Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Already?

I can't believe it is Friday. Oh, how I love Friday and Saturday and Sunday...

Would you like to join me in a campaign to make the work week 3 days and the 'weekend' 4 days? And, in my perfect world, we would get paid the same amount of money (work) as if we had worked 5 days a week. And, I'd be very thin and very beautiful....oops, guess this isn't all about me...

I've got a whole lot of nothin' to tell you so I will just leave you with this great video I found. Love the music, love her voice. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck Review

What's up with book reviews all of a sudden? Good question...and one I shall answer.

I was contacted via email [I have no idea how this person found me] to see if I would be interested in doing reviews of books from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. Free books and I get to decide which books from the book list provided? Um, yeah. And, I am not require to give a positive review if the book doesn't 'float my boat'. This is the third book from the program and I'm loving it so far. If you'd like to check into this program, go here.

Now...on to the review.

The latest book I chose was The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo. It is a fun book. Although it didn't make me laugh out loud like some other books I've read, I found myself smiling at Charlotte antics. Her Grandfather had a few one liners as well.

Charlotte is anything but a conventional woman of the late 1800s. She reminds me of our one year old puppy--always getting into mischief. Charlotte wants to go to college and study business so she can work for the family business. Her step-mother tries to tame Charlotte through etiquette classes. Her father wants her married.

The Beck family, from the west, and the Hambly family, from England, have a long history of not getting along. And lo and behold, the two families are at the same social event when the mischievous Charlotte climbs out of a window and Alex Hambly needs to rescue her. Thus, Charlotte and Alex's lives are turned upside down...literally.

Y'Barbo does a great job of weaving a plot. However, there were times I was confused as other characters came in and out of the story. Then, I discovered this is the third and final book in a series. That would account for the characters comings and goings. Because of this, I got a little frustrated. I thought perhaps I missed something as I was reading.

Early in the story, Charlotte's biological mothers is brought up. The reader is lead to believe this theme will flow throughout the story. It didn't until toward the end chapters. I was a little disappointed.

The dislike/romance between main characters Charlotte and Alex is fabulous. And, the ending is not to disappoint.

Even though I became confused and frustrated with figuring out who was who and why they were mentioned, I give this book three and a half out of five stars. I believe if you start the series at the beginning, The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper, and Anna Finch and the Hired Gun, you won't be disappointed and may give this book a higher rating than I.

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”

Friday, June 17, 2011

More Than A Number

I glanced at caller ID as I answered the phone.

"Good Morning, Sunshine" I said to my good friend.

She was stricken. Stricken with something that strikes fear into the lives of women everywhere...she had a doctor's appoint. An appoint that requires you to step not one, but both feet onto a scale that was calibrated by satan himself. You all know the kind. The kind that adds 10 pounds more than your scale at home. And, as a side note, the nurse takes your blood pressure right AFTER that...what is up with that all you nurses out there!

She was in a tizzy as I gently tried to remind her of all the weight she has lost recently. Yay, friend!! It is just a number and she is going to keep that scale going down and so on.

All of a sudden she cried, "I'm more than a number! I'm more than my weight, more than my blood pressure, more than my blood sugar level, more than....... My identity is not in a number but in Christ!"

YES! Why do we tend to look at the numbers in our lives and put our identity in those numbers?

Your identity is more than a number. It is more than:
• your height
• your weight
• your social security number
• your school or work locker number and combination on your lock
• it is more than the number of freckles on your nose
• your blood pressure number
• the number of facebook “friends”
• the number of followers on your blog
• the number of hair products and eye shadows you use
• the word count on your essay or your next novel
• your grade point average
• the number of followers on twitter
• your blood sugar level
• how many words per minute you can type
• the number of times your boss doesn’t or does praise you for your work
• your paycheck or what you get paid per hour
• your ACT or SAT score

Your identity isn’t in the millions of number we see and use every single day. Your identity is in Christ. You, my beautiful reader, are chosen. (1 Peter 2:9)
All of these numbers are on the "outside". But God sees our beauty, and the mess, on the inside and can't get enough of us.
Let go of all the numbers holding you back. You are more than a number!
What 'number' can you add to the list above?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I first heard this song on Dancing With the Stars when a young lady dreamed of dancing ballet and started quite late in her dance career with lessons.

I think the song is beautiful. And what a beautiful voice.

And if you'd like to hear the story and watch the young lady dance to this you starts around 1:35.

What are you dreaming today? And as a friend always says, "Dream big; God does."

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I discovered author Kristen Heitzmann's works at our local library a few years ago. I couldn't get enough of her writing and quickly read all the library had to offer. My daughter and I quickly became fans of her writing that promptly sucks the reader into the story.

Heitzmann weaves stories through major suspense, psychological drama and romance. The author takes a person on a roller coaster ride making this reader want another ride.

Indelible was not to disappoint. This is the second book in a series with the first being Indivisible which I previously read. It was nice to meet up with characters from the first book. While I could follow "who was who", some who did not read Indivisible may not fully follow a few of the relationships from the previous book.

I did not  could not read Indelible before going to bed. Some themes would keep me thinking long after my brain needed to shut down for sleep. Some of the themes are difficult to read and imagine but definitely realistic.

As I continued to read, I found myself wanting to know 'what happens next'. It was a difficult book to put down as Heitzmann keeps the reader guessing and trying to figure out the "bad guy". There are many twists and turns along the way to keep readers thinking and guessing.

I felt the ending may have been rushed. After all of the anticipation, I felt a little let down since the ending moved too quickly. I was expecting more suspense in the end and it felt like either Kristin or the editor cut some things out. But overall, I give this a 4 out of 5 review for its suspense and drama.

Great job, Kristen. I'll definitely keep reading more of your books so keep them coming!

Click here to read a few chapters of Indelible.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Me? Cook?

When the kiddos were little, I loved to bake. And I could hold my own with cooking a meal.

Now that the kiddos are older and other factors such as a part-time job have come into play, thinking about what to have for supper makes me want to bury my head in the sand and never pop back up to see the light of day. I'm not exaggerating here, people. Sigh. What was once enjoyable is now a chore.

Add in baseball games and practices that happen over suppertime and a daughter who works 2 evenings a week.  It is a "grab and growl" kind-of-night almost every night. Frankly, I'm not sure I remember how to cook! And baking? O.v.e.r.w.h.e.l.m.e.d.

Last week, however, I did give making supper a try. I wasn't sure I would remember how, but I gave it a try!

Here is what I made...

Pizza. Cheese Pizza with homemade pizza crust for the boys (hubs included on this one!)

Pesto Mini Pizzas (a Pampered Chef recipe from years ago)

BBQ Chicken Mini Pizzas (I saw someone make this once so I tried to duplicate...yummy!)

If anything sounds good, let me know in the comments and I'll email you the recipe(s).

Happy cooking/baking!