Site Going Live!

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Hi everyone! My faithful subscribers! Please come to ElizabethVanTassel.com and subscribe to the new newsletter there, you will receive a free gift and when you sign up (starting Tuesday, July, 26th). If you subscribe now, I’ll still email you the link for the free gift once it works next week.

We are getting it ready to go live, so just in case I wanted you to have the new link!

Thanks for all your patience and support. There are all kinds of great articles for adults, a whole “land” for kids, and products ready to go to help you live a more resilient life!

See you soon! Elizabeth

Come on over!

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A small corner of the new look. Hop on over for a sneak peek and sign up for the newsletter! Official launch (and final version) coming mid-July!

Dear friends, supporters, and readers,

Thank you for two years of wonderful interaction on this blog. Now the new website, ready in beta form, is up and linked. I’ll be posting the official launch tentatively scheduled for July 14th, 2016, and you can come over, sign up for the blog there, receive my free present for opting in, and explore. If you want a sneak peek now, here’s the link!

ElizabethVanTassel.com

We’re in final fix-up stages, so if you find something needing attention feel free to email me at evantassel@mac.com and we’ll get it updated.

Stay tuned! So excited! The sign up works now, so join and be the first to watch it go live!

Getting Close!

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Here’s a sneak peek at the new website, my updated logo, the wonder of taxes, and product creation all under way!

 

Well, we’re in the final stages of getting ready for the new website launch. Something special must be going on if I’m reading the California Tax Code! I’ve also been hammering out new products to help families with resilience. I can’t wait to show it to you and will include details on my next blog!

Stay tuned! (Excuse the girl doing cartwheels in the background. Ahem.)


Thought you might enjoy seeing Jonathan’s first video blog on Geek Central Blog about updates at Disneyland, too!


Thanks for your prayers, support, jokes, humor, forgiveness, ideas, beta group testing help, and all with the new site. It’s going to be a great hub a creativity and resources for tweens, teens, and families alike!

The Hidden Hearts

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If you look very closely, there’s a cutout in the sky and reflection. Can you find them?

On a wonderful vacation recently I started seeing things. No, really. First, after swimming with the turtles, I was resting and taking photos when I felt one in particular might be special. Get it this direction, a little voice whispered. After I peeked at the frame, I saw why. As you gaze into the pool of water as it reflects the sky, you’ll see a shape. A heart. And its twin smiled at me through the windswept clouds as a slight drizzle began.

Two hearts.

The next day, on a boat tour around the island, a lush landscape came into view set off by high mountains and sheer cliffs carved by volcanoes and weathered over the centuries. The orange-brown hues offset the seemingly endless shades of greens. I know some cultures have thirty words for green. This must be a place touched by each one, held in a historic time-delay for us to see. As we pulled into full view, the waves kept leaping higher. I held tight to the railing and, voila, another large heart in a grove of treetops in a contrasting shade of green appeared. Then, as the boat drifted further in, another valley appeared with still another heart grove of trees.

Two hearts.

Then I was playing mini-golf with our family, my son scored his first hole in one. It grew hot and we moved slowly as the palm fronds and bucolic greens swayed in a refreshing breeze. I managed to keep, ahem, most of my balls on target and out of the water features. The urge for perfectionism and mild sibling rivalry slipped away as one carefully plotted his swing. Then, the other just hit for the fun of it all. Like the character Tigger would play golf. I smiled at my husband and I swept dampness from my forehead. I removed my hat, looking at the skyline. I gasped slightly. My husband asked why. A large, white heart-shaped cloud was nestled, and interlocked, with a light gray one.

Two hearts.

I was seeing hearts in various forms all over the island. What was going on? Was there a hidden message within, like a secret code I needed to uncover? Was there some elusive blessing, just awaiting the right moment?

Even the plants I saw held heart like features.

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Then I started thinking in twos. I’ve been blogging here for two years. We have two wonderful boys and, of course, there’s the natural thoughts of love and fidelity with my wonderful husband. All many blessings, indeed.

But I want to stay attuned for the other hearts knocking. The little nuances that dance in front of me like the ocean swells or light tropical breezes. Just waiting for me to enjoy them and notice their importance.

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The Stay and Go. Stay.

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Are you at the end of the school year or a very busy season? Take time to slow down. I mean to watch the neighbor mow his yard slowly back and forth, or pick some flowers from the garden, or do a puzzle with a child in your life. Enjoying a slow-down moment does not mean you’ve compromised your dreams, or really stopped being productive. Instead, it can lend renewed perspective to what’s really important in life and what will bring you more longevity.

I’m mentioning this because, of course, I’m trying to learn it myself. It’s been incredibly busy with budding potential for some exciting projects with many authors I’ve got in the works. And I’ve had great interviews with people who frankly amaze me to pieces with their outlook on life after facing huge obstacles and demonstrating such courage and resilience. I can’t wait to share it with you all on the new site soon. We’re almost ready to begin a countdown, as soon as I work out the details with the wonderful tech people who’ve got it under way.

But no matter how much good is there going on, the busyness of life can deplete my sense of well being. Can you relate? And the deep creativity I’ve had on hold comes knocking. It’s just waiting, toe-tapping with its impatience, for me to begin some writing projects and ideas I’ve had spinning in my mind. And I’m my happiest version of “me” when I listen and order life with its sage counsel.

Slowing, watching, hand-holding, yummy-munching, stirring, pouring, swimming, sniffing, kicking, smiling, giggling. This feeds my insides. It brings my smile closer to the surface. It makes my soul sing to heaven in thankfulness for the simple things in life and yearn to connect. To be.

So in your going, remember to stay a bit, too.

Photo: Tuomas_Lehtinen at Freedigitalphotos.net

News And Class Awards!

Time for some fun updates before we launch into summer. And I mean launch! I’m working with the technical experts to assemble the last pieces for the new website. I’ll be sure to post about the transition as we get closer to launch.

Awards announcement for my favorite classroom!

I’ve been helping to teach a unit about the elements of fiction and got to work with wonderful tweens on their first stories. It’s been so rewarding and I love their enthusiasm and creativity! I especially loved seeing their progression to finish. Their teacher, Mrs. Root, is amazing too for taking this on at a young age. But her kids were ready and here’s the results:

Best Drawing  – TIE – Chloe for Shrinkey and Terrina for War

Best Title – TIE – Logan for The Spider Apocalypse and Akashi for Dancing Hamsters

Best Progression from Draft to Final Version – Brayden for The Story of the Hidden Treasure

Best Story About Kindness – Tristan for The Braces

Best Portal – Joey for An Unforgettable Trip

Best Humor – George for Cap Turad

Best Twist at the End – Ellie for Three Days Left

Best Improved Descriptions – Will for The Pirate Invasion

Best Detail With Story – David for The Outbreak

Giveaways coming!

I could use your feedback on my first ever giveaway. You can choose between:

  • Cool gem crafts for summer fun
  • A wonderful jewelry box to hide your treasures
  • A quote-filled umbrella (with book quotes on the outside) for the book-lover in your life (or yourself!)

What would you like to see? I’d love your feedback here in the comments below, or on my social media links.

 

Bubbles of Childhood Joy

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When bubbles of childhood joy replace sorrow and pain, there’s more room for simple pleasures in life.

I walked to school to get my boys at the end of a busy day, and in front of me a young girl skipped down the sidewalk. Then she returned close to her Daddy’s side, never going too far ahead. First she squeezed her Daddy’s hand, then she looked at him, tall above, and decided she couldn’t give up holding his hand. Yet, I could see her dancing a bit, and perhaps she wanted to skip once more. Dad wasn’t into skipping so she just took smaller steps, bouncing up and down while beaming a large smile up to her father.

I loved her determination to keep the joy she was feeling, yet remain close to her Dad. It whispered to the young one somewhere deep inside of me, coaxing a smile to my lips and a joy-bubble to my heart. Remember to smile and have fun, it seemed to whisper.

Then I encountered the busy mayhem of elementary school pick-up time. Perhaps you do it every day, or recall a season when hallway jostling gave way to brief tag games with boys darting in and out of doorways, and you were “base.” Happy parent conversations perked along while you walked, and streamers from some class party littered the floors with happy colors yet to be swept into order. The day’s art project was shoved into your hands, which suddenly spilled over with a mélange of homework papers and vivid colors. Invisible glitter of children’s laughter and excitement to tell you about the day fills the air with a great flutter.

It’s almost too much sometimes, until you remember this day was precious, too, and this age will slip by much too quickly.

Then each paper and craft crammed in your fist became a treasure.

Each messy hug after school, a gem.

Each update about this and that, a pleasure.

The bubble of joy once more pulled to the surface. Tension eased. Cares float to the backdrop instead of remaining center stage.

Your heart settled, and it’s almost like butterflies can finally alight. Discovery and awe replaced the mundane. Colors and scents seemed stronger somehow. And it was very good.

What little bubbles of joy are you looking forward to this week?

 

Photo: pat138241 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.