Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Most Awesome News Ever!!

I have the most awesome news ever!!!  Will's baseball team, the Rebels, won their game tonight.  The best, most awesomest part is:  this was the FIRST GAME EVER in THREE YEARS that Will, AJ, Wesley, and the three coaches won!!!  The three boys have played on the same teams (the Giants, the Cubs and the Rebels).  Their coaches (Mike, AJ's dad Patrick, and Wesley's dad Keith) have been with them all three years.  FINALLY!!  The coaches gave a game ball to the best player last night and tonight.  Will got the game ball last night for hitting a home run!  Tonight, it was between three players: Evan, Wesley and Will.  The coaches gave it to Evan because he hit three home runs.  I am so proud of Will.  He has really come far this year.  He is paying more attention to what is going on during the game and has really improved in his hitting and throwing.   Way to go Will!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Forget Me Not Blog Tour

The book Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze centers around two central characters who have lost everything - Ben - his wife and young son were murdered; the other - her memory and the life she had before her abduction.  As they struggle together to find out who the girl really is and who is trying to murder them both, they find hope and faith in each other and God.

This book was both enjoyable and confusing.  The story of Ben and "Susan/Karen/Kelly" was interesting in the way they overcame obstacles and pushed the other outside of their comfort zones without invoking hurt and talking through the problem.  Susan/Karen/Kelly clings to her faith in God, the only thing she is absolutely sure of, as she struggles to remember who she is and her previous life.  The suspense of trying to figure out who was trying to kill her and Ben both was great.  That said, I became confused very easily with all the twists and turns involving the group after the two main characters.  Sometimes it seemed like the story got tangled up with itself.  I personally found it difficult following who was connected to who, how they were connected, and how it involved Ben and Susan/Karen/Kelly.  I felt like I needed to keep a cheat sheet to keep track of everything and everyone involved.  You can tell I don't read very many suspense/thriller novels.  :-)

Summary:  Their elusive enemies took everything.  Now they want more.  Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man - in his faith, his work, and his family.  Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith.  Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too.  Why had he survived?  He'd failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help - a victim who eerily resembles Ben's deceased wife, Susan.  A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith  - and Susan's necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is wiling to kill.  Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman's situation from dangerous to deadly.  Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, mo matter how painful.  But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?

Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, three nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles.  Selected for Who's Who in America in 2004 as a writer and educator, Hinze is active in Romance Writers of America and serves as a vice president on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors.  Vicki lives in Florida with her artist husband, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel.  Visit to learn more about Vicki's books, blogs, and writing programs.

For more information or to purchase this book, click here.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Getting Caught Up

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while.  With three kids practicing and playing ball this spring, my schedule revolves around them.  We have practice and games every night of the week.  Since I spend most of my day (and night) on the road or sitting at practice, I think of a million things to post on my blog: events that are happening, cute things the kids say, my thoughts on different matters, etc.  By the time I get to the computer at home, I've forgotten what I wanted to write.  For a while, I carried a notebook with me so I could write down things I wanted to remember.  Guess I need to put it back in the van.

Will and Andrew had their first games this week.  Will's team lost both of their games but they really tried.  He plays coach pitch.  Andrew's team doesn't keep score (he plays 3-4 year old t-ball).  Hannah's games start on Monday, then it gets really interesting around here.  All three play on Tuesdays at two different fields.  Yeah, like I said, interesting.  Most nights, we eat dinner around 4:30-5 p.m.  By the time they get to bed after 9 p.m. (really late for them), they are hungry again.

Andrew has been singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" lately with his own little twist.  Instead of "gently down the stream," he sings, "gently down the scream."  Also, Andrew has gotten his opposites mixed up, except for his left and right.  When something is cold, he says it is hot.  Up is down and down is up, etc.  Trying to understand what he means is interesting and difficult at times.  Sometimes I just have to laugh.

Mom had a car wreak last night on her way home from work.  A car had stopped to turn into a subdivision and there were a couple of cars behind it.  She didn't see the brake lights of the last vehicle until it was too late.  Mom said she buried her feet and brake pedal in the floorboard but wasn't able to stop in time.  When she hit the car in front of her, it started a chain reaction that ended three cars later.  Her radiator is busted and the front end is all messed up.  Praise the Good Lord above, no one was hurt.  Mom is sore across her chest where the seat belt was but that's all.  Mom is upset.  She has been involved in accidents before but this is the first one that was her fault.  I'm just happy that no one was hurt or worse.

Gotta get off here.  Hannah is trying to make dinner (her idea) and I need to supervise.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sleep, It Does A Family Good Book Review

Like most families in the U.S., we are busy with ball games, practices, school, homework, playdates, work, etc.  Our sleep habits have gotten worse over time as a result.  Even though my husband and I try to keep the kids on somewhat of a bedtime schedule, neither one of us go to bed before 12 a.m.  We get up as late as possible, dreading the morning and wanting to sleep a few more hours.

 At first, before Sleep, It Does A Family Good by Dr. Archibald Hart arrived, I was dreading reading it.  I thought it would be boring, but I was wrong.  Dr. Hart keeps the book quite interesting.  He does mention different sleep studies and includes charts, graphs, and questionnaires.  But, he also gives you personal stories from his life and his family members and composites of patients he has worked with in his practice.  The stories show you that you are not alone in your struggles with sleep.  Dr. Hart shows you what worked for them and gives suggestions you can try in your own situations.  Reading this book has given me insight that my six hours or less sleep at night is not good for my health (or my family when I wake up in a bad mood) and how to overcome my problem.  I HIGHLY recommend this book for everyone!!

What's the one thing every family needs more of but can't seem to find time for? SLEEP!

With the ever-growing responsibilities and obligations that families face today, we're seeing an unprecedented level of sleep deprivation among moms, dads, and even children.  The effects of sleep deprivation are serious and can affect us physically, mentally, and spiritually.  But what can we do about it?

In Sleep, It Does a Family Good, renowned psychologist Dr. Archibald Hart comes alongside families to offer help and hope for those in desperate need of more rest.  In a clear and credible format, Dr. Hart explains the vital role of sleep in our lives.  He goes on to offer advice and practical suggestions on ways to ensure every family gets the sleep they need.  The fact is that by making a few key changes to our hectic schedules, we can become refreshed, rather than exhausted.  By using Dr. Hart's tools and advice, every family can experience firsthand the truth that a healthy family is a well-rested family.

This book was provided for review by Tyndale House Publishers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lunch with Will

Today I surprised the second most handsome (handsomest???) man in the world - Will - for lunch.  (Second only, that is, to Mike.)  I met with Mrs. Huffman, Will's school Speech Pathologist, Mrs. Moore, the school principal, and Mrs. Moffitt, one of the first grade teachers, this morning about his progress and the plan they want him to follow during the school year next year.  We had a great conversation about his progress this year, too.  He did not regress much over any of the holidays (Christmas break, Spring break) and was able to pick up where he left off pretty quickly once he got back into the routine.  Because of this, he doesn't need to do any speech therapy over the summer.  YEAH!!!  All three ladies raved about how sweet Will is and what a wonderful child he is.  A mother just loves to hear that about her children from people other than family!!

When we finished our meeting, it was close to Will's lunch time so I thought I would surprise him.  He was really excited to see me waiting in the lunch room.  After he picked up his lunch tray, the two of us and three of his friends sat down and enjoyed our time together.  His friends were Chris, Prissy and Jill.  Prissy asked Will why he liked her so much (she had Chris ask him too).  Will answered it was because she was so cute.  All three kids were very well behaved and were just adorable.  We talked about their favorite colors, what color car their parents drove, their birthdays, if they had any siblings and that they were going to the playground after lunch.  I was sad when lunch ended.  The time just flew by very quickly.  It was so nice and very enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Four Leaf Clovers

This is going to be a quick post.  Andrew has practice tonight at 6:30 (if it doesn't rain) and the kids need to eat dinner first. 

Nathan found seven four-leaf clovers in my yard and a six-leaf clover all in one patch.  Yes, it is a really six-leaf.  I saw it, held it and counted the leaves.  I plan to take pictures before he leaves and post them (if I ever get all my pics downloaded off my camera. ;-) ).  Cool, isn't it!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Exciting News

In the busyness of the weekend, I forgot to mention something very important - Will can ride a bike WITHOUT training wheels!!!  He is sooo excited!!  Mike took off the training wheels on Friday and worked with him for a few minutes.  Will has had a little trouble starting off but is getting better.  He wants to turn the wheel when he starts then looses his balance.  I am so proud of him.

Also, both Hannah and Will made all A's on their report cards.  They are doing great in school.  Keep up the good work.

My friend Julia is. This will be #3 for her and her husband David. The baby is due December 4. Both David and Julia's birthdays are in December as are their boys. Isn't that interesting and fun?  Congratulations!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, but when you think about it, why is the day Jesus died a horrible and painful death on the cross called Good Friday?  The way I think about it, Jesus' death and resurrection gives us access to the throne room of God and freedom from sin.  When you ask Jesus for forgiveness from your sins and accept Him as your Savior and Lord, Jesus' death can be considered good.  If He had not died, we would still be living in bondage, would have to find a substitute sacrifice (like in the Old Testament) and live under the law.  Now, we live under grace.  If you haven't accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I would like to ask you to really think about it and read the following passages.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:16-21, New King James Version)

 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.   
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.   
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5, New King James Version)