Good Friday SoCal Sunset

SoCal sunset in March: LadyD Books

I was beguiled into coming inside, to read by the fire a new series of chapter books. However, the thought of remaining outside to take in this gorgeous SoCal sunset was quite tempting. The outdoor sounds seem to increase more around dusk for some reason. Do you know why that is? So, I'm wondering what it's like in your neck of the woods...
For more views, visit Skywatch Friday

photo credit: zondervan

Greek Roasted Lamb

I get so excited with all the Easter preparations for my family. Being Greek, we always bake lamb and have red Easter eggs. Perhaps you'd like to try my recipe, How to Bake Greek Roast Lamb. For the grandchildren, they'll be having ham and probably macaroni with cheese. What meal will you be serving?

chapter book by hilary mckay: LadyD Books
New series for animal lovers
Jacket Flap:

 "Lulu can't understand people who don't like animals-people like her teacher, Mrs. Holiday. When Lulu tries to help Mrs. Holiday find the perfect pet, she is banned from  bringing an animal to school ever again! Then Lulu rescues an abandoned duck egg. She's going to have to take it to school to keep it safe. But an egg isn't really an animal... At least not yet, anyway."
The Friday56

"Lulu, why are you holding your stomach like that? Is everything all right?"
Lulu and the Duck in the Park (Book 1)
Stay tuned for my giveaway of one of Hilary McKay books next Friday and you may be interested in her blog tour because it's happening now! Recently I've been reading more chapter books and enjoying the story lines because there are more depth, adventures and character dialogues. Have you reviewed some chapter books in the past and have a favorite? I discovered a list of 16 books and how to get elementary school kids reading by +Tracy from CityofMotherlyLove

You may be interested in the Circle C Beginnings series and you'll find one of my reviews at Andi's Scary School Days. For more information on Christian Fiction/Chapter Books, visit

Happy Easter!

 “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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Coming to Canada

palomar mountain on a spring day: LadyD Books

 I'm currently reading a hardcover book called, "Coming to Canada" by Susan Hughes. It's about building a life in a new land. This is an eastern view from our home, looking out at a fairly large mountain range. The sky has a different hue today as we head into spring. I'd love to see yours.

Photo for Friday Skywatch

Coming to Canada book

Coming to Canada: Building a Life in a New Land (Wow Canada! Collection)

There are many stories of immigration as there are people in Canada. This lavishly illustrated book brings together these stirring human dramas and it's through their telling that the country's story unfolds.

"When the Ukrainians arrived on the prairies, their most immediate task was to build a house. Those who came to an area that other Ukrainians had already settled were lucky and would often be put up by friends, family member, or even former fellow villagers while they built their own solid homes."
Snippet for The Friday 56
Here's a good place to mention a few Canadian Mommy Bloggers and dear friend, +Freda Mans

Dinner with Julie
Simply Stylish Mom
Cute Food For Kids

building construction site: LadyD Books

I was driving around the neighborhood and came across a fairly new construction site. It was exciting to see the wall being lifted up. It brought to mind the book I'm reading this week.

mock orange plant: LadyD Books

While in the same area, I captured this beautiful bud from the mock orange plant. If untrimmed, they can reach for the sky! It does look like an orange blossom, don't you think?

Photo for Orange You Glad It's Friday

granddaughter with her bear: LadyD Books

Of course, it's the people inside the home that makes it so special.
Photo for Color Connection.

Coming to Canada is actually about immigrants. Fired with determination and courage, steeled with resolve, these people made their way here across land and sea to start a new life. They brought with them the words, skills, and memories of what had been, and they worked to create a new vision of what could be.


 “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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Book Review: Joy in Worship

Joy in Worship paperback book
Understanding Worship According to the Word of God
Having served in various churches for over 30 years, my husband playing the guitar and myself on the keyboard, we've been delighted to share our musical gifts with the worship team. So many wonderful memories and collection of music songs we've played together, along with other fellow musicians. You can see why I was anxious to read, Joy in Worship by James Vickery.


A must-read for the church leaders, growing Christians and musicians with their art. Vickery helps us to understand worship from good Biblical perspectives. You'll find wisdom and encouragement in ministry as you ponder the blessings in private and corporate worship. Preparing one's heart in humility is a prerequisite of true worship. Knowing that we are the church will ignite our hearts to worship and adore God before we enter the building. When you read through 21 chapters, you will glean a new perspective that God truly is interested in our worship to Him, instead of mesmerizing crowds with an abundance of a feel-good, entertainment style of music being played nowadays in place of special, heavenly worship to God.

I enjoyed the layout of the book and the solid principles written within. It is true that worship offered to God is the purpose of human existence. This would be a great addition in the home and church library because of its theological study and Biblical approach to worship. Leaders will get a better grasp of the worship ministry because the author shares his knowledge here.  However, I missed personal stories, warmth, and humor but nonetheless, a hearty manual for the redeemed worshiper.

Insightful 4/5 stars!
I was not compensated in any way, in exchange for my honest review.

Joy in Worship: Understanding Worship According to the Word of God

Want to meet authors and other book lovers? Come join me on LibraryThing.

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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Patches of Flaming Orange

orange glow sky: LadyD Books
Skywatch Friday

What makes clouds turn different colors?

The clouds borrow their colors from the sunbeams. An ordinary sunbeam seems to have no color at all and we cannot really see it. But actually, it is made from all the colors of the rainbow. We cannot see them because they are woven and blended together. But there are certain things that separate the hidden colors of the sunbeams... See them when the morning and evening clouds blush with pink and red and adorn the sky with patches of flaming orange, palest green, and deep purple.

To do this, the sunbeams need fine gaseous particles in the air and the clouds. These fine fragments bend some of their colored threads and scatter them around the sky. Some of them shine on the clouds for us to see. The pretty colors come in the evening and early morning when the sun is low in the sky. This is when its sunbeams slant down long paths through the air. There are more fine fragments to split off the rainbow colors and shine them on the clouds.
You Ask

Friendship Friday: Ring in Spring 

Daylight savings time is here, so after being greeted by a special, vibrant sunrise like this... well, I just know I will be spending more outdoor time with my grandson! For us that means, preparing the soil for our garden, planting fresh vegetables and herbs. We love watching seeds grow and helping them grow with lots of water. Later on in the day, we'll be going on nature walks together to look at butterflies and scoop up macadamia nuts along the ground to take back home to put in our dryer. What do you like about Spring? 

Orange You Glad It's Friday 

gazanias on the ranch: LadyD Books

Gazanias are grown for the brilliant color of their sunny flower-heads which appear in the late spring and are often in bloom throughout the summer into autumn. These brightly colored Gazanias have arrived early on our ranch, and seem to be saying joyfully in 'flower talk', "Happy Spring!"

How's the weather where you are?

grandson and horses 

Our grandson Ben loves animals, especially horses. He loves these horse decals that his mom put on the walls for Ben at his house. I thought these pictures are a soothing green in color for an up-coming holiday for many. Blessings to you and yours on St. Patrick's Day. 

Oh, if you're looking for some fun artwork to do with the kids this weekend, (along with a salad spinner) have a look at Spin Art and Blotto Paint Shamrocks.

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Horses Grazing Among Bluebonnets
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paperback book about worship

 The Friday 56

I  just started reading this intellectually stimulating and emotionally exhilarating paperback book. Review to follow soon. Here's a little excerpt:
"There is a sense of excitement and joy as the child of God anticipates the time when he or she will join the people of God for collective worship." -- James Vickery
Joy in Worship: Understanding Worship According to the Word of God

I love the cover art with the music notes on the cross. It's a great visual that reminds me to carry a song in my heart wherever I go (in church or outdoors in nature) and worship the creator of this beautiful universe. Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends.

“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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The Potato Chip Champ - Review and Interview

potato chip champ book

Book Details

Title: The Potato Chip Champ
Written By: Maria Dismondy
Illustrated By: Dawn Beacon
Category: Children’s Picture Book
Publication Date: February 2013
Illustrations: Full Color
Pages: 32
Size: 8 ½ x 11
Format: soft cover
Retail Price: $10.95
Ages: 5-9 years old
ISBN: 978-0-9848558-1-0
Awards: Mom’s Choice Gold


My Review 

To have a generous heart and learn the ability to understand and share the feelings of another is a noble character quality to possess.  Champ (the bully), who happens to like potato chips immensely, embarks on a journey of self discovery and personal growth when he meets Walter Norbert Whipplemoore, whom he immediately dislikes, rags on and definitely competes with him at baseball. Only thing is that all the other kids are friends with Walter and love his caring ways. Soon the coach announces the doings of a school fundraiser with the winner receiving a truckload of potato chips for the reward. Through an unfortunate accident Champ learns who the real champ is in the warm conclusion of the story, and embracing a fun, new friendship.  The story moves at a quick pace with great, engaging illustrations and a fantastic lesson for young people to understand and emulate.

5/5 stars! Highly recommend! You'll be glad you purchased this one.
The Potato Chip Champ

Interview with Maria Dismondy


Tell us a bit about your book and where it’s available.

The Potato Chip Champ is about a boy who has everything and always wants more. He doesn’t understand why everyone likes Walter, the boy who doesn’t have much other than an old broken down bike. The story illustrates empathy and kindness. Lessons that are always needed!

The Potato Chip Champ along with my other titles are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Indiebound. You can request that they be ordered at your local bookstore to help save on shipping costs!

What was the inspiration for your book?

After researching bullying for years, I have found that there is a lack of empathy. Empathy is a learned behavior. Being able to put yourself in the shoes of someone else is an important character trait to have. I am dedicated to making a difference in the world by putting meaningful children’s literature in the hands of kiddos across the globe!

 What was your aim for this book? What did you want readers to think and feel when reading it?

I want children to make connections to the characters. There’s always a Champ and a Walter. I also wanted readers to put themselves in the characters shoes and be empathetic.

Do you have any other books currently available?

Spaghetti In A Hot Dog Bun: Have the Courage to Be Who You Are
Pink Tiara Cookies for Three
The Juice Box Bully co-written with Bob Sornson

 What will you be working on next?
I am currently seeking a literary agent and/or a new publisher. I want to share my books with an even greater audience and I think working with a strong team will help. I have a new book that I will be publishing and I am getting ready to start writing another!

 How did you originally get into writing?

I was a classroom teacher for over a decade and I saw, firsthand, what kind of books children needed and wanted. So I decided to write one! I was always a writer. Since Kindergarten, I have written 19 completed diaries.

 What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Visiting schools for assemblies and working with the students. I love spreading my messages to large groups. I also get to visit schools out of state via Skype. They are called Virtual Visits and are a lot of fun as well!

 What do you find hardest about being a writer?
Promoting my books. It’s hard to self-promote but I try to look at the bigger picture---my messages make a difference. It’s not about selling books, it’s about spreading positive messages.

Who or what would you count as your main influence?

My own children and the students I taught.

 What do you enjoy reading? 
I like books about living a powerful life. I really enjoy easy reads, otherwise known as chick lit! Finally, I also like a book with a story that will make me cry. I love the emotion that comes out of novels written by authors like Nicolas Sparks.

 Who is your favorite author?

Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Piccoult.

 What would be your ideal writer’s haven for creating your book? Would you have a desk in a quiet cabin somewhere or an iPad on the beach?

I have a spot. It’s at the end of our dock on the lake. I wrote out there a few times but I write on my computer now and it’s hard to see the screen out in the sun! We just built a new home office that I am loving!
Thank you, Maria, for this wonderful interview!

 Media Information

 In today’s society, bullying is a growing epidemic. Passionate
about making a change, in 2008 Maria Dismondy wrote Spaghetti
In A Hot Dog Bun. Since then, Maria has published two other
children’s titles and sold close to 100,000 books.

She is a national presenter, has been featured in local papers, has
appeared in television and radio interviews and her books have
received countless positive reviews. Spaghetti In A Hot Dog Bun
is being adapted into a children’s musical by a successful New York
playwright. Testimonials, reviews, interviews, and news coverage
are available on under Seen & Heard.

Maria’s blog, Be the Difference, boasts more than 3,500 unique
visitors and is a way to connect with readers on a near-daily basis.
She shares parenting tips, educational activities and uplifting
adages, in addition to information about her books.

Find more about Maria, and her blog, at

reading in the park

About The Author

Nationally recognized author
Maria Dismondy is dedicated to
inspiring and empowering children.

She has authored four children’s
books, each with its own unique
positive message, and made over
150 speaking appearances.

Maria holds an M.A. in education,
and served as an elementary
school teacher and reading
interventionist for ten years before
transitioning into her current role
as author, blogger and professional

Maria lives in southeast Michigan
with her husband, Dave, and their
daughters, Ruby and Leah.

author of children's books at book signing

Title: Spaghetti In A Hot Dog Bun

Written By: Maria Dismondy
Illustrated By: Kim Shaw
Category: Children’s Picture Book
Publication Date: August 2008
Illustrations: Full Color
Pages: 32
Size: 9x9

Format: soft cover & hardcover
Retail Price: $9.95
Ages: 5-9 years old
Awards: Eric Hoffer & Mom’s Choice

Contact Information

Maria Dismondy

Best wishes and much continued success to Maria Dismondy!

“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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Kettle of Vultures

vultures in the sky: LadyD Books

 Vulture is the name given to a scavenging bird, found in North and South America, including the well-known Californian and Andean Condors. A group of vultures is called a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt. The term kettle refers to vultures in flight while committee, volt, and venue refer to vultures resting in trees. Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding. For more information, visit

I took this photo with the Nikon D200, looking through my car window. No, I wasn't the driver this time. When you're walking around our ranch, you'll notice red-tail hawks in flight, especially with the strong wind currents up above. This time, it was a kettle of vultures. Sure wish I could have gotten closer but they were way high up! For more photos, visit Skywatch Friday

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grandson on iPad: LadyD Books

Did you know that there is a free app for children, Lego for Kids for the iPad/iPhone? There's a helicopter that Ryan loves with this game. Linking up with Color Connection.

paperback science teaching material

Your Sense of Sight

Your sense of sight gives you visual information. The information is collected by the eye. After your eye gathers the information, the information is changed into electrical impulses and sent by a special nerve to your brain. Your brain is then able to read the eye's information.

I'm currently reading a paperback book that actually is teacher material for grades 1-4, called Let's Investigate The Senses. There's a section on How Sight Works that I've been sharing with my grandson.

"Your eye is like a camera. The small black hole in the center of your eye is the pupil. The pupil lets light into your eye. The iris is the colored part of your eye. It works like the shutter of the camera. The iris makes the pupil bigger and smaller to let just the right amount of light in. When you are outside on a sunny day, the iris makes the pupil smaller to let less light in." -- Patty & John Carratello

Let's investigate the senses

little girl looking at her shadow: LadyD Books

Me and My Shadows - Shadow Puppet Fun for Kids of All Ages

How precious is this? Oh, the wonder of discovering your shadow for the very first time! Our granddaughter taking a memorable journey outdoors in her orange outfit and clogs, watching her shadow. Hmmm... does this remind you of a book?! Linking up with Orange You Glad It's Friday

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Whether playing with shadows of all sorts or soaring through the skies, I am so glad it's Friday!
Have a wonderful weekend!


“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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