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Julie’s book, A Light in the Window, is the beautiful story of Patrick and Marcy O’Connor.  Watch this trailer and then click over to Julie’s blog to enter her fun contest.  You could win:

1st Prize (person with the most points) — gets a character named after them or a loved one in my next book, a signed copy of that book, and a $50 gift card.


2nd Prize (random drawing where every point  earned is an extra chance to win, but even one point can win) — gets a character named after them or a loved one in my next book and a signed copy.


3rd Prize (random drawing based on 1 point per name entered) — gets a signed copy of any of my books.


Right now, A Light in the Window is $.99 at Amazon, and the paperback is discounted.  If you watch the video, buy the book, or just want to chat . . . let me know.  I’ll get more points in the contest!  🙂

Oh, and there will be a book review coming of this beauty.  I can’t wait to dive into this story!


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Over at Christian Homekeeper Network, my wonderful friend, Sylvia, has a meme with a little linky love. Each week she has some prompts to help us along in our blogging/journaling/thinking processes. Some weeks I think, I’d like to blog that. But I don’t get to it. Other weeks I think, nah, I’ll never get to it. This week I said, I’m going to get to it. These thoughts made me feel so…peaceful. I like to feel peaceful. Don’t you like to feel peaceful? Maybe it is the thought of Autumn and the preparations for cozying down. Not sure, but something in this particular meme called me to take a few moments and do the whole journal/thinking/blog thing. Enjoy, and join us if you would like. The linky love is at christianhomekeeper.org.

My kitchen would be more inviting if …………. it didn’t have oodles of piles of stuff in it. I have this weird cutout area that I think was supposed to be a pass-through (for dishes, food, etc) but it just ends up making it easier for everyone to leave their “stuff” sitting there, rather than taking care of it. It would look better without the icky tile countertops, as well, but that is something that just isn’t going to get changed for awhile. Matching cupboards…but there I go again getting into the realm of a-long-time-from-now-changes.

My best tip for making a home seem more welcoming ….. Keep the doorway area clear and cleaned up. This is the first impression area – make your guests feel welcomed here and it will go along way to making them welcome through the whole house. Have a place for their shoes that obviously says “Take your shoes off” if that is the house rules. I hate when I walk into a house and don’t know whether to take mine off or not; I also hate when people come to my house and take their shoes off. My floors aren’t all “white sock” friendly. Having a spot to hang jackets or coats is nice, so the guest doesn’t feel like their pocket stuff is in danger of getting lost in your bedding when you toss their coat in your room. Now, does my house have any of this? Nope. My front entrance is an unfinished studwall maze of rooms. My way of welcoming guests is to hold the blanket that separates the finished part of the house from the unfinished, lol. But I am trying to keep that area neat and tidier so that my guests aren’t greeted with a total mess when they enter my house. Add all of that above to the “someday” category.

To give the feeling of warmth in my home I often ….. hmmmm. I don’t often do anything. This is a new one for me. I’ve honestly never thought about it. Although I’d have to say I think I bake. The nummy sweet aromas and the heat from the oven add a warmth that just says, “home”. I also like the idea of having lap-sized afghans and quilts tucked away for guests, so that if the house is cool to them, they can warm up under a cozy blanket.

In the cooler months, it is essential for me to ….. wear my slippers and sweaters. I have a cute fleece jacket that my auntie made for me several years ago, bright pink with koalas all over it. I love it! But it is getting pretty worn, as it is my go-to warmie during the cooler months. I may need to replace it soon with something else. I need to stay warm and adding on the layers is what does it for me best.

Some favorite Autumn/Winter recipes are ….. banana bread, chili, beef stew, lasagna, scalloped potatoes and ham, homemade bread. Cooler weather meals aren’t tough for me to find – anything that warms up the house! It is the summer meals that I have a tough time figuring out.

A Quick Tip for making your house more inviting …… Open the blinds/drapes/curtains, but be aware of where the sun is. There is nothing more irritating (okay, maybe there is, but this is what I’m thinking of right now) than trying to speak to someone and the sun is right behind them in the window and all they are is a black shape. If the sun is behind you, either shut the window coverings or move yourself. 🙂

Enjoy the meme!

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This guy is a ring-necked pheasant who has adopted our yard and family this fall.  He, along with another pheasant buddy of his, enjoy taking long dust baths in the holes they dig in the yard, pecking the screens out of the large sliding glass door, and staring at us through the dining room window while we eat our meals.  They follow the kids around like faithful dogs and stand next to mom as she relaxes on her bench on the front porch. 

We’re fairly certain they were hand-raised, then released into the wild to go it on their own.  They obviously miss human contact, because a better part of their day is spent begging at doors and windows. 

Unfortunately for us, they’ve got to go.  Since they are attempting to destroy the house in their effort to join us in our family fun, we can’t keep them around.  I also worry that they will try to jump on one of the kids or mom in their “friendliness” and hurt them with their talons.  So, we’ve made a call to the DNR and are expecting to see a guy in a green truck show up sometime soon to take the boys away.  We’ll miss them and their nosy little beaks pressed against the glass, longingly looking for some attention, but we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do.

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Yes, I know it has been awhile.  I’m sure some of you thought I fell off the face of the earth.  I haven’t, although at times, I’ve wished I could.  Just for a few days of escape.  Today’s What About? Wednesday will be a simple catch up on the past couple of months.

1.  We’re still jobless here.  The situation, job-wise, is looking bleaker and bleaker.  Our state has few new job postings each day and even fewer to do with anything technical.  This leaves us with the disturbing prospect of resorting to truck driving again, which Mr. Nutt does not want to do, but will if we have no other recourse.  I’m seeing a real miracle in the making and trusting God that He will bring it about.

2.  F3 started a blog of her own, at Me and My Daughter.  She is only ten years old, yet she has such a heart for the relationship between a mother and her daughter.  She is writing the blog to encourage mothers and daughters to grow closer to one another and to God.  I’ve put up a feed in the side bar.

3.  F-2 (that would be, negative 2), my step-daughter, has started a website as well.  Sick of Liberals, as is probably obvious by the name, is a conservative blog, but she welcomes all comments.  As she says, we all want the world to be run well and it is a shame that there is so much divisiveness in today’s politics.  She desires to get a real dialogue open.

4.  Mom is going in for another heart cath. at the end of February, with the full expectation of getting another stent placed.  Her doctor informed her that this will be an on-going situation for the rest of her life.  She may need another within six months or it might be five years.  He also believes that the seizure activity was her heart being thrown into an arhythmia because of the blockage and causing her to pass out.  So, the good news is, she gets warning signs when she has a blockage and now we know what all that seizing and passing out is about.

5.  I finished two potholders
and a baby quilt which I will be giving away to a girls’ group home through the women’s group at church.

6.  My computer’s hard drive died in January and I was without my baby for several weeks.  I still had access to the ‘net through other computers in the house, but I really missed my own.  She’s back now, and I’m still working on getting her reloaded and ready to work.  Hughesnet satellite internet service, not being all it’s cracked up to be, isn’t helping the situation.  I can only download large (and by large, I mean over 200 MB per 24 hour period) amounts of information between the hours of 2am and 7am.  I’m trying to rebuild my scrapbooking kits right now, and staying up all night to do so.  I still have a couple of software programs that I need to get back ahold of, including the software to build the church’s website.

Well, that is it for this What about? Wednesday.  You got a lot in the bargain!

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Yes, I know that it is Tuesday.  When you have satellite internet, you only have a very finite amount of download space available.  Therefore, when you exceed said limit, your isp drops you down to a painfully slow surfing and downloading speed.  That happened to me yesterday and the internet didn’t recover until this afternoon.  So, hopefully, you’ll get two posts from me today!  Anyway, on to your post-poned Monday Character Confessions.

A couple of months ago, my pastor asked me if I knew anything about developing websites.  Uh no, I replied.  But I have been interested in learning, so I told him I’d look into it and see what I can do.  Mistake number one.

I attend a very, very small church.  We have absolutely no budget for technology.  I am donating my time, I found a very helpful and free host at Worthy of Praise, and I found a free web design software called Kompozer.  That was mistake number two. 

Not that Kompozer isn’t good.  I think that it is probably great for a free, open-source software which tries to include wysiwyg, html source coding, and css editing.  What is all that, you non-techy people ask?  Me too.  I’ve learned a ton.  Blessing number one.

So I designed a couple of pages (with the help of a free template) and got it looking pretty good.  I decided to put on sermons from the pastor.  We have the equipment at home, thanks to my geeky (yet wonderful!) husband.  Now I have these awesome audio files and no idea of where to put them.  The FTP client in Kompozer does not upload these to my host server, and they recommend having them hosted somewhere else ande hotlinking them to the main site.  Confused yet?  Yep, me too.  I need to find the answer to this dilemma.

I also uploaded a page, just to see what it does, and the entire css messed up.  That was the last straw for the day.  I haven’t figured out yet what happened, but will just sit there awhile until I can get it straight.

So, today, I’m frustrated.  I’ll get over it.  🙂

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Jonah…or Mary?

So, I’m still wrestling with why we are facing devastating financial wreck.  I know that the why may never be answered, but I also know that God is in complete control of the situation and that He has a purpose to it.  So I wondered, am I Jonah or am I Mary?

Jonah screwed up.  He was told, flat out, what he was supposed to be doing and he not only didn’t, he tried to run away from God to get out of doing it.  After much trial and tribulation (storm at sea, choosing to be tossed overboard to save the rest of the ship, and oh yeah…those three days in the belly of a fish), he finally decided to do what God wanted him to do.  His heart wasn’t in it, but God’s work was accomplished through him anyway and thousands were saved from destruction.  He still didn’t get it, even after he saw the results, so God had to explain it to him a little more clearly. 

Then we have Mary.  Sweet, sweet Mary.  She was just doing what God told her to do.  She was where she was supposed to be, when, WHAM, here she is, super-pregnant and needing to travel from Galilee to Bethlehem.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t enjoy that trip, having been that pregnant seven times myself.  She didn’t do anything wrong, she was obeying God, yet what did she have to show for it but a long, bumpy trip, labor and birthing in a cave surrounded by animals, and nothing but rags to warm her baby with.  The baby who God promised would be the Savior of the world.

So, am I a Jonah or a Mary?  Did I make a wrong turn somewhere?  Am I not living in God’s will, and he is trying to get my attention and my humility to get me back where I’m supposed to be?  Or am I a Mary, living in His will, doing my level best to stay there, and for some reason that I won’t know until a future date, I need to go through this struggle?

I gotta believe that I lean more on the Mary side.  I’m not saying I’m perfect (particularly perfectly humble), but I don’t know of any glaring God-told-me to-do-it-and-I-didn’t situations.  I do know that I thought for sure we were where God wanted us.  He wanted us to move up here, start going to a new church, and raise our babies in this area, in this home.  Because He is so perfect, so powerful, and so passionate, I know that He has some wonderful things up His sleeve.  I have to admit, I don’t like the donkey ride, the stable, nor the animals.  But, I’m also thankful that it isn’t the belly of a fish. 

I’m trusting in God that He is putting us where He needs us to be in order to do His will here on earth.  Just like He did Mary and Joseph, when He caused them to leave Galilee to go to Bethlehem for a census, just so His Son could be born there and fulfill the prophecy of Micah.

Thank you, Lord, for your grace and your provision.  Thank you that you love us.  Thank you for your Son.

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Edited to add my super cool button.

Special thanks to Raechel Knight for the
digital scrap components of the button!

So, I’m starting my own meme.  At least, I think I am. I’ve never heard of this one, so I’ll call it my own until someone corrects me.  I’ll also try to come up with a super-cool button to go with it eventually, but for today, it is just my post.

What About…Wednesday?
In this meme, I’ll revisit something that I’ve talked about in an earlier post, but haven’t really caught all you wonderful friends up on since.

Today: College

A few weeks ago, I posted about having made the decision to go back to school.  I was hoping for a bunch of financial aid, along with the transfer student scholarship that I got from the school I intend to attend.  I did get a decent grant, but not enough to cover the cost of attending school.  With our financial situation precarious at best, I just can’t even begin to contemplate going further into debt with student loans.  At this point, college is on hold.  Really, this makes the most sense.  Right now we are in emergency mode and if I am going to leave the house everyday, it will be to work and earn money to pay today’s bills, not to get a degree that will pay tomorrow’s bills.

I’m really, really disappointed about this.  I was so hoping to be able to get back to school.  But the fact of the matter is, God is in control.  If He wants me in school, then He’ll make it happen.  Without debt.  As F4 says to me, “Sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no, and sometimes, Mom, God says maybe.”  School is a big maybe right now.  I’ll be content with that.


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