Monday, September 29, 2014

My Little Man

He's been begging me to find him a tie & vest when searching around at Goodwill. I have been hesitant because I think there are plenty of years ahead of him to act/dress like a "big boy". Well, little did I know that a tie would transform my "little boy" into a "man" magically. At least that is what he claimed as Blake adjusted his tie on Sunday morning, "Yep. Now I look just a like a man." He was so super-excited to be wearing a button down shirt & tie, just like his daddy. He's growing up, this little man.

Book Review: Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

I recently read Anne Mateer’s newest book, “Playing by Heart”. I did enjoy this book. I liked the author’s choice to write the book from both Lula and Chet’s first-person perspective. I really enjoyed the description of the game of basketball, though hard at times to re-create in my mind because of the MANY confines that were part of the game during the time period this book was written [World War I]. Wow! We’ve come a long way.

I could relate to Lula’s attempts to correct her former flighty ways and earn the respect of those who should have been her biggest supporters. Her brother, especially was relentless in bringing up those old flaws. Applying a label to an individual is a bad idea – applying a label with permanent adhesive is all the worse. People change. Christ changes us.

While some might consider Lula & Chet as living in a “simpler time” the author was able to illustrate that meeting the demands of others in one’s family and/or community, is not confined within a generation. The circumstances might look different but the pressure to conform, the pressure to do what is socially acceptable, the pressure to choose between the wishes of one person at the risk of disappointing another, those emotions/decisions still exist. There are no easy decisions and I appreciated Mateer’s tackling this topic so realistically.

Some of the characters seems a little bit weak, especially Jewel. I thought Chet’s mother was relatively unlike-able but I am not certain whether that might have been the author’s intent for both these characters. All in all, it’s a sweet story. Appropriate for any age [clean romantic relationships]. A good, fun read.

I was given this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

More S-Family Weekend Pics

Here are a couple more family pictures from our time in Indianapolis. Family picture courtesy of Abby Klopenstein and while Little Miss refused to smile, it was much better than wailing. Savannah was so cute during the weekend, coming close and whispering to me sweetly, "Can I hold your baby, Aunt Christine?" And the last two pics are the table settings for dad's birthday dinner, super fun!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review: Captured by Love

Jody Hedlund is a talented writer. I have read her previous books and found them to be enjoyable, but just okay. This third contribution to the Michigan Brides series for me what much the same. That said, Hedlund has a gift in researching and describing time periods & historical events which is remarkable. I did not know much about the history of Michilimackinac Island [currently known as Mackinac Island] before reading this novel and appreciated the light she shed on the events of this location in 1814 when British occupied the island and the Americans fought to get it back.
I really liked some of the characters in this story, particularly Miriam [mother/maman to Jean & Pierre] and Angelique herself. I especially appreciated the theme of fighting for what is right/respectable even when convenience or emotions tempt one to do differently. This was illustrated well by Angelique’s words, “I want to offer you my love, but love without honor is worthless…”[page 313]. Jean was honorable. Pierre’s character was both charming & witty. Again, I appreciated that his decision to follow after the Lord did not immediately transform him into a new man, but instead illustrated his desire to be a better man and the struggles that are part of a Christian life. I hated Ebenezer Whiley and did not much care for his wife, Betty either but then, I believe that was the author’s intent.

For me, the story was lacking some pace in the early the chapters. Only around Chapter 17 did the action accelerate and piqued my curiosity as to how the rest of the story would unfold. I loved that Red Fox was incorporated later in the story and especially found the manner in which the love triangle between Angelique/Jean/Pierre was resolved to be especially clever.

All in all, a good book but not a particular favorite.

I was given this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Conner Prairie

Monday we spent some time at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. Really, really cool. If you are in the Indianapolis area and have young kids, I would highly recommend a visit. Some electricity experiments. Shooting [or more accurately, launching] paper airplanes. Helping to build a fire in the kitchen. Enrolling in the army, uniforms and proper ways to salute/march. Yep, I would say the Civil War part of the park was definitely a favorite. Very interactive which kept the kids completely engaged.  

I had my hands pretty full with the little lady much of the time, but here are a couple of pictures from our time exploring.



S-Family Weekend

The S-Family descended upon Indianapolis this past weekend. Fun times were had! The Bounce House was a huge smash. The Talent Show evoked crazy-happy applause. A gourmet a-few-of-dads-favorite-things meal including ribs, chicken legs, corn on the cob, coleslaw, baked potatoes and german chocolate cake. Science experiments. Duct-tape water bottle holders. Crazy & crazy-fun games [including lots of laughter].

Alexander was beside himself with excitement to spend the whole weekend with some of his favorite people, his cousins. Both kids did good on the drive both ways, even amidst the sometimes stop-and-go holiday weekend traffic. Here are a few snapshots from the weekend.