Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Felicities


  • Christmas in ... February! (unexpected boxes from Travis' Dad arrived for the girls yesterday ... perfect timing for little girls that have been inside a bunch lately)

  • Cherry Coke Zero

  • early mornings

  • bodies that heal themselves

  • meals from friends

  • making a menu plan for the next week and looking forward to getting back to our regular routine

  • my best friend has a blog

  • Psalm 121

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thank You


Thank you for the sweet comments and wishes for Travis' recovery! We've been laying low for the most part and staying indoors. He's been working from home some and the girls think it's pretty cool that Daddy is here during the day. Several friends from church have brought over meals for which I've been so thankful. So nice not to have to worry about what we are going to be eating while I'm keeping up with everyone. He goes back to the Dr. tomorrow (Thursday) for a post-operative check and we are hopeful that he will move to a brace with a moveable joint. The Dr. wants to start allowing a (very) little mobility soon - elbows apparently will tend to lock up if stationary for too long.

Today's agenda will be about the same as most of the other days in the last week. My Women's Bible study has been cancelled due to snow (all the schools in our area are closed today) as well as Noelle's Awana tonight. I won't deny that I was looking forward to getting out of the house this morning for a little bit! I do need to run to the bank, so the girls and I may get out for a drive later this morning and do that quick errand. That's about all the excitement from these parts!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Bloggy Book Tour ~ A Sister's Test

Make sure and scroll down to the bottom for how to win a copy of this book!

Romance is in bloom once again in Holmes County. Cleon and Grace Schrock are expecting their first child together and are happily settling into married life. And Grace’s younger sister, Ruth, is falling in love with Martin Gingerich. As their love blooms, the attacks on the Hostettler family begin again threatening their peace and security once again.

First, the attacks are just pranks ... a stink bomb in the family barn, the farm gets toilet-papered. Then, they escalate ... laundry on the line is shredded, weed spray in the garden kills all their garden plants. Finally, the unthinkable ... a horse and buggy are run off the road, costing the family dearly.

Who’s to blame? Footprints lead directly to the Larson homestead and shortly thereafter Ray and Donna Larson make an offer to purchase the Hostettler homestead should they decide to move. But it could also be Luke Frieson, a young man still on rumspringa who hangs around with a rowdy English crowd. Cigarettes at the scene of one attack could point to him. Or they could point to heavy smoker Sheriff Osborn.

Bestselling Amish fiction author Wanda E. Brunstetter is certain to keep her millions of readers up late into the evening to learn whether all the mischief and mayhem will finally come to an end.

Q&A with Wanda Brunstetter, author of A Sister's Test

Q. A Sister’s Test is the second installment in the Holmes County Series and deals with mysterious attacks that test the faith, perseverance and forgiveness of the characters. What was the inspiration behind this series and what message(s) should readers take away after they’ve read A Sister’s Test?

A. After reading a newspaper article about some Amish people who’d been attacked by someone with a grudge against them, I decided to write a series addressing this issue and showing how I believe the Amish would respond to a situation such as this. The message I hope my readers will take away from reading A Sister’s Test is the message of forgiveness, forbearance, and trusting in God to bring about something good even in bad situations.

Q. In the past you’ve mentioned having a serious fascination with the Amish people and it’s clear from your writings that you respect their culture. What is it about them and their culture that you admire?

A. I admire their strong faith in God and their commitment to God and family. I also admire the fact that they do not put their emphasis on worldly things and spend more time reflecting on God’s creation and the blessings He bestows.

Q. How can we adopt these principles in today’s society without giving up the ‘modern’ way of life and becoming Amish?

A. We can slow down and take time out to spend with the Lord, as well as our family and friends. Many people are so busy “doing” that they miss a lot of the wonderful things God created for our enjoyment. Realizing that “things” aren’t nearly as important as “people” will help us keep our focus where it should be.

Q. How do you think you’d respond to the attacks in A Sister’s Secret if you were Ruth?

A. I would no doubt be very frightened and concerned for the welfare of my family. I would, of course, notify the authorities, and perhaps do a little investigating on my own. Most of all, however, I would trust God for protection and ask Him to bring the answers that are needed to put a stop to the crimes. I would also ask Him for patience and a sense of peace.

Q. The ability, or inability, to have children whatever the reason can be devastating to a woman. Do you have any advice to women struggling in this area of life?

A. Two of my best friends are not able to have children of their own. One friend chose to adopt, the other friend did not. Both women are loving, nurturing, caring people, and both are living fulfilled lives. While motherhood is a fulfilling responsibility, I don’t believe being a mother is the only way a woman can be fulfilled. There are many other things we can do in this life that bring fulfillment, and if we seek God’s will and ask Him how we can best serve Him, He will fulfill our needs.

Q. Thinking ahead to the big reveal of the attacker in Book Three, would you be able to forgive this person if you were a member of the Hostettler family?

A. True healing can only occur if we are willing to let go of our pain and forgive those who have wronged us. Only in God’s strength are we able to find the kind of forgiveness necessary in situations like the Hostettlers went through. I would hope I would say, just as Christ said when He was crucified, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Q. What was your favorite part of writing and planning this series?

A. My favorite part of planning this series was being able to visit Holmes County and get to know several Amish families who live there.

Q. What books are currently on your bookshelf?

A. Fiction: Fair Game by Carol Cox; Nonfiction: Lord, I need Your blessing by Anita Corrine Donihue, and Self Talk, Soul Talk by Jennifer Rothschild. All three are excellent books!

Q. What inspires you as a writer? Is it a particular location? A particular ritual?

A. Anytime I’m visiting my Amish friends, I’m inspired to write about the Amish. I also have many Amish things in several rooms in my house, and just looking at them inspires me to write my Amish stories.

Q. You now have over two-million books in print. Do you have any advice for beginning or aspiring novelists?

A.Keep writing and perfecting your craft, and never, ever give up. God’s timing is always best.

Q. We’re eagerly anticipating Book Three…are you in the process of writing it? When will it be available?

A. Book 3, A Sister’s Hope, will be published in July 2008.

About the Author

Fascinated by the Amish people during the years of visiting her husband’s family in Pennsylvania, Wanda E. Brunstetter combined her interest with her writing and now has eleven novels about the Amish in print, along with numerous other stories and ministry booklets. She has also written an Amish cookbook, an Amish devotional and some Amish children’s books. She lives in Washington State, where her husband is a pastor, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish settlements throughout the States.

To Win:

If you are interested in winning a copy of this book, leave a comment on this post. Comments will close next Tuesday, March 4, and one of my able assistants will draw for a winner. Good luck!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Surgery was this morning and they put two screws in his elbow. He's in a bit of pain and is asleep in the chair next to me as I type. I've been running a fever for the past two days so I'm praying that it's just from the stress and not because I'm catching a germ ... Travis doesn't need that right now.

Anyway, we're home and resting ... the girls are a little tentative around Daddy and not understand why he can't play. They'll be ready for their chief wrestling partner to be back to normal.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I am nothing if not original...

Or not so much. Hat tips to Pattie, Cheri, Leann, Monika, Heather ... I'm just following the crowd on this one. :)

Current Book(s): Mittenstrings for God by Katrina Kennison

Current Playlist: Lately I've been all over my Phillips Craig and Dean worship CDs.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Watching King of Queens on DVD with the husband in the evening after the girls go to bed. Shhh ... we laugh out loud.

Current Color: Chocolate brown. Still the favorite and has been for a while. Although I think I may need something orange for summer.

Current Fetish: sleep pants, pajama pants ... whatever you want to call them. They are my friendssssss.

Current Drink: Right this second? An indulgent cup of afternoon coffee.

Current Food: I've been craving French Onion Soup. I need to make some soon.

Current Favorite Favorite: Diet Sprite with a splash of cranberry.

Current Wishlist: I would *like* a new paper cutter for scrapbooking. I broke off part of mine. :(

Current Needs: I could use some new clothes ... I lost several t-shirts in the last couple weeks due to the '08 stomach virus.

Current Triumph(s): A little one, but I did scrapbook a page a day in the L.O.A.D. challenge for January. It was nice to clear quite a few photos off my desk!

Current Bane(s) of my Existence: Lack of sleep.

Current Indulgence: Um, I can't think of one! I am going to plan on something fun for dinner (for me) on Friday that is NOT pizza! Travis is going to our church's men's retreat and it will be me and the girls. Maybe a stirfry/veggie laden meal? A big salad? Hmmm. Thoughts?

Current #1 Blessing: God's Word. I'm loving it.

Current Slang or Saying: "No Way!" (To which Natalie replies without fail: "Yes way!" She cracks. me. up.)

Current Outfit: Knit pants, white t-shirts, brown slip-on Sketchers.

Current Excitement: Cubbies for Noelle tonight! That makes us Very Excited!

Current Mood: Isolated.

Current Link(s): I'll share a few favorite blogs right now ... the ones that make me jump up and down when they update:

By Sun and Candlelight ... a homeschooling blog. I love, love, love how she intersperses her faith and crafts and homemaking into her writing.

BooMama ... who doesn't read her? And if you've missed her recent posts about her Compassion International trip to Uganda ... do it.

In the Midst of It ... I just love the way Sarah thinks. And she has little ones about the same age as mine and she keeps it real on her blog.

Current Pictures:


This little face makes me melt. And see that tongue? It is always always sticking out. *sigh* (As are the ears ... always sticking out, I mean.) Utterly kissable. :)

If it's not one thing, it's another...

It might be sporadic here again - Travis cracked his elbow tonight playing basketball at church with some neighborhood kids. Long story short, it looks like he'll be having surgery on Friday to have a plate or pin put in there. :( We go to the orthopedist in the morning and will get more info and scheduling information then. Please pray with us for healing, wisdom, and the logistics of getting coverage for the girls while he and I are in and out getting him taken care of. I'll try and update tomorrow...

Much thanks!

Monday, February 18, 2008


So grateful ...

  • That we are getting back on our feet after a week and a half long stomach virus.

  • For my washer and dryer and *their* willingness to work overtime last week to keep up with the mind-boggling amount of laundry that we generated.

  • While we missed several events last week (a dance class here, and trip to the library there), it was a good week to be home, bundled up, and taking lots of naps.

  • That my babies slept a lot while they were sick. (At least during the day ... at night, not so much).

  • That Travis never caught it.

  • That we had a wonderful at-home Valentine's day with the girls ... flowers all round and Greek take-out for the grownups. Yum.

And the list could go on and on. Appetites are coming back and sisters are feeling up to picking on each other. (Life is definitely getting back to normal!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

We just may be seeing a light at the end of this sickly tunnel ...

I wanted to pop on to say Happy Valentine's Day and share a post I wrote about six months ago ... not really a lovey-dovey post, but it's the reason why I'm celebrating with my guy on this day.

Happy Valentine's Day

We just may be seeing a light at the end of this sickly tunnel ...

I wanted to pop on to say Happy Valentine's Day and share a post I wrote about six months ago ... not really a lovey-dovey post, but it's the reason why I'm celebrating with my guy on this day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Felicities


  • putting the start of a big project into motion

  • iced tea from Sonic (have you tried the peach? Yum!)

  • Chinese Almond Cookies - I made these just for fun on Thursday because it was the Chinese New Year. The girls didn't care for them (they are not filled with chocolate chips) so, sadly, Travis and I will have to take care of them.

  • in spite of the fact that each one of my girls has a bruise on their face (!) from separate incidents*, no one has needed stitches, ice packs or emergency room trips.

  • An email from a long-lost college friend and the reconnection of a friendship.

  • This munchkin who turned 9 months on Tuesday. She is now 17 lbs., 16 oz. and almost 29 inches long. She loves green beans, pumpkins, and pearsauce (but no thank you to applesauce ... it gives us a rash.) She loves to give and receive kisses and is suspiciously close to saying something that sounds like "da-da-da-da-da."

Elizabeth 9 months

* for the interested :) ~ Natalie ran into an end table on Tuesday evening, Noelle was run into by a little boy at Awana on Wednesday night, and Elizabeth fell off the couch on Thursday. It's been quite. a. week.