Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ephesians 4:32

I wanted to share this Bible verse with you today.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

Be gentle with one another, sensitive.  Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32 The Message

Be kind and tender to one another.  Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.  Ephesians 4:32 NIrV Kid's Quest Bible

Forgiveness is talked about many times in the Bible.  Because Christ forgave us, we must pass that forgiveness on to others.  Forgiveness is one of the toughest things I have had to overcome in my life.  But, the weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders once I release that pain and anger is so gratifying.  Thank goodness God is willing to forgive me day after day.  I still struggle with forgiveness, but God is still working on me yet, and these verses remind me of the importance of forgiveness in my life and in the lives of others.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Psalm 34

I love looking at verses in the Bible and then finding those same verses in other translations.  I found these verses comforting.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all;  Psalm 34:17-19 NIV

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all.  Psalm 34: 17-19 RSV

The good man does not escape all troubles - he has them too.  But the Lord helps him in each and every one.  Psalm 34:19 TLB

Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.  If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath.  Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.  He's your bodyguard.  Psalm 34:17-19 The Message

Godly people cry out, and the Lord hears them.  He saves them from all of their troubles.  The Lord is close to those whose hearts have been broken.  He saves those whose spirits have been crushed. Anyone who does what is right may have many troubles.  But the Lord saves him from all of them.   Psalm 34:17-19 NIrV Kid's Quest Bible

Unfortunately, we can can't escape our troubles.  We may be suffering from grief or failure, or just be frustrated by the daily things that bother us.  God promises in these verses to be there.  He may not always erase those problems for us, but the key is to stay close to God because He is close to you.  Admit to Him that you need His help and thank Him for being there with you in these struggles.  God knows how you feel when you are hurt, scared, and alone.  He will stay with you and wrap you up in is comfort blanket of love.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review: The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon

Justin Fisher has a successful career as the manager of a luxury hotel, a lovely wife, and a charming young son. While all signs point to a bright future, Justin can no longer ignore the hole in his life left by his estranged family. When he finally gathers the courage to reconnect with his troubled past, Justin is devastated to learn that his parents have passed away. And a visit to the cemetery brings the greatest shock of all—next to the graves of his father and mother sits a smaller tombstone for a three-year-old boy: a boy named Thomas Justin FisherWhat follows is an extraordinary journey as Justin struggles with issues of his own identity and pieces together the complex and heartbreaking truth about his family.

I received this book from Librarything and have been anxious to read it.  I was sucked into the story right away in the first chapter.  This is one of those stories that each chapter goes back and forth from a previous time to the present and focuses on different characters.  These kind of chapters make the story flow quickly and make you want to keep turning the pages to find out what happened next.  I also liked that the main character in this story was a man.  The adult man had a tragedy happen to him and you got to see how that related to his marriage and his life as a father.  It was a refreshing change from novels that I have read lately that tend to be focused on women.

This story was heartbreaking and at times I got sick to my stomach reading it because as a mother, it was incomprehensible to me to imagine what this father did to his wife and son.  Even though you see a child's grave in the first chapter, there is no murder or child's death, but what happens is just as tragic.

The way the author described in detail the pain the mother, Caroline, felt was so heart-wrenching to read.  I could hear her wails and sobs in my head.  You are jumping back and forth between Justin's childhood and his married life and each of the stages of his life will tear at your heart.  The author also brought in the relationship of Justin's in-laws to the mix which was a nice addition to the storyline. 

Every good novel has to have a twist to the story which is revealed at the very end.  I did have a inkling of the twist, but wasn't sure until I actually read it. 

Caroline, the mother in the story, felt so strongly about having a "HOME" for her family with both parents because of her sad childhood.  But, it does make you think if she went too far to have that "solid family" that she gave up what she really wanted.  I think this says it all....
"Home was the place in which you were rooted by your beginnings, into which you were locked by your earliest consciousness.  It marked and branded you.  And if it was a broken, desolate place - the sort of place in which Caroline had begun - it would leave you hungry and dangerous, and punished for the rest of your life."

This would be an excellent choice for book clubs, especially a book club of mothers.  This novel will encourage a lot of discussion about the choices made by all 4 of the main mothers in this story.  You will continue to be surprised all the way through and it will be a very quick read since you won't want to put it down.  I give this four out of five stars!

Thanks to Librarything for sending me this novel.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thought for the Day

Justice is when we get what we deserve.


Mercy is when we don't get what we deserve.



But Grace is when we get what we don't deserve.



Monday, July 26, 2010

Hummingbirds

I have always loved hummingbirds.  This photo reminds me of the dozens of hummingbirds that would come to the feeders that were hanging outside our kitchen window when I was growing up.  I have gotten a few hummingbirds at our place, but nothing like my mom always has at her feeders.

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration.  The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Say a Prayer

Take a few moments today to stop and pray for someone.  It is a priceless gift that is free.  You may not be able to see the rewards of your gift, but I guarantee that God will.  So, stop today and say a prayer for your neighbor, your children, the stranger on the street, the woman working the drive-thru, etc.  It doesn't matter, just stop and say a prayer for someone today.  You may not know the person you are praying for, but God does. You may not know their situation, but God does.  Your gift to them could be life-changing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gratitude

Taken from THE SECRET

Ancient widsom dating back thousands of years gave us the truth about gratitude.  Every single religion speaks of giving thanks.  All the sages and saviors of the world demonstrated the use of gratitiude in all their teachings.  The greatest human beings who have ever lived showed us the way with gratitude, and by their example became shining lights in our history. 

Surely this is why Einstein said "Thank you" hundreds of times every single day!

Who have you thanked today?  Did you thank the person who held the door for you as you walked into the store?  Did you thank your spouse for making the coffee this morning?  Did you thank your children for picking up their toys without being asked?

Two simple words can make such a difference in people's lives.  How many times did you say "Thank you" today?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Calm

Vermillion Lake, MN

Things are a little hectic and stressful here and this photo helps me to breathe, slow down, and take a few moments to relax.  This photo reminds me of stopping and enjoying what is right in front of you.  I hope you can take a few moments to do that today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thought for the Day

Everything that happens, every event, every circumstance, every good and unpleasant situation that you find yourself in has a seed of God's love in it.  Anticipate your future and its changes with joy.  Live for today, but hold your hands open to tomorrow.  God is there, all day long, no matter where you are.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Be a Boomerang of Joy

Do you have someone in your life that when you are with that person, they just make you feel better?  They radiate happiness and are always positive.  Do you have someone in your life that when you are with that person they make you feel frustrated and seem to always find the negative in every situation?  Of course we can all name a "life-lifter" and a "life-sinker" in our life.  Everyone knows them.  Which category do you fall into?  I know it can be easy to fall into the "life-sinker" category, complaining, gossiping, and judging.  But, how much better do you feel after you have been with someone who is happy, upbeat, friendly, and positive?  You have to make a conscious decision every day to be a "life-lifter", to bring joy to others around you.  You can be that joy in someone's life.  You can make each moment count in a boomerang kind of way.  Make it so it just smacks right back at you when you add joy to someone's life.  When you radiate happiness, others will want to be around you and will want to share that happiness with others.  Isn't it better to be known as the person who is so darn happy, or the person that is so negative and always complaining.  How do you want to be remembered?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nine Years of Blessings


Nine years ago today, our son, Bennett easily came into this world and has been a daily joy ever since.  He arrived 2 1/2 weeks early during a week of very hot temperatures.  I wasn't quite ready for his delivery, but off to the hospital we went and he gave me a smooth and easy delivery.  No pain, no difficulties.  Kind of like how he is now.  He is our pleaser and wants everyone to be happy.  Always smiling and giggling.  He is always worried about others and their feelings.  He wants to be friends with everyone and takes it to heart when someone is mad at him.  He has such a good heart, that I know he will make a great husband and father some day.

So, today is all about Bennett. We were planning to go to the pool, but the rain has changed our plans to Chuck E Cheese and then out for dinner and back home for presents and ice cream.  Sometimes summer birthdays can be tough as things are hectic, but it is certainly nice to take a day and have some fun celebrating one of my favorite people! Happy Birthday Bennett!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thought for the Day

The road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces. - Traditional Proverb

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: LADY OF THE BUTTERFLIES By Fiona Mountain

LADY OF THE BUTTERFLIES
Fiona Mountain


Set in Somerset and London during the turbulent time of the Restoration, Lady of the Butterflies is a dramatic tale of passion, prejudice and death by poison, of riot and rebellion, science and superstition, madness and metamorphosis. It is also about the beauty of butterflies, about hope, transformation and redemption.


Eleanor is the daughter of a strict puritan and Roundhead major and lives in a medieval manor on the bleak wetlands of Somerset. Her longing for colour and brightness leads to an obsession with butterflies as well as to an illicit passion for charismatic but troubled Richard Glanville. Richard, the son of an exiled Cavalier, embodies all that Eleanor had been taught to despise and distrust, but he also holds for her all the allure of the forbidden. Her first husband dies, seemingly poisoned, freeing Eleanor and Richard to marry. But can their love survive suspicion and prejudice, a bloody rebellion which makes them bitter enemies, and a superstitious community that stirs up hatred towards her for her love of butterflies? It seems the only peace she can find is in her long-lasting friendship with renowned naturalist James Petiver, a clever young London apothecary who is credited as the father of British entomology. But when Eleanor and Richard's son becomes apprenticed to James, tragedy strikes, and Eleanor is forced to embark on a dangerous search for her son that is entwined with a personal quest for truth, freedom and love.




Admittedly, I was a bit timid of this book set in the late 1600's.  Since it is not a time frame that I usually read about I was worried about not understanding things and was afraid I couldn't make it through the 527 pages.  But, I was mistaken.  I fell in love with this book in the first 20 pages and if time would have allowed me, I could have read it in a few days.

I found this story fascinating and enjoyed reading about a time so different from anything I have ever known.  The author described the land, the people, the homes, the clothing, nature, and the butterflies so completely and expertly that I had no trouble at all imagining the places and the people.  The story involves death and grief, family, love, hardships, parenting, nature, war, and everything in between.  There was joy and drama, happiness and sorrow, laughter and sadness throughout the whole story.  Every chapter kept me turning the pages rapidly to see what Eleanor would say or do next.  There were several characters in the story, but I didn't have any trouble keeping them all straight.  Again, the author's descriptions and how they were introduced helped to keep everyone in your mind.

I loved all the references to God and creation in the story.  The science of the 1600's was something I had never thought of before and found all the research and sharing of knowledge very interesting.  I had never thought about the great fear that science must have been those 300-400 years ago.  Thank goodness for all those who blazed trails and sought the knowledge so that today we can have all the medicines and treatments we use today.  I will never again look at butterflies the same.

Eleanor Glanville was the feminist of the 1600's.  When she was to be learning embroidery and her only focus was to have a "fruitful womb" she was instead reading books and studying the nature around her.  She is definitely a woman to be studied and learned about and I thank the author for sharing Eleanor's story with us.

As a mother who has gone through labor three times I found the labor and delivery process described in the most interesting.  To be closed up in a room for days/weeks before and after the labor and to have numerous women from your community present at your birth was just fascinating to me.  I can't imagine having all my friends in my community sitting around my bed on stools chatting and gossipping while I am in labor screaming out in pain.  After Eleanor became a mother, her struggles were much like any struggle of moms today...."If I wanted to be a good mother, I could not be a good scientist.  If I wanted to be a good scientist, I could not be a good mother."  Much like the mothers today who want the career and the life of motherhood, knowing that it is a tough balance to combine the two and one will always suffer at some point.

This was such a fascinating book and one I will likely read again.  Fiona Mountain obviously did her research and I am certainly glad that I am now aware of the Lady Eleanor Glanville and the Glanville Fritillary butterfly.  If you would like to know more about Fiona Mountain or more information about Lady Eleanor Glanville, check out www.FionaMountain.com.  I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

This book was first published in July 2009, but has been re released and is available today, July 15, 2010.  It is available on HERE.

Thanks to Putnam for sending me an ARC copy of this book.  This review is 100% my own and my honest opinion.  I did not receive payment for this review, just a copy of the book. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You Know You're A Mom When....

You know you're a mom when you can accomplish five things simultaneously and think nothing of it.  Boy, isn't that the truth!  In fact, right now as I type this, I am eating my lunch and am waiting on hold on the phone.  I just jumped up to get my son some milk and am going through the mail.  Is there ever a moment when a mom isn't multi-tasking.  Good thing God made us with that ability. 

Today I feel like I will be multitasking all day.  We found our garage fridge is dying a slow death, and since we have a big birthday party this weekend and the garage fridge holds all our beverages, we needed to replace it soon.  Then we decided if we are going to get a new fridge, why not get a new one for our kitchen and move that one to the garage.  Then we decided this should be done....TODAY!  So, in a matter of 2 hours I need to empty both fridges, clean up around and in them, and get them ready to be moved so my new fridge can come in.  I am super excited about the new fridge as I will gain a LOT of fridge space, but on top of everything else I had to do today, this wasn't in my plan for the day.  But, as any other mom would do, I will make it work and still get everything else done today.

It is super hot here today and there is talk of nasty storms, so it may be a good night for the family to watch a movie in our basement and stay cool and safe!  Even after a day of multitasking, it is good for any mom to have some down time with her family!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lists Lists and More Lists!

Are you a list maker?  I am!  It is the only way I can keep everything straight.  Do you ever feel like you have so much running around in your head that you don't know how you will keep it all straight?  When I start to feel that way, I know I need to start some lists.  Right now I have several lists going:
1- A list of stuff I need to get for our son's birthday party on Saturday. 
2- A list of things I need to get done before we go on vacation.
3- A list of things to TAKE on vacation.
4- A list of things to have our friends do while we are on vacation.
5- A list things I need to get DONE before the birthday party this Saturday.
6- A list of the school supplies I still need to get before school starts in about 36 days. 

Those are my lists right now.  Can you imagine how stressed I would be if I had to keep all this stuff in my head and try to remember it all?  I would go crazy, my stress level would go sky-high and I would end up grouchy and quite possibly sick and unable to enjoy all the things we have coming up.

This is such an easy way to help reduce your stress level.  You can put post-its on your bathroom mirror to remind you of what you need to get done today.  I have a dry erase board calendar where I right stuff down that needs to get done.  I also have a dry erase board where I keep running lists that I need to see on a regular basis.  I have a grocery list on my fridge and a second calenar where I can put last minute additions to my To Do list.  This may sound like a lot, but it is what keeps me sane.  Lists are my saving grace and how I stay sane in a very busy life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

KUNG ZHU WINNER!

I finally had a chance to select the winner of the KUNG ZHU package and that winner is....................


Random Integer Generator


Here are your random numbers:



21

Timestamp: 2010-07-12 13:01:32 Central

 
Comment #21 was 
Amanda said...


That's a wonderful giveaway - thanks!!!

I will email Amanda and if I don't hear from her in 48 hours I will draw a new winner.  Thanks everyone for signing up!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Great Big Hug

Living your life in God is like getting a great big hug every day - and it lasts forever!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: Hamiton Beach Crock Pot from CSN Stores


I have been given the opportunity to review a product from CSN STORES and I chose this new Hamilton Beach crock pot since mine quit in the last month. 

I love shopping at CSN STORES because their website is so user-friendly.  They make it very easy to comparison shop either by price, by brand, or by features you are looking for - no matter what you are buying.  Their shipping is also very fast and their products are packaged well for safe travel.  CSN STORES also offers frequent discounts if you subscribe to their email offers.

This weekend I decided to make a pork roast in the crock pot.  I chose this Hamilton Beach Crock Pot because I liked the program feature and the temperature probe option. 


So once you place your meat in the crock pot, you insert the temperature probe through the lid into the middle of the meat. 


As the meat cooks, it registers the temperature of the meat.

I knew that I wanted the meat to get to 160 degrees, so I programmed it to reach that temperature.

Once it reaches that temperature, it automatically turns to warm and stays on that setting until the meat is served.  It took exactly 5 hours for my 4-5 pound roast to reach the desired temperature.  We then kept it on warm for another 2 hours before we ate it.

The finished product.  The potatoes and carrots were done as well.

If I wasn't using the temperature probe, I could set the timer for a certain amount of time to cook on high or low and then it will switch to the warm setting until you are ready to serve.

This 6 quart crockpot was an adequate size for the meat and vegetables and cleaned up very easily.

This crock pot is listed for $54.99. I loved how easy this crock pot was to use and I look forward to trying new recipes in it.  I think my family is going to be having a lot of crock pot meals in the future!

Thanks to CSN STORES for this review opportunity.  I was given a $50 gift certificat to put toward this crock pot.  This review is my honest opinion and wouldn't review or give my opinion on something that my family wouldn't benefit from.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Support for Moms

I found out about this website last week and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with you. 
The Confident Mom is a woman who understands the struggles associated with being a mom and she "has your back".  Susan created an amazing calendar of summer activities that you can do with your kids.  You can download the calendar for a mere $7.  The calendar is full of activities for each day of summer.  Each activity directs you to the website for complete instructions for the game, craft, or activity for that day.  For example, today's activity is to play outdoor games with your kids including Balloon Tag, Clothespin Tag, Musical Clothes and Stuck in the Mud.  I plan to use some of the ideas with our kids as well as for an after school program that I run at our church.  It is a great way to have all kinds of activities and resources in one spot.  Susan has done all the hard work and finding the websites, all I have to do is click on the activity.  Super easy and just for $7.  Susan also has a free e-book to download.

So, if you are looking for some support as a mom, The Confident Mom is your new best friend.  You will find compassion, support on reaching your goals, help in setting your priorities, and finding balance in your life.  Check out her website at http://www.theconfidentmom.com/.