Monday, July 30, 2012

First Giveaway & Book Review: Ramblings from the Shower by Faye Bryant

I am so excited...
I have my first giveaway!
Keep reading!!!

We got a bit of unexpected news 
about 2 weeks ago,
it is not lifeshattering,
just a minor hiccup...
I am the type to 
worry over EVERYTHING.
And in order to attempt to prevent
the worrying that I KNOW is coming,
I research and make calls and panic
and attempt to control the situations
and get impatient when 
other people don't share my priorities.

In the midst of all this worry
about what ifs...
I got another book in the mail.

It was one I was looking forward to reading.
The title alone got my interest!

"Ramblings from the Shower"

Ramble - that describes what frequently
comes out of my mouth
and what is constantly going on in my head
and occasionally what you guys
get the privilege of reading on here!

This book was perfectly timed
and I think I actually need to go back 
and read it

This is the first time since college
(actually I am not sure I remember doing it then either)
that I have tabbed so many quotes
and passages in a book!


Here is the information I received on the book:

Ramblings From The Shower by, Faye Bryant
Faye Bryant | Ramblings from the Shower
ISBN-10: 1439240329 |ISBN-13: 978-1439240328 | Format: Soft Cover  | Pages: 210
What do you think about in the shower?
And where do those thoughts take you?
In “Ramblings from the Shower,” author Faye Bryant shares some of the thoughts that have come her way during the mundane task of everyday hygiene, and how those thoughts have compelled her to ask, “What about this, God? What do You think?”
Follow along as Faye shares through personal experience and revelation her conclusions on just what God does think.
Author, Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant
Faye Bryant is an outspoken advocate for authentic Christianity, having lived as a mask-wearer for years. She has spoken before several groups on living real and loving raw. She has served on a church staff for over ten years. She is also a hobbyist photographer, a history buff and a menace at trivia games. She has been a wife… then an ex-wife… and is a wife again. Mom… then step-mom. Then step-grandmom. She has been rejected… then accepted. Abused… then loved. And she has learned how to love in return. She was whole… then cancer. She has battled with fear… then was brought to a place of peace. Now she is facing the future with hope and confidence in God. Meeting life right where it happens, through a variety of experiences, Faye has learned that life can hurt, but God’s love is real, and God never expects us to go it alone, or be something other than what He has called us to be. Through her warm and witty sense of humor, Faye now shares her faith and love for God alongside her husband Jack, through their church in the mountains of East Tennessee.
Faye blogs at and tweets at @rfbryant

My Take:


There is no other way to say it.
It was like she was talking directly to me,
I felt like we were having a conversation.

I didn't have any "revelations" while reading it.
But I enjoyed every minute.
Her writing style was VERY easy to read.
She has wit & humor in the book
and I could definitely relate
to MOST of what she wrote about.

True life events,
finding the "good" in everything,
not judging others...

This book reminded me of what my job was
and what God's job is.
I *know* these things...
but for whatever reason,
I  need frequent reminders.
I have a hard time waiting on Him
to do things in HIS time
so I worry myself silly,
attempt to control things I have NO control over
have little patience...
don't believe me
(ask my kids and husband! - ha!)

I have patience...
I just choose not to exercise that "gift"
as often as I should...

I finished reading the book in about 2 days.

Click on the link below,
Zip on over to Amazon
and grab a copy.

by Faye Bryant

Trust me - 
you will not regret the purchase of this book!

As a matter of fact,
I am going to read it AGAIN!
And I am going to sit down with
a notebook and a pen
and go through one chapter
at a time
and really concentrate on each
and maybe even underline
and highlight in it!!!

Ms. Bryant
has agreed to send one of my lucky readers
a copy of her book!!
Whoo hoo!
I can't believe it,
I am just busting with excitement...
can you tell??

Join me on Facebook
Are We Really Doing This???

Then leave a comment below telling me
why you "need" this book!
(Trust me, you do!)

I will use a random number generator
and pick the winner NEXT Friday,
August 10th.

Make sure you "LIKE"
Are We Really Doing This???
On Facebook so I can contact the winner!

Thanks and GOOD LUCK!
Whoo hoo!
I am so excited!!!!

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bird Nursery

For a few months now,
we have had the privilege to watch
2 families of baby birds.

It started back in April
and my grandmother thoroughly
enjoyed watching the mommy
sitting on her nest
when my mom and grandmother
came to visit back in April.

The first babies left the nest
while we were away on our 
mini vacation to Dallas in May.
We missed watching them leave the nest.

A second family of birds
took over the nest 
within days of the first 
babies vacating the nest.

This time we were around to see them
leave the nest
and it was somewhat traumatic!!

We woke up one morning
to find 2 of the babies on hunkered down
on the patio

then he wandered toward the house
to find some safety...
he managed to get in between the screen
and the back door.

and the third teetering on the edge of the nest.

I wasn't sure if they had fallen out
or if they were out voluntarily.

We were cleaning up the kitchen
and one of the boys noticed
that the third baby was upside down 
on the patio with its wings spread.
I was a little worried.
I got up the nerve to go out
and dodge the 
momma & daddy birds

flipped it over using a cloth.

It scampered off to hide under the little rocker
on the patio.
So it seemed ok.

when the hubs got home later 
he found it had made its way off of the patio
and was under the kids slide...
it had not survived.  

So out of 11 eggs that have been laid 
in that nest,
only 6 have survived 
to leave the shelter of the patio.

So now,
family #3 has moved in.

There are 5 more eggs...
I took this picture a few weeks ago

And last Sunday, we noticed that they have hatched...

This is our third set of baby birds this summer,
and the excitement hasn't died down.
It always so wonderful 
to see their little heads 
and hear those little peeps!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Review: Growing Great Kids by Kate Battistelli

As a part of the CWA Review Crew,
I am given the opportunity 
to get copies of books,
hard copies or e-copies,
in exchange for an honest review.

I have read and reviewed one book already

The next review book on my list was:

Growing Great Kids
by Kate Battistelli

Growing Great Kids by, Kate Battistelli

Here is what she writes about the book:

Kate Battistelli / Growing Great Kids
ISBN: 967-1-61638-654-2 | List Price: $14.99 | Format: Softcover | Page Count: 238
Partner with God to cultivate His purpose in your child’s life
Successful adults don’t happen by accident. It takes wisdom to raise your children with a strong sense of their destiny in God and a deep knowledge of their gifts and callings.
In Growing Great Kids, Kate Battistelli shares what she and her husband, Mike, learned about parenting during the journey of raising their daughter, GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning recording artist Francesca Battistelli.
Using anecdotes to illustrate the insights she and her husband gained, she provides practical advice including:
  • How to dream God’s big dream for your child
  • The value of humility and integrity
  • How to interpret God’s seasons in a child’s life
Kate Battistelli is a wife, author, speaker, former Broadway actress, and mom to one of Christian music’s most celebrated new recording artists—Grammy-nominated, Christian contemporary singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli.
Kate currently volunteers at ESTHER Single Mothers Outreach and is thoroughly enjoying her newest role as grandmother to Francesca’s first child, Matthew Elijah.
She writes about parenting, food and faith regularly at

My Thoughts:
This book has a great premise!
And it is just stocked with thought provoking
ideas and questions.
I honestly did not make it through the whole book.
I tried,
I tried HARD.

I have carried it around with me for WEEKS 
picking it up and TRYING to get into it.

It was really hard for me to relate to the writer.
She has one child,
she and her husband had careers in theater.
I have 4 children
my husband and I have careers in science.
And theater does not interest me.

So I had a VERY hard time relating.

I mentioned that I carried this book around with me,
I mean that literally.
I have a binder that I take with me just
about every where I go
to take notes in and keep papers in.
I had this book in my zipper binder
when I went to take a class
at our church so I could volunteer with VBS.
A fellow class member saw the book 
and asked me about it.
I recommended it,
but was honest and told her I could relate
to the writer.

Then during VBS, my games co-leader
informed me that she had 1 child
and he was the puppeteer for 
our VBS mascot for this
year's theme - 
"Octo the Octopus"
I told her about the book...
it sounded perfect for her!

This book is very thought provoking,
if you can get through it.
I did skip around and read parts of it. 
I WILL be hanging on to this book.

The main idea is
helping your child find their way.
What are they good at?
What "gift" did God give them?
Find that gift and FEED IT!
I will keep this thought in the back of my mind
as I raise my young children.

And hopefully I will eventually make it through the book,
the whole book.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Virtual Baby Shower

You should all know by now,
that my middle sister is pregnant with 
her first child over at

Most of you also know,
that I moved half way across the country
last fall,
only to find a few months later
that she was pregnant!

The baby showers have started
and I got the privileged of helping
remotely with the first one.
I got to make the invitations.

You can see more about them here

I was VERY pleased with how they turned out.

I attempted to find ways to get up there
but as the days drew near,
it didn't work out.
The main preventative
(besides funds)
was baby duty...
I was on baby duty due to
a LONG scheduled Scouting trip
to the Missions game.
(our minor league baseball team)
That you just read about last posting.

So last minute,
I contacted EVERYONE up there.
My mom,
my baby sister,
the hostess,
the guest of honor...

I was so excited,
my daughter and I got to
virtually attend my sister's shower!

My baby sis loaded us up on Skype,
then graciously walked us around 
to see all the guests
(which were either family members
or close family friends).
I think I made it past maybe 2 people
before the waterworks started.
I had the two littles in my lap
and was just boohooing!
Cause I couldn't be there.

After getting to say hey to everyone,
we signed off 
while they all chatted and mingled
with the intent of bringing us back
for the gifts.

So they did!  They positioned the laptop
where we had a good view
my daughter and I got to attend
the shower virtually!
It was ALMOST as good as being there.
It was definitely the next best thing.
I spent over an hour and a half 
with my family.
It was GREAT!

(not the best pic - but I love it!)

We even got to sit on the couch and be a part of the conversation!

We seem to be doing this a lot lately,
but I am so thankful for Skype!
We have opened 
presents via Skype.
We attended the gender reveal party
via Skype
to learn the gender of this little bundle
(I was right with my prediction, by the way!)

Skype is a GREAT thing!
And it definitely makes these 
1424 miles 
a *little* more 

There are a few more pictures
over at my sister's site.
Our McWonderful Life

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rain Delay

This past weekend,
Scout Night
the local minor league baseball stadium,
The Missions.

Scout night includes:
the game,
a food voucher
on the field
after the game!!

How cool is that?

Along with Scout Night,
the hubs got a couple of 
vouchers for the "party deck".
Unlimited food & sodas & beer.
(He was happy!)

So we started out over at the party deck.
Then met up with rest of our group.
The game was a total BLOWOUT.
And the kids were there with friends,
so there wasn't a whole lot of
baseball watching going on...

(I couldn't resist taking a picture of these CURLS!!!)

There were some pretty wicked clouds
near the stadium...

Then the lightening started...
then the thunder...
And eventually the rain.

And we all just kinda watched and waited.

Ms. Priss is petrified of thunder...
she FREAKED out
and jumped into daddy's arms.

And held on for dear life!

We got to see a rainbow off in the distance,
before the rain got to us.

And it got kinda windy...

I have no words for those last two pictures...

Captain J on the lookout.

Daddy with his hands full, 

Remember these seats were full...
all these people were huddled 
under the awning... 

Yep, I let my boys play in the rain...

The players actually continued through the rain 
and lightening.
Then they finally decided 
on a rain delay.

We decided to take a group picture
of the kids while we were waiting.

Mine are the two drowned rats in the back
on the left side...
The ONLY two wet kids...

When the skies finally cleared,
2 hours later...

We got back to NOT watching the game!

We finally left at about 10:30pm 
after we learned that they had 
cancelled the sleepover
on the field
due to the rain...

We had a good time, 
but 1/2 the stadium was there
to sleep on the field...
so there were a lot of 
disappointed kids
(and dads).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Operation Overboard

Operation Overboard...
that was the theme of our VBS this year.

Super cute!

I volunteered and put the little in the nursery
but I would get them out a little early
to participate in the closing music 
each day.
Mr. T and Ms. Priss
the singing and dancing.
And they are even learning the words too.
SOOOOOOO cute!!!

of Mr. T doing the moves
with all the kids.
This was the second day
and he was following along

I led the games
this year.
Well, co-led.
I really enjoyed it
will probably do it again next year.

The object of this activity was team work.
They had to turn the towel over 
while they were all standing on it.
I was really surprised with how
well the groups did
on this task!

R's group

J's group

Then we did experiments at our 
station too.
I enjoyed throwing out
little snipits of science:
surface tension,
particle disbursement,
while the other
was performing the experiment.

Then Friday,
I got to walk around with the boys a bit.
Here is J and his buddy 
during snack time with 
big ole blowpops
tucked in their cheek.

Bunny ears and teeth?
I have no idea...

R and his buddy
(J's buddy's older brother)

No clue what Ms. Priss is doing here.
Notice the boots.
Her choice...

On Friday there was also a little
for the parents...

Mr. T & Ms. Priss even went up 
to perform with them.
Notice the hot pink britches
in the middle of the pic below...