Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer is Almst Here!

You wouldn't know it from the weather today, but summer really is almost here. I'm pretty sure that winter is done for the time being and spring is being her normal self, which is basically that of a pre-menopausal woman, complete with hot flashes and restless legs.
I was okay with the listlessness for awhile, but it's starting to cause an itch. We've been recovering from the end of all our "school year" activities. It amazes me that even though programs are for homeschool kids, they still manage to follow public school schedules.
We've been reminiscing over our home buying experience lately. Today is the one year anniversary of the offer being accepted and the mad dash to close by June 30th. On Saturday, we pulled out some roots of overgrown bushes that we cut out last year. We decided to get some more tools to help us before attempting all the other roots that we need to remove. Friends have told us that we can use some of their stuff that will make the job "much easier." Considering that we did the first two with a shovel and some loppers, just about any tool will make it easier.
Once that project is completed in probably another month or two, it will be time for me to finally decide what to do with the front yard beds. Why did no one mention that yard work never ends?
In other news, I'm in a personal period of discernment. God created a pretty big void for me to just be with no pressing responsibilities. I'm hoping that He speaks into the void and lets me know what I'm supposed to be doing with myself. Until then, I guess, I'll be out digging in the dirt.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Centralia by Mike Dellosso





First off, I should probably tell you that I love the Bourne Identity movies, all of them. I've watched them all several times and have enjoyed them all. Now, the books, I was never able to get past the first chapter. It's been a long time since I tried, so I don't really remember why at this point, but I was a little sad that I didn't enjoy them as much as the movies at the time.
With all that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Mike Dellosso's Centralia. And I'm a little disappointed that I have to wait until 2016 to read the next installment! 
The story starts out with Peter Ryan awaking and looking for his wife and child, who he assumes have left early for the day. But after a phone call to a friend, he discovers that they were in a car accident two months ago. Ryan has an intense feeling that something isn't right and after discovering a note from his daughter that leads him on a journey to discover them, the adventure begins.
Ryan weaves his way through a seemingly never ending web of lies that he has been told and believes. He continues searching for his wife and daughter, knowing deep within him that they are alive and that finding them will help answer all of the questions that  keep bubbling up.
The story is fast paced and full of twists and turns. Ryan's faith plays an integral part of the story and ultimately becomes the key for the answers he's been searching for.

Highly recommend this book, especially if you're into government conspiracy theories or action mysteries. It's a great weekend read!

A copy of this book was provided to me by Tyndale Publishing House for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Redo Your Room by Faithgirlz! and Girls' Life Magazine



I've got a tween living in my home. My sweet little girl that was perfectly happy with pink comforters and no window treatments is growing up. This book was a perfect answer to her desire to make her room her own, without much monetary investment on my part.
One of the things that I really liked about this book is that it's not just about making over your room, but how to clear your space for new things and how to start conversations about changing your room with your parents. 
The projects are all very cute and relatively simple to complete. There is a lot of washi tape involved as well as creativity. We won't be using all of the projects, but there are enough of them to make the book worthwhile.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

It Happens

Since my last "real" post in October, we got pregnant! Yeah! And had another miscarriage. Boo! 
Mostly, after I tell people the second part I add "It happens." People seem a little shocked, maybe I'm a little shocked but I rest in the reminder that this thing that I'm going through isn't totally unique, miscarriages happen. 
Yes, me, my particular circumstance is unique, but the reality of it is quite common, especially ladies my age. I feel for those couples that for one reason or another are going through fertility treatments and having miscarriages. It seems doubly painful to be paying for this type of grief on top of everything else that happens. The medical system should refund time and money when infertility treatments end in a miscarriage.
Anyway, that's not my story, it's an aside. Much easier to get worked up over other people lately. Probably because this pregnancy brought a little postpartum with its miscarriage. I'm working through it and it is hard work some days. Add in some PMS and I'm sure my family is just delighted to see my head hit the pillow some nights. 
I have a hard time writing it, but God is good. I want to say still good, but the truth is that's never been in question. God has been constant, it's me that waivers. It's always been me that's been in question. Am I going to have faith that God is good? Where am I going to put my hope? Can I love myself and be selfless at the same time? I waiver, but God's constancy is there, helping me to stand in the constant waves. Lately, I've felt a little trapped in the undertow with my head underwater. Learning that it's okay to feel that way, I haven't lost my foundation. I'll wash up, the tide will turn. My rock is constant. The walls may have fallen in the storm, but the house still stands.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Always on My Mind by Susan May Warren




We saw Casper and Raina fall in love in Warren's last installment of the Christiansen's story. Unfortunately, we also saw their breakup. Raina was pregnant with Casper's brother's child thanks to a one night stand and she decided that she needed to deal with this on her own.

This story happens in the midst of winter in the little town of Deep Haven. The Christensen's family lodge is under new management and trying to survive their first winter season open. Casper comes back from a job in Honduras, determined to win Raina back, only to discover her in the midst of labor. Their story just gets rockier from there.

Both find their way back to Deep Haven to heal from wounds and run into each other. They are drawn together to solve a long standing mystery of their town that includes missing bonds and a missing gangster. The treasure that they really find is their need for one another.

I really enjoyed the treasure hunting and mild mystery of this story. The winter setting was a perfect escape during the cold snowy days of our MidWest winter. Made me thankful things weren't colder. Raina and Casper both struggle with accepting themselves and God's love for them. The story does a beautiful job of them discovering how to do that separately in order that they can be a couple together.

A copy of this book was given to me by Tyndale Publishers for the purpose of review.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nature Girl by Karen Whiting and Rebecca White



Nature Girl is a great book for young girls. Each chapter highlights a different aspect of caring for creation interspersed with scripture, activities, quizzes and more. My daughter enjoyed looking through the book when it first came in.
The activities are all well explained and simple enough to perform in your backyard. My favorite part was probably the career suggestions at the end of each chapter.
It's rare for me to find environmental books that incorporate God into the conversation, so I was pleased with Nature Girl and their use of scripture to highlight ideas through out the book. If you have a young lady in your life that's interested in the planet, animals, the weather, this would be a nice addition to her library.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MaD Cooking Show Croque en Bouche

Love this bit of information on this dessert from an article about Julia Child

During an appearance on Martha Stewart's Christmas show, Child and her host both made croque-en-bouche, a traditional French pastry shaped like a Christmas tree.
'What I really understood from Julia Child was that if you really, really want something you shouldn't let anything get in your way'
'The one Martha made looked like she'd collaborated with Euclid,' says Geoffrey Drummond, who was Child's executive producer throughout the 1990s. 'Julia's looked like the leaning tower of croque-en-bouche. I didn't think about it at the time. Julia could make a perfect croque-en-bouche. But she wanted to show that it didn't have to be.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2141534/As-Julia-Childs-100th-birthday-approaches-em-grand-dame-real-cooking-challenged-inspired-women-everywhere.html#ixzz3JfiV0XUy


Here's our video along with some pictures of what will happen before you get the "mashed potatoes" stage.




It's never going to come together! I must have done something wrong!!


MMMM! Mashed potatoes!




Finished product!


If the embedded video doesn't work, you can find it here

http://youtu.be/WZZ4STKBs_4

You can find the recipe online here

http://thedaringkitchen.com/recipe/piece-montée


Let me know if you decide to make one for yourself!!