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I am a mother who works full-time but who is also a chauffer, chef, seamstress, fitness instructor, teacher, maid, gardener, runner, organization expert, salesperson, secretary and wife. I love my family and life is always busy but fun! Come along with me for the ride:-)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Resolutions and Such

It's that time of year - the time when everyone makes New Year's resolutions that usually involve losing weight or exercising. Why not make your 2012 resolution one of "wellness"? It is a resolution that involves the physical and the spiritual as well as sometimes changing your surroundings. We all have read and heard the same things every year - eat this, don't eat that, use this product, join this gym, etc.

Here are some good wellness tips for around the office and home that you don't often hear. Enjoy!!

1. Build good relationships with your family and co-workers and you'll live longer - research has proven this fact. Resist the urge to complain - it harms working relationships and causes family strife.

2. Plant a potted plant in your bedroom, living room or office. It filters volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are released from carpet, fabric, paint, plastic and wood furniture. Look for rubber plants, peace lilies and other easy-to-care-for plants. If you have room, get more than one plant!

3. De-Clutter!!!! (this is my favorite) Living and working in a disorganized environment makes it very difficult to process information and function efficiently. Face it - we ALL have too much stuff. Sell or donate things that are in your way or that you don't use - you'll feel better once they are gone.

4. Air things out! NOTE- this can have two meanings. First - if you have fatigue or nausea symptoms, it's possible that you're not ill - your environment is making you feel that way. Poor air quality causes headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation, nausea and forgetfulness. The air around you can be more polluted than outside air due to poor ventilation, cleaning products chemicals and those VOCs from #2 above. Fix this by being sure all vents are unblocked or clean, change filters frequently, buy a clean air machine and OPEN THE WINDOWS when weather permits. Second - what if your symptoms are caused by issues you need to discuss with a family member or co-worker. If so - it's time to sit down with them and discuss what is bothering you in a non-confrontational way. Clear the air, come to an agreement and then move on!

5. Mute the Madness!! Constant noise from elevators, printers, co-workers who talk too loudly or are always on the's all distracting. This happens at home when the TV is on but no one is watching. Solution?? Turn off that TV and enjoy the quiet. Pop in earplugs while working....OR - ask that annoying co-worker to please be quiet so that you can concentrate:-)

6. Straighten up!! You may think that 3:00 pm slump is the result of too little sleep or eating too much lunch. But it could be due to the way you are sitting. Correct posture helps you breathe more fully, improves appearance and therefore, concentration. This is not just true at work - it can be true at home when watching TV or working on a computer or sewing / craft project.

7. Slip Out!! Being inside all day is not good for anyone. A study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that spending as little as 20 minutes outside makes you feel more vital and energetic. Even standing up throughout the day can revive you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's that time of year - the holidays officially begin this week and traffic, shopping and preparations will be chaotic. About six months ago, I had booked a mountain vacation for this week so that my family could have some down time together where it is quiet and we could relax - something that we have not done in a while. Due to circumstances beyond my control, we have changed our vacation and we are home this week. However, we are still going to have a wonderful week together with relaxation and fun things to do.

On FaceBook a few people (myself included) are posting specific things they are thankful for each day. Being thankful is something we should do daily throughout the year. I think that a lot of people are thankful all the time, but it is so easy to forget to express our thankfulness vocally to those who need to hear it. Here is my "unspoken" list -

1. I am thankful for my girlfriends - ALL of them. Specifically - Brandy, Brenda, Amanda, Connie, Christy & Susan. We don't see each other as often as we should but we seem to be able to just get into the groove and talk even after being apart for a couple of weeks or longer. We are all busy and do not get to talk or visit much - but I love you guys and don't tell you often enough.

2. I am thankful for my church family. We are very small - some Sundays there are 15-20 of us and other Sundays there are over 50. But we are close, we love each other and know that we can depend on each other for anything.

3. I am thankful for my Daddy. He is the greatest man I know. He is patient, kind, loving and quite insightful about life. I Corinthians 13: 4-7 fits him perfectly. It is as if God wrote the verses just for him. He has taught me so many things. And all just by being himself and being the great example he is.

4. I am thankful for my husband and children. My girls are the highlight of my life. Cassie is beautiful, bright, lively (very), fun, outgoing and always happy. Bailee is beautiful, smart, quiet, thoughtful, and full of insight for her age - she is like a wise old woman in a nine year old's body. My husband is the hardest working man I know. He loves us without fail and we make a great team - he and I do.

Today, what are you thankful for? I know that everyone is rushing around, busy, traveling, cooking, decorating and the like. But please take a few moments to stop and reflect on your life - how wonderful God is, how thankful you are for, how loved you are. Even if you're having difficulties at this time in your life, God loves you - He always has and He always will. Reflect on the verses below and don't ever forget that!

Everyone have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Promises to Keep

by Ann Tatlock

Book Description
Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper. Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life, and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in. Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else. When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.

Shortly after her mother leaves their father and they move into their new home, the Anthonys are greet daily by an elderly woman named Tillie. Tillie was the previous owner who did not want to leave her home but her sons moved her into an elderly home and sold the house. She wants to come home and die there and Ms Anthony needs someone to help her with the children. It’s a match Heaven sent.
The Anthonys moved because their father was a violent drinker. Their mother left because she feared for her life and for her children’s lives. Slowly over time, the Anthonys and Tillie become like family.
However Wally, the eldest son, is angry and thinks about enlisting in the Vietname War. Rosalind secretly visits with her father. He manipulates her into secrecy and asks questions about Janis (their mother) and things that are happening. He promises that things will be different, that he’s trying to change and he wants to be a family again. Roz feels guilty but keeps the secret because she hopes that they can become family again. However, her father does not necessarily want the same things.
Tillie is the spark of energy and fun in this novel. It is fast reading and Ann Tatlock’s writing brings you right into the heart of the story and you don’t want to stop reading. The story is written in the first person with Roz being the main character. As the reader, you realize long before Roz does just how manipulative her father is and you want to protect her. Tillie is the rock of the household and family. The story moves very quickly and has a good ending. The story is suspenseful because, although you know it will turn out well, you can not guess how it will do so. I would recommend this book and any other book by Ann Tatlock – she is a wonderful writer and you will not be disappointed.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review on my blog. I was not obligated to give a positive review in any way.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Harvest of Grace

by Cindy Woodsmall

I have read all three books in the Ada’s House Series by Cindy Woodsmall and I, once again, loved this book. All three are wonderful but this book (#3) seems to sum up some earlier things from the first books that were sort of left “hanging’. That being said – I highly suggest reading the first two books before reading this one. You will not be disappointed in any of them although this one was my favorite!
The Harvest of Grace’s message is focused on it’s title – Grace and forgiveness. Not just from God but with and for each other. Sylvia Fisher has left her family’s dairy farm to work on the Bank’s farm. The Banks have lost a son who left to get help for his alcohol addiction – much to his father’s embarrassment and anger. Sylvia soon becomes like a member of the family. When Aaron, their son, returns home to hopefully persuade his parents to sell the farm and move near him because he is no longer drinking & has plans for a new business - he is suspicious of Sylvia. Why did she leave her family, why is she so involved in his family (never mind that he has not been around), etc? He wants to know her “secret” and yes, she does have one.
As you read, you also find more about the lives of Cara, Ephraim, Lena, Gray, Deborah, Ada, and Jonathan from the first two books. The reader is given more information about these characters and those things left “hanging” referenced in the first paragraph above are resolved.
I do highly recommend this book as well as the first two books in the series – The Hope of Refuge and The Bridge of Peace. You will not be disappointed!

NOTE: I received this book free from Waterbrook Press but was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Great Mogul Diamond (The Doppleganger Chronicles)

by G. P. Taylor

From the Back Cover
Everything was going so well for a change. . . . Sadie and Saskia Dopple, those troublesome twins, have been adopted by their loyal friend, the writer Muzz Elliott. And their friend Erik Morrissey Ganger is finally on his way to becoming a full-fledged detective. But when an anonymous note threatening Muzz Elliott arrives, the twins suddenly find themselves on an express train to danger. Awhirl in a series of crimes stolen right off the pages of Muzz Elliott’s own mystery novels, the twins need to figure out who’s behind this twisted plot, or Muzz Elliott will be framed for her own greatest literary invention: the theft of the Great Mogul Diamond. Meanwhile, Erik speeds through the countryside in a lightning-fast convertible with private eye Dorcas Potts, racing the clock to find the twins and outwit a gang of robbers. At the end of the road (if he ever gets there), he and the twins will have to get their hands on the diamond first . . . even though Erik, the former thief, has sworn never to steal again. What do you do when you aren’t sure what’s right? Sadie, Saskia, and Erik face this question head-on in the third installment of The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, by New York Times bestselling author G. P. Taylor.

My Review
My 11 year old read this book and I have as well. It is written for ages 9-12 but it is a fun read for anyone. The book is part 3 of a series involving 3 young detectives – Sadie, Saskai and their friend, Eric. They have uncovered a great mystery and the adventure takes them and the reader on a journey of discovery involving what to do when you aren’t sure what’s right. The style of writing grabs the reader’s attention immediately. There are fast car rides, train rides, escapes from scary situations. There are wonderful illustrations and photos within the book as well as pages that are black pages with white writing. Children seem to like that today – like Diary of a Whimpy Kid 

Several other reviewers have stated that G. P. Taylor’s style of writing reminds me of C. S. Lewis and I wholeheartedly agree. They both write stores that kids love to read while teaching them Christian values at the same time. In this book you come to realize the spiritual message in the book on your versus the author spelling it out – again like C. S. Lewis.

This book is a good book for both boys and girls, young and old. If you’re looking for a fun read that is also a quick read – this is the book for you.

I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

3 Things Thursday.......I'm Back!!

1. School Times - school has started and it's finally in full swing. Online grades are up, girls are doing great, carpool has settled down, afternoon bus deliver has sped up (not in a bad way) and we are in the groove. Those who know me well know I hate school buses - the drivers I've seen are too fast and it scares me that there are no seat belts. But Ms. Veronica who drives our bus is great. She loves the kids and takes good care of them. The girls are doing well in school and both have adjusted well to being in new schools. I also love the fact that going home to the babysitter allows them to relax, have a snack and finish homework before I even get home. It makes our evenings much less stressful. This is going to be a GREAT year - I can just feel it.

2. No Patience - As I've aged (and I'm still YOUNG), I find that I have lost patience with ignorance, stupidity, fake people and just pure laziness. That covers a lot of things, a lot of issues and certainly a lot of people. It seems as if people are losing their will to do good, to do well and to just be nice. I see rudeness at school (children learn what they live with), driving down the road, at work, shopping - everywhere. It makes me so sad that some people just trudge through life with no ambition, no desire to do better for themselves or their fellow man and absolutely no clue as to what is really going on around them. Needless to say - I pray a lot and at the top of my prayer list is a prayer for myself and my own patience and control of tongue :-)

3. The Help - I've been to see The Help and I highly recommend it. I am still reading the book and it is as good as the movie. The movie is PG-13 because they chose to heighten the amount foul language in it - particularly in regards to The Jackson Journal newspaper editor. He was a little over the top in more ways than one :-) But the movie is very thought provoking. It will make you laugh, cry and feel more emotions in a 2 1/2 hour span that you've felt all year. It is actually a very educational movie - and it deserves any Oscar nomination that it gets. Emma Stone (Skeeter), Octavia Spencer (Minny), Bryce Dallas Howard (Hilly / Ron Howard's daughter in real life) and Viola Davis (Aibileen)all gave outstanding performances. The cast could not have been better chosen. If you haven't been to see it, take the time to do so before it leaves your local movie theater!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Restless In Carolina

By Tamara Leigh

Product Description
She’s all about going green. Could he be her white knight—or will he make her see red?

Tree-huggin’, animal-lovin’ Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan is on a mission. Well, two. First she has to come to terms with being a widow at thirty-three. After all, it’s been four years and even her five-year-old niece and nephew think it’s time she shed her widow’s weeds. Second, she needs to find a buyer for her family’s estate—a Biltmore-inspired mansion surrounded by hundreds of acres of unspoiled forestland. With family obligations forcing the sale, Bridget is determined to find an eco-friendly developer to buy the land, someone who won’t turn it into single-family homes or a cheesy theme park.

Enter J. C. Dirk, a high-energy developer from Atlanta whose green property developments have earned him national acclaim. When he doesn’t return her calls, Bridget decides a personal visit is in order. Unfortunately, J. C. Dirk is neither amused nor interested when she interrupts his meeting—until she mentions her family name. In short order, he finds himself in North Carolina, and Bridget has her white knight—in more ways than one. But there are things Bridget doesn’t know about J. C., and it could mean the end of everything she’s worked for…and break her heart.

My Review
Tamara Leigh has done it again. I don't read conventional romances - only religious romance fiction. I wondered about this book because of the "swooning" review comment on the back of it but I absolutely loved it. The story is told from Bridget's point of view and the character depth is very good. You empathize with her because she is still willingly mourning her loss and she blames God and herself. She has to learn to forgive in order to learn to love again. You will probably figure out the J C's secret before it's actually written but you want to read each and every page to see how these two lost individuals come to terms with their pasts so that they can be free. This book is a fun, quick summer read and I finished it in three days (and I work full time and have two children). You will love this book!!

I received this book free from Waterbook Multnmah Publishing Group book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

3 Things Thursday !!

1. Out With the Old & In With the New... - I've been cleaning out drawers, closets, cabinets, etc. I don't like to clean but I LOVE to organize. I have sold books, electronics, swimsuits, etc on Ebay, taken things to consignment that didn't sell on Ebay and given away things. Been shredding things in my office as well. I am ready for simplicity which means no clutter, nothing in the way that we don't need, use, or cherish. I am finding that less clutter means less stress - which in turn means more time for things that matter. Baking with the girls, reading a good book, sewing something fun, playing games or making plans.

2. Summer's Ending & School's Beginning - I guess this should read that summer BREAK is ending because summer is certainly NOT over in Mississippi. It's cruel that our children start school in early August - I just wish the Department of Education would understand that and let them start after Labor Day. I'd much rather they start late and stay in school until June versus the way it is now. It's crazy!!! That probably means that the person making the decision has some sort of agenda or strange reason for it being this way in Mississippi. In my opinion, that person should have to get on the bus and play on the playground in the heat every day for an hour......then go back inside and be expected to do good schoolwork :-)

Feels Like I'm Starting Over - once again I need a babysitter. Chloe is on the bowling team at her school which means practices and meets 2-3 days a week. I need a babysitter from 2-5 every afternoon--EVERY day after school without fail. If you know of anyone - teenager or not - who is trustworthy and responsible that would like to make some money while working part time keeping my two sweet girls, please email me at Thanks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hidden Affections

by Delia Parr

Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Tyler wears the burden of legally being a divorcee, a difficult position for an upstanding young woman to find herself in. While attempting to start a new life for herself, an unexpected turn of events once again has Annabelle married--this time to Harrison Graymoor, the most eligible, yet elusive, bachelor in Philadelphia. Harrison assures her that he will secure an annulment immediately, unaware that the constable has sent word of the marriage to the press in Philadelphia. And here things continue to go awry. Harrison's past, a philanthropic cousin with his eye on Annabelle, and the appearance of Annabelle's ex-husband threaten the tentative relationship growing between Harrison and his "wife." For two individuals set against marriage, there are certainly a lot of second thoughts regarding the one forced upon them.

This book is set in Pennsylvania in 1831.

In the latest novel, Hidden Affections by Delia Parr, we are introduced to an unlikely couple who are trying desperately not to fall in love. While the story sounds like a typical historical romance, this journey will be a journey unlike no other between Annabelle Tyler and Harrison Graymoor. This book is not a typical fairytale romance. As always Ms Parr writes so eloquently that you will turn page after page just to find out what will happen next. You root for Annabelle and Harrison from the start but you're never really sure what obstacles will come their way.

Delia Parr is one of the best historical writers I've read - she just has a way of using words that keep you spellbound and this book does not disappoint. You feel as if you are in Pennsylvania,at Graymoor Gardens, at The Reguge....any location in the book. The depth of the characters personalities and lives prove to be very moving and you instantly like the good characters and you instantly dislike the unsavory characters.

I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Loved it and I look forward to reading more of Delia Parr's work.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

3 Things Thursday

1. Do you like water?? - well at my house we do and we are thankful for the rain that we have had for the last two days (with more to come). The entire state and a lot of our nation has needed it. The girls went outside and played in it and we can already tell that our tomatoes have grown tremendously just within two days. Hopefully some of our fellow southern states have gotten rain as well and it has helped with some of the fires they have had. The temperature was helped as well - the high is 87 today compared to 100 last week. God is so good!!

2. The Games have Begun - I absolutely despise, DESPISE, political signs. I am going to check my subdivision's covenant to see if they are mentioned anywhere because I can not stand to see them all over people's yards. I wonder if those people and the politicians realize that we don't really read them. There are so many that I just sort of "blank them out". They are an eyesore, they are trashy, they cover yards and street corners as if the person with the most signs will automatically win. I also feel about them like I do garage sale signs.....if you put the signs out, then you are responsible for taking them back up. Maybe I'll run for Brandon Mayor to see what I can do about it. AND I will win without signs :-)

Summer Activites - the girls have thoroughly enjoyed being out of daycare at home this summer. The girly drama is non-existent and they seem to actually get along better because the other drama is not affecting their moods. They ride their scooters, play in the yard, play games, do crafts, have down time inside where it's cool, go to the pool, go to the movies, etc. I can plan their days - complete with chores to help me out - and Chloe takes care of being sure it's done. She is a sweet girl who is easy going and seems to love my girls already. I am thankful that we decided to do this - again God is so Good!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Money Secrets of the Amish

Published by Thomas Nelson

Money Secrets of the Amish is the first e-Book I have reviewed for Thomas Nelson. The book is written by author Lorilee Craker from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This book is full of good wisdom and advice. It is a very quick read and after reading it, I realized that Dave Ramsey is Amish.........he is just in modern clothing. The Amish live the Ramsey way!! They are not bound by finances, they are frugal, resourceful and do not believe in being wasteful or materialistic. Several chapters in the book cover delaying gratification, using products you purchase to their fullest life (and then some), buying items as second hand items to save money...all in an order to only spend money on what you truly need.

As you read Lorilee Craker's book you realize just how wasteful the modern American truly is. But, the book is full of humor and good stories to demonstrate the point of each topic being covered. The book has very sound advice but it is not written in a "preachy" way at all.

I found the book to be informative, very smartly written and very humorous.....a good light quick read and very helpful!

NOTE: I was provided this book for free by Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review and opinion.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Plain Wisdom: An Invitation Into An Amish Home & The Hearts of Two Women

by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud

I am a long-time reader of Amish fiction and have been since I wrote a report about the Amish in high school. The stories are wonderful, there is nothing immoral or explicit in them and they provide a relaxed escape from the stressful day-to-day lives we "Englishers" live. Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite Amish fiction authors to read, so I was so very pleased to see that she had written a non-fiction book for her fans.

Each chapter deals with an individual topic and both Cindy and Miriam wrote their own thoughts about the topics. However, it is very evident to the reader that the very faithful Amish are not really that different than a "modern" Christian. They may dress differently and live differently but they have the same worries and same stresses that we have - just maybe in a different way. Miriam and Cindy are friends, not just co-authors and visit with each other just as you and I would out in the English world.

This book is very well written and gives good, solid sound advice (and some really GOOD sounding recipes) that anyone would find helpful. I usually pass my books along or trade them for free books on a book swap website but I think that I will be hanging onto this one for my library.

Good job ladies - I look foward to your next collaboration!

NOTE: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

3 Things Thursday

New Beginnings - New childcare, new summer activities, new friends. Our new sitter started this week and the girls already love Chloe. They are not necessarily looking forward to the "to do" list I will be leaving them every day to take care of - but it gives them the opportunity to learn more about responsibility and it will help Mama out too :-) I already have summer activities lined up for them so that I won't hear the inevitable "I'm bored" that will otherwise come. Thankfully the Jackson Metro area has some great (and free / cheap) places that will help with small "field trips". Love that some of them are quite educational too.

Learning to let go and move forward - I'm learning to let things go - I'm having to for my sanity. It's a hard life lesson to learn too. Recently someone became angry at me for an unknown reason - and I do mean unknown - I am completely clueless. This person is not a life-long friend but the reaction and resulting state of events hurts none-the-less. I am a very easy-going person - I always see the glass as half-full, never half-empty. There are enough people in my family to take care of the latter for me LOL. Those of you who really know me that the last two sentences are very true too. But what can you do when someone gets so angry that they cut you off at the knees without any explanation? You let it go........lesson learned.......I'm moving on.

Running and HEAT !!! - as of this week, I'm on the treadmill folks. On the days I can get up with the chickens, I will run outside in my neighborhood. Otherwise, it's The Club 24/ for me. It' already 97 with a heat index over 100 and it's only the first week of June. The same "older people" who told Jeff last summer that it would snow a lot and be COLD this last winter have told him that this summer will be a doozie!! They've been around to have seen a lot of weather patterns and I'm thinking they are dead on. Going to be a hot one - so stay cool and stay hydrated :-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Max On Life: Answers and Insights to Your Most Important Questions

by Max Lucado

Max Lucado has written another great book that should be added to Christian homes as a devotional, a reference guide, a book to turn to when you need comforting words and a reminder that God is always there and He is always with us. Max confesses immediately that he does not know every thing – none of us do. But he has written this book as a guide and to provide answers to questions people may ask you, questions you may ask yourself and questions you may even get from your children.

He is responding to letters he has received from people asking for answers to questions they have regarding God, theology, religion, Heaven, Hell, living a Christian life, etc. He answers more than 150 of these questions. His answers are very real, practical, clear & concise and he is always gracious and never condescending.

Max even includes an addendum giving advice to those interested in writing or publishing their own works.

I highly recommend this book to those new to the Christian faith as well as to those seasoned Christians. You won’t regret reading it and it would also make a wonderful gift.

NOTE: This book was received free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

3 Things Thursday

Improvement is the name of the game -- this week has been about improvement all the way. Better days at work, less stress, back on the health kick (clean eating & running), enjoying having nowhere to run after work every day. Life is good and destined to continue to improve.

Mother Nature is ticked -- I've heard this for the last two weeks. There is no Mother Nature - only our good Lord in Heaven above. The scientific reason is connected to increasing solar activity and the switch between La Nina conditions to El Nino conditions. How easily we forget from season to season that the weather is a cyclic phenomenon. We've had other years of bad hurricanes, bad tornadoes, bad flooding, etc. It's simply tornado time now. And as far as how bad they are - deaths, destruction - remember that ALL tornadoes cause death, devastation and destruction. Just some more than others. In today's world, we have media-hungry news reporting that provides more pictures, more sad stories, more detail - almost too much. They simply need to tell us what to do to help and what is happening with rescue efforts and cleanup. I do know this - the Lord is in control and it's so easy to blame him or forget that He's still there - always has been and always be. Pray, worship God, love your neighbor (even those three states away) - the ultimate goal is the same - HEAVEN where there will be no death, destruction and devastation. Only the best life that will last forever.

A New Beginning -- next week, the girls will begin staying at home. I have a found a wonderful babysitter (Chloe) who will come stay with them, minister to them and take them to activities. It will take a lot of my stress away. I have spent the last 9 months running......not just for exercise either. Running to schools each morning because the bus runs at 6:40 for a 7:30 school start time. Ridiculous!! Running to work and hoping that traffic is good - usually not. Running to get girls after work (again traffic). Running to activities. Running home to eat, do homework and get to bed - usually too late for a school night. Cassie is now a "tweenager" and so bored at daycare so this is an opportunity for her to mature as well. Personally I am tired of the drama daycare causes and I have become disappointed in several things at the daycare we have used for 6 years. Everything seems chaotic and the quality of after school workers is not what it used to be. Cassie gets blown off when she has a question instead of someone discussing issues and ministering to her and the other girls. Teachers yell at them and the entire class gets punished for things 1-2 children cause or do. There are also some new girls around Cassie's age that I don't really care for her to hang around. To quote Cassie herself - one girl is "inappropriate". Cassie actually told her she was (she's very frank) and the girls response to Cassie was "that is what boys like". Keep in mind that these girls are only eleven!!! Cassie and Bailee will both have afternoon activities in the fall. Cassie even has practices this summer so Chloe can take her. In the fall, she will be there when they get home, get homework done, sometimes get baths, and then take them to the gym. Then we can eat and get to bed without rushing all the time. That means Mommy gets to relax and go to bed at an earlier time too :-) We are all excited to have Chloe !

Friday, May 20, 2011

3 Things Thursday......A Few Days Late!

Whew what a week last week was. I would ask for a do-over but I think I'll just move on past it and it's already this week anyway :-)

1. Compliance - if you work in compliance in any form at your job, you get it ...... "exams / audits". Enough said about this one - but it will all be good in the end. Just a busy, chaotic, unorganized week - and I hate working in those conditions. I am already catching up this week.

2. Do I need to explain that I am an adult? - and therefore I have a right to my own opinion? Even if you don't agree with it? We are all different, from different backgrounds, from different beliefs, from different walks in our life. We were born that way and we will die that way. You can love people and you can like people without agreeing with their opinions, their way of life, or their beliefs. The inevitable lack of personal communication that abounds today because of social media needlessly causes hurt feelings, misdirected anger, and utter confusion. One day, friends won't talk to friends and children REALLY won't know how to have a conversation...except when pushing buttons on a computer. It's already happening. "Friends" are blocking friends, people are making "underhanded" comments to get a point across that they are too chicken to say to someone's face, children and parent don't talk - REALLY talk. Cashiers have gotten angry with me in stores - I stop unpacking my buggy and pointedly have told a few that when they stop texting and start checking me out, I'll continue. I'm not rude - just firm. I've gotten dirty looks but I have gotten my point across. Speaking up no longer embarrasses me.

3. Schools out!! - and it's time to relax and enjoy our brief summer break. I hope that each of you has time to go on a vacation with your families. Even if it's just for the weekend. Our lives are so stressful today with work, activities, family issues, and school. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and forget to relax.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

3 Things Thursday

1. MCT2 Disease -- It's that time of year again - when teachers stop teaching and start talking about MCT2 until parents & kids everywhere want to scream. You'd think I'd be okay with it since I don't like one of our teachers this year, but they literally stop teaching for the first two weeks of May. My kids have been mentally & physically exhausted every day. Thankfully today is the last day!!

2. Exhausted Until Sick -- My children rarely get sick but this week between whatever is blooming and the exhaustion referred to in #1, Bailee is sick. She sounds like she's drowning in snot - no better way to describe it. No strep thankfully but had to miss her last MCT2 test today to go to doctor with 101 degree fever. NO shot either and will more than likely be back at school tomorrow to take the makeup MCT2 for mat. We are hanging together today :-)

Nothing New -- on the running front that is. With all the school things going on, cheer and ballet - I have only been able to run two days a week. I have not lost any speed or endurance but have not moved forward either. Looking forward to May 23 when school is out and to May 30th when our lives will be changing for the better. My stress level will drop significantly too because of both the positive changes and because I can run 3-4 days a week. Now if I can just get the MS DOT to do construction on I-20 at night so the idiots who won't slow down will stop having wrecks and causing traffic issues every day..........

Thursday, May 5, 2011

3 Things Thursday

Maybe I should say six or nine's been a couple of weeks since I've posted this on Thursday. Been busy as is everyone with the school year ending and routines being adjusted for the coming 2.5 months.

1. Easter, Pageants & Technical Issues -- those are the reasons I haven't posted lately. Haven't even read a book to blog about but I have a couple to review soon. We stayed home for Easter - it was nice to just relax and chill at our house with the girls. Cassie was recently in the Miss Brandon day pageant. She didn't place but I was so proud of how poised she was. It amazes me how vastly different "puberty" adjustments occur from girl to girl. To me - Cassie has grown so much but beside the 12 year olds who placed, she looked seven. Something to be said about 4 more inches in height and body parts I guess. It was amusing. The young lady who won in the 7-9 year old category was more "growny" than Cassie and was taller by inches!! I will post pictures soon. Our computer has been messed up - final diagnosis....mother board fried. Not fun.

2. Usama or Osama....whatever ! -- No matter what Obama wants the media to call him - he's gone. An evil man is gone and I'm sure he's where God intends him to be. Unfortunately - terrorism is NOT gone and that's something people need to remember. It's here and it's everywhere. The world is evil and it makes me so scared and sad to wonder what type of world my girls are going to grow up in - unless Jesus decides to return as the Bible promises.

3. Mother's Day -- is THIS Sunday. Yes that's right for you folks who may have forgotten. May 8th is Mother's Day. Many people have issues and conflicts with their mothers. If you're one of those people -- my advice is to overlook them for this ONE day & reflect on the good qualities in your mother. She is your mother and she's the only one you'll ever have. My mother died unexpectedly 21 years ago when she was only 5.5 years older than I am now (that really makes you think about mortality). She never got to meet or see her beautiful granddaughters and handsome grandson. Around Mother's Day I always wonder what type of grandmother she would have been.....reserved, thoughtful & quiet; lively, entertaining & "fun"; it really doesn't matter because she's not here. But I do know that she would have been like other grandmothers----loving, forgiving, GIVING (even sneaking to when moms & dads disagree), full of hugs, kisses, etc. As it is - I am SO very thankful that I have a wonderful stepmother, Connie, who is all of those things to my girls and her other 16 grandchildren.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Reason Why Faith Makes Sense

by Mark Mittelberg

Almost a hundred years ago, successful business leader Robert A. Laidlaw wrote a small book, The Reason Why, to explain in a thoughtful and accessible way why he was convinced that faith in God makes sense. Mark Mittelberg has updated and expanded his discussion of this perennial topic for the twenty-first century. In addition, he highlights some of the more recent evidence relating to these themes:

Is there a God?
Can the Bible be trusted?
Are we accountable to God?

My Review:

This small book is a very easy and quick read. I do recommend it. It would be a great tool for witnessing to someone who questions faith, God or his salvation. The book also will reinforce your beliefs and faith in God. It also is an excellent book for Christians who just “believe” but who have never asked questions about their beliefs – why they believe the way that they do, why they may have questions, etc. If you are just curious, if you have questioned that God or Jesus Christ exists, then this book is for you.

Another reviewer states that this book should be on every Christian’s shelf – make that two copies. One for you and one for someone who is in serious need for it. Good advice.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic

From the Publisher:

Life Without Limits is an inspiring book by an extraordinary man. Born without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic overcame his disability to live not just independently but a rich, fulfilling life, becoming a model for anyone seeking true happiness. Now an internationally successful motivational speaker, his central message is that the most important goal for anyone is to find their life’s purpose despite whatever difficulties or seemingly impossible odds stand in their way.

Nick tells the story of his physical disabilities and the emotional battle he endured trying to deal with them as a child, a teen, and a young adult. “For the longest, loneliest time, I wondered if there was anyone on earth like me, and whether there was any purpose to my life other than pain and humiliation.” He shares how his faith in God has been his central source of strength and explains that once he found his own sense of purpose—inspiring others to make their lives and the world better—he found the confidence to build a rewarding and productive life without limits.

Nick offers practical advice for realizing a life of fulfillment and happiness by building trust in others, developing supportive relationships, and gaining strength for the journey. He encourages the reader by showing how he learned to accept what he could not control and focus instead on what he could. “I do believe my life has no limits! I want you to feel the same way about your life, no matter what your challenges may be. As we begin our journey together, please take a moment to think about any limitations you’ve placed on your life or that you’ve allowed others to place on it. Now think about what it would be like to be free of those limitations. What would your life be if anything were possible?”
—Nick Vujicic, from Life Without Limits

My Review:

This book should be ready by all tweens and teenagers - it should be a requirement in school. In fact - this book should be read by everyone!!! There are so many obstacles out there to overcome and so many become so distraught because they do not feel that they fit in, that there is nothing to live for and that they have no future. Nick Vujicic shows in his book, in his videos and in his speaking that anyone can do anything - even when they have physical limitations. God loves everyone and has a plan for everyone - no matter who you are and no matter what your circumstances are. His videos make me cry, he inspires me as a human being and I hope that you find the same for you when reading this book and that you never forget the lessons to be found inside it's covers!

NOTE: I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for free . I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I paid for this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Staff Sgt Jason Rogers of Brandon, MS

April 9, 1982 - April 7, 2011

There are hundreds of FaceBook and Twitter posts as well as news media coverage about this young soldier, so I'm not going to repost those here. However, here are the funeral arrangements:

Visitation is 6-9 pm Friday April 15, 2011 at Pinelake Church in Flowood. Services are 3 pm Saturday at the church with burial in New Brandon Cemetery with full military rites. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Brandon.

The church will be full Saturday and there are people from controversial church Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS coming to protest at his funeral. There is a post on FB asking people to stand and block them. I only hope that local folks will exercise restraint for the sake of his widow and family---block them but show them how Christians should conduct themselves with love while standing up for the Truth. Instead, let's concentrate on asking ALL local media, and national media if necessary, to NOT give any media coverage on Saturday to this group of people. Ask them to please concentrate on Jason's story, his life, his death and how our soldiers are fighting for the world's freedoms.....even if you don't believe in war. From what I hear, Jason was a wonderful young man who deserves respect and a peaceful funeral and burial.

In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project in Jason's memory at Wounded Warrior Project.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

3 Things Thursday

Short & sweet again - I have to get to work to check email before a meeting that lasts most of the day.

1. Crow's Neck Fun - Monday and Tuesday, I was with Bailee's third grade Venture class in the middle of nowhere called Crow's Neck Environmental Education Center outside of Tishomingo, MS. It is in the northeast corner of the state and is a wonderful facility that, unfortunately, too many people do not know about. Go here to read more about it: Crow's Neck. We took two buses but the next morning I wondered where the second bus had gone. Found out the drivers took one bus to drive 35 miles away to stay at a hotel in Booneville which shows how far out we were. Wonderful experience for the children in the RCS gifted program.

2. Favorite Time of the Year - As our federal government has tried to reach a "budget" deal (I use the term budget loosely), it is also tax season. The title of this #2 is actually written as sarcasm. You totally understand if you or your spouse is self-employed :-( There are tons of people who are committing income tax refund fraud around our nation. The IRS does not have many checks in place to prevent this fraud and I don't know how they could catch them. But it sort of ticks me off that they can't get them - especially when I sit here ready to write a check at some point to pay my taxes. If you get any type of refund - don't complain - at least you get one. I just had to vent a little about that. However, I can tell you that the IRS customer service has improved by a ton over the years. I have had to call them on several occasions over the last 9 months and everyone is very helpful, willing to listen and answer questions, etc. That is more than I can say about Comcast customer service (ready my earlier posts about that LOL).

3. School's Almost Out - and I am ready this year as much Cassie is. Bailee would probably go year round if she could. Some of you have read that I've had issues this year with some things - for the first time in six years. It doesn't help that the school system has recently been in the news with some contractor issues. The scary statement in this article Pinestraw Missing is the one that says "Pickering says he expects additional arrests." What happened to audits, following up on complaints for school lawns not being taken care of, etc? I see $$ signs going out the door to unknown places and it's my tax money. Let me state emphatically that I love public schools and that this issue could happen anywhere (for those of you who think private schools are the only way to go), but nobody takes care of business any more with morals, with work ethic, with a giving attitude. It's shameful. Enough said.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Military Will Not Get Paid? by CH (CPT) Ronnie Irwin

Below is written by a long-time friend from Brookhaven who serves as a Chaplain in our military. He says this so well - exactly what many of us as civilians have been thinking for the last two days.

Military Will Not Get Paid? by CH (CPT) Ronnie Irwin

"Military members will continue get paid through April 8th, but after that are only earning and will get money when the government is funded again." Really??? We've been to war to preserve this country's freedom and peace and we aren't important enough to get paid? Whose bright idea was this? Here's what I'll do to "earn" while not getting paid: I'll continue to bury your Heroes of wars past and present. I'll continue to help keep your Soldiers' marriages together. I'll continue to counsel your Soldiers through the often devastating effects of Post-Traumatic Stress from which I also suffer. I'll continue to do physical training so I'm ready to deploy even on short notice. I'll continue to preach the Word and make sure our Soldiers have the opportunity to exercise their freedom of religion. I'll do my best to help other Soldiers get through a financial crisis if it comes to not getting paid. Bottom line---if the military doesn't get paid NO ONE in the government should get paid.

Another quote from Ronnie: "We are a volunteer force. We volunteer to experience things that 99% of America's population will never understand. Don't ask us to go without pay."


Thursday, April 7, 2011

3 Things Thursday!

A quick one again:

1. Running Update - I am increasing my distance every week but had a setback this week due to not running for 4 days. It was HARD last night but I managed 2.54 miles. It didn't help that The Club's 24/Hr facility was stuffy and hot. I wonder if they have a/c in there. Going to call them today - I want to run, not go to a sauna. There are more and more people coming there - at only $25/month who can blame them. I pay to use both facilities and will continue that so the girls can swim at the main facility. However the 24/hour facility is great when I can only get there at 4:30 a.m. or 8:30 p.m. Thanks to The Club at Crossgates for doing this!

2. School Frustrations - for the first year since my girls have been in school (6th year) I have year-long teacher issues. My oldest daughter's teacher just does not seem to have it together this year....and I've heard from parents who've had her in previous years that they were not happy with her because she just didn't care. I don't understand how someone with that attitude continues to teach while another teacher (who is HIGHLY REQUESTED) was asked to resign by the principal because she dared to disagree with the principal. Stupid egos and power playing needlessly affecting children's educations.

3. Spring!! - I don't know about you guys but I still have spring fever. I'm ready to get our house painted, plant a garden, update my flower beds (which I can't do until the house is painted), finish inside work, etc. Maybe it's because I feel so much better this year than in previous years and maybe it's because I want to teach the girls more about taking care of your possessions, how to can food, saving money by having a garden and the joy of planting beautiful plants. I wish we lived outside the city limits where we had 3 acres or so - I'd have chickens too! LOL - nothing like fresh eggs:-) People who have never had them do not have a clue at the difference in taste. It's amazing.

Have a good week and enjoy the weather!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Fight of Our Lives

By William J. Bennett & Seth Liebsohn

The inside of this book sleeve says "America's devotion to political correctness had crippled its ability to accurately interpret and respond to the motives of its fiercest enemies." After reading this book - I wholeheartedly agree.

Some people will not like this book because it really hits it's subject straight on beginning in the first paragraph. However this is a very good book. It shows the reader that although the US found Saddam Hussein, our war on terrorism is FAR from over - VERY far from over. Bin Laden is still at large, terrorists live among us and the entire US seems to now have decided that we dare not offend anyone - even Muslims.

The book starts with the Ft Hood murders committed by Dr. Nidal Hasan. All the signs were there of his demise - his change of attitude, his unfriendliness, his words agains the US, his words in support of terrorism/radical Islam.....and the entire Army ignored them, allowed him to continue to serve. Unfortunately, our military's tolerance of his behavior and the obvious signs is just as much to blame for what happened as Dr. Hasan himself. Therefore the theme of this book ensues..........because the US tolerance of things is unacceptable and is to blame for much that has happened in recent years.

The Fight of Our Lives strives to show that American has become too complacent. People forget that Islam is not a tolerant religion as is Judiasm or Christianity. The fundamental basis of the religion is that everyone should be Muslim - period - and all Muslims should defeat their "enemies". Tolerance and complacency are America's two greatest enemies - we are destroying ourselves. We live in a "free" country where everyone wants everything........and how dare you or the government disagree or prevent anyone from having what they want. This complacency has now evolved into complacency with the war on terrorism.

This book is very well documentated and very well written but it is not preachy - it demonstrates the writers knowledge of ths subject very well with many facts to back up what is written. If nothing else can be learned from the book - it should convince the reader that our nation needs to begin thinking about right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, peace vs. terrorism, again. If you are looking for a well-researched, well-written book that explains what the war against terrorism and radical Islam is about, read The Fight of Our Lives. You won't regret it.

**I received a copy of this book through Book Sneeze in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are entirely my own and I was not required to write a positive review. See FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the User of Endorsements & Testimonials in Advertising.**

Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 Things Thursday!

Happy Thursday Friends. Hope you are all doing well!

1. Great Quotes Found This Week -
"Things come to those who wait - but only things left by those who hustle." ~Abraham Lincoln
"Celebrate what you've accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed." ~Mia Hamm
"Do not strike the match if you can't put out the fire." ~Author Unknown
"All you get from riding the fence are splinters." ~Author Unknown
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~Theodore Roosevelt

2. Back to Tuesday - Our internet went down on Thursday of last week. I am a smart girl & had tried all the things they tell you to do (you know the things you feel stupid for NOT having already done when you call someone for help). Called Comcast & set up an appointment for Tuesday at 1:00. Requested 1:00 pm specifically but to call first so I wouldn't be wasting my time waiting. My neighbor calls at 1:50 to tell me an internet guy was in my driveway. SO I leave work & call Comcast to ask that they contact him & tell him to wait because I work 24 miles away (it takes me 30 minutes to get there). They actually said they had no way of getting in touch with him. I argued, argued some more, until it became quite heated. I told them that he could just sit there all afternoon if they couldn't guarantee me that he'd be there when I got there. Then, I turned around & went back to work. Supervisor called me & it was fixed first thing yesterday. Because other things had happened at work that day, it was the icing on the cake. Thankfully the rest of my week has been better. However - I can honestly tell you that if you want good customer service, you ain't gonna find it at Comcast.

3. Rain, Rain, Rain & MORE Rain! - Most of you live in Mississippi - and it's WET and COLD. Where did spring go? We have had bad weather, hail, LOADS of rain, winds, everything short of tornadoes. Usually it's "April showers bring May flowers". Wonder what March showers bring? I really like fall but this year I have Spring Fever in a really bad way. Getting our house painted, gonna redo all my flower beds, work on the patio & backyard, etc. Come on sunshine!!!

I'm off to get dressed for work. Everyone have a great week! BTW - look for my next book review coming soon. I'm reading Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic. If you have no idea who he is, google him ......I can guarantee that you will be glad you did. WONDERFUL inspiration. Great gift book for those people in your life who are always know, the ones who always say "Why Me?".

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Conversation with God for Women: If You Could Ask God Anything, What Would It Be?

“A Conversation with God for Women”, by Marcia Ford, is an easy read for those seeking the surface of Biblical truths. The book is organized with each chapter answering questions about a specific topic with answers appearing to come from God, Jesus, Mary and other people from the Bible.

The questions are interesting and thought provoking but with the answers seemingly being provided by God, Jesus or other Christians made the format seem odd to me. I prefer and understand Bible truths better by reading facts, not by them being told to me like a Bible story. The answers are real enough (with footnotes quoting sources and scripture locations in the back) but the book seemed a extremely elementary to me. I also think that the book is helpful as long as the reader understands that real truth comes straight from God’s Word (the Bible).

On the other hand, I do not find that the author claimed at any time to be speaking for God, Jesus or Mary – she says she is answering the questions as if God, Jesus or others were speaking directly to the reader. Perhaps she attempted this so as to make it more “reader friendly”. And, maybe elementary is good for the new Christian or for those searching for truth, but as a seasoned Christian, I found myself wanting to speed-read due to boredom with the format of the book.

If you’re looking for a quick read or refresher on some basic Christian Bible truths, this is the perfect book. Both women and men who are seeking such a refresher would enjoy the book. However, if you’re looking for a more in depth source or study of God’s word, you might want to look elsewhere.

Note: I received a free copy of this book, “A Conversation with God" from Thomas Nelson Publisher's to read for review. My opinions are expressly my own, and are in no way made positively or negatively, due to receiving a review copy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3 Things Thursday

Short and quick today! Busy girl......

1. Local news has been fun this week. Where to start? Stuart Irby says brain damage once again is the cause for his stupid actions. Riding a motorcycle drunk, getting arrested for DUI and a subsequent house arrest. When will the judge(s) stop taking bribes and put him in jail? Two illegal aliens attempt to rob a Gold business in Pearl dressed as women (with moustaches) with guns. One is dead and one is critically wounded. If he lives he's deported for sure - hopefully word spreads around to other illegal aliens in the area. Fourteen people arrested for insurance fraud - including three BCBS of MS employees. They have an issue - two other employees were recently arrested for fraud as well. Finally.....and certainly NOT least - A much loved and admired Madison Police Officer dies riding his personal motorcycle to work. Please keep Officer Jimmy Brooks family in your prayers.

2. Friday Field Trip!! Pray for me and other Rankin County parents tomorrow. The annual Brandon Elementary 5th grade field trip to the McWane Science Center in Birmingham is tomorrow. Over 690 students, teachers & parent / grandparent chaperones have to meet at a local church, load up on 14 charted buses for the trip. Lord help us - I only hope that if I am assigned other children besides Cassie to chaperone that they are children who are well behaved and listen. Been there and done that with not-so-well-behaved children and I am not up for it this year. We are also stopping by the Galleria mall for supper before heading home. What I want to know is who's responsible for making sure that all 697 people get back on those buses LOL :-)

3. Running again & feeling GREAT! I officially started back at it this week and it's been wonderful to run without pain and without exhaustion. Losing 20 pounds and getting health issues cleared up has made all the difference. Now - on to my goal to hopefully enter some races this year.

Until next time :-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


My oldest daughter is blonde – she didn’t get it from her Daddy or me. His mother and his younger brother are both blonde – as a matter of fact she looks like she could be his brother’s child. From what I know of my birth parents & their families, she strictly got the blonde hair from the Jordan side of her father’s family. She is very social, very bright, VERY talkative, very active and loves life to the nth-degree. However, she has her own unique way of thinking and communicating. Needless to say, it is not the same language her highly logical, common-sense mother speaks……..and only a few people probably speak her language as well as her. If you are blonde, I apologize but my daughter fits the notorious mold of the Ditzy Blonde and makes life quite entertaining at times.

She cracks me up on a daily basis………here are some of the recent “Cassie-isms” that I’ve heard.

1. She is learning all 50 states and capitals (this is a review). She was explaining to her younger sister that she knew the large states well but that “when you get to those smaller states up north like, Maryland, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Pelahatchie, and Ohio, I can’t remember the capital names”. Well – after a few seconds of considering what she had said I asked her, “Did you just say Pelahatchie?” She rolled her eyes, giggled and said, “Pelahatchie, Pennsylvania…….you know what I meant Mama”. I reminded her that her teacher might NOT know what she meant on a test if she puts Pelahatchie for Pennsylvania. For those of you out of state, Pelahatchie is a small town in Rankin County in Mississippi – it is not up north and it is not a state of the United States.

2. Likewise, she tells me last night (Tuesday) that she has a test on the 50 states and the capitals on Thursday. Her teacher notoriously does not communicate and sends no newsletters home. My child is spacey and forgets things at school on a regular basis so I asked my daughter where her study sheet was? I get told that the teacher took it up and didn’t give it back. Today, I email the teacher sort of complaining for the short notice, the fact that I had received no newsletter and that the test was sort of quick notice. She explained that the test is only on one section of the United States, not all 50 states. Maybe I should email her back and warn her that Pelahatchie is now a state?? LOL Maybe she would see the reason I keep bugging her about a newsletter.

3. Another mom was talking to me about how shy her daughter is and said that my daughter was not shy like her daughter was. My daughter was sitting there with us. Somehow we got off on something else and about rating things on a scale of 1-10. My friend told her she rated her (my daughter) an “8” (just to see what she would say). My daughter very quickly responded, “Oh I’m not 8, I’m eleven (11)”!!! My friend got so tickled she couldn’t respond.

Her zest for life is very catching but I’m old, tired and my brain is so logical that I don’t get it. I live in a state of confusion caused by conversations that I can’t follow. Those conversations usually contain multiple subjects with multiple tales of woe and activity and we generally skip from subject A to subject B to subject F, back to subject A, on to subject C…….you get the picture.

I hope your children give you much joy and as much entertainment as mine do. I just that maybe they don’t make you as mentally tired as I feel some days LOL. At least I've got somebody to keep me on my toes I guess.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

3 Things Thursday!!

1. Everyone loves an Irish girl! - Redhead's Rejoice! Happy St. Patty's Day! (Even if you're not redheaded, have a great day :-)

2. Good Weather! - Hopefully spring has finally arrived. Or maybe it's the time change that makes me think so. It's great to get off of work and not feel like the day is over. Makes it easier to run and exercise which makes for a happy mood and an energetic body too. Everyone get outside - your body is craving some Vitamin D!

3. Thankfulness - If you're having days where you wonder why life is worth living, why the world is in such turmoil, just remember that the world has always been in turmoil. Has been for years. The only difference between 2011 and 1911 (or any previous year) is that the news media now stands willing and ready to tell you everything bad that is happening in the world. They thrive on it - all day, on all channels, every day. My solution is to turn off the TV. Read a good book (the Bible is a good start), pray for God's peace and good will in your life. Nothing you can do will change the world or prevent bad things from happening. BUT, you can come to know God, seek his salvation and know that no matter what comes your way, you and God can handle it.

~An Irish Blessing~

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For The Love of Books!

All of my friends (at least I think so) know that I love to read! As a child, I would read 15 books a week during the summer and usually awaited the Book Mobile's arrival at the local convenience store beside my house during the middle of the week if we had not been to town. To this day, I will still go back and read old favorites from time to time.....Little House on the Prairie series, Anne of Green Gable, Nancy Drew, etc. The lady at the Brookhaven library was obviously not a "children's" librarian because she was not pleasant at times and even accused me of not reading "all those books I kept getting". Needless to say my mother quickly corrected her.

I could read a book, shell butter beans and watch TV all at the same time. I would shell faster than anyone in the house without wasting beans but I could still tell you what I reading and what was happening on TV. Multi-tasking is truly an illness I can assure you. Now that I own a Kindle, my addiction has grown into loving both hard copies of books from favorite authors as well as all the great books you can get for free on the Kindle. My Wish List keeps growing and growing. It is now so large that I have a spreadsheet of books that I want to read one day. The list also references the book genre, author and whether or not I want the hard copy of the book or the Kindle version.

Do you like to read? If you do, you totally understand this blog post. If you do not, then you do not know what you're missing. Life is hard, complicated, full of stress and day-to-day duties and books give you a chance to escape to another realm or world....even if only for a few minutes of your day. It's like watching a movie but better. Several of my favorite books have been made into movies and the norm is usually that I'm disappointed in the movie because the book was much better.

I have two daughters. My oldest is right brained, creative, lively, very social, very talkative, and can't sit still although she is not ADD or ADHD. She hates to read "chapter books" as she calls them. On the other hand, she loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Genis Book of World Records, or the Book of Yuck. At first it really bugged me but now I'm thankful she reads. My youngest daughter is a clone of me. She is me with red hair (my childhood friends will vouch for this). BUT, she is also a brainy, nerdy, book-loving nerd like me. If her older sister is not around to distract her, her nose is in a book. She goes into "THE ZONE"....where she hears nothing, she sees nothing, she is totally distracted.

When I complete any of those "About Me" sections on applications, reading is the first thing I put down. What about you? Do you have a love or a hobby that has held true with you from childhood? As we grow up, we often let things slip away from our grasp that were so very special to use at one time. If you have done that - sit down and reminisce. Go back and try a childhood favorite activity again. I can guarantee that your love and addiction will still be there! It will bring back so many memories and open new doors for you today. You're still young at heart...but only if you keep childhood things dear and things from your past in your heart while opening your heart for new possibilities at the same time. Now go have some fun!!!

Everyone is the age of their heart. ~Guatemalan Proverb

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. ~George Bernard Shaw

The idea is to die young as late as possible. ~Ashley Montagu

Thursday, March 3, 2011

3 Things Thursday

1. Do you ever wonder...? What is wrong with the world? What is wrong with people? What is wrong with governments? What is wrong PERIOD?? My mother used to tell me that when I was around 3 years old I would ask question after question after question. I don't think I've ever stopped. I watch people and want to know what makes them tick. I watch world events and I wonder why cultures are so different. My eight year old asks very thought provoking questions and sometimes they are very hard to answer or explain. She stumps me sometimes (yes, I can be stumped LOL).....but I hope she never stops asking.

2. Cookies!!!! Everyone knows that it is Girl Scout cookie time. At this present time I have about 16 cases of cookies in my garage and on Friday that will increase to 46 cases. All those cookies and I've not eaten a single one........NO - it's not will power. It is a desire to feel better and since they contain soy and gluten products I am staying away. Those of you who know me well know that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Thin Mints. I love them so much that I've found a gluten-free recipe to make them at home and after we are through selling them this weekend, I am going to make some. If you have not bought cookies this year, this coming weekend is your last chance!! Come to Flowood Walmart this Saturday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm - we will be selling at both doors.

3. Time..... Time is flying by this year and too fast! And I bet we are all guilty of running and running without stopping to smell the roses. Let's all slow down and spend time together with our families. I mean at home just relaxing too - not running to ball games, to parties, to the movies.....really enjoy just being together. Our family tries to stay at home as much as possible but I know families that they have to be going every minute of every day. Parents have raised their children to expect it so they are not satisfied unless that is what they are doing. Your children will really remember the times you played games, watched movies at home together, sat on the patio and grilled, dug in the dirt or just laughed. Really make an effort to make some memories-----before time passes so fast that they are grown and gone and you wonder what happened!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Divine Appointments

By Charlene Ann Bumbich

This book centers on Josie Brooks, a 47 year old single woman, who begins to realize that her job is not as enjoyable as she has always thought it to be. Her life is very structured and organized but and organization is the key to her job success. However, the economy and life as she knows it begin to change and the order she so loves begins to become not-so-orderly. Throw in hot flashes which can befuddle your brain and you can immediately get where the author is going with Josie's story. As this happens, she begins to re-evaluate her life, her choices and her future. She begins to crave friends (didn't have so many before) and intimacy (not the sexual kind - the "getting to know people better" kind). There were some elements that just didn't flow well such as the snow globe with powers (that seems to represent the Holy Spirit speaking to Josie). This is in the "Snow Globe" series but a THING with powers just doesn't fit with a Christian fiction book in my opinion. The Holy Spirit and God speak to your heart in mysterious ways but something just seemed weird about it in Divine Appointments. The moral point of this story is good - it demonstrates what a person can become without friends, love, closeness with others, etc. Josie begins to realize how lonely, loveless and out of place she feels in her live. She begins to realize that other things are more important that the things she has always placed first. I love to read and this book was a good book but I just could not get fully into the story and was left feeling like the author did not go as far into depth with the character development as perhaps she could have.

NOTE: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

3 Things Thursday February 24, 2011

I kind of like that Three Things Thursday title so I am going to try to post every week.

1. Back to normal - True to what I was told, the filgrastim shots made me feel like I had the flu & like I had been hit by a Mack truck :-( Needless to say I slept more in four days than I had in the last 3 weeks together LOL. My sternum & lower back were painful after the second day. Those are the two places in your body that make the most marrow. Strange feeling to have pain in your chest where you can't breathe & you can feel your heart beating in your bones. However after the procedure I was fully back to normal by 1 1/2 days.

2. How was the procedure & would I do it again? In a word YES I would do it again in a heartbeat. The procedure itself was relatively easy. The hardest part (besides needles) is laying still for 3-4 hours because you get stiff. They have to scratch your itches too LOL because you can't bend your arms. It was AMAZING to watch how they start the procedure, coordinate the courier, monitor the machine, etc. Do you know how large a bag of blood is? The amount of cells collected over a 4 hour period was 1/4 a bag - literally that's it. They pack it immediately & send it on its way. Funny story - the program pays for your mileage & for your meal the day of the procedure but the coordinator failed to tell me that. So I'm sure you can guess why I fell out laughing when she called & asked me to scan & email her my lunch receipt. My friend, Susan, had to get home to meet a child she tutors 3 days a week so we went through a drive-through on the way home. Since I can't have soy, gluten, dairy, eggs & other things, I had one taco and a Dr Pepper. I told Mattie, the coordinator, her that I wasn't worried about my $3 meal so she told me to go have dinner with my family & then send her the receipt.

3. What now? Since the PBSC procedure is under study (as it has been for a few years) by the FDA, I will be contacted over the next year to see how I am doing. Guess that makes me a lab rat:-) On a more hopeful note, the program will update me at 30-days, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months on how my donor recipent is doing. Unless she has problems and does not survive, then after one year we can exchange information and talk or meet. I truly look forward hopefully to February or March of 2012. February 2011 is a new beginning for her and me. I will never be the same - it's been a wonderful journey that has changed me for life. I plan to increase my running & begin running for leukemia, cancer, melanoma, etc. I also want to help with marrow drives because so few people know about the program. My recipient - she now has my blood type & she now has a part of me helping her to overcome leukemia so that she can see her children grow up and see her future grandchildren. I pray that we both forever remember how we emotionally feel at this point in our lives and that we always endeavor to remind people to be thankful, be hopeful, be positive and be the influence that God intends you to be.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday

I hope a fellow blogger doesn't mind but I stole that title --she posts three things every Thursday. Me? I can only do one Thursday at a time and hope I remember next Thursday.....maybe!

1. You know it's a good day when you get up on time, your kids get up on time and your husband actually wakes up at the same time you do. And it's really a good day because your kids have been ill-mannered lately due to the family being so busy, your hubbie is NOT a morning person (no Moncrief-born person is apparently) and there are no wrecks between you and work which is 25 miles away.

2. The start of something new today---I began filgrastim shots today in preparation for a PBSC procedure on Monday. I will have two shots for five days straight with possible side effects such as bone aching, headaches, etc - like having the flu. Google the drug to find out more. I have been told repetitively that I have to be sure to "take good care" of the remainder of the drug which is in my refrigerator. At $1,000 per dose per day, I told them I would guard it with my life LOL :-) For those of you wondering, I am a marrow donor match for a 46 year old mother of two children who has leukemia. This is her last hope---I am her last hope. I figure that with all she has been through and all that she is going to go through, I can stand 10 shots over a five day period. Lord knows that if I were her, I would want someone to be a match and donate for me so that I could live to see my children grow up. So if you're my friend or family member and I seem out of sorts over the next few days, don't take it personally - it's because I don't feel so great and I've been sort of emotional over the entire thing.

3. What do you do if YOU want to become a donor? AND, I sincerely hope that some of you seriously consider signing up. Go to and register. You will receive a cheek swab kit that creates your DNA on the registry. If you are ever a match, they will contact you for a full blood test. Then you wait to see if you are chosen as the closest donor. My recipient is in the United States - and I believe she is out of state because the coordinator mentioned having to line up airline flights and a hotel reservation for the courier who is coming in person to pick up my donation on Monday. The courier basically has to keep my donation with him or her at all times until they arrive at the recipients location so that she can receive it immediately.

LAST NOTE please pray for the recipient and her family. They have been through so much. I will receive a 30-day update and updates throughout the next year. After a year, if all goes well, the recipient and I can exchange information. I hope that next March I am blogging to tell everyone that I talked to her and that she is healthy once again :-)

Monday, January 31, 2011

An Amish Love

The book, An Amish Love, is actually a triple compiliation of three novellas. A Marriage of the Heart by Kelly Long tells the story of Abigail who has been raised by her single Amish father. She tells a lie that results in her marriage to Joseph (who has a secret of his own). The story is of how they both grow to realize that they truly have fallen in love. A wonderful read - you will laugh and cry at the same time.

What the Heart Sees by Kathleen Fuller is the story of Ellie who is blind after a car accident five years ago. It is also the story of Chris Miller who left the Amish faith after he lost his fiance in the same accident. He comes back to the Amish community & meet Ellie. This story is one of forgiveness, love & learning to move forward after a tragedy.

Healing Hearts by Beth Wiseman is the story of Namaan Lapp who left his family over a year ago. He suddenly returns home & finds that he has to prove to his wife, Levina, and his children that he can be trusted. He really has no explanation about why he left. A stranger also follows him to his community & rumors begin about why this person is hunting him. You will see how he and his wife begin to find young love again & the story shows that it's important to nurture your marrage - even when you are overwhelmed by children and work.

Each story was an easy read and each story had it's own message for the reader's heart. Even if you have not read Amish fiction before, you will love the messages this book provides. A wonderful read !!

I was provided this book for free from Thomas Nelson so that I could review the material. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Faith of Ronald Reagan

by Mary Beth Brown

First, let me state that I think Ronald Reagan is the best President that our country has had in our lifetime. I admire him as a man, as our President - his thoughtful insights, his ability to talk to anyone from anywhere and put them at ease, his strong beliefs and morals, his love of God and family.

I liked this book but I was somewhat disappointed. Yes - Ronald Reagan as man was shaped by his mother's love, how he was raised and his love of God. Without his faith, I do not think he would have dealt with adversity as well as he did - other prominent figures are proof of that. However, I did not really enjoy the way in which this book was written. It seems repetitive and covered the same passages from the Bible and the same information from chapter to chapter.

The author did a good job of demonstrating times in President Reagan's live where his faith pulled him through but the background information was choppy and I believe she attempted to place TOO much information in a smaller written book. The book would have been a better read if he had maybe organized it differently. In the manner it is written, I found myself periodically skimming over sections because they didn't seem pertinent to the entire book.

If you love President Reagan, you would like this book, but I believe that overall there are a couple of other books that demonstrate his faith in a more meaningful and easier read.

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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