Monday, May 23, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - May 23


It finally feels like spring here with temperatures in the 70's. I don't know how long it will last, but I'm loving it while it's here.

I have been ill with non-diagnosed stomach problems for some months now. Next week I undergo some tests. Please pray that all goes well and that, if anything is found, it will be something easily fixed. Here is encouragement for those of you on vegetarian diets - the blood tests performed last week (quite extensive) show, in my doctor's exact words, "On paper, you are the healthiest person on the planet!" In other words, not eating meat (or having it very rarely and in tiny bits) does not necessarily cause one to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. My iron count is strong and that is with me having a history of anemia when I was very young (and I was a strong meat eater then, having grown up on a dairy farm and our freezer always full of beef, pork, chicken, and mutton).

My menu plan for this week is as follows:

Monday - Amanda Prepares

Macaroni and Cheese
Fruit

Tuesday

Sloppy Joes and BLTs
Baked Potatoes
Steamed Vegetables

Wednesday

Tacos
Tossed Salads

Thursday

Roast Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers
Baked Beans
Chips
Potato Salad

Sunday

On Your Own

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Review: Honest Wrestling by K. Howard Joslin


Honest Wrestling: Questions of Faith when Attacked by Life is written by K. Howard Joslin and is published by WestBow Press.

This book is what the title claims it is: Honest Wrestling with faith and constant questioning God and His motives. The author, K. Howard Joslin, bares his soul as he tells of his (and his family's) personal wrestling with this issue. Through miscarriages, difficult years of Seminary, and then cancer on his wife's part, he and his family struggled. What was God doing? Did He even care? Does prayer even make a difference when God is sovereign anyway and will make His own choices?

In the end, faith is strengthened. That is the hope and affirmation that faith matters - that prayer matters. I won't tell you whether Mrs. Joslin was cured from her cancer. You'll have to read the book for yourself. But I will tell you that this is a book filled with encouragement for those who are facing challenges - storms, if you will - in their lives. We are all going to face those intense storms. It's not a matter of if; it's a matter of when. I don't know about you, but I need all of the encouragement I can get. Throughout my life, I have found that storms don't only come once in a lifetime. They come off and on through a lifetime. If not for the loving arms of Jesus, I would not have made it past the first one or two storms that ravaged my life. Because He is there and has held me when I could not hold myself, I have come out of those difficult times a bit stronger each time.

It is the same for the Joslins. I hope, as you read Honest Wrestling, that you will find encouragement for the storms you face and that you will come out glowing.

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review - Lessons from the East by Bob Roberts, Jr.


This is a book written for and to church leaders. I am not a church leader, but I do have a great desire to be involved in ministry, no matter what level that might be. Bob Roberts, Jr. is a pastor from Texas who abandoned his desire to lead a mega-church and instead chose the path of world (including the U.S.) ministry. His church in Texas (and the more global church) is very successful in reaching people for Christ, even those whom we might think are unreachable, such as Muslims and Hindus.

I have enjoyed reading the book as I have gleaned a whole lot out of it. I am from the generation who was taught to "say a prayer" and that became the whole goal - just get people to recite that prayer for salvation and you're good to go! However, those "unreachables" I just mentioned need to be loved into the kingdom rather than bullied into it. Many people on the streets of America are much the same. If you don't genuinely love them, how do you expect to show them the love of God? Why would they want it if His love is just like ours?

I think the general evangelical public could learn a lot from the global church and its outreach. It's different than what we've learned here but it seems to work. We don't all have to be pastors and missionaries in the traditional sense to be ambassadors for Christ. Pastor Roberts does a fair job of imparting that as he teaches pastors in this book. I recommend reading it if you are at all interested in missions.

*I received a copy of Lessons from the East in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.*

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Book Review - Counting Blessings by Eileen Spinelli


Counting Blessings is written by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Lee Holland, and published by Zonderkidz.

Eileein Spinelli has written numerous children's books, all of them terrific. This newest one titled Counting Blessings does not disappoint me. It is a board book for the youngest of children and is covered with a thick, soft feeling cover. Now, it is not a soft covered book in the sense that it is squishy. It is just nice.

The story is sweet and filled with beautiful words and illustrations to match - very colorful and just, well, nice. A bunny rabbit counts his blessings from one to ten, and then some. It makes me remember that I have those same blessings. It makes me feel more than just nice. It makes me feel blessed by God and totally loved. It likely does the same for the youngsters who are blessed by this book.

I give it a full five stars for beauty and for a rich content that speaks truth.

*I received a copy of Counting Blessings in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts are completely my own.*

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