Friday, April 30, 2010

Book Review And Giveaway: 360 Life


What if you only had a few days to live?
Would you love?
Would you laugh?
Would you give?
Would you live differently than you do right now?

--Billy Joe Daugherty

If possible, would you do a makeover on parts of your life? Most of us would gladly say “Yes!” to a fresh start, and that’s exactly what God offers.

So many people live empty and frustrating lives, which is tragic because God desires a full, productive, and satisfying life for His children. 360° Life explores how ordinary people, regardless of their challenges, can experience life-altering change through simple faith. Billy Joe Daugherty weaves material from the Bible, his own experiences, and riveting interviews with contemporary Christians to reveal how not just to survive struggles, but to rise above them.

That’s the fulfilling result of a 360-degree life.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started to read this book. I've read my share of Christian "self help" books and didn't think this book would teach me anything new.

I was so wrong.

Filled with encouraging words, stories and Scripture verses, this book opened my heart and mind to new ways of thinking and caused the word of God to fall fresh right into my heart.

Whether you are a life long Christian, new in the faith or simply looking for answers, Pastor Daugherty speaks to us all.

There was something in every single chapter that touched me, spoke to me, or brought me to tears with the realization of Truth in a new way.

Pastor Daugherty talks about overcoming fear and anxiety, the power of our words, hearing God's voice and rising above our circumstances. And he does it without speaking over the reader's head. He just reveals the Truth in a way that is so easy to understand, accept and believe.

I am so excited to be able to give away a copy of this incredible book. All you have to do is leave me a comment about anything at all and you'll be entered to win.

Easy, yes?

Want a second chance to win?

Tweet about this giveaway, then come on back and leave a separate comment letting me know you did it.

That's it?

Yep! That's it!

This giveaway will run until midnight on Wednesday May 5th. I'll choose a winner using to be announced on Thursday.

I have been so blessed by reading this book, and I just know that you will be too.

Read chapter one here!

Good luck!

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday's Treats ~ Root Beer Float Cake

I've been wanting to show you some of the yummy treats I've been creating lately and I've decided to post a little somthin' somthin' each week for you to see and maybe even try yourself.

I recently came across this recipe and really wanted to make it for Ian, as he loves a good root beer float.

It's a really nice cake and not too sweet, with just the right hint of root beer.

You'll need:

1 package (18 1/4 ounces) white cake mix
1 & 3/4 cups cold root beer, divided
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 envelope whipped topping mix (Dream Whip)

How To:

Step One: Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, 1 & 1/4 cups root beer, oil and eggs. Beat on low for 2 minutes.

Step Two: Pour into a greased 13 inch x 9 inch baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Step Three: In a small bowl, combine the whipped topping mix and remaining root beer. Beat until soft peaks form. Frost cake. Refrigerate.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review: In Harm's Way

FBI special agent Nick Bradley has seen his share of kooks during his fifteen years with the Bureau. But Rachel Sutton is an enigma. She seems normal when she shows up at the FBI office in St. Louis--until she produces a tattered Raggedy Ann doll she found and tells him she thinks something is wrong because of a strange feeling of terror it gives her when she touches it. Nick dismisses her, only to stumble across a link between the doll and an abducted child, setting in motion a chain of events that uncovers startling connections--and puts Rachel's life on the line.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

This novel is the third book in the Heroes of Quantico series but holds its own as a stand alone book.

I was immediately caught up in the story from the very first page, and my attention held right to the end. With lots of suspense and a couple of surprising twists, this book moves quickly and was hard for me to put down.

I felt that author Irene Hannon created realistic and likeable characters, whether they were the main characters or merely bit players. The dialogue was natural, entertaining and very smooth. While predictable in places, it is never boring.

If you're looking for a great read, this is it. But be warned, it's hard to put down!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Book Review: How Do You Tuck In A Superhero?

With hilarious true stories and observations, this laugh-out-loud celebration joyfully explores the sweet and wild side of boyhood.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Are you a mom of boys?

If so, you'll get a chuckle out of this book and the experiences that author Rachel Balducci - mother of five little boys - documents in her book. Funny, sweet and always entertaining, this book reads very much like a fun mommy blog.

I'll be honest with you - after reading this book, I feel very (very!) thankful that I only have one little boy ;-)

If you are the mother of little boys, I think you should look into adding this book to your library. Just so you know you aren't alone!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Willow The Purple Pawed Puppy

It's been awhile since my system had a good shocking, and I figured I was due for something somewhat dramatic in the near future.

But not this.

Oh heavens...not this.

I was coming out of the bathroom when Willow trotted past me and I caught sight of his purple paws.

Yep...I said purple paws.


I wasn't kidding, was I.

I froze and he froze. We both stared at his feet as my mind worked in slow motion. Why are his paws purple? What made them go that way? Did he get into grape jello mix? Grape Kool-aid mix? Do I even own Kool-aid mix??

What would he have eaten that was purple??

Then I remembered that I signed a field trip permission form for Sam this morning and signed it with my purple sharpie.

I jumped up and walked through the kitchen praying that if there was any ink to be found, it would be on the kitchen floor. Not the carpet...please not the carpet...

...sure enough, it was on the living room carpet.

I think I stared at it for a full five minutes. I thought I was going to be sick. How on earth would I explain this to Ian?? I called him at the office and as soon as he answered the phone I felt the tears start. I told him what had happened and he told me where to find the bottle of carpet stain remover.

I squirted and blotted and prayed...squirted and blotted and prayed...

Between that miracle stain remover and our steam cleaner, it all came out.


Now if only I had something to help wash it off of Willow!


~ Forget Me Not - Book Giveaway Winner ~

Thank you to those who participated in my Forget Me Not book giveaway!

I used to select a winner and as usual I don't know how to copy the image over here as proof of the winning number.

Just love me anyway...

Without further ado...

The winner is....



Shoot me an email at letting me know where I can send you the book :-)

I will have another book giveaway coming soon and you are NOT going to want to miss it.

Have a great Thursday :-)


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Willow's Graduation

This past Saturday was very exciting around these parts because Willow graduated from Obedience Classes!

We've seen a huge difference in him over the last eight weeks, which is a great thing because I was ready to ship him off to live elsewhere!

Willow with the trainer during his final testing...

He hated wearing the grad cap. I was in Heaven, snapping pics left right and centre...

My Mom and sister came too :-) Mom brought Willow a little grad gift...

Hmm...what could it be??

Dog treats!

Thanks Mom!

The proof...

Believe it or not...I baked him a bone-shaped cake...

Ian only let him have an itty bitty piece because he was afraid the sugar would make him sick. Party pooper.

Thank you PetSmart!

Congratulations Willow!!


5QF & Getting To Know You


Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Bit Of This...A Bit Of That

It's been a full week and I am tired.

Ian is doing well after his surgery, and while he still has some discomfort, he is definitely on the mend. Julie caught some kind of stomach bug on Sunday night and was home from school all week but made it back today.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Two things I have been enjoying this week:

1) The Dog Park ~ Willow has quite the circle of friends at our local dog park. He's gone from being a shy dude to being very outgoing. I love watching him run full out. Fresh air and new friends (for me too!) make for a lovely time.

2) Skype ~ Love it. The other night I was up late talking on Skype with Amanda. We got laughing so hard that we had tears and sore faces by the time we said goodnight. I love belly laughs and good friends. Thank you Skype!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I have a tremor that started in my left index finger and then moved into my second finger and thumb and it's making me crazy. So I visited my friends at and apparently I have Parkinson's. Why do I visit that site? WHY!?

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

The other night I suddenly started missing my mother like crazy so I called her at 11:20 pm and started crying as soon as she answered the phone. I was feeling overwhelmed and closed in, and just needed to hear her voice. We talked for over an hour and I felt so much better when we said goodnight. I love her so much.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I have been experiencing extreme hair satisfaction this week. I don't know what's going on and I don't care. I just wake up each morning hoping to experience it again.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I'm too tired to talk about anything else and I need to get to bed. Tomorrow is a big day - Willow is graduating from his obedience classes! No one is more excited than I am. He gets to wear a grad cap and you know I'll be posting pictures of that.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Night all!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Review: If I Could Ask God Anything

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this book. It's a fantastic resource for children, parents and Bible teachers.

Separated into sections labelled God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, The Bible, Christianity, Prayer, The Church, Christian Seasons and Holidays, Being a Christian Here and Now, Being a Christian Forever and Ever, and Big Questions, this book is full of answers to all types of questions that children have about the Christian faith.

As a Christian mother, I truly appreciate a book like this. There are days when questions about our faith flow from my children's lips and I long for the words to answer them in a way that they will comprehend and store inside their hearts for life. This book does it. It's written in a tone that is perfect for children to understand and reiterates Jesus' love for us.

Some of my favourite questions were:

How Do I know The Bible Is True?
Is It Ok To Write In My Bible?
What's A Good Bedtime Prayer?
Why Do I Still Sin, Even When I Don't Want To?
Is It Ok To Pray For Help On A Test?
What Should I Do When I Can't Think Of What To Pray?
Do People Who Never Heard Of Jesus Go To Heaven Too?
If God Loves People Why Do Bad Things Happen?
Can I Have Friends Who Aren't Christians?
Help! What Should I Do When A Church Service Is Boring?
How Do I Tell A Friend About Jesus?

I am so thankful to be able to add this resource to my bookshelf, and strongly recommend that you do as well. Our children are counting on us :-)


Book Review And Giveaway ~ Forget Me Not

Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why had he survived? He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help — a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly. Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I really enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and full of suspense and drama with a little bit of romance on the side. The guessing game begins right from Chapter One and continues right to the very last chapter.

I did figure out what was going on pretty early on in the book, however the writer kept my interest throughout with her likeable and realistic characters.

I loved the teachable moments and loving reminders that our God is the one true Healer of our hearts and His mercies are fresh each day. The main character's unwavering faith in the Lord is portrayed in a very gentle and natural way, and not "in your face".

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Guess what?

I have an extra copy that I get to give away! Would you like to win it? If so, all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what type of books you generally like to read.

Easy peasy!

I'll pick a winner using on Wednesday April 21st.

Good luck!

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.


Monday, April 12, 2010


Hello. My name is Kate, and I have an addiction.

It comes before my family.

It comes before my friends.

It consumes my thoughts when I'm not doing it.

I almost shake when I think about how long it's been since I've last done it, and when I can get back to it.

It takes me away from my responsibilities.

It makes me cranky.

My addiction?

The internet.

The extent of my addiction hit me full force on Friday night and it wasn't pretty. Ian had been in the hospital all day on Friday following a scheduled surgery. My mother and sister graciously agreed to watch Jordan during the day, and to receive the children after school until after dinner so that I could be at the hospital and sit with Ian in recovery.

I got Ian home and settled in bed, then left to fill his prescriptions and pick up the children. When we got home things got a little crazy. Jordan turned into this uncontrollable wild thing and Sam and Julie started bickering constantly. Between making sure Ian was comfortable, breaking up arguments, controlling the wild beast and dealing with everyone's bedtimes...I was tense. I rushed the children to bed, I rushed over their prayers and talk of events of the day. I just wanted to sit down, go online and relax.

It wasn't until I lost my cool and Julie started crying that things suddenly started to click as to why everyone was acting so crazy.

They were scared about their dad.

They both spent the day worried that something bad would happen to him during his operation. I had intended to prepare them for what they would see when they saw Ian, but all I succeeded in doing was scaring them.

My heart hurt.

I soothed and reassured, and lovingly tucked them in and re-did prayers. And when I was finally alone, I didn't enjoy the quiet I'd longed for all evening.

I felt ashamed of myself.

I have been blessed more than many, and certainly more than I deserve. And I didn't treat them like the blessings they are. All because *I* wanted to "relax" and "chill out" and read blogs and get caught up on Facebook and Twitter....


I don't want to be that way anymore. So I've decided I won't be. I was hardly online at all over the weekend and you want to hear something funny?

No one noticed!

The internet went on without me.

I know... let's all gasp together.... GASP!

It felt good to take a break and to focus on what is truly important. I'm going to keep trying to limit my time going forward because I want to treasure what God has blessed me with, rather than take it for granted. I don't want to waste my life by being wrapped up with things that don't matter.

So there you have it - my confession. I'm embarrassed to admit this to you, but I strive to be authentic and this is what I have for today.


I feel better just getting it out there and hopefully by being open about it I will hold to it.

Wish me luck.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

I love the warmer weather because I get to see this...

Adorable baby legs!


Thursday, April 08, 2010

You Asked And He Answered ~ Part Three

Here it is, friends... Ian's final installment of Ask Him Anything!

Here we go!

~ Part Three ~

RudyRukus from Rudy Family Rukus asked: I would like his version of how you met. I know my husbands story and mine do not match up just wondering if you have a story like that?? Do tell…

As much as I would love to share this tale it would require divulging various secrets of magic that have been entrusted to me. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for another time when I can be released from that promise. Sorry!

Thanks RudyRukus!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Lindsay from Once Upon A Mommy asked: What is the most important thing that a husband wants to hear from his wife? Besides I love you because I tell him that about twenty times a day.

Something passionate, flirty, mischievous, and unexpected. ESPECIALLY if you have kids. It’s my belief that there’s nothing more exciting than a confident woman. Again, I have more to offer on the subject but I’ll keep it simple for now.

My husband and I got married and then my faith in God really grew. He isn't a believer but he isn't a non believer either. He will ask me questions every once in a while but besides that he doesn't really want to talk about it. What do you think is the best way to be a witness to him?

Love this question too because in many ways I can relate, not just to the “spouse” angle but also to friends, family, etc. And to be clear, I’ve learned from my own mistakes because in my day (I became a Christian September 9, 1982 when I was 13 years old) I was convinced of the soap box mentality of “telling” everyone what to believe. That. Doesn’t. Work. And it’s not the method Jesus taught. Live your faith. Be hopeful in hopeless situations. Be faithful when all is falling down. Gather His strength and don’t rely on your own. Nothing will draw more people, especially those close to you, to know God’s strength and love than to see it lived out in your own life. You can talk about faith all you want, but if your remaining conversations are worrisome, complaining about others, despairing, or impatient… you AND your testimony will lie dead in the water.

Thanks Lindsay!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Heidi at From 3 To 5 asked: What is your favorite room or spot in your home?

Jacuzzi bath tub – I daily solve the world’s problems there (or at least my corner of it).

What is the number one thing you love about Kate?

Changes at different times in our life together…. Currently, her creativity.

What is the best quality of each of your children?

Hard to limit to one so I’ll cheat and do two each…

Sam (almost 11 years old)…. Wisdom (or at least the beginning of) and courage

Julie (just turned 9)…. Selfless love, joy.

Jordan (2 years going on 10)…. Strength of will, perceptiveness… she reads people and their expressions like nobody I’ve seen.

What is the one thing that you want to pass on to your children if nothing else?

That EVERYTHING… our joys, our stresses, our passions, our successes, our failures, our very understanding of ourselves, stem from our ability to remove ourselves from the equation and instead see our lives through God’s accepting, loving, and just eyes. “For I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do EVERYTHING through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13

Does Kate banish you from the house when she vlogs or is it really that quiet?

Our house is NEVER quiet…. Until Kate and Kiddies all are in bed. To give the impression of quiet, Kate ordered me to rent out the corner of a studio and make it look like a portion of our house… those stairs you see in the vlogs? Balsa wood that would collapse with a touch. The wall behind her? It’s on wheels! And the “kitchen” backdrop – completely digital using a green screen. DON’T BE FOOLED!

Thanks Heidi!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~
ArizonaMamma from Our Daze In The Desert asked two last minute questions:

1) I often think my husband is funniest when he isn't trying to be, what is something Kate does that you find amusing even when your amusement wasn't her intent?

Well, now I want to be careful not to share anything that might embarrass my wonderful wife, so let me refer back once again to the early days of Kate-Ian. While we were dating, I lived in a basement apartment and Kate would often come over to cuddle by a warm fire (just to be clear, I DID have a fireplace. No destruction of property involved) and watch a movie. Invariably, Katie would fall asleep mid-movie, and that's when the fun would start. You see, Kate had a habit of talking in her sleep, literally narrating portions of her dreams. And my fun came in the form of "Guess that Dream". An actual example follows...

Sleeping Kate: "He's after me! Stop chasing me!"
Contestant Ian: "Who's after you Kate?"
Sleeping Kate: "The little man! He keeps chasing me!"
Contestant Ian: "Why's he chasing you Katie?"
Sleeping Kate: "He thinks I have his gold!"

SCORE! I woke Katie up to reveal that she had just been dreaming of being chased by a leprechaun because he was convinced she had taken his pot of gold. Kate was appropriately amazed at my "psychic" abilities and I was left laughing at something my wife (then-girlfriend) did without her intending to amuse, thus satisfying Mamma's question.

2) If you could do anything in the world and get paid for it, what would it be (work wise...for clarification purposes)

I love that A.Mamma had to "clarify" work wise.... made my mind wander to what else she might have meant....

To answer the question, I have a few options although they follow similar concepts. My choices of occupation would include teacher, writer, actor or director (I used to run a theater group in our local church for a number of years - got to do a fair bit of acting, directing, and writing... all of which I loved.) or finally, photographer. Incidentally, if you're interested in seeing a short performance I was particularly proud of.... I thought the topic of the script was really appropriate for many people.

Thanks to all for your questions. With Katie's kind permission, feel free to ask any more at any time. Or you can direct them straight to the comments on my own blog Dominos. I might even put up the proposal story there once I get a minute. Keep the faith all!

That's a wrap! Thanks babe - I love you!


Lovely Dinner Table Habits

Anyone have a cure for this??



Wednesday, April 07, 2010

~ An Absence So Great ~ Giveaway Winner

Thank you to those who participated in my very first book giveaway.

I used to generate the winning number. I still can't figure out how to show the results so you'll just have to take my word for it, buddies.

Would you like to know who the winner is...?

Drum roll please...



Shoot me an email at letting me know where I can send you the book :-)

Have a great Thursday :-)


You Asked And He Answered ~ Part Two

Ian is back to answer more of your Ask Him Anything questions.

Are you ready?

Let's go!

~ Part Two ~

Laura from The Bignell Family asked: Would you have more kids if you could?

As much as I know it saddens Katie, I wouldn’t. I’ve always been a believer in quality over quantity and I don’t agree with the notion that “there’s always enough love”. Of course there’s enough love, but with 3 wonderful kids, horse-dog, a cat, guinea pig, and bird, I find there’s not nearly enough time for Ian-Kate. Before I was “Dad”, I was “hubby Ian”, which I hope to be again when Kids 1,2,3 leave the nest. But burned out Dad and exhausted Kate do not a happy home make... for Mom, Dad, or Kids 1,2,3. There’s more to my thinking but that’s as far as I’ll go for now.

Do you have a hobby?

Many, but further to the previous question, many I’ve had to let go of since becoming Dad of 3 amazing kids. Golf, other sports, hangin’ with the guys, travel, etc have given way to dog walks, homework helping, project-doing, etc. Now my main indulgence is being an overgrown gamer after kiddies and wife have gone to bed. I enjoy writing and have forever been working on a book but can rarely get into the headspace to continue just now – but I remain hopeful. Mind you, I still manage to squeeze in some photography and the occasional graphic design project for fun.

How did you ask Kate to marry you?

Alas, this one is a longer story than I could fully detail here. Suffice to say it was well thought out and as promised to my girlfriend-at-the-time Kate, the timing was a complete surprise. The full scenario included cooperation from 2 friends including one in Germany, my future mother-in-law, a fictional restaurant that we never got to, 13 roses, a purple pillow, and a well-acted temper tantrum. (An Oscar? Why THANK you!)

What's your favorite TV show?

Tied between a couple but one of the really geeky things about me is a huge love of all things superhero (good triumphs over evil). As such the few I’ll name are Smallville, Supernatural, The Office (which is based on my own experience), and The Mentalist.

How do you feel about socks with sandals?

Hate ‘em…. But not enough to stage a protest.

Do you know your wife wants to move to MN?

Move… no. Visit…. Yes, I do know that.

Thanks Laura!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Cop Mama asked: Would you ever vlog? ;-)

If asked, possibly.

Thanks Cop Mama!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Tyler from Just Another Day In OUR Paradise asked: Well in response to laura I was going to tell you she told me that North Carolina had the best weather around so really she was going to pack yall up and head down here.. are you ok with that Ian? ;) JK (well kind of...)

Personally, I love the Carolinas… love the climate, the people, the general mood. Shame both Carolinas are in the U.S….. JK (well kind of…)

What is your fav. meal that Mrs Kate cooks?

Kate makes both a mean stew and a world-famous shepherd’s pie.

Are all her baking projects as yummy as they look (and if they are could you please help her come up with a way to ship them so I can try them out..)

Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately there are also some processed baked goods that I love (Wal-mart sells an amazing oatmeal raisin cookie that deliciously incorporates cinnamon) and Kate too often feels in competition with these chemical-induced concoctions. Honey, there’s room in mah belly for both!

Do you cringe when you see people out in public with their pj's on?

Cringe.. no. I laugh, shake my head, and take photos on my iPhone for my beautiful Kate to blog about. Remember the rule... it's okay to laugh but rude to point.

Thanks Tyler!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Keely from Mannland5 asked: How did you two meet?

Waaay long story. Shortest version I can offer is we actually originally “met” on a phone chat site (which ironically I DON’T endorse…. I consider us an exception to the rule) and after falling in love with the way she made me laugh and her adorable quirks (high fiving HERSELF when she said something witty), not to mention her super-sexy voice, we met, talked, and I never looked back from there.

Thanks Keely!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Mama M from My Little Life asked: Can I have Kate?

Definitely not… it’s hard enough for ME to get time with her away from all you girls and the laptop!

Is she always so spot on funny?

I’d be lying if I said yes. Like anyone else, she’s sometimes up, sometimes down. Sometimes funny, sometimes way too serious. But she does make me laugh like nobody else.

Will you let Kate come to Minnesota to visit me? Please? Pretty, pretty please?

Probably… but once we have some other “boats” in order. Is that fair enough?

Thanks Mama M!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Amanda from I Am Mommy asked: Lets see... if your wife asked you to drive her to Minnesota for a party held in her honor, would you say yes? Cause I do have your address. And I know people who know people. Just sayin.

Probably wouldn’t drive or come with her… we have differing philosophies on things like that. But see previous answer regarding her coming.

Thanks Amanda!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


Stay tuned for Part Three!!

Thanks for playing along, Ian! xo xo


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Handwriting Assignment

I was tagged by Heidi at From 3 to 5 and Mama M from My Little Life to participate in a fun little writing assignment.

Here's the rules:

Write down the following, snap a pic and post it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy...

1. Name/ Blog Name
2. Right handed, left handed or both
3. Favorite letters to write
4. Least favorite letters to write
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
7. Favorite song lyrics
8. Tag 7 people
9. Any special note or drawing

Apparently your handwriting says a lot about you according to these peeps.

Murdock's Mama

Have a great day!


Monday, April 05, 2010

You Asked And He Answered ~ Part One

A few days ago I invited you to ask my husband anything and you sure did!

You're a nosy bunch, did you know that?

Just kidding ;-)

I loved that you had so many questions for him and he couldn't wait to answer them. But because there were so many, he's going to break it down into different posts.

And without further ado...

~ Part One ~

Dawn from Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy : Ian seems to be so strong in his do you keep the faith in really hard times?

LOVE this question – I actually get asked this a lot and to be honest, the answer has always seemed so apparent to me. I keep my faith during the really hard times (and those have happened, believe me… in the extreme!) because I learned from an amazing teacher years ago that it’s the hard times that define your faith. I mean, think of it, a flashlight shining in the daytime doesn’t distinguish itself, but the light that shines in the darkness is the one that people are drawn to. Scripturally, this lesson is best revealed in 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 by Paul, who many people are not aware suffered from a very painful eye disease. He had been so blessed by his salvation on the road to Damascus but that, along with his inherent prideful personality, also tempted him to become arrogant time and again, so he learned to recognize this hardship as a blessing, a way of maintaining his daily reliance on Christ which was his true source of strength. Because I think it’s important, I’ll share that passage here…

7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Note that Paul says he was “given” a thorn, not “cursed with”…. because he understood that because of our own weaknesses and egos, it’s the hardships and difficulties that bring us closer to God. Accordingly, our own “understanding” and pride is the main source of division and distance from our Father. I could go on much longer about this topic, it’s probably the one that closest to my heart, but I’ll leave it there for now. If you want to know more, I'm open to discussing.

Now since I was so long-winded with that question, I’ll knock off a few quick ones to offer some relief….

Thanks Dawn!

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Abby from Murdock's Mama asked:

What do you do for a living?

Office job – Executive Assistant and Corporate Trainer

Part Time Job – Professional Magician, former clown, Cookie Monster, and Barney the dinosaur (shudder!)

24/7 Job - Dad, lucky husband to Kate

Do you do anything to annoy Kate on purpose? [Be honest! :]

Absolutely, many things… because (referring to my first answer) I understand that I am Kate’s thorn, in place to keep her sense of humour (humor for you Yankees), patience, and silliness in good health.

What kind of vehicles do you own?

One van (very used), 3 bikes, 1 tricycle, one horse-sized dog (not yet strong enough to travel to MN... sorry)

If you could move anywhere...where would you go?

North or South Carolina

Do you like M&M's as much as Kate? Which ones are your favorite?

Nope, not a fan of M&M’s cause as Kate always says, I’m a Smartie… or was that smarta$$

Thanks Abby!

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CrayonWrangler from Coloring Outside The Lines asked:

What does Kate's hair look like in the morning?

Amazingly, phenomenally, perfect. It has never been lost on me that I have been incredibly blessed with a wife that wakes up every morning looking stunning. Favourite thing to wake up to.

What is the first adjective that comes to your mind when you think of your marriage?


What is your favorite food?

Ribs (made by me) covered in Tony Roma’s sauce

Other than her HAWTNESS, what made you fall in love with Kate?

Kate was my playground (at least, that was my original answer, but I have been told that all you lovely ladies will be plagued with despicable thoughts re: that description so I will be elaborate). I loved that Kate and I were playmates (wait, that may not be any better...). OK.... by example, we went on picnics to feed squirrels and sat by the water drinking a mini-bottle of champagne. We snuck into movies. We laughed, baked, cuddled, went for impulsive drives to Niagara Falls. We caused psychological damage to teenagers in a wax museum of famous criminals. (imagine me pretending to be a wax statue in a staged electrical chair and then suddenly coming to life as two teenage girls examined the "life-like" dummy.) Together, we were silly, mischievous, daring, passionate, fun-loving, impulsive. Like children running around slides and swings, we ran around the climbing equipment of our life. Or as I originally put it, Kate was my playground.

Thanks CrayonWrangler!

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Thanks for playing along, Ian :-) Can't wait for Part 2.


Oops. My Bad

I thought I survived April Fool's Day.

Sam didn't get me like he'd been threatening to all year.

Ian, my big trickster, didn't get me. Oh no...I was on high alert.

Julie tried...but I was on to her pretty fast.

Nope. I was s-a-f-e and I made it through my first April Fool's Day in many, many years unscathed.

Or...did I?

No I did not.

I was fooled by MSN News. They did a fake news story about how Canada purchased half of Hawaii.

Did this seem odd to me? We purchased only half of it?? No. I was all excited because now I could go there without the hassle of a passport. I could live there without having to get a Visa. I could sit on the beach sipping girly drinks while watching LOST film.

Ian overheard me telling a friend on Skype about it and set me straight.

Talk about a letdown.


My bad.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Saturday, April 03, 2010

5QF - April 3 - Vlog Style

***You may need to crank your speakers to hear this. For some reason it taped really low***

Want to join in? Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life!

Have a burning question for Ian? Ask him here!


Friday, April 02, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ask Him Anything

My dear bloggy friend ArizonaMamma from Our Daze In The Desert had a cute idea for her blog a short while ago. She did an Ask Me Anything post....husband style.

I know. Brave of her, right?

I loved the idea so much that I asked her if I could steal it for my own blog.

She said yes :-)

Ian is all over this idea and I'm not gonna lie...I'm a little nervous.

Here is my Ian.

Love that man. you have any questions for him? It could be on any topic: work, family, his awesome and loving wife... you name it!

I can't wait to see what you come up with!


Book Review And Giveaway ~ An Absence So Great

While growing in confidence as a photographer, eighteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele’s personal life is at a crossroads. Hoping she’s put an unfortunate romantic longing behind her as “water under the bridge,” she exiles herself to Milwaukee to operate photographic studios for those owners who have fallen ill with mercury poisoning.

Jessie gains footing in her dream to one day operate her own studio and soon finds herself in other Midwest towns, pursuing her profession. But even a job she loves can’t keep painful memories from seeping into her heart when the shadows of a forbidden love threaten to darken the portrait of her life.

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While this novel is labeled as Christian fiction, there is very little mention of the Bible within its pages, and the main theme of the result of adultery was disappointing.

Based on a true story, this story gives the reader an good idea of what photography was like in this era, and the difficulties of a young, single woman trying to launch her own business.

For the most part, this book was an easy read, however I often had to refocus my thoughts in order to concentrate on it until the end.

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If you would like to win a copy of this book, leave me a comment telling me who your favourite author is and I will choose the winner on Wednesday April 7th.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

To learn more about or purchase this book visit