Saturday, April 30, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: when sparrows fall

Miranda Lambert has found herself in quite a predicament. Her husband, Carl, had a nasty fall off of the roof two years ago and left Miranda the sole provider for their six kids. His life insurance and charity from the church keeps them afloat, and Miranda sells a photograph from time to time, even though she has been reprimanded about such things. Pastor Mason always seems to keep her in line, with threats or comments about her losing her children. The last time being at a meeting called by the pastor after the other widows left, Miranda informed him she and her kids would not be moving when the church did, needless to say Pastor Mason was not pleased. She did not believe it was God’s will for her to leave Slades Creek. On top of all of these two weeks later Miranda has landed herself in the hospital, she took quite a fall off of the cliff behind the house while trying to get a picture. Her oldest, Timothy found her and called the ambulance. Timothy also found the letter his mother had previously told him about in case anything happened to her.
Timothy did as the letter instructed and called Jack Hanford. Jack was Carl’s half-brother; Carl had run Jack off when he stopped to visit. At that time Jack had met and visited with Miranda and the two kids, then Carl came home. Now this letter was saying that if anything happened to Miranda Jack was left guardian of the kids. He was overwhelmed and Timothy was scared. Jack instructed Timothy that he would be there as soon as he could get there.
Jack found quite a few surprises when he arrived, the main one being there were six kids instead of two. Jack quickly realized life was different for this family. They dressed differently, they did not attend public school, they were not aloud to read fiction, they had never been to the library, they did not know what Frosted Flakes were, they had never ate out and those were the most obvious differences. He felt these kids were being deprived all to succumb to a religion or was it a cult? Does Miranda recover and make it home? Does Jack overstep his bounds by introducing these children to the real world? Do Pastor Mason and the church back off or do they try to cause problems? Can Jack reach Miranda or does she detest him for interfering? Read when sparrows fall to find out all the answers to these questions and many more.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It kept my interest and I wanted to see what was going to become of this young family. I fully recommend it.

To read an excerpt from this wonderful book click here.

To read information about Meg Moseley the author click here.

I received this book free from Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishing as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

until next time...nel

Friday, April 29, 2011


Deeper into the Word by Keri Wyatt Kent is a welcomed addition to my library. This book is a wonderful study guide for the New Testament. The author has taken 100 words from the New Testament and studies the words in depth looking first at their original language and then delving farther into the actual meaning. At times when necessary the author will revert to the Old Testament to understand fully the meaning of the word. In the contents she lists the 100 words that is studied and the Greek index is in the back along with a list of helpful Web Sites.

Whether you use this book as a Study Help, for Reference or a Devotion to read, there is a lot of valuable information inside. This little book can give new meaning to the passages in your Bible, by fully understanding certain words bringing them to life.

A valuable asset to everyone, Keri Wyatt Kent did a fantastic job, do not pass this one by.

To read an excerpt from the book click here.

Click here to go directly to Bethany House Publishers.

I received this book free from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

until next time... nel

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Real Hodgepodge...

It is that fun time of the week when we get to answer all kinds of random questions.  Joyce at From This Side Of The Pond does such a good job hosting this meme.  If you would like to join us just click on her button above and you can get the questions and then link up so we can enjoy your answers too.  Of course you want to read mine before you do all that, right? Sure you do! 
So here we go:

1.  What is something that bothers you if it is not done perfectly?

You know to tell you the truth I never have considered myself much of a perfectionist but when I started thinking about this question I guess I am to a certain point.  I couldn't tell you how many seams I have ripped out when sewing only because I could see the mistake, no one else would of probably even noticed, but I knew it was there.  Then there is crocheting, I have been known to rip out a lot of rows just because I do not like the way it looks.  The other situation that crosses my mind is balancing the checkbook.  I have spent quite a while just looking for a few pennies.  It has to balance to the penny before I stop looking.  Usually I am jumping for joy because it balances the first try, but sometimes...   So I guess that is my main three things, and maybe I do lean towards the perfectionist side.  hmmm who would of thunk it?

2.  What is one of your best childhood memories?

I think our family camping trips.  I was probably around 8 or 9 when we started camping.  My mom's two sisters and their families would also camp.  We would set our campers up in a big circle and have a big campfire in the middle.  Most of the time there were 5 or 6 campers.  Usually each family would do their own cooking but sometimes we would put it all together and have a potluck.  We would roast marshmallows at night and sometimes hot dogs on the fire.  We also made pies.  The sisters all had pie irons, that you used buttered bread with a spoonful of pie filling and when you shut them you cut the crust off.  You then would brown them on the fire.  Oh were they good, we would sometimes do pizza filling, those were also delicious. There were several different campgrounds around the state that we enjoyed.  Such good memories...

3.  Do you plan to watch the Royal Wedding and when was the last time you wore a hat?

No, the Royal Wedding really does not interest me, to much glitter and glitz. It was probably in the 70's when I stood up in my best friend's wedding.  We wore big floppy hats with a train of tuille and flowers. 

Of course I remember when I was little we always made a trip to Arkansas in May for decoration where grandparents were buried.  I always got a new dress for that occasion and usually always had a hat.

4.  Where do you fall in the birth order in your family? Do you think this has influenced your personality?

I am the youngest of three and the only girl.  Now why on earth would I think that had an influence on my personality?

5.  Where do you think you spend most of your money?

Probably at Sam's Club.  We go once a month and stock up on our groceries and staples.  We also have started buying our meat there, and have not been disappointed so far.

6.  When you need to confront someone would you rather communicate in person, on the phone, by email or by letter?  Why?

In person, you can tell a lot by peoples eyes and their actions!

7.  Dodge ball, freeze tag, kickball, or jump rope?  You have to pick one.

Gosh we played them all, all the time. Probably jump rope. We used to play jump rope on the playground and under the street lamp at night.  Double Dutch was the most fun! 
"I like coffee, I like tea,
I like (name inserted) to jump with me.
It was fun to see how many could jump at the same time.

8.  Random Thought.

I am so tired of rain, I am sure everyone else is too.  Arkansas has been hit pretty hard with thunderstorms and tornadoes.  I talked to my daughter tonight, they were all okay, even though there were a few scary moments.  Praise The Lord they are safe.  The sun will shine again!

until next time... nel

Sunday, April 24, 2011



Friday, April 22, 2011

Can You Imagine...

It is time for Flashback Friday, if you would like to join in click on the button above and get the complete prompt from Linda.  Its that wonderful time of Easter and our prompt this week concerns the real reason we celebrate Easter.

I have often sat and read the story in my Bible and pondered over everything.  Can you imagine how Mary actually felt when she went to the tomb and he was no longer there.  Wow, usually I end up wiping tears when I really start thinking about what Jesus really did for us.  I want to share something that took place back when I was Youth Leader while my daughter was a teenager.  I am not sure how many of you have ever heard of "The Great Passion Play" at Eureka Springs, AR., you can click here for more information.  I have watched the play numerous times and each time see something I had not seen before.  If you are ever in Arkansas I highly recommend stopping in here, you will not be sorry. 

Okay, back to my story, one of our visits to the area I made arrangements with the directors for my teen youth group to be extras in the play, if they wanted to participate.  We divided them and participated on a Thursday and Friday night. My daughter was one of the participants, all of them played villagers.  There were mentors for every 2 kids.  My daughter and a friend actually were able not only be part of the crowd, but they were able to wave the palms when Jesus came into town on the donkey.  She said "It was strange mom you know it is a play, but it is so real, you feel like it is really happening, that you are really there."  And later when Jesus is tied to the post and they are beating Him, she said she wanted to yell, "Stop, stop."  She said she actually teared up.  There were several different scenes they were in and it definitely had an impact on those kids.  So I can't help but get emotional when I am studying His word and thinking about all He went through just so we can have a home in Heaven!  What an awesome God!

I Hope All Of You Have A Wonderful Blessed Easter!

until next time... nel

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hopping up to Hodgepodge...

Yes, it is Wednesday Hodgepodge day.  I am running late but what else is new?  If you would like to be later than me just click on the button above and hop over to Joyce's at "From This Side Of the Pond" and get the questions for this week!  It's a lot of fun and I won't tell anyone you are later than me...

Here goes:

1.  What are your plans for Easter Day/weekend?

We do not have any big plans.  Church of course, then we will have an early supper before evening services.  We will have ham and the trimmings.  I miss being around kids, and egg hunts.  I told my hubby, I am going to have to work in an Arkansas trip over Easter next year.  I need to help those kiddos with egg hunting, and I need to make Easter dinner for them, along with worshipping at this special time of year.  We do mail my grandkids care packages with goodies.  This year as an added bonus I sent them each an album with Spring Break pictures in them.  I am sure they will enjoy them.

2.  Besides Jesus, what one person from The Bible would you most like to meet any why?

It is hard to pick just one, but I have always admired Noah.  Even though it had not rained Noah obeyed God and did as He said.  Noah did not listen to those around him his focus was on God.  We could learn a lot from Noah.
In Matthew 9:20-22 it talks about the woman who was diseased and came behind Jesus in the crowd and just wanted to touch His garment cause she knew she would be made whole.  And Jesus turned and told her her faith made her whole.  What an example to live by. 

3.  What is one modern day convenience you didn't have as a child that was easy to live without?

Only one?  Microwaves and microwave popcorn.  We love our popcorn in my house and it is so easy to throw a bag in the microwave.  Instead of going this route:

I can remember all three of these poppers and then she got one of the air ones that just never tasted right.  When you put butter on your popcorn they would shrivel up.  So see popcorn has been a constant companion in my life - lolol.

4.  Are you more right brained or left brained?

I clicked on the quiz and my results were 50% left and 51% right.  I have always told my husband that we use both sides of our brain.  I messed around and did not write all the details about it. 

5.  What is something you intended to do today but didn't?  Why?

I planned on writing reviews on 2 books I have read but did not get it done yet.  No excuse, just did not do it.

6.  Cadbury Creme Eggs or Reeses peanut butter?

Reeses hands down.  I don't care for the creamy stuff.

7.  Who was your favorite cartoon character when you were a child?

The roadrunner was my favorite, even now the roadrunner rules!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I decided to share some pictures that we took when the kids were here.  We had such a good time.  It does my heart good, they love the library!   We went to a park here in Springfield that has animals for them to pet, a big playground and catch and release fishing and it is free, can't get much better than that.  We also went to the zoo and ended the week by going to see Yogi Bear, which was the first time that Eden had been to a theater.  They played with bubbles outside and drew masterpieces on our driveway with sidewalk chalk, all in all a very good week!

Cain is growing up on us, with those dimples he will be a heartbreaker.

Taken at the zoo.
Cain fighting alligators.
She is not afraid of anything.

She was having a ball.  There were two other boys playing with them and she was it.  I can just hear her yelling "I'm fixin to get you all boys!  Here I come.  You better run!"  She is not mouthy at

I had to add this one, she was sitting there real still telling
her bubba, "You have to be patient bub, just sit still and wait."
This is just a few of the pictures, but I thought I would share them, nothing like making memories!
until next time... nel

Monday, April 18, 2011

Random Thoughts and then some...

Random Thoughts are rolling around and it can get kind of scary at times. lol.  We were in Iowa this weekend, as my daughter says "You never know where my momma is."  We attended a memorial service for Stan's daughter's father-in-law.  He was a dear man who spent his latter days in that horrible disease called dementia. The memorial service was very nice and we did get to spend some time with his daughter and family. 

After leaving Iowa we stopped off at Orsi's Bakery in Omaha, NE.  If you want wonderful bread don't pass Orsi's by if you are in the neighborhood. We bought 6 loaves of sliced twisted Italian bread and one loaf of pumpernickel, needless to say we have 5 loaves in the freezer.  I put it in freezer bags and it will be fresh when it is thawed.  Can't pass Orsi's up when we are in the area!

Today I met my new cardiologist here in Springfield and I think I am going to really like her and the assistant.  She is an Electrophysiologist, (that is a mouthful isn't it) which is good since my problem was an electrical short in my heart.  I know I was a little hesitant about the whole situation but I should of remembered God is in control even with the little things in our lives.  They were very thorough today and very nice.  I was impressed, and I do not have to return for 6 months.  Now, I have to get the colonoscopy rescheduled.

I am hoping and praying life will be calm for the next few weeks then we will be off and running again.  Eden Jade will be graduating from Preschool on the 5th of May and then we have to get back up to northern Missouri where Stan's grandson Michael will be graduating from college on the 7th.  Then back to Arkansas by the 15th for Decoration where my mom and dad are buried.  

Okay, we have to talk a little about the weather.  Do you think Spring will ever get here and stay?  It is 71 here today but very overcast, looks like it could rain at any time.  Last Thursday it was raining when we got to Iowa, in fact it was almost sleet.  It was a lot colder there in the 30's, glad we remembered coats.  The trees here are all budding out and alot of them have already bloomed, up there they were still pretty bare.  I think I am liking Missouri almost as much as Arkansas...just saying!

I guess that is all I will share today, I have bored you enough.

until next time... nel

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On The Road Again...

Iowa Bound...

until next time... nel

Hodgepodging Again...

Hopefully photobucket will get their kinks worked out and Joyce's fantastic button for Hodgepodge will appear.  If clicking on the square does not transport you to Joyce's corner click here.  While at "From This Side Of The Pond" you can get this weeks questions and be sure to link back up so we can all enjoy your answers.

Are you ready for this week?  Well, here they are:

1.  Would you rather talk to everyone at a crowded party for a short time or have a significant conversation with two people?

It depends, if my bestest friends are there then we would probably be drawn to each other.  If not, then I would try to talk to everyone for a short time.  Oh who am I kidding?  I have never met a stranger and I have never been known to talk for a short time.  Is this a trick question Joyce?

2.  What objects do you remember from your parent's living room?

It seemed we always had a sleeper sofa, ugly and  My parents had purchased a set of encyclopedias when I was young.  They were really nice ones and there was a really nice glass doored shelf that they were in.  No telling what they paid for them, they bought them from the door to door salesman.  The sad thing about it, we never used them very much.  When I would get them out at times to work on a school report, Mom was harping about being careful with them, I hated to use them.  I would usually use the ones at school.  We did not have a lot in our living room, couch, dad's chair, and another chair, tv, end tables, and a coffee table.  And usually the shelves that had all of mom's knick knacks. 

3.  Do you hog the bed?  Steal the covers? Snore?

No, No, Yes in that order.  We have a constant discussion about who is sleeping in the middle of the bed.  Let's just say it is not me.   When morning rolls around the covers are usually touching the floor on the other side of the bed, does that tell you anything?  Now snoring... I can hold my own.  He snores too, but not as loud as myself.  I have woke myself up at times... just saying!

4.  Speaking of Easter dinner...what is your favorite way to cook/eat lamb?  Or does just the thought of that make you squeamish?  If you're not cooking lamb what will be your entree du jour on Easter Sunday?

Ok, let's get the lamb part of this question out of the way, No, Notta, No Way...Can't do it!   My kids raise lambs, I have taken to many pictures.

So we do ham, actually we have always done ham on Easter.  I always made a big dinner when my kid was at home of if we happen to be in Arkansas, we always did as I was growing up also.  Not so much, anymore...   Actually for years the church we attended would have a big Easter Potluck and we would hide eggs for all the kids right after morning services and they would dismiss the evening services.  A lot of good memories during that time.

5.  Do you know the whereabouts of your birth certificate and when was the last time you had to produce it to prove you're you?

Yes I do know where it is, I could put my hands on it in just a matter of minutes.  The last time I used it I believe was after I remarried and switching something to my married name. 

6.  As a child, how did people describe you?

Very quiet, well behaved, reserved, shy, cute, pretty long hair.  I left all that behind...lolol.

7.  What do you complain about the most?

I had to go ask Stan about this one, cause sometimes we complain and do not even realize it.  He said I do not complain alot but sometimes I do mention being tired at times, and I think that would be better if we kept normal hours. lolol.   If I asked my daughter, she would probably say living arrangements.  It is hard not seeing my daughter and my grandkids as often as I would like.  Also, it is hard at times having two women in the same house.  Just saying...

8.  Insert your own random thought here?

Patt cut a boquet of Lilacs for me and brought them in and placed them on my desk, which was sweet.  So I have been enjoying their fragrance this week and remembering my dad.  Lilacs was his favorite flower and I know I have mentioned this before.  When I lived in Northlake, IL we had a row of tall lilac bushes running down the middle of our side yard, we had a corner lot.  Dad would come home from working hard on construction and I would always meet him at the picnic table.  We would sit there and enjoy the lilacs for a few minutes sometimes longer.  He would ask me about my day, and tell me about his.  Good memories...

until next time...nel

Friday, April 8, 2011

Poetry Flashbacks...

It seems it is time for Flashback Friday again. If you would like to join in just click on the button above and you will be transported over to Linda’s corner. There you can find the complete prompt for this week.

It seems this month is National Poetry Month, so to celebrate we are talking about poems of our childhood. I love poetry, preferring rhyming over free verse, but I do like both. I took Creative Writing classes in high school. Writing is such a good way to express yourself.

I remember two poems that I memorized in school. One was by Langston Hughes called “Dreams”. Here it is:


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

By: Langston Hughes

The other was “The Tiger” by William Blake. It was a longer poem but I remembered a friend and I both memorized it and we said in front of the class, she would do a stanza then I would. This was in grade school, and if I remember right we got an A on it. Here are the first two stanzas.

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

If you would like to read the complete poem click HERE.
Poetry has always been a part of my life. At times I have written the jingles for the inside of cards I have made. I have notebooks with scribbles in them.  I have two poems that I have written that I am pretty proud of. One is called “MY DAD” you can read it HERE. It is at the end of the Veteran’s Post.

The other one is about my friend, Patsy. It actually was included in a book, which is now out of print and I have not been able to locate an old one. I have never included it in a post, but here goes:

My Friend

Patsy was a Special Lady
One sent from above.
It was very plain to see
She was overflowing with love.
Always knew just what to say
When you were feeling blue,
“Don’t worry so, we’ll just pray,
The Lord will see us thru.”

She taught me a lot about Faith and Love
During the time we spent at White River.
“Just give all your cares to the One above
And have faith that He will deliver.”

Patsy was a dear friend,
My Special Prayer Partner.
On Her I always could depend,
To take my request to the Father.

Patsy in now in Heaven,
Our loss it seems so great...
But we will see her again
When we make it thru the Heavenly Gate.

Nel Curtis

until next time… nel

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Time for Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Click on the above button if you would like to join in.

1. National Read a Road Map Day falls on April 5th. Would people say you have a good sense of direction? Do you rely on a GPS when you drive somewhere new? When was the last time you used a map?

I have to say I have a very good sense of direction. I think I inherited that from my Dad. It takes a lot to get me turned around unless you count trying to find your car in the parking lot, then I am lost. Lol. We do have a GPS, we have used it quite a bit.   We need to update it, we have gotten lost a time or two because of road changes, but it was well worth its money when we went west.  I would say the last time we used a map was on our anniversary last year, finding the parks and attractions around Boxley Valley, Arkansas.

2. What's your favorite cookbook?

I am a cookbook and recipe nut.  I love trying new recipes.  I think my favorite is one that our church in Arkansas put together.  I love those kinds of cookbooks, interesting recipes of down home cooking.  I love searching blogs and the internet for new recipes also.

3. What painting would you like to "walk into" and experience? Why?

Wow, I have a picture in my Arkansas home that is definitely speaks to me. The sun is setting on a farm scene, the big farmhouse has a light or two on, and the barn is off to the side and there is a pond in the lower front with a split rail fence on the edge of the field and two kids walking toward the barn with their fishing poles and a dog tagging along behind. It is a simpler time, you can almost feel the peace and serenity, and you can almost hear the kids talking about the one that got away. I love simple things!
4. What annoys you more- misspellings or mispronunciations?

Misspellings!  I really get upset when it is my own.  I am usually a very good speller.

5. What is something your mother or father considered important?

Dad – Believing in what you do and doing it to the best of your ability. Always being proud of the job you have done.
Mom – Family, everyone getting along.

6. Do you like or dislike schedules?

This is a hard one for me to answer I think sometimes you need schedules; you need to know where you have to be at certain times.  But the fun part of me likes to wing it, I like to live one day at a time and take life as it happens.

7. Let's have some fun with National Poetry Month (that would be April)...write your own ending to this poem-

"Roses are Red
Violets are blue..."
My brain is getting tired
How bout you?

8. Insert your own random thought in this space.
I would like to apologize for my lack of blogging lately. Life has been crazy with ups and downs. On top of last week being crazy, I guess I had a 24-hour bug, I was sick all day Sunday. Not a fun day, but Monday morning I was feeling a little better, which was good since I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. I had a mole on my shoulder removed. The doctor did not think it was anything but did not like the fact that it kept getting bigger. Next week I get to meet my new cardiologist here in Springfield. How is that for random?

That’s all folks!

until next time... nel


Friday, April 1, 2011

What A Week...

Just wanted to let everyone know we did survive our week with the kids! We were blessed in that Cain was able to join us also. We had a wonderful time, more about that later. Let’s talk about this week for a few minutes. What a week! I am so glad this week is over, do you ever have that kind of week?

My husband Stan and I sell collectibles on E-bay. We sold several Precious Moments figurines and mailed them out last week. At the beginning of this week our customer emailed us that they only received two of the four that they purchased and was curious when the other two would arrive. This creates a problem since they were all four in the same Priority Mail Shipping box. The customer stated that the box did not look like it had been tampered with and the figurines were surrounded by pink packing peanuts. Maybe it did not look tampered with but two figurines were missing and we used white packing peanuts. Needless to say we had to file a claim with the post office, Thank God we had insured the package. I am happy to say our customer has been very understanding and patient.

That is how Monday started out, and needless to say Tuesday was not much better. I had to call the office that scheduled my colonoscopy and let them know I have a pacemaker. It seems they need a cardiac clearance before they can do the procedure, and I understand that, I do not have a problem with that. What I don’t understand is why my doctor in Little Rock refuses to give me the clearance. They informed the scheduler that I had not been in since September 2008. I have my pacemaker checked by phone twice a year and go to the clinic twice a year. The Heart Clinic schedules my appointments. They have never scheduled an appointment with the doctor except in September when I seen his assistant. We are talking since April 2002 I have seen his assistant one time; otherwise it is the Technician who hooks me up to the computer. But yet they would not give me a cardiac release unless I make an appointment to see the doctor, and yes I did call and talk to them. Hello… I mean we are not talking brain surgery; we are talking a test, a colonoscopy. All they need is to know that my pacemaker will kick in if my heart stops, and as of last week it checked out fine. Do you see my problem with this? So needless to say, we are requesting all of my files and I will be switching to a Cardiologist here in Springfield, therefore postponing the colonoscopy at this time. It still irritates me; I have had to pray about this situation a lot!

I have to say though, the week ended on a better note, Stan took our car in this morning for some work, expecting it to be right at $200.00. Turned out all it needed was a coil replaced which regulates the firing of the pistons, which came to a whopping total of $30.00. Praise the Lord!

Sorry for the long post, just needed to vent I guess. I will share pictures and escapades of our week with the grandkids some time this weekend!

“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:3

until next time… nel