Friday, October 29, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook - Entry 2

I thought I'd post another The Simple Woman's Daybook entry today to mark the beginning of Sabbath.

Outside my window... the light is quickly fading. Cars drive by on our newly paved road.

I am thinking... how nice it is that my hubby doesn't have to worry about work for another 24 hours.

I am thankful for... the Sabbath. We're going to try to make it to church tomorrow, provided we don't sleep through it! This has been a terrible week for sleep.

From the kitchen... a new pumpkin bread recipe is baking in the oven. Freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg smells really good!

I am wearing... workout clothes from a walk we took earlier this afternoon.

I am creating... a peaceful atmosphere in our home with a clean house, nice music, and pumpkin bread in the oven.

I am going... to make dinner shortly.

I am reading... nothing at the moment. I just finished a book and haven't decided what I'm going to start next.

I am hoping... that Sabbath will be restful.

I am hearing... "Let My Words be Few" by Phillips, Craig, and Dean.

Around the house... is clean and relaxed.

One of my favorite things... knowing we're going to have a nice treat for dessert.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Church tomorrow and a day of relaxation. Nothing specific, though.

A picture thought

Today's sunset wasn't quite this pretty, but this is the view from our patio window. I love enjoying the sunsets!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cleaning out the closet

Thursdays are my day for working on our bedroom and the bathroom where the cat boxes are located. The basic cleaning didn't take very long so I decided to tackle my clothes. Earlier this spring, I donated a pretty big pile of clothes but I knew I still had more that I never wear. Recent posts by Lara and Karen inspired me to be brutally honest and get rid of what I don't need.

These pictures aren't very good as I couldn't back away from the closet far enough to get the right angle. Sorry about that! I tried my best. Here's what the closet looked like if you're looking toward the side.

And a Before photo looking straight into my half of the closet.

All the hanging clothes piled on the bed, waiting for me to try them all on and see what still fits. The bucket at the end of the bed contained all the winter clothes I packed away earlier this year.

The After photo looking down the closet. Doesn't look too different.

Looking into the closet. I got rid of a lot of the clothes that were piled up on the shelf. All that's left are my workout clothes and a couple pairs of pajamas.

My giveaway pile, plus there were two pairs of shoes on the floor.

All in all, I purged 28 items of clothing from my closet and 2 pairs of shoes. Most of the clothes are now too big for me. A couple of the sweaters are still too small, but they don't meet my current standards of modesty. The sneakers are really cute but they are incredibly uncomfortable and I never wear them. Why hold on to clothes and shoes that I don't wear?

So far this year, I have eliminated 169 pieces of clothing and 11 pairs of shoes from our closets. How in the world did I end up with so much and yet I still felt like I had so little to wear? Most of the clothes either didn't fit right or I didn't like them but it's hard to get rid of things that you've paid money for. In the future, I need to be more careful that I only buy what I need and what I will actually use on a regular basis.

It feels really good now that all of my clothing fits into one closet!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Last week, Lady Rose tagged me to answer a set of questions. I've been putting off answering the questions because I had to write a poem! I haven't written in poetry in years. But today I finally came up with a little ditty.

1. If you could live in any place, where would it be? Why would you live there?
Japan! Actually, it doesn't have to be Japan, but I want to live somewhere outside of the US for a few years. I want to experience another culture, another language, and get to know people who have experienced a life completely different than mine.

2. Make a list of the five favorite activities that you like to do.
Reading my Bible, reading in general, playing with my cat, blogging, and cooking.

3. What is your most challenging household chore? Briefly explain why it is challenging for you.
Cleaning the bathroom. It's not difficult, but I find it a distasteful task. When I stay on top of my housework, it's easier. But it's still not a fun job!

4. What was the happiest day of your life (and you can't say the day you got married or engaged. Choose another day.)?
I really don't know. I would say today because God has given me another day of life and I've spent the day at home with my hubby. He was working the entire day and will be completing a project tonight as well, but we are blessed to have a job!

5. What annoys or irritates you the most (besides getting "tagged" :).
Close-mindedness. I try to be open to ideas that are different than my own and it annoys me that some people won't give me the same consideration.

6. Where do you like to "hide" when you're having a rough day?
On the couch with a good book.

7. Write a six line poem of rhyming couplets. Now tell us, was this a hard or an easy task for you and why (You know I write poetry, so you had to know this was coming :)?

Kitty jumps upon my desk
Tries to squeeze around the mess

He wants to know
When my cleaning will show

He throws a fit
And asks where he'll sit

8. What is your all-time favorite movie?
The six hour long BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice!

Tagging - I'm supposed to come up with a set of my own questions and tag someone. I'm really not sure who to tag, so if you're interested in playing, let me know! Here are your questions:

1. Who is your favorite Biblical figure and why?
2. If you drink coffee, what is your favorite drink?
3. What is your favorite book?
4. What is your favorite "comfort" meal?
5. Share your favorite Bible text and why it speaks to you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's On My Nightstand - November

What's On Your Nightstand I can't believe it's already time for the Nightstand post! I didn't even read everything on last month's list because I kept getting distracted by other books. Such is the life of a library addict...

For 2011, I've decided to skip reading challenges (we'll see how long that plan lasts). Instead, I'm going to read a book from each of several genres every month. I haven't decided which genres, but it will definitely include memoir, history, and Christian nonfiction. I am going to test out that idea this month and see how it goes.

Christian Nonfiction
The Surrendered Wife, by Laura Doyle

The Singular Mark Twain, by Fred Kaplan

Fiction - both of these are to fulfill challenges for 2010
Sense & Sensibility, by Jane Austen
A Blue and Gray Christmas, by Joan Medlicott

And of course I am going to continue The History of the Ancient World until it is due back at the library.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday is another resource I've seen around the internet but have never taken advantage of. I realized last week that posting my menu online would keep me from losing my menu somewhere in the mess that is my desk. Of course, solving the menu issue isn't an excuse to not organize my desk!

So, here is my menu for this week -

Tonight - Homemade stir fry with broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, tofu, and sweet & sour sauce
Tuesday - Subs with cucumber hummus (hummus is a new recipe)
Wednesday - Tamale pie
Thursday - Orange Style Tofu
Friday - Tofu & Pineapple Thai Yellow Curry (new recipe)
Sabbath - Spaghetti

What's on your menu?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursdays - Master Bedroom/Bathroom

Yesterday was not nearly as productive as I had hoped. I allowed myself to not feel guilty about it as it was my birthday. I'm 28 already! I think I finally feel my age. I've always felt older than my actual age. I spent a good portion of yesterday trying not to be upset that I'm 28 and childless, but I didn't mind getting older. After all, 28 is just a number!

I don't know why I did this, but I scheduled a visit to the optometrist on my birthday. My last eye exam was in 2006 so I was overdue for new glasses. She dilated my eyes and they also took photographs of the inside of each eyeball. Very cool! My eyeballs are healthy, though my vision is worse. Yay.

After the doctor's visit, hubby took me to Chipotle. I had to stay in the car while he picked up the food, as the lights were bothering my dilated eyes. Then we came home and watched The Reading Room. I didn't realize it was a Hallmark film, but it was quite good! After that, my eyes were really tired. It might not have been a good idea to watch a movie right after doing an intensive eye exam, but I sat far away from the screen so that I could actually focus on it. Reading anything up close was impossible. It's very weird to lose your ability to focus on something within a foot of your face!

Today was much better for productivity. I forced myself off the computer, set the timer for an hour, and got to work. After lunch, I did another hour long session. I was able to wash the dishes, sweep the kitchen, vacuum the apartment, tidy the living room, make the bed, wash two loads of clothes, hang up one of those loads to dry, clean the cat boxes, sweep the master bathroom, wash off the counters, and scrub the master bathroom's toilet. Whew!

Then I sat down this afternoon and studied Japanese for an hour. I'm going to implement another aspect of study. I was thinking this morning that studying Japanese is good. However, I need to start trying to read primary material. At first I thought I would try reading the Bible in Japanese. Unfortunately, that is way over my skill level. Next time we go to the library, I will check out some children's books in Japanese. I think 3 sessions each week, 15 minutes each session, tacked onto my normal study time will be very beneficial.

My quiche is almost ready to pull out of the oven and then we'll be finishing up this week's episode of The Biggest Loser. I hope everyone else is having a great evening!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesdays - Living Room

Tuesdays are my day to work on the living room/dining room. Our dining room is actually just an extension of our living room. The "dining room" contains my desk (in all of its messiness) and our kitchen table, which is my husband's laptop desk. Sometimes I'll ask him to move so I can sew there or we will play games on that table, but most of the time it's covered in paperwork and a laptop.

Our living room has the game shelf, my husband's main desk with his desktop computer, our printer stand, sofa, and two end tables. That's it. We still live like college students and probably will for a couple more years.

Today I completed all the basic cleaning - the bar between the kitchen and dining room, dusted, vacuumed, and picked up. I was supposed to work on my desk for an hour but I got really shaky this afternoon and couldn't do anything for awhile. So my desk remains messy until next week or until I finish a room early and have extra time.

Tomorrow I'll be working on the spare bedroom. I've posted pictures of that room before, both clean and messy. Right now it's messy because I pulled out everything that had been stored in the closet. The spare bedroom is our "storage" room and we really need to get rid of everything we don't use. I can't wait until we can move into a smaller apartment because we don't need the extra storage.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday - Kitchen

I used to have a pretty decent housecleaning schedule. For some reason, I can't find the paper copy and I never typed it out on the computer. I guess I'll have to recreate it!

Mondays are Kitchen days. I still need to work out which tasks are weekly vs. monthly, but I started deep cleaning the kitchen this morning. I pulled everything out of the cupboards on one side of the kitchen, consolidated spices and bags of flour, threw away the outdated items, and wiped down the shelves and cupboard doors. That side of the kitchen looks really good now! Next Monday I will tackle the other side of the kitchen.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I'm going to designate as Dining/Living room day. Our game shelves and my husband's desk are still pristine, which he is extremely happy about. My desk, on the other hand, is a huge mess. My main project tomorrow is going to be getting rid of all the clutter on my desk, throwing things out as necessary, filing the rest of the paperwork, and stacking the books neatly. I will also dust, vacuum, and clean the patio doors.

Hubby is at a client site right now, so I'm going to relax on the couch and try to finish The Well-Trained Mind. I'm really enjoying the book but I am ready to move on to something else! If I can get hubby's computer to work properly, I'll play a classical cd while reading. If not, I guess I'll have to use my laptop to play something.

Hopefully hubby's work goes quickly so we're not eating a late dinner. If it's late, oh well! Sub sandwiches are great at any hour.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Least Among You - A Movie Review

When I finished writing my last book review for Booksneeze, I immediately looked for the next book available. To my surprise, I found that Booksneeze was offering a movie for review! How fun.

From Amazon's product description: Leaders are not chosen, they are called. Inspired by a true story. Richard Kelly (Cedric Sanders) is a black college graduate forced to serve probation at an all-white seminary after the 1965 Watts riots. Richard is encouraged by the seminary president, Alan Beckett, to break the color line. Richard nears his breaking point when he meets Samuel (Louis Gossett, Jr.), an elderly janitor who lives in the basement of his dormitory. As Samuel guides Richard through the trials of racism and the personal life that haunts him, Richard undergoes a transformation that forces him to choose between his dreams and his destiny.

A historical film, dealing with social issues, and based on a true story? Sounds like my kind of movie!

I asked my husband to watch the movie with me so that I could hear his opinion to help me construct my review. Unfortunately, neither of us cared for the movie. While I believe it had a good social theme (treating people with kindness regardless of their skin color) and a good spiritual theme (forgiveness and making the right decisions even in the face of difficulty), we thought the movie was poorly done.

Main issues - mediocre acting, underdeveloped characters, poor lighting, choppy scenes. Mr. Kelly decides that to orchestrate change, he is going to draft an amendment for the school by-laws with the required number of student and faculty signatures. What is the amendment about? Good question. It's not very clear what Mr. Kelly was petitioning for, only that it was something about increasing the enrollment of black students and faculty.

Toward the end of the movie, Mr. Kelly undergoes a very confusing conversion scene. Immediately after, his fellow students change from hating him enough to burn a cross in Mr. Kelly's room to wanting to support Mr. Kelly's petition. Why? Why the sudden change?

My biggest complaint about this movie is that The Dove Foundation printed their seal of approval on the cover of this DVD, certifying it as "Family Approved." I would not show this movie to any child under the age of 16, if even then. The movie is rated PG-13 for "some violence, thematic elements, and brief drug material." They forgot about the main character taking the Lord's name in vain, frequent smoking and alcohol use among school faculty, a scene showing a parent physically beating their child, and a girl's dress being ripped off.

Hopefully the true events this movie was "inspired by" were more inspirational.

Disclaimer - I did receive a free copy of this movie from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Day 1

I've seen The Simple Woman's Daybook in a number of blogs but had never actually thought about participating. This week I thought I'd join in the fun.

Outside my window... a beautiful Arizona sunset.

I am thinking... that Sabbath is almost here!

I am thankful for... Sabbath. I love the opportunity to spend an entire day with God without worrying about the daily stresses.

From the kitchen... We are having sub sandwiches tonight with tons of fresh veggies, followed by leftovers from yesterday's homemade pumpkin pie.

I am wearing... A green skirt and a purple top. Yes, I know I don't match. Our AC is still broken so I'm wearing t-shirts instead of my normal attire.

I am creating... Nothing at the moment.

I am going... To have sundown worship after finishing this blog post.

I am reading... The Well Trained Mind. Hopefully I'll have it finished up this weekend so I can start something new!

I am hoping... That my kitty will stay healthy.

I am hearing... My husband play his DDR game.

Around the house... It is peaceful after the organizing I tackled yesterday.

One of my favorite things... Friends!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Tomorrow is the Sabbath so we'll be going to church and relaxing with God. I'll be reading a Christian book tomorrow afternoon, but I have not yet picked out which one.

Usually the daybook also includes a picture for thought, but I have no pictures to post right now.

I hope everyone has a restful time with the Lord this weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My husband

Please forgive me for gushing about my husband for a moment. See, today is his 32nd birthday. It is also our 5th anniversary. It was not intentional that we were married on hubby's birthday but I had taken a vacation day to surprise him and we ended up eloping.

I am so grateful to God for placing such a wonderful man in my life! My husband balances me. Where I am rash, he is thoughtful in making decisions. His laid back ways are perfect for countering my go-go-go attitude. We don't always see eye to eye on decisions, but we're a good match.

I love how my husband is thoughtful, kind, loving, sincere, and level headed. He loves me even when I don't like myself. I am so blessed!

This year I'm doing acts of service for his birthday gifts. Hubby is working tonight and we're not sure what time he will be done. I promised him I'd stay up and have dinner ready for him when his work is finished. He had a hard time picking an entree for his birthday dinner but he was very quick to request pumpkin pie for dessert! I have a homemade one baking as I type this.

When trying to decide what I was going to surprise him with as a gift, I thought of his desk. The poor man puts up with my clutter. Somehow, tons of my paperwork, notes, and various other items had drifted over to his desk. I thought it would be a nice surprise to clean up our game shelf, remove the games we never play, move the movies to the newly open space, and dust his desk. It's so cluttered (with my junk!) that it's gotten pretty dusty.

I'm a sucker for Before and After pictures so I took some. This first photo is of our game shelf and I was half way done cleaning the middle shelf before I remembered that I wanted photos for my blog post. Oops!

(Hopefully hubby isn't embarrassed by me posting photos of his desk, but the mess is mostly mine!)

We sold the tiny bookshelf we used for storing movies and video games so they all ended up piled on the back of hubby's desk.

And here is the front view of hubby's desk. Now that I can see the After, I can't believe he was willing to put up with it! But he didn't complain, other than to occasionally offhandedly mention that his desk was getting kind of bad.

And here is the After photo of our game and video shelves. The top shelf isn't really organized yet but I wasn't sure how much time I would have before hubby came home. I'll get to it eventually.

Here's the back of hubby's desk now that almost all of the videos are moved. He likes using a boxed set of DVDs to keep the speakers taller than the monitors.

Lastly, the front of hubby's desk. SO much better!

Hopefully he likes it!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Masquerade - A Book Review

I've put off reviewing Masquerade by Nancy Moser. I wanted to like it. I like other books by the same author (Just Jane and How Do I Love Thee?). I think Moser's books that are based on a real historical figure are better than those that are completely fiction.

When Lottie is told that she must marry an American whom she has never met in order to salvage what is left of her family’s reputation in Wiltshire, England, she sees all of her dreams of storybook love and romance crumble. Until she devises a plan. Heiress Lottie trades places with her longtime maid, Dora, and together they attempt to pull off the switch of a lifetime (from Amazon's description).

Maybe it's that I'm getting really tired of Christian historical fiction. The historical details and settings will vary from book to book, though almost everything I've read takes place in either Europe or North America and from around 1700 through 1900. Masquerade takes place in England and New York City in the year 1886.

However, the plot tends to be the same: Christian girl (who is always good looking) has weak faith. Girl meets boy (who is always good looking). She encounters difficulties in her life. She has a shallow, fairly unrealistic conversion scene. Troubles are solved. Boy and girl get together. I know that there are a only a few basic plots. But authors need to do something to break out of sameness!

The characters in this book were annoying. The only character I liked was Dora, the maid who pretends to be a lady in society. And my opinion of her dropped toward the end of the story when I saw how the romance aspect was going to be resolved.

Thank you to Bethany House for allowing me to read this book through the blogging program. Sorry, but I thought it was only a mediocre and forgettable read.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday... again.

I can't believe it's Monday. I was right that I was going to be "off" a day this week. I kept thinking it was Tuesday!

Today I once again attempted my hour of forced productivity. I shut down the computer, set the kitchen timer for an hour, and worked. It was nice! I cleaned the kitchen again (no dirty dishes!), vacuumed, cleaned out the vacuum cleaner, washed a load of laundry, folded clothes, cleaned off the bar counter, filed some paperwork, and started organizing my recipe book.

Remember this lovely binder I found for creating a recipe book? That blog post is from June. My recipes are in that binder, but they are not organized. I don't use the book much for that exact reason. Today I decided it was time to change that.

I spent a full hour today trying to find the correct template for these tabs and then trying to figure out how to get them to print so that the labels would display on both sides. But they're so pretty! I ran out of time to actually start sorting the recipes, but it's a good start. I have tabs for This Week's Recipes, Breads, Breakfast, Desserts, Entrees, and Salads. I'm not sure those will be the final labels, but I'll change things around as I figure out what works best.

Tomorrow's project - Sort through all of the recipes currently in my binder and toss the ones we don't like or no longer eat. Put the remaining recipes behind the correct tab. Eventually I'll get them all typed out in OneNote so that they are consistent from one recipe to the next instead of printed from various websites.

It's amazing how much I can accomplish once I kick myself off the internet.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monday... on Sunday!

Today really felt like Monday. Our air conditioning died yesterday so hubby spent a couple hours this morning at the mechanics' trying to figure out what is wrong. They needed to dig deeper into the electrical system and hubby had to be at a client's office at 11:30, so we're taking the car in on Tuesday. Hubby spent the rest of the day at a client's office and is just now on his way home.

As for me, I spent a good portion of the day being productive. I closed my laptop and forced myself to work. Nice change! The laptop being closed actually keeps me productive because I know it's off limits until my break. If the laptop is open and I'm connected to the internet, I will sit down for "just one thing."

Instead, I ran a couple loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out the cat boxes, and made this season's first pumpkin pie! I'm really excited to taste the pie tonight as the recipe called for freshly grated nutmeg. I actually found a whole nutmeg at the health food store and grated it myself. I've never done that before! The fresh spices smelled really good.

With our vacation a few weeks ago, I threw myself off on the habits I was working on. I'm going to start over. As I'm familiar with these habits and just need to get back into the routine, I'm going to work on all three this week. Hopefully that goes well!

Habit #1 - All dishes washed, every day. (Day 1 - check! I'm so happy that the kitchen is clean, even after making a huge mess with the pumpkin pie. I spilled cornstarch all over the counter!)
Habit #2 - Both cat boxes cleaned every day. (I'm switching this habit from the morning to anytime in the day. I found myself more likely to get it done every day if I didn't have to force myself to do it first thing in the morning.)
Habit #3 - Daily flossing. (Dentist appointment next month!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I started reading a book titled Where There is Love, There is God. This is a compilation of Mother Theresa's writings about God, love, prayer, faith, and other aspects of our relationship with God and with people.

One excerpt from Mother Theresa's writings really struck me.

"If our life is without prayer, it is like a house without a foundation. The other day I saw a ten storey building, beautiful, completely finished, but they had to break it down because the foundation was only for a one storey building, and they were forced to break it down - and the whole thing was completely painted and everything - but they had to break it down. Our life of prayer... let it be the foundation, the beginning. But then that life of complete surrender and loving trust, these are stories to help us climb closer, closer. And as we come, first thing: that pure heart, and that real union, that complete attachment to Christ, If that is not there, it is like building a ten storey building on a foundation made for only a one storey - and then what happens? It breaks" (pg. 17).

She also said:

"To pray we need a pure heart. Prayer is to be united to God. Why was Mary chosen? Because her heart was clean and prayer will always give us a clean heart. Often during the day, feel the need to pray - when you are washing, studying, that union with Jesus. The more you pray, the more you will love to pray" (pg. 17).

Reading these quotes came right after reading Missie's post about prayer. Missie is challenging people to set a reminder to pray on the hour, every hour.

Is God trying to tell me something? I think He's telling me that we need to spend some more time together.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Japanese studies

I studied Japanese for over an hour today. It's hard for me to focus at first because I have to access the internet for my study materials but I get distracted easily. "Let me check my email real quick." "Oh, yeah. I forgot I was going to check this forum."

Once I focused on my studying, I couldn't stop. I listened to a podcast that covered basic compass directions (north, south, east, west). Then I read a lesson about how to conjugate verbs. It's very different than English. Then I learned how to say "I plan to do something."

I'm having a lot of fun! If you are studying another language, I have to recommend lang-8. This website allows you to post journal entries in the language you are learning. Native speakers will correct your grammar, word usage, etc. Then you return the favor by correcting others' entries in English. Best of all, it's free!

Tomorrow I plan to practice "I plan" and also get started learning the negative conjugations of dictionary form verbs. It sounds complicated!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blessings in the rain

We had a huge storm today! It was beautiful. I know storms like this cause damage but they are also awe-inspiring in a beautiful way. It's been awhile since I've seen a storm of this size move through the area. It was worse than the storm that took out our tree.

For awhile, the storm was mostly thunder and rain. Huge amounts of rain! Then we started getting hail. This video shows a bit of the hail that blew onto our patio.

As quickly as the storm started, it stopped. The clouds shifted and the blue sky was revealed. I thought that was the end of the rain.

An hour later, we had a repeat of the first video! It was intense and I loved it. I turned off the air conditioning and threw open all the doors. The smell of the rain and the sounds of the thunder booming are some of my favorite things in the world.

This was my first attempt at shooting a video specifically for Youtube and my blog. I might try it again sometime.

Friday, October 1, 2010

2010 Reading Challenges - 3rd quarter update

I meant to post this yesterday, but I didn't finish updating the list soon enough. I'm doing well on some challenges and have even completed a couple. I'm also right on track to read 100 books in 2010.

Unfortunately, there are several challenges I am failing miserably on. It is more difficult than I thought to come up with titles that have colors in them! If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very thankful!

Christian Historical Fiction Challenge - COMPLETE!

1. Distant Dreams (Ribbons of Steel, Book #1) - Pella, Judith
2. The Outsider: A Novel - Gabhart, Ann H.
3. Bachelors Puzzle - Pella, Judith
4. Sister's Choice - Pella, Judith
5. How Do I Love Thee? (Ladies of History, book #4) - Moser, Nancy
6. Just Jane (Ladies of History Series #2) - Moser, Nancy
7. Eighth Shepherd (A. D. Chronicles #8) - Thoene, Bodie
8. Her Mother's Hope (Marta's Legacy, #1) - Rivers, Francine
9. Michal - Smith, Jill Eileen
10. The Apothecary's Daughter - Klassen, Julie
11. Lady of Milkweed Manor - Klassen, Julie
12. The Inheritance - Alexander, Tamera
13. A Lady Like Sarah (A Rocky Creek Romance, #1) - Brownley, Margaret
14. The Hope of Refuge: A Novel (An Ada's House Novel, Book #1) - Woodsmall, Cindy
15. A Bride Most Begrudging - Gist, Deeanne
16. A Bride in the Bargain - Gist, Deeanne
17. Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen - Edghill, India
18. The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith Series #1) - Bunn, Davis
19. Ninth Witness (A. D. Chronicles, Book 9) - Thoene, Bodie
20. The Hidden Flame - Bunn, Davis
21. The Courteous Cad - Palmer, Catherine
22. All the Way Home - Tatlock, Ann
23. A Measure of Mercy (Home to Blessing, #1) - Snelling, Lauraine
24. Masquerade - Moser, Nancy

Biblical Fiction Challenge

1. Eighth Shepherd (A. D. Chronicles #8) - Thoene, Bodie
2. Michal - Smith, Jill Eileen
3. Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen - Edghill, India
4. Ninth Witness (A. D. Chronicles, Book 9) - Thoene, Bodie

Christian Non-Fiction Challenge - COMPLETE!

1. How Women Help Men Find God - Murrow, David
2. Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement - Spencer, Irene
3. 3:16: The Numbers of Hope - Lucado, Max
4. Radical: Take Back Your Faith from the American Dream - Platt, David
5. Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex - Dillow, Linda
6. Jesus on Death Row: The Trial of Jesus and American Capital Punishment - Osler, Mark
7. Loving Your Man Without Losing Your Mind - Davis, Susie
8. Love Is A Flame: Stories of What Happens When Love Is Rekindled - Bell, James
9. Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs - Eggerichs, Emerson
10. The Jesus You Can't Ignore: What You Must Learn from the Bold Confrontations of Christ - Jr., John F. MacArthur

Jane Austen Challenge

1. Emma
2. Emma & Knightley: The Sequel to Jane Austen's Emma - Billington, Rachel
3. Pride and Prejudice
4. Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma - Birchall, Diana
Extra - (Related, but doesn't count toward the challenge) Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners: Compliments, Charades & Horrible Blunders - Ross, Josephine
Extra - The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World - Sullivan, Margaret C.
Extra - Just Jane (Ladies of History Series #2) - Moser, Nancy

Colorful Reading Challenge


Memorable Memoir Challenge - COMPLETE!

1. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia Gilbert, Elizabeth
2. A Year in Provence Mayle, Peter
3. Sweet Mandarin: The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and Their Journey from East to West Tse, Helen
4. Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement Spencer, Irene
Extra - A Thousand Days in Venice - de Blasi, Marlena
Extra - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life - Kingsolver, Barbara
Extra - Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran - Saberi, Roxana
Extra - Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey - Knize, Perri

South Asian Author Challenge


Chunkster Challenge


Support Your Local Library Challenge - Almost every book I read is from the local library. If I read one that isn't, I'll mark it with a * in the list below.

100+ Reading Challenge

1. All Through the Night - Bunn, Davis
2. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia - Gilbert, Elizabeth
3. Distant Dreams (Ribbons of Steel, Book #1) - Pella, Judith
4. A Year in Provence - Mayle, Peter
5. The Outsider: A Novel - Gabhart, Ann H.
6. Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners: Compliments, Charades & Horrible Blunders - Ross, Josephine
7. The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World - Sullivan, Margaret C.
8. The Swiss Family Robinson - Wyss, Johann D.
9. Bachelors Puzzle - Pella, Judith
10. In the Time of the Butterflies - Alvarez, Julia
11. Sister's Choice - Pella, Judith
12. Shanghai Girls - See, Lisa
13. June Bug - Fabry, Chris
14. How Do I Love Thee? (Ladies of History, book #4) - Moser, Nancy
15. The Wisdom Of Eleanor Roosevelt - Wigal, Donald
16. Sweet Mandarin: The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and Their Journey from East to West - Tse, Helen
17. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - Pollan, Michael
18. How Women Help Men Find God - Murrow, David
19. Mona Lisa in Camelot: Jacqueline Kennedy and the True Story of the Painting's High-Stakes Journey to America - Davis, Margaret Leslie
20. Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage - Andersen, Christopher P.
21. Now and Always - Copeland, Lori
22. Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement - Spencer, Irene
23. Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel - Jacobs, Kate
24. Emma - Jane Austen
25. Emma & Knightley: The Sequel to Jane Austen's Emma - Billington, Rachel
26. Just Jane (Ladies of History Series #2) - Moser, Nancy
27. A Thousand Days in Venice - de Blasi, Marlena
28. Beguiled* - Gist, Deeanne and Bertrand, J. Mark
29. The Silent Gift - Landon, Michael
30. 3:16: The Numbers of Hope - Lucado, Max
31. Radical: Take Back Your Faith from the American Dream* - Platt, David
32. Pride and Prejudice - Austen, Jane
33. Eighth Shepherd (A. D. Chronicles #8) - Thoene, Bodie
34. Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex - Dillow, Linda
35. Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma - Birchall, Diana
36. Her Mother's Hope (Marta's Legacy, #1) - Rivers, Francine
37. Michal - Smith, Jill Eileen
38. The Apothecary's Daughter - Klassen, Julie
39. Lady of Milkweed Manor - Klassen, Julie
40. The Perfect Match (Deep Haven Series #3) - Warren, Susan May
41. The Inheritance - Alexander, Tamera
42. Jesus on Death Row: The Trial of Jesus and American Capital Punishment - Osler, Mark
43. The Inheritance - Alexander, Tamera
44. A Lady Like Sarah (A Rocky Creek Romance, #1) - Brownley, Margaret
45. The Hope of Refuge: A Novel (An Ada's House Novel, Book #1) - Woodsmall, Cindy
46. A Bride Most Begrudging* - Gist, Deeanne
47. A Bride in the Bargain* - Gist, Deeanne
48. Loving Your Man Without Losing Your Mind - Davis, Susie
49. An Amish Gathering: Life in Lancaster County - Wiseman, Beth
50. Sarah's Garden (Patch of Heaven Novel) - Long, Kelly
51. Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen - Edghill, India
52. Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued* - Meeder, Kim
53. Love Is A Flame: Stories of What Happens When Love Is Rekindled* - Bell, James
54. The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith Series #1) - Bunn, Davis
55. How Sweet It Is - Wisler, Alice J.
56. How to Read a Book - Adler, Mortimer J.
57. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life - Kingsolver, Barbara
58. Leah's Choice: Pleasant Valley Book One - Perry, Marta
59. The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment - Jacobs, A.J.
60. Ninth Witness (A. D. Chronicles, Book 9) - Thoene, Bodie
61. The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had - Bauer, Susan Wise
62. Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs - Eggerichs, Emerson
63. Cooking Basics for Dummies - Miller, Bryan
64. The Hidden Flame - Bunn, Davis
65. Real-Life Homeschooling: The Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home - Barfield, Rhonda
66. The Courteous Cad - Palmer, Catherine
67. All the Way Home - Tatlock, Ann
68. Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran - Saberi, Roxana
69. The Jesus You Can't Ignore: What You Must Learn from the Bold Confrontations of Christ* - Jr., John F. MacArthur
70. A Measure of Mercy (Home to Blessing, #1) - Snelling, Lauraine
71. Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey - Knize, Perri
72. Masquerade* - Moser, Nancy
73. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands - Schlessinger, Laura
74. The Great Conversation: The Substance Of A Liberal Education (Great Books Of The Western World, Volume 1) - Hutchins, Robert Maynard