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Monday, October 23, 2017

Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson

Cover Art

Cherished Mercy
by Tracie Peterson
Heart of the Frontier Book 3

About This Book:

As Oregon Territory teeters on the brink of armed conflict, one woman strives for peace.
Mercy Flanagan survived the Whitman Massacre as a child, and now her heart's cry is for peace between the native peoples and the white settlers inhabiting Oregon Territory. Unfortunately, most of the settlers want the tribes removed from the land completely, one way or another.

At the request of family friend Eletta Browning, who is experiencing a difficult pregnancy, Mercy travels south to the Rogue River Valley to help. At the Browning Mission, she meets Eletta's brother-in-law, Adam. Despite her attempts to befriend him, Adam seems determined to focus on ministering to the local tribes and keeps her at arm's length. Why is he so intent on pushing her away?

When tragedy strikes and tensions in the territory reach the combustion point, Mercy is pushed to the limit of her strength. She and Adam will have to rely on their faith in God and on each other in order to make it out alive.

My Thoughts on This Book/Series:

I have loved each of these three books in this series. Getting to know each sister throughout all of them as they leave off where the others have finished. The first two books we get to know the two oldest sisters, in this book we get to know the youngest, Mercy. Her compassionate heart even after tragedy as a youth shows how you can take a bad situation and still learn to love and live.

Mercy decides to take a long trip to help a family friend with a hard pregnancy. Not knowing the true history of this family and their daughter, Mercy makes it there and settles in. She meets Adam, the brother in law to Eletta. Adam thinking she will cause more trouble than help, he keeps his distance at first. When Mercy comes across more tragedy, her faith is put to the test. Can she overcome another obstacle and will she find love and forgiveness in her heart? This series was a delight to read and look forward to reading Tracie's next book series.

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. Learn more at www.traciepeterson.com.

I have received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

The Wellness Revelation Review

TheWellnessRevelation_FrontCVR

The Wellness Revelation
by Alisa Keeton

An 8 Week Journey...

What would it take for you to make a change?

Weight loss can be a very self-focused endeavor. Perhaps you have struggled with your weight your entire life, never feeling at peace in your body, riding a roller coaster of emotions as you watch numbers on a scale go up and down. Maybe you’ve been keenly aware throughout your life of both obsessing over your body and neglecting it. Friend, do you have a hard time loving the skin you are in? Does loving God and others often feel like more of a chore than a joy?

The Wellness Revelation will challenge you to get fit by seeking God first and foremost. God wants to free you from what weighs you down and keeps you from your marvelous purpose. In these pages, you will learn how to live well both physically and spiritually so that you are best equipped to love and serve others from a whole heart. The Wellness Revelation will change the way you love God, yourself and others.

Each week in this eight-week journey includes a teaching, weekly fitness training assignments, Bible study, 8-week workout calendar with video workouts, small-group questions, suggested food list, and more. Each will encourage you to love God, get healthy, and serve others and will provide you with the tools to spread the gospel with courage, confidence, kindness, and freedom.

It’s time to make a change from the inside out.

My Thoughts on This Book:

Are you looking to lose some weight? Find healthy habits to get into better shape physically, & spiritually?  I highly recommend this book. The Wellness Revelation is designed to help you renew you, from the inside out. The book is designed to be done over an 8 week period.

Each week you will read, respond, renew & relate.

Read the given information
Respond by taking an action
Renew by answering questions to help you
Relate by applying what you've learned during that week.

This is designed for you to lose weight with the focus on God, scripture and actually putting into action all that you've learned and prayed over.

An 8 week journal that can be printed is in the back alongside a workout calendar to follow.

You can also go to her website and sign up to get her 7 Day Detox emails to help motivate and encourage.

Learn more about Revelation Wellness by watching this video here

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey
by Carolyn Miller
Book 3 Regency Brides Series

About This Book:

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society's approval thwart the legacy of grace?
Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She's lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara's society mama is appalled at the new company she's keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won't let him ignore the penniless viscount's daughter--not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they're pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent's Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together--without finances, family support, or royal favor?

My Thoughts on This Book:

I have enjoyed reading all the books in this series. We meet Miss DeLancey in Book 1 and hear about her life throughout each book. Now we get to focus much on her in this book which I was happy to read. I had a slight fondness for her character. She seemed very immature in her thinking as I learned about her shortcomings from Books 1 & 2. She was consumed by scandal and struggled to become better. As she meets someone in a chance encounter can she pick up her life and actually find happiness? Maybe even love? I have loved this series by Carolyn. an absolute delight to read.

About the Author:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Day 3-4 October Unprocessed

Days 3 and 4 were very productive with some easy to make dinners and one dessert/snack. I am trying new recipes this month hoping to spur my taste buds to try new things and ingredients. Lately with me working full time we've been rotating through about 10-12 different meals so it's been pretty mundane and boring. I just found out that my hours will be lightened up for the next couple weeks. No more overtime so I will be having more time to be in my kitchen.

So with no further ado, I made these yummy muffins with some leftover bananas I had. Trying to stick with the try new recipes approach I found this delicious Banana Oat Muffin recipe that uses less flour than the original banana muffin recipe I usually use and instead of sugar it uses brown sugar. Only 177 calories per muffin and with the oats, it's filling and kept me satisfied all the way until lunchtime without the need to snack in between.


You can make these delicious Banana Oat Muffins yourself by visiting this link HERE to get full recipe. I added a cup of chocolate chips to add a little sweetness to them. I used 60% Caco and not semi sweet.


I did a traditional dinner for Day 3. Made turkey tacos with all the basic toppings. Green Onions, Lettuce, Tomato and light on the sour cream and cheese. I added steamed zucchini for a side dish and served on a whole wheat organic tortilla.


Tonight's dinner: Day 4 I wanted to try homemade sloppy joe's. I dislike using the canned sauce as it tends to have nothing but added yuck and of course it's all processed so it's a no go. This sloppy joe recipe was not only delicious but was super simple to make. The time consuming thing here was just browing the meat. Add all the remaining ingredients, simmer to warm and served it on my homemade hamburger buns. You can get the recipe for the buns HERE.

Sloppy Joe recipe can be found HERE with all the ingredients and step by step instruction.

Tomorrow's meal will be a crockpot dish as I work late. Look forward to sharing on Day 6.. See you then!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Day 1-2 October Unprocessed

Day 1 and 2 of our month long journey returning back to eating unprocessed full time. I didn't realize how much I missed cooking from scratch and baking healthy real food.

With working full time these past 4 months I have let this slip, but no more. I am super excited about using this month to help me commit back to eating this way. 

Here is some of the food I prepared for day 1 and 2.


Homemade no knead sandwich bread. You can find the link to the full recipe HERE

I made my own hamburger buns. You can find one of my previous posts which includes the recipe HERE.

With the buns I made a Greek Veggie Burger w/ Feta Cucumber Sauce. You can find full recipe HERE


For snacks for the family I made homemade fig bars. These are a huge hit at my house. I posted about these previously so you can find the recipe post HERE


For mornings I decided to make some nutritious muffins that are filling. I am trying not to snack every time I take a break at work. With my previous breakfast choices I was always hungry within a couple hours. These muffins are filling.

You can get full recipe HERE


Day 2 we had Avocado Chickpea Wraps. These were delicious and so easy to make. You can find full recipe HERE

Looking forward to sharing my next couple days here soon.. Stay tuned..

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

October Unprocessed 2017

October Unprocessed
I am super excited about participating again with the October Unprocessed Challenge. My goal with this for the month of October is to detox sugar out of our diets and to return back to unprocessed meals.

Over the past few months with me working full time I have allowed more premade or simplified meals back into our lives. I am not happy with this at all and this challenge gives me the motivation to rethink food, our meal planning and diet.

Over the next month I am looking to journal meals I have chosen and the family loves and to share some tips and ideas that help our family to return back to unprocessed. Having a busy schedule now with full time work, homeschooling my last and taking care of house, family and dog shouldn't be an excuse to eat poorly. Health, fitness and food has been a priority for me for years now and I need to continue to make it my mission to eat right, exercise regularly and to be the best I can be.

Stay tuned!

PS. You can still get in on this awesome month long challenge. Commit one month to unprocessed! Click HERE to take the pledge!

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson Book Review

Cover Art

Beloved Hope
Book 2 Heart of the Frontier Series
by Tracie Peterson

About This Book:

Shackled by Her Past, One Woman Searches for Healing, Forgiveness, and Love
Hope Flanagan survived the massacre at the Whitman Mission, but at terrible personal cost. Safe now in Oregon City, the gentle rhythm of tending her family's flock of sheep is slowly healing her mind and soul, but her precarious new peace is shattered when Hope is asked to testify against the Cayuse responsible for the massacre. She's not sure she can bear to relive the events of those horrific days, but neither can she risk her attackers being released if she doesn't tell her story.

As Hope struggles to make her choice, an Army lieutenant named Lance Kenner becomes an unexpected ray of light in her life. Perhaps she is still capable of love after all. But will Lance still want her if he learns the whole truth of what happened to her at the mission? Or are the secrets that lie in his own past more troubling?

My Thoughts on This Book:

Starting where Book 1 left off, we now follow Hope, Grace's sister. Hope struggles with healing form the tragedy at the Mission that took place 2 years earlier. Nightmares and feelings of insecurity. After giving up her baby and trying not to relive the past, it all gets stirred up again after the knowledge of the trial of those responsible with the massacre and the personal horror she went through.

Hope struggles to find ways to let go of her anger even after all have moved on. As she meets Lance a military soldier that is there to help with the trial, she finds it hard to resist a friendship with him even though she would rather be left alone. Will her past always define her, or can she move beyond it with love in her future.

You don't want to miss this series and can't wait to read the final book. Pick up a copy today...

About the Author:

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. Learn more at www.traciepeterson.com.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh Book Review


Just Look Up
by Courtney Walsh

About This Book:

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home—a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work—something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along—if only she’d just look up.

My Thoughts on This Book:

A charming story about Lane Kelley, an interior designer living in the big city of Chicago having to return to her hometown because tragedy struck her immediate family. Even though she longs to see her brother heal, she can't handle the disappointment of her family and the memories of her past childhood that haunts her. As she reconnects with her family friend Ryan, she finds herself rethinking her life and her priorities. Is there more out there than her career for her? As she spends all her time focusing on her job and no social life, is love a possibility?

Ryan struggles with his past as well. A father that was drunk growing up and an absent mother. As he works through his haunted past can he too find love and share a life with Lane? You will love this delightful story by an author I have grown to admire.. Pick this book up today. You won't regret it!

About the Author:

Courtney Walsh

Courtney Walsh is the author of Paper Hearts, Change of Heart, and the Sweethaven series. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller and a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. In addition, she has written two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright. Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

We Are Now Down to One..Homeschooling The Last




This is a bitter sweet post to share. I graduated my 2nd child back in May so this Summer has been planning our homeschooling adventure with just one left in the nest. My 15 yr old son. It has been difficult at times to think that I only have one left to homeschool and just 3 short years left until I graduate my last.

I allowed my son to choose what he wanted to learn this year. In years past they didn't seem to care which way I went so I decided for them. Since he is the last and only left, I wanted him to feel more in control of his education and not just Mom's idea!

He is looking into some sort of hands on job field when he is done with high school and is looking into attending college if what he ultimately chooses requires it. So Math, and science are two important subjects he needs to be focusing on. Here is his upcoming Sophmore Year: 2017-2018 curriculum..

MATH:

Saxon Geometry Homeschool Kit

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HISTORY/Literature:

Exploring Economics Textbook (2016 Release)   -     By: Ray Notgrass

Image result for notgrass economics literature
1st Semester

Notgrass Exploring Economics has a literature addition this year so we will be using that for his English credit for the year.

Capture+_2017-08-26-17-48-36

Image result for notgrass government literature

2nd Semester

He has shown real interest in our Constitution even more so after the highly publicized election and the way the country is going today. I am very happy to see him interested in this subject.

Science

Image result for understanding modern electronics

Electives:

We are still undecided on his electives. He has been interested in cooking lately so we may dabble in this for a semester and give him a home ec credit if he wants to continue.. We will see! He also likes woodworking and mechanics. He has been helping his father with our vehicles and is something he is interested in as a career option so this will definitely be a hands on elective for him. The joys of homeschooling is flexibility and the delight in education..

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller Review

The Captivating Lady Charlotte

The Captivating Lady Charlotte
by Carolyn Miller

Book 2 Regency Brides- Legacy of Grace Series

About This Book:

Her heart is her own--but her hand in marriage is another matter

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.

Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean, and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.

My Thoughts on This Book:

Lady Charlotte, just old enough to be presented as an upcoming available bride by her parents, she has the desire to find her one true love and marry, but her parents want her to marry the title and forego the idea of marriage being about love but about a contract. Charlotte toys with this decision to honor and respect her parents and her desire to have love in her future marriage.

Duke Hartwell has seen nothing but tragedy in his life and couldn't think that any woman in his future could love him unconditionally. After finding hardship in his first marriage he doesn't know if he should seek marriage again, until he sees Charlotte. Her parents desire their marriage but out of contract, not love and he doesn't want to marry without love again. Can he convince her that she can marry him and love him too?

Carolyn has become one of my top authors recently. This is the 2nd book in the series. The first I read back in March and loved it. You can read my review HERE. The characters once again come to life throughout the pages of this book and you feel like you can connect to them. I loved this book and can't wait to read the 3rd book in this series...


About the Author:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer Review

Heart on the Line

Heart on the Line
by Karen Witemeyer
Ladies of Harper's Station Novel


About this Book:

Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can't let the villain she believes responsible for her father's death release his wrath in Harper's Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she's ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

My Thoughts on This Book:

Second book in the Ladies of Harper's Station, you will find this book full of adventure, drama, love and friendship. I was drawn in from the first chapter. I love Karen's writing style. Starting of the book tragedy strikes Grace and her father. She travels to TX to live at Harper's Station, a community of women helping women. As she continues her daily life as their Western Union Operator, she meets Amos, call sign A through the wires and becomes fast friends. After he overhears that something is wrong with Grace he travels to Harper's Station to help in anyway he can.

Can an over the wire relationship turn into something real during a time of turmoil? Will Grace finally find peace after witnessing her father's death? Will she finally find love after hiding her life and feelings? You will enjoy this wonderfully written story from page one. I couldn't put this book down until I was done. One day read and now can't wait to pick up Karen's next book.

About the Author:

Karen Witemeyer

Karen Witemeyer, a 2014 Christy Award Nominee, two-time RITA finalist, winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion and ACFW Carol Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance because she believes that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Texas with her husband and three children.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Friday, June 30, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade Book Review

Cover Art

True to You
by Becky Wade
A Bradford Sisters Romance

About this Book:

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora's help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

My Thoughts on This Book:

I fell in love with this story the instant I started reading it. Nora was quaint, charming and relatable. The beginning of the story shows how John and her met. Nothing like a little emergency to make a heart go pitter patter. As you learn more about these two characters, you fall more in love with them.

Nora's sisters were great to get to know. The way the three interact was a delight. Finding out that John's adopted was easy to hear for Nora as she too was adopted after her mother passed away when young. As she helps John locate his birth mother they find the perfect dynamic. She falls for him but does he fall for her? The story takes you on a journey of discovery for both Nora and John. You don't want to miss this book in the Bradford Sisters Series.. What a treat!

About the Author:

Becky Wade

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at www.beckywade.com.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Graduation Decorating & Gift Idea

I had fun decorating for my son's high school graduation. We decided to hold it at the same location I had my daughter reception back in 2013. I booked two days for the room so I could set up the day before and just come the day of and put out food. Since the ceremony was that morning and I didn't get out until after 3:30pm and the reception started at 5:30pm, I am so glad I did that!

I made my son a little gift since his main present from me was his class ring and party! I found a cute idea of giving lottery tickets as a gift. I found this cute 2017 grad bag and some skewers and attached 10 lottery tickets and two gift cards to the skewers with paper clips. I lined the bag with grad tissue paper.

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A party wouldn't be a party without a PHOTO BOOTH! Well at least for me!!!

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I decided to order cupcakes and a mini cake instead of trying to make one with all that was going on. Since I was also coordinating the graduation I seriously had no time.. The cake was decorated in my son's favorite color.. YELLOW!

3

Thought it would also be fun to add some other sweet treats as well as the cupcakes.. Nothing like some graduation  Ho Ho "DIPLOMAS".. Some "SMARTIE PANTS" Smartie candies, "CLASS RINGS" Ring Pops, and Some "BOOK WORMS" gummy worms.

4

I did some simple table decorations since my son didn't want anything fancy or splashy.  I took 6 of his favorite senior photos that I took of him back in March had them printed out and double backed them onto skewers. I then added felt cap stickers onto the top on both side to give them a topper. I bought the containers they were in from the Dollar store and crinkle paper in black/white/yellow to fill them.

5

I found the yellow paper placemats at Party America to give the table some yellow splash since it was my son's selected color.. I found the black cap/gown centerpieces at Party America as well for just a couple bucks..

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Never Give Up by John Mason Review

Cover Art

"Never Give Up"
You're Stronger Than You Think
by John Mason

About This Book:

Everything you want is on the other side of not giving up
Anything worth doing is going to have some obstacles. Some people look at setbacks as evidence that whatever it is they've been striving for just wasn't meant to be. But according to bestselling author and master motivator John Mason, the moment most people give up is the moment of their greatest opportunity.

In this inspiring book, Mason gives you fifty-two keys to never giving up on your dreams. He shows you how to move forward when you're on the verge of quitting, how to avoid unnecessary trouble, and how to keep your energy level up in the face of setbacks.

Whatever your dream--whether you're building a portfolio, a family, a business, or relationships--you'll find the strength and motivation to go on, break through, and claim the prize.

My Thoughts on This Book:

I was happy to receive a copy of this book to review. When I saw the title I was feeling a bit discouraged with life. A bit overwhelmed with things I've placed upon my schedule and also dealing with outside friendships. I was amazed that when I started reading this in hopes to find encouragement to "never give up" I started seeing encouragement to help my family, especially my teen son. He is embarking on a new journey of adulthood and not sure where his life is leading him.
Page by page I felt this book calling to him. "READ ME" and also to help me overcome some mental blocks.

 Each nugget takes just a few minutes to read. 52 in all. You can read this book all the way through probably in a days time. I did. You can also take your time and who knows, digest each nugget by the week. One nugget each week for an entire year's worth of Never giving up!. A great way to take each nugget, apply it to your life one step at a time to really feel the impact.

Broken into three parts.. Looking Inward, Looking Outward and Looking Upward.  First 21 Nuggets deal with looking inward, the next 18 nuggets work with Looking Outward and the remaining nuggets are looking upward.

Do you want to quit? Life, family, job? This book is for you. Feeling like you can't go forward..
Each nugget will draw you towards God, bring your life into perspective and give you hope where you never thought possible.

Does failure go to your head? Does the devil know you I am? What good things have you committed to but have quit doing? These and 22 more questions the author asks us as we seek to never giving up! You will find value in every page so take the time to pick up a copy this Summer.. You won't regret it!

About the Author:

John Mason is a minister, a speaker, and the bestselling author of many books, including You Can Do It--Even if Others Say You Can't and You Can Be Your Best--Starting Today. He is the founder and president of Insight International and Insight Publishing Group, organizations dedicated to helping people reach their God-given dreams. He lives in Oklahoma.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Memorial Day Weekend Adventures

My husband had a four day weekend over Memorial Day weekend so we decided to get out of town and do some exploring. We've been pretty much home bound since Winter started so it was really nice to go see things in our beautiful state of Montana.

Since we live centrally it's nice to be able to go pretty much anywhere in a days drive. We decided though to take two days to see several things..

Libby Dam Koocanusa Bridge

We had a blast driving up to see Libby Dam and the Kookanusa Bridge. The lake/river was pretty low so no water was coming over the dam. That was okay. The dam was beautiful regardless. Huge and worth a photo!

LDBG Ross Creek Cedars

During our two days away we drove to see large cedar trees along a breathtaking hike in the forest. Ross Creek Cedars is well worth the trip to see. Reminds me so much of Yosemite National Park.

Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge

Along our drive through Kalispell, MT we stopped to see the Kootenai Falls. This time of year it was magnificent to see. Just beyond the falls is a swinging bridge to go across. I was surprised that it didn't freak me out since I'm terrified of heights and the raging water underneath normally would of given me the excuse not to go across. I conquered it and enjoyed the journey!

Columbia Falls Dam Schoolhouse Fishing Pole Noxon Dam

Before heading home we went to see two more dams, Noxon Dam, and Thompson Falls Dam. Each time the water was raging past and was a beautiful sight to see. Outside of Troy, MT there was a cute fishing pole overhanging the river. Had to stop to get a photo with it! As we neared Missoula we found a beautiful one room schoolhouse so had to stop to photograph it for memories.

It was wonderful to get away for a couple days.. After we returned, we stayed home on Day 3 to get some house stuff completed and then hubby and I ventured out for a day hike at Refrigerator Canyon.


ldbg canyon hike

We decided to go for a little more than a 6 mile hike. 3.25 miles in and then back. We were followed by lots of bumble bees and saw chipmunks and a squirrel. Other than that it was quiet and the scnery was heavenly. We enjoyed the cool temps in the canyon, the amazing views and serene quiet, just the two of us! After being married almost 20 years, you grab any opportunity you can to enjoy time together and since we love to get out of dodge and explore, what a better way to spend a day!

Class of 2017- Homeschool Graduation

On May 20th my oldest son, middle child, graduated high school. We have been blessed to be able to homeschool him for his education and had the opportunity to present him with a diploma and enjoy his special day together.

I decided back in November after the original coordinator for the graduation's stepped down to take over the roll for the year to give my son a wonderful ceremony/reception. After 7 months of planning and prepping we finally came down to the special day. 20 graduates for this occasion. The biggest our community has had graduate at one time.

My son performed with a friend of his from youth group at our church. She wrote the lyrics and my son wrote the music and they had the opportunity to perform during the ceremony. It was so beautiful!

My husband did the talking as I was an emotional wreck watching my son walk down the aisle, see his slideshow of him growing up and now before me all grown up receiving his diploma. He wrote him a poem that was very fitting for the occasion.

Grad 1

My daughter came up from her duty station in Utah to see her brother graduate. It was so nice to have all my family together even for a few days.

grad 2

All the graduates with the cake which had all their names on it.

Throwing their cap/gowns outside and my son with his memory table.. Each graduate had the opportunity to put together a table of their childhood/school memories... It was so nice to see them all..

My son is now working on his future. Looking for a full time job right now while seeking options for a future career. He is interested in ministry. Youth or Music so while working on these details he will be saving money and preparing for a future career.

We can't be more proud of him and his accomplishments..

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller Review

Cover Art

The Chapel Car Bride
by Judith Miller

About This Book:

After a sheltered life in Pittsburgh, Hope Irvine is ready for a new adventure. When her father takes a position as a preacher in a railroad car converted into a traveling church, she's thrilled at the chance to accompany him. While accommodations in their new chapel car home are tight, Hope couldn't be happier putting her musical skills to good use and ministering to the people of West Virginia alongside her father. But when their chapel car arrives in Finch, West Virginia, they find a coal mining community that has hit hard times and is suspicious of outsiders.

Luke Hughes works for the coal mine when he can, but the struggling company doesn't always offer steady work. When Reverend Irvine and Hope arrive in town, Luke is intrigued by what the reverend can teach him--and by the lovely and kind Hope.

When Hope's desire to bring supplies and Sunday school classes to neighboring counties leads to her traveling with a flirtatious young mine manager, Luke is hard-pressed to suppress his jealousy. But when he begins to suspect the manager's motives are less than charitable, can he prove it without hurting Hope, or worse, putting her in danger?

My Thoughts on This Book:

Hope travels with her father in a chapel car on the railroad line to find them in Finch. A mining town where they settle down while waiting for a church to be built. During their stay she makes a friend from a gentleman working the local mine named Luke. A faithful man wanting nothing more than to look out for Hope, to keep her safe and hopefully some day call her his own.

The mining companies son shows up and causes trouble with the residence of Finch. Will his troubled life come to light or will his secrets stay hidden and show negative results to Hope and all those that live in the small mining town?

This book brings you to the past where folks struggled living in a dirty mining town, making ends meet in a company owned home and where food and supplies must be purchased through the company. Will a Union help the conditions of the mine and the families that live there or will things continue to get worse because the owners want a profit and anyone's expense...

Great read and Judith did a wonderful job showing us the characters of this story. Look forward to reading the next book by Mrs. Miller!

Judith Miller

Judith Miller is an award-winning writer whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her family make their home in Kansas. Learn more at www.judithmccoymiller.com.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.


My Teenage Zombie by David L. Henderson, MD Review

My Teenage Zombie: Resurrecting the Undead Adolescent in Your Home

My Teenage Zombie
Resurrecting the Undead Adolescent in Your Home

by David L. Henderson, MD

About This Book:

A must-read guide for parents and grandparents who want to practically and successfully help their teenager navigate the ever-lengthening stage of adolescence launching, them into society with confidence, vision, and success.

Zombies are not just found in horror movies, sometimes they’re lying on your living room couch. These are undead adolescents whose psychological and social development have come to a screeching halt. Torn by their yearning for freedom and their fear of surviving the outside world, they have stalled in their maturity, motivation, and purpose in life, hijacked by a helplessness and fear of responsibility. Parents often feel ill-equipped to love, support, and guide them—especially when they may be facing a midlife crisis of their own and battling some of the same issues in their own lives. Is it really possible to escape this “undead” state of being?

In My Teenage Zombie board-certified psychiatrist and medical doctor David L. Henderson explains the parts of a teenage zombie (their brain, heart, and spirit), how they got into this undead state, and how to resurrect them back to life. Using real-life examples of families he has counseled, he describes both their physical and psychological characteristics and offers practical suggestions on how to deal with, and in many cases avoid, having an undead adolescent in your home.

The book is divided into three helpful sections:

  • The Rise of the Undead: Understanding the Nature of a Teenage Zombie
  • The Fear of the Undead: Facing the Anxiety of Confronting a Teenage Zombie
  • Resurrecting the Undead: Restoring Your Teenage Zombie to a Life Worth Living

  • If you are the parent of an undead adolescent, there is hope for you and your child. Or maybe you have children who are not yet adolescents. It’s never too early to prepare for the challenges that await you. Either way, stay calm and start resurrecting zombies!

    My Thoughts on This Book:

    I was approached to read this book and write a review on it. When I read the title and the back of the book describing what it was about, I thought. "Wait, I think I have a teenage zombie." As much as I love my children and my teenage boys, I have noticed over some time the lack of enthusiasm and self motivation my now 18 yr old has. School was the first issue we've had and has gone on for many years and adding lack of cleaning room, keeping up with chores and always wanting to use spare time and money for video gaming or trading cards, I couldn't wait to read more on how I can be a more active participant and helping my son be a better person for himself as well as for his future out in the world.

    This Book is made up of three parts.

    Part 1: Understanding the Attack
    Part 2: Facing Our Fear of Zombies
    Part 3: Resurrecting the Undead Adolescent

    If you are looking to help your teenager be more present, awake in the world, and alive in your family, I highly recommend this book to read. It gave me practical advice that I could easily implement in my life to help my son and to show him my love but still being a parent that he craves deep down!

    About the Author:

    Dr. David Henderson is a board certified psychiatrist, author and speaker. He is the founder and president of Four Stones PLLC, a mental health consulting practice in Dallas, Texas. For five years, Dr. Henderson served as the Department Chair of Psychology and Counseling at Criswell College, rebuilding its Masters in Counseling Program and starting the undergraduate major in Psychology. He also helped to develop a fully online counseling curriculum for the school. In addition, Dr. Henderson has served as an adjunct professor of Psychology and Counseling at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is a member of the board of directors for Drug Prevention Resources, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing youth substance abuse. Dr. Henderson has presented nationally and internationally at conferences for the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, The Christian Association for Psychological Studies, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association. For more information, you can visit his website, www.drdavidhenderson.com.

    I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Miles and Miles & a Half Marathon...

It has been a very productive couple months. I hit 600 miles on my 2,017 miles in 2017 challenge back on April 11th. Just 17 days later I crossed over the 700 miles number.

600 miles LDBG

700 miles collage

These 200 miles have been full of some fun races to add to my running memories.
Icebreaker Collage

Late April I ran the Icebreaker 5 mile Road Race. I have been working hard training to run this race under an hour. First time doing the 5 mile one since I have always ran the 3 mile race. This day was full of cold and rain but that didn't stop me. Crossed the finish line in 57:39 min.. Super excited to beat my goal time by almost 3 minutes...

color run LDBG

I had a blast getting colorful with a Color Run 5K to help child abuse. My friend's daughter ran the race as well. We met afterwards and snapped a colorful photo of us together! The next day though on my weekly long run (training for my half marathon) I feel and banged up my knee... So my running came to a slow crawl for a few days while getting my movement back.

800 miles


During my recovery I managed to walk/run to 800 miles. I was bummed though that I had to stop all my long runs while I recovered with my knee since it was bandaged after being scraped and bruised pretty good. Through it all I was able to make it to Half Marathon Day!

bloomsday

During my half marathon training I signed up to run the Bloomsday 12K Race in Spokane WA. This was my first race of this length. 7.47 miles.. I met a local friend there and we started the race together. My goal was to run it in an hour and a half. That was my before fall time so I wasn't going to hold my breath. Well I did pretty good. I ran it in 1 hr 33 min. Only 3 minutes slower than what I wanted so I was super excited. I hope to run this again next year and try to beat my time. Praying no injury just a week before!

half marathon

May 21st was the big day. My first ever half marathon. I knew because I stopped long runs at 10 miles which ended up being 3 weeks earlier, I was afraid time was not going to be record breaking. That's okay because I signed up to do this to complete it, not to beat anything. I went out, did my best and crossed the finish line!

My hubby and my daughter came to cheer me on. They met me at the 3 mile mark, 10 mile mark, 13 mile mark (daughter) and hubby at the finish line!

Tomorrow I will be hitting the 900 mile marker! I am getting close to half way to my 2.017 mile goal for the year! This challenge has really helped me grow as a runner, take more challenges including running a half marathon! Have had this race idea on my bucket list for 3 years and thanks to this Run the Year challenge I put it on my agenda and worked hard to train for the past 5 months.

The second half of the year will be more 5K's, hiking and at least one 10k in August. I love looking around the area for races to run that aren't in town so hopefully I can find some fun ones to conquer before the end of the year!