Monday, November 30, 2009

Angels at Christmas by Debbie Macomber

The first story in "Angels at Christmas" by Debbie Macomber is entitled "Those Christmas Angels" and follows the antics of Macomber's favorite Christmas angels: Goodness, Mercy & Shirley. They peek at a prayer request on Archangel Gabriel's desk and discover it is from the daughter of the woman who Shirley used to protect when she was a Guardian Angel. This woman, Anne, has asked God to send a woman to her son, Roy, so that he would know love and be happy. The angels try all sorts of tricks and finally decide upon a young teacher, Julie, as THE ONE for Roy. Roy can't believe that Julie is as good and generous as she appears. The trio of angels have until Christmas Eve to convince him otherwise.

I enjoyed this story, but I thought it was kind of low-key. It had a happy ending, but it just wasn't as exciting or funny as it could have been. I give it 3 1/2 stars.

2010 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge

I love visiting other blogs and getting book recommendations from them. This challenge is a dream come true! I've read several of the top 25, but there are plenty more just waiting for me to read. When you visit this blog, you can see the Top 25 list and get a link to the rest of the 2009 Book Blogger Recommendations. Here is how you play this challenge...

The Levels:
Level I - Read 5 books from the 2009 Book Blogger Recommendation List
Level II - Read 10 books
Level III - Read 15 books
Level IV - Read 20 books
Level V - Read 20+ books

The Rules:

Challenge will run January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. Participants can join anytime throughout the challenge.

Create an intro post, linking back to this blog. Sign up with the MckLinky. Please link to your challenge intro post, not your blog home page.

Chose your own books from the list. You can decide to read books only on the Top 25 list or from the entire recommendation list. You do not have to make a list of books before the challenge begins.

All forms of books acceptable (audiobooks, eBooks, etc.)
Rereads do not count towards the completion of the challenge. The challenge is about discovering books that are new to you.
You don't need a blog to participate.
Reviews, while always appreciated, are not mandatory.

Sound like fun? Go sign up!

What's In a Name?

And here I go again - enticed by an unresistable challenge! I'm anxious to see how I do on these challenges next year. It will be my first entire year doing challenges.

Here is the description of the What's In A Name Challenge as posted by Beth F on the dedicated challenge blog.
So here's how it works: Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories:

1. A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
2. A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House
3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan
4. A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose
5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia
6. A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher
The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Other Things to Know
Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
Books may overlap other challenges.
Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
Creativity for matching the categories is allowed.
You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.

There will be a single prize at the end of the challenge. Readers who complete the challenge and write up a wrap-up post (or wrap-up comment) are eligible.

So, if you want to sign up for this great challenge, click here.
You know you want to go down this road with me!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend

Well, I definitely wasn't as productive as the rest of you this weekend! I read "Angels at Christmas" by Debbie Macomber. Yes, that's it. My DH has been ill, but managed to get down Thanksgiving dinner that we shared with my sister and her family. Thanksgiving evening he spent on the couch while my DD and I visited his Mother and the rest of his family. Friday he was feeling better so we went shopping for the Black Friday sales - not at 4 AM, more like 9 AM. We had a fairly successful trip. Friday evening I returned to reading my book. Saturday we did the same thing - shopping in the morning and reading in the evening. Today, we had Church in the morning, putting out decorations on our porch in the afternoon, and dinner at Grandma's. That brings me to now. I'm finishing up my book and posting this. The Thankfully Reading Weekend Challenge really did help me focus on getting to read whenever I could fit it in.
Thanks so much for hosting this! Maybe next year I'll be able to read faster!

2010 Debut Author Challenge

This is a challenge that I'm going to enjoy - not that I won't enjoy all the others. I'm always looking for new authors and new authors of YA books...what could be better?
Here are the rules for this challenge:

The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year.* I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels!Anyone can join, you don’t need a blog to participate. If you don’t have a blog you can always share your views by posting a review on,, GoodReads, Shelfari, or any other bookish site.
The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010. You can join at anytime! The Story Siren, who is hosting this challenge, would like to limit the novels to those released in 2010.

We have to do the research to make sure a novel meets the criteria for the challenge. There are a few sites listed on the information blog that can help with the search. Go here to check them out. To sign up, go here.

I don't know what books I'll read yet, but when I do I'll post them here so everyone can check them out.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Peanut Blossoms

This is the first cookie we make every year. When they were small, the kids helped unwrap the Hershey kisses. They even waited until they were all done unwrapping to eat one...or two.


Cream: 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Add: 1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix well.

Blend in: 1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. soda

Shape dough into balls. Roll balls in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and top each with a Hershey kiss. Bake 2 minutes longer.

That's it. The kisses will be very soft when just out of the oven, so you need to wait a little while to pack them into storage containers.

This is our favorite Christmas cookie and baking them marks the beginning of the Season.

Operation Actually Read the Bible - update

I haven't been blogging my progress as I should have, but I have been reading my Bible. I'm at Exodus 30 in the Old Testament, Psalm 50, and Matthew 26:26. I have especally liked the psalms I have read in the last few days - Psalm 47 & 48. I have sung versions of them in Church, but I really needed to hear them this week. My husband is sick and discovering the cause has been hard - actually, we haven't discovered it yet. So, if you get an opportunity, please pray for him. Thanks. Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving is here!

So, Thanksgiving is here and I'm reading "Angels at Christmas" by Debbie Macomber. I'm on page 88 so I better go back to reading.
Happy Thanksgiving!

2010 Reading Through the Seasons Challenge

This challenge looks fairly easy - just have to find books with seasons in the titles. I'm up for it. And I love the button! If you want to join in, these are the rules:

1. Four books, one for each season.

2. Title must have a season, not holiday, winter, fall, autumn, spring, summer

3. Jan 1 to Dec 31

4. Leave a link to your post about the challenge & I'll add you to the participant list.

Everything else is fairly flexible. Reviews, lists, even a blog is not necessary and books may be used for other challenges. It would be nice if you posted a short summary about the books you read so we can add to our TBR piles/wish lists.

To sign up or for more information, click here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Colorful Reading Challenge

Yes, another challenge! This one will coincide with the Rainbow Challenge, I think. I already have one book, "Lavendar Morning" that I can read for this - I'll have to put it off until January though. Hmmm.

Here is how Lost in Books described the challenge:

The point of the challenge is to read 9 books with 9 different colors in the title. Six colors are required, while the last 3 can be your choice. Books may be overlapped with other challenges (I always love that rule so I always have that rule for my challenges. :) At least 6 of the books should be new to you (doesn't matter which 6).

The Six Required Colors are:
1. Blue
2. Black
3. Red
4. Gold/Yellow
5. White
6. Silver

The 3 remaining colors can be anything from purple, orange, and green to magenta, crimson, and cream. It doesn't matter as long as their is a color in the title.

There is no need to make a list of books and if you do you may change it at any time. The challenge runs from January 1- December 31, 2010. If you would like to participate, click here. Happy Reading!

Blogger Unplugged!

I’m going to be unplugged on Saturdays and Sundays in December AND Christmas Eve & Day AND New Year’s Eve & Day. There, that sounds like a plan. I’ll be baking cookies, shopping, decorating the house, visiting and playing for Masses in Church with my family IRL – the same initials I use for Ireland – how cool! I love Ireland.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 23, 2009

2010 Support Your Local Library Challenge

Here comes another one! Our Local Library really needs our support, so I'm signing up to help it out. Here are the details:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.

2. There are four levels:
--The Mini – Check out and read 25 library books.
--Just My Size – Check out and read 50 library books.
--Stepping It Up – Check out and read 75 library books.
--Super Size Me – Check out and read 100 library books.

(Aim high. As long as you read 25 by the end of 2010, you are a winner.)

3. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader – any book as long as it is checked out from the library count. Checked out like with a library card, not purchased at a library sale.

4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

5. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

6. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

If you want to sign up and support YOUR local library - click here. I think I'll take the Mini (25 books) Challenge. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The YA Challenge

The YA Challenge is my next reading challenge. Here are the rules:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.

2. There are four levels:

--The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.

--Just My Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 25 Young Adult novels.

--Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge – Read 50 Young Adult novels.

--Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge – Read 75 Young Adult novels.

3. Audio, eBooks, paper all count.

4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

If YOU want to sign up, go here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TwentyTen Reading Challenge

I have signed up to do the TwentyTen Reading Challenge. The following is a quote from the dedicated blog located here.

"The aim is to read a total 20 books, over ten categories, in 2010. (Was this challenge based solely around the name? I’ll let you decide!)


Read 2 books from each category, making a requirement of 20 books total.
The categories are intended to be loose guidelines only, if you decide it fits, then it fits. (Apart from those marked **)
Categories marked with ** have tighter rules, and these must be followed.
Each book can only qualify for one category.
Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
Books read from 01/01/2010 to 31/12/2010 are eligible.
So, on with the categories

Young Adult
Any book classified as young adult or featuring a teenage protagonist counts for this category.
T.B.R. **
Intended to help reduce the old T.B.R. pile. Books for this category must be already residents of your bookshelves as of 1/11/09.
Shiny & New
Bought a book NEW during 2010 from a bookstore, online, or a supermarket? Then it counts for this category. Second-hand books do not count for this one, but, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts or won in a giveaway also count!
Bad Blogger’s ***
Books in this category, should be ones you’ve picked up purely on the recommendation of another blogger count for this category (any reviews you post should also link to the post that convinced you give the book ago).
*** Bad Bloggers: Is hosted by Chris of Stuff as Dreams are Made on.
Support your local charity shops with this category, by picking up books from one of their shops. Again, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts also count, as long as they were bought from a charity shop.
New in 2010
This category is for those books newly published in 2010 (whether it be the first time it is has been released, or you had to wait for it to be published in your country, it counts for this one!)
Older Than You
Read two books that were published before you were born, whether that be the day before or 100 years prior!
Win! Win!
Have a couple of books you need to read for another challenge? Then this is the category to use, as long that is, you don’t break the rules of the other challenge by doing so!
Who Are You Again?
This one isn’t just for authors you’ve never read before, this is for those authors you have never even heard of before!
Up to You!
The requirements for this category are up to you! Want to challenge yourself to read some graphic novels? A genre outside your comfort zone? Something completely wild and wacky? Then this is the category to you. The only requirement is that you state it in your sign-up post."

I think I will try some graphic novels in 2010 for my "Up to You!" selections.

Gotta go!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Virtual Advent Tour

I signed up to post on the 2009 Virtual Advent Tour. I have always liked Advent Calendars and counting down to Christmas. I'll write a post on the preparations we do for St. Nicholas Day - maybe even a little story about St. Nicholas. I couldn't decide between that and writing about "White Christmas" the movie. I've seen that movie more times than I can count, but the best time was the first time when I walked down to the Jordan Theatre in town with my father. He and I went to see "White Christmas" every year that it showed in theaters, then we watched it together on television. I think he had a secret crush on Rosemary Clooney. Anyway, it's a precious memory I have of my Dad.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend

Aren't most of us going to be reading over Thanksgiving Weekend? If you are, you can sign up for the Thankfully Reading Weekend when you go here. Let's see how much of our TBR piles we can devour!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Holiday Swap

I'm participating the the Book Blogger Holiday Swap! The deadline is today, so if you want to sign up, go here, but hurry. I always liked being Secret Santa when I was in grade school and later on, my niece and I played Secret Santa to my Mom. She never figured out who left those gifts until she opened the card on Christmas Day. We had so much fun and we felt so sneeky. Hope you have something fun planned for this holiday season!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Operation Actually Read the Bible - update

I know it's Tuesday and I said I would post my updates on Saturday, but... Anyway, I'm on my 36th day and I always read the Bible BEFORE anything else. I'm up to Moses in the Old Testament: Exodus 8; Matthew 20:1-16; and Psalm 35. I'm so happy I started doing this.

Monday, November 9, 2009

And Yet Another!

I have always enjoyed reading Christian Fiction. I'm going to sign up for this challenge this year. I'm going to do the "It's All In The Winners" level 4: 7 to 9 winners mix 'n match. We'll see how that goes. I may read more from the list, but I don't want to commit myself to that right now considering all the other challenges I plan on doing. I love Christian fiction though!

Thanks for hosting this challenge!

Another Challenge!

I just signed up for another challenge! Celebrate the Author - the challenge is designed to celebrate author's birthdays. You read 12 books in 12 months: one author for each month of the year. To sign up and for more information on authors' birthdays, you can go here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monthly Mixer Mele

Monthly Mixer Mele

I know I should limit myself to the number of challenges I do in 2010, but what the heck...there aren't too many strange letters in the names of the months...except maybe "Y". Oh well, I'm in! I just finished a challenge, I ought to start a new one!

Here's what the sign up post says on

All you have to do is read a book that begins with a letter of each month or read a book that begins with the authors name (first or last name, doesn’t matter).

There are 74 letters so you will have to have 74 different books to complete the challenge. Books can however be used to complete other challenges.

You don’t have to do the months in any kind of order, just fill in books as you go along until you have each letter a book by it.

Challenge begins November 1, 2009 and ends November 2, 2010 so you have a whole year to complete! Lets break out them books and get busy!

If you want more information or to sign up, click here.

Royal's Romance Reading Challenge

I'm done! I just finished "Time and Away" by Nora Roberts and that completes the Royal's Romance Reading Challenge! It feels so good to have a completed challenge and it was fun, too! These are the books I read:

R - Time and Away by Nora Roberts
O - Once Upon A Rose by Judith O'Brien
M - Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
A - The Last Summer by Ann Brashares
N - The Angel by Carla Neggers
C - Pendragon by Catherine Coulter
E - Full House by Janet Evanovich

I enjoyed all the selections, but "Once Upon A Rose" and "Almost Heaven" were my favorites. I was also happy that I got to read 5 new authors. I'm already lining up my challenges for 2010! I'm hooked on reading challenges. I just started in June of this year. Just imagine what I could do if I had a whole year to work on challenges!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Operation Actually Read the Bible - update

I'm up to Joseph's story in Genesis 41; Psalm 26; and Matthew 14:22-36! This week I gave all of our Church cantors (15 of them) a book of the psalms with commentary. They were surprised, but happy to get the present. I figured I should spread the "operation" around and help them learn more about the psalms they sing. Hope all of you are feeling well!