Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Flsongbyrd: Barbie-Girl's Best Friend

Flsongbyrd: Barbie-Girl's Best Friend: by Rita Balducci Hardcover, 55 pages Published 1998 by Grolier Books ISBN 0-7172-8796-3 Book Source: Bought 4 stars S...

Barbie-Girl's Best Friend

by Rita Balducci

Hardcover, 55 pages
Published 1998
by Grolier Books
ISBN 0-7172-8796-3
Book Source: Bought

4 stars

Smmary From Back of Book:
      Barbie knows that any day can turn into an exciting adventure. It all depends on your attitude. Whether she's helping one of her sisters tackle a problem or lending a hand to a friend, you can be sure that everyone has a smile in the end!
     Girl's Best Friend: Barbie agrees to let Stacie train a guide-dog puppy, and her little sister does a great job. But all too soon, Stacie must choose between giving up her beloved pet-and gaining more than she ever thought possible.

Mary's Review:
     Stacie is going to meet her best friend Kathy's grandmother and Kathy just can't say enough about her. Her grandmother is so special. What Stacie can't understand is why Kathy thinks all the things her grandmother does are special. Her grandmother did all the same things. So what? Why was Kathy so excited for Stacie to meet her grandmother. When Stacie meets Kathy's grandmother, she realizes that she is blind and she has a special friend of her own...a guide-dog. Stacie decided that she wanted to train a guide-puppy, but did not realize all the hard work that would go into it. She convienced her sister Barbie to let her do it. She immediately fell in love with Sandy a Golden Retriever puppy. So much so that she didn't want to give him back.
     This is the story of the unconditional love between a puppy and little girl, the desire to give the gift of freedom to someone less fortunate and to serve others in the purest way. See what Stacie learns from this experience and the unexpected surprise twist at the end.
Bright colorful pictures will definetly keep the children's interested.
     I rrecommend this book for ages 4 and up.

About the Author: Rita Balducci is a published adapter and an author of children's books. Some of the published credits of Rita Balducci include Jeweled Collector's Edition Disney Princess Storybook and Movie Projector: Season of Enchantment (Movie Theater Storybook & Movie Projector), Honestidad E Integridad (Cuentos Para Compartir), Familia (Cuentos Para Compartir).

Children's Ebook Review - Lydia's Fairy Wish

Monday, April 23, 2012

Flsongbyrd: Weekly Menu

Flsongbyrd: Weekly Menu: April 23-Monday Foil meals Carrots, Potatoes, Onions Chicken Breast April 24-Tuesday Taco Salad Salad Fixins Chips April 25-Wednesd...

Flsongbyrd: Crockpot Meals

Flsongbyrd: Crockpot Meals: Now that I have my Crockpot Meals page up, here are some recipe ideas.  These are some of my families favorites.  They all are made in the s...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Day the Squigglies Fell to Earth

by Linda Watts

Kindle eBook, 21 pages

Published March 15, 2012

Publisher: Linda Watts


Book Source: Author

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Overview from Amazon: Sherman and Henry Cleveland are the heroes of the day when they find a small spaceship in their backyard and help the squiggly space creatures launch their way back to the planet Zorbulok. Before their mission can be accomplished, however, they must get past the horrible Harvey brothers from next door. The squigglies join in to defeat the Harveys in the most exciting Cleveland/Harvey battle in the history of Riverside Drive

Mary's Review: What a fun cute book. A story of how good vs evil, how friends stand up for each other. Sherman and Henry find a strange object in their garbage can that is inhabited by tiny strange creatures. They are determined to protect them and through their kindness to these creatures who turn out to be space creatures, they form a friendship and lasting bond that will help them defeat their enemies the Harvey brothers and their vicious dog. To find out how, O recommend you read this cleverly written book by Linda Watts.
I recommend this book for ages 7-9.

About the Author: Linda Watts was born in Missouri and grew up on a farm. After living in California for several years, she moved to Colorado and has lived there ever since. Currently she is the QA Director for a database company, and in her spare time she is (still) remodeling her almost 100-year old home. She also enjoys gardening, theater, and writing children's books.

Read it now for 99 cents!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

This N' That Unique Designs Jewelry

Come to this page and see some beautiful handmade jewelry made by a fantastic LDS single mother.

Here is my page for all the jewelry. Check it out!
This N' That Unique Designs
Unique handmade jewelry. Custom orders available. Shipping charge $3.00 first piece & $1.00 each additional item purchased.
Duck Designs By Brittany
I Make, Roses; Belts; Headbands; Bracelets; Wallets Car Games Phone Cases Bows Rings Necklaces Earrings and MANY more(; Email Me at:​m :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stopping By Woods on A Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost and Susan Jeffers

Paperback: 25 pages

Published 1969

by Scholastic

ISBN-10: 0590098454

ISBN-13: 978-0590098458

Book Source: Bought

5 Stars

Book Description from Amazon: Ever since it was published in 1978, the picture-book presentation of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" has been an enduring favorite. For this special edition with a new design, trim size, and three new spreads, Susan Jeffers has added more detail and subtle color to her sweeping backgrounds of frosty New England scenes. There are more animals to find among the trees, and the kindly figure with his "promises to keep" exudes warmth as he stops to appreciate the quiet delights of winter.

Mary's Review:
     The story of this book is written in poetry form using one of Robert Frost's poems which tells of a man while journeying to keep a promise takes the time to enjoy the beauty of the woods, snow and animals on his way.
     I love poetry and the poetry of Robert Frost has been set in this lovely book with the beautiful black and white illustrations of Susan Jeffers. 
     I recommend this book for ages 4 and above.

About The Author: Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. One of the most popular and critically respected American poets of his generation, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

Illustrator Bio -Susan Jeffers: "I realize now that I have always done the same things. When I was little, my best moments were spent drawing pictures, reading stories with my parents, playing with friends and sitting by the Ramapo River dreaming of horses. This has not changed. Being a childrens book illustrator has combined all of these things.
Literature has been a great support in my life. The story of Black Beauty kept me company growing up. I longed to be gentle and steadfast as he was. I was inspired by Velvet's courage and wanted to win the Grand National on my beloved piebald horse like she did. I remember sitting in the choir loft deciding on how I would illustrate the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen that my parents had read to me. Retelling that story to myself got me through many tedious moments. I wished I were as brave as Gerta but I was pretty sure that I was the wayward Kai and my older sister, Judy, was going to have to come rescue me from the frosty Queen. I loved these stories, they always asked me to be the best I could be.
The first part of my work is to find a story that inspires pictures in me. It is like being a dancer and having to wait for the music to move your feet. Everything comes from this.
I enjoy researching books like Hiawatha so much that I have trouble extricating myself from old photos and first person diaries of being captured by Indians, which are of course more stories.
For the most part I work in pen and ink and guache, an opaque watercolor. I make thousands of little lines with a fine pen to describe the forms. Tnis looks hard, but it is actually the easiest part and is very relaxing. The most difficultpart for me is telling the story with the right relationship of composition and characters to convey the emotion of the story. This requires making many little drawings, called thumbnail sketches, until the drawing says what you want it to say, hopefully. Sometimes this does not happen.
My favorite things to do these days are riding and studying dressage with a beautiful horse named Hans, (Hans is much the better student) and painting landscapes and portraits. Happily this is a lot like my work."

" see full review at Little Red Reads"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Is It Nice? Manners For Kids

by Casey Chapman
Amazon Edition
Published 2011
by Casey Chapman
Book Source: Bought
4 stars

Book Overview from Amazon: Is It Nice? Manners For Kids was written to help young children behave in different situations. Its colorful illustrations and easy to understand messages make it easy for readers to learn the nice thing to do in everyday life. What should you do after you burp? Is it nice to yell or whine when you want something? These questions and others are answered for a great learning experience.

Mary's Review: Reading this gave me the giggles as I saw each situation in my grandchildren (and even in some adults I know). Casey has given each ill-mannered situation the proper response for a well-mannered child or person from belching, gas passing, saying thank you, I'm sorry, using your inside voice and much more. He has even illustrated this little book with adorable cartoon-like pictures.

I recommend this book for age groups 1-12.

About the Author: Casey Chapman lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and two kids. The idea for this book came from his children's love of books. This is the first book Casey has written and illustrated. He hopes that it will help other parents teach their children how to interact with their friends and family.

Get Is It Nice? Manners For Kids now FREE!

" see full review at Little Red Reads"

What's Inside a Pirates Ship

by Brian Lee
Hardcover, 16 pages
Published 2005
by Backpack Books
ISBN-10: 0760768099
ISBN-13: 978-0760768099
Book Source: Bought
4.5 stars

Summary From Back of Book:The pages of this book are like the decks of a pirate ship. Look through the holes to find out what's underneath each one. Meet the captain and the crew as you travel down through the layers until you teach the seabed itself.

You can even find out where the pirates store their treasure.

Mary's Review: A very charming book with look-through pages that takes a child on an adventure through a pirate's ship from the seagulls aerial view of the deck to the bottom of the ship where the pirates hide their treasure. Brian Lee not only has written this book, but has also done the wonderful illustrations.
I recommend this book for children ages 3-8.

Author Bio: Hello, I'm an illustrator (also author) living in the UK. I have illustrated over 30 children's book titles and contributed to numerous other titles. I have also designed and supplied illustration work for a variety of educational publishers, museums and visitor's centers. I specialize in historical, mythical and ghostly subjects. Many of my books have pop ups. I mainly work in traditional media but also create and manipulate work using the main computer design packages.

" see full review at Little Red Reads"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Say What You Need to Say

by J. Adams

eKindle Edition
Published April 1, 201
by Jewel of the West (2)
Book Source: J. Adams

5 stars

Book Description
Free-spirited Capri Harris has always embraced life to the fullest, but a major health trial brings unexpected changes and her outlook shifts, leaving her with doubts of her worth to any man.
Like the force of a hurricane, Jagger Colby enters Capri's life, weakening her resolve and shaking the walls of self-preservation she has tried so hard to build around her heart.
But Capri knows that once Jagger discovers the truth about her, he will walk away and never look back.
When words mean everything, say what you need to say.
Mary's Review
  Capri, a pretty part American Indian, part Jamacan 20 year old has just found out she has ovarian cancer and has to have a hysterectomy.  Because of this she doesn't feel any man will love her because she cannot have children.  She begins to doubt her self-worth as a woman and doesn't understand unconditional love.
    Seth is Capri's older brother and loves Capri to the point that Capri refers to him as a mother hen.  He also introduces Jagger to Capri.
     Ahhh, then there's the handsome Jagger Colby-grey eyes, dark wavy hair, muscular, 30 years old.  The kind of man any woman would be crazy not to fall for.  Those grey eyes seem to be only for Capri.
     Then to make it interesting and humuorous we have the mischievous set of twins, a drunk cow, and adults playing pranks. 
     I love this new novellett by J. Adams.  It is full of clean romance, fun and a story of unconditional love.  It is true what they say "The true experience of love comes from within the self".   This is what Capri has to learn.  Will she? 
     I recommend this book for young adults and older.

About the Author
     J. (Jewel) Adams stays crazy busy with her family and writing. She has written several books in different genres and is also a motivational speaker to both youth and adult audiences. She home schools her four kids that are still at home, and between that and conjuring up new ideas for her books, her brain is completely fried most of the time. She and her husband Sean are the parents of eight children, which means they are both losing hair, but hey, that's what Rogaine is for, right?  In her spare time (when she has any) she likes to curl up with a good book and a healthy stash of orange Tic Tacs. She and her family reside in Utah.
     Jewel loves hearing from her fans, so if you would like to contact her to tell her how much you love her books or give her sympathy for the fried brain, or suggestions for the hair loss problem (for her husband, of course) contact her at


Other books by J. Adams/Jewel Adams
Available in paperback and ebook
The Legacy
The Wishing Hour
Guardian of My Heart-A Challissian Novelette
Tears of Heaven
Place In This World
The Journey
Against the Odds
Still His Woman-An Against the Odds Novelette
Mercedes' Mountain
Forbidden Portals: The Quicksilver Project
Novelette Ebooks
Sweet 21 Birthday Ball
That Kind of Love
Elise's Heart (PDF only)
The Passionate Hearts Novelette Series
The Shelter of His Arms
What the Heart Sees
The Sound of Love

All Books Are Also Available in Kindle and Nook Versions (Elise's Heart and Mercedes' Mountain excluded)

Today was Easter

I had not been in sacrament meeting in a while for one reason or another.  As I sat in the back in a chair pulled in from the foyer I was able to observe the congregation.  My family and I usually sat in the front as either my daughter or I lead the music.  Because of this I  was never really able to really study the  congregation  before.  I always knew who was there and I always knew where they sat, but observe, no.  I'm finding that sitting  in the back does have it's advantages.

     As I sat in Sacrament meeting today enjoying the wonderful feeling of oneness with those who share my beliefs, my moral values, my goals and objectives, I was able to observe those in front of me.  I looked around at the congregation.
     I watched with a feeling of warmth as Sister Branham reached up and lovingly stroked her husband's face, then gently pulled his face closer to hers and quietly whispered in his ear, let her hand slide softly down to his shoulder, give him a pat on the shoulder and then put her arm around him.  Love?  I think so.
     I chuckled as Brown Harmon turned to adjust the diaper bag on the floor under his pew and little Davie scurried under the same pew and hurriedly tried to get away.  As those of us sitting on the back smiled broadly, Brother Harmon squeezed between the pew and the wall and to Davie's dismay grabbed him up in one fell swoop before he could get to far.
     Ahead of Brother Harmon, was a new father.  He quickly and quietly got up to take his beautiful newborn daughter out as she began to get fussy.  I had to smile at the Easter bow she wore on her head.  Big and pink, it was so large it almost covered the whole top of her head.
     Just in front of him was a cutie pie of about six years old.  Blonde, blue-eyed and curious.  As she gazed around at everyone taking in all that she could in one glance, she was busily adjusting her Easter bonnet of pink straw with a wide satin pink ribbon.
     Across from her was dear Sister Creer.  She was smiling and playing with a sweet baby.  She would make the perfect grandma.
     Then there's Sophie Evers one of our young women.  I watched as she playes with her new foster brother.  I am amazed at how much love that her mother, who is a single mom, works full time, is totally devoted to her children, still has the time to be a foster mother.  What a special sister.
     Then I spotted Brittany Martinez another young woman.  She was leading music for sacrament meeting.  She is such a special young lady.  She is fifteen and very talented.  She stays home and makes wonderful things with duct tape.  Headbands, notebooks, pencil tops, anything.  She then goes on Saturday to the flea market and sells what she has made.  This goes for her education, extra spending money, possibly a mission.  She has a wonderful single mom who also works full time, is busy serving others, making sure their needs are met, but makes sure that she spends quality time with her daughter in teaching her the value of finding and fulling her full potential and worth. 
     I watch as Sister Via who is a brand new grandma for the first time helps her daughter get settled and then picks up her beautiful new granddaughter who is all smiles for grandma.  Sister Via has stopped by before the meeting has begun and gives me a big hug and kiss and lets me know how glad she is to see both John and I at church.  She has missed us.
     Brother Young who was recently released as the High Priest group leader and is a very dear friend of ours has recently returned from traveling for two months on business.  He came over and shook John's hand and gave me a hug and kiss and tells us how much he wished we had been with him at the temple the day before.
     Brother Sant lovingly takes Sister Sant by the hand and leads her out of the meeting early.  Sister Sant is slowly losing her eyesight and it has been very difficult for her.  I remember when she was our Relief Society president. She worked so hard.  She came one Sunday night when she noticed in sacrament that day that I was having excruciating pain in my left arm.  I had had chiropractic adjustments for it all week, but could not alleviate the pain.  I could barely move my arm.  She came that night with her hollistic herbs and oils and spent three hours rubbing my arm and shoulder trying to help the pain.  She was able to give me enough relief that I could sleep that night.  Something I had not done in over four days.  The next day, I was diagnosed with shingles.  It was in the joint in my left shoulder and down my left where else.  Something the doctor had never seen before.  However, with a blessing and the help of a good doctor, the shingles were gone in  week.  The love between Brother and Sister Sant warmed my heart.  They were always taking care of someone else even though they were working through their own afflictions.
     I watch the Bishop who has so much love for his wife, take her hand, speak to her for a moment. give her a gentle kiss and then disappear into his deep, dark office never to be seen for the rest of the meeting schedule as he cares for the needs of his ward family.
     I continued to sit and watch as so much love and affection was being showered on husband for wife, wife for husband, parent for child, child for parent.  I watch as parents lovingly teach their small children how to pray, how to take the sacrament, how to be reverent.  The seemingly small touches that we take for granted each day are the things that mean the most.  I feel my heart swell with love as my own sweet husband of nearly forty years reaches over to rub my shoulders and back to relieve some of the discomfort that comes from sitting so long and then gently takes my hand in his.  The love of my life still opens doors for me, holds a chair for me, reaches in and buckles my seat belt for me.  These small gestures of love mean the most and make my day.  And the countenance of my loved one shines so bright as does the countenance of those around me.  The countenance of love...the pure love of Christ. 
     Being in church today to celebrate and honor Christ's resurrection means all of the above to me.  Christ died so that we may live-live to love each other and our families-to become eternal, celestial families and live with Him again.  
    Have you received His image in your countenance? Does the light of Christ shine in your eyes? Will He know you when He comes again because you will be like Him? When He sees you will the Father know His child by His everlasting image in your eyes?  Elder Brent H. Nielson, Second Counselor in the Area Presidency, Area Presidency Messages (Alma 5:14)

What the Fox Learnt

by Aesop

Kindle eBook, 11 pages
Published June 13, 2011
by  Ripple Digital Publishing
ASIN:  B0055UP87U
Book Source: Bought

3 1/2 Stars

Book Description
Four fox tales from Aesop's fables presented with modern illustrations: The Fox and the Crow, The Fox and the Goat, The Fox and the Grapes and The Fox and the Cat. These are short stories that are fun and easy to read. Each story is summarized with a moral that you might have even heard of.

Mary's Review
These are four short tales of a fox who seems to have an angle up his paw at all times.  Each tale has a moral value at the end.  Although I think they are a little difficult for a small child to understand, with some explaination they would understand.
The illustrations are colorful and keep the child's attention.
I would recommend this book for older children 6-12.

About Author
Aesop, or Æsop (c.6th. century BC), legendary Greek source of over 600 fables including The Tortoise and the Hare, written from the oral, have been translated into English by many including the Rev. George Fyler Townsend (1814-1900) and Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914).
Through the use of (mostly) animal protagonists, Aesop's fables consist of simple tales with moral endings transcending time and place so to be as relevant today as they were millennia ago. Universally popular, they still inspire many contemporary stories, plays, and movies.

" see full review at Little Red Reads"

Monday, April 9, 2012

Maebelle"s Hat

by Rita Hestand

Kindle eBook, 9 pages
Published  May 1, 2010
by Smashwords
ISBN: 978-1-4523-7557-1
ASIN: B003L78146
Book Source: Bought

4 1/2 stars

Book Description
Mother Hen wants all the farm animals in the barn because Nado is coming.  But little Willy, the hard of hearing duck doesn't know what a Nado is.
Everyone is finally in the barn except for Maebelle, so Willy set out to find
Maebelle is so happy about her Easter Hat that she pays little attention to Willy, until her hat blows away.

Mary's Review
Willy, poor little duck, is hard of hearing so when Mother Hen tells him a tornado is coming, he has no clue what a "Nado" is.  He only knows that if Mother Hen is worried about it, about him, and about everyone else then he should be to.  Mother Hen had one problem...someone was missing.  Where was Maebelle?  Maebelle, a vain cow, was out showing off her new hat.  Someone had to find her.  Willy takes on the job and sets off to find and bring Maebelle to safety.  Find out what happens when this little duck without thought for himself, puts himself in danger to help someone else.
I love this little book.  No matter how different we are, no matter what difficulties we have in life, we can always do whatever we if we put our minds to it.
The illustrations are adorable.
I recommend this book for ages 4-8.

About Author
Rita is a widow, with 2 daughters and 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. She writes contemporary, and historical romances along wtih children's books and short stories too. She's dabbled in poetry. You can find her at and, at, at Decadent Publishing, at Secret Cravings Publishing and at Whimsical Publications. She loves writing, reading, bowling, roller skating, kid parties, and family get togethers. Rita is retired and writes full time now.
I use to work at a school and would write poems for the kids during the holidays and stuff. Kids have been an intricate part of Rita's life. She ran a day care for nearly twenty years.
You can find free books at and try them. See how you like her writing.

" see full review at Little Red Reads"

All I Want Poem

All I Want Poem
All I want is someone to read my books
Someone to feel the spirit, then ponder

All I want is someone to read my books
Someone to listen to what was in my heart
Someone to understand how I felt at that moment

All I want is someone to read my books
Someone to to know how much I learned from my parents
Someone to how much joy my grandchildren bring me
Someone to feel my love for the Lord

All I want is someone to read my books
Someone to feel my testimony of the church.
Someone to know how much I love writing
Someone to how much I still need to learn
Someone to that if I have touched one heart, I have done my job.

All I want is to reach out and bring peace and solace to the sorrowing world.

Rhetorical Question Poem
I wonder if they like being Pete and Repeat?
 I suppose they do
 They always repeat each other
 They never have a single thought of their own
 Some people wish they would quit falling off that fence
 They make a stuck recording sound good.


determined, honest to a fault, loving, God fearing
Sibling of Patti, Tommy, Elenda and David
Lover of fresh cut grass and grandchildren
Who fears change and not succeeding
Who needs to be healthy and strong
Who gives and loves to serve
Who would like to see what I could get done if I had my grandchildren's energy.
Resident of Naples, Florida

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Flsongbyrd: Weekly Menu

Flsongbyrd: Weekly Menu: **Unless otherwise indicated most recipes are from  Daily Dish.  They are tried and tested by my family. If used more than on...

Monday, April 2, 2012

General Conference 2012

Today was General Conference Day
A day to listen, learn, ponder and pray.
Mary Walling 4/1/2012

     What a wonderful conference weekend it has been!  Saturday my husband and I went to our daughters Karrie and Leigh Anne's to watch the first session of conference on their big screen TV.  They have satellite and receive BYUtv.  I think that's awesome!  We were able to spend time with them and our two granddaughters Anai and Emileigh and enjoy the words of the leaders of the church. 
     We were able to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and to listen to the their beautiful music.  We were able to be filled with the spirit and feel the peace and calm that comes with knowing the gospel is true.                                                                                               
 Today I discovered that I could get BYUtv on my iPhone.  I downloaded it and my husband who has a different iPhone found the application for his phone.  He also downloaded it.  When it was time for conference, we shut ourselves in the bedroom, were we held hands and watched conference.  It was the first time we had had time to ourselves in a long time.  It was peaceful, quiet and inspirational.   There was something for everyone in each and every talk given.  My husband I were especially touched by the talk given by Neil L. Andersen.  We had been praying about a particular issue for over a month that had been bringing much contention into our home.
      President Andersen quoted
"For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another." (3 Nephi 11:29)     My sweet husband looked at me and said, "There's the answer to our prayers. It has caused nothing but contention for the last several months.  It's time now to put an end to it tomorrow". 
     The answer was there all the time, but we had been too stubborn to listen because it was something we thought was supposed to happen for us.  Instead we kept jumping through hoops for someone and something that was not supposed to happen, thus causing contention, anger and frustration between them, us and members of our family.  President Andersen had given us the answer in his talk.  It took hearing it from a leader of the church. 
     Isn't it wonderful how General Conference and the spoken word of our leaders help us to learn, ponder and pray as we listen to the word of the Lord?