The Ides of April (Book Review)

Author: Mary Ray

Publisher: Bethlehem Books (165 pages)


Ides of AprilHylas, a secretary slave, is living a happy life with his mother and other kind people in his master’s home. But, when one morning the master is found dead by one of his fellow slaves, everyone grows suspicious. The mother of the dead man has all the slaves taken to prison to be tortured to death, which is a custom if a slave is the murderer.  All, except one… Hylas. He knows in his heart that no slave in the house would do such a thing. So, he hides from the guards in an elderly lady’s home where he plots a way to rescue his mother and friends. He realizes that he cannot do this alone. He must call on one of his friends to help him. This could be dangerous since most people would turn him in. Slowly he realizes it will take more than just his god, Fortuna, and his other Roman friends. Through the kind old lady he learns something else. Something that will give him hope.

What I liked: I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it! I know that everyone loves a good mystery once in a while, right?

Points to Consider: This book requires a higher level of reading skill and could be challenging for young readers.

Score: I give it five stars.


The Lesson of the Flummery

I wrote this story about a recent personal experience that gave me something to think about. I hope you find it entertaining…and inspiring!

FlummeryIt was Wednesday March 6, 2013 and Essi (me!) was hosting a tea party for her family. She decided to make a strawberry flummery (Jell-O/jelly). Carefully she followed the directions to the last quarter of an ounce. She put it into a shiny pot her mother owned and put it on the stove on medium. A few minutes later it started to bubble and eventually it started to smoke! A few times the fire alarm went off and she had to run and wave the smoke away with a towel. Opening the windows, the garage and turning on the fan finally shut the alarm off.

Her dad, alarmed from the sound of the commotion, came out of his makeshift office and asked what was going on. “I am making strawberry flummery!” She explained proudly. “It smells burned.” He said eyeing the pot on the stove. “Oh, I followed the directions carefully and I am sure this is what it is supposed to be doing.” She answered confidently. So he walked back to his computer.

After 10 min. it was ready so she emptied it into a glass bowl. But, oh my! The pot! At the bottom it was black and the edges had burnt strawberry flummery stuck to them! She scrubbed and scrubbed the pot, but it would not come off. Sadly, she called her mother and told her this sob sorry. Her mother told her not to worry and that she would see what she could do when she got home. The flummery had to be thrown out and the pot well…

The recipe was a good one, so what went wrong? Of course, I should have been stirring it the whole time. Same picture with God, he makes us like that shiny pot. But because of sin (or strawberry flummery) we often make it black. But God can make us shiny again if we ask him! Lesson learned!

“Seasons – A real story of an Amish girl” (Book Review)

This book review is very special to me for several reasons…but first, read the description on the back of the book (below). When you get to the end, you’ll see why. This is a book you have to read!

Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts

Seasons“I was learning about sacrifice as my hungry little brother wanted more than his share of food. I fed him what I had, knowing there would be nothing for me.”

As the oldest in an improvised Amish family, Lydia Lee knows little more of life beyond hard work, sacrifice, and extreme hunger. Yet, even as a young girl, she strives to be content with all that God has provided.

Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Lydia’s childhood unfolds as her family struggles to survive, finding strength from their Amish faith. But, when Tragedy strikes, that very faith is tested beyond what any child should have to endure. When all hope seems lost, Lydia is reminded that all things have seasons.

The spring of her life has been spent planting prayers in the soil of sadness and heartache . Will she see a summer of true love? Will there be harvest of happiness?

Why this book is special:

  1. I am on the cover!
  2. It’s about my great grandmother!
  3. My amazing Aunt wrote it!

If you would like to learn more about the book I have 2 links below. One to watch the book trailer (a MUST!), the other if you would like to purchase the book on Amazon.

To buy the book on Amazon, click on: SEASONS

America – What can I do?

So, after this last election, many wonder what the future holds. Relax, God appointed the person to win that he willed. It may not seem so now, but God might be trying to teach our nation something. Maybe, God will use this person as a “wake-up” call to some people that need Him.

Kids! It may not seem that this should mean much to us and that you cannot do anything. WRONG! You can pray. Every prayer counts! We are the next generation, so this means a lot to our future. So as Christians, we can do our part to help bring America back toward God. In the Bible it says that we need to let our light shine. Lets do that!

Leave me a comment and share with me ways that you think we can let our “light” shine in our country.

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Easter Rocks

Let me tell you about something we did for the time this Easter…..instead of painting Easter eggs we painted “Easter rocks.” Here’s how…I painted the solid color first than waited for it to dry. When it dried I painted some kind of picture that went along with Easter or spring. I painted flowers, a faun and a branch with a nest on it. On one I painted Jesus’ hands after he was crucified. My dad liked this one so much I made one for his desk. We often forget the real meaning of Easter, that Jesus loved us so much that he died for us and rose again! Happy belated Easter!

Mandie Books

  • Series: Mandie Books
  • Author: Lois Gladys Leppard
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Description: A series of mystery stories about a girl named Mandie Shaw (apprx. 11-13 years old) who lives with her Uncle John and her mother Elizabeth (her father has passed away). There is also a Mandie movie (see preview below).

What I Like: I like the main character because she is a Christian girl. Mandie loves to solve mysteries….like I do. I feel like I’m in all of the adventures with her. I will sometimes read a whole book in just one night. The Mandie movie is also good.

What I Would Improve: Nothing

Score: 5 of 5 (Highly Recommended)

The Mandie Collection, Volume 1: Mandie and the Secret Tunnel/Mandie and the Cherokee Legend/Mandie and the Ghost Bandits/Mandie and the Forbidden Attic/Mandie and the Trunk's Secret (Mandie 1-5)