Things I Love Thursday 4/30

blog memes

I love Karen Kingsbury's books, especially her recent novel that I just finished reading,Take One (Above the Line Series). She writes about families and real-life situations that tug at your heartstrings.

This series is about two Christian filmmakers and former missionaries, Chase Ryan and Keith Ellison, who are trying to make an independent film together on a tight budget. They film in the town of Bloomington, Indiana, known to many of Karen's readers as the town where the Baxter family lives. The story follows their journey through filmmaking; it's ups and downs, it's stresses and triumphs.

Karen Kingsbury

It also brings in many characters from her other books; Katy Hart and Dayne Matthews, and their friends' daughter, Bailey Flanigan. Bailey is at college and is struggling with her heart; does she continue to date her boyfriend Tim, or tell her friend Cody that she loves him? We also get to meet Andi Ellison, daughter of filmmaker Keith Ellison and Bailey's roommate. Both girls deal with college life and the many choices that young adults have to make during those years. I can't wait to read the next novel in the series to find out more about Bailey and Cody!

You can find out more about Karen Kingsbury's Take One (Above the Line Series) at her website

What things do you love? Leave a comment. You can also link up at Sarah's blog.

Awe-Summ Queen of All Things Award

I have been given this award from Veronica Lee. Thanks Veronica Lee! Stop by her blog Of Rice and Ramen.

Here are the rules:

List 7 things that make you Awe-Summ and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers you love.

Make sure to tag your recipients and let them know they have won!

Also link back to the Queen that tagged you.

Here are my 7 things that make me Aw-summ:

1. Family is #1 for me and I love them always
2. I have a sarcastic sense of humor
3. My hubby says I'm cute & cuddly
4. For some strange reason, babies and young kids like to smile at me when they walk by
5. I have an Aw-summ blog (thanks for the compliments!)
6. I can multi-task; list on eBay, write on my blog, instant message on Facebook & surf blogs at the same time
7. I can headbang in the car to Toby Mac and Thousand Foot Krutch with the best of them

Now I am off to tag my gal pals!

1. Megan
2. Michelle
3. Michelle Sutton
4. Denise
5. Sarah
6. Stacie
7. Scrapping Servant

Indian Echo Caverns {Wordless Wednesday}

attractions in Hummelstown PA

My hubby took this photo at Indian Echo Caverns in Hummelstown, PA this past weekend.

You can find more about Wordless Wednesdays at Five Minutes for Mom.

My Honorary Zombie Chicken Award

blogging memes

I haven't been feeling well these past few days with headaches, so I haven't been able to blog. To my surprise when I signed into my blogger account today, I found that I have won the "Zombie Chicken" Award! You might wonder, what in the world is a "Zombie Chicken" Award?

Well, I'll tell you....

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…

Thanks Sweet Words for giving me this award!

Now, for my fellow "Zombie Chicken" Awardees.....

1. Camy Tang
2. Kristin Billerbeck
3. Kelly "Baby Boogers"
4. Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting
5. The Obnoxious Stay At Home Mom

Please come pick up your award button and display it proudly! Bokkkkkkkkkk!

Amazing Little Girl Gina Marie Incandela


I watched The Today Show on NBC this morning and was touched by this story about 7 year old Gina Marie Incandela. This little girl was diagnosed with Autism and could not speak until she was two years old. Amazingly, music has been therapy for her and she is able to sing with a beautiful and angelic voice.

I was very moved by this performance of a song written just for her, "I Dare To Dream." What an amazing gift this girl has at such a young age!

Watch her video, and tell me what you think by leaving a comment below.

You can find out more about Gina at her website and see more performances as well as buy her CD.

Five Minutes for Mom's Mother's Day Giveaways!

Five Minutes For Mom

Five Minutes for Mom is hosting their 2009 Mother's Day giveaways from April 22-May 9th. They have some excellent prizes including:

A Mother's Day Bouquet from Teleflora
An HP Mini 1000 PC
A Kodak Wireless Picture Frame
A Kodak Digital Camera
A Blu-Ray Player and Blu-Ray Pride & Prejudice Gift Pack

And More....

Winners will be chosen on Mother's Day, May 10th. So hop on over there and have some Mother's Day fun!

Things I Love Thursday 4/23

blogging memes

I love sunflowers! They are bright bursts of color that brighten up my mood! I especially love paintings of sunflowers, such as this Van Gogh painting. We tried to plant some sunflowers our back yard last year, but they didn't grow very well. So this year we tried to find other yellow flowers for our flower beds. They are growing beautifully (thanks to my hubby who has the green thumb).


To participate in Things I Love Thursday , go to Sarah's blog here and link up.

Washington Monument {Wordless Wednesday}

DC attractions,

The Washington Monument August 2008
For More Wordless Wednesdays, visit Five Minutes for Mom

Soy Candle Giveaway from Oil of Gladness Candles

I found this great giveaway through my friend Sarah's blog. Thanks Sarah! I love love love candles and their yummy scents!

If you love candles as much as I do, check out this great giveaway from Megan's Blog Daily Essentials and Deals. She is giving away 1 small 1 wick soy candle from Oil of Gladness Candles. Enter by April 25, 8 PM EST for a chance to win.

One day I'll roll in a Nissan XTerra

cars I'd like to drive

I would like to drive a yellow Nissan XTerra. I love the color yellow (it reminds me of sunflowers) and I think that the XTerra is a neat cross between a truck & an SUV. I first learned how to drive a small Toyota truck so I think they're fun and the XTerra is sporty looking.

Winner of the Spring Has Sprung Giveaway!


The winner of the Spring Has Sprung Giveaway is: Shannon
Shannon has been notified by email. Please contact me with your mailing address so I can get your purse mailed out to you.

Thank you to all who participated in the first giveaway from Donny Dixon's Attic. I appreciate all of you who have become followers of my blog! There may be future giveaways, so please visit again.

Jill Marie Landis' Great Hawaii Book Escape Contest

I recently received a newsletter about this great contest from Jill Marie Landis & her friends Mia King, Jane Porter, & Carol Snow that I'd like to share with you. Here are the details from her newsletter:

Hello All:
Are you ready for summer? Win this HUGE beach bag full of books and goodies and you will be!
I've teamed up with bestselling authors Mia King, Jane Porter and Carol Snow to celebrate all things book and beach by offering signed copies of their Hawaii-themed novels along with one signed back list title. In addition, we've all thrown in a ton of other fabulous gifts and prizes for one lucky winner!

The grand prize winner will receive EIGHT NOVELS and over thirty amazing gifts for your home, kitchen, closet and more, so you can create your own paradise wherever you are.

Sweet Life by Mia King
Good Things by Mia King
Destination: Marriage by Jill Marie Landis
Homecoming by Jill Marie Landis
Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter
Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter
Here Today, Gone to Maui by Carol Snow
Getting Warmer by Carol Snow
Handmade Hawaiian Pillar Candle (Pineapple) by Island Soap Candle Works (Jill)
Hand-Poured “Happy Reading” Jane Porter Candle in Heart-Shaped Tin (Vanilla) (Jane)
Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts by Mauna Loa (not shown but it’s there!) (Mia)
Handful of aloha mints and tropical-flavored candies (Mia and Jane)
Bag of 100% Kona whole bean coffee by Hualalai Estate (Jane)
Hula hands wooden salad tongs by Hardwoods of the South Pacific (Jill)
Luau recipe book (from Flirting with Forty) (Jane)
Bird of paradise reusable tote bag (Jill)
Lined, waterproof island floral beach bag by Island Breeze (Carol)
“Alone in Iz World” CD by Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole (Mia)
2010 calendar, Beautiful Hawaiian Flowers (Mia)
Hawaii snow globe (Mia)
Inflatable beach ball (Jane)
Hibiscus key chain, enamel palm tree key chain, starfish key chain (Mia)
Hibiscus temporary tattoos (Mia)
Full-length white sarong with red hibiscus print (Jane)
Sarong coconut shell clip (Jane)
Hibiscus flip flops (Carol)
Nail file and pocket mirror (Jane)
Other author goodies, pens, notepads, bookmarks and promo materials (everyone)

Our contest runs from April 1, 2009 to May 31, 2009. Must be 18 years or older to win; US addresses only.

To enter, send an email to hawaiifiction@gmail.com with the subject line “Great Hawaii Book Escape.” All you have to do is tell us what you would do if you had a week in Hawaii, and who you’d bring with you. Be sure to include your mailing address. One name will be selected at random and notified the week of June 1, 2009. The winner will have 72 hours to respond before another name is selected, so be sure to “whitelist” hawaiifiction@gmail.com or check your spam folder.

Please visit us on our individual websites, too, and good luck in advance!

Sometime later in the month I'll be sending out another newsletter with all the news about my latest release, THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN, a sequel to HOMECOMING, which was published last summer. Look for THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN to go on sale May 28th.

As alway, Aloha!
Jill Marie

Jill Marie Landis (jillmarielandis.com)
Mia King (miaking.com)
Jane Porter ( janeporter.com)
Carol Snow (carolsnow.com)

Wordless Wednesday


National Zoo Easter Sunday April 2009

For more on Wordless Wednesdays, visit Five Minutes For Mom

Only One Week Left to Enter! Spring Has Sprung Giveaway! Win a FREE XOXO Melanie Purse!

There is only one week left to my Spring Has Sprung giveaway! Thank you to all who have carefully followed the instructions and left a comment to enter.

There's still time for you to leave a comment about your favorite spring item! Just look at my previous post Spring Has Sprung Giveaway.

There are no strings attached; simply leave a comment and/or follow the extra entry instructions by blogging, tweeting, & linking to my post. Simple as a snap! You have until Friday April 17th to enter and the winner will be randomly selected and posted here by April 20th.

Easter Gone Wild At The National Zoo

I took a little holiday from blogging to spend some much needed family time these past few days. Our Easter was a fun filled day at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. It's been a tradition to take my son to the zoo every spring. This year we decided to go on Easter Sunday, thinking that the crowds wouldn't be that bad, since the National Zoo's Easter celebration was on Monday.

We were wrong. I was surprised at how many families had the exact idea that we did! Even at 11:30 on a holiday, the National Zoo was packed with people; families of all kinds and all cultures and languages.

Can you imagine being in a Frogger game? It felt like that walking through the zoo. The usual "flow" of traffic is pedestrians sticking to the right for one direction and to the left for the other. But not there; there were people going both directions on both sides and traffic weaving in and out of the middle. There were mamas and daddies wielding strollers like swords, slicing through the crowds and nipping at people's heels. Made a person want to get a horn or a poking stick!

It was also difficult to go into the gift shop. There was a line at least an hour long at the register, lots of bodies squished into narrow spaces, and screaming babies. Needless to say, we did not buy anything in there.

We did have fun though! We found picnic tables and ate our lunch of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, cheetos, pretzel sticks, water, and brownies. Not your traditional Easter lunch, but yummy just the same! We got a very good view of the pandas from above their pen, which is unusual because every time we go, we end up getting frustrated with the crowds there so we don't even see the pandas. Z sat and ate his sandwich right by the wired bars and watched one of the pandas eat his bamboo.

On the way home, we went to Homestead Gardens to let my son Z pick out some flowers to grow in his garden in our yard. He picked out some pansies and even got some lettuce. Here are some photos of the finished product:

Z's bunny guards the lettuce:

Z picked out this bird to scare off critters:

Finally finished planting:
grow lettuce at home

Z was really excited about having his own garden to tend to! After a lot of hard work weeding, digging, and planting, we played some basketball together in the yard and then I watched Z ride his bike while my hubby worked on dinner. My hubby is the best!

He made this delicious lasagna:
Italian food

After a busy day, we watched some t.v. and then went to bed. It was a great way to spend celebrate Easter together!

Looking to Go Organic?

I stumbled upon this great giveaway from a great site called Good, True and Beautiful. You have the chance to win $35 in coupons from Go Organic! in celebration of Earth Day.

Here are the rules:

- There will be 20 individual winners. No individual will be able to win more than one time.
- The winners will be chosen on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:00 PM EST via Random.org and announced the next morning.
- You can enter the giveaway five different ways, just leave a unique comment to represent each entry

Go to Good, True, and Beautiful to enter!

Wordless Wednesday

Dogs, photography, pet photos

My Grandmother Viola is Someone I admire


My Grandmother Viola

My grams was one of the most amazing women I've ever known. She had such a quiet elegance about her! She always smiled, even through the hardest times when she was going through the pain of cancer. I admire her for her sweet spirit and her selflessness.

I love you Grams and can't wait to see you again in Heaven!

Spring Has Sprung Giveaway!

eBay store

Spring has arrived and what would be better than to have a cute new purse to go along with your spring outfits? We are giving away this XOXO White Melanie Vinyl Purse from our eBay store Donny Dixon's Attic.

This is a cute neutral over the shoulder bag that will hold your cell phone, keys, and make up! It has a retail value of $48!

Here's how it works:

Enter this giveaway by: commenting on this blog post about your favorite spring item! Don't forget to leave your email address in your comment; ex. your email (at) (hotmail) (dot) (com)

To Earn Extra Entries: (Please leave a comment for each additional entry that you complete, for a possible total of 5 entries.)

*You can get 1 EXTRA entry by becoming a follower of my blog.

*You can get an additional EXTRA entry by subscribing to my blog's RSS feed.

*You can earn 1 EXTRA entry for blogging about this giveaway and placing a link in your post to my blog. Please include a link to our eBay store www.donnydixonsattic.com.

*You can earn 1 EXTRA entry for tweeting about this giveaway on TWITTER and leaving a link to your tweet.

This giveaway begins on Friday April 3rd through Friday April 17th. The winner will be selected randomly and announced by April 20th and contacted by email.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.