Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Fun & Yummy Recipes

I love fall!  I love the cool temps, the yummy food and the occasional bonfire!

These days occasional is none – with the burn ban, a fire was not an option for our Fall “Party” but that was okay, we still had lots of fun!

whole gang

We had tractor rides, compliments of our 10 year old driver.  The girls (and boys) colored lots of pumpkin coloring pages.  We all enjoyed watching Clarabell check out her new field!  She even made friends with Max our neighbor horse (that E.D. named, since we do not know his real name, and he will not tell us)

We had yummy snacks!!  To include :

Boilermaker Chili

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles {love, love, love this website – I have made many of her recipes and have loved them all!!!}

Smoked Turkey (our last of 3 – Christmas was served this afternoon)

and corn bread

Finished off with some yummy Pumpkin Cake  - thanks to Lisa!

We had a great afternoon with the other Cole family and our friends the Kincaids.  Hope to see more friends in the weeks to come!! Come on our and visit us, anytime!!  We love to have friends over to play!

Book Review : Baker’s Wife (& Giveaway)

I love reading all kinds of books.  One of my all time favorite authors is Ted Dekker, I will toss aside most others books to read his.

healyhead1 This time I was able to read a book by Erin Healy, who has written several books with Ted Dekker.  So, with my love for Dekker you can understand how thrilled I was to get a copy of The Baker’s Wife to review; I even saved it to savor on my recent trip to DC & NY. 

The story of the Baker’s Wife is about Audrey Bofinger, the wife of a “former” pastor and her husband, Geoff.  These two are accused of a crime, however there is a significant lack of evidence.   The accuser, Jack is a deacon from the church where Geoff has been asked to step down, so there is a theory of revenge in the story, which kicks off the twists and turns.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up : October 28

homeschool journal

In my life this week…



One of the most stressful days of my life was sitting in the Pediatric Cardiologist’s on Monday while the Dr. talks to me about the EKG & ECHO Cardiogram we just had on our boy E.  There was so much adrenalin coursing through  my body – even though I knew no matter what it would all be fine.  I knew that.  In my mind, but my heart was still scared that this doctor could have horrible news.


all hooked up

{his legs are not really this long, camera phone angle shot –

but he is still pretty cute!}

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Review : A Confident Heart {Updated & give-away}


Okay, so I reviewed this book some time ago, but if I did not convince you to check out this great book, then watch this…..


Also, if you are interested in getting this book for FREE – comment on my blog and let me know.  I will randomly pick one comment and send you a copy of this great book!!

First, let me say, if you read THIS post, then you may already know some of the things I will say here, again.  I could not help but share a chapter earlier this week about this great book, but please keep reading anyway!!

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope


I loved this book, are you getting tired of hearing that? (I hope not)  It is hard not to love a book when an author pours their heart into it, and that seems to be the case with so many books I am reading these days!

Book Review: I am in Here

I seem to be learning more and more about autism every day.  While, I have not been directly affected by this condition, I have friends who have, and are involved daily with someone who has autism.



I find this condition so very intriguing so, when given the chance to read and review I am in HERE by Elizabeth Bonker and Virginia Green, I was very pleased.  This is certainly not a “feel” good book, but it sure will encourage you. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Tonight we enjoyed a meal that I hated as a kid!  I covered it with ketchup to get through it!  My how my tastes have changed!! 

But, honestly, about 9 years ago I had a hankering for these!  I tried to find the recipe, to no avail.  But lately, I have once again wanted them!

Salmon Patties

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up : October 21st

homeschool journal

In my life this week…

It has been a whirlwind around here!  School is in its groove, we are moving right along with our amazing Ambleside books!

Fall weather has certainly arrived, we even had our first fire in the School building stove!  It was so fun!

In our homeschool this week…

We started George Washington by Genève Foster – and it is going to be a favorite – I can tell!   JB even finished a book he is going to review about General Pershing!  I cannot wait to see what he says about the book, I know he really enjoyed it!

Helpful homeschooling reminder (I need to hear)…

Patience is key – key to my success and key to theirs.  As I am trying to teach them about patience, I am reminded that I have yet to master it myself!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stretching $$ & being healthy

If you are like me, and you are probably not like me – you are probably still considered normal by your friends.  I am not.  I am far from normal – and I promise not to tell you all the ways.  You would probably cringe.

But if you are like me a little – a wee bit, well then I may be able to help you out.

First, with 4 growing kids in our house – 2 almost teenage boys, okay maybe not in age – but in eating ability for sure – we have changed how we eat – COMPLETELY.

Robert and I ate “normal” for years.  We based a meal around the meat we were serving and added a veggie or starch, or probably both.  We bought our meat in the store, with our veggies and processed foods.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

{not so} Patient

Sometimes as I am teaching my kids character traits, I wonder.  Okay, I wonder a lot, but during these certain session I wonder about something very specific.

I wonder if God is putting the words in my mouth for me to hear.  Not sure I like what I am wondering about … i.e.  - Who is this lesson really for?

For example I have been struggling with how to talk to my eldest about patience, about controlling his anger and acting appropriately.  So this morning we talked about his siblings.  How they were chosen just for him.  How God can build his muscle of patience through the things he has to deal with, with regards to them.

So, as we headed out to church I thought about that.  If I tell him this stuff, and I know it to be true, why do I get so impatient with him?  And those other “chosen” siblings of his?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I feel like I have dropped out of the blog world.  I have wanted to blog the past week, but life just takes over at times.  We have done some great stuff this week, and I hope to get some of it up here.  But I have to admit living it is much more fun than blogging about it!!

This week we have been back at the school thing, in a good routine, rolling right along.

We are loving our Apologia Science – Botany!!  My kids are learning so much about leaves this week – well last week – and when we went for a walk Friday we spent the whole time looking for specific leaves, certain traits and talking all about what we learned!!  It was my favorite walk of all time, I think!  To see my kids apply all that we learned the last 2 weeks at the table, while out on a walk!  Fun!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Soup Season Yet??

It is here.  The weather may not feel like it, but I feel like it – and that is all that matters.

So I have been rummaging through all my recipes, that I print out, toss aside, and often forget about!

I even reached out to a friend looking for the recipes from a Soup Swap we did in 2010.  So, my tummy is rumbling these days hoping for some yummy soup!  I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you!!

Jamie's Minestrone Recipe

Photo :

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review : Reclaiming Lily

Okay, I know I love just about every book I review.  But honestly, I enjoy reading all sorts of books.  This book, though – is one of the best fiction books I have read. 

Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy

RL Lacy bookcover

Now, I may be biased, as I would love to adopt and a central part of this story relates to adoption.  I also love the historical aspects the story offers about some events that take place in China.  Finally, I enjoyed that most of the book takes place in Fort Worth (close to where I live) and Boston (where I have visited many times).

This is a great story, I mean a great story!  So often when we read a fiction book we are able to anticipate who it will end.  For one thing, we know these kinds of books tend to end well, and sometimes it seems forced.   The ending in Reclaiming Lily was great, it does end well, however  I did not expect it to end the way it did.  I loved the end. 

Another aspect of this story I enjoyed was seeing the characters struggled to understand what faith in Jesus really looks like.  Surprisingly, the hero of this story is not a Christian, one of the Christian characters is not what you would expect.  This lines up much more with the “real life” I live and I appreciated that “real” aspect to the story.

I think the reason I loved this book, is that it is based on real life events.  The author modeled each of the characters after people she knew.  She knit together a story a bit tighter than the real people in her life, but I think since they were based on real people who went through much of what she writes about. I felt a true, real connection to them.

This is story about real people.  The pastor’s wife who struggles with insecurity and fear.  The teenager who wants to figure out where she fits in.  The doctor who wants to save, but needs to be saved.

I highly recommend this book.  I read it in about 3 days and found myself, days later, wishing I was not done, wanting to reconnect with the characters I came to love.

Enter Patti Lacy’s “Reclaiming Lily” KindleTouch Giveaway! Romantic Times said this of Reclaiming Lily, “Readers will race to the end to find out the outcome!” Find out for yourself and RSVP for Patti’s Facebook Party (10/20)!

Here is another aspect of this book:

A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Ft. Worth hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily.

Gloria's relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman's apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer--or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?

pl new shot

About Patti:

Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University with a BS in education and completed master's-level courses in English at Indiana State University . She taught at Heartland Community College until May 2006, when she resigned to pursue her passion of writing. The author of three previous novels, Patti is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband in Normal , Illinois .


Note : I was provided a complimentary copy of Reclaiming Lily by LitFuse, in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Christmas {Revised}

I am not sure about everyone else, but I could go a bit crazy at Christmas.  Well, I used to be able to go a bit crazy, but these days we view Christmas a bit different.

I know, it is early October.  I know, Christmas is ages away.  But, can we start thinking about it too soon, or really should we ever stop thinking about what it all should mean?

We have been planning for Christmas since about the first part of January.  Are we making a list?  No.  Are we planning a budget?  No.  We are simply working together to raise money for our most important gift this year.

Pumpkin Fever has hit!

AG in pumpkinsOkay, so maybe I am craving some fall feeling weather – we have it first thing in the morning, but by afternoon you would think it was June (almost).

ED in pumpkins

This morning I braved the Pumpkin Spice Latte (from pinterest) I made our first batch of Steel Cut Oats – Autumn Spice, and a batch of Autumn Spice Granola is in the oven as I type!!

JB in pumpkins

  All of it has pumpkin, some spice, and craisins (except the coffee).

pj in pumpkins 2

Check out the yummy recipes and join me as I celebrate fall, even if it does not feel like it!!


homemaking link up


Eurasia Ministries

This past Sunday I was able to go to church with Kristen, and we were able to experience Eurasia.  What an amazing event/ministry!



We walked in late by about 15 minutes, and as we walked in, people were exiting the sanctuary and  getting in line, for what, we did not know.  So we joined them.  We were handed a “passport” and told to follow the line.  We moved through the line, arrived at the customs table and had to say why we were trying to get into their country – we really had no clue what was going on.  We told them we were visiting – another woman near us said she was on a mission trip & carted off to “jail.”

Win a KindleTouch from Patti Lacy!

Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book, Reclaiming Lily,  with a KindleTouch Giveaway, blog tour and FB Book Chat Party!

Follow the blog tour and read the reviews!

Patti and her publisher, Bethany House, are giving away a Reclaiming Lily prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!

Enter the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway and you could win:
  • A brand new just released KindleTouch with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift cetificate to
But, wait there’s more!

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/19! Patti will be announcing the winner of the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway at her Party on Facebook October 20th! She’ll be hosting a book club chat of Reclaiming Lily (it's okay if you haven't read it - you could win a copy!) and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on 10/20/11 at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)! RSVP today!
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


We had so much fun in Baltimore last week!  We were able to spend a day with Kristen and her family visiting the aquarium – oh my!  It was great!

National Aquarium In Baltimore

We had the place almost to ourselves until after lunch!  A perk to going anywhere early!  It seems, most people like to sleep in and so they show up after or around lunch.  We, on the other hand, wake early and head home shortly after lunch.  Works for us!

Monday, October 3, 2011


I love Mondays.  A return to routine.  A new start.  I know I have said this all before, but it seems to be true every week for me!

Today was a great Monday (well, still is).  It was so nice to wake up in my bed, pick clothes from my closet and not my suitcase, and have breakfast with all my boys!

It was really nice to get make some bread this morning (so we had food for lunch), get laundry going (and hanging in the back yard), and school back into session.  It was my normal. 

What a great week we (AG and I) had in Baltimore and NY.  We saw friends, fun places and ate some yummy food!  If you missed any pics, here are a few to check out.


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