Friday, June 26, 2015

A Sunflower and a Flower Fly

Swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)
hee-lee-AN-thus an-gus-tih-FOE-lee-us
: : :
Usually these sunflowers bloom later in the summer, but I have a few that have popped up early this year. 
With temperatures hovering near 100*F every day, I think they think it is August!
The Flower Fly is happily sunning himself, too. He's actually a teensy tiny bee with 
yellow and black stripes.
We call them sweat bees around these parts because they like to sting you when you're 
working out in the garden and sweating. 
If you're not sweating, they don't sting you. 
Needless to say, I don't get stung. 

What's in your flower garden right now? 
Sweat bees?
 Anything Interesting?

~Happy Gardening~

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You...

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth Vogt
Releases JUNE 30th!!!

Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?

Preorder Now:
When you order from Deeper Shopping, I make a small commission on the sale of the book.

Barnes & Noble
Christian Book Distributors

~Happy Reading~

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Nearly Perfect Plant

I've been a bit absent from blogging as I took a trip to FL last weekend to spend some time celebrating the upcoming arrival of a new 'great' niece. There was lots of food, fun and fellowship accompanied by much laughter, and a wee bit of stepping in the big Atlantic Ocean at sunset.

When I came home, my husband and son had put this beautiful fountain in the front yard.

 One of the plants I will be transplanting into the garden area around the fountain is Sedum, so I thought I would share a picture of some I took a photo of last year.


Part Sun, Sun

Under 6 inches to 3 feet

6 inches or several feet wide, depending on variety

Flower Color:
Orange, Pink, Red, White
Foliage Color:
Blue/Green, Chartreuse/Gold, Gray/Silver, Purple/Burgundy
Seasonal Features:
Colorful Fall Foliage, Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom, Winter Interest
Problem Solvers:
Drought Tolerant, Ground cover, Slope/Erosion Control
Special Features:
Attracts Birds, Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance

: : :

My Sedums are numerous and grow both in direct sun and partial sun. They reach at least 2' tall or higher and have white flowers when they bloom. 

Sedum are truly one of the easiest and most prolific perennials in my yard. 

This type of plant makes me happy. :)

What type of plant in your yard is one of your favorites?

Happy Gardening, Y'all!   

Sharing with

The Enchanting Rose

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Elizabethd won a Kindle copy of The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels!

Thanks to each of you who came by and entered the giveaway.

~Happy Reading~

Review ~ Capture the Moment by Sarah Wilkerson

About the Book
The premier online community for female photographers, Clickin Moms presents a photography guide featuring big, bold images coupled with short, focused, prescriptive tips for translating everyday life into stunning works of art.

Clickin Moms is the photography industry's largest social network of female photographers, boasting a booming members-only community of more than 16,000 professional photographers, aspiring professionals, and women passionate about capturing their families' everyday lives. This guide captures the spirit of the community by featuring a compilation of stunning member-contributed images paired with photography tips progressing from elementary to advanced, leaving no skill level unserved. By letting the images dominate and keeping the teaching points short and direct, the book builds on the highly visual appeal that has made the online community so popular. Covering all the bases, including equipment, composition, posing, low light, natural light, black and white, still life, and lifestyle photography, the example shots feature plenty of inspiration for photographing children as well as other beautiful everyday moments. Assignments for experimenting with lighting and shooting locations round out the chapters, providing every photographer with both the inspiration and skills she needs to capture life's beautiful moments as frame-worthy photographic art.

My Thoughts

As a photography enthusiast, I was hoping to get my hands on something that would be simple yet technical, and help me along in my photography journey. Capture the Moment has done that. It’s filled with beautiful and inspiring images. From a purely artistic stand point ─ and as a lover of all things scrapbooking ─ I thoroughly enjoyed turning the pages and discovering precious moments in a child’s life captured in time. 

Although the book is easy to read, I took my time absorbing each section and planned on which technique I was going to try and emulate. I ended up choosing a few favorite images and then took my camera outside to see what I could capture.

I’m more interested in rural photography than in people, but I do have four pretty adorable grand children that I tried a few techniques on. My daughter even asked me to take pictures of my granddaughter’s first birthday two weeks ago. She and I both are pretty pleased with some of the images.

Aside from the hand movement on the right, I love this one!

Overall, this is a lovely coffee table book but not an in-depth instruction manual on how to photograph subjects. It gave me some ideas that stirred my creative juices, helping me to step out of my ‘rural’ comfort zone and into the people zone. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.    

About the Author

SARAH WILKERSON is CEO of Clickin Moms, which was founded by professional photographer Kendra Okolita in March 2008 and has grown to become the photography industry’s largest female-photographer social network. Wilkerson, a graduate of Duke University and the University of Texas School of Law, lives with her husband, three sons, and a daughter. Wilkerson teaches advanced courses on photography composition and creativity.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A few photos from BMT Grad Weekend

 I thought I would post a few photos from the weekend we went to San Antonio to see our son graduate from Basic Military Training. We had a great trip for our first time to Texas! It wasn't anything like I imagined. It was even better!

Especially when I got that first hug after 8 1/2 long weeks of very little communication! Trust me. It is not like when a child goes off to college. I have experienced that and there is no comparison.

Hugging my Airman for the first time was truly the most emotional moment the entire weekend.

 I've had many hugs in the past 20 years and felt these arms embrace me but to know that he has now become an American Airman, whew! It is overwhelming.

On Thursday and Sunday, the new Airman have base liberty only, so we walked around and looked at all the cool memorials they have on base. 

 This one is dedicated to the Military Working Dogs, canine heroes in our Armed Forces!

My favorite military suspense author, Ronie Kendig, and her family adopted a retired MWD who just happens to be a
gorgeous Belgian Malinois. If you haven't read her books, you are missing out!

These were all taken back in April and hopefully I will get around to sharing more photos over time.
Our Airman has been in Tech School for 7 weeks now. Every text and phone call telling me what a great life he is living makes my heart happy. He loves the USAF!

This is one of my favorites ─ my son stepping into his new life as an American Airman.


God Bless the USA!

Sharing with
The Enchanting Rose

Sunday, June 7, 2015

{Sunday} Morning Worship & Praise - Stormy Weather

Good morning, Friends!
After almost 50 days without rain, we have finally gotten into the afternoon thunderstorm pattern. A few have been accompanied by some serious looking clouds. 

 I took this one with my cell phone on zoom (hence the graininess) as I was in a hurry to get back inside. Despite the fact that it looked like a Tornado was forming, it was a false alarm.

But seeing these storm clouds made me think about the storms in life and what they mean. I found this excellent article by J Vernon McGee on and thought I would share.

Articles By Thru the Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee photoWeathering the Storms

 Dr. J. Vernon McGee

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. (1 Thessalonians 3:3,4)

Here is a statement that is a little hard for any of us to swallow. Paul says that we should not be disturbed by "these afflictions," that is, pressures and tensions. Then he makes the amazing statement that "we are appointed thereunto." We know that we are going to go through storms. They will be temporary, but we cannot escape them. We are going to have trouble down here; the Word of God makes that very clear. Paul wants the Thessalonians to stand for the Lord in the midst of afflictions.

There are other passages of Scripture that teach this same truth. The Lord Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Tribulation is the trouble that all of us are going to have. There is no way around it. Yet the Lord Himself tells us to be of good cheer even in the midst of trouble.

If you are a believer, you are not going to escape trouble. To accept Christ does not mean to take out an insurance policy against suffering. The fact of the matter is that you will have trouble after you become a child of God, even if you haven't had any trouble before. He has never promised that we would miss the storm, but we will go through all the storms of life. What He does say very definitely and dogmatically is that He will go with us through the storms and that we will reach the harbor. Any boat that He is in will not go to the bottom of the Sea of Galilee but will reach the other side. You and I are in the process of going to the other side.

The time to be concerned is when there is no cloud in the sky, no ripple on the sea, and everything is smooth and nice. Then you might question your salvation. But if you are experiencing trouble down here, if the pressures and tensions of life are on you, then that is a sign that you are a child of God. This is the way God teaches us to rely on Him.

I remember hearing about a congregation where the pastor asked for some favorite verses of Scripture. One man got up and said his favorite verse was, "And it came to pass." He sat down, and everyone looked puzzled. The pastor asked him how in the world that could be his favorite passage. He answered, "When I get in trouble, I turn to where it says, 'It came to pass,' and I know my troubles came to pass. They didn't come to stay." God will bring us through the storms. We will finally be rid of all our troubles. How wonderful that is.

—From Edited Messages on 1 Thessalonians by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

If you've followed my blog for long you know I've faced some storms, the worst being the loss of my daughter, Amy, three years ago. All I can say, over and over, is that without Jesus, I could not  weather that soul damaging tornado. One day, I will be rid of that storm because this too shall pass

And then I found this beautiful song by Rich Mullins, Bound To Come Some Trouble. I had not heard this one before but it resonates in my heart and encourages me in my daily walk with Jesus! 

Hold fast, my friends! Even though we are not promised a road without strife or tribulation, we are promised that Jesus sees our heart ache and his precious Holy Spirit will provide us comfort.

~Have a blessed Sabbath~

Saturday, June 6, 2015


 You won the Kindle copy of Can't Buy Me Love by Beth Vogt!

I've already emailed Patty and sent her the gift certificate.

Thanks so much to each of you who came by and entered the giveaway. 

I'll let you in on a little secret...

Can't Buy Me Love is ONLY .99 for a Kindle copy!!!

So you can enjoy this jump start to the Destination Weddings series, too. :)

~Happy Reading~

Friday, June 5, 2015

Giveaway ~ One Kindle copy of The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels

A decade after surviving a brutal attack, a mercantile owner’s daughter begins her life anew in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A gifted craftsman wishes to leave the lumber camp and seeks employment at her new store. When his presence dredges up memories she wishes to suppress, the proprietress must learn to face her past and open her heart. When complications arise, will they overcome adversity in time for The Lumberjack's Ball?

I'm giving away a Kindle copy of The Lumberjacks' Ball.

Leave a comment below to be entered.

Be sure and leave your email address, too!

Ends on June 9 and winner will be announced on June 10.

~Have a blessed week~

Monday, June 1, 2015

Review & Giveaway ~ Can't Buy Me Love (eNovella) by Beth Vogt

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:14

Can't Buy Me Love eNovella
Beth Vogt has a magical touch when it comes to filling the pages with entertaining characters and refreshing dialogue. Once I started this novella I couldn’t put it down. Can’t Buy Me Love is a fast-paced contemporary romance that gives the reader a small glimpse into the many complications that can arise when planning a wedding.

A modern day bride heap loads of pressure on herself when she spends one too many hours on Pinterest, gazing adoringly at ‘dream’ wedding ideas. Bellamy begins to doubt herself and her suitability to be Reid Stanton’s wife. After all, she’s just a dog groomer and he’s part of the social elite.

How can he really love her?

But he does, and oh boy, is he romantic!

Can’t Buy Me Love kicks off the new series and in July we get a full novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Destination Wedding #1). Can’t wait!!!

 I'm giving away a Kindle copy of Can't Buy Me Love. 

It's ONLY available as an e-novella!

Leave a comment below to be entered.

Be sure and leave your email address, too!

Ends on June 5 and winner will be announced on June 6.

~Have a blessed week~