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.*

Monday, April 09, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - April 9


Happy April 9, 2018 - I think. We still have snow here. Yesterday, there were snowmobiles everywhere having a lot of fun in the two to three feet we have on the ground. With warmer temperatures on the horizon, and I'm talking highs in the low forties, perhaps some of the snow will melt and we can have a real spring.

This week's menu is a blend of my vegan choices and my family's carnivorous ones. Hopefully something will inspire you in your own meal planning. The vegan choices are marked with an asterisk*.

Monday

Roast Beef
Carrots
Potatoes

Tuesday

BLT Sandwiches
*Oven-roasted Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday

*Spaghetti
Meatballs
*Salads

Thursday

*Baked Potatoes
*Green Beans

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Grilled Burgers

Sunday

On Your Own

Friday, March 30, 2018

Book Review - Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book: Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering by Sarah Young


Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book: Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering by Sarah Young is published by Thomas Nelson.

I am intrigued with adult coloring books. I have found that they do, oftentimes, relax a person. However, coloring books that are too involved, i.e. tiny, intricate designs, sometimes have the opposite effect on me. I become jittery when the pages are so detailed that coloring requires the deepest of concentration and the steadiest of hand.

Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book, for the most part, is not that involved and intricate. The designs are fairly simple, yet beautiful. Hand lettering is also a part of the book, which you may or may not choose to do. The book includes, however, a tutorial on how to do the lettering.

The book also includes such wonderful additions as Jesus Calling quotes and Scripture, as well as perforated pages.

So far, I really like this coloring book. It is more friendly to the adult who is not quite so artistic but wants to relax and have fun with a bit of art. The designs are lovely and definitely do pair well with the total theme of the book.

*I received a copy of Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book: Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*


Monday, March 26, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - March 26



I think the temperature actually reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit today! Perhaps spring has actually come to northern Michigan this year? We can only hope.

With spring comes thoughts of fun, spring foods. In the menu plan below, I have combined vegan foods with my family's usual meaty fare. I am trying to sneak the vegan stuff into my loved ones' lives.

Monday

Herbed Steaks
Creamed Corn
Homemade Bread
Delicata Squash
Rhubarb Pie

Tuesday

Meatloaf
Cauliflower

Wednesday

Pasta
Salads
Garlic Bread

Thursday

Tacos

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Veggie Burgers
Potato Salad

Easter Sunday

Baked Ham
Cheesy Potatoes
Potage Cressonier
Green Bean Casserole
Dinner Rolls

Monday, March 12, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - March 12


It's still snowing and cold here, so I am including warming dishes in my menu plan. As for the vegan planning, prepping, and enjoying - I'm loving it, even with all of the extra work. Tonight, we are having a slight surprise for the family. I have made a vegan strawberry cobbler that fits in very well with the whole foods plant based diet. By not telling the rest of the family that it is vegan, I bet I will find an empty dish when I get home from work. Since I am so confident with the WFPB diet, I am now showcasing that one first, followed by the meal plan for the meat eaters. The recipe for the strawberry cobbler is below:

Vegan Strawberry Cobbler

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup honey
2 TBSP real maple syrup
2 quarts strawberries
1 cup water
2 TBSP instant tapioca
2 TBSP unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. almond extract

Using a food processor or mixer, blend the almond flour, salt, maple syrup, almond extract, and applesauce together. It will be a little moist and sticky. In a pan, put strawberries, honey, and water over medium heat and cook until berries come to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in tapioca. Transfer berry mixture to a lightly greased baking dish. Top with spoonfuls of the almond dough. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until bubbly and the dough is browned.


WFPB Menu

Monday

Tossed Salad with Sauerkraut and homemade croutons
Strawberry Cobbler (recipe above)

Tuesday

Baked Potatoes with Cashew Cream
Stir Fry Veggies, steamed

Wednesday

Potato and Veggie Tacos, with homemade corn tortillas


Thursday

Savory Corn Bread

Friday

Polenta Pizza Pie

Saturday

Steamed Potatoes with Cream of Broccoli Soup over the top

Sunday

Left-overs


Menu for the Meat Eaters

Monday

Pizza 
Strawberry Cobbler (recipe above)

Tuesday

Stir-fry with Flank Steak
Baked Potatoes

Wednesday


Thursday

Slow Cooker Meatballs
Mashed Potatoes
Squash

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Corned Beef
Boiled Potatoes
Green Beans

Sunday

Left-overs

Monday, February 26, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - February 26


Yippee for the last Monday in February! I, for one, can't wait for summer. You heard me. I could easily skip spring and go straight for the hot stuff. Up here in the northern part of Michigan, spring isn't promised and it's usually so much like winter that you wonder if it was ever there to begin with.

As for the menu plan, I am providing one plan for the family who refuses to go whole food, plant based along with me. I am continue to make a plan for myself. The diet is working splendidly. I remain a steady 105 pounds and am enjoying lots of carbs and grains. However, the carbs are all complex carbs that come straight from the food itself. Sugar, for me, is rare. Do I feel healthier? Sometimes. I have allergies and hope they will someday be a thing of the past. As for now, I am plagued by them.

The following plant based plan is mostly taken from Easy. Whole. Vegan., by Melissa King. I borrowed the book from inter-library loan and love it so much that I ordered it from Amazon. It's on its way.

Monday

Quart Jar Salad

Tuesday

Lentil Stew

Wednesday

Lime Cilantro Cauliflower Rice
Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

Thursday

Broccoli Salad

Friday

Polenta Pizza Pie

Saturday

Corn Chowder

Sunday

Leftovers


The following carnivorous plan is taken mostly from the book, Diabetes from the Plate published by the Meredith Corporation. I did sneak in a few of my vegan foods.

Monday

Breaded Fish Filets
Lime Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

Tuesday

Maple Pecan Pork Chops
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Tossed Salad

Wednesday

Baked Beef Burritos (using corn tortillas)
Salads

Thursday

Cherry Balsamic Meatballs
Acorn Squash
Herbed Basamati Rice

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers
Roasted Potatoes
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, February 19, 2018

Menu Plan Monday: Two Menus - February 17


Good morning! I am ready to report how I liked the sample menu plan from Forks Over Knives. For the most part, the meals were tasty and very filling. I had asked for the plan for a single person, as I am the only one in our house who eats vegan. Every meal made two servings, which gave enough for a lunch or breakfast left-over for the week. Well, as I am a small person and don't require the same calories as a taller, larger boned person, I found that the two meals were more like three or, sometimes, four. At first, I tried to get it all eaten in two meals but then felt overly full and sick. By the end of the week, I was putting a serving in the freezer for a later date.

The Forks Over Knives meals were great, as I already said, but one of them, Peanut Noodles, did not set well, either the first round or the left-over round. I suspect it is because I have an unhealthy digestive system and the peanut sauce is just too hard to digest (I have had trouble with peanut butter before and now eat sunflower seed butter or, on occasion, almond butter). Other than that, it was all fantastic.

This week, I have planned my own menu, as well as the menu for the rest of the family. As a side note: I am sure our grocery bill would not be nearly as high if I could stop purchasing meat. I ended up paying $200 at the grocery stores (yes, plural) yesterday because I had to buy meat and dairy. Looking at my receipts, I found that meat was most expensive, with dairy second. Fruits and veggies were just a tiny fraction of the total bill.

So, I think I have a menu plan to fit most anybody, except maybe Paleo eaters. There might be something in there for them too, but not whole meals. I like to use healthy carbohydrates in my plans. I am posting my plans for dinner only, however, I did plan for all three meals for every day with the vegan plan. Please message me if you are interested in seeing that. Have a good week!

Meal Plan for WFPB Vegans

Monday

Veggie Burger with Russian Dressing

Tuesday


Wednesday


Thursday

Plantain & Potato Soup
Gluten-free Cornbread (Leftover)

Friday


Saturday

Plantain & Potato Soup (Leftover)

Sunday

Salad or whatever I find


Menu Plan for Carnivores

Monday

Beef Noodle Bake
Green Beans
Ice-cream

Tuesday

Chicken Breast Smothered in Tomatoes & Mozzarella Cheese
Baked Potatoes
Peas

Wednesday

Roast Beef
Root Veggies

Thursday

Left-overs
Spring Rhubarb Cake

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Lasagna
Salads
Garlic Bread

Sunday

On your Own