Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book: A Matter of Character

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Matter Of Character

Zondervan (May 25, 2010)


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.


It's 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs, Idaho. But Daphne has a secret.

A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories ... except Daphne.

When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.


Robin is conducting a contest for the new book. Join in the fun HERE.

In my busy life I've only gotten a few chapters into this book.  It's actually the third in a series about sisters in this town.  I read the second one and it was a fun light read.  I expect this one to be much the same with the girl and the guy ending up together.  However, I could be wrong... you never know!

If you would like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of A Matter Of Character, go HERE.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rain, Rain, Random

Seriously I feel like I'm living in Oregon again.  It has NOT rained just one day this week.  This time of year it's usually 80+ degrees out!  With all the gloom I have a serious lack of motivation.  Plus I have a 3 year old trapped inside who wants all my attention.  However on the plus side it means that the yard and garden are getting watered for free!

When we went to visit the Great grandparents last month we watched a little parade.  One of the floats had a square dancing group and as they drove by us they were doing the Hokey Pokey... which Cory remembers as the Hunky Punky.  So this morning while I was in the shower he came in and wanted me to sing the "Hunky Punky".  The kid has an amazing memory...

In other Cory news... yesterday I gave Noah a bath as we were having our picture taken for the church directory last night (more on that later).  I left the baby bath tub in the tub and Cory was "washing" his bath toys in it.  While I was dressing Noah I suddenly heard him talking to himself, "I peed on myself, I need to take a bath".  When I got back in the bathroom I find that yes, he had peed on the rug (grrr!), but then he had taken all his clothes off, climbed in the tub, and was perched in Noah's bathtub.  Yes, I did take a picture as it was hilarious, but no, I'm not posting it online!

Now for the church directory picture... we had this done 3 years ago when Cory was about the age Noah is now.  So I found that same outfit for Noah to wear - score!  I also managed to get relatively coordinating colored shirts for the rest of us to wear.  I didn't think it would be so difficult to get a family picture, but Noah was awake and fussy and the worst part was the photographer.  He made all kinds of funny noises with his mouth, presumably to get kids' attention.  But he was so in your face and brusque about positioning us that Cory was afraid of him.  Which meant that he wouldn't look at him or the camera.  So, the very first picture of the family is the only one that was decent.  And the only one where he is actually smiling Brian is holding him and I'm standing behind the photographer telling him to say "pickles" rather than "turkey".  Who tells someone to say "turkey" anyway?

And now while I'm writing this my son has just come to tell me that he "wants some more to eat" for the third time.  Hello, where did my child go that takes an hour to eat?  For lunch he's already had: a hotdog, some peas and carrots, string cheese, frozen cherries and blueberries (like a whole cupful), Ritz crackers, and graham crackers.

Hope you all have a good holiday weekend!  We'd work in the yard... if it would quit raining!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Retirement

This is my mom's last year of teaching and her fellow teachers threw her a retirement party on Sunday.

She got a whole basket full of cool stuff (including a tree!), but not before people told some funny stories about her!

This is the principal, Mr. B., telling how Mom pulled the best one on him of anyone he's ever known!

And these are just some of the people that came to wish her well! 

Now it's time for some traveling!  Happy Retirement Mom!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Quick, what's the first thing you think of when someone mentions foster care?

Kids with no parents?  An overworked system?  Kids getting shuffled from home to home?  All of the above?

May is deemed National Foster Care Month and AdoptUSKids would like to share some stats with us about the foster care system.
Did you know it would take less than 1% of the U.S. population to provide a family for every child in foster care? 
May is National Foster Care Month and there has never been a greater need to bring attention to children waiting for forever homes.  More than 463,000 children are currently in foster care and 123,000 children are waiting to be adopted. 
Children in foster care are loving children.  They are children like Shaquane and Edlina and Albert.  Every child deserves to have a home with caring and supportive parents. 
Help us spread the message this month to reach all Americans and teach them about the love and joy that foster care adoption can bring to your life.
Visit to learn more about fostering and adopting. You can also join our online communities on Facebook and Twitter
I know it takes a commitment to be a foster family and right now I don't think our family is in the right place to do that.  But it simply blows my mind that if less than 1% of people would consider being foster families then every child in the system would have a permanent home.

What can you do today to spread the word about foster care and adoption?  Check out this website for more ideas!

Friday, May 21, 2010

PSF: Train!

Cory loves all things train so my college roommate brought him this awesome train that she made this weekend!  (She works at a lab where they get highly sensitive equipment in fancy boxes so this one is actually very sturdy)

Cory wanted Nana to go along for a ride...

I think he was pretty happy about this present!

And yes our neighbors have flamingos in their yard
(as well as a toilet - which they are growing strawberries in... I'm not asking!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Two Months Old

I don't think this actually qualifies as Wordless Wednesday this week... but it's my blog and I don't care!

Monday Noah was 2 months old.  Seriously?  How did that happen already!

Last Monday at the last midwife appointment he weighed 12 1/2 pounds.  That's a half a pound a week since he was born!  Now if only I could lose weight at the same rate he's gaining...

I love the many expressions this kid has and his smiles are simply amazing!

He's sleeping better at night although pretty much has to be held all day or he's screaming.  I'm so so glad for my sling.  He responds to voices and turns his head towards them.  At least me, Brian and Cory.  Oh, and that baseball outfit he's wearing last Friday... Cory wore that in his 2 month pictures and Noah is pretty much too big for it now.  I think we might be in trouble!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Train Party!

Since Cory's 3rd birthday was right around the time Noah was due to be born (and we didn't know he'd be so early!) I scheduled his train party for May instead.  Bonus, the weather was definitely better!

We have this awesome small gauge railway in the park downtown and you can reserve it for a private party for a great donation price!  We invited some friends and of course all the grandparents came.  It turned out to be a great party!

Getting ready to ride with Auntie Allison and Papa behind.

For the party they run the train 3 times and it's a good 10 minute ride at least.  It goes down the park completely out of sight of the station.  Sometimes the cars even "derail" so you have to stop and fix it!
Auntie Allison enjoyed the ride...

Cory riding with his Grandpas!

My friend Nate, that I've known for about 10 years was the engineer!

 All the Grandma's riding!

Cory didn't want to go on the third ride, but we walked down a ways and he waved as they all went by!  Poor kid was still a bit under the weather from puking all night Thursday.  That was not a fun time...

Noah was not a happy boy, but I had plenty of hands to hold him!  And after this the family came back to our house for dinner... and installing an air conditioner.  Good thing too because it was 80* and with 12 people in our house quite warm!  All in all a fun day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

PSF: Matching Brothers

When we went to visit the grandparents last month I realized that the boys had matching jammies.  Filing that in the back of my head for future reference... when Cory put his on last night I made sure to put Noah in his this morning (otherwise they would have been puked on in the middle of the night).

Sadly the lighting in my living room isn't as great as in our old apartment.  Either that or I need to get up earlier so I actually have the sun shining in part of the window and helping me out rather than being overhead...

Cory sat for a couple of pictures and then wanted to play with his cars.  I couldn't resist taking a few more pictures and I just love this one!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Character

This boy has the best facial expressions of a baby I've ever seen.  Look out world!

One day shy of 8 weeks old...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book: A Woman Called Sage

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Woman Called Sage
Zondervan (April 1, 2010)

DiAnn Mills


Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies.

DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels.

Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2007, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild.

She lives in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.


They took away everything she, she’s out for revenge.

Sage Morrow had it all: life on a beautiful Colorado ranch, a husband who adored her, and a baby on the way. Until five ruthless gunmen rode up to their ranch and changed her life forever. Now Sage is a bounty hunter bent on retribution.

Accompanied only by her majestic hawk, she travels throughout the Rocky Mountains in search of injustice, determined to stamp it out wherever it’s found. The stakes are raised when two young boys are kidnapped and Sage is forced to work with Marshall Parker Timmons to rescue them. But Sage may ultimately get more than she bargained for.

In this exciting historical romance set in the late 1800s, murder, intrigue, kidnapping, and questions of faith will keep you in suspense until the final pages.


I think I've been a bit burnt out by fiction lately so I'm not raving about this book.  But considering that, it actually was a very good read.  I wouldn't really characterize it as a romance either.  There was definitely more intrigue than anything.  I also liked the fact that I couldn't figure out what was going to happen and then the twist at the end of the story.  I love it when it changes everything you think about some of the characters!

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Woman Called Sage, go HERE.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

My mom and my new baby son (at about a week old).  Happy Mother's Day to me!

Entered in An Island Life's May Photo Contest.

Friday, May 07, 2010

PSF: Monster Truck Wash

We're watering our garden and lawn by hand... some areas get more water than others when we forget and leave the sprinkler running... for hours!  Guess we just won't water that part for a couple days!

Yesterday after watering the garden Cory wanted to wash out his truck.  He had used it to help haul dirt from the pile in the front yard to the garden beds in the back.

Very serious...

Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies...

I'll try to get pics up of our garden soon!  We have carrots, peas, and beets showing as well as our tomato plants!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Debi

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Babywearing

This is the Sakura Bloom sling that I won from the "baby shower" Stephanie held.  Mr. Noah does not like being put down when he's awake (or sometimes even when he's asleep) so this helps me get some a few things done during the day!  It's been a life saver!

Boys update: as of April 30th doctor's appointment Cory is 41 inches tall and weighs 41 pounds.  Noah is 22 inches and weighs 11 pounds 4 ounces!

Sunday, May 02, 2010


This morning a friend lost her fight with breast cancer. She was my age. We had a lot in common, but were very different people. She has 2 small children (2 1/2 and 1). She was supposed to start a new drug trial that showed great promise in helping her get back into remission. Now she's gone.

We were in the same small group for a couple years, but I haven't really talked with her much recently. We were both teachers and I used to sub in her class. We walked when Cory was small. We had a bit of a falling out. I never quite knew where I stood with her after that. Now I'll never know. Now she's gone.

I know where she is and I'm thankful that she is no longer in pain. For her, she is complete. Now, what do those left behind do? How do children grow up without a mommy. For they are so small they will never really know her. And she has been sick for much of their little lives.

We have a lot of grandparents that are sick right now. I went to the first funeral I'd been to in years when my great aunt passed away on New Year's Eve. For them, it's hard, but you know it's coming. This is the natural order of life. You get old and eventually you die. It's never easy, but that's just the way life is.

But someone my age. With a family. It's not the way it's supposed to be. Somehow it seems to leave a much bigger hole. She's gone. And yet the world keeps on turning. It doesn't seem right.