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

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Courier of Caswell Hall- Thrilling Intrigue and Romance in Colonial Williamsburg!

My Thoughts:

A wounded stranger and a beautiful young lady.  Secrets, Spies and Soldiers.  The Courier of Caswell Hall is filled with beauty and destruction, love and hate, truth and lies.  I loved every page.  

Colonial Williamsburg is one of my favorite places to visit but I'd never really given a thought to all the danger and devastation that had occurred there.  Melanie Dobson tells the exciting tale of two families ripped apart by the American Revolution.  Patriots or Loyalists?  Everyone must choose a side, but appearances can be deceiving...

The Courier of Caswell Hall offers a thrilling combination of action, history, mystery and romance.  British soldiers, runaway slaves, gorgeous plantations, and secret messages come together to capture your full attention.  The characters were memorable and admirable- except for Major Reed (dastardly villain you'll love to hate) and Hannah Caswell (a villain at just 15 years old!).  I thoroughly enjoyed their back stories which added a wonderful richness and depth to the book.  I was completely in awe of the Patriots with their bravery and selflessness and found myself holding my breath more than once when the British made an appearance!   I was also charmed by the way Melanie Dobson wove actual historical events and people into her fictional story.  Nathan Lewis, Sarah Hammond, Grayson Caswell and Elisha, the slave, were my favorite characters.

About the book: An unlikely spy discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution.

As the British and Continental armies wage war in 1781, the daughter of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner feels conflict raging in her own heart. Lydia Caswell comes from a family of staunch Loyalists, but she cares only about peace. Her friend Sarah Hammond, however, longs to join the fight. Both women's families have already been divided by a costly war that sets father against son and neighbor against neighbor; a war that makes it impossible to guess who can be trusted.

One snowy night Lydia discovers a wounded man on the riverbank near Caswell Hall, and her decision to save him will change her life. Nathan introduces her to a secret network of spies, couriers, disguises, and coded messages---a network that may be the Patriots' only hope for winning the war. When British officers take over Caswell Hall and wreak havoc on neighboring plantations, Lydia will have to choose between loyalty and freedom; between her family's protection and her own heart's desires.

As both armies gather near Williamsburg for a pivotal battle, both Lydia and Sarah must decide how high a price they are willing to pay to help the men they love.

Part of the American Tapestries™ series: Each standalone novel in this line sets a heart-stirring love story against the backdrop of an epic moment in American history. This is the fifth book in the series.

About the author: Melanie Dobson is the author of twelve novels; her writing has received numerous accolades including two Carol Awards. Melanie worked in public relations for fifteen years before she began writing fiction full-time. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides with her husband and two daughters in Oregon.

Connect with Melanie at: http://melaniedobson.com

Melanie Dobson's latest release, The Courier of Caswell Hall, is a riveting story you won't want to miss. The newest offering in the American Tapestries™ series, it follows an unlikely spy who discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution.

Enter to win 1 of 5 copies of the book!


Five winners will receive:

  • The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 5th. All winners will be announced October 7th at the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 7th to see if you won one of the books!

*I was given this book by Litfuse Publications in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Friday, September 27, 2013

Home Discipleship by Kimberly Williams- Review and Giveaway!

The winner is Amy!!  Congratulations!

My Thoughts:

One hour a week is not enough.  3-4 hours a week is still not enough.  Friends, the church just isn't enough for our children.  Yes, it's a tremendous support and great tool but Christian families need more.  As parents, we need to step up and acknowledge the amazing privilege we've been given. God has blessed us- Moms and Dads- with the job of teaching and guiding our children in His ways.  To be honest, if I were being graded in discipleship I'm not quite sure I would pass and I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone.  After all, the home is often the most neglected mission field.  Ouch.  Kimberly Williams has written Home Discipleship for all Christian parents that want more for their children than the world offers.  It's a powerful book filled with guidance and grace.  Amen!

"Think of the parents as the builders, God as the architect, and His word as the blueprints needed to build a Christian home."

Home Discipleship isn't just for homeschoolers.  "It is not so much instruction for the mind, but for the soul. It is not elevated by man's standards, but by God's."  Kimberly Williams words really hit the mark with me.  I'm often guilty of "living in the world and not living in the Word" and this book has me excited about the future for my family- especially my girls.  Take a peek at all my sticky notes!

I truly appreciated the author's personal experiences and how she was able to learn and grow from them.  Through her words she guides readers in a confident and caring manner.  Using Bible verses to illustrate her points and Practical Application questions as the end of each chapter, you'll feel like you've experienced a powerful parenting class by the end of this book.  Home Discipleship provides you with a game plan.  One that will stay with your children for the rest of their lives.  Like most parents, I relied on the church to guide my children but I now know there's so much more that needs to happen in the home.  

Do you want more for your children than the world offers?  Need some guidance and encouragement?  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Home Discipleship

#1- Leave a comment on this post for 1 entry.
#2- Follow my blog for 1 extra entry. (Leave a separate comment.)
#3- "Like" Kimberly William's Home Discipleship on facebook for 1 extra entry.

*I'll randomly choose a winner Sunday, October 13th.* 

*I was given this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fifth Grade curriculum choices- 2013-2014

My 5th grader is enjoying her curriculum so far this year.  For science we're using...

Apologia Land Animals of the Sixth Day  We're using the Notebooking, too, and it's a great way to reinforce learning with pictures and narration.  

Easy Grammar is always a hit at my house.  We used to shy away from grammar but this book simply and thoroughly explains everything you need to know.  Memorizing all the prepositions (as directed) before the first activity is sheer brilliance.  

Time 4 Learning is fun.  Seriously.  And now they even offer High School classes.  We're using it for 5th grade Math and are quite pleased.  

Our choice for English this year is Total Language Plus.  Our first selection is The Cricket in Times Square.  Sweet story and this guide covers vocabulary, comprehension questions, writing, dictation, and more.

We are in love with our History program.  Veritas Press self-paced history is pricey but if you can get in on a group purchase, do it.  All on-line, educational and entertaining at the same time.  LOVE.

To round things out (and give me a bit of a break) she's also taking Geography, Arts & Crafts, Science Experiments and History classes all taught by other teachers.  Ballet and pointe classes are nestled in her weekly schedule, too, as well as AWANA at a local church.  

I'd like to attempt Heart of Dakota at some point.  Have any of you used this curriculum?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sisterchicks Do the Hula- Surfing, Leis and Luaus Await!

My Thoughts:

Aloha!  This is my second "Sisterchick" adventure and I loved it even more than the first!  What exactly is a "sisterchick"?  She's a friend who shares the deepest wonders of your heart, loves you like a sister, and provides a reality check when you're being a brat.  Robin Jones Gunn takes us to Hawaii and sea turtles, lei making classes, surfing lessons and luaus are just the beginning!  Best friends Hope and Laurie are celebrating their 40th birthdays together in the islands.  Hope has brought along a "stowaway"(she's expecting!) and Laurie also has a few surprises up her sleeve.  I found myself dreaming of pedicures on the beach and sunrise quiet times with God as I enjoyed each and every page with these two ladies.  Hope and Laurie's precious friendship was filled with humor, honesty and love.  I got misty eyed as they spoke of God's creations and how He's blessed them both.  The lei making experience was beautiful in ever sense of the word.  Oh, and I laughed so hard when Hope used self tanner for the first time and later when Laurie and Hope got pulled over for speeding in their red convertible, too!  Sisterchicks do the Hula is an absolute delight- an easy read that feels like a big, warm hug.  I plan on reading each and every Sisterchick book!  Thanks, Robin Jones Gunn!

More About Sisterchicks Do the Hula:

Some dreams take a while before they come true. Best friends Hope and Laurie never made it to Hawaii during their college years. But when they're about to turn forty, the islands still beckon, and off they go - with an unexpected stowaway on board (Hope happens to be seven months pregnant). A little pineapple, a little sunshine, and a surprising little surfing lesson give these two sisterchicks all their crazy hearts could hope for - and more - as they enter the next season of their lives with a splash and with a beautiful vision of what God has dreamed up for them.

Wherever there’s chocolate, there’s sure to be a sisterchick celebrating, and this trip to Hawaii is no exception. Best friends Hope and Laurie are on an audacious mission to commemorate their fortieth birthdays in style. Surfing and sailing, sushi and snorkeling—these two macadamia nuts from the mainland sample it all, unhindered by a surprise little stowaway.

Luaus are only the beginning. The island experience binds Hope and Laurie’s souls together, gently restoring their unfinished dreams. Garlanded with leis or swimming with sea turtles, they join the dance of delight in their Maker, entering the next season of their lives filled with the unforced rhythm of grace.

Story Behind the Book

We lived in Hawai’i when our son was in elementary school and have returned many times for visits. I have a deep and abiding love for all that is Hawaiian so of course the islands were my location of choice for this second Sisterchick novel. The art of hula is an intricate form of storytelling has gone through many changes over the years. Every woman’s life has a story. Every woman goes through many changes over the years. But not every woman has yet learned to "hula". This book will encourage her to "hula" through life as she learns to live out her story with the unforced rhythm of grace.

ROBIN JONES GUNN is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than seventy books, with over 4 million copies of her titles sold worldwide. Best known among them are the Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, and Christy and Todd: College Years teen series. A Christy Award winner and a two-time finalist for excellence in fiction, Robin has also been a Gold Medallion finalist. She and her husband have a grown son and daughter and live in Hawaii. 

*I was given this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Home to Heather Creek series- Heartwarming Modern Day Walton's!

My Thoughts:

Family, forgiveness, love, and faith are beautifully interwoven in the Home to Heather Creek series.  Siblings, Sam (16), Emily (14) and Christopher (8), are reeling from the tragic loss of their mother.  Newly transplanted to the grandparent's farm, they must start their lives over again- with people they barely know.  Could life get any worse?  The children aren't the only ones hurting, though.  Charlotte, their grandmother, struggles to be strong enough for the whole family but she's only getting by with the grace of God.

The family dynamic and support from the community in this tender and heartfelt series made me think of the Walton's.  Remember John Boy?:)  Laughing, crying, and experiencing all the emotions of life with the Walton family was reassuring and comforting as love always got them through- along with a strong faith in the Lord.  This is exactly the way I felt about Before the Dawn and Sweet September.  The tragedy and heartaches in the Stevenson family are all too real but so are the kindnesses and caring of loved ones and dear friends.  

I fell in love with the town of Heather Creek!  These are my favorite characters:

1) Melody- The delightful owner of the town's coffee shop.  She's the kind of friend we'd all like to be- one that listens well and knows when the time is right to share her thoughts.  She knows how to make people smile, too.:)
2) Rosemary- The caring owner of the town's fabric store as well as Charlotte's sister-in-law.  A pillar of strength and a friend you can count on for everything.  When Charlotte needed a shoulder to cry on, Rosemary quickly placed the "Closed" sign in the window of her shop.  Precious, indeed.
3) Charlotte- The main character as well as my personal favorite.  Her thoughts quite frequently echoed my own and my heart ached as she desperately tried to make the right choices for her family.  She takes trials and, with God's guidance, turns them into blessings.
4) Uncle Pete- He adds a delightful dose of humor and lightheartedness when it's needed most.  By quoting from the movie The Princess Bride and introducing the Star Wars trilogy, he develops a sweet connection with his niece and nephews.  Rough around the edges but with a tender heart.

Sweet September picks up where Before the Dawn leaves off but now there are mysteries to be solved as well as a new (old) potential love interest for Uncle Pete.  I really enjoyed learning the history of Heather Creek Farm in this book as well as getting to know the characters a bit better.  I so look forward to reading more books from the Home to Heather Creek series.  If you enjoy books that make you feel good and strengthen your faith in the Lord, you need to add these to your wish list.

About the books: When the world around you falls apart, could it be that God is giving you a second chance? This is just one of the questions on Charlotte Stevenson's mind as she brings her three grandchildren to live on the family farm in Guidepost Books' Home to Heather Creek series.

Before the Dawn begins just one week after the funeral of Charlotte's daughter, Denise. Denise's three children barely have time to process the death of their mother before they must move to the Heather Creek Farm they have never visited with grandparents they barely know. At age 16, Sam is fiercely protective of his younger siblings. Emily is 14 and desperately misses her friends. Young Christopher is only 8 and just wants to fit in. While Charlotte tries to help her grandchildren adjust to their new life, she also wrestles with her own grief and the enormous task of bringing her family together. Bob believes the fastest path to adjustment is a firm routine, with structure and chores, the same way they raised their own kids. However, that route led to Denise running away from home as a teenager and an estranged relationship with her family. Charlotte is worried about making the same mistakes she made with Denise. Is this her chance to make things right?

It is spring when the children arrive, and as Charlotte looks around the farm, she hopes the new life around them will signify hope and healing. The miracle of new life, along with God's healing touch, reminds all of them that it's always darkest just before the dawn.

Sweet September picks up at harvest time, as the children are settling into a new school year. While the harvest should be an exciting time, the children don't seem to be getting into the spirit. Emily is struggling with farm life, Christopher spends most of his time alone, and Sam is failing school. Trying to learn from what did and didn't work with her own kids, Charlotte is determined to get her grandchildren back on track.

As tenuous family bonds threaten to break apart, a mystery on the farm might be the one thing that can bond the family together. Charlotte sets out to uncover the truth, and as the kids unite to find answers, this cobbled-together family learns more about one another and the love that binds them together.

The lives of the Stevensons and their grandchildren unfold in this captivating story of the remarkable change that comes from the love of family, the kindness of others, sheer persistence and unshakable faith. As readers follow the Stevensons' inspiring stories, it's almost impossible not feel a part of this friendly, loving community, where God's grace can be seen in every circumstance.

Purchase the books here: http://ow.ly/oQGxr

About the Author: Kathleen Bauer is the pen name for a team of writers who have come together to create the Home to Heather Creek series.


One winner will receive:

  • A Paperwhite Kindle

  • Before the Dawn and Sweet September by Kathleen Bauer

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 5th. All winners will be announced October 7th HERE.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 7th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog [enter your email in the blog sidebar] and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

*I was given copies of these books from Litfuse Publications in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Thursday, September 19, 2013

High School Curriculum Choices 2013-2014

This is my 9th year of homeschooling.  People frequently ask what grade my girls are in but that's not a simple question.  Their test scores state that they're at a college level in some subjects and at the same time they detest math like their mom.;) 

Imagine that.

Oh, but I do love choosing curriculum.  Here are our high school choices for this year: 

 Starting Points Worldview Primer by David Quine  Amanda is taking this class and loves it.  It's intense and time consuming but she's learning so much.  Highly recommend.

Key to AlgebraJust bought this set last week.  Love, love, love it.  Wish I'd learned Algebra this way.  Very user friendly and thorough.  Highly recommend.

Guest Hollow High School BiologyI adore Guest Hollow.  This homeschool mom is a creative genius that teaches just the way I love.  Great books, multiple choices for experiments, oodles of options.  Highly recommend.

Charlotte Mason Pictures in CursiveAfter attending the Teach them Diligently convention this summer I'm all about Charlotte Mason.  I want my girls to be able to write in cursive.  Yes, it's all about computers these days but I want my children to be able to sign their names and handwrite letters as well.  Beautiful pictures and quick copy work.  Highly recommend.

Nutrition 101: Choose Life!Purchased this at the Teach them Diligently convention.  Gorgeous pictures and I loved the content. This book encourages health with anatomy, recipes, nutrition and education.  Can't wait to start using it.

Dave Raymond's American HistoryI reviewed this curriculum over the summer and absolutely loved it.  Exciting and thought-provoking video lectures, student created portfolio, amazing projects, etc.  I'm learning as much as my daughter!  Highly recommend.

Language Lessons for the High School student - Great grammar review.  Short and complete.  Highly recommend.

Marmee's Kitchen PrimerI'll be using this with both my girls for Home Economics.  The class I laughed about in high school.  When would I ever need to know about Home Economics?!  4 years of French were much more valuable and are used each and every day in my life.  


I've started the daunting task of creating my daughter's high school transcript this year.  It's actually not too difficult, once you get your head around it.;)  This is what else she has going on, just so the world knows that she's well rounded- lol!

 takes a Creative Writing class as well as a class in P.E.
plays on a volleyball team.
takes an Artist Journaling class.
is learning French.
loves the Lord.  Which is the most important thing in the world.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Homeschool Mom's Bible- Exactly What I Needed!

My Thoughts:

I first saw the Homeschool Mom's Bible at the Teach them Diligently Homeschool Convention in Nashville.  It caught my eye and immediately went on my wish list.  A Bible with daily personal encouragement created just for homeschool Moms?  Yes, please!

Imagine how excited I was when the opportunity arose for me to review The Homeschool Mom's Bible!  Zondervan offers both a NIV (New International Version) and the original KJV (King James Version).  Being a traditionalist at heart, I selected the King James Version and I was beyond pleased.  Like every homeschool mom I know, my girls and I are always on the go.  You could call us more of a "car"schooling family!:)  So, I kept the Homeschool Mom's Bible in my car.  When I found 10 minutes of quiet, I opened it up to one of the 365 daily meditations (written by a former homeschool mom) and read.  My heart was blessed each and every time.  September 14th addressed "Homeschool Complaints"- and it wasn't just talking about children!  Yes, moms are guilty of complaining, too.  The Bible verse was "Do all things without murmurings and disputings." Philippians 2:14.  There's even a little prayer after each devotion.  10 minutes is all it takes which is perfect for me.  I can be on the go again and still reflect on what I've read.  Other topics covered are:

-finding strength to keep motivated
-navigating the needs of toddlers while educating siblings
-avoiding burnout
-staying focused and committed
-managing schedules
-delegating tasks and chores
-setting boundaries

and so much more...

There's also a Topical Index in the back with subjects pertaining to homeschooling!  No more searching for the verse you need- it's all there for you.

The Homeschool Mom's Bible is attractive, encouraging, and helpful and would make a wonderful Christmas gift!

*I received a copy of this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bumper Wipe Clean Activities- Perfect for little wigglers during church!

My Thoughts:

Bumper Wipe Clean Activities is a hardbound, 72 page Bible book filled with hidden pictures, finish the picture images, connect the dots, mazes, number/letter tracing, coloring and more.  It even comes with it's own dry erase marker!  It would be perfect for wiggly little ones in church, bored sweet peas on a road trip, and would definitely keep the attention for cutie pies while waiting for dinner to be ready.  My 10 year old daughter thought the pictures were absolutely darling and, even though the activities were way too young for her, had fun completing the puzzle pages.  I loved the fact that the laminated pages were easy to clean- just use a soft, damp cloth and it's good as new!  The pages are easy to read for little ones and they each contain a short sentence about a Bible story along with simple instructions for the activities.  Easy, colorful and fun with simple clean up.  Hurrah! 

Bumper Wipe Clean Activities 
Author: Juliet David Illustrated by: Marie Allen
Pages: 72
Size: 6.5X8 inches
Published: 2013
Price: $12.99
ISBN: 978-1-85985-766-3
Format: Spiral Bound

*I was given this book by Kregel in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bash and the Pirate Pig review and Giveaway!!

The winner is #1- Theresa N.!  

Bash and the Pirate Pig 
Written by: Burton Cole 
Illustrated by: Tom Bancroft
Publisher: B&H Kids
Hardcover: 224 pages 

My Thoughts:

Bash and the Pirate Pig is... Crazy, stinky, laugh out loud, death defying, creative, heartwarming,  down on the farm summer fun!  Beamer and Bash are cousins with completely different views on just about everything which makes for one wild (cow!) ride of a story.  Cow tipping, pirate ship launching, fort building, heifer rescuing, hunting for elephants and rhinoceroses and swimming lessons are just a taste of the antics these two boys get into.  I'll never forget Bash's David and Goliath Sunday school lesson complete with a real slingshot and a zoo of critters- yikes!

The stories were delightfully entertaining.  I kept thinking to myself "I hope they make this into a series!" (I was thrilled when I discovered the first chapter of the next book in the back!)  I read  Bash and the Pirate Pig out loud on our last road trip- and my 15 year old begged for more!  Not only is the book hilarious, but it also has a heart and a message.  Salvation is presented in the most innocent and trusting of ways- by a child that "chats" with the Lord.  Precious, through and through.

I can't recommend this book enough.  A wonderful read loud for all ages.  Laugh out loud funny and heartwarming at the same time.  Can't wait for the next book in this series!  And now for the GIVEAWAY...

I'm so thrilled to be able to offer a giveaway of Bash and the Pirate Pig book from FlyBy Promotions!

Here's what you need to do to enter:

#1- Leave a comment on this post for 1 entry.
#2- Leave a separate comment telling me you're a follower of my blog (if you are) for 1 extra entry.
#3- "Like" Burton Cole on facebook for 1 extra entry.

*I'll randomly choose a winner on September 19th.  Good luck!*

About Bash and the Pirate Pig 

Bash and the Pirate Pig, by Burton Cole, is the story of a cranky city kid named Raymond "Beamer" Boxby who must spend summer vacation at his younger cousin, Bash's, farm. 

Beamer prefers air conditioning and video games. He can't see what good can come of this so-called country fun that includes riding cows, river rafting with a pig, or playing with skunks. 

But hang tight, Beamer, because Bash's zany adventures with his "Fishin' and Farmin' book" (The Bible) just might lead to the coolest discovery of all. 

About the Author
Burton Cole is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist with thirty years of experience and more than fifty humor writing awards to his credit. He grew up on a farm in northeast Ohio and attended a small-town church with a slew of cousins and buddies. That same boyhood inspires his colorful stories today. 

About the Illustrator 
Tom Bancroft has more than twenty years of experience in the animation and illustration industry and worked with Disney on films including Beauty and the BeastThe Lion King, and Aladdin. Other clients have included DC Comics and Big Idea Productions

*I was given a copy of this book by FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stranded by Dani Pettrey- A Pure Adrenaline Rush that Sizzles!

Summer is back again and it's way. too. HOT.  Wouldn't it be exciting, not to mention nice and cool, to enjoy an Alaskan cruise?  While going undercover?  In hopes of rescuing a friend that has mysteriously disappeared?  (as in she may have been thrown overboard??!)  

Stranded is just the ticket.

I was an employee on this cruise, with my life in danger, a few hot guys ever willing to help (were they flirting or keeping an eye on me??) while I kayaked, camped and searched for clues.  I even discovered a dead body at one point and almost drowned.  And that was just the beginning.  Employees thought I asked too many questions but I had to find answers before it was too late.  My main problem was I just didn't know who I could trust... 

While I desperately searched for my friend, Abby, I discovered that she wasn't the only young woman to have disappeared.

There had been others.
Many others.

 I did this all without breaking a sweat.  While in my favorite chair, cozy in my jammies. ;)  I will admit that my heart raced and I even held my breathe a few times.  That, my friends, is a sign of a great story.  I almost felt like I was on the cruise ship in Alaska, in danger, running for my life.  Those moments spent in the arms of my own hero were not too hard to take, though.  My heart raced then, too, but in a really niiicccceee way. ;)

I lived vicariously through Darcy St. James and Gage McKenna.  The attraction between these two makes the pages almost sizzle!  Darcy is a spunky heroine with sheer determination and heart, although her fear of drowning places her in harm's way more than once.  Gage McKenna appears almost too flawless in a worldly way (easy on the eyes and fearless) but we learn that he's quite broken inside.  Perfectly imperfect, I rooted for these two ever since I met them in Shattered!

Stranded is a clever combination of mystery/romance/God tied up with a bow.  Dani Pettrey delivers the message of salvation in the midst of chaos and heartache- when most people need it the most.  I loved how the adventure was a true adrenaline rush and the heart of the book was God's love.   

Stranded.  A Pure Adrenaline Rush that Sizzles

Be sure to enter Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Adventure Giveaway!

-You could win an Adventure package! 
- A Top Chef university package!
-or gorgeous jewelry! 

(click on the picture below and be sure to enter before September 18th!)

Author Dani Pettrey
Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

*I was given a copy of Stranded in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dragon Sushi, Brownie Trifle and WHAT IS THAT?

Dragon Sushi with my girl.  Super duper fun.  Even though I shook my bottle of Orangina and it fizzed all over me.  Then I proceeded to drop my chopsticks and my soy sauce packets flew away.  It didn't matter, though, cause we were together and laughed about the whole deal.  

She's good for my heart and my soul. 

After sushi it was off to my MAMMOGRAM.
Truly, they're no big deal.
The ladies understand what you're going through and are beyond cool about it.  They get you in and out fast.

And it doesn't hurt.  So, go.  Get one.  IF you're in that "season of life".  (Who coined that phrase?!  HATE IT.)

*Bonus: The tops are comfy!  I wanted to take mine home.*

Here's proof that I was smiling at the end.  Took this picture just for you guys.
Cause I love ya. ;)

Katie saw the One Direction movie twice this weekend.  All the girls (and the moms) loved it!  I can't wait to go see it.  It's all about being young and having fun, guys.  You can't bottle it but you can experience it.  Count me in!

(Game of One Direction Truth or Dare below.)

We had company over last night.  Chatted about books, movies and UPS employees losing insurance for their spouses. What next??

We also enjoyed Brownie Trifle, Blackberry Cobbler, way too much of this and homemade ice cream.

Weight Watchers starts tomorrow.

I do love setting up for company.  Notice I didn't use the words "cleaning" or "cooking".  To be honest, I'm a bit of a hermit, and that's ok.  Socializing isn't my specialty, although I always have a good time once the prep work is complete.  

I guess I'm a Bilbo Baggins at heart.;)

Rain came through today and it was ahhhhhhsome.  The temps got into the 70's so we celebrated with Pumpkin Spice frappaccinos at Starbucks!

Yes, I was all smiles until I took my nightly walk.

I was chatting with the Lord, marveling at the stars and happily rolling along UNTIL...

I met Charlotte's ginormous cousin with 5 million babies on her back.  That sucker was HUGE!  She seriously stopped me in my tracks.  At this very moment she's out there walking around in the grass.  In my neighborhood.  With all those babies.  It's just TOO MUCH TO TAKE.

But there's more.

Having survived that ordeal I pulled up my big girl pants and proceeded to keep walking.
And then I saw a line of tar in the road- about 3 feet long.

Except it wasn't tar.  And it had a head.

It was a SNAKE!  In my neighborhood.

I don't mind snakes.  Normally.  They're kind of cool.  In a cage.  On TV.

But not when they're roaming around looking for a place to chill out.

In my neighborhood.

Winter can't come soon enough.