Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Heaven is for Real for Kids book review

Heaven is for Real for Kids as told by Colton Burpo to his parents Todd and Sonja Burpo (e-copy)

After reading the original Heaven is for Real book, I was very interested to know how the book for kids would be the same or different. The book for adults has much more time spent on the family, Colton’s illness and treatment, and the way the story of Colton’s visit to heaven comes to light in his conversations. In the kids’ book, the fact that Colton became very sick when he was four years old, and when he was in the hospital he went to sleep and woke up in heaven, is the only mention of his illness. The bulk of the book is telling what heaven is like, in a way that kids can understand and not be afraid about going there.

The book has sweet pictures of what Colton saw in heaven which add to children’s grasp of the words. There are also appropriate Bible verses that go along with each page.

I read this book to my grandsons, ages 4.5 and 2.5. The 2.5 year old did not stay engaged with the story as I read. Probably a good target age for this book is four and up.

The first e-copy I received had capitalization errors, but since I posted the review, the publisher sent me a new file with all errors corrected. I recommend this book for parents to read to their children to start conversations about heaven.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Joplin Family 22-NOV-2011

Click on the Title above to see some pictures of our Joplin Albertson families taken in Joplin November 22, 2011. Randy, Joy, James Aquila (4), and Micah Rowen (2). Tim, Brenda, and new daughter Charissa Joy (10-days old). (Said like Cheryl, Charlotte, Chevy..."Shu-rissa')

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tim and Brenda's baby girl!

Tim and his sleeping baby girl 11-20-2011

Uncle Randy and Charissa getting acquainted 11-20-2011.

Charissa Joy Albertson was born at 12:16 a.m. at home on November 12, 2011. She was 7#, 9oz, and 21 inches long. She has lots of hair! This picture reminds me of Tim's hair when he was a newborn!

Pray for her to nurse well; she wants to have her fists up to her sweet face! Pray for Brenda to recover well. She is tired and weak from the long labor.
We praise God for this precious gift!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mountain cabin vacation 2011 Day 3

We're currently waiting for little Miss Albertson (Tim and Bren's girl) to make her appearance any time now, so I thought I'd write this last post about our cabin vacation; so that when she is born, the post announcing her arrival can be at the top of our blog for a while! (Just to be clear, we are not in Missouri waiting for her, but just waiting for the news.)

On the quiet Friday morning of our vacation we decided to play Scrabble. We did have a hard time coming up with any high-scoring words.

Then we took anniversary pictures of Daddy and Mother and went on a little walk around the property's woods.

Daddy and Mother at "Cell-phone Signal Rock":


Such a restful, quiet, solitary place.

Mother sitting on the porch just before lunch.

After lunch we packed up, cleaned the cabin, and headed down to Colorado Springs. We went to a dollar store and stocked up on prizes for the Federal Heights Sunday School. When we got out of the van to go into the store, Jason's wallet fell to the ground unnoticed. After shopping we went to meet our loved-ones for supper, but when that didn't work out due to an unanticipated doctor appointment, we ate at Carl's Jr. It was there we discovered that Jase didn't have his wallet. We searched the van, and went to the couple of places we had been in Colorado Springs (the store parking lot and our relatives' house), and realized that it had to have fallen out when he got out at the store and was not there anymore. We drove the two hours home. Even though we were concerned and praying about Jason's missing wallet, we enjoyed singing hymns on the way. It wasn't until Saturday morning that we listened to our answering machine. The Christian lady who found the wallet in the parking lot had taken it home with her, not leaving it to be stolen. She found an I.D. card in it that Tim had made for Jase when he was around 9 years old, saw our phone number, called, and left a message. She mailed the wallet and he received it safely in a few days. We are thankful for God's hand in our life situations such as this. He truly cares and answers prayer!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review: Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

From the first two pages of this book, I was captivated by the story line. Eden was in a restaurant, just about to be proposed to, when her former husband showed up! Clay and Eden’s marriage had ended five years before, after their six week old baby girl, Brianna, was kidnapped, and presumed killed. Clay had never signed the divorce papers, and Eden’s lawyer had not followed through when he became ill. Clay had not given up on finding Brianna alive. Now he had news that she was alive and at a youth ranch in Texas. The ranch needed to hire a couple as counselors and dorm parents for foster children. It was a perfect chance to help all these children, but also to find and identify their lost daughter.

Clay and Eden moved to Texas to take the job and fell in love with all five of the little girls in their charge. How were they to find out which one was theirs, since they had not seen her since she was a newborn? From the first night there, some unknown person was intent on causing danger to Clay or Eden. Very soon, Eden found her life in lethal danger. It seemed someone on the ranch must know about and be connected to the kidnapping of their child.

Clay and Eden had both become Christians in their time apart from each other. They had to learn to rely on God and each other for their very lives.

Suspense, danger, romance, and love for children are part of this book. The hurts possible in the foster system and the hurts caused by divorce and unfaithfulness are also revealed in an instructive way.

I enjoyed reading this book. It seemed like all these things couldn’t happen to two people, but if you throw in schizophrenia and drug cartels, maybe it could.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publisher in return for my review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Early snow October 25-26

We interrupt our regularly scheduled "Beth's cabin vacation posts" to bring an update on our early snows and tree damage! The evening of October 25, rain and then snow began falling--just as the weather people had predicted.
By Wednesday morning, there were 10.25 inches on our deck rail, and snow continued lightly throughout the morning. You can see from this picture how the trees still had leaves and they are bent over by the heavy snow. None of these trees are on our property.

We were very glad that Emily had removed the trampoline mat from its in-ground setting the day before, and that the pavilion was also taken down from the deck just in time!

When I took Jason to work at 8:00, we saw that there had been much devastation to our town's trees. There were branches down in almost every yard and even in the streets. Part of the town was without electricity. ACE Hardware, where Jason works, had to be open with no electricity until 11 a.m. They had a generator to run one cash register and used flashlights to take customers to what they needed to buy. They sold a lot of snow shovels that day!
At lunchtime, we were feeling grateful that our tree had not broken. While Emily watched out the window, our Linden tree in front gave way and broke 4 different large branches. Thankfully, nothing was under it to be damaged, like happened for other people in town.

The snow was very wet and heavy.

That afternoon, Jason and Emily built snow walls and had a snowball fight.

On Friday morning, we had Lincoln here to be babysat, so the kids took him to a sledding hill near his house to play in the snow.

This is what our tree looked like on Saturday morning, when Rowen and Emily started cutting out the broken parts. Nearly all the leaves fell off because of the snow.

Looking at the tree from the street view.

Rowen cutting out the broken parts.

There was still snow on the truck he had to clean off so he could haul the branches away. Because it was so warm just days before, the ground was warm enough to melt the snow quickly.

Rowen surveying the mess.

One of the two truck loads of branches ready to take downtown to the branch dump.

Rowen and Emily cut up the larger branches for future firewood.

The pile of firewood from the tree.

How the surgery looked this week after we got another 9 inch snow exactly a week later than the first one!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mountain cabin vacation 2011 Day 2

These are pictures from Thursday of our cabin vacation. If for no one else we post them here on our personal "online scrapbook" for our family. Written from Beth's perspective.

Since the temperature was 28 when we got done with breakfast, Emily, Daddy, Mother, and Jason played Rummikub while we waited for it to warm up. Daddy was very brave playing games with us, even if he doesn't enjoy it for himself.

Then we all went out to enjoy the beautiful day.

Aspens left of the cabin.

View right of the cabin, looking off the deck.

Hat on (made by a friend, Judy S.) and stick in hand, ready to go on a hike around the property.

We found this tunnel,

and researching it later Daddy believes it was a marmot restroom. They dig a tunnel then fill it little by little from the middle out. Here is the other end of the tunnel a few feet away.

A wonderful picture of my wonderful daddy!

Mother and the "still in the nest" kids!

This is the spot on the cabin property that has [our kind of] cell phone coverage. We "hiked" there a few times to make calls, especially because Grandpa (Janet's dad) had surgery Thursday.

After lunch, Daddy and I decided to drive west [from Lake George] on US Hwy 24 and see what we could see. At first the scenery was woods: pines, aspens, and prairie grass. Then we reached Wilkerson Pass Summit (elevation 9,507), which overlooked a surprising backdrop: a desert valley, with fourteen-ers rising here and there, in appearance like little mounds of dirt surrounded by desolation. You get the idea. (We discovered that all this area we were traveling in, west of Colorado Springs is called "South Park".)
View west: left and down from where we were. The mountain peaks in the distance were a few of many 14,000 feet above sea level.

And just right of that:

View east: Pike's Peak

We drove on down into the valley, through the here-unpictured desert, on and on, through Hartsel, Colo, and then drove right past the entrance to Antero Reservoir. Oops. I didn't know that was our "destination", but thought if I could convince Dad to, we could stop and see water! That's the exact place he was looking for anyway, because our friend Steve (hereafter mentioned) loves to fish there, and we wanted to know what kind of infamous place it was. We finally found the entrance, and made our way in there (a mile or so).

The reservoir itself was beautiful.

With mountain backdrop, and beachy forefront.


We had to chuckle at this hilarious sign. Click on it to make it big enough to read.

Sometimes things look better in the rear-view mirror ;)
We just had to drive around Hartsel, when we were on our way back to Lake George. Besides touring one of the little stores (looking for some thing we needed), we drove around on the few short, dirt roads in town. Here I am by the school.. the next building over is the library: open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, if I remember correctly.

Arriving back from our 100 mile round-trip excursion we found that Mother, Jason, and Emily had been Kindle-ing,

Computer-ing, read-ing, write-ing, work-ing on the puzzle,

and hike-ing.

Not to worry, I had been having fun crochet-ing while Daddy was drive-ing, and we did get to go explore-ing in South Park!
Thursday evening we had our friends Steve Cunningham and Tonya Sickler up for supper, games, and visiting. Here's Steve playing "Whoonu?"

Tonya when we were playing "Things". The pencil-ed ear means she was guessed-out already.

Several of us playing "Worst Case Scenerio".
I crocheted during part of it.

And Mother worked on the puzzle

which I had done the borders on, then handed over to her.

This is how much of the puzzle was done when we left on Friday (mostly done by Mother).