Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Editor in Me Cringes!

I have to say something. Before I do, though, please bear a couple of things in mind:
  • My degree is in English.
  • I have worked several years as an editor - most of which were as a copy editor.
  • I am one of those word nerds who loves to see the English language used correctly.
  • I do know that most incorrect usage of the language stems from either not knowing any better or confusion. Key word there: MOST. I know some people don't give a you-know-what.
Now that that's out of the way. Minor vent is here. I HATE that the titles of these things tend to lack needed punctuation. Five Question Friday should be Five-Question Friday. Friend Makin' Monday should be Friend-Makin' Monday. I'm sure there are more. And please, if you are the creator of these - and others like these - please do not be offended. I don't mean to offend. I can grit my teeth and ignore it - most of the time. Unfortunately, I cannot let it go completely unmentioned. Sorry. Remember, as stated above, I've spent LOTS of time editing. I have nothing but love for you - AND your creation(s)!


Friday, February 26, 2010

Five Question Friday

Aren't I the Chatty Cathy today? LOL I just stumbled upon a few fun Friday-themed things and decided to go along. I find stuff like this fun, so I decided to play along. Plus, it makes up for the long stretches of silence I tend to have occasionally - right?

My Little Life

1. Do you sing karaoke? If so, what is your go to song?

No. I do not sing karaoke. I LOVE to sing, but I'm too self-conscious. I almost NEVER let anyone (other than my kids) hear me sing - not even my hubby.

2. What is your favorite coffee drink?

I don't drink coffee - ever. HATE it! I like to say that Dr Pepper is my coffee. That said, I LOVE a chai tea latte. My favorite is from Panera, but Starbuck's will do in a pinch!

3. If you could choose your own name, what would it be?

Ha! I honestly don't know. I know that growing up I always hated my name - HATED it. My biggest problem with it was that I couldn't shorten it. I had friends named Melissa who went by Missy; friends named Jennifer went by Jenny; guys named Andrew went by Andy ... I hated that Heather couldn't be shortened. But, I don't know that I'd change it at this point. I am Heather - don't know if I could be anything (anyone?) else!

4. Were you ever bullied?

Not really - at least no one ever threatened me. BUT, I was picked on a LOT in grade and middle school. A LOT. I hated it - and I pray my children never experience anything like it.

5. How often do you eat fast food?

Way too often. At least a couple of times per week - and that's on top of going out at sit-down places! But, I'm still losing weight, so I can't be doing too badly, right?


This was fun, and I think I'll do it again next week - assuming I remember! LOL Wanna play, too? Here are the rules:
Copy and paste the questions into your own blog, putting your own answers in (of course). Add your link in McLinky (below), and make sure to link back to Mama M. Have fun!

MckLinky Blog Hop


~*~Friday Follow~*~

Friday Follow

So, I added myself to the Friday Follow McLinky list, but neglected to make a FF post! Sorry! I decided to give this a try, because it sounds like fun! :-) This is my first week doing this, and I look forward to making new friends!

I post mainly book reviews, but also other odds and ends - hence the name, Ramblings & More! ;-) To check out my reviews, go HERE. I occasionally have book giveaways, too. Look for TWO free books up for grabs next week!

To see the rules of Friday Follow, so that you, too, can participate, click on the graphic above! Leave me a comment if you become a follower, and I'll do the same for you!

Thank you to our hosts: Midday Escapades, One 2 Try, and Hearts Make Families!


Trying Not to Panic

I just received word from my husband that he has been officially accepted for grad school! It's something I know he's been wanting to do for quite some time, and he was finally able to get it worked out. His employer will pay for everything - including his salary while he's schooling. (Without that this wouldn't happen right now, as I'm not going back to work any time soon.)

Yes, I'm happy for him and proud of him. And, yes, I know it's a good thing and it's what needs to happen.

So, why the panic?

Because while he can do most of his work online, he is required to be on campus for at least one semester!

The school he has chosen (because of the program they offer) is 6 hours away from home.

Get it now?

Yup. And I thought his 30-day deployments were hard! Those will seem like nothing by this time next year! :-( I cannot imagine a full semester without him here! How am I going to get through it? Don't get me wrong, I know I will, but thinking about it just freaks me out right now. I was going to try to get off the Zoloft this year, but now I'm thinking maybe I'll wait. Yes, I know, it's a crutch, but with the prospect of going it alone for three months causing me near panic I don't know that I wanna fend for myself yet!

Again, I know this is what needs to happen now. I know he is following God's will by doing this. I know it's right. I know we'll be OK. But, man, does it scare me.

Plus, I can't believe I'm admitting it publicly, but there's also the fear of him being away at college for a semester - alone. Yes, I trust him - we wouldn't have recently celebrated our 11th anniversary if I didn't. But, I know sometimes people surprise you - and not in a good way.

I know that I just have to trust God. I will be prayerfully approaching the rest of this year. I need God to sustain me, but - more importantly - I also need God to be with my husband. I need Him to protect my husband in every possible way - spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally, sexually, and anything else that might need protection. Please, my dear friends, pray with me! There is strength in numbers. God says so Himself! If you are praying with me, please comment so I know. It's always comforting to know when someone's joining me in praying for things like this!


Just pitiful

We tried hard with all three kids to avoid the Linus syndrome - you know, having a blanket that must go EVERYWHERE with them! Abby and Grant went along with it, choosing something smaller (and more portable) to cling to. Natalie, however, did not cooperate.

Yesterday Natalie decided that she simply couldn't do anything without her precious blanket. While my husband makes her leave it in the crib every morning, I let her bring it downstairs. Sometimes - like yesterday - she tries to carry it with her everywhere. I say "tries" because I don't let her leave the house with it. And sometimes - again, like yesterday - she protests. Usually she just throws a fit and cries for about 5 minutes or so. Not yesterday. She threw a fit in the kitchen and refused to cooperate as I was trying to get everyone into the car. So, I forced her through the door (gently of course), after which point she relented and walked to the car without more fussing. This was in the morning, when dropping Abby off at school.

About 30 minutes later it was time to bring Grant to school. Natalie again attempted to bring the blanket. There was another fit. Again she refused to leave the house willingly. As I'm (again, gently) dragging her out the door, I asked "Do we really need to do this again?" Her response: "Yes" in the most pitiful voice I've ever heard! LMAO I couldn't help but crack up. And, yes, this occurred one more time when it was time to pick Grant up - complete with the pitiful "Yes" when asked if we really had to do that again! LOL

Natalie is such a character. All three of my kiddos are. But, I wouldn't change them - or my life with them - for anything. God has blessed me beyond my greatest hopes!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book Review: Yesterday's Promise

Yesterday's Promise (East of the Sun) Yesterday's Promise by Linda Lee Chaikin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary: Rogan Chantry faces danger from tribesmen, ruthless politicians, and his own family as he searches for gold in South Africa. In England, his beloved Evy is injured by a mysterious assailant. The greed and intrigue surrounding the diamond mines could very well drive them irrevocably apart.

My review: Before reading this book, I was disappointed to find out that this was Book 2 in a series. I hate starting a series (not just books, but anything - TV shows, movies, etc.) anywhere but the beginning. Normally, I would table the book until I'd read the previous one in the series. But, I had agreed to read this one and post a review this week. As this was one of two books I was to review this week, I didn't have the time to read Book 1 in this series. I wish I had. I found that there was much in this book that had me questioning if I'd know what was being referred to if I had read Book 1. There were many events and circumstances referenced that I was completely clueless about. So, I don't know that this would be a stand-alone title. I think I would have enjoyed this book much more if I had read Tomorrow's Treasure first.

That said, overall I did like the book. While it took me awhile - meaning at least a few chapters - to get into it, I soon found myself unwilling to put it down. In fact, I read the last hundred-plus pages today. I think part of why I couldn't get into it at first was because this book starts (and continues) with the assumption that I'm familiar with the back story. But, once I got into it, I found the story and the characters quite interesting.

I now feel that I have to read Tomorrow's Treasure - to get the first part of the story into my head. Then I'd like to re-read this one. Hopefully it'll be a bit easier to read once I'm familiar with the earlier story in the series. Although, I do fear that knowing how this one plays out means that I'll have much in the first book actually ruined. But, it's more about finding out what happened before.

So, if this book sounds interesting to you, I suggest you start with Tomorrow's Treasure first, then read this one. I would guess that this one is quite good if read after the first in the series!

Source: Sent by publisher for review.

Get your own: You can get your own copy of Yesterday's Promise HERE.

Note: This is the second of two books reviewed as part of this week's Spring Value Fiction Blog tour, which features six full-length novels priced at $5.99 (according to the press release I received). The other book review of Beneath a Southern Sky can be found HERE.

View all of my reviews >>

Monday, February 22, 2010

Congratulations my first giveaway WINNER

THANK YOU to all who entered the book giveaway for Hear No Evil! With the help of, the winner has been selected.

In case it's unclear (I can't see the list until I hit "Publish"), the winner is MONICA! :-) I'll be in touch soon! (Gotta drop the boy off at school.)


Book Review: Beneath a Southern Sky

Beneath a Southern Sky Beneath a Southern Sky by Deborah Raney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary: Daria Camfield is expecting her first child when her husband Nate is reported dead on the mission field. Devastated, she returns to the States and soon marries again. But two years later Nate is found alive in the jungle. How can Daria possibly choose between the two men who love her?

My Review: I hadn't heard of Deborah Raney before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Long story short: I'll be looking to read more of Raney's books, because this one was GOOD.

I like how this is a Christian book, but it's not preachy. The references to God and the praying in the book felt natural - they fit with when I'd find such things in my own life. I like the natural Christianity in the book, rather the the oftentimes overly preachy references in other Christian fiction.

The plot was good. It showed that the consequences of not listening to that still small voice often are quite painful - not just for those refusing to submit, but also for their loved-ones. The choices we make in our walk with God aren't just about us - they affect everyone we know to some degree or another. Those most dear to us likely are most affected by it. This book served as a good reminder for me to make sure to be in tune to God's prompting in my heart, and to strive to be in His will.

Source: This book was sent by the publisher for review.

Get Your Own Copy: Interested? Purchase your own copy here.

Note: This is the first of two books that I will be reviewing as part of this week's Spring Value Fiction Blog tour, which features six full-length novels priced at $5.99. Look for my review of Yesterday's Promise later this week.

View all of my GoodReads reviews >>


Thursday, February 18, 2010

GIVEAWAY & Book Review: Hear No Evil

Hear No Evil: Marching in the Lord's Army, Fleeing the Devil, and Finding a Righteous Groove Hear No Evil: Marching in the Lord's Army, Fleeing the Devil, and Finding a Righteous Groove by Matthew Paul Turner

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars (note: on, it is 4 stars, because they do not have half-star ratings)

Summary: A collection of wise, compelling, and often uproariously funny essays built around the experience of music as a transformational element in a moment of truth, Hear No Evil mines Matthew Paul Turner’s humorous memories of his evangelical youth and invites readers to groove along on his journey.

From attending forbidden contemporary Christian concerts to moving to “Music City” Nashville, Hear No Evil chronicles Turner’s “life soundtrack” which morphs seamlessly into the stories of people, places, and experiences that have taught the music-editor-turned-author some new things about God, forced him out of his comfort zone, and introduced him to a fresh view of grace along the way.

If you’ve ever had the opening bars of a song transport you back in time or remind you of a pivotal spiritual moment, Matthew Paul Turner’s honest—and frequently hilarious—musings will strike a chord. Straight forward and amusing, Hear No Evil is an exploration of a life of faith lived to a personal soundtrack.

My review: Matthew Paul Turner grew up in a very strict - fundamentalist - church/family. I didn't realize just how sheltered some people are - and how extreme fundamentalists can be! Oddly, though, despite my growing up in a Charismatic church, I was almost as sheltered as he was. Especially when it came to music. I attended a church that STRONGLY discouraged listening to secular music. In fact, I remember a time when one of the youth leaders gave me a bunch of free CDs in exchange for old secular music of mine - which was then destroyed! Despite my "best" attempts, I've never stuck to listening to strictly Christian music for long. Anyway, because of this and similar experiences, I found myself able to relate in a way I never would've guessed!

Back to the book. I'm jealous of Turner! I'd love to work for CCM, and to meet AMY GRANT! She's the ONE artist I've been a fan of all my life. She's the person I always say I'd meet if I could meet ONE person. I would love to get to read the story he originally wrote from the interview he mentions in this book. I couldn't believe the piousness of his boss in regards to Amy's life! Apparently this man was just plain BLIND because of the REDWOOD TREE in his own eye!

This was a very enjoyable read, and I thought it was quite interesting to see some things about how the Christian music industry works behind the scenes. There were things I never would've even guessed - but makes a lot of sense.

Anyone who LOVES music (I often say it's my passion) should read this book!

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

Get your own copy: I was sent ONE extra copy to give away FOR FREE to my readers. So, please fill out the McLinky form below. Make sure to include your e-mail address (only visible by ME) so I can contact you if you are the winner! This contest is open through 2 a.m. CENTRAL time on Monday, February 22. I will announce the winner (to be randomly selected with the help of within 24 hours.

If you do not win, you can purchase your own copy here.

View all my GoodReads reviews >>


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Review: Love & War

Love and War: Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of Love and War: Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of by John and Stasi Eldredge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary: What the Eldredge bestsellers "Wild at Heart" did for men, and "Captivating" did for women, LOVE & WAR will do for married couples everywhere. John and Stasi Eldredge have contributed the quintessential works on Christian spirituality through the experience of men and the experience of women and now they turn their focus to the incredible dynamic between those two forces.

With refreshing openness that will grab readers from the first page, the Eldredges candidly discuss their own marriage and the insights they’ve gained from the challenges they faced. Each talks independently to the reader about what they’ve learned, giving their guidance personal immediacy and a balance between the male and female perspectives that has been absent from all previous books on this topic. They begin LOVE & WAR with an obvious but necessary acknowledgment: Marriage is fabulously hard. They advise that the sooner we get the shame and confusion off our backs, the sooner we'll find our way through.

LOVE & WAR shows couples how to fight for their love and happiness, calling men and women to step into the great adventure God has waiting for them together. Walking alongside John and Stasi Eldredge, every couple can discover how their individual journeys are growing into a story of meaning much greater than anything they could do or be on their own.

My review: I had heard of John Eldredge, so I was excited to have a chance to read something he'd written.

This book is VERY good. VERY insightful. It is a Christian book about marriage, and it talks all about what God intended marriage to be. It was an eye-opener, insofar as it really helped me see why Satan is trying to hard to undermine marriage - not only by attacking intact marriage, but also by convincing people that it's irrelevant and by perverting something beautiful created by God himself.

I have considered myself blessed in my marriage. My husband and I are a great match, and we seem to be in an awesome place. This book served as a reminder that this likely is the calm before the storm. Satan's not going to let us revel in our harmonious marriage long before striking and attempting to destroy what we have. This book has made me more watchful, more mindful, and more prayerful.

I highly recommend this book to all married couples, all engaged couples, AND anyone who wants to get married someday. There are issues from our past that can greatly affect our marriages. This book tells us how to defeat those - and I figure you don't have to wait until you're married/engaged to start fighting those battles!

Get your own copy of the book:
This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

View all my reviews >>


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book Review: Bonk

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was very interesting, and quite hilarious at times. There were a few laugh-out-loud parts that had me hoping no one would ask what I'm laughing at for fear of having to explain in detail what I'm reading! LOL I absolutely love Mary Roach's wit and humor.

Get your own copy of Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.

View all my reviews >>

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