Sunday, February 27, 2011

Knitting needle cases

My daughter is learning to knit and is accumulating her own needles (mostly through barters! Thanks everyone!) Her needles are all over the house!

Last year I made some cases for colored pencils for my kids to take to church or wherever, and someone said to me, "Oh, that would be great for my knitting needles!" I remembered that comment and gave it a try--SO easy and works great! (so far, that is!) I'm making a few more for my mom and sister's birthdays too--what an easy practical gift! (you can't see in the picture, but they roll up and secure with a hairband, so it ends up being a really compact way to store them.

I might try one with a flap at the top so there's no chance of them slipping out, we'll see!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Velveteen Bible

The designs of Bibles these days can run the range from very plain to highly decorative, and that’s just the outer cover! What appears in addition to the actual Bible text (study guides, maps, etc) also sets some apart from others. The Velveteen Bible is a Bible is nicely designed for young children.

The Bible comes packaged in a nice box with a magnetic closure; the design on the box and the design on the Bible itself are a sweet bunny picture, with a fuzzy texture. The cover of the Bible is nice and sturdy and the pages have rounded edges; there are a few sweet pictures interspersed throughout the pages.

I was very pleased with many aspects of this Bible. First off, I was VERY glad that it was an actual Bible, not just a few limited Bible stories. My children do appreciate the “cutesy” look of this edition and want to be able to look up verses in it. When they take their Bibles to Sunday school, they need to be able to find what they are studying (and yes, they are young, just learning, but this is a skill they’ll need their whole lives!) There is also a plan at the back for reading your Bible through in a year, which is nice as well, but maybe a little grandiose for the age this Bible is designed for. The only things I thought were lacking were some maps (kids love maps!)

Overall, I think this is a wonderful Bible, not just a “gift” Bible or a decorative Bible, but one a primary girl would love to have and use.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Skating rink for chickens

See! In Vermont even the chickens get their own skating rink!

The recent thaw, followed by the current temps hovering around zero have left our chickens with half their run a smooth ice rink :) They, however, are not enjoying the area and for the most part are choosing to stay in the other section of the run.

Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

A GREAT Bible study! I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and absolutely loved it. I'd read one of Joanna Weaver's earlier books, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World as a part of a Bible study and enjoyed it, so I was excited to receive this book by the same author.

The author uses the Biblical story of Lazarus to teach lessons of God's love for each of us, living in God's love, God's love at work in and through us, etc. This book really spoke to me on many different aspects, one of which is that God's love for me depends on nothing I can do or be. He just loves me. Not if I do something or if I am something, He just loves me.

There is a study guide in the appendix which is good for using this book as a part of either a personal Bible study or a group study. The other appendices are full of helpful information as well, such as "Who I am in Christ" and "Identifying Strongholds". This back section of the book is just as important to read as the body of the book.

I would certainly recommend this book for Christian readers. Even if you think you understand God's love, give it a try. I can almost assure you that you'll find it informative and enriching in your Christian life.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The marriage of LLBean and Patagonia (also known as "How to keep a husband warm in church")

We live in Vermont. It is COLD in Vermont. We try to dress for the weather, but being recent transplants from Ohio, sometimes we fall short.

My husband is ALWAYS cold in Sunday School. Every week. AND he lets me know. Now, I am often cold in Sunday School too, but I usually keep it to myself :)

My solution was easy and effective. I took one of his roomier shirts that he wears to church (the plaid LL Bean button down) and a fleece sweatshirt that was too snug for him and was in the goodwill pile, and cut up the fleece so that the sleeves fit in the sleeves of the church shirt; stitched the wrist areas, pinned and stitched the rest of the sweatshirt, and VOILA!! He was warm last week in Sunday School!! Yay! And you couldn't even tell (it wasn't bulky or anything!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Who is My Shelter?

I just finished reading the book Who is My Shelter by Neta Jackson, author of the Yada Yada Prayer Group books.

This most recent book is book number four in the House of Hope series. It focuses on a mother of two boys, Gabby, and a whole cast of characters who are a part of her life. Her day-to-day life revolves around homeless shelters for women, and she is involved in the women's struggles and challenges. Of more importance in her story is her relationship with her estranged husband, throughout his addictions, his stalkers, his intentions, and ultimately, his life changes (and hers as well).

I absolutely loved this book. I have read some of the Yada Yada Prayer Group books and enjoyed them, but had not read any of the House of Hope series. Not one to start a series with book number four I was a bit hesitant upon beginning this book, but the book was so well-written that I did not feel like I needed to first go back and “catch up” to get a clear picture. It is a nice length book, a little over 400 pages—and enjoyable the whole way through. The main story and the sub-stories were very interesting, and focused on finding one’s shelter in The Rock (the Lord). I didn’t find quite the focus on prayer as was in the other Yada Yada books I’ve read, but prayer was the underlying theme of change in the lives of individuals. It’s not a “fluffy” book, but a great read with a message.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ah SNOW!!!!

Snow, snow, snow!! How much do you have thus far? I'm going to say that ours is about mid-hip height. It's gotten so that we've stopped measuring it :)

Leave a comment telling us all about your snow status!

Plain Wisdom by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud

The lifestyle of Amish families always seems somewhat mysterious yet interesting to me. This book, Plain Wisdom, was written by two friends, one Amish and one not. Unlike a novel, it is not a single story, but rather a little more than fifty short chapters; easy to read in little snippets (nice for someone with a busy schedule!) Relating to a different theme and verse of Scripture for each chapter, the ladies have both shared individual vignettes from their own life. As I read through these, I was surprised, yet in a way pleased, to see how similar the hearts of each one was. Though the differences in tradition and lifestyle are so obvious on the surface, the underlying values and experiences are very similar.

I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and I could identify with both of the authors. The explanations of some of the Amish ways was clear and gentle. Overall it was a kind, uplifting, sweet book. (there were some really delicious-sounding recipes in the book also—I’m baking the Overnight Blueberry French Toast right now!)

The only thing I didn’t love about the book was its title, Plain Wisdom. The title makes it sound like a self-help book or something filled with teaching. There were little bits of wisdom passed along throughout the stories, but I felt the book was more of a reminiscing-type.

Read it!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Girl Talk With God by S. Shellenberger

There are so many things for teen girls to be reading; how many of them are listening to the Lord speak to them through Scripture? The easy-to-read dialogue format of this book encourages reading in short bursts, chapter by chapter. The topics are timely for today, and show how to talk to God and listen for His answers.

In flipping quickly through this book, I did not think I would like the format; however, I found it made it easy to read in quick little bits. The topics ranged from music to love to missions to sex, even to Facebook. There is one theme per chapter, which encourages focus on that idea. There are a few chapters of this book that would be appropriate for pre-teen aged girls, but several of the topics were more mature themes, such as cutting, sex, and eating disorders. I would recommend this for older teenaged girls. The topics were covered very gently and lovingly and gave a very good picture of how God can and will communicate on a personal level through Scripture. It's not a devotional per se, but certainly can enhance one's devotional interactions with God.

Disclosure of material connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter Festival

The Saranac Lake winter festival has a wonderful ice palace every year. Amazing! Lots of fun for the whole family--and a beautiful day to enjoy it!