Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Silent Governess book review

When Olivia Keene flees her home, she has no idea where her journey will lead. Keeping a terrible secret and fearing the worst, she finds herself facing several trials along the way to a school, seeking a position as a teacher.
After an unfortunate incident of eavesdropping, she finds her problems further complicated. Now she seems to have two secrets to keep. Will there be more? What else will she discover at her new post at Brightwell Court?
An intriguing story from the very beginning, this book was hard to put down! Julie Klassen did an excellent job with this tale! I look forward to reading more of her books.

Per the back of the book:
Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his.
But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything - his reputation, his inheritance, his very home. He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something 

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

*I received this book from Bethany House Book Review Program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*

The Preacher's Bride book review

A beautiful look into the world of Puritan England in the 1600's, this was a fascinating story! Jody Hedlund shares that she based the characters off of the love between John Bunyan and his wife, Elizabeth.
While she starts with the basics of their story, most of this novel is fiction. However, it was wonderfully done!  Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and this book did not disappoint! It was a tale of loss and love. Of fear and determination. And above all, the amazing mercy of God!

Per the back of the book:
No matter the sacrifice, Elizabeth Whitbread would serve a wounded family. 

No matter the danger, John Costin was determined to speak God's word.

Neither expected to fall in love.

As enemies threaten to silence Costin -and those close to him-will following their hearts cost John and Elizabeth everything?

*I received this book from Bethany House Book Review Program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Sixteen Brides book review

I enjoyed this book greatly! It was a fun look at like for a single woman in the late 1800's. Whether single by choice, or circumstances out of her control, it can be a hard time for a woman. Stephanie Grace Whitson took on a huge task in writing several stories in one. She follows the journeys of women, from many walks of life, all seeming to have something to hide. Yet, with one thing in common, a promise of a homestead in Nebraska for willing single women. Friendships form in unusual circumstances as the Ladies Emigration Society make their way from St. Louis, by train. And when they near their destination and find out that their guide was less than truthful, the women must make a choice. Should they continue on the journey to be brides for the lonely men in Dawson County, or stay in Plum Grove and find a life for themselves? Stephanie did a wonderful job in weaving together separate stories into one interesting tale! 

Per the back of the book:

When sixteen brides step off the train in Plum Grove, Nebraska, 
the town may never be the same again! Join Stephanie Grace Whitson 
for this spirited tale of courageous women 
who risk everything for the dream of owning land 
and finding love on the prairies of Nebraska. 

*I received this book from Bethany House Book Review program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Read the Bible

Ok, so several months ago I attempted to read through the Bible in 90 days. I was so excited...and then stopped. I got about half way done, and I'm not real sure why I quit, I just did. Well, at the same time, my cousin was finishing up with the same reading plan. Fast forward to now, we're both in a Bible study with some awesome women who have all agreed to do this together! She's modified the schedule to allow for a little more time, seeing as most of us are moms with small children and wanted a little wiggle room :). So, it's the same plan, just 122 days - 5 days of reading with 2 grace days. These days can be used to catch up, for extra study/prayer, or a rest to process what you've read.
Rachel timed herself when she did this last year, and it averaged out to about 46 hours to read the entire Bible.
We can do this! Why don't we? Why do we spend so much time with mindless activities (facebook, tv, video games) and so little time reading the Words of the God we serve? She put it so well today, when she said, "I don't want to stand before my son and say, this is what I believe...well, the parts I know." How true is that? How can we say we believe the Bible, when most of us don't know half of what's written there?

Today marks day 1. I really welcome your prayers and encouragement.  And, I welcome your company. Join with me, with us. Rachel has posted the modified schedule on her blog - feel free to check it out and start this journey as well!

I will be posting updates along the way - for encouragement and support.

Please leave me a comment if you want some more info and I'll be happy to fill you in with more details as you need them!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

daily blogging...

I haven't been blogging every day, like I thought I would do :) I don't have enough to say daily...or I don't think it's interesting enough for people to read. I'm ok with that. I will leave the daily deals to the more experienced bloggers, and post when I find something really interesting. And I'll keep giving some updates on what's going on in my life from time to time. But I won't stress about it if I don't get to post every day. Maybe as I get things into a better routine and prioritize my time well, I will have more time to focus on this blog. Until then, I'll be around and will post when I have something worth saying!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

one of those days...

So, today has been one of those days around here...and then I stumbled across this blog, and it made me laugh.
I'm sharing with you, in case you need a pick me up too...

Cake Wrecks

and if you want more funnies and awkwardness...

Awkward Family Photos

Free E-Book

Today you can download David Bach's book Debt Free for Life

Thanks to Couponing to Disney for this link!

Monday, January 3, 2011

These are a few of my favorite...

I decided to start the year off with a list for you: a list of some of my favorite blogs.
These are the sites that I check weekly, sometimes daily, for everything from couponing to date night ideas!

Southern Savers
Faith, Family, Frugality
Hey, It's Free!
The Thrifty Mama
The Happy Housewife
From Dates to Diapers
Tatertots and Jello
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Heavenly Homemakers
The Dating Divas

So, there you have it, a nice little list of blogs for almost anything you'll need!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Tailor-Made Bride book review

A Tailor-Made Bride is Karen Witemeyer's first novel and I must say, it was a good one! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! The story starts with Hannah Richards, a seamstress in Texas, 1881. She works for a very wealthy woman who is preparing her estate for her passing. After assisting with the woman's final dress, Hannah finds herself on the way to Coventry, Texas with a very unexpected bonus! When she arrives, she meets J.T. Tucker, but she can't quite decide if he likes her or not. Meeting Hannah has brought up pain and fear from J.T.'s past, that he thought he left behind. And Hannah is trying hard to fit into her new town and role as shop owner, but when she tries to help a friend, it begins to cause more problems than anyone could have expected! Karen did a great job of keeping the story interesting and adding several elements of excitement as well as laughter! I look forward to reading her future novels.

Per the back of the book:
When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!
Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with the new dressmaker in Coventry, Texas. He's all too familiar with her kind-shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothes, this seamstress is not at all what he expected. 
Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner, while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?
When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau-leading to consequences neither could have foreseen-will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*

The 2011 To-Do List

To-Do in 2011...what are your plans? What would you like to accomplish? Anything you want to change or add to your list?

Since it's only January 2nd, I haven't gotten very far on a list, but here's what I'd love to see done before the year is over:

1. Be debt free! We've been so close before, but then something comes up and we fall right back into debt, I'd love to get rid of it once and for all this year!
2. Take a family vacation :) hopefully Disney World, but we'll see if number one happens first.

And that's it so far...let's see what else gets added before the year is up!

Want to join the Blog Dare?

a mom blog community

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome to a new year!

Hello, and welcome to 2011!

Can you believe it?! It seems like December just flew right by, and I hardly noticed. I was horrible at keeping up with this blog throughout the end of last year, so in an effort to stay focused I have joined a Blog Dare! (Cause who can say no to a dare?)  I will be trying to post every day for 2011 (wish me luck!).

Starting today with my New Year's Resolutions:
1. Get my diet back on track.
    I really need to get back to eliminating sugars and processed foods, for my sake and my family's. I know we all need to be eating better - so it starts again this week!
2. Get my family on a schedule.
    I'm great at making schedules, terrible at following them. So, starting this week, we're actually going to follow a schedule!

I think if I start with those two, everything else will fall into place!
What are your resolutions? Anything you're looking for in 2011?