Picture Monday! Giveaway Monday!

I love Giveaway Monday. Not quite as good as Toast Your Tuesday with Twix or Find Five Bucks in Your Pocket Friday, but still a decent day. This week the folks at Faith Words have generously donated THREE sets of the YA series The Miracle Girls. I’ll talk about the third book on Friday, but I do like this series. Cute covers, cute girls, and it’s relevant YA lit. These novels are not sugary sweet nor are the characters too perfect. In fact, as I was reading A Little Help From My Friends, just yesterday, I came across a kissing scene.  So what else do you need to know about THAT book? Who wouldn’t want it?

Okay, so to win one of THREE sets of this series, you must answer this question: You just won 20 million in the lottery (just suspend any moral protests for now, m’kay?). What is the first thing you buy for SOMEONE else? I’d buy Miller the Puking cat a new stomach. Or maybe I’d just buy him a new owner. To get in the running for the books, you must leave your answer in the comments by Friday at midnight, Turkmenistan time. I will announce the THREE winners Monday.

I have parent teacher conferences tonight. And tomorrow night. Instead of saying my prayers that the parent meetings will go well, I am praying for good food. The school always feeds us and sometimes it doesn’t go so well. And on nights like these, food is all you have to cling to. Well, that and the contraband People magazine you have hidden under your gradebook.

I’m So Sure isn’t quite out yet (Nov. 1st!), but we just got one of our first reviews. Thanks to Deena of the blog A Peek At My Bookshelf for reading it in advance and spreading the word. You can read her take on I’m So Sure HERE.

Miller has been his usual charming self lately.  Last week I had company coming over for dinner and was scrambling to clean the house before they got there. I hear this explosion in the kitchen (which actually is not anything new) and hear Miller scrambling to get away. His contribution to house cleaning time? Spilling kibbles all over the kitchen floor.
“Wow. That is a huge mess somebody is gonna have to clean up. I don’t have opposable thumbs….so it’s not me.”
“Maybe if I don’t make eye contact with her, she won’t think I did it.  I am not looking….still not looking…”
“Oh, forget it. I’m not cleaning it up. I’m outta here.”

Miller is also all sorts of help when it comes to laundry. I usually just dump my laundry on the floor of the living room, then sit down and watch some TV.  Puker Kitty decided to lounge among the towels so he could also catch up on his Glee.
miller laundry
“Will you fast forward through the white teacher dancing? He makes me uncomfortable.”

While my cat is special in the head and doesn’t have the average number of kitty brain cells, he occasionally likes to break out in a good fight. With sheets.
“Egyptian cotton, you are no match for me!”
“Five hundred thread count, your feathery softness is a mockery to my kung fu skills.”

In other picture news, I thought I’d share some of the food I “had” to endure during How-To speech week. It was rough, I tell you. Like this cinnamon roll.
That’s not just zoomed in. That cinnamon roll is the size of a dinner plate. And it was allll mine. I did take it to the teacher’s lounge and share it. But not before grabbing a big bite out of the center–where the good stuff is.

And check out these cupcakes.
Aren’t they cute? Spiders. Spooky!

And I got to sample lots of cookies.
It’s a tough job, but I feel like it’s my responsibility to sample student food just to make sure it meets my high standards of flavor and safety.

You know, I get asked a lot how I balance teaching with book writing. I rely on my high tech organizational tools, of course.

hand shot

That would be my hand after a day of speeches. That was a note to email a friend and stop by Old Navy. And the whip cream? I have no idea. A kid said the words “whipped cream” in a speech, and I wrote that down instead of whatever it was I actually needed to remind myself. But a few containers of Cool Whip never hurt anyone.

A few weeks ago my electricity went off. I got under the kitchen cabinet where I keep some random dishes and the candles. I couldn’t see well, so I knocked everything over and out of place. Including a bag of flour.
flour explosion

I have no idea what the flour was doing with the dishes. Kind of like those moments where you stick the cereal in the fridge and try to put the milk in the cabinet? I guess that’s how it got there. Anyway, who knows how it landed in that particular cabinet. All I know is I spilled it. All. When the lights eventually came back on, I took a picture of the mess. (Clearly I was looking for ways to put off cleaning…)  It was a huge disaster. Another disaster from that night was that all the candles I had to light were variations on fall scents like cinnamon, maple, pumpkin pie, etc. The smells combined and took over the entire neighborhood. By the time the electricity came on, I was too high on waxy fake sugar to even care. I had to pop three Tylenol and call it a night. I have since purchased a battery powered lantern. One that doesn’t smell like grandma’s kitchen times one thousand.

Have a great week. Be sure and enter the drawing for the Miracle Girls books. And happy birthday to my sweet four year old niece. And my dad. Oh, and my sister. And anyone else born in October.



  1. Alli says

    The first thing I would do with 20 million bucks is sponser my own compassion child. A little girl in Africa or Asia would be perfect.
    Those cookies look so good, makes me want to bake, except that it’s 6:30 am.

  2. Colene says

    id buy my mom a piece of land and pay for her to build whatever kind of house she wants on it. and pay off her credit cards.

    and your kitty is so cute. he does what mine do to help with laundry too.

  3. sherry says

    As for what I would do first. I would buy my husband his cabin he wants! Then I would pay my dad’s mortgage off, then the rest of our mortgage.

    Love the pics of the kitty. The food pics look like my cat, “what? you expect me to pick that up?? NOT!”

  4. Caitlin says

    I would buy my dad and little brother the farm they’ve been dreaming about forever. :) Then I would buy myself a truck!

  5. Tammy says

    Hmmm my friend Amy is a huge reader so I would buy her all the books she wants
    Then I would buy my family and I a nice and a trip to Disney world 😀

  6. says

    I would buy my friend Mary all the prettiest clothes (she has a low self image because she is heavy). And pay off the mortgage on the house so my mom wouldn’t have to pay it. :)

  7. says

    I believe in order to give to others in abundace, one must take care of the homefront first. I would become debt free and help my sister and best friend become debt free. This way, I can focus on giving. I cannot count how many times I wish I could give a break to someone else. I do what I can but wish I could do more.

    Mara :-)

  8. says

    Twenty million? I’d pay off my parents’ bills so that I can move back in and have them support me. :) Ok, so I’m kidding about the moving back in with my parents deal, but I would pay off their bills. That way my Mom can start her own business sewing kids’ clothes and cool handbags and my Dad wouldn’t have to work 20 hours a day/ 7 days a week.

    You’re very brave to sample food that the children bring in. I used to make the kids eat theirs first to make sure no one keeled over before I ate my stash. LOVE the cinnamon bun!

  9. Nikki says

    We sponser 3 kids from around the world they are just as precious as my own 3. We would set their parents up so that they will no longer have to worry about where their next meal would come from. Then we would sponor many many more kids!

  10. Cassidy says

    LoL your cat is so funny! And cute!
    Okay, I would buy my mom a big house. She’s such an amazing person! She deserves a great big comfy house!
    I would also spread my money around to people in need and charities.

  11. hannah says

    what would i buy for someone else? with 20 million? hhmmmmm… id probably buy lady gaga some new clothes. LOL

  12. hannah says

    ok ill be serious. like the goody two shoes i really am id probably save it. my mind is too young and under-developed for me to waste it on a shopping spree. :)

  13. says

    I would buy my family a second house in Eastern Europe somewhere and then buy tickets for me and my friends to go to Greece when we graduate this May.

  14. says

    I’d buy Victory Home some land and a new complex. For a person, I’d probably buy my friend tix to see Casting Crowns, her favorite group, in concert. :)

  15. Hannah says

    Oh, your cat pics are sweet! Miller sounds like my dogs — cute in photos, desperately difficult in reality. Isn’t that what’s nice about cameras? You can capture the action and skip the part where Clorox came in mighty handy.

    Your students baked sweets?! Awesome! I’d be weighing 100 pounds more if I’d been there. Drat. Now I’ll have to bake it myself.

    If I had twenty million…hm. I’d probably pay off my parents’ bills and give the rest to Compassion.

  16. says

    I’d make sure a LOT of people who don’t have food or clean water or cleft palette surgeries got them…

    Then I’d log on to Amazon or B&H and make bestsellers out of a bunch of my favorite authors…

    I’d buy my daughter a horse…

    This is really fun. You’re not selling lottery tickets on the blog, are you?


  17. Erin says

    I just finished reading I’m So Sure and I loved it! I got it Ceader Springs Christian Bookstore. Don’t know why they had it early, but I’m sure glad they did!

    If I had 20 million I would pay off all my parents bills, buy them a new house, and send them off on a wonderful vacation that they deserve.

  18. Liana says

    thats a EALLY good question….. does it have to be for just one peson? Because I would donate it to compassion. definitly. I would give my sponsor child’s family a christmas to remember and use the rest to pay fo needs of other families. They are probably the fist people who would need 20 million bucks, other than America of course. Eveyone i know, even my family, are getting by just fine so if i put my priorities first… tada! Oh and as a second option I would donate it to Diamond Pregnancysupport and other organizations like that who help girls who face unplanned prregnancy. thats a need neve considered. Yes so they are my little options. And I love those photos.

  19. Liana says

    lol i mean a REALLY good question (my letter ‘r’ doesn’t work well on this keyboard) and i agree with Hannah about buying lady gaga some new clothes…. accept that she probably wouldn’t wear them :) i’ll stick my my idea for now sorry about all the bad spelling, (i hate this keyboard)

  20. Alana says

    Wow, your blog is so funny!! How did you handle this much fun every day? Wow, those treats are awesome, they look like the monsters cookies that are awesome that they charge $1.50 for a piece at Cookies, Etc. Your cat is so cute! He’s good at getting out of work…hahaa…maybe I should try that tactic…not looking…

  21. Sarah says

    With $20 million I would:
    Pay off my momma and daddy’s cars, pay off the house for my parents, then I would like to pay off their debts. Then I would see how much was left over, and help my Grandma and Grandpa get a new house that would better fit the needs of their disabilities. If there was anything left, I would set it aside in an account for my sister’s college education (I can’t even begin to imagine how much college will cost in 2020!).

    That is what I would do with $20 million.

    I love I’m So Sure so far – it has to be one of my all time favorite books!

  22. says

    If I had twenty million dollars I would set up a trust fund to guard the principle and use the interest year after year to help young people go to college who wanted to prepare for ministry. Invest in people who want to invest their lives in helping change the population of heaven.

    What fun! Another book coming out! Keep up the good work.
    A J

  23. karen k says

    A great question…I think I would buy something special for my best friend, perhaps a new home…and furnish it. I would also give to my favourite charities.

    Love your kitty.

  24. says

    I would definitely get my mom the Beemer she really, really covets, but refuses to spend the money on. She has the money, and won’t spend it on a car. Even a Beemer. I did not inherit that gene.

  25. Marta Araujo says

    I’d buy a house to my mom.
    I’d help some friends to make their dreams come true.
    And I would travel to Petra, Jordan. It’s one of my dreams :O)

  26. says

    I like Caitlin’s Idea! i dont have a brother- but i would really enjoy buying my mom a house weree we both have room to scrapbook together and me and my dad have shop room for hunting sesons!

  27. Robyn says

    Mm, with 20 million the possibilities are endless. I’d buy my husband a Mini Cooper for sure. I’d also buy my roommate a mansion in PEI. Ooh, and I’d pay for my mother in law to either get a new house or renovate her current. That would actually be the first thing I’d do :)

  28. Hannah says

    I would buy I big house for my Mom and Dad. Pay off my Mom’s medical bill’s and then buy another big house with lots of room’s for my friends and I to live.


    Get some decent pants for the Jonas Bros…

  29. says

    The first thing I would buy for someone else…is a sophisticated Kitty Search & Rescue Team for Jenny. With one call, Jenny’s team could be dispatched to any location in the country to rescue a cat in need. Or a dog because dogs are awesome. Although, it would put a damper on some hilarious and endearing blog posts.

    The second thing I’d buy would be a GPS for my roomie because she has to travel all over the place and always ends up getting lost due to crappy directions.

    Then the third thing–a Fossil purse or watch for all my closest friends. Why? Because I just won $20 million dollars and I should be able to do something silly!

    Oh, and those pesky student loans would be HISTORY!

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