On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

The pleasure I find in reading literature has grown as I have grown.  There is now a sense of overflow.  Please do not misunderstand me.  I can never be full of literature and come to a stopping point.  What I mean is that I want others to enjoy reading the written word as much as I do.  We can all benefit from a good story.  That is why I want to share with you Bookworm Mama.

In this space, I am going to overflow a bit and send some good reads your way!  I have no intention of bashing authors or a style of writing or someone’s story.  Primarily, what I say here will be about books I have read and think others will enjoy reading as well.  In each Bookworm Mama review I will provide a synopsis followed by 2 reasons I think you should check it out also.  Nothing fancy, just my thoughts.  I hope you enjoy!

Title: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
Author: Andrew Peterson


The young Janner, Tink, and Leeli find themselves at the center of a battle over “the lost jewels of Anniera”. Along the way, there seem to be more questions that arise for these three siblings than answers.  The answers they find, however,  are more than they could have ever imagined.

Let me just be honest.  When I first heard the names of the “bad guys” were Fangs, Toothy Cows, and Horned Hounds I have to admit I was skeptical.  But boy was I wrong.  This young adult (suggested for 10 years old and up) fiction book by the acclaimed storyteller Andrew Peterson hooked me from the beginning.  This story of adventure caused me to stay up a bit too late several nights in a row in an effort to find out what happened next.  A great read for all ages.  Oh, and what’s even better, it’s the first in a trilogy!

2 reasons

It’s fiction.

I really like nonfiction.  When I read nonfiction I feel like I’m “bettering” myself.  I tell myself I’m learning from what God has taught others and hopefully being pushed more toward Christ.  And in a lot of ways these things are probably true.  However, that doesn’t mean I should never read fiction.  Russell Moore writes a wonderful blog post entitled “Why Christians Should Read Fiction”.  In this article he quotes David Mills’ thoughts on how stories can even play a part in shaping the “moral imagination” of children (Moore, 2013).  (see quote below)

“As he pointed out, moral instruction is not simply about knowing factually what’s right and wrong (though that’s part of it); it’s about learning to feel affection toward certain virtues and revulsion toward others. “

I too, as an adult, can learn to “feel affection toward certain virtues and revulsion toward others” (Moore, 2013).   So, I’m thankful for appropriate pieces of fiction such as “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness” for this reason.

Grows young readers.

There is no “boring” in this book.  If a young boy or girl start reading this, I venture to say that it would greatly encourage them of the adventures they can find between two covers.  I will definitely hold on to this trilogy for my little ones.

Favorite quote

“He didn’t believe it, in fact. But he knew it. And now he realized that he had always known it, but the thought hit him with as much fear as wonder. “
-thoughts of Janner Igiby

Click here to learn more about Bookworm Mama

image credit

Moore, R. (2013, March 25). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.russellmoore.com/2013/03/25/why-christians-should-read-fiction/


I don’t leave TJ without . . .

While it is extremely difficult for me to narrow down to saying one thing is my absolute favorite in the whole wide world, there is a 

long list of things I really like.  Here is just one of the items on my list.  I like to call these my Brown Paper Packages!

It’s time for a light hearted post!  How ’bout it?!  My Brown Paper Packages today is none other than the fabulous Trader Joe’s (TJ).  This is the best grocery store.  I might like it a tad more than most grocery stores because there is not one within 150 miles from my house.  So, when I have the opportunity of shopping at TJ it is a treat!  I’m not sure what it says about me that going to a grocery store makes me want to kick up my heels but I won’t dwell on that thought.  Let me say this too, for those of you that aren’t familiar with TJ, a lot of the items are TJ brand so the prices are very reasonable.  Plus, they have unique items that you won’t find anywhere else.  And it only adds bonus points that there is always an employee walking around carrying a huge question mark ready to help!  Where else do you find that?

Moving on to the important stuff, I’ve been wanting to share my TJ staple list for some time and I’m finally getting around to it.  There’s are things that I DO NOT leave TJ without.  And typically I have at least two of each item so they last a bit longer once we are home.  Without further ado, here it is!

Taco Seasoning – It’s cheap, there are two servings in one package, and the flavor is the best!  I’ve tried several taco seasonings and even made my own.  They don’t hold a candle to this stuff.  I use it in much more than just tacos.

Olive Oil – It’s cheap.  Enough said.

Crunchy Cookie Butter – This concoction is made from crushed biscuits and I’m sure a whole heck of a lot of sugar.  My favorite way to eat it is mixed with marshmallow cream but the opportunities are endless.  There is even a facebook page dedicated to this product.  Crazy! 

Coconut Thin – A paper thin cookie that has a hint of coconut flavoring.  I’m a sucker for anything coconut.  They are delicious as a snack on their own but I also have mixed them with ice cream and made little sandwiches.  Yum!

Chocolate Covered Bing Cherries – Similar to Harry & David’s version at a fraction of the price. $

Pizza Dough– I don’t know about you but I keep pizza dough in my freezer for last minute, throw together meals.  This was my first TJ staple item.  My cousin introduced me and I haven’t turned back.  Regular and whole wheat options are available.  They are both good (we prefer whole wheat) and can be frozen.

Squeezable Tomato Paste – The squeezable tomato paste is so convenient for using some and saving the rest for later as opposed to having to throw a partial can away.  However, it’s typically pretty expensive.  TJ brand is reasonably priced!  $

Dark Chocolate Roasted Pistachio Toffee – I can eat the entire box on the way home from TJ.  Seriously, it’s that good.  You should probably buy three or four or more.

Cold Brewed Coffee – I have made Pioneer Woman Cold Brew Coffee and it’s really good!  TJ’s bottled version is just as good.  However, it takes several steps and is supposed to set overnight.  So, this is much easier.  My little secret, I use it in chocolate shakes.

This is definitely not the only items I buy at TJ.  However, I ALWAYS come home with these items (unless they’re out and that did happen once with the cookie butter=sad day).  Oh and one more quick note, they have fun recipes on their website.  A second quick note, I’m always adding items to this list so if you have any suggestions please leave me a comment.

Click here to learn more about Brown Paper Packages.

Baby Jesus

On this sixth day of advent (I’m a little behind in posting this.) as I watch the snow fall outside I am overwhelmed a bit with the celebration of this Christmas season. Last year B and I began celebrating advent as a family. God used the advent readings to focus my mind on what led to the birth of Jesus and allowed me to experience a more Christ centered Christmas.  Remembering the centuries of waiting and longing for God’s salvation through the promised one.  It is through this celebration, this time of remembering that I have grown to love this season even more.

This year, with two little ones in the house, under our care and instruction, it is especially important that we begin to teach them what Christmas is all about. At the end of November I unpacked a child’s nativity set that I had purchased on sale last year the day after Christmas. Roxie Kyle and Hudson were excited for a new toy on their play table and immediately started breaking it in. The majority of the pieces have logged many miles around our house by little hands. Each night, after the kids are in bed, I attempt to locate all the pieces and place them back on the table. Throughout the day when I see them carrying a member of this “scene” I try to take the time to stop what I’m doing and tell them who it is they are carrying around. I’m partial to the tiny manger holding the baby and to be honest I’ve probably picked it up a hundred times calling Him by name in hopes that one of the kids will repeat me.

About a week ago as I sat in the glow of twinkle lights while my children played at my feet, it happened. With the manger and baby tucked in her tiny hand, Roxie said it, “Baby Jesus.”


And she hasn’t stopped saying it.  Oh, how I wish you could hear her squeaky little voice slurring the two words together.  It’s so sweet, genuine, and innocent.  But it’s not just about a sweet word that she has learned to create with her little voice and mouth and tongue.  It’s the name of Jesus.  Jesus.

“For centuries God prepared people for the coming of His son, our only hope for life.  At Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises God made–that he would make a way to draw near to Him.”  Noel Piper

“Our spiritual redemption came to us with the baby of Bethlehem.”  Noel Piper

For my children to understand what Jesus’ birth did for us, how it changed everything, is critical. I think it goes without saying that I want them to be aware of Jesus birth all year long but as Noel Piper says, “with our hearts and spirits open in anticipation and excitement, what an ideal opportunity for remembering and teaching.” Christmas is that ideal opportunity.


So for Roxie Kyle to recognize this baby as Jesus is a beautiful moment. My prayer is it doesn’t stop with recognition, my prayer is that Hudson and Roxie Kyle’s knowledge and wisdom of this life altering birth will grow as they grow.


Hudson’s Two-rrific

Two years ago I wasn’t at the hospital laboring for my son.  I didn’t hear his first cries or change his first diaper.  I didn’t bundle him up in a “coming home” outfit or tuck him into the crib down the hall.  Two years ago I was in my home thousands of miles away from Ethiopia, Africa laboring for my son.  I was painfully awaiting his arrival into our family.

Agazi pic 2 8 8 12

The word labor means “work, hard physical work”.  In scripture, God said that women would have pain in bringing forth children (Genesis 3:16).  Pain and labor are most definitely associated with extending our families through children.



While my labor and pain may not have been physical, there were still very difficult, anxious moments in bringing him home.  Over two years ago we started praying for this little boy, praying that God would grant us to extend our family.  During this time we have shed countless tears, prayed lots of prayers, and had many difficult days.  But today we are celebrating!  Today we are celebrating God, who has given Hudson Lee Wilson life and allowed him to be a part of this earthly family.

“Through him we have birth and life and every thing and every person in our lives.  So God is the reason we have anything to celebrate.  He is the ultimate source of any of our celebrations.”  -Noel Piper

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is not variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17