Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Smile as Big as the Moon

Did anyone see the Hallmark move “A Smile as Big as the Moon” on Sunday night?  I have to say I am a sap for Hallmark movies but this one was especially special to me.

It was a true story of a teacher, Mike Kerjses (played by John Corbett) and a former Forest Hills administrator, Robynn McKinney who started a program called Space is Special for special needs students in 1989.  What an incredible effort this must have been!

I am so thankful for the work that Kerjses and McKinney have done and their advocacy of individuals with special needs.  It is so good to see these kinds of stories being shown on prime time TV to bring attention to these children and others like them.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trying again

So, how is everyone doing with your New Years Resolutions?  As you can see, I have fallen short with blogging on a regular basis, so I am here to give it another try.

I am so excited to tell you about the upcoming A to Z Blogging Challenge.  The sign up begins today so check it out
This has inspired me to get back to blogging.  In fact, I will be a guest on the A to Z site on February 6.  Come see me

In the meantime, if you have fallen short of your New Years Resolution, I am here to tell you it's not too late to try again.  I am :)

Every artist was first an amateur.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book review Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina

Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina by Loree Lough

Holly has been hired to spend the summer in Folly Beach to help Parker write a research book about sea turtles.  She stays at a Bed and Breakfast run by Parker's mother, Maude.  Soon, she becomes part of the family, or as close as possible.  Parker, who recently returned from serving in Afghanistan, helps take care of his mother and the B&B.  Their strained relationship quickly becomes apparent to Holly but neither are willing to discuss it.  Hank, Maude's "boyfriend", knows the family secrets but loves Maude with all his heart even though she does not return his feelings.  When Maude suffers a heartattack, she is forced to explain Parker's past to him, changing his outlook on life, family and his future...and Maude's as well.

My thoughts
I am thankful to have won this book on Michelle Sutton's blog site.  Thank you Michelle!
I loved the description of Folly Beach.  I would love to visit this Bed and Breakfast, Parker's home, and the local diner sometime.  I also thought the history about the area woven into the book was interesting.  Personally, I was hoping there would be more details about the sea turtles but, as an environmental enthusiast, the average reader would probably not have the same level of interest as I do.
I also didn't feel that I had a handle on the relationship building that was going on between Parker and Holly until the middle.  At times it seemed that things were moving quickly between them, then on the next page it seemed that they were strangers.  This could have been part of the conflict between characters but for me, it left me confused.
I liked how the story was brought together at the end.  All conflicts were resolved in a very "happily ever after" way.
I look forward to reading more books in the Love Finds You series, as well as more books by Loree Lough.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review of The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Mack takes his children on a trip into the woods.  While rescuing his son from an upturned canoe, Mack's daughter Missy is seemingly murdered.  After following a clue, her bloodied dress is found in a crumbling shack in the woods.  Mack carries the pain and guilt of her murder for years, known as The Great Sadness, which plays havoc on the rest of the family as well.
Years later when checking the mail, Mack receives a mysterious letter from "Papa" asking him to meet him at The Shack for the weekend.  Papa is Mack's wife's name for God.  With is wife going out of town for the weekend with the children, Mack reluctantly returns to The Shack.  The remainder of the book are his encounters there. (I'm trying for no spoiler alerts here)

A friend of mine has been telling me to read this book for months.  After giving me a copy, after the holidays I had no excuses but to read it.

What I liked
I liked how Mack's pain was shown throughout the book and I always felt that I could tell what he was feeling.  I liked the suspense leading up to his arrival at The Shack.  I also liked how the story was tied in at the end and left to the reader to come up with his/her own conclusions of the story.

What I didn't like
If this book is read as FICTION, it is a very entertaining story and has some good lessons wrapped into it.  If it is read as Biblical truth, some events at The Shack can be disturbing.  If you read this as a Christian, as I am, this is just a warning to keep an open mind.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a happy and safe new year and 2012 is treating you well so far. I tend to not set resolutions on new years only to be disappointed when I am not able to keep them.  In general, I am hoping to read and write more, improve relationships and stay positive.

What about you?  Have you set any resolutions?  Reading or writing goals?  What books are you reading this year?