Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesdays with Words (The Virgin in the Ice)

My quote comes from The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters, the sixth book in the Brother Cadfael Series. I found this quote to be a beautiful reminder of the ebb and flow of life that continues on no matter how good or bad our world/life seems to be--just as God intended until His return.
England was already frozen into a winter years long, and he knew it. King Stephen was crowned, and held, however slackly, most of England. The Empress Maud, his rival for the throne, held the west, and came with a claim the equal of Stephen's. Cousin, most uncousinly, they tore each other and tore England between them, and yet life must go on, faith must go on, the stubborn defiance of fortune must go on in the husbandry of the year, season after season, plough and harrow and seed, tillage and harvest. And here in the cloister and the church, the sowing and tillage and harvest of souls. Brother Cadfael had no fear for mankind, whatever became of mere men. Hugh's* child would be a new generation, a new beginning, a new affirmation, spring in midwinter. p.10
(*Hugh is the deputy sheriff and a personal friend. A key character in many of the Brother Cadfael books.)

See more at ladydusk

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - April

What's On Your Nightstand 

I have survived April (well, most of it) and my kids have completed their competition and now life goes back to normal. Even in all the busyness I was able through 6 books, thanks to one book having three combined in it. It still may take me a week or two to get my act together when it comes to reading since the house must be put back in order and school work becomes a top priority!

For May:

From March's Nightstand I read:

  • What He Must Be:...If He Wants to Marry my Daughter by Voddie Bauchman - A great read on preparing young men (and young women) for marriage with a lot of focus on character and their spiritual lives.
  • Just Enough Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse - This book included Right Ho, Jeeves, Joy in the Morning, and Very Good, Jeeves. I got this book from the library so I could read "Joy in the Morning" but I ended up reading the other two also. Of course, you can never go wrong with Wodehouse.
  • The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters - Another Bro. Cadfael book. I am really enjoying this series.

I listened to:

  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot - In the midst of getting my kids prepared for competition I decided I needed an escape so I checked what I had in my Audible list and picked this one. I read this years ago, but it was just as good the second time around and was just what I needed.

And if your interested in seeing what my kids did you can head on over to my Facebook page and I have their performances and some of their entries posted.

See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - March

What's On Your Nightstand 
I had a great month of reading in March, but we won't talk about my lack of sleep. April is a big month for us--baseball starts, my youngest will turn 9,  and my older kids will be competing in a competition doing poetry, expressive readings, preaching, playing chess, entering sewing and photography projects, plus a few more things--so much of my time will be spent helping them prepare. I'm not sure how much reading I will get done, so I'm keeping my Nightstand on the lighter side and who know maybe I'll get some sleep.

April's Nightstand:

From February's Nightstand I read:
  • Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope - The premise of this book is giving kids a classical education who are special needs or struggling students. I found the beginning of this book to be an encouraging read, but when it came down to getting actual ideas I felt that most ideas seemed to weigh more on the special needs side rather than a struggling student. Overall, it was an encouraging read.
  • The Leper of Saint Giles by Ellis Peters - Another Bro. Cadfael mystery which I found quite interesting.
I didn't read:
  • The Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren - I read quite a bit of this book before it had to go back to the library. I realized I wasn't getting much out of it so I'm going to forgo reading the rest.
I also read:
  • The Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill - A favorite Grace Livingston Hill book.
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel - I read this for book club--this is not a book I would pick up to read voluntarily. I was going to pass on reading this one but decided to power read it instead.  It was weird. 
  • The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill - On the other hand this was a fascinating read. I'm not sure whose recommendation I read, but I'm glad I checked it out. 
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsill - After Life of Pi I didn't have much to read and I was still waiting on my Wodehouse book to come in at the library so I decided to raid my kid lit shelves at home. The Penderwicks were a perfect pick. I still like them as much as I did the first time I read them.
  • The Sanctuary Sparrow by Ellis Peters - Another Bro. Cadfael mystery.
  • Killing Patton by Bill O'Reilly - Oh my, what an interesting read. O'Reilly does a great job of writing this in "this is the facts" manner yet it still flows like a story.
  • The Power of a Praying Church by Stormie Omartian - Read this for ministry purposes. 
I listened to:
  • Fervent by Priscilla Shirer - I started reading the book and then switched to audio since I wanted to use some information in it for our church's ladies meeting. I will definitely be re-reading this title.
See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - February

What's On Your Nightstand 
Oh, February where did you go? Into March I go hoping to to get a little more non-fiction going and figuring out what I want to read for fiction. I am feeling very stymied. Hmmm, that may be sign to put a little P.G. Wodehouse on the list. He is always my go-to when I can't figure out what to read. As of right now I'm going to leave my Nightstand a little sparse and see what happens!

For March:

From January's Nightstand I read:
  • How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White - What a practical book! I have quite a few routines down pat in my house, but there are a few areas that just never get done as often as I like. This was just a nice healthy dose of reality along with the reassurance that you may never get it perfect but just doing something will make a difference. Brilliant, right?
  • Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers - I read this along with the Close Reads podcast. An enjoyable read, though I was surprised to find Sayer's allowing Lord Peter to be "judge and jury" concerning the murderer as a resolution of this story. I'm not sure if this was done with a lot of thought or just an easy way to end the book.
  • Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery - On a home school list I'm on this particular book came up as the subject of having 4% of the text edited in the Bantam edition. Since I owned the re-issued, unedited version I decided to re-read it and see if I could tell a difference. I have read and listened to this book numerous times and honestly, without reading each page side by side I only found one part that stood out to me and it had been edited out of the Bantam edition. That being said I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and I don't think it was the extra 3,000+ words that did it.
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson - I have some friends that have been doing a book club for years and I have always wanted to go. This year I'm attempting it and this was this month's choice. I realized that I have had three of my kids read this and yet I had never read it. Well, that is now rectified. A fun, adventurous read.
I also read:
  • Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose - This was a family read-aloud and I won't admit how long it has taken us to get through this, but I finally determined to get this one done. The subtitle is 'A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II' and this is an amazing story that I wanted to share with my kids. If you need your faith raised this is a good place to start. (Our inability to get get this book read wasn't because of the content, but rather on our inability to get our act together!)
  • One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters - Last month I read the first in the Bro. Cadfael series and this month I delved in a little deeper. I am really enjoy this series so far. 
  • Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters - another Bro. Cadfael
  • St. Peter's Fair by Ellis Peters - and yet another Bro. Cadfael
I listened to:
  • Ember Falls by S.D. Smith - All my kids listened to this a few months ago and then wanted to discuss it with me. Unfortunately, I hadn't listened to it yet which brought howls. My daughter has pestered me and I finally finished it today. This is a great adventure story and I can see why my kids love it. Unfortunately, I was getting lost which they did their best to help their mother out. I think I need to just order the books and read them.
 See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesdays with Words

  It has been quite a while since I contributed to Wednesdays with Words. I am currently reading Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope and came across this quote
 and I wanted to share.

2017-02-22 10.54.12

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - January

What's On Your Nightstand 
Due to an unusual circumstance I ended up reading quite a bit of non-fiction so I had a really good month in January. I am keeping my list smallish since I love the freedom of picking up whatever strikes my fancy. We shall see what February holds!

For February:

From December's Nightstand I read:
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot (narrator: Nadia May) - This is my third time through Middlemarch which I still enjoyed as much as ever. This time around I think I got a lot more out of Eliot's philosophical comments that she weaves throughout the story.
  • Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel by Mignon F. Ballard - The last book in the Miss Dimple series.
  • A Handbook to Morning Time by Cindy Rollins - This is a handy little book that Cindy Rollins put together sharing what she did in her morning times. A great resource in a little package.
  • Letters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a Wife - Barbara Rainey - An encouraging read especially for those who are in the first 10 or so years of marriage.
I also read:
  • Miss Dimple Picks a Peck of Trouble by Mignon F. Ballard - Another Miss Dimple book.
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters - I read this back in January of 2008 and decided to go back and revisit it. I really enjoyed it more this time than my first time through--though I couldn't tell you why.
  • Straw Into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt - An interesting and different retelling of Rumpelstiltskin which I really enjoyed.
  • Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin - A book full of book lists that happen in different parts of the world. I love book lists so even though I doubt I'll read even half the books mentioned I found a few I hadn't heard of which will go on our list.
  • My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead - Searching for Middlemarch in the library catalog brought up this book. I decided to check this one out. While there were some interesting tidbits about George Eliot I can't say it was all that interesting otherwise.
  • Nurse Come You Here by Mary J. MacLeod - On the hand, this was a great little memoir. More stories of Mary MacLeod that start out in the first book, Call the Nurse.

I listened to:
  • Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkevy - This was a free audio for Christian Audio so I gave it a listen. Interesting concept--but it seemed overwhelming to implement. Simple speaks to me!

See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Reading Goals for 2017

2017 Reading Goals 

I started making reading goals about 5 years ago and didn't really realized how much they had helped me until I didn't make any reading goals for 2016. Well, 2017 is here and I am going to remedy that. First and foremost is daily Bible reading and then the rest of my reading goals will be non-fiction, since I have no trouble picking up fiction books. Also, I like to pick books that are languishing on my shelves and when I'm done reading them I determine if they are keepers or donations. The perfect remedy is that I would actually clean off some of my shelves, but I know that probably won't ever happen. Books come in faster than they go out.

Here is what I'm striving for this year:

  1. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin - I may need my head examined since I hated The Happiness Project, but I find the topic of habits intriguing so I'm going to attempt this one.
  2. Becoming a Woman of Influence by Carol Kent - As a pastor's wife I'm always looking out for books that will help me on this journey so when I came across this title I snatched it up.
  3. Fervent by Priscilla Shirer - Inspired to read due to the film War Room.
  4. The Power of a Praying Church by Stormie Omartian - Another book to enhance the ministry.
  5. God Has a Waiting Room by Kim Haney - This book came highly recommended by one of my best friends so I'll be checking it out.
  6. How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White - I'll admit I just added this to my pile. It was an impulse purchase during the holiday season. I'm always on the lookout for tips and tricks to keep my home orderly (is that possible?).
  7. The Bait of Satan by John Bevere - Another book that was highly recommend by a friend.
  8. Norms and Nobility by David Hicks - This is a current book discussion on the Ambleside Online forum. I am hoping to keep up with the weekly readings that will last for the whole year.
  9. What He Must Be...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter - Voddie Baucham - No, my daughter is not getting married, but I do have a son who is dating/courting (whatever you want to call it now days). So I thought I this might be an interesting read. Again, another book that has sat quite a while on my bookshelf.
  10. Cultivate: Forming the Emerging Generation Through Life-on-Life Mentoring - Jeff Myers - I believe I only added this to my shelf in the last year. This looks like a great read.

Kindle books:

 Read January 16


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