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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Romantic Skirt and Homemaking Linkup



Baby Brenna turned 3 months old this past week!
Happy Thursday!

Hope you're anticipating a fun-filled Easter weekend!  We are looking forward to having my Dad come down for the day on Sunday.  He will be going to church with us and then coming home for an egg hunt and Easter dinner.  What a wonderful thing to be able to celebrate the Gift from my Heavenly Father alongside my earthly father!

Saturday morning I put on this brown skirt to go do errands.

Once I was out, I realized it was a lot shorter than I'd like it to be (I like it to cover the tops of my boots---almost ankle-length) and that it was kinda drab, being just plain ol' brown.

So, I hit the fabric shop for some pretty embellishments!
I found this cute fabric and some crocheted lace.  First I added a good four inches to the hem.
Then I made a pocket.  I love pockets on my skirts---they come in very handy for the homeschooling homemaker!
What do you think?  I love it!


I hope you'll join me for this week's Homemaking Linkup.  I love to feature some of the neat posts that are linked up so please make sure and put my button or a text link on your blog so you'll be eligible to be featured!  There were posts both last week and this week that I really wanted to feature but didn't because there was no back link.



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Here are some of my favorite posts from last week:

Callie from Callie's Crafts showed off this awesome headboard redo that she did.  I think she did a beautiful job and I really appreciate that she made her instructions so clear.  I want to do one---thanks, Callie!

The girls at My Sister's Pantry shared an excellent idea for setting up the means to care for seedlings when you have to be away from home.  Check out this great set up!

Thanks to everyone for the great posts!


Now for the linkup.  Please remember to return the favor by adding my button or a text link to your post.  Have a great weekend!



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Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.





Linking with:

Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Pearls and Lace Thursday @ Faith, Grace and Crafts
Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Legacy Leaver Thursday @ Leaving a Legacy
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Homeacre Hop 
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits @ Stone Gable  
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home 
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Thrifty Things Friday @ The Thrifty Groove
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Family Fun Friday @ Moms and Munchkins 
Beverly's Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound
Family Fun Friday @ Happy and Blessed Home
Farm Girl Friday @ Let This Mind Be In You
Fit & Frugal Family Friday
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal
Or So She Says...
Show and Tell Saturday @ Sassy Little Lady 
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
Finding the Pretty & Delicious @ Your Homebased Mom
30 Min. Linkup @ 30 Days
Sharing Creative Ideas @ Made By Joey
Sunday Showcase Party@Under the Table and Dreaming 
Craft Schooling Sunday @ Creative Jewish Mom 
Sundae Scoop @ I heart nap time
The Creative Homemaker Hop 
One More Time
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Craft-o-Maniac Monday  
Motivate Me Monday 
What's In the Gunny Sack? 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
Mondays with Countrified Hicks
Manic Monday @ Cupcake-n-Bake
A Return to Loveliness @ A Delightsome Life
Cottage Style Party @ Lavender Garden Cottage 
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios
Courtship Connection
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What Is Good 
Domestically Divine @ Far Above Rubies
(Titus 2)s Days @ Time Warp Wife
Tending the Home Tuesday
The Bliss Project Linkup @ Grace-Full Intentions
What Up?! Wednesday @ Frugal Fit Family
Make Bake Create @ Hope In Every Season
Wisdom Wednesdays @Simply Helping Him
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays 
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Home @ Rose Chintz Cottage  
Inspire Me Wednesday @ MamaBuzz
Watcha Work-Up Wednesday 
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants 
Rednesday @ It's a Very Cherry World
Simple Living Wednesdays @ Our Simple Farm
Sheltering Linkup @ A Sheltering Tree
Shoe Lace Linkup @ Living In the Shoe 

Monday, March 25, 2013

So Shines the Night by Tracy L. Higley Book Tour

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Thomas Nelson (March 12, 2013)

***Special thanks to Tracy L. Higley for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored nine novels, including Garden of Madness and Isle of Shadows. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. See her travel journals and more at TracyHigley.com


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


On an island teetering at the brink of anarchy, Daria finds hope among people of The Way.

She escaped a past of danger and found respite in beautiful Ephesus, a trading center on the Aegean coast, serving as tutor to Lucas, the wealthy merchant who rescued her.

But the darkness she fled has caught up with her.

The high priests of Artemis once controlled the city, but a group of sorcerers are gaining power. And a strange group who call themselves followers of The Way further threaten the equilibrium. As Daria investigates Lucas’s exploits into the darker side of the city, her life is endangered, and she takes refuge in the strange group of believers. She’s drawn to Paul and his friends, even as she wrestles with their teachings.

When authorities imprison Lucas for a brutal crime, Daria wonders if even Paul’s God can save him. Then she uncovers a shocking secret that could change everything—Lucas’s fate, her position in his household, and the outcome of the tension between pagans and Christians. But only if she survives long enough to divulge what she knows.

“Meticulously-researched, spellbindingly written with luscious prose and compelling and complex characters.” —Tosca Lee, New York Times best-selling author of Havah: The Story of Eve




Product Details:
List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 12, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401686826
ISBN-13: 978-1401686826



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Prologue



I am an old man, and I have seen too much.

Too much of this world to endure any more. Too much of the next to want to linger.

And though I have nearly drowned in the glorious visions of those last days, yet I know not when it shall come, nor how many years I must tread this barren earth before all is made new.

There is a Story, you see. And we are still in the midst of it, ever striving to play our roles, battling on for the freedom of hearts and souls and minds yet enslaved by darkness.

But I have seen a great light. Oh yes, I have seen it. Even now it is breaking through, as it did on that grassy hillside so many cool spring mornings ago, when Moses and Elijah walked among us and my Brother shone with the glory He had been given from the beginning and will rise up to claim again at the end.

You will wonder, perhaps, at my calling Him brother. And yet that is what He was to me. Brother and friend, before Savior, before Lord. In those days when we wandered the land, going up and down from the Holy City, we shared our hearts, our lives, our laughter. Oh, how we laughed, He and I! He had the irrepressible joy of one who sees beyond the brokenness, to the restoration of all.

I loved him. And He loved me.

But I speak of beginnings and of endings, and these are words that have no meaning, for the day of His birth was both the beginning of the Kingdom and the end of tyranny, and that magnificent Day yet to come—it is the end-which-is-a-beginning, and my eyes have seen such glory in that New Jerusalem, my very heart breaks to tell of it.

And yet they come, young and old, to this tiny home in Ephesus that is to be my last dwelling outside that New City, and they beg me to tell the Story again and again.

And I do.

I tell of seals and scrolls, of a dragon and a beast and a Lamb. Of music that makes you weep to hear it and streets that blind the mortal eye. Of a Rider on a White Horse with eyes of blazing fire, whose name is Faithful and True. It is a great Story, and greater still to hear the final consummation of it, for how often we forget that we are living it still.

But I have another tale to tell. A smaller story within the One True Story that began before the creation of this world and is echoed at its end, as all our stories are. It happens here, in this port city of Ephesus but many years ago, when the darkness lay even heavier than it now does upon the people, and their souls cried out for relief from anyone who could give it.

This smaller story does not begin here in Ephesus, however. It begins a day’s sail away, on the sun-kissed shores of the Isle of Rhodes, where the light first began to break upon one woman and one man, even as they walked in darkness . . .



Chapter 1



Rhodes, AD 57



In the glare of the island morning sun, the sea blazed diamond-bright and hard as crystal, erratic flashes spattering light across Daria’s swift departure from the house of her angry employer.

She carried all she owned in one oversized leather pouch, slung over her shoulder. The pouch was not heavy. A few worn tunics and robes, her precious copy of Thucydides. She clutched it to her side and put her other hand to the gold comb pinning the dark waves of her hair, her one remaining luxury.

The bitter and familiar taste of regret chased her from the whitewashed hillside estate, down into the squalid harbor district. Why had she not kept silent?

Along the docks hungry gulls shrieked over fishy finds and work-worn sailors traded shrill insults. The restless slap of the sea against the hulls of boats kept time with the anxious rhythm of her steps against the cracked gray stones of the quay.

She had run once, haunted and guilty to a fresh start in Rhodes. Could she do it again? Find a way to take care of herself, to survive?

“Mistress Daria!”

The voice at her back was young and demanding, the tenor of a girl accustomed to a world arranged to her liking. And yet still precious, still malleable.

“Mistress! Where are you going?”

Daria slowed, eyes closed against the pain, and inhaled. She turned on the sun-warmed dock with a heaviness that pulled at her limbs like a retreating tide.

Corinna’s breath came quick with exertion and the white linen of her morning robe clung to her body. The sweet girl must have run all the way.

“To the School of Adelphos, Corinna. I will seek a position there.”

Corinna closed the distance between them and caught Daria’s hand in her own. Her wide eyes and full lips bespoke innocence. “But you cannot! Surely, Father did not mean what he said—”

Daria squeezed the girl’s eager fingers. “It is time. Besides”—she tipped Corinna’s chin back—“you have learned your lessons so well, perhaps you no longer need the services of a tutor.”

Corinna pulled away, dark eyes flashing and voice raised. “You do not believe that, mistress. It is you who says there is always more to learn.”

They drew the attention of several young dockworkers hauling cargo from ship to shore. Daria stared them down until they turned away, then circled the girl’s shoulders, pulled her close, and put her lips to Corinna’s ear. “Yes, you must never stop learning, dear girl. But it must be someone else who teaches you—”

“But why? What did you say to anger Father so greatly?”

Only what she thought was right. What must be said. A few strong phrases meant to rescue Corinna from a future under the thumb of a husband who would surely abuse her.

Daria smiled, fighting the sadness welling in her chest, and continued her trudge along the dock toward the school. “I am afraid discretion is one of the things I have not yet learned, Corinna. Your father is a proud man. He will not brook a mere servant giving him direction in the running of his household.”

Corinna stopped abruptly at the water’s edge, her pretty face turned to a scowl. “You are no mere servant! You are the most learned tutor I have ever had!”

Daria laughed and looked over the sea as she walked, at the skiffs and sails tied to iron cleats along the stone, easy transportation to the massive barges that floated in the blue harbor, awaiting trade. Papyrus and wool from Egypt, green jade and aromatic spices from far eastern shores, nuts and fruits and oils from Arabia. Her eyes strayed beyond the ships, followed northward along the rocky Anatolian coast to cities unknown, riddles to be unraveled, secrets and knowledge to be unlocked. More to learn, always. And somewhere perhaps, the key to redeeming the past.

They approached and skirted the strange symbol of the isle of Rhodes, the toppled Helios that once stood so proud and aloof along the harbor and now lay humbled, its bronze shell speckled to an aged green, reflecting the impenetrable turquoise sky. The massive statue had lain at the quay for gulls to peck and children to climb for nearly three hundred years since the quake brought it down. Daria found it disturbing.

“May I still visit you at the school, Mistress Daria?”

She smiled. “One challenge at a time. First I must convince Adelphos that he should hire me.”

Corinna’s tiny sandals scurried to keep pace. “Why would he not?”

“It is not easy to be an educated woman in a man’s world of philosophy and rhetoric. There are few men who appreciate such a woman.”

“How could anyone not appreciate someone as good, as brave, as you?”

The child gave her too much credit. She was neither good, nor brave. She would not be here in Rhodes if she were. Though she was trying. The gods knew, she had been trying.

Corinna lifted her chin with a frown in the direction of the school. “I shall simply explain to Adelphos how very valuable you are.”

And how outspoken? Interfering? But perhaps the girl could help in some way.

“Will you demonstrate some of what I have taught you, Corinna?”

The girl’s eyes lit up. “Just wait, mistress. I shall amaze and delight that crusty old Adelphos.”

Daria studied the impetuous girl and bit her lip. But it was a chance she must take.

The School of Adelphos lay at the end of the docks, its modest door deceptive. Daria paused outside, her hand skimming the rough wood, and inhaled determination in the sharp tang of salt and fish on the breeze. Who would believe that such distinguished men as the poet Apollonius and Attalus the astronomer had studied and written and debated behind this door? Sea trade had kept Rhodes prosperous for centuries, but in the two hundred years under Roman control, the Greek island had grown only more beautiful, a stronghold of learning, of arts and sciences and philosophy.

Inside its most famous school, she blinked twice and waited for her sun-blind eyes to adjust.

“Daria!” Adelphos emerged from the shadows of the antechamber with a cool smile and tilt of his head. Tall and broad-shouldered, he was several years her senior, with the confident ease of an athlete, a man aware of his own attractiveness.

She returned the smile and straightened her back. “Adelphos. Looking well, I am pleased to see.”

He ran a gaze down the length of her, taking in her thin white tunic and the pale blue mantle that was the best of her lot. “As are you.”

“I have come to make you an offer.”

At this, his eyebrows and the corner of his mouth lifted in amusement and he gave a glance to Corinna, still at the door. “Shouldn’t we send your young charge home first?”

She ignored the innuendo. “My employ as Corinna’s tutor will soon come to an end, and I desire to find a place here, in your school. As a teacher.” She swallowed against the nervous clutch of her throat.

Again the lifted eyebrows, but Adelphos said nothing, only strolled into the lofty main hall of the school, a cavernous marble room already scattered with scholars and philosophers, hushed with the echoes of great minds.

She gritted her teeth against the condescension and beckoned Corinna to follow, with a warning glance to keep the girl quiet, but the child’s sudden intake of breath at the fluted columns and curvilinear architraves snapped unwanted attention in their direction, the frowns of men annoyed by disruptive women.

Adelphos disappeared into the alcove that housed the school’s precious stock of scrolls—scrolls Daria had often perused at her leisure and his generosity.

Daria spoke to his back. “Do you doubt my abilities—”

“What I doubt, my lady, is a rich man’s willingness to pay a woman to teach his sons.”

Daria waved a hand. “Bah! What difference does it make? I can do a man’s work just as well. And if they learn, they learn!” But a cold fear knotted in her belly.

Adelphos traced his fingertips over the countless nooks of scrolls, as if he could find the one he sought simply by touching its ragged edge. “And you, Daria? Do you want to live a man’s life as well as do a man’s work? What woman does not long for love and family and hearth?”

Her throat tightened at his words, too close to the secrets of her heart. Yes, she longed for those comforts. For a love that would accept her abilities, complement rather than suppress. But for now, for now she had no one and she must assure her own welfare.

She coughed to clear the dryness of her throat and stepped beside him, examined the great works of philosophy and literature, their tan Egyptian papyri wrapped in brown twine, sealed in waxy red.

Adelphos reached past her to a nook above her head, and his muscled arm brushed her shoulder.

The touch was intentional, clearly. Manipulative. Even so, his nearness left her breathless and her usual sharp-tongued wit failed. When she spoke, it was a harsh whisper, too raw with emotion, though the words emerged falsely casual. “And why should I not have both?”

At this, Adelphos huffed, a derisive little laugh, and turned to lean his back against the shelves and unroll the scroll he had retrieved.

“A woman of ambition. Does such a breed truly exist?” His gaze darted to hers. “But what am I saying? You have already wedded a husband, have you not?”

Daria pulled a scroll from its recess and pretended to study it.

“You are interested in the work of Pythagoras? That one is newly arrived from Samos.”

Daria shrugged. “I find his work repetitive. What new has he added to Euclid’s previous efforts?”

“Indeed.” Adelphos pulled the scroll from her hands and replaced it in its nook. “But you have not answered my question.”

“I am a widow, yes.”

“A widow with no sons. No dowry.” He glanced at Corinna, clutching the doorway. “And no employment. Is there anything more desperate?”

Daria lifted her chin and met his gaze. “It seems you are in an enviable position, then, Adelphos. You have found a skilled teacher, available for a bargain.”

Adelphos circled to Corinna, an appreciative gaze lingering on her youth and beauty. “And this is your prize specimen? The pupil of whom I have heard such wonders?”

The girl straightened and faced Adelphos with a confidence borne of knowledge. “Shall I demonstrate the superior skill Mistress Daria has given me with languages?”

Daria silently cheered and blessed the girl. “Corinna has been working hard to master the tongues of Rome’s far-flung empire.”

Adelphos’s brow creased and he opened his lips as if to speak, then sealed them and nodded once. No doubt he wanted to ask what use there might be for a girl who could speak anything but common Greek. As Daria herself was such a girl, the implicit question struck a nerve. She turned a shoulder to Adelphos and nodded encouragement to Corinna. “Let us hear Herodotus in the Classical first, then.”

The girl grinned, then gushed a passage of Herodotus in the proud language of her Greek forebears, the language of literature and poetry, before Alexander had rampaged the world and equalized them all with his common koine.

“And now in Latin, Corinna.”

The girl repeated the passage, this time in the tongue of the Romans, the new conquerors.

Adelphos tilted his head to study the girl, then spoke to her in Latin. “Anyone can memorize a famous passage in a foreign tongue. Few can converse in it.”

Corinna’s eyelashes fluttered and she glanced at her hands, twisted at her waist. When she answered, it was not in Latin, but in Persian. “Fewer still can converse in multiple languages at once, my lord.”

Adelphos chuckled, then glanced at Daria. “She does you proud, lady.”

A glow of pride, almost motherly, warmed Daria’s chest. “Indeed.”

Corinna reached out and gripped Adelphos’s arm, bare beneath his gleaming white tunic. “Oh, it is all Mistress Daria’s fine teaching, I assure you, my lord. I wish to be an independent woman such as she someday. There is nothing she cannot do.”

“Corinna.” Daria smiled at the girl but gave a tiny shake of her head.

Corinna withdrew her hand and lowered her eyes once more. “I have told my father this, but he does not understand—”

“Her father has been most pleased with her progress.” Daria tried to draw Adelphos’s attention. “He saw a superior mind there from an early age and was eager to see it developed.”

He waved a hand in the air. “I have seen enough. You may go.”

Stop the Glorification of Busy


I saw this quote on Facebook the other day---the cementing of all kinds of thoughts that had been swirling around my mind in regard to the subject.  

Are you staying busy?  

Have you ever been greeted that way by someone in passing?  I have and, for me, it's kind of awkward.  What am I supposed to say?  If I say no, they'll think I'm lazy and boring.  If I say yes, I'll be exaggerating the truth.

I try really hard not to stay busy.  In fact, my new year resolution for the last two years has been to avoid any outside activity that makes me feel overwhelmed, stressed, or too busy.

When I say outside activity, I mean anything that doesn't fall within my obvious, God-given role as a wife and mother.  So, field trips, ministry teams, and play dates are subject to avoidance---laundry, conversations with husband, and meal prep are not.

We often feel obligated to be busy.  We feel guilty if we can't account for our time.  Schools give kids busy work because teachers will feel guilty if they just send the faster-working kid outside to play while the others finish up.  Oh yeah, and it's against The Rules.

You've heard the phrase, "stop and smell the roses."  Have you ever done it?  This morning I took five minutes and sat on my porch with my eyes closed, listening to the birds and the river, and praying.  I feel really refreshed. Now I've got four babies making noise in the background, and will have nine kids up wanting breakfast any minute now, (I hear footsteps on the stairs) but I am going to handle this day way better because I stopped to be filled first.  

(Before you start imagining I live in some idyllic meadow and begin lamenting your lack of birds, a river, and a quiet porch, understand that mine is smack in the middle of the busy downtown.  Loud, obnoxious people, stinky diesel trucks, and blowing garbage abound.  But, like mom says, you make your own happiness.)

What is being gained from your busyness?  Kids are up now so I gotta make this short.  Basically there's one test to be sure you're busy for the right reasons.  If it doesn't fall within your specific, God-given role and it's not going to bring eternal good, then it's eligible for the chopping block.  

This post was published in The Christian Home Magazine, Issue #106.

Thank you to Judith from WholeHearted Home for featuring this post!

Linking with:

Wisdom Wednesdays @Simply Helping Him
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays 
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Inspire Me Wednesday @ MamaBuzz
Simple Living Wednesdays @ Our Simple Farm
Sheltering Linkup @ A Sheltering Tree
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Legacy Leaver Thursday @ Leaving a Legacy
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Homeacre Hop 
Desire to Inspire @ A Royal Daughter
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home 
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Family Fun Friday @ Moms and Munchkins 
Family Fun Friday @ Happy and Blessed Home
Farm Girl Friday @ Let This Mind Be In You
Fit & Frugal Family Friday
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal
Or So She Says...
Show and Tell Saturday @ Sassy Little Lady 
Finding the Pretty & Delicious @ Your Homebased Mom
30 Min. Linkup @ 30 Days
Sharing Creative Ideas @ Made By Joey
Sunday Showcase Party@Under the Table and Dreaming 
Sundae Scoop @ I heart nap time
The Creative Homemaker Hop 
One More Time
Motivate Me Monday 
What's In the Gunny Sack? 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
Mondays with Countrified Hicks
Manic Monday @ Cupcake-n-Bake
A Return to Loveliness @ A Delightsome Life
Cottage Style Party @ Lavender Garden Cottage 
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios
Courtship Connection
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What Is Good 
Domestically Divine @ Far Above Rubies
(Titus 2)s Days @ Time Warp Wife
Tending the Home Tuesday
The Bliss Project Linkup @ Grace-Full Intentions
What Up?! Wednesday @ Frugal Fit Family   

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Scent of Lilacs Book Review


My first experience reading Ann H. Gabhart's books was when we had just moved to Washington and my husband had started a night job.  Lonely with no friends and no internet, I was lamenting leaving most of my books back in Oregon to be picked up on our second trip with the moving van---two weeks later.  The next night, my husband brought me one of her books set in the Quaker days, and I've enjoyed her novels ever since.

Gabhart's works show the reader that we have all dealt with similar issues---no matter what time period we are living in---and that God's timeless grace can get us through them all.  In Scent of Lilacs, Gabhart tells the story of Jocie Brooke and her family's struggles in the summer of 1964.  Jocie's family is holding a secret---even from Jocie.  When all is revealed, Jocie will never be the same---but that could be a good thing!

From the publisher:  "Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story from bestselling author Ann Gabhart explores the very essence of new life and love."

Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  All opinions are honest and are my own.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chili and a Homemaking Linkup

Today for the Homemaking Linkup, I'm sharing my chili recipe.  I've shared it here before but it's been a couple years so here you go!  This chili is super good with my Spiced Cornbread.  Mmm!!


Mrs. Coller's Chili

(makes about 10 servings...you can half this or freeze the remaining if you don't need this much)

6 cans beans (We like to use black beans)
2 cans refried beans
1-2 pkg. taco seasoning
1/2 c. bbq sauce
1/4 c. dijon or spicy mustard

Rinse 6 cans beans in strainer.  Place them in a pot with the refried beans and all other ingredients.  Add 2-4 c. water.  You want to start out with the chili quite a bit runnier than you like it.  Cook and stir often until it has reached your desired thickness.  This could be anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half...depending on how much water you add.  The more water you add, the longer you have to cook it and the more flavorful it will be as the beans absorb the flavors from the other ingredients.  If you're in a hurry, just add a couple cups of water so there's a buffer there to keep it from sticking to the pan while it's heating up and dissolving the seasoning and you'll be good to go in about a half hour.


I hope you'll join me for this week's Homemaking Linkup.  I love to feature some of the neat posts that are linked up so please make sure and put my button or a text link on your blog so you'll be eligible to be featured!  There were posts both last week and this week that I really wanted to feature but didn't because there was no back link.

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Here are some of my favorite posts from last week:
The Proverbial Homemaker gave a very thorough lesson on creating your own seed storage binder.  I love this---and not just because it's pink and green!  Tauna has been a blogging buddy of mine for awhile now.  She is so encouraging!

Another blog that I'm really enjoying lately is 31 Cups.  Gretchen has such awesome insights and I always come away from her blog feeling fed.  She linked up a great post about diving into enjoying poetry---I'm ready!

Thanks to everyone for the great posts!

Now for the linkup.  Please remember to return the favor by adding my button or a text link to your post.  Have a great weekend!

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Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.




Linking with:

Homemaking Link-Up Weekend @ Hope In Every Season
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Legacy Leaver Thursday @ Leaving a Legacy
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Homeacre Hop 
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits @ Stone Gable  
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home 
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Family Fun Friday @ Moms and Munchkins 
Family Fun Friday @ Happy and Blessed Home
Farm Girl Friday @ Let This Mind Be In You
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal
Or So She Says...
Show and Tell Saturday @ Sassy Little Lady 
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
Finding the Pretty & Delicious @ Your Homebased Mom
30 Min. Linkup @ 30 Days
Sharing Creative Ideas @ Made By Joey
Sunday Showcase Party@Under the Table and Dreaming 
Craft Schooling Sunday @ Creative Jewish Mom 
Church Supper @ Everyday Mom's Meals 
Sundae Scoop @ I heart nap time
The Creative Homemaker Hop 
Seasonal Sundays @ The Tablescaper
Sunny Simple Sunday @ Sunny Simple Life
One More Time
Craft-o-Maniac Monday  
Motivate Me Monday 
What's In the Gunny Sack? 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
Mondays with Countrified Hicks
Manic Monday @ Cupcake-n-Bake
Wisdom Wednesdays @Simply Helping Him
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays 
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
White Wednesday @ Faded Charm Cottage
Home @ Rose Chintz Cottage  
Inspire Me Wednesday @ MamaBuzz
Watcha Work-Up Wednesday 
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants 
Rednesday @ It's a Very Cherry World
Simple Living Wednesdays @ Our Simple Farm
Sheltering Linkup @ A Sheltering Tree
Shoe Lace Linkup @ Living In the Shoe   

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Day the Birdie Came to Tea

Have you ever begun a project with full intentions of gifting it away, only to fall in love with the finished project and struggle with the urge to keep it for yourself?

That's exactly what happened with me and my birdie spool this past weekend!
For a week now, I've had the perfect gift in mind for one of my swap partners---but now that it's finished, I just don't think I can part with it.  Is that horrible?

I found this sweet birdie in a bag of miscellaneous Easter decorations from Salvation Army.  Her little beak was wide open and she was calling for me to do something crafty with her.  So, I placed her in a tiny nest that my daughter Lynzie crocheted and set her on this little spool that my mom gave me.  She seems so happy and cheery now---and looks so sweet with my other vintage spool decorations!
I think I need to keep her!
Isn't this tea cup and saucer pretty?  It belongs to my mom and she let me borrow it today to share with you all.  I love the little silver feet and the pretty mauve roses.  It's very light and delicate.  Thanks, Mom, for sharing your beautiful cup with me!

Have you visited my Homemaking Linkup? I'd love to have you join!

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Thanks so much to Creative Jewish Mom for featuring this craft on her blog!

Linking With:

Tea Time Tuesday @ Rose Chintz Cottage
Tea Cup Tuesday @ Artful Affirmations  
Friends Sharing Tea @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog
Tuesday Cuppa Tea @ Antiques & Teacups 
Teacup Tuesday @ Martha's Favorites
Tabletop Tuesday @ A Stroll Through Life
A Return to Loveliness @ A Delightsome Life
Cottage Style Party @ Lavender Garden Cottage
Domestically Divine @ Far Above Rubies
(Titus 2)s Days @ Time Warp Wife
Tending the Home Tuesday
The Bliss Project Linkup @ Grace-Full Intentions
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Restored It Wednesday
Home @ Rose Chintz Cottage  
Inspire Me Wednesday @ MamaBuzz 
Watcha Work-Up Wednesday 
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants 
Simple Living Wednesdays @ Our Simple Farm
Sheltering Linkup @ A Sheltering Tree
Shoe Lace Linkup @ Living In the Shoe
Homemaking Link-Up Weekend @ Hope In Every Season
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Pearls and Lace Thursday @ Faith, Grace and Crafts
Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Legacy Leaver Thursday @ Leaving a Legacy
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Homeacre Hop 
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits @ Stone Gable  
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home 
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Thrifty Things Friday @ The Thrifty Groove
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Family Fun Friday @ Moms and Munchkins 
Beverly's Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound
Family Fun Friday @ Happy and Blessed Home
Farm Girl Friday @ Let This Mind Be In You
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal
Or So She Says...
Show and Tell Saturday @ Sassy Little Lady 
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
Finding the Pretty & Delicious @ Your Homebased Mom
30 Min. Linkup @ 30 Days
Sharing Creative Ideas @ Made By Joey
Sunday Showcase Party@Under the Table and Dreaming 
Craft Schooling Sunday @ Creative Jewish Mom
Sundae Scoop @ I heart nap time
The Creative Homemaker Hop 
Seasonal Sundays @ The Tablescaper
Sunny Simple Sunday @ Sunny Simple Life
One More Time
Blue Monday@Smiling Sally
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Craft-o-Maniac Monday  
Motivate Me Monday 
What's In the Gunny Sack? 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
Mondays with Countrified Hicks
Manic Monday @ Cupcake-n-Bake  
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