Wednesday, July 20, 2016

{Review} The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore

The Cantaloupe Thief is the debut novel by Deb Richardson-Moore. Richardson-Moore is a former journalist from South Carolina who left the field and went to seminary. She ended up becoming a pastor at an inner city non-denominational mission church for the homeless. When one is a writer, they are told to "write what you know." She has done just that.

The protagonist of the novel, Branigan Powers, is a journalist for a small newspaper in a small southern town. She tried big city living once and didn't like it. She came back to her hometown and works for the local newspaper. She lives alone on a farm in the country with her dog, Cleo.

Her former co-worker, Liam, left the business and is now a pastor at a church with a homeless shelter attached.

The novel goes back and forth between "present day" and "ten years ago" as Branigan researches the only unsolved murder for their small town. There seems to be an element that points to the homeless population in town - the invisible population.

As Branigan delves into the mystery more and more it seems there are people out to stop her. She meets resistance and learns things are not always as they seem.

The plot twists in this novel were excellent. It kept me guessing right up until the end.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Photographic Kitty

Last summer added a cute little kitten to our family. Maggie was just over one pound when she came to us at five weeks old. It's hard to believe that she was ever that tiny...

I have no idea how much she weighs now, but I'm guessing (from the pain she inflicts when she jumps on us) that she's at least ten pounds now. But still pretty cute.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around?

Philosophical question to start off this week's Hodgepodge I see. I honestly have to say I think it's both. I think I influence my small part of the world, but I also think that my small part of the world influences me as well. 

2. July 14th is National Tape Measure Day...the device was patented on this date in 1868. When did you last use a tape measure?

Last week. Body measurements. Helps me stay on track to getting fit. 

Do you always know where to find one in your house?

Yes, in my bathroom. I have a regular one in my bedside table as well. So I will know where to find one when I need it.

Tell us one way in which you feel blessed 'beyond measure'.

With my family. Our home. Our life. Very blessed. 

3.The Plaza Hotel (Eloise), The Land of Oz (The Wizard of Oz), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), or Never Never Land (Peter Pan)...which storybook land (on this list!) would you most like to visit and why?

Narnia. Hands down! I love that whole series of books and if there was a chance to meet Aslan, I would definitely take it. 

4. Where and when do you get your best ideas?

Whenever I can't write them down. While driving, showering, or getting ready to sleep. Those are my best thinking times. 

5. So what have you been watching on TV this summer? Anything good?

My hubby and I are watching How I Met Your Mother via Netflix. We started the series years ago but my hubby finished it without me one day when he was sick. So we started it over and we're now up to where we stopped the first time. I never did get to see who the mom was!

6. 'Don't swim for an hour after you eat', 'Dog days of summer', 'Knee high by the Fourth of July'...choose a summer saying from the list or share one of your own, then tell us what image or memory comes to mind when you hear it spoken.

"Don't swim for an hour after you eat." Reminds me of the summers I spent with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle when I was small. My aunt and uncle had a pool so I remember this being enforced. And my grandparents lived near the water so again, enforced. I have wonderful memories of spending weeks every summer from the time I was very small (about age 2) until about age 9-10 with them. 

7. In a single sentence, sum up one life lesson you've learned.

This too shall pass. 

No matter what is going on in your life at the moment, better days are coming. It may seem like the worse continues on forever, but it doesn't. Things always get better. Maybe not in the way we would hope, but they do.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm finding it very hard to believe that July is here and almost half-over. My middle son went on his first mission trip last month to New York (a work trip to help those in need). My younger son goes to camp in a couple of weeks. And my oldest son leaves for college in just about a month. Life is passing by far too fast for my liking lately. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ready, Aim, Fire!

A few days so far this summer, I've had an extra boy or two for the day. I've been trying to find something to keep them all occupied outside or away from video/TV as much as I can. Last week I found these at a local box store...

I was a bit leery when I first saw these but a local friend had shared their experience with them on Facebook so I opted to give it a try. They are a bit pricey but an occasional fun event I think. 

We had a few that didn't inflate and a couple with holes right off the bat, but overall the boys had a good lot to work with. We had quite a few that bounced right off the kids though (and hurt!) before breaking on the ground. And the color ones didn't mark the clothes much as all so I don't think that will be a concern for most. 
Filling them up. 

Getting ready to go!

Friday, July 8, 2016

{Review} The Life We Never Expected by Andrew & Rachel Wilson

The Life We Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson gives insight in to what it's like to be the parents of special needs children. They have three children and their two oldest have a regressive form of autism. 

The book is a very short read but full of wonderful insight - even for those without children with severe special needs or special needs at all. There are five "cycles" to the book. Each cycle includes a chapter on "weeping," "worshiping," "waiting," "witnessing," and "breathe."  

I would encourage you to read Andrew's explanation of what it is like to find out your child has special needs. You can read it on his blog. This is an excerpt from the book itself. 

When I began reading the book, in order to write this review, I wasn't expecting to take away much. I don't have children with special needs - at least not as severe as what the Wilson family experiences on a daily basis. While I do have a son on the autistic spectrum, most people who meet him would never know this. And if you don't know which son I'm talking about, I'm not going to share that here. That just proves the point I'm making.

However, I soon found myself grabbing a pen so I could start to underline all the fantastic quotes such as this one:

In God's global mission, the role of 
extraordinary people doing exceptional things
is probably far smaller than we imagine - 
and the role of ordinary people doing 
everyday things is certainly far greater
than we imagine. (pg. 48)

I highly recommend this book to anyone and especially to anyone who has a child with autism or other special needs. The Wilson's share a wonderful list of resources at the end of the book as well. 


I enjoyed the book so much that I'm going to do a giveaway.  I will pick one random winner to receive a copy of The Life We Never Expected. Just leave a comment either here on the blog or on a Facebook post of this review. I will pick a winner next Friday, July 15th.

Fine Print:
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.