Monday, August 11, 2014

When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren



When I Fall in Love is another story in the Deep Haven setting, this one is specifically about the Christiansen Family (book 3).  I haven't read the first two in the subseries, but I am a long time visitor to Deep Haven. It was a great trip to not only up north, but it also included an excursion to Hawaii!  Having visited Hawaii twice and being up north when I read this, the book was perfect. I enjoyed the adventures of Grace and Max as they easily fell in love with one another, but struggled to allow themselves to express that love and discover God's plan for it.
I also enjoyed getting to know Raina, the new girl in town. I'm looking forward to seeing how her story plays out in future books. The mixture of the girl who never wants to leave Deep Haven (Grace) and the girl who never wanted to come (Raina) was a nice foil. The fact that the two are friends and rely on one another in their darkest moments really pulls the two stories together.
In short, Susan May Warren does not disappoint. Her ability to weave characters lives together into an authentic feeling town is well done.

A copy of this book was provided to me for the purpose of review from Tyndale Publishing. The opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Crazy Good

This summer has been a whirlwind! We did in fact find a house and secure a loan by the end of June! We've moved in, bought appliances and mostly unpacked. Then we went on vacation, let me tell you, that was needed. I love how God prearranges things to happen when we most need them, because this vacation was scheduled months ago and there it was right when we needed it. We spent a little over a week resting in a tent up north in Michigan. It was lovely. We saw some amazing things. Came home and have been resting some more before Joel has to go back to work.

We are all enjoying our new house, especially the cats. They settled right in. Our big work load has been in the yard, it's a bit overgrown to say the least, but there are lots of great treasures to find out there, including at least 8 rose bushes, a tulip tree, hydrangeas, lilacs, a pear tree and black berry bushes. I'll have to post some more pictures after I clean up this week. I'm trying to figure out the new home's cleaning schedule. Hardwood floors just don't hide the cat hair the way carpet did. I'm hoping to also be doing some finding of stuff to fit little needs for storage here and there.

Life is good, looking forward to things being more ordinary for awhile.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We're moving


Hi! Summer has started for us, it's been different than I expected. The main difference is that we're in the process of buying a home! It's a little different than I originally expected. But that happens sometimes.

I was telling Hannah the other day (as I've told many folks) that my plans were to have at least six kids and to not buy a home until we retired. Fortunately, God has better plans. I would never exchange my one wonderful, amazing Hannah for six just like her. I love having just one child, it has been beautiful, difficult, rewarding, and much more work than I would have imagined.
I'm hoping home ownership turns out much the same way. Joel and I were both praying about whether or not we should renew our lease that runs out at the end of June. Both of us heard that we should buy. And so now here we are, a week later, working on getting a loan, browsing houses, packing our stuff up. It's not something I ever wanted or planned for myself, but I can tell you from times past that God's plans are a lot better than my own.
We're excited and nervous, hopefully and relying on the gifts of patience and perseverance. Who knew that short time lines can require the gift of patience just as much as long ones?

So if you need me, drop me an email. If you have a house for sale that we can move into by the end of the month, let me know about that, too.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Body and Soul by Bethany Hamilton



Body and Soul by Bethany Hamilton is a guide for young girls in regards to fitness, nutrition and spirituality. Bethany has a laid back and easy going approach to the information that she shares. But it is presented in a way that makes it easy to implement and challenging enough to be interesting.

My nine year old immediately wanted to try some of the recipes and the flavored water combinations. The ones we've tried so far have been great. I've also tried some of the exercise routines she offers. I really appreciate that there is not only written instructions but very helpful photos to go along with them.

If you have a young lady in your life that is interested in taking care of her body and soul, this is a great place to start.


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.”

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 40 of 40

And then it was the last day of lent. How did that happen?

Last night we went to a Good Friday service. It was different than our mid afternoon tenebrae, but still worship. I still get distracted sometimes in worship, even though my daughter is 9 and old enough to worship on her own. She still needs encouragement and occasional instruction, as do we all.

One interesting thing that happened last night as we were waiting in the church, we looked at the missionaries that are supported and recognized a face. In fact, we recognized three faces, Marta Bennett and her two children. As I pointed to them, I reminded Hannah that she had seen a movie with them before, she remembered that it was the movie Brave. It was fun seeing them there, knowing that others are praying for them and supporting them. 

Tomorrow is Easter. Celebration of life and in a lot of ways the end of our winter hibernation. I always feel hesitant to see winter go. It's turned into a favorite season. A time when you can see things for exactly what they are. This year, I'm wishing that we'd had just a bit more time to be bare and exposed.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 39 of 40

Lent's almost over. Hard for me to believe in some ways. Good Friday normally means the hard spiritual work of a midday tennebrae service. Not this year, our worship will be shared with another congregation. New things to experience, new ways to walk into that Saturday vigil. I don't want to rush, but part of me can taste that Sunday sunrise already.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 37/38 of 40



I'd hoped to finish strong in Lent but it appears I am actually finishing weak.

We had hot cross muffins for breakfast.







I hear that they taste like buns but obviously don't have the same texture. It feels like a defeat, but I'm glad I hot crossed something! We have a busy few days ahead. I'm hoping to be prepared for them by the time I need to be. With God all things are possible.