Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 31

I didn't get around to making a few things on our menu last week because we had a bit of a hectic schedule. Hopefully I'll be more successful with our meals this week!

Monday ~ Boca chicken patties, baked potato, salad

Tuesday ~ Subway night

Wednesday ~ Beer soaked beef (WW), parmesan mashed potatoes(WW), steamed green beans, salad

Thursday ~ Chili beef tacos (WW), fat-free refried beans, chips w/salsa

Friday ~ Layered Mexican chicken (WW), chips w/queso

Saturday ~ Baked beef ziti (WW), bread, salad

Sunday ~ Black bean soup (WW)

I have no idea what to serve with black bean soup. Any suggestions? For more MPM's, visit Laura. If you're interested in any of the Weight Watchers recipes here, email me and I'll get them to you (I can't link to them). Happy Monday to you!

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Movie Review Sunday ~ March 30

Hope everyone has had a great weekend. We spent our time doing a number of things. Friday, hubby left for an overnight trip to NC. The girls and I attended a church dance and had a lot of fun. The girls enjoyed doing the Patty Cake Polka and the VA Reel. We got home around midnight and I crashed. We hung out at home on Saturday and in the afternoon, I ran several errands in town. Hubby got home around 8:30 Saturday night and we went to visit our niece, Hannah. She just got her own apartment and she wanted us to come check it out. We had fun visiting with her for about an hour and then we came home to settle in. Today, we enjoyed worship and afterwards we went to pick up my in-laws. Today is their 51st wedding anniversary so we wanted to honor them and take them to lunch. Their favorite restaurant is Cheddar's so we took them there and ate way too much :-o) We had a great time. Of course the weekend wouldn't have been complete without NCAA basketball. I think I watched about every single game that was on, men and women. I love March Madness!

This week, we've seen a few things although none of them have been great.

Atonement ~ There has been so much hype about this film that I couldn't wait to see it. It was supposed to be an "epic love story." I must have missed the memo that stated that it was very overrated. Don't get me wrong. I liked this film but it was not an epic love story. It was really the story of one woman's quest for forgiveness.

There are a couple of spots in the movie to warn you about. The first thing I'll mention is a graphic letter. I'm not sure why it was necessary to throw it in but alas, they did. The second thing is when a young girl walks in on her sister and a young man in a "questionable" situation. Again, I'm not sure why this needed to be thrown in. I would have loved to see the relationship of the two main characters develop into something wonderful. The movie was a little hard for me to get into and it was just a sad, sad story line. It could have been a great movie but my opinion is that it's just ok. I'd give it a 6 out of 10.

The Valley of Elah ~ This movie stars Tommy Lee Jones, a father who finds out that his son was murdered. Because his son is in the military, details of the crime are not fully disclosed. The father tries to enlist the help of the local police and they meet many obstacles while trying to solve the murder. That is a really brief description of the movie but covers the main theme. Apparently this movie is based on actual events. It is a sad tale of life for some soldiers after coming home from Iraq. Tommy Lee did a great job in this one and I really felt connected to the story. There are some graphic scenes during the discovery of the murder victim and there is language scattered throughout the movie. I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10.

Michael Clayton ~ This movie was a little hard to get into at first and a bit of a strange role for George Clooney. I liked it but many may find it hard to follow. I don't recall how much but I'm sure there was some language in it. It dealt with corrupt companies and lawyers and showed just how far some are willing to go to save face. In the end, Clooney breaks that cycle. This is a tough one but I'd give it a 6 out of 10. You may find this one a bit boring.

Saving Sarah Cain ~ This was a pretty good movie although the acting was terrible. It was a clean movie and our children were able to watch it. The basic premise is this. There are two sisters. One marries an Amish man and adopts the Amish way of life. Her sister is a career girl living in the big city and harbors hard feelings toward her sister for marrying. The two do not speak for a number of years. The Amish sister looses her husband and a few years later, she dies. Upon her death, her sister (in the city) is called to decide the fate of the children. She struggles with wanting to keep them but also feeling like she can't raise 5 Amish children. *I liked this movie pretty well although I felt it could have been so much better. The acting was mediocre at best and this was a little distracting. Having read several Beverly Lewis books, I was looking forward to seeing this one. It could have been better with better acting. Again, it was clean and the story line was a good one. I'd give it 8 of 10.

Beowulf ~ It took us three days to watch this movie. Every time we put it in, we seemed to get tired and fall asleep. LOL! I had heard several negative things about the movie so I wasn't thrilled to watch it anyway. There are plenty of things to warn you about so here goes. You'll see plenty of half naked CGI characters, plenty of sensuality from Angelina Jolie's character, a low regard for marriage, and tons of sin. Again, this is one of those movies that could have been entertaining if it had left out all of the garbage that added nothing to the movie. I think Jolie's character could have been just as convincing without the sensuality. And the half naked CGI characters....what's up with that? I don't get it at all. It's almost like Hollywood cannot put out a movie unless it has lots of nudity, sensuality, and language. It's very disappointing. I'd give this one a 4 of 10. As I said, it could have been entertaining. Instead, I found myself trying to weed through all of the junk just to get through the story. Many of you will probably want to skip it.

I think that's all we watched this week. We normally check out movies before watching them over at Christian Spotlight. We read the reviews and the reviewers comments and evaluate what to rent based on many of those opinions. There are times that we might take a chance on a movie if we forget to review it or something like that. As with any movie or book, I think it's best to evaluate the reviews beforehand as much as possible. Use your own judgment and stick to your guns. One day, I'm hopeful that Hollywood might make some good quality movies without all the filth.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh Brother

My brother is a Virginia state trooper and works in the Charlottesville area. He seems to like his job very much. We are not as close as we used to be but I still worry about him. He didn't exactly choose the safest career :-o) He's a new dad and his wife is young. If I sat around and thought about it too long, I'd worry myself silly.

I remember growing up, he wasn't the neatest person in the world. In fact, if you could get him to pick anything up, you were doing good. When he went to "police school", he had strict guidelines to follow. He had to have all of his gear in order and his tactical boots had to be spotless. Basically, he couldn't be a slob and make it. It's been awhile since I've talked to him but the last time I did, he was training to be part of the SWAT team. It sounds very exciting but again, potentially very dangerous. In order to help me deal with his new position, he'll be getting lots of gifts from LA Police Gear for Christmas this year. I want him to be prepared for his new role and I also want to be able to go to sleep at night!

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Drug Rehab

Drug addiction is a serious problem in our society. Every time you turn around, you hear of someone who is going through drug rehabilitation in hopes of kicking their habit and returning to life without drugs. I've never had this type of problem and no one close to me has ever faced it. I am very thankful for that and I'm also glad to know there are facilities out there that specialize in this type of care.

I've never understood how a person gets hooked on drugs. I'm certain that is because I never had any experience with them. As a teenager, I was convinced that if I tried to smoke marajuana (which a lot of my friends were doing) I would die. I'm not sure why I thought that but I did. I thought that if I did it, I might have a heart attack or something of the sort. To think about doing anything harder than marajuana never entered my mind. It's funny to think back on that but I do so with great thankfulness. God protected me during those years and kept me from exploring those things. Since my time as a teenager, newer, easier ways to experiment with drugs have cropped up. I pray that God would protect all those who may be tempted by friends to try these things.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Annie's Having A Giveaway!

In case you haven't heard, Annie is having a spring giveaway that you don't want to miss! Head on over to her place and get the details. She'll be drawing winners soon so hurry up! If you've never visited Annie, prepare yourself for a bowl full of blessings while you're there!

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Internet Slander

Isn't it funny how judgmental we are as a nation? Now, think about us as individuals. How many times have we assumed the worst about someone without getting all the facts? I'm ashamed to admit it but I've been guilty of this plenty of times.

A few years ago, someone we know was the subject of some pretty critical judgment. This person is in a leadership position and some people find his views/beliefs controversial. There were a handful of people that really put his name through the ringer. Because they did it online, they kept their identity anonymous while dragging this man of God through the mud. They said terrible things about his family. They were cruel and said things that were untrue. This was hurtful to the man's family and to his reputation.

This must be a common problem because there are companies cropping up that help with reputation management. I think this could be very helpful to companies or individuals who are dealing with similar situations. The thing is, once someone has written negative things about you on the internet, it takes awhile for those things to go away. It takes time to build positive publicity again. This may all sound strange but I'm comforted by the knowledge of this type of help. You never know when you may find yourself or someone you know in the center of internet chatter that may or may not be valid.

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This One's For You Mom

This post is for my incredibly talented mother, who has waited very patiently for two days for me to post this! Mom is a wonderful seamstress, interior decorator, mom, friend, and person. She took time last week to sew Caroline an Easter dress and mailed it to us. It didn't get here on time and mom was very discouraged. Caroline didn't mind though. She was more than happy to model her new dress for me. Without further ado, here is a photo of this cute little dress. Thanks mom! We love you more :-o)

Caroline's favorite part is how she can twirl around in this dress

Caroline hasn't had the opportunity to wear the dress yet but as soon as she does, we'll try and take more photos. It really is a beautiful little dress. I know she'll be so excited to show you how the dress flairs out when she twirls!

Happy Friday to you all!

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Friday Fill Ins


1. Some relationships are meant to last forever. You know, like gravy and biscuits. That's a union that should never be broken!
2. Chris Rice is the last concert I saw; it was very entertaining. He really puts on a great concert.
3. Spring should be a time for planting. We really must get our garden planted!
4. Oh no! I forgot to pack hubby's clothes! He's leaving for NC in a few hours and I don't have him ready. Yikes!
5. I've recently started exercising. And I'm loving every second of it.
6. Our kitties never fail to make me smile.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a church dance, tomorrow my plans include lots of errands and Sunday, I want to take a long nap and watch Masterpiece Theater!

For more Friday Fill-Ins, visit the official site.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Time Travel Tuesday ~ To Grandmother's House We Go

This week, Annie has a wonderful challenge for us. Here's what she wants us to do:

Travel back to grandmother’s (or aunt… or ?) house.

What are the smells you remember walking in when you were young?

What are things you remember seeing every time you were there?

Any special things you always did with or at grandmother’s house?

I have so many fond memories of being at my grandma's house when I was young. She used to babysit my younger brother and I while our parents worked. My grandma has always been very laid back. There was never a time that I didn't feel right at home when I was at her house. As a young girl, I remember my grandma being at the stove cooking soup beans, cornbread, green beans and potatoes, frying bacon or sausage, and even making homemade fudge. She cooked all the time when she was able. Every day was like a feast at her house. She used to make her fudge in an iron skillet. I remember being at her side as she made it and her always warning me to stay back for fear I would be burned. The best part was when we were able to eat the fudge. I remember so many times, sitting on her front porch with a large hunk of fudge and a slice of cheese. She would break off a piece of fudge and tear off a bite of cheese and eat them together. You wouldn't believe how wonderful it tastes! Another thing grandma would do every year is make me a butterscotch pie for Thanksgiving dessert. She always had a butterscotch and a chocolate. She also made the best meringue to go on top of the pies. Yum! Hardly anyone ate the butterscotch and I remember her telling me that she made it just for me. In fact, the last time I ate butterscotch pie, it was one she made about ten or fifteen years ago. I miss those pies. I can't even begin to describe her fluffy, yummy, buttermilk cornbread. Mmmm mmmm! I love to pull my grandma's leg so every time we're together and we meet someone new, I introduce myself as her favorite granddaughter. Her face turns about ten shades of red and she always says "now I didn't say that." She's afraid of offending the other grandkids but I know I'm her favorite (wink).

My grandma is about to turn 85 in May. She still has a sweet spirit although her health is declining. She is in a rehab facility where she is receiving treatment for a broken arm. She will never be able to come home and cook a meal again, and I'll never taste another butterscotch pie made by her so I treasure these memories. My grandpa passed away almost three years ago and there are tons of things I remember about him as well. He never called me by my name. He called me Sony (yes, like the company). He loved long hair and loved to stroke mine as he talked to me. He was one of the most fun people in my life. Both of my grandparents love/loved animals. They had numerous cats and hunting dogs.

One thing I always see when I go to my grandma's house is the old clock she's had since the beginning of time! It's gold, round in the middle, and has these "branches". It's strange and hard to explain. She's had that clock on the wall since I was a young child. I'm not even sure if it works anymore. I wish I had a picture to share with you. Oh, and she had these glass blown Christmas ornaments that had little faces. She still has a few of them. There are so many memories and I could go on and on. I'm sure we all hold these types of memories close to our hearts. Grandparents are so special and I am so thankful that our girls have been able to spend several years with their great-grandparents. I know one day they will sit around their table and recall many of these same memories.

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Holiday Card Shopping

My friend Jenny and I decided that we would prepare for the holidays very early this year. Around Christmas last year, we discussed getting together once a month to craft since we want to hand make most of our gifts for this year. We have done pretty well until this month and we haven't found the time to get together. However, I've been doing some preparing on my own.

I'm a little obsessed with Photo Greeting Cards. I love them. I look for new designs every season. I want something unique yet simple. It has to be bright, but not too bright. I want it to reflect my personality, with a splash of color. Many of the cards I have received are tucked away in a box. I get them out each year and look through them to get ideas. Afterwards, I start my online search for the perfect one. It is such a challenge to pick just one because there are so many wonderful designs out there. I think looking is half the fun and finding the perfect card is the other half. I'm starting my search early this year and I hope to have my cards selected by summer. My mother and I have long talked about starting a tradition concerning our holiday cards. She has always wanted to sit down after our Thanksgiving meal and address our cards together. Once we get that done, we will put them into our "out" basket and wait for a couple of weeks before sending them. I'm already looking forward to our first annual "card party."

How about you? Are you preparing early? Do you have your cards picked out? Do you have a tradition that surrounds your cards? If so, I would love to hear about it!

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Movie Review Sunday....A Little Late

Well, after about two weeks of Netflix, we switched back to Blockbuster online. I'm so happy. It's so nice to be able to go into the store and exchange the movies instead of sending them all back after watching them.It just makes movie watching easy and lots of fun! Of course, with March Madness going on, I can't seem to watch much of anything besides college basketball! Why can't every month be March?

This week we've seen a couple of good ones.

Martian Child ~ (Synopsis from Moviefone): The romantic drama 'Martian Child' stars John Cusack as a recently widowed science fiction writer who forms an unlikely family with a close friend (Amanda Peet) and a young boy he adopts that claims to be from Mars. The new couple ignores some sage parenting advice from the widower's sister (Joan Cusack) and gets more than they bargained for when a series of strange occurrences lead them to believe that the child's claim may be true. Based on an award-winning short story by sci-fi luminary David Gerrold, 'Martian Child' is directed by Menno Meyjes and produced by David Kirschner, Corey Sienega and Ed Elbert.

**My Review**

After losing his wife, David, a successful sci-fi writer, decides to adopt Dennis, a young boy who thinks he is from Mars. Dennis has emotional problems and struggles to accept the fatherly love David shows to him. He is kicked out of numerous schools, steals, and when pushed, starts to talk about his home on Mars and how he will be returning there soon.

I think the thing I liked about this story is that I could relate to Dennis. He was scared, alone, felt abandoned and unwanted by his biological parents, and unworthy of love. He struggled with being loved and truly wanted by David, which caused him to act out. I could also relate to David. He was doing all he could to show Dennis his love and make him feel at home. Both of them were hurting and they really needed each other. It was a touching story. I don't remember any language in this one and felt comfortable with letting my children (13 and 9) watch it.

Rendition ~ (Synopsis): Isabella El-Ibrahimi is the loving American wife of Egyptian born Anwar El-Ibrahimi. Anwar lands in Washington, after returning from a business trip to South Africa. Upon his arrival in the US, he is whisked away, unexplained, by government agents. Accused of being a terrorist, he is taken out of the US and thrown in a prison, where he is beaten and tortured in hopes of gaining information. Isabella grows suspicious when her husband does not return and starts her own investigation into his disappearance. With no help from the US government, it's likely she may never know what has happened to her husband.

**My Review**

I was so excited about seeing this film. I waited for it to come to DVD and the first opportunity we had, we rented it. We settled in to watch it and I could hardly wait. An hour into the movie, I was scratching my head. The plot develops very slowly in this one. While I enjoyed the basic premise of the movie, nothing seemed to have any real order. The movie bounced around and never really made you feel as if you knew any of the characters. Even at the end of the movie, I was waiting for some kind of real closure, which never came. The scary thing is that this kind of thing probably does happen with our government. I wanted so badly to love this film but I only slightly liked it. This would have been a great role for Reese Witherspoon if the film had been better. There was language and torture scenes in this one that earned it an R rating.

Awake ~ (Synopsis): Clay is the son of a wealthy businessman and is in love with his mother's personal assistant, Sam. He also has a life threatening heart condition that requires a heart transplant. Clay struggles to tell his mother of his relationship with Sam, fearing her disapproval. The two are quickly married but shortly after, Clay must prepare for heart surgery. While on the operating table, Clay suffers "anesthetic awareness" and overhears the doctors plot to kill him for money. Just when things couldn't get worse, Clay hears his wife, who is involved in the murder plot. Helpless to do anything, Clay mentally retraces his steps in search of answers.

**My Review**

This was a pretty good movie. The plot is good and the story develops well, with a few surprises thrown in. There were a few parts that made me turn away because of my weak stomach. There's a bit of language. Overall, this one is worth watching if you like thrillers.

What have you seen this week? Share it with me. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday's Feast #184


Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?

I'd love to own an old farm house (circa 1800) that sits right in the middle of five acres. The five acres would be mostly level with a barn and running stream so that we could have farm animals.


Who is the cutest kid you know?

I think my kids are the most beautiful kids in the world (don't all mamas think their kids are the cutest!). Apart from them, I think the little guy who played in Jerry McGuire is cute as a button!


Fill in the blank: I couldn't’t believe it when I heard ___________.

A friend from high school had passed away. It seems so odd to hear of someone in their mid-30's passing away, especially when it's someone you know.

Main Course

If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise?

Johnson's Baby Lotion and Weight Watchers. They have both proven very effective.


What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis?

I recently started taking a multivitamin. This was a recommendation when I started Weight Watchers so that's why I started taking it regularly.

Have you feasted today? If not, head over to the official site to check out other players.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

CFBA Blogroll

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Ron Paul 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dark Sky Festival

Are you concerned about light pollution? Are you interested in astronomy? If you answered yes to either of these questions, be sure to head to Florida on April 5 and check out the Dark Sky Festival.

This festival is in its fifth year and promises to be better than ever. The goal of the festival is to promote night-sky viewing, without the interference of artificial light. If you think about it, this is a wonderful idea. How many of us live in areas that are lit up at night by streetlights or store signs? I know I'm surrounded by them. At the festival, you will enjoy looking at the sky through several types of telescopes while enjoying music or food. Children will enjoy the many activities available for them, such as the speaker who will present "Myths in the Night." You will also learn about environmentally intelligent lighting and practices that will help conserve energy. You will also have the opportunity to meet astronomers and other scientists.

We are all sure to benefit from the information that will be shared. The festival is free to everyone so if you are in the area, be sure to check it out.

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Ever Feel Like You Need One of These?

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Favorite Things

Sometimes I crack myself up. I'm one of these people that if I get paint on my good sweat pants, I wear them anyway. If I drop clorox on a shirt or my favorite pants, I'll wear them anyway. It's not that I can't go pick up a new pair. It's just that usually when I ruin something, it's my favorite something.

Last weekend, I went to visit my mom in West Virginia. I didn't think too much of it when I picked up my make up bag and the handle broke. Great! Just one more thing I had to deal with. So, I quickly grabbed a sandwich bag and stuffed my make up into it. It should not surprise you that it's still in that sandwich bag! LOL! I think maybe it's time I invested in a Zero Halliburton cosmetic case. That baby would never break!

It's the same way with my hubby. His t-shirts are hideous. He wears them until there are so many holes in them that you wonder if he's even wearing a shirt. I would post a picture of one of them if I thought he would recover. However, to save him total embarrassment, I'll just let you try and visualize that. Maybe your hubby is that way too. It's funny when you sit back and ponder it. Why is it we hang on so tightly to those things? I recently talked hubby into letting me throw away one of those t-shirts and I felt like I asked him to cut his arm off. How about you? Do you have a favorite something that has seen better days but you just can't part with it? Maybe it's a favorite jacket with a broken zipper you just fail to fix (not that I have one of those *wink*). Maybe it's a pair of shoes with flappy bottoms. Maybe it's a pair of pants with a hole that could easily be patched. I know you've got something so you may as well share it with me. We're all friends here :-o)

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Ten On Tuesday ~ Tourists

10 Places You'd Take a Tourist to See in
Your Hometown
  1. Rocky Mount Museum ~ I would love to link to their site but they have the worst, I mean THE WORST, time with keeping their site up.
  2. Ridgewood BBQ
  3. Elizabethton's Covered Bridge
  4. Rhythm & Roots
  5. The Paramount Theatre
  6. My House ~ No one provides hospitality like us!
  7. Barter Theater
  8. Dixie BBQ
  9. Roan Mountain State Park
  10. Bristol Motor Speedway

The town we live in is rather small. Most of these places are in surrounding cities (except Rocky Mount which is right down the road) and attract many visitors who come to this area. I could live at Barter Theater. Rhythm & Roots is an annual music festival that is a must if you are in this area in mid-September. My BIL had a big hand in helping get performers for this. The BBQ places are two of the best I've ever eaten at. All are family owned and wonderful! Bristol Motor Speedway is just an awesome sight to see. Even if Nascar is not in town, it's cool to look at the track. It is the fastest half-mile track you know! If you're ever in my neck of the woods, these are the places I'll take you!

For more TOT's, visit

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sweet Caroline

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sweet Caroline
(Thomas Nelson February 12, 2008)


Rachel Hauck


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.

Rachel has several other books that have been received with great praise, including Diva Nash Vegas and Lost In Nash Vegas

You can purchase copies of Rachel's books, signed personally for you,
at this site: Signed by the


When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.

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.

******My Review******
Because of the sudden death of my BIL, I did not finish this book. However, I've read the majority of the book and I am loving every page. I hope to post a full review on Monday.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Word of Thanks

First off, let me thank each of you who have prayed for our family. It has been a rough few days but we are hanging in there and trusting in the Lord. We have been so blessed by your comments and the knowledge that you are lifting us up in prayer. Our family is a very close knit family with my hubby and BIL being the only children. They were very close and his death was sudden and unexpected. In the coming days, I hope to share memories of his life. He was one of the most kind people I'd ever known and I'm so blessed to have been a part of his life for so many years.

I've got to get caught up on just about everything. My house is a wreck, my laptop is lonely, and the treadmill is calling my name. Isn't it funny how life just continues to march on, even through the loss of a loved one? It's a strange place for me personally because this is the closest loss I've ever experienced. So, I hope to get back in the swing of things, slowly. I would ask that you please continue to pray for our family this week as we sort out a lot of details. My BIL left behind three children, ages 21, 19, and 18. They all lived at home and lots of decisions have to be made so we'd appreciate your continued prayers this week.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Please Pray For Our Family

We ask your prayers for our family today. This morning, my BIL suddenly passed away. He had been ill a few times since his transplant surgery (kidney/pancreas) from a UTI and most recently, a low blood count. These were not viewed as serious ailments and we actually expected him to be released from the hospital sometime today. I will provide more details in the coming days but for today, we covet your prayers.

"The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:20-22

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A Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher

This week

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Perfect Life

Thomas Nelson (February 5, 2008)


Robin Lee Hatcher


Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

She also likes to blog. Go leave her a comment at Write Thinking!


Katherine Clarkson has the perfect life. Married to Brad, a loving and handsome husband, respected in their church and the community. Two grown daughters on the verge of starting families of their own. A thriving ministry. Good friends. A comfortable life.

She has it all--until the day a reporter appears with shocking allegations. Splashed across the local news are accusations of Brad's financial impropriety at his foundation and worse, an affair with a former employee. Without warning, Katherine's marriage is shattered and her family torn apart. The reassuring words she's spoken to many brokenhearted women over the years offer little comfort now.

Her world spinning, Katherine wonders if she can find the truth in the chaos that consumes her. How can she survive the loss of what she thought was the perfect life?


******************************My Review*************************************

I really enjoyed this book. I felt like the subject matter was relevant to today and was very interesting. The book is about 300 pages and I found that it flew by. I think many of us can relate to the book by either personal experience or what we've seen in the news. The marital relationship between Brad and Katherine is tested after allegations of infidelity and scandal rock their world. I've seen this so many times that I found myself caught up in the story. Their journey is one of hardship, understanding, pain, suffering, and loss. Excellent story and I heartily recommend it!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 10

I'm having such great success with Weight Watchers recipes that I'm going to try a few new ones this week! If you are interested in any of them, let me know and I'll get them to you.

Monday ~ Taco soup (WW recipe), tortilla chips w/homemade salsa (This soup is one of my favorite WW recipes)

Tuesday ~ Boca chicken patties, baked potato, salad

Wednesday ~ Mexi-meatloaf (WW recipe), broccoli-cauliflower bake (WW recipe), chuckwagon beans (WW recipe)

Thursday ~ Southwestern soup (WW recipe), bread, salad (homeschool field trip day and Lost night!)

Friday ~ Beer soaked beef (WW recipe), parmesan mashed potatoes (WW recipe), green beans

Saturday ~ Eat Out (Olive Garden and a movie)

Sunday ~ Chili beef tacos (WW recipe), fat-free refried beans, chips and salsa

Have I mentioned that we are saving money by not eating out as much? Also, the WW recipes have been good so far and we've not wanted to eat out as much. It's been an adventure to try these new recipes. We get excited every week when I add new ones to the menu! For more MPM's, visit Laura.

Monday Randomness

The girls and I just got back last night from a weekend trip to West Virginia to visit my mom. It was a bonus that two of my aunts, a cousin, and mom's close friend were all there. We had a wonderful time visiting local antique shops and chatting. Since I don't get to see them often, it was a treat to have them all in one place. They were all fascinated to hear of my new experiment with Weight Watchers and we sat around dreaming up what kind of "rewards" I could give myself as I reach my goal. I'm choosing practical things but the thought of flying to Vegas and staying in a posh Las Vegas hotel did cross my mind! As fun as that might be, I think I'll stick to buying a new outfit and getting a manicure. The excitement of being with all these gals must have overwhelmed me because I did not take one photo! I'm kicking myself now but it's too late.

On another note, the spring Nascar race is coming to town this weekend. Already there are tons of campers around the race track (Bristol Motor Speedway) and the traffic is noticeably heavier. Hubby loves all of the excitement that comes to town during these races but I'm not so thrilled. That is mostly because we have to miss church when the race is here. The traffic is so heavy on our little 4-lane that it is nearly impossible to get through. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll be complaining about that more as the week passes. Today we have to get out to go to piano lessons and I hope we don't get caught up in the traffic that is already here. I'm always amazed at how early people come out for this thing. I mean, the race isn't until this weekend and people started coming this past Friday. What in the world do you do in a camper for a week? There are only so many places you can go around here. I have no idea but these are some dedicated fans.

How about you? What did you do this past weekend?

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Movie Review Sunday



Stewart Kane, an Irishman living in the Australian town of Jindabyne, is on a fishing trip in isolated hill country with three other men when they discover the body of a murdered girl in the river. Rather than return to the town immediately, they continue fishing and report their gruesome find days later. Stewart's wife Claire is the last to find out. Deeply disturbed by her husband's action, her faith in her relationship with Stewart is shaken to the core. She wants to understand and tries to make things right. In her determination to help the victim's family Claire sets herself not only against her own family and friends but also those of the dead girl. Her marriage is taken to the brink and her peaceful life with Stewart and their young son hangs in the balance. The story of a murder and a marriage - a film about the things that haunt us.

My Review: This movie made no sense at all. In my opinion it is of no value and it ended terribly. Skip it. That's all I can say about it.

No Reservations


Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the master chef at the trendy 22 Bleecker Street Restaurant in Manhattan. She runs her kitchen at a rapid pace as she coordinates the making and preparing of all the fantastic meals and personally displays the food to perfection on every dish. She intimidates everyone around her, so her boss sends her to therapy. Kate hates to leave the kitchen when a customer wants to compliment her on one of her special dishes, but she is ready to leave the kitchen in a second when a customer insults her cooking. Kate's sister is killed in a car accident and her nine-year old daughter Zoe (Abigail Breslin) moves in with Kate. With all of Kate's problems, the boss hires a new chef to join the staff. Nick (Aaron Eckhart) is a rising star in his own right and could be the head chef of another restaurant, but he wants to work under Kate. Kate begins to feel threatened by Nick, because he has a different style of running the kitchen. Nick loves to listen to opera when he cooks and to make the staff laugh. With all that is going on in Kate's life, falling for a man is the last thing she was looking for. There is some kind of chemistry between Kate and Nick that can only go one way. Yet life will hit her in the head when Kate's boss offers Nick the head chef job.

My Review: This movie was very cute. The story tugged at my heart as this little girl dealt with the loss of her mother.It is a remake of the German film Mostly Martha, which I have never seen. I loved the story and the actors did a good job. I like Aaron Eckhart and he did a great job as Nick. I don't remember any questionable material in the movie or language. I really enjoyed this one.

The Game Plan


Rugged superstar quarterback Joe Kingman (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), whose Boston-based team is chasing a championship, is a 'serial bachelor'. Kingman is living the ultimate fantasy: he's rich, famous and the life of the party. But this dream is suddenly sacked for a loss when he discovers the 7-year-old daughter (Madison Pettis) he never knew he had -- the product of a last fling before parting years ago with his young wife.

Now, during the most important time in his career, he must figure out how to juggle his parties, practices and dates with the newfound ballet classes, bedtime stories and dolls that come with his daughter.

Equally perplexed is his hard-edged mega-agent, Stella (Kyra Sedgwick), herself without a parental bone in her body. Despite the often hilarious misadventures that come with being a new father, Joe discovers that there's more to life than money, endorsements and thousands of adoring fans: the love and care of one very special small fan is the only thing that matters.

My Review: This was a cute movie about a self-centered sports hero who has trouble putting anything before himself. When Joe finds out that he has a daughter, he is caught off guard and is disinterested. Joe quickly discovers that there is more to life than money and fame. I also really liked this movie. Again, I cannot think of any questionable content. "The Rock" does a wonderful job as Joe and was actually pretty funny in several scenes.

That's it for this week. Have a good one!

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Friday, March 7, 2008

How Do You Know?

I've not been shy about sharing my Weight Watchers experience over the past month. I'm happy to report that in five short weeks, I've lost eight pounds! That is very exciting and this diet is very easy to do. I can't say enough about it. I'm absolutely convinced it is a healthy, manageable way to lose weight. Eating properly coupled with a little bit of exercise has yielded great results for me.

So, how do you know that weight loss has become important in your household? Better yet, how do you know if someone is on a WW diet? Here are a few signs.

When they come home from the grocery store, they do this to their canned goods

Or, their pantry may look like this

Or you may see this on containers in the fridge

It's so funny to open the cabinet or fridge and see the points values written on containers but it has been a tremendous help. It's really not hard at all and after you get past the first week of this, it's easy as pie. It's amazing what we put into our bodies and never give thought to. A few days ago, we had stopped into a fast food place to grab some chili. I was hungry and had plenty of points left so I wanted to splurge and have a small order of fries. I ordered them and while I was standing in line waiting on our food, I happened to see the nutrition chart for this chain posted on the wall beside me. Naturally, I looked for the small fries to see just how many calories they had. I was SHOCKED to see that a small order of fries had 330 calories. I don't remember the fat content but it was way up there too. The fries would have cost me 8 points but a side salad would cost me zero points! So, I quickly asked the lady to add a side salad to my order and I had the kids half the order of fries. I find myself doing this a lot because it's just not worth it. Do I love fries? YES. Will I ever eat them again? ABSOLUTELY. Will it be very often? NO WAY! All I have to do is think about how much gunk will be in my arteries from eating these things on a regular basis and that's it. Besides, I feel so much better and the recipes I've been using from WW are wonderful!

How about you diet? Have you made a lifestyle change where eating is concerned? How are you doing with it? Do you have tips for me? Do share. It is so much easier to stay on track when you hear good reports from others or get helpful tips.

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Computer Problems Do Not Rock!

I tell ya, when one thing breaks around here, ten more soon follow. That seems to be the way it works. Last week it was light bulbs blowing like crazy and this week it seems to be computer equipment.

Hubby works from home most of the time so his computer is like his baby. It has to have all of the latest updates, which means we are adding things to it quite often. He builds his computer from the ground up, rather than buying one from a store. This usually makes the computer last longer. However, he has had a time keeping a power supply that will work. I think he has already gone through two of them in the past several months. Today, it seems that our router is dying. We are wireless so that we can work from anywhere in the house. My connection has been spotty at best today and it frustrates me to no end. So, that means it's time for a new router. Sheesh! At this point, I'm willing to buy a used cisco router!

When I get on the computer, I just want it to work. I don't care how or why but I want it to work. I don't want to know all of the technical details. Just make it go. LOL! I'm thinking that I probably need to learn a little more about these things so that I might be of more help to hubby when they break. I'm sure he would love to work in peace rather than have me in his ear asking him how long it will take to fix it and how much it will cost!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Giveaway @ Kidazy

I'm so excited that I'm not sure I can even get this post written before exploding! Why, you ask? Well, have you heard about Kidazy? If not, you need to head over there and check it out now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

This is a wonderful site that shares all kinds of great information and reviews of the latest toys. They are also giving away.....are you ready? A $100 ToysRUs gift certificate!!!!! All you have to do is write a post about the site, link to it, and let them know you've done so. The deadline is March 18 so hurry up! Go check them out, write a post, and get your name in the hat! BAM! Talk about excited ....could you imagine what my 13yo and 9yo could do with $100 in ToysRUs? I'll be sure to tell you after we've won and done our shopping!

Oh, Lauren, they have a really cute pink car on the site that made me think of your best girl!

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Ten On Tuesday ~ Favorite Drinks

  1. Diet Sunkist
  2. Coke Zero
  3. Diet A&W Root Beer in a frosted mug :-o)
  4. Sutter Home White Zinfandel
  5. Milk ~ I could drink a gallon a day!
  6. Iced Coffee
  7. Pumpkin Cappacino from Appco (it's seasonal)
  8. Blue Hawaiian
  9. Peach Tea from Pals
  10. Apple Julep from The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TN

For read more Ten On Tuesdays, visit

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How Do Kids Do This?

Ok, I know how kids do this. God blesses each of us with special gifts and music happens to be the gift of each young lady in this video. This was sent to me by a local homeschooling mom and all I can say is that these little ladies are amazing! Follow this link and watch for yourself......

Have a great Monday!

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Can You Say Road Rage?

I've been looking around for the best buy on a GPS for my hubby. He will be traveling more now that he is competing in bagpipe competitions. It looks like he'll be doing one a month for the next few months. I'm a bit overwhelmed with all of the choices so I wonder if any of you have one and could give me some direction?

On another note, Caroline and I were stuck in traffic today on our way back from piano lessons. We live close to Bristol Motor Speedway and the spring race is coming up. The owners of the race track are making some major renovations in front of the race track and because of that, we have the pleasure of constantly being stuck in the middle of the wacky traffic. It's not pretty. Anyway, (here's where my rant starts) we are sitting in traffic that is at least a mile long and one lane ahead of us is blocked. There are signs up everywhere telling drivers this but people are constantly in that lane going as fast as they can to jump in front of all of us who've been sitting there for 20 or 30 minutes. This ticks me off! It gets under my skin so bad. I'm really a nice person but car after car after car kept doing this and it really started to get to me. I mean, I have places to go too. So, what's the deal? Why do people do this? Does it tick you off too? I just don't get it. Maybe I was just having a bad day but by the time I got home, I was ready to give up my license to drive.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Movie Review Sunday

I've only got a couple to tell you about this week. As always, if you've got movies to review, sign mr. linky below so I can come visit.

~Evelyn ~

Synopsis: Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children, Evelyn, Dermot and Maurice, make it clear to the authorities that his is an untenable situation. The Catholic Church and the Irish courts decide to put the Doyle children into Church-run orphanages. Although a sympathetic judge assures Desmond that when his financial situation reverses, he will be able to get his children back; money is hard to come by. During that time, Evelyn and her brothers suffer the abuses of living in orphanages while Desmond struggles to secure finances. Now he must battle the courts to get his children back.

***My Review***

Pierce Bronsan did a wonderful job as Desmond Doyle. When Desmond finds himself abandoned by his wife and without work, the Irish government places his children in an orphanage. His daughter Evelyn is treated cruelly but remains confident about her father's return to take her away from this place. Evelyn is a wonderful example of faith and hope and I fell in love with her character.

When Desmond finds work and gets himself back on track, he returns to retrieve his children only to find that the Irish government will not allow it. Because of a clause in the law, Desmond's runaway wife must sign papers that will allow the children to come home. Desmond takes on the government in order to put his family back together. I can't say much more without giving away the story but Desmond's journey is one of courage and love. We loved this film.

~The Hoax~

Synopsis: Early in 1971, McGraw-Hill passes on Clifford Irving's new novel. He's desperate for money, so, against the backdrop of Nixon's reelection calculations, Irving claims he has Howard Hughes's cooperation to write Hughes's autobiography. With the help of friend Dick Suskind, Irving does research, lucks into a manuscript written by a long-time Hughes associate, and plays on corporate greed. He's quick-thinking and outrageously bold. Plus, he banks on Hughes's reluctance to enter the public eye. At the same time, he's trying to rebuild his marriage and deflect the allure of his one-time mistress, Nina Van Pallandt. Can he write a good book, take the money, and pull off the hoax?

***My Review***

I have to admit that I was not in the mood to watch this last night. However, I'm glad hubby insisted. This is a strange role for Richard Gere but he is very convincing as Clifford Irving. Gere is one of my favorite actors and I love his versatility. I was fascinated with Irving's ability to convince a publishing house to publish a book under these strange circumstances. I'm still fascinated with Howard Hughes' ability to remain incognito for such a long time. This movie won't be for all of you. It worked for me because I love to read biographies. That's what this film felt like to me.

~The Heartbreak Kid ~

I'm not even going to link to this one. We watched it without reviewing it first and it was just wrong. I have nothing good to say about it. There were a few funny moments but overall, I would not recommend it.

That's all for this week. Remember to sign Mr. Linky if you've got movie reviews to share.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

I Need To Remodel Something

I am looking forward to spring. My hubby and kids love to see snow but I'd rather just skip right over it. I like snow but I do not like the cold weather that comes along with it. I can't get motivated to do anything in the house and there are tons of things that need to be worked on. I started painting our trim white several months ago and it really needs to be finished.

Another project I want to work on is getting the garage cleaned out. We pile so much junk in there that it breaks me down to be in there for very long. Most of it is my own doing and I feel like that space is just wasted. I'd love to finish part of it out and use it for a tv/game room. Our tv is currently downstairs in a room that is shaped like a rectangle. On one side of the room, there's a fireplace that is almost at the end of the wall. It's in a very strange place. Because of that and the shape of the room, it's hard to accommodate a lot of people. Since we are football nuts, we need room for a lot of people when we watch the games. I'm thinking that if I could talk my hubby into finishing out the garage, we could put the tv out there and have a really nice set up. We watch movies a lot too so it would be really cool to have a room to do that in. We could put down home theater carpet and refurbish an old sectional. It could be a happening spot. Now all I have to do is convince the hubby that it's a great idea.

Any suggestions?

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