A post wherein I win awards and talk about my past

Renee Ann Smith —  January 16, 2011 — 44 Comments

For some reason, bloggers enjoy passing awards around to each other. I’ve received several blog awards from my new bloggy friends and decided to put them all together into one post. Here’s how it works: 1. I tell you about the bloggers who gave me the awards. 2. I reveal seven random pieces of trivia about myself. 3. I pass the award on to fifteen other sites.

Part I: These are the bloggers who gave me my Stylish Blogger Awards.

Amy at Walking in His Grace. Amy is a young mother who is working on building a Christian home with her hubby, Joshua.
Janet at Nana’s Sweeties or Life is Beautiful. Janet writes about her adventures with her husband Mike, two sons, and eight grandkids.
Tara at Undeserving Grace. Tara is a wife and mother who describes herself as a Christian trying to find her best to give God each day because He deserves nothing less.

Kait and Katy

And my young friend Kait. Kait (pictured on the left) has a personal blog called Reviews by Jane. And she blogs with her best friend Katy at Book Ponderings. Kait is a Christian homeschooled teen, the oldest of 7 kids, and all her siblings are boys. However, her mom is expecting a baby in a few weeks. So the whole family is hoping baby #8 will be a girl. She and Katy review books and share glimpses of their lives on their sites. (Katy is also a homeschooler and 3rd eldest of 10 kids.) They’re also co-authoring a novel together.

A few months back, two other blogging buddies passed awards to me, but I didn’t make posts at that time. So belated thanks to Emily of Scribbles from Emily and Amber of Seasons of Humility. I’ve featured their blogs in the past but wanted to mention them again today.

Part II: Seven random pieces of trivia about myself.

1. During my first year teaching at a Christian high school in the suburbs of Chicago, I existed on boxed Macaroni and Cheese for the better part of a year. Our salaries were small, I was far from home, and times were tough. But I loved my students and enjoyed every minute of it! However, I couldn’t eat the boxed stuff for years after that.

These girls are not us!

2. When my sisters and I were living at home,we invented games to pass the time while we did our chores. We played one of our favorites while doing dishes. One would sing a song and stop on a certain word. The next player had to sing a line of another song that began with that exact word. It was fun–try it!

3. When I was in junior high, I read almost every fiction book in the young adult section of our town’s library and moved on to the Harlequin romances they kept on the shelves.

Harlequin’s were much different back then–sweet and clean. One of my favorite authors was Betty Neels. Many of her books took place in Holland and starred un-thin, non-perfect-looking heroines who did noble things with their lives like nursing people back to health or sacrificing to raise a relative’s children. And they always seemed to marry doctors . . . I really wanted to go to Holland!

4. I grew up in the historic town of Kinderhook, New York, birthplace of our 8th President Martin Van Buren. Most etymologists agree that the expression OK originated with his political campaign and stood for Old Kinderhook. So you have one of your most common expressions because of my home town!

5. I graduated from the Ichabod Crane High School in Valatie, New York. (Yes, I have a diploma from a school named after a fictional character.) Washington Irving hung out with various people in the Valatie/Kinderhook area–including Martin Van Buren. Our school was named for his famous story, and our mascot was the Rider. On the wall of our auditorium were silhouettes of Ichabod Crane riding a horse on one side and the headless horseman chasing him on the other.

6. War movies are my guilty pleasure. I don’t mind if they’re bloody, as long as the heroes are noble. And it is kind of cool when things explode. I grew up watching John Wayne movies on Saturday afternoons with my dad. My favorites were The Green Berets and The Sands of Iwo Jima. Even today, I watch Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan every time they’re on the History Channel.  (Note: Some folks I know have purported to be war movie fans based on their love of Pearl Harbor. Seriously? That is a chick flick–not a true war movie!)

7. I remember exactly where I was when the US Hockey team won the 1980 Olympics of Lake Placid, NY. I was in the stands at a basketball game at my college. The announcer stopped the game to tell us the news, and we all cheered. Have you seen the movie version of their story–Miracle? It’s a great one!

Part III: Some sweet bloggers whose sites I enjoy. There’s not room here to describe each blog in detail. Feel free to come back when you have more time so you can pop in on a site or two. (And if you’re one of the bloggers below, please don’t link back to me. That’s not why I’m mentioning you!)

  1. Julia at Dark Glass Ponderings
  2. Laura Frantz at LauraFrantz.net
  3. Lydia at The Overweight Bookshelf
  4. Esther at Laugh With Us Blog
  5. Alisa at Faith Imagined
  6. Patty Ann at Pitterle Postings
  7. Kerri at Living with Chronic Illness
  8. Tara at Living in Taradise
  9. Anne at Open Book Girls
  10. Cammie at Flutterbys and Frogs
  11. Erika at Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints
  12. Dorie at These Grace Filled Days
  13. Anne at Our Family on Mission
  14. Viviene at Journey of a Woman
  15. Kelly at Kelly’s Korner

If you’ve read this far, congratulations on making it through this long, long post!

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

44 responses to A post wherein I win awards and talk about my past

  1. We have so many things in common, and I so agree about the movie Pearl Harbor. I was a little disappointed in it when it came out and seeing it once was enough. I finally splurged on myself and bought the DVD’s of Band of Brothers. (My son loves the series too even though he may be a little young to watch it.)

    It is hard to believe Harlequin’s were that inexpensive. My mom and I enjoyed reading these. Thank you so much for sharing so much. It is a great way to get to know one another. Next you will have to post on the Star Blogger Award you received from No Ordinary Blog Hop.

    God Bless you, Renee Ann!

    • I’m glad we have so many things in common, Lynda! Isn’t it funny how just mentioning a few “likes” and “favorites” can reveal so much about a person? And as I’ve said before, the online socializing has been the best thing about blogging.

  2. I love how you wrote your blog and found it very interesting. It was a great way to get to know you. I am impressed with Kait and Katy and will be checking out their blogs. I hope you will like mine and follow me as I write them. The two children are not my sons though lol, they are two of our eight grandchildren we have custody of and are raising. It is not easy at this age but they need us and God has guided us through this and continues too. Without him I would not be able to do this. We feel very blessed to have them in our lives. I loved Harlequin books too but a little to explicit for me now. I love to read Nicholas Sparks and Thomas Kinkade books. They make me feel like I am a part of the story but I love how they describe the places where there stories take place even more. Will be checking out more of your blogs.

    • So glad God is giving you the energy to raise those grandsons, Janet! And I agree about contemporary Harlequins and stay away from them nowadays. Times sure have changed! For pleasure, I read mostly Christian fiction and cozy mysteries.

      I’ve read some Nicholas Sparks. In fact, our book club choice has been compared to his stories. Check out the link at the top of my sidebar for Crossing Oceans. I think you’d like it!

      • I will check it out. I also belong the book club called “Guideposts”. I get the “Grace Chapel” series and the “Home To Heather Creek Series”. They are beautifully written and Christian oriented. I think you would really like them too. Grace Chapel is about three sisters who made their family home into a bed and breakfast after their father passed away. He was the pastor for the Grace Chapel Church, hence, Grace Chapel Inn. Heather Creek is about a grandparents who have to raise their three grandchildren after their mother was killed in a car accident. I feel like that book speaks to me. They have some the similar problems I have had and it is Christian oriented also. They all leas on God for help. Check them in Guideposts books. Their magazine Angels on Earth is really great too. Oh, my, I don’t mean to keep rattling on about them, but I do like to let other Christian woman know about them.

        • I love long comments, Janet. Then I learn lots of good stuff from or about the folks who read my blog. I’ll have to check those books out. They sound really sweet. Thanks for mentioning them!

  3. We really enjoy war movies too! I’m honored to be mentioned. Thank you so much!

  4. Renee Ann,
    I know what you mean about paltry teaching salaries. My first job was teaching in a private Christian school and my salary was actually less than it cost me to go to college for a year.

    Congrats on your award.

    • I know, Joy. I’ve been teaching in Christian schools for over 20 years! But God has always met my needs, and I’m not supporting a family. So it works. And the blessings are tremendous!

  5. I really enjoyed this post! The thing about the harlequin romances cracked me up! My mom turned me on to Victoria Holt books when I was young. Always a period romance, some kind of mystery, always clean.

    • It’s so funny that you mentioned Victoria Holt. I read all her books I could find. And another favorite was Mary Stewart. If you have time to read–I can tell from your blog you’re busy with a little one–you should check out the book at the top of my sidebar and Laura Frantz’s books (from the list in this post). Blessings, Jessica! (And, BTW, great slippers!)

  6. Good for you!! Guess what? I have an award for you…OK, OK, just kidding. LOL. I have to tell you, this is one of the BEST posts of its kind that I’ve ever read…fascinating, witty, charming. Well done, miss.

    I totally agree with you on Pearl Harbor! LOL. And wow, did you bring back memories with the Harlequins…yikes.

  7. I love war movies too! Espcially Vietnam….always been fascinated with it…I think because of the way the vets were treated when they came home. It was just so horrible.

    Thanks so much for mentioning my blog! I get yours in my mailbox every time you post! I love to read, and I love book reviews! Nothing like investing your time into a bad book, hoping it’s going to turn around!
    Have a wonderful week, my friend!

  8. Renee Ann, I love learning more about you here. Such a fascinating post! And I’d never have guessed you like war movies! But I’m a fan of John Wayne myself:) You’re always so good about encouraging and including others on your blog. That sure blesses me. Wow – hope Kait gets that baby sister – and kudos to the fact that she and he friend are writing a book:) Blessings and Joy to you all!

    • I’m so glad to know you’re also a fan of the Duke! I guess he made so many movies that it’s easy to like at least a few of them . . . And I, too, am impressed that Kait and Katy are writing a book. Maybe we’ll all be reviewing their work someday. Thanks for stopping in, Laura!

  9. I enjoyed this one. Thanks for sharing more about your friends, family and past. Delightful read! 😉

  10. Kati sounds like a wonderful girl. I know I’ve read all the YA books at our library! And I just joined She Writes! Any tips?

    • YA is such a popular genre. I think all ages of women love some of the YA stories . . . I don’t know if Kait gives writing tips, but she probably has a good chance of being published since she’s starting so young!

  11. Thanks so much for mentioning Katy and me in your post, Ms. Renee! We really enjoy working together and hope some day to see our book published. Ya’lls support and encouragement is much appreciated – a big thanks to all of you!

    Laura Frantz – We, too, are all hoping for a girl. And thanks so much for the encouragement!

  12. hi renee ann! Thanks for the mention =D and congratulations on your award! =D

  13. Thanks for the comment love! And I, too, was an avid reader as a child. Still am. Still love romance novels. They’re one of my many guilty pleasures. Not so much on the war movies. I will watch and enjoy them, but I like movies I can watch over and over. It’s one of my “things”. But yay for hockey, and boo for Canada. Ha!

  14. Congratulations on your blog award!

    Thank you for participating in the Book Lover’s Blog Hop @ Story Time Under the Stars and Frugality Is Free.

    Congratulations you are this week’s Book Lover of the Week!

  15. Hi,
    I’m a new follower from the Give It To Me Monday. If you get a minute please stop by and follow back. Enter my giveaway, I only have 1 up right now but a few more really good ones coming. I’m going to be giving away a Tassimo so check back.

    Have a great week,

  16. Thank you for coming by today to leave a comment about my Tithing Book Review. I do believe tithing is important in our walk. This is a subject I would love to expand on in the future. I know it may offend some, but I feel its so important and just want to tell everyone to at least give it a shot!!! It has changed our life for the better! 🙂

    Have a great day.

    The Frugal Free Gal

  17. Congratulations!
    I think it’s ironic that I read YA now but when I was a YA I read Harlequins too 🙂

    • Hi, Juju! I haven’t seen you around the blogosphere for a day or so. Good to have you stopping by . . . Seems like Harlequins have been around forever, doesn’t it? I’m glad they’ve added inspirational lines now, like the books authored by the writers over at the Seekerville blog. But you can’t beat some of those old covers.

  18. Hi
    I am a new GFC follower from the Tuesday blog hop.
    I blog at http://www.tammileetips.com
    I hope you will stop by and check out the blog and my giveaways

  19. Hi Renee Ann! I saw your comments on two blogs I frequent (Black-n-Gold Girl’s Book Blog and Seasons of Humility) regarding Downton Abbey, so I followed your profile links and thought I’d say hi, as a fellow period drama fan and fiction lover! 🙂

  20. I so enjoyed getting to know you through this post. I never would have thought you were a “war movies” kind of gal =0) Me – Pearl Harbour was the only one I could get through – hee hee ;0)
    I loved reading about the game you and your sisters played. I am going to teach that one to my girls. So fun!
    Have a beautiful weekend!

  21. Congrats on your award!
    I enjoyed reading through the ‘random trivia’ about yourself. The mac and cheese portion made me laugh – in complete empathy! Through most of my college years, I survived on mac and cheese with tuna and peas mixed in as a sorta casserole. After college, it took ten years for me to be able to eat that dish again!
    Thank you for mentioning me. You are too kind, and I am very grateful!

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