Friday, November 9, 2012


Malachi Vision

A bit from my husband on the meaning of his  name: "In Scripture, Malachi (pronounced Mal-a-kiye, meaning God's messenger) was God's prophet to the post-exile people of Judah (Israel) during the time of
Ezra and Nehemiah as they were rebuilding city and temple. Malachi had a vision of holiness, Godliness and reformation back to the proper way of worship. He also had a vision for the future -- prophesying about the
coming Messiah and declaring
some specifics regarding John the Baptist. We believe this name will be a remembrance and testimony of God's holiness, goodness and glory." 

Malachi was born at home on Nov. 3rd with Daddy and both grandmothers present. I woke up that morning with a few contractions and other things. I knew this was it, but wanted to stay as active as I could before things got too intense. I made breakfast and managed to eat it  all but things started picking up before I finished my tea. About 4 1/2 hours in, I sent a text to my mother-in-law and asked if my father-in-law could come get the children. I called my husband at work (he just works 1.5 blocks away) and asked him to come home. I then got in the shower while my mother got the children ready to go. The children were picked up and my mother-in-law came to help get ready. I thought I wanted to sit in the tub, so she scrubbed and filled it for me. After a little over an hour in the shower, the water was cold and didn't feel good anymore. I got out and the bed looked inviting so I sat on the edge and breathed through each contraction. Time seemed a bit slower, and while I thought the contractions were  about 5 minutes apart, Billy timed them at about 2 minutes and lasting 60-90 seconds. I started to feel "pushy" and within a few minutes I finally found a position that felt better than the rest. About 10 minutes of pushing and he was here! I was able to hold  him for the first hour or so of his life. He learned to latch on after a few tries, and nursed for awhile. After the placenta was delivered, I got in an herbal bath while the grandmothers cleaned up and dressed  Malachi. (we put him in the bath with me, but he quickly got cold so we took him out.) He weighed in at 8lbs 8oz and was 20 3/4 inches long. Total labor time was 7 hours, but only 3 hours or so of intense labor. My shortest labor and biggest baby! I thank God for another healthy baby and safe delivery. He is such a sweetheart and of course my other children are in love! Actually, we are all in love!  

Linking up at: Growing Home, 
Whole-hearted Home

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Where I have been...

...Taking care of this new little guy! He was born this past Saturday. When we finally decide on a name, I will properly introduce him. :) We are in love. <3

Friday, October 26, 2012

When Hope Blossoms--Book Review

When Hope Blossoms
Kim Vogel Sawyer

As I have said before, I enjoy Amish fiction. This book is good, but is pretty predictable with it’s man-meets-woman-and-gets-married-in-the-end storyline that goes along with several of the Amish stories I have read. I did enjoy the book, but it was easy to figure out how the ending would be.

Amy Knackstedt, a widow, moves herself and her three children to a new town after the death of her husband.  Her neighbor, Tim Roper, is not at all happy about his new neighbors. As a former Mennonite, he is not happy about the reminders of the life he previously lived. When circumstances force Amy and Tim to interact, they are both surprised by the friendship that develops. They must decide if this friendship will develop into something more or if Tim will hold on to the hurts of his past.

This story has a sense of adventure and a twist of romance to it. It is a light and fluffy read, as most stories like these are. Like I said, I did enjoy it even though it was very predictable in general. I will give it to the author that she throws in a few “surprises” in the story line to make it a more interesting read.

*I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not required to write a positive review.*

A Season for Tending--Book Review

This is another Amish fiction story, written by one of my favorite authors. I do not often have the opportunity to sit down and read a light-fiction story, but I always enjoy it. I always enjoy reading books by Cindy Woodsmall. She has such an easy-flow to every book she writes.

Rhoda Byler has an unusual gift and is handy in her herb garden. There are those who believe that her gift is hurtful to the community. She chooses to spend all her time in her garden and canning business and try to avoid those who think bad things about her. Meanwhile, miles away, Samuel King works hard to keep the family apple orchard going. Through a series of events, everything takes a turn for the better through a bad decision by Samuel’s sister, Leah.

This book has a sense of mystery, a tiny bit of action, and even a bit of romance. This is a perfect book to curl up on the couch and read during a rainy afternoon, while the children sleep, and the housework is caught up. Another book that can be hard to put down until you reach the end.You can read the first chapter here.

*I received this book for free, in exchange for a review, from WaterBrook Press. I am not obligated to write a positive review.*

Cruel Harvest--Book Review

Cruel Harvest
Fran Elizabeth Grubb

I don’t often find biography-type books that interest me enough to review them. When I saw this book on the list of options, I thought about it and decided to get it and try it. I am glad I did. While it is most certainly not a sappy, feel-good book, it will tug at your heart strings. Just the thought of what some children go through everyday with nobody from the outside world knowing.  It is a story that may make you cry, so be sure to have some tissues close by should you decide to read it.

This is the true story of Fran and her six siblings growing up with a very abusive father. They lived as migrant workers, traveling from place to place to place. They were poor, they hardly went to school, and they lived a life of fear as night after night their father would come home drunk and beating their mother and them. This is the story of how Fran learned to cope with her problems. This is the the story of how Jesus came into her life and redeemed her from a life of awful living and sin. While no one else may have known what was going on, Jesus knew.

This was a touching story to read. As the mother of a little girl, I cannot imagine any little girl having to go through what Fran went through. To see the power of the Lord in her life made the book a happy ending. To read about her forgiveness was amazing. May every abused child see such a happy ending to their story, the ending that only comes by the grace of God. 

*I received this book for free in exchange for a review from Thomas Nelson. I am not required to write a positive review.*

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Favorite Oatmeal Recipe

Growing up in a larger-than-normal family of 5 children (I don't think we were a large family, but others did!), we were not able to afford boxed cereal. With 4 of the 5 being boys, we could eat through a whole box in one meal! That would get expensive fast, so instead we ate oatmeal or grits for breakfast. On occasion we might also have pancakes for breakfast, or on Saturday we might even have fried eggs and/or venison steak with our grits. Such fond memories! But, oatmeal was not something I really enjoyed. We ate it with cinnamon and brown sugar. It was okay, it was nutritious, but not my favorite breakfast in the world. In fact, until I "grew up" I hated oatmeal.

Recently, I decided to simplify breakfast. There is nothing like starting the day out having no plan for breakfast, and an hour to get it make before Dear Husband has to get off to work. It creates stress, late meals and rushing out the door to make it to work on time. So, I decided to follow my mother's example and have oatmeal everyday--almost. I have since done some figuring and found that the 10-lb box of oats from Costco will feed us breakfast 5 days a week for a month. Of course that will change as more are added to our family, but this is what works for now. On another day, we might have pancakes, muffins, eggs, etc. I have experimented (with help from the Lord) and have come up with a nutrition-packed breakfast that we all enjoy. I start the oatmeal in the evening, after reading the benefits to soaking grain. No, I don't soak flour and everything right now, but oatmeal is something easy to soak and tastes yummy. My children love it and often want oatmeal on the mornings when we have something else! I am thankful for the help the Lord gives in providing nutritious things for our family to eat. :)

Here is the recipe I use:

5 cups water, divided
2 1/2 cups oats
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup organic sugar or 1/2 cup honey
3 T. butter or 1/4 cup coconut oil (coconut oil gives a nice flavor!)
cinnamon to taste
dash of salt
Ground Flax seed 
Raw Milk

In small container pour in 2 1/2 cups water and apple cider vinegar. Mix together. Add oats. Cover and let it sit at least 7 hours, longer is better. In the morning, pour oats into small to medium size pot with remaining 2 1/2 cups water.  Bring to boil and cook until most of water is absorbed, stirring frequently so it doesn't stick to the pot. I haven't actually timed to see how long it takes, 5-7 minutes? I usually get tea started and grind my flax while it is cooking. When it is done cooking, add salt, sugar or honey, cinnamon and salt. You can add flax now if you desire, but I usually spoon it in everyone's bowl. I grind probably 1/4 cup of flax seeds, but have not measured for sure. You can do as much or little as you like. Serve with milk, fruit, or whatever else you desire. Enjoy! Edited to add: This is the perfect amount for our family of 4. Two adults, a preschooler and a toddler.

Linking up at Growing Home,
Whole-Hearted Home, 
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rejoicing in Motherhood

When I see my children acting so incredibly happy, as they are in the picture above, it is easy for us all to have a good time and enjoy each other. Yesterday was not one of those days. Crying, whiny children, stressed out and irritated mother trying to get water for Daddy before he went to work while dealing with said whiny children, made this mother realize that the day had NOT started out right at all. What did I neglect? To start my day with the Lord. In this season of life, getting up at 5am is not always possible, but attempting to rise before the children and have a few minutes of quiet time is so important. Yes, there are mornings that start a bit more chaotic and I do not get a chance to read until the afternoon while the children nap. But I am realizing the importance of a  daily Quiet Time, thanks to Judith over at WholeHearted Home for her encouraging posts on this topic.

What does this have to do with rejoicing in motherhood? After my husband went to work, I told the children that Mommy needed quiet time for a few minutes and to please play quietly. They sat down on the couch and "read" their Bibles as well. I started praying and reading, and the following verse caught my attention. "Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart." Psalm 32:11. I remembered that 1 Thessalonians 5 had a verse which reads "Rejoice evermore.". I went to that passage and read, amongst other things, "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19. It all became very clear--we are to be rejoicing and giving thanks always and for everything! I know I wrote a similar post last year, but sometimes we all need a reminder--mostly myself! So while my children are not acting their best, I can rejoice, when they are whiny and clingy I can rejoice, when they are cheerfully helping Mommy I can rejoice, when they are throwing tantrums I can rejoice! Not just CAN rejoice, but we are commanded to rejoice continually! May the Lord help me with this part that my children may see the joy of the Lord in my life in every situation.

Did my day get easier after I read my Bible? No. But, I had a better outlook on the day, one that caused me to remember to rejoice and rely on the Lord. My child had an accident in his pants, turned the water on in the bathroom causing the sink to overflow all over the floor, same child also acted not-very-obedient when we took lunch to Daddy. A 2+ hour nap was welcomed for all of us! Today, I am apparently still learning this lesson as it is another trying day, but I know that I can rejoice in the Lord and He will be my strength.

Sharing with: WholeHearted Home , A Wise Woman Builds Her Home , Growing Home

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Changes coming soon!

I think everyday about different things going through my head that I want to share. I am also hoping to "dress" up the blog a bit. Of course some more book reviews are coming. But in the mean time, I have a baby due in 7 weeks and since my last one was 2 weeks early, I am not allowing myself 7 weeks to get everything done! So, bear with me and I will post as soon as I get a chance, when the dishes are caught up, laundry is folded, and some sewing is finished. :)

Here are some of my favorite verses to meditate on while you wait :

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: " Colossians 1:9-22

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Fiddler, by Beverly Lewis

I was excited to see another Beverly Lewis book available for review. I have been a follower of her books for about 10 years, and this book was no disappointment. I have grown to love the simple life of the Amish, and Beverly Lewis writes about it in such a wonderful way.

When Amy DeVries is tired of all the practices, touring, and concerts, she sets out on an unknown path through the Pennsylvania mountains. Through a series of events, she has a car breakdown and inevitably ends up at the cabin of a young Amish man, after searching for help in an area where there is no cell phone reception. Finding this Amish community may be just the solitude she is seeking. 

This is a book that I had a hard time putting down, as is often the case with Amish novels.  It is definitely a good read for that rainy afternoon, or for one just needing a quiet afternoon away from the stresses of life.

*I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not required to write a positive review.*

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Great Giveaway!

Click on the link to go to Growing Home and check out the great giveaway she has going on

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Complete in Thee

*I love this song. So encouraging and true!*

Complete in Thee, no work of mine
May take dear LORD the place of Thine;
Thy Blood hath Pardon Bought for me,
And I am now Complete in Thee.

Complete in Thee no more shall sin,
Thy Grace hath Conquered, reign within;
Thy Voice Shall bid the Tempter flee,
And I Shall Stand Complete in Thee.

Yea Justified! O Blessed Thought
And Sanctified Salvation Wrought
Thy Blood hath Pardon Bought for me,
And Glorified I too Shall be.

Complete in Thee each want Supplied,
And no good Thing to me Denied;
Since Thou my Portion LORD will be
I ask no more, Complete in Thee.


Dear Savior when Before Thy bar
All Tribes and Tongues Assembled are,
Among the Chosen will I be,
At thy Right hand, Complete in Thee!

I couldn't find the author, but I know Ben Everson sings it, and I believe Ben Nyce wrote the music to it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Truth About the Lordship of Christ, John MacArthur

The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
John MacArthur

My husband and I have recently started listening to sermons by John MacArthur. We have found them to be Biblical as he is a man who fears God and has studied the Bible for many years. We enjoy listening to his expository preaching and find we agree with him on most matters. So, when this book came up as available for review, I was excited to read it.

This book teaches about Lordship salvation—what it truly is, not what some people think it means. John MacArthur teaches us about living the Christian life, sanctification and God’s sovereignty. He also talks a bit on assurance of salvation, a topic that many Christians have or do struggle with.

Growing up in a denomination that rejected the idea of Lordship salvation, I was unfamiliar with this topic until recently. But this is a true and Biblical teaching. After all, how can we truly become followers of Jesus Christ if we don’t make Him the Lord of our life? This book presents salvation as I have not often, heard or read, taught. To also read about assurance of our salvation is a wonderful and comforting thing. Reading about the process of sanctification and realizing God’s grace in our lives is very encouraging. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone.

*I received this book for free in exchange for a review from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I am not required to give a positive review.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Apron Giveaway at Growing Home

This apron is being given away at Growing Home It is a beautiful apron from Roses and Teacups . I love the Roses and Teacups site, everything is so elegant, pretty and feminine. :) Go check it out and don't forget to go to Growing Home to enter the giveaway!

Friday, June 15, 2012


In the Nursery of the Nation and A Mother's Heritage are two blogs that I have found great encouragement from in the past several months. They are true Titus 2 ladies with a heart for serving God and their families. The following posts are what I read today and was encouraged by. I hope you enjoy them as well!

How to Tear Your House Down in 10 Easy Steps

Simple Encouragement for the Tired Mother

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Give Me Jesus

I am hoping to write a real post soon, but in the meantime enjoy the lyrics to a song that I enjoy, sung by Fernando Ortega.

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus, 
You can have all this world, 
But give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, 
Give me Jesus, 
You can have all this world, 
But give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, 
Give me Jesus, 
You can have all this world, 
You can have all this world, 
You can have all this world, 
But give me Jesus 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Another Book Review

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms
Cindy Woodsmall

I have always been intrigued with the simple life of the Amish and Mennonites. Cindy Woodsmall is another of my favorite authors who takes the reader away from the busyness of life into a small simple-minded community. I have yet to read a book by her that I did not enjoy.

When Annie Martin has trouble at home she goes to spend time with her grandfather, an Old Order Mennonite. While there she again meet Aden Zook, an Old Order Amish. As a Old Order Mennonite, she is not allowed to date an Old Order Amish man. Will they find a way to make their love blossom, despite conflict between the families?

Take time from the busyness of your day and enjoy this book. I guarantee you will have a hard time putting it down!

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Press in exchange for a review. I am not required to write a positive review.

Book Review

The Wonder of Your Love
Beth Wiseman

As a lover of Amish books, I was excited to be reviewing another fictional story about an Amish woman. Beth Wiseman does an excellent job writing, and keeps the reader captivated. She does a wonderful job giving the reading a glimpse into the simple life of the Amish.

After the death of her husband, Katie Ann moves to Colorado with her baby boy where she is surrounded by friends and family. During this time she meets a widower with children of his own. Can she learn to let go of the past and learn to love again? Can Eli also learn to love again?

Settle down on the couch during a rainy day and enjoy this book that is so easy to read. Allow yourself to be swept away into the story of Katie Ann and Eli. This is a book that will be hard to put down.

*I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson publishing company in exchange for a review. I am not required to write a positive review.