Friday, July 22, 2011

Cheap E-reads

I've linked before about Nook Deals, but now the website has changed. As of this morning, they've merged with Cheap E-reads to become The Cheap.
I haven't done much exploring around the site yet, but since I've found so many deals from Nook Deals, I'm sure I'll find great stuff on The Cheap, too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I am in the middle of uploading a ton of pictures to Shutterfly to order prints. The pictures go back to the early spring and include Easter, Natalie's 2nd birthday, vacation to South Dakota, various trips to the zoo, and playing in the pool at Mom & Dad's house.
In looking at these pictures, it occurred to me just how abundant are God's blessings. I have been given so much. In my pictures, I can see my daughters as they grow, happy and healthy and having fun. There are lots of little moments, such as the picture of Claire and Natalie sitting on the floor with little china dessert plates with cookies and colored marshmallows, and little cups of homemade hot chocolate, watching Mary Poppins. I see the pictures I took of the bookcase Dad made for me. In that picture, I am reminded of my dad's skill in woodworking, my aunt and uncle who helped pay for the supplies, and all the children's and young adult books I've received over the years that fill the shelves. Claire and Natalie love to pull random books down and "read" them. I can't wait until they're old enough to read them for real.
I also have pictures of us playing at the beach, just across the street from our house. Our house is much smaller than the one we left behind over a year and a half ago. It is kind of old and needs a lot of repairs. But it's in a wonderful location, only a few blocks from the local library and state trail, and very near the beach. We haven't been to the beach as often as we'd like this summer, due to the long, cold, wet spring and the heat waves that have come during the summer.
Lots of pictures feature Alair, of course. She and Claire are pretty much inseparable, unless they've been thrown together for a whole week and start getting sick of each other. Otherwise, the two of them giggle constantly (even across the state of Minnesota and the state of South Dakota and back) and love to play pretend. Natalie likes to join in with the "big girls" and isn't usually to excited to play with her cousins Evelyn and Carly, who are much closer in age. One of the pictures is of Alair, Claire, and Natalie standing in front of a cutout of Thing One and Thing Two at the Minnesota Zoo. I was really struck by how much taller Alair is than Claire. I tend to think of them as closer in age and size than they really are.
And food. Of course pictures will feature food. Most of the women in my family love to cook, and the men love to eat. I have a picture of three glass goblets filled with pound cake cubes, sliced strawberries, and a swirl of Reddiwhip on top. My aunt had gotten a lot of glassware and other stuff when her mother-in-law passed away, but she didn't have any real use for it. Well, I don't often entertain, what with the size of my house and all, so I turned the fancy goblets into parfait dishes. Claire and Natalie LOVED it. I think it made them feel grown-up, eating out of those goblets.
These pictures are such wonderful reminders of the abundance of blessings from God. I pray that I will remember that even little moments are happy reminders of God's love for us.

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Memory Work

Last week Claire learned
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
This week's lesson will be
Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Christian Chick-lit

Thanks to the fantastic blog, Nook Deals, I've discovered a lot of books that I would not have noticed. It seems that a lot of publishers of Christian fiction like to offer deals on the first of a series, or an author's first book, in order to attract new readers.
A couple of months ago I downloaded Cool Beans by Erynn Magnum. It was the first in a 3-part series about Maya Davis, a girl in her mid-20s and her adventures as a barista at a coffee shop called Cool Beans. Here's the blurb from Barnes & Noble's website:
Everything seems to be going perfectly for Maya Davis: She has a great job at a coffee shop, gets along with her parents, and is happily single. That is until her best friend starts dating Maya’s high school sweetheart.
This funny, heartwarming fiction story by best-selling author Erynn Mangum uses the power of story to challenge teens to discover the relevance of faith in their relationships and their lives.

Even though it says it's for teens, I really think adults could also enjoy the message the author has regarding faith in your daily life. The other two books in the series are Latte Daze and Double Shot.

Erynn Magnum also has her first series, featuring Lauren Holbrook who ends up playing matchmaker to nearly everyone in her life, with great success and great faith in the Lord. Miss Match, Rematch, and Match Point are the books in this light, fun series.

I recently read Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson. This is a great book for those who enjoy stories involving lots of food, quirky characters, and a healthy helping of God's plans for us. Bella is a wedding planner in a huge Italian family that moved from New Jersey to Galveston Island, Texas. In between planning huge wedding extravaganzas (country-western, Renaissance, etc), she's got a new boyfriend, DJ, and discovering all the ways God works little wonders in life every day. There are two more books in the series, Swinging on a Star and It Had to Be You.