Words of … Wednesday

I picked this quote for today because going through hard things is what makes us stronger. That is what I am trying to remind myself as I have spent the last few weeks worrying about 2 of my children as they are going through some different struggles. Growing pains, we all have them. I lived through them so I guess my kids will too and hopefully they’ll be stronger for them.

89b1881c8c5faa7a956bf1e7156d0662

Two Runs of Stone Series

This Book Series is one of my VERY Favorite in Historical Fiction! The 5th and final book is soon to be published and so what better time than now to share my reviews?

Since I have read 3 of the 4 novels that are currently out I am going to do an “about the books” using some pieces of the synopsis in book #1 and my own words.

tworunscol

Two Runs of Stone: A Beckoning Call written by Steven D. Nielsen & Published by Granite Publishing in August 2003

Two Runs of Stone: Windships America written by Steven D. Nielsen & Published by Granite Publishing in July 2006

Two Runs of Stone: Heart’s Desire written by Steven D. Nielsen  & Published by Granite Publishing in May 2009

Two Runs of Stone: Wagons West written by Steven D. Nielsen & Kindle Edition published in December 2013

About: Beneficiary of her father’s lands, livestock and gristmill, Catherine Rasmussen’s otherwise secure life is greatly impaired by her marriage to Elias Jensen, former politician turned alcoholic. Catherine’s sons are the only thing keeping her on track. Denmark is on the brink of their 1864 war with Prussia and Catherine’s two eldest sons will soon be leaving home. Denmark’s future is uncertain and the Jensen family’s life will soon be turned upside down. Along the way the Jensen family is introduced to missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints. Some members of the family are more accepting of this new faith than others.

“Two Runs of Stone is an epic in historical fiction set in the late 1800’s and is the result of fifteen years of concerted effort. Actual journals of the women and men who lived and died during the era provide the foundation of the work not to mention their Danish, English and American ancestors. ” – Two Runs of Stone: A Beckoning Call, synopsis

My Take on It:  This is so well written. The books are thick, but well worth it. LDS author Steven D. Nielsen takes you through the journey of the Jensen family, their closest friends and those that they meet along the way and their introduction to the LDS Church. They’re struggling with new and old faiths, and for some of them, the courage to leave everything they know in hope of a new future across the sea.

I loved the setting of Denmark and learning about the people and period. I fell in love with Catherine and her boys and their dear friend Torkil! The characters are very rich and their struggles are heart wrenching and their successes  exciting. So many different events take place in this journey  over the course of 4, and soon 5 novels. Added in these stories are the very real struggles that were faced by so many immigrants and those who traveled across the plains of America. (Comparable to the Work and the Glory & Children of the Promise.)

Confession time! I actually named my youngest child after a character in this book 😉

Below is the cover for the final book Two Runs of Stone: Full Circle. Please click the link to  Amazon and vote for Steven D. Nielsen’s final book in the series to be published! I am really excited about this and can’t wait to finish this fantastic series!

tworuns4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Matchup by Laura L. Walker –Blog Tour!

I am very excited to be part of this Blog Tour for The Matchup by LDS author Laura L. Walker! It was released only 5 days ago! To check out the whole tour schedule click the link to the publisher website  Cedar Fort Publishing & Media .

26366978

The Matchup written by Laura L. Walker

Published by Cedar Fort Publishing  January 2016

Blurb: The last thing Valerie wants or needs is to work for Gage, whom she loathed as a teen. But Valerie’s husband just walked out on her and she needs the job. Together they discover that when it comes to the Church and each other, it’s all about second chances. This sweet LDS romance will renew your faith in love and redemption.

My Take On It: (Note that this is an LDS fiction and contains religious points of view.) This is a sweet and clean romance, BUT it was not a run-of-the-mill story book romance, which I found refreshing. In The Matchup Valerie and Gage are on very different paths in life, but both are struggling through big trials and they find out that they just might actually need each other to make it through them. This book was about a lot of things to me. Like the Blurb said, “it’s all about second chances”. Let’s face it, none of us are perfect, right? It’s also about grieving the loss of what you thought your life would be, but gaining new hope for the future it holds. This story made me think about the little decisions in life that we don’t realize might actually be big ones. If you know me, you know that I hate to be a spoiler and sum up the whole thing because I want you to read it and enjoy it for yourself so I won’t give anything away. I will say that I was surprised to find so many ‘real life’ elements added to the story. Real life is messy and imperfect for all of us, but it is also beautiful and amazing and I really enjoyed that honesty in this book. It was a quick and easy read. Loved it!

It’s just been newly published so check it out!

Hug a Teacher

b206d0bc4bffa2cad75f0f259ada2ed7Ok Well, maybe don’t just go up and hug any teacher cause that is kind of weird… let’s just say metaphorically speaking.

Teachers are some of the hardest working people in the world! How do I know that?

Let’s rewind the clock a little shall we?  I remember sitting in my science class back in 8th grade and seeing our science teacher completely frustrated with us and exasperated. I recall this specific thought coming into my head “I do NOT want to be a teacher and have to put up with kids like us all the time. I don’t blame him.” (Disclaimer: I was not a troublemaker. We weren’t horrible all the time, but we had our days) Now it must have been a pretty big “ah-ha” moment for me to remember a thought I had at 13 cause that was …. well it doesn’t matter exactly how many years ago, right? I started to realize in high school that my teachers were pretty cool (thought I probably never said that out loud) and that it wasn’t an easy job. I thought I knew…

Fast forward to, eh let’s say some, years later when my oldest child began elementary school. I immediately got involved as much as I could with his class and teacher.  Once again I gained respect for those special individuals who teach children day in and day out. I know not everyone loves their experience with teacher every year, but we’ve really had great teachers through out the years! I now have a 4th grader, 1st grader and a preschooler that is gearing up for kindergarten. My own mom has been a teacher’s aide & resource teacher in high schools and elementary schools. I had a very dear friend who started her career as a 2nd grade teacher, I’ve had interaction with each of my children’s teachers and I really appreciated teachers everywhere. Or so I though…

Here I am now working a very part time job at my children’s elementary school. I started this position last spring. I work each Tuesday and go throughout the school teaching a 1 hour lesson to one class in each grade. My lessons are fairly easy to prep for and like I said I am only in each class for one hour.

I am telling you now I did not appreciate teachers enough. I thought I did. I didn’t.

Now this is not to say anything against the kids that I work with. I know many of them from my neighborhood and involvement in the children’s primary in my church ward. Others I know as friends of my kids and from my volunteer opportunities in the school. I love the kids! This is job great for me! And I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from becoming a teacher, in fact I am very proud of my little brother who recently graduated with a degree in teaching. But let me tell ya, some days are hard. If you’re a parent you know that already, some days with kids are hard, right? Some of the hardest jobs can also be the most rewarding!

Imagine being in a class with 30 kids give or take, any number of which may be having a rough day or moment, any or all days of the week throughout a whole school year. Imagine caring about them as a group and individually, trying not to get frustrated with them when they give you a hard time (sometimes everyday), guiding them, wanting them to learn and progress, and cheering them on and celebrating their sucesses!

Think about all of the prep work that goes into lessons throughout the whole year, the set up of their classroom and all of the systems that they implement to reinforce learning and good behavior. The time they sacrifice getting things ready at home, that they don’t get paid for. The meetings, the changes in curriculum, the continuing education for teaching, the work that continues after the kids go home. HA! I mean I am saying this like I know. I still don’t know about all of the things they do!

Now imagine meeting with and working with that many different parents and personalities and sometimes taking criticism from them too. . .

Two things inspired my thoughts about this topic and my deciding to share them. First, I work at the school and I work in the classrooms and I am much more aware of the effort involved. Notice I say aware, that is because I am not a teacher and I don’t claim to be, I just understand a bit more. Second, one of my best friends, a teacher, once shared this with me:

Whats-Up-With-these-Grades.jpg

She was gearing up for parent/teacher conference. I remember thinking “really?”

Now I am not saying that every teacher is perfect for teaching. There are some that maybe should have looked for another profession, but this post isn’t about those teachers. So I am not going there.

All I want us to realize is this:

08bbf9caf7e333d0aad00a7f0734d0ea

 

A cousin of mine once reminded me that once school starts your child spends more time in a week with their teacher than they do with you! I am so grateful for the teachers that watch over my kids. I am well aware that my kids are not always perfect angels! I do expect and require that they respect their teachers and put in their best effort in school.

Teachers are like us, human, but I am sure that they’re pretty close to saint-hood so give them a break, tell them thank you, help when you can and please make sure that your child respects and listens to them! Because most of the time they’re doing the best they can which is pretty dang awesome!

Ok soap box is concluded.

And I haven’t even touched on the Principal, Secretaries, Maintenance, and Lunchroom Staff! It takes a lot of fantastic people working together to create a great school!