Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer of 7 ~ Escaping the Machine of Excess

Reading the book earlier this year and I felt a nudge.  As time has gone, I've really thought about doing the 7 fast, adapting it to my life and circumstances.  But 7 months,  a commitment too big to  make in this season of life.  So when I saw that a community is doing it for 7 weeks, I jumped in.  Seven weeks is doable (I get distracted way too easily these days), and there is community to fellowship with.

And as I do this, sweet Mae has the book to read and think about it.  Approaching thirteen this summer, she is bombarded with the consumerism me culture.  It is my hope that reading this book will give her more tools to resist conformation to this world and increase her desire to seek transformation through the renewing of her mind.

Now as I prayed about the fast and what the Lord wants of me, this summer of 7 has taken a different turn.  So there is a schedule for the summer of 7, but there is one thing He has asked me to pursue, and that will be my primary focus.
Without further ado, here is the schedule for my summer of 7, strategically planned around the arrival of a Chinese exchange student, Builder's rotation weeks where he will be home and the wedding in the middle of June (I don't want to choose 5 pieces of my 7 piece allotment for that day!).  A schedule that is in place to give some framework, but will flex according to the One Thing.

June 4-10 ~ possessions ~ give away 7 items a day, for 7 days to specific people
June 11-17 ~ 7 day media fast, with the except of email, banking

June 18-24 ~  food ~ We will only prepare and eat staple foods our sponsored children in Guatemala, Honduras and Tanzania might have available. That saves my morning coffee, but not my dark chocolate almond milk creamer...
June 25-July 1 ~ no spending except fuel, if needed

July 2-8 ~ waste ~ a week to learn how to better compost, to seek ways to conserve energy & water, and buy only local produce

July 9-15 ~ 7 articles of clothing (not including under garments, gee nor swim suit)
July 16-22 ~ stress ~  I will plan a Sabbath evening welcome as well as a Sabbath end meal.

If you are jumping in this summer, making space to hear God speak you can join in here.

Reading in May ~

Reading continues through May.  I am thrilled that even though I am not following my "2012 Reading List", I've already read and wrote about nearly 20 books this year!  Here are my May reads:

Diseases in History, MALARIA by Kevin Cunningham ~ Mae read this book and encouraged me to as well.  It was a good overview of how Malaria has spread over the globe, how it has effected life and how the attempt to eradicate it failed in the poorest areas of the world.

As our youngest daughter has had an interest in preventing malaria for several years, she held a Lemonade Stand earlier in the month.  Reading this book I realized that my sweet girl is partnering with BiteBack at Malaria in one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of this vicious disease.  What a joy to see her stepping out to make the world a better place, and educating me in the process.
On a side note, this book does have a strong evolutionary tone.

Beyond Hope's Valley by Tricia Goyer, see Blog Tour review here.

By Faith, Not By Sight by Scott MacIntyre
This book is one that I will be thinking on for some time.  Scott is a young man who has allowed the many struggles in his life to make him wise and grateful.  My full review is linked here.

wish you were here by Beth K. Vogt, complete review here.

Chasing the Sun by Tracie Peterson.  This has been the month for Civil War stories and field trips. It is a neat thing when a common thread ties a theme together over a short period of time.  Read my review here.


Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt,  Performed by Tom Stechschulte.  We listened to this audio book on our recent road trip to visit family.  This is the hard story of young Jethro Creighton as he grows up during the horrors of the Civil War.  I appreciated the depth of character protrayal in this story and the impact it had on myself and my daughters.  There is a spot in the beginning of the story that struck me profoundly, where the main character's older brother is torn between the South and the North, and chooses the South.  He compares the slavery to the terrible issues faced by child factory workers in the North.  We all have sin, we have injustice and wickedness within that we wrestle with and I appreciate the perspective given by Bill Creighton.

Now, I by no means justify slavery in the previous paragraph, it is WRONG.  WICKED.  UNJUST.  But I do believe it is good to take a look at what might be happening just under our noses to children who are wrongly, horribly used to provide us with goods and services.  It was happening then.  It is happening now.

We visited Nicodemus National Historic Site as we headed home at the end of our trip.  It was a great
tie in to Across Five Aprils.  What a blessing to have the opportunity to listen to the book, visit a historyic site and learn about terrible time in our country's history.  I hope it deepens and enriches the understanding next year when we study American history in more depth.

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

This was the audio book I listened to on our recent road trip while the children slept.  (We started each side of the trip early in the morning.)  This was the first time I was able to appreciate Dave Ramsey's tone and message.  I very much appreciated his words of hope towards the end of the book.  This most recent trip was made for hard reasons despite all the good woven in, and I truly need to be reminded of the hope offered by our God as we walk this road of life.  Hope in finances, hope in purpose, hope in HIS redemption of all the struggles and hard stuff.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Seventh Generation Coupons Winners

The winners of the Seventh Generation Coupon giveaways are #3 Sara and #5 Tracy.  Congratulations!  You should have an email this morning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Field Trip Tidbits


 I learned many interesting things about the Colonial/Revolutionary war era while at the Vision Heirs living history event.  Before I decorated a colonial pocket I was able to learn a little about 18th century cooking. People in the 1700s called popcorn “inside out corn” and instead of canning some foods to preserve them they dried them and remoistened them when they were ready to eat them. “Graces” is my favorite colonial game. It is played by throwing and catching a hoop with two sticks per player and was intended to make girls more graceful. I enjoyed watching the staged battle which they put on. Even though the “wounded” men were acting like they were in a lot of pain I could tell that they were greatly enjoying themselves. {3} Immediately after the battle the “wounded” men were taken to be operated on. There was a lot of fake blood and I got a little sick to my stomach. Eventually I had to sit down and breathe deeply because I thought I was going to be sick. Right before we went home we watched a drama about a man named Colonel Clark who won a battle against the British with less than two hundred men. I enjoyed the event and hope to go again in the autumn.  ~ Mae


In the 1700-1800s bullets were made of lead. Yes lead is toxic as is mercury, but only if you eat it.
The man who would heat up the led would also carefully pour the lead into the little mold. After a
while because it had cooled he popped it on to a plate. He cut off extra pieces. That`s how a led

bullet`s made. THE END

A New Page ~ the Flock

We are backyard chicken people, and recently we added ducks.  What fun we have with these little creatures!  We've started a page with pictures and hopefully some interesting information will be added.

If you are interested in backyard chickens and ducks, take a look and let's talk!

Friday, May 25, 2012

This Moment ~ Swan Lake

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Linking with Amanda

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hope in Dangerous Places

Often I pray for our Compassion "son" Bryan Marcello who lives in Guatemala City, I pray that he grows strong in the LORD and is protected from the gangs and crime on the streets of his neighborhood.

This video encouraged me to press on in my prayers for Bryan Marcello, and to continue to have faith  that Bryan will also grow strong in the face of these dangers, with a hope for his future that outshines the temptations and traps.

Will you consider sponsoring a boy in Central or South America and take part in changing the story for another child?

Seventh Generation Coupon Giveaway

We have 1 SG Free & Clear Diapers Or Training Pants coupon, and 1 SC Laundry Product Coupon to giveaway this week.  Please specify in your comment which you prefer.

The drawing will go until May 29 and the winners can expect an email on May 30.

a'>">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Honey Bunches of Oats Giveaway Winners

troy, xaritz, mrspoofa

have won the rafflecopter drawing.

An email has been sent to the drawing winners.

thank you

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Gifts are Never Ending

So many thoughts crowd my mind.  Worries seem to crowd the evidence of grace that sprinkles light on this hard rocky path that sometimes seems overgrown with thistles.  But in His word I find the strength to keep looking for the gifts.  Instead of sharing the worries, fears, I will count the gifts as I find them each moment.

counting the gifts # 1001 - 1026
A Pretty Swan Lake Villager
All day soaking slurpy rain
Curious chickens around my feet as I work
Mourning doves nesting in the spruce tree
Pikes Peak peeking through the clouds in the early morning, more snow!
Safe travel
Crickets at night
Soft clucking from chickens resting in the shade
Reminder ~ relationships
Goals make decisions easier
Helpful daughters
Home safe
A friend who just gives me a short hug while I cry my grief
Cousins from ages 6 to 16 who delight in one another
A zoo trip that met the interests of everyone
Sweetest of mother’s day emails from Beloved
 A new Compassion child in our family!  Chica’s correspondence child
 Routine & special weekend events helps me not be sucked into the grey cloud of grief
Sweet fellowship with my Lord in the morning
Watching the birds in the pinion tree, what a gift this tree is

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Saturday Gold Sweep!

Kata Division Medals

Gold in Sparring

And later,

Gold in Stick Fighting.

And this is the girl who just likes to compete against herself  ;)

Friday, May 18, 2012

This Moment ~ Treasures

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

linking with Amanda

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wish You Were Here, Fiction Review

wish you were here by Beth K Vogt

about the book
"Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong. The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom.

Still, kissing the groom’s brother in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. And pulling a “Runaway Bride” complete with stealing, er, borrowing her best friend’s car doesn’t seem to solve her problems.

Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Maybe she just needs to stop orchestrating everything. Allison prefers being the one in control, and giving it up is not going to be easy. But to find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her and find the strength to let Him lead."

While I’m not quite sure how I manage to receive 4 fiction, romance style books to review over the past month, at least 2 of them have been enjoyable reads.  Romance stories just aren’t my interest, but Beth Vogt has written a book that is so very full of real life that I found myself reading until after midnight to finish it last weekend.

The “kissing the brother of the groom” is handled very tactfully.  It is very refreshing to read about the honorable response to this surprising turn of events and the courage to seek out the best in the situation.  It is good to find that clean, wholesome Christian fiction is available, and includes encouragement to seek God's purposes, to embrace the hope He offers to each person.  While I pass most fiction that I review to other adults, I am going to tuck this one away for my older daughters (and my younger daughters as they grow) as a fun, wholesome read.

Visit the Wish You Were Here blog tour page to read other reviews.

this book was sent to me in exchange for my honest opinion by the litfuse publicity group.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Honey Bunches of Oats GIVEAWAY!

Last week we took a short trip and came home to a box on the front porch.  At first my daughters were disappointed thinking it was laundry soap or some other non interesting thing, but this morning they were pretty delighted to open the box of Honey Bunches of Oats!

Petal Rose dove right in and gave me a pretty age appropriate opinion.  She likes the cereal, thinks the sweetness is perfectly balanced, sweet but not too sweet.  And she enjoys the crunch.

But Petal Rose also said that the granola chunks were just that, chunks, big chunks, which she found  a little unpleasant.

We would like to offer up FREE product coupons for you to try the Honey Bunches of Oats - Honey Roasted now with MORE Granola Bunches to 3 By Quiet Waters readers,

and if you like, you can let us know what you think of the granola "chunks."

a'>">a Rafflecopter giveaway

the fine print ~ Post provided a free sample of their Honey Bunches of Oats - Honey Roasted now with MORE Granola Bunches so I could review them.  The opinions expressed are Petal Rose's early morning, honest comments

Petal Rose

Introducing Yolibel

Yolibel Carranza Chacon, Honduras

Chica and I are very excited to introduce you to our newest Compassion Correspondence child.  Notice the socks and dress on sweet Yolibel?  Chica did right away ~ God knows a kindred spirit for sure ;)

Will you join us in praying for Chica and Yolibel?    That a rich and encouraging relationship develops between these two precious children?  Thank you so very much!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beyond Hope's Valley ~ An Amish Fiction Review

This review is one stop on the Litfuse Blog Tour for Tricia Goyer's new book, Beyond Hope’s Valley, A Big Sky Novel!

Welcome Blog Tour Visitors!

"After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook -- a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.

As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belongs."

This is an enjoyable story, with a strong sweet believable main character.  This Amish fiction is full of the struggle between embracing the freedom offered by faith in God’s gift of salvation by Christ, and the works based traditions.  The author has written well of the the peace and the joy which is restored when we stop trying to work our way and allow Christ’s gift to wash over us.
I did find the story rather predictable, but it was sweet and wholesome.  Philippians 4 tells us whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  Goyer has written story that is lovely and pure, with what is honorable & true woven well in.

To continue on the blog tour, here.

Win a Custom Amish Prize Pack from @TriciaGoyer in her Beyond Hope's Valley Giveaway! RSVP for All Things Amish Party {5/21}!

Celebrate with Tricia and enter to win a custom-made Amish Wall hanging in the colors of your choice ... and much more!

One fortunate winner will receive: 

  •  Custom Amish Wall Hanging {You choose the colors!} 

  • An Amish Doll {Sweet.} 

  • Amish-made basket {It’s picnic season!} 

  • Doilies, potholder and an Amish cookbook {All items form Bird-in-Hand, PA!} 

  • Three book Big Sky Amish series {Be swept away by this captivating series.} 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 20th. Winner will be announced at "All Things Amish" Author Chat Facebook Party on 5/21. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and more! 

So grab your copy of Beyond Hope's Valley and join Tricia on the evening of the May 21st for a fun chat, trivia contest (How much do you know about the Amish?) and lots of giveaways. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!

This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the Litfuse Publicity Group.

Friday, May 11, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

My Beloved Builder headed back to work Monday morning.  His plane landed in Minneapolis and about 3 hours later he calls to tell me "Canada" again.

We headed back to the airport to bring him home for the night, to pack & leave the next morning.  Since we had belt tested the Thursday before I called the DoJo and asked if we could slip in at the end of the last class and receive our new belts as a family, before Builder heads to the North once again.

 Sensei Nester awarded the belts and snapped this picture. 

Petal Rose's belt looks blue, but she is a PURPLE belt now :)  The rest of us are green/high green belts.

linking with Amanda

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chasing the Sun, A Fiction Review

Chasing the Sun Land of the Lone Star 1
by Tracie Peterson

When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but also for the Texas ranch her father recently acquired. A marriage of convenience could ease her predicament... but is it the true desire of her heart?

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns home only to find out that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angered at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Despite these circumstances, Hannah and William form an uneasy truce... and an undeniable attraction builds between them. In a land where loyalties are divided in a country ravaged by war, is there any hope that the first blush of love can survive?

This story is starts out as well written historical fiction.  The characters and plot are well developed and I was quickly pulled in.  Chasing the Sun is set during the Civil War and is told from a Confederate point of view, allowing us "Northerners" a glimpse of the other side of the story.

The faith of Hannah Dandridge and of William Barnett is realistically written, as they struggle with the brutality of the times and who they expect God to be.  It is good to read Christian fiction that is believable, accurately describing the struggles and joys our faith brings to life.

The ending of the story seemed to take a hurried turn as the villain made his move, the hero saved the maiden and all was resolved.  My one negative comment about this book is the swinging change in the pace of Chasing the Sun towards the end.

this book was sent to me in exchange for my honest opinion by BethanyHouse, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

By Faith, Not By Sight by Scott MacIntyre

By Faith, Not By Sight, written by Scott MacIntyre with Jennifer Schuchmann

Book Description

A moving story of hope, faith, persistence and the power of dreams.

A piano prodigy, a nineteen-year-old college grad, a Marshall scholar, and an American Idol finalist. This guy had it made. He could sing.

He could ski blind. What couldn’t he do?

Even if you saw him in concert, you might not believe that Scott MacIntyre is blind, and you’d never guess that at nineteen, he faced a diagnosis that rocked his family and nearly took his life.

So how did he do it? How did he overcome the odds?

This is Scott’s story, but he’d be the first to tell you that it’s not really about him. This is the story of how God used a dedicated family, a selfless acquaintance, hardship, and a host of characters to give him life, faith, determination, and experiences most can only imagine.

Peek behind the scenes to see how he learned to overcome his disability, how he made it in the music industry, how he found the love of his life, and how God taught him that in all things, we can truly achieve our dreams By Faith, Not by Sight.

This book.  Wow.  This is one of the best books I've read this year, because of the many ways in which it spoke to me.  First it was the way Scott speaks through the book.   He gives so big a peek into his thoughts, his hopes, dreams, disappointments that I find myself cheering for him, wanting to encourage him to keep pressing on.

Next it is that GRATITUDE thing.  Ann wrote about it.   How giving thanks, makes the sweet days all the sweeter, and gives light on the darkest of days.  I find it in the pages of this book, as Scott tells his story, the places where fear and worry seem to have a right to take residence but he chooses to count. the. gifts.  and these words found on page 45 of my copy "Fortunately I never focused on that...I believed..."  Words of wisdom, don't focus on whatever it is, maybe fear, maybe lack of approval, but what is it that you believe?  Remember it and believe it.

And lastly, another storyline I'm following over the years.  Those roaring lambs who step out there and let their lights shine.  They desire to be able to tell The Story, how it has become their story, they desire to be good role models and to encourage others.

The thoughts are rushing in my mind as I prepare to slip this book on my daughter's bookshelf.  I know that in this review I haven't communicate the best, but I do hope you will find a copy and read it.  It is worth your time.


I review for BookSneeze®This book was provided to me in exchange for my review by Book Sneeze.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The 1000th Gift

"...As I thought of each thing I was grateful for, ten more things would come to mind.  Grateful thoughts are like rabbits; they multiply like crazy.  ...I felt like I could have sat there for another four hours and not run out of things to be grateful for."  Scott MacIntyre, By Faith, Not by Sight

Over the weekend I reached 1000.  And that 1000th gift?  The realization that by counting the gifts, the easy, the delightful, and the hard eucharisteo that I have gained hope for the future.  Over the last 2 years or so of laying down the rails of thanks giving, I've adopted a habit that keeps counting on the hard days, on the days too full or so it seems, to write them down, but my mind keeps giving thanks.

There is the change in my thinking as the quiet habit of giving thanks reminds me to look deeper for the hard eucharisteo, the painful place where the Spirit works deeper.

"though...didn't seem like a praiseworthy thing in the moment, I had to consider that perhaps in hindsight, as some later date, I would find a deeper appreciation for my current circumstances.  And if I knew that was a possibility for the future, I had to admit it was possible to be thankful in the moment."  Scott MacIntyre

Here they are, all the way to 1000
no words needed
The much anticipated packet arrived
Butterflies in the yard
Time to talk in the morning, knowing the call
Baby ducks and sweet “big” girls
Yellow butterfly darting around the new life
Laughing cousin
Family walks after dinner
Gardening experiments
Growing onions
Stacks of books
Good friends, young ones, older ones, all of them
Text messaging, sometimes very helpful
Warm welcome
Peace during trial
Understanding husband
Birthday celebrations
 Afternoon nap time
Funny jokes
Kind neighbors
Healthy children

1000.  A hope for the future
I encourage you to start counting, if you haven't already.  There is a world full of gifts out there for you to realize!

giving thanks for another beautiful cook in the family!

eager helping hands, cheerful workers

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bite Back FundRaiser

Chica Kelly is having a Lemonade Fundraiser on Friday, May 4 from 10am to 3pm to benefit BITE BACK, Malaria Intervention through CompassionInternational.
Please come out and join Chica as she offers freshly made Lemonade, Blueberry Muffins & Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Make a purchase or donation in effort to Bite Back at Malaria around the world!
If you can't join us, you can email me at byquietwaters at gmail dot com for information on how you can donate.
Chica’s goal is to raise $200 for the purchase of 20 Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets.

Reading in April

As I look at this list I am amazed at the amount of reading I was able to do.  A little here, a little there can add up!  It is my hope that I can share encouragement and truth in these literary comments and reviews.  Let me know if you have read any of these books and want to share your insights!

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
My husband and 11 year old daughter both tell me that "The Horse and His Boy" is the favorite of each of them, from The Chronicles of Narnia.  It is a wonderful story!  I am glad that my daughters have read, or are reading, these books as children, they are great food for the mind and imagination. 

Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer.  Read my full review here.

Galileo by Mitch Stokes.  Read this review here.

The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister with Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin
"Never give up hope, and look for the rainbows."  These were words Nonna Lisowskaya's father shared with her as a child, to encourage her when times were tough.  Nonna had no idea of the rough times ahead, in Stalin's Russia and as Nonna boarded a train for Nazi Germany.

This book is important.  The stories of World War II, and Stalin's Russia must be told, in hopes that these horrors are not repeated.  We can learn from the past.

7 an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker.  A good challenging read!  Read full review here.

Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Ann Baumbich.  This was a "provided for review" book that I did not enjoy.  My full review is here.

The Beauty Book by Nancy Rue ~ a sweet truthful book full of questions and Godly answers to common questions that young teens have.  This pink book was an exciting arrival as my daughters believed it must be GREAT (the cover is pink) and I am happy to give it to them to enjoy and glean from.

Audio Books ~ My sweet husband did much of the driving for me this month, so I listening to audiobooks gave way to so much more time to read actual books.  He goes back to work in May, so my driving & listening time will increase again.

I did listen to Jesus the Only Way to God by John Piper

I listened to this book one late afternoon as I did errands.  It seems that the LORD has been speaking to me a great deal about other belief systems, world view in literature and my mind is eagerly searching for truth filled words such as these by John Piper.  Mae was with me during much of the listening and we have continued, throughout the month,discussing the message of this audio book.