Saturday, January 07, 2017

Book Review: You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden


You Carried Me: A Daughter's Memoir is written by Melissa Ohden and is published by Plough.

Wow, is this a powerful story! Melissa Ohden was delivered in the form of an abortion. She was born in a hospital but was supposed to die during the saline abortion. However, she was delivered alive. If not for a nurse who heard her crying and saved her from being left to die on a table, she would not be here today to tell her story. What is her story? She speaks out for the voiceless today: those who have been murdered by abortion.

As a pro-life believer in Jesus, I resonate with this message. No, I have never had an abortion. I'm not sure if I personally know anyone who has - nobody has ever told me that they had one. Still, I feel for those mothers who have aborted their children. According to Melissa Ohden, those moms and dads and other family members often feel pressured into abortions and carry their pain for the rest of their lives.

There are other abortion survivors; abortions don't always end in the deaths of the babies. I found that to be amazing - and sad. In fact, learning more about the abortion industry and lives it touches was a real bonus for me. Before reading this book, I only knew the basics. It hurt to learn more, but it was necessary. As a pro-life Christian, shouldn't I back up my beliefs with facts?

I found the book to be well written and very informative. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more or who simply wants to read a compelling true story.

*I received a copy of You Carried Me: A Daughter's Memoir in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Book Review: My Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition by Zondervan

We have lots of Bibles in our household and the majority of them are read, at least I hope they are! Although my daughter already has a Bible of her own, I was drawn to this one. I am a writer and I have instilled in my children the necessity of writing well. With that in mind, "Journal Edition" jumped out.

This beautiful hardcover NIV edition by Zondervan contains the complete NIV text. What is different about this one, however, is that there are nicely lined margins on each page of Scripture on which girls can journal their thoughts. As they read a passage, those thoughts, and possible sermon notes, get put on the page as they see fit. When they have read and re-read this Bible, hopefully they will notice how their own maturity and wisdom concerning the Scriptures developed over time. I love it.

I gave this Bible to my daughter (15 years old, so not exactly just for tweens) for Christmas. She loves it and I notice that she has begun bringing this edition to church with her. She is a great journal believer so I believe it was the right thing for her.

As for me, I have Bibles in different translations, the NIV being one of them. I am glad that my daughter has a copy that she can understand and that she WANTS to read. As an aside, I love the elastic that keeps this particular edition closed and looking cute.

*I received My Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.*

Monday, January 02, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - January 2



Happy New Year! May the Lord bless you richly this year. I have finally finished my week's menu plan. What a busy week this last one was! 

Monday

Chicken Ranch Flatbreads made with left-over turkey
Mashed Potatoes with Garlic
Left-over Cake & Pie

Tuesday

Pizza in a Skillet
Soft Italian Breadsticks
Salads

Wednesday

Applesauce

Thursday

Meatloaf
Baked Potatoes
Baked Butternut Squash

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Sunday

On Your Own

Friday, December 23, 2016

Book Review: Chocolate-Covered Cashews by Wiley Baxter


Chocolate-Covered Cashews is written by Wiley Baxter and is published by Westbow Press.

This book is not excessively long but it took me a long time to read. I guess I didn't find it really going anywhere and it was easy to stop at any point without being tempted to read further. The premise of the book is that Wiley Baxter was married early in his life. The marriage didn't work out and his wife left him. What she didn't tell him is that she was pregnant with twin daughters at the time. In fact, this remained a secret for more than 36 years. When he was 57, he found out that he had the daughters and that those daughters were now married with their own children.

The book chronicles Baxter's life pretty much before he met the daughters. He talks some of how his faith turned toward Christ and about his marriage to the woman who has become his helpmeet.

I did not care a whole lot for this book though I did read it all. It isn't very long and it is an easy read. If you want to read a true story that is all that, go for this one. If you are looking for a meatier book, you might want to pass.

*I received a copy of Chocolate-Covered Cashews in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Make a Winter Scene




A friend volunteers at our library once a month to teach a craft. Yesterday, she helped the ladies (and one gentleman) create a cute winter scene. The above left is the one I made myself.

Here's what we did:

Take a ramekin and put a piece of craft foam (cut to make fit in the ramekin) inside. It should fit fairly snugly. Insert artificial pieces of greenery, flowers, pinecones, etc. In other words, put whatever fits. We hot glued in the stones and pinecones that we wanted to use. The stones look sort of like boulders once next to the trees. Use craft snowflakes to fill around the bottom so it looks like snow. Pack it in. You could use Epsom salts instead. Glue a piece of ribbon or ricrac around the ramekin.

This project took us an hour, but that was with lots of laughter and goofing off.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Book Review - Lots of Love by Kim Washburn


Lots of Love is written by Kim Washburn, illustrated by Jacqueline East, and published by Zondervan.

This board book is a very colorful and heartfelt book for youngsters. Each page takes the reader through events and people (animals too), that show how much that child is loved. The illustrations are gorgeous and the words especially meaningful. I know a special little girl who is going to be the recipient of this book for Christmas.

Every child needs to hear the affirming message that he or she is loved, not only by others but by God. This book gives that message in a fun, easy to grasp and easy to keep from tearing book. Every page is well-done and I love it.

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

Menu Plan Monday - December 19


For Menu Plan Monday this week, I decided to post a picture of my favorite songbird, a cardinal. I was born and raised in Indiana. The cardinal is Indiana's state bird. This one was snapped from my Mom's window as she was lying on her bed, a few weeks before she passed on to Heaven. She loved to watch the birds as much as I do. I miss her this week more than ever. I find myself wondering what to get her for Christmas when I suddenly realize she is gone. Seeing this picture of the cardinal once again gives me comfort.

I still have to work this week so I had a bit of difficulty deciding what to make for Christmas Eve (our son and his girlfriend are coming) and for Christmas Day. Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, so we will be attending church, thus giving us less time to prepare a meal. But it can be done. Here's what I am planning:

Monday

Mini Meatloaves (done in muffin tins)
Baked Potatoes
Salads

Tuesday

Macaroni & Cheese
Oven Baked Chicken
Green Beans

Wednesday

Taco Salads
Refried Beans

Thursday

Goulash
Mixed Vegetables
Salads

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

BBQ Meatballs
Cheeseball & Crackers
Deviled Eggs
Veggie Tray & Dip
Lentil Soup
Coconut Custard Pie
Christmas Cookies

Sunday

Baked Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Smashed Squash
Corn
Home-made Bread


Monday, December 12, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - December 12


It is a winter wonderland here. Is it where you live? Here's my plan for the week:

Monday

Manicotti
Garlic Toast
Corn

Tuesday

Taco Tartlets (from Family Circle Magazine)
Salads

Wednesday

Chicken and Rice

Thursday

Jeff is cooking - surprise

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday - Evan's Birthday

Lasagna
Green Beans
Garlic Bread
Salads

Sunday

On Your Own

Friday, December 09, 2016

Book Review - Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix


Of Stillness and Storm is written by Michele Phoenix and published by Thomas Nelson.

I have finally been getting caught up with my reading lists this month. I know, I know, most people are so busy with the holidays that reading, for them, takes a backseat. However, I need that calm in the mornings and evenings to get me prepped for my busy days. I have been hard at work on a new book by Michele Phoenix.

I had not heard of Michele Phoenix before so I had to do a little investigative work to "get to know her". She was born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother. She worked in Germany as a teacher for 20 years, then joined with Global Outreach Mission. She obviously has a heart for missions.

In Of Stillness and Storm, Phoenix paints what I think is probably a fair picture of missionary families. The husband is called to serve in another part of the world and the wife and child(ren), though they might not feel as called, end up following suit. The husband adjusts well because he is doing what he feels God has led him to do while the wife and child(ren) struggle.

The husband in this book, Sam, is a strong believer who has always known that his desire for world missions is at the heart of God's will for his life. However, his wife, Lauren, is not so sure. She does love the Lord and she's always done "the right thing". However, doing the right thing includes taking their son, Ryan, halfway around the world to Kathmandu, Nepal. Sam is gone for weeks a time, ministering to remote villages in the mountains while Lauren and Ryan stay in a hot, dingy apartment that has basically none of the amenities that they were used to back home.

Ryan struggles and, through his struggles, Lauren struggles as well. That's a lot of struggles. And it makes for an interesting read. Rejoicing, aching, working hard to overcome - it all comes together and we get to come along for the ride.

I enjoyed this book for its rawness and good writing. Phoenix paints a vivid picture of what world missions can be like for those who give up almost everything in order to reach the lost for Christ. It's not as glamarous as some of us might think. It's sacrifice, and that is portrayed very well in this book. I recommend it highly for those who want to read fiction with a boost of realism.

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts are my own.*