This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, November 9, 2007

'Tis the Season

The first holiday of this season has passed for my family. We’ve never been limited by the calendar for celebrations. If it falls in the same month (or near enough) we’ve been able to make the best of any situation.

Many circumstances encouraged us to hold our “Birthday-giving—Thanks-day” this week. It wasn’t even a weekend. It was made even more hectic because it was “watch week” for the boys at their extracurricular activity.

So we had one child who will shortly be 12! And one who is 10! And lots of turkey and traditional food. And cakes. Yes plural. Because each birthday child needs their own cake. Don't you know. And presents. All the children get presents. Oh my. Because my mother and father decided long ago that it was not fair for just the birthday child to get the goodies. All the children get something on each other’s birthday. Which seems a lot like Christmas, doesn’t it. Thank heavens there are only four of them. Grandchildren, that is.

So since I wasn’t on the receiving end of the gifts but was on the cooking end of the food, I totally blew any semblance of a diet that was going on in my mind at least. I am trying to convince myself that I can repair the damage and not continue to eat my way through the holidays.

My father, sister and her children have left us and only the debris of our gathering remains. I am contemplating the merits of cleaning first and then shopping for the baby shower gift I need for tomorrow or shopping first and cleaning. Anyone who remotely knows me will guess what will really happen. It is likely I will shop first to avoid the idiots lovely horde that descend on the retail landscape on Friday nights, come home, get distracted by my computer and forget to clean and remember only in time to get supper on the table. Martha Stewart, I’m not.

And school? Oh the boys will be working on these for a while, I think.

Thanks, Grandpa.

Fall Into Reading Book Review

A Hideous Beauty by Jack Cavanaugh

Kingdom Wars I: A Hideous Beauty by Jack Cavanaugh
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms –The Bible

A whirlwind of a read.

A Hideous Beauty is a powerful and thrilling book that addresses head on the war that wages around us. The lead character, Pulitzer Prize winning author Grant Austin, comes face to face with just how close that war is. He goes from a vague belief in God to a irrefutable confrontation angels in a very short period of time. He learns angels aren’t the pretty pocketcard picture of a gentlefaced ethereal person. He learns angels aren’t anything like what he might have had a passing thought about. Austin is dragged into an assassination attempt and the veil between the spiritual realm and the earthly realm are opened for him and for the reader to see.

How close is the spiritual battle? Mr. Cavanaugh presents a view that will take your breath away. Angels good and evil and the minion demons that surround the evil side are written in a truly believable style. I would be fascinated to read Mr. Cavanaugh’s research material for this book. And I am excitedly waiting for the second installment, because A Hideous Beauty is the first in a series that is planned. An interview with Mr. Cavanaugh from the Glass Road Public Relations appeared earlier in my blog here.

I realized only as I was writing this review that A Hideous Beauty was the second political thriller that I had read for the Fall Into Reading Challenge, the first being The Divine Appointment. Each book has a completely different premise and completely different characters, but the one shining thing in common was that they are written by Christians from an unapologetically Christian perspective. It was exciting to read intricate, educated writing with an eternal message on every page. These are thought provoking books that you could hand to a secular reader and not worry that they would not be interested.

Head on over to Katrina at Callapidder Days to check out more reviews for this challenge.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Children's Book Monday

Helen Keller: Courage in the Dark
by Johanna Hurwitz
Illustrations by Neverne Covington

The story of Helen Keller never fails to inspire me. Recently I began to search for biography's that Boo could start reading on his own. He has a very tender heart and I thought that he, too would be touched by her courage and accomplishments.

I found this "Step into Reading" series book and was not disappointed. The book is listed as a 2nd or 3rd grader reader and this is a very accurate description. The language is a wonderful balance of challenging and accessible, introducing the child reader to the inspirational Helen Keller.

Boo was very excited about reading this book and proceded (unasked) to give me the synopsis of the book. What better praise there could be, I'm not sure. Johanna Hurwitz story is precisely what I was looking for and the illustrations by Neverne Covington are colorful and delightful.

Looking for a way to introduce biographies to your young reader? Helen Keller: Courage in the Dark is a fantastic place to start.

Visit Elise at A Path Made Straight for more ideas for Children's Book Monday.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fall Into Reading Review

The Divine Appointment by Jerome Teel


Mr. Teel has created a fast paced novel that kept me guessing for quite a while. And even after the facts are starting to become clear it was a race to finish the book so I could “see” the hows and why’s fall into place.

This political suspense drama is worthy of a prime time script. Mr. Teel’s characters are immediately riveting. He begins with a Christian lawyer who is so involved with his career that he is missing the joys of family, two young female lawyers one who is establishing her career and the other making tragic choices, an arrogant, self-sufficient and successful cardiologist who is bent on ruining his marriage, a young investigative reporter, a senate majority leader who doesn’t surprise me, his assistant who doesn’t surprise me either, a president who most certainly does surprise me, and wives. Four wives who never meet, but who are all connected by and influence the other players in surprising ways.

The worst thing about The Divine Appointment was that it left me unsatisfied with the reality that screams daily from our newspapers. I believe there are "real live"people who believe as some of the "heroes" in Mr. Teel's book believe. I just wish they'd step up to the plate and run for office and fight the dragons that hide in the halls of our politcal system.

The Divine Appointment was suspenseful and exciting. It kept me reading into the wee hours. I could not put it. down.

This is a book that I received from a book "blog tour" and if you would like to read an interview with Mr. Teel you can look here.

I read this for Katrina at Callapidder Days' Fall Into Reading Challenge. She's got lots of readers participating and writing reviews. Check it out!

Grains of Gratitude

This week I am going to remember to be grateful that my husband has a job. Even though the job and the circumstances are threatening to stress us both out.

Situations have become crises causing the Cave Geek to leave the house within about a half hour of coming home Friday night. He and his geeky counterpart worked until 3 a.m. or so Saturday morning, came home and then had a confrence call until five.

Yes, I am happy he has a job.

I am also happy that MY friend (well she is my husband's friend too) called and had ONE spare ticket to a professional football game. The Cave Geek needs a little R&R and I think this will be good for him. I've just reminded him that was she not MY friend (first) he would not be going. He really can use this and I am excited for him. I can live without the football.

I am grateful that Boo is pretty good at taking meds. (Something Roo wasn't good at for a long time.) Unfortunately we've gotten to practice because he is fighting the sinus bug/cold that seems to be getting passed around. He is much more susceptible to those things than Roo is. But he is improving and that is a good thing.

This week my father, my sister and her children will be descending on my tiny home and we will be having an early Thanksgiving-Birthday extravaganza. We will not ALL be together on the actual turkey day, so we are starting a new tradition. In the past we've always done birthdays at my parents' house, but with rehersals and classes taking up so much time, my sister generously volunteered to come to visit. Oh!! And it is watch week so the cousins will be able to go to the boys classes. So it will look like Roo and Boo have their own audiences. Too much fun!!

I am grateful for friends the LORD has placed around me. There are a couple new ladies who a year ago I was acquainted with, but have recently become much more close and dear to me. They have provided support in ways I would have not thought possible before. God always has surprises.

Also I am thankful for Leah at SouthBreeze Farm who is being the hostess for a month of thankfulness. She started the I'm Giving Thanks challenge and it is never to late to start doing that.

As always Grains of Gratitude is the brainchild of Christine at Brady's Bunch. The weekly opportunity to give thanks for the blessings I've received each week has really given me a chance to think.

I am grateful for my blogging friends who have shared so much so freely.

What are you grateful for?