7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 5



1. My novel, Angela’s Song, has received its 100th review!  And the reviewer gave it 5 stars! Yay!  To celebrate, I’m giving away a print copy of the novel.  Go to my Facebook Author page for details on how to enter.

2.  My publisher, Full Quiver Publishing, has just signed on author Erin Cupp!  They will be releasing her mystery-romance novel, Don’t You Forget About Me, on November 1st of this year.  I’m so excited about this new addition to the Full Quiver family!  Erin is a talented author and I’m sure you will love her novel!

3. I just came back from retreat.  17 other women and I caravanned up to snowy, frigid, Wisconsin to praise and worship the Lord for 4 days.  It was a real sacrifice, because on one of the days it was close to 80 degrees back home, and we were having negative temperatures.  One of the days it got down to -6.  Brrr!   But, I have to say, the room where we met had floor-to-ceiling windows and it was easy to contemplate God looking out over the beauty and serenity of the snow blanketing the trees and lake beyond.  I missed the one glorious day of spring weather back home, but, in the chill and bleakness of winter, God was still there, waiting to be found…

4. It’s snowing again.  A light snow, but snow nonetheless.  The calendar says the temperature will be in the high 50’s for Easter.  I’ll believe that when I see it!

5.  Ah…the older I get, it seems the crunchier I get.  I’ve started making my own yogurt. I bought the Matsoni strain, which cultures on the kitchen counter.  Can’t get any easier than that!  So far we’ve made honey yogurt and also blueberry.  My girls are enjoying it.  As I write, there are 2 more quart-sized jars culturing on the counter…

6.  C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce was part of my Lenten reading.  If you’ve never picked this one up, I highly recommend it!  In his description of Heaven Hell and Purgatory, Lewis uses amazingly stunning visual imagery to paint a picture of the eternal consequences of our decisions.  There were scenes so beautifully written that I found myself going back over them several times so that I could enjoy them again.

7. After my retreat, we had a one-day reprieve before my husband had to go on a 6-day business trip.  So, Monday was catch-up day and now the kids and I are roughing it without Dad.  I’m striving to keep up with the laundry and have the house neat and orderly, like he always does for me when I’m gone.  It makes all the difference, after you’ve been away for days, to come home to peace, instead of chaos.  I have to say, it’s easier now that our children are old enough to pitch in and help.  After years of diapers, Cheerios, Goldfish crackers and sippy cups, our lives have calmed down considerably.  I do look back and pine for a baby to hold or a toddler to carry on my hip now and then, but this is where our family s right now, so I must enjoy what I have.  I don’t want to spend the present with one foot in the past or even one foot in the future; otherwise I would miss the beauty of today!




7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 4


Once again, I’m linking up with Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary for a  7 Quick Takes post.

1. Valentine’s Day is coming up.  I honestly don’t like this holiday.  Well…at least the secular version of it.  If it were really all about how we should love our fellow man and have deep concern for his soul and pray for him to know Christ, like St. Valentine, then I’d be okay with it.  But the reality is that it’s all about trying to get someone into bed.  And I’m not talking about tucking in Grandma…

2. This blog post, 3 Things I Want My Son to Know About Porn, is amazing.  If you have kids, you should read it.  If you don’t have your own children, but know people who do, you should read it.  Heck, if you’ve ever even seen a child, read the post.

3. I love this website.  On Facebook, their page is called Bring Sexy Back.  According to the ‘About’ section on their Facebook page, they are “a grassroots movement in opposition to the use of artificial contraception within marriage, dedicated to bringing great sex to the entire universe.”  Cool!  Their blog posts cover a wide range of topics such as the effects of hormonal contraception,  fertility awareness, male reproductive health and any number of related topics.  It’s a great resource.  Check it out.

4. I’m still working on my second novel.  The working title is Finding Rita.  This story will be grittier than Angela’s Song and tackle the topics of sexual abuse and sexual addiction.  Heavy topics, I know.  But, not to worry.  There will be some humor in it and lots of food.  Life, after all, is made up of happiness, sadness and food as well.

5. So, what are your ideas for Lent?  If you don’t yet have any, here are a few suggestions:  say an extra prayer each day…turn off the TV once a week…that person behind you on the checkout line who only has 5 things–let him go ahead of you…set up the coffee pot for your spouse so the next day they can have a nice hot cup at the push of a button…read The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (it’s free on Kindle)…go to confession more often…use foul language less…keep up with the laundry…stop eating junk food…eat more veggies…pay a compliment (make it genuine) to someone you don’t particularly like…spend more time with your spouse and kids…tithe 10% of your income…volunteer for a ministry at church…  The goal is to grow closer to the Lord.  Go for it!

6.  Speaking of Lent, it has actually started early this year, based on the incident that happened last Monday evening.  Our cute little Shihtzu-Poodle mix came in from the yard and wiped her little bottom all over the living room carpet.  Ewww.  So, I scrubbed the carpet and got it all clean.  A little while later I picked her up and was bowled over by the malodorous cloud that enveloped her.  After some investigation, I realized–much to my horror–that the…uh…product of digestion…was never actually completely eliminated.  So, I had to perform an…extraction…of sorts.  I got the deed done, with the help of my very brave 11 year old daughter.  However, there was quite a bit of dry heaving going on during this process.  I felt like Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws.  You know, the scene where they cut open the shark’s stomach and he has to examine the contents and he’s on the verge of vomiting the entire time?  That.  That’s how I felt.

7.  Still speaking of Lent, as one of our sacrifices, our family has decided to go wheat free this year.  Not gluten free (although I, personally, cannot eat grains at all), just wheat free.  So I bought a 25 pound bag of spelt flour.  We’re going to bake bread and make pizza dough using spelt.  My family’s sacrifice is that they’re giving up the wheat, but mine is that my workload increases because of the baking.  So, off I go to buy a couple more bread pans…


7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 2


1. Today is the 40th Annual March for Life in Washington DC. Over 40 years there have been 55 million abortions in the United States. 55 million souls not allowed to live, to carry out God’s plan for them here on earth, to make their mark on humanity.

2. My 16 year old son is at March for Life for the first time. He left Wednesday, which was his birthday, and spent the day on a bus traveling to DC. I’m really proud of him and I know that if he’s concerned about the lives of the unborn now, then, as he grows older, he will continue to be respectful of all life. In short, I think his wife (if he’s called to the vocation of marriage) and children will be blessed.

3. Last week we did a free promo for Angela’s Song and it made it into the top ten of ALL free Kindle books! Very exciting!  It continues to rank #1 in Religious and Liturgical Fiction.  It also hit #1 in that same category in Canada.

4. My editor, Ellen Gable, is working on the sequel to her best seller, In Name Only.  The title of the sequel is, A Subtle Grace, and I can’t wait to read it!

5.  We have the cutest little dog, Savannah.  She’s a Shihtzu-Poodle mix.  I love that little ball of fur and I’d never want anyone to harm her.  Of course, all my friends feel the same way about their pets.  However, I’ve noticed that many animal rights groups are supportive of abortion.  To me, this is a paradox.  The Catholic Sistas blog has an excellent perspective on this topic.   They are also covering March for Life.  To get live tweets, use the hashtag #SistasMFL13

6.  We had a great conversation about Martin Luther King on Monday.  I described to my kids what life was like during the time of segregation.  The older ones had heard it, but the littles were appalled. When I asked my littles why it’s wrong to think that we are superior to other people because they may be different from us, my daughter piped up, “Because we’re made in the image of God and He loves us all the same.”  Good answer, sweetie.

7.  Shh…while my son is at March for Life, we’re redecorating his room.  He’ll see it when he gets home tomorrow evening and we’ll have a belated birthday dinner and cake for him.  I hope we finish the room in time.  Anyone want to come help scrape a wallpaper border off a wall?