This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Thursday, June 14, 2007

See Mom Run.

(Cue the circus music--calliope and all...)
Watch the amazing mom!! See her juggle!!!
Watch her clown around!!

See her build a house of cards...

(The needle scratches off the record somewhere around here...leaving some ominous rumblings.)

And watch it all come tumbling down!!!

Joyful Days will be taking a bit of time to break and recoup a little. Please excuse the debris, watch your step, and check back next week!!

For all of you entered in the latest book contest this means it will be extended for a few days. The winner will be announced Monday, June 18th. Thanks for your patience.

I will be meditating on this and thought I would share.

Matthew 7:24-29

24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Many blessings and Prayers!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Time Travel Tuesday--Vacation Edition

This week for Annie's Time Travel Tuesday we are taking a trip back to...a favorite trip!! I was inspired to suggest this because Annie's daughter is traveling this week and to the location that brings back some wonderful memories for me--Canada!

Right after my graduation my seven members of my French class took a trip to Canada, chaperoned by my French teacher and several of her friends--at least one of whom was another teacher. If my (old) memory serves me, there was a chaperone for each student. Pretty fair ratio, there. Our supposed intent was to flex our extensive French vocabulary. I had taken three years and most of the other girls had at least two years of French. (I'm the one in the back on the far left.)

This trip provided many firsts. My first plane travel, my first time east of the Mississippi, my first (and only) trip out of the country. Lots of memories.

We flew to Toronto. We shopped until we dropped. We ate wonderful food and saw the sights, including the CN Tower. I truly don't know how much it has changed but I marveled at what a clean, attractive and seemingly safe city Toronto was. I actually have Canadian friends who lived there who say it is wonderful--but big.

We next took a train ride to Quebec, mostly to see Old Quebec. The train ride was probably my favorite method of travel. And Old Quebec, it was quaint and charming, but very, very, decidedly French.

Now we were an older group and pretty responsible, but somehow our chaperones were convinced to let us take a bus back to the hotel--alone. Somehow we got on the wrong bus. And we were the only ones on the bus. And our bus driver (I'm sure overhearing our conversations) had NO intention of speaking English to us--although I remain positive his English was far superior to my French. When he (and we) figured out we were not going where we wanted to go, we tried to ask him how to get to where we needed. He was very kind. Very patient. But... Refused. To. Speak. English. And I got nominated to do the talking. He got through to me that since we were there to learn the language, as well as see the sights, this was going to be Crash Course Francais 101. Somehow we got directions and the bus number we needed, and changes to the right bus. And arrived finally at the hotel. Whew...I don't know that I planned on exercising my French THAT much!

My favorite place in Quebec, in the old city was Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. Several of our group attended Mass there on Sunday morning and it was a testimony to the fact that Mass is Mass and we could follow along quite well. Our French was at least that good. What a blessing for our trip.

We took a day trip, north, from there to St. Anne de Beaupre a beautiful shrine.
Then off to Montreal and another day trip, via bus, to Niagara Falls. I don't know how anyone can see a wonder like this and not be stirred. Creation proclaims our Father. The power and beauty there were inspiring.
We spent a couple days in Montreal. Two places that I was struck by were Notre Dame de Montreal Basilica, a beautiful cathedreal.
And L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal which includes a huge Stations of the Cross that goes up a steep hillside.
Canada was full of beautiful old and inspiring architecture. It was a culture shock without leaving the continent and left me with lovely memories. Visit Annie at My Life as Annie... to find more Tuesday Time Travelers. Thanks Annie!!

Menu Plan Monday

"On the road again...just can't wait to get on the road again... " Everybody sing! Okay...well, it is a bit early for a sing-along and Willie isn't everybody's favorite, so let's move on.

The boys and I will be driving five days a week again. I know you moms who work out of the home everyday think I am a wimp--but humor me. It is hard to get out the door and I don't know how y'all do it.

So a bumped up schedule definitely calls for a menu plan. Here's what I am aiming for:

Monday--Stir fry chicken and rice and veggies
Tuesday--Grilled turkey burgers, broccoli
Wednesday--Beef roast, potatoes and carrots
Friday--Something grilled (based on what's on sale), sauteed mushrooms & onions, corn on the cob, salad, fresh bread
For some really wonderful menus visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out all the Menu Plan Monday participants.

There is another book up for grabs this week, courtesy of Glass Road Public Relations. Check here for details.

Book Giveaway--The Divine Appointment

Glass Road Publishing has offered another book for giveaway. This definitely has an interesting slant. All you need to do to be considered to win this book is leave a comment in this post I will draw a winner's name Friday, June 15th. That's it!!! I am waiting to see the copy of this book. Sounds like a good read.

New Legal Thriller Mirrors High Court Drama

In The Divine Appointment, Supreme Court Justice Martha Robinson has died, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for conservative president, Richard Wallace, to impact the direction of the highest court in the land for years to come. The Supreme Court has the power to interpret the Constitution, and in the process, to shape the nation. Not everyone is thrilled with the president's nominee, however. And some will stop at nothing, including murder, to prevent his confirmation by the Senate.

Interview with the Author:
(Courtesy of Glass Road Publishing)

1. Who is the target audience for The Divine Appointment?

[Jerome Teel] The audience is wide and I believe The Divine Appointment can reach different segments of the Christian community. Specifically, though, I think the target audience is politically active Christians such as members of Christian Alliance organizations, Right to Life Organizations, American Family Association, etc.

2. How do you describe your genre for this book?

[Jerome Teel] Christian fiction political thriller.

3. Where/How did you birth the idea for this book? How did it come about?

[Jerome Teel] The idea for this book was two-fold. First I think that Roe v. Wade was a very bad decision and it should be reversed. Secondly, the appointment and confirmation processes for Justice Roberts and Justice Alito were very intriguing and I wondered what it would be like if there was a true conservative, Christian jurist going through that process who would openly say that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. I found that concept very intriguing and turned it into a storyline.

4. What sort of research was involved to make The Divine Appointment sound authentic/realistic?

[Jerome Teel] I researched the Washington D.C. geography to make sure I had names of buildings and streets accurate. Google Earth is an amazing tool. The legal aspects of the book and the courtroom scenes come from my many years of experience as an attorney.

5. What takeaway points do you hope the reader pulls from this book?

[Jerome Teel] I hope that readers will realize that it is important for Christians to be part of the political process.

6. Is The Divine Appointment part of a series?

[Jerome Teel] It is not designed as a series yet. However, like The Election there could be follow-up books that would track some of the characters.

7. How do you deal with your other obligations (job, family, church, etc.) when it's crunch time near deadlines?[Jerome Teel] This is one of my most difficult tasks. I'm a partner in a law firm and that is a full-time job. Part of my practice is that I represent the local county government, which at times is very consuming. Currently I am helping coach three separate baseball teams. I am the incoming board president for a local charity. I teach a high school boys' Sunday School. And our family life is extremely busy. As you can see, there are very few unoccupied minutes in my life. When I'm working on a writing project my writing time is very late at night--typically from 10:00 p.m. to about 1:00 a.m. When a deadline is rapidly approaching I have to take time away from the office and stay at home until I'm able to get the project completed.

8. Do you plan character development and then let them run with the story, or do you plot the story in advance?[Jerome Teel] I don't know how unique my writing style is but I cannot write from an outline. The first thing that happens is that I see the beginning of a story and the end of the story, and then I begin to write. I outline as I go along and I keep a timeline. The characters begin to take on lives of their own and lead me through the story. When I get to about 30,000 words I begin to fully see the story unfold. It is at that point that I make a few notes about the direction of the book and it is all I can do to write fast enough to complete the manuscript.

9. Do you have an organized office and set times to write, or do you find yourself writing at unusual times or places?[Jerome Teel] I write at unusual times--typically very late at night. But the place is always the same. I have a study in my house and I do all of my writing there.

Thanks, Jerome, for giving us a glimpse at your life as a writer, and why you wrote The Divine Appointment.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

I got very little of what I had planned done this week. I am so grateful for a husband who is very tolerant of my flaky and distractible ways. It really is not a joke when I say I am a haphazard person—something I need to work on.

My dear friend turned 30 this week. Her very devious husband planned a surprise party for her at Chuck-E-Cheeses. Oh. My. Goodness. I have never been to Chuck-E-Cheeses before. I will be getting even with him, because of course I took my children.

I have to tell you about my friend a little—it is her I am very grateful for (not for the visit to the rat whose home has many games). As I said she turned 30. We have known each other for at least 15 of those 30 years. I gave her riding lessons at one point; she gave me much better riding lessons at another point. She often drove a group of girls to visit me after I moved away. (I could never understand how their parents let them get in a car and drive and stay with me—but I was so blessed they did. These young women have grown and it has been inspiring to see that.) She visited me within days of my Roo being born—she lived almost six hours away. She stayed in touch with me when many of my friends allowed distance to limit our relationships to a few talks and cards a year. She is one of my children’s very favorite people. And she married a man who quickly became one of my children’s other favorite people. She is someone I can say almost anything to. God has used her in my life and I am so grateful she is my friend.

I am grateful that my children were well behaved at Chuck-E-Cheeses. They received compliments from some people whose opinion I value. They were good boys. They were wired when they left but they were good boys.

I am grateful for the gentleman who fit my son for jazz shoes. I must have had a stressed look on my face because he said, “Oh, Mom!! This is easy. No problem. A simple thing.” And it was. It was the easiest shoe fitting I have ever seen. He was knowledgeable and quick and polite and positive. Customer service at its finest. I’ve heard wonderful things about him before—a good reputation is priceless.

Oh…sigh…I am grateful that tomorrow morning I will start rolling the boys out of bed no later than 7 a.m. That means rolling me out of bed at least by 5:30. We are an eclectic and relaxed (emphasis on relaxed) homeschool family. I am a night-owl by nature, as are my children. But I am grateful because the boys will be able to participate in something they love on a very intense basis for four weeks. The early hours (for us) and the drive involved will be worth it.

Grains of Gratitude is a meme for Sundays to look both backwards and forwards with gratefulness. Don’t hesitate to join! It was started out by Christine at Brady’s Bunch. She has a beautiful new blog design this week. Take a peek.

And We have a Winner!!

Thanks to all who participated in the book giveaway. Five great books are going to Sheryl at Taking the Challenge. Sheryl if you can e-mail me I will be sending those books to you.

And if anyone is interested I will be listing a new book for giveaway tomorrow morning. It looks like it will be a really good read. I will draw a winner on Friday morning for that. Plenty of time to play.

Thanks to Glass Road Public Relations for the books to giveaway!!