Monday, December 22, 2014

Save Me by Kristyn Kusek Lewis

Daphne Mitchell has always believed in cause and effect, right and wrong, good and bad. The good: her dream job as a doctor; Owen, her childhood sweetheart and now husband; the beautiful farmhouse they're restoring together. In fact, most of her life has been good--until the day Owen comes home early from work to tell her he's fallen head over heels for someone else.

Unable to hate him, but also equally incapable of moving forward, Daphne's life hangs in limbo until the day Owen's new girlfriend sustains near-fatal injuries in a car accident. As Daphne becomes a pillar of support for the devastated Owen, and realizes that reconciliation may lie within her grasp, she has to find out whether forgiveness is possible and decide which path is the right one for her.

My thoughts...I loved the authenticity of Daphne. Her husband, whom she loves, is ready to start a family with, her everything suddenly tells her I need a break I'm not sure I'm all in anymore and oh by the way I had an affair (all in the first few pages not a spoiler). What would you do with that! Just as she is beginning to process everything the woman who he had a fling with is in an accident, Owen needs Daphne. Her best friend, Annie KNOWS what is best for her and pushes her to do just that. The problem is Daphne is all over the place.

I understood Daphne. You can't just turn those feelings would want to believe the best even during the worst. I felt so bad for her. It didn't seem like anyone was willing to just listen to her and allow her to process what was going on around her. She knew everything they were telling her, but she needed to decide what she was going to do. In the end, it is her life. (and I'm totally an Annie ;)

I really enjoyed how I wasn't sure how this was going to end. I won't say anymore about the story. This was a really fast read, I just flew through the story. I wanted to know how everything would play out. I could definitely see this as a great book to read with friends and chit chat especially about the end! I'm recommending SAVE ME!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kids Christmas Books

Last week I took the kids over to the library and checked out a number of kids Christmas books. I love how our library marks the binding with a little candy cane making them easy to find. I'm trying to read a few each day, but so far I've read only three...multiple times. My kids like repetition! I hope to pull a few more from our library bin today, but I thought I'd take a few moments and review the three I read so far.

Dora's Christmas Carol 
by Golden Books (Author), Brenda Goddard (Illustrator), Dan Haskett (Illustrator)

Dora the Explorer takes a magical holiday journey back to the past and into the future to teach Swiper about the importance of giving. Based on the DVD Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure, this full-color hardcover storybook is sure to delight girls ages 3-7.

My thoughts: My kids really are not huge Dora fans. They will sit and watch the television show now and again, but won't seek it out. I wasn't really sure how the book would go over. Well they loved it. Swiper has gotten in trouble by Santa for his swiping and now will not receive a gift unless he learns about the true spirit of Christmas. Dora and Swiper take off on an adventure of Christmas' past and future. My kids really enjoyed the book.

The Perfect Christmas Pageant 
by Joyce Meyer  

The popular Everyday Zoo series for young children by beloved and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Meyer continues with The Christmas Pageant, a heartfelt and humorous story about the true meaning of Christmas. When Hayley Hippo is asked to direct the annual Christmas pageant, she decides this will be her Christmas gift to Jesus and she sets out to make everything perfect. However, after a series of disappointing mishaps, Hayley and her friends learn that they don’t need to be perfect. They realize that Christmas is not about the glittering lights, the perfect setting, or an impressive show, but about Christ.

My Thoughts: I have not read any of the Everyday Zoo books before. I was very interested in this book because I knew it would have a religious sentiment. This is very important to me especially at Christmas. The kids and I really enjoyed the story and I'll be honest and admit to my inner Hayley Hippo trying to make everything perfect. It was a sweet story. I am going to be looking at getting more books in the Everyday Zoo series.

The Crippled Lamb
by Max Lucado 

The inspiring story that has encouraged thousands of children who have felt left out or who have special needs.

In this timeless bestseller, readers experience the tender love God has for those who feel alone and different. Joshua was a lamb with a crippled leg who felt left out because he couldn’t run and play like the other lambs. But God had a very special plan for Joshua’s life, as He does for all who feel alone. Readers can expect a gentle tug on their hearts as the little lamb’s prayers are answered in an amazing way. Original oil-painting illustrations by Liz Bonham brilliantly capture the beauty and warmth of this endearing story.

My Thoughts: I have read one of Max Lucado's children's books and really enjoyed it, so I had a high expectation for The Crippled Lamb. I sat down with the kids and began reading. Within the first pages we were all sad. The poor little lamb. I couldn't imagine what God's plan for him would be. Then it is revealed. I sat there trying not to cry while reading. I did end up in tears. I mean this is an absolutely beautiful story. This is a book I want to read to them again and again because it reminds me how He has a plan for us. Absolutely loved this. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Busy, busy, busy

Things have been busy here. Working of finishing up our last few weeks of school before we take off for Christmas break. It is hard to believe we have just about completed 18 weeks of school!  I seriously can't believe it! I would have to say I have loved the experience more than I ever expected. I love having my kids around and knowing exactly what they are learning. I love how when C is struggling with a new concept I stop what I'm doing and we keep working on it until he really gets it. I see his areas of weakness and I have the time to really work on those things with him.

Last week, we had the opportunity Brooks Museum where they had a homeschool day. They have a temporary exhibit called Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt. We had a blast! To prepare we went to the library and checked out a number of books about Ancient Egypt and then did a few arts and crafts projects.

We made necklaces and arm bands. They love all the art projects we get to do at home. We also had a chart in one of our books using hieroglyphics. I attempted writing their names on the white board. I thought they may like to add them to their art projects. M used the hieroglyphics and wrote out mom (the orange on the necklace). She also made a symbol to represent me...yes it's a cup of coffee. Coffee sounds like a good idea right now!