Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My mom is better than your mom!

A degree from the University of North Florida - $17,000.00

Fingerprints required for Duval County Public Schools - $57.25

Key to the classroom - PRICELESS!

It is often said that life is about all the small things. While it only took a matter of minutes for my moms life to change, I realized that it is all the little things that really add up into one big picture. And when that picture comes together it is AWESOME! I have also realized that it takes a lot of faith to get to where we are going in life. Only when we turn things over to God and accept His plan, do we begin to see our life fall into place.

My mom is such an inspiration. She finished college, even though she had a 20 year break from the time she started to the time she went back...she went back and that is all that matters now! So many people shy away from going back, but there is good in going back sometimes.  Not only did she go back to school and graduate but she did so with honors while taking care of a husband, four children, two dogs, a home and a job. While still attending school she also aquired a son-in-law and a grandson! I don't know of many women who can balance all that and still pull off A's in college, and keep her sanity!

I am so happy that she has her own classroom now. I know she will touch the lives of many children!

It is official! The key and the ID, all the paperwork was in the house as we didn't want the wind to catch it and carry it away! Way to go mom!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fix-It Friday #30

This is my first attempt at 'fix-it friday' - I figured I would give it a try!

The original:

First edit- ligthened it up a bit and cropped it.

Second edit - lightened, cropped and ghosted.

Third edit - I am love pictures that lend themself to capturing the it be the moment he picks up a handful of sand and you snap a picture of his hands full of sand, or the moment he is holding hands...I love the little hand/big hand picture!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If God Is Good... by Randy Alcorn

Every one of us will experience suffering. Many of us are experiencing it now. As we have seen in recent years, evil is real in our world, present and close to each one of us.

In such difficult times, suffering and evil beg questions about God--Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? And then, how can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?
These are ancient questions, but also modern ones as well. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God.

In this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise.

Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world–now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear.

As he did in his best-selling book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn delves deep into a profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical understanding, he brings assurance and hope to all.

Author Bio:

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries and a bestselling author. His novels include Deadline, Dominion, Edge of Eternity, Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, The Ishbane Conspiracy, and the Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written eighteen nonfiction books as well, including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, The Purity Principle, and The Grace and Truth Paradox. Randy and his wife, Nanci, live in Oregon and have two married daughters and four grandsons.


When this book arrived in my mailbox I was a bit surprised by the size, and I admit I was thinking, "How am I ever going to find time to read this book." At nearly 500 words that were typed rather tiny, I was both discouraged and intrigued. Discouraged because I knew I wouldn't be able to spend all the time I wanted on reading this book and intrigued because of some situations I have been presented with on my daily walk. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I love the fact that there are so many scripture references. The issues that were presented could be very instrumental. Everything from understanding evil to why God allows suffering. I am definately planning on finishing this book, just not sure when - there has been a lot of good stuff within these pages so I have been really soaking it in and pondering the thoughts that arise after reading these pages.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 37 "Completely Candid" Photo Challenge

Week 37 "Completely Candid" Photo Challenge

I love all the pictures of my little one, but this one has become one of my favorites!

Check out the other entries at iHeartFaces.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week 36 "Contemplative"

Week 36 Contemplative

Our little boy is starting to think that playing in the sand might just be ok! I love this picture I took of him, it was one of many thoughtful looks as he studies the sand!

Check out the other entries on the I heart faces website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A sad morning...

This morning we got up and followed the normal morning routine, wake up, feed Seth, eat breakfast, usually in bed while watching Martha Speaks on PBS. I can't think of waking up a better way, breakfast in bed with the two men of my life. OK so watching a talking dog does get a little tedious at times. Nonetheless I wouldn't trade it for the world.

We then got out of bed, got dressed and hopped in the car to 'take daddy to work,' Seth grabbed a ball to bring along and Vanessa was with us this morning. We dropped Dennis off at work and then Vanessa, Seth and I had an hour to kill before she needed to be to school. So we talked a lot and went to the park, it was a lot of fun. We dropped her off at school and then headed for home.

Upon arriving home Seth was acting very tired or maybe like he didn't quite feel 100% so he climbed into mommy and daddy's bed and so did I. I wouldn't really have complained if he wanted an early nap because I could stand some more sleep myself. I thought it was too quiet for him to go to sleep so I turned on the television in the bedroom and started flipping through the channels, it was about 10 a.m when I made the mistake of landing on one channel in particular.

It was the "Florida Channel"...little did I know what it was broadcasting, or how it would change my perspective. I was not prepared for such an eye opening, heart sinking broadcast.

September 14th is Florida Missing Children's Day. Between 10 and 11 this morning they were broadcasting live from the Florida Missing Children's Day Ceremony. I probably should NOT have been watching that, it didn't take long for me to notice tears welling up in my eyes. They handed out many awards, ranging from 5th grade essay winners to "younger hero" awards that were given to two young girls who bravely worked with police to capture their abductor/would be abductor. I heard about a lady who donated blood hounds for police use. They even had a school bus driver that was recognized for coming between a gunman and her students to insure their safety. I don't exactly know what kept me watching, but I was drawn to it.

It is rather disturbing to me that an average of 45,000 - 50,000 children go missing in Florida each year. Those numbers just make me sick. Amber alerts have aided in the rescue of 45 children. It just really makes me angry to think that somebody would even THINK of kidnapping a child.

I was learning a lot, looking at them present awards, hearing what people have done to aide in the search of missing and endangered children when the last fifteen minutes came. In the last fifteen minutes deputies came forward to escort loved ones that were attending the ceremony to honor and recognize who they were missing today, and everyday. It didn't take long before I found myself in tears. I watched as these mothers, fathers, siblings walked forward and placed a rose by their loved ones pictures...some stopped and just looked with tears rolling down their cheeks. Others kissed there fingers and held it up to the picture. As they continued to call the names and family members walked up, the tears turned into a steady stream...I was crying...I was balling my eyes was so sad to see just a fraction of the families representing the grief of losing a loved one who was taken from then through kidnapping. I finished watching the entire broadcast. To finish the ceremony they had a firefighter come forward and play the bagpipes, a bittersweet end to such an emotion filled event.

So I turned off the television and decided to go play with Seth...I believe my updated news feed on facebook read something like, "Drying my tears and counting my blessings after watching The Missing Children's Day Ceremony." Seth and I played Wii Sports and then played in his room. All the while I was doing some serious reflecting.

I thought about how awful it must feel to wake up every day and know that your baby is missing. I thought about how awful it must feel to go to bed every night wondering where your baby is. I thought about how difficult it would be to lead a life with the light of my life missing. I thought about trying to move on without my life. All these ideas I couldn't even begin to fathom. I am grateful that I am not having to experience any of these difficult feelings. I am grateful that my little one is safe by my side at all times (though it can be a bit frustrating when he sits outside the bathroom door and screams for me, or insists on going to the bathroom with me). I thought about the sad feelings associated with missing a loved one. Then I thought about people who do have their children and take them for granted; either by abusing them or neglecting them. I thought about the parents who drink their life away after the kids are in bed, or not in some cases. I think about the parents who snort their life way through drug addictions, missing out on the perfect little miracle in their life. It really troubles me when I think about some of the different kinds of 'parents' in our world today.

I think taking the time, the 60 minutes to watch such a broadcast greatly changed my outlook. I think a lot of life and our response to situations is based solely on our perspective. Perspective is a kind of mental view of something. I say my perspective changed, because after watching this broadcast I was deeply moved. It made me appreciate Seth's temper tantrums. It made me appreciate the nights he fights his sleep and is up until midnight. It made me appreciate the runny nose and dirty face. It made me appreciate his laughter. It made me appreciate being able to hug him. It made me appreciate hearing his voice. It made me appreciate the fact that my husband works so that I can be with Seth all the time. It made me appreciate things that I take for granted. It forced me to appreciate the simple beauties; his face, his voice, his smell. So I followed him a little closer when we were playing at the park this evening and held him a little longer after he fell asleep. I thank God for looking out for my little guy. And I pray to God that He continues to carry those families who have lost loved ones.

This is my loveable, huggable, amazing little boy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fearless by Max Lucado - releases TODAY!!!

Book Description:

Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear.

They're talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, turnovers at headquarters, downturns in the housing market, upswings in global warming. The plague of our day, terrorism, begins with the word terror. Fear, it seems, has taken up a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversized and rude, fear herds us into a prison of unlocked doors. Wouldn't it be great to walk out?

Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, or doubt, what would remain? Envision a day, just one day, where you could trust more and fear less.

Can you imagine your life without fear?

My Review:
I absoultly love Max Lucado's books. They always push me into a state of reflection. I have found all of his books very enjoyable to read. Once I start reading them, I can't put them down until I am finished. Being that I love his stories and the 'truths' that he reminds us about through his writing I was estatic when I was presented with the oppurtunity of reviewing his new book, Fearless before it was available to the public.
Through Thomas Nelson: Book Review Bloggers, I was given this amazing oppurtunity. I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Fearless, checking my mailbox a couple times a day. I was thrilled the day I walked out to the mailbox and found that book amidst the bills and flyers. I tore open the package and immediately started reading.
I am a huge Max Lucado fan, so the oppurtunity to review one of his books before everybody else could get it, was very exciting. I had recently recieved a flyer in the mail advertising a pre-buy special of this book. I was considering it when I receieved the email about the oppurtunity to review it.

I think this book comes at the perfect time. The state of the economy, the struggles among children to do more at a younger age, the relationship tightrope we have to all stirs a bit of fear within us. I love that Max Lucado ties biblical truths and scriptures into his book. Fear is very real in everybodys life. I think sometimes it is easy to lose sight of God's truth in the midst of our own fears. This book addresses fear with timeless truth, God's word! It is hard for me to pick one part of the book that I like more, I loved the entire book!

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

This book was provided for review by the Thomas Nelson Publishing Group

Stray Affections Written By: Charlene Ann Baumbich

The last thing that Cassandra Higgins expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snow globe. She’s enjoying some shopping time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can’t resist taking the unique globe home– even if means wrestling another shopper for it!
The beautiful snow globe sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child, and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother, “Bad Betty” Kamrowski. Life in Wanonishaw , Minnesota is never dull, though, and Cassie keeps the recollections at bay, busy balancing her boys, her home daycare operation, and being a good friend to best pal Margret. But after a strange–furious, as Cassie deems it–moment happens with the remarkable snow globe, Cassie and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous, yet grace-filled, and life-changing journey.
With the quirky, close-knit Midwestern small-town feel that made Charlene Ann Baumbich’s acclaimed Dearest Dorothy novels so popular, Stray Affections invites you to experience the laughter and the healing of second chances.

The following is a link to a video introduction of the book:

To purchase the book please click on the photo above.


I enjoyed reading this book. I especially enjoyed the great imagery that Baumbich uses in her writing. The way she explains things, or tells her story, you can paint the perfect picture in your minds eye. This story made me feel like I was right there with her through it all.


If anybody is interested in reading this story, post a comment. It just so happens I have an extra book to give away! I will choose a winner on September 11, 2009.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group