Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book Review: Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer

Edited: Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Lara O.!! Your copy of this book will be in the mail as soon as I get to the post office. :)

Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer is a memoir of how God has pushed, pulled and squeezed Tricia to become the woman He wants her to be.

As a mom of small children who LOVE play dough (am I the only mom who hates the stuff?!), I totally get the analogy of God using life's circumstances to mold and shape us! Haven't we all felt stretched to the breaking point at times?! Just like that play dough snake rolled and stretched so thin it will separate in three places if you roll it one more time.

I am amazed how God uses those thin times in my life to grow me and change me. In fact, He's squishing and smooshing me now as I'm taking a step back from blogging to re-evaluate my priorities and activities.

I appreciate Tricia's transparency in this book. She doesn't sugar coat the poor choices she has made (a teen pregnancy being one of them). Rather she shares with the reader how God has used those poor choices (and good choices!!) to reveal HIS character and shape hers. She gives Him the glory for her transformation and successes.

Isn't that what we all want as Christian women? To develop God's character as our own and give him the glory for it?

If you want to feel encouraged and be reminded that your trials and difficulties have a purpose, I recommend you read Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer. You can get a copy today by clicking on the title or the book image. Also, you can learn more about Tricia and her other books at

Last but not least, the kind folks at Multnomah have sent me a second copy of Blue Like Play Dough to give away. Just leave a comment on this post telling me if you a) make your own play dough, b) buy it, or c) have banned the stuff from your home.

Comments will close August 7 and the winner will be selected randomly.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Checking In at the End of July

Hi Everyone!!

Wow! I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I declared my bloggy break. The summer is flying by!! I'm still not officially back. I just wanted to drop in a let you know what we've been up to around here.

July zipped by with:
  • 4th of July Fireworks at the Beach,
  • letterboxing with friends,
  • Mia's Backward Birthday Party (which was a ton of fun!),
  • a Rheumatologist appointment for me (discovered she doesn't take the new insurance so I'm going to have to switch doctors after 6 years),
  • vacation in Maine for 4.5 days (more on this later once my film is developed),
  • 3 year old friend's birthday party at a park (lots of fun!),
  • Mom's Night Out with my friend Amy in which we stayed at IHOP until 2:45 AM!!!
  • And Last But Not Least: My Mom Arrives FRIDAY night!!
My word! No wonder I'm so tired! We've been very social this month!!

I've also read more books this month, both with the kids and for myself. Can't say that I've gotten anywhere on starting a new routine for us or getting my house clean but I keep hoping.

I have been keeping up with my Google Reader though not commenting as much. Just today I brutally culled through my Reader. There are so many great blogs out there but my time is limited so I really need to restrict how many I'm reading.

Anyway. Just wanted to say hi! I'll be back soon with a book review and some vacation posts.

Enjoy the ending of your summer!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Busy, busy, dreadfully busy...

We have been busy this summer. I'm not sure what we've been doing exactly. But we've been doing a lot of it. :)

June went by in a blur! Here are some highlights (each of which I intended to blog about but it's just not going to happen):
  • free ice cream at Friendly's Restaurant,
  • scored big time at a Used Curriculum sale,
  • had lunch with Daddy at his office,
  • painted Ellie's room,
  • attended a meeting about the Home School Co-op we will participate in this fall.
July is gearing up to be just as busy! Already we have watched fireworks Friday, July 3 from a nearby beach (see pics of Ben & family), and celebrated the 4th by letterboxing (see pic of Daddys & kids) and picnicing at Beavertail Lighthouse with our friends A2M3.

As I write we are looking forward to:
  • Celebrating our friend, Mia's 4th birthday with a Backwards Party,
  • Going to Maine for a mini-vacation,
  • Attending a tour of our local library,
  • Painting the boys' room.
That's just JULY!!

My August calendar includes:
  • A short visit from my mom,Pediatrician appointment for Sam & Ellie,
  • A Zoo members night,
  • A visit from my brother, sis-in-law and niece,
  • Working on our half bathroom and kitchen,
  • Ellie's 3rd birthday party!
Whew!! No wondering I'm feeling tired!!

Added to all of this is caring for 4 children, a home, a husband and me. Contrary to popular opinion, I do not have my act together all the time. In fact, right now I have laundry in the washer, clean laundry in a basket for several days, dishes in my sink, and piles of stuff everywhere. I have no idea what we will be eating next week.

Basically, my home and family are in chaos. And that's because of me. I'm in chaos. Before this summer is over I need to evaluate and implement some new priorities around here. Or maybe I just need to make my behavior line up with what I say my priorities are.

Regardless, I need to clear my plate of some good things that are distracting me from God's best. For now that's blogging, FaceBook, and Twitter. So, I am officially taking the rest of the summer off from all things computer.

I have a couple of book review commitments that I'll be blogging about and I may hop on here to post vacation pictures, but beyond that I'm taking a break for the rest of the summer.

I'm not unplugging from email, so feel free to drop me a note when you think of me!

See you in Autumn!

Ps. Can you name the video I took the title from?

Monday, July 6, 2009

A CD Review

The ladies at One2One Network sent me a CD to review a month ago. Life being as it is, I'm just now making it to write the review.

Bible Belt by Diane Birch is bluesy-jazz-lounge type music. It's not something I would be drawn to purchase on my own or listen to on a regular basis. But, I think it would make a nice background CD for a grown-up dinner party.

Oh, and it is NOT a Christian music CD (don't let the title fool you).

How's that for a pitiful review? {laughing}

Here's Diane's bio quote:
For singer-songwriter Diane Birch, music was a refuge. Although Diane was born in Michigan, her childhood was spent on the move as the daughter of a preacher, living between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia, before her parents finally settled in Portland, Oregon. When she was in her early teens, Diane absorbed a unique and cosmopolitan perspective on life that shines through her music and makes a simple categorization of it impossible.

The result? Diane Birch sounds like an old favorite, with all the sparkle and magic of a breakthrough talent. People says she sounds like a combination of early Carole King, Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks, with a little Joss Stone and Cat Power mixed in. Bible Belt is only her first record, but it’s one of the most accomplished albums you’ll hear all year. From the opening track “Fire Escape” to the closing “Magic View,” Diane’s stunning voice is mesmerizing.

Written entirely by Diane, Bible Belt was recorded in New York City and New Orleans with an impressive team of Grammy-winning producers: S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, soul legend Betty Wright and Mike Mangini, in their first project together since producing Joss Stone’s first albums.
I have other feelings about the negativity implied towards Diane's "conservative" and "strict religious" upbringing but I don't seem to be able to process them well into words so I'll keep it to myself.

One final tidbit - my husband lived in Zimbabwe during his teen years while his dad taught at a seminary there. Joel reminisces fondly about those years. We hope to one day take our children to Zimbabwe and see part of the world Daddy grew up in.
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