Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Amish Blacksmith by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

This book tells the story of Jake who works in the Kinsinger’s blacksmith shop shoeing horses. He has a great skill as calming troubled horses. He is able to stay in a small home on the  land and often eats meals with their family. When the troubled Priscilla Kinsinger returns, Jake is asked to help her adjust and introduce her to other’s. Amanda, Jake’s girlfriend, helps to take Priscilla under her wing. As Jake uncovers more about Priscilla’s past, he finds himself drawn to her. He finds himself not just obligated to help her readjust, but truly wanting to.

This book provides insight to the Amish way of life. As you read the story, you learn more about the desire to know God’s will. The characters demonstrate their faith by spending time evaluating what God wants for them. The authors share knowledge and insight to caring for horses. And, they contrasts the difference between Amish horses and Englisher’s horses.

I found this book to be a wonderful book. I enjoyed the male point of view. So few books are geared toward female readers but are written from the male point of view. I enjoyed the overall theme of the book: letting God guide our lives. I loved the knowledge and insight the other’s brought to the book on the Amish lifestyle and on horses. Furthermore, I enjoyed how the book contrasted the difference between the Amish lifestyle and the Englisher lifestyle without passing judgement on either.

The one downfall I found with the book, is it seemed to lag in places. Although, it kept my interest, I did think the pace could’ve picked up in places.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Christian novels or Amish novels.

I give this book a 5 out 5 bookends.

I received this book for free from for an honest review.

This year, we’ve been introducing some chores into my children’s lives. My oldest just started 1st grade and last year was her first year of some responsibility before school. My son just started pre-school and he too has some things he’s responsible for before school.

Our implementation of chores has been a slow process. My kids have always loved helping me with household duties such as cooking and setting the table. I used their natural desire to help to direct them to appropriate duties. So, I guess one could say, they’ve been informally doing chores for a long time now.

My 1st grader’s before school routine- what she’s responsible for:

1) Getting dressed

2) Brushing her teeth

3) Making her bed and putting her pajama’s on her bed


My Preschooler’s before school routine- What he’s responsible

1) Dressing himself with supervision

2) Brushing his teeth


Saturday morning chores for both children- my preschooler with more supervision

1) Put away all folded clothes

2) Pick-up their room

Our chores are simple. None of them too difficult and some may say too simple. However, implementing chores at this age to me is more about teaching the children to be part of the family and to assist the family. I don’t want chores to have a negative connotation. I want them to think that chores are no big deal, it’s just what we do. Because, really, they will have chores to do all of their lives. No reason to make it a negative experience at such a young age!

Do your children do chores? What age did you start? What was your approach? Was it successful? Leave a comment, let’s talk chores!

I’ve been reading a lot recently. Although, mostly I’ve been reading novels. Today I want to take a moment to review a slightly different book.


The Quick-Start Guide to the Whole Bible by Dr. William Marty and Dr. Boyd Seevers

The Bible, an ancient text that many study and use as a guide for their life. It’s a book that can be intimidating as it includes everything from history to prophecy. The reviewed book’s goal is to “cut to the chase” of the Bible’s books. It addresses the questions: What does it say? and Why does it matter?

I personally own a self-study Bible. I find the extra information in the self-study Bible to be quite helpful and provide depth to the Bible. This book, I’ve found adds to my self-study Bible. It provides more to the point information in a conversational tone. I found reading this book felt like a really good conversation. It breaks down each chapter and gives a quick overview. The authors write an easily understood style that both those well-versed in the Bible and those new to the Bible can understand and appreciate.

One downfall for this book is that if one has a self-study Bible or has done significant Bible study this book may not provide additional information. However, I would guess, if someone has significant knowledge of the Bible, they would probably purchase more scholarly written books.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the Bible, specifically the importance and lessons chapter by chapter. I would especially recommend the book to new Christians or those who have had not completed other in-depth studies.

I give this book a 4 out 5 bookends.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.



 Wool Running Socks: Yeah, I love’em


I’ve been jogging now for a couple of years. I still consider myself in toddler-hood when it comes to this sport. I’ve been doing it long enough, I pretty much understand how it works. I’ve now invested some decent cash in gear and chews/nutritional support, and I’ve done some longer runs to include 2 1/2 marathons. But there’s a lot more for me to learn, hence the toddler-hood.

However, one thing I will tell you hands down, I love wool running socks. Go ahead, close your mouth, stop gasping and looking surprised. Because, yes I said wool. I know what you’re thinking because I’ve heard it. Isn’t it itchy? Or too hot? Does it wick moisture? I’ve heard it all.

But the truth is, they’re amazing! I’ve tried a couple different brands and find they are quite superior to any other sock I’ve experienced.


Here’s why I love wool running socks:

1) Comfort- My feet stay cool/warm appropriately, absolutely no itching.

2) Wicking- Nothing wicks like these socks, I’ve ran through a puddle completely soaking my feet and within minutes, my feet felt dry. After the run removing my shoe, my foot was completely dry!

3) Arch support- My feet feel like they’re getting a nice little hug. Amazing!

4) Long lasting- These wash well. I’ve had two of my socks for 2 years and they still look and feel great.

5) Minimal blisters- Up until my 1/2 marathons, I would’ve said absolutely no blisters. But I must confess I did get one blister during my 1/2 marathons. But I say that’s pretty good hearing and reading about the condition of other runner’s feet.

The downfall, and there’s only one that I can think of…the cost. They are a bit pricey. They range from right around $10 a piece to around $30- Just for the record, I’ve never spent more than $17 on a pair. You can find them on sale and that’s when I purchase them. And I purchase, one here and there to add to my collection.

In my opinion, the benefit and overall awesomeness of this sock, outweighs the cost. Go ahead, order some. Your feet will thank you.


On a completely different note, I have a book give away HERE. Please feel to check it out and register for a chance to receive the book. Thanks!

I’m very excited to offer my very first book giveaway! One of the publishers I read and review for is offering to mail a copy of Through Deep Waters by Kim Vogel. I really enjoyed this story and am very excited to be able to give a way a copy. If you’ve not read my review of this book, please check it out here.

cover (125×188)

How it works

In order to be entered into the drawing you must fill-out a form from the publisher. The publisher will administer the drawing and will contact the winner at the end of the giveaway.

The contest starts on July 31, 2014 at 6:00am EST and ends on August 20th, 2014 at 11:59pm. One winner will be chosen at random on August 21st, 2014 and will be alerted by email. For a complete listing of the rules, please see below.

Please follow this LINK TO ENTER.


Go and fill-out the form and share this link with your friends! I wish you luck with the drawing!


You know when you read a book and you’re so involved in it, you find yourself reading it every minute you can. Sitting in a five-minute drive, not driving obviously. Sitting in the Dr’s office. While dinner is cooking. You want to read it and finish it. Well this book was this for me.

Eyes of the Enemy by Kelly Hess

Beynn lived in a peaceful village. It was years past the Sorak Wars and the town was far from the Sorak border. The village was peaceful until the festival when he was 13. That night, the Sorak attacked his village looking for him and he was sent on a mission of self-discovery and to save the village.

This book reminds me of the Hobbit in so many ways. It was a fun-filled fantasy minus the gore of modern novels. It is a story of Beynn learning his past and finding a way to live with the unexpected. It is a book that a parent could easily let their child to read. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

I would recommend this book to any middle school-aged child or anyone looking for an old-school fantasy story.

I give this book a 5 out 5 bookends.

This book was provided to me by for free for an honest review.