Monday, February 1, 2016

Whispering to Horses by Thomas Nye

Whispering to Horses was a wonderful book. I highly recommend it. I hope there will be either another novella or novel to follow this. I really want to see where things go because I was definitely left wanting more! Thomas Nye never ceases to fail me with his writing style, vivid characters, and how everything is brought to life before my very eyes! But before I go on here is a quick summary of this book.

::Taken from the back of the book::
An old fence separates a modern community from their Amish neighbors, until a little boy opens the gate and breaks down barriers between them. Main characters, Matt and Eli, find friendship, hope, and a future through a mutual need, which creates an opportunity for them to learn to understand each other. Eli and his little sisters will touch your heart by Whispering to Horses.

Matt was a character I found very frustrating at first. Mainly because he complained constantly of his beautiful surroundings, and took them for granted. He was very selfish with a cold heart for the longest time throughout the story. He had tons of land with lots of yard, but chose to complain about smelling manure from his Amish neighbors. 

My favorite character was Eli, the young Amish boy that lived on the other side of the fence from Matt. However, my heart broke for Eli. He had so much weight on his young shoulders and carried those burdens without complaint. He is a hard working young man who cares deeply for his family. A very admirable young man for sure.

Eli really helped melt the ice around Matt's heart. As the story progressed Eli seemed to bring out the best in Matt. Matt definitely redeemed himself in my eyes by the end. I can't give too much away because I don't want to spoil the surprise of the story, but I was honestly hooked and infatuated with ALL of the characters by story's end. Especially when it comes to Eli's mother Sony. I sense a story of her own, and I would love to see what the future holds for her. This story definitely leaves you craving more, and I highly recommend it if you love Amish stories. 

I could vividly picture every detail in this story, and just could not figure out how it would end. Honestly my mouth was even wide open when I reached the end because it's not an ending you could even begin to expect. That is all I will say on that because, as I said, I don't want to give too much away. It is a must read for sure!

There is also plenty details about the horses in this book so if you are a horse fan you won't be disappointed there either. This story definitely has it all, which is something I have never seen in a novella. The author wrote another fantastic book that will have you on a roller coaster of emotions, and leave you on the edge of your seat!

Get this book in ~ Print ~ Kindle ~ Nook ~

::Amazon Rating:: 5 Stars
::Goodreads Rating:: 5 Stars

::Product Details::
  • Series: Amish Horses
  • Paperback: 52 pages
  • Publisher: Crosslink Publishing (November 2, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 163357041X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1633570412

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

Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday 01/18/2016

Good afternoon everyone! This is going up way late for me, but it has been a hectic day so far! I feel lucky to get this time to sit and write. Usually I get morning time to blog, but the kids woke up a bit earlier than usual this morning. They were excited to have the day off school so they ended up waking up earlier than their usual school time. LOL
Still it has been a good day so far, and I am so glad to be sitting here with you all! I have visited a couple blogs so far on the link up, and plan on commenting later plus visit the other blogs when I get more time. I can't wait! :)
Anyway time to get started!

Photo Credit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

::The Weather::
COLD! Oh my is it cold. Luckily we didn't have to go anywhere today, but we still have to let out our pup. You can feel the chill right through your clothes. Right now it is only 10 degrees F, and cloudy. The sun peeks through every now and then giving the illusion of warmth. Here's what we are looking forward to this week:

::Right now I am::
Sitting in the living room on the couch while my kiddos play blocks on the floor in front of me. It's rare that they are all currently occupied, but my youngest who is almost one is very into trying to tear down the tower her older brothers are building. Thankfully they adore her so much they just laugh and rebuild it. It's become more of a game to see how high they can get it before she tears it down. Then they all laugh as it tumbles. :)

About how much I love watching my kiddos play.
Also about how much there is to do this week. I have tons of things on my to do list!
One of my resolutions to myself, or goals rather, was to eliminate clutter. We have accumulated so much stuff over the years. Especially toys, and I can't wait to purge some of those and straighten up my boys room! It is long overdo. Their room is clean, but a bit cluttered in my opinion. They never want to get rid of anything. A long forgotten toy can suddenly turn into a favorite if they know you are getting rid of it. haha!
I also can't wait to get my hands on our entry hall closet. Thanks to Pinterest I have a lot of good organizing ideas.

::On my reading pile::
Just recently finished a wonderful Amish Novella. Whispering to Horses by Thomas Nye!

It took me awhile to get around to it due to the holidays, but I finally did. A review will be coming for that one sometime this week.

I just started The Pounamu Prophecy by Cindy Williams. I am only on Chapter 8 so far as I just started it last night, but I am really liking it so far. I can't wait to see where it all goes!

Also I have been perusing The Homestyle Amish Kitchen Cookbook. I picked this up at my library over the weekend, and there are so many great recipes I cannot wait to try them. I think my hubby and children will especially love the Strawberry Pie. Our family loves strawberries.

::On my TV::
Not much of anything. A lot of our shows don't come back on until the end of this month or next.
We picked up some DVD series at the library though we will be watching here and there.
Duck Dynasty Season 8
Whale Wars
The Middle
Survivor man

::Things that make me happy::
Being a stay at home mom. There are some that frown upon it, something I have never understood. I truly love being a stay at home mom. I feel very thankful I get to stay home with my children, take care of my family, the home, etc.

::On the menu for this week::
Monday- Beef Pasta, Baked Potatoes, Peas
Tuesday- Baked Chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn
Wednesday- Taco Salad
Thursday- Grocery Shopping
Friday- see above

::On my to do list::
Most of my stuff has already been done. I still have a load of laundry to fold and put away.
I need to wash up our lunch dishes, and get ready to make dinner here soon.

::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating::
I am sewing what seems like tons of ripped clothes. Usually it's just mending hubby's work uniforms, but it seems like this has been a month for ripping clothes or tearing them. I have a blanket of my daughters to fix. The stitching came loose on it, and I want to get it fixed before it gets worse.
Both sons have buttons missing off their school uniform shirts so I need to sew some new ones on.
Hubby has two shirts and three pairs of pants that need mended.

::Looking around the house::
Kids toys in the living room will need picked up. They have been great about doing that though so no worries there.
Need to give the kitchen a sweep, and wash the lunch dishes before dinner.

::On my prayer list::
Friends and family

::Bible verse, devotional, favorite quote::

That's all for today! I hope to join you all again next Monday! If you would like to link up with your own Happy Homemaker post please head on over to Sandra's blog: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Friday, January 8, 2016

Read and Share 5 Minute Bible Stories

::About the book::
Five-minute Bible stories will help little ones understand God's love.
Selections from the successful Read and Share® Bible, part of the bestselling Read and Share® series, are now available in a new design and format! Parents will capture little ones' attention during storytime with these engaging retellings of classic Bible stories. Kids will enjoy the big and bright hardcover format and the colorful, vibrant illustrations as they learn about God's love and biblical characters-including Noah, Joseph, David, Paul, and Christ-in a way they can understand.
Every entry in Read and Share 5-Minute Bible Stories is just the right length to be read out loud in about five minutes. Parents will appreciate having readings that are easy-to-digest for kids and perfect for a short, snug storytime. Plus, each reading includes interactive components, encouraging Scripture memory and reinforcing comprehension with quick activities for parents and kids, so the shared fun and learning can continue beyond storytime.

::My Thoughts::
This is a really fantastic book! We greatly enjoy this book and I highly recommend it to those with little ones! The title tells you exactly what you are going to get with this book. It is most definitely a read and share book. I was actually quite surprised by the size of it! It is definitely big enough to hold and read with your kiddos. The pages are thick enough to where you don't have to worry about little hands ripping the pages as they help turn them. It is a hardcover book, but the cover is puffy and soft. It seems like a very durable book, and my children always look forward to reading it. 
I love reading to my children, and love to read to them each day. Sometimes it can get a little hectic, but this book is perfect for those days because the stories really are only about five minutes each. It takes no time to fit in a story here or there during the day. Each story is only a couple of pages long, and the illustrations go along perfectly with each story. 
The illustrations are very colorful and sure to grab your little ones attention. Plus the stories are interactive with follow up questions and verses for your little ones. It is very fun, and a great devotional type book for kids! My children love answering the questions, and I love hearing their answers. That not only shows me how they have paid attention to the story, but it gets their minds thinking and wondering. Then we get to move onto the next story where they find out the answer, or we can start a discussion. It is really a lot of fun! And one of the truly great things on the path to being a good reader. 
More often than not we will read this book before bed. Bedtime stories always help my kids settle in, relax, and just kind of unwind. This book is great for morning, afternoon, or bedtime. Just whenever you want to fit it in. It's another reason why I highly recommend this book to those with young ones.
Another good feature of this book is that it is so easy for children to understand. Bible stories are the best stories. Sometimes, however, for younger children bible stories are a tad hard to absorb and understand. This is a great choice to get kids started on a journey to learning about the Bible. This book makes it so simple for them. Because the stories are short you can easily break between stories, or even read on as long as you would like. So it fits well for beginner readers and the younger ones whose attention doesn't hold as long just yet.
I think this would be a great addition into any parents, grandparents, and even Sunday School library! There is so much children can learn from this book! It opens up questions and discussions about God and Jesus, and is just enjoyable for all those who read it! There are 90 stories so there is plenty to read without worry of running out. Then when you have finished the book you can read again from the beginning or just pick your favorites!

::Product Details::
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 4, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718036581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718036584

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. However, all opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Love Everlasting

::About the book:: 
Abrianna Cunningham has always viewed her longtime friend, Wade Ackerman, as 
a protective brother. Lately, however, she's begun to see him differently and finds 
herself attracted romantically to him. But she's confused and overwhelmed by these 
unfamiliar feelings. 

Wade, on the other hand, has loved Abrianna for some time and has been waiting for her to realize they are more than just friends. When he asks her to marry him, she asks for time to adjust to their changed relationship.

And then there's Priam Welby, who has been relentlessly pursuing Abrianna. Will his underhanded tactics succeed in luring Abrianna into marriage with him?

::My Thoughts::
I enjoyed this book. It didn't have me on the edge of my seat like some books do, but it was interesting. I was kept curious throughout the book on what would happen next. In my opinion that is wonderful because there is nothing worse than constant predictability. I don't always like knowing beforehand what will come next.
My only gripe about this story is that Abrianna annoyed me throughout. I just could not get on board with her, or her personality. Many times while reading the book I almost wished I could reach in the book and just give her a good lecture. She is a very flighty character, and had too many issues with commitment if you ask me. I also did not like her back and forth between Priam Welby and Wade. She was just so blind to Priam's evilness it was frustrating.
I so loved her aunts that ran the Bridal School, and I also loved Wade. The aunts are so caring and down to earth. Wade is also just so endearing. I was so frustrated with Abrianna's cold feet! I can't give too much away on this because I don't want to ruin the story for anyone. You will have to read it to see what I mean.
All the characters are very interesting, and have so much life. This is a great aspect because it almost makes you feel like you have known them your whole life.
This is book three in the Brides of Seattle, but it was the first one in the series I have read. I did not feel lost though despite this being book three. The author does a fantastic job of catching you right up with events and characters.
Give this a read. I'm curious to read the other books in the series to catch up with other characters, and find out more about them in the books to come.

::Product Details::
  • Series: Brides of Seattle (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764210637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210631

::This book is available in::
Kindle    Hardcover    Paperback    Audible        and more...

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

God Gave Us Sleep

::From the back of the book::
“Little Cub!” Mama called. “Time for bed.” 
Little Cub is having so much fun building an igloo with her friends that she doesn’t want to stop for bedtime! Who needs sleep when there’s fun to be had? Mama patiently answers her child’s questions as she puts her to bed, explaining the importance of daily rhythms of work, play, and rest. As they talk through the fears that come with nighttime—and work through Little Cub’s endless stalling tactics—our favorite bear learns to realize that God gave us sleep as a vital gift.
“God gave us rest so we have energy for our day, and patience to enjoy it. And so we have quiet time to listen to him.”
This charming addition to the best-selling God Gave Us series, with its Arctic characters and relevant message, will help all little ones prepare for a peaceful night’s rest.

::My Thoughts::
This is the perfect bedtime story for any little one that may struggle with bedtime. As a mom of three I can't tell you how many times I have been asked questions about bedtime. Questions such as:

  • "Why do we have to go to bed?"
  • "Why do we need sleep?"
  • "What happens while we sleep? Will we miss out on anything?" 
and so forth...
This book explains about bedtime, and why God gave us sleep. It is adorable, and my three children loved it. It also seemed to tremendously help them settle into bed and drift off to sleep easier. We have even incorporated this book into our bedtime story routine on a regular basis. We read this at least twice every week.
They know how it feels not to get a good nights rest just like Little Cub does in the story, and then they more fully appreciate a good night's rest. It also shows that sleep can be a fun thing for our imaginations!
I love that Mama Bear is very patient in answered all of Little Cub's questions in this story. And all of the questions Little Cub asks are questions that pops up in every child's mind at some point. So for it to be laid out in a book like this with answers is just wonderfully done.
The illustrations are wonderfully done, and everything is worded so your children will understand. After reading this book my children understood more fully that God gave us sleep because we need it. It is a gift to us to be more well rested, and rejuvenated for another day. Often times when my kids are tired now they will even say they are ready for bed!
I love the God Gave Us... series of books. We have several of them, and I can't wait to read more to my children in the future.

::Product Details::
  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601426631

Available in::   Hardcover   Kindle

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

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:

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