Sunday, July 31, 2011

Swimmer Eaten by Shark at Galveston Beach

We went to Galveston for the first time today.  Look at what we stumbled upon!  
So stinking clever!  I love it!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Home Organization Center

The key to an organized home is exactly that, organization!  Having a system in place and an area designated area to plan with lots of nooks and crannies for "stuff" is very helpful. While "pinning" today on Pinterest, I stumbled upon a website called Creative Home Idea.  Great site.  Check out these awesome home organization centers.  Aren't they inspiring.  I especially love the bright, vivid ones.

Check out all my "pin" discoveries here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Glass doors, glasses, screens, drinking glasses, ATM machines, public counter tops, TAPE, glue, cell phone screens, remove controls.... what do these have in common?  FEAR! One of the worst fears is using tape at work! How do you use tape without leaving your fingerprints on it?  You can't!

Obviously I am the only person on this earth with the fear of leaving behind fingerprints!  I have searched for information on this subject for several years.  I have never committed any crime so fear of getting caught is not the issue.  I fear people retrieving my prints and using them for... something?  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies and Criminal Justice I understand about fingerprint.

I admit I do have several OCD tendencies.  I have admitted it here on my blog as well, well I kinda make fun of it.  As I was doing research on this and I realized I have not always been like this.  

Actually, I think it began with a traumatic event in 2004. A man had been stalking me, I had gotten a restraining order on him but he still persisted. He continued to break into my home on a daily basis, unscrew light bulbs outside, sawed bolts off the windows I had bolted shut, unlocked windows and went through our dirty laundry on a regular basis. 

One day I came home for lunch from work and discovered him crawling across my kitchen floor. Yes, scared the living crap out of me!  I screamed bloody murder and called the police from in the front yard. He crawled out a back window and I saw him running through the back yard.  He tried to jump over the fence but stopped when I screamed at him.  He begged and pleaded for me not to call the police (I was on the phone with them at the time). He stripped off the surgical gloves he was wearing, tucked them behind the fence post, and sat criss-cross-applesauce on the ground begging for me to let him go.  

When the officer arrived and cuffed this man I told him about the gloves.  That officer made me SWEAR to never ever ever drop that restraining order ever - the officer said that that man would eventually kill me.  After all what kind of man would wear surgical gloves when breaking into a home if he did not plan on some kind of bodily harm.  Especially since his fingerprints were all over the house already since this man was my estranged husband of 17 years whom I had been divoringe, with whom I share four children.

Why didn't I think of this before?  That HAS to be it. I used to LOVE wrapping presents.  I lacked one art history class in college to minor in art and fingerprints are all over art.  It never bothered me before. I sure am not going to let "him" win out by me continuing with this fear.  So I am deciding right here and now....this phobia is over!  Right now.  Now that I know what caused this fear I can control it right?  

Lord Jesus give me strength to not allow fear to have control over me.
2 Timothy 1:7- For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Psalm 56:3-4 - When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ingenious Ideas

I thought I would share some of the brilliant ideas I found via Pinterest for bathroom storage and under the bath and kitchen sink.

Top Left - Use PVC pipe curling irons and cords (Family Handyman)
Top Right - Adhesive tile spruces up storage areas (Family Handyman)
Bottom Left - Use magnets and a Corian mounting strip (Family Handyman)
Bottom Right - Hy-dit Toilet Plunger Storage Cabinet  (Remodelista)

Very cool ideas!

The Life Ready Woman: A Review and Giveaway

The Life Ready Woman
Shanti Feldman and Robert Lewis
BH Publishing Group

My Thoughts:  I am a working mother with six children at home.  I try to attain somewhat of a balance.  

The authors provide a visual illustration of the concepts discussed. They summarize the lessons in a "Wise Steps" box, and they fill the book with sections that invite the reader to journal his own thoughts according to a certain topic. 

The authors explain their concept of the purpose of a woman in three categories: our purpose as humans (Core Callings), our purpose as women (Feminine Callings), and our purpose as unique individuals (Personal Callings). Each of these categories is further dissected, with the Core Callings, Leave and Cleave, Be Fruitful and Multiply (I NAILED this category with my six kids), and Subdue and Rule. 

The Five Faith Steps the authors have drawn on are:
Understanding our core callings. Who are we as human beings? As women? As individuals? What does the Bible tell us about these various roles?
Living from the inside out. Making decisions based on our core callings and beliefs, rather than pressures from our culture.
Recognizing that our current season of life is just that — a season — and learning how to structure our priorities and life to please God in that season while preparing for upcoming seasons.
Exercising wisdom in our interactions with men. Yes, we are women, but our relationships with men — boyfriends and husbands in particular — will deeply affect every area of our lives and it is crucial that we apply godly wisdom to these relationships.
Using our individual gifts and passions to serve God and live life in a way that is truly fulfilling.
I recommend this book. 

This book is not a quick read, you will want to ponder each chapter and see how it applies to your life.  If you would like to read a Session One for free click here and go to the Life Ready Session Sampler.

Publisher's Synopsis
Whether a stay-at-home mom or an airplane-hopping executive, a student or a senior adult, most women need a contemporary, encouraging vision for what it means to be a godly, biblically-guided female in the twenty-first century. A biblical woman takes God's Word seriously not just at church but also in the everyday walk of life. 

In The Life Ready Woman, best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn helps readers take five faith steps drawn from the Bible that will help to define the best life possible. Each one is easy to understand, but requires bold faith to activate. The reward is being ready for the deeper life that God has planned. 

Participants in The Life Ready Woman video series who desire to go deeper are encouraged to complete optional homework provided in the study, using The Life Ready Woman book.

I have received an extra copy of this book from LitFuse for a giveaway copy! 
(US entries only please.)

Giveaway is open from now through August 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM (CST).

To enter, please become a GFC Follower of this blog and leave me a comment on this post stating that you are a follower.

I will select ONE winner on August 17th using and announce their name on this blog. Additionally, I will email the winner.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity group's blog for books program in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Free Kindle Books/Audio/Video at Amazon

Talk to Your Kids About Drugs: The Video Guide[Kindle Edition With Audio/Video]

by Alexandra C. Woods

Product Description:  Not sure how to approach the “big talk” with your child about drugs? Introducing your complete crash course: “Talk to Your Kids About Drugs: The Video Guide” – a fun, interactive, fact and resource-filled Vook that combines text and how-to video, guiding you through the process of discussing drugs with your child. Download it now!

In eight easy-to-digest chapters, you’ll be guided seamlessly through the most important facts and considerations when preparing to talk with your child about drugs. First, you’ll learn some important statistics about drug use in minors, and all about the types of drugs your child may be exposed to. Then you’ll learn about the right timing for your talk, what types of social interactions your child may have at school, and what to expect from your child as they enter their teen years. Finally, you’ll learn how to tell if your child might be experimenting with drugs, how to cope as a family, and what steps to take if you suspect your child has entered an even more serious phase: addiction. Tips, videos and links throughout provide added dimension and resources to help parents prep for this crucial conversation.

Talk to Your Kids About Alcohol: The Video Guide[Kindle Edition With Audio/Video]

by Alexandra C. Woods

Every day, over 11,000 American kids from 12 to 20 years of age will try alcohol for the first time. What can you do to help your kids make responsible choices? Introducing your complete crash course: “Talk to Your Kids About Alcohol: The Video Guide” – a fun, interactive, fact and resource-filled Vook that combines text and how-to video, guiding you through the process of discussing alcohol with your child.
In eight easy-to-digest chapters, you’ll be guided seamlessly through the most important facts and considerations when preparing to talk with your child about alcohol. First, you’ll learn about small children and how to field their early questions about alcohol. Then you’ll learn about alcohol abuse in adolescents and young adults, how to set clear boundaries for your child, and how to role play with your child in order to prepare them for different scenarios they may encounter. Finally, you’ll learn different strategies for dealing with alcohol as a family, including how to deal with alcohol abuse in your child, and how to talk to your child about drunk driving. Tips, videos and links throughout provide added dimension and resources to help parents prep for this important conversation.

Free Kindles from Amazon

Victoria Houston

Product Description:  In Loon Lake, Wisconsin, a woman is murdered, her body discovered under a bridge. But Lew Ferris, chief of police, has his mind on another case—a local woman claims she’s being stalked. Is the woman, a former nun with possible psychological problems, imagining it, or is someone really terrorizing her? The latest Loon Lake mystery, like its predecessors, depends on its characters to propel readers through the story: Lew, Doc Osborne, likable Ray Pradt (who, in this book, is angling for a part on a new reality TV show about ice fishermen), and the newcomers, alleged stalker victim Patience Schumacher and her husband, Charles Mason. The nice thing about the book is that fans of the series will enjoy reuniting with some old friends, and newcomers can jump right in and have a great time. Mysteries set in small midwestern towns (Mary Logue’s Claire Watkins novels and William Kent Kreuger’s Cork O’Connor series, among others) have become a definite trend. Recommend Houston to fans of this thriving subgenre. --David Pitt

I downloaded it!

And, for those suspense loving teens....

We Are the Monsters

Product Description:  While cruising a dark country road late one Saturday night, five high school friends accidentally kill an old drunk. Hiding the body is easy. Lying about what happened is even easier. But lies have a way of breeding Monsters in Springdale, Kansas, and the Monsters have come to play. 

"Here’s the truth about growing up in a small town: you tell lies to survive.

I worked at a grocery store during high school, part time on the evenings and weekends. I saw plenty of strange things there: avocados stuffed in a barrel of fresh popcorn left to rot, a coworker who punched holes in the caps of beer bottles with an awl, pies marked “Verda’s own home-baked” which came frozen on pallets with the Sunday dairy truck. I found a body in the trash bin once, but nobody can prove who put it there. No one can prove it was there.

There were too many bodies for a town the size of Springdale. The name of the town is a lie, but the bodies aren’t. All of them. When you find a body lying with the outdated yogurt, wilted lettuce, and cardboard boxes, you make up stories to cope. You can’t process a body in the grocery store trash bin. A trick of the light, you say. The way the shadows fell across certain bits of debris like the coat hanger beast in a little boy’s bedroom. That head of lettuce, there, in the corner, looks like a human hand.

Bodies are bodies.

Dead is dead.

And lies are lies."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Eleven Wonderful Beauty Uses for EVOO

Rachel Ray loves (E.V.O.O. Extra Virgin Olive Oil) but so do I.  I use it on a daily basis now.  Olive oil is so useful and healthy, inside and out!  Here are some ways I use olive oil:

  • Use olive oil to remove make-up and condition your facial skin at the same time. Add a few drops of oil to the corner of a washcloth, cotton swab or a Q-tip.
  • I like to rub a nickle size drop all over my face in a circular motion then hold a wet, warm washcloth over my entire face to give my face and neck a massage and steam bath. 
  • Olive oil is terrific at getting off mascara. My eyelashes have grown so much stronger and thicker it honestly is unbelievable.
  • Since I began using olive oil in my beauty regimen I no longer have the need for moisturizer anymore!
  • Do you want shiny hair? Olive oil makes a great hair conditioner. Apply to clean hair and wrap in a warmed towel, sit for 20 minutes, then rinse well. If you have curly hair like me that is prone to frizz, olive oil may tame your unruly locks.  Just rub a few drops between your palms and smooth over those frizzy spots. Just as good as Frizz ease and so much cheaper.  Olive oil also helps with split ends and dandruff.
  • Keep nails and cuticles healthy by applying olive oil. Dip nails in olive oil and allow to penetrate. The oil will hydrate both your cuticles and nails.  If it is cold outside put on a pair of soft white gloves before going to sleep and let that olive oil work all night.
  • Add a couple of drops of olive oil to your bath water for total skin softening.
  • Rub olive oil into dried and cracked feet every evening then cover with socks before going to bed.  You will have soft, younger-looking feet with skin ready for those perfect sandals!  Don’t forget your elbows too!
  • Reduce chapped lips by rubbing in a little olive oil before going out in colder weather. 
  • Use a paste of olive oil and salt or sugar as a body scrub.  You can’t get more natural that that.  Exfoliate the green way.
  • Men can enjoy the benefits of olive oil too – Use instead of shaving cream and it will soften the whiskers and allow for a very close shave and soft, sexy skin afterwards.

My Pinterest Picks - Color

Theses are a few of my Pinterest picks from my "Colors to live for" Collection.

Top, Left  Hummingbird Feeder
Bottom, Left  Indigo Bunting  
Top, Right Colorful Birds

Friday, July 22, 2011

My review of my youngest daughter Kiera

I was typing up some review posts the other night and the youngest (5) of our six comes up to me and asks why I "do that". I told her that I like to tell other people about things that I like.  She pulls up a chair and crawls up and says, "Mommy, you like me. Put me on there." ..... Hugs and cuddles took over.  Okay, come on, sweeeeet!

Tall Kitchen Garbage Bags

As a working mom of six I have had MORE than my share of garbage duty!  I cannot possibly count the times strings have torn out or the stupid bag has played a game of hide and seek sinking down into the abyss of the nastiness and stickiness of the foul smelling garbage can! YUCK!  Not any more!!

I buy these bags at Sam's Club. They cost ($9.95 per box of 150) so they are a good deal but most of all-- THEY WORK!!! No tearing, no drooping!

Disclaimer: I was not provided this item for review purposes.  This items is something I feel confident about and choose to purchase for my own family of eight!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This working mom of six has finally done it! I have succumbed to making my own laundry detergent.  I have been considering it for a few years but I finally did it.  I made my second batch last night.  So far I like it.  I added lavender fragrance oil to the first large batch but honestly I could never smell it in the clothes so I left it out this last time.  I used the Fels-Naptha soap the first time but last night I used Dove and Ivory mixed. I prefer the fragrance this time around.  I will definitely update this post if I do not like this batch. (Stick with the Fels-Naptha!!) Update: I eventually decided to add two small generic liquid detergents to my five gallon bucket of homemade.
Here is the recipe.  It takes me about fifteen minutes from start to finish and costs about $2.00 in supplies for each batch (180 top loader- 640 front loader)

Hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (Not baking soda)
1 Cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.  Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons.

Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

Note:  I have read several complaints online about clothes looking dingy but I have not noticed anything.   If you are worried about it I would recommend using this recipe and alternating with a commercial laundry detergent once a week or so.  I do approximately 17 loads of laundry a week so.... bleach once in a while will have to suffice!

Quacky Baseball: A Review

Quacky Baseball 
 Peter Abrahams
  Frank Morrison  Harper Collins

My Thoughts:  This is a sporting children’s book for ages 3-8 is an adorable picture book describing Thumby, a nervous little rookie, and his first try at Baseball.  Delightfully illustrated this story sneaks in some baseball tips for your young baseball player.  This is a great book for a parent reading to a child considering exploring baseball.

Publisher's Synopsis:  It's opening day at the ballpark, and Thumby Duckling is nervous. He hopes it won't be one, two, three strikes, he's out! Trailing by three in the bottom of the ninth, the Webbies are counting on Thumby to save the day. Can Thumby shake his jitters and show his team that he's a star player?

From Peter Abrahams and Frank Morrison comes the story of one duck's quest to make it in the big leagues

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How To Squeeze a Lemon: A Review


MY THOUGHTS:As a working mom of 6, I am all about tips and shortcuts in the kitchen. This book is chock full of tips and tricks. It is not necessary to read it in one sitting, it is easy to flip few a few pages as you find the time. Many of these tips I had already discovered but several new ones I have incorporated into my cooking routine now. My favorite tip was: use to the bottom edge of a ceramic coffee mug to sharpen your kitchen knives, I LOVE this tip, so easy and practical. I use it nearly every day. Some other great tips are: Protect your magazine while cooking by inserting it into a gallon-size zip-top bag, use a spoonful of flour keeps raisins from sinking, and use marbles to warn you when boiling water is too low.

This book is filled with enough tips to assure that you will find one to solve most every kitchen dilemma. The book has seven sections covering: kitchen gear, fruits/vegetables, meat/fish/poultry, techniques, the pantry, wine/beer, and what to do when things go wrong.

This was a useful book. It was definitely worth the read, anything to save some money, time or frustration in the kitchen.

Publisher's Synopsis: Ever wonder how to cut lemon wedges so they won't squirt you in the eye? Or what to do with those overgrown zucchinis from the garden? How to save that bread that just won't rise? In How to Squeeze a Lemon, home cooks and chefs alike will find a delightful and nearly endless source of cooking information reference. The follow-up to the IACP-award winning, How to Break an Egg, the wonderfully informative and entertaining How to Squeeze a Lemon is chock full of more than 1,000 fresh tips, kitchen-tested techniques, and smart substitutions that bedevil cooks every day, and all from the readers, contributors, and editors of Fine Cooking, one of America's favorite cooking magazines.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this e-galley for review purposes, free of charge, from NetGalley ! No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. This Review is my honest opinion.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quick Fix Southern: Homemade Hospitality in 30 minutes: A Review

Rebecca Lang
Andrews McMeel Publishing

My Thoughts: We love “southern food” so I pounced at the opportunity to review Lang’s newest cookbook. All of her 115 recipes can be made in thirty minutes or less (great for this working mom of 6) and are flavorful and satisfying.

My favorites so far are: Slow Cooker Boiled Peanuts, Spiced Pecans (virtually free from our trees!), Chicken Boudine and Double Chocolate Scoop Pie. I am also looking forward to trying her Slow Cooker Pot Roast!

I highly recommend Quick-Fix Southern: Homemade Hospitality in 30 Minutes or Less as a wonderful addition to any kitchen!

Publishers Synopsis: In Quick-Fix Southern, Rebecca Lang, cookbook author and contributing editor for Southern Living magazine, promises homemade hospitality--Southern style--in 30 minutes or less. Lang dishes up 115 recipes grouped in 10 themes ranging from Rise and Shine breakfasts to Sipping on the Screened Porch beverages, Girls' Night In party pleasers, and Southern Sweets desserts. In addition to photography, the book features cooking and preparation time for the effortless recipes.

The ultimate goal of Quick-Fix Southern is to present novice and experienced cooks with authentic homemade dishes reflective of New South cuisine that are delicious, fast, and easy to prepare. From Three Cheese Grits, Peach Yogurt Parfait, and Spiked Lemonade and Lime Mint Juleps to Fried Green Tomatoes and Roasted Tomatoes and Parmesan Grits, Benne Seed Sugar Cookies, and Lazy Girl Berry Cobbler, the delectable flavor combinations offered up inside Quick-Fix Southern transition to any setting. So, whether you're cooking up a side for a church potluck or preparing a main course for Sunday dinner or a Sunday spent at a sporting tailgate, Quick-Fix Southern promises to be your go-to guide for every occasion.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this e-galley for review purposes, free of charge, from NetGalley ! No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. This Review is my honest opinion.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Swimming Pool Games

I have been scouring the Internet for more swimming pool games to play with the kids!  Here are some:

Atomic Whirlpool - Have everybody get in the pool and line up single file along the edge with very little space between him or her. Have everyone walk for a couple of minutes, then jog another couple of minutes. Then take a ride on the carousel of water! Or REVERSE IT!

Battleships and Submarines - Divide the group into two teams. Each team has a “base” against the wall of the pool, opposite each other. The battleship team comes off the wall and taunts the submarines into chasing them. The submarines push off when ready, swimming underwater and try to touch/tag the battleships before the battleships reach base. If the sub is successful, the battleship switches sides and the sub gets a free walk/swim back. If the sub is unsuccessful, the sub must swim back to its side. However, if the sub has to come up for air and the battleship splashes the sub, then the sub switches sides! The point of the game is to try and get everyone on your team.

Belly Flop Contest - Kinda self explanatory!  Get your contestants, find a prize for the winner, and have the audience judge by applause, according to:  Judge on 3 categories: Form/Creativity, Pain and Air

Bottle - You’ll need a clear plastic 2-liter bottle. Make sure the wrapper is peeled off the bottle! Leader fills the 2-liter all the way to the top with pool water and puts the cap on. The game leader divides the group into two teams and assigns each team an “end” of the pool. A chair is placed on either end of the pool as the “goal.” Have the teams lined up on different sides of the pool. The players need to be facing away from the pool WITH their eyes closed. The game leader then throws the bottle into the pool. When it splashes in the pool, players can turn around, open their eyes, and jump in after it!  The object is to get the bottle to the other’s teams’ chair. If they can put it in the chair, they get a point. First team with 3 points wins.

Bumper Boats - Have about 5-6 sturdy tubes – “Bumper Boats” - for as many players as you have in the pool. This is like Bumper Cars at a fair or carnival, only in water. Tell the kids to kick off the sides of the pool and try to knock as many people off their “boat” as possible. Last one floating wins.

Chicken - In Chicken, you need at least 4 players, but it can be as many as you want as long as it’s an even number. Have all the players pair up, with one sitting on the shoulders of the other. When the game leader says go, it’s every team for themselves. The team’s objective is to knock the other teams over. The last pair standing is the winner.

Crocodile Hunter - Get a big inflatable croc and choose 3 volunteers who will each have 60 seconds, by themselves to do the best show of croc wrestling in the pool. Give points for creativity, death rolls, etc. 

Rubber Ducky - Put 3-4 players at one end of the pool and give them one rubber duck apiece. When you say go, they must use their nose to push the duck to the other end of the pool. They can also “blow” the duck forward; they just can’t bite the duck and swim to the other end with it in their mouths, hands or feet. Feel free to distract the other players by splashing water in their faces or splashing water toward their ducks to knock them backward. They just can’t actually TOUCH the other players or the other players’ ducks. The first one to get his duck to touch the other end of the pool (obeying the rules) is the winner.

Gator - Have one person designated as the “gator.” He or she treads water in the DEEP END of the pool while all other participants are standing on the side. The leader will then yell “gator!” and at that point, the players standing on the side of the pool have 30 seconds to successfully jump in, swim to the other side of the pool, and get out without being tagged by the gator.  Anyone who is tagged in the first round has to join ranks with the “gator” and try to tag the swimmers in the next round. The game goes until there is only one person who has not been tagged.

King of the Tube - Each team selects a champion who can stay on a tube the longest. One at a time, a champion sits in a tube, and when the timer starts, the opposite teams all try to tip over the champion WITHOUT TOUCHING HIM, only the tube. Time each champion; see who stays on the longest.

Noodle Joust - Have two players to sit on a raft in the middle of the pool. Each player has a pool noodle and they joust with the noodles to try and get the other player off the raft. When one player can get the other player off the raft, they are declared the winner. The winner then jousts the next player.

Pool Volleyball - Play this swimming game just like regular volleyball, but in the water. Divide up teams into 3-4 players per side. The back player serves the ball over the net and the other players on the opposing team must hit the ball back over the net. If the ball is not hit back, then that team serves.

Water Freeze Tag - One player is “it”. This “it” tags players and the player must freeze where they are. Other players can unfreeze them by swimming under their legs, climbing out of the pool and doing a cannonball, or anything else you may think of to get them “unfrozen”. When all players get tagged “it” can then choose another player to be the new “it”.

I got these pool games from all over the web.  Many of them were on multiple sites so it is very hard to give credit.

Always remember to have adult supervision and the most important aspect of any swimming pool party or swimming games is swim safety.

14 Secrets to Better Parenting: A Review

Dave Early
Barbour Publishing, Inc.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book. Dave Earley bases his “14 Secrets” from the Bible’s book of Proverbs. From “Concentrate on Wisdom” to “Help Them Experience God for Themselves,” these principles will help every parent learn use scriptures of the Book of Proverbs to raising successful children. Each Secret has a “A Look in the Mirror” section at the end to allow readers to do a self-evaluation on how the reader is currently applying the biblical examples of parenting as taught in the Book of Proverbs.

The section that most applied to me was “The Four Perils of Folly”. I have been been researching how to help my children overcome a poor example of foolishness that was present in my former marriage. Mr. Early spoke directly to my heart regarding this area and I believe it accurately describes foolishness and the ramifications of parenting with “folly” and then offers ways to overcome it.

The author continuously quotes scripture from Proverbs to keep his teaching scripture based. I highly recommend this book for newer Christians and especially parents that love application of scripture.

Publishers Synopsis: The Bible’s book of Proverbs says a wise son makes a father glad (10:1)—and author Dave Earley drew many of his 14 Secrets to Better Parenting from the beloved book of wisdom.From “Focus on Training” to “When You Have No Other Option, Keep Praying!”, these principles will help readers create the kind of home environment conducive to raising successful children. Author of the popular “21 Most” series, Earley says, “When our children were born over twenty years ago, I researched what the Bible had to say about parenting and made a list of principles. I considered writing my findings up as a book, but refrained from getting it published until our children were grown and I could see how the principles worked. Guess what? They work!”
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this e-galley for review purposes, free of charge, from NetGalley ! No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. This Review is my honest opinion.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Jiffy Cornbread Mix: A Review

I am a frugal working mom of six.  I also love convenience.  I am not very brand conscience except for on a few things I will gladly share so here will be a series of some of my favorite products, including the brand.  (I was not supplied with any of these products for review.  I buy each of these products for my own home and my own family!)
Jiffy Cornbread Mix
     Cornbread is so easy and cheap  to make that buying a mix makes no sense at all.  I have all of the ingredients in my pantry at this exact  moment.  I also have about four boxes of Jiffy Cornbread Mix too!  It just tastes great and I can make so many different things from it!
     I have tried other brands, even much more expensive brands, but I always come back to Jiffy.  Always.  It tastes good and it’s convenient. It tastes good because it contains lard (pig fat), everyone who knows me knows I adore the beast!
     I use Jiffy for:  muffins, pancakes, Hush Puppies, cornbread (I add leftover corn nuggets to mine and always prepare in a cast iron skillet, no less than two boxes), cornbread – chili casserole, meat breading (I batter my chicken in a mixture of Jiffy Cornbread mix and flour, mmm).
     Want some recipe ideas?  Here is my World's Best Chicken Strips Recipe:   

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fashioned By Faith: A Review

Rachel Carter
Thomas Nelson

My Thoughts: Fashioned by Faith is a Christian living book about modesty and true beauty. Written by Rachel Lee Carter, an international model, Fashion of Faith discusses how to dress modestly in order to portray the right image to others. Rachel Carter modeled for famous designers, and took her stand early in her career that she would not model lingerie, alcohol, cigarettes and immodest clothing.

Each chapter begins with a short section entitled "he says" which gives a boy's point of view about modesty. Then, the chapter details such topics as Fashioned by Freedom, by Forgiveness, by Favor, by Faithfulness, to be Feminine, for a Frame, to Bear Fruit, to Follow Through, and Forever. At the conclusion of each chapter there are Bible Verses and questions to answer. At the back of the book, there's also a quick-to-do 45-day Bible study on the same topics.

Fashioned by Faith is a valuable resource for every teenage girl, every mom, or any woman should read. We need to teach girls that you don't have to dress a certain way to feel beautiful.

Publishers Synopsis: Everyone knows that we live in a "skin-is-in" society, heavily driven by media and immodesty. So how does a young Christian woman reconcile a fashionable wardrobe with maintaining her integrity?

Written by international professional model Rachel Lee Carter,Fashioned by Faith offers a cutting-edge approach to the concept of beauty with a Biblical foundation that will attract moms and daughters alike. Readers will love hearing about Carter's exciting story as she leads them on an engaging study that touches on a huge felt need for young women: real beauty has nothing to do with looks.

Offering three valuable perspectives-teen boys, a professional model, and God's Word-Carter explains her standards of modesty in a way that will make readers acquire a specific understanding of the author's wardrobe choices and the impact those choices can make on others. Readers will also learn to season their self-image with daily quiet time with God. A tour of Scripture will reveal the value of heart issues like modesty and why they're important to God.

Never compromising her sense of style or her faith, every young lady can discover what it means to be Fashioned by Faith. Moms and girls will love this book!
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this e-galley for review purposes, free of charge, from NetGalley ! No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. This Review is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

World's Best Chicken Fingers

So simple really!

Breading Mix:
1 box of Jiffy Cornbread mix
2c flour
desired amount of Cajun seasoning
desired amount of salt

Dip thawed chicken strips into flour mixture then an eggwash (eggs, milk, salt (and dash of hot sauce if so inclined) then back into the flour mixture.

Flash fry at medium high on a burner then place on a wire rack on a cookie sheet and finish cooking in the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes.  I have to double this for my tribe!  I always cook five pounds at a time too.  It comes out crunchy and tender as can be.  Serve with honey mustard salad dressing,of course.

Good Enough is the New Perfect: A Review

Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood
Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple

Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood (Harlequin Nonfiction, April 2011) is not a book about settling.

My Thoughts: I have to admit I have not finished reviewing this book. This is the first book I have reviewed without completing. However, this is not a book to breeze through either. Good Enough Is the New Perfect is a compilation of stories from other women and mothers sharing their own story about how they achieve balance in their own personal life. None of us share the same struggles or achievements.

Personally, I am a college graduate and a working mother of six. I chose a job making pennies as a bookkeeper instead of using my degree because this is what my family needs now. I am also a breast cancer survivor. I had cancer while pregnant with my last child (five years ago). I struggle almost every single day to find balance. I do not try to be perfect. There is no perfect. Reading stories of other women who have also achieve a peace about where they are in life is inspiring. We all have struggles and sharing how we deal with those struggles may help someone.

I am not going to rush through this book. I will recommend it though. I give this book four out of five stars.

Publishers Synopsis: This Is Not a Book about Settling.
We’re the generation destined to have it all—a great job, the perfect family and the time to enjoy both. But between the conference calls and soccer practices, do you feel like you’ve lost track of what really makes you happy? And are you finding out the hard way that you can’t do everything?

The truth is that you can have it all. The secret is creating an “all” that you love.
Join a growing new wave of mothers who are learning to let go of the little things and focus on what they really want out of their career, their family and their life. Through their groundbreaking research, Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple have discovered a paradigm shift in motherhood today: more and more mothers are losing their “never enough” attitude and embracing a Good Enough mindset to be happier, more confident and more successful. Filled with inspiring firsthand accounts from working mothers and drawn from the latest research, Good Enough Is the New Perfect is a true roadmap for the incredible balancing act we call motherhood.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this e-galley for review purposes, free of charge, from NetGalley ! No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. This Review is my honest opinion.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

"Boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it appears that it has become monotonous to you or could it be you do not know the meaning of those words. If I may, I would like to recite the Pledge and give to you a definition of the words.

- meaning me, an individual, a committee of one.
Pledge - dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
Allegiance - my love and my devotion.
To the Flag - our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there is respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job.
Of the United - that means that we have all come together.
States - individual communities that have united into 48 great states. 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that's love of country.
Of America.  And to the Republic - a republic, a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands! One nation - meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible - incapable of being divided.
With Liberty - which is freedom and the right of power to live one's life without threats or fear or any sort of retaliation.
And justice - The principle and quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all. - which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine." Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our nation, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance "under God." Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said, "That's a prayer" and that would be eliminated from schools, too?

Source: Red

Independence Day Freebies

Below are some of the awesome Independence Day freebies I found around the net.

Great crafts for the kids:
Better Homes and Gardens


Kiki Creates
The Crafting Chicks

Have a great 4th!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kid Projects for the "I'm Bored" Summer Syndrome

As a mom of six I know that kids get bored easily throughout summer break.  Thanks to my new Pinterest addiction I have access to some great kid projects to help keep them entertained while I am at work.  Check these great craft ideas out!
  1. Moonsand is so much fun to play with but quite pricey at the store.  Follow these great directions here to make your own.  Play Based Learning
  2. This modern shoebox catapult allows hours of entertainment hurling marshmallows into your offspring's mouths. Family Fun
  3. Keep the kids entertained on into the evening with this great glow in the dark bowling idea using glowsticks and colored water.
  4. Make the summer sun a thing of art!  These translucent hanging hearts are easy to make from waxed paper and crayons. Martha Stewart Crafts.
  5. Make it rain in a jar!  Terrific science experiment to demonstrate condensation and how rain forms.  I Can Teach My Child