Thursday, August 30, 2012

Milk Unleashed Giveaway and Blog App

It’s back to school time which means car pools, sports practice, recitals, field trips, and maybe a little time for mom thrown in for good measure. Having an on-the-go lifestyle can be challenging to say the least and Milk Unleashed is here to help!

With handy single-serving shelf safe milk there’s no need to ever run out! You can take it anywhere at anytime! Milk Unleashed goes wherever your family goes, whether it’s a lunchbox, a cooler, purse or a diaper bag!

Prize: Win a Milk Unleashed variety pack consisting of four shelf safe milks (white and chocolate) from: Hershey’s, LaLa, Horizon and Organic Valley.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about the Milk Unleashed I am getting a free Prize Pack of my own and an additional one for my readers as a giveaway. Thanks to PartnersHub for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this blog app and giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

31 Days to a Happy Husband by Arlene Pellicane FWCT Book Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Arlene Pellicane is an author, speaker, and formerly served as the associate producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah. Her audiobook and website Losing Weight After Baby has helped many moms achieve their physical and personal goals. Arlene and her family make their home in southern California.

Visit the author's website.


What does a man need most from his wife? Arlene Pellicane has identified five keys that will give wives a new appreciation and understanding of how to love and care for their mates along with practical instruction to motivate and equip wives to provide their husbands what they long for.

Product Details:
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736946322
ISBN-13: 9780736946322


Are You Still Dreaming?
The year was 1999 and my big moment had finally arrived. I stood holding my father’s arm, ready to make my grand entrance into the church. James and I had decided to have one of his favorite seminary professors marry us. Ours was only his second wedding to officiate, but we didn’t care about his inexperience.
Just as I approached the door leading into the sanctuary, I was shocked to hear the sound of our professor’s voice, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to bring James and Arlene together in holy matrimony.” The only problem was, I was still standing in the hall with all the bridesmaids. Our professor mistook a break in the music as his cue to begin the ceremony.
I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears. Our dear professor got all the way through his introduction before realizing his error. When he got to that famous line, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” there was complete silence. Our friends and family didn’t know whether to laugh or be mortified.
At this, my aunt started playing the piano, and I was thrust through the door of the church to join my ceremony in progress. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d miss the beginning of my own wedding, but it sure has given us many laughs over the years.
Do you remember the day you said “I do”? I hope the ceremony didn’t start without you. Remember walking down the aisle, feeling like the happiest woman in the world? Your heart was full of dreams for the future. Are you still dreaming today?
Keep Honeymooning
So many couples told us after we tied the knot, “Just wait until you’ve been married a few years. You won’t be so lovey-dovey anymore.” But there was one lone voice who gave us the opposite advice. “Never let the honeymoon end,” he said. “It’s much easier to keep love alive than to try to revive something that has died.” We vowed to follow his advice.
Fast-forward the tape twelve years to our aha moment. James and I were teaching a young-marrieds class at our church. On the first day of class, we noticed there was not a centimeter of space in between these newlywed couples. Wives were superglued to their husbands’ sides. Eyes were locked, hands were held, hair was twirled. I looked over at my James who was sitting about a foot away from me. We, the sage teachers, needed a refresher course on touch, affection, and romance.
Most likely you know what I’m talking about. The heat of passion turns into the warmth of companionship. But that warmth, if we don’t take time to stoke the embers, can slowly turn into a cool disengagement between husband and wife. And before you know it, you’re two roommates sharing a home, a bank account, and children.
I don’t want that dull fate and neither do you. Three kids later and in our forties, James and I are learning to flirt again. The good news is you can relearn how to do all the things you used to do when you were dating. Except that instead of being lovers on cruise control, you might have to step on the gas pedal once in a while for the ride of your life.
Time to Dream Again
I remember driving down the freeway and seeing a pickup truck with these bold words printed on the back window: “Happy to be here, proud to serve.” I’d like you to imagine those words hanging in a frequented place in your home. When you can say about your home, “Happy to be here and proud to serve,” your husband will want to hurry home every day because it’s the place he feels most valued and loved.
This book will help you create that kind of place for your man. It’s divided into thirty-one daily readings grouped into five simple sections that will help you demonstrate to your husband the love that hooked him in the first place. The titles for each section form the acrostic DREAM. After all, the marriage of your dreams doesn’t have to be a fairy tale that will never come true. You can experience the kind of marriage most people dream about by following these five guidelines:
D = Domestic Tranquillity—Your husband needs a
peaceful haven (Days 1-5).
R = Respect—Your husband needs to be honored in
his own home (Days 6-11).
E = Eros—Your husband needs a fulfilling sex life
(Days 12-19).
A = Attraction—Your husband needs to be attracted
to you (Days 20-26).
M = Mutual Activities—Your husband needs to have
fun with you (Days 27-31).
Ask any husband if he would be happy having these five things in greater measure, and I can assure you his answer will be a resounding yes! And you just might find yourself enjoying these things too.
Notice Him, Nurture Him
It doesn’t take much time or effort to see that our culture is pessimistic about marriage. A happy marriage seems more like a fairy tale that Pollyanna dreamed up fifty years ago. Today’s wives are complaining left and right about their husbands’ many shortcomings. In fact, many women would never pick up a book like this. Why should a wife make her husband happy when he’s not making her happy? I like what host Bob Lepine of Family Life Today says, “Our role is not to figure out how to fix our spouse. Our role is: How do we reflect Christ in the marriage?”  1
And check out this insight from one husband:
When a woman is engaged to be married, she pours all her nurture into her man. She holds him, kisses him, and talks sweetly to him. They have fun together, do interesting things together, and enjoy the physical affection of first love. Then after they marry and have kids, all that nurture that went originally to the husband is suddenly transferred to the children. The kids benefit from all the maternal instincts and become the primary focus of all her tender nurture. The husband is just as needy for that nurture, but he is too proud to admit it.
When you look at your husband, you’re probably thinking he looks pretty self-sufficient. The other people in your life vying for your attention are truly needy (your children, grandchildren, aging parent, depressed friend). Look again. Your husband craves your affection and care but doesn’t want to ask for it. He bites the bullet because he’s supposed to be the strong one. Yet he desperately wants tender loving care just as you do.
How to Get the Most Out of This Book
The thirty-one happy husbands I interviewed for this book will serve as your insider guides for the next thirty-one days. Here are a few suggestions for how best to glean their insights as you read through this book:
Commit to reading a chapter every day for one month. Choose a month to soak your husband in tender loving care. Maybe choose his birthday month or your anniversary month to make it extra special and more memorable. But don’t worry—if you want to start today and his birthday isn’t for months, I’m sure he won’t mind! If you fall behind one or two days, don’t give up on the “Happy Husband” month. The chapters are short so you can easily catch up and get back on track.
Read it in five chunks. Maybe you want to tackle more than one day’s reading at a time. Once you’re settled in your comfortable chair to read, you want to keep going. Then I suggest you divide your reading into sections. Begin with Days 1-5, which cover Domestic Tranquillity. This way you can concentrate your focus on one key DREAM factor at a time. After you’ve completed the action steps suggested, you can move on to the letter R for Respect (Days 6-11), and so on.
Read the affirmation for happy wives aloud once a day. You’ll find this daily affirmation on page 179. Put your affirmation on your bathroom mirror and read it out loud every morning. Expect to feel uncomfortable doing this at first. But after a few days, not only will you believe the words you are saying, you will be living them out. It’s tempting to skip this step, so when you’re done reading today, turn to page 179. Photocopy, scan, or type out the page and put it on your bathroom mirror tonight.
Start a “Wives of Happy Husbands Discussion Group.” Read the book together with a group of friends who also want to add some sizzle to their marriages. Use the discussion guide on pages 185-192. Plan to meet weekly for five weeks to discuss what you’re learning. I promise these will be lively coffee dates or meals together!
Do the action steps. If you just read the book without trying any of the action steps, your husband probably won’t be able to tell you’re reading a book about how to love him better. At the end of each day’s reading, you’ll find these two recurring themes:
· Notice Today —You’ll be invited to take a close look at your husband. It will take only a few moments, but it will make a big difference. When you notice something positive about your husband instead of taking him for granted or rehearsing his faults, you’ll experience a change of heart and greater warmth for your man.
· Nurture Today —You’ll get to put your attitude into action through the daily steps to nurture him. Remember, if you don’t do anything differently this month toward your spouse, your thirty-one-day journey to marital bliss isn’t much more than wishful thinking.
Every day of your life, you’re either building your husband up or tearing him down. Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” In the next thirty-one days, you’re going to launch a full-force, no-holding-back, life-changing building program for your marriage. Let other things slide while you make your husband the number one priority for the next thirty-one days. Your only agenda is to overwhelm him with attention and affir­mation.
Roll up your sleeves. It’s time to build and dream again.
Marriage Quiz
Do You Have a Happy Husband?
Before you begin reading Day 1, take this self-assessment to discover what areas in your marriage need the most attention. Be honest in your answers. You’re not trying to impress anyone here. Your goal is to gain valuable insight about your husband’s current level of happiness in your marriage.
The environment of my home is warm and peaceful on most days.
Yes No
I drop other things (even with my kids) to make time for my husband if he needs anything.
Yes No
I never say unkind things about my husband to others.
Yes No
If there’s a decision to be made, my husband has the final say.
Yes No
I enjoy having sex and look forward to making love to my husband.
Yes No
My husband and I talk regularly about ways to improve our sex life.
Yes No
I make an effort to look attractive with my clothes, hair, and makeup even on days when I see only my husband.
Yes No
I am a healthy body weight and exercise at least three times a week.
Yes No
My husband and I go on a date at least once a month.
Yes No
We still enjoy romance, kissing once a day for at least five seconds.
Yes No
Total the number of yes answers:
1-4: Your relationship is on shaky ground. There are some critical areas of unmet needs that you must identify both for yourself and your husband. Reading this book is perfect timing.
5-7: You have some good habits and attitudes to build on. As you make a few key changes this month, you and your husband will be laughing, flirting, and enjoying each other’s company more.
8-10: You have a happy husband. By the time you finish reading this book, he will be ecstatic. You’ll be moving from good to great (or great to unbelievable). Be on the lookout for other women to encourage and mentor

Saturday, August 25, 2012

DogVacay - Pick the Perfect Petsitter for your Pooch

August 26th is National Dog Day and to celebrate the occasion I wanted to let you, my readers know of an awesome online community of dog lovers called DogVacay where you can really Pick the Perfect Petsitter for your Pooch (try saying that 3 times fast). It was founded by a husband and wife team and their two puppies who wanted to create a safe happy place for your dog to stay while you're away.

Becoming a member is free and right now if you join you could possibly win a week of free dog boarding and a $250 Petco gift card!

DogVacay is a convenient, affordable, safe way to choose a quality trustworthy home away from home for your dog while you are away. DogVacay hand approves all pet-sitters, provides comprehensive protection, veterinary support, and a 100% guarantee. Choose from thousands of experienced and qualified hosts like: professional pet-sitters, retired veterinarians and experienced dog lovers.

Small downside: If you live in a small city like I do there might not be any community members in DogVacay close by you. I looked for dog-sitters close to Rainier, Oregon...where I live and the closest is about an hours drive from me to have anyone watch my dog, longer if I wanted someone in Portland. That is a lot of gas money for me and my van unless I am already there for an event. However; my readers in Portland, Oregon and many other larger cities have a nice selection of choices to pick from. It is worth the look to see if there are any sitters near you and if you are the only one...well you would probably be making a good amount of money on the dog-sitting side of things being a host for other families.

Dog Vacay even has a concierge to help you find the perfect host for your dog. Some hosts offer more than just dog boarding: dog sitting, daycare, dog walking, training, grooming, etc.

You can also sign up to be a host and make money hanging out with man's best friend. Create a free profile, set your own rates, and accept reservations today. You can also get reviews, add credentials, and add pictures as your business grows.

Prices start at $15 per night. Get $10 off now with code: SUMMERVACAY (Expires Sept. 5th). Also like them on Facebook because every now and then they have offers to save on there as well.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about DogVacay I am getting a discount for my first boarding. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this information.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Knot Genie - Save $4 and Back to School Morning Meltdown Contest

 The Knot Genie is a detangling brush that magically gets the knots out without the fuss or fighting. I wish I had one when I was doing my daughter, Tatiana's hair. Her hair was long and very curly and it took hours to do without trying to hurt her. Even with the curliest locks you can brush gently and painlessly!

US Family Guide has a great offer for all of you on the Knot Genie!! You can save $4 on a Knot Genie with a coupon on their site.

Also, with the introduction of four new Knot Genie colors in their limited edition Back to School Collection, Knot Genie is also running a fun contest. The contest is called, the Knot Genie Back to School Morning Meltdown contest. If you've ever had children with longer hair you will know the frustrations of getting those pesky tangles out. The foot stomping, fit throwing, screaming morning meltdowns that children have just to get their hair brushed...especially if it is a time crunched moment like getting your child off to school. Recount (if it’s not to painful) your worst meltdown and how you diffused the situation and enter your story in our contest. Ask your friends and family to vote for your entry and you could win $500.00. The first 50 people to enter will get great prizes just for participating.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about the Knot Genie I am getting a free Knot Genie. Thanks to for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Healing Love by Laura V. Hilton FWCT Book Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Whitaker House (September 3, 2012)

***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling of Whitaker House for sending me a review copy.***


Laura V. Hilton, of Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas, is a pastor’s wife, mother of five, author LVHilton1210and book lover. She’s got a degree in business but her passion has long been the mission of Christian fiction. Her first series, The Amish of Seymour from Whitaker House (Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another) earned praise from critics and fans for originality and authenticity, thanks in part to Laura’s Amish grandmother who taught her Amish culture at a young age, and her husband Steve’s family ties to the Amish community in Webster County, Missouri, which has been helpful in her research. Laura is the author of two novels for Treble Heart Books and a contributor to Zondervan’s It’s The Year Life Verse Devotional. She’s a member of ACFW for whom she writes Amish reviews for the magazine, Afictionado, and a long time reviewer for the Christian Suspense Zone. Laura is a stay-at-home mom, homeschooler, breast cancer survivor and avid blogger who posts reviews at:

Visit the author's website.


Shane Zimmerman, a young veterinarian and widower, is first person on the scene of a serious buggy accident buggy in Webster County, Missouri. He rushes Amish midwife Kristi Lapp, been badly injured in the crash, to the nearest hospital. The two discover they’re next door neighbors and a friendship develops as Shane helps Kristi with her high-energy Siberian husky, Chinook, for whom she can’t properly care because of her leg injuries. Shane hopes to further develop their relationship, but Kristi is leery and discourages him at first -- Shane isn’t Amish (although his grandparents were) and Kristi’s father would prefer she marry any aged Amish widower rather than an Englischer – even one with ties to the community who is close to her age. Despite the forces that would keep them apart, the strong attraction Kristi and Shane have for one another grows stronger. As their on-again, off-again relationship persists, Shane must come to grips with his identity and reevaluates why he’s Englisch.

Product Details:
List Price: $10.99

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (September 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603745068
ISBN-13: 978-1603745062


Chapter 1


Kristi Lapp flicked the reins impatiently. “Kum on, Samson. ‘Slow’ isn’t the only speed you’re capable of, ain’t so?” She needed him to pick up the pace. Silas Troyer had banged on her door earlier to alert her that his frau, Susie, was going into labor, and then he’d raced down the lane in his horse-and-buggy to notify their family members of the imminent birth.

Kristi was especially excited about this boppli. Susie had four girls, all of them a year apart, and she’d been expecting to have a boy this time, based on how different it had felt carrying him. Mamms usually sensed these things. And Kristi predicted she was right.

Several deer stepped onto the road right in front of Kristi, none of them even glancing her way. Smiling, she pulled the reins slightly to the right to direct Samson away from them, over to the side of the road. A similarly sized herd had meandered its way through her family’s backyard the other day, and she’d always admired the animals for sticking together as they did.

She tightened her grip on the reins and gave them another flick, hoping to encourage Samson to move more quickly.

As the deer were crossing the center line into the other lane, the powerful roar of an engine broke the serenity of the setting. A red sports car crested the hill up ahead, barreling in Kristi’s direction at a speed she’d never witnessed on this road. She heaved a breath of exasperation. Any idiot would have noticed one of the several signs that read, “Watch for Buggies.” They were impossible to miss, and Kristi had passed four of them in the last mile alone.

As the car whizzed toward her, the herd of deer scattered, darting in different directions. The driver swerved sharply into Kristi’s lane to avoid them, and she gasped, frantically trying to steer the buggy over toward the shoulder. A chill ran up her spine at the sight of the steep embankment and deep ditch below.

One of the spooked deer pivoted. Made a mad dash straight toward her horse. Samson reared and immediately took off at a run, straight toward the ditch.

“Whoa, Samson!” Kristi planted her feet against the front of the buggy and pulled back on the reins with all her might. Leave it to Samson to shift into high gear at the worst time.

The car sped past, but Samson wouldn’t slow down. He was heading straight for the side of the road. Panic surged through Kristi, constricting her breath. Should she try to jump out? She dropped the reins and scooted to the edge of the seat.

She was too late. The buggy lurched as Samson ran headlong over the embankment. As the vehicle tipped, she was propelled out the side. Hours seemed to pass before her body collided with the ground and pain engulfed her.

Teetering on the edge of consciousness, she thought briefly of Susie. How desperately she wanted to be there to assist with the birth of her boppli! Especially considering the problems she’d had with her first delivery…. And then she blacked out.


Shane Zimmerman flipped on his fog lights to illuminate the low-lying clouds, which created interesting shapes and shadows against the dark backdrop of woods lining the rural Missouri highway. He scanned the area for deer ousted from their natural habitats by hunters. Of course, rutting season also brought them out of hiding. Not that he hunted. He did treat many a pet that had been injured accidentally by a hunter, such as the Great Dane boarding at his clinic while she recovered from the surgical removal of an errant bullet.

Shane reached inside the console for a CD—the latest release from LordSong—and slid it into the player. As the uplifting music filled the car, he flexed his shoulders in an effort to relieve the tension of the busy day behind him. He looked forward to getting home and kicking back to read his Bible and watch the evening news.

As his Jeep crowned the hill, he tapped the brakes at the sight of a wrecked Amish buggy. He scanned the area, but there was no sign of horse or driver. The animal must have been released and carted home. Or put down, if its injuries had been severe enough.

Returning his gaze to the highway, he slowed. A young buck lay on the road, still alive yet struggling.

Shane pulled his Jeep to the shoulder, put it in park, and clicked on the hazard lights. Leaving the keys in the ignition, he got out, his heart pounding in time with the obnoxious dinging sound of the car. Cautiously, he approached the deer. Its brown eyes fixed on him, wild with fear. The animal lurched to a standing position for a second but quickly collapsed again on the hard pavement, where it remained. Its labored breaths intensified. Whoever had hit it had driven off, leaving it to die. Was the same person to blame for the buggy accident? He’d probably never know.

“It’s okay,” Shane spoke softly.

The deer flicked its ears and struggled to its feet again.

“I’m here to help you.” Shane stepped closer, keeping a wary eye on the rack of antlers. It was hardly the biggest he’d seen, but even small antlers could do hefty damage.

With another flick of its ears, the buck struggled to a semi-standing position and limped off to the edge of the road and into the forest. It would surely die, but Shane couldn’t do anything about that. He wasn’t about to chase an injured wild animal through the woods. He didn’t carry much medical gear in his Jeep, anyway, aside from a few larger tools used for treating farm animals.

He started back toward his vehicle, but a glance at the buggy lying on its side gave him a strong urge to check it out. No point in hurrying. He rubbed his eyes, weary after a long day at the clinic, and surveyed the scene. The buggy appeared to be abandoned.

Then, he moved to the edge of the embankment and gazed down the leaf-covered slope. Something caught his eye. A woman? Shane squinted. Sure enough, there was an Amish woman, wearing a maroon dress and a black apron. Gold hair peeked out from underneath her white prayer kapp, and a black bonnet hung loosely around her shoulders. “Hello?”

No answer. His breath hitched. Had she hit the deer? Or had the deer hit her? He frowned. Accidents caused by deer affected more cars than buggies, by far. Where was the horse?

Heart pounding, he scrambled down through the brush into the ditch. As he crouched beside the woman, his nose caught the metallic odor of blood. The brilliant red on her dress wasn’t part of the fabric. He lifted the hem just enough to spot the injury. Her left leg lay at a weird angle, with a bone protruding from the skin. Definitely broken.

His heart sank. He couldn’t help her. His expertise was limited to animals.

But he was the only one there. And she needed help—urgently.

“Hey.” He touched her left hand. It felt warm. He noted the shallow rise and fall of her chest. His fingers moved down to her wrist, feeling for her pulse. Alive but unresponsive. He reached into his pocket, pulled out his cell phone, and dialed 9-1-1. When the dispatcher answered, he said, “I’d like to report a buggy accident. We need an ambulance. The woman is unconscious and bleeding with a badly broken leg. Looks like a serious injury.” He added their approximate location.

Glancing again at the bone sticking out of her skin, Shane shuddered. Animals, he could handle. Humans were too easy to identify with; their injuries hit too close to home. He leaned down and gently pushed her hair away from her neck. Her pulse was extremely rapid and weak. He breathed a prayer that help would arrive quickly.

As he studied her face for the first time, recognition nearly knocked him off balance. This woman lived right next door to him. What were the odds of that? Her backyard was overrun with weeds, a stark contrast to her meticulously maintained garden in the side yard. He’d seen her working there many a time. She had the most beautiful dog he’d ever seen, a Siberian husky. And the thought had dawned on him, more than once, that the dog’s owner was more than usually beautiful, as well.

She wasn’t married, as far as he knew. The only other people he’d spotted next door were an older couple, presumably her parents. Their last name was Lapp, if the stenciling on their mailbox was current.

Shane would have to stop by the house to let her family know about the accident. They would probably be worried sick when she didn’t return.

The young woman moaned, drawing Shane’s attention. He saw her eyelids flutter slightly, and then her eyes opened.

“It’s okay,” he said, gazing as calmly as he could into her grayish-green eyes. “Help is coming.”

“The pain…my head…my leg….” She winced as tears filled her eyes. “Who are you? I’ve seen you before.”

“I’m Shane Zimmerman. Your next-door neighbor.” He reached for her hand, hesitated, then folded his fingers gently around hers. As their skin connected, he was startled by the jolt that shot through his fingertips and gained intensity as it traveled through his hand and up his arm. He had no explanation, other than his being overly tired. “You’ll be fine,” he assured her.

She only moaned again and closed her eyes.

Shane stared down at her bloodstained skirt and saw that the fabric was saturated. He grimaced. She needed help fast, or she’d bleed out. Animal or human, he didn’t want death on his hands tonight.

God, help me. Shane let go of her hand and yanked his sweatshirt up and over her head. He lifted her skirt again and pressed the garment against her wound, knowing he could be introducing harmful germs. But there wasn’t a choice. He tried to make her as comfortable as he could without letting up the pressure. Even though she didn’t rouse again, he explained every measure he took, from applying pressure to strapping his belt as a tourniquet around her leg. Then, he sang a couple of Amish songs, the ones he remembered learning from his grandparents. His father had left the Amish as young man, choosing to marry Shane’s mom, who wasn’t Amish. But Shane had often spent entire summers with his grandparents.

Time hung in the air as he waited for help to arrive.

Finally, there was a screech of brakes and a rumble of gravel on the road above, followed by the sound of a vehicle door opening.

“Down here!” Shane called.

Seconds later, an EMT carrying a medical bag peeked over the embankment. “Ambulance is right behind me. You didn’t move her, did you?”

“No. But she’s bleeding profusely. I did what I could to slow it down.”

The man half climbed, half slid, down the slope toward Shane. “I’ve got some emergency flares in the back of my truck. Mind setting them out while I take a look at her?”

“Not at all.”

Shane did as he’d been asked, then walked over to the buggy to inspect it more closely. The leather harness straps dangled with frayed ends, indicating that the horse had broken free, possibly when the buggy tipped. He checked the immediate area and even wandered a ways into the woods for signs of a wounded animal, but no clues turned up. The roar of sirens in the distance beckoned him back to the site of the wreck.

In his Jeep, he found a rag and wiped off his bloody hands while he thought out the statement he’d make to the police.

An ambulance screeched to a stop beside the pickup, lights flashing, and a police cruiser pulled up alongside. It wasn’t long before the ambulance wailed away again, spiriting its nameless passenger toward the hospital in Springfield.

After Shane had finished answering the police officer’s questions, he started the two-mile trip home, keeping his eyes peeled for an injured horse. He passed his own small plot of land without any sign of the animal.

He pulled into the driveway next door, hurried up to the house, and pounded on the front door. No response. After several moments, he knocked again. He knew that the Amish generally kept their doors unlocked, but he didn’t feel comfortable opening the door and hollering into the hallway of a stranger’s house. He rapped one more time, just to be sure.


Shane turned around and saw a man on the front porch of the house across the street.

The man started down the steps. “Can I help you?”

“I’m looking for Ms. Lapp’s family. She was in a buggy accident.”

The man came closer. “She hurt bad?”

Shane nodded. “Bad.” Would she survive the trip to the hospital? His heart clenched.

“Donald Jackson. Me an’ the wife live here.”

Shane stretched his mouth into a tight smile. “Shane Zimmerman. Neighbor on the other side.”

“Oh, the new guy. Vet, right? Welcome to Seymour.”

“Thanks.” It hardly seemed appropriate to exchange pleasantries when someone’s life was hanging in the balance. Shane shifted his weight. “Does she have any family?”

Donald shrugged. “Everyone has some. See her parents and other people around from time to time. Sometimes lots of buggies over there. Besides, ain’t the Amish all related? Heard that somewhere.”

“Seems that way sometimes.” Okay, this man was no help. A howl from the backyard reminded Shane about the Siberian husky. “I’m going to check on the dog.” He strode down the porch steps and made his way around the side of the house.

Donald trailed him. “Barn’s always unlocked, I’m pretty sure, so you could get the dog’s food. I never see her lock it, anyway. But then, I don’t watch her twenty-four-seven or anything.”

Shane raised an eyebrow. This Donald apparently watched her often enough to know about the barn door and the dog food. “Nice meeting you, Donald. I’ll just make sure the dog has fresh water, and then I’ll go.” He needed to find someone Amish to notify.

Seeing the red and white Siberian husky in a large kennel in the backyard, Shane opened the gate and went in, shutting it behind him. The dog whined and jumped up, wrapping him in a sort of canine embrace. Shane hugged her back. This breed was so affectionate. He rubbed her neck, then stepped back, picked up her metal water dish, and headed for the outside spigot, which he’d spotted on his way to the backyard. The dog followed closely at his feet, growling in a friendly way, as if she carried on a one-sided conversation. At the spigot, Shane filled the dish with cold water, then checked the barn door. It was unlocked, as Donald had said it’d be.

Shane stopped and scratched the dog behind her ears. “I’ll be back later to get you some food.” He hesitated. “No, I’ll do it now.” He turned back to the barn and slid both wobbly doors open, going into the darkness. He paused, wishing for his flashlight, then remembered that his Amish grandfather had always kept a lantern near the door. He turned back and groped along a shelf, finally feeling the familiar metal base of a lantern. Next to it was a book of matches, one of which he used to light the wick. It didn’t seem right, being in a stranger’s barn, but the dog would be hungry.

He found the dog food and bent down to scoop some into the dish. Then, he straightened and looked around. This was an Amish farm. There’d be other animals to bed down. Cows. Chickens. Horses. He sighed.

A nicker sounded, and Shane turned to the door. Ah, the prodigal buggy horse, dragging the frayed strands of a harness. Shane spoke softly to the animal as he grabbed hold of one of the harness straps, and then he led it back to an empty stall. The dog followed, whining all the way. Shane gave the sweaty horse a rubdown, checking it for injuries. Nothing seemed amiss, other than the wild look in its eyes and the way it kept tossing its head, probably responses to the trauma of the accident.

When Shane had calmed the horse as best he could, he glanced around again. He knew the basics of managing an Amish farm, thanks to the years he’d spent helping his grandparents, but it was more than one person could handle alone. Another Amish family would probably take on the rest of the chores.

Still, he wanted to go to the hospital to check on Ms. Lapp. Why did she still weigh so heavily on his mind? He’d done his duty to her, a stranger.

His decision made, he returned the dog to her kennel. Before closing the door, he gave her another rub behind the ears. “I’ll be back.”

The dog flopped down on the ground with a reproachful whimper, as if he were abandoning her in her time of greatest need.

“Your master was in an accident, but she’ll be okay,” Shane explained. “I hope.” He crouched down to the dog’s level. “I’m going to the hospital right now to check on her.”

With another whine, the dog lowered her head to rest on her front paws. Apparently, she had resigned herself to his departing.

Shane drove home for a quick shower, then got back in his Jeep to head to the hospital. First, though, he stopped by the farm on the other side of his property. The mailbox there also said “Lapp,” and he figured the residents had to be relatives of the injured woman.

Seconds after he pulled into the driveway, a man came out into the yard. Shane introduced himself and asked for confirmation that this family was related to the other Lapps, specifically the young woman with the Siberian husky.

The man frowned. “Jah, we’re family. I’m Kristi’s onkel. Timothy. I’m caring for their livestock while her parents are visiting family in Sarasota. I was getting ready to head over there.”

Shane proceeded to tell Timothy about the accident. For a relative of Kristi’s, he processed the information rather stoically, Shane thought.

“Can I give you a lift to the hospital?”

Timothy took a step back. “Nein, I’ll contact the bishop, and he’ll get the word out. And I’ll make a call down to Florida to tell her parents.”

Timothy headed back to the barn, and Shane drove away, wondering why was he was taking the time to go to the hospital and check on a woman he didn’t even know. He probably wouldn’t find out anything, thanks to the strict privacy policy. But still, something drew him.

At the hospital, Shane went directly to the emergency wing and approached the front desk. “Kristi Lapp, please.”

The receptionist nodded and checked something on her computer. Then, she looked up with a sympathetic smile. “If you’ll take a seat in the waiting room, a doctor will be out to talk with you in just a few minutes.”

She must be in more serious condition than he’d thought. Shane went down the hall to the waiting area, where he was relieved to find a coffeemaker. He poured himself a coffee and watched several minutes of the sitcom playing on the TV mounted on the wall overhead.

As the only person in the room, he had his choice of seats. He selected a chair in a corner and picked up a magazine from the end table next to it. However, the contents didn’t appear to be any more interesting than the drama he was caught up in, so he put it back. Instead of reading, he prayed for Kristi and for the doctors working on her. It felt strange praying for a woman he didn’t know and waiting for an update from the doctor, as if she meant something special to him. But it seemed she did, even though he’d just met her. Did their brief interaction even count as a meeting? He wasn’t sure. All he knew was that he hadn’t felt this strong a connection with a woman since Becca. Immediately he dismissed the thought.

He was glad he’d found out her name. Calling her “Ms. Lapp” seemed so wrong. Plus, he probably wouldn’t have been permitted to see her if the hospital staff thought he was a stranger.

Several people came into the waiting room and exited again during a period of time that felt like hours.

At last, a doctor came into the room. “Family for Kristi Lapp.”

Shane blew out a breath. Family he wasn’t, but he was the only person there for her. Hopefully, the doctor wouldn’t ask how he was related. He got up, feeling a twinge of guilt at his act of impersonation.

The doctor led him into a private conference room and gestured for him to sit down. “She’s in recovery. We’ve given her a blood transfusion, and we’ll be monitoring her hemoglobin and hematocrit—that is, blood values. As soon as we’re sure they are in the normal range, she’ll be referred to an orthopedic surgeon for a procedure we abbreviate as ORIF: open reduction internal fixation.”

Shane nodded. He was familiar with the procedure, but the doctor was probably accustomed to having to explain it, so he continued.

“Open reduction—that’s how we put the bone back in the position it’s supposed to be. And internal fixation is how we stabilize it—with a rod down the center of the bone and plates on either side, to keep it in the position it’s supposed to be in until nature takes her course and it heals completely. The plates may be removed later, as long as the bone heals well. Also, her femoral artery was nicked, but she’ll be fine. Lost a lot of blood. We had to give her three units. She’s going to have substantial bruising and probably be in considerable pain.”

“Has she regained consciousness?”

“Not yet. But brain activity is normal, and we expect no complications.”

“Thank you.” Shane stood up and started for the door.

“If you want to wait, I’ll have a nurse come and show you to her room.”

Shane stopped in the doorway. “I’ll come in tomorrow.”

The doctor frowned. “I’m sure your wife will want to see you when she wakes up.”


Kristi woke up in an unfamiliar room filled with odd beeping noises. Straight ahead, a television was mounted on the celery-green wall. To her right was a beige-colored curtain; to her left, a big, dark window. The hospital. How did she get here? Someone must have found her. What about Samson? What had happened to him?

Had Susie birthed her boppli? Kristi groaned and shifted on the bed, noticing the bedside table with a plastic pitcher of water and an empty tumbler. And…flowers? She smiled at the vase holding six pink rosebuds, a cluster of baby’s breath, and some other greenery. Who would have sent a bouquet? Maybe the person who’d found her.

With great effort, she reached with her right arm toward the table, pain washing over her anew. It seemed every part of her body ached. Despite the discomfort, she extended her arm just far enough to snatch the white envelope from the plastic forklike thing tucked into the bouquet.

Her left hand had an IV needle stuck in it, taped down. She grimaced at the sight. She’d have a bruise there, probably, but that would be the least of her injuries. Even with her pain-blurred vision, which made it seem as if the room was spinning, she could tell from the shape of the blanket that covered her legs how swollen they were. Her left leg, in particular—that’s where most of the pain radiated from. Wincing with effort, she tore open the envelope and pulled out a plain white card. The message written inside was simple:

You’re in my prayers.

Shane Zimmerman

Sweet, but it must have been intended for another patient. She didn’t know anybody by the name of Shane Zimmerman. Or did she? Her head pounded as she tried to figure it out. No one came to mind.

Maybe this mystery man would come to the hospital to see her.

She pressed the card to her chest and closed her eyes, imagining a tall, handsome Amish man. Hopefully, when she fell asleep, he would visit her in her dreams.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program

I have fond memories of the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program I still have my purple button with the white open book and rainbow tucked away in my button box (a box full of fun pins, buttons and pretty brooches).

When I was little we rarely ate out at restaurants. My mom was a great cook and had the time to cook meals for us. Eating out was saved when we were spoiled rotten by our Grandmother when she came to visit us or we came to visit her. Those days were few and far in between.

I went to public school when I was growing up. When the teacher handed out the Book It! buttons and explained we could get a Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut (what a tongue twister!)  for free if we read books I was thrilled! This free pizza would be  the bonus I needed in between Grandmother visits. I loved reading anyway so it was easy and worth it.

In order to get the pizza you also needed to get a total of 5 yellowish gold star stickers to add to the button. These stickers were kinda small and hard to apply to the button accurately. I remember them sticking more to the tips of my fingers and less to the button. I also remember loosing a few before I ended up putting a piece of tape over them to better secure them in place.

I read and read to get those stars and finally got my personal pan pizza. Those were the days...

Well little do most know, the Book IT! Program is still going strong AND it is not only offered to teachers in public or private schools, but also parents and caregivers like me that homeschool their kids. I know that it is a promotional gimmick for parents to buy more pizza while they are at Pizza Hut, but I still support it because it is a great incentive for my kids to read...not that they don't already like crazy.

All you have to do to sign up is this... Go to the enrollment form, pick which type of school you teach at and fill it out. It is that simple! Go ahead and help your child/student read their hearts out. Hurry to enroll though because you only have until Sept. 1st to sign up. The program will run from Oct. - March of the 2012/13 school year and is available for kids in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. It is completely free and totally fun!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I wrote this blog post because I thought you might be interested in knowing this information and taking part of this opportunity. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any compensation for doing this post.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mia and the Migoo Review and Giveaway

From GKIDS, the theatrical distributors of The Secret of Kells and A Cat in Paris, Mia and the Migoo is a heartwarming story about a young girl who sets off on a journey to find her father. Little does she know what she will also see, meet and find along her way. She is fearless, a little bossy at times, and very independent. In this fable-like quest she must also overcome her fears and help innocent, bumbling forest spirits called the Migoo save the ancient Tree of Life that is being threatened by money hungry developers.

I love this film! It has a beautiful eco-friendly message of hope, healing and change for the better. This film took 6 years to make. Created from an astonishing 500,000 hand-painted frames of animation, the gorgeous second feature from award winning French director Jacques-Rémy Girerd and animation studio Folimage is a work of art, breathtaking to behold. Its rich backgrounds and colors are reminiscent of famous paintings in watercolors and pastel. It has won best animated feature in the European Film Awards and the HSBC Environmental Film Award.

This English version features voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew Modine, James Woods and Wallace Shawn. Bonus features include “Making of” Featurette & an Interview with the Director. Total movie run time is 91 minutes long. It is rated PG for thematic elements, some peril and brief mild language so you may want to screen it before having your children watch just in case.

My children, especially the youngest were entranced by this film and thought the Migoo were funny and strange. Zari, my very youngest loved it every time a jungle critter would appear. I thought the bus scene was great! My boys loved the meteorite shower scene because they love looking at the stars themselves and it reminded them of the meteorite showers we will have on August 11th and October 20th.

Here is the Meteorite Shower Scene:

Purchase Mia and the Migoo on Amazon for $14.99.

Prize: Win a copy of Mia and the Migoo DVD (3 winners!!).

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers! 

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Entertainment One and GKIDS for sending me product for free to review and letting me giveaway 3 for free also. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Elizabeth Mitchell Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie Review and Giveaway

Oh how I love the "Little Seed" album sung by Elizabeth Mitchell. The simplistic humbleness of the songs are just so wonderful. They play tribute to the legendary Woody Guthrie and his album "Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child". Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie sung by Elizabeth Mitchell  nicely coincides with the Woody Guthrie Centennial.

I love how Elizabeth Mitchell is joined by her friends and family on every album that she does. Her daughter, Storey, is adorable and sings along with her mother, father and others on the album. Elizabeth Mitchell is acclaimed by Time magazine as one of the "Stars of Kindie Rock". Kindie Rock is Indie Rock for kids. One of my favorites on this CD is "Why, Oh Why?". This song is so perfect because children have so many questions and even though some of them are often silly they really want to know the answers and explore their world more. I also love the balafon in "Sleep Eye" on the is one of my favorite instruments. "Who's my Pretty Baby?" is one of my favorites to sing to my little ones. Everyone knows "This Land is Your least the first verse...I was not aware of other verses, but sure enough Elizabeth sings all of them on this compilation. My daughter Teela's favorite is "Merry-Go-Round" for obvious reasons...she loves horses! There are many other great songs on this album. Elizabeth's re-imagination of the Woody Guthrie songs are pure and wonderful.

Here is Elizabeth Mitchell singing Sleep Eye:

"You can also listen to "Bling Blang" and "This Land is Your Land" from “Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie sung by Elizabeth Mitchell” from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Track List:
01 Riding In My Car
02 Bling Blang
03 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
04 Why, Oh Why
05 Sleep Eye
06 Who's My Pretty Baby?
07 Rattle My Rattle
08 This Land Is Your Land
09 Merry-Go-Round
10 One Day Old
11 Little Sugar
12 Grassy Grass Grass
13 Little Seed

You can purchase this album from Smithsonian Folkways for $11.98 or download it for $9.99.

Prize: Win a copy of Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie sung by Elizabeth Mitchell.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers! 

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Beth Blenz-Cluc​as of Sugar Mountain PR for sending me product for free to review and letting me giveaway one. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

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