Monday, May 31, 2010

Dear Timeshare Salesmen

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

While I understand that sales can be difficult at times, and granted many of the people visiting your resort may be there only for a night to escape from their children relax in a serene environment, I’d like to offer a few suggestions that might make a sale of one of your timeshare units a little more appealing.

~ Please refrain from SWEARING in front of me. I realize that you might think it gets your point across a little more emphatically, but truthfully it just starts grating on me and I begin to lose interest in anything you are saying.

~ Wear a little less cologne. A little goes a long way. Too much cologne just screams ‘slick’ to me.

~ Don’t pretend to know that my kids are going to be crazy once they become teenagers, so I must take family vacations RIGHT NOW.  While I understand family time is crucial, guilt won’t work on me. I am now more determined than ever to prove you wrong.

~ Flashing a wad of $50’s in front of me when you take your wallet out to show me a special ‘members only’ card is a bit of a turnoff. Makes me think you’re getting just a wee bit too much money ~ and I’m not willing to add to that bundle at the moment.

~ Loud isn’t always nice. I ask my kids all.day.long to please bring their voice levels down. When people at nearby tables turn to look at you when you are talking and laughing ~ it might be a bit over the top.

~ Trying to talk us into buying a timeshare and paying basically interest only for 4 years because it’s a ‘tax advantage’, might not have been the smartest move. I believe Dave Ramsey says it best ~ “It’s not in the budget!”

~ Offer me your best deal up front. Don’t start at $27,000 and then offer the SAME unit and amenities for $6,000 right before we leave. That just smacks of dishonesty to me. I realize commissions are on the line and you get more based on what we pay, but really?

That’s all for now. Just wanted to put it all out on the line for you and hopefully explain a little more about why we didn’t buy into your deal today. We do, however, appreciate the 3 day/2 night stay that we received…and the cruise we’ll be getting for sitting through the 3 hour tour.

 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Road to Relevant Feature

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The ladies at Gather in Spirit are doing ‘feature posts’ of those attending the Relevant 2010 conference. I finally got myself in gear and put my little bio together…and as of 11 pm tonight it will be up on their site.

Is this the first time that you are stopping by for a visit? It’s nice to meet you!

Are you attending the Relevant Conference in the fall? I truly can’t wait to meet you! I’ve been having much fun getting to know many of you through your blogs and twitter…but meeting in person will be so much better!

I had my roommate, Carisa, lined up before the tickets even went on sale. As a matter of fact, she was the one who told me about Relevant to begin with ~ and I’m so glad she did!

Other than meeting all of my new blogging friends, I am so very excited that the focus of this conference is for Christian women bloggers ~ that truly made all the difference in the world to me! I’ve been busy raising funds to attend…in fact, I started a blog design site called Relevant Designs just to help me along. If I can raise the funds I need and have extra, I hope to offer the extra money as a scholarship for someone else to attend.

This will be my first blogging conference ~ I’m a little nervous on one hand, but so very excited on the other! October is just a few short months away!

Finding {in}couragement

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(in)courage

I have a few blogs that I like to keep up with every single day and recently I added a new one to my list of ‘must reads’. {in}courage was started by a group of ladies from Dayspring {the Christian version of Hallmark} as a way to connect ladies on a deeper heart level. What exactly is the site all about?

Our relationship with God keeps growing all of our lives and we hope (in)courage will be part of that journey for you. The (in) actually represents being in Christ and then in community with each other. From all of this comes true courage...this is our heart and prayer for all of us.

{in}courage has a HUGE list of writers and contributors {there are bound to be a few names you are familiar with in that list!}. Over the last few weeks there have been a few posts that I have truly loved, pondered and been encouraged by. I’m still digging through past posts as I have time, but here are few to share with you:

~ Something Extraordinary

~ For Married Women Only

~ Confessions of a People Pleaser

~ The Treasure of Thrown Away Food

Have fun visiting the site! I hope you love it as much as I do!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Few Changes…

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You’ll have to pardon all the moving around and changing. I’ve been working with a few ladies to redo their blogs and started a little spring cleaning and sprucing up of my own. :)

I’m moving things around, adjusting images…and trying to get it {just} right.

And yes, I have plenty of other things to do, but once the ideas started turning ~ well, I got sidetracked. Thanks for sticking around!

Book Giveaway ~ Disaster Status

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Disaster Status

When a hazardous material spill floods Pacific Mercy Hospital with patients, it’s all the ER can do to keep up. Erin Quinn, the charge nurse has her hands full with the trauma overload.

Fire captain Scott McKenna was at the hospital from the start of the disaster and then put in charge as the on-site incident commander ~ putting him smack in Erin’s way. Despite the attraction between them, the sparks begin to fly.

Scott’s family has experienced much tragedy, especially in the last year. Will he be willing and open himself up to the possibility of loving and losing again ~ or pull further away from everything he loves and holds dear?

My Thoughts

Disaster Status is a story of forgiveness and the love of family that will keep you interested from the very start. If you’re a fan of medical drama, the Mercy Hospital series by Candace Calvert might be one that you would enjoy. Candace is a former ER nurse, so the trauma {and drama} are very realistic ~ and much more wholesome than tv shows today! 

I was unaware that the book was part of a series until reading the epilogue of the book. A few things didn’t quite make sense, until I realized there was a book before this one in the series and another one to follow soon.

~ Visit Candace's website

~ Buy Candace's book at Amazon or CBD.

The Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of Disaster Status? I have one copy to mail to one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure there is a way for me to contact you. The giveaway will be open until Wednesday, June 2nd at 8pm.

This book was provided for review by Tyndale. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Broken Limbs and Dirty Socks

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Before you see this picture and go in to a panic wondering “How in the world did all of her kids manage to break their arms?” ~ have no fear.

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The kids are apparently feeling rather left out and created their own casts, courtesy of a multitude of socks. Nice, huh? To make them seem legitimate, they have been signing each other’s ‘casts’, even going as far as asking their aunt and uncle to sign them too.

My brother was nice enough to take a picture of them {I think} and sent me this nice little note along with the picture:

“I'm not sure which looks worse for you: The distant picture of all of your children walking down the street with broken limbs......or your kids asking all the neighbors to sign the dirty hole ridden socks you saved.”

I love my brother, really I do.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You Know You’re Getting Old{er}

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When you can’t even remember how old you really are, either you are getting forgetful ~ or you just don’t really care.

Truthfully, I don’t really care. Sadly, I also can’t remember.

Someone asked me the other day how old I would be on my next birthday. I had to stop and think…and think…while quickly doing the math in my head. While I will freely admit how old I am {37 thank.you.very.much} it would appear that I prefer not to tell others because of my hesitation in answering.

I’m really not ashamed of my age. I’m just getting old{er} and can’t remember.

{sigh}

Just pass me a piece of my birthday cake and help me forget it all, ok?

 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spring Reading Thing ~ One Month to Go!

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Even though I had a set list at the beginning of this challenge, several books have been added to my list. I’ve been trying to get as many completed as I can since Kaye Dacus has a new book coming out at the start of June and I can’t WAIT to get my hands on it!

Next up on my list is Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson. The cover of the book alone is pulling me in and I can’t wait to sit down with it and read it! The books that I’ve completed during this challenge are the ones that are crossed off on the list below.

Fiction

~ Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs ~ read my review

~ Beguiled by Deanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand ~ read by review

~ Menu for Romance  by Kaye Dacus

~ Not a Sparrow Falls  by Linda Nichols ~ read my review

~ Hunter’s Moon by Don Hoesel ~ read my review

~ Michal by Jill Eileen Smith ~ a story written from the perspective of Michal, King David’s first wife

~ Ransome’s Crossing by Kaye Dacus ~ this book is scheduled to release June 1st and I’ve already added it to my Amazon cart in anticipation of reading it! If you love Jane Austen’s books, be sure to check out The Ransome Trilogy by Kaye!

~ Eighth Shepherd / Ninth Witness / Tenth Stone by Bodie and Brock Thoene ~ all are a part in the A.D. Chronicles series

 

Recently added books ~ the ones I couldn’t resist!!

~ Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze ~ read my review

~ Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr ~ read my review

~ Disaster Status ~ Candance Calvert ~ review coming soon

~ Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

~ She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

 

Non-Fiction

~ Chronological Guide to the Bible from Thomas Nelson ~ read my review

~ The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo ~Bible study time with a friend is back on soon.

~ The Bible ~ I’m starting to read through again

 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Giveaway ~ Hearts Awakening

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Rumors have followed and swirled around Jackson and his marriage before his wife died. Since her death, the chatter only multiplied. In need of housekeeping help, he opens his door to Ellie.

Ellie’s hopes of marriage at age 32 are virtually non-existent. Her plain looks and caring for her aging parents did little to increase her chances of marriage over the years.

Jackson has two small boys and comes up with an idea to help alleviate the scandal that surrounds his life. Will Ellie agree to his plan and risk opening her heart to him?

My Thoughts

Hearts Awakening is the first book that I’ve read by Delia Parr and it was a wonderfully sweet historical novel. Although the marriage between both is one of convenience, it begins a road to healing in both of their hearts and lives. Ellie may be plain in features, but her character is one that shows incredible strength and maturity that we all can learn from.

~ Visit Delia's website

~ Buy Delia's books at Amazon or CBD.

The Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of Hearts Awakening? I have one copy to mail to one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure there is a way for me to contact you. The giveaway will be open until Wednesday, May 26th at 8pm.

This was book and giveaway were provided for review by Bethany House. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Swagger Wagon

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Have you seen this Toyota commercial? I do believe I almost peed my pants laughing…especially trying to picture my husband singing along with it.

 

 

No, seriously honey...where are the kids?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An Oxymoron of Sorts

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We are officially in our last week of school for the year. Day 176 to be exact…of 180 days, but who is counting.

The weather is dreary, cold and there is a certain Mommy who is very ready to have the school year over. I’m sure there are a few children ready as well… The enthusiasm that I had last June/July and all the planning that I did has slowly waned. Not that the curriculum is any different or worse ~ it’s just the end of the year.

The sad part is, the wheels in my brain are already turning for next year and I’m getting very excited about our upcoming plans. I’m scribbling notes for next year, pulling together resources and making lists of things to check for at our annual homeschool convention.

Only four more days and then I can plan, plan, plan….

Friday, May 14, 2010

I’ve Spoiled My Children

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Breakfast at our house every morning is usually on a bit of a rotation. Each day has an assigned meal {hold your snickers, ladies}. I know it’s shocking ~ I plan.

Cereal is generally something that is reserved for Fridays when we are trying to get ready quickly and out the door for co-op. One would THINK that because the kids have it so little, they would be THRILLED to have it on another day.

But no. There are tears. Honest-to-goodness crying. Moans of “But today is bagel day {or egg day….}. We can’t have CEREAL!!!”

Meanwhile Mommy tries to convince them that all over the city, other children are inhaling their breakfast in a bowl. They don’t buy it.

Sigh.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Money Answer Book {Review}

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The Money Answer Book

Dave Ramsey has been a favorite in our house for the last five years. A little over five years ago, Rick and I embarked on becoming debt-free. We read another one of Dave Ramsey’s books, Total Money Makeover, and it has changed so much in both our relationship with each other and with money.

Do we love Dave Ramsey? Yes!! Enough that we have led his Financial Peace class at our church multiple times.

If you’ve never read any of Dave Ramsey’s books, The Money Answer Book would be a great little book to start with. It focuses mainly on questions {and answers} that have been asked during Dave Ramsey’s radio talk show. Topics discussed include: Debt, Budgeting, Saving, Investing, Student Loans, Stewardship, Insurance, Retirement, Autos, and Real Estate/Mortgages. The layout makes it easy to find help on a specific topic, but it would also take very little time to read the book from cover-to-cover and get some valuable {and helpful} information.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson & the Book Sneeze bloggers program. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

A Sad Mystery

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Over the last three weeks we’ve watched outside of our dining room window as a momma robin built her {pitiful} nest…

robin in nest

laid and guarded four delicate blue eggs…

robin eggs

and got a peek at our first baby robin on Mother’s Day.

baby robin

The next day I peeked and saw two little birdies. Later that evening three had hatched.

two baby robins

I was VERY saddened to peek into the nest the next morning to get a glimpse of this…

empty robin nestCompletely empty. Not even a hint of what happened. Nothing around the tree. Nothing suspicious.

Just empty.

I’m pretty sure that the sobbing from our kids could be heard around our neighborhood. So very sad.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Starbucks Happy Hour!!

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Starbucks Frappuccino We’ve been doing a little end-of-the-year school testing in our house. Enough so that Mommy is needing a little ‘refresher’ and I’m thinking that Starbucks Happy Hour is the place to find it. :)

From now until May 16th between the hours of 3pm – 5pm, participating Starbucks are offering a half-price Frappuccino® blended beverage {find out more here}.

Just be warned that I will have all four of my children in tow, so make room in line for me, k?

For the Grandparents

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These pictures {and post} are seriously overdue. As in a month overdue.

Laurianna celebrated her ninth birthday in April  ~ and had some wonderful presents from everyone, including the grandparents who have yet to see the pictures {ahem}.

The gifts from the grandparents were a big ol’ hit ~ an Only Hearts Club horse {Oma & Opa} and her first Webkin {Grandma & Poppa}!

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Two of her friends were able to spend the afternoon and evening with her ~ just having fun together and being ALL girl.

IMG_3944 

Since Laurianna loves strawberries and wanted to have a cake without frosting {one of her friends doesn’t like frosting}, she asked for angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

IMG_3956

After dinner we went to a local pottery painting store and had the place to ourselves. Think we pulled enough paint colors from the shelves?

painting pottery

She worked hard and has a beautiful little butterfly now to remember her special day.

painting pottery 2

Happy {belated} birthday, Laurianna!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grasping Spiritual Truths

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Saturday we spent a few hours at the park with the kids. While most of the kids were off playing on their own or playing catch with Daddy, Kaleb wanted me to follow him around.

He was maneuvering the various playground equipment and got to one section where he suddenly stopped and yelled, “Mom, I can’t do this!” He literally stood at the edge of a chain bridge, teetering at the brink and not wanting to continue.

imageI didn’t say much other than “I can’t help you, Kaleb.” He waited for just a minute and then started slowly crossing and singing a song…

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength…”  Philippians 4:13 

Tears started welling up in my eyes as I watched him cross the bridge while singing the TRUTH of God’s word and declaring it over every little step he took, until he made it to the other side. The fact that his little 3 year old mind was able to grasp and understand that spiritual truth meant the world to me.

There are many days that I quickly forget the importance of that very verse, taking for granted that God has given me what I need for each day. Whether it is big issue or little ~ I can do everything through Him who gives me strength!

Note: The song Kaleb was singing is from the Power of Encouragement cd by Seeds Family Worship.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Baby for Mother’s Day!

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I was able to get a peek into our robin’s nest on Sunday to see if there was any activity going on inside. Saturday there were four eggs and today…..

baby robin 

…one little robin, hungry as can be! Three eggs to go…

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hunter’s Moon {Book Review}

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It’s been seventeen years since novelist CJ Baxter has returned to his hometown. He and his wife are in the midst of a bitter divorce and his temper recently resulted in a lawsuit ~ after he threw a book at one of his critics during an interview.

Even though he didn’t plan on ever returning to where he grew up, when his grandfather dies he makes the trip. CJ decides to stay for awhile and face some of the buried family secrets.

Secrets that someone is willing to harm for in order to keep buried.

My Thoughts

To be perfectly honest, Hunter’s Moon by Don Hoesel took me a little bit to get into. It wasn’t until I was about 1/3 of the way through the book that things started to ‘click’ with me and I started reading with much more intensity. By the end though, the cover of my book was completely curled and rolled up, something I don’t usually do with books.

Here are a few of the other books sitting on my nightstand:

    ~ The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo ~Bible study time with a friend is back on very soon.

    ~ The Bible ~ starting to read it chronologically now…

    ~ Grace Based Parenting - Dr. Tim Kimmel

Be sure to stop by and visit 5 Minutes for Books and their monthly meme called "What's on Your Nightstand?" and also the Saturday Review.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

You Might Be a Homeschool Mom if…

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If you intentionally have a jar of dirt that has multiple worms inside it in your bedroom…you might be a homeschool mom.

If your children have set up the entire basement to model Costco and are shopping away to their hearts content and you chalk up the experience as the bulk of your school day…you might be a homeschool mom.

If coming home from the library involves something akin to a wagon to get all the books back…you might be a homeschool mom.

If you make ask your children do yardwork and count it as PE for the day…you might be a homeschool mom.

If your freezer goes on the fritz and starts thawing everything in sight and you empty the freezer, only to find a dead bird in a ziploc bag shoved at the back of the freezer…you might be a homeschool mom.

If you are cleaning out your underwear drawer and find a piece of tinfoil that contains an owl pellet ~ and the fact that it was in your underwear drawer doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies…you might be a homeschool mom.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Anticipation

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robin eggs

Here’s hoping a peek in the nest this Sunday will have a different view!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Reflection of Me?

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The last few weeks months who knows how long, I feel like I’ve been unraveling a bit. Some of it has been busyness in general, unexpected things that happened and put a little bumpiness into life in general.

Part of it has been laziness on my part in certain areas ~ a lack of discipline in things that I know I need to change. There are moments when I feel on top of things and others when it seems that I am never going to catch up.

Apparently my perception of our household disarray extends beyond the four physical walls of our house. A momma robin spent time building a nest right outside our dining room window.

It is seriously one of the most pitiful looking nests externally that I have ever seen. :)

robin in nest

Do I dare wonder if this little robin is following my example? Having to see this every day is about enough to kick me into gear…

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bye-bye Diapers!

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luvs diapers

Remember last week when I told you about my little surprise ~ the one where Kaleb announced in the middle of our shopping trip to Target that he was wearing underwear?

He hasn’t gone back. Aside from a few {very} minor accidents, the little stinker has been using the bathroom all.the.time.

Without reminders from me at all.

{Yes, that would be a heavenly chorus that you hear singing}.

While I realize that he is a little older than our other kids in training, this is way better than I had even expected it to be. Our other kids potty-trained in a day, but they responded well to bribery in any form.

Kaleb was immune. Candy wouldn’t sway him. A much desired toy had no effect.

Needless to say, this sudden turn of events has one mommy in particular rather overjoyed and dancing a happy, little jig.

I will be flying past the diaper aisle this month!

 

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