Friday, November 9, 2012

Christmas Time is coming!

Christmas time is coming!  I decided I better start getting ready now.  Pastor Husband and I have looked at Advent Calendars year after year but haven't really liked any of them or they've been so expensive that I just couldn't see spending that much money.  So where do I look for something different?  Pinterest of course!  I found this and decided this is what we would do.  I've now started saving my tin cans (which is a challenge because we use mostly frozen veggies but it's soup time so we do have cans of tomatoes!) and we'll be going to buy some spray paint very soon.  

What am I going to put in those cans?  Well, the thought did occur to me  to put candy in them.  Since my entire family struggles with weight issues, I decided that was a bad idea.  Instead I made a list of 24 things to do as a family.  They're not all about Jesus or all even about Christmas but they're all things we can do TOGETHER.  Here's my list... 

Day 1:  Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Day 2:  Go to the Crawfordsville Christmas parade; get coffee or hot chocolate to drink while there.

Day 3:  Read How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Day 4:  Play Marbles

Day 5:  Make wassail punch and invite friends over after school to have some

Day 6:  Make paper snowflakes

Day 7:  Bake cookies as a family

Day 8:  watch The Polar Express

Day 9:  Hand out Christmas cards and cookies to our church family

Day 10:  Read The Polar Express

Day 11:  Watch Muppet Christmas Carol

Day 12:  Make Christmas ornaments

Day 13:  Watch The Santa Clause Movies wearing Santa hats

Day 14:  Play UNO Roboto

Day 15:  Watch Charlie Brown Christmas

Day 16:  Get coffee/hot chocolate and look at Christmas lights after church

Day 17:  Read Twas the Night Before Christmas

Day 18:  Turn off the lights, sing Christmas carols, sip apple cider around the lit Christmas tree.
As a reward, you get to camp out by the Christmas tree tonight!

Day 19:  Make paper Poinsettias

 Day 20:  Play Trash Train

Day 21:  Watch original Miracle on 34th Street

Day 22:  Open Christmas presents

Day 23:  Watch It’s a Wonderful Life

Day 24:  Read the Christmas story from the Bible

We'll also be  lighting our advent candles and talking about what they mean.  What is your family doing to countdown to Christmas?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book review: She's Got Issues

She’s Got Issues by Nicole Unice is a good Bible Study for individuals or groups.  It helps women understand if they do have issues and what they are.  We all have them at one time or another and the author helps the reader understand how to deal with them.  She addresses control, insecurity, comparisons, fear, and anger.  Mrs. Unice gives students a prayer, a journaling exercise, and topics for group discussion with each chapter.  There are also QR codes to snap with your smart phone for more.
I’m the women’s ministries director and pastor’s wife at our church.  I’m sincerely looking forward to doing this study with my ladies.  We DO all have issues in these areas at some time or another.  The devil really likes to hit women there.  I wanted to get moved to our new church before I had to review this study so I could let my readers know how it is as a group study.  Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen.  I will be reviewing this again after my ladies and I go through it together.
I received a copy of She's Got Issues from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.  Opinions are true and mine alone.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review: Inescapable by Nancy Mehl

Inescapable by Nancy Mehl is an excellent book!  It’s about a young, single mom who runs into more problems than she bargained for in the big city.  These problems force her to return to her Old Order Mennonite family in an Old Order town.  Lizzie really has no good memories of Kingdom, Kansas and dreads going back there.  Once there, she starts to recall more than the bad things.  She discovers she even has friends there.  Will her problems find her there?  Will she have to flee the town that she’s starting to love and the man who has her heart?

By the last page of chapter two, I was hooked on this book.  I loved the mystery and intrigue.  I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next.  It was a nice blend of mystery and love. of friends, love of family, but mostly God’s love.  I strongly recommend this book to lovers of Amish fiction.  It was a nice change of pace from what I’ve become accustomed to.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Review: The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis

The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis is a love story about the unlikely couple:  An Amish man and a classically trained violinist.  Amelia Devries is a classical violinist who has found she loves fiddling as well.  On her way home from a fiddling concert, she gets lost in a storm and happens upon the cabin that Michael Hostetler is staying at in the mountains.  They become fast friends and Amelia spends the weekend in his little community of Hickory Hollow.  The story takes the reader into both Michael’s and Amelia’s struggles and brings them together in the end.

I had a hard time getting into this book, but I cannot really pinpoint why.  After a few chapters, however, I became engrossed.  I always enjoy Mrs. Lewis’ books and this was no exception.  She explored each main character’s difficult decision and brought them together beautifully.

This book is a must read for fans of Amish fiction.

This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today my Daddy is 62 years old.  Happy birthday to my awesome dad!  I thought it would be a good time to tell my readers about my dad.  :)  Grab a cuppa java and enjoy. 

My dad is great man.  I'm not just saying that because I'm his daughter.  He really is.  He serves God with all his heart; that's the greatest thing about him.  He's not always perfect.  He loses his temper.  He yells (mostly because he's deaf as a post!). Even so, he is an example of a good Christian.  I learned about having good character from him and my mom. 

I will never forget when my dad quit smoking.  Maybe that's not something most people remember.  I do though.  I was in the 5th grade.  My daddy had smoked for, well, forever.  He started long before I was born when he was 24.  I am horribly allergic to cigarette smoke.  I spent a lot of time in my bedroom.  Dad had been told by my allergist several years before that he either needed to quit or go outside to do it.  Well, we were at a citywide revival service at the MP Civic Center and God convicted my dad of smoking.  My dad went to the alter and left his cigarettes and lighter there (to make a longer story short).  After he did that, he came and wrapped his arms around me and told me he was sorry that he hadn't quit sooner for me.

That little action was amazing.  My dad didn't have to apologize to me but he did it anyway.  I have carried it with me for years.  It's not the only time my dad apologized to me.  He did it anytime he wronged me.  He set a shining example to me of being a good parent.  We can't always be a perfect parent.  We can't.  What we can do it model good character for our children.

I learned that from my dad.  ;-)

Happy Birthday, Deacon Daddy!  I love you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

A lot on my mind...

I've had a lot on my mind lately but haven't been able to share it.  There are still things I can't share and it's really bothering me.  Pastor Husband and I were asked not to though and we won't. 

Our pastor resigned a few weeks ago and his last Sunday was yesterday.  Our state Administrative Bishop will be here next Sunday (the 8th) to speak to the church from the Word then in a business meeting afterward.  We will find out then what he has in mind for our church.  I hope the people here know that they CAN say no.  I don't know what he has planned but I know what he doesn't and that's what I can't share.  It has caused my heart to break.

So, what's going to happen to us?  Good question.  I'm glad you asked.  I really don't know.  It will depend on who our new pastor is going to be.  We are keeping our options open and we are trying to come up with a plan B and maybe even a plan C.  There is a chance that the new pastor won't want to keep us on staff here.  We need to be prepared for that.  There is also a chance that WE won't want to stay on staff with the new pastor.  We've heard rumors and if the one we heard recently is true, we will be looking at our other options.

What are our other options if we aren't able to stay here?  We can either apply for other staff positions or find a senior pastor position that fits us.  We will probably do the latter.  We feel God moving us back in that direction.  Pastor Husband feels that's what God wants us to do if we leave here.  I do too.

For quite some time God has been laying Women's Ministries on my heart.  As the First Lady of a church, that would be my responsibility.  God has shown me some Bible studies He wants me to do as well as some things to get to know my ladies.  I'm actually really excited about this!  For so long I have only taught children and it's really exciting for God to take me in a different direction. 

I don't know what our future holds.  God may very well work it out for us to be here for many years.  I do hope that is the case.  Please be in prayer about this with us!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Review: Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot is an excellent World War II novel about a French Resistance movement called Flame.  This novel provides a little bit of a love story, a little bit of God, a little bit of action, and a little bit of history.  Germany has invaded France and there are numerous resistance cells all over the country.  Michel Rousseua is the leader of one such group, Flame.  He’s presented with an unusual opportunity when a Dutch-American pilot crashes in France and is willing to be an agent for Flame.  The pilot is paired up with a young woman who has been forced into prostitution in order to survive.  Together  they unravel a great story!

This was a good read, however, it was a little tough to follow for a couple of chapters until you wrap your head around who is who.  After I got a grasp of the characters, I really enjoyed this book.  It really got me interested in WW II history and I enjoyed the author’s note at the end.  This lead me to a little research on my own.

I recommend Flame of Resistance to history lovers as well as mystery and romance readers.  As I said, it was a good read.

I was given a copy of Flame of Resistance by Tyndale Publishing for review.  This review is my honest opinion.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Obedience is smart!

Not too long ago I went to a meeting.  I don't want to go into great detail about the meeting because, well, it's not the thing to do on my blog.  I can tell you that the attitude given about the poor rubbed me the wrong way.  Want to know what rubbed me really wrong?  When, after being told that my children would continue to be homeschooled no matter how good the schools are here and that we were willing to make pretty big sacrifices to do so, the person I was talking to looked at me and said, "You just seem so smart."

I had a moment.  That person may have thought it wasn't a pretty moment.  I politely looked at her and said, "Oh, I am smart!  I have a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M and have worked in social services since I graduated."  I wanted to tell that person that I am more qualified to do her job than she is, but I refrained.  My momma taught me better than that.  Apparently her momma didn't teach her the same manners. 

What in the world would make someone imply that I am NOT smart because I make sacrifices to homeschool my children?  I'm doing what God has called me and told me to do.  Proverbs 22:6 tells us, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  I am convicted that I cannot train them up in the way they should go if they're at school more than they're at home during waking hours.  They're not just learning the 3 Rs at our house.  They're not just learning history facts and dates at our house.  My boys are learning how to serve GOD! 

I'm praying God gives me a better answer for the next time something like this happens.  I'm also praying that I can refrain from being so indignant and really say what God wants me to say.  I do feel like I'm smart.  I'm smart enough to obey my Heavenly Father and do what HE tells me is right for my family and not follow what the world says would be best for us.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Jennifer V is the blessed winner of the certificate for her copy of Miracle for Jen!  Congrats, Jennifer!  You have 24 hours to respond. 

If Jennifer doesn't respond, we'll pick a new winner on Friday.

Just so ya know, since I obviously didn't use rafflecopter, we did this completely scientifically.  I numbered y'alls posts and made my oldest son pick a number.  ROFLOL.  He asked me, "What do I win, mom?  You made me pick a number.  I gotta win something."  Guess I better reward him for being my picker!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book review and giveaway!

I am thrilled to be reviewing Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick.  This is the story not just of Jen Barrick but also of her family and friends.  In the beginning of the book you meet an all-American family.  They have what I would call the American dream.  Great jobs,I a a beautiful home, two kids who are in private school, and wonderful friends.  The family's daughter, Jen, is a beautiful, bright, bubbly cheerleader, but better than that, she loves God with all her heart.  In her journals she cries out to God to love Him more, serve Him better, and tell others about Him.  One night changed all that.  On the way home from Jen's choir concert the family is hit by a drunk driver.  This one night changed their lives. 

What the devil meant to steal, kill, and destroy, GOD used for good!  The family learned to depend on God in everything.  They all survived but did not come out of the accident injury free.  In fact, Jen suffers a traumatic brain injury.  One that leaves her much like a baby.  The only thing she can say coherently is prayers and praises to God! 

I loved going on this journey with the Barrick family.  I laughed, I cried, and I just loved this book.  It really made me think about my own faith and my own relationship with God.  I'm amazed at the faith demonstrated not only by Jen but by her mom, Linda as well.  Linda had her moments of doubt but she followed God anyway.  This is a highly inspirational and motivating book!  I also encourage you to visit !

Now, on to the giveaway!  I was given a copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers to give an honest review.  Well, guess what!  They also gave me a certificate for a blessed winner to take to their local christian bookstore to get your own copy.  So, what do you need to do to be that blessed winner?  I'm glad you asked!

Leave a comment on this blog post with your email address!  Yep.  That's it.  Just leave a comment.  We'll have a drawing to see who gets the certificate  on April 4, 2012 and I'll email the winner.  You'll have 24 hours to respond.  If you don't respond within that time, I'll draw another name.

Looking forward to reading your comments!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I just wanted to share an AWESOME website for your ministry needs today.  If you're in ministry, you should check out  It rocks!  For around $98 you can get all sorts of deals.  We've gotten curriculum for Children's Church that rocks.  The last deal we got was over $1600 of Uncle Charlie Children's worship resources for $98.  AWESOME AWESOME deal!  First of all, Uncle Charlie rocks.  Seriously.  These resources have not only been enjoyed by our childrens' church group, but they have gotten my 8 y.o. son interested and wanting to worship!  That's worth the money, let me tell ya!  What made this even more awesome?  That made it possible for me to have top notch praise and worship for my children's church at a price that I could afford. 

Check them out! 

Oh, I just wanted to say how awesome they are.  I didn't get anything for saying all this.  :D

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart is book two in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series by Dale Cramer.  It’s an ongoing saga of a family, the Benders, who have fled their home in Ohio for religious freedom.  They move to Mexico to a land called Paradise Valley.  In this second book, the Bender family is joined by other families and more trouble from bandits.  The Benders deal with much heart ache and pain in The Captive Heart and ultimately, Miriam is has to make a decision that can rip her heart in two. 
I had a hard time getting into this book.  The first four or five chapters seemed to go slow for me.  However, once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down.  There were several parts that really caught my attention spiritually and even struck up discussion in my home.  It was a blessing to me!  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  I just can’t wait to find out how it all pans out.

***I received a copy of The Captive Heart from Bethany House Publishers for  review.  All views and opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gidget Goes Reviewing: Product Review--Wisdom From the Wardrobe

Wisdom From the Wardrobe is a unit study for The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.  It is a complete curriculum but users will want to supplement Grammar and Math.  It includes all instructions and suggested readings to complete the unit study and make a portfolio of the student’s work.  A notebook and dividers will be needed to complete the portfolio.  Also needed are the book The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, supplemental books (can be bought or borrowed from the library), paper, pencils, and lots of imagination.  The authors suggest a membership to and Giant Science Resource by Evan Moor Publications would also be helpful.  The product also has websites for the use of the student and teacher.  This is a faith based program but should be reviewed by individual families to make sure it goes along with their own beliefs.

Made especially for homeschoolers, Wisdom from the Wardrobe is written for students in first through sixth grades.  It can be used with a variety of learning styles and parent teachers should tweak the curriculum to fit their students.  Keep in mind that younger students will not be able to do all the activities and may need to be read to.  Older students should be able to do many activities independently.

I really like that this is a complete curriculum.  The only things I have to add are grammar and math.  I can supplement history if I choose to.  This really worked well for our homeschool because of it being complete and being a unit study.   My children learn best from a unit study approach.  I also like that it includes Bible!  That is a huge selling point for me.
I would really like to see unit studies for the other Chronicles of Narnia books.  I think that would really complete this study.  I can see using all the books and unit studies to make an entire year’s curriculum.

Wisdom From the Wardrobe is highly suggested for homeschool families who enjoy digging into a good unit study.  

Note:  I was provided a free copy of Wisdom From the Wardrobe by Fortunately For You Books in exchange for my opinion of the product.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and completely unbiased.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Update on Goals

Well, things aren't going as well as I had hoped on my goals.  I was sick with a cold last week so I didn't go to the gym. I finally went back last night and I was exhausted after doing my strength training.  Hopefully I can get back to the gym today and Monday...maybe I won't be so tired by then and can get up in time to do water aerobics. 

Laundry.  Oh dear.  Well, I've almost done a load a day.  Three days I did 3-4 loads.  LOL...I figure it all comes out in the wash.  (pun intended)

Reading.  LOL...well, I think I've read the for fun book I picked up.  Not completely sure though.  Guess I'll keep reading it to make sure.  I did request a book for review from Bethany House Publishers.  Stay tuned for that review!  I'm super excited about it.  I reviewed the first novel in the series and am really looking forward to the next book.  The first one was exceptional so I'm thinking this one will be too.  ;)

For my bible study/personal enrichment book, I'm having a hard time getting into it.  I think I've heard so many good things about it, I was expecting it to be more.  Hopefully it will pick up.  I'll let y'all know.

I weighed in yesterday and have lost 9 pounds!  Yes, you read that right!  NINE pounds!!!  That seriously excites me. 

I'm off to prepare my children's church sermon for tomorrow.  Everyone have a blessed weekend!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Work on goals

Well, I started working on my monthly goals today.  First, we went to the gym.  So that's one day at the gym this week.  :)  We also went to the library and I picked up my "for fun" book.  I got The Storekeeper's Daughter by Wanda Brunstetter.  I also put on a load of laundry today.  It'll be going in the dyer shortly and be folded and put away after that.

How are you doing on your goals?  Are you setting monthly goals like I am or something else?

Happy New Year!

I'm a little late but just one day.  :)  Yesterday started out right with worshipping the Lord at our wonderful church.  God has really blessed us. 

There has been lots of talk about New Years resolutions.  You know, the things that most people break every year.  Well, some friends of mine decided to make montly goals instead.  I have decided to join them.  Forget making promises I can't keep.  I'm just not doing that this year.  Monthly goals are much easier to keep.

Here are my goals for January 2012:
1.  Read one personal enrichment/Bible study book.
2.  Read one book just for fun.
3.  Go to the gym at least 3 times a week.
4.  Lose 6 pounds.
5.  Do one load of laundry daily (washed, dried, and put away).

That's it.  I want to try for more but I don't want to overwhelm myself.  I've already started reading a personal enrichment/Bible study book.  I'm reading the Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  So far it is an excellent book.  I'd eventually like to do a mom's bible study at church using it.

What are your goals?