Sunday, November 30, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM



This picture is one of Lion’s roses in bloom. Hubby and I saw this rose bush as we were looking for something else. We both had the same thought and brought it home with us. 

Anyway, I wanted to make sure to do a Thanksgiving post this year because there are so many things I have to be grateful for. So here it goes . . .

  • I am grateful for my wonderful family which includes my immediate and extended family.
  • I am grateful for a loving, kind, supportive Hubby.
  • I am grateful for three little boys who are teaching me many lessons in life. 
  • I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • I am grateful for the knowledge of the resurrection.
  • I am grateful I know where Lion is and that I will see him again.
  • I am grateful for this beautiful world we live in. There is so much good that I believe is overlooked at times.
  • I am grateful for wonderful, supportive friends and neighbors.
  • I am grateful for smiles. :)
  • I am grateful for laughter.
  • I am grateful for animals, even though they always end up being more work.
  • I am grateful for the time we have.
  • I am grateful for trials and how they help us learn and grow.
  • I am grateful for the temples of the Lord.
  • I am grateful for good books.
  • I am grateful for beautiful music and how it uplifts the soul.
  • I am grateful for a cool breeze on a hot day.
  • I am grateful for the rain.
  • I am grateful for the freedoms I have and those who have sacrificed to safeguard those freedoms.
  • I am grateful for those who are willing to serve in any compacity—civil, military, ecclesiastical, etc
  • I am grateful for food, even though I don’t like to eat.
  • I am grateful we can drive to the store and purchase things.
  • I am grateful for hard work.
  • I am grateful for the plan of salvation.
  • I am grateful for the Atonement.
  • I am grateful for life.


There is so much to be grateful for. This season I pray we/I won’t forget to be thankful for all we have. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 28, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

I have a beautiful post planned with a gorgeous picture of one of Lion's roses, but Hubby and I just got back from a concert by The Tenores (a wonderful concert) and I can't keep my eyes open. A bag of M & M's kept me awake after taking the babysitter home. So this post will have to wait until later today. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

SAVING GRACE by Michele Paige Holmes—Book Review/ #amreading #books #reviews

SAVING GRACE by Michele Paige Holmes. What a cute, romance read. I loved how Grace's agenda backfired in a way. I loved how the Duke delt with the situation, and the ending was perfect. This engaging, clean romance is for anyone and everyone who loves a good love story.

:) :) :) :) :)

After the death of Grace Thatcher’s grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. But her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing.
As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage. But when Grace meets Mr. Samuel Preston, a true gentlemen and sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

I was reminded by a dear friend about something from my last post. Often times we are not close enough to overhear what people are saying who are going through hard trials. Distance limits us it what we are able to do. However, it does not limit our ability to pray. She said she prays hard for those individuals that they will have the comfort they need. And she’s right. We should and can pray for those who are struggling.

Looking back on my experience with Lion brings many things into view. I didn’t realize how much we were sustained through those weeks. I felt those prayers that were being sent my way, our way. I felt the comfort and the strength from those prayers. It was an amazing feeling. I can still remember the day that extra help was lifted. It was a noticable difference in not only the air around me but in the feelings I had. It was almost like I was being set down after being carried for awhile. The added warmth wasn’t there but I still felt the comfort.

I can testify to the strength and blessings that are given to those we pray for. And it’s not only saying a prayer but asking for specific things. Bless so and so with the added strength and comfort they need at this time has an added power than a general bless so and so. Or being able to not only ask for a specific person but for a specific purpose. Bless so and so who is struggling with this . . . or something like that. There is an added blessing and power to specific prayers. People feel them. They are a strength. They lift and bless those lives. It’s an amazing thing that the Lord has given us.

Last week I said I’d begin sharing some of the doctrine Hubby found comforting while researching what the apostles and prophets have taught about the plan of salvation and infant deaths. Well, due to the fact that I was asked to speak in church and the holidays that have snuck up on me (please tell me I’m not the only one that feels like they came early and yet late at the same time), I’m not prepared to share those yet. So forgive me and hang in there. They are coming.

I’ll end with some gratitude, since it is the season. :)

  • I am incredible grateful for the power of prayer, and not only prayer but specific prayers.
  • I am grateful for good friends and family who continually teach me, stretch me, and help me to grow.
  • I am grateful for the love, guidance, and support of a loving Father in Heaven and Savior.
  • I am grateful for this beautiful world.
  • I am grateful for how precious life is.
  • I am grateful for the many opportunities life has given me.
  • I am grateful for laughter.


My list of gratitude will get longer, but for now . . . what are some things you are grateful for?


Friday, November 21, 2014

SAM'S CHRISTMAS WISH by George Durrant—Book Review/ #amreading #reviews #books #christmas

SAM'S CHRISTMAS WISH by George Durrant. This was a darling book. The pictures were beautiful and I was excited to read it to my son. Although the ending was perfect, I could tell the concept behind it was a little lost for my son who's three. It brought tears to my eyes though. A beautiful Christmas wish granted.

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"We don't need no charity," insists Big Sam Edwards. It's bad enough to have lost his job a few weeks before Christmas; the thought of "do-gooders" meddling in his business is more than he can bear. "I'll be watching if anybody comes around trying to leave anything at the door!" he warns.
But the mystery of a pile of gifts left anonymously, without any tracks in the snow, works a change in Sam's heart. The spirit of Christmas fills his home with joy.
Over the years, Sam becomes one of the most generous men in town. Yet his fondest wish goes unrealized: "I wish I could do something good and do it in secret so nobody would ever know."
And then one Christmas, he gets his chance—his secret act is even more gratifying than he ever could have imagined.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ADRENALINE RUSH by Cindy Hogan—Book Review/ #amreading #books #reviews

ADRENALINE RUSH by Cindy Hogan. This book began as a real thrill ride. I loved the feel and pacing of the book. The characters were great, and I loved the concept. I was really enjoying it until the middle. Things got very disturbing to me. I didn't think the death-defying stunts needed to be as horrific as they were. It was very twisted in my opinion. I also didn't realize this was part of a series. I felt left out of some of it since the main character kept referring to things that had happened in the past. It was a good read, but in the end, not for me. Although I'd be curious to see how it all began. I can't recommend it for everyone.


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A madman with a mission is kidnapping groups of thrill-seeking high school seniors across the country, and it s up to Christy to stop him. To do so, she must take on a fearless alter ego and infiltrate a group of adrenaline junkies bent on pushing life to the limit. Death-defying stunts are only the beginning: two groups fit the profile, and Christy must discover the real target before it s too late.

If she chooses the wrong group, more people will disappear. But choosing right puts her as the prime target with no guarantee that she'll get out alive.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

I apologize for last week. We went on a family trip and I completely forgot about posting. :) It was a great trip though. Here’s a picture, Hubby took. I tried for awhile to get one like this and of course he got it within a couple minutes. Gotta love it!



There have been many things over the past couple of weeks that have made my heart ache. I’ve watched a couple of friends morning their children who have passed. It’s still very new for both of them, one of which celebrated a birthday for their loved one. How I wish I could take their pain away.

This is going to seem like a very abrupt transition, but it all ties together. Hubby is a great researcher. When things happen, he digs into things to find truths, facts, anything that will give him more knowledge on the situation. Me, I’m not that way. I haven’t figured out what I do in situations other than pray.

With Lion, he researched not only the trisomy 13 syndrome but church doctrine on the plan of salvation and talks from apostles and prophets on the loss of children. I have watched him share with countless people these doctrines that have been so comforting to him. I have even shared on his behalf, and I realized recently that I haven’t read those articles yet. I need to.

I remember a friend of mine asking what I found comforting during the time right after Lion passed. What can others do to help. That is a very hard question to answer, and I don’t think I ever talked about it. I think I will now since I’m on the other side of things this time. I think I will also share those truths that Hubby has researched. Maybe they will help someone or maybe they will help you help someone, because we all need support, especially when dealing with a trial like losing a child.

A hug and telling someone you love them is always a good start in any situation. After that it’s easy to feel lost as to what to do. Then comes the question, “What can I do to help?” Chances are, they don’t know the answer. They’re barely keeping it together. It means a lot that there are people willing to help, and they may even feel bad that they can’t come up with anything (which I know is never the intent of that question).

So, rather than asking that question, watch and listen. You will think of or hear things in passing that you can do to help. Then just do them. Don’t ask, just do them. You can do them anonymously or not. Meals, watching kids, quietly getting house work done, taking care of animals, gardens, garbage cans, anything you can think of will be greatly appreciated even if they don’t know it at the time. I had someone make me a CD of songs that she loved to listen to after she had a child pass. It was greatly appreciated, although it took me a little while to recognize what she had done for me.


Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what can be done. Hopefully you can help someone in any situation with these suggestions, and over the next few posts, I’ll share the articles Hubby shares with friends who are going through a similar experience.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A CHRIST-CENTERED CHRISTMAS by Emily Belle Freeman—#BookReview #amreading #ChristCenteredChristmasn

A CHRIST-CENTERED CHRISTMAS by Emily Belle Freeman. With Christmas around the corner (and really having begun in September which is when I found Christmas decorations popping up in stores) I find it a good reminder to take a look at the true meaning of Christmas. The hustle of the shopping, the craziness with parties, family, gifts, and the list goes on. It's very easy to forget the humble beginnings of the holiday. This book shows different ways to keep Christ in the center of Christmas. It talks about seven of the people involved in that first Christmas, what they represent and how we can utilize their examples to help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Emily shared experiences as well as what her family has done to shift their focus. I found several things that I could easily add to our family traditions as well as those that we are already doing. It is a great, easy read that will help you shift your focus back on Christ during this Christmas season.

:) :) :) :) :)

Deepen the spirit that fills your heart and home this holiday season when you discover the meaning behind seven gifts of Christmas, each celebrated with an invitation from the scriptures and a simple tradition.
Each gift is based on a figure in a Nativity set, and the traditions can easily be combined with things you already do. This year as you prepare your home for the season, resolve to prepare your heart in a way that will lead you closer to Christ.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

THE MATCH MAKER by Karey White—Book Review #amreading #bookreview #books

Match Maker Book CoverThe Match Maker by Karey White (The Husband Maker #2) I loved the first book in this series. Check out my review of that one, here. This is the first book I have ever wanted to skip to the end to make sure it wrapped up the way I wanted it to. I didn't do that and enjoyed the book but it was harder to get through because I know what I wanted to have happen. The characters are still wonderful and I got a good taste of Scottland, which I loved. I can't wait for the next book to make sure Charlotte ends up with who I think she should. This is a series I would recommend having all three books to read back to back, otherwise you are left feeling incomplete at the conclusion. It is a great read that I would recommend for anyone, though.

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(Summary contains spoilers if you have not yet read book #1 The Husband Maker)  It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart. In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone that ever--at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.

The Match Maker releases on November 1st
Order your copy Now!

Don't miss the Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader November 4th to 21st Tour Schedule


Karey White

Author Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Match Maker

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TWIST OF FATE by Rachael Anderson—Book Review/ #amreading #books #reviews

TWIST OF FATE by Rachael Renee Anderson. This was an adorable read. I loved the way the season played into it. I loved Ty's mom. The play on names was perfect. Any romantic at heart will love this short, fun Christmas novella.


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This was originally published as part of the All I Want holiday romance anthology.
When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty’s mailbox, Ty’s faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancĂ© is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her – make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE!—Book Review/ #amreading #reviews #books

GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE! This picture book was wonderful. I was fascinated by the story and loved the DVD with the reading of this story. The pictures in the book were beautiful and the DVD almost kept my three-year-old's attention through the entire thirty minutes. I loved the story. It brought a new perspective to a well loved story. I would highly recommend this to everyone this Christmas season.

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In creating stories for others, we sometimes end up revealing truths to ourselves. Such was the experience of the beloved Charles Dickens, master storyteller and honorary champion of Christmas. But Dickens was not always the purveyor of yuletide wisdom we know today—he too had to discover for himself the true spirit of Christmas and how best to keep it all the year through.
It was 1843, and winter was fast approaching. Times were tough for Charles Dickens and his family. He needed to publish something that would earn enough money to meet his many obligations. Pondering his predicament, Dickens set out to write a quick Christmas story that would be sure to sell. Little did he know that his writing—and the genial ghost he would bring to life—would take him on an incredible journey of the heart.
This beautifully illustrated volume tells the story behind the writing of Dickens's most famous work and reveals how he discovered the spirit of Christmas for himself—with a little help from his own literary characters. Originally presented by acclaimed British actor Joh Rhys-Davies at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2013 Christmas concert, the book also includes a DVD with footage from the event.

FAIRY TALE CHRISTMAS by Michael McLean—book review/ #giveaway #amreading #bookreview #books

FAIRY TALE CHRISTMAS—by Michael McLean. This was a fun, quick read that gives a different twist on familiar fairy tale characters. It's fun to be in the point of view of the villian. Children of all ages would love this Christmas read. I highly recommend it to any and everyone of all ages. Just thinking about the story brings a smile to my face.

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Santa Claus has been kidnapped!
Behind the plot are an evil queen, a wicked stepmother, a sorceress, a beanstalk giant, and, of course, the mischievous Rumpelstiltskin. They have a plan that will erase the term "Happily Ever After" from our storybooks forever.
But it's nearly Christmas Eve, and time is running out. Can Santa and the fairy-tale heroes save the day and bring Christmas to all the children of the world? Will anyone have a "Happily Ever After" again?
Fairy Tale Christmas reminds us all that there is good in everyone and that the magic of Christmas can soften any heart.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher, however the opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CHRISTMAS IN SNOW VALLEY—Book Review/ #amreading #reviews #books

Christmas in Snow Valley. This group of Christmas short stories were very cute. I haven't gotten through all of them, but I've enjoyed the first three. The setting is perfect for Christmas and the love stories are wonderful. I look forward to reading the rest of the anthology. I would recommend this one to any and everyone that loves Christmas combined with a good romance.

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Christmas in Snow Valley is packed with six wonderful Christmas novellas sure to bring romance into your holiday season. Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancĂ©, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn't pursue him or even seem interested. Ty's career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Risking it all for Love by Kimberley Montpetit Succumbing to family pressure, Jessica Mason reluctantly comes home for Christmas. Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica and religion have not been compatible. So, when she visits Michael’s grave, she's surprised to meet the handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down. Is she ready to take another risk on love?

Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell As head of Snow Valley hospital's fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn't have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She's been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.
Christmas in Snow valley Banner
 


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Christmas in Snow Valley (1)

 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

Boy, I feel like the holiday season has been going on forever and it’s just begun. I’ve had many things running through my head this week so this post will probably be pretty scattered. Then again, I’m pretty scattered now myself. :)

I can’t believe how fast Bear is growing. It’s fun to see Tigger and Bear interact. Bear’s been talking up a storm but is still having issues sleeping at night. He’s a great baby though. I couldn’t ask for three better boys.

It feels like there are more and more people that I know who are having babies return home early on in life. It’s that or I’m becoming more aware and sensitive to that type of thing. It’s probably more the later but it’s amazing how much of that is around. My testimony of how precious life is and what a miracle we’re all here is growing on a daily basis. We are so blessed to be here with a healthy body. There are so many things that can and do go wrong. But the majority of us are completely normal. It’s truly amazing and just another testimony of the divine plan of things.

Since it was Halloween I feel like I can talk a little about this too. The closer we came to the holiday, the more people put up decorations. I was very surprised to see how gruesome the decorations have become. I think there’s a line and in my opinion a lot of people have crossed it. What happened to the cute, silly, fun decorations? There are houses I don’t want to have to drive by in my neighborhood now. Tigger loves to see decorations, but I refuse to even point some of the houses out. I won’t even look very closely. It feels like a kid holiday has turned into something else. In fact there were hardly any little kid trick-or-treaters this year. It’s a bit sad.

It’s amazing how quickly thoughts come and go these days too. In the amount of time it takes me to put my fingers on the keyboard my thought is gone. There have been many more things that fly by through my mind this week. I need to learn to write them down so I won’t have to try to remember them.

Anyway, as we head into the holiday season, try not to get so wrapped up in everything and forget the most important thing. Family. Love them. Have fun with them. Enjoy them. Life is good. :)