Love Letters From God: Bible Stories – A Review

91QjaJsWoXLLove Letters from God: Bible Stories by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Sophie Allsopp, is a collection of short Bible stories for children published by Zonderkidz. Each of the 18 stories has a companion ‘love’ letter to the reader written by “God” hidden under a flap with a charming ‘stamp’ as if it had just been mailed. There is a blank spot to fill in the name of the child for each letter, making this a highly personalized book. There is also one last letter at the end of the book asking the reader to join Jesus’s team and a blank letter for the reader to pen a response to Jesus.

Of the 18 stories, some are classics, like the Creation, Noah, Jonah and the Whale, and the birth of Christ. Then the less ‘popular’ stories such as Samuel, David’s Anointing, the lost sheep, and Zacchaeus. The pages are filled with full page illustrations, that are unique to each story, some having a more photograph feel set in with the drawings. The overall feel of the book is very elegant with heavy pages and a glossy and mat dust jacket. The choice of a turquoise as the main color makes it incredibly soothing in its own way. It’s a very well done book.

I found this book, though, hard to review. I found the premise of the book was creative with the personalized letters to the reader, yet I found each story to be ‘dumbed down’ to the point of being cutesy instead of containing enough depth to really teach anything. Most Bible stories are not what I would call ‘happy’, but Ms. Nellist has made every story exuberant in some way. The story of Noah, while one of my favorite stories, is all about God destroying all but a few people. It’s not about just Noah’s family and the animals in the ark. Nor is it exactly exciting for the lions to be soooooo happy because they are going to get to eat Daniel, in the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. I just think there should have been better content in regards to the stories instead of making them so ‘happy’. ( I feel like I should cue Pharrell Williams and his song “Happy”)

That being said, I think many Christian families will enjoy this book. I myself was raised with a more traditional backing where we read the Bible instead of learning the stories from other books. I think that there are methods to Bible stories that make it more simple for a child to understand without making it ‘fun’. For instance, one of the best methods I remember being taught the stories was with large flashcard pictures, that were works of art in themselves, while the story was read. The content wasn’t taken out, but the pictures helped coalesce the whole story. I found this book to be just cute and I wonder if once the stories have been read over it will become old. Also I would say with what I have seen of most children reading books, don’t let your 4-8 year old alone with this. The letters will get torn because there is great care needed in reading this book.

I’d would probably give this book at the most 3 out of 5 stars. And I can honestly say I hate to write more negative reviews.

I was provided this book free for my honest opinion and review from Harper Collins Christian publishing.

Signing off

Kate

Agent Simmons – S.H.I.E.L.D.

I posted the other day about wanting a soundtrack to play in my life like Agent Gemma Simmons from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in episode 2×03.  Watch above and see what you think.  I just think it’s perfect and I love the song so much.

And I hope to have a book review posted as well later in the day.

Happy Tuesday, dearies. (that is courtesy of Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon a Time)

Signing off

Kate

The Non Reader & Me

I have always sworn up and down and sideways that I will marry a man who loves to read. (Oh and he won’t be obsessed with football) I want to be able to share books and have this mind meld kind of thing going on with books……. I’m not so sure I want it to be that way any longer. Barnes and Noble’s blog just posted the 18 Unexpected Perks of Dating a Nonreader, and honestly, I pretty much go for every single one except for #16, but that’s only because I get car sick, so reading is not possible.  I never thought much about all the advantages to being with someone who doesn’t read like I do, but wow, so many of these have crossed my mind that it’s not even funny.

I guess it’s like wanting to date a writer if I am one. That has gone by the wayside too.  Too much competition. I’ll stick with being the writer and reader and date a hands on kind of guy.  The list is below, but please check out the original article above.

1. More space for your growing book collection, because they don’t have any.
2. Your opinions about books are always right.
3. You can freely tell them the entire story of the book you’re reading, spoilers and all, because they probably aren’t going to read it.
4. They never judge any of the books you’re reading, even your guilty pleasure beach reads.
5. You’re never obligated to read books they’ve recommended to you instead of the books you actually want to read.
6. They think you’re super smart because you read so much.
7. They encourage you to blog about books so you have an outlet to talk about your literary adventures and opinions (true story).
8. They never stay up all night reading like you do, so they can be counted on to wake you up when you sleep through your alarm.
9. They never judge you for the books you haven’t read.
10. They make sure you get fresh air by forcing you to put down the book and get out of the house.
11. They never borrow your books and forget to return them, or return them in poor condition.
12.All your literary friends like them because they don’t engage in pretentious literary one-upmanship.
13. They know a lot about other things like engineering, cooking, music, wilderness survival, how to change a lightbulb…
14. They won’t judge you for thinking that the movie version of the book was actually pretty good.
15. They’re never late meeting you because they got wrapped up in a novel and lost track of time.
16. They do all the driving, so you can read at your leisure in the passenger seat.
17. They never mess up the order of the books on your shelves.
18. They’re willing to learn about literature from you.

Above all, by dating a nonreader, you open yourself up to new experiences and life lessons you might otherwise never discover. So if your heart is telling you “yes,” but your brain is telling you that you have too little in common to make it work, remember what The Princess Bride taught us: “Love is many things, none of them logical.”

Signing off

Kate

 

All You Need Is… A Tiara?

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Boris teases me about being a princess, and a drama queen, and a rambler… I saw this image on Tumblr a couple months ago and I fell in love with it because, honestly, all you really need is love and a tiara.  Cookies never hurt.

So, as the Beatles say…”all you need is love, ba ba bada ba! All you need is love, ba ba bada ba, all you need is love, love, love is all you need….”

As for a tiara, well, darling man, get me one and I’ll be the perfect princess…. Oh, and I bake marvelous cookies…..

Signing off

Kate

Saturday Inspires – Bookshelves

I have this thing about bookshelves. Maybe because I don’t have very many and what I do have is filled to the brim, but you want to see me drool, show me full, gorgeous bookshelves.  I want a house big enough for all my books, with a little room to spare.  I want to marry a man who will let me have those bookshelves… or he comes with a house that has empty bookshelves.  Honestly, I really don’t care, but I want gorgeous bookshelves.

So, today’s inspiration is gorgeous bookshelves.  Start the drooling.

For those interested, BookshelfPorn is a really good drool-worthy site.

Signing off

Kate

The Soundtrack of My Life

So yesterday I wrote about having songs for certain people in my life and Kat replied with something I think that I have thought of way too much in my life. I wish my life were a soundtrack.

Here’s Kat’s comment.

Sometimes I wish life came with a soundtrack so I would be able to more fully express and experience interactions with people and what is generally happening “on screen” at that moment.
I used to assign ringtones to each person in my life and to this day whenever I hear “Carry on my wayward son” by Kansas, I think of my little sister because of our mutual love for a little show called Supernatural.

 

Wow, do I wish that was true. I wish I had music play at those moments in life where it explains what the heck is going on.  I want to wake up to that snazzy tune that is just perfect on the radio.  Like Gemma Simmons on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. going through her morning routine to “God Help the Girl by God Help the Girl”.  For those interested, it was just the third episode of the second season…. (side note, I love Marvel. S.H.I.E.L.D, Captain America, Coulson….. I can go on)

Phil Coulson

Phil Coulson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyways, I love music and I put on specific music for specific times.  I love Art Garfunkel‘s “Breakaway”.  I love James Taylor’s “Something In the Way She Moves”.  I can never get enough of John Denver’s “Gravel on the Ground”.  And I think all of these apply to my life along with a plethora of music that I play, including, but not limited to, pop, country, rap, classical, oldies, jazz (I love some really good jazz), blues, rock, electronic, dance, soundtracks…… Right now I’m really into Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”. (Don’t judge me, I know, I know.)  And Echosmith’s “Cool Kids”, and Pitbull’s “Fireball”…. I have my moments.

So, I’m curious, what songs would you have in your soundtrack of life?  Give me a list, or heck, that one song that makes you , YOU!

Signing off

Kate

What’s Your Tune

Do you ever associate music with a person? Most of the time I find I will associate certain songs with certain characters. Something that fits them to a ‘T’ and kind of describes them, though I’m sure most people wouldn’t get what I’m talking about, nor would I get why a song would fit with something they liked.

For instance, one of my characters, based on Tyler Hubbard of FLG, has a song and it’s “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen. (this character, aptly named Tyler, was originally based on Elliot from Leverage [Christian Kane's character] so there is some residual) For some reason, that song personifies ‘Tyler’. Don’t ask me why, but it just does.

Just like “Do You Remember” by Jay-Sean personifies my character of Cal in another really unplotted story. (Yes, I just made that word up. Unplotted)

Then I have music for characters in books I read, etc.

But I’ve found recently that people in my life have a song. For one, Boris gets the song “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith. Part of the reason is personal, and the other part, well I can’t really explain. For some reason this song fits him perfectly.

Another example is the song “Magdalenha” by Sergio Mendes. This song was used on Dancing With the Stars for a samba William Levy and Cheryl Burke danced to. The way William Levy shook his assets in this song, along with his gorgeous body remind me of one of my town’s local police officers. I refer to him as Officer Levy in my writings (to keep the anonymity) and sometimes in my head. And whenever I see Officer Levy, I start humming “Magdalenha”…..

We associate music with a lot of things, or a least I do, but I’m curious, what do you put music to? Do you have certain songs for certain people? My friend Mim has a song, but I can’t actually remember it, but she used it for her ring tone for quite a while and I came to associate her with this reference even if I can’t remember the song.

Yes, my brain is weird. And yes, this is not the best post in the world, but it has been on my mind for a while, and it’s late… Excuses excuses.

Signing off
Kate

Sam and Cat: Pancakes – Fiction

So sweet.

Sam and Cat

Meet Sam and Cat. This is a new fiction series I hope to dabble in over time. It’s based on a fantasy and, well, my brain. As in, my brain has lots of fun some days. Sam is this super sexy older gent (like barely fifty) and Cat is this thirties something gal who has a thing for Sam, but Sam doesn’t want to settle down….. Which you will be shaking your head when you read the short piece below.  There is no order to the stories; in fact, the story below is in the future, so just bear with me. I’m rambling out little pieces that interest me.  A little piece of a May/December romance that has been flirting with my mind for a couple months now. Sometime I’ll actually introduce these two properly with their introductory story, but for now, enjoy.

The scent of pancakes lured Cat from the bedroom.  She belted her ivory satin robe as she padded barefoot over the wooden boards of the old farmhouse. She smiled softly as she spotted Sam, his back turned to her with a spatula in one hand, the other gloved in a potholder holding a platter of the fluffiest looking cakes Cat had ever seen.
She was slightly disgusted that he could look so sexy wearing just a black t-shirt and faded jeans. She noticed his feet were bare and she sighed as her heart pounded ever so slightly faster at the sight.

“Good morning, little girl,” Sam’s gravely voice said even though he didn’t turn around.

Cat plopped herself on one of the bar stools at the counter and rested her chin in her hands, thankful that she’d at least  brushed her hair and applied a bit of makeup. When a sexy man wakes you with the promise  he will make you pancakes because you are not a morning person, the least you can do is spruce up a touch.

“Good morning,” Cat answered.  “You know, I almost expected to come out and see you in this frilly apron or something,” she teased.

Sam turned and raised a dark brow in her direction.  “Watch it, sweetie.  These pancakes might get tossed by the wayside if I have to deal with you.”

Cat giggled, but didn’t say any more other than a ‘thank you’ when Sam slid a cup of steaming coffee towards her.  Well, okay, she did thank him a bit more properly with a kiss, but that didn’t require words. Kisses were much more satisfying than words could ever be.

As for the pancakes. Well they went by the wayside into the oven for a while, but they weren’t forgotten after a time.

Signing off

Kate

Harvest Time

I live on a farm. It’s October. The rains are coming. The freezes are coming. This means… Harvest Time.
These are a few of the images I’ve taken recently of things we’ve harvested. I have to say the tomatillas and Onions have been the most photogenic, but then, that’s pretty typical. They are quite lovely and always have the right lighting. Plus they sit still…. Just joking.

I wanted a more updated post for today, but I was a bit tired, coming down with a minor cold, and just not willing to push my book review.

So enjoy the photos.

Signing off
Kate

Dreamy – A Weekly Photo Challenge Post

Milkweed Fluff

Milkweed Fluff

Rarely do I have the opportunity to go with The Daily Post‘s weekly photo challenges, but this week’s theme of ‘Dreamy‘ hit me perfectly. How MichelleW spoke about the clouds and the Utah morning just spoke to me. I am always looking at the magical side of things. The foggy mornings, the misty mountains, the milkweed fluff on a dewy lawn on a crisp fall day…. These things get to me and make my heart want to explode out.

This last week the milkweed seeds have been scattered every morning on the back lawn. It’s more of just a grassy area, mountain grass, that happens to exist despite lack of watering. The milkweed explodes out of its pods in the middle of September and keeps right up through October a lot of the time.

I have this thing about milkweed. When I was little, Fantasia with the milkweed ladies floating down to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite was magical, and still is to this day. I adore that part of the film. I always wanted to see milkweed, but it didn’t seem to grow where I lived. So, since moving to the mountains in NorCal, where milkweed abounds in my backyard (much to Walter’s disgust and total annoyance) I am a very happy girl. I take pictures of milkweed all the time.

I think this one constitutes as pretty dreamy to me.

Signing off
Kate