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Scenes of Wonder”fall” Autumn

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Happy September! Happy first day of the holiday season! We launch into the “ber” months which brings along with it all the wonderful things of fall – gorgeous trees, pumpkins, parties, football, Halloween, Thanksgiving — capped off by Christmas, the grand topper of the “bers.” How I love these four months!

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To put my long weekend to good use, I got out some fun fall trimmings for around the house. Tis a fine day for welcoming the fineries of fall!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Winner and a Wonderful 10-year-old

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Okay bang the drum, we have a winner! Takepurchase was the name drawn out for the Kindness Rocks! mug and tote bag prize drawing!

Thanks so much to all of you who signed up on the Nice List for the first ever newsletter. The next issue will be arriving in your inbox on September 24th with two special things — another drawing and the first three chapters of The Santanapping! I, for one, just cannot wait! :) Don’t miss out everyone. It’s super duper completely easy to get on the Nice List. Just put your email in the green box at the top of the page and hit the button. Then be sure to pop over to your email box to confirm the subscription. That’s it, you are in!

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Next in my super cool news to share. Look at the wonderful, thoughtful completely fun pile of items that lovely 10-year-old Leonie and her mum sent me from England! Is this the greatest surprise box of gifts ever? I came home from work one night this week to this box of fun — including an autographed copy of Leonie’s mum’s book, Betrayal, Malt Whiskey and a Toilet Brush-- and the wonderful note from Leonie at the top of this post. Talk about someone who belongs on the Nice List! Thanks so much again Leonie and Ira. You two are definitely on South Pole Santa’s good list! :)

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Lastly, check it out everyone – a Christmas tree sighting! I found this fun “forest tree” set up in Pier 1 today. Personally, I loved it and thought it added tastefully to the fall decor but I heard others not feeling quite the same. I might not be the best judge on this though since I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something I didn’t like at Pier 1!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Elf Jokes!

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How about some elf jokes today – straight out of book three The Santanapping? Are you ready? These are fun – especially if you’re ten and under! :)

What do you call an elf that sits on a shelf?

A shelfie!

What do you call an elf who has lots of money?

Welfy!

What’s an elf’s favorite number?

Twelfth!

What do you call an elf that doesn’t share?

Elfish!

The third book in the South Pole Santa series is coming soon — full of silly, elf-filled moments like this.

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

“Be the Change!”

I pretty much like every single thing about this wonderful story from the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, that comes to us just in time for back-to-school. Joe Drexler is my kind of hero. It’s a story of courage and kindness and one where kindness persevered over the bullies! He is making a difference. Hooray! Parents, you might want to check out how to bring this program to your child’s school as well. It sounds really special and powerful. As Joe reminds all of us, “Be the Change.” Enjoy!

Making kindness contagious in Ottawa schools

Joe Drexler is behind an organization called Be The Game and Kind Every Time, which is dedicated to making a difference in children¹s lives. He is collaborating with St. Laurent Centre on a kindness campaign and will appear in the mall Aug. 23.
Joe Drexler is behind an organization called Be The Game and Kind Every Time, which is dedicated to making a difference in children¹s lives. He is collaborating with St. Laurent Centre on a kindness campaign and will appear in the mall Aug. 23.

Joe Drexler said he’ll never forget the day when he refused to go to school after a bully threatened to take his steel-toed boots and kick his teeth in.

“There wasn’t a day that went by for three years that I didn’t get pushed down, spat at, kicked, pushed from behind, punched, put in a headlock, or get my head mashed against the wall in the bathroom.”

After years of being picked on, he had enough, but his father challenged him to apologize to his tormentor, which had him “shaking like a tree in the wind.”

One day after leaving school, Drexler said his bully was waiting for him around the corner, but instead of running home like he did every single day, he confronted his bully. But what he said next stunned his friends.

“I’m sorry if I’ve ever hurt you or made you upset, I never wanted to do that. He looked at me and said, ‘um, um, um I’m sorry, too,’ ” Drexler said.

After that day the bullying stopped and Drexler vowed to never let anyone bully him, “if they did, I would deal with it head on with kindness.”

Now, he’s challenging others to do the same to help end bullying and promote kindness with a two-week event at the St. Laurent Centre. There will be random acts of kindness in the mall, a pledge wall and a contest to find the kindest person in Ottawa. It will also act as a fundraiser for Drexler’s program Kind Every Time, which takes place throughout the school year. The kindness event, which runs until Aug. 30, hopes to make kindness contagious amongst students as they prepare to go back to school in September. Drexler, a father of four who lives in Toronto and is the founder of Be The Change, will attend an event at the mall on Aug. 23 at 1 p.m.

Carrie Irvine, marketing director for St. Laurent, came up with the idea after wanting to do something that promotes a positive message for families and kids as they get ready for back to school.

“I was inspired by Joe’s Kind Every Time movement and how he motivates people with his enthusiasm and passion for the cause. It’s important for me as a parent to know there are leaders making kids feel strong and empowered,” Irvine said.

“It’s so important to have a refresher. It’s so important to start on a positive note,” said Drexler, 41, who admits that schools are having problems tackling the issue of bullying and that’s where he thinks he can help.

No one wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘I’m going to be a bully,’ but most of the time children don’t know that they’re doing it.

He said the bullying had become so relentless that it was destroying his self-confidence and it was affecting his grades. “I just felt sad, I felt dark, I felt alone because nobody was sticking up for me.”

“I got to think deep down they probably knew, but like most parents they didn’t know what to do,” said Drexler, who frequently made excuses after coming home with ripped shirts and a black eye.

“When was bullied I could run home lock the door and I’m safe, nobody else could hurt me. Today, kids can run home lock the door, but then they are being tormented online.”

He’s trying to make long-lasting change in schools by building character and compassion in students. He added that bullying is a learned behaviour and it can be difficult to pinpoint where it starts.

“What we try to do is de-program that and re-program them with positivity, kindness, empathy and compassion. We’re seeing amazing transformation, especially with the kids who have been isolated and feel like they’ve been pushed down and stomped on.

“If we focus our thoughts on kindness and not hate or bullying, then we will slowly see a transition and that’s exactly what’s happened,” he said.

 

Two things on kindness – my very favorite topic!

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Swinging by with a couple of very quick things on kindness today. First a preview of a great quote from Sandra from the next book The Santanapping. In this scene, she is being interviewed by Beatrice Carol the World Wide News reporter about whether kindness really matters or not. Oh Beatrice.

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And the second is to share this photo of what one lucky ducky person kind enough to sign up for the Nice List will win this weekend! I am really excited about this gift I get to send to one of you featuring a Kindness Rocks! mug and burlap tote bag. It’s not too late for you to get your chance at it. Anyone who signs up today will entered to win! And no need for sad faces if you miss out on this one, we’ll have fun drawings every single month for people on the Nice List. You know, cause your nice and kind and kindness rocks! 

Update! Oh Christmas crackers! Today is August 17 NOT August 24! I’m a whole week ahead! My moment of being crackers means you still have a whole week to spread the news on the giveaway and for kindness lovers to sign up! :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

A Big Ole Haboob and a Happy Dance

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When the dark clouds that folded in around Sandra and Em in book two came along and they disappeared in them, I’m wondering if the clouds looked like this dramatic photo!

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My sister and brother-in-law took these photos from their home in Eastern Washington State yesterday as this foreboding  dust cloud came at them quickly! While other areas of the country experience these giant dust storms – called haboobs (what a crazy fun word!) – this is the first time I’ve ever heard of one in our part of the country. Within minutes of this photo, they posted one of complete darkness. The kind where you get see your hand in front of you! That is freaky! Cool, but freaky! What do you think? Anyone else ever been through something like this? Wowzaa.

And in other news, guess what this author finally did? Finished her edits in time to send them off to her copy editor! Oh yeah! Oh happy, happy, joy, joy  dance under the full super moon yeah! Now she’ll go through it, pick up the things I missed, I’ll get it back, make those changes and send it off to Amazon. That’s still a month away but I’m dreamin’ already of the day. Next on my list is finding out if you’re on my list. [Read more...]

Northwest Light Show

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In the South Pole Santa books, one of the evening treats is when all of the Northern Lights elves get together and light up the skies with their glorious light show. Here in the Pacific Northwest this time of year though, right about sunset many evenings, I think we could give those elves a run for their money!

Facebook pages around here went crazy with sunset photos one night recently because the colors were so dang fabulous. This was one of my favorites.

Oh Oh Oh! — jingle

 

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My Little Pony Party! Giddy Up!

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What’s the next best thing to Christmas morning if you’re a kid? Why your birthday of course!

Every child on the planet should have such a wonderful “village” as the kids in my family do. Yesterday that “band of villagers” came out to celebrate our little Savanna turning five. She has moved from talking dragons at all times into loving all things My Little Pony these days and got a pony party for her birthday!

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It was marvelous! I’ll just start right off with the fact that the pony party included REAL ponies dressed up like My Little Ponies! Those little ponies came out and Savanna went wild! She was sooooo excited.  The ponies were there for a little more than an hour and I think Savanna rode them the whole time. Most of the other kids chose saddle up and enjoy the ponies too but, at this party anyhow, the girls all seemed much braver then the boys proved to be. Giddy-up! [Read more...]

Happy Happy Joy Joy Dance!

Did you happen to hear a giant whooshing sound around 11 pm West Coast time USA a couple of days ago by chance? You can probably be sure that was me, sitting back in my chair, breathing a giant breath of relief, happy as an elf on Christmas Eve about finishing my second draft on the third book! Hooray! I am so excited. It took a lot of help from my exceptional book coach, Breezy, but she pushed and pulled, whipped on me and it all came together with even a little bit of time to spare. Here’s what we know so far:

  • It’s had a name change and gone from the working title of “The Rescue” to the new title of “The Santanapping.” Being Santanapped is like being kidnapped only they take a Santa.
  • The book is at 54 chapters and 76,464 words. The biggest book so far.
  • All your favorite characters are back and you’ll be meeting some nice – and not so nice! – new ones.
  • Tina Fischer Mitchell, the artist who makes my magical covers is busy coming up with something fabulous for it.

Next up, my super-duper, lovely band of volunteer readers give it a [Read more...]

Battling the “I wants!”

Today I bring you wondrous photos from other places on this wonderful world wide web! The giver of ideas and brilliance, inspiration and fun! Like kids at Christmas, I have the “I wants” today! :)

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First up are fabulous photos of Antarctic. These three stunning pics come from Robert Swan and the 2041 Facebook site. Robert Swan leads up the drive to keep Antarctica free from drilling and other development by any nation after the world treaty expires in 2041. He and his group spend time [Read more...]