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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: C



Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

Book Description:
Readers today are still fascinated by "Nat," an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor"s world—Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn"t promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by "log, lead, and lookout." Nat"s long hours of study and observation, collected in his famous work, The American Practical Navigator (also known as the "Sailors" Bible"), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero.


My thoughts:
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch came highly recommended to me. It is truly a fascinating, exciting and inspiring story and when I finished reading it I told my husband he "had" to read it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.



Beyond this Moment by Tamera Alexander

If only she'd known James McPherson had been waiting in her future, she would have chosen differently. Then again, would he have been in her future had she not made such a poor choice to begin with? p. 151

What's On Your Nightstand - February

What's On Your Nightstand


What a pile! I don't know if I will get to it all, but I'm going to attempt it.

From my January post I read:
Beautiful in God's Eyes by Elizabeth George
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery
No Less Than Victory by Jeff Shaara

I also read:
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis

I listened to these audio books:
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
Knit Together by Debbie Macomber

I am currently reading:
Beyond this Moment by Tamera Alexander

I didn't get to:
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (Actually, I read half of it, but had to return it to the library. I am currently waiting for it, again.)

Book Review: No Less Than Victory by Jeff Shaara



Book Description:
No Less Than Victory is the crowning achievement in master storyteller Jeff Shaara’s soaring World War II trilogy, revealing the European war’s unforgettable and harrowing final act.

After the success of the Normandy invasion, the Allied commanders are buoyantly confident that the war in Europe will be over in a matter of weeks, that Hitler and his battered army have no other option than surrender. But despite the advice of his best military minds, Hitler will hear no talk of defeat. In mid-December 1944, the Germans launch a desperate and ruthless counteroffensive in the Ardennes forest, utterly surprising the unprepared Americans who stand in their way. Through the frigid snows of the mountainous terrain, German tanks and infantry struggle to realize Hitler’s goal: divide the Allied armies and capture the vital port at Antwerp. The attack succeeds in opening up a wide gap in the American lines, and for days chaos reigns in the Allied command. Thus begins the Battle of the Bulge, the last gasp by Hitler’s forces that becomes a horrific slugging match, some of the most brutal fighting of the war. As American commanders respond to the stunning challenge, the German spear is finally blunted.

Though some in the Nazi inner circle continue the fight to secure Germany’s postwar future, the F├╝hrer makes it clear that he is fighting to the end. He will spare nothing–not even German lives–to preserve his twisted vision of a “Thousand Year Reich.” But in May 1945, the German army collapses, and with Russian troops closing in, Hitler commits suicide. As the Americans sweep through the German countryside, they unexpectedly encounter the worst of Hitler’s crimes, the concentration camps, and young GIs find themselves absorbing firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust.

Presenting his riveting account through the eyes of Eisenhower and Patton and the young GIs who struggle face-to-face with their enemy, and through the eyes of Germany’s old soldier, Gerd von Rundstedt, and Hitler’s golden boy, Albert Speer, Jeff Shaara carries the reader on a journey that defines the spirit of the soldier and the horror of a madman’s dreams. No Less Than Victory further solidifies Shaara’s reputation as this era’s most accomplished author of historical military fiction.


My thoughts:
I can't say enough good things about Jeff Shaara's books. He does such a marvelous job of making history come alive and I learn so much. No Less Than Victory met all my expectation and was an exciting read. I felt sorry when this book ended because I felt like I was loosing friends. I have especially enjoyed this series which includes, The Rising Tide and The Steel Wave and highly recommend them.

Book Review: The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis



Book Description:
When murder comes to Fergus, Idaho, the men of the town don't seem able to find the killer. Gert Dooley, the gunsmith's sister, teaches frightened women to handle guns in order to protect themselves. Will new sheriff Ethan Chapman be able to unmask the Penny Man—the mysterious killer who leaves an 1866 Indian head penny at the scene of each crime? Or will that honor belong to the Ladies' Shooting Club?


My thoughts:
The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis was a very enjoyable read. It was a little slow at the beginning, but thing began to pick up pace. Between the men getting out of shape because with woman are learning to shoot, no one having faith in the sheriff and then throw in all the mysterious murders, shootings and fires and suddenly I found I was very interested. If you are looking for a quick, fun and slightly romantic read, then I highly recommend The Sheriff's Surrender.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Diaper Cake

A couple of months ago I came across a new blog, homemade by jill. While browsing her blog I came across her diaper cake tutorial and was totally impressed and really needed a reason to make one. A couple of weeks ago I was finally able to put this wonderful tutorial to use and made one for my SIL. Here is the result:


Front


Side view


Side view

I used the New Arrival Cricut cartridge for the little cutouts attached to the front and sides. I also decorated the cake with the stroller from the New Arrival cartridge.



These were a lot of fun to make and I was thrilled with the results.

Book Review: The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen



Book Description:
Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems. Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley's secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?


My thoughts:
I was excited to read The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen, since I have enjoyed her previous books. The Silent Governess was an enjoyable and and satisfactory read. There were several mysteries throught out the plot of the book, though predictable, made the story fun. Julie Klassen's previous books, Lady of Milkweed Manor (my favorite) and The Apothecary's Daughter are also worth checking out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Review: Beautiful in God's Eyes by Elizabeth George



Book Description:
God lovingly shares with you His vision of a life of beauty through the joyous outlook, creative spirit and feminine grace of the Proverbs 31 woman. With sensitivity and wisdom, Elizabeth George reveals the heart of this timeless woman and encourages you to embrace the purest virtues of beauty:
-strength of character
-loyalty that brings honor to your marriage and family
-compassion for those in need
-and enterprising spirit of provision
-discipline and vision to manage your life wisely
You'll become a woman of confidence and grace as you discover that you are forever...
Beautiful in God's Eyes


My thoughts:
I really enjoying reading Elizabeth George's uplifting books. Beautiful in God's Eyes does not disappoint. I know just reading about the Proverbs 31 woman tires me out and makes me feel very inferior. Elizabeth George breaks down the Proverbs 31 in small chunks and makes her virtues very doable for today's woman. Beautiful in God's Eyes really inspired me and gave me a lot of food for thought and as with all her books sits on my shelf begging to be reread.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: B



Betsy Was a Junior/Betsy and Joe by Maud Hart Lovelace

Book Description:
Betsy was a Junior - The Best School Year Ever
That's the kind of junior year Betsy Ray has planned for herself. And when her childhood friend Tib Muller moves back to Deep Valley, Betsy's sure her perfect year is off to a grand start. With charming, funny Tib around, Crowd doings are more fun than ever -- especially after Betsy starts Okto Delta, the first -- ever sorority at Deep Valley High.

But soon Betsy's luck takes a bad turn. The Crowd is getting into trouble at school, and Betsy isn't given a chance to compete in the annual Essay Contest. Could Betsy's best school year turn out to be her worst?

Betsy and Joe - Made for Each Other?
Betsy Ray has always thought that she and the fascinating Joe Willard would make the perfect couple. Now, in her senior year at Deep Valley High School, it looks as though she'll get her wish. As soon as Joe returns from his summer job in North Dakota, he's on the Rays' porch with sweet words for Betsy. It's going to be a wonderful senior year!

Then Tony Markham, Betsy's longtime chum, comes calling -- and his intentions are definitely romantic. Betsy is torn. She really cares for Joe, but she doesn't want to hurt Tony. Can she figure out a way to follow her heart without ruining her friendship?


My thoughts:
I discovered Betsy Ray as a young teenager and devoured her stories. They are so much fun. Later on I discovered that the Betsy stories started when she was a little girl. You can start at the beginning of the series, Betsy-Tacy, or just start with Heavens to Betsy when she starts her freshman year of high school and continue through the series. These are not to be missed books.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.



The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis

Gert Dooley aimed at the scrap of red calico and sqeezed the trigger. The Spencer rifle she held cracked, and the red cloth fifty yards away shivered. p. 5

Book Review: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler



Book Description:
After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up to find herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?

Not only is Courtney stuck inside another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. For her borrowed body knows how to speak without slaying the King’s English, dance without maiming her partner, and embroider as if possessed by actual domestic skill.

But not even Courtney’s level of Austen mania has prepared her for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, a suitor who may turn out not to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.


My thoughts:
I have had Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler finished for over a week now and have tried to think what I wanted to say and can only come up with one word: Weird. Since the basis is time travel the main characters has gaps in her memory, which transferred over to my reading and left gaps in my reading pleasure. I very much dislike reading a story and trying to figure out what I missed. This book left me feeling frustrated that I put my time into reading it.

Valentine's Day Cards 2010

Every year I make my kids and husband a handmade Valentine's Day card. Here are this year's cards.

Shade's


Caleb's


Destini's


Chantry's


Delani's


Misc. cards for friends:


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: A


Book Description:
Take an unforgettable journey through the English countryside and into the homes of its inhabitants--four-legged and otherwise--with the world's best-loved animal doctor.

For over 25 years--since All Creatures Great and Small was first published-- readers have delighted to the storytelling genius of James Herriot, the Yorkshire veterinarian whose fascinating vignettes brim with the wonder of life, animal and human.

Whether struggling mightily to position a calf for birthing, or comforting a lonely old man whose beloved dog and only companion has died, Herriot's heartwarming and often hilarious stories of his first years as a country vet perfectly depict the wonderful relationship between man and animal-- and they intimately portray a man whose humor, compassion , and love of life are truly inspiring.


My thoughts:
I absolutely love James Herriot! He does such a fine job of telling a story and you laugh the whole way through. You wouldn't even have to enjoy animals to enjoy his stories. I also highly recommend the audio versions narrated by Christopher Timothy. Very well done!

Happy Birthday, Shade (& Daddy)!

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We love you!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: Z

Okay, I'm really having to cheat here. I can't find a book title that actually starts with "Z", but I do have a series so I'm going to feature them.



Zion Covenant Series by Brock & Bodie Thoene

Book Description:
Opening in 1936, the series tells the courageous and compelling stories of those who risk everything to stand against the growing tide of Nazi terrorism that is sweeping through central Europe under the dangerous and deceitful guise of Hitler's "Third Reich."

My thoughts:
This series is absolutely awesome! I shouldn't admit this, but I read this series during one my Bible College classes. Yes, they were that good--I could not put them down. The Zion Covenant Series are exciting, sad, suspenseful, with a hint of romance stories that put your stomach in knots and curl your toes in excitement. This series definitely piqued my interest in World War II stories and films which continues to this day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.



Confessions of a Jane Austin Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

She smiles sheepishly. "Do you know that of the thousand things that were going through my head today when I saw Will, the one that clamored loudest for my attention was the thought that I looked a perfect fright?" p. 214

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