip.

God Bless your heart