Called To Be Amish~ Marlene Miller~ Book Review

by adustyframe ~ May 21st, 2015


About the Book:

Fewer than one hundred outsiders have joined the Old–Order Amish—and stayed—since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them.

In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.

Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God’s love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community.

Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God’s call as an Old Order Amish woman.


About the Author:

Marlene C. Miller joined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren


My thoughts:

I have enjoyed learning about the Amish for many years and so I wanted to read this book. I did think that perhaps it was someone who just felt at some point in their life that they’d like to join the Amish and that the book would be about how to go about doing that.

That wasn’t quite the case. It’s true she wasn’t raised Amish or Mennonite or anything similar or even in a good home. But she fell in love with an Amish boy so the story tells how she came to decide to join the Amish church with him.

I found the book interesting. It is simply written and does go back and forth in time in a confusing manner sometimes. The book is very simply written and I know you could say, “Well it’s Amish so of course it’s simple.” But I do think it could have benefitted from a good editor to tighten things up and perhaps make it more polished.

That being said if you’d like a peek into the Amish life, you may enjoy reading this book.

Disclosure: I received a free e-book version of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own.



Nailed It?

by adustyframe ~ May 19th, 2015

A few days ago, a link for a tutorial to make a sunflower wreath was making the rounds on Facebook. It’s so pretty that I figured I’d give it a try.

The paper mesh in yellow is sold out, but I heard you could try poly mesh (plastic).

I found poly mesh at the craft store in yellow, green, and brown.

I watched a bunch of tutorial videos.

I got everything prepped.


UGGGGGH. I abhor poly mesh. About halfway into the project, I wanted to quit, but I had already cut up all this poly mesh and would have wasted quite a bit of cash.

I kept going and poly mesh kept shredding all over my living room.

The poor wreath was so ugly. I kept adding yellow hoping to fill it in a bit and finally just quit.

I hung it up in the living room instead of on the porch only because it was late at night.

When baby got up in the morning, I heard him in the living room saying, “Mommy’s pretty flower. Daffydil” (way too cute by the way).

James got up and his first words were, “That looks nothing like a sunflower.” Thanks, bud!

When I moved it to the entrance door, I decided it looks MUCH better. Maybe on the porch it’s ok to be a little more rustic/shabby/crappy……..

In case you didn’t see the original idea, here’s a link showing a super cute sunflower mesh wreath.

And here’s my “daffydil”.



When I Compare

by adustyframe ~ May 9th, 2015

When I was reviewing the book I posted about earlier this week, I felt like it didn’t really apply to me.

I don’t go to Facebook and see people’s photos or updates and think, “Why can’t I be like that?”

I don’t look at projects people do and feel like my things aren’t up to par.

I don’t compare myself to thin moms because well……(anyway…)

I realized yesterday that I DO compare myself to myself!

I don’t get frustrated because I’m not doing what other people are doing or that I’m not the same kind of mom or wife that another woman is.

I get frustrated at myself when I’m not doing what I want to do or what I think I should be getting done. I get frustrated when I think about the things I did with James when he was little and the things I don’t get done with baby Nathan now.

I have to be honest that a little bit of self evaluation when I see others being successful at something or a little self evaluation when I think about things I’m not getting done or doing right can be a good thing.

I don’t think it’s wrong to think, “You know, I could meal plan better.” or “I really need to work on gentleness.” insert any other project, character trait, physical accomplishment, etc.

I think it’s good to aim to improve and have goals. This is usually how I look at other people. I either think, “Oh that’s so cool maybe I can try it.” or “Ummm ha! NO no no no no no way.”

I imagine the comparing myself to myself–”I’m not getting done what I want to do around here” has a name…..I don’t know what it is?

But the other day, I was beating myself up a little that I hadn’t made baby’s photo ABC album. He’s over one and rounding the corner to two and no ABC book. I pushed it to the side because I just don’t have a plan to work on it and figured I’d get it done sometime.

Baby found James’ ABC photo album and adopted it. He loves looking at it and saying, “Daddy” “Grandma” etc. I thought that maybe I’d just let him borrow James’ book and skip making him his own. Hey only 1/2 of our current family is missing from the photo album I made James when he was little but that’s just a small detail right!?

Imagine my surprise when I found a date written inside the ABC book. I didn’t make it for James when he was one I made it for James when he was THREE!

As much as it’s important to not compare ourselves to others, it’s important to not compare ourselves to ourselves. My memory played tricks on me in this situation and I’m sure it’s done that before.

Perhaps, I should concentrate on being the best me I can be today. The best me I can be with a husband on the road. The best mom I can be with a teenager and toddler. The best mom I can be with health challenges. The best mom I can be when I’m an imperfect human.

What about you? Who do you compare yourself to?




I’m Happy For You (Sort of….Not Really) ~Kay Wills Wyma ~Book Review

by adustyframe ~ May 5th, 2015


About the book:

Facebook in 2013 reports 1.23 billion monthly active users. Berlin’s Humbolt University research, meanwhile, shows how many of those users run into “envy, leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry.”

Take a deep breath and slowly set down that smartphone, says Kay Wills Wyma, author of the new I’m Happy for You (Sort Of . . . Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison (WaterBrook Press, May 5, 2015).

When virtually every moment is spun into an online milestone, cropped and filtered to perfection, it’s easy to fall headfirst into the comparison trap.

Now the popular blogger, speaker and author asks the timely and thought-provoking question: “Is it possible to have peace in the midst of relentless pressures to compare?” And her answer comes in candid and often humorous accounts from her life as a mother of five.

Kay witnesses firsthand how comparison, whether in a business meeting or the carpool lane, can steal joy and replace it with a spirit of competition and discontent.

With wit and sincerity, Wyma – alongside fellow sojourners honestly sharing their own stories in a fishbowl world – reminds us that contentment can come when we do things like:
•Accept, embrace, and do our best rather than fighting to be the best.
•Choose to see the beauty in every human being . . . including ourselves.
•Shift our focus from what could be to what is – opening a door to extraordinary joy in our ordinary days.

Ultimately the contentment key is learning to celebrate someone else’s success. That’s as simple—or as difficult—as saying, “I’m happy for you,” Wyma says, and really meaning it.

I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really) is a breath of fresh air for every person who feels stifled by the fog of life’s constant worries that they just aren’t measuring up. Readers love Wyma’s laugh-out-loud, straightforward writing style as she shows that contentment comes when we “peel our thoughts away from self-absorption to see those with whom we share life. And not simply see them but fully embrace our life with instead of against each other.”

My thoughts:

This book is easy to read and full of great quotes and stories with applications to my life. I don’t struggle very badly with comparing myself to others but it crops up once in awhile. I appreciated the reminders to make sure I’m not judging a person’s life on little glimpses. I can see a glimpse of another mom’s life and think of all the ways I don’t measure up but do I see her when she’s frustrated or doesn’t have it all together? Probably not.

I am perhaps an odd duck in that I don’t see cool things people are doing and think I should be doing those things. I understand that each family has different passions, talents, gifts, and priorities. But like I said things do crop up once in awhile that make me think, “maybe we’re doing this family thing all wrong”. But at the end of the day, it’s our responsibility to be people who please God not people who measure up to everyone around us.


Kay Wills Wyma, author, blogger and speaker, has five kids, ages 7 to 18, and one SUV with a lot of carpool miles. Before transitioning to stay-at-home mom, she held positions at the White House, The Staubach Company and Bank of America. In 2012, Wyma courageously tackled youth entitlement in her first book, Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement(WaterBrook Press, May 8, 2012). She has been featured on The TODAY Show, CNN-HLN, the Glenn Beck Show, and Focus on the Family, among many others. Kay attended Baylor University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She and her husband, Jon, live in Dallas.

Find the author at her blog. The MOAT blog.

Disclosure~ I received a free advance copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own.


Jesus Love Me~You Too!

by adustyframe ~ May 2nd, 2015
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How amazing to think how much He loves each one of us.


Toddler Food~ Breakfast Ideas

by adustyframe ~ April 28th, 2015

Here are some breakfast food ideas that the toddler likes.

*scrambled eggs and toast with jam

*plain yogurt with applesauce–sometimes granola sprinkled on top

*granola with almond milk

*french toast and fruit

*peanut butter toast


*oatmeal with yogurt and applesauce stirred in


*kefir smoothie, water, or almond milk to drink


**I make waffles, french toast, and oatmeal in bigger batches and freeze it. It makes breakfast much quicker. I also freeze leftover smoothie in cubes and defrost a few cubes the night before. 


Why Would We Stay In Bondage?

by adustyframe ~ April 22nd, 2015




In our class on Sunday, the discussion was a wrap up of our study of Galatians. The leader discussed our freedom in Christ and someone asked how do we live that out?

An example was given which involved jail—of course right?

As I sat there, I wanted to say something, but there were a lot of people in class that day that don’t know my story (as far as I know anyway) and I didn’t feel comfortable saying it out loud. Plus there’s always the threat of crying which happens whenever I share something about this.

The illustration was that Christ has freed us and our jail cell’s door is wide open. When we choose to stay in bondage to our sin, it’s like an inmate standing there looking at the open door and saying, “No I’m staying here.” Sometimes when we choose to sin instead of accepting freedom in Christ, it’s like we back into the corner of the open cell and totally ignoring that we could walk away.

What I would have said is this,

“As a person who has had their life touched by incarceration, I can tell you there are very (very!) few inmates who would knowingly and willingly stay in that open cell. Incarceration is devastating to the families and loved ones and to the inmate themselves. Why on earth would one choose to stay in a jail cell that they could freely walk out of at any moment?”

But isn’t that really what we do with our sin? Our bad habits? Our addictions?

Christ opened the door for us and paid for our freedom. Why on earth would we stay?

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage


This Week’s Goals

by adustyframe ~ April 20th, 2015

My goals this week aren’t so exciting really.

I need to continue with the cleaning and organizing each room. I started in January and made some progress and then I kind of quit.

I need to wash the kitchen curtains and the shower curtain.

I plan to scrub the bathtub thoroughly.

I have some reading to do.

I hope to take a few walks with the baby in the stroller so I can count it as exercise.

I need to stay on my healthy eating plan.


And there you have it. Any goals for you this week?


This & That Chat

by adustyframe ~ April 17th, 2015

Chat #472? I don’t know I’ve lost track.

What’s going on around your house today?

Here the sun is shining and it’s actually quite warm!

Baby has had a sniffy nose for a few days and today it progressed to a nasty nose! I’m hoping he’s not getting something bigger than a little cold.

We have some errands to run, but he’s taking a long nap. He most likely needs a very long nap but we’re running out of time for the errand running here!

James has been enjoying a game called Spikeball. He heard about it from friends at church. One cool thing about the game is that the company sends you free replacement parts for as long as you own the game. It’s become quite the hit with his friends.  (**remember if you order from Amazon–anything not just Spikeball–pretty please use my link on the side bar!)

I’ve been not doing much other than the dailies. I haven’t knit in ages even though a friend ordered a hat that I haven’t even started!

I am reading some books though. I finally finished Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst. It was good. I also have some books for reviewing to get started on. I haven’t reviewed books for awhile and suddenly I have several to get done! (What was I thinking?)

I’m reading a Dee Henderson book for fun but it’s on my Kindle and I have no clue what the title is. It’s pretty good so far.

Baby continues to chatter up a storm and crack us up. He’s very much into walking into the house from the car like a big boy. He has never kept socks or shoes on so when I found out that he wants to walk in from the car, I’ve been using that to motivate him to keep his shoes on in the car. It’s working sometimes!

We’re looking forward to warmer weather. I have to figure out what I’m going to do with that weed patch that was my garden. I’m still going to plan of course, but I’m going to have to figure out some way to keep those weeds down. UGGG.


Broken Together

by adustyframe ~ April 12th, 2015
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This song makes me cry…….every time!

If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, I’m sure you can understand why.
Have you heard it yet? Does it make you cry too?