Monday, July 23, 2012

Cute dolls on Zulily today!

I don't know if I mentioned it here but I am a doll collector!  It is such a relaxing hobby and I enjoy getting my "children" ready for the holidays and special occasions!  So whenever I see dollies at a good price, I just have to share! 

Check out these adorable dolls on Zulily (you need to be a member to see but it's free to sign up).  They are slightly larger than the American Girl dolls and not quite as expensive! The outfits are really cute and reasonable as far as doll clothes go! But it appears that these dolls can also fit the 18" doll clothes.  I love that each doll comes with a little book!

Bella is my favorite:

Take a look and tell me who your favorite is! 

I am not affiliated with Zulily, however if you join and make a purchase I will receive a credit (as will you when your friends join!).

Love and Blessings Always!

Friday, July 20, 2012


This morning I got up and I had a whole list of complaints:

The kids are fighting and calling each other names!
I still have a million things to do before they leave for leadership next week!
I can't have my yard sale because everyone bailed on me!
Why am I the only one here who can pick Dad up from the doctor!
Poor me, poor me, poor me...

When I look at the CNN blast on my phone, my perspective was shifted in an uncomfortable way:

14 dead, 50 wounded at an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre (later updated to 12 dead, 38 wounded)

Some mother is mourning her child, mine are just fighting.
Some father is wishing their child was getting ready for leadership training, instead of lying in the city morgue.
Some wife is wishing just was cleaning out her husband's clothes for a yard sale, instead of planning his funeral.
Some child woke up this morning asking their mom where their Daddy was, and she couldn't answer because of the tears. 

We don't realize how blessed we are until our paradigm shifts, until our perspective is changed.

My heart aches, my soul cries for all of the anger and evil in this world. However, Jesus warned us of this period of time in Matthew 24.  Yet, even it the midst, I know that there is HOPE.  Revelation 21:4 tells us:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Joyce Meyer shared Psalm 62:5 on her page today and I think it is very appropriate:

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." 

Today there are 12 souls who have departed this earth.  My hope is that they are now resting in the arms of our Heavenly Father.  I pray for the victims, the families of the victims and for the gunman.  As my soul aches for them, I am comforted by the knowledge that the Lord reigns for evermore and even in the midst of this tragedy, He is still on His throne.

Love and Blessings Always!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Great Deal on Backpacks! #backtoschool #backpack #zulily

It's almost time for back to school (can't believe how fast this summer is going!), so I'm on the hunt for great bargains on back to school supplies.  I was browsing over at my favorite bargain site Zulily today and I saw a great deal on backpacks, so I thought I would share it.  You have to be a member to see the backpacks but sign up is free. 

If  your children are anything like my daughter, they might not make it a full year with one backpack.  I plan to get her one to start the school year and a back up!!

Anyway, check them out here!  This one is my fave!

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with Zulily in any way.  However, I will receive a credit should you decide to make a purchase. 

Love and Blessings Always!

Book Review: The Keepers of the House #bookreview

The Keepers of the House

The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Keeper of the House is a book about the South After the Civil War but during the time of segregation. It covers the lives of the Howland Family, mostly William, Abigail and Margaret (William's Negro wife who was not officially recognized as a Howland). The Howlands and their eccentric ways (like ordering newspapers from the North and marrying foreigners) lead to some interesting situations. As the story is told by each of the three main characters, it covers the life of William and Margaret. Abigail, having had her fair share of difficulties, finishes the story as an adult.

My Thoughts on the Book
While I enjoyed the book, I only gave it three stars because there were a few things that bothered me.  For one thing, the chapters were really long.  When I'm reading, I need a place to rest my eyes and I didn't find that in this book. That made it much more difficult for me to concentrate and/or find a stopping point.
The style of writing was what I consider heavy in that I sometimes had to read a sentence several times before I could move on.  I considered this to be more literary and not a smooth flowing story.  It really wasn't my style of book.  Besides the heaviness, I thought the book was well written.  The characters were developed nicely and you really got a peek into their minds. It was actually like sitting by Grandpa, listening to him telling the stories of his youth.  He keeps talking and talking, barely taking a breath.

The relationship between William and Margaret was odd to say the least but it seemed to work for the story.  Abigail was eccentric in her own way before and after she left to go away to school.  I would have to say she was probably my favorite character, particularly at the end.

From a Christian perspective

There really isn't much to say from a Christian perspective.  This was not Christian fiction at all, there was very little mention of God, and when it was it was as an afterthought. There were implied instances of extramarital sex (I don't recall the book mentioning when the two characters were married but it turns out they were), however it was not graphic.  Towards the end there is a sad act of senseless violence but again it was not graphic. 

I would recommend this book for those who like Literary fiction.  It reads similar to those types of books.

Do you like Literary Fiction and does this seem like a book you would read?

I was provided a copy of this book through Netgalley for the purpose of review.  I was not required to provide a favorable review.

Love and Blessings Always!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Christian Book Review: Exposed: Inexcusable Me... Irreplaceable Him by Shannon Deitz #christianbookreview

Exposed: Inexcusable Me...Irreplaceable Him

Exposed: Inexcusable Me...Irreplaceable Him by Shannon M. Deitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shannon Deitz did not have a fairytale life. Although she had wonderful caring parents, two of her siblings turned to drugs and Shannon was well on her way to following them. In her book Exposed: Inexcusable Me... Irreplaceable Him she describes the challenges she faced as she grew up. Twice she was raped, several times she experienced spiritual warfare to the point where the demons took human form. Throughout her life she felt she was worthless, otherwise, why would these things keep happening to her?

Then one day she decided to stop fighting, to surrender her life. She completely submitted to God and gave up all control of her life. His will became her will. Even at this point, she did not understand how God could love someone like her, how He could forgive her for all of the things she had done, how He could make her clean. But He could, and He did.

I really enjoyed this book. I could see several parallels in my own life which allowed me to connect emotionally with her story. As she went through the horrors that she faced, she knew God was there.  She didn't want to face Him, but she knew He was there.  Many times in my life, I've allowed the negative thoughts to keep me from the truth like Shannon did.  Thankfully I too surrendered my life to Christ and I now try to let Him lead me each day.

I found it unusual that there were many, many references to faith but I don't recall a lot of scriptural references other than at the beginning of some of the chapters. This was a little disappointing because I know how important it is to be grounded in the Word, especially when you are facing spiritual battles.  However, I did appreciate the candid approach that the author took when describing the events of her life.  

Overall, I thought this was a good book for the Christian woman who struggles with feelings of unworthiness and negative thinking.  It's a wonderful example of someone who had been dragged down to the depths, but was lifted up by Christ when she turned her life over to Him.

You can find more about the author on her website

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from B&B media for the purpose of review.  I was not required to write a positive review. 

Love and Blessings Always!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Living Life, Loving Life

Sometimes you have a plan and it doesn't quite work out like you expected.  This week I had about 5 posts planned but didn't get the chance to write them!  Hubby went in for a minor surgery and ended up with pneumonia!  But fortunately he is on the mend!  God is so good!

I'm glad too because today is our 23rd anniversary!!!  There have been many challenges along the way but God has truly blessed our marriage and I am grateful.  Here we are on our wedding day:

While it was so many years ago, I still get butterflies in my tummy when I see him!  We still hold hands in public (much to my daughter's embarrassment!), we still tell each other "I Love You" each time we speak.  These are the things that get us through the difficult times, these are the things that remind us to have each other's backs!

So with that thought I'll share with you this youtube video of the song that was OUR song! Always by Atlantic Starr, ENJOY!!

 Love and Blessings Always!