Saturday, May 22, 2010

Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller

Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in the village of Main Amana. As a part of the group of devout Christians who believe in a simple lifestyle and cooperative living, she has grown up in faithful service to God, but she has always longed to see the outside world. When she learns a troubling secret about her past, she wonders if she should remain in the only world she has ever known. Is Amana where she truly belongs?

Berta Shcumacher grew up living the privileged life of a doctor's daughter in Chicago, but suddenly her parents uproot her when they decide they want the simpler lifestyle that Amana offers. She resists the structure of the Amana villages and creates turmoil for not only her own family, but for others in the village. Can she ever be content with the simple life she will be forced to live in Amana?

I truly enjoyed reading this first book in the Daughters of Amana series. It gave me a glimpse into a community of believers that I had not heard of before reading the book. I like the historical fiction genre, and this book did not disappoint. I look forward to reading more in the series, and learning more about the Amana villages. I felt sorry for Johanna when she found out the secret about her past, but it was a reminder that even the devout are not perfect in their decisions and actions. In the end, all lies and secrets lead to more heartache and pain for all involved. As for Berta, I immediately felt she was a spoiled rotten child who needed to grow up. Through the course of the book she learned many lessons, including the love of God. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House publishers to review. The opinions expressed here are my own, and I was not compensated for my review.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yard Tour

So I have been attempting to do some landscaping and gardening in the yard. I added a lot of color to the deck with the pots I got for Mother's Day. Here is a little tour of our yard. Hopefully over the next few years we can add some plants and get rid of the pesky persimmon tree and continue to make our yard look better and better. Any one who has been to our house knows that we don't have a lot of yard to work with, but we want to make the best of what we have.
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Saturday, May 08, 2010

I Survived

Here I Come

And There I Go

Today I ran my first 5k race. I have walked the Race for the Cure 5k for the last 5 or 6 years, but wanted to see if I could manage running. Ten weeks ago I started the Women Can Run Run/Walk Clinic. I went to the track twice a week with the other participants and trained to run a 5k. We started out running for one minute and walking for four. As the weeks went by, we worked our way up to running for 30 minutes straight, and today we graduated by running the race. I managed to run the entire 3.1 miles, and was invigorated afterward. I was stoked when I crossed the finish line and forgot to even check the clock to see what my time was. The results should be posted in a day or two, but I think it was around 37-38 minutes. Definitely not blazing speeds, but I am still very proud just to have finished. One of the most amazing feelings of the whole race was when I saw my family standing on the sidelines cheering me on. It made my feet a little lighter and gave me that extra push to carry on. And believe it or not, I actually look forward to doing it again.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Take it from the Top

It’s back to the basics in Take It from the Top, the long-anticipated 51st album of Adventures in Odyssey! Enter Whit’s new invention, the Inspiration Station, and find out why Connie wants to spend so much time in it. Solve mysteries with local sleuth Emily Jones, and learn why 10-year-old Matthew Parker doesn’t think being “target of the week” is such a good thing.
Catch up with Whit, Connie, Eugene, and Wooton, and meet two new families, as they learn lessons about responsibility, revenge, and God-given inspiration. Whether on a baseball field, at home, or at Whit’s End, there’s never a dull moment in the town of Odyssey!

My ten year old son absolutely loved these cd's. He has listened to them on a couple of occasions. They are filled with good messages and held his attention well. My six year old daughter however didn't find them as compelling, though she is a much more visual child. I would recommend these entertaining cd's for kids who like to listen to stories and will probably be buying additional sets as they are released in the future.

I received a free copy of this cd to review. I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Tipsy Pots

These are my Mother's Day gifts from my family this year. Aren't they neat? I had been wanting to add some planters to my deck and these neat pots are what we got. I love the unique look and even more I love that Brian built them and the kids helped to plant the flowers. Now I just have to remember to water them.