Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hiking game

I took these monkeys hiking two hilly miles today. The little ones got a little tired, so we started a game to end the whining. It was the ABC nature game. We went through the alphabet, and thought of one thing in nature that started with each letter. It was the perfect activity to distract them and help the hiking trip go faster. And it was a gorgeous day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Require Obedience of Your Children - repost by John Piper

John Piper has always challenged and encouraged me in my faith, so I wasn't surprised to find this article which spoke to my heart.  It's an exhortation to parents to require the obedience of their children.

Redirecting my Heart with Matt Redman's Song, Never Once

Matt Redman's worship songs are so powerful.  God often uses them to calm and redirect my heart to the power and protection of God.  I love this song, Never Once:  I've played it over and over again on youtube!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: Critical Reaction by Todd Johnson

If you like Grisham novels, you are going to like Critical Reaction by Todd Johnson.  It took me 15-20 pages to get hooked on the story, but once I was hooked, I didn't want to put it down.  Johnson's second novel is a hit!

After an explosion in an abandoned nuclear test facility, a father-daughter lawyer team takes on the case to protect one of the victims.  Readers drawn to mystery/fiction/legal drama will want to read this book.  High suspense with lots of twists and turns and good character development.

I would highly recommend this book to readers 16+, and perhaps younger, if they are drawn to legal books or nuclear fiction.

 I received this book free from Bethany/Baker Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Good Mommy Prayer

“May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us, may the hand of God protect us, may the word of God direct us. Be always ours this day and for evermore. - St. Patrick”

If ever I needed God's strength, wisdom and protection, it is now.  Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done.  It demands my all, yet I know I never really have enough to give.  I'm utterly dependent on God to provide me with the stamina, smarts, courage, grace, and joy to live out this mission.  And he loves it when we are totally dependent on him!  So God, we ask you to fill us up!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Book Review: Adventure BIble Handbook

Zonderkidz sent me a copy of Adventure Bible handbook to review this week. My 11-year old son was immediately intrigued when he opened the package. Its a comic style book that is interesting to the kids. But what interests me is all of the tidbits it shares for helping kids understand Bible.  The adventurers go back in timeto visit key places and events in the bible.  For each stop,  they share facts related to culture,  geography,  customs. .. that give contact for the bible story. Visiting Noah,  they explained that the ark was twice the size of a Boeing 747.  They added pictures of all Solomon's riches,  so you can visualize his wealth. They explain the reason for having for gospels.

There is also Reading guide to the bible, and several indexes for quick reference.

Children will enjoy bible study with this handbook.  I would recommend it to children ages 9-13.

I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Yummy Fall Dinner: Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I love making (and eating) this Curried Butternut Squash Soup that my friend Sue Quick shared with me years ago.  It's healthy, easy, and super tasty.  And it's perfect for a crisp fall day!

3 T. margarine or butter

2 large onions, sliced

1 T. curry powder

2 large butternut squashes (3 1/2 pounds) peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

1/2 t. salt

2 1/4 cups water

 Melt 2 T marg/butter over med. heat. Add onions and cook 20 min. until golden and tender, stirring occasionally. Add curry and remaining 1 T. marg/butter and cook 1 min., stirring. Add squash, broth, salt and water. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very least 20 min. In blender (I use immersion blender) at low speed, blend squash mixture in small batches until very smooth. Return blended soup to pot. Heat through. Makes about 12 cups. 95 calories per cup! (c: 

Monday, November 04, 2013

Book Review: MISTAKEN by Karen Barnett

From the publisher:  In the prohibition era rum running business, first impressions aren't always to be trusted...  Since booze and prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world, Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Convinced that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother’s rum-running gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. But what of Federal Agent Samuel Brown? The Strait of Juan de Fuca, just off the beaches of Port Angeles, Washington, was treacherous water for reckless rum-runners—and the agents who tried to catch them. So when Laurie realizes her brother is in danger, romance is the last thing on her mind. Yet the people she believes she can trust, may not be so honorable after all.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this historical fiction book of suspense.  It lifted me into another time period and let me peek into the minds and hearts of so many characters.  Barnett did an excellent job developing her characters, creating a storyline, and creating/resolving conflict in the plot.  She kept my attention - and even kept me up past the time when I usually 'turn into a pumpkin' (aka fall asleep reading). 
I would recommend this book to female readers over age 18. 
I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.