Tuesday, January 19, 2016

{Review} I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran

I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran is one of those books that you pick up to read and find yourself unable to put down. It follows the story of Ruth who just wanted to marry the boy-next-door but life got in the way.  Ruth leaves her hometown with a broken heart only to return fifteen years later at rock bottom - and a broken life. 

After the death of her partner, she returns home with her fourteen year old daughter to face the fact that she is living with her parents. She is depressed and doesn't want to face life anymore until her over-bearing mother makes her. Ruth must also deal with the relationship, or lack thereof, she has with her father, try to help her daughter work through her grief over the loss of her father, and face all the people she knew when she was growing up. Needless to say, things are rough.

Moran does a fantastic job adding in wonderful plot twists and creating characters a reader cares about. I have to say, I literally gasped aloud at one point near the end when Ruth...well, no spoilers, but trust me, it was a thrilling moment in the book!

I also found it very interesting to read a book by a British author set in the UK. Culturally things are different and it made it fun to read. I only had to look up a couple things since I just didn't understand the references. For me, that made the book that much more enjoyable.

Overall, I highly really enjoyed I Hope You Dance and would recommend reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Old Mother Hubbard

I do not have the same problem as Old Mother Hubbard. In fact, I have the opposite problem! Today I went to buy groceries. I hadn't been for a couple of weeks - at least nothing more than a quick trip to the local grocery store. Today I headed in to town and planned to stock up and stock up I did!

However, once I brought it all home, I realized that I had no room to put it away! Do you remember the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? My version today might look like this:

If you give a mom a grocery list,
She's going to add to it.
If she adds to it, 
She's not going to have any room to put it away.

Or something like that.

When I arrived home I had my boys haul everything inside and then I set to work. I can't remember the last time my fridge had been cleaned out but I tackled that today - while my groceries waited patiently to be put away.

Let's just say I not only did I tackle the fridge but some cupboards as well. And let's just say that quite a bit of what was in my cupboards and fridge was chucked due to vastly overdue expiration labels.

However, my little pantry cupboard will be taken on tomorrow. Why? I simply ran out of time. I spent the afternoon shopping and then cleaning and purging expired food. By the time I was ready to tackle the pantry so I could put all of what you see above away - because it certainly isn't going to fit in that pantry right now! - I had to leave to take my son to karate. And then teach kickboxing. And the come home to make dinner and spend time with my family. See, just like the story said...if you give a mom a grocery list...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Reading List

It's a new year full of possibilities. Did you make some resolutions? I'm determined to read more this year and I have started a list over at Goodreads to keep track. Some of the books will be hardcover/paperback books - you know - hard copies. Others, however, will be Kindle books.

Here is what is on my "to be read" list for 2016 so far.

  • A Dangerous Fortune* by Ken Follett. I read his Pillars of the Earth years ago and loved it. I'm hoping I'll enjoy this one as much.
  • The Gospel Truth by Caroline Pignat
  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up by Marie Kondo Yes, I'm jumping on the band-wagon and going to give this book a try. I have far too much stuff and much of it needs to go.
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis This has been on my "to be read" list for far too long. 
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte This was my absolute favorite book when I was a teenager and it's been that long since I've read it. It's high time I read it again just to see if it's still as good as I remember. 
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerlad There are a number of "classics" I haven't read and this is one.
  • Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings #1) by Lynn Austin (this is the one I'm currently reading) And if I start a series, I usually read all the books so this is going to add to my list since this is the first of a five book series.
I'm going to be continuing to do book reviews throughout the year as well so those will be added in also. I have one I'm reading now called I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran. My review for that will be posted in a couple of weeks. 

What should I add? Any favorites out there?

*I do not use affiliate links. This is just to make it easier to find the books on Amazon for anyone who wishes to find out more.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Writing Scripture

My mornings start with this view. Starting last month I began doing a daily scripture writing plan I saw floating around Facebook. I managed to write most days and the days I missed, I made up so I still wrote out 30 scriptures in my little sketch book. 

The blog I found the plan also has a plan for January. You can find it by clicking HERE. She includes scripture for each day of the month and they all take about ten minutes to copy out. 
I like to use a sketch book since it has thicker paper. I use a calligraphy pen to write the reference at the top of the page. Then I use a simple Crayola black marker to write it out. I try to read the whole thing first and then copy it. I end up reading the scripture three to four times as I go through it looking for things to highlight with my crayons and markers. 

Today I was very behind. Due to a busy weekend, I had not copied any scripture yet this year, so I spent time today getting caught up. 

Sometimes the scripture is a bit longer and I can't fit it on one page. That also means I end up with white space. I will then look back over the verses and see if I can find something that will tie it all together that I can easily draw. 
I like to think I'm a fabulous artist and, perhaps with lots of practice, I could be. Right now I keep things pretty simple. I can envision amazing drawings in my mind. I just can't get my fingers to cooperate. 
I am enjoying this practice daily as part of my quiet time. In fact, I'm liking it so much, I'm going to be adding it to my boy's school day. How do you spend time daily in God's word?

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Since before my youngest son was born (almost 12 years ago), I've been getting together just about monthly with my sister and our friend, Tammy. We used to get together and scrapbook. We did that for a number of years. Now we usually get together and work on our computers, watch movies, and just enjoy visiting. 

Today was our get together for January. We also decided to exchange Christmas gifts today. It was so fun to see the themes that emerged from each gift exchanged with each person. 

Tammy loves the move Frozen. Actually, Tammy loves Disney. Beth gave the gifts she bought for Tammy first. She got her a talking Olaf doll. 

He gives warm hugs. 

Olaf socks

An Olaf bank.

And they all came in an Olaf bag.

And, unbeknownst to me, I had purchased some Olaf duct tape for her as well!

I gave my sister a painting of a lighthouse that I purchased locally. She has a lighthouse theme in her bathroom and we both really enjoy them. We once had our own little business selling photos of lighthouses. We spent quite some time traveling to various lighthouses all over the state to photograph them. It was a lot of fun. 
Okay, just to clarify - my sister is sniffing tissue paper, yes. However, a scented candle was wrapped up in it. 

I gave both Tammy & my sister a zipper pouch from Thirty-One. I really like this pattern.

My sister arrived with a new bag. I remarked that I really liked it. Then I opened my gift. 

My sister also gave me a set of doTerra essential oils. I've been getting in to using oils more and more. I'm pretty sure the ones I've been using on my ankle are definitely helping it to heal faster. 

Coloring books seemed to be my theme this year. My mother-in-law gifted me with one, my husband did as well (well, I picked it out and he wrapped it), another friend, and my sister. I have plenty to keep me busy for a bit.

Tammy gave me this great candle. The name meant I had to have it - Lush Berries. 

Beth gave Tammy and I and Tammy gave Beth and I (did  you follow that) gift certificates to a local spa. We've been doing that for a number of years - each of us taking turns to purchase. Then we plan a long weekend away to the hotel where the spa is located and enjoy a weekend of pampering. I can't wait until we get to use this year's gift certificates!

I'm blessed with good friends and it was a great way to start off 2016!