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Friday, February 28, 2014

Random Five on Friday- February 28th

The Pebble Pond 

 Joining in with The Pebble Pond and her weekly meme "Random 5 on Friday" Five random things so here goes...

1. After watching the documentary "Captivated" for my Homeschool Review, my family is taking a one month challenge of unplugging our lives from electronics. (Posted about this yesterday)

2. Decided to add some workout videos to the mix. Mon, Wed, & Fri will be at the gym, weather permitting, and Tues, Thurs and Saturday a workout video or running outside (weather permitting). I truly need a different plan as far as exercise as I've gained five pounds over the course of a few months and now can't seem to get it off. So need a new plan to shock my body..

3. Still working on a crocheted blanket for my upcoming son's 15th birthday. He fell in love with a blanket that I made and has tried to keep it in his room so now I'm making him one that will fit his bed in his favorite color.... yellow. I need to get crackin' since I have only 2 more weeks to get it completed.

4. Getting caught up in grading all my son's school papers. I have over 6 weeks.. I know.. shameful, but it's getting done so I'm happy with the progress.

5. I'm reading a wonderful book right now called "Fifteen Minutes" by Karen Kingsbury. A great read about finding out the cost of fame and what it does to your faith and life. A must read! Love Karen Kingsbury.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

U is for Unplugged- One Month Challenge Begins...

U is for Unplugged....

I received a documentary video to review as a part of the TOS Crew. The review of this documentary will be posted in the end of March,so stay tuned.. I wanted to write a post on the impact it had on me as I watched it in full yesterday. I know I'm being vague as far as the contents of the documentary but I don't want to spoil my review so this is all I'll say in regards to it at this time. The idea I'm about to share came from an idea that was shared in the documentary.

I've decided to take a one month unplugged challenge. What does that mean? It means taking away the T.V., video games, social media, & texting (which my daughter does). My daughter is also heavily into Manga and has consumed a large portion of her extra time outside work/school so she has decided to put all of that aside for the month of March to pursue other interests. I'm so proud of her and my family for coming on board with this. This was a tough decision to make and my teenagers were really reluctant at first which shows me I'm making the right decision with this. I know that my family has addictions. Such as Manga, video games and for myself social media. I want to break that pattern and take these items in the end of all of this and use them as tools and not a lifeline.

For one month starting March 1-31 we will remove these items from our life, unplug them and use that time for more positive things..

For example some things we may do include.....

Reading a good book
Cooking together
Spending time together
Board games
Outdoor time together
Going bowling
Going Iceskating
Taking up a new hobby or working on an existing one

For me my goals this month is:

  • Teach my kids to cook-spend time w/ each of them in the kitchen
  • Start my first quilt
  • Finish 2 crocheted blankets for gifts (1/2 way done with one)
  • Play with my children
  • Take each one on an individual date
  • Find a church for our family (we've been in between churches for months)
  • Start reading the Bible in 90 Days alongside a weekly bible group run by my local friend (I've done this before over a year ago and really need to do it again)
  • Make more greeting cards
  • Call friends on the phone and speak to them one on one- no emails or Facebook messaging
  • Talk with my children daily and listen to what they have to say
  • Spend time eating together each day
  • Praying each day for my children, husband and with my children, husband
  • Family Devotion time
  • Read out loud to my kids. One gripping book of their choice!

I want to use this time that I would of spent on social media and browsing the internet to connect with real relationships. I've neglected my children lately to sit in front of the computer and this is my month to change my focus. I plan on journaling this on paper as I go through each day to see the changes not just in me, but my children and husband. I want to take back my family, and be a true part of their lives. My husband will be heading to Arizona on the 5th-19th for work but he is on board with this as well and will be unplugging while out of state.

I will still blog at least once a week during this time and have some reviews to post throughout the month, but this will be the only use of the internet for the month of March. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me and my family.

blogging through the alphabet sm.

Click on the picture above or go to Ben and Me website HERE to get more info on how you can join in...

Has your family ever taken the step to unplug? Would you be interested in unplugging as well for 30 days? I'd love to hear from you!

T is for Time

blogging through the alphabet sm. 

 Click on the picture above or go to Ben and Me website HERE to get more info on how you can join in...

T is for Time

Time.. We all have it. Each day we are given the exact same amount. Nobody gets more or less than the other. Some think it's not enough and some seem to have plenty. For me, I've recently been aware of the word Time. 

What am I doing with my time? 
Is it valuable? 
Is it pleasing to God? 
Is it productive? 
Beneficial to myself or others around me? 
Is it wasted?

Time! Precious time. God given and breathed. 

I want to focus my time more on:

My Children:
One on one with them. Actually listening to their lives, thoughts, dreams, fears. Things that I've taken for granted and need to see that my TIME with them is limited. They are all almost grown or are grown..

My Faith:
I've let God slip from my life. Like the song from Casting Crowns titled "Slow Fade". That is my faith. It hasn't been an overnight WOW factor but a slow drip of one thing after the other. Things I've allowed to replace my time with the Lord, actions that have distanced me from Him and his Word. No more. I'm taking the TIME to rebuild my Faith, find a church family and build roots again and dig into the Word so it's in my heart 24/7/365.

My Husband:
Submitting to my husband. Showing him that my love for him is everlasting and that I have faith in his decisions and his desire to lead our family as the head of our household and the spiritual leader of our home. To love, respect and support..

To devote more one on one time with real friendships. Speaking on the phone if spending face to face time is impossible. Building true relationships.

Time... what will you do with your 24 hours that God has blessed you with today? How will your presence impact those around you?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One Thousand Gifts 150-167

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A Gift at Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

150. my son bringing me fresh coffee and a homemade muffin
151. my son preparing a grilled tuna sandwich
152. the house quiet while the kids are not home

3 Random Gifts

153. hubby called while at work just to say "I Love You"
154. watching my boys get excited as we play the Albertson's Monopoly game
155. my neighbor taking my son to youth group so I could stay home and finish a chore

3 Gifts That Changed Today

156. watching "Captivated" movie documentary. Review to come! Riveting
157. hubby found out he'll be heading to AZ for two weeks on the 5th.
158. hearing my son's positive attitude

A Gift of Tin, Glass, Wood

159. a tin cup that my son uses for drinking that his daddy bought him on one of his work trips
160. being able to see out my front windows with my new mini blinds
161. my new wooden mini blinds

3 Gifts Before 11am

162. fingerprinting for my conceal permit
163. getting a new haircut and loving it
164. drinking delicious lemon water

3 Gifts Seen as Reflections

165. Shredding 14 yrs of court papers and reflecting on how God is faithful in all we do
166. Reflecting on the many wonderful years I've been blessed with my husband 16 +
167. Reflecting on the upcoming school year and what curriculum plans to use. Happy for the $ to homeschool

Return next Wednesday for my next installment of One Thousand Gifts....
You can join in on the 1000 Gifts Journey by visiting A Holy Experience HERE

Saturday, February 22, 2014

S is For Simplify

blogging through the alphabet sm. 
Blogging through the Alphabet
Click on the picture above or go to Ben and Me website HERE to get more info on how you can join in...

S is for Simplify

This word has been my 'motto' for several years. After over committing myself years ago with volunteer work, co-ops, field trips and homeschooling, I knew I needed to let go of a lot of things and get back to the basics.

What I tell myself every time something comes up.. "Will this complicate my life or simplify it?"

If it does at stress or more work than I can handle, I say no. Simple..

Years ago when I implemented simplifying my life, I went room to room and cleaned, and organized everything. If it didn't have a home, or I hadn't touched it in more than 6 months, I got rid of it. By either selling it, giving it away, throwing it away or donating it.

Labeling became my friend in all my cabinets outside my kitchen. What a time saver that has been for me. I organized my kitchen cabinets and drawers as well. No more clutter drawers. Things are nicely tucked away in drawer organizers to keep things from shuffling around.

Simplifying my life has opened up so many opportunities that I just didn't have before. I can now crochet, make more greeting cards, spend time in the kitchen which is my new love.. and be able to be around my family and not stress over a schedule of events to go here or there..

Have you simplified your life? I'd love to hear what you've done to get your life less cluttered..

Friday, February 21, 2014

Random 5 on Friday- February 21st

The Pebble Pond 

 Joining in with The Pebble Pond and her weekly meme "Random 5 on Friday" Five random things so here goes...

1. Started working on my son's birthday gift. I'm making him a crocheted blanket that will fit his bed. I made him one when he was two and he still has it but it's tiny now that he's a teenager. I have three more weeks to get it complete and I'm about 40% done..

2. We got more snow overnight. About 1 1/2 inches but we are supposed to get more Sunday into Monday. The weatherman says 2-4 inches so we will see??

3. I've scored on some Barbara's cereal over the past week. Had a coupon to get them free at Smith's so stocking up now so we can spend less at the grocery store..

4. Finished taking the online hunter safety course that's required to get your concealed weapons license here in Montana. Scored a 93% on the final exam so I'm happy. Now need to wait for the permanent certificate to come in the mail so I can go down to the Sheriff's office to get fingerprinted and then put in my application for my background check.. Then wait for the approval.. There may be a gun just for me in my future.. 

5. Trying to decide on whether I should get my hair cut. My hair is now half way down my back and it's been a pain lately to pull up while exercising.

A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Sky Without Stars
Abingdon Press (February 18, 2014)
Linda S. Clare


Linda S. Clare is an award-winning author and coauthor of several books and has also published many essays, stories, and poems in publications, including The
Christian Reader, The Denver Post
, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her most recent book is A Sky without Stars, the newest release in Abingdon’s Quilts of
Love line.

Born in Arizona, Linda and her husband now make their home in Eugene, Oregon, where Linda has taught college-level creative writing classes, and writes, edits, and mentors other writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter, a church retreat leader, and mom to four grown children and five wayward cats.

My Thoughts on This Book:

I've read all these books in the series so far and have loved each one of them. This was no exception. I loved the time period it was written in. The main character Frankie is strong and has overcome so many obstacles in her life and raising a boy alone as a single parent isn't easy, especially for a native American in the 50's. As we follow her story from moving from the Dakota's to Arizona to start a new life, she hears her faithful grandmother help her in finishing the star quilt for her son so he can remember their heritage. Along the way, she meets Nick.. Will her heart be able to mend from her shattered marriage and learn to love again??


Frankie Chasing Bear is caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she also thinks he will need to learn the white man’s ways to succeed. After the untimely death of her husband, Frankie joins the U.S. Government’s Relocation Program and moves to Arizona. There she begins sewing a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it.

A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars, but neither the quilt—nor her new life—comes easily to Frankie. Nick Vandergriff, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust. He’s half-Lakota but Christian, and Frankie can see no good coming from that faith after her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian school. Can Nick convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren’t all bad? And will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient—for her son’s quilt and life itself?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Sky Without Stars, go HERE.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One Thousand Gifts 129-149

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 3 Gifts Behind a Door

129. A surprise friend's visit standing at the front door
130. Hubby's uniform as a reminder he has a job to support our family
131.My son in his room singing to Christian music

3 Ways You Feel The Love of God

132. After prayer
133. When your child speaks about God
134. When I'm reminded of all that He has given me

 3 Gifts This Week

135. Our romantic date that was at the house while the kids went out and had fun together
136. The attitude's of all the children were so positive and uplifting
137. Being able to find food for free w/ coupons to stock up and save money for the family

3 Gifts Found Giving/Serving

138. Watching my son hold the door open for everyone behind him at the store
139. Volunteering at the church
140. Being able to help a friend when in need

3 Gifts on Paper
141. A love poem my hubby wrote for me for Valentine's Day
142. A love poem I wrote to my hubby for Valentine's Day
143. Tax return to use for a little nest egg

3 Gifts That were "Plan B's"

144. Remodeling the laundry room and finding a better solution to reinforce the wall corners
145. Was supposed to have a steak dinner for Valentine's Day but the lasagna I made that was for a different occasion was just as delicious and just as romantic
146. Was going to give up cable to save money but the woman at the cable company surprised us with a better deal and free items at a better price

A Gift in Losing, Finding, Making Something

147. Losing our dinner arrangements on Monday prompted us a trip out of town for my DD19 to drive on the highway and have the entire family spend a day together which is rare right now with all three kids doing their own thing.
148. Finding all the items I needed to make our Valentine's Day a romantic evening alone with my hubby.
149. Crocheting a blanket for my son's 15th birthday

Return next Wednesday for my next installment of One Thousand Gifts....
You can join in on the 1000 Gifts Journey by visiting A Holy Experience HERE

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

R is for Remodel

blogging through the alphabet sm.
Blogging through the Alphabet
Click on the picture above or go to Ben and Me website HERE to get more info on how you can join in...

R is for Remodel 

and that's what we've been doing since January 2013. Started in our dining room which used to be the family room. This room was painted in three different colors. The red wall as you can see in the picture below along with two shades of beige. 

Dining Room:

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 As you can see below all the walls are now the same color and wainscoting is being added. This room still has the carpet which is now removed with hardwood floors with the kitchen directly behind it also with new hardwood floors. Chair molding, crown molding, baseboard molding, three doors have new molding and all new window trim inside/out plus windowsills replaced. The ceiling fan is gone and now has a beautiful light shining above our resurfaced/stained kitchen table (thanks to hubby's hard work)

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As you can see above, everything is all installed. Love this room..


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As you can see, the walls were all wallpapered and painted. New crown molding, baseboard molding and the window trim on the inside/ out installed along with new windowsill. Add wainscoting on bottom half of wall with chair molding. Installed all new lighting fixtures, put in hardwood floors and painted/stained the cabinets while adding new hardware.

We will be adding new counter tops, kitchen sink and faucet in the future and eventually new appliances. Dishwasher, refrigerator and stove and this summer we'll be adding a new skylight.

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Homeschool Room:


I couldn't find some before photos to add to this but I repainted this room. Before the wall with the window was green, and the two other walls were two different colors of brown. Now they are all the same color, have crown molding, new baseboard molding, new window trim inside/out and new windowsill, plus a new light fixture and wall accessories

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We are still in the remodeling process. This is all that was accomplished in 2013. For 2014, I've moved on to the laundry room. I'm repairing corners with joint compound and wallpapering all the walls. I'll be painting it the same color as the dining room as this room is adjacent to it. Hubby will be adding crown molding and new door trim and baseboard molding once the floors are installed (this will be done after all three bathrooms go through the same process as this room regarding the walls) I will also be staining the cabinets that are above the washer/dryer and putting in a new door for our water heater, plus staining the cabinets in the bathrooms as well. 

I hope to have all three bathrooms, and laundry room done for 2014 and then we'll be saving up for appliances for the kitchen, counter tops, sink and faucet. I'll be adding photos of our 2014 remodel as I work on them..

An Amish Miracle Book Review


Book Description

“Always in My Heart” by Mary Ellis
Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this past from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends isn’t a new pregnancy. It's the fifteen-year-old boy she gave away years ago.

“Always His Providence” by Ruth Reid
Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community's widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.

“Always Beautiful” by Beth Wiseman
Becky Byler is eighteen and obese. As she continues to grow, so does her despair. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her life, even though it goes against her beliefs. Standing before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. Two months pass and Becky has miraculously lost over a hundred pounds. But does Becky like the person she has become? Could it be this weight loss isn’t at all the miracle she thinks it is?

My Thoughts on This Book:

Three novella stories in one. All with miracles in mind. I've read books by two of these authors and couldn't wait to read this book. Each story is one in itself but they all tie in together. 

As the first story unfolds we follow Hope. As she keeps giving birth to girls, she worries that her life is under a curse and can't bear boy children for her husband since she gave her first born child, a boy, up for adoption. This story is filled with family miracles and tugs at your heartstrings.

The second story still shares Hope's story but turns it's focus onto Rose, Hope's friend. Rose lives on her own after her husband was killed in a barn fire. Her neighbor feels responsible for her husband's death, and vows to protect and take care of Rose until she remarries. She finds herself struggling on her farm, with little money and taxes due because her husband didn't pay them. This story is filled with love miracles and you can't help but to smile at the end.

The third story continues with Hope and Rose but turns it's focus onto Becky. Becky is a young girl, who struggles with her weight and feels her whole identity is surrounded by this. She feels if she could just be thin, all the girls her age would like her and the cutest boy in the community would be attention. She begins to realize, can her weight change her for the good or bad? Her best friend cares for her deeply but as she shows her affections towards another he has to decide to let her go or fight. This story is also a wonderful love miracle and you won't want to put it down until the very end.

Don't forget to turn the pages when it's all complete. There's some really yummy recipes in the back of the book that you know you'll want to try in your own kitchen..

I received this e-book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Gabriel's Bride & Set of 3 Books Giveaway WINNERS

Back on February 5th I had a drawing for two lucky winners to win these books below......
The drawing ended yesterday so here are the luck winners.....
 Gabriel's Bride (A Clover Ridge Novel)
Winner of this book above goes to
Jennifer- A Glimpse Of Our Life
Saving Gideon: A Clover Ridge Novel 
Book 1 "Saving Gideon"

Katie's Choice: A Clover Ridge Novel 
Book 2 "Katie's Choice"
Gabriel's Bride (A Clover Ridge Novel)
Book 3 "Gabriel's Bride"
The Winner of this set of 3 books above is:
Thanks to all that participated. I will be contacting the winners asap..

Friday, February 14, 2014

Random 5 on Friday- February 14th

The Pebble Pond 

 Joining in with The Pebble Pond and her weekly meme "Random 5 on Friday" Five random things so here goes...

1. Spent the past three days gathering supplies to celebrate Valentine's Day with my honey. We will be celebrating Saturday since he works this evening. I'm so excited since my adult daughter will be taking my boys out to eat and fun while hubby and I enjoy the house to ourselves this year. I'm looking forward to a low key enjoyable night without having to go out to a crowded restaurant.. I'm excited..

2. Got my Stampin Up order in the mail today. It was like Christmas. I was the hostess this month and it's Sale-A-Bration so was able to get a lot of the items I've had on my wishlist for free.. Now I can't wait to sit down sometime next week to make a stash of cards..

3. Went to the gym tonight to squeeze in a 35 minute workout since I got there 45 minutes before they closed. It felt great. I ran 2.5 miles without stopping.. 

4. I'm still trying to convince myself to run the half marathon in May. I ran this same race two years ago when it was a choice between a 10K or half. I chose the 10K which is 6.2 miles. I tried to train twice for a half for the past two yrs and the #1 thing that was hindering it was the race was in September and 12 weeks before that put me training in the Summer and the heat and I had to get up at 6am to get a long run in and I disliked it.. I can now train starting now until the race and it's cool out which is what I love.. To run in the cold.. I think I'll start training and if I feel like I can do it closer to the close date to sign up then I'll make my decision. 13.1 miles.. I'm turning 40 this August and I'd LOVE to have this race done before then..

5. I've never made my own flavored coffee. The ones with the grounds already flavored.. I saw some organic decaf coffee at the tea shoppe yesterday and decided to try it. It was delicious. Hazelnut.. mmm...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One Thousand Gifts- 108-128

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3 Gifts Found Outside

108. The warm sun after negative temps last week
109. The sound of the snow melting in the 50 degree weather
110. Birds chirping like it's Spring

A Gift at 11:30am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm

111.The sound of our wonderful guinea pig calling for attention
112. My son's homemade grilled tuna sandwich
113. Laughter of my kids getting along in the living room

A Gift Broken, Fixed, Thrifted

114. Mountaineer has a leak in the radiator,knowing we have another vehicle while this is out of commission
115. A car that wouldn't start but hubby finds problem and it's running again
116. A pile of outgrown clothes showing us our children are growing up

3 Surprise Gifts

117. A phone call from a friend
118. A party planned in your honor
119. A letter in the mail

3 Times You've Heard Laughter Today

120. When my son was listening to a story on CD
121. At the gym when my husband made a joke while I was running
122. The kids at youth group gathered together having a good time

3 Gifts in Working

123. The satisfaction of having it completed
124. Knowing you are capable of finishing something you've started
125. Knowing your body is capable of work

3 Things That Have Happened Today That Brought Joy

126. Running at 7.0 mph on the treadmill
127. Finding the items I needed to make Valentine's weekend w/ my hubby special
128. Scoring most of my items at the Dollar Store to save $$
Return next Wednesday for my next installment of One Thousand Gifts....
You can join in on the 1000 Gifts Journey by visiting A Holy Experience HERE

Homeschool Teaching Struggles

Subject Struggle 
As a part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew, we have the opportunity to participate in there bi-weekly carnivals. The subject for this carnival is "The Subject I Struggle Teaching Most"
For me... It's MATH! 

Back when my children were younger, teaching all the subjects was easy. As they got older some subjects became more difficult to teach, mainly math. I'm a whiz at consumer math. Balancing checkbooks, memorizing food prices, adding/subtracting/multiplying in my head. Simple... BUT, when you start adding in letters, multiplying fractions, I'm lost. 

When my kids started learning these, I was so fortunate to have my husband teach them. He works nights during the week so each morning he would teach the lesson to them before he left for work. This year was a little different. He's been doing a lot of traveling with his job taking him out of state for weeks so I knew when school started back in August, I needed to find a curriculum that would teach my kids for me since I'm lost when it comes to math.
In years past I purchased the curriculum for this subject based on how my husband taught.. Textbook style. He used Rod and Staff for a couple years but he really liked Saxon and the style of the curriculum and lessons. Well, when I knew he was not able to teach this year I panicked.. What should I get? I looked up Teaching Textbooks but I just couldn't bring myself to spend the amount they were asking for just one subject. I know I've heard rave reviews on this company but I'm on a budget and have several subjects to teach so had to think of Plan B.
I found out I could continue to use Saxon Math which my youngest son loves by just adding the DIVE CD to the curriculum.

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 This awesome CD Rom teaches each lesson in the Saxon curriculum. Using a computer 'board', you hear the teacher in the background as he shows you how to do the lesson on the blue screen. LOVE IT!

As long as my husband is unable to teach this subject I plan to continue with DIVE CD's with the Saxon book.. It's been a lifesaver for me as I continue to struggle with teaching upper math. Someday, maybe.. I'll learn Algebra and the math terminology that is being taught in these grades.. Someday...........
Click this link HERE to read what other crew members have posted in regards to subjects they struggle to teach in their homeschool..

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant Book Review


 Book Description

Allie left the love of her life at the altar - to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine's Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family's destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress?

History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day - in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family - women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus but fears she's destined to repeat her family's mistakes. She can't bear to hurt Marcus worse.

Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar - him. When the two are thrown together for his sister's Valentine's Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?

My Thoughts on This Book:

 This story brought a smile to my face. This is the third book in the series that I've had the opportunity to read and truly enjoy. Nothing like a story surrounding a wedding and in this case, two weddings. As Allie leaves her fiance', Marcus at the alter, her best friend Hannah gets engaged and wants her to be the maid of honor. Problem with this situation? For Allie, yes! Marcus is Hannah's brother. 

Going through the motions of helping with her best friends wedding while seeing her ex fiance' around every corner. Can she handle this wedding 'season' with her heart in tact or can she come to grasp the true reasons behind leaving Marcus? 

You will be delighted when reading this short novella. Nothing is more romantic than a story about a wedding..

I received a downloadable copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Random 5 Friday- February 7th

The Pebble Pond 

 Joining in with The Pebble Pond and her weekly meme "Random 5 on Friday" Five random things so here goes...

1.  Started the next phase in our home remodel. Working on taping up the walls in the laundry room. Sealing the corners to prepare for paintable wallpaper which I hope to install next week sometime.

2. We hit another record low here in town. -40 was our low which it hasn't been this cold in 18 years this time of year. I see it as a repeat of December when we had 9 days in a row in the negatives, dropping to -50. Today hit above 0 at 10 degrees with about 8 inches of snow on the ground from last week's snow storm.

3. Ran 4 miles today. The first time in 2014 that I've ran more than 3 miles. Did 3 miles on the track at the gym and then another mile on the treadmill w/ hill climb to simulate outside running. It kicked my butt but felt good after it was all done. 

4. I've been telling myself for two years now that I'd like to run a half marathon. Signed up for one last year but didn't do it. I guess I'm looking at time.. All about how long will it take, will I stop a lot. Can I make the distance. The most I've run so far is 9 miles. I just need to stop worrying about how slow I'll be, or how long it will take to cross the finish line. Just do it! There's one in May. It's the same race that I did the 10K back in 2012. I did that race in 1 hr 10 min. 6.2 miles. They have a 10K and half marathon to choose from. A half marathon is 13.1 miles.. Running takes a lot of mental energy. Most of the time I'm fighting my brain and not my body to get moving... I want to do it but my head is telling me all the reasons I shouldn't.. We'll see.. I still have time to train if I want to do it in May, plus I can train in the cooler temps, not like last year when I had to train in the summer months.. It may work..

5. Back in January I quit drinking caffeine. I thought I'd miss it, and I'm so happy that I don't. Still drink coffee, just decaf now. It feels so great to be on my natural energy again and not dependent on the caffeine to pick me up during the day.. It's a great feeling to be real!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Stop Monsanto!

I have a passion to eat healthy, wholesome, real, unprocessed, non G.M.O foods. I just found out this past week that the #1 company producing G.M.O products is Monsanto and they want to put a wheat testing facility in the town I live in. Great Falls, Montana. 

The town is outraged and we need them to STOP. If Monsanto puts there claws into the wheat industry, then all the product that comes out of Montana which is a large percentage of American wheat will be destroyed, as Monsanto seed will spread to adjacent farms and say goodbye to real wheat.

Monsanto is known for taking their seeds (which are patented) and sprinkling them onto farmers crops and then suing them for having their patented product on their farms without permission. These farmers go bankrupt because of legal fees. Monsanto is HUGE and this past year President Obama signed a law "Monsanto Protection Act" which gives them complete authority over the agricultural world.

This company is known for making Agent Orange, & Roundup. Chemicals to kill and we are eating their products. Corn, soybeans are their big crops. 90% of these two crops in America today are G.M.O. This stuff has been shown in studies to cause cancer in lab rats.. America is now their lab rats.

We need to STOP THEM NOW! If you live in Montana click on this link below where it says "Stop Monsanto Great Falls Petition" to sign this petition. If you live outside of Montana but you also want to say NO to MONSANTO.. Click on this link HERE to go to the Facebook page to March Against Monsanto and find a local area where they are fighting back.

We need to take back our food America before it's too late!!

A January Bride by Deborah Raney Review


 Book Description

What will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser's 'pen pal' friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn?

Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie's never met the innkeeper - but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie's alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn's owner - a man who's likely many years her senior - and who she's never even met.

Arthur Tyler is a college professor who lost his young wife to cancer. Together they ran the bed and breakfast where Art lives, but without his wife, the house is missing warmth and cheer. He jumps at the chance to have author Madeleine Houser use the space that was once filled with guests. He, too, begins to enjoy the daily exchanges with Maddie, but a series of misunderstandings lead him to believe she's far from being a prospective date---even if he were ready to date again, which he's not.

When Maddie and Art finally meet and discover one another's identity, sparks fly. Even so, they each have obstacles to overcome in order for this winter romance to blossom.

My Thoughts on This Book:

 This is the second novella I've read from the Year of Weddings Series. I've truly enjoyed both of them and this series has become one of my favorites. Each story is written by a different author with a wedding as the focus behind the storyline. This story brought a smile to my face through each turn of the page. Reading Maddie's and Art's daily notes to each other without meeting was such a treat. Art's quirky little cat brought some charm to the storyline. Can you imagine using a home of someone you've never met, and making your own assumptions on who they are? That's what Madeleine did. Thinking he was older and a perfect, safe person to help her while writing her new novel. While Maddie's home was being renovated she needed somewhere quiet to write her upcoming novel. Her deadline fast approaching, Art, allows her to utilize his bed and breakfast while he's working as a professor at the university.

As we all know this is a story about weddings so the ending was a bit predictable but getting to it was worth the read. Full of fun, this quick read will keep you smiling all the way to the end!

I received a free download ebook copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

One Thousand Gifts 87-107

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 3 Old Things Seen New

87. An Old Schoolhouse
88. An Old Rusty Car
89. An Old Barn

A Gift On a Paper, In a Person, In a Picture

90. a handmade thank you card that arrived in the mail
91. The love of Christ
92. pictures of my nieces and nephew

3 Red Gifts

93. My Red Chevy Suburban. All paid for.
94. My husband's Ford F150 truck. All Paid for.
95. apples that I picked to make homemade apple butter

3 Gifts on Paper

96. a handmade card
97. beautiful handwriting
98. a drawing given by a child

3 Gifts Found in Writing

99. A love note from my honey
100. A beautifully written poem
101. A beautifully written story

3 Gifts Found When Bent Down

102. A hug from a child
103. The smell of a flower
104. Watching an insect

A Gift Stitched, Hammered, Woven

105. The handmade crocheted blanket that keeps me warm
106. The shed that my hubby built from scratch
107. A blanket that was made with love

Return next Wednesday for my next installment of One Thousand Gifts....
You can join in on the 1000 Gifts Journey by visiting A Holy Experience HERE

Gabriel's Bride Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Gabriel's Bride
B&H Books (February 1, 2014)
Amy Lillard


I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twilight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.

My Thoughts on This Book:

This book picked up after Book 2 ended.. It's two years later from Book 2, as the Fisher's are preparing for Katie Rose's wedding and the upcoming boppli of Gideon and his wife. I couldn't put this book down. Read it in 2 days. As we look into the life of Gabriel, Gideon and Katie's brother (from book 1 and 2). Gabriel is torn from losing his beloved wife 6 years ago and feels his time for love is over. After finding out Rachel Yoder is without a home after her Aunt dies, he wants to help by giving her a place to live and to help him out with household chores and taking care of his boys. The idea doesn't go as planned when the elders find out she's living in the same home, and things take a turn, but is it a bad turn or good turn.. You will find out when you read this compelling story.

If you love Amish Fiction, then you will want to read this book as well as the other two books in the series.


Rachel Yoder has two choices: marry Gabriel Fisher or move to Ohio. As an orphan, Rachel doesn’t have much to offer; any match she can make will be a good one. She just didn’t plan on Gabriel with his big hands and permanent frown.
As a widower Gabriel needs help caring for the farm and his six children. But he never thought he’d marry a slip of a girl who barely reaches his chin.
Yet as time passes, Gabriel finds himself thinking about a real marriage. They have spoken vows to God and each other, but can he risk his heart with Rachel?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Gabriel's Bride, go HERE.

2 GIVEAWAYS- Don't Miss It!

Two lucky winners will have a chance to win these books below......

 Gabriel's Bride (A Clover Ridge Novel)

One lucky winner will receive a copy of "Gabriel's Bride" FREE


One lucky winner will receive ALL 3 copies of this wonderful series. 

Saving Gideon: A Clover Ridge Novel 
Book 1 "Saving Gideon"

Katie's Choice: A Clover Ridge Novel 
Book 2 "Katie's Choice"

Gabriel's Bride (A Clover Ridge Novel)
Book 3 "Gabriel's Bride"

Please leave a comment below sharing the title/author of your favorite book, with your email address for your chance to win. 

I will select two random winners on Saturday February 15th

Please comment below by 11:59 pm Friday February 14, 2014 for your chance to win.

Want more chances to win.. 

*Share this post on Twitter and add the direct link to the tweet in the comments below with your email address for 2 chances to win

*Share this post on Facebook and add  the direct link in the comments below with your email address for 2 chances to win 

*Share this post on Google + and add the direct link in the comments below with your email address for 2 chances to win

*Like my Ladybug Chronicles Facebook Page. Leave comment below with your email address for  3 more chances to win

*Follow me on Google +. Leave comment below with your email address for 3 more chances to win

*Like the author's Facebook page HERE. Leave a comment below with your email address for 4 chances to win

*Follow the author Amy Lillard's Twitter Page HERE and you will receive 4 chances to win. Leave a comment below with your email address.

 Please be sure to leave an email address when posting so I have a way to contact you. If you are chosen and there is no contact email then I will select another winner..


I've received two copies of Gabriel's Bride. One for review and the other as a giveaway in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fun Reviews to Come + Giveaway

February already.. Time is flying. I've been working on some reviews for the TOS Crew. I'm excited about being a part of this awesome crew this year. I was a part of their Maiden Voyage in 2008 and the following year then decided to take it easy and work on simplifying my life. This year was a perfect year to join the group again and I'm so blessed to be a part of it. 

Coming Soon:

Mango Languages Review
Motivated Moms Planner Review

These are two that I'm working on right now.. Pretty awesome stuff.. Can't wait to share all the info with you end of February, first part of March.

 I will also be doing a review on a math program. Awaiting for that to arrive in the mail along with a truly fantastic Easter item. Can't wait to dig into that when it arrives soon.. Reviews for these two products will be available here on my blog in mid March so look for them real soon..

I've got a book review that I'll be posting about tomorrow. It's book 3 in a series and will be having two giveaways.. One for a brand new copy of the book I'm reviewing and another of all three books in the series.. Check back tomorrow for the post and your chance to win.. 

You won't want to miss it!