Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Music Music - Be Born In Me - Francesca Battistelli

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

I played this song for the first time this year on the air.  It is a song that moves me every single time I hear it.  It kind of chokes me up, but it is so beautiful, I had to share it today.

Be Born In Me is from last year's CD of music inspired by "The Story" and sung by Francesca Battistelli.  Truly it is just the sweetest image of the heart of Mary the mother of Jesus.  Imagine being this young woman with so much promise growing inside.  Each thought is captured so beautifully in this song.  This is a lyric video so you  can read along if you haven't heard it before.  Every time I hear it, it truly brings tears to my eyes.  This Christmas story is also our story.  The story of God's love for us, for His creation.  Doing what only His son could do.  Do you think Mary fully understood what was ahead for her baby boy?

30 Days of Christmas Movies - Christmas With a Capital C

I love Christmas and I love Christmas movies.  Now ordinarily I go for more of a thriller or dark movie, but I thought it would be fun to really get into the spirit of the season by watching a new Christmas movie every day for thirty days before Christmas.  So here we are on to day number 2.

Movie 2
Christmas with a Capital C
PureFlix Entertainment

Starring Ted McGinley, Brad Stine, Nancy Stafford and Daniel Baldwin.

I initially was taken with the movie because I just love the Go Fish song also titled "Christmas with a Capital C."  I work at a Christian radio station, and kids always call asking for that song.  Christmas with a Capital C opens in a small town in Alaska called Trapper Falls.  The scenery is so beautiful that I was ready to move on the spot.  I love movies that capture areas so well.  Anyway, the townsfolk are getting ready for the Christmas season and see a car pulling into town along with a moving truck.  The owner of the car turns out to be Mitch a gentleman who grew up in the town and left for college and big city life as a lawyer. He pretty much brushed the snow off of his shoes many years before, so Dan (the mayor and  Ted's former rival) is a little suspicious  when Mitch says he is coming back to town and even more suspicious with Mitch's plans to pretty much put the town on the map as far as tourism goes.  

Things go downhill from there with Mitch annoyed at the town's Christmas display and Christians altogether.  It is obvious that Mitch is holding some pain inside.  Mitch is holding his own issues inside from pride with the town's traditions and his old rivalry bringing back old feelings.  Both learn the real reason for the season and that truly it isn't what is displayed on the town grounds that count, but the love you display to others.  

Christmas with a Capital C may have some silliness to it, but the message is definitely on point.  Everyone truly learns the meaning of Christmas and community.  It is nice seeing people in the town reach out with love to others.  There are quite a few comedic moments thanks to comedian Brad Stine (you can hear part of his act in the Go Fish song).  My husband and I both really enjoyed it.  I would give Christmas with a Capital C 3.5 candy canes.  :)  Check it out for free on Netflix streaming.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

30 Days of Christmas Movies - Christmas Angel

I thought it would be fun to get into the spirit of Christmas daily with 30 days of Christmas movies.  

Movie 1 - Christmas Angel 
PureFlix Entertainment (I love their stuff)
Originally released as "Angel Next Door"
Starring Kevin Sorbo, Teri Polo, Izabela Vidovic, Tyler Humphrey, Della Reese, Tamera Mowry-Housely and Jaiden Kaine.

Olivia's class is sharing their impossible Christmas lists.  As they listen, Olivia and her friend Lucas take note of these wishes and share them by tossing rocks at the abandoned house next door.  Olivia notices a light in the house and believes an angel is living there and that if you shout out your wishes, they will come true.  Some of the wishes indeed are coming true.  This begins a series of events that causes Olivia to wonder to her mother if God is about to do something really special. 

Christmas Angel is a really sweet movie.  It isn't about Santa but learning about what we can do and what we should give to God.  Of course leaving things to God is not always easy.  It is a very sweet movie and well acted.  It is definitely a great family friendly movie that may get you a bit teary eyed.  I watched "Christmas  Angel" via Netflix's Instant Watch.  There are two Christmas Angel movies available.  This one is from 2012 in case you are looking.  I would give Christmas Angel 4 Candy Canes. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012 Ebook Challenge

I love my Kindle Fire and my Nook.  They are ideal for reading on the go, workout reading, and for grabbing lots of amazing free reads.  I have always wanted to join a reading challenge and have found one thanks to Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book.  The challenge I am entering is the 2013 Ebook Challenge from Workaday Reads.  I can't get into all the details follow the name behind or the link here to get all that, but here is a quick run down. Don't forget that the rest of the details can be found at Workaday Reads.

The challenge will run from January 2013 through December 31, 2012.  You can sign up at any time up to December 15, 2013. 

Here are the levels:
1- Floppy disk - 5 eBooks
2- CD - 10 eBooks
3- DVD - 25 eBooks
4- Memory stick - 50 eBooks
5- Hard drive - 75 eBooks
6- Server - 100 eBooks
7- Human brain - 150 eBooks

I am going to go with CD because this is my first challenge.  I am totally excited!

Free Ebooks

My husband's boss gave me his Nook a while back (he knew I was a reader and it was a business gift that he wasn't going to use) and for my birthday my husband bought me a Kindle Fire.  They are both awesome!  Although I am still a huge fan of traditional books, I love that both my Nook and Kindle Fire make it possible for me to read anywhere and any time.  Every week I search out free ebooks for these devices.  Here is what I downloaded today:

*Always be sure to check the price when you see a book in emails or on blogs, because prices can change from free to a fee any time.

A Marriage Carol by Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman - AMAZON

Kind of a Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" for marriage.  Christian.

Game Plan for Life by Joe Gibbs with Jerry B. Jenkins - AMAZON
I listened to an interview with Joe Gibbs, and it was very inspiring.  My husband has previously read "Quiet Strength" by Tony Dungy (who does the forward), and I thought he would enjoy this as well.

Christmas Gifts They'll Actually Like! 25 Easy Homemade Gift Ideas - Plus Instructions by Casey Tucker and Lynn Rogers - AMAZON
Every year I make several Christmas gifts.  I am hoping that I can get some new ideas here.

A Cutthroat Business (Savannah Martin Mystery 1) by Jenna Bennett - AMAZON
I have never read this author but I love mysteries and especially mystery series.  So we'll see how it goes. 

Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride - BARNES & NOBLE

I love a thriller.  This was the Friday freebie at Barnes & Noble.  It is the beginning of a series with some great reviews.

Grave Danger by Heather Graham - BARNES & NOBLE
This is a short story and the description got me right away.  Special effects, a horror film set, and murder.  Sounds good to me.

Friday, November 23, 2012

How We Spend Black Friday


Today was a mellow day after Thanksgiving for our household.  My husband had to work.  This is not new.  He works for a car dealership (not a salesman) so he is ALWAYS working most holidays and after holidays.  For the last five years I haven't had to work holidays (YAY!), so I have been a huge Black Friday shopper.  Today though, I had no interest in going out for the Black Friday deals.

To be honest, the whole idea of Black Friday starting so very early just made me decide to take a step back. Now don't get me wrong.  I am not saying that I didn't shop.  I just shopped online and didn't leave the house for Black Friday shopping until about 11:00 am.  And it felt amazing!  I loved not standing in line at the registers, I loved not hearing people complain about other people cutting, I loved not seeing grumpy faced people trying to squeeze past others in order to get a great deal on a box of storage containers.  

This morning, I got up, made my husband a pot of coffee, and went back to bed.  Oh the joy of simply laying in bed and not having to get up!!!  Later, I relaxed with a good book, my son and I ate brunch together and when ready, we went to Game Stop to turn in a printout for a Power Reward that we earned.  We returned a movie at the grocery store and picked up a few much needed items.  And lastly I went to Family Christian Stores to pick up a few things that I really wanted.  All other Christmas shopping took place online in between my washing two loads of laundry and making turkey pot pie stew which is a great way to use up some turkey leftovers.  The whole day was lovely. I think I may make not doing Black Friday my new tradition!  :)

Tonight my husband and I enjoyed "Field of Dreams" together.  It was a nice step into the past for both of us.  If you haven't seen the movie in a while you should.  It is very sweet.  Of course the last ten minutes were just full of tears for me.  It gets me every single time. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shopping Through Recyclebank On Thanksgiving

A while back I started using Recyclebank for rewards, and I really do love it.  We are big into recycling in our home, and it is nice getting rewarded for those actions.  Recyclebank also informs you of even more ways that you can live greener and spend wiser.  There are always great articles there where you can gather great tips on all kinds of ways to reuse.  One of my favorites was "8 Great Ways to Reuse Bananas."  One memorable tip:  Use the inside of a banana peel to whiten teeth.  I have to admit I have tried it, but probably not with the consistency that whitening will take.  Okay definitely not.  I do want to see how it works though.  Maybe that will be a  new grooming goal.  :) 

One of the awesome bonuses of Recyclebank is that you can earn rewards for things that you do at their website.  Pledge to make greener purchases or do different green actions, learn about ways to save water, play some games, and more.  They all lead up to points which you can in turn redeem for great items like coupons, gift cards, discounts on purchases and magazines.  Today I did a little shopping via Recyclebank for some magazines subscriptions (not digital) to purchase with my rewards points.  I picked up Martha Stewart's Living, O, The Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Redbook, Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan.  All with my Recyclebank points.  This totaled up to a savings of $84!  Not too shabby for doing things that I love. Oh yeah, and it is totally free to join up.  Check it out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Music Music Music

I work as a midday host at a Christian radio station.  This gives me the opportunity to enjoy great music all day long.  

We are starting up our Christmas music this week, and I couldn't be any happier.  I absolutely love Christmas music!  This week I got to begin playing Mandisa's new song "Somebody's Angel" from her Christmas CD "It's Christmas - Christmas Angel Edition"  I love this woman!  I saw her at Women of Faith several years ago, and she just astounded me with her realness and of course stunning voice (her songs moved me to tears).  Seriously I admire her tremendously.  "Somebody's Angel" will be featured in the GMC television movie of the same title.  I'm bummed that we don't have GMC, because I would love to see it.  Here is Mandisa's official video for "Somebody's Angel" which contains clips from the movie.  You can catch the movie on Saturday night at 7 pm ET if you have GMC.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I just love how pretty the sky is reflected in this old building (a work in progress) in Jerome, AZ.  One of our favorite haunts in Arizona.  I took this picture around the end of the summer this year (2012).

 I entered a lot of giveaways last week, and one of the major questions was:  "What are you thankful for?"  I was surprised too at the few who asked people not to just say family or spouse.  The thing is, if I am going to count what I am most thankful for, second to my salvation it will be my family. 

I have a great kid.  He is 17 and has really given me very few reasons to worry.  He is kind to others, loyal and extremely respectful.  I was a single  mom for many years so we have that kind of relationship where we are entirely honest to each other and comfortable hanging out together.  I love him fiercely.  Next year he should be off to college.  THAT will be tough for me.  I imagine for him as well, but to me, ridiculously so.  As a single mom there were many years where every material item I purchased was second hand.  Even our silverware and plates.  This has caused him to have a real appreciation for what he has and also a solid understanding of wants and needs.  He prefers comfy jeans and t-shirts to jeans with embellished bums.  He'd much rather shop at Goodwill and Ross and spend wisely there so he can splurge on a good pair of sneakers elsewhere.  His only flaw is, like his mom, he's a bit untidy.  We'll get on that.

My husband is amazing.  He too is kind, loving, funny, and so very supportive.  When I was exhausted from working full time and also felt I was missing out because I couldn't spend as much time with my son.  He totally supported my changing my hours to part time.  When my feet are aching, he gives them a rub.  He says "I love you" without hesitation EVERY morning and EVERY night with lots of love in between.  He loves my cooking.  He laughs at all my jokes, and he never tires of telling me that he thinks I am beautiful.  he is good to me and my family.  He is my hero. 

I am thankful for my home.  We have a roof over our head when so many do not.  We can afford the home we live in.  We do not make a lot of money, but we make a living and we are blessed enough to be able to sponsor two children and really that is what life should be about.  That is enough and really so much.  :)  It is a really good life.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Assessing My Messiness

Another picture from Carmel.  Such a pretty place.  Even a rusty ole bike is a nice addition.

Confession time:  I am not a neat gal.  Oh I'm neato, as in people really like me, but neat as in tidy?  Not happening.  I try.  Well, not terribly hard.  I more like try to want to be neat.  The fact is, as long as things are clean, I don't care  how neat they are.  When you are single this is no real big deal.  No one else feels the burn of your untidy ways, but when you are married and have children, this is not a good thing.

I married a guy who is the sweetest dude EVER.  He is also the neatest dude ever.  He was raised by a neat single mom.  She rubbed off on him.  I was raised by a neat single mom who used cleaning as an excuse to snoop.  So I made huge messes to keep her busy.  Too busy to snoop.  It worked for us.  This is not something that works good as a married couple.  My husband doesn't snoop, but I am still...well, sloppy.  Clean but sloppy.

Now I don't bring this up to say that it is some crazy bone of contention between us.  We have an amazing marriage and get along great.  I just know what my husband likes, and frankly I'm not giving it to him.  Really I need to find some new motivation.  I need to learn how to give a rat's patooty about it all.

I figure I am going to just work on some baby steps and do a little something every day that goes against my let-it-go-until-you-can't nature.  So today after work and doing some grocery shopping for Thanksgiving, I worked on cleaning out the fridge.  I got out all the leftovers which was a nice start.  I still need to wipe it all out, but again, this was just a start.  I also did the dishes and a load of laundry.  Although the idea of all this cleaning still didn't excite me, I am glad I did what I did, and I will do more tomorrow.  The change isn't huge...yet.

I have toyed with picking up "I Used To Be So Organized" by Glynnis Whitwer.  The trouble is, I've never been organized so I am not sure if it will help.  Maybe I'll ask for it for a stocking stuffer. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Journal

I used to love reading.  I shouldn't say "used to" because actually I still love it quite a bit.  I simply haven't found the time to indulge in reading like I once did.  This is one of the reasons I want an elliptical trainer.  That will give me the much needed exercise I need (and boy do I need it!) as well as the opportunity to read again!

When I was at the gym I read all the time.  I have a Kindle and a Nook, and I found it absolutely fantastic to be able to escape the workout that I was doing by following a crime solver in the latest cozy!  Then my hours changed just enough to make those gym breaks impossible.

But I digress.  I do that often.

I have decided that before the new year even gets here, I am going to dive back into reading like I enjoy.  I will not just read for work, but I will read for fun again.  Oh the joy, the joy, the joy!!!!!

I have reviewed books in the past on a blog and of course at commercial sites.  The one thing I didn't do though was use a book journal.  When reading recently I realized how very cool it would be to have one.  There are many times that I have read a book and then come across something that just annoyed the pulp out of me.  I also found things I absolutely loved.  The trouble is, I couldn't always remember those details.  My hopes is that a book journal will help with that.

I have seen lovely journals and would like to go that route some day, but for now, I am going to use a composition book. I bought lots of them during all the back-to-school sales and I believe this will work just fine for now.  Maybe I'll even decorate it at some point.  Who knows.  

Why I am sharing this with you?  Because for now, no one but me is reading anyway.  :)  I don't mind.  I like it.  I can get a little crazy with this if I want.  The beginning really is the sweetest thing.  

My first book that I will be enjoying and eventually reviewing is "Knit One, Kill Two" by Maggie Sefton.  As Thanksgiving is this week, I think I should actually finish it by the end of the week.  I don't plan on doing too much Black Friday or Nightmare Thursday shopping anyway.  Well, except to maybe locate an elliptical trainer of my own.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Process

I have this Google+ profile with no blog to go with it.  That really is kind of a waste as I see it.  I have no idea where this will go, but let's see what happens.  

Brief.  Sure.  But it is just the beginning.  Brief is good for the beginning.  

So things look a little prettier before I get going.  Here is a picture from one of my favorite places.

This is the view in Carmel from the Tickle Pink Inn.  My husband and I honeymooned there and just celebrated our fifth anniversary there in may.  It is truly a beautiful place to be.

Okay nuff for now.