November was the launch of "Waiting on Justin" and was full of tons of book stuff. Most of the pictures have to do with celebrating the book but I threw some others in as well. In here you'll find pictures of the launch party and book signing as well as family photos from Thanksgiving. If you have any questions about any of them just ask. Enjoy!
Typically for us Saturdays are made for being lazy, but today is an exception I have to get up, get dressed and get to Hastings in Wenatchee for my first book signing ever! It's crazy to believe that this day is actually here. I've dreamed of it for so long. To be a published author, to realize my dream. I mean I'm not best seller, not a well known author, nor do I even have more than one book out... yet. This is my beginning! This is my start and this will be probably one of the most memorable signings of my life.
But today isn't just my beginning, it is a beginning for hundreds of forever families around the country as they celebrate National Adoption Day. Today is the day hundreds of children have dreamed of, a day they are counted as part of a family, it is a day moms and dads have dreamed of where they can actually, officially call themselves "mom" and "dad".
Today is a good day for beginnings!
Our local Adoption Day celebration is at Foothills Middle School from 11:30-2. Last year our family was a part of the festivities. It is a fun time, with activities and entertainment for kids of all ages, food, mascots, and of course the officiating of forever families. If you have the energy to get out of your comfy jammies today I invite you to hop over to Foothills and watch the festivities AND THEN... skip right on over to Hastings and get your copy of "Waiting on Justin" I'll be there from 3-5 signing away!
For more information on Adoption Day: http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/
The days are getting shorter, the air crisp and colder, the world whispers that Christmas is coming. I used to watch the sunrise on my way to work and be home before it set, but now I watch them both from cubicle window which provides a glorious industrial view of the Wenatchee Valley horizon from east to west. My favorite season is upon us! The season of Glad Tidings of Great Joy, of warm fuzzy blankets to cuddle up in because of white sparkly ones outside. It's the season of hot cocoa and peppermint Scnhapps, Elf and Family Man, time with my own family and friends and remembering that unto us a Savior was born. I am a Christmas nut! I love it, but this year will be different. This year will be the first without Christmas Eve at my Gramma's in more than twenty years.
I'm not sure how I feel about that just like I'm not sure how I feel about my boy's last ride at Alatheia Riding Center for the season. I know it's too cold for the riders to be out there and I know a new season will bloom again with the budding apple and pear trees but I will miss his Tuesday rides on Sindre, a beautiful Norwegian Fjord horse. We will miss Nancy and Camille and the other families. He will miss the freedom he finds on the back of his beautiful mount. The season of cheer is here and I embrace it, but I will miss the smiles the horses at Alatheia brought to all of us this past riding season. Thank you Alatheia for a wonderful riding season. Thank you staff and volunteers for all you do. Our boy has loved every single minute of it! If you're interested in more information, check them out! http://alatheiaridingcenter.com/
Two days to go! Time to tell you about JAG!
The first draft of Waiting on Justin was written for the JAG students I worked with at the Wenatchee Valley Tech Center so it only made sense to include a JAG class in the story. That wasn't the only reason I put JAG into the book, though. I believe in the JAG program. I was honored to work within the Jobs for Washington program for a year and a half. The program does help kids, it gives them a voice and it makes a lasting impression on their lives.
My childhood was challenging and though I didn't have a JAG class or teacher to cling to, l remember how important my teachers and high school guidance counselor were to me. I'm proof that teachers make a difference in the lives of kids and JAG is working to bring a quality training and intervention program to the most high-risk students in America. I appreciate that the JAG model consults with corporate America and looks to the needs of our nation. The training they provide JAG specialists is real and relevant to our world today and the specialists can take that to the kids. But the program isn't just about training students, it about advocating for them and being a listening ear to kids who are often misunderstood and ignored.
One week to launch! I hear the countdown in my head! I can't believe it's really happening. As the day approaches I wanted to start to highlight the organizations mentioned in the book. First up is the CASA program. In Waiting on Justin, Haylee's CASA is a lady named Michelle, but anyone interested in keeping kids safe can be one. Our local program, here in Leavenworth and surrounding areas, is the Chelan-Douglas CASA program (http://cdcasa.org). It is with this program I have volunteered for nearly three years now. Director, Sue Baker, and the other staff assist volunteers and are always there to encourage the good work volunteers do.
The CASA program is absolutely amazing. A CASA is sometimes, often times, the one consistent figure in the life of a child in the Foster Care system. As a CASA you are responsible to report to the court what is in the best interest of the child, which is not always what the state, parent or child believes to be true. It is a role that comes with great responsibility and great reward. If you have 10 hours a month to volunteer and forever positively impact the life of a child in the foster system, please consider becoming a CASA.