Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Another book review for you! I’ll probably have a few more coming over the next couple of weeks as I’ve got a stack of books to read. I’m always content having a stack of books :), so don’t feel bad for me.

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Tried and True by Mary Connealy

Tried and True tells the story of Kylie Wilde the youngest of the Wilde sisters. Kylie, unlike her sisters, is desperate to move back to civilization. Unfortunately, she must stay on her land for an additional two years before she’s able to sell it, possibly longer if her war exemption is revoked. Her and her sisters had enlisted in the civil war and had fought as men. Her sisters embrace acting and dressing as men. Kylie resents it and wears dresses and her hair long. Everything was going along well with her homestead until Aaron the local land agent discovers that Kylie is, in fact, a woman. Throw in a local rancher who wants Kylie’s land for grazing his cattle and you’ve got a wild west story complete with burning arrows and gunpowder!

This is the second book of Mary Connealy’s that I’ve read. This one was a nice quick read, I finished it in just a few day and if I didn’t have kids, I’d could’ve read it in a night. I really enjoyed this book. I do think the acting like men and serving in the Civil War may have been a stretch. I have no idea if that historically ever happened. The sisters are described as quite pretty, so I would imagine, even during war, someone would’ve have noticed. But none the less, this book was very good!

I found this book to be a new, fun way to look at the settlement of the West. This book is a Christian book as it does mention God and in several places there are conversations about God and forgiveness. However, it is not overdone, in fact, I feel there were other places the author could have added more Christian conversation. This would be a great book for someone wanted to try-out a Christian book for the first time.

I give this book a 4.5 out 5 bookends.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review.


Wow, this year has been amazing! I’ve had the opportunity to  grow and do so many things! So far this year I’ve jogged two 1/2 marathons and am working toward a 3rd. My youngest started preschool and my oldest first. I’ve celebrated 12 years of marriage. We explored St. Louis as a family. I’m certain there are more things that I’ve not listed.

A few months ago, a very dear friend told me she was getting married. She lives in Japan and I was invited to her wedding. I’m extremely happy to say, I’m planning my very first overseas trip. Not only is it my first overseas trip, but it’s my first trip without my little darlings. I will be away from them for a whole 10 days. I’ve not been away from them for more than 2 days since they were born. And even then, I left on a Saturday morning and returned on Sunday, so really only 1 night.

So you see, I’m extremely excited to go. In fact I’ve purchased new luggage and a travel purse. I’ve been watching the cost of tickets multiple times a day hoping to get an awesome deal. Have no doubt, I’m excited. But a part of me isn’t. A part of me thinks I”m being silly going on vacation without my kids. A part of me worries about what might happen while I’m gone. I wonder, what if my plane crashes? What if I’m unable to return home? What if something happens to a kid? What if…..?

Despite my worries I will go. I know this will be good for me. After all, I use to be very daring. I joined the military at 17 and went to basic training at 18. I’d never flown before when I got onto that plane. I went knowing no one and uncertain of my future. I use to be very daring. Things like that didn’t make me worry or stress. I looked at it as an adventure.

I need to go to connect again with my daring past. It will be good for me. It will be good for my kids to see their mom exploring the world and coming joyfully home.

I will pray that my trip will be safe, that my kids will have a good time with their dad while I’m gone (and behave well….), and I pray that God will oversee the planning, as well as, my trip itself. My rationale mind tells me it will be fine. It’s my irrational mind that paralyzes me.


I read this story slowly. Not because it didn’t pull me in but rather, it hit a little to close to home. I fell in love with Chirp. She is a kid that I would love to wrap my arms around and call my own. Not only did I connect with her on a mothering level but also as a child. As I read through the book, I remembered so many emotions from when my mom was sick as a child. Chirp’s gained a special spot in my heart.

Nest by Esther Ehrlich

Nest tells the story of Naomi, or Chirp, and her family. Chirp is a little girl who is spunky, full of life, and close with her mom. Then tragedy strikes the family. Chirp’s life is forever changed. Thru the family upset, she develops an unlikely friend with a neighbor boy.

I really enjoyed this story. It has the charm and attraction of a classic. It is set in the 70’s and there are several references to that time. I loved how the author put in the extra information on the birds. It was a nice detail that added depth to the story. Although this book is written for the younger readers (grades 4-6), there is no lack of depth to this story. The author does a wonderful job pulling the reader in and developing the relationships. Her ability to capture the emotions of a young girl was superb.

This book is a simple yet complex book with the makings of a classic. I would recommend this book for anyone grades 4-6. This book could be used in a classroom as it has some wonderful points for discussion.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 bookends.

I received this book from the publisher using Netgallery.com for an honest review.


My little guy has multiple food allergies and all of his deserts must be vegan due to egg and milk allergies. When this book came up as a review, I jumped on it. And I must say, I am quite glad I did.

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Vegan Ice Cream: Over 90 sinfully delicious dairy-free delights by: Jeff Rogers

This book provides recipes and directions for vegan ice cream. The book has four main sections: basic, ice cream, raw ice cream, and sauces. The Basics breaks down ice cream making by ingredients and tools. It really makes the process seem simple. The next two sections include recipes.

I tried two of the recipes. We were somewhat limited on the ones I could try due to a nut allergy. However the two we tried turn out great! The ice cream had a wonderful fresh flavor. My son really enjoyed it. THe texture was quite the same as ice cream. However, I have just a little ice cream maker that you freeze and squeeze. So I think one would get a better texture from a more traditional ice cream maker.

I truly enjoyed this book. The recipes turned out great. The organization was easy to follow. I will be trying more recipes soon! I recommend this book to anyone interested in making their own vegan ice cream. IF you have a nut allergy or avoid nuts, you will find the recipes somewhat limiting.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookends.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. To read more about this book, check out this link.