Sunday, December 1, 2013


It's finally winter in Jacksonville folks!!  I absolutely L O V E the chill in the air.  Everything smells fresh, the kids move in slow motion, the house just seems to stay cleaner longer.  I still find myself running around frantically, but with WAY less sweat!!! HAHA

However, with all the wonderful things that come with the chillier weather, there is still that imposing sense of doom.... that constant ticking in the back of your brain that you try so so hard to ignore. CHRISTMAS!  I know I say this every year... How is it already this close to the big day and I haven't even started yet? 

This year, I think I'm going to try something new!  Embrace the fact that I will not even start shopping until the week... er few days... before the 25th!  Embrace the crazy last minute decisions on all the gifts.  Embrace the panic attack at 11 pm on Christmas Eve that I still have to wrap EVERYTHING!  And just realize that none of it matters as of 8:00 am on Christmas Day!!!

Yeah right, like that'll work!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review - Charred and Scarred

Charred and Scarred by Joseph K. KiserAlthough I did not win the Goodreads Giveaway for this book, the author emailed it directly to me!

The book was very insightful and thought provoking. Swimming around in today's society can be difficult. This book helps you to stop and evaluate what is important and what it really means to be at peace in your head and your heart. I was very inspired by the quotes and the way Joseph Kiser used those quotes to help me think deeper into my own soul.

The only true negative I could say about this book is it should have gone a little further in each chapter.

This is a fantastic book for the religious (even those of us who should probably attend church more regularly) and the non-religious.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review - Going Through the Notions by Cate Price

Going Through the Notions by Cate PriceAfter winning this book last week on Goodreads Giveaways, I received the autographed copy rather quickly!! I was very excited to start reading it right away.

The book was very well written. The author, Cate Price, did an outstanding job describing in detail what was happening and laying out the "visual" so accurately. In my opinion, when a writer is able to do this as well as this one did, it really helps get the reader absorbed in the story. The main character, Daisy, really comes to life and I was able to associate with what was happening as if watching it on television.

Cate, also did an excellent job maintaining her characters and keeping them consistent. It is rather annoying when an author has some one act so far out of the range of what was already written into their "character" throughout the book. (Does that make sense?) She was also able to really set up these characters for future books. I loved them all especially Cyril and Martha!!!

I'd say that the only (small) complaint I have, is that the "mystery" wasn't really... how do I put this... unfolding throughout the book. Don't get me wrong, the plot was a good one and I loved it, however, Daisy really didn't figure anything concrete out until the end and even then it wasn't because of HER "investigation." The author also didn't really tie up a few loose ends... like, who shot at Daisy? You can assume it was Reenie and she used the gun she pulled on Daisy and Sarah at the end, but you don't really know. Could it have been Ramsbottom tired of Daisy and mad that she not only got him arrested but ruined his police career? Or one of the Perkins boys, because one brother had saw her spying on the illegal game and warned her to butt out? Things like that could have been wrapped up a little better.

Overall though, I recommend this book to everyone! I will definitely read any more that Ms. Price writes in the future as well!!  


Click here for the Goodreads book page.

Click here for the Author's Goodreads page.

Click here for the Amazon page.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I have always been a huge read-a-holic, so I joined the site Goodreads in order to keep track of the books I've read and books I want to read.  My folder system seemed a bit outdated! LOL

The site has a daily Giveaway contest that is pretty nifty!  It's highly recommended that you review the books you've won in order to increase the odds for you winning future books.  Thus far I've won close to 40 books!!!  So I decided to dust off this blog and start posting to it more often so that I can keep track of my reviews!

Here is the link to my Goodreads page:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

As always, Jacksonville is the best place to be for the 4th of July.  Although we were very disappointed that they didn't do fireworks at the beach (which is normally our traditional place to go), downtown was still a spectacular scene!  (ahem... even if we did skip it!) 

We were one daughter short for the week.  Emily-Anne is spending two weeks with her grandma and grandpa.  The Hunky Hubby and I took our other two daughters (Kaitlyn and Madelyn) to Jacksonville Beach for a few hours to release some pent up energy.  You would think that since we live so close to the beach, we would be avid beach go'ers.  NOPERS!!  The fact is, going to the beach with kids is a very stressful event to prep for mentally let alone physically!!  First you want to be sure the house will be ready for when you return home because there is nothing worse, (OK, there is, but stick with me here), than coming back home with three very tired, full of sand, slightly burned, hungry, crabby kids and a hubster who just wants to abandon us all to take a warm shower and go straight to bed!  So of course, I make sure all three bathrooms are ready with towels, wash clothes, soft soap, skin cream and comfy loose PJ's.  I also need to prep for a fast dinner because the only thing anyone has energy for is fighting, so the sooner I get them fed and laying down the easier my night will go. 

Next is figuring out the right balance between taking too much stuff or not enough.  The usual stuff... oversized beach towels, sunblock, hats, glasses, water bottles, beach blanket, umbrella, buckets and shovels.  And since there are so many different variables that goes into how long we actually stay beach side, I need to anticipate how much food and drink to take.  If the weather stays warm and not scorching hot, the kids are in sync with their moods, and my Hunky Hubby actually relaxes and takes a nap, then we could be there for hours.  In that case the one thing this family liks to do is EAT... constantly.  However, it takes one kid to accidentally pick up another kids shell or a bird flying by to poop on something, or too much sand in a bikini bottom to cause the entire trip to tailspin.  In that case, you have to lug a cooler full of food off the beach, which for some reason, is harder than lugging one to the beach!

So by the time I have all the kids strapped into the car and busting at the seams from anticipation and the hubby mumbling and complaining why we need so much stuff.... I'm ready for a nap.  The kind you take on the floor next to the bed so when the kids come looking for you they can't see you on the other side and you actually get some peace... for about 20 minutes!

Then comes the dreaded parking space hunt.  The ring-around-the-rosey-game you play while trying to find a decent space within a mile from the beach.  And if that wasn't frustrating enough, dodging a million idiots drinking on beach cruisers!  There is always an internal debate I have regarding how much damage would there actually be to my kids if they witness their mother running down bikers like they were zombies in a video game... Would it be more than a therapist could un-do later?  Probably, so I curse silently hoping for some other crazed idiot to do it instead!  We finally find a pretty good spot not far from the beach but next to this apartment strip that apparently houses only drunk adolescent males excited they have an excuse to bring their stereos out onto their balconies and annoy everyone else on the planet.  But we've made it here so I take a deep breath, smile and start unloading the madness. 

After getting everyone and everything actually out onto the sand I am reminded why I hate to go anywhere on Holidays... people... everywhere.  However, I still refuse to let the crowds be what takes me down and I keep smiling as we set up so we can finally relax... I know, I know... RELAX????  Yep, I'm going to relax or at least pretend to be so that the kids and my hardworking Hunky Hubby can!  But between my fear of the kids being out in the water past their ankles, scanning the beach for doggie do (WHY DO PEOPLE BRING THEIR DOGS TO THE BEACH IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!) and sharp shells facing up that my four year old will, with out a doubt, end up stepping on... I'm a complete basket case.  I will say though, that other than my own self-inflicted manic worry, the day went pretty smooth.  So when the sky got dark and I had a legitamate excuse to leave, I jumped on it! 

After dodging the rain, and getting the kids home, showered, and slathered in cream (thankfully no signs of sun burn anywhere) there was no way I was going to venture out again to see fireworks.  Breathing a sigh of relief that the Hunky Hubby was on board with my plan, I was able to stick a few sparklers in the kids hands in the driveway before the sky really opened up, cranked out dinner in record time and got everyone settled and calm before I finally collapesed!  So if it makes me a bad mom that no one got to see fireworks this year for the 4th of July, so be it.  At least I didn't commit massive vehicular homacide while trying to make our way to downtown amidst 500 thousand drinking maniacs.  I like to look at it as me being a hero... I saved lives tonight!! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Review - Jenna's Cowboy: A Novel

Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon GillenwaterThis is a very soft "Christian Romance." Not really my cup of tea. There were really no conflicts worth writing about. I'm sure there is a huge audience for a book like this, I'm just not one of them. It's just one of those sappy overly icky story lines with no real conflicts. The writing was OK, I'm just not into stories like this one. This will be a short review because frankly it's too exhausting to put the effort into it...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Never Catching Up...

Isn't summer all about playing catch up on all the stuff you haven't gotten around to since last summer?  Cleaning out storage, closets and the garage?  Finally getting around to dusting the baseboards, scrubbing year old cheese off the bottom of the stove, dumping all those almost empty cleaning supplies from under the sink?  Oh and actually mopping the hardwood floors instead of just using a Swiffer... You know the never ending "Must Clean and Organize List" (otherwise known as the "since-it's-not-really-preventing-you-from-walking-from-room-to-room-you-never-really-have-to-get-to-it-but-feel-compelled-to-put-it-on-a-list-list")  Has anyone ever actually finished this list within a years time? 

Last night, my Hunky Hubby finally cornered me into helping him move some furniture (or what he likes to refer to, "The Crap I Can't Believe We Still Have") out of storage.  He is moving into a new office downtown and wants to incorporate some of his old office furnishings.  Which of course leads us to the three year ongoing debate of, "Why do we have storage? If we aren't using it, then let's get rid of it!"  Uhhhhh but what if I DOOOOO need it... just not right now? Duh! 

But back to my main point... playing summertime catch up.  Since we are close to scratching the storage thing off the dusty, and seemingly uncheckable list, I've decided that today is going to be the day I plan out how I can accomplish getting this list done and actually get started on it!  I guess you can say I'm feeling motivated!  Like my daddy once said to me (in a completely different context)... set small goals each day and do them in order to work towards larger goals for the week to set the stage for completing longer-term goals!  If you don't get them done, then tomorrow set smaller goals!!

So let the fun begin... one small step at a time!