Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Birthday to My Wonderful Husband!

Today is John's birthday, and I won't tell you hold old he is.  ;)  But I will tell you some of the things that I appreciate about him:
  • he loves God and is trying to instill that love in our children
  • he is a loving, supportive husband
  • he loves me even when there's little about me to make him love me
  • he enjoys spending time with our children
  • he works hard supporting our family
  • he likes my family
  • he always calls on his way home from work so I know when to expect him
  • he helps out with my chickens even though the deal was that he wouldn't have to 
Happy birthday to my wonderful, sweet husband!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Reading

Our library system has adult summer reading along with the children's, and the challenge this summer is to read books from the six major continents with a bonus given if you read a book about Antarctica.  This goal influenced what I read this month, and I have to admit that I found a new series to read thanks to it.

Here's what I read:
  • Onion Tears by Diana Kidd.  A refugee from Vietnam, Nam-Huong has to learn to adjust to her new life in Australia after leaving her family behind and seeing her grandfather die.  Her teacher, neighbors, and friends all help to bring this young girl out and help her to talk again.
  • Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon.  The latest in the Father Tim novels.
  • Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley.  Another adventure for eleven year old detective Flavia de Luce in Britain (Europe).
  • The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah Mccoy.  You can read my review of this excellent book here.
  • The No.  1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.  Precious becomes the first lady detective in Botswana (Africa) when she opens her agency.  She has several adventures as she solves a few crimes and helps her clients.  This book is especially enlightening as it tells of life in Botswana.
I'm in the middle of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (Asia), and I plan to read Hotel Brasil by Frei Betto (South America).  I'll probably pick up a book about James Cook who discovered Antarctica or something like that, unless you have a suggestion.  :)

Does your library have adult summer reading?  What have you read lately?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Book Review: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy weaves together the stories of Sarah, abolitionist John Brown's daughter, and Eden, a woman from current times who struggles with infertility.  As Sarah deals with her father's hanging for the raid on Harper's Ferry, she continues his work helping escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad.  On the other hand, Eden wonders whether her marriage will last through infertility, or even if it's worth trying.  While she considers her options, she discovers some interesting things about her house that lead her to learn of Sarah's story.

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.  Honestly, I was surprised at the end to find that Sarah Brown was a real person and the events told in this book really happened, although a lot was fictionalized because we have no way to know what she felt about things.  Also, I appreciated both romance stories, as Eden falls back in love with her husband and Sarah, well, I won't tell you what happens with Sarah because it might spoil it for you.

So, yes, I recommend this book, especially if you would like to learn more about the Underground Railroad and Sarah Brown.

I want to thank Blogging for Books for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday's Tip: How to Keep Plastic Wrap from Sticking

Recently,  I made a cake for our church's potluck dinner.  After icing it, I put the lid on it, but try as I might, the lid would not go all the way down.  I took it off...and peeled half of the icing off with it.  *Sigh*  So I scraped off the icing and put it back on the cake.

Now I had to figure out what to do?  I needed to put some kind of top on it, but I knew that plastic wrap would do the same thing.  So I had to figure some way to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the icing, but toothpicks would go right through it.  What would be small enough and light enough?  Finally, I thought about little medicine cups, you know, the ones that come with liquid medications.  What a great idea, I thought.

And you know what?  Those little medicine cups worked wonderfully.  They were small enough and light enough not to hurt the cake, but tall enough to keep the plastic wrap from touching (and sticking) to it.  I actually had a couple of people tell me what a good idea this was, and I thought I would pass it on to you, in case you've had the same problem.

Have you had this problem before?  How do you keep your lids from sticking to the icing?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Monday's Quote: What is the Best Way to Spend Your Time?

I started reading Your Sacred Yes:  Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion, and Joy by Susie Larson last week, and I've been enjoying it.  It's helping me think about the choices I make, whether they are things that I want to do, or whether they are things that I feel God wants me to do.
When we--without thinking too much about it--give away our time to things un-appointed by God, we will not have the grace to sustain them.  Consequently, we put ourselves at risk of the enemy's schemes.  We may forge ahead with energy and enthusiasm, but, under our own strength, we're not strong enough to keep our own footing.  Especially when we live out from under God's best will for us.  (p.21)
When we try to do things that God has not chosen for us to do, we don't necessarily have the energy that we need to do them.  And we rob those things that He has appointed for us to do.  For example, if I choose to volunteer at the pregnancy center, but it means neglecting my children and husband, I have chosen something good, but not the best.  God can find someone else to help out at the center, but only I can take care of my family.

Do you evaluate your choices in light of what God would have you do?  I think it's something that we should routinely do.  What do you think?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Finished Object Friday: A Baby Blanket

I made this blanket for one of my friends who is having a baby girl next month.  I made a blanket from the same pattern several years ago for a different friend, but I love the pattern so much that I wanted to make it again.  I was glad for a good reason!  It's a light, airy blanket that seems to fit the summer months well.

The pattern comes from Crochet Today! the March/April 2009 issue, but the magazine is now out of print which makes me sad.  :(  But at least, I have a copy of this issue so I can make this blanket whenever I want to!  :)

What project have you worked on recently?

Thankful Thursday: Summer Vacation

Sometimes you just need a matter where you are!

While last week was our first week of summer vacation, we were so busy with camp that we didn't feel like we were on vacation.  So this week feels more restful and stress-free since we didn't have much planned.  As a matter of fact, Monday morning as I was planning my day, I realized that I had all kinds of time since we were not going to do least, not very much.  ;)

A few other things for which I'm thankful:
  • we went out for supper last Saturday night with friends and really had a good time with them
  • Tropical Storm Bill did not drop nearly as much rain on us as predicted which was wonderful because the rivers around us are full
  • electricity!  We lost power for over seven hours on Tuesday, and we were so glad to get it back.
  • electricity!  It blinked a few times Wednesday morning, but it kept coming back on!
  • John was home all day Tuesday, and it was great to have him around
  • my first CC information meeting is tonight...I'll be glad to have it over!  ;)
For what are you thankful this week?