Monday, May 26, 2014

It's the End of the Year

And all those awards and special programs to go with it.

Last Wednesday was the awards night at Awana:

Noah had his first year in Cubbies.

Here they are all showing off their singing skilz.

Such a ham!

Cory had his first year in Sparks although he was in the second year because we skipped last year with the girls.

He did get his whole book done and started the second one so we might be able to get one and 3/4 books done next year and finish on time!

Daddy helped with the oldest age group and they were very proud of him!

Thursday all the first graders put on the Ocean Commotion music show at school.

Cory did not have a speaking part, but when I went in that afternoon to help in his classroom they discovered that one of the kids who DID have a speaking part wasn't going to be there that night.  His teacher asked me if we were and gave him the line.

We worked on it on the way to his eye exam and then home.  He delivered!  Loud and clear and with plenty of attitude.  It helped that it was a line about sharks!

Part of the way through the hat got pretty hot so he took it off and was swinging it around...

Then when he put it back on he did this...

My son, the fish head!

And this one is the natural ham so he needed his photo taken too.  It's very sad that we are going to be out of town the week there is a drama camp for 4-7 year olds next month...

I guess they come by it naturally, their Dad loves acting!

Book: A Stitch and a Prayer

After her fiancĂ© returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage—even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life.
But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby’s birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns. Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will’s promise to return to her.

Will her labor of love—and faith in God—sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch and A Prayer, go HERE.


I dislike writing negative reviews, but this is one of very few books that I just couldn't finish.  I got about halfway through.

I had three issues with it.  First, and I know the author doesn't have full control over this, but the book blurb (above) gives away a plot point that hasn't even happened by the midway point of the book.  This is annoying because you're left wondering what the point of all the previous stuff is when there's not really any conflict.

Second, this story reads heavily like a sequel with lots of snippets of history thrown in, but never fleshed out.  That's really frustrating to me when I feel like there's more to the story, but have no way of knowing it.

Third, and finally the one that caused me to just quit, the writing was very stilted.  I'm not sure how else to describe it, but it just felt forced and didn't flow naturally.

I think the premise of the book was interesting and I was intrigued to think about the setting because I want to college very near the location and thinking of it as nothing but woods with a few farms here and there was crazy because now it's a very city suburb type area with just a few farms father out.

Unfortunately I wouldn't recommend this one.


Eva Gibson is the author of twenty books, including A Stitch and a Prayer, the latest release in the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Fiction. She currently teaches Writing Your Life Story classes for Portland Community College and is an active member of Oregon Christian Writers. She has lived most of her life on the family farm in Wilsonville, Oregon, which is the setting for her novel.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


I've never had a sister.  I think I always wanted one, but the closest I got was a couple of really good friends.

These two, they will never know life any other way.  As of yet they have hardly been apart for more than an hour and then only infrequently.

I wonder what it will be like.  I hope they will always like each other even if they need their own space.  I see differences and that is good.  They are their own people.

Can you be close if you are alike in all ways?  Or does it take differences?  What will it be like to have someone who has known you for your entire life (and is not a parent or other older person)?

I wonder these things I suppose because I wonder if anyone is close to me.  I don't speak that much about the deep things, it's not in my personality, but if you haven't know me forever, how do you know me?  What does it really take to be close to someone?

Will they know the truth of Proverbs 18:24 better because they have each other?

This is a post prompt from Lisa-Jo. Join in? If you don't have a blog or don't want to write there I'd love to have you write with me, even in the comments!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Pretty Princesses

These girls like to dress up!  If it's not the play clothes we got for their birthday then it's going through their dresser and changing clothes 100 times!  Are they really only 2???

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Whole New World

This Mama got a smartphone for Mother's Day...and life will never be the same I'm sure!

I hope my nice camera sees the light of day once in awhile, but for those snapshots of life that I might otherwise miss, now I at least have something!

I'll probably be posting way more quick shots on Instagram now than here - so follow me over there and I'd love to follow you back!

Also, seeing as this is my first ever smartphone I'm collecting app recommendations!  Leave me yours and please keep in mind I did NOT get an iPhone.

And now for a few phone photos...

This week it got super hot and the kids wanted to play in the sprinkler...

This girls finally get to ride in the real car part of the car cart... until they slither out of their seatbelts and try to run away, and then they go back up top, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And brother decided he wanted to copy me and carry one of the sisters around.  Helps when your big brother is 5 years older than you and half as tall as Daddy already!  Too bad he's so skinny, it's hard to keep your balance when your little sister weighs almost half as much as you do!

This picture doesn't show it, but she was loving the fact that brother was carrying her around, it was just kind of bright outside.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book: Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine

Shannon Malone thought she'd found her happy ending when she married Edmund Ridgeway, but a diving accident on their honeymoon left her in a coma. Waking up to the news that she's thirty years old would have been daunting enough . . . but she also learns that Edmund has lost his interim battle with cancer and the world has marched on without her. Her gorgeous doctor, Daniel Petros, seems to know everything about her and becomes Shannon's tour guide into a whole new world of madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone's life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones!

As Shannon struggles to navigate through the changes-both in the world and in her-she also must discern real memories from imagined ones. Did she really ever wear capris pants and entertain in her living room, or was that Laura Petrie from her favorite classic TV show? And where is her beloved dog, Freeway? Oh, wait! That was Jonathan and Jennifer Hart's dog, not hers.

Shannon's three elderly aunts flit through her life in true Sleeping Beauty style with her well-being always a priority. And Edmund's sister Millicent descends like the Evil Queen she is, trying to extract Shannon from any claim on the Ridgeway family fortune. When a tornado moves through town and Shannon is knocked unconscious, will Daniel's kiss awaken her once and for all?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rise and Shine, go HERE.


Well, the book blurb above kind of gives a lot of the story away, but that's not what's on the back of the book.

Can you imagine waking up today and having been unconscious for 10 years?  Think back to how the world was in 2004 and all the things, mainly technology, we've added since then!  Then think about all the changes in your friends and family.  The world would have moved on without you.

I've read quite a few of Sandra Bricker's books and they're good reading.  This one has an especially interesting premise that will make you think!


For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. "I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost," she says. "So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line."

Sandie's real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor's proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects ... and still pursue my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"

And one of the author's pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy -- a red-haired collie with "killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown."

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Portantorchas Friends

We finally got around to our hoped for reunion this weekend! Seven of us from Portantorchas now makes 19 with all our families!  Next time let's not wait 13 years...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

It's Finally Spring!

And we have been doing a TON of things outside the past couple of weeks!  Let the annual mountain of photos begin...

First stop, river train with the MOPS group and Nana.

Joy was NOT happy about the fact that she didn't get to sit with me and couldn't really see me...

After one ride the girls were done.  Even in my lap Hope was whimpering a bit.

But Noah proceeded to ride the train 4 times in a row and probably would have kept going if they hadn't been done for the morning!

Next stop (same day) a hike up the side of a hill with all the 1st graders in Cory's school.  Here he's got deer hooves in his hands. (and it was just me, Nana took the little ones back for lunch and nap time - they would NOT have made it on this hike)

And a part of a deer hide.  It was an outdoor education type field trip and the perfect day for it.  I'm glad we went on Tuesday rather than later in the week when it was in the 80's!

Lots of volunteers just letting the kids have some exposure to things some of them may not otherwise see.

My little mountain man! 

Last stop on the field trip was collecting bugs... I'm rather glad that none of the kids found much, but an earlier class found a scorpion!  I didn't even know we had those around here!

Thursday, the hottest day, we met some friends at the park for lunch... and these two were smart and found a shady spot to eat!

Friday we went out a little earlier and met some other friends.  This park is more shady and smaller to keep track of the kids, but it has more climbing options...

My little daredevil!  And yes, it really is as high as it looks.  No fear!

Best buddies at the park!

Goofy girls, finally figured out how to pick up their feet so their shoes didn't catch on the slide and they could go down FAST.  They didn't want to leave.

I have a feeling we'll be getting to know all the local parks again now!