Monday, May 02, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - May 2


Spring has returned (once again this year) but it dips down below freezing each night. Chili sounds good right about now. I make a small pan for me without meat but do include ground beef in the rest of the family's pot.

Monday

Chili
Garlic Cheese Bread
Salads
Fruit

Tuesday

BLT Sandwiches
Salads

Wednesday

Roast Turkey Breast
Broccoli

Thursday

Cheesy Turkey & Rice
Green Beans

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Brats/Hot Dogs/Veggie Burgers
Fruit

Sunday

On Your Own (I have to work)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review: Wonders of Creation: Illustrations to Color and Inspire


Wonders of Creation: Illustrations to Color and Inspire is published by Zondervan.

I have watched my best friend, my son's best friend, and my daughter each go crazy over the many adult coloring books on the market today. I have also thought they were each crazy to want to sit and color. This week, I joined the craze and colored two pages in my own coloring book, Wonders of Creation.

There are 96 pages of black and white illustrations in this book, some of them simple and fairly easy to color in a short amount of time. Others are very detailed and take a lot more concentration with a steady hand - and a bit more time. All of them celebrate the beauty and wonder of God's creating power of our world.

I began my own journey by starting with the very first pages. It's the way I am with most books; start at the beginning and work my way to the end in a very concise and consecutive manner. This picture, spanning two pages, has some very tiny spots and some not so tiny. None of it is overly complicated. I used crayon pencils (Crayola Twisters) in the very basic of colors. I imagine I could have made it look prettier had I used a wider array of colors and maybe markers instead of the crayons. At any rate, it was a soothing project except for the tiniest of leaves or grass where I colored outside of the lines. As a perfectionist, this bothered me.



As for the book itself, it is made of good quality paper and I love that it has lots of pages that include simple and complex designs. If I am only in the mood for easy pictures, then I can find one. If I feel creative and want to do a detailed one, I can find that too. All of the pictures are well drawn and represent the "wonders of creation" beautifully. I love it.

*I received a copy of Wonders of Creation: Illustrations to Color and Inspire in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts are my own.*


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - April 18


Well, I realize that this is Tuesday, not Monday. I have been feeling overwhelmed these days, especially since my mother passed away from this world to enter Heaven a couple of weeks ago. I have to admit that I have had a hard time dealing with it even though I am not a young child. I know that Mom was in her 80's and that she was fully ready to go. I just wasn't ready to let her go.

I got some books from the library to read during my devotional time - after I have read from the Bible (I read through it every year). One of them is a 30 day devotional written for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. The other is a book by Dr. Joyce Meyer concerning the power of our thoughts to make or break us. Both of them are very good and are giving me help in my struggle to adjust. Mother's Day is coming up and I know I am going to have a difficult time with it. Thankfully, I have to work that day so my mind will be kept busy.

Here is the menu plan I came up with:

Monday

BLTs
Corn
Potato Chips
Ice-cream

Tuesday

Pot Roast
Potatoes
Carrots

Wednesday

Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Thursday

Pizza & Pop

Friday

Eating Out - Homeschool Performance Night

Saturday

Burgers
Home Fries
Salads

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, April 11, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - April 11


Happy Monday! As seems to be the norm this year, we awoke to snow still on the ground, with a little bit more added. We do have hopes that Spring will return soon and that the snow will melt away and not return until next winter. Here's a little poem I wrote a couple of years ago honoring that great harbinger of spring - the robin.

                                                The  
                                  Red-breasted robin is 
                       A harbinger of perspiring days to 
             Come. Chirrup! She sings, cheer up! Spring is 
                        Here! Her brazen cry bounces over crisp, white snow. 
                        Yet, I see none of that which the crazy fowl trumpets. Frozen 
                      Blankets hide worms beneath numb turf as she pokes her  
                                                          beak                                      deep into 
                                                          the                                          hardened bank. 
                                                          dear,                                          warm-hearted                              
robin                                                        is fooled.        
                                                      Once more. 

The menu for this week is:

Monday

Hamburger Casserole
Salads

Tuesday

Parmesan Chicken Strips
Noodles
Creamed Corn

Wednesday

Brown/Wild Rice Pilaf
Lamb Chops
Green Beans

Thursday

Smashed Potatoes
Meat Loaf
Roasted Carrots

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Veggie Burgers
Salads

Sunday

On Your Own

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Book Review: Forever My Little Boy by Karen Kingsbury


Forever My Little Boy: Loving Your Son for Now and for Always is written by Karen Kingsbury, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, and published by Zondervan.

Karen Kingsbury has long been one of my favorite Christian authors. She has written children's books, adult fiction, and even some wonderful non-fiction to stir the heart and soul. Along with her popular Angels Walking series, she has published this little book that is a touching tribute to sons and their parents (but mostly mothers). There is also one about daughters.

I have four sons so this book touched me. My youngest son is about to turn 18, so I can really relate to the "firsts" in the book - firsts like Daddy teaching the son to ride a bike or when the son learns to drive a car. It is never easy to let go and let God when it comes to your children. Karen has demonstrated that well within these pages.

The book is filled with lovely poetry and images. Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, the illustrator, does a magnificent job of putting words to pictures and gives the book an old-fashioned feel. I love it.

This is a great gift book for a young mother or father. As an older mother (but not old ... ) I was moved as I read it. Perhaps a good gift for that beloved son on his wedding day?

*I received a copy of Forever My Little Boy: Loving Your Son for Now and for Always in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own.*

Monday, March 21, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - March 21


Yesterday was the first day of spring, but up here in the north, we didn't notice anything other than the date. It was sunny, however, and for that I am grateful. We spent the day driving back roads and walking a bit in Hartwick State Pines State Park. The trails are still covered with snow, so we only walked a tiny bit. So good to get outdoors!

My menu for the week is highly tentative, as my mother is reaching the end of her journey here on earth and we will have to travel when that time comes. For now, I plan:

Monday

Tacos
Salads
Pumpkin Pie Dessert
Jello

Tuesday

Manicotti
Salads
Green Beans
Applesauce

Wednesday

Baked Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Braised Cabbage

Thursday

Wild Rice & Vegetable Soup
Steaks
Baked Potatoes

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday - Early Easter Dinner

Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Corn
Dinner Rolls
Assorted Pies

Sunday

Left-overs

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book Review - An Unbroken Heart by Kathleen Fuller


An Unbroken Heart is written by Kathleen Fuller and is published by Thomas Nelson.

At first I wondered if I wanted to read another Amish story. The market seems to be flooded by them. I have not read the first book in the Birch Creek Novel series - A Reluctant Bride. However, I do know that Kathleen Fuller is an excellent writer and that her Amish stories are some of the best. I decided to give it a try and am very glad that I did.

In this story, Joanna Schrock argues with her parents in their buggy and no longer gets her words out before the buggy is hit by a pickup truck. The driver speeds off and flees the scene of the accident. Joanna's parents are both killed and Joanna ends up in the hospital. She survives with a facial scar and hips that require temporary use of crutches. Her boyfriend, Andrew, proposes to her, which used to be her heart's desire. Now? She isn't so sure.

This is a beautiful story of redemption, not only for Joanna but for other key characters. As Joanna learns to lean on the Father, she finds peace and rest. But is it too late for her relationship with Andrew?

I loved reading this story - from cover to cover. I am already eagerly awaiting the last book in the series, due to come out next fall. I found the writing to be engaging and the story heartwarming, heartbreaking, and altogether something that stirs one's emotions. The only thing that bothers me a tad bit is that I prefer not so many Amish words - it becomes difficult for me to read, sort of like the slave dialect in Uncle Tom's Cabin. However, I just glance over the words and miss none of the meaning.

The ending of the book was satisfying and made perfect sense. Another great book from Kathleen Fuller.

*I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*