Thursday, December 31, 2009

a quilt and a book list

Here is my latest finished quilt. I hand quilted around each block and could be a handquilting convert. This is a quilt that was inspired by Amanda's pattern on Moda Bake Shop. It is a full size quilt for my own bed. It is the sixth quilt I finished in 2009 and probably my favorite quilt.

It is the end of the year, and my book recommendations from this year's reading are:

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler

The Bible

This is likely my last blog post. I have other things that I have to do with my, write, make cards, sew, quilt, and spend time with people. Happy 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble is a historical novel set in California in 1907. Addie Sullivan's life changes one day when an unknown man shows up and tells Addie that she is really someone else. She has spent her life living in a lighthouse and learning how to help take care of it. Her life is changed drastically when she goes to this new home and meets the people that live there.

When I started the story I had difficulty keeping the different characters straight. The characters were a bit unbelievable in some respects, but the strength of the book was the unexpected twists and turns that made the story suspenseful. This book would probably be classified under mystery and romance, though Coble did better on the mystery end than on the romance end. It is another book that is a good reminder that keeping secrets can really affect a person's life. If you like historical fiction and mysteries, this would be a good book for you to read.

This book review is part of Thomas Nelson's book reviewer program.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

more Christmas books

Here are three books that you might enjoy reading with or to children this Christmas season.The first is The Twelve Days of Christmas in Minnesota by Constance Van Hoven. It talks about lots of things that are important to Minnesotans-hotdish, Holsteins, and loons. There are actually two stories in one, one the twelve days of Christmas, the other a series of letters written by a girl to her parents that explains a lot about things and places in Minnesota. It would make a great gift for any family that lives or has lived in Minnesota

Fancy Nancy Splendiforous Christmas by Jane O'Connor is a book any Fancy Nancy fan would enjoy. Nancy loves Christmas, and loves everything that goes with it. I read this to my some of my second and third grade students and they enjoyed it.
Stable in Bethlehem, A Christmas Counting Book by Joy N. Hulme is another great book I came across this year. It is short and counts backwards from 12 to 1, including all the important things about Christmas, like the shepherds, the three kings, and of course, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The illustrations are very well done, too. If you are a stickler for accuracy like my dad, you might not like it, though. It mentions dogs (we don't know if they were part of the Christmas story) and gives a number to both shepherds and kings, which we also don't know. It is great for younger children because it is a short story.

A few more books if your children are fans of certain characters:

Merry Christmas, Ollie by Olivier Dunrea

Mrs. Wishy Washy's Christmas by Joy Cowley

Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve by Janet Morgan Stoeke

If that isn't enough ideas for Christmas books, you can click here or here to see past year's book recommendations. Happy Christmas reading!

Friday, December 18, 2009

diligence and activities make me tired!

I am done handquilting my full size quilt. I made a simple quilt top in three days and basted it. Today and tomorrow I am going to quilt it. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I attended different Christmas related activities. Last night it was a Sara Groves Christmas concert. I bought her CD to add to my collection of Christmas music. I like all the songs except "Toy Packaging." Now I am tired. Why does there have to be so many Christmas events?

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Sisters by David McPhail is a picture book for anyone that has sisters. It is about two girls that are typical of most sisters that I know. The girls have lots of differences, but they also have plenty of similarities. This could be used as a discussion starter with kids about family relationships, or a springboard for a writing assignment. McPhail does a great job with the illustrations, too.