I wish I could say that keeping our home fairly neat and organized, eating wholesome food, and getting adequate rest prevents our family from the regular illnesses that go around.
But I can't.
And we sure had a doozy these last two weeks. Wow.
Elmer, my husband, got off easy. Well, if you think working all day away from home and then arriving home to a house full of ill females is easy, then, okay. He would probably disagree. Especially after handwashing a counter full of dishes (the ones that don't go in the dishwasher). His favorite task, to be sure.
We cancelled all of our activities for the last two weeks, including celebrating our youngest's 13th birthday party.
Boy, did that make me the most popular mom ever. NOT.
Our girls cancelled teaching violin and piano to their students; they cancelled their own music lessons with their own instructors.
I merely waited to see if I'd come down with it, which I did, despite taking elderberry extract and drinking lots of herbal tea.
But now that we're feeling so much better, and preparing to have a houseful of guests this weekend, I thought it would be great timing to share some helpful tips about how to disinfect your home after having the flu virus or highly contagious cold or other virus.
Did you know that people who have the flu - and many viruses - are generally contagious 24 hours before they even begin to show symptoms of being ill?
I don't know about you, but that doesn't really seem fair! People could unknowingly infect me with their virus that they don't even know they have yet! Grrrr....and I could do likewise to them. :(
I sincerely hope that your family will be able to avoid any serious or lengthy bouts of illness during this year's flu and cold season.
What are some of your own tips about ridding your home of virus germs and opening up your home to guests?
Since I haven't shared much with you in the last few weeks except for book and DVD reviews and giveaways, how 'bout some Valentine's Day - romance - Christian encouragement - Bible Scriptures - bright and cheerful FUN?
I thought I'd share with you a new Facebook cover photo that you can download and use for your own Facebook wall. Here's how:
1. Just click on the "Download File" in pink lettering, above left. It's already sized correctly for Facebook, so just save it on your own computer or desktop.
If for some reason, it doesn't seem sized correctly, you can upload it to www.Picmonkey.com and resize it there. Facebook cover photos are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall.
2. Go to your own personal Facebook wall/page. Hover over the bottom right area of the large photo or image at the top of your wall, and click on "Change Cover".
3. Select "Upload Photo."
4. Navigate to the location where you just saved this new Valentine's/Hearts Facebook cover image.
5. Either select/highlight the correct file/image and click OPEN, or double-click on the correct file/image.
6. The image will upload to your Facebook page. Click "Save Changes" on the bottom right hand side of the screen.
If you have questions, let me know. What's your favorite place to look for new Facebook cover images?
Fans of Neta Jackson will be excited to read her newest book in the Souled Out Sister series, Come to the Table. As the characters are in college or newly graduated, it might have more appeal to younger readers, but it is still a good read for anyone. Come to the Table continues with some of the characters in the Yada Yada series, but features the young adults, Kat, Nick, and Brygitta. The three have agreed to sub-lease an apartment while the owners are on a short term missions trip. In the first book in the Souled Out series, Kat has rescued a young mother and her six year old son, and they play an important part in this new book.
Kat feels that the Lord is calling her to start a food pantry at her church. This is, of course, not free of a few problems, and it requires all of them to pray and allow God to direct their enthusiasm for this new adventure. Then of course, there is the romantic side of the summer. Is Nick interested in Kat, or maybe his interest lies in Rochelle and her young son?
As usual, Neta Jackson has written an interesting book that I know you will enjoy.
I received one copy of Come to the Table in exchange for Joy In Our Journey's honest review. No other compensation was provided.
So often when we read a novel written about the 1800's, we only read about the "upper" class, when in fact there was a large group of people who made the lifestyle of the well-to-do possible. The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is different. It gives us a look at what life may have been like for these servants.
Charlotte is the heroine of Olivia Newport's newest book in the Avenue of Dreams Series, In The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow. Ms. Newport has interestingly portrayed the problems of that invisible class, the household servants. They were hired and fired at the whim of the butler, and often fired for little or no reason at all. They worked long hours for little pay and had to live by the very restrictive rules of their employers.
Charlotte Farrow came to the city of Chicago looking for a way to earn her living and provide for her newborn son. She is helped by a young woman, Lucy Banning, who finds someone to care for her son, and a job for Charlotte in Miss Banning's parent's home. This goes well until the caregiver is called to another city. Whatever is Charlotte to do now? The solution lies with Charlotte. Can she give up her precious son for adoption, or does God have another solution for her problem?
Charlotte's courage emerges on a ride on the first Ferris wheel. The inclusion of the situations the household help faced, the poverty of the average citizen, and the unfair labor and work rules that the workers had to live under and the descriptions of the Chicago World's Fair made this an interesting historical story.
If you enjoy watching the PBS hit, Downton Abbey, I would recommend The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow to you, with a little history lesson besides.
If your book club or reading group would like a reading group guide for this book, here you go!
Revell Publishing has provided me with one copy of this book in exchange for Joy In Our Journey's honest review. No other compensation has been provided.
It's hard to find DVDs for families to not only enjoy, but learn something from. This new release, Abel's Field, is a keeper in our book...and in our DVD collection. :)
Abel's Field moves at a slightly different pace than some of the more recent Christian movies we've seen, but we all enjoyed watching it. My heart just ached for this young man, Seth (Samuel Davis), who is struggling so hard to keep his family together despite having no parents in the home.
Now, while the movie trailer, below, looks like this movie is all about football - it isn't. Yes, there are a few brief scenes of a football game on the field, but 98% of the movie is about Seth's daily life. So for the sports nut, you'll find a bit in there for you, and for the romantic and the adventurer, you'll find what you're looking for as well!
And see these adorable twin girls? You're going to enjoy the movie just from watching these two twin girls! Oh, my! :) They're dolls!
I feel blessed to be able to give away one brand new copy of Abel's Field to one of you!
This is a movie I'll enjoy watching more than once, so I'm glad that I have my own copy. Sorry, I'm not sharing! :)
I agree with Thomas Jefferson when he said, "I cannot live without books." Some of my earliest memories are of my parents reading books to me or -- in the case of my father -- telling stories he made up.
When people ask why I write, the answer is simple: it's part of who I am and who I was meant to be. I truly believe this is God's plan for me, and that's why it is my fervent prayer that my books will touch my readers' hearts and strengthen their faith in Him.
This second story in the Westward Winds series - Waiting for Spring - takes place in Cheyenne, Wyoming, during the fall-winter-spring of 1886-87. Charlotte Harding is a beautiful young widow with a very young son, David, and very few resources of her own. She is intent on creating a new life for herself and her child after her husband was killed in Fort Laramie, and the killer would be seeking her for the “fortune” she must have acquired from the unscrupulous dealings of her late husband and a man called “The Baron.” Charlotte has no idea what or where this “fortune” may be but is running for her life and trying to be very inconspicuous in her new setting of Cheyenne.
Charlotte manages only enough financial resources to buy a small building where she sets up a very lovely dress-making shop. She is an expert seamstress and soon has eager customers to support her business. She is fortunate to meet another widow, Gwen, who has a young daughter, and in return for Gwen providing care for both children and maintaining their upstairs apartment, Charlotte is able to provide for all of them with her dressmaking skills.
The book refers to much background from the first title in this series (not read by this reviewer) and some of the mysteries of the past are only slowly revealed.
Charlotte cultivates some special friends, Mariam (the daughter of the town’s newspaper publisher) and Marian’s beau, Barrett Landry. This becomes an interesting story of misplaced love and awkward relationships, career intentions, disappointments, and expectations.
Charlotte’s quotation at beginning and end of this story is, “We can’t change the past, but if we make the present the best it can be, we can influence the future. Whatever we choose to do with our lives should be done with that in mind."
Throughout the story, seeking guidance of the Lord is paramount and as each person’s story becomes known, it is easy to see how God’s hand is upon each one and His guidance is giving them strength and commitment to their individual futures. This is a lovely Christian novel with very appropriate romance scenes, nothing at all offensive. This is a great story and an interesting look at some serious social issues.
Congrats go to Kristina S. for being selected by Random.org as our newest winner here on Joy In Our Journey.com. Actually, Kristina was the second name that Random.org (via Rafflecopter) selected. The original winner who was selected had signed up for an email subscription, but didn't follow through and confirm that email subscription, so it was left in "unverified" status...meaning that I needed to select a new winner. Congratulations, Kristina! Your book will be in the mail soon.
For those of you who didn't win the giveaway, this was a compelling story. I could hardly put it down! My mom felt the same way. Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska is a book that will offer healing and encouragement to many of its readers. It's not just a "fluffy" romance, although there is a touch of romance in the book - all appropriate, though. There are other deeper parts of the story that give great meaning to life in general. I hope you'll enJOY it as much as I did. I've already read a second book in the Love Finds You... series because I enjoyed this one so much. Both were excellent!
Have a joy-filled day!
Centered on one of Suzanne Woods Fisher's most loved characters, this is the story fans have eagerly anticipated. The precocious Mary Kate Lapp is all grown up (well, almost) and ready to take on the world – with surprising results. Fisher's trademark plot twists and turns are as unexpected and satisfying as ever in this third book in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series.
In her wildest dreams, spunky and impulsive nineteen-year-old M.K. never imagined herself behind a schoolteacher's desk. A run-in with the schoolteacher compels her to act as a substitute teacher, just as her restless desire to see the world compels her to apply for a passport . . . just in case. The only thing of interest to M.K. in the sleepy Amish community of Stoney Ridge is the unexplained death of a sheep farmer that coincided with the arrival of a mysterious young man into the community. Frustrated that no one takes the crime seriously, she takes matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, as tends to be the case for M.K., she jumps headlong into trouble.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, The Keeper and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Joy In Our Journey's review:
But what a surprise! This book is different! Characters that have life and are not what we have come to expect from an Amish book. Suzanne Woods Fisher in book one of her Stoney Ridge Seasons series, The Lesson, has a lesson for all of us who think that to be Amish is to be prim and proper, and just a little boring. We all need to meet Mary Kate Lapp, better know as M.K. This delightful young lady can hear a murder being committed, and run into her school teacher with her scooter and knock her into a ditch all in one afternoon! Boring is not a descriptor of this character! Then, for her punishment, she is told to take the school teacher's place. And, she hated school! It was boring! And now she has to be the teacher? NEVER!
How M.K. becomes what she was never going to be, a school teacher, and learns to love it, provides a chuckle if not an outright laugh. She also meets a very understanding and desirable man who is the father of one of the students. Could he be the one? Maybe, maybe not.
For a fun read, enjoyable story and a completely different take on the life of an Amish girl, make The Lesson a must-read book. Since it is book one of the Stoney Ridge series, I believe that Mrs. Fisher has more stories for us to enjoy. Read on!
The Lesson is available as of January 2013 at your favorite bookseller - from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
What would happen if the victim of a deadly car crash on a secluded country road simply disappeared? Vanished opens with a shadowy figure caught in the beam of reporter Moira Harrison’s headlights – followed by a solid thump before she loses control and crashes into a tree. But when Moira regains consciousness, the victim is nowhere to be seen.
The police say the disappearance never happened, but Moira can’t forget the look of sheer terror she saw on the person’s face in the instant it was caught in the glare of her headlights. Now her only hope of discovering the truth is a former police detective turned private eye—and her own investigate skills.
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Irene Hannon, a former communications executive for a Fortune 500 company, left the corporate world in 2003 to focus on her growing fiction brand. While continuing to write contemporary romance, she also delved into suspense. From the beginning, her romantic suspense books have garnered rave reviews. Booklist named Deadly Pursuit (Revell, 2011) one of the top ten inspirational fiction titles for 2011. The final book in her Guardians of Justice series, Lethal Legacy (Revell, 2011) received a starred review from Library Journal, which praised the book for its “compelling characters and edge-of-your-seat action.”
She is the author of more than 40 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, a HOLT Medallion, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a Daphne du Maurier Award, a Retailers Choice Award and two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. She lives in Missouri.
Moira is a gutsy reporter who runs into some trouble on a dark and rainy night. She sees a face, but before she can stop, she has hit the person and run off the road. A good Samaritan stops to see how she is and if she were injured - and then disappears. Who was he, and why can't she remember? Moria's instincts as a reporter drive her to hire a private investigator, Cal, to help her solve the mystery.
To say that this is a book I just couldn't put down sounds trite, but it is true. As with other books I have read by Irene Hannon, this is a well written, well researched book that I, for one, will reread just for the pleasure of an enjoyable story.
Vanished is available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller - from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received one copy of Vanished for the purpose of sharing Joy In Our Journey's honest review of this book with you. No other compensation was provided.
HP has offered free customizable calendars on their website for many years now. You'll find calendars with themes from Disney, Pioneer Woman blogger Ree Drummond, and a whole host of other popular themes.
Here's the new one I just made this week for 2013. It's a single-page calendar, so it doesn't take as much ink as the monthly page calendars. The colors on the calendar page I printed out are actually quite a bit bolder than here, but this is the scanned version, so the colors aren't quite as crisp and clear.
(Email subscribers may need to click back to the original post here to view the calendar I made and to see other links and graphics.)
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
You'll find me in the kitchen
trying new Trim Healthy Mama recipes, loving God, and carrying out that love as I bless my husband and teen daughters.
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