Saturday, November 21, 2009

Inside Out Day

Happy inside out day

Today Owen is 38 weeks and 3 days old. That is exactly how long he was inside the womb as well. HAPPY INSIDE OUT DAY! I must say the outside part has gone much faster than the inside part.

Yesterday Owen started letting go of what he was using to stand up. He could only go hands free for a couple of seconds- but it is a start. He is becoming such a big boy. He is so much fun.

We love you Owen. It has been a great 38.3 weeks!

IMG_0189

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blogging for Books- White Picket Fences

clip_image002 

White Picket Fences

Author: Susan Meissner

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Summary:

Amanda Janvier’s idyllic home seems the perfect place for her niece Tally to stay while her vagabond brother is in Europe, but the white picket fence life Amanda wants to provide is a mere illusion. Amanda’s husband Neil refuses to admit their teenage son Chase, is haunted by the horrific fire he survived when he was four, and their marriage is crumbling while each looks the other way.

Tally and Chase bond as they interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, and become startlingly aware that the whole family is grappling with hidden secrets, with the echoes of the past, and with the realization that ignoring tragic situations won’t make them go away.

Readers of emotional dramas that are willing to explore the lies that families tell each other for protection and comfort will love White Picket Fences. The novel is ideal for those who appreciate exploring questions like: what type of honesty do children need from their parents, or how can one move beyond a past that isn’t acknowledged or understood? Is there hope and forgiveness for the tragedies of our past and a way to abundant grace?

My review: 

This is a great book about a family who seems to be perfect on the outside, but has secrets on the inside. It took me a little while to get into, but once getting through the first few chapters it became such a wonderful story.

There were two specific themes- 1. Family Secrets and; and 2. the holocaust. While I am not normally a fan of history- I enjoyed the stories told in this book. They were both interesting and captivating.

I found this book both easy and comfortable to read.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good book!

To purchase this book :

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074570&ref=externallink_wbp_whitepicketfences_sec_0916_01

If you are interested in Blogging for Books please visit : http://www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook/bloggingforbooks/

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Behind Bars

 

Owen LOVES to stand up using his baby gate!

  102_7787  102_7789    

Behind bars with Daddy

102_7794  

Hanging out with Daddy

102_7797 102_7798 102_7799      

Procrastinating going to bed…

102_7808

 102_7809 102_7810 102_7811

Quite possibly the funniest photo I have ever taken!

102_7812   

Quite possibly the freakiest photo i have taken.

102_7816

We hope everyone had a great weekend!

C-130 Day

 

Oh Friday, despite being sick, we were able to participate in a C-130 (the plane John flies) Family day! It was so much fun.

 

John getting Owen ready to stand by the mini model herk.

102_7766 

We decided we would try to convince Johns mom (sorry Jackie) that THIS is in fact the plane john flies. We even did an impression of her saying “Well I thought it was bigger……..”

102_7767  102_7769

Inside the REAL airplane

102_7770  102_7772 102_7773

Pardon my reflective belt! It is not a new fashion statement, it is what the wives had to wear.

102_7774   102_7777   

Sitting in the pilot seat!

102_7781 102_7782 102_7783 

After the kids got to tour the plane the wives actually went up for a 45 minute flight. It was quite cool. Photos from the flight to come later! 

The face of a very sick baby

This is what a cold, terrible cough, and an ear infection look like.

102_7759

Oh, and a slight bump on the head!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blogging for Books- Limelight

image

Limelight

Author:  Melody Carlson

Summary: Claudette Fioré used to turn heads and break hearts. She relished the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle because she had what it takes: money, youth, fame, and above all, beauty. But age has withered that beauty, and a crooked accountant has taken her wealth, leaving the proud widow penniless and alone.
Armed with stubbornness and sarcasm, Claudette returns to her shabby little hometown and her estranged sister. Slowly, she makes friends. She begins to see her old life in a new light. For the first time, Claudette Fior√© questions her own values and finds herself wondering if it’s too late to change

My review:

This easy to read book is about an old woman who is forced to move “home again” after her finances become a mess. Because she is a bit of a spoiled brat, she has to reevaluate her priorities which is not something she truly wants to do.

This book was so much fun! I really enjoyed reading about Claudette’s previous life and how it made her into the person she is today. The author makes you have a love/hate relationship with the main character.

The book read like a normal chick-lit novel, yet it was about a woman in her 80’s! It reminded me a bit of the shopaholic series in the way that she seems helpless at times and needs someone there to rescue her.

There were some Christian elements in this book that I did not necessarily agree with, but I appreciated the ties to faith that were included.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys chick-lit, easy reads, and straightforward humor.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

For information on purchasing this book please go to: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781400070824

Interested in blogging for books? Please visit :

http://www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook/bloggingforbooks/.

Blogging for Books- What Matters Most

image 

What Matters Most

Author:  Melody Carlson

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Maya Stark has a lot to sort through. She could graduate from high school early if she wants to. She’s considering it, especially when popular cheerleader Vanessa Hartman decides to make her life miserable–and Maya’s ex-boyfriend Dominic gets the wrong idea about everything.
To complicate matters even more, Maya’s mother will be released from prison soon, and she’ll want Maya to live with her again. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. And when Maya plays her dad’s old acoustic guitar in front of an audience, she discovers talents and opportunities she never expected. Faced with new options, Maya must choose between a “normal” life and a glamorous one. Ultimately, she has to figure out what matters most.

My Review:

I realize that I am in no way the intended audience for this book and I will try to keep that in mind while doing this review. The book is definitely targeted at 5th-8th grade girls. While it covers issues that may be faced by some high schoolers, it does so in a way that would really only appeal to those who have yet to experience it.

Despite this being my first Diary of a Teenage Girl book, I really do not feel like I missed out by not reading the earlier books. It was not necessary to have read the others to understand what was happening with the characters. While it may have helped with character development, the dynamics are simple enough that it does not feel like you are picking up in the middle of a story. 

This was an easy read and not very thought provoking for people outside of the intended demographic. The green tips of the day were kind of annoying, but may be a part of the series norm.

I would recommend this as a cute read for those within the intended demographic, but others should not bother. It could definitely provide an avenue to open dialogue between kids soon to enter high school and their parents.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

To purchase this book, please visit : http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601421197

Interested in blogging for books? Please visit :

http://www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook/bloggingforbooks/.

Blogging for Books- Leaving Carolina

 

image

Leaving Carolina

Author:  Tamara Leigh

Summary:  Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in LA. She’s even “engaged to be engaged” to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler.Now all of Piper’s hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle’s bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick has decided to change his will, leaving money to make amends for four generations’ worth of family misdeeds. But that will reveal all the Pickwicks’ secrets, including Piper’s. Though Piper arrives in Pickwick primed for battle, she is unprepared for Uncle Obe’s rugged, blue-eyed gardener. So just who is Axel Smith? Why does he think making amends is more than just making restitution? And why, oh why, can’t she stay on task? With the Lord’s help, Piper is about to discover that although good PR might smooth things over, only the truth will set her free.

My review

I was drawn to this book for several reasons. First the title of Leaving Carolina was of interest to me since we currently live in Carolina. Second, the main character of this book is named Piper- the same as our charming dog. Third- I really liked the cover art of the book (yes, I judge books by their covers!!!)

With those things being said, this book did not disappoint!

I really enjoyed this story. While it took me a while to get into, by the middle I could not put it down. The book took a good look at why it is important not to run away from your past- no matter what skeletons might be in the closet. The author did a great job of describing each element of the story to adequately paint a picture of what was happening.

I enjoyed the mix of humor, wit, romance, and sadness that all came together in this book. There were some very Christian elements that had me a bit surprised. However, upon looking further into the author I realized her books were now considered Christian Romance (chick-lit)- which is just so cool!

I found this book to be very relatable. I could picture myself in Piper at times. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. I also will be looking into other books that Tamara Leigh has written! I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fun chick-lit and is also comfortable with Christian elements.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

This book can be purchased from the following link: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601421661

Interested in blogging for books? Please visit : http://www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook/bloggingforbooks/.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blogging for Books

I am so excited to be participating in a fun program called Blogging For Books!

My friend Michelle is a Blogging for Booker and I looked into it. As an approved blog reviewer, I receive a free, advance copy of the featured book in each tour in which I choose to participate. Then I write a review for the book on my blog.

I also post a review of each book I read for WaterBrook Multnomah on a consumer website such as amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, cbd.com, lifeway.com, walmart.com.

In the next few weeks I will be posting my reviews of books. Please let me know if you are interested in borrowing any of the books that I review!

If you would like more information about blogging for books, or if you would like to join, please see : http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blogging-for-books/

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Getting ready to go “trick or treating” (mostly just walking around to meet some neighbors we had not spoken with yet). IMG_3891 IMG_3892

My new favorite photo!

IMG_3893

Look how long he is!!!

IMG_3894

IMG_3895

IMG_3896 IMG_3897 IMG_3898

I decided that since he was a monkey, he should be in a tree!

    IMG_3902 

Some of our sweet neighbors had  baby friendly items up for grabs! Owen got some gold fish and some pretzels! So thoughtful of them!

IMG_3904  IMG_3906  

Enjoying my first goldfish! YUM!

 IMG_3910 IMG_3911

About 10 minutes after starting our stroll Owen was completely knocked out! It is tough work being a cute monkey! 

IMG_3912

Today Owen is a little under the weather with a bit of a fever. We are currently laying together on the couch. He is asleep in my arms as I am typing. Feels so good! :)