Friday, November 23, 2007

Exciting Announcement on Thanksgiving!

Well, Matt and I found out at the beginning of October that we are expecting #6 - it was a SURPRISE! For one thing - all of our other kids are 2 years apart - 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004. This baby will be May of 2008 so it has been 4 years! My youngest brother had his 1st baby mid October, my sister is due beginning of May and my other brother and his wife were already planning on TTC #2 in March. No one (including us) expected us to have another. Now at Christmas next year my parents will probably have 4 grandchildren (1 from each of their 4 kids) within almost a year of each other. I think that's kind of cool!
So anyway, I really wanted to wait until Christmas and then have a present wrapped for the baby that our kids would open and see if they could figure it out. BUT... In my head I was only 2 months along, but I'm closer to 3 already so consequently since this is #6 - I'm starting to show. Not TOO noticable yet, but by Christmas it really will be. Matt convinced me to announce it yesterday at Thanksgiving. So my whole family (except my sister and her family who live in Indiana) was there along with my husband's parents and brother and nephew and my sister-in-law's mom and 2 sisters (22 people total I think) and we were finishing lunch. Matt says, "Hey everyone, Janna has an announcement!" And before I can say a word, my smart aleck brother says, "What, you're pregnant?" And I said, "Leilani (baby born in October) won't be the baby of the family for long. Cara will have her baby in April and I'll have mine in May." And everyone's mouths hit the floor. The chin that hit the hardest was my brother's who was just kidding when he said that. He said, "You're kidding me! You're really pregnant!"

I asked my kids if they understood what I was saying and our oldest (who has been doting all over the newest babies in the family) said, "Yes! You're having a baby - COOL!!!" She was so excited! Even Paige, our 3 1/2 year old understood and says she wants a baby sister. But the rest of the kids swear its a boy because of our pattern (we have - girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, ?) so the obvious answer is that we will have a boy. While I would love that, I love patterns. But I'm kind of feeling it as a girl. Who knows?!? We don't do ultrasounds as a general rule (too expensive with no health insurance) so it'll be a surprise like the last 3 were.

It was fun having an inside secret, just Matt and I, as long as we did. But it was time to tell everyone else. It's amazing how fast the pregnancy goes when you don't tell people the first day though. I'm almost in my 2nd trimester and it doesn't even really feel like I'm pregnant yet. One of the coolest things about this pregnancy to me is that my sister and I are due only about 10 days apart. She usually goes early and I usually go late so our babies will probably end up being about a month apart. Which is good because we live 3 states away and Mom can't be in too places at once

Now that I'm telling everyone, I'll keep you guys updated! Oh, and since it's been 4 years since I've done this, if anyone knows of any cool newer things that I should know about - let me know!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

Yesterday in church, all veterans were asked to stand and we honored them. Then anyone with family currently serving in the military were asked to stand and we honored the sacrifice their family was making in the present. Then as a church we sang "God Bless The U.S.A.". I have to admit, I haven't always treated Veteran's Day as reverently as I should, and my dad is a veteran. I was 16 when he went to Operation Desert Storm for 6 months. I remember this because I only got 1 driving lesson with my dad and then he was shipped out. My mom had to teach me to drive (and she did a good job!). He was also in Vietnam, though I don't remember that specifically as I wasn't born yet. Too often I lump Veteran's Day in with a bunch of other holidays that just give the Post Office and banks an excuse to be closed. But Saturday night I got a forwarded e-mail with 2 pictures that really touched me. As we sang "God Bless The U.S.A." on Sunday, I couldn't get those 2 pictures out of my mind. I practically cried through the whole song. I wanted to share the pictures with you. An interesting note about the pictures too, they were honored at this year's International Picture of the Year - they got 1st place and 2nd place. Here they are with stories to explain them:

First Place-
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News - When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as so powerful: "See the people in the windows? They sat right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home," he said. "They will remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should."

Second Place -

Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News -
The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."
For those that can't think of the lyrics to the song I mentioned off the top of your head - here's the lyrics to read over. I cry everytime I hear this song and that goes back to me being a teenager, but I used to think the title was "I'm Proud to be an American". I think "God Bless The U.S.A." is more appropriate though - good choice Lee Greenwood!

God Bless The U.S.A.
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Tell a veteran "Thank you!" today - God Bless America!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

CFBA presents "Deadfall"

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007)
Robert Liparulo


Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly. Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children. Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct! He is currently working on his fourth novel.


Deep in the isolated Northwest Territories, four friends are on the trip of a lifetime. Dropped by helicopter into the Canadian wilderness, Hutch, Terry, Phil, and David are looking to escape the events of a tumultuous year for two weeks of hunting, fishing, and camping. Armed with only a bow and arrow and the basics for survival, they've chosen a place far from civilization, a retreat from their turbulent lives. But they quickly discover that another group has targeted the remote region and the secluded hamlet of Fiddler Falls for a more menacing purpose: to field test the ultimate weapon. With more than a week before the helicopter rendezvous and no satellite phone, Hutch, a skilled bow-hunter and outdoor-survivalist must help his friends elude their seemingly inescapable foes, as well as decide whether to run for their lives...or risk everything to help the townspeople who are being held hostage and terrorized. An intense novel of character forged in the midst of struggle, survival, and sacrifice. Deadfall is highly-aclaimed author Robert Liparulo's latest rivetingly smart thriller.

Get Downloads and EXCERPTS at

"DEADFALL is drop-dead great!"-In The Library Reviews

"What if Mad Max, Rambo, and the Wild Bunch showed up-all packing Star Wars type weapons? You'd have Robert Liparulo's thrilling new adventure Deadfall."-Katherine Neville, best selling author of The Eight

"A brilliantly crafted thriller with flawless execution. I loved it!"-Michael Palmer, best selling author of The Fifth Vial

"In Deadfall, Robert Liparulo gives us a fresh fast paced novel that instills a well founded fear of the villians and an admiration for the people who refuse to be victims. It truly deserves the name thriller.-Thomas Perry, best selling author of The Butcher's Boy and Silence

"Another brilliantly conceived premise from Robert Liparulo. Deadfall will leave you looking over your shoulder and begging for more."-Dave Dun, best selling author of The Black Silent

A NOTE from Bob:

I’d like to give away five signed copies of Deadfall to readers of CFBA blogs during my tour. All they have to do is sign up for my e-mailing list (they won’t be inundated!) by going to my website ( and going to the “Mailing List” page. Or email me with “CFBA giveaway” in the subject line.

And a second NOTE from Bob:

I wanted to let you know that I’m holding a contest on my site:

**one winner a week till the end of the year for a signed Deadfall

**one winner a week till the end of the year for an unabridged audio MP3-CD of Deadfall

***and on Dec. 31, I’m giving away an iPod Nano, pre-loaded with an unabridged audio recording of DeadfallWinners are selected from my e-mailing list—sign up at my site.

If a winner has already purchased what he/she wins, I will reimburse them for the purchase price (or give them another—whichever they choose), so they don’t need to wait to see if they win before buying Deadfall.
The book link is:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Book Winners for Monday, November 5th!

Drumroll please! The winner of "Canteen Dreams" is :

Gina Conroy!

And the winner of "The Return" by Austin Boyd is:

Lora Lease!

Congratulations you two and I will have a new interview up soon with another chance to win a free book so make sure you all sign up for that one as well!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Harvest Party Pictures =)

Our church has a Harvest Party every Halloween as an alternative for the kids. There are carnival games and prizes, a cakewalk, face painting, beaded bracelet making, mini-pumpkin painting and all kinds of stuff. It's a lot of fun for the kids and so even though Halloween is not a holiday that we have been used to celebrating, this is the 2nd year that the kids have dressed up. I decided that if we were going to do this, we were going to have a fun theme going on - so we settled on the movie "Wizard of Oz". The kids dressed up accordingly, Sarah (11) was Dorothy, Philip (9) was the Great and Powerful Oz, Chloe (7) was the Tin Woodsgirl (lol), Stephen (5) was the Scarecrow and Paige (3) was the Cowardly Lion. It turned out really cute and I thought I'd share a couple of pictures with you all!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

(Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007)


Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped.

Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

In addition to Surrender Bay, the second Nantucket book releases in April 2008. The title is The Convenient Groom and features Kate Lawrence, a relationship advice columnist, whose groom dumps her on her wedding day. Denise is currently at work on the third Nantucket book (Oct 2008) which is untitled so far.

When Sam's estranged step-father dies, she inherits his ocean-front cottage in Nantucket--not because he kindly bequeathed it to her, but because he neglected to ever create a will. Sam returns to the island she left 11 years ago with her daughter Caden to fix up the house and sell it, but she isn't counting on is the fact that Landon Reed still lives two doors down from her childhood home.

As their long-dormant romance begins to bud again, Sam must face the fact that Landon still doesn't know why she really left the island. Will the secrets she's hidden all these years tear them apart? Or is Landon's love really as unconditional as he claims?

"I've always thought Denise Hunter was an amazing writer but this wonderful story sets her firmly at the forefront of compelling love stories. How Landon breaks down Samantha's determination that she is unworthy of love kept me glued to the pages. An amazing story!"

--Colleen Coble, author of Fire Dancer (Smoke Jumper Series)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hollywood Nobody First Chapter!

I was priviledged to preview this book and I have to say I absolutely loved it! One of my new favorite books. For my readers that homeschool, one of the things I loved about this book is that the heroine is homeschooled (she does a lot of unit studies) this is not a focal point per se but definitely works into the storyline often. Fantastic book and I highly recommend checking this one out. You can buy it at -

It is November 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour!

The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author

and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!
This month's feature author is:

and her book:

Hollywood Nobody Th1nk Books (August 30, 2007)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at

These days, she's working on Quaker Summer, volunteering at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive of a husband in seminary.

(Trying . . . some days she's downright awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!)

She can tell you one thing, it's never dull around there. Other Novels by Lisa: Straight Up, Club Sandwich, Songbird, Tiger Lillie, The Church Ladies, Women's Intuition: A Novel, Songbird, The Living End

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: Hollywood Nobody:

April 1 Happy April Fool’s Day!

What better day to start a blog about Hollywood than today? Okay, I’ve been around film sets my whole life. Indie films, yeah, and that’s all I’m saying about it here for anonymity’s sake. But trust me, I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments. Like outgrowing Tom Cruise by the age of twelve — in more ways than one, with the way he’s gotten crazier than thong underwear and low-rise jeans. Thankfully that fashion disaster has run for cover. Underwear showing? Not a good idea.

Fact: I don’t know of a single girl who doesn’t wish the show-itall boxer-shorts phenomenon would go away as well. Guys, we just don’t want to see your underwear. Truthfully, we believe that there is a direct correlation between how much underwear you show and how much you’ve got upstairs, if you know what I mean. I’ve seen the stars at their best and at their worst. And believe me, the worst is really, really bad.

Big clue: you’d look just as pretty as they do if you went to such lengths. As you might guess, some of them are really nice and some of them are total jerks, and there’s a lot of blah in-betweeners. Like real life, pretty much, only the extremes are more extreme sometimes. I mean honestly, how many people under twenty do you know who have had more than one plastic surgery? So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little hard on these folks. But if it was all sunshine and cheerleading, I doubt you’d read this blog for long, right?

Today’s Rant: Straightening irons. We’ve had enough of them, Little Stars, okay? It was bad on Helen Hunt at the Oscars, worse on Demi, yet worse on Madonna, and it’s still ridiculous. Especially on those women who are trying to hold onto their youth like Gollum holds onto that ring. Ladies, there’s a reason for keeping your hair at or above your shoulders once you hit forty, and ever after. Think Annette Bening. Now she’s got it going on. And can’t you just see why Warren Beatty settled down for her? Love her! According to The Early Show this morning, curls are back, and Little Me ain’t going to tell why I’m so glad about that!

Today’s Kudo: Aretha Franklin. Big, bold, beautiful, and the best. Her image is her excellence. Man, that woman can sing! She has a prayer chain too. I’m not very religious myself, but you got to respect people who back up what they say they believe. Unless it’s male Scientologists and "silent birth." Yeah, right. Easy for them to say.

Today’s News: I saw a young actor last summer at a Shakespeare festival in New England. Seth Haas. Seth Hot is more like it. I heard a rumor he’s reading scripts for consideration. Yes, he’s that hot. Check him out here. Tell all your friends about him. And look here on Hollywood Nobody for the first, the hottest news on this hottie. Girls, he’s only nineteen! Fair game for at least a decade-and-a-half span of ages. I don’t know about you, but following the antics of new teen rock star Violette Dillinger is something I’m looking forward to. Her first album, released to much hype, hit Billboard’s no. 12 spot its third week out. And don’t you love her hit single "Love Comes Knocking on My Door"? This is going to be fun. A new celeb. Uncharted territory. Will Violette, who seems grounded and talented, be like her predecessors and fall into the "great defiling show-business machine" only to be spit out as a half-naked bimbo? We’ll see, won’t we? Keep your fingers crossed that the real artist survives.

Today’s Quote: "Being thought of as ‘a beautiful woman’ has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Beauty is essentially meaningless." Halle Berry Later!

Friday, April 2 I knew it was coming soon. We’d been camped out in the middle of a cornfield, mind you, for two weeks. That poke on my shoulder in the middle of the night means only one thing. Time to move on. "What, Charley?" "Let’s head ’em on out, Scotty. We’ve got to be at a shoot in North Carolina tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got food to prepare, so you have to drive." "I’m still only fifteen." "It’s okay. You’re a good driver, baby." My mom, Charley Dawn, doesn’t understand that laws exist for a reason, say, keeping large vehicles out of the hands of children. But as a food stylist, she fakes things all the time. Her boundaries are blurred. What can I say? Charley looks like she succumbed to the peer pressure of plastic surgery, but she hasn’t. I know this because I’m with her almost all the time. I think it’s the bleached-blond fountain of long hair she’s worn ever since I can remember. Or maybe the hand-dyed sarongs and shirts from Africa, India, or Bangladesh add to the overall appearance of youth. I have no idea. But it really makes me mad when anybody mistakes us as sisters. I mean, come on! She had me when she was forty! My theory: a lot of people are running around with bad eyesight and just don’t know it. I throw the covers to my left. If I sling them to my right, they’d land on the dinette in our "home," to use the term in a fashion less meaningful than a Hollywood "I do." I grew up in this old Travco RV I call the Y. As in Y do I have to live in this mobile home? Y do I have to have such an oddball food stylist for a mother? Y must we travel all year long? Y will we never live anyplace long enough for me to go to the real Y and take aerobics, yoga, Pilates or — shoot — run around the track for a while, maybe swim laps in the pool? And Y oh Y must Charley be a vegan? More on that later. And Y do I know more about Hollywood than I should, or even want to? Everybody’s an actor in Hollywood, and I mean that literally. Sometimes I wonder if any of them even know who they are deep down in that corner room nobody else is allowed into. But I wonder the same thing about myself. "You’re not asking me to drive while you’re in the kitchen trailer, are you, Charley?" "No. I can cook in here. And it’s a pretty flat drive. I’ll be fine." I’m not actually worried about her. I’m thinking about how many charges the cops can slap on me. Driving without a license. Driving without a seat belt on the passenger. Speeding, because knowing Charley, we’re late already. Driving without registration. Charley figured out years ago how to lift current stickers off of license plates. She loves "sticking it to the man." Or so she says. I kid you not. Oh, the travails of a teenager with an old hippie for a mother. Charley is oblivious as usual as I continue my recollection of past infractions thankfully undetected by the state troopers: Driving while someone’s in the trailer. It’s a great trailer, don’t get me wrong, a mini industrial kitchen we rigged up a couple of years ago to make her job easier. Six-range burner, A/C, and an exhaust fan that sucks up more air than Joan Rivers schmoozing on the red carpet. But it’s illegal for her to go cooking while we’re in motion. "All right. Can I at least get dressed?" "Why? You’re always in your pj’s anyway." "Great, Mom." "It’s Charley, baby. You know how I feel about social hierarchy." "But didn’t you just give me an order to drive without a license? What if I say no?" She reaches into the kitchen cupboard without comment and tips down a bottle of cooking oil. Charley’s as tall as a twelve-year-old. "I mean, let’s be real, Charley. You do, in the ultimate end of things, call the shots." I reach back for my glasses on the small shelf I installed in the side of the loft. It holds whatever book I’m reading and my journal. I love my glasses, horn-rimmed "cat glasses" as Charley calls them. Vintage 1961. Makes me want to do the twist and wear penny loafers. "Can I at least pull my hair back?" She huffs. "Oh, all right, Scotty! Why do you have to be so difficult?" Charley has no clue as to how difficult teenagers can actually be. Here I am, schooling myself on the road, no wild friends. No friends at all, actually, because I hate Internet friendships. I mean, how lame, right? No boyfriend, no drugs. No alcohol either, unless you count cold syrup, because the Y gets so cold during the winter and Charley’s a huge conservationist. (Big surprise there.) I should be thankful, though. At least she stopped wearing leather fringe a couple of years ago. I slide down from the loft, gather my circus hair into a ponytail, and slip into the driver’s seat. Charley reupholstered it last year with rainbow fabric. I asked her where the unicorns were and she just rolled her eyes. "Okay, let’s go. How long is it going to take?" "Oh." She looks down, picks up a red pepper and hides behind it. I turn on her. "You didn’t Google Map it?" "You’re the computer person, not me." She peers above the stem. "I’m sorry?" She shrugs. Man, I hate it when she’s so cute. "Really sorry?" "Charley, we’re in Wilmore, Kentucky. As in Ken-Tuck-EEE . As in the middle of nowhere." I climb out of my seat. "What part of North Carolina are we going to? It’s a wide state." "Toledo Island. Something like that. Near Ocracoke Island. Does that sound familiar?" "The Outer Banks?" "Are they in North Carolina?" Are you kidding me? "Let me log on. This is crazy, Charley. I don’t know why you do this to me all the time." "Sorry." She says it so Valley Girl-like. I really thought I’d be above TME: Teenage Mom Embarrassment. But no. Now, most kids don’t have mothers who dress like Stevie Nicks and took a little too much LSD back in the DAY. It doesn’t take ESP to realize who the adult in this setup is. And she had me, PDQ, out of the bonds of holy matrimony I might add, when she was forty (yes, I already told you that, but it’s still just as true), and that’s OLD to be caught in such an inconvenient situation, don’t you think? The woman had no excuse for such behavior, FYI. My theory: Charley’s a widow and it’s too painful to talk about my father. I mean, it’s plausible, right? The problem is, I can remember back to when I was at least four, and I definitely do not remember a man in the picture. Except for Jeremy. More on him later too. I flip up my laptop. I have a great satellite Internet setup in the Y. I rigged it myself because I’m a lonely geek with nothing better to do with her time than figure out this kind of stuff. I type in the info and wait for the directions. Satellite is slower than DSL, but it’s better than nothing. "Charley! It’s seventeen hours away!" I scan the list of twists and turns between here and there. "We have to take a ferry to Ocracoke, and then Toledo Island’s off of there." "Groovy!" "Groovy died with platform shoes and midis." "Whatever, Scotty." Only she says it all sunny. She’s a morning person. "That phrase should be dead." Honestly, I’m not big on lingo. I’ve never been good at it, which is fine by me. Who am I going to impress with cool-speak anyway? Uma Thurman? Yeah, right. "Okay, let’s go." "We can go as long as possible and break camp on the way, you know?" Charley. I climb back into the rainbow chair, throw the Y into drive, pull the brake, and we’re moving on down the road. Again.

Sample from Hollywood Nobody / ISBN: 1-60006-091-9 Copyright © 2006 NavPress Publishing. All rights reserved. To order copies of this resource, come back to