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I am a mother who works full-time but who is also a chauffer, chef, seamstress, fitness instructor, teacher, maid, gardener, runner, organization expert, salesperson, secretary and wife. I love my family and life is always busy but fun! Come along with me for the ride:-)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Foto

On February 8th, Cassie turned 12 years old. It seems like yesterday she was born - always big blue eyes and smiling. Other than a few "hormonal" days, she is still smiling and still has those pretty blue eyes. In lieu of a large party, she had two friends over last Friday night. They ate pizza and then I took them to see Journey 2 The Mysterious Island. They enjoyed it because of Josh Hutcherson & Vanessa Hudgens. I enjoyed it because Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was in it. It was a good movie :-)

The one thing I can't fathom is that I'll have a teenager next year! But she'll be my baby forever :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Captive Heart

By Dale Cramer

Product Description

Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender's family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley. When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail. In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm's way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio. What is a father to make of his daughter's obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?


This book is Amish fiction – but with a different twist – perhaps it’s because it’s written by a man, Dale Cramer. However, I am a newly dedicated fan to Mr. Cramer’s books because his stories are well written and they peak your interest. I read this book in less than two days! Until Mr. Cramer’s Paradise Valley series, I’d never heard or read of Amish people moving to Mexico in the 20’s. Usually the stories are set in Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc. Mr. Cramer’s books are sort of Amish fiction with an old western element added in.
Caleb Bender has moved his family to Mexico to escape religious persecution and yet they will have difficulties, struggles and death of family that he probably had never dreamed of. One daughter, Miriam, falls in love with someone outside their Amish community and faith, but tries to follow the Amish way of courting inside their sect. Another daughter, Rachel, has fallen in love with an Amish boy, but has so many trials ahead of her. Then, El Pantera, a Mexican bandit, comes into their lives bringing violence, kidnapping, murder, unspoken horrors. He does not care that the Bender family are Amish and non-violent. He has no morals and is bent on destroying the Bender family or anyone else that crosses his path. For the most part the family clings to their faith in God and his deliverance from this evil man. Included in this book is a life threatening disease for which there is no cure. You see how the Amish deal with hardships, their beliefs, threats and the like. Will they remain faithful or will they fight back?
Then the end of the story leaves you wanting more because Miriam has risked everything to save the man she loves (the one who is not Amish). You are left wondering what will happen next – and wanting more. The third book will be out in December 2012 – I just wish the wait was not that long!

NOTE: I received a review copy of The Captive Heart from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions stated above are my own.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Christmas Singing

By Cindy Woodsmall

After Gideon coldly broke her heart, can the warmth of the season revive Mattie’s hopes? Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve. Three years later, will learning the truth behind his rejection restore her Christmas joy – or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?

Mattie's heart was broken when Gideon broke their engagement, but she moved to a new town and started a cake business. Then a there is a fire in her baking shop and she if forced to go back to her hometown. There, she sees her old love – and suddenly everything is not exactly as it seems. Mattie is surprising a strong independent woman – despite the impression that many people have of Amish women. You long to see her happy – no matter the outcome at the end of the book. Gideon is tender hearted and has always thought of others before he thinks of himself. He lied to Mattie years ago when he broke up with her. In his mind he was protecting her but he slowly begins to realize that he shouldn’t have lied even though he was trying to do the right thing. The lesson learned here was that the truth is always best but this book is also a lesson in forgiveness. It is hard to forgive but it is the right thing to do.

Cindy Woodsmall always created characters that her readers really care about and empathize with. I enjoyed this book just as I’ve enjoyed Mrs. Woodsmall’s other books.

NOTE: I received this book free from Waterbrook Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


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