What I’m Reading This Month: July Bookmarks

What I'm Reading This Month: Bookmarks of a Book Connoisseur

As a farmer's wife, the idea of summer reading programs always makes me laugh. Summer on the farm rarely has anything remotely resembling leisure time. And since a certain little person is sleeping so many hours at night, I don't have much middle-of-the-night reading time either (you won't hear me complaining about that). But thanks to the Kindle app on my phone, I've still been able to squeeze in a few books this summer, in those in-between moments while waiting for an appointment, waiting for my husband to get home from work, or waiting for the last little person to drift off to sleep. ... Read More

My Cousin JenJen

My Cousin JenJen

Dear JenJen, I still remember sitting there beside your mom, in a back pew of the church. She was wearing her raspberry red maternity dress with matching red heels. And there, in the middle of church, I got to feel you move when your mom put my hand on her tummy. When you were on the way, we didn’t have any other cousins living close by. You were not only my first girl cousin on my dad's side of the family, you were the first cousin to live in our small town. And you were born just eight days before my own September birthday. I still remember the delight of visiting you in the hospital ... Read More

The Best Books I Read This Spring

The Best Books I Read This Spring: Bookmarks of a Book Connoisseur

I spent six weeks on bed rest this spring. It should have been the perfect time to read that stack of books I'd been waiting for a chance to devour. But I couldn't concentrate on any form of literature, fiction or non! It took me ages to finish just one title (that alone should have been considered a symptom of sickness for me!). Thankfully, with the birth of our precious baby girl, both my health and my ability to read has gradually returned (the latter more quickly than the former!). After those first few weeks of 'round-the-clock nursing, I realized that the only thing between me and a ... Read More

Wodehouse & Psmith

Leave it to Psmith

If you’ve never met any of P.G. Wodehouse’s characters, then let me start by introducing you to Psmith.  He used to be in fish, he conveniently borrows other people’s umbrellas, and his latest venture is pinching necklaces.  At the moment, he’s posing as a poet, even though he can’t understand a line of the poetry he’s supposedly published.  And oh yes, the P is silent (just in case you wondered). Wodehouse creates characters and love triangles (or more often, quadrangles!) and intricate, confusing storylines like none other.  The British humor might be a slightly acquired taste, but it’s ... Read More

The Green Ember

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith #RabbitsWithSwords

I suppose stories about rabbits are as old as they are beloved. There is Pat the Bunny, The Velveteen Rabbit, Peter Rabbit, Peter Cottontail, Br'er Rabbit, and Uncle Wiggily to name just a few. But these classic children's stories about rabbits have a new companion that numbers among our family's very favorites: The Green Ember by S.D. Smith. And these rabbits have swords. Describing his debut novel, S.D. Smith calls it "a new story with an old soul." And the moment you step into Heather and Picket's world you're struck by the very timeless quality of the story. Our family first ... Read More

The Curate’s Awakening by George MacDonald

a guest review of the story of Curate Thomas Wingfold, as told in George MacDonald's Curate of Glaston trilogy edited by Michael Phillips

Over at Kindred Grace (the contributor blog I manage), we've been talking about some of our favorite classics for the annual March of Books. Today I'm sharing my love of the Scottish author George MacDonald, while I've invited my mother to guest post here with her own review of a favorite MacDonald title. Enjoy! And don't miss the double MacDonald giveaway this week over at Kindred Grace. -Gretchen It has been too long since I dusted off my shelf of MacDonald books, and far longer still that I took one down to read it. One title stands out as having made a big impact on me several decades ... Read More

Top 10 Reasons We Love Audiobooks

Top 10 Reasons We Love Audiobooks

It's no secret that my husband and I love books. From the front door of our home you can see that the entire corner of our living room is encased in bookshelves. More books can be found on the coffee table, in our bedrooms, and in stacks all around our home. First-time visitors can rarely keep from stating the obvious: "Wow, you guys must really like books." But raising readers has taken these two collectors of vintage tomes and turned us into fans of digital audiobooks. There's nothing like the feel of a book in your hands, turning crisp pages to see what's hidden inside the cover. And you ... Read More

The Truth About Mompreneurs

The Truth About Mompreneurs

There's a myth about mompreneurs (mom entrepreneurs). We hear it in various forms, but it's usually the well-meaning comment of a friend or a client: "I'm amazed by how you do all you do." "I don't know how you do it all." Sometimes we try to explain the truth. Other times we just laugh it off. It is laughable, really. No one can do it all. Especially not a mom who works from home. So today, I'm here to set the record straight. I want to tell you the truth about what it's like to be a mompreneur. And why I wouldn't trade my work-at-home job for any other career. 1. ... Read More

The Beauty of Grace

The Beauty of Grace review and #giveaway

The blogosphere is full of words these days. Our friends are always sharing the latest, greatest, must-read post. And sometimes, the noise is overwhelming. We stop looking for new blogs to read because there are just too many to choose from. We turn off the web browser with the flashing ads and turn to the peaceful pages of a book instead. The Beauty of Grace is a book for just such a time. Dawn Camp's compilation brings the best of the blogosphere into a beautifully bound book, complete with her breathtaking photography illustrating the pages in black and white. Divided into sections ... Read More

Probiotic Water Kefir: Tips & Tricks

Get answers to your most frequently asked questions about brewing probiotic water kefir in this conversation with kefir soda expert Simply Darlene!

Water kefir (or kefir soda) is one of my favorite probiotic beverages. I like to drink it with my meals to aid in digestion. I love knowing that I'm getting all sorts of good bacteria that are great for my immune system, without all the sugar of fruit juice, or the chemicals or a carbonated beverage. When I first began exploring the use of natural probiotics, my friend Darlene was an invaluable resource. Not only did she give me my first batch of kefir grains, but she's been there to answer all my questions along the way. I asked Darlene if she'd join me here on my blog to talk about kefir ... Read More