Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Happenings

Been busy making sweet Christmas memories the last couple weeks with more to come this week.  So far it has included a trip Silver Dollar City.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year celebrating an old fashioned Christmas.  Our favorites to see is The Dicken's Christmas Carol, The Living Nativity and The Homestead Pickers.  There are so many lights throughout the town and the hot chocolate is dee-lish!  If you didn't have the Christmas spirit when you came you are sure to have it when you leave!

We had our 2'nd annual gingerbread house decorating day at my sisters.  Of course it's just us girls that participate in this since Dakota no longer has an interest in decorating gingerbread houses.  hehe!  He did join us after he got off work  and we all enjoyed a nice lunch together. :)

We also made Christmas cookies, have been watching lots of Christmas movies and wrapping presents.  We've been having our Advent devotions and we decided to open our "Jesus gift" this week.  We were all surprised at how much money was in our box and really enjoyed looking through the World Vision Catalog to pick out gifts to send.  We decided on a Bible translated in a child's language, vegetable seeds for 1 family, and a rabbit.  We decided that our Jesus gift is definitely a new family tradition!  This week will be filled with my "mom's only" homeschool Christmas party, cleaning, grocery shopping, baking, and finishing up school for Christmas break, and somewhere in there I've got to take my car to get looked at.  Then Saturday begins the family festivities!  Can't wait!  God is good and has been blessing us greatly!  Hope you all are enjoying the Holiday season as much as we are!

Monday, December 12, 2011

When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall has done it again.  She has captivated me with another great book.  She has a writing style that speaks right to my heart and pulls me right into her writings as if I am a part of it.

When the Soul Mends is the 3'rd and final book in the Sisters of the Quilt Series.  The book begins right were book 2 left off.  Hannah Lapp returns to Owl Perch after receiving a desperate call from her sister.  Hannah finds herself facing the people, community and family that hurt her so badly two years earlier.  She is forced to come to terms with her feelings.  She becomes torn between the Englischer world that she has settled into with Martin Palmer and her old lifestyle and former fiance Paul Waddell.    Which will she choose?    The Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she return to the Plain Life and her first love?

This book takes you on a journey of healing, redemption and forgiveness.  Hannah faces her past and the people that hurt her and realizes that some things were not as they seemed.  Before anyone can move forward in life they have to face their past, find closure and healing and that is just what this book is all about.  I could not of imagined a better ending for this series.  Cindy Woodsmall left nothing "wanting".  She answered every question, did not leave anything "hanging" and ended it in a way that is sure to please every reader.

**This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Christmas Singing

A few weeks ago I posted a blog review for the Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall.  Actually I've posted several book reviews of books by  Cindy Woodsmall!  I love, love, love her books and I know you will too!  Here is a book trailer of her book The Christmas Singing.  You know, just in case you weren't convinced by my first post that it is a must read. ;)  You can also read an excerpt from the first chapter by clicking here.

For a limited time you can get 30% off the purchase of this book at  by using the promo code CHRISTMAS11.  Hurry the coupon expires December 20'th 2011.  So what are you waiting for??? :):):)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St. Nicholas Day

It is more blessed to give than to receive!

Happy St. Nicholas Day to everyone out there in blog land. 
To celebrate St. Nicholas Day our family will be doing a brief History lesson in school about the man behind the legend.   Here is a good site that has everything you need to know. We will mingle Bible in with our lesson including  these verses:  Acts 20:35,  I John 3:17, Matthew 6:3-4, and Matthew 25:35-36

The the kids will check their stockings for goodies.  This is all in fun and the things we include in the stockings goes right along with St. Nicholas and the things he gave to those in need.
The stocking is used because the coins and gifts that St. Nicholas left fell into the girl's stockings and shoes. 

It will include:
1.A mesh bag of chocolate gold coins because Nicholas tossed bags of gold through the open window of his friend's house.
2.  A wooden gift in remembering Nicholas hired a wood-carver to make toys for the children. 
3.  An article of clothing, something simple and practical to remember his concern for clothing the people.
4.  A favorite food item, remembering his generosity in feeding people.  For my kids it's beef jerky!
5.  A gingerbread boy or girl, remembering how he baked bread.

Another great idea to celebrate would be to fix a supper with a mid-eastern menu since St. Nicholas was born in Myra which is present-day Turkey.

Here is one more link to another blog and how their family celebrates St. Nicholas day!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Second Sunday in Advent

Okay, so I'm a little late getting this post in seeing as it's Monday, but better late than never right?

For the second Sunday/week in advent our theme is LOVE.

We relit our first candle in remembrance that Advent is a time of preparation and that we are preparing our hearts.

Then we re-lit the 2'nd candle in remembrance that Jesus came to earth to tell us of God's love.  We read John 15:9-11, Philippians 1:9-11 

We discussed many things about love.  Including the many voices of love, both silent and verbal.  Such as a smile, a kind gesture, or a good deed.  We encouraged each other to use our voices of love this week, continue to fast and pray and give to our "Jesus gift".

Our final scriptures were found in James 1:22 and 1 Thessalonians 3:12

The versus we read during the week during our nightly devotions will all focus on love.

Bethany's Sign Name

Tonight we enjoyed our annual Christmas party/deaf fellowship.  It is always fun to get together with our deaf friends and our friends that are learning ASL.  We played games, laughed and of course ate.  We had pizza, yummy lasagna, salad and some awesome deserts, but the highlight of our night was when Bethany finally received her sign name!! 

To receive a sign name, it has to be given to you by a deaf person.  The purpose of a sign name is that when you are among the deaf community you don't have to fingerspell an individuals name.  If they have a sign name it saves time, plus that is how you are known around the deaf.  Each persons sign name is unique and fitting.  For example, last year Dakota was given his sign name.  It is the signed letter "d" up next to the open flat palm.  It is the sign for "camera" but with a "d" instead of a "c".   He loves to photography and takes lots of pictures.  See how it fits? 

So tonight as we were going through  introductions and it was Bethany's turn she finger spelled her name and signed that she does not have a sign name yet.  One of our deaf friends signed what he wanted to give her..the sign for beautiful but with a "b" hand shape.  Isn't that awesome.  I love it and I know she was so happy to finally get her sign name.  She refused to ask for one because she wanted it to be special.  lol  I always say she is my beautiful Bethany. ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Sunday of Advent Ideas

Today marks the beginning of the Advent season an I am so excited about some of the things we are doing this year to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. 

For the first Sunday in Advent our theme was "preparation".  We discussed the meaning of Advent and the symbolism of the wreath.  Before we lit the first candle we turned off all the lights and sat in darkness.  We talked about how before Christ came, the world was in darkness.  There was no hope.  Then God sent His son to be the Light of the world.  We lit the first candle to remind us that we must prepare our hearts for His coming.  The verses that we read were found in Isaiah 9:2,6-7 and Romans 15:4.  Our Bible verse/thought for the entire week is found in Isaiah 40:3,5 and says "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for your God;...and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed..."

We made a Christmas chain of red and greens to help us count down the days till Christmas.  On each individual chain I wrote a verse to include with our Advent devotions.  The first weeks chains will all go with our theme of preparation, the second week - love, third week - joy, and the fourth week - God's love.  In past years we wrote names of people that needed prayer on each chain.  You could do either way or include both on your chain.

Our next thing we discussed is fasting.  To make the remembrance of the birth of our Saviour more meaningful I am encouraging our family to fast during the coming weeks before Christmas as part of our  preparation of our hearts to worship God.  In Matthew 6:16 says "when ye fast" NOT "if ye fast" and the same in Matthew 6:6 "when thou prayest" NOT "if thou prayest".  Fasting and praying is a significant part of Christian life.  Remember when you fast that it does not always have to be from food.  Other ideas can be television, computer, music, etc.  What you choose and when you choose is between you and God.

We also decided to give a gift to Jesus.  I wrapped up a small box and cut a hole in it.  This box will sit on our dining room table.  We are going to fill it with pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, and dollars.  A few days before Christmas we are going to open it, count our money and decide where we want to give our gift.  Maybe and orphanage, a love offering to a minister, a needy family or a ministry.

Each night as we gather for our advent devotions we are going to take time to give God praise.  To examine every part of our days to see God's fingerprints and share the blessings that God has given us with each other.

Tomorrow we will be reading in Titus 2:13, Tuesday we'll read Isaiah 25:9, Wednesday will be Genesis 49:18, Thursday will be Psalm 33:20-22, Friday we'll read Isaiah 26:8, and Saturday we'll read Isaiah 33:2 All the verses this week are on preparations, waiting, hoping and trusting. 

Last year a lady from our homeschool group recommended a book called Celebrating the Christian Year by Martha Zimmerman and a lot of the ideas came from this great book.  If you are looking to make Christ more a part of the all your holidays this is the perfect book for you!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and black Friday.    We had a very blessed Thanksgiving Day with lots of delicious food and family time.  I have so much to thank God for, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day! 

Thanksgiving night my mom and I geared up for a little black Friday shopping.  I really like going at midnight versus 5:00 a.m.  After all I am a night owl and would be awake anyway. :)  I did not have a whole lot to get but I really enjoy getting out with the crowds!  I find it exciting! (weird huh)  Of course, it depends greatly on the moods of your fellow shoppers and this years was great.  It seemed like the whole atmosphere of the store I was in was that of joy and Christmas spirit.  I didn't see nor experience any pushing, yelling or bad behavior so all in all it was a great trip!  And I spent less than $50.  Not bad huh?!?  I can officially say I am done with my Christmas shopping and it is not even December yet!  Of course, I have a few packages that I am waiting to be delivered, but the shopping is done!  So for the rest of the Christmas season I can sit back, relax, enjoy my family and reflect on the real reason for the season. 

Tonight we had our annual Christmas tree trimming party where my family and my sisters family come together and decorate my mom's Christmas tree.  We have more yummy food, listen to Christmas music, take lots of pictures and decorate the tree!  I just love traditions and this is one of my favorite!

I'm already preparing some of our Advent activities (it starts Sunday ya know) and this year we are going to celebrate St. Nicholas day on December 6'th.  I have some great ideas for that day!  Don't worry, I'll share everything with you along the way.  So stay tuned for some Advent and Christmas posts coming soon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

It's official...Cindy Woodsmall is hereby my new favorite Author.  Once again she has captivated me with another Amish romance/fiction book.  When the Heart Cries is the 1'st book of the Sister's of the Quilt series and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. 

Hannah Lapp is a 17 year old spirited, slightly rebellious, naive Amish girl who has decided to follow her heart and not be baptised.  She longs to be the wife of Mennonite Paul Wadell.   Although her parents do not know of their relationship, she accepts Paul's marriage proposal.  Hannah tends to act on impulse and creates situations for herself that although are innocent, do not look right to the religious elders and end up costing her dearly.  Her younger sister Sarah is very jealous of Hannah and spreads terrible rumors about Hannah around their community.  On top of that her brother Luke blames Hannah for the accident that injured him and his fiance.  But all that pales in comparison to the real tragedy that strikes Hannah's life.

Walking home on a country road the day her and Paul became engaged she is assaulted by a man and the "unthinkable" happens.  You'll read about her struggles to cope with what has happened to her, plus the reactions and condemnation brought on by her family, friends and community.   One by one it seems like everyone in her life turn their backs on her, but God proves time and time again that He will not leave her and will carry her through.

I literally stayed up till 5:00 a.m. reading this book.  I could not set it down.  Cindy Woodsmall gets the point across in this book that things are not always as they appear and that we should not be quick to judge or spread gossip.  Your sure to love it!!

**This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Great is Our God

I absolutely love this world edition of How great is Our God by Chris Tomlin!  Hearing people from all around the world sing praises to God in their own language gives me chills!  I hope you love it as much as I do!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Amish Wedding - Book Review

Three best-selling authors.  Three possible brides.  Three separate tales.  They come together for an Amish wedding.

"The Perfect Secret" by Kelly Long

Rose Bender has recently become engaged to handsome but somber Luke Raber. She agrees out of a sense of duty and a willingness to settle for solid friendship as a basis for the engagement. But as she watches her friend's excitement over her soon-to-be wedding, Rose wonders if there shouldn't be more to her relationship with Luke. She begins to examine Luke and his life more closely and is amazed when she stumbles upon an exciting, secret side of him that engages her mind and heart.

"The Perfect Match" by Kathleen Fuller

Naomi Fisher has had great success at matchmaking her family members and friends. Now with her sister's wedding right around the corner, Naomi wonders why she's able to find husbands for her friends and family, but not one for herself.  When Chester's cousin shows up there's an immediate attractions between them - as well as an obstacle that may just as immediately derail their blossoming love.

"A Perfect Plan" by Beth Wiseman

Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, and when Chester proposes on Priscilla's nineteenth birthday, wedding plans begin immediately. What wasn't planned was all the problems the couple encounters as their big day approaches. A house disaster, a ruined wedding dress, and a sick attendant all make the couple wonder if God's sending them signs to call things off.

My Thoughts

The Perfect Secret + The Perfect Match + The Perfect Plan = The Perfect Book 

I really enjoyed this book.  You get 3 stories in one book.  All three stories are written by different authors, but each story is connected.  Each story is about a different girl, but they are all three friends and they all face challenges as their wedding day approaches.  My favorite of the 3 stories was The Perfect Secret by far!  This is a great book if you love Amish romance!   

***This book was provided to me by the publisher through in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yo-Yo Christmas Tree Garland

 For as long as I can remember we have strung popcorn for our Christmas tree.  This is a tradition my family did when I was a child and a tradition that I carried over into my adult life and began with my own family.  I remember as a child, gathering in the family room with big bowls of popcorn and stringing garland while we watched our favorite television show.  Of course, I also remember that my dad ate more than he strung. lol

There was one year with me and my kids will never forget.  I had just popped the popcorn over the stove when I hear  "it's back on"  I can't even remember now what we were watching (this was before dvr's entered our life).  So I grab the pan of popcorn and run to the family room and lay it on the floor.  Me and the kids continue to string.  Quite a while later I go to move the pan and it was STUCK!!!  I did not think about it being hot when I sat it down and it melted to the carpet!  What a mess I had.  I was in a panic and the kids were laughing, then I began laughing...and well...the carpet got a hair cut that night. hehe!

This year I decided to do something different and make yo-yo Christmas tree garland.  It was a lot of work, but I absolutely love the way it looks.  My daughter helped, but my son refused to pick up a needle and thread. Ha!  I didn't push it either. ;)  He was a little bummed about the no popcorn thing but since the last few years I have been doing most of the stringing it was not to hard to convince that this was the way to go.  Who knows, next year we may go back to the old tradition of popcorn garland, but for this year I am enjoying the beauty of my yo-yo tree!

I used two different sizes of yo-yo's.  I also chose not to go with Christmas material.  I went with reds and whites!  It reminds me of candy canes!

 Now I think I'll make a matching yo-yo Christmas Tree skirt!

Why NOT me Lord???

There have been times in my life, through the trials of my life, that I have asked the Lord with tears running down my face..."Why Me Lord??"  I am fairly confident that I am not the only christian who has ever asked this of the Lord.  

The other day I read something and it got me to thinking.  It was 4 simple words..."Why NOT me Lord?"  What if I began to ask that question of the Lord? 

What if.....when I see a homeless person, instead of just feeling sorry for them, I ask the Lord why NOT me?  Is there something I can do for this person to show them to your Sheltering Arms?

What if.....when I see a lonely elderly person with the hardships of their life evident by their bent over back, wrinkled face, graying hair and crippled hands, ask of the Lord, Why NOT me?  How can I ease their burden and show them that you are the Healer of both body and soul?

What if....when I see a young women who is broken from a failing marriage ask of the Lord, Why NOT me?  How can I encourage this women and share with her that she is never alone if she has You?

What if....when I see a teenager who clearly hates their life, their family, their school, ask of the Lord, Why NOT me?  How can I show this young person that You are Love?

What if....when I see the little child who gets yelled at because their parents don't care, ask of the Lord, Why NOT me?  How can I show this child that it is loved and that you are Hope?

What if....when I hear about the country that has Christians being persecuted, ask of the Lord, Why NOT me?  How can I help those that are standing strong for you and encourage them in their knowing that you are Life?

What if....when I hear about those that are going hungry, ask of the Lord, Why NOT me?  How can I feed them and show them that you are the real Sustenance of life?

What if.....I simply ask Why NOT me Lord?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Valley of Dreams by Lauraine Snelling

Cassie Lockwood is the star of a Wild West Show owned by her father and 'uncle Jason'.  She is a trick rider and sharp shooter right up there with Annie Oakley.  After Cassie's father dies she finds that her uncle Jason has made some bad investments and the show is bankrupt and closing down.  With a handful of money, a couple friends from the show, some livestock and a dream, she heads to the land that her father so often talked about.  Will they get there before winter and will her father's Valley of Dreams turn out to be what he said it was??

One of my favorite series is written by Lauraine Snelling.  I love her stories about the Bjorkland family and the town of Blessing.   I was super excited when I seen she was starting a new series.  When I began Valley of Dreams it instantly captivated my attention but about half way through I struggled with it.  I found it lacking in adventure/excitement and everything was drawn out.  Then I got to the last couple chapters and found I was once again captivated by it.  As the book drew to an end I was so enthralled that I was sad that it came to an end and that I will have to wait for the next book in the series to find out more.  I do feel that it was probably so drawn out in an effort to establish the characters, history, story line, etc. but it definitely needed a little more oomph in the middle.   This series definitely has potential.  I am already looking forward to the next book...if it just wasn't for that saggy middle.  I'm hoping the next book in the series is packed full of excitement!  After all when you have a character that is compared to Annie Oakley what more can you hope for!

***This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Three Trees A Traditional Folktale

There is not much sweeter in life than snuggling up with your little ones and reading them a good book.  Those of you with small children know that sometimes it takes a special book to capture their attention.  I believe that The Three Trees by Elena Pasquali is just that book.  

The tale is of three forest trees that dream of what they will one day become. 
One dreams of becoming a royal throne; one of being a ship that can withstand any storm; and one longs to stay in the forest and grow as tall as tall can be. When they are felled, it seems their dreams are over. But as each tree is crafted into a new item--a manger, a fishing boat, and a rugged cross--it becomes clear that through the role they play in one important life their hopes are more than fulfilled.

The story book is beautifully illustrated and will sure to keep the child that is yet to learn to read captivated by the colorful pictures that tell a story in themselves.   The story is perfect for Easter, Christmas and all year long.  It's a story that you and your children will enjoy again and again!  And with Christmas just around the corner it would make the perfect gift for all the "littles" in your life!
**This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Behind the Veils of Yemen by Audra Grace Shelby

How an American Woman
Risked Her Life, Family and Faith
to Bring Jesus to Muslim Women

With only prayer and a faith that always seemed too small, Audra Grace Shelby departed with her husband and children on a one-way flight to Yemen...deep into the heart of conservative Islam.
With honesty and passion, she shares her harrowing journey as a Christian woman thrust into a culture dangerously different from her own.  From the friendships she forged, to her gnawing doubt and fear, to her offers of hope when her new freinds' religion failed them, she gives us glimpses of a world most have never seen:  behind the veils of real Muslim women-and how the grace of God touches lives in the midst of an Islamic stronghold.

I really enjoyed reading Behind the Veils of Yemen.  It was different than most of the books I read and it was a welcoming change.  I found it very interesting to learn about a culture/religion that I know little about.  Audra Grace Shelby tells her story in a very personal way.  You journey with her through the ups and the downs and see that even missionaries struggle with their faith at times.  Her family suffers many trials and sicknesses but they remain true to God and He carries them through the good and the bad.  

I give this book 4 stars!

**This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

After she finds her childhood sweetheart Gideon with an Englischer women, Mattie, with a broken heart leaves her home town of Apple Ridge to move to Ohio where she starts a new life and pursues her dream and starts her own business...Mattie Cakes.  She finds joy in designing edible creations to help people make memories on the special days of their lives.  She also is now in a "safe" relationship with Sol.  After tragedy strikes Mattie is forced to move back to Apple Ridge.

Now, back in Apple Ridge she comes face to face with Gideon.  She finally learns the truth of what really happened.  Will she forgive Gideon of the lies and meet him at the Christmas Singing or will she remain with Sol and travel back to Ohio for the Christmas Singing there?

I absolutely LOVED this book!   It is a short book and a fast read.  I finished it in one day.  Once I started I couldn't put it down.  Cindy Woodsmall has a way of portraying the characters in her books in such a way were you can instantly connect with them.   I loved the character of Mattie and Gideon pulled at my heart strings.  This is the perfect book to read on a cold day with a cup of hot chocolate all cozied up under a blanket.  You're sure to love it too!

***This book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 31, 2011

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons

Amanda is a beautiful southern belle from Texas that is dedicated to her family.  Marriage is the furthest thing from her mind because of a promise she made to her dying mother to raise and take care of her siblings.  Then she meets Captain Kent Littlefield and the attraction between them is undeniable. 

Shortly after they meet Texas secedes from the Union and Kent remains a captain with the Union troops.  Amanda's brother Daniel aligns with the Confederate States and now her heart is torn between the two men she is closest to and the two sides of the conflict.  Amanda prays, but does not hear an answer.  She must trust God to deliver her family from the chaos of war and lead her in the direction she should take concerning Kent.  Will she survive with her heart and faith intact??  Read to find out!!

I love reading books set in the Civil War era.   This book has roots deep in history.  I loved reading about the conflict Amanda goes through and how she prays and trusts in the Lord to guide her path.  How hard it would be to be torn between your love for a man and your love for your family and your statehood.  Her brother Daniel proves to be a real hindrance in Amanda and Kent's relationship.  After the war he changes and is bitter and hateful.  It is wonderful to read and see this man come to terms with his feelings and begin to heal.  And who doesn't love a good love story that conquers all!  That no matter what the hindrances or what other's think, they know they must be together, but must they lose everything else....hmmm, I'm not telling. ;)

I give this book 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical christian fiction.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher through blogging for books program in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

From the back of the book:

Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother.  She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother's dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separates her from her tribe.

Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God.  Clay arrives in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athabascans.  He is totally focused on his goal...until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he's ever seen.

But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe.  And befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission.  Will Clay be forced to choose between  his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart.

My Thoughts:

This is a very touching story set in the Wilds of Alaska.  I loved the missionary story line and felt very connected to the characters.  A lot of Christian romance novels do not focus a lot on the Christian part.  Not the case with this book.  With Clay Selby being a missionary it focused a lot on salvation and I found this very refreshing.  It was so nice to read about two totally different people, with different beliefs and from different walks of life, come together.

This book has it all - drama, history, suspense, humor, heartache and is sure to capture your heart as it did mine! 

***I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Prudent Homemaker

This week I stumbled on a website called The Prudent Homemaker.  You can check it out here.   I have been spending most of my free time lately checking it out.  It is full of amazing recipes, money saving ideas and much more.  There are so many recipes that I can't wait to try.  Top of my list is her French Bread recipe and also her recipe for graham crackers.  I also love the idea she has of keeping a price book so you know which store offers the lowest prices.

I've really been trying to find ways to save money on our grocery bill lately.  I've started couponing.  I'm not extreme or anything, just trying to save a little money.  This site has been a great motivator for me so if you are looking for ways to save money or just need some new recipes you should check it out! :)  I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Final Harvest

 The cold air has moved in this week and there is a chance of the temperatures getting down to freezing one night this week so I decided I would harvest some of my herbs for the last time of the season.   I almost hated cutting down the beautiful blooming lavender.  It looked the prettiest it has all season.  I am guessing that is because we have had such a hot summer and the last month or so the weather has been perfect.  My pineapple sage was just beginning to bloom with beautiful red flowers and my calendula has blooms that were just beginning to open.  I decided to leave them alone and hopefully the cold air won't affect them because I am really wanting to harvest them and make some calendula salve. 

My mom purchase a close drying rack at a yard sale for 75 cents and it is perfect for drying herbs.  I harvested plenty today and I can't wait to add them to the already dried herbs, but right now I am enjoying how beautiful they all look hanging on the rack!  We are going to have plenty of herbs this winter for cooking, teas and much more!

A gift wrapped in love...

A young man was getting ready to graduate college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. His ...father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible. Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house, leaving the holy book. Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care things. When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he read those words, a car key dropped from an envelope taped behind the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words...PAID IN FULL. How many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cappuccino Mix Recipe

I have been on a cappuccino kick for a while now so I decided to see if I could find a recipe where I could make my own mix and hopefully save a little money.  I found this recipe on and I absolutely love it.  I did do a little tweaking to it to suit my personal taste. I put in a little less coffee, I added 1/2 cup powdered sugar and a little more creamer. 

2/3 cup instant coffee granules

1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1. Put the instant coffee into a food processor, and process to a fine powder. If you don't have a food processor, put it into a large plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin.

2.In a large bowl, combine creamer, chocolate mix, instant coffee, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir together until well mixed. Spoon into storage container

Mix 3 tablespoons of powder with 6 fluid ounces hot water.
I also use about half the mix it calls for when making a cup full.  To complete it I add a Tablespoon of Coffee Mate Pumpkin Spice liquid creamer!  DEEE-Lish!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great Devotional Book

I received a devotional book from Tyndale as a part of their Blogger Review Program.  The book is the Life Application Study Bible Devotional and it has been one of the best devotionals ever! 

It is set up as a 52 week, 6 day a week devotional on the life of Jesus taken from the gospels.  Each  week focuses on a different event in Jesus' ministry.  Each day has "reading of the word" that gives you Bible scriptures to read, "setting the  scene" which reflects on the passage of scripture, "getting personal"  with questions and thoughts to help you reflect and apply the lesson to your life, and "talking to God"  which gives suggestions for your prayer time.  I really like this set up especially the "setting the scene" because it helps you dig deeper, think about the scriptures and meditate upon them. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is desiring a closer walk with God and would like to set up a daily devotional routine!  It would be a great Christmas gift for family and friends!  That way they can start the devotional January 1'st! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saving Grace by Annie Jones

Book Description:

This book is about Grace, an elderly woman who sits on the porch of her home every year on the night of the Splendor Bell Gala in New Bethany.  Due to rumors and gossip the residents of the town thinks she is nothing more than a batty old lady.  Four friends - Rose, Naomi, Gayle and Lucy decide to reach out and help Grace and as they do their friendship strengthens.

My Thoughts:

I was instantly drawn to this book.  The story description had me thinking it would be an excellent read.  I was disappointed.  It was not as good as what I had built up in my mind.  It is book 2 of a series and maybe if I had read book one I would of been more connected to the characters and it would of made a difference.  To me it was boring, it was a struggle to keep my attention on the story.  The last two chapters did pick up interest a little, but overall I just didn't care for it.

**I received this book as an  ebook from Multnomah Waterbrook Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Denim Pocket Purse

Check out these darling little purses I've made this week!  I absolutely love them!  So perfect for the girly girl! 
I've been saving the pockets off worn out jeans for quite some time and I decided it was time to be creative with them.  I sewed on a grosgrain ribbon for the purse strap and then sewed two pockets together.  To complete it I made little matching bows and hot glued them on to the front!  So easy and so cute!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Perfect Love - Book Review

The title of this book is what really caught my attention.  Many people in today's world have a hard time believing that God Really loves them.  Ruth Myers addresses the reasons why people feel this way and through her own life experiences  she shares with her readers her failures as well as her victories.  The Author uses old hymns, quotes and her own words to portray her message.

I found the first few chapters of the book very interesting.  I savored many of the words that I read and began to see and feel God's love for me better than I have in a long time.  I wrote down in a journal some of the quotes that were shared and many of my favorites were from A.W. Tozer including this one:  "God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful, that He can without anything other than Himself meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature, mysterious and deep as that nature is."   She also shares many Bible verses on God's love.

I do have to say though that there were a few things that the Author says that I disagreed with.  The main thing was that she stated that we are all sinners and will always be sinners and that God gives us victories over SOME of our sins.  I strongly disagree with that statement.  When God saves the sinner they are to go and sin no more and therefore are no longer sinners.  We are then a child of God.  He can and will give you victory over ALL of your sins.   Another place in the book she tells us of a time that she was praying and she gave God "permission" to do something in her life.  She does state that she knows God doesn't need her permission, but sometimes she needs to give it to Him.  That statement just bugged me.  

So with all that said.  I guess I will give it 3 stars.  :)

**This book was given to me by Waterbrook Multnomah for free in exchange for my review.


My family was blessed to be able to see an early preview of the upcoming movie Courageous that will be out in theaters September 30'th.  Our local christian radio station announced that they had 200 free tickets to the early showing.  Thanks to Dakota's fast fingers we got the tickets.  Come to find out all 200 tickets were gone in 61 seconds and there were more than 500 people trying to get them.  O.O 

It was such a good movie.  We laughed and cried.  It is such a blessing to be able to watch good movies with a Godly message.  I encourage everyone that can, to go and see this movie.  It has the potential to change lives.  Through the message of this movie and God's convicting power I believe that this movie will cause men to rise up and be the fathers that God is calling them to be. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman

Katie Ann is an Amish woman who's husband left her for an English woman.  He then dies in a accident.  Katie Ann found out that she was pregnant after her husband left her for the other woman and never told him.  Now she finds herself a new single mother with trust issues.

Eli is an Amish widower who's wife died 17 years ago.  He raised his 6 children by himself and is ready to enjoy life free of the responsibilities of children.  He's ready to travel and enjoy a slower paced life.  He travels to Canaan for a wedding and a long vacation.  There he meets Katie Ann and there is an instant connection, not to mention many friends who try to play matchmaker. 

Katie Ann and Eli admit to their selves and to each other that their relationship will never work since they are both in different places in their lives, but they decide to remain friends.  A wonderful friendship blossoms and so does love.  They both come to the realization that God's plans are not always our own plans.   They are better. 

The Wonder of Your Love is the second book in The Land of Canaan Series by Beth Wiseman.   This is the first book I have read by Beth Wiseman and I really liked it.  Although it was the second book in the series and I didn't read the first book I was not lost and had no trouble following the story line.  The only negative thing I can say about the book is that I found it a little boring at times.  It was very predictable and it was easy to figure out which way the story of each character was going to turn.  Other than that though it was a good read.   The character of Martha had me chuckling at times with her outspoken ways and her exaggerated health problems.  I was also touched by the forgiving nature of Katie Ann and how she helped the mistress of her deceased husband.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars!

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Thomas Nelson through in exchange for my honest review.   

A Very Wonderful Impossiblility

"When God wants to do something wonderful, He begins with a difficulty.  When He wants to do something very wonderful, He begins with an impossibility."

Ever find yourself in a situation that you find impossible.  No way out.  Which ever way you turn is wrong.  You want to throw your hands up in the air and say "I give up", but instead you fall to your knees and say "God, I give it up to you.  I've made a mess of my situation and there is no way I can fix it.  I need you, I need your help." 

I've been there, but guess what? God came through as He always does.  Our impossibilities are His possibilities. 

"And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God"  Luke 18:27

Where ever you are right now, if you are finding yourself in an impossible situation, remember that the Supreme Ruler of the universe, the Creator of all things, the One possessing all power....He wants you to love Him with all your heart, mind and soul.  If you you do this, he is sure to take your impossibilities and turn them into a possibilities.

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith:  that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
                                                                   Ephesians 3:17-19

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sierra Jensen Volume 1 Book Review

I decided to read this book for review thinking it would be a good read for my daughter as she is getting older.  I do enjoy reading young adult books at times, but I was very disappointed in this volume of books. 

The Sierra Jensen series has 12 books in all.  Volume 1 consists of books 1-3. 

Book 1:  Only You, Sierra
Book 2:  In Your Dreams
Book 3:  Don't you Wish

I know that I am an adult/mother reviewing a young adult book and I am sure my review reflects my age, but I am a mother and I have to go on what I feel is a good read for my daughter.  The Sierra Jensen series is not it.  I found Sierra very immature and shallow.  Some of the "excuses" she gives her parents and those in authority  are dishonest which is definitely not something I would want my child to pick up on.  The writer tries to portray Sierra as a strong and mature christian and with everything else I read I found those passages hard to swallow.  Plus there were parts of the book that were just plain boring.  I would not recommend this book to young readers.    

I also want to note that before I began reading the series my 13 year old daughter started to read it.  She read about 9 chapters and then quit.  She found it boring and was disturbed by the way the Jensen family played along with grandma when she was confused and having memory lapses.  I teach my children never to lie even if it makes someone else feel better a lie is a lie and she felt that their playing along with grandma was dishonest.   

**I recieved an e-copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Craft Time

I've been spending a lot of my time crafting lately.  Here is a sample of what I've been up too! :)

Bethany helped me make these waxed dipped pine cone fire starters!  I love the way they look in this basket.  I can't wait to sit them next to the wood burning stove and toss some in when I start a fire this winter.

 We also dipped some wax ornaments.  These were made from styrofoam sheet cut outs.  The cut outs we used were cookie cutters!  I love making these!  So much fun.  I still have to put finishing touches such as jute hangers on them and maybe some ric-rac embellishments on the gingerbread men!

Our house smells so good!  A mixture of Mocha and Apple pie!  Smells like fall!

I've also made a bunch of homespun coasters and some pot holders/hot pads.

Believe it or not that is not all.  I've also been making hair bows, aprons, "upcycled" denim skirts, baby gowns and homemade laundry detergent kits.  We are going to be selling all these homemade crafts at a homeschool craft fair in October.  I guess if my stuff does not sell my family and friends will get a homemade Christmas this year. ;)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Billy Graham Said What?

I love reading quotes and for a good part of my adult life I have read quotes by Billy Graham via the Internet.  I know when it comes to the Internet that sometimes people are misquoted so I was excited to find a book that was composed only of Billy Graham's quotes put together by his son Franklin Graham. 

The book has over 100 topics that are listed alphabetically.  It covers about every topic you can think of from abortion to worship.   At the beginning of each topic it begins with a key Bible verse, then the quotes on the topic follow.   Some of the quotes were very familiar to me while others where knowledgeable information that every child of God knows, then there were some quotes that I would stop, read again and sit and meditate on the words of wisdom that were just shared with me. 

I would recommend this book as a resource.  It is not the kind of book to sit down and read from front to back.  Instead, I feel that it would be best read in bits and pieces.  With it being categorized into topics, it makes it easy to find the area in which you are looking for, the topic that may be helpful to you at the right moment.   

Here are a few of my favorite quotes that I found on the pages of the book.

"God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters."   Billy Graham

"The will of God will never take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us."  Billy Graham

"The Spirit of God Takes the Word of God and makes the Child of God."  Billy Graham

**This book was provided to me by the publisher through in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Must Read!

Out of Control by Mary Connealy - The Kincaid Brides Book 1

Julia Gilliland is a young lady that loves geology and loves to explore caves in search of fossils.  Exploring gives her a chance to get out of the house and away from her father.  She feels at peace with herself and a closeness to God when she is exploring.   She is determined to find proof that there is a God.  All she has to do is find the fossils to prove the Great Flood of Noah's Day.   If she does this her father surely will see her as a special and she will earn his love.  But one day as she is exploring, a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to climb out of the cave.

Rafe Kincaid is a man that seems to be in control of everything.  His ranch, his brothers, his life.  But Rafe is struggling with a painful past.  A time when he was out of control and was not the man he should of been for his brothers.  He is determined never to feel that way again.  So he stays away from the one place on his family's ranch that brings back the painful memories...the cave.  One night he decides to go back to the cave, one last time, in hopes to find peace with the place that ruined his and his brother's lives when they were young boys.  A women screaming was the last thing he expected to hear.  He must save her.  Then with a kiss lives are changed.

I had never read any of Mary Connealy's books before I read Out of Control and I will assure you that this may of been my first read of hers but it most definitely won't be my last.  

This book has it all.  Love, humor, suspense, inspiration, and mystery.  It had me on the edge of my seat in suspense, laughing out loud at the banter between Rafe and Julia, and reflecting on the greatness of God and how he is always present.  From the highest mountain top to the lowest dwellings. God is there.  In the good times of our life and in the bad times.  God is there.   When we are in control and when we are out of control.  God is there.

I give this book 5 stars!!

Thanks you Bethany House Publishers for providing me with this amazing book to review in exchange for my honest review!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review: Life, in Spite of Me

Book Summary:

She wanted to die. God had other plans.

Overwhelmed by wave after wave of emotional trauma, Kristen Anderson no longer wanted to live. One January night, determined to end her pain once and for all, the seventeen-year-old lay across train tracks not far from her home and waited to die.

Instead of peace, she found herself immersed in a whole new nightmare.

Before the engineer could bring the train to a stop, thirty-three freight cars passed over her at fifty-five miles per hour. After the train stopped and Kristen realized she was still alive, she looked around—and saw her legs ten feet away.

Surviving her suicide attempt but losing her legs launched Kristen into an even deeper battle with depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as unrelenting physical pain—all from the seat of a wheelchair. But in the midst of her darkest days, Kristen discovered the way to real life and a purpose for living.

My Thoughts:

Wow!  What a moving book!   This is an excellent read.  What a wonderful testimony that Kristen has to share.   As she tells her story you feel like you are there.  The intensity I felt when she tells of her suicide attempt was gut wrenching.  I felt as if I were there, watching this horrific event take place.  As she continues to share her story of recovery and redemption my heart ached for her and rejoiced with her when she found true peace with God.  

When I wasn't reading this book, I was thinking about it.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone.  It is not just a book for young people who are depressed and have suicidal thoughts, it is also a great book for people of all ages no matter where they are in their walk with God.   It will encourage you greatly as you see God's grace and Him moving in Kristen's life.  God's love, forgiveness and grace is available for all who desire it.  No matter what you are going through you are not alone. 

**I received this book free of charge from Multnomah Books in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Best Salsa Ever

Not to toot my own horn or anything.....but, I made THEE best salsa ever this summer!  Yummy, slap your momma good.   After my yummy discovery I canned, and I canned.  After all, I must have enough to last me through till next summer.  I might have to hide a few jars just to insure that I will have some come February and March.  Or better yet, maybe someone should hide a few jars from me.  I seriously love the stuff.  Give me some tortilla chips and a bowl of my delicious salsa and I could eat it for all 3 meals.  Okay, maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration.  I don't usually eat breakfast. 

Enough of my humble rantings.  Since good things are meant to be shared here is the recipe!


8 Cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained

2 ½ cups chopped onions
1 ½ cups green peppers
1 cup jalapeno peppers, chopped (use more or less for personal taste)
6 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/3 cup vinegar
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste

Drain the tomatoes as you are chopping them and drain them several times while they are in the pan before you cook them.  This is a VERY important step.  Drain, drain, drain and then drain again. This will give you a nice chunky salsa.

Mix all ingredients together and bring to a slow boil for 10 minutes.

Fill hot jars with salsa, put hot lids and rims and and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I love working in my garden and gathering the harvest.  After a long dry and hot spell the garden is about done producing.  Besides a few tomato plants and a few pepper plants that are still producing the main thing that is growing abundantly is the weeds.  It amazes me that we have gone weeks without cutting the grass, but some of the weeds are waist high in the garden.   So it is time to cut it down, mow it over and plow it up.  Bittersweet.  That is the word that describes the way I feel about it.  Funny how something that brings me such joy in the spring and the summer will also bring me such joy to be done with it. lol 

The harvest surely was bountiful this year.  The best ever!  I added up and I canned 126 jars of garden produce this year!  Thank the Lord!  That's not counting the produce that was put up in the freezer.  So even though the gardening season is about over, we will be enjoying it's blessings all winter!

Tomorrow I'll share with you the yummy salsa recipe I came up with this year.  I found a recipe, tweaked it to suit my taste and the results were perfection!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall

The Harvest Of Grace is the third book in the Ada's House Series.  I did not realize when I got this book that I would be reading the third book of a series that I have never read before.  That didn't matter at all.  This is a great "stand alone" book and I am sure a great "3'rd installment" as well.   It drew me into the character's lives and I will be heading to the library ASAP to pick up the 1'st and 2'nd books of the series.  That is one of the things I loved about this book.  It captivated my interest so much and I became so attached to the character's that I want to know more about their history.  Beginning with the very first chapter it had my attention.  I couldn't put it down and to tell you the truth, it cost me a few hours of sleep. :)

One great thing about this book is that if you decide to read it without reading the whole series it has a nice summary at the beginning of the book.  It tells "The Story So Far" giving a brief description of The Hope Of Refuge and The Bridge of Peace (the first two books in the series).  That way you have a little history and a little knowledge of some of the characters you will be reading about.  It also has at the back of the book, a list of the main character's  and a description of each.  I found this extra helpful and found myself flipping to the back of the book a couple time as I began the story to see who they were and how they were related.

One of the main points of this book is God's forgiving grace, accepting that grace, and giving that grace to other's who have done you wrong as well.  It's not always easy but with a lot of prayer we can forgive those who have hurt us.   This book is such a pleasant reminder of that.  I would definetly recommend this book as it is a great read and an encouragement in your daily walk with Him.

**I received this book free of charge from Multnomah Books in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What the World Needs...

Sometimes you run across something so good it just needs repeating.  One of my friends posted this tonight on their Facebook:

It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need woman, and men, too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct. ~ Peter Marshall

Monday, August 1, 2011

1950's Birthday Party

Bethany wanted to celebrate her Birthday with a 1950's party!  What a blast we had!  We had 50's music, poodle skirts, ice cream floats, bubble gum blowing contests, drag races, 50's charades and to top it off we had each person write down a few sentences to Bethany using 50's "lingo" so we can put it in her scrapbook.   The party was a hit and Bethany declared it the best Birthday she ever had!  Here's a few pictures of our fun time.
My sweet Bethany all decked out in her 50's outfit!
My wonderful neice Katy!  Isn't she pretty!

The whole gang!  I absolutely love this photo!  I told the girls to look at Dakota like "he's so dreamy"  It took a while to get the right expressions.  Sister and cousins had a bit of trouble thinking that way. Hee! Hee!


Bubble gum blowing contest.

More charades!

The Birthday cake!

Another one of my pretty girl!

Bethany and her cake!

Drag races with hotwheels and straws.

Dakota is so goofy!

The girls!

Who wants an ice cream float?
Bethany insisted that Daisy had a poodle skirt too. lol!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy13'th Birthday Bethany!

Sweet little Bethany Rose, the sweetest little Rose that grows and grows.  That's the song I sang to you as a baby as I held you in my arms.  You are still my sweet Bethany Rose, but no longer  so little.  I have been watching you grow, watching you bloom into the sweet young lady that you are becomming.  You are so beautiful inside and out and a mother couldn't be more prouder than I am of you.  You are such a special girl and I know that God has a great plan for your life.  Continue to trust in Him and walk in the light.  Momma loves you!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Terrorist Groups in Churches

Beware of Terrorist Groups in Church.  Latest news reports are that five terrorist cell groups have been operating in many of our churches. They have been identified as: Bin Sleepin, Bin Arguin, Bin Fightin, Bin Complainin, and Bin Missin. Their leader, Lucifer Bin Workin, trained these groups to destroy the Body of Christ. The plan is to come into the church disguised as Christians and to work within the church to discourage, disrupt, and destroy. However, there have been reports of a sixth group. A tiny cell known by the name Bin Prayin is actually the only effective counter terrorism force in the church. Unlike other terrorist cells, the Bin Prayin team does not blend in with whoever and whatever comes along. Bin Prayin does whatever is needed to uplift and encourage the Body of Christ. We have noticed that the Bin Prayin cell group has different characteristics than the others. They have Bin Watchin, Bin Waitin, Bin Fastin, and Bin Longin for their Master, Jesus Christ to return. NO CHURCH IS EXEMPT! (However, you can spot them if you bin lookin and bin goin.)

:):):)A friend of mine recently posted this on Facebook and I just had to share it.  :):):)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Independence Day

I absolutely love the 4'th of July.  I mean really LOVE it!  There is just something about the BBQ's, the family get togethers, the fireworks, that just makes me so happy.  Tonight when we realized that most of our neighbors were setting off their fireworks we got in our suits and enjoyed the show from the pool!  Tomorrow night we'll set off ours and probably go for a night swim when we are done.  We are so enjoying our new pool!!  Monday we will be having a family BBQ and then head to one of the surrounding towns to watch a firework display. 

I've been searching the Internet over looking at some of the 4'th of July goodies and here are a few of my favorites!

Don't you just love the looks of these strawberries!  They are dipped in white chocolate and rolled in blue colored sugar.  I am thoroughly convinced that they must taste as good as they look.

And these ice-cream sandwiches are too cute for words!  Same idea here....dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles.  I found both of these patriotic treats over at Simply Home and Family.

I was super excited about these patriotic jello snacks that I found over at Green Acres Hobby Farm and decided it was just what we needed at our family BBQ, but do you know I could not find blue jello anywhere. BOO! 

One last one!  Isn't this fruit kebab flag so fun!  One year I made red, white and blue fruit kebabs but never thought of arranging it to look like a flag.  I will have to try this. :):):)