You gotta read this…


I love to go to other bloggers “Reading or Books” lists to find good reads and last night was a winner! I downloaded it via Kindle and started reading last night, only to wake and finish it this morning. If you have a heart for ADVENTURE, are SCARED of the adventurous types, or WANT to be adventurous…this book is for you. This family’s story is so fun. They are real and open and raw with their readers as they travel 10,000 miles around the country in a borrowed, blue school bus, with their 4 kids (two of them toddlers), homeschooling along the way and discovering so much more than they even knew was possible. Go ahead – download it 🙂Screen shot 2014-10-11 at 9.21.40 AM

Book Review: Notes from a Blue Bike

IMG_1514Over the last 2 weeks I’ve had the pleasure of reading Notes From a Blue Bike; The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, by Tsh Oxenreider, while sitting on the couch feeding the baby. It’s the one time I feel no guilt reading in the middle of the day (OK, let’s face it, I don’t really feel guilt reading during the day when the babies are napping); holding my baby, making sure his bottle stays in his mouth (which is hard to do when you’re engrossed in a good book) and picking up my latest read.

This book was so refreshing. It was an easy read, with SUPER short chapters that made you feel like you actually read something, even though you may have only had 10 minutes to sneak in. Tsh has such a fabulous, cultural background that influences her thinking and her desire to live slower and more intentionally as a family, amidst the crazy American-Dream lifestyle that the majority of Americans live. I found myself nodding and agreeing out loud with MUCH of what she said.

This book is perfect for anyone wanting to think deeper about the way their family is living, what their goals are and how to go about slowing life down just a little. It’s a lot about swimming upstream in our culture, which isn’t a bad thing, by the way, and creating dead space to veg out and let our minds wander; it’s about what’s best for YOUR family and living out who YOU are, not some formulaic way of life that “everyone” lives.

And of course, it’s always fun when you read a local author. Tsh is currently living in Bend, Oregon, but I’m guessing she’ll get a hankering to get out of dodge and travel world-wide sooner than later. So go on! Go request it at the library or download it to your kindle – it’s a great summer read!

Book Review: Take the Risk

In the winter months I tend to consume books like they were Costco ice cream bars rolled in almonds (which are not available anymore, MUCH to my dismay), eating quickly to avoid melting ice cream and chocolate falling in my lap. I have always had a passion for reading, learning, growing and I do believe you are the same person you were last year except for the people you meet and the books you read. Stagnation is my arch nemesis.

After watching The Gifted Hands: the story of Ben Carson, I was both challenged and convicted. Both personally and in my role as a parent. Seeing and learning how Ben Carson overcame all the obstacles, that today would be considered by many as no possible, was inspiring to say the least. Not only was it inspiring to me, but to Kayla, as well. The next night she showed us a speech that Ben Carson had given at the 2013 Presidential Prayer Breakfast and told us how amazed she was by it. These are the kinds of people who I want to learn from. Inspiring by the way they live their lives and walk the talk that is coming from their lips.

Off to the library I went. The first book I devoured was called Take the Risk. I mentioned it my friend, to which she exclaimed, “What in the world are YOU reading that kind of book for???!!!”

“What do you mean?”, I questioned.

“I mean, YOU have no problem taking risks. Why do you need to read about it? You live that.”

OK. She does have a point. But then I thought….and realized, “Yes, I do have an easier time taking (educated) risks compared to most people.” BUT…I still need to be inspired, to be encouraged and to be learning and growing in this area.

Back to the book review. I HIGHLY recommend reading this book. Carson uses many of his personal life experiences, dissecting them for all to see how risk played a part of shaping who he is today. He is a neuro brain surgeon, a scientist, a husband, a father and a son. He knows what he’s talking about and ever so calmly explains how to identify, choose and live with acceptable risk. As Tony Dungy says in his review of the book, “Reading this book will cause you to examine your approach to living and challenge you to use the gifts God has given you to help others.”

I will definitely be using Ben Carson’s wisdom as I make future choices, both personally and as a parent. In fact, his four questions he asks himself before taking a risk (that he expounds upon in his book) will now be an integral part of decision making for the Raichart Family.

I hope this review causes you to go to the computer and reserve this book online.



This is what I’m reading at the moment and it’s one of the most beautifully written books I can remember reading. I’ve been following Kelle’s blog for about a year now, and love, love, love her attitude towards life, hardship and finding joy in the midst of everyday trials.

I was given Bloom by a friend, who handed it to me and said, “I’m sorry, but you’ll be crying in the first 10 minutes….but it gets better, I promise.” “OK”, I say, having no clue how this book would really touch my heart. I sat down Saturday afternoon on my sunny deck, propped up my feet, with my shades on ready to drink in this book and found myself a crying mess by page 10. My pour husband came home at about chapter 3 and gave me the “what in the world happened to you” look and so I explained, re-did my makeup and then made myself put the book down for our date night.

Moral of the story: DO NOT read until you can cry your eyes out and not have anywhere to go in the near future!

I don’t want you to have the idea it’s just a sad story. It’s so much more. You will be laughing out loud, re-reading the hilarious parts to your husband late in bed, and then, yes, you will cry again….BUT, it will grow you, encourage you, and spur you on in your personal life.