Thursday, October 29, 2015

Catbird Singing

I love, love, love, LOVED this book! I was so excited when I heard that book two came out in the Amish Horses series by Thomas Nye! The first one, Under the Heavens, left me wanting more so badly, and it definitely did not disappoint. Thomas Nye is by far one of my favorite authors, and I have fallen for his characters so much it's like they are real.

We catch back up with the main character, Lenny Gingerich. Lenny is an English kid who happens to come from an Amish family. He found himself and his roots a few summers past when visiting his father's family.
He was supposed to have came back to help on the farm, but never made it back getting caught up in college and time. Missing his Amish family he decides on his way home from college to pass through, but did not plan to stop. However, a storm takes place and causes Lenny some car trouble and even more unexpected situations take place causing Lenny to have to stay on with them after all. While trying to figure out where his life is headed, and waiting on his car to get fixed, Lenny stays on with his uncle Noah. He has some serious thinking to do on where his life is headed, and meets back up with Leah again. Leah is an Amish girl who Lenny was quite taken after the last time he spent time in the area. They were great friends and had a little romance going. We were left on the edge of our seats with these two in the first book! After two summers spent away when he promised to come back sooner, Leah is now cold towards Lenny. He can't help but feel like she is just not the same girl that she once was. He misses that girl and wants her back. But now a new girl pops up that also seems to be taken with Lenny! Not to mention an English kid named Justin that isn't making things very easy. Lenny was advised to not cause any trouble while he visited with his family, but trouble seems to find him regardless!

This is definitely a page turner! As always Thomas Nye has me hooked! I just did not want to put this book down! I am definitely left wanting more! I sure hope there is a book three to come in this series! I can't say more on that subject because I don't want to spoil anything by giving too much away. I definitely want you to feel the same suspense that I experienced while reading it. It is a very exciting book. Just when you think you know what is going to happen next you will find yourself surprised and on the edge of your seat. This book has a bit of everything, and I loved this book even more than the first! Lenny definitely matures in this book, but there is definitely more to see with him I think.
Even though this is book two in the series it can be read as a stand alone book. The author does a fantastic job of catching you up so you wouldn't feel lost at all if you haven't read the first book. Even so, I definitely encourage you to read the first book because it introduces many characters more in depth and it is a page turner just like this one.
It was nice to see Lenny back in the place where, in my own opinion, he belongs. He just fits so much better in his Amish life rather than his English life. Also seeing him working with horses again just felt so right. I loved that so many of the characters from book one were in this book as well. Plus there were new interesting characters, and lots of surprises.
I definitely rate this book five stars, and cannot express my love for it enough! So far this is my favorite book of the two in the series!

::Product Details::
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: CrossLink Publishing (January 26, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1633570134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1633570139

Check this book out!    ~Kindle~    ~Print~     ~Nook~

Check out Book 1 in the Amish Horses series Under The Heavens too!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a BookCrash reviewer in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ 10/05/2015

Hello all! I hope you are all having a fantastic day so far, and here is to wishing you all a fantastic week ahead! :) 
I am happy to be participating in this week's Happy Homemaker Monday! It has been a busy morning so I know I'm joining a little late. Still better late than never! 
Happy Homemaker Monday is a weekly feature hosted by Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. If you want to join in please visit her blog HERE, comment, and link up! :)

Photo Credit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The weather in my neck of the woods:
It's 60 degrees and sunny outside. We are supposed to reach mid 70s today which will be nice. It is beautiful outside! Not too hot and not too cold with a bit of a breeze. I am loving this weather! All my windows are open letting in that fresh crisp air!

Things that make me happy: 
Spending time with my kiddos and hubby. The kids are on fall break for the next two weeks, and I love having them home with me. 

Book I'm reading:
I am still reading Catbird Singing by Thomas Nye. It is Book 2 in the Amish Horses Series. I am in love with this series, but I just have not had as much reading time as I usually do lately. Still I'm hoping to have it finished up this week, and will post a review once I'm done.

What's on my TV today: 
Not sure if I will get to watch much TV today. So far I've watched Paw Patrol with my kiddos. Later I may watch either some episodes of The Middle or Gilmore Girls. Both are two of my favorite series. Later me and hubby will watch Gotham.

On the menu for dinner:
Sliced Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Peas

On my To Do List:
  • Laundry - wash, dry, iron, put away
  • Dishes 
  • Organize Bathroom Drawers (I had them done, but recently it has become chaos in there, and I can't take it anymore lol)

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
I tried a new Cornflake Chicken recipe for the family. Unfortunately I did not get any pictures. BUT we weren't a big fan of this recipe anyway. Needless to say regardless of adding in spices the cornflakes taste still mostly was overpowering. 
Still I'm glad we gave it a try. It was something interesting to try, but not something I would make again. 

In the craft basket:
Nothing at the moment. Hoping to make a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics this weekend. :)

Looking forward to this week:
  • Getting some extra time in with the kids. 
  • Getting things organized around the house. Around this time of year I like to go through stuff and purge things. Especially toys and clothes because we have birthdays and Christmas coming up.

Tips and Tricks:
Take some baking soda and sprinkle it in windowsills, door cracks, patio door tracks, etc. Then spray some white vinegar on it. It will bubble up and make all the yucky dirt that has turned to gunk easier to remove. You just simply wipe it away. I did this with my patio door tracks and I was so excited by how well it worked! I didn't even have to scrub much at all!

My favorite blog post this week: 
I haven't got a lot of blog reading done in the past week honestly. We have had so much going on, and my oldest is just starting to get over this yucky throat and sinus infection he had. Thank goodness the medicine they gave him has helped so far! :)
We have all battled a cold over the last two weeks. It has seemed one of us gets sick and then as soon as that person gets well another person gets sick. Hopefully we are now all done with that.

A newly discovered blog or youtube channel you would like to share with the readers:
I haven't came across any new ones exactly since my reading time has been limited the last couple of weeks, but I hope to remedy that this week! I want to check into some vlogs! :)

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days:
Time flies by and we have to enjoy it. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day stuff. Take a little time out each day to appreciate everything around you. I find myself often looking forward to the next day, or getting in bed at night because I'm so exhausted. Sometimes the kids will be so hyper and crazy and so much will be going on I find myself getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed and looking forward to bedtime. But then I have to remind myself these are the good years! One day they won't be hyper and they will be out of the nest and I will long for these crazy scattered days! I love these years of them being little, watching cartoons, going for walks, playing games, going to the park. Seeing them get so excited over the little things like worms on the ground, pretty flowers, leaves changing colors. Hearing their little laughter which brings me so much joy. They are all 3 already getting so big! Goodness how time flies. Let us always appreciate and be thankful for the here and now. Enjoy the present, and don't let stress take your mind off the important things. It's easier said than done, but something I'm constantly working at.

On my mind:
  • My kiddos
  • Josh's work schedule. He had a schedule change due to a promotion which means he doesn't have as much time at home with us and is gone longer. On one hand it's a job he loves to do and he is happy with it. Plus there isn't as big of a risk of him getting laid off like his old position would get sometimes. But on the other hand we don't get as much time together as we would all like. He is often on call and like the other night he just came home and we sat down to dinner only to have him called away again because he was on call. He didn't get home until we were all in bed, and then by the time the kids were up he was already back at work. (He leaves very early before the sun even rises). Still we are grateful. There are other employees in his position and they all take turns being on call so it won't be an all the time thing. He has worked hard over the years, and deserves this promotion. It's just a huge adjustment for our family.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


It has been a long time since I've written a personal post. Too long if you ask me. Life is always busy, and I find myself missing my blog more and more. I miss jotting down feelings, what has happened in a day, joining in with Happy Homemaker Monday's, etc.

I'm hoping to go back to normal on blogging. Just when I seem to begin too our schedules aren't working out and we have to try to find a new groove. We just haven't been able to find a good groove yet, but I do feel as if we are close to finding one. In the meantime time seems to be just flying by so quickly it is unreal. Sometimes I find myself wanting it to be the next day or the weekend, and then when it arrives I am like: "Wow! How are we here already!?" And while I look forward to some days more than others I still cherish every day with friends and family. Especially with the children who grow so much with each day. I can't believe how much they have grown already! It's unreal to me sometimes.

My oldest love has started second grade, my middle love is on his last year of pre-k, and my littlest love just turned 7 months! Time goes by so quickly! I just can't believe it!

Second grade at my oldest loves school seems to be a bit better for him than first grade. For one he isn't having to deal with a constant bully situation as he was last year. For two while he does still have homework every single day through the week it doesn't seem as strenuous on him which is fantastic. Last year he had to do a lot of extra's though such as extra reading in addition to the usual, speech work (which he has now graduated from), and whatever homework sheets the teacher sent home. This year it is thankfully just some reading, and various homework sheets per day. But it takes him half the time as it did last year which means he isn't getting as burnt out as he did last year, and he gets to enjoy some of his day after school instead of it just being filled with homework and chores.

My middle love cannot wait to start kindergarten. He is already asking me at least once a week when he will get to start at his brothers school with him. Even though they will be in different grades just being in the same school with his older brother whom he admires so much makes him so excited.

My youngest love just turned 7 months and is everywhere. While not crawling just yet she is scooting on her belly all around and rolling when she can't scoot. It's very cute to watch, and I'm very proud of her. She also talks more and more and we love her sense of humor. We are still breastfeeding (which I also did with both of my sons when they were babies, and I usually go at least a year and a half), and she also is eating baby cereal as well as baby food which she loves. We haven't found anything she won't eat baby food wise yet although I would have to say her least favorite so far is green beans! lol She loves sweet peas and carrots, doesn't care much for peaches, but loves bananas, apples, and blueberries. She is curious about all and pays attention to everything.

Hubby is in transition for a promotion at work. He is on a new schedule which has made things very hectic and he is gone more often. The promotion is great because he is excited about it and has worked hard for it, but at the same time we are really missing him around here. He has to unfortunately miss out on a lot of school events, doctor appointments, family time, etc. His options for trade are few and far between. He says this is only a temporary schedule but so far we have heard nothing of a change so I guess we don't have much of a choice in the matter. While his last position offered more time at home, the time at work was rather brutal on him. He was always exhausted on work days and now he seems more upbeat on work days so I guess the pros outweigh the cons.

I am juggling a lot right now, but loving it. I'm still doing book and product reviews. I took a break from that for awhile, but I honestly love sharing my opinion with others and finding new products or deals.
Mommy's Musings also has a Facebook page here, which I will start sharing on more often. You can keep up to date with my blog posts by liking it as well as find some good recipes, ideas, tips, coupon deals, etc. Please feel free to go give it a like.
I am really into trying new recipes right now which is something I used to love doing but took a LONG break from for awhile (our kiddos went through an extremely picky streak and just opened up to trying SOME new foods here and there). Not to mention hubby, whom I dearly love, is a bit of a Plain Jane as I like to call it. He doesn't mind trying new things but he also isn't much on various spices or flavors. When he cooks he will rarely even add salt or pepper to anything! I'm often sneaking in and adding a little of this or that and he doesn't even know! Which is why I think he really does like different things (as long as he doesn't know what is in them haha). A lot of dishes I've made have various spices and unless I tell him and as long as they aren't too powerful he doesn't even know and usually loves them!

Even though things have been hectic for now I will try to do my best to keep up with blogging, but at the same time I refuse to let myself get too stressed over it. I want to enjoy my time on my blog instead of making it all about work and getting burned out on it. So if I take a break here and there I will for sure be back with another post, review, recipe, etc. Sometimes you may find I'm posting daily while others it may just be weekly, but I'll still be here. And I still enjoy going through and visiting with all of you if you are also a blogger! I have met so many wonderful friends, made so many great connections, found great books, products, recipes, coupon deals, gotten mom advice, etc., on this blogging journey. I am thinking of starting a recipe column also. I used to have one but then deleted it and don't even remember why! I would love to share some recipes that we have tried, what we thought, some of our favorites, etc.

Anyway that is all from me for now. I will be back later this week to post some reviews, and share some tips and tricks. :)
Hope you all are having a fantastic week so far!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Under Magnolia

::My Thoughts::
Under Magnolia is a captivating book! Memoirs is one of my favorite genres to read because I feel transported back in time along with the writer to relive their journey with them. I was sad when this book ended and I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent reading it.
We travel back to Frances' roots and relive her younger years with an ill father and an alcoholic mother who doesn't seem quite know how to grow up. She knows her family is a bit different than others, and she is a stubborn willful person who won't stop until she reaches her own dreams and goals whether she realizes it at the time or not.
Frances overcame her difficult upbringing and knew she wanted more for herself than what the standards were set at the time. During her time if you could marry then you were set to go. Women amounting to anything on their own was practically unheard of in those times. Frances went on to show that no matter how many years went by, or what she did she lived her dreams. To see how wonderful of a writer she has became despite the difficult years is very inspirational, and just goes to show we all have to follow our own path.
I love the writing style and how the words just flow so easily. It was as if I was there walking alongside Frances in a time I can imagine. Very vivid details so nothing was too small, and just an all around wonderful trip! I am glad I was able to read this book! If you like memoir's then I recommend this to you.

::From the back of the book::
A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region’s powerful influence on her life.

The author of three beloved books about her life in Italy, including Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany, Frances Mayes revisits the turning points that defined her early years in Fitzgerald, Georgia. With her signature style and grace, Mayes explores the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the lasting force of a chaotic and loving family. 

From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies—a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel—to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances’s confidant Willie Bell.

Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home.

::Product Details::
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (March 31, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307885925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307885920

::Check these out!::
Paperback   Hardcover   Nook   Kindle   Audible   Audio CD

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a Blogging for Books reviewer in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Be The Best Mom You Can Be

::From the back of the book::
What if you could sit down with a wise, experienced mom--someone who has dealt with her child being bullied, who has seen the impact of permissiveness, who has been forced to depend on God for every single day, and still talks with grace and compassion?
Through many years of tested faith, and her close walk with God, Marina Slayton has written this amazing book to help guide mothers through today's often times impossible expectations. In her book, Marina will help you to write a life-changing family vision statement, break the cycle of generational sin, and explain why you don't have to measure up to many of the difficult expectations society has created. With every move across the country, every illness she's struggled through, Marina knows more in heart, as to what it truly means to rely on the only trustworthy source of life. What is the source to being a good mother, and the strength to go through life's hardships? Quite simply, Jesus Christ.
In an age when brokenness abounds and cultural voices only add to the confusion, Godly mothers have never been more crucial. Many parents--and children--feel lost amidst the decaying family values in the culture, and the ever increasing amount of "best" parenting practices in the market place of ideas. With all of these issues and struggles being raised in today's modern family, some questions are raised by many mothers:
How can we avoid the pitfalls of a secular culture?
How do we raise children who are healthy emotionally and spiritually?
What if we're doing it wrong? 
Many mothers can agree, that wise counsel from a friendly corner is desperately needed. And Marina Slayton is here to do just that, sharing her experiences, her struggles, and her faith as she walked with God through it all. 
Marina has spent the past thirty years as a mother raising four kids. From California to Bermuda, from public school to homeschool, Marina has been there, and she's not afraid to share her mistakes, epiphanies, and practical ideas. But she doesn't stop there. In this incredible book that Marina authored together with her husband Gregory, Marina demonstrates how the power of God's Word, and the work of the Holy Spirit can give direction and freedom to parents who need it most. In this practical book for mothers, you will gain a deeper understanding of what it really means to Be The Best Mom You Can Be.

::My Thoughts::
I am always on the lookout for parenting books. Especially those geared towards mothers. This one grabbed my attention right away with the title BE THE BEST MOM YOU CAN BE because what one of us doesn't want to be the best mom we can be? I always look for ways to improve not only myself but my parenting style. Especially during these ever changing times. It seems like everything bad is acceptable these days while everything good is being pushed aside. So it's great to find a holistic book such as this that gives practical advice on bringing our children up whole.
This book doesn't lecture or drag you down. It doesn't focus on any faults per say but rather shows you how you can grow during your mothering journey. Once a mom always a mom, and we can always find room to grow.
I love that the author gives advice from her experience as a mom herself! Because let's face it while it's still good to take on information in general it's even more useful to often take advice from a fellow mom!
Communication and encouragement is focused on in this book. These are things that parents can sometimes forget to do. In a highly competitive world we can find ourselves lecturing more than encouraging. The world tends to get more and more busy and so do we. So we can forget to always keep that communication line open. We are the key to guiding our children through life experiences such as education, dating, drugs, world events, peer pressure, etc. Children are getting stressed and mothers are getting stressed. Through it all we must communicate and shower plenty of love on one another.
My absolute favorite thing about this book, though, is the talk on generational curses. We often pick up parenting styles from our parents who got it from theirs and so on. Not to say they are all bad, but we tend to use those styles also and may not realize it. We have to break the bad ones and stick with the good.
This is a great book for all moms no matter the age. This is great for moms of all kinds, and even dads who want to learn some great parenting advice. I highly recommend it.
There are also questions and reflections at the end of each chapter that you can go over, and will get you to take a deeper look into yourself while keeping you encouraged.

::Product Details::
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 14, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718022149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718022143

::Find this book::
Kindle   Hardcover   Nook 

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a BookLook Blogger in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Better All the Time

~From the back of the book~
Seraphina Darling has always struggled to stand out. With her weight issues at the forefront of her mind, Sephy prefers to place herself comfortably in the background. But when Sephy’s best friend and older brother announce their engagement, she vows to make a permanent change in her appearance and her life.

Meanwhile her younger sister, Amy, lands her dream job: coordinating the restoration of the community theater’s arts programs. As the deadline for the project’s completion approaches, Amy continues to run herself ragged, struggling to delegate and trust anyone but herself.

As the Darling sisters move through tragedy and triumph, between shadows and the limelight, each must find a path into the freedom of who God intended her to be.

~My Thoughts~
I usually don't like to come in on a series, but this book pleasantly surprised me. The author catches the reader up for the most part so you don't feel as if you are lost. After getting some background during the first few chapters I started getting hooked! The characters are so lovable and realistic! The whole book is very down to earth from the characters to the settings.
Sephy was probably my favorite as she seemed to be the caretaker. She is always putting others before herself and she is admirable. Her battle with weight loss was very inspiring.
Amy is a workaholic who always forgets to take care of herself. She lets her determination and impatience come before anything, but is still very likable and understandable.
Both of these main characters as well as others you will meet in this story are all relatable, lovable, and admirable in their own way. I plan on reading the first book and am looking forward to the one after this!
The Darling family are a very typical family and it's nice to occasionally read a book that is not hyped up by suspense or fantasy (even though I love those kinds as well), but more down to earth situations that the majority of us go through.
There are a lot of wonderful lessons that come through these pages about loving and caring, not only for yourself but for others as well. I highly recommend it!

Check it out on the following::   Kindle   Paperback   Nook 

::Product Details::
  • Series: The Darlings (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (March 20, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414388152
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414388151

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ 08/03/2015

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend and hope you all have a good week ahead. It's been awhile since I got to join in on Happy Homemaker Monday but hoping to get back with it regularly. If you want to join in head on over to Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. :)

Photo credit: Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Happy Homemaker Monday

On the weather front:
Woke up throughout the night to some crazy storms. Thankfully power held up. This morning it's just a slight drizzle and a but gloomy but supposed to have some Sun later today and more later on the week. I'm loving summer just not the humidity. 

On my bedside table:
Catbird Singing by Thomas Nye

On my TV:
America's Got Talent this week. 
Also we have really gotten into watching The Middle. We are finishing up season 2 and will start season 3 hopefully this week.
I'm also hoping to find some good vlogs. :) I will probably check out some of Sandra's recommendations. 

On the menu for tonight:
Turkey Manhattans & Peas

On the menu for this week:

Monday - Turkey Manhattans & Peas
Tuesday - Cheeseburgers & Fries
Wednesday - Baked Chicken, Carrots, Rice
Thursday - Chicken & Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Friday - Hamburger Helper, Fried Potatoes, Broccoli
Saturday - Pizza
Sunday - Nachos

On my To Do List:
Laundry - Our Linens & kids clothes
Setting up Gizmo a grooming appointmentMopping and Vacuuming

New Recipe I tried last week:
No new ones

In the craft basket:
At the moment nothing, but hopefully that will change by next week. I want to make the kids a tie blanket each. 

Looking forward to:
Hearing about my little ones school day. Also this weekend. We are planning a family outing plus we have our weekly family movie night we all look forward to.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
If you have little ones label their drawers. This helps them learn where stuff goes and most enjoy it. For the real small kiddos use pictures and older ones words or also pictures if they prefer. Using both can also help your beginner readers. 

Favorite photo from last week:
My camera crashed. :(

Lesson learned the past few days:
Don't let others pressure you on social media. Don't feel that you have to post by a certain time, or that you must do reviews or whatever. Take your time, let family and yourself come first and go at your own speed. Blogging, facebook, Twitter, etc should never be a chore. It should be fun and enjoyable. 

On my Prayer List:
Our family as we each face our own struggles. 
Our world as there are many struggles all over. 

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
There was an error in this gadget

Search This Blog