Bringing Her Home– WINNER

Well, thanks to my lovely “” the winning number is 4.

CONGRATULATIONS, LANA!  Email me your address and I’ll get ‘er to Dell!  (Unless you’d prefer to download.  Let me know that too and I’ll take care of that)

Everyone else– if you can afford it at all, you really should hop on over to Harps & Hammers and get your copy.  You won’t be sorry at all.  Remember– it’s not an expensive album!

Winner of “Lend Me Leave” is….

I read the first book some months ago and I love it. My review is at my blog in case you want to read it. Honestly, I need to reread it to refresh my memory. Finally Book 2 is available so I plan to get it if I don’t win. Thank you.

After a jaunt over to where it told me that the winner was number 19, I jogged back over here, counted the entries–twice– and the winner is Luthien 84!  Congratulations!

Please email me at chautona at chautona dot com with your address and I’ll have it shipped right out to you!

Everyone else, do not walk, do not pass go, just RUN your fingers over the keyboard and place your order now!  You won’t be sorry!


I do apologize for the delay in choosing a winner.  Thursday afternoon, my husband was hospitalized, then transferred, and well… other things were a little more important on Friday– like figuring out when I’d be driving 90 miles to get him some help!

Hope it was worth the wait!

WINNER for Runner from Ravenshead

Ok, I did my thing. Got the number of entries (15) went to (as usual) and plugged in 1 winner out of 15 entries and got…

Congratulations, Cathy!  Please email me your address.  The movie will be sent to you directly from the family that produced the movie, so don’t look for it from me!  YAY!


Everyone else… buy it.  Seriously.  Buy it.  I still love it.

Movie Review: The Runner from Ravenshead ** Winner Chosen!**

Title:  The Runner from Ravenshead
Format: DVD
Studio: Little Crew Studios
Synopsis: “Pilgrim’s Progress meets Little Rascals” in this fun action/adventure movie featuring an all-children cast. Shot in Oregon’s picturesque Willamette River Valley and accompanied by an original score recorded live by the FILMharmonic Orchestra of Prague©, The Runner from Ravenshead is an allegory about finding refuge and rest from the metaphorical wardens we face in life.

After a daring escape from Ravenshead Prison, Sam finds herself in worse trouble trying to outrun the relentless wardens. But help is on the way – kind of. Henry, janitor for the City of Refuge Guide Service, is unexpectedly thrust into the line of duty when all the trained guides are called out on other missions. As he sets out on his long-awaited first assignment, he gets more adventure than he bargained for. Will the enthusiastic but awkward amateur guide persuade Sam to trust him before it’s too late.

A friend dinged me on the messenger a couple of weeks ago with a link to this movie preview.

This movie was the winner of the Audience Choice award and runner up for Best of Festival and Best Feature Film at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.  That’s impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the fact that the actors in the movie are five siblings– all ten or younger.  The parents wrote the script, directed it, produced it, and even did most of the costuming/sets.  Hey, even the family dog was involved.  The website bills the story as, “Pilgrim’s Progress meets Little Rascals.”  That’s just about right.

I ordered it two weeks ago, and last Wednesday, I got the notice that the movie shipped.  Yeah… I was panicking.  See, last week I promised this review.  I was pretty sure I’d have to push it back a ways.  After all, that was really only three days to be delivered.  They came through!  I went to get the mail on Saturday and there was the package.  I couldn’t believe it.  I also got a kick out of the invoice that came with it.  Very sweet.

But, this isn’t telling you about the movie.  I expected cheesy cinematography.  I almost wrote that I was “disappointed.”  It’s one of those rare times when not getting what you expect is good!  The cinematography is better than many TV shows and as good as most movies.  If you’re used to independent films looking “homemade” you will be stunned at the professionalism of this one.

With all of the actors being ten and under (I think this is accurate), I expected it to be difficult to understand them, the acting to be stiff, and to see a lot of bloopers.  Not hardly.  In the preview, when I saw the fake beards and mustaches, I just rolled my eyes and figured I’d have to overlook that– tune it out.  Actually, for some crazy reason, they lend the movie a certain bit of charm.  I can’t explain why I like it.  Normally, I’d hate it.

The plot is not predictable.  There was one twist in particular that I absolutely did not see coming.  I thought I had it all figured out– to be truthful, I thought it was going to be all about how people will give all the appearance of wanting Jesus but though they’re “almost persuaded,” they just won’t yield.  I was wrong.  It’s allegorical and yet it isn’t oppressively so.  You don’t really notice it until you look back and see all of the little nuances that are woven into the story.  I have a feeling I’m going keep finding little things as I rewatch it.  Oh, and it will be watched– often.

I think the thing that surprised me the most was when I found myself holding my breath during one tense scene.  That is when I knew that this wasn’t just a “nice” movie– this is a good movie if you can have the entire thing acted by children, playing adults, playing many different roles, and still get so lost in the story that you hold your breath.

The storyline is simple but profound.  People are imprisoned.  They escape.  The escapees are called “runners.”  The wardens pursue the runners and bring them back.  The “City of Refuge” will give the runners sanctuary if they get there.  Most people don’t know the city is there.  So, there are guides sent out every time a runner escapes.  If the runner is wise and listens to the guide, he’ll make it to the city.  If not, the warden WILL capture them.  This movie is about one runner– Sam and her journey from Ravenshead to the City of Refuge.

I give it five stars.  I love it.  Actually, I love it so much that I’m giving away a copy.  To win, simply leave a comment and tell me what you thought of the trailer.

Congratulations, Cathy!

** WINNER** Shape of Mercy

Ok, so since I did one, why not two, right?  Of course right!  (Name that movie.)

After a quick stint over at, I got a nice little 8… you know, infinity… yeah, it didn’t work for me either.  Oh well, 8 is the number.  And, the winner is…


Pop me an email and I’ll get this in the mail… assuming Challice is done reading it.


Book Review: The Complete Guide to Getting…. *Winner announced*

Title:  The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized
Subtitle: *Manage Your Time *Eliminate Clutter and Experience Order *Keep Your Family First
Author: Karen Ehman
Publisher’s Synopsis: The key to good organization is not a one–size–fits–all method. It is a unique plan that considers personality type, lifestyle, income level, and family schedule. Author and speaker, Karen Ehman believes that with her simple step by step process moms can recognize their own personal style of managing their households successfully and develop a unique plan that gives them the freedom to:

  • manage their time wisely
  • de–clutter and organize their homes
  • plan menus, shop more efficiently, and become more comfortable and creative in the kitchen
  • get children involved in pursuing an ordered life and home
  • avoid the trap of overcommitment
  • use practical tools to assist in organization

Getting and staying organized means more time for the important things in family life—concentrating on cultivating a close, personal relationship with the Creator, drawing His word into every aspect of living, and ultimately tying their children’s heartstrings to God.

Every December (that I remember anyway), I go over to and sign up for their SantaThing.  This is just a fun gift exchange thing that involves books.   This year, they used and due to snowy conditions, the big pond, extra screening in the US thanks to an irritating little pipsqueak of a terrorist, and US weather, I didn’t get mine until almost February!  (or was it after?  I don’t remember.  It’s a blur.)  This was one of the books I received (along with Stephen King’s On Writing and a Kathy Herman novel that, unfortunately, I own).

Ok, now I’ve read more organization books than anyone should be allowed to read.  Let’s face it, most of them say the same things.  Get rid of clutter, put like things together, and put it back when you’re done with it.  My favorite advice I’ve ever read was, “If you have to choose between easy to get out or easy to put away, always choose easy to put away.”  YES!  So, I wasn’t sure what I’d find with this book.

First, the book is a casual fun read.  There aren’t a lot of lofty ideals that people with real lives couldn’t make work.  She has worksheets to help work through the ideas she presents.  She’s honest.  The book isn’t going to do the work for you, and she doesn’t pretend that it will.  A fun addition are the little notes from her daughter about helping kids organize and getting the kid’s perspective on it all.

There are room by room lists of things to consider when organizing, and even little blurbs by others giving little hints of what works for them in certain areas.  I enjoyed the personal anecdotes and related stories throughout the book.  It is always fun to get a glimpse of life in someone else’s family.

She moved from room by room organization to things like commitments, time wasters, conquering paper, and the always obnoxious meal planning and shopping.  And of course, she ends with a chapter on how to maintain now that your home is in order again.

Did I like it?  Sure!  I love books on organization.  Was there anything in there that I’ve never heard of?  Not really.  However, the relaxed way she writes, the encouragement she gives to “get in there and get it done,” and the way the book is laid out as a step-by-step process makes it a great choice if you’re ready to tackle your home.  Frankly, I think Kaye from my Confessions of a Decluttering Junkie needed this book.  She could have followed step-by-step, saved a lot of money, and she might have learned a lesson or three about not exasperating your family in the process.  My biggest recommendation for this book would be for people who know they need to do it but feel overwhelmed with where to start.  This book will walk you, without shoving you head first, through the steps to getting your home back under control.

So, as proof that I do learn from all these crazy books I read, I’m going to pass this book onto a reader.  Just post a comment and let me know what area in your home makes you most desperate for change. Congratulations, Vanessa!

GREAT Giveaway!

My friend Lisa over at The Domestic Diva is giving away a GREAT Silhouette electronic cutting machine package.  We’re talking GREAT stuff here.  The contest rules are simple.  You don’t have to do ALL of them, but definitely do the first.

1) Leave a comment on this post telling Lisa what you’d make if you won this Silhouette machine bundle.

2) Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter (see SHARE button at the bottom of her post).

2) Become a follower or email subscriber to The Domestic Diva’s Disasters Blog.

3) Comment that you follow the Silhouette Blog (tell them The Diva sent you).

5) Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post.

Be sure leave your email address in your comment, if necessary.  This giveaway is only open to US residents.

Giveaway ends Sunday 2/27/11 at 11:59pm (Eastern Standard Time).  Winner to be announced first thing Monday morning (2/28/11).  Winner will be picked using Random.Org.

And if you just can’t wait or don’t win this giveaway, you can use the code, DIVA, and get the same Silhouette SD Electronic Cutting Machine Bundle as above for only $225!!!  That’s a $395 value!

Now, I’ve done a LOT of research on these cutting machines.  I was almost sold on the Cricut, but I didn’t like the whole cartridge thing.  I mean, what’s the point of a cartridge of 50 images when you’d only use 4?  That’s what I discovered when I was looking at them.  I found that I only liked/would use a few of each cartridge.  There is the “Share-a-Lot” thing, but it is another thing AND it’s still limiting.  When I found the Silhouette, I nearly screamed for joy.  One machine, LOTS of free images all over the internet, and if you want to buy one… you can.  buy JUST ONE.  JUST. ONE.  A couple of dollars later, you’re set for life buying JUST the ones you’ll use.  No need to have a rack of cartridges and stuff.  For a person with space as a premium, this is huge!

I’m excited.  If we weren’t tightening our belts to pay for dental work, I’d be buying the special package deal TODAY.  As it is, I’ll have to settle for praying that I win.  ENTER!  Maybe you’ll win!  And then I’ll send you a list of things I’d like cut please…

Box o’ Books Giveaway

I’ve been stashing books in a box for a year now, and I’m ready to ship it out of this house. Some are books I didn’t give away at the time I reviewed them, some I bought to review and then didn’t, one is a proof copy of Paisley (exactly like the “real” thing but with “proof” written on the back page) books that went unclaimed over the year, etc. Included in this box are:

  • Male Factor (By Shaunti Feldhahn)
  • Dear Mom (by Melody Carlson)
  • More Than a Match (The Smalleys and Mike Yorkey)
  • A Time to Reap (Michael Phillips)
  • Primal (Mark Batterson)
  • 40 Loaves (C.D. Baker)
  • 99 Ways to Fight Worry and Stress  (Elsa Kop Colopy)
  • Salt [Not Sugar]  Marvin Olasky
  • Eyes Wide Open  (Jud Wilhite)
  • Princess Paisley (Chautona Havig)
  • It’s Just My Nature   (Carol Tuttle– I can honestly say I don’t think I would have given this a good review)
  • Housewives Desperate for God  (Jennie Chancey & Stacy MacDonald)

They’re already packaged in a flat rate box and will go in the mail the day I pick a winner.  To win, leave me the name of a book or author you think I should review (and probably give away a copy of) this year.