Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Books, Books, Books!

I LOVE to read. My favorite types of books are mysteries and adventures. Listed below are a few of my favorites. Do you like to read? Even if you don't these are a few books that you must read.

The Hidden Hand by Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth, written in 1859. This is absolutely my favorite book. In this book, you will read about mystery, hidden identities, criminals, romance, and unlikely friendships. This book is one of many books reprinted by Lamplighter Publishing. I actually just found out that there is a sequel, and I am very excited about reading it.

Another of my favorite books is titled, The Basket of Flowers, by Christoph von Schmid. This is another book  republished by Lamplighter Publishing. It was originally printed in 1878.This story is a wonderful example of unending friendship, even in the hardest times. If you never read another book, this is the book that you should read.

My two favorite authors are Beverly Lewis, and Janette Oke. Have you ever read any of their books? One of my favorites by Beverly Lewis is titled, The Fiddler, which is perfectly titled for me, because I play the violin-And I enjoy it immensely!

My favorite series by Janette Oke is the Prairie Legacy series. This series comes after the well known Love Comes Softly series, and I like it just as much. This series of friendship made me laugh and cry through every chapter of each book, right along with each character.

If you do enjoy reading, who are your favorite authors? Please feel free to comment with the titles of the books that you enjoy the most!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

1945 Dress Design

      Imagine! It's 1945, the war is over. One benefit of that for women is: no more fabric rationing, dark colored clothes, or remaking old dresses! Skirts are still full and slightly padded, and dresses no longer have stiff, squared shoulders. Instead, sleeves are now more rounded and fluttery. The waistlines are very defined and at the natural waist. This is all part of the "New Look" in America. During the war, America was not as influenced by European style, so we developed some of our own fashions.

My 1945 Dress Design

      I drew this dress as my example of a 1940's dress for the Shabby Apple Dare To Design contest, at It follows many of the style American style highlights of the late 40's. The top of the dress is modest, and gathered at the bottom. The waist is defined with a panel made of the same fabric as the dress, which then leads into the full, billowing, knee-length circle skirt style that was popular during the late 40's. Polka Dots were very popular in the early 1900's, but because of their precise arrangement on the fabric, and because it was more expensive to make, polka dot fabric wasn't made as much during the war. After the war, Polka Dots came back in style, and they were better than before. When fabric was needed for uniforms, more man-made fabric was used for clothing, especially fabric such as rayon or viscose. This type of fabric is great for this style dress, because of the satin like appearance and the beautiful drape this fabric has in full skirts. I imagine this dress to be red, with white 1/2" wide polka dots. Red fabric was used a lot for clothing in the 90's, because it was not expensive to make. What do you think? If you were living in the 40's and you no longer had to ration your fabric, would you wear or make this dress? 

     The top three entries for this contest will be posted on the Shabby Apple facebook page by July 25, 2013 to be voted on. If you like my design, and it is one of the top three please vote for me! The winner will be announced on the Shabby Apple blog and facebook page on August 5th. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: When Jesus Wept by Bodie and Brock Thoene

       When Jesus Wept is a fiction story based on true events, Just like most of Bodie Thoene's other books. This one was based during the time when Jesus was performing miracles, including raising Lazarus from the dead. I don't always like books that are based on Bible Stories, especially when they are written as if they are true. That was not the case with this book. this is the Introduction to the book:

       "Jesus clearly believed in the power of stories. He told parables-stories-to stretch the minds and transform the hearts of his listeners. We too believe in the life-changing power of stories, and thats why we're passionate about writing fiction. In every work of our fiction, there is truth, based on research, and there is imagination, based on our minds and perspectives. We weren't here, on this earth, as Jesus walked among the people, but through the verses of scripture and our imagination, we have portrayed to the best of our ability what he might have said and in the way he might have said it."

       The Thoenes include many references to scripture to back up their stories. I thoroughly enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed the way it was written. Bodie Thoene is one of my favorite authors, and I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with her latest book.

       The book, when Jesus wept, is mostly based on the life of Lazarus. He sees Jesus' miracles, meets and becomes friends with Jesus, experiences Jesus bringing him back to life, and is there for Jesus' crucifixion.

       One thing that I found especially interesting was that Lazarus owns a vineyard. We recently planted grapes, and it was neat to read a professional who had done it.

       I would definitely recommend this book to anyone; especially anyone  who is interested in learning what life might have been life during Jesus' life on earth.

 BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All opinions that I have expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's Not About Me

            I recently wrote this speech to say to our home school group. As you read it, remember that God loves you, and as you do things for others, you are doing them for God. 

            Matthew 25:40: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

It’s Not About Me

                Amy Carmichael, and Ruth from the Bible; what do these two women have in common?  They didn’t think about themselves when faced with trials.  They decided to do what God wanted them to do, not what they wanted.  They stood firm in their faith, and became some very well-known people in the world’s history.  It is important for us to do the same thing, and not think about ourselves.  Philippians 2: 3-4 says: “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.”  Everyone should not look out for His own interests, but also for the interests of others.  We all should love doing things for others, and love others as we do things for them.

            It’s not about me.  What each of us do in our lives should be done for God’s glory.  We are going to be put in positions in our lives where we have to make some tough decisions.  It is important for us to know what to do during those times.  We need to be willing to make the right choice, even if it may not seem like the option that would benefit us the most.  God wants us to do what would benefit others, more than ourselves.

When Ruth’s husband died, Ruth became a widow like her mother-in-law Naomi.  Ruth was faced with a very important decision.  She could either leave and go back home to her parents, or she could go with Naomi to her homeland.  Ruth’s future would be very different depending on which choice she made.  But Ruth didn’t think about her future.  She decided to think about what would benefit Naomi more.  Who would take care of Naomi, if she went by herself?  Ruth 1:16 “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.”  Ruth’s choice to go with Naomi shows just how much she cared for Naomi and her God.  Just like Ruth, when we have a choice to make, it is important to stand firm in what we believe is right, and think about how our decision will affect other people around us.  

            Why can’t we just do what we want in our lives, and not worry about other people at all?   That would be so easy, wouldn’t it?  We could just go about during our day, doing what we wanted to do, and doing what would help just us in our lives; but that would change the world a lot, and not for the better, either.  Think about the times, even just since you woke up this morning, that the people in your life have done something that showed just how much they cared about you.  What if they hadn’t done that thing, even if it was rather small?  Or, what if someone hadn’t thought to tell you about Jesus, and what he has done for us?  Our lives would be totally different if anything like that had happened.  We would feel very alone, and probably wouldn’t be happy very often at all.  Just like we feel blessed and happy when other people do kind things for us, others feel blessed when we think about them.  

            What if everyone started doing things for other people, without worrying about what would happen to themselves?  What if everyone understood and lived by the saying, “It’s not about me?”  We need to set an example, and think about the other people in our lives more than ourselves.  How can we do this, and how will we know that we are making the right decision?  What if we make a choice and it turns out to be the wrong one?  Sometimes a decision can be hard to make, and we won’t know how to decide.  If we choose one thing, it could help many people.  But if we make that decision, it could also put us in danger.  We need to remember that God will show us the way to go, and that he will protect us, no matter what.  Psalms 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”  When we are unsure about what to do, we need to pray, and ask God to help us make the decision that is His will, the decision that will benefit others more than ourselves.  It is not about me.  What we do in our lives should be done to help others.  God will help us to come to the right conclusion about what choice to make, and he will lead us through whatever happens after the choice is made.

Amy Carmichael was a missionary in India from 1895-1951. She once said, “You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”  As we choose to think of others when making decisions, we should remember to do as Amy did.  She loved the little children in India, and lived her life doing what she knew was best for them even though it may not have been the easiest for her.  She loved the children, and gave to them the opportunity to become Christians.  She did it with love, not out of necessity.  Don’t choose to help others because you think it is the right thing to do.  Help others, and think of them instead of yourself, because you know that it is the kind and loving thing to do, and because you want to.

So the next time that you find someone who needs your help, and you have the ability to help them, will you?  Do what God want us to do, and remember that, “It’s not about me,” no matter what the result may end up being?  

The Holy Bible, NIV, 1984.
Liberto, Dan, The story of Ruth through a Childs Eyes (Enumclaw, WA: Winepress Publishing, 2010).
Jackson, Dave and Neta, Hero Tales Volume 1: Amy Carmichael (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1996).

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Chocolate Covered Baloney by K. D. McCrite

       When I first saw that this book was available to review, I was instantly excited.  Confessions of April Grace: Chocolate Covered Baloney by K. D. McCrite is the third book in the Confessions of April Grace series. I thoroughly enjoyed  reading the first two books in this series, and had been looking forward to this next book for a while. I was not disappointed.

       There are three books in the Confessions of April Grace series by K. D. McCrite:

             In Front of God and Everybody,
             Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks,
             and Chocolate covered Baloney.

       I loved reading this newest book just as much as the two before. All three books in this series are worth reading, no matter how old or young you are. When my younger brother heard the title, even before I got this book he asked if he could read it. Doesn't chocolate covered baloney sound good? ;) In each book the story continues on right after what has happened in the last book, so you don't miss a moment in the excitement of April Grace's life.

       I enjoyed reading about April Grace and her adventures in this book. You won't want to put this book down as you read about how she solves a mystery, meets someone she never thought that she would meet, and continues on her many other adventures. You will laugh right along with April Grace as you read about her grandma's crazy driving and April Grace's many confessions about starting Jr. High School.

       To find out more about April Grace, and to read an excerpt from each book, click Here. I am sure that you will enjoy these books as much as I have!

       BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All opinions that I have expressed are my own.