Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Fourteen years ago today, Mike and I had just survived our first night as parents.  We were scared for a number of reasons.  First, what in the world were we supposed to do with this little girl...
Second, we were dealing with a sick newborn hooked up to all kinds of monitors and living her first 6 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Our little sweetness had some mysterious infection and was very jaundice.  She had a little IV line in her arm and we had to visit her in the NICU.  After a spinal tap to rule out meningitis and lots of blood draws, we still never knew what was making her blood counts so high.  The doctor so wanted to get us home by Christmas, but little one needed the IV antibiotics.  So, we spent our first Christmas as a family of three in the hospital.  Needless to say, getting our sweet girl well was all the Christmas we wanted that year.

Fast forward fourteen years and we have a healthy and beautiful young lady...
who loves her little brother and sister...
Yesterday afternoon, she opened her gifts from me and her dad and one from Bentley and JennaBeth.  Mike and I gave her an Artist Loft set...
Her brother and sister gave her a couple of sketch pads...
Cecily wanted to eat at Olive Garden, so we took her there for dinner.
Don't worry...that is a Strawberry Mango Lemonata (non-alcoholic) she is drinking!  Instead of birthday cake, she wanted to go to Menchies for yogurt.  When her little siblings began to act, well like little brothers and sisters act, she informs me, "You see!  This is why you go to yogurt places with cool people and not your family!"  Yep...she's a teenager!

Teenager or not...I love this girl so much!!!  So in honor of her fourteenth birthday, here is a list of fourteen things I love about my girl...
  1. She loves Jesus and is growing in her faith.
  2. She is beautiful.
  3. She is very talented in sketching, painting and the arts in general.
  4. She is a very big help with her little brother and sister.
  5. She is compassionate and tenderhearted to those less fortunate.
  6. She is well grounded and mature.
  7. She already has some good ideas about what she wants to do with her life.
  8. She is a loyal friend.
  9. She is ready and willing and serves in her church.
  10. She has always wanted to give to others.  (I remember one time when she was in 1st grade and had gone to Wal-Mart with me.  She had $20 of her own money and it was around Christmas time.  As we were leaving the store, she put the whole $20 in the Salvation Army bucket.  When I asked if she was sure she wanted to do that, she said, 'Yea.  Those people need it more than I do right now.'")
  11. She is very intelligent and thinks deeply at times.
  12. She is very good with money and always shops wisely and gets the most out of her money.
  13. She is creative.
  14. She puts up with me!
I love you Cecily and am so thankful and proud that I get to be your mother!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Triple Dog Dare/Truth and Dare

I love this time of year...the winding down of the old and the beginning of the new!  One of the things I look most forward to at the beginning of a new year is the opportunity to begin a new devotional/journal opportunity along with an attempt to read the Bible through again.  Since I'm a mom with three kiddos, I have also been thinking a lot about ways to help them begin the discipline of being in God's Word everyday.  I'm excited about two resources that will help me and you do just that with our boys and girls ages 9 to 12!

For girls, there is Ann-Margret Hovespian's Truth & Dare:  One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Girls.  Targeting girls ages 9 to 12, Truth & Dare encourages tween girls to discover how exciting God’s Word can be. They will see it make a difference in their daily lives and experience the blessings that come from doing it and not just hearing it. Daily challenges (dares) based on Scripture (truth) will provide opportunities for them to make their faith come alive as they learn to serve others, build character and make a difference.

Scripture will be transformed from something learned to something lived.

Jeremy V. Jones has put together a power-packed devotional book designed just for boys.  God made boys to take His truth and do something with it, to man up and change the world.  These action packed devotions for boys ages 9 to 12 are filled with godly truth and bold spiritual challenges that transform time with God into the adventure of the day.

Triple Dog Dare connects God's Word to boys' hearts and hands with real life scenarios and activities.  Each day is filled with short Scriptures, concise biblical truth and a daily dare, all challenging them to put their faith into practice.

What I appreciated most about these devotionals is that they go beyond the typical "God has a wonderful plan for your life" and how "you will discover and fulfill that when you grow up".  Although they are designed with the tween age group in mind, these devotionals help these boys and girls understand how they can know God more intimately NOW and how they can put into practice TODAY the things they learn in His Word.

I'm so thankful for Mr. Jones and Ms Hovsepian's work in these two volumes.  I think far too often we make the dangerous assumption that our kids have to be at a certain point in their lives to "really understand" the things of God.  Jones and Hovsepian have not made this assumption and they have provided parents and grandparents with two amazing ways to help their "tweenagers" tender their hearts toward God.

Thank you Audra Jennings (Media Specialist with The B&B Media Group Inc.) for providing a copy of both Truth & Dare and Triple Dog Dare for the purpose of review.

Both books can be ordered from by going HERE and HERE.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

For This Reason - A Baby

Mike and I did something unusual and a little crazy for us this past Thanksgiving.  We really hadn't planned to do any Black Friday shopping.  Most of what we wanted to do for the kids was either coming from some online deals and Target.  However...after discovering that Wal-Mart (yes, I cheated on my Wal-Mart ban!) had a bicycle for Bentley on sale for $39...well, yes...Mike and I were in line at the bikes at Wal-Mart at 10 p.m.!  We had a rather nice experience.  After all the horror stories in the news the past few years, we didn't know quite what to expect.  We had Bentley's bike and was out of Wal-Mart by 10:11!!

Then we headed over to Target and stood in a line that was wrapped around the store for ONE HOUR and FORTY FIVE minutes!!  Crazy, I know.  Anyway, as we were waiting for the store to open up at midnight, we had the opportunity to pass the time in conversation with a woman we had ran into at Wal-Mart.  In the course of our conversation the subject of government and the upcoming presidential election came up.  The discussion quickly turned to the hopelessness some feel in regards to our government, the economy, and life in general.

I commented in the midst of our conversation how thankful I was that our real hope was not in Washington or the banks.  After I made that statement, the woman's countenance changed a bit.  The look on her face kinda read, "You know...that's exactly right"!  I don't know who she was and may never see her again, but I pray that Romans 15:13 will be a transforming reality for her and you and me:
"May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  (NIV)
I pray that dear woman comes to realize, in a "wise for salvation" kind of way, where her real hope is found.  I pray you will too!  Because, there is hopelessness all over our world today.  Even in the midst of Christmas lights and parties and presents and all this time of year offers, there are some who lack hope.  This hope that can fill us with joy and peace is possible because
"When Mary His mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  Joseph her husband was a righteous man.  Because he didn't want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly.  As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you will call Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.'  Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:  Look!  A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Emmanuel.  (Emmanuel means "God with us".)"  (Matthew 1:18-23 Common English Bible


Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...


It's that time of favorite actually...CHRISTMAS!  We put our tree up Thanksgiving weekend.  I love all the decorations and lights this time of year and I like to enjoy them all for as long as possible.  The think I look forward to the most this year is getting to go back home and visit with our Alabama and Mississippi families!!!!  We miss them so much!  That visit will be all the present I'll need!

About a week ago, our neighbors next to us were decorating their yard for Christmas.  Mike came inside and told me, "You've gotta come see this!"
Our yard and the neighbors yard is always full of kids.  On this particular afternoon half of them lined up little chairs and watched him put up his decorations.
They were just too cute!  Mr. Brian had their full attention.  And they all couldn't wait for it to get dark so they could see the lights on the "choo-choo"!

Christmas parties and programs have also been in full swing!  Bentley had his Kindergarten program on December the 1st.  He was picked to be in a couple of the dances as a "marching soldier"...
I couldn't get a good picture of his handsome little face because his hat was pulled down so low.  He told us after that the drama teacher told them not to be messing with their hates during the performance, so he didn't!
Bentley is the third one from the left on the top row.  His teachers have praised him for being one to always follow the rules and stay focused on the task at hand.  Now, why can't he do that at home???

Bentley and JennaBeth had their Christmas party at church Wednesday evening while Mike and I ate dinner with our Sunday School class.  Cecily helped with the children's party.  She'll have her party with the youth from church this week.  The couple that work with our children, AC and Debbie Johnson, always do a wonderful job with their parties.  Even with increasing health problems for them both, this year was no exception!
The decorations were just so good.  Even though it was "just a children's party" it wasn't "just a children's party" to them.  They went all out making things so much fun for the kids!  That's JennaBeth (on the left) sitting at her little spot by her friend Tabitha.  Two cute little blond headed girls!
The kids had a craft.  They made candles.
The kiddos also had lots of games they played...
The Johnsons also had a friend come and share the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible...
JennaBeth loved hanging out with her little friend Tabitha.
Who knew that some of the best fun would be had while being spun around in an old office chair?

Last night our music ministry at our church presented a Christmas Sing.  Mike actually convinced Cecily to sing with him along with some help from a friend.  Here they are singing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".

What's happening around your place this Christmas season?


Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Christmas Singing

You can read the first chapter of The Christmas Singing by going HERE

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.
Her second book, When the Morning Comes, hit numerous best-sellers lists across the US, including edging into the extended list of the New York Times, coming in at number thirty-four.
Her third book, When the Soul Mends, hit the New York Times best-sellers list, coming in at number thirteen, as well as making the USA Today’s best-sellers list.
Cindy continues to write and release best-selling works of fiction, and she’s also written a nonfiction work with an Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. The book is titled Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and caped dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children.

Cindy, her husband, their three sons and two daughters-in-law reside in Georgia.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE CHRISTMAS SINGING, YOU CAN DO SO BY GOING HERE.  If you order before December 20th and use the promo code "CHRISTMAS11" at checkout, you will save 30%!!  Plus, you will get free shipping by using that same code!

Happy Reading,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Love Rekindled

When a wayward husband comes back into the lives of his wife and sons after years of separation, will they believe he has changed ... and can they forgive him? As a medical crisis forces the family members to face their fears, hurts and true desires, and the conflict develops toward a surprise resolution, the reader will feel the ebb and flow of subtle emotional tensions. Here's a relationship story with a twist - told from the man's point of view.

Candi belongs to the East Valley Authors writers group and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She has a B.A. degree in Business and works at Azusa Pacific University. She writes novels about contemporary issues from a Christian perspective that are the type of stories she wishes had been available to her as a young woman. Candi and her husband enjoy their four grown sons and their families and make their home in Southern California.

Ms Adermatt can be reached at


You can read the first chapter of Love Rekindled by visiting HERE.

Purchasing Info:

Trade Paperback
201 pgs
Available through most book outlets.


Direct from the publisher at
where it is on sale this week for $9.74

More Info at:

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Grace Effect in the NFL

A few weeks ago, I wrote a review of The Grace Effect by Larry Taunton for the folks at Thomas Nelson Publishers.  You can find that post HERE.  Reading his book was the first time I had ever heard or read anything of Mr. Taunton, until today when a facebook friend posted an article written by for USAToday addressing the treatment Tim Tebow is undergoing at the hands of some football commentators.  I read the article and I think Taunton brilliantly addresses the "anti-Tebow bias". 

You can read the article in its entirety by going HERE.  However the last portion of the column is what resonated with me the greatest:

"Jake Plummer, the latest to take pot shots at the embattled Denver quarterback, might have been speaking for anti-Tebowites everywhere when he said in an interview on a Phoenix radio station that he would like Tebow more if he would "shut up" about his faith in Jesus Christ.
And with that little comment, the cat, as they say, was out of the bag.
Plummer said what the commentators wouldn't say. Their dislike for Tim Tebow is not, as they would have us believe, about his throwing motion or his completion percentage; it's all about his open professions of faith and his goody-two shoes image. When it comes right down to it, we don't want heroes who are truly good. We want them to fail the occasional drug test or start a bar fight from time to time. It makes us feel better about ourselves. Tebow, however, doesn't make us feel better about ourselves. People like him make us feel a little convicted about the things we say and do. So we find a reason to dislike them. Or, when Tebow says that glory goes to God and the credit for a victory goes to his teammates, coaches, and family, we are suspicious. An increasingly jaded culture, we don't believe that anyone can say such things and really mean them.
So we wait.
We wait for evidence that he really isn't that good. We hope to see him kick a player on the ground, drop an F-bomb on television, or Tweet pictures of his privates. In the meantime, we always have Penn State's Jerry Sandusky to make us feel better about ourselves."

But just maybe Tim Tebow is the NFL's grace effect - the phenomenon simply defined by Mr. Taunton in his book - "that life is demonstrably better where authentic Christianity flourishes". 

I hope you will pray for Tim Tebow.  After reading this article, I am sensing a greater urgency and need to pray for him regularly.  Pray for Tim's faithfulness and continued boldness in his walk with God.  Pray that this "uncomfortableness" those in the NFL are feeling with him will be the very thing God uses to draw them to Himself.