June 3, 2016

Her One and Only | Book Review

When NFL tight end Gray Fowler is threatened by a stalker, his team hires a professional bodyguard to watch him. But when Gray's "protection" turns out to be a woman half his size, he's indignant. Will Dru---a former marine and expert markswoman---prove to be up to the job? And meanwhile, who's guarding Gray's heart?  Synopsis from Christian Book Distributers

I'll begin by saying that I was so excited to read the last book in the Porter family series!  It was fun to read the youngest and only girl's story.

Dru is one tough cookie! Which means she is very cool, but not relateable for me at all.  I am not tough.  Well, I guess I'm a different kind of tough.  Dru Porter reminds me, in many ways, of Natasha Romanoff from the Marvel superhero comics/movies.  She is strong, knows how to handle a bad situation, and she is not going to be intimidated or one-up-ed by the men in her life.  She is fun to read about.

I'm not in to sports.  At all.  Especially football.  But I still enjoyed Gray.  He has a sad backstory, which makes him slow to trust.  He wasn't the most interesting character, but his story line - especially wondering who his stalker could be - was.  That was what I enjoyed most about this book, the mystery, sleuthing feel of it.

I don't know that I would read this, or any of the Porter series, again.  They were more the "enjoy once" then the "read over and over" type of books.  Quite enjoyable, light reading.

: : I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. : :

May 31, 2016

Gus, don't be a crazy hooligan.

Or a gooey chocolate chip cookie.
Or a giant snapping turtle.

And here he is...

Meet our livestock guardian dog (lgd), Gus!

Seven weeks old.
Introducing the two babies. :)

Right on the job, guarding "his" baby.

And here he is just the other day, at almost 14 weeks old (3 1/2 months).  Growing like a weed!

It was high time we had another dog!  Someday we would love to have a Border Collie, but that didn't seem like the best option for us right now.  High energy puppy and a baby?!  Nope, not a good mix.  Plus, we really wanted this dog to be a larger guard dog.

Gus is an Anatolian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees cross.  So he's gonna be big.  Over a 100 lbs. I think that's big enough for us.  Consistent training is definitely a must.  But he is the opposite of hyper, so that makes it much easier.  And don't let the "shepherd" in Anatolian Shepherd confuse you, he is not a herding dog.  He is a guarding dog. *smile*

He is growing into a wonderful dog.  Good with the animals, good with Ivy.  We couldn't be happier with our choice!  He's a bit shy around the sheep, but I really can't blame him.  Mama sheep are protective of their lambs, and he's been knocked over quite a few times now.  However, he seems to be bonding well with the cat, goats, rams, pigs, ducks, and chickens.  Gus especially likes the cat and the pigs.  And I think he'll do well with the ewes eventually, too.

Although he is an LGD, he will not be spending all of his time in with the sheep or other animals.  His job description would be "Guardian of Ivy, and protector of this property, including the animals".  So a watch dog and family dog, basically. *smile*

He is such a love bug!  And I love how "floppy" he is.  Trips over his own feet and is all "I meant to do that."  It is adorable!

By the way, we named him after Gus from the TV show Psych. *grin*  Plus, it's a nice short name that is easy for him to learn, and (hopefully) will be easy for Ivy to say once she's talking.

So what do you thinking of Gus?  
Have you ever had a LGD? 
Would you want one?
I want to know!

May 12, 2016

As Time Goes By | February - March 2016

Hello!  With everything that's been going on around here - lambing, taking care of Ivy, cleaning, cooking, gardening, sheep shearing, etc. - it's been hard to find time for a blog update.  But here it is, at last!  This post will cover February - March.

Reading the Word with Daddy.

We put in new flooring!  I am so, so, SO excited about this!  Let's face it, that linoleum looked terrible.  Now, it looks amazing!  Like hardwood flooring, but not.  So easy to keep clean.

My goodness - Ivy looked so tiny 3 months ago!

Her Grandpa (my dad) gave her this pacifier. :grin:

Freshly laundered diapers.  Really loving this cloth diapering thing.  Only a few extra loads of laundry a week...and so much cuter than disposables, plus less expensive in the long run!

I love these pictures from Valentine's Day so much.  What a cutie!

My two favorite people in the world.

See that awesome floor?!

Going shearing with Daddy for the first time!
He sheared several sheep as part of a demonstration for some 3rd and 4th graders.

We got to watch someone shear a sheep the old-fashioned way, with hand powered clippers/shearers.
It took her about 20 min. to do one sheep.  For contrast, it takes Hank about 6 min. on average per sheep.

Watching "My Fair Lady".  She was captivated by the singing. :)

So, making paper pinwheels is addicting!  I had fun making these for my sister-in-law's baby shower!

It was Winnie the Pooh themed, and I love how everything turned out.

I wish I could take credit for the cupcakes, but I can't. Sarah's talented sister created these, and they were works of art!

One of Hank's shearing customers gave him some lovely yarn from her Etsy shop for Ivy.  I'm knitting a darling sweater for her.  Love working with this yarn!

I laughed so hard when I went to get Ivy up from her nap. :grin:

We have pigs again this year.  Six this time.  And they are so much bigger now.  It's crazy how fast they grow!

And even crazier how fast this little girl is growing!

Dancing with Daddy.

Holding my nephew Alexander for the first time!  He was born early at 32 wks, but after being the hospital for a long time, he came home the day before my birthday.  Best present ever!

My bro is an awesome daddy.

My parents are loving this grandparent thing so much!

And a picture of the two cousins for an adorable ending. :)


Whew, it's good to have that monkey off my back!  It sure does take a lot of time to put a blog post together these days.

There have been a lot of new additions to the farm since I shared the photos of Ivy and I bottle feeding the lamb.  Our lamb total for this year is 28, and not one of them died!  Out of 15 ewes, that isn't bad at all!  The Lord has done great things for us.

In addition to the lambs and pigs, we've added 19 chickens and a rooster, a Nubian milk goat named "Princess Hyacinth", a Saanen goat buck named "Prince Udo of Araby" (Once on a Time, anyone?), and someone named "Gus" who will be a big part of our lives for many years.

As I scroll through this post before sharing, I'm overwhelmed by all that the Lord has done in my life.  Husband, baby, farm...it's everything I ever wished for and more.  It's certainly not picture perfect, and some days are down right difficult, but it is the best.  And I do not deserve it.  But I am thankful - so, so thankful.

One thing I've learned over the last 6 months, is that no matter how much the other moms seem to have it all together, I know I'm not the only one who has days were nothing gets done. No laundry, dishes covering every inch of counter (I do not exaggerate), the floor needs sweeping.  But if all I end up doing is holding and entertaining my little girl when she's having a fussy day, I have accomplished much more.  I've invested in her life.  Whether you're a mom or not, just savor the little things.  Making memories with those we love is not wasted time.

Care to guess what type of animal Gus is? :smile:
What has filled your days lately?
Do you enjoy gardening?
I want to know!

March 30, 2016

A Treasure Concealed | Book Review

Emily Carver wants a home where she can put down roots instead of following her gold-hungry father from one mining camp to another. She also longs for tenderness and love, both of which are missing in her life. Yet when she realizes she's losing her heart to the intriguing new man in camp, she fiercely fights her feelings, afraid that love will only result in disappointment and heartache.

Caeden Thibault, a young geologist, comes to Montana to catalog minerals indigenous to the state. He's a serious and guarded young man trying to escape the pain of his past. He has avoided all romantic entanglements, fearing he might become like his abusive father. But something about Emily Carver has caught his attention, something he never expected. . . .

Will these two broken souls allow God to bring healing and hope to their hurting hearts?
Synopsis via Amazon 

The brief summary I read before requesting this book to review sounded like a lot of other Christian romance books out there - pretty much just fluffy and sappy. But the setting - gold mining in Montana in the Old West - intrigued me, so I went for it. So I was surprised when I really, really liked this book!

I enjoyed the character development immensely. Emily is a likable young lady, selfless in caring for her invalid mother, and searching for gold with her father. She longs for a home of her own, one that she won't have to pack up and leave in search of gold. Although her parent's are both strong Christians, she struggles with her own faith, wondering if God really does care about her.

Caeden, thought quite well off financially, comes from a broken family. His father was never there for him, and he hates the fact that his mother died unloved. Meeting Emily's family starts him down a path of discovery and faith.

I thought the Christian message was quite good throughout the story. The turning point for Emily was when she realized she was hanging onto her parent's faith, and hadn't accepted Christ for herself. I think a lot of us who where raised in a Christian home have a moment like that. Our salvation story isn't spectacular, but is simply the realization that we need Christ for ourselves.  Caeden's turning point was when he realized he was not like his dad (abusive, greedy, and scheming), that he could use his wealth for good, and most importantly that he needed Christ. 

There was still the oftentimes sappy romance...but that's not always a bad thing. :smile: Plus, it wasn't a "love at first sight" scenario.  The characters grew to love each other, which is much more enjoyable for me.  On the whole I found this to be a well written, charming, and encouraging read which I enjoyed for much.  I look forward to reading the next book in this series!

Do you enjoy historical fiction? Christian romance? The gold rush? I want to know!

: : I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. : :