The First Kiss

pink clouds

Pink Kissing Clouds from an eastern sunrise in December is my contribution for Skywatch Friday

The Friday 56

 Don't Miss Your Life! is an Uncommon Guide to Living with Freedom, Laughter, and Grace.
Charlene Baumbich has news for you. God is wooing you to live life to the fullest. Don't Miss Your Life! shows you how to slow down, wake up, let go, hold on, and LIVE!

"Did any of the above scenarios ring your bell? If so, march yourself straight to the mirror, look at your lips, and give them permission at least to smile. Or have you noticed yourself stifling a laugh, say in church, thinking it's rude to laugh, especially when you don't want anyone to know what you think is so funny?" -- Charlene Ann Baumbich, author of the Dearest Dorothy Series.

grandson kiss

Our Grandson deciding to give a first kiss (unannounced) to his cousin. So occupied with a red rhythm egg shaker, my only granddaughter was caught unaware! Have you seen this video of pretty Taylor Swift? She's very popular with my piano students. I'm remembering the lyrics to Taylor Swift's Last Kiss and you can hear the song,  Last Kiss in iTunes. Linking to Color Connection

"Chester Racoon and his mother prepare for Chester's first "night" at school. He is a little apprehensive, and, of course, he wants to stay home with his mom. Mrs. Racoon shares a secret with Chester called the Kissing Hand. She kisses Chester's palm and tells him to put it to his cheek when he begins to feel lonely at school. This book makes a great gift for a child entering school or going to camp for the first time, or for any occasion where a child will be temporarily separated from home and loved ones. It can also be used to help a child through the death of a parent or special loved one, and for children placed in foster families and residential facilities. For teachers, this book would be super to read the first day of school. It could also lead up to wonderful science, social studies, and reading/writing activities" -- Review by Laura Green
The Kissing Hand is available at Barnes & Noble. It is a children's classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents.

Other book recommendations from LadyD:

Adventures of Little Bear (I Can Read Series)

Forty years ago, beginning readers first met Little Bear and instantly fell in love. Little Bear was the very first I Can Read Book ever published and has set the standard for this groundbreaking series ever since. Little Bear's Visit was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1962, and all the books have won numerous awards.

Cinderella's Story

Hi, kids! Someday, when you get a little bigger, you'll probably want to get married (I know I do!). I just want to let you know that God, your Heavenly Daddy, wants only the best for you. So when the time comes, believe God and stand on His Word. Seek God first, delight yourself in Him, confess His Word and believe His promises (about healing, marriage, prosperity or whatever good things you desire) and God will give you the desires of your heart! (The good things you want.)


Fairies and the Quest for Never Land

Gwendolyn Carlisle loves fairies, perhaps too much. On her birthday, she receives the precious kiss; necklace which has been passed down from mother to daughter ever since Peter Pan gave it to Wendy Darling. That night, Gwendolyn has the first of her visions; tantalizing, lifelike visions, almost as if she were actually in Fairy Haven. More than anything, Gwendolyn wishes she could be there. When she is just about to lose hope, Peter Pan comes at last.

Buy at
The First Kiss
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I love this print of innocence because of the healthy bloom in her cheeks and the rose that gives her an aura of innocence and their display of tenderness that seems to speak loudly of friendship and caring relationship.

I hope you had a great Christmas and I look forward to connecting with you, blogging into a new year ahead. Can you imagine 2013? Ready or not, here it comes!

Happy Reading,

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School

heavenly cloud

                         A heavenly cloud from our eastward view for Skywatch Friday

                      A Tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School Students and Staff 
                                                          (Poem from Heidisongs)

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38,
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air,
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there!

They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse. 
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."

When what to their wondering eyes did appear, 
But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. 
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring!
Those children all flew into the arms of their King!

And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, 
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had,
 He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."

Then He looked down on earth at the world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.

Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"

"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools!" 
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"

Then He and the children stood up without a sound. 
"Come now my children, let me show you around."

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran,
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, 
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith of Mt. Wolf, PA.
Cover of "Hugs for the Holidays: Stories,...
Cover via Amazon
" He got out the box of ornaments, and we decorated it as best we could; but men aren't too good at things like that, and besides, it wasn't the same without Mom."
Hugs for the Holidays: Stories, Sayings, and Scriptures to Encourage and Inspire
-- Stories by John William Smith and Personalized Scriptures by LeAnn Weiss

boys in red pajamas

2 grandsons in their red pajamas for Color Connection. Hug your kids and tell them you love them!

Interested in making snowflakes for Sandy Hook? The children will be greeted by your snowflakes when school resumes for them in a new building.

Friendship Friday

Question: "What represents the miracle of Christmas to you?"

Answer: The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ... and the gift to believe that he is the Savior of mankind, is indeed a Christmas miracle. (Matthew 1:18-21)

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!


 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Review: Finding God in the Hobbit

Finding God in the Hobbit

 Book Description

Thousands have been captivated by the spiritual themes that underlie Tolkien's imaginative fiction. In Finding God in The Hobbit, Jim Ware, co-author of the popular "Finding God" series, indulges readers with an exploration of the spiritual significance of J. R. R. Tolkien's famous children's classic. As they are acquainted with Tolkien's message of transcendent truth, readers will see how God is mysteriously at work even in everyday moments. A reflection summarizes each chapter's main insight. Bibliography included.

About The Author

Jim Ware, a graduate of UCLA and Fuller Theological Seminary, is a longtime book enthusiast who grew up savoring childhood classics like TOM SAWYER, HUCKLEBERRY FINN, THE MERRY ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, and KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE. He's the author of GOD OF THE FAIRY TALE and FINDING GOD IN THE HOBBIT, and co-author (with Kurt Bruner) of the best-selling FINDING GOD IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS, FINDING GOD IN THE LAND OF NARNIA, and THE PURPOSE OF PASSION: DANTE'S EPIC VISION OF ROMANTIC LOVE . His latest effort, THE STONE OF DESTINY, is a work of fantasy-fiction for tweens, teens, and adults who like imaginative tales. A Celtic music enthusiast, he enjoys playing the guitar and other stringed instruments with family and friends. He and his wife, Joni, are the parents of six children.

My Review

I thought Jim Ware did a very good job of weaving chapter by chapter the subtle truths of Tolkien's story with Biblical truths. I found his insight to have a certain depth that was very refreshing. The further along I read in the book, the more I began to respect the author's understanding, not only of Tolkien's writing and storytelling but of the truths that were expressed so well by the author. Jim Ware has true faith and does a great job of expressing it through his comparisons with Tolkien's adventures of The Hobbit. A very enjoyable and profitable read. I recommend it to all who have enjoyed reading The Hobbit.

5/5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.

Finding God in The Hobbit

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Recording Clouds

orange sunrise: LadyD Books

I have often wondered, what do clouds smell like? What sounds are they making as they roll by? This is what one morning sunrise in SoCali looked like, just a soft pastel sky. Perhaps an orange sorbet or cotton candy kind of sky. For more wonderful views around the world, visit Skywatch Friday.

Orange sunrise to the east: LadyD Books

 I'm currently reading a book about recording studios and recording engineers called,
Working In Music And Dance (My Future Career). Having played on various worship teams for over 30 years, I've seen lots of expensive soundboards and small portable outdoor systems.

The main qualifications of a recording engineer are:

1. Advanced technical and computer skills.
2. A good ear and knowledge of music
3. Quick thinking
4. Teamwork
5. Patience
6. Commitment
7. Communication Skills

LadyD Books is participating in a blog meme called, The Friday 56

"Engineers need to be familiar with a wide range of different recordings and editing equipment, such as microphones, multitrack recorders, and digital editing systems. They have to know how to use this equipment safely and confidently."
Granddaughter at the piano: LadyD Books

LadyD Books is participating in Color Connection. Our granddaughter likes to play on an old acoustic piano, as well as the keyboard. She has such stage presence, oh my goodness!

Here's a few music and book items you may be interested in:

'Til the Clouds Roll By
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Mighty Clouds of Joy
A Thousand Tomorrows / Just Beyond the Clouds

Also, Soundcloud has a great free app that you can use to record music, make comments, and share through a variety of options.

LadyD Books is also participating in Friendship Friday

What are your favorite Christmas carols? Are there any songs that embody the spirit of Christmas for you? Do you participate in any special musical events during the holiday season? Share the music that makes you merry this Friendship Friday!
I have had fond memories over the years of participating in various events at this special time of year:

1. Kindergarten music class performing at a local nursing facility.
2. Piano Christmas recital for my piano students.
3. Neighborhood caroling.
4. Gospel Choir
5. Church Choir Christmas program

My favorite song is Silent Night. It's a simple melody that brings peace to my soul. When you hear it being sung by a children's choir in many different languages, it just melts my heart and it keeps focus on the main thing, Jesus. Do you have a favorite? They're all great, so hard to choose.

Now, loving Jazz as much as I do, I would say that Christmas Time Is Here played by Vince Guaraldi and sung by Diana Krall puts me in the mood. Plus, a certain electric piano keyboard setting is pretty to hear in The First Noel , too.

For me, my all time favorite highlight has to be winning two special online giveaways from blogging friends. First off, over at Valerie Storey's blog, I received tons of writing goodies (journal, bright sparkly pens) and a great manuscript written by the talented author, Valerie Storey,

The Essential Guide for New Writers: From Idea to Finished Manuscript

Then Ramona was hosting Daria's Holiday Giveaway on her blog at Create With 
 I received news that I was the winner and words cannot express my gratitude. What a blessing!

Daria is a beautiful musician, sharing inspiration to all throughout the years with multi cultural children's music for everyone. Being Greek, I have many special memories, celebrating Christmas very similar to Daria's post. You can read about some of them here

Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers while spreading Christmas cheer to all!


 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Wordless Wednesday: Visiting Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers: LadyD Books

 On the third day of Christmas... 3 tree hugging woodpeckers!

four tree hugging woodpeckers in southern california: LadyD Books

 On the fourth day of Christmas, 4 visiting woodpeckers!

Aha! Could these be the culprits as to why my telephone has not been working? I'm just kidding but seriously, I found some interesting facts about these birds that I did not know about. Do you have woodpeckers in your area?

Acorn Woodpecker-(Melanerpes formicivorus)

A native of Southern California, this woodpecker spends most of its day banging its head against a tree. This is both work and a way of defending its territory. The Acorn Woodpecker is aptly named, it gathers acorns with a passion, and stuffs these acorns into just about any hole it can make or find. If you have Acorn Woodpeckers in your area you know they are loud, social creatures. These thickheaded critters have chisel-like bills, ideal for drilling into the bark of trees. You usually won't find these birds at the feeder, they like insects and the acorn for which they're named.


Downy Woodpecker
Nuttall’s Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Acorn Woodpecker
Red-breasted Sapsucker

Nuttall's Woodpecker

Nuttall’s woodpecker has black wings and tail feathers with white barring. On the ventral surface, color is white with black spots and barring. It has a black forehead with white streaks on the sides and an unbarred black region at the top of the back. Adult males have a distinguishable red crown which females do not.
One thing for sure that I discovered...

You can't just have one acorn woodpecker. You have to take him, or her, with his whole family. The acorn woodpecker lives in small gregarious flocks.
I just love the male woodpecker's little red cap! Sometimes when we're out on the ranch, their pecking sounds like music and we stop and listen for awhile. It's such a distinct sound but at other times, when it seems to never end, it can be a bit annoying. These birds were captured with the Nikon D200.

You may be interested in:

Abyssinian Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker  

Happy WW!

Linking up with  Create With Joy and In Him We Live And Move And Have Our Being 
Also, Rednesday.


 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Storm Approaching

storm approaching: LadyD Books

 With hopes held high, we continue to wait for rainfall. With the last storm, we had a little over an inch of rain here in SoCal. Not bad, and indeed we welcome "free water." We've heard stories on the weather channel about all the rain storms that have been happening in abundance in Northern California for this time of year. Looks like we'll be getting a sprinkle or two since this storm is passing us and heading on towards New Mexico. We'll continue to have temps in the 70s, so we're looking pretty good for December. How is it where you are? Skywatch Friday

There's a funny part in one of my hubby's favorite movies, "I heard there's talk of a blizzard." Have you seen this movie with Bill Murry and Andie MacDowell?

Groundhog Day

Walk along Oceanside Harbor: LadyD Books

After a storm, we love to head towards the beach and look for seashells that have been washed up towards the shore. As you can see, my daughter and granddaughter have a way to go before they come across a beautiful sand dollar. I just love looking at their footprints in the sand, such a beautiful legacy to enjoy. I think our pier is fantastic and some days it is crowded with the fisherman  coming from all over. Do you have a pier near you? Linking up with Color Connection.

sketching outdoors in summer by jim arnosky

 I love how artists experience nature close up and share their talents with the world!

Book Description

With the same delight and reverence that suffuse Drawing from Nature and his other award-winning books, Jim Arnosky invites artists of all ages to experience nature close up by sketching outdoors at a special time of year--summer.

The Friday 56

"It's a good thing pencils can float. During the summer I spend a lot of time around, in, and on water. As a boat moves about on water, its shape appears to change with each new angle of view." -- Jim Arnosky for Freda's Voice
Happy Reading!

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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