Friday, April 25, 2014

My Best Decision in Life and Weekend Blog Hop

Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #79!

To make this hop successful, be sure to visit the last two
links before yours and leave a sweet comment. Also,
share this hop via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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This is Jeremiah in his high school uniform.
It's his matric (senior) year in South Africa.


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Friendship Friday
Anything Goes

and

Finish the Sentence Friday
"The best decision I ever made..."


...was to fall in love with God. When I am motivated by the love that flows from the heart of God, then my actions are a testimony to that love. It helps me to be the person that I am today and it helps me to make wise decisions.

I have a wonderful husband who made the same choice when he was a young adult. Together we are building our home on a good foundation, the Rock of Jesus. That does not mean that we are perfect. We acknowledge our faults and apologize regularly.

Here's a poem I wrote a few years ago:



Let my home be a safe haven
One to be counted among the best
May its walls build hope and its floors mercy
And may its rooms offer peace and rest

May its roof be a symbol of protection
May its ceilings teach us Your ways
And may the gates stand for honor
Together adding joy to our days

by Christina Morley

You can find my poems on
Consider the Lilies Poetry.


Also linking with Essential Fridays

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Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the two links before yours and leave them a comment to make their "Saturday Sweet"! It's really easy and a fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

If you host your own blog hop(s), then feel free to
link them on my Blog Hops page!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your linked post or on your side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit at least the last two blogs before your link and leave a comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Amanda Hunts Easter Eggs and More!

Welcome to my Picture Perfect
Party Linky #87!



Let the Hunt Begin!

Amanda and our cat, Prince,
enjoying the hunt.


Where to look next?


Prince investigates the bunny ears.

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Here's a peek at my neighborhood and
a front garden that adds curb appeal:



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Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


If you host your own blog hop(s), then feel free
to link them on my Blog Hops page!
By the way, I've updated it.


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up your post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter Sunday!

I wanted to wish everyone another Happy Easter, in case you didn't see my post on Thursday. We didn't have much in terms of decorations last year, because the stores in our part of South Africa don't stock decorations. The big thing here are chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs.

I wanted to create an Easter basket in 2013, so I had to buy green Christmas tinsel to create the look of grass. That prompted me to ask my mom in the States to buy some Easter things once they went on sale, especially the grass, since we were going to visit her that summer.

The colorful grass, cardboard bunny egg holder, and Easter toys are from her. The chocolate bunnies and eggs are from our shops in South Africa. The tall hand-made bunny in the bottom corner was made by Amanda at school.



I find that decorating helps put people in the mood. It certainly made this year feel more festive. The best part is that my in-laws are spending Saturday and Sunday with us before they have to go back to work. Sunday morning we will all go to a fellowship service and after that Amanda will get to have her much anticipated Easter egg hunt that her Nanna (Grandma) is organizing.

If you like blog hops, I have a weekend blog hop
on the go on my post, Happy Easter and More!



Jesus is the King of Kings
He is our everything
He is the Great I Am
He is the Son of Man

By His stripes we are made whole
He can fill the empty soul
And shower us with gifts from heaven
He is the Bread without leaven

He overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb
Though he was still the Great I Am
He also suffered as the Son of Man
So that one day we might say, “I can!”

by Christina Morley


zwani.com myspace graphic comments
here


zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Easter graphics


zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Easter comments


Linking with Inspire Me Monday
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Easter and More!

Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #78!

To make this hop successful, be sure to visit the last two
links before yours and leave a sweet comment. Also,
share this hop via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

*********************

Friendship Friday
Anything Goes



zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Easter graphics


zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Easter comments & graphics



zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Easter comments



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Check out my latest
Included is my review of two really
cute picture books by Mrs. D.

Carlo the Mouse Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse by Mrs D
Carlo the Mouse, Book 1

Good Morning World by Mrs D
Good Morning, World!


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Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the two links before yours and leave them a comment to make their "Saturday Sweet"! It's really easy and a fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

If you host your own blog hop(s), then feel free to
link them on my Blog Hops page!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your linked post or on your side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit at least the last two blogs before your link and leave a comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a blog hop!
Read More

Book Blast and Giveaway!

Mrs. D's Picture Book Blast
and $50 Giveaway!

About the Books

Carlo the Mouse Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse by Mrs D
Carlo the Mouse
Book 1
Title: Carlo the Mouse Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse | Author: Mrs. D | Illustrator: Chanoa | Publication Date: October 21, 2013 | Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing | Number of pages: 33 | Recommended age: 4+

Summary: Grab your boots and hold on to your hat, because you are in for an exciting trip! The new series of Carlo the Mouse has been born. Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first in a series of books on Carlo’s adventures. Each book will give readers an entertaining look into the life of a little mouse born inside a hospital’s walls. Clever, curious, and very impatient, Carlo the mouse dreams of the world outside the hospital. His parents teach him how to follow the rules and how to survive on his own, but Carlo’s insatiable desire for adventure constantly gets him in trouble. Will the little adventurer manage to survive when he leaves home? You’ll find out in Mrs. D.’s next books on Carlo the mouse. Let your imagination soar in this full series of Carlo’s adventures!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble



Good Morning World by Mrs D
Good Morning, World!
Title: Good Morning, World! | Author: Mrs. D | Illustrator: Eladziem | Publication Date: November 21, 2013 | Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing | Number of pages: 50 | Recommended age: 5+

Summary: Glide gently into the beautiful morning with Baby Thomas and his grandpa. The sun is shining brightly through the wide window and the flowers, trees, birds, and other creatures have already started their day. Brilliant colors of the dawning day wake up the park, and Baby Thomas is ready for a walk. While walking in the park Thomas and his grandpa see the same things but from a different perspective. Baby Thomas wants to hug the wonderful world around him, but his grandpa has a different opinion. Young readers will easily connect to the wonders of nature and unforgettable characters, playfully interacting with each other. Join happy Baby Thomas and his grandpa for a walk and have a delightful, uplifting morning!
* Winner of a Mom's Choice Award, Honoring Excellence *

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

My Reviews

Carlo the Mouse: Book 1
I really enjoyed the illustrations in Carlo the Mouse. The characters and their expressions are absolutely adorable. The story-line was a bit repetitive and I felt like Carlo who was getting antsy having to listen to the rules. Book 1 did not have enough reward for the reader or listener who managed to get through the five rules only to find out that the adventure begins in Book 2. Some of the words were also a bit of a stretch for my daughter, Amanda, who just turned 6. Maybe that's a good thing, to help encourage learning bigger words or bigger concepts. I asked her what she thought of the book. She said that she thinks she will enjoy Book 2 more and I think she's right. So, we are looking forward to the next one!

Good Morning, World!
This was a fun book to read to my daughter. It also had repetition, but this time in a good way by helping the story-line to flow, sometimes with a bit of rhyme. I think sneaking in a few more rhyming words would have made it even more fun. My daughter really liked the faces in the trees and sky and things. The illustrations kept her attention. Her favorite part in the story was when the little boy and little girl meet in the park. I like how it shows us the world through a child's eyes in contrast to an adult's who has lost seeing the magic in a new day. I highly recommend this book to boys and girls!

The Buzz
Carlo the Mouse: "My son chose this book to read and really liked it. He rated it 5* and said it was "awesome". He's almost five. So that's a good fit. If I could make one recommendation, it would be to watch out for repeating the same sentence structure over and over. It's a minor thing but could improve overall flow. The pictures were adorable. Well done Mrs. D." ~ 5 Star Review, Simone B., Amazon
Carlo the Mouse: "Another gem from Mrs. D.! This is the first in a series of several books, and the titles of those are just as intriguing as this one. The interchange between the characters goes beyond just rules and regulations. Even small children will see just how caring and loving this family is with each other. There are definitely different personalities, and conflicts, as in every family. Carlo’s is one that answers those challenges with love and firmness. The pictures are adorable! Every facial expression, every nuance of action, is so well-thought-out. The colors are appealing, and the story’s lesson is simple enough for even the youngest of readers. There is a challenge here in some of the vocabulary used in the book. I welcome that. The youngsters who get this story read to them are privileged in this regard, for they can learn new words and what they mean. A child whose vocabulary is extended beyond his or her comfort zone is a child who will learn and grow into an intelligent adult. I highly recommend this story, and hope that I will get the chance to read more of Carlo’s adventures." ~ 5 Star Review, Kitty Muse Book Reviews, Amazon
Carlo the Mouse: "As a grown-up, I fell in love with this adorable character the moment I looked at the first illustration. I had as much pleasure reading this book as my son did. Sometimes, a sample book like this one, gives more to a child then books chosen by the school experts. Now we could hardly wait what the next book will hold. Thank you so much for making our children happy. Because of books like yours, our children will grow up happier, kinder, and smarter. Great story! Wonderful artwork! Astonishing children’s book! Because of books like yours, our children will grow up happier, kinder, and smarter." ~ 5 Star Review, Olga G., Amazon
Good Morning, World!: "What a charming book of comparing generations and reminding us how children see the world! The illustrations are bright, colourful and sweet, and the story is so well written that it feels as though I am walking right beside the baby and grumpy Grandpa who clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning! Thank you for a lovely book, Mrs. D!" ~ 5 Star Review, Multi-Testing Mommy, Amazon
Good Morning, World!: "This darling story of Baby Thomas and Grandpa was like I was taking a stroll along with them. The author must have pulled some of this story from a family experience. With her very creative imagination she must have been very tuned into actions and reactions of Baby Thomas. Then there was Grandpa who was very vocal and animated so she undoubtedly knew exactly what to write about Grandpa. Too funny! This book is a must read! I highly recommend this book." ~ 5 Star Review, It's Time to Read Mamaw, Amazon
Good Morning, World!: "This was a charming book. Following the differing perspectives of the Grandpa and the child, this book is a wonderful reminder about the importance of a positive attitude. I LOVED the joyful wonder in the child's perspective, and cringed as I recognized some of the grandfather's. What I love about all of Mrs. D's books is that they share a message. They teach the adults as much as the kids. This message in particular touched me. It is a reminder about seeing from the eyes of a child. Exploring the world with an open mind, an open heart, and enthusiasm. Life is full of blessings, and sometimes we forget to notice them. Thank you Mrs. D for another 5 star children's book." ~ 5 Star Review, Kirstin P., Sunshine, Bubbles and Books


About the Author: Mrs. D
Mrs D ~ Olga D'Agostino
Mrs. D.
Mrs. D. (Olga D’Agostino), an award-winning children’s author, was born in western Ukraine. She lived in the historical city of Lviv, where she studied business in Lviv Business College and worked in the food industry. In 1992, she immigrated to the USA with her two small daughters and for years worked in her own business. In 2011, she began her career as a writer, focusing on writing children’s books that have meaning and provide valuable lessons. Two of her children’s books, The Trees Have Hearts and Good Morning, World!, won Mom’s Choice Awards in 2013. She is a member of SCBWI and speaks a few languages fluently. She lives in the famous town of Smithville, NJ, with her husband Patrick and a meticulous old cat named Nyda.

Published books by Mrs. D. include Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, The Trees Have Hearts, The City Kittens and the Old House Cat, Good Morning, World!, and Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse. Coming in 2014: Runaway Clothes,The Royal Palm, Carlo the Mouse, Book 2: Now We're Talking!, and The Little Girl Praying on the Hill.

The full series of Carlo the Mouse and her new books, The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet, That Is How Things Are (two connected stories): The Autumn Wind, and The Kitten and the Sparrow, and three rhyming stories in Who Is Most Important in the Fridge? will be published in the near future. Her books are available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as e-books for most popular electronic devices. For updates on Mrs. D.’s books, please visit her website: www.mrsdbooks.net.

Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page


* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift card or PayPal cash (winner's choice)

Contest ends: May 9, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mrs. D and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of both books for my honest review. All opinions are my own or that of my daughter, Amanda, where stated.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Badminton and a Blog Hop!

Welcome to my Picture Perfect
Party Linky #86!


Amanda got a Hello Kitty badminton set
for her 6th birthday. Here she is playing
with her dad. Even the cat, Prince,
had fun pouncing on the shuttlecock.

I usually use Picasa 3 for editing photos
and PicMonkey for creating collages.
Click on the images to view them larger.


Amanda playing badminton with her dad, collage

Potted Plant with White Flowers

Potted Plant in Black and White

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Interested to see where I live?
Here's my latest post on 1camera1mom:
Walking in Our Neighborhood - Part 2.



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Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


If you host your own blog hop(s), then feel free
to link them on my Blog Hops page!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up your post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.



Read More

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Time Travel and a Blog Hop

Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #77!

To make this hop successful, be sure to visit the last two
links before yours and leave a sweet comment. Also,
share this hop via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

*********************



Finish the Sentence Friday
"If I could go back in time..."

... I wouldn't. Why would I want to play God and perhaps mess things up or change outcomes that could possibly become worse? 

That doesn't mean that I don't like fiction and stories that include time-travel. I enjoy good fiction and time-travel has definitely inspired some great stories.

Here's a quote from the Bible that helps me keep on keeping on, without trying to change the past:

"...Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5).

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Friendship Friday
Anything Goes


Check out my latest book review on Dragon's Curse, by H. L. Burke. It's fantasy writing at it's best. I enjoyed the book so much that I finished it in one day!



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Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the two links before yours and leave them a comment to make their "Saturday Sweet"! It's really easy and a fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

If you host your own blog hop(s), then feel free to
link them on my Blog Hops page!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your linked post or on your side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit at least the last two blogs before your link and leave a comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a blog hop!

Read More

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