Lizzy & Jane: a review

A review of Katherine Reay's new novel #LizzyAndJane

Some books make you want to start reading them all over again the moment you're finished. Like the perfect dinner, you still want another serving to enjoy the flavors and textures one more time--even when you're completely full and satisfied. Lizzy & Jane is just such a book. Katherine Reay brings a delightful new flavor to the menu of modern fiction. She artfully mixes tales of deep sadness with love and joy, seasoning them with just the right amount of references to classic literature like Austen's Pride and Prejudice. While Katherine's first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, gave a … [Read more...]

Your Real Food Journey (a new book from Trina Holden)

Your Real Food Journey: a review of Trina Holden's new book #myrealfoodjourney #yourrealfoodjourneybook

I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. When I clean the closet, I have to do it all in one day. If I'm going to organize my office, I need time to do it all at once. And if I'm going to make changes to our family's diet, I want everyone to be on board so we can change everything at once. Consequently, it's all too overwhelming and I never even get started. But Trina Holden wrote Your Real Food Journey for people like me. She sits right down next to us (ignoring the caffeinated drink and sugar-laced snack we're enjoying) and gently explains how impossibly overwhelming that all or nothing … [Read more...]

The 5 Minute Guide to Kefir Soda

The 5 Minute Guide to Kefir Soda

Kefir soda is a probiotic beverage filled with all sorts of good bacteria. It's like getting all the benefits of eating healthy yogurt while drinking something as flavorful as your favorite carbonated drink. It's a great replacement for a soda pop addiction, and a healthy alternative to sugary fruit juice. Kefir soda is made by culturing kefir grains in sugar water (the grains feed on the sugar, resulting a low-glycemic drink). After the first culture, the grains are removed, and fruit is added for flavoring. The second culture adds a delightful carbonation (and just a tiny bit of alcohol). … [Read more...]

stories that point to Christ

a review of the Well Spring Trilogy

Too often I make the mistake of avoiding books just because I don't usually read that genre. I knew James Rubart was a good storyteller. I'd been captivated listening to him describe his writing process two years in a row at the Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference. It was fascinating to hear how he would take a "what if...?" question and write a book as if that "what if" were true. But Christian suspense novels aren't usually my type. Especially when they deal with alternate realities and spiritual dimensions. So I waited two years to discover the depth of James Rubart's … [Read more...]

well-behaved children and God’s grace

Well-Behaved Children & God's Grace

They called me over in the hotel breakfast room.  "Excuse me, how old are your children?" she asked. "Five, three and a half, and almost two."  Even my reply sounded tired as I stopped to calculate. "We've been watching them and trying to guess," they explained.  "They are so well-behaved!" I didn't know whether to laugh or shake my head, so I did both.  We were two weeks into our vacation last spring and I'd spent more time than not shushing noises in hotel rooms and holding screaming babes in national parks. That couple from the breakfast room was obviously not the same as … [Read more...]

Dear Grama

a tribute to my grandmother

Dear Grama, It was from you I inherited my love of the written word. Some of my earliest memories of you are watching you at your typewriter. I was fascinated to watch the letters appear on the paper, and even more intrigued at the way the correction tape could erase them when I distracted you too much. You could use a typewriter for anything, and you did. I loved to flip through your multiple sets of carefully typed and color coded Rolodex cards. One set for family and friends, one set for businesses. Our birthdates were on our cards as well as our phone numbers. I never ceased to be … [Read more...]

Dear Papa

Dear Papa (a tribute)

Dear Papa, I knew something was wrong that morning. I woke up at your house and you weren’t sitting there at your table by the fire. You were always there. Every morning and every evening. At night you were making notes on your veterinary clients of the day. At daybreak you were taking notes on God’s Word. But this morning, you weren’t there. I’d never awakened before you, so that couldn’t be it. It was light, and you were always at your table before the sun rose. It turned out you’d been up all night with the flu. But that week has always stuck out in my memory as representative of how … [Read more...]

A Promise in Pieces

#PromiseInPieces - a review of Emily T. Wierenga's first piece of fiction

I grew up on the stories of the Depression as told in Reminisce Magazine (back when there was a Reminisce Extra). I lived vicariously through the World War II era tales in the books like We Pulled Together and Won! collected and published by Reiman Publications. I might not be able to quote you exact dates or battle locations, but I learned more about World War II from those stories than I ever learned in my school history books. But I didn't develop this fascination with the World War II era on my own. It was my brother and guy cousins who fueled the fire. I loved reading the stories, but … [Read more...]

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Podcasts

What is a podcast? And why would a mom want to listen to one? Find out why this wife, mom, blogger and small business owner loves podcasts.

I'm not an auditory learner (I'm a writer; I'm a visual learner). And I don't like having extra noise turned on in the background (there is usually more than enough noise in a house full of little people). I never thought I'd be someone who listens to podcasts (I don't even listen the radio very often). Sometimes, however, a mom's need for quiet is overcome by a mom's need for grown-up conversation. And that's when the flexibility (complete with a pause and rewind button) of podcasts can become a mom's best friend. But wait, what is a podcast, you ask? "Podcast" is both a noun and a … [Read more...]

Surprised By Motherhood {my story}

#SurprisedByMotherhood {My Story}

I didn't expect to be surprised by motherhood. My little sister was born when I was almost 12. My baby brother followed 3 years later. I was an old pro at changing diapers and cooking dinner with a baby on my hip by the time the baby I was juggling was my own. I knew it would be different actually being the mom instead of the big sister. But I thought I knew what to expect. I thought I understood how much having a child was going to change my life, our life. And in a few ways, I probably was better prepared than some girls who haven't helped raise siblings and babysit cousins. But in other … [Read more...]