Monday, August 30, 2010

Big Guy's Man Cave


For Big Guy's 13th birthday he had one request.    He wanted his room changed from the antique car theme which he has had since we moved into the house when he was three to something more with a teen theme.      He also wanted to be able to redo the room by himself.    

After giving hubs a bag to breathe in for a few minutes, I convinced him that this was a really good idea.    I reminded him that no matter what color he chose or how it turned out, it was just paint.     We gave Big Guy a modest budget of $75 and told him that he could do all the work, but we would be his on-site consultants.

To start the projects, Big Guy had to strip off all the wallpaper border that went around the top of his bedroom.     Taking down the border was not as big of a challenge as scrubbing the wall to make sure all that glue was gone.     He said that was a big job.


Next he filled in all the holes, let them dry and sanded them smooth.


Picking a color took several weeks.     Big Guy taped endless samples of paint on his walls and gradually eliminated them until he was left with the winner:   Rock and Roll Red.


With all the trim and walls to do, he even let his little brother have some fun too!   ha!    You would have thought he won the lottery for as proud as he was to help with his big brother's room.




While the boys were painting, I was working on a special project in the garage.    



This is after I have spent about an hour sanding.     We have had this table since we were newlyweds.    Big Guy has been using it as his nightstand for a while, but I asked if I could update it to match his new room.    I stained it black and painted it with this checker/chess board on top.      He is loving it!



You know what I am loving?   What an amazing job Big Guy did with his room?

 
The shelves over his bed were ones he had before, but he restained and painted them all black to match his new "look".     We also repainted his bulletin board on his door to replace the blue border with cars motif.    Don't you love the bedspread set he found?    He only spent $30 for the entire set!





You are looking at one of Big Guy's favorite things in his room... the blackout curtain!    *smile*     The picture on the wall was his inspiration for the rest of the room.     We he found it he loved it and decided to use it for the basis for the rest of his room.




This wall happens to be my favorite in his room.    It features his autograph collection from Christian artists.     Some are album covers, some are drum sticks and there is a concert poster.       He also purchased a hook to hang up his Guitar Hero guitar which makes it nice and neat, but also looks great on the wall!



I am proud of Big Guy's man cave.     He worked really hard on it and it turned out really great.      He loves the fact that he did his room by himself and it is all his.      I love that too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Surrender the Heart

For the sake of her ailing mother, Marianne Denton becomes engaged to Noah Brennin---a merchantman she despises. But as the War of 1812 escalates, Jonah's ship is captured by the British, and the ill-matched couple learns vital information that could aid America's cause.


Relive the rich history of the War of 1812 through the eyes of Marianne Denton and Noah Brenin, who both long to please their families but neither one wishes to marry the other. Noah is determined to get his cargo to England before war breaks out, and Marianne is equally determined to have a wedding so that her inheritance can be unlocked and her destitute family saved. When their stubborn games get them captured by a British warship, can they escape and bring liberty to their country—and growing love?


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

Book Review

"You have to do everything the hard way."     Those words are some that I heard my mother say more than once in my lifetime.     Those are ones that the lead characters Noah and Marianne probably would have heard their parents say as well.      Strong, willed and full of determination which serves them both so well, but doesn't work well with the plans their parents have for them to marry.   

Marianne is so mad about the situation that she goes to Noah's ship to give him a piece of her mind.     Before that can happens and the next thing she knows she wakes up and she is on his ship and the ship has left port.    To make matters worse, Noah refuses to take her home.   

She is worried about her mother and sisters back home and generally frightened by being on the ship.     She doesn't realize that things are going to go from bad to worse when a British warship captures them and makes them serve as captives.

The will and determination that caused Noah and Marianne to fight each other at the beginning serve to help them fight to survive the situation they are thrown into and shows why the War of 1812 is truly one of the greatest events of our American history.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday To My Amazing Husband

I was working as a youth director at my church when we were invited to attend a Josh McDowell conference.   A group of local churches were joining together to host the conference together for a series of Friday night.   

On that first Friday night I showed up with my group of teens.   We all crammed into a pew together and listened to Mr. McDowell.       My teenage girls, giggly and eyes wide at all the boys around us, were pointing and scoping out the "prospects".    I was getting pretty annoyed at them for not paying attention.     I couldn't have told you who anyone else was in that sanctuary.    I didn't care.    Earlier in the year, I had been engaged to a seminary student and through a mutual agreement we decided to call off our engagement.     Despite the fact the split was mutual, I had no desire to date.   

Following the speaker my girls went into the gym to roller skate, play ping pong and (let's be honest) scope out more boys.    Pretty soon a group of them came running out saying, "You HAVE to come see this cute guy in the gym."     I told them I trusted that he was cute and asked which one of them was trying to get up the courage to go talk to him.      They said, "Not for us.   For you!"     I laughed and said, "No way!"      If you have ever been around middle school school girls.   They don't give up.     "Please, Miss Deanna.   Just come look!      He is sooooo cute!"     

Finally I told them I would come look if they would quit bugging me.    I walked into the gym and there stood the cutest guy I had ever seen playing ping pong with a group of middle school boys.      I tried not to react, but obviously my face showed what my mind thought because my girls started laughing and saying, "We told you!"

I told them it didn't matter that he was cute because I wasn't interested.      What I didn't know was that my little matchmakers were being very sneaky.    

See, each Friday night, two of the youth workers would be responsible for going out and getting the food that the teens would eat following the speaker.       Who do you think were paired together that night to go get the food?      Yes.     Me and my (potential) hubs.      Thankfully, his pastor volunteered to go with us and he did most of the talking during that drive.      

That night after the conference was over hubs walked me to my car.     It was starting to sleet because that was right before the ice storm of 1987.    He was very cute as he asked if he could call me sometime.      Thankfully I said yes which is why I get the privilege of saying...

Happy Birthday, My Sweet Amazing Hubs!
I love you with all my heart!
Thank you for calling me for a 
date that first Valentine's night!
You still take my breath away.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Masquerade



They risk it all for adventure and romance, but find that love only flourishes in truth...

1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine.


She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. She wants a chance at "real life," even if it means giving up financial security. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares.


As for Dora, it's the chance of a lifetime. She lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt from the possibility of discovery and the presence of another love that will not die. Is this what her heart truly longs for?


Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.


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


View the book trailer:





Book Review

In the late 1800s marriage was not something a woman always did for love, but often out of responsibility.   That was the dilemma Charlotte Gleason found herself in when her parents decide to send her to America upon the invitation of the parents of Conrad Tremaine.     It is the marriage of two perfect families.      Because Charlotte's mother is too ill, the family decide to send Dora, Charlotte's maid to accompany her as her chaperone.  

One glimpse at America and all the supposed adventure that is there to discover, Charlotte quickly changes her mind and convinces Dora to switch identities.       This is definitely a case of be careful what you wish for because soon after the two women part things take interesting twists.

Charlotte finds herself penniless and thrust into Five Points.    If you have studied history you know that Five Points was beyond what could be defined as a slum and it housed more than 1 million people.     People suffocated at night in their sleep simply from the lack of ventilation in the tennements.

While Charlotte is struggling to survive, Dora is struggling to fit into a household where she is more comfortable being a servant instead of being served.      However, her slight social miscues endear her to the staff and ultimately to the family as well.

The story does not end the way you might expect which is wonderful.     That is one of the wonderful things about Moser's writings.    She does not like to travel the predictable path, but instead leads where her characters lead.    And you will be lead through another amazing journey!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lead On



Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, 
but set an example for the believers in speech, 
in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12


In the picture above you may just see a group of teenagers, but what I see is an amazing group of students who have done more to reach their community for Christ than most adults I know.     I am crazy about this group of students.     They are incredible.     

This morning our students led the morning worship service.    I was so proud of their willingness to serve as the worship choir, praise team and drama team for the morning service.   

One of the students in this amazing group is my Big Guy.



The photos in this post were taken by JCBounds photography who attends our church and was so sweet to take some photos.    Christy takes AWESOME and AMAZING photos!    You have to check out her website.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Revealing Month

My friend Shelby has decided to do a month of insight for September.      She found the idea at Pretty in Orange who borrowed it from My First Bub!   

Maybe so many people are borrowing it because it is such a great idea.    There are 30 days of questions which gives some type of insight about you.    

Here is the list....

Day 01- Guilty pleasure.
Day 02- Something that inspires you.
Day 03- The five songs you would have with you on a desert island and why.
Day 04- What you imagine paradise to be like.
Day 05- A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
Day 06- Earliest thing you can remember.
Day 07- Favorite cover of your favorite song.
Day 08- Someone you think would make a good president.
Day 09- Five things you want to see change.
Day 10- A dream you had this past week described in detail.
Day 11- Favorite picture ever taken of yourself.
Day 12- Your favorite musical artist’s life story.
Day 13- A memory that never fails to make you laugh.
Day 14- Best mashup you’ve ever heard.
Day 15- A moment, phrase, or song that has changed your life the most.
Day 16- Something that you want to do within the next five years.
Day 17- What you want to be remembered for.
Day 18- A picture that makes you feel.
Day 19- A passage from a book that has touched you.
Day 20- A band that you immediately liked and the song that made you like them.
Day 21- Your favorite medium of art.
Day 22- Someone you would give your life up for without question.
Day 23- Most awkward first impression you feel you’ve ever given.
Day 24- Something you did as a child that other people remember you for.
Day 25- Something you would do if no one stopped you or if you knew you wouldn’t fail.
Day 26- Your definition of love.
Day 27- Your definition of the meaning of life.
Day 28- A moment you remember being completely happy in and a description of why you believe you were. What is your definition of happiness?
Day 29- What you live for.
Day 30- Ways you believe you have grown over the past thirty days.

Friday, August 20, 2010

And the NAKANO Winner Is....

True Random Number Generator Result: 21 


The Winnner Of the NAKANO Prize Package Is...

Mami2jcn said...
Asian Chicken Nugget recipe:

http://mizkan.com/Recipes/?action=view&recipeID=26925817447


Congratulations!

I will be contacting you by email to get your information so that we can get your prize package out to you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Did you see my post on Monday about NAKANO?   I hope you did.    I am new to using these delicious rice vinegars, but now I am completely hooked.



I received the basil and oregano version and it is SO versatile...

Basil and Oregano
• Stir into creamy sauces
• Splash on those fresh garden tomato slices
• Delicious as a dressing for three bean salad or pasta salad
• Use alone as a light and tangy salad dressing


If you are like me and are new to using them or if you are a long time fan, I am excited to offer you a Nakano prize package that includes a $25 Visa giftcard, one bottle of Nakano Seasoned Vinegar and a Coupons booklet with $1 off coupon and recipe cards.

Here are ways to enter the NAKANO giveaway:  (Leave separate comments for each entry.)

1.  Follow me on Twitter and then send out a tweet letting people know about the NAKANO giveaway at Deanna's Corner
2.  Follow my blog on Google Reader or RSS.
Sign up for the NAKANO SPLASH Recipe Club to receive a free monthly e-newsletter featuring great recipes and tips.
2. NAKANO is on Facebook! Become a fan. 
3. Visit the NAKANO website then come back and tell me what your favorite Splash tip is.
4. Post a link to your favorite NAKANO recipe.


The light taste of NAKANO® Seasoned Rice Vinegars adds delicious tang and flavor to food without adding fat—and with far fewer calories than everyday condiments. NAKANO® Seasoned Rice Vinegars can be splashed on many foods for a tasty flavor boost.

Those summer salads like coleslaw, potato salad, and fruit salad don’t need mayo or other high-fat toppers. A simple splash of NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar will bring out the natural flavors of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs and give your dish a subtle, yet satisfying twist.


What are you waiting for? Enter today! Don't you deserve a Nakano prize package that includes a $25 Visa giftcard, one bottle of Nakano Seasoned Vinegar and a Coupons booklet with $1 off coupon and recipe cards.

Winner will be chosen FRIDAY!!


Nakano provided me with a $50 and a free bottle of seasoned vinegar for this campaign.

The Crimson Cipher

IT'S 1915, AND EMMA SHUSTER HAS FAR TOO MUCH ON HER MIND TO ENTERTAIN NOTIONS OF ROMANCE...

A female Navy cryptographer seeks to save lives...and uncover her father’s killers.


In 1915, German sympathizers escalated acts of sabotage in the United States to keep the nation from joining in the war. With enemies lurking at every turn, whom can Emma trust? Is romance the true motive behind her tow suitors advances? Or could one-or both of them-have traitorous intentions in mind?


Following the mysterious murder of Emma Shuster’s father, Lt. John Patterson invites Emma to become a Navy cryptographer because of the expertise she gained in helping her father develop a cipher system.


Emma races to discover the nefarious plans of her country's foes and unmask their leader before others are killed. She finds new strength in her faith as she strives to outwit her adversary, known only as Kobold - German for goblin.


And yet, her greatest challenge may be deciphering the cryptic messages her heart sends whenever she encounters a certain navy lieutenant... Can Emma and John find love in the midst of turmoil as America plunges toward war?


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Crimson Cipher, go HERE.

Book Review

I was so disappointed that this book never arrived from the publisher, because it looks so interesting.     I keep hoping maybe it got tied up in the mail system and will wind up in my mailbox any day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Malacca Conspiracy

A rogue Indonesian general and his army of terrorists attack oil tankers in the Strait of Malacca in order to profit from oil futures and buy nuclear weapons to establish an Islamic superpower.


Navy JAG officers Zack Brewer and Diane Colcernian race against the odds and a 24-hour deadline before nuclear attacks hit the United States. Departing from the sea of books barely better than soap opera romance and using the frantic pacing of suspense fiction, Brown glides flawlessly among global hotspots of terrorism--including the United States--and the book's principal settings in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.


The President of the United States orders ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet towards the Malacca Straits to reassert control over the sea lanes, but with time quickly ticking away, will they arrive in time for Zack and Diane to survive this dangerous and final high-stakes drama of life and death?





Sign up for the contest above! And if you would like to read the first chapter of Malacca Conspiracy, go HERE.

Book Review

With the recent oil spill just off the Gulf, this book was almost too realistic in the story line.     The only different was that in the book the oil spills were not accidents, but well orchestrated events.    The plan is to create chaos so that terrorists can not only play the markets to create their own wealth, but begin to take control of the sea lanes.

Thankfully, a Lieutenant working working in the New York Mercantile Exchange notices suspicious activity and alerts the chairman and president.     What transpires is a race against the clock to prevent a nuclear attack.       It takes a lot of teamwork, breath taking decisions and faith on the part of the characters to make it happen.

I love this kind of book!    I found myself wishing that we could elect President Mack to be our next president.      I would vote for him for sure.    

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mmmmm... NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegars


I was contacted by NAKANO to see if I would be interested in trying a sample of their seasoned rice vinegars.    I wasn't exactly sure how to use them, but I was assured that the vinegar would come with a recipe booklet.    Since this is right up Little Guy's alley of trying new products, I quickly agreed.    

We started searching through the recipe section of their website before our seasoned vinegar arrived and decided we wanted to try their version of the waldorf salad.     
NAKANO's Wadorf Salad
INGREDIENTS
2 Tbsp. NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar – Original
Grated zest of 1 orange
Dash nutmeg
2 red-skinned sweet apples, about 1 lb. (gala, fuji, red delicious)
1 large stalk celery, sliced
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
Lettuce leaves, Boston, bibb or red leaf

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl stir together seasoned rice vinegar, orange zest and a generous sprinkle of nutmeg. Core and slice apples. Cut into smaller pieces and stir into bowl with dressing. Stir in celery and walnuts. Line salad plates with lettuce and spoon apple mixture on top.


Nakano Seasoned Vinegars
Varieties:  Original, Roasted Garlic, Basil & Oregano, Red Pepper,
Pesto, Balsamic Blend and Italian Herb.



* All Natural
* Low Calorie
* No Fat
* Gluten Free
* No preservatives
* 50% less sodium than the competition

Just twist, tip and splash it on:

* Salads as a healthier alternative to dressing
* Baked potatoes in place of sour cream & butter
* Cole slaw as a fat-free replacement
for mayonnaise
* Rice, green beans, beets, almost any vegetable
for a light flavor accent.


The light taste of NAKANO® Seasoned Rice Vinegars adds delicious tang and flavor to food without adding fat—and with far fewer calories than everyday condiments. NAKANO® Seasoned Rice Vinegars can be splashed on many foods for a tasty flavor boost.

Those summer salads like coleslaw, potato salad, and fruit salad don’t need mayo or other high-fat toppers. A simple splash of NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar will bring out the natural flavors of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs and give your dish a subtle, yet satisfying twist.

To find even more recipes to use with your NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar, go to the recipe section.


Nakano provided me with a $50 gift card and a free bottle of seasoned vinegar for this campaign.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hiding God's Word

I am finishing up the lesson plans for the boy's first week of school.    Every time they walk past me working at the computer they smile and say, "Don't you want to play a game?   Go swimming?   Take a nap?  Anything but work on lesson plans!" 

In a way I do, but I know that it is time to get back to the school routine.    I am so much less anxious about this school year than I was last year.    Hopefully what all the homeschool moms have told me is true:    The first year is the hardest.   

We studied the book of Genesis from the Explorer Bible Study for our Bible curriculum.     It is a great Bible study because it has different levels for everyone in the family.      Even better is the fact that you can receive free weekly session through your email.     Because it worked so well we will be using their "Words of Wisdom: Job, Psalms and Proverbs" study series this year.

However, I felt there was a gap in our Bible time and that was in memorizing Scripture.      Recently I ran across a website time Scripture Typer.     It is a free Bible memory system. 
 





Scripture Typer challenges you to commit to memory 52 verses a year -- 1 verse a week.     It shows you the verse and then you type the verse while it subtracts words each time until you can type it without help.      Scripture Typer also has all the verses formatted so that they can be printed on blank business cards so you can easily reference and review.     

The first verse that you are challenged to learn is John 3:16.     Why not challenge yourself and get started today!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shall We Gather At The River

In Jesus' day, people would gather at the Jordan River to be baptized.     It was one of the most public places there was.    When you were baptized there everyone saw and everyone knew that you were making a statement.     You were definitely saying in front of everyone, "God, I belong to you.   Satan, I DON'T belong to you.  Church, I belong with you."   

This Saturday, our Big Guy is going to be part of a very special baptism service that is being held by our church youth ministry.     He and about 11 other students will be baptized in the reservoir.   

Baptism... it is a holy event.    That moment of going under the water is like a death.   A death of your old life.    But when you break through the water into the sunlight and air you receive your new life.      

So Saturday we will be gathering at the reservoir and taking off our shoes because we will be on holy ground.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in
order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of
the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sleep Tight Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite

I will never ever hear that again without itching.    I don't think I will ever say that phrase again.      It used to sound really cute.    Cute until Big Guy came home from his mission trip and he casually mentioned that he had bites on his body that were bothering him.     He said that he had started getting them when he arrived at the homeless mission and they had gotten worse and worse as the week had gone on.    Big Guy is extremely shy so he never said anything to his youth minister or the chaperones.    I had a hard time convincing him that I really needed to look at them to determine what they were.     He kept saying they were probably mosquito bites.  

He finally let me look.    Definitely NOT mosquito bites.     They were huge, red, quarter size, angry welts all over his body.    They looked extremely painful, but he said they just itched terribly.     I looked it up on the ever faithful Google and discovered what I feared.    Bed bugs.   

After sending him to the shower, I ran and threw all of his luggage, laundry, bedding and pillows outside of our house.     Next I called our youth pastor to tell him and sent an email out to the entire youth group parents.

All this time I had visions of Beth's problems with bed bugs racing through my mind.   If you read Beth's blog then you know what a nightmare she went through after bed bugs got into her home.    If you don't read Beth's blog then you just have to visit her to know what a nightmare she went through.



Fortunately, after a good shower and about thirty minutes spent making sure he was covered in antibacterial cream, Big Guy was able to get a good night's sleep and those bites looked much better the next morning.     

Good night, sleep tight and may bed bugs be never in your sight!   

Vanishing Act

Eighteen months ago, Nora James watched as her father was shot in an alley-and then she fled. She changed her name, her appearance and her job, hoping to keep her father’s shooter at bay. For months, it worked…but now her luck has run out. A ruthless assassin is on her trail, and soon Nora, now known as Danielle, will be found. But this time, she has FBI agent Nate Andersen by her side-right? The handsome agent would give his life to protect Danielle, but he’s wary of giving his heart…until a deadly confrontation leaves him with both on the line.


Visit Liz's Website and keep up with her writing adventures here.http://www.lizjohnsonbooks.com/


 Book Description

I am starting a new category called "great books in small packages".       Vanishing Act definitely fits in this category as it may be smaller than your typical book, but it one action packed, suspenseful read highlighted with pieces of romance.      Packing this book in my purse was quickly a mistake because once I began reading I was so quickly drawn into the story of Nora and Nate that I couldn't quit reading.

I crawled into bed on a Thursday night and didn't turn off the light until after midnight.     I love books with great "captchas" -- that is my word for captures your attention from the first page.    (I am southern so you know we pronounce words weird.)     In the first pages of this book, Nora sees her father murdered right before her eyes.       She runs exactly as he tells her to do and hides herself from the men who killed her father.   

Soon the trial will begin for these men and FBI agent Nate has been given the assignment to find Nora and bring her back so she can be safe until the killers are safely behind bars.     Finding Nora is not going to be as easy as he thought despite his FBI training.     Keeping her safe once he finds her may not be easy either.     Nora may not be ready for the surprise that Nate has to tell her.  

Once of the best parts of this book was the relationship between Nate and Nora.    They are both Christians and it is shown in how they interact with each other.      Even when they start to develop feelings for each other their Christian ethics are shown.     I really loved that in this romance book.


Get to know Liz and her books at her great website!


I was provided a free copy of Vanishing Act by Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense Line in exchange for an honest review.     

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Gathering Storm

As Nazi forces tighten the noose, Loralei Kepler, daughter of a German resistance leader, must flee her beloved Germany. But is any place safe from Adolf Hitler's evil grasp? Loralei's harrowing flight leads her into the arms of needy child refugees, who have sacrificed everything in exchange for their lives, and toward a mysterious figure, who closely guards an age-old secret.


Explore the romance, the passion, and the danger of the most anticipated series of the last twenty years.


Born from the highly acclaimed and best-loved novels of three generations of readers -- The Zion Covenant series and The Zion Chronicles series -- Zion Diaries ventures into the lives of the inspiring and intriguing characters who loved intensely, stood up for what was right, and fought boldly during Hitler's rise to power and the dark days of World War II.


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Gathering Storm, go HERE

Book Review

Bodie and Brock Thoene have a huge audience of readers because of their wonderful books.     I know that I accepted this book off this the list based on author recognition alone.   

However, I might have skipped this one had I read a little deeper and known it was written during the Nazi regime time period.     It is such a horrible time period in our history that I don't usually choose to read about it.    
Loralei is a young girl who grows up so quickly.    She volunteers to marry childhood friend Varrick knowing that her American citizenship will provide safety to he and his Jewish family.      Immediately afterwards, they are separated as Varrick is sent to serve in the military.     She is given little time to think about what is going on as her family has to start their escape from the bombings and terror that is constantly at their backs from Hitler's troops.

Loralei is a woman of strength who chooses to do anything to help those around her instead of become devastated by the situation around her.  

Perhaps one of the best lines from the book and one that sums up this book the best is...

“You’ll bridge the gap between the wide world and those who are lost in it.  You’ll speak for those who have no voice.”
So much of this book reminded me of reading Anne Frank; however, it is tough to read anything from Hitler's reign that doesn't remind me of her.     

The only part of the book which really bothered me was Ebon.    I think the Boene's purpose of putting him in the book was to represent the supernatural or even perhaps an angel presence on our lives.    However, the very fact that Ebon falls in love with Loralei (and she is not the first woman) and wants to become married so he can experience love made him lose his eternal connection and therefore invalid to me. 

Would I recommend this book?      Hmmmm.... that is a tough one.     It would not go on the top of my list of books to be read.
 
This book provided free by Summerside Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Can't Wait

Big Guy has been gone all week on his mission trip.    Although we have been able to talk a few times through texting, I haven't actually talked to him since he left on Tuesday morning.     I am feeling really sorry for my sister right now who drove my niece to college yesterday.    If I am this homesick for my Big Guy with him being gone just a week, I can only imagine how she must be feeling knowing she will be gone away to college.

One of the chaperones took some random pics during the week and a couple of them had Big Guy in them.

What are they doing in these pictures:   making popcorn for the "Popcorn and Movie Night" at the shelter, holding after Kids' Klubs, a little downtime waiting for lunch, worship service at the homeless shelter, evangelism training with the Beautiful Feet director and a shot from supper at Steak and Shake.




This is the Scripture that the Beautiful Feet Ministry bases their ministry on...


Isn't that awesome?!?

Tomorrow night by midnight (hopefully and prayerfully) my sweet Big Guy will be home.   I can't wait.   I'll feel like my heart is complete again when he is back in his bed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Miracle Treat Day


Today we will be going to Dairy Queen to buy a blizzard.
Dairy Queen is giving $1 of each blizzard purchase to your local children's miracle hospital.  
For us that is Blair E. Batson Hospital which is where Cade is being treated.
It is just a small way for us to support the hospital that is taking such good care of Cade!

Now to decide which flavor!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Did I mention?

Did I mention that Big Guy left for a mission trip this morning?    

Can I just say that I am so homesick for him tonight that I feel like I could just cry?  

I did?   Oh sorry.

Sigh.    

Fatal Loyalty

Where do you run when you know you cannot hide?


Andie Ryborg has nowhere else to go. Her father's campaign for governor and his aggressive war on drugs has chased her from their family home. Drawn to Miami's exotic Coconut Grove, Andie hopes to find a quiet refuge where she can discover herself apart from the public eye. But even in that seclusion, even with an officer assigned to protect her, Andie's privacy has been violated. Someone is watching.


Evan Markham's entire life has been a tug-of-war between what is and what could be. He is drawn to a life that is beyond his reach and emotions have clouded his judgment. Evan knows that earning someone's trust isn't easy, especially when he plans to break it. But in the secret corridors of the criminal underworld, he knows what must be done, and he is determined to see it through. Whatever the cost.


When enemies close in, a sudden turn of events leaves them both questioning. Where is God in all of this? Who is this enigmatic stranger who offers to help? They both know their lives are in danger. But what about their hearts?


If you would like to read the Prologue of Fatal Loyalty, go HERE.

Book Review

The political process for all its slimy workings makes my skin crawl and politicians in general make my stomach turn.     However, little attention is paid to what the family behind the politician has to endure so that their loved one can persue their career in politics.    

Fatal Loyalty shows this lifestyle.     Andie shows what it means to be the daughter of a politician.   To be shadowed by a bodyguard.   To have to watch over your shoulder.    To never have any privacy.     To love your parent enough to give up your own security.  

On the flip side, it also shows that God has given us all a desire to seek Him.    Evan has been raised on the other side of the tracks and poses the ultimate risk to Andie because of who his father is and what he does.    Evan ultimately wants to do what is right for himself, for Andie and for his family.

Both Andie and Evan make decisions that can put themselves, their families and their future in trouble.  

And They Are Off...


Two buses and one van are on the road loaded with this amazing group making the seven hour trip to Fort Worth, Texas.    I REALLY wanted to go.    Of course, my doctor said no so I had to defer to his judgement.    However this morning when all the middle schoolers were begging and saying, "PLEASE go Mrs. G!"   I really wanted to ignore the doctor and just hop on.      These middle schoolers are my heart.    I adore them so much.     

Since I can't be with them physically I intend to be surrounding them with prayer the entire time they are gone.     I included their schedule below so you can see how busy they are going to be.   I will have plenty to be praying about!

Tuesday
12:00 Lunch
6:00 Arrive at the Myers (Director of Beautiful Feet) Home for Supper
10:00 Arrive at Dorm
11:00 Lights out

Wednesday
7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Evangelism Training by Beautiful Feet Staff
9:30 Servant Teams
11:15 Lunch
1:30 Pass out fliers for Kids Klub
5:30 Dinner
6:30 Wednesday Meal Prep
7:00 Wednesday Service with Homeless Community
8:00 Serve Dinner
8:30 Clean Up
9:00 Free Time
11:00 Lights Out

Thursday
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Going Public Teaching
9:30 Servant Teams
11:15 Lunch
2:00 Kids Klub
5:00 supper and Games at “Dave and Busters”
8:00 Head back to dorm
11:00 Lights out

Friday
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Going Public Teaching
9:30 Servant Teams
11:15 Lunch
2:00 Kids Klub
6:30 Prayer and Outreach Meeting
7:00 Operation “Dog Drop” (Distributing hotdogs and water to homeless community)
9:00 Free Time
11:00 Lights Out

Saturday
8:30 Breakfast
10:00 Six Flags
11:00 Lights Out

Sunday
6:00 Breakfast
6:30 Prayer and Praise service
7:30 Homeless sign up for clothes
8:00 Breakfast served to homeless
9:00 Worship service
10:00 Children and youth classes
11:00 Invitation/serve lunch/clothes
1:30 Clean Up
2:00 Head Home
10:30 Arrive back home at RBC

Monday, August 2, 2010

Packing

The washing machine is going full speed.     I am trying to make sure Big Guy has everything he needs for his mission trip with his youth group to Fort Worth, Texas.     Every summer our middle school youth group goes to Texas to volunteer with a mission called "Beautiful Feet Ministries".     Their ministry is to be a shining light to the homeless of Fort Worth.    







Our kids will be volunteering for the next six days doing kid's camps, yard work, building projects, evangelism, serving meals, and anything else that is on the schedule.     On Friday night they will participate in the "Fishing For Men" outreach.     Their goal for the night is "Operation Dog Drop".   The kids will make about 600 hot dogs and they will go out into the surrounding areas to places where homeless people hang out (parks, parking lots, etc...) and hand out hot dogs and water.    They will take this time to just talk and share Jesus and make sure that they are aware of the Beautiful Feet ministry.

The Scripture emphasis for Beautiful Feet..

"In as much as you have done unto the least of these my brothers,
you have done unto me."    Matthew 25:40

I am so proud of our middle school youth group.     I can't wait to hear about their life changing trip.    

Twilight's Serenade

Britta Lindquist left Sitka six years ago in an attempt to distance herself from the love of her life, Yuri Belikov. Upon her return, she finds Yuri absent and his wife about to deliver a child. When tragic circumstances ensue, Britta suddenly finds herself caring for Yuri's children--and her life intertwining with the man she's tried so hard to forget.


But Britta's other great love is for the violin, and her talent is recognized by Brenton Maltese, a conductor from England. He proposes she accept the coveted first chair position in his orchestra...and also his hand in marriage. At a crossroads, Britta must determine what her heart truly longs for--and if she's willing to fight for it.


At a Crossroads, Britta must determine what her heart truly longs for─and if she's willing to fight for it.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Twilight's Serenade, go HERE.

Book Review

Britta has two loves.    Yuri and the violin.    When Yuri marries she adopts the adage of "if you love something let it go...".     After traveling and perfecting her talents with her violin she returns home.      She is torn when her mother asks her to accompany her to Yuri's home to help deliver his wife's newest baby.     What she discovers is a terrible situation and what transpires leads to her taking in of Yuri's two children.   

While she is taking care of his children, Yuri is hurt in an accident that leaves him in the care of a man who takes care of not only his physical injuries, but also his spiritual ones.     After his recovery, Yuri returns home determined to be a new man to his family to find that his family has disappeared.     What he finds in its place is not only his child he left behind, but a new child which he didn't know existed and Britta whom loves him... even though he doesn't know it yet.

I enjoyed this book although since it is part of a continuation it had a few story lines which would have been more complete from reading the first two books.