Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Graduation, Jonna


The first time I saw my baby niece she was in her Daddy's arms walking towards us in what seemed like an infinitely long hospital hallway.    We kept asking if it was a girl or boy and he kept grinning this goofy grin and saying nothing.     I finally screamed, "Tell us!!"    My mother gave me "the look".  

We got one little glimpse before they carried her off to the nursery for all of necessary weight checks, shots, and other normal newborn things.      When they opened the blinds so we could see her, we got our first glimpse into this little bundle's personality.    While all the other babies in the nursery were bundled up tightly in their blankets.    Our sweet girl had wiggled out of her blanket and was doing push ups!    I am not kidding you.    I would give anything to have a video camera to show you.    I truly believe that video would be viral today if it were on YouTube.      She was barely an hour old and she was pushing up on her hands and feet and doing push ups.    

She very firmly was saying, "I can do it!"  

And she has for the past 18 years of her life.      Anything she has tried from academics to pageants to singing to church to mission work to band to dance team to trying out for Mississippi State color guard....   she has had the "I can do it!" attitude.


I can't believe my beautiful niece is graduating from high school tonight.    To say I am proud of her is an understatement.      She is a beautiful young woman on the inside as well as the outside.    

She embodies Philippians 4:13....

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"

We love you so much, Jonna!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trail of Honor

I was so excited about including the "Trail of Honor" on our list of field trips for the year.     It is literally a living history museum that includes demonstrations of every American war from the French Indian War all the way through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.    It includes every war in between.     This is a huge event and was named one of the Top 20 events by the Southern Tourism Industry.

It is staffed by nearly 300 living historians.    The boys loved talking to and asking questions to these men and women who have served and lived history.     One of these men was our friend, Robert Filbert, who just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.     He told the boys not just about the weapons that our military used, but also the weapons the enemy military used as well.    One of the guns used in battle could only be fired six times by a man.      The human body could only endure the force of that weapon six times.    Beyond that it would do you bodily harm.    Incredible, isn't it?     In our book, Robert and the other men and women like him are true heroes


How thrilling is it to be encouraged to test out the military equipment?   For boys?   VERY.


 Camp Shelby has a great military museum.    Have you been?   
This was the representative from that museum and he let the boys pose
with their favorite gun.



Just one of the tanks on site...


 Big Guy was explaining to Little Guy and his friend the types
of guns that were on display and one of the soldiers heard him.
He walked over and said, "You seem to know your guns."
He started quizzing him on all the military equipment that
was surrounding them and Big Guy got everything correct.
The soldier told him how impressed he was with him.
(I guess he isn't hating me for that research project on
military weapons I made him do now, is he? Ha!  Ha!)





The boys loved this event and definitely want to go back next year.




Monday, May 24, 2010

Frenzy

Their destiny is to fix history. Their dream is to get home.


When you live in a house that's really a gateway between past and present, you have to be ready for anything. It's a painful fact the Kings have faced since moving to Pinedale eight days ago. Desperately trying to rescue their mother from an unknown time and place, brothers Xander and David have lunged headlong into the chaos of history's greatest--and most volatile--events. But their goal has continually escaped their grasp.


And worse: Finding Mom is only a small part of what they must do, thanks to the barbaric Taksidian. His ruthless quest to sieze their house and its power from them has put not only the family, but all of mankind, in grave danger.


Somehow, the key to it all hinges on Uncle Jesse's words to the boys: "Fixing time is what our family was made to do." But how can they fix a world that has been turned updisde down--much less ever find their way home?


At long last, the secrets of the house and the King family are revealed in the stunning conclusion to this epic series.


If you would like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of Frenzy, go HERE.


Sign up for the Frenzy Newsletter HERE.

Book Review

This is the final book in the Dream House Kings series.     If you haven't read the previous books don't start here or you will be lost.     Of course, getting lost in the series of portals and doors is the premise of the plot line behind these books.     It is hard to find a book series that appeals to teens and adults alike, but this is one that has accomplished that very successfully.      Liparulo's writing style has amassed such a following that several of his books (Germs and Deadfall) are being made into screenplays.   

Because I am such a book cover freak, I will have to admit that when I opened the box I was very disappointed to see a quote endorsement by R.L. Stine on the cover.     I am not a fan of R. L. Stine and if I didn't already know Liparulo's work, I would not let my son read it based off of that quote alone.    

End Of A Year

I can't believe our first year of homeschooling is over.     It has been quite the year of learning for all three of us.  I learned so much more about my boys and their learning styles.

I love so much about homeschooling...
.... the fact that if the boys loved one subject a lot we could spend a week or two on it instead of just a day.
.... if we wanted to stay out until 10:00 at night doing something we could and then just adjust our morning start schedule.
....the boys could move at their own pace instead of the "class" pace.   Little Guy was able to move through an entire third grade of curriculum in the first three months of school.    He worked his way all the way through 5th grade in math and vocabulary this year and will be starting 6th grade math and vocabulary and 5th grade grammar and science next year.    He couldn't have done this in regular school.   
... one of the subjects that the boys were required to take was Bible.    I loved seeing them grow in this knowledge.

We told the boys when we started homeschooling that we would evaluate on a year by year basis.     We just sat down to evaluate and both boys said they want to continue again next year.      I have a lot of improvements I want to make for next year.    "They" say that the first year is the hardest.    Maybe that is because you are so clueless and have so many questions.    Fortunately, I have an amazing friend who has been a great mentor at homeschooling so this year has been so much easier because of her advice.

Thanks, boys, for a wonderful school year!    I love you so much.
      

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Great Guys Weekend

After the past few crazy weeks, my sweet guys not only needed but deserved a vacation.    My hubs admitted to me that he was not completely comfortable with leaving me alone.     However, I promised him that I was only a phone call away from my sisters and I really wanted him and the boys to have fun.

I was so happy to get their phone calls and hear their voices tell me of the fun they were having at the lake house.    I really loved seeing these pictures that they brought back.     What a great weekend for my amazing guys!




The pretty lake house they stayed in for the weekend



A weekend for the Germany guys isn't complete without games of chess.


Just some healthy competition



 Diving off the pier and swimming in the lake




Hanging with the uncles



And relaxing.

Just what the doctor ordered!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Predator

The murder of Krista Carmichael's fourteen-year-old sister by an online predator has shaken her faith and made her question God's justice and protection. Desperate to find the killer, she creates an online persona to bait the predator. But when the stalker turns his sights on her, will Krista be able to control the outcome?


Ryan Adkins started the social network GrapeVyne in his college dorm and has grown it into a billion-dollar corporation. But he never expected it to become a stalking ground for online Predators. One of them lives in his town and has killed two girls and attacked a third. When Ryan meets Krista, the murders become more than a news story to him, and everything is on the line.


Joining forces, he and Krista set out to stop the killer. But when hunters pursue a hunter, the tables can easily turn. Only God can protect them now.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Predator, go HERE.


Watch the book trailer video!



Mark Your Calendar: May 24



We LOVE Chic-Fil-A!    But we REALLY love FREE Chicken from Chic-Fil-A!

Mark your calendar and go online on May 24th to reserve your free Spicy Chicken Sandwich.     They will be giving away a limited number of these FREE sandwiches from May 31 - June 5 to customers who go online and make a reservation.   

Visit:  GetSpicyChicken.com to make your reservation!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Proud Moment.... Nephew

What a treasure.    
This is a pic of all the Germany guys right after my nephew's graduation from Clemson.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sharing

When my guys were at our nephew's graduation at Clemson, I received an email from our best friends in Atlanta asking if they could kidnap Big Guy on their way back home.     Big Guy and their son, Sharkbait, have been best friends since they were toddlers.     It is a rare occasion that they can spend a week together without siblings, but last week it worked out that Sharkbait's little sister would not be home.     On Saturday, they all drove over to bring Big Guy back home.   

These are our best friends and we have shared a lot.     Laughter.   Tears.   Dinners.  Traveling.   Vacations.   Love of books.  Game nights.   Shopping.   Dirty houses.    Clean houses.    Pregnancies.    Deaths.      You get the picture.    

We have always said that they are pretty much family, but I believe this weekend sealed the deal.    On Sunday, Little Guy woke up not feeling well.     He just said he felt yuck.    He slept most of the day and didn't want to do anything.     He felt better Monday and was up and playing.     That night we told the big boys we would take them to the movie to see "Robin Hood" while my friend and I went to see another movie.    About 30 minutes after the movie started, Big Guy texted me and told me he didn't feel well.     Before the night was over both Big Guy and Sharkbait were SICK.     It was terrible.    

My friend and I were praying that she and SarahStar wouldn't get it too.    Both boys woke up this morning weak, but feeling better.    As bad as I hated it they had to pack up and head back home.      We will get to see them when we go to Atlanta in July.   

All I know is that our friends are more than friends.    They are extended family.  

Deadly Disclosure

A Suspense-filled mystery which answers an ominous question: How far will some go to silence an influential Christian voice?


Thomas Whitfield, proud Secretary of the Smithsonian and its extensive scientific influence, has disappeared from his office with foul play suspected. Dinah Harris, an FBI agent struggling with alcohol and depression, is seeking answers amidst the fallout of her own personal issues.


Whitfield's body is eventually found, and other people connected to him begin dying as well, ultimately exposing a broader conspiracy connected to Whitfield's recent conversion to Christ and promotion of a biblical worldview in an academic world of financial gain hostile to this concept.


Will Dinah be able to experience the redemptive power of Christ before it's too late? Or will the ominous danger stalking her investigation claim another victim?


If you would like to read the first chapter of Deadly Disclosure, go HERE.


Watch the Video Book Trailer:





Book Review:

Pick up any school text book or watch any Science Channel show and you will quickly realize just how prevelant and deeply ingrained the evolution "theory" into our every day lives.     However, if you really listen to how things are worded you will realize that there is not only a leaning towards evolution, but an avid war to stamp out all things Christian.

Deadly Disclosure is a fiction book that brings this all too real non-fiction reality to light.     Thomas Whitfield has had an illustrious career as the Secretary of the Smithsonian until he makes one decision in his life.    He becomes a Christian.     This one decision leads to a panic amongst the science community which fills these pages with a very enlightened look at just how far the non-Christian world will go to silence creationism.

I love reading books by new authors.     Julie Caves took a topic which has never been addressed in another fiction book that I know of and did it with a lot of fact.      I am not usually a fan of "the flashback" when it comes to reading and there were quite a few of those in those book.    However, to her credit, these flashbacks didn't leave me wandering around and wondering where I was.     They were well done and did not leave me confused which I appreciated.      Reading the book you can tell that Ms. Caves asked a lot of advice from her respected advisors like Ken Ham but at times that took away from the readability to the book and  made it a little preachy.      I hope in the Ms. Caves next book she will trust her own writing abilities more and know that she has true talent that readers will continue to love as much as I did!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sal & Mookie's Street Carnival


All proceeds go to Blair E Batson Children's Hospital

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm Still Standing

Saturday night... I went to a Mother/Daughter banquet hosted by my parent's church.    The men host it every year.   They greet all of the ladies, seat us, serve us, entertain us, and do all of the clean up.    The fact that these men are my church family that I grew up with makes it super special and full of lots of fun and laughter.

Sunday night... I receive an email asking "Are you feeling OK?  Several people got sick after last night and we want to know if you are OK."     I felt fine.

Monday morning... I woke up and my stomach felt funny.    I made a casual statement about being easily influenced by an email.    One hour later... NOT SO FUNNY.      There was no doubt I had fallen victim to food poisoning.    One very brief call to my parents told me that so had my poor Dad, sister and one of my sweet twin nieces.      

Tuesday morning
... I feel like someone has drained the life out of me.    I keep praying that my poor niece isn't as sick as I am because I can't imagine a 16 month old being this sick.   

Wednesday....  the sun still shines and ginger ale and crackers never tasted sooooooo good!     I feel so much better.  

Next year's Mother/Daughter banquet... no lemon pie!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Woman Called Sage

They took away everything she loved...now, she’s out for revenge.


Sage Morrow had it all: life on a beautiful Colorado ranch, a husband who adored her, and a baby on the way. Until five ruthless gunmen rode up to their ranch and changed her life forever. Now Sage is a bounty hunter bent on retribution.


Accompanied only by her majestic hawk, she travels throughout the Rocky Mountains in search of injustice, determined to stamp it out wherever it’s found. The stakes are raised when two young boys are kidnapped and Sage is forced to work with Marshall Parker Timmons to rescue them. But Sage may ultimately get more than she bargained for.


In this exciting historical romance set in the late 1800s, murder, intrigue, kidnapping, and questions of faith will keep you in suspense until the final pages.



If you would like to read the first chapter of A Woman Called Sage, go HERE.



Watch the Video Book Trailer:



A Huge Welcome Home

My guys and my husband's brother, also known as Uncle Randy, drove to Clemson this past week for my nephew's graduation.      They left Thursday morning and did not get home until Sunday night.      

I missed them so much while they were gone.    On Saturday morning I woke up and started thinking about the things I wanted to do to prepare for their arrival home.     I wanted to do a little house cleaning, put fresh sheets on their beds, make a special supper and dessert, put up welcome signs on the doors and around the house.     I wanted to make sure their favorite drinks were in the refrigerator and cold after their long drive.     

I haven't totally gotten my strength back from being sick so it took me most of Saturday and part of Sunday to get those things done.     At one point during my "preparation" process, I was reminded of the verse in the Bible where Jesus says:

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, 
I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
John 14:3
If I was doing this much work to welcome my sweet guys home after being gone for just four days, imagine the love and preparation Jesus is going through to welcome us into heaven?   

That thought is just overwhelming to me.   

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

The precursor of the mirror is the mother's face. 
~D.W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality, 1971

Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. 
~Erich Fromm

A mom forgives us all our faults, not to mention one or two we don't even have. 
~Robert Brault

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? 
~Milton Berle

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pincushion Report

I can't believe it has been a month since I made that trip to the ER and they found the pulmonary embolism.    I have jokingly called myself the "pincushion" since then for all the doctor's visits and the needles I have had poked in me.     Although I have a lot of doctors, my complete faith and trust is in The Great Physician, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.   

On Monday they called and said that they had found a mass in one of my breasts that needed to be examined further.   They scheduled me to go in on Tuesday.     I told them I would be there.    As soon as I hung up, I realized that hubs was flying out of town to Texas.    

Having the tests done didn't worry me, but the thought of my boys being alone for an undesignated amount of time did so I decided to ask my Daddy if the boys could go spend the day with my parents.    My sweet baby sister agreed to let the boys ride over with her and the twins and back home that afternoon.    

The boys had so much fun being at Nana and Papa's house and getting to play with sweet LK and MM.




My Daddy took these sweet pictures of the boys while they were at their house that day...




Playing on Big Guy's iPod.

Who is entertaining who in this picture?

Guess who loves the tractor as much as Papa?

As for me?    My tests went fine.    The mass was benign...no cancer!     I have one more mass in my stomach which they are going to check in a few weeks.     I have complete faith that no matter the outcome of the tests, I am in My Physician's Hands.



 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Big Dog

On Monday evening, we were standing in the kitchen cooking supper.     Just talking and comparing what we had done during our day.     All of a sudden we heard a huge THUMP.     Big Guy yelled, "Kit Kat!" (our cat's name)  in a voice full of panic.      We ran outside to see our neighbor's boxer with our cat in his jaws just mauling it.     As hubs ran, the dog flung our cat and ran.     So did our cat... straight up a tree.    We could hear her crying and it was a cry of pain.     Hubs got the ladder but before he could reach her she fell out of part of the tree.     She was really hurt so the boys loaded up and took her to the vet.   The vet said our sweet cat had broken ribs, she has a four inch gash in her side, her claws were ripped out and her paws were ripped up.     The vet gave her a shot for shock and antibiotics.     She said time would tell.     Kit Kat disappeared and we were sure that she had gone off to die, but she showed back up yesterday.     Weak and dehydrated, but still here.

While the boys were gone I waited for animal control.      We hated to call, but this makes multiple times that this dog has gotten out.    Because the owners were not home, we just felt like we could not let this dog wander around with so many children playing in the neighborhood.



Pets are such a touchy issue.   Have you ever had to deal with a situation like this?