“Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” by Sarah Mae, book review

510q0lh06ol“””Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 days to a cleaner house and a satisfied soul” by Sarah Mae

Mary and Martha were two of Jesus’ friends in the Bible. They entertained Jesus and his disciples in their home. One confrontation between the sisters is recorded in the Bible. Martha was trying to clean and prepare the food, and she was frustrated with Mary who was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him teach.

We, as women and homemakers, can learn so much from both Mary and Martha. Even if we are fairly good housekeepers, there is always an area or two that frustrates us. Author, Sarah Mae, takes us through 31 days of Biblical lessons as well as scheduling house keeping chores. This is a very thoughtful book full of personal examples as well as cleaning tips and ideas.

This is a well written book, with short chapters and assignments. There is room to write daily answers to questions regarding personal responses to Bible readings and chores. Feminine graphics on the cover and through out the book add a very nice touch. I will be giving this book as a wedding gift to young brides this season.

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

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“A Dream of Miracles” by Ruth Reid, book review

511xtjy33rl-_ac_sx75_cr007575_“A Dream of Miracles” by Ruth Reid, book review


Mattie is a young widow with 2 toddlers. She is barely able to keep the farm going even with the help of her Amish community. Then her son gets sick and the new doctor is not helpful. When she takes her son to the hospital, the doctor calls the authorities and accuses her of child abuse.

Bo is a very successful social worker. He really cares about the kids. Mostly because he was once in the foster care system, so he truly understands.

When he is assigned Mattie’s son as a case of suspected child abuse, he is able to understand the tension between the Amish and the English community, especially the health care and legal issues.

This is an easy to read book, rather predictable, but shows how different points of view can seem right to those do not want to see the other side. I will enjoy reading more in this series.

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

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“The Mapmaker’s Children” by Sarah McCoy, book review


“The Mapmaker’s Children” by Sarah McCoy, book review

This is a parallel story of contemporary Eden Anderson and Civil War figure Sarah Brown. Each has their own story and struggles that eventually intertwine in to solve issues in their lives.

Sarah is the daughter of abolitionist John Brown, who is killed for his part in freeing slaves. Sarah wants to help in the effort of the Under Ground Railroad (UGRR) and uses her unique talent of painting to prepare maps that pass as living room art. These maps help many escape, until they are discovered. Later she turns to painting on doll’s heads to depict the way to freedom.

Eden is struggling with the move to New Charleston, WV with her husband. They have been trying unsuccessfully to start a family, and this move is a time of reset for her body and their marriage. In an effort to comfort her, Jack brings her a dog. It does not work! Eden is ready to throw them both out!

In the interim, Jack hires the neighbor girl to care for the dog. Cleo is an interesting figure, but quickly finds friendship with Eden as well as Cricket, the dog.

This story transitions back and forth between the two women as they deal with life and the two stories slowly come closer together.

I enjoyed the book. It had real life like characters and experiences. I appreciated the research and historical notes that the author used to write this book.

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

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“An Unbroken Heart” by Kathleen Fuller, book review


Joanna’s life is changed in just a moment when a truck hits the buggy she is riding in with her parents. Sadly, her parents are instantly killed, and Joanna is severely injured and must spend time in a rehab hospital followed by more physical therapy at home. Just before the accident, she had asked Andrew to marry her. But now she knows she will be a lifelong burden to him, so she calls off the wedding at the last moment.

Andrew has loved Joanna for many years and has been waiting for her to grow up. Now that she is of age, he wants to be her husband. But she leaves him at the alter. How can he go on?

This is second book in the Amish of Birch Creek series. I have read the first book and there were some of the same characters, although they had minor appearances. I am looking forward to book #3 “A Love Made New” to be released 9/2016.

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

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“Faith” by Lyn Cote, book review


“Faith” by Lyn Cote, book review. The Quaker Bride book #3.
During the Civil War Quakers maintained their religious position by serving in non-combat roles, and this included some of the women. Faith used her nursing skills to serve soldiers on both sides. But she had another mission, searching for her Shiloh, the free born childhood friend who was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

While serving, Faith meets Colonel Delvin Knight. Knight is fighting for the north, but has relatives on the other side. He is trying to fight for what is right, but he is struggling to determine what is right now that the world has been turned upside down.

I have read the other 2 books in this series and noticed there were some of the same characters, although they played minor roles in this book. I enjoyed the book and learned about the struggles on folks who had to fight against their families.

Discalimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale Fiction. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Scripture writing plan- not just for kids

march2bscripture2bwriting2bplan2benglishAs a Christ follower, I know the importance of studying the Bible. But as life is busy, I often struggle to take the time necessary to read daily. For the last 4 months, I have tried a new way to study the Bible: writing scriptures each day. Daily copywork was an assignment that my younger children had during our early homeschool days. It is easy, just copy several verses. For the children, it was a way to practice their penmanship and learn Bible verses. As an adult, it is something to do, rather than just reading.

I found these scripture writing plan by Sweet Blessings.  Each day has verses, which may or may not be familiar, that I locate in my Bible, then copy into a journal.  Somehow, knowing that I “must” write my verses makes me want to dive into the Bible, rather than just knowing I should read.  Slowing down enough to write the verses makes me analyze the words and the message God is sending me through his word.  These pages are free for printing- with cute graphics.

I suggest this method for something new to study the Bible.  You can write any verses you want:  Bible chapters, a few verses a day, do your own search on a topic, or verses that coordinate a class you are taking.

To encourage each other, share your Bible study method that keeps you motivated!

Disclaimer:  I found Sweet Blessings scripture writing printable pages from another blog (but can’t remember which one.)  I enjoy the free printable pages.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Rooftop Growing Guide” by Annie Novak, book review

“The Rooftop Growing Guide” How to transform your roof into a vegetable garden or farm, by Annie Novak, book review


Growing our own food is so easy when we live in the country and have an acre garden plot. But what about the city dwellers? There are many creative ways to garden, even when you don’t have a patch of ground. This wonderful book is just brimming with ideas! “Rooftop” is a great reference book or starter book to gain the inspiration and practical tips necessary to get your city garden going.

The chapters are detailed and include lots of pictures. Plus many how-to sections for making your own planting necessities. Also included are guides for starting, growing and even a chapter for plant problems. With spring right around the corner, this is the book to get your “green thumb” itching to start digging in the dirt, on your rooftop.

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

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Renuzit Sensitive Scents- review and give-a-way!


Renuzit Sensitive Scents

Renuizit has done it again, come out with a wonderful line of scent products to enhance our homes.  I want my home to smell nice, but not artificial or overpowering scents.  These new Renuizit products are just the right balance of scent and natural.

Three scents include:  Pure Water Blossom and Cucumber, Pure Ocean Breeze, and Pure White  Pear and Lavender.  All are just wonderful.  The various forms of product are perfect for any application- cones, scented oil and spray.

We put all three products to the test here.  The cone is in my daughter’s college apartment, as she cannot use candles or plug in scented oils due to fire hazard.  I am using the plug-in to freshen the mud room, as we have a lot of mud here and it carries an unpleasant odor this time of year.  The spray was used to freshen the car and couch.  We were pleased with all the products and scents!  Easy to use and fresh clean scent is just the right touch.

Ready to try a Renuizit product for yourself?  I have 3 coupons for a free product to give away.  Just leave a message with which scent you would like to try.  I will draw 3 random winners 3/15/2106.

Disclaimer:  I received free Renuzit products to try as a member of the Social Insiders community.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Amish Year” Four Amish Novellas, book review

“An Amish Year” Four Amish Novellas, book review

This book covers all the 4 seasons with a novella that occurs in each.

Rooted in Love (previously published in An Amish Garden). Rosemary is just super at running the Amish household, except the garden. Can she grow a garden this year?

A Love for Irma Rose. 1957 Erma Rose must decide which man she wants to be with. But the choice is difficult. She turns to God for guidance.

Patchwork Perfect. Eli Byler moves to Paradise after being a widower for 2 years. While 2 women have their eyes on him, he sees Miriam. She a very unconventional Amish woman, but seems just right to Eli.

When Christmas Comes Again (previously published in An Amish Second Christmas). Katherine knows the first Christmas as a widow will be hard, but she did not think it would be this difficult.

These four stories are short and easy to read. They quickly transported me through the seasons. This is a great book. Notice that 2 of the stories have been previously published, so not all the works are new.

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

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“Room for Hope” by Kim Vogel Sawyer, book revi

“Room for Hope” by Kim Vogel Sawyer, book review


Neva Shilling keeps the store and family going when her husband is traveling.  As the owner of two stores, he splits his time between them, but Neva is good at running the store in his absence.  Warren has always provided well for his family and his home coming was always an occasion for a special meal.  The good china is set on the table and the linen table cloth is on the table.

But when the wagon that pulls up in the yard, Neva quickly determines there is a big problem.  Warren has died.

This is only the beginning of the problems!  It quickly becomes apparent to Neva that Warren had another wife and family.  With his dying breath Warren, he wanted  “Aunt Neva” to raise his “second family” which includes 3 young children.

Neva is a strong women with strong convictions, but this lot pushes her to the brink.  She tries to handle everything- care for 5 children, run the store alone, order inventory, and work through her grief.  The only other person who knows the truth about Warren is the Sheriff who is tasked with delivering the store goods and children.  When he is transferred to Neva’s town, the truth is at risk of being exposed.

This is a good book!  I was interested in the characters and the development of the plot.  While it was a little predictable, there were plenty of twists and turns to keep me interested.  Neva really kept surprising me with her love and compassion for her friends, family, and strangers. The book has a strong message of forgiveness!

Does this sound like a book you would like to read?  I am giving away two copies of the book.  Just leave a comment with your name and email address.  I will select 2 winners 3/10/2016.  Winners will receive a copy of the book from the publisher.

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

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