Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dolphin Tale

I've been seeing commercials for a new movie coming out next Friday, September 23rd, called Dolphin Tale.
The cast is amazing and the story looks really good.  It is based on the true story of Winter the dolphin.

There is a really neat story about one of the workers from the movie here and you can check out the official movie site here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Women of Faith Conference

Women of Faith Imagine

Because of my love of Thomas Nelson Publishers and my participation in their Booksneeze program, I was given the opportunity to receive 2 free tickets to a Women of Faith event.  Wow, I was all over that!  I was dancing a jig when I was notified that I would indeed be receiving 2 free tickets to the Women of Faith event in Milwaukee, WI on September 30 - October 1!

If you've never attended a Women of Faith event or never even heard of it before, here's a little video clip:

Doesn't that look great?!?  I had the pleasure of seeing Sandi Patty, Nicole Johnson, Sheila Walsh, Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Meberg, Luci Swindoll and others in Omaha, NE for the 2008 event.  It was an amazing event!  I've been unable to attend another one up until now and just can't wait.

So I have 2 tickets and a hotel room for Friday and Saturday night, but no one to attend with me.  Do I have any takers out there?  I don't mind going by myself, but it would be a lot of fun with a friend.

Please leave a comment on this post if you are interested in attending this life changing event with me.  If I have more than one person interested I will do a drawing. 

Have you ever been to a Women of Faith event?  If so, I'd love to hear about it!  Which one did you go to?  Who were the speakers?


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review - "Live Loved" A Devotional by Max Lucado

As I stated in my last post, Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors and this is a new devotional book by him.  I purchased Mr. Lucado's "Grace for the Moment, Vol. 2" for my husband a year ago and liked it so much I got "Live Loved" for myself.  I love how he takes a snipet from his other books and adds a prayer and some bible verses for some quick daily inspiration for the casual reader.  These are not "deep" devotions, but are a great way to start or end your day or provide a short spiritual break during the daily grind. 

There are five sections:
     1. Loved with a Steadfast Love
     2. Loved with a Perfect Love
     3. Loved with a Wise Love
     4. Loved with a Merciful Love
     5. Loved to Love Others

The excerpts are taken from Mr. Lucado's books:  It's Not About Me, Facing Your Giants, 3:16 Numbers of Hope, Every Day Deserves a Chance, Fearless and Outlive Your Life

Overall, great devotional!  9 out of 10

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review - "Max on Life" by Max Lucado

Max Lucado has quickly become one of my favorite authors of all time.  I love that he is a long-time pastor and the books he writes seem to talk right to me.  He doesn't write in big, theological language that I don't understand.  He writes in the language I talk.  Any chance I get to review one of his books, I jump at it.  I actually saw him in person in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at a special event for pastors on his "Outlive Your Life" book and concert tour.  Very nice man.
Anyway, in his book "Max on Life", he publishes the answers to many questions he has received over the years.  I wasn't sure what to expect with this book as it is a different type of book than I usually read.  I shouldn't have doubted.  Some of the questions are funny, some are deeply serious and Mr. Lucado answers all of them with grace.

For example:  #128 Our family is exhausted.  We run from one event to the next.  How do we slow down?  Answer:  Jesus understands  He knew the frenzy of life.  People back-to-backed his calendar with demands.  But he also knew how to step away from the game.  Mr. Lucado goes on with biblical quotes and how to relate them to our busy lives today.

Example 2:  #57 Why is there so much chaos and evil in the world?  It seems that no one cares about what God wants, and humanity is imploding.  Answer:  Sin works proportionately to the number of opportunities it is given.  As communication and technology grow, sin expands with it.  So while the world appears to be spinning out of control, it is only behaving as expected.  He goes on with his answer, but you get the idea.
Overall 8 out of 10

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Amazing Grace

First of all, I am sorry it has been so long since I've blogged.  Life was pretty crazy here for a while as I'm sure you can relate.

As you know my life was pretty much consumed by my job from February 25th (my old boss's last day) until this week.  Our new CFO started on April 4th and has jumped in with both feet.  I am very happy to report that I had zero overtime this week and I am so excited about that!  There was always a part of me that wondered what it would be like to have a bigger career and executive status.  Well, that was a great way to "try it on for size" and I learned a very valuable lesson.  I don't want to be a CFO and I never want my career to come before my family on that level.  I am very happy being a financial accountant and I wouldn't mind being controller, but that's all the higher I want to go on the corporate ladder.  We have a really great team going at work right now and I'm enjoying it.

Enough about work and on to amazing grace.  In the middle of my work issue, my last grandparent passed away on March 20th.  Grandma Krause was 97 amazing years old.  She still lived on her own and was in great health except for extreme macular degeneration in her eyes.  She had a weak heart valve and was a two time breast cancer survivor.  Like I said, amazing.  She was in the hospital that weekend for a pulled muscle in her back.  That's what they were calling it because all her health tests came back great.  She was going to go to a nursing home temporarily for rehab before going back to her apartment.  The nurses found her Sunday morning not breathing.  Her heart just quit.  We'll never know if it really was a heart attack, or if the cancer had come back somewhere, but at 97 years old does it really matter?  She lived a complete, full life and taught her family a lot. 
Great-Grandma Krause, Jenna and Tori

Great-Grandma Krause, Jenna, Uriah & Tori
Thanksgiving 2010
So we had an unscheduled trip to Wisconsin for the first week of spring this year.  It was a whirlwind week.  We helped my sister and husband clean out Grandma's apartment, planned the funeral (although Grandma had most of it planned already) and otherwise just looked at each other wondering what we were going to do without Grandma.  It was really nice spending time with all our family, but it was a hard week.  Grandma's minister had a wonderful funeral service and we enjoyed putting together a picture board of Grandma's life (even though we joked the whole time about how she would hate us doing that as she avoided getting her picture taken at all costs and we even thought she might have had something to do with the foot of snow that fell the day before her funeral).  During the funeral service we sang the hymn "Amazing Grace".  That's when I really broke down.  I sat there crying as everyone else was singing "I once was lost, but now am found.  Was blind, but now I see".  I can't even explain how much I'm going to miss her. 

Flash forward to a week later at our ecumenical lenton service held at the methodist church in town.  We've been doing a bible study during lent about the blessing of the cross.  That week we talked about the blessings of blindness.  At the close of the service we sang "Amazing Grace", stood in a circle and lit candles.  It really struck me that I was singing "Amazing Grace" twice in one week under two very different circumstances.  Isn't God's grace truly amazing?

May you have a blessed Easter season!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A winner, a scholarship chance and a new book!

So sorry I didn't post on Sunday like I said I would, but time is just getting away from me.
I loved both comments about favorite bible verses, thank you Amy and Monica!!  I have chosen Amy to win the NLT Life Application Study Bible.  Congratulations!!  Amy, you were one of the first people I ever knew outside of my family.  We were best friends growing up and then went our separate ways.  Re-connecting with you through Facebook has been a real blessing to me.  I hope you enjoy your new bible!!  Please send me your mailing address through a private message on facebook or to

I read an exciting post yesterday on Lysa Terkeurst's blog.  Have any of you heard of the She Speaks Conference?  It's an annual conference put on in beautiful Concord, North Carolina by Proverbs 31 Ministries.  I only recently learned about this conference, but from everything I read it sounds wonderful!  There are three different tracks for the conference:  a speaker's track, a writer's track and a women's ministry track.  I have been struggling with my call recently.  I have felt a "tug" to do something more, but have no idea what.  The She Speaks Conference looks like the perfect place to explore our "tugs".  Lysa Terkeurst is giving away a scholarship to this conference!  You can read all about it here.  Check it out and maybe I'll see you there someday! :)

Guess what I received in the mail today?  You're right, a new book to review!!  I just received "Lazarus Awakening" by Joanna Weaver to review for Waterbrook Press, a division of Random House.  It's my first book from Random House and I'm very excited.  My book group friends and I are reading Joanna Weaver's first book, "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World".  I've really enjoyed the study and can't wait to dive into "Lazarus"!  Anyone interested in doing an online book study on "Lazarus Awakening"?  It includes a 10-week bible study.  I'd love to read it with you!  Leave a comment here if you would like to participate.

Happy Tuesday everyone!!!  Have a blessed week!


Thursday, March 03, 2011

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

This book by E.L. Konigsburg is a children's literary classic.  It was written in 1967 and I believe I read it around 3rd grade which would have been 1980.  I remember this being the book that got me completely hooked on reading so when I saw it come up on one of the kids' Scholastic book order forms I promptly ordered it to share with them.  Tori & I just finished reading it together.  I don't think it touched her quite as much as it did me, but she really enjoyed it.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Book cover from

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere--to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie, find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

Have you read it?  If so, what was your favorite part?  My favorite part was what Claudia discovers about herself at the end of the story.  If you haven't read it yet, why not pick it up?

It was a nice break between 39 Clues books for Tori & I.  We were waiting for our library to get book 8 in and there are actually a lot of similarities between the two.  Tori pointed out how Amy and Dan Cahill are a lot like Claudia and Jamie Kincaid.

Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Reviews, a Giveaway, and taking a dive!

So I know it's been a few weeks since I posted and I have a bunch of reviews and "life" to post so tonight I thought I'd "dive" in.

First, a giveaway!!!!  Tyndale House Publishers has given me a certificate for a FREE Life Application Study Bible, NLT.  This is my first giveaway on my blog and I am so excited.  I know a lot of bloggers leave the giveaway until the end of their posts, but I'm just too excited to keep it to myself any longer. :)  Leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite bible verse or story is.  I'll pick a random comment Sunday night, March 6th, and you will win a new study bible in time for Lent.  Isn't that exciting??

And now for my "dive".  There are so many life stories to tell about the last 3 weeks, but the "Wow God" moment that stands out the most to me happened on my way work yesterday morning.  To give you a little back story, my boss at work gave his two weeks notice and last Friday was his last day.  He is greatly missed and more than a few people tried to talk him into staying.  It was a very hard choice for him, but he needed to be closer to his family and we all understand. On Friday it became apparant to me that I would be responsible for a lot of his duties in the interim period.  Now I should tell you that my boss was the CFO and the company had $250+ million in revenue last year and I found out I would be monitoring the cash accounts among other things starting Monday.  Needless to say I had some butterflies driving to work yesterday morning!  It wasn't that I doubted my abilities, but I was nervous with everything seemingly piled on me at the last minute and I didn't want to make a mistake.   So there I was driving along listening to LIFE 101.9 when this song by Steven Curtis Chapman came on.  I LOVE the song and immediately started singing along and then I realized what I was singing.  Here are the lyrics:

Dive by Steven Curtis Chapman

The long awaited rains
Have fallen hard upon the thirsty ground
And carved their way to where
The wild and rushing river can be found
And like the rains
I have been carried here to where the river flows, yeah
My heart is racing and my knees are weak
As I walk to the edge
I know there is no turning back
Once my feet have left the ledge
And in the rush I hear a voice
That’s telling me it’s time
to take the leap of faith

So here I go
I’m diving in, I’m going deep
in over my head, I want to be
Caught in the rush, lost in the flow,
in over my head, I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide,
the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim, I’m diving in

There is a supernatural power
In this mighty river’s flow
It can bring the dead to life
And it can fill an empty soul
And give a heart the only thing
Worth living and worth dying for, yeah
But we will never know the awesome power
Of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves get swept away
Into this holy flood
So if you’ll take my hand
We’ll close our eyes and count to three
And take the leap of faith
Come on let’s go

I really felt like I was in over my head at work, but after I heard this song I knew everything was going to be ok.  God was watching out for me and I knew that even if I made a mistake at work I'm still a child of God and Jesus loves me no matter what!  You know what?  I made it through the first two days just fine even with more surprises. :-) 

I wish you "Wow God" moments in your week, too!

Don't forget to leave a comment here for your chance to win a new bible!

Review - Adventures In BoogaBooga Land DVD

More information
This is an animated children's dvd featuring Marty and Gerard, a comical giraffe and monkey, and their adventures.  There are three 15 minute episodes on the dvd each featuring a different parable:  the workers in the vineyard, the wise and foolish builders and the lamp under the bowl.

Marty and Gerard are very likable characters and the animation is very colorful.  I can see children under the age of 6 getting bored with the stories though.  I think the storylines are best suited for 6-8 year olds, but the animation is aimed at children younger than 6.  Maybe that was done on purpose to appeal to a wider audience, but I'm not sure it works in this instance.

I am all for getting God's word out to children and I love projects like this one for that very reason.  I wouldn't give this a bad rating, but it could have been a lot better.  3 out of 5 stars - good.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, February 07, 2011

Monday Musings

Wow, another amazingly blessed weekend thanks to our awesome God!! 

It was such a joy watching our daughter, Tori, play basketball Saturday morning!  She came out of her shell a little and made a basket during the first game.  It was great to see her getting into the game more than she has before!  This coming Saturday is the last weekend of games for the season.  It's such a joy watching our children learn and grow!

Sunday my husband Burt had a brand new worship experience planned for Peace UCC.  It was a visual learning service all about the sacrement of Holy Communion.  One of the key elements of the service was a sharing part where he asked members of the congregation to share their experiences of Holy Communion: who or what do you think about during Communion; where are some special places you've shared the sacrement; what does Communion mean to you.  It's always a little nerve-wracking planning for sharing time because you never know if anyone will share or not, but it was a beautiful experience.  People shared about taking Communion in Africa, on youth retreats, what was learned during a confirmation class many years ago, thinking about parents and our experiences as a child.  The other neat part of the service yesterday was a little section Burt wrote called "Created and Creating"  where he and our daughter prepared the Communion table while another congregant and myself took turns reading the creation story in Genesis and comparing it to a different part of the Communion Table and tying it all together in us right now.  It sounds like that wouldn't go together at all doesn't it?  Well, Burt has a wonderful way with words and an amazing gift of tying things together having it all makes sense for our every day lives.  (On a side note:  I truly believe that's what touches me with Lysa Terkeurst's ministry also.  Lysa and all her P31 sisters really bring the message of God to life for me wherever I am today.  You can check them out here: Proverbs 31 and Lysa Terkeurst)

Immediately after worship I met with the members who signed up for our book study on Max Lucado's most recent book, "Outlive Your Life".  We have a wonderful group of 10 members embarking on the DVD and book study journey with my husband and I over the next four weeks.

Also immediately following worship the church sponsored its annual "Souper Bowl" lunch.  We served chili, vegetable beef and some of my hubby's awesome creamy potato soup.  What a joy and blessing it was to work side by side with the wonderful people of our congregation!
After the wonderful lunch and clean up we went home to settle in for an amazing SuperBowl game last night:  Our home team, the Green Bay Packers vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The boys did not disappoint.  It was an amazing game to watch with our Packers pulling off the win after a rocky 2nd half.  The best part was during the interviews after the game when Pam Oliver was talking to Greg Jennings and his first comment was "To God be the glory"!  I LOVED that!!  I also love the christian attitudes of the majority of the Packer team.  Aaron Rodgers is a great example of a man living his faith.

Like I said, it was an amazing, blessed weekend.  Thank you God!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Musings

What an eventful, blessed weekend we had! 

It started Saturday morning watching our daughter play basketball - a sport neither Burt nor I know too much about.  I played in 5th grade just like Tori is doing, but it wasn't pretty.  I remember getting called for traveling and the only time I made any baskets was when I got fouled and got to shoot freethrows.  My coach was very positive and overall it was a good experience, but I realized that basketball wasn't in my future. :)  It is amazing watching your child learn a new skill!  The first game she was really timid and almost looked scared to get the ball, but in the second game she made 2 baskets and got some rebounds also!  Burt & I were so proud of her!  We celebrated by going to Culvers for lunch (my absolute favorite fast food place) and stopped at Wal-mart to pick up the fixings for a huge batch of creamy potato soup.

Saturday afternoon Burt had 2 roasters full of soup made in about 2 hours!  That man is an amazing cook and I am so blessed to have him!!  He was diagnosed with diabetes in June and he is doing wonderful at adapting recipes to make them "diabetes-friendly".  If anyone would like his recipe I will gladly share it.  Everytime he has made it, we have had guests ask to take some home and want the recipe so it's not just me praising my hubby. :)

Sunday brought Sunday School and worship followed by our annual meeting and potluck.  The annual meeting was completely painless this year!  What a relief!  It's so stressful when you're talking about money with a large group of people as there are always going to be differences of opinion.  There were some questions and comments raised, but nothing earth shattering and the budget passed without conflict.  Everyone enjoyed Burt's soup during the potluck and kept telling me how good it was.  I took great joy in referring them to my husband (their pastor) for the soup as I had nothing to do with it.  A lot of them were pleaseantly surprised to find out how great a cook he is.

After taking the kids to their 4-H meeting, I settled in for an afternoon of NFL football which was interrupted briefly to pick the kids up and then go pick up one friend for the afternoon and then go pick up another friend for the afternoon. :)  So, with each child having a friend over and playing in other areas of the house, Burt & I were able to enjoy the rest of the Packer-Bear game and what a game it was!!!  My favorite play of the game (and maybe the whole season) was the interception by B.J. Raji and his 18 yard touchdown run.  Raji interception and TD  I especially enjoyed his TD dance!  So the Packers will face the Steelers in the Superbowl in 2 weeks!  What really impressed me though was the attitude of the whole Packers team after their win.  Aaron Rodgers gave all the credit to the defense for the win in an interview after the game.  How many quarterbacks would do that?  He is one classy guy and the Pack is one classy team. 

Well, that's my weekend in a nutshell.  How was yours?  Tonight I am looking forward to another webcast by Lysa Terkeurst about her Made to Crave book.  She is an amazing Jesus girl with an amazing message everyone needs to hear!  (I think I said that before, but it's worth saying again)

Happy Monday Everyone!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkuerst

     This is not a book review, although I hope to own the book soon.  This is a shout out to an amazing book which can lead to an amazing life-changing experience written by an amazing Jesus girl - Lysa Terkeurst!  You can find out more about the book here
     If you have ever struggled with your weight, an addiction to food or an addiction to anything, this book will help you turn that addiction over to God.  The premise of the book is that God made us to crave Him and not food (or anything else we put before God).  One of my favorite quotes from Lysa is that we were made to consume food, but food was not made to consume us.
     I have been enjoying Lysa's free webcasts on Monday nights from 7:00 - 7:45 central time.  She has had Dr. Ski Chilton on as a guest for each webcast.  He talks about the importance of fiber in any diet and Omega 3's.  This last Monday she also had Pastor Steven Furtick on the webcast and he gave some amazing insight to the fact that God loves us no matter what we look like and what we do.  He always wants the best for us and is with us every step of the way.
     You can still catch the last 4 webcasts every Monday until February 14th.  These are live and free and can be accessed through the link above and also on There is a DVD book study to go with the main text.  I am really excited to be planning this book study for our church community later this year with the approval of the powers that be. :)
     Check out the book if you can find it - it has now hit the NY Times Bestseller list and is selling out everywhere.  Check out the webcasts if you can as they are very inspirational.  Definitely check out the website link above to learn more about the book and Lysa.