Friday, May 31, 2013

No longer a Kindergartener....

I know am the proud Mom of a First Grader!

Where, oh, where has time gone??

Seems like just yesterday, Rebecca was starting her first day of Kindergarten!

First Day of Kindergarten (August 2012)

She has learned so much this year. She went from reading very simple sentences, to reading chapter books. She has learned to write in complete sentences and to journal. She has learned addition and subtraction facts. She has learned so many things. I am so proud of her!

Last Day of Kindergarten (May 2013)
Yesterday, they held a Kindergarten Graduation at her school, complete with caps and gowns and diplomas. I will admit that I teared up several times!

Processing in to "Pomp and Circumstance"

Receiving her diploma from her teachers

After she got her punctuality award from the principal
It was a lovely morning! I am so proud of my little girl and cannot believe that I have a first grader!

Now onto Summer Vacation!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Festivals, Movies, and Parades!

This weekend was filled with lots of family fun!

On Sunday, Rebecca and I went to church. Then came home for lunch and for Bill to run to work for a bit. After Bill came home, we loaded the family up and went to the Velvet Ice Cream Festival in Utica.

It was an afternoon full of ice cream and fun walking around looking at the vendors crafts and the cars in the car show.

When we came home, we went to the video store and rented a couple DVDs to watch. We rented "Safe Haven" for Bill and I to watch after the kids went to bed.  It was a good movie. Not the best movie I have ever seen but good.

On Monday, we took the kids to our local Memorial Day parade. It was a little rainy but nice. Rebecca loved seeing all the parade entries and she saw some of her friends in the parade.

Monday afternoon we spent a low key afternoon at home. I made almost 150 cookies for a Confirmation reception at my daughter's school this evening, and we watched " Wreck It Ralph." with the kids. That was a really cute movie.

Overall, it was a nice couple of days! Now on to this week, where I only work 3 days and Rebecca only has 2.5 days of school left!

How was your weekend? Have any big plans for this week?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy birthday to my dear hubby!

May is and probably always will be a crazy busy month for us.

One of the highlights of the month is that it is Hubby's birthday!

He doesn't like to make a big deal out of his birthday, but I try to make the day a little special for him.

Today, we spent the morning at Rebecca's last soccer game of the year.

Later, Bill's parents are coming over for dinner. I am making bbq ribs, macaroni and cheese, peas, fruit salad, and crescent rolls. For dessert, I made Bill a special b-day cake--

I have to say that although we go through our ups and downs, we don't always see eye to eye...but at the end of the day we love and respect one another and we are making this marriage thing work. Life is crazy with 3 kids but I wouldn't choose any one else to be their dad. Bill works hard to take care of our family and he LOVES to spend time with the kids and do things with them.

I love him so much and am so grateful that he is a part of my life!

Happy Birthday Dear Bill! I love you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson (book review)

From the back cover:

As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl--she'd rather work with her father's horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she's been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.

When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiance shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.

Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God--and each other--when scandal threatens their newfound love?

My thoughts:

There is something to be said for authors who can combine a historical time period, immigrant lifestyles that still conform to old world beliefs, and a love story in a way that makes a reader NOT want to put the book down. That is the case with Tracie Peterson's novel The Icecutter's Daughter. 

Peterson weaves an historical tale from Minnesota in the late 1895-1896. She tells the story of Merrill who is a woman who is paving the way in a male dominated household. She meets Rurik who has moved to the area to help his ailing uncle. Rurik is caught in being betrothed in an arranged marriage, but he wants out of the engagement as he does not love the woman. What follows is a funny, enlightening, lovely tale of 2 lives who are different but the same and whose lives come together to become engaged in one another.

I could not put this book down. It was interesting from the beginning to the end. And the mystery and intrigue of  the scandal, only served to enhance the characterization and allow for the reader to get even more involved in the story line.

This is a great story!

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat

Time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla! 
To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

Rebecca had a piece of art in an art show at the local high school.

What are you.....

Honestly, I am in between books right now. I have finished 4 books for reviews in the past week. Just need to get the reviews written.

 Right now I have baseball on T.V.
Listening to?
Right now the T.V. is on. The dryer is running. The A/C is on.
Right now I have peanut butter chocolate cookie bars in the oven. Definitely a craving cooking session. Wanting something sweet.

Happy you accomplished this week?

This was a crazy week at work. It was a busy week for our family. I am glad I got through it.
 Looking forward to next week?
Rebecca's class has a mini-musical on Friday that should be fun. Last full week of school. Last weekend of soccer. This coming weekend is my hubby's birthday!
Thankful for today?
Friends and family. I got to spend time with both very good friends and family this weekend at seperate cookouts. I LOVE living in a community where friends are like family.  

Bonus question: Do you like your name? Would you change it if you could?
I like my name. I don't think I would change it for the world. :)
So there you have it. A little glimpse into my world on this Sunday night! Hope everyone has a wonderful week and remember to link up to our wonderful chat host Carla! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert (book review)

From the back cover:

Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?
A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.

So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.

As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.

With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.

My thoughts:

Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert is a not to be missed read. It is a great story that is full of romance, suspense, heartache, intrigue and questioning. The story follows the stories of Robin Price a young widow who is struggling with her grief from her husbands death, to being a young single mom, to being a business woman in a town where many businesses are falling apart. She is entrenched in her town and will fight to all ends to make sure that her business and her son's livelihood will live on. Then enters Ian McKay who comes to town with the intention of buying up property to develop a condo complex for families, all done with the mayor's approval. As the story progresses we see that Ian has his own demons and grief that he is dealing with. What comes about in the interplay of these two characters is a heart warming story of personal growth, love and understanding. It a story that allows for the acceptance of grief and the moving on with that grief still a part of your life but not allowing it to overwhelm your life.

I was enthralled with the characters and felt that Mrs. Ganshert did an excellent job in character development and that that was what makes this story such a huge success. The characterizations of all the characters (a few of whom I hope Mrs. Ganshert brings back in future novels) lends itself to the plot line and adds something to the book that may not have been there before.  So often the lead character(s) steal the scenes from the book while making the minor characters not needed. However this was not the case in Wishing on Willows. All the characters from Robin and Ian to Caleb (Robin's son) to Mayor Ford to Mimi and many others offer just the right touch to this story.

I love that this story has a lesson. It teaches that no matter what God is in control. As humans we cannot control diseases, deaths, or what the future holds. What we can do is allow God to be in our lives and entrust that things will work out the way that they are supposed to. Just as Robin finally had to come to the realization. Life may not work out as she had envisioned it to, but there was a greater power on hand to see that life is the way that He intended it to be.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from WaterBrook Publishing as part of their "Blogging for Books" program. All opinions expressed are my own.

Instead of blogging....

I have been immersed in life.

I have been trying to spend more time with my kiddos.

I have been trying to get some things sorted out in my brain.

I have been reading a lot.

I have been sick (again).

I have been busy with work schedules and family schedules in relation to my hubby's work schedule.

I have been trying to keep up with housework.

I have been chasing after a 1 year old who loves to get into EVERYTHING!

I have been dealing with work issues.

I have been dealing with the craziness that comes with the last month of school.

I am still here though.

I hope to get back to blogging regularly soon. :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weighed myself this morning....

and I am NOT happy with the number I saw.

226.0 lbs.

That is right, two hundred and twenty six pounds!!!!


I know that I have been eating like crud lately. I have been eating way too many muffins and chocolate. I knew I had gained weight because my capris for work are kind of tight.

Well as today is May 1, 2013....things are going to change!

I have decided to start counting calories and watching portions, etc.

In reality, I have decided to change my way of eating and focus on eating healthier.

Oh and Dear Hubby informed me this morning that we are going to have a weight loss challenge this month, because he didn't like HIS number on the scale either.

So I have to come up with terms today and we will get on it.

Oh and did I mention that I lost the March madness challenge and have to run a 5K within the next year?

I think if I can work on eating better and adding in some exercise I will feel so much better and I will be able to move things in the right direction.

Wish me luck.