Saturday, February 24, 2007

Facing the Giants

This is a movie I had heard about several months ago, but we never got a chance to go see it in the theaters. Last night we had a movie night at church and watched this movie. It was very good. For those of you who haven't heart of it, it is a Christian movie made by a church. It is about a football coach of a
Christian school and many of his struggles. Those struggles lead him to lean on God, along with his team (some even becoming Christians). It's a neat movie showing us how we should trust in God.

*Possible Spoiler* (I'm trying to be cryptic for those who haven't seen it, but I'm not sure if I'm successful!).

The only problem I had with this movie is it gave the impression that if we just trust God, then all our prayers will be answered in the affirmative. Although they talked about the fact that they would praise God even through the bad times, everything works out miraculously exactly how they prayed for in the end. Now, I believe God performs miracles everyday......but he doesn't always. I believe God answers prayer, but sometimes His answer is NO. Bad things still happen to God's children (even if we're completely trusting him for the outcomes).

Of course, a movie has to have a happy ending. So, I'll assume that's why the outcome turned out as it did. I really do recommend seeing this movie. It will make you laugh, cry, and praise God.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Some Favorite Toddler books

Jada (like most one year olds) loves to be read to. She, like my other three, has enjoyed many of the "classics" for this age group.....Good Night Moon, Good Night Gorilla, anything by Eric Carle, and anything Dr. Suess. But, her two favorite books are relatively unknown. She would listen to these two books for hours on end.

The first is Raindrop Plop by Wendy Cheyette Lewison. It is a cute counting, rhyming book about a rainy day.

The second is Dinosaur Roar by Paul and Henrietta Strickland. This is a very simple rhyming book, that is full of fun.

If you have toddlers in your house, I highly recommend both of these books (My preschoolers love them, too).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Book Recommendation

I just finished reading the book The Lost Letters of Pergamum by Bruce W. Longenecker. It was a book Aaron had brought home from his library, and I'm glad he did.

It is a fictionalized account of the New Testament World. It is written as a series of letters between Anitpas (a Roman nobleman) and Luke. The are discussing Luke's monograph (the book of Luke in the Bible). It is great historical fiction. Aaron even has his students read it to get a picture of the world during this time.

I recommend you pick up a copy yourself!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Digging Out

The view out our front door this morning. That's our driveway at the end of the porch, although you can't see it. (Sorry the picture is a little frosty. I wasn't brave enough to open the storm door, and it frosted up as soon as I opened the door!).

Here's the same view after an hour and a half of shoveling (with two people shoveling the whole time!). At least we finally have a driveway.

Caleb on top of a snow pile in the back of the house. That's the roof right above his head!

A little closer look at him. I went out to help Aaron shovel about halfway through (Caleb was helping before that). When I came inside afterwards my hair was frozen!! (I know, I know, I shouldn't have gone out with a wet head. But, Aaron wanted my help, what else was I supposed to do? I guess if I get pneumonia, you all will know why!!). They finally just plowed our road (at 1:30), so at least we can finally get out if we need to.

Oh, and happy Valentines Day!!! I'm off to make a chocolate chip cheesecake in honor of the day!! My sweet tooth is calling!! Here's the recipe, just in case your sweet tooth is calling too!! It is super yummy!

3 (8 oz.) pkg Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) miniature chocolate chips
1 exra-size pkg. graham Cracker crumb crust (9 oz.)
2 TB. Whipping Cream

1. Heat oven to 450
2. Beat Cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir in 1 2/3 cups small chocolate chips; pour into crust
3. Bake 10 minutes. Without opening oven door, reduce temperature to 250; continue baking 30 minutes or just until set. Remove from oven to wire rack. cool completely. Cover; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
4. Place remaining 1/3 cup chips and whipping cream in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at High for 20-30 seconds or just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Cool slightly; spread over top of cheesepie. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until topping is set. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesepie.

I usually leave off the 4th step. It's rich enough without the extra chocolate. I also usually use a regular graham cracker crust (I've never been able to find and extra-serving size). I just put the extra in an oven proof bowl (well buttered) and bake it in that.

Posted: 1:43 PM, Feb. 14, 2007

A Picure of the fabulous four!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Snow day......

Over the next 24 hours we are expecting a big snow, our first of the season. Aaron is doing a lot of running around today (Monday is his visiting day), so I reminded him to pick up extra "staples" (bread, milk, eggs). It got me thinking about what the "staples" for an enjoyable snow day is. I think you need at least one "snow day" each winter. (Of course it has to be a day when no one in your household has to be out on the roads!!). A day to be cozy and warm inside, as the snow falls and blows about outside your window. I remember snow days being the best days as a child. Of course we also had no school which might have been the cause of my fond memories!!

The first essential for a perfect snow day has to be a mug of steamy hot chocolate. Our favorite hot chocolate recipe is Fluffy Hot Chocolate.

The second essential would be a good movie. My choice would be either Pride and Predjudice or an Anne of Green Gables marathon. I call these my 'rainy day movies', but they would work as 'snowy day movies' as well. These are my feel good movies.

You can't spend all day in the kitchen on a snow day, so early in the morning you start busy day beef stew in the crock pot. Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 lb. stew meat 1 Tbsp. sugar
2 onions, sliced 2 tsp. salt
3-4 carrots, sliced 2 tsp. flour
3-4 potatoes, cubed 1 can tomato soup
1 can mushrooms 1 can water

Mix everything in crock pot. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

Sounds like a wonderful day, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, if it does snow tomorrow, we'll have a normal everyday day.......including school. I think we can still have the hot chocolate though.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Non-Fiction Five Challenge

I've decided to enter a reading challenge by Joy at "thoughts of Joy"
The challenge is to read 5 non-fiction books in the months of May-September.
Here's my tentative list:

1. Plowshares & Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic by D. Brent Sandy

Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein

by Jean Sasson

3. When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances by Carol Kent

4. Bootprints by Hobert Winebrenner

5. A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison

Posted: 11:20 AM, Feb. 5, 2007

Snow Poems

Today we read Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (illustrated by Susan Jeffers). The illustrations are beautiful, and all of the kids really enjoyed it. After reading it through twice, Caleb then had to write his own poem about snow. Here it is:

It's raining snow very near.
Please come outside with me, please.
The snow is very deep,
It will always be that way.
And, I hope that you say yes
because it's snowing outside
and you love snow.....
and I do too.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

A Deep Freeze!

I hate cold. I was in college when I first realized my extreme dislike of cold. As the lab assistant in the biology department I would spend much of my time in the office one of the biology professors. I would have to walk across campus (a very small campus) to get there. In the winter the professor started asking me why I was out of breath when I got to her office. Was I feeling O.K.?

Within the week, I began to pay attention as I was outside walking. I noticed I was holding my breath while I was walking to avoid breathing in the frigid air!! No wonder I was out of breath!! I had been doing this subconsciously, maybe my whole life. Once I was aware of this, though, it was just proof positive that cold and I do not agree!!

I think I've passed this hatred of cold onto my children. Caleb is the only one who has any interest in playing outside when it's cold.. Of course the trade off is that I have crazy kids all winter long!! As a mother I know I should make them go outside and run off all their energy, but as a hater of cold I can't imagine forcing my little ones to breath that horrible cold air into their lungs!!

All this to say, that with wind chills it is supposed to be in the -15 to -20 degree range over the next several days The kids will definitely be stir crazy. But, a mug of hot chocolate and a good book sounds great to me!!! If it is just as cold where you are, keep inside & stay warm!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Great Book

I just finished a book earlier this week that I heartily recommend to everyone! It was called I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh. She was a Muslim from Pakistan who became a Christian through very unusual means. Her life, and walk with the Lord, was truly inspirational to me.

After becoming a Christian, her life became about pleasing the Lord. It really made me take a look at my life, and look at my reasons for doing the things I do. Is my heart's desire to please my Lord, or to please myself? Please, read her story, and may it change you as well!!


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