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Monday, May 25, 2015

Kids Being Kids

"Along with milk and vegetables, kids need a steady diet of rocks and worms.
Rocks need skipping.
Holes need digging.
Water needs splashing.
Bugs and frogs and slimy stuff need finding."



This rainy, dreary weekend was apparently a "two book" one. I was able to escape to Centralia (a town in Pennsylvania) by Mike Dellosso. 

 "Peter Ryan wakes up on a typical morning only to find his house empty, his wife and daughter nowhere to be found. His world is shattered after a phone call to a friend confirms the impossible: his wife and daughter died in a car accident he does not remember. Haunted by faint memories and flashes of details, Peter becomes convinced that something isn't right and begins to question reality." 

This book left me on the edge of my seat and I just had to know how it ended. Which means from start to finish I read. That to me means a good book. 

While the ending was a bit confusing, the suspense and action in this book keep you reading. It's a bit more violent than books I typically read, but then again it's something you expect from a suspense genre. There is some religious overtones, though not so much so that it would bother someone not religious. Actually, it seemed sort of thrown in here and there, that it didn't exactly fit with the story. So I wouldn't consider this book "Christian genre".
 With the action in this book and the characters I foresee many men enjoying Dellosso's writing.

It kept me entertained the whole way through.

This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

U.S. Cellular Summer Help

Memorial day is typically thought of as "the unofficial start to summer". 

School will soon be out.

Vacations will be taken.

Weather will be variable. 

U.S. Cellular can help your plans become a bit easier. Organized a bit quicker. With my iPhone 5s I do have information at the tips of my fingers, which make on the go information attainable anywhere!

Some fun apps for the summer are:

*Hipmunk, which can help you find the best hotel and flight prices. 

*Yahoo Weather Map which can keep you up to date on the weather in your area, but also makes it easy to search the location which you plan on traveling to. That will help with packing for your trip, along with organizing which activities to do which days.

*If you are a big sports fan (sorry, I'm not, so this doesn't excite me!) you can keep up to date on "your team" with The Score app. Spend time with your family without being glued to a screen or radio and still know the score at the end (or middle!) of the game.

*If you truly want your schedule in your pocket (or purse) try using Google Calendar to stay organized and paper free. 

*Once you are home from your vacation (or just local staycation activities), get all your photos together and use Snapseed to perfect your photos on your phone and then share them on social media!

While the point of vacations, family time, togetherness is often to unplug, having your smartphone with you can enhance your memories and fun with just a quick check, snap, or search. 1 minute of checking the weather can mean a fun day spent inside a museum instead of a soggy hike you may have planned. :)

This post is sponsored by U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade. All opinions are my own. 

When Mockingbirds Sing

Why did it take me so long while reading When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey to realize it was the prequel to In the Heart of the Dark Wood? It could have prepared me for this crazy ride and the disappointing ending.

"What marks the boundary between a miracle of God and the imagination of a child?
Nine-year-old Leah’s invisible friend seems harmless enough until he aids her in upsetting the tranquility of her new town, a place where her parents desperately hoped she’d finally be able to make friends and fit in. Hidden within a picture she paints for a failed toymaker are numbers that win the toymaker millions. Suddenly, townspeople are divided between those who see Leah as a prophet and those who are afraid of the danger she represents. Caught in the middle is Leah’s agnostic father, who clashes with a powerful town pastor over Leah’s prophecies and what to do about them."

This book is a religious supernatural one, yet once again with Coffey's writing, I didn't not find the ending very religious. The spiritual being in this book doesn't seem very good at all.

With that said, this book was read all in one afternoon. Once I picked it up, I had to finish it. And then it takes a weird turn about three chapters from the end and comes to a disappointing end. Which then happens all over again in the sequel. 

Which leaves me to question What is a great book? Is it one that you get completely immersed in? Is it only if you agree with how the book ends? I'm not sure. What I do know is that Coffey's books so far have pulled me in, and while I may be disappointed in the end destination, I did enjoy the ride.

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 


Friday, May 22, 2015

Life, Lately

*Today my husband works his last day at the job he has held for 9 years. Next week he will be on to bigger and better things. More on that later!

*Becca took her end of year CAT tests. She scored pretty good, except in math. Which just reiterates that we will be continuing math through the summer. One of the many benefits of homeschooling.

I made violet jelly this year. The color is so beautiful. Unfortunately, I think I added too much liquid, which means it didn't jell as much as jelly should. Never fear though, it will be used as a simple syrup in drinks and on ice cream and pancakes. And I'll know to follow directions better next year.   

I also made strawberry rhubarb jam. That turned out perfectly and I can't wait to pull it out this winter and have a taste of spring in my mouth. I'm using our huge excess of rhubarb to make deserts and yumminess. A new favorite is this strawberry rhubarb crisp. We go through a whole dish of it for a snack! 

Joe has been practicing on his new skate board that he received for his 7th birthday. I imagine soon enough he will be doing tricks and turns and ready for the skate park down the street. 

I haven't bought a package of disposable diapers for over two months. Except for a few day trips, she has been solely wearing cloth diapers. It's saving loads of money, is better on her skin, and just makes the clothesline look pretty. I'm so glad for the sunny weather again, too, to catch up on all the laundry. My electric bill is happy as well, going down by $20-$30 now with the clothesline usage. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Food For Thought

A friend shared this thought provoking article on Facebook  yesterday. 

How many of you cringed while reading it, seeing a bit (or a whole lot!) of yourself in the article? 

There does seem to be a double standard for women in relationships. If a man were to belittle a woman for her mistakes it would be considered emotional abuse. If a woman does it we just deem it "nagging" or "that time of the month".

If a man were to slap his wife during a moment of intense disagreement it would be physical abuse. If a woman were to do it to her husband, it would probably be justifiable. 

Nope, Nope, NOPE. Being rude, mean, physical, or just a general unpleasant person goes for both genders. 

The article made me stop and think. It reviled something in my personality that I don't like. I'm off to apologize to my husband. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up

Our weekend started off with a prediction of rain. Which then turned into a prediction of severe storms. Thankfully, we ended up with neither.

Because of that, my cousin's outdoor wedding ended up being a beautiful, dry wedding! I didn't get a photo of the happy bride and groom (such a sweet couple!) but did snap some dance floor photos!
When your uncle asks you to dance...
Our bedroom smells divine with this bouquet of flowers on the dresser. All from around the yard! The first spring flowers are the best!
We have TONS of rhubarb, so Joe set up a little table on the lawn, selling rhubarb for $1 a bag. He made a little money, learned some life lessons (cleaning up the leaves of the rhubarb, setting up his table, taking the money, meeting new people) and had fun on a sunny afternoon. 


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