Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ferndale vs. Fortuna in High School Football Championship

Ferndale takes the field; victorious over Willits.

Ferndale Wildcats, my son's high school alma mater, won a championship football game yesterday against the Willits Wolverines.  (That's my son in the lower left corner.)  On Friday night, my high school alma mater, the Fortuna Huskies won their championship game against Berean Christian.  So that means that Ferndale and Fortuna will be playing against each other, AGAIN, next week.

Read this article for some background on the rivalry between Fortuna and Ferndale.

Now given the vitriolic comments that were left on my Facebook page when I commented about the rivalry mentioned in the article above, what happens at this championship game OFF the field will be anyone's guess.  However, I want to go on the record NOW as stating the following:
  • I never said, nor suspected that the students guilty of taking the Milk Can were members of the Fortuna High football team.
  • I have the utmost respect for Coach Mike Benbow and the other members of the coaching staff at Fortuna High.  I attended Fortuna High with Coach Benbow and have always known him to be fair, honest, and a tough but likable coach.
  • I WILL be wearing Wildcat Red at the football game and I will cheer loudly for the 'Cats.
  • I will NOT engage in arguments OFF the field with other parents/fans.
If you can make it to this historical play-off game between Ferndale and Fortuna, I encourage you to attend.  It should be a tough game and when the final whistle blows, both teams will be able to say they played their hardest.

Friday, November 25, 2011

UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY! 'Night of the Living Dead Christian' by Matt Mikalatos


The final deadline to enter this giveaway has been changed.  New deadline is Thursday, December 15 at 11 p.m. with the winner announced on December 16.  Review of this book will be posted on Saturday, December 10.  All other rules and conditions still apply.

Did you read that right?  Is Tally's Place actually hosting a giveaway?  Yep!  And I'm really excited about this one.  If you are a book lover and or fan of Christian fiction, this chance to win Matt Mikalatos' newest book is just for you.  Here are the basics:

  • Next week I will be posting a review of Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos.  This is the same author that wrote Imaginary Jesus.
  • Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a free copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian.
  • The publishers of this book have also given me a certificate good for ONE FREE COPY of Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos to be won by a lucky reader of Tally's Place.
Exciting, huh?  So you may be asking how you get a chance at winning a fantastic new book, but have no worries.  Here are the MANY ways you can enter this giveaway.
  1. Leave a comment on this post.  Just say, 'Hey, I want to win this book' or 'Enter me!'  Just make sure I have a way to contact you should I choose you.  (Email or a link to your blog is perfect.)
  2. When I post the review, YOU MUST leave a comment there as well.  You can say something like 'Wow, can't wait to read this book' or 'I know someone that would love to get this book from me as a gift.'
  3. Blog about this giveaway!  Leave the link to your blog in the comments section.
  4. Tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link that shows you did.
  5. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment that tells me so.
  6. Visit my San Francisco Christian Fiction Examiner column, leave a comment on one of the articles, then leave a comment HERE telling me which article you commented on.
  7. Stumble one of my Christian Fiction Examiner articles and let me know which one.
  8. Follow Tally's Place and leave a comment telling me you are a new follower.  If you already follow, tell me that too!
Okay.  That is 8 (EIGHT) ways you can get a chance to win Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos from Tyndale Publishers and Tally's Place.

The Official Rules and Stuff
  1. Contest will end on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 7 p.mThursday, December 15, 2011 at 11 p.m.  The winner will be announced no later than 8 a.m. Tuesday, December 6, 2011. Friday, December 16, 2011 at 8 a.m.
  2. If you enter this contest and I have no way to contact you, I will choose another winner.  I must be able to reach you by email in order to obtain your physical mailing address so I can mail the certificate to you.
  3. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.  I will mail the certificate within ONE WEEK of choosing a winner.
  4. The certificate will be sent by CERTIFIED MAIL with a RETURN RECEIPT.  This helps both the winner and me track the certificate to its destination.  It helps me know it was received since a signature is required for delivery.
So what are you waiting for?  Get going and make sure you leave a comment so you can win this book.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts About Family

Thanksgiving is almost here.  As families gather and join together to eat and share memories and make new ones, I'm thinking about people that are no longer in my life.  So often we go about our busy schedules, working, cleaning, shopping, just the hustle and bustle of living and we forget to appreciate those around us until it's too late and they are no longer with us.

Thanksgiving, when I was a kid, was a huge affair.  My paternal grandparents had six children that survived to adulthood that then started families of their own and everyone got together at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  As a child, these were glorious times of Aunty Mary's Baked Beans, Uncle Ed's Buttermilk Pancakes, and laughter, games, and cozy laps.  By the time I was in junior high, these gatherings had gotten smaller.  Nana and Papa came to our house on Thanksgiving and the rest of the relatives would stop by throughout the day to share dessert, chat, and play board games.  Nana and Papa, my dad's parents, are both gone now and for some reason, I'm especially missing them and some other family members this year.

Nana was the oldest sister in a family of three girls.  Her name was Leola and her younger sisters were Virginia (Aunt Ginny) and Lynn (Aunt Lynn).  Her mother died shortly after Lynn was born, so it was up to her to be the influential female in the house.  Pictures of my Nana when she was younger still have the power to silence me and take me back to a time when women were ladies.  She was stunning on her wedding day in August 1929.  She was 18.

Papa was the youngest in his family.  His name was Henry and his siblings were Alma, Emil, Ernest, Emma, and George.  (And I feel like I'm forgetting someone!)  He was devastatingly handsome with his red hair combed straight back, as was the style at the dawn of a new decade.  He was 20 when he married Leola.

They soon were the parents to four girls, Margaret, Henrietta, Mary Ann, and Jeannette.  One month before their first son and my dad John was born, Henrietta died at the age of 8.  There is one picture that exists of Henrietta and she is an adorable tom boy of a girl with short dark hair and dancing eyes.  I would have liked to see the woman she became, but GOD needed her more.  After my dad was born in 1940, two more children were added to the family, Clara and James.

By the time I was born in 1967, I already had 10 older cousins, but I was to be the only baby in the family for nearly four years until a brother and another female cousin were born.  Then more siblings and cousins were added to my family.  As our family grew, so did the bonds that connect me to these people.  Aunty Marg, my dad's oldest sister, was like a second mom to me and she doted on me because she had two sons and no daughters.  We were incredibly close as I grew up and she would sew her own house dresses, always making sure to make a tiny version so we could match. 

Aunty Jeannette lived far away with Uncle Pete and their two girls, Sandra and Tina, and later on, their son Shane.  We would visit them wherever Uncle Pete was pastoring a church and I always had so much fun.  I remember visiting Hanford, California and swimming in a backyard pool.  When we visited them in the Mojave Desert we visited Red Rock Canyon, the ghost town of Calico, and played with red ants in the front yard.

Aunty Mary and Uncle Melvin provided me with my first playmates and closest childhood friends.  There were three girls (Leola, Margaret, or Markie, and Doris) and three boys (Bill, Stan, and Edward) in this family.  I was closest to the two youngest girls, Markie and Doris, and we spent hours playing games outside and board games inside.  The stories we could tell!

Aunty Clara was the silly aunt that never grew up and we could all count on her to give us the candy and toys our parents didn't really want us to have.  (Some things never change!)  She was married to Uncle Bill and they would follow the fruit crops in Oregon, sending me letters of their adventures.  Uncle Bill had tattoos!  He smoked!  He looked like Waylon Jennings!  And I thought he was the coolest man around, next to my dad.

Uncle James is the only brother my dad has.  He lives in Oregon with his wife Donna.  They had three kids when I was younger; Mitzi and her two brothers Jamie and Jereme.  They have since adopted three other children, but we rarely see them.  I am closest to Mitzi of these children. And she and I used to be so much closer even though she only lives a half hour away from me.  I miss her.

Of these family members, Nana was the first to die.  She went to be with Jesus, carried in to heaven by thousands of angels in May of 1987.  I had no idea how much she meant to me, truly meant to me, until I became a mother myself and realized the influence she had on my life.  She was the strongest woman I have ever known and though she could be harsh at times, she loved fiercely and had a faith that moved mountains.

Our family was so blessed, we didn't lose another family member until my Papa died on August 30, 2005.  He was 96 and though I wish I could still sit and listen to him tell stories of long ago, I wouldn't trade the experience of being with him as he drew some of his last breaths.  Talking about seeing my Nana, his beautiful bride, as he passed from this life to the next is something I will cherish for as long as I live.

Since Papa joined Nana in heaven, Uncle Bill has joined them.  He confessed Jesus as his savior at the end and that is a blessing indeed.  Aunty Marg is now reunited with her parents, and her dear sister.  Uncle Melvin has also made his way to heaven and I'm sure they are all having a grand time walking the streets of gold, talking with their loved ones that went on before, and sitting at the feet of Jesus.

It's thought-provoking to be my age.  I feel more confident and self-assured than I did in my 20's and 30's, but I also see the people I looked up to and those that I turned to for guidance reaching ages when they are losing some of their independence and self-assuredness.  It's sad at times.  And yet, I have so much to be thankful for.  I am the person I am today because of the influence of each and every one of my family members.  I hope that those younger than me; the second and third cousins, the nieces and nephews, will realize that family truly is a gift from GOD and not something to be squandered or divided by situations and words that just steal the joy of one another's company.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

What I'm reading now: 'Wings' by Aprilynne Pike

I can't believe it, but it's been nearly a month since the Humboldt County Author Festival and I got the chance to meet 25 children's fiction authors and illustrators.  And I didn't just get to meet them.  I got to talk to them and have them sign books for me; some for myself and some as gifts.

I finally dug into the tote bag full of books last night and pulled out Wings by Aprilynne Pike.  To be honest, this isn't really a book I had planned on reading (I'm not much into teen fantasy), but when I met the author she was so stinkin' cute and charming, I couldn't help but want to read what she had written.

I'm so glad I picked this book!  For one thing, it's set in my neck of the woods, northern California.  So far north we are closer to Oregon than we are to San Francisco.  We are right on the coast in the heart of redwood country and though the book is set in Del Norte county, I totally recognize all the places that are mentioned in the book.

I'm about a quarter of the way through this story about a girl named Laurel who moves to Crescent City from Orick.  She has been homeschooled all her life, but now that she is 15 her parents feel it's time for her to attend high school.  She doesn't really want to, but she makes the best of it.  She becomes friends with some kids, mainly a boy named David and a girl named Chelsea.  She has never felt like other kids and now something is growing in the middle of her back!  Her mom says it's a zit, but it's getting bigger and it is not going away!

I don't want to share much more because I don't want to give away the story, but I'm so loving it!  This author has done a great job of capturing the friendship between high school kids, in a good way.  It's refreshing to read a young adult novel that isn't filled with curse words and risky behavior.  Granted I haven't read the whole thing, but I would be totally surprised if the author's tone just changes all of a sudden.

Well, that's all I want to share for now...  Gotta get back to reading and find out what happens next!  If you've read the book, feel free to comment, but keep the ending to yourself! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Devotional for kids from MasterBooks: 'God's Amazing Creatures and Me'

If you are looking for a devotional book for kids to use in Sunday School, children's church, or even with your own children, MasterBooks has a wonderful book geared to boys and girls ages 6 through 10.

Book Info

Author: Helen Haidle
Illustrator: Paul Haidle
ISBN: 9780890512944
List Price: $8.99

Using the characteristics of 43 animals, the author writes about these animals in an interesting way and uses them to teach kids Biblical values.  Each devotion includes fascinating information and facts about an animal, a short Bible story, a memory verse, and questions for children to ponder and answer. 

For example, the lionfish is included in the devotion titled Deadly Beauty.  This beautiful, yet dangerous sea creature reminds us that even though the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden looked delicious and appetizing, it was forbidden for a reason.  Anyone who even touched it would surely die.  Other animals found in this children's devotion book include the caterpillar, the goat, the Northern Goshawk, the gibbon, and the turtle.

Such Biblical and moral values taught include honesty, perseverance, and faith.  The resurrection of God's believers and His daily protection are also explored in language that children can understand without being oversimplified. 

The last devotion in the book doesn't use an animal as its object lesson at all; is uses a bean seed.  Just like the bean plant grows lusher, taller, and stronger the further its roots grow into the nourishing soil, so do children and adults when the make studying God's Word and Biblical principles a daily habit.

"As you... have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith."

Colossians 2:6-7
This book can be purchased online from the publisher, Amazon, and Powell's.  It may also be found at your neighborhood independent bookseller.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  I received no compensation for my review.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

'Once Upon A Time' brings fairy tales to the small screen

Are you obsessed with fairy tales?  Does a good yarn get you going?  Do you believe that good always wins and that evil is always punished?  If you answered yes to even one of these questions, I suggest you check out the new drama on ABC, called Once Upon A Time.

The premise of this program is quite simple.  As everyone knows, the evil queen tried to kill Snow White and was unsuccessful.  Snow White was awakened by Prince Charming and they were supposed to live happily ever after.  But...

When the evil queen discovered that Snow White and Prince Charming were about to be married she placed one final curse on them.  At some point in the future, they and the rest of the fairy tale kingdom would be cursed to live in modern times trapped in a town called Storybrooke.  The worst part of the curse?  None of them would remember who they really are or anything about the past.

There is only one person who can break the spell and return the kingdom to its former glory; Emma Swan.  And who is Emma Swan?  She is the child of Snow White and Prince Charming who was miraculously saved as an infant from the evil queen's curse.  She grew up in modern times as a foster child.  At some point she had a baby boy who she placed for adoption.  She has no knowledge of who she is or that she is the one meant to free the fairy tale kingdom.

But, after three episodes, (it airs on ABC at 8 p.m. on Sunday) Emma is definitely involved with the residents of Storybrooke, who are really fairly tale characters.  She was brought there by the mayor/evil queen's son, Henry.  Why?  Because Henry is the little boy she gave up for adoption nearly a decade ago. 

It's interesting to see the story unfold each week as the action moves back and forth between the fairytale kingdom and modern times.  Without even mentioning who they were in the fairy tale kingdom, it's easy to see who some characters are.  Little Red Riding Hood has been transformed into Ruby, a sexy barely-adult young woman who constantly grumbles at Granny's attempts to rein her in.  Granny runs a cafe.  Mr. Gold - who owns everything in town - was Rumpelstiltskin in his former life and the hunstman who saved Snow White's life is now the sheriff.  Jiminy Cricket?  He's a child psychologist.

In the most recent episode, viewers got to see how Prince Charming, whose first name is James, and Snow White first met.  Viewers also saw Henry's attempts at bringing school teacher Mary Margaret (Snow White) and a comatose John Doe (Prince Charming) together.  The fireworks between Emma, Henry's birth mother and Regina, his adopted mother (the town's mayor/evil queen) are fantastic.  Mary Margaret/Snow White is perfectly played by the adorable Ginnifer Goodwin.

Those that have missed the beginning episodes of this amazing new twist on fairy tales can get up to speed by watching full episodes of Once Upon A Time for free at ABC's website.  The next episode, which airs on Sunday, November 13 at 8 p.m. Pacific Time is titled The Price of Gold. 

What about you?  Have you seen this program yet?  What do you think of it?


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thomas Jefferson's Bible to be exhibited at National Museum of American History (NMAH)

It's so interesting how the liberal media and those that believe them like to tell Conservatives that the Founding Fathers weren't Christian/didn't read the Bible, etc.  Just yesterday while reading the lastest issue of Vanity Fair (hey, Johnny Depp is on the cover!) I ran across an article about how the Tea Party is destroying everything the Revolutionists accomplished.  While I didn't read the article yet, I'm sure it says something similar to the denial of the Constitutional framers having any acknowledgement of God.  Which brings me to Jefferson's Bible.

Picture courtesy of Hugh Talman / NMAH, SI

Yes, Thomas Jefferson.  The man who was a president of the United States twice, the man who helped write the Constitution of the United States, the man who is often called one of the Founding Fathers had a Bible.  And he read it every night.  According to the October 2011 issue of Smithsonian magazine, Jefferson cut scriptures from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and created a narrative of the life of Christ.  He called it The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazereth.  Although Jefferson is quoted as saying,
"I not only write nothing on religion, but rarely permit myself to speak on it,"
it does not mean he didn't submit to a higher power.  This Bible, created by Jefferson, was something that he told only his closest friends about, but he admitted to reading it before retiring for the night every night.

This Bible was acquired by the Smithsonian in 1895.  Now it has been painstakingly restored and will be exhibited to the public beginning November 11, 2011 through May 28, 2012.  It will be on display at the National Museum of American History's Small Documents Gallery in Washington, D.C. NONE of the Founding Fathers placed ANY importance on the Scriptures and a moral lifestyle?  Interesting.


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