Monday, June 18, 2012

Where the Lilacs Still Bloom

German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eight-grade education and a burning desire to create something beautiful.  What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth century expectations for a simple housewife.
Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden; and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus.  In a time of practicality, can one person‘s simple gifts of beauty make a difference?  Based on the life of Hulda Klager, Where the Lilacs Still Bloom is a story of triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds and the power of a generous heart.

I was given the privilege of reviewing this book by Jane Kirkpatrick.  The book is easy to read and has an interesting story line.  At first it gets confusing as a few chapters are written about different people, but by the end of the book you are able to see how they are all intertwined and part of Hulda’s success.  While the book is considered to be Historical Fiction, from what I was able to discover, the Lilac Lady Hulda Klager, did exist with many of the dates and events from her life being fairly accurate. 
While I enjoyed this book, I am only going to give it 2 stars.  A 5 star book is a book, that I can’t put down and must finish reading right away, and then feel a sense of loss once I am done reading it.  This book didn’t keep me up at night, there was no great sense of urgency to finish reading the book, nor was there a sense of disappointment or loss once I finished reading the book.  

For more information or to read the first chapter go here  Read Chapter One
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms

For awhile now I have been a fan of Amish fiction, having read many different authors within this genre.  When given the chance to read and review Cindy Woodsmall's book The Scent of Cheery Blossoms, I jumped at the chance.  I received my review copy yesterday.  It probably came a day or two earlier, but I was  away at a conference.  Anyway, I couldn't wait to start reading this book last night.

Annie Martin comes from a troubled Old Order Mennonite family.  Her father had left the family about 10 years earlier.  Annie doesn't understand her mom and seems to always be fighting with her mom.  She dreams about her grandfather's cherry orchard.  Finally her mom tells her to go to her grandfathers (daadi) home until the mother is ready for Annie to come home. After arriving at her Daadi's home, she heads over to help the neighbors (old order Amish). Annie ends up helping the Zook's at the diner they run, but that her Daadi Moses owns. While helping at the diner Annie is able to renew her friendship with one of the Zook boys Aden.

The family is struggling to handle the work load at the diner as one of the boys Roman has left for a week in an effort to help his uncle fix the generator.  Roman always loved working with mechanical things and the family is hoping that this will help him heal mentally after the accident 5 years ago that left him partially paralyzed.

While Annie is pitching in at the diner she is able to work with Aden.  Annie and Aden have been friends for a long time but now that they are working side by side their friendship seems to grow into something more.  Both Annie and Aden know that this is wrong and will never work.  Both are baptized members of their respective religions.   Annie's daadi Moses discovers this friendship and is determined to put a stop to it.  So much so that he threatens the Zooks, telling them that if Aden doesn't break off this relationship that he will pull out of the partnership with the diner.  This will cause severe problems for the Zooks.   As Old Order Amish, they are not allowed to have electricity.  Without electricity, the health department will shut the diner down.

I would give this book 4 stars out of 5.

This was a quick and easy read, but didn't have the draw necessary to keep me awake at night.  I enjoyed the different plot lines. Besides the main story line between Aden and Annie, there is also tension between Aden and his twin brother Roman, and also the tension within Roman at not being whole after the accident 5 years ago.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

His Princess: Love Letters from Your King

 It's hard to look at our lives and think of ourselves as royalty. But the truth is, God is our King and we are chosen by Him. As your soul soaks in these love letters from your King, be affirmed of who you are, why you are here, and how much you are loved.

This is the perfect devotional book.  Small enough to fit into a purse or a coat pocket.  You can easily take this book with you where ever you go.  The book is divided into short readings centered around a verse.  The verse and the readings are designed to remind you just how much The King loves his Princess and wants what is best for her.  There are 91 short little devotionals in this book.  The devotionals are written as a love letter, always ending with a love from your King.

I really enjoyed these short little reads, often finding myself reading more than one at a time.  Quite often the topic seemed to really hit a spot, often just want I needed to hear at that moment.  I will be picking this little book up many times to re-read the little gems included in this book.

I received a copy for review, but the opinion is mine.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Senior Night already

Seems like just yesterday that Sarah made the freshman cheer squad and was modeling her uniform for the first time. At this point we were looking forward to our first day of high school and couldn't wait to embark on her final 4 years of school.  Fast Forward a few years.  Last night, we celebrated senior night.  They honored the 5 senior cheerleaders (two of which have been with Sarah all 4 years)  and thanked them for their service to the school.  

Congrats Sarah , you have turned into a wonderful young women and dad and I are very proud of you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Saw this on another blog and knew that I wanted to share this with everyone.

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down;
Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild,
While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child;

The children were nestled, each snug in their beds,
The grown-ups wouldn't bother, there's no room they said;
When even the innkeeper sent them away,
Joseph was wondering, where they would stay;
He thought of the caves in the side of the hills,
Lets go there said Mary, it's silent and still;

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Made pathways of light for their tired feet to go;
And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay,
Our Savior was born on that first Christmas Day!

The Father was watching in heaven above,
He sent for His angels, His couriers of love;
More rapid than eagles God's bright angels came;
Rejoicing and eager as each heard his name;

Come Power, Come Cherubs, Come Virtues, Come Raphael,
Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel;
Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live,
Announce the glad tiding My Son comes to give;

The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night,
And saw in the heavens and unearthly light;
The Angels assured them, they'd nothing to fear,
It's Christmas they said, the Savior is here!

They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,
Till Mary invited them in to adore;
He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,
Never did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet!

He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew,
He was telling them secrets and blessing them too;
Then softly they left Him, The Babe in the hay,
And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day;

Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill,
Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!

By: Sister St. Thomas, B.N.D. de N

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Life is flying by....

Life just seems to be flying by at a much faster rate this year.  The past ten days are a good example.  During this time many things happened that showed that my girls are growing up. 
On October 7th we started off with Senior night for Both Band and Football. Senior Night is the last home game of the season and the seniors are always honored as it is the last time they will perform on the home field. The night started off with the band and a small reception for Seniors and their parents

After the band reception was over we went back out for the football game.  The parents of the senior members of the football team, cheerleaders, cross country and boys golf were to meet at the west end of the field  before the varsity game.  At this point all of the players were introduced as they walked to midfield on the track with their parents.

After the game the seniors line up at one end of the field and walk the field for one last time while the underclassman are applauding them for their years of service.
 thanks to a friend for a few of these pictures.  My picture taker was crying so hard that she couldn't get a clear shot
So that was my first night of the 10 days, just a few days after this, Sarah had her birthday and is now an adult.  So funny to think that my child is grown up.

I ended the 10 days with yet one more activity that showed that my girls are growing up.  Kristen was the acolyte at church for the first time.  She did a great job.  It seemed so strange to sit by myself and not have to remind a child to be quiet or pay attention. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

5QF 7-29-11

Yep, once again I am running a tad bit late with this.  How in the world am I going to stay on top of it when school starts. 

1. Vow renewal ceremonies-yay or nay?

Might be kind of fun to do, especially if I could lose enough weight to get down to what I wore when we got married.  Of course if I could do that then any celebration would be worth it.
2. What sound/s annoy you the most?

Fingernails on a chalkboard.  Oh how I hate that sound.  Sends shivers down my back.  Thankfully anymore most classrooms have a white board in them.  So much nicer, plus there is no chalk dust.
3. If you had to pick, would you have only all boys, or only all girls for kids?

Since I have 2 girls, 2 fur babies that were girls and no boys, I would have to say all girls.  I am not sure what I would have done with a boy.
4. Do you believe in alternative medicine?

it really depends on the type of alternative medicine.  Some of the alternatives are very successful, but some of them in my opinion may be a hoax.  You really need to look into what you are putting your trust into and make sure that it is legitimate.

5. Would you take a family members children and raise them if they needed it?
Of course, they are family after all.