Wednesday, September 24, 2008

October Issue

The October issue of the Nebraska Family Times will be at the end of next week. It will be printed the first part of the next week (the week of Oct. 6th) and will be delivered and mailed to sponsors and individual subscribers later that week.

I am so excited about publishing "my" first issue of NFT! Vyckie has been answering my questions and helping whenever I ask--thanks Vyckie! The paper will contain cartoons, information about recent developments in the "safe haven" bill, financial advice, and a voter's guide, as well as the regular columns that appear in the NFT.

I better get back to research and writing!


The end of summer bums me out. I love the hot weather, lush shades of green wherever I look, and the more relaxed, less scheduled days of summer. I enjoy fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, wearing shorts all day, and spending long evenings outside.

The Farmer's Almanac predicts a long, cold winter. I'm NOT looking forward to that! I do not enjoy cold, wet feet, I detest wearing a hat, coat and gloves (so much so that I often go without . . . which will dismay my mother if she reads this--sorry, mom!), and am sad when it gets dark at 5:30 PM.

Maybe that's why I'm not looking forward to fall this year (even though it's officially "fall" right now)--because I know winter will soon follow. I am trying very hard to enjoy every day of "summer" that God gives me, by spending time outside and eating fresh, locally grown vegetables whenever I can. I am trying to remember to enjoy every day, rather than thinking about how much I dislike winter, and how soon it will be there. I don't want the dread of days to come to lessen the joy of today.

And I will think about what I do enjoy about winter . . . making soups and other "comfort" foods, having my family home at an early hour in the evening (it's hard to practice with the cattle in the dark!), drinking hot chocolate and looking forward to spring.

If you talk to me and I complain about the upcoming winter, please remind me that, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . " and I'll go about a "winter" activity . . . preferably an activity that includes chocolate.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Ever since Vyckie offered me the opportunity to take over the Nebraska Family Times (NFT) newspaper, I've shared my thoughts, concerns, ideas, and excitement with friends and family, by talking to them and through e-mail. Almost without exception I've received encouragement--"What an opportunity!" "You can do it!"

Both Vyckie and I wrote an "Editor's Letter" in the Sept. issue of the paper, which just came out this week. Vyckie wrote about turning the paper over to me, and I wrote about my excitement (and a little anxiety) over this new opportunity. Over the last few days I've talked to several people connected with the NFT. Without exception they have been polite and friendly, and encouraging. I really appreciate those words of encouragement and support!

Encouraging others is something we can do so easily . . . yet don't do as often as we could. Think about it--you can encourage your child before he or she goes to school in the morning. Encourage your husband before he goes to work. Offer a "thank you for your hard work" to the check-out clerk in the store, or the person who delivers your mail, or your child's teacher. When you see a mom trying frantically to finish her grocery shopping while her kids are crying and begging for candy, give her a smile that says, "My kids acted that way, too . . . I know how you feel, and it's OK! I know you're a good mom. Kids can just be that way."

I suppose someday I'll get calls about the paper that will not be encouraging. But hopefully I will remember the kind and encouraging words I have heard, and use the critical words to improve the paper. THANKS to everyone who has given me encouragement. It means more than I can say.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up . . . " 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's Official!

As of Thursday, Sept. 11th, I'm the official owner of the Nebraska Family Times newspaper! A friend, Lori, and I went to Norfolk and spent the day with Vyckie. We signed the official papers for the takeover, learned about mailing the paper out each month when it was printed, and talked about some last-minute things. It was an information-intensive, but fun day!

I'm a little overwhelmed, but so very excited about this opportunity too. Nebraska Family Times offers quality, conservative, Christian information for Nebraska families and I'm so honored to be a part of continuing the tradition that Vyckie and her family have started, in the newspaper.

I'm happy that a good friend of mine, Lori, will be helping me with various aspects of the paper. She will help with mailing the papers and other projects as they come up. I know we'll enjoy working together!

This weekend I worked on doing the billing for Sept. I'm a little slow with the accounting software, but I'm getting the hang of it! I'm looking forward to talking with the different advertisers, sponsors, and subscribers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

God's Plan--Better than My Plan

In my years as a writer--aspiring writer, author of books, magazine article writer--I imagined and accomplished many things. I dreamed of having a regular column--and I did (in Livestock Plus--an agricultural magazine). I've self-published several books and helped a friend make his dream come true in putting his columns together in a book (check out Chaplain's Corner; A Collection of Columns Written for The Nebraska Legionnaire 1986-1988 and 1990-2001 by Reverend Dr. Paul Rowoldt).

I had a few dreams that did NOT come true. I haven't been on a talk show . . . none of my books have been picked up by a major publisher. . . and I haven't hit "the big time".

However . . . it's very obvious to me, now, that God had a different plan, a bigger and better plan, for me. A plan I never, ever, even dreamed! One of my favorite Bible verses has always been, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

One thing I never imagined doing was owning and writing a newspaper . . . but clearly, that was the plan God had for me. How long has He had this plan for me? I don't know. It doesn't matter. I'm sure that He planned each and every step of the way . . . and that each and every step of what I did up until now prepared me for what I will now be doing.

My (previous) dreams of being on a talk show and hitting "the big time" don't seem important at all.

Right now, this, the Nebraska Family Times, is my future.

Thank you, God, that You do not limit me to my own dreams and plans! Thank You for YOUR (so much better!) plans for my future.

E-Mail from Vyckie

When I got home from work today (I work as a private-duty nurse a few days a week) I had an e-mail from Vyckie, the current (just for one more day!) owner of the NFT (Nebraska Family Times). Vyckie and I are meeting tomorrow for the "official" hand-over of the NFT. I am very greatful that Vyckie will be working with me and answering my questions for as long as I need her. Without her support and help I would not have taken on this venture! The learning curve was steep, but I'm confident I can continue the paper in the same tradition as Vyckie and her family . . . with the focus on family and conservative, Christian values.

Vyckie and I have talked about making a few changes in the paper; changes that will give readers more valuable (and fun!) information in every issue. I'll keep you updated on the changes as I make them.

Anyway, as I read through Vyckie's e-mail, I had to laugh a little bit. In the e-mail she answered several questions I'd had in my head and was meaning to ask her, and she listed some of the things I'd have to do for the "changeover"--and again, I'd been making the same list in my head! THANKS, VYCKIE! As I told her, our great minds think alike.

As I wrote in my first Editor's Letter, the newspaper is for you--the readers! If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please e-mail me at or comment here on the blog.

Write What You Know

My dream of writing was put to the side during high school and college and the first few years of marriage. I was too busy learning how to be a nurse (I'm a Registered Nurse; I graduated in 1989 from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont with my BSN) and a wife, and later, a mother (Tim and I were married in 1989; Cody was born in 1991 and Morgan in 1993).

During my first few years as a nurse I worked in a variety of jobs; Child and Adolescent Psych, Telemetry (heart monitoring), Home Health, Private Duty, Long-Term Care Employee Education, teaching at the local community college, and teaching Lamaze.

Eventually I became interested in writing again. The main advice I have for all writers and aspiring writers is, write what you know. And that's what I did! I became interested in communication with patients--how to ask sensitive questions, telling a patient bad news, and so on. I wrote an article about communicating with patients for a nursing magazine. When I taught Lamaze I discovered a magazine called Childbirth Instructor. At that time I'd taught Lamaze for several years, and faced some interesting people and classes, so began writing articles for that magazine. It was a huge thrill to see my name in print and know that I'd accomplished my childhood dream of writing. (It's still a thrill to see my name in print!)

Several years later a nurse friend and I were talking about all the people we'd met who were unhappy in their nursing jobs, yet felt stuck in their current job. Both Martha and I had had a wide variety of jobs . . . some we liked, some we didn't . . . but through the years we'd both had a "perfect job" or two, and we knew that "perfect jobs" in nursing are available, if the nurse knows how and where to look. We had a brainstorm and eventually co-authored our first book, How to Find Your Perfect Job in Nursing.

We eventually decided to self-publish, and what a thrill it was to see our names on the cover of a book! It was--and continues to be--very gratifying to hear people say how our book has helped them find their "perfect" job in nursing . . . or at least a great job in nursing.

In the near future I'll post about how I used the advice to "write what you know" and wrote about my favorite job of all, being a mom.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Family

I'm always interested in finding out more about an author's family, so I thought I'd tell you a little bit about my family.

My husband Tim and I were high-school sweethearts and have been married for a little more than 19 years. We have two children; Cody, 16, is a junior in high school, and Morgan, 14, is a freshman. Having two teenagers is . . . an adventure! It's neat to see the kids grow and become more independent, and they really are fun to be around . . . most of the time . . . (and I bet they say that about us, their parents, too!)

We all live on the family ranch south of Genoa, NE. Tim raises show-cattle full-time. He's been a cattleman since he was a young child. The kids show cattle at shows around the state and around the country. Traveling to shows is our favorite family activity, and it's an activity that has many benefits for the kids and for our family and business.

Cody and Morgan will be home from school any time, so I'm going to sign off for now.

New Venture AND Adventure

I have always wanted to be a writer. When I was in grade-school, I wrote "manuscripts" on wide-ruled spiral notebooks. (I don't remember what the stories were about, but I bet my mom has them packed in a box somewhere!) I remember sitting on my bed and writing for hours about my characters and their trials.

Let's jump ahead to TODAY! (I'll tell you more about my writing and nursing careers, and my family, in future posts.)

I've been writing for the Nebraska Family Times for over a year, as the Nebraska Editor. As the Nebraska Editor I searched for Nebraska news and stories that readers would enjoy and/or could benefit from. I then condensed/compiled/combined the article(s) into the format required for the Nebraska Family Times (known from here on as NFT).

Newspaper writing was new to me--in the past I'd written for various magazines (from cattle publications to childbirth and nursing magazines) and I even wrote and self-published several books.

I found I really enjoyed writing for a newspaper. There is a long period of time that elapses between writing for a magazine, or writing a book, and seeing those words in print . . . a fun part about writing for a newspaper is seeing "my" words in print just a few days after I'd written them.

I was very surprised when, earlier this summer, I received an e-mail from Vyckie asking if I was interested in taking over the NFT from her. My first thought was, "Heck no, I can't write and publishe a NEWSPAPER!" But I believe God puts opportunities into our lives for a reason, and I knew I needed to think very seriously about this opportunity.

After prayer, asking Vyckie many (many, many) questions about what is involved in editing and publishing a newspaper, and talking with friends and family, the answer was clear; YES, I could and would take advantage of this opportunity!

And so the venture . . . and adventure . . . began . . .