Thursday, December 27, 2012

Courting Cate - A Book Review

Courting Cate by Leslie Gould is a beautifully written Amish love story. It is the first book in the series The Courtships of Lancaster County.

Cate is not your normal Amish girl.  Her mother died while giving birth to Cate's sister Betsty.  Cate has spent her life raising her sister and taking care of her father.  She loves to read, desires to remain single and wants to run her own business.  Due to several events in her life she has become a very stubborn, feisty  bitter and standoffish gal.  She tends to think that everyone is against her and feels very unlovable.

Cate's sister Betsy is a very selfish girl.  Cate has always put Betsy's needs first and now the results are a girl that thinks the world revolves around her.  She manipulates Cate to get what she wants.  Betsy's character drove me crazy.  She was irritating and I really wanted to see her get her comeuppance.  Regardless how irritating she was, the book would not of been as good without her character.

Pete is a vagabond.  After leaving his home due to a falling out with his family he travels to Lancaster County.  He looks to Cate's father for a job and makes it no secret that he is also looking for a wife.  Cate instantly thinks he will be interested in Betsy, because she is so pretty and everyone likes Betsy.  Pete on the other hand is instantly drawn to Cate.  Due to her low self esteem Cate builds walls around her and continues to push Pete away, but when the unexpected happens Cate once again puts her sister first and enters a "marriage of convenience  with Pete.   Will a marriage without love be enough for Cate?

I absolutely loved this book.  I could relate so much with Cate.  One of the things she says so often is "I read somewhere...."  I can't tell you how many times those exact words have come out of my mouth!  I usually am not a fan of first person narrative which is what this book is written in, but the story is so entertaining that it didn't even bother me.   You are sure to love this book!  It is full of so many twists and turns.   It has humor, heartache, faith, and love.  What more can you ask for in a christian fiction book?  Well done Leslie Gould!!

***This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my review.

If you would like to find out more about the author and other books she has you can check out her website HERE.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Clearing in the Wild - A Book Review

A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick is the first book in the Change and Cherish Historical Series and is based on a true story.
You'll read about a community searching for refuge and a woman who finds her voice.

The story is set in Bethel, Missouri and the people there seek to live a simple life, but young spirited Emma Wagner does not like the constraints of her culture and wants to be independent.  When her outspoken ways clash with the colony's leader she finds new ways to pursue her dreams of independence.  As she clears a pathway West she discovers something she never expected...a yearning for the warm embrace of community.

I really do love reading historical fiction.  I was intrigued with this book in the beginning since the setting was in my home state and it was based on a true story.  I was highly disappointed.  I found the book extremely boring.  I am not a fan of the Author's writing style and have never been more happy to finish a book.  I don't like giving such negative reviews, but this book just was not for me.

***This book was provided to by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my review.

Betrayal - A Book Review

Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher is the second book in the series Where the Heart Lives.  I did not read the first book in this series and in no way felt like I was missing anything.

Julia is a widow of 13 months and does not trust men and with good reason.  After suffering at the hand of her abusive husband for years, she has no plans on allowing another man into her life.

Hugh Brennan is in need of rest for his horse when he comes upon Julia's ranch.  Julia is in desperate need of help in running her ranch and she hires Hugh in exchange for meals and a place to stay.  Hugh has a secret past that he is not ready to share.  A life that he no longer wants part of.  He has a new relationship with God and he is a new man.

Julia and Hugh are both hiding secrets from each other,  but regardless of their past lives when they look into each others eyes they are drawn to each other and can't help the connection that they feel.  Will they both be willing to put the past behind them and move on to a future together, or will their secrets tare them apart once they are revealed?

This book is full of twists and turns and will captivate your attention through to the last page.  The story is faith filled with lots of scripture.  Reading how God moves in Hugh and Julia's life is sure to be a blessing to every reader.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher through the booksneeze program in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If But One Year

If I had but one year to live;
One year to help; one year to give;
One year to love; one year to bless; 
One year of better things to stress;
One year to sing; one year to smile; 
To brighten earth a little while;
One year to sing my Master's praise; 
One year to fill my work with days;
One year to strive for a reward,
When I should stand before my Lord,
I think that I should spend each day
Witnessing along the way
For my Lord.  For from afar
The call may come to cross the bar
At any time, and I must be
Prepared to meet eternity.

So if I have a year to live,
Or just one day in which to give
A pleasant smile, a helping hand
A mind that tries to understand,
A fellow-creature when in need,
'Tis one with me-I take no heed;
But try to live each day He sends
To serve my gracious Master's ends.
                             -Author Unknown  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

At Every Turn by Anne Mateer - A Book Review

The year is 1916 and Alyce Benson is a young whirlwind of a girl who tends to make decisions on a whim.  She also has the need for speed.  She loves automobiles and with new advancements in the car engine the automobile can now reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour!  Her passion for speed is a secret she hides from her family who would disapprove.

One day while at church Alyce spontaneously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa.  She is certain that her dad will give her the money, regardless for his feelings towards church.  When she tells her dad he refuses her the money and now she finds her self in quite the predicament.  She must raise the money herself, but she keeps acting on impulse and giving any little bit of money she earns away to other people with needs.  She must find a way to earn money and quick.  There is a race with a cash reward....she conspires with her father's mechanic, Webster to train and compete without anyone knowing.

To be honest, I did not really care for this book.  I am not a fan of first person narrative and this book is written this way and I also was just not feeling the racing part.   Perhaps it's just not my thing.  I do love Christian historical fiction, but I just couldn't seem to find this story believable or appealing to my interest.  There were however some good thought provoking points, one important one was that there are needs all around us and we can serve and show God's love to those in need often times in our own community.  We don't always have to go looking elsewhere, God's work may be right in front of us.

*** I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.

December Menu Plan

I can't believe it is already December!   Busy times are ahead with preparing for special Christmas activities!  Along with my regular meal plans for our suppers I will be preparing a special Christmas Tea (look for a blog post with pictures), Christmas morning breakfast, family gatherings, and some extra goodies for New Year's Eve.  If ever there is a month to try to cut the cost on groceries this would be it!

1.  Sub Sandwiches
2.  Left over's
3.  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
4.  Chicken Nuggets and Fries
5.  Herb Roasted Chicken (click HERE for recipe)
6.  Crock Pot Pizza
7.  Pannini's
8.  Homemade Vegetable Soup
9.  Leftovers
10.  French Dip Sandwiches (click HERE for recipe)
11.  Crock Pot Swiss Chicken
12.  Chicken Fajita's
13.  Beans and Cornbread
14.  Spaghetti Bread (click HERE for recipe)
15.  Chicken Kiev
16.  Leftovers
17.  Taco Bake (click HERE for recipe)
18.  Tilapia
19.  Angel Chicken (click HERE for recipe)
20.  Pizza Bread
21.  Beef Stew
22.  Fettuccine
23.  Left Overs
24.  Christmas Eve (family gathering)
25.  Christmas Day (Still undecided, but it will be special)
26.  Penne Noodles
27.  Chicken Kebabs
28.  Taco Soup
29.  Chicken Nuggets and Fries
30.  Leftovers
31.  New Year's Eve  - Party Time!

Perfect Creamy Mashed Potatoes

This is the perfect mashed potato recipe for the holidays!  Do all the hard work the day before so you can take it a little easier on the day of your big family meal!  It is a family favorite for us and oh so yummy!

5 lbs.  potatoes
1 Cup half and half
1 stick softened butter
1 large package of cream cheese
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned Salt
1 tsp.  regular salt
1/4 tsp pepper
paprika- optional

Peel and boil potatoes in salted water.  When ready, mash in mixer with other ingredients.  Place in 9x13 casserole pan and put two tablespoons of melted butter over the top and sprinkle with paprika.  Cover casserole and bake for 25 minutes.  Bake at 350.  Can be frozen in advance so on the day of the event it is already ready.  I make it the day before and skip the baking part at that time.  I  refrigerate and then bake it when I am ready!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Home in Drayton Valley - A Book Review

A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a well written christian romance story that touches on some difficult subjects.  Within the pages of the book you will read about alcoholism,  gambling and racial prejudice, but you'll also read about faith, love and forgiveness.

The book starts out in New York City where you find Tarsie, a young women with no family of her own, caring for Mary, her husband Joss and their two small children.  Mary's health is bad and Joss has a gambling and drinking problem, but that does not keep Mary from dreaming of a better life in Drayton Valley.  After Joss gets himself into trouble over a gambling debt, Mary is able to convince him to travel by wagon train to Drayton Valley.  She convince Joss that Tarsie must go with them.   Along the trail tragedy strikes and before Mary dies she asks Tarsie to take care and love her children, she also asks her to show God's love to Joss and take care of him as well.

After Mary dies, Tarsie convinces Joss to marry her and fulfill Mary's dream.  Once in Drayton Valley, Joss has a plan of his own, but much to his dismay the only work he can find is in a vineyard, where he has to work under the orders of a Simon, a black man with a great faith in God.   As Tarsie continues to pray for Joss and show him the love of God, she realizes that another kind of love has grown in her heart for this man.  Will Joss's hatred, drinking problem and grief for his wife Mary ruin the chance of happiness he now has?

This story had several twists and turns in it and that kept it interesting and unlike a lot of the christian fiction books I read.  It was a pleasure to read about a life reformed and a God work in the lives of the people that are trusting in Him.  A delightful read indeed!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Living Life to the Fullest - My Bucket List

After much thought, soul searching and dreaming I have finally completed my bucket list.  I'm sure it will continue to grow as new dreams are born, but for now these are my dreams, my hopes and my desires.  I realize that I will probably never accomplish everything on my list, but hey, if you are going to dream, you might as well dream big.  For me it is all about living life to the fullest and if I never get to see the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon that will be okay, as long as at the end of my days I can look back and see that I loved deeply, laughed hard and let God's light shine through me, then yes I will say my life was a life well lived!

In no particular order here is my list:

  1.  Participate in a marathon.
  2.  Wash my hair in the rain.
  3.  Sleep under the stars all night (no tent).
  4.  Pay for a random strangers meal at a restaurant and keep it a secret.
  5.  Become a grandma.
  6.  Lead someone (lots of someones) to Jesus.
  7.  Own and fix up a vintage camper.
  8.  Bowl a Turkey (3 strikes in a row).
  9.  Learn to fly fish.
 10.  Become fluent in sign language.
 11.  Dance in the rain like no one is watching (hope no one is).
 12.  Go snorkeling.
 13.  See the Grand Canyon.
 14.  See Niagara Falls
 15.  Visit the Holy Land and walk where Jesus walked.
 16.  Visit the Smithsonian
 17.  See the Statue of Liberty
 18.  Learn to say no without feeling guilty.
 19.  Write separate letters to my children telling them what I want them to know about me, the life lessons I've learned and how much they are loved.
 20.  Live in a white house with a white picket fence and a few chickens in the backyard.
 21.  Eat lobster while wearing a plastic bib with a big red lobster on the front of it.
 22.  Lose those extra pounds and achieve my goal weight.
 23.  Help an elderly person load their groceries in to their car.
 24.  Walk barefoot along the beach by the light of the moon.
 25.  Take a spontaneous road trip.
 26.  Pursue laughter.  Laugh Daily.  Proverbs 17:22
 27.  Become a more positive person.
 28.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
 29.  Practice gratitude.
 30.  Live in the present.
 31.  Do something I love every day.
 32.  Learn CPR
 33.  Send Birthday cards by mail.
 34.  Buy a set of 1200 thread count of cotton sheets and sleep sweetly.
 35.  Make fire with a magnifying glass.
 36.  Keep a gratitude journal for a whole year.  I Thessalonians 5:18
 37.  Don't throw pity parties for myself.
 38.  Quit worrying about the future.
 39.  Stop overindulging.
 40.  Live a healthy life style.
 41.  View the Northern Lights.
 42.  Share my faith with others without ever saying a word.
 43.  Don't criticize or complain.  Instead Pray.
 44.  Be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  Romans 12:2
 45.  Cast down vain imaginations.  2 Corinthians 10:5
 46.  Speak in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Ephesians 5:19
 47.  Fill my mind with only good things.  Philippians 4:8
 48.  Rejoice always and pray without ceasing.  I Thessalonians 5:16-17
 49.  Do not allow corrupt talk to come from my mouth.  Ephesians 4:29
 50.  Take a nap in a hammock.
 51.  Carve my initials in a tree.
 52.  Go without television for 30 days.
 53.  Bury a time capsule.
 54.  Put a penny "heads up" on a sidewalk.
 55.  Visit Ground Zero.
 56.  Visit Pearl Harbor.
 57.  Help make someones dream come true.
 58.  Eat breakfast at Tiffany's in New York.
 59.  Learn to bake a perfect loaf of bread.
 60.  Visit Lancaster, PA
 61.  Worship without abandon.
 62.  Make sure the people I love know it.
 63.  Always believe and EXPECT miracles.
 64.  Be teachable.
 65.  Study integrity and humility and aspire to live a life committed to both.
 66.  Honor my seasons.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 67.  Memorize one Bible verse a week.
 68.  Live 100% complaint free for 30 days.
 69.  Make a scrapbook of my life.
 70.  Celebrate the big and the little things.
 71.  Spend a day without talking and really listen to what others are saying.
 72.  Recycle
 73.  Never give up.
 74.  Follow through with everything I say.
 75.  Look people in the eye while having a conversation.
 76.  Plant a tree, bush or flower to celebrate a life event or as a memorial to mark an occasion.
 77.  Create a family recipe scrapbook.
 78.  Learn how to make balloon animals.
 79.  Learn the constellations and stargaze more.
 80.  Run through a field of wildflowers.
 81.  Learn to snowboard.
 82.  Create a reverse bucket list and write down my life accomplishments.
 83.  Run the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and have a "Rocky" moment.
 84.  Go to a drive in movie.
 85.  Go on a mission trip.
 86.  Visit Venice, Italy and ride in a gondola.
 87.  Visit Paris and see the Eiffel Tower.
 88.  Milk a cow.
 89.  Send a message in a bottle.
 90  Shop on Rodeo Drive.
 91.  Rescue a dog from an animal shelter.
 92.  Write down every happy memory I can remember so I will NEVER forget.
 93.  Become a vegetarian.
 94.  Use natural and herbal remedies and trust God more for healing.
 95.  Don't judge on appearances and find something good in everyone/thing.
 96.  Reflect Christ.
 97.  Spend less time on-line.
 98.  Manage my time wisely.
 99.  Watch the sunrise with someone I love.
100.  Live each day as if it is my last.  Love deeply.  Laugh hard.  Be thankful in ALL things.  Never forget where God has brought me from.  Praise Him in the good times and in the bad.  Give Hugs.  Smile lots.  Cry happy tears and enjoy life to the fullest!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More Than a Bucket List - A Book Review

Earlier this year, my fourteen year old daughter convinced me to make a bucket list.  Since then I've really enjoyed adding things to my list and thinking on things that I would like to do during my lifetime.  When I had the opportunity to read and review More Than a Bucket List by Toni Birdsong I was so excited.  The book did not disappoint.  It is exactly what the title much more than a just a bucket list.

Toni Birdsong writes from a christian perspective and encourages Christians to accomplish the things they desire all for the glory of God.  There are things that she touches on that I never even considered adding to my bucket list, things such as pursuing laughter, living complaint free, practice gratitude and making sure the people you love know it.   She still includes the normal things you see on Bucket Lists such as visit Ground Zero, go on a safari, visit the Holy Land and so much more!  The book includes tons of Bible scriptures to encourage and show how God wants His children to live out their lives.  One of my favorite bucket list ideas that the author shared was to create a reverse bucket list.  Sometimes a Bucket List can be stressful and shines too bright of a light on the things you have yet to do, so why not write down your accomplishments in life up to this point?!      This book is full of creative things just like that.  It's all about living life to the fullest.  A life full of not only adventure, but of love, laughter and happiness!!  I would recommend this book to anyone who has a bucket list, wants to make a bucket list, or just wants to live their life to the fullest.  Hey!  I guess I'd recommend this book to everyone!

***This ebook was provided to me by the publisher through booksneeze in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christmas in Apple Ridge - A Book Review

Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall is a three in one collection of stories that all center around the Christmas season.  If you are having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit, pick up this book, snuggle under a warm cozy blanket and before long you'll find yourself in the Christmas mood.

I would have to rate Cindy Woodsmall as one of my favorite authors.  I have not read a book yet, that she has penned that I did not love!  She has a way of telling Amish stories that capture my heart every time.

The three novellas in this book all take place in Apple Ridge.   Although each story is about a new couple, the author gives you small glimpses into the lives of the couples from the previous stories.  I really enjoyed this aspect of it and it was interesting to see how all the families connected.

The first story is The Sound of Sleigh Bells.  In this sweet novella you will read about Beth and Jonah.  Beth is holding on to the guilt and secret of a past tragedy.   Jonah is a wood carver who was hurt in a sleighing accident when he was a young boy.  He seems to have wisdom beyond his years and when Lizzie, Beth's aunt meets Jonah she thinks that he could help Beth move on.  Lizzie devises a plan and Beth and Jonah begin writing letters to each other, both thinking they are writing to someone else.  When they find out who they are really writing to, will they be able to find the healing they both need?

The second story is The Christmas Singing.  After Mattie's heart it broken by her childhood sweetheart she moves away from Apple Ridge and becomes a cake decorator.  Three years pass and Mattie is forced to return home.  When she arrives back home she is surprised to see Gideon.  She begins to discover the truth to Gideon's rejection, but is it too late?  Will a future with him bring even more heartache?

The third story is The Dawn of Christmas.  After having her heart broken Sadie moves away from Apple ridge and devotes her life to missions, she is content with living her life alone, devoted to God.  After four years her Amish family insists she come home.  While home she meets Levi, a young man who, because of a family heartbreak, distrusts women.  Sadie and Levi devise a plan.  They want their families to quit pressuring them to find a spouse and they think if they spend time together it will cause their families to quit pressuring them.  Soon they find the walls they have built up around their hearts are breaking down.  Will they give into their feelings?

I'm sure you will enjoy getting to know the people of Apple Ridge as much as I did!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Menu Plan

Wow!   Not really sure what happened to October.  It flew by like a flash and here we are the first of November already!  Time for a new menu plan!  Same as last time....always subject to change and mixing it up a bit due to schedules AND Sunday is momma's day off!

1.  Chicken Tetrazzini
2.  Vegetable Soup
3.  Homemade Pizza
4.  Sunday's are always leftover days!!!
5.  Crock Pot Roast
6.  Pork chops and mushrooms
7.  Pannini's
8.  Tilapia
9.  French Dip Subs - Click HERE for Recipe
10.  Taco Bake - Click HERE for Recipe
11.  Momma's Day Off  WOOT!
12.  Stromboli - recipe coming soon.
13.  Chicken and Rice
14.  Chicken nuggets and fries
15.  Meatball Sliders
16.  Crock Pot Pizza
17.  Penne Noodles
18.  Leftover day
19.  Herb Roasted Chicken - Click HERE for Recipe
20.  Beans and Cornbread
21.  Chicken Kiev
23.  Beef Stew
24.  Taco Soup - recipe coming soon
25.  Left overs
26.  Chicken Fajitas
27.  Cafe Rio Chicken - Click HERE for Recipe
28.  Crock Pot Lemon Chicken - New recipe, I'll share if it's good. ;)
29.  Pizza Bread
30.  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some Bunny to Love

Meet Winkin, Blinkin and Nod are three newest Dutch Bunnies.  They are about a week old, still have their eyes closed and are as sweet as can be!




We also have two Lion Lops!  We are so excited about these two.  This is are first time having this breed and even though it was a small litter we are very happy.  Lucy (the momma) had three but the first one only lived a couple hours. :(

Our small rabbitry is Bethany's project and her responsibility.   She loves picking out names for the new arrivals. 

She named these two sweeties Cappa and Chino.  Put them together and you have cappuccino! hehe!    

Any one want a cup of Cappa Chino!

A Marriage of the Heart - A Book Review

A marriage of the Heart by Kelly Long is three Amish stories combined in on book.

 A Perfect Secret - Here you will read about Rose and Luke who are not only best friends, they are to be married.  Luke appears to be safe, serious and dependable and not at all exciting as Rose secretly longs for.  One night she finds Luke in the woods and finds that he has a secret.  Now his secret haunts her, but she also finds herself excited and intrigued by this man that she thought she new, but she must ask herself, should she be marrying a man she doesn't understand and maybe doesn't know as well as she thought?

This is a sweet little story about love and discovery.  I enjoyed seeing Rose and Luke's relationship blossom as they discovered new truth's about each other.

Christmas Cradles - Anna Stolis is a midwife and takes over for her aunt who is also a midwife in a neighboring community.  It's Christmas night and there is a snow storm.  Asa Lapp is there to take Anna by buggy to the homes of families that are due to deliver.  Of course, all of the ladies due to deliver go into labor on this stormy night and Asa has to step in and help.

I really enjoyed this story! Asa and Anna are both a little older and both have given up on love, but through this night of unexpected twists they find love!

A Marriage of the Heart - Abigail's mother died when she was five years old and she has lived alone with her stern father.  She is tired of the feelings of loneliness and dreams of escaping the farmhouse that feels more like a prison.  So Abigail concocts a plan.  Joseph Lambert is new to the community.  He has lived as an Englischer most of his life, but has decided to leave that life behind.  He has just been accepted into the community when Abigail tells a lie and her father forces marriage.  Everything backfires on Abigail and now she and Joseph must make the best of their marriage.  Will they find love with each other after all?

This was my favorite story out of the three novella's.  Joseph's character is the type of guy that every girl dreams, romantic and handsome.  Abigail and Joseph's story seems almost like a fairy tale and who doesn't like a good fairy tale!

I love reading short stories and these are probably the best that I have read in a long time.  Highly recommended if you like happy feel good stories!

***This book was provided to me through booksneeze in exchange for my review.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Raggedy Ann Apron

Check out this darling Raggedy Ann apron that my mom made to go in her Raggedy Ann Room!  She is so talented! :):):)

She hand stitched Raggedy Ann's name and the sweet flower next to it.

Tied in the back with a darling bow!

And a sweet pocket trimmed in lace!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Wreath of Snow - A Book Review

A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs is a sweet little story about forgiveness.  The story begins on Christmas Eve and Gordon and Meg are two separate travelers on the same train.  Little do they know that this is not the first time their paths have crossed.  Years earlier when Meg was but a young girl of fourteen Gordon made some bad choices and was the cause of a terrible accident that forever changed Meg's family.   Meg's brother was seriously injured because Gordon's carelessness.   Due to some bad weather the train runs into trouble and the passengers must head back to town by foot.  Gordon realizes upon hearing her name, who Meg is and helps her back to town.  He has longed for years to make amends to the family that he has caused so much pain.  Will meg and her family be able to offer forgiveness and allow this man into their lives after all that has happened?  Your going to have to read the book to find out!

This is the first book I've read from Liz Curtis Higgs, but it won't be the last!  I love her style of writing.  She writes in such a way that I felt as if I was standing on the sidelines as the story unfolded before me.  It was also a fast read that would be perfect for reading on a cold winter's day snuggled up under the covers!

Here is a book trailer and you can also read the first chapter by clicking HERE.

***This book was provided to me by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my review.

The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky - A Book Review

Do you love to stargaze?  Does the night sky capture your imagination and evoke a sense of awe and wonder within your inner most being?  Do you remember when you were a child and you wished upon a star or tried to find the big and little dipper?  Maybe you can remember thinking you saw the man in the moon!   Our family loves doing all these things.  There is not much better to do on a warm summer evening than to grab a blanket and head outside to enjoy the wonderful night sky that God has blessed us with.

Even though everything I mentioned above is fun to do there is so much more to the night sky than what we see when we look up!  As a homeschool mom I love turning every day life moments into learning adventures.  There is so much to learn about the night sky and Dr. Jason Lisle's book - The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky is an amazing resource tool for learning all you can about the stars, constellations, the moon, planets and so, so much more!

The book comes in textbook form and is filled with beautiful pictures and information on everything from Telescopes to Astrophotography and everything in between.  On the very front cover page you will find Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

I love a book that not only fills you with knowledge, but also has a foundation in The Word of God.  As Dr. Jason Lisle says in the book "An understanding of the heavens can only deepen a person's appreciation for the Creator".

This is not the first book we have of Dr. Jason Lisle and I'm sure it won't be the last.  We were able to meet him and listen to a few of his talks last year at a Homeschool Expo that we attend.  I do encourage you to read this book and other books of his!  God made this great big universe for us to enjoy and learn about!  Let this book be your Guide to the Night Sky!

*This book was provided to my by New Leaf Publishing in exchange for my review.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We Met the Duggars!

Today we were blessed to be able to meet the Duggar's!  It was so exciting.  The Duggar Family is showing their support for Todd Akin by holding  Rally's and they just so happened to come to a town close to us!! 

First, you need to understand that I LOVE (I mean really LOVE) the Duggar's!   My kids love them as well and Bethany even had it on her Bucket List to meet them!

We got to hear them play their musical instruments and sing songs of worship.  They also shared their life testimony and words of encouragement.  After the Rally was over they signed autograph's and we got to chit chat with them and AND (here is the exciting part)  Michelle Duggar wants ME to make Johannah an "upcycled" denim skirt!  If you didn't know about my "upcycled" skirts for girls click HERE to find out more!  I was wearing a skirt that I made, Michelle asked about it, that led to a conversation about sewing which led to.....yeah, you get the idea. ;)

Anyways, I'm really excited about this opportunity and I still can't believe that we got to talk with them!  It is all so crazy...I mean Josh opened the door for us today.  Jim Bob walked by me in the hall and we stopped and chatted.  We spoke with each one as they signed autograph's.  I talked with Michelle about sewing and raising daughter's.  We chatted with several of the kids.   I guess you could say it was a good day!!!  

Here are a few of the pictures I took!

Bethany always makes goofy expressions and so does Jinger and since Jinger is Bethany's favorite Duggar we had to get a picture!

And a couple videos!!