Pages

Friday, May 30, 2008

Skizzer


Guess what!!! I have another book review and giveaway today!!! Two giveaway's in two days! I don't know how it happened either! This is the author's debut work of fiction and I have to tell you that I loved this book.
About the book:
After receiving news of her sister Becca's abrupt disappearance, Claire Trowling must piece together the shadowy remnants of a past she's long forgotten in order to find her. A cryptic note scrawled in Becca's handwriting leaves more questions than it answers. When a stack of mysterious letters bound by a rare necklace is found, Claire races to discover the secrets that hold her family captive. Suspenseful and full of intrigue, Skizzer takes you on a transcontinental hunt for answers, weaving seamlessly between the distant past of childhood and the urgency of the present.
I love a good mystery, don't you? This book was well written and had lots of plot twists that I didn't see coming. Those are the best kind of plot twists, aren't they?!!? AND again, it is written by a Christian author so there is no need to worry about the contents being less than they should. I loved the flashbacks and they left me feeling like I really knew these two sisters and I too, longed for them to find one another again. And lastly, I am a sucker for anything set in North Carolina!
The author of this book is AJ Kiesling....Here is more about her!
A.J. (Angie) Kiesling grew up loving trees and words--trees because they formed the natural backdrop and playground for her childhood years in rural North Carolina, and words because they captivated her from as far back as she can remember. When she wasn't romping through the woods with her siblings, she might be found with her nose in a book--or lost among the shelves at the local library.
She has worked in the Christian publishing industry since 1985 as an author and editor. A former religion writer for Publishers Weekly and Religion BookLine e-newsletter, she frequently reported on spirituality trends and religion book publishing. Angie is the author of numerous books, including Skizzer (a novel, Revell), Where Have All the Good Men Gone? (Harvest House), Jaded: Hope for Believers Who Have Given Up on Church but Not on God (Revell), and Soul Deep: Prayers and Promises for Cultivating Inner Beauty (Barbour). She also ghostwrote Live Like a Jesus Freak (Albury), the popular follow-up to D.C. Talk's bestseller Jesus Freaks.
Beginning her career as a staff editor for Charisma magazine, she went on to cover industry news and book trends for the award-winning trade periodical Christian Retailing, followed by an editorial position on the startup website iBelieve.com. Over the years she has worked as an independent book editor and writer for some of the leading names in book publishing: Baker Publishing Group, Jossey-Bass, Thomas Nelson, Honor Books, Harvest House, Creation House, Barbour Publishing, and Xulon Press, among others. Today she heads up the editorial department at Xulon Press, a print-on-demand publisher based in Orlando.
There is a contest with this one, too!
Win a gift certificate for $40 to the restaurant of your choice...click over to the blog tour post (http://sprightly-amyanne.blogspot.com/2008/05/blog-tour-for-aj-kieslings-skizzer.html) and in the comments leave your answer to this question:

What's the Most Important Thing You've Ever Lost and Then Found?

A.J. Kiesling will select the winning response based on originality and sizzle!
Other details:
Visit AJ Kiesling's website: www.ajkiesling.com
And the giveaway: Leave me a comment and you will be entered into a drawing to receive your own copy of this book. I will announce a winner on Friday, June 6th.
Ya'll have a great weekend. Our's will be filled with cleaning out and packing up our basement. Hopefully I will dig my way out again by Monday. See ya then!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sweet Caroline

Do you like to read fiction? I love a good story. And I love most any genre of story.....except Science Fiction... it's too over the top for me.

I really love it when the book is Christian fiction so I don't have to worry with the content being less than desirable. I read a book recently that fits all of these things to a 't'! I really enjoyed it and I would love to recommend to you all. The book is called Sweet Caroline.

This was my first opportunity to review a work of fiction. At first I was a little leery of reviewing fiction. What if I couldn't get into the plot? What if I just plain didn't like it?

I don't know what I was worried about. This book delivered in all area's. It is love story in more than one way I think, and was all around an enjoyable read!!! The plot drew me in and the character's could have been friends of mine! I loved this book.
About the book:

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.
Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.
But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.
This book was written by Rachel Hauck. Here is a bit more about her!

I'm a forty-something, a child of the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and '00's.
I roller skated through the '70's into the '80's with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero.
Born in Ohio, I lived several years in Oklahoma and Kentucky before my parents moved the family to Florida.
I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.
But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.
After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.
But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.
I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.
Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.
I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.
In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.
With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

Here are the rest of the details:

There is a contest - The Sweet Life contest! Enter to win a Scrumptious Baking Basket from Rachel. The basket contains a Super Cool Apron, a Low country cook book signed by PAT CONROY, rolling pin, and a pie plate! All you have to do to enter is sign up for Rachel's newsletter here:http://www.rachelhauck.com/2008/05/welcome-to-sweet-life-blog-tour.html

Go to Rachel's website:www.rachelhauck.com

To order this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1595543376?&camp=212361&creative=383841&linkCode=wss&tag=sprightly-20


And I get to give a copy away! Here is what to do to be entered into the drawing:

In the book, Bubba's Buttery Biscuits are served each and every day at the cafe. As a true Southern Girl, I LOVE biscuits -- and this recipe looks really good. I am going to try it next time I make biscuits. Which I do at least once or twice a month when I make a big breakfast for my family. Here is the recipe:

Bubba's Buttery Biscuits

3 cups self-rising flour

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing the tops

1 1/4 cups buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the flour and chilled butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but not larger than a lima bean. If you are using your fingers, work quickly so that the heat of your hands won't melt the butter.
Pour in all of the buttermilk and, using light pressure, fold the mixture a few times with a plastic spatula until it holds together. Do not over mix. In order to make light biscuits, it is important to work the dough as little as possible.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it quickly and gently 6 to 10 times or until it begins to be almost homogenized. There will be large pieces of butter throughout. Sprinkle a little flour under the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness.
Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I like the biscuits to be crispy and brown on the top and bottom, but not dry in the middle. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter. Serve right away. (recipe from Louis Osteen)

Biscuits are one of my comfort foods in life. Along with my Mama's Macaroni and Cheese! SO, let's hear it! Leave me a comment and tell me what your comfort foods are and I will enter you into the drawing! I love new recipes too, so leave those as well - if you like! I will announce a winner on Friday, June 6th.






















Monday, May 26, 2008

Comments from the back seat

My girls and I were out of town for the weekend to Georgia where I grew up. We visited lots of family, were the guests of honor at a baby shower, and were spoiled rotten.
We are home again and exhausted that our 5 hour trip home took about 7 hours......it always seems to be that way when hubby doesn't go with us.

My 4 year old loves to tell me how to drive from the back seat. This evening as we were coming down one of the mountains that we cross while coming home, this was the conversation.

M: Mom, slow down! It's a crunch-in.

Me: What?

M: It's a crunch in! Slow Down!

Me: A crunch in? What is a crunch-in?

M: You know, the yellow sign says crunch-in.

Me: A Caution?

M: Yeah, slow down!

I love it when God provides a little humor to get me through a LONG drive with three young children and a pregnant, swelling, uncomfortable me.

Talk to ya'll later in the week. Lots of house work to catch up on!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Going Dark

Over at Living Proof Ministries, they are doing something wonderful.
They are going dark for three days in order to show support to the Chapman family.

I will be joining them. Take a look and join them, too. Spend the weekend praying for all the sadness this family is facing. Pray also that they are able to celebrate one of their son's as he graduate's from High School in the midst of such a loss.

I cannot begin to imagine what they are dealing with. Let us pray!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm so excited!

Last week, or the week before, or sometime in the past month (don't forget I am pregnant and have 3 other kids to remembering things isn't my strong point right now!) I was watching Jon and Kate + 8.

Do you all watch that show? I absolutely LOVE it because it reminds me on a weekly basis that my life is normal. They have twin 7 year olds - one of which seems to be as much a drama queen as my 6 year old , A, is. They also have sextuplet 3 year olds. And they seem to cry and whine a lot just like my 3 year old, L, does. My 4 year old, M, still does a lot of this as well......

It is all very comforting to me knowing that other people who have girls are going through the same things and that my kids, in fact, do seem to be normal!

Plus, Kate, is totally organized. She does all kinds of crafts with those 8 kids of hers and all sorts of fun stuff and it just makes me want to get more organized and do that with my 3 (almost 4) kids, too.

Anyway, I was watching the show and Kate had on a t-shirt that I knew that I just had to find.
I started searching the web and finally found it here. I was thrilled that I found it but my bubble soon burst when I realized that the short sleeved version costs $35. I emailed the link to my husband knowing that my tightwad ever so cost conscious hubby was going to hyperventilate and tell me that no way, no how was I getting that t-shirt.

Ya'll.

He said I could get it. SO - can I just tell ya'll that I am so excited that I just ordered my "Mom to the 4th power" t-shirt. In black so that the contrast with the jewels will make them sparkle even more. I'd say I'd take a picture of myself in it when it arrives but that will have to wait until September or so when I am no longer pregnant. Don't want to stretch out my expensive shirt.

Now - this place also has this t-shirt which I would LOVE to own also......wonder if I can talk hubby into another expensive t-shirt?!!?

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Weekend of Blessings



HI everyone!


This past weekend was very busy for us. This morning I find myself feeling exhausted but very, very blessed, too.




This weekend was my older two daughters' dance recital. Friday night was dress rehearsal and Saturday was the real thing. While fixing hair turned into a 3 1/2 - 4 hour process and really stressed all of us out, everything turned out just fabulous. And they looked really cute in their costumes.




The theme of this recital was Alice in Topsy Turvy Land. There was a Alice and a White Rabbit which my 3 year old was thrilled to see!


My oldest was one of the Queen of Hearts cards.














My middle daughter was an "Aristocat".













This is my youngest. I found myself wondering how she got this big. She looks so grown up in this picture to me. She wasn't old enough to take dance this year. She did get "sparkly spray" and lipstick along with her sisters though.
I also found myself feeling very blessed that God has chosen to give me these three wonderful little girls. I couldn't have asked for more!
Then on Sunday afternoon, our church gave us a baby shower for the little boy that will arrive after we move. It was such fun and after I got home, I was going through the gifts we received and putting them all in a box that will be labeled "baby boy" (since we don't have a name yet) and I again felt very blessed. If you are a member of our church, we want you to know that you have blessed us so much with this shower for our baby and we feel very loved by you all. Know that we love you all, too! This is me looking really pregnant and my youngest.
I hope that all of you have an incredible Monday.
Now, it is off to do laundry and clean house.

Friday, May 16, 2008

And the winner is

The winner of the What Women Want Giveaway is Elaine at My Prayers, His Promises!

CONGRATULATIONS, Elaine!

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have!
And I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Women in Ministry

I have debated about writing this post for a while now. I have gone back and forth and back and forth. I honestly worry too much about causing other people angst. However, since I am really working through my own beliefs as a Christian -- not simply by denomination-- I feel that I need to get this out. I am really hoping that this will be something that I get lots of responses and commentary on. BUT - let me start out by saying that I am requesting all comments be respectful and full of Christ's love for the body of believers even if your opinion isn't the same as someone else's.
As you know, my husband has been appointed to another church and therefore we will be moving and leaving this place we've called home for the past two years. It was also announced to our church the same day who was to be his replacement. It is to be a woman pastor.

Now, I know there are many, many people who don't believe in ordination of women and there are many, many who do. As I said above, I am working through my beliefs and why I believe what I believe. Therefore, I am interested in all of your opinions on the subject of women as pastors. And while I haven't definitively decided what I believe (still researching and praying) I do want to say that I think the Church (the whole body of believers) spends way too much time debating things like this. Time that could be devoted to the Great Commission of Christ to go and make disciples and how this can be accomplished throughout the world.

But, here is what I am really struggling with. I've heard lots of folks tell me "You know, so and so is leaving because they don't want a women minister....". Here is why it bugs me. I have to wonder if these people have actually searched their bible and researched this and prayed about their beliefs. Or are they leaving out of the tradition of "I've never had a woman pastor so, I'm not going to start now."? Or maybe it is because they've never questioned the things they've been taught at any level.
I don't think those are reasons to leave at all. I think saying that a woman has nothing from God to say and cannot lead a church without even giving it any thought or giving her any chance at all is wrong. Not only that but I think that it is very unloving.

So, I guess I'd just like to say to the folks who read this who attend our church, please don't leave without searching and praying and knowing -- truly KNOWING what YOU believe. And definitely don't do it without prayer. And don't go into this change with the attitude that you aren't going to get anything out of church anymore. Besides that - we come to church to worship God (but that is another rant for another day I suppose) not to "get something out of it".
Give this new pastor a chance -- you might be surprised how well God can use her to shepherd the sheep.

For those of you out in blogland -- I'd love your take on this subject. So, comment away.

NOW - since we move in a little less than 6 weeks -- I've got to get back to getting things packed and in order. Have a truly blessed Tuesday everyone!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What Women Want Giveaway




Hi everybody. I am so excited to have the privilege to tell you about this book. What Women Want: The Life You Crave and How God Satisfies is an absolutely FABULOUS book! It is written by Lisa T. Bergren & Rebecca Price.


Let me tell you just a bit about these two lovely ladies!




LISA T. BERGREN is the author of twenty-eight books that have sold many more than she ever believed. She writes a lot from the heart and in whatever category that currently interests her–from gift and children’s books to medieval fiction and Bible studies. She is a wife to Tim, an artist, and mother to three phenomenal children–Olivia, Emma and Jack. The Bergrens live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Monument. For more specifics on Lisa, see her Web site at http://www.lisatawnbergren.com/.

REBECCA PRICE credits her long career (”Twenty-five years–yikes!) in the Christian publishing industry as providing opportunities to meet and learn from many gifted teachers and authors. She has worked in marketing and executive positions at NavPress, Word, Multnomah and WaterBrook Press. After moving around the country (and to London and back), she returned to her home state, embarked on a business venture with Lisa, and is now a publishing and marketing consultant. Rebecca lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is actively involved at Fellowship Bible Church.

Girls, these two ladies have really done some amazing work in this book. It is a perfect book to do as a personal bible study at home or, as I hope to do in the future, as a study with your best girl friends! The book has 12 chapters all about the things we women desire in life. Things like a close and personal relationship with God, love in our lives, and meaning and purpose in our lives (just to name a few). AND, here is my favorite part! There are corresponding chapters in the second half of the book that are bible study questions for you and your group to ponder together.These questions help you to really dig deeper to see how God really can satisfy every desire of your heart. There are even things for you to do to help you to apply the things you are learning to your everyday life.I also love that all women can relate to this book! It doesn't matter if are married or single, young or old, I promise - you will love this book! And you will grow closer to God through it as you learn to let HIM satisfy your every need. Go here and you can read the first chapter. Then, go here and check out the bible study questions that go along with it. You will not be disappointed.

OH, plus! Lisa and Rebecca are hosting a contest during this book tour. They want to know all about your "sister of the heart"... send these ladies an email at amy@litfusegroup.com telling who your best friend is and why she is your "heart sister"!
Your stories will be posted on the http://www.satisfiedheart.com/ blog. The story with the most comments will win a copy of What Women Want and the What Women Want soundtrack of their choice for themselves and for their "heart sister"!


And…if that wasn’t enough, leave a comment on this post and they’ll toss your name into the hat for a $15 Starbucks Card. You know...just in case you need that cup of get-up-and-go to get you motivated for your Bible study!

And lastly, I was allowed the honor of having a book to giveway! SO, leave me a comment and let me know your out there. I will put your name in a hat and let one of my girls draw the winner. (They love doing that!) The winner will be announced on Friday, May 16.


I am here to tell you all that this book IS a great weekly bible study! Run, don't walk, and get your copy today. You can get a copy at your local Christian Bookstore or if you want to order it online, go here.


Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lies Women Believe Study -Discussion 5

Karen, over at the T.A.G. Blog, hosts this study. Go over and join in if you like or just read what other's have to say.....

Here are my answers to the questions for this week.

1. Read Psalm 37: 1 -11. What are the attitudes and behaviors of a woman who is claiming her rights? What are the attitudes and responses of a woman who has yielded her rights and expectations to God?
If I am claiming my rights, then I get angry and defensive with things don't go my way. This happens a lot with me if I'm honest about it. I demand my own way and pitch my own little fits sometimes if I don't get my way.
However, I should be waiting on God instead of demanding my own way. I should be meek and avoiding evil.

4. According to Psalm 16:11, what is the only place that all our longings can be completely met?
ONLY God can meet all of our longings in life.


Our Memory Work:



John 8: 32 "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."



Galatians 5:1 "it is for freedom that Christ has set us free..."





Sorry this is so short today girls, I've got to do some mad cleaning around here today. The pastor who is coming to this church is coming to see the parsonage this afternoon and I gotta get some dusting and mopping done before they get here. And I gotta keep two little ones from destroying the rest of the house, too.

Hope ya'll have a great Monday!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Let's Go Fly A Kite!

My oldest daughter has been begging asking to fly her kite for a while now.

Yesterday afternoon was the perfect day, so we went down to the field at our church and spent some time flying kites.

We had loads of fun! Hope ya'll have a great weekend!