Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the first book in her Lancaster County Secrets series and a beautifully crafted story. Carrie Weaver has her future planned out but then tragedy strikes. Grief-struck, she makes a choice that could change everything.

I really enjoyed this book, I found the story well written and the characters engaging. There were some very unexpected elements in the story and some characters that are not found in the average Amish book. I loved how the characters developed and changed. I definitely give it 5 stars.

More about the book:

"Fisher kicks off a refreshing new series, Lancaster County Secrets, with characters that are strong, both in body and spirit. They also have weaknesses that develop into strengths with the choices they make."
4 stars, Romantic Times

Suzanne is a wife and mom, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and an author of Christian books, both non-fiction and fiction.

Her relatives on my mother's side are Old Order German Baptist Brethren, also known as Dunkards. That's where her interest in Anabaptist traditions began. Suzanne's grandfather was born into a family of 13 children, started his career as a teacher in a one-room school house in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and ended it as one of the very first publishers of Christianity Today. "We called him "Deardad" even though he was a very stern fellow. Still, Deardad's life inspired me to write."

After college, Suzanne was a freelance writer for magazines and became a contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today. Her work has been featured in Today's Christian Woman, Marriage Partnership, Worldwide Challenge, among others. She took the plunge into books a few years ago and now she's hooked. To learn more about Suzanne, visit her website at

If you want to see what other bloggers are saying about this book, check out the blog tour here:

I recieved this book from LitFuse for a reveiw but I get no other compensation for my reveiw.

And the winner is . . .

Well the winner of the Tea with Hezbollah book is Heather. My 6 year old drew the name out of the bowl and since he had no idea what he was doing, I know he didn't cheat.

Actually now he is a little annoyed because he didn't win.

So I am shooting you a message Heather about how I can get this book to you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tea With Hezbollah and a giveaway

Wow,Tea With Hezbollah was not quite what I expected - and yet it was. I found myself being challenged more that I thought I would be. I found that Christians are just as guilty of spilling blood in the Middle East. I found things contrary to what I have been taught.

In Tea With Hezbollah Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis travel through the Middle East and meet with the great minds, the leaders. Not the ones you see all the times on interviews but ones seldom, if ever, interviewed. And they ask them about the parable of the Samaritian and what they think of it. Dekker and Medearis call the message of loving your enemies "scandalous" because it is something that is just too hard to do.

So would you like to have your thinking challenged? You can go to for more information and to order.

But WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group was nice enough to give me a copy to review as well as one to giveaway.

Yep, I said giveaway.

So if you want to enter, just leave a comment on this post. You can get a second entry for blogging about the giveaway and another entry for posting on twitter or facebook.

Good luck.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I love being a mom, I love my kids, I hate the responsibility sometimes. If I forget something for me (doctor appointment, due date of something), I look like an idiot. If I forget something for my children, the repercussions can be worse.

I mentioned here that my daughter won first place in the county food and nutrition contest and that she was going to get to go to district. When she did that 2 years ago, all we had to do was sign a permission form while we were at the county food show. That's all we had to do to sign her up for the next level.

This year things changed. This year she had to register for the contest online and we had to go by the extension office and sign the form. I got the email that mentioned it but to be honest, the sheer repetition . . . .

Maybe it is a personal flaw but when someone repeats them self over and over, I tend to fade out and start daydreaming because I know I will hear it again at some point. I know it's awful but it happens. The way we have got our 4-H email, there are 3 people sending emails and there are 2 of them who will send them twice (once to an email address and again to the yahoo group created specially for our club).

Anyway, so I put off signing her up online because when I first heard about it, the sign up thing wasn't open yet. And then I kept procrastinating. And then I got a phone call saying that I needed to go to the extension office and sign that form.

So I went to the extension office, signed the form and congratulated myself that I was done.


I forgot a step.

So Wednesday, I get a call and find out what I have done. And it is too late to fix it. Oh crap.

Daisy is being a very, very good sport about it. Luckily she has years more she can compete. Her mother has also started carrying a calendar around to write dates on (I don't do great with the electronic).

We still have the youth fair which I did manage to get them both signed up for.
And we can start planning for next year.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MySims games

Have you seen these games?

They are my kids favorites, they have had so much fun playing them. MySims Kingdom was great, they played it frequently for months.

So this Christmas we got them the MySims Agents. The background to the game is really cute, you get to solve mysteries - who does the do belong to, who stole the letters, who broke the surfboards, etc. You go around and talk to people, dig through trashcans, find clues.

The only problem is, it is a very short game. Once you reach the end of the mysteries, the game is done - there is no more. The game keeps track of how many hours (cumulative) you have been playing and it took my non-reader about 25 hours to beat the game. He is already halfway through it again.

Don't buy this game, rent it from a video store - it is really not worth the pricetag.

We bought this game, we have no connecttion to the company other than that of a customer. Would I be saying the same thing if we had gotten this game free? Yes, because this game is really not worth the currently $50 pricetag. It is fun and enjoyable but it is very short on content and once you have played the game once there is not more mystery to it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And the winner . . .

of the One-Day Way book giveaway is Melanie! Shoot me an email with your address and I will get your book in the mail.

I like the idea of the 100 push ups and 200 sit ups. But I admit I like them better when someone else does them - which is why I am the shape I am.

And the Wii balance board is a whiny wimp that cries way too easily.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Male Factor by Shaunti Feldhahn

What is a stay-at-home mom doing reading a book on getting along with men in the workplace?

Well, here my thoughts: I deal with businesses every day whether it is calling the phone company to tell the the phone isn't working to calling the satellite providers to tell them that something is messed up or asking my local grocery store to carry a new product. If I am unintentionally causing friction when I make a request, I am less likely to get what I need or want.

Manipulative? I don't think so, no more than nicely asking for a cookie is more manipulative than snarling a request.

Now I will admit that there are others that need to read this book more than I but, I still found things to interest me.

And not specifically dealing with businesses either.

One example: "I found that the assumption that "emotion" means "you are not thinking" is nearly universal among men."

I have gotten mad about something and while I am complaining to Hubby, I can see the disconnect going on. He sees the emotion and the validity of my argument drops somewhat. The whole issue with the dentist, he was not happy with the dentist, he was less than pleased with the way they kept changing their story but he never got emotional over the whole thing. As far as that goes, he viewed paying them would be worth never hearing from them again. I, on the other hand, would be shaking in rage after dealing with them.

I am not saying that he dismisses me as being a silly emotional female, but I understand now that he (and other men) veiw me as being less able to think during an emotional issue.

So would I recommend this book, even for women not on the work force? Yes!

If you are interested in buying the book you can go here where there are several options.

This book was provided for me by Random House to review, I received no other form of compensation other than a free book.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Giveaway - The One Day Way

Today is the day that matters, not yesterday when you ate a hot fudge sunday and not tomorrow. Just today.

This is the basic background idea behind the book The One-Day Way and it make sense. You focus on what you can do today to be healthier and to lose weight. Today you may chose not to have the potato chips with your sandwich or to up your intensity on your workout - and those are great goals to have and much more attainable than "I will never eat potato chips again because they are soooooo fattening."

Don't focus on the past ("I ate healthy all month but then I ate a whole package of oreos yesterday so I have failed"). Just focus on what you can do today.

Realistically this applies to more than just losing weight. Stop smoking by not having a cigarrette "today" (each day). Focus on keeping your temper today.

The One-Day Way gives you everything you need to lose weight and get fit in body, mind, and spirit:
  • Break free from past dieting defeats
  • Learn a realistic, life-changing way to measure success
  • Change the way you think so you can change your life
  • Translate your dreams into goals, and your goals into lasting achievements
  • Get strong with thirty-one simple exercises, no fancy equipment required
  • Take advantage of ten ways to eat better while you lose weight

There is a meal plan for 7 days in the book and it isn't a complicated one that would have you spending hours in the kitchen.

There are exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home - no fancy gym membership needed.

All and all this is a great resource and guess what?

I am giving away a copy! Not my dog-eared copy but a nice new copy.

WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group was nice enough to send me a copy but also a copy to give away.

So what can you do to win a copy?

Leave a comment with one thing that you are going to do today that is healthy for one entry. If you blog about it or tweet about it leave a comment with the address for additional entries. Please leave me your email address so I can contact you

The drawing will be next Friday, January 15th. Good luck!

If you want to go ahead and buy a copy you can go to

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My drug of choice

Or maybe I should say more former drug of choice, because I have broken the habit. I occasionally get cravings but mostly they are gone.

I no longer have a driving urge for it.

I am free - or mostly free.

My former drug of choice? Wheat (or gluten).

Yep. You read that right. Wheat. normally for me in the form of pasta.

At first I thought of the title of this post as a kind of joke, but as I thought about it the more I realized the truth of the statement.

When I was hungry, I wanted pasta. Or bread. Or breading.

I have eaten plain pasta because I was craving pasta. I have eaten pasta with a can of tomatoes (no seasoning, just a can of tomatoes). Pasta with only parmesan cheese (from a can). I would limit us to spaghetti with meat sauce only once a week and mac and cheese only once a week but chances are a good portion of the other meals had pasta (beef stroganoff over pasta, soup with pasta, pasta casserole).

Bread was the runner-up choice - much like a smoker will occasionally use dip for the nicotine fix I would use bread for my fix. And sometimes a meal would contain both - spaghetti with garlic bread.

So I stopped letting wheat and gluten control my life. I cut it out of my diet. Completely. (well except 2 slip-ups before Christmas).

I don't crave it all the time any more. We had a "macaroni and cheese" last night that was gluten-free and dairy-free and was pretty good. In fact Daisy asked if there were any leftovers. But we had it because Junior had been wanting mac & cheese for weeks.

I have had the gluten-free pasta and sauce in the pantry for 3 weeks but haven't made it because I haven't felt like it. I have wanted to eat other stuff.

I want a gluten-free sandwich bread recipe but I am not frantically searching for one I and the kids like. But a few weeks ago I was.

I am still looking for a bread recipe but not as frantically. For now I am just enjoying feeling better.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Sweet By and By

The Sweet By and By
By Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck

The Sweet By and By is the story of Jade, a young woman on the brink of marriage. When she finally mails the invitation to the mother she hasn't spoken to in 3 years, old wounds are opened and finally allowed to heal.

Book Description

A redemptive story from multi-platinum recording artist Sara Evans.
Jade Fitzgerald left the pain of her past in the dust when she headed out for college a decade ago. Now she's thriving in her career and glowing in the light of Max Benson's love.
But then Jade's hippie mother, Beryl Hill, arrives in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, for Jade's wedding along with Willow, her wild younger sister. Their arrival forces Jade to throw open the dark closets of her past--the insecurity of living with a restless, wandering mother, the silence of her absent father, and the heart-ripping pain of first-love's rejection.
Turns out Beryl has a secret of her own. She needs reconciliation with her oldest daughter before illness takes her life. In the final days leading to the wedding, Jade meets the One who shows her that the past has no hold on her future. With a little grace, they'll meet in the middle, maybe even before that sweet by and by.

It is beautifully written and will draw you in. I really enjoyed reading this book and found myself crying at the end. I am finding this review very hard to write because there is a mystery and I don't want to give away too much. I also have a great relationship with my mother and so didn't relate personally to the story - it was beautifully written but I never thought "that is how I felt".

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson for purposes of review only. I received no other form of compensation. If you are interested in becoming a book review blogger click on the Thomas Nelson badge.

Monday, January 4, 2010

weeere baaaack

You didn't know we were away? Well that is because I am paranoid cautious about letting that info out.

We went to my Grandmothers and parents up in Oklahoma for a bit of a late Christmas celebration. It was such a fun trip, lots of laughs.

All the same, it will be good to get back to normal. once we put up the Christmas decorations.