Monthly Archives: November 2012

Spring Meadow Sanctuary by Lynette Bonner

My Review:
I am so excited to read this book! I have read the previous two books and they are stories that stick with you! I have had a very busy last couple of weeks, with scarce any time to read…check out the previous posts and you can see! But a full review will be posted soon! -Martha

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:

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 11, 2012)
***Special thanks to Lynnette Bonner for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born and raised in Malawi, Africa. Lynnette Bonner spent the first years of her life reveling in warm equatorial sunshine and the late evening duets of cicadas and hyenas. The year she turned eight she was off to Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school in Kenya where she spent many joy-filled years, and graduated in 1990.

That fall, she traded to a new duet–one of traffic and rain–when she moved to Kirkland, Washington to attend Northwest University. It was there that she met her husband and a few years later they moved to the small town of Pierce, Idaho.

During the time they lived in Idaho, while studying the history of their little town, Lynnette was inspired to begin the Shepherd’s Heart Series with Rocky Mountain Oasis.

Marty and Lynnette have four children, and currently live in Washington where Marty pastors a church and Lynnette works as an administrative assistant.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

He broke her heart.

Now he’s back to ask for a second chance.

Heart pounding in shock, Sharyah Jordan gapes at the outlaw staring down the barrel of his gun at her. Cascade Bennett shattered her dreams only last summer, and now he plans to kidnap her and haul her into the wilderness with a bunch of outlaws…for her own protection? She’d rather be locked in her classroom for a whole week with Brandon McBride and his arsenal of tricks, and that was saying something.

Cade Bennett’s heart nearly drops to his toes when he sees Sharyah standing by the desk. Sharyah Jordan was not supposed to be here. Blast if he didn’t hate complications, and Sharyah with her alluring brown eyes and silky blond hair was a walking, talking personification of complication.
Now was probably not the time to tell her he’d made a huge mistake last summer….

Two broken hearts. Dangerous Outlaws. One last chance at love.

Step into a day when outlaws ran free, the land was wild, and guns blazed at the drop of a hat.

Product Details:
List Price: $14.77
Paperback: 286 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 11, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480156949
ISBN-13: 978-1480156944

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Sharyah had just bent over the papers she needed to grade when the small rock landed on her desk with a soft thud. The titter of laugher ceased as she snapped her head up to study her students. Everyone seemed to be in deep concentration and intent on their lessons. She focused her gaze on Brandon McBride, but he looked as innocent as an angel and sat attentively reading his history lesson, just as he should be. Sonja and Sally Weaver both gave her sympathetic glances, from the last row of desks where they were working on their math lesson together.

Sharyah sighed, knowing from past experience that asking the class who had done the deed would prove futile. She’d been here two weeks, now. Two weeks in the God-forsaken little back-water town of Beth Haven and for a solid week-and-a-half she’d been longing to pack her bags and return home.

She had been approached about teaching in Madras, but upon arriving learned that the former teacher had decided to stay on for another year. Disappointed, she’d been all set to go back home when the head of the board told her that Beth Haven had been having trouble keeping a teacher and he thought they might be searching for one again. When she’d arrived and informed the Beth Haven board of her interest in the teaching position, they’d been ecstatic. She could see why, now. No teacher in their right mind would want to stay and deal with this, but she was determined to make it work.

The first week, she’d spent countless hours grilling the students both collectively and individually as to the identity of the trickster, but whoever the little devil was, he had a fierce grip on the loyalty of everyone else in the class. No one would give him up.

For the last several weeks, she’d tried to ignore the incidents in hopes that the prankster would give up out of sheer boredom.

Never one to be squeamish, when she’d found the snake in her top desk drawer she’d calmly picked it up and tossed it out the window. A few of the boys had gaped in disappointment, but the next day a tack had appeared on her chair. She’d noticed it before she sat on it, thankfully, and had whisked it out of sight and plunked herself down on the chair with zest. But, even though she’d been watching their faces carefully as she dropped into the seat, she hadn’t been able to determine which child was the most disappointed when she didn’t cry out in pain.

A couple days ago, she’d actually almost laughed when she’d discovered that all the chalk had been replaced with garden carrots, fuzzy green tops and all. Thankfully she’d had an extra piece in her satchel.

Today however, the large spider in her lunch pail had been almost more than she could bear. She shuddered at the memory and thanked her lucky stars that Papa had never allowed her to luxuriate in a fit of the vapors – because if ever there was a moment when she’d been tempted to, that had been it. The thing had been so large she could see its beady eyes looking right at her! And fuzzy! She rubbed at the goose-flesh on her arms. All afternoon her stomach had been grumbling its complaint. The thought of eating her sandwich and the apple that a spider crawled all over had been more than her fortitude could handle.

Yes, packing up and returning to home would be heaven. But, in a way that would be just like succumbing to the vapors, and she wouldn’t allow herself the weakness of retreat. She would get a much-needed break in the spring, just a few short months away, when her entire family came over for Jason and Nicki’s March wedding. Tears pressed at the backs of her eyes as longing to see them all welled up inside her. But she blinked hard and reined in her emotions. Until then, she would simply have to forge ahead.

All her life she’d wanted only one thing.

Well, two things if she were honest, but she wasn’t going to think about Cascade Bennett today. She sighed and glanced out the window. If she was smart she wouldn’t ever again waste another moment of time pondering the way he’d broken her heart. God promised in his Word that goodness and mercy would follow her all the days of her life, so obviously the good things God had for her didn’t include Cade Bennett.

Samuel Perry – that’s who she should be thinking on. Yes, Sam. If he ever got around to asking her, he would make a very…suitable husband. She could learn to be happy and satisfied with a man like Sam.

Giving herself a shake, she returned her focus to her students. The one thing she’d wanted ever since she could remember was to be a teacher. She loved children, loved to see their eyes light up when understanding dawned. Loved their frank outlook on life and their quickness to forgive and move on. Loved to help them make something of themselves. That love was the reason she was here, and she had to figure out a way to get these children to accept her, or at least respect her.

She glanced at the clock and stood from her desk. “Alright, children. It’s time to head home for the day.” She gave them all her sunniest smile. “See you bright and early in the morning, and don’t forget tomorrow is our day to go leaf collecting, so bring a sack or pillowslip from home to carry with you.” She pinned Brandon with a look. “Brandon, if I could have a moment of your time up by my desk, please? Everyone else, you’re dismissed.”

Purposely she turned her back and began to erase the chalk board, but inwardly she cringed, waiting for some missile or projectile to bombard her. With a determined clench of her jaw, she threw back her shoulders. Show no fear!

Amazingly enough nothing happened and soon, other than Brandon shuffling his feet as he waited for her to finish, the room filled with silence.

Finally, she hung the rag on its hook by the board and turned to face her little nemesis. My, but he had the most alluring big chocolate eyes. And right at the moment they were dripping with innocence. Future women beware! Brandon McBride cometh! She bit off a grin and folded her hands carefully in front of her.

“Did you need my help, Miss Jordan?” He looked around as though expecting her to ask him to carry something for her.

“No, Brandon. But I want you to know that I’m not going anywhere.”

He seemed puzzled. “Not going anywhere, ma’am?”

“No matter the number of tricks played on me, I will finish out the school year. Now,” she held up a hand to still his protest, “it can be a good year for both of us, or it can be a miserable year. Your choice.”

“But ma’am, I don’t…” Suddenly his eyes widened. “You think I’m the one that’s been playin’ tricks on you?” He shook his head, dark eyes wide and gleaming with sincerity. “It ain’t me, ma’am. Honest it’s not.”

“Isn’t. ‘It isn’t me, ma’am,’” she corrected automatically, then sighed. “You are dismissed, Brandon. See you tomorrow.”

“Yes’m.” He turned to fetch his lunch pail and slate.

Was that an impish gleam in his eyes? Or simply relief at not being in too much trouble?

She watched him dash out the door, his ever-present slingshot cocked at an angle in the waistband of his pants, and then sighed as she sank down onto her chair.

Wasp-venom-pain stabbed into her backside. With a yelp, she leapt to her feet. And pulled the offending stick pin from her posterior.

Her eyes narrowed. “Why that little—”

The back door crashed in, startling the rest of the thought from her mind.

A man tromped in, black bowler pulled low over his brow, red bandana covering his nose and mouth and a gun leveled at her chest.

UV

Cade Bennett stood in the alley, his heart beating a competition with the tinny piano playing inside the saloon. Judd Rodale and his younger brother Mick had gone in only moments ago. He took a calming breath and checked his weapon one more time, then stepped around the corner and pushed through the bat-wing doors of The Golden Pearl.

The room looked the same as it had the night before when he’d scouted it with Rocky and Sky. Upright piano in the back right corner. Bar along the wall to his left. Stairs leading up to the second floor along the rear wall. And six round tables scattered throughout the room. Judd and Mick sat at a table close to the bar. They’d already been dealt in to the perpetual poker game The Pearl kept running. The dealer wore a white shirt with black armbands and a visor cap, and looked a little nervous as he dealt out a card to Judd. The other two men in the game must be locals. Cade didn’t recognize them.

He sidled up to the bar and rested his forearms there, lifting a finger to the barkeep.

“What’ll it be?” The man wiped his hands on a rag that looked like it would leave more behind than it would clean off.

“Whiskey. Make it a double.”

The bartender sloshed the liquid into a glass and slid it his way.

Cade lifted it in a gesture of thanks and turned to face the room, propping his elbows on the bar and one boot on the rail below. He sniffed the whiskey but didn’t taste it. He would need all his senses to pull this off.

The poker hand came to an end and Rodale raked in his winnings.

Time to turn on the charm. Lord, a little help here. “You gentlemen care to let a weary traveler in on a bit of the fun?”

Judd Rodale didn’t even look at him. “You gonna drink that whiskey, kid? Or just look at it?”

Mick snickered and organized his stacks of coins, taking his brother’s lead in not even glancing Cade’s way.

Cade chuckled. “Well, I need all my wits about me if I’m going to go up against you Rodales in a poker game. I’ve heard you’re the best.”

Judd looked up then, scanning him from head to toe.

Good. He had the man’s attention.

“I’m sorry, kid, but I can’t say your reputation has spread as far as mine. I have no idea who you are.”

Cade grabbed a chair and circled around so that his back would be to the wall when he sat. He turned the chair backwards and straddled it, setting his whiskey on the card table. “Well now, I’m going to ignore the fact that you called me kid in that tone, because basically I’m nobody.” He stretched his hand across the table giving Rodale what he hoped was an irritated smile. “Name’s Schilling. Cade Schilling.”

The dealer fumbled the cards he was shuffling.

Judd’s eyes widened a bit as he studied Cade, ignoring his proffered hand.

Cade felt his first moment of ease. So their planning ahead on this one had paid off. These men had definitely heard of Cade Schilling.

One of the locals gathered up his money and stood. “Time for me to call it a night, fellas. Catch you another time.”

No one seemed to notice his departure. All attention at the table was fixed on Cade.

Mick cursed. “You are Cade Schilling? The Cade Schilling who—”

Judd cleared his throat loudly.

Mick caught himself. “—well, the Cade Schilling?”

Cade grinned. “Never met another one of me. So what do you say? We playing cards, or not?” Casually he removed a stack of gold eagles from his jacket pocket and laid them on the table.

Judd flicked a gesture to the dealer. “Deal him in.”

“Now you’re talking.” Cade stood, flipped his chair around the right way, removed his jacket and hung it over the back. He rolled up his sleeves as he sat down again, and grinned at the men who were all staring at him in question. “Had a friend get shot once. Someone thought he had a card up his sleeve. I watched him die, choking on his own blood.” He shrugged. “I’ve made it a point to roll my sleeves up for every poker game since then.”

Mick chuckled and picked up his hand of cards.

The kid would be easier to win over than Judd. But if he could get Judd to like him, the rest of the Rodale Gang would fall in line.

Cade let the first two hands go, cringing inwardly at the amount of money Judd was taking off him. He reminded himself that the money was Sam’s anyway – all part of the ruse.

They were halfway into the third round when Rocky and his brother Sky pushed through the doors, their badges plainly visible. Sky sauntered to a table and Rocky eased up to the bar. Cade’s heart rate kicked up a notch. The other local folded, snatched his hat from the back of his chair and quickly strode from the room. The only other patron in the room hurriedly followed him out the doors.

Smart men. A little more of the tenseness eased from Cade’s shoulders. Less potential for casualties. Less witnesses. The bartender, piano player, and dealer were the only others left now, and they would be easily convinced to keep quiet about the events that were about to unfold.

Cade thought through the plan one more time, making sure he had every detail of what was to happen figured out. Jason had wanted to be here too, but Nicki, the widow Jason had fallen in love with, was due to have her baby any day now and they’d all convinced him they could pull this off without him.

Lord I hope we were right on that count.

He laid a card aside and took another from the dealer. It was time to put everything into play. He lowered his voice and kept his perusal on his cards as he said, “Judd, unless I miss my guess, your dandy of a brother here has been sneaking down to town and has caused a little ruckus. Two lawmen just came in. One at the bar, one at the table near the door.”

Judd’s voice was just as low, barely audible over the plinking of the piano. “I see ’em. We don’t have anything to worry about. Sheriff Collier wouldn’t know an outlaw from a bread roll. This is his town.”

Pretending great interest in his cards, Cade lifted one shoulder. “The barber said they brought in a couple new men. This must be them.”

“Well, we ain’t done nothing to warrant their attention. They mostly leave us alone so long as we keep to ourselves. I’ll handle this.” Judd swilled his whiskey and took a gulp then started to stand.

Cade flicked the corner of one of his cards. “I hear tell Judge Green’s daughter is sure a pretty little thing.”

Mick shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

Judd cursed softly and sank back down. “Mick?”

Mick couldn’t seem to meet his brother’s gaze.

Judd swore again. “I ought to shoot you, myself! We are just about—” he cut off, tossing Cade a glance before he returned his attention to Mick. “Now I have to figure out a way to get us out of here.”

Cade leaned forward. “Maybe I can help you with that.”

Judd glowered at him.

Cade pressed on. “I’ve been needing a place to…hang my hat, for a bit. I get you out of here and…?” He shrugged. Their whole plan hinged on the decision Judd would make right here.

Mick nodded at Cade. “You get us out of here and you can stay with us for as long as you want.”

Judd wasn’t so quick to take the bait. He lowered his brow. “Why would you do us any favors?”

Cade pushed out his lower lip and eased into a comfortable posture. “Suit yourself. Like I said, I’ve been needing a place to lie low. Word hereabouts is you have the best hide-out around, and….” He lifted his shoulders and resettled his hat, once again leaving the decision in Judd’s hands.

Rocky and Sky stood erect and turned to face their table.

“Judd, just let him help us.” Desperation tinged the edges of Mick’s tone.

Judd glanced toward the slowly approaching lawmen. Then gave Cade a barely perceptible nod.

Cade suppressed a sigh of relief as he stood and swung his jacket over his shoulder. “Gentlemen,” he said loudly, “the game has been fun, but I sense it is time to move on.”  He tipped his hat to Sky and Rocky as he stepped past them. They were already drawing their guns, right on cue.

“Mick Rodale, you are under arrest for the molestation of Missy Green.”

Cade palmed his gun, spun around and swung his coat over Rocky’s Colt knocking the aim down and away. He pressed the muzzle of his pistol to Sky’s chest. Sky only had enough time to let loose his scripted cry of shock before Cade pulled the trigger.

The report was a little loud, but about right.

Sky flew backward and crashed over a table, sliding across the surface and disappearing over the other side as the table toppled onto its edge. His body was concealed, only his legs protruded from one end.

Too bad about that. He couldn’t see if the blood packet they’d rigged had worked.

Rocky had recovered from his pretended surprise by this time and had his Colt leveled at Judd’s head. “Drop your gun! I will kill him!”

Calmly Cade turned and pressed the muzzle of his pistol under Rocky’s chin. “Your friend over there is lying in a pool of his own blood. Do you think I’d hesitate to kill you too? You have five seconds to drop that gun.

Rocky’s eyes narrowed.

“Four… three…”

“Alright! Alright!” Rocky’s gun thumped onto the table and he raised his hands above his head.

This was the critical moment. Now he had to keep Judd and Mick from shooting Rocky themselves.

He kept his pistol aimed directly at Rocky and his body between him and the Rodales. “Have a seat in that chair behind you. Judd, Mick. I got this. I’ll meet you outside of town.”

Mick shucked his gun and pushed Cade aside. He stood trembling in excitement before Rocky. “Let me kill this one.”

Dear God, give me wisdom. Cade hoped his breathing sounded normal to the others in the room. It rasped ragged and thready in his own ears. He made a quick decision, met Rocky’s gaze and then thunked him a good one with the butt of his pistol. Not hard enough to actually knock him out, but Rocky took the cue and slumped over, toppling to the floor with a low moan.

Cade pierced Mick with a look. “You kill a lawman and it will follow you to your grave. Trust me, I know.”

Judd had his pistol free now. He gestured the bartender, piano player, and dealer toward the back wall and they stumbled over themselves to comply. Cade made swift work of tying up Rocky and the bartender while Mick grumbled his way through binding the other two.

Judd stepped over and eyed Sky, then turned to Cade and nodded. “Thanks. We owe you one.”

Cade smoothed down his sleeves, buttoned the cuffs, and swung his jacket on. “Best we make ourselves scarce.” He wanted to get these two out of here before one of them decided to put an extra bullet into either Sky or Rocky.

Judd snapped his fingers at Mick. “Let’s go.”

With a sigh of frustration Mick followed them out the doors. They mounted up and galloped toward the foothills.

A tremor of sheer relief coursed through Cade. First step down. Thank you, Lord.

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Oatmeal cookies

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These were not my favorite, but they were good for snacking!

Oatmeal cookies

1 c. butter softened
1.5 c. sugar
4 eggs
2/3 c. molasses
3.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 t. soda
2 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
4 c. oatmeal
1 c. raisins or chocolate chips

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix first three ingredients and then add dry ingredients, except for oats. Add oats and raisins or chocolate chips.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Potato soup

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Potato soup

8-10 cubed potatoes
Bacon ends cubed small
2 garlic cloves pressed through garlic press
(You can put celery too if you want)
2 T. chicken bouillon
Salt and pepper
1 c. sour cream
Cheese if desired

Brown bacon, garlic, celery. Add potatoes and barely cover with water. Add chicken bouillon and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until soft. Mash the potatoes when soft, and add sour cream and salt and pepper if desired. Serve with grated cheese or without. We like it both ways. Today I put the potatoes in the crock pot and finished it when I came home. This is very cheap. I got the bacon ends for .99 a pound, the potatoes for free, and the sour cream is $1 for 16 oz. Altogether, I made a huge pot of soup for less than $2.

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Week #14

I cannot believe this one is almost over with! It seems like it just began!

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The school desks were still in the living room, but since they cannot be picked up until later, we moved back downstairs. It is hard to vacuum a rug with them in there.

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Language arts- H.’s got very sick when we got to my mom’s and even though I had taken him to the doctor before, I called the doctor back and let him know. The doctor saw him on Sat. and told me that he wanted to test him for pertussis. That was a stressful weekend, as because they told me it was the tail end of a virus that other family had already had, he had been away from others, but not secluded like I would have, if I thought it was that. I prayed a lot. He is finally getting better now and it was not pertussis. He took the whole series of antibiotics and it was nice to see him back to his old self at the end of this week!

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“Mom, when you have desks, doesn’t that mean you throw your books on the floor when you are done?”

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L. on his second book in two days.

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My nephew came over for the day on Tuesday, so T. read aloud to him.

Wednesday…another good day of school. We got a lot of our school done, as I knew that Thursday and Friday were going to be crazy.
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L. giving his body nourishment!

I completed NaNoWriMo this week, going over 50K words and ready to finish my story! I was so excited!

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Basketball tournament

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P. broken digit. At a basketball game early in the week, another child knocked off the splint/cast somehow. He had dreams of it falling off on the court that night. It is healing well, thankfully, and basketball does not effect it’s healing.

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P.’s haircut

Thursday was absolutely nuts….
There was school in the morning and I only got like 700 words written. I raced around like crazy! The boys had classes, and I traded boys with another mom to get them to their games on time to the tournaments.
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They did well! The teams were not very evenly matched though….
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L. out there playing!
We came home to potato soup and I baked some oatmeal cookies! I will post recipes in separate threads!

Tomorrow is more basketball tournaments and Saturday, we have play auditions as well as tournaments. We can pray I keep my sanity!
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I am reading this cookbook which has some great recipes I would like to try in it! They are simple and look like things we would actually eat!

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Week #13 and Thanksgiving week

Thanksgiving week was relaxing and full of activities. It seemed strange as I hardly sat down it felt like the whole week, yet without teaching school for 2 days, it just refreshed me. We worked hard to get most of our work done for Week #13 before Thanksgiving and we actually did it. We did not do our Roman feast as of yet, but are planning on a simple one this weekend.
I have had a couple people mention my blog to me lately! I am glad others are enjoying it! Please, if you are a reader, I would enjoy seeing comments! I love to hear that there was something someone enjoyed!
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We had some desks I was trying to sell upstairs!
Monday and Tuesday we also had basketball games, which kept us running on top of school and preparing for Thanksgiving!
I sat on the floor reading, giving spelling quizzes, doing writing, language arts while thinking of all the things we had to do to get ready for Thanksgiving.
Tuesday was the craziest day every!
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My pies baking in the oven. I made 5 pies, but had to bake some nice pie pumpkins that my friend had grown this past year. I mixed it with some canned pumpkin. I was out of some of the ingredients and ended up making due with what I had. I have to say, it was one of the best pies I have had in awhile (which was probably a year ago!)
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2 Peach and 3 pumpkin….all baked!
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Stuffing cubes -ready for toasting. I diced all the celery as well and had that ready.
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Just a few of the books we read today!

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Dinner in the crock pot, so we had dinner after the basketball game.
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After school was done and before basketball, we went over to my friends house to have some tea and cookies. I made some shortbread, but I was in such a hurry, it was very dry. It was good dipped in tea though!
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Her oldest and youngest!
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The only way to get through a busy day! Taking a few moments, or hours out of the day to refresh and visit with a friend.

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At the basketball game Tuesday night. The teams were evenly matched which really makes them fun. The scores were close!
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7/8th graders playing
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5/6th graders watching the game with T. in the middle.

Wednesday morning, we had a few things to do before we could leave. We had to go to the doctor to get another x-ray of P.’s broken finger. I tried to take a picture, but it just looked bad as it is his middle finger. F. peeled almost 5 gallons of potatoes and placed in cold water for Thanksgiving.

We listened to Oliver Twist from Focus on the Family RT on the way up, and were all enthralled in the story. I will post a more complete review later! After a nice spaghetti dinner at my sister’s house, we all settled in for the night. The stuffing was prepped, the turkeys were thawed, the pies were baked and we were all set. Mom and I got up, I stuffed the turkeys and stuck them in the oven. One of the turkey’s we did in a bag and it cooked in 3 hours, which meant I waited to put that one in until later.

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Turkey Veggie tray

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Dessert Table

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My littlest nephew

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Cutting up mountains of potatoes

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A different sort of harvest…..in MT, hunting season is a very big deal, but we did not have a lot of time because of basketball. We decided to try before the season ended and P. got a nice small doe. We joked that we were just pretending about the turkeys, we were really going authentic and having fresh venison this year.

We made a ton of food! We had 33 people there this year, and we had plenty of food, and just the right amount for everyone to take some leftovers home.
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Carving the turkey
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Cousins
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Enjoying the food
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Going through the line

The day after we planned on heading home, but the butcher in town that cuts up deer for $20 could come out and cut up the deer. So we hung around to get it taken care of!
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Sharpening the knives

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Watching the process. There is no better way to learn about anatomy, although from what we read in the book about Galen, it is not great for human anatomy.
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F. was happy to see the meat!

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My littlest niece

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Playing the Wii….great cold weather toy!
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Bowls of meat

So, that concluded our week!!! It was busy and relaxing at the same time!

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Thanksgiving resources

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Thanksgiving books and resources

    Squanto – Focus on the Family Radio Theater

    The adventurous life of Myles Standish and the amazing-but-true survival story of the Plymouth Colony by Cheryl Harness

    Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare- We listened to this on audio, even the little ones.

    Samuel Eaton- A life of a pilgrim boy by Russ Kendall

    Sarah Morton’s Day by Kate Waters

    Tapetum’s day by Kate Waters

    The Pilgrim’s first thanksgiving by Ann McGovern

    If you sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern

    The Story of the pilgrims by Katherine Ross

    Squanto and the miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas

    Squanto’s Journey by Joseph Bruchac

    No bake pilgrim hats

    The Imagination Station books have one that is very interesting for a read aloud or for a child with a 3-5th grade reading level.
    They have one about Plymouth.

    Here are some coloring pages that you can print out.
    http://www.holiday-crafts-and-creations.com/free-thanksgiving-coloring-pages.html

    Nerf Gun Turkey targets

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Week #12

Our week was full of school, learning and lots of basketball. I am sometimes surprised at how many times they can run back and forth in the gym, and still have energy.
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We do have some down time though! L. enjoying a piece of coffee cake.

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Hi there!

Monday was Veteran’s Day, so the library and bank were closed. We worked hard on school in the morning, and then in the afternoon went to a basketball practice.

I made egg rolls and coffee cake for snacks and dinner.
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Homemade steak/cabbage egg rolls
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I am dancing for coffee cake!!
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It was a cherry crumb coffee cake.
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On Tuesday we did our school work again in the morning, then in the afternoon we went to a basketball game. It was late before we got home, but thankfully I have been making dinner in the crock pot most days. It really helps.

Wednesday: We got some of our school done, and then we headed out for a field trip.
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On the steps of the mansion waiting for everyone to arrive.

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Inside the parlor with the large Christmas tree set up.
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The fireplace, one of many in the house. Notice the old toys on the mantle.

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Our Tour guide

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They usually do not allow people in the music room, but they asked if anyone played piano and one of our group played a beautiful piece on this very old, but very lovely piano.
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If you can see it, there is a beautiful light fixture hanging above the table. They had electric and carbide gas lights throughout the house. They never had to use the gas. They also had original Thomas Edison bulbs in the garden area.
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The pantry
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A butter churn
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Learning about the kitchen

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Theodore Roosevelt likely stayed overnight in this room once. Isn’t that dress pretty?
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Little balconies
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In the master bedroom
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The fireplace in the master bedroom

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Collection of fans
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Saying on the fireplace
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Beautiful wash basin

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Matching chamber pot, in the a small closet.
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Notice the small stool…
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I would love to wear this dress!
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The toy room in the attic

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Sewing room
The laundry room and some office stuff was also up there. There is the most interesting drying system.
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T. and his large leaf
We had a little real life anatomy lesson as we had to go to the doctor and found out that my oldest son had a broken finger. He has it is a little plastic cap cast, but had to have two sets of X-rays.
Thursday: I forgot my camera. But we started the day with school, then running to a basketball tournament at 9:30 am. , to writing, science and other classes, then off to basketball practice, walking. T. sobbed the entire walk. He was so tired. Oh, in-between all of that, I stopped for a couple hours to have tea with a friend. We had some yummy soup and tea. It was a nice break.

Friday: We again had to hurry to do school and had basketball tournament again at 11 am.
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We were listening to this CD while doing our school.

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Coloring pictures from The Body book.
We have not had time to color and paste, so we are a little behind on that point, but they did a bunch of these.
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H. seriously coloring
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Deciding what to do

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L. working on his pages

It was quite the week. On Friday, after the tournament, we ran over to a basketball clinic, practice. It was fun to see them all practicing together and enjoying it. At 3 pm. that was over, and we rushed over to the homeschool mom support group meeting, which I really needed some support. I ended up being the one that was leading the meeting.
I had a list of Thanksgiving resources and books, which will be in another post.

It went well, I believe, but it was about 5 pm. when we left the gym. They ran, played more basketball, tag and other things while we there. It was over 5 hours of basketball, running and playing active games. Yeah. It was a long time. We came home to Teriyaki chicken in the crock pot, which we were going to have with rice, but ended up having with pasta and tomatoes.

Today, it was not a school day, but we were selling our school desks and I brought them up to wash down. I found it funny that they sat at them and wrote a bunch of letters and wanted to do school stuff. It is funny how when you sell something they want to use them!

We are doing well with school and I hope it continues. I need to sit down and go over a few math concepts with my third son next week, but I picked up some papers from the school this week, signing them to release him from the IEP as he no longer needed it. That was a great feeling!

Here is to another week!!!

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Filed under Daily Happenings

Sofia’s Secret by Sharlene MacLaren

Sofia’s Secret
By Sharlene MacLaren

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Shame. Fear. A brutal attack has heaped these on Sofia, a quiet girl, raising her brother alone after the death of her parents in a small town. She feels shame after being drugged, raped and left violated by someone who lives in her own town, with a note left on police stationary, threatening her brother if she tells. Pregnant from the violation without being married in the 1930’s was not an everyday occurrence like it is today. She found her self the outcast; the shunned and she allowed herself to become more and more reclusive as time went on.

I found this book compelling on many levels, as the story was an interesting one, based in a time period where most girls went away if pregnant out of wedlock. Sofia was not able to because of her little brother, and instead suffered the shame and humiliation the town heaped on her, especially the church members. It was a wildly predictable story, but sweet. I found there were a few focuses on body parts that I could have done without seeing this was a Christian fiction book, but appreciated the ministry the young doctor took upon himself to reach out to her.
I knew this was a simple, fictional novel, but I enjoy having books that are semi-historical to be accurate. As a birth doula and working with educating people on breastfeeding among other things, I felt like the issue of breastfeeding was very lightly glossed over. While, it may have been historically accurate to give up on breastfeeding, many, many babies died from poor formula, especially an early baby. Bottles that had nipples had only just been invented around 1930. I assume that at that time, still a mother at that time would have been looked down on for not staying home with her baby as well from my own grandmother’s experience. My uncle and father were fed cow’s milk in the 1940’s and 50’s and both experienced health issues related to it, and that was almost 20 years later. However, in spite of that small detail, which really to most people would not have been noticeable, it was a sweet story of two finding love with some mystery in the middle of it.

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:

Whitaker House (October 1, 2012)
***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born and raised in western Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. After graduating, she traveled, then married one of her childhood friends, and together they raised two ldaughters. Now happily retired after teaching elementary school for over 30 years, “Shar” enjoys reading, singing in the church choir, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren—and, of course, writing. Her novels include Through Every Storm, Long Journey Home; the Little Hickman Creek series, the acclaimed historical trilogy, The Daughters of Jacob Kane, and the first two books in her latest series, River of Hope: Livvie’s Song and Ellie’s Haven.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

 The River of Hope Series, set in the 1920’s, continues with the story of Sofia Rogers who is pregnant, unmarried, and guarding a secret. Nobody in Wabash, Indiana seems to know her real story and Sofia isn’t about to share it. She’d rather bear the shame than face the threat of consequences. When Eli Trent, the new doctor in town, gets involved, trouble escalates in the form of thievery, arson, and death threats. Nevertheless, Eli remains determined to break down the wall of silence behind which Sofia hides her secret. He is out to convince her she is not alone and to help  her come to the realization that trusting him—and God—is the only thing that makes sense.

Product Details:
List Price: $10.99
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160374214X
ISBN-13: 978-1603742146

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
—Psalm 51:17
June 1930
Wabash, Indiana
The blazing sun ducked behind a cloud, granting a smidgeon of relief to Sofia Rogers as she compressed the pedal to stop her bike in front of Murphy’s Market and, in a most inelegant manner, slid off the seat, taking care not to catch the hem of her loose-fitting dress in the bicycle chain. She scanned the street in both directions, hoping not to run into anyone she knew, then parked the rusting yellow bike next to a Ford truck. These days, she dreaded coming into town, but she couldn’t very well put off the chore much longer if she wanted to keep food on the table.
Her younger brother, Andy, had won the race to their destination. His equally corroded bike leaned against the building, and he stood next to it, his arms crossed, a burlap sack slung across one shoulder. As she approached, a smug grin etched his freckled face. “Didn’t I t-tell you I’d b-beat you?” 
“That’s because you had a full minute head start on me, you rascal.” Sofie might have added that her present condition did not permit the speed and agility she’d once had, but she wasn’t about to make that excuse. “Just you wait. I’ll win on the way back home.”
“N-not if I can help it.”
She pressed the back of her hand to her hot, damp face and stepped up to the sidewalk. “We’ll see about that, Mr. Know-It-All.”
Andy pointed at her and laughed. “Now your face is all d-dirty.” 
She looked at her hands, still soiled from working in the garden that morning, and frowned. “I guess I should have lathered them a little better when I washed up.” She bent over and used the hem of her skirt to wipe her cheek before straightening. “There. Is that better?” 
He tilted his face and angled her a crooked grin. “Sort of.”
“Oh, who cares?” She tousled his rust-colored hair. “Come on, let’s get started checking those items off my shopping list.”
They headed for the door, but a screeching horn drew their attention to the street, where a battered jalopy slowed at the curb. Several teenage boys, their heads poking out through the windows, whistled and hollered. “Hey, sister! Hear you like to have a good time!”
At their crudeness, Sofie felt a suffocating pressure in her chest. With a hand on her brother’s shoulder, she watched the car round the bend, as the boys’ whoops faded into the distance.
“Who were those guys?”
“Nobody important.”
As if the baby inside her fully agreed, she got a strong push to the rib cage that jarred her and made her stumble.
“You alright?” Andy grabbed her elbow, looking mature beyond his eleven years.
She paused to take a deep breath and then let it out slowly, touching a hand to her abdomen. Even in her seventh month, she could scarcely fathom carrying a tiny human in her womb, let alone accept all of the kicks and punches he or she had started doling out on a daily basis. She’d read several books to know what to expect as she progressed, but none of them had come close to explaining why she already felt so deeply in love with the tiny life inside of her. Considering that she hadn’t consented to the act committed against her, she should have resented the little life, but how could she hold an innocent baby accountable? “I’m fine,” she finally assured her brother. “Let’s go inside, shall we?”
Inside Murphy’s Market, a few people ambled up and down the two narrow aisles, toting cloth bags or shopping baskets. Sofie kept her left hand out of view as much as possible, in hopes of avoiding the condemnation of anyone who noticed the absence of a wedding band on her left ring finger. Not that she particularly cared what other folks thought, but she’d grown weary of the condescending stares. Several women had tried to talk her into giving the infant up for adoption, including Margie Grant, an old friend who had served as a mother figure to her and Andy ever since their parents had perished in a train wreck in 1924. “The little one growing inside you is the result of an insidious attack, darling. I shouldn’t think you’d want much to do with it once it’s born,” Margie had said. “I happen to know more than a few childless couples right here in Wabash who would be thrilled to take it off your hands. You should really consider adoption.”
Because Margie had long been a loyal friend, Sofie had confided in her about the assault, including when and where it had occurred. As for going to the authorities and demanding an investigation—never! Margie had begged her to go straight to Sheriff Morris, but she had refused, and then had made Margie swear on the Bible not to go herself.
“That is a hard promise to make, dearest,” Margie had conceded with wrinkled brow, “but I will promise to keep my lips buttoned. As for adoption, if you gave the baby to a nice couple in town, you would have the opportunity to watch it grow up. That would bring you comfort, I should think, especially if you selected a well-deserving Christian couple.”
“I can’t imagine giving my baby away to someone in my hometown, Christian or not.” 
“Well then, we’ll go to one of the neighboring towns,” the woman had persisted. “Think about it, sweetheart. You don’t have the means to raise a child. Why, you and Andy are barely making ends meet as it is. Who’s going to take care of it while you’re at work?”
“I can’t think about that right now, Margie. And, please, don’t refer to my child as an ‘it.’”
The woman’s face had softened then, and she’d enfolded Sofie in her arms. “Well, of course, I know your baby’s not an ‘it,’ honey. But, until he or she is born, I have no notion what to call it—I mean, him or her.”
“‘The baby’ will do fine.”
Margie had given her a little squeeze, then dropped her hands to her sides and shot her a pleading gaze. “I sure wish you’d tell me who did this to you. It’s a crime, you know, what he did.”
Yes, it had been a crime—the most reprehensible sort. And it was both a blessing and a curse that Sofie couldn’t remember the details. The last thing she could remember was drinking her habitual cup of coffee at Spic-and-Span Cleaning Service before starting her evening rounds. She’d thought it tasted unusually bitter, but she’d shrugged it off at the time. Half an hour later—at the site of her job that night, at the law offices of Baker & Baker—she’d been overcome by dizziness and collapsed. She’d teetered in and out of consciousness, with only a vague notion of what was going on. When she’d awakened, it had been daylight, and she was sore all over. Fortunately, it had been a Saturday, and the offices were closed; no one had discovered her lying there, nauseous and trembling, her dress torn, her hair disheveled. A particular ache had given her a clue as to what had gone on while she’d been unconscious. As the sickening reality had set in, she’d found beside her the note that had haunted her ever since.
Breathe one word about this and you can say bye-bye to your brother.
It had been typed on the official letterhead of the sheriff’s office, making her even less inclined to go to the authorities. Whoever had assaulted her had connections to the law, and she wasn’t about to risk her brother’s life to find out his identity. Plus, without a name, and with no visual or auditory recollection, she had nothing to offer that would aid an investigation.
By the time she realized she’d gotten pregnant, two months had passed—too late to go crying to the authorities. Not that she’d planned to. Her attacker’s threat had been enough to keep her quiet. She could bear the scorn and the shame, as long as he left her alone. And the only way of ensuring that was to comply with his demands. No, she couldn’t say anything more about it to Margie.
“Margie, we’ve been over this. It’s better left unsaid, believe me.”
“But, don’t you know people are going to talk? Who knows what they’ll think or say when you start to show? If they learned the truth, perhaps they’d go a little easier on you.”
“No! I can’t. No one must know—not even you. I’m sorry, Margie.”
Margie had rubbed the back of her neck as if trying to work out a kink. A loud breath had blown past her lips and whistled across Sofie’s cheek. “You know I love you, and so I will honor your wishes…for now.” Then, her index finger had shot up in the air, nearly poking Sofie in the nose. “But if he so much as comes within an inch of you again, I want you to tell me right away, you hear? I can’t abide thinking that he’ll come knocking at your door. You must promise me, Sofia Mae Rogers!”
Sofie had hidden the shiver that had rustled through her veins at the mere thought of crossing paths with her attacker again. Why, every time she went to work, she couldn’t get the awful pounding in her chest to slow its pace until she was home again. She’d stopped drinking and eating at work—anywhere other than at home, really.
“Show me your list, Sofie.” Andy’s voice drew her out of her fretful thoughts. She reached inside her pocket and handed over the paper. When he set off down an aisle, she idly followed after, her mind drifting back into its musings.
***
Dr. Elijah Trent parked his grandfather’s 1928 Ford Model A in the lot beside Murphy’s Market. As he climbed out, he was careful not to allow his door to collide with a bicycle standing nearby. Another battered bike leaned against the building. It looked as if it could use some serious repair work. He closed his door and took a deep breath of hot June air, then cast a glance overhead at the row of birds roosting on a clothesline that stretched between two apartment buildings across the street.
When he pulled open the whiny screen door, an array of aromas teased his nostrils, from freshly ground coffee beans to roasted peanuts in a barrel. As he stepped inside, a floorboard shrieked beneath his feet, as if to substantiate its long-term use.
“Afternoon,” said the shopkeeper, who glanced up from the cash register, where he stood, ringing up an order for a young pregnant woman. Beside her, a boy dutifully stuffed each item into a cloth bag. The young woman raised her head and glanced briefly at Eli, who sensed a certain tenseness in her chestnut-colored eyes. Then, she shifted her gaze back to the clerk.
“Say, ain’t you Doc Trent’s grandson?” the man asked.
“That I am, sir. Elijah Trent. But most people call me Eli.”
The clerk stopped ringing items for a moment and gave him an up-and-down glance. “Heard you’re takin’ over the old fellow’s practice. That’s mighty fine o’ you. I understand you graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, an’ you worked at a Detroit hospital for two years, but you were itchin’ for small-town livin’. Timing’s good, since Doc’s retirin’. S’pose you two been plannin’ this for quite a while now, eh? Hate to see Wilson Trent retire, but most folks seem to think it’ll be good to get in some new blood. Get it? Blood?” He gave a hearty chortle, causing his rotund chest to jiggle up and down.
Eli smiled at the friendly man. “It sounds like Grandfather’s been keeping everyone well-informed.”
“He sure has. Plus, the Plain Dealer wrote up that article ’bout you.”
“Yes, I heard that.”
The woman shifted her narrow frame and fingered one of her short, brown curls, but she kept her eyes focused on the counter. Beside her, the freckle-faced youngster poked his head around the back of her and met Elijah’s gaze. They stared at each other for all of three seconds, but when Eli smiled, the boy quickly looked forward again.
As the clerk resumed ringing up their order, Eli reached inside his hip pocket and grabbed the short list his grandfather had scrawled in his somewhat shaky handwriting. In Detroit, he’d taken most of his meals at the hospital. Helping his grandfather in the kitchen would be an entirely new experience. At least it would be only temporary, until Grandfather’s housekeeper of twenty-odd years, Winifred Carmichael, returned from her two-week vacation out West.
“You lookin’ for anythin’ in particular?” the clerk asked.
“Nothing I can’t find on my own, sir.”
“Pick up one o’ them baskets by the door for stashin’ what you need. Name’s Harold, by the way. Harold Murphy. I’ve owned this place goin’ on thirty years now.”
Eli bent to pick up a basket. He hadn’t thought to bring along a sack in which to carry the items home. The store he had occasioned in Detroit had offered brown paper bags, but the trend didn’t seem to have caught on in Wabash just yet. “Yes, I recall coming here with my grandmother as a kid.”
“And I remember you, as well, with that sandy hair o’ yours and that there dimple in your chin.”
“Is that so? You have a good memory, Mr. Murphy.”
A pleased expression settled on the clerk’s face. “You used to ogle my candy jars and tug at your grandmother’s arm. ’Course, she’d always give in. She couldn’t resist your pleadin’. Seems to me you always managed to wrangle some chewin’ gum out o’ her before I finished ringin’ her order.”
“It’s amazing you remember that.”
“Well, some things just stick in my memory for no particular reason.” He glanced across the counter at the freckle-faced boy. “Young Andy, here, he’s the Hershey’s chocolate bar type. Ain’t that right, Andy?”
The lad’s head jerked up, and he looked from Mr. Murphy to the woman beside him. “Yes, sir. C-c-can I g-get one today, Sofie?”
Her slender shoulders lifted and drooped with a labored sigh. “I suppose, but don’t expect any other treats today.”
“I won’t.”
The brief tête-à-tête allowed Eli the chance to disappear down an aisle in search of the first item on his list: sugar. He found it about the same time the screen door whined open once more, with the exit of the young woman and the boy. Next, Eli spotted the bread at the end of the aisle. He picked up a loaf and nestled it in the basket, next to the box of sugar.
“Well, I think it’s plain disgraceful, her coming into town and flaunting herself like that. My stars, has she not an ounce of decency? And what, pray tell, is she teaching that brother of hers by not keeping herself concealed?”
“I must agree, it’s quite appalling,” said another.
Eli’s ears perked up at the sound of female scoffs coming from the other side of the shelving unit at the back of the store. He stilled, slanted his head, and leaned forward. If he could push a few cans and boxed goods to the side without creating a commotion, he might manage a partial view of the gossips.
“I always did wonder about her and that pitiable little brother of hers, living all alone on the far edge of town. No telling what sort of man put her in a motherly way. Why, if I were in her place, I’d have gone off to stay with some relative in another state. One would think she’d have somewhere she could go. She could have birthed the child, given it to some worthy family, and come back to Wabash, and no one would’ve been the wiser.”
The other gossip cleared her throat. “Perchance her ‘lover’ won’t hear of her leaving, and she doesn’t dare defy him. She always did come off as rather defenseless, wouldn’t you say?” 
“Yes, yes, and very reclusive. Never was one to join any charity groups or ladies’ circles. Why, she doesn’t even attend church, to my knowledge. As I said before, the whole thing is disgraceful.”
Eli shuffled around the corner and stopped at the end of the next row, where he picked up a couple of cans of beans, even though they weren’t on Grandfather’s list, and dropped them into his basket with a clatter. The chattering twosome immediately fell silent. Eli cast a casual glance in their direction, and he almost laughed at their poses of feigned nonchalance. One was studying the label on a box, while the other merely stared at a lower shelf, her index finger pressed to her chin.
When Eli started down the aisle, both of them looked up, so he nodded. “Afternoon, ladies.”
The more buxom of the two batted her eyelashes and plumped her graying hair, then nearly blinded him with a fulsome smile. “Well, good afternoon to you.”  She put a hand to her throat. “My goodness. You’re Doc Trent’s grandson?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Well, I’ll be. I overheard you talking with Harold, but I didn’t lay eyes on you until now.” She perused him up and down. “You sure are a handsome devil.” 
“Oh, for mercy’s sake, Bessie, mind your manners.” The second woman bore a blush of embarrassment. “Don’t pay her any heed, Doctor. She’s such a tease.” She extended a hand. “I’m Clara Morris, the sheriff’s wife, and this is Bessie Lloyd. Her husband owns Lloyd’s Shoe Store, over on Market Street. Welcome to Wabash, Dr. Trent. We read about your impending arrival in the newspaper. I hope you find yourself feeling right at home here.”
“I’m sure I will.” Eli shifted his shopping basket and extended a hand first to Mrs. Morris, then to the annoying Mrs. Lloyd. He would have liked to remind them that two upstanding women in the community ought to put a lock on their lips, lest they tarnish their own reputations, but he hadn’t come to Wabash with the intention of making instant enemies, so he restrained himself. “Nice meeting you ladies. You have a good day, now.”
He glanced to his left and, seeing a shelf with maple syrup, snatched a can and tossed it into his basket. Casting the women one last smile, he headed down the aisle in search of the remaining items.
“My, my,” he heard Mrs. Lloyd mutter. “I think it may be time for me to switch physicians.” 
“But you’ve been seeing Dr. Stewart for years,” Mrs. Morris said. “What about your bad knee?”
“Pfff, never mind that. I’d much rather look into that young man’s blue eyes and handsome face than Dr. Stewart’s haggard mug. Why, if I were younger….”
Eli picked up his pace and made it out of earshot before she finished her statement.
Several minutes later, he’d rounded up everything on his list, so he made his way to the cash register. As he did, the voices of the two gabby women carried across the store. Evidently, they’d found a new topic of conversation. “I went to McNarney Brothers yesterday,” Mrs. Lloyd was saying, “and would you believe they raised the price of beef by five cents a pound? Don’t they know times are tight? Before you know it, folks won’t be able to afford to eat.”
“She could afford to go a few days without eatin’,” Harold Murphy muttered. His eyes never strayed from his task, as he keyed in the amount of each item before placing it back in the basket.
Eli covered his mouth with the back of his hand until his grin faded. He decided it was best to keep quiet on the matter. Something else bothered him, though, and he couldn’t resist inquiring. He leaned in, taking care to keep his voice down. “That girl…er, that woman, who left a bit ago, who is expecting….”
“Ah, Sofia Rogers? She was here with her little brother, Andy.” Mr. Murphy rang up the final item, the loaf of bread, and placed it gently atop the other goods. Then, he scratched the back of his head as his thin lips formed a frown. “It’s a shame, them two…well, them three, I guess you could say.” He glanced both ways, then lowered his head and whispered, “Don’t know who got her in that way, and I don’t rightly care. When she comes here, I just talk to her like nothin’s different. Figure it ain’t really my concern. I know there’s been talk about her bein’ loose, an’ all, but I can’t accept it. Never seen her with anybody but that little boy. She takes mighty fine care o’ him, too.”
“She’s his guardian, then?”
“Sure enough, ever since…oh, let’s see here…summer of twenty-four, it was. They lost their ma and pa in a terrible train wreck. They’d left Andy home with Sofie for a few days, whilst they went to a family funeral somewhere out West, little knowing their own funeral would be three days later.” The man shook his balding head.
The news got Eli’s gut to roiling. Even after all those years of medical school, which should have calloused him to pain and suffering, his heartstrings were wound as taut as ever. He needed to learn to toughen up. Needed to accept that, thanks to Adam and Eve’s fateful decision in the garden, bad things happened to innocent people; that he lived in an imperfect world in which evil often won.
“Where do they live, if you don’t mind my asking?”
“Somewheres out on the southwest edge o’ town. River Road, I believe, just off o’ Mill Creek Pike.”
Eli didn’t know Wabash well, but his grandfather certainly did, having driven virtually every street within the town limits to make house calls. But what was he thinking? He ought to bop himself on the noggin. He knew next to nothing about this woman, and the last thing he needed upon taking over Wilson Trent’s medical practice was a reputation for sticking his nose where it didn’t belong.
Eli paid the shopkeeper and took up the basket. He had a good feeling about Harold Murphy. “Nice to see you again, sir. I’ll bring this basket back next time I come in…or shall I return it to you tonight?”
Harold flicked his wrist. “Naw, you bring it back whenever it’s convenient. You give ol’ Doc a hearty hello from me.”
“I’ll do that.” Eli turned and proceeded to the door, shoving it open with his shoulder. The first thing he noticed when he stepped outside was the absence of the two bikes, and it occurred to him then that Sofia and Andy Rogers had ridden to and from Murphy’s Market on those rickety contraptions. A woman in what looked to be her seventh month of pregnancy, riding a bike clear to the edge of town? In a dress? And in this heat?
This time, he did bop himself on the head.

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Win a Kindle Paperwhite and connect with Kristen Heitzmann at “The Breath of Dawn” Facebook Party {11/27}!

Kristen Heitzmann is celebrating The Breath of Dawn by giving away one of the new Paperwhite Kindles and hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. (11/27)

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Paperwhite
  • The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 26th. Winner will be announced at the “The Breath of Dawn” Author Chat Facebook Party on 11/27. Connect with Kristen, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of The Breath of Dawn and join Kristen on the evening of the November 27th for a chance to connect with Kristen and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

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Week #11

I am looking back over the week and thinking..”Was that just last week?” Wow, it has been quite the week!

We started off the week with a 1895 school day adventure for my younger two sons.
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They packed a lunch and wrapped in wax paper and a cloth to carry it in. It was as old fashioned as we could think!
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There was a good group of children participating, but mostly boys!
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They had a lot of fun and learned a lot!
We did our regular library volunteer work, but cut it a bit short as we had a basketball game a bit out of town.
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The team was a very aggressive team, and I remembered from the year previous, so prayed no one would get injured.
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One one person was injured and they were on the other team. It was a couple of close games, but they were great!
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The row of boys:
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Tuesday: We added to our regular school some study of the branches of government, which was interesting and actually helped me to understand the voting process a bit better. We read a couple of books in addition to our regular MFW reading and when we finished our school work, we went out to place our vote.

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It was hard to get them all smiling!!

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The ice cream cone afterwards helped!

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Wednesday:
It was the only day we did not have anything planned out, so I went to the grocery store after school was done. It is getting very cold outside, but this day we decided to attempt a walk. I met a friend at McDonald’s, not my favorite place, but it was inside so the children could run and play.
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The boys enjoying their fries

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In the “king” chair.

We went to the park to do some walking and walked a good 2 miles. The children went on the Merry go Around a bit too!
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We found this really odd bug. It did not look like it was a good bug, but while it is hard to see in the picture, when we went near it, it raised it’s back end up like a scorpion and tried to sting.
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Thursday:
We were working on studying anatomy, which went along with what I had happen to me as my neck went out badly in the morning. After some pain relief, hot shower, I was able to read, but was up and down all day. The chiropractor paid a house call and I felt much better earlier that week, but then Thursday, it went out again, even worse. I was in so much pain. I drove up to the house after school to get adjusted and spent the day in pain.
We had a basketball game that night, which thankfully was not far, so we went and had a great couple of games there.
One of the other team broke his arm, which made the game go longer than usual, but he had just gotten his cast off the day before, so it was especially bad.
Friday:
We finished school in a hurry, and I bought marshmallows to make teeth models, but we haven’t done it yet. We read all about teeth with my helper!
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We had an early game and practice from 12-3, so after school, we went to that. It is so hard to not get blurry pictures of them running!
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Listening to the coaches

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Guarding
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Back and forth, back and forth
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Air Borne!!!
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A blur of motion

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It was a great week and I am finally figuring out how to fix my neck. It has been a painful week, but I am hoping to heal up and be better by Monday!
I had a great tea with a friend today, and am up to almost 17K words on NaNoWriMo.

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