Wednesday, July 30, 2014

29 Fictional Books that Bring Back Memories


Hey Everyone! It's Elinor! Today I'd like to share with you a few books that have kind of become a part of who I am. Books that, when I pick up, bring back vivid memories. Not only of the tales written on its pages, but of my Daddy's voice reading Narnia, or of my Mom teaching me about China while reading The Story About Ping, or my sister and I going into giggling fits reading There You'll Find Me. Sometimes the memories are of a car trip, or a cool breeze at the park; but whatever the memory, it's connected to the book, and my imagination, and once it's in my imagination, it became part of my being.

The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
The Story About Ping, by Majorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
There You'll Find Me, by Jennie B. Jones
Nancy Drew- The Hidden Staircase, by Carolyn Keene
Cinderellis and the Glass Hill by Gail Carson Levine
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke
The Emily Winsnap Series, by Liz Kessler
Amelia Bedelia, by Peggy Parish
Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Felicity Series, by Valerie Tripp
The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare
Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Glamorous Illusions, by Lisa T. Bergren
The Healer's Apprentice, by Melanie Dickerson
The Fairest Beauty, by Melanie Dickerson
The Molly Series, by Valerie Tripp
The Lost Island of Tamarind, by Nadia Aguiar
Isle of Swords, by Wayne Thomas Batson
Isle of Fire, by Wayne Thomas Batson
My Mother's Pearls, by Catherine Myler Fruisen
The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle
Where The Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein
The Junie B. Jones Series, by Barbara Park
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton
Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis
Tales of Pixie Hollow Series, by Various Authors
Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine
Mr. Popper's Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater
The Magic Tree House Series, by Mary Pope Osborne

Thank you!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Review: Found: God's Will

Title: Found: God's Will
Author: John Macarthur
Rating: 5/5
Age Recommendation: 12+

Plot: Found: God's Will is a book that explains how to really know what God wants for you. John Macarthur takes you through the 5 s's it takes to understand God's will for your life: Saved, Spirit-filled, Sanctified, Submissive, and Suffering. After you have done these five things, the final step may catch you by surprise!

I ADORED this book! My youth pastor recommended it about 2 months ago and I was very eager to read it! This book is very short: only 75 pages long! But it is also very profound! Every single chapter was PACKED with encouragement! It is definitely a must-read!

Quality: I had never read any of John Macarthur's books before this one. Let's just say, I am going to read as many as I can get my hands on! Macarthur did an amazing job with this book, it was very well put together and inspiring!

My Thoughts: If you haven't read this book you really should! It is a very encouraging book that I think would be very helpful to teens and adults! I loved this book and I will definitely read it over and over and over again!

Favorite Quote(s):

"The Spirit-Filled life yields every decision to the control of the Spirit."

"When Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, he had the same power as when he was standing next to Jesus Christ!"

"The more you study the word of God, the more it saturates your mind and life."

"Real greatness centers in being of service to others."

"We are to suffer, not because we have failed to be the right kind of person when we were younger, not because we are antagonistic, grumpy, grouchy, or out of whack somewhere, but we should suffer for doing what's right."

"If you are a Christian who is living a godly life in an ungodly world, you will suffer."

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: God's Smuggler

Review by Elinor
Title: God's Smuggler
Author: Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill
Rating: 4/5

Plot:   Andrew is confused by the faith that he was taught growing up. He abandons it and goes in search of what he hopes is an adventure. But when he is injured, and has plenty of time on his hands as well as a Bible, he learns just exactly what Christ has done for him and how much He loves him. He then returns home and learns more and more about God, then learns that he is called to be a missionary. With a significant amount of faith and trust in God's care for him, he dedicates his life to bringing God's word to those who cannot get it easily or safely; specifically, the communist countries where Christianity is severely persecuted. Throughout his life, he smuggles Bibles and supplies to fellow Christians in need, no matter how dangerous it may be.

The plot of this book was amazing! It was really a man's entire life story that was able to be told in a short amount of time. And the whole book really had one bottom line: trust God with everything you have.

Characters: I felt like I was able to connect to the characters and get to know them very well in a short amount of time. You were really able to see each person's struggles as well as their blessings, and it they made the story all the more inspiring!

Emotions: Like I said, this book was very inspiring. It really made me sad when I realized how many people in this world don't have the freedom that I do to love God freely, and it made me thankful. It was also joyful to watch a man do what he was created to do, and love doing it. 

My Thoughts:I had to read this book as a school assignment, and at first I wasn't so sure I would enjoy it. After reading it, I realized that I really did enjoy it! This book was very inspiring and challenged me to trust in God's timing and provision. It was amazing to see how Andrew changed throughout his life by following God's plan; and amazing to see how many lives he was able to touch. The only thing I didn't love about this book was the amount of suspense. I really hoped that this book would be suspenseful all the way through, but there was a part every now and then that wasn't very exciting. I would, however, recommend this book to anyone ages 10+. Not because there was any content that was too mature, but just because I think that someone 10 or older would better understand this book and it would hold their attention.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Blog Header/Background!!

   Hey, ya'll! It's me, Marianne. I just wanted to ask ya'll what you thought about our new blog header and background. Personally, I think they add a lovely touch to blog, and I love that the header has our picture on it! How about you?

   We found the header and background on a lovely little website called Shabby Blogs. They have an amazing variety of blog backgrounds, headers, post dividers, and much more. The best part about it: It's all totally FREE! And they make everything far too easy!

  Today we enjoyed a delightful outing after church. We went to lunch at Fuddrucker's, and then shopped around at Joann's (my mom's favorite fabric store), Tuesday Morning, The Dollar Tree, and The Guitar Center. Elinor and I are taking Guitar lessons this year and are very eager to start! We had to pick up a few sets of strings and such, that's why we were at the Guitar Center. How was your day?

  I would also like to let you know that we will try to keep up with blog posts this week, but we will be helping with VBS at our church, so if there is any lack of posts, that would be why. Thanks for understanding our messy, beautiful little roller-coaster called life! Talk to ya'll as soon as possible!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Favorite Music #6

Owl City - In Christ Alone

Francesca Battistelli - Unusual

Building 429 - Press On

Royal Tailor - Making Me New

 The Newsboys - Live With Abandon

Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: City On Our Knees

   Hey, everyone! I missed ya'll so much! Elinor and I had great Summer and enjoyed some relaxing time home, and later a visit to our cousins' house! How has your Summer been? Anyway, I thought I'd start back with a book review!

Title: City On Our Knees
Author: TobyMac
Age Recommendation: 12+

Plot: In this book, Christian musician TobyMac shares the stories that have inspired him most over the years. The stories are all very, very different, but they all have one thing in common: They all encourage you to "step across the line", or, step out of your comfort-zone and do what you know is right. The message that this book is trying to send is that God made us all different for a reason. He gave us different strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes and he has a special purpose for each of us. We must however, be willing to do whatever God asks of us because He wants the absolute best for us.

Quality: I thought this book was very well written and interesting. I have never read another book like it, and I thought TobyMac did a great job! You could tell he had done research and poured a lot of time and energy into writing it.

My Thoughts: I just loved this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was a bit disappointed when I finished it! I would definitely recommend it to many, but probably mostly to a 12+ audience because there were a couple chapters that would be a bit difficult for younger children. These chapters included one that describes a man trying to end human trafficking. It describes him accidentally walking into a brothel, and what he saw there. I skimmed over that paragraph just to be safe, but what I read didn't get too descriptive. Another slightly bothersome chapter described an area in which murder was very common. It spoke of a prison that many of the killers were put into and how awful it was. The point of sharing the details of the prison was mainly to show how much we need Jesus, and it did just that. As I said before, I would highly recommend this book as it is has a very inspiring message that causes you to evaluate your own life in many areas.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jamberry Nails!

   SURPRISE! We're back early! Just kidding! We just wanted to let ya'll know that we and our mom are hosting an online party to sell Jamberry Nail Wraps, and you're invited! You can order these super easy and fun nails HERE!

   We ordered some of these nails last month for Elinor's birthday to try them out! We applied them in June and they're still on Marianne's fingernails and our mom's toenails! They have survived showers, bathroom cleanings, and dish washing and haven't been even slightly messed up! Here's a pic of Marianne's Jams:

  We have fallen in love with the easiness and cuteness of these awesome nail wraps! If you are interested in purchasing some Jamberry Nail Wraps, you can order them HERE! Have fun! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!