Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Book Review - The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson


The Orphan's Wish is written by Melanie Dickerson and is published by Thomas Nelson.

Melanie Dickerson is one of my favorite authors. The Orphan's Wish did not disappoint me. The story starts right out with a very young Aladdin. It's not hard to tell which fairy tale Dickerson is using this time around, is it? Aladdin is an Arab orphan living far away in his native land. There, he has learned to steal to get by. It isn't long before he is whisked away to Hagenheim and finds himself in an orphanage. That is where he meets Lady Kirstyn.

As they grow up, Kirstyn and Aladdin grow up together and develop a strong bond. Aladdin would like to marry Kirstyn, but he must first impress her father with a fortune. Aladdin moves away and finally has enough, but Lady Kirstyn gets kidnapped. Everything is thrown out of whack. Do Kirstyn and Aladdin eventually marry? You'll have to read for yourself.

I flew through this novel rather quickly because I had trouble putting it down. The story is captivating and I loved the bit of danger presented. The characters are actually believable. Loved it all.

*I received a copy of The Orphan's Wish in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Book Review - Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin


Send Down the Rain is written by Charles Martin and is published by Thomas Nelson. This is the gripping story belonging to Allie and Joseph, who find each other again after a long, rain filled absence.

After spending some time in the military, Joseph has spent years trying to fill a gap in his life. Allie, after losing her beloved restaurant, has done much the same. They have both known joy and heartache.

Joseph brings a young family to Florida, not knowing that he would reunite with his long lost love. He also doesn't realize that the past is too muddied to make things easy.

This story has some mystery about it and I found it fascinating to read. The characters are believable in their own sort of way. The only thing that left me scratching my head was nobody in the book claimed to be Christian or know God. I found that strange seeing as it is published by Thomas Nelson and also that Charles Martin is a Christian author. However, I do know that some of his books have not been overtly "Christian". That said, I could pick out some Christian principles and symbols in Send Down the Rain

*I received a copy of Send Down the Rain in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - June 25



Summer has finally arrived in northern Michigan. We have our hot days and we have our normal rather cool days. Today it has struggled to reach 70 degrees F., but that's okay.The sun is shining and I'm happy.

The menu plan this week reflects using what we have on hand. I have already over-spent at the grocery store. Our freezer is becoming bare and I can't wait for the harvesting of our garden. Right now, we are only getting a light cutting of lettuce and some radishes. As for the cantaloupe for tonight, we only use whole melons that we cut ourselves. Currently in Michigan, we are advised to not purchase cantaloupe already cut and packaged because of the listeria problem that has caused a massive recall.

Monday

Fish Sticks
Baked Potatoes
Cantaloupe

Tuesday

Marinated Chicken Thighs (crock-pot)
Mashed Potatoes
Peas

Wednesday

Left-overs

Thursday

Hamburgers on the grill
Potato Chips
Tossed Salads

Friday

Taco Salads

Saturday

Pizza & Pop

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, June 04, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - June 4


Happy first Monday in June! I would like to say that we have beautiful summer-like weather here up north, but that would be a lie. It struggles to get into the sixties (Fahrenheit) right now. For me, that is frustrating.

My husband has the week off of work, so he is helping to make some of the suppers. Since he makes a mess when he cooks, I'm not sure if that is a blessing or not. I will let you know.

I don't have a vegan plan for you this week. To be honest, I have jumped off of the vegan ship for a bit. My digestive system was way out of whack because of all of the carbohydrates I was getting that I needed to get more variety. I am feeling better and will slowly add more carbs back in. That said, I will let you know that I am still whole foods, mostly plant based, just not eating starchy carbs at the moment.

Here's the plan:

Monday

Meat Loaf
Mashed Potatoes
Broccoli

Tuesday

BBQ Chicken Thighs
Roasted Root Vegetables

Wednesday

Taco Salad

Thursday

Left-overs

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Cheeseburger Bowls

Sunday

On Your Own

Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard



I Can Only Imagine is written by Bart Millard, with Robert Noland, and is published by Thomas Nelson.

I have not watched the movie, I Can Only Imagine, yet. I wanted to wait and read the book first. I am glad I waited because I think this book adds more back-story to the movie. Of course it would, because a movie is only two hours or so long. How can you fit many years into that?

Having now read the book, I can tell you that the story is a compelling one. Bart Millard went through some very challenging times with his father. Some of the things that this man used to do to his son are beyond words. Given that background, I am surprised that Bart and his brother both grew up to be well-adjusted people. That took time and the Holy Spirit, however.

By the time I had finished reading I Can Only Imagine, I could only sit back and say, "Wow."

This book itself is sort of different to read. It seems like the time periods get tossed around. It is more like a book broken down into different life experience sections rather than a book following a logical progression of time. There are some photos that are fun to look at and help the reader to visualize some of the people involved.

Overall, I enjoyed reading I Can Only Imagine, and I look forward to now watching the movie of the same title.

*I received a copy of I Can Only Imagine in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Monday, April 30, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - April 30


The snow is finally melting and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is currently (at 5:50 p.m.) 69 degrees here in the north and sunny! Isn't God good? After all, He did promise that the winter would not last forever (seasons change until He returns). I am so grateful for the warmth and the promise of summer.

My plan is simple. Vegan choices are marked with an *.

Monday

Gluten-free Goulash
Tossed Salad*
Cantaloupe*
Zucchini Spice Cake

Tuesday

Grilled Chicken Breasts
Baked Potatoes*
Steamed Cauliflower*

Wednesday

Grilled Steaks
Vegan Potato Salad*
Green Beans*

Thursday

Taco Salads (make vegan by omitting meat and cheese)
Chips & Salsa*
Chili Con Queso Dip

Friday

Pizza & Pop
(vegan pizza too)*

Saturday

Burgers on the Grill
White Bean Burgers*
Baked Beans*
Tossed Salad*

Sunday

On Your Own

Friday, April 13, 2018

Book Review: Raising Passionate Jesus Followers by Phil and Diane Comer


Raising Passionate Jesus Followers is written by Phil and Diane Comer and is published by Zondervan.

This is one book that is much needed in today's world, despite the fact that there are oodles of self-help books available to help parents raise children. Intentional parenting is all the rage right now, especially among those upper and middle class folks who want to do the right thing for their children. The sad fact is that many of those self-help books are not Biblical and can set the reader on a course for disaster.

This particular book, Raising Passionate Jesus Followers, is written with a strong Scriptural emphasis of which the base is Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the authors have successfully raised four well-adjusted children.

My own children are almost completely raised (I have five) and I was able to still avidly read the first chapters that relate to raising younger children. However, when I got to the chapters regarding teenagers and young adults, I was hooked. The book is written in an engaging manner that helps keep you reading, but the content is what is the best. The authors have gleaned much insight from their years of parenting. They are not perfect, but putting their faith and trust in the Lord and His Scriptures, they were able to do the job well.

I highly recommend Raising Passionate Jesus Followers to any parent who wants to raise children the "... way in which they should go ..." (Proverbs 22:6)

*I received a copy of Raising Passionate Jesus Followers in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Book Review: The Rescue by Jim Cymbala



The Rescue: Seven People, Seven Amazing Stories is written by Jim Cymbala, with Ann Spangler, and is published by Zondervan.

My first thoughts about this little book is that it is short - filled with short stories - but is powerfully packed. There are seven true stories about people who have dramatically come to Jesus when they were at the end of their ropes. These people include a flight attendant, a homeless man, a drug runner, a teenage mom, and more. They come from various backgrounds, but have the same basic story: they were lost but are now found.

The stories in The Rescue are short enough to read in one sitting but they really do pack a punch. They begin in despair and end in triumph. They show the reader that there is hope, always hope.

I can't end this review without mentioning that all of the stories end well because the people who lived them gave themselves over completely to Jesus Christ, not because they did anything else that the world might say they should. The common thread running throughout the stories is that God worked in ways that they did not understand and through many people to bring about their trust in Him. It's what it's all about.

*I received a copy of The Rescue in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*