Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Reads

I have been so blessed to participate in a couple of programs that send me books to review for them. I read the books and then (as long as the material is appropriate) I donate them to our church library. Not all of them make the church library cut, but most do. I've really enjoyed it.
I've also utilized the free kindle reads. With our budget it's free or nothing :). We also use the library when looking for something specific. All of that to say I'm still on the wait list for Not Your Mother's Make Ahead Freezer Meals, but really looking forward to it.
You can check out the my reviews of the last few books I've had to review.
Touching the Sky by Tracie Peterson 5 stars
Tamitng the Wind by Tracie Peterson 5 stars
The Widow of Saunders Creek 3 stars
Rare Earth by T Davis Bunn 5 stars
The most recent kindle reads were
Christmas at Harringtons by Melody Carlson - A great Christmas read. With insight into how hopelessness breeds hopelessness and hope breeds hope. 4 stars
Patchwork Dreams 4 stars An Amish romance. Sometimes God moves us when we can't move ourselves and puts us in the best situation.
What did you read this month?  For more great ideas check out

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Book Review!

I got to read a new book for Bethany House this week and I loved it.  Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson is the newest book in the Land of the Lonestar Series. 

Carissa Lowe is grateful for her daughter and chance at a new life, but has decided widowhood is it for her.  Can she open her heart and let someone else in? 
Tyler Atherton is being eaten up from the inside out with hate.  If he doesn't deal with his dislike for indians that took the life of his father and friends, than he won't be able to extend love to those who need it from him.
Can Carissa and Tyler overcome the problems that continue to plague them?

Not only did I love the story (come on, it's Tracie Peterson, pretty sure I've loved everything I've ever read by her), but I loved how it made me think about the relocation of Native Americans after the civil war.  I guess I always just thought that it was awful and I couldn't believe how "white men" had treated them.  That is still true, but I never really thought about the settlers that were being attacked with out provocation, or about the Native Americans that were upset about being run off their land.

I loved every moment of this read.  Check it out now!

  Thank you BethanyHouse for providing me with a review copy.  My opinions are my own. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The widow of Saunders Creek

I do believe in both angels and demons, but I also know that the demons flee at the name of Jesus.  I did enjoy this book, but it was unsettling.  I wanted to jump in and shout truth to this woman through out the entire book.  The basic storyline was good, and I think well thought out, about how different family members (and personalities) deal with loss and moving on after the death of a loved one. The demons in the book are what made it unsettling for me, the cultural heritage of witchcraft was disconcerting too.  In all, would I recommend the book, the truth is that I'm not sure. I wouldn't put the book in my church library,but that doesn't mean that it isn't well written.  There are people that would enjoy it, that it wouldn't upset. Go ahead, check it out yourself.
Thank you Waterbrook for providing me with a review copy. My opinions are my own.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rare Earth - Book review.

This week I finished Davis Bunn's Rare Earth. I loved it. This is the sequel to Lion of Babylon, but you do not have to read that one before enjoying this one.

Mark Royce is always at that center of action and this time it takes him into the heart of Africa. Hurting, dislocated people starving and lacking medical supplies are where he starts, but it goes so much deeper. Why are these people being relocated, and who is relocating them?  Can Mark figure out what is going on and restore a people to their land and help avoid more death and destruction?

I love how Davis writes about other cultures. He always shows such respect when dealing with a way of life that is so different from ours. The character shows grace under fire. He is calm but always willing to do what is needed. A man to be respected. I have enjoyed this particular series.

Bethany House provided me with a copy to review, but my opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Touching the Sky

Life after the civil war is hard for everyone, Black, white, confederate, union supporter.  Those who fought for the confederacy are struggling not just with returning to normal life, but also with wounded pride. Those who supported the union are having problems as well.  In Corpus Christi, TX those who supported the union are having a hard time reconnecting with people they had known their whole lives. For Laura and her family, a family that supported the union, life is complicated. They wants healing for their city and nation, but many still see them as the enemy.  Add dating into the mix and life is sure to be crazy. Follow the adventures, heartache, and resounding success of Laura and her family in the pages of this book.  

I always love what Tracie Peterson writes, but I have to say that this wasn't my favorite book that she has written. (We are still talking 4 out of 5 stars, just not my favorite of hers). I think it has more to do with the civil war than any of the writing. I feel that pain of brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor so heavily, and that makes it hard to read. In many ways I still see how our nation has to keep healing from scars that we're first inflicted way back then and it is disheartening. I have to remind myself that ultimately the LORD is in control of everything, and loves us each equally and that his love is the only thing that will truly heal. Time does not heal all wounds, God does.   

A review copy was provided to me by the publisher, my opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fearless - An American Hero


This was an amazing true story about one of our country's warriors.  Adam Brown was a SEAL from SEAL team SIX.  He gave his life for his family, his team, and freedom. 

Adam made bad decisions as a late teen, and ended up getting himself addicted to drugs and making all the wrong decisions that go along with that.  He hurt himself, his friends, and his family constantly.  He would be clean for a few days, weeks, or months, and then he would be battling his demons again.  Eventually he realized he had to do something different, and the Navy helped him do that.  He did everything it took to make it as a SEAL and the book chronicles the journey. 

You will cry when you read the book, but it was an amazing journey.  I loved how it showed how Christ can turn life around for a man and his family, and even for our country.  Adam Brown - I look forward to meeting you.  Thank you for your service. 

Thank you for Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy to review. My opinions are my own.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beverly Lewis and her most recent Amish romance.

Amelia takes a wrong turn in the middle of a rainstorm and ends up stuck on a small road with nothing nearby except a small cabin with a young Amish man inside. Luckliy God doesn't make wrong turns. I love to read fiction that stars the Amish people, and Beverly Lewis is a favorite of mine. I don't know her entire relationship with "The People" but she writes like she knows them well. This book, The Fiddler, was great. It drew you in from minute one. Lewis did a wonderful job of drawing parallels in the lives of the two main characters, one english, and the other Amish. They both had to decide what they wanted in their lives, and whose standard they were going to live by. I love that they both choose to follow God, and not necessarily what their Fathers had planned for them, but that they both chose to honor their parents even when they disagreed even if they didn't do exactly as their parents had planned. The fiddling in the book was so well described that I could almost hear the fiddle opening up for Tim McGraw, the violin on center stage, and the peaceful playing in the middle of the field. Both Michael and Amelia had to decide where they were going in life, and how they were going to get there without hurting their families. Amazingly well written story and delightful tale.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday!

It's Monday again - Check out all of the meal plans at
Here's my plan for the next two weeks - now I just have to remember to "work the plan"

Sunday – Spaghetti

Monday – Chicken Tacos  - salsa, chicken, taco seasoning lettuce

Tuesday –  Chicken Parmesan

Wednesday – Church

Thursday – pizza

Friday – Family night

Saturday – pot roast

Sunday – BBQ pork sandwich

Tuesday – French Dip – Make Bread and sauce (This recipe is PHENOMENAL - both my husband and Father in Law drool when they hear it mentioned)

Wednesday – Church

Thursday –  ShreddedChicken Nachos -

Friday – Family Night

Saturday – Chili cheese Dogs

Monday, May 21, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Hey guys - I'm trying to do a quick post, but I'll try to put the links up later. My husband loves the recipes from sweet pea chef, so most of my links are from there this week. Monday - chicken and rice Tuesday - French dip, fruit, chips Wednesday - chicken teriyaki, stir fry veggies, white rice Thursday - finish the roast - either as Philly cheese steaks, or just roast :) Friday - family night Saturday - homemade pizza Sunday - tacos For more great plans check out

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chasing the Sun - book review

I got a chance to review a book for Bethany House Publishers this month and I loved it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars! I love Tracie Peterson and have enjoyed everything that she has written and this was no different. A family moves to Texas in an attempt to escape the heartache of losing wide and mom, but soon after they move the country is swept up in a civil war. Texas is far away from the initial fighting, but even Texas has its loyalties tested. It was really interesting to view the civil war and the problems with local Indians through Hannah Dandridge's eyes. As a woman raised in Vicksburg,MS, she was loyal to the south, but being in TX where the fighting was a bit distant she had a chance to view and accept both sides, a chance to place her her "loyalty" with humanity. She was raising a brother and sister, twenty years her junior, helping run a ranch and hoping to hear from her family every day, but she held fast to her faith and the knowledge that whatever happened God was still in control. If you enjoy historical fiction and a bit of romance, you too will enjoy this story. Go on, check it out! Chasing the Sun Thank you Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy to review. My opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Booking It

If you need motivation to keep up with your reading list, as well as suggestions from other readers you should check out .  Follow the booking it feature.  Come on, Try it, You'll like it :)

This month I read Blind Hope as my Blogging for Books selection.  It was uplifting and it had a good underlying story, but will be considered "preachy" by some and was somewhat disjointed. If you want to read more check out what I had to say here.

I also read Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees.  If you read the Tim Tebow book and enjoyed it, then you'll probably enjoy this one as well.  It was pretty well written (for what it is), and I really enjoyed a lot of the back story that I hadn't heard before.  If you don't love football you won't love the play by play, but my nephew ate every word up.  It was really interesting hearing about Drew coming back from a career threatening injury and hearing how he dealt with the rehab and the pressure.  I enjoyed the book, but confession - I skipped a lot of the play by play. :)

I went back to enjoy a Cindy Woodsmall book again this month (she writes novels that deal primarily with the Amish and Mennonite communities).  It was a gift from Waterbrook for reviewing a different Cindy Woodsmall book.  It was called The Scent of Cherry Blossoms.  I really loved it.  It really showed life and how the two communities are interconnected (the Amish and Mennonite) but yet still so separate.  The love story was wonderful, and it is always great to read a love story where everything is kept pure, and that consequences of actions are thought about in advance.  It made me think about what I would have done in a similar situation, and although this world is obviously worlds apart from mine, I think I was able to have some serious soul searching about the matter.

I also have really been enjoying reading a blog called inspired reads which highlights books on amazon that are free for kindles for a small period of time.  This blog has had my kindle (on the phone) constantly full and I can stop and read them at any time. 
. If you want to download the book, check to see what the current price is. I read The Pig and the Pantry by Rose Godfrey
Always the Designer Never the Bride by Bricker
Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot
Homespun Bride by Jillian Hart
Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Magnin
Goodness Gracious Green by Christie
Gone to Green by Christie
How to De-Clutter and Make Money by Kuper
and Heart of Gold by Lacy Williams

I am going to review all of these books soon ( I should have done it while I was reading them), but nap time is nearly over at my house.  Enjoy your books this month.  :)  

Blind Hope - Blogging for books

This month I received Blind Hope - An Unwanted Dog & the Woman She Rescued by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher from Blogging for Books.  It is a story of a woman who was taught how to love and be loved by a rescued dog with a litany of problems. 

I enjoyed the book and the story, although for some it'll come across as "preachy."  Each story that is related is related for the express purpose of bringing some point across, but for the woman in the story (Laurie Sacher) I'm sure that's how life felt.  Everytime she learned something new from her dog she always saw the implications of her relationship with the heavenly father.  The story is a true one that is set at a ranch that rescues horses and helps children.  Laurie came to work at the ranch and learned more than I'm sure she ever bargained for. 

The story is uplifting and glorifying to God. I really enjoyed it.  It did feel disjointed in some points, but it was always at a chapter break that I felt that way.  I hope you read it, enjoy it, and apply some new principles to your own life. 

Thanks WaterbrookMultnomah for providing me with a copy to review. My opinions are my own

Monday, April 9, 2012

Booking it - March

This month I got a chance to read Finding Our Way Home it was my blogging for books selection this month.  I enjoyed it, but it was not my favorite book.  The story was good, but there were a few parts I would have written differently (of course I am a horrible writer, so maybe that wouldn't have been a great ida).  If you want to read more about what I thought check it out here.

Homespun Bride by Julie Hart . It is a story about a young woman who is injured in an accident and loses her parents and her sight.  She lives now with her extended family and is suddenly reintroduced to her first love.  I loved the story.  I loved the horses and the wilds of Montana.  I especially loved the characters.  It was great. 
Threads of Honor by Gordon Ryan.  This is the story of a flag that was flown over the captial building, and then given to a boyscout troop.  The troop and their scout master are on a mission to get their flag flown into space. I loved the storyline.  Sometimes it was hard to follow because it went in between the flags point of view and the story of the troop.  Heads up though, you may cry. 

I read parts of two other gardening books, but neither one was pheonmenal.  Not even good enough to review. :( 

I have been keeping up with my daily bible reading which is great and have finished 2 samuel.
Next month I am hoping to read more.  I am currently working on three that I think will be great. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It is a new week.  We have had a great week, and I didn't totally keep to the plan, but not because I gave up and went and ate out, because we had lots of great family things I forgot to put down on my plan.  :) Now for next week.

Sunday - Easter Sunday! 
Monday - Chicken Terriyaki, stirfry veggies, butterhorn rolls, rice
Tuesday - Italian Chicken, buttery bread machine rolls, greenbeans
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Family Night
Friday - Chicken, Rice and Broccoli Casserole
Saturday - crockpot roast

For more great plans check out

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blogging for Books

This month I had the opportunity to review Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Ann Baumbich. It was a wonderful story of how love and grace can help a person grow and heal and LIVE. The novel actually has two main characters that take their turns playing lead. A dancer who has been injured and is recuperating and the young woman who is helping her at her home. I loved major portions of the book and I loved the story line. There were a few small portions of the book, that made me just a little bit uncomfortable, I just didn't love the way she handled certain situations.  That being said, it was agreat story of grace and love. 
Sasha is recovering from more than her physical injuries,  she needs to heal a lot more.  Even when she is difficult to live with Evelyn just keeps her plucky attitude and keeps doing what needs to be done.  As the story progresses we find that the women need each other and the support they provide one another. 
Check it out.  You will love the book. 
If you want to see more check out the Author's Website, Author's Bio, and More About the Book.
Thanks WaterbrookMultnomah for providing me with a copy to review. My opinions are my own.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday April!!

It is Monday again!  We had a great week last week and even stuck mostly to our meal plan, minus a few meals that we ended up at relatives homes :)  Now we need a plan for next week. 

Sunday - Pork Chops, Rice, Green Beans, Drop Biscuits
Monday - Chicken Alfredo, herb bread, vegetable
Tuesday - Roast, Green beans, Drop Biscuits
Wednesday - Family Night
Thursday - Italian Chicken, broccoli, Pasta
Friday - Birthday Party
Saturday - Terriyaki Chicken, stir-fry veggies, white rice

For more great plans check out

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Here's to a great week! Hubs helped plan the menu this week, and I think he did a great job. Sunday - tortellini or spaghetti and meat sauce (daughter and I love stuffed pasta and funny shapes, Dad likes plain old spaghetti Monday - Hamburgers, lettuce, tomato fixings Tuesday - Chili Cheese Dogs Wednesday - Hidden Valley Ranch Pork Chops Thursday - Dinner out Friday - Orange Chicken Saturday - Pasta Fagoli For more great plans check out

Monday, March 5, 2012

Booking it March 2012

February reading -

I've been doing a lot better this year about being intentional about reading.  I've been reading for fun, reading for knowledge, and reading for my daughter.
For fun -
I went back and read two books from the Sierra Jensen series by Robin Jones Gunn.  I wanted to be able to remember them because my daughter will read them.  She's little now, but gets bigger every day and I want to be ahead of her on the reading list.  I read Close Your Eyes and Without a Doubt.  Both books were great.  Full of teenage wonder, curiosity, and total lack of knowledge and experience when it comes to love.  I love the way Gunn handles the subjects. 
A Sound Among The Trees by Susan Meissner was by Blogging for Books read and it was really interesting.  Not at all what I expected but I really enjoyed it, especially the parts that flashed back to the civil war.  Part of the book was written as letters from a woman to her cousin during the civil war and they were really interesting.  For more about the book check out the rest of my review here.

For Knowledge -
I really want to plant a garden this year, a little bit more than just one tomato plant. :) so...
The Backyard Orchardist - I don't really plan on planting any trees this year, but I would love to have fruit, so I read it anyways.  Unfortunately I don't have the right climate for pretty much anything that I like to eat, so probably no fruit trees in my future.
The Urban Homestead - This book was great with a lot of great information about growing in small spaces, but also just what is required to grow things.  The cool part is that they have a pretty unique way of looking at things, so even if it is information it was presented in a new way.  The only problem I had with it was that it had some language.  It was still worth the read, but be aware that the language is there.
The Backyard Homestead - This book had so much good information.  I borrowed it from the library, but it is one that I wouldn't mind buying when I had the funds.  It gave information on a lot of different aspects of gardening, land use,and preserving. 

For my daughter -
Mandie and the Forbidden Attic I'm starting to read chapter books with my little girl and she loves it.  The Mandie books seem to be a fairly easy read and she enjoys it.  We haven't finished this book yet, but like it.  This is a series that was originally written by an 11 year old girl (and published much later) it is about a little girl whose father dies, but through that she finds an uncle and a mother she never knew.  This particular story is about Mandie going to boarding school.  This is her first time away from her family and it is all new for her. 

For more great reads check out Bookin' It at

A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner. ~ Blogging for Books

Can I just stop for a minute and confess that I found as I was reading this book that I have a bit of prejudice, or at the very least a preconceived notion, that I wasn't aware that I held.  I have found that as I read a book that I know is from a Christian author I just assume the main characters are Christians, or at least will have close contact with a Christian immediately that will help them make life changing choices.  I started reading this book with that notion and was a bit confused, I found myself getting sucked into the "ghost" side of story, but waiting for someone to share the love and joy of Jesus Christ and it just didn't happen.  All of the sudden I realized, that it was because it wasn't necessarily based on Christian characters, when it did get down to the character who had a changed life based on the love of Christ all of the sudden came together for me.  Ahhh, now I get it :)

This book was good.  It was a story that spanned a few generations of a family.  A story that kept you in the here and now, but spun the story of the family's history.  I loved the deep history and the very personal stories of civil war life.  The civil war was unique in that many of the families that were affected had roots on both sides of the line.  The girl that the story followed had been raised in Maine and was now living in Virginia with her mother's family after the death of her family.  With a grandfather fighting for the south and cousin fighting for the north her world was a mess, it fully brought out the realities of war.  The story that was told in the present was great too, but I was really pulled in by the historical sections.  If you want to know more about what the story is about look here.

If you want to get a glimpse of this great book you can read the first chapter. For more on Susan Meissner see here or here or you can follow her on twitter.  I enjoyed every moment of this book and I hope you check it out.

 Thanks WaterbrookMultnomah for providing me with a copy to review. My opinions are my own.

Menu Plan Monday

I am just not feeling well this morning.  Yesterday the day spent curled on the couch, so I am hopeful that there will be some recovery today.  That being said I am pretty sure that my menu plan won't go as planned, but I do have a couple pounds of ground beef in the freezer which tends to be my go to for a quick meal if I go off plan.  Yesterday my husband went and got us pizza so he and my daughter wouldn't starve, but I think I'm up to actually cooking today. 
So...barring is the plan...
Monday - Baked Chicken (I have a lot of chicken quarters I'll just salt and pepper them and bake them), rice, and green beans
Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie (I'll use the leftovers from yesterday and put together a quick pot pie)
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Cowboy Dinner
Friday - Family Night
Saturday -Beef Stew (We have leftover roast and veggies, I'll just add water and carrots and see what happens) over rice
Sunday - Date Night
Monday- Taco Pasta

Hopefully this is enought to get us through :)
For more great plans check out

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Shrimp and Grits!  These were so great!!  I made the grits with half chicken broth and half milk and then put in a ton of cheese...yum!  I cooked some bacon and then cooked a bunch of green onions, garlic and shrimp with a little bit more milk.  It was SO GOOD! 

Tuesday - Baked Teryaki Chicken - dinner rolls - green beans

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Cowboy dinner - So good - and as a bonus it is a one pot thing after you brown the ground beef.

Friday - Family night

Saturday - Unstuffed Shells

Sunday - baked chicken, veggies, rolls

For more great plans check out

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A late plan

I just didn't get my ducks in a row this week, and I paid for it, so I decided better late than never. Sunday - grilled cheeseburger wraps. These were phenomenal! Monday - spaghetti Tuesday- chick fil a and we lucked out - it was free kids meal night :) Wednesday - baked chicken, rice, veggie Thursday - pot roast (I'm going to do a can of cream of mushroom and a packet of onion soup. Friday - Family night Saturday - visiting with cousins Next week I'm going to need a better plan, so maybe I'll start now:)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Booking It February 2012

I love Booking It - It reminds me to think about what I read in the last month, and this month I did a lot of reading, and I enjoyed it. I read for relaxation, I read for pleasure, I read for knowledge - all of it was enjoyable this month .  I'm not sure how I managed to pack so much into this month, but I know that there was more than once I stayed up past when I intended finishing a book. 

I read 3 different books as a part of the Blogging for Books program.
  1. The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer - Review
  2. The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo - Review
  3. The Sierra Jensen Collection Volume 1 by Robin Jones Gun - Review
I read a few books I had gotten free on the kindle this month (They aren't all free anymore, but some of them are).
  1. Healthy Children's Lunches - I enjoyed the ideas in the book, but will caution the reader that it is written by an English author, and some things just don't "translate" exactly to US measurements or ingredients.
  2. Organized Simplicity - I loved this book.  Sometimes I just need a little motivation.  It wasn't that there was a whole lot in this book that I didn't know how to do, but sometimes I just need someone to tell me what to do.  We are planning a garage sale in a week and Tsh was just what I needed to get me motivated to go through the house. 
  3. Quick and Easy Family Dinners - This was not my favorite cookbook - in fact I will probably not try any of the recipes in it - it just didn't fit my family style.
  4. Smart School Time Recipes - Healthy foods and snacks for your kids (or you).  I loved this - some of the recipes don't have things that I normally keep around the house, but if you are a dairy free house there are a lot of options for you here - It includes contributions from several authors with various backgrounds, but the main author is dairy free, and she includes suggestions to make any of the options dairy free.
Then I made a library trip and got some more books :)
  1. The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year  - I love Crystal from and I was excited about reading the book.  She did a great job.  It was definitely a book that a beginner could start with - most of what she does or recommends I already do, or am trying to do, but I found it to encourage me to keep on.  I'm not going to save thousands more than I alreday do, but I may save a few more dollars this year :)
  2. Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces - I loved this book.  It was a gardening for dummies kind of book, but specifically geared for small spaces and containers.  I know nothing, and try to increase the harvest a bit more every year and this was great - it filled in some blank spaces for me. 
I am pretty sure I read one more book, but I can't remember what it is, so either it didn't make a significant impression, or I only read these.  I hope you check some of them out. Check out more at Http://

Required Reading for Teenage Girls - and Their Parents

I love Robin Jones Gunn - I love the way she writes, I love her characters, I just love her.  This month I was given the opportunity to read an older series that she wrote.  It is coming out now in "volume version"  The Sierra Jensen Collection Vol. 1 is the first 3 books in the Sierra Jensen series.  Gunn allows her characters room to feel, make mistakes, and stand up for themselves and their God and I love that about her.  When her characters make decisions she makes sure that the readers understand where those decisions are coming from.  Sierra is a 16 year old girl that is ready to grow up, but is reminded again and again to enjoy the time she has as a teenager.  She goes through all of the typical teenage growing pains, and she survives and even thrives.  I love the author incorporates scripture and the joy of the Word in every book that she writes and that she writes about families and the joy and pain of being apart of one.  I think that both the Christy Miller Series and the Sierra Jensen Series should be required reading for teen girls, because it gives a lot of food for thought and it makes you think about the way you do things (especially where boys are concerned) and why you do them.  Moms gift these books to your daughters today! 
Thanks WaterbrookMultnomah for providing me with a copy to review. My opinions are my own.

Menu Plan Monday!

It is that time again.  Another plan to make...
I don't want to make another trip to the grocery store this week, I had to replace my oven unexpectedly (Flames are not a good sign - especially when your oven is over 20 years old).  I know that saving $50 on groceries will not replace my oven it does help give me a little bit of a cushion, so we'll eat what we have here.  :)

Sunday - Hotdogs (no oven, we needed a microwavable option).
Monday - Leftovers - we have a huge chunck of lasagna left and my one that won't eat leftovers won't be here, so leftovers it is.
Tuesday - Pot roast - My grandma gave me a recipe that was just a roast, a can of cream of mushroom, and an envelope of the onion soup - I know it's valentines day, but we have date night planned for Thursday, so I'll fancy it up a little bit with rolls and a dessert, but nothing crazy.
Wednesday - church
Thursday - DATE NIGHT - I have no idea what we'll eat, but hubs has it figured out I'm sure.
Friday - Family night
Saturday - Tacos

For more great plans you can check out

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Menu Plan -

I did really great last week on my menu plan.  Actually did what I had planned. :)  Let's keep up the tradition. :)

Monday - Monterey Chicken
Tuesday- Salsbury Steak, green beans, rolls
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Sloppy Joes
Friday - Family Night
Saturday - Cheesy Chicken an Rice Bake
Sunday - I have more chicken recipes, if needed, but I think that we will probably do something that can grow with a crowd :)  I believe it is Superbowl Sunday :)

The Wild West meets Victorian England

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck was a humorous book that had me laughing immediately. It is an interesting combination of wild west and Victorian England. One of the stories even included a display Buffolo Bill put on in Englad. It is (of course) a love story in a world and time where marriages were often arranged to be convenient to both families involved. Charlotte is a strong minded woman, longing for the opportunity of both education and business experience. She's young, strong willed, and, perhaps, self-centered. Alex Hambly on the other hand is also intelligent, mature, and by nature prone to put others ahead of himself. The meeting of these two independent thinkers will keep you amused as will every encounter thereafter. Thanks WaterbrookMultnomah for providing me with a copy to review. My opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blogging for Books - The Canary List

My most recent read from the "Blogging for Books" program was The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer. It is the story of an unloved foster child and the world she gets wrapped up in. It is a fictional look at the Catholic church, and all the inner workings of the Vatican City, complete with how it might be affected by that same foster child.
I enjoyed the book, but some of it was a little to close to home, and other parts were completely far fetched. I know that the Catholic church isn't perfect, as much as I know that there are both good and bad men that have become priests. Some of those men who have not made Christ the center of there lives may have even worked themselves up in the hierarchy of the church, but this author takes it to the extreme. The book as interesting, viewed as a work of fiction, but I am sure some will be offended by the portrayal. That being said, you may enjoy it :). I'm going to give it a 3 out of 5 star rating.
You can check out the book here. You can even read the first chapter while you are there.
Thanks to WaterBrooks Multnomah Publishing Group for providing a free copy for me to review. My opinions are my own.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 1 -23

It is a new week, and time for a new menu. I am going to try a lot new this week if everything goes according to plan, and I am really looking forward to it. I also was able to squeeze in a mini freezer cook day and I am hoping to squeeze in another one before week end.

Freezer cooking session (completed) -
Sloppy Joes
Chocolate Peanut butter Oatmeal

Freezer cooking session(planned) -
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins
Some kind of dinner roll

And now for the menu...
Monday- chicken pasta bake (ok, I really just want to clean some veggies out, so I'll cook up some chicken and throw it in a bunch of pasta with all the veggie leftovers, add a little bit of olive oil and cheese)
Tuesday - Slow cooker Fajitas
Wednesday - church
Thursday - Monterey Chicken
Friday - family night
Saturday - Sloppy Joes (from freezer - I will make rolls that day to put the sloppy joe filling in).
Sunday night - salisbury steak

Should be a fun week. We will see how it all goes. For more great ideas check out

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Booking It January 2012

I love to read, and I have loved Booking It, because it  not only reminds me to take time to read, but also makes me a least sit back for a few moments and think about what I have read.  This month (and over Christmas) I read a few books, but I have a couple in progress right now that I can't wait to tell you more about next month. 

Naturally Skinny: 100 Organic Recipes under 350 Calories
 This was a cookbook - there are some interesting recipes in it that I will try, but I was glad that I got the free kindle version - I'm not sure that I would use it often enough for it to pay for itself.  That being said, it is always nice to get another viewpoint on dinner, and this has great snack and breakfast recipes as well.  I'm sure it will see some use in the upcoming months. 

O Little Town
I love Christmas books.  I love the nostalgia, and even the craziness  and sadness of things not going the way it is expected to.  It took me awhile to get into this one because it jumps around from character to character at the beginning, I was sucked in as soon as I saw their lives intersecting, it just took me a moment toget there.  It showed fragile, imperfect people, trying to make it through life regardless of circumstance, and I loved it.  It was a story of forgiveness- Forgiveness both given and received. 

The Cheapskate's Guide to Grocery Savings
This was a very quick read.  There were a lot of suggestions to help cut grocery spending, and I felt like I already do most of them, however I can pass up a book of this title on the offchance that they may have one more trick up their sleeves.   It is also great to have a reminder of things that I should be doing to help keep down my costs - It's a great motivation to keep on keeping on - It is also FREE at amazon right now for your kindle if you want to check it out.

I also started a new bible reading plan this year and have actually stuck to it for 3 weeks - it helps that there is a built in day with no reading.  I've made it to Genesis 50 - now if I can just continue with that great pattern - I always get a lot out of it- It is God's word, and it will not return void - I just need His help to carry through with my good intention. :)