Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review - A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano

A Most Peculiar Circumstance

While I was on vacation, I finished reading my second book from Bethany House Publishers, A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano.  It is a Christian historical romance about a young woman, Arabella, who is a suffragette in the 1880s.  This is one of those "opposites attract" type romances, in that Theodore is old-fashioned and very much against women doing anything outside the home, while she is an independent and vocal supporter of women's rights.

This is fun, light reading.  It is full of intrigues, although I found several senarios to be a bit too far-fetched.  (For example, the way many of the characters welcomed the prostitutes seemed more the way we would like to think people would react than the way most probably would have reacted at that time and place.)  Arabella is a likeable character, and her matter-of-fact relationship with God is very well written.  I was a bit disappointed that the book didn't get into the sufferage movement very much.  It was more of a background than a focal point.  This is primarily a romance with a lot of strong, unusual female characters.  I would recommend it for fun reading when you're in the mood from something romantic.  This author has written another book with some of these characters, featuring Arabella's brother Hamilton's romance, and I have a feeling that she will write a third about the other brother, Zayne.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of writing a review, but my opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Back from Vacation

We just got back from our big family vacation.  My grandparents rented a place for them plus my parents and siblings and our families, and we had a great time.  Just check out the gorgeous deck where we spent most of our time!

Nearly everyone enjoyed fishing in the lake, and many fish got caught but then released.

We also did some sight-seeing.

And we had 3 batmans!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Master Bedroom Floors

I bet by now you're thinking that I forgot all about posting pictures of the master bedroom floors, but I did finally get around to taking the pictures today.  You all should know by now that I have a tendency to procrastinate, but since I need pictures of all of our rooms for the dossier anyway, I knew I'd get the pictures taken soon.  So I've been photographing rooms, and today, the master finally got its turn:

Aren't the floors gorgeous?  Now, I realize that the room looks really plain and empty, until you look at my sewing corner:

Yeah, I need a fabric storing system beyond the totes on the floor.  I'm thinking of some shelving.  And that black dresser, from when I was a teenager and had a red and black bedroom, is going to eventually be painted white to match the sewing table and the room's trim.  Eventually.  But for now, I'm beyond thrilled with the floors and the yellow walls.  I never would have guessed that I'd be such a fan of yellow bedroom walls, but I really love how they brighten it up.  In the morning, it's like soft sunshine, and I love that.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Scouting week

The boys had cub scout day camp this week.  They have been exhausted!  There were lots of activities, and camp lasted from 8-4:30.  Last night, after we picked them up, we fished for a while before the family night dinner.  No bites, but the weather was beautiful, and the boys enjoyed working on casting anyway.

Today was the last day, and it was swimming day.  Lydia and I joined the boys at the pool, and then we left at noon so she could have her nap.  The boys didn't complain about leaving early.  Like I said, they've been exhausted!  But I was glad to see that they were having a good time with the other boys.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review - Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock

Cover Art

I received this book in the mail last week, and I started reading it outside while Lydia was playing with the chickens.  Before I knew it, I was 7 chapters along and it was dinner time.  The story is set during Prohibition and the Great Depression.  The main character is 17-year-old Eve, who moves with her parents to her uncle's lodge after her father loses his job.  She thinks she is escaping bootlegging and lawlessness in the small town of Mercy, Ohio, but she is surprised to find that trouble can be found anywhere.

This book is well-written with varied, interesting characters.  I appreciated that the bootleggers and gangsters were neither glamorized nor demonized in this book but were presented as real people, capable of both good and evil.  The ending of the book was not a surprise, but that didn't bother me.  Even when I was pretty sure how the story would end up, I didn't want to put the book down.  I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it.  I plan on looking into reading more books by this author.  I had never read any of Ann Tatlock's books before, but I certainly think I would enjoy another one of hers.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of writing a review, but the opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Quiver Tutorial - How to make a toy quiver

I've found several tutorials on various blogs, and I thought I'd try my hand at one.  The boys got some toy bows and arrows, and they wanted quivers for them.  I let them pick out the fabric, so that is where the odd color/pattern choices come from, but if you wanted a quiver as part of a costume, you could easily do this in brown cotton or some faux suede.  

So here is the tutorial:
First, you need a piece of 44" wide fabric.  The fold is at the top in this picture, and this piece measures approximately 18" across.  Cut a piece of interfacing and put it in between the pieces as shown: 

Then I folded the quiver in half lengthwise and sewed along the edge.  This way the quiver inside and out has the print fabric, and between the interfacing makes it a bit sturdier.  Next, I stood the quiver upright and traced roughly around the circular bottom with a fabric pencil:

I cut out 2 fabric circles, and put them together right sides out.  Then I pinned the circles into the quiver bottom:

Sew.  Turn right side out and cut a cardboard circle to fit in the inside This keeps the quiver open for use, but the cardboard would be easy to remove for washing.  Next, you need a strap.  I cut a piece approximately 6" wide and 30" long, but you can adjust it to the size of your kid.  Fold in half lengthwise and sew across the top and down the side.  Turn inside out and hem the exposed bottom seam.  Finally, attach the strap to the quiver by sewing one end on the quiver's side seam near the top (about 1/2" down) and the other side at the bottom of the quiver on the side seam as well.

Sewing on the strap

 Then, let the kids have fun!  You can easily adjust the size of the quiver according to the size of the child and the size of the arrows you have.

I linked up with Sew Country Chick's Sew and Tell Saturday.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Garden Update

I took these pictures over the weekend, but never actually posted them.  So here is the garden update:
This is a "Cinderella" pumpkin.  It's an heirloom type that grows rather large and quite red. 

Here are two of the four cantaloupe seedlings.  I can't wait for cantaloupe!!!

And the roses look lovely.  I do absolutely nothing with this rose bush, and it is gorgeous.

I did have to buy several (many) tomato plants from the farmer's market, and I also bought 2 butternut squash, various sweet pepper plants, 3 beets, 3 radishes, and one pasilla pepper plant, which is the type of pepper I used in dried form in chorizo.  It's raining now, but I do plan on counting exactly how many tomato plants I've ended up with.  I think it is between 30 and 40.

And lastly, we had a great time yesterday at Holiday World.  It was our first trip to an amusement park for the kids, and it went very well.  All three had a good time, and no one got motion sick.  (I did medicate Elijah beforehand, and he and I stayed off twisty rides.  I admit that the third time I took Lydia on the carousel, I did get a bit queasy, but I got better.)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kids and Chicks

The boys like the chicks' feathers.

Cockerel on the left, pullet on the right.

Goofy grins

"Shh, shh, Fatty, it's ok."