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November & December Reads

15 Jan
I love reading.

I love reading.

 

Grace Transforming by Phil Ryken:  As someone who tends to be a bit performance-driven I found this book so helpful.  It really isn’t about what we do but instead it is all about Jesus and what He has done for us.  Phil Ryken is the president at Wheaton College-a college known for producing great Christians such as Billy Graham and Jim & Elisabeth Elliot.  The book itself is very small and only about 100 pages.  I personally love little books as they are great to carry around in my purse.  This book would also be perfect for the person  who is easily intimidated by the average theological book.  Although I would claim this book is filled with great theology I wouldn’t call it a theological book.  It’s really a simple book that it’s all about what Christ has done for us and not what we have accomplished.  Excellent!  One I hope to revisit in the future.

The Air We Breathe by Christa Parrish: This book is about a 17-year-old girl whose life is ruled by fear.  Although she wants to break free from her past she is held back until a former friend finds her again six years later.  The only thing I disliked about the book was how it switched back and forth in time and with chapters involving three different characters.  It was definitely confusing for the first couple of chapters.  Overall I really liked this book and look forward to reading other books by Parrish (this was my first).

What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You by David Murrow.  I should have known by this book’s title that it wouldn’t be one of my favorites.  Although he does make some good points he is completely off base in other areas.  Way off base!  I discussed parts of the book with my husband and he agreed this book is crazy.  I would not recommend this book at all!  Please note I did receive a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.  

Past Darkness by Laurel Woiwode: Hands down this was my favorite book I read in the past couple of months.  It chronicles the life of fifteen year old Chicago native Gabrielle Larson who is forced to relocate to rural North Dakota when tragedy strikes.  The book follows her as she learns to cope with the various trials that come her way.  I really enjoy reading fiction and usually read Christian fiction (in order to avoid anything spicy).  This book was refreshingly unlike most “Christian Fiction” books you will find at the bookstore.  It is not preachy or tacky in any sense.  If you enjoy reading fiction I highly commend this book to you!  Please note I did receive an advanced reader copy in exchange for my review from Crossway.  Unfortunately it won’t be released until April but it is available for pre-order.  I cannot wait to read more works from this author!

Rocks, Dirt, Worms & Weeds: A Fun User-Friendly, Illustrated Guide to Creating A Vegetable or Flower Garden with Your Kids by Jeff Hutton.  When I came home with a stack of books from the library a couple of weeks ago this was the book I was looking forward to reading the most.  It was also the biggest disappointment!  The title is catchy but the information throughout the books makes me wonder if the author has ever planted a realistic garden with his kids.  I’d pass on this one!

Dirt Cheap Gardening: Hundreds of Ways to Save Money in Your Garden by Rhonda Massingham Hart.  This book was such a welcomed respite after reading the previous book.  It was really good and did exactly as the title says-provide lots of ideas on saving money in your garden.  The book also includes helpful lists in the first few chapters about plants and various growing conditions.  There are a number of ideas in this book that apply to landscaping, and flowers.  I’m hoping to grow a large variety of flowers in my garden this year.

The Sound Mind Investing Handbook by Austin Pryor.  I have always felt that I am clueless when it comes to investing and planning for retirement.  This book was incredibly helpful for me and I was so thankful that my hubby bought it for me.  (I shared the highlights with him.)  I really appreciated the author’s Christian perspective on managing your money from a biblical perspective.  The book is very well researched and laid out.  It answered a number of questions that both Brandon & I had about money.

50 Ways to Master Your Sewing Machine by Linda Denner.  Although dated (the book is 17 years old) it holds a wealth of information that is still relevant today.  It was packed full of helpful hints.  I learned so much and I have been sewing regularly for 15 years!  My biggest take away was the encouragement to really use all of the features that my machine has.

I’m still working on my list of books to read this year and would love your suggestions!  

Dermagist Skin Care Review

3 Jan

clarifying system for acne prone skin by dermagist

I was really excited when a representative from Dermagist contacted me about doing a review of one of their products.  For the past two months I have been trying out a new skin care line called Dermagist.  I must say that I am pretty impressed with how their products have helped to balance out my skin tone.

I used the Clarifying System for Acne Prone Skin which included the Detoxifying Cleanser with Resveratrol and Clarifying Cream.    The results were really good and I think my skin looks better than it has in a couple of years.  I will say that I hated using the cleanser.  Usually cleansing my face is one of my favorite parts of my hygiene routine.  The Dermagist cleanser smells AWFUL. I really prefer my cleanser to have a pleasant smell.  I guess that is what comes of years of using Smell Good Face Washes.  😉

Still the clarifying cream smells great!  In the past I have shied away from using creams or moisturizer because I worried that they would make my skin oily and more prone to breakouts.  This stuff is AMAZING!  It smells great and works wonderful.  There is something that just makes me feel pampered when applying face cream.  🙂

The product is sold as a 45-day supply but I am confident mine will last at least 3 months or more.  They are a little more expensive than what our budget usually allows for skin care items so I am not confident yet what I will do when my supply runs out.  I have never tried ProActive (which was insanely popular when I was a teenager) so I don’t know how Dermagist compares.  I found that the results were similar to using the prescription Clindamyacin in conjunction with a good skin care routine.  If you want to avoid prescriptions and need good results this might be a good thing to try.

Right now Dermagist is offering a couple of specials.

Please note I did receive a free 45-day supply of the Clarifying System for Acne Prone Skin from Dermagist in exchange for this review.  The review did not have to be positive.  All opinions are my own.  

Sew a Drawstring Nightgown (or dress): Simplicity 1722 Review

28 Dec
Simplicity 1722 Tween Drawstring Nightgown

Simplicity 1722 Tween Drawstring Nightgown

This has to be one of my favorite Christmas presents that I made this year!   I used Simplicity 1722 to sew a nightgown for my eight year old cousin.  I sewed a straight 8 no adjustments.  She wears a size 8 in ready to wear so that is what I made.  I didn’t measure her but this fit her perfectly!  (I wish I had taken a picture of her wearing it!)

I sewed View B with lace trim purchased on a spool from hobby lobby.  The flannel was from Hancock’s.  This pattern used single fold bias tape for the casing for the elastic under the bust.  I had never done this before but it was pretty easy.  What was neat about this pattern was that it is one of Simplicity’s “Learn to Sew” patterns.  It has the most detailed instructions I believe I have ever seen on a pattern as well as helpful hints.  I even learned something myself!

The only difficulty I had with this pattern was getting the elastic in the waistband to look uniform.  I”m still not sure exactly why.  I ended up just playing with it until it looked more uniform. Although the pattern calls for 3 1/2 yards of lace for size 8 I was able to get by with just 3.  😉  This project only took 2 hours top to bottom.  How could you not love such an adorable pattern that comes together so fast.  Overall this pattern is wonderful!  I think it would also make a lovely dress for summer time!

Since it was for a little girl I couldn’t resist sewing up a cute little matching dress.

A sweet little matching nightgown for my cousin's American Girl doll.

A sweet little matching nightgown for my cousin’s American Girl doll.

Sew a Baby Bath Robe: Simplicity 3711 Review

20 Dec
Front View

Front View

I decided to sew a sweet little baby robe for my niece Zuzu for Christmas this year.  I used Simplicity 3711 which is a baby bath robe pattern which includes a hood.  I made a size Large for my 1-year-old niece.  I think she wears a size 18-24 months in ready to wear.  The robe was plenty big on her so I think this pattern must run a little big. 

Back View

Back View

I used a soft flannel fabric purchased at either Hancocks or JoAnns (I can’t remember.)  This robe is lined with a soft flannel solid fabric and includes a hood which I thought was adorable.  It is a little bit harder to find a robe pattern that includes a hood.  Flannel will fade overtime but I almost always choose it when making baby gifts-just remember not to iron it.  I did find that this pattern was much more time-consuming than Simplicity 3584 that I made for Elijah last year. 

Prior to this project I had never sewn a flat felt seam.  It was nice to learn a new sewing technique!  The seam was very easy to sew and looked wonderful along the hood. 

The rick rack along the front and hood really adds a sweet touch.  I also included a label with the size.

The rick rack along the front and hood really adds a sweet touch. I also included a label with the size.

I absolutely loved the rick rack which I attached along this robe.  If I were making this for a little boy I would probably skip the rick rack and try piping instead.  I skipped the applique on the front as I thought the flannel print was plenty busy enough.  One thing that I didn’t do on this robe that I should have been to attach the belt.  On Eli’s robe I sewed the belt onto the back of the robe so that it doesn’t get lost.  You could also add belt loops. 

Overall I loved how this project turned out.  I will probably add it to my baby shower possibilities list.  😉

October Reads

12 Nov

 

Lots of fun reads this month!

As I look back over my reads this past month they seem kind of shallow.  Oh well!  Lots of fun, relaxing reads and one that has been a great help to my spiritual life.  We are visiting family in Arkansas for Thanksgiving so I am confident next month’s list will be a little more varied.  I’m hoping to pass the majority of time in the car happily lost in any number of books.   (It makes me such a happier traveler.)  😉 

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis As always this book was just as I expected-lovely.  When it comes to a good fiction book I can just lose myself in for a couple of hours Beverly Lewis is my kind of author.  I love Christian Amish fiction novels and hers are my favorite.  I have read every single one!  The book chronicles the story of Joanna who has been a bridesmaid three times but never a bride.  Overall this book was great.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers.  The review did not have to be favorable.  All opinions are my own.

Overcoming, Fear, Worry, and Anxiety by Elyse Fitzpatrick.  Elyse Fitzpatrick is one of my favorite women authors right up there next to Elisabeth Elliot so I had high hopes for this book.  I was not disappointed in the least bit!  I have had the privilege of studying this book over the past couple of months in a ladies Bible Study.  Words cannot express how God has used this book to challenge me and convict me of the sin of worrying in my own life.  The book could not have been more timely in my life.  Over the past couple of weeks it seems I have worried about all sorts of things that I usually don’t (the election for example).  This book has helped identify sources of worry and fear in my own life that I didn’t realize were there among many other things.  I would HIGHLY recommend this book. 

A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  This book chronicles the journey of Tarsie Raines as she escapes the poor conditions of New York City during the period of Reconstruction.  After tragedy strikes Tarsie is thrown together with Joss in a way she never expected.  I found this book to be quite enjoyable as I really enjoy historical fiction.  I did find a little bit of the book to be a little bit far-fetched similar to how I would view many events that are typical of a Lifetime Movie.  😉  Overall the book was a nice read that I enjoyed while hanging out with my family.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers.  The review did not have to be favorable.  All opinions are my own.

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billion This book chronicles how Le Billion and her family moved to France and how her family adapted to eating in the French culture.  She was able to cure picky eating, put an end to snacking, and came up with 10 rules for raising healthy, happy eaters.  I loved this book!  I found myself agreeing with the great majority of this book.  I love how she emphasizes the importance of family dinners.  We eat dinner together as a family every night and also have the privilege of eating breakfast AND lunch together most days.  When we had Elijah we were determined not to cater to picky eating in our home and thankfully so far (Eli is nearly 3) have succeeded for the time being.  (I do realize more food battles will come again later.)  Most of the time eating healthy food (even vegetables)with our son is a joy.  One of his favorite foods is actually salad!  I did think it was lame that when the author moved back to Canada she allowed her children to eat lots of junk food because of peer pressure.  Overall this book was great.

Pretty in Patchwork Holidays by John Q. Adams.  I picked up this book from our library but I won’t lie.  I am sorely tempted to buy it myself!  The only thing holding me back (besides trying to be frugal) is the fact that all of the projects are patchwork which is kind of like miniature quilting.  Confession: I don’t think I have ever done a patchwork or quilt type of project of any kind.  I guess this would be a great way to stretch myself right?  😉  The following projects have definitely caught my eye: Drawstring Gift Bag, Insulated Buffet Runner,Harvest Vine Table Runner, Gift Card Giver (as an ornament), and Holiday Shopping List Folio.  The patterns in the back do have to be enlarged which is a pet peeve of mine since our printer doesn’t enlarge things.  Overall a nice Christmas sewing book.  Since I haven’t made any of the projects I can’t really vouch for how wonderful the directions are.

Christmas Crafts: Scandinavian Style by Tone Stenklov and Miriam Nilsen Morken.  This book was pretty disappointing.  The projects were okay I guess but just not really my style.  I’m not planning on making any of the projects.  Glad this one was from the library!  😉

McCall 6237 Review: Elijah’s First Hoodie

14 Oct

Eli had a great time at the zoo with cousin Anna while sporting his new hoodie.

With fall officially here I thought it was fitting to sew Eli his very first hoodie.  I dug through my pattern stash and found McCalls 6237.  It includes a little girl’s dress, cargo pants, and hoodie.  I sewed Eli a size 2 but added 1″ to the sleeves and bottom.  The pattern gave only 2 measurements breast and waist which I found incredibly unhelpful.  Here are my son’s measurements: breast 21, waist 10, weight 30 pounds, and height 37″.  It really was a guess on which size to make.  🙂

Side view. I’m really glad I added the 1″ to the bottom.

I used a soft anti-pill fleece fabric that I had in my stash.  (I promise I”m making a nice dent in it so I can go shopping on Black Friday.)  😉  I used 1 yard just as the pattern suggested and an 80/12 Ball Point needle.  I’m still not very good at using the right needle but I think this was a good choice.

You will be able to see the wrong side of the fabric along the inside of the hoodie so keep that in mind.

The actual sewing was pretty straight forward.  This pattern is great!  If you make it and plan on adding a size tag or cute made by mom label be sure to sew it after step 10.  I didn’t and mine ended up fairly crooked!  I also skipped the topstitching in step 12 and used a Welt Seam on step 11.  I was excited to try a Welt Seam again since I had just learned in September how to do one.  It turned out to be  a bad idea because the seam looks a little off.  Note to self: don’t add a Welt Seam unless the pattern calls for one!

Elijah getting ready to ride the train. Perhaps his favorite attraction at the zoo!

Overall this project turned out pretty nice.  I was excited about it and would highly recommend the pattern.  Unfortunately it is now out of print but you may be able to find a cheap one on Ebay.  (It is pretty hard to find a pattern for a toddler hoodie so it might be worth a little hunting.)  The hoodie was a little bit snug around the neck but perhaps Eli just has a big head.  If I end up making another one I may try to widen the neck opening.  He was so tickled with his hoodie especially since it has pockets!  🙂

September Reads

8 Oct

Short stack this month.

Wow September been a busy month at our house!  I’m sure you can tell by the seemingly small stack of books compared to last month.  I spent lots of time this past month putting away garden produce and canning apples as well as numerous sewing projects.  🙂 

Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn.  This was a small book and not at all intimidating (the perfect type of book for someone who doesn’t like to read).  It is absolutely packed with the Gospel.  The format of the book includes nearly 50 short chapters (2-3 pages each) on a variety of different topics.  A Scripture relating to the topic begins each section followed by the words Dear Self….  (The book somewhat reminded me of The Screwtape Letters but was much better.)  This is an excellent book that I cannot recommend enough. Buy this book and be transformed by the power of the Gospel in your life!  This was my first book by Joe Thorn and I cannot wait to read another!  (I hope he writes another one.)

Stuart Little by E.B. White I had the pleasure of reading this book aloud to Eli this month.  To say that we loved it might be an understatement.  I couldn’t believe a kid’s book (besides the Little House series) could be so good.  We found ourselves laughing and enjoying every page of this book.  We have already read Charlotte’s Web together so perhaps we will add Trumpet of the Swan to our reading list next.  Our copy also had a picture on every page or two which we both enjoyed.  🙂  If you are looking for a good read aloud chapter book for young children (my son is almost 3) this would be a great book to start with.  It held Elijah’s interest the whole time.

A Perfect Word for Every Occasion by Liz Duckworth.  I found the entire concept of this book intriguing and I was right.  What a helpful book packed with practical advice on what to say for just about every occasion as the title suggests.  I also really appreciated all of the suggestions on what not to say.  The book includes thoughtful quotes that one might include and Scriptures that would pertain to different circumstances.  It isn’t really a write this exactly kind of book but rather gives lots of suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.  I found the section on Words for the Sick and Suffering to be the most help personally as I always struggle with what to say in those situations.   I will be keeping this book close at hand when I find myself at a loss for what to say.  Please note I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this review.  I was not required to give a favorable review.  All opinions are my own

Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich.  This book tells the story of Ehrenreich (a journalist) who set out on an experiment to see what it would be like to try to get by on minimum wage jobs in four different cities in America.  In each of the locations she finds a job (all different) and a place to live in an effort to support herself for one month.   I found the book to be an enjoyable read and do agree with Ehrenreich that it is very difficult to survive on minimum wage.  Minimum wage is not what I would consider a living wage.  Despite the author’s month of experience in each location I just don’t think that she had a realistic perspective of the trials of trying to live on next to nothing.  A month really isn’t that long.  Still it was an enjoyable book from my library that helped me gain a greater sense of appreciation to many of the service workers in my life.

Embroidery Basics by Betty Barnden.  I picked this book up at the library after embroidering my niece’s slip.  Needlework is something I really enjoy doing but seldom every do.  I just chalk that up to the fact that there is never enough time to do all of the things that one would like to do.  😉  I was already familiar with the majority of the basic embroidery stitches but this book looks like a great place for beginners to start.  I’m not sure if it any better or any worse than any of the other beginning embroidery books that are out there on the market.  If I saw it cheap enough at a used bookstore I might buy it.  🙂

 

Simplicity 2461 Review: Toddler Dress

30 Sep

A fun print for a little country girl I know.

Yesterday one of Eli’s friends from church had a birthday.  Of course I wanted to make something.  I originally thought I would sew up a crayon roll or art smock.  After browsing through my pattern stash I came across a darling little dress pattern Simplicity 2461.  It’s a toddler dress pattern size 1/2-4.  (I originally purchased it to make a dress for my cousin but then decided on the art smock.)

I did have a little trouble with the zipper. 🙂

This pattern was fairly straight forward.  I had a little trouble with the zipper and had to rip it out the first time and re-sew it.  The back of the bodice didn’t line up the first time.  I don’t know that this is the pattern’s fault probably just my somewhat inexperience with zippers.  I still haven’t sewn that many probably only around ten or so.  I do think the dress would look better with an invisible zipper but I didn’t have one of those on hand.  Blue would also look better than yellow but I like to use what I have on hand.  (I live far away from a fabric store and Walmart’s selection is pathetic.)

I had never sewn on hook and eyes before so I might have done that incorrectly.  There were no instructions as to how to sew on the hook and eyes so my placement might be off.  I’m not sure I like the idea of the hook and eye on a toddler dress since toddlers are awfully squirmy.  😉

Back View

I used my serger to finish all of the seams which was especially important since I squeezed this entire dress onto a yard of fabric.  (It called for more than a yard but that was all that I had.)

I added rick-rack along the hem stitching. I love the added pop it brings! This pattern includes a large 2.5″ hem.

I added the rick rack along the bottom.  I think it would look super cute with rick-rack on the collar as well.  Piping would also look really sweet along the front bodice but I didn’t think of that until after it was sewn.

I had never sewn a Peter-Pan collar before and I don’t think mine lined up exactly.  I did find it annoying that the collar is supposed to be sewn at 3/8″ instead of 5/8″ but this is not listed in the pattern only on the tissue pattern.  I”m not sure if it is correct or not but I sewed steps 8-15 at 3/8″.

Hoping the little girl loves her animal dress.

I didn’t take any measurements of the little girl I was making this for I just knew she was petite and wore an 18 month size.  I debated for a long time trying to figure out if the 1/2 or the size 1 corresponded to that size.  I ended up making a size 1.  I don’t know why they don’t just tell you what ready to wear sizes they correspond to.  Overall this is a sweet pattern and I love the finished product.  I just hope it fits!  🙂

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

20 Sep

The sleep sack I made for a friend’s baby shower last week. I had all of the materials on hand (all were purchased on sale).

On one of my many walks this past week  I picked a beautiful bouquet of wildflowers.  They only last a few days but made a beautiful centerpiece for our kitchen table.

I finished watching Larkrise to Candleford Season 4 this past week.  I checked it out for free from the library.

We saved $75 by getting Eli’s dental check up done at our family dentist rather than at the expensive pediatric dentist’s office.  (Yes we do have dental insurance but it only pays so much towards each preventative visit.)  I practiced with Eli before we went to the dentist and he was excellent!

I purchased a yard of remnant white flannel from JoAnns for $3 to make nursing pads for a friend.  This was all I bought at JoAnns which is a major accomplishment for me!  I will be using the white flannel for the outside of the nursing pads and using ugly scrap flannel for the inside layers.

I purchased a pair of boots (for me) from Totsy for 75% off + free shipping.  🙂

From our garden I harvested: green beans, green peppers, banana peppers, okra, zucchini, summer squash & tomatoes.

I planted our Fall Garden which includes: cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, snow peas, & kohlrabi.  I have no clue if any of these will actually work out!  We’ll see.

I purchased a generic brand camera battery for my Nikon camera off Amazon for 3.58.  My camera now works great!

I downloaded Sew-Classic’s Cleaning & Adjusting your sewing machine (free with purchase).  (My machine was just serviced but I am hoping to go through this Sew-Classic booklet the next time my machine needs an adjustment.  I don’t think it will alleviate the need to ever have my machine serviced but it may allow me to lengthen the time between visits.)

In the mail I received a sample of shampoo, conditioner, and a Shout color catcher.

I sewed a flannel blanket and sleep sack for a friend’s baby shower using all materials from my stash.  I used flannel purchased on Black Friday last year for the baby blanket and a remnant piece for the sleep sack.  I also reused a pattern for the Sleep Sack that I had used before.

I made 4 loaves of Country White Bread.  The hubby said it was the best bread I’ve ever made and he might be right.  🙂  We packed our lunch on Wednesday when we ran errands.

We cancelled our Netflix subscription.

What frugal activities did you do this past week?  Do you have any suggestions for me?  I’m looking for fun cheap fall activities to do with Elijah.  🙂 

August Reads

18 Sep

I read a nice variety of books this past month.

The past couple of weeks have been busy, busy, busy around our home which is why it has taken me so long to post these.  🙂 

Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years by Elizabeth Hainstock.  I wouldn’t say that I have fully nailed down my philosophy of learning for the preschool years yet but I would say that if I had to pick one model I would probably choose the Montessori method.  For children birth-age 4 I think it is where our family lands.  This book was easy to read and included dozens of Montessori type learning activities to do with your child.  Most include items you already have around your home or can be made inexpensively.  We have already completed some of the activities and look forward to doing more of them in the next two years.  I enjoyed this book so much that I plan on purchasing it within the next month.

Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic.  I purchased this book on the recommendation of my sister-in-law and I am so glad that I did!  It was so encouraging to me as a mom of a very rambunctious, strong-willed 2 1/2-year-old.  🙂

Letting God Plan Your Family by Samuel Owen.  This was probably the most personally challenging book I read this past month.  It DOES NOT say using birth control to limit the size of your family is always wrong but it does question the motives behind it and what the Bible has to say about children.  I wouldn’t agree with absolutely everything the author has to say but overall this book was excellent.  I mean it’s really good!  I would highly encourage any young couple to read it.  I’m sad to see that it is currently out of print but I would make the effort to search for a used copy.  Totally worth the effort.

Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With Almost No Money by Dolly Freed.  This is probably one of the strangest books I have read all year.  The story documents how Freed and her father lived on just a couple thousand dollars a year.  I would never personally feel comfortable with the way in which she lived but the book is absolutely fascinating.  I picked it up because I thought it might have some neat ideas for saving money.  I don’t know that I really picked up that many money-saving hints but it was so intriguing.  The author went on to attend college and work for NASA as an engineer even though she stopped attending school in 7th grade.  Amazing!

Crafty Mama: Make 49 Fabulous, Fool Proof (Baby & Toddler) Projects by Abby Pecoriello.  Although I may end up making one of the projects (hair barrettes) this book was disappointing.  The concept is nice enough but the actual projects I just found lame.  Glad this one was just from the library.

Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry Morgan.  I have been looking for a book like this one for years.  This book covers all of the major religions and gives a brief explanation of each.  I’m ashamed to admit that even though I have a seminary degree I know very little about many of the world’s religion.  I do enjoy praying for missionaries and have used Operation World as a prayer guide.  It is great to have a better understanding of what a particular religion believes so that I can pray better for the missionaries who are working to spread the Gospel among those in that religion.  This book is also a great conversation starter.  I carried this book with me to a few doctor/dentist appointments the past month and had some really interesting conversations as a result. Note: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own.

Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling.  This is the second book in the Wild West Wind series but I didn’t find myself lost at all.  I did find the pace of the book to be rather slow.  Usually I read most fiction books voraciously but I found myself taking over 2 weeks to finish this one.  It was one of those books that I kept thinking surely this will get better I just need to keep reading.  I read all the way to the end and it didn’t get any better at all.  There was hardly any resolution in this book.  I’m guessing that is so you purchase the third book in the series.  I for one will not be purchasing or reading the next book.  I have no desire to read anymore books in this series.  Note: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.  The review did not have to be favorable.  All opinions are my own.