Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Review: Grit to Great by Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval

Grit to Great:  How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval contains many stories of how people with ordinary abilities were able to do exceptional things because they were determined to do so.  Along with the inspiring stories, the book is filled with suggestions on how to develop "grit" so that you can stick with your dreams in order to make them come true.

Honestly, I decided to review this book because I want to help my children develop "grit."  I want them to learn to stick with things until they get them accomplished.  But I learned a few things about myself, one is that I have more grit than I thought.  :)   Also, I enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would, and I would recommend it to anyone who desires to do more than maybe they think they can, anyone who wants to learn to persevere.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book Review: On This Foundation by Lynn Austin

On This Foundation by Lynn Austin continues the biblical story told in the earlier two books in this series, the story of how the exiled Jews return to Jerusalem from Babylon and rebuild it.  This book focuses on Nehemiah and how God used him to build the walls around His city.

When I saw that I had the opportunity to review this book, I leaped at it!  I love Austin's books, and this one was just as good, if not better.  Her Bible-based books are so accurate, and I really appreciate her attention to detail.  I skimmed through the book of Nehemiah just to get an overview of the story, and found almost everything she included in the book.  As a matter of fact, I thought the story of Chana and her sisters helping their father rebuild the wall was just added to give us a strong heroine to admire, but no!  One of the rulers of Jerusalem did have daughters who helped on the wall.

I really enjoyed this book.  The character development was wonderful as we watch Nehemiah struggle with his desire to protect his brothers along with his need to let them be the men God wants them to be.  And Chana goes through an amazing renewal as she learns to put aside her grief and embrace the life that God wants her to lead.

So, yes, I recommend this book!

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

An Update

Please disregard the mess in the background.  I forgot to check it out before having my picture taken. :)

As you know, I haven't written anything personal on my blog lately.  I've just been too busy lately with being pregnant, homeschooling, directing our CC campus, etc.  Did I mention that I'm busy with just being pregnant?  It takes so much more energy than I remember!  :)  But I'm sure that the few of you who regularly read my blog are curious about how we're doing here.  As a matter of fact, I started this post two weeks ago, and I'm just now getting around to publishing it.  Oops!

First of all, I'm about twenty-three weeks along in my pregnancy, and I'm feeling pretty good for the most part.  But the older I get, the harder it is to be pregnant.  :)  But I'm taking things slowly and resting as much as I can, while enjoying this pregnancy.  A nap every day has become a must!

I'm sure what you really want to know, though, is what we're having:  a girl!  We look forward to meeting our new daughter in a few months.

We started school back in July, and I'm so glad that we did.  It's given us a nice head start so that when the baby comes, I won't be worried about taking some time off from school.  We started back with Classical Conversations in the middle of August, and that has been wonderful.  Being director is harder in some ways than I expected but much easier in others.  All in all, I enjoy it.

We also got some new chicks about a month ago, and Sarah Beth and Daniel have done most of the care-taking for them which has been nice.

We've also taken several field trips with friends which were great fun along with being informative.  We visited Crocodile Encounter last week, and I highly recommend it.

That's most of what we've been up to the past couple of months, and I'll try to post more than just book reviews in the near future -- but I can't promise anything!  ;)  I've only got so much energy these days, and blogging is down near the bottom of my priority list.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review: The Legend of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

In The Legend of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall, Jack's father is gone from home looking for work at Christmas.  Jack and his mother don't have much money, so he is surprised when he comes home one afternoon and finds his mother baking cookies.  When he asks about it, she tells him a story about a medieval family who make cookies to tell the rest of the village about the true meaning of Christmas.  Later, on Christmas Day, a man comes to the door asking for food.  Jack shares his cookie with him and tells him about the true meaning of Christmas.

My children and I enjoyed this book, although I must admit that I noticed something was missing from this cute story.  At first, I thought the "true meaning of Christmas," according to the book, was sharing with those less fortunate.  But after reading the book a couple more times, I realized that the "true meaning" is that Jesus was born as a baby which is a better meaning, although it still leaves something out.  Why did Jesus come?  Why was it such a big deal that He was born as a baby?  Such a big deal that a heavenly host of angels came to announce it?  This book leaves out the reason that Jesus was born, and that is a huge omission.

With that said, this book is a fairly good one to add to one's collection of Christmas books.  To be perfectly honest, I have found very few that get the "true meaning of Christmas" completely correct.

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