Merry Christmas...

>> Saturday, December 24, 2011

From The Russell Family






     Enjoy your loved ones...





       ...Be in awe...



    

    

   


    ....Eat yourself stupid...





...And remember the reason for the season.








Have a wonderful Christmas!

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Kaleidoscope of Hope.

>> Monday, December 19, 2011


I'd like to wish all my friends and family a very Merry Christmas. 

During this busy time of year, it's easy to forget what it's all about--be sure to take the time to reflect on the true meaning.

This fictional piece is a FaithWriters Challenge entry from two years ago. I hope you enjoy it.


Krista flopped on the couch. Exhaustion had crept up on her like a cat stalks a mouse. Then it pounced, leaving her throbbing with fatigue.

The process had been a whole lot harder than expected, but the end result wasn’t too bad.  Her mom would probably be pleased that she had “not wasted the day away for a change.”

Maybe.

Her mother wasn’t pleased about much of anything these days. But decorating the house couldn’t hurt.

The Christmas tree glowed, reflecting off the window as daylight gave way to evening. Darkness slowly enveloped the room, but she made no move to turn on the lights. It was way more pleasant to sit and soak up twinkling holiday cheer. Although her present circumstances hardly qualified as “cheerful.”

Tears blurred her vision, casting red, blue, and green splotches on the nativity scene she had painstakingly placed on the mantle.

Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining…

Silver flashes cut like lightning across the top of the stable, Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus tucked inside.  Krista paused to consider Mary, musing at the irony.

Supposedly Mary was a young girl. Just fourteen or so, she had found herself unmarried and pregnant. That must have rocked good old Nazareth.

It is the night of our dear savior’s birth…

Red dollops that could have been on a fuzzy receiving blanket spotted the Christ child in the manger. But according to the story, he didn’t even have a blanket. Let alone anything else. No Onesies, diapers, or pacifiers. Not even a snowsuit to keep out the December chill. Nothing but a few tattered cloths. Poor Mary must have been beside herself.

And what about the unsanitary conditions? She eyed the inhabitants of the stable, wondering if the worried new parents fretted about the dirt, animals, and freezing temperatures. Bet they were freaking out. 

Long lay the world, in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth…
Sprinkles of gold fell across the shepherds and wise men that had come seeking the savior.  Were they disappointed to find their “king” was nothing more than a mere mortal?

She knew the story of Christ. He was sent by God for a purpose--a destiny that would be fulfilled on the cross. But that night, he was just a baby like any other. Unique yet so ordinary, the hope the world had been waiting for.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn...
Krista had been dragged to church when she was little. She listened to her mom talk about Jesus and how he offered the same hope to everyone if only people would accept him as lord and savior.
 
But she hadn’t paid much attention. 

As a teen, she’d taken a stand. Advised her mother that she was just fine and a “savior” was the last thing she wanted or needed.  The whole “hope” thing was fine for other people—she could take care of herself. Obviously she had been wrong.

Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels’ voices…

Krista cradled her expanding waistline, the baby bump somersaulting in response. “Oh little one, I’m so sorry I messed up my life and you'll suffer because of it. You deserve better…” A sob escaped as tears returned.

Guilt and shame slid down her cheeks like a dam unleashed. “I should have listened--made better choices. But I wanted my own way. No one was going to tell me what to do.  And now look at the mess I’m in…”

“Oh God, I need you…”

Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born…



*Lyrics to "Oh Holy Night" composed by Adlophe Adam*

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Never Give Up...

>> Sunday, December 11, 2011

Never Give Up On Something 
You Can't Go A Day Without Thinking About
Anonymous

I saw this quote on FaceBook. It struck me like a thunderbolt and jolted me to the tips of my toes. Unable to get it out of my mind, it niggled my brain to distraction.

So I made a list.

Coming up with all the things I think about on a given day wasn't all that hard. That being said, I'm a simple woman with a pretty straight-foward outlook on life so there wasn't that much to choose from.

Here's my list, in no particular order (except for #1.)
1. God
2. Friends & Family
3. Electronics
4. Writing
5. My job
6. Pets
7. My home
8. Golf (summer months only)
9. Coffee
10. The Civic
11. My hair (it has to be on the list; however, it actually belongs in the 'addiction' category.)
 
It's not all that astounding and those that know me well probably could have pin-pointed most of them. But when I started to mull the list over in light of the first half of the quote, it begged a question:

Do I give up on the important things?
Life can be difficult. And everyone feels like giving up sometimes. But how often do I throw up my hands and toss in the towel?

Some of my items are just normal things that can be annoying on occasion. Surely I would never give up on my home, car, or pets. Golf? I've considered it after a really bad round. Until the next time I step up to the tee.

Electronics can frustrate even the most saintly, but I wouldn't dream of living without them. My hair? I've learned to get past that one.

Writing is my passion and isn't going anywhere. When my brain turns to mush and I want to chuck it all, I just save and close the file, easy-peasy. It will be there another day.

Relationships can be hard. And messy. They're complicated and can make us crazy. But to do without? Not an option. You just learn to fight through the bad stuff: it always passes.
 
So maybe I don't give up on things. Do I take a break? Umm...yeah...probably more than I should. And eventually wander back.

It should be noted that God is in the top spot for a reason. I can honestly say I don't give up on him. Why? Because he NEVER gives up on me. I'm sure I frustrate him on occasion. And I totally know that my antics must amuse him.

There are times I whine at him and can be a bit of a complainer. I can lapse into victimhood in one dramatic heartbeat. His broad shoulders probably take me with a grain of salt, even at my worst. 

And when I get distracted, he welcomes me back with a hug. After I figure out I don't have to do it all on my own. 

Thank goodness he's always there.

Leads me to believe that he can't go a day without thinking about me.

Which means he'll never give up on me either.

That's a relief.

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Another November Has Come and Gone...

>> Tuesday, December 6, 2011

November totally rocked!

It flew by at warp speed and now that it's over, I'm looking back to reflect on what I learned and figure out where I go from here.

As I'm sure you all know, I was wrapped up in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short)

I typed my fingers to nubbins, striving to reach the 50,000 word goal by the 30th. It was fast and furious fun and just the same as the last two years, it was a learning experience too.

Here's a few of this year's insights:

1.  Getting words on a page isn't that hard for me. I was able to spit out an average of 2-3,000 per day so I ended up over word count and ahead of schedule most of the time.

2.  The quality of said words? Not so great. But it didn't matter: Just getting the storyline down created a framework to expand, revise, and tighten up.

3.  There's a competitive streak in me that serves as a catalyst for my motivation. Deadlines really can be our friend!

4.  I love to win! Enough said.

The end result of NaNo was that yes, I reached the 50,000 (55,659, to be exact) and more important, I was able to complete the rough draft of the manuscript I started two years ago.

Photo Finish is now safely tucked into a notebook (and backed up several different ways) so that the editing process can begin. I have test readers lined up, pre-editing phase done up to chapter 19 (of 50) and hope to move it into editing by the first of the year.

I'm also ready to get back to blogging. I made a choice to put my blog on the back burner because I was busy burning midnight oil on NaNo. Thanks for hanging in there. I hope you haven't grown weary of waiting for me to show up again and I appreciate your patience.

I plan on making a commitment to weekly posts (at least) and will bring in some of my fiction, devotionals, and of course, now that I let Miranda DailyLife have a crack at it, I'm sure I won't be able to get rid of her. (Note to self: change phone number.)

November may be a distant memory, but I have a constant reminder in the form of the winner's certificates.

They grace my wall as a reminder of the last three Novembers and are a visual what I can accomplish when I set my mind (and fingers) to it.

If I need encouragement when I feel like giving up, all I have to do is look up from my writing chair: instant gratification. (Who doesn't love that?)

And yes, there's room for more: I've already got a storyline bouncing around in my head for next November...

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Epiphany At The Pump

>> Saturday, November 19, 2011

While freezing myself silly at a gas pump the other day, I was reminded how much I hate winter. We had high wind warnings and arctic chill that would have made a polar bear feel right at home, yet necessity and my Honda dictated that I brave the elements.

I generally get back in my car while gassing (because I'm a wuss) but for some unknown reason, I decided to tough it out. Intent on passing the longest 60 seconds of my life, I found myself fascinated by a seagull.

No, my brain wasn't frozen.

The bird was struggling against Wizard-of-Oz-worthy wind, attempting to go north. He must have been confused: aren't birds supposed to go south this time of year? The elements kept pushing him in the opposite direction, sending him sailing. He would ride the wave for a while, regroup, and then return to his northward path.

He was determined to not give in and stayed focused even though the net result was nil. It was like the proverbial 'one step forward, two steps back' theory. But I could see he was making progress

As I got back into my toasty car, I let out a cheer of encouragement that earned me strange looks from the other customers. And as I putted on my way, I kept thinking about the seagull.

Was he annoyed that the wind deterred his mission? Of course I would never know, but I know what my response would be:

Oh, yeah.

I get frustrated when things don't go my way. (Not a big surprise to many.) I whine, cry, and carry on. Then I rant and ruminate, get depressed, and often fold up in failure. The end result? A puddle of defeat.

What a waste of energy.

Do I give up too easily? Or do I pull myself together and keep going? Do I persevere in the face of adversity, trials, and the normal annoyances of life?

Probably not enough.

Things (i.e. the enemy) come against us in an attempt to knock us off our square. Whether we allow it or not is up to us.

The Bible talks about this in 1st Peter 5.8:
"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."
(NLT)

This tells me I need to be on the alert. Not fearful, trembling, or cowardly. But strong and courageous enough to keep going. And if I do end up in that puddle, don't stay there. Get up and keep moving.

But I also need to remember the most important piece of the puzzle: I don't have to do it alone. God's here to help me, even when the updrafts of life spiral me into a nosedive. I need to focus on him and tap into the help he offers me. And even if I get pushed down or momentarily sidetracked, eventually the wind beneath my wings will lift me up if I keep trying.

And then I can soar.

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Guest Poster

>> Sunday, November 13, 2011

I should have known. There are some things you can just take for granted and this was one of them. And now I have to deal with it.

I have a friend that I've known for quite some time. She's another writer, but we were pals before we both discovered our passion.

We don't see each other often, yet pick right up where we left off when we do. The last year or so we've drifted, each caught up in our own lives. Until I started a blog. Then like a hound dog after a rabbit, she came out of the woodwork, wanting to ride on my coat tails.

But since I occasionally need someone to help me keep posting on a regular basis, when she approached me about guesting, I decided it wasn't all a bad thing.

This week, I'm going to introduce you to my buddy, Miranda DailyLife. Don't get me wrong: she's a scream. And tends to be a bit high maintenance, running on the drama queen side of reality. 

I'm sure I will have to reign her in sometimes.

Thank goodness I didn't give her the passwords to my blog!

The timing is good since I'm wrapped up with NaNo anyway (just passed 24,000 words and a couple of days ahead of schedule--WOOHOO. ) Might as well turn her loose. Feel free to comment: the good, bad, and ugly. She's got tough skin and it will make her a better writer.

Here we go...hope you enjoy, "The Adventures of Miranda DailyLife"

Livin' The Dream


Me (mouth open, as usual)


With a deep sigh, I glance around, unable to believe my good fortune.  I'm sitting outside, shaded from the sun's glare by stately maple trees, pounding feverishly on my laptop. Occasionally, I field anxious phone calls from my agent who is hounding me about deadlines. Apparently, there are just not enough hours in the day to keep everyone happy that is clamoring for my writing. I decide to let her get all stressed out if she wants but today, with the sun shimmering, birds chirping, and the smell of newly cut grass, I'm having none of it. The scent of a blooming lilac bush wafts in the breeze as I end the conversation with “Chill out- you can't rush art.” Hanging up with her voice is still ringing in my ears, I figure she'll get over it—that's why I pay her the big bucks.

Life just doesn't get any better than this. I've retired from my “regular” job and able to support myself in a modest manner without having to supplement in other ways. (The thought of standing for hours saying 'Welcome to Wall-Mart' just doesn't do it for me.) The cat ambles alongside my lawn chair and the dog is curled peacefully near. All is right with the world...I'm livin' the dream...

And then I wake up--literally. I've dozed off in my chair (again) and reality has come to call. Oh good grief! It's 11:30 and I have to get up in a few hours. Seven o'clock comes pretty early and of course, the coffee has to be made before I go to bed--can't get up and not have it ready(it's that instant gratification thing). By the time I finally hit the sack, of course, I can't fall asleep. As I lay there, contemplating the cosmos, my mind wanders back to the pleasant place I was earlier. I drift off with one a final thought..someday...

The next morning, I get up and it all starts over again. You know what I'm talking about:'It's the Daily Grind! Step up and be the next contestant....and maybe you'll win a prize!' My reward?

Just making it through the day- that's what it's all about for me.

 Of course, some days go better than others.Then when it's all said and done, I write. It's my way to escape reality and check out for a while. Eventually we all have to come back; however, for a short time, I can go anywhere I want and be anyone I care to. No one has a say and there is no wrong way to do it. Like a bird, I soar...OK, I won't wax poetic—you get the picture.

So how do I reconcile the two?  My existence and my dream?

By entertaining through the silliness of my life.

You may smirk, roll your eyes, or even let out a guffaw as I'm actually pretty funny (if I do say so.)  I've found the ability to laugh at myself and since everyone else already is, why not capitalize on it?  Believe me, there is plenty of material.

While my complicated reality may be mere fodder for giggle-fests, I know from personal experience that often when we turn our focus on others, our troubles don't seem quite as bad. With any luck, my misery will outweigh yours...geez, what am I saying? Anyway, I think you know where I'm coming from.

Hang on and enjoy: it's gonna be a bumpy ride! 

And make sure you let Kim know you want to hear more from me. For some reason, she seemed hesitant to let me guest for her.

She never did learn to play well with others...

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Y-Oh-Y-Oh-Y

>> Monday, November 7, 2011

Thought I'd do my "Y" post for A2Z4U&Me while I had a sec.


In case you're wondering "Y", here is the answer: because I don't want you all asking "Y...Y...Y...hasn't she posted lately?"
Because...

I was on vacation. Had a wonderful time in beautiful North Carolina, spreading a little TLC on my BFF who is recovering from surgery. She is doing well. We shared a few giggles in between recovery time, numerous naps, and daily walks. We always have fun and even though she wasn't totally up to par, I'm so glad I got to see her.

On the way home from the hospital



Credit: S. Harracharan
Also: I'm doing NaNo
For more on that, click here
Progress update: today is day 7. I have 15,641 words done. Need to average 1667 per day in order to finish by the end of the month and right now, I'm averaging 2234. I like to get a cushion going at the beginning because as time goes on, it's easy to stall out. It's going well and I'm pleased with my progress. My current goal with "Photo Finish" is to complete the story (finally!) and ship it off to my editor by the first of the year.



And of course, there's always work, life, responsibilities, etc. *blah*


So there's my explanations (excuses.) Your patience is greatly appreciated!
I may be a little BEHIND, 
but just BEAR with me. 
Eventually, November will END.


Thanks--You're the best!

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The Write Stuff

>> Monday, October 31, 2011


I had the best time this weekend. And all my writing buddies are gonna be soooo jealous.

So where was I?

Out in the middle of nowhere. And I loved it.

I had the privilege of joining fellow writers Jan Ackerson and Lynn Diener for a weekend writer's getaway.

Lynn was kind of enough to offer up her family cottage on Shavehead Lake near Vandalia, Michigan. I don't even know how to describe where it is except that when I left my house, all I had to do was drive an hour west.

Of course, I'm directionally challenged so it was no surprise that I had issues during my short journey. It was going really well until my path was blocked by a construction detour that left me unsure of  whether I could reach my turnoff or not.

I conferred with a man at a gas station and ended up taking the detour...that had no signs to mark the route. After another gas station stop and consultation with a drunk guy, (don't ask) I ended up on a back road, way out in farm country where I could hear the cows mooing.

Dark was closing in and I was starting to stress. I considered stopping to ask directions (again!) but  had safety concerns about the desolate area. Of course, I could have asked the man weaving down the middle of the road, dressed in some getup with knickers and a yellow wig. He and his dog tipped a glass at me as I zoomed by, deciding I'd rather keep going than risk interacting with another intoxicated person.
Lynn and I

By this time, I was ready to drink.

But eventually I ended up back on the main road, barely on the other side of the detour. Many winding turns, retracing of routes, and phone calls later, I found my way to Lynn and Jan.

We chatted, had dinner, sprawled out all over the living room, and just had the best time. We wrote, bounced ideas, and brainstormed our little hearts out.

Saturday morning we started in again. Several pots of coffee later, we were feeling pretty buzzed up. Then Jan broke out her chocolate stash...mmm...writer heaven.

And so it went all day long. Every now and then we'd take a break. They went for a walk while I stayed behind to do a little recreational reading. (Too cold for me--yes, I'm a wus.)
Don't they look writerly?
Each of us worked on various projects, Jan mostly on her blog while Lynn concentrated on her Page Turner entry. My goal was to review my manuscript from two years ago so that I could continue it and finally complete the story for this year's NaNoWriMo competition.

I'm pleased to say that I accomplished my goal and had the best time too--who could ask for anything more?  NaNo is just a day away and I'm pretty confidant that I'm at least ready to tackle it...for the most part...
My work station on the couch

And for all you writers out there that are salivating and green with envy?  Good news! Lynn's planning on doing it again in the spring.

Stay tuned--you definitely don't want to miss out.




I Had An AWESOME Time!
(Minus the drunk guys, of course)

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Best Day Ever

>> Thursday, October 27, 2011



"Fore!!!"

As summer winds down and the leaves begin to drift to the ground, I find myself edging into seasonal grief-mode because...


I'm a golfer



Before you get too impressed, a disclaimer:

--I've only played three years so it's okay that I'm not very good.

--Have no idea what my handicap is (or even what it means.)

--My swing is probably atrocious according to serious linksters.

--In order to compensate for my ball sailing right, I stand cockeyed to the left.

--Double-digits happen.

--I often lob my tee shot all of five feet...and then take a second.

--I buy Noodles (my favorite ball) in bulk.


But none of this matters because I'm totally in love with the game. From the minute I stepped on a course for the first time and my nephew said, "OK, hold here, link your fingers like this, pull back, and HIT," I was completely hooked.

I think it's a combination of beautiful surroundings that I don't have to maintain, soft breezes, and communing with nature. And I have a little bit of a competitive streak too, but usually only with myself. I tend to get frustrated when I don't play well...which of course, just makes me play worse.

 A few weeks ago, my sister and I decided to take advantage of one of the final mild days of the season. We hit our favorite course on a sunny Monday afternoon and marveled at the fact that for the most part, we had the place to ourselves.

Golfing in the fall brings about it's own special challenges: leaves and long grass. While the scenery was even more breathtaking than usual, we spent an inordinate amount of time looking for balls. But no complaints:  We had a marvelous time


We both played pretty well and even sprang for a second nine holes since it was just too gorgeous to stop.

At one point, we had a spectator. He was crossing a fairway and seemed rather perturbed that that we dare disturb his trek.

I inched in for a close-up with my cell phone while ignoring the wild look in his eyes. Probably not the smartest thing I've ever done but I did get cool pix.

Eventually he decided his photo op was over and hustled on his away (as much as a two foot turtle can.)

 

All too soon, we finished, savoring the memories in an effort to make them last till next spring. 

Woo-Hoo for the best day ever...


At Least Till Next Year!

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Woo Hoo!

>> Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NationalNovelWritingMonth

"W" is for...
WOO-HOO!  
November's Comin'

This year I’m going to (once again) attempt the National Novel Writing Month challenge (better known as NaNoWriMo). The idea is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. No one reads your words and there are no prizes involved, yet I can't think of anything I'd rather do.

I’ve been asked why I would want to type my fingers into a coma for 30 days and have nothing to show for it except a ream of paper and a chintzy certificate to hang on the wall. The answer?

For the thrill of writing. And to prove I could do it.

One of the coolest things about NaNoWriMo (besides the name) is that the key to finishing is to NOT edit while writing—the only thing that matters is output. It’s like an amusement park for writers: No tweaking or endless revisions--just type, type, type. Then type some more. Nothing but total, creative abandon. Building up without tearing down. 

What a “novel” idea!

While writing is not allowed until November 1, most folks prepare an outline, create their characters, plot the plot, etc. The first year I participated (2009) I didn’t even decide to do it until the day before. But I had had an idea kicking around for quite some time. Figured it was a golden opportunity.

The amazing thing is that it really wasn’t all that hard. I snapped into competitive mode and forged ahead. It was an awesome learning experience. Since I hadn’t done any pre-planning, I kind of felt around in the dark a lot, but that was all part of the fun. I created character sheets, chapter forms, and basically nudged my way through the story as I went along.

I also got a feel for what it would be like to write on a regular basis, day in and day out. Especially found out the importance of taking regular breaks. It’s hard to stop when you’re on a roll, but in the interest of stiff fingers, circulation, and bladder health, it is extremely important.

NaNo is a sacrifice of time, meals, and sleep. It’s a huge commitment and takes just about every waking moment. I would work all day, shove down food, and head for the keyboard. The animals went hungry more than once, laundry piled, and there were a few bottles of Motrin lying about. My family soon learned that phone calls risked receiving an abrupt, “Not now—I’m about to kill someone off.”

But it was worth it.

Over two billion words were written in 2009 and 50,012 of them were mine. The end result was my first official WIP (Writer-ese for ‘Work in Progress’) and Photo Finish was born.

In 2010, I actually started outlining and sketching a plot ahead of time. Pre-planning took a lot of the pressure off as I already had an idea of where the story was going. While the process was easier and I finished November with another “Winner” declaration, the manuscript didn’t really fire me up that much. Again, I learned a ton and was glad that I made the effort, but my heart kept returning to the year before.

The story niggled at my brain, especially since I had not completed the story. I had an idea of how it might end, but after November 30, 2009, I had never looked at it again. The hard copy sat on a shelf in a notebook, lost and forgotten. I could practically hear the characters floundering through cyberspace. They demanded I finish their their and were quite indignant that I had abandoned them.

I decided to begin the arduous process of re-writing Photo Finish and it's been another learning experience. I slogged away, made some progress, and have had it edited in order to enter the first three chapters in the FaithWriters “Page Turner”contest.

In the meanwhile, November began to invade my brain. I knew I shouldn't consider a new project. Why would I do that when I have a perfectly good manuscript just dying to be finished?

So back to Photo Finish I go.

This year I hope to complete the manuscript. I’m excited to get started and my fingers are twitching in anticipation. Of course, I’ve had a bunch of things suddenly come up in November, but that will be part of the challenge.

Here's the synopsis of Photo Finish to wet your appetite--hope you enjoy it. Maybe someday you’ll have an opportunity to attend my book signing and you can say, “I knew her when…”

 Photo Finish

Frankie Taylor has issues.

And a plan.

But things go awry, and he finds himself locked into a chain of events that will forever change his life.

As opposed to ending it.

Frankie is a down-and-out man who has decided to commit suicide. Never one to do things halfway, he comes up with a spectacular way to end it all. And finally gain the notoriety that has always eluded him. But on the way to “do the deed,” he observes a family on the train that reminds him of his own.

He muses about his own children, Melissa and Frank Jr. And the fact that a relationship with them has been almost nonexistent since the divorce. He always knew he was a lousy father. But knowing and fixing were two different things. It became easier to stay away entirely. And it hurt less.

As the family on the train goes their way, he is overcome with yearning for his kids, and wonders how they will deal with his demise. Yet it doesn’t divert him from his plan.

Until he finds the digital camera left behind by the family.

Frankie arrives at his destination, but gets distracted by the camera. His grand scheme unravels and loses the window of opportunity. As well as his nerve. Doubts set in and he begins to wonder if ‘someone’ is trying to tell him something.

Could God actually be trying to stop him from committing suicide?

But God hadn’t shown any interest in him in all the years since he had walked away from his faith. Why would he start now?

Frankie doesn’t have any definitive answers; yet as God begins to gently guide him back into life, hope returns. He seeks help for his problems, adjusts to sobriety, and attempts to patch things up with his kids…who are dealing with their own issues.

Frankie also feels obligated to find the family of the lost camera. After all, if it hadn’t been for it, things would have ended entirely different. It becomes imperative that he return the camera to its rightful owner and leads him on a journey he won’t soon forget.

Meanwhile, we meet the Alexander family: Evan & Emily and their teens, Cara and Jamie. They are the typical all-American family…at least to casual observance.

But trouble is brewing in the Alexander home, especially with rebellious fifteen-year-old Cara. Things spiral downward quickly, and soon they are plunged into life and death crisis.

And right in the middle of it all, Frankie shows up.

A bizarre chain of events brings them all together so they can learn about love, family, forgiveness, and most of all, the Great Healer.

God never lets go as we run the race called “life”. He shows us that even when we get tired and want to give up, he is right there beside us.

We win even when it doesn’t feel like it.

But sometimes it’s a Photo Finish.


Read more...

And the Winner Is....

>> Saturday, October 22, 2011


I thoroughly enjoyed getting in on Lisa Mikitarian's blog tour. 


"Her Safari" is awesome--A must-read! (Click to order.)

In the mean while, it's time for the drawing for a $5 Starbucks card from those that commented. 

 

I decided to get creative and allow one of my critters to pick the winner. Pippin was pretty excited at the prospect (can't you tell?)


But I finally convinced him to help me out. We got everything ready to go, had a few test runs, and then...



Getting ready...
He went to work.
"Hmmm.....decisions, decisions..."



It was a tense few minutes as he carefully made his way amongst the choices but at last he gave me his final answer...





And the Winner is.....Marita Thelander!
*Woo Hoo, Ye Haw, Etc. Etc.*
"Hope she takes me with her!"







Thanks to everyone who participated--You're the best!

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