Book Review: Raven Queen by Pauline Francis…

i love history and i like historically based novels. Raven Queen is one i would recommend, especially to get teens or middle grade students to show an interest in history.

The writing is simple and easy to understand; no fancy old English, which means it’s a good book for middle grade. But that does not mean the story is thin or uninteresting. On the contrary, it is a beautiful story of love and betray, of power struggles and tragedy.

Lady Jane Grey, often known as the 9-day queen, sat on the throne of England for a mere 9 days. And usually that is all that is said about her in the history books. She was the one who stood in the way of Mary becoming queen, unwillingly.

Through much research, Francis was able to put together a story which allows us an insight into what it means to be born with royal blood, to be trapped because you were born into a particular family and to be forced to take part in what is essentially a coup you do not believe in.

She has, of course, taken some liberties and added a love interest which did not historically exist. But it does not change the essence of Lady Jane Grey’s story. It makes for a more engaging story.

So do you like historical novels? If yes, which ones have you read?

syc

#happyhandmade seventy-one…

We are busy packing; we leave early in the morning to visit family. My boy always brings a little soft-toy for the plane ride. So this week for #happyhandmade i have picked “Stuff-toy-crafts”.

Here are my six picks for #happyhandmade seventy-one (please note that pictures are copyrighted by the creators of the items and i’m using them just to direct you to their shop – click on the pictures to see more):

mermaid_20001_large orangeowl patchybear pinkmonster rainbowcat_400w totoro

Are you going on vacation soon? If yes, where to? Does your little one bring a favourite stuff toy with them? Have a wonderful summer!

syc

All From Asia #15…

Language_families_of_AsiaPost #15 in our All From Asia series. This is where we raise awareness for families who are bringing home precious children from Asia. These families are on a difficult journey; long paperchase, long flights, weeks in a strange country where they usually don’t speak the language. The whole affair from start to finish is so much emotional and financial strain that they would not be able to do it without a supportive community – that community which you, dear readers, are a part of and we thank you for all that you do; praying, giving and sharing the needs of these families and their children.

Families Who Are Home:

The Huhn Family has been home with Ava (Josie) for 3 weeks now. You can follow the rest of their story here.

The Rakoczy Family is home with Daniel, just 7 days ago. They are facing some challenges and ask for prayers. Please do remember them in prayer. You can follow the rest of their journey here.

Families Who Are Still On Their Journey:

The Wetherington Family has Eilliette and Henry with them now. They praise the Lord and thank all their supporters; they were fully funded just before travelling. They are finishing up final paperwork in country now and will be home soon. You can follow their journey here.

The Monier Family is in country now and will be meeting Grace (Channah) in a few days! Praise the Lord they were fully funded just before they travelled. Now they have some paperwork to finish up, after which they get on a jet plane and bring Gracie home. You can follow their journey here.

The Ashoff Family has USCIS Approval and they are now waiting for Article 5. Then it’s just one more step before they travel to bring Leo home. They are still in need of US$4443.54 to be fully funded. Please support their fundraisers – Bravelet and Window Clings; make a purchase and help them close this gap. You can contribute directly to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Fraley Family is still waiting on approval from Autumn’s and Abby’s country. Do pray that they will receive approval soon.  They have fundraisers posted on this FB page. You can contribute to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Cassel Family is waiting for the official referral from Shawna’s (Hannah) country. They are still hoping to be able to bring Shawna home late summer. They are fundraising through the sale of beautiful handmade pens – check them out  hereYou can contribute to their adoption grant here.

The Duvall Family has LID (Log-In-Date) which means their dossier is officially in the adoption system of Jimmy’s (Asher) country. Now they wait for LOA (Letter Of Approval) and then they can travel. They are still a little over US$9000 short. Please help them get the remaining funds by shopping for lovely crochet items at their Esty Shop.  You can also contribute to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Anderson Family‘s super-expedite process is stalled because the hard copy of their LOA has not arrived. Wayne’s and Danny’s officials said they have sent it and now they have re-sent it. Please pray that hard copy of LOA will arrive ASAP! They need it to get to the next step. Please also continue to pray for Wayne’s health. They are still short of funds!! They have been offered a matching grant of US$4000 which means if supporters can contribute and help grow their FSP to US$11436, the donor will put in that US$4000. After which they will still need about US$8000 to be fully funded. They have their fundraisers listed here and they have a new t-shirt fundraiser here. They also have an Usborne Fundraiser here and an Origami Owl Fundraiser here. Please do take part in their fundraisers and help them reach their boys. You can contribute to their adoption funds here and here. You can follow their journey here.

The Smith Family is just days away from travelling to bring Barry home. Praise the Lord they are fully funded. Please do pray for a safe and hassle-free trip. You can follow their journey here and here.

The Maples Family has finally had progress. Praise the Lord! They are now waiting for LOA and then it will be TA and then they travel to bring Coral home. With all the delays and changing agencies, they are still in need of funds. Please help by purchasing soft crochet scarves here. You can give directly to their adoption grants here and here. You can follow their journey here.

The Settles Family is on their way to the airport as i write this. They will be in country tomorrow to bring Hudson home. They have worked hard at fundraising but still fell short of about US$1000. There is still time to get help them get that last bit of funding. You can give directly to their adoption grant here and here. You can keep updated via their FB page here. You can follow their journey here.

The West Family’s progress has been stalled and they are not sure why. They are supposed to be on a medical-expedite route. Please PRAY that their paperwork will get processed quickly and that they will be informed ASAP about TA (Travel Approval). Please also PRAY for Nicholas’ health, they have not been updated on his health status. Praise the Lord that they are fully funded. You can follow their journey here.

The Speelman Family has LOA! Now they wait for TA and plan travel dates to bring Seth (Simon) home. They hope to travel in September and still need US$7000. They are selling Kids CDs with a download option, you can get details and listen to a sample here. They are also asking for prayers for their 2 boys, especially the oldest who would have just started Kindergarten a few days before they leave to bring Seth home. Please pray for everyone’s adjustment as they add to their family. You can give to  their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

Laurence’s Family is still trying to get the last bit of their homestudy done. They have another fundraiser on now – Keep the Change for Lance – find out more here. You can give directly to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Lee Family is waiting on DTC (Dossier to Country) so they can bring Phineas home asap. They have had their Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser; we have not yet heard how that went but we hope it went well. In the meantime, you can give to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Stickley Family has completed their homestudy and are onto getting their dossier together. Please do support them as they are very stretched from having just returned a few months ago from an expedited international adoption. And now they have simply turned around to go back for Maddox and Amos. You can give to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Dubbs Family has LID (Log-In-Date), which means that their dossier is officially in the adoption system of Emma’s and Shailey’s country. Now they wait for LOA. They are still needing about US$35,000. They have a Lilla Rose Fundraiser going on now – details here - make a purchase and help them. You can give directly to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The King Family has just returned with 2 adopted daughter in February and has PA (pre-approval) to re-use their dossier for Leanne who will be turning 12 in June. Their blog link and FSP will be up soon. Stay tuned. In the meantime, do pray for them as they start the long international adoption process again.

The Nap Family needs just one more piece of paper to complete their dossier and hopes to be DTC by July 15th. Please pray that paperwork will move along at lightening speed. They have just discovered that Grandpa has a growth in his brain but they are praying for a miracle so Grandpa can meet his grandson. Please pray along with them. You can give to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Murray Family is in country now and doing the final paperwork. Breck has been with Daddy Murray for a little over a week now. They are still in need of some funds so please give. You can give to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Goodwin Family has Pre-Approval for both Elijah and Isaiah. They are also working on their dossier, just another few documents needed.  You can give towards their adoption grant here. You can follow their updates on that same link. They also have all their fundraisers and updates on this FB page.

The Preciado Family knew from the get-go that they will be adopting to grow their family and just a year after being married, they are on their first international adoption journey to bring Hallie (Helen) home. They have just finished compiling their dossier and are now awaiting for fingerprints. They hope to travel in January. They are about US$10,000 from being fully funded. They have the following fundraisers: Enter “Family Preciado”in the order notes when purchasing from Johari Creations and Ginger On A Mission and they will receive a percentage of the sales, for Our Visiting Orphans please designate “Preciado” and they will again receive a percentage. They are also running an Envelope Fundraiser, details here. So many ways to help – pick one. You can also give directly to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Dasher Family is not new to adoption, this will be their third international adoption and fourth adopted child. They will be bringing home Nathan. They are almost at the end of their journey; they travel on JULY 11th to Nathan’s country. BUT they are still short of funds. We still have an opportunity to help them meet some of those last funding needs. Please do help them. You can give to their adoption grant here. You can follow their journey here.

The Bison Family has embarked on their first international adoption journey. Both Mama and Papa Bison have a heart for special needs persons and they will be bringing home Lisa (Gracie). They have their homestudy completed and now wait for USCIS Approval. They have been fundraising through t-shirt and yard sales. They currently have an Online Auction on – check here! You can give towards their adoption grants here and here. You can follow their journey here.

2 families home. 3 new families. 23 families whom you can help by praying for them, sharing their needs and giving financially. Please do help. Thank you very much for all your support and efforts.

syc