Monday, December 24, 2012

Isle of Shadows

Isle of Shadows
By: Tracy L. Higley
Isle of Shadows by Tracy L. Higley takes place on the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes. Tessa is a heteara, a female companion who is bout and paid for by high officials. She has been with glaucus for ten years and at the opening of the book she is ready to take her life because living the way she has been living, and being treated the way glaucus has treated her has made her utterly miserable. Based on what you read about a heteara, you may or may not feel the same way as Tessa. However, as The Lord generally does, he intervened at just the right time to stop Tessa from taking her life.

Events happen that put Tessa in charge, and as Higley notes in the Greek glossary, a heteara is an influential woman and the only woman allowed to speak in the men's symposia. Therefore, because of her status, Tessa is able to speak out in different formal settings in glaucus' place.

The events of the story unfold and Higley does a beautiful job weaving the lives of the characters together throughout the book. Tessa is trying to break free from the life she has always known, never to fall in love with a man or anyone, but The Lord has different and better plans for her just As he does for each of his children.

This book took me a little while to get into, but once I was focused on the contents and the plot of e story it read very quickly and was very interesting. Thank you booksneeze for the opportunity to read this book!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Interesting Read...

If We Survive
By: Andrew Klavin
If We Survive by Andrew Klavin was interesting but did not hold or catch my attention. The plot was quite interesting and the characters were well developed, but overall it was not a story that I was thrilled to read and therefore it took me awhile.
The opening did a good job getting you hooked into the story, however, immediately after the main character simply explained who the other characters were and it was quite childish in my opinion, the way it was written.
Following is a brief synopsis of the book:
Will Peterson is a high schooler. He and three friends journey to Central America to help rebuild a school. In one very sudden moment, a revolution swept the country and any and all Americans are targeted as the first to die.
The story does have great adventure and action scenes. So anyone interested in that will enjoy the book.
Thanks Booksneeze for the opportunity to read this book.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christmas is Coming...

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella
A Wreath of Snow
By:Liz Curtis Higgs
A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs was a beautifully written Victorian Christmas Novella. It was a quick and easy read with a simple plot.
Meg Campbell is trying to get back to her home in Edinburgh. She has not spent Christmas with her family in years because of a strained relationship with her brother and she doesn’t intend to spend this Christmas with them either. She meets a man on the train, Mr. Gordon Shaw, whom she has never met before, or has she? He helps her and a mother with her son when the train hit’s a snowdrift and is unable to continue its trek to Edinburgh.
Because the train is stuck, the passengers must get off, and walk back to town, which also means that Meg must spend Christmas with her family. Due to the turn of events in her travel plans, she learns much about her family, both good and bad, all resulting in a fairy tale ending.
I enjoyed this book by Liz Curtis Higgs, as I have enjoyed all of her other books I have had the opportunity to read.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lovelier than Daylight Novel

Lovelier than Daylight: The Saddler's Legacy
By: Rosslyn Elliot
Lovelier than Daylight: The Saddler’s Legacy, by Rosslyn Elliot takes place during the Westerville Whiskey Wars of 1875 and 1879. I enjoyed reading this Historical Fictional book as I am not much of a history lover, and this helps me to learn a bit of history in a fun way.
Susanna Hanby is on her way to live with her aunt and uncle in Westerville in order to attend college. She stops to see her sister, Rachel, and finds an empty house. Rachel’s husband, George, a drunk, tells Susanna that Rachel had become a loose woman, took the children to a children’s home and left. Susanna, not believing a word of it leaves to track down the children and her sister.
In Westerville, she meets Johann Giere, a German, whose father makes Lager. She is so outraged by what has happened to her sister and her family because of drink, that she can not stand Mr. Giere and gives him “the cold shoulder”.
The town has many disruptions as a saloon is about to be opened. Many towns members can not stand the thought of having this saloon active in their town and they try to do everything in their power to force the saloon owner out.
Johann works to help Susanna see that Lager, what his father makes is not as bad as whiskey in order to “win her over to his side”. Susanna simply tries to get the children back no matter what it takes.
The book is very well written and definitely addresses issues of that time. At times I felt that the story moved a bit slowly, however, it was still enjoyable. I enjoyed reading this story, just as I enjoyed the first book in the Saddler’s Legacy by Rosslyn Elliot. Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to read this book..

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I have been LOVING this Football season!
The Irish are now 6-0! Their defensive line have not let a touchdown be scored since the season started! SO AMAZING! The BCS Bowl Standings come out this week too!
It has just been so much fun to watch! Can't wait for my trip to Bostom in November to see them pounce on BC! :)

The Girl in the Glass Review

The Girl in the Glass
The Girl in the Glass
By: Susan Meissner
The Girl in the Glass was a beautifully written story. I loved the plot and the surprise of it all. The characters in this story were well developed from start to finish.
Meg, works for a Travel book publishing company and has dreamed of visiting Florence, with her father. Due to circumstances beyond her control she gets to Florence on a whim and is able to meet up with Sofia, a woman who is attempting to get a Memoir on her life in Florence published and one of her Photographers for the Florence travel books, Lorenzo. Meg has the time of her life in Florence, seeing places and images that she has longed to see her entire life.
There are many challenges and obstacles that Meg, Sofia, and the book begin to face. The story unravels in interesting and unique ways.
The only thing that I did not enjoy about this book was the way the digital copy came through on my Kindle. It made reading parts of the story difficult as many words were squished together. I am sure this was just a digital copy error, and did not hinder the actual enjoyment of the story.
This was truly a great story to read. Can't wait till I get to go to Florence! :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Starring Me Book Review

Starring Me
By: Krista McGee
Starring Me, by Krista McGee was such a fun read! It was definitely written for the younger generation, teens and young adults, but I truly enjoyed it. When you have a busy schedule and just need something fun to read, it is nice to be able to pick up a book like this that is fun, fresh, and easy!
Kara McCormick (also a character in the First Date, starring Kara‘s friend Addy Davidson, which I read and enjoyed) is trying to get started with an acting career and has the opportunity of a lifetime to do so with a new Comedy Show. When she gets the chance to audition, she heads to Florida (home of her friend Addy) and begins the audition with many girls who have their noses stuck up in the air (to put it nicely). Kara stays true to herself throughout the auditions, and never gets a “big head”.
Chad Beacon, who just won America’s Next Star, a singing competition similar to American Idol is going to be the male lead in this new comedy show, even though many say he is throwing away his career. His parents want a Christian girl to be his co-star, and the search begins.
With whit and humor, the book unfolds. I was able to make pretty solid predictions throughout, however, I was engaged in the story the entire time. The characters are very enjoyable and you find yourself wanting the best for each of the characters.
I don’t want to give anything away. If you want a fun read or have a teenager who simply is searching for a newfound relationship with God, this is a great book for you or them.
Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to read this book.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Live Fully Alive

Fully Alive
By: Ken Davis 
Fully Alive: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, by Ken Davis was not exactly what I had expected. It was written like a “self-help” book and this is not what I was preparing to read. The author, Ken Davis, even said at the beginning of the book, “This is not a self-help book,” which for some it probably wasn’t. I really wanted to skip over the chapters about exercising and eating right in order to be “fully alive”, because I am a fitness instructor and found this part to be dry. However, when I look at it from other perspectives, I can see the benefits of writing chapters like this.

The overall theme of the book, Living Fully Alive is a great one. Ken Davis talked about if you are not living Fully Alive, you are living Fully Dead. This can be an eye opener for anyone, no matter where you are in life.

I read someone else’s review before choosing this book, and they mentioned that this book was funny. I did not see much humor in this book, but to each their own.

As mentioned, this book was not what I was expecting, but the overall message of living your life Fully Alive was a powerful one.

Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to read this book.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Fun Read!

The Scent of Rain
By: Kristin Billerbeck

The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck was a fun story with a unique plot.

Daphne is a “Nose”. Her job is to sniff and create product based on her sense of smell. At the beginning of the story, Daphne is about to be married to the man of her dreams. However, when she is ready to walk down the aisle, the groom is nowhere to be found, and there are no guests on the groom’s side of the church. Daphne is devastated and with that devastation she loses her sense of smell. She isn’t ready to move on, but she must. She has quit her dream job in Paris because she and her fiancé were going to work together in Dayton, Ohio, so this is where she heads, even though she doesn’t have a sense of smell in order to do her job, create household products that smell good.

Daphne meets her boss Jessie who instantly has an attraction, and being one who enjoys reading girlie books, I knew something would develop here.

Daphne soon realized that she was not going to get her sense of smell back any time soon and simply had to face the idea of moving on with life, leaving the past behind her. When she determined to do this, she found that God’s mercies are new every morning, a theme in the book.

I really enjoyed reading this story, compliments from Booksneeze. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012


By: Max Lucado
I know I have mentioned before in my reviews that I love reading Max Lucado’s books. I have not changed my mind! Grace; More than we Deserve, Greater than we Imagine, by Max Lucado is one of my new favorites by him. It is one of the most simple yet profound book I have read. I was able to read it in two days, but could have sat on the couch and red the whole thing from start to finish had I not had other priorities. It read that well.
Max Lucado takes the time to explain Grace. Not just Grace for the moment, but Grace for a lifetime. With each chapter, Lucado gives a real life story that gives you a picture of what he is speaking about, something you can relate to or have heard in the news or from a friend. Stories that provide you with examples of Grace, God’s Grace.
Lucado has a way with words. He always has and that hasn’t changed. There is something about the way Lucado writes that draws you in from the first page and makes you want to keep reading.
Do you need to be reminded of God’s Grace for your life? Do you need to be reminded of how much God Loves You? This is a wonderful book to read for that very purpose.
Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to be filled with Grace.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Exalt You, O God!

I Exalt You, O God: Encountering His Greatness in Your Private Worship
I Exalt You, O God
By: Jerry Bridges
I Exalt You, O God, by Jerry Bridges is a devotional type book that is great for rookie and veteran Christians of any age and place in their walk with the Lord.
The book is broken into three parts. Part One is “For your Greatness, O God, I Exalt You”. This part of the book talks about the Lord’s greatness; greater than the nations, greater than nature, infinitely great, etc. It is a section of the book that really helps the reader capture God’s greatness and majesty. Part two is “For your Holiness, O God, I Exact You”. This part of the book talks about God’s holiness; his perfection, purity, luster, brilliance, mercy, etc. This part of the book helps the reader delve into the Holiness of God and really take some time to reflect on what God has done for them. Part three is “For your Wisdom, O God, I Exalt You”. This part talks about how God has orchestrated everything and He simply wants our trust. Part four is “For your Love, O Lord, I Exalt You”. This section focused on God turning his wrath aside for me, and you, because He Loves.
Each Day there is a new reading, for 31total days. A great month long devotional. The devotionals are easy to read through. As a reader, you can combine one day with additional readings from the Bible, or journal writing to reflect on each reading. Or, you can simply read the book straight through.
I enjoyed Jerry Bridges’ writing, and I am looking forward to the next book I just purchased by him! Thank you Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books Program for a copy of this book!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Song of the Brokenhearted

Song of the Brokenhearted
By: Sheila Walsh and Cindy Coloma

Song of the Brokenhearted by Sheila Walsh and Cindy Coloma was a very good read. Since I have personally been dealing with a broken heart in many areas of my life I was looking forward to reading this book. It has helped me to read books that deal with brokenness during my times of trial as a way to keep the promises of the Lord close to my heart.
Ava, appears to have it all together. She has a loving husband with a good job, a daughter about to get married, a son who she has a great relationship with, and an outreach she leads for those who have had a difficult time. Little does she know, she is the one who will need the most help.
Ava is always the one encouraging others to pray and seek the Lord, but as her life starts to fall apart in different ways, she finds others leading her to the Lord through prayer and their grace towards her.
The book flowed really well, and it was easy to read and get into the plot. I have read several other books by Sheila Walsh and have found them to have a similar flow.
Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to read this book!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Awesome Target Deal!

Well, I am sure you can see the fun red Clearance stickers, but check out this deal I scored today!

I have gotten 2 coupons at checkout now that are $3.00 of $20.00 in cosmetics, skin care, or hair care. I posted about one previously, and had to post another! :)

So the Jif, was on sale and I had a coupon...that was just a fun extra. I bought the Pantene full price ($3.79) and everything else on clearance. The three lipglosses were $2.47 and I had 3 $1.00 coupons to use. The two cover girl products totaled about $5.50 and I had a manufacturer and a Target coupon that totaled $5.00 off!

Grand total for all of the above: $8.29!!! Pretty awesome stuff! Love stocking up with coupons! I plan to use the lip glosses as part of birthday gifts...I'm just thinkin'!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I had the most amazing privalege last week to meet my "extended family" from Brazil. I can not begin to say how grateful I am that this family of mine has reached out, even after the passing of my daddy. They got to meet him, and I am so glad I got to meet them. In honor of my oldest brother's birthday, we went to dinner and captured the moment with this beautiful family picture. Only one person missing, my hero, my PapaMoose.

House of Mercy

House of Mercy
By: Erin Healy

This book, House of Mercy by Erin Healy, had a lot of potential when I read the synopsis, however, it took me a long time to get into. I read this on my Kindle, and I kept thinking to myself, I'm only at 40%? And the thought continued throughout. However, once I got to about 70% (again, reading on my Kindle), I was intrigued and interested in the outcome.

As I mentioned, the book had a slow start. It seemed that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING was going wrong for Beth and her family. Beth is an aspiring vet, at least this is what she wants to go to school for in order to work on a farm helping animals. She seeks to help someone out and ends up "stealing a horse" according to the horse owners, and inevitably injuring the horse and her family in the outcome. Her family is injured because they are being sued for practically eveything, but all they really have is the farm. As I was reading the opening chapters, I just kept thinking, "Wow, this book is kind of depressing". In another small town near Beth's families farm, is her grandfather whom she doesn't know because her mother and him are estranged. The characters that develop in this story are really hard to "love". I feel if I don't love the characters, it is more difficult to get into a book.

The book was not all bad though. The message behind the book was great! The message that I received is that God does not always answer our prayers the way we want him to. However, he is alwasy PRESENT and he is always showing us Mercy.

Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to read this book.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another Great Read!

The Widow of Saunders Creek: A Novel
The Widow Of Saunders Creek
By: Tracey Bateman

I was quite torn reading this book. On one had I absolutely loved the storyline and the way it was written, and on the other hand I was having a hard time relating to the storyline.

The Widow of Saunders Creek, by Tracey Bateman, was an intriguing read. It is written about a woman, Corrie, who is recently widowed by her late husband who was killed on a mission. He left her his grandparent’s house in the town where he grew up. They were planning to live there together one day. She moved in and hired Eli, Jarrod’s (her husband’s) cousin, to do the renovations on the house. While Corrie is there, strange things happen throughout the house, doors slamming, things breaking, etc. She thinks it is Jarrod’s spirit wanting to speak to her and know that he is still around for her. This is the part of the story that I am not sure if I like. I understand that there are people out there who believe in spirits and ghosts haunting a person or a place. However, I don’t. I was having a difficult time imagining how these things were just happening in the story. However, Bateman, wrote about the power of God in a way that can send shivers down your spine.

All in all, I really enjoyed the way this book was written. It would bounce back from Corrie to Eli, so you always knew whose thoughts you were reading, which I really liked. The setting for the story was quite unique and fun. However, I would have picked something a little different for the title as I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book based solely on the title.

What a great read! Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books Program. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

This Scarlet Cord A Love Story of Rahab

This Scarlet Cord
By: Joan Wolf

I enjoyed reading This Scarlet Cord, by Joan Wolf. This was a fictional book based on the love story of Rahab from the book of Joshua in the Bible. Obviously, mention of Rahab in the Bible consists of a few verses in chapter 2 and chapter 6. But her real importance is in the book of Matthew, chapter 1, the Genealogy of Christ.
Rahab, in the Bible, is a prostitute who helps two Israelite spies escape Jericho. They in turn save her when the Lord takes Jericho for his people.
In This Scarlet Cord, Wolf, takes a slightly different look at Rahab. She breaks the book into three parts. Part 1 is where Rahab and Sala (Salmon in the Bible) meet when he saves her from slave traders. They meet again in Part 2 when Sala and his father, Lord Nahshon, disguise themselves so that people in Jericho will not know they are Israelites‘. Rahab and her family have come to Jericho so that Rahab can find a wealthy husband. Then, in Part 3, this is the part of the story that comes from the Bible in Joshua Chapter 2-6.
In order to read this book, you need to have an understanding of the book of Joshua so that you are not lead astray as to the character of Rahab. However, it is wonderfully written to give you some insight of the things that were happening at that time to both the Israelites and the Canaanites.
I really enjoyed just being able to take a glimpse into history by reading this story. Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to review this book.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Great Devotional

Trusting God: A Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure
Trusting God: A Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure
By: Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland

Trusting God: A Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure, by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland is a 12-week devotional study about learning how to trust God, one step at a time.
I really enjoyed going through this devotional study. The three women authors have chosen topics that are issues for women who are struggling to trust God. Each week has five devotional readings with a final section called “Now it’s your turn” an opportunity to reflect on what you have read and to answer questions and journal. When I was going through this book, I did not read one devotional a day, I read several, because they were so quick and fun to read. However, if I was using it as a devotional, I can see the benefit of really taking your time to read through the devotions and meditating and memorizing the scripture that is provided for you at the beginning. I did find myself stopping to pray the prayer at the end of each reading and even adding more of my own prayer to God.
One thing I wish this book had is for each week in the Table of Contents to be labeled with a theme. When I think about going back to use this as a devotional book on my own, I may not want to go through week by week but choose readings that would apply to my life. However, this is not specified very clearly.
Otherwise, I truly enjoyed the devotionals in this book. I look forward to reading it again. Thank you WaterBrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program for this great devotional.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tidewater inn

Tidewater Inn: A Hope Beach Novel

Tidewater Inn
By: Colleen Coble

Tidewater Inn, by Colleen Coble was a great read. Coble does a great job mixing Scripture and promises from God with Love and Romance and a little mystery.
Libby and her friend, Nicole are heading to Hope Island to restore some old buildings. She also found out from her friend Nicole who got to the island early that she has inherited land from a father she has never met, who died just a few months prior.
Unfortunately, the Inn that Libby has inherited needs a lot of upkeep and there is an investor who wants her to sell it. She also becomes aware of a brother and sister whom she has never met and who are not too fond of her and the fact that their father left the Inn to her.
Before Libby leaves for Hope Island, she is talking with Nicole and watches on a web cam her friend’s abduction. She gets to the Island as fast as she can. As she is seeking to find her friend and enlisting the help of others, she meets Alec, a Coast Guard Lieutenant and fisherman who helps her in the search.
Obviously, you can see the mystery and romance, but what Libby learns in the process is the ability to trust God and to ask “What Would Jesus Do?” in this situation.
I find myself asking the same questions at times. God is good and he has a plan for our lives. He also puts us in situations that enable us to trust him more and more. I always enjoy reading a good romantic fiction story that is laced with Gospel Truth.
Thank you Booksneeze for allowing me to read and review Tidewater Inn.

Friday, June 22, 2012

As Silver Refined...Refining Me!

As Silver Refined: Learning to Embrace Life's Disappointments

As Silver Refined
By: Kay Arthur

As Silver Refined by Kay Arthur is a book that encourages individuals who have struggled or been struggling with life’s disappointments. Kay Arthur does a beautiful job weaving scripture into the words she has been given from God for the grieving individual. The book is focused around life’s disappointments and how we can deal with these disappointments in the midst of them. She suggests that we change our looking at the word Disappointment by adding an H and a space to make His Appointment. Each thing that comes our way is brought about by God. Everything, whether good or bad is brought to us by God. It is all in his plan.

I cannot tell you how important and vital this message was for me to hear as the last year of my life has felt like the Lord has looked past me and forgotten me. But he hasn’t. This is the message that Kay Arthur wants every reader to know, myself included. I was grateful to have the opportunity to read this book.

There is also a 13-week companion study guide included. I did not have time to complete all of them, as they were a little long. However, if you were using this book in a group study, reading one chapter a week and focusing on the study question, it would be a great tool.

Thank you WaterBrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program to give me the opportunity to read this book. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fun Couponing!

Check out these deals I scored today!

Ok, so this was a total of three trips...but would have been only two if the first CVS I went to had the Gain Soap! :) I am on summer break so I don't mind! Plus, all three stops were on my way home! 

So here is what I got at Walgreens, stop number 1: 
2 dozen eggs 
2 Right Guard Body Washes
Total spent: $1.33!!! (I had $4.00 in Register Rewards I got to use!)

Here is what I got at CVS, stop number 2: 
3 Renuizit Air Fresheners
1 Colgate Toothpaste
Total Spent $0.03!!! (I had a $3.00 Extra Care Buck I got to use!)

Here is what I got at CVS, stop number 3:
2 Suave Deoderants
1 Gain Soap
Total Spent: $1.17!!! (Couldn't use my Extra Care Buck, because it was more than I was spending...however, I am thinking about doing a P & G Deal?!?!?)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Goals

So this summer I have a few things I want to accomplish and do:

1. READ, READ, READ! (I think I do this enough already!)
2. Cleaning Projects which include: Cleaning the grout. Cleaning my oven. 
3. Take a trip (You will read more about this come August when my Mom and I are going to GERMANY! 

That is about for a fun fact: It is only Day 2 of Summer Break, and I have already started on Number 2. Check out my supplies and my start below: 

You can see from this picture that I already started. Can you see the dirty grout in the lower left corner?!?

Woah! Look at that! 

No...You will not see a picture of my oven before starting! HAHA...This might take two or three rounds to get clean! :)

Yeah for cleaning and summer break! 


I am not sure how much my mom reads my blog as I mostly write about the books I am reading. But I want to take a moment to thank an amazing woman. 

My mom has given me everything. Patience, Grace, Comfort, etc. She has offered the world to me and has only expected that I love her in return. Which, I do. I love my mom with all my heart. 

My mom came into my classroom all year to help me with the kids and to simply be there for support. Even on the last day of school she came in to help me move my things to my new room. My mom has been a constant in my life, a true support. I can not thank her enough. 

This is a picture we took when she came with me on our field trip to the Springs Preserve. I am so glad I captured this memory. 

Love you Mommy Moose! 

Hope Springs

Hope Springs
Hope Springs
By Kim Tate

Hope Springs by Kim Tate was a fun read! I was actually reading two books at the same time. The other book was very “Heavy” and really made you think and reflect. This book, Hope Springs was a nice distraction! I am always grateful for a book that can take my mind off the real world and just put me at peace. Reading has always been a treasure for me and my dad, and even more so since his passing.

This book spoke volumes in terms of family relationships and friendships. It took place in the South, and while it was written in the present, some of the issues dealt with prejudices and what happens when we let what other people think about race and the world affect our own thinking. This is not uncommon today and therefore, this story was written very well to display these things.

The book also focused on finding yourself. Each person (and there were a lot of characters in this book, which made it difficult at the beginning to keep everyone straight) had their own issues to deal with. Each person had something in their past or an obstacle in their future that they had to think through and trust God to help them with. Trusting and leaning on God was pivotal for these characters, as was trusting and leaning on each other in good and bad times.

I always seem to enjoy the books I receive from Booksneeze. Thanks for another opportunity to read a good one! 

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

So it is finally Summer Break!! WOOHOO! 

My very good friend, Amanda, and I have been spending lots of time together...which is good and bad. Good because I am soaking up so many good memories with her, but bad because she will be leaving in July. This is one friendship that I will miss having close! 

Anyway, she showed me how to make Jam the other day, and we made this delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. If you want some, you will just have to come over and give it a try! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crazy Dangerous Review

Crazy Dangerous
Crazy Dangerous

By: Andrew Klaven

Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klaven was quite interesting. I was immediately drawn into the book by the opening chapter, however, I had a hard time focusing on what was happening, even though the plot was fairly simple. The two main characters, Sam and Jennifer were well developed while the supporting characters were just that, supporting. I felt at times that the supporting characters “died off” without being mentioned much.

That being said, the plot was very interesting and made me want to read to the end to see what was going to happen. This would be a great novel for older teens to read. They would definitely be transfixed by the story. It had a few biblical references, but I felt that this story could have been written with more of a Christian perspective for readers who get caught in similar situations and need something to grasp and hold onto in their lives.

All in all, it was a fun read, definitely one I had to finish to see what would happen!

I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze for my honest thoughts. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Arms of Love

Arms of Love
By: Kelly Long

Arms of Love by Kelly Long is not your typical Amish Story. It dealt with a lot of hardship and trials that were unexpected from traditional Amish stories you read. This made it more enjoyable, because sometimes I find that I read an Amish story and it is written the same way every time even when the author is different. However, this was not the case.

Arms of LoveThe story begins with Lena, who is taking care of her mom who is pregnant, her younger brother and younger sister. Her father is in prison for not being willing to join the army, as this is not the Amish way of life. Her mother gives birth and passes away shortly after. Her friend, and “soon-to-be-betrothed”, Adam, tries to help in whatever way he can, but Lena’s mom made him promise to leave Lena alone until he finds freedom. This truly did not make sense to me. It only added more hardship and frustration as I was reading. Adam also helped to bring a wet nurse for the new babe and he helped to bring Lena’s father back. Adam has his own inner struggles that we do not find out about until the end of the book.

For the most part this was an enjoyable read, however, I had a difficult time really getting into the book. I did “enjoy” reading about the struggles, because it seemed like one thing after another and I was able to relate to this in my own life. I feel I have had one struggle after another. So it is nice to be able to read a book that you can relate to.

I received a copy of Arms of Love from Booksneeze for my thoughts.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Great Read

Finding Our Way Home
Finding Our Way Home
By: Charlene Baumbich

Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Baumbich was a different kind of story of love, perseverance, friendship, and overcoming the obstacles that the Lord places in our lives.

Sasha Davis was a dancer, but not just any dancer, she was a ballet dancer, a principle dancer in one of the most prestigious academy’s in Boston. She is living in Wanoninshaw, WI now, using a wheel chair, and cooped up in a house full of sorrows. For you see, Sasha Davis took a fall at one of her performances and injured herself to the point where she is unable to dance. Therefore, because it was all she knew and because she still had many years of dance before she had to retire she is living in her mother’s old house, feeling sorrowful and alone.

Evelyn Burt, is a 20 year old who has chosen to stick around her hometown with her fiancé and do odd jobs for people as she finds her purpose in life, rather than go to college. Evelyn interviews with Ms. Davis for the job of in-home care worker and is chosen. Evelyn is extremely head strong and usually speaks what is on her mind, until it gets her in a few binds with Sasha Davis.

These two eventually become friends and have a relationship that is different than any other normal friendship or boss-employee relationship. They come to rely on each other in a way that shows God’s hand is behind it all.

I enjoyed reading this story. This was the first I have read by Carlene Baumbich and look forward to reading more as it was written very well, with great descriptions.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012


The Truth About Forgiveness
By: John MacArthur

John MacArthur’s Truth About Forgiveness lays out the fundamental importance of God’s forgiveness for the believer and the non-believer. MacArthur addresses several important issues in his seven simple chapters. What I found to be most fundamental and important was the emphasis MacArthur placed on the story of the Prodigal Son. MacArthur went into much detail how God’s forgiveness is undeserved and how God truly wants to forgive, just like in the story of the Prodigal Son.  MacArthur writes about God’s forgiveness simply yet exactly.
The other chapter I found crucial was the last chapter that addressed the need to forgive others. I have struggled with this in my closest relationships, the need to forgive as Jesus has forgiven. I know that the Lord will give me the strength I need to forgive and to be forgiven by Him.
I have enjoyed reading The Truth About Forgiveness and The Truth About Grace by John MacArthur. His way of writing is quick and easy to read and understandable.
Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to read this book. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Truth About Grace

The Truth About Grace
By: John MacArthur

The Truth About Grace by John MacArthur is a wonderful, easy read. John MacArthur uses scripture to state the truth about God’s grace in a way that is focused for even the “rookie” Christian. Each page is saturated with scripture that you want to look up as you are reading to get the full context. You can use this book as an easy devotional or simply read it straight through.

MacArthur helps us to gain focus on God’s grace by asking specific questions and allowing us to see Grace for what it is…undeserved. From The Truth About Grace: “Just thinking about the fact that God, by His own sovereign plan, decided to be gracious to me is overwhelming. There is nothing greater than receiving grace upon grace." Isn’t this the truth? God’s grace is forever ascending upon us even though we are sinners and it is undeserved by all of us. Thank the Lord for his never-ending grace!

Thank you Booksneeze for the opportunity to read this wonderful book, The Truth About Grace.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter

Wildflowers from Winter
Wildflowers from Winter
By: Katie Ganshert

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert was a very enjoyable book to read! I love reading stories where there are characters that have a firm faith in the Lord and by their actions they lead others to the Lord. This is such a great model for me and something I need to strive to work harder at, especially when I am very shy about sharing my faith.

Anyway, the book begins with Bethany, an architect, who lives in Chicago. She has a great job which she loves. She moved away from Peaks, Minnesota to get away from the life that she lived there. When she did this, she left her mother, grandfather, and a best friend behind. When her best friend’s husband gets sent to the hospital, she decides to go back, even though she hasn’t spoken to Robin in about 10 years. She goes and stays with her grandfather on the farm and meets his hired hand, Evan. She has nothing in common with Evan, but as all fiction stories seem to go, you know they are going to find their way to each other.

Through a series of events, she loses her job in Chicago, and moves back to Peaks for a short time. She has no desire to stay in Peaks for long, but the Lord had other plans in mind. Doesn’t He always!?!

As I said, I really enjoyed reading this book. Katie Ganshert has also written a novel focusing on the best friend, Robin, which I am looking forward to reading when it becomes available.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for sending me an advanced reading copy of this book.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wasting Time...

So tonight, I have done NOTHING....actually that is not true. I have been reading online articles from Money Saving Mom about how to be more frugal! I am looking to lower my budget so that I NEVER have to teach again! hahah Unless it is an exercise class! :)

So, if you have tips and tricks that will save me time let me know...SHARE! Let's be frugal together! :)

PapaMoose would be so proud...haha...He always enjoyed hearing my coupon savings! :)

Garden of Madness

Garden of Madness
Garden of Madness
By: Tracy L. Higley

Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley was intriguing. Based off of the book of Daniel from the Bible, Higley, weaves historical facts into a fictional story quite beautifully.

A couple of pointers I recommend before reading this book are to first read the Book of Daniel in the Bible before starting so that you have some background, especially if you have never read it before. And secondly, the author gives a note in the back of the book which does not give any of the book away. I read it after reading the entire book through and thought that it might have helped me have a better handle on things as I was reading if I had read it first, or simply referred to it from time to time.

In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has different dreams, which Daniel interprets for him. Because Daniel interprets them, Daniel becomes the King’s chief advisor. Finally, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream in which a huge tree is cut down and stripped. When Daniel interprets this, it is a prophesy of King Nebuchadnezzar’s coming madness that causes him to live in the gardens for seven years, basically stripped of his title, until he can humble himself before God, the Most High. This is the background for Garden of Madness which takes place seven years after this dream and one year before King Nebuchadnezzar’s death.

In the book, Tiamat, the King’s daughter has just lost her husband (whom she was forced to marry at the age of 14). She is an ambitious woman who does not like to be told what to do, including marrying again. She simply wants to be free and she wants to help her father, the King, from his madness. With a death in the palace, she begins to investigate who the killer is, which leads her to many findings she is not ready for.

The first part of this book, for me, was quite long. Several times I did want to put it down, because it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. However, about half way through I was hooked and I wanted to know the end of the story. I also was very grateful for the author’s note at the end which helped to clarify some questions for me. I am ready to go back and reread the book of Daniel so that I can find some of the hidden messages in that book!

I received this copy from Booksneeze for my thoughts.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Need You Now, Part Two

Need You Now, Part Two

By: Beth Wiseman

Was this book written for me? That is the question I had to keep asking myself as I read Beth Wiseman’s Need You Now, Part Two. I had already completed Part One and was thrilled to receive Part Two in order to finish the journey that I had begun with Darlene and her family.

We left off in Part One with Grace, one of Darlene’s children, cutting herself in order to “relieve” her of her pain. Her brother Chad found her and told her he would keep her secret. However, as Part Two begins, Darlene and her husband Brad, find Grace covered in blood in her bedroom and their whole world begins to fall apart. The story continues with the implications of trying to get her daughter help and save her marriage in the process. I am not a mother, Lord willing it will happen soon, but I know first hand that the last thing you want is for your child to be hurting. And I have heard that many marriages suffer when there are disagreements based on how to raise children. We see this and many other real life situations in this second part of Need You Now.

Again, I do not want to give anything away, but I could see myself walking in Darlene’s shoes every once in awhile. Darlene has questions she wants to ask, questions asked to her, death to overcome, issues with her marriage, and more, so much more. The underlying premise in this story, is that God is whom we need to lean on and rest upon. It is God who will deliver us from any and every situation. And it is Him we MUST run to rather than from when our world begins to shake and rock. This is a powerful message to recognize and put to practice every day of our lives. It is vital that I remember this when difficulties surface in my own life.

Thank you to Booksneeze for the opportunity to read both parts of this novel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Love of Friends

It is the hardest thing to say goodbye to someone you love, especially friends. My heart is so sad and heavy as our friends Bryan and Katherine will be leaving Vegas. We have had some special memories with them and had an amazing time last night hanging out as a family.

Bryan and Kath, you will be missed!

All the girls in our group!

The boys of the group, minus my hubby, I'll have to photo shop him in later!

Amanda, with Bryan and Katherine, playing at the park, watching the kids spin! :)

Thank you Lord, for friendships that never end even when we are far apart!

Part One

Need You Now, Part One
By: Beth Wiseman

Part One of Need You Now By Beth Wiseman, is very engaging from the first page! I can’t wait to read the rest of the book to find out what happens.

I knew there would be obstacles in this story, just based on the title. I was prepared. However, going into a book, you never know what obstacles there will be. It seems that by the time Part One is finished, the obstacles are just starting to come to light and really take focus. I can tell that this book is going to lead us to the everlasting grace of God and the reliance of Him in our lives!

Darlene, her husband Brad, and three children move to Round Top, a city an hour and a half outside of Houston. Brad is a tax accountant and the story opens on his busiest season, tax time, ring a bell? J Darlene has been a stay at home mom since her children were born and is itching to do something productive so she takes a job as a teacher’s aid at a school for special needs. As she gets more involved with her job, it seems she becomes less involved with her kids.

I am looking forward to reading the next part. I don’t want to give away too much in Part One, you will have to read for yourself to see how the characters develop.

I received the first half of Beth Wiseman’s book through Booksneeze for my honest thoughts and opinions.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Papa Moose-ism #3 and #4

So it has been awhile since I have posted a Papa Moose-ism...but that doesn't mean I haven't thought about my daddy every single day. Some days it has truly been so hard. Anyway, here are two good ones:

#3: Always lock your car from the inside, don't use your key fab.
#4: Always carry cash with you wherever you go. (This one I hardly ever listened to, but my Daddy would be happy to know that I think have I have about $12 in my purse right now!)

Love you daddy!

Loved It!

The Wedding Dress
The Wedding Dress
By: Rachel Hauck

I loved The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck and did not want to put it down! Unfortunately, I had to work so reading it straight through was not an option.

Charlotte is the owner of a bridal shop who is engaged to be married after knowing her fiancé, Tim, for about two months. She is unsure of a lot of things and simply goes up the mountain to think. Unfortunately there is an auction going on and she gets roped into seeing one of the items, actually she gets swarmed and is unable to get away. She ends up bidding on an old trunk from 1912 without even really realizing what she is doing. When the trunk is delivered she has no idea what to do with it or even how to get into it because it is welded shut. Besides this, her fiancé is not too happy with her frivolous purchase.

The story begins to unfold when she is finally able to get the trunk open and finds a perfect wedding dress dated to 1912. With nothing but a satchel in the trunk she wonders where it came from as well as the story behind this unusually well preserved dress. Charlotte and her friend Dixie, along with Tim, now her ex- fiancé, follow the clues to find the hidden message behind the dress. In the end, Charlotte finds love in more ways than one.

I am definitely a sucker for love stories but the way that Hauck wrote this book and intertwined the history of the dress from 1912 to present day is wonderful. Like I said I did not want to put the book down and I was excited to see the how all the pieces of the puzzle came together.

I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze for my honest thoughts.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dawn Comes Early
Dawn Comes Early
By: Margaret Brownley

Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley was a fun story set in the West on a Cattle Ranch. Kate Tenney, from Boston, is a writer, but not just any writer. She writes dime novels and when she chose to write a scene that some thought was too “riskay” her book was banned, and frankly, so was she. So, she applied for a job in Cactus Patch Arizona to be a heiress to a cattle ranch. When Kate first arrived she meets up with Cactus Joe, an outlaw, trying to be like the famous Jessie James. Kate finally gets to the ranch with the help of Luke Adams, a handsome blacksmith. Notice the word handsome, yes, this is a love story! At the ranch, Kate learns from the cowhands what needs to be done and how to do it, but her learning comes with spills and dumps, from her horse that is.

Kate finally begins to feel comfortable at the ranch, but also keeps bumping into Luke Adams. She knows that in order to own the ranch she must never marry and she tries to keep her eyes set on her prize. But, the Lord, always the Lord, has different plans for her.

Read this fun romance, and you will not be dissapointed. One underlying message that is always a joy to read is this: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” says the Lord.

I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze for my honest thoughts and opinions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

God Gave Us Love

God Gave Us Love
God Gave Us Love
By: Lisa Tawn Bergren

A good reminder of Gods's Love.

God Gave Us Love By Lisa Tawn Bergren is a sweet story about a little cub asking a lot of really good questions to her Grandpa.

Little Cub is curious why she has to love the otters. So she starts to ask “What is love?” Grandpa explains that love comes from God, God is love, and God is the one who created us to love. Grandpa then goes into different examples from Little Cubs life of when she should show love because God has given her love to show.

Overall, the story is sweet and has a good simple message for young readers. I thought that pages of the story jumped rather quickly, but the author seemed to want to get several messages about love across in a short picture book. The illustrations are sweet with mellow colors that are not over stimulating. I also enjoyed the fact that it was Grandpa explaining what love is. Not all children grow up with their parents, so this is a sweet way for children to feel loved when reading this book.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program for my honest thoughts.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's Past Valentine's Post

So I know Valentine's Day is past but I just had to post a picture of my gorgeous flowers and yum-e chocolate covered strawberries. Such a thoughtful gift from my hubby...and quite unexpected! Always the best kind of gifts! :)

These were sooooo good! There were four and then I decided I better capture the picture before they were all gone!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Papa Moose-ism #2

So today was one of the worst days I've had at school in awhile....the kids didn't listen and it felt like I was repeating the same thing over and over again.

It made me think of something my dad always said to me when I talked about how much I hated working with him. (This never made him happy by the way.) He would tell me that I should never quit the job I have until I have another one. This was good advice....certainly hard to take on days like today...but I am looking elsewhere for that I think I will be good at...stuff involving fitness...I'll keep you posted.

Love you PapaMoose....Thanks for 26 years of good advice.

Good Read

Beauty for Ashes
By: Dorothy Love

Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love was enjoyable. This book takes place in the years that followed the Civil War. Amidst depression and heartache, love still is able to find a way.

Carrie Daly, a widow, lives in Hickory Ridge with her brother, where they tend to their farm. Carrie Daly is “promised” to marry Nate Chastain, however, the timing always seems off and she can never seem to set a date for the wedding. Everyone in town thinks and knows it will happen. Everyone in town loves the idea of them getting married, until Carrie meets a traveler, Griffin Rutledge, who “rocks her world” so to speak. They meet the day before her brothers wedding to whom other but “Cruela DeVille” a nice modern day term for Mary.

Shortly after the wedding, Carrie leaves the farm knowing that she doesn’t have a place anymore and knowing that she will not be able to handle living there with Mary’s boys whom terrorize her in every way. She begins to build a friendship with Griff and begins to lose Nate. Her heart doesn’t know what to do or think and she begins to lose hope, especially when her brother leaves to find work, Mary becomes pregnant, and Carrie has to come back home to work the farm and care for Mary and her boys.

Carrie does everything for everyone else and doesn’t receive much in return. Eventually she finds love in several different ways, much different than she ever expected.

I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze for my honest thoughts.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

PapaMoose-ism Number 1

My dad used to say a lot of interesting things. Some silly, some serious. He always joked that he would write them down...I told him he better hurry. Well, unfortunately for me, it never happened, so I want to try to remember some of those things.

Here is the first. I was just eating a banana, and my dad always said "Did you know Bananas may be natures most perfect fruit?"

Now, I am not the only person he would tell this to. My friend Kacie, who went on a cruise with my parents, and our friend JJ heard this every morning from my dad. Needless to say, when JJ, who was living in Reno at the time, would write an email to my dad, he always signed it JJ McDonald III, and DYKBMBNMPF. Yes, these letters stand for "Did you know Bananas may be natures most perfect fruit." Haha...this was a fun story to hear from my dad, hope you enjoyed it as well.

Love you PapaMoose.

Friday, February 3, 2012

In Loving Memory of My PapaMoose

The tears are still coming and I am sure they will come for days, weeks, months, and years. On January 25, I lost my beloved father, my PapaMoose. He always called me his Moosie and it just stuck through middle school, high school, college, and LIFE. I am grateful to friends and family that have shared such wonderful memories of my father with me and my family. I will treasure these memories forever and ever. I was blessed to have known my dad for 26 years. While I wish it was longer, I know that he will hold a most special and sacred place in my heart. I will write more of him in later posts, not only to honor his memory, but also to remind me of his love and joy. I love you daddy.
This is a picture of me on my dad's shoulders.
Always laughing...My dad always wanted people to smile and laugh everyday. He knew it was the best medicine.
Well this was one of our worst trips...but it makes me laugh to see how big we are smiling in COLD Alaska!
My dad on one of his trips with mom. What a gorgeous background, and what a wonderful man.
My mom and dad...being silly. Not sure what they are drinking...Happy Juice!