Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Warm Winter Dawn ~ WW








Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 

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In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
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THANK YOU!

Until next time,
~Chris



BTW, I'm offering photo services and customized
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Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday minutiae~ Links I Love

                                                A gathering of thoughts,  links I love,
news highlights, funnies
and / or
 the latest goings - on here at the blog.
Sort of a weekly dumping ground of updates and features.........:


Calling all Moms and / or teachers.....homeschoolers,
child care providers, anyone who works with and cares for littles!
Have I got some pret-ty darn amazing deals for you!
Educents is offering huge huge reductions on some of their
best selling, most popular items.
And not "just" book - based items either.....
(Although the Life of Fred math series for such a low price 
IS attractive! ) 



But we're  also talking about 




LearnToMod Minecraft ® - 1


Hopping on a brand new bike with Spring just around the corner

FirstBIKE Limited edition Blue - 1

Magformers Light Show Set  - 1

Click over for more Spring sales, books, toys, crafts, mind games! 



Read/ watch Kathie Lee's  extraordinary and personal tribute to
her friend and "America's Pastor," Billy Graham,
who passed away this week.


A highlight: 
"There’s a wonderful verse in Micah that says, basically, this is what God requires of you — to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. And by those standards, Billy lived an extraordinary, exemplary life."




A compelling title, indeed!
I "met" Peter Davidson on Linkedin, among
freelance writers circles and became aware of his



From Peter's blog, a description of his new title that is 
certainly appealing!
"As the Marital Bus rumbles down the highway of life,
 there cannot be two people wrestling for the steering wheel, 
or surely the bus will crash.  
Know when it is your turn to drive and when it is time to quietly sit in the back seat. "
I've not yet read the book, but I'm hoping to at some point very soon.
I'm happy to share with all of you, because,  as I told Peter, 
it has all the features of a title I feel you would enjoy
and find inspirational! 


I happened onto this adorable video and have to let you on on the cuteness.
If you love babies and you love pugs
< and who doesn't? >  😉
You'll love THIS! 


A reminder for parents of high school/ college aged kids:
My newest sponsor,  Study.com's comprehensive CLEP test prep  
is offering a discount 
JUST for my readers:

Coupon code: CAMPFIRESANDCLEATS
20% off for the first 3 months' subscription
Must be redeemed by 4/15/2018



Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just click here to 
quickly and easily  so we can be in touch regularly!
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....


If you are shopping at  amazon and Target
why not consider clicking through my link
In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
at no cost to you.
THANK YOU!

Until next time,
~Chris



BTW, I'm offering photo services and customized
photo packages for your blog or business!
< Subscribers receive a deep discount! > 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Authenticity and Loss in the Blogosphere ~ Rest in Peace, Denise


The opinion of the masses --- that  social media and the blogosphere
have taken the place of sincerity and superseded  authentic friendship?

I content quite the opposite.... 
If not for the virtual landscape
that irrevocably is interwoven through  our lives, 
would we not be blessed
 by crossing paths with certain individuals?

What starts as a simple comment of introduction 
 across many miles, sometimes continents, 
gradually becomes a solid and very "real" friendship.

~ Born in cyberspace,  but very  much  the opposite of virtual.~

If not for social media and the blogosphere, I would never
have been blessed by certain 
souls who've woven their care, their knowledge,
their selves into my life in the truest sense.
Think about it......you must have these same experiences, no?
.......friends  who do everything for you from prayer to recipe
swap, to chatting up the latest Stars Hollow binge watch obsession.

And when one of those dear genuine people is suddenly gone.....
we're faced with a deep gaping hole.
True grief for a "real" friend.
That's why it's taken me a month to write this...
to process the loss of our friend  one month ago when Denise,
entered into Eternal Life after a very long battle.....


The news created shock waves  of sadness  across 
 social media channels and within the blogosphere.
My friend, Denise, was a blogger and encourager.
Her words and her online
presence was grace to me.......to many.
No, I'd never "met" her. 
Nor did the droves whose lives she graced with  her words. 
But, wow, those phone conversations, those emails, those fb messages.
Over this past decade of my friendship with Denise,
we shared sooo much....inside jokes,
 parenting hacks, love of our Catholic faith, homeschool adventures,
admiration for The Bard.
And of course, our favorite and most fun subject~ all things Whovian.
There wasn't enough time to hash it all out 
and I can't even 
speculate on how often we'd lament
 those pesky 500 or so miles between us.   
She always seemed to "know" just
when to check in.......to chat about the journey.
Perpetually  minimizing her effect.....her calm assurance,  warm advice.
Recently, during a particularly difficult time in my life,
Denise reached out, offering encouragement,
telling me I was in her heart and prayers and she'd reply when she was 
capable of  lengthier, more meaningful talk.
That's what friends do, yes.....
And that  message was her final one to me.
There was no mention of her pain, which I'm told was abundant.
Only that I was comforted.
That was Denise's true gift to all who knew her within 
the myriad of relationships, ministries, volunteer organizations.
Denise thought always of how she could help others...
she was out there managing  youth events in her  Ohio parish 
or
sharing  her musical talent in her parish's choir 
or
coordinating her local library's Doctor Who anniversary 
by  building........ you guessed it.....
a full sized TARDIS...and yes I do believe she actually
used Sherwin Williams "TARDIS blue" paint!
or
 hosting weekly Whovian gatherings for her kids and their friends 
in full costume, with themed snacks.

But the most important, and I know the most meaningful role
that Denise lived is right there in a short, simple
"bio" on her blog, St Elizabeth Ann Seton Exchange

I am a homeschooling mother of four living in rural northeastern Ohio. It's as simple as that.

Despite Denise's accessibility to and love for her parish and her community,
her devotion to her children, her advocacy for the best education possible for them
and the cultivating  of the homeschooling experience for all four of her precious kids....
that's her legacy.

 Denise's  blog header, too, 
summarizes the essence of how she lived her life:

Spiritual reflections, family,
 home educating typical and special needs children ~
 Dedicated to: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn. "Rejoice in hope, persevere in tribulations, 
be constant in prayer."
 Romans 12:12 Certe bonum certanem! 
Fight the good fight!

The last time Denise  updated her blog
was in her revealing and now-prophetic post, Time, Precious Time
I urge you .......go read her words.....you'll be rejuvenated by her
honesty, her pride in her kids, her humble fight against her illness
and her love of the Lord.

Denise entered Heaven and received her reward a few weeks before
the Lenten season began, but now that we're living this season, 
I can't help  reflecting on this passage~  
God promises beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3) 

God always keeps His promises.

While we mourn Denise, we thank God for the privilege
to know her virtually.... for the blessing that our world's technology
offers. We were gifted  the honor of genuine friendship with
one who sought no fame, no name, no recognition,
nothing more than, as her blog states,
"simply" being a "homeschooling mother of four."
   
Rest in Peace, my friend.
The honor is ours.



Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just click here to 
quickly and easily  so we can be in touch regularly!
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

If you are shopping at  amazon and Target
why not consider clicking through my link
In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
at no cost to you.
THANK YOU!

Until next time,

~Chris



BTW, I'm offering picture services and customized
photo packages for your blog or business!
< Subscribers receive a deep discount! >

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Oy with the poodles already: 7 shows you need to watch this year

Sometimes, you just want to indulge after a long day working,
 mommy-ing, homeschooling, maintaining the home, 
with a grrrrrrrrrreat show, right?
Whether it's mindless leisure, guilty pleasures,
 or a profound script involving serious deep thought, 
I've got you covered.

Here's last year's list,   2017 edition of 7 must watch shows

And here---- the "best" { relatively recent} ground break TV that isn't
just about the entertainment.........it's about'the experience.
And yes that wacky title IS from one of my picks.
Enjoy !


~ 1 ~ 

Yes it IS everything you've heard. 
And more.
Since I devour all of Liane's titles, 
I read  the book way back in 2014.
So I kinda knew who was who, what was what
 annnnnnnnd,
exactly what necessitated the curious police investigation 
 we sporadically glimpse in between scenes. 
But, don't let that deter you from watching if you've read already as I have
 because  so much is different or nuanced that it is definitely a fulfilling experience!

And, wow, the California coast? Big Sur? Gorgeous.
And that music ! Gripping! You can grab the soundtrack here.
Plus the all star and fun cast....you'll recognize many....
Fans of Parks and Rec?   You'll love Ben Wyatt's  Elvis! 

Again, here you go---don't miss the book ! 




~ 2 ~ 

The Office

 We are serial binge watchers of Dunder Mifflin Scranton's crazy. 
Here's season 1 on instant video to get you started!

AND~ the entire series on dvd !
The Office: The Complete Series

...which right now is SO cheap-----all 7 seasons for 36 bucks!?
I definitely picked one up to be put away for the fam---it'll appear 
under the tree, Christmas 2018!!

If you have never seen it, what are you waiting for?
Truly the best comedy out there!



~ 3 ~ 

Gilmore Girls


Gilmore Girls: Seasons 1-7

Okay, I was JUST introduced to Stars Hollow recently.
When GG aired in the early millennial,
I was kinda busy new-mommying and not at all about
getting drawn into a new show.
But, now? So ready.
I have to say...... I don't love everything about the girls.
Lorelei's inability to commit gets exasperating.
And Rory's extreme cutesy pie nature, even when 
editing the Yale Daily News? Not endearing.
In case you haven't see the show,
 I won't spoil anything major for you...
but her justification for that massive oh-so-jaw-dropping, um.....
mistake, shall we say in season 6? Wow. Just wow.

BUT overall, I'm hooked.
The characters, the dialogue, the plot.
Love.
And here's the "reunion" season from 2016!!
A year in the life


Image result for photo for a year in the life GG

And this is home to the classic Oy/ poodles line guys! 


And as an aside,  I found  this super cool bracelet based on Rory's
Yale experience with the "secret club!"



How perfect, right?!



~ 4 ~

Parks and Rec 


Parks and Recreation: Season 6

Almost as good as The Office ( ! ) 
Well, they do " share" some behind the scenes people.
Oh my...funny, mostly lovable peeps in Pawnee's Parks Dept.
I so wish I had a Leslie  BFF in real life!
Here's the   complete series

Season 1 on instant amaz video to get you started!


 ~ 5 ~ 


Chesapeake Shores


Chesapeake Shores: Season 2


The entire book series by Sherryl Woods
which I read in its entirety prior to watching the show....
BUT you don't  have to!
Just dive right into the O'Brien family's ups, downs and everydays.
Yes, it's Hallmark so you KNOW it's good!
Lots of big names too!




To get you started, here's the first season on amaz video!
Set on the beautiful Maryland coast, I love these O'Brien sibs, 
their mom, dad and Gran.
I want to move into their house too!
Gosh, gorgeous.



~ 6 ~  

Cedar Cove


Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove: The Final Season (Season 3)

Again, another wonderful and entrancing series direct
from pages of a best selling much loved author!

The entire books series by Debbie Macomber

Set out west on the Washington coast and with a cast of characters 
that is appealing and lovable even with their flaws.


Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Series Vol 1: 16 Lighthouse Road\204 Rosewood Lane\311 Pelican Court\44 Cranberry Point (Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Boxset) by [Macomber, Debbie]


~ 7 ~ 

When Calls the Heart


When Calls the Heart Complete Season 1

I'm just getting hooked on WCTH and wow, I think you'll love it.
Set in the 1800s, out west. 
Happy Hallmark faces, minor conflict and  lotsa love stories!




Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just click here to 
quickly and easily  so we can be in touch regularly!
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....



If you are shopping at  amazon and Target
why not consider clicking through my link
In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
at no cost to you.
THANK YOU!

Until next time,


~Chris



BTW, I'm offering photo services and customized
photo packages for your blog or business!
< Subscribers receive a deep discount! >