The kids and I decided to make some snow today. This was super easy to do. Simply dump a box of baking soda into a bowl and add about 2/3 of a can of shaving cream. Stir together well. We added some silver glitter to it to give it that sparkly look. The result was cold and a lot of fun to smash together. We were even able to form some snowballs out of it.
Now, I only had one kind of shaving cream in the house that I'd gotten for another craft. This kind was heavily scented and our son didn't care for the scent at all (neither did I). When you buy some, I recommend getting it unscented if you can.
When they were tired of playing with the snow, I gave them both large bowls of vinegar. Because what happens when you combine baking soda and vinegar? Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere! I think the kids enjoyed making volcanoes with the mixture more than they did playing with it in the first place. LOL
It was a great way to spend an hour or so on a windy Sunday.
The weather is starting to get cooler - at least in my neck of the woods - and one of my favorite ways to spend a cold day is to read a good book. Preferably with a cup of hot chocolate nearby! I also find that reading helps to bring a little bit of peace during the busy holiday rush.
If you like to cuddle up with a sweet romance, then this giveaway is for you! It's open now through December 4th. A winner will be chosen and announced on December 5th. The winner will receive a paperback copy of the books above. How's that for a great collection of good reads to help you pass the winter?
You can check out all of the authors to see what other books they have available:
For your chance to win five contemporary inspirational romance paperbacks, just enter your name and e-mail into the form below. Entry is open to US residents only. Giveaway ends December 5th.
I'm crocheting some gifts for our kids this year. I've crocheted a lot of animals for our son, ranging from Dory to a bunny rabbit. He will often put in a request for a new crocheted critter and has kept each one I've made for him. This year, since ocean animals are his favorite, we thought we'd add an octopus to his collection.
This pattern from Delicious Crochet was incredibly detailed and I absolutely love how this guy came out. And it's not small, either. I should have measured it, but you can see my hand in the picture below to get an idea of the size. My husband and I have him hiding in the back of the closet and can't wait to see our son's face when he opened the box at Christmas.
I'm going to take a couple of days and then start working on the gifts for our daughter. I'll share pictures of those once they're finished as well. :-)
Photography is one of my hobbies. I've gone through several DSLR cameras and one thing is for sure: I am definitely a Canon girl! I currently shoot with an EOS Rebel SL1. I originally chose it because it's light and small enough to carry around with me. Previously, the cameras I used were so big and bulky that I found I left them at home instead of taking them places, which meant I missed out on a lot of fun opportunities to actually use it. I have several lenses, but my favorite, hands down, is the 2.8 24mm. Again, it's small and light making it easy to carry with me. But it's also crystal clear and it takes wonderful images in lower light situations.
I've always enjoyed taking portraits of our kids. But I also have a lot of fun taking pictures of our dogs as well. It'd been a while since I'd made a point of doing that. So my daughter and I took advantage of this beautiful fall weather and did a photo session with our dogs. Between a lot of pats, Cheerios, and a dog bone to celebrate the completion of the session, fun was had by all.
This guy here is Jasper. He's seven-years-old, weighs about one hundred pounts, and is a giant teddy bear. His most striking features are those beautiful eyes: One brown and one blue.
Jasper joined our family on Easter in 2009. We were driving home from church on a busy country road and we saw this little puppy trotting along the side of it. It was not uncommon to see animals hit on this road because it was so busy and the shoulder was small. We couldn't stand the idea of a puppy getting hit by a car, much less on Easter. So we stopped. I got out and called to him. He ran over, that tail wagging, and he climbed right into the car. He went home with us and never looked back.
The picture of him in the basket was taken just a week or two after we brought him home. It's hard to imagine he was ever that tiny. If he tried to sit in that basket now, I'm quite certain he'd crush it into tiny pieces. LOL
This pretty girl is Jessie. She hasn't been a member of our family for as long Jasper. We adopted her in January of 2014. We specifically went to one of those adoption days at PetSmart. There were a LOT of dogs there, but Jessie (who was named Violet at the time) was sitting quietly in one of the enclosures. While other dogs were getting petted, no one paid any attention to her. She was obviously sad and didn't seem very hopeful.
We asked about her and found out she was around five-months-old and had already been adopted twice and returned twice. Both times weren't her fault, but the situation the people who adopted her were in. Well, no wonder she wasn't feeling very hopeful. We spent some time with her and before long, all four of us were convinced she was meant to be our dog.
She's three-years-old now and has been a wonderful addition to our family ever since. She's loyal to all of us and she's especially fond of our daughter. The two of them will play for hours in her room, they play outside together, and do just about everything together. Jessie isn't real fond of anyone else outside the family and gets nervous when we leave her at the kennel when we go on vacation. But she's slowly getting better about that. And we're glad she can finally have the forever home she deserves!
Today was our son's 11th birthday party. I posted here about how much he enjoys the LOGO Board Game. He's requested what he called "The LOGO Board Game Moose" earlier this year. It took some investigating, but we finally figured out this was the Australian version of the game and there's a small, green moose logo in the bottom left corner of the box.
Getting a hold of it turned out to be much more difficult than we thought, though. We were unable to directly order the game and have it mailed to the United States. Thanks to a wonderful writer's group I'm a part of, Clean Indie Reads, I was able to connect with a fellow writer who lives in Australia. She bought the game for us and shipped it to us herself. We wouldn't have been able to get the game for him otherwise!
Even though he's asked for the game for months and was quite sure he was getting it, he still squealed when he opened the package. He's been looking at and playing with the game most of the day.
He now has eight LOGO board games and something tells me this won't be the last addition to his collection.
Are you looking for a new book to read? Check out these new releases from authors involved with American Christian Fiction Writers. You're sure to find a new favorite!
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Slender Reeds: Jochebed's Hope by Texie Susan Gregory -- In a deadly race to save her son, a young slave woman dares defy the most powerful man in the world. (Biblical from Barbour Publishing)
Crazy Woman Christmas by Renee Blare -- A quiet cowboy whisks Bianca to his ranch to ride out the Christmas blizzard where she discovers life is cold but also beautiful in the “Cowboy” state. (Contemporary Romance from Inspired [Prism Book Group])
Other Than a Halo by Valerie Comer -- Even though she’s a new woman in Christ, single mom Bren Haddock was no angel as a teen. Now managing the Hiller Farm for a CSA, life is good until a friend offers to enter her daughter into the Little Miss Snowflake Pageant. Old insecurities flare when she meets the intriguing head of marketing the pageant. Rob Santoro isn’t so sure about handling the pageant portfolio until he meets Bren. Soon he’s fallen for her and her two kids. When a Thanksgiving adventure goes awry, he’s left wondering how to love a woman who refuses to be loved. What will it take for Bren to retire her tarnished halo and move into the future God has for her? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Do You Know What I Know? by Becky Melby -- What if a phone call from the obstetrician’s office went to the wrong person? Elizabeth Schmidt can’t figure out why her husband doesn’t seem excited about the news she’s sure he heard. Is he unhappy? Or is James cheating on her? Pastor Jay Davidson is in shock. Bethany Schmidt, the woman he’s in love with, is pregnant. Should he walk away, or is God asking him to play the part of Joseph in real life and not just in the church Christmas program? Bethany can’t figure out why Jay is acting so weird. Has he figured out one of the two secrets she’s keeping until after Christmas? Can a ponytailed itinerant carpenter with a pet chicken help unravel the confusion? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
How to Charm a Beekeeper's Heart by Candice Sue Patterson -- Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. That is until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he’s indebted to from a mistake made years ago. When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers to aid in his lengthy recovery if he’ll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay -- After a whirlwind romance and marriage, Emily Price returns home to Italy with her new husband and learns that life at its richest is only found when she accepts its chaotic beauty. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])
Contemporary Women's Fiction:
Forgiveness by Marianne Evans -- Country music bad boy, Chase Bradington is on the comeback trail. Fresh from rehab for alcohol addiction and transformed by the power of Christ, Chase is battling to rediscover the music he loves and a career he nearly ruined. Then he meets up-and-comer, Pyper Brock and instantly sparks ignite. Despite her rampant attraction to the handsome and talented icon, Pyper knows of Chase’s reputation and soundly dismisses his romantic overtures. No way will Pyper repeat the mistake of trusting a man whose done battle with the bottle. Can a sin-damaged past be released in favor of forgiveness? (Women’s Fiction from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])
Beneath a Golden Veil by Melanie Dobson -- As elegant as the Sacramento residence she operates, Isabelle Labrie keeps her past concealed, like the treasure she hides under the Golden Hotel. Then, unexpected guests—fugitive slaves seeking safe passage to the North—force her to confront her past and reconsider her path. (Historical from Waterfall Press)
Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert -- Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)
The Lost Generation by Erica Marie Hogan -- On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, Gina Welborn, and Becca Whitham -- Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley -- In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler...but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood's marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace until she's left at the altar by her no-good fiancé. Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there's something about Meg's sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in...even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart. (Historical Romance from Sourcebooks)
Mail Order Mommy by Christine Johnson -- Nursing a broken heart, Amanda Porter had answered a frontier mail-order bride ad placed by Garrett Decker's children—only to find the groom-to-be didn't want a wife. But his adorable children are determined she'll be their mother by Christmas… His wife's betrayal and tragic death demolished Garrett's life. Now he can't even look at another woman, let alone marry Amanda, who resembles his first love. But with his daughter convinced Amanda is the perfect mother, will Garrett realize she's also his perfect match? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Hope's Design by Dawn Kinzer -- An independent city girl aspiring to be a fashion designer falls for a stubborn artist from the country who wants to keep his talent a secret. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Brides of Wyoming by S. Dionne Moore -- Roam the Wyoming range alongside three couples who meet under danger from bands of outlaws. Renee escapes a gang of outlaws and lands in the arms of a sheepherder. Olivia’s sleuthing upturns secrets key to solving the murder of a reluctant rancher’s father. Maira is trying to keep her ranch running alone when a drifting cowboy offers a hand. Can love develop where suspicion and greed roam the range? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
The Negotiated Marriage by Christina Rich -- When the railroad pushes to buy her land, orphaned Cameron Sims will do anything to keep the only home she and her sisters have ever known. Even if she must marry a stranger. Duncan Murray doesn’t want a wife. He wants Sims Creek, a sanctuary that can help him forget a troubled childhood. But his reluctant, and captivating, bride-to-be is key to making his dreams a reality. And despite their business arrangement, Camy and Duncan might be signing on the dotted line for true love… (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Love in the Seams by Jodie Wolfe -- A little girl on a quest for a new mama has the local seamstress in her sights. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
His Perfect Love by Sharon K. Connell -- On the run from a hit man, Patricia Campbell is unaware of the FBI’s search for her to learn what information she might hold, so she continues to hide out. Then she meets a persistent computer technician, a charming philanthropist, and a handsome, wealthy businessman who wants to marry her. But her fears resurface, and she wonders if she can trust any of them. Can she survive long enough to find peace…and perfect love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Counter Point by Marji Laine -- Her dad's gone, her diner's closing, and her car's in the lake. Cat McPherson has nothing left to lose ... except her life. And a madman, bent on revenge, is determined to take that, as well. Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death-threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart. (Romantic Suspense from Write Integrity Press)
The Flaming Sword by Heather L.L. FitzGerald -- When evil joins forces in the Tethered World, Sadie Larcen must risk all to protect the Flaming Sword and her family...even if it takes her life. (Speculative Young Adult from Mountain Brook Ink)