Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Book Review - Stand-In Groom

Stand-In Groom

Stand-In Groom
Brides of Bonneterre Book 1
by Kaye Dacus

When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and her career on this engaging Englishman? George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiance when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been
Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

I really enjoyed this book. In fact, if I had had the time I would not have stopped reading it for anything. It is a book I could have easily read in one sitting. But being a busy mom of 9, I have to squeeze in my reading time whenever I can. I definitely look forward to reading more books by Ms. Dacus. The characters were very realistic. Anne isn't some petite, pencil-thin, never-has-to-diet heroine. She has issues with an ex-fiance. She has fears. And that makes her more likable. In my personal opinion, a good author makes you want to be the heroine. Or if not actually be her, then do what she does. Seriously, for a while there, I wanted to go out and be a wedding planner. She makes it sound so fun! And George. Well, any man who can croon like Dean Martin...and that's all I'm going to say on that subject. I can just imagine his accent. That's how well Ms. Dacus wrote his character. I can clearly hear in my head what he sounds like, just by what is written. He is sooo British. He's not perfect, though. He has his own faults. He is loyal to his employer and it eventually causes trouble between Anne and him. It makes the reader really torn on who to root for. You can see both sides of the story and understand why the characters do what they do. I think this is a very well-written book and I am anxiously awaiting the rest of the series.

If you would like to pick up a copy of your own, use the search engine on the right sidebar. It will take you directly to the page on CBD's website.

Until next time...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Not Me! Monday

This Not Me! Monday post is not too embarrassing. Just a few things out of the ordinary.

Now if you know anything about the Not Me! Monday meme and the hostess, MckMama, you'll remember that she is currently with baby Stellan in the hospital. Please pray for them during this time. To read more about what is going on, click on the Praying for Stellan button on the top right. Also, I don't know if anyone is going to link up. She doesn't have a post up (does anyone blame her?). She's way too busy right now. So, I might have the only stand alone Not Me! Monday post, but that's ok.

Without farther ado...it was not me that:

~ knocked over my glass while eating out with my mom (thankfully there was only ice left in it)

~ fed my children hot dogs for breakfast, not one but two days (hey, they were all for it)

~ reached across my face to scratch my ear, missed, and poked my cheek...? even I wonder how I did that

~ went to visit my mom and bought a ton of junk food to eat...and ate most of it

~ while at the bank's drive thru I opened the van door and it bumped the send button because I hadn't pulled up far enough...had to explain that to the teller when she pulled out an empty cannister

~ put a diaper on my potty-training son last night when he had already pee'd in it once...come on it had more room in it...and it was just for the night. I'm trying to get him out of diapers, hence the potty-training and I really don't want to have to buy any more. I'm trying to make the few I have left last until I can get some pull-ups.

~ rammed my thigh into my nightstand when I came out of the bathroom (I think I'm going to be rearranging my bedroom today)

~ is drinking more of the diet Cherry Dr Pepper than I should be...hey! it's amazingly smooth

Also it's not my

~ son that is eating cereal with water instead of milk (because we are out of milk)

~ daughter that is wearing sandals already just because they are new

~ other son that is wearing a girl's straw hat with pink flowers on it

~ sons that pee in empty coke bottles when we go somewhere in the van and can't stop right away to find a bathroom

Ok that's enough for now...

Until next time...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

And the winner is...

Ok I was unplugged on Friday and Saturday my mom and brother came to visit, so I totally forgot to post the winner of my "guess my age" contest. I said that if more than one person had guessed the correct age I would have to draw a name. Well, two people guessed my correct age; which is 34, by the way. So let's see who won.

My daughter has offered to draw the name.

*a hush falls over the audience*

And the winner is...Arlene! *applause* Yay!

So, Arlene, be looking for a spring-y surprise in your mailbox next week.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

~I'm thankful for having another birthday.
~I'm thankful for my dh and kids for putting together a little surprise for me.
~I'm thankful for friends who will babysit my whole crew (yes, even the nursing baby - I fed him right before we left and he did great) for a couple of hours so dh and I can go out to dinner.
~I'm thankful for dh who will take me to my favorite restaurant - Texas Roadhouse.
~I'm thankful for healthy children - and while I'm thankful I urge you to pray for Stellan. Click his button on the right to read about his story and updates.
~I'm thankful for our freedoms. Find the button on the sidebar from Voice of the Martyrs. Christians are still being persecuted in this day and age.

Well, I could go on and on, but I'll give you a chance to list the things you're thankful for.
Go over to Lynn's place and link up your post on thankfullness. While you're there, read what other people are thankful about. I know when I read some others I find things that I'm also thankful for and just didn't think about it while writing mine.

Until next time...


Well, it's that time again. Time to post of picture of lil' ole' me. So here ya go.

Join in the fun and start posting pictures of yourself. Visit Carin and link up to her "mom in the picture" challenge.

Reminder: Hey- if you haven't already- guess my age! I will send the winner a spring-y surprise. If there is more than one winner I'll have to draw a name. So go ahead...take a wild guess! Since I'm going to be unplugged tomorrow, I'll announce the winner on Saturday. Come on now, take the plunge.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Prayer Request

Please pray for baby Stellan. Follow this link or click the box to the right to read his story.

Happy Birthday to me!

"Happy Birthday to me,
happy birthday to me,
happy birthday to me-ee,
happy birthday to me!"

Yes, today is my birthday. Thank you, thank you (in response to the "happy birthday"s coming my way). Here's a picture of the cake my girls made for me. They used some of their toy Schleich horses for decoration. And, yeah, I'm a little older than 7 :). That's all the candles we had. If anyone guesses my correct age I'll send you a little something. So bring it on...

You say you want to get me something? Awww...how sweet. But, really, you don't have to get me anything. Oh well, hey, if you insist, here's a great way to do it. AND...you can get something for yourself at the same time. No kidding! Here's all you have to do. If you will go to the link on the right from christianbook.com (CBD) and search for something it will take you directly to their site. Buy something for yourself (or a relative or friend). That's all you have to do. Don't buy me anything...seriously. When you use the link on my sidebar I get a percentage of what you spend. Cool, huh? They have things in the gift department for as low as $20, $10, and $5. And...check this out...they have a really great sale going on right now. Some things are 95% off!! You can get things for as low as .25...you read that right...ONE QUARTER! Go check it out!

And don't forget to guess my age in your comment. I will send the winner a little surprise...I'll give you a hint...it has to do with spring.

Until next time...

Word-filled Wednesday

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Pro 16:24

For more inspiring pictures and verses go see Amy.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Review - A Cousin's Promise

A Cousin's Promise

A Cousin's Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Indiana Cousins: book 1

When a horrific accident cripples Wayne Lambright, he finds it difficult enough to take care of himself, much less Loraine Miller, his future bride. Will he sacrifice his happiness to give her a better life? Having already been jilted once, Loraine is terrified of yet another rejection. But does she love Wayne enough to marry him, for better or worse? When her old boyfriend Jake Beechy returns from exploring the English world, he hopes Loraine will give him another chance. Will she renew their love or wed Wayne as promised? How will God work to give Loraine the desires of her heart?

I enjoyed this book more than I have previous books by Ms. Brunstetter. She seems to have gone down a different path than most writers of the Amish people. She has put her characters in a situation that can be felt by anyone. It isn't a tragedy that is confined to the Amish people. Anyone could have a car accident and face the difficulties that Wayne and Loraine face. It is a credit to Ms. Brunstetter that she can place people who live in a bygone era, into a modern day occurance and still have them come out the victors. Ms. Brunstetter has produced another well-written book. I look forward to more in this series.

To purchase this book or other books by Wanda E. Brunstetter, use the Christian Book Distributors search engine located on the sidebar. Just type in the book title or her name and it should take you to the book or her books on the CBD website.

Until next time...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring flowers

Didn't I say I would put some pictures of my flowers on here? I'm sure I did. So here they are.

My red tulips:

My grape hyacinths:

My purple tulips:

I also have yellow tulips and black tulips. They haven't quite bloomed yet. And then the ones my mom and I transplanted from her house haven't bloomed yet either. More on those later.

Until next time...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

I guess spring is officially here. I've seen daffodils by the dozen along the roadsides lately. My mom brought me some from her yard today and we spent the afternoon planting them. Along with some Irises, and daylilies. Tomorrow I'll finish the job (with the kids helping). She also brought me some flowers that she forgot what they were. We'll see how they turn out. She said they are yellow and red striped. Sounds pretty. My tulips and grape hyacinths are blooming. I'll have to post some pics on here soon.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Show and Tell Saturday - Pets

Well, since I picked the theme for this week I should post about it, shouldn't I? :) Seriously though, when Kim over at Homesteaders Heart asked me to pick the theme, I immediately thought of kids doing show and tell at school. I mean that's what I think of when I hear "show and tell". And what do they usually take, or try to take? Their pet, of course. Even if it's a pet rock. When I was a kid we didn't have show and tell. But I always read of other kids having it and knew what pet I would take if I could.

I had two pets as a kid and it was a toss-up as to which one I should post about. I'd really like to write about my dog, Poochie. She was black with a white mark on her chest. She was half black labrador retriever and half border collie, so she kept me pretty well rounded up. My mom has a picture of her pulling on my skirt tail when she was a puppy. I really, really wanted to scan that photo on here, but alas, my mom has it and she can't find it. (Don't ask).

So since I can't put her on here, I'll put the other one. This might qualify as the biggest pet. A horse. Wow! Isn't it every girl's dream to have a horse? I mean isn't it natural for every girl to go through some horse-crazy phase while growing up? Well, I lucked out and actually had that one fulfilled. Her name was Princess (original, huh?) and she was kind of stuck-up, too. She had a few foals while we had her and they were all pretty and nice. (Must have gotten it from the dad). She wasn't a bad horse, just kind of aloof. No matter how much time I spent with her, she never quite reached the "follow me everywhere" point. I'm not really sure if I'm making much sense. Maybe because we got her when she was already grown. Anyway, here's a pic of her and the first foal we had with her. This foal's name was Babynose (yes, I know, it's odd). Actually, I guess you could count Princess's granddaughter a pet of mine too. Babynose had a filly that I named Snow (one guess as to what color she was). I really like her too. I was working with her, and had even gotten her trained to lead, when my stepdad sold all of our horses. I was 15. 'Nough said on that.
Without farther ado, here is Princess:
(Please ignore the imperfections of the photo; it is over 20 years old and scanned at that).

Well, that's my pet(s) story. I look forward to reading about your pet. So go over to Kim's and link up your own story about those furry (or not so furry) friends of yesteryear.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chocolate Friday - Peanut Butter Clusters (with Chocolate)

Peanut Butter Clusters
Don't let the name fool you. This has chocolate in it.

I've posted about these babies before, but they are so good I'm posting it again. For those of you who missed the other post. Plus, I just made these yesterday...and they are all gone :)

2 cups peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 cup crushed ridged potato chips (trust me, you will not taste these, they just add texture)

Melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips together. Mix in the nuts and chips. Spoon onto wax paper and let cool. (or eat w/a spoon while they're still warm)

Sorry about the picture. I copied this out of a magazine. I can't remember which one though. I'll have to find it and give credit. It might have been Taste of Home, or Better Homes and Gardens. Both magazines have good recipes. Anyway, since the ones I made are all gone, I had to scan this picture and use it.

And it this isn't enough to satisfy your chocolate cravings, go over and visit Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates. She has a lot more chocolate recipes and others are linking up to share theirs.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Serious Life Magazine

Serious.Life Magazine

Here's an excellent e-mag to check out. Click on the Serious Life button on my sidebar or follow this link. You can even get a free subscription! Check it out!

Until next time...

5/52 photos of me

Forever In Blue Jeans

Well, it's that time again. Time to post a picture of lil' ol' me. I took this at the park the other day. (If you missed that post, go here). Carin started this photo craze, so go over here and see who else has joined in.

Me and Perfectionist. Like the shades? I bought them that day. The sun was so bright! It was a very nice day.

Until next time...

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for:

~ being able to nurse my baby for 7 months so far

~ Adventures in Odyssey

(I'm doing those two things at this moment, while typing one handed, and trying to get the kids to lay down and rest/nap).

I'm also thankful for:

~ new appliances (I can dry my clothes on rainy and cold days)

~ my new furniture (my living room finally looks like a living room)

~ yard sales (to help the look of my living room I found a rug the other day at a yard sale)

~ canned foods (fast lunch prep)

Well, that's it for now, but if you want to read more thankful posts go here.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Word-filled Wednesday

The verse, actually Psalm, that came to me this morning was Psalm 121.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
~ Psalm 121

To find more inspiring verses visit 160 Acre Woods.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day at the Park

Well I promised I'd put some pictures up so here they are. We enjoyed a really nice day at the Panther Creek State Park yesterday. It was the first time we'd been there and it took a while to find it. But after turning around once and going down a couple of wrong roads we finally arrived. There was hardly anyone there when we first got there, but after a little while people started coming. When it started getting pretty crowded we left. I'm thinking we might make this a weekly excursion after library hour on Fridays. Take a picnic (unless it rains), have some fun.

The 3 oldest having fun on the merry-go-round. I didn't get too many good pictures of them. Not sure why. Maybe they moved around too much. I'll have to try again next time.

The Actor. My knight in...umm...plastic armor. He can be very dramatic. A comedian too. Imagination? Out of this world. His shield is a tray from a plastic toolbox. His cloak is a large scarf they use for dress-up. His sword is a piece of board. Imagination. Every kid's friend.

Mr. Perfect. I kept asking if he wanted to wear sandals, but he said no. He got pretty hot, but still didn't take off those boots. I don't know why my boys love them so much.

The Princess. She is so prissy. If you look in the above photo, she is doing the hair-flipping thing. Her right hand is coming down from flipping her hair.

The Tornado. He's just a cute fireball. Almost 3, and I can barely keep up with him.

Precious Moments Doll. I caught her "reading" to her baby brother the other day. Of course, as soon as I go get the camera to capture it on video, she stops. Not for anything would she do it again. Oh, well.

Little Man. He's just a happy baby. He enjoyed being outside.

And there you have it. Captured for posterity, our fun day at the park. May there be many more to come.

Until next time...

Book Review - The Reluctant Cowgirl

The Reluctant Cowgirl

The Reluctcant Cowgirl by Christine Lynxwiler
The McCord Sisters Book One

Actress Crystal McCord gave up the closness of her big family in order to make a name for herself on the New York City stage. But when life in the Big Apple turns sour, she follows a country road back to her parents' Arkansas ranch. The last thing she expects to find in cowboy country is a new leading man. Still, she can't help but imagine handsome rancher Jeremy Buchanan in the role. Unfortunately, Jeremy's been burned by Crystal's type before. Or has he? Every time he thinks he knows her, the multi-faceted woman surprises him. Will the reluctant pair allow their hearts to guide them, or will their common stubborn pride keep them miles apart?

What can I say? I've read Ms. Lynxwiler's books before and like them. That is part of the reason I chose this one. And...I like it. Easy enough to say. What did I like about it? Probably a lot of it had to do with the fact that I like just about anything to do with cowboys/cowgirls/country life. I like the friends-turn-boyfriend/girlfriend angle. I like the during-the-hard-times-you-lean-on-God story line. This book had all three. As an added bonus, the heroine has brothers and sisters, and it's book one. And that means...you guessed it...more books! Yay!

This story is about faithfulness, forgiveness, family, and friends. (Did I just alliterate? Comes from living with a former Bible college graduate.) Anyway...

Crystal McCord and her twin dreamed of being on Broadway. When her twin is killed in a car wreck their senior year of high school, Crystal goes alone. For almost 7 years she worked hard to make it, but only had supporting roles in off-Broadway productions. Her current play closes at the same time her family needs help on the ranch so she goes back to visit. Her intentions of going right back to The Big Apple change when she is the only one able to stay and help.

Crystal has to face that maybe her dream isn't what she thought it was. When she re-discovers the faithfulness of God, she is able to recognize that fact.

Neighbor Jeremy Buchanan has his own troubles, but sacrifices his time to help out, also. His ex-wife has taken their daughter and he can't find her. When his situation looks like it is taking a turn for the worse, he has to learn about trust and forgiveness.

Crystal and Jeremy become friends and she helps him look for his daughter. Things seem to be going well, until Crystal has a call to try out for a part, a lead part, on Broadway. Will she stay or go? I can't tell you, you have to read for yourself. :) I will tell you this: I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

To purchase this book, look on my sidebar for the search engine from CBD. Type in the title and it should take you right to it.

Until next time...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Vote for In God We Trust

Follow this link and vote. It's about keeping "In God We Trust" on our currency.


Tomorrow I hope to post about our trip to the park today. It was a state park and really neat. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Until next time...

Not Me, Monday!

Here's your chance to admit to all those things you didn't do this week. Then go over to MckMama's site and see what everyone else didn't do.

It wasn't me that totally got locked out of the house. No keys, no phone, all the kids EXCEPT for the baby! That's right, our 7 month old was locked by himself in the house. It wasn't my two (almost three) year old that knows how to lock doors and does it on occasion. When it isn't needed.
Thankfully, after a desperate prayer for ideas, I remembered (God reminded me of) a way to get in. (Yeah, right, like I'm going to post it on here).

I did not leave the water running into the water filter pitcher all night! Or at least until 4 a.m. when my dh got up and found out. YIKES!! At least the sink stopper wasn't in!

It's not my house that is messy from letting my kids play whatever they wanted and not making them pick up after themselves. Not me! And I guess it's not me that's going to totally ditch the house (actually per instruction from my dear, darling husband) and go to a new park. :) Seriously, he called and told me to forget the house and get out for a while. To go check out the new park that our neighbors told us about. Let the kids run wild. So I guess I'll see you folks later. :)

Until next time...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Dream Come True


Kim over at Homesteader's Heart hosts Show and Tell Saturdays. This week is about our favorite vacation.

Have you ever wanted to do something, but thought in the back of your mind that it would never happen? That's me. There are some places in the world I really want to visit and have wanted to visit for a long time...like almost my whole life. I think I was about 12 or 13 when I read about Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. And beignets (pronounced ben-yays if anyone doesn't know). Oh...yum. There are other places; Amish country in PA, Montana, the British Isles, Australia. And since I now got to visit the French Quarter in New Orleans, I have hope that I might actually get to see those other places too. Maybe. Someday.

Well, here I am, enjoying my favorite vacation (so far).

At the Cafe du Monde waiting for our beignets (and feeding the baby at the time). I didn't get a picture of me eating them. They get pretty messy. Powdered sugar.

The girls enjoying their beignets...like I said, messy.

The kids by Andrew Jackson's statue in Jackson Square. The kids in red are mine, the others belong to the friends we stayed with. And this was not all of them. We had 8 at the time, they had 6. The others are just not in the picture.

One of the street artists. Yes, the guy is alive, spray painted silver, and holding a ferret.

Some of the kids acting silly under one of their big trees down there.

The tree from a distance. Notice how that one branch goes to the ground? I thought that was so neat. (I'm easily entertained and impressed).

Well, there's lots more pictures, but I don't want to bore you. If you've never been to New Orleans you're missing out. If you go, you have to have the beignets. I mean, that's the whole point of going, right?

Just a note. We did go during Mardi Gras last year, but we are not the Mardi Gras type of people. My husband was working with a guy down there and that was why we went.

Oh and another thing to try is a King Cake. Yum, again. And if you know the history/tradition of the King Cake - my oldest son found the baby when our friends bought the first King Cake. :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dessert Friday - Brownie Surprise

This is a really simple recipe. Use your favorite box of brownie mix, preferably one without anything in it and a family size, 9x13. Mix according to directions. Spray pan and spread 1/2 of the mix in the pan. Spread on top of that a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (again your favorite brand). Layer on the rest of the brownie spread. Bake according to instructions. Enjoy! I made these earlier this week and would have had a picture, but they went too fast! Imagine that!

For more yummy dessert recipes, visit Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolates

Until next time...