Monday, April 29, 2013

Though my heart is torn

This is a great book.  I absolutely loved it.  I have to start by saying that I did not realize that it was #2 in the series, but I still loved it.  There were some parts that I was a little confused but all in all it was great. 

The story is about a man named Gideon and his wife Lonnie.  They are living this perfect little life with their son.  They receive a letter from Lonnie's dad that her mom is sick.  So they take the long trip home hoping they will make it before she passes.  When they get there they find out it really is a trap.  Her husband was married before, and she didn't know.  Her husband thought that he was divorced......  There are some twists to this story that make you want to yell at the pages. 

You would not expect to have this type of outcome in a story rewritten in our current time period.  The church decides who Gideon should be married to.  It isn't who you would think.  He also goes along with it, which really surprised me.  You are biting your nails until the end and the author still leaves you hanging then.  I can't wait to see what happens next.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I was given a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for free.  I was not paid for my opinion.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Last day of vacation

You look so forward to vacation to get here and then all of a sudden it is over.  That day has come.  We just got done trying to get everything packed up as much as possible before we head out in the morning.  It really is a sad moment.  We tried to convince Tony to extend the vacation by another week.  He said if we could convince the owners to let us stay here for free that we could stay.  Too bad that will never happen. 

Today we really did take it easy.  I think we were all so exhausted that we just need some down time before the big drive home.  We stayed at the condo until after lunch.  The girls went swimming.  Tony joined them, but I stayed out and watched.  I was able to do some reading. 

During our vacation I started a reading program to go through the Bible in a year.  So while they were swimming that is what I was catching up.  Since I have only been doing it for 5 days I was already behind by one day.  I can see how well this will go.  I do a daily devotional but listened to a sermon while we were on vacation that really challenged me to go through the whole Bible.

This afternoon we headed out to go and play in the river.  There are pull offs all over the place here and the girls love to go in the water.  It was so cold but they did not care.  Kaliegh said she couldn't even tell the water was cold since she couldn't feel her legs anymore.  Did this stop them?  Oh no.  They still played in the water. 

The we headed back and they did some more swimming in the heated pool.  They seemed to be waterlogged today.  Now they are crashed watching a movie.  It is 6:30 and I am in my pjs.  This definitely is vacation.  It all ends tomorrow. We hit the road by 8:00.  Hopefully everything goes well and we are home by 8:00.  Michigan is suppose to be warm so that will be nice. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gatlinburg Day 4 and 5

We decided to take things a little easier on the fourth day of our vacation.  We hung out at the condo until after lunch.  The girls went swimming in the morning, and we sat and watched them.  It was great to have some time to read.  After lunch we headed to the aquarium in Gatlinburg.  It is one of our favorite places to visit in the strip.  Really we come to Gatlinburg and can spend very little money.  This is worth the money.  Since we homeschool they do give us a very good price. 

At the aquarium we were able to see the divers feed the sting rays and dive into a tank with a bunch of saltwater fish and feed them.  It is great to see all the fish interact with the divers.  We also were able to watch them feed the penguins.  I could watch this kind of stuff all day.  Kaliegh also loves to go to the aquarium.  I was shocked how much she knew without even looking at the signs.  She kept saying, I read it in a book.  She is not a big reader so it was neat to hear that she has read something.  It also wasn't anything I made her read.  Need to keep that in mind when I am thinking of reading assignments. 

My favorite thing at the Aquarium was trying to touch the sting rays.  Kaliegh was very good at it.  I wasn't very good until the diver came over and enticed the sting ray to come close to the wall.  One time the sting ray was sliding across the wall and decided to splash the kids that were trying to pet it.  That was really funny. 

After that we headed to the mirror maze.  The kids think that is so fun.  We did have a great time.  I think they made it easier this time then last time.  It seemed to take us a long time to find the exit.  This time we found it right way.  It was fun to have races as teams to see who could get all the way through the fastest.

Now this is where our day gets interesting.  Some how we got rooked into sitting through a time share to get some tickets to see a show.  After all of it the man made a ton of promises all lies but we did get tickets and it only cost us $20 for a $170 show.  They only kept us in the presentation for 90 minutes so not to bad of a deal.

Today it started with us going to the presentation for the time share.  Then we headed to have lunch at a park.  After the lunch we headed to another waterfall.  This was the Baskins Falls.  It was located in the Roaring Fork Nature Drive.  The hike was probably this toughest we have done all week.   It wasn't very long but it was uphill the entire way back.  Not only a slight uphill but very steep.  It was downhill all the way there which seemed so easy, but we paid for it on the way back.  Once we got to the falls it was really cool.
We climbed on some of the rocks.  Nobody was there so we had the view to ourselves.  It wasn't one of the more heavily hiked trails.  It was really nice.

After the falls we headed to go see the Lumberjack show.  That was a really nice show.  There is no way I would pay full price for it, but we definitely got a deal.  The girls really enjoyed it.  I thought it was very family friendly.

At the end of it all we headed back and of course hit the pool.  It was a great couple days.  Hard to believe tomorrow is our last day.  We are hoping to take it a little easy but still venture out.  Try to wear the kids out so they will be tired for the ride home.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

1st day in Gatlinburg

We are on vacation and it has been wonderful.  We arrived on Saturday around 12:30 thinking we would reach our place in about an hour.  We didn't know that downtown Pigeon Forge was crammed with cars.  It took us 2 hours to get to the cabin.  It was a little frustrating.  Once we got here it was great just to go to the pool and relax the rest of the evening. 

On Sunday we headed out to do some hiking.  We headed to a falls called Abrams Falls.  It is located in Cade's Cove.  I loved it.  I was so proud of the girls.  It is a 5 mile hike and they both made it without any problems.  I will add pictures later, do not have my cord to upload picture with us.

On Monday we headed to another waterfalls.  This time we went to Grotto Falls.  It was really neat, because we got to actually walk behind the falls.  I never thought we would be able to do that.  Emma was my little dare devil.  She wanted to climb every rock and reach every area that she was able to go. 

We almost saw a bear.  If we would have been a few minutes faster we would have seen a bear.  Not that I wanted to see one up close and personal it would be neat to see one while we are out an about. 

After hiking we headed to the craft section of Gatlinburg.  One of the first shops we went into was a rock shop.  Emma's eyes lighted up.  She was in her own personal heaven.  She found two rocks and quickly bought them.  The lady was really nice and told us some info on the rocks.  After all of this I was exhausted.  We headed back and went swimming.  We played Marco Polo with the kids which was really fun.  Seems like a basic thing to play but it was great to just be funny. 

Today is Tuesday and it was a crazy day.  We got up early because we knew we were trying to cram a lot into one day.  We left the condo by 8:00.  We headed up to Clingman's Dome.  Wow, what a view.  It was amazing.  We could see at least 50 miles from where we were.  I think maybe even 70 miles. 

After that we headed towards Cherokee North Carolina.  We stopped at the visitors center.  We walked through a reenactment village.  There was a guy there that answered some questions about cooing in a dutch oven.  It is my goal to cook in a dutch oven over a fire this year.  I am going to do it.  He was making cookies and it really did not look that hard. 

Then we headed to Mingo Falls.  It was a really quick walk but it was so gorgeous.  The falls is 120 feet tall and magnificent.  It was really located in a weird location.  We pretty much drove through a trailer park and found the parking lot for the falls.  We weren't sure if we were in the right place.  We climbed the stairs and then there it was, gorgeous. 

After there we headed to Bryson City, NC.  There was a loop that included three different falls.  Juney Whank falls, Tom Branch Falls, and Indian Creek Falls.  They were all a short distance but beautiful.  The girls played in the water some and we got to just watch, which was great. 

After all of that we headed to the Indian Museum in Cherokee.  We had about an hour before it closed.  Emma really wanted to go so we decided to go in.  It was pretty neat, but we were all so exhausted that I think if we stood in one place too long we would have fallen asleep. 

I can say that so far our vacation has been amazing.  Tomorrow we are going to take it a  little easy.  We are going to hang out at our condo until after lunch and then hit the aquarium.  It is suppose to rain, praying it holds off or doesn't rain at all.

Wow, all I can say is Wow

This is an amazing book. I loved it. The storyline is amazing and fun to keep reading. You don't want to put it down. The only complaint I could possibly have for this book is that it leaves you hanging. I don't know if I can wait till the fall to find out what will happen to this double love story. What will happen, ugh?

The story is of a girl named Rhoda. She has a gift that allows her to feel when something is going to happen. Her family has now moved to Maine to start an apple orchard/canning business with the King family. Things were looking good but it is funny how a persons past can catch up to them.

Rhoda is in love with Jacob who has a secret that he has not dealt with. Samuel is in love with Rhoda but she hasn't told him. Leah is thinking of leaving the Amish and Landon is not sure if he loves Rhoda but is having fun getting to know her. Sounds like a fun book, oh it is.

This book will not leave you wanting for more. Ok, maybe it will. It will leave you wanting to know what happens and if there will be a happy ending. 

Here is a great video to check out that gives you and idea about what the book is about. 

You can also read the first chapter of the book here.  

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. I was given a copy from Waterbrook Multnomath to review for free. I was not paid for my opinion.

I absolutely love to read Amish fiction. There is something about jumping into a book that takes you back in time. I love the closeness of their families. I love the old ways. I love how they are back to the basics of life. I usually choose an Amish fiction book because I know I will not be disappointed.