Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book Review: "Touching the Clouds" by Bonnie Leon

Alaskan Skies Book 1

Book Description:

Kate Evans is an adventurous and independent young woman with a pioneering spirit. She pilots a mail-delivery plane in the forbidding Alaskan wilderness, the lone woman in a male profession. But even that seems easy compared to finding true love. She likes a fellow pilot and would even consider marrying him--if it weren't for Paul, a mysterious man on her mail route with a gentle spirit and a past to hide.

Can Kate break through the walls Paul has put up around his heart? And will her quest for adventure be her demise? Book 1 in the Alaskan Skies series, Touching the Clouds will draw readers in with raw emotion and suspense, all against the stunning backdrop of the Alaskan wilds.

My Thoughts:
This book was so interesting. It really took me into what a womon at that time who flew a plane for a living went through.

The descriptions of Alaska, her formations and her beauty was so vivid. I'm so jealous of my cousin and his wife who will be taking an Alaskan cruise in a few days.

I really liked getting to know the characters. I longed for Paul to find comfort and to not be so lonely and for Kate to ease up on her need to prove herself.

I am very happy with how this book ended.

Friday, July 30, 2010

1st Peter

You can find my overview of "The First Epistle of Peter" AKA 1st Peter, at my "A Better Walk" blog.

I'd love to share it with you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


As my mom and dad are heading out the door with my two girls for "Grammy/Pappy Day", I found this post from "Women Living Well" about solitude so appropriate.

Solitude. It is something I rarely get. That is why "Grammy/Pappy Day" was created. One day a week, usually Thursday, the girls go to my parents' house for the afternoon/evening. It is a great thing. Not only for me, but for the bond between grandparents and grandchildren.

Some weeks I go for groceries. Others I just hang out around the house and actually get the place cleaned up without someone following behind me messing everything up again.

Today, when I woke up, I could feel that I needed some solitude. Last week we were all on vacation and I haven't had any time alone this week either. When that happens, I can feel a yearning inside myself to be alone.

My girls won't be little forever. Does that mean I shouldn't enjoy some time away from them? No way! It means that a little time by myself makes our times together that much more enjoyable.

I'm able to live in the now instead of wishing the girls' childhood away. It gives me time to miss them for a little while and look forward to them coming home Thursday evening.

I am a much better mother and wife because of "Grammy/Pappy Day".

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Review: "A Hopeful Heart" by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Book Description:

Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school's one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher--or the wife of one. Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she'll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt's hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, riding a horse, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands. But what other options does she have?

Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once--and he got his heart broken. But there's something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice. When Tressa's life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life -- and his heart -- to help this eastern girl?

My Thoughts:

I thought the concept of a Herdsman School for women was so unique. Aunt Hattie was such a character and someone I wish I knew in real life.

Tressa was so timid when she first arrived at the school and I enjoyed seeing her evolve into a competant woman. Abel always appeared so sad and I longed for him to find joy and come out of his self-imposed lonliness.

I wish this book were part of a series. To my knowledge it isn't. I would like to visit Aunt Hattie some more and see some more women learn how to be a Herdsman's wife.

Girl After My Own Heart

This summer I've required Kaylee to read 1 book per week to keep her reading skills up. I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised with her progress..
She bought a new book while on vacation. She started reading it on Monday and finished it last night. She picked the book out and it really kept her interest.

The funny part: She wanted to go to the library last night at 8:30pm to get a new book to read.

She didn't want to watch TV. She wanted to read.

We're going to the library this afternoon.

Girl after my own heart!

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm Back!

And I'm oh so tired. We got back late Saturday evening but yesterday was filled with Church events and grocery shopping. Today I've been doing laundry and napping. I hope I'm not this tired tomorrow.

I took almost 500 pictures on our trip and this is one of my favorites.

Lake Ontario at sunset.

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting about everything we did on our vacation. We had a great time!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Miller Homestead - Laken's Room

Laken is my 3-year-old. She is all into Princesses and animals. Her room doesn't yet have alot of personality, but I'm sure that will come as she starts having an interest in decorating her room.

As you look in her door, you see her Princess toddler bed along with the Princess Quilt that I made her. On the wall she has animal pictures from an old calendar.
Kaylee and I painted the name letters while I was still pregnant with Laken. Her big pillow is where she will sometimes flop down and watch TV.
Inside the closet is her Cabin where she likes to hide. Of course, she has a buggy and the must have Littlest Pet Shop poster. The Princess baskets hold toys and the top two have her books.

Laken likes to sit at her little table to watch cartoons and eat snacks. I'm trying to teach her to put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

Thank you, everyone, for taking a tour this week through "The Miller Homestead."

We should be home from vacation by now and I'm probably up to my eyeballs in dirty laundry and unpacking. I hope I have time to catch up on my blog reading.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Miller Homestead - Kaylee's Room

My daughter, Kaylee, is 9 years old and loves horses, dogs and posters. A pretty typical girl for her age. Today's feature is Kaylee's Room.

This is the view from her doorway. I made her quilt about 2 years ago. The pattern is "Sister's Choice". We just repainted her furniture a few weeks ago.
Behind the curtain that I made is her closet. It is pretty organized for the time being. Her book shelf now holds the pre-teen books that she is reading. Her little-kid books had have been passed down to her sister. She has a few trophies from Softball on her book shelf and pictures from the past two years at Church Camp on the wall.
From the other corner of her room you can see her doorway. Just inside the door is her Music Corner. Her guitar, flute and music stand reside there. There is a good view in this picture of her horse border. It is so pretty but I'm sure she'll be ready for a more grown-up decor in a few years.

Her TV is on top of her dresser. Her desk folds up and latches to give her more floor space when it is not in use. The huge horse picture was her grandmother's and is very special to Kaylee. The poster is a project she did as part of a book report when she read "Marley & Me." I got her the name plaque from an artist in New York City.

And that, my friends, is Kaylee's Room. She's been doing a very good job at keeping it cleaned up lately. We'll see how long it lasts!
Tomorrow I'll show you Laken's Room.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Miller Homestead - Master Bedroom

The Master Bedroom technically belongs to me and my husband but it is almost a given that sometime during the night a little person will sneak in too.

The Bedroom door comes off of the Sewing Room. This is the view from the doorway. We have our very own Bathroom there to the left.
This is the view from the Bathroom doorway.
My dresser is usually never this clean. Most of the time I have clothes piled up on it. I'm working on breaking this bad habit.

The mirror in the corner is another treasured posession and now a family heirloom. My parents got the this mirror for me for Christmas when I was fairly young. I'm not sure exactly when, maybe 20 years ago.

I like a lot of pillows on the bed. I'm currently looking for new bedding. Shh...don't tell the hubby.

This is my husband's corner. His turkey fan is his prized posession. The closet is also on his side.

Here is my Nightstand. It usually holds a clock, a Bible, a tablet and my current read. The top drawer has tissues, TUMS, some pens, a manicure set and a few devotionals. The bottom drawer is where I keep my silky jammies.

When I lay on my pillow, this is my view. The picture is actually a puzzle that I put together and loved. This wall is kind of blah. I'll work on that.

Along with looking for new bedding, I also will be painting the Master Bedroom a new color this fall. Any suggestions on color?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Miller Homestead - Sewing Room

Probably my favorite room in our house is my Sewing Room. I'd say it is where I spend most of my free time.

One of the main reasons is that one corner of the room is also my "Office/Library". I haven't counted how many books are in my TBR pile lately. Probably around 100.
This is my Desk where I blog, check emails, pay bills, surf the net and make lists.
On the walls are Doll Quilts that I've received in numerous swaps.

This is my Design Wall. Currently on the wall is a Round Robin quilt that I need to put the next round on and ship it off to the next person. Isn't it beautiful?

This is my Work Station. My hubby put it together for me using old closet doors. You can see my cutting mat and rulers, ironing mat and my shelves that are overflowing. I don't know where I put all my stuff before I had this area. Under the counter are bins full of fabric.

My old Dining Room table is now my Sewing Table. The Industrial Sewing Machine is the one I used in my family's sewing shop when I was growing up. It is now an heirloom to pass down.

My new Brother Sewing Machine that I bought last summer with money I made from selling a customized quilt.

My Dress Form holding a shawl and some more Doll Quilts.

This Writing Desk was my mother-in-law's. She gave it to me before she passed away. This is one of my favorite possessions. I love everything stationary and enjoy sending hand-written notes. My BFF who lives 5 minutes away is my penpal. lol!

And that is my Sewing Room on a clean day. It won't look like that for long. Glad you didn't miss it!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Miller Homestead - Family Room

Today's featured room at "The Miller Homestead" is the Family Room. This is in everyway a room for the whole family. We converted our attached garage into more living space to save everyone's sanity.

This is an overall view of the room. Do you see my Thomas Kincade picture that I won at a Home Interior Bingo Party?

You can see the doorway going into the Laundry Hall. My treadmill is positioned so that when I pull use it, I can see the TV. There's my baby sleeping on the couch down in the lower right corner.
This is the Play Corner. I didn't realize this recliner looked so worn until I saw this picture.
We have a little entry area right off the door. I usually check myself in the mirror before leaving. Most of the time I have to run back in to fix myself.
And that is our Family Room. In a few years when the youngest is a little older, we will get new furniture. Someday.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Miller Homestead - Dining Room

Today's featured room in "The Miller Homestead" is the Dining Room. It is small but functional.

I made the window topper on the the sliding glass door that lead to the deck. I also recovered the chairs in matching fabric. My mom made my crocheted table runner. The basket of flowers was a decoration at our wedding nearly 10 years ago. It has been on our Dining Room table ever since.

In this picture you can see my book shelf. (Trust me. Those aren't my only books.) On top the book shelf sits our Family Bible that my mom and dad got us for our wedding. The bamboo was given to us about 9 years ago and is still living! Our little birdie, Sky, is in the corner under a picture of the girls.
And here is our lazy lump labrador, Lilah. Say that 10 times fast!

And that's our Dining Room. Wasn't it exciting?!?

Tomorrow: the Family Room.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Miller Homestead - Kitchen

Since my blog is called "Colletta's Kitchen Sink", I decided the tour of The Miller Hometead should start with the Kitchen.

This is an over-all view of the Kitchen from the Dining Room. I couldn't figure out what the black things were on the floor. Then I remembered that the phone had fallen off the counter and the back popped off.

Here's the infamous Kitchen sink. I had to get a picture while it was actually empty for about 2 seconds. The window looks out onto the Deck.

In this picture you can see more of the counter space, the microwave, the refrigerator and the laundry "hall" off to the side of the Kitchen.

This corner houses the stove, my Pampered Chef turnabout, the garbage can and my baker's rack with my stereo and cds. You can also see one of my aprons hanging on the wall. There are a couple hooks beyond that holding more aprons.

Also on the baker's rack our snowcone maker and syrup, my cookbooks and our "Celebration Board". I got the idea of the "Celebration Board" from a blog. (its been a while and I can't remember which one.) The idea is to have the whole family pariticipate in writing things each day that are worth celebrating. This day we celebrated "Clean Rooms!"

Here is our bar area. We eat lunch here alot and the kids usually have their snack here. Whenever my dad comes, he always sits on the stool over by the wall. I always know when he's been here because he never pushes it back in!

Well, that's my humble Kitchen. Watch tomorrow for the Dining Room.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Miller Homestead

This week I'm on vacation in Niagra Falls, NY (Yay!). So while I'm not home, I thought it would be a good time to show my home to you. Each day will feature a different room.

I thought you might like to see the outside of The Miller Homestead so that you can get the full picture.

It is a ranch-style home on the corner of Market Street and River Drive. It is actually Wills Creek that is directly across from our house but the area already has a Creek Road, so River Drive it is.

You can see that we live at 106 River Drive. We planted Butterly Bushes on either side of our front porch. The girls love to watch and sometimes chase the butterflies that are drawn to the bushes.

This is what we call our "Playground". You can see my one of my swings down at the corner so I can relax while watching the girls play.

We're still working on the Pool deck, patio and back deck. When they are finished up and decent for pictures. I'll show them to you.

Tomorrow you get to see my Kitchen!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Going on Vacation

I've got so much to do today to get ready for our Road Trip Vacation to Niagara Falls. We'll be leaving first thing Monday morning and returning Saturday.
If everything works out as planned, I've set up a series to be posted this week on "The Miller Homestead". I hope it works!
I'll see you all when I get back!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Review: "Hearts Awakening" by Delia Parr

Book Description:

With no means to support herself, Ellie Kilmer agrees to work as a housekeeper for the young widower who lives on Dillon Island, hopeful she can obtain a proper reference. But Jackson Smith quickly realizes that Ellie's presence may solve his own problems--both the rearing of his young boys and the scandal that surrounds his first marriage.

When a marriage of convenience is offered, Ellie is initially humiliated. Though she is past the age most women marry, she has more pride than to agree to his outlandish suggestion. Yet what options does she have? To marry would mean a home and stability. So despite the rumors circling Jackson and his first wife, Ellie accepts this unlikely proposal...

My Thoughts:

I read this book from cover to cover in one sitting until I finished it at 3:00am. I felt so good to get lost in a great book again!

The setting was original, the characters were interesting and even though marriage of convenience plots are pretty common this book was anything but common. It was full of conflicts and twists.

It was the best book I've read in quite a while. I'll definitely be looking for more from Delia Parr.