Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Tour of Homes

BooMama is hostess to a lot of people sharing their beautifully decorated homes. Here is a short tour of mine:
HWH decorates the outside of the house.We have a tradition of going out together to find our tree. I have stuck to my convictions of having a real tree every year, though I must admit - I am getting closer and closer to giving in to my HWH and getting the fake pre-lit tree. But, I'm still at least a few years away from caving! HWH puts the lights on, then the kids decorate, after they go to bed, I rearrange.
The kids have their own tree - we alternate whose bedroom it goes in each year. This one is a fake tree (they charge about $30 for a real one this size!)
I decorate the mantle and put out all the other decorations.
Knick-knacks people have given me over the years.
My Nativity Scene - I got this about 14 years ago when I worked at Lillian Vernon catalog. We got a very nice discount - everything is much better from LV with a discount! I keep hoping for the Willow Tree nativity - there is even a photo of it on the refridgerator - maybe one year!
Every year I struggle with "do I put the kings here or not"? I know the kings didn't visit the stable - but rather Jesus' house - but - every year I go ahead and put them there. Now, when I get the Willow Tree set - I won't even buy the kings - temptation gone! :)
Another Lillian Vernon discount purchase.
Our count-down tree.
Our Christmas Card holder. After the holiday I like to pull them out, read them again and pray for each family.
And finally, my HWH's dear "children" - Connie and Hans.
These are his beloved Deutsch Drahthaar hunting dogs. I don't mind them, except when they bark (which is often). (All I outright asked for for Christmas was bark collars for the dogs!)
There are a couple people in my life right now who have sick family members in the hospital - my thoughts and prayers go out to them.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winner of December PASS IT ON . . . .

Is Karen at Mommy of Three! Karen won Snow Angel by Jamie Carrie - an awesome book! If you haven't read it, I suggest you use one of your Christmas gift certificates to get it!

I hope you all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I'll be posting as I get time over the next week. I am off work for the 3 work days after Christmas - WOO HOO!

Check back in January for another PASS IT ON book giveaway - perhaps it will be affiliated with the new TEEN LITERATURE REVIEW blog that a few other ladies and myself will be going live with in January!

Off to wrap those last few gifts . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wash that mouth out girl!

Yesterday, while at the YMCA a girl told my son to go to f*****g h**l. Why? Because he didn't want to listen to her gush on about her life and when she told him something he said "whatever". I'll tell you - if someone ever hears any of my children swear, I pray they tell me. It will not be a good day (or month) for my child if I ever hear about it.
I bet the mother of this girl has no clue her 12 year old daughter is talking that way.
I so wanted to call the Y director and complain (the counselor who my son told did nothing). But, I can't "come to his rescue" all the time. He's got to learn to handle difficult people and situations. We discussed how perhaps he could have been more polite to the girl from the beginning, and how you should be courteous even to annoying people . . . .
Man, parenting older kids is less physically draining (I'm not running around playing with him all the time, he cleans up his own toys and can change his own clothes) - but it's tough in a whole 'nother way!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Third King

Eldest (when he was 4 yr. old): Mom, what's the name of the 3rd king?
Me: The 3rd king?
Eldest: Yeah, you know, the 3rd king?
Me: Hum, well, what is the name of the first two kings?
Eldest: You know, the kings of oil and tar.
Me: (Driving, and about to die trying not to laugh!) Oh, "We 3 kings of orient are . . . ."
Eldest: Yeah, the 3 kings - one oil the other tar, what's the 3rd?
Me: Honey it's saying "We 3 kings of or-e-ent - kings of orient means, well, it means, well, it means they are from far away. It never really says where any of them are from, just from far away." (Um, yeah - that made a lot of sense, I'm sure he understands now!)
Eldest: Oh, I thought it was oil and tar. . . . .

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hi! Nice To Meet You Winner . . . .

I used the Random Number Generator to pick a winner among the ladies who introduced themselves to me in my Hi! Nice To Meet You! post. The winner is Lauren at Baseballs and Bows. Be sure to stop by her blog and meet her - she is a lot of fun!
Lauren - please email me your address so I can send your special gift out to ya! connievail at hotmail dot com.

I won!

Woo Hoo! Love it when I win free books! Thanks to Lace at Keeping My Fingers Crossed, I won "The Honk and Holler Opening Soon". Looking forward to adding it to my pile of books to be read! Thanks Lace!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Warning on The Golden Compass Movie

Warning! I highly suggest you read this before taking your child to see the movie opening up today, December 7th - The Golden Compass.
I struggle, because my eldest did read the book, and the movie looks awesome, but I really don't want to support the author or his end game - so I will use self control and avoid it.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

If I only had a . . . . .


Two weeks ago - I put a pot roast and veggies in the crock pot before I left for work. Told HWH that it would be waiting for him and the two boys when he got home, just make rice and enjoy! Daughter and I had girl scouts and would pick something up on our way. I told him to just leave the dishes for me darling, I'll clean them up when I get home. Oh, aren't I just the perfect working mom/wife!?
Well, when he got home, there was no wonderful crock-pot aroma to greet him. He went over and looked in, nothing was cooked. It was plugged in. Hummmm . . . . It wasn't turned on. Great! So, he had to throw out $15 of food, and they had cereal for dinner, again!
This past Monday - I took the day off work to do my Christmas shopping - put together another crock pot roast/veggies before I left. Knew I'd be too tired to cook when I got home, plus daughter and I had girl scouts that night. Walked in, no crock pot aroma to greet us. "But I know I turned it ON! I triple checked!" Yes, but upon examination, I did not plug it in! You have got to be kidding. I was ready to be commited to the dementia ward right then! So, it was mac & cheese with hotdogs, again!
What is wrong with me! Why can I not remember little things like this? I have been so scatterbrained lately. People, I am only 36 - and I feel like half my brain has been stolen from me! Oh yeah, it has - these 3 kids sucked it out of me in the womb to make their own! Good thing I only had 3 - 4 and I would have been a gonner!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

PASS IT ON Book Giveaway!

Because books are too precious to only be read once . . . . PASS IT ON!

This month's giveaway is Snow Angel by Jamie Carie. I can't say enough good things about this book. If you don't win it - go buy it, it's worth every penny!

Description: Fierce and fragile, the mysterious Elizabeth is obsessively drawn to the promise of gold in 1880s Alaska. But when kind Noah Wesley saves her life during a violent blizzard, she won't tell him why she's chasing her dream through a pounding storm. Can these cold and lonely hearts risk everything and be forever warmed? 304 pages

My Review: I reviewed on my blog here. Her style blends the perfect amount of description, conversation, and adventure. The pace was perfect. And the characters were lovable. The romance was sweet, no inappropriateness. I am not a big romance reader, but this book combined just enough adventure and action with the romance that it was very enjoyable!

I kind of hate to give the book away. I enjoyed reading it so much, it might be one I'd like to read again! Plus, I really think it's a book worth buying - so if you don't win - treat yourself and buy it as a Christmas gift for you (or I guess you could buy it for your sister, then borrow it when she's done!)

I will hold the drawing on 12/20/07. Good Luck! And remember, when you're done reading it - PASS IT ON!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hi, Nice to Meet You!

Hi everyone! Nice to meet you! My name is Angi.

Some of you know me as Connie.

Some of you know me as Vail.

But, really, I am Angi.

I'm still the same person. Different name.

To be technical I'm Angela. But the only time anyone calls me that is if their mad at me. So, I hope you call me Angi.

I'm the same person who posted my first entry - only different.

That was almost 2 years ago. That was a stressful time for me - but that has passed and my life is more peaceful.

Anyways, I'm happy to meet you. If you'd like to get to know me better, please look around at some old posts. These are my favorites, the ones I think will help you get to know me:

1. Deep Thoughts
2. Legacy of Prayer
3. Heartfelt
4. Lost My Child - The Most Terrifying 20 minutes of my life!
5. 5 Things You Want Your Kids to Know

and lastly . . . . Anonymous No More . . .

Leave me a comment on something about yourself, perhaps something I don't know from reading your blog. I'll randomly pick one of the comments on Friday and send a little surprise!

Have a great week!

Now, I'm off to shop!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Ornament Exchange!

I was part of a Christmas Oranment Exchange this year! It was sooooo fun receiving my ornament yesterday! The ornament is very nice, and the box it came in is so cute!

The exchange was hosted by K.M. O'Donnell at The Open Window. Thanks to her for hosting!

My exchange partner was Charlotte at Sweet Southern Life.

I haven't been shopping yet - but am taking Monday off to do my Christmas shopping. I plan to mail Charlotte her ornament on Tuesday!

I am getting so excited about Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Anonymous No More . . . . . . .

As I have told ya'll in an earlier blog post, a few other ladies and I are about to start a blog where we post reviews on pre-teen and teen books. We decided to this after receiving the email circulating about the Golden Compass movie based on the books by Phillip Pullman. Pullman has left little doubt about his book's intended meanings when he said in a 2003 interview that "my books are about killing God" and in a 2001 interview he was "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief".

Now, I don't require that the books my children be "Christian", but I do require that they are not anti-Christian. I also don't want them to have bad language, sexual situations, drug use, etc.

But, how do I know what's in those books. There are no book review sites that give the kind of information I want to know. For movies there are many: Christian Spotlight on Entertainment and Plugged In Online to name a couple. Movies have ratings, books don't.

My son had actually read the Golden Compass book, and was just starting the third in the series. After finding out about how the books get progressively more anti-Christian, we returned the third book to the library - unread.

So, this new website will be an effort to try to inform parents about what books their children are reading. Reality is, I just can't pre-read every book my son wants to read. But, if several people help out, we'll have a great start on a place to look for suggested readings, or warnings of those to avoid.

I SAY ALL THAT TO SAY - I AM NOT GOING TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS ON THIS BLOG! On Monday I will begin using my real name and introduce myself all over again. The reason? I have friends I want to tell about this new review blog. I am too scatterbrained to be able to keep two "personalities" going on the Internet - I would eventually slip up.

So, come back Monday - and we can all properly introduce ourselves! I'm so excited!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Note from an Overprotective Mom . . . . .

I had the comment below left for me recently by a reader in regards to my review/opinion of the movie "We Are Marshall" . In the section where I stated what I felt about if it was OK for kids this is what I said:

OK for Kids? Well, I let my 12 year old watch this, but if I had of know how much bad language was in here, I may have rethought it. It was the sh*t word or the da*n word like 10 times or so. Yes, it's a great story, it's inspirational, and no sex. But I don't like my 12 year old hearing swear words thrown in with regularity (even mild swear words), thinking it is ok to use in normal conversation. The Christian Reviewer here suggests it for teens. Put it this way, if my son had a friend over, I would not let them both watch it.

Anonymous said...
Lol. I'm sorry I really had to laugh. You don't allow your 12 year old to even hear the word damn? You have to be kidding me. Very sorry, but in 6years time the world is going to eat him alive.

OK, it's not that I don't allow my 12 yr old to hear the word "da*n", he hears it every day at school and aftercare at the YMCA. It's that I feel like when I show him a movie, when I watch it with him, that if there is bad language in it, or sex, or drug/alcohol use, then it is saying these things aren't so bad, it's OK to watch stuff like this. And at his age, no I don't feel like he should be watching movies with that stuff in it. I don't want him desensitized to those experiences. The more you are around something, the more acceptable it becomes.
Yes, I am pretty conservative on the TV and Movies I allow my kids to watch. They don't watch much TV (only on the weekends during the school year). And because I have such a range in ages (6, 10, 12) if the 12 year old is watching TV, it has to be something OK for the 10 and 6 year old to watch. Today they are all going to see the Bee Movie and are quite looking forward to it! (We have a XBOX game, some Sonic game where every time he dies he says a curse word, I think it is "s*it". - They must turn down the volume when they play that game.)
Is it so wrong that I don't want my 12 yr. old hearing a bunch of cuss words on TV? Guess what - I don't allow them to say a lot of words that other people say. Words such as shut-up, or butt, or OMG, or freakin' or crap, the list could go on and on. But, those words just don't sound good coming out of the mouths of children (or anyone else for that matter!). I try to teach them to be more creative and thoughtful when speaking.
Do I think he's going to be "eatten alive" when he is 18? No. My son is one of those types of people that gets along with most anyone. He is funny, athletic, smart, and polite and well mannered. He is surviving the 7th grade at the public middle school he attends, he's very much in the "real world" (more so than I wish he had to be), and he's still expected by my husband and I to behave. To avoid using bad language, to be nice, to be polite, to avoid violence when possible, to be responsible for his actions and decisions.
This world, our society, are trying to tell you that sex before marriage is OK, that sex with anyone, anytime is OK. That using bad language is OK. That stealing because you want something you don't have or can't afford is OK. That you don't have to work for what you need or want, the government will give it to you. That violence in the face of poverty or desperation is understandable. That saying the "f" word, smoking pot, getting drunk, all are fine, they are just part of a cool kids life. I don't agree with any of that. And I am trying to bring my children up so they don't either.
When I was growing up, my divorced parents were very busy, tired and somewht uninvolved in my day-to-day life. I watched what I wanted to watch, my Mom even took me to "R" movies when I was 12, I spoke how I wanted to speak, hung out with people I shouldn't have, went places they never knew about. And I suffered the consequences of those actions/decisions for many, many years. I am trying to teach my children to live better than I did. To make good choices. To make right choices. To live in a way that honors Christ.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And the Winner is . . . . .

Today is the drawing for my PASS IT ON book giveaway. The book is - The Elevator by Angela Hunt. Congrats to the winner - and thanks everyone for entering!

The Winner Is . . . .

ChristiS at Blah Blah Blog!

I used the to draw a number!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I will post my next drawing the first week of December!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Deceptively Delicious or Sneaky Chef?

OK, the idea of adding spinach to brownies and avocado to chocolate pudding sounds great - as long as the kids eat it!

Seriously, what parent wouldn't love ideas on how to make their cooking more healthy - and squeeze in a few more nutritious ingredients into food we will be making anyway?!
Apparently a couple months ago there was a controversy that one of these authors was getting more publicity than the other, that one may have "stolen" some recipes, etc. I think overall, the controversy helped both ladies sell more books.
So, do you have either of these books? Do you like it? Do your kids eat the food? Favorite recipe in the book?
I'm thinking about asking for one of them for Christmas - your opinion will help . . . .

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Do You Know What Your Child Is Reading?

A couple weeks ago, many of you received the Email warning you about the upcoming movie The Golden Compass. Finding out about this movie which is based on a book - troubled me. My son has read 2 of the 3 books in the series, and was actually in the midst of reading the 3rd. I had no idea that the author and the content was so anti-religion and anti-Christian. My son is an AVID reader! He panics when he finishes a book and doesn't have another waiting to be read. The library is one of his favorite places to be.

I can not read every book he wants to read before he does. I do read the jackets, and turn some of his selections down. But that is not a very thorough way to determine if a book is acceptable or not.

A few blogging friends of mine were discussing this last week and have decided to start a community blog where we read and review pre-teen and teen books from a Christian perspective. This way, like I do with movies, I can go to this website and read a review that presents information on the book so I can make an informed decision on if a book is OK for my teen to read, or not!

We have a few bloggers who have agreed to participate, to read 1 - 2 books a month and post reviews.

We want this to be a God-centered endeavor, something that would glorify Him.

If you would like to be a part of this exciting new blog, leave me a comment or email me. And if you know of anyone who may be interested, send them my way!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hamster Advice?

OK, so I am thinking my 10 yr. old daughter will finally get the Hamster she has been wanting for the last 5 years - for Christmas. I am not a big rodent person myself. I had hamsters when I was a kid, and I'm over it. But she is a HUGE animal lover, and I think she's old enough to clean up after it herself.

When I was at the pet store the other day, there were many different types of hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc. Any suggestions on what to get? I thought the black/brown hamsters were cute, but they cost more. I need something gentle (the 6 yr. old will want to hold too), low maintence, etc. Any cage suggestions? Big, small, medium, toys, etc. . . . .

I do know - no stairs. I had a hamster who would take his food out of his bowl, put it under the stairs, and eat it while under the stairs. Well, he ended up one day, getting too fat to get out from under the stairs (we were away for the weekend), and died under the stairs.

Any help you can offer would be appreciated!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Jill!

For those who don't know Jill at "Who Could Ask for Anything More", let me assure you - you are missing out.

I don't remember how I stumbled upon her blog about a year ago, but in that year I am sure I've visited her blog 5 out of 7 days of most every week.

She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, she makes me think.

I remember feeling so robbed as I looked back at my childhood - we never celebrated May Day. I mean, who knew? Gifts on May Day? Jill enlightened me . . . .

I, like her, haven't drank a glass of milk in about 20 years, but unlike her, I love all things cilantro . . she inspired me (to make some homemade salsa, heavy on the cilantro) . . . .

Her love and devotion to Doug, make me want to be as good a wife to my HWH. Yeah, my HWH is as handy as Doug, but not as motivated . . . . Jill inspired me - to motivate :)

Jill's touching words about all her children, leave me never wanting to be away from mine, so for the next 444 days . . . . . . (well, OK, I do have a cruise scheduled, so I'll have to say for the next 444 days I won't part them, in spirit.)

I'll never forget her admitting her fear of one of her children dying, and the learning to trust God with that fear, she said "and I must remember that Adam's little hand, if it should slip from mine, will be caught without fail by God's". I squeeze and hold my little one's a bit tighter now.

Jill, Happy 40th Birthday! Enjoy this day that the Lord has given you - just as you do this life that you have chosen and that chose you . . . . .

To Jill, Love Doug . . . .

Doug has asked Blogging Friends of Jill's to post this sweet note he wrote about/for her . . . .

Birthday’s can be difficult. Milestone birthday’s can be devastating. To some more so than others, but to most people…they really seem to matter, to an extent, anyway. (How’s that for covering both sides of the fence?)

That is most people, except my wife Today is her 40th birthday and my co-conspirators I call BFOJ’s (Blogging Friends of Jill’s) have allowed me the distinct honor of being a guest columnist.

My hope is that wherever my wife goes within her circle of BFOJ’s today, she will see this message and know how much she means to me, not to mention how much the BFOJ’s think of her for letting a grizzled hack like me hijack their fantastic and very personal blogs.

Rather than do the traditional acronym exercise (J = Jazzy!) or the “40 Things I Love About My Wife” entry, I thought I would share the four most wonderful things about Jill -- the things that make me love her more every day.

She loves my older kids – Not everyone who marries into a new family will connect with the entire crew, but Jill never missed a beat. With my older kids, she accepted them and loved them – at first simply because they were my kids – and now because of who they are. She treats them with kindness, respect, gives them guidance on chores and other responsibilities, but is very respectful of their mom and never tries to “mother” them. She educated herself about Bay’s food allergies and is very cognizant of his limitations when planning and preparing meals. Rarely a day goes by that she doesn’t make a special version of our family meal just for him. Many times Jill has invited Kendra to come along to the salon to get their nails done. At 11 years of age, Kendra has always gravitating to older girls and more mature activities and this is a special way for them to spend time together.

She loves my parents - I can’t say I was ever really “close” to my folks in the sense that I sought them out for advice about life. So I wasn’t sure how that dynamic would play into my relationship with Jill. She has such a kind heart for that generation and quickly threw her arms around my folks and loved them unconditionally. Since we first met, my Mom has passed away and my Dad has endured a mountain of health issues. Through it all, Jill has been a steady, loving partner. In fact, on the occasions when my Dad visits, we have to make some alterations to the house to accommodate him, his wheelchair, his walker and his personal needs. Jill not only goes with the flow of the décor disruption, but lovingly plans meals that my soon-to-be 82-year-old father doesn’t get as often as he would like. It’s amazing how a simple plate of fried eggs and bacon can light up a proud man. My favorite time of our visits is in the evenings. Jill typically beats me home from work and when Dad is in town, they have usually already cracked open a new bottle of wine. Dad isn’t afraid to ask for service and Jill takes great pleasure in keeping his glass full. It is a precious time.

Her patience – Full disclosure: patience is not my strong suit. In fact, it is probably my greatest weakness and barrier to volumes of peace and happiness. That said, I find myself much more patient in the last four years in so many areas of my life (hmm…coincidence?). If you look up the word PATIENCE in the dictionary, you see a picture of Jill. Despite the chaotic nature of our house, I have rarely seen her react with desperation. In fact, I just see her continuing to raise the bar. As my patience has improved, she get even MORE patience. Her thoughtfulness and patience with Adam is uncanny…not that all mothers’ don’t have that nurturing gene…but even after a solid 10 minutes of whining about something that I find unintelligible…Jill merely says (for the umpteenth time)…”Adam, use words to tell Mom what you want.” She is amazing.

She makes our house a home – Imagine buying your first home together…and it’s already 27 years old. Granted it was in good structural shape, but the majority of the décor was stuck in the 70’s. Over the past two years, Jill has developed a beautiful vision of how our house should look…how it should become a home. We started with dark wood throughout and some of the most exciting beige paint you could imagine. We’ve progressed to vibrant colors, amazing window treatments and bright open spaces. The original kitchen was hideous, but is now a show place. The powder room was engulfed in mind-altering striped wallpaper but now looks like a museum exhibit. She goes bits and pieces forward as time and budget allows and every step of the way she is filling the gaps of her master plan. We’ve both said that this home is the first, last and only one we will ever buy and we joke that our next stop is either the Retirement Home or the Funeral Home. We want a home in which we can build family traditions and memories and one that the kids will want to bring THEIR kids to. We want to grow old right here. Together.

There are obviously many more things that make Jill the woman to whom I have given my heart and want to give my life. She is the woman I dreamed of marrying. She is sweet, but tough, Honest and direct. Kind and loving. She gives without request or expectation. She nurtures with care and patience. She loves unconditionally.

Truly…I am blessed. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Movie Review #13
Brock Gill - Hidden Agenda
Starring: Brock & Auny Gill
Rated: N/A
Type of Movie: Live footage of Brock's Show
Theater or Rent: Neither - you have to buy here
Description: Forget what you know about illusionists: no cheesy tuxedos, no rabbits to pull out of hats. Brock Gill leads a new generation of edgy, daring illusionists, amazing audiences across America with his unique live performances and mind-blowing street magic...
OK for Kids? I would say yes to the illusions. However, at the end is a short "play" that may scare/confuse kids younger than about 10.
Opinion: Our family watched this together one evening during a "family night". We all were awed by the illusions. With these creative, different shows, Brock and Auny reach people and communities with the message of Christ. Many of the shows feature "extreme sports" demos and other "cool" attractions to draw teenagers in to the shows. The Gill's are having fun and reaching thousands of teens with the message of Christ. I haven't been to one of their shows . . . . YET! Would make a great Christmas gift to a teen son!
Brock's Blog: Life With Brock Gill
Brock's Website: Brock Gill - Creative Evangelism
Auny's Blog: Life on the Road and have a copy of the show Brock did for Discovery Channel - The Miracles of Jesus.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Big Step . . . .

My darling daughter (10 yr. old) got invited to go to the beach with a friend for 2 nights. I have never allowed her to go out of town with anyone not related before. My eldest (boy) does often, but I know his friend's parents very well from church. This girl is a friend from school (public school). She's known her for a few years. I've met the mother on several occasions and talked to her about various things. I've been in her house. I like her, and trust her, what I know of her, but I don't really know her well. My daughter has spent the night at her house several times, her at mine. I'm nervous. But, we did tell daughter she could go. We reviewed sleepover rules: don't be alone in a room with a male, don't watch shows/movies you know you shouldn't watch, be polite, behave, use good language (my version of what is good is very strict compared to what many at her school use - no "OMG" - no "stupid", "fart", "butt", you get the picture. If it had been anyone else at her school I would have said no, but I feel OK about this family.
I'll be praying without ceasing this weekend.

Now, on to eldest. he is 12, in 7th grade, and acts exactly as such. The other day my Mom babysat while I went to a PTA meeting. When I got home she asked where the old version of eldest went. She said she missed old version. I replied, "so do I"! He never has a kind word for his siblings, he argues with me whenever I try to talk to him - he is driving me crazy. He is a very smart boy - I think he must be at that stage where he feels he's smarter than his parents.
Joy, joy!

This past week was probably the worst of my year so far. Lots of things just went wrong and took me away from things I needed to be doing. One thing seems to be going right, something I hope to tell you all about soon . . . . . .

Have a great weekend! We have a HUGE football game tomorrow - rivals playing each other. We have about 30 people tailgating together - it should be a great time. Hope we win!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Heard about this website the other day while listening to Rush.
True Mom Confessions - Motherhood is Hard, Admit it. - this is a website where women go to "confess" things. From silly things - such as:
"When the phone rings, I sing.."the phone...the phone is riiinggging. The phone... I'll be right therrrreee."
To more intimate thoughts that are obscene with bad language.

Personally, I do my confessing in private prayer.

Sometimes it comes out as complaining - and my sister has to listen to it. Not sure what I think of a whole website (actually there are about 5 or so, one for dads, military families, office confessions, etc.) dedicated to confessions.
Would you ever use the confessional website?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Heart For Africa

I have always had a special place in my heart for Africa. I believe God plans for me to visit and more importantly pray. I could go on a whole diatrabe on my opinions of Africa and the problems, solutions, etc. . . .
But it all comes down to Jesus. He is the only one who can heal Africa. It is only through Him that true change will occur in Africa. And it is happening.
Phil and Lori Hunt are missionaries in Zambia. They are helping out with Faith Children's Village Orphange and Central Africa Baptist College.

My children and I decided to be a sponsor of one of the children at the Orphange. They will be using a portion of their allowance, supplemented by me to make the $25 a month committment. I am happy to find out about this program. Often I have been tempted to give to other African charities, but you know, I'm always unsure of how the money is used, etc. I know with this donation, that our money is being spent well. Hopefully, one day, we can go visit the child we sponsor!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Because Books are Too Precious to only be read once . . . . PASS IT ON OK, finally, another book giveaway! I messed up sending out my last FALL FREEBIES giveaway, I didn't know if I'd ever recover (I got the packages mixed up and sent to the wrong ladies, then had to fix it. Trust me this Fall was not FREE for me!)

I guess the lesson here is to only have one winner at a time! Then, I can't send it to the wrong person!
The Elevator By Angela Hunt

In the path of a devastating hurricane, three very different women find themselves trapped in the elevator of a high-rise office building. All three conceal shattering secrets—unaware that their secrets center on the same man.
The betrayed wife, eager to confront her faithless husband, with rage in her heart and a gun in her pocket…
The determined mistress, finally ready to tell her lover she wants marriage and a family…
The fugitive cleaning woman, tormented by the darkest secret of all…
As the storm rages ever closer, these three must unite to fight for their lives in the greatest test of courage—and faith—any woman could ever face.


This was the second Angela Hunt book I've read, I enjoyed it, it was a quick, fun read. I didn't want to put it down - I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I found all the characters interesting and believable. I have to admit there is one aspect of the two books of hers that I have read that always irritate me a bit. SPOILER COMING UP HERE - DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW. In both her books that I have read - Uncharted (my review here)and The Elevator - people die. And I didn't want them too. Not telling you who - just that they did.
Anyways, hope you enter, hope you win, hope you read it then PASS IT ON!
Home of the original PASS IT ON BOOK GIVEAWAY - Pay It Forward at Overwhelmed With Joy.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Movie Review #12
Rush Hour 3
Starring: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan
Rated: Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence, sexual content, nudity and language
Type of Movie: Action, Comedy, Crime, Martial Arts, Sequel
Theater or Rent: Not at the theater, have to rent. Visit RED BOX for $1.00 rentals!
Description: After an attempted assassination on Ambassador Han, Lee and Carter head to Paris to protect a French woman with knowledge of the Triads' secret leaders.
OK For Kids? No, this is an adult movie.
Opinion: More of the same. If you saw Rush Hour 1 or 2 - this film is not much different. I'd say it will be the last - but who knows. Entertaining. Predictable. And at times I really feel it was a bit forced.

A full review here.
(2 stars out of 5)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

5 Things You Want Your Kids To Know

My First Tag!

Thanks LoveMyStarr at Scamp's Place for this meme - I am so excited! Participants are to list five things they want their kids to know before they "grow up". Then go to the original post that started it all and leave a link to your entry.

1. God loves you. He wants you. No matter what.

2. Jesus will forgive you. No matter what. All you have to do is ask.

3. I love you. No matter what.

4. Jesus is the only way, there is no other.

5. Do the right thing. Follow God's will for you life. It won't always be the easiest choice at the time, but it will always yield the best end results. It may not make you popular, loved, or liked here on earth - but your Abba Father will be looking down at you smiling, and there is nothing better.

I know this list is short, and perhaps I haven't put enough thought in it, maybe it doesn't say all the right things. But they are the things on the top of my mind, that I know will serve them well.

I tag the following:
Andrea at The Laughs Will Go On
Sgt and Mrs. Hub
Up the Hill Gang

Monday, October 29, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Movie Review #11
A Mighty Heart

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman
Rated: R for horror violence, some sexual content and language
Type of Movie: Drama, Thriller, War, History
Theater or Rent: Not at the theater anymore - so you'll have to rent
Description:“It was an event that shocked the world. This is the story you haven't heard.”
“On January 23, 2002, Mariane Pearl's world changed forever. Her husband Daniel, South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was researching a story on shoe bomber Richard Reid. The story drew them to Karachi where a go-between had promised access to an elusive source. As Danny left for the meeting, he told Mariane he might be late for dinner. He never returned.In the face of death, Danny's spirit of defiance and his unflinching belief in the power of journalism led Mariane to write about his disappearance, the intense effort to find him and his eventual murder in her memoir A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl.Six months pregnant when the ordeal began, she was carrying a son that Danny hoped to name Adam. She wrote the book to introduce Adam to the father he would never meet. Transcending religion, race and nationality, Mariane's courageous desire to rise above the bitterness and hatred that continues to plague this post 9/11 world, serves as the purest expression of the joy of life she and Danny shared.”
OK for Kids? No, this is an adult movie.
Opinion: This movie was just OK for me. I felt like they could have left out the bad language and sexual content and still had a good film. I didn't know much about the Daniel Pearl incident so I found that interesting, and sad. The acting was good and Angelina may well win an Academy for it. Though, I am not sure what I thought of the way Mariane was portrayed as handling the incident. I had to think about that for a while. She seemed to have it "all together" when around others and when asked in the media about her feelings, she always commented saying this happens to lots of people, Daniel is just one of them. I guess, if say - my husband was a missionary who was killed "on the job" it would be good to point out that he was one of many who are doing this good work, etc. - I guess I just don't get how anyone could hold it together so well after something so tragic. Anyways, if you can overlook the bad language and sexual content, it's an interesting movie to see, but if not, I wouldn't say you're missing anything spectacular.

A good Review: here

Friday, October 26, 2007

Eat Out Often?

No, this is not a paid ad! I haven't even started using it yet. Really, I don't get to eat out often enough to have it work for me. BUT, if you do eat out, this is a neat way to earn free money! Open Table asks you to make your reservation with them, then, if you show up and fulfil your reservation, you earn points. Once your points level reaches a certain amount, you can get a gift card. Neat! I love getting something for doing what I'm doing anyway!

Scamp's Anniversary!

LoveMyStarr had her blogging anniversary last week at Scamp's Place. It's a fun blog that is one of my "MUST READ" sites everyday. Check it out!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Missing Something . . . .

I watched this YouTube video over at the wonderful blog "Rambings From Life". Thanks Alexis for posting it. (I can't figure out how to get a video on here!) I urge everyone to watch it. The speaker, who is dying of pancreatic cancer makes some great points, and if we all lived by his words then many lives would turn out differently/better than they are now.

BUT, at the end, I am saddened. The speaker says "if you lead your life the right way, the Karma will take care of itself." "If you live properly the dreams will come to you."

karma is "the force generated by a person's actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person's next existence"

I am sad because, you can do all the "good" humanly possible on this earth - but it will be all in vain. Without Jesus as your Savior, despite doing all that "good" you will still suffer for eternity in hell. A lot of people think they are "Christians" because they try to do the right thing and do good in the world. Fact is, to be a Christian is to know Christ as your Savior, to have a personal relationship with Him. It has nothing to do with my acts on this earth - it's about my faith and belief as Jesus as the Son of God. I can't earn my way to Heaven with my good deeds. I will not be reincarnated into a "better" person.

It's sad to see that this speaker, who appears to be a "good" person either hasn't heard about or hasn't accepted the One who can give him eternal life.

Click Here to learn more about asking Jesus to be your Savior and live an forever with Him in Heaven.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Last Friday evening we arrived home as usual. I had to change, and pack an overnight bag for my eldest to take for a sleepover at a friend's house that night. 30 minutes after we got home, it was time to leave again. I told eldest to get his Nintendo DS (handheld game system) to take with him to friend's house (they like to play this together/switch games). He went into the living room to get it and came back to me and said it wasn't there.

me: "Well, isn't that where you plugged it in this morning to charge?"

eldest: "Yes."

me: "Then it's got to be there, go look again!"

eldest: "OK." "It's not there!"

me, thinking, must I do everything! How hard can it be to get something from where he put it this morning! Sigh! Going into the living room - "OH! OK, well, you failed to mention the TV was missing too!"

eldest: "I thought maybe Dad had taken it somewhere."

me: "And he would have cut these wires with a knife because?"

eldest: "I don't know. Didn't notice that."

me: "Well, looks like your gameboy did get stolen. Along with our TV. And hummm, what else - oh great, they took all 3 remote controls! Guess they didn't know which one worked the TV, so they took the Dish and the DVD remotes too! Brilliant!"

me: " Well, we need to go - you have to be at your buddy's by 7pm. I'll call Dad and he can call the police!"

OK, I have to admit. We were probably asking for this. We have lived at this house about 10 years, and never lock our side door. We live out in the country, I even leave my keys in my car at night! Well, not anymore. We now lock up everything.

The thief was just not very brilliant. He walked past my computer, which was worth 2x what my computer is. Walked past my engagement ring (forgot to put it back on after making meatloaf). He was obviously in a hurry. and high.

We are blessed that he did not take more. Glad that eldest wasn't home alone that day.

Now I have the headache of dealing with the home owner's insurance! joy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Passport Problems . . . . . .

To give you some well, no so relevant history or insight into my life. . . .
I am not as organized as I'd like to be.
My house is not nearly as orderly/neat/clean as I wish it would be.
February of 2006 I went on a cruise with some family members. I had to get a passport. (And so did my HWH, so that cost about $325.) I am going on another cruise February 2008. Do I know where I put HWH and my passport? NO! Time is ticking . . . . . . I have to either find it this week or go get new ones (which I just don't have $325 to do!). I have looked everywhere!
This is going to cost me . . . . . .
Please pray that I find it soon! And if you have some "feeling" you know where our passports are hiding - let me know!
(I know it's not in the file cabinet, under the bed, the junk drawers, the dressers, the night stand, my briefcase . . . . .)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Movie Review

Movie Review #10

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor, and language.
Type of Movie: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Theater or Rent: Not at the theater anymore - so you'll have to rent
Description: Their war. Our world.
The Earth has become a battleground. Centuries ago, on a distant planet, the robotic alien races known as the Autobots and the Decepticons waged terrible war over a powerful cube called the All Spark. The cube was lost and both races vowed to find it. Now the cube has come to rest on Earth, hidden away by the US government for years, and the final stand of the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen) against the Decepticons, led by Megatron (voice of Hugo Weaving) will take place on our planet. But the Autobots have an ally: humans.
Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) is just an ordinary teenager.
He wants good grades, a girlfriend, and above all, a cool car. Imagine his surprise when his slightly used Carrera turns out to be Bumblebee, one of the Autobots, and thus it turns out that Sam is far from ordinary. He is the last hope for the Autobots and possibly for all mankind, the only person who can help them in their battle. As the US military and top scientists prepare for a cataclysmic confrontation with the Decepticons, Sam and his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) race against time to help the Autobots locate the All Spark before Megatron does.
OK for Kids? No. When Sam is locked in his room, his parents ask him if he is, well you know what (a solo pleasurable act). He/the camera looks at/checks out the girl co-star in a sexy way. There is some mild curse words as well (mild meaning s**t). Also there are intense action scenes which some kids would find scary.

Opinion: Disappointing that they had to make what could have been a fun movie for tweens/teens into what I view as an adult movie. If you are an adult who likes action movies and special effects, you'll enjoy this. I thought it was OK, but would have been fine if I'd never seen it. I watched it because my 12 year old son wanted to see it and I wanted to pre-screen it.

Other Reviews: here or here
Rating (out of 5)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

If You Only Had A Minute . . . .

If You Only Had a Minute . . . .
What Would you Write . . . . .

What a great idea! Read the details below, then go here to write your note.

Angie Hunt is the author of the book "The Note" that this movie is based on. Her website is A Life In Pages.



Network Launches Internet Campaign to Bring Inspirational Words to Millions and Possibly Aid in Renewed Connections.

“The Note,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie, Premieres Saturday, December 8 (9/8c) on the Network. If you were asked to write a few heartfelt words to someone but only had a minute to do so, what would you say? Who would you reach out to? Would you express love, appreciation, regret? This is one of the central themes of the Hallmark Channel Original Movie “The Note.”

To exhibit the power a few words can have on the lives of others, Hallmark Channel is launching on Monday, October 22 as an outlet for viewers to submit their own notes.

The site’s first featured notes will be from the film’s stars, including Genie Francis (“General Hospital”) and Ted McGinley (“Hope & Faith”), and producer Joel Rice.In addition to serving as a forum for these inspirational words, Hallmark Channel is aiming to use the site as a catalyst for real-life reconciliations. If a parent wishes to speak to an estranged child, a pro athlete wants to thank his high school coach or if someone needs to express their feeling to ‘the one that got away,’ Hallmark Channel will do its best to put their words in front of millions, hopeful that it will result in heartfelt reunions.“As an actor, you ask yourself what you hope an audience will take away from your role and your film,” Francis says. “Of course, ‘The Note’ is meant to entertain. But during the production of the movie, Ted (McGinley) and I have hoped that the WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE campaign might also have the power to reconcile people and differences, regardless of the rifts that may exist, or how long any bitterness has persisted. It would be amazing to see an hour of “Oprah” dedicated to the goal of “The Note,” a true example of the healing power of love and forgiveness on display during the holiday season.”

In “The Note,” Francis stars as Peyton MacGruder, a struggling newspaper columnist who suddenly finds herself in possession of a scrap of paper containing a hastily written but heartfelt message written by one of the passengers of an airliner that was about to crash to hischild. Inspired by the power of the words, Peyton pledges to discover the note’s intended recipient and deliver it by Christmas. Taking her readers along for the journey while trying to stay one step ahead of a TV tabloid reporter, Peyton sets out across the country in her search, and unexpectedly confronts her own personal demons in the process.The film is of particular importance to Rice, who turned to film production after several years as a licensed social worker. Although he appreciated the chance his work gave him to help people heal and grow, he regretted only being able to assist a limited number of people. He has since made it his life’s work to bring uplifting and inspiring films to as many people as possible, and has produced more than 20 made-for-television films. “The Note” proudly carries on that tradition.“The Note,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie premiering Saturday, December 8 (9/8c), stars “General Hospital” legend Genie Francis and Ted McGinley, best known for his work on “MarriedWith Children” and “Hope & Faith.” The film is a co-production of Hallmark Channel and Lightworks Pictures in association with WildRice Productions. Joel S. Rice (“Shredderman Rules”) and William Spencer Riley are executive producers. Maura Dunbar is the executive in charge of production for Lightworks Pictures. Doug Barr (“To Be Fat Like Me”) is the director. Paul W. Cooper wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Angela

Friday, October 19, 2007


The winner of my latest book drawing "Confessions of a Shopaholic" is Paige! Congratulations! Thanks for entering! Please email me your address so I can ship it out to you.

As soon as I finish reading Gilead, I will have a drawing and PASS IT ON.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I read an article on parents falsely claiming "religious reasons" for not having their children vaccinated. Interesting. I guess they must be claiming religious reasons because that is the only reason the state will accept and still allow their children into school.

Now, I seem to recall that some of my loyal readers are people who do not get their children vaccinated.

I have never given a second thought to having my children get their shots. Just this week all 3 have gotten their flu shots. All have had chicken pox shots. I guess I am uninformed on the issue - because I just don't get it.

I think I've heard that some people feel like some shots may have a link to autism. I have a cousin with autism - I believe his parents feel it is more likely something that happened in the birthing process, but I'm not real sure . . . .

Guess I never really considered there may be children in my kid's classes that do not have their immunizations. It's a bit scary to me to think about that. That a child may come in their with TB, measles, etc.

What are your thoughts on vaccines?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Middle Child

My middle child is my beautiful daughter. I love her so much. She drives me crazy. She is 10 years old. I remember the day she was born. We really thought she would be a boy (we didn't find out before she was born if we were having a boy or girl. We already had one boy.) After she came out the first thing I heard was my HWH say in a joyous, SURPRISED exclamation "IT'S A GIRL"
She is my buddy. She craves my attention. She doesn't get enough of it (because my youngest DEMANDS it). I love you sweetie!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Stirring It Up . . . . .

OK, I just don't get how people can "hate" President Bush so much. I read this one blog of a lady who is quite funny, but every once in a while she'll post on how much she hates the president. She has said some pretty nasty things about him.

I honestly believe the President knows more than I (or probably most of America) do about foreign affairs, what is going on where, why it's going on, and what the best way to handle it is.
I honestly believe the President has access to confidential information that I (and probably most of America) know nothing about, but it influences his decisions.
I honestly believe the President would not be letting Americans die in Iraq if there was another way to stabilize the region and protect our country.
I honestly believe we are giving millions (maybe billions) of dollars to other third world countries, trying to help the people that live there. (I also believe it doesn't do much good because in most of those countries the government and/or groups running the countries are so corrupt, the money never gets to those who need it.)
I honestly believe that it is NOT President Bush's fault that people in other countries (like Africa, etc) are getting raped, killed, HIV, sold into slavery, etc. (These things were happening before he was in office and will happen even if Hillary gets elected - American can Not stop those things.)
And I JUST DO. NOT. GET. how people can blame him for those things above.
I know he's not perfect, I know he's made mistakes. But I think he's acting in the best interest of our country. I don't pretend to be an "expert" ot that I have/know all the information and intelligence he does, thinking I would know how to do it any better than he has.
I love our troops. I hate that they are dying. When I first got married my husband was in the military. It would have devestated me if he'd have gone to the first Iraq war. But it was always a possibility, and he knew when he signed up that the military are the ones who fight the wars. My cousin was in Army special forces, he may have been in the first Iraq war (he couldn't say were he ever was). I hope this ends soon. But I don't believe we can just pull out of that region and expect our life here in America to stay the way it is now.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I know there are many that disagree - and that's OK, but those are my views . . . . . .