Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Month in Review - February

  • Wrote 2059 words
  • Sculpted 0 babies
  • Tatted 0 crosses
  • Sewed 0 sock monkeys  
  • Knit 0 hats
  • Exercised 20 days
  • Read in the Bible 28 days
  • Wrote up 0 backlogged book reviews 
  • Saturday, February 24, 2018

    William's Wax Museum

    William picked George Lucas for his person for the Wax Museum he was doing for school. I made him a wig for his costume. The original date for the Wax Museum ended up being postponed because of a snow day.

    It was really loud, so it's hard to hear him, especially at first.

    Friday, February 23, 2018

    Winter Camp Out

    William has wanted to sleep outside in his igloo since he made his first one, but it has been in the 10-20 degree range at night. Last week, it was going to be in the 40's so I agreed to let them sleep in the "community" igloo.

    After about an hour, the boys came in needing to use the bathroom. About 10:45, they came in with their blankets and pillows. In the morning, I asked Will if they came in because it was cold or because there were weird noises. He said it was mostly because of the noises.

    Thursday, February 22, 2018

    Homemade Wig

    William's class was doing a Wax Museum and he needed to dress up as the person he picked, so I needed to make him a wig.

    I crocheted a base made to fit Will's head. I used only the front loops so I could attach the hair to the other loop.

    I wrapped yarn around a notebook I had and cut it along one side:

    I ended up with pieces about 7" long

    I attached the yarn in every other loop: 

    Originally, I was going to make all the yarn gray, but looking at pictures, I realized that he had darker hair at the bottom and lighter hair at the top, so I used three kinds of yarn.

    The next step was to separate all the yarn into the individual plies:

    Next, I brushed the yarn:

    We ended up with a lot of fluff that brushed out:

    The final step was to iron the hair:

    Some comparison shots:

    Book Review: "The Reluctant Groom" by Kimberly Rose Johnson

    About the Book When everything goes wrong, can two friends discover true love?

    When Ray O'Brien's world is turned upside down, Katie Fairchild wants to help, but the personal cost is high. Neither desires a marriage of convenience, but when Katie blurts the first thing that comes to her mind, Ray can't dismiss her offer of marriage. It would solve all his problems except for one thing--they aren't in love.

    Can these two friends team up for the greater good and perhaps find love along the way, or are their expectations impossible?

    My Thoughts "The Reluctant Groom" is the first book in the "Brides of Seattle" series. I thought it was a cute twist on a marriage of convenience story set in modern times. It isn't easy to make that kind of story line fit into a contemporary setting, and I think Kimberly Rose Johnson did a nice job of making it believable and had a good "why" behind it. I did like that Ray and Katie had known each other for awhile, so it didn't seem unrealistic that they fell in love so quickly. The book was a quick read and I enjoyed it. The other conflicts/struggles that take place during the book help to round out the story and make it realistic. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

    Kimberly Rose Johnson
    About the Author Faith Hope and Love Reader's Choice Finalist, Kimberly Rose Johnson, married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

    Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

    You can sign up for Kimberly's newsletter via her website at:

    "The Reluctant Groom" is available paperback:

    • Series: Brides of Seattle
    • Paperback: 196 pages
    • Publisher: Sweet Rose Press (February 25, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0998431540
    • ISBN-13: 978-0998431543
    • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 2499 KB
    • Print Length: 140 pages
    • Publication Date: March 1, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B077XN4LHB

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

    Wednesday, February 21, 2018

    Book Review: "The Sea Before Us" by Sarah Sundin

    About the Book In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a ÒWrenÓ in the Women's Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France--including those of her own family's summer home--in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

    As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

    The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin's practiced pen with this powerful new series.

    My Thoughts Since I picked up her Wings of Glory series, Sarah Sundin is on my "automatic read author" list. If she comes out with a book, I read it. "The Sea Before Us" is the first book in the Sunrise at Normandy series. The WWII history and depth of research makes the book become real. I feel as if I'm there and the characters are my friends. Biblical truths are woven through the book and the characters developed and grew. Besides the romance in the book, there is also a mystery that needs to be solved, which had some interesting surprises. The main story line between Wyatt and Dorothy reaches a "happily ever after", but there is a secondary story about Wyatt and his brothers that is not concluded and will (I assume) continue on through the next two books. I look forward to reading Adler's and Clay's stories.

    Sarah Sundin

    About the Author  Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era and is the author of Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, and When Tides Turn in the Waves of Freedom series, as well as Wings of the Nightingale and the Wings of Glory series.  

    A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers' groups. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were both named to Booklist's 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years. Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the INSPY Award, and her novella in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist in the 2015 Carol Awards. In 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal.
    Please visit Sarah at, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, and on Twitter at @sarahsundin.

    "The Sea Before Us" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Sunrise at Normandy (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (February 6, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0800727975
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800727970
    • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 10296 KB
    • Print Length: 386 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800727975
    • Publisher: Revell (February 6, 2018)
    • Publication Date: February 6, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0741F7VN8

    I got a free copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review. 

    Monday, February 19, 2018

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Phoebe's Light" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

    About the Book

    Phoebe's Light-Book Cover
    Title: Phoebe’s Light
    Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
    Genre: Historical romance
    Release Date: February 6, 2018
    Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.
    Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.
    In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.
    My Thoughts I jumped at the chance to review "Phoebe's Light". I enjoyed reading Suzanne Woods Fisher's Amish series and was intrigued to read this first book in her new series about Quakers on Nantucket. I enjoyed the sections from Mary Coffin's diary and how they were in a different font and looked like the were actual diary pages (I especially liked when Mary scratched out something she'd written). There were twists that I didn't expect and there were things that I figured out who was behind them, but not the reason they did them. The book was well written and easy to read. I knew that the Puritans and the Quakers did not get along, but did not realize the extent of the tensions. I could tell that a lot of research went into this book and I learned things about early Nantucket and desire to learn more. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. 

    About the Author

    Fisher_SuzanneWoodsSuzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s CrossingThe Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

    Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

    A Stroll down Petticoat Row
    Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19thcentury people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.
    Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.
    Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.
    First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.
    After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!
     Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins
    1 ¼ cup sugar
    2 ¼ cup flour
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    2 tsp baking soda
    ½ tsp salt
    ½ cup shredded coconut
    ½ cup raisins
    2 cup grated carrots (4 large)
    1 apple, shredded
    8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
    ½ cup pecans or walnuts
    3 eggs
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.
    In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.
    Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.
     Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café

    Blog Sops

    Aryn The LibraryanFebruary 15
    With a Joyful Noise, February 16
    D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16
    A Greater Yes, February 16
    ASC Book Reviews, February 17
    Locks, Hooks and BooksFebruary 17
    Book by Book, February 17
    Texas Book-aholic, February 18
    The Power of Words, February 18
    Splashes of JoyFebruary 18
    A Reader’s Brain, February 19
    Karen Sue Hadley, February 19
    Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 19
    All of a kind Mom, February 20
    Baker Kella, February 21
    Mommynificent, February 21
    Janices book reviews, February 21
    Lighthouse Academy, February 22
    Readers cozy corner, February 22
    Mary Hake, February 22
    Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22
    Pause for Tales, February 23
    Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
    Faery Tales Are Real, February 23
    Blogging With Carol, February 24
    Among the Reads, February 24
    Carpe Diem, February 24
    Red Headed Book Lady, February 25
    Just the Write Escape, February 25
    By The Book, February 26
    For The Love of Books, February 26
    Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26
    Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)
    Maureen’s Musings, February 27
    Bigreadersite, February 27
    Bibliophile Reviews, February 28
    Pursuing Stacie, February 28


    To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!
    Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
    "Phoebe's Light" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Nantucket Legacy (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 352 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (February 6, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0800721624
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800721626
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 9229 KB
    • Print Length: 352 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (February 6, 2018)
    • Publication Date: February 6, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0741F1D3L
    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

    Thursday, February 15, 2018

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Love by the Numbers" by Laura V. Hilton

    Love By The Numbers CoverAbout the Book

    Title: Love by the Numbers
    Author: Laura V. Hilton
    Genre: Christian Amish fiction
    Release Date: February 6, 2018
    After her fiancé dies in a buggy accident, Lydia Hershberger is invited to Jamesport to manage her Mennonite aunt’s gift store while her aunt and uncle are on a mission trip. While there, Lydia gets acquainted with her aentie’s best friend, Bethel Bontrager, and her grown son, Caleb. Lydia is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome clockmaker, Caleb Bontrager. But in spite of an instant flame of attraction between them, he doesn’t seem interested. In fact, pesky Caleb treats her like he doesn’t even like her.
    Bright and sparkly. That’s Caleb’s first impression of Lydia. He’s always been attracted to sparkly things. In fact, his affinity for those things, and the trouble they can cause, are exactly why he’s determined to change his ways and settle down. With Lydia’s aentie gone, he is handling the books for the gift shop and is forced to spend too much time in her presence.
    When God offers Lydia a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Caleb harbors cause her even more heartbreak?
    My Thoughts  I found the book to be well written and that it flowed well. I liked the faith element and the characters' walk with God and how they grew.  I have read several other books by Laura V. Hilton and it was fun to see some of the characters from the other books again. It is like seeing old friends again. I didn't want to put the book down and stayed up late reading I look forward to reading more books by Laura V. Hilton again.

    About the Author

    Laura picture (1)Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.
    Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.
    When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

    Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

    Story Behind the Story – Love by the Numbers
    Caleb was a minor character in couple of my Amish books – I think he first made a by name appearance in Amish Wanderer and Christmas Admirer. A minor character. Lydia was a very minor one-time appearance in those stories, too, a girl who happened to be in the room with Bethany and Susanna at a wedding. (This story is stand alone!) But I knew when Caleb first saw Lydia that they would end up together by the way he reacted to her presence. I wondered what their story was.
    Powerful Tornado - destroying property with lightning in the background
    March and April is tornado season in Arkansas (and in many other states) and in 2011 we had a bad one. I was out and about that day, driving to the county seat with my five children, and there was something in the air. It was heavy, hard to breathe, and the sky was black off to the west. I’m sure I broke speed limits racing to Melbourne, and then home again so we wouldn’t be out in the storm.
    Later that afternoon, tornado sirens went off. One went over our house – even from the basement we could hear the sound of a train roaring overhead. Scary. And still thanking God it didn’t touch down. Highland, Ash Flat, and Evening Shade, Arkansas were hit hard. Buildings completely gone. When we drove out that way later in the week there were pickup trucks in the tops of trees. Other things in odd and unusual places. I always wondered how they got the treetop pickups down. I would’ve stopped to watch if I’d been out there when it was done. I did hear that some of those trucks weren’t damaged at all. Unreal. My two sons and my husband both helped with clean up and my oldest son went with a crew to Joplin, Missouri, to help with clean up there.
    There has been other occasions I’ve been out in tornados. Once I was in the Walmart parking lot when a tornado went through a town west of it. We could see the funnel touching down from where we stood. It did hail when we were on our way home, praying our house was still standing. It was.
    Head shot of a blue eyed Siamese cat on a green background
    On a different note, in 2016 my oldest son came home with a kitten. She was the sweetest thing ever, and he named her Rosie. Sadly, I was highly allergic to her. I couldn’t even be around the children after they played with her. They’d have to go change clothes and wash their hands, otherwise I couldn’t breathe. Rosie was full Siamese, blue eyes and all, and she was so adorable. I allowed my son to keep her in the shed. I was about four chapters into the story when Rosie found some poison (I think, not sure) and died. We all cried.
    Also about the time I was writing this, a very dear friend of a lot of writers died. I told my street team I was going to name a character after her, and was told a lot of writers would be. I agreed. And a lot of their books were released already. But Aenti Judith in this story is named after Judy Burgi. I still miss her and pray for her family.
    One of the verses my daughter had to memorize in Sunday School was 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’ Perfect for the faith message in Love by the Numbers! I love how God always provides the perfect verse for my characters’ faith messages. I’m pretty sure this verse is one I never memorized, and I never would of thought of it on my own, but God put it in my daughter’s lessons for Sunday School, so she had to memorize it – and thus I did too since I help my daughters learn their verses every week.
    I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

    Because of Him,
    Laura V. Hilton

    Blog Stops

    Pursuing Stacie, February 13
    Quiet Quilter, February 13
    Red Headed Book Lady, February 13
    Babs Book Bistro, February 13
    Blogging With Carol, February 14
    Among the Reads, February 14
    Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 15
    SusanLovesBooks, February 16
    Carpe Diem, February 16
    Splashes of JoyFebruary 17, February 18
    A Reader’s Brain, February 19
    C Jane Read, February 20
    Daysong ReflectionsFebruary 20
    margaret kazmierczak, February 20
    Bibliophile Reviews, February 21
    A Greater Yes, February 22
    Texas Book-aholic, February 22
    Pause for Tales, February 23
    Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
    cherylbbookblog, February 24
    Simple Harvest Reads, February 24
    Christian Bookaholic, February 25
    Janices book reviews, February 25
    For The Love of Books, February 26
    Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 26
    Bigreadersite, February 26


    In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away
    Grand Prize Package: Love By the Numbers, Healing Love (Amish of Webster County #1), and The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton; “The Angels Cry Holy” scented candle in tin with lid from Abba Jerusalem
    1st Place Package: Love By the Numbers, The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils
    2nd Place Package: Love By the Number by Laura Hilton and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils!!!
    Click the link to enter!
    "Love by the Numbers" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 272 pages
    • Publisher: Whitaker House (February 6, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1629119326
    • ISBN-13: 978-1629119328
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1512 KB
    • Print Length: 272 pages
    • Publisher: Whitaker House (February 6, 2018)
    • Publication Date: February 6, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0718ZGFQT

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.