Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Pirate Queen: A Review



The Pirate Queen
A Novel
By Patricia Hickman

Saphora Warren and her plastic surgeon husband live an idyllic life that most would envy. In fact, the book starts on their front lawn with Saphora hosting a garden party for a Southern Living Magazine cover shoot. But, all that she can think about is executing her well laid plan to leave her husband and her life, to escape to their summer home in Oriental.
She was on her way out the door and out of his life, when Bender Warren comes home and tells her that he has terminal cancer. He then announces that he wants to go to their home in Oriental to fight the disease. So, with her head spinning, she acquiesces to his request and takes him to Oriental.

My favorite character is a little boy named Tobias. He is a sweet, old soul with wisdom beyond his years. A sickly child with a strict regimen of meds, and rejected by most. He maintained an unworldly attitude through it all. I think Saphora learned alot about love from watching Tobias live.

Saphora is struggling with her husbands infidelity through the years and caring for him at the same time. All in all she handles herself with grace and dignity. She is struggling with her desire to just be alone with her thoughts, like her original plan. When she finally finds that quiet, she despises it. She is struggling to remember why she fell in love with Bender Warren, and when she had just became an accessory to hang on his arm. Finally she is searching to find God in all this mess.
This is a story of love and finding a way to forgiveness in more than one way.
This story has many different branches, but it is all brought together in the end. I would recommend this book to my friends.

You can purchase this book here.
Click on the "Blogging for Books" box above to learn more about how you can do this too.

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Flight of Shadows: A Review

Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer

Would I say that Flight of Shadows was a page turner? No. Not like the books I usually read. It does, however, have a compelling story of a girl who was conceived in a test tube and genetically altered to have some very one of a kind characteristics. Out of many, she is the only "experiment" that is functioning. Other than having a hunchback, she is an ordinary looking young woman. But, because of the unique situation, her DNA holds the key to some lifechanging secrets. She is being tracked by the government, a deranged bounty hunter, and a curious guy named Razor who has his own secrets. This story is set 20 years ahead of us, and also includes some political statements regarding the times we live in today and how that effected the future. The world, in this book, is a dark, cold, scary place. Only the people with money have protection and value.
I loved how the author lets you see the humanity of every storyline. The mentality and vulnerablilty of the depraved bounty hunter, the personal life and friendships of the head government agent. The anger and rage bubbling up from an innocent girl that was born to be an experiment.
Even though this book was different, I am so glad I read it. I would recommend it to my friends, and if any of them would like to borrow it...well, just let me know. *wink*

You can purchase this book here.Click on the "Blogging for Books" box above to learn more about how you can do this too.

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

If you click on this link and rate my review, it will also enter me to win prizes too...the more ratings I get, the higher chance of winning!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


This morning Wyatt came into our room before everyone was awake. He must have said he loved me 5 times, it was so sweet. Eventually he woke Allegra up and went to get her a bunch of cars to share. Then, climbed into her crib and played with her. She was delighted, she loves him so much. I just couldn't stop thinking about how thankful I am for these sweet babies that God has given me. I am so thankful for my husband, who just cleaned the kitchen (and usually always does). I am thankful that he loves us and is a leader. That he works hard to provide for us, even though he would love to be doing something else. I am thankful that we are his priority. I know that's not earth shattering news, but I'm so thankful to God for my family and the love we have for eachother.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Minestrone

About a month ago my niece Melissa (who was born on my 6th birthday) asked if I wanted to be a part of blogging about cooking Pioneer Woman recipes. She was asked by her friend Alexis, who I have met through another friend, Savannah. Small world, right?
The idea is that there is a group of ladies and each week one of us gets to pick what we make. My week was last week (I swear I did make this last week) and I picked Roasted Vegetable Minestrone.
I took pictures of my journey, but just look at her link, I really can't outdo her lovely photos!!
Instead of buying the cans of beans, I bought the dried ones in bulk. I would recommend just buying the dang cans. Sometimes I'm just too cheap.

Anyway, I pretty much followed the recipe to a "T" after that. Usually, I like to follow a recipe how it's supposed to be made and then when I'm eating it, I decide what I would change.
For instance, I would definitely use about 4-5 cloves of garlic when I'm sauteing the carrots, onion and celery.

And I really am not a fan of the low sodium chicken broth. For heaven's sake, you just have to end up adding more salt to make it taste good.

And when I'm roasting the vegetables, I might throw in an eggplant if I'm feeling really crazy.



Lookin good!!

When I was done with the soup, I shredded up some spinach into confetti for garnish and grated some Parmesan cheese onto the top off it.

I made up some french bread and spinach salad w/ blue cheese dressing for side dishes.

It was a winner, I'm definitely going to try this again with my tweaks!!


This also got rave reviews last week. Click on the picture for a link to the recipe!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Subway Art T-Shirts

This project was inspired by a blog post by Destri from The Mother Huddle.
She is doing a series of blog posts called Boutique Style for Less.
In this particular project you take a T-shirt and paint/write adjectives that best describe your kids and their personalities. It was fun and insightful to come up with positive adjectives that describe both of my kids. Ryan asked me if we get to do a negative one too...
Anyway, so I went to Wal-Mart and picked up 2 white long sleeved shirts. Wyatt's was $4 and Allegra's was $3.50. Then I swung by JoAnns for some black and white fabric paint (1.79 ea) and paint brushes($1.99). (I didn't end up using the paint brushes I bought, my MAC makeup brushes worked much better).
I had the 2 different sizes of permanent markers already.

The white paint turned out to be much needed. I accidentally dropped the paintbrush with black paint on Wyatt's shirt, AND I misspelled intelligent on Allegra's...why did it have to be that word? The white acted as whiteout. You can't tell from far away, or if you don't know to look. The white was a lifesaver.
I wanted to incorporate big brother/little sister into these shirts. Wyatt had a big brother shirt when Allegra was born, but Allegra has never had a little sister shirt.
So, here is my version of the Subway Art T-Shirts:










Thanks to Destri for such a fun project!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"I Wanna Go To A Carnival"

We literally planned our camping trip around the fact that the Josephine County Fair was in Grants Pass last week. We had planned on going the week before and then canceled and rescheduled so we could go to the fair.
Two years ago, Wyatt got a Boz video where they had a carnival, and ever since he's been talking about going to one. We really wanted to take him to the State fair last year, but didn't make it.
It was so much fun to watch him have fun, to watch the magic in his eyes. After smearing on a thick layer of sunblock and a couple other little stops we made our way to the rides. On our way into the fairgrounds, Wyatt had set his sights on a ride that he called the Skeeter. And that's all we heard about...so that's where we went. You know the roller coaster that goes in a circle and goes up and down all herky jerky like? Ya, that one. That was the first one we went on. I'm not sure I can even explain his excitement. We climbed into that ride, just him and I, and he laughed and giggled at the beginning. Towards the middle of the ride I think we were both feeling a little dizzy, and he said mama make it stop, I wanna get off. But, as soon as I started screaming and laughing he was laughing and screaming again too. Then, we rode the Ferris Wheel...which was a little unnerving because they don't strap you into anything. Has anyone met Wyatt? He did really good though, well, I did have my hand on him at all times, but he had so much fun. The rest of the rides were fun for him too, but the first two were the ones that I got to do with him. I had so much fun sharing that special time with my son. The rest of the day was fun too...the food, the Carnie drama, the animals, the bull riding rodeo, but for the rest of the day Wyatt kept saying that he wanted to go back to "the fair". We tried to explain to him that it wasn't just the rides that made up the fair, that it was all of it. But he just looked longingly from the stands of the rodeo at all the spinning rides and said he wanted to go back to "the fair". So we bought enough tickets for one more ride and told him that he could pick one. Without even thinking, he said that he wanted to go down the big slide. I tried to talk him into doing something else, because there was something about paying $3 to slide down a slide that just seemed wrong. But he wouldn't be swayed. So he gave the man his ticket, grabbed the gunnysack blanket, and headed up the steep stairs. And this part of the night is my favorite memory. He was slowly headed up those stairs clutching the blanket in one hand and the railing in the other. Midway he turned around and watched as some kids went whizzing past him, his eyes were as big as saucers and fearful. Slowly he turned around and bravely continued up that long, steep, narrow stairway. When he finally reached the top, he had no idea what that blanket was for, so he just dropped it and proceeded to sit down and start to shove off. But there was someone up there helping that got him set straight. He shot down that slide his eyes big and scared and excited all at once, and when he reached the bottom he sprung up and said, "I wanna do it again". For $3 you only get to do that once, but it was so worth it.
For Wyatt, he will be talking about that for months and months, "tell me bout the fair, tell me bout it". For me, I will remember that time for the rest of my life. I know that it probably sounds pretty normal, but for me, it was extraordinary.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dear Daddy,

I think it's time for you to lower my crib mattress.

Love,
Allegra



Today I was in our room sorting through some clothes. I had put Sis in her crib sitting up...and this is what happened seconds later. It's only a matter of time that she will be able to do this from laying down...that is why, that mattress is going down tonight!
I love how proud she is of her accomplishment. She is getting busier and busier as she get's older. Lord have mercy! She's so close to crawling.