Happy Mother’s Day

I wanted to wish all the women out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.


It’s been a great day for me. My family blessed me with a beautiful pink (my favorite color) rose bush and placed it outside our window so that I can enjoy its beauty and fragrance often.


When I stepped outside this morning, to my surprise, I found a nice set of chimes. It’s been at least 7 years since I’ve had a set. So, I am really enjoying the sounds of a gentle breeze.


My husband treated me to a delicious mocha and walk this morning. As we meandered, through the woods, we reminisced about when we met at a coffee shop in Santa Clara, CA on a blind date back in 1998.

Because we are in a COVID-19 statewide shelter in place, we are not able to visit loved ones. So, we called our moms to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day and facetimed my brother Greg and sister-in-law Connie to catch up.


At the time of this writing, my daughter is baking me my favorite cookies – chocolate chip.

In the Bible it says “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also…” – Proverbs 31:28 I am feeling blessed for sure.

I’d like to pass along a blessing to my readers this week. May 11-15 you will find 3 free books on Amazon. Happy reading!


I Like Bugs


Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure


Am I Pretty?

What did you do today to celebrate?

Blessings, Rebecca


Guest Blog by Shannon Clark & Angels Above Book

blessed1.jpg (2000×1999)
When Shannon’s publicist approached me to review her new book, Angels Above, I was excited as it is an innovative product! When I received my copy, it took my breath away. I thought Wow, this is amazing! I can see people giving Angels Above gift set as baby shower, baptismal, Easter, birthday or Christmas presents.
 I especially appreciate that a portion of the proceeds go to feed children.
About the Book 
A story about angels on a mission to spread love and share positive messages with children everywhere. This book set is a fun new approach to helping guide children throughout life. There are so many creative ways the messages can be delivered with the help of your Angel Friend.
About the Author
Shannon Clark, is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. Currently a free-lance writer, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Shannon lives in Kentucky with her husband and two children.
Please welcome Shannon!
Blessings, Rebecca
Definition of Parenting
 Having children of your own will keep you honest. Believe me, they know more than one might think. Whether it’s being reminded about missing church while on vacation, skipping bath night or forgetting to read this week’s library book, my children don’t hesitate to let me know when things don’t go as planned. I guess that is a good sign that we get it right most of the time.
It’s interesting how my view of parenting has changed over the years. The simple definition of “parenting” according to Merriam Webster Dictionary: the process of taking care  of children until they are old enough to take care of themselves: the things that parents do to raise a child. This sounds pretty straight-forward, right? This was my assumption growing up, as I watched screaming kids in the grocery store aisle in disbelief that the parents couldn’t control their children. Now, I’m the mom that races around the store trying to get everything before my two year old is finished eating the free bakery cookie. Whew! I’m pretty sure the Webster Dictionary decided it would be easier to stop with: the things that parents do to raise a child. As if the daily tasks weren’t enough, parents have an even greater responsibility of imparting values and morals to their children.
As a parent, I want to inspire in my children love, faith, devotion and confidence so that they can take it upon themselves to go out and succeed in their own endeavors one day. I hope and pray for their happiness and that they will lead and inspire others while demonstrating self-responsibility, courage and poise. Ben Franklin once said the following: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” These kids DO learn by example. Instead of only telling or teaching our children to help others, sign up as family to help serve meals at a shelter this Thanksgiving. Instead of only telling or teaching children to be kind, make cards this Christmas to share with people in the nursing home or hospital. Instead of only telling or teaching your children about Christ, put him at the center of everything you do. If they are going to be like me, God, please give me the strength to be like YOU! When Christ is in your heart, there is no limit to how bright your light will shine!
Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review and/or guest blog. Just passing along a good read.

Wedding Anniversary


This week we will celebrate 15 years of marriage. We met at 32, married at 35, had our son at 36 and our daughter at 39. Hmmm, that makes me a midlife Mom.

Time with my best friend has gone by way too fast. I can’t believe our son is entering Freshman year of high school and our daughter is entering 7th grade in the Fall. I still remember cuddling my babies.

pixWhen I tell folks that Randy and I have been together for 17 1/2 years, some ask, “How do you stay together or how do you make it work?” The answer is unequivocally our faith in God keeps our relationship pressing through life’s ups and downs. Our core belief helps us invest in the three C’s of our relationship.

  1. Caring – Both of us genuinely care for each other which promotes healthy love, respect and trust. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  2. Communication – We talk to each other about anything and everything which promotes a healthy friendship. – Luke 24:14
  3. Commitment – We’re both in it for the long haul, because we know God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. – Jeremiah 29:11

As a way of celebrating our anniversary, I’m giving away select children’s ebooks now through June 7-9, 2016. Simply click on my name below and it will link you to Amazon. Enjoy!


Rebecca Krusee

How long have you been married and what are your secrets to success?


Lisa Marie Schinski Book Blast

I wanted to share with you a fellow author’s children s book blast.

Blessings, Rebecca

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for two charming books by Lisa Marie Schinski, That’th what I thaid! & The Sore Prickly Bear. The blast will run March 28-30, 2016.


About the Books


Title: The Sore Prickly Bear
Author: Lisa Marie Schinski
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Number of Pages: 30
Summary: Fuzzy has a very bad day that keeps getting worse. He is faced with many challenges and doesn’t understand why these things are happening to him. Everyone has had a bad day, week, month or even years. He will make you laugh because everyone can relate to Fuzzy in some way. Things always have a way of working out in the end and sometimes even better than it was before!

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble


Title: That’th what I thaid!: R’s and S’s
Author: Lisa Marie Schinski
Illustrator: Lauren Panco
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Number of Pages: 32
Summary: Stitchie is a happy bunny that is having a hard time saying her R’s and S’s. She thinks her friends are making fun of her but they just laugh because they think it sounds funny. They love Stitchie, and in the end, Stitchie practices and meets the best teacher who helps her says her R’s and S’s perfectly. She runs into the woods to share with her friends how far she has come!!

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

About the Author: Lisa Marie Schinski


I was born and raised in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. I currently reside in King of Prussia. I wrote the story about the Sore Prickly Bear when I was 8 years old. My teacher, Mrs. Ulrich encouraged me to write and also gave me the young author’s award. I found this book after my mom passed away last year. I had a great childhood but when I wrote this book, my parents got divorced, we moved and I changed schools. A lot of changes for an 8 year old. So I guess I felt like Fuzzy.

Around October 2015, I took the book into work to show my friends because this past year and a half has been very hard for me and my family. I knew when I showed my friends, they would laugh and cry because my life was again Fuzzy’s. My friends, Denice, Dee, Candace, Rick, Gina, Tara, Nancy, Tamara and Gina encouraged me to publish this book. So here I am!

I am now 46 years old. I have a great job, great friends, and great family. But there are still days that feel very bad and very unfair.

My goal for publishing this book is to help children understand that bad things happen and bad days happen. But when we have friends and family in our life to help us laugh at ourselves, we can heal and move forward. Everyone has a bad day, week, month or even years. My dream is to share this story for children to know they are not alone and everyone has a bad day.

I am so grateful for my family and friends.

“That’th what I thaid” was published in February 2016. Lauren Panco inspired me to write this story. It is for children who have a hard time with their R’s and S’s. I think many of us have! I want children to know it’s ok to sound different and with practice, it changes. Don’t let anyone make fun of you. We are all perfect the way we are!

Website ~ Twitter ~ Etsy ~ LinkedIn



Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book blast. Just passing along good reads.

Jesus Helps Me Book Review & Giveaway


Jesus Helps Me by Callie Grant offers four levels of exploration: a quoted Bible passage (John 12:44-47), supporting captions that relate the passage to a child’s life, thinking questions to personalize the experience, and colorful, full-page photographs. Also included is a tip section for parents on how to use the book with a baby, toddler, and child. Jesus Helps Me is a Learn book in the well-received Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Collection, which makes personal Bible studies accessible to young children.

The book is a Learn book in the well-received Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Collection, which makes personal Bible studies accessible to young children. Alongside adults, the series helps kids build a foundation for faith and a lifelong friendship with Jesus.

The release of Jesus Helps Me coincides with launch of the re-designed of the Knowing My God series, which now features an updated look and expanded content. Additional products supporting the line will follow, including Jesus Inspires Me: An Enriching Activity & Coloring Book (May 2, 2016) and the Knowing My God Series Gift Set, a slipcased set featuring all four current series titles (Oct. 1, 2016).

Graham Blanchard Inc. is passionate about providing the highest quality books and resources to promote a love of learning about God, in addition to supporting families with prayer and the shared experiences of other parents.Their books are distributed by Ingram/Spring Arbor, STL and Anchor Distributors. For more information please visit www.grahamblanchard.com.

I read it upon receipt and it is a delightful board book for young children. It’s pictures pop with color. I love that it is chalked full of scripture you can instill in your kids and grandkids.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Blessings, Rebecca


When Callie Grant had her daughter, she struggled to find books for her that shared the heart and mind of Jesus, while still keeping her little one excited about the story. Grant, with an extensive background in writing and educational publishing, decided to make the books she wanted her child to read – books about who God is and how we are made to be with him. To do so, Grant founded Graham Blanchard Inc., a publishing company that creates books and resources to support the spiritual development of children and their families.

Graham Blanchard books have been well received by trade publications and more than 100 websites and blogs written by Christian parents. In spring 2017 Graham Blanchard is launching its first program for grownups, The Newborn Promise Project. This will be a book and class offered to expecting and new parents through churches and small groups, to prepare parents for spiritually nurturing their new child. The program follows the May 2015 release of an e-book for parents, Spiritual Parenting in the First Five Years: God’s Plan for Early Childhood Christian Discipleship.

Prior to founding Graham Blanchard, Grant worked as a consultant in marketing, public relations and educational publishing for clients like DK, Scholastic, and Ask Jeeves. Grant has a degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee with minors in business and political science. A job with GTE’s defense division took her from Washington D.C. to Silicon Valley, where she lived for two decades working in political, nonprofit, and corporate sectors before transitioning full time into the educational publishing industry.

Grant began working on a masters in theology, but was happily detoured when she discovered she was expecting a child. Callie, her husband Michael and their 12-year-old daughter now live in Austin, Texas. Grant is active in her church and community and loves experiencing Austin’s beautiful outdoors, but her favorite place to be is curled up next to her daughter reading books together. Grant hopes the books Graham Blanchard produces will inspire other families to get cozy and read together about the love of Christ. Their books are distributed by Ingram/Spring Arbor, STL and Anchor Distributors.


Now it’s your turn to read Jesus Helps Me as we’re giving away one FREE copy. We’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their sons and daughters with godly character. Simply tell us about how Jesus helps you or your little ones. Your name will then be placed in our drawing.

On March 21, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than March 28, 2016. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.


Guest Blog by Eileen Turay


I’d like to introduce Eileen Turay. She has a Masters of Science in Counseling with a school specialization. She’s worked with children with Autism for a few years using ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), and taught at both preschool and elementary levels. She’s married, has a three-year-old daughter, two dogs, and they live in South Florida.

She shares some great free and cheap ideas to do with children. Please welcome Eileen Turay!

Blessings, Rebecca

Our top 8 fave FREE and CHEAP things to do with Kids

Since I currently work full time, I am always looking for new fun things for Olivia and I to do on the weekends. Though going to get Bagels and Starbucks are among our top two faves, they get old quickly; so, I thought I would make a list of some of our favorite inexpensive and free things that Olivia and I like to do together.

1. Make breakfast together. Pancakes are not only pretty simple to make, they are easy for a three-year-old to help make. Liv loves nothing more than to stir up the batter. I know, it can get messy, but it is worth it. When she feels helpful, it makes us both happy. Then we sit on the couch in our jammies and yell at the dogs together for trying to eat our food.


Eating breakfast together. parenting fun

 2. Go to a new park. HYPE IT UP! When I ask if Olivia wants to go to the park, I never know what she is going to say; but if I ask her if she wants to try a BRAND NEW AMAZING SUPER AWESOME park, she is IN! Google parks in a 30 mile radius from your house. If you see graffiti, gang signs, and broken glass you may want to try another one… but that’s the fun in the adventure right?


Fun at the Park

3. Festivals. Greek, music, dog, school, asparagus (yep.. that’s a real one in Stockton, CA lol) Look them up and go!! You may have to argue with your child a bit about why $5 a ticket for the bounce house is not happening… but you can probably distract her with a sweet swag bag compliments of the local Bank Branch booth.


Fun and Free Festivals

 4. FORTS. I cannot stress how amazing forts are. From ages 2-34 (my husband as proof), forts can be lots of fun. You have to be willing to just say goodbye to any chance of having decent couch cushions ever again; but honestly, if you have a three-year-old, you’ve already had the sofa funeral.


Fort Fun. Making a Mess

5. Anything wet. If you have the space for it, a tiny pool or water table. If you live in an apartment like us, find the nearest spray ground/beach/lake/pool. This one is a given. Olivia almost always says she doesn’t want to go; then she always has a blast. Here is the trick: you need to get wet too. I don’t know why I am sharing this or why it is such a stand out memory to me: but as a child, my mom never wanted to swim with us. We swam at my grandparents’ pool all the time and she NEVER got into a bathing suit to swim with us. Dad? always down… but mom was never a fan of water/swimming. I STILL remember like yesterday when one of the other adults pushed her into the pool one time with all of us with all her clothes on. I know she was mad at first but she ended up laughing. I thought it was the MOST FUN swim day we ever had as kids. It is such a simple thing, but your kid does NOT care what you look like in a bathing suit. She just wants you to be part of the fun. So be a part of it. She will remember. I still do.

free and fun things to do water fountain

Free and Fun Things to do, Water Fountain 

6. Picnics. Eating a PBJ in your house=lame. Eating a PBJ on a blanket or picnic table anywhere else=awesome. For some reason, doing things like eating sandwiches at novel locations always seems to be a good time.

fun free picnic

Fun, Free Picnic.


7. Crafting. We live in FL so we are not short of Coconuts to paint. If you live somewhere where pinecones or large rocks inhabit, paint those. If big leaves are all you have to work with, use those. Its innate in children to pick up/collect/borderline hoard things they find in nature every day. If I had a rock for every time Olivia collected a stick…. oh yah, I do… and there are a lot. If you don’t want to buy paint, use what you have. Glue and ripped paper is a great time 🙂

 7 above read

8. READ. People are amazed at Olivia’s vocabulary everywhere we go. I can honestly say that her intelligence is highly attributed to the amount of books we read together. We have read to her at night time since she was a tiny baby. She barely sat still for the longest time. At some point, however, she began to go from “fidgety toddler who barely made it through one story” to “mommy you skipped a page” (I swear I didn’t mean to… ok I did… but now she catches me so I had to stop). If you don’t always remember to read to your child, it’s ok! If you don’t have the time to do it at night, make it. I promise you, the bonding that comes from routine reading time is immeasurable. It is one of our favorite things to do.

reading to your kids

Reading to your Kids

 Spend time not money.

Visit our website at www.livandleen.com for more parenting tips and tricks, and learn from my mistakes before you make your own.

A special thanks to Rebecca for letting us into your community. It’s always better when we Liv and Leen totegher J

Eileen Turay


Here are some other ideas for fun stuff to do with your kids:  Fun Stuff

PS. Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure is now available in paperback!


Unconditional Love


I watched the nurse serve my then twenty-two-month-old son a purple solution. His body slowly slumped in her arms, and she whisked him to the Operating Room. Fear crept in my head as I waited patiently. I understood hernia surgeries to be common place, however, hospital statistics did nothing to calm my nerves. This is my precious boy; my firstborn.

My husband put his arm around me, “Austin will be fine. He’s in good hands.”

I squeezed him, “I know. I just love our boy so much, and it pains me to see our toddler undergo surgery. I wish I could take his place.”

While I paced, I reflected on my understanding of love. After all, I married my best friend just three short years earlier. I enjoy watching our wedding video. It never fails, a lump forms in my throat each time I see Randy wipe a single tear off my cheek during our nuptials.  Yet, this time, the love I felt differed. I ached.

It began two months prior, Randy called me into Austin’s bedroom. “Come here Hon, there’s a bump popping out his stomach when he pushes. Look!”

I gasped, “What’s that?”

“I’m not sure. Pack his bag. We’re taking him to the ER!”

I kept calm as to not scare our little guy, dressed him and rushed to the hospital. Upon our arrival, the staff immediately wheeled him into an examination room.  The doctor asked us some routine questions, and pressed on his bulge. He explained, “Austin has a hernia. It’s typical for children his age. I’ll have my nurse schedule a simple surgical procedure repair the hole. The wait is approximately three months out. Don’t worry. We perform over 400 surgeries per year.” What, his intestines are popping out and of his muscle lining and we have to wait three months!  He continued, “If the hernia doesn’t retract for some reason, then return for emergency surgery.”

I looked at Randy, “Why doesn’t the parenting handbook cover these issues for first time parents?”

He chuckled and pulled me close, “We’ll learn together.”

Ninety days passed, and his surgery day arrived.

Approximately an hour later, Austin’s surgeon entered the waiting room, “The operation was a success, and Austin is fine.”

Inexplicable joy filled me. I exhaled, “Thank you doctor. When can I see him?”

His nurse escorted me to my son’s recovery room. I glanced at my baby rattling the crib rails with all his might, and jumping up and down. His red, sweaty face screamed, “Mommy! I want my Mommy!”  I felt as if someone had opened my chest cavity, and ripped my heart out. I believe Austin waking up in an unfamiliar environment with strange people, tubes taped to him, and the absence of his parents frightened him.

I gathered him in my arms, and held him tight. I sunk into a rocking chair, kissed him, and whispered, “It’s okay Austin. Mommy is here.” He buried his little head between my neck and shoulder, and fell asleep. At that moment, I knew unconditional love. It’s a sacrificial compassion for someone other than me, and it’s even sweeter when reciprocated. As I recount this incident, I’m reminded that Austin’s surgery hurt me more than it did him. I don’t understand why so many boys and girls must undergo hernias, but I’ve certainly developed more awareness and empathy for sick children.

Coincidentally, that same summer my father’s was diagnosed with a similar hernia; only it took my dad six months to heal due to his surgery being more evasive.

On our ride home, I watched Austin slumber, and I realized the bond between a mother and her child is very strong. It’s truly unconditional love! I believe it’s one of life’s beautiful mysteries.

Have you ever experienced Aha moment of unconditional love? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

PS I joined Top 25 Mommy Blogs! If you have enjoyed our blogs, please vote for me by clicking their emblem on my home page. Thank you!

cover-imageIntroducing my new book, Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure! Now available at Amazon.com.