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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Not the End of the World

Packing up tonight.
To Do Lists completed.

Teeth cleaned, hair colored, pantry stocked, new sheets on beds...
You'd think the end of the world was coming.

Sometimes it feels like it.

What would I do without the Lord?
Thank goodness, I never have to worry about that.

Yes, I'm scared.
Thankfully, the Lord has been carrying me.

He's the only reason I can sleep at night.
The only reason I can climb this mountain.

Surgery will be Tuesday morning at early o'clock.
Please keep the prayers coming, dear friends.
Pray for the tumor to be benign and that I'll still be able to smile after surgery.
Pray that I will come home to my girls and that they won't be afraid while I'm away.

The fact that you take time out of your day to pray for me absolutely blows me away.
It has brought me to tears.
It sounds crazy but your caring feels like a blanket around me.
So precious and wonderful.

You're beyond awesome.
Thank you so much.

Courageous Teens book review

My Thoughts:

Get ready to be inspired into action!  Courageous Teens challenges it's readers- not just teenagers- to move beyond mediocrity.  Anyone can be average, but God is calling us to be courageous!  Using examples from the movie, Courageous, as well as people in the Bible, the chapters focus on topics such as:

-The Courage to Keep Going
-The Courage to Lead on All Levels
-The Courage to Choose and Refuse
-The Courage to Face Criticism
-The Courage to Face the Fire and more.

As I read Courageous Teens I found myself reflecting on "heroes" in the Bible.  They were regular people, just like myself, who became exceptional through God's glory. God saw them as heroes in the making even though many didn't appear to be heroes in the world's eyes.  We have more in common with Abraham, Elijah, Ruth, David, Stephen and more than you might imagine!  If you are willing, God will make you able.

Courageous Teens is a book that made me sit back and say, "WOW!"  I'm way beyond my teenage years but after reading it I'm feeling called to follow God in any direction He wants me to go.  I've started praying asking God what He has planned for me.  The whole idea is quite exciting!  This is a wonderful book to read with your preteen and or/teen.  I promise that you'll feel a stronger direction and a deeper faith in the Lord.  So go ahead- be courageous!

The Book

It 's hard to be a teenager in today 's society. There are a lot of issues that require an incredible amount of courage on the part of our next generation of leaders. In Courageous Teens, Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church, and best-selling youth market author Amy Parker, work together to inspire today 's teenagers to live with strength and courage.

Catt brings fresh insight to " stories of people in the Bible who displayed great courage when it would have been easier to play it safe . . . (who) challenge me to keep moving forward. They demand that I examine my priorities and deal with anything that brings fear to my heart."

Teens will learn more about the faith and courage of such biblical giants as Abraham, Moses, Nehemiah, Ruth, Daniel, and many more.

Parker arranges the heart-stirring material into four categories: Courageous Faith, Courageous Leadership, Courageous Priorities, and Courageous Influence. 

*I was given a copy of Courageous Teens from Handlebar Marketing in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Day of Fall!

Fall. is. here.
Bring on the flannel sheets, sweaters, boots and comfort food...

Made this soup the other night.
Sweet with a wonderful kick.

Sweet Potato Peanut Soup

2 TB olive oil
1 large onion (chopped)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 T fresh ginger (grated)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 large, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. pieces)
14 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I didn't have this so I used 5 fresh roma tomatoes- diced and 1/2 can of tomato sauce with garlic)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups water

Cut up your sweet potatoes like on a cooking show.:)

Then get the tomatoes ready, too.

Choose your peanut butter.  (We seem to have quite a collection at our house.)

Dice your onions.

Heat 2 TB olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 large diced onion , season with 3/4 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. pepper, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender. (8-10 min.)

Stir in 4 cloves chopped garlic and 2 TB of ginger and cook for about 1 minute.

(Below- my Pampered Chef garlic press.  My fave kitchen product.  Love. it.)

Stir in 2 tsp. ground cumin and 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper and cook one more minute.

Add 1 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes.

Stir in 14 oz. can of crushed tomatoes.  Fresh tomatoes can also be used as seen below.;)

Then add 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes- until sweet potatoes are tender.


Later, treat yourself to a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte or a Sea Salt Caramel Hot Chocolate- both from Target.;)

What's your favorite season of the year?
Anyone missing summer yet?
My new grey cardigan is telling me my answer is, "No".:)

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

My Thoughts:

Mellie has a memory book filled with newspaper clippings of children she has never known.  Paper playmates she longed to share her life with but ended up praying for instead.  Tom's childhood was filled with embarrassment and sadness caused by a father who chose alcohol over his son.  It's now WW II and Mellie and Tom's lives will meet in an innocent and wonderful way. Letters meant to encourage go way beyond that.  Mellie and Tom feel free to share their innermost thoughts in these anonymous letters.  They'll never meet in real life so they have nothing to lose.  But does God have other ideas?

Mellie and Tom's letters and experiences in this book are a joy to read.  The chapter's in With Every Letter alternate between the two characters and provide a thrilling visit back in time to WWII.  Tom MacGilliver is an officer trying to escape the legacy of his father and Mellie Blake is a flight nurse who lives her life in fear of replicating the mistake's of her mother.  They discover that the sins of the past can only be overcome by God's love and, perhaps, with the help of a good friend.  An utterly charming love story filled with humor, danger and romance!


Book 1 in the Wings of the Nightingale series
Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she’s never met–even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence–he’s been trying to escape his infamous name for years.
As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other’s true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?
Combining a flair for romance with excellent research and attention to detail, Sarah Sundin vividly brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing–and true love.

{More About Sarah Sundin}

Sarah Sundin is the author of “A Distant Melody”, “A Memory Between Us”, and “Blue Skies Tomorrow”. In 2011, “A Memory Between Us” was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.
Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com/.

Celebrate with Sarah by entering to win a eReader (winner's choice of Kindle Fire or Nook Color)!

See what folks are saying about With Every Letter!

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire or Nook Color (winner’s choice)

  • Handmade With Every Letter First Aid Kit

  • With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 26th. Winner will be announced at the “With Every Letter” Author Chat Facebook Party on 9/27. Connect with Sarah, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of With Every Letter and join Sarah on the evening of the September 27th for a chance to connect with Sarah and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

*I was given a copy of With Every Letter from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mortal Fire by C. F. Dunn

My Thoughts:
C.F. Dunn has a seductively elegant way with words.  In Mortal Fire, she slowly engages your senses like a cat lazily toying with it's prey.  You can almost feel a chill in the air and taste the tension as you turn the pages faster and faster.  I detected a bit of Twilight (yes, I'm a fan of the books) but this series is geared to a more intellectual crowd.  Lucky for me that I fit into both categories.  Dr. Emma D'Eresby is on a quest to find a a seventeenth century journal.  It's become an obsession of sorts for which she is willing to sacrifice almost everything.  Before she can get her hands on the journal she encounters some very interesting and, dare I say, potentially dangerous characters.  Dr. Matthew Lynes is appealing in every sense of the word but also mysteriously distant.  He has secrets, that's for certain.  Then, there is Kort Staahl- sinister, cunning, and chilling.  What secrets does he possess?   Is there a connection between these men and the women that are being attacked on campus?  Emma begins to fear for her life while at the same she is swept into the arms of a man she truly doesn't know.  Is he her night in shining armor or something much darker?  I was breathless at the end of Mortal Fire.  It's the first book in The Secret of the Journal series and the end will have you begging for more.  History, secrets, love and suspense are all cleverly constructed pieces in Mortal Fire that fit together beautifully.  

Read Chapters 1 and 2 HERE.
Watch the Video Trailer HERE.

More about Mortal Fire:

Twenty-nine-year-old, independent, and self-assured Cambridge history professor Emma D'Eresby has one obsession in life: the curious journal of a seventeenth-century Englishman, a portion of which was left to her by her late grandfather.
When an unexpected opportunity to study the journal in its entirety presents itself, Emma finds herself leaving Cambridge to take up a year-long position at a prestigious university in Maine. Anticipating a quiet year of research, Emma quickly discovers her work impeded by a range of unforeseen complications. From the start, there is the well-intentioned matchmaking of her vivacious Russian colleague, Elena Smalova, and the unexpected jailing of one of her post-graduate students. More troublesome, however, are the unsolved, brutal night attacks on women near the university and Emma's suspicion that they might be linked to the sinister English professor, Kort Staahl. But, most diverting and disconcerting of all, is Emma's growing attraction to the strikingly handsome Dr. Matthew Lyons, whose kind but deliberately distant demeanor puzzles her.
Suspense and dread mount when Kort begins to take a persistent and unsettling interest in Emma. What are Kort's intentions, and what is he capable of? And the mystery surrounding Matthew only deepens when Emma discovers a link between him and the journal. What is Matthew trying to hide?

*I was given a copy of Mortal Fire by Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action by Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic is an incredible human being.  I was thrilled to see that he had written a book and couldn't wait to share it with you!
Read the first chapter here!

It should be at the top of every person's reading list.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

About the Book: 

Michigan, 1883

In Her Darkest Hours, Is He the Man She Needs?

Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer’s assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan–and the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he’s living an upright life, that’s what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell’s help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what’s right cost them both everything?

Meet Jody: 

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of "The Doctor's Lady" and "The Preacher's Bride". She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Visit her website: http://jodyhedlund.com/

My Thoughts:

Unending Devotion is a whirlwind of a story with the strongest heroine I have ever encountered!  Lily Young is determined to find her younger sister who has disappeared without a trace.  On her journey she sacrifices her own safety in order to save other young ladies who may have met a similar unsavory fate.  Connell McCormick comes to Lily's assistance when she is in danger- more than once- and she's not sure what to make of him.  In my opinion, Jody Hedlund has outdone herself with Connell McCormick.  A perfect gentleman with a pure heart filled with passion- you'll find yourself swooning!:)  Unending Devotion will have your racing and your blood boiling!  James Carr is the despicable villain that runs The Stockade (house of ill repute)- untouchable and evil.  Could Lily's sister, Daisy, be captured there?  Lily won't stop until she finds out and the truth may cost her her life.  I was racing to the end of the book to find out what happens!   Incredible tale of good versus evil.  I can't wait to read more from Jody Hedlund!

Celebrate with Jody by entering to win a Nikon Camera Prize Pack! See what folks are saying about Unending Devotion!
One “devoted” winner will receive:
  • A Nikon COOLPIX Digital Camera
  • $25 Shutterfly gift certficate
  • Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 17th. Winner will be announced at the “Unending Deovtion” Author Chat Facebook Party on 9/18. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!
So grab your copy of Unending Devotion and join Jody on the evening of the September 18th for a chance to connect with Jody and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.

Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might 

My Thoughts:

Band of Sisters, crafted by Cathy Gohlke, reads like a thrilling movie.  There are echoes of the film Far and Away but this book has a razor sharp edge.  The main character, Maureen O'Reilly, is independent and fiesty- even hard at times.  She carries a past that she fears will haunt her forever.  Maureen and her sister, Katie Rose, flee to America in hopes of starting a new life, but there are perils that await them there, too.  Not all is as seems and soon Maureen is caught in a web of secrets and treachery.  She gains employment at an elegant department store but soon discovers that coworkers are disappearing.  What has happened to them and why does no one seem to care?  Not wanting to endanger any of her friends, Maureen is left to turn to God, who she felt left her long ago.  

Band of Sisters is a story that I never wanted to end.  It was exciting, romantic, even frightening at times.  The characters were so real I wanted to cast them!  Emma Stone would play Maureen, Joshua would be played by Ryan Reynolds, Ashley Greene would be Katie Rose, and Ian Somerhalder would be Drake (a villain you love to hate!).  I'll get back to you on the rest of the cast.:)  

Let me leave you with this thought. Band of Sisters will make you think, make you feel and stay with you long after the last page.  The book addresses the theme of white slavery and sadly it's alive and well in this day and age. Band of Sisters entertains, inspires and educates.  Bravo, Cathy Gohlke!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Package Full of Sunshine

With your words and your actions, be sure to spread sunshine today!

 You could even create a Package Full of Sunshine!

I got this idea from my friend, Christy.  Katie and I had such fun putting this together for a dear family member. 

Be sure to paint the flaps of the box yellow and/or orange so the colors pop when they open the package!  I lovely picture or note is the perfect topper.

Have a great Sunday!:)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

DNA bracelets and Van Gogh

DNA bracelets. (Click on "Wear a Chimp on Your Wrist")
I love incorporating crafts into Science. 

You'll need:
Pony Beads (your choice of colors).
Dental Floss.
A bit of patience.  

Assign colors to your bases.
We used:
(G)uanine- purple
(T)hymine- pink
(C)ytosine- yellow
(A)denine- green

Bases always match up like this:
A - T.
T - A.
G - C.
C - G.

Once you decide which DNA (M made a bracelet with the code from a Monarch Butterfly and K made one with the code from a Sunflower.) you will use you can start stringing beads!
(ex. If your particular DNA starts with an A you will put a green bead on your first strand and a pink bead (for the T) on your other strand.  Then continue until your strands are long enough to fit around your wrist.)

*The DNA codes are listed on the link above.  Be sure to click on "Wear a Chimp Around your Wrist."*

Tie the strands together and you're done!

Inspired by Van Gogh's Sunflowers.


(We use The World's Greatest Artists Unit Studies from Confessions of a Homeschooler.)


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Freebies and Deals at Starbucks, Arby's and Bath & Body Works!

Just purchased an amazing Living Social deal for Starbucks.  For $5 you get $10 worth of lattes, frappacinnos, and other goodies!  Pumpkin Spice Latte here I come!:)  

*Only good for 5 more hours so be quick like a bunny.*

What's FREE for lunch tomorrow (the 6th)!

FREE Cashmere Glow Bath and Body Works Lotion!  Hurry- ends this weekend!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Long Weekends

I've never enjoyed a long weekend more.
Reading, front porch sitting, Pioneer Woman cooking, and sleeping.

We even fit in a sleepover.
I learned a lot about One Direction and my girl and I were happy to educate about Justin Bieber.
We are Beliebers and proud of it.:)

Two ticks had set up shop on Ruby, our Pug.
"Emergency surgery" was performed and then Daddy taught those suckers a lesson.
So good to have a hero in the family.;)

I'm on the hunt for some cute cowboy boots.
Yep, you heard me right.
I've been stylin' at Chico's but have decided I'm not really that old, yet.
This girl needs some sass.
Not sure if I can rock that look but I'm willing to try.;)

Reading the most amazing book right now.
It reminds me of "Far and Away" but even better.
Can't wait to finish it but don't want it to end.
Do you ever feel that way?

Missed my walk tonight due to pesky mosquitos.
West Nile Virus is a bit of a worry.
Is that a problem where you live?

Will it ever get here?
I've got big plans to enjoy sweaters, boots, jeans and Survivor.
Amazing Race, too.

I'm scheduled for a CT Scan the day before my surgery.
Have any of you ever had one?
Not worried, just curious.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back, ladies.
I'm so getting one today.

This post has been all over the place, but that's how my mind works.
Hope you could keep up.;)

Kids Eat Free.
Three of my favorite words.
Too bad one of my cuties has aged out of this category.:(

The Pioneer Woman must work out- constantly.
Her recipes call for whole milk, whipping cream, mayonnaise, bacon, etc.
I almost never buy these items (but love them dearly).
They're now in my house, in case you need to borrow.

Yes, that's Candyland played with candy.
We do it up right.
(As if the Pioneer Woman's supply list wasn't bad enough.)