If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Thursday, September 30, 2010

SkyWatch Friday



Click here to join in on the fun at SkyWatch Friday.  It's been awhile since I've played along and I've really missed it.  Participating in SkyWatch got me used to always looking up at the sky.  I can hardly get in my car or be outside for very long until I'm looking up.  It's so awesome to see all the wonder of God's heavens.  I stopped participating for awhile, but I never stopped looking and taking pictures.  So I decided last week, I wanted to start up again.  Here's a picture of the sky I took on the way into work this morning.

Happy SkyWatch Friday everyone!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Random Dozen

Click here to join in the fun of Random Dozen.

1. Do you believe, somewhere deep inside, that blondes do indeed have more fun? That they are "dumber" than brunettes or redheads? Be honest!
Well, I've always been considered blond (especially when I use a little Sun-In or bleach) and I know I have plenty of fun and I'm certainly no dumber than the next person.  But no I really don't believe either is true.
2. Which animal would you most like to observe in its wild habitat?
I don't know, but whatever it is it needs to be in a warm tropical climate.

3. This week the U.N. announced that Dr. Mazlan Othman has been appointed the official "Alien Ambassador," should any extraterrestrials contact us. Have you, or has anyone you know, ever seen a UFO?
Well, I've seen some things flying, that I couldn't identify, but no I don't think I've seen alien craft of any kind.

4. Name your favorite Hitchcock film.
"The Man Who Knew Too Much" with Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart


5. Would you rather spend time at the library, the mall, a craft store or home?
Home or the library

6. Which Disney princess is your favorite? (Or Disney character, if you are a guy)
Probably Ariel.  I know it's my oldest girl's favorite, but I kinda like her too.


7. What kind of art is your favorite?
My daughter's art.  Check her art blog link in my sidebar.

8. How do you feel about viral videos, that is, videos made by amateurs that end up on Youtube receiving thousands of hits?
No real feeling either way.  If someone wants to make one and someone wants to watch it, more power to them, I guess.

9. Where do you buy your jeans?
My favorite jeans were given to me by my cousin, but usually I buy jeans at Walmart or Kohl's.

10. Tell me about your first automobile accident.
I've never had one (well at least not one I had to report to the police).

11. Have you ever been honest when you knew you would benefit more if you would be dishonest?
I try to always be honest (well, except for the weight on my driver's license.  I always tell them that's close enough).

12. If you were appointed "Ambassador to Aliens," what would you show and tell first about life on Earth? What would be the most difficult thing to explain?
I have absolutely no idea on this one.  I'll be curious to see what everyone else writes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm Rich!

Received this in an e-mail from a friend.  Just had to share.


Yup, I'm rich!
Silver in the Hair
Gold in the Teeth
Stones in the Kidneys
Sugar in the Blood.
Lead in the Feet
Iron in the Arteries
And an inexhaustible supply of Natural Gas.



I never thought I'd accumulate such wealth.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flashback Friday

Go here to join in with Linda at Mocha with Linda for Flashback Friday.
Linda's Prompt:  Did you like to read when you were a child? What were your favorite genres, books or series? Did you read books because of the author or because of the title/plot? Did you own many books? Did your school distribute the Scholastic book orders (or some other type)? Did you visit the library often? Was there a summer reading program when you were young, and did you participate? Do you have any particular memories of your school libraries? What were your favorites and least favorites among the classics (the ones high school English teachers assign!)? If you didn't like reading, do you like it more today than you did then?

I think if you've been around my blog for any amount of time, you know I love books.  In fact, I'm hoping someday to purchase  (or even better yet, win) a Kindle, so I can carry 3,500 books in my purse at one time. lol  Anyway, I am an avid reader, although lately it seems I sure haven't had much time to enjoy this passion.  Anyway, Linda asked about our reading when we were kids, so here goes:


I think I've always loved reading.  I remember in 2nd or 3rd grade our teacher read to us a lot.  She read "Charlotte's Web",  and all of the "Little House" books.  Of course, after she read them, then I had to go to the Library and check them out and read them myself.  I also remember her reading "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle" books to us.  I, in fact, found these in the library when my girls were little and checked them out and read them again.  Seems I'll never forget those books. 

I also remember in the summer time, my mom (who has always been a big reader too) took us to the library.  I don't ever remember participating in a summer reading program, but we always checked out lots of books and spent lots of time reading.  My favorites then were any historical biographies written especially for kids.  Such books as George Washington Carver, Betsy Ross, Molly Pitcher, Clara Barton, etc.  I loved those so much.  I still enjoy a good biography from time to time.  I loved the Trixie Belden books too.  For some reason I never got into Nancy Drew, but I loved Trixie. 

I remember from time to time, my dad and mom going to auctions and buying boxes and boxes of old books and comic books.  We'd all then go through them and pick out the ones we wanted to read and then they'd either get rid of the rest, or they'd go up on the shelves.  It seems we always had shelves and shelves of books in our house. 

Then in high school, I remember getting into the romance books.  I still love a good romance book, but I only read the Christian ones now.  I can be pretty sure they won't get explicit and I much prefer that.   My dad's not a real big reader (except for the Bible), but I'm so glad mom was and she instilled that trait in almost all of her 5 kids. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Random Dozen

Click here to join Linda for Random Dozen at 2nd cup of coffee

1. Have you, or has someone close to you, ever won an award for anything?
My daughter has won awards for her art work and both girls have won trophies for playing basketball and volleyball.

2. Who is the nearest relative to you who has served in the US Military?
My father-in-law, some uncles and cousins, etc.

3. Share something that stirs the patriotic spirit in you.
Seeing our flag flying against a blue, blue sky.

4. Where are you in the birth order in your family? Do you think your "placement" made a difference in your personality?
I'm a middle child.  I have an older brother and sister and a younger brother and sister.  It probably made a difference, but I wouldn't change a thing.  I like being the middle child.

5. Name one trait you hope you carry that was evidenced in your parents or grandparents.
Unfailing love.

6. If female, do you prefer wearing a skirt or pants? If male, shirt and tie or polo?
Pants.  I haven't work a dress or skirt in years.

7. Approximately how many times do you wake during the night? What do you do to go back to sleep?
3-4.  Usually I pray until I fall asleep.

8. Share a favorite movie quote.
Just keep swimming... by Dory of Finding Nemo.  After all, I feel some days in this life that's just what we have to do, just keep swimming...and trusting the Lord.



9. What is your favorite Fall candle scent?
Cinnamon apple

10. What is one Fall activity you're looking forward to?
Looking at the beautiful fall colors of the changing leaves.

11. Tell us about a pleasant surprise that happened to you recently.
The story of God delighting me with his glory.  If you want to read it, click here.

12. What was it like when you first met your in-laws-to-be?
I met them before my hubby and I started dating.  My husband was the choir director at church when I joined the choir and both of his parents were in the choir.  It was probably a year or more before we started dating.  I think when he asked me out the first time, his mom was almost as excited as I was.  lol  I have the most wonderful in-laws in the world.  So sorry for the rest of you.  hahaha

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Project 365


I'm running late today, but it's time for Project 365 again.  Here are my pics for the week.  Click here to go and join Sara in the fun.
Sunday - Lily our dog.  I actually got her looking at the camera.  Usually she runs.
 

Tuesday - Beautiful skies.

Another Tuesday picture.  A lady in our Bible Study Group is getting married on Saturday and one of the ladies got her a cake.

Thursday - Survivor has started again.

Saturday - Beautiful outdoor morning wedding of the lady in our Bible Study Group.

That's our week, well at least the part that I actually took pictures of.  lol.




Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Dozen

Go join Linda at 2nd cup of coffee to join in on the fun of Random Dozen.  Click here.

1. Do you do garage sales? If so, tell me about one great find. If not, tell me why not.
Yes, mostly for books. 

2. Name the last thing you fixed.
I can't think of anything right off hand.

3. Name your A) Favorite item of makeup OR B) Favorite tool

4. Which room in your home needs organizing more than any other?
My kitchen

5. Which room could use re-decorating?
Main Bathroom

6. Share something unique about your town.
Our town has the oldest constantly running inn in the state of Ohio. 

7. If you could send a one-sentence message to your great-grandchild, what would it be?
Serve the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength.

8. Do you Facebook?
yes (check by sidebar and friend up with me if you want.)

9. Describe your favorite shoes.
Black MaryJane Crocs.  Ugly, but oh so comfortable

10. Do you listen to more talk radio or more music radio? What kind of station is it?
Music - Klove

11. How far would you travel for a really good (favorite) meal?
I've been know to drive an hour or so, but I'm usually doing something else there too.

12. If you were totally honest with yourself (and us) what should you probably be doing right now instead of blogging?
working (time for lunch break to be over, so I'm ending this now.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Project 365


Join Sara at ...make music from your heart to the Lord and take part in Project 365.  I started over again last week and I'm enjoying it, but as you'll see I definitely did not get a photo everyday.  But on Saturday I posted a couple instead.
Sunday - watching one of my favorite movies - "The Sound of Music"

Monday - working on our newest Ladies Bible Study - "Beloved Disciple"


Thursday - saw these horses in a field on my way home from work.

Saturday - lunch at P.F. Changs for Kerri's birthday which is Monday.

Also on Saturday - Kerri's B-day cake.  We had it on Saturday so she could share it with extended family at my mom's.  It was actually pretty funny, because we all had black teeth and tongues after eating that icing!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

God's Glory

A cool thing happened while we were in Pigeon Forge on Friday.  We went up into the Smoky Mountains and drove the circle around Cades Cove.  It was beautiful that day and the scenery there is some of the most beautiful I've ever seen.  Anyway, our ladies' Bible Study group is doing the Bible Study by Beth Moore, "Beloved Disciple"  and in the introductory video, Beth Moore told a great story.  It was about a time when she was out taking a walk alone in the mountains and asked God to delight her, to show her His glory in a way that she would know it was Him.  And He did.  I won't tell you what her delight was.  I don't want to give it away in case you should get to do this study yourself.  She then challenged us to try that some time. 

So we were driving around Cades Cove and I remembered the challenge and decided to try it myself.  So I prayed out loud (I put my faith on the line) in front of Tracy and Kerri and asked the Lord to delight me and show me His glory while we were up there.  I explained to Tracy and Kerri about Beth's story and why I was praying it and I was expecting God to show me.  Of course when your in Cades Cove you're always hoping to see some wild animals (Or at least we do).  We'd seen some wild turkeys that day, but not a whole lot more. 

Usually as we're driving through the mountains, if I'm a passenger I am always watching in the woods to see if I can see any animals.  I mean the woods is where they live right?  But in all my trips through there, I don't remember seeing an animal in the woods while we were driving.  Sometimes we'll see deer and even bears in the meadows, but not the woods. Anyway, this time, I really wasn't watching the woods, because it was like, why, I can't ever see them.

There was a new pull off (they had just repaved the Cades Cove Circle) and Tracy pulled off there for a minute.  Several cars drove past us and then Tracy started to pull back out and I was looking across into the woods and something caught my eye.  I told Tracy to stop because I thought I saw something. He backed up a little and we started looking and then we saw a deer and then saw there were actually 2 deer a ways back in the trees.  He pulled out onto the road and we got a little closer and I zoomed in with the camera and took a shot.  I was so excited because everyone that passed in front of us missed these 2 deer.  But God let me catch the movement of the standing deer's tail and we got to enjoy seeing them.  Then a car came up behind us and they got to see them too.

I knew if it wasn't for God having that deer move it's tail, we'd have never seen them and I knew God did that just for me.  I can't tell you just how delighted I was.  But now I want to show you the picture.

 Deer zoomed in
 
Now the picture is not all that great, but when I zoomed it in later (like above), that deer laying down was looking straight at me.  I think that is so cool.  And no one will ever convince me that God didn't do this for me.  Just because I asked Him and He decided to give me a blessing.  Thank you God. 

Now I challenge you to ask God to delight you and show you His glory.  We serve such a wonderful God!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Random Dozen - Labor Day Weekend

Click here to join in with Debby at 2nd cup of coffee and Random Dozen.

1. Describe the best sandwich in the world, according to you.
Blue Ash Chili makes the best sandwich ever.  It's a roast beef and ham double decker.  The layers of meet are about 2 inches think of the best tasting beef and ham then with tomato and mayo. It is so thick you can't even get your mouth around it.  lol  We used to order these and eat half for lunch and then eat the other half for dinner. Awesome!!!

2. Which inspires you more: a good conversation, a song, a book or movie?
I guess it all depends on what the song, book or movie is or who the conversation is with.  But I think probably a song, although I love good conversation and a good book and movie, but music is probably the most inspiring.

3. What is your favorite board game?
Scrabble

4. As you grow older, are you more or less patient with small children?
Definitely less...although I hope that will change if I ever have grandchildren (Not for several years yet, please girls! lol)

5. Name one item you never let yourself run out of.
I don't know.  One thing I hate to run out of though is milk, but it does happen.  Not that I even drink milk everyday, but when I want it, I want it.

6. Do you agree with Tennyson's assertion, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?"
I'm sure it's probably true, but losing love really hurts, but I can't imagine never having loved.

7. Name one national treasure or monument that you have visited.
Lincoln's monument is my most favorite.  Here's a picture I took when I was there 4 years ago with my daughters school trip.  I just want to climb up in his lap for some reason.  lol

8. Which is more painful, to be disappointed in someone else or to be disappointed in yourself?
Wow you have some hard questions.  Probably being disappointed in myself.

9. What makes your kitchen uniquely yours?
I'm not sure it is uniquely mine.  Hubby actually cooks more than I do.

10. Are you a crafty person?
Sometimes.  I do crocheting, scrapbooking, photography, etc.

11. What is your favorite traditional picnic or bbq (cookout) food?
hotdogs

12. Name one leisurely activity you enjoyed over Labor Day Weekend.
Reading.

FIRST Wild Card Tour - A Hope for Hannah by Jerry Eicher

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:

Harvest House Publishers (June 1, 2010)
***Special thanks to Karri James of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



As a boy, Jerry Eicher spent eight years in Honduras where his grandfather helped found an Amish community outreach. As an adult, Jerry taught for two terms in parochial Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. He has been involved in church renewal for 14 years and has preached in churches and conducted weekend meetings of in-depth Bible teaching. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina, and their four children in Virginia.


Visit the author's website.



Product Details:

List Price: $11.99
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736930442
ISBN-13: 978-0736930444

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Hannah Byler awoke with a start. She sat up in bed and listened. The wind outside the small cabin stirred in the pine trees. The moon, already high in the sky when she and Jake went to bed, shone brightly through the log cabin window.

Beside her she heard Jake’s deep, even breathing. She had grown accustomed to the comforting sound in the few short months since they’d been married. She laid back down on the pillow. Perhaps it was just her imagination. There was no sound—nothing to indicate something might be wrong.

But her heart beat faster—and fearfully. Something was wrong—but what?

“Jake,” she whispered, her hand gently shaking his shoulder. “Jake, vagh uff.”

“What is it?” he asked groggily. He spoke louder than she wished he would at the moment.

“I don’t know,” she whispered again and hoped he would get the hint. “I think there’s something outside.”

Jake listened and sat up in bed with his arms braced on the mattress.

“I don’t hear anything,” he said, a little quieter this time. “There are all kinds of noises in the mountains at night.”

“I think something is outside,” she insisted.

They both were silent a moment, waiting and listening. Hannah half expected Jake to lower his head back to his pillow, tell her the fears were a bad dream, and go back to sleep. Instead he pushed back the covers and set his feet on the floor.

Just then a loud snuff outside the log wall stopped him. They both froze. Hannah didn’t recognize the sound. No animal she knew ever made such a noise.

“It sounds like a pig,” Jake said, his voice low. “What are pigs doing out here at nighttime?”

“It’s not a pig,” Hannah whispered back. No stray pig, even in the nighttime, could create such tension. “It’s something else.”

“But what?” Jake asked, the sound coming again, seemingly right against the log wall.

Hannah lay rigid, filled with an overpowering sense that something large and fierce stood outside.

“I’m going to go see what’s out there.” Jake had made up his mind, and Hannah made no objection.

Jake felt under the bed for his flashlight and then moved toward the door. Somehow Hannah found the courage to follow but stayed close to Jake.

Their steps made the wooden floor creak, the only sound to be heard.

Jake slowly pulled open the wooden front door, his flashlight piercing the darkness as he moved it slowly left and then right.

“Nothing here,” he said quietly and then stepped outside.

Hannah looked around Jake toward the edge of the porch. “It was around the corner,” she whispered.

Jake walked slowly toward the corner of the house, but Hannah stayed on the porch near the front door.

Jake stopped momentarily and then stepped around the corner of the house. Hannah could only see a low glow from the flashlight. In the distance by the light of the moon, the misty line of the Cabinet Mountains accented the utter ruggedness of this country. During the day, the sight still thrilled her, but now that same view loomed dangerously.

For the first time since they’d moved into the cabin after their wedding, Hannah wondered whether this place was a little too much for the two of them. Was a remote cabin, a mile off the main road and up this dirt path into the foothills of the Cabinet Mountains, really what she wanted?

“It’s a bear!” Jake’s voice came from around the corner. “Come take a look—quick—before it’s gone.”

“Gone,” she whispered.

“Come see!” Jake’s urgent voice came again.

Again Hannah found courage from somewhere. She stepped around the corner of the house and let her gaze follow the beam of Jake’s flashlight, which now pierced the edge of the clearing around their cabin. At the end of the beam, a furry long-haired bear—as large as the one she’d seen once at the zoo—stood looking back at them, its head raised and sniffing the air.

“It’s a grizzly,” Jake said, excitement in his voice. “See its hump?”

“Then why are we out here?” Hannah asked, nearly overcome with the urge to run and desperate for solid walls between her and this huge creature.

“The men at the lumberyard said there aren’t many around,” Jake said in her ear. “Mostly black bears down in this area.”

“Shouldn’t we be inside?” she asked the question another way, pulling on his arm. “It’s not going away.”

“It will leave sooner if we stay in sight rather than go inside,” he told her, his light playing on the creature whose head was still in the air and turned in their direction.

“Well, I’m going inside,” she said, her courage now wholly depleted.


“It’s going,” Jake announced, and so she paused. They watched, fascinated, as the great creature bobbed its head and disappeared into the woods.

“It’s gone,” Jake said, a bit disappointed. “That was a grizzly.”

They turned back to the cabin, Hannah following Jake’s lead. As they stepped onto the porch, Hannah considered their front door. Suddenly the solid slat door—so bulky before—now looked thin, an unlikely protection against the hulk that had just disappeared into the dark tree line.

“What if it comes back?” she asked.

“It won’t. It’s just passing through,” he assured her. “They don’t like humans. They’re wanderers anyway. It’ll probably not come this way again—ever.”

Not reassured, Hannah shut the door tightly behind them and pushed the latch firmly into place.

“Bears hang around,” she told him. “This one could come back.”

“Then we’ll deal with it. Maybe the game warden can help. I doubt it will return, though.” Jake was fast losing interest and ready for his bed again.

Jake snuggled under the covers, pulling them tight up to his chin. “These are cold nights,” he commented. “Winter’s just around the corner. I have to get some sleep.”

Hannah agreed and pulled her own covers up tight. Jake’s job on the logging crew involved hard manual labor that required a good night’s sleep. She didn’t begrudge him his desire for sleep.

“I sure hope it doesn’t come back,” she said finally.

“I doubt it will,” he muttered, but Hannah could tell he was already nearly asleep.

To the sounds of Jake’s breathing, she lay awake and unable to stop her thoughts. Home, where she had grown up in Indiana, now seemed far away, a hazy blur against the fast pace of the past few months.

What is Mom doing? she wondered. No doubt she’s comfortably asleep in their white two-story home, secure another night just like the night before and ready to face another day just like the day before.

Thoughts of her earlier summers in Montana—tending to Aunt Betty’s riding stable—pushed into her mind. This country had seemed so glorious then, and she had dreamed of her return.

The wedding had come first. She smiled in the darkness while she remembered the special day. After a flurry of letters and Jake’s visits as often as he could, Betty got her wish for a wedding in Montana. Hannah’s mother realized it was for the best. Because the plans for Hannah’s wedding to Sam Knepp ended in a disaster back home in Indiana, Roy and Kathy decided they couldn’t have the wedding there and possibly face that embarrassment again. Even Jake was in favor of the wedding in Montana—here where they had met.

Their hearts were in Montana now—close to the land and the small Amish community in the shadow of the Cabinet Mountains. But lately Hannah asked herself if living out here in the middle of nowhere was really for their best. Then she was thankful that at least she was with Jake—better here with Jake than anywhere else without him.

But as she lay in the darkness unable to sleep, she found herself wishing for close neighbors. She wished she could get up now and walk to the front door, knowing that someone else lived within calling distance—or at least within running distance if it came to that. Now, with a bear around, a night wanderer with mischief on his mind, there was nowhere to go. She shuddered.

She wondered if she could outrun a bear and reach a neighbor’s house. She pictured herself lifting her skirt for greater speed. How fast can bears run? Can they see well at night to scout out their prey?

Hannah shivered in the darkness and listened to Jake’s even breathing, wondering how he could sleep after what they had just seen. A grizzly! Jake had been sure it was a grizzly they’d heard sniffing around their cabin just outside their bedroom wall. Why was Jake not more alarmed? He had even seemed fascinated, as if it didn’t bother him at all.

She had always thought she was the courageous one, the one who wanted adventure. After all, she had come out to Montana on her own that first summer. The mountains had fascinated her, drawn her in, and given her strength. But tonight those same mountains had turned on her and given her a bear for a gift—a grizzly. Even the stately pine trees, with their whispers that soothed her before, now seemed to talk of dark things she knew nothing about, things too awful to say out loud.

She turned in the bed, hoping she wouldn’t disturb Jake. She thought of his job on the logging crew, really a job of last resort. Yes, at first it was a blessing because they needed the income, but now it had become more and more of a burden. Jake didn’t complain, but the burden was apparent in the stoop of his shoulders when he came home at night. It revealed itself in his descriptions of how he operated the cutter, navigated the steep slopes, and worked with logs that rolled down the sides of the mountains. She also heard it in his descriptions of Mr. Wesley, his boss. She had met Mr. Wesley once when he had stopped by the house to interview Jake for the job. He operated the largest timber company in Libby, and his huge, burly form matched his position, nearly filling their cabin door that day. She had been too glad Jake had gotten the job to worry much about Mr. Wesley, but after he left she was glad she wouldn’t see him every day.

Hannah shivered again, feeling the sharp chill that seeped into the log house—the same one that seemed so wonderful in summer. Winter would come soon to this strange land, and neither she nor Jake had ever been through one here.

Hannah willed herself to stop thinking. Now she knew for certain. There had been something she wanted to tell Jake but had wanted to wait until she was sure. Now on this night—the night the bear came—she was certain. The strangeness puzzled her. How could a bear’s unexpected visit and this wonderful news have anything to do with each other?



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FIRST Wild Card Tour - A Dream for Hannah by Jerry Eicher

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:

Harvest House Publishers (June 1, 2010)
***Special thanks to Karri James of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



As a boy, Jerry Eicher spent eight years in Honduras where his grandfather helped found an Amish community outreach. As an adult, Jerry taught for two terms in parochial Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. He has been involved in church renewal for 14 years and has preached in churches and conducted weekend meetings of in-depth Bible teaching. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina, and their four children in Virginia.


Visit the author's website.



Product Details:

List Price: $11.99
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736930450
ISBN-13: 978-0736930451

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Outside Hannah Miller’s upstairs window, springtime had come. The earth was finally awakening from what had been a worse than normal northern Indiana winter.

Breakfast was finished, and her mother would soon call from downstairs for help. Her cousins were coming to visit this evening, and there was a lot of work to do.

As she secured her dark hair beneath the head covering she wore for work, Hannah glanced down at the paper on which she had scribbled the words of the poem. Surely she had time for another quick read, and that would have to do. Her almost seventeen-year-old hands trembled as she held the writing in front of her.

The words of the poem by E.S. White, written in 1908, gripped her again.

A Ballad of Spring

It’s Spring, my Love.

Bowed down with care,

Your branches are stripped and bare.

Old Winter’s past.

Its snow and cold

Have melted long and lost their hold.

The earth it waited

With bated breath for something more,

For life renewed called from its core.

It opens wide its arms.

For strength, for vigor, for its best,

It stirs its creatures to their nests.

All around it lies the warmth

Because the sun has drawn near,

Touching, caressing, there and here.

Arise, it calls.

The pomegranates bloom.

They yell that life has room.

Will you come, my Dear,

Hold my hand, touch what I bring?

Because, my Love, it’s Spring.

Hannah paused as thoughts raced through her head. Can this be true? Is there really such a feeling? Is this something I could really feel…this thing called love?

Then, from downstairs she heard the urgent sound of her mother’s voice, “Hannah, time to start the day.”

“Yes, I’m coming,” she called as she quickly placed the poem on the dresser, smoothed the last wrinkles out of the bed covers, and then rushed out of her room and down the stairs.

“The wash needs to be started right away,” her mom said as she busied herself with the dishes in the kitchen sink.

“Yes, right away,” Hannah said. After making one last check for dirty clothes in the bedrooms, she made her way down to the basement. The sparse room seemed dingy and damp, in stark contrast to the fresh spring day she had seen from her upstairs window. She’d much rather be outside, but the laundry must be done.

Hannah ran the water into the tub from the attached hose. When the water reached the fill line, she turned off the water and tossed in the first load of dirty clothes. With a jerk on the starter rope, the old tub started vibrating. The motor changed its speed and sound as the center tumbler turned, dragging the load of pants and shirts through the water.

As Hannah reached inside the washer to check the progress, the memory of the poem returned to her. Then she thought of James back in seventh grade. His grin had been lopsided but cute. He was a sweet boy—his eyes always lit up whenever Hannah looked at him. Was that the first stirrings of whatever this thing called “love” was?

Surely not. Such ideas! If someone could read my thoughts… “A dumm-kopf, that’s what they’d say,” she spoke aloud, smiling at her youthful memory.

Her hand dodged the tumbler’s wrath, but still the tumbler caught a piece of cloth and whipped water in her direction.

Then her memory moved up to eighth grade. Sam Knepp. A thirteen-year-old girl just had to have someone to like. The other girls would have thought her a true dummkopf if she had no one. And so she had picked Sam at random. What other choice had there been? Sam sat across the aisle from her. He was sort of cute. He had freckles, red hair, and a good smile. But there was that horrible habit he had of opening his mouth when he was puzzled or surprised.

When Hannah told the other girls she liked Sam, they reacted with admiration. So she had made the right choice. Maybe she was not a dummkopf. Her friend Mary stuck up for her choice. Mary was blonde and sweet on Laverne, who was truly a wonder in the world of Amish eighth graders. He was easily the best-looking boy in the district. In fact Hannah would have picked Laverne had he not already been taken by Mary. For some reason, it didn’t bother her that Annie, who was in the sixth grade, had her attention on Sam; blushing every time he walked by, but saying nothing.

No, Hannah decided, Sam didn’t fit for her. Not really. Maybe Laverne would have been a good choice, but not as long as he was Mary’s choice. Hannah supposed even now that Laverne and Mary would soon be dating.

“Hannah,” her mother called from upstairs, “are you done yet?”

“Coming,” Hannah called out. “This old washer is going as fast as it can.”

“Well, hurry up. The clothing needs to be on the line soon. The sun is already well up.”

“Yes,” Hannah called out again, “I’ll get it out as soon as I can.”

Minutes later the cycle was finished, and Hannah quickly loaded the basket with the heavy wet laundry and made her way up the steps and out to the clothesline.

Outside, the glorious spring day greeted her brightly. Hannah turned her face skyward and almost lost her grip on the basket as she soaked in the warm sunshine. What a glorious spring it was going to be! It felt so good to be young and alive.

Hannah began pinning the wet clothes onto the line till they stretched out, heavy in the still morning air. Later the breeze would pick up and dry the clothes as they flapped in the wind. It was a beautiful sight to behold. Hannah hoped the wind would stay gentle until the last piece was fully dry, but with spring days, one was never sure. The wind could have a mind of its own.

She stood back and watched with approval the first of the wash begin to move slightly in the breeze. Yes, this is going to be a wonderful spring, she decided as she picked up the basket and turned to go back inside.


The sun was still out when the first buggies arrived for the evening’s family gathering. Two buggies came in, one right after the other, and then two more arrived fifteen minutes later. Among the guests were Ben and Susan Yoder—Susan was Hannah’s mom’s cousin. Also in attendance were Leroy and John, brothers on her dad’s side, and Mose, Leroy’s brother-in-law. Other people who were in some way connected to the Millers had also been invited. Having a few outside guests allowed for some spontaneity while maintaining some of the structures formed by the natural family. Sam Knepp came that night because one of the cousins had taken the notion to invite him.

It amused Hannah to see Sam again, having just thought of him that morning. She noticed that he still had that habit of occasionally allowing his mouth to drop open almost randomly.

After a hearty supper, all the young people went outside to play. Since so many younger children were involved, they had to choose a simple game. The game they chose was Wolf, which caused Hannah to consider whether or not she might be too old to join in. The game involved races run at full speed in the darkness. When all of the cousins and Sam announced they would play, Hannah decided to join in. After all, Sam and she were the same age. If he could play, so could she.

With that decided, the game was called to order, and the first “wolf”—her cousin Micah—was chosen. He picked the big tree beside the house for his home base, hollered loudly that the game had begun, and began to count. The children scattered to find hiding places before he counted to one hundred. Hannah decided to try to bluff the wolf by hiding just around the corner of the house.

At the count of a hundred, the wolf silently moved to the edge of the house, stuck his head around the corner, spotted Hannah, and howled with glee. He easily beat her back to the tree trunk.

“That was stupid of me,” Hannah muttered as she joined Micah at the tree.

“They try that on me all the time,” the wolf crowed in triumph. “Now let’s get the rest of them. You go around the house that way, and I’ll take the side you hid on.”

Hannah imitated the wolf’s trick, now that she was one herself, but the corner of the house produced no hidden sheep. The moon had already set by now, and the only light came from the stars. This corner of the house was particularly dark, absent of any light beams from the gas lanterns in the living room and kitchen.

Hannah felt her way along the house and, hearing a noise, she turned toward the front porch where she flushed someone out of the bush and found herself in a race back to the tree trunk. Hannah wasn’t sure who she was chasing, but that didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was who got to the tree first.

Just as she passed the corner of the house, Hannah’s world exploded into a deeper darkness than the evening around her. Sam, the one she had flushed from the bush, somehow collided with Hannah. He flew backward, and Hannah flew off into complete darkness in the other direction. Two other racers just missed her fallen body and dodged Sam who had now crawled slowly to a sitting position.

Young cousin Jonas, one of the children who had to jump to avoid Hannah’s body, immediately ran to the kitchen door, stuck his head in, and yelled in his loudest little-boy voice, “Someone bring a light! There’s been a hurt!”

Roy Miller, Hannah’s father, reacted first. He grabbed the kitchen lantern from its hook and ran outside.

“What’s going on?” he called from the porch, holding his lantern aloft, the light reaching out in a great circle.

“She’s hurt! Over here!” Sam called. He now rested on his left elbow and pointed toward Hannah’s still body.

As Roy approached, Sam slowly huddled closer to Hannah, both hands wrapped around his head. “Hannah,” he whispered, “are you hurt?”

By the light of Roy’s approaching lantern, Sam saw that Hannah was not moving. He took his hands off his head and gently pushed her arm but got no response. “You okay?” he asked again, tilting his head sideways to look down at her.

“Oh no, I hurt her!” Sam yelled as he jumped to his feet. He then stood speechless, his mouth wide open.

With the lantern in hand, Roy was now standing over the two young people. Glancing briefly at Sam, Roy reached for Hannah’s hand and then focused his attention on Hannah’s head, which had obviously taken the brunt of the hit as evidenced by a deep gash and wound to her left eye. Roy gently gathered Hannah in his arms and spoke to his brother, Leroy, standing beside him.

“Better take a look at Sam,” Roy said with a motion of his head toward the boy, and then he headed to the kitchen with Hannah.

Hannah’s mom met them at the door. “How bad is she hurt?” she asked, holding the kitchen door open.

“I don’t know,” Roy told her. “Let’s get her to the couch.”

Roy placed Hannah down gently and then stepped aside as Kathy got her first good look at Hannah’s head.

“We have to take her to the doctor—now,” Kathy said. “This looks serious.”

“Are you sure?” Roy said. “Is it that bad?”

“Roy, just look at her eye and that cut on her head!”

Roy, for the first time, carefully studied his daughter’s injury and then nodded. “Can someone run down to Mr. Bowen’s place and call for a driver?” he asked.

“I’ll go,” Ben said as he headed for the door.

Hannah had become alert enough to barely moan but nothing more.

Ben returned minutes later, a little breathless but with news. “Mr. Bowen said it wasn’t necessary to call for a ride. He’ll take her himself.”

“Da Hah be praised,” Roy said, worried about his daughter.


Old Mr. Bowen drove his car up to the front porch. Roy helped the groggy Hannah into the backseat.

“Why don’t you ride in the back with her?” Roy suggested to Kathy.

Kathy nodded, slid in next to Hannah, and held her upright against her own shoulder. With Roy in the front seat, Mr. Bowen pulled out of the driveway.

“Is she hurt badly?” Mr. Bowen asked.

“I can’t tell,” Roy said. “Her head seems to have…quite a gash in it. And her left eye doesn’t look normal.”

“I’ll get you there as fast as I can.” Mr. Bowen accelerated slowly on the gravel road and hung tightly onto the steering wheel. Once they reached the blacktop, he sped up considerably.

They reached Elkhart without incident, and Mr. Bowen pulled into the hospital parking lot. Roy quickly got out, opened the back door, and helped Hannah out of the car. He and Kathy took Hannah’s arms and made their way into the emergency room reception area.

The attending nurse took one look at Hannah, brought a wheelchair for her, and then took her to an examining room to wait for the doctor.


An hour later Roy and Kathy were seated in the waiting room.

“Did they say how bad she is?” Roy asked again.

“The nurse said she’ll be fine. That’s all she said,” Kathy repeated.

“Will she lose the eye?”

“No, surely not,” Kathy said, though with some uncertainty.

“We’ll just have to trust,” he said, attempting a smile and squeezing her hand.

“I’ll wait for you folks. Whatever time this takes,” Mr. Bowen assured them.

“That awful nice of you,” Kathy said. “We can call when we’re done. This could take much of the night.”

“The Mrs. understands,” Mr. Bowen said. “I don’t need much sleep myself anyway.”

“It’s still nice of you,” Kathy said with a smile as she took a seat beside Roy.

A few minutes later, the attending doctor walked into the waiting room and motioned for Hannah’s parents to follow him.

“I’m Dr. Benson,” he announced to the couple as they walked down the hall. “Your daughter is resting now. There isn’t much more we can do other than keep her under observation. We can’t let her sleep for a while, of course.”

“What happened?” Kathy asked.

“A bad concussion, that’s all, from what I can tell. The bone structure of her skull has actually been damaged where the impact occurred. That’s also what caused her left eye to protrude. We patched her up as best we could. Now nature will have to take its course. The eye, I believe, will return to normal now that we have taken the worst of the pressure off. We’d like to keep her here under observation for a day or two just to be sure.”

“Yes, of course,” Roy said. “I appreciate the prompt attention. She had us really worried. Will we be able to see her now?”

“Yes, the nurse will take you back. Do you have any questions?”

Roy and Kathy looked at each other, and Kathy said, “No, doctor, I don’t think so. Thank you for all you’ve done.”

The couple then followed the nurse into the elevator and two floors up.

Hannah lay in the bed, covered with white sheets and kept awake by a watchful nurse. The bed beside Hannah was occupied by another girl whose face was turned away from them. She moved slightly when they walked in but didn’t turn in their direction.

“You’re in good hands,” Kathy whispered and squeezed Hannah’s hand.

Hannah blinked slowly but made no other response.

“A little groggy,” the nurse said and smiled. “We gave her something for the pain.”

“We’d better leave, then, I suppose,” Kathy whispered. “They’ll take good care of you, Hannah. I’ll come back tomorrow first thing.”

Hannah nodded, and Kathy brushed her hand across her cheek.

At the doorway, Kathy glanced back quickly before she followed Roy out.

“She looked okay,” Roy assured her.

“But here—all night by herself.”

“They’ll watch her. You can come back in the morning. Half the night’s gone already the way it is.”

“I suppose so,” Kathy agreed.

Roy pushed the elevator button. They stepped inside when the doors opened and arrived at the waiting room to find Mr. Bowen had nodded off, his chin on his chest.

“We’re back,” Roy whispered into his ear.

He awoke with a start, grinned, and promptly bounced to his feet.

“How is she?” he asked as they walked outside.

“She’ll be okay,” Roy said, “but she’s staying for a day or two.”

“Sounds good for how she looked,” Mr. Bowen commented. “So let me get you folks home. I suppose you’re ready?”

“That we are,” Roy agreed.

Mr. Bowen drove slowly on the way home, taking his time around the curves. When he pulled into the Miller’s graveled driveway, he turned to Kathy in the backseat. “What’s your driver situation for tomorrow?”

“I have no one,” Kathy said, “and I have to go first thing in the morning, but I’ll call around from the pay phone.”

“No, just count on me as your driver until this is over,” Mr. Bowen said.

“That’s awfully nice of you,” Kathy said, “but we don’t to want to take advantage.”

“Think nothing of it,” Mr. Bowen assured her. “I’m more than glad to help out.”
My Thoughts:  This is a very good book.  I've read many books about the Amish and enjoyed them alot.  What I enjoyed about this particular book was the fact that it took me into some different aspects of their life and I learned some things I didn't know before about their beliefs.  It was interesting hearing about the way they date and "write" to each other and what that meant to the people around them.  It was just a very good and enjoyable book.