4 Ways to Engage in Orphan Sunday

“Orphan Sunday isn’t about charity; it’s about the mission of Christ. I pray that every Gospel-transformed congregation will observe Orphan Sunday, calling all Christians to our mandate to image Christ by caring for his little brothers and sisters, the fatherless of the world.” — Dr. Russell Moore, author Adopted for Life




On November 2nd, Christians around the globe will stand together with one goal: to rouse believers with God’s call to care for the orphan and what our role is in response.

Does your family, small group or church have plans for Orphan Sunday? There are so many ways that we can honor orphans collectively as the Body of Christ on Orphan Sunday. If you don’t have plans or haven’t heard of an event near you, here are 4 ways you can engage in this year’s Orphan Sunday:

  1. Advent for Orphans Calendar — see explanation below.
  2. Orphan’s Table — share a meal eaten by orphans around the world. Gather with family, small group or church for the meal, discussion and prayer.
  3. Plan an Orphan Sunday event with a Partnership Package – easy-to-follow Orphan Sunday event plan, enabling you to partner with an organization to create a simple event!
  4. Contact your Regional Orphan Sunday Coordinator with questions, to seek ideas as you plan, or to let them know that you will be holding an event.

Be sure to also check out their other resources which include videos, prayer guides, sermon notes, t-shirts & more! Together, let’s stand for the orphan!

To learn more about Orphan Sunday or find an event near you visit OrphanSunday.org.

Advent Calendar 2014

Get your FREE Advent Calendar & celebrate with purpose!

See how your family, small group or church can celebrate the anticipate the birth of our Savior in a special way that also shows love to orphans.

Limited supply of Advent for Orphans calendars available! Learn more & order your calendar today at www.lifesongfororphans.org/advent.

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Thursday Things

Howdy!! Did you miss me? It was weird being gone for a week. We ended up bringing two cats back with us on the plane, have you ever flown with cats before? It was interesting for sure…lol.

Figured I would get in a Thursday Things post since it is Thursday and all! :) For those of you that are new to the whole thing, every Thursday I try and list things that I liked about the past week. You know, thinking positively and all..
I will get right into it!

First of all, I am so thankful to be back home in the NC.. Visiting AZ was great to see family, friends, past clients and eat at restaurants that I’ve missed..but I have realized how much I was looking forward to coming back home. :)
NC skyThe next thing is that when Lauren and I came home, Jeffy and the boys had started decorating for fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving. I love it! My favorite time of the year! I didn’t get any pics, but it was such a nice welcome home for us. :)

A food item that I love is yet again from Trader Joe’s, but do you blame me? Crumpets!! I love that they have cinnamon on top already. I looovvvee cinnamon! Put them in the toaster and put just a dab of butter on top with more cinnamon…gah…I need to go get more!!

Trader Joe's crumpets

And sheesh, I really feel like a broken record now. But eos has come out with a new lip flavor. It is coconut milk. I looked for it everywhere! I finally ordered one off of Amazon. And when I was in AZ, my sister in law was at Ulta  and happened across a ton of them! I don’t know if it was just that I didn’t look in the right places here, or if they just haven’t come to NC all that much yet, but anyway, she bought me another one while she was there.. Yay! After I got mine on Amazon, I saw later that they were going for $10+ each! That is crazy! So, I am happy that I have two of them now, lol.

Last is a song that we have been singing around here lately, for who knows what reason. We like to substitute our own lyrics though.. You don’t want to know what those are… ;)

Luka by Suzanne Vega

What have you like this last week? :)

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Australian Tea Tree Oil

Many years ago I worked in a health food store. I remember tea tree oil was a big thing then. I will never forget the smell..   Now it seems with the big essential oil craze, I am once again being reminded about this wonderful product..

Back then I used to buy it in a roller and apply it to bug bites. Ohhh, it would sting but then they wouldn’t itch anymore! Living where I do there are a lot of flying and crawling things that bite. So, I was on the hunt for some more tea tree oil. About that time I was offered to try out some of this Australian Tea Tree Oil. What timing, eh? :D I found it on Amazon which came in handy too, as it seems I always find something on Amazon…  Australian Tea Tree Oil

Australian Tea Tree Oil

Presently, Ryan has some shampoo and soap that includes tea tree oil. It seems nowadays though, there are soooo many uses for it. If you clicked on the link you would see that it also comes with an ebook called 53 Uses for Tea Tree Oil. You guys…I had no idea about some of these things!

Tea Tree Oil ebookThere are recipes for different facial washes..cleansers..deodorants..hair products. This stuff is great for all parts of your body! There are also hints on how to use it around the house and for aromatherapy! The first section of the guide is interesting as it goes into the history and science backgrounds of it. Being a homeschool mom it seems I am getting into that stuff more often.. ha!

It seems to me like this company is really wanting to inform people as well as putting out a quality product. They explain why they do things the way they do. Even the bottle wrapper has a lot of info on it! The wrapper also mentions when it was bottled! I love that!

If you are interested, check them out on Amazon! It isn’t a referred link or anything, so I don’t make any money off of you getting any, but I do think it is pretty cool! This bottle that I got will last me ages!!

Australian Tea Tree Oil

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Thursday Things

Getting back on the horse again! Of course when I go out of town next week, I probably can’t update much, but this is a start! :D

I figure it has been a while since I did a Thursday Things so here we go!

Deodorant… No, not talking about using it in the normal sense.. But I did a bunch of photos recently and traipsing through areas that had who knows what, I got bit a lot on my legs. The itching is so awful… Put some deodorant on the bites and the itching goes away. Ahh..

It’s PUMPKIN season at Trader Joe’s!! You don’t even want to know what was in my cart on my last trip…I am almost embarrassed. Don’t think I bought an actual pumpkin that trip though..so… But seriously, I love this time of year!  Even moreso living in a place that actually has a fall season..

My new camera… I finally reallly got to play with it recently, taking yearbook photos for the homeschool group. I am loving it. My poor old camera was trying, but it was just too old and tired… I had my eye on the MarkIII, but realized it wasn’t necessary…and this does the job I want it to! I can’t wait to play with it more! Sad I didn’t order sooner when it had the rebate on the camera..but at least there was a rebate on the lens I bought with it! :D

This board game. Oh my word. I am so glad I bought this! It is a board game that you have to work together to win…and not compete against each other. That works out great for one particular child of mine who does not like competing at all. The first time we played the game we won….but then we realized that we played it wrong. So, we haven’t won yet although last week we were SOOOOO close, but happened to draw the one card that ruined it for us. Figures. Maybe we will try again this weekend. ;)

This song. I just love it. I want to get the album… I don’t even know what I can say about it. Just listen to it. :)

What did you like about this last week? :) I love focusing on the positives because when you start thinking about it, there really are a lot…


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What I read in September

Ok so…I am sucking on the whole blog thing lately.  Two whole posts a month…wow…the excitement, lol. It will get better though… I was going to attempt Blogtober, but I am going to be gone for a week or so and I probably won’t have access to a computer, so I don’t know how that would work either… Ah…we will see. :)

So, this is what I read in September!


One Plus One by Jojo Moyes – Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

What I thought: I thought this was a cute story. I like when they give so much character to the younger people in the story. This author is good at doing that. Not sure why I am driven to the UK authors, but I think I am getting the hang of certain words now….ha!


If I Stay by Gayle Forman – Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

What I thought: Well, I had accidentally picked up the sequel to this book before I had a chance to read this one! So, I had to wait for this one to come back in at the library.. I am glad I didn’t read them out of order! This was a great book! I can’t say a lot about it without giving away the whole plot though. It was definitely full of emotion that you could totally get into!


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

What I thought: Well, I think I read this earlier in the year, or maybe last year…but it was a book club book for the kids to read in September. I read it out loud as I know there were parts in it that I just didn’t think needed to be mentioned about to a child or two of mine.. ;) Again though, I liked the book…


The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks – Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

What I thought: Well, I was an extra in the film a while back, so I figured that I should read the book! Kind of upset that someone I was sat next to during filming told me the ending, but it was a wonderful story anyway! I am excited to see the film! I know I probably won’t even see myself, but still. ;) I love that there were a couple stories within the one main story and how it all came together. Of course it has to be a movie, lol.


After the End by Amy Plum -

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

What I thought: I enjoyed the story quite a bit. Some of it was no as believable as I would have liked, but overall it was a good story. The ending had me thinking that they were going to write a sequel as I don’t think it would end the way it did without one. We will see!

That’s all I read for September! Let me know what you read and send me some titles! I am going to be flying a bit here soon, so I am sure I will be reading more then… :)

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How to Start Conversations About Orphans
Coffee Conversation
Are you having trouble communicating why you have chosen to walk the adoption journey? Or maybe you have tried time and time again to get your church to start an adoption or orphan care ministry, and it just hasn’t clicked yet. How do you start and kindly facilitate a conversation that shows God’s heart for the orphan and our response as the church?
Host a Coffee Conversation.
Coffee shops tend to create an environment where people connect through conversations over a warm cup of joe or a refreshing iced latte. Recreate this atmosphere by hosting an intentional Coffee Conversation with your church, Sunday school class or small group. Maybe it’s a one-on-one meeting with your pastor at a local coffee shop or maybe it’s an event with small group.
Use this kit to help you share about the needs and opportunities to care for orphans with provided discussion questions and scripture references.

How it works:

  1. Visit www.lifesongfororphans.org/host-a-coffee-conversation and fill out the form to recieve the Coffee Conversation Toolkit with step-by-step instructions on how to host an event, along with video links, discussion questions and promotional materials.
  2. Purchase Gobena Coffee for your event. Visit Gobena Store
  3. Use provided materials to promote event.
  4. Host event using some or all of the resources provided in toolkit.

Looking for more Advocate Opportunities?
Visit www.lifesongfororphans.org/advocate-opportunities to see more unqiue, tangible ways you can care for orphans!

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What I read in August

Another month has come and gone!!

Everyone is sending their first day of school pics and I am here waiting for our year to be over. Ahh, to be the ones with the odd school schedule. :D

I read a few books last month, I feel like I cheated by including one since it was mostly photos, but there was still some reading involved…so..I figured that is ok.

So, this is what I read in August. Let me know what you read last month and really enjoyed! I feel bad, I got all sorts of busy and my held books at the library got sent back, now I don’t remember what they were. I will have to see if I can find my list somewhere on my desk!


The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith – Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

What I thought: I enjoyed this book…probably too much. It reminded me a little of the story of Jeffy and I. No, we didn’t get stuck in an elevator, but there were just a few things that made me reminisce.. :)


Noggin by John Corey Whaley – Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

What I thought: I liked this book to a point. I enjoyed the plot and the relationships..I think it was something about the ending that put me off though. I think I wanted it to keep going. But I guess that is a sign that I liked the book. :shrug:


Mila 2.0 Renegade by Debra Driza – There is no one left for Mila to trust. Except for a boy she barely knows.

But Hunter has no idea who—and what—Mila really is. She can’t bear to reveal her secret, even though he’s unwittingly joined her search for Richard Grady, a man who may know more details of Mila’s complicated past.

Yet the road to the truth is more dangerous than ever. With General Holland and the Vita Obscura scouring the earth for her whereabouts, Mila must rely on her newfound android abilities to protect herself and Hunter from imminent harm. Still, embracing her identity as a machine leads her to question the state of her humanity—as well as Hunter’s real motives.

Perfect for fans of I Am Number Four and Divergent, this action-packed and heart-wrenching second installment of MILA 2.0 will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the series conclusion.

What I thought: This was the second book in the series. It took me a while to remember the first one after starting this one. But I got right back into it with the hints the author placed throughout the storyline. It definitely had me reading at night, which for me to give up my Pinterest time, the book has to be good. ;)


Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer – Nancy Thayer, the New York Times bestselling author of Island Girls, tells the emotionally-charged story of two childhood friends on the tumultuous path to love and wisdom in this heartfelt ode to friendship.

When Maggie and Piper meet as girls on the Nantucket beach, they are instant best friends—even though Piper’s mother would much prefer she play with the daughters of senators and statesmen than a seamstress’s kid like Maggie. But after many golden summers spent building sandcastles and sharing their dreams for the future, Piper and Maggie grow apart. In her twenties, beautiful and spirited Piper worries she’ll never amount to more than the glittering wife of a successful husband, while hardworking redheaded Maggie scrimps and saves her pennies, wondering if she’ll ever have the luxury of a passionate romance. It seems they have little in common…until Cameron Chadwick appears on the island. A wealthy Midwestern charmer, Cameron takes moonlit walks on the dunes with Maggie and whisks Piper away to New York City for lavish nights on the town. When both women discover they’re pregnant, it looks like the end of their already-distant friendship. But as Maggie and Piper struggle to decide what their lives will be, they realize more than ever before how very much they need a friend.

What I thought: I was conflicted while reading this book..trying to think if something like this would really happen or not. But I really enjoyed the story and the characters. It was another book that I wanted to see what would happen. Not in a suspenseful way, but just like you are peeking into someone else’s life…


Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

What I thought: We read this book for our school book of the month. I think it was a book club book for the kids, but we missed that month. I am glad we read it though! Seemed a little farfetched at times, but honestly, I could totally see something like that happening, especially in society today. :P I like the characters and the story too..We watched the movie a couple days later and I was disappointed, they left so much out!


Hollow City by Ransom Riggs – Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike.

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

What I thought: This is another sequel in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children book series. This too took me a bit to get into and remember the characters from the first book and figure out what was happening. But it got me hooked quickly and I kept on reading, finishing it easy enough. A few more characters introduced and an interesting adventure.. Pretty sure they are setting up for a 3rd book, which I am fine with! It is a little odd that people have photos like these around…some of them are pretty creepy!


Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton – A beautiful, heartfelt, funny and inspiring collection of photographs capturing the spirit of a city

In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton set out on an ambitious project: to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City.  Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in an attempt to capture New Yorkers and their stories.  The result of these efforts was a vibrant blog he called “Humans of New York,” in which his photos were featured alongside quotes and anecdotes.

Humans of New York is the book inspired by the Internet sensation. With four hundred color photos, including exclusive portraits and all-new stories, Humans of New York is a stunning collection of images that showcases the outsized personalities of New York.

Surprising and moving, Humans of New York is a celebration of individuality and a tribute to the spirit of the city.

What I thought: Ok, photography and little stories about those photographed in the same book? Total win if you ask me!! I love what this man did with his photography. I would love to do that. Even the photos that only had one sentence struck me as fascinating. I am following him on Instagram and now he is in Uganda and some of the stories are depressing, others funny, others lovely. He is doing a great thing…

Posted in What I read | 1 Comment
Adoption: 4 Ways to Thrive Once They’re Home
This post is part of the Adoption Journey Series. See previous posts, “Adoption: 3 Ways to Prepare for the Journey” & “Adoption: 5 Funding Ideas that Work!”. 

You made it. After all the paperwork, emails, phone calls, times of waiting and waiting and waiting, your child is finally forever home. Now what??

Being home together as a family may be all that you envisioned and expected, but most likely, there may be some challenges and adjustments to work through. Whether that be with your child you just brought into your home or your bio kids. Change can be tough, especially when your new forever child has come from a hard place and may have many emotional walls and culture barriers to break down. The good news? You’re not in this alone.

Here are a few resources and ideas for families post-adoption…

4 Ways to Thrive Once They’re Home

  1. Find a Support Group. During the transition, you will need godly friends and family surrounding and encouraging you, telling you, “I get what you’re going through…We are praying.” If your church does not have an adoption support group, talk to other adoptive families and start your own. Also, check with your adoption agency to see if they can connect you with someone in your area.
  2. Attend an Empowered to Connect ConferenceYep, it’s that good that we’re mentioning it twice. If you can’t make a conference before your adoption, find the time to attend after your child is in your home. The insight and wisdom you will receive will encourage you as you parent a child from a hard places.
  3. Read Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive FamilyPacked with practical advice and ideas for families with an adopted child, this parenting handbook is unique in that it provides real-life solutions to common challenges. Bible-based and comprehensive, this Focus on the Family resource addresses the special challenges of adopted children and their parents from birth through adulthood.
  4. Call iCareAboutOrphans.org‘s Post Adoption Phone line. This ministry of Focus on the Family offers this service FREE for adoptive families! The phone number is 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) and is staffed Mon – Fri from 8am – 10pm EST by counselors who have been trained by Dr. Karyn Purvis.

What are some other ways that helped your family THRIVE once your child(ren) were forever home? Please join the conversation by commenting below.

Posted in Adoption/Lifesong | 1 Comment
What I read in July

Goodness, did July seem to go by quickly for anyone else or is it just me?  Seems like I just did the June book blog!

I read a little bit more this month than last month as I wasn’t on the computer much the last week or two.

Anyway, here is what I read in July. :)


Sushi For Beginners by Marian Keyes – Lisa Edwards

This Prada-wearing magazine editor thinks her life is over when her “fabulous” new job turns out to be a deportation to Dublin to launch Colleen magazine. The only saving grace is that her friends aren’t there to witness her downward spiral. Might her new boss, the disheveled and moody Jack Devine, save her from a fate worse than hell?

Ashling Kennedy

Ashling, Colleen‘s assistant editor, is an award-winning worrier, increasingly aware that something fundamental is missing from her life — apart from a boyfriend and a waistline.

Clodagh “Princess” Kelly

Ashling’s best friend, Clodagh, lives the domestic dream in a suburban castle. So why, lately, has she had the recurring urge to kiss a frog — or sleep with a frog, if truth be told?

As these three women search for love, success, and happiness, they will discover that if you let things simmer under the surface for too long, sooner or later they’ll boil over.

What I thought: Well, I had high hopes for this one, but it was just…ok. It seemed to me like an episode of a soap opera or some other drama show…I didn’t really get into the story as much as I would have liked…And it was another book with words from Ireland/England so I always get thrown by some of those, lol.


All the Things You Are by Declan Hughes – About to turn forty, her youthful dreams of becoming an actress abandoned, there’s no doubt in her mind that suburban wife and mother-of-two Clare Taylor has settled. A wild week in Chicago may have shaken things up a bit, but as she turns her key in her Madison, Wisconsin home on the eve of Hallowe’en, she knows that what happened with her ex was nothing more than a distraction, that this is where her life is.

Except it’s all gone. The furniture gone, the house stripped, her husband Danny, her daughters, all gone; no message; no note, nothing. Outside in the dark, searching for a sign, she steps in one: the eviscerated body of the family dog.

By dawn next morning, her supposedly mortgage-free home has been foreclosed against, one of Danny’s childhood friends lies dead in her backyard, and Clare is caught up in a nightmare that began with her husband on Hallowe’en night, 1976. A nightmare that reaches its terrifying climax thirty-five years later.

What I thought: Another that I had high hopes for. I don’t think the story played out as I expected so I was a little disappointed. I am sure if someone didn’t go into the book with my same expectations it might be a better book…


Sam’s Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson – Narrator Jen returns to her grandmother Samantha, who fell and is in a coma. She finds a series of letters addressed to her, about Sam’s secret affair. Meanwhile a childhood summer pal moves in nearby. Brendan is handsome, kind, funny, and ill. Two extraordinary love stories are entwined.

What I thought – Well, I have to admit that I was drawn to the book since it had my name on it… ;) But it was a cute little story and I like the way it was told. I enjoyed it…


Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline – New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author Lisa Scottoline is loved by millions of readers for her suspenseful novels about family and justice. Scottoline delivers once again with Keep Quiet, an emotionally gripping and complex story about one man’s split-second decision to protect his son – and the devastating consequences that follow.Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater.  On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which threatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all. Powerful and dramatic, Keep Quiet will have readers and book clubs debating what it means to be a parent and how far you can, and should, go to protect those you love.

What I thought – This has to be one of my favorite suspense authors. There are relationships and the suspense is almost an afterthought but it is always there. Makes you imagine what you would do in the situation. I love books that make me not want to put them down and this was one of them. I do think that the ending could have been done differently, but really, it was worth the read.


Relativity by Cristin Bishara – There are so many moments Ruby Wright wishes she could change. The moment her dad uprooted her from California to live in backwoods Ohio with their new stepfamily. The moment she moved away without telling her best friend George she loved him. The moment a car accident ended her mother’s life.

But no one can rewrite time. At least, that’s what physics-obsessed Ruby believes.

Then she stumbles upon a lightning-powered tree—a doorway to a series of parallel universes. How many possible worlds will Ruby have to explore to find the one with the perfect combination of people, relationships, and experiences? And is she willing to risk everything she has to get back what she has lost?

With a deft blend of science and heart, Cristin Bishara’s thought-provoking debut novel explored the laws of time and space…and the even more mysterious nature of love and loss.

What I thought – This was a pretty fast read, which I needed towards the end of this month. Makes you think about how small things can totally change a life. The people you meet, the places you go… Very interesting..


The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realise what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so to does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century.

What I thought – What can I say about this book? It was my first time reading it, surprisingly, and it was nice. I wish I had read it before I saw the movie though!

Let me know what you read in July! I love love love getting recommendations! Although I do have a large hold section at the library this moment. Oops!!

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Adoption: 5 Funding Ideas That Work
I am blogging with Lifesong to advocate for the orphan. Every month there will be a new blog post on different topics. This month is about adoption funding ideas.
This post is part of Lifesong’s Adoption Journey Series. See previous post, “Adoption: 3 Ways to Prepare for the Journey” here.

While nearly two in five practicing Christians have considered adoption, only 5% have actually done it.* What keeps people from growing their families through adoption?

One of the biggest barriers to adoption is the cost. Depending on the circumstances, adoption can cost up to $50,000! It makes sense why many families who have a heart for vulnerable children, look at adoption as something they desire, but is just too hard to grasp because of the high costs.
There are families who have seen God perform miracles as they have stepped out in faithfulness to follow His call for their family…if it’s His will, it’s His bill. He will make a way to show Himself as THE Provider of all things. Don’t let money stand in the way, when He has provided many avenues for families to bridge that financial gap.
Here are few tips and resources for funding an adoption…
  1. Save & sacrifice. It’s never too early to start saving for adoption. Try to cut back your budget to set a portion of money aside each month to pay for some of the initial adoption costs, like home study and application fees. Make sacrifices as God moves you, maybe that’s postponing a big purchase or selling some of your possessions.
  2. Learn from others. In her must-read book, Adopting Without Debt, Julie Gumm shares how to find extra money in your household budget, apply for grants, and fundraise in order to build your family without saddling it with debt. 
  3. Apply for Adoption Grants & Loans. Research and apply for national, state, and local adoption grants. A few favorites we direct families to are our friends at Show Hope & Abba Fund. See Resource Report for more grants & loans available and don’t forget to check out our adoption grant & loan page.
  4. Think outside the box. The fundraising creativity of adoptive families continues to grow. Check out organizations like Both Hands, who help families fundraise for adoption while doing a service project for a widow. Other groups like 147 Million Orphans & MudLOVE provide jewelry, t-shirts, and other products you can use towards fundraising.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask. Maybe the word “fundraise” and the thought of asking people for money makes you nervous. WATCH the video below to see how God moved in this couple’s heart to show them adoption was so much bigger than their family.


I want to hear from you? What ways did your family raise money for adoption?

*from Becoming Home by Frames Barna Group & Jedd Medefind

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