Sunday, April 27, 2014

The kids ran!

This was a crazy busy week (as per usual)!  Thursday Kira performed for us at her 4th Grade Musical.  She was in 2 small groups playing her recorder, plus she got to announce one of the songs!  So cool!  We also got to see both her's and Ben's art!  Always fun!  It was burning hot in there, so we got Braum's ice cream after.  Well, technically the kids all got sherbet and I got frozen yogurt!  Then they watched Wall-E whike we waited for Scott to come out of his Spanish/English classes.
Then today was the big 5k that the kids have been training for!  I didn't guess nearly as well as they did!  Kira came in 15th place at 31.08.  Ben came in seven minutes behind her at 38 minutes and Emma came in six minutes behind him at 44 minutes!  They all did fantastic!  I almost cried a couple times with how proud I am!  Yes, I'm a "little" emotional.  We dropped Scott off, so he could work his gardening booth at the Emergency Preparedness Fair.  Then we got to do the Nutrition Olympics with fun games like melon shotput, potato sack races, coconut bowling...  The thing was that Josh was hungry and the whole not getting what they were playing with got on his nerves.  I was pretty excited when they all earned their fruit plate!  They ate it, and played on the playground for awhile before we headed for lunch.  I just got Taco Bell, so we could eat fast and the kids could go to quiet time.  I desperately needed a nap!  We went through shoes afterward.  Wow!  That's a lot of shoes!  Josh kept crying and crying.  And crying.  Once he snuggled up to me and held my hand, he finally went to sleep.  It's awfully hard to clean, do laundry, etc. when you have a cute kiddo napping on you and I had both him and Cecilia asleep on me!  I was super glad for the break though!  I got the house cleaner (with the kids doing their chores and my lots of help) and made dinner.  Grits and eggs with cookies for dessert.  I felt bad that I couldn't do more, but I'm doing the best I can!
I got my last Kansas application in (we went through the entire list of school districts, and I applied to all that had openings within an hour and a half of my family)!  So far I've only received 2 emails saying spots have been filled!
My belly is expanding a lot!  I'm measuring over 37 weeks and am 35 (as of Friday), but I only gained a half of a pound in the past 2 weeks.  I'm still under 2 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight.  I have high hopes that I lose it all when I have him!  I got to go shopping at a consignment sale and I got a ton of stuff.  For some reason I feel like I need to buy some girl things, so I did.  They are so cute!  If I don't have a girl someday, one of my siblings will!  Scott and I discussed it though, and if we do have a girl, she will be Isabella.  Not sure on a middle name, but we have time!  Right now the last thing I want to think about is another pregnancy.  This one has been a little harder on me, but considering how easy my pregnancies are, I have no complaints!  I'm excited to meet my little Samuel when he comes out!
Pictures of this busy week!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I love Easter!  I love that it's in Spring, and that we're celebrating that Jesus lived again!  I could do without the whole Easter bunny thing though!  Instead we had an Egg Hunt yesterday, so they got their candy and were happy.  After church and my nap, I let them have their Easter candy-cotton candy, a white Reese's egg and a few mallowcremes.  It kinda makes me nauseous to see them eat all that candy, but they were happy campers!  We got some good pictures too!
 If you look really closely, you can see a bunny way behind the kiddos!
 Eating and swapping
 Yep, real life right here!
 All dressed up
 My boys
 Us girls
Me and my favorite Scott

It's been a very busy week!  I've been applying all over the Kansas City area, so we can move back.  I've put in 15 applications so far!  Not much sleep here.  My Kindergartners have been a little crazy, but I think that they'll be a lot better when they come back tomorrow after the three day break.  Easter is very exciting!  We loved having Friday off!  I was able to catch up on dishes and got a lot of laundry done (there's no catching up on laundry)!  Then on Saturday (yesterday) we got more cleaning done while Scott and Ben were at an all day Scout event!  Our Senior Missionary couple came and brought dinner.  So sweet!  Then I had my Jamberry party and one friend came!  It was fun just chatting and doing nails!  I had made eight rice bags to give out , so I still have six (for future parties).  Somehow this pregnancy has made me lactose intolerant. It's kinda miserable.  The good news is that I won't be eating any cheese, which is less fat.  I feel HUGE!!!  Like stretched as far as I can.  Skin is pretty amazing though, so we'll see how many stripes I have when I finally have this cute lil' baby!  Today we wore our matching skirts, and Scott wore his matching tie, but Josh and Ben wore their cute suits that matched.  I'm a little exhausted, but my long nap was fantastic!  My poor kiddos did a great job waiting for me to wake up, so they could have their candy!  This should be a fun week!  More applications, and hopefully some phone calls for interviews!

Because of Him

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson Giveaway and Author Interview

Sweet Confections (Indulgence Row series, #1) 

by Danyelle Ferguson

Book Blurb 

According to Rachel Marconi chocolate heals all wounds. That and throwing darts at pictures of her ex-boyfriend. Burned by yet another bad relationship, Rachel decides to reprioritize her life, putting her dream to compete on a Food Network Challenge on the top of her list and dating at the bottom crossed out in red sharpie. But what's a girl to do when a certain sexy guy keeps asking her out?
Cue in Graydon Green, a former pro hockey player turned restaurant owner. After a lot of persistent and humorous teasing, he finally convinces Rachel to commit to a date. Just when things begin to warm up, threatening notes directed at Rachel arrive. When her bakery is vandalized, Graydon's protective streak goes on red alert. Is it her obsessive ex-boyfriend stalking her? Or maybe a challenger trying to sabotage the competition? Either way, Rachel is definitely going to need more chocolate - perhaps drizzled over ice cream and devil's food cake. 

Buy it!

Amazon, Kindle, Goodreads, Also available on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBookstore.

About the Author 

Danyelle Ferguson discovered her love for the written word in elementary school. Her first article was published when she was in 6th grade. Since then, she’s won several awards and her work has been published world-wide in newspapers, magazines and books. Danyelle grew up surrounded by Pennsylvania’s beautiful Allegheny Mountains. Then she lived for ten years among the majestic Wasatch Mountains. She is currently experiencing mountain-withdrawal while living in Kansas with her husband and family. She enjoys reading, writing, dancing and singing in the kitchen, and the occasional long bubble bath to relax from the everyday stress of being “Mommy.”

Website       Blog             Facebook           Twitter

I am so lucky to have awesome friends and Danyelle is amazing!  Her book just came out and I am so excited to be on her blog tour and ask her some questions!

How did you come up with the idea for this story?  
Sweet Confections was prompted by an awesome friend who is a hockey addict. She took me to my very first hockey game - and I totally loved it! That night, Graydon Green was born and his story began.

Is it due to your love of sweets (chocolate)?
I'm actually not a huge chocolate fan - but I absolutely love watching cooking shows. Especially cake challenges. I don't enjoy cooking, but I love food and watching the creative process that happens in the kitchen.

Is there anything in the story that happened in real life?
Every author adds bits and pieces of real life into their books. It may be a bit of dialogue or even a tweaked event. I have several of those in Sweet Confections. For instance, when I was in college, my sister came to visit me and took me out to dinner at a cool Japanese restaurant. I chose a seafood entree. My sister commented about how I always picked the expensive stuff when she was paying. It stuck with me for umpteen years and made it's way into a book, in a scene between Rachel and her best friend, Kristen.  =)

What is your favorite part?
Um, the whole thing! (How does an author choose just one part???)

Is there anything that you were sad to take out in editing?
There were a few additional dates between Rachel and Graydon I had to take out. But I added them to my "Date Ideas" file to possibly use in future books. 

What will be next on Indulgence Row?
Love Under Construcion is the next book in the series. This is Charlee's story as she breaks away from the construction company she's worked for since her teen years and goes out on her own to rehab the Indulgence Row houses into a charming shopping district. What Charlee doesn't know is that Peter (the boss's son) has had a long-time crush on her - and now that they are no longer co-workers, the way is free for him to pursue her . . . except for the many mishaps and bumps along the way.

Do you have any other books that you're working on/publishing?
I have a few ideas for other non-fiction books I want to work on, but right now, they are in my slush pile of to-do projects.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kira's Birthday

This week has been fun!  We celebrated Kira's 10th Birthday by making yummy pancakes for breakfast and letting her open her presents!  She was so excited about her presents that she only got one pancake.  Poor kiddo!

She brought frosted cookies for her class too!
We had her party on Saturday and she had two friends over.  We did their nails, made bracelets and made a flower bow!  It was fun, but tiring!

I finally got my Jamberry stuff!  I'm so excited!  It's pretty fun!
 The nail wraps I picked with my kit.
 Cecilia let me do her nails!
 I felt beautiful today!
And felt huge by Friday!  I wonder if he will fit into newborn sizes at all?  Lots of people don't think I'll make it to my due date!  I really hope I do!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fortune Cafe Review and Giveaway

Fortune Cafe Tour
  Fortune Cafe
The Fortune Café
a novel in three parts
MIS-FORTUNE: Emma, a waitress at The Fortune Café will do anything to avoid opening a fortune cookie. Each fortune is rumored to somehow magically come true. Being a girl grounded in reality, she doesn’t have time for that kind of nonsense. But when trying to prevent a food fight at the café, Emma accidently cracks open a fortune cookie: “Look around, love is trying to catch you.” If there is one thing that Harrison, her former best friend in high school is good at, it’s catching her unaware.  
LOVE, NOT LUCK: Lucy has always been lucky . . . until her parents meet her fiancé’s parents at a disastrous lunch at The Fortune Café, and she breaks her lucky jade necklace. Even worse, her fortune cookie reveals that “True love is for the brave, not the lucky.” How is she supposed to read that? She’s always considered it lucky how she met her fiancé. But after breaking her necklace, Lucy’s luck takes a dive. And when her fiancé dumps her, the only person she can turn to is Carter, the unluckiest guy she knows.
TAKEOUT: Stella is content in her new life of taking over her mom’s jewelry shop. No more boyfriend to worry about, and as long as she stays busy, she doesn’t have to dwell on her non-existent love life. When Evan comes into the shop with his young daughter, Stella is charmed. But she is reluctant to complicate her straightforward life, so when she reads her fortune after ordering takeout from The Fortune Café, she completely ignores it. After all, how can a fortune as vague as “Do the thing you fear and love is certain,” apply to her?

About the Authors JulieW
Julie Wright started her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written over a dozen books since then, is a Whitney Award winner, and feels she’s finally getting the hang of this writing gig. She enjoys speaking to writing groups, youth groups, and schools. She loves reading, eating writing, hiking, playing on the beach with her kids, and snuggling with her husband to watch movies. Julie’s favorite thing to do is watch her husband make dinner. She hates mayonnaise, but has a healthy respect for ice cream.
Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a sometime blogger who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies and pines after beautiful shoes.
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes historical thrillers under the pen name H.B. Moore, her latest is Finding Sheba. Under Heather B. Moore she writes romance and women’s fiction. She’s the co-author of The Newport Ladies Book Club series. Other women’s novels include Heart of the Ocean, The Fortune Café, the Aliso Creek Series, and the Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology Series.
Blog * Amazon * Twitter

My Review
I loved all three!  I love how they went together so well, but you didn't feel like you were reading the same story over and over!  In Mis-Fortune, I loved how she was trying so hard to not believe in the "magic" that was the fortune cookies!  And her boss really wanted her to have one!  It's always entertaining to read about someone fighting falling in love!  It never works out!  In Love, Not Luck, you have to feel bad for her with the terrible future in-laws and then her fiance doesn't seem that supportive either!  I thought her apartment neighbor was a great guy!  Then in Takeout, I love the "like at first glance" that seemed to happen!  She was great with his daughter!  Ex-boyfriends.  Blech!  She finally believes in her fortune and good things happen.  Either way these are great stories, I just don't want to give anything away! 

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway