Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Messenger


I signed up with Bethany House Publishers to receive free books in exchange for reviewing them on Amazon and on my personal website. This review is for the book The Messenger by Siri Mitchell.

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I am generally not fond of first person stories, but I have read several of Siri Mitchell's books and have liked most of them. This book was first person and went back and forth between the main two characters. It was helpful that at the beginning of each chapter it stated either "Hannah" or "Jeremiah" so I didn't get confused as to whose point of view I was reading (This was a problem for me in one of the author's previous books, so it was nice that it was clear in this one).

This book was enjoyable, and I liked the historical elements of the story. I found it a little hard to get into and never found the plot to be riveting. It was really hard for me to relate to the "Friends" stance not to get involved in anything, including stopping a rape or letting a son rot in jail without trying to visit or help him. It is unfathomable to me to not help if a person can, and I liked that Hannah felt compelled to do something. I didn't really feel like I got to know the characters, and it would have been nice to feel a little more what they might have been feeling. Overall, though, it was a nice read.

This book was provided to me by Bethany House to review. The thoughts about the book are my own.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pirate Party

I helped my friend, Cathi, with this Pirate Party.

This ship was our favorite decoration. We found a picture of a pirate ship and projected it onto black felt on the wall. We cut it out and attached it to purple curtains. I made the "Pirates Beware" sign on cardboard and used a yard stake to make it stand up.

We had face paint, bandanas and eye patches available as guests entered.


Each child got to choose a craft--either a treasure chest or a sword. These were ordered from Oriental Trading Company.

We used navy blue sheets for the table cloths, a decorative fish net, and royal blue organza chair sashes (from www.tableclothfactory.com) under the ships. The solar lantern was from Target. The ships were from a Pilgrim place setting pattern in a Thanksgiving edition of a 2011 magazine... Family Fun maybe? We enlarged the pattern to make the ship out of a 12 x 12 brown page. We used plain white paper for the sails and printed a skull pattern on the top one. We used a bamboo skewer for the mast.

These jars were from Frappucino drinks. Twine is wrapped around them and we printed skulls on red paper for guests to write their names on.

Each of the kids got a balloon sword.

We did a cannon ball war, so the guests were separated into two teams and each had to make their own boat.

Each team got a bag of chocolate marshmellows to use as cannon balls and the goal was to throw them into the other team's boat. The one with the least marshmellows in their boat when the timer went off won. We set the timer for 5 minutes, but it was a bit long. I'd recommend 3 or 4 minutes.

I didn't get a picture of the final skeleton. We added a red sash, eye patch, and sword. He looked really cool hanging from a tree at the entrance to the party. This is a milk jug skeleton. It took me forever and was a real pain. I was planning to make two, but I'm not ever going to make another one! Lol. It took several hours to cut out the pieces and put them together. I used 7 milk jugs. The directions can be found here.