Tuesday, November 29, 2016


We have the fortune of being able to celebrate with all of our family over two weeks in November.  I didn't take many pictures, but these were good.  First, the girl cousins on my side:
Next, Nathaniel's side, and Grandpa's assembly line.  He very cleverly had all of my kids working to clean his golf clubs - and they thought it was fun!  It was a nice diversion on a rainy, cool day after we had all had too much to eat.

And the new swing was a big hit with everyone, even Grandma:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Review - The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr

Last year, I read the first book in the Darkwater Saga by Patrick W. Carr, The Shock of Night.  (See that review here:
http://barefootkentuckymama.blogspot.com/2015/11/book-review-shock-of-night-by-patrick-w.html )
This novel, The Shattered Vigil, is the second in the trilogy.  I think readers should really read the first book before reading this second one, or they would quickly become confused.  There are a lot of characters to keep track of, and the action sweeps the reader into the story really quickly if the first book has already been read.  I enjoyed this book very much.  I think it is even better than the first, except that I felt the first book had a firmer ending than this one.  The story is mainly told in first person by the main character, Willet Dura, but there are also chapters in third person focused on other characters.  I didn't have any trouble switching between characters in this fashion.  I especially enjoyed learning a bit more about Bronwyn's character.  The book has plenty of action, and some of the questions from the first book are resolved, or expounded upon.  Of course, there is still a third book to come, so not everything is resolved yet, and I really can't wait to read the next novel.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Leaf Pile

It's always nice to have all four kids play together.  The leaves fell later this year, but the joy was not dimmed.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

First Frost

We finally had our first frost last night.  It's only close to a month late.  So now the tomatoes are really done, but the herbs are still looking great.  In fact, I was humming "Are You Going to Scarborough Fair" yesterday as I cooked.
It is nice to be able to walk outside and get so many herbs for cooking.  

Oh, and here is another math page Lydia brought home:

It just seems like such an extra amount of work to me!  
And Malachi really wanted me to post this last picture.  He received a Halloween haunted gingerbread house for his birthday from a sweet 6-year-old friend, and he loved making it.  

Notice that his lips are black from eating the icing as he worked.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Book Review - Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

This book is the second in Cossette's Out from Egypt series.  I do recommend reading the first one prior to reading this one, but I think it could be enjoyed independently, it just may take a bit for the reader to find her footing without the background of the first book.  I liked the way the story was told from both Shira's and Dvorah's viewpoints.  Of course, Shira is the preferred character, and she was a fully-drawn persona with a traumatic past but joyful spirit.  I enjoyed her character very much.  I also enjoyed the wisdom gleaned from the midwife, Reva, and the way midwifery was woven into the story.  The author did a very good job of imagining what life could have been like for the people after fleeing Egypt but long before seeing the Promised Land.  The story was believable and had enough detail to get the reader fully immersed in the time period.  I was less excited about the romance aspect in this book (I won't give away any details), but I did like the way Shira's faith and ability to heal evolved.  I recommend this book to anyone interested in historical or Biblical fiction.  I'm looking forward to the third book next year.

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Second Grade Math & Etc

Nathaniel was in Europe last week, and then was home for 2 days and then off again out of town, so it's been not so fun around here.  The kids and I did attend a nice wedding last Saturday, and they even behaved.  OK, I may have threatened throwing away all Halloween candy if they gave me any grief during the ceremony, but whatever, it worked.  And the younger three came away with some fun favors: dowel rods with colored ribbons on one end, that they can swing around like wands, swords, or streamers, depending on mood.

The weather continues to act more like summer than fall.  It does get cooler at night, but yesterday it was 68 degrees here!  Just two years ago we had a snow day in early November, but this year, we still have some leaves on the trees and there are still 4 tomato plants alive in the garden (two cherries, two regular).

A look at Lydia's math homework:
I then asked her to do a couple of math problems for me.  Do you see the second one?  She wrote the 30 out to the side, then completed the rest in her head.  So it appears that they are being taught to add the tens column first, then the ones, then add those 2 numbers together.
I knew they don't teach math the same way we learned, but I can't figure out the logic in teaching to add the tens first.  Anyway, I thought you may be interested.  All of my school-age kids do very well in math, which is good because I don't know if I could handle teaching the way they are learning!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Review - Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard

  I stayed up way too late finishing this book.  I didn't want to put it down, which is always the sign of an excellent book.  Author Sandra Orchard has created another action-packed and fun romp with FBI agent Serena Jones.  I love Serena's character, and the slowly revealed details from her family life give many of the characters added depth.  Tanner and Nate are both back and given prominent roles in this book.  Aunt Martha remains a funny and enigmatic character.  There is plenty of action in the story.  The humor throughout the book makes it a treat.  I love Serena's stream-of-conscious narrating.  This could be read as a stand-alone novel, but I recommend reading the first one prior to this one, just because the series is so good.   I can't wait to read more from this series.  I highly recommend this book.

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October Harvest Totals

October saw the garden winding down.  Egg production exploded.  And I did some planting for a fall garden - peas, lettuce, radishes, carrots.  Actually, I planted cauliflower and cabbage, too, but the squirrels dug up those seedlings.  Malachi and I also planted garlic, which we will harvest scapes from in May, and the bulbs themselves in July.  But here are the totals:

Crescent beans - 1 cup
Cucumbers - 2
Bulgarian Peppers - 7
Tomatillos - 4 pounds
Tomatoes - 3
Cherry tomatoes, herbs (parsley, dill, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, basil)
Eggs- 220
Meat Chickens - 5
Carrots - 3

There are actually still tomatillos and peppers growing, and since the weather is so warm, I've left them to keep growing.  Normally, this is about 1 or 2 weeks after our first frost date, but the weather has been really weird this year, and frost is still not in the forecast.