Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review and GIVEAWAY-- Here Burns My Candle

I have not done many blog tours/book reviews this year since having my 4th child---I wonder why?! But when the opportunity to review this book came up, I couldn't pass it up. Liz Curtis Higgs is a wonderful writer and with books like her Bad Girls of the Bible trio--she has intrigued me before. Well, let me give a resounding endorsement, Liz Curtis Higgs has done it again (written a fantastic book that is)!

I have always been drawn to the story of Ruth. And now, there is a awesome fiction book with a Scottish twist to bring this fabulous story to life in a completely new way. The story of Ruth is about love, loss, culture, family, connection, loyalty and so many other deep human emotions. Who better than an acclaimed author like Liz Curtis Harris to deepen a readers connection to those emotions (especially in a Scottish setting)?
Here Burns My Candle drew me in with it's language, characters, and the themed quotes to start each chapter. I have to admit that I was worried a bit about how I would enjoy the Old Word Scottish speak; I didn't want to feel like I was reading a high school English class assignment---and I didn't! I don't know if it is the ease with which the story flows, the connection to the characters, or my love of stories that give a picture of history, but I was glued to the pages and actually enjoyed the dialect. Liz does a great job of using history and detailed setting to support her characters and bring the story to life. The weaving of this story is amazing.

Publisher's Summary:

A mother who cannot face her future.
A daughter who cannot escape her past.

Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.
Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.
His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.
One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.
A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.

GIVEAWAY: You should read this book AND I have one copy to give away free!
If you aren't the lucky winner, no worries, you can buy it here.
Leave a comment on this blog or on my FB note and I will randomly draw a winner on Thursday (April 1st).

**This was book and the giveaway copy were provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

Here is a great picture of "My Guys"-- aren't they adorable??

This picture was taken this week after Colin's Area Orchestra Concert (post to follow).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cooper's 9-month Check-Up

Almost 2 months ago, I took Cooper to the doctor for his 9-month check-up.
His stats were:
Weight: 18lbs-12 oz (25th percentile-this is BIG for our kids, they are usually 10-15th percentile)
Height: 28 inches (45th percentile)
Head Circumference: 17 1/2 inches (25th percentile)

He had his 2 lower teeth by this visit. He was crawling well.
He was developmentally on track. He feeds himself, plays with his feet, babbles, and all such things.

Now, at 10 1/2 months old, Cooper can crawl up the stairs (all of them) of course we stand with him with protective hands ready just in case. He says Da-Da and Dow (Down from the high chair). He uses sign language for milk, food, more, up, and down. He has 2 more teeth coming in (total of 4). He eats everything: mac-n-chz, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, grapes, bread, turkey, cheerios, green beans, carrots, etc. Cooper is a cheerful child. He loves to laugh and is ticklish. He cruises the furniture quickly and is trying to balance standing on his own. Now, if we could just get him sleeping thru the night.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Catch Up

When you have been gone this long from blogging, where do you even start????

I have no idea! So, I will just jump in with a little summary of life.

David- doesn't have to travel too much with work now (as compared to previous seasons of life) but over the last month, he has been very busy. The first week of February he stayed in DC for the week in order to support the President's National Prayer Breakfast and to work. DC isn't far away but his schedule is so packed during this week that it just makes more sense to stay downtown. The next week was Snowmagedden for us in Northern VA. Here at the house we got 30+ inches. Then David's travel went in motion. He spent 8 days in Germany, had 30 hours at home, then went to Columbus, OH for 4 days. He had 3 days at home and then spent 3 more days in Columbus.
He is home now and it is SO NICE. We miss him when he's gone.

Colin- He is doing well in 6th grade. He loves school and loves playing outside. He is participating in Area Orchestra (experienced students from 6 Elementary Schools). Their concert is in 2 weeks. Colin is prepping for Spring Soccer Season and already starting to plan his birthday party (he can't wait to be 18, so 12 needs to hurry up and get here). Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended the Parent Orientation Night for Colin's move to middle school next year. Colin has been attending Youth Group at The Falls Church since January. He loves it. There are about 200 kids for the first hour and then they break out into small groups of 12. He has a great group of 6th grade guys and 2 awesome leaders (we are thrilled that he likes it and BONUS- it's only 15 minutes a way!).

Connor- is ready for Travel Soccer Season to start. He has enjoyed Winter Training (for the last 6 weeks on Friday nights) but he is ready to be in fully engaged in the season. His team attended a Pre-Season Scrimmage Event last Sunday and went 2 and 2. In the last game, Connor scored the winning goal! Since he normally plays midfield or defender. He has had many assists but this was his first goal in a game since starting Travel Soccer. It made it that much more special to him that it was the game-winner! Connor is also doing well in school and enjoys it. He starts learning the recorder this month and can't wait for next year when he will be learning Violin.

Sybella- loves preschool and is ready to start swimming lessons. She has the vocabulary of a much older child and is quite certain that she is the "first born," it must be that 6-year space between her and Connor. She is a wonderful helper and so smart. I am constantly amazed by the conversations we have. She is truly a blessing to me. The highlight of Sybella's month is that while dad was gone to Germany, Sybella's room went from white (with marker drawings) to Lime Green (or Lemon Green if you ask her, she can't remember the word lime). Last week she wore her 'Cat in the Hat' Hat to school to celebrate Dr. Suess' Birthday. She loves Dr. Suess books, especially Apples up on Top, One Fish Two Fish, and The Cat in the Hat.

Cooper- This child is ON THE MOVE. He can crawl up the stairs (all the way to the top). He can surf down our short staircase (5 stairs) on his tummy. He uses sign language to communicate: milk, more (as in food), and down (when he's done in the high chair). He is trying to stand independently, cruises our furniture with ease, and will soon be walking. He has the cutest curls in the back of his hair and his eyes have stayed blue. He is starting to try to say words: DaDa, Dow (for Down), and shakes his head No whenever he doesn't want something. He has a contagious smile and is definitely going to be trying to keep up with the older kids! He has 2 bottom teeth and the top 2 are coming in now. The only thing he doesn't do that I am READY for him to do guessed it, Sleep Thru The Night!

Sharon- I am busy staying at home with the kids. I have taken on a role as the Connections Ministry Leader at our church. I have taken on a project for the PTA. I still attend Community Bible Study in McLean once a week. I am leading a Video Teleconference Small Group this semester (a new role and total experiment that I love-- post to follow soon). I am the treasurer for the Travel Soccer team. I am working diligently on weight loss. And drum roll........since I turn 35 this month, it is the year of the Marathon (post to follow)!