Friday, April 26, 2013

Book: Sweet Sanctuary

Sweet Sanctuary: A Story of Hope and Love Set Against the Backdrop of World War II

Lydia Eldredge longs to provide sanctuary for her young son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.

Dr. Micah Hatcher faithfully serves the immigrant population of Queens, New York. But under cover of darkness, he has a secret mission that challenges everything he thought he wanted out of life.

Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Together, they seek a refuge of safety-for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God puts into their lives. Amid turmoil and discord, can hope and love prevail?


A lot has been written about World War II from the perspective of those in Europe, but not as much - at least that I've come across - is written in America.  Sweet Sanctuary weaves together a doctor and nurse who served together in Hawaii and are now civilians.

I was actually surprised by how suspenseful the first half of the book was, not usually my choice of reading.  And just when I thought it was going to turn out the way I'd anticipated everything changed.

I really enjoyed this book - once I got past the suspense - for it's perspective on war time America and the reminder of just how little control we have over our lives, but God has the master plan.


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of twenty-one novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and nine grandchildren.

For more reviews of Sweet Sanctuary you can check out the LitFuse headquarters.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book: When the Morning Glory Blooms

Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna--three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Morning Glory Blooms, go HERE.


Unfortunately this book only arrived a little over a week ago and I just haven't had time to read it yet.  It looks really good though!

Cynthia Ruchti writes stories of hope that glows in the dark, merging her love for storytelling with inextinguishable hope for inexpressible hurts.
Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 40 years of marriage, three grown children, and five outrageously adorable grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she served as the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff for the Write-to-Publish conference, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks to women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days and retreats. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.”
For 33 years, Cynthia wrote and produced the radio broadcast The Heartbeat of the Home. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast aired on as many as 50 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations over the years. Cynthia was the editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reached 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: What Six Looks Like

Sometimes he wants me to take his picture... and I like the non-smiling ones best.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

PROBAR Review and Giveaway

A couple weeks ago I sent my husband and oldest son off to Oregon to visit his grandfather.  It was spring break, we had frequent flyer miles, and his parents were coming up for the girls' party so they only had to fly one way.  It worked out perfectly!

The only catch (besides having to get up at 4am!) was sending food for them to eat that would be easy.  Lucky for me, I'd just been sent a couple boxes of some new PROBAR flavors to try out.

Last year we tried their Fruition bars (now called Fuel) and seriously loved them so I was curious to try a different line.

Let me say right up front, I definitely have strong preferences so anything I didn't like you might, but overall I thought they were pretty good.  Worth buying, especially for trips where you need pre-packaged food.

We tried both the PROBAR Meal and the PROBAR Core.  They are two separate products so I'll give you a short list of the pros and cons of each.

My favorite was definitely the PROBAR Meal.  When something is touted as a meal, most times I come away thinking it was barely an appetizer.  Not so with these.  At 3oz each they feel heavy and with 10g of protein they last longer than a granola bar.

There are 4 new flavors that we tried and while normally I will instantly pick anything chocolate mint I was not a fan of their mint (nor in the Core bar below).  I did like the other three flavors quite well though: Chocolate Coconut, Oatmeal Raisin, and Superberry & Greens (this last one was my son's favorite).

Gluten Free*
I can read all the ingredients on the label!
No soy

Can't buy them locally
Price - $3 per bar means they aren't for everyday snacks (see below for a discount code!)

The other PROBAR we tried was the Core and while I wanted to like them... I just didn't. I think the main reason was after eating a couple all the flavors just started to taste the same, like the soy that was the main ingredient.  My husband really liked these though, so different tastes for different people.

Gluten Free*
Chocolate covered protein bar: 20g
All natural ingredients

First ingredient is soy (personally I try to stay away from too much soy)
Price - still almost $3 per bar

Try Them!

PROBAR would like to offer all my readers a 40% discount on your first time order.  You must shop through this link and enter the code BLOGGER at checkout to get the discount. 


Win a box of the Meal bars in your choice of flavor (or a mixed box)!  Just enter below by telling me which flavor you'd like to try!

Don't forget to follow THE PROBAR on Facebook for news and updates!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received these products for review purposes only.  I was not compensated in any way other than the product I received to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own!

*For my gluten free friends.  The label is misleading as it does state that it was produced on equipment that processes wheat, however they are certified and it was checked with the quality assurance manager that all equipment is 3rd party certified as gluten free before production of these bars begins.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Robot Hands

Temporary tattoos make fun play time! Thanks for the cool birthday gift Grandma!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

A Twin First Birthday Party!

So, we're having a blog party and we were having a real party this weekend! Due to various timing issues we didn't hold the girls' first birthday party until Saturday.

This is how they felt about being trapped in their car seats while I decorated...

Looky! I'm so proud of the banner I made!  Special thanks to my friend Candi who was over on Friday to motivate me... and run to the store for more paper when I screwed up!  My mother in law made the fruit rainbow! (you really should click on the picture and see it full size)

Singing to the birthday girls!  Our friend Alex loves these babies!

Oh, look Mama, I like cupcakes! (as Daddy moves the flamage a bit more out of reach!)

Joy is the serious one... inspecting the frosting!

Yum!  We know how this works!

Hope - all of it in at once!

Those cupcakes didn't last long and most of it was in the mouth not on them.  Of course it probably helped that I make all muffins in wrappers and they love them so they knew what to do!

All the kids wanted to sit with the birthday girls, so cute!

Birthday presents! This card came from my grandmother's stash so it's very retro and cool!

Joy figured out the wrapping paper thing, Hope needed a little help from brother.

Of course they were more interested in the paper and bows and tags than the actual presents!

I didn't count, but there were definitely more kids than parents there... and all super interested in the presents!

We like balloons for parties, they make good party favors.  Except we over estimated and came home with a balloon forest at our house too!

Hope - I think I like this birthday thing!

Thanks to everyone who came, for the cute clothes and books!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Welcome to my Blog!

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

My friend Heidi took this picture of me the other day and I think it sums me up just about perfectly... I'm always the one behind the camera!  If you want the rest of the nitty gritty you can read my About Me page.

I've been doing this blogging thing for over 7 years now and just cracked 1000 posts.  I guess you might call me an old-timer!

We are just wrapping up Birthday Season as my four children just turned 6, 3, and 1 respectively... oh, actually I have two one year olds, we got a bonus!

Even though my blog is called Welcome to Married Life, since I'm a stay at home mom, most of it is centered around my children with the odd product review/giveaway thrown in.  And books, I'm a certified bookworm!

My number one hobby though is photography and while most of my photos are of my children eventually I'd like to make it more than a hobby.  You know, in all my free time!

So happy to meet you and if you'd like to stay in the loop please hop on over and like my page on facebook or join me on twitter.

Please leave a comment so I can visit your online home.

Happy Blog Partying!

Book: Unrivaled

Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe’s best confections, she’s sure she’ll come up with a recipe that will save her father’s struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager–a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy’s skin.

Charlie Clarke’s new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime. He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he’s never known. The one thing he never counted on, however, was tenacious Lucy Kendall. She’s making his work life miserable…and making herself impossible for him to forget.


When Lucy comes home from Europe and discovers her father is ill she throws herself into saving their company.  It's all she's ever wanted to do.  But society has other ideas of how a young lady should act, namely as the Queen of Love and Beauty she should be focused on looking pretty and getting married rather than getting her hands dirty in the kitchen and trying to run a business.

Lucy is trying her hardest to come up with a new candy recipe, but it seems that some unseen - and some seen - forces are at work to thwart her at every turn.  From flopped candy to the eye candy belonging to her rival, Lucy can't seem to catch a break.  It isn't until she befriends a girl she thought was horrid that she starts to see that maybe her life isn't exactly the way she pictures it.

This is the first of Siri Mitchell's novels that I've read.  I appreciate the way she brings you along with the character as she discovers things about herself.  It's definitely not a preachy novel, which gets under my skin.  

There's a bit of a mystery that keeps you guessing along the way, but it's also a straight up romance novel.  My only criticism is that it seems to wrap up a little too nicely in the end for all the lessons Lucy's learned along the way.


You can read others reviews on the LitFuse campaign page or purchase your own copy.

Siri Mitchell is the author of nearly a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists "Chateau of Echoes" and "The Cubicle Next Door". A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government. As military spouse, she has lived in places as varied as Tokyo and Paris. Siri currently lives in the DC-metro area.


Six. Somehow this is harder to believe than 3, or even 1.  All my children are growing up, this one most of all.  Growing up and taking an adventure with Daddy this morning at 4am to go visit Great Grandpa in Oregon.

Six is being self aware enough to "try" to smile for the camera. 

Six is noticing the bumps when we drive over bridges and asking about expansion joints on the way home from Nana's house.  And then falling asleep in the car five minutes later.

Six is old enough to roam the neighborhood looking for new playmates, especially on spring break!

But six still likes to be tucked in at night with hugs and kisses and songs.

Six loves ice cream for dinner and playing with Legos, in bed!

And six is old enough to realize that sometimes we don't spend all our money on ourselves, we give it away to help others.

Six, Cory.  I think you'll grow up to be wonderful man, just like you're a wonderful boy now.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Spring Break!

And just in time!  So many people have been talking about spring break for the past 2 weeks and then complaining when it's over... honestly I'm thankful ours is this week because it was 80 degrees today and 2 weeks ago it was snowing!

I'm also thankful for the fact that we all finally seem to be over the flu.  Almost two weeks of that in our house and Brian is the only one who didn't get sick.

I'm thankful that all my stitches, on my head and my nether regions, are healing.  Not the greatest timing for those... One is hereditary, the other compliments of birthing 4 children, I'll let you guess which one was which.

I'm thankful that because of the gorgeous weather I could clean out my house today with all the windows open!  Washing windows... because some of them happen to be at baby height!

I won't guarantee they'll still be clean even if you come visit me tomorrow, but at least I feel like I accomplished something!

I'm thankful that we were all well enough to celebrate Easter with my parents on Saturday.  It was a lovely day!

So, what have you been up to these past 2 weeks and how was your Easter?