Friday, May 25, 2012

Ready to Cast On for Camp Loopy!


Sheri from The Loopy Ewe recently announced all the rules/parameters for the 2012 Camp Loopy – and of course I’m in!  You may remember mom and I went to The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling in 2011 in St. Louis and had a blast!!!  So naturally when Sheri sponsors any kind of an event I want to jump in.



For Project One I’ll be in the Brown/Black Canoe.  We are to knit/crochet something from a designer not from our country.  My pattern is the Merlia Scarf by Elena Nodel – from Russia.  It is a gorgeous cable scarf and I believe will be a perfect Christmas gift for the perfect someone.



No surprise – the yarn I’m using is from MadelineTosh – Vintage in the Antique Lace colorway.  Cannot wait to knit with this!

The rules state that we cannot cast on until May 27, so as you can see from the photo above I have my pattern printed and one hank of yarn wound.  We have 30 days to finish this project and I am so ready to start!!!

OH – and Sheri always has fun t-shirts and such for us to get at each of her events.  This year she has one of the ever popular tumblers – with the Camp Loopy logo – too cute!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Brooklyn Loves the Park!

We met the kids for dinner and had the best time!  Funny how you think you’re just going to go eat and chat and you end up with great memories.  :)



We started off with a picture by the Giant Chicken outside the restaurant….



… and followed up with a picture on the 3 legged horse!



After we ate we walked to a nearby park.  Brooklyn had a lot of fun on the slides and I just LOVE static hair!  She got to giggling and did the slide over and over so that grandma could take a bunch of pictures.  She is so good to me…  :)



Then Grandpa and Brooklyn started having fun with ‘Brooklyn coming down the slide and the two of them touching fingers’ – thereby setting off the static spark!  MUCH laughter!!!



After the slide fun the two of them played hide and seek in the park, then back to the slide.  This photo is kind of a combination of slide fun and hide and seek fun.


Grab the joy any time you can – enjoy life with those you love!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

{Review} Beyond Hope’s Valley by Tricia Goyer


Beyond Hope's Valley
by Tricia Goyer
284 pages
BH Publishing Group

ABOUT THE BOOK: Book Three in the Big Sky series

After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook -- a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.

As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belongs.

MY REVIEW:  It’s not secret that I love Tricia Goyer books.  In addition to always penning a wonderful novel Ms. Goyer adds tidbits that I’m able to mull over.  And sometimes those words bring a smile to my lips as I ponder:

“He smiled.  Wouldn’t that be just like God to make him a star so one kid would pay closer attention to the words he had to share?”  page 140

I smiled when I read this and then the Chris Tomlin song Not To Us (but to Your Name be the Glory) popped into my mind.  And isn’t it great when a fiction novel can do that?

The third and final novel in the Big Sky Series brings a satisfying close to this story.  Marianna is torn between her newfound love for Christ and wanting to conform to the old ways.  And that love for Christ resonates throughout the novel.

She’s also torn between two men that love her.  I was quite pleased at the end of the novel at her choice, though of course I won’t spoil it here.

Ms. Goyer does such a fine job not only with how she handles Marianna’s struggles, but also the struggles of other characters in the book.  She also brings to life, for me, the Amish lifestyle and the struggles they must have, which really are not that much different than some of the things we face on a daily basis.

I can absolutely recommend this book and the entire series!

My review of Along Wooded Paths

My review of Beside Still Waters

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of thirty-two books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

More info: Living Inspired and


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • Custom Amish Wall Hanging {You choose the colors!}
  • An Amish Doll {Sweet.}
  • Amish-made basket {It’s picnic season!}
  • Doilies, potholder and an Amish cookbook {All items form Bird-in-Hand, PA!} 
  • Three book Big Sky Amish series {Be swept away by this captivating series.} 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 20th. Winner will be announced at "All Things Amish" Author Chat Facebook Party on 5/21. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and more! 

So grab your copy of Beyond Hope's Valley and join Tricia on the evening of the May 21st for a fun chat, trivia contest (How much do you know about the Amish?) and lots of giveaways. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!) </ span>
Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter</ a>

Don't miss a moment of the fun.
RSVP today and tell your friends viaFACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!



** Thank you to Litfuse for providing this book so that I might give my honest opinion.  To see other reviews of this book, check the list here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sock #1–Socks of Kindness

I *finally* have the hankerin’ to knit again and more specifically, knit socks.  And though it was so very tempting to pick up the new yarn I got for Christmas… or the new yarn I bought on a field trip Saturday (more on that later), I took a look at some of my WIP’s (works in progress) and decided that I would feel much better if I finish some of them up before starting something new.



And I’m glad I did!  Hot off the needles from earlier this evening, I give you the first in a pair (hopefully!) using the Socks of Kindness pattern.  The pattern is actually a ‘recipe’ that the author posted on Flickr and I really like how it turned out.



It can be rather iffy when you use any hand dyed or multi-colored yarn on a sock with a lacey pattern.  Sometimes the bold colors can obscure the pattern, which is why I usually do a vanilla sock with many of my hand dyed yarns.  But this worked out beautifully.



My notes in Ravelry from when I started the sock say that the yarn is some that my mom had given me long ago and at that time we thought it was a Lorna’s Lace yarn, but I have no idea the colorway.

And now I will make a confession for all the world, or at least the world that reads my blog, will now know.  I started this sock on 3/28/2008!!!!  I really must hate to rush into things!  

My plan is to go in there and cast on Sock #2 while I’m still excited about them.  SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) is a real problem around here!

** Linking to Get Your Craft On, Take a Look Tuesday

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Funnies

At church this morning we sat behind a young family, as we do many weeks.  After exchanging hugs mom told me that she loves it when we sit by them because she knows we never judge them if the children make noise.  Really though they have the most adorable kids and we enjoy the subtle interactions we have with them.

They have a two and a half year old and a newborn, both boys.  The older boy, M, is constantly making us smile as he stretches his wings and finds his footing in the quiet of Sunday worship.

Today we had a woman at the front doing the Bible reading.  Very quiet, we all followed along in our Bibles.  She finished, and in that quiet you hear the clear as a bell voice of a young boy say “All Done!”  And from where we sat we got to see the accompanying applause that he gave!

There was no way people could keep their chuckles to themselves after that.  :)

The song below is not our church, but it is the last song we sang today.  It is so heartfelt and hard to sing without tears welling up, but it’s one of our very favorites.  The song is Came to My Rescue by Hillsong.


** Linking to Spiritual Sundays

Friday, April 27, 2012

Card #2 - Happy Birthday Beloved!

I love stamping cards and because of that I have quite a few stamps in my craft room.  Like, probably too many stamps.  The good news is that most places either no longer sell them on the wooden base or if they do they also offer the unmounted version. So much easier to store.

But what I'm noticing is that when it comes time to make a card I rarely look to see what I have.  Instead, more and more often I turn towards digital stamps and search online.  LOVE cards this way because the only storage is a little digital file tucked away on a hard drive.

This is the card I made for Keith's birthday this year and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.  It says what I feel about him and uses a pun, which we've really come to appreciate through our daughter-in-law.

I downloaded the image from Meljen's Designs and it was only two dollars!  Isn't it darling?  I printed the image on white cardstock, then cut it out using a die cut.  Then I printed it on the green cardstock, cut out the image and put it on pop dots to give it a little dimension.

And yes, we really are the Perfect Pear.  ;)

Supplies used for card:  Stampin' Up cardstock, digital image from Meljen's Designs, Top Note Die from Stampin' Up

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Homemade Fudgesicles

I love making treats for my family and in the past it was almost always baked treats.  But my oven's not working AND I'm trying to watch what I eat, so believe it or not the only baked good this year has been birthday cakes for my beloved.

While perusing Pinterest one day a pin caught my eye for Homemade Fudgesicles and I had to give them a try.  The recipe is from Brown Eyed Baker and can be found here.

They were a hit!  And while all this chocolatey goodness is cooking on the stovetop you'll have a real challenge keeping yourself from dipping a spoon in, you know, all in the name of quality control.

I'm thinking that I should keep some of these in the freezer for any time my butterfly granddaughter stops by (face painting at the Easter festival at our church).

Yep, even the adults loved them.  I have a set of popsicle molds (see the one Brooklyn's holding above), but they actually were rather cumbersome so I think we all decided that going forward we'll stick with the tiny Dixie cups and craft sticks.  We liked the small size and they were easy to remove from the wrapper.

recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

1/4 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cups sugar
2 T cornstarch
3 T cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 t vanilla
1 T unsalted butter

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time at half power, stirring after each time, until creamy.

Add the melted chocolate chips, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and milk to a medium pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla and butter, stirring until well combined.

Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, then pour into small Dixie cups.  Place the cups in an 8x8 pan (or similar) and place in the freezer.  Freeze for 20-30 minutes, then insert craft sticks and freeze completely.

To serve - hold your hand around the Dixie cup for about a minute to loosen the fudgesicle and it will pop right out!

Note:  After these were frozen I put them all in a large freezer bag and sealed to keep freezer burn away.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Card #2–Happy Birthday to My Son!

Every year on my kids’ birthdays I sit and smile to myself and think how lucky I am.  Wonderful children that have grown to adults we are proud of.

Today is my son’s birthday and when I raise my eyes just over the top of my desk and look at the pictures of him at about 7 years old I still smile.  He was fun then and he still makes me laugh now.

Tonight we’ll all have dinner together and of course nothing could make this mama/grandma happier.  Hopefully I’ll remember to snap some pictures tonight while having a grand time!



I find the masculine cards to be the hardest to make.  Girls are simple – bows and bling and color and so forth.  I based this card from one I’d seen on Pinterest  and I’m quite pleased with how it came out.



I’m trying to get better about putting a lighter color cardstock on the inside of the card so it’s easier to write something mushy inside.  :)


Supplies used for card:  Stampin’ Up cardstock; Happy Everything stamp set from Stampin’ Up

Friday, March 02, 2012

Flowers from a Friend Make the World Brighter

I’ve been sick.  You know how it can start out small and creep up on you?  Yeah….   I have pneumonia now and this week has been a bit of a blur.  The fact that I’m writing this shows that I’ve turned the corner somewhat and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  :)


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And when you are feeling blue, a jaunty floral arrangement arriving at your house can bring a smile to light up everything!  Isn’t this a cute and clever arrangement?  It took me a bit to see that it’s a martini glass complete with straws.  So spring-like and smells so good in the house.

You really can’t help but feel the love when somebody sends you flowers.   I love my friends and family.  Smile

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{Review} Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble

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Blue Moon Promise
by Colleen Coble
300 pages
Thomas Nelson Publishing


ABOUT THE BOOK:  Book Number One in the Under Texas Stars series

A love like Lucy and Nate’s only comes along once in a blue moon . . .

Lucy Marsh's worldly resources are running out, but she's fiercely determined to care for her younger brother and sister. When she discovers that their father's recent death was no accident, Lucy is eager to leave town. She accepts a proxy marriage she believes will provide safe refuge. But trouble follows her to Texas where her new husband is surprised to suddenly have a wife and children to care for.

Nate Stanton always hoped he'd marry someday, but running the family ranch meant he had no time for romance. When his father deposits Lucy Marsh—a city girl—on his doorstep, with two siblings in the bargain, he expects ranch life will send her running on the first train out of town. But Lucy is made of tougher stuff than Nate imagined. When danger moves in, Nate finds he'd give anything to protect Lucy and the children he's grown to love. Even if it means giving up his ranch.


MY REVIEW:  I have to admit right off the bat that one of the things that first drew me to this book was the fact that it was set in Texas.  Fortunately it also turns out that this book is the first in a series so we can look forward to enjoying these characters again!

After her father’s death Lucy is set to do anything to keep her young siblings safe – including the acceptance of a marriage proposal to a man she’s never met.  The proposal couldn’t have come at a better time for Lucy as her job was abruptly ended and her landlord had just delivered the news that they must move out.

Unfortunately the news of a proxy marriage didn’t sit well with Nate and he was not pleased at all.  However, through faith and patience a workable solution was found.  And did love follow shortly after???

This book was a great read for me, even though it took a bit for me to get into.  Once I did there was no stopping and I would easily recommend this book to anyone who likes period romances.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

For more about Colleen and her other books visit


ABOUT THE PARTY:  Blue Moon Promise is a story of hope, romance, and suspense . . . immersing the reader in a rich historical tale set under Texas stars.

To celebrate Colleen is teaming up with her publisher Thomas Nelson for a "Blue Moon Promise" Facebook Chat party where she will giveaway a KINDLE Fire and a Texas-sized gift basket (fabulous Texas treats and fun Lucy-inspired housekeeping products)!

Click the banner, RSVP today for the Facebook Party and mark the date on your calendar!

Invite your friends and don't miss Colleen's evening of chat, trivia, prizes, and more.

Kindle Giveaway and More! Save the Date - 3/13!

Colleen Coble's Blue Moon Promise Facebook Party


** Thank you to Litfuse for providing a copy of this book for my review.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday’s Fave Five #178

YAY – time for some blessings of the week!!! <—she says bouncing in her chair….   Thank you to Susanne for hosting each week!

1. Loreal EverSleek Intense Smoothing ShampooIs it bad that I’m starting off with something that is somewhat vain???  I actually first heard about this shampoo in People magazine (another guilty pleasure of mine) and figured I had nothing to lose, so found it at the Big Box Store (for a lower price than the link above by the way).  I *love* this shampoo!!!  I have battled frizzy hair for years and it looks SO MUCH better!!! 

So yeah, vain or not, this stuff makes me so happy.

2. Coach Poppy Flower fragrance – Looks like this is the Vanity Edition of Friday Fave Five!  I got a perfumed sample card in the mail and fell head over heels in love with this.  I’m too cheap to buy it (yet?!!?), but I do pick up this card a couple of times a day and just love, love the scent.

3. Granddaughters – Specifically, MY granddaughter!  We went out to dinner with them Sunday night, then back to their house to visit for a bit.  She is the cutest thing ever and I so love playing with her!  We didn’t get a lot of time to play, but we did get out her My Little Ponies and used them in her dollhouse.  It really was quite fun to play and laugh together.

And we got this text yesterday from my daughter-in-law:  “I was at the store yesterday looking at mirrors for the bedroom and parked Brooklyn in front of a mirror I liked as I was looking at the ones beside it to compare.  I found another I liked and asked her if she liked the one in front of her or the one I had better.  She said she liked the one in front of her.  I asked her why expecting her to say it was pretty.  Nope!  She said 'Because it has me in it!!!’  I about died laughing!!!

I love 4 year olds……

4. Neighbors – We are so enjoying getting to know our neighbors better.  They’ve got two of the sweetest kids and it’s so much fun to be around them.

Last night our doorbell rang after dark and it was mom and the kids delivering our Girl Scout cookies (woohoo!).  The kids tore into the toy box so fast and were having a blast!  Mom had a meeting to go to and had to herd them out, but I did tell them they could come over and play with me again very soon. (see #3 and me loving to play with kids)

And a couple of times this week while Keith was outside working on the fence the little guy walked over with his shovel and was ‘helping’ Keith.  It is so adorable. 

Oh and their daughter, kindergarten, was looking at how Keith had his iPhone hooked to speakers so he could listen to music while he works.  She looked at him and asked “Do you have Angry Birds on that?”  When he said no she looked at him like ‘well then what use are you?’ and went back home.   LOL!

5. Corgi – When I went to a friend’s house Friday night (had the BEST time!!!) she was dog sitting a friend’s Corgi and I fell in LOVE with this dog!  Me, a golden retriever girl through and through, has fallen in love with another breed.  The more I think about it the more I think that might be a better thing for us to do when we are ready for another dog.  I’m just afraid that if I get another golden I will look at it and be comparing it to Joe too often.

So I looked up Corgi rescue and oh yes, DFW does have one.  I’m thinking before I did a breed switch it might be a good idea to maybe foster one and see if we like the way it fits with us.  Who knows?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine Decorated Hand Towel

I’m rather excited to share this project simply because it somewhat justifies the many, many projects I have pinned on Pinterest….   :)



Very hard to see, but I have eyelet lace on each side of the Valentine fabric.  I used a 2.5 inch strip of fabric, folded down and ironed the top and bottom edge a quarter inch, tucked the eyelet trim under and used a zig zag stitch.

I saw the tutorial for Dressed Up Hand Towels and loved the method she used.  I purchased the same towels, though I’m not sure I would use them on future projects as I found my fingertips trying to stick to the fabric.

This went into the mail to somebody special to me as a surprise Valentine.  I got the most wonderful email response and it really does make it worthwhile when the people you care for are excited by the things you do for them.   Smile

And I’m thinking I need to make a new board on Pinterest for things I’ve actually tried!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine Berries and Flowers

What a fun surprise yesterday afternoon - my beloved came home bearing gifts!!! 


I confess that I adore fresh flowers.  I know they die quickly, too expensive, so on and so forth.  But every time I walk in this room and see them I smile.  I love the way they smell and I love the deep red color. 



I also love that he knows me well enough that he started taking pictures of the flowers for me.  That’s some true love right there!



He also brought these beauties home – and you might notice in the 1st picture there are only 2 on the plate.  Yeah…   Smile   It was a gorgeous afternoon here, so we each took a strawberry and sat in the backyard.  Such a wonderful time sitting and talking together.

We did go out for dinner and had a nice time.  We had considered going to a movie dining theater, but there just wasn’t anything playing right now that we’re dying to see.

One last thought – so many people posted on FB yesterday about how it is a ‘made up’ holiday and they don’t need that just to show somebody they love them, that it should happen every day.  They are absolutely right!  But I also don’t think it’s a bad thing to slow down one day a year and remind those you love how important they are to you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday’s Fave Five #177

FFF feb.

Oh my goodness – Valentine’s Day coming up!  Weren’t we just singing Christmas Carols????

Time to share some of my favorite moments from the last week.  What blessings abound and it’s good to take a morning and remember them.  Thank you Susanne for providing us this time to share on your blog – Living To Tell The Story.


1. Salvation Army – Last Saturday my daughter and I joined a group from our church to serve lunch at the Salvation Army.  I’m not sure what we really expected, but I can tell you that it turned out to be extraordinary.  We were put on the ‘women’s’ team and served lunch upstairs to the women who lived there, mostly due to abusive situations. 

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My beautiful daughter, in between the groups of ladies coming in for lunch.

Our church does a “1st Saturday” project where we go out and do something for the community every month.  This month was serving at the Salvation Army and it was so well received we’ve already scheduled another. 

And this month we added a little something – out to lunch after the event for fellowship.  What fun that was!

2. Time Spent With Friends – I got to go out with friends last Friday night and had the best time!  The more I am with these ladies the more I love them.  And lucky me, time with friends tonight as well!

3. Valentines for Brooklyn – I decided this year to do something a little fun for our granddaughter.  They only live about 45 minutes from us, but you know how it is with busy.  My plan was to put something in the mail to her every day in February up until Valentine’s Day.  I got a little late start, but have made it every day so far.

Now when I say we’ve sent something every day I want to be clear that it hasn’t been big, fabulous gifts.  We’ve sent cards – homemade cards, singing/dancing cards from the store, cards with stickers – and little gifts – box of conversation heart candy, valentine bead necklace, a pack of Valentine tissues, etc.  Small things, but she has been having so much fun going to the mail box each day to see what is there.

We love this little girl so very much and it’s such a simple, small thing to do and brings her big smiles.

4. Orchestra at Church – Last Sunday was the first time we got to see our daughter play during church service in the church orchestra and it was wonderful!  She and her brother both played the viola all through school, then the instruments sat.  When our church put out a call for orchestra members she talked to the director, joined and is having a great time!  Another girl her age also joined – and she plays viola as well so the girls are enjoying getting to know each other.  God is so good.  :)

5. Genealogy – This past week our son has gotten immersed in genealogy and is thoroughly enjoying it!  What that means for me, besides the fact that is incredibly interesting, is that we’ve spent much more time on the phone together than normal.  And what mother wouldn’t love that???

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Card #1–I’ve Got My Eye On YOU Valentine!

I love it when you can send a card that has special meaning between the sender and the recipient.  That’s the case with this Valentine for our granddaughter.

The back story – we sometimes do Face Time on the iPhones with her so that we can see her and chat.  Papa and Brooklyn started doing a close-up of their eye and saying “I’ve got my eye on you” which made everybody laugh.



This was such an easy card to make – I used the Monkey Eyes 4 You set from Scrappin Doodles for the pink dotted background, the monkey and the hearts at the bottom.  The sentiment I just typed out.  I bought googly eyes to fit and that graphic is raised a bit on pop dots.

I think he’s just darling!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Valentine Sticker Soap Pump

I confess – this little project is so simple I’m going to do it for every single season!  And even though my husband isn’t standing with pom pom’s begging me to do each one, he’s a good sport and does use them.



Very, very simple and fast.  Just remove the sticker from the front of the soap pump, then add stickers and ribbon.  You might notice this is only half full of soap – well apparently we don’t use an entire bottle of soap in a month, so I pulled the stickers off the Christmas soap pump and just reused it.



Be sure to put a sticker at the top of the pump – it’s like the little crowning glory.   :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Working Puzzles Together


Well look at me posting!  I tell you what – I didn’t think I was ever going to fully recover from all the holiday season goodness.  But here in a blink of an eye it’s going to be Valentine’s season tomorrow.  Where does the time go???  (And before I go on, does anybody else miss the goodhearted humor of Gomer Pyle?  What a lovable goofball!



Here’s where some of our evenings are spent now – our kitchen table with a 1000 piece puzzle – what was I thinking?  I loved the sound of evenings doing a puzzle together, but I’m quickly discovering that I should have started with fewer pieces.

I don’t remember doing family puzzles growing up, but since I have one of the worst memories ever I called my mom to ask her.  She said no, we didn’t really do that.  So where I got this idea I don’t know.  But I’m so glad I did because Keith got to talking about some of his childhood stories while we sat and worked the puzzle.  Very good evenings, conversation with the one you love – priceless.

I will admit that we need to get moving on this so that we can scooch the puzzle to one end of the table and start eating again at the other end.  Right now there’s like 10 million pieces at the bottom of the picture that you can’t see.



The colors in this upper corner remind me so much of a Monet painting and it makes me giggle every time I think of that.  I’m about as far from high brow as a person can be, so it’s not very often I have a “Monet Moment.”

Please don’t burst my bubble if you don’t agree with my assessment of the colors…….   LOL!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

{Review} Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

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Chasing Mona Lisa
by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey
322 pages
Revell Publishers


ABOUT THE BOOK:   It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers' adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on--and the runners are playing for keeps.

Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here.


MY REVIEW:  In a book that definitely should be Hollywood bound, the authors deftly send us back to the Nazi German occupation of Paris during WWII.  From the very beginning of the book we are kept on the edge of our seat during this adrenaline pumping story.

Through the mad rush to see who reaches the Mona Lisa first we meet both the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ and there is never any problem deciding who to root for.  This seriously was a book I hated to set aside and kept saying to myself “Just one more chapter and then I’ll……”

Another plus to this book was learning about the tremendous effort during the war to protect and preserve the great art classics.  This is something I knew absolutely nothing about and it was so fascinating to me.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:  Tricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW's Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas. For more about Tricia and her other books

Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courier and the bestselling Every Man's Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California. For more about Mike  and his other books


Win an iTouch SPY Prize Pack!

Enter 1/16 - 1/31. RSVP for Party today!

Win an iTouch SPY Pack in the Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway from @triciagoyer

Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in The Swiss Courier). This time the due are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world  - the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!

One passionate protector will receive:
  • iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)</ li>
  • Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
  • Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
  • Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
  • Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. The winner will be announced at the Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia's website) and giving away their books and a Book Club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike.)

So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (do you know how to pick a lock? ) and lots of giveaways.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday’s Fave Five #174

fff winter button

I hate to be a cliché, but I sure am finding that the older I get the faster time seems to go by.  Case in point, wasn’t it just Friday and here it is again!  Time to share some blessings of the week – thanks again to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

1.  Great Wolf Lodge – Oh.My.Word.   We had the best time ever last weekend!  Still getting pictures edited, but expect a post soon.  Suffice to say that it is one of the best weekends we’ve ever had as a family and I highly recommend it.

2.  Common goals – Keith and I have decided it’s high time to start being healthy so that we can continue to enjoy the kids and granddaughter.  We’ve changed the way we eat and we’ve been exercising every single night.  It’s so nice to have a goal with the one you love.  :)

3. Sugar Free Jello – We have been eating quite a bit of this lately and it is so good!  You can also add the whipped cream in a can and it’s a very low calorie dessert that doesn’t seem like it.

4. Beautiful Weather – Believe it or not we hit 77 degrees today!  Now I love winter as much as the next person, but when you get a stunning day like this smack dab in the middle of January there’s really nothing you can do but celebrate.  Driving along today I had the windows open and singing praise songs and just praising God for this great gift.

5. 3 Day Craft Retreat! – I’m sure there will be a real post about this later, but I’m at a crafting retreat right now with girlfriends and laughing, talking, eating and having the time of my life.  I *adore* these ladies!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

{WIP} Wednesday

Today’s projects are all about fabric!  It’s also a great opportunity for me to check my list for packing.  You see, this weekend I’ll be going on a retreat with friends and I’ll be sewing my little heart out.  Either that or I’ll be eating and talking… 




Apparently I really am one to take my time and savor the process.  I first showed the fabric for this American Girl Doll dress on August 31, then it sat for a while before taking a ride to a friend’s annual New Year Craft Day where I did actually cut out the pieces as shown above.  I adore the Hayden Dress pattern and it will be the first thing I work on this weekend.




I mentioned the Bloggers Block of the Month on October 12 and I left the zippy bag in the photo to show that I really have cut some of the pieces out, but no sewing has been done.  I’m hoping to get a little further on this one over the weekend.


New Projects – Always New Projects…..


This will be project #2 for my weekend, mostly because it should only take a few minutes to finish.  It will be a Valentine Tea Towel and I’ll be using this tutorial, which proves once again that Pinterest is more than just another pretty face to me.  :)




And last, but never least, I’ve had this pattern and fabric for quite some time.  I plan to make the pajama bottoms for Brooklyn and am thinking a white t-shirt with moon and star applique.  Cute, no?  It will involve getting measurements, but I’m thinking that’s doable.


** I’m linking to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday Series.