Tuesday, August 31, 2010

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Blue Lips & Snorkeling



We don’t have family nearby, so “Grandpa” Kurt and “Grandma” Helen met us at the beach and grandpa got the boys, especially Buddy, to get their faces in the water. It was amazing!

Doodle was so cold he had blue lips! In August!!

Be sure to check out these other Wordless Wednesday participants: 5 Minutes for Mom, My Organized Chaos, J. Leigh Designz, and A Beautiful Mess

Monday, August 30, 2010

Free MP3 Song From Jennifer Shaw Monday ONLY

Jennifer Shaw Singer/songwriter Jennifer Shaw is debuting her new music video today, and to celebrate the premiere, Jennifer is giving the song away as a free MP3 download today ONLY!

The video is produced and directed by Jeffrey Kubach whose resume' includes the hit TV show Survivor as well as a nomination for Best Pop Music Video from Gospel Music Channel!  The video will premiere on www.Godbeat.tv, Monday, August 30.

259 Tell your readers, your "twiends" and all your Facebook friends! Here is the direct link for your readers to receive their free MP3 of the song, "God Loved the World."  http://jennifershaw.com/godloved.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Encouragement For Moms Sending Kids Off To College

14658_191740279975_655474975_3938926_4023516_n Whether your baby is going to Kindergarten for the first time or they’re spreading their wings and going to college, we know it affects you just as much as it does them.

Last August, my oldest child and daughter, Baby headed just over an hour away to college. To say I was a wreck was putting it mildly.

I cried…A LOT!

Throughout her senior year, I would cry over the craziest things:

  • her senior pictures
  • prom; her one and only school dance
  • thinking about her going away

31092_428692154975_655474975_5646520_6575601_nYou name it, if it had anything to do with her life in my home coming to an end, I was in tears.

Baby took it in stride because she knows I’m a nut job anyhow. Sometimes I’d just want to hug her. She really tried to be patient.

Then the day came.

The day she moved out of my home into her dorm room.

FollowingmygirlWe got her all set up and started meeting her roommates. The college kept us all busy with move-in day activities. I think it was just one of the ways to keep parents from breaking down sobbing and dragging their kids home to homeschool them for college.

  It finally came time for me to leave. Leave my little girl who was(is) utterly precious to me. Leave her in the city, without me there.

I went home and slept in her bed that night and cried myself to sleep.

Baby4 Where had the time gone? What had happened to the little girl in pigtails? Who was this new girl in an 18 yr old’s body? How has all this time gone by when it feels like it’s only been a few years?

Well, it’s been a full year since my daughter headed off to school. Unlike most kids, my daughter didn’t come home for the summer. She has a job in the cities and stayed on campus. Sure she made it home for a couple of overnights, but not enough for this mom.

I made it through the first year and so did she. She became more independent and I learned to live without my daughter whom I depended on so much.

number2Life was different. There was no girl chatter anymore. Our family dynamic had changed. It was very strange.

Sometimes she would call if she needed advice, or her car broke down again, or to tell me she was coming home for the night.

I learned more about what was going on with her from Facebook than I did on the phone. Things like:

  • leaving an oven mitt on the stove and almost starting a fire
  • having a chain fall off her bike in the middle of a busy intersection where she fell and hurt her ankle
  • that she fell in a creek and had her phone on her which she had just bought

Trust me, there are too many “incidents” with this child to name them all.

I’m here to encourage you mom! A mother’s heart is an easily breakable item. These are our babies, no matter what age they are. We love them with every fiber of our beings. They were once part of us.

Sending our children away to college or off to Kindergarten might be the natural progression of life, but it’s not an easy one. These are our precious kids whom we have sheltered and nurtured for however many years making the leap into the great big world.

Sarah D Carly Marie Brie You will make it and so will they. We will learn to live differently. Our relationships with our kids will change. We will change. It will be good. You’ll see. It won’t be easy and it’s ok to mourn the loss of childhood. But you will need to get past it, for their sake and yours.

It will become a more rich and bonding time for you and your son or daughter. Find as much positive as you can and hold on to it for dear life. God will see you through!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Historical Fiction Author MaryLu Tyndall Coming to Minnesota!

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! I’m so excited to see MaryLu! I met her a couple years ago at the Mall of America. For some reason, I didn’t take a photo with her. Oh, it will be different this time. There will be photos.

MaryLu is one of my favorite historical Christian fiction authors. She writes swashbuckling like nobody’s business. But on top of that, and the most important part, is that she writes characters we can relate to, even though the book is set in a different time and place.

Here’s the info about MaryLu and her newest release Surrender the Heart.

LifeWay Christian Store
6-8pm on Friday, Sept. 24
Cobblestone Court
14150 Nicollet Ave. S.
Burnsville, MN 55337

LifeWay Christian Store (where I’ll be)
11am to 1pm on Saturday Sept. 25
Arbor Lakes Mall
12985 Elm Creek Blvd.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

LifeWay Christian Store
3-5pm on Saturday, Sept. 25
Valley Creek
1750 Weir Dr.
Woodbury, MN 55125

MaryLu MaryLu Tyndall, a Christy Award Finalist and bestselling author of the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but open ’ readers’  eyes to their God-given potential. MaryLu is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. For more information on MaryLu and her upcoming releases, please visit her Web site at http://www.mltyndall.com or her blog at http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com

Uhrichsville, OH—Popular Barbour author MaryLu Tyndall begins a riveting new romantic adventure series set against the rich backdrop of the War of 1812 with the release of her historical novel Surrender the Heart in August 2010. The novel is book one in the Surrender to Destiny series.

surrender the heart Surrender the Heart finds Marianne Denton engaged to Noah Brenin, a merchantman she despise and who has no intentions of going through with the wedding himself. Unwillingly, the volatile couple find themselves deeply entangled in the War of 1812 when Noah’s ship is taken by the British and they obtain knowledge that would greatly aid the United States’ effort. As they battle to stay alive, defy the enemy to save their country, and escape from a British warship, can they also fall deeply in love?

Author Q&A:

Q: Explain your research of the War of 1812 for the Surrender to Destiny series, specifically as it relates to the Baltimore area.

A: In order to get a real feel for the city, the area, and the history of the war, I decided to spend a week in downtown Baltimore. Little did I know that the very week I planned to travel there, the city was celebrating the War of 1812 Battle of Baltimore and the bombing of Fort McHenry with various reenactments and a fireworks display! During my time there, I spent hours in the city’s museums. I toured the home and museum of Mary Pickersgill, who made the enormous flag that flew over Fort McHenry, and the Nautical Museum, and Fort McHenry itself. I spent an entire afternoon on board the USS Constellation, a tall ship that sits in the Baltimore harbor. But the best part was the tour of Fort McHenry and watching the reenactment of the Battle of Baltimore and the bombing of the Fort. I also spent a whole day in the historical museum downtown. The information I couldn’ t find while I was there, I found online through various ancient books and original documents, and in research books written about the war. I found an old 1822 map of the city online which gives the names of the original streets and the location of various public buildings! It’s amazing the things you can discover with our current technology. All in all, I had a blast doing the research for this series and I learned a tremendous amount about the war and the Baltimore area.

Q: In Surrender the Heart, the heroine, Marianne Denton, describes herself as plain, ordinary, and lacking in charm. What prompted you to create a character dealing with these issues of self-esteem?

A: So many novels in the romance genre these days are about gorgeous heroines who are charming and courageous. But truth be told, most of us are not like that. Most women I meet consider themselves plain and ordinary and lacking in skills and charm. So I wanted to create a heroine that most women could relate to, women that the world considers ordinary, and then show that in God’s eyes, they are anything but plain—that in God’ s eyes they are special and precious and that He can use them mightily. I also wanted to show that it isn’t only the beautiful, talented women who get the handsome hero. Us ordinary women can also have grand, romantic adventures!

Q: In the story, Noah carries a tremendous burden with him. What would you say to someone who, like Noah, carries deep guilt from some deed in his or her past?

A: I can really relate to Noah because I, too, carry a tremendous burden from my past. I believe most of us carry some sort of guilt from a past deed. The devil will use all his power and send out all his demons to continually attack you keep you burdened down with regret and guilt so you can be no use for God. Don’t let him! First we have to realize that Jesus took all our guilt, all our pain, all our sins upon Himself on the cross. They are gone! Wiped out forever. When we keep taking them back upon us, we are saying His sacrifice wasn’t enough. We are scorning the cross. Stop it. Repent of any past deeds and then receive God’s forgiveness and love. Then whenever those old feelings of guilt come back, quote the following scripture out loud over and over until they go away. The devil hates God’s Word and He can’t be around it so you’ll send him packing! So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. . . .

Q: Marianne deals with a certain phobia in the story. Do you have a phobia? If so, how do you deal with it?

A: Yes! I have several phobias! Cockroaches and heights are my major ones. I try to avoid both as much as possible, but when I can’t, as in the time my husband and I stood on a cliff 3,000 feet above the Yosemite valley, I try to breathe deeply and pray, pray, pray! If I listen to that still small voice of God’s Spirit within me, I realize that no harm can come to me that God does not allow. I am in His capable hands until the day He takes me home.

Q: Discuss “destiny” and how essential finding God’s destiny for their lives is to the characters in your story.

A: I am so passionate about people finding God’s purpose for their lives! I believe so many of us miss the wonderful plan He has for us. If you’re alive and on this planet, then God is not done with you yet. He has something for you to do! Many things for you to do. When you think about it, it is really quite exciting! We get to be a part of God’s kingdom and His ultimate plans for this world and this age! Our lives matter. They count. We are important because we belong to God. Then why do most Christians wallow around in lives of drudgery and defeat? I hope to show through the stories in this series how we can come to know God’s ultimate will for our lives and how by submitting to God’s plan, we will find our destiny and the fulfillment we all seek from this life.

Q: What scripture inspired this story?

A: I love the story of Esther. It’s a short book in the Bible, and I encourage everyone to go read it. It’s all about destiny. The scripture that inspired this story comes from Esther 4:14: “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” I believe we will all come to a crossroad in our lives, perhaps many crossroads, where we will each have to answer that question. A point where we will each have to overcome our fears, insecurities, and unbelief and step out in faith to do what God has called us to do. Who knows? Perhaps when you do, God will use you to save hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of lives and souls!

I’d like to thank Angie at Barbour Publishing, Inc. for letting me know about MaryLu being in MN! I was not compensated in any way for posting this information.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Cousins at Sunset


Make sure to check out these Wordless Wednesday participants and link up below: J. Leigh Designz, 5 Minutes for Mom, and A Beautiful Mess.

The Berenstain Bears And A Job Well done by Jan & Mike Berenstain ~ FIRST

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

Jan & Mike Berenstain

and the book:

The Berenstain Bears and A Job Well Done
Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)
***Special thanks to Krista Ocier of Zondervan for sending me a review copy.***


Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Mike is married to Andrea, and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks a lot like Bear Country.

Visit the authors' website.

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310712548
ISBN-13: 978-0310712541


My 7 yr old son and I love reading together. I thoroughly enjoy him reading stories where he learns biblical truths and how they apply to our everyday lives, especially with our family!

Many of us grew up reading The Berenstain Bear books and learning about how to be part of a family with all the antics of Brother and Sister. There is now a new bear cub called Honey.

Reading Berestain books, you always knew your children were going to learn a good moral lesson. Well, now that they're being published by Zonderkids, they are able to include scripture along with the moral teaching. As part of Living Lights, their goal is to "help children learn how God wants them to live every day." That is spectacular and for that I thank Zonderkidz!

At the back of the book, there are activities and questions to help engage the kids and apply what they've read to their lives. For example, one of the questions is:

"What do you think Papa Bear meant when he said the Bible says, "finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house?"

And of of the activities is:

"Help someone in your family with one of their given jobs around the house. Do not wait to be asked!"

Some of the other titles available in this series:
  • The Berenstain Bears God Loves You
  • The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers
  • The Berenstain Bears Go To Sunday School
  • The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule
  • The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors
  • The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game
  • The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks
  • The Berenstain Bears Baithful Friends
Mike Berenstain is the son of Jan and Stan Berenstain. He now writes with Jan for this series!

Monday, August 23, 2010



Gray Will Be Tour’s ‘Embedded Video Reporter,’ Filming Behind-The-Scenes Videos Exclusively for HearItFirst.com

NASHVILLE, TN—August 23, 2010—As ticket sales continue to climb for one of the most anticipated tours of the year, World Vision’s Make A Difference Tour 2010 featuring New York Times best-selling author Max Lucado and GRAMMY® Award winners Michael W. Smith, TobyMac and Third Day, critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Jason Gray has been added to the roster as the tour’s opener.  Gray joins the tour in support of his sophomore Centricity Music release, Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue, but will also play an important role for fans as the Make A Difference Tour’s “embedded video reporter,” charged with capturing exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews that will be part of his weekly video blog from the road, posted exclusively on HearItFirst.com.

“I feel so honored to be a part of such a monumental tour,” Gray says. “To share the stage with such an amazing lineup (has there ever been a tour of this magnitude in the history of Christian music?) would be more than enough, but to get to join them on a tour where we work together to serve the poorest of the poor makes it that much sweeter and is ultimately what makes this tour significant.”

“We are so excited to partner with Max Lucado, Michael W. Smith, Third Day, TobyMac and the Make a Difference Tour to bring exclusive behind-the-scenes video content to fans every week from the road,” says HearItFirst.com Director of Content Jamie Wilson.  “HearItFirst.com is honored to help increase awareness of World Vision’s mission, and as a passionate ambassador for World Vision, Jason Gray is the perfect spokesman for our video blog series. His heart for changing the world is evident as soon as you meet him and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to introduce him to our audience each week. We believe these fun, candid videos featuring all of the artists will truly show the heart and soul behind the Make a Difference Tour.”

“World Vision has been working with Jason Gray for eight years,” adds Jenny Lockwald, Executive Director, Artist Associates and Sponsor Engagement for World Vision. “In that time Jason has impacted the lives of thousands of children around the world and has made World Vision a major part of his music ministry and career. It was our pleasure to find a place for Jason on this tour because we know his heart and music are directly in line with the concept of making a difference. For those who have not yet had the opportunity to hear Jason, get prepared to become a fan. Jason is an amazing singer/songwriter who hits the mark with his soulful insights on what it means to live out Christianity every day.”

One of the most respected singer/songwriters in the Christian music business, Jason Gray released his latest studio project, Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue, in the fall of last year.  Heralded by numerous media outlets, the project landed at No. 8 in CCM Magazine’s Top Ten best faith-based albums in 2009 and Worship Leader magazine says, “Gray’s songs don’t really work as background music, they demand to be listened to and considered.” Gray’s latest single, “More Like Falling In Love,” was his highest charting song that peaked at #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.  Gray has also been touring consistently in support of his current album, and with his soulful performances and heart-felt ministry (that is sometimes sprinkled with humorous anecdotes), he remains a fan favorite on the touring circuit.

Launching in Youngstown, Ohio on Sept. 30, and running through the end of October, tickets for the 20-city Make A Difference Tour 2010 are available now at all Ticketmaster outlets and other locations.  Ticket options include a special VIP package featuring Gold Circle seats, a pre-show Q&A with all artists, a limited-edition Make A Difference Tour poster, a commemorative tour credential and a copy of the new book Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado.  A complete list of tour dates, news, artist info, exclusive photos, videos and more resources are available online at www.MakeADifferenceTour.com. In addition, the tour’s official Facebook page is live at www.facebook.com/makeadifferencetour, and fans and supporters can follow the tour’s official Twitter feed at @MakeADiffTour to stay up to date on the latest news and exclusive content.

The “Make A Difference Tour 2010” will visit 20 U.S. cities during the month of October, including:

9-30       Youngstown, OH              Covelli Center
10-1       Corbin, KY                        Southeastern Kentucky Expo Center
10-2       Alpharetta, GA                  Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
10-3       Cape Girardeau, MO       Show Me Center
10-7       Austin, TX                          The Theatre at the Frank Erwin Center
10-8       Beaumont, TX                  Ford Park Arena
10-9       Lafayette, LA                     Cajundome
10-10     Columbus, GA                  Columbus Civic Center
10-14     San Jose, CA                    HP Pavilion at San Jose
10-15     Bakersfield, CA                 Rabobank Arena
10-16     Ontario, CA                        Citizens Business Bank Arena
10-17     Glendale, AZ                      Jobing.com Arena
10-21     Colorado Springs, CO       World Arena
10-22     Lubbock, TX                        United Spirit Arena
10-23     Wichita Falls, TX                Kay Yeager Coliseum
10-24     Topeka, KS                         Kansas ExpoCentre
10-27     Cedar Rapids, IA                US Cellular Center
10-28     Green Bay, WI                     Resch Center
10-29     Dayton, OH                          Nutter Center
10-30     Fayetteville, NC                  Crown Coliseum

* All dates are subject to change without notice.

AEG Live, a leading provider of live entertainment around the world, is producer for the Make A Difference Tour 2010 and World Vision, an international humanitarian agency, is the tour sponsor. The tour has also partnered with HearItFirst.com, a leading online destination for Christian music fans, for exclusive video content, tour news and more.

About Max Lucado:
Max Lucado has more than 65 million books in print and a publishing career spanning 25 years. Max and his wife Denalyn live in San Antonio, Texas, where he is Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church.  For more information on Max Lucado, please visit www.maxlucado.com.

About TobyMac:
The ascension of TobyMac’s solo career has been nothing short of spectacular. In an era of declining music sales, he has consistently defied the odds and has seen his sales increase with each new album. TobyMac has sold more than 2 million albums and received his first Grammy as a solo artist. With his groundbreaking group dc talk, he won four Grammys and sold more than 8 million albums. His latest album is TONIGHT, which features his chart-topping, Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-wining single “City On Our Knees.” TobyMac was named the GMA Dove Award’s 2008 Artist of the Year and is now writing his first solo book City On Our Knees: If You Gotta Start Somewhere, Why Not Here (Bethany House, September 2010). TobyMac and his family of seven live in Franklin, TN. For more information on TobyMac, please visit www.tobymac.com.

About Michael W. Smith:
Throughout his 27-year career as a recording artist, Michael W. Smith has amassed an impressive catalog of achievements. His 21 albums have garnered multiple honors including an American Music Award, three GRAMMY® Awards (from 13 nominations), 44 GMA Dove Awards and 33 No. 1 radio hits. In addition, he holds 16 Gold and five platinum albums for career sales approaching 15 million. Smith, who was inducted into the
Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2009, has scored several film projects, written 11 books and has been featured by many national media outlets.  For up-to-date information on Michael W. Smith, please visit www.michaelwsmith.com or www.providentpress.com.

About Third Day:
Over the past decade, the Atlanta-based, multi-Platinum rock band Third Day (made up of members Mac Powell, Tai Anderson, David Carr and Mark Lee) has racked up 27 No. 1 radio singles and sold 6.25 million albums. A recent Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee, Third Day has garnered 24 career GMA Dove Awards, four GRAMMY Awards (with eleven career nominations), an American Music Award, three American Music Award nominations and multiple ASCAP honors for songwriting. As a top-ranked touring band, according to Pollstar magazine, Third Day has played for audiences reaching into the millions. For more information on Third Day, please visit: www.ThirdDay.com.

AEG Live/MEG is a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group, one of the leading providers of live entertainment and sports in the world. Dedicated to all aspects of live entertainment and multi-media production, it is the second largest concert promotion, special event and touring company in the world.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more on World Vision, go to www.worldvision.org.

HearItFirst.com, a division of Spinnaker Media Fund I, is the definitive online destination for the Christian music and entertainment fan. Filled with rich content covering the entire Christian music and entertainment industry, HIF boasts a membership of over 248,000 registered users, and hosts an array of features on the site, including Exclusive Content Rich Media – videos, photos & audio streams, Genre Sections, Artist Pages, News, New Releases, Store, Tour Information, Community and Blogs.

Band Angels Review & Giveaway 2 Winners

3D box My boys are forever hurting themselves. I have no idea where they could possibly get their clumsiness from. For the record, let’s not look at my scars, k?
When my boys are sick or have hurt themselves, we do the typical hugging and kissing. But on top of that we will pray about the situation. No, not every time, but especially when they’re really sick.

Here’s a really cool product to remind us of the Healer! They’re called Band Angels. Each box contains 20 Adhesive Bandages wtih 3 different Bible Verses on them.
IMG_3465Amazingly, it took me a number of weeks to get an actual use of the it meant no one was getting hurt!
Then Doodle decided to get Band Angel. I was ok with that because the Play Doh out. One of the cookie cutters is actually a cookie cutter. At some point it fell and he stepped on it cutting his foot.
See it there on the left side of his sweet little foot.
We put the Band Angel Bandage on his foot and read the scripture together. I absolutely love it! They definitely do the job. This one says “…by His stripes we are healed” Isa 53:5IMG_3467
You can sign up for their Newsletter and receive 3 sample Band Angels!
2 winners will win 2 boxes of Band Angels!
Required: Tell me how you usually handle the “owies” in your family.

Giveaway open to US Residents 18 yrs and older. Please leave your email address in your required comment or have it available in your profile. No email/contact = No entry. Giveaway ends 9/6 midnight PDT. Winner has 48 hours to respond to winning email.
Extra Entries:
Become a follower of Woven by Words (1 entry)
Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
Follow my PR site Marvelous Mom Reviews (2 entries)
Follow Band Angels on Facebook (1 entry)
Share on YOUR FB wall about this giveaway & add my link (2 entries)
Tweet this giveaway (1 entry daily) “2 Winners receive 2 boxes of Band Angels Bandages #giveaway @biggguysmama Covering owies with Scripture http://bit.ly/byZAuq“
Enter any of my MMR giveaways (1 entry each)
Follow my Networked Blogs (1 entry)
Subscribe to Woven by Words (2 entries)
I’d like to thank The Adams Group and Band Angels for my sample box of Band Angels and giveaway boxes. The opinions expressed are from our experience with the product. We were in no way compensated for this review other than our sample box.

Mr. Romance by Peggy Nelson

Mr. Romance
I’d like to thank Kathy Carlton Willis Communications for the 3 guest posts by Peggy Nelson. I was sent Peggy’s book as a thank you for posting at least one of her guest posts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

HATTERAS GIRL by Alice J. Wisler

Hatteras Girl[1] Hatteras Girl
by Alice J. Wisler
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0732-7
Bethany House


There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.

There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag. When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

Hatteras Girl coming in October! Pre-order now!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         About Alice J. Wisler:
Born to missionary parents in Osaka, Japan, and now living in North Carolina, Alice J. Wisler blends a little of Asia in every one of her Southern tales. All of her novels take place in North Carolina. Her first two novels, RAIN SONG and HOW SWEET IT IS, were Christy Award Finalists. Since the death of her four-year-old son, Daniel, Alice speaks on parental bereavement and conducts Writing the Heartache Workshops across the country. Visit her website to learn about the courses she offers: http;//www.alicewisler.com

Friday, August 20, 2010

Feel Good Friday: My Daughter’s Dream Car

Feel Good FridayI’d like to thank Erika from The Girl Next Door Grows Up for hosting Feel Good Friday! Head to her site to see how to participate, link up, and then go a visitin'!
The prompt I’m using today:

○Write about something that happened to you this week that really made you smile.  Was it your child, husband, or maybe a complete stranger did to you?
Ok, so this didn’t happen to me, but what did happen made me so amazingly happy. Get ready, it’s a long one and DON’T scroll to the bottom!! It’s part of the story! Seriously don’t do it!! Oh, I just saw you try to peek. LOL
8929_263655835466_591275466_8687762_6748878_nMy oldest daughter, Baby, is fun, goofy, easy going, smart, sweet, giving, tender hearted, Blonde  etc etc etc.
Things haven’t always been easy for her. In high school she worked 2 jobs and took high school classes as well as PSEO through the college she now attends. She was also on a number of leadership teams at school and church.
Baby was/is one busy girl.

Now she will be a sophomore in college, having worked in a Care Home for disabled people.
This summer she worked at the care home and volunteered at a different organization pretty much every day of the week in Minneapolis, which is a drive from St. Paul. She didn’t get paid for all those hours of volunteering and she was just fine with it. That’s just the way she is.

Unfortunately, her car is a piece of crap. Bought it from a friend who really had never had any problems with it. Within a week it started having issues. We thought it’d be a one-time fix. Yah, here we are a year later STILL putting $ into the heap!
Brie n marieSo, she has a good friend, M, that she met last year who lives in WI. This gal’s family has pretty much adopted my daughter. They have taken her in and loved on her like she really has always deserved.
This is God in action.
Baby’s car is history. We are D-O-N-E with it. That means a different car. No money to buy one isn’t helpful to the situation.
Insert M’s family. Papa P. has decided he’s going to put $ towards a car for Baby, we just have to find one. Oh, and he has a friend who is a dealer & goes to car auctions weekly.
I get the call. There’s a car. I figure, a Ford Focus. She loved it for a long time until we had a loaner. The blinker is what killed it for me ever getting one and she wasn’t thrilled with it either. It’s the little things people.

Baby, “We found a car, guess what it is.”
Me, thinking one thing, but saying, “A Ford Focus?”
Baby, squealing with delight as she says, “No, something else.”
Me, in shock, “No way. You didn’t get a…”
IMG_3452 Oh yes she did. She got the car of her dreams. A Volkswagon Beetle. It’s a 2005 with 72K+ miles. The price was just right.
Never in a million years could I have provided my daughter with her dream car, but God, working through Papa P. and his family helped her get this car!
Seriously, this makes this mom HAPPY!
And I sent her back to her dorm with flowers from my garden in her little vase by the steering wheel!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monster Inside My Daughter

Monster Inside Me

Monsters Inside Me
Episode #210
Wednesday, August 25
10:00-11:00 PM eastern
“I feel a pulse,” one of the medics said.

The paramedics worked feverishly on Manisha to make sure she was still alive. My beautiful seven-year-old daughter from Nepal lay on the floor unconscious at the O’Connell Center of the University of Florida.
“Has she ever had a seizure?” another one asked.

“No, no,” I said in bewilderment. Manisha rolled over and vomited.
One emotion consumed me: Fear. The enormity of single parenting hit me like lightening.
I cried out, “Where are you, God? I feel so alone.”

After hooking up stabilizing IV’s, Manisha was whisked off in an ambulance to Shands Teaching Hospital. I found a pay phone and called my mother. Her first comment was, “Do you know what day this is?”

I remembered—September 19. Four years to the day and almost to the hour, my father had died of a brain tumor. It was about 5:00 p.m. My shattered world continued to close in on me. A short time later my worst fears were confirmed.

“There is something on the CAT scan. We have a called a neurologist,” I heard the nurse say.

“No, no, no,” every cell in my body cried out. “God, you can’t let this happen. Not again!”

But God was silent. The next nine days of hospitalization were filled with tests—MRI, gallium scan, spinal tap, TB test, HIV test, numerous blood draws, and too many questions and not enough answers by doctors doing their daily rounds with medical students in tow. Manisha had what in medical parlance is called a “zebra.”

As the days passed in the hospital, I asked God for two things that humanly speaking seemed impossible. I prayed first that the doctors would not have to do surgery. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing Manisha’s beautiful thick, curly black hair shaved off. The ugly scars of surgery still lingered in my mind from my dad’s brain surgery. And I prayed that whatever was in Manisha’s head would not be cancerous. I had asked God to heal my father of a brain tumor and he died. Could I trust God for Manisha’s healing?

It was critical that the doctors make the correct diagnosis. The wrong treatment could kill her. Did she have a malignant brain tumor or a worm insider her head? Manisha had been adopted by me from Nepal at the age of three—old enough to be exposed to the extreme poverty of Nepal and lack of clean drinking water. Over fifty-seven percent of the water in Nepal is considered unsatisfactory for human consumption, contaminated with feces.

It was Neurocysticercosis—the most common parasitic infection of the nervous system. The larvae can travel anywhere in the body—the muscles, brain, eye, and other structures. The condition is still relatively rare in this country, but increasingly is appearing on the radar as part of the differential diagnosis for seizures.

Thankfully, twelve years later, Manisha is a well-adjusted 19-year-old just finishing high school and taking college classes.       

Why did God allow this nightmare to happen? I don’t know why God allows the hard things in our lives, but I do know God never wastes anything. I hope writing about neurocysticercosis today will bring awareness to this very preventable disease. International adoptive parents and travelers to the developing world should seek appropriate medical care upon returning to the U.S. if they have been exposed to poor sanitary conditions or
contaminated water.  

In spite of the trials of single parenting, the years following that dreadful day of September 19, 1994, have been filled with life and joy. Manisha soon will be leaving home to make her own way in the world and I reflect on her middle name Hope—with God, there is always hope, and for that I am thankful.       

For more on Manisha’s story, be sure to watch Animal Planet’s “Monsters Inside Me” on August 25, 10-11pm EST. Her story is also published in Children of Dreams, available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstores.
Lorilyn roberts Lorilyn Roberts graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama and is currently working on her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College. As a Certified Court Reporter, Lorilyn has made contributions to the National Court Reporters Association Journal. She provides real-time broadcast captioning for television. Lorilyn’s first book, The Donkey and the King, is a beautifully illustrated children's book. She also co-leads Word Weavers in Gainesville, FL. When not writing, taking graduate classes, or closed captioning for television/web, Lorilyn homeschools her younger daughter, Joy.
Children of Dreams Lorilyn is offering a drawing for a free copy of Children of Dreams on her website and blog. The drawing will be on September 1, 2010. Go to the website for details.
Website address: http://www.lorilynroberts.com/blog.html
Blog address: http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Son, Let’s Not Swear In Church

This story is going to be one of those ones where I wish I would’ve had a video camera rolling on my life so you could hear it first hand.

Sunday, we’re sitting at church listening to the pastor preach. At one part, Pastor Denny was discussing if we do or say things we wouldn’t have 5, 10, 15 yrs ago. Do we swear when we didn’t before. Do we go to a movie that early on in our faith we never would’ve dreamed of going to. You get the idea.

Now, let me preface what my Doodle said and how I responded by giving you a very recent backstory.

IMG_3459 I won Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief from Two of a Kind, Working On A Full House. She has awesome giveaways. I wasn’t sure if it was a movie I wanted my boys to see, but I figured we’d give it a chance.

I’m still on the fence (mythical creatures and all), but after what occurred at church on Sunday, we’ll be skipping over a certain spot.

It’s clear that my boys listen to the message, even when doing their own papers during the service.

Doodle came over to me after Pastor Denny mentioned how we might have changed in our lives over the last number of years. He sat on one side of me and whispers to me, “Mom, I can’t stop thinking of that song, Highway to…”

IMG_3456I nsert me slapping my hand over his mouth faster than you can say, “Hell”. It really was more of a cupping over his mouth as there was no slap. For a moment that seemed to last a lifetime I sat there with my hand over his mouth wondering if anyone heard his lyrics.

Then I tried to not laugh. Meanwhile, my little Doodle, who has an amazingly sensitive spirit, was on the verge of tears. For him, the thought of doing something to make the Lord upset just breaks his heart. He knows swearing isn’t ok and that God frowns on it. He’s just been this way since he was…little-r.

The moment I saw his eyes well up with tears I asked the Lord to give me a song that I could put in his mind. To be honest, I can’t even remember the song I gave him. I leaned over and whispered, “Why don’t you start singing this song in your head…” I quietly sang it to him while we were holding hands.

I gave him the chorus to the song and then kept time with my fingers on his hand. I could feel his little fingers doing the same on my hand.

It’s so clear to me what sticks with our kids and how we have to protect what ends up in their brains. I felt so terrible that he had that song in his head. I mean, hell, the word itself isn’t a bad word. I mean, it’s a bad place, but it’s a “place” if you use it correctly and I’ve told the boys that. He just knew that the song wasn’t a good one for him to be listening to. LOL Poor boy.

From now on, the rule will be that they will bypass this song in the movie! Man, being a parent isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sweet Sleepers



Make sure you check out these other Wordless Wednesday participants: J. Leigh Designz, 5 Minutes for Mom, and My Organized Chaos.

Bible Study Bonanza From WaterBrook Multnomah

We want to help you and your small group study God's word this fall!

To do so, we're giving away 15 copies of Living a Life of True Worship—one of Precept Ministries International's 40-Minute Bible Study Lessons. To enter your group, simply log onto to our Facebook fan page and comment on our wall: "My small group wants to live a life of true worship!" We'll choose one winner. Be sure to post by August 22, 2010, 11:59 pm to be included in the chance to win! Become a fan of our Facebook page by going to: www.Facebook.com/WaterBrook

Don't forget to visit us online at www.WaterBrookMultnomah.com or on Facebook and Twitter

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wouldja, Couldja, Do You Wanna Vote For Me?

Alright, I’m not so thrilled about doing this, but I’m going to shamelessly plug my photo that I have entered into a Facebook/Rayovac Photo Contest.

This year was my first time, without ANY kids going to Valleyfair. I went with a co-worker and her daughters & friends. Let me start off by saying, I’m not used to riding these rides anymore.

My role in the last 10 yrs is to watch the kids go on rides and ride some of the mellower rides. My tummy isn’t used to all the craziness of some of the adult rides.

Honestly, before we rode the first ride, I thought I was going to die. I was going to have a heart attack right then and there. No, you DON’T understand, I’m serious. I was having a mini panic attack and hid it VERY well…with humor. I’ve never had a panic attack in front of other people so I think my fear of wetting embarrassing myself in front of my co-worker kept me in check.

DSC03712The Riptide is amazing. It spins you around head over feet. People are sitting in a row behind us, too. Getting in the row in front was the best because you see that water coming at us? It totally drenches you!! The people in the row behind us didn’t get the same drenching on their side. Then they spin you around really fast like you’re spin drying! It was scary awesome!

If you could’ve taken my pulse, it would’ve been off the charts! We got on that first roller coaster and I didn’t stop screaming for the next 11 hours.

DSC03721My co-worker laughed her butt off while I screamed myself hoarse! And I’ve signed myself up to go again…maybe. If a group of my co-workers go, I may be going again. We shall see. Just the thought of it makes me anxious.

Anyhow, I entered one of the photos from our day there to a Rayovac Summer Photo Contest. Voting started today for my category and I’d really love some votes.

You can vote everyday if you remember! Do you have friends 18 and over and live in the US? Ask them to vote! I would love to win, even in my category. I’d have to be the grand prize winner to win the camera. A girl can dream, right?!

Here’s the link to my photo to vote.



I super appreciate the time it takes to go vote!! I dig ya. My co-worker is in the middle.

NY to LA by Press Play YouTube Video

Ok, for real, this song has got the best beat! I love when I'm driving alone because I have the sweetest sound system in my minivan. Yes, a girl has her requirements when getting a new vehicle. Mine is a good sound system! Oh, and I got it in spades!

Tonight as I was driving home, NY to LA by Press Play came on and I grooved the whole time! Have no idea what others thought who drove past me, but I was good with that. I had my windows open so they could jam with me. =) Enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Teeing Off with Byron by Peggy Nelson

clip_image002[1]Other than my new penchant for prevaricating, the breakfast was delightful, and soon we were on our way to the first tee at NCR Country Club, where the pro, Jeff Steinberg, was waiting for us. I had at least had the good sense to alert him that Byron was coming and to let him know not to noise it about, because I certainly did not want a crowd around for my first drive in front of Byron Nelson and possibly the entire membership, their spouses, and a gaggle of children.
As luck (and the Lord) would have it, I hit a whopper of a drive, for me at least. It sailed high off the elevated tee and far down the hill, tailing off just a touch to the right and a few feet into the rough. Byron looked a little surprised, though my subsequent play lived up to my earlier bad expectations. I remember very little of that round, other than just enjoying being with him and wishing I could play better. But he did not seem to care about my score at all, though he did show me a great little chipping technique I could do with my six-iron when I was close to the green but a ways from the pin. It has come in handy many times since.
About the rest of his stay, I don’t recall a lot. The Bogey Busters event that year was played at a different course, and naturally I went out to follow my hero. As it happened Byron was paired with none other than Johnny Mathis, the singing legend and a great part of my high school fantasy life from twenty years before. Wow! Here I was with two celebrities, pretty tongue-tied, and just living in a state of suspended animation, wondering to myself, Will I ever recover from this out-of-body experience?
By the time Byron flew back to Texas, we both knew we had the start of a wonderful friendship . . . that was rapidly becoming far more serious. The phone calls and letters came and went more often now, and soon we were talking about marriage, even though this was just July and August, only a couple of months after we had reconnected five years after our first meeting.
Excerpt taken with permission from Life with Lord Byron: Laughter, Romance and Lessons Learned From Golf’s Greatest Gentleman by Peggy Nelson (2010) available at: www.byronnelson-golfpro.com

Now Booking Interviews and Book Reviews. Contact: Kathy Carlton Willis Communications 956-642-6319 WillisWay@aol.com

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sand Creation With The Cousins





IMG_3403 Check out these other Wordless Wednesdays participants: 5 Minutes for Mom, J. Leigh Designz, and Look What Mom Found...And Dad Too.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feel Good Friday: It’s Been A Good Week!

Feel Good FridayWow, there are so many reasons to be doing FGF this week! Thank you Erika at The Girl Next Door Grows Up for Feel Good Friday! Click here to learn how it all began and to see her prompts for each Friday.

39482_651163291763_38208863_37368165_5520432_n 1. Smooch came home from her mission trip in India safe and sound! As soon as I saw her I couldn’t contain myself and ran straight for her! Knowing she was where I could touch her…it’s unexplainable!

2. I had 3 days to myself while the boys went up North with Grandma and Grandpa. I didn’t do much, but what I did do was completely guilt free. I should’ve been mowing the yard, but eh, it’ll be there later.

IMG_3262 3. I was able to get together with the Minnesota bloggers again at the Mall of America! It was so fun to see these ladies again. I am grateful that I was able to do the campaign with these other 6 ladies.

DSC03721 4. I went to Valleyfair with a friend from work and her teenage daughters and their friends. Its’ the first time I’ve been there in 6 yrs and the FIRST time I’ve gone without any kids. That means I was free to do whatever I wanted and I did. Scared the snot out of myself!!

5. I’m heading up North to be with the boys. My brother-in-law and his family is flying in from out of state this weekend. My sisters-in-law are coming back up again from IL along with their families. It’s going to be a crazy weekend hanging with family.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.