Monday, December 28, 2009

My Art Card Giveaway!

Most of you probably know by now that I'm definitely into photography. On the right side-bar is the link to my etsy shop where I'm selling note cards made with photos I have taken.

However... at the moment my friend Kailani is giving away a set of my note cards on her blog, An Island Life. She's written a great review as well! So if this is something you'd like, hop over and enter to win! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Housing Adventures

We've been looking at houses for awhile now and can't seem to find anything we can afford that wouldn't require massive amounts of renovation money. This week our realtor called to let us know a house had just been reduced to close to our price range and we should go look at it.

So, Friday night we did and I swear it was like walking into my childhood home! Other than the fact that it was a mirror image and the kitchen and dining room were switched it is eerily similar! And other than the fact that it's a ways out of town it's actually a "normal" house compared to some we've looked at!

Consider the following: before we made an offer on this house there was one more we wanted to look at. It was in a community much closer to my parent's and that would have been nice. However, the following pictures will give you some small idea as to why we didn't stay more than 10 minutes in the house today.

This was one of the two upstairs "bedrooms". The carpet just made us laugh...

The second bedroom was off of this one... it was obviously an addition to the house because when you walked into the closet you could see where they'd raised the roof... the old roof was still there inside the closet, shingles and all! Plus you could see daylight out of the closet...

Downstairs the main living and dining room were pretty decent, but the kitchen...
There was a countertop range and then this was your only option for an oven:

I'm not sure you could even fit a small cookie sheet inside of it! Also notice the fabulous wall paper! There were a couple of the original cabinets on the walls and the rest were just sitting there unattached. Someone was planning on replacing them because off in a closed in porch area (very poorly done) were a bunch of raw cabinets sitting along the wall.

The list could go on, but our agent didn't even think we could get financing on this house... and my dad suggested it just needed a bulldozer!

Needless to say, this made the normal house look pretty good! We wrote up all the paperwork this afternoon so now we're just sitting on pins and needles, with our toes crossed. Or something like that!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Book: The Christmas Lamp

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Christmas Lamp

Zondervan (October 1, 2009)


Lori Copeland


Lori Copeland has been writing for twenty-five years and has over three million copies of her books in print. She began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that she began writing for the Christian book market.

To date, she has more than 95 books published, including Now and Always, Simple Gifts, Unwrapping Christmas, and Monday Morning Faith, which was a finalist for the 2007 Christy Awards. Lori was inducted into the Springfield Writers Hall of Fame in 2000.

Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. They have three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren. Lori and Lance are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.


Christmas trees, twinkling lights, skating in the park, and holiday displays are the hallmark elements for celebrating Jesus birth for the sentimental residents of Nativity, Missouri. Will fiscal responsibility replace Christmas their traditions when times are tough? Though their priorities and methods clash, Roni Elliot and Jake Brisco want the same thing, for the town to prosper. As the two get to know each other better, each begins to gain a new perspective on what the real wealth of Nativity and the season might be.


I've read books by Lori Copeland before and enjoyed them so I'm hoping this one is just as good! Unfortunately it will be one of those I hope to get read over Christmas break as well...

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Lamp, go HERE

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: First Gingerbread House

Someone was more interested in eating the candy than putting it on the house, but eventually he got the hang of it!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A Train Ride again!

On Saturday we went downtown for the annual free train ride the first weekend in December, just like last year.

Cory was big enough to sit in his own seat! Unfortunately the seats in this particular car were almost not big enough for Mama, especially with my prego tummy!

Nana had to sit in the box car... and these 2 yahoos made it unlatch or something!
They had to stop the train and call for reinforcements, but we got going again without too much fuss. Cory thought it was pretty cool they were working on the train right behind him.

I told Cory to hold onto his ticket... and right after this picture he dropped it. Oh, the wail! It was so cute except he was so sad! Good thing Daddy was there to rescue it!

All in all, a fabulous day for a train ride down by the river!

Shh, don't tell Cory, but we are going to have a train party next spring for his birthday! You can rent the train for 2 hours and have it all to yourself (3 rides, which are pretty decent). I'm thinking he's going to love it!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Book: The Christmas Glass

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Christmas Glass

GuidepostsBooks (October 1, 2009)


Marci Alborghetti


Marci Alborghetti has been writing only slightly longer than she's been reading. In seventh grade she received her first writing prize for a zany Halloween story. The prize? A five dollar gift certificate to a local bookstore. She was hooked. The Christmas Glass is her fourteenth book, and she is currently at work on a sequel as well as a non-fiction book about service. Some of her other books include: Prayer Power: How to Pray When You Think You Can’t, A Season in the South, and Twelve Strong Women of God.

She and her husband, Charlie Duffy, live in New London, Connecticut, and the San Francisco Bay area. While in New London she facilitates the Saint James Literary Club.


In the tradition of The Christmas Shoes and A Christmas on Jane Street, the heartwarming story of The Christmas Glass shows how, today as always, the Christmas miracle works its wonders in the human heart.

In the early days of World War II in Italy, Anna, a young widow who runs a small orphanage, carefully wraps her most cherished possessions -- a dozen hand-blown, German-made, Christmas ornaments, handed down by her mother -- and sends them to a cousin she hasn't seen in years.

Anna is distressed to part with her only tangible reminder of her mother, but she worries that the ornaments will be lost or destroyed in the war, especially now that her orphanage has begun to secretly shelter Jewish children. Anna's young cousin Filomena is married with two-year-old twins when she receives the box of precious Christmas glass.

After the war, Filomena emigrates to America, where the precious ornaments are passed down through the generations. After more than forty years, twelve people come to possess a piece of Christmas glass, some intimately connected by family bonds, some connected only through the history of the ornaments.

As Christmas Day approaches, readers join each character in a journey of laughter and tears, fractures and healings, as Filomena, now an eighty-four-year-old great-grandmother, brings them all to what will be either a wondrous reunion or a disaster that may shatter them all like the precious glass they cherish.


Sadly, I have not had a chance to even open this book, but hopefully I will take it with me over Christmas break! It looks like a fabulous Christmas read!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Glass, go HERE

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Blogging Buddies

Milestone: yesterday I met a blogging buddy for the first time ever!

Mrs. Einstein lives about an hour and a half east of me and we'd just never managed to get together despite knowing each other for almost 2 years (from the best we could figure). Her middle child is just a month younger than Cory so he had a blast playing with the girls and we had fun just chatting! Amazingly enough, most of it wasn't about blogging...