Thursday, January 31, 2019

Join the More for Moms blog tour!

More for Moms: Living Your Whole and Holy Life

Abingdon Press

Tour dates: April 9-23

About the book:

Reset your spiritual and emotional health with these steps.

More for Mom will encourage women to stop believing the lie that more is needed from them, and start living with the truth that more is available for them.
With real-life talk, humor and convicting biblical truths, Kristin Funston helps hard working mamas to look at each day and each facet of their life to discover what happens when they believe God has more for them than what they think the world needs from them.
And what He has available is a whole and holy life, just waiting to be claimed–a salvation and day-to-day reality complete just as it is. The pieces of each mom’s life–the work life, mom life, social life, etc.–are mended together through Christ to complete her one whole life, set apart because of Him.

This book is a stepping stone to help working mothers reset their spiritual and emotional health, habits, and relationship with God. There are performance pressures at work, home, and mind-sets that affect a mom’s ability to feel complete and live more closely aligned with God. This book includes the beginning steps for moms to walk in wholeness and holiness by asking God for more.

Kristin Funston resides outside of Memphis with her husband and three daughters. She has a master’s degree in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. Kristin has a passion for writing and wants to encourage women in a way that is relatable and practical with a large side of humor. She is a member of Hope Presbyterian Church, a congregation with a weekly attendance of more than 7,000, and serves as the Marriage & Family Coordinator. She contributes to multiple blogs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Two of life's great mysteries

This post amounts to nothing whatsoever other than a little rambling.

For the life of me, I don't understand why when replying to an email some people will call me Audrey. I mean my name is right there in the email address and signature. More than one person has done that this week. 

I almost replied back to "Marie" instead of "Mary" to see if one person would correct me.

Secondly, I am puzzled about how many people think or assume I teach school. Obviously, they don't pay attention to me on Facebook. This has happened a couple of times in the span of a week.

Yes, one semester 17 years ago I taught school. However, some of these are people that met me in the past year. 

So, just to confirm, I'm not Audrey the teacher.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Things that should not exist

Some things shouldn't exist because they are just too good, yet really bad for you.

Case in point:

This is a Samoa frappuccino. Coconut mocha coffee. Chocolate and caramel drizzle with Girl Scout Samoa cookie crumbs sprinkled on top. 

I do try to get one each year during Girl Scout cookie season, but it's so indulgent, I usually limit it to one per year.

They make these at our "We Proudly Serve Starbucks" here in town, but I am sure some places somewhere might do the same.

Monday, January 28, 2019

I still think The Bachelor should work more like Survivor

Jumping right into tonight's episode of The Bachelor...

Poor Miss Alabama (sic) woke up emotionally exhausted. When Chris Harrison arrives, he asks her how it's going and her answer is that things were said about her that weren't true and never should have been said. (It also doesn't help that he called Hannah by Caelynn's name which she was prompt to correct.)

Miss North Carolina is over it.

Chris announces there is no date today. Instead, it is a travel day. They are headed to a place they've never gone on the show before... Singapore. The women are super duper excited. They leave in an hour, so they better go pack quickly.

Colton sets out seeing the sites of the city on his own first. He talks about how he knows the Miss America drama is what it is, and he'll have to try to keep the drama out of it. The women are guzzling down some pink drinks at the Fairmont hotel and are thrilled by their suite.

They are gathered around when there is a knock on the door indicating the date card has arrived.

Elyse reads it.

"Tayshia... let's fall in love. - Colton."

Miss Alabama could now kill Tayshia. Demi is hoping she doesn't come back. Catty claws abound.

On the Colton cam, Colton talks about how Tayshia and his relationship isn't as far along as some of the others, but he's really interested in her. He also hopes they don't die today. Uh... ok. Are they going to fall off of something?

Yep. They are going to bungee off this tower on the beach. Except there it's spelled "Bungy." She's not so sure. He's like, "Let's go for it," until they get to the top and he realizes how tall it is. He's having second thoughts. Then, she tries to convince him it's no big thing, but she's not convincing.

All I have to say is, "NO WAY!"

Colton goes first. It's not a pretty jump/dive. When he springs up back up, he yells, "Not again!"

She jumps and falls feet first for quite a bit, so it looks like a rough yank when the cord pulls her and she has to flip to head first. I don't think they were coached well.

That night over dinner, Tayshia decides it's time to bring up a heavy topic. She planned this before Colton asked why she seems so happy all the time. What's behind all this?

This past year and a half has been hard for her. She got a divorce. She had married her first boyfriend show she was with for about six years. Since his parents were divorced, he knows you can judge a person's happiness (not even sure this makes sense).

Back at the hotel, it's date card time. "Hannah G., Elyse, Kirpa, Sydney, Heather, Onyeka, Tracy, Nicole, Demi, Courtney, Katie, Cassie, Hannah B. - Let's get a taste of Singapore. - Colton." 

That leaves Caelynn to get the other one-on-one. 

Demi voices her annoyance that by giving Caelynn a date, it's giving more attention to the situation. (She's a little witch.) Of course, Hannah B. Is ready to drown her annoyance in all the alcohol.

Back to the date with Tayshia, Colton gives her the rose before going on a Ferris wheel ride. Like the world's tallest Ferris wheel. (I ride Ferris wheels, but that one may freak me out.


Moving on to group date day. Colton's biggest problem is managing all his relationships. Demi runs up and jumps on him before anyone else can. Par usual. 

The first part of the date is exploring the local market. Demi decides she's going to act like no one else is there. Just her and Colton. She rides his back. She has caricatures drawn with him. She hogs him.

From there, they go in to see the leech lady. The leeches get rid of toxins. No one seems real eager to try it until Colton goes first and says he will. Anything to impress Colton. Demi cracks about her sweet blood. Miss Alabama saying the thought Miss North Carolina stayed home.

Back at the Fairmont, Tayshia and Caelynn talk about Hannah B. being upset about who got the group date. 

On the group date, Hannah B. thinks he's paying attention to everyone except her. She tries to talk to him, and he won't talk back.

They go to a fortune teller, then on to a restaurant where they are serving up bullfrog, pig feet and octopus. There's some other delicacies too. Hannah B. doesn't seem to want to be a part of any of it. Until Colton notices. Then she eats a fish eye for him. It's supposed to be good luck...

Later that night, it's onto the sure to get ugly cocktail party. There are 13 of them there. As they start to settle in, Hannah B. jumps up to snag Colton. The rest of the women comment on this and how the trouble followed them to Singapore.

Hannah B. blathers on about character and being scared about him not trusting her. She annoys the crap out of me. Colton tells her he's ok with Hannah and Caelynn not seeing eye-to-eye. She feels better after that... and a kiss.

Then, he talks to I honestly don't know. Whatever woman the fortune teller thought was Colton's sister in a past life. This has got to be Cassie. They start making out and she makes a comment about not kissing his sister like this.

As woman after woman takes their time with him, Courtney grows more and more anxious, and we hear more and more complaints from her. She's "patiently waiting her turn." Demi tells her she needs to step it up. As much as I hate to admit it, Demi may have a point in Courtney's approach being lazy.

Speaking of Demi, I should fast forward through this conversation between her and Colton since I'm running behind now. Demi decides to get attention and sympathy by sharing that her mom was released from federal prison. She tries to pour out the tears. She plays it up.

Meanwhile, Courtney's still moaning. In her producer interview she says she really thought she was going to get a one-on-one this week. Instead of going to talk to Colton, she sits around and waits more. Demi goes back to Colton for seconds.

Kirpa is pointing out people have had double time now, so since Courtney's the only one who hasn't had time, she should go make a move. Courtney is mad at Demi for taking a second turn just moments after she (Courtney) was whining about not getting any time. Demi says, "I tried to tell you..." As much as I dislike Demi, Courtney needs to take responsibility for her lack of action. She tries to pull out the "How old are you?" card. However, they are probably the same age.

I don't know if Courtney ever did talk to Colton, but it's time for the date rose. The rose goes to Demi for showing a completely different side of herself.

Demi thinks this will shut them all up for mouthing about not liking her approach.

Nicole has to comfort a bawling Courtney. Tracy rolls her eyes at Demi.

The next morning, Caelynn is all dolled up awaiting the time for her date. Her official date card arrives because up until this point, it really has all been assumption. 

"I've been wiating for this special day for so long. Meet me downstairs... - Colton."

All giddy, she heads downstairs.

Hannah B. says she's ok with this. She's not.

Colton couldn't think of anyone more deserving to spoil. (WHAT?) They had out in a Rolls Royce (I think) with a chauffeur.

The two Hannahs sit down to talk. Miss Alabama doesn't want to talk about their date, but says, "What if he buys her shoes and a dress?"

Well... they go shopping. He's just drooling over everything Caelynn puts on. She knows how to do the model walk, obviously. She arrives back at the hotel with all of her purchases to get ready for the evening portion of the date. Set up to rub it into the others, of course. (Blame the producers.) She tells about the date so far. Colton picked out some ugly shoes for her. Some girls try to be excited as she unwraps her purchases. Others just sulk. Cassie cries to the camera.

All dressed up in one of her new dresses, Caelynn meets back up with Colton. She's psyching herself up to have a serious conversation. This has been teased in previews and social media for days.

Caelynn starts by saying she feels like herself with him, but hasn't felt like that in a long time. She tells him that she needs to share her story because it affects her relationships. When she was a sophomore in college, the wine she and her friends had at a party was drugged. They (three of them) were all sexually assaulted. They all dealt with it differently. Caelynn sought justice, but she also had a difficult time in leaving home.

Colton was in a relationship with someone who had gone through an assault, and they talk a little bit about that. Then, he goes a little bit into the complicated answer behind his virginity.

Caelynn does feel safe with Colton, and he assures her she is safe. In some ways, but you know, not totally.

They move from the dinner table to a bridge overlooking the city. Of course, she has the date rose.

Moving on to the rose ceremony night. It's time for the cocktail party. Demi tells everyone it's important everyone gets their time tonight, "Because some of y'all are going home." If she didn't already have a rose, I'd want to slap her. Well, I do anyway, but she's safe, so it's a true statement.

The other Hannah gets some alone time first. They talk about their mutual OCD while sitting in his hotel room. They move over to the bed. Watch out!

Caelynn is over the tension going on around them, so she asks Hannah B. aside to talk. (Caelynn is wearing another of her new dresses.) Caelynn says there has been unnecessary drama... Hannah says she's had to talk about things she didn't want to. Caelynn says it's stressful enough being there that they don't have to be best friends, but need to clear the air. They seem ok for the moment.

Courtney claims to be more optimistic. She mutters something about it not being a game and some people shouldn't be there. Demi walks out. Tayshia or Katie (in the dark shadows, I honestly can't tell) checks on her.

Demi interrupts someone to talk to Colton and tells him all about how Courtney is the cancer of the house and had attacked her. Demi says it kills her to have to talk about it, but doesn't think Courtney is deserving of his heart. Demi gets giggly when Courtney interrupts them.

Courtney says she's like to say she was doing good, but she's not. She tells the story of what happened with Demi at the group date after she didn't get a chance to talk to her. Colton says that Demi used the words "attack" and "cancer of the house." Courtney argues that Demi is the one not there for the right reasons. Courtney is not coming off well. She claims Demi is there to be on TV and play the game the right way. Colton's biggest fear and greatest nightmare is coming true right now.

Courtney says Demi "pushed the wrong butt-un." Courtney asks who thinks she is the "cancer of the house." Only Demi raises her hand. Everyone else is shocked by that term. They also just watch Demi and Courtney argue it out.

Tayshia and Onyeka are sitting in between the two and I'm sure they wish they weren't. Miss Alabama reaches out to try to calm Demi. It does no good.

This is when Chris Harrison walks back in.

Rose ceremony time!

Tayshia, Demi and Caelynn have their roses. In fact Demi is cocky enough to hold it between her teeth at one point. 

  1. Hannah G. 
  2. Heather (she's still around?)
  3. Kirpa
  4. Hannah B. 
  5. Katie
  6. Elyse
  7. Sydney
  8. Cassie
  9. Nicole
  10. Onyeka
Courtney and Tracy, Demi's biggest enemies both go home. Demi is so thrilled, especially with Courtney headed home.

Just look at this picture on Twitter that won't actually embed the way I want it too...
Demi and Miss Alabama are besties. That makes me dislike them both all the more. As Courtney leaves, we hear the voice over of Demi talking about herself as Dr. Demi cutting the cancer out. When it comes to toasts, Demi toasts never having to deal with leeches again.

Let's just think for a moment about if the women had to win immunity and got voted off Survivor style... 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Step by Step... again

I shared this song not too long ago, but this is one of their favorites. This time I made them smile when they sang. It made all the difference!

Step by Step

Oh God, you are my God,
and I will ever praise you.
Oh God, you are my God,
and I will ever praise you.

I will seek you in the morning,
and I will learn to walk in your ways.
And step by step you'll lead me,
and I will follow you all of my days.

And I will follow you all of my days.
And I will follow you all of my days.
And step by step you'll lead me,
and I will follow you all of my days.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

What would Marie Kondo say?

Thanks to the Marie Kondo series on Netflix, everyone on Facebook is going on and on about tidying up. Every weekend for me has turned into a new mess to tidy up. However, it's not from eliminating anything. 

What's kind of funny is that in all my circles all the memes are about Marie Kondo saying you should only have 30 books in your house. Existing among book lovers, you know people are disagreeing about that part.

I added to my hoard this week by something like 240.

Because I was looking for solid books and Dad was being antsy about it, I ordered 73 on an "Or Best Offer" auction on eBay. Those arrived by mail on Friday. They'd been in transit for probably close to two weeks.

Sometime after I bought those, one of the libraries my parents had stopped by and talked to contacted me saying they had some books. I thought I was going to have to buy those (at a good price), but they decided to give them to us. What started as, "Oh we have 50-60," and moved onto, "There's 70," ended up being 170. After sorting them by pattern and color so that I can find special requests (and mostly because I am OCD), I have books EVERYWHERE. I also have cardboard boxes I need to break down. I already had a stack of boxes I hadn't been able to fit into the recycle can from cleaning up the art studio last weekend.

My house is a mess again! Every time I get it straight...

Oh, and I forgot to mention there's a man who's going to give us who knows how many in exchange for a couple of cut books. I have no idea where those are going to go.

Have I mentioned this year we are only doing one spring show, in April, and won't be doing anything else until October? These books aren't going to disappear quickly.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Look what I got in the mail this week!

Back in the fall at one of our shows, I asked one of the vendors to make something special. Bruce of Just Tigging Around had a really beautiful lily piece that sat on a shelf or table, but I wanted a lily on a stick to go with the hummingbird I had gotten the year before. Knowing how busy he was, I knew it would be a while before he could work it out.

This week, I got it in the mail! These pictures are horrible, and I can't wait to be able to put it outside in one of my big flower pots. Except they are covered with frost blankets right now. 

These are all made with silverware - spoon, fork and knife handles. Head over to their Facebook page to see some of their other pieces. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Do teens understand what romance means?

Important Lessons for Teens to Learn
about Christ-Honoring Romance
Valentine’s Day focuses on love and romance,
but do today’s teens truly understand what that means?

In a generation where the culture has stolen real romance, and when it comes to sex, anything goes, parents and youth leaders must look for opportunities to talk to teens and model love that brings glory to God. What are some of the ways they can be exposed to romance that honors Christ? Teaching a biblical view of romance is more than simply having “The Talk.”

We live in a world of broken relationships and hurting people, and it can seem as though heartache is all around us, marriages are doomed from the beginning and relationships aren’t worth the risk. However, Rhonda Stoppe, author of Real-Life Romance: Inspiring Stories to Help You Believe in True Love (Harvest House), sets out to show that heart-fluttering, long-lasting love is all around us, if we just take the time to look for it. It’s an important reminder for all of us, and these are examples we need to share with the young people around us.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, young and old will be looking for ways show their love and come up with “romantic plans,” but do today’s teens really understand what that means. Stoppe shares six ways to teach teens about real romance that honors Christ:

1. Acknowledge their longing to be in love. It’s tempting to tell your adolescent, You’re too young to have those feelings. However, a wise parent will listen to them share their heart. If you shut them down, they’ll still have those feelings, they just won’t tell you about it. You’ll also forfeit the opportunity to guide their thinking toward purity and biblical romance.

2. Talk plainly to them about sex. Equip them for purity. How far is too far? Bottom line - it’s all sex. It’s necessary to have to have the hard conversations such as: Yes, sex is amazing, within the safety of His plan; Address that pornography is sex; How it is possible to wait although culture says everyone is having sex. And for those who didn’t wait, it is possible to be pure again.

3. Help them realize their longing to feel loved is normal. God created each of us with a longing to find our worth in who loves us. The problem lies when we look to find our worth in how well a significant other treats us. The aching we have to feel treasured can only be satisfied when we realize that God loves us so much that He sent His Son to purchase us for Himself.

4. Find someone who loves God more than they love you, and they’ll be able to love you with His selfless love. While it’s easy to tell our kids, “just don’t marry a non-believer” it’s more valuable to explain to them why. One very important reason is because the only people who have the capacity to love others with Christ’s selfless love are those whose hearts have been transformed by the Holy Spirit.

5. Expose them to real romance. Beginning with your own marriage, show your kids how romance in marriage is the norm, rather than the exception. Expose your kids to couples in your church who are courting in a way that honors Christ. This helps them believe purity really is possible, contrary to what the world would have them think.

6. Celebrate true love. Telling your kids stories of how God sovereignly brought together two people to fall in love in a Christ honoring way gives them hope that God is also interested in their happily-ever-after. When they believe letting God write their love story will guide them to romance, they’ll be more likely to trust Him and wait on His timing when looking for a spouse.

Stoppe has written a resource to help parents with the last two lessons.  Real Life Romance is a compilation of 25 love stories of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Each account unfolds God’s providential care in honoring couples who remained sexually pure until marriage, blessing the believer who refused to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever, and many other stories of true love. Stoppe considers it a celebration of love stories that honor Christ and are a testament of God’s faithfulness, showing that true love exists and endures. Gathered from years of ministry and from the author’s friends and family, these real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears to readers as they read of ordinary people who found extraordinary love.
“At first I thought I was writing this book for married people, to inspire them to rekindle the passion in their own relationship as they recall God’s providence in their own love story,” Stoppe explains. “As I wrote, however, it became apparent this book is also for single people, even teens, who are also waiting for God to guide them to their own happily-ever-after. If it’s His will for you to marry, He is able to bring two hearts together to fall in love with each other and spend the rest of their lives glorifying Christ together.”

Telling teens how not to feel will do nothing to guide their hearts. However, exposing them to real Christ honoring romance will kindle a spark of hope that God really is sovereign over romance and love.  

About the Author 

Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. With more than 30 years of experience as a marriage mentor, pastor’s wife, author and speaker, Stoppe leads women of all ages to live lives of no regrets.

Using sound biblical teaching through humor and honest communication, Stoppe teaches women how to apply God’s word to live boldly through the power of the Holy Spirit. Stoppe has appeared on radio programs and has spoken at women’s events, MOPs groups and homeschool conventions around the nation.

Stoppe is the author of Moms Raising Sons to be Men, which mentors thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life, If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy & Other Myths Wives Believe, helping countless women build no-regrets marriages and Real-Life Romance, a collection of real-life love stories. Her latest release is The Marriage Mentor, written with her husband, Steve.

The Stoppes have four adult children and a growing tribe of grandchildren.

Visit Rhonda Stoppe’s website for more resources on love, marriage and parenting. She is also active on YouTube (Rhonda Stoppe No Regrets Woman), Facebook (RhondaStoppeNoRegretsWoman) and on Twitter (@RhondaStoppe).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Sign-up to review Tying Their Shoes

A Christ-Centered Approach to Preparing for Parenthood

by Rob and Stephanie Green


About the book:

Through a gospel-centered approach to parenting, Tying Their Shoes by Rob and Stephanie Green lays the foundation for expecting parents to welcome a new addition into their home in light of the gospel. First-time, soon-to-be parents and parents expecting an additional child will find Christ-centered hope, practical advice, and encouragement toward parental unity in this invaluable resource. 
Authors Rob and Stephanie Green know a baby brings many wonderful changes for both biological and adoptive parents. While other parenting resources help expectant parents prepare for the physical and emotional work of parenting, the Greens address the all-important spiritual foundation needed for parenting. They help parents understand and apply the gospel—the best resource to ground couples in their relationships with the Lord, with each other, and with their children. 
The challenges of parenting do bring stress, but Tying Their Shoes guides expectant parents to turn toward the Lord with all of the strains of this new season of life. Sharing from both a mother’s and father’s perspective, Rob and Stephanie Green dive into the goal of parenting, the blessings of parenting, pregnancy and labor, marital intimacy, biblical discipline, and other practical realities of first-time parents.
Above all else, Tying Their Shoes equips soon-to-be parents to create a gospel-centered home and mindset, lovingly pointing couples to our Father who cares for his children and is with them every step of the way.

About the authors:

Robert E. Green, MDiv, PhD, is the pastor of counseling and seminary ministries at Faith Church, Lafayette, Indiana. Rob wrote Tying the Knot and several smaller works on marriage and family issues. Rob and his wife, Stephanie, have three children.
Stephanie E. Green, RN, is a homemaker and heavily involved in mentoring women in Faith Church, Lafayette, Indiana. She is the author of minibook Miscarriage: You Are Not Alone and worked as a registered nurse for over a decade primarily in the newborn nursery and postpartum units.

Rob and Stephanie have three children.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Unfortunate for you, lucky for me

To finish out 2018, I received a jury duty summons in the mail (on December 31). It's been a couple of years since the last time I got one from any court, so I was due.

Today was the day that I was supposed to go. The whole experience usually gets at least one good blog post out of it. It's an absolute time suck that means a day of no productivity.

But alas, readers of this blog, today is your lucky day. I called into the recorded message yesterday and was elated to find out that jury duty had been cancelled, so no interesting stores here tonight. Move it along. ;)

Now, I can't say that the day was completely productive because it wasn't, but more so than if I had been stuck at the courthouse trying to avoid certain people (which happened last time).

So, in lieu of writing a new, funny post, I have link back to the blog posts for the time I did serve on a jury just to give you a reminder that at one time my blog was occasionally entertaining. If you have never read about it before, you really need to read "The Potato Chip Story" part 1 and part 2. Seriously, it had to have been the dumbest trial ever. Judge Judy would have told them so. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Colton can solve his problem pretty easily... send the drama pageant queens home!

It's supposed to get uber dramatic tonight on The Bachelor.

Sydney hopes the drama is over. Hasn't she ever watched this show?

We start off with Chris Harrison arriving with the first date card. He hands it off and quickly ducks out the door.

"Katie, Heather, Hannah B., Courtney, Kirpa, Tracy, Demi, Caelynn... I'm looking for life's greatest treasure. - Colton"

Hannah B. (Miss AL) was hoping Caeylnn (Miss NC) would not be on her group date. The feeling was mutual.

The load up and go to some pirate dinner show theater (think Medieval Times or Dixie Stampede) where he does a little acting. Colton's "friends" are going teach them how to be pirates. They head off to get into costume, then go into "training." There are competitions to knock each other off of beams. Hannah tries to beat the snot out of Caelynn. Then Caelynn and Colton have a moment. Hannah about has a conniption.

The pirates choose Tracy and Caelynn to spend more time with Colton while the others are sent off to the Poop Deck. The real audience comes along and watches the show. Hannah is going to put a curse on Caelynn. "It brings out all my insecurities, and I start to spiral." Hannah decides to tell Colton all about the real Caelynn. (I think it's the other way around, but...)

All the women rejoin Colton for the later part of the date. Demi isn't worried about the pageant girls, by the way. I don't think anyone phases Demi.

Katie seems to have a pretty good private chat with Colton.

Demi says something about handing out roses and Colton's type. Tracy says when she was younger, she made mistakes in thinking she had a type. Demi then goes into some speech about if she were an older woman she'd be intimidated and that she feels bad for Tracy.

Demi interrupts his time with Courtney to do what she needs to do to get the rose tonight. She talks about smelling him and tells Colton she knows she makes him nervous. Demi blindfolds Colton, then spanks him with a paddle. She then has a fake hand and it almost gets graphic.

Courtney takes Demi off later to confront her about her attitude. That did nothing.

The women back at the mansion are chatting about what they think is going on at the cocktail party. The next date card arrives.

"Elyse... Love is in the air." 

Cassie is drunkenly hurt it's not for her. She's scared she won't get a date this week. 

I'm sure Demi will have thoughts about this older woman date.

Colton and Caelynn talk about the awkward moments that come up. He likes her, but didn't do the kiss right earlier when she "won" and saved him. This turns into a lot of kissy face. While this is going on, Hannah is telling Heather that the Caelynn she was once friends with is different and has a different personality than this girl. Hannah seems manic to me. She's "shook" about this.

When Hannah gets her time, she decides she wants to tell Colton what's bothering her. First, they handle stress differently, then they had a fallout. (No details.) Colton's like, "What do I need to know?" Hannah is so vague and starts whispering about a volatile situation. Colton asks, "What are you getting at? Are you saying if I like her, I can't like you because you are that different?" Colton is frustrated. From what little is shown, he doesn't actually learn anything. He reluctantly gives her a kiss when he walks off.

Colton pulls Caelynn back off. He's confused and frustrated because he talked to Hannah. He tells her that Hannah used the word hostile and that she had removed herself from the situation. She explains they handle situations differently and that there experiences in her life she hasn't talked about. She's not wanting to get into that right now.

Colton comes back to the group to get the rose, then gives it to Caelynn. He tells her he likes her a lot. It's about their connection.

Hannah realizes she screwed up and probably blew it. Caelynn is upset when she gets back to the group. Demi asks what's wrong, but Caelynn doesn't want to get into it. Demi is alright with that. This isn't the end of it even though it's the end of the date.

The next morning, Caelynn is holding court with three other women. She's crying, worried about what Hannah might do to retaliate after she got the rose. 

Meanwhile, Hannah is crying to Heather. Poor, innocent Heather. She doesn't know she's being played.

On the date for the day, Elyse is nudging Colton in the limo to give her hints about what they are doing that day. Is it a hot air balloon? He won't tell. It's The Bachelor, so it's a helicopter. They fly down to San Diego.

Elyse hopes the two of them are on the same page since she's 6 years older than him. As they run to an empty amusement park, Colton informs Elyse it will be a group date... with a bunch of kids.

Off they go!

First up is the merry-go-round. Some of the kids (or all) are a part of his charity for kids from hospitals (he gives them a day out to let them be kids). They play games, ride rides, and have their run of the carnival.

They finally get time alone on a roller coaster and kiss while stopped at the top before she loses it on the way down. After today, she doesn't care about the age difference because she's convinced he'll be a great dad.

Over dinner that night, Elyse mentioned the age thing, but also said she knew he's be a great dad. For some reason, Elyse takes this time to share an awful story about her sister, a labor and delivery nurse, who had a tumor when pregnant and died. They also started a charity. She didn't realize you could be this vulnerable this quickly.

Back at the mansion, the last date card arrives.

"Tayshia, Nina, Catherine, Sydney, Onyeka, Cassie, Nicole, Caitlin... For every strong man, there is an even stronger woman."

Not getting a date, the other Hannah from Alabama (who had a big date last week) and Bri.

Back to the date. Colton gives Elyse the date rose. Elyse thinks this has been the best day. Colton has one more surprise. There's a concert, of course. Who is Tenille Arts? I'm sure it's her favorite country music act. It also has to be awkward to be dancing and kissing in front of the concert crowd.

The next day, a shirtless Colton is working out and showing off his "guns." The women have a fit when they see him. Onyeka makes sure she is the first to run out to greet him. They head into the gym where they find Terry and Rebecca Crews. 

Some of the women are more athletic than others. Some draw more attention than others. After a little while, they head outside. There will be a Strongest Woman contest, complete with an audience. Chris Harrison and Fred Willard will be calling the competition.

First event: Pushing a 100 pound wedding cake down the aisle. Onyeka, a former track star, fairs alright. Nicole, not so much.

Second event: Ring (giant tire) flip. Catherine is first. She can do it. Sydney manages as well.

Third event: Limo pull. Tayshia has her work cut out for her. She tried really hard, but did not succeed. Caitlin is not dressed for this. However, she does better than anyone thought.

Last event: Heavy Heart Carry. The three finalists are Catherine, Sydney and Onyeka. Thr ree run with a heavy ball up and down a course and put it atop a pedestal. Onyeka wins.

Later that evening, we see Tayshia as the first to talk to Colton. She wants to make sure she was noticed today. Is Heather the only one he hasn't kissed yet (she's the never been kissed one).

The women are talking about feeling the pressure. Catherine says she hasn't felt any pressure.

Colton tells Nicole that she may not be a physically strong woman, but he knows she's a mentally strong one.

Onyeka gets a piece of cake since she won the contest. He thinks she has contagious energy.

Colton calls Cassie sweet and awkward and finds her sexy. Make-out ensues.

Colton isn't feeling it as much with Caitlin. She can't think about a big life story to share. It goes no where. She tries to get her talking. He feels ZERO chemistry. They can't even carry on a conversation. Colton tells her that he was looking forward to talking to her, but he doesn't feel like the spark is there. Therefore, he is sending her on home. He starts to walk her out. She doesn't want to hold his hand. She gone!

He returns to the group, picks up the rose, and gives it to Nicole.

The next morning, the women are chatting about Colton sending Caitlin home. The women realize now they can be sent home at any time. Chris Harrison arrives to deliver the news that Colton knows what he wants to do, so there will be no cocktail party tonight. However, there will be a pool party today.

Some of the women (Demi) are ready to show off.

Miss Alabama hopes to get things back to a good place.

There's lots of splashing and jumping in the pool going on.

The other Hannah gets some time with Colton. He tells her that he's confident with her. That's why she didn't get a date this week.

Heather and Miss Alabama are talking again. They must not talk to anyone else. She's not doing this with Caelynn anymore. She's ready for fun. That's until Colton comes by taking Caelynn off. Hannah is not pleased. There's a "tank of rage that is full" and "The monster is about to come out." Heather is feeding the beast.

Caelynn decides she ready to share some of the dirt. They were close. When Caelynn started to get more attention and got runner-up, that's when Hannah started changing. She notices it in the house too. When Caelynn has a moment, that's when Hannah starts to spiral. Colton wants to focus on his relationships. He didn't see this side of Hannah on their one-on-one. It concerns him. He's caught off guard. He wants to trust his instincts.

He goes to Hannah and sends Heather off. "I'm not manipulative, she is." It's a whole bunch of she said/she said. It's going around in circles, and he doesn't know what to believe. I don't know if either is telling the truth, but Hannah annoys me.

He talks to the producers (as far as I can tell) that he didn't want this to consume his whole day. Chris Harrison comes in and asks why he's frustrated. Colton likes both, but there are two different stories.

It's rose time. Caelynn, Nicole and Elyse have their roses.

  1. Hannah G. (the other one from Alabama, but not Miss AL)
  2. Tayshia
  3. Katie
  4. Cassie
  5. Kirpa
  6. Sydney
  7. Demi
  8. Tracy (she has the ugliest dress and Demi rolls her eyes at this rose)
  9. Courtney
  10. Heather
  11. Onyeka (who didn't get to play out her plans for the day)
  12. Hannah B. (nope, her dress is ugliest)
That leaves Catherine, Nina and Bri packing their bags. 

The mood is heavy. Caelynn is disappointed that Hannah is still around. Hannah is frustrated to be the last one to get a rose. She's pouting though she's still there. "I don't deserve all this stuff being said about me." She doesn't get that the producers planned that out.

I thought Colton was going to jump the fence according to the opening previews. Nope, not tonight. 

Next week, they head out to Singapore. 

Lots of crying and carrying on next week has been promised. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019



By John W. Thompson; © Kruger Organisation
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

(girls echo)
Oh Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for You.

It was you Lord, who sent the Savior
Heart and soul Lord, to every man.
It is you Lord, who knows my weakness,
You refine me with Your own hand.

Lead me on Lord, through my temptations
You refine me from within
Fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit,
And take all our sins away.

Lord teach Your children, to stop the fighting,
And start uniting, all as one.
Let’s get together, loving forever
Sanctuary, for You.

And when He comes with shouts of glory
And our work on earth is done
O, how I long to hear Him saying,
“Faithful servant well done.”

Saturday, January 19, 2019

I did part with something that did not bring me joy

Last weekend, I posted the before photos of the latest mess I needed to clean up. Every time I get my house straightened up, I end up with another mess.

After putting it off because I'm a procrastinator, I couldn't stand it any longer. After all, Dad brought over a piece of furniture I bought in September or October, and I had to get it in place out in the studio. I know Mom was tired of it in her garage. 

Everyone on Facebook has been going on and on about watching Marie Kondo videos and getting rid of stuff. As I posted on Facebook, someone needed to watch the door because seeing my mess would give her an aneurysm. 

By the way, I know it's because Netflix series everyone is talking about her, but the Gilmore Girls were making cracks about her two years ago on their revival. There was a big scene about all the things that did not bring Emily joy. 

To find out what I got rid of, you have to scroll down. 

I have a pile of cardboard boxes sitting by my carport door that need to go in recycling, and I threw away tons of plastic Walmart and Brookshires sacks that had ended up out there.

What did not bring me joy was finding the complete skeleton of a 4-5 inch lizard sitting in the windowsill that a desk had been in front of. There were some things stored under the desk too. I had moved everything I could to vacuum and found it. I didn't thank it for its life, but I did say, "Poor lizard," before picking it up with a plastic bag and throwing it away.

Hopefully, next weekend I will get started on the new projects I want to do. I have a bunch more books coming that I'll have to put somewhere though. I have no idea where, so I predict another mess.


Friday, January 18, 2019

So not my next career move

Just a few shots of Peyton playing basketball this week. Sports photography is not my next career move. Other than free throw shots (and even then), I get complete blurs whether I'm on the sports or automatic settings. 

The good news: they won both games this week.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mardi Gras King Cake ice cream tastes like a candle

A few weeks ago, I saw on Facebook that Blue Bell had a new ice cream flavor coming out. Mardi Gras King Cake. I'm a believer in trying most (not all) new flavors of Blue Bell as long as pumpkin, gingerbread or marshmallows are not involved.

It is described as, "A Mardi Gras inspired dessert made with a cinnamon cake flavored ice cream, tasty pastry pieces and a colorful cream cheese swirl with festive candy sprinkles."

You had me at cream cheese. The sprinkle are purple. I loved cheese crown (danish) ice cream in Cincinnati. This has to be great, right?


The first time I tried it, it tasted like a candle. I guess a cinnamon candle. I guess that part was strong and for some reason I thought it tasted like a candle would.

As I've eaten more of it (because I'm not going to throw it out), it's grown on me some. However, the texture is funky. The cream cheese doesn't swirl either. I wouldn't buy it again. I'll stick to Pecan Praline and Cream which shall forever be my favorite.

And in case you were wondering, no, they don't throw a baby Jesus into the ice cream bucket.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

If I were going to dye my hair

If I were going to dye my hair, the color that I would pick sure wouldn't be "Bologna Blonde."

I really do think my phone listens to me in my sleep and catches me on occasion snoring (when my head is stopped up or I end up on my back) and thereby thinks I need a sleep machine and a way to clean my CPAP. I mean, why else would I get those ads on Facebook? I sure haven't been searching for such things and have not talked about needing them.

However, I must be age targeted right now for ads on social media for ads for hair color. On Facebook and Instagram both, I have had multiple hair dye ads come up, specifically for the color Bologna Blonde. I've seen other ads from other companies as well since.

Why all of a sudden I'm getting hair dye ads on all my social media, I have no idea. I've not looked for hair color. I have not talked about my hair color. I have not posted about having grey popping out. Unlike other "big brother" type ads everyone has been talking about, I've not even thought about it.

The thing that really struck me as funny was the name of the color. City in Italy or not Bologna is pronounced baloney in the US. That's a terrible name. No one would want to answer "Baloney Blonde" when asked the color of your hair. You are not going to spell B-O-L-O-G-N-A when someone asks your hair color. Not that spelling it would help. Anyone of a certain age is going to spell to the tune of the Oscar Meyer commercial. (That's how I taught the kids the one semester I taught school and that was a bonus spelling word.)

I so wish I could share the link to the comments. When I shared it with a friend, they couldn't access it. I screenshot a couple, but I must have deleted those from my phone too. I can't even find it in my Facebook chat conversation. 

Someone volunteered to be their color namer since they obviously needed a new one. GIFs of bologna abounded. 

I am way too low maintenance to color my hair. I don't want to spend money and time on upkeep either. They are just absolutely barking up the wrong tree. I've been coming up with all  kinds of excuses not to even straighten or curl it. Scratch that, even brush all the way through it. I'm going to have knotty dreads before you know it. Even if happens, I assure you they will be in my natural color, whatever that is.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Win a copy of Robin Lee Hatcher's Who I Am with You!

For the next couple of weeks my blog tour team
is reviewing Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher,
her latest release from Thomas Nelson. 

Learn a little bit more about the book below and scroll down
to enter the giveaway to win your own copy!

About the book:

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination. 

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have broken their hearts, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am with You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

Who I Am with You is the first book in Robin’s new “A Legacy of Faith” series.

Click here to read an excerpt!

About the author:

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.