Friday, November 28, 2008


Still nothing about the van.
I have been working daily with the
insurance company to wrap things up.
What a nuisance.

I am very tired this week. Been burning the candle
at both ends trying to cram everything in.

We are very thankful to report that our insurers
have given us a rental car! Yay! This allows for
easier days...sort of. Perhaps not easier, just busier
because I am trying to get all my errands done at once
instead of more spread out. I am not sure how long we have
the car or what the future holds so I do what I can for today
with a great sense of urgency.

My brother Shawn has been able to visit now and again which has
been wonderful! It's nice to have family around. Too bad they don't live here....
(Same to you too Mike)

In other great news, next week we get OUR OWN FM system for Oliver!!!
That is a microphone for me to wear and a little amplifier that hooks up to
his hearing aides so he hears even better. So excited:):):):)
He has one at school that the teacher wears, but it has to stay there.
We have been approved to get one at home and now it is finally here. Yippeeee!

Emma last night at supper leaned over to me and whispered "I forgive him mommy."
I was a little puzzled and was in the midst of another conversation at that time so I could not really dig into that too much. At bedtime I asked her what she meant by that statement. She said "The guy(s) who took our van. I forgive them Mom."

That's all I have for now.
I am going to try to nap this afternoon. Mmmm. Napppppp.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Always hopeful:)

This morning comes too early after such a l-o-n-g night of talking talking talking with Steve and police last night and insurance people and going through all our information trying to decipher everything. A bit overwhelming, but manageable piece by piece.

Our van was taken from outside the church last night.

I keep looking outside expecting to see our van returned to us. I know that is terribly naive. But a girl can hope can't she?

I am very thankful for all the love and support I have received this morning from our friends. We have such a great community here.

I am moved for these folks who took our van. What desperation they must have felt to take our crappy ol' thing. They must have really needed something! So with that, I pray for them-and not in a greedy fashion either although it's tempting! If you are the praying type also, please add them into your words today:)

Book Review

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Beloved Captive

Barbour Publishing, Inc (November 1, 2008)


Kathleen Y’Barbo


There’s never a dull moment in the Y’Barbo household! From hockey and cheer mom to publicist to bestselling author, Kathleen Y’Barbo somehow manages to do it all - and well. While wearing her publicist’s hat, Kathleen has secured interviews with radio, television, and print media for clients at NavPress, Hatchette, Integrity, Barbour Publishing, and Broadman & Holman, to name a few. She also brings her own unique blend of Southern charm and witty prose to the more than 350,000 award-winning novels and novellas currently in print. Her novels have been nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006; and 2007 will see the release of her 25th book.

Kathleen is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.

The first book in this series is Beloved Castaway.


In this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Beloved Captive, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
Hooked at the start, this book had me diving in and I couldn't help but fall in love. With the story and characters. There is much to learn beyond just the surface story of travel, adventure and love. Do they sit and wallow once mysterious discoveries are made? NO! This lifted me. I am happy to read a book where the heroine doesn't fall down and cry when something hard is thrown at her. Love it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Book Review

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips

FaithWords (November 5, 2008)


Stephen Baldwin
Mark Tabb


STEPHEN BALDWIN - actor, family man, born-again Christian - makes his home in upstate New York with his wife and two young daughters.

Equally adept at drama and comedy, Baldwin has appeared in over 60 films and been featured on such top-rated television shows as Fear Factor and Celebrity Mole. He has his own production company that is developing projects for television and the big screen. These days, however, his role as director, co-producer and host of Livin' It - a cutting-edge skate video is bringing out his white hot passion for evangelism.

Writer and communicator Mark Tabb calls himself an “internationally unknown author.” Although his books have been published around the world, he is best known for his collaborative works. His 2008 release, “Mistaken Identity”, written with the Van Ryn and Cerak families, hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list for two weeks, and remained on the list for over two months. He and actor Stephen Baldwin teamed up on their 2005 New York Times bestseller, “The Unusual Suspect,” and with their first work of fiction, “The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips,”


Even years of experience haven't prepared Officer Andy Myers for this case---

When Officer Andy Myers met Loraine Phillips, he had no interest in her son. And he certainly never dreamed he'd respond to a call, finding that same boy in a pool of blood. Even more alarming was the father standing watch over his son's body. Myers had never seen a man respond to death-particularly the death of a child-in such a way. When the father is charged with murder and sentenced to death, he chooses not to fight but embrace it as God's will. Myers becomes consumed with curiosity for these strange beliefs. What follows is the story of the bond these two men share as they come to terms with the tragedy and the difficult choices each one must make.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips, go HERE


My Thoughts:
Eye opening. I am not so sheltered and innocent that I believe the happenings of this book couldn't happen, but reading it made it come alive.
Right in front of my face I could not ignore the images that were flying at me.
Sometimes it is good to open yourselves up to the horrors of life in order to appreciate all that we do have.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Book Review

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

White Christmas Pie

Barbour Publishing, Inc (September 1, 2008)


Wanda E. Brunstetter


Fascinated by the Amish people during the years of visiting her husband's family in Pennsylvania, WANDA E. BRUNSTETTER combined her interest with her writing and now has eleven novels about the Amish in print, along with numerous other stories and ministry booklets. She lives in Washington State, where her husband is a pastor, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish settlements throughout the states.

This year Wanda also publishedA Sister's Hope


Step into Amish country for this bittersweet holiday romance. Here you'll meet Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, and Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers. Add a desperate father searching for his son, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class romance that will inspire and enthrall.

Abandoned by his father, Will Henderson was raised by an Amish couple. Now he's about to marry Karen Yoder but is having second thoughts. Can Will overcome the bitterness of his past in order to secure his future? Karen cannot break through the barrier her fiance has suddenly constructed around his heart. When she seeks the advice of an old boyfriend, Will begins to see green. Has he already lost his chance for happiness?

When an accident threatens Will's life, the strength of blood ties is tested. Will a recipe for White Christmas pie contain the ingredients for a happily-ever-after?

If you would like to read the first chapter of White Christmas Pie, go HERE

Watch the book trailer:

My Thoughts:
A very light read. Good right before bed to put light thoughts in your head.
I do enjoy these Amish novels, they sure make me smile. This one was a bit predictable-but still very enjoyable!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book Review

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

One Holy Night

Sheaf House (April 1, 2008)


J. M. Hochstetler


J. M. Hochstetler writes stories that always involve some element of the past and of finding home. Born in central Indiana, the daughter of Mennonite farmers, she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Germanic languages. She was an editor with Abingdon Press for twelve years and has published three novels.

One Holy Night, a contemporary miracle story for all seasons, released in April 2008. Daughter of Liberty (2004) and Native Son (2005), books 1 and 2 of the American Patriot Series are set during the American Revolution. Book 3, Wind of the Spirit, is scheduled for release in March 2009. Hochstetler is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Authors Network, Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, and Historical Novels Society.


In 1967 the military build-up in Viet Nam is undergoing a dramatic surge. The resulting explosion of anti-war sentiment tears the country apart, slicing through generations and shattering families. In the quiet bedroom community of Shepherdsville, Minnesota, the war comes home to Frank and Maggie McRae, whose only son, Mike, is serving as a grunt in Viet Nam.

Frank despises all Asians because of what he witnessed as a young soldier fighting the Japanese in the south Pacific during WWII. The news that his son has fallen in love with and married Thi Nhuong, a young Vietnamese woman, shocks him. To Frank all Asians are enemies of his country, his family, and himself. A Buddhist, Thi Nhuong represents everything he despises. So he cuts Mike out of his life despite the pleas of his wife, Maggie; daughter, Julie; and Julie s husband, Dan, the pastor of a growing congregation.

Maggie is fighting her own battle--against cancer. Convinced that God is going to heal her, Frank plays the part of a model Christian. Her death on Thanksgiving Day devastates him. Worse, as they arrive home from the gravesite, the family receives news of Mike s death in battle. Embittered, Frank stops attending church and cuts off family and friends.

By the time a very pregnant Thi Nhuong arrives on his doorstep on a stormy Christmas Eve, Frank is so filled with hate that he slams the door in her face, shutting her out in the bitter cold. Finally, overcome by guilt, he tries to go after her, but driving wind and snow force him back inside. With the storm rising to blizzard strength, he confronts the wrenching truth that what hate has driven him to do is as evil as what the Japanese did all those years earlier, and that he needs forgiveness as desperately as they did ...

Frank doesn't know that what God has in mind this night is a miracle. As on that holy night so many years ago, a baby will be born and laid in a manger--a baby who will bring forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing to a family that has suffered heart-wrenching loss.

If you would like to read the first chapter of One Holy Night, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
I barely know where to start on this one. Moving.
Touching. Just when I think I couldn't possibly be moved
by another book, this one comes along and stirs me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Pics:)

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Book Review

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Until We Reach Home

Bethany House (October 1, 2008)


Lynn Austin


For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. She has published twelve novels. Three of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, and Fire by Night have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, and 2004 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005.

Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Among her latest books are A Proper Pursuit and A Woman's Place


Life in Sweden seems like an endless winter for three sisters after their mother's and father's suicide. Ellin feels the weight of responsibility for her sisters' welfare and when it circumstances become unbearable, she writes to her relatives in Chicago, pleading for help.

Joining sixteen million other immigrants who left their homelands for America between 1890 and 1920, Ellin, Kirsten, and Sophia begin the long, difficult journey. Enduring the ocean voyage in steerage and detention on Ellis Island, their story is America's story. And in a journey fraught with hardships, each woman will come to understand her secret longings and the meaning of home.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Until We Reach Home, go HERE

My thoughts:
This book isn't one for dilly dallying. It jumps into the story and never looks back. The pace of the book is steady, not lacking or slowing in any way. IT grabbed me straight away within the first few chapters. I had to know if the girls made it to America! In their young lives so much has happened to them, yet they handle life with such tenacity. One I would recommend again and again.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I found this article interesting and thought it'd be neat to share.

Some of you have been asking me where I find a lot of my information for things. So here are a few of the sites I visit regularly:

Here is a small explanation for each site in case you don't understand what they are. BzzAgent is a company that relies on word of mouth. They send you out products (free) and you spread the word either good or bad about them. Currently I am working on Nabob coffee, Lancome Mascara, Silk Soy Milk and Eggs. This is the place where I got the Sonicare toothbrush from a long long time ago. Anyone remember that far back?

Moving on...

Paperbackswap should be pretty self explanatory. You swap books with other people. Easy.

The diynetwork is the Do it yourself network and they have loads of helpful information on there. I really like that site.

Once a month cooking is full of great recipes that I draw from and freeze ahead for weeks like this where the time seems to slip through my fingers.

Retail me not is one of my favourite go to sites for coupon codes. Since shopping online has become the norm here, I've found this site to be most helpful with their coupons and 99% of the time they have the coupons I need. It's great.

That's all I am sharing for today. Off and running:)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Book Review

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Out Of Her Hands

Tyndale House Publishers (September 22, 2008)


Megan DiMaria


I was born and raised in New York State and have since lived in Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, and now I live in Colorado. My husband and I have three delightful, adult children and an old Jack Russell Terrier named
Belle who seems to find her way into my novels. My resume will tell you I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Communications, and after graduation I worked as a radio and television reporter, freelance writer, editor and marketing professional.

I'm a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and am assistant director of Words For The Journey, Rocky Mountain Region.

But what's most important to know about me is that I am a follower of Jesus, wife, mother, friend, reader and writer.

Life’s a journey, enjoy the adventures!


In this second novel by Megan DiMaria, Linda Revere is back and continuing to struggle with the turmoil of contemporary life. Linda has been praying for her children's future spouses since they were very small. Confident that her prayers will be answered, Linda is not prepared for the young woman her son brings home. But Linda soon learns that while everything she once controlled is out of her hands, God is still in control. Megan uses her trademark humor while dealing with issues to which her readers will relate.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Out Of Her Hands, go HERE

"No sophomore slump for DiMaria! This novel (Out of Her Hands) is as engaging and meaningful as her first, Searching for Spice. Her realistic portrayal of the characters' lives should endear them to readers and help Christians to feel less alone in their daily trials."
~Romantic Times Magazine, 4 ½ stars TOP PICK!

“Life in Linda's world is messy...but filled with love, laughter, struggle and faith. Megan has created a most real heroine for us to love...and I adore her!”
~Deena Peterson, reviewer: A Peek at my Bookshelf

“Megan DiMaria crafts a novel so compelling, so real, you forget you're reading fiction.”
~Darcie Gudger, reviewer: TitleTrakk

"This is a great read for a quiet afternoon or in those times when you feel your own life spinning out of control and need the reality check of knowing you're not in it alone."
~Amazon reviewer

My Thoughts:

When first getting into this book it made me exhausted just reading about the busyness of her life and I was annoyed at all the take-out she endured. Why couldn't her husband cook? The more I read though, I realized it was a bigger story than just a busy life of some frazzled woman. I actually found myself caring for these characters and connecting with them. The twists and turns of the story kept me hooked and I found myself wanting more from the family at the end.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Book Review

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Rain Song

Bethany House (October 1, 2008)


Alice J. Wisler


Alice sold her first story to David C. Cook for a take-home Sunday School paper called Sprint. The year was 1988, this was her first submission to a paying market, and the check sent to her was for $125.00.

She was on her way!

Since then, Alice has sold articles and devotions to the Upper Room, Alive Now, Standard Publishing, ByLine magazine and others.

In 2006 she sent her novel Rain Songto Bethany House...and the rest is history! She signed a two -book deal and the second, How Sweet It Is will be out in 2009.


Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan...something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone...something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney. Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy Web site, she meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his emails tug at her heart. Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rain Song, go HERE

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Novemeber First!!!!

It's hard to believe that two months of school have gone by already and Christmas is right around the bend!

We Halloweened it up last night until we all had sore feet and were yawning our faces off. The night started off with a laugh at our neighbor next door to us. We knocked on his door (his light was on and he had a pumpkin out) and he opened the door dressed as the fellow from Clockwork Orange. Uhhh. Our kids are 5 and 6 and thankfully did not get that ... but none of us could stop looking at his shiny 'package'. Gosh! How embarrassing! I thanked him for giving us good content for our dinner conversation for the next few nights;)

It was so great to be able to see people we knew as we walked in and around our neighborhood. The weather was beautiful, it was such a treat not to have to trudge through snow.

Today we are off and running to get caulk for our windows and do fun errand things like that. So exciting, I know:)

Anyone ready for Christmas yet?
I can remember last year trick or treating and seeing some Christmas trees already up. Some people have their lights up around here....not sure if they are up all year though.