Thursday, February 28, 2013

♥♥ Thursday Thankfulness♥♥ †2.28.13†

I have thought about starting my own "meme" for quite a while now and this morning, my Inspired email from Waterbrook Multnomah came and I wanted to share it with everyone. Then the Thursday Thankfulness idea came back to life. So what if I can't afford a Mr. Linky right now? Hopefully other Christian bloggers, Mom bloggers, and definitely Christian Mom Bloggers will want to take part! This meme is the place to grab some inspiration and then go to your own blog and post a verse from your quiet time reading your Bible, reading your devotional, one that came via email maybe such as my Inspired uplift or my KLOVE Encouraging Word does. Maybe a verse that God has put on your heart as meaningful, that is pulling you through something, giving encouragement, solace, peace, comfort, and reassurance. Share it! We could all use a daily Faith Lift and this is my way of sharing and caring.

There's the daily dose of inspiration. NOW for the Thankfulness part of the post: Choose THREE things, large or small, that you are thankful for in your life to share.
  1. God showing me each morning that my life is great in little ways: a kitty waking me up to cuddle, my dog needing to be walked, friends and family to connect with. 
  2. Kaplan University! This is a new one for me. Kaplan has a similar-yet-different approach to online education. Yes, there are still discussion posts but they are more engaging. There is also a live seminar component one day a week in each class that helps me firm up my schedule and keep in my routines. 
  3. My career with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!
Do you want to share some inspiration and thankfulness? COMMENT! Share your link to your blog in your comment. Within a week I should be able to get a Mr. Linky up and running to make this easier but for now if you comment and leave a link we'll visit you, I promise!

God Bless & Happy Thursday Everyone!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

†Saving Grace† *A Review for ~~Blogging♥For♥Books~~

Somehow I managed to NEVER get this wonderful book reviewed and for that I can only apologize to Waterbrook Multnomah's amazing Blogging For Books crew and the remarkably talented Annie Jones, one of my all time favorite authors.

I received this book quite some time ago to review and fell in love practically from page one. The ladies from Prayer Tree, a previous Jones title, are back and as engaging as ever. Most every woman can find a character to relate to in these two titles, either in Rosemary, Naomi, Gayle, or Lucy who were introduced in Prayer Tree or perhaps in the elderly character of Grace Grayson who relives a tragic disappointment every year on the night of New Bethany's Splendor Belle Gala. 

This year, on the night of the gala, Mrs. Grayson is seen once again in her ball gown of fifty years earlier but this may well be the last year she puts it on.  The prayer circle ladies, who've grown a bit apart since the last time we joined them, have decided to take Grace on as a project of sorts hopefully to strengthen their bonds again and make Miss Grace less lonely, too.  Each woman undergoes different trials and troubles through the story but each one brings the woman closer to her family, her friends, and ultimately to God. 

As I've said previously, Annie Jones is one of my favorite authors and Saving Grace definitely did not disappoint. Even though it is a sort of sequel you do not have to have read Prayer Tree to understand Saving Grace and enjoy it as well. 

I received a copy of this title in exchange for my review through the Waterbrook Multnomah "Blogging for Books" program. The review did not have to be positive and is my own opinion.

Friday, February 15, 2013

MUST SEE for ALL country fans and/or Lady GaGa fans

Yeah, I, um...well, I never and I do mean NEVER post stuff like this...because most people who know I was raised country and will live and die country would be appalled to know I also like Lady GaGa...okay, there, my big deep dark secret is out...and yeah, I sing along with Hannah Montana songs AND Jonas Brothers Year 3000 still, too...

But, I was cruising YouTube looking for some new karaoke videos...and I totally found something I NEVER of my fave country groups covering Lady GaGa...and covering my fave GaGa song, at that! I *love* born this way. I was bullied horribly as a kid for being a little overweight, having reddish hair, and loving country music and wearing boots and jeans in Orange County...California, of course. Probably folks from Orange County in NY wouldn't have thought twice...after all, they've got OCC and that totally rocks!

But, here it is the video I've been raving about...if it speaks to you or you just really love it, think about reposting it or sharing it with someone else!

I hope you guys really loved like I did. Have a great night!

Friday's Fave Five

First Fave Five in Forever!

So, I'm a *huge* fan of Susanne from Living to Tell the Story and thank her graciously, again, for hosting Friday's Fave Five. I haven't been able to blog for an excessively long time, first because of not having internet service at home, then not having a home period...Now I have both again, blessedly, and I'm so thrilled to get back into the swing of the Fave Five. I guess my them here would be new things and renewal, so here we go: 

  1. Three new baby bunnies born on Valentine's Day. They're too young to get a pic of without upsetting Mina, their momma, yet...but as soon as I can, Cupid, Cocoa, and Valentine will have a starring role in a photo shoot and blog post to follow!
  2. My hubby buying my favorite chocolates in a beautiful keepsake tin...see, my daddy always did this for me, it was "our" thing since I was a little girl. He bought my mom, sister, and I a Valentine's heart every year from the time we hit Kindergarten (of course my mom's even longer than that, lol!) and I always saved the boxes. They were SO pretty. Some I kept in my cedar chest with mementos in them, others I taped shut and stapled to my bedroom wall. The really rugged or specially fancy ones I used to hold stuff on my desk, dresser, and vanity table. My dad isn't able to buy them for me anymore due to advanced Alzheimer' my hubby picked up the tradition this year...including buying ones for our two girls, and a cool metal toolbox and tool shaped chocolates and hard candies for our son. 
  3. A new start on my college and career goals. I've been accepted to Kaplan University, I start on the's SO good to be back on track with this!
  4. A new church family...I've been out of church for so long (way too long to post here, but when I get into soul baring made again, I'll make a full disclosure post). 
  5. My Keurig brewer. I *LOVE* being able to go to my local Shop N Save and pick out individual cups. They end up costing me the same as a full box of one flavor would, but this way I'm able to mix and match. I got some Wolfgang Puck Breakfast in Bed cups, Gloria Jean's Mudslide which is actually hot cocoa, Green Mountain had my seasonal faves Spicy Eggnog and Gingerbread House as well as my regular fave, Dark Magic. So, I'm brewing up a cup of Mudslide, putting the last sentence on my fave five, and saying Happy Date Night and see you tomorrow!
My Keurig and some of my fave flavors

Super Date Night Suppers Volume 1

Happy Friday and Happy Date Night for the couples who have a partner which reads my blog! Hope you all had a terrific and love filled Valentine's Day yesterday!

For tonight's Date Night we decided to do Chinese Take-In.. We're on a really tight budget, the Chinese place is cuh-razy on Friday (besides being almost a half hour away) and my hubby says he likes my cooking better anyhow...tee hee what a sweetie!

So, I decided I'd make chicken lo mein and an egg roll. We're not huge eaters, and the leftovers will be excellent tomorrow.

Chicken lo mein, shrimp egg roll and yes, a Dixie mini cup of duck sauce  
This menu came together really quick and easy with some staples I keep on hand and a terrific deal that my local Shaw's supermarket is running right now called Pick 5 for $20. For my $20 this week I got a full rack of St Louis Style barbecue ribs, almost two pounds of individually sealed Perdue All Natural Italian marinated boneless/skinless chicken breasts (the bag had 5 large breasts in it), a large ready to cook chicken pot pie, and a beautiful boneless pork loin that I can't wait to cook tomorrow! Look in your weekly sales ad or the meat department when you get to your local Shaw's or Star market. They have many choices besides what I've listed so have fun mixing, matching, and filling your menu with delectable options!

Now, to the recipes!

Chicken Lo Mein
  • 1 package Koyo brand Organic Udon Noodles 
  • 1 Perdue All Natural Italian marinated chicken breast, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen stir fry blend veggies, your pick
  • 1 package Simply Asia Stir Fry Sauce Ginger Teriyaki
Bring 8 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the package of noodles. Boil 8 minutes til done. While noodles are cooking, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium skillet. Add chicken and cook til browned and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Drain Udon noodles in a colander in the sink. Let them drip while you heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in the pot you cooked the noodles in. Add the frozen veggies and stir fry for 2 minutes, til heated. Slice chicken breast into strips and add to veggies, stif fry 1 more minute. Pour sauce packet in with meat and veggies, turn heat to low, and return noodles to pot. Toss until well mixed. Turn heat off and cover pot. In the chicken skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil to near smoking. Add your favorite fresh or frozen egg roll, one or two per person depending on the size and cook on each side to golden brown and crisp. Remove from oil, drain on paper towel briefly, dish up a serving of noodles, set egg roll alongside, grab chopsticks or a fork and dig in!

We haven't gotten around to watching the Karate Kid remake (I know, I know, we don't watch a ton of movies though) and we're debating between that and one of my old favorites, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

Here's wishing you all an amazing date night!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wow it's been a long time!

Holy roses, Batman, it's been forever since I've posted. A LOT has happened since my last post...we were staying with friends a while, that became a hot mess, and we've moved on. Now staying with another friend who's lifestyle (off grid, self sustaining, raising livestock, growing our own fruits and veggies as much as possible, fair trade purchasing, etc etc) is completely in line with ours.

Things are as near to perfect as they can be. Essentially for a while there we were homeless. Now have an established address, will be able to secure work with new references that I have secured, worked a few volunteer positions to flesh out my resume after being a stay at home mom since 2005. I have been a full time student in that time as well, I am going back to school now that things are on an even keel to complete my elementary education degree, a dream I've had since third grade back in, um, let's see...1989! Wow, it will be amazing to complete that and become a full time teacher instead of just a substitute and ed tech.

We are on a homestead now, not as large as our farm but eventually after helping out here for a year or two to get another place of our own and start over again. Will post again tomorrow and upload some pictures of our rabbits, too cute too believe and the cats are so cute with them when we let a few have free-play time outside their cages.