Saturday, March 28, 2015

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM #51actsofkindness

I had a couple of friends comment on last weeks post about the question, "How are you?" Both referred to Germany and how they don't use that phrase over there. They only say things like, "Good morning," or "hi." The only time they use, "How are you?" is when the person asking is willing to take the time to truly find out.

The couple of times I've been to Europe I've noticed similar things. Although I love my country, I do have to admit that Europeans have learned how to enjoy life. They are running around crazy busy all the time like it feels we do here in America. They take the time that's needed for different things. I believe we can learn from that. We do need to slow down and enjoy life. Enjoy this wonderful journey we're on. Enjoy the ride.

Tigger, for whatever reason, started talking about someone breaking into our house and taking him one time when he was a baby today. Considering this is one of my worst fears it made my heart rate skyrocket as I'm trying to respond and listen to him without letting my emotions get the best of me.

Now I know that for the most part he didn't really understand what he was saying at this point in time, but it scared me nonetheless. It gave me that little reminder to enjoy life. I wanted to just snuggle up with my kids and hold on tight. I want them to know how much I love and treasure them. Unfortunately we never know what is around the corner. It's so important to cherish every little moment that we have.

I also read of a friend of a friend who lost their battle with cancer—someone with little kids. My heart breaks for the family. Cherish every moment you have. Teach our little ones how to look for opportunities to be kind to one another. Teach them how to serve. Tigger brushed rocks back into our yard this week. Not a big deal, but you never know when it could be a big deal to someone else.

I guess my point is you just never know. Hold your little ones. Tell them you love them. Spend the time with them (even if your dishes and laundry pile up). Look for those little acts of kindness that might lift some one's burden. Accept those same acts of kindness. Together we can make our world a little bit brighter, a little bit kinder. Look for those opportunities and lets get our kindness on!

Saturday, March 21, 2015


"How are you?"

That's probably the most common question we are asked. How many of us can say we ask question with the sincere desire to truly know how the person we are talking is doing? How many of us can say we answer that question honestly?

I think it's safe to say that most people ask and answer this question out of habit. Over the past couple of years I have learned just how much we hide behind this question. Most of the time I'm not expecting people to tell me how they really are doing, and I definitely am not honest in my answer to that question.

It's easier to not be honest in that answer because most of the time people don't really want to know the truth. We/They prefer the appearance that everything is fine. Why "air our problems" to others, especially those we don't really know?

The best example I have of this is the day after Lion passed. My mom and I went to the store to pick up some things I knew I wanted as memorabilia and for the funeral. As usual, the clerk asked, "How are you?" You can imagine my response. "Fine."

In the car my mom turned to me and said, you are most definitely not fine. You're son just passed away. You are not fine. And she was right, but I was able to put on a good front because it was easier than telling a complete stranger that my son had passed the night before. You can imagine how that would have gone.

I have found myself doing that more since then. It could be that I'm just more aware of it or it could be that I'm doing it more as a coping mechanism. I've had many people tell me that they are amazed at how well I'm doing based on what I've been threw. In a way they are right. I am doing well, but there are times I'm not.

I have felt like I've needed to be strong and hold up for those who are struggling, but here's where I admit something. It's hard to keep up the front. There are times I want to break down. There are times I struggle with it. There are times I don't want to feel like I have to be strong.

This is another reason I think it's a good idea to do the 51 Acts of Kindness. We just never know how someone is truly feeling. We never know what a little kindness will do to help someone feel like they are thought of. It doesn't take much to lift some one's spirits.

So, as you're looking for ways to be a little kinder, think about when you ask the question, "How are you?" Do you really mean it? Do you really want to know? What how the person answer and you may learn how that person is really doing, even if they say they are fine.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

TO MY FRIENDS by Jeffrey R Holland— #reviews #bookreview #amreading

TO MY FRIENDS by Jeffrey R Holland. This little gem has changed my life and my thought processes. The messages are fairly short and the titles of each chapter make it very clear who Elder Holland is talking to. It makes it easy to flip through and find the counsel you need at that specific moment. I highly recommend this book to any and everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. It's a book that I think should be in every Christian's library.

:) :) :) :) :)

"If you need a burden lifted, I want you to imagine I am in a personal, private, closed-door chat with you. I want to help you if I can." With those words, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland invites every reader of his latest book to become a friend, to receive instruction and encouragement, counsel and comfort.
Elder Holland addresses these powerful messages "to my friends who love the Lord," "to my friends who want to change," "to my friends who face opposition," and more. Each chapter begins with a beautifully designed quotation to help convey the message in an artistic way, making the book a lovely gift for friends to share. Throughout, Elder Holland's powerful witness of the Savior shines through, for, as he writes, "I am grateful for the greatest friend any of us could ever have, in time or eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ."

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

MURDER AT TOPHOUSE by Clair Poulson— #review #giveaway #bookbuzzin

MURDER AT TOPHOUSE by Clair Poulson. I have always enjoyed Poulson's books and this one appears to be no different. Because I overcommitted myself, I haven't finished it yet but I'm excited to. Stay tuned for a complete review soon. Be sure to check the other blogs on this tour!

Officer Mike Denton can't shake the feeling that something isn't right. Since the shooting that nearly killed him, Mike has attempted to piece his life back together. Just when he thought things were starting to look up, false allegations leveled by his partner, Cal Granberg, have led to his suspension, and Mike begins to suspect that Cal may have played a role in the deadly attack. He has only one clue: a conversation he was never meant to hear involving guns in New Zealand.
Suspicious that he may have stumbled on an illegal gun trafficking plot, Mike sees his suspension as an opportunity to conduct an independent investigation into the shady actions of his ex-partner. He prepares for a month-long "vacation" to New Zealand to find the proof that would clear his good name—but what he couldn't prepare for is lovely young New Zealander Skylie Yates, a woman with her own troubles. A dangerous enemy believes that Skylie is the key to finding a hidden fortune. The problem: Skylie claims to know nothing about the money. Now, Mike must set aside his own quest for evidence in order to discover who's behind the threats to the woman he's coming to care for. But when hsi two investigations collide and Skylie's life hangs in the balance, Mike finds himself in a race against time to unearth a corruption far deeper than he could have imagine ...

March 16th  

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM— #51actsofkindness

Do you ever have that moment when you realize you've totally overbooked yourself, your house looks like a tornado went off, and you're so tired you fall asleep after sitting for only a couple of minutes? Yeah, well, that was my week. Bear actually slept a little bit better thanks to some tender mercies from The Lord and a biocranial doctor visit. (If you want me to go into more details on that, I will another time.) I don't think my body was use to getting more than two hours of sleep because I've almost been more tired than I should be. :)

Anyway, I've thought of several other things I will eventually post about (when I can keep my eyes open for a little longer) but I've also been feeling like I haven't been able to be completely honest here lately because I haven't wanted anyone to get offended or feel bad. You know I don't use names but those who are involved in different situations obviously know who I'm talking about. It's made me have very mixed feelings about this series of posts.

The whole reason I began these was to be honest and to possible, hopefully help others who are going through similar situations know they aren't alone. I feel that in order to do that I need to be completely honest, but I don't ever want anyone to feel bad or get offended by what I say. That is not my intention at all.

So, this is my disclaimer I guess you can say. I'm going to go back (not that I have ever lied or been dishonest with what I've said, I've just not posted about some things) to sharing what I'm feeling and going through at the moment.

If you happen to figure out that I'm talking about a situation you're involved in, Please, Please, Please, don't feel bad or take offense to the things I say. That is the farther thing from my heart. I'm just trying to share the emotional ups and downs that go with life, in particular the loss of a loved one—in my case a child.

I hope this post is finding everyone a bit happier than before. I hope you're brainstorming ideas of ways to spread little acts of kindness. I know I've been more aware and tried to help those that I can. It has truly made my day a little lighter. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

SILENCE by Deborah Lytton #bookreview #books #review #authors

SILENCE by Deborah Lytton. What an incredible story. As a musician I related to Stella very well. Deborah did a great showing the growth of each character, weaving their stories into one. It's a great story that I'd recommend to everyone, especially those who are struggling with things that life throws at them that are necessarily in their control. This book will give those people a different perspective.

:) :) :) :) :)

STELLA was born to sing. Someday Broadway. But everything changed when a tragic accident renders her deaf; she cannot hear, much less sing. Trapped in a strange new world of total silence, she must face not only the loss of her friends, her hopes, and her voice but also the loss of her identity and her life's purpose. Who is she is she's not a singer?
HAYDEN is a quiet loner, an outcast, and the only person Stella can communicate with; his profound stutter makes him speak so slowly, she is able to easily read his lips. As they find new ways to communicate despite their disabilities, their friendship grows into an unexpected—but welcome—romance. But is it a romance that can last if Stella regains her hearing and resumes her former life?
Alternating between Stella's and Hayden's points of view, Silence is a lyrical story of self-discovery, romance, and resilience, of two souls learning how to find their voices and break through the silence.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

THE WIFE MAKER by Karey White— #bookreviews #books #reviews #giveaways

Wife Maker
The Wife Maker by Karey White I have been waiting anxiously for this conclusion to this series. It is a very cute read, just like the first two in this series (Husband Maker, Match Maker). I'm very happy with the way it ended but I do recommend reading them all back to back. It makes it not as frustrating. :) I recommend this to anyone with a romantic heart.

:) :) :) :)

Charlotte has spent years as the husband maker, sending every guy she dates off to enjoy marital bliss with the next girl he dates. But things have now changed, and she's determined to use her husband-maker abilities one last time--on herself. And she finally knows exactly who she wants. Angus has loved Charlotte since they were teenagers, but he's tired of waiting for her to realize how good they could be. She's broken his heart one too many times, and it's time to move on with his life. Maybe a position halfway across the country will be just what he needs to get over her. But when Charlotte won't let him go without a fight, Angus has to decide if he's willing to let her in again or if she's too late.

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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.

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/22/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wife Maker (1)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

HEART OF GOLD by Jeanette Miller #bookbuzzin' #books #author

HEART OF GOLD by Jeanette Miller. Looks like a good one! Review coming soon.

Ashlyn Carter feels as brittle as the lifeless roses that border her new house. A year after the tragic death of her husband, the young widow discovers a horrifying secret. Heartbroken and humiliated, she resolved that no one could ever know. Now, back in her hometown with her three-year-old daughter, she's ready for a fresh start. But Ashlyn is unprepared to find that an embarrassing memory, buried deep in her past, is about to resurface...
Ryan Anderson was the last person Ashlyn expected to see. After the unexpected kiss they'd shared years earlier, she assumed she'd never see him again. Though she tries to avoid him at all costs, Ashlyn finds herself running into her former flame far more often than she'd like. Between her uncomfortable history with Ryan and the series of well-meaning suitors pursuing her, Ashlyn finds herself disenchanted with dating altogether. Yet as she and Ryan slowly become reacquainted, she feels her resolve to avoid a relationship slipping. But when moving forward with Ryan means revealing the secret she's worked so hard to keep, will Ashlyn have the courage to leave behind her late husband's legacy of deceit and learn to love again?

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Over the past several weeks it feels like I've been surrounded by the news of death and sickness. Someone's sister, a father-in-law, a husband, a son, a baby, someone starting the fight with cancer, someone with an illness that has dragged on for awhile, and the list goes on. It's been a bit of a downer. That, in combination with getting very little sleep has really made me depressed.

I want to do something to help everyone who is suffering right now. It breaks my heart to know somewhat of what they are feeling. Then the other day when I had my cello with me, someone held the door open for me. I can get through doors with him myself, but it was sure nice to have someone help me out.

As I was walking to my car feeling a little bit lighter with a smile on my face the thought "51 Acts of Kindness" popped into my head. Why 51? I have no idea. That's the number that came with the phrase. So here's my idea. Starting on April 1st (or you can start now) and running for as long as we can, I want to start a Random Acts of Kindness Campaign. I'm going to have a list of ideas for random acts of kindness. Nothing to big, but things that will hopefully make people smile. Then together we'll get the campaign going.

Each day, pick an act of kindness and do it. If you feel like it, post about it with the hashtag #51ActsofKindness. Don't mention names. Just post that you participated if you want.

So from now until April 1st I need help promoting the idea. Share this post. Talk about the campaign. Get the word out. Let's see how many smiles we can put on people's faces. We don't know what someone is going through and what a little act of kindness will mean to them. Let's lift someone's spirits. And feel free to add to the list in the comments. I'll update the list with any additions that come in.

51 Acts of Kindness (someone can be a stranger, a neighbor, friend, family member, really anyone)

  • smile at someone
  • hold the door open for someone
  • pay someone a sincere compliment someone
  • take a picture of a flower and share it
  • call/text/message the first person that comes to mind
  • tell someone you love them
  • pull a weed or two
  • pick up a piece of garbage
  • read a story to a child
  • help someone with their groceries
  • return a shopping cart to its proper place
  • take out the garbage
  • empty the dishwasher
  • give someone a hug
  • call someone by name (read a workers name tag and call them by name)
  • write a note
  • make the bed
  • drop a plate of cookies off to someone
  • share a picture of something you love
  • sweep the sidewalk
  • sweep rocks back into yards
  • pull in someone's garbage can
  • look for someone who needs help and help them
  • share an inspirational quote
  • watch someone's kids
  • wave at someone
  • mail a card/letter to someone
  • say thank you
I know there are not 51 suggestions on here, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment. Hopefully you'll help me add to the list. Happy Kindness Going! :)

Friday, March 6, 2015

What To Do With Fresh Lemons #fruit #inspiration #food #cooking

I saw a comment on one of my pictures asking what to do with fresh lemons. Well, I thought I'd post what I do and invite anyone else to add what they do with fresh lemons.

1. Juice and Freeze
  • you can freeze in ice cube trays and drop them in a glass of water for lemon water
  • freeze the juice in gatorade bottles or juice bottles
  • freeze in canning jars
2. Make lemonade
  • 4 cups of water, 1 cup lemon juice, sugar to taste (we use 1/2 cup of sugar)
3. Use the juice in marinades.
  • There's a marinade packet by Weber that calls for 1/2 cup of lemon juice that we really like
  • You can look up different marinades online also
4. Lemon meringue Pie
  • I just found a recipe for this that I'm excited to try. I'll let you know how it goes. :)
5. You can add fresh squeezed lemon juice to flavor just about anything.

I'd love to hear how you use fresh lemons. Comment and I'll put together another list that includes what you do.

Happy Lemon Picking and Using!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

FIRE AND STEEL by Gerald N Lund — #bookreview #books #review #reading

by Gerald N Lund. Another fantastic beginning to a historical fiction series. I am amazed at the research he has done and how seamlessly he weaves in his characters. It's always fascinating to see different periods of time through other eyes. Lund is a master at his story/history weaver. 

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The strongest steel is forged in the hottest flames. From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund comes a new blockbuster series chronicling the lives of two families who will face some of the most turbulent times in history as they are tried to their very cores. Will they be tempered and strengthened by the hammering blows, will they bend to the point of breaking, or will they completely shatter?
As volume one begins, life could not be more promising for the Eckhardts. They finally have a son, Hans, the male heir they have longed for and a child of such brilliance and promise that his success seems certain. But as youthful Hans’s ambition takes him away from his family and their small Bavarian village, the winds of unrest in Europe are about to erupt into the greatest war the world has ever known.
Kicking off a story that will cross generations—and continents—the Eckhardts must brace themselves to weather the storms and turmoil that lie ahead. Only through sheer determination and fortitude will they be able to pass through the refiner’s fire and come out stronger and more united than ever before.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a nonbiased review.