Thursday, October 29, 2015

No Wonder ~ Anne of Green Gables

Ever take one of those silly on-line quizzes to see what character you are in a book or movie? I usually skip them, but awhile back I ran across one for the book Anne of Green Gables. I just couldn't pass it up. The result?

I'm Anne Shirley. 
No wonder it's one of my favorite books. 
No wonder I relish the language in the book so much. 
No wonder I chose to be Laura of Harvest Lane on-line when I began my blog. 
No wonder I named my eldest daughter Emily Anne with an E. 
No wonder I don't keep liniment or raspberry cordial in my kitchen. 
No wonder I like to write, and I enjoy big words. 
No wonder I enjoy reading the dictionary. 
No wonder I like red hair.
No wonder I'd like to own the movie someday.

I just had to change format. It just seemed more dramatic. ~grin~ Have you read the book? It's one of the most delightful books I've ever read. The language is superb. Grab a copy from your library or get a Kindle edition for a pittance. Now, I cannot leave you without a quote.

"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will." 
— Anne, L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Have a beautiful day just enjoying who you are, who you love, and Who made us all.

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

Just one look at the cover and I knew that this was going to be another light hearted Christmas read from Melody Carlson. I just feel relaxed when I read her books. Mind you, I've only read a couple, The Christmas Bus and Christmas at Harringtons. I don't know about her other books, but she has a way of setting a scene that can just make me want to crawl into the book. Her style of writing is so easy to read that I could forget my surroundings and see it all in my movie projector imagination. While the very end was rather predictable, it was so wonderfully described, I didn't mind.  It was just the kind of just for a fun break book a woman needs at Christmas time.

I tucked this book in my handbag and read it while on vacation at my friend Laura's house. When I had a few down moments, I would just pull it out and read a few pages. The chapters were short, so this was easy. It was a pleasant way to spend my free time. Well done Melody Carlson!

Now, take a look at this description from the publisher.

The Christmas Joy Ride
by Melody Carlson
Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off with Joy toward Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--one that could derail the whole venture.
No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride!

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas DogChristmas at Harrington's, and The Christmas Cat.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Revell Reads.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

"The Attic Was a Lovely Place to Play."

Don't you just love this time of year?

"The attic was a lovely place to play. The large, round, colored pumpkins made beautiful chairs and tables. The red peppers and the onions dangled overhead. The hams and the venison hung in their paper wrappings, and all the bunches of dried herbs, the spicy herbs for cooking and the bitter herbs for medicine, gave the place a dusty-spicy smell.
Often the wind howled outside with a cold and lonesome sound. But in the attic Laura and Mary played house with the squashes and the pumpkins, and everything was snug and cosy."
Little House in the Big Woods
Laura Ingalls Wilder
One of my very favorite books

Friday, October 23, 2015

Grab a Book! Fall Reading List 2015

Hello dear readers,
It's time for another reading list. This time my list is dominated by books that I will be reading for review over the next few weeks. Have you made your list yet? Everyone can find a few minutes to read. Think you're too busy? Here are five ways to find time to read.
The Five Times I Met Myself
by James L. Rubart

It was excellent! Read my review.

An Endless Christmas
by Cynthia Ruchti  

I am savoring this now.

The Christmas Joy Ride 
by Melody Carlson 
Finished October 27th
Read my review.

Trim Healthy Mama Plan
by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison 

Read my review.

The Ology
by Marty Machowski

Read my review
Books... don't leave home without one!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

5K to Destruction?

A couple of weeks ago, our girls ran a 5K race. Participants ran, jogged,or walked. My husband and I drove past the runners to wave. Suddenly, the first runner veered off the straight and narrow road that the racers were supposed to follow to the first station. We were troubled to see that nearly all of the other runners followed the guy in the lead even though they had been told to run straight up the road to the first station. We quickly called the person who set up the race. She asked us to warn the runners to turn around and head in the correct direction. We drove up the line and told everyone that they'd gotten off the correct path. A few said they wondered about it and turned back. Most just ignored us or said, "Oh well." They continued going in the wrong direction even though it took them farther from their goal!

I was dismayed at the spiritual parallel of this situation. We are all given directions, whether from the word of God or our consciences. Yet so many still run blindly and wildly in the wrong direction even after being warned. It's very disturbing to think of it.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: 
for wide is the gate, 
and broad is the way,
 that leadeth to destruction, 
and many there be which go in thereat: 
Because strait is the gate, 
and narrow is the way, 
which leadeth unto life, 
and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13-14 KJV

Know someone who's headed for the broad way that leads to destruction?
Pray. If they'll listen to you, warn them. Regardless, remember that it's the love of Jesus that draws us to Him.
Blessings to you!
Keep to the straight and narrow path.
It's easy to see. 
It's the hard one. 
It's the one that keeps you dependent on God.

Following my Jesus

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Remembering Fall



The Legend of the Christmas Cookie Sharing the True Meaning of Christmas By Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

Thank you BookLook for this review copy.

Years ago when my children were 10, 4, 2 and brand new, we sold our house in mid-November. We planned to stay in a motel for a couple of weeks until the sellers moved out of the house we were buying.We'd be in our new home by Thanksgiving... or so we thought. The sellers wouldn't sign the papers until the first week of December then refused to move out until December 26th!

We lived and homeschooled for seven weeks in a motel during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Everything I used to make Christmas was in storage. I borrowed a tabletop tree, went to Hobby Lobby for a few decorations for the room, and bought our first Christmas book. It was a season of watching the Home and Garden and Food channels and not being able to make or do anything. ~grin~ It was hard at the time, but it is a sweet memory, and new traditions arose from it.

One of my children's favorite Christmas traditions is reading Christmas stories. Each year they look forward to receiving a new picture book. It's been many years since we started this tradition. My oldest is now 24 and my youngest 14. I recently asked the kids if they want to continue the tradition. I was met with a resounding, "Yes!" The Legend of the Christmas Cookie will be this year's additon to our growing Christmas storybook library.

Richard Cowdrey captured the spirit of Dandi Daley's nostalgic Christmas story with charming illustrations of a simpler time. It is set during the Depression time, and shows a way that one woman and her son found to show love in a tangible way during a very difficult time in their life. The focus on giving even when we are ourselves are in need is a beautiful one. That's a message we all need in these uncertain times.I recommend this book for a young boy or girl in your life... or, as in our case, a houseful of teens.

Just Beginning to Kringle

Book Description
New artwork by New York Times bestselling illustrator Richard Cowdrey, this Christmas book tells the story behind the meaning of the Christmas cookie.
The Legend of the Christmas Cookie tells the story of a young boy named Jack who learns from his generous mother the story behind the Christmas cookie. The family who began the tradition of baking the special cookies gave them to the needy and shared the story of the very first Christmas. This sweet holiday book offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves and encourages them to share the true tale of Jesus' birth. A delicious recipe is included on the jacket flap so readers can make their own Christmas sugar cookies.
About the Author
Dandi Daley Mackall is the author of over 450 books. She still can't believe she gets to write for a living, helping children of all ages grow spiritually. Dandi and her husband, Joe, both write from rural Ohio, where they're blessed with three children and a variety of horses, dogs, and cats.
About the Illustrator
Richard Cowdrey's favorite things to draw and paint are the things that reflect the awesomeness of God and His creation. From vast landscapes to the littlest bug on a leaf, Richard marvels at the beauty in the details. Richard's bestselling children's books include Legend of the Candy Cane, Bad Dog, Marley and A Very Marley Christmas.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Three Strategies to Make the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season Easier

The weather's growing cooler, and the leaves are just beginning to turn crimson and gold. The chill in the air makes me feel all homemakery. ~smile~ This is the perfect time to begin preparing for the busy holiday season ahead. For our family, busy usually begins in November. My daughters will have practice for the Christmas musical at church, my sons will have hunting season, my husband will need my help at the restaurant when the buses come in November, and I will be the one making sure everyone does school, gets to jobs and meetings, eats, and has clean clothes to wear. ~smile~
Here are some strategies I have implemented in the past. I hope to get a head start by doing some of these things this month and early next month.

Prepare double batches of soups and casseroles.  I do this on normal evenings as I'm preparing dinner.  It's easy to put the extra in the freezer for a busy day meal.  Just be sure to label it. It's no fun to think you're thawing chili only to find that it's spaghetti sauce!

I'll be sharing favorite soup recipes over the next few weeks to help you.  For now, I think you'll find some lovely soups and stews in this list. An Autumn Mix: Warming Up with Soups and Stews... A List of Favorites

Begin now to prepare cookies for your family often.  I bake a dozen for the family to enjoy now and freeze the rest for busy November and December days.  I often shape the dough into balls for easy thawing and baking right on the cookie sheet.  This is a huge help when unexpected guests pop in during the holidays or you find that you need a treat to take to a gathering.  I've some of my favorites listed on my Recipes page.

Now's the time to gather ideas and make your lists.  Look at all the ideas you've come up with over the last few months.  Start making lists.  Think about what you'd like the next few months to look like and start breaking it all down into steps. Gift lists, event lists, craft lists, cleaning lists, hospitality lists, friends you want to connect with lists, Pinterest lists— you name it, you can make a list for it. ~smile~

Well, I've given you something to think about.  Go, think, scribble a few thoughts down, and try some of my soups.  Have a terrific week!

Happy at Home
May I suggest?
This post was featured at My Flagstaff Home.
My Flagstaff Home


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Do You Know How Blessed You Are?

Do you see your blessings? I confess that sometimes I do not. Sometimes I take things for granted that I really shouldn't. 

  • A home of our own for our family
  • A van to drive (even if it feels like we need 2*)
  • Water to drink (even if it's carried in gallon jugs)
  • I have my family all in one town.
  • I have several outfits as do each of my children and my husband.
  • I have my own washer and dryer. That wasn't always the case.
Oh the list could go on and on and on. Jo at Finding Joy in the Everyday wrote an excellent article about just how blessed most of us are. It's Counting Your Blessings.

A Little More on Our Blessings shares some grim facts about how blessed women are to live in a free country like Australia or America.

Do drop by and read these excellent articles. Jo has some beautiful insight, has done some research, and also writes a lovely blog.

Happy Today!
Count Your Blessings Name Them One by One...

Happily Blessed

*We now have a second vehicle. Praise God! April 2016

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Read Slowly and Think About It

"Little learning and much pride 
come of hasty reading."

  Charles Spurgeon

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Day Book October 5, 2015

Read other daybooks.
 My Daybook
October 5, 2015

Outside my window... It's cool. The sky is covered by clouds.  I can hear the morning traffic on the highway... rushing to work or to destinations unknown. It sounds rather heavy this morning. It's punctuated by an occasional bark from my little Penny.

I am thinking... that it's time to get back into a better routine now that Farm Girl Fest 2015 is history. The kids wanted to spend extra time working on things to sell. My son was most successful with sales. It's because he was selling guy stuff.

I am thankful that... God provides. God always takes care of us. He gives us friends to enhance our enjoyment and to share life with.

From the kitchen... I think I may make something from the bananas growing too ripe on the buffet. Perhaps some banana bread or Briana's Banana Bars would be good. I've got to see if I have any oat fiber. I hear the tea kettle in the kitchen. I'll be having a cup of tea in a few minutes.

I am wearing... my nightgown... gasp! But the kids aren't up, and I'm trying to finish before they arise!

I am creating...   Actually, I'll be thinking about what gifts I want create to during my Kringling sessions this Autumn.

I am going... nowhere for now. I'll probably go to the grocery store later today.

I am reading... I am reading The Dance. 

I am hoping... to enjoy the lovely fall weather this week.

I am planning... a  homeschool moms get together next Tuesday evening.

am hearing... I stepped away from the computer to eat breakfast with my husband. I'm now hearing the clink of spoons as my daughters eat their cereal.

Around the house... 

  • I'll be busy tidying up today.  
  • I want to check my Fall tote and see if I can find my fall glasses.
  • See if there are any more fall decorations I want to use or discard.
  • Laundry beckons as it does after every weekend.

One of my favorite things...  planning, anticipating and enjoying Autumn evenings, events, and holiday preparations... especially while listening to Christmas music or watching an old Christmas movie. Yes. In October. And in November. Maybe it's the coziness of it. Or my years working retail when I was young. Or the fact that in another week or two, Precious Moments will start putting up their Christmas decorations and be fully decorated by November 1st. They skip Fall altogether.

From the Board Room...
Follow Laura's board Fall -ing for Autumn on Pinterest.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week... 

  • Church on Wednesday
  • Homeschool Group on Friday
  • I'm going to choose something from my Fall Bucket List to do this week.
My Picture Thought.... 
I'm ready for some of these!

Now go check out the other Day Book entries at our hostess Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman.

What are you up to this week?

God bless!
May I suggest?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Buckets of Autumn Blessings to You!

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with all the reviews the last few days. With three children and a husband who also use this computer, the reviews just piled up.  

Have you seen My Fall Bucket List? Take a look. Maybe you'll get an idea for something you can do today to enjoy Autumn. I hope you have a terrific day. 
After all, it is arguably the most wonderful time of the year! 

Be blessed friends!
Blessed to be a Blessing

52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol by Bob Welch

Thank you BookLook for this complimentary review copy.
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been read, watched, listened to, and enjoyed by generation after generation. Written in 1843 during a time when social reforms, Christmas, and Christian charity were being reconsidered in England, it is an entertaining tale that not only captures the imagination but does a bit of concealed preaching as well. It is so popular, it has never gone out of print.

Bob Welch has mined bits of gold from the Carol in the form of 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol. Some of the lessons are obvious like "It's not about you" and "Don't let people steal your joy". Some require digging a little deeper like "Bitterness will poison you" and "You can't wish away the uncomfortable."
  • 52 Lessons is a great little book for snatch reading because the chapters were short. It is also small and sturdy enough to fit inside a handbag.
  • It was an interesting little book. Having read the book and seen movies, I could see the scenes in my mind as I read.
  • I thought that it was well thought out and well organized to bring enlightenment to the reader.
  • It's a relaxing read that brings back memories of reading and watching the move. 
  • It reveals the depth of A Christmas Carol.
  • It will be most helpful and enjoyable for those who have read Dickens' Carol or watched one of the numerous movies.
It's an engaging little book to get you in the Spirit of Christmas Present.
God bless!

Book Description

Gold Medallion Award-winner Bob Welch crafts 52 nuggets of Bible-based wisdom from one of the most popular novels of all time, A Christmas Carol. "For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself." "No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused." "God bless us, every one." The lessons and stories from the beloved novel A Christmas Carol point to bedrock values we all share. Award-winning author Bob Welch takes readers deeper into the nuances of this classic by Charles Dickens. From the miserliness of Scrooge to the innocence of Tiny Tim, 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol will inspire readers to live for what really matters, not only at Christmas, but all year long.
I received this book for free for review.