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, March 31, 2010

Random Dozen

1. How do you feel about the marshmallow Easter Peeps?
I think they are really cute and I bought them for my kids when they were little, but I don't really like them.
2. Chickens are notoriously nervous creatures. When you are nervous, what is the best way to calm down?
3. People say, "April showers bring May flowers." Do you enjoy Spring rains?
When they are soft spring showers, yes.  Rainstorms...not so much.
4. When I was randomly flipping through TV channels this week, a show in which tattoo parlor employees received tattoos of a co-worker's face on their bodies. I can't imagine having a portrait of a colleague tattooed on me. But if someone forced you to receive a portrait tattoo (face only) of anyone, who would it be? Why?
My husband, because I love him and always will.
5. Would you rather have a tattoo (any kind) or a nose ring?
Neither, but if I had to do one, probably a nose ring, because I could take it out.
6. Do you have any special plans for Easter?
Just church for sure.  After that, who knows!
7. Cadbury Eggs or Reese Eggs?
Reese Eggs
8. What was the last thing/person you took a picture of?
I don't know.  I think an early morning sky.
9. What book are you reading now, or what was the last one?
Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh
10. What do you think is the most difficult task when it comes to Spring cleaning?
Cleaning up the yard.
11. How many pairs of flip-flops do you own?
Maybe about 3.  I'm not sure.
12. Which color makes you happiest?
Depends on what the color is on.  Maybe yellow.

Click on the Random Dozen button above to join in on the fun. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Here Burns My Candle" Winners

I only had 4 entries to win 2 books. And the winners are ; Mimi at He &amp  Me +3 and Robin at Life in a Small Town. Ladies, send me your address and I'll put them in the mail right away. Congrats

Oh, and I'm really excited too. There were 5 comments on the giveaway post, but only 4 entries. Guess who the 5th comment was from. The author of the book! Liz Curtis Higgs! I think that is so awesome that she took time to read my review and make a comment. Man, I love this lady!

Have a great day everyone and congrats to Mimi and Robin!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

How Great Thou Art

Join Amy at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders for more TSMSS. This is the first time I've heard this rendition of this song. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs Book Review and Give Away

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

Book Description from Back Cover:  A mother who cannot face her future, a daughter who cannot escape her past.  Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets.  A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.

Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.

His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory's many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.

One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.

A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.

My Thoughts:  I love this book.  It is very well written and I love the story line.  The characters were a little confusing to me at first, but it didn't take long to get them figured out.  My favorite character is, Lady Elizabeth.  She is so sweet and so brave and I truly enjoyed her.  It was fun trying to read the words the author wrote in the Scottish dialect and trying to imagine how they would sound.  That just added another fun element to the book. I also enjoyed the fact that this novel is loosely based on the book of Ruth, one of my favorite books in the Old Testament.  As you read the story, you can't miss the similarities.  Now I can't wait for the second book in this series to come out so I can see what happens next.  I would highly recommend reading this book.

Here's a trailer for you to view, if you'd like.

Go to this link if you'd like to purchase a copy of this book:  

Giveaway:  I was given a free copy of this book to give away.  So if you are interested in having a copy of this wonderful book, just leave a comment and a winner will be drawn on Monday, March 29th.  Actually I'll give away 2 copies (the new one and the one I read).
This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Random Dozen

Linda at Second Cup of Coffee is busy this week and so SouthLakesMom from I Didn't Know THAT! is hosting.

The theme is Spring . . . and any other random questions that crept in.

1. What is your favorite sign of Spring?
warmer weather and sunshine

2. Did you remember to spring forward on March 14? If not, how did it impact your day?
yes, we remembered. 

3. If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what vegetable would you plant in a garden this year?
tomatoes and green beans

4. If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what fruit would you plant?

5. What is your least favorite insect?

6. March 22 was World Water Day. To celebrate, here are some water questions. Do you drink bottled water? If so, what brand?
sometimes I do.  
No particular brand.

7. Have you ever been somewhere that it was not safe to drink the local water? If so, how did you handle that?
I've been on a couple of cruises and when we were on the islands they told us not to drink the water or even have drinks with ice in them.  So we either drank bottled drinks or we waited until we were back on the ship.

8. How many glasses of water do you drink per day?
Depends.  Sometimes not any and sometimes 8 or so.

9. March 24 is the birthday of Harry Houdini. Have you ever watched a professional magic show? Share.
I have watched some, but for some reason, I really don't like magic shows very well.  I really don't know why.

10. Have you ever been a participant in a professional magic show (up on stage!)?

11. March 24 is also the birthday of Steve McQueen and Clyde Barrow. Do you like Westerns or gangster movies? If so, what is your favorite?
I don't much like gangster movies, but westerns are fine.  I love John Wayne.

12. (Really random) What U.S. state that you've never visited would you like to visit someday?
All of them.  lol  But I'd love to go to Alaska and Hawaii...and for some reason, I'd love to visit Texas.  Maybe because it seems so many of my blogging buddies are there.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Giveaway at Me & My Boys by Trish

Trish has a giveaway on her blog you really should go check out. She's celebrating her upcoming 1st blogaversary. You'll love the giveaway and if you spend some time reading her blog, I think you'll love that too.
Go check Trish out at Me & My Boys...our life, one laugh at a time. I promise you won't be sorry you did.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Carrots, Eggs & Coffee

I received this story in an e-mail from a friend and just had to share it here.  Hope you enjoy.

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee....You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, 'Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened..

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

Our family is going through some tough times right now, but I can say without any doubt this song is true in my life. I hope it blesses you like it has me today. And I thank each one of you that have been praying for us. God is so good to allow me to have friends like each one of you.

Click here to join in with others participating in Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday

Mocha with Linda has started a new meme called Flashback Friday.  This is week 2.  Click here if you'd like to go visit Linda and read more Flashback Friday posts and/or join in on this new fun meme.

Today's prompt says:  "While not all of the Flashback Fridays will be "firsts," this week's topic falls into that category. Turn back through the pages of your life to your memories of dating and tell us. . .
When was your first date? You can choose either your first date ever or your first date with your spouse - or both! How old were you? What did you do/where did you go? Did anything memorable - either good or embarrassing? If it was your first date ever, did you continue to date that person? If so, how long? If you are sharing the story of the first date with the person you married, did you know he/she was "the one" or did it take a longer for love to bloom? Any other memories you wish to share about those wonderfully awkward first dates?!"
Our (Tracy's and mine's) first official date was in 1988. We actually had gone out with his mom and dad and brother & sister-in-law to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo, but we've never called that our first date.  Anyway, Tracy was the minister of music and choir director of our church and when I started going to that church I joined the choir.  I sang in the choir for almost a year before he ever talked to me.  Anyway, we went to the zoo around Christmas with his family and then in January 1988 we had our first date.  My sister and I lived in an apartment together with another friend.  Anyway, we got a friend of Tracy's who also sang in the choir to invite Tracy to come to our apartment to have dinner and that I would make lasagna for everyone.  Now mind you I was 30 years old and I didn't have the nerve to ask him over. What's that say about me and at that time, Tracy was a very quiet and shy kinda guy.  I'm not sure how he ended up in the ministry, except he was just obedient to God.

Anyway, that night the 3 of us girls who lived together were there and then Tracy came and so did the friend that asked him for us, along with his wife and their 2 kids.  Everyone was so nervous, except for Tracy (or he just hid it really well).  I mean, the guy who asked him was so nervous that he ended up putting his kid's shoes on the wrong feet.  It was hysterical.  We've laughed about that night so many times since then, but evidently he liked my lasagna and maybe me too because a year later we married and we've been married 21 years now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Start Here by Alex and Brett Harris

Start Here: by Alex and Brett Harris

This highly anticipated companion to Do Hard Things is filled with stories and insights from Alex and Brett Harris and other rebelutionaries who are making a difference right where they are. Start Here is a powerful and practical guide for young people who are ready to blast past apathy and “do hard things” for the glory of God.

Author Bio:
Alex and Brett Harris are the coauthors of the best-selling book Do Hard Things, which they wrote at age eighteen. Today the twins speak regularly to audiences of thousands on The Rebelution Tour, maintain a hugely popular online presence through their blog, TheRebelution.com and have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and in the New York Times. Raised in Portland , Oregon , the brothers currently attend Patrick Henry College in Virginia .

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book.  I'm hoping my girls will chose to read it too.  It has such great stories about teenagers taking the risk and doing hard things for God.  It's definitely very inspiring and is making me rethink things in my own life.  It gives steps and ideas about what hard things you might do and how to go about getting started.  My favorite parts were all the stories about kids that have actually stepped out and done something hard.  They also talk about how to keep the right attitude and how to be humble when you are being praised for what you have done.  They use scripture to make their point and they actually do a very good job of it.  If you have teens, I would highly recommend this book.  Actually, you might want to have them start with the first book Do Hard Things first.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book, you can click here.

A copy of this book was provided for review by Random House.

Random Dozen

Check in with Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee if you'd like to play along.
1. On a scale of 1-10, how superstitious are you, honestly?
I don't believe I am at all.
2. Julius Caesar is quoted as saying, "I came, I saw, I conquered." Which circumstance or experience of yours does this saying best describe?
I have no idea right now.

3. If I peeked in on your day like a mischievous little leprechaun, at what time would I most likely find you blogging?
Sometime between 7-11pm.  Not the whole time, but sometime during those hours.

4. Re springing forward for Daylight Saving Time, is there anything you've ever been really early or really late for?
Okay for some reason these are really hard for me.  I don't have an answer right now.

5. What are you most looking forward to concerning Spring?
Warm weather and sunshine

6. Shamrocks are the national flower of Ireland and are picked on St. Patrick's Day and worn on the lapel or shoulder. Do you wear green on St. Patty's Day?
I always did in school, not so much now.

7. One of Caesar's assassins, Casca, said, "But, for my own part, it was Greek to me," which of course means he didn't understand something. Probably his own lines in the play. Anyway, what is something that is "Greek to you," something incomprehensible or indecipherable?

8. Is March behaving more like a lion or a lamb where you live?
A lamb

9. "An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later." -Winston Churchill. If you had one extra hour per day every day, what would you do with it?
I think it would probably be different every day.  Sometimes I'd waste it playing on the computer, sometimes I'd read or play the piano, sometimes I'd spend extra time with the Lord, sometimes I'd take a walk, sometimes I'd sleep, sometimes I'd just sit and talk with my hubby.  One thing I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do is work or clean my house. 

10. Legend says that every Leprechaun has a pot of gold hidden deep in the Irish countryside. Aside from real gold or money, what    material item would be in your dream pot of gold?
A Kindle

11. "The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you." Robert Louis Stevenson. Look around you right now and tell us about something essential or beautiful very near you that you take for granted every day.
My husband is right here beside me.  He is my best friend and the most wonderful man ever created.  I love him with all my heart and I hope I don't take him for granted too often.

12. Just for a bit o' fun, click here (www.blogthings.com/irishnamegenerator/) and then report your Irish name. Mine is "Zoe O'Sullivan." I love it!
Isobel O'Farrell

Friday, March 12, 2010

Times of Testing

This has been a time of testing in our life this last few weeks. But God is faithful and helping us. He is teaching me plenty and I'm trying to listen and learn. He has given us scriptures to hold on to and I believe in time these issues will be resolved. In the mean time I plan to stay on my knees before the Lord and in His Word trying to hear what He's telling me. Thank you for being patient with my absence this week and my plans are to be back real soon. Your prayers on behalf of my family would be greatly appreciated.

My friend sent me an encouraging e-mail earlier this week telling me to just keep breathing. She said sometimes that's the hardest thing to do. She's right...but when I get upset, that's what I remember, just keep breathing and God will see you through.

I'll be back soon...Lord willing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bathroom Mirror

Thought I'd share with you what's posted on our bathroom mirror for encouragement to me and hubby. Hope it encourages you too.

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Proverbs 3:25-26 "Do not be afraid of sudden terror (panic attacks), nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught." NKJV

Good morning...this is God. I will be handling ALL your problems today. Thanks, but I don't need your help. Have a GREAT day!

Thank you God!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Giveaway at He & Me + 3

Check out Mimi's Giveaway at He & Me + 3.  You'll be glad you did.  She's giving away some jewelry from Lisa Leonard Designs

And the Winner Is.....

I wrote the names of all the entrants on yellow sticky tabs and then had a co-work pick one out of the box.  And the winner is.....Heidi at 2 Thinks to Share
Heidi, send me an e-mail and I'll get the book and your gift out to you in the next couple of days!  Congratulations!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Loving Them Now

I've met a new friend recently and we were talking after church last night. She told me they lost their 13 year old daughter to cancer a couple years ago. You know I really didn't know what to say when she told me. I can't even imagine what that must be like. But she said she had noticed during church that my youngest daughter and I were holding hands for a short time. She said it reminded her so much of her daughter. And in her saying that it made me think that I really need to enjoy these days and times with my girls. They won't always be here. I pray I will never lose them to death in my life time, but we don't know what God has in store for us.

But I do know that one day (and it really won't be that long) they will move out to start their own lives. I know I will miss them and I know I need to make as many memories as I can now. Now Lord willing when this happens, they'll come home often, but God could call them to a far away land, like he has so many people.

I think this was just a real wake up call for me.
Lord help me to remember and help me to love my girls while I have them at home. Help me to treasure each moment you give us together.

And this is the prayer my husband and I pray almost nightly for our girls.

Lord, I ask you to place a hedge of protection around our girls and to open the eyes of their heart to see You more and more.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Random Dozen

Here are the Random Dozen for the first week of March!!  Go join Linda at 2nd Cup to play along or to read more.

1. Do you prefer even or odd numbers? Any particular reason?
I don't remember ever really thinking about this before.  Probably even because who wants to be the odd man out?
2. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being "not at all" and 10 being Carly Simon-worthy, how vain are you?
Depends on which day of the week it is....probably about a 3 or so.
3. Among these Irish stereotypes, with which do you identify most closely? Talkative, Proud, Inquisitive, Love to party, Hot-tempered
Talkative and sometimes hot-tempered.
4. How lucky do you consider yourself?
I don't believe in luck, but I am extremely blessed!
5. What is the subject of your favorite post that you've written?
I don't know. I can't remember yesterday, how can I remember that.
6. Describe March weather where you live in three words.
Cold, Wet, Grey (at least right now anyway)
7. How apt are you at detecting blarney when you hear it? (Smooth talk, flattery)
Probably pretty good, unless I want to be fooled then I can believe it's real.
8. How "green" are you, environmentally speaking?
Not near as good as I should be, but probably about as good as I'm gonna' be.
9. What is your favorite song this week?
I can't say I really have one, but what popped into my head was "I Can Only Imagine"
10. You are walking along and see a coin on the ground. What denomination does it have to be before you will stop to pick it up?
I'll pick up any coin, even pennies.  Do it all the time. Hubby and I always say that makes our next Disney vacation 1 penny closer.
11. Complete the sentence: "Every time I look outside my window ...."
I hoping to see sunshine.
12. What was the #1 song on the day you were born? See this site to find out.
"Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley

Don't forget to enter the I Win...You Win Traveling Book Carnival.  You have until Thursday night at midnight.  Giveaway announced on Friday.  Click here to enter.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Can Cold Water Clean Dishes

I received this e-mail this week and loved it and wanted to share it with you.  Hope you enjoy.

Can Cold Water Clean Dishes?

This is for all the germ conscious folks
that worry about using cold water to clean.

John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather
in a very secluded, rural area.

After spending a great evening chatting the night away,
the next morning John's grandfather prepared
breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.

However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate,
and questioned his grandfather asking,
'Are these plates clean?'

His grandfather replied,
'They're as clean as cold water can get em.
Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!'

For lunch the old man made hamburgers.
Again, John was concerned about the plates,
as his appeared to have tiny specks around
the edge that looked like dried egg and asked,

'Are you sure these plates are clean?'
Without looking up the old man said,
'I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as
clean as cold water can get them. Now don't you
fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!'

Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town
and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog
started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass.

John yelled and said,
'Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car'.

Without diverting his attention from the football game
he was watching on TV, the old man shouted!

'Coldwater, go lay down now, yah hear me!'

Meet Coldwater ! 

Don't forget to enter the I Win...You Win Giveaway below.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Won...You Win! Traveling Book Carnival

Be Still and Know

We have a fun carnival going on called “I won... You win". This is a traveling book carnival, started by none other than Robin at Be Still and Know. This is a wonderful idea, and it is a lot of fun. I was the lucky recipient from Nel at Fastenau Facts.   Along with the book she sent me several neat little goodies.  See.
 Nel is just the sweetest thing.  You really need to check her blog out.  You won't be sorry.  She gave me a lovely book of poetry and a photo album since she knows I love pictures and a bag of Lindt Lindor Chocolate Truffles.  Oh my goodness, I have never had them before and let me tell you, they are to die for.  Some of the best chocolate I have ever had.  Thank you Nel..I now have a new vice! lol 

The book we are sharing is “Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes” by Robin Gunn. It is a fun book and an easy read. Robin, our blogging buddy chose this book because of the parallels between pen pals and blogging pals. You can read her original post here.  I received this on Wednesday and finished reading it (and I ate the last chocolate too) on Saturday.  Awesome book.  I love all the Sisterchick books I've read and I think you'll love it too.  (Oh and by the way, I did share the chocolates with my family).

If you are the winner of this fabulous drawing here is what you must adhere to:

* Read the book. (Preferably within 4 weeks)
* As you read feel free to make notations in the margins of a specific chapter that you enjoyed or ideas that you agree on. Leave your footprints in the book.
* When finished write the date and your blog address on the inside cover of the book.
* Continue the “I won... You win Giveaway". Post it on your blog and accept entries. Surprise everyone and include a pretty bookmark or a special little gift, something from you in your mailing.
* Link back to Robin and let her know your Giveaway is up and running. She is keeping a running list on her blog.
* Last but not least, Have Fun!

Now for the Giveaway: If you would like a chance to read this book, receive several goodies and agree to abide by the above rules it is easy, all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post and your name will be included. The last day to comment will be Thursday, March 4th.. I will draw Friday morning and will announce the winner sometime Friday. Good Luck Everyone!
I've decided to add a couple more ways for you to get extra entries.  If you already follow my blog or sign up to follow my blog, leave another comment on this post saying so and that'll give you an entry.  Also, if you write a post on your blog about this giveaway, leave a comment and that will be another entry and one other way to get another chance would be to Twitter this giveaway and then leave me a comment.  So in all, that's 4 ways to get entries for this book.