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, December 14, 2016

Have A Holly Jolly Hodgepodge

Welcome to the holly jolly Hodgepodge! If you've answered the questions, add your link at the end of Joyce's post, then leave a comment for the blogger before you. We're all about spreading Christmas cheer here on Wednesdays.

1. Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate.  I get my tasks done....but I am definitely a Mary in a Martha world and am people oriented.

2. December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls you own/wear pearls? If you're a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a 'pearl of wisdom' with us here today.  I adore pearls and own a couple of strands of black, gray, and white. 
My pearl of wisdom for today is this...
Image result for pearls of wisdom

3. Speaking of pearls...oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?  I like oysters. They're not my favorite seafood, but I like them. Best way? Raw

4. Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump Person of the Year. Let's take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?  I would have had it be a collage of a firefighter, policeman, or military personnel.

5. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced and it's a vibrant green, aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.  I love the color green! I don't have the color in my home, but see it all around just outside my windows. I would definitely wear this color, and have a top that's close to it. I might look for something in this particular shade because I like to wear green. 

6. Today I've had too many__________________.  ...argumentative students, whining parents, and negative people for one day.

7. Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.  I have a carol and a song I want to share.
The first is by Pentatonix

"Mary, Did You Know?"
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?..
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?..

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb!

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?..
Mary, did you know?

The second is by Rascal Flatts

I'll Be Home For Christmas

I'm dreamin' tonight of a place I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you
I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
If only in my dreams

8. Insert your own random thought here.   Being sick during the holidays stinks.  I have been sick since Thanksgiving and right now am trying to get through finals on the 20th so I can work on getting better.  Merry Christmas to all.....and say a little prayer for me tonight.

Pray A-Z: Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community

About The Book: Pray A to Z: Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community (Worthy, November 2016)  Change the world one prayer at a time.  How would our community change if instead of absently saying, "I'll pray for you," we actually did pray---deeply, intensely, and purposefully?  Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Praying for Your Community will help you topically organize your prayer requests and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father.  With compassion and encouragement, Amelia Rhodes offers Bible verses and prayer prompts, organized topically for every letter of the alphabet. There are five topics per letter---three prayers of petition asking God to work in a certain area of need, and two more prayers of praise to reflect gratitude for God's presence in the daily issues and relationships of life. Through petition and praise, your specific, focused communion with God will lighten your heart as you place the heaviness of those prayer requests where they belong---on His strong shoulders.  Whether you are praying for a friend's adoption journey, a neighbor's bankruptcy, or a family member's cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A to Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.  Purchase a copy:

About The Author:  Amelia Rhodes is a speaker and author of Isn't It Time for a Coffee Break: Doing Life Together in an All-About-Me Kind of World. Amelia's writing has also been featured in four Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, devotionals for the OneHope blog Undeterred and the international devotional Upper Room. Amelia has a growing speaking ministry and speaks regularly to women's groups on topics of spiritual growth, friendship, and community, offering practical tools for living our faith in the everyday. She lives in Lowell, Michigan.

My Thoughts On The Book: I love the way this book helps us pray with power and intensity! The simplicity of the layout makes the praying person pray with a deeper concern for family, friends, and community.    I am a pastor and loved this book so much that I have introduced it in small steps to my congregation and prayer groups.  It is a powerful teaching tool when you can develop a more disciplined prayer life.  The A-Z layout gives us a diving off spot.  Her categories don't have to be your categories, and her prayers don't have to be yours either, but they allow the Holy Spirit a starting place.  I loved, loved, loved this book! It is a great way to a highly effective prayer life.   I would highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book  from Litfuse.  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.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Last November Hodge Podge

Welcome to the end of November and the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Raise your hand if your autumn flew by in the blink of an eye. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of Joyce's post. And be sure to leave a comment for the blogger linking before you because the best way to spread Christmas cheer is commenting loud for all to hear...something like that. Okay here we go-

1. Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn't celebrate Thanksgiving).
Blessed with a huge mess in a shared nest.
2. When did you last say, 'the more the merrier'? Did you mean it?  It is a common phrase in my family.   We're more the merrier kind of people.  One year we packed over 30 of us in my cousins town house apt for the holidays. It was wall to wall beds....but loads of love. This year we rented a condo that sleeps six for us to spend Thanksgiving in....we were planning on throwing down an air mattress and sleeping eight....but at the last minute my cousin and her friend took her camper and camped near us.  It was a good idea.  Eight would have been too much.
3. What's one piece of advice you'd give someone who is your same age?  Embark on an adventure, make sure you have things to least 26 when you retire.  Don't wait to do them now.
4. You're ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?   Green beans, boiled red potatoes, boiled cabbage, and red ripe summer tomatoes! 
5. Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?
When I was younger I've shopped til I dropped.  I don't enjoy it any more.  I definitely do not enjoy Black Friday.  I shop all year so I am pretty much done by Thanksgiving.  I have now become a couple of hours kind of shopper.
6. What's your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?  My recliner.  I can see out the French doors from it, I can see the Christmas tree, I can read, I can relax.  Love my little corner of the den.
7. Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.  I grew up in church too and was not the child that needed prodding to attend. I loved it, and still do. My parents did not send me to church.  They took me to church.  They modeled faith for me.  Christmas was a holy time in my house and it revolved around Christ's birth.  Every night my dad would read from the Bible some part of the birth story.  I did the same with my kids.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  I am going to borrow Joyce's random thought.....If you're a person who prays please remember the firefighters, emergency personnel, and residents of Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, and the surrounding Smoky Mountain area of East Tennessee where fires have devastated the beautiful landscape and many homes, buildings, and schools. The high winds yesterday contributed to the rapid spread and the photographs are devastating. It's a part of the country so near and dear to the Korb's hearts, and we have family  and dear friends not far from there. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

About The Book:   The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Abingdon, October 2016)Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.  For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.  From December to New Year's Eve, reawaken the wonder, joy, and magic that is Christmas with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas.   With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season.  Purchase a copy:
About The Author:  Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children's works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
My Thoughts On The Book:  The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Ace  Collins is a month long devotional book that begins on Dec 1st and runs through the 31st.   Each day is a pleasant read and begins by focusing the reader on the reason for the season.  I loved that!  – Each day has a scripture and then a hymn with lyrics.  I loved that.  I am a musical person and I found myself singing each hymn as I got to it.  Not all the hymns are ones that are commonly song in every church so it was very refreshing. What I liked most of all, being a crafty person was that every single day ended with some kind of season craft, a diy gift, or some amazingly sounding recipe that I cannot wait to try!  This book was a win-win for me!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book  from Litfuse.  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.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Happy Happy Happy Hodge Podging

Happy Hodgepodge everyone! It's nice to be back on the blog today. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of Joyce's post, then run say hello to your neighbor here. Here we go-

1. Let's all think happy thoughts...share one of yours here.
I will be spending Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores with Linda, Amanda, and Susan and their spouses.  I cannot wait!

2. There's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you want happiness for an hour take a nap, if you want happiness for a day-go fishing...." What say you? If you want happiness for a day _____________.
Read a book or watch the Hallmark Christmas Movies!

3. Where do you go to decompress from the world around you?
Into the pages of a book, to the beach, or up to the mountains.

4. What song never fails to make you happy?
I am a music I have to say lots.  Lots! Going with the first few that popped into my head-Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin, Shackles by Mary Mary, Sister Acts version of Oh Happy Day, Happy Together by the Turtles.

5. Wednesday is National Fast Food Day. Should that be a thing? Apparently it is, so tell us what's the last 'fast food' you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of a 'happy meal' what would you include?
Chick-Fil A on Friday was the last fast food I have eaten.  We have not eaten there in a while and it was very tasty.  My perfect happy meal would include mixed fruit, a salad, and some form of chicken.
6. In a few sentences tell us why you blog.
I blog because it makes me happy.  I began when I was dealing with my mom and Alzheimer's and my dad's dying of cancer.  It was survival at that time.  I love to write and it keeps my mind functional.

7. List seven things you're feeling especially grateful for today.
My husband who has a huge heart and helps take care of others, Face Time, Skype, and Instant Messenger so I can talk with my daughter in Moldova.,

8. Insert your own random thought here. When you were in school how many days did you get out for Thanksgiving vacation.  We only got out for Thursday and Friday.  Now, we have a whole week.  I am excited for a fall break!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trust My Heart

About The Book:  Trust My Heart (Waterfall Press, October 2016).  Grant McAllister arrives in Murphy, North Carolina, with one aim: to sell his inherited property and leave as quickly as possible.  The big-city lawyer has no interest in his late, estranged grandparents or the dilapidated mansion he just acquired. After his high-profile divorce, he should be avoiding perky reporters, too. But Jami Carlisle is honest, funny, and undeniably appealing.  After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore---much like its handsome, commitment-phobic heir. Thanks to her digging, the pieces of Grant's fraught family history are gradually fitting into place, but also upending all his old beliefs.  The two draw closer as they share their dreams, until misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust. But in the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there's healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what's needed to finally guide him home...  Purchase a copy:
About The Author:

From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special-events decorating company, Carol J. Post's résumé reads as if she hasn't yet decided what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love of writing. She started as a child composing poetry for family and friends, then graduated to articles for religious and children's publications. Now she pens fun, fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense stories. Her books have been nominated for an RT Reviewers' Choice Best Book award and selected as an RT Top Pick. When Carol isn't writing, she enjoys sailing, hiking, camping---almost anything outdoors. She also plays the piano and sings with her music-minister husband. Their two grown daughters and their grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all her nurturing into taking care of a fat and sassy black cat and a highly spoiled dachshund.
My Thoughts On The Book:  This was a truly refreshing and wonderful Christian romance. The book is a combination of lifelike characters, intermingled with a touch of faith, a drop or two of romance and some mystery that drew me into the story and kept me there until the end.  I am a huge fan of Murphy, NC and many of the places Jami took Grant to I have seen which made the book that much more lifelike to me.  It was a touching book about how people can overcome their pasts and learn to grow and move on.  I LOVED this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good, clean, Christian romance.  I know I cannot wait until the next one comes out.   
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book  from Waterfall Press and Litfuse.  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.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ending October Hodge Podge

FYI there will not be a Hodgepodge next week because Joyce is finally getting to move into her house!  YEAH!   November 9th Hodge Podge she is going to play by ear.  For now we are back to our regularly scheduled Hodgepodge Day! Here are my answers to Joyce's questions for the week. If you've played along add your link at the end of her post, then leave some bloggy love for the blogger linking before you. We like to keep it friendly here.

Here we go-

1. Besides your very own house, describe a place where you feel most 'at home'?
My friend Susan's house.  I never feel like a visitor and I love that feeling
2. When did you last 'hit a home run' with something? Explain.  I can't remember the last time I hit a home run at anything.  The only hitting I have done is just like a bug on a windshield.
3. Tell us about something you love in your house or kitchen that is 'homemade'.
Terri and Mandy have given me so many wonderful homemade gifts that I have scattered all around my house.  I love homemade stuff.''
4. 'A man's home is his castle'...which of the world's ten most captivating castles (according to The Travel Channel) would you most like to visit and  why-
Neuschwanstein in Germany is at the top of my list.  I want to see it because it is Cinderella's castle and I know it seems childish but I would love to see this in reality.  I hlanave seen a number of castles in England, Ireland, and Wales and was captivated by them all.  Windsor was one of my favorites.  I would love to see Edinburgh, Swallow's Nest and La Alfombra( in Spain) to round out my castle explorations. I love the haunting sounds of history they have
5. What's a recent or upcoming plan or project that's required you do a little homework before getting started? Did the homework cause you to abandon your plan or adjust it in some way?
I want to design o0utdoor garden areas for the parsonage.  I have been watching a lot
 of gardening shows (Curb Appeal), and reading several books on the subject.  I am planning to start this spring.

6. In your opinion, is homework an unnecessary evil or a valuable practice? Should schools be done with homework? Why or why not?  As a teacher, I'm not a fan of giving homework for the sake of giving homework, and I do think excessive amounts of homework might be an unnecessary evil...BUT! I have to agree with Joyce.  I do give it once in a while and  not all homework is a waste of time. 
7. Share a favorite memory of your childhood hometown. There are too many so I will abbreviate them for you......Skim boarding in the streets after a heavy rain, Banyon Street Park, John Prince Park picnics, days spent at Lake Worth beach and Lido Pool, A & W rootbeer stands for rootbeer floats and  hamburgers, bike riding, Florida cherry wars, going to the movies at the Florida or Carefree.  I had an awesome childhood.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  Have you ever watched any of the TED videos?  I found this one by Candy Chang, adapted it to my Spanish class and thought you might enjoy it.  My
students love it. The link is:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Sister's Wish and An Amish Family Christmas


About The Book: A Sister's Wish (Avon Inspire, September 2016) - In Shelley Shepard Gray's third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.  Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman---at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she's also harboring a secret: She's been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he's about as far from "perfect" as an Amish man could get . . . but that's exactly why she's so drawn to him.  Life hasn't been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he's determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past . . . unless it pertains to Amelia.  He's loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas---who just happens to be Simon's best friend---has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he's the only one who can truly make her happy.  But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together---and face their past mistakes. There's a chance for love . . . but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.  Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts On The Book:  A Sister’s Wish is the third book in the Charmed Amish Life series.  It is a not entirely a stand alone, it helps to have read the other two but you can read it without having read the other two.  I am a huge fan of Shelley Shepard Gray and the way she makes her readers part of the lives of her characters.  This was my favorite of the stories so far. This story seemed to touch the very soul of the Amish family beautifully though many different emotions. The main characters, Amelia, a sweet, wonderful woman who has always loved Simon and Simon who bears the scars of a brutal childhood which lead him to making many unAmishlike mistakes come to life on the page.  I don't want to spoil the story.....and I promise you will love it if you are a fan of Amish life and romance books.  This one is the tops!

About The Book: An Amish Family Christmas (Avon Inspire, October 2016). In Shelley Shepard Gray's fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles---and love.  Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.  But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can't help having doubts. There's something about Julia that doesn't ring quite true . . .Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships---but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she's hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually . . . perhaps even sharing her life with him.  Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.  Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts On The Book:  An Amish Family Christmas is the final book in The Charmed Amish Life written by Shelley Shepard Gray. It was a wonderful ending piece that drew the reader in from the start.  I could not put it down.   The characters came to life on the page and mix that with some family Christmas festivities you have a winner.   down to the freezing cold snow.  In this story we meet Levi Kinsinger first hand.  Levi is part of the Kinsinger family we have read about in the other Charmed books.  Levi does not return to the family compound, he lives on Jupiter Street. It is on Jupiter Street that he meets the mysterious Julia Kemp and her daughter and the plot thickens.  If you want to find out what happens then you need to read the book.  I cannot wait to see what Shelley Shepard Gray has in store for us.
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.  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book  from Avon Inspire and Litfuse.  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.”

Christian's Hope

About The Book:  Christian's Hope (Herald Press, October 2016)  When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted.  Captured as a child during the French and Indian War, Christian has spent much of his life among Native Americans, who cared for him and taught him their ways. Now that Christian is home, his father wants him to settle back into their predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian's budding friendship with Orpha Rupp beckons him to stay as well.  Yet Christian feels restless, and he misses his adoptive Native American family---who raised him as their own son. When faced with a life-altering decision, will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community yet again?  Christian's Hope tells the story of the younger brother of Joseph and son of Jacob, whom readers have come to love in the first two books in the Return to Northkill series. Based on actual events and written by a descendant of the Hochstetler family, Christian's Hope brings the sweeping epic of the Return to Northkill series to a soul-stirring end.

About The Author:  Ervin R. Stutzman is author of Jacob's Choice, Joseph's Dilemma, Tobias of the Amish, and Emma, A Widow Among the Amish. Born into an Amish home in Kalona, Iowa, Stutzman based the Return to Northkill series on the life of his ancestor, Jacob Hochstetler. He has been featured on TLC's Who Do You Think You Are?

My Thoughts On The Book:  This book was the third in a series and I have read the other two books.  I struggled with this one.  I asked to review it because it was based on a factual account and it was written by a descendant of the family.  I struggled to get into the book because for some reason I did not like Christian.  He seemed like a spoiled, coddled kid....and then I realized he was taken from one world, thrust into another, then sent back to the original world all before he was 18.  I guess he had a right to act the way he did.  By the time I finished the book I was drawn in to their lives.  This book is a stand alone although I believe it would help if you read the other two first.  If you are a fan on historical fiction, Indians, and Amish this is the book for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book  from Herald Press and Litfuse.  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.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Words With Hodge Podge

Joyce is moving in less than three weeks, and yet, here she is jumping right in to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Excellent! If you've answered the questions, add your link at the end of her post then leave a comment for the blogger before you. Here we go-

1. What would you say is your strongest sense?  Hearing according to my students.  I can hear a whisper in a crowded room.  I have a strong sense of smell too.

 2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not? I am like Joyce on this one.  I pay attention at the Holy Spirit's prompting and therefore am extremely aware of things.
  3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.  Often I find I'm not much of  slave to time. Sometimes I get so caught up in the busyness of life and work that I miss the simple things. 

 4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?  I worked in a restaurant during college. It was a nice place, nice people, and served the best chicken wings you had ever eaten.  They were awesome.   Things I did not enjoy? I agree with Joyce on the clothes.  I could never get the grease smell out of my clothes, and one night late, a particularly demanding party of 12(automatic tip now a days), who received stellar service, left me a dollar tip.  There bill was well over 100.00  and as they were leaving.....and I was clearing their table....there was that dollar.....I walked out the front door with the dollar in my hand and handed to the man who front of his friends.....he reassured me that it was my tip.....and I countered back little regard I had for that dollar and obviously he needed it more than I did.  I am surprised I kept my job.  I will give working in a restaurant a 7.  It was not the best job I ever had....and certainly not the worst.  I have never ever wanted to own a restaurant, but if you forced me I'd have a tearoom or a little dessert shop ...with sweets and books.....and great coffee.

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.  I have several family members who have worked on family tree stuff.  I have a cane that my great great grandfather carved, inserted a newspaper clipping into during the Battle Above The Clouds. He was wounded during that battle.  I also love the story of my great great grandfather on my mom's side who rode a horse into a courthouse and shot the lights out.

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?  It varied in colors from the time I was 5.  When I went away to college it was a green color.  There was a love seat in the little alcove(that took the place of the piano I tried to learn to play), two lingerie dressers that were white in one of the closets, a twin bed, and a stereo.  My room was small with a capital S.
7. Anyone who knows me knows I love_______________________?
Cades Cove in the fall....heck for that matter they know I love fall....period.

 8. Insert your own random thought here.
October has been a busy month. It seems like we have had something going every single weekend,  I am actually excited to see it come to a close.  Maybe November will be quieter.  I hope so, but it is not looking to promising.  I am finished Christmas shopping....all but two about you?  Are you a person who shops ahead?,,...or one that waits til Christmas Eve?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Alabama Irish

About The Book:  Brian was raised on "the wrong side of the railroad tracks" in inner-city Alabama. Now, at nineteen, with a troubled past and juvenile record, Brian struggles to earn a living and find a life purpose. When he journeys to New York on a chance trip, Brian meets and falls in love with Shannon; a bright eyed, aspiring actress from California. Brian returns to Alabama stirred by Shannon's courage and passion for life. With a new zest and reason for living, Brian is determined to turn himself into a man worthy of her love. Unable to afford college, Brian discovers the Os Guinness Scholarship, which provides free tuition to Pepperdine University for Irish students who desire to train for Ireland's ministry. With some innovative thinking, Brian fakes his Irish citizenry, accepts the scholarship, and moves to Southern California to attend school and pursue Shannon.  However, when Brian visits Alabama, all the lies come crashing down and Brian comes face to face with a past he thought was finished. Now, Brian must make a choice: lose Shannon by spinning more lies and choosing vengeance in hopes of putting his past to rest. Or choose honesty and forgiveness and embrace a new life with the only woman he ever loved.  Alabama Irish will make us sit back and laugh, then lay the book down and cry. But in the end, we'll be reminded that no matter our pasts, the possibility to find true love again is never lost.  (This coming of age love story teaches readers the necessity of honesty and openness in the pursuit of loving, long-lasting relationships.)

About The Author:  This amazing young man needs to be checked out,  so hop over to his website and learn more about him.  James Russell Lingerfelt was raised on a cattle ranch in a northeast Alabama town of 750 people. Literature was his high school emphasis, gravitating toward the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, and Longfellow. He started at point guard on the varsity basketball team, served as president of the student government, and was the first recipient of the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership award at his high school. His writings have been featured in A New ModeThe Elephant JournalElite Daily, and The Good Men Project. Lingerfelt keeps readers briefed at his blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective, which garnered over 5 million views within one year.  Lingerfelt is currently helping spearhead The Alabama Film Education Initiative, which is developing the state's first standard high school film curriculum. The program is predicted to help bring an estimated $4.6 to $6 billion into Alabama before the year 2025.  He received the DeKalb County's Top 40 Leaders Award by The Time's Journal in April 2016, and he's raising funds for his first major feature film My Home's In Alabama. Talent attached consists of actress Sandra Lafferty (Walk The Line, Hunger Games, Selfless), music Grammy-nominee David Hammonds (Executive Producer for Norman Blake), and Red Sky Studios, which will oversee post-production.   If you would like to write James Russell Lingerfelt or book him for a speaking engagement, see Contact above. He is represented by The MacGregor Literary Agency.

My Thoughts On The Book: I was a  a  huge fan of Lingerfelt's first book, The Mason Jar, I could not wait to get this book for review.   As an Irish Alabamian the location and subject were near and dear.  In Lingerfelt’s novel is such a surprise for romance readers.  I am not a huge journal entry reading fan.  I write in a journal, but am not fond of reading others. ...but I was captivated immediately.  I fell in love with the story’s hero, Brian,  as a high schooler.  As a teacher of high schoolers I was drawn to his lack of drive in school....but these are the students I am always drawn too.  As I read on I so wanted Brian to succeed.  Uncle Mike was my hero when he encouraged young Brian to begin journaling. I remember well my first journaling experience.  From the first Brian does you can see him come to life.  I felt as if I knew each one of these characters personally.  They sprang to life on the page and I love it when an author can master that.  This was an awesome read and I encourage anyone who loves  a good "coming of age" story, a good romance, and great character development to read this.  I promise you will not regret it.  Thank you so much Mr. Lingerfelt for giving me this opportunity.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from William and Keats Publishing and James Russell Lingerfelt, the author.  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.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Moving On With Wednesday Hodge Podge

Joyce took some time off last week but  here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here to share answers with the rest of the world. See you there-

1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house? The best is starting fresh somewhere else and getting to change up your décor.  The worst has to be leaving friends behind and packing up all the stuff you thought you had to have.  You find yourself asking...."why was this important?"  Unpacking once you arrive is not a piece of cake either.  We moved last 7 years ago and I am still finding things.  Frank and I are itinerate we can be moved any time at all.
2. What's moved you recently?  It Is Well by the Issacs.  I heard it yesterday and was moved tears.

 3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?  It depends on the day.  Some days I am charging forward with amazing clarity.  Other's I meet a headwind that thrusts me backwards.
4. On the move, move mountains, get a move on, it's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain.  I am moving mountains.  I have so much I want to accomplish and when I feel as if I have met a mountain that is too big....I say a prayer and God and I move that bad boy.
5. What song makes you want to get up and move?  To be honest....I have a couple.  The first is by Toby Mac called Move.

 6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?  Pretzels, an apple, or some cheese.
7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home? Family pictures.
8. Insert your own random thought here. What is fall like where you live?  I grew up in South Florida....there was no fall.  I love the seasonal changes we  have here in Alabama.  Leaves are starting to change and there is a crispness in the air.  What is your favorite season?  Bet you can't
guess....mine is Fall in Cades Cove.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Thinking About FALL!


What’s your idea of a perfect weekend? Is it a trip to the mountains?  Is it a trip to the lake? Is it a weekend at the beach? Is it a camping trip? Is it a weekend getaway with someone special or some friends? Everyone has their own idea of what is the perfect bit of time doing something they enjoy. So when I tell you what I find to be a perfect weekend, you might be surprised, confused or a little bored. Kat was home last fall, and since she is just here for a few weeks before heading back to Moldova everyone wanted to spend time with Kat and Brian. I planned a big family gathering, but also had planned for the two of them to hang out at the house after the guest had left and just chill with Frank and I….you know…simple time together…..but that wasn’t going to happen and I was disappointed.  They had a lot of people to see and a lot to do to prepare to get the Christmas gifts packed up and ready to go to Moldova.  Don’t feel bad for me….Kat and I found time to be together….it wasn’t what I had in mind….but it was time.  We shopped for the orphans, ate a few meals together in Montgomery and in Auburn….you know…just hung out together.  It was heavenly just spending time with each other.  If I enjoy spending time with my daughter that much I wonder how much our Father in heaven likes it, when we just “hang out” with Him. Sometimes I think we make it quite a complicated endeavor to spend time with God. It’s as simple as a personal conversation with Him, sharing time in the words he left for us to get to know him, singing a song on our hearts for him, being thankful in thought and deed. We can do everything, honoring God even in ways that seem quite small and inconsequential to us or others. He loves it when we think about him, even when we’re just going about our day, doing ordinary tasks. We can enjoy his being with us anytime, just like our family can enjoy being in the room together doing very little, but just being together. Acknowledgement is really everything, as it reminds us we “belong”. I’m so grateful I can always “hang out” with my father in heaven.  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Blessings,  Karen

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Love Our Vets With PTSD

About The Book:  Love Our Vets: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD (Deep River Books, April 2015)
Chances are that if your loved one has seen war, he or she has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at some level, and you who love your veteran will also be deeply and profoundly affected.  Finally, the cries and needs of the loved ones have been addressed in this comprehensive, practical book, now newly updated in its second edition!
Love Our Vets answers more than 60 heartfelt questions, providing down-to-earth wisdom and much-needed tips for taking care of yourself. Sharing as a counselor and from her personal experience of living with a 100% disabled veteran with PTSD, Welby O'Brien gives hope, encouragement, and practical help for families and loved ones who are caught in the wake of the trauma. This book addresses a broad spectrum of issues and concerns and offers realistic wisdom from a wide variety of individuals who share from real hearts and lives.
Now newly revised and updated with additional material, the second edition of Love Our Vets continues to be enthusiastically welcomed by VA and other counselors. This is not just another book about PTSD; rather, it is a tremendous resource for families and loved ones who struggle heroically along with their vets to face the day-to-day challenges.
Purchase a copy:
About The Author:  Welby O'Brien holds a Masters Degree in counseling (Portland State University) and a teaching degree (Biola University). Author of Formerly A Wife, and Good-bye for Now (Wingspread); contributing author, Shepherding Women in Pain (Moody Press), and Chicken Soup for the Soul, Divorce and Recovery. Founder of Love Our Vets support network; wife of veteran with PTSD.  Website | Facebook
My Thoughts On This Book:  I was diagnosed with PTSD at the age of ten after witnessing my brother die. It was a secret I did not share for years.  I thought I was a freak and so I kept quiet....and so did my parents.  It was not until I was older that I began to share my dark secret with others and discovered that I was not alone.  There were many out there who shared this....people I knew....people I loved.  I chose to review this book for that very reason.  It touched home.  The book, Love Our Vets, is broken down in to 3 parts.  The first section is called "Reaffirm." This section is filled with a number of questions and answers that are often asked.  The second section, "Replenish," talks about meeting the needs of the loved ones....the ones who care for the person suffering.  People need to understand that when someone you love suffers from PTSD....everyone suffers.  The last section is "Reflect" and contains a number of touching personal stories. There is a section to aid in a group discussion and a section on prayer.  It is practical book and not a light and easy read.  It deals with a hard subject.  I would recommend this book for anyone with a friend, neighbor, or loved one who suffers from PTSD.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Deep River Books and the Litfuse Publicity Group. 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.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Last Hodge Podge of September

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you want to play along and  answer the questions, please share by adding your link at the end of Joyce's post. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger linking before you because comments beget comments. Everyone loves some good old fashioned bloggy loving.

1. Have you ever been to and/or lived near the desert? What did you think? Travel and Leisure lists the 'coolest' American desert towns as-  Palm Springs CA, Virgina City NE, Bend OR, Winslow AZ, Marfa TX, Grand Junction CO, Silver City NM, Moab UT, Taos NM, Yakima WA, Borrego Springs CA, Terlingua TX, and St. George UT, and Tubac AZ
Have you been to any of these? Would you like to visit a desert town? Which on the list would you most like to see?  I've been to the desert a few times...I have stood on the corner in Winslow, AZ a couple of times.  I have spent a great amount of time in Yakima, WA since I spent the summer in Walla Walla  going to school.  I have been to 48 of the 50 states and have seen a lot of desert.  I have never been to Moab and would love to go.
2. What's a plan or project you've deserted in the past year?  Besides blogging more would have to be getting my craft room in order.3. Desert-dessert? Share two or three words you find yourself having to think twice about when it comes to spelling.
Principal and Principle.  If I am not thinking I will miss this one.  Capitol and Capital would be the other one.4. High and dry, like watching paint dry, dry run, dry as dust, not a dry eye in the house...which phrase can you relate to currently? Explain.  Dry run.  I have been in a lot of training session on methods to teach where we have gotten into groups and done dry runs.5. How often do you frequent the dry cleaners? Starch or no starch?   Once every month or so I take Frank's suits.  He likes light starch in his shirts. 6. What's a food or beverage you enjoy that's named for a place?  New England Clam Chowder and Boston Cream Pie.
 7. Do you need solitude?  Sometimes.  I love being around people, but I like aloneness too.
 8.  Insert your own random thought here.  Next week is Homecoming at both schools I work at.  It is a big deal and a crazy week.  What was Homecoming like when you were in school?  My senior year the Youth for Christ club I was in won the float competition.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Jesus and the Beanstalk

About The Book:  Jesus and the Beanstalk: Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life (Abingdon Press, September 2016)What if a fairy tale and ten Bible verses could free you to live an effective, fruitful life in Christ?
We live in unsettling, challenging times. Everywhere we look, we see giant problems: giant obstacles to sharing faith, giant barriers to peaceful lives, giant strongholds of fear. But what if you knew eight small secrets to unlocking a strength big enough to overcome whatever obstacle life may bring?Using allegory and a bit of humor, Jesus and the Beanstalk explores a passage in 2 Peter 1 to uncover eight truths that will help you unleash a larger-than-life faith:
-Affection for others
In this creative, refreshing perspective on spiritual growth, you will discover an unyielding strength when you tap the power of a God who is stronger than any beanstalk and bigger than your biggest giants.  Purchase a copy:
About The Author:  Lori Stanley Roeleveld is the author of Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) and Red Pen Redemption. Her blog,, was voted Top 100 Christian Blogs by and has enjoyed over 1.5 million views. Lori lives in Hope Valley, RI.
My Thoughts On The Book:  I had to chuckle to myself when I read the title of the book.  I mean, come on!  Jesus and the Beanstalk....but being a huge fan of Jack and the Beanstalk I was curious to say the least.  Lori Roeleveld did an wonderful job of writing this devotional.  I struggle with giants in my life on a day to day basis and was delighted to find this little help to defeating those giants and bearing fruit in my Christian life.  This book inspired me to get out my dusty journal and dig deeper in the Word.  I have been journaling, praying, meditating and searching more than I have in a long time thanks to Jesus and the Beanstalk.  I found the Word Study Exercise and Role Model Ministudy very helpful.  The Heritage Faith Walkers was inspiring and the Small Steps was the spark that lit the fire in me to begin digging, writing, and journaling again. I really enjoyed the book and cannot wait to share it, or at least do a book study with it.  Thank you for allowing me to review it!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Abingdon Press and the Litfuse Publicity Group. 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.”