Thursday, January 31, 2013

Acorn of Memories

A very touching book by Audrey Penn the was illustrated by Barbara Gibson. Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories. It brings to light a little raccoon that has lost his friend. A friend that will never be coming back. His mom helps him to understand what has happened. She then helps him to find a way to remember him and the wonderful memories that were made while he was still alive. He is able to find a momento that he can take home as reminder of the good times and all that his friend meant to him. Beautifully written and illustrated.

This would be a good book to read to a younger child that has lost a loved one or friend.

Boys Bathroom

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Cakes of every kind that I have made

A fall themed wedding cake.

Marshmellow Fondant from the recipe that I found here. Peggy Weaver's recipe was a God send. The best tasting and easy to work with. I did not like the taste of store bought fondant. I was determined to find something I could easily cake the had a great taste. Can't keep my little man out of it. All the decorations but the ribbon are made of fondant.Vanilla Cake.

Strawberry Cake
For a church picnic. Freshly picked strawberries to go in my "basket".

Chocolate Birthday 
My mother-in-law's chocolate on chocolate birthday cake.

She said that it looked to good to eat.

Buttercream Anniversary
 An anniversary cake for my dear husband. Buttercream icing to give it that buttery tinge, royal icing flowers, and whimsical swirls.


Zoo Animals Baby Shower Cake
Baby shower cake. I went by a napkin that they gave me to base the design on. I wrapped the animals down the sides of the cake.

Cars Race Track
My sons third birthday. Talk about a looong night. I think I finished at 1am. Of course, I got started late so that I would be able to surprise him.Oreo cookie track, M&M's lining the track. A raised winners circle. Oreo's all around. He was estatic!!! He has asked for a repeat of this cake ever since!

50th Anniversary Cake
Two layer, two tiered, graduated square 50th wedding anniversary cake. They wanted the top tier off set, not directly centered and the based of the board to look like a napkin. This cake was much larger than the first wedding cake and talk about nerves!!! I had to stop in the middle of the decorating and make more marshmellow fondant.

When it came time to deliver, I sat in the back seat while my husband drove. The only way to get there was a wonder curvy road. I just knew that it would never make it. I had never had that tall of a cake and had to use dowell rods to support all the weight. Thankfully we made it with no problem. Learning lesson to say the least.

Tombstone Cake
Poor Karen. Never fun getting older, and then your co-workers order a tombstone cake like this. I hope this doesn't happen to me on those milestone years. Even if it does, I will grin and enjoy every year I have had here above ground. I marbled the icing. It actually was gray, but in the picture it looks green. Hummm.

Carrot Cake anyone?
A 50th birthday cake.  A scrumdillyuptuois carrot cake. There was not a crumb left!! I will have to find that recipe and post it here. Mental note....


Bob the Builder..
This was a bit challenging, but still fun to make. Problem. Can you spot it? Yes, that is exactly the problem! And why I missed it while decorating, I will never know. To this day, this cake still bothers me when I see pictures. I was so intent on getting it right that I didn't realize that the design did not line up straight with the board. I should have shifted one more side over one way or the other.


Another carrot cake. How could you tell?

Cake walk cake. I like basket weave, but rarily have a chance to do it.

Baby shower. Two toned cake. I believe that was a first for me.

Red Velvet cake with yummy cream cheese icing. I thought this one turned out very pretty almost classy.

Retired navy man. He wanted the light weight, fluffy icing. That took some doing. I am used to the same decorator icing recipe. This type took some getting used to.

Chocolate Deer Cake
We had a little hunter that wanted a deer on his cake.

Cake Auction cakes
Chocolate on Chocolate. Sure to make any kid hyper!

 Just played around with this one to try something different. 

Carolina Cake.
50th Birthday for a tarheel fan. This is a red velvet cake and cream cheese icing. Color flow UNC for the top. Added little "tarheels" to the sides of the cake.

Marshmellow Fondant Sports Themed Baby Shower cake.
Took awhile but I finally got it to look like the napkin that they gave me to go by.

Baby Shower Train cake.
So tempted to put "Chugga Chugga Choo Choo Baby coming thru." Didn't think the mom to be would like that. :)

Halloween Cupcakes
Actully for a birthday party. There were a lot of fun to make.

The Archived

From what I read of this book, The Archived, I would love to finish it. However, I have only had a sneak peak, of it, about a thrid of the way through the book, so I will not be able to fully review this book for you. When time and money allows, I may pick of the full version to give an accurate and more extensive review.

First off, I love the cover. It just draws at me. Then you start reading about a girl that her grandfather has passed down his line of work. A Keeper for the Archives. Every person gathers information their whole life. Where does all that info go when someone dies? In this book, all the information and history is stored, just in an unusual way.

To begin with, there are times when the writing will get confusing and I had to go back and grasp where we are and what the point of discussion is. The first person point of view is fine, it is the areas about Da and when the writer, Victoria Schwab, continually refers to "you" that get me. After a while, I did get used to it. I look forward to being able to read the entire book.

A Bedtime Kiss

Poor Chester, he just needs to nap. But the sun just keeps shining in and his imagination goes wild. Kind of like a kids imagination will play tricks on them when they are trying to go to sleep at night. There is nothing to fear of the sun and its rays that peek into the tree house. It is just Chester's imagination that he sees a crocodile, spiders, and a bear.

Mom comes in and helps him settle down. She tells him that all is well and nothing to fear. Kind of like checking under the bed and in the closets to confirm there is nothing there before settling a child down to sleep.

Good book to read to little ones or the beginning reader to read on their own. A bit short but it can be difficult to keep a little ones attention at times. This is not oriented specially to a boy or girl so a great read for either.

Old MacDonald had her Farm

The illustrations of the Old MacDonald Had Her Farm book were a lot of fun to look at. We were pointing something new out to each other at every page turn. So cudos to Tina Holdcroft for creative artistery. I liked the twist from eieio to aeiou, but the flow of words to the tune that everyone knows did not flow very well for me. I was difficult to read to tune for us. Amazing thought to see how she fit the words together.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Lesson

Like I said before, I eagerly anticpated Suzzane Fisher's third book, The Lesson, which involves Mary Kate Lapp (M.K.)
M.K. is always thinking of places that she could go and visit. Possilbly even be more content there than her own community. She even picked up a passport application. But what would she do when she got there? With her mind on the recent death of a sheep farmer, she crashes into her old school teacher, literally. Do to injuries, the school teacher takes a leave. Who do they get to substitute. MK, she thinks Fern has something to do with this. Her mind is on other things and the last thing she has time for is teaching.

Teaching was not her agenda. She now knows how Teacher Alice felt when MK put the old teacher through the ringer. Now she is enduring it all. But, when she starts talking to 100 year Erma who used to be a teacher, her eyes are opened and she finds ways to enjoy this new journey which turned into a full time job.

New members of the community arrive, one who ends up working for Mary Kate's dad and his sister who is one of her students. They want talk a lot about themselves and that peaks MK's curiosity even more.
Then you have to through Jimmy Fisher in the mix. If I could just get my hands on that one! I got frustrated with him and a couple other of the characters.
I'm hoping that the author will write book dealing with maybe Jenny the near future.
Note - I received the book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
So there you have it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quilts on the horizon

I have the perfect quilt in mind for my little lady. Of course, I would use more girly colors, but this looks simple enough for me to complete in a chaotic life.

A Giant Log Cabin Quilt. Absolutely Adorable!

Things I would like to make, soon!

I am forever looking for things to make or do. Here lately, t-shirt scarves, and bandana dresses have caught my eye. Here are some examples:

The ruffle scarf.
Seems simple enough. T-shirt circles cut into spirals and stretched.

Reminds me of speghetti-o's. :)

Simple and classy.

These will require a little more work, but will be well worth it. So cute!

Can use the leftovers from the t-shirt scarves to make this one.

The Tutor's Daughter

The Tutor's Daughter
by Julie Klassen

Emma Smallwood just wants to help her father out. Her mother has passed away and her father seems to be in a deep depression. She has taken over much of the teaching at the Private Boys School. With the last student now leaving, and no prospects on the horizon, she starts sending off letters of inquiry. Much to her surprise, one answers requesting the Tutor to come to their estate. Much to her chargain, her father accepts. The problem, two of their previous students are sons of the family. One she adored, the other she loathed.

The adventure begins. The Smallwoods travel to the estate after sending word to expect their arrival. Upon arriving at the estate, the mystery begins. All is not as it seems. Strange things start happening the very first night with no explaination and any questions that Emma is asked is brushed to the side.

She does seem a tad nosy, but aren't we all. I know I love puzzles. I do believe there are times that the story line needed be be handled a different way, maybe more emphesis here, less there. I would get frustrated at the lack of action in some areas to offset the situation. To me, the story line was easy to figure out ahead of time. The only one that through me for a loop toward the end was the ward and how she got there. I thought more retribution was called for, but hey, I didn't write the story.

All in all this was a good book. There were moments of tension that I just had to see what would happen next.

I had the previlege to reveiw this book for Bethany House Publishers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Harvest of Rubies

Harvest of RubiesAnother great cover and book from Tessa Afshar!

In this book you will find a girl that just wants her father to notice her. She teaches herself to read. Finally, her dad acknowledges her and continues to educate his daughter, which at this time, to find and female educated as she is, is rare. As she gets older and acquires more knowledge, her cousin is able to place her in a very prominent position in the palace.

In her work in the palace, she solves a mystery for the queen. the bestows a great reward for this. A Husband. Something that Sarah did not want. She wants to remain in her position just as she is. She dosen't know the first thing about being a wife or the lady of a household.

As time goes on, she comes to realize that she has leaned toward her own abilities and not come unto the Lord for help. She learns in time to acknowledge Him and draw closer to Him.

She actually makes friends in the new household and discovers the underhanded work of the one that is supposed to be taking care of things while her husband is away.

Wonderful book that I would recommend. The only thing negative about this book is that it did not seem resolved in the end, as if the book was not finished. Perhaps there is to be a sequel to this book.

A Pearl in the Sand

I love the cover! I am a sucker for a good cover on a book. I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but that is what draws my eye.

I am particularly glad that I was glad to snap this one up on a day that it was free with Amazon. Was I surprised to find such a gem!! I will continue to read books by this author. The book was well written and researched. As I read this one, it inspired my to go back and look in my bible to see how closely the events in the book tied in with the events in the Bible. Well done. Whether or not the story behind how Rahab became the person she did is something that we don't know. But, I believe Tessa Afshar would have to be close in her guesstimating and story telling. She really brought the story to life. Especially when you read her thoughts on the scarlet cord that was hung out the window to indicate which part of the wall she lived in. Then the description of how the rest of the walls came tumbling down, all but here area. Wow.

I imagine that it would be hard to truly trust and believe that someone of her background would make a turn-around as she did. I can understand the mistrust the Isrealites had for her and her family considering where they came from, and how they once lived and believed. It would be a culture shock to say the least. Now there are rules and regulations so to speak that they must learn and abide by.

Going back to the title "The Pearl in the Sand." I loved the analogy. No matter who you are, what you are, who you have been, what you have done; God still loves you and will take care of His precious ones and shine you up again. Lovely book.


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