Thursday, October 28, 2010

Galina's Latest Pursuit

Galina started gymnastics a couple of weeks ago.
 She took off with flying colors.
 I don't think her smile faded the whole class.
 Even when she was upside down.
 I think she's a natural.
 No fear serves her well for once.
 You can always tell how much fun Galina is having by how messy her hair is.
 That little boy in the corner is checking her out!
 See what I mean about the smile?
 And that boy is still checking her out!
 I'm impressed!
 She really enjoys it.
 Look at that face!
 And those cheeks....
 She's got the pose down for sure.
 Time to take a break?
 Who knows what she's doing here when she's supposed to be listening.
 Oh, I see...always one step ahead, I guess.
Galina the gymnast!  A bundle of joy and energy just waiting to bust out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Review: The King's Christmas List

The King’s Christmas List by Eldon Johnson has immediately become one of my top 3 Christmas books. This sweet story is about a girl and her dog getting an invitation to a party with the King. On their way to the party they start giving away the very things that they prepared in order to be with the king. Later they discover that those gifts to others were really gifts to the King himself.

The importance and joy of giving is a strong and clear theme throughout the story. Loving the King by loving others is not an easy choice. It requires sacrifice which can be very challenging. But the delight it brings the King is obvious. In the book, the girl and her dog make it to the party seemingly empty-handed. But what they discover once they are there, the King’s love and delight, is almost too much to carry.

This story is a good reminder of the true spirit of Christmas. It is also filled with beautiful illustrations that keep little readers engaged. I love this story and highly recommend this book!
This book was sent to me by Tommy Nelson Publishing. All opinions are my own. I was not paid to write this review.

Book Review: House on Malcom St

The House on Malcolm Street by Leisha Kelly is a historical fiction account of Leah and her daughter Eliza in the 1920’s. After the death of her husband, Leah finds herself at the mercy of a distant relative (Marigold) who owns a boardinghouse. The only other tenant is a man who has also faced loss named Josiah. Marigold wants Leah and Josiah to befriend each other and help each other with their grief, but they don’t take a liking to one another much at all.

The historical context of this book was great! I love reading about how people lived without the luxury of washing machines and deep freezers. I also enjoyed the character development. I felt like I really knew them and was sad to be done with their lives once the book ended. And speaking of how it ended, the plot concluded in a way that lets the reader determine the next steps. At first I didn’t like that but after contemplating it a little more, I really appreciated it.
What I didn’t like about this book was the overwhelming amount of thought processing. The main characters often asked themselves questions which is good in smaller amounts, but I think it was a little overdone in this novel.
All in all, The House on Malcom Street was a pleasant read. A great escape for a rainy day.

Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I was given this book to review from the publishing company. I was not paid to do this review. My opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Brielle's Pal

Brielle and Daisy have formed a sweet friendship.
Brielle learned that Daisy has an obsession with returning things.  Daisy's like a machine.  Throw a ball and it comes back to you in seconds. Cause and effect at its best.
And Daisy has learned that Brielle is always up for that kind of play.  
Poor dog. Has to seek love wherever and whenever she can get it.
But don't we all, really?
Smiley-happy Brielle.  What a joy she is to my life.  Daisy's too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Treyton's T-ball team had the opportunity to go to the Rockies game this summer.  Here's Treyton with his girlfriend, Addison.
 Not only were they able to go to the game, they paraded around the field!  Treyton was in awe.
 There he is....good ol' number 1.
 Treyton was  more interested in looking at the bleachers than the famous Rocky players he was passing here.  He's not impressed with fame.
 And I hope he never is.
 Afterwards they were able to enjoy the game, hot dog and all.
 Daddy and Treyton enjoying the day together.
 This picture made me think of him as a teenager taking his girlfriend to the game.  My heart skipped a beat.
 Such a gentleman.  Look how they both scoot to the middle of their chairs to sit closer to each other. I think Addison is even over the half way mark.  Oh my.
 Go Rockies!
 A true American tradition: 5 yr old boy, baseball, hot dogs, a wonderful summer day in the land of the free.
"Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off... the right pitch will come, but when it does, be prepared to run the bases."  ~Rick Maksian

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: No Girls Allowed

No Girls Allowed by Jayce O’Neal is a wonderful devotional book for boys. I loved the structure of this book. It’s organized well for both parents and kids. Each begins with a Bible verse that is the basis for the devotion. Then comes the devotion. Next is a prayer relating to the theme. Then there is some sort of game such as word searches, secret codes, and unscramble puzzles. Following that is a “Things To Do” list about how to put the topic into action in a boy’s life. Very practical and hands-on. Next comes “Things To Remember” which is full of other pertinent Bible verses relating to the theme. And finally there is a wisdom section which contains quotes from both historical and modern people from all walks of life.

I enjoyed the devotional stories which were the perfect length. They were long enough to get the point across while not being too lengthy for an active young boy. The content varied for all interests and covered many relevant issues.

This devotional book was not cheesy as I’ve found some to be. With the added sections as described above, the book is well-rounded and simply fun. I highly recommend this book.

This book was given to me to be reviewed by Tyndale House Publishers. I was not paid for this review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thorn Man

This year I am a leader at my Community Bible Study.  The kids and I were in a skit to help kick off the first morning.  That is where the mask came from.
But once the skit was over, the mask became a new favorite toy for my boy.
Add a cape and behold...Thorn Man was born.
I was a little taken back by the name.
But after thinking about it, it made sense.  Treyton has been out doing lots of yard work with Bryce lately.  Thorns are not fun.  They are sharp and dangerous.  They hurt when you touch them or accidentally walk through them.  So I could see where he came up with it.  In fact, I think it's rather creative.  Kudos to you, my superhero son!
Thorn Man can fly too.  He lays on the floor and kicks his feet.
Galina decided to get Brielle involved in playing dress up.    I found Brielle as Minnie Mouse and had myself a chuckle.
But then she found these sparkle headbands.  She and Brielle became Super Twins.
It's so fun being a mom!

Whole Wheat Cookies

I don't just have a sweet tooth; I have all sweet teeth.  So after talking to Mary, my sister-in-law's sister, I found out about her cookie recipe.  It's so yummy and easy and somewhat healthy.  And the coolest thing is that these cookies actually work for me.  Most All cookies I have made while living in Colorado have been as flat as a pancake.  Actually, more like as flat as a piece of paper.  And crunchy.  I hate crunchy cookies.

So I decided to try Mary's method and "healthy" cookie recipe.  They were a hit!  I decided to give some to Bryce and the youngens and sure enough, they even liked them.  Whoop, whoop!  Score!

Mary's Cookies
1/2 stick Crisco - not butter, Crisco
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar packed
1 egg unbeaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 C whole wheat flour (OR 3/4 C whole wheat flour and 1/4 C oatmeal; you can add a little more oatmeal if you want a thicker cookie.  The 1/4 C makes a fairly thin one.  "Thin" should not be in the same sentence with cookie unless it precedes the word mint, for goodness sakes.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
chocolate chips or raisins or M&Ms
Cream sugars and Crisco with a fork.  Add egg and vanilla and stir.
Mix dry ingredients and add about 1/3 at a time to wet.  Stir in chips.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

After baking these I went around looking for people to share them with so I didn't eat the entire batch.  Look what I found.
Isn't there some sort of child labor law against this sort of thing?