Monday, October 29, 2012

The One Year Be-Tween You and God: Devotions for Girls (One Year Book)

This One Year book is describes as a diary-style devotional for tween girls (9 to 14) that emphasizes their growing, special relationship with God. Each devotion begins with a statement, thought, or question to God. Every girl is likely to make these statements and ask such questions . . . many of which they may not want to share with other people.

Mom's Comments (age irrelevant)
As the mother of a 9 year old, I was very excited to get the opportunity to review this book.  When we received the book in the mail, I told my daughter that each night before bed we would read that day's devotion and discuss it.  This gave us the chance to spend a few minutes each day just being girls and winding down.  Each of the devotions starts out with a question to God.  This is followed by the devotion.  There is a scripture and a question for discussion at the bottom of each page as well.

As we have made our way through each of the devos this last month, there were several topics that we enjoyed discussing.  However, I did think that some of the examples used in the devotions were a little hard to tie back to the topic of the original question.  Sometimes it seemed like the examples just didn't fit the question at hand.  Over all, I have enjoyed the devotions, and I plan to continue reading them each night with my daughter.  I would definitely recommend it to my friends as a way to open up the lines of communication about many topics with their tween daughters.

Daughter's Comments (9 years old)
I thought the book was really good and I could really agree with some of the things in it. It is fun reading it every night.  Some of the devotions were sometimes hard to understand.  I would recommend this book to my friends and their moms.  I think that my friends would really like to read this book, and it would help them get closer to God.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Trying to Save a Little Time

Freezer cooking...I had researched (read about on the internet) this concept in the past but like many of my grand ideas, I never followed through with it.  A couple off weeks ago I happened across a website that had done all the hard work (picking the recipes, making the grocery list) and had everything spelled out and ready to go.  So I printed a menu plan, headed to the grocery store and spent about 4 hours of my Saturday preparing five meals to put in the freezer.  This was a "mini" menu unlike the real once a month cookers who cook up as many as 30 meals at a time to use later.  I knew that would overwhelm me so I started small.

The menu included meatloaf (I made 2 - one to eat that day and one for the freezer), ham and cheese pinwheels (which the kids took for their lunches last week), honey teriyaki chicken, ranch Parmesan chicken, and Mexican shepherds pie (the last 3 are still in the freezer waiting for their taste test).  I had a few store bought marinades as well that I mixed up and put on some chicken and froze as well.

I have to admit it was nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer in the evening and have it ready to cook the next night.  And now that Brian gets home before I do, supper is usually waiting when I walk in the door.  I can say it is much easier for me to clean the kitchen as well, if I didn't have to cook too.  So this is working out well so far.

So since that all worked out so well, I decided this week to stockpile some breakfast burritos.  Getting the kids out of bed of a morning, dressed and out the door with a decent breakfast can be time consuming, so I figured we could make up a bunch of breakfast burritos that could be popped in the microwave and heated in just a few minutes.  Skylar and I hit the kitchen early and prepared all of the fixings.  When all was said and done we had 31 breakfast burritos in the freezer.  I hope they are a big hit.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman

Almost Amish  -     
        By: Kathryn Cushman

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and over committed?  That is exactly what Julie Charlton is feeling. Too many obligations with her two kids' school schedules, her husband's business and keeping up her house have her ready to check out for a while.  When her Martha Stewart sister-in-law Susan offers her and her family a chance to spend the summer on a reality show where they will live as the Amish do, it seems the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle.

But the summer adventure turns out to be anything but simple.  Julie finds herself enjoying the slower pace while her Susan's drive for perfection leads to friction within the family.  Each new challenge raises new complications and each woman learns unexpected lessons about herself and her family.

This books was not what I first expected.  I have read many books about the Amish and expected this one to follow the usual pattern.  When I found that it was not about Amish at all, I didn't expect to like it much.  However, once I began reading, I truly got into the whole idea of getting back to basics.  I did really enjoy reading.  I don't think that it was very realistic - I don't see 3 teenage kids adapting to the Amish way of life quite so easily and without much complaint, but it made for a very enjoyable read.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.

Monday, May 28, 2012


April has come and gone, and with it the beautiful purple irises that adorn my yard each year.  May is nearly over now, and the cool temperatures have definitely gone.  We have had little rain this year so far, so summer promises to be hot and dry (not that this comes as any surprise). We water our plants daily and will probably have to for the entire summer, but we have a promising crop of tomatoes coming on and lots of pretty flowers.
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Sunday, April 15, 2012


This woodpecker has found a great food sorce in our backyard.  This tree is dying and must be like a buffet for this bird.
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wow - February is Almost Gone

I can't believe February is almost over.  Two months of 2012 are soon to be gone.  January and February have been busy as usual.  Tax season is upon us at work...lots of extra hours being put in.  We will survive it just like we always have, even though it seems very overwhelming at times.

Another season of Upward is about to go in the record books.  This  is Stephen's last year to get to play.  He wishes he could keep playing.  He has really stepped up this year.  He is a lot more aggressive on the court.  He made more shots in his first game than he even attempted in the last two years of play.  Skylar is still cheering.  She loves it and I think she will continue to cheer in the upcoming years.

I got an e-reader for Christmas and I have been putting it to good use.  I have found that I can get books free from, and I have been hoarding up almost everything they offer.  I have always loved reading, but I honestly didn't know whether I would like reading on an e-reader or not, so when I requested one, I asked for a cheaper no-name brand.  So far I love it more than I thought I would.  It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles that some of them have, but for just reading books it is great.  So far I have read Child of the Mist, The Help, Explosive Eighteen, and Directed Verdict.  I also just finished reading The Devil in Pew Number Seven in paperback.  Sometimes you just can't beat the feel of a real book in your hands especially when you receive it for free just for reviewing it.  I plan to review more of the books I read - especially the ones I download for free, but you know how plans are sometimes...we will see how that works out.

Book Review: The Devil in Pew Number Seven

Cover: The Devil in Pew Number Seven

Rebecca's entire childhood was riddled with terror.  Her father and mother moved to Sellerstown, North Carolina to pastor a church there.  Seems like the ideal family setting.  However, while most of the congregation  and community  welcomed him, one man was bent on running the pastor and his family out of town.  For years this man terrorized the Nichols family, but Robert refused to back down in the face of this terror, until one Easter weekend the unthinkable finally happened.  The family was torn apart when a man entered their kitchen and began shooting.

If anyone has a reason to hold on to anger, hatred and bitterness it would be Rebecca  But this is the true store of what forgiveness is truly about.  She explains how her upbringing allowed her to forgive those responsible for taking away from her the carefree days of childhood, stealing her mother and eventually her father from her.  By forgiving, she has been able to live a life pleasing to God and has enjoyed his blessings.

I truly enjoyed this book.  The fact that it was a true story was more than a little disturbing.  To think that anyone could treat a family - especially his own pastor - the way the Nichols family was treated is unthinkable.  Her ability to forgive the people responsible is a true testimony to her love of the Lord.

I received a free copy of this book to review from Tyndale.  I have not been compensated for this review.