Thursday, July 31, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Endings

First off, if you haven't yet entered my giveaway for a $10 Target gift card, please go here.

What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the last line?

Just as the prompt is similar to last week's, my reply is similar to last week's answer. I don't make a practice of hanging on to a certain phrase or line from the book I'm reading; I just enjoy it.

Of course, I remember Dickens: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done..." but once again, it might just be because it's so often quoted rather than a tribute to my memory.

When I finish a book, I usually close the cover, sigh, and smile while I review the plot and characters.

What do you do once you've finished reading?

Tagged! I'm It!

I've been tagged! by my friend Carol at

Rules: You must answer the questions using only one word.
Then tag four others. Here we go:

1. Where is your cell phone? gone

2. Your significant other? Johnny

3. Your hair? wimpy

4. Your mother? gone

5. Your father? gone

6. Your favorite thing? music

7. Your dream last night? forgetful

8. Your favorite drink? Zero-Sprite

9. Your dream/goal? smile

10. The room you're in? office

11. Your hobby? reading

12. Your fear? helplessness

13. Where do you want to be in six years? here

14. What you're not? mean

15. Muffins? yuk

16. One of your wish list items? family

17. Where you grew up? Pennsylvania

18. The last thing you did? Sleep

19. What are you wearing? Tee

20. Favorite gadget? computer

21. Your pets? gone :(

22. Your computer? Mac

23. Your mood? happy

24. Missing someone? always

25. Your car? Avalon

26. Something you're not wearing? shoes

27. Favorite store? Dillards

28. Like someone? plenty

29. Your favorite color? blue

30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday

31. Last time you cried? movies

Now I need to pick four people to tag. Please feel under no obligation to do it, but I thought it was fun. If I haven't tagged you, and you would like to participate, I would love to hear from you.

The following are the four people I have chosen:
Allen at
Sharon at
Lauren at
Priscilla at

I hope you have a fun day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

::Yawn:: Do You Get Enough Sleep?

"Sleeping like a baby" is an expression used--well, for babies; I know that mine could sleep through the house being bombed.

I used to sleep eight to nine hours a night. As I age, I've discovered that there are nights that my twitchy legs don't want to stay still long enough for me to sleep. Other times, I'm snoozing along and my legs will decide it's the perfect time to wake up and dance! For instance, have you ever HEARD of a charley horse in the ankle that will not quit? Well, now you have!

When my legs persistently act up, I get up and go into the office so that Johnny's sleep won't be interrupted. There's no sense in both of us being awake. I am grateful for my computer during those nights.

I found this little quiz, "Do You Get Enough Sleep?" I took it, and here are my results in blue:

You Sometimes Don't Get Enough Sleep
You're often more tired than you'd like, and you're probably not getting enough quality sleep.
Sleeping a little more could make you a lot more energetic and happy.
Try having a bedtime, keep your bedroom cool, and only eat fruit before bed.

Click on the words below, take the quiz, and please come back and share with me what you've discovered about your sleep needs. Meanwhile, I'm taking a nap!

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Book Review - With Endless Sight by Allison K. Pittman

Behind every story of loss is the promise of grace.

Belleville, Illinois and Wyoming Territories, 1861

Born into a life of privilege, fourteen-year-old Belinda never questions her security, even as she leaves Illinois with her family to discover new adventures in the Oregon Territory. But when disaster falls, Belinda is left wounded, weak, and alone. Her faith in God gives her the only strength she knows in a harsh new world.

Belinda’s journey takes her to a snow-covered mining camp and a red-roofed brothel in the Wyoming mountains, but not before she must spend a lonely winter with the man who took away the life she knew. Throughout the grief and hope of a strange land, Belinda must decide if her faith is big enough to allow her to forgive.

The satisfying conclusion to the Crossroads of Grace series, With Endless Sight offers a rich story of family, new beginnings, and the freedom that grace can bring.
I won this in a giveaway, and although historical fiction is not my genre of choice, I loved this book from the first sentence: "I wasn't asleep--wasn't even pretending to be--when my cousin Phoebe slipped into my room." So many thoughts come to mind with that sentence. What time is it? It must be night because the speaker is supposed to be asleep. Why is Phoebe slipping into a room when someone is sleeping? What's she up to? Why isn't the speaker asleep? Why doesn't she even pretend? What happens next?

Allison K. Pittman can write! With the plot compelling, the main character so realistic that I felt as if I've talked with her, the twists and turns surprising me over and over again, make this ONE GOOD READ!

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's Bloggy Giveaway Time!

Last time there was the Bloggy Giveaway, I didn't have a blog. I entered a bunch of giveaways, but I did not win a one. However, I had fun trying! This time, I have a blog, I'm giving away something, and I sure hope I win something. I hope you do too!

Please feel free to look around, and vote on my poll--look for the baby--found to your right.

This giveaway is for a $10.00 Target card and is for bloggers and non-bloggers alike.
To enter, leave a comment and an email address in code. For example:
(The reason for the code is to protect you against scammers.)
Only one comment will count; I eliminate duplicates.

I'll close the comments 7 PM EST August 1st, and use to pick the winner. I will contact the winner via email for their snail mail address. The winner will have three days to respond. If I do not hear from them within three days, I will select another winner.

Be sure to enter the other giveaways found here.Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What Does A Missionary Look Like?

My church has multi-sites. One is in Lima, Peru. Brittany's just returned from her second summer missionary trip to the Peru campus where she noticed how the church had grown. Brittany is the girl on the right in the blue shirt. She has no financial backing; she's a twelfth grade student who paid for her plane fare, living expenses, food, and spending money by working two part-time jobs. She went to Peru with a group of sixteen teens and three adults Thursday, July 17th through Thursday, July 24th. Read Garland's blog for an adult perspective and Craig's blog for a look through a teen's eyes.

The missionary group visited a girls' orphanage that partners with my church. They delivered the handmade blankets they had brought with them. The blankets were made with one side of felt and the other side of fabric. They were tied with a fringe. Each girl got a bottle of nail polish. Boys from another orphanage got toy cars. All children received 200 goody bags containing candy, trinkets, and crayons for school.

They spent time with the children. They played. They danced. They held a worship service. Here is a picture of Brittany singing while others played musical instruments.

On another day the group visited a private school. Brit expressed surprise that the walls were made of thin cardboard-like material. "People PAY to go there!"she exclaimed.

On two occasions, they visited an English speaking college. Key chains printed with the Peruvian church campus address were handed out. "How much do they cost?" one boy questioned. Another asked if it cost to "go to that church?"

Brittany said, "God totally used that time." Some of the college students have already visited the Lima church. Others are expected this weekend--just because of a visit and key chains!
When I asked Brittany what stands out from the trip, she told me about Pachacutec, a shanty town. It is a huge area along the beautiful coastline of the Pacific Ocean; however, it is pretty much desert, and nothing grows there. The Peruvians live there in cardboard houses without electricity, proper water, or sanitary arrangements. The mission group with the pastor and friends at Pachacutec are pictured here.

Our church leaves clothing whenever they make a trip. The temperature is opposite us; this is a cold time for them.

The group took a meal of roasted chicken, french fries, and drinks to the Pachacutec people.

The local pastor preached, and the group sang songs. Afterward, the pastor thrilled Brittany when he told her, "I saw Christ in you."

What a way for a teen to spend a summer! By the way, Brittany is my granddaughter!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What Is There About Doctor's Waiting Rooms?

Yesterday afternoon, I had a 3:30 endocrinologist's appointment at a large medical center; we arrived at 3:20. This center has a medical staff with more than 150 physicians. I checked in and took a seat in the huge waiting room, opened my book, and began to read.

My husband sat beside me, and tried to occupy himself. But there are no magazines or newspapers in this waiting room. The television was not tuned to the Marlin's baseball game, so he could only sit, check the time, and become restless. Time passed. Other patients came, were seen by various doctors, and left.

I continued to read; my husband began to sigh deeply and make comments about the wait. After thirty minutes, he went to the check-in counter to inquire. "The doctor is running a bit late." He returned to his seat. After an hour, he checked with the lady again. "Your wife's room is almost ready." He sat back down and waited. Finally, at 4:50, we were admitted--for a 3:30 appointment!

There had been no emergency; the doctor had merely taken his time with each patient as he refuses to be rushed. "If a patient is scheduled for a fifteen minute follow-up visit as you are but needs more time, the doctor will give it" the nurse answered us. "If it's a new patient, they're scheduled for thirty minutes, but he'll take an hour and a half if he has to. Then he gets behind. It happens every day!"

I know that this is a common occurrence, but my question is: How do you handle the wait? Do you take along a book? Watch whatever is on the television? Complain? Change doctors? Arrive late for appointments?

Friday, July 25, 2008

What American accent do you have?

I love to play on my computer! The other day, I found this quiz that asks whether or not I have an accent. Being totally confident that I had no discernible accent, I took the test. My Result:

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

They nailed me! I was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Washington, D.C.--close to Baltimore!

Here's Johnny's result, which was also spot on:
"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

I can't believe that all these years whenever I have heard Johnny (who was born in Ohio and moved to Miami when he was fifteen) "mispronounce" a word, it's been MY ERROR, not his!

Give it a try. How do you fare? Leave me a comment and share the fun!
What American accent do you have?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blue Monday Instructions

My favorite color is blue, so I thought, "Why not have a Blue Monday?"

Every Monday, I'll have a blue post, and I'd like to invite you to participate. To participate all you need do is:

1. Post about something blue on your blog. It can be pretty, ugly, funny, old, or new as long as it's blue.

2. Leave a link to this blog on your post. You can copy the link from here:

3. Return here and link in with Mr. Linky by leaving your first name and the Permalink to your post. To create a Permalink, once your Blue Monday post is up, click on the post title and copy all the stuff in the http window. (It is a longer address so that people can find your post even later in the week--whenever they get a chance to visit.) For those who just can't wait, Mr. Linky will be up each Monday at midnight EST, but you may link in any time during any Monday.

Do NOT link in until after your post is up.


Many people place the Blue Monday button on the top of their post so that visitors can easily spot it. Another Blue Monday button can be placed on the sidebar of your blog. (Directions: Just put your mouse on top of the Blue Jay Blue Monday button. There's one on my post and another on my sidebar. Right click and drag it onto your desktop. If you have a Mac, click and drag onto your desktop, without lifting your finger off the mouse. Now, you have a button on your desktop! You can load it onto your blog.) Some choose to place the link within the Blue Jay button.

Leave a comment for me; I guarantee that I'll visit and leave one for you. Visit other Blue participants by clicking on their links and leaving comments.

Check back to make certain that you have visited all the Blue participants. If it's too much for one day, come back later in the week. (That's why the Permalink is so important.)

Sound like fun? Gather up your blue items, and we'll play together. The following is my first post, offered here to give you an idea, but don't be boxed in by this. Create your own ideas!


Booking Through Thursday - Beginnings

Suggested by: Nithin

Here’s another idea about memorable first lines from books.

What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?

Although I know that first lines are important, I don't work to remember them. Of course, I remember, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." by Charles Dickens, but that doesn't count because I don't know if I remember it from having read the book or from hearing it quoted over and over.

Some books are slow going at the beginning; not all grab me from the get-go. There are times that I push through to the third or fourth chapters before I begin to like what I'm reading. By the time I'm halfway through, I can tell if the book is terrific, fluffy, or one I wish I hadn't begun. These are fiction books I'm writing about; nonfiction is in another catagory: I don't remember any first lines being quoted from a nonfiction. Do you?

How do you feel about this question of beginnings?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How Much Pizza Can You Eat?

A serving of pizza used to be a piece; now folks want an individual pizza. Pizzas seem to be getting larger by the day as additional ingredients are piled on. There are awards hanging on the walls of restaurants across the country that pay tribute to the amount of food that young men consumed. Specials entice you to purchase more than the one pizza your family should consume. Where are we headed? Click on the window for a lighthearted look at the pizza industry.

I've Been Honored!

Joy has nominated my blog for an award! How thrilling! Joy is an avid reader from Virginia who I've met through BTT (Booking Through Thursday).

The rules are as follows:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate seven other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

I'm new at blogging, and I'm amazed that there are so many wonderful blogs. In no order of importance, these are my nominees:

Heather at Keep Moving Forward is a new bride who is building her first home in Georgia.

Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life is a radio personality in IL who always has something interesting on her blog.

Jackie at Our Moments Our Memories lives in NM with her husband and their young daughter.

Kelli at Kelli. in real life lives with her husband and their young son.

Daisy at A Daisy A Day lives in MN and is gearing up for the fantastic bloggy giveaway carnival starting July 28th.

Stacie at Mindful Existence is a young office worker in Florida.

Carol at Charli and Me is a nurse with a dog named Charli; they live in MI with Carol's husband. This reader has a beautiful backyard garden that draws butterflies. (Yuk! I haaate butterflies!)

Visit these interesting blogs and experience for yourself why they are deserving.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Book Review - The Face by Angela Hunt

Born to parents who died shortly after her birth, twenty-year-old genius Sarah Sims has been hidden in a secure CIA facility where she works to help her handlers achieve their goals. Yet her days of anonymity are limited because her aunt has discovered her existence and is determined to lead Sarah out of exile. But before she can leave the only world she’s ever known, Sarah needs what most people take for granted . . . a functioning face and the skills to use it. Will she remain in her secluded fortress or summon the courage to follow her heart?,
I just finished reading an advanced copy of The Face by Angela Hunt. I can sum up my reaction in one word: WOW!

A baby is born with such severe facial deformities that several operations must be preformed in order for the child to breathe, eat, hear, and speak. Twenty years later, her aunt, a psychologist, stumbles across the evidence of the child's existence, and begins a determined quest to find and love her niece, no matter her niece's appearance. But without an acceptable face, the young lady has never been in public; she's never learned to experience emotions.

Hunt's talented writing pulls the reader into this tender thriller with realistic characters and believable dialogue. She teaches me something new with each one of her novels. At the core of this novel, the reader considers the importance of life, love, and pain.

This is one of those hard-to-put-down books. John Grisham, move over!

The Face is scheduled to be released in November. You can order a copy now for an unbelievable price.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Favorite Worship Song

Yesterday, I wrote about worship and was asked to share my all-time favorite worship song. It is: "It Is Well With My Soul" sung here by Wintley Phipps

AND, my all-time favorite verse of that song is verse three:
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

What is your favorite worship song?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What is Worship?

I use Open Windows for my daily devotions. Each day has a Bible verse, a short real life application, and a sentence prayer. Because it's brief, I find it a convenient tool and have used it for many years. The contributors are various pastors, professors, and individual people from all walks of life.

This past Friday, Marvin Nail discussed worship. "Worship designed to stir our excitement and make us feel good seems to miss the point. Instead, worship should fill us with awe that God permits us to come into His presence," I like that!

My all-time favorite definition for worship follows:

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God. All this is gathered up in that emotion which most cleanses us from selfishness because it is the most selfless of all emotions--adoration. William Temple

How would you define worship?

Tomorrow as requested, my all-time favorite worship song.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

::Blush:: Thank You! Thank You!

Carol at Charli and me just honored me with this award. It's validating that someone thinks my blog is fun to read; it sure is fun to write! Carol's blog contains snippets about her dog, Charli, and the fun life they share with her husband in Michigan.

I plan to follow Carol's example and share this award with a couple of outstanding bloggers who have helped me begin this journey of blogging. I read their blogs faithfully. The first is Mindy; just yesterday she spent TONS of time updating my header with the beautiful flowers, purple background, and fancy font. She's a giving friend, and it's fun for me to be able to give something to her. Mindy was the first person to suggest I begin a blog.

The next person is a Barnabas-type--an encourager--Heather. We all need to be encouraged, and I seem to need more than most! She was the first to list my blog on her blog roll, and she's been good to leave a bunch of you-go-girl comments.

I'd also like to make honorable mention of my son, Allen, who supports me in all my ventures!

Red Ants Damage Air Conditioner!

When we arrived home from our trip, our house felt like an oven. We weren't too surprised as we had set the air conditioner on 85 before we left. Why cool an empty house and pay high electric bills?

We turned the thermostat to a more normal temperature and waited, but it didn't cool. We could feel warm air blowing, but not cool air. After five hours (who says we're not patient people?) we called the air conditioner repair man.

Red ants had moved into our air conditioner, making it their home. They had even hung drapes! After $170 of labor and parts, our home is once again comfortable.

On a side note: we had a full bottle of red ant poison on the shelf in the garage. That must be good stuff; we did not find one red ant any where around that bottle!

Have you experienced red ants?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Vacation Spots

Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?

Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?

What/Where are they?
This seems to be an easy one for me to answer. I have never bought a book while on vacation. However, I usually read while on vacation.

This month, to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we rented a big house on Fort Meyers Beach, and I brought reading material with me. I brought a stack of magazines--three July issues, plus some June issues--and a book I had started. Our daughter-in-law brought along a book to read; she finished hers. I just dented mine. Our son brought five books he's working on. I say "working on" since they were all work related.

I enjoyed reading on the large wrap-around porch one beautiful morning and one late afternoon. Other than that, I read a teeny bit while taking a rest. Vacation time is more of an active time for us.

What do you do for reading pleasure while on vacation?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blog Mission Statement

This week, Becoming Me is hosting a Blog Mission Tour. She writes, "Create a mission statement for your blog. It does not have to be long. Just write the purpose behind why you blog and what you want your blog to be."

I decided to begin a blog at the urgings of my blogging son and two blogging friends. As a successfully married woman, with two grown children and seven grandchildren who are all Christ followers, I have experienced much. I'm a retired high school teacher, I'm a Christian, I'm an active member of Flamingo Road Church, and I love to read--particularly Christian Fiction. All of these joys, I intend to post.

So my mission statement is:

To share with my family and friends and friends-to-be the essence of me: the joy of living, the happiness of family, the fun of having a relationship with the God of the universe in the hope that some may choose to follow Him.

Movie Review - Get Smart

I am a fan of the original television program, one of the most creative programs ever! Before I went to this movie, I read the reviews; I almost did not go because of them. They warned that this was not funny, that people who had seen the original program would be disappointed. Wrong. Wrong.

I laughed out loud, several times, and others did too. It is a funny film. I say go see this one; it's definitely a thumbs up.

Have you seen it? What's your opinion?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Movie Review - Hancock

We went to the movies while at Fort Myers Beach and saw Hancock. At first, I was just going to stay home and let the others go because it didn't look like my kind of movie. I really don't like loud explosions and cars turning over. But my granddaughter, Brittany, gently scolded me by reminding me that this was "family time" and that if I went along, even if I didn't like the film, I'd enjoy the time spent with those I love. She is one wise teenager!

I went, and what a surprise! I loved this film! Although some cars were flipped over, it also had a love story as a part of the plot. There is a twist in the plot, and the ending is a bit unexpected. I give it a giant thumbs up!

Have you seen it? What's your opinion?

Tomorrow, I'll review Get Smart.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Movie Review - Wall-E

We went to three films this past week on our vacation. We went with a diverse group of all ages to see Disney's newest film, Wall-E. I love Disney films and looked forward to seeing this one. Most of the group liked the movie. Johnny and I absolutely hated it. In my opinion, it was the biggest waste of money for any film I've ever seen!

For over thirty minutes, there was no dialogue! When dialogue began, it mostly consisted of two robots calling to each other over and over: "Wall-E" and "Ev-Ah." Oh my, it was boring. The story line is that we are such horrible consumers that we have ruined planet Earth, and now, all earthlings must go to outer space to find room to exist while robots clean up the earth--which is covered with dust so thick you can barely see through it--meaning, you can barely see the film!

It's a never-ending, lonely task and so our "hero" has a companion: a roach. Yuk! At one point, the roach is stepped on, and I cheered. I DO so hate roaches. Not to worry; it came back to life. Roaches never die; we all know that.

I give this horrible film a huge thumbs down. Have you seen it? What do you think?

Tomorrow I'll review Hancock and the following day Get Smart.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fantastic Fifty

We had a fantastic 50th anniversary celebration! We rented a beach house in Fort Myers Beach for the week and invited our children and their families. I took this photo standing on the second floor wrap-around porch, looking toward the Gulf of Mexico. A bit of our private beach can be seen. What a pretty house! We had glass walls in our bedroom, the living room, and the dining room, with this amazing view. There were four bedrooms and four bathrooms.

This three-story house--with an elevator, which certainly helped me!--was decorated in a beach motif with fish, lighthouses, and shells. Everywhere you looked, you saw one of the three, mostly fish! We all agreed that it was overdone, and you know, fish is never good when it's overdone! Brittany counted 1,043 fish--I know, I know: hard to believe! Click here for more inside fishy photos from Sharon.

Our family did their best to top the fishy decorations with balloons and hand-written signs with sayings like,"Happy 50th ... I wish you 50 more!" and "Wow, 50 years! I don't even know dirt that old!" and "Wow, you've been married for 50 years! Congratulations!" and "50! 50! Isn't that nifty!" and "You guys have been married more years than there are fish in this house!" (of course, that was proven to be incorrect) and "Forget 'over the hill,' you guys have gone over a mountain, and you've done it together." and "50 years! Wow, you must really like each other." Jenna even had the fish magnets on the refrigerator kissing! They played music from the 50s and Johnny and I danced. Yep, we danced, a tiny bit! It was fun.

On Monday, The Golden Day, my twin brother, Binky, his wife, Rose, and son, Stephen, met us for a family dinner at Carrabba's Italian Grill. Johnny picked it! Some of us are pictured here. You can imagine, it was difficult to get us all together! As expected, the service was good, and the food was great. Of course the best thing was the family being together. It seems the older I get, the more important family is.

We all returned to the beach house to finish the evening with the most gorgeous two-tierred fiftieth anniversary cake and ice cream. With strawberry filling, it tasted even better than it looked--so moist--it was one of the best cakes ever! Family time + good food = great memories!

Johnny went out early Monday morning (THE day) and bought me my favorite flowers, red roses, along with a "golden" vase. See why I've kept him for so long?

Note the two fish swimming up the wall in the background. They were fish skeletons!

The doorbell rang and a package from good Mississippi friends came. Wow! We're so fortunate! Around mid-morning, the doorbell rang again, and we were handed this gorgeous vase of flowers from Garland and Kelli with the sweetest note that made me cry.

Oh, those huge lilies; I just love them! What is there about flowers? They make me feel so special. I couldn't stop ohhing and ahhing over them.