personal

Seasons Change

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

There is no doubt that the seasons are changing.  The leaves are dazzling us with bold colors before floating to the ground.  The wind has started to carry a cool note to it as it rushes by.  Even the sun appears to glow in bolder oranges in the morning and purples in the evening.  The seasons are changing.




With this new season, I need to spend time to reevaluate my time.  Schedules have been filling quickly with responsibilities I didn't think I'd be seeing.  And this small corner has been collecting dust.

As much as it saddens me, I will have to dust this corner and cover it up for now as I simply cannot put the time into.  For years I have so enjoyed sharing my thoughts on books and hearing from all of you as well.  This little community truly embraced the bond of books and reading with one another.  It was such a comfortable place to be.

I hope and pray that many of you will follow me to Rays of Grace & Joy as I try to share some thoughts that just can't stay inside me.  I host a weekly link up over there, which I pray all of my Cozy Reading Spot followers will join in on.  Because I truly do enjoy hearing from you all!



I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to sneak into this corner once in a while to share a great story I've found or something... but for now I must leave it be.

With a sad heart, and a hopeful outlook, join me over at Rays of Grace & Joy


Fiction

Life in the Palace: A Review & Giveaway

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Life in the palace tour





Life in the Palace by Catherine Green “We need to talk,” Tal said. Then I knew it was going to go badly. ‘We need to talk’ is the conversational equivalent of walking into your basement without turning on the light, on a dark and stormy night, when a known psychopath is on the loose. You might as well cut to the chase and slit your own throat. Chloe Diaz assumed three things: that when Tal said that she was one of The People sent from heaven to maintain the cosmic balance, it was code for ‘I’m a pamphlet distributing, incense burning, religious weirdo;’ that the gorgeous Seth Wilks would never be her soul mate and that she’d never have to choose between them. Chloe was wrong. Now the future of the world is in her hands, but what if price is too great to pay?

Children

Children's Corner: Easter Books

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Growing up Easter was one of those holidays that seemed to sneak up on me... at least when I was very young.  As a result I've been trying to find ways to talk more about Easter in the weeks leading up to it but to be truthful it's a struggle.

As I have been searching for ideas, I've been asking others to share their favorite ways to prepare kids for Easter, and of course that means, asking what kind of books they love!

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.  Children's Corner {Reading List}

Christian

Seven Secrets to Power Praying: A Review

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I wasn't really a social butterfly growing up.  I'd find a few friends, and was more comfortable in the small circle of friends that resulted.  Then as a mom I started to crave adult conversation, and that desire for just a couple of close friends started to change.  I simply wanted to converse with people... so I started making more acquaintance level friends simply to have people to hang out with for an hour here or there... Granted some of these "acquaintance" friends have become super close friends.

All this to say that in order to build real relationships we have to converse with people on a regular basis.  We crave that interaction... but why?

It seems safe to say that the Creator designed us so that we would crave relationships, and that relationships would need regular communication between the parties.

The next question would have to be, then how do we communicate with our Lord?  Obvious answer: Praying....  But how do we do that?

Seven Secrets to Power Praying: A Review  {Reading List}

Children

Children's Corner: The Wildest Brother

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I am an older sister to one brother.  And growing up, we didn't always see eye to eye.  I always figured it was simply because we were so different... He was into art, I was into books.  I wanted things to be ordered and in their places, he wanted to see things in a different light every day.  Now of course we get along great.  So to be honest, when my boys came alone I was curious how that dynamic would be, as it is so different from my own experience.


Luckily, they are the best of friends and love being around each other.  The oldest hasn't reached the point where he wants to be with other friends more than his brother, and the youngest simply wants to be like his brother.  
Children's corner on Reading List - kids book review  {Reading List}

Children

Children's Corner: Ambition's Not an Awful Word

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I might be the odd man out, but I believe my whole generation was done a disservice by the idea that we were told as young children that we could be whatever we wanted.  We simply had to go out and dream it, and then we could do it.  Even now that I have kids, I still am not sure this is the best advice I was given (and I know of many of my peers that have struggled with the realization they really couldn't be whatever they dreamed up...).

Don't hear me wrong, I want my kids to have dreams and wishes.  I want them to set goals that are lofty.  However, I feel that my job as mom is too help them find the steps to take in order to make those dreams and goals a reality, because those steps are often hard and take a good amount of time and sweat.

Children's Corner - book reviews for kids  {Reading List}

Feature

April's Featured Blog: A Look at The Book

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Oh April, how I have waited for you to show up this year!  The promise of spring fulfilled it seems.  And as it is a new month, I get to share another blog with you all for the month.  This a new blog, but I've been enjoying it, and think many of you would as well.  So I hope you are able to stop by A Look at The Book and say hi this month. Who knows, you might find a new favorite to follow.






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Look at The Book

Christian

Book Preview: Surprised by Motherhood

Friday, March 28, 2014

I blog because I've loved to write for decades. I was writing stories with my friends as a young child.  Creative writing assignments were my favorite in school.  And that is why whenever I can I stop by Lisa-Jo's Five Minute Friday community on Fridays.  She shares a single word, and a ton of us write what comes to mind for five minutes.  That's it.  And it is fun!


Surprised by Motherhood - a book preview  {Reading List}

Children

Children's Corner: All the World

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In my house we try to read for fun as much as we can.  And that means that I tend not to pay attention to the awards that books are given... I go off of what looks fun at the library, or recommendations from friends, family and teachers.  And let's be honest, some of the books that receive Children's literary awards just do not draw you in with the covers (most of the time, there are exceptions...).

Children's Corner, book reviews for kids   {Reading List}


I was pleasantly surprised while on a recent visit to the library to find a Caldecott medal honoree that grabbed at my attention, simply by the cover picture.  All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon boasts a calming cover with two kids on a well worn path looking at a gorgeous blue sky.  The book just screamed summer to me, and after this never-ending winter, I grabbed at the book.

Christian

Praying for Boys - A Book Review

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I always wanted to be a mom, and when I found out I was pregnant the first time, I prayed for a boy. That might sound odd, especially since I am a girly-girl, but I always found boys to be a little easier. I mean playing catch with a ball is much easier for me than coming up with a huge story line for Barbie and her friends.  And I imagined the freedom that boys would leave me while they explored outside getting dirty and such.

It didn't take long to realize that even though I loved my boys, they were not the cakewalk I had envisioned while begging for a boy! And that desire to find an outlet that would understand the work of a boy mama led me to an amazing resource, Warrior Prayers by Brooke McGlothlin and her site, The MOB Society.

For the last year and a half, I've worked on the skill of praying scripture for my boys and seeking the support (particularly emotional) of other boy mamas in this group. It's been amazing.

Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most - a Review {Reading List}

Children

Children's Corner: 8 Books to Prepare Littles for New Baby

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The whole process of growing your family can be hard on kids.  As parents are focused on preparing the house for new baby and mommy can be overwhelmed with growing new baby (if she is pregnant) or waiting for baby to arrive (adoption has it's own set of waiting...) kids can pick up on the change and not know how to respond. This is when keeping the routine of reading with your kids can be most beneficial.

There are so many great books out there that will tell stories of what happens when new babies bless families. Plus there are a ton of books that can allow your kids to prepare specifically for your new baby - books where they can journal about waiting for baby, or even keep track of events of baby's first year from the vantage point of brother/sister.  The possibilities are endless.

Children's Corner {Reading List}

Children

Children's Corner: Good Night, Animal World

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Today's Children's Corner post is a little different as I have the priveledge to be part of a Blog Tour for a new book!  This quick read was a ton of fun, and since this is a tour, there is a giveaway at the end of the post for you all - I mean isn't that great?

Good Night Animal World Blog Tour - Button Final

 

About the Book

Children

Children's Corner: Sneaking in New Stories

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

As winter drags on even our daily activities have lost their draw.  My boys simply want to play outside, but the cold air is preventing it.  As a result, we've read so many books, I've lost track.  Granted many of the books we read are from the local library, which helps keeps stories fresh, but still it's getting a little old.

The main issue, for me, is reading the same stories, over and over.  My adult brain just isn't into reading the same kid books more than fifteen times in a week!  So I have had to get a little creative in getting different stories into our reading times.  And luckily, the school my oldest attends just added a little project that is helping me tremendously!

Children's Corner - Sneaking in new stories  {Reading List}

Christian

No Cape Required: A Book Review

Friday, February 28, 2014

There are so many times when I'm reading a main-stream book and I see the power of God in them, even though the author didn't mean to write it in.  Of course this happens often with movies too!  I've decided it's because the Creator designed us with His truth ingrained in our hearts, and when we, as people, try to express our feelings in creating, that Truth finds it's way into our creation.


Do you know what I mean?

With this concept in the back of my mind, I was thrilled when I got my hands on Kristen Parrish's new devotional, No Cape Required: 52 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Hero.

No Cape Required  a review  {Reading List}


This is an amazing little book, especially for the modern Christian who enjoys watching and reading secular media. Parrish has complied a list of 52 well known fictional characters and while discussing their main hero-attribute points Christians to the truth of God wanting us to cultivate similar attributes.

childhood favorite

Children's Corner: The Jolly Postman

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One of the many reasons why I'm sure I love to read is because my mom had a million different books for us to read growing up.  Of course the fact that she is a preschool teacher and has put together quite a library over the years has something to do with that.  The other big thing was that we were allowed to read books that would be considered "below" our reading level, which is totally not something I've learned most parents let their kids do...

Children's Corner on Reading List


Anyway, a great plus to having a preschool teacher for a mom is that my kids are able to enjoy her vast library every time we visit, and that is often. Recently we discovered an old favorite of mine from when I was young -  The Jolly Postman by Allen Ahlburg.  It's so much fun! I mean what kind of person doesn't like a story where there are not just movable parts, but flaps that open to conceal letters and newpapers and other goodies that you can take out and explore? (Much like this book...)

This is a very interactive story that pulls together traditional fairy tale characters through the journeys of  the postman. The postman visits characters like the three little bears and then the reader gets to see what kind of mail they receive.

The Jolly Postman  in Children's Corner  {Reading List}


Like for the three bears, the postman brings them a letter from Goldilocks.  It's written in sloppy little kid writing with doodles around it, very similar to a child's pen pal type letter.

My boys are loving this one because they get to pull out letters, postcards and other goodies just like actual mail.  Plus it has made getting mail at home a real adventure.  I'm hoping that this interest in our mail leads to an interest in writing to others... but only time will tell.

Reading List Rating:
five coffee cup rating  {Reading List}



I had to rate this one high, because as a kid I would read this one over and over.  And I'm loving watching my boys look through this and ask questions...


Have you read The Jolly Postman to your kids?  Do your kids like books that have pull outs and ways to interact?  Do you have your kids write letters to anyone?  Join the conversation!
Marissa {Reading List}







If you're considering adding this book to your home library, would you use my affiliate link below and support Reading List in the process? Thanks!







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Christian

The Miner's Lady: A Review

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I love books because they open up worlds I wouldn't experience.  Well, I guess I should say, that is why I love reading fiction books.  I have other reasons for why I enjoy non-fiction...

Fiction introduces new people to me and shows me how different their lives are.  And yet, a good piece of fiction shows characters that have similarities to me, characteristics that I can see in myself, or my friends and family.  And that is why for me fiction is so great.

I recently was able to read a fun piece of Christian Fiction that reminded me initially of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, as the main character was in love a man from a family that her family was in the middle of a feud with. I was pleasantly surprised, that while that is the basic story line, there is so much more in this particular book.

The Miner's Lady by Tracie Peterson is a wonderful book that transports you to the mining community of Ely in the early twentieth century. The story focuses on two Italian immigrant families who are both focused on family loyalty, even more so than obedience to God.

The Miner's Lady  A book review   {Reading List}



Overview:

Chantel and Isabella Panettas are sisters who are incredibly dedicated to their family and working together in order to have a nice life.  The hang up is that Chantel is in love with Orlando Calarcos. And well the Calarcos and the Panettas have a feud that spans generations back.  This is a love that will not be accepted by their families to say the least - or will it?

Chantel and Orlando are sure they are to be married, and pray for the hearts of their families to be softened. It is interesting to watch the power of prayer in this book as prayer is the catalyst for much of the action in this book, which I would never had guessed. And yes there is some action inside these chapters.

Personal Likes:

I really enjoyed how in-depth the author made each character. There are quite a few characters in this book, and they each come to life as the story progresses.  I could see how such a story line would focus on just a couple of characters and allow for many one-dimensional characters, and that simply was not the case. 

The setting was also beautifully detailed.  As I am a mid-west girl, I know next to nothing about mining, especially mining in the early 20th century.  The author does a great job of describing the town that forms near the mines and the contrast with the actual mine. She also does a great job of showing a middle-class family working together to have a nice home in such a time period.

Ephesians 2:8-9  {Reading List}


Personal Dislikes:

This book is most certainly a Christian focused book.  And as such, it can sometimes fall into the preachy side of writing.  Although I was able to let most of the preaching slide, I'm not sure all readers would be able to do so. 

Reasons to Read:

This book is simply a fun read. The timeless plots of Shakespeare tend to become great stories for modern readers, when authors can add in some new twists and turns, and this book does just that. Sure there are not many (although some) surprises, especially when it comes to the ending, but still it's about the pages in the middle that make a good piece of fiction good. 

Also, this is an easy read.  It grabs hold of you quickly and keeps moving forward. So although a little long for busy moms to squeeze in, it is worth the time. 

Reading List Rating:

Four coffee cup rating {Reading List}




I certainly enjoyed this book, but because of the length, I doubt I will read it again.

My Suggested Audience:

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, as I have not come across too many books set in such a period.  It brings a new world to life.  Also I would lean towards the Christian community for this one, as there are may "preachy" moments. 


Are you a historical fiction reader?  What have you fallen in love with most recently and was it at all because of the setting?  I'd love for you to join the conversation!
Marissa  {Reading List}






If you are considering adding this book to your home library, would you think of going through my affiliate link below and supporting Reading List in the process? Thank you!
  






*I did receive a free copy of this book from the publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts above are 100% my own.


Linking up with these fun hops:


Wise-Woman-Builds A Little R & RWelcome Home WednesdaysBooknificent ThursdaysMaking your home sing MondaysWhat Joy Is Mine The Life Of FaithBeauty in His Grip ButtonThoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop MM&M Linky


Children

Children's Corner: I Am

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

There are so many kids books out there, aren't there?  I mean just walk into a library and the kids section will blow you away... and to think that is only a small sampling of what is out there.  I'm always amazed.

The issue is that not all kid books are created equally.  Some are just plain boring, others are for specific audiences and ages, and others, well others are sharing messages I personally don't want my kids reading especially at such a young age. (My kids are under five.) And today I'm going to share a book that I am firmly placing in the "not for my kids" list.

As I feel books are an essential part of raising my kids to be intelligent and knowledge seekers, I take it seriously when we allow books into our house.

Children's Corner on Reading List

Christian

Who's Who in the Bible: A Review

Monday, February 17, 2014

There is something enthralling about good art, that is probably why National Geographic is so popular... at least I think so. The way their photographers capture things is amazing, it truly looks like artwork.  In fact, when I flip through a National Geographic magazine or book, I often can't tell which images are new photographs and which are art.  That is unless the art is extremely famous.

So my fascination with such great images pulled me into a newer book from the National Geographic library, Who's Who in the Bible.  This over sized resource is full of the amazing art that portrays different people in the Bible.  In fact the whole book is full of details specifically surround the people mentioned in the Bible.

Who's Who in the Bible  A Review  {Reading List}

Christian

The Virtuous Life : A Book Review {And a GIVEAWAY}

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

There are some scary statistics out there for married couples... I don't even want to actual put them here as they seem to change all the time.  But it's pretty safe to say that being a virtuous wife is not exactly a popular career option (can I even make that statement without people having opinions?). And as a result of so many marriages crumbling and ending it seems that there are numberless books out there telling women to be strong and independent and ready to stand on their own.

What about the wives that want to work daily at making their marriages strong? The wives that see marriage as a life-long commitment and want some encouragement in that decision?  Where are the books for them? (Yes, I know they are out there, but not in the same quantity...)

The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife   A Review  {Reading List}

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