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Family-Friendly Entertainment

Worldess Wednesday: Caption This

9/30/09


I thought I'd do something different this week and play "Caption This." Leave your caption for this photo in the MckLinky below.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, visit Five Minutes For Mom. Or you can visit these other great posts: Angie at Seven Clown Circus and Sara at Ordinary & Awesome



MckLinky Blog Hop: 3 Things You Should Teach Your Kids

9/29/09
- At Myspacejunks.com
This week's Blog Hop Theme is "Three Things Everyone Should Teach Their Kids." Being a mom and a former teacher, there are so many things that I think children should be taught besides the obvious big things like faith, respect, kindness, service and so on. So here's my simple list:

1. Wash Your Hands: It sounds simple, but I notice with boys that they will come out of a bathroom without having washed their hands. I don't know what it is about taking an extra minute to go and get the soap, scrub and rinse, but for some reason it seems to be an annoying task boys want to avoid(and even some girls).

2. Do Not Eat Things Off the Floor or the Ground: The "five second rule" is something I've heard a lot. But imagine all the dirt, microscopic bacteria, pet hair, shoe debris and other nasty things you don't want to talk about that are on even the cleanest of floors. I've even seen kids pick up food off the pavement at the zoo. Um, gross!


3. Do Not Pick Your Nose: This may sound obvious, but I've seen older children & adults that do this in public. If you need to go bogey picking, at least go into the bathroom and get a tissue.

What's on your list?



Special thanks to Shoplet.com-Purell Hand Sanitizers for sponsoring this blog hop.


All About MEme Monday: Survivor

9/28/09


memesThis week's theme for All About MEme Monday, brought to you by Supahmommy and Mommybrain, is






Suvivor: 5 Essential MEme Items I cannot survive without...

memes* on a daily basis

* on a deserted island

* with my kids in the car

What and why.



This is such a tough one! There are so many things it's hard to pick only 5! But if I were forced to choose only 5 (these being items, not people, because of course I would automatically have to have my family), these would be the items:

1. Mountain Dew: I cannot live without caffeine. I really think my brain would shut off.

2. My laptop with internet connection: I use it every day. Without it I couldn't work, blog, keep up with my son's homework assignments, catch up to the latest t.v. shows online, enter giveaways, or connect with friends I've "met." A lot of the things that I do are online.

3. A book: I can't name just one title because I love so many, so I guess I'd have to grab whichever book I am reading at that moment. I always have one in my purse or tote bag. But if you forced me to choose just one book, I'd have to take my Bible.

4. Chocolate: It's a girl's best friend! Add caramel to it and...bliss...man I could use some right now!

5. Burt's Bee's Lip Balm: I have the worst dry lips that crack easily. Even if I wore no other make-up and looked like a Nightmare on Elm Street, at least my lips would feel good!

What about you? What 5 items would you choose?

Two Blog Awards From Some Great Bloggy Friends

I checked my email this weekend and was nicely surprised to find that two blog friends gave me awards!

blog awardsThe first award I received was the Over the Top Award from Nicole at The Young Mama Blog. Thanks Nicole!



This award comes with a few rules and some fun...

RULES
1. You Can Only Use One Word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers!
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!!!
4. Have Fun!!


THE FUN PART

1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your hair? Brown
3. Your mother? Funny
4. Your father? Punishing
5. Your favorite food? Pasta
6. Your dream last night? Daycare
7. Your favorite drink? Mountain Dew
8. Your dream/goal? Pregnant
9. What room are you in? Basement
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Spiders
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Outgoing
15. Muffins? Banana Nut
16. Wish list item? Vacation
17. Where did you grow up? NH
18. Last thing you did? Drove
19. What are you wearing? Jeans
20. Your TV? Toshiba
21. Your pets? Two
22. Friends? Great
23. Your life? Special
24. Your mood? Happy
25. Missing someone? Family
26. Vehicle? SUV
27. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes
28. Your favorite store? Books a Million
29. Your favorite color? Yellow
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
32. Your best friend? Hubby
33. One place that I go to over and over? Bookstore
34. One person who emails me regularly? In-Laws
35. Favorite place to eat? Olive Garden

Ok, so I had to use 2 words sometimes. It's too early in the morning to think. I don't have brain cells firing until at least noon. Or at least until the Mountain Dew has had time to kick in.

Here are the people I'm passing this award on to:

Jennifer at Rundpinne
Angie at Seven Clown Circus
Shannon at The Mommy Files
Ashley at the Schnider Family
Trudy at Third Time's a Charm
Pineapple Princess at The Love Shack


blog awardsThe 2nd award I received this weekend, I have received from a few friends: The One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you Vicki!



I am passing this onto:

Lisa at Stop and Smell The Chocolates

I know I didn't post 15 blogs, but once again, I'm not a morning person and I tend to break the rules.

Thanks again for the awards! I love having blog friends! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Aloha Friday: The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow

9/25/09
writing prompts, blogging prompts

Here is how Aloha Friday works from Kailani's blog An Island Life:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.


I drove about 35 minutes to drop off my son at school and another 35 minutes home in the rain today. All I wanted to do when I got home this morning was curl up in bed with my blankets and take a nice long nap. Maybe if I get my work done, I can curl up on the couch with a good book before I have to do it all over again this afternoon.

My Question This Week: What is your favorite thing to do while it's raining?

Top Ten Thursday: My Bucket List

9/24/09
Top Ten Thursday Button

I usually try to focus on today or maybe what's going on tomorrow, but not the future, because that usually gets me anxious. I mean, who wants to worry about every possibility when today is enough to handle?

That reminds me of Matt. 6:34:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

However, I was reading Jennifer's blog It's a Beauty Filled Life and she got me thinking. What are my top things to do before I "kick the bucket"?

It's good to have goals, right? So here is my list of 10 things I'd like to do (but not necessarily in this order):

1. Have a baby-I remarried 3 yrs ago and I think it would be nice to have a baby together. My hubby is already an awesome step-dad to my son! I would love to have a little girl that I could play dress up with and share all of my favorite "girly" things with. My son just won't go for wearing a tutu or watching Tinker Bell The Movie with me.

2. Write a novel-I have all kinds of ideas that pop into my head. I just never seem to have the time or motivation to sit and write them down.

3. Travel to England-I have always wanted to do this since I was about 12. I fell in love with British literature and ever since I have wanted to visit. I would definitely want to visit the sites in Jane Austen's novels and places that she roamed. I would also like to see other writers' homes like Shakespeare, Dickens, and the Bronte Sisters. There are many more but that would take too long to list!

4. Bring my son to Disney World-He's 10 and has never been. I think he would love it!

5. Get a pug-I love pug faces! They are just so cute and I would love to have a dog that would sit on my lap and cuddle with me. Our beagle/basset mix Oreo is totally a daddy's girl and is too big to sit in my lap.

6. Visit Ireland-My dad's side of the family is Irish. My paternal grandma used to sing "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" when we visited her at the nursing home. I think it would be neat to visit and find out more about my heritage. After all, I am part Irish and born on St. Patty's Day to boot!

7. Live in a colder area-I miss New England! I grew up in NH and loved the fall colors, cooler temps, less humidity and all of the snow. Fall & winter are my favorite seasons and I would like to live some place colder some day.

8. Go boating-When I was growing up, we used to go boating or canoeing along the Merrimack River. My dad even took me deep sea fishing in Maine. He showed me how to drive a boat and I loved it! I haven't been on a boat in a long time.

9. Ride on a Wave Runner- I have never tried that but they look like so much fun!

10. Go snow skiing-I haven't been on skis since I was 15. I loved downhill skiing!

So, what's your list? You can find the co-hosts of this fun meme at It's a Beauty Filled Life, Domestically Challenged, My Messy Paradise and In The Mommy Trenches.


Wordless Wednesday: Horn Point

9/23/09
Here are some photos I took of our little picnic at Horn Point in Annapolis (along the Chesapeake Bay) this weekend.




I love finding historical spots and photographing the plaques.



When we first arrived, there was an artist painting a girl's portrait. It was a beautiful painting; I saw it as he walked by after putting all of his equipment away.




We bought subs, watched a little girl digging in the sand, and saw a dog swimming in the bay and finding drift wood to play with.




There were lots of sailboats and kayaks on the bay.




Here is a view of the docks behind people's apartments. I would love to live along the water some day!

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes For Mom. Or you can visit these other great posts: Angie at Seven Clown Circus and Sara at Ordinary & Awesome. You can also leave your link below if you are participating.


Fall Into Reading Challenge 2009

9/22/09
Callapiddar Days blog challenge

It's fall and what better way to celebrate than to fall into some good books? Katrina at Callapidder Days is hosting the Fall into Reading Challenge 2009.

This is my first time participating in a reading challenge and I'm excited! Sometimes I just need a little extra motivation to find the time to finish the books I've started. I think this may be the motivation I need!

Here is my list of books to read during this challenge:

The Transformation by Terri Krauss



Texas Heat by Debra White Smith


Take Two by Karen Kingsbury


Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury



Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall


Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss.



Stop by Callapidder Days to see what others are reading and/or take the challenge yourself.

All About MEme Monday

9/21/09



It's all about me Monday at Supahmommy and Mommybrain. Put together a post telling us about 5 TV shows you're looking forward to watching... and no one best interrupt YOUyou.

I have to admit, I enjoy watching television. We make it a family affair during the week after dinner, homework, and shower time. We will either pop in a Netflix or watch something on t.v.

Here is our list:

Shows My hubby & I watch

1. So You Think You Can Dance - we have been watching since around the 3rd season and have loved it

2. 24- can't wait for the new season but I still have to wait about 4 more months!

3. Lost- we started watching this recently and started with Season 1 online and have gotten caught up through Season 4. My hubby & I have to wait until the DVD set of season 5 comes out so we can watch it on Netflix, since they won't release all of them on Fancast.

4. American Idol-should be interesting to see what the dynamics are with Ellen on the show this year.

5. Army Wives- My hubby even enjoys watching this!


Shows we watch as a Family

1. Supernanny- sure makes our house look less crazy when we watch this!

2. Extreme Makeover Home Edition- I'm a sap and this one often makes my son laugh at me for tearing up

3. Wife Swap- my son often wonders what it would be like if he switched out his mom, so I guess this fascinates him LOL

4. Cake Boss- We love TLC shows and enjoy watching the amazing cakes they come up with

5. Food Network Challenge- my son wants to try out becoming a chef some day and often asks to watch any of these challenges

What are your 5 favorite shows? Join in the fun by clicking on the button above.

FIRST Wild Card Tours: A Cousin's Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter

book tours, christian fiction booksIt is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:




and the book:


Barbour Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


CHristian fiction authors, author bio, christian fiction writersWanda E. Brunstetter is nationally recognized as an expert on the Amish community, and her book sales have topped the three million mark. Her books White Christmas Pie, A Sister’s Hope, and Allison’s Journey topped Publishers Weekly Paperback Religion Bestsellers lists in 2008. Her books have also received other honors, including the 2006 Reader’s Choice Award and the CBD Book of the Week. Brunstetter enjoys an uncommon kinship with the Amish and loves to visit their communities throughout the country.

Visit the author's website.



Product Details:

List Price: $10.97
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602600619
ISBN-13: 978-1602600614

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

 Wanda E. Brunstetter
Prologue

Katie Miller’s stomach churned as she read the letter she’d just received from her cousin Loraine:

Dear Katie,

Wayne and I will be getting married the last Thursday of April. I’d like you to be one of my attendants.

Katie’s heart pounded. There was no way she could go to her cousin’s wedding, much less be one of her attendants.

“Who’s the letter from?” Katie’s grandmother asked, taking a seat on the porch swing beside Katie.

“Loraine. She’s getting married in April, and she wants me to be one of her attendants.” Katie almost choked on the words.

“That’s wunderbaar. I’m sure you’re looking forward to going.”

Katie shook her head. “I don’t want to go.”

“Think how disappointed Loraine would be if you weren’t at her wedding.”

Katie’s gaze dropped to the floor. “I can’t go back to Indiana, Grammy.”

“Loraine and Wayne have been through so much. Don’t you want to be there to share in their joy?”

Katie shivered despite the warm Florida breeze. If Timothy hadn’t been killed on their way to Hershey Park last fall, she’d be planning her own wedding right now.

“Katie, did you hear what I said?”

Katie nodded, hoping she wouldn’t give in to the tears pushing against her eyelids. “If I hadn’t freaked out about a bee in the van, Timothy, Paul, and Raymond would still be alive.” Katie drew in a shaky breath. “Jolene wouldn’t have lost her hearing, either, and Wayne would still have both of his legs.”

“You’re not to blame, Katie. It was an accident. It might have happened even if you hadn’t been afraid of the bee.” Grammy touched Katie’s arm. “You need to accept it and go on with your life.”

“I–I don’t know if I can.”

“Timothy wouldn’t want you to continue grieving for him. He wouldn’t want you to blame yourself for the accident.”

“You’ve said that before.”

“Then you ought to listen.” Grammy took hold of Katie’s hand. “Let’s go inside so you can write Loraine and let her know you’ll be at the wedding.”

“I–I’m afraid to go. The thought of traveling alone scares me. I don’t think I can deal with all the painful memories that are there.”

“Will you go to Loraine’s wedding if I go with you?”

“What about Grandpa? Would he go, too?”

Grammy shook her head. “He has things to do here.”

Katie couldn’t imagine what things Grandpa would have to do. He was retired and spent a good deal of his time at the beach.

“What about it, Katie?” Grammy asked. “Will you go to the wedding if I go along?”

Katie sat for several seconds, thinking things through. Finally, she gave a slow nod. It would be easier going back to Indiana with Grammy along, and as soon as the wedding was over, they’d come back here.





Chapter 1


“It sure is good to have you home,” Katie’s father said as they headed down the road in his buggy toward Uncle Amos and Aunt Priscilla’s house. He glanced over at Katie and smiled. “Your mamm said Loraine was real pleased when she got your letter saying you’d be one of her attendants.”

Katie clutched the folds in her dress as she stared out the window. She didn’t know why she felt so edgy. She hadn’t felt like this when she was in Florida. She’d been depressed after Timothy died, but not quivery inside the way she’d been since she’d climbed into Dad’s buggy. She was grateful they didn’t have far to go.

Dad motioned to what was left of the barn they were passing. “Take a look at the devastation from the tornado that hit this past winter. That terrible storm affected nearly everyone around these parts in some way or another.”

“No one was killed, though, right?”

“No, but some were injured, and the damage was great. Many, like Wayne’s folks, lost their homes, barns, and shops. It’s a good thing the house Wayne started building before he lost his leg didn’t sustain any damage from the tornado,” Dad said. “Several of the men in our community finished it for him, and Wayne’s folks have been livin’ in it ever since.”

“Will they continue living there after Loraine and Wayne get married?” Katie asked.

Dad nodded. “At least until their own house is done.”

Katie knew from some of the things Loraine had said in her letters that she and Ada hadn’t always gotten along so well. She wondered how things would be having them both living under the same roof.

“Look at the Chupps’ place.” Dad pointed to the left. “They lost their barn, his buggy shop, and the house. Only those who’ve actually seen the destruction of a tornado like we had here can even imagine such a sight.”

Katie gripped the edge of the seat. “I don’t understand why God allows such horrible things to happen.”

He shrugged his broad shoulders. “It’s not our place to question God. His ways are not our ways.”

Katie clamped her teeth together in an effort to keep from saying what was on her mind. Dad wouldn’t understand if she told him how angry she was with God for taking Timothy. He’d probably give her a lecture and say it was Timothy’s time to die, like he’d said to her on the day of Timothy’s funeral.

“Do you know how long you’ll be helping at Loraine’s?” Dad asked.

“Probably most of the day, since I’m sure there’s a lot to be done before the wedding. You can come by sometime before supper and pick me up, or I can ask someone to give me a ride home.”

“I don’t mind coming back for you. I’ll be here around four, okay?”

“That’s fine, but if we get done sooner, I’ll just ask for a ride home.”

“Sounds good.” Dad guided the horse up Uncle Amos’s driveway and directed him toward the barn. When they stopped at the hitching rail, Dad turned to Katie and said, “Have a good day, and don’t work too hard. You’re lookin’ kind of peaked today.”

“I’ll be fine, Dad.” Katie climbed out of the buggy and headed to the house. She wasn’t fine at all. It seemed strange being back here again. She’d only been gone from home a little over six months, but it seemed a lot longer.

She noticed several people in the yard, pulling weeds and planting flowers, but didn’t see any sign of Loraine or her folks. She figured they must be in the house.

When she stepped onto the back porch, she drew in a shaky breath. She wished Grammy or Mom would have come with her today, instead of going shopping in Shipshewana. Katie figured since Mom and Grammy hadn’t seen each other for several months, they probably wanted to spend some time alone.

Just as Katie lifted her hand to knock on the back door, it swung open. Loraine stepped onto the porch and gave Katie a hug. “It’s so good to have you home! Danki for coming. It means a lot for me to have you and Ella as my attendants.”

“Danki for asking me.” Katie forced a smile. In some ways, it was good to be here, but she felt as out of place as a chicken in a duck pond.

“I just wish Jolene could be here, too.”

“She’s not coming?”

“Huh-uh. Her aunt’s been dealing with carpal tunnel on both of her wrists, and she recently had surgery to correct the problem. Jolene thought it’d be best if she stayed in Pennsylvania to help out.”

“That makes sense. But do you think Jolene will ever come back to Indiana?” Katie asked.

“I hope so.” Loraine opened the door and motioned Katie inside. “Ella and her sister Charlene are in the kitchen. We decided to have a snack before we head out to the barn to help decorate the tables for the wedding meal.”

When Katie entered the kitchen behind Loraine, she saw Ella and Charlene sitting at the table.

Ella jumped up, raced over Katie, and gave her a hug that nearly took Katie’s breath away. “It’s so good to see you! We’ve all missed you so much!”

Katie smiled. “I’ve missed you, too.”

“Would you like a glass of iced tea?” Loraine asked.

Katie nodded and took a seat at the table.

“How about a piece of my sister’s appeditlich friendship bread?” Charlene motioned to the plate of bread on the table.

“I’m sure the bread’s delicious, but I’m not really hungry right now.”

“As skinny as you are, you oughta eat the whole loaf.” Charlene’s eyebrows lifted high. “Are you sure you’re not hungry?”

Katie shook her head.

Ella shot her sister a look of disapproval, but Charlene didn’t seem to notice. She was busy cutting herself another hunk of bread.

“Didn’t you have a birthday last month?” Charlene asked, her mouth full.

Katie nodded. “I turned twenty.”

Charlene grabbed her glass and took a drink. “You’d sure never know it. Why, you don’t look like you’re more than sixteen.” She pointed to herself. “I look older than you.”

Katie groaned inwardly. She didn’t need the reminder that she looked young for her age. She couldn’t help it if she was short, petite, and had the face of a teenager. At least I act more mature than my sixteen-year-old cousin, she thought.

“I got a letter from Jolene last week,” Ella said. “She won’t be coming to Loraine’s wedding because—”

“She already knows,” Loraine interrupted. “I told her about Jolene’s aunt when we were out on the porch.”

“I wonder if Jolene’s using her aunt’s surgery as an excuse not to come home. She might be afraid that she won’t fit in with the rest of us now that she can’t hear,” Charlene put in.

Ella shot her sister another look. “I’m sure that’s not the reason. Jolene would never make up an excuse not to come to the wedding.”

Katie’s shoulders tensed as she shifted her gaze to the window. What would her cousins think if they knew she hadn’t wanted to come home for the wedding? Did they have any idea how hard it had been for her to make the trip? Even with Grammy along, Katie had felt anxious on the bus ride. Every horn honk and sudden stop had sent shivers up her spine. She knew she couldn’t have made the trip home alone. Even though she wasn’t looking forward to riding the bus again, she looked forward to going back to Florida where there were no painful reminders of the past.

Loraine stood. “Would anyone like to see my wedding dress?”

Charlene’s hand shot up. “I would!”

“Me, too,” Ella said.

Katie nodded as well.

“I’ll be right back.” Loraine scurried out of the room.

Charlene nudged Katie’s arm. “What’s it like in Pinecraft? That’s where your grossmudder lives, isn’t it?”

Katie nodded as she fiddled with the edge of the tablecloth. “As you know, Pinecraft is the section of Sarasota where many Plain People have homes or come to rent. It’s a nice community.”

“Is it true that there are no horses and buggies?” Charlene asked.

Katie nodded. “Unless they’re going out of the area and need to hire a driver, everyone either walks or rides a bike.”

“Do you go to the beach very often?” Ella questioned.

“Jah. Grandpa and I go there a lot. We enjoy looking for shells, and Grandpa likes to fish.”

Charlene sighed. “I wish I could visit Florida sometime. I’m sure I’d enjoy being on the beach.”

“Maybe you can visit me there sometime.”

Ella’s eyes widened. “You’re going back?”

“Of course. My home’s in Pinecraft now.”

The room got deathly quiet. Ella and Charlene stared at each other as though in disbelief.

Katie figured it was time for a change of subject. “Who did Wayne choose to be his attendants?” she asked.

“Jolene’s bruder, Andrew, and Freeman Bontrager,” Ella replied. “Wayne and Freeman have become good friends since Freeman and his sister, Fern, moved back to Indiana a few months ago.”

“Freeman opened a bicycle shop,” Charlene added. “Mom and Dad bought me a new bike for my birthday in February.”

“Oh, I see.” Katie stifled a yawn. She’d had trouble falling asleep last night.

“Freeman won’t be helping here today because he has lots of work at the shop.” Charlene sipped her iced tea. “You should see all the bikes he has. I’ll bet he’d do real well if he had a shop in Sarasota, since so many people ride bikes there.”

“Here it is,” Loraine said, sweeping into the room with a khaki green dress draped over her arm. “I’ll wear a full white apron over the front of the dress, of course.” She held it out to Katie. “What do you think?”

With trembling fingers and a wave of envy, Katie touched the smooth piece of fabric. “It–it’s very nice.”

“Are you okay?” Loraine asked with a look of concern. “Your hand’s shaking.”

Katie dropped both hands into her lap and clutched the folds in her dress. “I’m fine. Just a bit shaky because I didn’t have much breakfast.”

“Then you oughta have a piece of this.” Charlene pushed the plate of friendship bread toward Katie. “You’ll blow away in a strong wind if you don’t put some meat on your bones.”

Katie ground her teeth until her jaw began to ache. One of the first things Mom had said to her when she’d arrived home was that she needed to gain some weight. Of course, Dad had mentioned it, too.

“Charlene’s right.” Ella spoke up. “If you’re feeling shaky, then you should eat something.”

“Maybe you’re right.” Katie grabbed a piece of bread and took a bite. Then she washed it down with a sip of iced tea.

Bam! The screen door swung open, causing Katie to nearly jump out of her seat. Walking with a slow, stiff gait, Wayne entered the room. His face broke into a wide smile when he saw Katie. “Wie geht’s?”

“I’m fine.” The lie rolled off Katie’s tongue much too easily. She was getting used to telling people what she thought they wanted to hear.

Wayne moved across the room and stood beside Loraine’s chair. “We’re sure glad you could come for the wedding.”

Katie forced a smile and nodded.

“Would you like to see my new leg?” Before she could respond, Wayne pulled up his pant leg, exposing his prosthesis.

Katie bit back a gasp. “D-does it hurt?” She could hardly get the words out.

“It did at first, but I’ve pretty well adjusted to it now.” Wayne took a seat beside Loraine. “It could have been worse, and I’m grateful to be alive.”

Uneasiness tightened Katie’s chest, and she blew out a slow, shaky breath. Seeing him like this was a reminder of what she’d caused—and what she’d lost.

Wayne reached around Ella and grabbed a piece of bread. “Looks like you’ve been baking again, huh, Ella?”

She nodded. “It keeps me busy when I’m not helping my daed in his business.”

“Those wind chimes he makes are so nice,” Loraine said. “I might buy one soon, to hang on our porch.”

“You won’t have to do that,” Charlene said. “Dad and Mom are planning to give you one of his nicest sets of wind chimes for a wedding present.”

Ella poked her sister’s arm. “It was supposed to be a surprise.”

Charlene covered her mouth. “Oops.”

Loraine poured another glass of iced tea and handed it to Wayne. “How are things going outside?”

“Pretty good. By the end of the day, I think your folks’ yard will look like a park.” He grinned and lifted his glass to take a drink. “This sure hits the spot. It’s getting mighty warm out there. Much warmer than normal for April, I think.”

“That’s fine with me,” Loraine said. “A warm spring day is exactly what I wished we’d have on our wedding day. I hope the weather stays just like it is—at least until Thursday.”

Katie stared out the kitchen window, blinking back tears of envy and frustration. I’d give anything if it were me and Timothy getting married in two days. Oh, Lord, please give me the strength to get through Loraine’s wedding.





The Final Day of the 10 Days of Disney Video Tour

9/18/09


10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the last video post and your last chance to enter to win a Disney gift bag. For the last video, the ladies give you some tips for preparing to go on your Disney cruise. You can see the video here.

Head on over and check it out!

Aloha Friday: Desk Inspiration



Here is how Aloha Friday works from Kailani's blog An Island Life:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

I work at home in my basement office where it is pretty quiet and bright; there is light purple on the walls and those kind of office lights you find in a classroom or office building. I decorated my desk area with some former class photos from my teaching days and other mementos. I thought I'd share a few of the decorations on my desk that inspire me:

office decor


I found this cute Jane Austen action figure on eBay. It comes with a little quill pen & book to place in her hand. I am a major Jane fan, so of course I had to have a Jane Austen accessory.


jane austen


I love sunflowers and when I saw this Beanie baby, I had to have her. She has a cute little sunflower dress and sunflower hat and her name is Susannah. The quote inside the tag says "You are My Sunshine." Here's a quirky little factoid: my mom wanted to name me "Sunshine" (it was the 70's) but instead named me after the poet Shelley without the "e" (so everyone can misspell my name, sigh).




These are gifts I received from some of my students while teaching. I love the two plaques with Scripture!

My Question for This Week: What do you have on your desk or in your home that inspires you?

Thankful Thursday 9/17

9/17/09

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey
Yesterday, I had one of those days where I got incredibly frustrated with just about everything. Ever had one of those days? After a day like that, I really need to focus more on the positive.

So today I'm linking up with Sonya at Truth for the Journey for Thankful Thursday. To participate, all you need to do is list five things you are thankful for.

This week I am thankful for:

1. My husband who works so hard all the time and whom I love so very much. Thank you honey for all that you do!

2. My son who challenges me to be a better mom and a better person. Thank you Doodlebug for taking walks with me & Oreo and for cuddling on the couch when mom has had a bad day.

3. Quiet time where I can sit and reflect on the blessings that God has given me. For all the promises in Your Word Lord that you will give me the strength that I need to handle any given situation.

4. Each day being a fresh start. Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

5. For the little things throughout the week that have shown me I am not alone.


What are you thankful for this week?

10 Days of Disney Video Tour Day 9



10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the 9th video post. More fun activities for kids on board the Disney Cruise Line: learn how to make Flubber! The recipe for Flubber is also posted on their site. See the video here.

Head on over and check it out!

10 Days of Disney Video Tour Day 8

9/16/09


10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the 8th video post. The ladies have the scoop on the kids club activities on board the Disney Cruise Line for kids ages baby-teen. The video is here.

Head on over and check it out!

Wordless Wednesday: Cat In The Box

cat photography

pet photography

pet photography, pets

Pets

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes For Mom. Or you can visit these other great posts: Angie at Seven Clown Circus and Sara at Ordinary & Awesome. You can also leave your link below if you are participating.


Tuesday's Tribute 9/15

9/15/09
What is it?
Well, we'll tell you what it is NOT... It's Not About YOU. It's about SOMEONE ELSE. It's our chance, each of us, to shine our light on someone else.

I'd like to shine the spotlight on Michelle Sutton over at Edgy Inspirational Author Blog. I first "met" Michelle through her Shelfari profile. Michelle is an Editor-in-Chief for Christian Fiction Online Magazine, a member of ACFW, an edgy fiction writer, a book reviewer, an avid blogger/alliance member, CWOW blog mistress, mother of two teenagers, wife, pet owner, social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ.

book reviews

Michelle is the author of It's Not about Me (2008) and It's Not About Him (Sheaf House 2009). Her latest book, Danger at the Door, was recently part of the CFBA Blog tour. You can read more about Danger at The Door.

Michelle Sutton


She reviews other books as well on her blog and hosts giveaways. If you love to read or have a teenage girl who loves to read, head on over and check out her blog.


Angie From Seven Clown Circus has hosted Tuesday's Tribute and is now passing the reins onto Kacey & Francesca at Mahem & Moxie. Stop by and visit both blogs to see other great bloggers!


10 Days of Disney Video Tour Day 7



10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the 7th video post. See all the fun activities available at Disney's island stop Castaway Cay, including beaches for the adults & for the kids. The video is here.

Head on over and check it out!


Not Me Monday: I Be Buggin'

9/14/09
memes



It's that time again, when we confess to all the things we did not do this week.

I absolutely cannot, will not, would not, could not, shall not and so forth and so on be anywhere near spiders or other creepy crawlies with lots of legs. Imagine a scream that could be heard around the world and you can hear me in it. Ever since I saw my grandmother freak out around them and call for my gramps "Johnny, oh Johnny, spider spider spider! Please kill it!!!!!!" those creatures cause me to panic.

This week, I looked in my son's notebook to find out that his science teacher had assigned a Bug Project. I could feel my heart fill with dread. B-U-G P-R-O-J-E-C-T. My mind immediately flashed back to two years ago when we did this in 4th grade; walking around the back yard with a toy vacuum bug catcher, walking around the park with said bug catcher, and cringing when said bugs needed to be (ahem) ELIMINATED with a cotton ball full of rubbing alcohol. Freaking out over the idea that these bugs were supposed to be put in ziplock bags and placed in my freezer! Then running from the room and asking my hubby to hot glue gun the corpses to the poster board.

NOT another B-U-G P-R-O-J-E-C-T!

This project did not require 20 different kinds of species, including S-P-I-D-E-R-S.

Okay, so I planned out time on the weekend to get batteries for the bug vacuum and set out for the park to find little critters. We saw pretty flutterbies and flies and mosquitoes and other buggies I could handle. Along the path, my hubby did not say the SPIDER word and call me over to get the vacuum. I did not hand it over to him and RUN about 50 feet in the opposite direction as he sucked it up. I did not cringe in the SUV all the way home thinking about the spider in my trunk and how it could have super powers and lift the lid off its container and escape to run up my arm or leg in the vehicle. Because I am super mom and I am not afraid of anything.

And I most certainly did not run into the house away from the container my son needed to bring indoors. The bug containers were not placed on my kitchen counter where they even now creep me out as I wait for my hubby to get home and help (ahem) ELIMINATE them.

Nope, not me!

What did you not do this week? Head over to MckMama's blog and see all the other not me stories.

Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes Review

ponds products

I don't know about you, but at the end of the day I am pretty tired and don't have a lot of energy. When it comes to a nighttime routine, I need something quick and simple. I don't want to spend a lot of time washing my face, removing all my make- up and grime from the day, and putting on moisturizer because my face has dried out from all the washing.

I was recently provided with a package of original scent Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes and asked to review them. I was excited, as this is my first time trying out a product and reviewing it for my blog!

According to their website:

cleansing towelettes"Clinical studies have shown that Pond’s towelettes remove the make-up that other brands leave behind – taking off up to 40 percent more than other leading towelettes. They are ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested and come in three varieties: Original Clean, Micro-Dermabrasion, and Age Defying.
The original scent contains Triple Tea Antioxidant Complex, Vitamin E and Chamomile. These quilted cloths have a unique diamond texture which allows for a deep clean without leaving any residue behind."




The convenience of these cloths is wonderful! I can easily pull out a cloth, wipe off all my make up (including my mascara) and simply throw it away. No mess, no fuss! It only takes a couple of minutes! As a busy mom, that earns major kudos in my book! These are also inexpensive; the cost ranges from $4.79 to $5.07 (30/pack) depending on where you buy them. They come in a resealable package, so you have to be careful to put the flap back down and make it stick shut or they can dry out. Overall, I had a great experience with this product and will definitely continue using it!


You can download coupons for Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes and find out more information about their money-back guarantee at their website.

Disclosure: I have received no compensation other than the free product to use for the purposes of the review. The opinion expressed on this blog is my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

10 Days of Disney Video Tour Day 6



10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the 6th video post. You can see a some tips on dining on the Disney Cruise Line. The video is here.

Head on over and check it out!

10 Days of Disney Video Tour Day 5

9/12/09


10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the 5th video post. You can see a preview of the Disney shows on board the Disney Cruise Line. The video is here.

Head on over and check it out!

Aloha Friday Feeling Sick

9/11/09
writing prompts, blogging prompts

Here is how Aloha Friday works from Kailani's blog An Island Life:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

I have been feeling the effects of allergies all week. It feels like a brick has been stuck to my head. I woke up this morning feeling hot, achy, and just plain devoid of energy. So I'm not sure if I have caught a cold, a virus, or a combination of things. I just took a two hour nap and am now trying to get some work done. I have to pick up my son from school in about 3 hours so I am trying not to give in to the temptation to cuddle up with a blanket on the couch and become a t.v. zombie.

My Question for the Week: What do you do when you are sick to feel better?


10 Days of Disney Video Tour Day 4



10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the 4th video post. The twins are showing their family fun on the Disney Cruise Line! You can see the video here.

Head on over and check it out!

10 Days of Disney Video Tour Day 3

9/10/09


10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the 3rd video post. The twins are having Mom Me Time and showing all of the fun activities that Disney offers for adults! You can see the video here.

Head on over and check it out!

Time Out for Theta Mom Thursday 9/10



Theta Mom Thursday is all about YOU! According to Heather at Theta Mom "the goal is to grab one hour of time within one week to do whatever you want…without the kids. It’s such an amazing proposition, I know! On Thursdays, post how you spent your “time out”.

I don't know about you, but I have been feeling the effects of allergies all week. I have had awful headaches and congestion and pretty much felt like someone took a brick and left it there on my head.

So I have pretty much spent my "me" time lying down on the couch with a cold mask to my face in-between working online, doing housework, and helping with homework after school. I'm hoping that this gets better before the weekend, since my hubby is going to a football game on Saturday and I am having a Mom & Me Day with my son. I am also hoping to get some much needed reading done for my book reviews that are coming up.

Have you taken time out for you this week? Head over to Heather's blog to link up and find out what other Theta moms have been doing. (to find out more about what a Theta mom is, head to her website)

10 Days of Disney Video Tour Day 2

9/9/09


10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the second video post. They are interviewing moms in the park to see what advice they have for planning a magical day at Disney World. You can see it here.

Head on over and check out their great tips!


Wordless Wednesday: Bridge To The Moon

Photography


Photography


photography

Photography

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes For Mom. Or you can visit these other great posts: Angie at Seven Clown Circus and Sara at Ordinary & Awesome. You can also leave your link below if you are participating.


10 Days of Disney Video Tour at Five Minutes for Mom

9/8/09


10daysofdisney125x125Do you love all things Disney? Susan and Janice (twin sisters) at Five Minutes for Mom are celebrating their Disney trip and showing videos on their site. To add to the fun, they are also giving away 10 Disney Magical Gift bags!

Today is the first video post. You can see it here.

Head on over and check it out!


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