Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates: Mary Mapes Dodge

This is a summary I did years ago. My best that I've found.

Set in Holland, this story has a lot of history. It is the story of two children, their mother, their father, their friends, and their self appointed enemies. It is the story of an idiot father, a watch, a missing thousand guilders, and...Some silver skates.

Hans asked the greatest doctor or meester in Holland to look at his father. Can he be cured? Can the watch be returned to it's missing owner? Will the thousand guilders ever be restored? and...Is there any chance to win the silver skates?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On Berryhill Road. By Tommie Lyn

When James McKniere, or "Handy" as he was called; is found dead with a gun in his hands on the property he was planning to buy for his family, and a suicide note on his typewriter, explaining that he stole from the Navy,
his wife, Rachel, is dishonorably discharged by the Navy, and her and her daughter, Fallon, are shunned by friends, and acquaintances alike.

Fallon grows up under the cloud of shame brought on by what is thought to have been her fathers actions.

Rachel retreats within herself in an effort to protect her sensitive spirit from the cruel remarks and uncaring attitudes. Finally, it gets to the point when she is no longer able to keep a job, and withdraws till she no longer leaves the trailer which has become their home.

When Fallon is able to get a job at a Gas and Grocery convenience store, she thinks she has the ability to better their circumstances. But she doesn't foresee the changes that inevitably occur when she meets Donovan Pfar, a Petty Officer in the Navy; who is stationed at Whiting Field.

Meanwhile, the two men responsible, not only for James death, but also for stealing the money that he was blamed for taking, are at odds. Joseph Lipstien, the man with the brains, is dying. In an effort to assuage his conscience for agreeing to take James life, he sets up a trust fund for Fallon. Thornton Cordell, is losing his touch as a fighter pilot, and is finally sent to shore, knowing he will never fly another fighter jet. But he knows that if Joseph accomplishes his plan, Thornton will be left to be caught and sentenced. Not only for stealing, but for murder.

Can Fallon and Rachel live past the regret and shame that Handy's death brought to them? Can Donovan persuade Fallon he cares, rather than just pities her position? And can Fallon escape the trap Thornton is closing around her to try to bring closure to his tortured conscience?

Tommie Lyn gives us the emotions of the characters in this book, showing the pain; and the joy of death, life, and love.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Miraculous happenings

So, I've been promising this one for a while. This last week was spent partly in Palisade picking, sorting, and packing peaches; and partly in Montrose haying and canning peaches. But while we were in Palisade, the most amazing thing happened.

I was standing at the back of the peach trailor, sorting peaches, and trying to survive the hot sun. If any of you are from the deep south you're probably laughing at me now. Yes, it was only about ninety five degrees with not too high humidity. But I'm used to the high mountain breezes, and the temperature being around eighty degrees.

Anyway, I was standing there, trying not to pass out when I heard a commotion behind me. My uncle Dan and my sister, Hannah, were picking peaches back there, and I turned around just as a dove flew out of the tree they were picking. Pretty soon Hannah called for me to come over. So I did, and saw a little nest with two tiny ugly little doves in it. That was a shocker! I've only seen killdeer nests up close.

So, we got back to work, and let the doves alone in peace. Hannah and Dan had moved further along the row, and maybe onto another one, when Hannah started hearing a tiny little humming noise every time she picked a peach. Finally she realized it was coming from the tree, so she started looking, and she found a tiny little hummingbird nest. It had one baby in it, and it kept humming in a high pitched tone for it's mother. It was hungry, and we left it alone after a couple minutes. But those sights stayed with me all day. How rare is it to see a hummingbird nest with a little baby in it? I had a wonderful trip, but I'm glad to be back home for a few days.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Stories of Mexico

In 2008 I went on a trip that changed my life. Deep into the heart of Chihuahua State, Mexico. After you get through the border, you have to travel around 4 hours to get to Chihuahua city. From there, you go to Cuatemoc, and from there further into the depths of the Copper Canyon, The largest canyon in Mexico. We finally got to Sante Isobel (the town after Cuatemoc) around 2:00 in the afternoon. We decided to stop for the ice cream bars we'd heard so much about. Having three vans filled mostly with teenagers, doesn't make things go very fast. It took us about fifteen or thirty minutes to get everyone back in the vans with ice cream bars. Going on our way, we made it to the next town in around an hour and a half, from what I remember. We had barely crossed into city limits, when we saw members of the police and Mexican army standing along the street. We wondered what was going on, especially since they all had bandanas across their faces, masking their identity. Driving slowly along, we passed a car with a dead man in it. A shot had ended his life quickly enough. then we passed three people trying to perform CPR on another man laying out on the road. A bit further there was a dog lying by the side of the road, all shot up. When we got to the next town, we found out there had been a fight between the two Mexican Drug Cartels. We had missed it. But by how much? And how did we ever even think to stop and have ice cream instead of going straight through? How close did we come to being in the middle of the whole battle? Having God on your side is worth it! Take my word for it!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Riding the horse of life

I should have posted this a couple weeks ago, for my Dad. But I think now is as good a time as any to honor him.

When all of us younger kids got our first horse, we knew next to nothing about riding. So Dad began taking us out once a week, saddling our horse, and taking her for short rides around.

I mainly remember his gentleness in reminding me where to hold the reigns, how to mount, etc. It was always in a gentle voice, with no harsh tones or hard words. When I think of riding horses, this in one of the good memories, looking back to when I first got over my paralysing fear of horses, and was able to actually ride with no fear at all!

Learning to ride that horse was kind of like learning to live. I fell off so many horses when I was younger, and had to get back on. I've fallen off how I should live so many times, and somehow I've managed to get back on. Mainly with my parents direction.

Thanks Dad for being able to look back at how you helped me to not fear, and being able to look forward to training my children in the same way. I love you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sowing Seeds

When I was little, one of my homework assignments was to write a story. I really don't remember what I was supposed to write, except maybe that it had to do with bringing people to church. Maybe. Anyway, I can remember staring at that piece of paper, and honestly believing I couldn't write that story. I also remember my Mom sitting next to me, thinking out loud with ideas and words that I could use. Right now, looking at that story, I can laugh at the misspellings, the bad grammar, and all the little things that could never work. But my Mom planted in me a seed to write. I doubt she remembers that homework assignment, although I'm pretty sure she remembers the terrible and mysterious "Wahanee and the great big storm" which had my model horse as a hero. When my Mom helped me write that, it was not just the one-on-one time that I craved. It was sacrificing of her time and lots of energy to help me be fulfilled. It was the encouragement of hearing her say "That's a good idea, can we put it here?" It was the fact that she was never impatient, or in a huge hurry to get things done. Those aren't just good memories. They are a basis for my writing now. My Mom sowed seeds in me. Of writing, of patience, of sacrifice. Do you all have a person in your life who inspired you to do the best you can? Or inspired you to do what you're doing now?

Monday, May 31, 2010


Far up in Wyoming, near the Montana border, there is a small town named Shell. And near that town, is a working guest ranch called "The Hideout" It is run by the Flitners. It is also the most beautiful part of Wyoming.

My family and I just spent the last weekend up there visiting my oldest brother and his wife. It was a great time! On Saturday, we were able to visit an airplane graveyard. A huge field of old airplanes. Passenger, bomber, carrier. Anyway, lots and lots of airplanes! We got to climb around in them, and sit in the pilots chairs, and investigate every corner we wanted to poke our noses into. That was probably one of the funnest (is that a word?) afternoons in my lifetime. Including the rain.

On Sunday we went to church in the morning, and were able to eat lunch with the minister and his wife. I think we stressed the poor people in that restaurant out, but they did very well with the 20 people who crowded in. Then we traveled back to Shell in time for a bonfire Sunday evening. That was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend!!! We had a wonderful hostess, and I enjoyed talking with and just being around my family and my brother's family. :)

And now I'm home! :)
God Bless!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review: To Save A Soul. By Nona King

Para Sedi and Munwar Meek are just finishing up a fight with some mercenaries at a tavern, when they get the offer of a job. Being warriors hasn't been helping to fill their purses recently, so without knowing what the job will be, they agree to travel to the small city of Pomeroy to find out what the job entails.

On the way to Pomeroy, they meet an irresistible little Sylvan. Henry Sidgwick. Once they get to the city, they find that the job involves a fifteen year old girl who has disappeared. Everyone believes she is dead. They agree to take the job, and get started immediately.

Para soon finds a compatriot in the city. The brother of the chief suspect, he is a priest, and has had one attempt on his life since the disappearance of the girl.

Can the four of them find the truth before it's too late for the fifteen-year-old Alicia Pomeroy? And can they solve the mystery without disturbing the fragile peace between the two main families of Pomeroy?

To find out, you'll have to read this book. Nona King creates characters that will make you laugh. With scenes that will make shivers chase each other up your spine.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Socorro, New Mexico

Leaving town on Friday evening around 5:00, the group started out for a land far away. OK, it was Mexico. We reached Leadville around midnight if I remember right. I probably don't because I had been asleep for a while. I have found that in Leadville, at midnight, it's cold. Even in June. Leadville is the highest town in Colorado. After we got loaded back up, we headed on down the road. The vans were quiet, since most people were sleeping with the murmur of the drivers and the few people who couldn't sleep. We reached Alamosa in time to find that the Wal Mart was the only store open at that ungodly hour. After hurrying through Wal Mart, and trying to keep the group partway together, we finally all got loaded to get on down the road. By the time breakfast came around, we were in Socorro, New Mexico. That town has interested me for a while now. I learned once that in Spanish "Socorro" means "Help" I had to wonder who would name a town help. Finally my curiosity overcame me. So I googled it. (Hard thing that. ;)) And I found that Socorro actually was a town that was a huge help to the first expedition of explorers coming north from Mexico. The town was a Pueblo Indian village, and showing no fear of the strangers, the Indians told the explorers what lay ahead. And then gave them a large gift of corn. The leader of the expedition renamed the village Socorro because of the aid the Pueblo Indians gave them. There is no part of that village now standing, but if you go to the Eastern edge of Socorro county, you can find the ruins of the three large Pueblo's that were a sign of the might and power of the Pueblo Indians. Now that my curiosity has been satisfied, I thought I would let y'all know about it too. As for the rest of the adventures going to Mexico, I think I'll let them wait for later. :) God Bless!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book Review: Emma, by Jane Austin

Emma is the spoiled youngest daughter of a indulgent father. A headstrong girl, she has much to learn of the world she thinks she knows so well.

Mr. Knightley is a neighbor who has known Emma and her family for at least as long as she has been alive. Sixteen years older than her, he's one of the only friends she has who can see her faults.

The characters in this Jane Austin classic show up in true style. Harriet, the daughter of no-one-knows-who; Mrs. Weston, the true friend, and one-time governess for Emma; Miss Bates, the fast talking, lovable, annoying friend who loves with all her heart, and is the friend of all; Mr. Elton, the village parson...

Emma is a girl who thinks she has a gift for match-making. In a fit of generosity, she makes Harriet Smith, a Parlour Boarder at the school in Highbury, her special friend, and protege. Thinking that Mr. Elton is lonely, she decides that Harriet would be much better off married to him, than to the simple farmer she would have loved without any qualms.

Through a hilarious turn of events, Emma learns of her mistake on a snowy carriage ride with Mr. Elton himself. In hopes of turning Harriet's thoughts away from that dismal failure, Emma starts plotting to help Harriet fall in love with Mrs. Weston's step-son.

When this too falls through, Emma finally finds the truth about herself, and Harriet. About true love, and her real feelings considering certain people in her life. Just when she feels her last chance of happiness has disappeared; the one who can make her dreams come true, appears and shows her the truth about himself as well.

Oh, and if you're wondering how Harriet came out of this disastrous relationship, she had a happy ending as well.

Jane Austen is well known as a talented author and a young woman who could read people very well. She has shown this skill in this book. Emma is often called "Jane Austen's finest masterpiece" And with her startling observations into human nature, Austin shows that anyone can grow, and achieve success. If you've never read this book, I suggest that you do. If nothing else, it will make you laugh at the scrapes Emma get's herself and all her friends into.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Review: High On A Mountain

When Ailean MachLachlainn was a young boy he dreamed of being the hero he couldn't be in real life. Fighting for his fathers approval, he struggled with the people of his dreams, and was victorious. But victory came to him only in the annual game of camanachd that his clan played against the Cambeuls. When he fought with Latharn Cambeul, and won the game for his clan.

Marriage wasn't a part of his plan till after he won battles, and the honor and admiration of his clansmen. But life didn't happen like it did in his dreams. Before long, love and cares came to him. He found himself with a wife named Muirne and child named Coinneach-og. A part of the croft to till on his own. And an enemy who still stalked his footsteps in the form of Latharn Cambeul. The man who had loved Muirne before Ailean had even met her

Then Bonnie Prince Charlie visited Scotland. He came to take back his father's throne. Owing to the loyalties of his clan, Ailean was able to do what he'd always dreamed of doing.

But can war and fighting ever be the same in real life as it is in the imagination? After much pain, loss, and hardship, Ailean returns home. But finds that he has lost everything that ever mattered to him.

In the midst of loss can Ailean find anything worth living for? Can he learn to live and love again? Can he survive the ever growing threat of Latharn, who still hates him with a bitterness that is destroying his life? And most of all, can Ailean find the peace that always came to him...High on a Mountain?

This book will keep you in it's grasp. You will laugh and cry with the people as they come alive, and tell you their story for themselves. Tommie Lyn writes with an effect of bringing the story and all the characters into your life, till you become one of them. And their victories and defeats are your own.

I am giving away a free copy of this book to one person who comments on this post. Don't miss out. This one is definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Have you ever felt like apart from your family, there is no one who truly understands who you are, and what you stand for? Like there are people out there snickering behind your back because of what you believe? I have people who are always trying to convince me I'm wrong in my beliefs, I need to change to meet their standards. Sometimes God helps me see through these problems, and see there are other people out there with similar beliefs and standards. This last weekend was one of those times.

My sister, Beka and I traveled to Kansas on Friday for a small Homeschool Alumni Reunion. I met lots of people who believe much the same as I do. People who struggle with some of the same things I do. And these young adults accepted me just the way I am. They didn't try to change me or the way I feel about things. We enjoyed each others company for a few days and now are firm friends.

I guess my point is: Acceptance is very important in life. I'm not saying to tolerate sin, or accept it. I'm saying that we need to accept people and their beliefs. Arguing with them probably won't change their minds, but it might ruin any chance of you ever being able to be a true friend for them. Lot's of people would rather argue than go through the strain of just praying for other people. But what would God want us to do with the people who believe so differently than us? What did Jesus do with the Publicans and sinners? What did he do with US?

God Bless!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


A rough story from our sermon this morning.

How many times have you heard the story of Abraham on Mount Moriah? Ready to give his only son to God. Have you ever thought of it from Isaac's point of view?

He wakes up one morning to his dad shaking him awake. It's early, and he wonders if they are under attack. Instead, his dad loads up some donkeys and servants, and tells him they are going on a journey. Would you be worried? Maybe asking what was going on? But no, Isaac trusts his dad, and he trusts his God. He does ask his dad one thing. He says the have the fire and the wood, but no sacrifice. His dad has anything but reassuring answer. "God will provide the sacrifice."
Does Isaac worry now? No. He just keeps walking. Finally they get to where they can see the range of mountains ahead of them. His dad takes the wood off the donkeys and puts it on him. Then he takes the fire in his hand, and telling the servant that they will return after they are done sacrificing, he starts off into the mountains. Isaac follows. There is still no sacrifice. The sun must have been hot.
Finally, they stop on the top of one of the mountains. Mount Moriah. Isaac looks around, right over the next hill is a large city. Salem, of the Jebusites. But here it is lonely, deserted. There is still no sacrifice.
Laying the wood in a altar, he looks around. It's a barren place, scrub brush covers much of the ground, and still there is no sacrifice.
The wood is layed, the fire ready, and Abraham turns to him.
"Come my son, I will tie you up. For God has commanded that I sacrifice you to him."
What thoughts flashed through Isaac's mind? Did he think of yelling for help from the nearby city? Did he think of tackling his father and getting away from this madman? No. He let his father tie him up, and lay him on the altar. He trusted his father, but more, he trusted God. Seconds later, Abraham raises the knife over Isaac's chest. He starts the plunge, but a voice stops him.
"Abraham! Abraham! Do not touch the boy. For I know that you serve me. Take the ram that is caught in that thicket, and sacrifice him instead of the boy."
Can you imagine the relief Isaac must have felt? Obedience does not mean that you enjoy what is happening. Abraham untied him, they sacrificed the lamb together, and then traveled to the servants and then on toward home.

Abraham demostrated a love for God unheard of during those times. But Isaac showed a trust that has worked it's way down through history to us. If we can show that trust toward God, that even if he asks us to die, we'll be ready to obey, we will have succeeded in obedience.
God Bless!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book review: And Night Falls, By Tommie Lyn

Spoiled and prosperous, Shelley Goodnight has never had to take care of herself. She has her mother and father wrapped around her little finger. But now she's tired of them being so protective. She wants a life of her own. Little does she know how much of a life she's about to get when she moves away from home, and rents an apartment on the sea side.

On an annual camping trip with her girlfriends, Shelley stumbles on the body of a man. Does she know him? And why are the police keeping an eye on her?

During the ensuing investigation, Shelley is forced to see her life from a different point of view, and her parents as though they are strangers. When it's all over can Shelley go back to life as she knows it? Will she want to? And how does Clay Cameron, the handsome deputy in charge of the investigation figure in the overall scheme of things?

Can Shelley find true meaning in the middle of a hurricane and a murder investigation? And can love find a way through the rain, hit men, and family members?

This is a well written book with well developed characters. I just have one warning. If you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Book Review: Rocky Mountain Oasis

She might just be a young girl, but Brooke Marie Baker knows about the world, and thinks she knows all about men. Being used by them her whole life, she wants nothing to do with being a mail-order bride. But she is sold to go west by her uncle. What can she do with no family or friends to turn to?

Skyler Jordan is a young man who has principles, morals, and a deep love for God. When he finds that his cousin, Jason, has ordered a young woman as a mail-order bride, he feels strongly that he needs to protect this woman. No matter who she is, he doesn't feel like any woman should be left with Jason at any time.

Can Sky show Brooke that he is different than any other man in her world? Can he show her the God that makes him the way he is? Especially in the middle of a murder trial concerning the death of a good friend, and a family conflict with his cousin Jason?

Can Jason come back to the faith he deserted in favor of revenge years ago? Or will he continue to self-destruction and kill as his family was killed? Find out when you read this book by Lynnette Bonner, a talented writer and author with other books in the offing.
God Bless!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring nights

Have you ever been outside on those nights when the stars have come out, and the wind is blowing so hard you can hardly stand up straight? I look forward to the end of spring and the beginning of summer with almost a passion.
To go outside on one of those nights, and sit where the wind can reach me freely. I can almost imagine the stars coming out and playing with me.
The thoughts that come to me on those nights are not always the same. But one that comes again and again every time I'm out there, is about the stars. God made all those stars and galaxies. He made all the universe in which I am tiny little dot of matter that can't be seen from very far away. The chance of me being known, much less cared for in this huge universe are minimal. In fact it's non-existant, and yet, God knows me, cares for me, protects me, and watches over me. What more could I ask? And I always end up crying for joy at that thought. He loves me, and he has a plan for me. And it's the same for each one of you. God bless!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What is Easter to you? If you want to comment, answer that question. To me, Easter is the reason for life. Or I should say, what we celebrate at Easter. Without that, there would be no hope for any of us. But why did Christ come to the earth, spend 33 years here, and then let the people of that time kill him in the most torturous death devised at that time?? He knew exactly what was coming. In the garden, he prayed that this cup pass from him. But he still wanted God's will to be done. And not his. So, to end what seems to me to be a sort of wandering blog about Easter: What it means to me, is a head that was crushed and beaten for me. Hands and feet scarred by nails, a side slashed by a sword, and a chance to tell the world there is hope for them too. He went through the worst pain devised by man to save me. And that is more than I can comprehend. God Bless!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Miraculous and Mundane

Have you ever been doing a mundane task, when the miraculous came and shocked you? It happened to me this morning. I was milking the cow. Many of you can testify that is not my favorite chore! At all! But I actually was sort of enjoying myself. I wasn't too cold, and the cow was behaving. I actually could almost fall asleep milking. ;)
Suddenly, there was a new sound in the barn. The sound of a new born goat. It reminded me of many things. Mainly, that every day, new things are born but many are never seen. Also, that in the middle of doing tasks that are not of our choice, we can wake up and see miracles. How many people in this world actually get to see an animal being born? Or even immediately after birth. And I was blessed in the small hours this morning, by seeing a little kid, just a little while after she was born. And if any of you are wondering, Hannah is almost as proud as the mama goat. It's the beginning of that season, and it happens every year, but isn't it a miracle that I woke up and saw that baby? I'm not about to forget this too quickly. I hope you all see miracles today! God Bless!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Saviour My King

Ok, I'm convinced. But only that I will never be left alone till I start this. ;) I still have no idea what I will write. For my first blog, I will post this poem from which the name for my blog came. This is the un-finished product. Much like this blog and it's author. :)

The blackness all around my feet
Rises and chokes my breath
Despair, and pain, and lonelieness
Darkness, shame, and death

I cannot see a bit of light
My heart slows, sick with dread
I'm all alone, no hope for me
On nails I seem to tread

There comes above a bit of light
Too dark to see it now
If I lose sight of my dark path.
My fall, it will be loud

Now comes another old path
Rough, and worn, but light
I think of turning off on it
Afraid to leave the night

Slowly my eyes follow the light
Up the path so hard
I look behind at darkness there
Then at my heart so scarred

I look ahead just one more time
How could I earn this light
How could I buy the love that shines
Down this hard path tonight?

I turn to go back to the dark
A hand grabs hold of mine
It pulls me back, to the light
Till all around me shines

Now I look up, who’s standing there
I cannot see his face
Just light and more light all around
Mercy, Justice, and Grace

How can he just accept me now
With all that I have done
How can he just say “Welcome Home
Your journey has begun”

My Saviour lives, oh yes, he does
I feel it sure as life
I know he’s let me in his heart
And washed clean every strife

Oh, Thank you Lord for every drop
Of blood that you supplied
Thank you for accepting me
The sinner, for whom you died.