Monday, October 8, 2012

His Love Endures Forever by Beth Wiseman ~ A Book Review

Book Description

An unplanned pregnancy. An absent father. Can love really endure all things?
Danielle Kent is anything but Amish. But as destiny would have it, she has fallen in love with an Amish man.
Now she’s 18, pregnant, and hopeful that the child’s Amish father—Matthew Lapp—will do the right thing and marry her. She knows Matthew plans to leave his Colorado settlement for a life in the Englisch world. But that plan never included a baby.
When Matthew walks away from her and their unborn child, she has nowhere to turn. Her unlikely friendship with Levi offers some comfort—yet they have so little in common. This wasn’t the plan she had for her life, and she has never felt so alone. She doesn’t want to be pregnant. Doesn’t want to be Amish. Doesn’t want to trust God.  And yet.... 
God has plans beyond what her mind can imagine . . . loving plans to show a lost young woman that His love never fails but endures forever.
I love reading Amish fiction.  True most books are around the same story line and you can always kind of figure out what is going to happen in the story.
This book was very different and I couldn't predict what would happen at the end of the story.
I also really liked this book because the writer wrote about how God's plan is not always our plan and can be a difficult road to follow.  But if we truly follow God, his plan for our lives will always lead us the right way.
I definitely recommend this book for your next reading.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Path Toward Love by Cara Lynn James ~ A Book Review


Katherine came home to forget her past.
The last thing she expected is a hopeful future.

Young widow Katherine Osborne returns to her familys rustic camp on Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. Shes determined to live a quiet life, but her socialite mother is equally determined to push her into a new marriage while shes still young.

Andrew Townsend has known Katherine since they were children. An attorney who is successful, but not wealthy, he knows she is socially out of his reach. But hes curious what changed the free-spirited girl he once knew into this private, somber young woman.

Katherine has kept hidden the details of her unsuccessful marriage. When past sins come to light, she must turn to God for the courage to be honest. But how can she trust the God she feels has let her down? When she confides in Andrew, their relationship takes a dramatic turn into uncharted territory.

Amid impossible obstacles, two young people must learn to trust enough to walk the path that God has cleared for them. A path that leads to healing and restoration. A path toward love.

Cara Lynn James does a great job of Developing the characters and story line in this book to make it feel like you are living in their time, in their circumstances and walking alongside them.

How many times do we beg God to give us an answer or to clear a path for us and in time (with much heartache and trouble) we realize that if we would have just kept our eyes on him that the path is very obvious?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Through Rushing Water by Catherine Richmond ~ Book Review

Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.
Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.
With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.
It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.
This is the second book I have read from Catherine Richmond.  I love that her books are easy to read.  Even though they are easy to read, there is a lesson for everyone in each of her books.  Through Rushing Water is no different.
How often have we prayed to God, deliberately asking for a certain thing to happen in our lives, only to have God point us in a very different direction?  The main character in this story, Sophia, prays that God will send her to China to be a missionary.  Instead she gets sent to the furthest place from China she could get.  She finds out through the book, that perhaps God knew what he was doing!  An amazing thought, huh.  I think we can learn a very important lesson from this story - what  we think is best, is not always in God's plan for us.
If you are looking for a great read, this book is for you.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Ryan!

Today my baby turns 4!  How did THAT happen??

Since I shared Ashley's birth story with you, I thought I would share Ryan's as well.


About a month before Ryan's due date, we found out that our doctor was leaving, and she would be gone long before he would even be born.  Not sure if it was because of the stress of that, or because I just couldn't eat anything because there was no room for my stomach, but I started to loose weight at every appointment.  But since baby was still growing and doing fine, the doctor's weren't too concerned.

Wednesday June 17, we met with the surgeon.  Ryan had been sitting funny for the last couple of appointments (kind of crooked) and hadn't changed at this one.  In fact he seemed more "stuck" as it were.  So after lots of discussion, we decided on another c-section.  The next day we received a date - July 9th.

Wednesday July 9, 2008 – We showed up at the hospital at 5:45 am!  VERY early!  We registered and filled out all the paperwork and then were sent upstairs to get ready.

Once I was prepped, we had to wait about an hour before they wheeled me to the OR.  Dr. Galessiere, was the surgeon, Dr. Horne was the doctor assisting with the surgery, and Dr. Duerksen was the doctor to look after you.

The spinal didn't go nearly as smoothly as it did with Ashley (although THANKFULLY the catheater part went MUCH smoother)  The anesthesiologist wasn't the same kind woman that I had with Ashley.  It was some older guy and he was poking around in my back for a long time.  FINALLY it worked and I could feel my body starting to numb up.

Once they had me lying down they strapped my arms to the table, put a heart monitor on me, started my IV and put oxygen in my nose.  I don't remember any of this happening with Ashley so it was a much scarier experience.

I remember feeling very tired and a little nauseated at times.  A nice nurse by the name of Nicole brought me a cool cloth for my head which helped a lot!

At 8:40 am Dr. Galessiere pulled baby out and announced “It's a boy!”

They started to stitch me up and as I was starting to doze off, I heard them say the word "tumor" and "more time" and started to freak out!  I guess my heart monitor must have been going crazy because a nurse came over, held my hand and told me to go to sleep.  I didn't but I relaxed a little.  (Afterwards we found out that I had a dormid (?) tumor on my left ovary)  So after and extra 30 minutes of being "open" on the table they finally started to stitch me up.

When they wheeled me back into my room I noticed that Ryan was grunting while breathing. They had a monitor hooked up to Ryan to monitor his breathing and heart rate.  Ryan was 8lbs when he was born and had NO fat on him :)  He was one of the tiniest looking babies I had ever seen.

Ryan's grunting gradually got better although it was still there.  They assured us that he was alright and by the time we left to go home it was gone completely.

On Friday Dr. Horne came in to check on us and to say that we could go home whenever we wanted although if we wanted to stay another night that was perfectly fine. After discussing it we decided we would stay in the hospital for one more night.

Throughout the day the thought kept going through my mind that maybe we should go home.  At 7:30 pm I decided I would probably be more comfortable at home so we checked with the nurses.  Well, bad news. They said that although the papers were ready for me to go home, Ryan's papers weren't there. That meant that a doctor had to come in and check him out before we could leave.  At this point I really wanted to go home so they said they would see what they could do.  About an hour later the doctor showed up, checked Ryan out and said that we were good to go.  YAY! So we packed everything up and headed home!

I am so blessed to be the mom to this wonderful, loving, energetic not-so-little boy.


Saturday, June 23, 2012


My beautiful daughter turns 6 today - *GASP* - where did the time go?!?!

Well in honor of her birthday I thought I would share her birth story with you.


Ashley's due date was June 7th (according to the ultrasound).  Well that date came and went with nothing happening except for the regular evening contractions that were consistently 7 minutes apart.  But when I woke up in the morning, everything was back to normal.  My feet were swollen and it was hard to walk, but we walked & walked & walked.

Wednesday June 21, 2006 – only 14 days after my due date, we had another doctor's appointment.  The doctors checked me out and signed a form to start the induction process at 6:00pm.  I was given strict instructions to go home, eat, keep my feet up and rest.

At 6:00 pm off to the hospital we went.  After filling out lots of paperwork we went up to the 2nd floor. Then they had me change into a gown and took my blood pressure and other vitals. They gave me a drug called cervidel which was supposed to start labor. Then they hooked me up to monitors to monitor my contractions.  Sometime shortly after that I had another contraction – but this one was 8 minutes long!  So they were a little concerned and watch the monitors for a bit.  By 10:00 nothing serious was happening and someone else was coming in to have a baby so they sent us home and told us to be back at 7:30 the next morning.

The next morning we got to the hospital at 7:30 and were told that there was no room for us. So we had to wait a while till they had discharged someone. Originally they were going to send us to Winnipeg, but our doctor fought for us and said that we had to be in Steinbach.  Once we got into a room I was hooked up to all the monitors and an pictocin IV.  With this medication I had to have a nurse with me all the time.  Once they upped the meds a couple of times I started to have contractions, but nothing that really made me uncomfortable or have pain. One of my contractions lasted 5 minutes and again the nurses were concerned so they took me off the medication for about 1 ½ hours.  I pretty much stayed in bed all day except for a few bathroom breaks.  At around 5:00 they took me off the drug again because the nurse that was with me was at the end of her shift. I was off the IV for about 45 minutes while I ate supper and till they found someone else to monitor me.  They called everyone who wasn't working to try and find someone to come in and sit with me, but no luck. It looked like they would have to send me home and we would have to start the whole process over the next day.

Luckily for us a friend of ours had surgery that day and his wife worked in L & D.  Since she was at the hospital anyway, she agreed to sit and monitor me. Well she stayed till 9:00pm and though my contractions were getting more intense nothing was moving along.  I was on the maximum amount of pictocin that they can give and they were all shocked that nothing was happening.  They called our doctor and we waited for a little while longer to see if anything would happen.  Around 10:30 the nurse came in and said that we needed to talk about a c-section.  I was terrified and wasn't sure what to say. The nurse said that with each contraction the baby's heartbeat would go down and not come back up as quickly as they would like.  The nurse called our doctor again and she and Craig decided that they would administer the cervidel again to see what would happen.  That night was definitely NOT restful since the nurses came in to check my vitals about every 1/2 hour.

By 7:00 the next morning, nothing had changed and they decided to do a c-section.  Again I got kicked out of my room because another woman was having a baby.  Around 8:30 they moved me into a private room and prepped me for surgery.  They tried to get the catheater in 6 times and failed at EACH attempt.  (The doctor assisting with the surgery, introduced himself and asked if his intern Curtis could be present to watch. At that point I would have been okay with all the hospital staff watching.)

The operating room is was a very bright and very cold room.  They gave me the spinal and before they could get me lying down I could feel my body starting to numb up.  The anesthesiologist was on my left side by my head and told me exactly what was going on.  About 10 minutes in the anesthesiologist told me that I was
going to feel lots of pressure on my chest as they pushed and pulled out:  A GIRL!

Dr. Galessiere (the surgeon) said that Ashley never would have been born naturally because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her chest.

So that is the l-o-n-g story of how our little baby girl came into the world.

I am SO proud of her and the beautiful young woman she has become.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley ~ Book Review

Disgraced dime novelist Kate Tenney fled the city that banned her latest novel for the emptiness of the desert. Answering an ad to be “heiress” to a vast cattle ranch in the Arizona Territory, Kate hopes ranching turns out to be as romantic as she portrayed it in her novels.
But what awaits her is a life harder than the one she just left. There is no room for mistakes on a working cattle ranch, and Kate is ill-prepared for her new life. She quickly learns that dawn comes early. But she is tenacious.
Having been abandoned by a string of men, Kate has no intention of ever marrying. But she didn’t expect to meet Luke Adams, either. Luke awakens feelings inside Kate she doesn’t recognize, and his steady presence is a constant distraction. She has only written about love in the past, never known it herself. But her feelings for Luke stand in the way of all she has to gain if she is chosen as the heir.
Perhaps God brought Kate to the barrenness of the desert to give new life to her jaded heart.
While I did find this a "typical" Christian romance novel I was excited to see the author show how God can place people into our lives for us to trust on and depend on.  Kate - the main character in the story - has trusted only herself and feels like she doesn't need to depend on anyone.  However through a series of events, Luke and Eleanor break down Kate's walls and show her that it is okay to depend on others.
At the end of the story I was a little disappointed that the author left some strings un-tied.  Although that would make it really easy for a second novel to tie it all up.
I also found the story really easy to get into and to become involved in the characters lives sharing their joys and burdens.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble ~ Book Review

“Tell me, Miss Marsh, are you a Christian?”
“Why, yes sir, I am.”
“I thought as much. God has led me here for a purpose…
I have a proposition for you.”
Lucy Marsh’s worldly resources are running out, but she’s fiercely determined to care for her younger brother and sister. When she discovers that their father’s recent death was no accident, Lucy is eager to leave town. She accepts a proxy marriage she believes will provide safe refuge. But trouble follows her to Wichita Falls, Texas, where the man she came to marry seems surprised to suddenly have a wife and children to provide for.
Nate Stanton always hoped he’d marry someday, but running the family ranch meant he had no time for romance. When his father deposits Lucy Marsh—a city girl—on his doorstep, with two siblings in the bargain, he expects ranch life will send her running on the first train out of town. But Lucy is made of tougher stuff than Nate imagined. When danger moves in, Nate realizes he’d give anything to protect Lucy and the children he’s grown to love. Even if it means giving up his ranch.
Blue Moon Promise is a story of hope, romance and suspense…immersing the reader in a rich historical tale set under Texas stars.
For some reason, I am a sucker for Christian romance novels where the marriages are either arranged, or people get married under circumstances other than falling in love.  I like to read to find out how these marriages thrive under different circumstances.
Colleen Coble does a great job of writing a story that can connect with any reader.  Everyone I'm sure, at some point in their lives has tried to earn someone's love - be it a parent, spouse, friend or even God.  The main character in this story, Lucy, tries to earn the love of her new husband Nate.  Nate tries to reassure Lucy that no one needs to earn love but it should be given freely.
I loved the suspense part of the book.  Right till the end I was left guessing about certain characters and their place in the story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.