Friday, September 30, 2011

Dangerous Merc


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dangerous Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)
by
Kathy Herman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7

When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.

A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table...and they begin to talk...

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Captive Trail


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Captive Trail
Moody Publishers (September 1, 2011)
by
Susan Page Davis


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Captive Trail is second in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.

Taabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee. The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses.

On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.

With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Love Can Be Strong"

Love can be strong
Love can be weak
Love can be wrong
Or as strong as the current in a creek

Love is patient
Love is kind
Sometimes love can take over your mind

It can be used for great
Or used for bad
It can sometimes even make you SAD
Everyone needs love no matter who you are
Just look around it shouldn’t be far

"Love Can Be Strong"
by Little Guy

"God is Big"

God is big.
We are small.
Satan can dig.
We can fall.

God is great.
Satan is small.
For God you can wait.
For Satan you can look at a wall.

God can fix.
Satan only breaks.
God is tough as bricks.
Satan is tough as baby snakes.

God defeats.
Satan tries.
God always greets.
Satan watches people cry.

Now we know God is greater.
So we can tell Satan see you later.

"God is Big"
by Little Guy

(Little Guy told me he woke up about 2 in the morning last night.   He just couldn't sleep.   As he was laying in the bed thinking this poem just started forming so he got up and typed it out.   When I woke up this morning he had emailed it to me.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God's Promises Are True


Last night there were pictures all over Facebook of the incredible rainbow in our area.    It was so bright and vivid and could be seen for miles and miles.    This picture was taken by my friend, Julie, who was on her way home with her little girl.   She said she was drawn to our church to take photos and didn't know why.   I do.    See, the last time a rainbow appeared over our church like this we were all gathering at the church to pray for our precious Cade.    He had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and was starting his first day of chemotherapy.    We all saw that rainbow and took it as a sign that God was there with us and knew that he was going to be with Cade.

Yesterday a rainbow appeared again on his last day of chemotherapy.    I know that I was completely overwhelmed by God's faithfulness.   The rainbow is a symbol of God's faithfulness and the fact that He will never break His promises.   What an amazing truth.     

Seeing Cade walk this cancer journey has made us aware of how many children face this terrible illness.  September is CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.

Please continue to pray for each and every child as well as their family that has been faced with this horrible disease. And remember 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer “today” and 7 children will have their life cut short by cancer. The sad thing is that less than 3% of federal funding goes to Pediatric Cancer.

Wake up, America. Save our children ! ! ! 
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 
Did you know:
  • Cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the United States 
  • 11,000 young people are diagnosed with cancer every year. 
  • Each year about 2,300 children and teenagers die from cancer. 
  • Although cure rates are steadily increasing, 35% of children will die from a diagnosis of cancer. 
  • 46 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer everyday in the United States 
  • One in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer. 
  • The average high school has two students who are current or former cancer patients. 
  • Childhood cancers affect more potential patient-years of life than any other cancer. 
  • The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. 
  • At present, childhood cancer cannot be prevented. 
  • Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region. 
  • One in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of 20. 
  • Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded.

Naomi's Gift



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Naomi's Gift
Zondervan (September 12, 2011)
by
Amy Clipston


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

From Amy:
A native of New Jersey, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I often joke that my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school as I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend.

In 1991, I graduated from high school, and my parents and I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My father retired, and my mother went to work full-time. I attended Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, and I graduated with a degree in communications. I met my husband, Joe, during my senior year in college, a few days after my father had a massive stroke. Joe and I clicked instantly, and after a couple of months we started dating. We married four years later.

After graduating from VWC, I took a summer job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, which turned into an eleven-year career. I worked in the Public Affairs Office for four years and then moved into Planning as a writer/editor.

One day while surfing the Internet for a professional editor’s group, I accidentally found a local fiction writing group, Chesapeake Romance Writers. I attended a meeting and I met writers in all stages of their careers. The group helped me realize that I did want to be an author, and it was my dream to see my name on the cover of one of my novels. Through Chesapeake Romance Writers, I learned how to plot, write, and edit a novel, and I also learned how to pursue an agent. I signed with Mary Sue Seymour at the Seymour Agency in 2006, shortly before Joe and I moved my parents and our sons to North Carolina.

My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you'll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman's story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams ... and secrets. You'll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the 'English' way of life---and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families. Naomi's Gift re-introduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love and has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches---a time of family, faith, and hope for many others---Naomi is more certain than ever her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family's quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down. Naomi's story of romantic trial and error and youthful insecurities has universal appeal. Author Amy Clipston artfully paints a panorama of simple lives full of complex relationships, and she carefully explores cultural differences and human similarities, with inspirational results. Naomi's Gift includes all the details of Amish life that Clipston's fans enjoy, while delivering the compelling stories and strong characters that continue to draw legions of new readers.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Naomi's Gift, go HERE.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Fall "To Do" List

1. Go on a hike on the Natchez Trace
2. Collect leaves, identify, sort and do leaf collections with the boys
3. Decorate the porch and mantles with fall decor
4. Go to the MS State Fair
5. Make caramel apples
6. Make apple cider
7. Go to a fall festival
8. Go to a pumpkin patch
9. Go to a Mississippi State football game
10. Carve Pumpkins
11. Roast pumpkin seeds
12.  Make s'mores
13.  Plant some mums
14.  Enjoy a fall picnic
15. Roast marshmallows over a fire
16.  Make homemade hot chocolate mix
17. Have college students from church over for supper and games
18.  Youth Fall Retreat
19.  See Courageous
20.  Go to Gatlinburg for Thanksgiving
21.  Spend time with our friends from Atlanta
22.  Watch a lot of SEC football (Roll Tide Roll)
23.  Vicksburg Fall Festival/Bricks and Spokes Bike Race
24.   Volunteering at Cafe Du Canton for Canton Flea Market
25.   Seeing Broadway version of "Beauty and the Beast" (this is on my wish list!)
26.   a Veteran's Day ceremony/parade
27.   Start using the fireplace as soon as it gets cold enough
28.   Enjoy the front porch again

Here's To Friends


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Here’s to Friends
David C. Cook (September 1, 2011)
by
Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever.

Decades later, they're all back home in Clifden and reinventing their lives, but the holidays bring a whole new set of challenges. Abby’s new BandB is getting bad reviews and husband Paul is acting strange. Still grieving for her mom, Caroline is remodeling the family home, but boyfriend Mitch keeps pressuring her to go away with him. Artist Marley, distracted by a friend's family drama (and a touch of jealousy), can't find her creative groove. And Janie’s drug-addicted daughter has just appeared up on her doorstep! When a long-planned New Year's cruise turns into a bumpy ride, they learn once again that, in your fifties, friends aren’t just for fun—they're a necessity!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Here’s to Friends, go HERE.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Homeschool: Apologia Biology



Big Guy is taking Apologia Biology.    I have been fortunate to find an online class for him to attend so that he has the benefit of a science teacher who gives him the lectures on each module.

If you are looking for great online classes I highly suggest CurrClick.    Big Guy is taking Apologia Biology with Debbie Mackin.    Mrs. Mackin also taught Little Guy's A&P class last year.    They have really enjoyed what a knowledgeable and challenging teacher that she is.  

While finding someone to lecture was a great help, I still had a lot of work to do to make sure that I found all the study aids.     If you are studying Apologia Biology and have it on your plans for the future.   I hope you find these links helpful.


Quizlet - This link provides flashcards to learn, practice and test on the vocabulary words in each module.  GREAT resource as the tests require students to be able to write all the definitions out.

On Your Own Questions  -  At the end of each section of questions, there are "On Your Own" questions.   This link will print out all of these questions so it is easy for the student to answer them.    Some teachers don't require students to answer these questions, but I require my boys to do them so if they have questions as they are reading we can talk about it before we get to the end of the chapter.

Book Extras - If you have bought the Biology book, don't miss the extras at this link.   The code you need is on page V.

Recipes for Solutions - Lab experiments require a lot of different solutions.    They can be made at home with the right recipes.  

Parts of the Microscope





Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Doctor's lady


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Doctor's Lady
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
by
Jody Hedlund


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jody has written novels for the last 18 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), hit the CBA Best Seller list on two different occasions and has won multiple awards.

Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released this September. She has completed a third book which will be released in 2012. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Doctor's Lady, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

To Have and To Hold


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
To Have and to Hold
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
by
Tracie Peterson
and


Judith Miller




ABOUT THE AUTHORS:



Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels. She received her first book contract in November, 1992 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row. In 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers. She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests. Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max.



Judith Miller's first novel, Threads of Love, was conceived when she was commuting sixty miles to work each day. She wanted to tell the story of a pioneer girl coming to Kansas and the faith that sustained her as she adjusted to a new life. Through a co-worker, she was directed to Tracie Peterson who, at that time, worked down the hall from her. Having never met Tracie, Judith was totally unaware of her writing career, but God intervened. The rest is, as they say, history. Since that first encounter many years ago, Judith has been blessed with the publication of numerous books, novellas and a juvenile fiction book. Joyously, she and Tracie had the opportunity to develop a blessed friendship. In fact, they have co-authored several series together, including The Bells of Lowell, the Lights of Lowell and The Broadmoor Legacy.





ABOUT THE BOOK



When Audrey Cunningham's father proposes that they move to Bridal Veil Island, where he grew up, she agrees, thinking this will help keep him sober and close to God. But they arrive to find wealthy investors buying up land to build a grand resort on the secluded island--and they want the Cunninghams' acreage.



Contractor Marshall Graham can't imagine why the former drinking buddy of his deceased father would beckon him to Bridal Veil Island. And when Boyd Cunningham asks him to watch over Audrey, Marshall is even more confused. He has no desire to be saddled with caring for this fiery young woman who is openly hostile toward him. But when Audrey seems to be falling for another man--one who has two little girls Audrey adores--Marshall realizes she holds more of his heart than he realized. Which man will Audrey choose? And can she hold on to her ancestral property in the face of overwhelming odds?



If you would like to read the first chapter of To Have and to Hold, go HERE.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Operation Wingman


Hubs and I spent the weekend with 34 teens (including six of us adults) at Orange Beach.    Of course, there was the uninvited guest of Tropical Storm Lee, but we didn't let him get in our way too badly.    This week was sponsored by the Metamorphosis ministry which I volunteer with.     Metamorphosis is a support group for teens dealing with addictions whether chemical, physical, sexual, food, relational, or or psychological.    It provides them a safe place to receive support.

The goal for our weekend was to train a group of young Christian people to become "Wingmen".   A wingman is someone who commits to support and disciple a friend during a difficult and sometimes dangerous time of their life.    

One of the most amazing parts of the weekend was watching one of our Metamorphosis members come to Christ.      He has been a professing atheist, but through many years of love and acceptance through this ministry he accepted Jesus.     I still cry and get chill bumps when I think of him raising his arms and singing, "Our God is Greater" during our worship time Saturday night.

The official theme song for the weekend was David Crowder's "How He Loves".    It is an incredibly moving song.   The beginning lyrics say...

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all.



Monday, September 5, 2011

A Whisper of Peace


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Whisper of Peace
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:









Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and numerous grandchildren.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother. She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother's dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separate her from her tribe.



Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God. Clay and his stepsister, Vivian, arrive in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athbascan people. Clay is totally focused on this goal...until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he's ever seen.



But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe, and befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission. Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?



If you would like to read the first chapter of A Whisper of Peace, go HERE.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Discovering The Perfect Ice Cream... Graeter's

Hubs' cousin told us that we could not leave town without trying Graeter's ice cream.     She lives in California and pays to have this ice cream shipped out to her.    She said it was that good.    

She talked about it so much that we decided that we had to try it.   

***cue angels singing***    She was not kidding.   This is seriously the best ice cream any of us have ever eaten.    I like ice cream, but it is not something that I love.    If we had a Grater's in town I am afraid I would become an ice cream addict.    

Our cousin told us that her favorite flavor was raspberry chocolate chip.    



I know what you are thinking when I say chocolate chip.   You are thinking those wimpy little chips like you bake into cookies.   Not in this ice cream.     They drizzle hot melted chocolate into the frozen ice cream while it is churning and it forms literal chocolate chunks and bars in the ice cream.     This is gooooood chocolate too.   

Big Guy got chocolate chip.    He was speechless while eating it. 


Now we know.   Now we understand.    We have already checked the Graeter's website to find where we can find Graeter's here in Mississippi.      I don't know what flavors they will have, but I will take them!

Homeschool Mom Journal - Week of 9/2

In my life this week... This has been a crazy week with us making the trip to Ohio and back home.   I have been washing, cleaning and repacking so my husband and I can leave to go to Orange Beach for the weekend.    I work with a support group at our church for teens who struggle with addiction.    We are having a retreat for them this weekend.   I am so excited about it.

In our homeschool this week... I am so excited that we decided to start school the first week of August.   It meant that I didn't feel stressed when we had to disrupt our schedule this week.  We still managed to get some schooling/carschooling done while traveling.     Of course, we will hit it hard next week.    We will be adding Big Guy's Latin class and Biology class.   Little Guy will be adding his Botany class.  With these additions, our curriculum should be complete.


Places we're going and people we're seeing...  While on the road we managed to see the Casey Jones house and railroad museum, Lagrange, Fort Pillow and the Creation Museum.    That is a lot of "field trip" time that we would have had.   

The boys are very excited about our close friends, Daniel and Meghan, coming to stay with them this weekend while we are gone to the beach.  Daniel and Meghan are two of our adopted college students and are like another son and daughter.   

My favorite thing this week was... Definitely spending time with our Ohio family.   

Things I'm working on...Reading.   My reading for the publishers has gotten a little behind with the start of school and all the stuff going on.   I am hoping to get caught up on some reading on the drive time this weekend.

I'm reading...Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World.



I'm praying for...sooo much, but high on my priority list is our retreat and Cade and his last chemotherapy treatment.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...


My sweet birthday boy.     10 years old.   I can't believe it.    Full steam ahead and smiling all the way!   

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Little Guy

Despite the sad reason of our travel, there was one thing we didn't want to miss celebrating while we were on the road.    It was Little Guy's 10th birthday.      When we received the news we had to cancel his birthday party and plans.     He didn't complain because he knew that things happen, but we knew he was disappointed.

While looking for a hotel for us to stay at, I saw that there was a place called the Great Wolf Lodge near our family.    After checking their summer rates and negotiating a little I was able to get a room rate that was the same as if we had stayed at our regular hotel.    

What is special about the Great Wolf Lodge?    It is pretty impressive when you drive up....


And the lobby is very welcoming....


The rooms were pretty comfortable.   Hubs thought the bathroom was really tiny and we weren't thrilled about the vanity being out in the bedroom.    It meant whoever got up first to get ready woke up everyone else in the room.  


We just got a normal family suite (like the one above), but they had a lot of themed suites.    If we had done something like this when the boys were younger, they would have loved this!


Of course, the real reason I decided to book our rooms at the Great Wolf Lodge was because it has an indoor water park.    What a fun way for our Little Guy to spend his 10th birthday morning!     



Out of all the options at the water park, Little Guy's favorite thing to do was the obstacle course.



At the end of the day, Little Guy seemed to be pretty content.    He barely made it through reading all the sweet "Happy Birthday" messages he got on Facebook.

Happy 10th Birthday, Little Guy!
I know it didn't go quite the way you thought it was going to go,
but I have a feeling it is going to be one that you will never forget.
One where you got to spend it celebrating with family who normally never get to be a part of your birthdays.
How special is that?

We love you!

Sometimes It All Changes With A Phone Call

Our schedule for last weekend was very packed.    On Friday night we were meeting with hubs' family for supper because his brother had driven in from South Carolina.   On Saturday morning, Big Guy had a ski trip with his Sunday School class while hubs and Little Guy drove to Union for Country Day.    Saturday night was running errands to finish up details for Little Guy's birthday party on Sunday.   Sunday morning would be church, the afternoon would be the birthday party and that night back to church.   

Of course, it is amazing how things all change with one phone call.     Our family had just left the restaurant when our phones start all buzzing with messages.     We received news that our sweet aunt who lives in Ohio had died.     We all stood in the parking lot and tried to pull out thoughts together as to what to do next.     We drove to a local yogurt shop and made some phone calls and plans.    

Lots of phone calls were made cancelling, reorganizing and arranging things so that we could start the long trip up to Ohio to be with our family.

There are priorities in life.   A lot of times those priorities are rearranged with just one little phone call.

The Survivor


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Survivor
Avon Inspire; Original edition (August 30, 2011)

by
Shelley Shepard Gray




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven. Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado. She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town's scenic bike trail.



Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page

ABOUT THE BOOK
One of today’s most beloved authors of inspirational Christian fiction, Shelley Shepard Gray completes her acclaimed Families of Honor series with The Survivor—a poignant and beautiful story of love and faith in a small Amish community. Delving once more into the lives of these devout and fascinating folk, as she did in her popular Sisters of the Heart and Seasons of Sugarcreek novels, Gray tells the story of a young Amish woman who has survived the ravages of cancer, but now longs for the love of the one man who can heal her lonely heart. Like Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, and Cindy Woodsmall, Shelley Shepard Gray introduces readers to characters they will never forget as she masterfully depicts a world of simple living, abiding faith, and honest emotions.


If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of The Survivor, go HERE.