Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Product Review - iPhone 6 Shakeproof Transformer Protective Cover

Sometimes you need to have a little extra protection for items that you use a lot - like a cell phone. I tested this one from EC Technology this week and really like it. It has a gel case that you slip your iPhone into, and then slip into a hard case. The case has a swivel clip that is sturdy and durable. I will use it a lot when I go hiking this spring (in search of the morel mushrooms that usually grow so well here). The other side of the case has a "kickstand" that is easily used for watching videos when the phone sets on its side. I found the kickstand a little hard to pull out and I thought it would break - I held my breath - but it did not. It's sturdier than it appears.

At any rate, I like the iPhone 6 Shakeproof Transformer Protective Cover with the holster and kickstand. I still like a thin, slim case but will still get use out of this hard one as well - because for a hard case, it's not overly bulky.

*I received an iPhone 6 Shakeproof Transformer Protective Cover in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.*

Help Awang find a Sponsor


This little boy, Awang, is 8 years old. He is in desperate need of a sponsor through Compassion International. As a sponsor of a little boy the same age in Burkina Faso, I can tell you that there are no words to express the joy I receive from this sponsorship. I receive regular letters and drawings from my child. He tells me that he prays for me and my family. I have no reason to doubt this. I receive pictures of him as he grows. The Lord is developing a bond between me and my sponsored child that I feel getting stronger each month that goes by.

Awang is awaiting his sponsor to step up to the plate and say, "I will. I will make a difference in Jesus name." I can send you all the information you need to begin sponsoring Awang now. You can e-mail me at and I will send you his information packet immediately. My goal is to find him a sponsor by January 9. That date is fast approaching.

Go here to watch a video that shares what sponsorship means to a child in need.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - December 15

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Christmas is nearly here. I am not ready for giving gifts, but I am ready to celebrate the birth of Christ. And yes, I do know that Jesus probably wasn't born on December 25. I don't think it matters.

Monday

Fettuccine Carbonara (using gluten-free noodles)
Green Beans
Cottage Cheese

 Tuesday

 Taco Salads
Corn

Wednesday

Turkey Breast
Mashed Potatoes
Yams

Thursday - Evan's B-Day Party

Pizza
Birthday Cake

Friday

Roast Beef
Carrots
Potatoes

Saturday

Beef & Noodles
Baked Acorn Squash
Green Beans

Sunday

On Your Own

Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review - Discipleship:Living for Christ in the Daily Grind by J. Heinrich Arnold


Discipleship: Living for Christ in the Daily Grind is written by J. Heinrich Arnold with a foreword by Henri J. M. Nouwen. It is published by Plough.

How many of us sort of envy the first disciples of Christ? Wouldn't it have been great to sit at the feet of the Master and learn directly from Him - audibly listening to Him and touching Him? After we think about it for a while, we remember that those disciples were tortured and persecuted for their faith after Jesus was sacrificed on the Cross and, three days later, risen. Would we want to go through that?

Arnold reminds us that living for Christ is not always the easiest thing to do. In fact, although we are not physically with Jesus in the days He walked the earth, we are with Him in Spirit. He talks to us through the Bible and teaches us those tough lessons through experience and His Word - which is always perfect.

This world we live in is a fallen one. We live with pain, suffering, injustice ... and the list goes on. How do we make sense of it all? We want to make everything alright. We want to take away the pain and the suffering. We want to be healers. Sticking close to the Master is tough when life is tough. However, as Mother Theresa said in her review of this book, "He has not called us to be successful, but to be faithful."

I am devouring this book. I think it is for the serious believer who truly wants to keep his/her eyes on Christ. We have faith - He takes care of the rest.

*I received a copy of Discipleship: Living for Christ in the Daily Grind in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book Review - Nature Girl: A Guide to Caring for God's Creation by Karen Whiting and Rebecca White


Nature Girl: A Guide to Caring for God's Creation is written by Karen Whiting and Rebecca White. It is published by ZonderKidz.

I had a blast looking through this fun and practical book for young girls. This book is appropriate for any age, but probably the girls who would enjoy it the most would be those in the tween through early teen years. My own daughter is 13 and she is at just the right state in her life to gain a lot from it.

Filled with fun recipes such as Tangy Tomato Sauce and English Muffin Pizzas, the book offers more. There are science experiments, puzzles, activities, and loads of other fun things to do in this book. The skin care products that are healthy for you and good for the environment will be a hit with my daughter and probably with countless other girls.

I think this is a good addition to a science curriculum for the homeschooled girl as well as others. I love it.

*I received a copy of Nature Girl: A Guide to Caring for God's Creation in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Monday, December 08, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - December 8

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We're getting closer to Christmas. I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit. Not quite there yet. There is so much commercialism on the sidewalks, on the internet, everywhere, that it seeks to bring me down. This week's menu plan is very simple and as cheap as I can make it. This is the time of year when incomes get zapped, including ours.

Friday night, Amanda and I will get a rare treat. Francesca Battistelli is coming to our church for a Christmas concert. We are volunteers with Compassion International and will be attending.  I am excited that my young daughter has such a wonderful chance to serve (and me too).

Monday

Tossed Salads
Chips & Salsa
Rhubarb Pie (from our own frozen rhubarb)

Tuesday

Oven-fried Chicken (legs & thighs)

Wednesday

Snow Peas
Home-canned Fruit

Thursday

Spaghetti (gluten-free)
Tossed Salads

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Veggie Burgers
Potato Chips
Tossed Salads

Sunday

On Your Own

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Help a Child "in Jesus name"


This is a picture of a new little friend. He is a child living in Indonesia and he is in need of a sponsor through Compassion International. His name is Awang and he just turned 8 years old in October. I am sharing his need with you because I believe that one of you might be the one to sponsor him. You see, Awang's family is poor and they live in what we in the West would call a very depressed area. $38 a month offers medical checkups (which often saves lives), healthy food, health and hygiene training (brushing teeth, bathing, etc.), help with school supplies and lessons, access to special services (like needed surgeries and disaster relief), and, what I consider probably the most important, mentoring to help the kids know how much they mean to Jesus.

Almost three years ago, I decided to sponsor a child who lives in Burkina Faso (Africa). My husband gave his blessing and we have sent $38 a month since to help Nehemie with all of the above. I receive regular letters (and drawings) from Nehemie and, in turn, I send him my letters of love and encouragement. He asks me to pray for certain needs and offers to pray for me and my family. He is turning 8 years old in February. He has been, and continues to be, a great blessing in my life. My prayer is that I can continue to support him until he is grown.

That brings me back to Awang. I am on a mission to find him a sponsor. Can you help? If you are interested in knowing more about Awang or Compassion International, please send me an e-mail. I'd love to hook you up with Awang. I promise that you would be blessed.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Book Review - Evening Prayers for Every Day of the Year by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt



Evening Prayers for Every Day of the Year is written by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt and is published by Plough Publishing. Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt was born 1842 and, during his life, influenced great theologians such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth, as well as many others. He died in 1919. This book of prayers was originally a set of prayers said during evening devotions with a group of Blumhardt's closest friends. The prayers were collected and put into book form only after his death, published in 1926 in Berlin.

I think I have found the perfect book for nighttime devotions. Currently, I read the Bible through in a year, and first thing each morning. I spend an hour in devotion and prayer time after reading the Bible. As for evenings before bed, I pray, but nothing else. The prayers in Evening Prayers for Every Day of the Year are divided into daily readings, and they follow a short reading of Scripture. The first day's reading, for January 1, relates to the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-10). The prayers are short enough to be used in the evening when I am tired, but are very poignant.

The prayers do not have to be the sum of your prayer life - in fact, they should NOT be. Rather, they can be used to augment what you already do and, perhaps, enrich your prayer life a little more. That is how I plan to use this book of prayers. It will be the catalyst that sets off my evening prayers and gets me going in the right direction.

*I received a copy of Evening Prayers for Every Day of the Year in exchange for my honest opinion.*


Menu Plan Monday - December 1

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It's time to break out the recipe books and search the internet for holiday desserts, cookies, and other seasonal favorites. My daughter has found a gluten-free cookie cookbook at the library and she's already made some goodies from it. We bought a large bag of Pamela's Gluten-free Baking Mix. It works very well in place of the gluten-free flour mix called for in the recipes, provided you do not add the xanthan gum that the recipes use (it is already included in the baking mix). 

Money is always in short supply for us during the Christmas and New Year season due to my husband's line of work - who is here to purchase anything when it's cold and snowy outside and they can be in sunny Florida or Texas? Because we're not only trying to pay our bills but also purchase a few gifts for our children, we find ways to scrimp at the grocery store. This year is even worse than last - the prices for food just keep rising. This week I was able to purchase pork chops and steaks at a super sale price (along with reduced costs because of short dates). Personally, I don't eat meat except on rare occasions. My husband and kids, however, feel as if the earth is shaken if they don't have meat at the table.

The good news is that gasoline has gone down for the last month or so. I can't believe we are filling up the tank for less than $3.00 a gallon. Let's hope the trend continues for a while. Now, if we can only get the food prices to lower too, we'll be all set. Wait a minute ---- I forgot about rising insurance and health care costs ----

Here's the menu plan for the week:

Monday

Seasoned Pork Chops
Cheesy Rice
Green Beans
Left-over Pumpkin Pie

Tuesday

Round Steak
Baked Potatoes
Tossed Salads
Home-canned Peaches

Wednesday

Sloppy Joes
Potato Chips
Home-canned Applesauce

Thursday

Potato Soup
Crusty Rolls

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers (including veggie)
Home Fries
Tossed Salads

Sunday

On Your Own