Monday, June 28, 2010

Music Camp

This is where we were every morning last week (minus Monday when I forgot it was music camp week!).  A dozen 3 and 4 year olds trying to learn to follow the teachers... all at the same time!

It was like trying to herd cats half the time... but on the last day we actually did see them all standing in a line...

They had circle singing time

and craft time (no pictures because I was an extra set of hands!)

And dance time and singing in rounds.

And then on Friday a "concert" for all the parents.

And great times were had by all.

Now, if anyone can tell me how to get these kids rhyming songs out of my head I will be forever grateful...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gratuitous Baby Video

This is mostly for the far flung family members... but you can enjoy it too!  The video I was talking about last week.  Noah talking to his Papa...

Noah's Talking from Krista on Vimeo.

And in case you're worried there's a bomb, no the beeping noise in the background is the oven timer telling us that the cake my mom made was done!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


On this Wednesday, I took my son to music camp.  I "made" him participate, but then caught him singing all the songs later.

I went to the Farmer's Market to buy fresh local cherries and lettuce.  On Wednesdays there is a much smaller group of vendors and it's still early in the season so there wasn't a lot available.  I also bought a scone made locally with no preservatives to share with my son while sitting under the tent there.

I went to the bakery outlet store to buy a specific bread for dinner.  The sales clerk was super happy to see me and my boys.  She misses them when we don't catch her there.  My son knows to ask for a cookie there.

When I got home I walked over to the post office to mail some pictures to the grandparents.  The postal clerk was happy to see us and gave my son some stickers.

I got a cool new onesie in the mail for my son (I write reviews here).

I went outside and watered my flowers and the lawn.  I washed my cloth diapers.

My mother came to visit.  She entertained the boys while I folded 4 loads of laundry.

My husband made the dinner while I cleaned up around the house.

My baby son required at least 4 outfit changes and a bath today.  I have spit-up on my shirt.

Perhaps this is the reason I haven't had much exciting to share on this blog lately.  This is my life.  But I'm trying to be in the present, trying harder to interact with my sons.  If that means the blog isn't super exciting, I guess that's life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Female Nomad and Friends

Three years ago my sister-in-law gave me a book for my birthday called Tales of a Female Nomad.  It took me 8 months to get around to reading it and then I devoured it in a few days.  You can read my review of it here.

The author, Rita Golden Gelman, left her email at the end of the book and so I took her up on it, and emailed her.  She wrote back personally and I have since joined her listserve and read about the cool things she is doing with trying to get more US kids overseas to actually learn about the world first hand - her organization is called Let's Get Global and is simply promoting kids to go, it's not an organization that sends kids itself.

In the past year or so Rita has started talking about this new book she's been working on called Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World.  I got my hands on an advance copy, but I'm sad to say that I haven't read more than a few of the stories so far (life with a baby in the house!).  This is an anthology.  There are 41 authors with Rita contributing a story to each "category".  All of the stories are about "taking risks" and connecting with other people.  Many of them revolve around food because that's a global language so she has included some recipes in the book!  Oh, the recipes...

Mouthwatering!  I'm not an adventurous cook and some I probably won't ever try, but some I will!  Last Friday Rita held a Global Dinner Party and encouraged everyone to invite their friends and have a meal and then share pictures online.  While I also was not able to participate in this, what a fun way for an author to really connect with her fans!

But I've saved the best for last...  ALL the royalties from this book are going to scholarships for kids in a slum in New Delhi, India.  How cool is that?

And from the book, here's a little introduction to Rita and her style!  Enjoy!  (and then go buy a copy for yourself!)
My Favorite Organization Ever
Rita Golden Gelman
Being a part of Servas is like having family all over the world. It’s actually better than family. People join Servas because they want you to visit them when you are in their country. Not always the case with family.
Since I have no home, I’m always a traveler and never a host. Servas visits are for two nights, and everyone (hosts and travelers) is screened in a face- to- face interview. Servas charges a small annual membership fee, and travelers pay a deposit for host lists in the countries they want to visit. During the visits, however, no money changes hands.
My first Servas visit was with Gabi and Batsheva in Tel Aviv in 1988. Before the trip, I saw their names in the Israel host book; I wrote asking if I could stay with them when I visited.
They welcomed me as they would an old friend. They fed me, toured me, guided me, and shared their stories as I shared mine. I helped with the cooking and clean- up and bought a meal or a snack here and there.
After only one day we felt so close that we decided their single son, then living in the Dominican Republic, and my single daughter, then living in New York, should marry! Never happened, but we did have fun planning the meeting and discussing the wedding. It was wonderful getting to know them.
Their love for each other made being with them a pleasure. Gabi and Batsheva met in an orphanage. Their parents were killed by the Nazis. During and after the war, the surviving kids were taken from Europe to an orphanage in Palestine.
The two found themselves among the oldest children there and ended up working on the same projects and caring for the younger kids together. They fell in love. Batsheva had a sister, Tova, who was also in the orphanage. I never met Tova, but Gabi and the two sisters shared a special closeness as the only survivors of both families. The sisters meant everything to each other.
As we shared our stories, Gabi, Batsheva, and I developed a special bond. Servas is like that. A level of intimacy is quickly established, and you always leave feeling as though you have made a new friend— or extended your family.
Several years later I returned to Israel for my cousin’s wedding. I called Gabi and Batsheva. Gabi answered the phone. He was excited to hear from me, but he explained that Tova had recently died and Batsheva was devastated. He didn’t think she felt ready for guests. The two women had been incredibly close, he reminded me. I suggested that maybe this time I could take care of Batsheva. They talked it over and decided it was a good idea.
I didn’t exactly take care of her, but I did some cooking and a little cleaning; and Batsheva was able to share her happy Tova stories, as well as her pain.
On the second day of my visit, Batsheva received a letter from a Servas friend in Brazil. Claudia had heard about Tova’s death and written a sympathy note. She had included her e- mail address. I offered to write to Claudia on my computer.
In the e- mail I introduced myself to Claudia, and then Batsheva dictated her response while I typed. I left the next day, sad, but pleased that I had been able to help.
Four years later in Argentina, I once again connected with people through Servas. I was staying in my friend Gera’s home in San Miguel, outside of Buenos Aires, so I didn’t need a place to stay, but I wanted to meet people in Buenos Aires. I took out my host list and called a few people. The response was fantastic. Servas members invited me to share meals, parties, and excursions.
After I had met a number of hosts, they told me that a group of them planned on taking a boat across the river the next Sunday to meet Uruguayan hosts. Would I like to come?
Of course. Our two groups got together in the charming Uruguayan town of Colonia and wandered for a few hours before lunch. Everyone wanted to talk a little to everyone else, so two of us would walk and talk for a while, and then we’d switch. The fi rst two Uruguayans I met insisted that I come back as their Servas guest (which I did). I was able to converse with them in Spanish, although they both spoke better English than I did Spanish.
The third person I met asked me not to speak Spanish. “My Spanish is not very good,” she said. “My English is better.”
“But aren’t you from Uruguay?” I asked.
“No, I’m not. I’m from over the border in Brazil.”
It was at that point that we introduced ourselves. “My name is Rita. I’m from the United States.”
“Oh, my God,” she said. “I can’t believe it. I’m Claudia.”
Yes, she was that Claudia! We hugged like old friends. And cried. And a month later I was a Servas guest in Claudia’s house in Brazil.
If you’re a traveler and a connector, check it out. It’s an amazing organization: or
Reprinted from “Female Nomad and Friends” by Rita Golden Gelman. Copyright © 2010.  Published by Three Rivers Press/Crown Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

We invite you to join us on the Female Nomad and Friends virtual tour. The full schedule can be seen at Book Promotion Services - Female Nomad Tour. You can learn much more about Rita Golden Gelman and her work on her website -

Monday, June 21, 2010

Book: Maid to Match

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Maid to Match
Bethany House (June 1, 2010)

Deeanne Gist

After a short career in elementary education, Deeanne Gist retired to raise her four children. Over the course of the next fifteen years, she ran a home accessory and antique business, became a member of the press, wrote freelance journalism for national publications such as People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, Houston Chronicle and Orlando Sentinel, and acted as CFO for her husband’s small engineering firm--all from the comforts of home.

Squeezed betwixt-and-between all this, she read romance novels by the truckload and even wrote a couple of her own. While those unpublished manuscripts rested on the shelf, she founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products that would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities.

After a few short months of running her publishing company, Gist quickly discovered being a "corporate executive" was not where her gifts and talents lie. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.

Eight months later, she sold A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers. Since that debut, her very original, very fun romances have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere. Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, two RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

Her 2010 books, Beguiled and Maid To Match are now available for order.

Gist lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-seven years and their two border collies. They have four grown children. Visit her blog to find out the most up-to-the-minute news about Dee.

Falling in love could cost her everything.

From the day she arrived at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled, by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid, After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs.

But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs, their aspirations...their hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maid to Match, go HERE.

Join this SPECIAL GETAWAY (Click on the Button):

Thursday, June 17, 2010

3 Months

Last night at my parents we "weighed" Mr. Noah with the Wii and it said 15.3 pounds.  I quite believe it because he is a chunk!  I can't carry him in the sling now for longer than a quick trip into the store because it hurts my shoulder. 

Hooray for the Ergo!

Especially since he is waaaaay more of a "hold-me" baby than Cory was.  I seriously can't put him down for more than about 10 minutes (although that's an improvement over 30 seconds!) before he's screaming.

He is super expressive though and will "talk" to you if you look him in the face and smile at him.  I got an awesome video of him talking to my dad yesterday, but will have to get it off their camera and try to post it later.
He's super strong, doing baby push-ups and if you hold his hands he can stand up on his own, although he's adorably bow-legged!

People think he looks like Cory, but I'm not so sure... he's his own person and I'm glad!

He's still very much a puke-boy, but I will take that over poo explosions any day.  Yes, I will be the mom out in public with spit-up on her shirt since I have already used the spare!

I'm also glad that he's sleeping for pretty good stretches at night and generally goes right back to sleep after eating.  Now if I could just get myself to bed earlier and wish Cory didn't wake up so early...

But today is also that last day of school so Brian will be home for the summer.  Hooray!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book: A Tailor-Made Bride

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Tailor-Made Bride

Bethany House (June 1, 2010)


Karen Witemeyer


Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid-to-late 1800s.

In January, 2009, Karen signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers for three inspirational historical romance novels, and she is thrilled to announce that her first book, A TAILOR-MADE BRIDE has released this month. For an inside look into the background and quirks of some of the major players in this upcoming story, click over to Character Corner.


When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!

Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with the new dressmaker in Coventry, Texas. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothes, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.

Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner, while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?

When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to consequences neither could have foreseen--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?

So apparently I thought all these books for June looked good to read... And apparently I thought I'd have time to read them... NOT!  Enjoy!

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Tailor-Made Bride , go HERE.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book: Seeds of Summer

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Seeds of Summer
Zondervan (May 25, 2010)


Deborah Vogts

A word from Deborah:

If you haven't guessed by now, the books I write are set in the country. I believe my most dedicated readers will be those who live in the country, those who have moved from the country and still hold it in their hearts, or those who have never lived there but long for the simple life it offers. Because of this, I've chosen Country at Heart as my writing brand, which is also the title of my Blog.

On Writing:

I began my first book when I was in high school. In college I studied English literature and journalism. Then came marriage, kids . . . life. During that time, I piddled with my writing but didn't take it seriously until 2002 when I joined a local writer's group and American Christian Fiction Writers. I also joined a critique group, took online writing workshops, read writing book how-to's and attended writer's conferences. Now I have an agent, Rachelle Gardner, at WordServe Literary and have been contracted with Zondervan for a three-book contemporary romance series.

The Seasons of the Tallgrass series captures the spirit and dreams of ordinary people living in the Flint Hills of Kansas--one of the last tallgrass prairie regions in the world.

The first book, Snow Melts in Spring, is available in stores now. Seeds of Summer released May 2010.


When opposites attract, sparks fly--like an electrical malfunction. That's what happens when former rodeo queen, Natalie Adams meets the new pastor in Diamond Falls.

Upon the death of her father, Natalie returns to the Flint Hills to raise her two half-siblings and run the family ranch, giving up her dreams for the future. She soon realizes her time in college and as Miss Rodeo Kansas is not enough to break the bonds that held her as a girl.

Jared Logan, a new pastor in Diamond Falls, is set on making a good impression to his first congregation, but finds that change doesn't come easy for some people. In fact, most in his congregation are set against it. Natalie and her troubled family provide an outlet for his energy and soon become his personal mission project.

Having raised her stepbrother and sister from an early youth, Natalie's self-sufficient nature isn't inclined to accept help, especially from a city-boy do-gooder like Jared Logen. Though attracted to him, there's no way she'd ever consider being a pastor's wife. Bible studies and bake sales just aren't her thing.

Jared repeatedly comes to Natalie's rescue, forcing her to see him with new eyes. At the same time, Jared's plan to plant Christ's word in Natalie's heart backfires when he loses his own heart to this wayward family. When problems arise in his congregation, he must face his greatest fears---of letting down God, his congregation, or those he loves. His time with Natalie has shown him the importance of standing by those you love, a lesson he chose to ignore in order to please his father years ago.

This is put to the test when Natalie faces a battle of custody of her half-siblings against the mother who abandoned them twelve years ago. Natalie's fight for the children turns into a fight for custody of her heart as she learns the true meaning of unconditional love. In turn, Jared must decide which dreams are his own---and whether Natalie is part of those dreams.


Kinda hard to read a book you haven't received yet... this is the second in a series, but I haven't read the first one either!

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Seeds of Summer, go HERE.

Friday, June 11, 2010

PSF: Just like Mommy

The other day Cory brought his "bibi" in to me and had it all twisted around his body.  He said it was his sling just like I wear Noah.  So I fixed it for him and told him to go get one of his stuffed animals to wear.

Too cute for words!

PhotoStory Friday

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book: Finding Jeena

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Finding Jeena
Kregel Publications (March 8, 2010)


Miralee Ferrell


In October 2007 Kregel Publications published The Other Daughter with excellent reviews. The Romantic Times Review magazine gave it Four out of Four and a half stars, with a very strong review. Two different major motion picture studios are currently considering the book as a possible family movie, and my second book in the series (Past Shadows) is on my publishers desk being reviewed for a possible contract offer now.

In February of 2009, Love Finds You in Last Chance, California was published by Summerside Press and Finding Jeena released in March 2010 from Kregel Publications.

Miralee Ferrell lives in Washington with Allen, her husband of more than 37 years, ans has two grown children. She serves on staff at her local church ans is actively involved in ministry to women.


Jeena Gregory thought she’d made it. She has everything a woman could ask for and a budding career promises more. But when rumors around town cast her boss in a shady light, Jeena starts to question her employer’s integrity. Was she wrong to trust this man and this job?

When the boss disappears, salaries go unpaid, and Jeena overhears several hush-hush phone calls, she realizes her carefully crafted world is crumbling. Shaken to the core at the threat of losing everything, Jeena is suddenly confronted with her prejudices─and with a God she had long forgotten.

Once again I haven't had time to read this, but I can tell you that I really enjoyed the last book I read by Ferrell.  She really does her research to make sure the characters are in the correct setting and that translates to the characters as well!

If you would like to read an excerpt of Finding Jeena, go HERE.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Shadows on the Wall

The sun was making cool bokeh patterns on the wall in Cory's room late one afternoon through the leaves blowing in the wind outside.

It's times like this I wish I had a video camera, to catch the moving shadows that reminded me of being underwater.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Book: A Hopeful Heart

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Hopeful Heart
Bethany House (June 1, 2010)

Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.

Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school's one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher--or the wife of one.

Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she'll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt's hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, riding a horse, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands. But what other options does she have?

Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once--and he got his heart broken. But there's something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice.

When Tressa's life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life--and his heart--to help this eastern girl?


Sorry, haven't even thought about picking this one up!

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Hopeful Heart, go HERE

Thursday, June 03, 2010

PSF: Cat in the House

So last weekend when our friends came through, since one of them was moving, he had his cat with him.

We didn't know this until the morning when he went to give it water in the car.  It had it's own space in the back window (and yes pet lovers, our weather is mild and he left some windows cracked).

So we had to bring it in and meet... Annika!  Which is my brother's girlfriend's name so kind of odd!  She was a very nice cat and actually did okay on the leash.  You can't really tell, but it's kind of a bungee leash so it doesn't hurt her if she pulls.

It was kind of cool to have a cat in the house... until Cory petted it and then there was a mass of cat hair floating around.  Oy!  I grew up with a cat and a dog in the house so you think I wouldn't mind, but I just can't do pet hair everywhere!  Cory loves pets and I would like to have a cat and perhaps a dog... but I'm not sure how to reconcile that with my need to have a clean house!  Ideas, suggestions?

And this week I'm helping Cecily host Photo Story Friday!  So if you have pictures to post please add your link below!

PhotoStory Friday

Hosted by Cecily and Krista

To play Photo Story Friday, check this. Copy this code into your post and sign the link list:

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Early Indoctrination

 With Daddy...

With David, a friend who stopped for the night.
He is also seriously the baby whisperer.  Noah had been fussy allllll day and he was quiet for almost 2 hours with David!  Must help that he has 4 kids of his own!