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Monday, January 31, 2011

Unexpected House Guest

I have a house guest right now that I wasn't expecting.  Mr. Flu decided to pay me a visit this year.  No I didn't get the shot this year.  Forgot to do it.  Andy got his and I'm pretty sure Sam had his as well...or at least that's what Sam is saying...but did I REMEMBER???  NO!  Did I get the flu?  YES!  I haven't been this sick in a very long time.  In fact this is the first time in a long time that I actually took a sick day.  I've worked while being sick since I just stand on the corner, blow my whistle and walk kids across the street but I couldn't even think of doing that today.  Heck, I'm doing good just to walk from the couch to the kitchen!  This is day three for me with this wonderful friend that I have acquired and I tell you I'm ready for him to go back home already!  He's leaving me with a messy house too!  With that all said I'm going to go and lay back down on the couch and try to get some more rest.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Money Mondays ~ Week 5 for 2011

This week let's spread the word to all of those out there that might not know about this blog hop? Let's help each other out this year and we'll all succeed!



It's Monday and time to link-up and join in on the Blog Hop for Money Mondays. To read how Money Mondays got started check out my Money Mondays Page.

PLEASE NOTE: When I was getting the Linky code it wouldn't let me edit it to make it a blog hop.  I will keep trying to change it.

So here we go! Link Up your Etsy Stores, Websites, Photography Sites, ect. I'm enjoying hosting this blog hop every week and visiting all of yours as well. Grab the button above and place it on your site. Please remember to keep it family friendly. Explicit Sites will be removed.  Remember to grab the Blog Hop Code below to share with others!  Let's all have some fun, promote our own businesses and check out every one else!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless and Wordful Wednesday ~ Science Lab


If you would like to see more Wordless photos head on over to Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom, Live and Love...Out Loud, A Beautiful Mess and J. Leigh Designz. Now if you're like me and sometimes you can't stay wordless head on over to see some Wordful Wednesday photos at Parenting by Dummies.  Don't forget to sign the Linky below.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DONE! 100 Joys - #90 - #100



I'll be honest. I've had a terrible time trying to finish my 100 Joys for this past Holiday season. I thought it would be simple. I did start after the "official" start date but that really isn't an excuse. It's amazing how one feels after the holidays have long past and you just want to move on. But I want to finish this one. So here we go...the last of my 100 Joys.

#90...I love Clementines this time of year and I look forward to them every year.  This year they seem especially sweet and juicy.

#91...A big joy for me is finding one of my Grandfather's Bibles in a box of Christmas decorations.  I'm now using this bible along with the bible that was given to us on our wedding day.  They both mean so much to me.  Even though I would like a new Bible...go figure. 

#92...a gorgeous afternoon after a few days of terribly cold and windy days.

#93 - #100...I feel as though I'm cheating on these.  I didn't take these pictures.  When we were up visiting my parents they took us along with my sister and her family to go get family pictures taken.  These are the results of that photo session.  It was a great time and I cherish family and hold them all close to my heart.  So I think it will be okay to use these as my last joys of the season.

#93...my sister and her family.

#94...my wonderful parents!

#95...my sister and myself along with our parents. No...she's not that much taller than me.  Just had to say that.  But she is taller.

#96...the whole crew.

#97...Sam with his cousins and Grandparents.

#98...my family.


#99...all of us again.

 #100...Sam and his cousins.  This has to be my favorite photo from that session.

Well there you have it.  All 100 Joys from this past Christmas season.  I did it and I'm so happy that I did even if it did take me much longer than expected.  I'll do this again next year...I hope.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Money Mondays~Week 3 for 2011

Now that it's a new year I'm sure we can all use some free marketing. How about this week spreading the word to all of those out there that might not know about this blog hop? Let's help each other out this year and we'll all succeed!

If you're participating don't just link up here...participate by posting this blog hop on your blog.  Then I'd love to know if you are so that I can promote it for you as well.



It's Monday and time to link-up and join in on the Blog Hop for Money Mondays. To read how Money Mondays got started check out my Money Mondays Page.

So here we go! Link Up your Etsy Stores, Websites, Photography Sites, ect. I'm enjoying hosting this blog hop every week and visiting all of yours as well. Grab the button above and place it on your site. Please remember to keep it family friendly. Explicit Sites will be removed.  Remember to grab the Blog Hop Code below to share with others!  Let's all have some fun, promote our own businesses and check out every one else!

100 Joys....Almost Done...Joys #80-#89



I find myself here again at the end of the week beginning of a new week and I realized that I haven't posted much on my blog this past week.  I am still very determined to share with you the last of my 100 joys.  I do hope that you all are still enjoying going through this journey with me.

#80 is a picture of my dad and niece.  We were on the train at Silver Dollar City and they were singing along with some Christmas carols.  It was very dark so when the flash went off it really wiped all color from the picture but I love it all the same.  Singing Christmas carols are so much fun and I love to not only listen to them every year but to sing them as well.


#81...Here are the three cousins again doing something they really didn't want to do.  Pose for another picture as gingerbread boys and girls.  We loved having them doing it no matter what they thought.  It was fun....for us adults at least.

#82 is my dear hubby and one of my nieces riding a roller coaster in the dark.  They both had so much fun that they did it again. The arrow points out where they are.  I love that they could share those moments together.

#83...beautifully decorated trees always bring a big smile to my face.  How can one not be joyful when seeing them?

#84...forgot to share the hippo picture from the zoo with you.  He had gotten back into his pool and was wanting to play with the white barrel that you see there.  Poor guy couldn't reach it but we sure did have fun watching him trying to get it.

#85...This is one of my favorite pictures that I got of the three of them.  Seeing them all so happy makes me very happy.

#86...Sam opening a present (a monster truck which he LOVES!) from his Grandma and Grandpa.  I am just kicking myself that I didn't get a picture of all three of them together.  I thought I had but once we got home and I started going through my pictures I couldn't find a single one of them together.  Next time we're together I will get one.

#87...my Mom, Sam and I all got to go visit with my Uncle Wayne.  I love Sam's love for his relatives.  I also love seeing him talk to them and actually be engaged in what they are saying. 

#88...its not the greatest picture but it's the only one I have of the three of us visiting with my Uncle Wayne and Aunt Judy so I will cherish it forever.

#89...we ALL LOVED watching the Rose Bowl this year because TCU was playing in it.  AND.....THEY WON! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Book You MUST Read in 2011 ~ Blind Hope




My Review:

Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher is one of the more touching and inspirational true stories that I have read in a very long time!  I can't begin to stress to you that this is a book you have to read.  You don't even have to be a dog lover to appreciate this story of faith. Because this story is more about faith than it is about the actual physical rescue of her dog, Mia.  It is about a rescue both in the physical nature and more importantly the spiritual nature.  It is a touching true story of an abused dog that was rescued and transformed a woman's life.  Mia, the dog, made her new owner, Laurie, realized how much their relationship was like her relationship with God and how it is growing and changing every day.  I can't seem to explain it much better than the author's themselves in the video below.  The only thing that could make this book better is a Study Guide for use in small groups.

video


FROM THE BACK COVER:

An unwanted dog. An emotional rescue.
Two lives forever changed.
Laurie's dreams had been shattered before she came to work at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch—the ranch of rescued dreams—where broken horses and broken children encounter healing every day. In an attempt to soothe her aching soul, Laurie reached out to save a dog in need. And she soon began to realize that the dog was rescuing her.

An inspiring true story told through the engaging voice of Kim Meeder, Blind Hope reveals poignant life lessons Laurie experienced from her ailing, yet courageous canine friend. Despite the blindness of her dog—and her own heart—Laurie uncovered what she really needed most: authentic love, unconditional trust, and true acceptance, faults and all.

As Laurie and her dog, Mia, both learned to follow the lead of a master they couldn’t see, Laurie discovered the transforming power of God’s grace even for imperfect and selfish people—and she experienced a greater love than she had ever known.

"Love is a bridge that stands firm through difficulties and connects one heart directly to another, not because of how it looks, but because of what it is."    --Kim Meeder, Blind Hope





**I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.**

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Money Mondays ~ Week 2 for 2011

Now that it's a new year I'm sure we can all use some free marketing. How about this week spreading the word to all of those out there that might not know about this blog hop? Let's help each other out this year and we'll all succeed!



It's Monday and time to link-up and join in on the Blog Hop for Money Mondays. To read how Money Mondays got started check out my Money Mondays Page.

So here we go! Link Up your Etsy Stores, Websites, Photography Sites, ect. I'm enjoying hosting this blog hop every week and visiting all of yours as well. Grab the button above and place it on your site. Please remember to keep it family friendly. Explicit Sites will be removed.  Remember to grab the Blog Hop Code below to share with others!  Let's all have some fun, promote our own businesses and check out every one else!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

100 Joys ~ Numbers 69 through 79



I'm finding myself here wondering if I'll ever get through these 100 joys.  I had hoped to be done by this weekend and here I am with 11 more to share with you but still not finished.  But I have to say that I'm still enjoying them and going through each photo and picking just the right one is a great way to relive all of these joys!  You'd be amazed at how many photos I took/take when trying to share something with you or for me to preserve the moment.  LOTS!

#69 is of a manger scene that my parents have in their stairwell.  I'm pretty sure that this one had previously belonged to my grandparents.  Either way I grew up with it and I love looking at it every year and remembering every year past.

#70 is a good game of Wii boxing between cousins.  They were sweaty and worn out after this match.

#71....umm, excuse me I'm eating here.  We had all gone down to Silver Dollar City to see their Christmas Lights and on our way we stopped at McD's for dinner.  Caught one of my nieces off guard.

#72....We finally made it there and we're walking from the parking lot up to the front entrance.  I love going there every year to see the lights.  I don't think it will ever get old.

#72...is Sam poising with one of his cousins.  They were having fun and chatting with each other when I turned around and took this picture.  They stopped what they were doing and poised for me.

#74...THE TREE!  This tree is lite up in different colors and is always changing.  They also put it to music and we love stopping to watch and listen.

#75...okay...it's really the same as #74 but who can resist another view of the tree in a different color?

#76...Sam and his other cousin having fun.  They all had fun this year and got along so that made us all very happy!  One year they will be grown up and won't want to hang around with us so I'm cherishing these moments as long as I can.  I hope that they stay close the rest of their lives.

#77 has got to be my favorite tree in the park!  I look forward to it every year.  

#78 is a picture of my niece and myself.  It's really not easy to take the best pictures of yourself by holding the camera but this one turned out the best.

#79 is a picture of Sam and his cousin on the train ride inside the tunnel.  I love the expressions on their faces as it was at night, pitch black in the tunnel and they had no idea that I was going to turn around and take their picture.  These are great moments!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review ~ The Truth of the Matter


From the backcover:
Ever since he woke up in a terrorist torture chamber--with a year of his life erased from his mind--Charlie West has been on the run.  He has one desperate hope of getting his life back: trade down the mysterious agent named Waterman. But in fact, reaching Waterman--and recovering the secrets lost in his own memory--will only increase his danger.  Because a team of ruthless killers is rapidly closing in on him, determined to stop him from finding the answers.  And the truth of the matter is more incredible...and more deadly...than he could ever imagine.

Book Description (from BookSneeze):
Charlie is certain that if he could just regain his memory, the chaos around him would make sense. But the truth of the matter is even more incredible than he could imagine.

Charlie West was an ordinary high school kid who went to bed one night and woke up in the clutches of terrorists and wanted by the police for murder. He also woke up with no memory of the events of the past year.

Now Charlie has found the one person who knows what happened . . . and who can help him remember. But remembering is painful--as well as dangerous--and figuring out what to do with this new knowledge may be Charlie's toughest challenge yet.

My Review:

I have only read this current book which is the third book so far in The Homelanders series.  I normally do not read a book out of order but from what I had read in other reviews is that it was a book series that was so well written that you didn't need to start with the first one.  So when I saw that it was being offered as a book to review for Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program I thought that I would give it a try.  They were right! The author, Andrew Klavan manages to tuck all of the previous important details into the book, without making it feeling like a recap. This is an amazing book filled with so much action that I felt like I was on a roller coaster.  I'd give you more insight but then I would be giving parts of it away.  What the backcover and book description say above is enough.  I will definitely read the first two books and await the 4th book that is due out on Aug 2, 2011.




Note: This book was provided to me free of charge to review through the Booksneeze bloggers program. The opinions in the review are my own; my only compensation was the book.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We'll Just Have To See How This Goes....

Tonight was the night that I had had enough.  The TV, the computers, the gaming systems had been on all day long and I just couldn't take it anymore.  This actually is pretty normal in our house and I'm to the point where it has to change.  But I know that with my son it is going to take baby steps.  So after dinner tonight I told him that there would be no TV or "screens" on for 30 minutes.  You should have seen the look on his face and the reaction that I got.  You can only imagine the comebacks that I got after announcing that. 

He promptly sat himself down at the computer.  I said, "no", it's a screen.  He then asked me if he could play Wii with me and get some exercise, I said "no, it's a screen".  But you have to admit that he was trying hard on that one.  So he sat for a few moments with a sour look on his face in one of our chairs in the living room and I could tell he was trying to think of something.  He even asked if he could at least play his DS....again I said "no".  I never raised my voice but I made it very clear that I would not say "yes" to him.  I proceeded to clean up after dinner and he promptly marched in the kitchen and announced that, "but there is nothing to do!".  I suggested that he could read a book, play with his legos, draw, write, read one of his magazines or play with any of his toys.  But I don't want to do that was the response that I was given.  I told him that he could just sit for awhile in the quiet. 

Once I was done in the kitchen I got my book and headed to the living room only to find him reading one of his books on the living room floor.  Trust me, I wanted to say something about what he was doing but I didn't.  I just enjoyed the time.  Then my phone rang.  "But mom...it has a screen!" he quickly pointed out.  I told him that yes it had a screen and that I would look to see who it was.  If I felt as though it was someone that needed to talk to me than I would answer it but if not they could leave me a message and that I would check it after the 30 minutes were up.  He did agree to that....WHEW!  It was a text from a dear friend and once I saw who it was from I knew that it could wait.

Okay...only 5 more minutes to go....Okay, Sam, times up!  He looks up at me from the floor and says, "Well that wasn't so bad".  You can't imagine how that made me feel.  I did something and he really didn't throw a fit about it and then said it wasn't that bad!  I did tell him that this would be constant thing and that our (notice I did say "our") screen time had to go down.  We would do at least 30 minutes a day, if not more, every day.  And the biggest shocker for me was that he even waited awhile to turn the TV back on.  It was time for "Wheel of Fortune" you see.

How about you?  Have you found yourself with all of this technology around and realizing that it's just to much?  I'd like to know.

So as the title of this post says....We'll just have to see how this goes.

100 Joys ~ #62 - #68 ~ Zoo Edition



I guess you could call this the continuation of the 100 Joys Zoo Edition.

#62.....This donkey has been in the petting zoo of the zoo for as long as I can remember.  I could be wrong...maybe it's just another one that looks like an older one.  Either way it brought me joy seeing it there again and since it was right after Christmas it made me think of the Christmas story and the donkey that carried Mary.

#63...While we were wondering around the reptile house I found myself being the only one by the python.  I was watching him all curled up sleeping when he all of a sudden raised his head, yawned and then laid back down again.  I love that I got to witness that moment, had my camera and got to share it with all of you.

#64...Catching my niece being silly again.  I really do love these moments more than the poised photos.  But since #65 is poised I guess I can't say to much.

#65...a group shot at the zoo.  Sam was in pain as he kept telling us that he was desperate to go use the restroom but we wouldn't let him go until we were done taking photos.  Aren't we mean?!?!  But we weren't that mean because he didn't go right away after we were done taking these photos.  He stopped to look at a few more animals along the way before he ran ahead of us.  I think he was just tired of us taking pictures.

#66...Another moment with his cousins is captured.  Still has that pained look but I love this one.  Being with them that day did bring me much joy.

#67...see he still hasn't made it to the restroom and he still has that pained look on his face.  I caught the both of them leaning over a wooden fence watching the geese.  Moments captured in time when they had no idea that I was taking their picture is a wonderful thing.

#68...taking the over the shoulder/seat shot of my niece reading on the way home from the zoo.  I love how much she reads.
Only 32 more Joys to go and I'll be done with this project.  It's taken me a bit long than I expected but I am enjoying it more and more every day.  I have also enjoyed looking back at all of them too and I am thankful that I decided to do this project.
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