Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Dog That Saved Stewart Coolidge ~ {FaithWords Book Review}

I recently had the opportunity to be part of a blog tour for a wonderful book that involved a mischievous little dog who was stealing bones at the supermarket and the two people he brought together.

Stewart Coolidge is a political science college graduate, but finds himself working at the very grocery store where this dog decides to steal the chew bones from, his boss tasks him with catching the little thief. Then he sees the same dog around his apartment and takes him in. Lisa, his cute neighbor, who dreams of being a journalist asks to interview him for the paper.

What neither of them knows is that this little dog has a plan to bring these two together. He seems to have a divine sense of how things should be and he can sense that Stewart needs Lisa.

Being an animal lover, I really enjoyed this book and give it a 10!

Jim Kraus has been a vice-president at a major Christian publishing house for the past twenty years. He has written more than twenty books and novels, many with his wife. He is also an award winning photographer. He and his wife have a son and live outside of Chicago. Find out more about his books at

Barnes and Noble:

I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine and have not been influenced in any way.



Friday, October 23, 2015

I'm Still Here! Checking In & Catching Up

It's hard to believe it's been the end of August when I last posted. So much has happened since then.

Some of you may remember how in April we "thought" we were going to be moving to the country. Well, it took almost 3 months to find out that we weren't. They decided they were going to do something else with the house. So we were on the look again.

Our landlord had decided he wanted to sell the house we were in, and he wasn't being nice about it, so the end of July, we had to move out. Since we didn't have a place yet, and couldn't seem to find one overnight, Big Man stayed with his sister, and the kids, pets and I went to my mom's...all our stuff went in to storage. It was packed top to bottom, front to back, like a tetris game. Pull the wrong thing out and it would have all come tumbling down.

About the middle of August, hubs found a home in the little town where he had lived and gone to high school and where his parents, sister and her kids still live. Once repairs and cleaning were done, which was about the end of August, we moved everything out of storage and in to the house. Since the kids and I had quite a bit of stuff with us at my mom's we waited and moved in on the 6th of September. Yes, I spent my birthday moving. 

Two days after we got here, the Big Man had a job interview, great job with awesome benefits. The next afternoon, he lost the job he had, if you could call it that, with the little amount of work they were giving him, we were barely surviving. So in the meantime, it's been tight, but we've survived and this week, after loads of paperwork, phone calls, prayers and tugs on my patience, he finally started the job.

The end of September, the Big Man and I had the opportunity to do a Chuck Wagon cooking/reenactment at a local train depot museum. We set up about 5 am and during the day served breakfast burritos, biscuits, cowboy coffee, cobblers, ham and beans and finished the day with stew. All cooked over the campfire.

That's Little Man "helping" the "snake oil salesman" who was one of the performers during the day. It was a long day, but fun, we met some amazing people and the kids got to learn some history about Pioneer times and the Old West.

Wednesday we celebrated Little Man's birthday, he officially entered the double digits. I guess I need to change his nickname, since he's not little anymore! It was a LEGO day as far as gifts were concerned. 

And here we are at the end of October. It's hard to believe this year is almost over. It's been a rough one but we are healthy and together in a home. We've been blessed by wonderful, giving friends who's generosity we will never forget!



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 { Review and Giveaway}

If you're kids are anything like mine and love Veggie Tales, then they are going to love Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9!

We had the opportunity to see Galazy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 before it released to the public and now you have the chance to win a DVD copy of your own!

Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 is a must-see for all ages, from VeggieTales creator PHIL VISCHER! Kids will enjoy Buck Denver's latest adventure with his friends from What's In the Bible? and parents will appreciate the humorous nods to Star Wars and Star Trek. More importantly, Phil Vischer's gifted teaching delivers a clear message to kids and adults about God's love and purpose for our lives. Galaxy Buck communicates important Biblical truths that will add to everyone's faith foundation, whether a life-long Christian or a new creation in Christ.

Buck Denver has a simple dream - to save the galaxy( after all he took all the Working for the Galactic Mission Board, Buck dreams of carrying God's love to every corner of the Milky Way! Except he doesn't have a starship. Or a crew. Or even a captain's license. He just needs a chance. But when that chance comes and Buck finds himself leading a real mission into deep space, things don't go at ALL like he imagined! If he's doing what God wants him to do, why is everything going wrong? From VeggieTales® and What's in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer, Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 is a wild, galactic adventure that teaches kids a powerful lesson about trusting God with everything - even our dreams!

The Buck Denver series may currently be watched on JellyTelly, which is “an online streaming site featuring shows and movies to teach your kids about God, the Bible and faith.”

Make sure you enter the giveaway to win your own copy!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Apple Spiral Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze ~ Recipe

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve learned that I love to bake. Cookies, cakes, sweet breads…if it’s dessert related, it’s on my list…and in my belly.
So you shouldn't be surprised to hear that I’ve found another good one for you!
If you like bread, and apples…you are going to love Apple Spiral Bread. Top it off with the brown sugar glaze and it’s even better. Perfect with a cup of coffee…or tea, whichever you prefer.
This recipe makes 2 bread spirals, so you can keep one and give one away if you’re afraid to eat it all!
I apologize for not getting the "in the process photos", I wasn't thinking BLOG, when baking it!

Here’s what you'll need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cinnamon, ground
3/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Granny Smith.)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk or half and half
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Place flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast in a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl add your melted butter into your warm milk. Then, with the mixer on low, add this mixture to the flour mixture until it forms a soft dough ball.
Knead with the mixer for about 4 minutes. Then transfer dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area for 1.1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down then divide into 2 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into an approximately 8 x 11-inch rectangle. Cut into 9 strips.
Lightly grease 2 8- or 9-inch round pan. Starting at the center of pan, coil apple slices with dough strips into a spiral, pinching ends securely as strips are added. (You take a strip of dough, and starting in center of pan, spiral it around, placing apple slices as you do. Add another strip on to the end of the first and do it again, going around until you've used the 9 strips and half the apple slices)
Repeat the same steps for the other half of the dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. Toward the end of rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
For the topping, mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Once the bread is removed from the oven, brush each loaf with melted butter and then sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
While the bread cools, melt butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk or half and half, bring back to a boil, remove from heat. Cool a little then proceed with adding powdered sugar. If it's too thick, you can add some more liquid to get it to a drizzling consistency.
Pour over bread.
Serve as if cutting a pie.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!



Monday, August 3, 2015

Back To School 2015-2016

It's Back To School time! Some of our local school districts started back today, others will be starting later in the month. Some of our homeschool friends have already started or will be starting soon. We started last week. It seems early to some, but over the last few months we've had more non-school days than we had school days, that I decided to get us going early rather than later.

Since we started our homeschool adventure in 2012, lesson planning has been my biggest obstacle. I'll gather all the materials, spread them out on the table, sit down, and completely get lost.

So this year, I decided to try something new, something I learned from a link posted on Facebook, lesson planning with a spiral notebook.

I have to tell you, it has made the lesson planning SO much easier! I have a notebook for Little Man, and one for Baby Girl, and I'm able to put their daily lessons, then check them off each day. The original post recommends doing your planning each evening, but I prefer to do mine a week at a time. By doing it that way, I'm able to keep on top of the lessons, without getting in over my head as I've done before when trying to do more than a week at a time.

If lesson planning is one of your hangups, I'd recommend trying this method.

If you're just getting started homeschooling, there are LOADS of FREE resources out there. We have a list of some we've come across here on the blog. If you find one that's no longer available, please let us know and we'll remove it.

Pinterest is another great resource for homeschool stuff, we have various homeschool boards, and you can also do a search and be amazed at the results!

Blessings and Happy Schooling!


Monday, July 6, 2015

To The Sea by Graham Blanchard ~ A Review

We were lucky enough to receive a copy of this sweet little book for review. To The Sea, by Callie Grant, is a praise book, celebrating all the soul-pleasing wonders of God, such as the sea and all the creatures that live there. The pleasure of sinking your toes in the sand, walking along the beach and finding all the little creatures that call it home. Our natural response is to praise him for all the wonders He created. 

My daughter and I love sitting and reading this little book together, over and over. It has become one of her favorites at bedtime. If you have little ones who are coming to love the Lord, check out this book!

Graham Blanchard – the only publishing house that specializes in board books to help parents teach their kids about God from infancy – is releasing To The Sea (May 1, 2015), a board book that helps little ones feel like they are having their very own ocean-side experience. As children imagine the sights, sounds, feelings, and tastes evoked in the story, they can take part in one boy’s adventurous day there, with its surprises and rewards.

In Graham Blanchard’s Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Collection, To The Sea is a Praise book, which wonders at the miracles found in everyday life and praises the God who made them.

To The Sea was authored by writer, educational content developer and company founder Callie Grant, who started Graham Blanchard after struggling to find engaging children’s books for her young daughter on who God is and how she can be in a personal relationship with him. Artist Jeremy Tugeau, who also illustrated Graham Blanchard’s popular All of Me that You Can’t See, provided the luminous oil paintings for the book. Tugeau drew from his own experiences growing up with family trips to the sea and now taking his own children there.

This is the 11th title Graham Blanchard has released, including two gift sets.  All the titles have been very well received by outlets like Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews, CBA Retailers and Resources and more than 100 websites and blogs written by Christian parents. Graham Blanchard books were recently picked by the national chain Family Christian, and three of their titles are in the 260 stores across the country. 

Beyond books, Graham Blanchard provides online resources for parents, like a virtual prayer wall and downloadable Parent’s Guide for Children Growing Up in God, which maps out key areas of focus for moms and dads during the early formidable years. They also have downloadable tip sheets to go along with each of their books to help parents connect the text to a child’s everyday life and start meaningful conversations. The Graham Blanchard Mom Mentors, a panel comprised of popular bloggers and authors, tackles faith and parenting issues each month with candor and inspiration. 

Graham Blanchard Inc. is based in Austin, Texas, with a growing team of writers, editors, illustrators, parents and pastors. The company is passionate about providing the highest quality books and resources to promote a love of learning about God, in addition to supporting families with prayer and the shared experiences of other parents. Their books are distributed by STL, Ingram/Spring Arbor, and Anchor Distributors. For more information please

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Rancher Takes A Bride ~ Love Inspired Series ~ A Giveaway

The Rancher Takes A Bride is part of the Love Inspired Series from Harlequin. The Love Inspired product line is a series of 6 books that are released every month & only have a shelf-life of one month. 

In The Rancher Takes A Bride, Oregon Jeffries and her daughter Lilly, return to her hometown to start over. Little does she know just how much her life, and that of her daughter, is about to change.

She runs in to Duke Martin, a past love, and her daughter gets a job working in his restaurant.

You'll have to read the book to find out what happens next. ;-)

Just in time for Mother's Day, we're pleased to host a giveaway for a set of the Harlequin Love Inspired books!

One lucky winner will receive:

The Rancher Takes A Bride
The Single Dad Finds A Wife
The Doctor's Second Chance
Winning The Teacher's Heart
Bachelor To The Rescue
A Firefighter's Promise

These books are a wonderful, light read that even the busiest Mom can have the time to read!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Blessings and Good Luck!

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