Monday, November 30, 2015

Goodbye November

We got our Christmas tree yesterday.

It's a Douglas Fir and it smells SO good! My great-grandmother always got a Douglas Fir, so we've been getting that variety since we've been out here. I do miss our Colorado pine trees!

Anabelle had to get her picture as the reindeer. :)

There was even a Santa at the store we got our tree from. Anabelle didn't want to get her pic with him at first, but there were no kids around and he was just sitting there all happy.

Poor guy is going to roast in the sun like that!

Justin and Uncle Bill went with us, but they weren't up for posing with Santa or sticking their head into the hole.

The kids are getting ready to decorate the tree tonight. I'm sure Anabelle will be making more ornaments for it soon. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Long time no post. My laptop's hard drive died on me. :( Only had it a year!! My husband and his brother got it working again for me with a borrowed hard drive. But we need to reinstall Win 8.1 because I'm currently on 10.

I feel bad that I've only posted some book reviews lately, but we don't have a decent back up for me to use and I have to post reviews by a certain time. Blogging from my phone is too tedious, I don't know how some of you put up with that. LOL. I used my son's old macbook to post, but that thing is soooo sssslllooowww and it randomly shuts off so I rarely use it. He needs a new one.

We are getting ready for Thanksgiving. Gary's family is coming here for dinner so we'll be busy cooking and baking around here!

I've got a cold. :( And poor Justin has it too. Thankfully it is pretty mild. We had to miss our homeschool park day yesterday though, didn't want to pass it on to others. Littles and sick do not mix!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Are you going out or staying home?

I just signed up for Brenda's blog hop giveaway which begins on Dec 1. So be sure to check back then! And also check out Brenda's blog to sign up!

((I'm already excited for the Christmas season!))

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review: Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace

Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace by Terri Roberts.

This is an amazing book of forgiveness, grace and love!

Terri is the mother of Charlie Roberts, the man (a son, brother, husband, and father!) who went into an Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, PA and shot 10 of the school girls, five of whom died. Then Charlie committed suicide. This is Charlie's mother's story. How does a mother forgive her son of his unspeakable actions? It is an amazing testimony of surrender to God. Terri has so many questions that will never be answered this side of Heaven. The Amish played a major role in this family's healing, we can learn from their actions in this story.

You will need some tissues because Terri's book will make you cry at times. It is a very honest and intimate story.

I very highly recommend this book!

I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Streams of Mercy

Streams of Mercy by Lauraine Smelling.

This is book three of a series, which did make it a bit confusing to get into fully because I don't know what happened in the last two books. There are lots of characters with side stories who are already established characters in previous books. With that said, this book was still enjoyable once I got through the first half and it wasn't so confusing.

The book is a little more hefty with almost 400 pages. The synopsis on the back of the book focuses on Anji and Thomas, but there is so much more to the story with the many other characters and events. One big event is that a circus comes to town, and unfortunately brings with it a horrible sickness that threatens the town of Blessing.

Anji is a widowed mother of four who came to Blessing from Norway. Thomas (a priest) arrives in Blessing to work and you wonder if the two of them will end up together?! I love that the characters trust in God. I appreciate books with a good Christian foundation.

Christian romance and historical fiction fans will like this book, but maybe read the first two in the series before starting this one! I wish I had!

I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest opinion.

Book Review: The Photograph

The Photograph by Beverly Lewis.

The story is about three Amish sisters, Eva, Frona, and Lily. Their brother Menno has decided to move into the family farmhouse with his wife after the death of their widowed mother. Unfortunately this means he is forcing his unmarried sisters to move out.

The youngest sister, Lily, disappears in the middle of the night leaving a note that she does not want to be found, she has decided to go "fancy" and leave her Amish life for the English life. Will they be able to find her and convince her to come home?

Jeb travels to Lancaster County from Ohio as a buggy shop apprentice. On the train he finds the book "Little Women" with lots of notes in the margins that Jeb finds intriguing. Inside the book is a photograph of an Amish girl! On the same day, he meets Eva at a gathering and thinks it is her in the photo, and her notes in the book that he feels a connection to. But is it really Eva he is feeling connected too?

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read for me because I didn't want to put it down, the story flowed well and I love when a book does that. I liked all of the characters, except for Menno! I did not like Menno's character at all, he is so arrogant and holding no compassion it seems.

I hope we will see the other two sisters stories evolve in the next books!

I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest opinion.