Friday, October 30, 2015

The blond Harry Potter and a Big Surprise

Elijah's new glasses look very good on him.  He says that kids say he looks like a "blond Harry Potter," but he doesn't seem too put-off by that.  I pointed out that he loves Harry Potter, as do most kids, so he should take it as a compliment.

He's really enjoying band.  Nathaniel went ahead and paid off the clarinet, so it's officially his now. 
Now, the surprise: 

You should all know us well enough by now to guess what Lydia's holding.  Nathaniel has been searching Craig's List ever since the neighbor's dog busted through the gate and killed two of our four hens (including the favorite, Brave).  He finally hit pay dirt:
10 chicks - 3 that are 5 weeks old, and 7 that are almost one week old.  They are used to being handled, too.  Even better, they were free.  The kids are over the moon.  They can't wait to show them off to my nieces and nephew this weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review - A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert

I just finished A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert.  The main character, Faith, had a rough childhood and has poured herself into her television career.  She falls in love with pro bass fisherman Geary Marin, and although both are in love, they seem to have problems from the start.  Faith is contemplating divorce when a tragic event lands her in the hospital and she is forced to reevaluate everything.

The story is told by alternating between the present and Faith and Geary's past together.  At first, the transition between present and past was a little jarring, but I got used to it fairly quickly.  Faith is a complex character who has never really let go of the past that still haunts her.  She assumes her way is the only way.  Geary, too, assumes that the way his family does things is the only way, and these assumptions play heavily into their marital issues.  I thought that the story was realistic, and the failure to communicate well is an issue that is portrayed well.  The details in both Faith's journalism career and in the hospital give the story great credibility.  I had a hard time putting down this emotional book, and I highly recommend it.

I was given a copy of the book by the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Fall Break

Fall break is over now, but it was very, very busy and lots of fun.  We started the break with our annual family reunion camping trip with Nathaniel's family.  It was Gyunay's first time to camp, and he loved it.  Of course, he kept us busy chasing him around, but it was a good time.  Then we came home for a couple of days, then back on the road to my parents' cabin on Lake Barkley.  My sister and her kids joined us, too. 

The kids enjoyed seeing the two worm snakes my dad found.  

Monday, October 19, 2015


Malachi really likes the blanket I made him for his birthday.

 I love these goof balls!

Can you believe that Malachi is 11 years old now?  I'm having a hard time believing that.

Book Review- Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson

My latest review is of Tracie Peterson's Love Everlasting.   I had a hard time getting into this book.  It is the third in a series of books, and I think it would have been helpful to read the previous two first.  There are many allusions to adventures in the first two books, and the relationships between the characters seemed to already be established in those, and so I found myself missing some real character traits.  I have to admit that Abrianna, the main character, seemed irritating to me on her refrain of not wanting to grow up.  Her beau, Wade, was a character that I preferred.  The bad guy, Welby, was the type of character that one loves to hate.  His pursuit of Abrianna and his dearth of any commendable character traits made him a true villain, but also one-dimensional.  Many of the other characters had cameos, probably to tie up their stories from the previous books.  I usually really enjoy historical fiction, but this one felt a bit flat to me. 

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

Thursday, October 15, 2015


October is always a crazy busy month for us.  Cross country is in full swing, other school activities come into play, and we have the annual family reunion camping trip with Nathaniel's family.  Plus, we often try to get to my parents' cabin.  This October is no exception, and we are excited to be going camping and to the cabin this month.  Both will be brand-new experiences for Gyunay.  He has recently became brave and tries to run up the driveway (towards both the pond and the road), so we will have to keep on our toes at the campground!  It's really never dull around here...

This October has also come with some sicknesses, and yesterday Lydia chipped her front tooth:
Luckily, it's a small chip.  It's on the front tooth that is coming in.  The baby tooth that was there was gray due to an injury in preschool.  We were excited that the permanent one is looking white, and now it's a bit chipped.  It seems that she is supposed to have a slightly funky smile.  It will probably not be too noticeable in a few weeks, though, because the dentist plans to file it down a bit.

Book Review - Vendetta by Lisa Harris

I loved this book.  Often, I am reading several books at once: a historical nonfiction, maybe a parenting or gardening book, a novel or two.  I started this book and forgot about all else.  I finished it in one night (staying up way too late), and I have no regrets for the lack of sleep!  This is the first in a series of suspense novels about Special Agent Nikki Boyd, a young woman who works on the Missing Persons unit in Tennessee.  Working Missing Persons is personal to Nikki; her own sister went missing ten years prior to the story and was never found.  I loved Nikki's character, and her friend Tyler as well.  This story was fast-paced, and the current missing girl's case has some common ground with her sister's cold case, so Nikki is very emotionally invested, both for the missing girl and for any information it could shed on her sister's disappearance.  I won't give away any of the twists, but I was kept very interested throughout the story.  This is a book with lots of action.  The characters had depth, and I thought that the case was realistically portrayed.  Both Nikki and Tyler were dealing with grief and some soul-searching, and I liked that it wasn't sugar-coated.  I think the author has plenty of room to continue to explore the main characters in future books.  I will definitely read the next one.

I received this book from the publisher, Revell, in exchange for my review, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Minions...

Plus a mummy and a green ninja.  We had fun at the church trick or treat fall fest today!  Gyunay was so excited to be dressed up like Lydia.  I'm so glad I finally convinced her that being a minion would be cute and fun.  Having two minions is always better than one!

At this point, Elijah's costume was already coming undone.  He did make a really cool mummy and got lots of compliments.

I didn't get a picture of Malachi before he took off his mask & etc.  I'll have to get one of him next time!

Also, this young man ran his best 4K ever yesterday.  He was very happy.  He also mentioned to me that he led the team prayer.  I didn't even know that the team prays before meets (we go to public schools, so this isn't a given).  He's becoming quite the young man.  Although, he did lose his new glasses, so we have to buy replacements already.  Life!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Book Review - Murder at the Courthouse by A. H. Gabhart


I recently read Murder at the Courthouse by A. H. Gabhart.  The setting is a very small town in Kentucky, and the main character, Michael, is a man who spent some time as a police officer in a big city but found he prefers the pace of his home town, Hidden Springs, where murders just don't happen.  Then, of course, a body is found on the steps of the courthouse.  Michael's investigation intertwines with his concern for a teenage boy, and he is quickly discovering that he didn't escape all of the big city problems by coming home, and now the issues he has to investigate are much more personal. 

This book is a well-constructed mystery in a small town setting.  The main character, Michael, is a very likeable and convincingly dedicated police officer.  Michael's traumatic past is interwoven into the story, and I liked the detail and depth given to his character.  There are several other well-drawn characters, too.  Although I figured out the murderer before the climax of the book, there were still other surprise revelations that I won't give away here.  This appears to be the first in a series of books set in Hidden Springs, and the author left room for further character development in later books.  Murder at the Courthouse was an enjoyable read with characters I'd like to hear from again. 

I received this book from publisher Revell for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, October 5, 2015


The biggest 3 kids enjoyed raking the carport roof.

Lydia was so proud to be allowed up to help. 

This little guy is just so happy most of the time. 
I'll have to get a picture of Elijah in his new glasses soon.  He looks very nice.  He wasn't thrilled with getting them, but now he's realizing the benefits of seeing better.  He voluntarily put them on to play wii yesterday.  He usually only wears them at school.