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, March 31, 2013

Invisible by Ginny L. Yttrup- A Book to be Savored!



My Thoughts:

Invisible, by Ginny L. Yttrup, is a book you will savor.  Not only are the characters refreshingly real, the story lines will break your heart (cancer, eating disorders, loneliness and loss) and yet give you hope at the same time. The inner thoughts of the main character, Ellyn, are laugh out loud funny!  I promise you'll adore her.  Her journey to find happiness is a long one.  But isn't that the case for many of us?  Earl, her "inner voice", seeks to sabotage her quest but then Sabina and Twila enter her life.  That's when things get interesting and wonderfully complicated.  They are three characters I would've never thought to put together, yet Ginny Yttrup masterfully intertwines the lives of these women and makes you love them all.  Don't let me forget to mention Dr. Heartbroken and Handsome, Miles Decker.:)  Yes, you'll love him, too.  These individuals struggle with deep wounds from the past- ones that have broken them, molded them and eventually shaped them in the most beautiful way.  Their suffering is part of what makes them so exceptional.  That and their love of the Lord.  Imago Dei- made in the image of God- is brought to light through Twila.  She bears the words on her wrist and believes it with all her heart.  It will help you to see yourself, and others, differently.  God loves us all, no matter what we look like.  Invisible is endearing, compelling and, at times, raw.  It will make you think and will stay with you long after the last page.  I absolutely loved it.

Back Cover:


Ellyn DeMoss -- chef, caf├ę owner, and lover of butter -- is hiding behind her extra weight. But what is she hiding? While Ellyn sees the good in others, she has only condemnation for herself. So when a handsome widower claims he’s attracted to Ellyn, she’s certain there’s something wrong with him.
Sabina Jackson -- tall, slender, and exotic -- left her husband, young adult daughters, and a thriving counseling practice to spend a year in Northern California where she says she’s come to heal. But it seems to Ellyn that Sabina’s doing more hiding than healing. What’s she hiding from? Is it God?
Twila Boaz has come out of hiding and is working to gain back the pounds she lost when her only goal was to disappear. When her eating disorder is triggered again, though she longs to hide, she instead follows God and fights for her own survival. But will she succeed?
As these women’s lives intertwine, their eyes open to the glory within each of them as they begin to recognize themselves as being created in God’s image.



About Ginny L. Yttrup:

She won a Christy Award and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award for her award-winning debut novel, Words.  Also a speaker and life coach, she ministers to women wounded by sexual trauma.  Yttrup has two grown sons and lives in California.  www.GINNYYTTRUP.com

*I was given a copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  No other compensation was received.*

it wasn't pretty

Today was a "please hold me close, Lord" kind of day.
I laid my problems at His feet (for the millionth time) and thanked Him for his never-ending love.  My family certainly wasn't up to loving me today.


They really tried.
I think bawling my eyes out while blowing dry my hair freaked them out.
Like I said, it wasn't pretty.


The day didn't play out like I imagined.  Easter church service where I could thank God for the sacrifice of His son.  Hugs and kisses from my family.  Good feelings.  Great lunch at Carrabba's.

Instead, I cried a river worrying about the future and feeling sorry for myself about how life. just. isn't. fair.
Blah, blah, blah.  Poor me.


Nope.  There were tears, unkind words, hurt feelings- and then there was volleyball?
God's amazing like that.


We went to the park, stumbled upon a sweet group of kids and played volleyball with them- for a few hours.  Little Isaac wanted to know if Mandy and I were sisters.  He was my favorite.;) 

We loved them and wanted to bring them home with us.

God lifted me up through these children.  
Thank you, Lord.



I need to read the above verse more often.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Amen, amen, amen.
Thank you, God.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cheese Filled Week

I have visions of getting my nails done, having leisurely lunches with friends and such-
if I sent my kids to school.
Crazy, right?


I'm sure "school" Moms are (almost) as busy as I am.;)


Pizza field trip this week.
All the kids made their own pizzas.


It was fabulous.
Not only did I get to take pictures, I also got a chance to talk with grown ups. :)


Ruby is still her sweet self.
Love the snuggles.


After a day of ice skating and swimming, Katie's friend fell right to sleep.
See who managed to stay awake so she could get some reading time?


That's my girl. ;)


We hosted a game night.
The inspiration for our contribution to the Cake Walk is pictured above.
Try not to drool.


It was a fun evening with games, prizes and sweet friends.


Twister.
Candyland.
BINGO.
and
Memory.


The girls rotated game stations so they each had a chance to play all the games.
Even my husband got in on the fun!


I ran the BINGO station like Alex Trebek.
It was "Bird" BINGO and no one left without learning a fact or two.

Poor kids.


The Cake Walk was ridiculous.
Mary Poppins music and lots of giggling.

Cheesy fun at it's best.:)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Whit's End Mealtime Devotions Book Review- Focus on the Family


Busy, busy, busy- one thing that almost every family has in common.  There is never enough time and life doesn't offer a pause button.  Thankfully, dinner/lunch/breakfast time is often a time that everyone can relax (once the meal is prepared!) and visit.  I was really excited about the opportunity to review Whit's End Mealtime Devotions because my family loves Adventures in Odyssey and I really wanted for us to start doing devotions together.  The book is very user-friendly and offers 90 five-course devotional menus that include:

-Mealtime Prayer- A fresh way to bless your food
-Appetizer- A fun question or activity
-Main Course- An object lesson or thought to chew on
-Table Talk- Questions to spark interesting discussions
-Vitamins and Minerals- A Creative way to thank God for your time together or a remind that God provides all we need


These devotions engaged all of us and made us really think and appreciate God's word.  One lesson that the girls and I particularly enjoyed was called "Water, Water Everywhere".  During dinner we were supposed to eat as much as we could without taking a drink.  This exercise truly made us think about being thirsty and why we need to drink water.  Then we talked about why God is called the "Living Water" and how crucial He was to our lives.  The devotions only take about 5-10 minutes to complete but, of course, you can discuss the lessons as long as you like.  5-10 minutes was perfect for my family- short, sweet and to the point.  

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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Love in the Balance by Regina Jennings


My Thoughts:

Molly Lovelace has more than her share of problems.  She thought she loved Bailey Warner until he declared her to be a "temptress" to the entire church congregation, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of means (and she doesn't even like him) and there's the issue of the new mysterious man in town who wants to take her with him on a trip around the world.  Just thinking about all this makes my head hurt!  I had a bit of trouble warming up to Molly until I realized that she was a lot like me.  The decisions she makes in Love in the Balance are quite similar to ones that I would make if I were in her shoes.  Despite the fact that Bailey Warner declares his intentions in front of the church and his words unintentionally paint a less than favorable picture of Molly, I really liked him.  He's quite human and does make a few wrong choices but his convictions are strong and his integrity is admirable.  Edward Pierrepont, the new man in town, is intriguing and mysterious.  He gives the story a terrific twist that readers will never expect.:)  I enjoyed revisiting the characters Rosa and Weston, who were in Regina's first book Sixty Acres and a Bride and I especially LOVED how Regina Jennings ended this story.  I wondered if/how Molly would be redeemed and if there was even a possibility of a happily ever after.  I won't give the ending away, but I will tell you that the words made me cry.  Love in the Balance is in no way a fairytale.  It's deeper and richer with a focus on forgiveness and love, much like God freely gives to us.

Handsome Cowboy or Debonair Tycoon.
How’s a Girl to Choose?
Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas. She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau. The problem is, with Bailey’s poor prospects, she just can’t fit the two dreams together.
Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town–and her life–and for the first time Molly wonders if she’s met the man who can give her everything. But he won’t be in Lockhart long and while it certainly seems like he talks about their glorious future together, she can’t quite get Bailey out of her mind.
What’s a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?
Read an excerpt here.


Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children.


Regina Jennings is celebrating the release of Love in the Balance with a Kindle Fire Giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party on 4/4!




Love-in-the-Balance-giveaway-300


One "lovely" winner will receive:


  • A Kindle Fire 

  • A copy of Regina's Sixty Acres and a Bride and Love in the Balance
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Love in the Balance" Author Chat Party on April 4th. Connect with Regina, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!




So grab your copy of Love in the Balance and join Regina on the evening of April 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)


Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!


*I was given a copy of Love in the Balance from Litfuse Publications in exchange for my honest opinion.   No other compensation was received.*

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I Wish I Knew at 18 Review and Book Giveaway!

                                  The winner is Alicia!  Congratulations!!


My Thoughts:

My girls love it when I share my life lessons and pearls of wisdom with them.  Well.... not really.  You see, Mommy advice usually comes with way too much information and/or a lecture.  Fun, huh?  What I WIsh I Knew at 18  Life Lessons for the Road Ahead delivers a wealth of information that's a pleasure to read and there's no lecture involved.  In fact, I found myself wishing I knew a young person that was graduating this year as it would be the perfect gift.  Who am I kidding?  It goes beyond graduation.  Not only does Dennis Trittin cover topics such as Character, Relationships, Communication and College Academics he also gives wonderful advice about Handling Adversity, Career Selection, Love and Marriage and so much more.  I particularly enjoyed reading about Learning to Speak Comfortably in Groups (something I've always struggled with) and Taking Charge of Your Worries (we all need this).  What I Wish I Knew at 18 reads like a friendly road map for life.  It's entertaining, honest and real.  



About Dennis Trittin
Dennis Trittin is a successful investment manager, educator and mentor committed to helping young adults reach their full potential. Now retired from managing over $30 billion in assets, he devotes his life to promoting leadership and life management on a global basis. Trittin serves as an advisor to several charitable groups and as a speaker with national and local educational and community organizations. Dennis and his wife Jeanne are parents of two young adults and reside in the Seattle area.

**FlyBy Promotions has generously given me a copy of What I Wish I Knew at 18 for one of my readers!  If you'd like a chance to win, leave a comment on this post.  For an additional entry let me know that you're a follower of my blog in a separate comment.  I'll randomly choose a winner March 28th.  Good luck!**

I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Grave Consequences by Lisa T. Bergren


My Thoughts:

It's here.  The book that I've been anxiously awaiting.  It all began last year with Glamorous Illusions- the Cinderella story brimming with beautiful and privileged young men and women indulging in their Grand Tour of Europe.  There is no end to the elegance, parties, champagne and flirtation.  Immersed in the center of all this is Cora Kensington, Wallace Kensington's illegitimate daughter.  Struggling in a sea of manipulation, as well as a love triangle, she's not certain which way to turn.  The intrigue continues in Grave Consequences and it's a thrilling adventure!  Luxuriating in castles, attending bull fights, as well as escaping from kidnappers is just skimming the surface of this book.  Cora Kensington is a leading lady you will admire and cheer for as her life takes dips and turns you can only dream about.  She's a key player in the book's love triangle accompanied by Pierre de Richelieu- dashing, romantic and rich as well as William McCabe- brave, intelligent and hardworking.  The characters are lavishly written and what makes them incredibly entertaining is that you never can be absolutely certain who can and cannot be trusted.  Surprises occur when you least expect them and things are not always as they appear.  Lisa T. Bergren has spun a historical fairy tale complete with merciless villains, breathtaking settings and a love story that will make you swoon!  

The Powerful, Epic Romance Continues, Book 2 in Lisa T. Begren’s Grand Tour series
For Cora Kensington, the journey of a lifetime takes unexpected twists. And her future—her very life—depends on the decisions she’ll make at each crossroad. As her European tour with her newfound family takes her through Austria, France, and Italy, an unseen enemy trails close behind. Meanwhile, a forbidden love continues to claim her heart, putting everyone’s plans in danger.
And as Cora stays one step ahead of it all, what might need the most protection is her own heart, torn between the dramatic pursuit of a dashing Frenchman and a man who has been quietly staking claim to her affections all along. Love has dangers all its own. She must escape the bonds of the past and discover the faith to make the right choices, as each one has grave consequences.


Lisa T. Bergren is the award-winning author of over thirty-five books, with more than 2 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, Lisa now divides her time between writing, editing, parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of her next trip to Italy. She lives in Colorado Springs.


Celebrate the release of Grave Consequences with Lisa T. Bergren by entering to win an iPad Mini!

Grave-Consequences-Bergren



One "grand" winner receive:

  • A brand new iPad Mini

  • Grave Consequences and Glamorous Illusions will be pre-loaded onto the Mini!

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced on March 25th at Lisa's website.






Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.


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

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pinterest Button Canvases.
Be still my heart.


Out came the buttons.
Glue guns were plugged in.


We got busy.


Whoever coined the phrase "Cute as a Button" knew what they were talking about.
Buttons are just that.
Cute.


We decided to go with a rainbow theme.
Frames to follow.


You can even squeeze in a bit of texting.
If you're good at multi-tasking.:)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

UNHOLY HUNGER by Heather James




Evelyn Barrett wants to die. As long as her daughter's murderer dies with her, she is ready to go. Why did this man--this stranger--destroy her family? Why has he not been brought to justice? Why is she forced to live a life of anger and grief? Amid a million questions she cannot answer, Evelyn knows one thing for sure: this murderer must be punished for his crime.
Before it all, she was a successful attorney who won all the hard cases. Now that the case is personal, Evelyn will stop at nothing to seek her own version of justice. When another girl goes missing, Evelyn plows forward, ignoring the warnings from police detectives, the pleas of her grief-stricken husband, and the strange, almost supernatural tingles that tug at her. But as she follows the stench of evil, Evelyn learns that the hardest thing she will have to face may not be the death of her child after all. Perhaps the harder lesson is this: the ultimate truth--of crime and verdict, of life and death--cannot be swayed by a mother's revenge.
In this first book of a new, page-turning series, a woman will be brought to her limits before she finally recognizes the movement of the Holy Spirit and reconnects with the source of true peace.





My Thoughts:

Unholy Hunger (Lure of the Serpent Book 1) is unsettling, intriguing and honest.  It brings to light the raw anger and intense sorrow felt when a child is abducted and murdered.  The book is extremely well written and Heather James does a thorough job of keeping her audience in suspense.  Evelyn Barrett, the main character, is thrown into a nightmare when she discovers that her daughter has been killed by an unknown pedophile.  Her life now exists only to find the killer and revenge her little girl.  To add to this, Evelyn has developed a extraordinary sense of smell that allows her to "locate" predators by their "stench of evil"-  pedophiles, child abusers, etc.  Trying to make some sense out of these horrid acts of violence, Evelyn is forced to look to God.  What she finds gives her pause but is it enough to stop her from becoming a criminal herself?

Unholy Hunger is a tough read as the subject of child murder is not one that I usually seek out.  Heather James does provide us with a very strong, although broken, heroine who carries the story line and subject matter quite well.  Evelyn Barrett is the kind of person I want on my side when the going gets tough! It was difficult watching her self destruct while struggling through the pain, though.  As I stated, the book is unsettling and quite raw but the story is compelling and you'll find it hard to put down.  In a way it seeks to discover the answers that we all want to know.  Why is their evil in the world?  Why do bad things happen?  

*Read an excerpt here.*

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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Veggie Tales "The Little House that Stood" review and giveaway!

The winner is Denise!!!  Congratulations!


Are you more of a "Bob the Tomato" or a "Larry the Cucumber"?  Of course, I'm talking about The Veggie Tales!  My girls (ages 10 and 15) and I were *thrilled* to be asked to review their newest DVD release "The Little House that Stood"!  As always, the clever comedy combined with a Biblical message was beyond entertaining- it was heartwarming and educational.  There are 2 stories on the DVD.  "The Little House that Stood" is a parable "that shows kids that when they follow God's blueprints, they can stand strong when the storms come!"  Combine this story with the Three Little Pigs and a few new characters and you've got Veggie Tales! 




The second story is "The Good Egg of Gooseville".  Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, Little Miss Muffet, Goldilocks, Jack be Nimble and more star in this Veggie Tale rendition of Humpty Dumpty.  You won't believe what happens before and after Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall.:)

"Happy Tooth Day", sung by Larry the Cucumber, is our new favorite Silly Song!  I still find myself singing the verses and laughing days later.  Songs from the past, "I Love my Lips", "The Cebu Song" and "Where is my Hairbrush?" are some other songs we adore and now "Happy Tooth Day" joins this group.  You're never too old to love the Veggie Tales!




*FlyBy Promotions has generously offered me a copy of "The Little House that Stood" DVD to giveaway to one of my followers!* 

#1-Leave a comment on this post telling me what Veggie Tales character you are most like for a chance to win. 
#2- If you're a follower of my blog, leave a separate comment for an additional entry.;)

*I'll randomly choose a winner on March 9th.*

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."