Thursday, January 28, 2010

Suzanne Woods Fisher BOOK TOUR

When Amy from litFUSE Agency contacted me and asked if I would do a review of a new book written by Suzanne Wood Fisher, I had literally just finished My Sister's Keeper. I thought, sure I will read the book you send me, but there's no way it will draw me in like MSK did. A couple days later, I received The Choice and started to read... ...and I read, ...and I read! Well, I have been wrong before, I know hard to believe, but WOW! Suzanne Woods Fisher hits this one out of the park! As a writer with ancestry that reaches into the mysteries of the Anabaptist culture, Fisher took details of Amish culture and an AMAZING plot and took me on a roller coaster of heart break and love....and back dooooown the other side when I least expected it! The story of Carrie Weaver takes place where the Amish culture is rooted the deepest, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Oddly enough, I doubt anyone at litFUSE knew that I LIVE IN LANCASTER COUNTY! I grew up with Amish buggies holding up traffic, watching barefooted grade-schoolers cracking the whips on the back end of the workhorses as they learned to plow the fields and being VERY curious about those wild teen ones that were testing the waters with the Amish ritual of Rumspringa. Pennsylvania Dutch-speak is sprinkled throughout the text as Carrie Weaver plans to leave the Amish Culture and run away with Solomon Reihl, the newest Lancaster Barnstormer's pitcher. Her father has other plans. Plans of Carrie marrying Daniel Miller, an Amishman who recently relocated to Pennsylvania...but no one will tell her why he needed to leave Ohio. Through many unexpected twists and turns, Carrie stays true to her heart ...almost... but then finds herself faced with a choice she never thought she'd have to make. How will she know if she has made the right one. The descriptions of the characters is so well done, they continue to live in my brain...and on a side note, the way she describes the character of Daniel...he can live in my mind as long as he wishes! This book unlocks the sweet simplicity of the Amish Culture with an underlying message that it is never too late to find your way back to God. It is a testimony to turning your weaknesses into strengths, loving until it hurts and living your life to the fullest. So, my recommendation? As Carrie Weaver would say, "Alles hat seine Zeit!" (There is a time for everything) And THIS IS THE TIME for you to snag up this book and dive right in! You won't regret it. Suzanne Woods Fisher's 2nd book in the Lancaster County Secrets Series, THE WAITING, is coming out October 2010! I CAN'T WAIT!

If you want to read other blogger's take on this amazing book, CLICK HERE for the blog tour.

If you would like to win a signed copy of The Choice, tweet this:

Psst... pass it on! Join @suzannewfisher for a Book Bomb & Author Talk! Details here #thechoice


Monday, January 25, 2010

A day in the Ode to Mommies

I was peeking through my photo files instead of writing or going to bed at a decent time and I compiled an "Ode to Mommies!" Can't you just hear your response to the following photos? Leave your OWN comments/responses and add to the fun!
"This is your NEW time out area - stay put in the positions I have assigned you- don't move! I DON'T CARE IF YOU ARE SLIDING, CRAMPING OR YOUR BUTT HURTS!! I SAID DON'T MOVE!"
"Replace the roll? Oh no, don't's way easier to find the end from a mass of cavorting toilet paper rolls strewn on the floor!"
"You can't have the hairy lollipop until you finish your vegetables!"
"Non-toxic? Please be non-toxic! Please let green poop be the biggest side effect of this art project!"
"Where do you get this dramatic behavior? Knock it off!"
"Of course you can play with the phone, swim goggles, Daddy's favorite hat and a spoon ON the counter! Would you like to make a playdate of it? I bet little Johnny would like to swing from the ceiling fan!"
"Honey, can you bring all the RAW VEGGIES into the living room? I want to make a salad for dinner!"
"Non-toxic? Please be non-toxic! Please let purple poop be the biggest side effect of this art project!"
"And how is this cleaning up? And where are your pants? WHY IS THE BIKE IN THE HOUSE?!"
"You need to get out of your sister's clothing right now! NOW! NO MORE PINK FOR YOU!"


Have you ever had one of those days? Post some pics and let us see!

The more the merrier! Misery loves company!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Valentine's Day Coloring Page...

When I get the time, I like to provide you all with things to help make your life as "Mom" easier! So, here you are with a coloring page for the Valentine's Day party you may be planning with the other homeroom mom! Have fun!

(I have some fun stuff to tell you all but not the time to do it right now - super news coming soon!)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wii and Coffee...I thought it was a good mix!

So, I kept myself up later than I should have last night...I was a drawing and painting fool! It was awesome! My iPod, my watercolors and ME! The whole rest of the house was sleeping! Ahhhhh...perfection! Oh yeah...and I watched a few FRIENDS episodes on YouTube...which is why I said "perfection"! LOL!

So, this morning a little person, one just tall enough for his chin to hit the top edge of my mattress runs into my room and says, "Ma! Ma! Dare is sumbuddy sweepin' on da table. Come on, yook! Sumbuddy sweepin' dare!"

OK, so if you are in a deep sleep and someone squeals that in your ear...are you a little freaked out? Well, as I follow his skipping body down the hall and to the steps, I am wiping sleep out of my eyes and thinking...What the heck am I going to do if he is serious? What if 'sumbuddy' broke in and (for some ridiculous reason) fell asleep on our kitchen table? Even as I was thinking it, I knew what a FREAK that made even entertain the thought...but I did.

"DARE! DARE him is! Yook!"

I squint. I 'yook.' I try to look muscular, in case this sleeping intruder is bigger than me. You know, I go into protective Mama Bear mode.

"My shwoggie! Him is on da table!"

His froggy. The %$#%**&%* plastic frog I bought him at Michael's last night! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

"Yes, bud, there is your froggy. Is he awake?"

(mumble, mumble)

"Maa, you pway Wii wit me?"

"Baby, just let mommy fill her veins with something that will make me happy to be playing Wii with you get some coffee first.

I galumph over to the coffee maker as the sound of a way-too-awake Mario and Luigi race around my living room.

Finally, I sit on the couch and we start a two player race. He likes to do the battles, which means there are like 429 games in a row. I blink my eyes, sip my drug, and prepare to KICK HIS BUTT!

In between races we high-five and giggle. This is sweet. We do it every morning. And by the second race (thanks to my coffee), I am totally into it - we have a blast!

This morning we were 3 games in and I couldn't tell you who was winning because every time I get ahead of him, we pauses the game and we trade steering technically HE is kicking MY butt!

In between the 37th and 38th race (I am exaggerating) I lay my steering wheel in my lap and reach down for my coffee that was sitting at my feet. He peeps over at me as I put my cup to my lips and start to sip....

...some crazed lunatic entered his body (maybe it was that growling spiky turtle thing that he chooses as his character to drive his race car) and he, with all the force capable of being in a 4-year old body, he punches me. Not in my arm but IN MY COFFEE CUP! And it's a KO!

The angle in which his little fist struck the mug sends scalding coffee UP MY NOSE, all over my face, on my PJs (that I was hoping to keep clean so I could justify wearing them to the bus stop in 28 seconds when his bus rounds the bend), all over the leather couch, the off-white get the picture.

I have to tell you...12 seconds later I was giggling.

Not because I had finally lost my mind. Not because I was dreaming of the glorious free time I would have while he is duck taped to the wall (DO NOT EMAIL ME! I AM JUST KIDDING!).

I giggled, with coffee dripping from my nose and my chin, because the look in his eyes as he realized what his body had done, apparently without the approval of his brain, was priceless!

He did the 'eyeballs put of the head' gawk and then took off like a shot! His little body zipped in a mini-human blur out of the living room, in and out of the kitchen, through the baby gate that he broke (busted a rung off of so he could fit through) a couple months ago, up the stairs, into his room and slammed the door! SLAM!

The coffee cleaned up without a problem. And I found out that SNORTING coffee isn't all that bad and actually wakes you up more than drinking it.

He bravely walked down the steps and sulked into the kitchen, tail between his legs, and said, "Sowwy, Mommy. You pway Wii wit me?"

We had 4.6 seconds to get to the bus Wii...but time for

a big snuggle for saying "Sorry"

a "Please don't do that again."

and a smile as he waved from the bus window.

Lesson learned? DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!


Friday, January 8, 2010

My firsts...

Found this on someone's blog but they didn't tag anyone so I took it...thought it would be fun. I didn't read all of the things FIRST that are supposed to be firsts so this could be interesting. We'll see if I hit "Publish" at the end...haha.

Here goes..... 1. Who was your FIRST prom date? Scott Risbon, my best friend's brother - I know, I know, that crosses the line in that "don't date the brother" rule but we weren't dating, just good friends without dates to our Junior Prom.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? Um, no. That's a weird thought.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? Some kind of whiskey, I think. I was pretty naive and in high school went to my 1st upperclassman's party. When I walked in, one of his friends handed me a cup. I was 16 and still thinking they served punch at parties so I said, "thanks" and took a huge gulp. Never had punch light my lungs on fire! I played it cool and handed the cup back. Blech.

4. What was your FIRST job? Technically, babysitting. First job I had outside of other people's homes was at our local mall in the food court. The place was called Coney Island - we served hot dogs and cheeseburgers. I even had to scrub the white slime off of the hot dogs before putting them on the grill. NO LIE! Maybe that's why I refuse to feed my kids the foul tubular meat. Double Blech!

5. What was your FIRST car? Sniffle, sniffle. Her name was "Betty" (as in Boop)...she was a beauty. My beloved Rangoon Red '65 Mustang. My sweet daddy pimped my ride and turned a banged up white 'Stang into a very sweet ride! Happy 16th to me!! But, sadly, she got old and unreliable so for safety's sake we sold her down the river. So sad. It was kind of funny though, at one point there was a crossed wire or something and when I made left hand turns the headlights turned off or she stalled. So, for months, I drove way out of my way to get to my destinations by only turning right. I tried to deal with it as long as I could before telling my dad. But after almost getting T-boned a couple times, I had to give in and tell him...I still have pictures of her. I think I loved her more than my first boyfriend!

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? That would be "Goose," one of the 3 Michel(l)e's in my BFF Bunch! Love ya, friend!

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? The 4 year old screaming in my face that he wanted to play in the snow before breakfast! He didn't get my sarcasm when I said, "Then go ahead." I dashed out of bed when I heard the door open and just KNEW he was in boots and dinosaur jammies!

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Mrs. Komez...she was very pregnant and she felt it necessary to discuss her discomforts with the class, usually at story time. The last thing a 6 year old wants to think about is that her fat teacher has tremendous gas due to her innards being shoved up to her neck.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? I was 3 months old and I flew from PA to LA where I lived for the next 2 years. My first words were said sweetly with a lo-o-o-ong southern drawl. Mama = "Mow-mah" Michelle = "Mee-shayl" To this day, if I meet a southerner, I have a hard time staving off the twang.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them? Melissa, Melissa, Melissa. We met when we were four, went K-12 together, then different universities, were in each other's weddings, lived in different states and now live a mile from one another. We talk sometimes daily and see each other a couple times a month. To this day (35 years later) she is one of my dearest friends. She even held an intervention for me once. Drove 3 hours to Penn State to discuss my choice of boyfriend. (Not my hubby. His roommate)

11. What was your FIRST sport played? Does kickball count? The swings at recess? Not much of an athlete. Really don't enjoy dodging, chasing, kicking, hitting or tackling things. Would much rather sit on the sidelines and yell. Cheerleading was my gig in high school.

12. Where was your FIRST sleep over? Probably the Drumeler's house. At about 3am I got up to secretly call my mom to come get me. But I didn't tell Mrs. Drumeler, or my friend for that matter, so they were all a little freaked out when someone was ringing the doorbell in the wee hours of the morning. I did this a couple more times before we took a sleep-over hiatus.

13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? The squealing dinosaur-boot kid.

14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? My Aunt Cathy's in 1973. I was 3. I wore a long gauzy baby blue dress with a very floppy, wide brim hat...with flowers of course. Very 70's.

15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Answered the phone at 5:30 for an automated call that school was on a 2-hour delay!

16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Oh dear, I went to see The Jackson 5 with my dad. He rocks. He pretended to be security and snuck us down from the nosebleed seats to the floor - close to the front. No. I am not spoiled (chuckle - see #5)

17. FIRST tattoo or piercing? Ears pierced when I was 5. I got my 1st tattoo for myself for my 39th birthday so I have immortalized my 30's!

18. FIRST foreign country you went to? England and then France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria - all in the same trip. I was 14 and went with Melissa and the German Travel Club. What happens in Europe, stays in Europe! Right Meliss?!

19. What was your FIRST run in with the law? Following my boyfriend home from the SATs, he went a different way that I didn't know and "Betty" T-boned a BMW! My FORD lost an "R" and become a FOD. Sheesh. It was the first time I had to actually talk to a cop. He had no sympathy for me - he was more interested in the fact that I lived in the town where the woman shot the monkey. (long story - has nothing to do with the accident)

20. When was your FIRST detention? I only had one - for being late to school more than the acceptable 3x. I only lived 7 minutes from school but "Betty" wasn't always cooperative, nor was my snooze button.

21. What was the FIRST state you lived in? Pennsylvania. Just a small town girl from Pennsyl-tucky.

22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart? Greg Cooper. I got my first "Dear John" letter soon after he left for college.

23. Who was your FIRST roommate? Jen Chiari. She was a nursing student at Hahnemann University. We lived in Center City Philadelphia (my first time away from home and I didn't know her from Adam). She was very nice. She had a very memorable, snorty laugh.

24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride? To my Nanny's funeral. It was white. I felt very important. I was 11.

Wanna try? Consider yourself tagged!! Link back to me and leave a comment here when you post so I can be nosey - that's all I ask!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I feel like...

C-R-A-P... ...lemme spell it out for ya... C is for the 14,000,000,000 calls I have had to make in the last two days regarding an insurance mix up! R is for the rejection I got this week from a children's literary agent that I really connected with! A is for the atypical cells that came back in a mole biopsy I had done last week. And for the new appointment I had to make for them to "dig deeper and wider"...nice! P is for the post-holiday mess that is taking over my house and making me feel like I am being buried alive! Y is for...well, there is no "Y" in my 'word of the day' but I am adding one to express my animosity toward the gynecological malady that starts with this letter and that could seriously send a woman to the LOONEY BIN! Ladies, you know what I am talking about...the treatment is almost as disgusting as the problem itself. Ya feelin' me? Ugh! Happy 2010! Peace.