Return to Sullivans Island

There’s something about a Southern story. Maybe it’s the rambling old houses, the weather that always plays a part, or the Southern drawl that’s put in print, but there is definitely something about a Southern story.

I had never heard of Sullivans Island before, but oddly enough, while I was reading this book, the governor of South Carolina went on a little romp, and his wife made a statement….from Sullivans Island.
Return to Sullivans Island is actually a sequal, to, you guessed it, Sullivan’s Island. I’ve not read the first book, but have added it to my reading list. This books stands on it’s own, and I had no problem following the story line or characters.
The story opens with Beth, a recent college grad, coming “home” to Sullivans Island to babysit the rambling old family house. She is a bit resentful to put her life on hold, but does so that her mom can fulfill her own dream of going abroad. It wouldn’t be a summer novel without a little summer romance, and Beth falls for the dashingly handsome Max. She is eager to assert her independence and decision making, and the dashingly handsome Max clouds her judgement a bit. The story moves from there, and Beth matures as her summer develops.
Return to Sullivans Island is a good summer read, peppered with romance, coming of age and enough twists to keep you interested.
Thanks to Mother Talk for sending me a copy of the book for this blog tour!
***Looking for more to read?? Enter my giveaway and win a copy of both A Summer Affair and The Castaways. You have until Saturday, July 11th!

A Giant Slice of Midwestern Americana

Well that was a nice blog break. We celebrated July 4th with a road trip to see family, eat some American delicacies, play a surprising amount of backyard ball and watch fireworks. I also learned a little along the way….
Thursday we visited with my family, including my aunt and uncle in from New Jersey. I love when they visit because I love them….but I also LOVE that they always bring Jersey Bagels. Jersey Bagels are nothing like the limp, tasteless mounds of breakfast bread the big chains try to pass off. Jersey Bagels have a firm crust, and chewy deliciousness inside you can’t get in any other bread product, except for maybe Jersey Rye, but that’s a carb for another post. Anyway, my aunt and uncle were there, along with their gift of bagels and life was good.
The car ride up to my parents’ house? Was long. Oh so long. It was a good thing I brought snacks. The backseat enjoyed many a string cheese, some blueberries and granola bars. The front seat enjoyed Turtle Chex Mix Bars, compliments of My Blog Spark. They were a tasty treat–sweet chocolate, salty peanuts, caramel–yum! By looking at the wrapper, I learned *If* you were to eat, say, one bar, you’d have a delicious snack of less than 130 calories and 4 grams of fiber–great deal, eh? BgK and I, well, we were stuck in traffic….so we each ate three. I’m not doing the math on the calories, but hey, we each got 12 g of fiber! Yay us!
Friday, we visited friends whom we haven’t seen since Mam was about 5 months old. They now have twins just younger than Jr. I think they were a little nervous that our visit would turn into blog post….I promised them it wouldn’t. Or least it wouldn’t with pictures and what not. I will share with you what I learned from them though: *If* your are a shopping-cart-cover kind of mom…here is another use for said cover..the baby bucket swings at the park. I’m sure styles of cover and swing vary, but it the planets are aligned, the cover fits over the swing so you get the same sort of protection you do when you use it on a shopping cart. *If* you want such a thing. 🙂
On the way home, we stopped by Rainbow Cone, that southside Chicago institution that the Kahuna family knows and loves. What I learned: they don’t really have public restrooms, but the Kia dealership next door is happy to oblige a 4 yr old doing the potty dance….

Saturday we drove from NW Indiana up the O’Hare vicinity for a family birthday party–many cousins, much fun. On the way up, I remember that we really need to get one of those plastic holders for our I-PASS….my arm got a little tired.

Once the rain let up, the kids went outside and MAM learned to hit off a tee!! Didn’t your daughter learn how to do that in a dress and sparkly shoes? Mine did!
*I* learned though, that three days in a row of long car rides wears on a child. On the way home, we were able to see fireworks all the way from O’Hare to my parents’ house. MAM though, was done with the car business. “I don’t want to watch the fireworks in the car! I want to watch them on a blanket!!!”
Which is what we did Sunday. For whatever reason, the fireworks in Indy were postponed til last night. We tweeted up with a friend, found a great grassy knoll (no, I’m not telling you where, because there was free parking, restroom access and no crowds) and watched the show. On a blanket. Because really, that is the best way to watch them!

A DIY Culture Camp E-book Now Available

It is my pleasure to announce Grown in My Heart’s latest endeavor…..
Traditionally, a culture camp brings together adopted children from around the world so they can share their experiences with each other. Some camps offer sleep away camp settings while others only offer day camps.

Children and adults learn about culture, history, adoption heritage, and intolerance and character. Most culture camps enrich cultural literacy include physical activities, world music and crafts. By nature they accommodate different learning styles.

But what happens when your children are just too young to attend a culture camp and are seriously interested in learning about their culture or making friends from the same region or orphanage?

Perhaps your child yearns to know children who “look like them” because they are the only child in their class with dark skin or Asian eyes. This is still common in today’s society no matter how much we try to pretend it is not.

How do you integrate culture into your children’s lives when they don’t want to have anything to do with it? Do you sneak it in with fantastic cooking? Do you read great literature with them? Or do you make them sit down and learn about their history?

We have just the solution for you. Introducing a new resource for adoptive parents: a Culture Camp for Kids; What to do when they can’t do (or they don’t want to)

This e-Book features countless activities suitable for young children from around the world. Once your focus is determined, it’s time to gather supplies. A trip to the library should yield plenty of books (and we have also supplied a fabulous list in our Literature Section).

Click on the Add to Cart to purchase the first ever GIMH eBook.

A portion of every sale will go to New Day Foster Home, a special needs foster home in China.

*While this e-book was developed with internationally adopted children in mind, it’s also suitable for any family wanting to expand their world view or host an “around the world” sort of party for young children. The activites aren’t adoption-centric, rather they are activities either native to a particular country or region, or they are designed to heighten awareness. Turn off the TV and have some fun this summer!