Tag Archives: Christmas

Book Review: Cowboy Christmas by Rob Sanders

Cowboy Christmas by Rob Sanders
Book: Cowboy Christmas
Author: Rob Sanders
Illustrator: John Manders
Publisher: Golden Books-Random House
Date: September 11, 2012
Genre: picture book
Pages: 32
Price: $11.49 or less, in both hardcover and Kindle
My rating: A funny and colourful book that is enjoyable to read


I bought this book – Cowboy Christmas by Rob Sanders – as a Christmas gift for my grandson and borrowed it from him to review. He said he likes the book, and then enjoyed reading it to me.

Even though it currently is not in season, Cowboy Christmas is well worth the read anytime. Rob Sanders is expert with words, using some that will broaden a child’s vocabulary while enhancing the story. He has written such a cute twist on the idea of preparing for Christmas when things are not the same as one is used to having available.

Three days before Christmas four cowboys are in the desert – three are taking care of a herd of longhorn cattle and the fourth is the fatherly cook. The three worry that “Santy” won’t find them way out in the desert. They individually lament over being without a Christmas tree with decorations, yummy Christmas cookies to eat, and horses to dress up as reindeer to hitch to a wagon. Cookie (the cook) quietly convinces each that they can do that, and each makes the attempt – with hilarious results. For example, did you ever see a cactus Christmas tree with cans of corn hanging from it in lieu of popcorn? Rob Sanders wrote: Dub corralled cans of corn. “No corn popper,” he explained.

The surprise ending (for the young reader) is satisfying and yet leaves the reader imagining what is coming next beyond the end of the story. The illustrations by John Manders are colourful, funny, and well-matched to the story, adding great visuals to the descriptive words. 

Visit Rob Sanders’ very informative website (www.robsanderswrites.com) and check out the trailer for Cowboy Christmas, a book you may want to buy now for a young reader for Christmas – or anytime.

You can find Cowboy Christmas listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

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Merry Christmas!

It’s minutes before the clock ticks into CHRISTMAS DAY!

Before that happens, I want to let you know that my husband’s surgery went well on the 18th, although it was a difficult post-surgery time for him. He is gaining strength and stamina each day. We are now waiting for his next appointment, December 28, when the bandages come off.  We don’t know if the test results will be available that day or if we’ll have to wait for a call from his local medical doctor sometime within the next two weeks.  He feels the results will be negative, but there is that little ‘what if’ in there.

On a lighter note, we are enjoying my week home while getting ready to celebrate Christmas with our family. Perhaps we can even “face time” with our daughter in Alberta.

Now I’ll end this short note with best wishes to YOU.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, my friends! May you find blessings of joy and peace this holiday season. For my Christian readers, may you rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ, our Hope and Salvation!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)





A B C’s: Alzheimer’s, Blogging, Cancer?

I have been missing in action again. Well, not really missing, but absent from blogging. It was not intentional. I just need sleep, I think.

Since NaNoWriMo ended I have been trying to do a little catch up on other things. This is my week home from caregiving (Alzheimer’s) and even though I have had some time, I’m finding it hard to accomplish much extra. My blogging has suffered (again!), and for that I apologize to you, my readers.  My stress level is climbing and I’m quite tired, but Christmas is coming and I have to get busy!


The added stress is that recently my dear husband was diagnosed with level 2 melanoma, skin cancer. (I had to pause before typing out that hated word.) My husband told me he doesn’t care if I talk about it here; he says many people know anyway, and it is what it is and will likely become obvious. I am sharing this information in the hope that Believers will pray for him. He has had one minor surgery, and on December 18 he will be undergoing a more involved one. After that one and before doing reconstructive surgery the surgeon will be searching for lymph nodes in order to remove some for testing. This all will happen within six hours on the same day. Test results are to come back four weeks later.

That happens to be my week at Dad’s, so I am working out details to have someone there in my place while I am with my husband for two days. Once he is doing okay then I’m back to Dad’s for the rest of the week. Plus, it’s going to be crazy trying to get everything ready for Christmas during all this. We have been attempting to get our shopping completed in preparation, and I got my ‘away’ gifts all mailed yesterday.

A fun thing for me is that on Saturday I met a new author who is a bit of a celebrity. She signed her book for me and after I finish reading it I will be doing a review here .. after the others I have lined up.

** If I told you I would read and review your book, please send me a quick email and remind me. I must have misplaced my list (can’t imagine how!) and really have to get a better system together. I hope you understand it’s been difficult to get into reading and reviewing lately. There are some exciting books lined up for me to review, though, and a couple of giveaways are included. Please stay tuned! :)

I cannot end this post without saying that in the long line of people waiting for the signing of books on Saturday, three people behind me was none other than the lovely and talented author Laura Best! Remember my review of her book Bitter, Sweet and our interview? We had a chance to chat a little which was enjoyable for me, with comedy added since her husband was her “professional photographer” and quite a kidder.

I suppose most of this reads like a “woe is me” post. Admittedly, I’m feeling rather blue right now, but after a good sleep things should look a little better. Truly, I rely on the Lord although it may not seem like it right now. My human nature is to look at the situation and then have to remind myself to look to the One who knows all. One of my life verses is Romans 2:28: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

I hope you are not stressing, but if you find life to be overwhelming … look to the One who knows all. :)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)






‘Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Immanuel, which being interpreted is God with us’ – Matthew 1:23

Pondering those words … God with us …

Only HE knows how grateful I am for His love (for me), His sacrifice (for me), His willingness to do what no man could do for us (even for me), His abiding Presence (with me).  (It’s okay to personalize it, you know.) For many reasons, without Him my life would not be worth living. Yes, I have so many blessings and precious people in my life, but … if you have ever felt that inner despair of worthlessness, that sense of hopelessness and lack of purpose, then you know what I mean. With Him life makes sense.

My heart overflows with gratitude today as we remember Jesus’ birth, coming as a humble baby to become our great overcoming King.

May I wish you the blessing of His joy, His Peace, His Presence in your life as you celebrate this day. May you enjoy the sweet company of family and friends – even strangers who need a friend today. Perhaps you are like us and often invite someone to join you for a festive meal. Appreciate it.

My day is starting out very quietly, but by 1:00 pm this festively decorated house will be full of family, plus an invited guest, for a hearty meal. Four people cannot be with us then (one being our daughter in Alberta), but there will be twelve seated around Dad’s table. Exchanging of some gifts will follow the main course, and then the dessert table comes under attack. :) There will be lots of joyful noise and laughter, especially with an excited six-year-old among us. As the day progresses, this house will be made tidy again and gradually it will dwindle down to a few people here as my husband and I move on to our house with our own family. There we will enjoy a wonderful time with our daughters, their guys and our grandson. I am excited about today with my family.

The Lord has put LIFE into my life — much more than gifts and festivity. :)

My prayer for you is that you too may experience the true joy of this season – God with us.


Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Did you make resolutions?

Wow!  It is 2011 already!  HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!

First, thank you for your support in reading my ramblings here.  I appreciate you very much.  :)

I had intended to post here for Christmas and the New Year, but I got overwhelmed with life and ‘stuff’ and couldn’t fit everything in.  I was busy with all the usual things, but since this is the season I fight depression I had a bit of a struggle right around Christmas.  Same as last year our two youngest daughters did not get home, and our two oldest daughters didn’t come out either but met us at my dad’s in early afternoon for our combined family dinner – only ten of us this year.  It was very quiet here all morning with just my husband and our daughter’s little dog.  Very unusual … the first time in all our years together that it has been just the two of us for Christmas.  I missed our girls.

A sad time for us was that my aunt (Dad’s sister) was dying, and she passed away December 28, her funeral being January 1.  That made for a rather rough end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 for my family.  Not much unlike thirteen years ago when Mum passed away December 30, her funeral being January 2.  Some years I get through the ‘anniversary’ just fine, but this year was not as easy.  I think much of it was that I felt sorrow for my cousins, and it brought everything back more intensely for me.

How was the Christmas season for you?  How did you celebrate the ‘holidays’?

On a lighter note … much to-do is made over New Year’s resolutions.  Several years ago I gave up making them officially, but each new year I plan and hope to “do better”.  This time I determined to ‘go through’ my house one room at a time to ‘fine tune’ things, and I have done one room so far.  I also have business goals to achieve, writing aspirations to focus on, continued publishing of Christian newsletter Valley Sunshine and members’ correspondence to answer.

Last year I did resolve to read more, which you know by the page I set up here – My “have read” book list (Dec 1’09 – Dec 31’10) – where I kept track of my progress.  Since that fun thing went quite well I set up a page for this year, too.  I will finish reading the books of the Bible and add to my list as many more books as I possibly can.  For some I will write reviews and I plan to interview authors as well.

All these are things that interest me that I want to do.  But — I have to remember not to stress myself out when I can’t keep up.  Right?

How is your reading coming along?  Have you been inspired to read anything you have seen mentioned here?  If so, I would love to know about it.  :)

So, have you made any New Year’s resolutions/set any goals for 2011?

I wish for you a happy, healthy, accomplished 2011.

Thanks for reading, and .. Creative Musings!  :)

NaNoWriMo 2010 is over — I WON!

Yes, NaNoWriMo is over for another year.  If you have not been following my posts — this is the first NaNo challenge for me and I WON!  That means that I met the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days – with a few words over just to be sure – and I now have the certificate to prove it.  Yay!

My ‘novel’ is not completed, though.  I stopped writing in a place where there are three conflicts set up to be resolved, but I think it was a good place to stop for this challenge.  Now I have the personal challenge of completing my ‘novel’ and doing a LOT of editing.

Writing my last post I was SO TIRED, and I had to laugh today when I read it over and saw the typos I made last night.  And I don’t know why I didn’t say in that post’s heading that I had won in NaNo.  Too tired to think it through, I guess.  :)

Last night I also signed the pledge to verify that I had completed PiBoIdMo, and now we wait to learn who, of all of its participants, win those great prizes that Tara Lazar gathered to give out on December 3 or 4.

Talking to my husband over supper tonight I realized that I really did accomplish quite a bit of writing last month (November) — 50K words for NaNoWriMo, 30 picture book ideas for PiBoIdMo (I actually got 44), and I completed and mailed out the Autumn issue of Valley Sunshine newsletter.

No wonder I’m tired.  I am ending this day early.   Hopefully tomorrow I can get more accomplished in my house than I did today.

And it’s now December!  Time to get my house in order to start decorating for Christmas!

So, how was your day?  Have you started Christmas shopping and decorating?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)


Day15: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Day 15 of writing challenges has not proven to go well for me.  I spent time today (besides doing some household things) working on Valley Sunshine publication, though.

Tonight I was out to the chiropractor and while waiting, and with pleasant classical music playing, I came up with two ideas for PiBoIdMo.  I had noticed on the way to my appointment that the town has its lighted decorations up on the poles — snowflakes, angels, doves, stars .. and that was working around in my mind.  It turned into a picture book idea.  Then I had a second idea, also to do with Christmas.  I don’t now if I will actually work those up into picture book manuscripts, but they count for the challenge.  Now I have 25 ideas for it in 15 days, which is good since the goal is to come up with at least one a day for the 30 days of November.  I like being ahead in that because I certainly am not up to speed for NaNoWriMo!

In NaNoWriMo I am still behind.  To make matters worse I am so tired tonight I kept dozing off in my chair so that I only got 541 words written increasing my % by only one point to 39%.  I think I could do more but I need sleep!  *yawn*   Hoping I can do much better tomorrow, although … I almost forgot!  Tomorrow is my birthday! but I have nothing planned so I should be able to write, write, write.

Have you seen Christmas decorations up anywhere yet?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)