Friday, May 30, 2008

Road Trip Baby!!!

So yesterday, right after I promised to come back later and update you on life here with the kids and the cakes, I went to visit for a minute with my fellow dreadheads to check and see if I had a message from my new pretend BFF, Betsy Castro (aka Jason's mom). She and I are the same age, and although it freaks me out just a bit to know that I'm old enough to have a 21 year old kid (YIKES!), she has raised three fabulous kids and I plan to pick her brain as much as she'll let me!

ANYWAY, while I was checking in with the dreadheads, I discovered that it was "Jason Castro Day" in Rockwall, TX and there was going to be a parade and Jason was giving a mini-concert. Ya'll, I packed up those four kids and we headed 3 and 1/2 hours up the road. My air-conditioning went out, so we had the windows down and my left arm and left leg are quite sunburned, but it.was.totally.worth.every.single.second!!!

We parked at Jason's church and road the bus over to the concert...that was the highlight of little Dave's day...he's wanted to ride a school bus forever!

One lady had put a hat with fake dreads on her dog!!! Jonathan wanted a hat like that! :)

Jason received several gifts and awards, but I found it so exciting that when the Mayor gave him the key to the city, he mentioned all of Jason's mission trips to Russia as well as his singing and charity work...way cool!

Finally, we got to hear Jason sing live and in person....fabulous, absolutely fabulous! They've just uploaded several videos from the event here if anyone wants to go take a look. Our favorite was when he sang "Deep in the Heart of Texas" with his very, very cool.

It was just so fun to see him smiling and enjoying himself. And then, his pastor got up and talked about how he had been visiting the dreadhead's site and he realized that it wasn't Jason's hair, or his voice that had captivated America, but it was his faith that really drew people in. Then he asked everyone to pray with him, and he prayed a prayer of commissioning over Jason to go out and do the will of God in his life. Like I said, totally worth every second!!!

I have never joined a fan club before, but I must say that I'm proud to be Dreadhead #2656, and I'm so glad to have a musical artist that both my kids and I enjoy and that I can feel good about them listening to. So thank you Mr. and Mrs. Castro for raising such a fine young man, and thank you Jason, for listening to your parents! But especially for hearing God's call and answering! Can't wait to see what you do next!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We have a Winner!!!

Hello My Internet Friends!

Sorry, I've been missing again. We went camping over the Memorial Holiday Weekend, and then we've spent the past few days trying to unpack, and reclaim our lives here at the homestead. I have lots of news to share and lots of pictures of the kids and cakes and such, but I'll be back with all of that later....I PROMISE!

Right now, I need to announce the winner of my copy of "Sweet Caroline" by Rachel Hauck. I put each name on a slip of paper, and had Jon draw one name out, and the winner is.....

lyn 21!

Congratulations lyn 21! As soon as I get your address, I'll mail this book out to you!

Now, I must go and get dressed and ready for my day...lots to do today, but I'll be back later with some updates and pics for you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Don't Forget....

"The Sweet Life Blog Tour" is in full swing and there are giveaways to be had. Go here for all the details!

It's official, I'm a dreadhead....

Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd hear myself say! You all know by now, that Jason Castro was my most favoritist Idol this season. Partly because he has an amazing, smooth, comforting voice, partly because he sings gospel and folk music--some of my favorite music--and because he is a nice Christian boy who is just himself no matter what is going on around him.

So, while I was researching all things Jason Castro, I came upon a website that spurred off of one of the forums at American Idol called "Dreadheads". The website is DaydeamingBoy. I was fascinated by the site and the love for Jason displayed there. Did you know there was a 24/7 prayer chain for Jason? Me neither, but the "Dreadheads" had one going on! They also have this silly bus tour thing going on, and you know what? I've joined the tour! They dug up a bunch of pictures of old "Hippie-Type" busses, and when you sign up, you are assigned an official "Dreadhead Number" and a bus to ride for the Imaginary trip. It's silly, but it's fun at the same time. They are a bit backed up at the moment, so I'm still waiting for my official number and bus assignment.

They have free downloads of Jason's music, including some of his originals (with printable lyrics) and his covers of songs like "I'm Not Who I Was" by Brandon Heath, and "Clumsy" by Chris Rice (my personal favorite at the moment).

Now with regard to last nights' finale....I was so excited to get to see and hear Jason sing "Hallelujah" again. Simply amazing. My other favorite of the night was David Cook singing with ZZ Top. Didn't he just seem to be right at home and completely comfortable with them? I also thought Michael Johns was amazing last night. Everything he did was good, really, really, good. And although my recording stopped just as Ryan Seacrest says, "And your next American Idol is..."( I kid you not. It stopped right there, with those words....I KNOW!) the internet is a vast and amazing resource, and I was able to find out within minutes that Barb called it from the very beginning...David Cook took the whole thing! Yea, David!

Oh, and has anyone else's kids spent the day singing "Your Best Friend Forever" by Renaldo??? Of all the songs last night, THIS is the one that is stuck in their heads...ugh! I think I'll go put on my Jason Castro CD (Oh yes, I made a CD...all Jason, all the time!) and try to get "Hallelujah" or "Clumsy" stuck in their little brains!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sweet Caroline...

When the opportunity to join in the Blog Book Tour first came my way, you all know that I was quite excited, seeing as how I’m usually reading two or three books at once, the opportunity to read more books was quite enticing! And you know that the first three books I’ve reviewed here have all been fabulous, non-fiction books that I learned quite a bit from and enjoyed telling you about. But this time, I feel that I have returned to my first love….fiction! Ah yes, a good fiction book is even better than a favorite tv show, and ya’ll know how much I love tv! So, it is with great pleasure that I bring to you….

About the book:
Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.
Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.
But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.

The thing I loved most about this book was the cast of characters. Rachel Hauck has assembled a group of characters that are diverse, interesting, and highly entertaining. I fell in love with the staff of the Frogmore Café immediately, and when the book ended, I found myself wanting more. I didn’t want to let go of my new friends quite so soon, and I really wanted to know “what happened next”! To me, that’s always a sign of a good book…that it leaves me wanting to keep reading. I was so happy to receive from Rachel a flyer for a new book coming out in July that features some of the same characters as “Sweet Caroline”. Needless to say, I can hardly wait! And now, for the good stuff….
Contest: The Sweet Life contest! Enter to win a Scrumptious Baking Basket from Rachel. The basket contains a Super Cool Apron, a Low country cook book signed by PAT CONROY, rolling pin, and a pie plate! All you have to do to enter is sign up for Rachel's newsletter here:

**As an added bonus to Rachel’s giveaway, I’m going to give away my copy of “Sweet Caroline” as well to one of you! Anyone who enters to win the Baking Basket by signing up to receive Rachel’s newsletter is eligible to win my copy of “Sweet Caroline”. Just go enter the contest, then come back here and let me know in the comments that you are entered! That’s it…easy-peasy (as my Madeleine likes to say!) I’ll close comments next Tuesday evening and announce the winner next Wednesday.

In the meantime, you’ve gotta try these biscuits. They are on the menu at the Frogmore Café and we made them for breakfast this morning….BIG HIT at our house! So, go sign up for Rachel’s newsletter, enter to win the book, bake yourself some of Bubba’s Buttery Biscuits and then head on over to to check out the other stops on “The Sweet Life Blog Tour”, and get to know Rachel Hauck a little bit. I’m heading over there myself....let’s go hang out together!

Bubba's Buttery Biscuits!
3 cups self-rising flour 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing the tops 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the flour and chilled butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but not larger than a lima bean. If you are using your fingers, work quickly so that the heat of your hands won't melt the butter.
Pour in all of the buttermilk and, using light pressure, fold the mixture a few times with a plastic spatula until it holds together. Do not over mix. In order to make light biscuits, it is important to work the dough as little as possible.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it quickly and gently 6 to 10 times or until it begins to be almost homogenized. There will be large pieces of butter throughout. Sprinkle a little flour under the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness.
Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I like the biscuits to be crispy and brown on the top and bottom, but not dry in the middle. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter. Serve right away. (recipe from Louis Osteen)

About Rachel:
I'm a forty-something, a child of the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and '00's.
I roller skated through the '70's into the '80's with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero.
Born in Ohio, I lived several years in Oklahoma and Kentucky before my parents moved the family to Florida.
I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.
But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.
After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.
But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.
I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.
Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.
I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.
In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.
With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.


Rachel's website:

Buy the book here:

Rachel's My Book Therapy ( a writing craft blog for writers):

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I don't mean to be missing....

....things are just crazy busy over here. I've got another two weeks of craziness, and then I should be back on a more regular basis. In the meantime, I'll drop by when I get the chance.

Unfortunately, that chance is not right at this moment! Gotta run!

But first, I must comment on last week's American Idol. I understand why Jason is gone, but I miss him. I looked forward each week to see what he was going to do. Fortunately, there is YouTube and I can go back and watch past performances when I feel like it.....but my favorite Jason Castro performance was not on American Idol. It was at Lakepoint Church, and I'll share it with you...enjoy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Just In Case You Were Wondering Where I've Been...

Two Weeks ago for a baby shower at church...

Last week for another baby shower at church.

This past Friday for a baby shower NOT at church...

This past Saturday, for another baby shower NOT at church...

There should be another Saturday cake here...but for some reason, I didn't take a picture of it...

This past Sunday for a soccer team party for a girl from my church...

This past Monday for two local girls who received scholarships to play college softball....

And now, I must go take a nap teach school....if I get the chance, (between school, ballet, the library, a baseball game, and youth group) I'll be back later with a "Works for Me Wednesday" post.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Cannot Believe I Forgot....

UPDATED: Apparently, Michelle entered to win this book at two
different blogs...AND WON BOTH! Therefore, a new winner has been
chosen....Mocha with Linda! post the winner of "The Busy Mom's Devotional" book giveaway last week!!! I think I'm totally losing my mind. For those of you who know me IRL, you may not comment on that last!

ANYWAY, since there were only 7 entries, I didn't bother with the Random Number Generator, I just wrote down everyone's name cut them out, folded them in half and had my 7 year old pick one out of a bowl. And the book goes to......

Michelle, at Delightful Evidence!

Congratulations Michelle! I'll contact you about getting your address to Lisa...she's going to send the book to you HERSELF! Don't you feel special? You should, you really should.

More giveaways are coming...stay tuned!