Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

See The Light Black Friday Special!

** This post includes affiliate links that support our homeschooling efforts.  Thanks for using them!  For more information, read our Full Disclosure policy.

At our house, we love the See the Light art DVDs.  The lessons are easy to understand but taught by art masters, and each one includes a devotion.  I can see my kids using what they learn from these lessons each time they draw!

See the Light is having a great special on Friday.  More information is detailed below.  If you're in the market for some great art instruction, look no further.

STL_Black Friday

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY Thanksgiving Turkey

We have a little Thanksgiving tradition around here that starts on November 1st.  The kids take either butcher paper or a brown paper bag, some orange paper, and some white paper and they cut out a giant turkey.  Every year this turkey takes on a different shape as they 'own' it just a little bit more.

Then they tape-doughnut the whole thing together and stick it to the kitchen door.

For the rest of the month we keep a bag of paper feathers on a corner of the table with a Sharpie.  Whenever we think of something that we're thankful for, that person will write it down and tape the feather to the turkey.

My Little Man tends to think about the very physical things:  napkins, dishes, oranges, and water.  Our Big Helper goes for bigger things - family, friends, etc.  My husband and I throw a bit of everything in there, and so by Thanksgiving the turkey's tail feathers are full and proud.

We've been reminded of our many, many blessings in a very visual way, and then we're ready to thank God for everything on those feathers.

How do you get your hearts ready for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GratiTuesday - Silver and Gold and Fancy Fingernails, Too

They say that friends are like silver and gold.

I get that.  They're precious and invaluable, something that you can't purchase or replace.  A good friend is a gift from God.  Someone who will tell you the truth no matter what and stay with you through times of craziness or chaos.

Or maybe drop everything and let you snuggle with her new baby while she puts her hands on a project with which you're personally stuck and frustrated.

I have a friend like that.

Last week she let the kids and I crash her peaceful house while she helped me with a project - something that is right up her alley but across town from mine.  She's continued to help me fine tune and fix issues ever since virtually.

This isn't the only time she's amazing, either - she proves that over and over.

She's the president of our local homeschool association, and God handpicked her for it.  Not only does she know what she's talking about school-wise, but she's professional, organized, and great with technology.  She knows everybody, is comfortable in a myriad of situations, and keeps us all on the ball.

I especially like her creativity and vision, though.  She's steering our group in uncharted (for us) waters, and she's not always doing so through calm seas - but you'd never know it to look at her.  She keeps planning and e-mailing and researching and coming up with new things, and it shows.  Our group is growing and growing, and that's (at least) in part to all of the things that our group now has to offer - because someone is putting in the massive time and effort to lead our education group in a professional and creative way.

I'm sure that she feels unappreciated at times.  It's super easy for us homeschooling moms to get wrapped up in our own schedules and craziness and to forget that we're part of a group - and that we all have a bit of chaos in our lives.  That we all are busy and that we still need to work together.  That events can only be as good as the effort that we all put into them.

But she is still kind and encouraging.  She's blunt and honest and speaks truth as she sees it, but she does so nicely.  That's not easy!  She's not afraid to let you know when you're off course but also quick to praise and to point out the possibilities inherent to a new endeavor.  

And so she's encouraging and praying for me as I head into a new project, being helpful and there as always.

She even does so with fancy fingernails.

I think being amazing is a pretty tough job.  Fancy fingernails are impossible to me.

She's just that impressive - and I'm happy to call her 'friend.'

For more GratiTuesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's My Birthday! Giveaway

When I was a little girl I had a storybook about a girl named Beth.  She woke up one morning, dressed in a pretty blue jumper, and headed out for a walk around her neighborhood.  As she walked she came across many of her neighbors who needed help - and she did so, always with a slight smile on her face.

At the end of the story you find out that it's Beth's birthday, and all of her neighbors throw her a surprise party.

I never cared too much about the party part, but I always liked that she wanted to celebrate her birthday by giving it away and sharing it with her friends.  So, while I'm announcing that I have just celebrated another birthday - we won't go into just how many that makes - here's my birthday giveaway for you, just for fun.

These are simple things, but those are my favorites, so that's what I'm sharing with you.  The winner of this giveaway will receive:
  • Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish (I enjoyed learning how to bake bread from my great-grandmother and grandfather.)
  • A new Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar (I don't like dark chocolate OR coconut, but this is my new favorite chocolate.  It's AMAZING.)
  • A package of salted almonds.  Yum.
  • Body spray.  My Little Man always says that I 'smell good' when I use it.
  • A pair of soft spa socks.  My feet are always cold in the winter, and I like these soft ones.  
  • Nail polish.  I haven't often painted my nails, but I've been having fun being extra 'girly' with my Big Helper lately.
  • A tube of lip gloss.  I usually have either chapstick or lip gloss in my pocket.  Not sure why ... but it's one of those things I rarely leave the house without, and I liked this perky color.
  • For years, I've carried Sharpies around in my pocket.  Fortunately, they lids are made to fit well.  :-)  I liked the way that these two colors seemed to match so many other things in this package ....
  • A list pad to use the Sharpies on.  I'm a list maker, and pretty paper just makes the whole process more fun.
  • I'm not really mailing you a pumpkin - but since I was born on Thanksgiving and already had it on the table, I thought it looked festive.  No pumpkins will be shipped during this giveaway.  :-)
So there you go. Not quite a list of Oprah proportions, but one that makes me happy, and I hope those little things will brighten various parts of your day, too.  Enter using the widget below, and Happy Birthday from my Nest to yours!

Menu Plan Monday - November 25, 2013

It's Thanksgiving week!  It's gotten downright cold here in North Carolina, too.  We're seeing temps in the teens, which is pretty rare, so I'm planning to stay in, stay fireside, and keep the soup and hot chocolate flowing.  :-)


- scrambled eggs, juice, bananas

Cinnamon Almond Granola and fruit

Steal-Good Pumpkin Bread

Simple Pancakes, oranges


- Taco soup with cheese and tortilla chips

- Hello Fresh smorgasbord

- Breakfast for supper - scrambled eggs with toast and fruit

- Thanksgiving dinner - turkey, mashed potatoes, filling, Mom's Baked Corn, all the trimmings

- Leftovers

We're having Pumpkin Pie for dessert this week.  :-)

What are you cooking this week?

For more Menu Plan Mondays, visit OrgJunkie.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Meet Denette Fretz, Children's Author

My Big Helper recently won a writing contest sponsored by author Denette Fretz and Zondervan.  She won in her age category, and then each winner's name was tossed into the ring to win a Skyping session with Fretz herself.

She won that, too.

This became a really big deal - My Big Helper emailed back and forth with Fretz herself, trying to work out the details of when they could make this happen.  My daughter thought it would be fun for her book club friends to be there, and since Fretz offered to interact with a group, this seemed like the perfect one.

Fretz asked that we have some questions ready for her, and so when the girls arrived for book club I read Fretz' story to them.  We brainstormed questions and made lists of them before moving on to our other planned activities.

When the magic time arrived, the girls all started hopping around, asking me to answer the Skype call and connect.  They settled themselves on the floor in front of the computer and, although shy at first, were soon jockeying to be the one asking the next question.

They asked all sorts of things.  What church does she go to?  First Church of the Nazarene.  Has she always wanted to write books?  Yes, always. Why pirates?  Because she lived in the Caribbean for a while, and pirates were a big part of island culture.  Have you written any grown-up books?  No, I just love picture books!

Fretz went beyond just facts, though.  She brought along a stack of rejection letters going back years and talked with the girls about how difficult it is to become a published author.  About how we are given gifts and talents and they are there for a purpose.  About how, when we're meant to do something, we must be persistent and not give up.

The girls nodded their heads and eagerly scribbled her responses on sheets of paper.  I could see more about Fretz than what her answers shared, though.  

This woman is kind.  She's thoughtful.  She's faithful and observant.  She noticed when My Little Man was hiding in the background, not wanting to miss anything, and she said 'hi' to him each time, even when he ran and hid in silliness.  

She's generous.  Fretz is a first-grade teacher, and I can tell you from experience that those lunch breaks are important.  You get to eat, yes, but you also get quiet without 25 short people grabbing onto your sleeves wanting to tell you what their dog did last night.  Teaching is fun and important work, yes, but it's also draining.  Fretz spent most of her lunch break encouraging this young group of readers, though, and left very little time for her own nourishment or break.

Winning this writing contest was a huge inspiration for My Big Helper.  She has written and illustrated stories before, but having positive feedback from someone other than Mommy or another family member - having an author choose her story to win - made her feel that yes, maybe she is good at this writing thing.

So while I enjoyed meeting Denette Fretz, wonderful children's author, even better was seeing the glow on my Big Helper's face after meeting such an amazing woman.

Is Fretz' work new to you?  Be sure to visit her website here to learn more about her book Pirates on the Farm.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Stones for Bread" by Christa Parrish

 A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara's life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits her recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour --- a single father with strange culinary 
habits --- seems determined to win Liesl's affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family's past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

Stones for Bread is no standard sandwich loaf.  It's not even your typical artisan style, but this book is a slice above from the very first page until the last.  With three stories happening at once, each mingling together in every chapter, Parrish writes in a style rarely seen today.  

Liesl's present is directly influenced by her past, and so each chapter opens with a piece of that.  Parrish then moves you into the history of bread, which is followed by a recipe and then by what's happening in Liesl's present.  This takes the flashback phenomenon to a whole new level, but it's so well done and clearly written that it makes perfect sense.  Did I mention that I want to go bake some of these breads now?

That's not the only thing that's different in this book.  Parrish's writing style is more formal than many that you'll read today in the popular market.  It took me a chapter or two to adjust in the beginning, but soon I was on board with it.  In no way did this story feel watered down; instead, this formal style made if feel 'smarter' than your typical novel - and with all of the research that Parrish must have done to describe bread so completely, it may well be!

This was a story I couldn't put down.  I couldn't wait to find out what would happen between this fancy baker and the shaggy single dad.

It's a don't-miss read.

Click here to purchase your own copy now or read other reviews in this bloggy hop here.

Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she's not writing, she's a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church's youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

Learn more about Christa at:

I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Hearts for Home Blog Hop - November 21, 2013


Introducing ... the Hearts for Home Blog Hop!  A Nest in the Rocks is now one of the co-hosts for this weekly link-up, which means that every Thursday you'll find lots of great tips, recipes, and other family-friendly ideas listed throughout this post.  If you're a blogger, we'd love to have you link up your posts and join us.  You can find information about the other co-hosts of this hop here.

Last week this post called Free Presidential Notebooking Pages was the most-clicked-on post.

Some of my favorite posts from last week were:

- Fall & Holiday Kid-Friendly Service Projects 

If your post is listed above, please grab one of our 'Featured Blogger' buttons!  Congratulations, and thanks for writing such inspiring posts.

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
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Link up your family-friendly blog posts below. Please add our button to your post to link back to this one. Happy hopping!
Hearts for Home Blog Hop

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Aloha Rose" by Lisa Carter

When Laney Carrigan's adoptive parents encourage her as an adult to seek out her birth family, her only clue is the Lokelani quilt in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island, she battles fears of rejection from a family that abandoned her once before while her faith struggles to embrace God's love.

Along the path to her true heritage, she meets Hawaiian cowboy/helicopter pilot, Kai Barnes. Kai is determined to protect the people he's come to regard as family against a woman he suspects of being nothing more than a gold-digger, but he finds himself drawn to Laney in spite of his reservations. He's spent his entire life seeking forgiveness from past mistakes and longs for a second chance at happiness. 

Laney's painstaking journey to find restoration and a place to belong among the breathtaking allure of the Big Island will lead her closer to her past and maybe even something more.

Laney's journey from wallflower to strong, independent woman willing to risk it all for love is a stand-out story.  I love the way that her story comes to light, little by little, exposing more about her emotional journey as well as her scarred past.  This helps the reader to understand why she reacts the way that she does in the present and makes it even more exciting for her to put everything on the line in terms of the relationships she forges in Hawaii.

Kai is no less exciting.  With his rugged good looks but fear of putting himself out there, he makes for an interesting male lead.  At times I wanted him to lead already, but his weaknesses were determined by his past, too, and helped the faith journey along.  

I really liked the way that the quilt was used in this story. With a unique pattern connecting the mother to the daughter, it's theme fit well with the story and was carried throughout.

I was able to guess a few elements of the story, but others threw me completely off track, and that makes for the best kind of story to me: one in which I'm never quite sure which direction the characters will go.

Carter's smooth writing style and exciting locale kept the pages turning and Hawaiian dreams scrolling through my mind.  I hope that Carter has more stories in the works, because I'm definitely ready to dig into another one.

Read other reviews in this bloggy hop here or purchase your own copy now here.

Lisa Carter has been published in MomSense and Christian Parenting Today. Lisa is currently teaching music at a preschool and enjoying the enthusiasm and joy for life for which preschoolers are famous. She and David have two beautiful daughters.

Find out more at:

I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

GratiTuesday - A Black Eye

Don't forget to enter the Loving giveaway happening here!

We were on vacation, and after a full day, we decided to end it with a silly Christmas movie and popcorn.  The kids were quite happy with this plan and loved the movie that they'd chosen.  They enjoyed it so much, in fact, that they didn't want to go to bed when it ended.

It took a bit of convincing, and finally our Little Man slid down off his chair - and right into the corner of the coffee table.  By this time I was lying on the couch, enjoying the down time myself, when I heard a solid thunk.  I knew the result, whatever it was, wouldn't be good.

I turned to see My Little Man beginning to yell, both hands clapped firmly over his eye.  I had expected a head bump, or a sore arm, perhaps, but his eye? I wasn't sure what to do for that, and remembering a friend who's son had recently cut a gash near the eye, I figured we were headed for the ER.

After pulling him into my lap and coaxing away the hands, I saw a bloody cut across his eyelid.  It didn't appear to be too deep, but the blood was forming and dripping out, making it difficult to be sure.

My husband ran for a wet washcloth and we held it in place, snuggling together on the couch for a bit, until we were sure that it was simply a cut and not anything more serious.  My husband put him to bed and stayed with him for a while, checking repeatedly to make sure that he was okay.

Me?  I was busy being thankful that his eye was safe.  Had he hit only a fraction of an inch differently, the table's corner would've hit his naked eye - and our evening would've had a far different ending.

The cut bothered him for a few days, pulling when he blinked, and it gave him a slight black eye.  A few days later, however, this was all that remained - a scab on his eyelid that is already beginning to fall off.

This week I'm excited about black eyes.  About the strength that they show, but more importantly, what they don't - an injured eye, stitches, vision impairment.  My Little Man's eyelid did its job - and for that I'm very grateful.

For more GratiTuesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Strait of Hormuz" by Davis Bunn

Strait of Hormuz, Marc Royce Series #3   -     By: Davis Bunn
The threat of an Iranian blockade of the narrow Strait of Hormuz is escalating global tensions. Sanctions against Tehran have begun to bite, and it seeks to retaliate by cutting off vital shipping routes for crude oil. The specter of a preemptive Israeli strike has US officials on edge as they struggle to keep the world from plunging into the abyss.
Stymied in its efforts to uncover the sources of funding that bolster the Iranian nuclear program, the State Department calls on Marc Royce to investigate. With little to go on, he'll have to rely on an old ally. Kitra Korban has ties to people with the means to get things done, so long as no questions are asked. But Iran is on the brink of nuclear capability, and time is running out.
Bunn has penned a globe-trotting, suspenseful novel that you won't be able to put down.  Marc Royce is a kind, gentle man who just happens to be a US intelligence agent - or is that the other way around?  This story kicks off at a pivotal moment in Royce's life - he's been fired from the agency he works for but called back in to prevent a world war.  Nothing serious, right?  

Kitra Korban is the woman who loves Royce, and she comes across as strong, smart, and capable.  With different life paths keeping Korban and Royce apart, their interactions in this book are full of drama and strife, but that just ups the interest level.  I like the way that Bunn shows how they deal Biblically with their pain and their problems.

I've been reading Bunn's books for years.  I've read serene historical fiction, space fantasy, and suspenseful mysteries, but Strait of Hormuz is different from them all.  Reading more like Joel C. Rosenberg, this book has the same type of intrigue, political suspense, and understanding of Middle Eastern culture.  If you like to read Rosenberg, you'll love Bunn's latest.

I received a free copy of Strait of Hormuz from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Menu Plan Monday - November 18, 2013

Don't forget to enter the Loving giveaway happening here!

We're crashing right back into the groove of things here after our break.  We're moving some furniture, returning to school, and expecting company all in the space of a few days. I foresee lots of busy days and laughing children over the next few days - as well as simple meals!  Check back later this week to find out more about our soon-to-come giveaway.


- scrambled eggs, juice, bananas

Cinnamon Almond Granola and fruit

Steal-Good Pumpkin Bread


- Mummy dogs, baked beans, applesauce

- Spaghetti with marinara sauce, salad, applesauce

- tacos, rice, carrots

Smoked Sausage Foil Babies

- I think a good soup would fit the bill.  Any recommendations?

- Dinner prepped by someone else - my day off!  ;-)

- Leftovers

I think we'll make
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing for dessert this week.

What are you cooking this week?

For more Menu Plan Mondays, visit OrgJunkie.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Unspoken" by Dee Henderson

Dark Road Home

Charlotte Graham is at the center of the most famous kidnapping in Chicago history. She’s never said a word about what happened. Eighteen years later, she’s still the only one who knows the truth. But, even now, can she risk sharing it?

As a kid I preferred to read books that were part of a series because most books ended long before I was ready to part ways with the characters in them.

So when I picked up Unspoken, Dee Henderson's newest offering, I really hoped I'd like it - because while it's not exactly part of a series, it is a hefty novel, and I knew I'd be spending some series time with the people inside its pages.

Fortunately, the only problem I had was being unable to put it down.  After reading the first few chapters in the car, I was quite frustrated with the darkening sky and subsequently stayed up waaayyyy too late to finish it after getting home.


Charlotte Graham is a fascinating character with a really tough question:  how do you trust a God who will forgive people who have hurt you in unspeakable ways?  Put her strength and intrigue, along with her secretive baggage, alongside Bryce Bishop, who must be one of the most patient and wise men on the planet, and you have a suspense-filled journey.

I really enjoyed seeing how Bishop tried to answer Graham's questions about faith throughout the first part of the story and about how a marriage might work between them in the second part.  Bishop's ultimate answer is the same as my husband's:  "we have time.  We don't have to be perfect today.  We'll work it out," and I think that many marriages would benefit from that same response.

Like Henderson's other novels in recent history, Unspoken shares characters from her other books and features law officers working to solve a long-cold case.  Bishop and Graham take center stage as the main players in this book, but the added depth from the wide cast of characters makes the story even more interesting - and if you've read Henderson's other books, it's fun to find out what those characters are now doing.

Woven between the dramatic, emotional scenes that Henderson writes are the suspenseful action scenes that move along the crime drama inherent in the story.  This perfect blend creates a story that is not just blood and gore nor weeping and wailing but instead a gently-paced, hold-your-breath page turner - and turn them I did.  This story tops out at well over 300 pages, but I finished the whole thing in one day because I couldn't sleep without knowing what happened to Graham and Bishop.

It's that good.

I received a free copy of Unspoken from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 15, 2013

TO KNOW YOU | Win a Personal Coaching Session with Shannon Ethridge and $100 to Lisa Leonard Designs!

Shannon Ethridge is celebrating the release of  To Know You (co-written by Kathryn Mackel), by giving away a $100 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs and a personal coaching session, as well as throwing a Facebook Author Chat Party!

One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 19th. Winner will be announced at the "To Know You" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 19th. Connect with Shannon and friends for an encouraging evening of fun chat, book club discussion, giveaways, and a chance to win a PERSONAL COACHING SESSION WITH SHANNON!

So grab your copy of To Know You and join Shannon on the evening of November 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER or Pinterest and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on 11/19!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hearts for Home Blog Hop - November 14, 2013


Introducing ... the Hearts for Home Blog Hop!  A Nest in the Rocks is now one of the co-hosts for this weekly link-up, which means that every Thursday you'll find lots of great tips, recipes, and other family-friendly ideas listed throughout this post.  If you're a blogger, we'd love to have you link up your posts and join us.  You can find information about the other co-hosts of this hop here.

Last week this post called Our Jesse Tree Traditions was the most-clicked-on post.

Some of my favorite posts from last week were:

Thanksgiving Math Activities and Free Printables 

If your post is listed above, please grab one of our 'Featured Blogger' buttons!  Congratulations, and thanks for writing such inspiring posts.

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
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Link up your family-friendly blog posts below. Please add our button to your post to link back to this one. Happy hopping!
Hearts for Home Blog Hop

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review & GIVEAWAY of "Loving" by Corin Hughs

Hannah Mattox has Pulmonary Hypertension, a heart disease that prevents her from safely bearing children. Karla Valez is a homeless prostitute who despises the “thing” growing inside her and hopes to kill it in-utero with the drugs that have ruled her life—and buried her painful past—for nearly five years.  Gabriella Greene, founder of the Sanford Crisis Pregnancy Center, finds herself the bridge between these two women.  A time when questions far outweigh answers, there is one most pressing: why would God allow this?      

Weaving together the lives of three very different women, Loving will take readers on an emotional journey that reveals one common thread: they each need to surrender to a God who loves.

Loving will grab you by the throat from the very first sentence and it won’t let you go.  After a few chapters you’ll be able to catch your breath, but you’ll be hooked on these characters and their situations long before then.   Each one has a traumatic backstory that keeps you personally involved in their lives.  With Hannah, you’ll be fascinated with her bravery and her mother’s fight to give her a normal life.  With Gabriella you’ll cheer on the underdog and want to congratulate her not only on her ability to help others today but on overcoming a difficult Karla is different, for while there is little to commend now, she’ll help you understand how drugs can draw you in, one hour at a time.

Loving is incredibly well written.  The words flow as the plot twists and turns, some foreseen, some not, but all fascinating in their drama and emotion.  I love the way that Hughs starts with a loose cast of characters and draws them tighter and tighter into a cohesive group of players in a major miracle.

I must say that I disliked the ending as much as I loved the beginning, but not because it’s not well written, because it is.  The ending is poignant and precious and will bring you to tears – but it finishes only one character’s story.  Hughs writes with such depth and detail throughout the book, especially in the way that she begins with one character and ends with a different one, that the story feels unfinished to me, but again, not in a bad way.  While I spent several days wondering what happens with those other two major characters, I’m not sure what Hughs intends.  Does she mean to leave you hanging?  Are you meant to determine what you feel would have happened?  Or is there a sequel coming that will continue the stories of these characters?

Personally, I think any of these possibilities would fit.  They are characters on the fringe, and maybe you’re just meant to wonder about them, and maybe even be spurred to action to help the many people in our society who live like that every day.  Maybe Hughs is the next o. henry, skilled at making you debate and question.

Or maybe Hughs is just beginning a series designed to make us aware of health conditions and portions of our society that we rarely think about unless we are forced into contact with them.  These problems may be largely unknown, but the people are people – valuable and in need of help.

Personally, I’m hoping for that third option.  I’d love to have some binoculars to see into Hannah and Grace and Karla's future.  I'd love to continue this walk with them as they make strides along their journey into forgiveness, redemption, and love.

Which would you prefer?  Corin Hughs is generously offering a signed copy of her book Loving to one Nest in the Rocks reader.  Enter using the widget below.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GratiTuesday - A Family Together

This week I’m grateful for something very simple and yet often difficult to find:  vacation time with my family.  My husband has taken his first week off in nearly a year, and we’re taking a whole week off from school just to spend time together.  I’m planning to take lots of pictures, do a few puzzles, play around with art, and have as little scheduled time as possible.

 To that end, I’ll be pretty absent from this Nest this week, but I’ll pop in on Thursday to see what’s happening with the Hearts at Home Blog Hop.  After that, I’ll be back next week with some new things to share.

Have a great week!

What are you grateful for today?

For more GratiTuesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.

Celebrate Christmas early with Colleen Coble, Tricia Goyer, and Beth Wiseman!

Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction are hosting the 12 Days of Christmas! They've teamed up with three of their authors for a Merry Facebook Party on November 12th {5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern}. Colleen, Tricia, and Beth will host an evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, and of course plenty of presents!

But wait! There's more! Each day between now and November 12th a different book (10 copies of each book) will be given away on the Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Facebook Page. Ring in the holiday season and warm your heart with some great reads from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan!


  Click here to ENTER each day's giveaway here. RSVP for the Christmas Party here!

Good luck and hope to see you on the evening of the 12th!

“Beloved” iPad Mini Giveaway from Robin Lee Hatcher!

Robin Lee Hatcher is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Belovedwith an iPad Mini giveaway! 
  One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 15th. Winner will be announced November 16th at Robin's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Robin's blog on the 16th to see if you won. (Or, better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - November 11, 2013

The forecast is calling for all sorts of fall-ish weather this week.  From possible snow to bright sunshine and warm temps, we're supposed to see it all.  With that in mind, we're going to spend lots of time together this week, so I might be a bit absent around the Nest.  It's been a while since we took a week off from school and just hung out all together, so that's our plan.  That means that our meal plan may or may not happen as scheduled, but in case it does, here are my ideas.


- scrambled eggs, juice, bananas

Cinnamon Almond Granola and fruit

Steal-Good Pumpkin Bread


- Mummy dogs, baked beans, applesauce

- Spaghetti with marinara sauce, salad, applesauce

- Baked potatoes, smoked sausage, lima beans

- Stir fry over brown rice and veggies

- Nachos with Chili and cheese, oranges

- Dinner out

- Leftovers

We're having Harvest Cake and Apple Crisp for desserts this week.  :-)

What are you cooking this week?

For more Menu Plan Mondays, visit OrgJunkie.