Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflections on 2010



James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (NIV)

Too often we all look back on the final day of any given year and see all that has transpired in our lives. This, for the world in general, has been a year of challenges. The "change" that was to occur didn't pan out quite as well and despite being in a recession, so many companies still raised prices while people at home lost everything, from homes, families, and jobs.

Yet we sit today on the threshold of another year of possibilities. A clean slate if you will, to make some changes in where you find yourself today. I know for me, I spend a lot of time dreaming of what I want to see happen in my life and where I'd like to see change. I don't want to look back a year from now and see nothing has really changed. My newest quote is "If nothing changes, NOTHING changes."

In 2010, change happened all around me. Once more my storms came raging and yet despite it all I held fast to my faith that never fails. My friends may offer their words of encouragement, but nothing compares to faith in God. It's the one thing that never changes, can always be trusted, and always perseveres to the end.

I began the year with an unknown diagnosis of a debilitating pain I had since November in 2009. After seeing doctor after doctor, I prayed for an answer, someone who would see me with fresh eyes. I found such a person and in the end of March of 2010, I was scheduled for surgery for multiple cysts on my ovaries and some exploratory surgery while they were there. I awoke with a partial hysterectomy. It was the worst surgery my Ob-Gyn had ever done, but I was pain free.

In my trials, I was convinced that this was going to be my new life, much like Paul had to endure his unknown thorn. Once I was settled in my heart to accept this, things changed. God answered the call. My faith passed through the fire and I was not burned.

Steve found work in July of this year and even though that has posed its own challenges, we still see the fruit of God's provision in our lives. While so many lost everything, God held fast to our daily bread. Our kids remained healthy, we didn't lose anything that wasn't worth losing, and during it all, I saw that the things we worry most about, never happen. We give so much power to the enemy when we can't fix our own problems.

If we merely step out of the way, God can do His work, in us and through us, and in it all, bring about glory to His name.

So, my dearest readers, if you find yourself, adrift and lost in violent storm or if you feel like you are literally in the fiery furnace with flames all around you in your life, rest assured in your faith in Jesus Christ, that God has His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. You will come through this, not smelling of fire, or drenched to the skin, battered and bruised but stronger and more confident than ever before. If you still remain undecided on whether God is right for you, I ask that you give it 30 days. Pick up a Bible and begin reading in the book of John and ask God to reveal Himself to you. His word, NEVER FAILS or comes back empty.

I wish you all a blessed and abundant New Year in 2011 and would ask that you would leave a comment and share what you have learned this year in closing out 2010 on a positive note.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Ever Happened To Christmas Cards?


You remember Christmas cards right?

Racing to the mailbox around Christmas time, getting the most amazing beautiful cards with handwritten sentiments from family and friends from afar. They were mailed to you from people you had been in contact with, and to this day, I still have some of my favorites saved, not only for the sentimental words inside but for the wonderful pictures that decorated the outsides.

So what happened to them???

Over the last few years, I've notice that I have gotten fewer and fewer of them. The ones I do get now come from Hallmark, with a notice to save $10 off my next purchase of $50 or more, or from the real estate companies looking to have me call them to refinance my home.

Now I've been getting pictures of children and families printed out on their home computers or from a local printing company with no handwritten sentiments. Just the pre-printed statement wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

The other thing we get are what I've come to call Brag Letters, or the annual Family Christmas letter. I even tried one of these a few years back, and try as you might to not brag about what you and your family did, you inevitably do, thus the term Brag Letters. They start off telling you what their children are up to, what they have accomplished, and where they are all headed off to next.

What I really miss, is the old fashion Christmas cards that you add to your Christmas decorations around the house and marvel at the brilliant art work on the cover while tearing up at the heartfelt words on the inside. Those are memory makers!

So please share with me, how do you feel about the changes in Christmas cards? I'd love to hear your comments. Next year, my goal is to get Christmas cards every day in December and share them with you next year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Gift of Christmas Can Can



Sharing a little humor to all my wonderful blogging friends you have immensely blessed me this year in so many ways. Praising God for the gift of your friendship and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday Jesus, the best gift of all!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heart of Gold


I got this story in my email this morning which brought a tear to my eyes. Not just in what the story is about, but the grace and love of God that this woman shared through seeing her actions speak for her. I hope it touches you in the same way. Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a prosperous and blessed New Year! ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat


THERE IS A SANTA -- I MARRIED HER
by Michael T. Smith

One of the my wife's duties at work is to go to the post office
every day and pick up the company mail.

As November rolled into December, she noticed a Salvation Army
Santa standing on the corner. Each day she saved her coins and
dropped them in his bucket. He'd smile, wish her a Merry Christmas,
and continue to ring his bell.

The second week of December came with a cold front. At night
the temperature dropped below 0 and the daytime temperatures barely
made it to 14. Santa stood in the frigid winds and continued to ring
his bell.

"You must be freezing," she said to him, as she dropped her
coins in his bucket.

"I'm so cold!" he shivered. "I can't feel the bell in my hands.
And my feet? I don't know if they're there anymore."

The next day, she dropped her coins in the bucket and handed him
several chemical hand and foot warmers. "Try these," she smiled.
"We had them in our car in case of and emergency. I think a Santa
freezing is an emergency. Don't you?"

Santa took her offering. "God bless you, ma'am. I cannot thank
you enough."

A week later, a new Santa stood ringing the bell. "What
happened to the other Santa?" she asked.

He paused his ringing to inform her, "I'm sorry to say, he's
very sick today."

She dropped her coins in the bucket and walked away with a heavy
heart. Her hand and foot warmers were not enough to prevent Santa
from getting sick. She prayed for his health.

Later that day, a co-worker came into her office in tears. "I
don't know what I'm going to do."

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"It's my ex-husband." Her co-worker wiped a tear from her eye
and continued. "I don't have any money to buy my boys anything for
Christmas. I called my ex last night and asked if he was sending
money for them. He told me times were tough and the boys would have
to suck it up and that they'd get over it." She began to cry harder.
"I don't know what to do. They're teenagers and will understand, but
it breaks my heart that they won't have anything this year."

My wife hugged her co-worker. "I'm sure everything will work
out. It's Christmas. Believe in miracles."

That evening, she sat down with me and told me about her
co-worker's situation. "Hun, I know we don't have much to help, but
I'd like to get her a gift card from Walmart or something. Maybe
fifty or a hundred dollars. We'll just get ourselves less this year.
Last year we couldn't afford to buy anything for ourselves and still
had a wonderful Christmas. It's the giving that counts."

She paused and looked at me. "I feel bad for those boys," she
continued. "I want to send it to her anonymously. She'll never know
where it came from. It will make her so happy."

I saw the look in her eyes and knew she wanted my blessing, but
I also knew she was going to do it anyway.

"Hun?"

"Yes?" he smiled. "Give her the hundred. She needs it more than we do."

She reached up and held me. Warmth spread through my body -- a
glow like no other. I held her and realized there really is a Santa
Claus -- I married her.

Amazingly, at the same time Ginny was picking up the gift card,
my company was handing out Walmart gift cards to all of its employees.

"Give and thou shalt receive" was proven to be true today!

-- Michael T. Smith

Monday, December 20, 2010

And the rain, rain, rain, came down...

Oh!! You couldn't find a happier Kat today than one that is sitting at home, cozy and warm, drinking caramel coffee and watching the rain come down, as it has been for 3 days straight. While I was making coffee, a song sprang forth and I thought I would share it with you. (Beware for some techno music that comes at the credits) but over all it fits my mood Pooh-fictly!

Let the rain, rain, rain, come down, down, down....and keep our Kat real happy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have you noticed yet?


Yup it's official. Despite many attempts to hold back. I jump in with both feet and did it!

No more blonde!

After looking at picture after picture of myself, I wanted a change and decided to go darker for the winter. So now my profile picture reflects the new me.



I would love to know you're thoughts. Please feel free to tell me your honest opinions. I am looking for honesty. Sorry for the quality for now, but I wanted to send it to you with my camera phone and will post a better one later.

Comments welcomed!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

They Give Christians A Bad Name!


I sat here tonight talking to my oldest daughter who is a senior in high school. We have these talks from time to time and I think I treasure these moments more than any we have, except for the ones about relationships and boys.

Tonight's discussion was about God, whether we think the world we end in 2012 as most believe, what do I think heaven will be like, and what happens to Christians that change their minds after they say they were believers before.

WOW a lot to take in huh?

It's sad to see her see Christianity as a religion like most of her peers. I explained the history of Christianity from the days of Jesus' birth until modern time and that its now a way of life instead of a religion.

Too many of her friends have been turned off by Christians in general based on what I would call you're extremists. Bible Thumpers, People who view things in Black and White and live in a world of such hypocrisy. They judge everything on their own standards as they view them from the Bible. I'm not talking about all "Christians" just the ones that give the word "Christian" a bad name! They make talking to people they have hurt that much more difficult because they have been "burned" in the process. Now they don't want to know the God we know and love!

Try explaining to her friends why they don't want to be Christians based on actions of people before us. I simply explained that sometimes people can give others the wrong impression of what Christians should be, instead of the lives we should be living.

People should see Christ living within us through our actions, our words, and our thoughts. Yet because we live in a world of sin, we ALL fall short. The only perfect one who was able to master this, was our Master, Jesus Christ, perfect in every way.

How sad it is to think of how many people walk around believing the worst of us based on our actions and not Jesus'. How many lives could be changed simply by showing unconditional love to one another, helping those less fortunate, and truly putting others needs above our own. A true servant's attitude. How would people see us then, without our "label"?

I can only hope that the conversation that I had tonight with my daughter, will give her the courage to change her life and see things through the eyes of others, trying to live the example that Jesus set and leave the judging of people and their actions to God. Unless we are endowed with ultimate knowledge to see into their hearts, minds and thoughts, ours is simply to love them as Jesus did.

Let us all look at the light that we shine forth that only others can really see. Do they see Jesus reflected in us, or do they see someone that they can't draw near to for fear of being judged and labeled?

I, for one, want to be seen as a follower of Christ, not a labeled as your stereo typical "Christian" by the worlds standards. I want to be judged by Gods.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nothing Like The Personal Touch


I am posting an email I got this morning from Chuck Swindoll that I feel bears importance in technology laced society. Hopefully this will touch you as much as it did for me. - Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Upholding Human Dignity
by Charles R. Swindoll

Psalm 139

A few winters ago in Stockholm, Sweden, an eighty-four-year-old woman sat for two months on her balcony before a neighbor discovered she was dead. The woman was found sitting in a chair, dressed in a coat and hat, her forehead leaning against the railing.

A neighbor realized something was wrong when she saw the woman sitting on her balcony around the clock, despite freezing temperatures. "I accused myself for not having seen her earlier," she said later. "I hope this dreadful story makes us better at keeping in touch with our old neighbors."

Isolationism is not a Scandinavian phenomenon; it is a human tragedy. For fear of poking our nose in someone else's business or getting involved in something that could backfire on us, we have trained ourselves not to stop, look, or listen.

But in a fast-paced world where only the fit survive, it sure is easy to feel dehumanized. Our technological age has made us more aware of our insignificance. Our suspicion that we are not loved for who we are is confirmed daily by the impersonal nature of twenty-first-century living. We make a phone call and "voice mail" takes over. If folks are not home, we can talk to an answering machine. If we don't even want to talk, we can e-mail or "text" instead. If we need money at 2:00 A.M., we can drop by the local ATM machine.

Machines write for us, answer phones for us, get money for us, shop for us, think for us, rent cars for us. They can even sign our letters. And the result is scary. A subtle erosion of individuality, followed by a no-touch, don't-bother-me-I'm-too-busy coldness, leading to a total absence of eyeball-to-eyeball interaction, resulting in the ultimate: more loss of human dignity. This is excused because it saves time and keeps us from getting hung up on knotty things like relationships. They say that's healthier?

What's so healthy about becoming completely untouchable?

Machines can't hug you when you're grieving. Machines don't care when you need a sounding board. Machines never affirm you when you are low or confront you when you are wrong. When you need reassurance and hope and strength to go on, you cannot replace the essential presence of another human being.

Christ came to save people. Human beings with names and personalities and fingerprints and faces. Upholding human dignity is worth the effort every time.

There's no substitute for the personal touch.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Homecoming


It's been so long since we've seen him that it's so hard to remember what he looks like. Looking back it seems like ages but it hasn't really been that long at all.

Even though you talk to him every day, it's not the same thing as being there together. Nothing feels better than when your together.

You keep checking your watch wondering just how much longer it will be. There have been delays in the past when you were sure he was coming home, but you're hoping this will be it.

You've done all you can to get ready, you've made sure the home is all tidy just the way he loves it. You've made sure that you look just right. Seems no matter how hard you try to look your very best, he is just happy to see you and take you into his arms and tell you how very much he loves you.

Just thinking about how much you've missed him, makes the anxiety you're feeling even worse. Butterflies in your stomach? Ha! This feels more like tanks rolling into battle complete with air defense as a back up.

Just how much longer will it be?

How much longer before you see his amazing, beautiful face?

How safe will it feel when he wraps his arms around you and holds you tight?

How soothing will it be to hear his voice call your name and tell you that he loves you!

You begin to pace the floor, back and forth, expecting to see him at any moment.

Oh it could be the very next time you look up and see him watching you, to see just how long it will take before you look up and notice he's been watching you.

You smile and your eyes begin to mist. Oh it's been so long. So long for so many things. You have so much to share with one another. Time to tell each other what you've missed since you've been apart. Time to tell each other what you mean to one another. How much you love him if its possible to love him more.

At times it feels as if time has flown by and at other times, it seems to crawl or not move at all.

Suddenly, the time is here before you know it.

You look up and see his face.

He is smiling!!!

He has his arms open wide and he is walking towards you. Now he begins to run.

You run towards him trying to make any distance between you both disappear. Your smiling and crying at the same time as you both embrace. His arms feel so good around you and you never want to let go.

He tells you that you will never be apart again. That there will be no separation any longer for either of you. This time it's forever. This time he promises that nothing will take you away from him. He holds you tight and when you look up, he is crying as well.

You turn and walk side by side, looking at one another, never taking your eyes off each other for one minute. He calls your name and you just know your home. It's the ultimate homecoming.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Well That Answers That Question!!!

For as long as I can remember there is a tongue twister that no one has been able to answer until now...

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Don't believe me, check out this video:



The answer is as much as they can until the farmer gets home, plus 1! Enjoy something fun for your Saturday!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Online Advent Calendar - You'll want to watch this!


I've had the pleasure of sharing in a daily advent online that features some amazing music videos that are fun and amazing. I wanted to share it with you and your family. These advent days are only available on the actual date so if you miss it, you can't go back and see what you've missed. Trust me, you don't want to miss any.

What better way to countdown the days of Christmas, then viewing this online. It's sponsored by Dr. David Jeremiah whom is the author of so many great books as well as his own personal ministry for Jesus.

To view the advent calendar, click on the link below. Once there, select full or small size for your video. I suggest the full size! Then click on whatever the surprise is, today's is the Silent Monks and you won't want to miss this.

Please let me know what you thought of today's if you get a chance to view it. Here's the link and enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One Last Christmas

I have to share this amazing and beautiful story that Matthew West created a song and video for, and be warned, you will cry!



Isn't it time we focus on what's important everyday? I challenge every blogger to donate something to this dream and make it happen.

You can read more about Dax on the link below:

http://www.daxlocke.com/

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Looking For Great Online Deals? Check These Out!


So many of us are looking for ways to save money and make our dollars go farther. Here are some great tips I found and thought I would pass them along to you.

  • Gift Cards?

Everyone is asking for them and what better way to save on those returns than to buy gift cards. However rather than pay full price here are some great options on ways to save.

  • You can get a $25.00 gift card for $ 10.00 on Restaurant.com

  • Visit GiftCardRescue.com to purchase discounted cards from more than 250 retailers, including Target, Best Buy and Starbucks.

  • Looking for the best prices on something before you buy and want to save gas before driving around town looking for deals?

  • Check out a few price comparison shopping sites - such as PriceGrabber.com, BizRate.com or Nex Tag.com - to ensure you're getting the best deal!

  • Digital Discounts? - Looking for free shipping or on line discounts for some of your favorite retailers? Search such coupon codes on sites like RedPlum.com, RetailMeNot.com and Coupons.com. You can also try FreeShipping.org and ShopAtHome.com which also has cash-back codes or search Google using "free shipping codes."

  • A great app to add to your smart phones is bar-code scanner. Simply scan the bar code of the item you are looking for, and the phone will find the location where you can purchase it.

  • For those of you still looking for the best deals when shopping without the use of your computer, Monday's are usually the best days for sales and the largest selections of the items you're looking for.

Would love to know some of your shopping tips to help all of us stretch our dollars a whole lot further these days so please share your comments!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finding Forgiveness - Danny Wallace



Watch this video by Danny Wallace compliments of Glass Road Public Relations on the hope in finding freedom and forgiveness from your past. You can learn more about Danny Wallace through his personal ministry below.

Kat's Bookshelf Dec 1-7th


Well I have some giveaways that are ending this week while others are just beginning. So if you're looking for some great books to read, you might just want to see what I'm reading and reviewing this week. You can also see all my books of Shelfari! I am compiling my all time favorite books I've read this year and hope to have that posted by the end of the week along with links to the reviews.


An Object of Beauty By Steve Martin



The Sherlockian by Graham Moore


Wishin and Hopin - A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb




Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef




Praise for Power by Warren Wiersbe



The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers


Looking for Giveaways?




Monday, November 29, 2010

Spreading Christmas Love and Joy


WOW! Where has all the time gone?

It's almost the end of the year already and Christmas is just literally around the corner! I wanted to begin to share with you unique ways to celebrate this Christmas season through my blog post and gain your insight as well.

So many are hurting this year and find the task of providing a meal for their family much less gifts for their children overwhelming. They may in fact be your neighbor next door. This economy hasn't "changed" much for the better as we would have all liked to have seen it by this time. Some of us are still looking for jobs. Some of us are still trying to find a home to live in.

In light of these, charities are struggling because they depend on donations to keep afloat. Even those large corporate sponsors are cutting back and not making their standard donation.

I found a great way to make a one time donation if you are able. This is what we will be doing as our charitable act this year. You simply take all of the ages of those living in your home. For us it would be 46, 42, 17, and 11 and add them up. Ours totals: 116. Now write out a check as a one time donation in that amount and send it to your charity of your choice.

It can be a church, the Salvation Army, a homeless shelter, or any number of great charities out there. The point is to keep spreading the kindness. To share the love of Christ with so many that are hurting this year. Don't forget to check on your neighbor or even a family member you haven't spoken to in some time. Pride is the most difficult thing to get passed and be able to ask for help.

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this, so please share in the comments below!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rad Mom - Check This Out!

Just when you thought video games were for kids, not anymore. Check this one out!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010


I personally want to thank all of my faithful readers who stop by here everyday just to see what I have to say and leave the most wonderful and encouraging comments. I started my blog to encourage and motivate others in our dark and cold world at times and in return, I have found much love, friendship, warmth, hope, prayers of faith during turbulent times, and such joy that can not be contained but instead overflows to those we come into contact with everyday.

I, thank you, my wonderful blogging family and thank you so much for all your encouragement through this year. Who would have thought you could become so close with people all over the world that share the same values and faith as I do.

God truly does deserve our ultimate thanks for bringing us all together through this wonderful internet world, despite all the evil that can be found there as well.

May we not forgot those this year that are fighting wars to protect and provide peace in other countries while their families at home pray for their safe return; may we pray for the people that have lost everything this year and now find a warm meal at a shelter and try to remember still why they should offer up thanks despite where they find themselves currently; may we remember those that have lost a loved one this year, and find this holiday a difficult one to get through and still remember the love that they shared with them; may we remember those who remain in that dark and cold world, still not finding the true light and freedom that will release them to find eternal happiness and a home forever with Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all that you have brought me this Thanksgiving and for all the days in between where I feel your love and faith each day lifting me to new heights. May you all find love and happiness sharing laughter and memories with your family and friends today. Happy Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

History of Thanksgiving



In a 1789 proclamation, President George Washington called on the people of the United States to acknowledge God for affording them “an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness” by observing a day of thanksgiving. Devoting a day to “public thanksgiving and prayer,” as Washington called it, became a yearly tradition in many communities.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863. In that year, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. He asked his fellow citizens to “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise . . .”

It was not until 1941 that Congress designated the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day, thus creating a federal holiday.

However official, the idea of a special day for giving thanks was not born of presidential proclamations. Native American harvest festivals had been celebrated for centuries, and colonial services dated back to the late 16th century. Thanksgiving Day, as we know it today, began in the early 1600s when settlers in both Massachusetts and Virginia came together to give thanks for their survival, for the fertility of their fields, and for their faith. The most widely known early Thanksgiving is that of the Pilgrims in Plimoth, Massachusetts, who feasted for 3 days with the Wampanoag people in 1621.

Turkey has become the traditional Thanksgiving fare because at one time it was a rare treat. During the 1830s, an eight- to ten-pound bird cost a day’s wages. Even though turkeys are affordable today, they still remain a celebratory symbol of bounty. In fact, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin ate roast turkey in foil packets for their first meal on the Moon.

Here is hoping that all of you have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Facebook Help

After denying all requests to join Facebook, I finally relented to help my youngest daughter out on one of her games. Now I am trying to find a way to post my facebook friends on my blog. Anyone know how to do this??

I would appreciate all your help since I would love to add some of you to my Facebook friends who are also part of my blogging family.

Please leave me a comment or email me directly at Stevenkat27 (at) gmail (dot)com, which is also my email for Facebook if you want to send me a friend request.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude - Tim Knofler


I've been reading an incredible book lately that really has changed my perspective of the people who have impacted my life and made an incredible difference in my life. I'll call them "life changers." The name of this book is This Is The Moment by Walter Green and you can read the review and enter the giveaway here.

They are the people throughout your entire life that have impacted you so profoundly that if you were to give a eulogy at that persons life, these are the words you would say. Yet why are we waiting to tell these people what they meant to you at the time that they changed your life? How much more would it change your life and theirs if you meet with them personally or even sent along a letter detailing your thoughts while they are still alive?

How would you feel if you received such a letter from someone you have met in your life time?

How would that change your life?

How would these new attitude affect the very people you meet everyday?

Instead of participating in "Thankful Thursday's" I am going to dedicate my Thursday posting to sharing those thoughts live on my personal blog to those individuals, and I hope that you in turn would do the same. It's so much better to share those with them while they are still with us, so that they know how thankful we truly are. Otherwise it's simply a one side phone conversation where they have hung up, and there is nothing on the other end.

Here is my first recipient in my victory lap!!

I first met a man name Tim Knofler, (pronounced K-nof-ler) when I was a corporate trainer for a large communications corporation. He had been at the company quite few years before I had hired on and had been using his verbal skills to help customer service representatives learn how to effectively communicate more efficiently with their customers to produce a positive relationship with them.

I sat in one of his training classes called "Soft Skills." It has forever changed my ability to effectively communicate in any situation I have to handle. He taught us that each of us has a "hot" button that we have to learn to define for ourselves what causes us to "go off," lose control and let anger rule us. Once we learn what that is, we simply come up with a plan of what we will do when that button is pushed. We learn what we will say ahead of time so that when we are in the heat of that moment, we can win instead of being defeated.

I learn that you can't negotiate with an unreasonable person. I learned that you need to be taking notes when people are talking to you, especially if they are angry, so not only are you hearing it, your paying attention. The last thing that person wants to do it repeat themselves to you. Not only that it shows them that you are listening.

Tim is one of the biggest mentors in my personal life as well. We both are currently not with that company any longer, but those days of working hand in hand with him in training were some of the most amazing and fun days at work. Watching people come back to you with how effective this training was not only in their work life, but in dealing with people in their personal lives was beyond rewarding.

Tim, you have made me a more effective and efficient communicator and listener. You were competent, loyal, hardworking and committed. I cherish that you always brought your heart and great people skills to every situation we had to deal with. To this day, I am still remembering your profound words. Simply said, you contributed in a profound way to the effectiveness and gratification of both my profession and personal life. I'll be forever grateful to you. Thank you for being a part of my life that has forever changed my life. I will always remember how to "hit the dog!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Games of Life


In our short time we exist from birth to death, we all have a series of crossroads and detours, choices and consequences that each of us must face. We are all like players in a variety of games as we move through our lives.

We all have a beginning, the moment when we inhaled our first, sweet fragrance of our birth, life began for us. Second by second, minute by minute, day after day and finally year upon year, we take a series of steps. Some bold, others more cautious. We seem to have an inherent reason to move forward, to not linger too long in any one place, and even a few times take a fall backwards.

Much like the board games we've all played, our lives parallel those in so many ways, perhaps none more so than the Game of Life. We are the pink or blue peg in the colored vehicle of our choice. We can choose what clothes we wear, how much to share with others through our words and our meetings, even where we work, go to school, or wear our hair. Our car is our outward body people see when they encounter us.

We all come to the proverbial forks in the road at different times requiring a choice to be made. When we decide our route, sometimes the choice isn't the right one or even one we had hoped for. We face life's challenges, a loss of a job, divorce, substance or physical abuse, and even ultimately in some extreme cases when to end our own game. Sometimes we are rewarded as well.

God becomes our spinner - counting off our steps 1- 10. He provides the direction, but the choice to stay in the game and move, or simply quit is up to us. Not all games have a winner in life, ours is but to journey on and finish. Not just to become a pink peg in a blue car and wonder, is that all there is, in our final moments. We are always hoping our paths will be carefree, fun, and worry-free. If every game became that easy to finish, why would you even want to play it?

Aren't these games suppose to strengthen us, make us better people, more filled with knowledge and wisdom that only staying in the game creates?

Life sometimes for some involves a Monopoly. Their main goal is to start off strong, learn ways to succeed along the way, stay ahead of the pack and ultimately win it all. Yet if you look at the bigger picture, the winner is only happy one. All the others are resentful at what his actions have cost them. Some are jealous it wasn't them. Some wonder why they bothered to play. Sacrifices are made during the game, by the winner, just to stay in it. The happiness for the winner is only temporary however, the people he had to walk over to get where he is, no longer want to be around him. He has nothing to offer anyone except, money or the stuff money can buy. This is where he feels he has to buy his way out or for someone to notice him.

Chances in life happen randomly along the way - some good, some bad; but when you land on the space you have to take the card and deal with the outcome. You don't get to opt out.

Life doesn't offer the opportunity to try it again if it doesn't come out like you want. Sure, you can get another job, move to another house, get married to someone else, but the playing piece remains the same. Once you start your game - there is no starting over at the beginning. What your life is at that point, is the experience you've gained along the way. How you apply it to your life is entirely up to you. Good or bad, we're all playing.

Some play fair, others prefer to cheat, yet ultimately how you finish will determine the type of character you have, what you value in it all, and who you've impacted along the way.

There are NO real cheat codes to help you avoid the pitfalls and failures that WILL come, but taking time to weigh out our decisions carefully before acting on them, may make the road a little less difficult to climb. Sometimes I just don't think that most of us get it, until the end draws closer. We look back with regrets on the opportunities we let slip away. Whether out of fear, indecision or perhaps even someone else telling us to go a different way - what lies ahead at the end and some of the journey along the way remains to be seen and is our walk of faith.

Without faith, we will remain stuck on the same space, losing turn after tun, while everyone else passes us by. Yet we will complain that it's always someone else's fault.

Our game of life is ours, and solely ours to play. How will you choose to see yours finish? With a life filled with regrets, should haves, and what ifs? Or will yours be filled with faith filled adventures everyday, and that you are happy with what you have achieved and the lives of the people you have met along the way?

Remember in the end, all the pieces go back in the box.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Preparations for Thanksgiving


Knowing that Thanksgiving is just literally around the corner, I am interested to know just what plans everyone has.

Do you stay home or travel to grandmothers house, over the river and through the woods?

Do you invite family and friends or just keep it close and personal?

Do you volunteer at local food kitchens or perhaps have to work?

Do you have any traditions that you keep every year or have new ones you're going to incorporate?

What do you usually serve?

For us, since family is pretty spread out, we just have our immediate family meaning Steve, and I along with our kids. Sometimes we even include friends of the kids or ours that don't have anywhere to go, that makes it extra special.

We usually watch the Thanksgiving day parade while making preparations early that morning getting the turkey in the oven, which Steve does because it comes out flawless and so juicy. Then we make appetizers to munch on throughout the day like bruschetta and bread along with some olive tapinade, shrimp cocktail and even chips and salsa before the big dinner later on.

We will watch Miracle on 34th Street the color and new version because it's such a classic and it too takes place on Thanksgiving into the Christmas season and gets us in the mood. We don't begin decorating our house until the next day. We are not Black Friday shoppers because Steve and I don't care for crowds and getting up early.

Our menu consists of turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, homemade biscuits, spicy green beans with onions and bacon, stuffing, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs and of course, pumpkin and apple pie for desert. We serve Martinelli's sparkling apple cider in champagne glasses and of course decorate our table so it looks inviting and festive.

We are hoping for cooler temps to make it feel like fall after these last few days of near 80's. Praying for rainy weather and perhaps snow????

Looking forward to hearing all your wonderful details!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Tribute

In honor not only today of all the men and women everywhere that have sacrificed their lives for the greater good of this amazing country! God stated that there is no greater love than those who would lay down their lives for another. That pretty much says it all. Thank you all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life in A Bubble


Transition is the key word as of lately. Seems like everything and everyone is transitioning through this change of season or in their own personal lives. Here are a few I have noticed lately:

My Red Maple is filled with beautiful leaves in shades of vibrant reds waiting for the next windy day to take those leaves on their final journey back into the circle of life. I smile everyday I walk outside because it's so brilliant it stands out!

The roses and flowers are dropping their final buds and soon I will be taking mulch and covering them up for their long winters nap, saying a prayer for abundant blooms next spring and to enjoy this season of sleep.

My apple tree is losing it's leaves as well, preparing to prune it back and watch as it remains a silent sentinel in my backyard watching over the garden paradise until the fuzzy buds once more return promising goodness to come in the spring.

My kids are making their preparations for the long Thanksgiving week in which there is no school so they are trying to work ahead in hopes of adding a few extra days in to make this a beautiful week of blessings and gratitude.

Hubby is waiting on the final OK for the remainder of his contracts to come through so he can end his year on a high note and with a breath of "I did it!" so he can rest easy through next month.

Remembering that with our oldest, she is making her final preparations this year to emerge as an adult with her life ahead of her.

Loving that today is another beautiful monthly anniversary for hubby and I! We are celebrating 12 years, 9 months as of today! Happy Anniversary Steve, got you again!

Praying for so many great things for all of you as you make plans to finish out your year, but keep in mind those that may be struggling this year, this being a year more challenging and difficult than any they have seen. Let the hands and feet of Jesus be seen through the final days of this year and let us all show others just what being a true Christian is really all about!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Praise Report


Sorry I have been MIA for so long. Steve's been traveling so between school and being mom and dad, I am putting priorities over my daily blogging. Yet I have super great news to share with all of you. Here goes:

1. Ken is out of the hospital and recovering at home. What we didn't realize until after he was discharged is that the doctors had told the family there was a very slim chance he would pull through at all and survive. Yet we believe in a God who loves to push those odds and grant us a true miracle.

2. Steve's dad, Bill, went through his heart surgery this morning to remove the build up on his stints. The great news is that he is recovering nicely and within a month, he can have his hip replacement surgery. So this is another great praise report. We were praying for this to happen and God blessed this prayer.

We are still waiting on word from my nephew's MRI and hoping and believing that God will find another way besides surgery for his scoliosis treatment being so young. We are praying for divine guidance and wisdom for God to lead the way.

We just finished up with another week of 90 degree temps and they call this "fall?" and hoping for cooler weather soon and no more allergy meds for me.

I am finally over the worst part of my root canal and finally able to return to eating normal foods for me. Things are going well and we have to praise God for His provisions and blessings this week. Thank you to everyone who passed along these prayer requests and I hope to have a great end to this year.

Friday, October 29, 2010

More Updates and Wise Advice


Just wanted to let you all know that my root canal is in a two part stage. I have completed part one and in a month, I go back for the second part. Never remember doing it in multiple stages before but my dentist was amazing. WOW never knew dental technology has come as far as it has before.

I was super sore yesterday and really regretted going to have it done but know in the long run there are benefits that have yet to be seen. Only right now, all I saw was throbbing pain so severe it messed with my migraines, sinus' as well as my right eye.

Here's my advice from my experience: Despite what advice your dentist provides to you, wait until your infection in your tooth is gone completely (meaning you feel no pain) before you have any work completed on that tooth.

I hope to be back on track on Monday and will fill you in on the rest of what's going on with the family. Have a blessed weekend!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Prayer Needed - More Updates


Just wanted to let you know what's going on with Ken, it's actually great news and worthy of a praise party!!! Ken is off the ventilator and just on oxygen. He's up and talking to his family!!! He's a little disoriented because he's been sedated for almost 12 days he doesn't remember too much but his family is filling him in. He's remaining on antibiotics and will be moved out of ICU shortly to recover in a normal room.

I do require some additional prayer for family members:

Prayer Request Number 1:

Steve's dad, Bill was going in on November 4th for hip replacement surgery but now his doctors discovered some blockage around his heart stints and they want to remove that before he has this surgery. If its a simple surgery and they can remove it easily, he can have his hip replacement surgery a month later. If the blockage is worse than they had figured, he will need to wait an entire year to have the hip surgery and will need to get around with a motorized chair. His dad can hardly move now. Please pray that the surgery is mild and he can have the hip surgery in a month. I will keep you updated.

Prayer Request Number 2:

Also my nephew Josh found out that he has to have back surgery at 18 due to scoliosis. He is super afraid but is a believer. We are praying that all will go well and that he will have lots of encouragement along the way. You can send your prayer wishes to either of them here. I will keep you updated on Josh's progress. He has a MRI on November 13th to determine how aggressive his curve is and what type of surgery is involved. By the way, Josh got a seasonal job so we are super happy about that.

Prayer Request Number 3:

I am scheduled for my root canal on Thursday, Oct 28th so send great painfree thoughts my way at 8am. Hoping for some sailing and the ability to eat again.

Isn't our God amazing???!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Latest Updates on Ken


Sorry I haven't been getting back to you as much I had hoped this week but there wasn't much change in the last few days until this morning so I wanted to update you all with what we know.

Ken has been moved on his ventilator from 100% to 30% which means the ventilator is only doing 30% of the work for him, he has to do the other 70% so it's a slow progression to move him off of it, hopefully by Monday.

His right lung is now showing some improvement and it appears that these new antibiotics are working to help him get over the infection. They are still keeping him sedated while they remove as much fluid as possible each day, but his fever is gone and he appears to be resting well. We are hoping for some great news by Monday.

I just wanted to thank all of you for your ongoing prayers and we know our God remains faithful in all of this. I am slowing improving but my antibiotics are making me sick and sleepy so for the last few days, I've been getting by as much as I can. Looking forward to getting well and getting off these as soon as possible. Believing that God is working on my infection as we pray daily.

I have a great DVD giveaway going on today on my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Check it out if your interested.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request Required for Ken

Here's the latest on Ken's progress and which is the reason I am sending out this prayer update:

Ken hasn't shown any significant improvement since being on the antibiotics since Thursday. His lungs remain the same with 94% of his left lung functioning and very little of the right. His doctors were able to complete the CAT scan yesterday as well as a biopsy of his lungs and the good news is there, that what they were looking for, came back negative.

Yet with no change in his overall status, they decided to change his antibiotics to something much stronger called Zyvok and Rocephin now since the others weren't working. He also has a condition called Merca? Not sure of the spelling. It's a bacteria that works against the antibiotics that lies dormant in the body. That's his biggest challenge, so the doctors say that within 2-3 days they should see some improvement. We are hoping for something by tomorrow.

If any of you can provide me with any details of this, I would gladly appreciate it. They have also reduced his oxygen flow in the ventilator from being at 100% to 60%. His wife is not doing to well emotionally as I am sure you can imagine, so please add her to your prayers as well. Her name is Tina. She has taken this week off to be there as much as she can.

I will keep you posted as I get more updates. Please keep him in your prayers that these series of antibiotics will work and he will begin to show improvements in his pneumonia and his right lung will show more improvements.

Right now we have had some severe thunderstorms here and not to mention that, I work up with an abscess in my tooth and once the infection clears up, it's off for a root canal. Still believing in God's timing and powers as always.

Monday, October 18, 2010

God's Timing


Isn't it funny how impatient we are most days?

We live in an world that is evolving as such an exponential rate, faster than a speeding bullet somedays, and when we have to wait for something, we grow impatient, irritable, grouchy, moody and the list goes on and on.

I have learned that God's timing in every situation is always perfect. It always works out the best and even if the situation doesn't work out the way we had prayed, God still knows what's best.

Last night, I was pondering over the word impossible in my mind. We've all read and heard the scripture pertaining to "All things are possible to Him who believes in the Lord."
With God nothing is impossible, just we don't always get what we want out of it.

Take the word, impossible.

The only thing from making it possible are the letters IM.

Yet when God speaks the word, it changes from impossible to I'm possible!!

Yet if you break the contraction apart even further I'm = I AM. Again God's perfect and holy name. So nothing is impossible for God.

We still don't have much new to report regarding Ken, other than his left lung is operating at about 94% and his right lung is making slow improvements. He is still struggling against the ventilator when his medication begins to wear off that keep him sedated but he is getting better. His heart rate is improving along with his kidney function. So even though it may not be going as well as we would like or his family would, we are seeing an answer to our prayers. Once again in God's perfect timing.

I truly believe in time, God's time, Ken will improve and hoping that in his heart and that of his family, they will see life for what is truly is, a precious gift from God, to be cherished everyday and they will turn their hearts toward him. Praying continually for their salvation as well.

We have a God that loves to take the impossible and make it POSSIBLE!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Update on Urgent Prayer Request on Ken's Progress


Hello everyone and I thought I would update you all once I knew a little bit more than the same old thing and holding strong.

They are using a saline solution to put into Ken's lungs to help thin out the fluid in his lungs and suctioning it out as much as they can. When Steve left yesterday after X-rays, they saw a noticeable improvement in his left lung. When he arrived on Thursday evening he only had 25% of his left lung functioning and the rest was filled with fluid. Now it's at 75% and they are hoping to continue with this process to get it back to 100% if possible.

His right lung remains filled with fluid, with just a little capacity left in it. Praising God that doctors feel his lungs hasn't collapsed but merely when they inserted the ventilator tube it wasn't working as well because it wasn't inserted far enough. When they repositioned it yesterday he was breathing easier and not struggling so much with the ventilator.

The doctors are hoping to keep him on antibiotics and working to remove the fluid over the weekend and see where he is at on Monday. Their mom is going home later this afternoon since his vitals remain stable and there isn't much for anyone else to do but wait.

I just wanted to thank you for your prayers and we can definitely see God's healing hand working, however we are not out of the woods just yet. So please keep him and his family in your prayers today and I'll update you as I know anything more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request Update on Ken


Just wanted to update you all with as much information as I have when I can get it on Ken's condition. Here's what we know:

1. They were unable to complete any tests on Ken yesterday due to complications when trying to take him off the ventilator to do the CAT scan. They are attempting to do that this morning.

2. Ken's wife, fortunately was able to get some sleep last night after being awake for over 2 days, please pray for endurance, strength and comfort for her and her children.

3. Steve's mom is coming in today from out of town to be with Ken and the family. Pray for safe travels on her journey by car.

4. Ken is still on a ventilator and has remained sedated through the night. His vitals remain stable but he is still in ICU. Pray that the tests can be completed today so that they can either inflated his lungs if they are collapsed or remove the fluid if they are filled. He's been on blood pressure medication to keep his heart rate up as when they brought him into the ER it was dangerously low.

We are all lifting Ken up in our prayers today asking our God in Heaven, the Great Physician to bring Ken to full health, to allow him to be brought off the ventilators soon and let there be no doubt in his mind or his family that God brought him through it all. Praying that his family would seek God in prayer throughout all of this and for the Holy Spirit to provide that comfort and strength necessary for them to get through it all.

If you haven't stopped by Steve's blog yet, Gotta Have Faith, please I would encourage you to do so to encourage and keep his spirits up as well.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Update On Urgent Prayer Request for Ken


I just wanted to provide my faithful prayer warriors an update on what we know so far on Ken's progress:

They attempted to do a CAT scan to locate a possible problem with his lungs. They aren't sure if his lungs are filled with fluid or if they have collapsed. When they attempted to remove the ventilator, Ken was struggling to breathe and they had to sedate him once more and place him back on the ventilator.

They say his lungs are only operating at 25% and the remainder is either collapsed or filled with fluid. His wife hasn't sleep much but remains positive of the outcome. She has been with Ken and married to him since they were in high school. They have two grown children in their 20's that are with their mom.

My hubby came home for awhile enough to read all your wonderful and encouraging comments and to place his own post for prayer on his own blog, Gotta Have Faith. Please consider stopping by and offering some words of encouragement to him as well. It's hard for Steve to deal with this and he hopes that they will have a chance to mend their differences.

I will keep you posted as I know more. Keep the prayers headed to heaven because we have a God who hears them. Steve is back at the hospital and we hope to know more soon.

Urgent Prayer Request Needed!


UPDATE: 10:33am - My husband called and found out that Ken isn't doing well at all since they brought him into the hospital. His kidneys are failing, one of his lungs isn't responding to the treatment and his heart is weak. They say that this is about as bad as it can get. They have him on the ventilator just to keep air flowing in him and that they will be doing exploratory surgery later to see what is going on with his lungs. ~ Please keep prayers going~ My hubby actually stopped by his room to see him even though he was sedated and he said, It was hard to see and a real awakening.

***********************************************************************************

My husband just got a call last night from his mom that his oldest brother, Ken is in the hospital in the ICU unit. Apparently he had a cold that he went to follow up with a doctor on Tuesday that put him on antibiotics to rid him of the virus.

However late last night his wife told my husband that for the past two days, he couldn't not remember where he was or even who she was. Last night she called for the paramedics who came and took him to the hospital.

This morning we were updated on his progress that they have him sedated and on a ventilator to help him breathe and he has severe pneumonia. They are still running other tests to see what is going on. My husband is on his way to the hospital as I type this.

Both Steve and his brother have not spoken in well over 11 years, not based on anything Steve has done but his brother can't get over his feeling to isolate and punish my husband for not being able to house sit for him some 11+ years ago. Silly isn't it.

He isn't a Christian and thus we could use God's strong hand here. First, the heal Ken and bring him back to full health.

2. Restore the relationship between brothers once and for all.

3. Restore the relationship between Ken and God and allow him to be touched in ways that he won't doubt for one minute who holds the keys to life.

I will keep you all updated on his progress. Thanks again for your urgent prayers.

Friday Funnies - Cheerleader in A Cup




In keeping with our Friday tradition of finding something funny that we could all relate to, I found this cute video for those of us that need our coffee like we need air to breathe to get us through our day. Kim at Homesteader's Heart is our host of Friday Funnies if you'd love to join us, and today, this one is dedicated to her.

Have a blessed weekend ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat >^..^<

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Miracles Come In Cans!!!


If you have ever watched Joyce Meyer speak, you will have undoubtedly heard these famous words, "Miracles come in cans!!!"

Here's an excerpt from her latest book explaining that simple statement that we all need to take to heart everyday.

Perhaps you have heard the words, "You can't" repeatedly throughout your life. Many people are good at telling others what they cannot do. Even people you wouldn't necessarily consider to be "against" you may have tried to discourage you from doing something you wanted to do by telling you that you couldn't do it. Parents, teachers, coaches, friends, family members, and leaders of church groups or social activities often fail to realize the power of their words over young lives. So many children and teenagers grow up thinking " I can't" when that isn't true at all! No matter how many times you have heard someone say to you, " You can't," I want to say to you, "Oh, yes, you can!" I believe that miracles come in cans - our belief that we can do whatever we need to do through Christ Who is our strength.

I believe in you; God believes in you; and it's time for you to believe in yourself. Today is a new day! Put the past and all its negative, discouraging comments behind you. Negative words and words that speak of failure come from the enemy, not from God, so decide right now not to allow the power of "you can't" to influence you anymore. In contrast, God's Spirit encourages you and will do everything to urge you forward toward success in every area of life. God tells you to have courage, so always remember if you feel "dis-couraged," that is from the enemy and if you feel "en-couraged" that is from God. Choose to agree with God and say to yourself, "I can!" And let the power of your positive thoughts and words outweigh the power of the negative words anyone else has ever spoken to you.

This is an excerpt from Joyce Meyer's latest book, Power Thoughts and I am offering 3 copies to giveaway on my blog, Reviews From The Heart. The giveaway ends on October 22nd, so make sure you take the opportunity to sign up to win a copy. I truly believe that this book is life changing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grandparent Jokes


Here it is middle of the week and so of us are already hoping we'll wake up and find tomorrow is Friday. Well I thought I would lighten the mood today and add some funny Grandparent jokes.

When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied,
"I'm not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised.
"Mine says I'm 4 to 6."

A second grader came home from school and said to her
grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies
today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep
her cool. "That's interesting." she said. "How do you make babies?"
"It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add
'es'."

Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant,"
said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the
ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside to correct him.
"Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked. "Sure," said the
young boy confidently. "It means carrying a child."


A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one
day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the
fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the
dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back," said one child.
"No," said another. "He's just for good luck." A third child brought
the argument to a close. "They use the dogs," she said firmly, "to
find the fire hydrants."

A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. "Oh," he said,
"she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her.
Then, when we're done, we take her back to the airport."

I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so
I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what
color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun
for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying,
"Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these colors
yourself!"

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you
know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo and I
said, "No, how are we alike?'' "You're both old," he replied.

Have a great Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Business Venture


How many times have you dreamed for the perfect job? Just a job you would look forward to getting up for every single day using the gift that God has bestowed within your soul?

Too many people have their dreams snatched from their very hands while it lies just within reach. They will never know just how close they were in making that dream a reality. So whenever I heard of someone's heartfelt passion and a dream they would like to see come true, well you've just got yourself the biggest cheerleader you've ever seen.

My brother has a dream to become a photographer and use his unique and creative talent to see his dreams fulfilled. I have shared photos with you in the past to highlight his amazing ability to capture memories in a moment and he has been more than generous in taking my daughters pictures as well.

His dream is for someone to see his work and advance him towards the next step in fulfilling this dream, whether its for advertising or just becoming well known for his pictures or even having a book published. He specializes in vintage photographs of World War 1 and 2, and that old Hollywood Film Noir look.

I did convince him that a website for his photography was necessary and to keep on pursuing his dream no matter what anyone tells him. There are enough people out there squishing our dreams and taking away our life long passions.

If you're interested in seeing his portfolio or know of someone who can help him in the right direction, would you please contact him at his website through the contact link! I know he will achieve this it just takes time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Snow Day - Giveaway and Review


Peter Boyd is your typical family man. He works hard to support his family of four living in a small Virginia town nestled against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Peter learns from a company wide memo that "Exciting Announcement!!!" is taking place tomorrow even though through the union grapevine there is speculation that is means lay offs. This just weeks before Christmas.

How does a man get through the day, wondering how he is going to provide for his family when in this economy, jobs are hard to come by. Especially a job that he's been at for some time and is making enough to support his family pretty well. In this day in age where jobs are a dime a dozen. Peter decides when he woke up that morning and found out that the weather man was wrong big time, that he too, could afford to take a "Snow Day", and just enjoy this one day while things in his life were still the way he left them last night.

Little did Peter realize how God would play out in a variety of roles through various people, Peter would encounter that day, to show him just what is really important in life and that worrying about them changes nothing. Peter's life on this day will never be the same but profoundly changed forever by an unexpected snow fall.

In his debut novel, Billy Coffey once more takes his readers on a magic journey into the various lives of the people we will meet through Peter Boyd and the need to venture out in search of "bread and milk" for his family and neighbors in "Snow Day"! At the conclusion of each chapter, Peter reflects what the purpose of his encounter means to him and this is where we catch our "Billyisms" or pieces of wonderful wisdom that embed themselves in your heart!

If you haven't heard of Billy Coffey, then you have been missing out of one of the finest writers that is guaranteed to not only touch your heart, but change your life forever by the words he uses to take us on the ride of our lives. I've known Billy Coffey for quite some time as a writer who was hoping one day to share his love of story-telling on his blog, "What I Learned Today" and have a book published. For all of us who have believed that Billy Coffey was a star just waiting to be discovered, this diamond is truly shining in his first book.

His down home charm and virtual porch allows the readers to share a piece of Billy's heart as he shares his personal story through the life of Peter Boyd. This is by far one of the best books I have read to date and once I had the opportunity to review it, I knew I had received a true gift.

I received Snow Day compliments of Hachette Book Group for my honest review and for me this one rates off the scale. It's worthy of 10 stars! For more information on this book, the amazing and talented Billy Coffey, and where to purchase a copy of this life changing book and read an excerpt, click on the title below:


You can also visit his website at http://billycoffey.com and sign up to follow his blog and his writings every day. I also did an interview with Billy Coffey back in August 2009, click here to take you back in time and read what an incredible man he is!!!

The wonderful people at Hachette Book Groups is offering 3 copies of this book to lucky winners of this blog. Here are your guidelines to enter:

1. You must be a follower of this blog.

2. Stop by Billy's website and congratulate him today on his book debut.

3. Join Billy's blog, "What I Learned Today",because I know once you sign up, you'll be completely hooked and you won't want to miss out on his stories.

4. Must be a resident of the US or Canada and please No P.O. Boxes.

5. I need a way to contact you if you are one of the lucky winners, so please include an email address with your comment. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. The giveaway ends on Oct 19th.

6. Leave me a comment and tell me why you'd love to win a copy of Billy's book on my book review blog, Reviews From The Heart.

Again, congratulations Billy Coffey, we just knew you'd do it!!! Bright Lites will never be the same again!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Do You Believe in Magic?


"Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

I have often sat wondering about when I made the change between the way a child thinks and the way an adult does. At some point in time, my way of thinking matured.

Perhaps it's when I first discovered that Santa Claus wasn't real, that the present that were found each Christmas morning were placed their lovingly by my parents. I had often wondered when I noticed the subtle changes, the wrapping paper was the same as what we were using that year, the signatures and writing on the gift tags were in my mom's unique writing style and not to mention the year while playing hide and seek in my mom's room I stumbled into the far back end of her closet and found bags of what would soon be me and my brothers Christmas presents that year.

Yet I said nothing except to my brother of the treasured discovery in the depths of my mother's closet that year. We took everything out and looked it over with smiles but then something changed.

Even though we used to sleep with anticipation of what would await us that morning, when it came I was no longer surprised. Those same toys we discovered were the ones wrapped in Christmas paper with our names and signed by Santa. Magic gone.

I used to believe in all kinds of child-like magic. I believe that Mary Poppins really could stuff all that stuff in her carpet bag and when she opened her umbrella she could fly away. That is until I tried to fly with my own umbrella and jumping off the roof. I plummeted to the grass below off a single story home and thankfully wasn't hurt.

I believed in fairies in the garden and in the tooth fairy and Easter bunny. I believed in pots of gold if only you could find the end of the rainbow before it faded away.

I believed in magic, real magic that there wasn't some trick behind it all. And once the secrets are discovered perhaps that is when we grow into adults. When we take on responsibilities and stresses that come with growing older.

We forget to do things like playing in the puddles when it rains, getting soaked to the skin only to come inside to a warm cup of hot chocolate and some chicken noodle soup. We forget to play in the waves at the beach and try to jump each wave that laps at the sandy shore. We forget to have snow ball fights and rush out to make the first snowman when it snows enough to make such things possible.

Like the quote above I think we tend to grow older when we forget to play. Who said that adults can do this stuff any longer. Who said we can't call in sick just to enjoy a summer day and go fishing, or on a dark night in a star-filled sky, wish upon a falling star and believing with all your heart it will come true.

I think we all need to remember that simple child like faith in believing in things unseen. God calls us to be like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven and perhaps this is a great way to start. So what are you going to do today?