Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nine Years, Side by Side...What a Roller Coaster Ride!

Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money,

Maybe we're ragged and funny,

But we'll travel along,

Singing a song,

Side by


Ray and I were married nine years ago today. In that nine years, we've had a lot more "poorer" moments than "richer," but I do have to say we've also had a lot more "health" than "sickness" too...and for the most part, there has been much more "better" than "worse."

In the past nine years, we've been through...5 of our 7 children graduating from High School, (one had already), several of them attending college, with 1 of them graduating and becoming an RN! Two children serving in the armed forces, (including one doing a tour in Iraq). Four of our kids getting married, (and one eventually getting divorced). We've been blessed with three beautiful grandsons (so far)! Suffered a miscarriage of our own, and a stillborn grandson. Endured open-heart surgery (mine), we lost his mother and my sister in the same year...lost our home to forclosure, moved TWICE in the last 3 years...(while staying in the same town). I would say we've literally been through "thick and thin," but unfortuately, we aren't quite to "thin" yet! We did both lose a lot of weight last year, but I've let a lot of it creep back on. He lost more than I did, and has probably kept more of it off too...the struggle continues...

We've definitely had our ups and downs --in more ways than one over the years, but I know that we will be together for as long as we both shall live...Just as long as we remember that it was God who put us together in the first place, and keep our eyes firmly focused on Him... Then we can get through anything, and... "We'll travel the road, sharing our load...Side by Side!" Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Molly's Science Lesson: The Broom Stands Alone

My 12-year-old daughter, Molly heard on the radio, about how you are supposed to be able to stand a broom up on its bristles twice a year, during the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes. She decided to give it a try last night, and was pretty excited when she was successful. She borrowed my camera to document this strange phenomenon, and this is what I found on it this morning:

Pay no attention to the messy bathroom ;)

I couldn't quite make out what this last one was on my camera.

After I uploaded it, I figured out that she must have climbed up on top of the vanity, and taken this shot looking down from the end of the broom handle. Clever, don't you think?

Here's her video documentary:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"You Were Born For This" ~ Book Review and Giveaway

Bruce Wilkinson, author of the popular book, "The Prayer of Jabez" has come out with a brand new book, with a fascinating concept behind it. What if we are missing out on being a part of someone else's miracle? He says that even though we know that God doesn't NEED us to make a miracle happen, He LIKES to use people in that way. And it makes sense.

We have experienced many of these types of miracles. A lot of people would call them "lucky coincidences", but we KNOW that they have been orchestrated by God. One of the things that the author asks us to do, is to have a "God Pocket" in our wallet or purse. This is a separate place, where you stash as much money as you feel God is leading you to put there, and consider it "God's money" (it IS ALL HIS after all), until you encounter the person that He will tell you to give it to. Hmmm...interesting. We have actually been on the receiving end of this. A couple of years ago, there was an envelope in our church mailbox with our names on it. There was a note in it that said something like, "I've been carrying this around for a very long time, waiting for God to tell me who to give it to. He told me you needed it." In the envelope was a $100 bill! Yes, we DID need it, and very badly. We never did find out who it was from. We have also had money appear "out of nowhere" on many other occasions, when we LEAST expected it...but MOST needed it.

His New York Times phenomenon The Prayer of Jabez changed how millions pray. Now Bruce Wilkinson wants to change what they do next.

Anyone can do a good deed, but some good works can only happen by a direct intervention from God. Around the world these acts are called miracles—not that even religious people expect to see one any time soon. But what would happen if millions of ordinary people walked out each morning expecting God to deliver a miracle through them to a person in need? You Were Born for This starts with the dramatic premise that everyone at all times is in need of a miracle, and that God is ready to meet those needs supernaturally through ordinary people who are willing to learn the “protocol of heaven.”

In the straightforward, story-driven, highly motivating style for which he is known, Wilkinson describes how anyone can be a “Delivery Guy” from heaven in such universally significant arenas of life as finances, practical help, relationships, purpose, and spiritual growth.

You Were Born for This will change how readers see their world, and what they expect God can do through them to meet real needs. They will master seven simple tools of service, and come to say with confidence, “I want to deliver a supernatural gift from God to someone in need today—and I expect to!”

Author Bios:
One of the world’s foremost Christian teachers, Bruce Wilkinson is best known as the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Prayer of Jabez. He is also the author of numerous other bestsellers, including A Life God Rewards, Secrets of the Vine, and The Dream Giver. Over the past three decades, Wilkinson has founded several global initiatives, including organizations that recruited and trained thousands of Americans to address hunger, AIDS, and poverty in Africa. Bruce and his wife, Darlene, have three children and six grandchildren. They live outside Atlanta.

David Kopp has collaborated with Bruce Wilkinson on over a dozen bestselling books, including The Prayer of Jabez. He is an editor and writer living in Colorado.
Here is a link to Bruce Wilkinson introducing his new book: Click HERE

How can you get this book and find out how to be part of God's miracle? Go to

For a chance to WIN a COPY right here, just leave me a comment after this post. I'll enter you into a random drawing to be held on October 5, 2009. You must be live in the continental US to enter and leave me a valid email address, so I can contact you. Thanks, and good luck!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ugg! Winter is Coming...Win a Free Pair of Whooga Ugg Boots!

As Summer fades into Fall, can Winter be far behind? It seems like we barely HAD a Summer here in Minnesota this year. It was a very cool one, that's for sure. This past week or so was warmer than most of the entire season...but it's supposed to turn cooler by the first part of next week. And then, who knows? We could get an "Indian Summer" or two before Winter rears it's ugly head once again, (we usually do), but one thing's for certain. Winter WILL be upon the near future. Are you ready? I know that I need to find myself some new boots this year, before the cold and snow hit. I really like the looks of these Ugg boots from Whooga. They come in many different styles and colors to choose from, for both women and children. In fact, Whooga is giving away a pair of these cool boots every month! I'm going to try to WIN some "Whooga" boots for FREE myself, And YOU can TOO!

girls ugg boots

Here's all you need to do to enter:
1) Go to: Free Ugg Boots and copy and paste their button on your blog, mySpace or any other website.
2) Fill in the blanks with your entry information...and voila, you're entered! That's all there is to it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Stray Affections" ~ A Book Review and Giveaway!

In Stray Affections, the last thing that Cassandra expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some shopping time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can’t resist taking the unique globe home—even if means wrestling another shopper for it!

The beautiful snowglobe sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother, “Bad Betty” Kamrowski. Life in Wanonishaw, Minnesota is never dull, though, and Cassie keeps the recollections at bay, busy balancing her boys, her home daycare operation, and being a good friend to best pal Margret. But after a strange—flurrious, as Cassie deems it—moment happens with the remarkable snowglobe, Cassie and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous, yet grace-filled, and life-changing journey.
“As a believer, I know the power of forgiveness and new beginnings, and of a God, and family and friends, who love me the way I am,” Charlene Ann Baumbich says. “The heartbeat of change flows through those wonderful gifts.”

With the quirky, close-knit Midwestern small-town feel that made Charlene Ann Baumbich’s acclaimed Dearest Dorothy novels so popular, Stray Affections invites readers to experience the laughter and the healing of second chances.

About the author:

Charlene Ann Baumbich is a popular author and speaker and an award-winning journalist. In addition to her Dearest Dorothy series of novels, she has written seven nonfiction books of humor and inspiration. A bungee-jumping, once motorcycle-owning grandma and unabashed dog lover, Charlene lives with her husband and rescued dog Kornflake in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She loves telling stories, laughing whenever possible, and considers herself a Wild Child of God.

Click HERE to watch a video clip of the author reading her book!

If you'd like to learn more about "Stray Affections" or to purchase this book, go to Random


I have also been given an extra copy of "Stray Affections" to give away to one of my lucky readers! All you need to do, to be entered in the drawing for this captivating book, is to leave me a comment. I will do a random drawing for it on my wedding anniversary, September 30th. You must live in the continental US, and may leave one comment per day for more chances to win. Good Luck!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation ~ Review and Giveaway!

I just finished reading this book, and wanted to share it with all of my readers. At first glance, I thought it looked like something that I would sooner just skim through, and then save for a reference book...but once I picked it up, I read it from start to finish. I found some fascinating information in it, about the founding of this great nation of ours, how and why we became as prosperous a nation as we are, and what happened to turn our country into what it is today. Our forefathers came here to practice freedom of religion, (I did know that much), but never fully understood what was so important about that. The sad fact of the matter is, that today, there are many who have decided that they have the right to have a nation that is free OF religion, period. That is not to say that they do not have the right to believe what they want to believe...but we, as Christians should ALSO have the right to practice our own beliefs, without being censored and ridiculed for it. Jerry Newcombe has compiled many facts in this book, that show without a doubt that America was once indeed a Christian nation, and explains in detail the real reason behind "separation of church and state." I would highly recommend it every American.

The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation (Nordskog Publishing) by Jerry Newcombe is a definitive volume on the Christian roots of our nation. Those who want to restore knowledge of our Christian heritage have their work cut out. As secularism continues its stranglehold on American education, we move further and further away from retaining our Christian roots. The Book That Made America will challenge anyone to know the true origin of our Nation and to fight to keep it. Newcombe hopes to educate Americans by providing the facts of history, proving that America began as a Christian nation and American’s have every right to preserve and uphold that heritage.
All that is positive in our foundation can be traced back to the Scriptures. Recently, President Obama declared that America is not a Christian nation, while Newsweek announced the demise of Christian America. This book is the answer to America’s critics with the facts of history.

Jerry Newcombe, D. Min., is senior producer for Coral Ridge Ministries and has produced or coproduced more than fifty documentaries. The host of two weekly radio shows, he has also been a guest on numerous television and radio talk shows - including Fox Business News, C-Span, USA Radio and Moody Radio. He is the author or coauthor of twenty two books, including with Dr. Kennedy, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?, How Would Jesus Vote?, and The Presence of a Hidden God.
Coral Ridge Ministries is a media outreach founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy. Its programming reaches a national television, radio, and Internet audience at

For more or to purchase this great resource for only $18.95, go to: or
To WIN a copy of your very own, just leave me a comment after this post, and I will do a random drawing on September 30, 2009. Winners will be notified by email, so make sure you leave me a valid email address in your comment. I will not use your email for any other purpose. Winners must be over the age of 18 and live in the continental U.S. Good luck!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Help! My Brother Has Been Locked Up!

I just got an urgent message from my brother Bob. He's being locked up and needs help to post bail! It's all good though...he's doing it to raise money for Jerry's kids, you know, the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

If you click on the link below to donate, there is a funny little "newsflash" video to watch. Here is the message I just received from my brother:

I'm proud to tell you that I'm being locked up...that's right, I'm going behind bars to help Jerry's Kids© and MDA. To be released on good behavior I have to raise bail and I need your help!

All you have to do is click here to make a secure, online donation before 10/22/09. Your donation will help families
living in our community and help guarantee me
an early release.

I can't wait to add you to my list of contributors. Thanks in advance for your help.

Together we'll make a difference, Bob

P.S. Thank you, click here to donate.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

A "blushing bride" (or maybe a little sunburned?) in a black and white dress! My niece, Crystal is getting married on 9/25/09. She and her fiance had a combination shower/golf outing/bachelorette/bachelor party on Saturday. The guys went golfing, while we women were told to wear our "little black dresses". Alternatively, we could dress in black and white with red accents. Since I do not own a black dress, (and it certainly would NOT be little if I did), I wore the black and white sun dress that I got for my other niece's wedding in May.
Here are a few of the "little black dresses" All the ladies looked lovely.

One of the games we played, was to design wedding dresses out of really cheap toilet paper, that would rip if you looked at it too hard. We split into 4 teams by the tables we were sitting at:

This is my sister-in-law, Rose and my mother, Lenore working on my niece, Holly's dress. Holly just wore her REAL wedding dress a few months ago, in May. Looks good so far!

Above, was my team's model, my grand niece, Desiree. My sister, Connie is putting some of the finishing touches on her creation. I didn't do anything but watch, laugh and take pictures.

These are the 4 finished products. Don't they all look stunning in their new gowns? Crystal was the judge, and chose the 3rd one from the left. I believe it is her SIL-to-be. Maybe she was just making points with her new family?? BTW, those are rose petals on Holly's dress, that they took off of the table decorations...she's not actually wounded!

And then of course, there were gifts to open. Here, she's opening the "Slap Chop" that Jessica and I gave her. Now she can remember us every time she chops onions...but she won't have to with tears in her eyes!

After the games and gift opening were over, the guys joined us back at Crystal's for dinner. There were alcoholic, and non-alcoholic versions of punch to choose from at the shower...
My brother Bob, decided to wear the "alcohol" name tag from the punch. He also stole the clothespins that we had been using earlier for a game...Looks like he'd already had enough alcohol while out golfing, don'tcha think? JK, Bob is always kinda silly like that.

We took a picture of my mother with all of the granddaughters that were present, those that are pictured here range in age from 32 down to 12. L to R: Jenny, Mom, Holly, Crystal, Lacy, Jessica, Molly and Amber. Molly wasn't actually at the shower, she and her cousin Tanner were watching CJ and Shelby at my sister's house a couple of blocks away, and then they all joined us for dinner along with the guys.

Here's one of me and my sisters, sisters-in-law, and my mother. Unfortunately, two of my sisters couldn't make it. L to R: sisters, Connie and Sue, me, Mom, my sister Kathy and SIL's, Lori and Rose. Notice how Rose is standing on her tippy-toes. I didn't even see that when I took this picture.

After dinner, the "party bus" showed up. Some of the guests decided to participate in this part of the day's activities. We opted to play it safe and take Molly and Christian home after dinner.
Here, Crystal and Kathy pose in front of the bus. I'm pretty sure this is one of those things where, "what happens on the party bus STAYS on the party bus"... and I'm not even sure I WANT to I'll just leave it to your imaginations ;-)

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