Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Snowman Poop Alternative

I thought it sounded like a title for an episode of Big Bang Theory :) Here is a printable I just created for the "snowman poop" I'm sending to school with my kiddos this year. I got the idea for the wrappers and cocoa from Her Hobby I thought it was super cute but my kids have both given and received the Snowman poop before so I thought I'd shake things up a little. Below is the printable and here is a picture of my finished product.

Basically, I cut a 12x12in piece of scrapbook paper into 3 4x12in pieces. Place a packet of hot cocoa mix on the piece and fold the paper over to make a little envelope. I used a glue dot to keep the package in place. Print out the labels and affix with double-stick tape or whatever you have available. Using a hole punch, careful to not pop the cocoa packet punch a hole for the ribbon to tie on your back of marshmallows. Tons of fun!

If you make these or repost, please let me know. I'd love to see what you did!

Alternative to Snowman Poop :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

This should be interesting...



I haven't done this before but I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.


Here goes nothing. I have 3 kiddos who will be trying this curriculum. I'm going to use it to supplement over the month of November as we lead up to the holidays. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yet Another Book Review: The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall


The Scent of Cherry Blossoms was a very quick read. It is the story of two brothers, two beliefs and 2 girls. Annie is sent to live with her Daadi (grandfather) after a family conflict. While there she is re-introduced to Aden, a boy she grew up knowing but who has now become a completely different man from the boy she knew.

It's a very conflicted relationship as Annie's grandfather tries to protect her by keeping her away from Aden. I really enjoyed this book. I've had it for quite a few months but never got to read it. I'm so glad I got to it!

The book is set in an area with Old Order Mennonites and Old Order Amish families. This video is from Cindy Woodsmall, author of this and many other Amish books. She explains the differences between Amish and Mennonite.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Review: A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs




What can I say?

I love this novella! Liz Curtis Higgs does not disappoint.

Set in snowy Scotland, this holiday story will be just what you need for that flight/drive across country for Christmas. I couldn't put it down. The characters were very well developed, of course. The story was one of redemption. I found myself feeling very at home while reading about the small town, the train station and the Curling lake.

This would be a great Christmas gift for the reader in your life!

I got this ebook for reviewing it. And you can get all sorts of awesome books from Blogging for Books! Click the button in the sidebar.

Book Review: Full Disclosure

I've taken a bit to review this book because I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I really enjoy Dee Henderson's books and on the other I didn't really enjoy this one as much. I got an ARC (advanced reading copy) so I was super excited. And there was this really cool book trailer.


The idea of the story was interesting to me. I'm a huge fan of Castle and that's what the cover and trailer reminded me of. The story just wasn't very engaging to me. It took me about a third of the book to like the characters and even then I wasn't very drawn in. It felt like there was too much detail at times. It was a very heavy read and the crimes were dark. Maybe it's because I've read lighter things recently or maybe it's because I'm just not in to this genre so much. Who knows?

On the up side, I really enjoyed the interaction with the main characters. Paul and Ann seem like they would be great together. I loved the video calls. So the writing was great, I mean it's Dee Henderson. The plot wasn't bad. I just had a hard time with it. I do wonder how much was drawn from personal experience. I missed the facebook chat with Dee, unfortunately. If you like crime dramas, you'll probably eat it up. I think my taste has changed over the years and I just can't stomach the crime any more (unless it's on Castle, apparently).

I got this book for my review from Bethany House. They rock!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Book Review: The Girls Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs


The Girls Still Got It is an in-depth telling of the story of Ruth, in which Higgs proves that her non-fiction skills are just as powerful as her awesome works of fiction. She's always been one of my favorite authors. 

I have to say that when I requested this book I didn't realize it was a nonfiction book :) Having read Liz's  recent series, Here Burns My Candle and Mine is the Night, the stories of Ruth and Naomi are still fresh in my mind. It's always been a passionate love story and she brings it to a more personal level.

I think this would be wonderful to share with a ladies Bible study group! Check out this book trailer!




I got this book for free in exchange for my review. You can get free books too if you sign up for Blogging for Books! Click the Blogging for Books button on the sidebar. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review: Over the Edge by Mary Connealy


This is a review for Over the Edge by Mary Connealy but in truth it's for the whole Kincaid Brides series. When I received the second book in the series (quite by accident), In Too Deep from Bethany House I knew I couldn't start in the middle of the series. So I actually bought the first book, Out of Control for my kindle. And I was very happy I did. I was in love with the Kincaid men. I've always had a soft place in my heart for cowboys.

In the first book, we meet Rafe. He's a little on the hard-headed side but with just cause. He's been running the family ranch and he's got everything under control until he meets Julia. Their story is very fun. It's a slow starter so you have to give a good effort to get through the first book. But once you do you'll be so glad you did. Rafe and Julia's story is just the beginning.

In book 2, In Too Deep you'll get to know Ethan. Though he wears a goofy smile, he's hiding some some not too happy memories. He met Audra in the first book, his sister in laws step mother. Yup, it's all very familiar :) I grew up in the south. No offense. We also get to know Seth, the third Kincade brother.

Book 3, Over the Edge starts off with a literal bang. Seth Kincade has a wife. Yeah, he didn't know it either. He's been through quite a bit what with the war and cave fire. He's a little nutty. This was by far the best of the 3 book series! The tension between Seth and Callie is awesome. They are both very passionate people, which makes for lots of fun!

I have seriously loved every moment of this series and I highly recommend it to everyone. It would be an awesome read for the summer or even by the fire during the holidays. I recommend it for anyone who loves a good romance. And who doesn't love cowboys?

Here's a video trailer for Over the Edge!



I received this book for my review. And you can too! Just visit Bethany House Reviewers!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Free Kindle Books

Make sure to enter to win a $5 Amazon card here!

Bethany House Publishing (one of my favorites) is being super generous to ebook readers this month. During the month of August they are making 11 of their ebooks available for FREE! Some are only available for free for one or two days and some for the whole month. So here's a listing with dates of when they are free. Note: Don't order them until the date they become free. Make sure you look at the date and price when you order. If you don't have a kindle/app or if you prefer another e-reader, here is the link to the original Bethany House listing.



My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade Free on 8/8


Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin Free 8/1-9/30


When Calls the Heart (Canadian West #1)by Janette Oke Free 8/1-9/30


Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann Free 8/2-9/30


Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate Free 8/7-9/30


Out of Mormonism by Judy Robertson Free 8/13-8/14


Everything the Bible Says about Money by Baker Publishing Free 8/17



God's Answers for Life's Questions by Baker Publishing Free 8/19


Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings Free 8/22


Heartless by Anne-Elisabeth Stengl Free 8/24-12/31


Elisha's Bones by Don Hoesel Free 7/1-8/31

Friday, August 3, 2012

My 100th post and giveaway!

Doctor Who is Awesome. David Tennant is my Doctor. 
So after much thought, I changed the background and header for my blog. (Thank you to http://thecutestblogontheblock.com/ for the cute header banner!) And in the process, I saw that I'd posted 99 entries! Wow! So instead of doing anything special cause I just got back from our vacation to South Dakota (awesome, btw) I decided to just post something normal. Random ramblings :)

I can't believe that it's taken me since April 26, 2007 to post 100 posts. I mean honestly the number of thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis, the ridiculous amount of books I read, the crazy number of movies and television shows I watch, the places I go, the things I do, the people I meet, the food I eat, the sheer amount of caffeine I ingest...those alone should make up for that many post in a month at least. Not to mention the crazy things that come out of my children's mouths or mine for that matter. And I take photos. Lots of them. Not that I'll ever remember to post them. I think facebook has become a bit of a easy crutch.

I'd love to say that I'll be better. In fact, I believe I have on occasion said that very thing although I'm too lazy to go back and find it.

So I'll just say this: Thanks! For reading my crazy ramblings. For those who comment on occasion, thanks! It is such an encouraging thing to realize that I'm not the only crazy person out there.

And if you've gotten this far in this post, here is the pay off: I'm giving away a $5 Amazon gift card!

Here's how it works you can post 2 comments. They should be as follows:

  1. Something about you. (example: I love Richard Armitage.)
  2. Tell me your favorite book, movie or show. (example: Doctor Who is without a doubt the most brilliant show ever.)
Don't forget to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win! Only 2 comments per person and I will do the random number generator thingy (because I'm all about random). This contest is open until Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at midnight mountain time. Good luck! And thanks for hangin' in here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book Review: God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren


God Gave Us Love is a very sweet short story about the different types of love that God created for us.

My kids and I read it and re-read it. My daughter loved the little bear talking about his brother and sister. The otters are adorable :) It comes highly recommended from our little family. It would be an awesome gift especially at Valentines day. The illustrations were very cute. The bears reminded me of those adorable Coke bears.

I received this book in exchange for my review and if you'd like to get free books too just click the Blogging for Books button on the right bar.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life is too short...to read boring books.


My new reading motto for 2012.
It's pin-able.

Do you ever feel this way?

It occurs to me that if I'm reading a work of fiction, it should be entertaining. I won't say what I was reading at the time but if you know me (or read my blog) you'll know what I'm reading right now. Well, what I was reading and then stopped because it felt like work.

What are your requirements for a good read?

What do you consider a deal breaker with a book?

How far do you read before you decide you just can't stand  it anymore and run madly into the street and fling the book?

I got about halfway through the book in question and decided, you know what I don't really care what happens to these characters. How sad is that?

I know, I know what about classics? You may ask. I forced myself to read Pride and Prejudice. And I do mean forced. I thought it was time. I've seen the movies so many times it's not funny. I think my husband can quote it (from hearing it, not watching it). But it felt like honest to goodness work to get through that book. Maybe it was because the speech isn't what I'm use to? Dunno. But I felt proud to say I finished it.

I do apologize to the author of the book in question. And I'm not sure how I'll feel about finishing the rest of the series. I'm not sure it's worth it. Even if it does mean not reaching a goal I set for this year. Life just seems to short to stay up late, straining my eyes to read something that I don't find entertaining.

I'm sure there are varying viewpoints. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you read something that felt like a struggle? Was it worth it?

By the way, I created the graphic above. You are more than welcome to pin it or print it or whatever. I do not own the quote. I don't even know where I heard it. But if you happen to use it keep the link coming back here :) Thanks.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

For The Love of Reading



I'm a Reader...with a capital R. I have stacks of books in our home that I've bought or "inherited" or have been given to me. I love the smell of the pages and the feel of the book in my hand. I like the way they look whether they are stacked on top of each other or lined up like little soldiers. Books have been an ever-present part of my life. I remember being probably about 5 or 6 and going to the little shelf in school and picking out a book that I could check out for the first time. I picked one of the Dear Dragon books. And the next was a fairy tale about a fish and an old man. 


When I was in 4th grade I had the absolute best teacher ever, Mr. Wright. Every day after lunch we had downtime and he would either give us a word search puzzle which won us tootsie rolls or he'd read to us. To this day I can beat the best at word search just ask my poor husband.  And I learned to love Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I couldn't read enough. 

In Junior high, I was hooked on the Girl Talk series. I read lots of cheesy high school romance books I got from the Especially for Girls book club. Did anyone else do that? My favorite was Dream Boy by Ann Reit (Goodreads). I wish I could find those books. I'll have to keep an eye out at the goodwill (aka my favorite bookstore). Some of the other books I read on the school bus to and from Junior High and High School were Sex Education by Jenny Davis (Goodreads), Where it Stops Nobody Knows by Amy Ehrlich (Goodreads), and a lonely thriller Broken Date by R.L. Stine (Goodreads). High School was the same. I read on the bus (yes, even in high school I rode the bus). I read at the library. I read in my bed till I couldn't keep my eyes open any more :) 

Then between my last years of high school and college I began reading Harlequin romance. Everything else fell to the back burner I was obsessed. My favorite Harlequin author was Jessica Steele (Goodreads). I don't recommend them until you are an adult :) But I thoroughly enjoyed the hunt for all of her books. I had a collection of about 100 of that type of novels with me when I landed at college. They were borrowed often by dorm-mates :) Around the second year of college I had come to terms with the fact that those were not the books I wanted to be reading. So I tossed them. Just up and tossed them all. I don't miss them. That's how I roll. I've been known to toss books in the trash if I feel that's what they are. I know that's probably controversial but whatever it's my blog :)

This, however, left me in a bit of a dry spell. From around 1995 until the birth of my second son in 2000 I didn't read anything. It was very hard. It feels to me like my own personal version of the dark ages. I couldn't find anything to read. Dh and I met, dated and spawned in that time. It was a very hard thing to go to the library with him and watch as he picked up book after book and I couldn't seem to find my niche. It was a very painful time. I felt like I'd lost a friend and I couldn't do anything about it. 

Then one day, we were visiting college friends in Tn. I told my friend that I hadn't been reading in a really long time. She walked over to her bookshelf and handed me a stack of about 7 books. They were The Californians by Lori Wick, The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers, The Testament by John Grisham and I believe there was one more but I can't remember it. I read each of the Californians series books in one day each. I confess that I read them out of order but they were still so good. Lori Wick and my friend, Barbie, gave me back my love of reading. (I've read every book Lori Wick has ever written. They are so good and pure and full of scripture.) From that point on I started reading every night at bedtime. I just read better then. The house is quiet, the hubby and kids are sleeping, no one needs me. I become me again. That little girl so totally excited to pick out a book for the first time. 

All this is to say, I just started reading Sean Donovan by Lori Wick last night. I'll always remember it as my first book after the dark ages. It just made me feel really excited and reborn. I've set a goal for this year to reread all of Lori Wick's books and 2 other books. I've read 1 other book and am on my 7th Lori Wick book. It's nice to reminisce with the old books. To visit a place in time where things were simpler. To escape. I hope if you've made it to the end of this that it means you love books too. And if you happen to have gotten this far and you haven't watched the video below, please do. I believe it won an Oscar? But even better than that it was so good I cried. My kids watched it with me. It's 15 minutes long but it's so worth it. Enjoy the video and thanks for letting me talk.