I Belong

The musical group, Mercy River, at a Time Out for Women event.

An Update & a Book Review: The Stone Traveler by Kathi Oram Peterson

Wow. It's seriously been forever since I've posted on my blog. Not just a video, but a real update. So, here's a brief blurb about what's been happening at the Ferguson house.

My oldest son started Cross Country this week. He absolutely LOVES it! I saw him out running around his school with his team earlier this week and just thought, "Wow! Is that really my kid out there, running and running, and actually liking it?" I mean, this kid has always loved to run - but he most definitely does not get that from his Mama. I tolerate running. It's great cardio and burns a lot of calories, but I'd rather be in a Zumba class burning calories than running on a treadmill (or outside where there are - gasp - hills!!!). But not my son. He can run, run, run, and at the finish line has a huge smile on his face and says, "That was awesome!"

My oldest daughter found out she's going to be a Munchkin in The Wiz for her acting class. She's super excited. And so am I! I was a munchkin in that same play when I was about her age. Only I lived in Pennsylvania and my acting class was during the summer at the Millbrook Playhouse. It's fun to see how excited my daughter is about the play, her lines, and dance. Super cute!

My youngest son is taking swimming lessons - and once again, is an excited kid. He's also my goof ball. He gets so excited and does goofy things to show off. It's hard to describe, but he makes silly faces, does silly dances and is just, well, silly!

My youngest daughter is a not so happy story. She's having the hardest time having the older kids gone at school all day. It almost makes me wish I had signed her up for preschool through the school district so she could go 4 days a week instead of just 2 days a week at the private preschool where she currently attends. It's been a difficult adjustment for her - and for mom. I really don't like all the crying and melt downs as she tries to get more and more attention. I'm hoping that we'll find a good routine that will work for both of us soon.

As for me, I spent a couple of days in bed, not feeling well. There are some advantages to not feeling well. The best one is all the books I got to read! One of which is today's review, The Stone Traveler by Kathi Oram Peterson.

I was first introduced to Kathi's writing when her first book, The Forgotton Warrior, came out - which I totally loved and am STILL waiting for the sequel! (hint, hint - Kathi!) Kathi also has a Christmas themed book called, An Angel on Main Street, which is honestly one of my favorite Christmas books ever. It's a beautiful story. So, you can bet that when I was asked to participate in this blog tour, I responded super fast with a huge YES!!!!!

Here's more about The Stone Traveler:

Sixteen year old Tag can't believe he's in this much trouble. He's not actually a member of the gang known as the Primes, all he did was spray paint some graffiti that caught their attention. In all honesty, ever since his dad and brother left, Tag just wants to be alone. And it's certainly not his fault that the Primes nearly beat up his goofy cousin, Ethan. But his mom is furious about these gang-related activities and insists that Tag send the whole summer at his grandpa's lakeside cabin, which is not Tag's idea of a good time. So he does what any self-respecting teenager would do: run away. But he doesn't get far before he encounters three strange men carrying an even stranger object, a stone that glows with radiant light as bright as a thousand sparklers. Tag doesn't steal the stone, not exactly. He feels like he is supposed to take it. But he doesn't expect the stone to transport him through space and time to a place he's never seen before, a place that looks an awful lot like the ancient lands described in the Book of Mormon. And he definitely doesn't expect to join Sabirah, the entrancing daughter of Samuel the Lamanite, on a quest to rescue her father and brother from the evil King Jacob. And he absolutely doesn't expect to be captured by Jacob's minions and prepared as a sacrifice to the evil idol of the city. But just as Tag faces his death, a terrible storm begins to break, and the ground cracks into jagged pieces. And he's not sure which event will impact his life more: his captor's knife coming at his body, the violent tempest sweeping the land... or the men who later appear, glowing even more brightly than the traveler's stone. 

My Review

There are very few writers outside of the romance/chick lit genres that I just really truly enjoy and can't wait to get my hands on their books. Kathi Oram Peterson's book are one of those few. Kathi has a gift for bringing to life complex, down-to-earth characters that I connect with. She sets up a story in today's world that pulls me in, and then BAM! There's a twist on reality as the character is sent back in time and immediately put in the middle of great conflict. The Stone Traveler was a great read and one I'm excited to share with my oldest daughter who has been digging through my LDS Fiction bookshelves all summer. You can find out more about Kathi's books at her blog or her website. You can also purchase The Stone Traveler at your local bookstore or online at Amazon through the link below.

Now don't run off! Check out Kathi's CONTEST!

Kathi is giving away some awesome weekly prizes during her blog tour . . . as well as one huge prize at the end - a Kindle! So be sure to go check out this post on Kathi's blog and start entering right away! I know I am (I would LOVE a Kindle!)

Finding Hope

Video Madness!

Last night, I was destressing by watching some seriously funny Mormon Spoof videos on You Tube. They all involve singing and some even include fun dancing, too. There were some (okay, several!) that I had to share! If you need a bit of cheering up or just love to laugh, pull up a chair and watch all of the following . . .

Miley Cyrus Mormon Spoof

Spice Girls Spoof - If You Wanna Be An Elder

Notice that the top two videos have the same group of dancers. I love the guy in the pink tie! He can really dance!

Pepsi Commercial Spoof - Book of Mormon Excitement!

And the most surprising of all (at least for me) - I had no idea there were so many spoofs to Hey Delilah! Here are THREE different spoofs to the same song. I just laughed and laughed!

Hey EFY Girl 
(For those who don't know what EFY is - it stands for a summer camp called Especially For Youth)

Hey There Delilah, I'm at the MTC
(MTC stands for Missionary Training Center)

Hey BYU Girl

American Girl Open House & Preschool

American Girl opened a store here in Overland Park over Labor Day weekend. MJ and I were so excited to go with my friend Lisa and her daughter, Ksenya, to the open house. There was face painting, balloon artists, give aways, and all the wonder of wandering around an awesome doll store!

We all got up early and arrived at the store at 8:30 am. They were supposed to open the doors at 9 am. We got in line and an employee came out to give out entrance tickets. That was when we discovered that we were in group 4. Group 0 was already in line and each group had 200 people in it!!! So there were 800 people in line ahead of us. We were allowed to go roam the mall. They had digital screens set up all over to display what group was lining up. We checked out the Disney store and had fun playing with all the dress up clothes, going through the stuffed animals, and talking about our favorite Disney characters. The girls rode the carousel and we munched on free bagels. A little over an hour later, we returned to see about how much longer it would be before it was our turn to line up. We were told it would be around 12:45 pm. Four more hours! So, we decided to ditch our mother/daughter dates and head back home. We'll try again next weekend, when hopefully it won't be as crazy busy. Another note, as we were leaving, they were handing out tickets for group 9. So in a little over an hour, another one thousand people came through to get tickets for the open house. Crazy! We gave our group tickets to a family of four who were in group 9. They were excited to get in earlier!  =)

Now, for some big girl news! My baby is now an official preschooler!!!

Anna has been so so excited about starting preschool this fall. She wasn't very happy when her older siblings all went back to school, but she still had to wait. Well, yesterday was her very first day. She was ready before all the other kids were dressed for school! Then she got mad at me because she didn't get dropped off at school with the other kids and had to wait another 45 minutes before her school started. Oh my! The drama!

Once we finally got to school, she was one super happy chick! She went right in, found her name for her Strawberry Shortcake backpack, hung it up, and went off to play. When pick-up time came two hours later, she skipped out of school with a huge smile on her face! I asked her about her first day - and instead of just telling me about it, she made up a song and sang all about the different things they did. It was totally cute! She kept singing things to me on and off as we ran errands together. It was such a fun day.

And Mom is still in shock that her little girl took a huge step towards becoming a big school girl. The years have been flying by way, way too quickly!