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I won a few awards! Just like the olympic athletes! Though I’m a writer, not an athlete, by any means. But if you read my blog, you might know my son is an athlete and a “saint.” (A New Orleans Saint and a saintly child, too). But, this post isn’t about him. It’s about ME and a few other fantastic bloggers. As part of my Monday Connections, time to connect with other bloggers. Come on in and join the fun!

Award Number One: I received a Sunshine Blogger Award….

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…from fellow writer, Maribeth Graham over at Writing Like Crazy

Thank you Maribeth. In accepting this award, I am required to answer a series of questions and then pass the torch (aka Sunshine Blogger Award) to other bloggers who I think deserve the award too, link my nominees to this post and comment on their blog letting them know of their nomination. Below are my answers and the blogs I have nominated.

1. What is your favorite Christmas movie?

The Nativity Story, because without the true “Christmas Story,” we couldn’t celebrate Christmas. The scenes and costumes appeared so authentic. The movie renewed my admiration for The Blessed Virgin Mary, a young girl from Nazareth and Joseph, her spouse. I appreciate his faith in God and his trust in the words of the angel from his dream.

2. What is your favorite flower?

White bell-shaped flowers, Lilly of the Valley, grew around the perimeter of our white farmhouse where I grew up in Northern Wisconsin. I used to pick them for my grandma and for my mom. Sweet memories and their intoxicating fragrance takes me back to my childhood and to Wisconsin in the springtime. Thinking about them, I can almost smell the fresh dew on the morning grass and can relive my delight in those perfectly crafted charming little bells. God is so creative!

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I also like sunflowers. My older brother Mark once planted fields of them on his acreage when I was a teenager. Recently, my husband and I discovered sunflower fields in the northeast corner of Kansas during a trip from Kansas City to Northern Colorado. Here’s a photo I shot:

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3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage? Chocolate milk!

4. What is your passion? Living life fully and giving glory to God while appreciating all of His creation. And if God’s plan is for me to be writing, then it works for me.

5. What is your favorite time of year? Spring. This renewing, fragrant, colorful time of the year fills me with hope.

6. What is your favorite time of day? Nap time!

7. What is your favorite physical activity? Riding bicycle. As soon as I get on a bicycle and pedal, I smile!

8. What is your favorite vacation? So many…hmm…I loved Goa, India.

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It was magical. Walks along the Arabian Sea at night, hearing its mighty roar. We had such a nice time.

Loved the Isle of Iona, Scotland.

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So green and lush and lovely

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A recent get-away to Lily Lake in Estes Park, Colorado was also very refreshing.

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Now, these bloggers have earned gold for their wonderful blogs:

1. Lada Ray is one of my favorite bloggers. Her site, http://ladaray.wordpress.com/ is totally worth the click over there. Lada was born in Russia and is a writer, internationally certified feng shui master practitioner, world traveler, linguist, financial consultant & investor, nature/animal lover and spirituality & metaphysics researcher. She’s really awesome!

2. Judith Evans at http://innerhomestead.wordpress.com/. I loved her post about “thin places” on her blog, Among the Pots and Pans. Her blog features her favorite aspects of everyday life, such as recipes, crafts, and natural health.

3. Cindy Dwyer’s: A Reason To Write is full of humorous terrific writing about the ups and downs of working full-time while raising a family.

Award Number Two: The Beautiful Blogger Award…

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….from Daniela at Lantern Post. Her blog is full of lovely poetry, prose, quotes, reviews of books or movies, and reflections on the weird and wonderful art of living in our time. You’ll love it. Go check it out.

Here’s the rules of this award: Post seven interesting things about myself and nominate other bloggers who I feel deserve the award, and let them know about nomination.

So…about me:

  1. I’m left-handed.
  2. I have a novel with an agent that’s being shopped around to publishers. Please say a little prayer that one grabs it soon because…
  3. I’m impatient.
  4. I’m crazy about a big-hearted guy who sticks a white band in his shirt collar every day and dresses in vestments on Sunday. (My husband! He’s an Anglican Bishop in the Holy Catholic Church – Anglican Rite)
  5. I’m very proud of our kids and their accomplishments (The dynamic and cute diabetic NFL player, the beautiful darling who’s going off to study in London for a semester, and the sweet handsome boy (also an awesome football player) who will graduate before the year is over. They’ve been great kids and I’m one totally blessed mom.
  6. Both my husband and I are the seventh child in our families
  7. Um….I like chocolate

And for the winners. These bloggers also deserve gold:

1. Meri at ourdiabeticlife.com is my hero. She is the mom of four boys, three of which have Type 1 Diabetes. She is courageously and amazingly managing life with her sons’ diabetes and her husband’s cancer diagnosis. She’s a true hero who inspires. Her blog says: Through this blog I hope to share our ongoing story, to help others see that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Like you, I have muddled through all the emotional phases diabetes has to offer a parent. I know of the worry that sits with you like an old friend, because he is my friend too. I just try not to make him the life of the party. Take the ride with me. Visit her site, offer a prayer for her and her family, and come away a better person.

2. Melody Lowes at Melody Muses is full of beautiful prose and pictures. One of my fav sites and sure to be yours, too.

3. Becky Doughty deserves all the awards for her inspiring blog, Braveheart: Tales From the Front Line. She’s awesome and so is her blog!

4. Check out Brother Jon’s blog at http://ldsconvertblog.com/. He’s got great stuff going on over there!

5. Don’t miss Hugh Curtler’s blog

Ok, Next award: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

Doesn’t it look cool?

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Thanks Ashley over at Author Ashley. She’s a teenager who writes about life and writing and everything in between.

First I’ll list the rules, and then I’ll follow through with what I was asked to do…

1) All recipients need to thank the giver 2) Post 7 things about yourself 3) Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of their choice and let them know that they have been nominated. 4) Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog

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It is my pleasure to nominate the following blogs:

1. Liza at http://mylifeisapictureshow.wordpress.com/ deserves this award. She’s an amazing writer and blogger who invites us to come along for the ride (if you dare). I took the dare and am so glad I did. She’s a wonderful person and very creative blogger.

2. All Things Boys is an awesome blog. Arnel’s humorous and inspiring blog is loaded with great reads and beautiful photography. She’s someone you want to get to know and check out her other blogs, too. I’m so glad I found Arnel and her blogs! You will be too. I promise!

3. I’ve been bragging about Glenda Mills in other awards I’ve given, so if you haven’t already checked out http://glendamills.com/, you need to. It’s so inspiring and beautiful!

4. Gracie Hill at Gracie’s Quest is full of Biblical, faith-filled messages. Check it out if you want your spirit to be renewed in the Lord

5. PT Bradley honors God with her stories

6. Emma Moore’s Blog deserves every blog award out there, dipped in gold!

7. And another great blog: http://pauletteharper.com/

And last but not least, the Lovely Blog Award…

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…given to me by Julie at The Read Room, a reading, writing, and word-related blog that catalogs the journey of a struggling writer.

The rules of this award are:

  • Give credit to the awesome person who nominated you,
  • Describe seven things about yourself,
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers.

Seven things about myself:

1. When I was fifteen, I purchased a solid little blue notebook and in it, I recorded funny and heartwarming stories about my little sister who had Downs Syndrome. I wrote about her every day and expressed my love for her and what a gift she was to our family. A week later, she unexpectedly died. I still have the notebook and used the basis of this story for my first novel, Crooked Lines.

2. I love coffee, but only with flavored cream in it.

3. On a long car ride recently, I had a Rollo Flurry from McDonalds and enjoyed every last bite with no regrets. It was awesome! And something good came out of that ice cream dream delight. I got inspired to…

4. …begin the “Couch to 5K” app run/walk program. I just finished day two. Gotta get in shape.

5. My current novel, I’ll Be Seeing You, centers around the American Indian people, in particular the Shoshone and Arapaho in Wyoming.

6. When I was in Kindergarten, at a small consolidated school in Northern Wisconsin, Mrs. King, my teacher wouldn’t let me be the princess. She said, “You’re too shy.” I remember being really mad at her because I wanted the part and I knew I wasn’t shy. How dare she judge me like that! Those words labeled me and affected me and I became somewhat shy after that. If I’d had that part, I probably would have been a much more outgoing child. But perhaps everything happens for a reason. Maybe I needed some humbling from the beginning. I grew up to be fairly outgoing after all.

7. I like this Bible Verse: Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV) 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

And last, but not least, Guilie, over at Quiet Laughter, nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Guilie has a lovely site where she blogs about: Musings and stories on blurred cultural boundaries.

There are rules, four hoops that I must jump through. The first, most important, is to thank my awarders and link to them (check). Then I must answer these ten questions: (if your sick of me, scroll down and check out the cool blogs at the bottom.)

What’s your favorite song? I love most all music and can’t say I have a favorite, but this morning, while walk/jogging, I heard, “I’ll fly away,” done in a southern gospel/jazzy rendition and I totally got into it.

What’s your favorite dessert? Well, that Rollo McFlurry I had the other day was pretty awesome.

What ticks you off? When I’m writing and my computer gets stuck and I lose stuff.

What do you do when you’re upset? Probably Cry, pout, or something like that. But mostly, I don’t have much that upsets me.

Which is your favorite pet? I grew up on a farm, loved animals. We must have had about 30 dogs during my growing up years, puppies galore, hundreds of cats. How could I have a favorite? The kids had pets, too. Now, I avoid pets because we are never home.

Which do you prefer, black or white? Black for clothes that slim, white for iPhone color

What’s your biggest fear? Being out of God’s will and grace.

What’s your attitude, mostly? Happy! Grateful!

What is perfection? God is perfection. I fall way short.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Sleeping late

Hoop #3: I need to share 10 random facts about myself. Hmm…I think we are all done with this Holly Michael show. Let’s move on.

Hoop #4: PASS IT ON! These are my seven nominees for the Kreativ Blogger award, because they’re so wonderful:
Now, those who accepted the award must: thank the awarder, link back to them — answer the ten questions above — share ten random facts about yourself — pass it on to seven other bloggers. It’s all right if you don’t–no pressure, just a small token of my admiration, and a thank-you for being a part of my blogging community.

1. Wanda at the Watered Soul where she offers short, sweet nuggets of inspiration on Bible, Books, and Blogging.
2. OneEarthUnited has a great blog post up now. Don’t miss it. (heehee)
3. Love this blog. While I’m “Writing Straight” Barbara is Scribbling Outside the Lines. Lol!
4. Another great blog. Just click. I promise you’ll like it!
5. Damyanti @ Daily (W)rite blogs about writing on her fantastic site!
6. 4 AM Writer balances writing and life beautifully. 4 AM? Really? You go girl. You deserve this award.
7. Steven W. Watkins has a fantastic blog: OBSERVE. THINK. PLAN. WRITE. PURSUE. EXECUTE……… INSPIRE.. He delivers on all of these points. You can get lost in his posts. Wonderful professional writer.
8. Ms.Nine, a writer and a teacher, has a great blog going on over at her site.
9. Life on the Farmlet, my new life in Northern Alabama is another great blog site. Lynda’s got some great reads and photos over there. Entertaining for sure!
10. Want to be inspired by beautiful prose. Check out Lori Lipsky @ Poetry Patio
11. Check out Marney McNall at the http://volunteerfringe.com/. Another great blog site!
12. Diane at http://hometogo232.wordpress.com/ has a wonderful blog. She’s really a sweet inspirational writer.
13. Alex at Martian Sunrise has a fascinating blog about “the Expression of the Cross within Culture.” Be sure to visit his unique blog.

14. Bill Jones ponders life through the eyes and heart of a Christian man here.

15. And check out Dawn at Since You Asked. Great stuff going on over there.

Thanks everyone. If you’ve read this far you’re committed. No click those links and have some fun!