Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Review: Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster is a heartbreaking story about a woman whose husband goes missing.  Grace and Adam have moved to the English moors to get away from London life and enjoy their infant daughter.  After being there a week, Adam disappears.  Chapter 1.

After the disappearance, Grace and infant Millie leave to live with her parents.  The remainder of the book is a year later and Grace is trying to leave the past and move on. She feels to do this she must return to the moors and the little house they had lived in. She thinks by doing this she will be able to let her husband's ghost rest.

Sadly, what she finds are more questions than answers.  The small village they lived in is full of superstitious, odd people.  Scary things are happening that are causing Grace to believe she might be loosing her mind.  After many stops and starts, they truth is revealed and it is necessary what you think it will be.

This is a good read.  I will not give it great status, because it was too predictable.  I knew several of the "oh my" revelations before they were revealed.  It also had a whole lot of selfish, yucky people in it.  I like a story where the majority of the cast are good people, who are are just doing there best.  This story had way too many people who were just looking out for their own interests.  So my final thought is this story is only a three star story.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Raising Chickens

We have had several family members start raising chickens over the last few years and we decided it was our turn.  We live "on a farm" to a degree and we have plenty of room.  I also like the idea of fresh.  Bailee thinks we need a cow, but I am not there yet.  Sam and Makayla think we need a horse.  I would love a horse, but sadly, no.  Jeremy thinks we need a goat and all I can think about is the demon nanny goat we had when we were growing up.  Scary!  So no.  Chickens it is.  Here they are when they were little.  They are not so little anymore.  In fact, they are just a few short weeks away from being kicked out of their nice inside home to the own house.

This is Drumstick and probably the last time Luken held one of the chicks.  When he saw them poop on his sisters a few times, he was done.

Bailee named this one Pablo.

Pablo, Drumstick, and poop.

This is Makayla's and her name is either Flower, Rose, or Daisy.  Actually, I think she finally settled on Daisy.

Sammy with Betty

And this is Emma Rae on the left and Omelet on the right. 

We ended up buying a couple more to add to our flock.  We now have eight total.  I am excited.  They have been very fun to have.  The girls are helping with the responsibility of them which is a definite bonus.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Presidential Election

I received this in an email from Focus on the Family last week.  I thought it was worth reposting.

What's the right way for Christians to remain culturally engaged, even when
we don't completely agree with everything a candidate stands for?
 Watch this week's CitizenLink Reportin which my colleagues Stuart Shepard and Gary Schneeberger discuss what it means to be a culturally engaged Christian.
I believe Focus on the Family President Jim Daly succinctly answered that question in an op-ed published in The Washington Post last week.

" '(V)alues,' " he wrote, "do not equal 'religion.' ... While it is indeed our religious faith that informs our values, we must remember that we are electing a president, not a pastor, priest, rabbi, imam or elder. It is a civic, not spiritual, position with secular, not sanctifying, duties. What is of paramount importance in selecting an occupant for such an office is not whether he or she attends the same house of worship as we do; it's whether he or she adheres to a moral and ethical code, rooted in natural law rather than doctrinal purity, that we believe offers a better vision for America."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Book Review - The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex

I would like to say that I am totally not embarrassed about sharing this book review, but that would be a lie.  I know my brothers receive my blog via email.  They are going to see this and that makes me blush, but I am going to do this anyway.

Mostly because, this is not a horrible, graphic book about sex.  It is a book about how to make the most intimate part of your marriage great.  The author, Sheila Wray Gregoire, is a Christian and this book comes from a belief that God created this part of marriage and He wants it to be wonderful.  You can read the Song of Solomon without realize God is all about sex in marriage.

I am not sure about all of you, but I have at times been so caught up in day to day life that I do not give my husband a whole lot of consideration towards his needs.  He is the other adult in this household and I have four children to contend with.  He can end up at the bottom of the to do list.  This book challenges women to remember that their husband should be at the top and not just on the to do list, but on every list.

But that is not only what this book has in it, it also has practical suggestions on how to make that happen.  I will say that is very direct and straight forward.  She does describe sexual acts in a bare bones fashion.  She not only wrote this book for women who have been married a while and lost the spark, but for newly married innocents, for those that have been abused, for those that were sexually active before marriage.  Each of these situations comes with its own challenges and some times shames.  She speaks to all of this and how to make your married sex life work and wonderful no matter where you come from.

She also talks about many other issues that affect our sex life in marriage - pornography, adultery, etc.  This book takes you through many issues that are in our marriages.  She even talks about women who have a higher libido than their husbands, which from her studies is higher than I would have thought.

I found this book to be helpful and thought provoke.  It made me look at my marriage and think more about what I needed to work on and not so much on what I thought my husband should be working on.  If you are in a place where you just need some insight and encouragement, this is a great book.  If you are looking for some practical helps, this is a great book for that also.

We should never stop being challenged to make our marriages more fulfilling and wonderful.  This book moves you in that direction.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Book Review - Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson

I recently finished this book and I enjoyed it quite well.  I would not give it five stars, but a definite four.

It is the story of a young woman named Camden Bristow who never really had a home.  Her father left when she was young and her mother boyfriend hopped to survive.  Her father remained in her life to a degree, but he set himself up with another wife and daughter, so he had very little time for Camden.

The one good thing he did for Camden was take her every summer to his mother, Camden's grandmother.  She spent several summers there as a child and she found a sense of home and peace when she was with her grandmother, Rosalie.

Fast forward several year, Camden is now a freelance photographer in a recession and jobs are not coming her way.  She is kicked out of her apartment with no money and she needs a place to get back on her feet.  She realizes her grandmother and her home, Crescent Hill, will be just the place.

Sadly, she arrives in town the day after her grandmother's memorial service.  Camden is not sure what to do.  She has no money, so she stays at Crescent Hill, but there are scary things going on in the house.  Things disappearing and scary noises.

This is a novel about finding out who you are and what that means.  This is a Christian novel with the faith guiding the people Camden comes in contact with.  Sometimes the faith aspect in a book seems thrown in as an afterthought.  I did not find it so with this book.  Many times I felt like, "Yep, that could have been me" when the characters expressed their faith.

There is also a great secondary story that gets tied in a the end.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone look for a subtle suspense, history, and just a bit of romance.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

River City Dance Spring Recital

All three of our girls are involved with River City Dance.  Last night they had their spring recital.  The below pictures are from Thursday's rehearsal.  It was a wonderful recital and our girls did excellent.  The theme was "Celebrate the Musical."  All the dance were done to songs from movie musicals.

If you click on one of the pictures, it will give you on opportunity to see the pictures larger.

Bailee dancing to a song from "Grease."

Bailee was a TA for the Creative Ballet class.

Makayla is right in the middle.

She danced to a song from the Disney movie "Tangled."

Sam danced to "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid.

Bailee is the second from the left.

This dance was to "Steppin Time" from "Mary Poppins."

Makayla was all about orange this year.

This dance was to "Put On a Happy Face."

There were way too many cute poses in this dance.

Sam is dancing to "Any Dream Will Do" from "Joseph and the Technicolor Coat."

All the remaining pictures are from a montage of three songs that was the finale for the recital.

Bailee had a solo that she performed beautifully.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fun Fact

Saturday night will be the night for the largest view of the moon for this year.  It is a full moon that coincides with its perigee.  Follow this link for more information - Biggest Full Moon of the Year.