Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fields of Grace

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was great, and we still have one more celebration tonight at my dad's house. We spent Christmas Eve at my in-laws house with Jesse's brother Eric's family. There were some unintentionally hilarious moments in the evening. They had asked me for gift ideas for Mia, and because we had gotten her a DSi, i suggested games for it, forgetting that she wouldn't be getting the actual system until Christmas Day.

So when she opened the first game, I said loudly that she could play it on Doogie's DS, and she was happy with that. When she opened the second one that came with a case for the DSi and some styluses, we all exchanged knowing looks as Doogie good-naturedly said that of course she could store his DS in the pink case. Then Mia proceeded to pretend that the case was a real DS, never once mentioning how much she really wanted a real one.

On Christmas morning, before she opened another game, I directed her to a certain package, and you can see from the picture how thrilled she was to finally get her own DSi! It's a pretty amazing game system. She can not only play games but take pictures and edit them, record her own sounds, play them back, and edit them as well, and go online. The only time she's put it down since Friday morning is when it's charging or she's sleeping! This will definitely be a Christmas for her to remember!

Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a gentle love story with Mennonites in 1872 Kansas. Lillian and Reinhardt Vogt must leave their home in the steppes of Russia to protect their son, Henrik, from forced military service. Traveling with them is Reinhardt's foster brother Eli Bornholdt, who will use his farming know-how to help them prosper in their new home in Kansas. But two tragedies aboard their ship forces Lillian to radically change her view of the future and will challenge the faith of the entire family. Sawyer creates a realistic and moving story of facing your worst nightmare and living through it. Her portrayal of pioneer Kansas makes the grassy plains come to life. She keeps the conflict for the most part within the family instead of external. They have to overcome their own struggles and fights while the outside world rarely intrudes, which was probably very true for families who would have been so incredibly isolated during this time in history. A small complaint: the woman on the front cover doesn't look anything like Lillian who is 38, and this young woman is barely twenty. Sometimes the characters seem to change their feelings 180 degrees too quickly, but for the most part Sawyer does an admirable job showing how God works good through all circumstances for those who believe in Him.

Thank you to Kim Vogel Sawyer for providing me with a copy of this book for review.