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July 29, 2006

If you live anywhere near the metro Atlanta area, I’d love to invite you to come hear me speak.

Yes, that’s right! I’m going to have to overcome my speaking jitters and tell you all about … something. I’m not sure what yet — it’s a secret that I’m working on. The Secret of the Scared Writer.

I thought becoming a writer meant that you could squirrel away with your keyboard like a hermit. But publishers aren’t too crazy about books that don’t sell. So they expect authors to do scary things — like speak in front of people! And invite people to come buy your books — even when you write your name in them.

The truth is, I’m kind of excited about this, and I’d love to meet you. I’ll be here — speaking at the Friends of the Smyrna Public Library’s Third Thursday Program. I’ll work up something fun to present — I promise. I do have a teacher’s bag somewhere — full of props and tricks. I’m pretty good at 3-year-old show and tell.

From a Daughter's Heart to Her Mom: 50 Reflections on Living Well

If you’re reading my blog and you’re an old friend, new friend, red friend, blue friend … or just a generally nice person who likes the smell of books, I’d love to see you. (please come, OK? somebody?)

I’ll be speaking on Thursday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. somewhere in the Smyrna Public Library. If you think my talk is boring, at least you can visit this beautiful building and maybe browse through their collection of over 100,000 books! If you want to see what I’ve been up to, I’ll have copies of my book, From a Daughter’s Heart to Her Mom: 50 Reflections on Living Well.

I had a nice surprise last week — book critic Joyce Handzo from Christian Book Previews wrote a very thoughtful review of my book — which you can read here. You can also read a couple of excerpts from the book here.

By: Heather Ivester in: Writing | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (8)



July 28, 2006

It’s hard to believe our schools begin in a little over a week! We’ve been going through some major family decisions and have decided to follow our hearts and enroll our three older children in a private Christian school this year.

I’ve blogged a little about our educational journey, which has included homeschooling and public school. Yet we’ve always said we’d take things year by year. Back in June, we attended a marriage retreat, and our speaker was a pastor from Wisconsin. He showed us slides of his family and said, “We’re very blessed that all three of our children can attend a Christian school.” When he said that, I felt this tugging on my heart — wishing our children could also be educated in a Christian setting.

Well, this dream became a prayer, and that prayer stirred my heart to start making phone calls and knocking on doors. I talked to so many people, gathering various opinions, checking out websites. And we’ve taken this first step. By faith.

We went shopping for school uniforms last week, something I’ve never done before. I was in complete awe as a polite sales girl brought me all the items we needed in the proper sizes. When my son told her, “I don’t need to try anything on; I can just tell if it fits,” it was wonderful to hear her say, “Oh no. You have to try these clothes on because some run big and some run small.” He went through several sizes and brands before she said, “Those are perfect.”

I had to stop myself from doing toe touches in the fitting area when I saw the transformation of my children from sloppy summer T-shirts and shorts to crisp, pleated MODEST school uniforms. The girls will wear cotton polos and skorts or jumpers. My son will also wear collared shirts tucked into neat shorts or pants. There are special colors for mid-week chapel, as well as field trips.

I watched other kids come out of the dressing rooms as they tried on uniforms, and I was amazed. A young teen girl wearing a halter top and typical shorts disappeared into the dressing room, emerging as a beautiful, modest young woman. If I were a teacher, I would take her much more seriously. She looked intellectual instead of … trampy.

Modesty is beautiful. The simplicity of school uniforms is beautiful.

When I brought everything to the cash register, I asked the clerk, “How long will it take to get the school logos sewn on?” I was embarrassed we were so last minute, wondering how much express postage would cost to have them mailed to us. But she looked over her shoulder at a teen girl busy pressing some things and said, “I think we’ll have all these done for you in about five minutes. Ten max.”

So we got all of our school shopping finished in less than an hour! I read in a magazine that the average parent will spend $483 per child on back-to-school clothes. We spent well below that — for clothes my kids would NEVER have picked out. But they’re so proud of their new uniforms!

We’re heading into a new adventure this year. My older daughter’s teacher already called us and said, “Our theme this year is F-R-O-G. It stands for Fully Relying on God.”

Fully Relying on God.

I wonder if she’d mind if I sat in the back of the room, taking a few notes.




July 15, 2006

I’ve been a bit down lately, so I wanted to pop in here and say hello. I injured my knee in a major way last Saturday and have never been in such pain. You can read about it here in my new women’s health blog, which I’m writing for b5 media. It was definitely not penciled in my calendar to be hauled away in an ambulance FROM THE PLAYGROUND.

The total irony of course is that my wellness blog is called Lively Women, and yet I haven’t been lively at all — hobbling around on crutches. I was proud of myself for getting bold enough to post my weight-loss goals online, and I was dreaming of moving forward and joining The Amazing Shrinking Mom Club. Yet that’ll have to wait.

Instead, I’ve been banished from the fitness scene and have replaced my jaunts to Curves with our local Physical Therapy Club, a happenin’ social network that is most definitely a sign of aging. Are there any of you out there who are also getting one-on-one therapy for your aches and pains? I must admit, it’s nice to have someone ask about how I’m feeling — even though it’s my left knee that’s the subject of interest.

One bright spot of the past week was finding out someone nominated me for a few of the Blogs of Beauty Awards over at A Gracious Home. Thank you, whoever you are — I’d love to meet you for a mocha too! Voting for the top finalists in these awards goes until Monday, July 17th at 8 pm.

If you have any health tips that can encourage us all to be more Lively Women (as the ladies appear in the above picture), please email me at heatheri@b5media.com. And if you often blog about wellness, I’d love to add you to my b5 media blogroll. Maybe I’ll be able to return to my regularly scheduled fitness program soon. For now, my leg is propped, my knee is weak, and I’ll be reading Dr. Seuss again before I sleep.




July 5, 2006

The new July issue of Christian Women Online magazine is out. Click here to read it.

You can enter to win a free copy of Allison Bottke’s A Stitch in Time, which I’m in the middle of reading now — it’s absolutely adorable. And there are regular columns by Darlene Schacht, Shannon Woodward, Bonnie Hooley, Valerie Wolff, Victoria Gaines, Bonnie Bruno, Kim Brenneman, Ann Voskamp, and moi. You can also read a new chapter from Catherine West’s novel, Just a Little Walk, and be further inspired by guest columnist, Polly Boyette, author of Life is a Buffet, So Save Room for Dessert .

If you haven’t joined the CWO blogring yet, what are you waiting for? There’s also a new CWO Blog, which includes daily posts from six of our favorite bloggers: Darlene, Iris, Paula, Joy, Antique Mommy, and Tracey.

Here’s how editor Darlene Schacht introduced my new Book Buzz column:

Heather Ivester has picked some of the best books this month we’re sure you’ll want to get your hands on for summer.

Whether you want to get whisked away to the Isle of Arran, enter the hilarious and hectic world of Beckie Miller, or brush up on your home-keeping skills, there’s a wonderful book waiting for you.

So sit back in your favorite chair, put up your feet and get lost in a book.

Read more…




July 2, 2006

Take a good look at this picture — do you see something funny? Yes, it’s supposed to look like this guy has wings. Well, I have to tell you about this story.

You know when you turn on the news or pick up the paper, what you see and hear is mostly bad, scary news. At least that’s what I usually feel bombarded with. Here’s some GOOD news. There really are modern day heroes in this world, like angels on earth. Maybe you’ve met one.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed several pilots for an article I was working on about the Angel Flight organization. I’d never heard of this before, so I had to do a lot of background reading to prepare even before I made any phone calls.

I couldn’t believe what I heard when I talked to these people. They’re pilots — busy, well-trained, well-educated pilots. And yet they VOLUNTEER their time, aircraft, and fuel to fly people in need of special medical help.

I talked to a pilot who flew a family with a newborn baby that needed specialized surgery in order to survive. They couldn’t afford to fly to a different state for this critical care, but the pilot flew them, and the baby survived. Another pilot said he takes a little girl from Florida to Tennessee every month so she can get her specialized chemo treatments for cancer. The distance and cost would have been impossible otherwise. His efforts are helping to preserve her life.

One pilot said he helped bring supplies to thousands of desperate people after hurricane Katrina wiped out their town. He happened to show up on his way home from somewhere else, and discovered this town had no communication and had been accidentally ignored by supply planes. The people had no food or water. There were pregnant women about to deliver, and they had no medical supplies!

The pilot said he flew back home and notified the Angel Flight offices. The next day, hundreds of people, volunteers, went out shopping at Wal-Mart and various places, loading up supplies. They flew five planes that very next day — saving this whole town of people! And within a few days, they’d sent out over 25 planes.

I was just in awe. You know, you think you can’t do much in the world, but you really can. Those people who shopped for diapers and formula at Wal-Mart were just as important as the volunteer pilots who flew the planes. Oh, and this man also helped set up a makeshift cellular communication system for the people as they waited for more help to arrive. Amazing.

These are our modern-day heroes, role models for my children. And yours.

By: Heather Ivester in: Faith,Parenting | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)