Sunday, November 23, 2014

Brotherly Love -- Scripture & a Snapshot

I'm so happy they have each other.


and then this happened . . .



I love my kids.  They make me smile.



I'm joining with my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life as we give glory to GOD through our photos.  
Scripture and Snapshot
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Random 5 on Friday


1.  It's almost Thanksgiving but I need to be more intentional about making every day a day of thanksgiving.

2.  Casting Crowns can bring me to my knees in PRAISE and to my toes with arms stretched high in WORSHIP all in the same song.  Last night's concert was FANTABULOUS.

With my MainMost

Sidewalk Prophets

Casting Crowns bringing the WORD


Mandisa OVERCOMES

Casting Crowns Unplugged -- Acoustic Set Praise


3.  Frozen pizza with friends is gourmet goodness.

Even a brief visit lifts the soul.  


4.  I'm not near as dumb as my children think I am.  I can't wait until they don't know everything.

5.  Protestors outside of a Christian concert don't make sense to me at all.  More emphasis on sharing the LOVE of JESUS would certainly be better for the KINGDOM than a verbal onslaught of condemnation.


Because this day has GREAT POTENTIAL,


I'm linking up with my friend Miranda over at The Pebble Pond.  Be sure to visit and be inspired by some other random thoughts today.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Still-Life Charcoal: Virtual Refrigerator

She amazes me.  Each week, her artwork just gets better and better.  I was super-impressed when the Princess showed me this still life sketch in charcoal this week.  I couldn't wait to share it with you.

She makes me smile.



I love this girl and her creative spirit.






I'm joining with the Virtual Refrigerator Blog Hop to showcase this marvelous charcoal sketch.  Be sure to visit and check out some of the other neat projects by some pretty great kids.




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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Bible Amigos Book Series: Five Loaves, Two Fish, and One Big Hat

I have always liked to read special books to my children and my favorites are the ones that teach them more about JESUS.  I think that sharing JESUS is the very best part of being a mom.  How about you?   I've found a cute new book series that includes adventure, friendship, and Bible stories especially for children ages 3 - 7 that is just perfect to teach little ones that they can serve GOD.  



The Bible Amigos is a brand-new book series that takes children on fun adventures with lovable animal characters on a flying Bible.  The series consists of two titles so far.  Book One is called Jonah and the Bear and it shows children that they'll be happy as they obey GOD's call to share with others.  Book Two is called Five Loaves, Two Fish, and One Big Hat and it teaches children that they are never too little to serve GOD in a big way. 

The sweet book, Five Loaves, Two Fish, and One Big Hat, tells the story of three amigos named Donk, Edge, and Walla who are whisked away on a flying Bible when a call for help arrives.  The friends travel to the aid of Jorge, a small boy who is always told he is too little to help others.  The Bible Amigos show Jorge that GOD's Word has the answer to every important question and share the story of JESUS feeding the 5,000 with just five loaves of bread and two small fish -- all because a little boy was willing to share everything that he had.  Jorge offers up all he has -- a really big hat --with love and full of trust that GOD will make a way.   And HE does.  Jorge's hat saves the day.

Isn't it wonderful to share the love of JESUS with our little ones?  This book not only shares Bible stories, it also offers other suggested Bible verses for children and parents to read and study together. Children will enjoy both the story and the illustrations as they hide GOD's Word deep in their hearts. I'm looking forward to seeing the expansion of this series and sharing it with the precious little ones in my life.  
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Stuffed Eggplant

My mother-in-love is sweet to share yummy vegetables from her garden and I want to be a good steward with the fruits of her labor.  She sent us fresh eggplant last week so I tried a new recipe with it that we all enjoyed.

Stuffed Eggplant

Several small Eggplants
1 pound Hamburger (or could use ground sausage)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper -- chopped
Garlic -- one clove, minced
Olive Oil to saute onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic
Bread Crumbs -- I made mine with 3 slices of honey wheat bread.
Cheddar Cheese -- two cups plus enough to sprinkle on top
Egg -- to hold it all together 

Slice Eggplant and scoop out the spongy meat on the inside, but leave enough so that the skin can hold its shape in the oven.  (Mine is pictured below.  Next time, I'll remove a little bit more of the meat.)  Place scooped out eggplant "boats" on cookie sheet or baking stone.  

Scoop the meat from the inside

Boil eggplant insides in water until tender (about 15 minutes).  Drain.
Saute onions, bell pepper, celery, and minced garlic in olive oil.  
Cook hamburger meat.  Season with Salt and Pepper, to taste.  Drain.
Combine eggplant, sauteed veggies, hamburger meat, bread crumbs, two cups cheese, and egg.  Mix well.  Fill eggplant boats with this mixture and place in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Ready to Bake
Remove from oven.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and return to oven until cheese melts.


This was very yummy and super satisfying.  I think it would also be good with Sausage and/or a can of Rotel tomatoes for a little extra zip.  Next time, I think I'll try that, too.  I will definitely be making this one again.

Let me know what you think when you try it.



I'm joining with my friend Lisa over at Home to 4 Kiddos.  Jump right over and try a new recipe today.


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Monday, November 17, 2014

Growing Up Social -- Review & Giveaway

I read and review a good many books.  I like to do both.  THIS book, though, is different.  THIS book should be read my every parent.  Every. single. one.  This will convict you and open your eyes in a huge way.  I know, because it has done so for me.

When my older girls were young, we had no cable tv.  The only thing we watched on our television was movies we could enjoy as a family.  My MainMost had a pager.  No cell phone was stuck to our hands like glue.  We had one computer.  One.  And it wasn't even on all of the time.  We had to turn it on and wait for it to "warm up" before we could dial up to the internet, play a game of Tetris, or put an educational cd in for the girls.  

Fast forward 15 years:  Every person in my home owns a smart phone.  Every person owns a laptop and a Kindle.  There are several iPads here.  The television has streaming capabilities from several sources -- Roku, Chromecast, Netflix, Amazon Prime.

So what happened?  There is always a blue screen glowing here.  Someone is always on a technological device.  Very rarely do we all sit down and talk.  And when we do talk, the words that are spoken are not always kind.  My family (like many of yours, I suspect) doesn't really know each other anymore.

The reality is sad and literally breaks my heart.  Maybe it's time for an intervention at my house.



We live in a world that can be completely driven by screens, if we let it be.  My children are very social.  From Facebook, Twitter,  and Snapchat to text, email, and online gaming, they interact quite a bit; BUT is this what it's all about?  If we aren't careful, we may reach a point in our lives in which our children no longer know how to relate to people in real life.  That thought scares me.  I absolutely do not want to lose my children to technology, but it can be a very real threat.  Mind you, I like technology.  The MainMost is a techno guru and in many ways technology has made our lives so much easier.  I can send a group text to all of my children, quickly letting them know some important information.  I can share a picture with the family and keep everyone "in the loop" on life.  Those are good things.   But if we aren't careful, we can easily let fast communication take the place of real conversation.  It's a constant struggle to keep a positive balance, and Gary Chapman (you know, of The 5 Love Languages fame) and Arlene Pellicane are speaking straight to my heart in their new book, Growing Up Social:  Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World as I read through its pages and work to create that perfect balance for my family

Certainly NOT an anti-technology book, Growing Up Social offers a plan to take back your home while explaining the effects that technology has on children and even includes a Screen-Safe Family Pledge that helps open the lines of communication between parents and children.  The plan includes helpful suggestions to get your children to focus on the real world in which they live and discussion starters for a healthy dialogue about social media content, what's appropriate in texting, and how to handle on-line friendships.  I'm finding this to be most helpful as I teach my children to not only protect themselves in social media, but more importantly, to protect their hearts in this crazy world gone mad.  We can use social media and technology to better ourselves and our witness and we are discovering together how to build a better community of love and support.  

If you have children, work with children, or just care about children, you need to read this book. Seriously, it's truly that important.  



About the book:

-Softcover
-209 pages
-Parent Resources that help you determine if YOUR child has TOO MUCH screen time
-Discussion Guides for every chapter that make this the perfect resource for Small Group Bible Study 

So . . . is technology bringing your family closer together or driving you farther apart?

Children today are no longer playing hide-and-seek outside or curling up with a good book—instead they’ve been introduced to a world of constant digital entertainment through television, video games, and mobile devices. And while technology has the potential to add value to our lives and families, it can also erode a sense of togetherness and hinder a child’s emotional and social development.

In Growing Up Social, Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane will empower you with the necessary tools to make positive changes…starting today.  Through stories, wit, and wisdom, you’ll discover how to take back your home from an over dependence on screens.  Plus, you’ll learn to teach the five A+ skills that every healthy child needs to master: 

  1. Affection
  2. Appreciation
  3. Anger management
  4. Apology and 
  5. Attention.
You'll learn how to:

•Equip your child to be relationally rich in a digital world
•Replace mindless screen time with meaningful family time
•Establish simple boundaries that make a huge difference
•Discover what’s working for families that have become screen savvy
•Learn healthy ways to occupy your child while you get things done (instead of allowing the television or iPad to babysit)

Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, not for screen time.  No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships—only you can.  And that's a pretty important job.

About the authors:
Gary Chapman- author, speaker, and counselor—has a passion for people and for helping them form lasting relationships. He is the bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. For more information, visit 5lovelanguages.com.
Arlene Pellicane- is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife and 31 Days to a Happy Husband.  She has been featured on The Today ShowThe 700 Club, and Family Life Today and formerly served as the associate producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah.  Arlene lives in Southern California with her husband, James, and their three children.  Find out more at ArlenePellicane.com.
You can find out even more about Growing Up Social:  Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by visiting the following websites:
Official Website:http://www.5lovelanguages.com/growingupsocial
Book Trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-ANoYvKA1k


And you can enter to win your own copy of this great book.  Please do.  You'll be so glad you did.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Our CHILDREN have the POTENTIAL to change the world.  Let's make sure it's a positive change.


"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.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Work of Your Hands: Scripture & a Snapshot

The MainMost and the Eagle Scout have been preparing for cold days to come.  Firewood has been stacking up over the last three Fridays.  Yesterday morning, they were up early in frigid temps cutting and splitting and stacking without complaint.   I am reminded how blessed I am as they work with all of their might to take care of our family's needs.

Stocking up for cold days ahead

Praising HIM for all seasons,



I'm joining with my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life as we give glory to GOD through our photos.  
Scripture and Snapshot
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