Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Candy Apple", "Windsor" and "Ocean" Shawl/Wraps

I just listed a few shawl/wraps in my ebay store. You can click on each picture to go directly to the listing.

"Candy Apple"


I went to Joann's yesterday and stocked up on some more Lion Brand Homespun yarns, so more will be coming. Eventually.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Secret Lanuage of Fans

Today, Laken and I went to Joann's. I wanted some yarn and some fabric to finish two Round Robins so I can send them off to the next participant.

As we were standing in line to pay, I noticed some paper hand fans with cherries on them in the $1 bins by the check out.

Kaylee was recently admiring a fan my mom has so I grabbed three of the cherry fans. One for me, Kaylee and Laken.

After I put the groceries away, I started taking everything out of the Joann's bag and discovered the fans that I had already forgotten about.

I called Kaylee out from her bedroom and she was so excited to get her fan. Laken had already broken hers by this time. (thanks to daddy and glue it's fixed for now).

Kaylee asked me if me if I knew the different motions for the fan. She remembered it from "Princess Diaries 2". So, what else to do but search the internet for it.

We found a pretty good list describing the "Secret Lanuage of Fans" and printed it out. Kaylee is now hard at work learning a new language.

She has already started holding the fan over her left ear at Laken. Guess what it means... "I wish to get rid of you". Isn't that hilarious? Not that she wants to get rid of her but that she learned how to say it in "Fanese".

I also just went on ebay and won a lot of 12 fans. They were too pretty to let go. I can't wait to get them. Maybe I'll start collecting fans.

A Friend's New Blog

A dear Christian friend of mine, Kristie, has started a new blog called "Comfy Cozy".

She was a little nervous about posting so I gave her an assignment with three topics to pick from to write about.

Kristie has just posted her very first blog post and I'm so proud of her. She took the plunge.

So, please click on the links above to go check out her blog and encourage her in her writing. I've made some very dear friends in the blog world and wish the same for her. Tell her Lettie sent you over.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review: "Snow Melts in Spring" by Deborah Vogts

Season of the Tallgrass Book One

Book Description

She loves the land. Mattie Evans grew up in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Although her family has lost their ranch, she still calls this land home. A skilled young veterinarian, she struggles to gain the confidence of the local ranchers. Fortunately, her best friend and staunchest supporter is John McCray, owner of the Lightning M Ranch. They both love the ranch, and can't imagine living anywhere but in the Flint Hills. He's haunted by it.

Gil McCray, John's estranged son, is a pro football player living in California. The ranch is where his mother died and where every aspect of the tallgrass prairie stirs unwanted memories of his older brother's fatal accident. Gil decides leaving the ranch is the best solution for his ailing father and his own ailing heart. But he doesn't count on falling in love. Falling in love isn't an option. Or is it?

When Mattie is called in to save a horse injured in a terrible accident, she finds herself unwillingly tossed into the middle of a family conflict. Secret pain, secret passions, and secret agendas play out against the beautiful landscapes as love leads to some unexpected conclusions about forgiveness and renewal.

My Thoughts:
I always get excited when I get to read the first book in a series. I anticipate learning the character and the settings and then revisiting them in the next book. But, only if the first book in the series strikes something in me and makes me desire to read more.

This first book in the "Seasons of the Tallgrass" impressed me and I definitely want to read more.

I had a problem with how much stock the characters put into certain places and it almost costs them everything. But in the end this is one of the hurdles that they have to overcome.

I liked the ending even if it was a little bit predictable.

The Wedding 6/26/10

Saturday, June 26, 2010, Eric Charles Gibbons and Michele Ann Brady were married at St. Bellarmine Chapel at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

Eric is my first cousin and we grew up together. This picture was taken before the wedding. The last pre-marriage picture of the Gibbons family.

Eric, Aunt Donna, Uncle Charlie, Steph and Brian
My girls were asked to pass out the programs.
Laken and Kaylee

Here is Eric and the Groomsmen waiting for the bride. Sorry, I missed one of the groomsmen. I didn't get a picture of the Bride's Maids because I didn't have a clear view. Michele's sister, Erin, was her Matron of Honor.

Eric (groom), Brian (brother and bestman) Nick, Jeff, Stacen (missing, oops)

My first glimpse of Michele on her wedding day. This is where I teared up.
Charles Brady (Father of the bride), Michele (bride)
I didn't take this picture but it is such a good picture and much better than the ones I got. I stole this from Michele's facebook page.
Michele and Eric

I wish this picture was clearer. Michele's dress was beautiful and she looked absolutely gorgeous.

I loved how they couldn't stop talking to each other during the ceremony. They were so cute!

I didn't get a picture of them walking back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Eric Charles Gibbons, but I have to note that Michele did a little "bouquet in the air, hoorah, we did it!" action. I loved it!

The reception was on the balcony of the Lansdown Resort Clubhouse in Leesburg, VA. It had a beautiful view and they served appetizers and drinks while we waited for the Bride and Groom to get there.

The Wedding Dinner was in the Ballroom and it was amazing. The food was so good. I wish I would have gotten pictures of the plates before we ate.
The cake was lit and beautifully decorated with flowers.

The centerpieces were gorgeous. I love the flowers in the water.

My aunt took a picture of our family. We were at table eight and had a great time visiting with old friends Chris, Carla and Mia Poland.

Me holding Laken, Kaylee, Doug

My Dad and Mom

We had a great time and I can't wait to go back down to visit Eric and Michele when they close on their house.

I'm so glad to have Michele in the family and am looking forward to spending time with her.

Congratulations, Eric and Michele!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Book Review: "After All These Years" by Sally John

The Other Way Home Series Book 2

Book Description:

Isabel Mendoza’s past is just a memory...until Tony, her boyfriend from college days, arrives in Valley Oaks. Romantic sparks fly again, but Isabel is a Christian now. Can she share her love for Jesus with Tony while keeping her painful secret?

Meanwhile, Lia Neuman arrives in town as new owner of the pharmacy. Isabel befriends and welcomes Lia, but vandalism threatens the pharmacy and Lia’s life. Officer Huntington, Valley Oaks’ deputy sheriff, investigates the crimes against Lia, and love unlooked for, begins to bloom.

After All These Years demonstrates how God’s redeeming grace can touch the past and bring healing to the present.

My Thoughts:

I think I liked this book better than the first in the series. That may be because I had already gotten familiar with the small town of Valley Oaks and reading this second book was like taking a trip back to a special place and visiting with old friends.

This book has two romances unfolding at the same time without be at all confusing. I enjoyed each romance equally and didn't mind when the scenes shifted between the two.

There was enough mystery and intrigue to keep it exciting. It also made the Valley Oaks seems more realistic.

I'm sure I will enjoy the third book in the series, "Just to See You Smile" just as much. I'm glad it is already in my TBR pile.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Review: "Maid to Match" by Deeanne Gist

Book Description:

From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled--by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in the ways of refined society, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid. But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs...and their hearts.

My Thoughts:

I always wait very impatiently to read the new Deeanne Gist book. So when I finally received it from a member, it went to the front of my TBR pile.

This was a new setting for Deeanne's books and I completely loved learning about "Biltmore", the Vanderbilt mansion in North Carolina. It was such a unique setting compared to a lot of the historical books I've read lately.

At first, Tillie was determined to forego romance for a career as a lady's maid. I am so glad that she decides to follow love and not money as she realizes there are many ways in which to do the Lord's will. We have to carefully determine what His will for our life is because it might not be what we originally thought it was.

I once again am waiting impatiently for Deeanne's next book.

BTW, Deeanne is have a Girl's Getaway at the Biltmore this fall. Go to her website to learn more.

Book Review: "Ten Things I Love About You" by Julia Quinn

Book Description:

Ten things you should know about this book:

Sebastian Grey is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret. Annabel Winslow's family voted her The Winslow Most Likely to Speak Her Mind AND The Winslow Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Church. Sebastian's uncle is the Earl of Newbury, and if he dies without siring an heir, Sebastian inherits everything. Lord Newbury detests Sebastian and will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening. Lord Newbury has decided that Annabel is the answer to all of his problems. Annabel does not want to marry Lord Newbury, especially when she finds out he once romanced her grandmother. is shocking, is delicious, is downright wicked, all of which leads the way to Happily. Ever. After.

My Thoughts:

For a long time now, I usually only read inspirational books. However, author Julia Quinn is my one reading guilty pleasure. I just really like her writing. So everytime she publishes a new book, I just have to read it. I do skip over (well I try to ) the parts that I shouldn't be reading.

Having said that, this book was good, good, good. Julia is definitely back in her writing groove. (There was one book that was basically a complete rewrite of the previous book only from another persons perspective. Didn't like it.)

I hope Edward Valentine's story will be next.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Book Review: "The Inheritance" by Tamera Alexander

Book Description:

Desperate for a chance to start over, McKenna Ashford accepts her cousin's invitation and moves west with her rebellious younger brother to a not-so-quaint mountain town in Colorado. She discovers that life in Copper Creek is far from what she expected. Having practically raised Robert on her own, McKenna is burdened both with her failure as a parent and her deep conviction to not let her brother throw his life away. Trusting has never come easily for her--especially in issues of the heart--and that inability to trust is put to the test when she meets U.S. Marshall Wyatt Caradon.

After years on the trail, Wyatt Caradon finds himself at a crossroads. He's brought countless men to justice, but he questions what lasting good his life has accomplished. When his path intersects that of young Robert Ashford, Wyatt glimpses himself, years ago, in the boy's pride and arrogance. He also sees a boy without a firm hand in his life. His well-meant attempt to help Robert brings him face-to-face with the one situation he never wanted to encounter--and the one woman who holds the key to helping him find his future.

My Thoughts:
This was a GREAT book! From beginning to end, it developed perfectly. I loved the characters, the setting and romance.

Tamera states in her "Note from the Author" that this was her first novel and it was rejected so she moved on to write other books. She came back to these characters that stuck with her and rewrote their story.

I declare it a success!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Movie Review: "Possession" 2002

There was really nothing on TV tonight to watch while I crocheted, so I looked through the movies on my XBOX Netflix and found "Possession" in my list of to-watch movies. It was the perfect night to watch it because Doug is on 2nd shift this week and there's no way he would watch it with me.

Movie Description:

Modern love and classic romantic passion meet in this lush adaptation of A.S. Byatt's brilliant novel. Academics Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart) and Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow) are experts on the work of two different Victorian poets. As they pursue a possible connection between their subjects, the two sleuths begin to stumble toward a romance of their own.

My Thoughts:

First of all, I have absolutely no clue as to why this is named "Possession". My only explanation is that the book it was adapted from has to in some way have more detail that would lead to this name.

That aside, I thought this movie was great! It had contempory and historical love stories going on at the same time. It reminded me alot of a literary "National Treasure".

There is no way I could not have liked this period, mystery, treasure hunting romance.

To tell you the truth, I came straight to the computer to see if any of the characters were actually real. Sadly, no. All fiction.

If you get some time for a chick flick, this would be a great one to watch.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book Review: "Wanted" by Shelley Shepard Gray

Sisters of the Heart Book 2

Book Description:
For a split second, Katie feels certain she's about to receive everything she's ever wanted...

Twenty-year-old Katie Brenneman has always quietly fancied Jonathan Lundy. So when the brokenhearted widower asks her to help him take care of his two young girls, Katie knows it will be a trying time -- yet she cannot pass up a golden opportunity to get to know this man better.

Just as she's settling into her new life, a message arrives from Katie's past, threatening to expose her darkest secrets. During her Rumspringa, her running-around years, she experimented with activities forbidden in the Amish way of life. Frightened by how far she'd strayed from her values, Katie ran back home, vowing to cut all ties with the outside world. Now her transgressions are coming back to haunt her, just as Jonathan seems willing to welcome her into his heart.

Will the past destroy Katie's chances for love? Or will Katie allow herself to accept God's love, forgive her past, and receive everything she's ever wanted?

My Thoughts:
I didn't think I could possibly like the second book in the "Sisters of the Heart" series as much as the first. I was so wrong!

Once again, Shelley Shepard Gray's writing touched me. I enjoyed reading about old friends that I met in "Hidden" as well as getting to know new characters.

Katie Brenneman's thoughts and feeling were portrayed so well, that I feel as if I know her personally.

I am greatly looking forward to reading the 3rd book of the series, "Forgiven". I also saw that a new Christmas "Sisters of the Heart" book, "Grace", will be coming out this fall.

I can't wait!

Book Review: "LFY in Last Chance California" by Miralee Ferrell

Book Description:
It's 1889 and Alexia
Travers is alone in the world. Her father has died unexpectedly, leaving her burdened with a heavily mortgaged horse ranch. Marrying one of the towns all-too-willing bachelors would offer an easy solution, but Alex has no interest in marriage. Instead, she dons men's clothing and rides the range, determined to make the ranch a success on her own.

Help arrives when Justin Phillips, an acquaintance of her fathers, comes to Last Chance with his young son. Justin's and Alex's combined effort to save the ranch quickly turns into a fierce competition between cowboy and tomboy. But when disaster threatens Travers' Ranch, they must work together to save someone they both love.

Can these two independent people learn to depend on God and on each other?

My Thoughts:

While I really liked the concept of this book, I just couldn't get into it. It seemed to move so slow and 3/4 of the way through the book and there was still very little romance or even personal interaction between the two main characters.

It wasn't as good as I thought it would be. I was a little dissapointed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Review: "Love Finds You in Humble Texas" by Anita Higman

Book Description:
Trudie Abernathy is a little inelegant, and shes never had much luck in love. To make matters worse, her thirtieth birthday is fast approaching and her sister, Lane, has decided to treat her to a makeover and a few blind dates. Trudie is about to protest, but then she meets the kind and handsome Mason Williamson. In spite of her humble manner, Mason finds her attractive, funny and smart. But Lane inexplicably pushes Trudie away from Mason and toward the other willing suitors. The makeover has transformed Trudie from ordinary into stunning, but she isnt sure how she feels about all the attention from men. Can Trudie stay true to her humble self and find her hearts desire in the process?

My Thoughts:
I'm really enjoying the "Love Finds You" series. This book was one of my favorite so far.

The "pretty sister" sets the "mousy sister" up with "superman". They hit it off and it looked like true love was on the horizon. Then "pretty sister" decides that she loves "Superman" so "mousy sister" step aside.

I understand the love between sisters but I thought it was so selfish of the "pretty sister" to allow her sister to go through that kind of heartache because she was so fickle.

It turns out nicely in the end in a very artful, out-of-this-world, happily-ever-after.
Another great "Love Finds You" book.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Prayer Hike at Shawnee State Park

Saturday, June 12th @ 10am. 3.5 mile hike around the lake.

I'm going to be sore tomorrow but we had a lot of fun together!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Review: "A Journey By Chance" by Sally John

Book 1 of "The Other Way Home Series"

Book Description:
In A Journey by Chance, the first book of the series, Dr. Gina Philips heads from Southern California to the tiny Midwest town of Valley Oaks for her cousin’s wedding. Her plan to heal from a failed relationship and escape from a lost job is interrupted by the persistent attention of a local, Brady, and the quirkiness of small town America.

But just when Gina thinks she has the town figured out, a secret is revealed that will forever change her family and her relationship to the mysterious Brady.

My Thoughts:
This was my first book written by Sally John. I identified with the small town life portrayed in the book. Everyone knowing everyone and their business. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Someone who grew up in a big city would probably have a hard time adjusting though. As did Gina. She never ever thouht she'd enjoy spending time in Valley Oaks but she grows to love it and the small time vibe.

This book had lots of twist and turns and a secondary romance involving Gina's mom and dad who have to learn to love again after falling deep in the rut of marriage.

If anything, I learned more from the married couple's struggle to reconnect with each other as individuals rather than just "mom and dad" making a home for their child. In the book they almost had to start again from the very beginning of getting to know one another.

I can apply this to my marriage of almost 10 years and having 2 daughters ages 9 and 3. My husband and I must not only be "mom and dad" but also each other's best friend and work to keep the romance alive and not fall into the rut that is so very slippery and easy to fall into.

I'm looking forward to reading the addition 3 books in this series.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Review: "Becoming Lucy" by Martha Rogers

Book One of "Winds Across the Prairie" series.

Book Description:
After her parents' deaths, 17-year-old heiress Lucy Bishop takes refuge on her aunt and uncle's ranch in Barton Creek, Oklahoma. If it weren't for ranch hand Jake Starnes, the genteel young woman wouldn't survive the backbreaking work. But a dark secret torments him. Can Jake face his past before somebody claims Lucy's hand---or her life?

My Thoughts:
This book was a little too "Young Adult" for my tastes. The leading characters were very young and naive, especially the heroine.

It was a good storyline but I would have liked it better if they were a little older. Also they had very little actual interaction with each other. Most of the story they were stealing glances at each other or were separated and they only had a few actual conversations.

I'm am, however, still looking forward to reading the next book in series: "Morning for Dove".

Monday, June 7, 2010

Scrappy DP9 is Done!

This is the scrappy Disappearing Nine-Patch that I made using scraps leftover from making aprons for the ladies in our church for Christmas.

I've decided to make a "Friendship Quilt" to be passed amongst the ladies as they need some encouragement, love and a warm hug.

I'm excited about presenting it to them tomorrow night at our monthly meeting.

I hope they like it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Its Offical!

School is out for Summer!

My little girl is now a 5th Grader.

The two girls have already started fighting.

Pray for me. Please.

Book Review: "Kissing Adrien" by Siri L. Mitchel

Book Description:
In this fresh and humorous tale, 29-year-old Claire agrees to supervise the renovation of the Paris apartment her parents have inherited. Ignoring her romantic surroundings, Claire is all business and in a hurry to return to her job, home, and an "almost dating" relationship with Brian, an associate pastor.

When Adrien, a handsome and flirtatious friend of the family, agrees to help Claire, his spontaneity and joie de vie drives her crazy. But in time, even Claire cannot resist the City of Lights' offerings, including the Rodin museum where the sculpture The Kiss raises the questions... who will be the love of her life? And will she ever learn to enjoy the life God has placed right in front of her?

My Thoughts:
I loved, loved, loved this book! I loved it enough to stay up until 2:30 am to finish reading it because I just couldn't stand to put it down without knowing if, how, or when Claire and Adrien would kiss.

I loved the background that Claire and Adrien had as well as the new realizations of each other after being apart for 10 years.

I loved the descriptions of Paris and the museums and artwork. Especially the decription and storyline of "The Kiss".

This book brought back all the longings, frustrations and insecurities of falling in love and waiting for that first kiss. The kind that leaves you breathless.

This was my first time reading Siri L. Mitchell but I have a few other of her books on my to-be-read pile that are moving toward the front after reading "Kissing Adrien".

So romantic... Sigh...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Review: "When Love Blooms" by Robin Lee Hatcher

Book Description:
Sometimes the only thing that keeps a man going is the promise of spring - or the love of a good woman. A dramatic love story set in the mountains of Idaho in the 1880's.

From the moment Gavin Blake set eyes on Emily Harris he knew she would never make it in the rugged high country where backbreaking work and constant hardship were commonplace. She would wilt there like a rose without water. He'd be sending her back to Boise before the first snows. He'd be willing to bet on it.

She could say what she wanted. Emily Harris didn't belong in the hard life of the Blakes. Beautiful and refined, she was accustomed to the best life had to offer. Heaven only knew why she wanted to leave Boise to teach two young girls on a ranch miles from nowhere. He'd wager it had to do with a man. It always did when a beautiful woman was involved.

Emily wanted to make some sort of mark on the world before marriage. She wanted to be more than just a society wife. Though she had plenty of opportunities back East, she had come to the Idaho high country looking to make a difference. Gavin's resistance to her presence made her even more determined to prove herself. Perhaps changing the heart of one man might make the greatest difference of all.

A dying Dru Blake knows she does not have much time left, so she chooses Emily Harris to be the nanny to her daughters, hoping this will ease their pain after she is gone. Although Dru's marriage to Gavin is one of convenience, she has a plan for Gavin as well. Meanwhile, Emily's guilt over her growing attraction to Gavin keeps her detached from him.

My Thoughts:
First of all, I must say how much I love the cover of this book. I think it is absolutely beautiful.

Second, if you read the description of the book, you will see that this story is mainly about Gavin and Emily. But, Gavin is married to Dru who is very sick and dying. Let me say how much the attraction between Gavin and Emily bothered them. If it hadn't, I would have had a hard time reading this book. I also want to tell you that Gavin and Dru's marriage was completely a marriage of convenience.

Having said that, I thought this book was very touching. Dru wanted a mother for her daughters and a wife for Gavin and thought about them even though she was so sick and dying. She prayed for a special woman and felt that God had led Emily to them.

This was unlike any book I've ever read.

I really, really would like to read Patrick O'Donnell's story also. His character really caught my attention. Hint...Hint...