What I read in July

Wellll, lookee here, it is already August! Crazy how that happens! And I haven’t blogged as much as I said I was going to. After this weekend, I am thinking life will get back to normal and I will be good to go again. :)

Since I am counting books that we read in school, I am thinking I should up my books read challenge number. Some of the books are pretty small. I enjoy them though! The boys are frustrated that they have had mostly girl main characters lately, but I think our next book that we are going to start on Monday has a boy in it…

Anyway, here is what I read in July and again, let me know any good titles of books! I haven’t gone to the big library much so I am dependent on the small library, but any titles are great!! :)

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Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel – Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she’s raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She’ll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what’s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.

This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves – or even save us.

What I thought – This book was kind of hard to follow for me. And it was pretty depressing too. I don’t think this was a good month for me to read this book. It definitely didn’t go the way that I thought it would, which is interesting…

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Driving with the Top Down by Beth Harbison – Colleen Bradley is married with a teenage son, a modest business repurposing and reselling antiques, and longtime fear that she was not her husband’s first choice. When she decides to take a road trip down the east coast to check out antique auctions for her business, she also has a secret ulterior motive. Her one-woman mission for peace of mind is thrown slightly off course when sixteen year old Tamara becomes her co-pilot. The daughter of Colleen’s brother-in-law, Tamara is aware that when people see her as a screw-up, but she knows in her heart that she’s so much more. She just wishes her father could see it, too.

The already bumpy trip takes another unexpected turn when they stop at the diner that served as Colleen’s college hangout and run into her old friend, Bitty Nolan Camalier. Clearly distressed, Bitty gives them a story full of holes: angry with her husband, she took off on her own, only to have her car stolen. Both Colleen and Tamara sense that there’s more that Bitty isn’t sharing, but Colleen offers to give Bitty a ride to Florida.

So one becomes two becomes three as Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty make their way together down the coast. It’s a road trip fraught with tension as Tamara’s poor choices come back to haunt her and Bitty’s secrets reach a boiling point. With no one to turn to but each other, these three women might just discover that you can get lost in life but somehow, true friends provide a roadmap to finding what you’re really looking for.

What I thought: I liked this book a lot! It had a great story line, although I think the general idea has been done often before…the characters were developed nicely. It was an overall enjoyable book!

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The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare – He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. –from the Song of David (2 Samuel 22:35)
The Bronze Bow, written by Elizabeth George Speare (author of The Witch of Blackbird Pond) won the Newbery Medal in 1962. This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. A fast-paced, suspenseful, vividly wrought tale of friendship, loyalty, the idea of home, community . . . and ultimately, as Jesus says to Daniel on page 224: “Can’t you see, Daniel, it is hate that is the enemy? Not men. Hate does not die with killing. It only springs up a hundredfold. The only thing stronger than hate is love.” A powerful, relevant read in turbulent times.

What I thought: Even though this book was one we read for school, I really enjoyed it! There was a great storyline and a lot of things happened that you didn’t expect. I totally recommend it!

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Lost and Found by Brooke Davis – Millie Bird, seven years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her curly hair. Her struggling mother, grieving the death of Millie’s father, leaves her in the big ladies’ underwear department of a local store and never returns.

Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house—or spoken to another human being—since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silence by yelling at passersby, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule.

Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now that she’s gone, he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl’s been committed to a nursing home, but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes. Now he’s on the lam.

Brought together at a fateful moment, the three embark upon a road trip across Western Australia to find Millie’s mother. Along the way, Karl wants to find out how to be a man again; Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.

Together they will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself feel sad once in a while just might be the key to a happy life.

What I thought: I had no idea what was going on in this book half the time. It started out interesting, got a little crazy and then I got completely lost…and the ending was just a big ‘huh?’. Ah well…

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The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen – A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen’s blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!

What I thought: I am so glad the kids book club decided to read the next book in this series! We enjoyed the first book so much and this one was great too! Lauren said she heard the possibility of them turning it into a movie, I think that would be a great idea! I totally recommend this for kids and for adults who don’t mind a younger book. Great humor in the author’s writing!

The Sweetness of Life by Paulus Hochgatterer – A German bestseller, winner of the European Union Prize for Literature, and longlisted for the German Book Prize in 2006, Paulus Hochgatterer has created a chilling psychological thriller a group of damaged people living in a pleasant and seemingly tranquil Austrian village. It’s the Christmas holiday, the presents have been opened, and a six-year-old girl is drinking cocoa and playing with her grandfather. The doorbell rings, and the old man gets up. The next time the girl sees her grandfather, he is lying by the barn, his skull broken; his face a red pulp against the white snow. From that time on, she does not speak a single word.

Along with Detective Superintendent Ludwig Kovacs, Raffael Horn, the psychiatrist engaged to treat the silent child, reluctantly becomes involved in solving the murder. Their parallel researches sweep through the town: a young mother who believes her new-born child is the devil; a Benedictine monk who uses his iPod to drown the voices in his head; a high-spending teenager who tortures cats. With his background as a child psychiatrist, Hochgatterer draws back the veil of normality and presents a disconcerting portrait of a winter-held town filled with unsavory inhabitants.

What I thought: When characters switch around quickly in books, I have a hard time unless it is done the right way. I was pretty confused with these characters. Who was the cop, who was the psychiatrist…etc. It was a tough read as well as a lot of German words, so…that just made it difficult. And then the ending? I totally didn’t get it. I see where the story was going but….it’s just not my cup of tea in the way it was done..

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All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor – It’s the turn of the century in New York’s Lower East Side and a sense of adventure and excitement abounds for five young sisters – Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie. Follow along as they search for hidden buttons while dusting Mama’s front parlor, or explore the basement warehouse of Papa’s peddler’s shop on rainy days. The five girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises. But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all!

What I thought: This was another book we read for school. Obviously I think, lol. It was a cute story, or little scenes throughout a book I guess. I liked reading about life in simpler days. When kids would get excited for a penny. Cute book!

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I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda – he true story of an all-American girl and a boy from an impoverished city in Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever.

It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin’s class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of–so she chose it.
Martin was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten letters, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.

That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends –and better people–through letters. Their story will inspire readers to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the world at large and their place in it.

What I thought: Ohh how I loved this book. When I first saw that it was about penpals, that totally got me. I was curious how they were going to do it. The story line was great. I read this book very quickly because I wanted to see how it ended. I love that it is a true story and there are photos in the book as well! Fascinating.

Well, that’s it for this month! I am glad that it ended on a good note, I am reading a book now that is pretty difficult, hopefully it doesn’t take me all month to read it, lol.

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Chicken and Pasta with Nello’s Marinara sauce

Yay, a normal post from me again! I am feeling healthier and am also done traveling and all of our visiting guests have gone home so I should be back to a normal blogging schedule again! :)

First up is a yummy meal we had a while back that I could never blog before! Ohh, I have quite a few posts that I need to get caught up on you guys…lol.

This is a Chicken and Pasta with Nello’s Marinara sauce. Remember I am a Nello’s Sauce Mombassador, so I am having fun with trying new recipes and sharing some of my old time favorites… This was a new recipe for me! I was in the mood for chicken parmesan, but it was kind of late to start making that, what with all of the breading and such…So I came up with just a chicken and pasta dish.

Here is the sauce I used for this meal..the original marinara.

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And you guys…since I haven’t been able to blog lately, I have to update you! Next month they are coming out with a Biodynamic Marinara Sauce!! It is a first in the history of U.S. Agriculture and it is grown and crafted right here in NC! Woohoo!! I am looking forward to trying that one!!

Anyway, back to the recipe..

  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into two inch cubes
  • Nello’s Marinara Sauce
  • 8 ounces pasta(I used shells, because Jeffy likes those best)
  • 18 cup parmesan cheese

Now, you can add herbs and seasonings if you’d like…but I really love the flavor of the Nello’s sauce and have found that I really don’t need to add anything to it. I do like a little garlic though, when cooking chicken.

In a skillet, heat olive oil, making sure it isn’t too hot. Don’t want it to burn! Ew. Add the garlic and saute’ until golden brown, just a few minutes, it doesn’t take long. Add the chicken and cook thoroughly, maybe ten minutes or so. Add the marinara sauce and simmer.

While that is simmering, cook the pasta to the package directions. Drain pasta..do I even have to say that, really though?  :)

Now, you can either put some pasta down and scoop up the chicken/sauce mixture and put that on top…..or you could mix the whole pot of pasta in with the chicken/sauce mixture and just serve it all up together. It is up to you! I mixed mine all up together.

Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and you are good to go! My boys all love bread…so there is always bread with our meals, and with pasta even more so…

Here is what it looked like when it was done! A yummy fast meal!

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Now, for my Arizona family and friends, I don’t see Nello’s in your area, but I am hoping that they will be there soon! I see them in NM and Las Vegas, so…..we will see! :) I am telling you, it is worth the wait, it is so flavorful!

 

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What I read in June

Soooo….what a crazy month June turned out to be! It has been full of craziness! Jeffy’s mom, aunt and niece came for a visit at the beginning of the month.. Then, my niece was going to go home on the tenth but stayed the whole month…that has been wonderful!! :) She just fit right in to our family! Then we had to go out of town which was a little crazy in and of itself… But, I did manage to read a few books! I just didn’t have internet half the month in order to blog!

So, here is what I read in June…

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Come Home by Lisa Scottoline – Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter’s lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her—though it is stressful—and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.

What I thought: Well, again, Lisa Scottoline is one of my favorite authors.. And this book wasn’t disappointing at all! It has different twists that I didn’t expect…as usual. I would totally recommend!

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The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen – The False Prince is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

What I thought: We read this together for the kids book club and I thought it was a fantastic book! Lauren liked it as well, she went and got the next two books out of the series. Funny thing is, the next book club is the 2nd book in the series! I am looking forward to that.

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Dirty Chick by Antonia Murphy – “One month into our stay, we’d managed to dispatch most of our charges. We executed the chickens. One of the cats disappeared, clearly disgusted with our urban ways. And Lucky [the cow] was escaping almost daily. It seemed we didn’t have much of a talent for farming. And we still had eleven months to go.”

Antonia Murphy, you might say, is an unlikely farmer. Born and bred in San Francisco, she spent much of her life as a liberal urban cliché, and her interactions with the animal kingdom rarely extended past dinner.

But then she became a mother. And when her eldest son was born with a rare, mysterious genetic condition, she and her husband, Peter, decided it was time to slow down and find a supportive community. So the Murphys moved to Purua, New Zealand—a rural area where most residents maintained private farms, complete with chickens, goats, and (this being New Zealand)  sheep. The result was a comic disaster, and when one day their son had a medical crisis, it was also a little bit terrifying.

Dirty Chick chronicles Antonia’s first year of life as an artisan farmer. Having bought into the myth that farming is a peaceful, fulfilling endeavor that allows one to commune with nature and live the way humans were meant to live, Antonia soon realized  that the reality is far dirtier and way more disgusting than she ever imagined.  Among the things she learned the hard way: Cows are prone to a number of serious bowel ailments, goat mating involves an astounding amount of urine, and roosters are complete and unredeemable assholes.

But for all its traumas, Antonia quickly embraced farm life, getting drunk on homemade wine (it doesn’t cause hangovers!), making cheese (except for the cat hair, it’s a tremendously satisfying hobby), and raising a baby lamb (which was addictively cute until it grew into a sheep). Along the way, she met locals as colorful as the New Zealand countryside, including a seasoned farmer who took a dim view of Antonia’s novice attempts, a Maori man so handy he could survive a zombie apocalypse, and a woman proficient in sculpting alpaca heads made from their own wool.’

Part family drama, part cultural study, and part cautionary tale, Dirty Chick will leave you laughing, cringing, and rooting for an unconventional heroine.

What I thought: Oh goodness…so many parts of this book hit home for me. All about moving to the country and stuff. The stories rang true for us…lol. Definitely some fun stories in this book. :)

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Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder – The long winter is finally over, and with spring comes a new job for Laura, town parties, and more time to spend with Almanzo Wilder. Laura also tries to help Pa and Ma save money for Mary to go to college.

What I thought: I don’t know how you could go wrong reading these books.. Such great stories. We read this for school and I am glad we did!

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The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver – A girl takes over her twin sister’s identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister’s life.

What I thought: I liked this book ok. The storyline was kind of depressing and I guess that kind of made me sad to read it.. But it is still an interesting read. Not sure how that would happen in real life though…

Well, that’s all that I read in June! Let me know any favorite titles that you have read lately! :)

 

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Three years ago

I am so thankful for Timehop! Since losing all of the photos on my computer, all I have is what I can find on my blog or some other random spots.. I was reminded today as I looked at Timehop that our yearly photo needed to be taken!

Our first one was done the night that we left in the RV, three years ago…the rest are just in front of our house. We were so excited to get out of the RV. Now, we are so excited at the thought of remodeling…ha!

And pay no close attention to this last photo. This was taken after doing animal chores and chasing the birds to get locked up for the night. We happened to have a stubborn turkey and some little chicks that just weren’t ready for bed. And it was hot. :P And ack…it’s a close up because the photo was taken vertically.. Oops…lol.

So, here is the progression so far!!

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Family2Family3

Family4

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What I read in May

So, I realize I have not been around much lately. With random health issues that had me going to numerous doctors and also a trip to the ER, and Ryan going to dr’s as well..it’s just been crazy around here.

I did get a little reading done though!

This is what I read in May and I am getting close to my goal already and the year is only almost half over!

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Food by Jim Gaffigan – “What are my qualifications to write this book? None really. So why should you read it? Here’s why: I’m a little fat. If a thin guy were to write about a love of food and eating I’d highly recommend that you do not read his book.”

Bacon. McDonalds. Cinnabon. Hot Pockets. Kale. Stand-up comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has made his career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet (“choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover”) and decrying the worst offenders (“kale is the early morning of foods”). Fans flocked to his New York Times bestselling book Dad is Fat to hear him riff on fatherhood but now, in his second book, he will give them what they really crave—hundreds of pages of his thoughts on all things culinary(ish). Insights such as: why he believes coconut water was invented to get people to stop drinking coconut water, why pretzel bread is #3 on his most important inventions of humankind (behind the wheel and the computer), and the answer to the age-old question “which animal is more delicious: the pig, the cow, or the bacon cheeseburger?”

What I thought: At first I thought of how funny a lot of this book reminded me of Jeffy…hahaha… There were a lot of funny bits. I think a little throughout the book it kinda started to get old, but there were still funny bits…It was ok. :)

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Get Happy by Mary Amato – In this poignant, realistic, contemporary YA by a state master list star, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman, a young songwriter builds a substitute family with her friends in place of the broken family she grew up with.

A hip high school girl who loves music, writes songs, and is desperate for a ukelele, learns to her shock that her father did not abandon her years ago and has been trying to keep in touch. She begins to investigate him, only to discover that he has a new life with a new family, including the perfect stepdaughter, a girl who Minerva despises.

What I thought: I liked this book ok. It was a cute story. It kind of went off in a way that I didn’t expect. But that’s ok. It was a very quick read, which I needed…

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Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt – The Newbery Award winning author of Up a Road Slowly presents the unforgettable story of Jethro Creighton—a brave boy who comes of age during the turbulent years of the Civil War.

What I thought: This was a school book that we read. It was interesting to hear a different side of things that were going on during this time… It wasn’t a totally fascinating book, but I appreciated the story anyway. :)

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When by Victoria Laurie – Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client’s young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it’s too late?

What I thought: I really liked this book. I could see it being a movie or something. It made you think about what you would do in that sort of situation!

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Come Home by Lisa Scottoline – Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter’s lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her—though it is stressful—and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.

What I thought: One of my favorite authors, she really hasn’t disappointed me yet! This was another good book. I love that there are always twists and turns in the story. :) I finished this one late last night, so I barely made the cut…lol.

I hope to get more caught up on the blog soon! I am done with the dr’s for a few months thankfully…  I do have some posts planned, I need to show my last Stitch Fix box and some pasta recipes… All sorts of them.. So stay tuned!! :)

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Growing from 5 to 11

Michael and Suzanne say they’re just an ordinary family. They help out with homework, share family dinners, and try to keep their schedule straight. While this ordinary family started out with three children, God has been leading them on an adventure…

Through a study of Isaiah, God spoke to Suzanne through His Word, piercing her heart to “seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:16-17) This was the start of a four-year journey leading Suzanne and her husband, Michael, to Ethiopia 3 separate times to adopt 6 precious children.

How in the world could they afford this?

Through the love, support, and generosity of their local orphan ministry, they received matching grants through Lifesong to help fundraise to meet the financial cost of each adoption. The dollar-for-dollar matching grants acted as a catalyst, encouraging others to give, while raising awareness of God’s great love for orphaned children. As He had before, God graciously provided:

 

“Through each expensive overseas adoption, the renovation to our home, numerous medical issues to take care, and buying a 15 passenger van to fit us all, God has provided, without fail, and we have no debt from any of the adoptions.” –Michael & Suzanne.

What a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness to those who trust and obey His Word, showing that He, as only He can, can do extraordinary things in ordinary families.

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Judging…

There has been something interesting going on around Facebook land. Ok, maybe it is in regular life too…but, well, we all know Facebook is more public in a way…

People un-friending someone just because they don’t think the same way they do about something. It is for silly things a lot of the time.. Other times I know people feel strongly about a cause or what not, but some people are getting rid of friends just because they don’t feel the same way about a subject. If I did that, I wouldn’t have any friends on there! Who feels the same way as I do about everything? Nobody, thank goodness…That would be boring! And I do love hearing what people thing about different topics…

All of this tends to go hand in hand with judging people. Everyone does it. I think it is normal and expected to have people judge someone else, but I think it is what you do after judging someone else that more defines your character. Well hey, did I just judge? :P

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I recall being judged about things early on… But when it really started was when I was older.

Here are some things I got judged for that I know about and/or remember:

1. Not swearing.
2. Not drinking coffee.3. Not having sex before marriage.
4. Getting married young.
5. Moving often.
6. Not getting an epidural.
7. Having children at a birth center and not a hospital.
8. Not having dance parties with my children.
9. The way we think about immunizations.
10. Homeschooling.
111. Being too Christian.
12. Not being Christian enough.
13. Being anti-social.
14. Driving a minivan.
15. Driving an SUV.
16. Not wanting to talk on the phone.
17. How much I love spending time with Jeffy.
18. That I am surrounded by birds.
19. Homeschooling.
20. That I enjoy spending time with my kids.

Ok, well, that’s a good start anyway, I am sure I could go on and on… Did I mention homeschooling? But really, some of those? I remember the dance party one like it was yesterday. I didn’t know it was such a ‘thing’ to not have dance parties with your kids. :shrug: And moving too often? No, I wasn’t on the run from the law as was talked about, I mean, really?

But see how this works? Out of those 20 things, I am sure nobody is 100% like me on all of them! And that is ok! I like it! I love that people are different! I couldn’t imagine un-friending someone on Facebook because they drank coffee…or hey, all of you who complain about having your kids around because school isn’t in session… That would significantly reduce my friends list right there!

Anyway, I don’t even know where this post was going, but I just wanted to get it off my chest so I don’t think about it anymore.
I am going to go and hang out with my friends on Facebook now.

Maybe I will see you there. ;)

Romans 14:1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.
Posted in Chit chat | 1 Comment
Spaghetti Squash

I am so excited to be a Nello’s Mombassador! :)

My new favorite marinara sauce is Nello’s! They had asked me to try their sauces and I am hooked!

I had been craving spaghetti squash and when a box wish jars of marinara sauce come to your door, it kind of puts things in motion! This is their original marinara, they also have hot red pepper sauce and a Piedmont Pomodoro sauce! Look for more recipes on the blog in the future! ;)

Spaghetti squash with Nello's Sauce

So, I thought I would make an easy meal and share it!

I know some people have never made a spaghetti squash before, but it is very easy. This whole meal is pretty easy!

For the squash, I just cut it in half lengthwise…it’s not like cutting butter though, so be careful! Then I put it face down in a baking dish with about 1/2 cup of water and cooked it for 45 minutes give or take. Until it is tender.

When it is done, it looks like this!

Spaghetti squash with Nello's Sauce

I decided that I wanted a little protein so I browned up some mild Italian sausage. Didn’t take very long at all!

Spaghetti squash with Nello's Sauce

I mix the sauce with the meat and then put it over some of the spaghetti squash that I just strung out with a fork and sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on top! Add a little garlic knot and a side salad and it is a yummy little meal!

Spaghetti squash with Nello's SauceNello’s is available at a ton of Whole Food’s stores, but if you are local, I have also found it at Weaver Street Co-op!

I will have more information on future posts with more featured meals! I love this sauce!!

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My March Stitch Fix

Sooo, I am a little behind in posting… Between health issues, school stuff and just general busyness, it seems like everything got pushed to the side…

This is my March Stitch Fix box! I did end up keeping everything in it, which surprised me!

I was so happy when my stylist found the jacket that I loved in a larger size! I talked about it on my blog here if you wanted to see what it looks like! I know the weather was going to start getting warmer, but I really loved that jacket! lol

Here are the rest of the things I got:

My March Stitch FixThis shirt doesn’t look like much just hanging there, but it fit great and it was a very comfortable material. And I love the color… :D

My March Stitch FixThis is a scarf that is half lace and half print. I loved it! The colors were fun and I like the little lace bit. I feel that it could be dressed up OR down…

My March Stitch FixThis sweater is a much prettier color than what is shown here, but I didn’t have time to adjust it. It is a pretty green/blue and the elbow patches are a deeper teal color. Now, this wasn’t my favorite, or Jeffy’s, but it was cheaper to get the whole box than just the four other things that I liked a lot more. I still wear it though…

My March Stitch FixThis sheer blouse was a color that I am always drawn to. The fit was a bit wide, but I think with a cami under it, it makes a little more sense. I could also wear the above scarf with it as well. :)

This box was less expensive than my first box, the most expensive thing was the jacket, which makes sense.

I feel like my stylist listened to me with this box, for the most part!

Have you ordered a Stitch Fix box yet? You can use my link here and try them out! I do get a little credit if you use my link, but you don’t have to.. :)

I love seeing what everyone else gets though, so let me know!!!

 

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When Calls The Heart {Review and Giveaway}

Woah…

Have any of you seen season one of When Calls The Heart? It is a great show!

Season two just premiered April 25th. The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. It tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal mining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

When Calls The Heart season 2

It stars Erin Krakow as Elizabeth, Lori Laughlin as Abigail and Daniel Lissing as Jack. And look, Jack Wagner is in there too!

What I like about these shows is that there is no strong language. It is a total family friendly show!

When I first started watching the new season, I was hooked right away! Especially when the new lawyer stepped out of the stagecoach. Um hm! I don’t want to talk about the show too much especially since it just premiered the other day! But the characters all do so well together, love the chemistry.

I would highly suggest watching all of season one before jumping into season two…it would make much  more sense! Here is the trailer for season one in case you haven’t seen the show…

And guess what? I am giving away a copy of just that! You can enter to win a When Calls the Heart Season one DVD set below!! It is being provided by Word Films. If you win, I know you will be hooked and want to dig right in to season two.. ;) You can see previews for that, and other little clips on their website here!

When Calls The Heart season 1 dvd set

Now, I had no idea about this, but fans of the show are called Hearties. So cute…anyway, if you love the show too, you MUST join the Hearties Facebook group!

I am assuming this is going to be another popular contest, so make sure you enter before the contest ends!!! :)

When Calls The Heart {Review and Giveaway}

 

 

 Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 

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