Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentines Wednesday Hodge Podge

Welcome to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back over to Joyce's blog to share answers. Be sure to add a link back to her blog by clicking here so your readers can easily play along too. The badge code is on her sidebar for a simple copy and paste. Here we go-

1. Create an acrostic using the word LOVE. If you're unsure what an acrostic is click here. 
Longing to
Obtain a
Valentine for
2. Does love really conquer all? Why or why not?  Christ's love does, but when you believe that human love will you are wrong and will be so disappointed.  No matter how hard we try not too....we still have wars, we still hurt each other without meaning to, we still do mean things....
3. Tell us about a time recently, where you really put your heart into something.  Typically....when I decide to do something I put my whole heart in it.  Last week I did a travel lesson for my class and I went over and above what I needed.  I had all kinds of hands on realia, everything I was expecting the students to do, I did first. This lesson ended up lasting two days and it was one of my best ever!4. What's your favorite fictional love story?  Romeo and Juliet
5. Do you generally wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your cards close to the vest?  Yes to both.  I generally do wear my heart on my sleeve.....but lately.....after getting that sucker smashed flat I have found myself keeping my cards close to the vest.  "Hurt me once...shame on you, hurt me twice....shame on me"....but hurt me a third time??????  What am I.....and idiot?
6. What food says love to you? Why?  Spaghetti over candlelight...preferably at Pizzavilla in LaGrange, GA.  It reminds me of Lady and the Tramp.
7. When were you last 'tickled pink' over something? Explain.  I was tickled pink over the travel lesson I told you about in #3.  My boss chose that day to pop in.  Oh yes!  I was rocking that lesson!8.  Insert your own random thought here. If you are a praying person will you lift up my children this week.  Their dad died last Thursday and I know this week is tough for them.  Frank and I picked Kat up at the airport on Thursday morning....around 12:30 and drove her straight to the hospital in Alex City.  She was able to spend some time with him before he passed away. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sensing A Good Hodge Podge

Welcome to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Joyce wrote most of this entry last week and saved it in draft, thankfully! She's been sick for a couple of days and am not up for blogging just yet. I missed the link so all you have this week is my post.  I was tied up with the death of my kids dad and just did not sit down at a computer.

1. Describe love using all five senses- Sight would be first.  The sight of my daughter on Skype, the sight of my grandchildren when they facetime me, the sight of my daughter at the Atlanta Airport at midnight when I picked her up to take her to her dad.  Sound would be second - Frank calling me his special name for me.  The sound of Kats voice at the airport when we missed each other, the sound of my son praying out loud, the sound of my son and his family singing Praise songs in their living room.   Smell-the scent of the cologne Austin, Frank and Eric had on this past week.  Taste-The taste of all the foods that people brought out of love to Eric and Roulain's....foods cooked with love.....
Touch is one I have experienced a lot this past week.  The hugs of so many friends and the funeral home and the house.  The feel of Frank's hand in mine as we walked into the funeral home together. 
2. February is Canned Food Month. What's your favorite food that comes straight from a can?
Allen's cut green beans. I can eat them right out of the can and prefer them to fresh most of the time. I love green beans.  Fresh are my favorite...and steamed is the best way to eat them...with some crunch still in them.....
3.A principal in a UK school recently sent home a letter to parents requesting they (the parents!) dress appropriately when escorting their children to/from school (basically saying please don't wear your pajamas). You can read the letter here. It's gotten a lot of publicity, both positive and negative. Your thoughts? And do/did you ever make the school run (or hit Starbucks, Walmart, etc) in your pjs?
I don't think it's worth making a federal case over, but I find it a little disappointing we have to tell adults not to wear their pjs out in public.  I never go out dressed THAT casual.  I may wear shorts and flip flops....but I am not in my pajamas.  My clothes also fit....there is not any body part hanging out.  
4. Crew neck, V-neck, turtleneck, scoop neck...which is most prevalent in your wardrobe?  It is winter here and turtlenecks abound in my wardrobe.  Once spring gets here you will see v-necks and crew necks.  I wear soft t-shirt shirts...year round.
5. I read here recently a list of four things to avoid so you wake up happier. They were late night snacks, hitting the snooze button, social media just before bed/upon waking, checking emails. 
Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? Which on that list do you need to work harder at avoiding?
Late afternoon is my snack downfall.  I set an alarm....but am up before it goes off every single day.    I do check social media before bed, although I'm more inclined to play a game of Words With Friends, Trivia Crack, or Word Chum than check Facebook. I can't check facebook at I usually read it once in the morning....and once when I get home from work.  I don't look at it much after that.
6. Share something you remember about a house you lived in as a child? Of all the homes you lived in as a child, which did you love best?  The house on Georgia Ave was across the street from Palm Beach High School and I loved seeing all the teenagers.  The El Prado house was in an awesome neighborhood filled with children my age.....I met Carol, Susan, Kathy, and Donna there.
7.Your favorite movie based on a true story?  The Blindside.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  I grew up loving musicals.  One (of my many) of my favorites is Oklahoma.  My favorite song is "Oh What A Beautiful Morning."  That song makes all the dark clouds lift on sad days.  What is your favorite song that is attached to a movie.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Keeper Of The Stars


About The Book:  Keeper of the Stars (Thomas Nelson, January 2016).  Because it's not always love at first sight.  When her mother died from pneumonia, Penny Cartwright was heartbroken. But now, after burying her younger brother just 12 years later, she is devastated. Anger, guilt, and sorrow cloud Penny's mind, and the last thing she wants is to be reminded of her pain---but that's exactly what happens when a stranger comes to town. Trevor Reynolds has been chasing fame for more than a dozen years, but his musical career can't get off the ground. While on the road, an accident kills his young drummer, Brad Cartwright. Trevor wasn't behind the wheel, but he still blames himself . . . and so does Brad's sister, Penny. Now Trevor finds himself in Kings Meadow, determined to follow through on his final promise to his friend. Still feeling the pain of Brad's death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak. Purchase a copy:  Read a sample chapter:
About The Author:   Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.  Connect with Robin: website, Twitter, Facebook
My Thoughts On The Book:  Robin Lee Hatcher has become one of my most favorite authors and she has done it again with this sweet final story of the Kings Meadow Romance Series. Keeper of the Stars was such a touching love story that dealt with grief and loss.  I don't want to spoil the story for the reader.  I will say that Robin Hatcher is a Queen wordsmith when it comes to writing a sweet, wholesome, and beautiful love story that is romantic but not sickeningly sappy.  I love the faith elements that are present and I love how she portrays the grace of God.  I cannot wait to get my hands on her next book.  This is a must read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from Litfuse as part of their Blogging Review program.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Son's Vow


About The Book:  A Son's Vow (Avon Inspire, January 2016)
Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family.  Darla's father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm's lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn't looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger---with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.  Now her brother's anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn't change soon, Darla fears it will cost her---and her family---even more.  Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father's lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he's feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone---especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can't simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.  As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla's love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?  Shelley Shepard Gray's first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.  Purchase a copy:
About The Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.  Connect with Sherri: website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest
My Thoughts On The Book:  I enjoy reading Shelley Shepard Gray and so I was not disappointed with this new book in her The Charmed Amish Life series.  I started reading it as soon as the book arrived at the house and did not put it down until I was finished.  Once you begin reading the story it draws you in and holds you fast. The characters were not your traditional everything is perfect in our world Amish family.  Darla's brother Aaron had some issues with anger management and as a reader you sat anxiously ready for the big explosion.  This book was filled with a lot of anger, judgement, forgiveness, handling of grief that all centered around a fire that killed five men at the mill.    Each character in the story interlocks with all the other characters of the story in their personal journey through the grief that accompanies tragic deaths. The characters emotions were raw and real and the characters came alive on the page, which is the mark of a great writer.   If you enjoy reading Amish fiction, this is definitely a “must read”. 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from Litfuse as part of their Blogging Review program.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wet Wednesday Hodge Podge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Can you believe this time next week we'll be in to the second month of the year? January did not linger. If you've answered the questions here today, add your link at the end of Joyce's post by clicking here. Do your best to drop by and say hi to the blogger who linked before you, because comments make the world go round. The blog world anyway.
Also, Joyce is very wordy today. Some days are like that on From This Side of the Pond.


1. Share a winter memory from your childhood.
I grew up in South Florida.  We went to the beach on Christmas day.  I do remember one year when I was in the 6th grade that it got so cold the bird bath in front of the school froze.  Somewhere I have a picture of me as a school Safety Patrol blowing into my hands because it was so cold. The first time we came to Alabama to see my grandparents for Christmas I did not even own a coat and had to borrow one from my cousin.  It actually snowed enough to make a small snowman and some snowballs.
2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren't blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time?

3.Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.'  Do you see more flaws or potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?  For me the beginning of the school year has always felt like the time for a  fresh start, clean beginning. There's something about  a new school year that always makes me feel positive and hopeful. I watched War Room over the holiday time.  If you haven't seen it ....DO!  It really challenged me to improve my prayer life.  I am actually working on a War Room for myself.
4.Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?  I do not usually admire or respect athletes because of all their misbehavior.  However,  Tim Tebow, the Manning brothers, Phil Mickleson, and Cam Newton would be on my list....if I had one. 
5.Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?  I love cream in my coffee, but just a splash and only the good stuff please. I do love SOME flavored whiteners....but just some.  Whipped cream on my pumpkin pie? Why Yes, please! I am very much like Joyce....and in my case too it might make more sense to ask if I like pie with my whipped cream.  Yes to sour cream on a baked potato, yes to the cream of wheat, and a yes to the scone with clotted cream. While clotted cream doesn't sound all that appetizing, it is so yummy! 

6.Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope? I can't think of anything recently, but I do have a doctor's appointment this morning.....and it will probably take an eternity.  I read to keep my blood pressure from sky rocketing.
7.Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less. Two months until Spring Break!
8. Insert your own random thought here.  I am copying Joyce's random thought because, I too am participating again this year, in the April A-Z blog challenge and wonder if anyone else here is doing the same? I love doing this!  For those of you who aren't familiar with the challenge, it's a writing exercise where you blog every day in the month of April (except Sundays), using one letter of the alphabet as your daily prompt. April 1 is Letter A and April 30 Letter Z, which is perfect because when you remove Sundays in April you're left with 26 days and 26 letters. For more info or to sign up, click the link posted here.   I will tell you up front, there is everything under the sun in terms of content in the blog world, and you figure that out pretty quickly in this challenge. In the past couple of years the organizers have very helpfully created categories, so when bloggers sign up they can select one to identity their blog genre...humor, photography, travel, book reviews, memoir, zombies... 
I have chosen themes each, etc....but this year I think I too am going to fly by the seat of my pants.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


About The Book:  Bronner: A Journey to Understand (New Hope Publishers, January 2016). God teaches and refines us through pain and suffering. Author Sherri Burgess, wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, knows this to be true. After the earthly death of her youngest son, Bronner, Burgess asked, "Why?" And God answered.  Journey with her through this powerful testimony of healing to understand the purpose behind the pain. An empowering resource for book-club discussion or small-group Bible study, this is much more than simply a retelling of an inspiring story. It is a call to action beckoning us to know our Holy God like never before.   Purchase a copy:
About The Author:  Sherri Burgess' life is a beckoning for you to know a Holy God like you have never known Him before. The wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show, Sherri is someone who now passionately pursues holiness and inspires others to do the same. A seasoned Bible teacher, writer and blogger, she has in recent years answered God's call as a women's ministry speaker. This mother of five stays active with her family in Birmingham, Alabama.  Connect with Sherri: website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
My Thoughts On The Book:  I am a huge Rick and Bubba fan and I remember when this tragedy took place.  I remember sitting at my work desk and crying for this family.  When I had the chance to review this book I knew I had to because this story had touched my life.  This is one of those books that once you pick it up you cannot put it down.  Sherri Burgess's writes a touching story about losing her son and how she/they survive.   It was the kind of book that makes you feel as if Sherri is talking to you personally over a cup of coffee.  The book has the capability to touch hurting people of all kinds.  Sherri Burgess is an amazing person and writer to be able to work through her own pain in this very personal account of loss.  I believe everyone should pick this up and read it.  I guarantee you will not be the same once you are finished. It would be an awesome gift for someone who has lost a child.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from Litfuse as part of their Blogging Review program.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Cold And Blustery Hodge Podge

Well that was quick! It's once again time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then skate back over to Joyce's blog post by clicking here to share answers with the universe.  See you there!  Be sure to visit some of the other bloggers posts and leave some bloggy love. 

 1.  Speaking of skating...when did you last 'skate on thin ice', 'skate over the details', 'encounter a cheapskate', or just plain skate?  I was in the line at Walmart.  The elderly lady who was two in front of me lacked a quarter having enough to pay her bill. The man between us told her rather nastily to just put something back.  I could tell she had stuff she needed so I moved behind her and gave the checker a ten dollar bill.  When she pulled out the change I nodded to the elder lady and let her know that I wanted her to give her the change.  I got such a blessing....the man in front of me showed the store what a cheapskate he was.
2. What would you say is the biggest problem of people your age?  Retirement, social security, insurance.

3. What's your favorite accessory? Is it something you wear every day, often, or only on special occasions?  My engagement ring.  Before we got serious, Frank asked me if I would rather have an heirloom ring....or something new.  I told him that the heirloom would definitely win hands down.  He took me at my word.  The diamond I wear was my husbands mothers and I love it. She was thrilled when he gave it to me and I accepted it.   It is very simple but full of so many memories.
4. January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day. Are you a lover of cheese? What's your favorite dish made with cheese? Last thing you ate that contained some kind of cheese?  I am not a huge cheese lover....but when I eat it on a sandwich I love Colby jack.  I do think that mac and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods.  I had some from lunch last Friday.

5. What's something guaranteed to make you roll your eyes? Political comments and when people talk about the school they work there and know what is going on.
6. Your favorite book seriesI am not a huge series fan....Nancy Drew when I was young would have to be my choice....I could not wait for the next installment to come in the mail.

7. Why did you choose your profession?  Funny you should ask.....If you had known me before I became a teacher you would have never believed it....people I know from my past still shake their heads.  I hated high school and could not wait to get out.  I wanted to be a Social Worker....but back in the day they were a dime a dozen and you could not find a job.  A friend of mine suggested I look in to teaching because I had a great rapport with kids.  I took a few more classes and voila!  I love my job.  I have been doing this for nearly 30 years and look forward to every single day.

8. Insert your own random thought here. When I was young we had Family Game Night at the Sasser house every Thursday night.  Each week someone would pick a board or card game and we would play as a family.  Friends were always welcome to come and participate.  My friends loved it.  I tried to establish the ritual when my children were small....but it did not work well.  We still took time to play board games.  I still love to play board games...especially trivia ones.  How about you?  Do you play board games?  What is your favorite one?