The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Buddy Bear Pics - Finally!

I have been promising new photos of Buddy Bear forever. I finally downloaded them from my camera. Enjoy!

1 month old - I love sleeping babies!

2 months old - on his changing table (still need to post pics of his room)

3 months old - sleeping again

4 months old - love the dimple!

We went on a mini-vacation last week, and I'll post some pics from that soon. Have a great day!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blog Tour: Love Starts with Elle

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity for providing a free review copy of this book. No other compensation was received for this review. The opinions contained herein are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Back in May, I reviewed Sweet Caroline, also by Rachel Hauck. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was more than pleased to be asked to review Love Starts with Elle, which tells the story of Elle Garvey who was a minor character in Sweet Caroline.

This book captured my interest from the very beginning. Elle is the perfect heroine - spunky and sweet at the same time. She faces heartache with courage and grace and consequently learns the most important lesson of all: being a Christian is more than just being an acquaintance of Christ's.

It wasn't just Elle who captured my attention, however. All the characters in this story live and breathe. They are not some fluff figures created just to fill space. Their strengths and weaknesses are the same as mine, which enabled me to connect emotionally with the story. I wanted to see Elle respond in a certain way; I despised Jeremiah for his self-centered actions; I cheered for Heath because I saw into his heart. In short, I escaped into a make-believe world that was nearly as real as the reality in which I live.

If you can't tell, I highly recommend this book. Inside its covers, you will find an enjoyable story that also contains important life lessons. If you would like to read what other bloggers thought of this book, please visit the blog tour post for the complete schedule with links. If you'd like a chance to win your own copy, just leave a comment at that post.

Buy the book: available at

About the book:
Elle's living the dream -but is it her dream or his?

Elle loves life in Beaufort, South Carolina-lazy summer days on the sand bar, coastal bonfires, and dinners with friends sharing a lifetime of memories. And she's found her niche as the owner of a successful art gallery too. Life is good.

Then the dynamic pastor of her small town church sweeps her off her feet. She's never known a man like Jeremiah-one who breathes in confidence and exhales all doubt. When he proposes in the setting sunlight, Elle hands him her heart on a silver platter.

But Jeremiah's just accepted a large pastorate in a different state. If she's serious about their relationship, Elle will take "the call," too, leaving behind the people and place she loves so dearly. Elle's friendship with her new tenant, widower Heath McCord, and his young daughter make things even more complicated.

Is love transferable across the miles? And can you take it with you when you go?

About Rachel:
Rachel Hauck is the author of ten, going on eleven novels, and has recently become an "acclaimed" author. (Yeah, funny how that happened. Some dude found her lottery stub stuck to the bottom of his shoe and tried to "acclaim" her. But her husband refused to pay out.)

Since then, she's gone on to become a best selling author of Sweet Caroline.

Living in central Florida with her husband of sixteen and a half years, one sweet little dog and one ornery cat, Rachel is a graduate of Ohio State University and a huge Buckeye football fan. One day she hopes to stand on the sidelines next to Coach Tressel as a famed, acclaimed best selling OSU alumni, beloved for her work in literature and letters. (She's written at least a couple hundred letters in her life time.)

Her current release, Love Starts With Elle (July 2008, Thomas Nelson) is set in the South Carolina lowcountry, and earned 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic Times Book Club.

Look for her next release next spring, The Sweet By and By, the first book in the Born To Fly series with award winning country artist, Sara Evans.

Of the writing journey, Rachel says, "I'm humbled by the amazing things God is doing in my life. I love what I do, and am so privileged to work with Thomas Nelson fiction and am excited to see what God has in store for all of His authors and writers. Just keep praying and writing!"

You can visit her blog and website at


Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Still Around

It has been so long since I last posted that I thought I'd better let you know I'm still here and am okay. I have 11 orders I'm working on, and of course there's the usual mom/wife stuff to do, too.

I promise (Jennifer!) that my next post will have new pictures of Buddy Bear. He is such a sweet and happy baby. And of course I think he is absolutely adorable! :)

How have you been doing?


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Book Tour: The SOS for PMS

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity for providing a free review copy of this book. No other compensation was received for this review. The opinions contained herein are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

When I was invited to review this book, I didn't immediately accept the offer. I wasn't too sure I wanted to wade through some dull, text-like book. I'm sure glad I reconsidered!

You hear it all the time: men joking about wives and girlfriends' moodiness, and women wryly complaining about their symptoms. But for many women, PMS is no laughing matter. If you are one of the many, many women who suffers from PMS, I highly recommend your reading Mary Byers' book, The S.O.S. for PMS.

This is not the dull, put-you-to-sleep book I was dreading. Mrs. Byers' honesty about her own battle with PMS and her wry sense of humor keep this from being a "heavy" book. She opens each chapter with a short scene from a fictional character's life which illustrates topics that will be discussed in the following pages. The ongoing fictional story helped keep me interested, and I love the humor Mrs. Byers injects into this sub-story.

More than an intriguing fictional story, The S.O.S. for PMS offers "Practical Help and Relief for Moms." Mrs. Byers discusses specific PMS symptoms and their causes, includes charts to help you figure out what you can expect from your body, offers advice about what foods impact PMS (both positively and negatively), and gives helpful tips for getting others to help you through your difficult times.

While I highly recommend this book, you may wish to read an excerpt. Links to additional reviews can be found at the blog tour post. Leave a comment at that post to be entered to win one of 4 copies Mrs. Byers is giving away.

About Mary: Mary Byers is a professional speaker and writer whose passion for transforming lives is evident in every project she takes on. In her first book with Harvest House Publishers, The Mother Load: How to Meet Your Own Needs While Caring for Your Family, Byers teaches women how to take care of themselves so that they can nurture a happy, healthy family. The mother of two lively children, she offers down-to-earth suggestions, spiritual truths, and real-life advice on how to juggle family responsibilities while creating a balanced life through supportive friendships, stress-relieving laughter, regular exercise, rejuvenating solitude, and an intimate relationship with the Lord. The founder of Word Works, Byers graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Telecommunications. She is also a Certified Association Executive. Byers and her husband, Stuart, reside in Illinois with their two children. To learn more about Mary visit her website at

A Word from the Author:
"It’s my hope that this book will bring help, hope and healing to moms who suffer from PMS. It’s been a source of despair in my own life but things are looking up now that I’ve developed my own coping plan. Those I interviewed for this book shared intimately about their own battles and I believe their stories, along with that of Callie’s (the main character in the book) will convince other women that it is possible to change their current response to PMS and encourage them to start today.”

About the Book:
The SOS for PMS:
Practical Help and Relief for Moms

In her latest book, Mary explores an often frustrating topic, the symptoms of PMS, and offers practical advice and encouragement for mothers. Readers will find comfort in the stories shared by other moms, realizing that they are not alone in their struggles with PMS.

With this book, you will find suggestions designed to inspire healthier lifestyles, relationships, and daily choices for all women.

Gather any group of moms together and the topic of frustrating PMS symptoms rises up in conversation along with the guilt and concern about its effects on family members.

Now Mary Byers, author of The Mother Load, offers mothers encouragement, help, and camaraderie as she shares:

~women's stories-the good, bad, and the hopeful

~overlooked symptoms and how to manage them

~foods and activities to avoid or indulge in

God's first aid for stress, depression, and anxiety a call for help-how husbands can come to the aid of their wives.

This gathering of useful advice and shared experiences will comfort readers who have ever felt alone in their PMS plight and will inspire healthier lifestyles, relationships, and daily choices for all women.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Where Will You Spend Eternity?

Layne's funeral went well with both laughter and tears. I heard there were over 300 people in attendance, and Mr. Incredible and I saw people we hadn't seen in nearly a decade.

Layne was one of 5 brothers, and every single one of them is/was a preacher. Sharon has two brothers, and one is a preacher. So Layne chose to have two brothers from each side of the family speak during the memorial service and told them that they only had 5 minutes to speak. He said that the people attending the service could thank him in Heaven. I had to chuckle when Layne's oldest brother told us he had said that, but they didn't stick to the 5-minute limit too well. *smile*

Laughter and tears characterized the service. Layne was a fun-loving, mischievous boy who grew up into a fun-loving and mischievous man. His brothers and brothers-in-law recounted several funny stories of Layne's mischief-making. Everyone had to laugh.

The tears came several times for me: when his family members sang, when letters to his wife and children were read, and when I saw Sharon's incredible control break briefly.

I'm so glad we had the opportunity to go, and I was honored to be able to play for the congregational singing and one special. I was amazed at how at home I felt even after nearly 3 years away.

Whether we are given 1 year or 100 years, life is short and passes by all too quickly. But this life isn't all there is. Each one of us has a soul that lives somewhere forever - either in Heaven or in hell. Knowing that Layne had trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior, I know that I will see him again in Heaven. That is a comforting fact. However, I'd hate to not see you in Heaven.

If you haven't trusted Christ as your Savior, I urge you to do so before you reach your last day here on earth. I'd be more than happy to tell you how to be saved. Just contact me if you have any questions.