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Friday, February 26, 2010

Double Trouble

Last May, I was introduced to PJ Sugar. I loved the first book in this series, and I loved Susan May Warren's Double Trouble just as much! So, Thank you to Litfuse to providing this book for me to review! PJ is back and is in trouble again. I thought for sure in this book that the love triangle had been decided, but Ms. Warren leaves the door open in the end. This time I found myself relating to PJ in a different way than last time though. PJ has trust issues. I have trust issues. PJ has trouble understanding God's mercy and grace. I have trouble understanding God's grace and mercy. I loved the second book in the PJ Sugar series and I think you will, too! Matter of fact, I've loved every book by Susan May Warren that I've had the privilege to read!
SO, be sure and go get your copy of this book right. now!!!!

About Double Trouble:
With one solved case under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least a PI's assistant until she can prove herself to Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ's seeing crime everywhere. But is it just in her head, or can she trust her instincts? When she takes on her first official case-house-sitting for a witness in protective custody-Jeremy assures her there's no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is someone after the witness . . . and now they're after PJ, too.

About Susan:
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year. Her larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com

The HUMDINGER-of-a-CONTEST:


One Grand Prize winner will receive a $150 SUPER SLEUTH prize package that includes:

A brand new iPod Shuffle (perfect for those all-night stakeouts)
A $10 iTunes gift card (we recommend the ALIAS soundtrack)
A $10 Amazon gift card (why yes, they do sell spy pens)
A $10 Starbucks gift card (for fuel, obviously)
A pair of designer sunglasses (be stealthy AND super chic)
A gorgeous scarf from World Market (can also be used as a blindfold, and/or for tying up bad guys)
AND signed copies of both Nothing But Trouble & Double Trouble. (romance! danger! intrigue! sooo much better than Surveillance for Dummies!)
Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend! My family and I are headed to the big city of Asheville this evening. We are going "shopping". I put it that way because, while I do have to buy a baby gift, we won't be doing that much shopping. But we will look a lot, buy very little, eat a wonderful supper out and have a great family night! I'm very excited about it!
in HIM -
Mindy
(dern. I erased my signature thing I guess.....it isn't here for some reason!)



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Talk

Let's talk about "The Talk". Today I was at lunch with some friends and we were talking about having "The Talk" with our kids....well - we were mostly talking about our girls because the girls in our families are the only ones who are any where near old enough for "The Talk".

My friend recommended this book. She said that she bought it for her oldest daughter, now 10 1/2, when she was about 9. At least, I think this is the book - from what I remember her saying the title of the book was.....so, Kris, if I'm wrong please do correct me.

Here is the thing. A is 8 and I know the time for "the talk" is coming faster than I would like to acknowledge that it is coming. I'm just wondering when is the right time and what is the right thing.
I think I remember my Mom having "the talk" with me when I was about 9. She had a book and we did the WHOLE talk all at one time. By the whole talk I mean -- The Body talk -the talk about the importance of hygiene with the onset of puberty. The importance of taking a shower every day, using deodorant and all the other things that come with the raging hormones. PLUS - the other part of the talk -- The Birds and The Bees talk.

That got me wanting to ask all of you wise women out there in blogland.

When did you give "the talk" or when do you plan to do it?

Are you going to do the WHOLE talk or maybe do the Body talk first and then the Birds and the Bees Talk later? OR vice versa?

Is it an event for you and your daughter or just another talk?

Are you going to use a book of some kind or just have the talk?

I'm very interested in hearing from you all out there as I prepare for the time that is coming to share these things with my girls. I want to make sure that I do this "talk" in a way that brings my girls and I closer to one another and in a way that is God honoring, too. In a way that helps them understand that God did make girls unique and that there are some wonderful things ( and some not so wonderful things) about that.

Thanks everyone and I look forward to hearing back from you.


In HIM-
-

Monday, February 22, 2010

Roasting Marshmallows

I had an appointment today in Raleigh. So, my family and I drove part of the way there and spent the night with Granddaddy and Nana LeeAnne (hubby's Dad and Step Mom). They live near Greensboro. We arrived just in time to have supper and then Nana had a surprise planned and the kids ALL loved it. She had a firepit on her deck and we roasted marshmallows. Here are some picture's of the fun!
L watching the fire.
I love this picture of Granddaddy helping L with her marshmallow.

Mr. B loved them!







Miss M was concentrating on NOT getting sticky.





Miss A!


This big boy decided he could manage for himself!

Don't worry -- we were all standing near by!








Hubs' 93 year old grandmother, Mama Bea, joined in the fun!


LOVE this one!

It was a wonderful evening! Thank you, Nana LeeAnne, for the wonderful surprise! And thank you to Granddaddy who was such a good sport to stay with all 4 kids today while hubs went with me to my appointment! Luckily, all 5 of them survived!
in HIM -

Friday, February 19, 2010

Finally! A Pink Pirate Party

Remember a little over a month ago, when I had a birthday girl? And remember I said we were having her party on Jan. 30th? Well, on Jan 30th, we had to cancel due to all the snow. SO, we rescheduled for two weeks later which was this past Saturday, Feb 13th. A whole month after her birthday. But she really didn't mind too much. Mostly because she got to open presents and celebrate her birthday for a whole month.


I am happy to say that even thought it snowed again last Saturday, we went ahead with the party. It was great fun! Here are some pics from our day.


This is the picture that was on her invitation. I made her invites using black cards I got from Michaels. On the inside was a hot pink piece of cardstock with the following wording.


" Ahoy There, Matey! Ye be invited for


a swashbuckling good time at


Captain L's


Pink Pirate Party


Celebrating her 5th birthday!


Chart ye course on Saturday, January 30th


2-4 PM at our church


RSVP to 1st Mates Mom and Dad (Mindy and K)


Savvy?"


We were so glad that we finally got to have this party.


It was long awaited and I heard that it was the talk at preschool


for a few weeks.

Here's the birthday girl!




I served Pink Lemonade as Pink Grog


and Water as Ocean Ale



The cups.....loved how they turned out!


We had cheese cubes known as Coxswains Bounty


and Cheese balls as Cannonballs.



We also had "Walk the Plank Celery Sticks"Everything was Black and Pink


with a little bit of Zebra print thrown in for good measure!





Along the back wall was the birthday sign


that I made that read "Happy 5th Birthday L"








And a great caterer, who just happens to be


a church member, made L's cake!


Here's a side view!







Here's the top!



And don't all pirate's have a parrot?


Because it would show you her name, I can't show you that


this parrot was sitting on a boat called the "SS L"


complete with a mast. It was awesome!


And it was contributed by another wonderful church member.


She owns the dance studio in town and had used the boat for


her production of "Willy Wonka Jr" this summer.


We added a mast and miss L's name and it


made the perfect pirate ship!

And here is the treasure chest full of treasures!






When the kids came in, they were given one of "Blackbeard's Bandana's"


to wear. Thank you Nana LeeAnne for making these!!!!



And in this bowl, our treasure maps!




Here are all of my girls together. You can see a bit


of the boat behind them. L had a special pirate outfit to wear


for her party (Thanks Nana LeeAnne!).

A and M got new pink pirate shirts to wear, too!




Even B had pirate clothes to wear....


and a pirate passy!




A message on the wall.....







The first activity of the afternoon was called "Hoist Ye Jolly Rogers"


Pirates all had their own flags.


So the kids got to create their own.
Working hard on their flags!





Waving their new pirate flags!



Next, we played Musical Chairs with all


kinds of pirate music that hubs put together.


A few of the kids obviously weren't fans of musical chairs.


It was plain to see when they got out and cried. oh well.



Next, it was time to sing happy birthday.


Blow out the candles

and eat some food!


Next, it was time to open presents!


Lastly, we went on a treasure hunt. We gave out
treasure maps that my wonderful hubby made.
Love the serious faces!

We found the treasure!


The kids all got eye patches in their goody bags.
This is Little Miss Pink Pirate O!

And one big group shot!
Everyone say "Aaarrrrgggghhh!"

I think that everyone had a great time! I know that my kids did - and I was exhausted! I couldn't have done it without all of the amazing help from all of the grandparents. THANKS SO MUCH!!!!
Ya'll have a fab. weekend!
Say a prayer for me on Monday. Have a dr. appt. that is a little unnerving!
Talk to you all soon!
in HIM -

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday and Lent


Today is Ash Wednesday. At a lot of churches, like ours, we will gather tonight and have a Shrove Tuesday mean of Pancakes which will be followed by our Ash Wednesday service. Ash Wednesday services aren't usually joyful services. This is a service of penitence. In Old Testament times, ashes were used as a symbol of grief and sorrow. In the Ash Wednesday service, we receive ashes on our foreheads to show that we are sorry for the sin in our lives. One of the things that some folks might not know that I like the most about the ashes for Ash Wednesday is what the ashes are made from. The ashes are the remains of the palm branches from the previous years Palm Sunday Service.

You know the one, right? The one where the kids walk the aisles and wave their palm branches saying "Hosanna! Hosanna! Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!". And the lay all the palm branches on the alter. After the service, the pastor (my husband at my church) collects all of the palm branches and saves them for the following years Ash Wednesday. Why do we do that, you might ask?

Well, because Palm Sunday is the celebration of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem before He was crucified for our sin. The ashes, while reminding us of our sorrow, also remind us of our hope because Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was subsequently crucified for our sins. Therefore, our sin has no hold over us! Praise The Lord! Right?


Ash Wednesday is also the first day of Lent. Lent is the 40 day period on the Christian calendar before Easter. Lent is a time of fasting. Fasting from something that is keeping you from being WHO God is calling you to be. It is more than just giving up a food or a bad habit for a time. It is about a time of conversion. Of actually becoming more like the Christ we claim to follow. Sometimes that fasting might be from a food - something that is unhealthy for you because God does expect us to keep ourselves healthy.

However, the fasting could be from other things, too. Things like sins that we need to wipe out of our lives. Or maybe it isn't a sin at all - just a "bad habit" -- but one that still needs to be gotten rid of. Or maybe it is something that is ok for everyone else, but that God is calling you or me specifically not to do anymore.

Lent can also be a time of "putting something on" that makes us more like Christ. Picking up a trait or discipline that would make us more like Him.

So, then, what am I doing for Lent this year?

Well, I will be giving up a food item this year. Potato chips. Why? Because I LOVE them. I eat way too many of them. And I don't mean the baked kind that are "quasi" good for you. NOPE -- I eat the full fat, fried kind and it gets out of hand if I allow it, too. In the last three days, I've almost single handedly (single mouthedly) eaten a whole bag of Dorito's. Gluttony might be a word that comes to mind. And that is a sin - therefore, I'm giving up Potato Chips.

I'm also putting something on. I have an incredibly difficult time when I pray with the sitting quietly and listening for God part of prayer. During Lent, I will go to bed early enough to read my bible, pray and LISTEN for God to speak to me also.

I also have to share with you all that last night at suppertime, hubs and I were discussing what we were doing for Lent and the girls were interested in knowing what we were talking about. So, hubs explained all of this to them and we asked if it was something that they would like to do. All three girls said yes, they wanted to participate. So, they have all decided to give up video games for Lent. ALL video games-- whether on the computer, the Wii, or even the DS.

They also decided that they want to put something on. They decided that they will get ready for bed early enough to have a bible story each and every night.

I'm so proud of my girls that they want to do this. M even prayed that God would help her remember what she had decided and help her do it. =)


SO, I hope everyone has a meaningful Ash Wednesday. I can't say good because being reminded of our sin is never fun. However, it will be beneficial.


in HIM -