If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random Dozen


Click the button to join in with Linda at 2nd cup of coffee.

1. Have you ever been so lost that you were really afraid?
Yes. My daughter's 8th grade class went to Washington DC and I went along as a driver.  I had a van full of the girls and no adult and no maps or GPS.  What was I thinking.  Anyway after a day in Washington DC we were heading back to the hotel and I had no idea how to get there.  All I could do was following the other vans.  I got separated at one point because someone cut me off.  Then we caught back up, but later they got a little ahead of us on the interstate.  I was the 3rd van in the line.  There was one more behind me.  Anyway, I made my daughter sit up front and help me watch the vans off in front of us.  Turns out we were watching the wrong van and they took off an exit (the right van) and we missed it.  Fortunately the father behind me followed me and we took off the next exit and stopped and talked.  I had no idea how to get to the hotel.  He thought he might so he took the lead and eventually got us back.  If he hadn't followed me, I don't know what would have happened.  I was terrified to say the least!  lol

2. Have you ever been to an island?
Yes. I've been to the Bahamas and too two of the Virgin Islands.

3. Are you more of a thinker or feeler?
Probably a thinker.

4. Do you tend to see issues or situations in life as black and white or shades of gray?
Depends on what it is. Probably more shades of gray.

5. If you were stuck on an island, what book would you hope to have with you (Let's pretend the Bible is already there, so you can't say that.)
"The Shack"

6. What are you most afraid of?
Spiders

7. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?
Neither.

8. Pretend I'm looking at a scrapbook page about you. There are three spaces for you to drop in individual pictures. What are those pictures of, and why did you select them?
My wedding - because I love my man and I wouldn't trade being married to him for anything.
My kids - because I love them too.
My extended family

9. If you were re-doing your wedding, what would you do differently? (If you're single, tell me one thing you would do if you were planning a wedding OR huge party.)
I don't think I'd change a thing. It was perfect.

10. Tell me one thing you know/believe about forgiveness.
That God forgives me each and every time that I mess up when I come back and repent. Why? Because He loves me! He says so in His Word!

11. You're waiting in a doctor's office. What is your favorite way to pass that time?
I read a book or look at a magazine and I pray and talk to God.

12. If there were a clone of you in a parallel universe what is one way you hope she/he would be the same as you and one way you hope she/he would be better?
I would hope they love the Lord like I do.
I would hope they understood that God really loves them at a younger age than I did.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Version of the Bible do you read?

When I'm just reading I usually use the New Living Translation (NLT). Right now I'm in the middle of "Breaking Free" Bible Study by Beth Moore and she uses the New International Version (NIV) for that, so that's what I use when doing her studies.

But recently I've been noticing a lot of blogging and tweeting friends quoting from The Message. So anyway, I've downloaded a free Bible App to my iPod Touch and I've started reading some from The Message. My husband (our pastor) has challenged us to read the book of Philippians every day this week. So yesterday I read it from The Message. I have to say I loved it. It was very clear and in places even cracked me up. Here's a quote from the 1st chapter of Phillipians: "18 So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on! And I’m going to keep that celebration going19 because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done.20 I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit!21 Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.22 As long as I’m alive in this body, there is good work for me to do. If I had to choose right now, I hardly know which I’d choose.23 Hard choice! The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Some days I can think of nothing better24 . But most days, because of what you are going through, I am sure that it’s better for me to stick it out here.25 So I plan to be around awhile, companion to you as your growth and joy in this life of trusting God"  I can just almost imagine Paul saying some of those things using just those words. Now wait a minute, I know Paul didn't speak English, but I can use my imagination. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading more from The Message.

So, I was just curious, what version do you use and why? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, April 26, 2010

iPod

I'm sorry I haven't been around here much for the past few days. I told you I got a new iPod Touch for an early Mother's Day gift and I'm totally addicted. I'm always looking for new free apps. and just trying to learn how to work everything.

Now I've found a Virtual Family App. and I'm really addicted. I keep checking on them and making them do stuff. It's hysterical. I think I've lost my mind. I promise though, I'll be back to normal soon. Well, whatever normal may be for me.

Really though, I have been doing other stuff too. Life is really busy right now. We've got 3 weeks left of our Bible Study (which is what I'm supposed to be working on right now). It's Beth Moore's updated "Breaking Free" study and it is awesome. We are having such a good time together in our group and I'm totally loving it. I feel like I'm learning so much and growing closer to all the ladies in our group and growing closer to the Lord too.

Now I've started singing in a new worship group at church, so we're working on that some too. Plus the regular stuff, like teaching the teen Sunday School Class and working full time and helping throw a retirement party (for someone else unfortunately lol). Mind you I'm not complaining (at least not right now anyway), but I'm just saying how busy life is.

So then with real life, and my virtual life on my iPod (oh I have a virtual puppy too) life's just full. I'm still trying to read and comment on other's blogs, but I haven't had a lot to write about here.

So, please be patient with me and I'll try to get back to more normal soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book Review "The Bridegrooms" by Allison Pittman

 The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman

Back Cover:  Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home.

Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland’s fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau.

Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man.

Suddenly, the subdued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms’ handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn’t felt since his wife’s disappearance. Vada’s sisters are giddy at the bevy of possible suitors. And Vada’s life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity.

Author:  Allison Pittman is the author of Stealing Home, the Crossroads of Grace series, and her nonfiction debut, Saturdays with Stella.  A former high-school English teacher, she serves as director of the theater arts group at her church.  Allison makes her home in Texas with her husband and their three boys.  Learn more about the author at www.allisonpittman.com 


My Thoughts:  This is a fun book to read in that you get to meet some pretty interesting characters and I do mean "characters".  It's fun reading about the girls' different reactions to the boys and to the situations they are put in.  I really liked the character of Vada, although sometimes she didn't make the wisest decisions.  But then I guess we're all like that in our life, aren't we.  Sometimes we do well and other times not so much.  This book is an interesting look into the lives of an Ohio family at the turn of the century.  I very much recommend this book for reading.

FTC disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group  
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Dozen



1. Ever had any run-ins with the "library police?"
No run-ins, but I have had to pay my fair share of late book fees.

2. Do you have a special organizational plan and place for wrapping paper, gift bags, etc., or do you just purchase whatever you need as you give gifts?
I mostly purchase as I need, except I try to buy Christmas wrap after Christmas when it's on sale for the next year.  I buy my cards then too.  Except mostly I forget I have the cards and buy them again and then I find the ones I bought the previous year.  I have some put away that I bought a couple years ago and still haven't used them.

3. Have you ever been in (first-hand witness) a natural disaster?
We had a big tornado come through this area in 1974.  We were out on the farm a few miles away and we didn't have any problems, but a lot of our town was torn up.

4. What's your favorite Barry Manilow song?
Mandy or Copacabana.

5. What's the best costume you've ever worn?
I've never been much for costumes, but probably the best was when I dressed up as a really old woman.  Looked pretty realistic and that was before I was an old woman.  lol

6. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus?
Thesaurus

7. What's your favorite breakfast food?
Sausage, eggs and biscuits

8. Have you ever purchased anything from an infomercial?
No...well at least I haven't called and order it that way, but I have bought stuff that was in an infomercial, but I bought it in the store.  The one I use the most would be the Flo-bee hair cutting system.  Use that on hubby's hair all the time.

9. Have you ever crawled through a window?
Yes, hasn't everyone?

10. Do you believe in love at first sight?
No, I don't think so. 

11. How man pairs of jeans do you own?
2 or 3 that fit.  I don't know how many I have that don't fit though.

12. If someone were going to bake a cake to honor/represent you, what would it be? (Think creatively, like Duff and Crew on "Ace of Cakes.") 
I don't know...maybe a piano or a Disney Character or Cinderella's Castle.

Click the Random Dozen Button at the top of the post to join Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee for all the fun of Random Dozen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random Pictures and Stuff

I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately for some reason.  I actually hadn't downloaded my camera since February.  Actually I've started taking a few more pictures again in the last week or so.  Still not enough to go back to project 365.  But hopefully, I will soon.  Well tonight I downloaded my pictures and I found a few I thought I'd share with you all.  Hope you enjoy.

  A painting Kelli did for school.  Pretty awesome!  Her teacher must have thought so too because he entered it in an art show.

Kelli after eating a blue sucker at church

One of the guys I work with brought his dog in to visit.  Isn't he cute?

A beautiful tree out in the front lawn of where I work.

Another beautiful tree behind where I work.

Blooms off 2 of my magnolia bushes.

My new toy.  Hubby got me an iPod Touch for an early Mother's Day gift.  I must say I have truly been enjoying playing with it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

And the Winners Are....

And the winners of the 2 copies of "Forget Me Not" are:


and 

Lindsay-Ann at The Cross Stitch House
Ladies, please e-mail me with your mailing address and I'll get your copies in the mail in the next couple of days!!

Congratulations to you both!!!

UPDATE:  Lindsay and Robin the books are in the packages and addressed and should go in the mail tomorrow (4-20-2010)


Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday



Mocha with Linda has another Flashback Friday Question for us. Click above to go and link up with her and play along.

If you have a child in your life, your calendar for April and May is probably quickly filling up with end-of-year activities - performances, recitals, etc. Did you take lessons as a child? Piano or another instrument? Gymnastics or dance? Other types of lessons? Were they weekly? How much were you required to practice between lessons? Did you participate in recitals? If so, do any of them stand out in your memory? Did they foster a love or a hate for that activity? Did you want to take lessons in a certain thing that you never got to? And if you have kids now, how did your experiences with taking lessons like these impact the activities you had/have them do?

I took piano lessons starting in 2nd grade and ending when I graduated high school.  Sometimes we were allowed to take the summer months off.  Our lessons were weekly and we were supposed to practice daily.  Let's just say as I got older this didn't always happen.  There were times I'd go back for the next week's lesson and I hadn't practiced at all.  Now understand, I was always playing the piano, but just not my lessons.  

I played in several recitals.  Hated them.  I remember the first one was in a big church in our town.  I had my song memorized and I remember playing and messing up and I didn't know what to do, so I just stopped and looked out at the audience.  I don't remember any more of it, I just remember sitting there and looking at the audience.  I was probably in about the 3rd grade.  I hadn't been playing very long.  Then I changed to a different teacher and she had a great big old house and she had the recitals in her home.  I was always so scared and I remember standing in a different room of her house waiting for my turn.  I would literally pray that I would break a finger or something so I wouldn't have to take my turn.  But alas, that never happened and I'd have to walk across the living room in front of all those "suffering parents" and into the piano room and sit down and play.  That is so much pressure!  Glad that parts done.  Of course, now I play in church all the time, so I guess it was good practice and preparation.

My kids have taken some music lessons but not a lot.  I guess I wasn't as tough as my mom.  Mom gave us no choice but to take until we graduated.  I let my girls try it for a year and then if they didn't want to I didn't make them continue.  One took flute lessons (well in the band at school) for a year and a half and the other took guitar lessons, until her volleyball and work schedule interfered.  I guess I should have started them younger.

Now, go visit Linda and play along with us.  I want to hear your story. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Random Dozen



Join Linda at 2nd cup of coffee to get a copy of the Random Dozen Questions and then link up to play along.  The questions are posted on Tuesdays so you can start working on your post.  Your post should then be posted on Wednesday & then go link up at Linda's and have some fun.  Linda usually posts her answers on Thursday.

1. How do you feel about "Gladiator" sandals, also called "Roman" or "Jesus" sandals? A fashion yea or nay?
They're fine for others, but not for me.My legs are too short.















2. What is your favorite pizza?
Cheese, Ham, Olives & Mushrooms

3. There are plans in the works to sell roughly 1,000 items from Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas. This means you could buy Picard's chair for your family room. If not a Star Trek item, what prop, background, set, etc. from what TV or movie would you buy if you could?
[Ex: Hurley's "I Love my Shih tzu" shirt from LOST, the plantation home "Tara" from Gone With the Wind, or Tracy's tambourine from the Partridge Family.]
The Lake House from the movie of the same name.



4. Name a local food or restaurant that your area is famous for.
The Golden Lamb...Ohio's oldest continuously operated business.



5. What is your current favorite snack?
UDF Brand Twisted Turtle Ice Cream.   It's Chocolate Ice Cream with whole pecans mixed in.

6. Hypothetical: You are required to be a reality show contestant. Which show would you choose based on your probability of success? (You cannot choose "none.")

A. Dancing with the Stars
B. Biggest Loser
C. Survivor
Survivor - just because it's one of the few reality shows I actually watch.

7. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being uninhabitable and 10 being cleanliness that meets the standards of OCD, how clean is your vehicle's interior?
5 on a good day

8. It doesn't feel like Spring until _________.
I see some flowers blooming.

9. Something that made you laugh really hard recently is ____.
The Domestic Fringe's Post on Snot. If you want a good laugh, go read it.

10. Tell me about a goal you're working toward.
To actually possess the fruit of the spirit and not just talk about it.

11. Share a thought-provoking or inspiring quote this week.
Saw this on Twitter on Tuesday..... Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive-C.S.Lewis

12. Name one thing that you do as a parent that you absolutely know will make your kids happy. If you're not a parent, feel free to substitute "friend" or nomenclature that works for you.
Take them to Disney World every few years.  However, this was more when they were younger. Not sure they still want to go...but hubby and I do. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze Review and Giveaway!

Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze

Back Cover: 
Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family.  Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away.  His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith.  Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too.  Why had he survived?  He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan.  A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill.  Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly.  Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?



Author Bio:  Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, three nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles. Selected for Who’s Who in America in 2004 as a writer and educator, Hinze is active in Romance Writers of America and serves as a Vice President on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. Vicki lives in Florida with her artist husband, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Visit www.vickihinze.com to learn more about Vicki’s books, blogs, and writing programs.


My Thoughts:  This is one of the best books I've read recently.  I'm usually not a big mystery or suspense reader, but this has really changed my mind a lot.  I was captured right from the first page.  Actually, the front of the book really captured my attention for some reason.  The characters were well written and I just loved it all.  Usually, I'm a pretty slow reader, but once I started this I couldn't put it down and I finished it in just a couple days.  There were so many different characters in the book and I'd think I'd know where the plot was going with one and then it would take a little different twist and be something different than I thought.  Even some of the "bad" guys had good things about them and would do something that you really didn't expect.  My conclusion is this book is definitely worth reading. 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


Click on the green book title and author name to link to Multnomah to purchase a copy of this book.

I was given an extra copy of this book to giveaway here on my blog.  If you'd like to win a copy (actually I have a new one and the one I read, so I'll give away both), then:
1.  Leave a comment = 1 entry
2.  Follow me and leave a comment that you already do or just started = 1 entry
3.  Post about my giveaway on your blog & leave a comment that you did = 1 entry
4.  Twitter about my giveaway & leave me a comment that you did = 1 entry
5.  Post on FB about my giveaway & leave a comment that you did = 1 entry 

I will take entries until midnight Sunday, April 18th.  Winner will be picked and posted on Monday, April 19th.  

By the way, Mocha With Linda just reviewed this book also and is giving away a copy too.  You might want to go enter her giveaway too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Wanna Be a Bear

 I received this in an e-mail from another friend. Do you wanna be a bear too?

Gonna Be A Bear

In this life I'm a woman.  In my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear.  When you're a bear, you get to hibernate.  You do nothing but sleep for six months.  I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid.  I could deal with that too.
When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs.  I could definitely deal with that.

If you're mama bear, everyone knows you mean business.  You swat anyone who bothers your cubs.  If you cubs get out of line, you swat them too.  I could deal with that.

If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling.  He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Flashback Friday


This weeks Flashback Friday is in honor of Linda's sister's birthday. Why not click here and join in on the fun.  Here's the prompt:

What were birthdays like when you were growing up? Were they a big deal or understated? Did you have parties? Get to choose what or where the family ate for dinner? Are there any particular birthday traditions that you remember? Is there any birthday that stands out (good OR bad!), either due to the events surrounding it or due to the particular present(s) you received?

Birthdays were very simple when we were growing up.  Mom would bake us a chocolate cake and we'd get a gift.  No parties or tons of gifts.  But it was still special and I don't ever remember feeling cheated about not having parties.  Actually we've always kept it fairly simple for our girls too.  They got to have a party when they turned 5, 10 and 15 or 16 if they preferred.  They always get to pick where we go out to eat for their birthday and they get gifts from us and a cake.   It's worked well for us.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Saying Grace

My good friend sends me some of the best e-mails. Here's another one today I just had to share with you.


Last week, I took my children to a restaurant.

My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.

As we bowed our heads he said, 'God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!'

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, 'That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!'

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, 'Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?'

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, 'I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.'

'Really?' my son asked.

'Cross my heart,' the man replied.

Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), 'Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.'

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.

He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, 'Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.'


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Random Dozen

Click above button to join in on the fun with Lidna at 2nd cup!



1. Define a great relationship.
When 2 people share in love, respect and friendship.  And the best relationship is when Christ is involved in both lives.


2. Why is it called a "drive-through" if you have to stop? (Real question: What was the last food/drink you purchased at a drive-through?)
Breakfast this morning at McDonalds.  A Sausage McGriddle and a chocolate milk.  I had just been to the doctor for my annual exam and felt I deserved to treat myself! lol

3. As I type this, the Butler Bulldogs are getting ready to play in the NCAA championship game. Every Hoosier is hysterical about this except me. So in honor of the Bulldogs ... what is your favorite breed of dog? (I tried.)
Dachshund and mutt (I have a mutt now)

4. If you had to move to a state besides the one you currently live in, where would you move?
Tennessee or North Carolina

5. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
I wouldn't change a thing.

6. Who's the funniest person you know?
My cousin, Barry (who is the artist in the previous post's video.)

7. Did you get enough sleep last night?
No, but I hope to make up for it tonight.

8. What's the first thing you thought about this morning?
I can't remember.

9. Grilled or Fried? --HONESTLY
Depends on what it is, but I really like grilled in most meats.

10. Are you afraid of the dark?
Sort of.  I just don't see that well in the dark and I hate not knowing what's out there that I can't see.

11.When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A mother

12. If you had one word to describe yourself , what would you choose?
Growing

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jesus Blood Covers All Our Guilty Sins

This is my cousin who is a pastor in Alabama.  He painted this during the Easter Service.