MFW Week #5 & #6

P1080046 P1080047 P1080048 P1080049

Our version of Jambalaya from the US history cookbook! It was really a yummy meal!

P1080043 P1080044

Doing our capitals and states practice

P1080045Math Time!

We finished Courage to Run this week! Here were a couple of extras we did as well!

Link to clip about Harriet Tubman 

10 interesting facts about Harriet Tubman

Dear America episodes- A Picture of Freedom

Of course, we did a ton of other stuff, but this is just some highlights from the week. I felt like I was going a little crazy with school this week, but it ended better than it started!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Evergreen by Susan May Warren

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Book Description: (From back cover)


An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn’t be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He’s sure she’ll love it. What’s more romantic than Christmas in Paris? Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then—because disasters strike in threes—an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts. As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid’s marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

My Review:

You know how romantic gestures always sound better in books than they work out in real life? In this book, the romantic gestures go about like real life usually does. This book is short, but so sweet! If you have enjoyed the Christiansen’s story in Ms. Warren’s other books, you will love this one. It gives you a glimpse inside the parents of the family we have come to know and love. I loved each twist and turn of the story, and left me longing for more, wishing that she had another new book coming out sooner than it is! Ms. Warren writes with humor and a more realistic view on subjects like marriage, relationships and will draw you into the world of Northern Minnesota with skill and finesse. You have to read this book and others by her!  I used to live in Northern MN and love how she captured the area and really conveys it in words. This book was given to me for review by Tyndale Blog Network. The opinions contained herein are my own.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Homeschooling Week #3 and #4

We are in the full swing of the school year, and things are going smoothly in many regards.

We added in a couple of co-op classes this past week, which is always nice, but also gives me a little more scheduling crunch time.

P. is taking a finance class, writing/American history and Lit, Chemistry labs and Geometry class at the co-op. He is also taking Russian Language and Culture along with Engineering Basics online. He is going to be tight pressed to get the homework all done.

10633371_10202839287809226_4772667782401848228_o 10688411_10202839281089058_5111988979329154176_o 10626444_10202839270128784_8488519124446339207_o

The boys and my husband spent the weekend in the middle of the two weeks, out on the lake camping. They were with my fellow homeschool mom’s and one of them is very good at teaching, incorporating learning into everything. It made it nice, knowing they were learning out of doors.

We had a lot of car trouble, so I was unable to go with them, but ended up getting some work done on my writing.


We learned that God had preserved us and didn’t allow the brake line to shred when driving on unsafe roads or the fuel to cause the car to explode, but we also learned both lines were completely falling apart.

It has been a hard lesson, but one wrought with many good things as well.

P1080039 P1080038

I was planning on some furniture rearranging, but instead the desk got stuck in the living room, and T. has been happily using it for his math.


We had fun studying molecules among other things, this past couple of weeks, but we did a small experiment with ice this week.


It measured how fast the ice melted from the heat of your finger, vs. with salt on it.

The boys enjoyed it!


So, there are not too many pictures, but it was a full, busy couple of weeks! We are reading Courage to Run, about Harriet Tubman. We used this chance to talk about Modern Day slavery as well, which this post caught my eye this week on the topic.  How to Talk to your kids about Modern Day Slavery

We finished Farmer Boy early, as far as our read aloud, and the boys throughly enjoyed it.

We watched Little Princess and found various variations and books on the Secret Garden as well.

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Happenings, MFW

Dreaming On Daisies by Miralee Ferrell

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko


Book Description:

(From Back Cover)

When her father’s debts, brought on by heavy drinking, threaten Leah Carlson’s family ranch, she fights to save it. When handsome banker Steven Harding must decline her loan request, he determines to do what he can to help. Just as he arrives to serve as a much-needed ranch hand, Leah’s family secrets—and the pain of her past—come to a head. They could destroy everything she’s fought for. And they could keep her from ever opening her heart again.

This is western historical romance that offers hope and healing to the deepest wounds in a woman’s past.

My Review:

Miralee Ferrell is one of those authors that I place on my must read, must buy list so I own a copy to lend out. From her earlier contemporary novels to her latest western novels, you will find they are not just “western romance”. When you read one of her books, you will meet characters that are dealing with real life issues of pain and in this book, abandonment. Throughout the book, she draws you into the story to make you want to walk through the issues with them, and discover more about them, and watch a sweet romance develop without too many details. This book would be good for teens or adults, the whole series is excellent, from beginning to end.

I would have to say one of my favorite parts was, probably the secondary story with Charles Pape, I won’t give anything away about it, but it was really fun! I loved the light humor that was woven throughout the story, but also, seeing the characters from the previous books as well.

This is not just another “western romance”, this is a story that takes place in the west with what feels like, real people. You will fall in love with the author and the book. Head to the store and place this on order now! You won’t be sorry!

This book was provided for me for review by the author, but the opinions contained herein are my own and no one else’s.

Now, the fun part of this!

If you are interested in reading this book, there is a giveaway! There has to be 10 or more comments on this blog for it to be a part of the giveaway, so tell your friends and everyone that loves a good read to come and enter!

In order to enter, please leave a comment telling your favorite western expansion novel title, author and your email address in order to contact you. You can leave it like this  allan(at)yahoo(dot)com to avoid spammers. Also, let me know that you follow my blog as well! It is easy to become a follower if not and please indicate it in your comment!

Enjoy and share away!


Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Romance

The Promise by Beth Wiseman

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko


Book Description:

Mallory’s search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal—and danger. Can the only man she’s ever loved rescue her before it’s too late?

Mallory Hammond is determined not to let her boyfriend, parents, or anyone else get in the way of her #1 goal—to save a life. She had that chance when she was a teenager, and the opportunity slipped away, leaving a void she’s desperate to fill. Then a new friend she met online offers her the chance she’s dreamed of. But she’ll have to leave behind everyone she loves to take it.

Tate Webber has loved Mallory for years. He understands that Mallory’s free spirit has to fly, and when he gives her the space she needs, he hopes that when she lands, the two of them will be in the same place and can marry at last.

Inspired by actual events, this riveting story will take you on a wild journey and have you asking yourself: How far would I go for love?

My Review:

This book was not about what I thought it would be about. Was I ever pleasantly surprised! I was sort of expecting a normal contemporary novel, but when I saw Mallory starting to look for more outside of the normal Christian values she had been confused about. Her longing to save someone consumes her, even to the point that she seemed to be duped by what we all could see coming a mile away.

I was reminded of some of the stories that I have heard about cult members, that are very smart, and yet get entrapped. I found this fascinating as it was based on a true story as well.

Ms. Wiseman tells a tale that is unique, it did remind me some of the Jeanette Windle’s books with the history of Pakistan as well.

This book was provided by NetGalley and Thomas Nelson. The opinions contained herein are solely my own.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

The Desire by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko


Book Description:

For two years, Allan and Michele have been trying to have a baby. The emotional ride has been taking a toll on their hearts–and their relationship. Michele is obsessed with researching fertility treatments while Allan seems content to spend his time–and their money–on supporting displaced children in Africa. Something’s got to give. But they both hope it’s not their marriage.

Still, God has a plan for Allan and Michele that they could never have imagined. And all it takes to set it in motion is a change of heart

My Review:

This is the third book in Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley’s Restoration series. Each one deals with a different marriage stress or issue. There will be a fourth book in the series as well.

I personally find it much easier to read a fiction story than an how to book, and these books fit that bill. I loved spending time with the family in this book, as it felt like I sat down to dinner alongside them.  Each one deals with complicated marriage issues of communication, stresses and other things that can cause problems in relationships. This book deals with infertility. This is the first one though, that I have read by Dan Walsh, that I could really tell was written by a man(which was not a bad thing =). I appreciated the story that was based on a true story, but also, the emotions felt a little bit manly when relating to the issue of infertility just for women out there reading. He did one of the best jobs I have seen a man do on tackling the hard topic though!

I throughly enjoyed the book, the whole way through and didn’t want to put it down. They really hit hard some of the issues that couples will face when looking through infertility, adoption and the cold remarks that people might make when trying to be “helpful”. It is an amazing series that deals with real issues that Christian families will or might face.

I highly recommend Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley’s books, even if you are not experiencing any of the issues in this book, you will enjoy it. It will have messages that will touch your heart no matter where you are coming from.  -Martha

This book was provided for review by Revell and Net Galley. The opinions contained herein are my own.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

The Lady Fugitive by Ada Brownell

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko


The Lady Fugitive
Book Description: 

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?
Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her.
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.
Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

My Review:

This book has a lot going on throughout the pages. Jenny is trapped in a home with an abusive uncle, whom is determined to keep her there until he inherits everything she owns. Through many means, her uncle seems to be all powerful, but Jenny manages to evade him without much money, traveling as a boy, and through many circumstances seem to land on her feet time after time, with even a handsome peddler on the wings.

I wanted to like this book more than I did. I felt like there were a lot of ironic circumstances, happenstance and coincidences throughout. But if you like western romance, with a bit of a mystery, this one is a good one for you to try.


Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Romance