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!