Friday, February 27, 2009

Foto Friday

This morning my husband said the most precious words ever!    "Honey, I think it may be time to buy you a new computer."    *swoon*    I would have literally attacked him with kisses if I hadn't been talking to him on the phone.     I had called him to tell him that my computer is having problems AGAIN and that I needed to take it BACK to my trusty computer guy.   
So while I am checking email on our home computer I decided to see what photos I could post for Foto Friday.   I found this from VBS a few years ago.    It is hubs and Little Guy.    I remember that our VBS was in the evening and hubs would drive home from work, change clothes and we would head to church.   Little Guy didn't get his Daddy time so every night during the opening ceremonies he had to sit with his Daddy before he could let go to enjoy the rest of the night.
 
Big Guy's favorite part of VBS was crafts.   He has always been a perfectionist and took his time doing everything that Mrs. Tina told him to do.    Below is a pic I took of him working on one of his pieces of art. 
 


Wow!    The boys have grown since then!     I hope you guys have a great weekend.    Enjoy the time with your children.      Time FLIES!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daisy Chain

In Review: Not every child is blessed to have parents who love and care for them. Some children are born into a home that is the ultimate "catch 22". Kind of like the children in this book. Jed and his sister suffer silently at the hands of their verbally and physically abusive father -- the town's preacher. Jed has formed a intense friendship with a girl named Daisy. Daisy also comes from a very neglectful home. Jed and Daisy's friendship comes crashing to an end when Daisy comes up missing.

Jed finds it hard to lean on God when his only view of a "father" is one who is so abusive until one day he finds a note that Daisy left behind. What will she say that will encourage him to see God in a new light?

Rating: 3 coffee cups (Although the characters in this book were magnificent I felt as though the story was "dropped" in several places. Had it been pulled together a little more fully this could have truly been a best selling book.)


ABOUT THE BOOK

The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control—Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter’s demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis.

In this first book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper has a sickening secret: He’s convinced it’s his fault his best friend Daisy went missing. Jed’s pain sends him on a quest for answers to mysteries woven through the fabric of his own life and the lives of the families of Defiance, Texas. When he finally confronts the terrible truths he’s been denying all his life, Jed must choose between rebellion and love, anger and freedom.

Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful southern coming-of-age story crafted by a bright new literary talent. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Daisy Chain, go HERE

All In

Yesterday I decided I would talk to the both independently about Lent and the meaning of sacrifice during this season.    I simply wanted to give them the option.

Before school, Big Guy and I talked about it and while we were talking he immediately said that he thought he would like to go without fast food during Lent.    *gulp*    Did he say fast food?    That means no quick $5 Little Caesars pizza when I am too exhausted to cook.     *gulp again*     OK, Big Guy, if that is what you think you want to give up.

After school, Little Guy and I went to Barnes and Noble to walk around and pass time until time for Big Guy's carpool.   We found a quiet spot to sit and talk.     I used the time to explain Lent to him.    He had a lot of questions.     I never mentioned what Big Guy was giving up, but he also immediately proclaimed that he would give up Dr. Pepper (his favorite drink) and fast food.    *sigh*  Have I mentioned before that God has a sense of humor?      

My hope is that this sacrifice on their part will make them more aware of the entire Easter season this year.    For me Lent is not about the ritual, but about the reminder of the cross.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WFW: 40 Days to the Cross



Today is Ash Wednesday and it begins the season referred to as Lent. Because I did not grow up in and am not a part of a church that observes Lent, it wasn't until I was an adult that I became aware of this "season" in some churches.

I have come to appreciate Lent as a very personal experience in my life. January and February have already flown by so quickly. Days are crazy. I don't want the time leading up to Easter to be gobbled up with that same craziness. I believe Lent gives us that extra nudge and reminder to slow down.

Typically during Lent you are asked to give up something as a sacrifice (or a constant reminder) for the 40 days. Someone I love is giving up fast food. Another person is giving up coffee. Still another is giving up all sugar. These are things that mean something to them. Things that they think about everyday. Things that if they give up they will "hurt" without and therefore be reminded of Jesus' sacrifice for us and constantly be reminded of the Easter season.

Me? I am giving up soft drinks. Seems like such a wimpy sacrifice compared to the one that Jesus made for me.

How about you? Have you ever given up anything for Lent? Have you ever made a sacrifice to keep your heart and thoughts focused on the Journey to the Cross?

There are 40 days to the cross... turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Official Loud Mouth

I had lunch yesterday with Dr. Wifey, K Storm and Supermom. I was so excited about getting to see Dr. Wifey again and meeting Supermom. K and I go to church together but we never get to sit down and just chat.

We planned to meet at "Cheddars" for lunch. I didn't even know that restaurant existed. That place was packed. The entire foyer and spilling into the walking area of the dining area. It was crazy. With the exception of the obvious noise level, we enjoyed chatting while waiting for our table. It was just light conversation, but once we got our table?

To quote Emeril... BAM! We kicked it up a notch. I can summarize it in one word: laughter (and lots of it)! We talked about all kinds of things. Kids, work, school, church, growing up, etc... but all of it was punctuated with laughter.

Apparently there was some people behind us who gave us "the look" because of our laughter. I had my back to the rest of the dining room so I didn't see them, but Supermom told me last night through Facebook. So I guess it is official. I am the Loud Mouth of the bloggers.

Oh bother! (I could do it again today!) hee hee

P.S. If you go to "Cheddars", try the carrots. I could eat an entire bowl of those right now. Yummy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday

I can't believe Monday is here.    Last week...  what a week.     I think my head exploded but it is still attached to my body.

Yesterday was a wonderful day at church.    My cousin/brother came to church with us and I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest with pure joy.     We all went to lunch together and it was so fun spending time with him laughing and talking.      Spending time with him is like getting a hug from God.

It is a new week and it is starting off GREAT.   I get to go meet K Storm, Dr. Wifey and Supermom for lunch!   Yahoo!    I am so excited.   

The thing that boggles my mind?    I was on Facebook this morning and Mayberry pointed out the face that this is the last week of February.    Good grief, Charlie Brown!

Maybe I better start my Christmas shopping before the year flies by and it arrives before I am ready!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Saw The Light

When I am cleaning house or driving in my car and I start singing, I always start singing hymns. There is something about hymns.

Bart Millard has two great CD's that is nothing but hymns. Some of them are very traditional and some of them are remixes like this one of "I Saw The Light". Still, they bring back many memories of childhood, church and God's amazing grace.

What God Cannot Do

1.God cannot lie.
2.God cannot change.
3.God cannot recall our sins after we've asked for forgiveness.
4.God cannot be the author of confusion.
5.God cannot leave us or forsake us.
6.God cannot go back on His promises.
7.God cannot revoke His gifts.
8.God cannot be pleased without faith.
9.God cannot be defeated.
10.God cannot be too big for our problems.
11.God cannot be too little for our problems.
12.God cannot prefer one person over another.
13.God cannot break His covenant.
14.God cannot revoke His calling.
15.God cannot be unjust.
16.God cannot do anything contrary to the scriptures.
17.God cannot bless a lie.
18.God cannot love sin.
19.God cannot give anything to a double-minded man.
20.God cannot be forced into an impossible situation.
21.God cannot ignore the praises of His people.
22.God cannot be our problem.
23.God cannot be overcome by the world.
24.God cannot be late.
25.God cannot be neutral.
26.God cannot be weak.
27.God cannot bless doubt.
28.God cannot withhold wisdom from those who ask in faith.
29.God cannot be against us.
30.God cannot be limited or confined.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tender Hearts

In the last two days I have been reminded what tender hearted boys I am blessed to have. They have always been full of compassion for others and have always been so quick to take care of me anytime that I am not feeling well. However, sometimes they do things that surprise even me.

Big Guy has been dealing with a situation at school. It is going on at lunch. A kid who is driving him crazy. Finding it fun to pick on him, tease him, shove him, etc... Yesterday when I picked him up from school he mentioned that this same kid didn't have any lunch money that day. "Mom, I'm glad I took my lunch because I was able to just share mine with him." I sat there kind of stunned. It never occurred to him not to share his lunch. He saw someone hungry and his heart just wanted to help. It didn't matter what all this person had done to him. I am not sure if I could have done the same thing. I hope so, but I am just not sure.

And then this afternoon after school the boys were outside playing in their favorite tree. They were both climbing and apparently Big Guy was in an awkward position when they started tussling. At some point, Big Guy said, "No.", but Little Guy thought he was still playing and Big Guy wound up falling out of the tree. He scratched his stomach but wasn't really hurt. Little Guy was so upset that he came in with his lip quivering and explained what happened and how upset he was and then he lifted his shirt... he had scratched his stomach too because he felt so bad about hurting his brother. When Big Guy saw what he had done he grabbed him up in a hug and said, "Oh man, you shouldn't have done that. Let's go play." (That is pretty big talk for brothers!)

I don't know what others see when they look at my boys, but when I look at them I see hearts like Jesus.

Send A Red Envelope

"Well, the first thing I'd do as president is, 
is sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). 
That's the first thing that I'd do." -- Barack Hussein Obama

Many of you already know that the above statement was the reason I did not vote for our new president.     Although building a house contains many facets, every house has a foundation.     The basic respect for life at conception is one of the foundations our house is built on.     I believe that is so because God told us in Psalm 139:13, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

That is why I am supporting the "Send A Red Envelope" campaign.    My hope is that the White House will be flooded with 50 million red envelopes - one for each baby that has been aborted before it he or she has had a chance to live - and that this effort will change President Obama's heart.     

Will you consider joining me?


Get a red envelope and send it to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500-0001


On the back of the envelope, write the following message:

This envelope represents one child who died in an abortion. 
It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. 
Responsibility begins with conception.
For more information on:  Obama's reasons for supporting infanticide, Michelle Obama's partial birth abortion fundraising letter, Obama's abortion record, or more visit:    www.sendaredenvelope.org

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Look, Carrie!!

I'm on Titanic!!! (I know you are jealous. Ha! Ha! Ha!)


Create your own FACEinHOLE

WFW: Give Thanks


"Give thanks to the Lord!"

Did you know that phrase is repeated 19 times in Scripture? 19 times! I started thinking. When I repeat things over and over and over to my boys, why do I do it? It is because they forget. Is that what God is doing? Do I forget to praise Him? So He is reminding me over and over and over again?

How many miracles did God perform in the Bible? How many miracles and answered prayers has God given you? How many thank yous have you said? How many minutes, much less hours, have you spent praising His name?

The last part of that verse says..

"His love endures forever."

Endures... sticks with, never leaves, holds on, never gives up. That is love so amazing that it can only come from God!

Doesn't God deserve all our thanks and praise today?

Note: I wrote and posted this blog posting several weeks ago. I am sure that God knew then that I would need this reminder for myself. Yesterday was one of those "rug" days. You know... when the rug gets pulled out from under you. I spent a lot of time crying yesterday. I am going to spend some time thanking today despite what is going on in my life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Building the Pentagon

Big Guy is building a model of the pentagon. Doesn't that sound fun? Amusing's son is building a model of the Great Wall of China. Another friend's son is building a model of some bridge. This is all for math class.

In additional to building a model of the pentagon, Big Guy is also creating an abstract art piece of a bengal tiger. He went through all of my art materials to find random items that he could put together to create this tiger.

This is all in addition to the SAT word project where he has to cut out words from magazines that illustrate the SAT vocabulary words that they are learning each week.

Have I mentioned that I absolutely HATE, HATE, HATE random and sometimes, meaningless projects?

This is definitely going into my "con" column about school when it comes to praying about whether or not to homeschool my boys next year.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gingham Mountain

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary's writing journey is similar to a lot of others. Boil it down to persistence, oh, go ahead and call it stubbornness. She just kept typing away. She think the reason she did it was because she was more or less a dunce around people—prone to sit silently when she really ought to speak up(or far worse, speak up when she ought to sit silently).

So, Mary had all these things, she want to say, in her head; the perfect zinger to the rude cashier, which you think of an hour after you’ve left the store, the perfect bit of wisdom when someone needs help, which doesn’t occur to you until they solve their problems themselves, the perfect guilt trip for the kids, which you don’t say because you’re not an idiot. She keep all this wit to herself, much to the relief of all who know her, and then wrote all her great ideas into books. It’s therapeutic if nothing else, and more affordable than a psychiatrist.

So then a very nice, oh so nice publishing company like Barbour Heartsong comes along and says, “Hey, we’ll pay you money for this 45,000 word therapy session.” That’s as sweet as it gets.

Mary's journey to publication is the same as everyone’s except for a few geniuses out there who make it hard for all of us. And even they probably have an Ode to Roast Beef or two in their past.

There are two other books in this Lassoed In Texas Series: Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon


ABOUT THE BOOK


All aboard for a delightful, suspense-filled romance, where a Texan is torn between his attraction to a meddlesome schoolmarm and the charms of a designing dressmaker. When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, she's determined to keep him from committing her orphans to hard labor on his ranch. How far will she go to ensure their welfare?

Grant Cooper is determined to provide a home for the two kids brought in by the orphan train as runs head-on into the new school marm, who believes he's made slave labor out of eight orphaned children. He crowds too many orphans into his rickety house, just like Hannah Cartwright's cruel father. Grant's family of orphans have been mistreated too many times by judgmental school teachers. Now the new schoolmarm is the same except she's so pretty and she isn't really bad to his children, it's Grant she can't stand.

But he is inexplicably drawn to Hannah. Can he keep his ragtag family together while steering clear of love and marriage? Will he win her love or be caught in the clutches of a scheming seamstress?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Gingham Mountain, go HERE

Stare!

Have you ever had to tell someone something that you saw?    Like seeing a really great movie concert?    Or even a bad accident and having to tell the police?      How good a job do you think you do?

I thought I had a pretty good memory until we started playing this game called STARE.    I found the junior version of the game after Christmas on sale so I bought it.     Players have 30 seconds to stare at an image on a card. It might be a movie poster, funny photo, a comic or a work of art.  

When time is up, you are asked questions to test how well you remember what you saw.   How many glasses had straws?   Was the table round or square?    Was the dog looking left or right?  

The game comes with 160 picture cards and we only went through about 25 in our first game.     The boys loved it and hubs and I felt like complete idiots for some of the answers that we couldn't answer!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Stand Amazed

This is my absolute favorite hymn. I remember sitting in the rocking chair and singing it to my boys when they were babies every night before bed.

I was thrilled to hear Bart Millard singing it on his latest CD "Hymned Again".

Dear God, I truly stand amazed at your love for me!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Daddy's Love Letter

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad.
Almighty God

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sign The Petition

The final passage of the Stimulus Bill is set for vote TODAY and no one has seen the bill!   The Conservative Underground is for the Bill to be posted on the Internet for 1 week with a summary of all spending.   

Somehow that doesn't seem unreasonable considering the final version of the bill termed The Economic Recovery Package will cost $789 Billion, with interest over $1 Trillion.   

And they want us to pay all this back WITHOUT seeing it.    We have a right to see this!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

Foto Friday: Photo Meme

Dr. Wifey tagged me to do this photo meme. I was very curious as to what picture was going to pop up as I was just thinking I need to download photos onto my external hard drive.


This is a picture I took of Big Guy and some of his classmates last year when he was in 5th grade.
(Hubs is in the background.) They were having a Mexican themed party at the conclusion of a study of a book which was based in Mexico.


"Tag!" You are it...

Sarah
Carrie
Sandi
Carrie



Here are the rules:
1) Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store pictures.
2) Pick the 4th picture in that folder.
3) Explain the picture.
4) Tag 4 people to do the same.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Valentine For You!

 
I just couldn't resist to tell all of you how much I adore you, 
appreciate you and am so glad
you are a part of my life!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Deanna

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Doctor Said...

Yesterday I started having some chest pain. It really hurt to breath, almost like I had been running in the cold, but of course I hadn't been running. You know me better than that! By Tuesday night, my chest pain has spread to my back and arms and I was absolutely miserable. I crawled up onto my couch and just sat at still as possible.

I posted on my Facebook status that it hurt to breath. Several of you left messages, but K Storm called and encouraged me to go and get some help -- immediately. You have probably read on her blog about her sister-in-law's heart attack.

When we hung up, I pulled myself together in case I needed to go to the hospital, but I already had a doctor's appointment for this morning. The last time I had chest pain it was just my gall bladder that needed to be removed and I hated to show up at the E.R. and have them tell me it was something silly like that.

Needless to say, I was miserable and in pain all night and could not wait to see the doctor. After an exam and some x-rays, Dr. Bard told me that it was pleurisy. Pleurisy is swelling of the tissue covering the lungs and the chest wall. He said he had also had it before and knew how painful it was. He gave me a Decadron shot and meds to bring home as well.

So I am piled up on the couch and resting. My chest still hurts like crazy, but at least I am not worrying about the "what is it" factor.

He says with rest and the medicine I should be back to "normal" by Monday. Whatever that is.

WFW: Wait


I know I have said it before, but I will say it again: I have learned more about God since having my two boys than I ever thought possible.

Last year during one of the cold streaks of winter, the boys were wanting to play outside. The sun was shining, but it was bitterly cold. I made a comment that they were just going to have to wait for another day to enjoy the sunshine because it was just too cold.

Big Guy said, "Maybe not."

A few minutes later I walked in and there they were all stretched out in front of our french doors just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine that was streaming in from the windows.

Big Guy looked at me and said, "We may have to wait, but we can still enjoy the sun."

Wow! Back up... Did you hear that? We may have to wait, but we can still enjoy the sun [Son]. Talk about a sermon in a sentence.

Psalm 27:14 says, "Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord."

Waiting isn't a favorite thing to do. Waiting rooms. Red lights. Check out lines. Carpool lines. They definitely don't fall into my "favorites" category, but I am trying to look at them in a new light.

I am following my boy's lead and trying to enjoy the "Son" no matter where I am.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Winter Jam

We went the weekend in Birmingham.      Hubs and the boys go to the Winter Jam concert every year and that is where it was being held this year.     They love Toby Mac, NewSong, Tony Nolan, Family Force 5 and so many of the other groups and tickets are only $10 so it is a given that they are going.     We called our long time friends in Atlanta and asked if they wanted to meet us for the weekend.      When they said, "Yes" we knew that it was going to be not just a good weekend, but a GREAT weekend.

I can't tell you how good it felt to see my friend Saturday morning.     When they arrived at the hotel,  we all went to give everyone hugs and Sheri said, "It is just like seeing my sister."    Talk about a warm welcome.

Our friends moved next door to us when Big Guy and Big S were only little guys.      The Little Princess was a toddler.     Not only did our boys become fast friends but so did Sheri and I.    Our doors were never locked and we never even thought about knocking.      Our husbands knew where to look if we weren't home.

We were so sad when Curtis's job moved him to Atlanta, but I am so glad that our friendship has remained strong.


Speaking of husbands, Sheri and I have the best ever.     They took all the kids to the concert which meant she and I got to literally shop until we dropped Saturday night.       We left at 4:30 and didn't come back until after midnight.     I took this picture of them walking through the park on Sunday afternoon carrying our purses (or luggage as the guys called them) and all the water bottles as we chased the kids.     Aren't they the two cutest guys?
On Sunday we asked the kids what they wanted to do and they just wanted to find a park.     We found one and they played for hours.   
 
  
  
When I tried to get Big Guy up for school yesterday morning he said, "Please don't make me open my eyes.   If I open my eyes I will have to admit that the weekend is over and the week is really here."    
Exactly the way I felt too.    We are all counting the days until we see our friends again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Against All Odds

In Review: I love buying books that both hubs and I can read. "Against All Odds" is definitely one of those books. Of course, as I have told you before, it feels as though all of the books in this year's book review have been sent my way from God to speak directly to me. The overwhelming theme of this book is forgiveness. One of the best statements of the book is, "Forgiveness is hard, honey. But it's what God calls us to. Besides, as some wise person once said, holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It hurts you a lot more than it hurts them." Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I have been having a hard time forgiving some people in my life. Basically drinking poison and hoping it hurts them. They probably don't even know it. So this book hit home for me.

Add to that all the elements of the things I love about my favorite television show - FBI, kidnapping, hostage rescue team, diplomat, murder, relationships, women in distress, safe house, and bombs.

God tells us that if WE seek and WE knock then He will answer the door. I do not believe that the Bible teaches that we can ask for salvation for someone else. I do believe that we can pray for someone that their hearts will be softened, but I believe that every person has to make that choice for themselves. That was the only problem that I had with this book.

Because of that I could not give this book a 5 coffee rating.

Rating: 4 coffee cups



For FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Evan Cooper and his partner, dignitary protection duty should have been a piece of cake. Unfortunately, Monica Callahan isn’t making it easy. Estranged from her diplomat father, who is involved in a sensitive hostage situation in the Middle East, she refuses to be intimidated by a related terrorist threat back in the States…until a chilling warning convinces her that the danger is very real—and escalating. As Coop and his partner do their best to keep her safe, David Callahan continues his work—triggering an abduction that puts his daughter’s life at risk. And with every second that ticks by, Coop knows that the odds of saving the only woman who has ever managed to breach the walls around his heart are dropping. Because terrorists aren’t known for their patience—or their mercy.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Against All Odds, go HERE

Smitten

My sister's pediatrician finally gave the all clear for my nieces to be around children.    Big Guy and Little Guy were ecstatic and could not wait to finally hold precious MM and LK.      I took a 1,000 pics while we were there because it was such a special moment for me to see my sweet "baby" boys holding my baby sister's babies.     Here are just a few of my favorites:

Big Guy holding LK.    He was instantly in love.    He couldn't quit looking at whichever girl he had in his arms.

Little Guy wanted to do everything.    He wanted to hold, feed, change diapers, and burp the babies.     Because of his desire to be involved, he was GREAT rewarded... both girls spit-up all over him and MM even pooped all over him!   ha! ha!


Little Guy insisted on taking a pic of me holding LK.     He took this one of me rocking her.    I love her beautiful angel kiss.     The doctor said it will go away so I am glad that I have this picture.


I know that my sister and BIL thought they were kidding, but when Little Guy and Big Guy asked if they could bring the girls home... they weren't kidding!    They have done nothing but talk about the twins since we left them.      They are most definitely SMITTEN!

Blog Browsing

Don't you love finding new blogs? Me too!
Here are a few that I loved off the 2009 Weblog Awards list...

Photography:
Pioneer Woman Photography

Food:
Cake Wrecks
Bakerella

Travel:
Traveling Mamas

Music:
Hear It First

Politics:
Daily Kos

Computer & Technology:
Lifehacker

Pet:
Cute Overload
Icanhazcheeseburger!

Funny:
FAIL

Microblog:
One Sentence
22 Words

Parenting:
Simple Mom


If you have found any great new blogs.... SHARE!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jesus In Schools

IN CHEMISTRY, HE TURNED WATER TO WINE.

IN BIOLOGY, HE WAS BORN WITHOUT THE NORMAL CONCEPTION;

IN PHYSICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF GRAVITY WHEN HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN;

IN ECONOMICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURN BY FEEDING 5000 MEN WITH TWO FISHES & 5 LOAVES OF BREAD;

IN MEDICINE, HE CURED THE SICK AND THE BLIND WITHOUT ADMINISTERING A SINGLE DOSE OF DRUGS,

IN HISTORY, HE IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END;

IN GOVERNMENT, HE SAID THAT HE SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, PRINCE OF PEACE;

IN RELIGION, HE SAID NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM;

SO. WHO IS HE? HE IS JESUS!

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him..
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Foto Friday: Addicted to "Jack"

Some of you bloggers have Twilight... I have "24"!
And Jack doesn't sparkle.





It takes 24 weeks just to watch what Jack Bauer does in a single day.


Jack Bauer once won a game of Connect 4 in 3 moves.

Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

Jack Bauer could get off the Lost island in 24 hours.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, My Sister Friend

 
Please go and wish a Happy Birthday to my sweet friend, Shelby!
If I had the money I would be hopping a plane to go hug her neck in person and take her out to lunch.
I have said it before, but it is worth repeating:
I am so glad that distance doesn't determine friendship!
Happy Birthday, Shelby!
(Spoil her ROTTEN Studly.   She SOOOO deserves it.)

First Born Meme

I saw this over on McCoy Musing's blog and couldn't resist. I love remembering my pregnancy with Big Guy. I didn't love being pregnant, but I love the fact that it allowed me to have Big Guy!

So, here goes a different kind of survey for a change - it's all about your first born! If you want to do it yourself, just copy and paste it in your blog for yourself!

Let's see how much you remember!

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED?
Right after we got married, a doctor told us that if we didn't get pregnant within the first 2-3 years of our marriage, we would never get pregnant. Hubs and I tried for seven years to get pregnant.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
Yes - for seven years

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?
When my Mom was in the hospital having some surgery done, she said that she felt I should get a procedure done to help me possibly get pregnant. It was all I could do not to tell her that I suspected I might already be pregnant. However, after miscarriages I was too scared to say the words.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
Never in a million years!

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU?
29

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
I did a pregnancy test. It turned positive IMMEDIATELY. I couldn't talk. I walked into the living room and fell to my knees in front of Donald crying holding the positive test. I didn't have to say anything. He knew.

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?
Donald, of course!

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX?
We found out, but we never had any doubt that it would be a boy. Donald's family mostly has boys. I can count his girl cousins on my right hand... literally.

9. DUE DATE?
June 15, 1997

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS
24 hours a day for the first trimester

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?
chocolate milk

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?
People touching my stomach. Mine! Not ours!

13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX?
boy

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?
No. I never even thought about having a girl.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY?
35 pounds

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?
Yes

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?
I knew.

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?
I had a seizure when I was 28 weeks pregnant, but fortunately I had followed my instincts and gone to the hospital because Big Guy had been too still. He was a very active baby and on that day he had been very quiet. I called the hospital and the doctor told me to come and be checked out. As they were unhooking me to go home I had a grand mal seizure. They lost Big Guy's heartbeat for a little while, but since we were at the hospital they were able to get things under control. God was there. Had I been at home that day, we both would have died.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?
River Oaks Suites

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?
28 hours... tried an epidural, but it wouldn't work because of my seizure meds. So natural birth.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL?
Hubs drove... like a Nascar guy!

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Hubs, doctor and nurse. They asked if I wanted a mirror to "see", but I told them that feeling was quite enough!

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION?
very natural

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?
wanted it, needed it... definitely advise it!!

27. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH?
7 lb 15 oz

28. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN ?
June 2, 1997 at 1:49 p.m.

30. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER?
Todd Austin

31. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY?
11

A Little Birthday Plaid For...

Happy Birthday To Lizzy!
Wish I was there to keep your sweet girls so you could enjoy some time to go out and get a pedicure, but I hope you will appreciate this plaid birthday shout out!

Deanna

Hope you go over to Lizzy's blog and join me in wishing her a Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WFW: Light


I know there is a book out there that says "Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten", but I think that is wrong. I really think everything I needed to know I learned in Sunday School. And a lot of it was learned in those little songs we learned in children's church and Bible school.

For example:

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

Don't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine
Don't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine
Don't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

It kind of sums it up, doesn't it. We are Christians and we are called to be a light. Let it shine! If we have Christ in our hearts He is going to shine through. In our words, our actions, our thoughts... every day.

When I was a little girl we used to sing this song and I used to think that hiding it under a bushel meant a bush. We would hold up our finger to be our light and then cover our finger with the other hand to say "cover it with a bushel". However, when I got older I started singing the song "I love you a bushel and a peck" to my little boy and he wanted to know what a bushel was and I looked it up. A bushel is equal to 4 pecks or 35 liters.

So basically what that song is saying is, "Don't bury your light!" Step out of your comfort zone. Don't bury it. Don't let Satan blow it out. Shine, Jesus, Shine! In spite of me. Shine!

One of the great things about light is that it doesn't take a lot of light to make a huge impact. Don't believe me? You obviously have never played sardines in your church during a youth lock-in. This was a favorite for my youth group and I growing up. It is a reverse version of hide and seek. One person hides and then people go looking. As you find them you hide with them. The key? The entire church is dark. You have a flashlight, but you don't want to use it or you will reveal your position in the game. You wouldn't believe the creative tiny light sources people would bring to play this game. You needed light to move, but even the tiniest light would reveal where you were moving. I was always amazed how we could be standing in a dark hallway and one tiny key chain light could brighten the entire pathway.

Imagine what our lights as Christians can do for this dark world?

God, use my light! Let it grow brighter and brighter for you! (And Satan, take a hike!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Desires of Her Heart



Desires Of Her Heart


Lyn Cote



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lyn Cote married her real-life hero and was blessed with a son and daughter. She loves game shows, knitting, cooking, and eating! She and her husband live on a beautiful lake in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Now that the children have moved out, she indulges three cats: V-8 (for the engine, not the juice), Sadie, and Tricksey. In the summer, she writes using her laptop on her porch overlooking the lake. And in the winter, she sits by the fireplace her husband installed with the help of a good neighbor during their first winter at the lake.

Lyn's inspirational novels feature American women who step up to the challenges of their times and succeed in remaining true to the values of liberty and justice for all. The story of America is one of many nationalities and races coming together to forge our one nation under God, and Lyn's novels reflect this with accurate historical detail, always providing the ring of authenticity. Strong Women, Brave Stories.


ABOUT THE BOOK

A New Orleans lady and a half-breed frontiersman become unlikely allies as they travel the wilds of texas.

In 1821, when circumstances make it impossible for her to remain in New Orleans, Dorritt and her family head west to join Stephen Austin's settlement and recoup their fortune in Texas.

Quinn is a man of the frontier who has made a name for himself as a peerless scout. But as he and Dorritt's party begin a grueling trek across untamed Texas, the success of their journey is in grave doubt. Mexico has broken with the Spanish Crown, and armies from both countries—plus marauding Comanches—roam the pine forests and prairies. And one of the party is plotting destruction.

Now, with their lives joined in a virgin land fraught with peril, can Dorritt and Quinn put all their trust in God and receive the desires of their hearts?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Desires Of Her Heart, go HERE

Our Favorite Valentine Books

You already know that I am a book addict. To further show you how bad my addiction is, I will tell you that I have containers divided into holidays where I store my children's books. There are Valentine's, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.... boxes. When each holiday is approaching I pull out the boxes so we can read the holiday books. I thought I would share some of our favorite books from our Valentine box.

Robin Hill School: Too Many Valentines

Mr. Louie is Screwy
(My Boys LOVE this "Weird School" series.
In this one he puts a love potion in the water fountain.)
Froggy's First Kiss



I Love You, Stinky Face
I can't tell you how many times I have read this book.
It was Little Guy's FAVORITE book.




Love You Forever
I cry every time I read this book. I admit it. Big Guy loved this book
and still says "Love you forever." when he leaves the house. *sniff*










The Night Before Valentine's Day



Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

The Valentine Bears
Mr. and Mrs. Bear always missed Valentine's Day because they were hibernating.
But this year they share a wonderful surprise.



In Case You Ever Wonder (By far one of my FAVORITES!)
Here's everything you'd like to say to your children about how much you love them and most of all how special they are to God. Just In Case You Ever Wonder wraps your children in its warm message of love, comfort, and protection.


Even though Valentine's Day is a special holiday that celebrates love,
God's love is something we can celebrate all year long.