Showing posts from June, 2014

"The God-First Life" by Stovall Weems

Promise I have some fun posts coming up, but I need to write a few of these book reviews first. Up first is " The God-First Life " by Stovall Weems. I was thinking this was going to be a more in-depth, practical book of how to put God first in our lives. It was more like a beginner's book of "ok I trust Jesus, now what?" which is terrific. There needs to be more books like this because when I first trusted in Jesus/became saved, I had no idea what that kind of life should look like. Now, don't get me wrong, there isn't a one-size-fits-all lifestyle for being a Christian. But there are a few things Christians should be doing and that's growing in fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness. I think that Weems laid out his book well to explain how we go about growing these things. Through having new priorities, a new family (God's church), a new life, and new freedom. image v

"The Great American Slow Cooker Book" by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (book review)

My supper club (in which we freeze meals and switch at the end of the month for more variety) has slowly evolved from casseroles to meals in a bag (aka slow cooker meals). It's just so convenient to slop things into a crockpot, turn it on (which is an important part that I've forgotten a few times), and walk away for a few hours. I've made tapioca, pasta, cobbler, roasts, soups, and maybe some other stuff in our crockpot. My newest recipe to try was from " The Great American Slow Cooker Book " by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough: biscuits and sausage gravy. I love me a good biscuit with some sausage gravy! And I love that I could make it during the week when we had a t-ball game so we could come home to a meal. image via website I threw all the stuff into the crockpot before we left. One feature of this cookbook I appreciate is that there are conversions in the ingredient list for different sized slow cookers. For instance, for these biscuits, if you wer

The Identical (official movie trailer)

I love to hear movies coming out that are not R rated. In our family, it's fairly rare to see an R rated movie - even kid movies are more often PG than G anymore. But The Identical starring Ashley Judd and Ray Liotta is coming to theaters soon and is rated PG!  It's about a pastor and his wife raising their musical gifted and adopted son (played by Blake Rayne) during the rock and roll era of the 50s and 60s. It just looks really good. I also love that my kids could watch it - although they wouldn't want to because they don't like "not kid movies" (not cartoons).

best surprise EVER!

Yesterday I was going to Facetime with my big sister, Amber, around 1:30 - sometime after church. We were all sitting at our kitchen counter, eating lunch, when I saw a couple of people coming up our driveway. I'm thinking "who is that? Were we expecting someone and I forgot?" The girl was looking down when I looked out and it looked like this gal we go to church with so I thought 'huh, she changed out of her dress..." Then she looked up and I freaked out. I don't think I freaked out that much but Big A says it sounded like someone got hit by a car I freaked out. I ran to our front door, unlocked it, opened it, and ran barefooted to the open arms of.... my big sister! All the way from England. She flew across the "pond" to surprise her husband (who's working back home for the summer), her in-laws, our parents, our other sister, and me. And probably some other of her various family members. like how we match? yeah we planned

Dolphin Tale 2 full official trailer!

Well to kick off our first day of swimming lessons 2014, I thought I'd share with you the official full trailer for the coming movie, Dolphin Tale 2. Again, this looks like such a sweet little movie about two dolphins, Winter and Hope. Check it out for yourself.

"I Need Some Help Here! Hope for When Your Kids Don't Go According to Plan" by Kathi Lipp

" I Need Some Help Here! Hope for When Your Kids Don't Go According to Plan " is my second or third Kathi Lipp book. Definitely my favorite. In "I Need Some Help Here!" Kathi lays it out for us - our kids do not go according to plan. They will be different, overwhelmed, troubled, sick or injured, make poor choices, run away from God, lack in character, struggle, and be left out. It will happen. Just as the Bible promises persecution to followers of God's way, I think it's safe to say we parents can hold tight to the fact that children will do/be one or more of these things. Even in my almost seven years of experience, my children have been or done most of these things. And we're not even to the teen years! image via Kathi Lipp's website Yet Lipp does not leave us in this place of disappointment and hurt as parents. Chapter three says it all "You are Not the Only One." We aren't alone in this place called motherhood. We are no

handling my emotions

About a year ago or so I read Lysa TerKeursts's Unglued (the devotional version, not the full book) and God has been using it to, little by little, change my life. I am not the most patient of persons. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have a short, fast fuse. I am that fool that all the Proverbs speak of. It's bad. I've known it was bad for a long while. And then I was reading a devotional or my Bible study (I can't remember which) either yesterday or today (the days are swimming together). There it was: conviction. Not that made me feel guilty (I don't believe conviction is to make us feel that way because that's not God's way), but that made me repentful (not a word according to my word check but oh well). The Lord loves me just the way I am. He loves you just the way you are. That does not mean he wants us to stay the way we are. He does not want me to have a short, fast fuse with little patience and be a mess emotionally whenever things go out of wh

Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray (book review)

I had a hard time getting into this book, " Finding Spiritual Whitespace " by Bonnie Gray. I liked the writing; she has a beautiful, laid-back style. I just couldn't relate. Gray has come from a hard childhood - parents divorced when she was young, her dad left and never tried to communicate with her or her sister, her mom was verbally abusive and seems like a really tough woman. picture via Amazon " Finding Spiritual Whitespace " is kind of set up like a study. There are questions at the end of each chapter and usually they pertain to your past. Examples: When have you felt cut up? What is your earliest memory of being happy? Sad? What kind of music did you enjoy listening to as a child? Oh goodness, I just don't have that many memories. Honestly. Gray found that she had memories stored in her that were causing post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks. I just don't remember much. It's kind of a joke in my family. And especially vivid

"It Takes a Church" with Natalie Grant premieres tonight on GSN

I don't watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. I've seen a few episodes but nothing beyond that. Dating games aren't really my cup of tea. Nothing wrong if they are, but it seems to cause a lot of controversy and upset. "It Takes a Church" is different. There is still a single wanting a relationship. There are still others lining up (or being lined up by a matchmaker) to get to know this single. There are still eliminations. However, there aren't steamy love scenes. There isn't a rose ceremony. There's no pressure of engagement or marriage. This new show, premiering tonight on the Game Show Network and starring Grammy-nominated Christian artist, Natalie Grant, has a single in a church community who gets matched up to other singles in their church. The congregation narrows it down to 4 hopefuls. Then they get to know each other and get some counseling from the Pastor of the church. It's an interesting concept, but church is probably the best pl

Pookie's graduation

I have two sisters: one older by 23 months, one younger by 6 years. In the 10 years I've been out of high school (where has that time gone?), my little sister and I have gotten much closer than we were while I was living at home. It helps that we no longer share a bed (like we did for several years on the bottom bunk), room, bathroom, town. Strange how distance can sometimes create closeness. Anyway, my sister has overcome quite a bit to become the woman she is today. She had some learning disabilities that required her to study much harder than I ever did to receive not quite the merits I did. I'm not saying she's dumb because, despite her blond moments that we share, she is quite smart. And she is passionate. She began to study American Sign Language as a foreign language at our shared high school. After some instances of bullying (and lack of administration movement in this area), she decided to transfer schools oddly to our rivaling school. At this school, she was a

healthy...ish tip: low impact cardio

I hear this all the time from non-running family & friends: I can't run, I have bad knees . I completely understand! I've been dealing with my injured foot for over a year now so I know it's no fun to do things that hurt! However, it's not healthy to just not exercise at all! We all know this; we've been told since we're young. Get 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. So you can't run and maybe you can't walk either (I know my foot can get aggravated if I walk at too fast of a pace). What can you do then? I have discovered Jessica Smith, a trainer who puts FREE videos on YouTube. She is peppy (not like Denise Austin peppy. Did one of her workouts last week -weird!) and has many low impact cardio workouts. Sometimes videos are not someone's thing but if you do these, you can find moves to incorporate in your own workout session.  I even love this chair workout from Smith. It's not the hardest workout I've ever done bu