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what I've been reading lately | march


 Once again I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for What I've been Reading  - the March edition (see all my other editions here). This is the time where I share 1) a scrapbooking page of what I read over the course of a month (this is how I am documenting what I am reading over the course of the year, besides here on the blog) and, 2) what I actually read with a short synopsis, overview, or mini-review about the book. Some of these titles you might have already seen here because they've made the list for my 2017 Reading Challenge which I share, as well.

91k5yUp1X7LEchoes in Death by J.D. Robb. It's curious that I am not a Nora Roberts fan at all but Nora Roberts' pseudonym, J.D. Robb, the author of my all-time favorite series with Echoes, her #44 title in the series does not disappoint. Robb has superbly grown her main character, Eve Dallas, the sharp but very smart-aleck female Lieutenant of the NYCPD in the year 2062, along with her billionaire husband,her trusted female detective partner, and a host of growing favorite characters over the course of this series. Readers are not given an endgame to the series, but fans of the In Death series would be disappointed should the series end anytime soon. The ease with which I settle into reading this book is like an old pair of well-worn gloves, the book(s) and I fit perfectly, together. 16/100 


718Y9ftcIhLThe Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva. Number ten in the Gabriel Allon series, the renowned art restorer and even-more-renowned Israeli spy on the side, sets out to reclaim a stolen Rembrandt and gets caught up in another save-the-world intelligence operation pitting the evil against the...good (but slightly bad because they have to be if they want to save lives and restore what went wrong). I continue to enjoy this series, immensely, as I have already pull the next one, Portrait of a Spy, off the shelf. 17/100





51KtrZbp0iLWomen of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both our Hearts and our Minds by Jen Wilkin. Phenomenal! If you are new to studying scripture or even if you have some time under your belt this book is totally, completely applicable and worth your time. Jen is cut and dry, no holds barred, and gives the goods on how to study the Bible. You'll be glad you read this little 152-page book. Now, go study the Word! 18/100




51nnz1HL7+LThe Forgotten by David Baldacci. This is the second in the John Puller series. I didn't like it as much as the first one, not in the least. It felt somewhat disjointed, disheveled and I found myself saying "Huh?", "I'm totally confused!", or "Move on, already." The last 1/3 of the book was redeemed but it was a struggle to get there. That being said...I like the character John Puller and really am looking forward to reading another in the series. 19/100





41vf-iaOjlLNone Like Him by Jen Wilken. Know God, knowing who God is matters, and changes the way I see myself, and know how God is different from me is imperative to finding out who I am in Him - and how to be a God-fearing woman. One thing I love about Jen's writing is she does not conform to the patterns of the world as I see many Christian authors doing. She speaks God's truth. 20/100




For the digital scrapbooking layout: I used a 12 x 12 digital template by Cathy Zielske, modifying it by enlarging the 3x4 boxes to cover the entire page; pieces of a Little Lamm Co. digital kit and from Ali Edwards Design Story kit READ chipboard/word art.

Stories 2017 | Bond No. 2


I'm sharing another two-page, 6 x 8 each, spread made using Ali Edwards Design digital Story kit BOND, her AE February kit, and some papers from One Little Bird Designs. I haven't decided if I like the total package, the two-pages together, but I love them individually, the left and the right. Thinking about it now, I could easily tell two stories: leave the right side as is and add journaling on the left side, one story on each - I may still do that and see how it goes -

but for now I love these two, and their bond. 


Okay. I'm so excited! 

I learned a new-to-me digital technique. See that 'so much love' element centered near the top of the page. I used an Ali Edwards digital brush then I created the cork texture in Photoshop Elements using a PSE tutorial I found on line. I saved the 'cork' as a .png file to my digital files so I can re-use the cork whenever I want to add cork texture to a digital element. 

Seriously stoked!


Definitely need to re-type the journaling - it's confusing even to me - although it is the gist of what I wanted to say. I love this page on it's own, too. Again, just not sure about the pages together. They'll lay separate in the album so I think they'll be okay.

That journal card is from Ali Edwards February digital kit. I did change the colors of the stripes some. I can see using this card again and again - just changing the colors. It's a versatile card, and lots of space for journaling.

I also realized I haven't dated anything. Yuk! I'm surely gonna' have to do some fixing...

Aside from all my mistakes - I'm smiling from ear to ear just thinking about these to. And, giddy beyond words for Ashley, Brad, and the kids soon to be only 2 1/2 hours drive (instead of half way across the country) from me.

2017 Reading Challenge | read three books by the same author


For this challenge from Modern Mrs Darcy's 2017 Reading Challenge I completed read three books by the same author.

I assumed for this challenge I would read three of Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series as I've been reading this series regularly, picking one up every couple of weeks, at least. Since I only have five left of the current selections I'm sure I will read three this year, but my first three books by the same author came from David Baldacci, the popular author, who I've only recently found, and enjoy.


These are three books from three different series', Amos Decker, John Puller, and the Will Robie series'. The Amos Decker character, by Baldacci, is a fairly new series and it, and he - the character - is phenomenal. He is a former football player who took a hard hit in the head, woke up with a condition whereby he doesn't forget anything, became a police officer, had his wife and child murdered, left the police force because he lost it after the death of his family and entered into psuedo private investigation which has led him to being used by the FBI for special investigations.

Of the three series this one is my favorite.

I do like the John Puller series, an active duty Army Criminal Investigator, special division. The first in the series was good. In fact it was gripping, but the second one was just confusing, but okay, hopefully he'll redeem himself in the third, which I think is out on hardback so I'll be waiting on that one.

The Will Robie series...not sure yet if I like the character. He's an assassin for a governmental organization who goes off the grid, to help a teenage girl, and solve a mystery. He's a redeemable character, not at all someone I don't like, but I just haven't fallen for - yet. 

I think Baldacci has written enough books that I'll find plenty to enjoy in the future. 

Only 15 more books to go in this reading challenge. But, as I've only read 20 books thus far this year, I have 80 more books in my 100 New Books in 2017 challenge.

52 Weeks of Giving | 12


It's a joke between Jeff and I whenever we go shopping together. He'll put a jar of peanut butter, at least one, sometimes two depending on the price, in the shopping cart. It began with "we're out of peanut butter." Well, of course, we need to add a jar to the buggy. But, then the next week - another jar into the cart.

"Are we already out of peanut butter?"

"No, I'm stocking up."

Simply stated. No big deal.

No problem. Works for me.

Then, the next week...another jar into the cart.

And, another.

And, another.

Pretty soon, I'd roll my eyes as we (I'd) pass by the peanut butter because Jeff would stop and grab a jar.

I turn and look at him.

"Stocking up."

We were filling the cabinet up with jars of peanut butter.

But, the story didn't really start there.

It started in 1991.

I told my mom and dad I had an assignment to Korea. I asked them if they would take care of my girls for the year I would be serving overseas. "Of course," they said, without hesitation.

Dad began buying peanut butter. For the girls, he said. For peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he said.

And, he bought peanut butter.

And, more peanut butter.

Sure. He bought jelly too. But, it was peanut butter that filled the cabinet stock full.

When I dropped them off on my way out of town, out of the country, Dad showed me the cabinets of food he'd been stocking up on for the girls.

It's a story shared often.

Always brings back memories.

Always makes me smile.

The other day at church a lady stopped at the children's ministry administration desk where I serve each week and somehow the conversation was centered around the Lighthouse ministry where she serves every week. I asked her, point blank, "what do you need most?"

Without hesitation, "Peanut butter and jelly."

I had to smile.

The next time I was at the commissary doing my own grocery shopping I did a bit of peanut butter shopping for the Lighthouse. Sure, I bought jelly too.

52 Gratitudes 2017 | 9


Amidst much to be grateful for there is this.

Jeff has progressed brilliantly. The healing of his foot after surgery has been long but successful as he moves out of the walking boot into his steel-toed work boots, and they fit - and seem to be keeping the swelling minimal throughout the day at work - as he heads back out into the field to job sites. And out of the office. But, that office work - we were giving thanks for it all on its own. While Jeff had enough leave and sick days to cover most of his time off, the office work and about a week of compensation days we weren't expecting to be gifted was amazing!

We fill truly blessed by the job Jeff currently has, the boss Jeff has, and the company he works. Thank you Lord for these your blessings.

Friday, with a cup of coffee | 22


Photo Source

It's Friday, with a cup of coffee, because coffee. Delight. Peace. All is well with the world. Coffee. And these links...mostly for me, so I can find that joy again I once found before around the world wide web, but also to share. Sending a smile.

Oh man, this piece from a missionary Jeff and I recently began supporting. Oh man! God is on the move!

Have you begun learning a language yet. Duolingo is the bomb! I'm having a blast. I am a slow, repetitive learner, so I'm doing a ton of reviewing before I'm calling it good and moving on to the next level.

It is Lenten season. 40 Days of Lent. Often a time of fasting and prayer, of giving up and sacrifice. I will be participating in an online gathering in an In-depth Study of the Book of John with His Mercy Is New. But, I'm sure I'll also follow along with She Reads Truth for their study of Isaiah. My intention is not to give up but give in. Decrease. Place myself before the throne of God, before the Word of God, study - listen.

Or, maybe I'll simply make room for Love.

As a scrapbooker I'm all for more, and more ways to document our lives. Katie the Scrapbook Lady has a list of 52 lists of 52 ways to tell stories, list things, document life. I'm taking my time going through these and jotting down ideas to record my own lists, my own stories.

The other day women in America marched on International Women's Day. They marched against. Against those who made them feel less. Marginalized them.  Me, I showed up for work, I showed up for my husband, I showed up for my kids, I showed up for my friend - another woman. I didn't abandon all that God is doing in me to march against all that I am in Christ. This is a great piece about how God really feels about women. Our worth is in Him.

one thousand gifts

A1176e830fadc500e77046d30ff8e7d90191. the book Sacred Marriage for sound marital advice.

0192. gorgeous, crystal blue skies, and chilly mornings

0193. another book to read in a favorite book series

0194. oodles of scrapbooking inspiration

0195. weekly discipline of giving

0196. better days after really good nights sleep

0197. another opportunity to serve

0198. a tentative diagnosis that isn't life threatening and the relief experienced from just knowing

0199. walking without a medical walking boot and back in a steel-toed working boot

0200. the practice, the devotion, the heart-change of the Lent season

0201. the gift of the God of No Limits. an Infinite God.

0202. the gift of the God of Infinite Mystery. an Incomprehensible God

0203. the gift of the God of Infinite Creativity. a self-existent God. a Creative God. the author of all creativity.

0204. the gift of the God of Infinite Provision. a self-sufficient God. This is truly a gift because we are so needy.

0205. the gift of the God Eternal. a God of infinite days.

0206. the gift of the God of Infinite Sameness. an Immutable God. He is the same yesterday, today, and all my tomorrows.

0207. the gift of the God of Infinite Place. an Omnipresent God

0208. the gift of the God who knows, the God of infinite knowledge. an Omniscient God.

0209. the gift of the God who is all-powerful; who is infinite power; who is Omnipotent.

0210. the gift of the God of Infinite Rule. my Sovereign God.

Project Life 2017 | Week 9


I'm keeping on and keeping up with Project Life 2017. I'm finding a groove.

A couple things this week I noticed: 1) I took notes through the week of conversations, or something that happened, 2) I saved photos Jeff sends me (texts me) and I used those photos, too!

In putting together the 2-page spread I 1) used a digital kit for the journal cards with additional digital brushes from my stash. The kit lends cohesion and repetition to my pages from left to right all the journal cards flow, are cohesive (because they are designed to 'go-together'), and the colors repeat.


and 2) I told stories. I filled the journal cards and the photos with the story. I kept the text cohesive - using Tahoma - a favorite, go-to font (I have several that I vary using, Tahoma font, and Type Right are favorites right now)


On Monday I had the two top photo spots to fill of this weeks pages. Then I watched Ali Edwards' lesson three of her Storytelling with Project Life and I was totally inspired! As soon as I had the chance I put the last two photos together with their accompanying 'journal' and my two-page Week 9 of Project Life 2017 was done!

52 Weeks of Giving | 11


A friend of mine is a Thirty One representative and she is putting together these bins, stuffing them with women/mother stuff to give them to the refugee ladies in our city. There are a bountiful of refugee families who have connected with one of the local ministries our church supports, so people who support them in some way also want to support who they are reaching. It's all about showing love, showing Jesus, being a light.

Can I say? I am loving this project.

52 Gratitudes 2017 | 8


I am grateful for the words spoken through books, such as Sacred Marriage, which I've been slowly reading, carefully reading, savoring...that slap me in the face and tell me in no uncertain terms to offer an olive branch, to say I'm sorry please forgive me, even when I don't want to be humble but to humble myself anyways, to explain my wrong doing, and I am grateful for the forgiveness extended for the forgiveness received even when I don't deserve it.

We blow it way to many times. One would think that with time, harsh words, discontentment, unnecessary heartache would become few and far between - with time. But, we love so good that we sometimes fight so bad. And with time, thankfully, asking for forgiveness comes quicker.