Thursday, April 29, 2010

A New Car!

Well my word sometimes life happens very fast!  Since we live in the Great State of Texas our daughter was able to take advantage of the Air Check program.  It allows people with older cars to trade them in for something much newer and they receive a voucher from the state for their down payment.

She’s been looking at cars for quite some time and the voucher came in the mail while we were on vacation.  One of the most pressing rules is that you only have thirty days to use the voucher and no extensions will be granted.

I got an excited email from her yesterday that she found one at a car dealer we like and it was a good price.  The three of us headed over there after work for the test drive and negotiations.  Today we went back,  she signed a lot of paperwork, then walked away the proud owner of a car she found, researched and financed all on her own!


Yes, we did the silly “take a picture of her taking a picture of her new car” and we all laughed.  I know it’s not a good photo, but it was the moment in time we were capturing.

She’s truly on Cloud 9 and that’s as it should be.  How fun to see her experiencing the joy of the first car she’s picked out and how fun to remember back to when we did it.

And welcome to adulthood and car payments my sweet daughter.  :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Home From Vacation!

So sorry to disappear like that.  We walk a fine line with a blog – you want to share everything, but really you have to be careful because there’s no telling who might be reading.  And you don’t really want to announce that you’re leaving.

Keith and I have just returned from a fabulous 8 day vacation to Moab, UT.  We ride a UTV and there was the annual rally from Wednesday to Saturday.  Since we would be up that way anyway we decided to take some extra days and stop along the way to see a few more sights.

More posts will follow, but I am one pooped puppy right now!   :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CFBA Book Review: The Sword by Bryan M. Litfin

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Sword Crossway Books (April 30, 2010) by Bryan M. Litfin


This novel of page-turning action and adventure poses the question, "If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"

Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.

With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God. Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality and power of his Word. Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.

Visit the book website at The Sword to see amazing videos and a wealth of information about the trilogy!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sword, go to HERE



Though not normally a fan of fantasy fiction I will admit that this one had me a bit intrigued.  Captain Teofil and Anastasia live in a world 400 years after a deadly virus and nuclear war have destroyed most of the human population.  Their world reads as more of a medieval world, reminding me of a time in history where damsels in distress were constantly being saved by the knight in shining armor.

But this duo finds a copy of the Bible, a book no longer known in their time.  There is, however, a religion of sorts and it does everything possible to subdue and destroy both the Bible and the knowledge of God contained within.

The Sword is the first book in the trilogy and while I’m not certain I will continue the series I am glad that I broadened my horizons with this book.  Fans of fantasy fiction will surely enjoy it.


Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, but lived in Memphis, Tennessee and Oxford, England, where he discovered that the house of his favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was only five doors down from his own. Bryan still enjoys epic adventure stories, as well as historical fiction. However, most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

After marrying his high school sweetheart, Carolyn (a true Southern belle), he went on to study for a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays.

In 2002, Bryan took a position on the faculty at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he is a professor in the Theology Department. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods.

On the morning of January 6, 2007, Bryan woke up with an epiphany. Having finished writing his primer on the ancient church, he had the idea of trying his hand at fiction. The thought occurred to him that the writer of speculative fiction typically has two options. He can create an imaginary land like Middle Earth (which offers great creative freedom but is unrealistic), or he can delve into genuine history (which is realistic, yet limited to what ‘actually occurred.’) However, if a writer were to create a future world as in the Chiveis trilogy, it could be both realistic and creatively unlimited.

This little dream stayed in Bryan’s mind while he researched how to write fiction, and also researched the European landscape where the novel would be set. He planned a trip to the story locations, then went there in the summer with a buddy from grad school. Bryan and Jeff rented a Beemer and drove all over Europe from the Alps to the Black Forest with a video camera in hand. With that epic setting fresh in his mind, Bryan returned home and began to write.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He is blessed by God to be married to Carolyn, and to be the father of two amazing children, William, 11, and Anna, 9. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains (which means getting far away from the Midwest – preferably to his beloved Smokies).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five #83

I feel kind of like a kid bouncing up and down in my chair – it’s Friday’s Fave Five time!  Roll your eyes if you will, but doing this post each week is such a positive affirmation.  Susanne at Living To Tell The Story has links to all the blogs with these posts.

1. Springtime in Dallas – I have so thoroughly enjoyed our weather this last week.  The birds singing, the perfect temperature, the gentle breeze – it really doesn’t get any better than this.  We have spent much time sitting in the backyard and just enjoying listening to God whisper to us with the wind.

2. Baby Shower – Baby showers in the spring – almost cliché!  Last Saturday after our garage sale fun we went to my cousin’s house for a baby shower for a different cousin’s daughter’s baby.  It’s good to see everybody and of course little Miss B was somewhat the belle of the ball.  She is so good and that’s no small feat for an almost 3 year old at a baby shower – you know it had to be boring for her. And the lunch that was served was so not for her age, though she filled up on blueberries from the fruit salad.  :)

3. Fiber Fest – After the shower Lynne’ and I went to Fiber Fest in Dallas.  This is either the 3rd or 4th year of it and I have to confess this was my first time to go.  It was a blast!  Several of my friends have key administration roles, so of course I got to see them, and I was thrilled to be able to see several other friends there too.  And oh the fiber!  Truly a feast for the eyes to go to the vendor booths.  Really a feast for the fingers too as touching alpaca, silk and cashmere yarns (among many others) is amazing. Next year I am really hoping to be able to take some of the classes, too.

4. Food – Nothing like just laying it out there, eh? Springtime brings lighter foods and also the start of the spring/summer produce.  We’ve already begun talking about a family field trip to a local blueberry farm to pick our own, which will be great to freeze and enjoy through next winter. And at the shower we had chicken salad and pasta salad, two great light foods.

5. Facebook – I *really* didn’t want to use this one again this week, but it kept coming up in my life!  At the shower there were a couple of cousins and daughters of cousins that I rarely see.  In fact, we laughed that we only get together for showers and Christmas.  But with Facebook the entire dynamic has changed at the family gathering.  Because we’re able to see what’s happening in everybody’s daily lives it doesn’t seem so stilted when we do get together.  A true blessing indeed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review and Giveaway - Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze



Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man – in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away.  His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why had he survived? He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help – a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith – and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly. Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?


Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, three nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles. Selected for Who’s Who in America in 2004 as a writer and educator, Hinze is active in Romance Writers of America and serves as a vice president on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. Vicki lives in Florida with her artist husband, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Visit to learn more about Vicki’s books, blogs and writing programs.


WOW! What an edge of the seat exciting thriller this was! From the moment I started reading this book I had such a hard time putting it down. Very fast paced action and always wondering what would happen next had me making deals with myself - “I’ll read one more chapter, then do the dishes.”

This book is difficult to review in the sense that so much of what I want to say and talk about would give away major plot points. I did love both of the main characters and loved the fact that Susan didn’t lose sight of her faith, even with everything she was up against. I find that somewhat inspirational – if a woman up against all these odds can have strong faith then why can’t so many of the rest of us?


Waterbrook Mulnomah was kind enough to not only send a copy of this book to me to review, but also a copy to give to one of my blog readers!  Let me know you’re interested in winning this copy by leaving a comment and I’ll be drawing the winner on April 30.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Garage Sales With My Girls

I’ve heard it said that a bad day at garage sales beats a good day at work.  Fortunately we had a great day at garage sales!  Bright and early Saturday morning we set out, our expectations and spirits high. 


Here’s Miss B ready to get in the truck and head out for bargains.  I love how adorable her mama always dresses her!  Right now she’s holding my GPS in her right hand (grandmas always seem to need help carrying things!) and a small apple juice bottle for a quick drink before we hit the road.

These juice bottles are so cute!  They come with a character shaped sippy top and I think I have 4 now that she gets to choose from.  While they do cost a little more than regular apple juice, my theory is that this is one of the benefits of being a grandma – I can buy the silly apple juice.


This is my highlight purchase – a brand new Brighton bag, still in the box, still has the paper stuffing inside….and still had the $165 price tag….but I paid $25!!!!  I am beyond thrilled with this purchase as I do love all things Brighton – even if I do usually buy the knockoffs since I’m so cheap.  But this – it even smelled good!  LOL!

So glad that the Garage Sale season has kicked off and always so glad to spend time with my 3 girls.

Friday, April 09, 2010

CFBA Book Review: She Walks In Beauty by Siri Mitchell

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell - Bethany House (April 2010)


For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor.

Debuting means plenty of work--there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity's spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.

Yet Clara soon wonders if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries.

When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it's not just her marriage at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
She Walks in Beauty, go HERE.


New York’s Gilded Age, the late 1800’s, is such a perfect setting for this book.  Amidst such high rollers as the Rockefellers we see and learn all the requirements of a debutante of that era.

When Clara learns that she will make her debut a year earlier than planned, preparations are kicked into high gear.  From corsets to get her waist down to an “acceptable” 18 inches to which of the dozens of forks and spoons to use she becomes more and more disillusioned.

But her family is counting on her to win the heart of the most eligible bachelor of the season, even if means she is up against her best friend for that honor.

I’ve always loved historical romances and am absolutely thrilled to find a Christian Historical Romance.  Ms. Mitchell’s writing is flawless and she creates a story that is such a good read that it is hard to put down.  I absolutely loved this book and would wholeheartedly recommend it.

Thank you to CFBA and Bethany House for sending a copy for me to review.  I assure you that this review is true and not slanted due to my receiving the book.

Review also posted on Amazon.


Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

Ultimate Blog Party 2010


Hello and welcome to my blog!  If you haven’t heard of the Ultimate Blog Party, click on over and see the billions of links to blogs that you might not have seen before.  And for a blast from the past, here’s my post from the 2009 Ultimate Blog Party.

So now for a little about me.  I am Elizabeth, a Christian woman married to my beloved of 30 years yesterday!  Wow – times really does fly when you’re having fun!  I have an awesome son, daughter and daughter-in-law and my amazing granddaughter Brooklyn.  She’ll turn 3 in July and is such a joy to be with.  Here we are with the Easter bunny at our church’s community event last Saturday:


I do enjoy posting videos that feature Brooklyn, like this one where she tells me I’m “too big” to get in a closet while we were at an RV show.  Ah…the honesty of little ones!

I have many hobbies – including knitting, card making, cooking – and I even have a new blog for that, Gramma’s Cookin’ that is taking much of my time – and reading.  I’m fortunate to be able to do book reviews for several different groups, so you’ll find reviews of Christian books a couple of days a month here.

One of my favorite blog memes is the Friday Fave Five where we list 5 of our blessings from the week prior.  I have found that no matter how bad your day/week is, just the process of picking out the blessings “turns your frown upside down” in no time at all.

Before I leave, here’s one more picture of Brooklyn.  She has on her “princess” dress for Easter.  :)



Oh and there are prizes for the Ultimate Blog Party!  We are supposed to list what we’d like, so here are my prize picks if I should win:

88 – $25 E-Gift card to! Provided by:Faith’s Firm Foundation
Because I do love the Kindle app on my iPhone and new books would be fun.  :)

22 – One winner will receive a fun Beach themed gift basket filled with an assortment of hair bows and clippies from ribbonrockstar hairbows. (Prize Value: $50)
Provided by: Ribbon RockStar bows
Follow here: trendytykes
Because a certain little granddaughter could use these darling bows!

85 – A $40 gift certificate from
Provided by: Beautiful Blooms
Follow here: MOM2ETCK or Visit Our Fan Page: Beautiful Blooms
Because I just clicked through to her site and she is very talented!

75 – $100 Gift Certificate to
Provided by: StomperMom
Follow here: stompermom or Visit Our Fan Page: Stompermom
Because this looks like fun!

And seriously – there are some great prizes listed and it’s hard to choose.  Imagine the smile if any gift is given!   :)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Anniversary Eve

Tomorrow will be our 30th Anniversary.  When we stop and really think about it I do believe we’re a little shocked at how the years have gone by so fast.  It truly doesn’t seem that long.

Imagine my surprise when Keith came home from work today carrying this:

003 copy

Totally unexpected to receive flowers the day before your anniversary and I think he was rather tickled that he was able to surprise me so thoroughly.

006 copy

And tonight, it being Anniversary Eve and all, Keith came up with such a romantic idea for dinner….the three of us went to Taco Bell!  Lo these many years ago my best friend and her boyfriend set up Keith (the boyfriend’s friend) and I on a blind date, doubling with them.  Donna and I met Keith and John at the local Taco Bell on the main drag and that’s where we all had dinner.  Afterwards we walked next door to the Putt Putt and played a round of miniature golf.  So it really was a romantic idea of his for us to go to Taco Bell for dinner.  :)

Looking forward to another wonderful 30 years together!

Brooklyn Scrapbooks With Punches

I don’t know why it didn’t even occur to me to get out some of my scrapbook stuff and let Brooklyn play with it.  But the light bulb finally went on and I pulled out some of the smaller, easier to use punches and a package of lower cost paper.

005 copy

She’ll be three in July and I was so impressed watching her dexterity as she slid the paper inside the punch.  See how intent she is on the task?

The yellow one that she has in her hand was too hard for her to punch, but of course Grandma was on hand to help her out.  The other two punches you see on the table were not a problem for her, so we ended up with a lot of feet and itty bitty pumpkins.  :)

I think that I’ll be using some of the big box store coupons and buying more punches for her.  It really was fun to do it with her and next time maybe we’ll get adventurous and use glue.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five #81

My word – ever have a time in your life that just seems like it’s going so fast you can hardly keep up?  That’s what the last few weeks has been like for me.  Not really bad, just oh so busy!  So thankful for the Friday Fave Five posts as I still get a chance to keep up – at least somewhat – with the blog.  A big THANK YOU to Susanne for coming up with this idea!

FFF spring

1. Holy Week – This week always has so much meaning to our Christian walk and this one paragraph will never convey exactly how much it means to me.  But one example – earlier this week my in-law’s were in town for a few minutes.  My mother-in-law brought along 2 nails that are believed to be the type that were used to nail Jesus to the cross.  Those nails have sat on our coffee table all week and most evenings you’ll find one of us holding a nail and turning it over in our hands.  That feeling and knowing the depth of love for us that led Christ to that cross was almost overwhelming.  When you hold that nail and realize what He went through – breathtaking.

2. Keith Turned 50! – And with all the running I haven’t done a post just on that yet….but I’m still planning on it.  The kids all came over last Sunday after church and spent the day with us, which I always love.  His birthday was actually Tuesday and his parents drove the three hour trip to take all of us out to dinner!  So fun and complete with balloons, a special “50” hat for him to wear, decorations for the house, a centerpiece for the table at the restaurant, etc.  It was just amazing to all be able to get together like that.

3. Keurig – I have wanted one of these coffeemakers for so very long and just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on it since we have a very nice one already.  But we ran into an incredible deal – we found one at the Goodwill thrift store for $8!!!!  Brought it home, cleaned it up, ordered the one missing part and it is good as new.  I just placed an order at Big Cat Coffees based on some online friends’ recommendation and am eagerly awaiting an assortment pack with all kinds of new things to try.  We’ll still use the regular pot for our morning coffee, but this is nice for afternoons when you just want one cup instead of having to make a big pot and throw so much out.

4. Brooklyn – Granddaughters are so much fun!  We got to see her twice this week (and will again tomorrow – woohoo!!!) and I just enjoy that time so much.  She talks so well, is potty trained and is just so smart!  We’ve been downloading toddler apps to the iPhones and it amazes me to see how well she does with these.  I wonder if she takes after her grandmother????  ;)

5. Friends of friends – Last Saturday we ran up to the lake to do a little atv riding and then went to Keith’s brothers’ place for dinner and fun.  His brother and his wife are rv fanatics and travel all over the place.  Their travels many times include Nascar races and at those races they have become very good friends with a couple from Canada, also rv fans.  As luck would have it the Canadian couple was at the lake last Saturday and we finally got to meet them!  It really is so true that when you like somebody you’re likely to enjoy their friends too.  The six of us had such a good time together and it was like we’d known each other forever.  Unfortunate that they live so far away, but the bright side is that since they travel so much maybe we’ll be able to see them again.