Saturday, December 13, 2014

Happy Third Birthday, Mary!


Today is Mary's third birthday!


She is so much fun to have around!  If you're bored while Mary is around, you need to get up and look for her because if you can see her, she'll entertain you.  And if you can't see her, she's probably getting into some kind of mischief!


Super Mary!


Mary thinks she is just as big as her older brother and sisters and can do everything they can.  And usually she can!


Even when she is upset, it doesn't take long to get Mary smiling again.


An example of how entertaining Mary can be!

Happy birthday to our sweet, precocious, fun-loving little big Mary-girl!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review: Where Treetops Glisten


Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin contains three novellas about siblings in the same family, and each one has to overcome obstacles in his (or her) past before moving forward.  In the first one, Abigail has to learn to trust God with her future after losing a couple of loved ones in her past.  The second story follows Pete, Abigail's brother, as he realizes that only God can fill the God-shaped hole in his heart.  In the third story, Merry also has to work through some trust issues before she can accept God's best for her life.  All three stories take place around Christmas during World War II.

I enjoyed all three stories in this book, especially how the characters learned to trust God and lean upon Him, and it was fun reading this book as Christmas season approaches.  Honestly, I wasn't sure how the novellas would work considering that each one was written by a different author, but they flowed together seamlessly.  This book was an entertaining read as it tackled some serious issues, and I recommend it for those two reasons.

I want to thank Blogging for Books for my review copy, but my opinions are my own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review: Adventure Bible God's Great Creation


Adventure Bible God's Great Creation tells the story from the creation of the universe up through Adam and Eve's sin and their being thrown out of the Garden of Eden.  The illustrations by David Miles are colorful and interesting and should capture a child's attention.

I enjoyed reading this book to my children with its accurate depiction of creation and the delightful pictures...until I got to the last page which says, "God punished Adam and Eve too.  He said, 'You cannot live in the garden anymore.'  Adam and Eve left the garden.  Angels were sent to take care of the garden now.  But God did not stop loving Adam and Eve.  As they left the garden,  God was planning how to help his people."  This book makes it seem that the only punishment that God meted out to Adam and Eve after they disobeyed Him was that they had to leave the Garden of Eden; what about the death they brought upon themselves?  What about the toil with which Adam would have to till the ground in order to grow his food?  What about Eve's pain in childbirth?  (Honestly, I don't blame the publishers too much for leaving this one out since it might be a bit much for young children.)  And what about the promise that God would send a Savior to crush the serpent's head and save His people?  I felt like my children and I were left hanging at the end of this book with no resolution to such a hopeless end.

This book has a great beginning, but the ending leaves much, much to be desired.  Honestly, I cannot recommend this book unless you plan to supplement it when reading it to your children.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy, but my opinions are my own.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Taking a Break

I'm sure that you've noticed that I haven't been posting much on my blog lately, and I'm sorry for that.  I want to blog more, but I just don't have the time...because there are other things I need to do or that I would rather do.  Things such as spending time with my children or even doing a little knitting or reading.  My other problem with blogging right now is that I just don't have much to say, and I'm sure you've noticed that, too.

So I'm going to take a break from blogging.  I will still be around reading blogs and commenting as I have been, but I'm not going to force myself to post anything new.  There will be posts occasionally, since I have a couple of books to review and some other things about which I would like to post.  But I'm feeling a mite overwhelmed right now, and something needs to give, and that something is blogging.

I hope you understand.  I'm sure that most of my readers do.  I hope to be back more regularly in the new year, but I'm not making any promises.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Book Review: Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin


Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin contains many beautiful knit designs which the author uses to teach new skills to readers.  The book is divided into five chapters, and each chapter tackles a new technique with increasingly more difficult patterns to knit as each chapter progresses.  From knitting with lace weight yarn to knitting with beads, there are many new, inventive, and fun designs in this book.

I enjoyed reading this book and learning about knitting skills that I don't have.  I appreciated how each chapter started with simple, relatively easy patterns and progressed to more difficult ones so the reader can practice her new skills.  Many of the patterns in this book are beautiful, but I have to admit that I don't expect to knit any of them any time soon.  Nelkin's style is so different from my own.  But there are a couple of patterns that I will keep in the back of my mind because I do think they might be nice to try one day.  

If you're looking for new knitting techniques to try, you should take a look at this book!

I want to thank Blogging for Books for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October Review of Goals


October was a busy month with my mother being here for a visit, but that was a good thing!  We enjoyed having her even if it took a couple of days to recover after she left.  ;)  She's always going and going, and we're not used to that.

Personal Goals:
  • Read through my book list.  I didn't read anything from my book list, but I did read a few other books.
  • Continue walking on the treadmill three times a week for twenty minutes.  I fell off the treadmill, so to speak.  (Not literally!)
  • Look for a job.  I had a phone interview with Target, and the district manager said that I would hear from the store manager...but I haven't yet.  
  • Go through every room in the house, one a month, to clean out unwanted and unneeded items.  I'm sick of the clutter!   We took every, single thing out of Sarah Beth's and Rachel's room so we could paint, and then put it all back in.  Surely that counts?  ;)
  • Write one letter or note a month.  Done!
Goals as a Mother:
  • Do something (like a playdate) with someone (and her children) once a month, whether it's having someone over for lunch, going to someone else's house, or heading out for a field trip together.  We met some friends at the zoo.
  • Continue having one fun day in school a month.  I didn't even think about this.
  • Continue taking my children on one field trip a month.  We visited the Houston Space Center and Dewberry Farm, along with the zoo which I've already mentioned.
  • Do a service project with my children every month.  Fail.
  • Teach my children to do more around the house, like mopping and folding clothes.  What a great way to build their self-esteem.   I haven't been as consistent at this as I should have been.  
Goals as a Wife:
  • Continue monthly date nights for John and me.  It didn't work out this month.
  • Do something weekly to make John feel special.  (I got this goal from Tracey at Girls to Grow.)  I keep forgetting.
Goals as a Family:
  • Continue having another family over for supper once a month.  We had friends over.
  • Start having Game Night once a month.  Fail.
  • Continue our family devotional time.  It's been a hard month for this, too.
How are you doing with your goals for the year?

Monday, November 3, 2014

October Reading


I haven't had much time this month for serious reading, at least that's my excuse for not reading anything from my reading list.  I have had some time for novels and such, and I've read some good ones this month, but I need to buckle down or I won't finish my reading list for this year.  Here's what I read in October:
  • Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin.  A wonderful, Biblically-accurate retelling of the prophet Ezra's return to Jerusalem.  You can read my full review here.
  • The MiniFarming Guide to Composting by Brett L. Markham.  I skimmed this book; I wasn't real interested in reading a whole lot about composting, but I was a little interested.
  • North!  Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson.  The second in the Wingfeather Saga, I listened to the first one on the way to the beach this summer.  It continues the story of the two princes and a princess who had to flee their home when it was overrun by the Fangs of Dang.  In this book, they make the hazardous journey up North where they hope they will be safe.  This series seems great for young adult boys (and girls), and I can't wait to introduce my children to it when they're older.
  • A Light in the Window by Jan Karon.  I started rereading this series about Father Tim a month or so ago, and this is the second in the series.  If you haven't read any of it, you should!
  • These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon.  This book is the third in the Father Tim series.
What have you read lately?