Monday, November 21, 2011

My Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! It's hard to believe that this year is almost over! I guess it's true what they say about time going by faster the older you get :)  Without a doubt thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all (besides my birthday). Why you ask? It's my favorite first of all because of all we have to be thankful for and secondly for all the wonderful traditions I have.  Here are my favorite Thanksgiving Traditions: 
Thankful cards. I got this idea from an older lady at my church. When I was a teen she sent me a card right before Thanksgiving telling me how thankful she was that I was active in church. Totally made my day that someone was thankful for ME! Since then I have tried to carry on this tradition every year. since by sending notes to various people I'm thankful for. The past few years I have made my own cards and sent them out. Here's a picture of this years card. In case you are wondering, that's a embossed pumpkin on the front cover.
 I am also thankful for our annual Thanksgiving Eve service at church. Our church has a service on the night before Thanksgiving to help us turn our hearts toward the Lord and thank Him for all he's done for us. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this holiday season. Then right after the service we have a church wide potluck dinner. I enjoy the pot luck because I get to hang out and thank God for my wonderful church family.

What are you favorite Thanksgiving traditions that help make the season one to remember? 

I hope all you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Love to all!
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Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love getting together with loved ones, remembering all that we have to be thankful for and eating great food! I have to admit this year I've been in Thanksgiving funk. I'm not sure why excactly. I think it is a combination of things
1. I haven't seen my parents and sister in three years. I will not go into this in detail on here but things are complicated. It just doesn't seem like the holidays without my family. 
2. It seems more than ever that people espcially the media and retail are skipping over Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas! I think this devalues the holdiay and encourages people to think about what they want instead of being greatful for what they have. Okay I'm getting off my soap box now. :)

Despite all this I am going to continue some of favorite Thanksgiving traditons which I'll tell you more about on Wednesday. 
What do you do to help you get into the Thanksgiving spirit? Does it feel like Thanksgiving is almost here for you? I'd love to hear how you foster an attitude of thankfulness this time of year in your house and in your own heart!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Book Review: Catherine: Inisde the Heart and Mind of a Great Monach (The Volga Flows Forever Series Book 1)

 I am reviewing this book for Media

About the Book:
  Catherine: Inside the Heart and Mind of a Great Monarch…

“You look astonishingly pretty,” admits Johanna when Sophia steps out of her bedroom dressed in Ulrika’s magnificent gown. Sophia is stunned, halting in mid-step. This is rare praise from her cold mother, so she must, indeed, look very good. At Frederick’s side during the elaborate court dinner, Sophia shines and sparkles with youth and wit. The monarch is very pleased with his choice. Indeed, he is so enamored with the girl that he opens his purse to outfit mother and daughter, both woefully deficient in material matters appropriate for court life.
So begins the transformation of Princess Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst into Catherine the Great of Russia. The personal and professional triumphs and tribulations of this remarkable woman are retold by Sigrid Weidenweber, whose research into the life of Catherine reveals a new perspective on Catherine, from the inside out. Sigrid portrays with heartfeld understanding what it was like to have been such a major European political and military, social and cultural figure during the eighteenth century.

About the Book: 
  I have to admit. I was very intimidated when I saw how many pages this book was. On my Nook it showed over 800 pages. However once I got started reading the book, I couldn't put t down. . The author did a wonderful job making me feel like I was a part of the story. I am a history buff and have always wanted to know more about Catherine certainly satisfied my curiosity. You can tell that Sigrid took a lot of time and thoroughly research for her book. I also like how different stories were woven together to give us a complete look at Catherine's life wrapped in adventure and mystery.
I look forward to reading book two in the Volga Flows forever series. I give this book five stars out of 5! (I love this book!)

About the Author

About Sigrid Weidenweber: Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenwber remembers the horrific aftermath of fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under communism. After the Berlin Wall was built, she managed to escape the repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. To this day she does not speak French.
She holds degrees in medical technology, psychology and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Concordia University of Portland, Oregon for her trilogy “The Volga Flows Forever.” In her trilogy she brings to life Catherine the Great in her multiple roles as monarch, woman, lover, mother, grandmother and head of the general staff of the army, in Volume one. The following two historical volumes deal with the Volga Germans brought to Russia by Catherine’s edict.
Three years ago she moved to Santa Rosa Valley, California from Portland Oregon. She has passionately embraced California together with her family that also resides here. Visit her website here.

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