Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope you're having a quiet and restful evening. I don't think I could say it better than Callapidder Days so I'll just link to her!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hmm? At my house lately

Our youngest wanted our oldest to look out the window and see something. I happened to be turned around and she pointed to her and said, "What's her name again?". Our youngest is 3 and usually not very forgetful (at least not of her siblings' names!). But I do know how she feels, I seem to trip up on my kids' names (and ages, grades, birth dates, etc) a lot. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


(I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth yet though I haven't posted in so long that it might seem like it, sorry.)

Nothing is more fun than your kids waking you up because the tornado sirens are going off! We had some interesting weather yesterday as I'm sure many of you did. Hope everyone is ok and was able to stay somewhere safe. We scooted out of our house (in our pjs) and went to stay in a friend's basement for about 30 minutes. Not the most enjoyable morning but not too bad over all. :)

We just got 4 pumpkins and I left them on the porch so my (oh so adorable) 5-year-old son said we needed to get the pumpkins as we made our very hasty run to the minivan. Then my 7-year-old daughter kept saying, "NO! People are more important than pumpkins! People are more important than pumpkins!" I thought it was a good biblical lesson, funny, and memorable all at the same time. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rite-Aid STINKS!!

*Update at end*
I have a small blog but I thought I would share my frustration about coupon usage with anyone who might choose to read these words! Rite-Aid has a really good deal this week on Huggies diapers. Pay $8.99 for a jumbo pack then get $2 back in UP+ rewards. Plus spend $25 on Kimberly-Clark products then get $5 back in rebate from the Rite-Aid rebate program. Well, a few months ago there was a rebate program, buy 5 packages of Huggies diapers get a coupon for a free package. Yipee, I can save money and get a free package back. I'll go for that.

So I received my coupon and headed to a local store last night. The clerk said she had to ask the manager about my free coupon. I said ok, it's on foil paper, it has a watermark, and it says specifically "REDEEM AT RITE AID" on the front. (Not redeemable only at Rite-Aid, which will be important later.) Then the manager tells me she'll have to talk to her boss in the morning, that they're only taking free coupons up to $5 because of coupon fraud. I'm an avid couponer and I understand this but this isn't a printable coupon. It's not on regular white paper. I explained that I received this from the Rite-Aid rebate program!!!! No avail, she said I could call in tomorrow. The store is about to close and I have other shopping to do so I said ok, I still bought the Huggies and asked if I brought the coupon in tomorrow and if it's ok that I could get my money back and she said yes.

So I was very frustrated but left and went to CVS. One of the clerks there was stocking merchandise and I explained my frustration and she asked to see it. She said they would be glad to take it!

I have been impressed with Rite-Aid lately and the deals there plus I like the new Wellness program but this is ridiculous. Part of my complaint, is that I would think there would be a notification process to make an exclusion for a coupon sent out by their own rebate program!! I called today and "the boss" is willing to take the coupon and she'll be contacting her District Manager to check into the use of this coupon. I told her that I didn't appreciate having to make a separate trip into the store (well, probably my husband).

I called the corporate # and he said the policy is not to take printables over $5 and I explained that this isn't a printable! He asked which store and would I like him to call them, I said I'd already called but I didn't appreciate the hassle or having to make a second trip in and that CVS would be very happy to take my coupon and that I might not be shopping at Rite-Aid anymore! Somehow I don't think my threatening did much good but maybe this blog post will at least warn others that they might want to take their free product coupon to another store!!

UPDATE-I called the store and the manager (big boss) was understanding but not very apologetic and was confused about what I wanted. My husband took the diapers in and was able to get her to do a return on them and then buy them again with the coupon, which they now took. On the bright side, another UP+ reward printed for buying a package of Huggies. :) I'm still avoiding that store location, though I'll probably get over it sometime.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Some things are amazing to me:

--I can move 2 times in one year and not break a bottle of olive oil that is past expiration and needs to be thrown away. Yet when I buy a new bottle at Aldi's, it doesn't make it home. It broke in the floorboard of the passenger front seat in our minivan. I had to throw away 2 reusable bags (Kroger basic black (freebie) and Whole Foods (freebie) but I did rescue the CVS green bag tag). I was very thankful I had Sunday's paper (bought for the coupons) to help sop up the extra oil. I decided to keep the cold reusable bag (freebie) that got a little oil on it. I guess next time I buy a bottle, I'll wrap it in bubble wrap and pack it more carefully in our minivan!! Olive oil - $3.99 at Aldi's.

--Gummy vitamins will melt into a big glob when left in the minivan in the sun, $3.99 at Aldi's.

--6 kids can entertain themselves when you spend $32 on pizza, drinks, and tokens at Chuck-E-Cheese (using lots of coupons!). Leaving another mom and I (we split the cost) to talk and hold one very sleepy snuggly 6-week-old baby! :)

Time with friends, new babies, and a trip to the "big" city - Priceless!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cursive Handwriting, Reading, and Life

I forgot to mention in my last post that I had a cavity. I haven't had a cavity in years and I was so, well ashamed actually that I haven't been brushing well. I didn't take care of my teeth when I was young and have many cavities and fillings. In college, I had a filling fall out and it got infected. My dentist tried to fix it but it didn't work so I had to have a root canal and crown. Last year, another filling needed to be replaced and I had an "almost" crown put on it. I don't know about all of my fillings but I wonder if eventually they'll all have to be replaced with crowns. How long does a crown last? Will this dental work ever end??? Take good care of your teeth!!!! Brush and FLOSS, learn from my mistakes. :)

I'm trying to teach our two oldest cursive using Handwriting Without Tears. But with our second, there's always tears!! :) This was our summer project that is just starting to gain ground after moving this summer. Daughter #1 is also finishing up Saxon 5/4 before we start her on Math-U-See this fall (which book? hmm, not sure yet).

I've read several books and hope to get reviews done soon. Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life and lemonade

If you didn't read my SRT wrap-up (previous post) then you don't know we moved. We said good-bye to our horribly small horribly smoky (neighbors, ugh!) townhouse and hello to a gorgeous ranch house that is being rented to us by someone at our church. We now have a linen closet in the bathroom (what luxury!!) and a backyard (with trees and bugs) and a jacuzzi on the deck. We are SOOOO blessed. We now have a sunroom that will be good for homeschooling, eating (2 tables gifted by a family leaving to do mission work), playing and resting. I can't believe we'll have room to put 2 tables end-to-end and still have room to walk around. We might add a 3rd table or kids' table for when we have company. :)

We celebrated Father's Day this past Sunday and my youngest kept saying Happy Father's Day to Daddy then Happy Mother's Day to me. So cute. And the boy picked up on it and started saying it too! I tried to make a cake for hubby, it rose about 2/3 of a normal cake because I couldn't find the mixer (ugh, the unpacking!) and beat it by hand. It was interesting! Hope your neck of the woods are wonderful and you're enjoying the a/c during this very hot humid June weather. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spring Reading Thing 2010 Wrap-Up

Well, life never seems to go as I plan. We knew we might move before summer started but weren't sure. Well, we moved a little over a week ago so that cut into my reading time a LOT! But I still read a good number of books, mostly fiction and quite a few that weren't on my list but I found at the library. :)

1. READ Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel
One Day at a Time by Elyse Fitpatrick - I've been using this as a daily devotional but don't always keep up. I just try to read every day and keep a bookmark with where I am in the book so I keep reading through it.
Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson - picked out by my husband, one reason is John Piper read it and is still talking about it!
Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church by Michael Horton - my husband has read this and wants me to read it and discuss.
*planning to read but ran out of time* God's Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts - my husband picked it out.
*did buy this and still plan to read* Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety: Becoming A
Woman of Faith
and Confidence by Elyse Fitpatrick - rinse, repeat
6. something by Charles Martin, depends on what's available at the library but I'd like to read Chasing Fireflies *READ*. I've already read When Crickets Cry.
7. READ Greater Love by Robert Litlow - third book in the Tides of Truth series. I'd like to see how this one goes before giving a review of the other two books in the series.
(8.) READ book 4 of the Million Dollar Mysteries A Quarter for a Kiss by Mindy Starns Clark.

Not on my original list that I read:
Love the Sinner by Lynn Bulock
Undertow by Lorena McCourtney
Adelaide Piper by Beth Webb Hart
Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci
Sisterchicks Do the Hula by Robin Jones Gunn

I hope to do reviews for all of the books I've read but haven't gotten to that either. Reviews for Gilead, Greater Love, and A Quarter for a Kiss are here, here, and here respectively. Ok, on to the questions:

1) Favorite book - probably Greater Love, though it's hard to pick b/c I liked all of the fiction books I read except Gilead. I liked Sisterchicks b/c it's fun and about Hawaii, a nice easy read though I always seem to cry! Deliver Us From Evil was nail biting and intriguing, I love how he picks up characters and uses them again later but it's not a "series". Adelaide Piper (mature teen and above warning on this one though!) was challenging and had me reflecting on my high school graduation and college . Love the Sinner reminded me to keep an open mind and love others. A Quarter for a Kiss was great. Chasing Fireflies was good but not as good as When Crickets Cry (and now I want to read the newest book by Charles Martin).

2)Least favorite - Gilead, read my review to find out why, it just wasn't for me. :)

I liked Michael Horton's Christless Christianity but I kept asking my husband what about this or that and he'd say it's in the next book The Gospel-Driven Life so I wish the book had 2 parts or something! :) It was still a tough read for me b/c I don't like much non-fiction. I'm hoping I'll like God's Big Picture, the youth in our church went through it so surely I can get through it!!

3) Lynn Bulock and Beth Webb Hart were new authors for me, I enjoyed both but would probably definitely hope to read more from Lynn Bulock. She's not the best detective-ish writer but it's fast like a "beach" read and that's always nice.

My husband and I set about a 1:4 ratio for books, one non-fiction to 4 fiction and that seemed to work out pretty well, still hard to stick to though. I ended up counting Gilead as a non-fiction book b/c it seemed like it and it took me a long time to plow through it. :) I loved participating in the Spring Reading Thing. I really do think these challenges push me to read and to focus on a set list so I am looking forward to Callapider Days next reading challenge. Thank you to all who visited me because of my list, I appreciate the visits and comments and hope you had a great time reading this Spring! :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Book Review - A Quarter for a Kiss by Mindy Starns Clark

A Quarter for a Kiss is book 4 in The Million Dollar Mysteries series. Like the books before it, it is mostly fast-paced and wonderful at providing a suspenseful, little bit romantic, and a little bit spy/private investigator book. In this book, Callie's mentor has been injured and she is called upon to help figure out the mystery! You travel along as she discovers the Caribbean islands of St. Thomas and St. John (oh, now I want to go there too!) Very good and I would highly recommend this whole series! :)

Book Review - Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson was an interesting book. That's codespeak (this time, not every time) for I didn't really like it.

There are no chapter breaks, just paragraph separators and the book available at my library was large print so I just had no idea really where I was or how much farther were parts going to go on. The story rambles on as a journal entry/letter from a father to the son he never expected to have. It starts when he learns that he is dying (never tells from what) and what he wants to tell his (around age 7) son about his experiences and family history and life before he keels over (sorry to be crass but it's true).

There are lots of good "prose" so to speak and interesting/challenging theological thoughts. He is a pastor and so he writes a lot about how he can influence a congregation and the weight of that burden. I think that is why John Piper is still thinking about this book and it is very good in that aspect. I could see this being a Bible college or seminary recommended outside reading book.

But for the rest of us, it was a long dreary long winding never seeming to finish a thought kind of book. I got very frustrated that there wasn't enough background in descriptions for me to understand who he was talking about or the situation he was describing. Few dates were given so I wasn't sure what time period he was talking about. It was like listening to an elderly (very distant) relative rattle on about his life day after day after day, someone who you don't know and don't really care about or have a shared history.

One thing I think the author did a good job was telling a story from the perspective of the opposite gender, I think it is hard for men to write from a women's perspective and vice versa. :)

Book Review - Greater Love by Robert Litlow, really review of Tides of Truth Series

I should just review Greater Love but since it's part of the Tides of Truth series, I'd rather review the whole series. And I wanted to finish the series before I critiqued parts of the books. :)

--Basic Synopsis--
Book 1 - Deeper Water - Tami is a law student doing a summer internship at a law firm. She meets two men that she is interested in and that provides the "romance" element of the book. She stands up for her beliefs in what types of cases she'll take and how she'll work on them, but she does find herself working together a lot with another summer intern, Julie, who is Jewish and challenges Tami's beliefs and personality at almost every turn. Will she survive the summer?

Book 2 - Higher Hope - Another interesting case is being thrown upon her because it involves (Reverend) Sister Dabney, an unusual lady in the town who seems to know and see into men's souls. Who should Tami court/bring home to meet her family?

Book 3 - Greater Love - Tami is finishing up law school and accepts a position for after graduation. But did she make the right choice? A case involving a runaway is the "major" case in this book but Sister Dabney also seems to unravel Tami's life.

I was glad to have the second book out when I finished the first because I wanted to know what happened!! However, I did have to wait a bit before the third book came out and it's hard for me to be patient! I thought Tami was a great character and I applaud how firm she is in her beliefs and willingness to stand up for those beliefs and show real INTEGRITY in how she works. However, considering my belief that women should not be pastors or preachers I do not care for Sister Dabney's character very much. I think she is an interesting person and I appreciated her care for the homeless and downtrodden in the area. I just got very tired of her chair rocking and visions and that she wasn't under any church leadership at all. Tami and her family, and Sister Dabney are definitely more pentecostal or charasmatic (sometimes it's hard to differentiate) than I am with my Southern Baptist roots! I liked that Tami started courting (not dating) and took her parent's involvement very seriously. But I think she should've been more decided on one "beau" before she started courting though this did provide tension in the book. I also didn't like how she thought she should drink coffee like her parents did - be willing to start your own traditions instead of depending on your parents! :) Overall a very worthwhile series with a little romance, suspense and a good amount of "lawyering" in it.

[Possible spoiler - Sister Dabney and her husband had started the church but he had run off with another woman and Sister Dabney took over. I discussed this with my husband and I could see her taking over leadership for a short time until a male leader could be found but this was not the case b/c she had been leading the church for many years. (Titus 1:5-9)]

Friday, March 26, 2010

Review - Busy Mom's Bible

I received a Busy Mom's Bible from Zondervan to use and review. I must say that this Bible has a beautiful cover without being too frilly or girly. I was impressed by the look and feel when I took it out of the box. It is very easy to locate the devotional "sheets" (DS) inside the Bible because they are colored and thicker than the Bible text pages. Each DS is broken into four sections, two on each side, with a different theme on the page. For example, between the pages of 2 Chronicles 20:1 and 2 Chronicles 21:15, there is a DS with the theme of Raising Your Kids. The first topic of the DS is Repeat Daily and there is a 1 minute reading, a 5 minute reading that expands on the 1 minute, a 10 minute reading that expands on the 5 minute, and a Word to take with you - Repetition. The DS are spread throughout the Bible but it is noticeable that the DS are not spread evenly (there are no DS before Joshua 7 or after 1 Corinthians 5).

I enjoyed the short DS and felt the topics covered were diverse and satisfying. I liked that the 10 minute reading had more verses at the back of the Bible, it makes it easy to look at a certain topic and see more information about it such as Bullies (Ps. 147:6, Gen 37:1-28, Ps 109:1-5, 26-31, Lk 6:31). This way you wouldn't have to flip through to find the DS on that issue, but just flip to the back and find more verses for encouragement.

My Dislikes
1)Why choose NIV? Maybe it's just my church but we tend to read the ESV or NASB for Bible translations. I do believe the ESV is more accurate and fairly easy to read.
2)The DS can be distracting. I especially think if you were in the middle of a sermon on a text that lies next to the DS, you would be very tempted to begin reading the DS instead of paying attention to the Bible text and sermon. (But this is common with any Study/Devotional Bible.)
3)Placement and way the DS is laid out. It would be nice if the devotion was right across from the verse it is listing, so if you wanted you could look at context!
4)Bible text pages are very thin and there's quite a bit of "see-through" from the next/previous page (though this is typical with standard Bibles these days).

My recommendations to give as a gift
1)would make a nice Bible for a new Christian who is a mom (or one who other moms seek advice from)
2)would be good for a mom-to-be or very busy mom - easy to place the Bible in a place where she could catch snippets or read verses and DS, while doing other things (not to be gross but like the bathroom or rocking chair or breastfeeding area).

Thank you to Zondervan for the chance to review the Busy Mom's Bible.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Reading Thing 2010

Yeah, it's that time of year again! Though I've only participated in the Fall Reading Challenge once, I enjoy each of the challenges by reading other bloggers' reading lists and reviews.

This year, my husband once again helped to make my list. I've provided Amazon links just to make it easier (no kickback).

1. Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel
One Day at a Time by Elyse Fitpatrick - I've been using this as a daily devotional but don't always keep up. I just try to read every day and keep a bookmark with where I am in the book so I keep reading through it.
Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson - picked out by my husband, one reason is John Piper read it and is still talking about it!
Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church by Michael Horton - my husband has read this and wants me to read it and discuss.
God's Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts - my husband picked it out.
Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety: Becoming A
Woman of Faith
and Confidence by Elyse Fitpatrick - rinse, repeat
6. something by Charles Martin, depends on what's available at the library but I'd like to read Chasing Fireflies. I've already read When Crickets Cry.
7. READ Greater Love by Robert Litlow - third book in the Tides of Truth series. I'd like to see how this one goes before giving a review of the other two books in the series.

I assume I'll add more fiction especially b/c I want to start READ book 4 of the Million Dollar Mysteries series. Also my husband and I have a daily Bible reading time that I won't list. Please keep checking back for book reviews! :) Happy reading!

updated 4/30 to add read books (Gilead, Greater Love, and A Quarter for a Kiss (book 4 of the Million Dollar Mysteries) reviews here, here, and here respectively)

Book Review

Ten Things I Wish Jesus Never Said by Victor Kuligin was picked by my husband to read for the Fall 2007 Reading Challenge. I'm a little late for the review. The book has lots of missionary stories from the author living in Namibia. But also challenges you to understand what Christ says and what the implications are of those words.

I specifically remember one situation that was quite troubling for the author - there was a woman who visited specifically when his wife was out of town. Then the woman spread rumors that certain things had occurred when his wife wasn't there. All of this was untrue and the woman had previously implicated other men so she was already known to be a liar. But this caused problems for the author's mission organization and interrupted their work there. A reminder to men here in the U.S. and abroad to be careful of putting themselves in awkward situations. It is better to follow the Billy Graham rule of never being alone with a woman other than your wife than to face the prejudices and implicating questions from others later.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Review - Christy by Catherine Marshall

1994 - I was very fond of the CBS show Christy starring Kellie Martin. I didn't watch every episode but was disappointed when the series was canceled. I KNEW that the story wasn't finished and I really wanted to know what happened, did she marry? did she stay in the cove?

1999 - During our final year in college, my husband and I bought a TV and had cable (really the first time in my life to have cable and the only year we had it). We watched some PAX and later became interested in their miniseries Christy. Eventually, my husband bought me the whole DVD set from PAX and I found out who Christy married. I was quite shocked but happy. I felt it didn't quite live up to the CBS show b/c Kellie Martin wasn't in it. But it was nice to see some of the same actors playing the same characters. And it was good to see more of the story!

?2002 - Because I consider myself a reader, it was kind of weird that I still hadn't read the book by Catherine Marshall! I finally checked the book out and started it but couldn't get through it. A young lady at church said it was her favorite but admitted that the story is slow until about chapter four then it picks up. Ah - now I had a clue and very good tip but I still didn't read it. :)

Late Summer 2007 - My husband gives me the CBS series on DVD for my birthday. I watched all of the episodes eyeing the behavior of the 2 suitors b/c I now knew who she married. I had seen the book at my friend's house and she said it was one of her favorites and she'd like to borrow my DVD set. Once I decided to join the Fall Reading Challenge, I added the book to my list and asked my friend if I could borrow it.

Fall 2007 - I read Christy finally! But I never posted a review!

Almost Spring 2010 - I'm thinking about joining the Spring Reading Thing but I'd like to get this review done! :) I thought the book was very good. I could relate to Christy's challenge teaching the students as I've taught Sunday School and VBS before. One of the main things she says is about their language, does she correct it or leave it as their (ultimately) heritage from their mountain culture. (At our last church I was often appalled to hear kids using the word ain't, but do you correct it or leave it???) One warning I would give to others especially if your young daughter wants to read the book or you're sensitive to the topic is rape is brought up in the book. It doesn't happen to Christy but one of the other main characters a long time in the past. I felt some of the details were not needed and the description was a bit much for littler ears. It was nice to finally hear the "whole" story from the Christy book. I can't believe how many of the CBS series shows weren't based on the book, it just seemed like they took the characters from the book and then went on with whatever storylines they wanted or whatever they would've faced in those days.

I do realize that the Christy book is fiction, but based on Catherine Marshall's mother's life. However, it SEEMS so real it's hard to believe it's fiction. If you haven't read the book I highly recommend it AND if you haven't seen the CBS show I highly recommend it AND if you haven't seen the PAX miniseries I recommend it (to finish out the story). If you just can't get enough or want to experience where the filming of the CBS show took place, then you should check out ChristyFest here taking place this year on June 16-20. Can you tell I'm a fan?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coming out of the woodworks

So to speak! :) I've been trying to settle into a good routine that includes a little blogging, but haven't found that magic time yet! But I just HAD to post this after seeing it on Camy's blog. Camy Tang's first Sushi book, Sushi for One? is free to download from Amazon right now. It's a Kindle book but with Kindle for PC for free, you don't have to actually own a Kindle. It's a wonderful book and very funny plus you get to learn about all kinds of Asian foods and family dynamics. Camy is a wonderful author and very giving on her blog (hint - lots of giveaways and book suggestions), so add her to your Google Reader or Bloglines!