Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: Blessed Child by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright




Book Description

"“Whoever said that a straightened hand was more dramatic than a healed heart anyway?”
"A young orphaned boy was abandoned in the midst of an invasion and raised in an Ethiopian monastery. He has never seen outside its walls—at least, not the way most people see. Now he must flee those walls or die.
"But the world beyond is hardly ready for a boy like Caleb.
"When relief worker Jason Marker agrees to take Caleb from the monastery, he unwittingly opens humanity's doors to an incredible journey filled with political intrigue and peril. Jason and Leiah—the French-Canadian nurse who escapes the monastery with him—quickly realize Caleb's supernatural power to heal. But so do the boy's enemies, who will stop at nothing to destroy him. Jason and Leiah fight for Caleb’s survival while the world erupts in debate over the source of his power.
"In the end nothing can prepare them for what they discover."

Review

I've read several Ted Dekker books before. Some I've not had any trouble reading and others I just couldn't ever get into. This one was a combination. I had a hard time getting into it, but once I got past the first few chapters, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down! The suspense of what was going to happen next kept me coming back. Following Jason and Leiah's transformation, as well as Caleb's, was fascinating. Caleb has a way of opening eyes (including mine) to the realm unknown. Pair this with the discussion we've been having at church about spiritual warfare and I just couldn't get enough. I can't wait to read the sequel A Man Called Blessed.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® 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.”

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey-Review


Book Description (from the book cover)


What marks the boundary between a miracle from God and the imagination of a child?
Leah is a child from Away, isolated from her peers because of her stutter. But then she begins painting scenes that are epic in scope, brilliant in detail, and suffused with rich, prophetic imagery. When the event foreshadowed in the first painting dramatically comes true, the town of Mattingly takes notice.
Leah attributes her ability to foretell the future to an invisible friend she calls the Rainbow Man. Some of the townsfolk are enchanted with her. Others fear her. But there is one thing they all agree on—there is no such thing as the Rainbow Man.
Her father, the town psychologist, is falling apart over his inability to heal his daughter . . . or fix his marriage. And the town minister is unraveled by the notion that a mere child with no formal training may be hearing from God more clearly than he does.
While the town bickers over what to do with this strange child, the content of Leah’s paintings grows darker. Still, Leah insists that the Rainbow Man’s heart is pure. But then a dramatic and tragic turn of events leaves the town reeling and places everyone’s lives in danger. Now the people of Mattingly face a single choice:
Will they cling to what they know . . . or embrace the things Leah believes in that cannot be seen?

Review

This book kept me on the edge of my seat through the entire book. I never knew exactly where it was going. Tom & Ellen Norcross moved with their daughter Leah to a small town in the country to get a fresh start. Leah begins talking about The Rainbow Man and says he is telling her to do and say things. As she trusts him, she begins to have more believers along with her. Many, however don't believe and think she's just crazy.

Billy Coffey provides enough description but allows your imagination to work as well. I enjoyed the mystery in the story and wondering where Leah's pictures would lead the town.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review of The Christian Mama's Guide to the Grade School Years, by Erin MacPherson



The Christian Mama's Guide to the Grade School Years, by Erin MacPherson

Erin MacPherson uses her experience as a mom to talk about how to help your kid be the best they can be (in God's eyes) as they begin grade school. She uses real world examples to talk about the best ways to get your kids (and you ready) for that.


I loved this book. The author is down to earth and has lots of insight into your child starting grade school, whether you choose public, private or homeschool. It's less about how to deal with the actual issues your child will face (although that's in there, too) and more about dealing with the "why" of  the issues that come up. Like, why your child lied to the teacher (maybe they just didn't want to get in trouble).  I bookmarked many of the lists in this book (I'm a list person!) like The Fifteen Factors, ways to build social-emotional skills in your kids, how to use your kids' interests to help them learn, and ways to incorporate scripture into praising your kids. I can see myself reading this book many times in the next few years!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love

 Every Perfect Gift (A Hickory Ridge Romance)



Every Perfect Gift is set in the 1880's in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee. It’s the story of Sophie Caldwell who comes back to Hickory Ridge, her childhood home, to restart the local newspaper. Through her newspaper reporting, she meets Ethan Heyward, the architect of the Blue Smoke Resort. He has a troubled past and has spent years trying to keep it hidden. But, he can’t keep hiding it from himself or Sophie, with whom he falls in love. This story had just a few twists in it and that really kept me interested through the whole thing. I’d love to read more from Dorothy Love.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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, October 20, 2012

22 months

Anna is becoming too much a little girl. But, she's still my baby (always will be!).

It occurred to me that yesterday was Anna's reverse birthday. She was born on 12/19/10. Yesterday was 10/19/12. How cool!

We're off to enjoy the ACU Homecoming parade this morning. Have a great day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: Prayers of a Stranger




I realize it's been months since I posted. I realized that I needed to not worry about a blog and instead focus on my girls and what's happening here. So, I'll be using this blog to post reviews  of books I've gotten from Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze program. Just be warned, I'm not the best review writer! I just love reading!


Prayers of a Stranger is yet another feel-good story with a happy ending. I love those! Amanda Vance lost a baby a year or so ago and has been grieving ever since. She's been in a good job where she is loved and valued, but has been out of the job she once loved, because it was with babies. She finds herself going to the Holy Land with a neighbor and there finds healing for herself as she helps heal a child.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

18 months


At 18 months, Anna weighs 20.4 pounds (same as last month) and is 30.75" (about the same as last month). She's adding more and more words and is just as cheesy as ever!

Dr. Seuss


 

Last weekend, Abilene held the first Children's Arts and Literacy Festival (CALF). This year's theme was Dr. Seuss and we were excited to be part of it. Bogie's was open for the kickoff during Artwalk on Thursday night and opened on Saturday as well. Emily, Anna, Pearlie & I attended readings of Dr. Seuss books and various other activities during the weekend. We got to hear The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Horton Hears a Who, Yertle the Turtle and The Sneetches (Papa joined us for that one). It was really a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to next year when the theme is "I Spy, Walter Wick."

The Cat in the Hat

Emily on stage at The Grace
 
Emily & Pearlie listening to Horton Hears a Who

With Horton Hears a Who statue
 
Emily & Pearlie
Mommy & Emily
Emily & Yertle the Turtle

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Emily is 4!

It seems like we just brought Emily home from the hospital for our 11 day stay in Mesquite. But, here we are 4 years later with a bubbly, bouncy, happy girl.

This girl loves giraffes and, in February, announced to me that she wanted a giraffe cake for her birthday. (She brought it up!) So I started thinking and looking and my mom found a cake book she'd had for years that had a giraffe in it. Perfect! (Thankfully, I had access to large pieces of cardboard!)




Emily and Reagan are inseparable so Reagan helped Emily open her presents! She got lots of fun things. The best? A train set (another love of hers!) and a bean bag chair. Both have been used daily and I expect that won't change much.


(I told you they were inseparable!)


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Swimming!

Yesterday was Emily's first day of swim lessons. As any good mom would, I stayed and took pictures! She did great and loved Teacher Sherri. I didn't get to take her today because I was working and I really missed it! But, I'll get to take her again every (week)day for the next two weeks.

Emily loves her new goggles and wore them for breakfast last Friday

Listening to Teacher Sherri tell the rules

Swimming with Teacher Sherri

Splashing on the side of the pool

Jumping to Teacher Sherri

After naps yesterday, Emily wanted to swim again, so I set up her swimming pool at home and the girls played for a little bit in there. Anna wasn't too sure about it and kept wanting to get in and out of the pool. (Emily would tell you that's the first rule Teacher Sherri told them...don't get in and out of the pool!) Weird, because she LOVES baths! I guess I need to make sure to get toys in there before they're in the water next time.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BookSneeze

Hey guys, I have a favor to ask. I'd really like to be a BookSneeze blogger, but I have to have 30 followers. Right now, I have 22. If you read my blog but aren't a follower, would you mind doing that? Toward the bottom of the page, there is a button that says "Join this site". Once I get 30 followers, I can get free books to review. Thanks for your help!

*Update...I'm up to 27. Just need 3 more of you to subscribe!*

Saturday, May 19, 2012

17 months


Such a big girl! Anna now weighs 20.4 pounds and is 30.5" tall. She is running all over the place and just can't do without a bruise on her forehead. She constantly wants to be where Emily is and has learned "no" very well. She is loved by all who take care of her, at church, at MOPS, at home. She is so happy most of the time.

She's starting to help out at home, bringing her laundry basket to the laundry room or carrying things to her room. Such a big helper, but still likes to cuddle when she's really sleepy (which apparently is NOT this afternoon--still awake after 1.5 hours in the crib).

She still can't have peanuts, grapes or raisins, but she loves bread, chicken (on some days) and applesauce, among other things. She wants whatever drink you have, but will also take milk and water.

Her vocabulary is expanding daily and I can't keep track of what all she can say.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Firsts and lasts

We finally got Emily's hair cut last Friday and, while I like the ease of the new cut, I miss the curls my baby had! I don't know if they'll come back so that's a little heartbreaking. I do not, however, miss the screams and fighting we had while combing her hair every night, while she was overly tired anyway. That much, at least, has been better. So, now, the pictures.


Before

After

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Monday night was Emily's end of year program at preschool. Hard to believe that it's already been a year! She did great and sang with her class like any proud mama would want her to! She's second from the left on the front row (actually doing the motions!).




First day
 

 Last day

What a difference 8 months makes!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ok, so I'm starting to stink at updating this! Anna is now 16 months (and 4 days) old. She's getting into everything, rarely stays still unless she's sleeping and will hardly eat anything unless it's bread. Yes, we're still fighting that battle. She will pick out purple fruit loops and grudgingly eat the others. She will eat eggs most of the time, chicken some of the time and a few bites of yogurt. Yet, she's still growing...some, anyway!

She's running and climbing and loves to be tickled. She's very happy most of the time and she adds so much joy to our family.

~~~~~

Emily is in the throes of the terrible twos. Yes, I know she's almost 4. Whoever coined that phrase hadn't had a 3 year old yet! She'll be just fine one minute then throwing a huge tantrum the next. It's very wearing on this mama, but I'm surviving. She'll be finishing her first year of preschool next month and she has done so well and loves going.

Monday, March 19, 2012

15 months

One more post for the month...(please forgive the quality of the photos...trying to make the iPhone my only camera, but indoor lighting is quite an issue)

Slightly unhappy, only because I put her down
Much happier
At Anna's 12 month check up last Thursday (yes, you read that right), she weighed 18.6 pounds (2nd percentile), was 30" (39th percentile), and had a head circumference of 16" (0 percentile). The good news is she's on the charts where she has been all her life.




She's talking more and more (2 new words just today!) and signing some too. It's rare that we can't figure out what she wants.


She's quite the ham and keeps us laughing. She loves to wave at people. She'll sit and wave to customers in a restaurant and they've never even seen her!

She has 9 teeth now, including a molar that is coming in and, perhaps, causing her a bit of trouble. She's been clingy at bedtime and had a little fever tonight. :-( But, she's still sleeping well, so I'm grateful for that.

She's eating a little better, sometimes. At lunch, she ate an omelet muffin easily, but wouldn't touch her supper of chicken, corn, broccoli and beans. But, I'll take what I get. If she eats, she eats. If not, she'll eventually be hungry to eat what I give her.

~~~~~

  Guess who else is 15 months. ;-)


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Food blog

Since I talked about food so much here, I thought I'd follow up with a couple more food-related items. Some time ago, I found Muffin Tin Mom and loved the concept. I haven't do it too many times, but Emily does enjoy it when I do. We'd had a rough morning yesterday, so I decided it was time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style. Here's the lunch I came up with.

2 shamrock PB&J sandwiches, shamrock Velveeta, shamrock strawberries, hot dog and green milk to drink

~~~~~~~~~~

I've been pinning like crazy. Ok, maybe not as much as some of my friends, but I do pin things that look like fun for Emily (and me!). In the past couple weeks, we've tried a couple of my food ideas.

Last week, we made fruit snacks to take on our trip to Aunt Jenni's. I followed the recipe here. They were good and not too messy and tasted just like Jell-o. (But, they do melt in the warm car!) But, I think I want to try these too.

Today, we tried fruit leather from this recipe. Emily didn't like them and I thought they were only okay. Don't know if I'll try another recipe or not. But, this recipe of dried strawberries looks like something to try.