About Me

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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cooper and Me and the Military review and Giveaway!

Cooper and Me and the Military, written by Monique and Alexa Peters, is a wonderful children's book that addresses the issue of children being separated from a parent or parents who serve in the armed forces.  The brightly colored pages and rhyming story is a joy to read, in fact my daughter read it to herself and then asked my husband to read it to her again before bed.  She has asked me to read it to her tomorrow, too.:) 

Each Cooper and Me book has a fun adventure but it also teaches an important life lesson and includes interactive materials.  I found Cooper and Me and the Military to be a heartwarming story and I thought it was charming how the author included a letter at the end with fill in the blanks to encourage letter writing to service men and women.  What a wonderful job the military does keeping our country safe!  Writing letters is a small but very thoughtful gesture and I plan on doing just that with my girls this week.

There are also discussion questions that cover story comprehension and even emotions.  Cooper and Me and the Military is a lovely book that would be enjoyed by any family, not just one with members in the military.  We all are separated at times and we all miss loved ones.  This book is a gentle way to discuss how that feels and what you can do about it.

From the back cover:  "Meet Trooper, Cooper's best friend, and learn how he was adopted by Gracie and Joe and their parents,who both serve in the military. Find out how this family stays close despite being separated."

       Cooper and Me and the Military 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/cooper_and_me

*Propellor has generously given me a copy of Cooper and Me and the Military for one of my readers!*  Would you like a chance to win?  Here is what you need to do...

1- For 1 entry be a follower of my blog.
2- For a second entry "like" Cooper and Me on facebook.

Please leave a comment for each entry.  The giveaway ends on Monday, February 13th.  Good luck!:)

*I was given a copy of Cooper and Me and the Military from Propellor in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Monday, January 30, 2012

Married Mom, Single Parent Blog Tour

   Married Mom, Solo Parent is the perfect book for all those amazing Moms that do the work of both parents so often that they feel like they are single.  You know who I'm talking about- military wives, ladies with husbands who travel extensively, Moms that have husbands that are ill or perhaps they just have issues that interfere with life (computer addiction, alcohol, etc.).  We have all been there at some point in our lives and it's not fun.  
   The author, Carla Anne Coroy, has endured and lived this life and is here to help!   Through Bible verses and stories such as Hosea and Gomer and Job she guides us down this bumpy road.  There are lists of ideas for building friendships, tips on discipline, encouragement for meal times and keeping house and inspiring ways to keep yourself energized and happy so that you can be the Mom you want to be.  This book is packed full of ways to help you stay married (and even thrive!) as a married, single parent when sometimes you just want to quit.  It's wonderful!

Read a sample of Married Mom, Solo Parent here!

Married Mom, Solo Parent is a common-sense, down-to-earth look at the struggles wives and mothers face when their husband is not actively involved in family life. Writing from her own experience as a married single mom, Carla Anne Coroy will help wives and mothers sort through their questions, such as: Can I do this alone? How do I raise kids to honor their father? How do I give my children a healthy perspective of marriage if they never see one in action? With practical suggestions, anecdotes, and biblical teaching, this book will encourage moms to see their position as a high calling, to find healing for their worries and frustrations, and to tap into God’s strength for help in facing the daily challenge of being a married mom, solo parent.

About the Author: Carla Anne Coroy has served full-time with organizations such as Youth for Christ and Crown Financial Ministries, and is currently developing an international mentoring organization for youth and a ministry to wives who parent alone. She runs the Married Single Mom blog at www.carlaannecoroy.blogspot.com. She speaks regularly and serves as a staff writer for an online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children.

*I received a copy of Married Mom, Solo Parent from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Sunday, January 29, 2012

1 Peter Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times- Week 3


    Week 3 in my 1 Peter Bible Study (Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times) I learned that God has called us all to be priests.  This is certainly a daunting task!  1 Peter 2:5 states "you also as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood..".  This applies to both men and women, although it's not easy for many women.  We often second guess ourselves and have self doubts- much more so than men.  This is very true for me.  If you asked me to write a list of my strengths I would struggle but my list of weaknesses would be quite extensive!  Why are we, as women, like that?  God needs both men and women to step up.  1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called out out of darkness into His marvelous light.". Time to check your insecurities at the door!

   I am not a natural born leader but there are many men and women who are happy to fill that role.  I once though that made me less important and less needed.  I was so wrong!  God allows me to shine in different areas that are a bit more "behind the scenes".:). I love working with children and have friends that would rather have a root canal!  It took me a long time to realize that God places us where He needs us and that I am important, even though I am not "front and center".  I'm happy to send the spotlight elsewhere, dear friends.  Wherever your strengths are be sure to shine your brightest as God needs each and every one of us to do just that.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Four Letter Words review and giveaway!


      I just finished the most amazing and life changing book called Four Letter Words.  Wow!  Where should I start? I highlighted sentences, underlined quotes and read pages aloud to my husband.  Everyone, Christians and non-believers alike, should read this book!  It answers questions that many are too afraid to discuss. The author, Bill Giovannetti, is entertaining as he enlightens the world to the truth of the Bible and God.  This book will change your life and possibly save it.
   The four letter words addressed are as follows:

   Each chapter covers "Touchy Ideas" and "Touchy Scriptures" before address the subject.  For example, in the chapter of "EVIL" one "Touchy Idea" is "Evil originated with Satan, and entered the human race through mankind's free choice."  "EVIL" is not an easy subject to talk about but Giovannetti does an amazing job of helping us do just that.  He goes on to give us "Touchy Scriptures" to reinforce what the Bible says about each topic.  At the end of the chapter there are "Talking Points"- my favorite part!  Bill Giovannetti wrote these just for me!  In a loving and compassionate way, he discusses how to talk to others about what you have learned.  
   One of chapters, "OUCH", really hit home with me.  In it C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying, "You asked for a loving God: you have one.  The great spirit you so lightly invoked... is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way... but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds...".  God LOVES us so very much and wants us to follow Him.  Free will is a choice, but there is a very dear price to pay.   "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life." (1 John 5:11, 12)
   I was greatly encouraged by Four Letter Words.  The book answered so many of my questions about other religions, why evil exists and bad things happen as well as why I believe what I believe.  Faith is a huge part but there is so much more to share!  Four Letter Words has strengthened my faith and shown me that telling friends and acquaintances about God is absolutely necessary.  I am better equipped and more confident because of Bill Giovannetti's study of difficult questions.  *This book is a must read for everyone!*

About Four Letter Words:

Thou shalt tolerate every opinion... except the Christian's. Today's postmodern "prime directive" leaves many followers of Jesus tongue-tied. In the global village, isn't it unreasonable, and even dangerous, to suggest that the Bible has a monopoly on truth?

The church needs a new breed of Christ-follower. We need Christ-followers who are alert to today's touchy ideas, the truths that fire up more heat than light. We need Christ-followers who can make a clear case for the Bible's worldview; who are ready to help our friends think through their beliefs; who can recognize inconsistencies and challenge them; and who can do all of this with humility, confidence, humor, and love. For more information visit http://fourletterwords.org.

About Bill Giovannetti:

Dr. Bill Giovannetti is a professor at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary and the senior pastor of Neighborhood Church of Redding. An experienced speaker and author, Bill informs the mind in ways that touch the heart. He enjoys life with his wife and two kids in northern California. For more information about Bill and his other books, visit  http://maxgrace.wordpress.com  and http://fourletterwords.org

About the Giveaway!  

Bill is celebrating the new Kindle edition of Four Letter Words (for only $4.99)! He’ll be traveling coast to coast over the next few weeks on this virtual book tour and he's celebrating by hosting a great giveaway!

Click here  to find out how you can win two gift certificates to Amazon (in the amount of $50 and $25) and free downloads of his yet-to-be-released title, Recession-Proof: Living a God-Blessed Life in a Messed Up World.

The whole scoop here!
*I was given a copy of Four Letter Words by Litfuse Publications in exchange for my honest review.*

Don't forget to smile!:)

Cinderella auditions were today.
I don't get up early for just anyone.

            These two nuts want to be cast as the mean 

We shall see...

This reminds me of a story.  Years and years ago when I was in high school I auditioned for the drill team.  I wanted it *so* badly and practiced every day with my boombox (dating myself here) in the backyard.  The routine was to "Footloose" and it was awesome.  I knew every step, every move, every second of it.  BUT, when it was my turn to perform I focused so hard on the steps that I forgot to smile.:(  Later, a girl who shall remain nameless (Sonia) got up to dance and messed the routine up royally.  It was pitiful!  She had missed practices and I think she thought the whole thing was a joke.  BUT, she *SMILED - A LOT*.  When the results were in, she was invited to be on the team and I, sadly, was not.  

The lesson here is not to focus so much on the steps of life that you forget to smile, dear friends.:) 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Tacos

   I made this recipe last night and everyone loved it.  (Well, 3 out of 4)  It has lots of flavor and it's healthy.    Yes, healthy and delicious!  Break out your crock pot and give it a try~

Beefy Tacos

1 pound ground turkey
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans (I used fat free)
1 jar (16 oz.) salsa
1 cup shredded sharp cheese
12 corn/flour tortillas
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/3 cup lowfat sour cream

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir beef and onion until brown and cooked through, about 6 min.  Add garlic, stir frequently.  Drain excess fat and transfer to crock pot.  Stir in refried beans, salsa, and cheese.  Cover and let simmer until mixture is cooked through and bubbling, 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.  Stir and serve over warm tortillas; top with tomatoes, lettuce and a bit of sour cream.  Enjoy!

For dessert, try fresh raspberries over Activia brand Vanilla Yogurt.  It is divine.

*Beefy Taco recipe from this month's Self magazine.*

Unhallowed Ground book review

   Thomas atte Bridge is found hanging "from the limb of an oak at Cow-Leys Corner" and it appears to be a suicide.  In reality it's something far more sinister. Thomas atte Bridge is beyond despicable and few, if any, will mourn his passing.  Despite this, Hugh de Singleton, a medieval surgeon and detective, is determined to seek justice for the scoundrel of a man.  Thus, Unhallowed Ground, written by Mel Starr, shows itself to be exciting from the very first page!

   Unhallowed Ground is a clever mystery that both entertains and educates. The book begins with a glossary of medieval terms to enrich the reader's experience.  Initially I was a bit intimidated, but I quickly grew to embrace the new vocabulary and enjoy my trip back in time. Characters were interesting and well written and I really enjoyed getting to know the main character, Hugh de Singleton.  He is a "real" character with doubts and mistakes, yet he is able to use his knowledge for the better good.  

   Being immersed in the medieval period brought many topics to light. I was amazed at the types of taxes and penalties that were enforced, including a tax on unwed mothers!  Cataract surgery and C-sections, as well as other medical issues, are addressed in a basic way as they were new and not commonly used during the Middle Ages. How wonderful it is to live in modern times!  
   Unhallowed Ground is the 4th chronicle of Hugh de Singleton. The Unquiet Bones, A Corpse at St. Andrews Chapel and A Trail of Ink are also in the series and I believe they would also prove to be quite enjoyable!

Read the first few chapters here!

From the Publisher:

The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon
Mel Starr

   Thomas atte Bridge, a man no one likes, is found hanging from a tree near Cowleys Corner. All assume he has taken his own life, but Master Hugh and Kate find evidence that this may not be so.
Many of the town had been harmed by Thomas, and Hugh is not eager to send one of them to the gallows. Then he discovers that the priest John Kellet, atte Bridge’s partner in crime in A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapelwas covertly in Bampton at the time atte Bridge died.
   Master Hugh is convinced that Kellet has murdered atte Bridge--one rogue slaughtering another. He sets out for Exeter, where atte Bridge now works. But there he discovers that the priest is an emaciated skeleton of a man, who mourns the folly of his past life. Hugh must return to Bampton and discover which of his friends has murdered his enemy.

About the author:
   Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.

*I received a copy of Unhallowed Ground from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Monday, January 23, 2012

Downton Abbey


Makes me want to buy a hat- lots of them.
Perhaps a pair of long gloves?

Sybil is my favorite.
Or perhaps the mysterious man with the cane?  

Are you loving it as much as I am?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Alienation C.H.A.O.S series Blog Tour!

   Hold on tight and prepare for a wild ride!  Take one young man chosen to save the world, a top secret experiment, Mission Impossible-like gadgets, aliens and breathtaking action and you get Alienation!  Colt McAllister would like nothing more than to live a normal life but that was stolen from him.  In the second book in the C.H.A.O.S. series (need to get my hands on the first book as I am hooked!) we follow Colt as he prepares to enter the secret C.H.A.O.S. Academy with his friends, Danielle and Oz.  Before they can get there, Colt finds out he is targeted for elimination and he's suddenly unsure of who he can trust.
   Alienation took my breath away.  I found myself reading as quickly as possible and I do believe my heart rate was elevated!  I believe we all, at some point in our lives, would like to experience the thrill of doing something TOP SECRET.  Perhaps be a spy?  Jon Lewis allows us to do this from the safety of our chair. The target audience is young adult, so grab the nearest young adult and read it together!  Machines bring back memories (remember Total Recall?), instructors teach you to fly with jet packs, aliens change shape and become people, and friends are always there for you in Alienation.  A wickedly wonderful combination!
   Alienation is inspired by the life of King David in the Bible.  Jon Lewis does a wonderful job of creating a contemporary and unlikely hero with parallels to the life of David.  Lewis says, "In Alienation I want readers to realize that like Colt, we all have a special calling.  We just need to figure out what it is."

About the book:

After his parents were killed in a car accident, Colt McAllister was 
drawn into a world he thought only existed in comic books-one where 
mind control, jet packs, and flying motorcycles don't even scratch the
Along with his best friends Oz and Danielle, Colt is now training at 
the secret Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural 
academy. But strange accidents seem to follow him. . . even with the
security of the school grounds. What first seems random 
soon turns deadly. But who is targeting Colt?

As the alien invasions increase in frequency and force, C.H.A.O.S 
resources are taxed to the limit and they're forced to utilize the new 
recruits. In the midst of battle, Colt will discover some startling 
revelations . . . 
about himself, his friendship with Oz, and why he has been chosen to
defeat this alien attack against earth.

Watch the video trailer:

About the author:

Jon S. Lewis is the coauthor of the Grey Griffins trilogy
(over 500,000 books in print) and the upcoming Grey
Griffins Clockwork Chronicles.  He also writes for the 
DC COMICS family of publishers.  He resides with his
family in Arizona.

For more about Jon and the series, visit 

About the Alienation iPad2 Giveaway:

The invasion was only the beginning! Jon is celebrating the 
next adventure in his fast-paced series with an explosive 
One thrill-seeker will receive:
  • iPad2 with Wi-Fi
  • Copies of the C.H.A.O.S. novels, Invasion and Alienation
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry,
the giveaway ends at noon on February 7th. Winner will be
announced at the Alienation Facebook Party on 2/7. Jon will 
be hosting an Author Chat, giving away copies of the books and gift 
certificates to iTunes and Amazon.com! Don't miss a second of the 
Grab your copy of Alienation and join Jon on the evening of 
February 7th for an author chat, spy training (How much do 
you know about alien invaders?) and lots of giveaways. 

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends 

via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. 

Hope to see you on the 7th!

*I was given a copy of Alienation by Litfuse in exchange for my honest 

opinion.  And honestly, you will love this book!*

Bye Bye Picnik...

Picnik is ending.
And I just started spelling it correctly...

 Not all is lost, though!  You can use all their services- even the *PREMIUM ONES* for FREE until they close in April!

                Have fun!;)

*Be sure to enter my giveaway for the "A Mile in His Shoes" DVD!  It ends Tuesday...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

1 Peter Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times- Week 2

   I continued my study of 1 Peter Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times, written by Sue Edwards, this week.  Lesson 2 focused on 1 Peter 1:13- 2:3.  The verse that really spoke to my heart was 1 Peter: 2:1.  God commands us to “put aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”  Wow.  That is a lot to ask of us Christians!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not this loud mouthed babe that walks around hating on people!  It’s just that in my heart of hearts I do covet, I do judge and I do get my feelings hurt which in turn causes me to often react negatively.  Sad to say, my mouth sometimes get the better of me.  This doesn't sit well with the Lord and I need to work harder to not get so caught up in this world.  God commands in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God us, that which is good and acceptable and perfect".  In order for me to show others what God is all about, I need to check myself- often.  sigh.  It’s not easy, but God is always there to help us, guide us, in loving others. It takes too much energy to hate.  God tells us to “fervently love one another from the heart” in 1 Peter 1:22.  In this way, we all win!

   God is certain and constant.  We know that He has a plan for us and it’s always for the good, even though we may not understand.  When times are difficult and I am being held captive in fear by the devil, I pray.  God is always there to hold me in the palm of His hand.  That is when God’s light shines the brightest!  Walking through life on Easy Street keeps us far from God.  I am certainly not a fan of anxiety or fear, but it does bring me closer to the Lord, and that’s the best place to be.:)  Like a child that strays from his parents and onto a road full of fast moving cars, how wonderful it feels to be back by their parent’s side!

  Feel free to see what other bloggers are saying in this Kregel Tour here.

*I was given a copy of "1 Peter Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times" from Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  No other compensation was received.*

"The Shadow of Your Smile" review and Blog Tour!

   "The Shadow of Your Smile", by Susan May Warren, grips you from the very beginning and has a hold on you until the last page.  A violent crime in Deep Haven triggers an accident which causes Noelle Hueston to lose her memory.  She awakens in the hospital believing she is 21 (Why is she so out of shape?  What's with the frumpy clothes?  Who has she become?) and still in college when in reality she is in her 40's with a failing marriage and a family that is falling apart.  Tragedy has struck Noelle and Eli Hueston more than once.  They have lost their daughter as well as their love for each other and God along the way.  
   I really enjoyed the way that Susan May Warren helped Noelle and Eli to rediscover each other again.  Due to his wife's memory loss, Eli must go back to the beginning, and start again.  In this way they both relearn who they truly were (before the tragic loss of their daughter) and in many ways still are.  The only problem is that there are secrets that may hold them back from a future together.  There is a lot of humor and a lot of tenderness, as well as raw emotion.  I was rooting for them both as they fought to recapture what they once had.  Beautifully written and heartfelt. 

About the book: The Shadow of Your Smile

A beautiful blanket of snow may cover the quaint town of Deep Haven each winter, but it can’t quite hide the wreckage of Noelle and Eli Hueston’s marriage.

After twenty-five years, they’re contemplating divorce . . . just as soon as their youngest son graduates from high school. But then an accident erases part of Noelle's memory. Though her other injuries are minor, she doesn’t remember Eli, their children, or the tragedy that has ripped their family apart. What’s more, Noelle is shocked that her life has turned out nothing like she dreamed it would. As she tries to regain her memory and slowly steps into her role as a wife and mother, Eli helps her readjust to daily life with sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartwarming results. But can she fall in love again with a man she can’t remember?

Will their secrets destroy them . . . or has erasing the past given them a chance for a future? Read the story behind the story here: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/books/the-shadow-of-your-smile.

About Susan:  Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.
Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.
Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)
A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:www.susanmaywarren.com
You can purchase "The Shadow of Your Smile" here.

Click to see the Blog tour schedule here.

Sometimes love requires a little forgetting ... Come back to Deep Haven and find out what's been happening in your favorite quaint hamlet. If you're new to the Deep Haven series - this is the perfect book to start with - each book in the series is a stand alone story.

Susan is celebrating the release of The Shadow of Your Smile by giving away a prize pack worth over $200 from 1/9-1/28.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to rekindle a little romance, treat yourself to a spa day, snap up those shoes you’ve been eyeing, or purchase a few great books!)
  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books 
The winner will be announced on 1/30/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles! Just click one of the icons below to enter and tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

*I received an ebook copy of "The Shadow of Your Smile" from The Litfuse Group in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just Call me Dr. Mom

It's that time of year again.
Time to go to the doctor.
Or is it?

A precious friend of mine, who is also a naturopathic doctor, has shown me there are options.
You don't always have to drag yourself or your children to the waiting room where they can pick up every kind of sick bug known to man.

        Colloidal Silver is our new best friend.  It fixed my husband's Strep Throat and you can even use 
         it for pink eye and ear infections!  YES!

       The Organic Lemon Echinacea Throat Coat (pictured above) was my husband's favorite.  He said it really made his throat feel better.  Plus, it tastes good!

       Echinacea is wonderful for boosting immunity and Airborne has been a good helper, too.

        Zarbee's is our newest favorite.  My youngest really likes the taste, it helped her throat feel better and helped her sleep.  The box is pretty darn cute, too.  We bought it at Walgreens.

         Thought this might help some of you all out.  I hate going to the doctor, trying to get an appointment, and then sitting there like a bumpkin while they tell you what you already know.  Now I am in the know.:)  Just call me Dr. Mom.