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Your Family in Pictures: A Book Review

I love to take pictures of my family, small as it may be. But I never know quite what to do with the plethora of settings on my camera. Me Ra Koh has created a fantastic guide to taking capticvating photos. In Your Family in Pictures you will find a great beginners guide. She shares easy point and shoot instruction for 40 different types of shots. She also give detailed information about ISO, shutter speed and other camera functions for more complex cameras.

I am enjoying using the books many ideas to take new photos of my family. I know a few people who should have this book and I think I may be giving them as Christmas gifts this year. It is a great book and I can't wait for more opportunities to take pictures of my family.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Let's Sew Together: A Book Review

Let's Sew together by Rubyellen Bratcher is a beautifully put together book. Her instructions are clear and the introduction is very helpful for beginning sewers. She really encourages everyone to sew no matter their skill level. The projects included are simply adorable. My favorite is the world map quilt. That one is definitely on my to-do list when we move and I am able to unpack my sewing machine.

There is so much more in this book than sewing projects and I love that. She includes no sew projects like clay bracelets and mister's favorite story box idea. There are also reading suggestions to go with many of the projects and other homeschool tidbits. As a homeschooling mom it is really nice to see that. Homeschooler or not, this book is simple and wonderful. If you are thinking you may like this book, you will!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Captured on the High Seas: A Book Review

Our family loves the Adventures in Odyssey series. The books are a great way to expand on an already great series. We haven't read as many of them as we would have liked to, but we have thoroughly enjoyed each one. Captured on the High Seas is the second part in a mini series on the American Revolution. We haven't actually read the first in this mini series but it is working well as a stand alone book.

Captured on the High Seas tells the tale of James, a young black man on an American ship. The ship gets captured and the prisoners are taken aboard an English ship. James' education and care of the captain's son keeps him from being sold into slavery but not from being sent to the prison ship. Will James and the cousins escape the prison ship? We don't know yet, but we are excited to find out!

This book has opened up a lot of opportunities to talk about the times of the Revolution. There has been discussion about what lengths a person will go to for something they truly believe in. James was willing to be sold as a slave over betraying the ideals he was fighting for in the revolution. We also talked about the way people were treated. The prison ships were essentially a place for prisoners to die. It has been an interesting book to read with a 6 year old, but a fantastic experience together.

The back of the book contains a couple of extras which are great. First there is the puzzle. When you find the answer to the puzzle you win a special radio show on their website. The second is a series of questions to help with discussion and comprehension. We have truly enjoyed this series and look forward to reading more!

I received a free copy of this book to review from Tyndale.

Seasons of Tomorrow: A Book Review

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall is the fourth and final book in her Amish Vines and Orchards series. I was so happy to have the chance to review this last book. Back at book one I wasn't sure I would like it till about 75% of the way through the book. With the series complete I must say that this was a fantastic series. I had just a sliver left of the book and I didn't think it could be enough space to finish it off, but Cindy did finish it, and well.

As far as Amish fiction goes, this book is like no other. It is by far to most "worldly" Amish book I have read. As I described some of the exciting plot twists in this last book to my husband, he said, "I thought you were reading an Amish novel." Yes, yes I was. I was riveted from beginning to end. I would definitely read more from Cindy Woodsmall in the future and highly recommend the series!
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

A Life of Miracles: A Book Review

When I saw the description of this book I knew I needed to read it. What I didn't know was that God would use this book to speak to me and my family. Most good books I simply devour, but this one has not been the case. God has put on my heart when to read this book and when not to. I have simply been following His nudges.

Don's family is following God's calling in their lives. As a missionary preparing to leave for the field I relate so much. In the book Don says, "God puts yearnings in our hearts that we cannot always define, and He brings these longings to life in His time. But, to be honest, it can be pretty depressing and miserable as we wait." This is where we are at right now. I entirely agree with Don. Sometimes I, as he does in his book, wonder why on earth God needs me in a certain place at a certain time or why we can't just go to our Montreal mission field now, because we are ready. This book has been a great reminder of how important it is that we continue to follow and obey God every day, even when we would rather go back to a "normal" life at times.

I am not done with the book, though I am about two-thirds of the way there. I look forward to finishing it so I can share it with my husband. When I was having conversations with God about another child, he led me to a chapter with a similar story (more about this event here: When I felt like no one else has ever had to struggle with moving back in with their parents, there was another chapter of this book. It has been such a blessing and encouragement to have had the chance to read this book. My hope is that God would use this book to encourage my husband and others as well.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Girl at the End of the World: a Book Review

"Elizabeth Esther grew up in love with Jesus but in fear of daily spankings (to “break her will”). Trained in her family-run church to confess sins real and imagined, she knew her parents loved her and God probably hated her. Not until she was grown and married did she find the courage to attempt the unthinkable. To leave.
In her memoir, readers will recognize questions every believer faces: When is spiritual zeal a gift, and when is it a trap? What happens when a pastor holds unchecked sway over his followers? And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process?
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Girl at the End of the World is a story of the lingering effects of spiritual abuse and the growing hope that God can still be good when His people fail."

This is such an interesting book from beginning to end. Elizabeth has a writing style that is very fluid and easy to read. I found myself relating to many of the small stories in Girls at the End of the World. I learned a lot about fundamentalism too. It is a word I hear thrown around once in a while, but I never really understood it.

The back of the book includes discussion questions which are fantastic. There are many ideas in the book that this religious group took too far, such as disciplining children and gender roles. I was concerned that the questions would be biased against those things. In actuality the questions ask you to think about the pros and cons of such topics and ask you to determine for yourself where the lines should be drawn.

There was also a great interview in the back with Elizabeth Esther. She goes into some detail about what fundamentalism is and her experience writing the book. I don't know that I would say that I enjoyed the book. It isn't the kind of story that you "enjoy". It was very much worth reading though and I do recommend it. It was well written and the bonus goodies at the end were a great addition.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

The Wayfinding Bible: A Book Review

I think I have a new favorite reading Bible and it is The Wayfinding Bible. This Bible is incredibly well done. I am so impressed by all it's features. The Wayfinding Bible has many reading paths for you to choose from. Each path is color coded throughout the Bible so you always know where the passages on your path start and end. You can choose from a short overview of the Bible in 54 readings, a medium length run through with 215 readings, or the scenic route which goes into more depth with 386 readings. I had such a hard time choosing and finally went with the scenic route, which covers all the important stories but leaves out quite a lot of genealogy and repetition. You can also take in the whole Bible with the reading plan in the very back of the book.

The reading plans are not all this Bible has to offer though. Throughout the book there are timelines, pictures and maps. There is information about what was happening in the world as the story is happening. There are pictures and diagrams of important structures and how they may have looked. For instance, there is a fantastic diagram of Noah's Ark, including how its size compares to other famous ships. At the beginning of each book of the Bible there is a section that shows how Jesus is connected to the story within.

This Bible does a fantastic job of pulling the reader in and helping them to be absorbed by the word of God. It is put together with the New Living Translation, which is not my favorite, but is so easy to read. It will not replace my favorite versions for deep study, but for simply reading and enjoying the word of God, it is fantastic. I am also partial to hardcover so I am not digging the softcover on my copy. Even the soft cover cannot take away my overall love of this Bible though. I will be reading and rereading it for years.

I received a free copy of this Bible to review from Tyndale House Publishers.

The Wayfinding Bible book trailer: