Wednesday, November 28, 2012

these days....

it's all about the kids. and it's TOUGH.

i'm soooo not a supermom.

like yesterday. i so wanted to stay in bed. covers over my head. door locked.

like tomorrow. i so want to do that too.

and forget i have to get breakfast for three people besides myself. 
as well as lunch. 
and dinner.

and then the laundry.

and then the schooling.

and then the this and that. 

and do up the holidays-  ready and fun for them.

break up fights, kiss boo boos, remind them of the Golden Rule.
watch them forget all that i've done and taught.
and rinse and repeat.

I AM. TIRED. times a thousand. and tonight,
as I try to put in a couple hundred words in my little novel i'm creating, i'm sad
that i didn't get to do NANOWRIMO the way i wanted.
but i had three reasons named Ella, Philip, and WD. 

tomorrow i will regret posting such a downer post but somedays, like tonight...
i wish i had myself to worry about.  for at a few hours?   

yes, it's all worth it. of course it is. but it just isn't easy.  
and this year has been TOUGH.
i'm limping along, i tell you!

All I can do..yes, ALL I CAN plead for God to carry me along.   Wipe MY tears.   Remind ME of His promises.  And HE will watch ME forget all that and whine again. But in the end...He will 
love me with grace.

Just like I with my children.
And that, folks, is how it goes.....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Roses, a review!

Celia Anderson doesn't need anything for Christmas except a few more boarders, which are hard to come by in this small mining town. She certainly doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a wandering carpenter finds lodging at her boarding house, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man--the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas. It would take a miracle to get roses during a harsh Wyoming winter. But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles . . .

Amanda Cabot invites readers to cozy up with a romantic, heartwarming tale of the greatest gift of all--love.

I love a well-written novella. I love a nostalgic setting. I love a Christmas I am delighted to say Christmas Roses, by Amanda Cabot, has all of this.

There's so much packed in this precious, faith, family.   Mark's character unfolds in a way that shows how God orchestrates all things.   Celia is a woman who thinks her wish is unreachable...and how her wish "unfolds" is sweet, to say the least.  Expect a story to savor, beginning to end, and a few surprising events.  Everything you need in a novel.  This Christmas, I highly recommend this lovely story to add to your holiday book collection!

Thank you to Baker Publishing for the complimentary review copy in return for an original review.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Christmas Pony, a review

With Christmas around the corner, the Turnbull family is in need of a few small miracles.
It is 1937, and Lucy Turnbull knows better than to wish for a pony this Christmas. Her mother has assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony is the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they need at their boarding house are the paying kind. Then an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, and Lucy's world changes forever. 

 A little girl who will pull at your heart....

A wish that will remind you of your own childhood...

A magical time of year....

A bit of hardship and joy rolled into one....

Melody Carlson's delightful novella, The Christmas Pony, has been spun with skill and art. I've enjoyed this small story and it has made a large impression upon me-  who knew a novella could be filled with such depth.  I enjoyed not only Lucy's story, but her Mama's as well.   One of my favorite scenes shows the kindness their recent boarder, George, has for Lucy, as they depart to find a tree. Lucy truly loves her mother, and how she is free to share that with those around her is touching.   She desires her Mama's smile to come back over a pony.  Touched my did many other parts of this book.  I will treasure this novella, and one day share it with my daughter, who is an avid reader and owner of her own horse. I'm sure she'll delight in the "magic" of this book even more than I!

Thank you to Baker Publishing for a complimentary copy of this book, in return for an original review!

Friday, November 16, 2012

this lovely little baby girl...

 I had the privilege to photograph a week ago. She's six weeks old. And the cutest thing. And I got to hold her while she fell asleep.  Just precious....little Hadley! Her mom is so sweet, as well, and we got a few minutes of adult conversation. Imagine that!!!

the above photo is one of my personal favs...Hadley is such an expressive baby.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

and a photo that makes my heart sing....

my wonderful father, on his birthday...

back in October...

and Will David.

I adore this photo.   You can't tell, but my dad's laughing.   :)  WD is smiling. A great time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

it's an eli world!

 oh, how my niece loved this huge, enormous, gigantic pile of leaves!

 she made herself a little home in there, it seemed!  ha!

so glad to have captured this sweet moment of my brother and his little baby boy, William...
the evening of our dad's birthday...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

some little boy here is turning 4

and we had one of two parties for him.

wd, the super hero!

and his fellow heroes...

super buddy and iron man grandpa!

and super girls Ella, Abigail, and Eli!

and we didn't leave the party without trying...for a grandchildren photo. as you can see... it was quite the effort. but we kinda got one....

 happy faces.  happy hearts.  
even with one shoe

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Promise to Love- a review

Ingrid Larsen, a young Swedish immigrant, arrives in Michigan in 1871 to search for her brother who has disappeared into the woods to work the dangerous lumber camps. Destitute and barely hanging on to hope, she encounters a newly-widowed farmer who is struggling to raise five children on his own. Marriage would solve both of their problems, and so Ingrid proposes to a man she barely knows. She will fight to protect her new family--but the hardest battle of all will be winning the heart of her new husband.Readers who loved The Measure of Katie Calloway will be pleased to find more 
of Miller's emotive and descriptive writing here--and to discover that love is more than words.

This particular novel struck at my heart.  I cried.  I laughed. I cried a bit more, for I felt so much emotion as a reader.  
Ingrid tugged my heart strings.  She was given a tough life, and even marriage to the widowed farmer wasn't all rainbows. Certainly not.  But seeing this heroine come through so much encouraged my own heart. She was a true example to her new children and especially to her new husband.  And also to neighbors. She had so much strength of heart, mind, and soul. 

But the storyline that haunted me was that of the widow's wife who died.  It made me incredibly sorrowful. It is something common, that sort of melancholy, and having experienced a bit of that myself after the birth of my children, I could not imagine how, without medical expertise, someone "back in the day" could cope.   

My heart's heaviness was lifted as the story progressed, and the couple who had said their vows to one another own heaviness in life diminished as well.  

Be prepared for a cry or two...A Promise to Love will speak of life's hardships and of its success and dreams.

A Promise to Love

Ooo-la-la! Review for "A Flight of Fancy"

Cassandra Bainbridge has twice set aside her scholarly pursuits--once for the London Season and once for her wedding preparations. Love seems a wonderful alternative to study, until disaster strikes. When an accident brings an end to her betrothal, she heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. There she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when her former fiancé slips back into her life, what course will she choose?Filled with the mystique of London society and the charming beauty of the English countryside, A Flight of Fancy explores what it means to find the true source of happiness and love amid the distractions of life. Readers will love the next installment in this rousing Regency series from accomplished author Laurie Alice Eakes.

 A Flight of Fancy  Laurie Alice Eakes has risen, again, on my list of favorite authors.  I'm delighted at this next installment.   She combines Regency and the curiosity of a young woman, along with her own peril, and creates a wonderful, surprising novel.   I have to add, the cover delighted me as shows Cassandra's emotions in a way that could either be sweet or daring.  I love it! 

For me, what made this novel special was the detail in the science of ballooning.   The substance added from that alone delighted my soul as I read.   I was also taken in by the love story all on it's own.   Such a hard thing for Cassandra to overcome, but to see how the hero and heroine's love endured while maturing was a real treat.   I'm so glad to have this as an addition to my library!

Thank you to Baker Publishing for a complimentary copy of the book in return for an original review.  

Twice Promised, a review!

Seeing how successful her older sister's "mail order marriage" has been and longing to strike out on her own, Greta Olsen answers an ad for a mail order bride in Central City, Colorado. But when she meets Jess Gifford, owner of a thriving mercantile, she begins to harbor doubts. He didn't place the ad to begin with and his business in a busy mining town leaves him little time or energy for love. To compound her troubles, she was not the only bride to answer the ad! Will either bride strike the match she hopes for?

Filled with amusing and awkward situations that will keep the reader interested and guessing, Twice Promised is another sweet romance from Maggie Brendan.

 The story's premise almost promised an entire upheaval in the hero and heroine's lives...but with a couple of twists, love DOES endure.  I was so pleased throughout the novel.  From vibrant characters to the unmatched setting of the west, Twice Promised is a special read.   I have loved the series-  the author, Maggie Brendan, accomplishes changing a common plot into something more each time.  Truly, Greta and Jess are a pair of my favorite characters ever!  I enjoyed seeing and guessing who would end up with whom.   It was a relaxing, but fun and intriguing, read!

Thank you to Baker Publishing for a copy of the book, in exchange for an original review.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

the first day of a thankful month

though...shouldn't we always be so thankful?  that's why sometimes i have issues with holidays. i like holidays, for the most part, but they are too commercialized, too "put me in a bubble" kind of event.   one of the reasons i am not partaking in facebook anymore.   i want a more unplugged life. 

but here's where we are these days:

will's birthday party with my family is Sunday and i still have decor for that to create.

and a cake to bake.

rich and i have a fabulous out of town wedding to go to. honestly, i'm so excited to see all the details of this one..will be really beautiful i think! the bride is a graphic designer and the groom our music director.   my photos of their engagement will be in the guest book and they keep telling me they can't wait for me to see it.

trying to focus on a thankful moment each day- the kids created an art project (watercolor leaves) to cut out and each day they will write something they are thankful for on the leaf and we are pinning those on a small bulletin board for a tree.

we are working on simple handmade gifts for grandparents.

i would love to have a small gift for the kids to open each day in december...not really a gift..maybe a place to go one day, a movie to enjoy another day, some kind of snack we usually pass on another day...

i think one of those gifts will be a membership at the community center down the block and across the they can keep their swimming skills fresh.   won't they be happy about that...they beg me constantly but i'm not a lover of swimming and i'd have to be in the water too...but...well....i think they would enjoy some more activity. and i may sneak in some exercise time too.

i can't wait for will's birthday party, although i'm not fond of his getting older.  ;(  FOUR YEARS OLD.  I just can't imagine.

but he's a happy, bright, little boy...and on Nov. 10 he'll turn another "new leaf."  by turning the dreaded four.  poor mama!!!!

still wondering if i should do the national novel writing month thing this month.  i should decide soon. because it starts

last year i wrote 50,000 in one month. so i know i can do it.  my mind is so bogged down with so many things though.  i am not quite certain it'd be the best thing.  i can't focus on everything!

so there you go...a quick run down..

except one more thing....please pray for our neighbors. they had a fire in their basement several nights ago and the damage is extensive enough...they will need several months away from their home.   i'm thankful someone yelled to my husband as he was out in the wee hours of the morning shocked as he saw the smoke billowing out of the garage doors..he was going to go in to see if the family was in there.  so thankful the family was safe and with the other neighbors.  soo so thankful.   really puts things in perspective.