Posts in Category "Family"

Book Review: The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

One of my favorite reads this year has been S.D. Smith’s The Green Ember, and I had to share my review with you. If you have young children and are looking for your next read-aloud, look no further.

This is a wonderful story full of adventure, friendship, betrayal, and redemption. That the characters are Rabbits only adds to the delight, and the pacing sweeps you into a worthwhile tale not to be soon forgotten.

Picket and Heather, a brother and sister who live in a peaceful wood, are beginning to learn about their family history in their Father’s bedtime tales. But when their home suffers a perilous attack from wolves, their family is separated. Heather and Picket have to fight for their lives, and soon they are guided to a safe warren. Here they gain loyal friends, but also more than a few cold skeptics.

While finding their place in the community, Heather and Picket’s family connections add to the rising tension in the warren. Rumors of a coming attack from the wolves, the unsettled longing for King Jupiter’s heir to rise, and the whole community’s yearning for their true home all collide into a test of loyalty and character.

Some of my favorite characters and imagery included Heather the budding Storyteller, Smalls, the Gardens, Maggie O’Sage, “The Mended Wood,” the stained glass windows(!!), Uncle Wilfred’s faithfulness, Emma’s journey to becoming a doctor, and of course the flaming crown jewel, the Green Ember. I also love the importance placed on craftsmanship, the necessity of art, and everyone’s skill having weight within the community. (And I hope we get better acquainted with Picket and Heather’s parents in a future book!) The whole book is a gem I can’t wait to share with my children someday.

The styling, character arcs, pacing, and imagery are all artful and compelling. Beautiful scenes of home, purpose in one’s work, and loyalty are deepened by the honest depictions of exile, the consequences of treachery, bitterness, and fighting for one’s home. Not only a book of action, it’s a thought-provoking tale that glories in the good, the true, and the beautiful.

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Listening to the audiobook I missed the illustrations, so I loved getting to linger over them when I got my hard copy. Zach Franzen has done a lovely job with this book, and I’ve so enjoyed learning from him, especially in this article.

Directed to middle-grade readers, it’s a book the whole family will enjoy as a read-aloud. Having just finished the audiobook, I’m already starting it again to better savor the details and characters I love.

You can find copies of this delightful book in paperback and softcover at Story Warren Store. Edit: And the Kindle version of the prequel, The Black Star of Kingston, is free today! (I’m in no way compensated for this review; it’s purely for sharing the delight.)

The Green EmberThe Green Ember by S.D. Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

 

A Sale for Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner!  To celebrate, we’re having a sale at The Breezy Tulip Studio shop! There are also some new prints available. (The one above is still in progress!)

Use coupon code MOTHER15 at checkout to take 20% off your order. Sale ends tonight at 11:59 pm!

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Above are two new prints, “Good Morning, Piggy!” and “We Will Serve the Lord.” Hop on over the The Breezy Tulip Studio’s shop to take a peek!

Chalk Art Giveaway for Little Tait’s Preemie Fund!

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Four years ago, Little Tait was born three months prematurely and spent three months in NICU.  Today, Little Tait is now a happy, healthy little boy.  (Read more of his story here.)  However, his parents are still chipping away at the last of an almost 1 million dollar expense.  The hospital has agreed to settle if they can raise $100,000 in 90 days.  They’ve reached $80,222 and are believing, with God’s help and the help of His people, to be able to reach the goal by Monday.

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You can help the Zimmerman family and enter a giveaway for one of my large Chalkboard art prints, “Teach Them Diligently.” Simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter:

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The giveaway is for the 11″ x 14″ print — it fits perfectly in an 11″ x 14″ frame.  We bought an antique white frame from Hobby Lobby, and it looks just lovely!  (You can find this print in my Etsy Shop here.)

“Teach Them Diligently” will go to one winner, and will be announced on Monday at midnight (June 17th).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As the Zimmerman’s deadline quickly approaches, please consider making a donation and praying for the Lord’s provision for them; it would be such a blessing.  You can find out about more giveaways for Little Tait’s Preemie Fund on Little Tait’s Facebook page.

Spring happenings

A couple weeks ago I finished up a new chalk art print!  It’ll be in the shop soon as a print and as boxed note cards.  But more importantly . . .

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This Saturday, our precious friend, Sarah, will be getting married, and she’ll be moving far away to NC with her wonderful, godly husband, Jordan.  This week we’re enjoying hosting his family and getting ready for the big day!  It has been beautiful to watch the Lord weave Sarah’s and Jordan’s lives together.

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It's Here! "For This Child We Prayed"

I had a very special project last week: creating a watercolor of an adoptive family.  As I drew them, I loved conveying the individual excitement and personalities of each one.  They’re not based on anyone I know, but it seems like they are friends with a real story behind them.

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve liked the idea of adoption. Adoption is a beautiful picture of God’s love for us as His children, and a beautiful way of bringing more children into a family.

Naturally, I just loved viewing a pre-screen of Rescued, a wonderful documentary on adoption. Well, the creators of Rescued have started the Rescued Adoption Fund which provides Christian families looking to adopt with informational and financial aid. And all of the profit from my print, “For This Child We Prayed,” goes to the fund!

“For This Child We Prayed” is available here in my Etsy shop — don’t be shy, spread the love!

A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Daughter, and Response

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“Many of you are young mothers who one day hope to see your daughters joyfully living the life of a homemaker, even in your own home before they marry. But some of you may be apprehensively wondering, “What will that look like?”

Having a visual of what your daughter could one day be doing takes a lot of the “scariness” out of it. I’d like to give you a peek into my life as a “stay-at-home daughter,” but since I can’t have you in our home, I thought I’d illustrate it for you!”

Continue reading at Raising Homemakers

After I posted “A Day in the Life” at Raising Homemakers, I received a comment, inquisitive about “stay-at-home daughters”. I thought I’d share on my blog my response:

Dear ‘Daughter of the King,’

Thank you for commenting. I’d love to answer your questions, and I’ll start with the last: basically, Do we have any Biblical support for the “stay-at-home daughter” lifestyle? In short, yes, we do. :) You are right in saying that being a wife and mother is [one of] the most important and beautiful jobs. (See Psalm 128, Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3-5)

We would be taking the importance of the family and home far too lightly if we simply assumed that running a household was easy. It’s a gigantic mission to create a nurturing, biblical home, to disciple and educate your children, all the while helping your husband in his vision. Proverbs 31 shows that home life is more than solitary confinement with baking, knitting, and cleaning as the only permissible inmate activities. :) The home can be a beehive of economy, a fortress of the Gospel and Christian culture. Most of the women in the Bible were married and bore children—marriage and motherhood for women is the Biblical norm, and we ought to wisely prepare for this honorable position.

Ask any woman who was not raised to be a homemaker and worked outside the home—it’s not an easy transition from career to homemaker, let alone balancing the two.

“Why can’t they get a college education, a job, a place of their own?” Good question. We certainly believe that a young woman is fully capable of earning —and in some situations may actually need— a college-level education. But that education need not be solely obtained on a campus (a campus that, I believe, isolates people from real life). There are many avenues whereby we can further our education, through apprenticeships, taking online classes, and teaching ourselves. The culture has programmed us to think that a young person must leave their parents to discover themselves, their independent life calling, their freedom, and the world. But as a Christian, we can only find true life, success, and freedom in Christ and the order in which He designed family, church, and state to function for His glory.

In God’s design for the family, the husband is the head of the wife, and therefore the rightful provider and protector for the wife as well as the daughters in that family. If a young woman leaves her family before marriage, she is in an unprotected position. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, but it’s not the Biblical ideal. However, this doesn’t mean a young woman cannot work while she’s also learning to become a homemaker. The home (as well as working under her father) is the best place for a young woman to develop her talents, use her skills, and bless her family, church, and community in countless ways (and earn money, too). :)

If a woman finds herself single, those homemaking skills will still come in handy! God doesn’t leave out any of His children in His tapestry. There are many ways for her to labor beside her family (or church family if she has no family, Psalm 68:6), showing hospitality, helping young mothers, caring for the needy, etc.. We can trust that when we obey His Words, He will fulfill His promise to provide for us. There’s a good article by some friends of mine if you’re interested in learning more about this issue: “But What If…?”

You also mentioned Deborah who was a wise (and married) woman raised up by God for a specific time in Israel’s history. I honestly don’t know enough about the situation to tell you why this was so, but we do know from the rest of Scripture that Deborah’s position is not given as a normative example for women. We have many other examples to look to, like Sarah, Abigail, Rebecca, Naomi, Ruth, and Mary—and Deborah, too, inspiring us in sturdy womanhood.

I hope this has helped you gain a better perspective of what “stay-at-home daughters” are about. Basically, we’re young women dedicated to becoming godly women, preparing ourselves to be well-equipped for whatever God sends our way, His way, even when it’s bizarrely counter-cultural. :) Thank you for asking!

Blessings In Christ,
Breezy Brookshire

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

I love my Daddy so much! I am so glad he’s my father, protector, and provider.

God has worked greatly in his life (rebel-turned-reformer), but I only know him as the kind, loving, and hard-working leader he is. He’s always been praying for his family, leading us in studying God’s Word, and made sure we were safe and protected from harm.

When we were little, Emily and I loved to dance with him as he held our hands and we stood on his feet.

In the summer we liked to go swimming at a local reservoir. When I was little, one of my favorite parts was when I got to hold onto his back as he swam. He’d tell me to hold my breath, we’re going under! and I’d squint my eyes, imagining I was riding on the back of a giant sea monster.

He’s even joined us in science projects like dissecting owl pellets and cow eyeballs!

And he’s taught us a great many different things, from walking on stilts and mowing the lawn, to studying God’s Word and praying to our Heavenly Father.

Thank you Daddy for being such a great father! Happy birthday, and may God continue to richly bless you in everything!

.:. .:. .:.

My Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

This used to be my very own secret recipe. . . but then I started sharing it, so now it’s really no secret. Actually, the original recipe was from a friend, but the first time I made it I messed it up, and voila! They turned out well and are quite fabulous, if I may say so. (This is the recipe I used for the cookies in this post.)

In a large bowl mix:
– 1 cup Crisco oil
– 3/4 cup brown sugar
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tsp. vanilla
– 1 tsp. water
– 2 eggs

In a smaller bowl mix:
– 2½ cups flour
– 1 tsp. soda
– 1 tsp. salt

Combine both mixtures and add one 12 oz. pkg. of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Use a small scoop to place them on lightly greased sheets, and bake at 375º for 8-10 minutes. Be sure you take them out of the oven just before the edges turn golden. Yields approx. 60 cookies?

.:. .:. .:.

And don’t forget to share them!

::Portable Hospitality::

Bake some cookies or other treats (my favorite is definitely chocolate chip).

Use simple crafting supplies to decorate a brown paper sack, such as ribbons…

…and some tissue paper flowers.

I then packaged the cookies in cellophane bags and placed them in the paper sack.

And voila! You have a lovely gifts of sweets for a friend.

.:. .:. .:.

Uncle Bill

My great uncle Bill, or “Doc” as he’s usually called, is ninety-four years old. You wouldn’t be able to guess his age because he’s taken such good care of himself.

He’s been an avid reader for eighty-seven years, and his favorite books are romance novels. And he loves to garden.

Here are some details of the portrait.  I just love how Uncle Bil pronounces it: “por-trait.”

As I started to sketch him, his wife Eula slowly came up and gently patted his collar to spiff it up a bit.

On Saturday, Mom and I took down my exhibit at the library. A wee bit bittersweet, but I’m glad to have all my pieces back home.

(Edit) This piece was drawn with graphite pencils on Strathmore drawing paper. Thanks for all the comments!