Monday, November 30, 2009

Friend Makin' Mondays- Christmas Survey!

1. Favorite website- OOOO- that is so hard!  Of course I love blogger and my Google Reader!  I also usually hit Facebook a couple times a day, but generally on my iPhone.

2. Favorite color- Pink- but only since I had boys and I think I have to over compensate to have girly things in my life!

3. Facebook?  I am on it, but I generally keep it for IRL friends or people I have gotten to know really well online.  I do have a fan page for Mama Kenz Studio though, right here!

4. Favorite Christmas song?  Another toughy!  I love Carol of the Bells and all the tunes that actually sing about Christ's birth!

5. Christmas tree: Real or fake?  Fake for now, but someday if I have a bigger house I hope to get a giant real one!

6. Hottest celebrity?  Hugh Jackman

7. Favorite restaurant?  The Beach House, on Kauai!

8. Favorite magazine?  I don't read magazines much these days, but Mothering I guess.

9. Favorite thing to drink around the holidays?  Spiced Cider (and lately Hard Cider, but come on- Lion Cub cries A LOT!!!)

10. Favorite Christmas movie.  Tie between Christmas Vacation and The Santa Clause!

To join in on Friend Makin' Monday hop over and visit Amber at {ae}Filkins!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Honored Again!

In the couple of months I have received quite a few blog awards that I desperately need to express my thanks for and pass on to others!  In fact, it has been so long since I received a few of these I hope I remember all of them!  I thought that the week of Thanksgiving would probably be a very appropriate time to express my gratitude for all the wonderful love and support my readers show me!  If I miss one, I am terribly sorry!  So, here goes!

From Ruminations of a Twenty-Something Mama I received the Honest Scrap Award!  Here are the rules:
Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

Show the 7 winners' names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were given the "Honest Scrap."

List at least 10 honest things about yourself
So, here is my honest 10:
1. I am a total night owl!  Always have been and always will be at heart, even if I have to start waking up earlier!
2. I HATE tomatoes, in any form!
3. I am not scared of heights, singing in front of thousands of people or being in small spaces, but seeing a spider makes me feel like I'm having a heart attack and going places alone where I feel like I could possibly be attacked sends me into a panic!
4. I think Facebook is superior to Twitter and Macs are by far superior to PCs!
5. One of my best friends is someone I never would have expected and would have never believed you if you had told me ten years ago that she would be, but she is!  And she gives me more wise counsel and comfort then most other friends combined!
6. I am greatly saddened by the birthing culture in our country and think that most women make the decisions they do because they don't know any better- they don't realize their is even a decision to make in most instances because they aren't educated about their options.
7. I HATE calling to order anything (such as pizza) or asking for help in a store!  I think it might have something to do with not being in charge of the situation.
8. At this point in my life I would rather take family vacations than just one with my husband.
9. I would move to Hawaii tomorrow if I had the chance!
10. I desperately want to find a home church for our family and have that kind of fellowship again.

Next, I received the Friends award from Jackie at 3 Little Ones (which I am entirely flattered by!)!  Here is this award's description:
This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award. I will pass this award to some of my bloggy friends that I find exceedingly charming…
These first two awards I would like to bestow on all of my loyal blog followers- you know who you are!  Those of you who consistently flow and comment- I so appreciate your audience, love and feedback and these awards are my way of showing you how much you mean to me!

Lastly, I received The One Lovely Blog Award from Nicolle at Babee Love!  Here are the rules for this award:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
Wow- tall order! I think I am going to have to narrow that list down to five for now, and if I think of more I will post them another time!  Here goes:
Life in Grace
Our Journey Westward
Owl Haven
Delightful Learning
Not Before 7

Many thanks to all three of you mamas who passed these awards to me!  And congrats to those receiving them from me!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday- Thanksgiving!

Amber over at {ae filkins} is hosting Friend Makin' Monday, and this week it is all about Thanksgiving!  Here are her questions!

1. Turkey or Ham?  Turkey of course!  Who eats ham on Thanksgiving!?  That's just weird!

2. Favorite side dish.  Tie- Green Bean Casserole and Cheesy Potatoes!

3. Favorite dessert.  Cherry or apple pie!  With homemade whipped cream of course!

4. Black Friday: Are you going or not?  Not, for two reasons- no money and hate the crowds!

5. If so, what's on the top of your list?  Well, I am hoping to help my grandma take advantage of the Black Friday sales at Kelly' to buy Lion Cub some bigger diapers.

6. Going out of town or staying close to home?  Close to home, although I wish I was spending the holiday in Hawaii like last year- best Thanksgiving EVER!

7. Hosting or helping?  Helping (and really I don't even know how much of that I will be able to do with Lion Cub stuck to me!)

8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving.  Hmmm... don't really have many, although I do like watching the Macy's parade!

9. What do you do after dinner? Debate over what to do and try to convince the men that football and video games are not fun options for everyone.

10. What are you most thankful for this year? My healthy boys!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook- Week of Thanksgiving 09

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Outside my window...  
Dreery, cold and wet!  It snowed this morning but has pretty much melted off by now.

I am thinking...
That I am tired and have lots to get ready for the week, but I am hoping to have a better attitude this week too.

I am thankful for... 
My boys!  They are happy and healthy and oblivious to our financial stresses during this holiday season!

I am wearing... 
Yoga Pants (even though I rarely do Yoga!), a nursing tank and a long sleeve T.

I am remembering... 
Not much lately!  My brain is so postpartum!  Everything seems to elude me!  I'm lucky if I can remember where I put anything during the day- so frustrating!

I am going... 
to finish up blogging (scheduling for the week) and try to work on what we are going to do for preschool this week!

I am reading... 
Treasured by Leigh McLeroy- just a couple chapters in but I need to finish because I am reviewing next week!

I am hoping... 
 That I can come up with a few good, frugal gift ideas that people will actually like!  Oh, and have the time to complete them!

On my mind... 
My to-do list and what a disaster my house currently is.

From the learning rooms... 
The letters H and I and Thanksgiving lapbooking projects.

Noticing that... 
That Lion Cub is not going to stop screaming until I get off of here and devote my full attention to him!  I have been singing to him while I write this post but it just isn't cutting it!

From the kitchen... 
Making a new recipe tonight- White Chicken Chili!  Hope it's good!

Around the house...
Starting to think about how to decorate this year and hoping our house will be full of the Thanksgiving and Christmas Spirit!

One of my favorite things~ 
Chewy Caramel Bars that I made as a coping mechanism to survive my current stress!

From my picture journal... 
This just make me laugh!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Things to Share!

First off, for all of you who, like me, are going to have a very budget-conscious Christmas this year, I wanted to pass along a great blog I found called Skip To My Lou!  There is an entire handmade gift guide with the best and most affordable gifts!  I am definitely adding some of these to my list to tackle!

I also just have to mention the giveaway going on this week at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer!  Check this out:

This week's giveaway includes (a $260.00 + retail value!):
1-Flip Video Camcorder! (model to be posted soon)

I would LOVE that camera!!!  So, that is what I have to share for now!  Have a wonderful weekend all!

Commission! Thank you!

I just want to send out a HUGE thank you to whoever used my Kelly's Closet link (right sidebar) to place a $215 order!  I was able to earn a $10 commission- my first EVER!  Woohoo!  And I really need it right now (Lion Cub is growing so quickly- he will need new diapers again very soon and my husband still isn't really working!)!

At a time like this, heading into the holidays and being so financially strapped, little blessings like this just mean so much! So, thank you, thank you, thank you to whoever you are!

If anyone else out there needs to purchase any dipes it would be so totally and completely AWESOME if you did so through my link!  All you have to do is click on the Kelly's Closet link in my right sidebar (or the one in this post for your convenience!) and place your order as usual!  You get points in your customer account (to earn valuable gift certificates!) and I get the commission!  It's a win-win!

Thanks again for your support!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mama's Holiday Wish List Meme!

 Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year? 

It is kind of a tough year this year, so I am not really expecting much of anything.  I am hoping to get a grain mill to mill our own wheat (I have been trying to make our own bread lately and would like to continue to do so).  Ultimately I would love to get a Vitamix Blender, but I know that isn't going to happen (but maybe at the fair next year if things are going better!). 

I need new socks underwear and a haircut, but those sound pathetic to put on my wish list, so scratch that.  I would really love to get this set of books and DVDs and this book from the Simply Charlotte Mason website about early childhood learning, the Charlotte Mason Method and establishing habits in your kids and yourself.

I would also like to get the Duggar's book and a Message/NIV Parallel Bible.  So, yeah, I think that is about it.  I am sure I could come up with a lot more, but those are things that come to mind that even if I don't get for the actual Christmas holiday I hope for us to be able to afford in the early part of the new year.

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received? 

Hmmmm... I am trying to think of one I have received.  I got some cute fabric coasters from my sister-in-law a few years ago.  Those were nice.  Yup, I think that's it.

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle? 

A few years ago I bought the fabric to make bags and notebook covers and I was also going to include aprons, homemade bath products and knitted wash cloths- they all have yet to be made.  Maybe someday!  I would also really like to make quilts, but I think that will happen many years from now when I have more time and space!

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child? 

I received a new Cabbage Patch Doll every year and loved EVERY one of them!  I would set up my whole little Cabbage Patch family and take pictures and everything!  I LOVED those dolls!

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year? 

R-Man wants just about everything he sees!  Mostly he wants trucks, construction equipment and legos.  I would like to get him some books and games so that we can start having family game nights. 

For Lion Cub I hope to mostly get clothes and diapers, I mean what does a 6-month-old really need anyway, especially when he has all of his brother's old toys to play with?!

6. What is your favorite holiday food? 

We have BBQ crab every year for Christmas Eve dinner with my family and it is to die for!  I wait all year for it!  I will have to post the recipe for you all because you simply haven't lived until you have had this crab!

I also have a minimal obsession with my grandma's popcorn balls and suckers!  They are sooooo good!  In fact, I should go call her right now so we can plan a date to make them!

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays? 

I am considering making a few simple things (which I can't really post because the people I will be giving them to read my blog! :-) ), but it is really going to depend on how much time I have (Lion Cub makes everything more difficult right now) and if we have the money to buy the ingredients and so forth.  We'll see!

8. What is your favorite holiday movie? 

This is so bad, but growing up my family had a tradition of watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation- it is just so stinkin' funny!  We all know all the lines and have a hoot watching it!  We don't watch it with the boys around now though, so alternatively I enjoy the classics, like the Rudolph from the 60s, and The Santa Clause.

9. Favorite holiday song? 

I love Carol of the Bells.  That is a really hard question though because I like so many of them!  I mean it's Christmas music!  What's not to love?!

10. Favorite holiday pastime?

This is a year of lots of new traditions for us.  We are going to do The Jesse Tree Advent countdown, decorate cookies, go look at Christmas lights in our PJs and I am working on more!  I really want to make things special and memorable for our family, especially now that R-Man is getting to the age when he will start remembering the events.  So, any tips or ideas you have would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just trying to find the right fit

I know, I know, "Changing again?" you ask?  Well, yes, I am, but I just haven't been happy with the way my blog looks and have been feeling the need to streamline- simplify.  So bear with me... again! 

I am hoping to figure out how to add a navigation bar at the top, make the middle column a little wider, add custom page breaks and signatures, and number comments.  Plus I am going to revamp my header and so forth. 

It may take me a bit to get it all done, especially considering I am not sure what I am doing for the most part!  I am also working on getting my newest little blogging project live, which I am hoping all of you will enjoy, along with maintaining my boys blogs- and this is just my blogging life!  I still have stuff to do in real life too- no joke! 

So, stay tuned and let me know what you think as you notice the changes!

Friday, November 13, 2009

If I had it my way...

I'd live in Hawaii!!!  Sometimes I think that should be the name of my blog because I feel it so strongly.  I utter those words to my poor husband every day.

And now, it is snowing where I am at.

I don't like it.


This dreary, snowy day chills me to the bone and just makes my resolve to move to the Aloha State even more sincere!

Truth be told, when we were in Kauai last November my husband said to me one day, "You would really just pack up and move here if you could, wouldn't you?  You wouldn't even hesitate."  Nope, I wouldn't.  I would move there next week if I could and I am pretty sure I would have the motivation and determination to get everything in order to do so should the opportunity present itself!

R-Man even told us last night at dinner that we need to go to Hawaii.  I think it is in our blood.

For now, though, I am stuck in this dreary little city, just wishing.  And hoping.  My husband is considering going back to school, though, to get a degree in project management since he has seen a lot of job opportunities on the islands in that field, so maybe it really will happen some day.  You never know!  All my dreaming may not be in vain!

So, dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far, far away from here... to Hawaii.

A different kind of "reality" family

Alright, I know not everyone will agree, but I really like the Duggars on TLC's 18 Kids and Counting!  Every time I watch them I feel like I have so much to learn in raising my family.  Granted, they have had a lot of practice, but Michelle Duggar is always so calm, patient and loving toward her family.  I especially realize this as I yell for my son to "Pipe down!  I'm trying to listen to the Michelle discuss peace in her home!  Sheesh!"  Errr... yeah, not so good.

I don't agree with everything they believe.  My wardrobe contains pants and you will find dancing in my home almost every hour of the day.  I don't intend to have children into my 40s and I know our styles of homeschooling are very different.  But you know what?  When I look at their children their style and process of parenting and family-life really speaks for itself!  Those kids are solid in their beliefs, kind, generous, respectful and smart, but they are still very much kids.  I see these other reality shows with families, even those who claim to be Christian, and none of them reflect what I would want my family to look like as the Duggars do.

Initially I thought Michelle was, well... a little fake.  When she would constantly talk about "encouragement" with her cheerful demeanor and peppy inflection I couldn't help but roll my eyes.  Then one day it hit me... she is right!  She isn't just saying that because it sounds like the right Christian-ease to plug into the interview, she really means it!  And having gone through a sustained period of things really not going well for my family, I see just how important that encouragement is!  When you have others encouraging you it makes such a difference!  Even just one person reminding you that God does hear you and has not forgotten you, that things will get better, can mean the difference between pushing through one more day or falling into a horrible, bottomless depression.

Another thing that Michelle said on their question and answer show when someone asked how she dealt with the little ones without getting stressed was that she always tries to make sure she is smiling at her kids, intentionally.  Sooner or later you can't help but change your mood, even if just a little bit, if you have a smile on your face!  I have especially found this to be true when R-Man is pitching a fit.  If I smile at him and make him squeak out a smile too, even if it is just a fake one, pretty soon it becomes real and things seem to calm down much more quickly.

I have so much to learn, I know it will never end.  For now though, while I am deeply entrenched in the research years, it is nice to have the Duggars to watch and glean from.  So, thank you Duggars, you are a beautiful family!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meal Planning Love!

The first half of this year I was rockin' in the meal-planning, home-keeping department!  I mean seriously!  I was following Fly Lady like nobody's business, we had home-cooked meals every night and the house was generally spotless!

Then I had Lion Cub (the most bored baby on the planet who lets you know how bored he is every minute of the day!) and all was lost!

Well, November is my fresh start!  I figured, why wait for New Years?  I need to get back on my game NOW (or I may loose my mind and run out of money to feed my family!)!

So, here is what I am back to doing- planning out a whole month of meals at a time!  I know, I know, it sounds daunting, but after you put a little bit of work into it you will save yourself so much time and money!  Plus, by planning the whole month in one sitting I can ensure that we aren't repeating any meals during the month (besides leftovers), which drives my husband crazy!  So, it is a win-win-win!

So, how do I do it?  I'm so glad you asked!

First- I print a blank calendar off my computer.

Second- I make a hot cup of tea (essential!) and sit down with my recipe binder, calendar, and Control Journal (a Fly Lady thing, I have added my own sections to it including one with past meal calendars for inspiration and ideas!).

Third- Formulate the plan!  I go through the month trying make a good mix of flavors, cooking methods and types of veggies and meat throughout each week so we are certain to have a well-balanced diet.  I try to place crock-pot meals on days when I know things will be more busy, or schedule leftovers for such days.  Busy days are also good time to put to use any meals you made duplicates of and froze the month before (I'll talk more about this later).  If it is a more complicated meal I try to figure in days when my husband will most likely be home early or weekends so that he can help with the kiddos.
       I also figure in which days would be good to try new recipes on.  I generally try to include 3-4 new recipes a month to keep things interesting and expand my repertoire of family-loved recipes (if you don't try things you will never know!).  I go through my cookbooks for things we haven't tried or look for recipes on some of my favorite blogs.  My main go-to sources tend to be:

Fourth- Gather my recipes!  Some this may already be done for my new recipes, but for the rest I pull out all the recipes I will need for the month and then divide them into weeks and place them behind my meal calendar in the Meal Planning section of my control journal. This way they are easy to find and reference, should I need to.

Fifth- I write my shopping lists for the whole month!  By doing this all at once it allows me to buy certain things in bulk (that will last through the month) that I would have ordinarily bought in smaller, more expensive portions had I planned by the day or week.  I can also buy in bulk for certain recipes that I plan to make more than one of at the time I prepare the food so that I have meals to put in the freezer.   Plus, getting this all done at once helps me to not leave anything out and saves me a great deal of time over the next three weeks of the month!  It also allows me to clearly budget out our money over the month and minimize the number of trips I need to make to the store.

Sixth- Look for deals and coupons!  I am not always that good at this one, but I do try to divide my shopping list between a couple of different stores where I know I can get the best prices on certain items.

Seventh- Go shopping! I try to really stick to my budget but if I see a great deal on something I will need later in the month then I buy it!  Having a well-planned list helps me get in and out quickly.

Eighth- Prepare!  I keep a few things in mind as I prepare each meal-
  • Am I using any of these ingredients again soon that I can prepare now to save myself time later?  Things such as onions, celery and so on, can be chopped all at once.  If I am making numerous spice mixes throughout the week or month, why not make them all at the same time while I have everything out?
  • Do I have enough ingredients to make more than one meal so that I can put one in the freezer?  I find that I usually have enough of the ingredients I bought for sauces, glazes and so forth, to at least make the recipe twice.  Having a second meal prepared and frozen saves me time and money next month and allows me to apply that whole "buying in bulk principle" if I keep this idea in mind when I am writing my shopping lists.
  • Are we eating this as left overs tomorrow?  If so, are there certain ingredients that would be better to add in fresh tomorrow, such as grated cheese in Tortilla Soup, that I can prepare now so I don't have to tomorrow?
Ninth- Enjoy the fruits of your labor- nutritious meals, saved time, and saved money!  It is so worth it!

I hope this post can help some of you in your mission to feed your family healthfully and economically!  If it does, please share how!  Also, if any of you would like me to post my plans for the month with shopping lists, please let me know (I don't want to do all the extra work unless people are actually interested!)!

Friday, November 6, 2009

How not to get sick!

There is so much controversy brewing over the Swine Flu vaccine that I just couldn't resist putting up the link to a very compelling and informative video on Dr. Mercola's website.  Make sure you are getting the full story on all vaccines that you inject into yourself or your child's body before you do.  From there it is your decision, I just want to encourage you all to be informed consumers.

In addition I thought I would post an article that I recently received in my in-box that I think has a lot of valuable tips for how to avoid getting sick during these winter months (wish I would have found it sooner since I am now battling a raging cold!).  Enjoy and I hope it helps:

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MMBS,DRM,DNB (intensivist and thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital, Bombay Hospital, Saifee Hospital, Tata Memorial, etc. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and
Critical Centre, Malad (W).

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and now showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps not fully highlighted in  most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
  1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
  1. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
  1. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
  1. Similar to 3 above, * clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. * Blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.
  1. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). * If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
*Drink as much warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc.) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

And last of all, I just want to throw this little link out there with lots of ideas on how to combat and avoid the flu naturally.  Get your Vitamin D and Elderberry ladies- they could save you this season!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My new little (cheap!) love!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my newest kitchen appliance!  A 2-Quart Crock-pot! 

I have wanted one for quite some time to cook the smaller portions of chicken, pork chops, or steak that I usually fix for our little family.  The other day I was at Wal-Mart and saw this gem on sale for only $10.88!  Very budget conscious, I didn't buy it, but then last night I realized that I was going to be cooking pork chops today that were supposed to be slow-cooked and my resistance failed! 

So, I sent my husband by the store on his way home from work, and guess what?  They had dropped the price to $9.00!!!!  Woohoo!!!  So here is my new little beauty, working away!

"Leaving Carolina" Review

I LOVED this book!  It was exactly the kind of light-hearted, chick-book I needed to read right now!  Such a wonderful distraction from real life!  Following Piper Wick on her trip to the town of Pickwick North Carolina to take care of family business was such a joy!  Piper had just the perfect amount of realness, attitude and honesty to make her very relatable and just so much fun to "tag along with!"  

I especially liked Tamara Leigh's writing style.  Everything was in first-person from Piper's perspective (something I have rarely found in fiction- or at least done well).  I really felt like I was inside her head, hearing her honest and interjecting thoughts.  It reminded me very much of my own thought processes and I think that made the book all that much more intriguing to read.

Here is the publisher's summary:

Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick , North Carolina , twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in LA. She’s even “engaged to be engaged” to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler.

Now all of Piper’s hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle’s bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick has decided to change his will, leaving money to make amends for four generations’ worth of family misdeeds. But that will reveal all the Pickwicks’ secrets, including Piper’s.

Though Piper arrives in Pickwick primed for battle, she is unprepared for Uncle Obe’s rugged, blue-eyed gardener. So just who is Axel Smith? Why does he think making amends is more than just making restitution? And why, oh why, can’t she stay on task? With the Lord’s help, Piper is about to discover that although good PR might smooth things over, only the truth will set her free.

If you are looking for a truly wonderful, fiction read with both whimsy and depth, then I highly recommend Leaving Carolina.  To purchase your own copy you can visit Waterbrook Press.

Want to join in the fun of reviewing books for Waterbrook Press?  Check out their program here!

This book was provided by the publisher for honest review.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Christmas already?

Yes, that time of year is rolling around again and as we begin to embark on these months of holidays I am setting out to create new traditions for our family (as we have faced many big changes in recent months) and keep things focused on what really matters. 

In addition, since finances have been tight I am trying to figure out how to bless my family and those around me with gifts from the heart that don't require much cash.  We'll see how that pans out, since those gifts tend to require good bits of uninterrupted time which I do not currently have!  On any hand, I thought I would post the link to a fabulous blog I recently found- Life in Grace.  Edie is hosting a "12 days of Handmade Christmas" party that has some wonderful little ideas, so hop on over and check it out!

12 Days of Handmade Christmas

I would also love to hear about some of your unique family traditions!   Things you bake, make, spend your days on or give special meaning to this season and create lifetimes of memories- please share!