Sunday, December 23, 2007
Ronie Kendig altered this CARDED meme to include a Spiritual Wish list so we can know how to pray for each other, both spiritually and physically. Isn’t that a great idea?
1. Each player starts with 5 gifts that they would want for Christmas.
2. People who are "CARDED" need to write their own Blog about their 5 things & post these rules.
3. At the end of your Blog, you need to choose 5 people to get "CARDED" and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a COMMENT telling them they're "CARDED", and to read your Blog.
My Materialistic Gift/Wish List:
1. a good haircut (someone could come to my house or a gift certificate would work)
2. a maid/housecleaner
3. gift cards to eat out
4. mp3 player (or iPod)
5. trees trimmed in our yard (so the limbs would stop breaking and falling on our roof!!)
My Spiritual Gift/Wish List:
1. work on the spiritual disciplines (especially Bible reading, study, and prayer)
2. to focus on physically taking care of myself (proper sleep, etc) to be able to take better care of my family
3. to reach out to others and evangelize more
4. to pray more for my husband
5. help our children see Christ and know Him better
The people I have carded:
Biscuits & Grits
Kelli at Living in Grace
Shannon at A Reforming Mom
Deena at Wholly Devoted and A Peek at My Bookshelf
and Stacy at With Great Joy
Friday, December 21, 2007
I liked The God I Love ~ A Lifetime of Walking With Jesus by Joni Eareckson Tada the best. This book really seemed to speak to me, also encouraged me to live life, and it made me Laugh Out Loud! I liked The Camel Club by David Baldacci the least. That surprised me because he really is one of my favorite authors. Though I liked "the Camel Club" characters themselves the book was hard to follow and too much politicalness (see my review here). I'll definitely still keep reading David Baldacci books (and I still want to read the follow-up to The Camel Club but I'll know not to run out and buy it!). I enjoyed writing the book reviews though sometimes it's hard to express my passion (no hand waving, etc.).
I still like fiction better than non-fiction (no surprise)! But I really did enjoy the memoir by Joni Eareckson Tada so I might start looking for more memoirs/biographies. I do better reading a non-fiction book when my husband and I read it together and I have a "strict" schedule. :) I could list several reasons why I didn't finish my list but I won't. I'm still trying to get caught up in Bible reading to finish on Dec 31. My husband and I always set a goal of reading through the whole Bible in one year (broken into daily readings from OT, NT, Psalms and Proverbs). If you'd like to know an easy way - I've subscribed on my bloglines from One Year Bible Blog. Each day there is a link for that day's reading and a little info/commentary about the reading. Will you join me in 2008?
Links for Fall Into Reading original, reviews, wrap-up. My links for original list, reviews: The Camel Club, These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge?, Bleachers, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, When Sinners Say "I Do", and The God I Love: A Lifetime of Walking With Jesus.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I also use parchment paper to line my square airbake pan (again, bought a loonng time ago) to bake brownies. It doesn't fold into the corners perfectly but that's ok, I usually cut the edges off (we keep and eat those) and send the cut up brownies for functions and gifts. I think brownies are best when frosted (yum, I promise it's all my husband's fault!!). Take a regular can of frosting, stir it, then frost semi-cool brownies (spread the frosting around before you cut them). If the brownies are semi-cool the frosting will "melt" a little and be really delicious. Another tip is to take a box mix and add 3 eggs instead of 2. This makes a more "cake-like" brownie (according to the Betty Crocker directions). I also recommend baking in an 8x8 or 9x9 square pan instead of 9x13. With the added egg, this makes the brownies much thicker and it seems to cook better (softer and not overdone). (Put the leftover frosting in the fridge, use it for your next batch of brownies, ice cookies with it, make smores, or frost graham crackers. I've left my leftover frosting in the fridge probably up to 1-2 months but the label will usually say 1-2 weeks.)
Enjoy! And these ideas, work for me! See Shannon for more tips. :)
Monday, December 17, 2007
Today's giveaway is TWO BOOKS! The Red Glove Collection by Karen Kingsbury and At Home for the Holidays by Meredith Efken.
Her question today - Are you the one in your family who's impatient to get to opening the presents or do you like to wait and torture others in the family who can't wait? Well, the kids are pretty excited about opening presents now. However, I used to be pretty impatient. I wanted to carry on the tradition from my family of opening 1 present on Christmas Eve but my husband has put his foot down and said, "NO!". Probably 14 years ago, my brother really wanted to open his gifts. My mom said if he washed all the dishes (we didn't have a dishwasher), he could open his presents after midnight. Then the rest of us went to bed. He washed all of the dishes and opened his presents!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Wow!! I really was intrigued by this book. I knew about Joni's (pronounced "Johnny") diving accident that landed her in a wheelchair and also that she painted. And I guess I knew she was married but I'm not sure I knew much more. This book definitely gives you more! :)
The book begins (probably her earliest memories) when she's about five and her family's on vacation. They are a family of non-stop adventure and Joni loves it. She faces the typical childhood issues of school, friends, and older siblings (in her case - only sisters). But also the non-typical of falling off horses, finding out the family secrets, and finding her place in her family but also living up to her "inherited" father's name.
Some of her stories and examples had me laughing out loud. I really felt like I was a part of her world (and time period!). (I've enjoyed other biographies where I felt like I was learning more about them BUT not actually there, with "The God I Love" I felt like I was there.)
One issue that stuck out to me was how her friends were still a part of her life after the accident. I'm sure their relationship changed but her friends were able to come to her "rescue", comfort, and make her life somewhat lighthearted again. That speaks to the depth and value she had, even in high school. (I haven't kept in touch with any high school friends, we went in separate directions after graduation with many going to different colleges around the U.S.) I know part of that is the grace of God in her life. You will be pointed toward God with each struggle and challenge Joni faces.
I can't imagine having my life played out on screen in a movie, but Joni not only went through that - she also starred in it. She also started Joni and Friends to reach out to others and across the globe who have disabilities and those who need equipment (like wheelchairs).
My only critique of the book would be that she jumps ahead in time (especially in the 3rd part) and it's hard to know "when" it is and what is going on. Warning - the book references (briefly) some "physical" struggles including losing her purity through bad choices she made in high school. However, I would highly recommend this book to older teens and adults!
Part of my Fall Into Reading 2007 list. Previous reviews - The Camel Club, These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge?, Bleachers, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, and When Sinners Say "I Do".
I'm going to borrow a quote I saw posted at A Reforming Mom blog
"That's one of the ways in which the self-esteem movement works against the message of the gospel. The prevailing emphasis of our culture is to tell people that what's wrong with them is that they feel bad about themselves. If they will just feel better about themselves, they can be cured of anything.But the Bible says you'll never feel good about yourself until you learn first to feel bad about yourself. When you realize how bad things really are, then you are in a position to learn how to feel truly good. Then it won't be about you, but about the One who died to forgive your great debt so that you, in turn, can be a debt forgiver to others around you.Anytime I harbor animosity toward anyone, it is because I have diminished my sense of the debt I owe to the living God."-Alistair Begg
If you're ready to face your sin and feel bad about it then you should read this book. Though I won't get into Nouthetic counseling etc. right now, this book is from the viewpoint that problems in our relationships are due to sin. If you're sensitive to being told over and over again that you're a sinner (I am) then the first part of the book is rough but there is HOPE and it will get better. This book also addresses biblically confronting your spouse with his or her sin. As a Christian, we still need the gospel and this book reminds us of that. Marriage is used to sanctify us. I think the examples in the book are good, but there weren't enough of them! :)
My husband and I read this book together, usually reading and discussing 2 chapters each week. I would recommend this book for married couples, engaged couples and those seeking to be married. My husband recommends it for pre-marriage and marriage counseling. However, if you're not married I would strongly suggest skipping chapter 9. (Family friendly warning - this book is about marriage and so discusses issues pertaining to that relationship.)
Part of my Fall Into Reading 2007 list. Previous reviews - The Camel Club, These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge?, Bleachers, and Treasuring God in Our Traditions.
As I expected, I was not disappointed by this book. Not only did it point to great ways to celebrate throughout the year, it also pointed me closer to knowing the one we should celebrate - God and Jesus Christ. I think this is a great book if you have kids or if you don't. Everyone has traditions, sometimes you just have to dig a little to think about them. What legacy do you want to leave with others? What little things do you do automatically? I want to make a big deal about birthdays because it was a big deal in my family (not BIG parties but a special DAY), but my husband downplays it a little because that's how it was in his family. We're learning to compromise! :)
The book explains traditions, how to make them important, teaching traditions, and "everyday" and "especially" traditions, then talks about Christmas and Easter. I wanted to order Noel Piper's Advent Calendar for this year but when I called they were already sold out and they're redesigning it (or something, I was told) so I decided to make my own going for something similar to what she has, but it's turning out somewhere between a Jesse Tree and Advent calendar (I'll post about it later). Then my husband pointed out if we're doing this we really should do something for Lent (I used to think only Catholics did that!!), and I said that it talks about celebrating Lent and Easter in this book. So stay tuned to see if we start celebrating Lent!
The book also included poems by John Piper. I'm not sure if I'm not into poetry or just this type, I didn't really like them. I did enjoy the personal stories and letters. My one criticism of the book would be some of the spacing and "text boxes" were off a little, such as a box not having a closing line at the bottom (like it had been put on there but the overlapping wasn't done right so you couldn't see the line for the box). Also the font was small, if that's an issue and you can find a Large print edition - I would definitely buy it!
Part of my Fall Into Reading 2007 list. Previous reviews - The Camel Club, These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge?, and Bleachers.
UPDATE to add, GirlTalk blog posted today about this book and there's a link to hear Noel Piper speak.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Deena at A Peek at my Bookshelf is having a special countdown to Christmas. She's reviewing 25 different books about Christmas! Go check it out and add her to your reader (bloglines, google reader, etc.) because she's also having giveaways!! And her reviews are awesome and she does other giveaways too. :)
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
This was different than a "standard" John Grisham book, but if you've read the synopsis of the book then you already know that. I think the book will be most enjoyed by those who can relate to it: football players, possibly cheerleaders, band members who participated in football games, football fans, football movie fans (like Remember the Titans), and those who are from/now live in a small town. My brother played football, I was in band, I went to school in a small town, and I love Remember the Titans so I definitely related to this book! This was a very quick read and I enjoyed it very much. My only criticism would be I kind of felt like the author gave away too much of the "secret" too early in the book. Usually John Grisham books have a shock or surprise but this one was lacking much of either one.
Part of my Fall Into Reading 2007 list, 3 more book reviews coming soon! Previous reviews - The Camel Club and These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge?
Monday, December 3, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
1) Hardest part - getting up early to participate in our church sale :) next was probably just getting a chance to work on everything b/c my husband was busy this month, 3 kids got sick, and Thanksgiving. I just tried to get a little time here and there to work on it, and put a lot of last-minute effort into it.
2) New habits/changes - laundry. This is a big issue obviously (looking at the before pictures). I'm making an effort to fold and put away laundry as it comes out of the dryer instead of letting it build up. Buying a pop-up hamper for the baby and toddler clothes has helped immensely! I really did need that. Another new thing was moving our filing box from on top of the fireplace area to under the desk. I really think it will help to have it accessible where I need it! :) I still need to discuss with my husband that every new book has to have a place before it comes into our house! My oldest child's comment, "Hooray, we have furniture" is definitely a shot into my heart that I need as a reminder that it's furniture not clothes holder.
3) Sold the computer desk chair, rocking chair and ottoman, speaker stands, some clothes, toys, and books. Outgrown and out of season clothes are stored in the kids' closets in totes. Some luggage went into our closet and some into our kids' closets. Trash!
4) Yes I think having this space is wonderful for us, it's nice to be around less cluttered spaces, and a place to sit and socialize. I know the kids will enjoy having room to move around. We're hoping to move the baby into the crib so the playpen could come down and open up the room some more. Implementing a filing system and plan for receipts will clear up clutter from the rest of the house, keep our finances more organized, and keep my husband off my back (he's always wondering where stuff is or how our checking account is doing). :)
5 or 6) I may have the biggest progress/better look but I'm not sure I should win b/c I feel like I wasn't able to give my full effort into this challenge and didn't make all of the changes I talked about (didn't get glass doors covered). However, I do feel we're more organized now and the room is definitely looking better! And new systems are being put into place. I guess it's up to the judges. :)
All laundry folded and put away! Matching ottoman brought out of our living room because there's room in here for it. :)
New pop-up hamper for kids' clothes, on the lower left is my 2-step step stool now cleared off and ready to use.
CD spinner (on the right) is cleared off (top) but I probably need to put something pretty there so it doesn't turn into a hot spot (FlyLady). Bookshelves have been gone through (except a couple shelves), some purging and reorganizing. The only new container (was empty, came out of our room) is for the batteries, the small shoe box I had wasn't big enough after I found a good deal at K-Mart a while back! :) The diapers will be used, hopefully freeing up another shelf but this seemed to be a good spot to put them in the meantime. I used the diaper boxes for my husband's books that he was selling.
Playpen has been moved over because rocker and ottoman were sold, floor cleaned. The fireplace is covered with a blanket to keep the cold air out (we don't use the fireplace).
Here's the cleaner desk, computer chair has been replaced with a folding chair (hope to replace with another "rolling" chair soon). Filing box is under the lower right part of the desk within reach of sitting at the desk! :)
LOOK! I found the space heater! And there's room on the floor for it! :) Really just showing the bookshelves being less cluttered.
Any questions?? Here's the posts at Org. Junkie's for the 2 updates - whole room, one area.
Purge - this before picture shows the office chair and top of the rocker, one of the before pictures (black diaper bag, can see the arm rest of the rocker - it's wood) shows the ottoman.
one small bag of trash, as the space is being cleared out
one bag of trash (regular 13 gallon kitchen). Two diaper boxes worth of books (sold or waiting to be sold).
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
- There are different settings so you can adjust the water flow, etc.
- Take the shower head down and SPRAY your bathtub/walls. So much easier to clean! :)
- Are you pregnant? Now you can reach every area if need be, 'nough said.
- Do you have kids you need to bathe (ok, this one isn't working yet for us, but maybe some day), spray them off, especially when washing their hair.
- Need to wash your dog OR cat? see above
- It's so adjustable!!
- Pull it down to wash your hair (for those days you just want to wash your hair, you can stand outside your bathtub and lean over it to wash your hair!).
I would recommend looking at hose length when buying, consider how far you want it to reach around your shower. (The one we got recently isn't very long and doesn't reach very well.) This is what Works For Me.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
We had a good Thanksgiving at home, just our family (didn't want to spread any sickness). I roasted a turkey (my 2nd ever), made gravy (yeah, it turned out okay unlike theirs, I feel their pain!), Stove Top Stuffing (bought at $.29), instant mashed potatoes (Betty Crocker cheese flavored, oldest thought they were good), sweet potato casserole (followed the recipe from the can of Bruce yams, adding a little extra brown sugar and miniature marshmallows), vegetable casserole (maybe I'll give that recipe sometime), canned jellied cranberry sauce, frozen rolls (Pillsbury wheat, we are very nutritious!), and pumpkin bars. I decided at the last minute to switch from pumpkin pie (not my favorite) to pumpkin bars (my husband might have been a little disappointed but he was gracious not to say so), and all of us (except the one who didn't like anything except the rolls) LOVED them! This is the same recipe as what I used - Pumpkin bars with frosting except my recipe says 15 oz pumpkin and adds 1-2 tablespoons milk for the frosting (to achieve desired spreading consistency). I feel this is not enough frosting to cover ALL of the pumpkin bars (might be a good choice to leave some unfrosted) so you might double the frosting recipe! :) As you can tell, I'm not a has-to-be-from-scratch kinda cook! Maybe some day I'll try a little harder.
I've also been trying to keep up with this and this. I need to write 3 book reviews, and work A LOT on our office. Hopefully, those will get done this week. :)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Plan of Attack
Mountains of laundry - folding party (maybe by myself, maybe with littles - we'll see), to fold and put away, stash in bins (summer clothes, outgrown clothes), give away, sell, or throw away ALL of the clothes mountain. I know there's a loveseat and chair there.
Desk - reorganize bill paying/filing system (need to implement system for receipts)
Clean up floor - put away items that don't belong in office, develop a toy area for this room
Talk to hubby about bookshelves (90% of the books are his, the books are piled upon books, reorganize or get rid of please???)
Purchase a pop-up hamper for youngest 2 children, I might purchase more of these pop-up hampers because I think it would be easier than laundry baskets that take up lots of room and urge me to leave clothes in them!
Purchase curtain rod (or something) to go across double glass doors, hanging clips, re-find full-size sheet to hang up as curtain (trim if necessary). I think this will work and look nice in this room (and be easy to move to allow access to door, also to allow light in). Plus it should be cheap! :)
Our church is having a sale day so hopefully some of this stuff will make it into that!
I'm a little late starting (the challenge started Nov. 1) but hopefully I'll finish well (Nov. 30). Now, before I chicken out - BEFORE pictures:
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
p.6 Passionate Housewives
p. 10 To Have and to Hold
p. 20 The Centrality of the Home in Evangelism and Discipleship
p. 21 A Church in the House
Family Man, Family Leader
p. 25 Raising Maidens of Virtue
p. 33 Beloved Bride: The Letters of Stonewall Jackson to His Wife
p. 40 The Adventure of Missionary Heroism
p. 73 Mother and Daughter Aprons - Child-Size 2, Adult-Size 1
Ladylike Nightgowns for Ladylike Girls size S 2
Child's Wooden Baking Set
p. 79 Elsie Dinsmore #1
p. 109 Destination: Moon
(Or take my previous list, remove some things and add the whole Elsie Dinsmore book collection!)
Oh, since my husband just added me to his Google reader I have to give a shout out, "Hi honey!".
Friday, October 26, 2007
p.6 Passionate Housewives
p. 10 To Have and to Hold
p. 20 The Centrality of the Home in Evangelism and Discipleship
p. 21 A Church in the House
p. 25 Raising Maidens of Virtue
p. 40 The Adventure of Missionary Heroism
p. 73 Mother and Daughter Aprons - Child-Size 1, Adult-Size 1
p. 109 Destination: Moon
Total $144, if I could go over $150 I would definitely get one more child-size apron (my husband would pick a few other things)!
We also love Elsie Dinsmore, so far we've just gotten the CDs but will probably buy the books when our oldest is able to read them. I'll have to write a blog post about Vision Forum later.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
It took me a while to get into this book, it didn't take off right away (for me) and I was bogged down by the politicalness and number of characters. I think if I was reading in complete peace and quiet with no interruptions (ha ha) then it would have been easier to keep the characters straight (or a list like some books have)! I did enjoy the story and look forward to reading the next Camel Club book The Collectors. But overall, not my favorite David Baldacci book.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Well, mine isn't a recipe exactly. A friend showed me how they made it at a restaurant (don't ask me details, it's been a while). Anyway, this is about how I replicate it at home.
Take one frozen Tyson chicken breast, defrost in microwave until just getting white at edges so it is thawed enough to cut into strips (think shredded bbq chicken). (Use the defrost chicken setting or use fresh chicken breast or let it thaw in your fridge, whatever works for you! Don't let the frozen chicken sit out at room temp and then blame me for getting salmonella.) You can also cut the chicken into square pieces, it depends on how you want it on your pizza. Put a little olive oil (or whatever oil you have) in frying pan, coat the chicken in oil and fry it briskly (does that make sense?). Add seasonings as you cook, I use Season-All and a little salt and pepper. Once chicken is done (or just about done, it seems like it cooks a little in the oven, but again don't blame me if it's not fully cooked and you get salmonella!), either top pizza or set aside until pizza is ready.
You need one small red onion. I cut off the ends and edges (I have no idea what I'm doing with most veggies), then try to cut thin slices so I get nice "rings" of red onion. I end up using very little of the red onion but you might have different tastes and use more, I think you could also freeze the extra onion or save for something else or make pizza more than once in a week, whatever you choose.
Prepare pizza crust, I like to bake mine (about half the cooking time) before putting on toppings. Then spread with your favorite bbq sauce (mine is K.C. Masterpiece) like you would pizza sauce. Put on chicken, as much or as little as you want. I like lots of chicken on mine, but it kinda depends on how big the chicken breast was that I cooked earlier. Then spread the red onion rings around on the pizza. Then top with cheese, a mix of cheddar and mozzarella is good or a 4-blend Mexican, but sometimes I'll use just mozzarella because that's all we have (and I prefer white mild cheeses). Bake in oven. Enjoy!
You can also spread some cheese under the toppings. I love to do this with pepperoni or other toppings because it seems to help the meat from sliding around or all coming off your pizza when you take a bite (that's what I read somewhere a long time ago) .
Anyway, hope this "recipe" makes sense, let me know if you want a picture tutorial and I'll try that sometime! This is what works for me. :)
Here's another option:
Amy at The Mother Load uses her shredded bbq chicken for bbq chicken pizza. I LOVE her shredded bbq chicken recipe (we had it earlier this week!), but I'm not sure I would like it on pizza - it may be just the way I shred my chicken though - I do tweak her recipe a little.
http://www.momadvice.com/food/slow_cooker_recipes4.aspx go down to Day #23. Here's another post about the pizza (has good comments) http://www.momadvice.com/aldi/index.php/main-dishes/chicken-bbq-pizza/.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
P.S. Any hints on getting a babyfeeder baby to take a bottle???
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Being busy with 4 kids, homeschooling, housecleaning (ha!), etc. I don't get to read as much as I'd like so I love this challenge put on by Katrina at Callapidder Days.
Without further ado - the list:
- Christy by Catherine Marshall. My husband gave me the DVD set of the TV series with Kellie Martin for my birthday and I want to try reading the book again (I started several years ago but could NOT get through it, I understand now that once you get through about the first four chapters it's much better!).
- When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey. Reading with my husband (already through chapter 3 so plan is to finish this).
- The God I Love ~ A Lifetime of Walking With Jesus by Joni Eareckson Tada. You know to add to the non-fiction list is a biography. I've always been fascinated by Joni. I hate to admit but I truly wonder what would I do if this had happened to me - I'm not sure how I would've gone on but it is wonderful what God has/is doing in her life!!
- Bleachers by John Grisham. Catching up on some fiction from a favorite author. I do like Law & Order though I haven't seen the show in a long long time.
- The Camel Club by David Baldacci. Another favorite author though some of his books are more explicit than others (that's a warning).
- These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge? by Elisabeth Elliot. Loaned to me by a friend, I've never read any books by Elisabeth.
- Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper and John Piper. Heard her speak on this topic and I would like to improve more in this area. We might buy her Advent calendar thing this Christmas.
- Ten Things I Wish Jesus Never Said by Victor Kuligin. My husband wants me to, enough said.
I'll probably add more fiction if I have time!! :)
Look for upcoming reviews as books are finished. TTFN.