Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just discovered....Etsy

Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.

Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice:

Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.

I just bought these
earrings for $3.70
($0.20 + $3.50 shipping!)

See how pretty this is?
At one time it was Scrabble tile
Now it's a ring!

I'm in LOVE...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wordle is...

My new favorite thing! You just put some words in or a link and it creates this word can change the colors, font, etc...

Here's what Wordle says about itself:
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.

Here's what my blog looks like put into wordle:
Here's Romans 8:31-39:

On a totally different note, Kroger has peppers on sale if you buy them in a bag. You can get four five green peppers and two red peppers for $3.99. Or you can buy them individually--$0.99 for green and $4.99 (!!!!!!) for red. Awesome.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This is one of my very favorite books. I just finished it this morning and it's so refreshing to read a historical novel that is clean, fun, and serious all at the same time. Here's the review that I think best captures my feelings:

"What a wonderful book! Having just finished this one, I am still smiling and thinking of the characters. Had I the time and money, I'd be booking a trip for Guernsey right this minute. As it is, I feel as though I've already visited and been made to feel at home. Set in both London and Guernsey Island, this novel follows author Juliet as she becomes friends with the inhabitants of the island shortly after the end of World War 2. Told in epistolary style, Juliet learns of the occupied island and its deprivations, as well as the resounding spirit of the people who live there. As she writes, she becomes more and more intrigued with the stories of the people who survived the hard times, and she decides to create a book based on their experiences. In order to gather more information, Juliet moves temporarily to the island and soon finds herself immsersed in the culture and relationships. This is absolutely one of the most delightful books I've read all year. The characters are real, the relationships are unique, and Juliet is hysterically funny, as well as warm hearted and genuine. I did have a bit of trouble keeping all the characters straight in the beginning, but once I caught on, I was enthralled. The pages just fly by and while you will learn a little of what happened to Guernsey during World War 2, you will learn much more about love and friendship. Highly recommended!"
It kind of made me feel the way the Anne of Green Gables books and the Mitford Series made me feel the first time I read them. I wish they were real places and that I could live there with the characters. Plus, it was CLEAN--I could easily pass this book onto my mom (and hopefully someday she'll have time to read again) and not have to give her any warnings.

As far as I know this is the only book author Mary Ann Shaffer wrote before she died last year (although she was in the book industry as a librarian, etc. for many years) and Annie Barrows has only written kids' books before this one. Hopefully publishers will encourage other authors to write like this, since the hardcover spent over 30 weeks (at least) on the New York Times Bestseller list and the paperback is going on four weeks.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

This is the next book I'm reading for the SIBA book awards. I read another Sarah Dessen book, The Truth About Forever, last December and really liked it. Here's part of the review I put on amazon about it:

"I am really pleased to find Sarah Dessen. This is the first book I've read of hers. The plot is simple enough, nothing totally original about the book. But the characters were written so that I really cared about them, and looked forward to "spending time" with them. I think it makes us look at real-life issues in a was that teens (and 20-somethings like me) can easily relate to. Death of a parent. Mother-daughter relationships. Boy-girl relationships. Girl-girl friendships, etc."

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Check out the Gottwals Books billboard!
Northbound on I-75 just south of Exit 144

Dad sent me this email in response to the billboard:
Wow--how wonderful. Big business begins this way. Dad

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

6 1/2 Favorite Things

Yesterday I mentioned that Shane and I have been together 6 1/2 years (dating for 3 1/2, married for 3. So here are my 6 1/2 favorite things about my husband.

1. He's the "WOW" in our relationship. I once heard that in every relationship there is a "how" person and there is a "wow" person (I may also refer to us as the "why" and "why not" couple. Maybe sometimes it's hard to distinguish who's who, but not for us. Shane's "wow" moments have come in the form of:
  • Why not open a used book store
  • Why not buy a fixer-upper house to work on together
  • Why not get a new car (this comes up every 3-4 months)
You get the idea. I've learned to pray first and ask Shane questions later when I've had time to consider his ideas. I tend to not like change much. We're a good balance, I think.

2. I'm not sure what this is called but when you talk to Shane, you feel like the most important person in the world. He focuses his complete attention on you and really interacts with you. I remember noticing this when I was first getting to know Shane. It impressed me because it wasn't just me, but he does it with everyone he's getting to know. I'm sure that why his students love him so much. He not only listens and cares, he really know how to show that he's listening and the cares.

3. He's fiercely loyal. He'll do anything for any of his friends and stick by them no matter what. It's why I know I can trust him completely forever and ever.

4. He loves God and he's not ashamed of it. Sounds cheesy, but it's completely true. He's unapologetic (as he says) about his faith and loves to share it with other people. Ask him why our marriage works. Ask him why our store works. Ask him what keeps him going. It's not me. It's not him. It's a faith in God that's stronger than doubt.

5. He loves his family and he loves my family. They're all our family now, and he treats them that way. My side isn't his "in-laws" and vice versa. That's amazing!

6. He's going to be a great dad someday. He's great at being a husband and loves children, so I can't wait to see him be a daddy to our kids! (I can hear him saying "Lord willing" right about now.)

1/2. He has a wonderful sense of humor! I put this as the 1/2 because sometimes it gets me in trouble (if he's making me laugh during a serious time) and sometimes it bugs me (when I'm trying to tell him something serious and he's making jokes). It's one of the first things that attracted me to him, though, and it certainly keeps us laughing together a lot!

One of my favorite pictures of Shane (I look kinda weird). Taken at Victor and Courtney's wedding, a month after we got married. (If I'd had a #7, it would have been that he is handsome!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

3 Years

June 3rd Shane and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. We dated 3 1/2 years before we got married, so we've actually been a couple for 6 1/2 years. That's more than 1/4 of my life! I am so blessed!

Here's a picture of us from the night we got engaged (August 2001). We're all wet because it started raining right after I said yes. (I actually said "YES!!!!")

Here's a picture of us from last week--right after Lois was born.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey

This is one of the young adult books I'm reading as a judge for the SIBA awards.
It's a pretty good adventurous book so far. It's a sequel to a book I've been asked for before but didn't have. Yesterday I looked up from behind the counter and saw it filed with the adult books. If I like this one I may read the first one, too. Nice and thick (about 450 pages) for kids who love big, fat books.
I remember going to library in Cordele and walking through the kids aisles looking for the fattest book I could find.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gottwals Books - Byron

Here's a picture of our second store in Byron. We are currently working on setting it up and are hoping to be open in about a month (July 11). For the past couple weeks Shane and I have been going out to work on the store in the evenings (after the Warner Robins store closes for me around 6:00, and after summer school is over for Shane around 4:00). It is exhausting but I think we can make it to July.

We'll be carrying more Melissa and Doug educational toys in our Byron store. Here I am working on the Art Supplies display rack.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby Lois

Last night I got to experience a first--being at the hospital with friends who were having a baby! Jessie delivered a beautiful baby girl about five minutes before I got there. Shane and I sat in the waiting room with the Queen family and other friends and then were among the first to see baby Lois. What an honor! We left shortly after getting to see Teddy and Jessie to give them some real family time but it was wonderful to be a part of something so extraordinary.