“Gramma Nancy’s animal hats (and booties too!) by Nancy Nielsen, book review

“Gramma Nancy’s animal hats (and booties too!) by Nancy Nielsen, book review

This beautifully illustrated book of knitted hats and booties for children will inspire even the most reluctant knitter! There are numerous hat and bootie patterns for children in the animal theme. The book is divided into forest favorites (bear, beaver, etc.), Jungle Jubilee (lion, elephant, etc.) and barnyard buddies (lamb, duck, pig and more). Each pattern has a high quality photo of the finished product, along with very details direction including multiple size patterns and finished product sizes. The beginning of the book devotes several chapters to tool and materials, gauge and fit, plus the authors specific instructions for assembling these cute creations with special attention to the faces. And at the end are illustrations for knitting techniques.

This is a well organized and thorough book! This would make a wonderful gift for the knitter in your family, or to make gifts for the little ones in your family.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Potter Crafts. All opinions expressed are my own.

Posted in Book review, Kids | Leave a comment

“A Dream of Home: by Amy Clipston, book review

“A Dream of Home: by Amy Clipston, book review, Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series #3

Madeleine spent summers growing up with her Amish grandparents while moving all over the world with her military mother. When her own military nursing tour is over, she comes to recover from the tragic death of her fiancé. Her grandparents left her their home in Paradise, Penn., even thought she had not joined the Amish church. She got a job as a housekeeper at the local hotel and is spending time healing and learning to love again.

Saul and his daughter Emma live on the farm formerly owned by Madeleine’s grandparents. He bought the farm many years ago when he was ready to marry and begin his family. He married Annie and they had Emma. But then Annie left him and the Amish faith. Saul told Emma her mother died, which later became true, as she was killed in an accident. But Saul is still worried that Emma will want to leave the Amish like her mother. So when she becomes friends with Maddie, he is concerned. His friends become concerned when they begin spending some family time together. How can this work?

I enjoyed this book and the continuation of the series. It was easy to read and the characters were believable.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Zondervan. All opinions expressed are my own.

Posted in Book review | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Promises to Cherish” by Elizabeth Byler Younts, book review

1945- Christine is a new nurse and is working at the Hudson River State Hospital. She has to work to support her family, as her brothers died early in the war. And she wants to make a difference in the lives of her patients, all wards of “mental hospital” but lack of funds and resources makes it very difficult.

Eli is drafted but as an Amish church member is able to serve in the Civilian Public Service Unit, so he does not have to be actively involved in the war. After months of digging fence holes, he is transferred to the Hudson River State Hospital, because he is big and strong, and they hope he is able to help with the care of the unruly patients.

This is the second novel in the Promise of Sunrise Series.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Simon and Schuster. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Promises to Cherish

Howard Books (October 7, 2014)


Elizabeth Yount


Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force officer’s wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters. She makes her home wherever her family is stationed. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch.


As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.

It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.

Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.

Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Cherish , go HERE.

Posted in Book review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Bend Your Brain” by Marbles the brain store, book review

“Bend Your Brain” 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind, by Marbles, the brain store

This is not your ordinary puzzle book, it is much more! It is arranged in 5 key brain categories: visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination and memory. This variety has something for everyone, and can be used with small groups or alone. The puzzles really look interesting! Many have pictures that immediately draw attention. The book is printed in high quality black and white (colors would make it more interesting) and the pictures, puzzles and words are easy to read. While many of these puzzles are beyond my skill level, there is really something for everyone!

This book will make a great Christmas gift for the puzzle lover on your list. Or to put in your carry-on bag for your holiday travel.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, ThreeRiversPress, as a member of the blogging for books program. All opinions expressed are my own.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walmart’s Savings Catcher- review

Walmart’s Savings Catcher- review

While I do not shop at Walmart for all that many items, I do make a couple of trips a month to purchase items not available at Aldi or the Farmer’s Coop. This includes: specialty spices, personal care items (that I do not buy on sale at CVS) dog food, batteries, specialty food items, school supplies, general cleaning items, etc.

I use coupons when I can and like the variety that Walmart carries. It does make shopping convenient to have so many products in one place. But we all know that about Walmart. I generally think that Walmart has the lowest price on most items in my area, as we so not have a lot of shopping options. And really, I do not want to do price comparison on the items I buy there, as they are small dollar amounts, and not worth the time, plus, there are really no competitive stores close by. The new Savings Catcher program is interesting. I decided to try it, since I would purchase these items at Walmart anyway, if there was a lower price and I would get the difference back, it was worth a couple of minutes.

I have found the program easy to use. I just enter the number on the receipt and date. A couple of days later I get an email with the savings amount or that there were no lower prices. Either way, I know I was a smart shopper. So far I have accumulated just over $5. I have not cashed out yet. I am waiting for more to make it worth my while to purchase something.

Conclusion: easy to use, extra money with little or no extra work.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I am not affiliated with Walmart nor was this in anyway sponsored by Walmart. I just thought I would share my thoughts with you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Beside Still Waters” by Trcia Goyer, book review

“Beside Still Waters” by Trcia Goyer, book review, A Big Sky Novel #1

Marianna was born following a buggy accident that killed her two older sisters. For her whole life she has tried to make up for the 2 lives that were lost. But she cannot make up for the two girls. When she has finally is ready to leave home and start her own family, her parents decide to move the family to Montana. Montana? There are just a few Amish in Montana, but it would be a chance to start over. In Montana no one would know about her other sisters. After much anguish, Marianna decides to obey her parents and accompany her family to Montana.

Montana…It is beautiful! And after a couple of weeks there, Marianna is learning to like this new home. There are a lot of English and surprisingly, has found them to be nice. Especially the driver who picked the up at the train station. Ben. Ben Stone. He is not familiar with Amish traditions, but seems so nice.

As the weeks go on, Marianna begins to find peace in Montana. But what about returning home? Aaron, her beau, is finishing his cabin, their cabin, and expects her to return home. She is unsure of her future? What is the right thing to do?

I enjoyed this book, and am eagerly waiting to discover what happens to Marianna, Ben and the rest of the Montana Amish community.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, B and H Publishing. All opinions expressed are my own.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Dreaming on Daisies” by Miralee Ferrell, book review

“Dreaming on Daisies” by Miralee Ferrell, book review. Love Blossoms in Oregon #3.

Leah has always loved the ranch she grew up on, and knew she would live here forever. But when her mother dies and her father seems to be lost (in drink) she is unsure if she can hold things together. In desperation she approaches the banker for a loan, which is denied. But when the banker becomes a friend and needs a place to stay after his cabin is burned in a mine explosion, there seems there may be hope.

Steven grew up on a farm, but the work needed here on Leah’s ranch is beyond what he is used to. The blisters on his hands prove he has become quite green. But he is determined to help her keep her ranch. And maybe win her heart too.

This is the third book in the Love Blossoms in Oregon series which has common characters from the previous books. The story line is easy to follow and the characters are believable. I enjoyed the book and appreciated the underlying story of God’s forgiveness, even when we do not deserve it.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, David C. Cook, as a member of the Christian Fiction blog group. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dreaming on Daisies

David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)


Miralee Ferrell


Miralee and her husband, Allen, live on 11 acres in Washington State. She loves to minister to women (as a certified Lay Counselor with the AACC) or through her writing, riding her horse, working in her flower beds and playing with her dogs—her 7 lb, long-haired Chihuahua, Lacey, spends a lot of time on her lap while Miralee is writing. Miralee speak at various women’s functions and has taught at writers’ conferences. She’s been writing since 2005, and her first book released in 2007. Since then, she’s had 10 more books release, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical romance, and she’s had the honor of being a best-selling and award-winning author.


When her father’s debts, brought on by heavy drinking, threaten Leah Carlson’s family ranch, she fights to save it. When handsome banker Steven Harding must decline her loan request, he determines to do what he can to help. Just as he arrives to serve as a much-needed ranch hand, Leah’s family secrets—and the pain of her past—come to a head. They could destroy everything she’s fought for. And they could keep her from ever opening her heart again.

This is western historical romance that offers hope and healing to the deepest wounds in a woman’s past.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of Dreaming on Daisies, go HERE.

Posted in Book review, Critters | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“widsom of the sadhu” Teachings of Sandar Singh, book review

“widsom of the sadhu” Teachings of Sandar Singh, book review

Sundar Singh is known in his lifetime as India’s most famous convert to Christianity. He however was a very humble man. He was searching for the true meaning of life and kept looking until he encountered Jesus. He lived his life as a sadhu- wandering holy man- basically as a beggar. He traveled the dirt roads of India and spoke in profound parables. Near the end of his life he traveled internationally to speak and write.

This book is a collection of anecdotes, sayings, parables and meditations. I found it difficult to read for several reasons. First, there are many foreign words, most of which are translated the first time used, but I could not remember and therefore did not understand further use and the story. Second, I am not familiar with Indian culture or religions, so even when words were translated, I still could not fully appreciate the significance of some of the writings. And finally, I found it hard to follow the story line or time line, as there was not a narrative or explanations between chapters.

That being said, if you are interested in these topics, enjoy studying men who were fully devoted to following Christ in this manner, Indian culture and a monastic lifestyle, this book is for you. It may also be easier to understand if read in small bites, rather than read cover to cover in a couple of days.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Plough Publishing House. All opinions expressed are my own.

Posted in Book review | Tagged | Leave a comment

“The Donkey in the Living Room” by Sarah Raymond Cunningham” book review

The Donkey in the Living Room” by Sarah Raymond Cunningham” book review. A Tradition that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.

This delightful hardback picture book is perfect for the last few days before Christmas, to help the children understand the real meaning of Christmas. The author suggests that you gift wrap your nativity figures (labeling so you know which is which) and the have the children unwrap one figure each evening while you read the story about that figure. The days/ stories are:
9 days before: Mary
8 days before: donkey
7 days before: cow
6 days before: sheep
5 days before: shepherd
4 days before: angel
3 days before: camel
2 days before: wise men
1 day before: Joseph
Christmas day: Baby Jesus

I think this is a wonderful way to read the Christmas story to children, concentrating on 1 aspect of the story each day. While I do not agree with the sequence of the wise men at the manger, understand the order, as Jesus arrives on Christmas day.

I think this would be a wonderful gift for a preschool age child, and could also include a child proof nativity set (Play mobile or similar) so the child can explore and enjoy reenacting the Christmas story.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, B&H Kids. All opinions expressed are my own.

Posted in Book review, Holidays | Leave a comment

“When Mercy Rains” by Kim Vogel Sawyer, book review

“When Mercy Rains” by Kim Vogel Sawyer, book review, Zimmerman Restoration trilogy #1

Suzy left her Mennonite home and community when she discovered she was pregnant. Her mother, ashamed of her daughter’s actions and what the community would think of her, arranged for her to leave and give her baby to her childless cousin. Suzy obeyed her mother, but following the birth of her baby, did not return home. Instead, she was taken in by a caring Christian couple who helped her get her GED and attend nursing school. Suzy was able to get a job at the Mennonite hospital. This pleased her mother who bragged that her daughter was a nurse missionary.

After a tragic accident that left her mother in a wheelchair, Suzy’s brother writes and asks her to come care for her mother. Suzy arranges a 2 month leave of absence from her job and travels home. But the welcome she receives is not what she expected.

I enjoyed this book. It had a lot of back and forth between the characters and what each was thinking and feeling. And in the end, forgiveness of wrongs was given and received. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

Posted in Book review | Tagged , | Leave a comment