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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

When Do Superheroes Sleep?

(This post contains affiliate links. No cost is involved if you click on a link. Full disclosure can be found here.)



I'm tired. It's not often that I utter those words and very rarely that I write them … anywhere. Doing so would cause me to face the fact that I'm not a superhero standing super erect, fists on hips, cape flailing in the breeze. To be honest, it's that persona that keeps me from saying it. Instead, I nod my head and bite my lip and take on every-single-request presented to me.

Ah, yes, take you to the store, absolutely! Stay up late to help you meet your deadline, certainly! Get up early and start breakfast, sure! Another meeting, another kid's sporting event, another class, another favor... by all means!

Did I mention I'm a mom? Of seven. And that four of those loud, always fighting, whining, complaining, noise-making, messy-room-having, chore-ignoring offspring still live in the house with us—with my husband and his middle-aged, wore-down and frankly, super tired wife.

At forty I was empowered. The world was mine. I knew what I wanted and was ready to go get it. I was free from the insecurities of my twenties and the self-searching of my thirties. I was fearless, driven. I ventured into old dreams and I started to live them. I determined it was surely time to stop trying to figure it all out and jump in with both feet.



I’ve always wanted to be a writer. In my forties I started writing books. In less than 10 years I wrote upwards of twelve. In college I wanted to write a play. In my forties I wrote six! I started teaching art classes, I started a school, I began to mentor pre-teens, I dove deep into a barrage of volunteer opportunities.

And even though, for most people, that looks like more than enough to keep anyone busy, I was still doing favors for anyone who asked. I thought I could do it all and still be who I needed to be for myself. I was wrong. My end table was hosting a stack of to-be-read books, my craft room was full of meaning-to-get-to projects, my gym clothes... well, we just won't go there. I always had so many other things to do.

I'm a mom. I'm a wife. I'm a friend. Through my new prescription glasses (oh the joys of 40), that all looked like responsibility and loyalty. I scoffed when the doctor suggested I get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Self-care was laughable. I was too busy caring for everyone else in my life and still making time to live a handful of my own dreams.

On the sunset of my forties the "S" on my chest started to fade and the tights started getting a little tight and as 50 appeared in my daily planner between the high school winter dance and the middle school band concert I began to realize I was exhausted. I had lived nearly half of my life caring for the needs of other people who surely, should be able to take care of themselves.

So, friend, hubby, kiddos, I’m giving myself permission to say no, I am starting to see myself differently. Inundated with what I thought I had to be for all of the people that I thought needed me to be I didn’t realize that you will figure it out. You will make a way. You will do it without me. I don't have to solve every problem or figure out how to make ends meet. Sometimes the people in my life must save themselves. Even superheroes get tired.

So excuse me, if you will, as I take off my cape and fold it neatly to use as a pillow. And please, don’t wake me, I’m tired.



Ginger on Amazon

Ginger's Dolls



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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Shopping with The Caregiver And More Freebies

Welcome to Summer. I totally missed it ... the first day of summer that is. So here's the first summer treat. Color Me Happy ...


Do you have a Canva account? Try it out and make your own masterpieces.
Canva is FREE, my friends. With a paid subscription, however, you can rule the world ... or so they say. You can even make eBook covers and video pins for Pinterest. And a little extra freebie to make more cash is Rakuten. Buy a subscription with Canva (if that was what you were thinking), join Rakuten first, and you'll receive 40 percent cash back. Of course, Rakuten seems to have every minor and major store on track with them. Just one way you can make money with your blog is to join Rakuten and spread the word.








Well now, yes, this is my shopping-list post, sprinkled with a few new freebies. Try not to yawn, it's important. Well, that's what my mom says. So, for anyone who's interested and beware, affiliate links linger here, but that's to say I actually do shop there myself. The gathered intel will blow your mind. Seriously! 

There's also a little blurp on how to monetize your blogs with affiliate networking. And fyi, I only showcase affiliates that I believe in. Truly I do. And with California facing another lock down (that's a whole other ball of wax, or can of worms, etc.) working from home, especially using our blogs, can be quite a life saver. Bloggers unite, I say. 

Nonetheless, as a caregiver I'm looking for deals and everything else that makes life run a little smoother. You know you're a caregiver of both parents when "going out" is to pick up groceries that you've ordered online, at Walmart. Short outings makes them happy, so who am I to argue that? It helps when the drive to Walmart is a sightseer's delight: fields filled with sheep, lambs, goats, kids, bison, camels, zebras, oh my; and a monument to Baby Jesus in the midst of it all. Yes, they all get along in the same pasture.


In any case, we do Hello Fresh: Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Creamy Lemon Tomato Spaghetti; and, Gouda Vibes Burgers with Tomato Onion Jam and Potato Wedges. I have two Dutch Indo parents who are just in love with Hello Fresh. I won't update the menu, but most of it is delicious. And as usual, I'm grateful it's shipped on time, packaged in ice very nicely, and not to mention they've made a gourmet chef out of me ... Mom and Dad say so.


Just for you, caregiver or not, make life a little easier and get your meal kits delivered. I highly recommend this. Join the club, grab your own affiliate link via Skimlinks or Rakuten and start earning with your blog.

I don't know your feelings about Walmart, but for us, they're pretty much a life-line. We're trying other avenues that will deliver or do your groceries. But for now, we've grown accustomed to "What's new at Walmart? and no delivery charge is great." Doing all my shopping online keeps me sane, especially these days when social distancing is a thing. Follow the link for the Stay-At-Home 4th of July needs. There's still time.

My Recommendations (The affiliates I Actually Use):
1. Grubhub: I love tracking the little car online to see where the driver is. Oy, I need a hobby. I love the app that tells me the food has been delivered. They're allowed to ring the Ring but sometimes they don't. 

2. Rakuten: Shop, get money back. Download the app and you're ready to go. I made $32 this month. Wayfair and Walmart are my biggest deals. If I shopped at Macy's I could probably make a lot more ... but, you know ... Macy's!

3. DoorDash: Today I let Mom and Dad try a taste of Denny's. It's been years since they last had a meal from there, even though they don't remember they ever graced Denny's facilities. They both need calories, but I did the 550 calorie meals, and weird to say food from Denny's keeps their BP below 120. Weird, I know. It also seems that DoorDash, the delivery service we used this time, is a tad bit cheaper than Grubhub. I love them both. 

4. True Leaf Market: This is where I shop for seeds to grow in my garden. I'm at the learning stage. My cucumbers have taken over our raised garden in the front. And I'm pretty sure my neighbors have snipped a few off the vine. At least I hope they're my neighbors. Anyhow, we'll be looking for organic at True Leaf Market. Maybe this time next year we've learned how to grow our own food. Our cucumbers have been a great starter project for us.

5. We also love to shop for our plants, seeds, and lately, anything to upgrade our home at Lowe's. It was one of Mom and Dad's favorite places to shop. A gift card or a Lowe's credit card was a dangerous thing in their wallets. So once in a while we take a field trip to Lowe's; Dad in a wheelchair, Mom with her wheelie walker, and we all wear our spiffy masks. It's very educational by the way, and a memory jolter for Dad. 


Visit True Leaf Market



This list will grow as I find my favorite places to shop online. Hope you come shop with us. And if you're interested in making a living from your blog, try SKIMLINKS. No need to look for merchants that match your site, they're all here in one place. Try it, I know you'll like it. 


I'm not one to shop in expensive places as you can tell, therefore, my cash back with Rakuten is nowhere near if I was shopping at Macy's all the time. But so far with Rakuten I've made over $50 back just shopping at Walmart, Petco, and using Grubhub, etc. It's all money I didn't have for shopping where I usually shop.

Skimlinks, as of July 23, 2020, is at $62. I know that if I worked on it a little harder I could score much more. However, I don't like asking friends and family to click on links all the time. Therefore, I keep learning from the experts. For now I'm building relationships with my followers across all social networks, which I think is important, and I'm enjoying that.

Monday, May 18, 2020

How to Have Devotional Time with the Elderly Suffering from Dementia

This, in my experience, is not all that hard, my friends—caregivers, mothers, and family members included. It's called Flash Devotional Time. Well, that's what I call it. Seriously, don't expect someone suffering from dementia to pay attention for more than 3 seconds. Never order them to either. It's absolutely okay to read just one scripture at breakfast, or here and there throughout the day, preferably one they might remember. My dad can still recite Psalm 23 and 118. Sometimes, if I start a scripture he'll remember the next line. It's all good, and it makes for a great beginning to a new day.









This brings me to our light-bulb moment. A few days ago I changed out a light bulb in the kitchen. Perhaps not a huge accomplishment, but I had to climb a ladder. Not my favorite thing to do. Nonetheless, the bulb had been flashing on and off and so I spoke to it. Don't laugh, it works sometimes. Especially in this house where lights like to turn on and off by themselves.  

I told the bulb to behave and that if it didn't let its light shine I'd banish it to the garage. That brought a wonderful deep bellowing kind of laughter from my Dad. And Mom then told the light bulb, "Yes, let your light shine so we don't have to sit in the darkness."

Ah, she just created her own devotional. This brought her much joy which lasted throughout the day. "Can't let my light flicker on and off like that," she mumbled and quickly added, "This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare unto you: that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)

She didn't say it perfectly, word for word, but I knew which scripture she was reciting. And Dad said, "Amen." 




(The Waning) 

When depression darkens the halls
of your mind
When the light on your path is dim
Focus your watch on me, 
my child
The darkness is passing
The fear is but fleeting
I Am there
in the midst of the storm

I give you my armor
from head to toe
I give you my strength
My wisdom
My joy


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A Caregiver's Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that your Word never comes back null and void. Every word is living bread. Let me never forget that dementia cannot take away the memory of You and that you have not forgotten them. With your strength I pick up my cross, revive the embers of my flame, my light, and continue on this path with joy, peace, love, and a whole lot of sappiness. Amen





Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Dusty Memories, Mother's Day 2020



Mother

In photos of dusty albums
A well-dressed child
Unruly hair
somehow gathered in a short curled-upped pony tail
A smile, always a smile
On her baby girl, me ...
Gathering flowers from the jungle where they lived
Chasing after a dog, a bird, maybe a monkey
Who knows?
Where is Mother?
Behind the camera? 
An old wind-up of sorts ...
Black and white photographs
Forever sketched, forever remembered
She makes sure her child is in perfect pose
Natural, never forced.
Happy, always happy.
A reflection of her

I hear her laughter
Her giggles
The sound of her bare feet on fallen leaves
As she runs through the maze of coconut trees
Chasing after the child she calls her Busy Bee.


Mother is beautiful, full of energy
Fearless ...
Strong ...
Brave ...
Meek ...
And Wise ...
She takes care of her household
Clothes are handmade
Food is abundant, 
though they say we are poor
Water is fresh, drawn from a well
And the fruit from the garden
Is shared with family and friends


Mother never complains
Though it is always hot
She says "but we have an ocean,"
Though there are no roads
She says, "but we have transportation."
Though the jungle is fierce
She has made it a home.







My mother is old now, she needs my help. And I'm honored to give it to her. She no longer cooks, but she cleans here and there. Her eyes are failing, and her glasses, sitting precariously  on top of her twitchy nose, is no help at all. But she wears them nonetheless. Her cataract surgery was suddenly deemed nonessential in this age of COVID 19, so that was placed on hold. Good thing she's patient. 

Sadly, her hearing is diminishing. Of course, she says we've just stopped talking clearly. "Pronounce your words," she reminds us. It irritates me somewhat until I realize she's grateful when I take her to her doctor for hearing tests, eye check ups and all that other stuff doctors are needed for. 

Sitting around and doing nothing is not her thing, but the heat of the day has taken away her  strength to work in her beloved garden. She leaves that up to me now. Not a wise thing,  I suppose, but I'm learning. I garden by the seat of my pants, so to speak. Toss a seed in the ground and hope it grows. 

Mom could have been wealthy but WW2 took away material things; Five houses, acres of land confiscated; three years a POW, no schooling till later when she was able to attend clothing designer school (yes, in the jungle), and then, when her mom witnessed a murder (as it was told to me), she and her family made a quick escape to New Guinea. They had nothing. 

She worked hard, built a house with her bare hands, raised her family in New Guinea, then Holland, Australia, and finally in the USA. 

She's tired now, she says, her legs hurt, her hands suffer with arthritis, but if the Lord allows it she has one more move to a new earthly-forever home, something we're trying to make happen for her. Our house of fourteen years has been a burden, we need to let it go. 

And then finally one day soon she'll go to that heavenly shore. Wait ... Pause. She's not quite ready for that. She says she still has purpose here, God's work is never done.

She's wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher, part-time caregiver of her ailing husband, and most important a strong and faithful witness of her Lord Jesus Christ. At 82, and after two strokes, she's still comforting her neighbors and bringing God's Word whenever she has the chance. And, by the way, we're not ready to let her go. She knows that. Oh yes, she knows that. 








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Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Caregiver's 2020 After COVID 19 Wish List

FYI: A post to remind us all that this too shall pass, God is in control, and faith over fear equals victory.


This ad was placed to break up my run on words



Quarantine life had a few advantages in the beginning, didn't it? We learned a thing or two, about ourselves, our kids, our fears, which news channel we favored, and what our spouses, or ex spouses, actually did for a living. But I'm under the impression that people developed cabin fever a mere two weeks into this "new normal". 



Funny thing is, life for us didn't really changeexcept that my daughter was no longer working—but I've been pretty much homebound, aka quarantined, with Mom and Dad for three years now. Both suffering a stroke and Dad dealing with dementia. Not to mention he's in a wheelchair most of the time. 



Traveling has been hard and staying home has been the easier choice, though we found our ways to stay healthy. Thank the Lord our house is big enough to where we all have our personal space. Nonetheless, there's something about a government order that just changes things. Although, I must say we got pretty creative with those face masks.



I decided, in order to bring a little joy (which is my Word for 2020) into this household I would  list an After COVID 19 Wish List. This will brighten our days and bring some joy! Here we go ... 






1. A New Television Set: During this pandemic I've converted the smaller part of our garage into a nice recreation room for Mom and Dad. This allows them to be outside while still being inside. Brilliant! However, it needs a TV so Dad can watch The Roadrunner. Meep meep. I'm happy.




2. A Large Birdcage: We have parakeets. Lots of themlike thirty. They're absolutely stunning. Their colors range from bright greens, to soft blues, darker blues, whites, and sunset yellows. It seems, however, that our outdoor aviary is getting smaller and smaller. So we've decided to save up and buy a large cage to separate the boys from the girls, for right now. Also, a few of the females have become eerily territorial. The softy that I am can't handle "survival of the fittest" and, thus, I step in and attempt to stop those feather-raising fights. It might make for good-TV if ever someone snaps a video of us. 

If you would like to adopt a couple, please feel free to shoot me an email:                        DeborahLAlten@TheCaregiversDevotional.com 
I'm desperate.   




3. New Clothes for Mom and Dad: Eeeck, I have got to be more adamant about doing their laundry. It's something Mom can still do ... sort of. She always forgets the settings on the washer and dryer. But I let her do it so she feels a little in control of her life. Haband, by the way, is where they usually shop. They've been with them so long they get free stuff with every order. I'm committed.

Update: Thanks to my wonderful niece, this has been taken care of. So sweet!


4. I'm going to celebrate Mother's Day at The Kickin' Crab. Who doesn't love eating food thrown right onto your table? I'm there. Maybe it's dinner for one this year, but I'll leave that in God's hands. I'm curious.


5. My garden is in disarray. The flash floods came, frosty nights arrived, cloudy days outlived their welcome and it all killed our tomatoes and potatoes, then my garden sprouted really weird looking weeds. We now have ducks in the open fields/streams behind our house, and frogs, but the lavender never showed up like they did last year. 




I cleaned up the raised garden bed in our front yard, the rain took care of the fountains, and I'll be bulk-buying veggies, bulbs, flowers, bushes, and maybe a miniature palm tree or two. Will have to check the sales at K. Van Bourgondien at Dutch Bulbs (say that five times fast), and the expert gardeners on Pinterest and my favorite inspirational farmhouse girls at Rosevine Cottage. I'm anxious.



6. Goodness, I need a haircut. I can cut Dad's hair and Mom's, too, but it's a little bit of a problem to do my own. So yes, I am going to get a haircut, and maybe I'll color it, too. I'm hopeful. 

7. Visit family and friends. Don't you just miss hugging the ones you love? I might cry. I'm a little impatient.


8. If I had a bike I would like to take a ride around the neighborhood or undoubtedly on the beach. I don't like helmets though. This Bike is on my wish list. It's the Susan G. Komen Beach Cruiser. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and my cousin lost her battle with breast cancer a few years ago. I think this bike would start a wonderful conversation as I cruise with my daughter on the beach. I'm excited.





9. Go swimming with my friend, Julie. Oh my goodness do I miss our exercise routine. I mean, seriously, at one point we were considering the Senior Olympics. I'm kidding!

10. GO TO CHURCH! I'm joyful.





That's my list. I'd love to read yours. How are you doing in this season of quarantine? And remember, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT)






Canva will pay me 100 percent if you sign up. I don't even know what that means.


A Caregiver's Prayer: Lord may we put our trust and faith in you only. Heal our sick, heal our hearts, heal our land. Give health and strength to our health care workers and all those precious people who are working for our essential needs. Give them joy to make it through this season. 


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Corona Virus COVID 19, Toilet Paper, Survival Mode and God

Now there's a post title I thought I would never write. Corona Virus, the COVID 19 strain, probably no longer needs an explanation. The fallout, however, is quite the story, right? What's up with the toilet paper? So for generations to come what will they say of us? 

"Wow," will they say, "because of our ancestors we know how to handle a world wide pandemic. Here's what they taught us ...," and the history book of our success is read by every future generation. Or will they remember us that we hoarded toilet paper, didn't help out our neighbors, looked out for only ourselves, and caused the market to crash like it has never crashed before?


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened,  and do not  be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Here's something I found on the internet: COVID 19 stands for Christ Over Viruses and Infectious Diseases followed by Joshua 1:9.

To be honest, so far I think we're handling it pretty well, except it seems COVID 19 has turned 50 percent of us into hoarders. This is wicked, selfish, and ... dumb.

I'm not the best at math (actually I almost flunked it in high school) but if we all just shopped like normal (maybe one extra package of toilet paper etc.) we would all have our fair share, right?

Also, my thoughts as a Christian brings me back to the days when the children of Israel walked into the desert and wound up without food, and other necessities, I'm sure. God rained manna on them. The command was "take as much as you need for the day, no less, no more." If you didn't gather enough, that's ignorant and not wise, and if you hoarded too much it would rot in your mouth. Eeeeck. Do we trust God to supply our needs for the day? Maybe that's a hard lesson for you. Trust God in times like these? Buckle up that spiritual armor, you can do it.



You don't even have to leave the comfort of your home!



My Quiet Non-Panic List

1. Pray
2. Trust God
3. Love my neighbors
4. Use the common sense God gave me
5. Find alternative solutions
6. Order food from Hello Fresh or Sun Basket (They deliver. I use both and they are easy, amazing, and convenient more than ever in this time.)
6. Don't watch the news ... too much. Find encouraging bloggers and other social media people with wisdom, knowledge, and have creative ways to get us through this uncertain time.

I don't know where your brain went when this all broke out, but I'm looking for alternative solutions. Plenty of people out in this great world of ours have grown their own food, stocked up long before this pandemic with canned goods and other long-shelf-life items, and yes, made their own toilet paper. 

Personally, I would find old t-shirts, cut them up into nice-size pieces and place them in a bucket next to the porcelain throne. My people, the Dutch Indo, have long used other methods of washing. And living with two people who survived WW2, I've learned quite a number of interesting survival ways: Always have a bottle of water in the bathroom. It's called Chebot or Gayung. A bottle of water to clean your bottom! Who knew? Then you'll need those cut-up t-shirt pieces to dry, I suppose. Have another bucket (I'm certain the crafty ladies will make those buckets look pretty.) to put the discarded materials in. Or wash them and reuse. Before you say uuuwww, isn't that what we do with cloth diapers? Okay, enough of that. Here's directions on how to make your own toilet paper. 

It's not something I have time for but we might be forced to, I say that with a smile. We will need the sun's help and a lot of patience. 



How to Make Your Own Toilet Paper

1. The first step would be to remove as much ink as possible from the paper, by soaking it in a tub or a bucket. Afterwards take the paper and place it in a pot with leaves and grass which will help the fibers remain together. The pot should be filled with water so that it completely covers the paper and then left to simmer. It is important not to boil the water from the beginning so that the dry materials have a chance to absorb the water.

2. After an hour of simmering comes about half an hour of boiling at high temperatures. It’s ok to add more water if necessary. You will also need to remove the foam which begins to rise to the top, as this is mostly ink, glue and other materials you don’t want.

3. Eventually, the paper turns into a pulp. At this time you will have to remove the water but without disturbing the pulp. Try to remove as much as possible and then simply wait for it to cool before removing the rest of the water. The pulp also needs to be taken out in order to remove the water, but it should not be done so that the pulp becomes completely dry. Once this is done the pulp is put back in the pot and it is mixed with the softening oils. If you have it, you can also add Witch Hazel which will act as an anti-bacterial.

4. Once this step is complete, it is time to scoop out the pulp. Do it in chunks and place them on a towel or a cloth on a flat surface. Afterwards you will use a rolling pin in order to spread out the pulp in a thin layer. Try to make it as thin as possible. A mallet can be used to gently deal with any lumps that might appear.

5. Now another towel or cloth should be placed on top of the layer as to create a sandwich. On top of this place something flat and rigid and then something heavy. You can even walk on it if you want. The goal here is to remove all the excess water.

6. If this is done you can remove the items placed on top. Be careful with the second towel as you do not want it to stick to the pulp. In order to remove the towel on the bottom, you will have to flip it all upside down. Do not try to remove the pulp off the towel.

Then you are left with a big layer of thin paper which needs to dry in the sun. Afterwards all you have to do is cut it into pieces and you’ll have your DIY toilet paper.

Taken from Survivopedia





Nevertheless, check your pantry and see what you've stored for emergencies. You might surprise yourself. I did. Plus we Dutch Indonesians buy bulk simply because Indonesian food isn't available in our local supermarket so we stock up when driving into LA County. Soto Ayam anyone? That's a whole other post.

Stay calm, my friends, find solutions, and remember if we trust God in good times we can trust him through the storms? This is a big one for sure.








Friday, March 6, 2020

10 Books to Read for Easter

My ex-Mom-in-law started a wonderful tradition: reading a holiday-themed book at Christmas and Easter family gatherings. When the kids were old enough they each got their chance to read part of, or the whole book. Sadly that tradition ended for us, but perhaps when I am blessed with my own grandchildren one day, we'll pick up this wonderful traditional again. 

The following books are worthy of an Easter read. First on the list is one of my favorites, which we read before Easter Dinner,        The Tale of Three Trees 









1. The Tale of Three Trees by Angela E. Hunt,
illustrated by Jim Jonke
A strange and wonderful original telling of the Easter story from the unusual POV of the trees.


2. Benjamin's Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs by Melody Carlson, illustrated by Jack Stockman.Benjamin's Box gets children to interact with the story when a parent or teacher reads and asks questions about the objects found in the Box. Each object serves as a visual aid of the various parts of the real Easter story, making it easier for children to retain and retell. ~Julie Cave, former Managing Editor at Multnomah Press 


3. Six Hours One Friday: Chronicles of the Cross by Max Lucado

4. Jesus Calling for Easter by Sarah Young






5. The Golden Egg by A.J. Wood, illustrated by Maggie Kneen.            One of my favorites, though not about the Easter story, but liked by kids. It's a hidden-under-the-flap book with a beautiful colored egg under each flap ... and then a golden egg with chocolate inside! Kids love all the sparkling colors and surprise ending. ~Julie Cave







6. The Day Christ Died by Jim Bishop
One of the books that made a huge impression on me some years ago was, The Day Christ Died, by Jim Bishop. In this book, Mr. Bishop took his readers through what actually happened to Jesus' physical body during the crucifixion hours. I wept as I read it and was so moved by what our Savior endured that I read portions of it to the Sunday School class of young adults, The Jabez Group, that John and I were teaching at the time."Unforgettable" would be my one word review of this book. ~Author and playwright, Deanne Davis



7. The Crown by Deanne Davis 
This is a cleverly written short story told in first person, which I always find so hard to do. It's a gift Deanne has. This is a fresh and new-ish way to retell the story of Easter through the eyes of a Jerusalem reporter. 





8. The Shepherd's Gate by Sharon Pearson, 
illustrated by Julie Trainor

When The Shepherd's Gate arrived I read it to our four-year-old great-grandson. As I finished he announced, "You need to read to Brooke when she gets home." Brooke is preparing to enter second grade. He knows his sister loves to read and would find the book intriguing. Sharon Pearson's abilility to capture the young readers is demonstrated on each page and, enhanced by Julie Trainor's exciting illustrations. This will be a "keeper" in the family library, one the children will say, "Read it again. You know, the one about Toby." ~Children's author, Marilyn R. Woody.



9. Preparing for Easter: Fifty Devotional Readings from C.S. Lewis
Can't go wrong with this if you're a CS Lewis fan. And who isn't, right? These are taken from his essays and other classic writings.  
10. Blood On My Hands by Deborah L. Alten. (Free pdf. Not suitable for children fifteen and under) This is flash fiction about the aftermath of the crucifixion as remembered through the eyes of the man who hammered the nails into Jesus. Two bonus stories by Deanne Davis and Ginger Galloway included with poems and a coloring page and other surprises.