Tuesday, November 8, 2011

(in)courage and DaySpring strike again!

Update:  OK, so, it's Tuesday, after 6:00, and we have a winner!  The same winner for both prizes.  Because, see, she is the ONLY commenter that I had for this giveaway.  Not rocket science, say I.  SO, "Michelle" is our winner of the $20 Dayspring code, AND the winner of the Holley Gerth book.  I'm emailing her as we speak, & will get the prizes to her forthwith.  YAY!!!

Hi, everyone, it's me, back from the wars!  No, not really, it just seems like it, what with school starting, one wedding down, and another in a couple of weeks!  But we interrupt this so-called life for a much-needed, and well-received, review of another DaySpring product.  See, here's how it works:  as a faithful follower of (in)courage, occasionally I get "gifted" with a product, with the stipulation that I write a review of it.  It's a win-win for everyone, right?  Well, several days ago, Mr. FedEx pulled up to the house, eluded the slobber of our "guard dog" and delivered THIS to me!

Now, this is not my table.  MY breakfast has two laptops on it.  And no apples.  But, in the middle, keeping the laptops warm, is this gorgeous runner.  And it makes the table look SO homey!  Here's another picture to make you want it:

The ends of the runner say this:
And it's completely reversible!  The back is all one fabric, striped horizontally, like the narrow border on the front side.
Here are some details: it's 72"L x 14"W; it's 100% cotton; and you want to hand wash it. Oh, and it's all in shades of wheat, dark wheat, dark cream - Fall colors, you know!  It's on sale right now for $17.49, plus postage & handling, of course. 

So why do I love this so much?  If you knew me at all, you'd know that Fall is my all-time, most favorite season of the year.  Living in northwest Louisiana, we do get seasons, but our summers are brutal, as you might imagine.  Come late September, the humidity drops, the evening sounds change (crickets, rather than cicadas), and the sky deepens to a cerulean blue that makes me stop and say "ahhhh."

So I start decorating for Fall on Labor Day weekend.  Leaves, Fall colors, fruits, you name it.  This table runner sums up everything that is good about Fall:  giving thanks.  Thankfulness for the cooler weather, for the colors of the trees, for the energy that we all get.  Then there's the lead-in for Turkey Day!!!  We're all about giving thanks here.  The runner is an excellent reminder.

Here's the fun part:  A GIVEAWAY!!!!  I will be giving away 2 different prizes this time.  The first one is a $20 coupon code to DaySpring. which you can use on whatever your little heart desires.  YOU must pay postage/shipping/delivery charges (sorry).  The second prize is a book!  Due to unforseen circumstances, and a "situation" with the USPS, I am in possession of a extra copy of Holley Gerth's latest book/devotional, God's Heart for You.  Let me tell you, peeps, this book is a WINNER.  I'm going through it right now, and after the first day, I ordered & sent copies to both of my daughters.  It's that good.  So, I am going to give away my extra copy to one lucky reader.  I'll ship it to you - no charge. 

Here's how to win:  leave me a comment, telling me which gift you'd like.  That's one entry.  If you are currently following me, leave me another comment saying so, or if you begin NOW to follow me, leave me that comment.  But play nice:  don't follow, then drop me - it'll hurt my little feelings, and is just plain rude.  Should you choose to tweet this review, leave me another comment.  Or you can post the link on Facebook, and leave me that comment.  Let's count, shall we?  That's up to 4 entries - not bad odds.  I'll random.org a couple of comments, and notify you ASAP.  You  must then respond within 48 hours, or I'll have to hurt your feelings by drawing another name.  We don't want to do that.  Make sure you leave me your email in your comments, so I can find you!

As today is Tuesday, I'll run the giveaway contest through next Tuesday, Nov. 15.  The cutoff time will be 6:00 p.m., Central Standard Time.  No entries after that, please!  I'll draw the names & notify by email right after that.
That's it - easy, right?  So, check out what DaySpring has got going this month, leave some comments, and you just may win!

(Government/Lawyer's Chorus:  DaySpring provided me with this wonderful table runner for free!  I get to write a review, using opinions that I come up with, myveryownself.  So, no money exchanged hands, and my opinions are just that - mine)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

Ten years ago today, I was driving to work, having dropped off several of my kids at school.  All of you have the same kind of story.... something on the news about a plane crashing into a building.  By the time I walked into my office building, which is literally across the river from Barksdale Air Force Base, someone had located a small TV, and we watched as the second plane hit.  The news kept getting worse and worse, until I finally heard the "talking heads" postulate that the Pennsylvania plane was "aiming" at the Capitol in D.C.  That's when I started panicking, and wanted to grab my kids from school, run home, and hide from the world.  I didn't, of course.  That would be silly - but human!  We all calmed down, dealt with the feelings of loss and anger, and watched as President Bush dealt with the situation. 

BTW, I stood in my office parking lot, and watched Bush's Air Force One 747 take off from Barksdale, after he spoke to the nation from the base.  I have friends who lost dear friends in the Pentagon crash.  My sister was on a plane that was grounded when the attacks started.  It took her two days to get home to Virginia, from Chicago, I think.  I didn't lose a loved one, but it still hurts me.  A lot.

Here's what we need to do for the next 10 or 100 years:  wear your good clothes/shoes. Wear that perfume you were saving for special occasions.   Eat dessert first sometimes.  Make and eat cookies a lot more often (we have "Cookie Day" every Sunday afternoon).  Show love to your family as often as possible.  Pray to God.  And, NEVER FORGET!!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

And then there's the rest of the story....

Did I forget to mention yesterday the FUN adventures we had all summer? Probably not, so let me catch you up....

The fun and games began one day, when the house seemed hotter that it usually does. Granted, we have very high ceilings, so it's never 70 degrees in the house. But even factoring that in the equation, it was warm. Going outside & checking the A/C units revealed that: of the three outside units that we have, only one of them was running. One's permanently out of commission right now, but the 3rd one should have been running. So we call our friendly neighborhood home warranty people to get some help.

Long story short: the condenser/compressor (don't ask me) was shot. It took a week for them to arrive at that conclusion, get an new one, and install it. One week. One hundred degree days. Hotter than hell INside! But, eventually, the new unit was installed on a Friday morning, the angels wept, the mama did the happy dance, and all was well.

Three hours later: I walk into the house, expecting much coolness, and the A/C had stopped running. I go upstairs to the air handler, put the fan belt back on (are you impressed yet?), and turned it back on. Belt goes flying through the air (NOT literally) and the A/C stops again. I know when I'm licked. I call mi esposo, who comes home and runs level three diagnostics on the air handler (yes, I'm a Trekkie).

NEXT long story short: a major component part, which makes all the air move throughout the house, has broken - almost in half. So, my wonderful, handy, BRILLIANT husband takes the entire handler apart, removes the broken part, and takes it to a sheet metal shop for repair and rebuilding. Five days later (the weekend intervened), he brings it back home, better than new, re-installs it, puts the entire air handler back together, and turns it on.

I can not emphasize to you just how GLORIOUS the feeling was to have cool air running through the vents once again. Our dogs plopped themselves back down on the floor registers and SMILED at me.

So, to recap, one week for the outside stuff to get repaired, then another full week for the inside stuff to get rebuilt. Hot. Miserable. Stifling. It was so bad that our youngest, HRH, took herself to her brother's house to sleep at night. I don't blame her. But I felt a certain responsibility to our pets (and husband) and stayed the course.

Why, you might ask, didn't the inside parts fail, and get repaired, at the same time as the outside ones? We have no clue. God obviously meant for it to happen this way, and so it did.

Let me just mention in passing that during this time, we had scheduled our trip to Mexico, sans kids, and were leaving in about 2 weeks. The stress level was quite high, and getting higher every moment.

Next up, our fun and games with the water! Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What a long, strange trip it's been....

Hello, everyone! Without really meaning to, I have managed to take an almost four MONTH vacation from blogging. Completely accidental, I assure you! But, let me just review a bit of what's gone on during that time, and maybe you'll understand, and forgive me.....please?

In May, my sweet husband & I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary by going on an overnight trip. Four days later (no joke), our second child and first daughter, PWTH, got married. Be aware, I was still working full-time when all this happened. Oh, and the night of the wedding, I broke my pinkie toe - good timing!

Right after that wedding, our oldest, BBE, got engaged to his girlfriend. I can see right now that I'm going to have to come up with more nicknames for our new family members. That wedding is scheduled for November, just before Thanksgiving.

June gave us Vacation Bible School, where I again led the music rotation. Fun times!

In July, we celebrated third child, WD, birthday. Milestone: 21 years old! (I'm getting old). Around that time, it became apparent that barring a miracle, mi esposo & I were not going to have a vacation to Mexico the way we have for the past 7 years. Cue the grumpy music - I was NOT happy. Then, the miracle happened: we got a baby windfall, planned and paid for a trip, and left 2 weeks later. God is good! I still have some leftover tan and tons of memories from a great trip. The trip was in August, and we got back exactly ONE week before I went back to work.

Last weekend, we took our youngest child, HRH, back for her sophomore year of college. We walked into a mostly empty house and realized that we WERE on the road for the long-awaited empty nest.

To say the summer FLEW by is an understatement. To say I accomplished anything substantial would be a LIE! But relaxation was had by most, parties happened (more to come), and a good time was had by all, I think.

Coming soon to a blog near you (right here): updates on the wedding festivities, anniversary trips, birthday parties, AND a DaySpring review. See you soon, and thanks for sticking with me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I LOVE Dayspring!!!!

Latest & greatest update: our winner has responded, and has been sent the code. Random.org chose comment #8, Suz and Allan, and they are now the blessed recipients. Thanks to everyone for participating in my giveaway; I hope that there will be lots more to come!

Update: Our little friend, random.org, has chosen a winner. I am in the process of notifying them by email; once they have responded, I will post the name.

Boy, do I LOVE Dayspring products! About a month ago, I was given the chance to review another product from these wonderful people, so of course I signed up. I got to review some of their Mr. & Mrs. line back in February, so I jumped at the chance to do it again. I wasn't sure which thing I'd get, but I knew it would be from their Ornate Metal collection. Lo & behold, last week, the UPS man delivered my "present!" It was this gorgeous metal tray, that I instantly fell in love with.
Let me tell you, peeps, this thing is SOLID. According to Dayspring, it weighs about 4.5 pounds, which is not too heavy, unless, of course, it's loaded with books. But why anyone would cover this tray with books is beyond me.... just sayin'. The entire tray (with handles) is about 20" by 12," and is NOT appropriate for direct contact with food. I'd be afraid to ruin the finish (or the flavor) anyway. It's a beautiful, antique-y tray with this deep engraving in the bottom that makes me smile every time I look at it. What will I use it for? Making me smile, of course!

The best part is the cross in the middle. When we bought & moved into this house eight years ago, we started putting crosses up - big ones on the walls, little ones above light switches, medium ones above bathroom lavatories, you get the idea. My Sunday School kids have been helping me out - every Christmas, I get at least one cross that I get to put up somewhere. I love that!

The retail price for the tray is $29.99, but right now, Dayspring's got their Ornate Metal collection on sale, so it's selling for $17.99. Deal! Plus, for this entire month, use the coupon code May20 and get 20% MORE off. Of course, you will still have to pay shipping costs, which is $6.45 if you only get this tray. BUT, if you spend $50, shipping is FREE! So, get busy, and go shopping!

Here's the fun part: Dayspring has gifted me with a $20 coupon code to give away to one lucky reader. I'd love to give it to you! Leave a comment on this post, telling me which wonderful thing you'd love to get from Dayspring, and you're entered! If you're already a follower, leave me another comment for another entry. All entries must be received by Sunday, May 15 at 6:00 Central Daylight Time, after which I will draw a winner using random.org. I'll notify the winner by email, so make sure it's listed somewhere. The winner will have 24 hours to respond, or I'll have to choose another entry. Don't let that happen! Love me, love my Dayspring! Y'all have a great day!

(Lawyer's Chorus: The Feds require me to tell you that I received this tray in exchange for writing this review. No money changed hands. The opinions are mine. If I hated the tray, I'd tell you, but I don't!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother Day

Yes, I know, theres really an "s" after mother, but I'm not sure if it's 's, or s' so I left it off entirely! I'm strong that way.

Happy Mother Day to all of you! Even if you're not a mother yet, you still had one. It's like they say, "Everyone's got a mother." Good, bad, or indifferent ones, we all have one. Here on earth, still causing you grief (it's what we do best you know), or in Heaven (REALLY causing you grief). So celebrate the fact that someone gave birth to you. Celebrate the beautiful Spring weather (I hope). Celebrate life!!!!

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..."
Jeremiah 1:5

Saturday, April 9, 2011

And it's not even Sunday yet!

WHAT a weekend of ups and downs! Today is my youngest child's 19th birthday - HUZZAH!! She and her sister were coming in from the colleges they attend 200 miles away, to spend the weekend here, having a picnic, eating good food, and blowing out candles. Yesterday afternoon, we started getting phone calls from them - the weekend was falling apart because older sister, PWTH, couldn't get her shift covered for the weekend. So they stayed at college. We even went so far as to look into going over THERE to see her today, but decided not to go for a 24-hour jaunt. I did send her some pretty flowers, which cheered her up immensely this morning.

Later in the morning, she called me back to say that she was feeling oh-so-sick: 102 fever, headache, stiff/sore neck, lower back-ache. Enter mom's panic button! Her sister the saint drove the 45 minutes to take her first to a pharmacy with a nurse practitioner, then to an urgent/quick care facility. Once there, they had to wait on blood work to rule out all kinds of stuff like flu, strep, MENINGITIS. The doctor is pretty sure that she's got mono, which isn't fun, for sure, but it certainly beats meningitis.

Meanwhile, back home, mom was gathering together essentials, in case we had to hit the road to admit her to a hospital. Once the final phone call came, I could settle down and "enjoy" the remaining hour of the afternoon. All this to say, Happy Birthday to my sweet little bit, HRH!

Her Royal Highness, with her sister, then (above) and now (below). HRH is on the left in both pictures, and PWTH is on the right. I see absolutely no family resemblance, do you?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Update: there is now a much smaller sized button to the right of my post, which makes me feel ever so much better. (thanks for the encouragement, Kami!) But I still haven't been able to create a "grab a button link" so the cry for help is still out there!

Bear with me, sports fans. I'm in the midst of trying to add my own button and a "grab a button" link to my blog and it's. not. working.!!!! I can't get the picture sized small enough to "fit" within the sides of the template. I changed the template, which made it look a little better (wasn't cutting off my button so much), but the button's HUGE. Not the way it needs to look. If ANYone has some suggestions to help me, I welcome them. Obviously the code I'm using is OK, as the picture is showing up, but I can't get PhotoBucket to resize the picture so I don't look like a megalomaniac. (it's a good word. look it up)

Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, April 1, 2011

True Story

Yes, it's true. The last time I was in Paris was one year ago today. You have no idea how much I miss it. The food, the music, the clothes. All these French women, slinking around in black. I may as well be in Manhattan, but the French did it first. Flying over on the Concorde, I made the trip in just over three hours, with champagne in my glass all the way. Which, of course, made going through Customs a rather surreal experience, but I digress.

You may ask me, why Paris? The answer's easy - Cancun has gotten way too familiar. THe thought of sitting on the beach there makes me yawn. Ho hum. So, Paris. The food's better; the travel time's shorter; the scenery's different.

Next year, why don't you join me? I'll be there, at the little cafe across from the Eiffel tower, having my cafe au lait and croissant for breakfast. See ya!

P. S. Check the date :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beware the Ides of March

Sigh. If only Julius Caesar had heeded the warnings, he'd be here with us today. OK, maybe not - he'd be forever old, and who wants to see a forever-old guy in a toga!

This is a momentous day for another reason: it's the birthday of my mother-in-law. Once I finally gelled on the fact that her birthday was the Ides of March, I managed to remember it. She's no longer with us; she went to Heaven nine years ago to join her husband. But it's always good to honor and remember your in-laws for one simple reason: they brought your spouse into the world.

I've often joked that on the day I was born, my husband was created - we're nine-months-ish apart, so it sounds good. I just went back & looked at that year's calendar, and he was born 36 weeks and 2 days after I was born. So, it's entirely possible that God reached down and literally created, him for me, on the day I was born. Gotta love Jeremiah 1:5 - "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."

If it hadn't been for Helen Louise, I wouldn't have my soul mate; my love-for-life. Thank you, Mom.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Beatles got it Right

Happy Birthday to me..... etc.

No, I'm NOT that shameless to go asking for birthday wishes! It's just that today, at work, I wished I was dead. There. I said it. I'm doing the best I can & it's not enough, and it's gotten me down. Plus, it really is my birthday.

So what happened to ease my mood? My sweet husband delivered an orchid plant, PLUS a box of Godiva chocolates to me, THEN made me eat 2 chocolates. He said I needed serotonin right away - who am I to argue?

Later, when I got to a school for the second time today, there was a "cup" of coffee waiting on me - a large Latte w/ nonfat milk, sugar-free cinnamon syrup, and lots of taste. Hubby comes through again. Oldest son, aka Big Blue Eyes, and his girlfriend snuck over to the school & left a bouquet of flowers & a "nun-grater" card on my windshield (I'll have to find it online & post it).

I get home (none too soon, let me assure you), and have over 37 birthday wishes on my Facebook wall. One of them was a youtube link to Paul McCartney singing the Beatles' Birthday Song! All these things have "worked together for good" to make me feel ever so much better, and just a little bit hopeful that this too shall end.

Have a great day for me & don't let the turkeys get you down :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Giveaway winner

Ok, well, random.org has done its work: with 12 comments/entries, the winning number chosen was #2. Congratulations to Meg! Hopefully, there will be more giveaways coming our way, so please check back often.

Thanks to all of you for reading, and have a GREAT weekend!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Review and a Giveaway

(Update) Comments are now closed. I've chosen a winner & am waiting for their response. IF I don't receive one w/in 48 hours, I'll draw another one. As soon as I verify the winner, I'll let you know.

This is a collection of firsts: my first ever review of a product, my first ever free thing I've received as a result of blogging, and my first ever giveaway!

There is a site created and run by Christian women, all of whom I greatly admire, and all of whom I'd love to be best friends with. The site is (in)courage, and they have a section of their site, called (in)spired deals, which is where this review comes in. They sent me this really cool set from the Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection Set from DaySpring, another excellent Christian site. SO, what did I get? ALL THIS!!!(All these photos are mine - none were -jacked from DaySpring)
If it's possible for something to be uber-cute and still not be foo-foo, these fit the bill. The mugs are 10-11 oz. if filled to just under the Bible verse:
The Mr. & Mrs. mugs are similar, but different enough that you won't confuse yourself, if you're grabbing one pre-caffeine!
And once you've finished your hot tea (for me) or coffee, there's a little reminder to show you what it's all about:

But, wait! That's not all! In this set (should you choose to purchase) you also get a coupon book, useful for many different occasions.

I've been through the entire coupon book, and, while it may make any kids roll their eyes & go, "Oh, mom," it is completely family-friendly.

There's also a very cool journal that's double ended, so you can each write love notes to each other and leave the journal for your significant other to read (and hopefully reply)
AND, should you desire to give this gift set to someone very special, the set comes with a gorgeous gift bag, suitable for many romantic occasions.
Everything's absolutely beautiful & I can't wait to start using the coupons. I can already say that the "coffee" cups work great at keeping your beverage of choice hot. Even my husband (no girly-man, he) thought the cups were great.

Now, I know you're sitting there drooling, saying to yourself, "Self? How can I get myself one of these?" It's EASY! Go to DaySpring, look for the Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection Set, and order one! The regular price is $35.95, plus shipping, but right now it's on sale for $26.99, plus shipping. And, if you look around the site, you will find Mr. & Mrs. memo pads, which always come in handy - at our house we go through memo pads like chocolate!

Now for the fun part - the giveaway! I am offering to one of my many, devoted readers a $20 online coupon code to DaySpring, which would bring this set down to $6.99 (before shipping). Now, you don't HAVE to buy this set - DaySpring has many gorgeous things, from Christian cards, to gifts, to home decor. And, (in)courage has coupon codes (LOVE25 gets you 25% off through the month of February), which makes it an even better deal!

Here's how to win it: Go to DaySpring, shop around, and tell me one thing you'd LOVE to have - or several - if you're like me, you bargain shop like a maniac! Leave me a comment, and you're entered! Contest closes Friday, Feb. 18 at 5:00 CST. I'll choose the winner next Saturday, Feb. 19, by random.org, and notify you by email. You'll have 48 hours to respond, or sad day! I'll have to choose another winner

You can have extra entries by following my blog through Google Friend Connect (leave me an additional comment telling me so). Follow me on Twitter & tweet about this giveaway (I'm scubagirl1). If you do either of these additional things, be sure to leave me a comment for every one, to be sure you have the right number of entries. (I will check to ensure the tweets, etc. are done.)

I hate to say this, but please play nice. If you don't intend to STAY a follower, then don't join just long enough for this giveaway. I'm just like the rest of you - I'd love more friends, but not fair-weather ones :) So, have fun, share the fun, and maybe you'll win the prize!

FTC lawyer's chorus and disclosure: I was provided all the pictured items for the chance to do a review. BUT, all opinions are mine, and no cash changed hands.