Friday, August 31, 2007

Yard Sale & Football - What a Weekend!

I am excited about this upcoming weekend. But, not because of the Yard Sale. I really don't like having yard sales. I'm not much on going to them either. I feel so vulnerable with all my stuff out there on display. It's like, "here I am" - do you want me? Maybe that's why I haven't take the plunge and written the book I think I should write. Then, if no one likes it, to me, that is rejection, and unfortunately I take it personally.

Why then am I having a yard sale?

Well, last May, eldest son asked if he could take PIANO lessons (he is learning the sax now - from band at school and went to band camp this past summer). I replied "that would be nice, but there are two problems - 1. We don't have a piano. 2. We have no where to put a piano. Then, after talking to a piano teacher at our church, she suggested a keyboard. An 88 weighted key keyboard. They take up less space, are less expensive, and don't need tuning. So, I told eldest "OK". Keyboards aren't cheap - especially those with 88 weighted keys. It looks like I will be spending at least $600. Thus, the yard sale. I hope to make at least $400 towards the keyboard. Say a prayer for me please! :)

Any yard sale suggestions? Any suggestions on a keyboard brand/type?

I read Death of a Garage Sale Newbie this summer and enjoyed the tidbits of Garage Sale etiquette in that - and I wish I was one of those that like to go and pick around them. But:

1. If my kids don't have something going on early Saturday's - I like to sleep!

2. I have enough junk myself - really don't need to go out and look through other's to get more!


OK, I have to admit it's not the actual football that I love so much, though I don't mind it. It's the tailgating, the food, the friends and family, being outside. My Dad has season tickets, he drives his RV out on Friday night and spends Friday and Saturday night at the stadium. We go on Saturday, hang out, eat, eat, eat, eat, and um eat. Dad's best friend owns to restaurants and usually does the cooking for the games - the food is always sooooo good! And I like being around family. My husband and I are so busy during the week, I enjoy getting to spend time with him and my dad. This week we are taking all 3 kids, so it won't be as relaxing as usual - but still fun!

Well, have a great Labor Day weekend - be sure to check here on Monday for the next Giveaway, the announcement of the winner of Chocolate Beach, and the Monday Movie Review!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beautiful Handbag

Win this beautiful Handbag by clicking here. It is made by Rebecca Weis. Scribblescratch is hosting the giveaway. Scribblescratch is a fun blog I stumbled upon yesterday by Teresa, a 28 year old wife and freelance photographer, who is stubborn as heck! She is native to the SE United States but is currently living in Alberta, Canada. This is where she documents her life's happenings - rants, raves, and random daily babbles. Check it out!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Book Review - Uncharted by Angela Hunt

Uncharted by Angela Hunt
Wow! You should really read this book! It's hard to discuss without giving away the ending. I guess what it drove home to me was that God sees ME. Not just the outside me, or the me that I "portray" to you, my husband, my kids, or my friends. He sees the comments I snicker as I'm walking into church about a certain person's outfit. He sees me when I apologize with my words and never mean it in my mind. He sees it all. And loves and persues me anyways!
You can click on the title above to read the plot summary and description. I do agree with what it says about this being a bit like "Castaway", "The Big Chill", and "Lost" all mixed together. Hummmm, wonder if this is the direction they are going with the "Lost" show . . . . .
So, pick up a copy of Uncharted and enjoy - it's a quick, interesting read that keeps you turning pages, not wanting to put it down! Oh, and check out Angela Hunt's blog, it's one of my daily must reads!

Other reviews -
Click on the title for the review:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Notice My First Ad?

Today my first ad from BlogHer has appeared! I am excited about this opportunity for me and honored that they accepted my blog as a site on which they would advertise.
I feel very safe using BlogHer, in knowing there won't be any inappropriate ads put on my blog. I had considered doing the pay-per-post advertising, but I just couldn't grab hold of the idea of me telling you how great a product is when I have not tried it. I'm sure it works great for many people, who have more experience than I do, but it just wasn't the right fit for me right now. So, I hope the ads don't bother you, I hope they interest you! If so, be sure to click on them and see what they are all about.
So far I've seen New Balance Kids shoes and those Harvest Chips being advertised - both are products I have tried and love. I always go to the New Balance Shoe store for my eldest when track season starts. They have great customer service, personalized fitting, and a quality shoe. Harvest Chips are one of my favorite snacks, I really suggest you get your free sample and give them a try!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Movie Review #4

Starring: Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei
Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual content and some violence
Type of Movie: Comedy
Description: Four middle-aged men decide to take a road trip from Cincinnati to the Pacific in order to get away from their lives which are leading them nowhere. Taking their motorcycles, these "Wild Hogs" tear up the road and eventually stop in New Mexico for a drink not knowing that the bar belongs to the "Del Fuegos", a mean biker gang. When the Del Fuegos steal a bike that belongs to the Wild Hogs, the four men form a plan to steal their bike back.
OK for Kids? No. There is some bad language and though there are no sex scenes, there are some sexual references and overtones that are not appropriate for children.
See it in theater or rent? Well, this is now available at the video store, so I would rent it. If it had been in the theater, I probably would of suggested to wait and rent it. ** Have you heard of RED BOX? It is an awesome Kiosk where you can rent DVDs for $1 per 24 hours! Visit the RED BOX website for a free rental and to find locations near you! It is so easy! Many times, when I have looked at Blockbuster for a movie and they don't have any copies - I go next door to the Harris Teeter where the RED BOX kiosk is located and find it in stock.
Opinion: Wild Hogs surprised me. After seeing the trailers for this film I thought that is going to be one pitiful, stupid movie. And, perhaps it was. But, it was funny too. Funnier than I expected. So, if you want a good laugh, a movie that is not full of the "F" word, and you can tolerate a bit of stupidity, then you will enjoy this movie.

Rating: (out of 5)

Fun, Free, End of Summer Giveaways

Visit Musings of A Housewife by noon on 8/31 to enter to win this bag, very nice!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Have you hugged your girl scout today?

My daughter is in her fourth year of girl scouting, she is a junior. This year I am stepping up to be an assistant troop leader. No one else would volunteer, so I did. I think it will be lots of fun and my daughter is excited about me being there. Figured I should appreciate that since eventually she won't want to spend time with me.
So, now I'm off for a WHOLE day of training. Fun!
If you have been a leader, or your daughter is a girl scout, leave me a comment on their favorite thing they've done as a GS, tips for a new leader, warnings, suggestions, etc!
Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer Reading Update/Book Reviews

Back in June I posted my Summer Reading List. Below is an update/quick review of what I've read so far. How are you doing on your Summer Reading Challenge? If you are participating - let me know, I'd love to see your list!
Split Ends by Kristen Billerbeck - Finished this book. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a fluffy summer read, chick lit. I did not enjoy it as much as Kristen's other books. I can't put my finger on why though. I liked the characters, I liked the story. I guess it just felt a little too much like a "fairy tale". The main character leaves her small country town to cut hair in LA/Hollywood. She has a cousin who got her a job and is letting her live with him. The main character is thin and pretty. And yes, the character ventured out and took a chance, but she had lots of crutches there to help her that a normal person wouldn't have if they were to try something that daring. If I wanted to do something like that, I wouldn't have a cousin to pave the way for me and my thin, gorgeous, size 4 body to fit into my cousin's designer clothes and help me be a part of the LA scene.
Read it? YES
Buy it vs. Check it out from Library: Library
Uncharted by Angela Hunt - almost done - review to come soon!
The Elevator by Angela Hunt - Won this book - Woo Hoo!
The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck
Diva Nashvegas by Rachel Hauck - The follow up to Lost In NashVegas, this book is about a character from the 1st book. You don't need to have read Lost In NashVegas to understand/appreciate this one. I really liked this book, maybe even more then the 1st one. The characters were interesting and the story believable. At first I did have some problems with the ethics of the main character, given this is "Christian fiction" but within contex - it fit - and I was able to see how it worked in the big scope of the plot. Very entertaining, a good summer read.
Read it? YES
Buy or Check It Out: Check it out if they have it, if not, buy! (or be checking back here in the next few months for a PASS IT ON giveaway!)
Par for the Course by Ray Blackston
Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson - Wow! This book changed me. I believe God puts people/things in our lives in His quest to mold us into who we should be. Lisa Samson's books are something He is using to open my eyes to His purpose and the path to getting there. I both appreciate and resent it. I resent it because ignorence is bliss - what I don't know, I don't realize is hurting me. Lisa has a way of making me looking at my Christian walk and then re-evaluating and questioning the path I've choosen to get there. Anyways, the story is a good one, her writing style is easy to read, and you'll be thinking about this book long after you put it down!
Read it? YES!
Buy or Check It Out? BUY! You'll want to read it more then once, or PASS IT ON to a friend!
Sisterchicks in Gondolas by Robin Jones Gunn
Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn - This is the first book I read by Sharon Dunn and I really enjoyed it. The characters were fun and the pace of the book was perfect. I didn't want to put it down, just wanted to keep reading to find out the who-done-it!
Read it? YES
Buy or Check It Out? Library if they have it, if not buy it!
Hope Rising by Kim Meeder - Next on my list - just got from the library
Beyond the Shawdows by Robin Lee Hatcher - just got book on CD from library - will be listening to it as I drive around town
Skin by Ted Dekker
Takes the Cake by Linda Evans Shepherd
Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Caught by Neta Jackson

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Over at The Pumpkin Patch there is an end of summer giveaway going on. My kids go back to school Monday 8/27. Part of me is looking forward to them going back, but part likes it when they are out. During summer they come to work with me some, go to fun day camps, go to super fun overnight camps, go to grandma's house, go on beach trips. I don't have to make lunches, sign papers, get homework done, hey, during the summer, we might even skip a bath one night!
My 10 favorite summer moments of Summer 2007(in no particular order):
1. Finding my son after he went missing.
2. Picking my two older kids up from 2 weeks of overnight camp.
3. The band concert at the end of eldest son's week of band camp - awesome job!
4. Spending time on the beach at at the pool with the kids.
5. Going to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede with the family
6. Playing Putt-Putt with youngest while others were at camp
7. Getting our new puppy in June
8. Starting the new tradition of eating at the table, TOGETHER, Sun - Thur.
9. Getting back in the habit of family and personal devotions
10. Going to the Boys Jr. Olympics Volleyball Competition in Atlanta this July

So, in celebration of the end of summer, I am giving away a very special book. I have procrastinated on giving it away - not sure if I want to part ways with it, or keep for another read through. But, because books are too precious to be read only once, I am going to PASS IT ON! If you would like to win Chocolate Beach, the awesome debut fiction novel from Julie Carobini, leave me a comment. I will randomly draw a number/name on 9/3/07 - the official end of summer to me - but the start of college FOOTBALL season! Woo Hoo! I will also post another drawing on 9/3, so be sure to check back!

#1 The Day You Were Born?

Interesting site - go here, type in your birthday and find out what song was #1 the day you were born. Of course, the #1 on my birthday - I have no idea what the song is or how it goes.

My - Gypsy's, Tramps and Thieves - Cher

HWH - Let It Be - The Beatles

Eldest Child - Take a Bow - Madonna

Middle Child - Hypnotize - the Notorious BIG (who?)

Youngest Child - Family Affair - Mary J Blige

My wedding date - Jump - Kris Kross

Of the list above I only know how Let It Be and Jump go - the others, I have no clue!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Win a Very Cute Purse!

Over at Confessions of a Housewife this very cute purse is being given away! Go here for details! 7 Loaves has donated the purse - there is a very interesting history behind it! Good Luck!

We have a store in our city that sells items much like the ones 7 Loaves does and I love it! What a great idea and for an awesome cause!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Movie Review #3
Starring: John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron
Rated: Rated PG for language, some suggestive content and momentary teen smoking.
Type of Movie: Comedy, Drama, Action
Description: Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), an overweight teenager with all the right moves, is obsessed with the Corny Collins Show. Every day after school, she and her best friend Penny (Amanda Bynes)run home to watch the show and drool over the hot Link Larkin (Zac Efron), much to Tracy's mother Edna's (John Travolta) dismay. After one of the stars of the show leaves, Corny Collins (Jason Marsden) holds auditions to see who will be the next person on the Corny Collins show. With all of the help of her friend Seaweed (Elijah Kelly), Tracy makes it on the show, angering the evil dance queen Amber Von Tussle (Brittany Snow) and her mother Velma (Michelle Pfieffer). Tracy then decides that it's not fair that the black kids can only dance on the Corny Collins Show once a month, and with the help of Seaweed, Link, Penny, Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah), her father (Christopher Walken) and Edna, she's going to integrate the show.....without denting her 'do!
OK for Kids? Not really. I probably wouldn't let my kids watch this until they are 16 or so, if then. There is quite a bit of implied intimacy, and the dancing at some points is the bumping/grinding type. There are a few mild cuss words.
See it in theater or rent? I would suggest that if you were going to see this movie - wait and rent it. It will not lose anything on the smaller screen.
Opinion: Hairspray was a fun movie with a good theme. I took my grandmother to see this movie, she just had to see John Travolta dressed up as a woman! I had never seen the play before. The theme was double-fold but boiled down to "love others" - despite their color or their weight. The cast was great, they all did an excellent job with their parts.

Rating: (out of 5)

Upcoming Reviews: Surf's Up, Wild Hogs, Happy Feet, Fantastic Four 2

For a Professional Review of Hairspray click here.

Coming up this week: Review of the new book from Kristen Billerbeck "Split Ends".

Click here to enter this week's PASS IT ON book giveaway!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My First Award!

Yipee! WooHoo! I am soooooo happy and surprised! I won my first blog award! Miss Paula at "Gathering of Friends" awarded me the "Nice" Award! I enjoy Miss Paula's blog, be sure to check it out.
"This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!"

There are many times in my past that I have not been "nice" and even in my daily life it is a struggle to do the "nice" thing when I feel like doing what comes naturally. Praises to my King, Jesus Christ, who has forgiven me for me many very not "nice" things I have done and continues molding me into the person He wants me to be. Thank ya Jesus for not giving up on me!

Now, it is my duty, and honor to nominate 7 people for the "Nice" Award.

Scamp's Place - I just started reading this blog about two weeks ago. Shawna has been a big encouragment and I enjoy reading her blog.

Life With My X-Men - Kristiem10 talks with a lot of humor and patience about living with her wonderful kids!

Just Eat Your Cupcake - Maria tells it like it is! I LOVE Maria's stories of life with her kids.

Preacher's Daughter - I really identify with a lot that Jamie has to say. She has a new book out that I am anxious to get and read!

Lorie's Stitch In Time - Though it looks like she's already gotten this award, I still have to give it to her! Seeing her menus was a bit of the inspiration that led me to start making the family eat dinner together at the table, instead of in front of the TV. I have tried several of her recipes and enjoy her daily postings.

Book Splurge - Cee Cee does what I like best - gives away books! Can't get any nicer than that!

Overwhelmed With Joy - Overwhelmed has great recipes and heart-touching posts on her quest to become a foster parent/adopt. It's a must read!

Thank you all very much for the way you touch my life. I am very blessed with the way each of you share your life!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tell Oprah What You Are Reading

I got a poll from Oprah that asked what I was reading this summer, my favorites, etc. Click here to go to the poll and fill it in yourself! I hope lots of people go and tell her what you're reading - it could be a great plug for many of the Christian Authors we all read!

PS - if your book has appeared on my blog, rest assured I listed it on her poll! So, just ya'll wait, you'll be all getting invites to Oprah's show soon, cause next to Gail we are BFF!

Have a great weekend!

Favorite Preacher?

One of my favorite preachers I have never heard in person. It is Dr. Erwin Lutzer from the Moody Church. I love his Running to Win radio program! Someday, I hope to hear him in person!

My favorite sermon that I've ever heard in person was by Tate Throndson, our youth pastor at the time. It was a long time ago, probably around 2000. He preached after our Christmas play "10,000 Hallelujahs". I loved the play, it's still my favorite! Then Tate preached, it was just a wonderful night. I have this theory that there are "fiction people" and "non-fiction people". I am a "fiction person". I prefer to read fiction. It's very seldom I read a non-fiction book. I just get bored/bogged down in details. I LOVE a good story. Tate was a preacher who used stories from his own life to relate to the Bible/lesson. His preaching always "clicked" for me! He is now starting a church somewhere in Colorado. If you live near this church, I highly suggest you stop by and hear this very gifted teacher of the Word!

Another of my favorite preachers was at one time, also a youth pastor at our church. HWH and I worked with him in the youth department. Anthony Clayborne taught me a lot about what it means to be a Christian, live as a Christian, and not let others define (or confine) my relationship with Christ (others at that time mainly being my church). His lessons taught me to deal with a lot of the guilt I had in my life, helped me look to Christ for courage to believe and do things Christ was calling me to do/believe that others had me believing were wrong. I haven't talked to Anthony since he moved on to another church, but I pray that God is richly blessing him, his family, and the youth/parents he works with.

Who is your favorite preacher/teacher - and why?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Which Jane Austen Heroine are you?

I am Elinor Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility.

You can take the quiz here!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Because Books are too Precious to Only be Read Once . . . . .


Entry Deadline: Noon, Friday, August 24th

by Janette Oke

Summary: She ventured West with the man she loved, but in one day her world crumbled around her...First around in 1979, Love Come Softly has become a beloved classic with over one million copies sold. A generation of readers has laughed and wept and rejoiced with Marty and Clark Davis whose tragic circumstances threw them together on the frontier prairies of the 1800s.

My Opinion: OK, to be honest, I am not a Janette Oke reader. I have tried to read her books, but am just not able to get into them. She is a very popular author, as a matter of fact, I'll be surprised to get a lot of entries for this - because I bet most everyone has read it! I have seen the movie, and really enjoyed that. You know there are some authors that you just click with and others you don't - for me Janette Oke and Jan Karon are two that I don't care to read (as well as Jack London - oh torture! too much description, too many adjectives, just give me the story already!)
To Enter: Leave me a comment below by Noon - 8/24/07! Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Women Of Faith Review

I attended the Women of Faith "Amazing Freedom" Conference and Pre-Conference on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have never gone to one of these events, I highly suggest you and a girlfriend go next time they are near you. It is such a fun, inspiring time. You laugh, you cry, you learn, you refresh, you worship.
Beth Moore did the Pre-Conference this year, and it was really good. She is such a gifted teacher, I always learn something new that helps me in my walk with Jesus. This time she spoke on 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 - The cult of Comfort. Here are a few notes on the wonderful lesson:

The first description God gives of Himself is the compassionate one. Compassion is the emotion, comfort is the action. God can not feel compassion and not be moved (comfort). Americans today suffer from AGLIOPHOBIA - fear/paranoia of pain/discomfort. We need to drop out of the cult of comfort and be driven by the love of Christ. If not, we will:

1. Live in a rut of relational disasters
2. Sign up for a life of addiction
3. Miss the full measure of our callings
4. Miss the presence of God

When God brings you comfort it is by bringing us Himself. When we are busy trying to comfort ourselves with people/substances, we miss God. Sometimes we never get alone enough to see He's right there with us. We give up on relationships because they no longer can be our comforter. We get bitter at people because they eventually can not provide the comfort our soul seeks.
God comforts us in our troubles, sufferings, dispair, sense of death.
Don't fear pain/discomfort, God uses it to bring us closer to Him.
Be compelled by the love of Christ, not Comfort!
There was more to the message, but that is the summary. It was a timely message for me, as I'm struggling with some issues in regards to my lifestyle and this helped address that.

The other HUGE highlight was hearing Nicole C. Mullen sing! She has a new CD - Sharecropper's Seed - and sang some new and old songs. One new song that brought tears to my eyes is "One Touch". Beautiful! If you ever get the chance to see her perform - do it! She is an awesome singer/dancer, a beautiful soul! At the very least download the song "One Touch"!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Movie Review #2

Each Monday I am planning on posting a review of a movie I have recently seen. It may be a new release in the theater or a rental I got online/through the mail at Blockbuster. This week the review is of:

The Bourne Ultimatium

Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen

Rated: PG-13 - violence and intense sequences of action

Type of Movie: Action

Description: All he wanted was to disappear. Instead, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is now hunted by the people who made him what he is. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, he is undeterred by the barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. Bourne has only one objective: to go back to the beginning and find out who he was. He must travel from Moscow, Paris, Madrid and London to Tangier and New York City as he continues his quest to find the real Jason Bourne—all the while trying to outmaneuver the scores of cops, federal officers and Interpol agents with him in their crosshairs.

OK for Kids?: Not really. I probably wouldn't let my kids watch something like this until they are 16 or so. There is a lot of killing/violence and some mild profanity. Don't remember any sex - think there was a time he was kissing his girlfriend, nothing memorable.

See it in theater or rent? I would suggest to see it in a theater. It was fast paced and the filming left me dizzy sometimes. If you haven't seen the first two in the series, rent them and watch before seeing this one.

Opinion: The Bourne Ultimatium was a fast, action packed movie. I enjoyed it, but I must admit I was disappointed/surprised by the ending. I won't give anything away, but I wish what was revealed was different.

Rating: (out of 5)

Other Notes:

My favorite movie review site is Christian Spotlight on Entertainment.
To see review #1 of "No Reservations" click here.

Leave me a comment telling me the last movie you saw and what you thought of it. Or, suggest a movie for me to review!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Miss Paula?

I'm looking for Miss Paula! I can't get to her blog from any message she has sent me! I NEED to get to her, I won something on her blog and don't remember how to get to her blog! HELP! If you know her blog address please leave it for me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Few Of My Favorite Blogs

I haven't updated my sidebar with some of my favorite blogs as of late! But when I do it will include (in no particular order):

Book Splurge

Scamp's Place

Preacher's Daughter

Lorie's Stitch In Time

5 Minutes for Mom

A Brand New Life

Accidental Poet

Baseballs and Bows

Beach-Lit Blog


Callipidar Days

Choosing Joy

Life on The Road

Ok, I'm tired now! That's only about half of my daily list - but I highly suggest you check them out, they are great blogs. I will post more next week!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Off to Women of Faith Conference

I am leaving today for Atlanta, GA! It is about a 7 hour drive. One of my good friends and her sister are going with me to the Women Of Faith Conference. It should be a very fun girl's getaway! I have been to one other WOF conference a couple of years ago, and it was really good. My favorite is Patsy Clairmont, she is such a hoot! We are attending the pre-conference that Beth Moore is doing, and she is always such a blessing.

I am soooo in need of this getaway, time with friends, and uplifting messages that God has for me. I love the worship music (far different then the traditional hymns we do at our church)! Plus, for the past year and a half, since leaving our prior church, I have not stayed as faithful to my relationship with Christ as I need to be. I haven't been in His word everyday, my daily prayers are shorter, my service to my church/community has slacked off.

Right or wrong, these events (conferences) have a way of kicking me in the behind and getting me in gear again.

I have started making some changes at our house, getting back to doing devotions with the kids, eating dinner together as a family. So, I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. The hard part for me is consistency, sticking to it.

I may update you when I'm away - just depends on how tired I am, how much fun I'm having!

Have you ever been to a WOF or perhaps a Beth Moore Living Proof Live event, or something similar? Leave me a note and tell me about it!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Winner of Return To Me Book Giveaway!

B at Journey of 1000 Stitches has won the PASS IT ON drawing for Return To Me by Robin Lee Hatcher. Congrats! Hope you enjoy!

I will post another PASS IT ON book giveaway August 15th, be sure to stop by and enter!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

You Just Never Know . . . .

You just never know when it's going to be your time to leave this earth. That idea scares me and I try not to think about it, but I do. Especially after my terrifying 25 minutes at the beach - I was scared my son was dead.

The people on the bridge in Minn. that collapsed had no idea that was going to happen to them.

The man that died in this accident is a forest firefighter, returning home from some out of town training. An 18 wheeler crossed the highway and hit him head-on. A pregnant lady and her young son were hurt badly as well.

I am sorry this post is so depressing. I've just been thinking about these things a lot lately. The fragility of life makes it important to me to live my life to it's fullest, always telling those closest to me how much they mean to me. Not putting off the fun times I wish to have.

I certainly don't want me or any in my family to exit this world prematurely. But, I do find comfort in knowing that after this journey, the reward is waiting, with Christ - the one way, the only way to Heaven. He is my Savior, my best friend, my Abba, father. Do you know Him as your Savior? If not, NOW is the time, there may be no later . . . . . .

Monday, August 06, 2007

Movie Review Monday

I am trying something new! Each Monday I am planning on posting a review of a movie I have recently seen. It may be a new release in the theater, or a rental that I got online at Blockbuster. This week the review is for No Reservations. I hope you enjoy my thoughts!

Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin

Rated: PG (sensuality and language)

Summary of plot: Master chef Kate Armstrong (Catherine Zeta-Jones) lives her life like she runs her kitchen at a trendy Manhattan eatery—with a no-nonsense intensity that both captivates and intimidates everyone around her. Kate’s perfectionist nature is put to the test when she ''inherits'' her 9-year-old niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin), while contending with a brash new sous-chef who joins her staff. High-spirited and freewheeling, Nick Palmer (Aaron Eckhart) couldn't’be more different from Kate, yet the chemistry between them is undeniable. Rivalry becomes romance, but Kate will have to learn to express herself beyond the realm of her kitchen if she wants to connect with Zoe and find true happiness with Nick.

OK for Kids?: No. There are some kissing scenes and implied sex, no nudity. Would bore most kids out of their mind. And because of the premarital sex I would not advise for teen girls either.
See it in theater or rent? This is a renter! I would not advise you to pay full price for this movie.

Opinion: No Reservations was a cute movie that I would definitely rent, but not worth the $8.00 plus popcorn/drink $ to see it in the theater. A fun chick movie. I found the characters enjoyable and the plot interesting - it just moved too slowly. The ending is predictable, which I liked, just not enough happened in the movie to keep it flowing enough so that my mind would not wander and think about other things.

Rating: (out of five)

Marriott or Hilton?

I myself am a Marriott person. Given the choice I will ALWAYS choose Marriott over Hilton hotels.


My experiences have usually been bad at Hilton hotels. Their customer service absolutely stinks! Both on the reservation line and in the hotels. They act snobby and definitely do not subscribe to the "customer is always right" policy. They have openly blamed me for mistakes that were obviously their fault. They never apologize for their mistakes. They do not go out of their way to make me feel wanted or desired as a customer.

Marriott, on the other hand has EXCELLENT customer service. ALWAYS going out of their way to help me out, find out how they can serve me and make my stay better. When I have a problem they apologize and fix it right away.So, when I travel for pleasure or when I have a choice I choose Marriott hotel brands.

Unfortunately, with work, I often have to stay at Hilton Hotels (I won't be specific about where the worst Hilton I've ever stayed at, it was in this city where we once lived when my husband was in the Coast Guard, in Virginia, at the beach - and I have to stay there every year. Torture!)Last month in Atlanta I stayed in a GREAT Marriott - very near the GWCC.

This weekend I will have to stay at a Hilton very near the GWCC. I am praying for a good experience at this Hilton.
My favorite Marriott? St. Kitts Marriott Resort in the Caribbean.

My least favorite Hilton Hotel? Well, I'm not going to say where EXACTLY it is - but here is a picture, and it is in Virginia.

So, what's your preference and where is your favorite?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Free 37" Flat Panel LCD HDTV Giveaway!

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away an Insignia 37" Flat Panel LCD HDTV! Someone has to win - why not you! Go to the website and enter by August 17th! Best Buy donated the TV - how awesome are they! HWH loves Best Buy - it is his favorite store - he wishes he could spend as much time in it as he does Home Depot! :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Lost My Child - The Most Terrifying 20 Minutes of My Life

Because this blog is anonymous - I will tell you this story. I suppose it is not something I should admit to - to the people I know. It probably makes me look like a very bad parent. And yes, I see that I made a mistake. But no, I'm not a bad parent. I am certainly a very thankful one, that is for sure.Monday morning about 10am I made my way out to the beach with 4 kids (my 3 and my niece). The kids plopped down all their beach gear, threw their shoes close by, and took off for the ocean. They were all together, ages 12, 10, 7 and 5. They know their limits in regards to how far out they are allowed to go when I'm not in there with them. I go about getting a chair from the lifeguard, getting it set up, along with spreading out the kids blanket, collecting all the shoes, getting our spread all organized.I then go down to the ocean to play with the kids. Oldest and 10 yr. old are swimming and diving in the waves. 7 yr. old niece is ankle deep looking for shells and those small sand digging crab like things. 5 year old is . . . 5 year old is . . . . well, where is 5 year old? I scan the area where I expect him to be. No 5 yr old. I scan the area to the left and right of where he should be. Still no 5 yr old. I look on the beach, out of the water. Still, can not find him. My heart is racing now. I call 12 yr. old out of water - "do you know where your brother is?" No. He begins looking. I call 10 yr and 7yr over, "do you know where your little brother is?" No. We all look. We can.not.find.him! I tell 12 yr. old to go get lifeguard and bring him to me as I keep looking. Tears are threating to fall. I am glad I have on my sunglasses to hide my panic. This is a very busy beach. People are looking at me. At this point I get the feeling that my son is gone from this world. I feel sure he has drowned. Panic starts to sieze my heart. I pray. It's all I can do. I pray for the Lord to give me my son, alive. I pray to get him back in my arms. I ask the Lord that if for some reason that is not His will, that He at least allow me to have his body. If he is dead, I want to know. I don't want to live with him missing, always wondering, no closure. I think of the girl lost in Aruba. I put this in God's hands, but I was SO afraid. I was so scared.Lifeguard arrives, I give him the description of what 5 yr. old is wearing - a very cute bathing suit I got on sale at - blue with green lobsters. Tell him 5yr old's name, description. Lifeguard tells me, "we'll find him. This happens at least 4 times a week". I reply in tears, "but not to me! My son is not a wanderer. He is not adventuresome." I think about how he doesn't even like to go into a room unless someone else turns on the light. He won't go upstairs when no one else is up there. He HATES to sleep alone. If we don't let him sleep with his sister we have to lay with him to get him to sleep. I think about his hugs and kisses. How he steals my "sugar" from under my neck. Of how this unexpected, unplanned child is so loved, treasured and a part of me that I can't imagine my life without him. "Please God, help me find him!"I try calling my HWH who is playing golf, he doesn't answer.5 minutes pass. Another 5 minutes go by. Lifeguard comes to me - "We've found him". I don't get my hopes up. I don't want to be disappointed. The supervisor pulls up on his ATV and gives me a ride. We pass 3 hotels, then, about 1/2 mile down pull up to a lifeguard stand. There he is. Smiling. I get him down and hug him so tight I'm sure that's why when I looked at his face next - he was crying. I squeezed the tears right out of him! I kissed him and held him and told him how much I loved him. Never in my life had I been so happy to see anyone.We ride the ATV back to our spot, where the other kids were sitting - anxiously waiting for our return. I sit down with 5 yr. old, hug and kiss him more. Get him a drink and snack, then I go play with him in the ocean. When we get out of the water he wants to play in the sand with his niece. I walk back to the chair. I want to walk backwards, never taking my eyes off of him. I should have. But I don't.People are watching me. Talking, thinking their thoughts. I've thought them. I've probably said them. "She should have watched her children more closely." "Who would send their teenage daughter to a foreign island without their parents with them?" "I am so glad that is not me." Some of them may have been my customers. Some of them came up to talk to me (some offered to get me anything I needed). But I didn't really care what they thought. I was too busy thanking Jesus for my son. That day could have ended up so differently. 5 hours later as we walked to our car, I thought of how I could be returning to my car without him. The thought itself almost brought me to my knees. And yes, I have been thanking God every time I think about it. But now, after reliving this, typing it out, I want to go now, and get on my knees, and really thank Him and worship Him.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Book Giveaway - Return to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

My next PASS IT ON book giveaway is a book I reviewed in June - Return to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher. I enjoyed the book and I'm anxious to read more of Robin's books! (Once I make my way through the pile sitting by my bed!)

Leave me a comment if you'd like to win - I'd love to hear the last book you read and if you liked it or not.

I will randomly draw the winner on August 8th.

You can go by to enter more drawings for free books!
Also, stop by The Diaper Diaries to enter for two book drawings!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Eldest playing a game at overnight camp this summer.

Beach Trip

Just got back from a couple of trips to the beach. We left last Friday and went to Kure Beach with my sister, her kids and my mother. Stayed at a friend's apartment (for free!) and had a fun time. Relaxing? No. Fun? Yes. But, when you have six kids (sister has 3 - ages 1, 5, 7) (and I have 3 - ages 5, 10, 12) - you don't expect relaxing very often!

Sunday evening I left Kure beach with my 3 kids and sister's eldest - and went to Myrtle Beach for a work convention. Fun? Yes. Relaxing? No. Work, kids, not too much time to relax. But the villa we stayed in was bigger then the apartment at Kure Beach - so the kids had their own space I could send them to while I had a few moments to unwind.

Check back on Friday to hear about the most terrifing 25 minutes of my life. It was awful!


The winners of the giveaways are listed below:

Dog Days of Summer:
Snitch by Rene Gutteridge - Kristiem10 at Life With My X-Men

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Merci at Spit Out the Cat

PASS IT ON giveaway:
Death of a Garage Sale Newbie - Cee Cee at Book Splurge

Congratulations to the winners!