Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review - The NIV Once a Day Bible


The NIV Once a Day Bible is published by Zondervan.

I am addicted to the Bible - and it's a good addiction. I always gauge the number of years I have read the Bible through (in a year) by how old my daughter is. This year, on December 31, I will have read it through each year for 13 consecutive years. It never gets old.

I have been looking for a good once a day Bible and was thrilled when I found the NIV Once a Day Bible. The special thing about this particular volume is that it is arranged chronologically. Though I know what the Bible is all about, I don't always put together, easily, in what order events happened (or, in the case of Christ's second coming, will happen). 

If you're a fan of the NIV Bible, or even if you aren't, you might want to get this volume in order to read the Bible through in a year with fresh eyes. 

*I received a copy of the NIV Once a Day Bible in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review - Never Ever Give Up by Erik Rees with Jenna Glatzer

http://www.amazon.com/Never-Ever-Give-Up-Inspiring/dp/0310337607

Never Ever Give Up is written by Erik Rees with Jenna Glatzer and is published by Zondervan.

I wanted to read Never Ever Give Up because it is a book about hope, not a gloomy one about a kid with cancer. Yes, it is difficult reading, especially in the first pages, because it's difficult to think that someone so young had to suffer such a wicked disease as cancer is. But somewhere in all of that pain is hope and joy, and that is what Jessie's life has come to be all about.

It's rare today to find someone who hasn't been touched by cancer in some way, whether it be through a family member, close friend, acquaintance, or even a beloved pet. My son does not have cancer, but he does have a rare autoimmune disease that is just as scary. Did you know that cancer is also an autoimmune disease? Needless to say, I can relate, though perhaps on a smaller scale than what the Rees family has had to deal with in the illness and death of their young daughter, Jessie.

Never Ever Give Up was Jessie's motto. She lived it. This girl, in the midst of her own struggle with cancer, never gave up and never stopped thinking of others who were going through the same thing. Rather than just pray or think of them, however, she DID for them by filling and giving her Joy Jars. This book is about her journey and her legacy. It is well written and kept me reading even though I felt mixed emotions that had me wanting to just put it down. I don't like to read about pain, especially when that pain is closely related to that which I have felt and am now feeling. Still, I read on and am glad that I did.

You can read more about Jessie and ways you can get involved in helping others with cancer by visiting the Never Ever Give Up website.

*I received a copy of Never Ever Give Up in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Menu Plan Monday - September 15

orgjunkie.com

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about healthy eating choices. I have gone back and forth as a poor, junk-food eater, a vegetarian, a vegan, and then back around again. This week I resolved to go back to a more vegetarian (getting close to being vegan) diet again. When I eat meat, I find that my muscles hurt. Apparently, I am not the only one who feels this way. If you want to read a short, but interesting, blog post concerning pain and food, you can find one here. That said, I cannot interest the rest of my family to follow suit. As an aside, I firmly believe (based upon testimonies from people I know personally who have kicked cancer in its worst forms) that juicing is one of the best things you can do to squash inflammation. If you don't like vegetables, try carrot juice blended with an apple or pear. I've thrown in a kiwi before, though my husband swears only apples will sweeten it to his liking. Myself, I prefer straight carrot juice with, perhaps, a couple of leaves of romaine lettuce or kale. I tried tossing in a radish once but, wow, that was hot! The point is, get your body trained to eat as God intended you to and you will reap enormous benefits! To learn more about juicing, you can read an informative boat-load of stuff from Hallelujah Acres. The site also has tons of testimonies of those who have fought disease with nutrition and won.

My menu plan for the week includes meals that I do not feel are healthy but, because of my family's resistance to such options, I have tried to compromise a bit. I usually don't have what they're having - rather I make a large salad or otherwise. Maybe they'll see a difference in my own health and change their ways someday.

Monday

 Tacos
Corn on the Cob

Tuesday

Applesauce

Wednesday

Meat Loaf
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans

Thursday

Oven-fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Salads

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Potato Soup

Sunday

On Your Own

 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - September8

http://orgjunkie.com

Health issues are plaguing our family, as they have for a couple of years now. First it seemed that the mold problem in our house could be causing them. Now it appears that maybe it's really the food we've eaten. By that, I mean that additives and GMOs have, possibly, directly and indirectly caused some autoimmune struggles for members of our household. Because of that, I have  been striving to present better choices at the table. The only way to really eliminate most GMOs and additives (such as MSG and other toxins) is to prepare your own food - skip the processed junk that is in the middle aisles of your grocery store. Shop the periphery. Read labels and don't buy anything that has ingredients in it which you do not recognize as good. Eat organic when you can. And if you visit farmer's markets, don't take it for granted that they all sell organic foods. Ask each and every vendor some hard questions.

When making the re-fried beans in the recipe listed below, I always soak them the night before, draining and rinsing them well before cooking. Soaking them before cooking makes them easier to digest.
Monday

Crock-pot Macaroni & Cheese
Gluten-free Mac & Cheese
Green Beans
Fresh Watermelon

Tuesday

Chicken Enchiladas
Garden Salads

Wednesday

Basmati Rice

Thursday


Friday

Pizza & Pop
Gluten-free Pizza with Loads of Veggies

Saturday

Burgers & Fries (yes, not so good for you)

Sunday

On Your Own

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Book Review - The Case for a Creator: Student Edition by Lee Strobel


The Case for a Creator: Student Edition is written by Lee Strobel and is published by Zondervan.

I have to say, right off the bat, that this is a great book for my teens. Today's world is bombarding them with evolutionary junk and clouding the truth with Darwinism. Strobel. a once believer in all of that, gives young people a reason to believe that God truly is the great Creator who made everything from nothing. In fact, today's science supports the case for a Creator rather than denies it. The book is written at a younger level than the original The Case for a Creator. I particularly love the "For Further Evidence" links at the end of each chapter. There is a lot of room to explore and learn.

*I received a copy of The Case for a Creator: Student Edition in exchange for my honest opinion.*


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Book Review: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door by Denette Fretz





Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door is written by Denette Fretz and is illustrated by Gene Barretta. It is published by Zonderkidz.

You might remember that I wrote a review of Pirates on the Farm, also by Denette Fretz and Gene Barretta. This book is second in the series and is every bit "cute" as Pirates on the Farm. Conrad learns a ton about how to be a cowboy while visiting his uncle's ranch, but he never dreams he has to deal with a cowgirl named Imogene Louise Lathrup - the girl who seems to know it all.

We've all dealt with "know-it-alls", haven't we? Loving your neighbor isn't easy when that neighbor is - well - irritating. Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door teaches the "love thy neighbor" lesson by using a good story combined with beautiful illustrations. I love it.

*I received a copy of Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Monday, September 01, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - September 1

http://orgjunkie.com

Happy Labor Day! Here up north, we are wondering if the reports of another very hard winter are going to be accurate. Only time will tell. I shiver just thinking about it, but I know that God is sovereign and He is good - all the time, even in the subzero temperatures (with lots of snow). It'll be okay.

This week's menu had a little help from the Daniel Plan Cookbook (recipes in the book indicated with an *). Here's what we're having:

Monday

*Lasagna (carry over from last week)
Garlic Toast
Salads
Ice-cream

Tuesday

Burgers on the grill
Baked Beans
Peaches

Wednesday

Enchiladas
Salads
*Homemade Gelatto

Thursday

*Oven Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
*Gluten-free Cornbread
Green Beans

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

*Black Bean Soup
Chicken & Dumplings

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, August 25, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - August 25

http://orgjunkie.com

Well, summer has about left us and I feel that things are beginning to slow down. I have been working extra hours at the library and generally been running here and there. This is the first menu plan I've made in a few weeks, which is bad, but then I have had company for about three straight weeks. Time to get back to normal.

I have looked for some good recipe books that incorporate whole and healthy eating - gluten-free and vegan when I can. I found three good ones at the library. They are:

The Daniel Plan Cookbook, The Blender Girl, and Mayim's Vegan Table. There are tons of ideas to help you get back to the basics with good food.

Here's the plan for the week - basic and as cheap as I can make it:

Monday

Spaghetti
Salads

Tuesday

Baked Chicken Breasts
Stuffing
Green Beans

Wednesday

Goulash
Peas

Thursday

Chili in the crockpot

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Lasagna
Green Beans
Salads
Garlic Toast

Sunday

On Your Own