Thursday, May 29, 2014

A book review

So I mentioned last week that I had gotten a copy of the book, "gentle barn". 
I was so glad to get something a little different in the mail to review.
I am so sad that this book didn't live up to my expectations.
I read the book in two sittings so it's not a long and over detailed story.
I think the author has a real heart and gift for those that are broken 
and that her refuge is quite possibly a great place.
I am not writing the review to talk about any of those topics.
 ( you could look it up and research it if you are interested)
I am only discussing the book and authors writing.
Since I am quite compassionate I really enjoyed many of the subjects,
I have a daughter with special needs,
I have been teaching art in the juvenile justice system for over ten years,
I've also had many animals as pets from fish to Great Danes and goats and many in between.
I have rescued wild baby bunnies and birds but not with the success the author claims to have.
I think that if the author had a third party 
or very thorough editor
 some of the story could have been tweaked 
to explain some of the authors childhood and past yet not give as much detail.
 Sometimes less is best-
 and I believe this is one of those instances. 
It really left me needing to set the book down for awhile.
Some of the references made to her shunning her parents faith,
 having a psychic reading, 
and interactions with the animals telling her what their names should be
 also made the book less enjoyable for me personally. 
( and I don't think the book would have lost any of its integrity without these, 
possibly quite the opposite)
Of course I am not the author of the book 
and since it was written as a biography 
the author wrote it as she saw fit.
 I will rate this story 3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Blogging for books and Harmony books for the review copy and opportunity to review this book. The review was written by me and is my own personal opinion.

On a side note: 
I picked out siding for the backside of the house! 
Husband will be picking it up today. Whoo hoo!
We are waiting for the rains to clear, things to dry out,
So the next step of the flood repairs to be complete!
Then the drywall will be hung, taped and orange peel texture
So this mama can paint!!!

                  ( this gray is too blue!!)

Excited to have my home back in order!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yarn Along and a book review

I just can't believe its Wednesday!
I love linking up with Ginny over at " small things".
We ladies like to get together and share what we've been knitting and reading- 
two of my very favorite pastimes.
I think I mentioned last week that I have been knitting a cardigan for my mother in law.
I think if you counted my rows I would only have knit four or five since last week.

         ( a glimpse of the chaos right now- paint and fabric samples, quilting and knitting!)

I'm going to keep knitting and saying a prayer or two 
Hoping once I get to the section where a I divide for the sleeves 
that my interest will rebound.
 I could even set this part down and just start a sleeve 
since those should work up quickly. 
Let's see how this week of knitting goes!

I also mentioned last week that I had been chosen to review " Undetected" by Dee Henderson.
I am a huge fan of this author. 
I love the mystery, action, and romance.
Sadly this book just didn't seem to hold my attention like Mrs Hendersons previous novels.
I loved reading the details about the Navy, submarines, the sonar used
 as well as all the research done by the main character Gina. 
I think the main reasons this book fell short for me was that we ended up reading about two men vying for the same woman's affection and her dilemma of choosing between the two. 
I just can't see this as a real life scenario.
 Especially for the two men to be diplomatic about it. 
I understand that the author was depicting both men as Christians 
and valiant in their romantic pursuit but it just didn't work for me. 
 Several of the romantic conversations between the main character and the commander of the sub also felt shallow. I kept reading and waiting for the climactic part and found some page turning suspense near the end but even that was not this authors best. I was so surprised that this book didn't keep me up until 2 am night after night reading," just one more chapter" like I usually do with her books. That said, Dee Henderson is a talented author. The research and knowledge in her books is fascinating - I'm not one to pick up a book with this kind of plot so that's saying a lot. I will still give this book four out of five stars because I have read much much worse. 

I would like to thank Bethany House for the review copy and the opportunity to review this book. This review was my honest opinion and I was not compensated for this review.

An update about our flood damage,
We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Over the weekend the demo was done 
and they were able to end Monday with the windows in 
and the protective wrap on the outside.

I am trying to keep my whits about me while we are living in chaos.
My son is now sleeping in the school room,
I'm sure he is enjoying every moment of the pink walls and Dora mural.
This is the corner in my living room.

I hope this finds you and yours doing well in the chaos
That we find in everyday life.
We are making the best of it all and choosing to focus on the positive.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A sneak peek

Not sure if you've been following long enough to know we were flooded a month ago.

                   We are in the middle of repairs so my drafting table looks like this.
                                Everything is coated in a layer of drywall dust.


  I thought I would share a quilt I found while cleaning out my closet the other day.
I started working on it 9-10 years ago.
( I was at the antique store awhile ago and it reminded me of this project.)
It's a little more time consuming than I expected.
I had hopes of making it big enough for my queen sized bed.
We shall see..........

                                      It's called a yo yo quilt.
                                  First you make all the yo yos


               When grandmother made yo yos - it seems like it was forever ago,
                       She drew out a circle on the lid from a tub of butter 
                                        And used that as a template.


I found this handy little gadget at the quitting store.
Basically the same principle of a rotary cutter that cuts circles.
Then you hem the circles and draw up the sewing thread.
I don't have a count but there are hundreds of them.


I remember seeing where you could buy them on eBay and thought I would order white ones for a border. I've already completed several rows and its a nice break from the sweater I've been knitting.

That's what's going on in my " studio".
Have you recently pulled out an unfinished project?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A yarn along

I wish I had exciting news to report on the knitting front. 
I've been forcing myself to knit on this project as much as possible.
Mostly in the evenings I've been getting 4 or so rows knit. 
I think once I get to the part to divide the front and back and knit the sleeves I will be much happier.
I guess that is the one drawback from taking a pattern that is supposed to be seamed and knit as one piece - the stockinette seems to go on forever.
I think I am definitely a lace knitter.
Give me a pattern with something to think about and I am happiest.
What about you knitters out there? Do you get bored of stockinette? 
          ( the yarn is a most beautiful oatmeal with flecks of yellow, blue and pink)

I've currently been reading the latest book by Dee Henderson, "Undetected".
I've read all of her books and get so excited when I am chosen to review a new release.
She has amazing talent and knows how to share enough detail to lure a reader in on the very first page. I can't imagine the research that has to be done to write about the military and topics she chooses. Very interesting.
I'm about halfway through it already so I'm sure I will have a review for next week.

This book, " the gentle barn" arrived in the mail yesterday and I have just felt giddy about its arrival.
The book is about a woman that starts taking in abused, abandoned and older animals to provide a safe haven for healing and peace. People start visitng the animals and helping and it turns into a place for people to find healing and therapy as well. I am an animal and people lover so I can't wait to start reading this book.

Even though I don't have exciting news to report on the knitting scene
The books are promising.
What are you knitting??
Do you have a book you could recommend??

Friday, May 16, 2014

Just a little pop of color

I mentioned on Wednesday 
I have been looking at color swatches 
so when we get to the actual painting part of the flood repairs 
I would be ready. 
While I was plundering around 
I kept falling in love with this color called " indigo cloth". 
I kid you not, looking at reds 
and a suggested color combo would have that color to coordinate with it.
 I was looking at colors for my bathroom and there it was!
Looking at a gray, and there was indigo cloth again.
 I made a list. 
I was not looking for a bold color!
I needed a color for the entire house, plus the flooded areas.

                                                        A list. On paper.
                                  Yes, an old school way of trying to make up my mind.
                                           I am sure there are easier ways to do this.
                                 But I find comfort in feeling my pen on a scrap of paper 
                                          physically scratching the  things off that list.
                                              Of course, that color was in the mix........
                                             So while I was out mailing a painting 
                                I added stopping by the home improvement store to my list

                                  What should my wandering eyes see while there?
                                             A paint chip set for Spring 2014.
                                                            Inside...... Yup.
                                                               Indigo cloth.



This little painting.......
 A family recently adopted and ended up with unexpected expenses.
They had  a virtual yard sale. 
I decided, I might not live close by,
but I do have something I could share. 
So I posted a painting and offered to mail it to whoever purchased it. 
The lady that purchased my painting has a love for trees so it will have a happy home. 
This gives me Hope, 
something that gives me joy and fulfillment can be used to make a difference!  

                                          ( this years first hydrangea blooms)

Really listening to my inner self and trying to take some forward steps. 
I've been posting little paintings on my FB page.
 I get such a thrill at how much my little birds bring joy to others.
 My friends have shared stories of hummingbirds and cardinals.
They felt Gods presence when one would light on a branch close by.  
specific flowers or a butterfly would hold meaning in their life 
because it was a favorite of their mother or friend. 
Or an experience they had would connect with a visual - 
This is Hope.

                                                       So, my friends,
                                      What inspiration have you found lately?
                                     Have you been keeping your eyes open?
                                                         I hope so!
                                             There is always room for Hope.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A yarn along


                                      I thought I would join Ginny and friends 
                                 over at Small things once again for Yarn along.

               The past few days I've been concentrating my efforts on tidying up some.
                     We might not have the flood repairs done for quite some time
                             but I felt the need to move things back to their place.
                                         There may be just concrete flooring,
                                                  missing baseboards, 
                                                    and cut out drywall.
             But that doesn't mean I have to live in chaos until it's all done and back together.
     We have lived in this home for ten years so I had already been itching to repaint the living areas.

                  I've been searching through pinterest, paint swatches on the computer, trends, 
                              and paint ideas that might work with my tastes.

                                          I have red, on two accent walls, 
                                             a taupe with a red undertone,
                                                    and an earthy green. 

The green is a little bright / white for what is popular. I did like it ten years ago. 
 I've been considering doing away with the green
 and having a neutral taupe which still has the red undertone throughout the house.


                 In the meantime, meaning I have awhile to decide the main color- 
                         when the drywall is repaired, I've picked out a blue.
                                In other words I got distracted.
                                I kept coming back to this color.
                                                Isn't it strange ??
                           You'd never guess I have a love for cobalt blue. 


              I purchased this small sample of " Indigo Cloth" by Valspar 
                         to put in the back of these two kitchen cabinets. 
                          ( nope, no sponsorship by Lowes or Valspar sadly) 
                      I thought I'd mention it in case anyone was interested.


                                            I think it will make me smile when I see it.
                                                               Just a pop of color.
                                ( because my house doesn't have enough already! Ha ha!)

I think that I am feeling like Im in a sort if limbo in so many areas of my life right now,
So what does an artist do?
Add some color.
That will make it feel better right?! 
( simply cannot wait until nap time!) 

I am almost done reading " the Help" 
I can't wait to start, "Undetected" by Dee Henderson.
It arrived in the mail box the other day.


I'm still knitting away at this beautiful cardigan for my mother in law.
Of course all the rows of stockinette are driving me batty.
I've been trying to knit four rows per night and hope to divide the front and back soon.


                                           I hope this finds you enjoying Spring -
                                                    lovely new colors to enjoy!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A book review-or two

I'm doing my best to raise a book lover.
With each one of my children this was a goal.
Things are different with Lil G 
but I think we are being successful in this goal.

 Currently I am reading " The Help".
Yes, I know. Old news.
 I was not reading much when it was released 
then watched the movie once it came out.
I've had it on my list to read because I did enjoy the movie.
I found it on the shelf at our Goodwill and picked it up.
So far so good.

I really enjoyed this book, " For such a time as this"  a first novel by Kate Breslin. 
The author chose a world war two concentration camp as the setting for her story, interestingly she used the story of Esther in the Old Testament as a parallel for her novel. In the beginning I wasn't sure if I liked how she used the scripture at the beginning of each chapter to correlate with the plot, but as the story progressed It grew on me. The main character Hadassah, was realistic and I liked the depth of her character and reading how she felt about her rescue from the first concentration camp firing squad. She had many questions about her faith and purpose in life, and where was God in the midst of it all. As the story progressed there were many twists and turns which held my attention. Sometimes I found myself questioning the situation and if it would have been realistic, but all in all it was a good book. I often found myself staying up wanting to read " one more chapter".
I look forward to reading more from this author. Thank you to Bethany house publishers for the review copy in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.

I also recently read this book,

This book, " unstoppable" by Nick Vujicic is a book full of encouragement for those suffering from depression,  job loss, marital problems, or an unexpected health crisis. Nick shares stories from his own experiences and the lessons he has learned from them as well as testimonies from others to create what he calls a" ridiculously good life" to " become unstoppable". 
This book has been sitting in my shelf waiting for me to write the review. I really have dreaded it. 
I am quite the introvert so going to big conferences or pep rallies is just not my thing. I appreciate Nick's personal story and the ministry that he has. Surely he has helped many people rise above the circumstances in life that can really throw someone off kilter. I was excited to be given a chance to read this book because I had seen a YouTube video of him that was so encouraging, I remember crying when I watched it. I just couldn't enjoy the book because it didn't flow together and seemed like more of a Pep rally to me. If you are struggling you might want to take a chance with this book, I just know the style wasn't for me.
Thank you for blogging for books, Waterbrook Multnomah for the review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

So what books do you have on your table/ bookshelf? 
Id love to know what you are reading and would recommend for my next book choice.

Under His wings,

Friday, May 9, 2014

An update & Yarn Along

I've been wanting to update my much neglected blog.
Where to start??
Only at the beginning I suppose
We've just completed another Miracle League season.
Where does the time go?!
Lil G just loves ball......
I'm So thankful for the people that give time and money
 to make this possible for families like us.

We had our IEP meeting scheduled for the Tuedsay before Easter.
I thought things were going to go well.
I had worked with the teachers outlining our requests and needs.
I recieved a call from the Liason the previous Thursday and realized, much to my dismay,
Things were not going to be that easy.
After discussing our situation at length with the private school admin and my husband 
we decided to walk away. No more drop in services.
As Lil Gs advocate I have to take all things into condsideration 
and the emotional toll is just not worth it.
We are fighting an uphill battle and just don't have the resources to get what she needs.
I am so disappointed.


We had noticed an increase in startle responses recently.
This happened two years ago before she developed epilepsy.
I had it on the list for discussion at our neuro appointment.
We didn't make it that long, on Good Friday we had to rush her to the ER with seizures.
The medication has been doubled and the following week she had a sleep study / EEG.
Of course she didn't have a startle/ seizure episode while hooked up to the monitors
But did when she was unplugged in the restroom.


Both papa and I have been able to record the startle spisodes on the camera and IPad.
Still waiting on the Neurologist to decide what our next step will be.

A few days later we experienced torrential rains and flash flooding.
We ended up with four inches of water in the addition - my sons bedroom and dining room.
We, like many people have never experienced 24 inches of rain in a matter of hours.
It was a terrifying experience to say the least.
( as I type this my husband is filling sandbags for this weekends weather - flash flooding in the forecast)
Some people, including the neighbors behind us, lost everything. We were fortunate.


We, along with many other families,  didn't have flood insurance.
FEMA has come in and we've filled out the applications.
We didn't get help with hurricane Ivan so we aren't holding our breath.
We will just repair the drywall and replace the insulation 
and carpet from my sons room as finances allow.
Our shed was under 13"  so all the equipment in that might be a loss as well.
(Generator, lawnmower, power tools, Graces bicycle trailer is a mess )


This is currently what is keeping me de- stressed.
Hope was my word for the year so I've been drinking my coffee out of this cup-
as a visual reminder. No matter what we can't loose hope!
My new Tim Timmons CD is what's on repeat right now. Really encouraging stuff.
I've also been reading a great book


I was selected to review " knowing God by name" by David Wilkerson.
What a great book!
I was raised in a Christian home and have a strong foundation for my faith and beliefs.
I loved how this book actually helps someone get to know God personally. 
I can say God. Yaweh. I Am. But those are all names and don't really reveal his true character.
Why does he even have more than one name? When you and I go to a gathering and we are introduced people now know, " hey this is * insert name here" but that doesn't describe me or give this new person any idea who I really am. This book does that about God. He has many different names throughout scripture which were used to describe his character. I found great comfort in that. When going through tough stuff, who wants a God that is far away? Who wants a God that doesn't relate? I want a God that has answers, that isn't just some random being watching me from afar getting a kick out of me getting it all wrong. ( or ready to slam a book of judgement upside my head ) Far from it! This book is written very simply so even someone that is new to their faith journey or that is just searching for answers might find comfort and Hope. 
In the beginning of the book the author reminds us that this isn't an exhaustive work of all the names of God, and that we can find more I depth research if we are looking for that. He also suggests reading only one chapter per setting to process all the information that has been given on that particular name. If you are looking for a great, easy to read book for your own personal study time, a group study,or a gift for someone this would be a great choice. Id like to thank Choice books for the opportunity to read this book and for the review copy.This is my honest opinion and I was in no way compensated for this review. I will be giving it five stars on Amazon.


In case you are wonderng, this is what I'm knitting. My mother in law purchased this many years ago to knit this cardigan. She is no longer able to knit and we visited her last Fall she asked if a I wanted to look through her yarn and patterns. I brought this home to knit up for her. It's a beautiful variegated cotton and Im planning on making the sleeves and hem longer and adding a few more buttons on it for her. 


I hope this finds you and yours doing well.