Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On The Road Again Hodge Podge

Roadtripping Through The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of Joyce's post, then hop over and leave a comment for the person linking before you. Or leave a comment for everyone if you've got the time.

As a reminder-I'm declaring next week Fall Break in the Hodgepodge so no Wednesday Hodgepodge on October 18th. The Hodgepodge will return the following week, October 25th. Thanks for understanding.

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.
When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!)
back east, down south, out west, up north
Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I will rate myself at least a 5. I have gotten used to using my maps app on my phone, but I can still follow written directions and read a map.  I'm from down south/and back east(Florida), I live down south(Alabama), I love to head out west, and plan to do some traveling up north when I retire in May.

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.  Yesterday I listened more than talked.  Remember I teach....so talking is what I do for a living. I prefer listening....so I can create your story in my head.  Is that typical? Typically I think I lean more to the talking side of things, but only when I am in my classroom.   Yesterday (Monday) in one word? Frustrating

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?  Hands down....time.  Although I think we're all guilty of wasting time now and then, but most of the time wasting time means I have missed an opportunity.

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.  Our big vacations were always too see the family in Alabama.  It always bothered me that we vacationed in Alabama....instead of the cool places all my friends and family went.  One year my parents, my aunt and I stayed in a cabin on the Santee Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina and traveled the Blue Ridge Hwy.  I loved it. We also traveled through Florida a lot.  My favorite place we frequented was Sanibel Island, and I have been to all the places tourists go like Weekee Watchee, Silver Springs, Bach Tower, Cape Canaveral, Howie in the Hills.  My parents loved to wander....so I don't really call these vacations....they loved vintage stuff....they loved old, weird....off the grid places....and so do I.  I made sure though that my children had vacations.  We have been to 48 of the 50 states.

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?  Orchids. They are so dainty and I just love them. My best friend's mom grew them and they were all over their back yard.  When I married she sent one to me in a tube to be attached to my bouquet and when her granddaughter married Mrs. Schmidt made me my very own orchid corsage for directing the wedding. 
I am in agreement with Joyce.  I would love a huge English garden....just like the one at Anne Hathaways house in England.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  I write book reviews and just got the 50th anniversary edition of the book Christy.  The character in the story actually inspired me to teach.  Is there a book you have ever read that inspired something in you?  What was it?  Care to share?

Friday, October 6, 2017

If We Make It Home


 About The Book:  When four college friends graduated from the University of Northwest Oregon, their lives stretched before them, full of promise and vows to stay connected. But life has a way of derailing well-laid plans.

Now they haven't spoken in twenty-five years. But against all odds, three of them have found themselves back in the same place--at their alma mater, wondering how they got there. When they discover their fourth friend, Hope, has died, Jenna, Ireland, and Vicky decide to embark on a wilderness adventure to honor her memory--and for secret reasons of their own. Jenna wants to show her husband that she's more than a helpless, overweight, middle-aged empty nester. Ireland wants to get back to the nature she loves and hide from the charges being pressed against her. And Vicky wants to show she cares for something besides her ministry--and put off the disaster waiting at home for as long as possible.

They never bargained for the dangers they face in an unforgiving wilderness. Now they'll have to work together if they hope to make it home alive. While the three women fight to survive the elements, their toughest battles may be with themselves.


About The Author By The Author:  "Writing is a long journey. Like any art, the craft requires countless hours of practice and dedication. While months can pass with little to no validation, there are also moments of celebrations. I’ve been honored to to a three-time finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest, the overall winner in the Phoenix Rattler contest, as well as a third-place winner in the Idahope contest.  I’m blessed to have signed with Karen Ball of the Steve Laube Agency. Karen is my agent, mentor, and the person who reminds me why I keep doing this. While the writer’s road is not without bumps­­—many quite deep—I love what I do. I think it’s the path God has always had for me.

My Thoughts On The Book:  I loved this book,  Once I started it I could not put it down and felt as if I was making this trek with these women.  I am not a huge fan of switching between characters every few pages.  I tend to get confused about which character was speaking. Nelson did a really good job of switching and I was left waiting to see what was going to happen next.  I am a huge Pacific Northwest fan and this book is a definite must read.  I can't wait for her next book.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Many Sparrows


About The Book:  Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would. . . .
In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son . . . especially when her second child is moments away from being born.
Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob's life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do-be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?
About The Author:
 
Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn't writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of "Burning Sky," recipient of three Christy Awards, "The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn," Christy-nominee "The Wood's Edge," and "A Flight of Arrows."
Find out more about Lori at http://loribenton.blogspot.com.
 
My Thoughts On The Book:  This was my first book by Lori Benton and it certainly won't be my last.  I have always been drawn to historical novels.  When Benton drew me in to the story I could not put the book down until I read the last page.   I felt as if I was right there experiencing what the characters were going through.  Her research was spot on and she knows how to put it in story form.. Love the book Lori and I al so  ready to read more.  Great book!!!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Gathering Threads


 About The Book:  Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, Will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together— or completely rip them apart?  After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?  Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart. Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

About The Author: Cindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s Nightline, the Wall Street Journal, and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. 

My Thoughts On The Book:  I am a huge Cindy Woodsmall fan.  I love her books. Yet, as big a fan as I am..... I was a little disappointed with the third and final in the Series:  The Amish of Summer Grove.  I had a hard time getting into this book.   I can't say the book was bad....but as far as good goes it was just alright. I liked the way Woodsmall ties up all the loose ends and I am not left wondering what will be. I loved the characters in the series.  I felt as if I knew each one of them personally.  If you are a fan of Amish fiction then I recommend this series to you.  I cannot wait to see what Woodsmall comes out with next.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Cindy Woodsmall Launch Group and Litfuse Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Bringing Maggie Home


About The Book:  Decades of loss, an unsolved mystery, and a rift spanning three generations
Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.
Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can't understand her mother's overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother's inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan-a cold case agent-cherishes her grandmother's lavish attention and affection.
When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel's painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that's been lost?
About The Author: 

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in several different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.
Find out more about Kim at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/.
  
My Thoughts On The Book:   This was one of the best books I have read in a while.  It was AWESOME!!!! I have shared it with my reading buddies and plan to reread it as soon as I get it back! I love the way the story weaves throughout the lives of 3 different generations of women in the same family. I felt as if I knew each character. This was one of those books you just can't put down once you pick it up.  I hated to see the book come to an end.  Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of my favorite authors.  She really makes the story come true on the page.  I actually recommend all of her books, but most especially this one!  It is dynamite.  Loved it!!!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 22, 2017

Falling In Love With God

Fall in Maine off the beat and path
Winter, spring, summer, and fall are all God’s seasons.  The 22nd was the first day of fall.  When I was young I was a big fan of summer and spring and not at all fond of fall or winter.  Why?  I grew up in South Florida.  We did not have fall or winter.  I didn’t even own a jacket until I moved to Alabama. Moving to Alabama definitely broadened my horizons.  I fell in love with fall.  I think it has something to do with those leaves of red, orange, yellow, and burgundy that grace the trees during fall.  Every year I fell as if I am noticing them for the very first time.  I love to take rides and watch people set out pumpkins in their yards with hay bales, and watch them plant colorful mums. A few years ago I went to see a friend.  As I entered her neighborhood I noticed many yards were decorated for fall.  It was truly gorgeous….but I could not remember seeing this when I had been to her house before.  I began to wonder if I had just missed this glorious season all this time….or was it that as I got older I found myself appreciating the small things in God’s world more.  The Bible says, “This is the day that the Lord hath made, and I will rejoice in it.”  Each day He has given me beauty to enjoy, especially on my daily trek from Wedowee to Wadley.  I decided the first fall I drove down CR 15 that I was going to sit back and take in this amazing artwork He has created.  You know it amazes me how He can create such awesomeness and themes.  We see artists that try to capture the seasons on their canvases by painting what is around them, and they do a wonderful job.  However, neither painting nor paint could ever replace the real thing splashed across the sky and spilled over the earth like the Master’s display of his finest artwork.  God’s winter.  When people say there is no God, I know they do not see with eyes like mine.  They must see a plain, white canvas or a black back drop cloth and not the blue skies that fade into light pink in the evening.  Nor do they see the flowers that no paint on any artist’s palate could attempt to match or the trees that were each given a certain color leaf to change into when autumn arrives.  “No God,” they say.  It is just that they do not know the Master of the seasons, the One who has created such magnificent displays of perfect art.  Instead of always looking forward to the summer and springtime, I have decided to enjoy the Master’s autumn masterpiece for the rest of my life.  What about you?  What is your favorite season?


Cades Cove in Smokey Mountain National Park

Cheaha Mtn/Talladega. National Forrest

University of the South Cross on a fall night


 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Falling For Hodge Podge

Welcome to the last of the summertime Hodgepodges for this year. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of Joyce's post, then leave a sunny comment for the person linking before you. It's what all good blog neighbors do.


1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.
I have to agree with Joyce on this one....grandparenting. Why?  Because they light up my life. I don't have pictures on my school computer....sigh!  BUT my room is full of them.
 
2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so? Anything that involves being up high or anything in the medical field.  I can't do heights...and I cannot do gross.
3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?
I not fallen in a few years.  I used to be a major source of falling entertainment for years.  My kids thought it was the funniest thing on earth. 
Something I'm falling for these days?  Baking, reading, crafting..we have a craft fair coming up in a few weeks and I am getting my stuff ready.
4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-
National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)  Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?  I love Fall Festivals and have been to quite a few.  I haven't been to any of the festivals listed, but they all sound like fun so how do I pick just one? I think I'd go  to the National Apple Harvest Festival.  I LOVE apples.  I also would like the Harvest on the Harbor because I adore lobster and Maine in the fall is amazing!  I love the Cotton Pickin' Fair held in Gay, GA in October and May..   I also love the Hummingbird Festival in Hogansville, GA in the fall and some small but fun ones like  Crafts on the Median in Wedowee and Heritage Day in Freedonia, AL.  I enjoy them all.
5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

Dear Summer-
  You weren't too bad this year....but I am a fall fan and can't wait for the vibrant colors of the season.  

 Love ya though....KK
 
6. Insert your own random thought here. 
I had spiced cider last night because it was raining and I was chilly.  It was yummmy.   What is your favorite fall/winter drink?