Thursday, March 29, 2018

Book Review - A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears

 This is the third book in the Teaville Moral Society trilogy by Melissa Jaegers.  It is a stand-alone novel, but readers of the first two books will get glimpses of characters from those stories.  The story centers on Mercy, a young woman who has one arm and runs an orphanage with her brother and his wife, and Aaron, who bullied Mercy as a child but now has found God and new purpose in his life.  I had liked Mercy when she was introduced in the last book, and while she is still a pleasant and likable character, she was not nearly as compelling as Aaron was.  I preferred when the story was more focused on Aaron, and I felt that he was more well-rounded as a character.  Any historical story about orphans and improving their lives is bound to be interesting to me, so this book was a good fit for me.  I liked how faith was interwoven into the story, but it did get too preachy in a couple of places.  Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers of historical fiction.

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Quick Cousin Visit

We were so happy to have my sister's kids for the weekend.  They had a ball together.
Best buddies

Since Nathaniel is always trying to be the cool uncle, he let the girls canoe around the pond and has promised them a trip to a real lake in the summer.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Perfect Snow

It started snowing yesterday evening, so Lydia, Nathaniel, and I decided to go for a walk.

Our neighborhood is exceptionally beautiful in the snow.

The view of home from the road.

The boys decided to play in the yard rather than join our walk.  It's the really perfect kind of snow, the kind that makes snowballs instantly.

And then, we woke up this morning to more of it!

Even the shed looks pretty in the snow.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Peck the Chicken

My kids love chickens.  It doesn't matter that we actually have chickens, they still want to see all chickens they can.  So when the history center offered a story time and visit with Peck the chicken, Lydia and Gyunay were so excited.

As you can see, Peck is a very pretty chicken.  Her feathers are really striking.  She's also very friendly, and the kids had a ball.  They both came home talking about her.  I told them that they should go play with their own chickens!  (They did, yesterday, actually.)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

1st Communion

These two celebrated their first Communion today!  I'm so happy for them.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


I've been cleaning out things, and today I found this rug on sale at Walmart and decided that it would help me with Gyunay's room changes.

I knew I was going to take out the toy kitchen, and this rug was perfect to go in its place.  Gyunay loves it.  I kept the toy food (in a basket behind him) because although he and Lydia play with the food and dishes all of the time, they never actually played with the kitchen.  They would just shove it around his room.  It didn't really have any room for storing the toy food, either, so it was just taking up space.  Since we have the consignment sale next week, it seemed to be the perfect time to make the change.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Current Projects

The seeds in the playroom are starting to sprout.  It makes me happy to see all of the little bits of green!
These onions are getting off to a great start, too.

Gyunay generally plays in the sunroom while I putter with the plants.  Sometimes he helps me.

The other thing I've been up to lately is rendering large amounts of pork fat.  (And by rendering, I mean putting a large chunk of pork fat in the crock pot and letting it slowly cook until most of it is liquid.)  I always ask for the pork fat when we get a pig, and this time, I was given tons of it!  I generally keep a jar of lard in the fridge for cooking, but this was way too much for us to actually eat.  So, I've been making candles:

The one on the left is cooled and finished (and it's a bit low since we've used it).  The one on the right will cool to the creamy white, but it is right now smoking hot.  Basically, I pour pork fat (lard) into a pint jar and put a wick in it.  These candles burn bright and clean and last for hours.  They were very helpful when the power was out a few weeks ago.  I was also thrilled that they don't actually make the house smell like bacon; there's really no discernible smell from burning them.   This week, I have made 13 of these candles, most of which are currently in storage for the zombie apocalypse or whatever.  ;) 

Monday, March 5, 2018

February Egg Count

120 eggs in February!

The hens are laying well.  We are planning to add new chicks this spring, at the end of spring break.  They won't join the big hens for quite a while, so we are working on plans to accommodate them after they are out of the garage but before they can be added to the flock.  We are also going to raise some more meat birds alongside the laying chicks.  We still have a couple of birds in the freezer from our fall harvest, but by the time we have raised more, we will be out.  The kids are eagerly waiting for the new chicks.