Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Today is my first Wordless Wednesday.  I imagine that I am not supposed to type too much so I will keep this short and sweet.  I just wonder for a moment, what do you suppose that squirrel was thinking?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Taken By Grace - New Release from PureFlix

I'm pretty stoked because PureFlix Entertainment has released a new movie to DVD called "Taken By Grace." 

Here's a description:
Taken By Grace – On the night that he is released from prison, Lucas Blackstone (Angus Macfadyen from Braveheart) sets out for the town of Trinity to find the man who murdered his son. Armed with a pistol and a past full of mistakes, Lucas kidnaps Shawn Everett (Bradley Dorsey) and his wife, Carrie (Haylie Duff) and holds them hostage. As the trio travels to Trinity, Lucas learns of Shawn and Carrie’s troubled marriage and questions their ability to reconcile their love through their faith in God. But Lucas has no interest in their faith, that is until he discovers the horrible truth about his son’s killer.

You can pick it up at your local Christian bookstore or even online at the PureFlix link at here.

I'm going to do a little hunting tomorrow at my local Christian bookstore and see if they have it.  It looks really good.  IF I get it, expect a review ASAP.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Starting A New Study!!!!!

My life has been pretty busy, but I am realizing that I am allowing it to be busy but not full.  What I need is to spend more time in the word and more time seeking God's will.  Well, in a plan to move towards that goal I have signed up for the upcoming online Bible study from Proverbs 31 Ministries "What Happens When Women Say Yes To God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways" by Lysa TerKeurst.  

I have always admired Lysa, and I simply feel like as much as I may be growing in my walk with God, I want to be more focused and I want to see what God wants me to do when I get out of the way (and boy do I know how to get in the way!).

Here is a little blurb about the study from the Proverbs 31 Ministries website:  

Current Study: What Happens When Women Say Yes to God

Through the P31 Online Bible Study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, you will learn to:
  • listen for His voice and discern what He is asking you
  • see how wholehearted obedience honors His presence in your life
  • give yourself to Him and let Him affect lives around you in amazing ways
The Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study offers real hope for real life. It’s flexible to meet any schedule. It’s the perfect Bible study for anyone who can’t attend a regular Bible study. Our group is focused on study, but we also have lots of fun. You will receive daily prayer and encouragement by being a part of this active community at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

I am definitely jazzed about this.  I have done several of these studies before on Melissa Taylor's blog.  They are not officially moving to the P31 site.  If any of these goals hit a spot in your heart, you might want to check it can learn more at this link.  And since I am VERY serious about doing this and making REAL changes in my life (not to mention I want to remain accountable), I will be posting about my progress here. is transparency time!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Movie Review - The Perfect Summer

I love that we now h ave  DirectTV because it means with have the UP Channel which used to be GMC.  A few weeks ago I set up the movie "The Perfect Summer" for a little weekend viewing.  The weekend got away from me though.  So here's a ittle review time. 

The Perfect Summer
Swirl Films
Level Path Productions
Word Entertainment
Up Entertainment

Starring:   Eric Roberts, Sidney Penny, Adam Horner, JD Banks, Katie Garfield and Jason Castro.

About the movie (from UP site):

In The Perfect Summer, fatherless teenager Jake (Adam Horner) was happy living in Chicago, until his mother (Sydney Penny) decided to uproot them to a small surfing town where her estranged father (Eric Roberts), Jake’s grandfather, lives. The transition isn’t easy for anyone and it seems everywhere he goes, Jake manages to make enemies, including the town bully, Tyler (JD Banks), who doesn’t like the new interloper or his interest in young surfing prodigy, Kayla (Katie Garfield). Stuck in the beach town with no friends and no knowledge of surfing, Jake has nowhere to turn until Cody (Jason Castro), the local surf shop owner, reveals that Jake’s grandfather is a surf legend. Tired of feeling like an outcast, Jake asks Lou to teach him about surfing. Jake learns to face his fears, push through inhibitions and realizes that winning the respect of his new peers – and Katie’s heart – might mean facing the biggest challenge of his life.

My Review:

I love a good summer movie.  Add a real message, and it gets even better.  There are several messages touched on through various characters in the film.  One of the most important is to keep trying and not quit.  Jake learns this as he battles learning to surf and learning to care about making a life in his new surroundings.  The story isn't all about Jake though.  We also get an opportunity to see a little bit of mom and grandpa's struggles as well.

Jake has moved with his mom from Chicago to Carolina Beach.  Now you might think that this would be a complete dream come true, but it is never really easy being the new kid.  Add the fact that you are leaving all you know and have suffered a pretty strong loss, baby steps are needed as well as lots of understanding.  Jake is not a surly teen, but he is definitely out of his element and not afraid to share that with his family.  Compounding the troubles of moving to a new town is the stereotypical bully who has set his jealous sites on Jake. 

Jake's mom is just trying to get back on her feet.  They are making a new start with her dad, but it is still all new.  She doesn't have a very strong relationship with her father.  Letting go just might be difficult.  Of course the task of just getting a job is at the forefront of her to-do list.

Grandpa has some time on his hand.  He uses that time to volunteer at his church and eventually to teach his grandson the finer points of surfing.

What I liked:  I liked the scenery.  I liked that everything wasn't perfect from the get go.  As a person who has done her own bit of moving, I appreciated the realness of the struggle, but also that things can be worked out with some effort.  I liked that Celebrate Recovery is also featured in the film.  I have friends who are part of Celebrate Recovery.  It is a wonderful ministry that truly helps people with all sorts of hurts, habits and hang ups. I enjoyed the music featured in the film as well with artists I enjoy like Jason Castro, Big Daddy Weave, and Dara Maclean.  

Favorite quote (from Jake's grandfather):  "The man you'll be tomorrow depends on the man you choose to be today." 

Rating:  I would give The Perfect Summer 5 out of 5 stars for a TV movie.  The casting was well done.  The story was told nicely.  There were definitely moments that I could really feel.  

Final note:  Currently I have only been able to watch The Perfect Summer on UPtv.  I do hope that at some point they will release it to video.  It is definitely one to watch. 

Side note:  I was thrilled to see Sydney Penny in a film again.  I remember when she was in "The Thorn Birds" when I was a kid and a Clint Eastwood movie called "Pale Rider" WAY back in the day.  She has always been a favorite of mine.

FREEBIE - Download Jason Castro's song "Good Love" which is featured in the movie by heading over to his website via this link.  No idea how long that will last so head on over.  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mini Rant

In general I tend to be a pretty happy person.  I try to be.  I think it is far better to choose joy in life rather than look for or even acknowledge negatives.


Occasionally there are things that rear their ugly little heads and just drive me to distraction.  These things are typically found when I am driving.  What can I say?  I've never been a very calm driver.  That probably sounds bad.  I learned to drive back east.  You have to drive very defensively back east.  You cannot just worry about you because there is a whole lot of craziness on the road.  Like this one time, I was driving in Providence, Rhode Island and there was a truck several car lengths in front of me with several large appliance boxes in the back.  Something told me to move to another lane.  Right after I did, I kid you not, one of the boxes bounced right out and right where I just had been.  In fact you should also really hold on to your God and do some serious praying while on the road too. 

BUT I digress...

Where was I?  Oh yes.  Today I had to stop at Walmart to pick up a few very needed items.  One - half & half.  Half & half is a must for me because without it, I cannot have coffee.  Without coffee, well, let's just say, mama is not a real pleasure to be around.  Not because I am cranky.  Well, maybe a little bit because I'm cranky, but mainly because I get a headache if I do not have at least one cup a day.  Please don't lecture now.  I know that is not a great thing, but there was a time when I was drinking four...yes four cans of Starbucks little cans of espresso in a day (in addition to several pots of coffee).  I feel pretty decent dropping that down to at least one cup of joe.

Did you see that?  I digressed again.

Let's skip over the shopping list because really it doesn't matter anyway.  Suffice it to say that I went to Walmart for some essentials.  Let us also say that Walmart parking lots are filthy with bad drivers.  One such bad driver made an appearance on my way out.  

I am driving along the parking lot driving area (not where the cars are parked but the long lane alongside the parking area where we all travel until we see a section that is not overwhelmed with parked cars).  Coming in the opposite direction was a woman in a white car.  She put on her turn signal and took a left into into a section in front of me.  Did she drive down the section to look for a spot?  NO!  Why do I say no with solid caps?  Because she pulled into the section and made a U turn back into the driving lane area!  Instead of driving all the way down the parking area and back up another side, she just pulled a crazy U turn.  The big bummer was, this faboo driver was now behind me.  I like to keep my bad drivers in front of me where I can figure out my best means of escape when en route, so needless to say, this kind of sucked.  

I was on my way out of the lot and to the main street where the signal light is.  This area has three lanes.  Two lanes that go left and one that goes straight or right (this may or may not be important).  I stopped behind a car at the light and then watched in my rear view as the woman in the white car pulled up behind me and BEFORE STOPPING looked away to the passenger seat.  Once her car stopped she looked straight ahead again.  I cursed my bad luck.  I was really hoping she would have taken the far right lane for a turn.  As we waited for the light to change, I watched in horror as the woman bent way over into the passenger side (like maybe she had dropped her phone) until her head completely disappeared!  Every now and then she would pop up to see of the light had changed to green.  I prayed silently that she kept her foot on the brake and that she would locate whatever it was she was trying to grab quickly.

Finally the light changed to green and we took off.  The two lefts take you to four lanes of traffic again with the possibility for two left turns and also leading to a signal light).  I drove VERY slow in hopes that the woman would go into the far left lane and get away from me (again, because as she drove, she was still fiddling with something next to her).  It did not work.  She was stuck to me like glue.  I couldn't take it.  She would pull really close and then pull way back (by the way I was not under the speed limit any more), she would weave a bit in the lane, and the whole time she kept looking about on the passenger's side.  To save myself from losing it, I finally decided to go to another plaza to the Petsmart in order to get the cats a treat and save my sanity and anxiety levels thus relieving myself from witnessing this woman for another moment.  

It worked.  She continued on.  The birds began to sing, my heart felt light, and a weight lifted from me completely.  I did have to take an unplanned stop, but in the long worth it.  

Okay...rant done.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thrifty Tips for July 25, 2013

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Safeway is selling Sanderson Farms whole chicken at just 88 cents a pound.  This means that I MUST share my favorite chicken recipe.  Roast Chicken with Lemons is from Marcella Hazan.  It is perfect inside and out every single time.  Follow this link for the recipe which I have picked up via NPR.  The leftover chicken can usually be halved (if you remove ALL the meat) and makes a great base for Garlic Chicken Lettuce Wraps from Thrifty Fun (I even just make the chicken and scatter it over a salad).  The other half is great on this Chicken Pesto Pizza recipe from Pillsbury.  They suggest jar pesto, but here is a simple recipe from Simply Recipes if you have the ingredients. 


Necessity is THE mother of invention.  Who said that?  Okay...believe it or not, I stopped to look that up and found that it is apparently an English proverb but it has also been attributed to Plato.  Either way, it is so very true, and I discovered how true the other day when I was trying to figure out how to not buy more groceries.

My son wanted tacos.  I had the main ingredients which included ground beef, cheese, lettuce and soft corn tortillas (way cheaper than boxed brands), but I did not have taco seasoning.  What is a woman to do?  Go on a Pinterest hunt.  While there I found just the perfect recipe for taco seasoning that you can make on your own and not only save some money but save on ingredients that we do not desire like (from a packet I looked up online) Maltodextrin (what is that?), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil (I cannot have soy), Silicon Dioxide (anti caking), and Ethoxyquin (a preservative).  Pinterest has recipes for massive amounts and smallish ones.  I went for the smallish which should work for at least three batches of tacos when using one pound of ground beef.  I found this recipe at 

3 teaspoons of Sea Salt (I used regular iodized salt)
3 teaspoons of Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of Onion Powder
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons Dried Mexican Oregano Leaves
2 teaspoons Paprika
4 1/2 teaspoons of Ground Cumin
3 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
3/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (I just shook the container a few times)

Here are some links to some more great recipes:
Italian Dressing Mix (Great substitute for the dressing packets that you add to oil, vinegar and water. One suggestion, do not add additional salt as it calls for celery salt and garlic salt.  That will be enough)
Dry Ranch Mix
Chili Seasoning Mix


Back to School shopping is in full swing, and it can be pretty difficult planning out the best ways to save.  In my opinion, there is nothing more annoying than paying $1.00 for a composition book one day and then finding them at another store for half the price or lower at a different store the next.  There is a site I really like to go to in order to keep on top of those deals.  It is called Passion for Savings.  Follow this link to see a great list of savings by store plus a lot of other great site features.  Before you shop, remember to inventory what you already have.  Spending 25 cents on paper is not a bargain if you already have five packages at home.  


Getting a locker of my own was THE highlight of entering sixth grade.  Finding supplies when I needed them, a rougher time.  Pocket Locker Organizers are so simple to make with directions from Bella Savvy. They are a great way to add a little organizing help while reusing old denim jeans.

Love to Know Crafts has instructions on how to make simple locker caddies out of boxes you may have at home (pop tart boxes and the like).  The same pages has many other back to school craft ideas.

Don't forget to head to Goodwill on Saturday for another 50% off day and perhaps a jump start on school organizing and purchasing.  I picked up some great desk organizers at the last sale. 

FREE EBOOKS (Remember that these were free at the time of my posting.  That can change quickly.  Always check the price before downloading.)

Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (AMAZON) (BARNES & NOBLE)

Hazardous Duty (Christian Mystery) (Squeaky Clean Mysteries) by Christy Barritt (AMAZON)

The Deuce (Midtown Blue Book #1) by FP Lione (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (AMAZON)

Cooking from the Pantry: The Busy Mom's Guide to Creating Fabulous, No-Fuss Meals in 30 Minutes or Less by Tracy Roberts (AMAZON)


If you live in Prescott, there are still openings for Lowe's Build & Grown Clinics on Saturday and Sunday where your kids can build a Toy Story  RC car for free.  Follow this link to sign up.


Three free issues of Ladies Home Journal are still available at this link.  Sign up while they last.



Sanderson Farms Whole Chicken 88 cents lb
Fresh All Natural Pork Shoulder Country Style Ribs $1.39 lb
Lemons 2/$1
Marie Callender's or Healthy Choice Meals 10.25 to 19 oz Select Varieties (excludes steamers) 5/$10
Sweet Red Cherries $2.99 lb
Fresh  Express Spinach or Garden Plus Salads 9 to 12 oz 99 cents


Red Seedless Grapes 75 cents lb
Broccoli or Roma Tomatoes 99 cents lb
USDA Choice boneless Beef Roast Chuck, Shoulder or Top Round 50% off (up to $3.49 lb with card)
Simple Truth Organic Beans Select Varieties 16 oz Can 10/$10
Colgate  Toothpaste Select Varieties 4.6 oz or Toothbrush 1 ct 10/$10


Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.88 lb
Extra Lean Ground Beef 85% Lean $2.79 lb
Northwest Grown Blueberries 11 oz Package 4/$5
Sweet Honeydew Melon 49 cents lb
Green Bell Peppers or Cucumbers 59 cents

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dreaming and Planning

*I like to dream in flowers.

This weekend my husband and I took a little day trip up to Pine, Arizona.  It was a wonderful drive. We were surrounded by trees and mountains, and the farther we went the cooler it became.  It reminded me of just how much I miss road trips and just heading out with no real agenda.  Our main agenda was just to get out and about, because my husband had to work the last weekend, and I had to work the two weekends before that. 

Ahhh the absolute joy of nowhere to go and as much time as you want in a day to get there.  It was a total dream.  I'll have to see if I can get some photos from my husband.  The highlight (well there were several) was a totally crazy downpour.  I love a good summer rain storm, especially here in Arizona.  One of the others was getting ice cream at the Gingerbread House.  I don't know if it is homemade or not.  I could have sworn the sign said it was, but I did read a Yelp review that said it was from a company called Lapperts.  Either rocked.

Once we came home, I was travel obsessed.  I made my husband watch an RV show from HGTV that we recorded via the DVR a short time ago.  It was full of seriously fancy models and definitely far beyond our budget.  How far?  Like buying a great house in the country out of our budget. I didn't really have a big interest in the fancy RVs.  As cool as they are with all the modern conveniences, I couldn't imagine driving one around.  I am more into the retro types like a nice vintage Shasta.  My husband is way more into the modern ones, but after watching the show, he decided that my ideal was a far better plan.  Here are a couple of cool ones I saw online that have inspired me and set a new savings goal in motion in order to one day own a little beauty of my own.

I saw this one on Pinterest.

This one was at

To be honest, they don't even have to start out all that nice. I'm happy to start low and work our way up. I am just definitely IN LOVE!  Next step is the plan on how to get some pennies saved for one of these cuties.  Ahhh but that will be for tomorrow.

Do you have any absolute dream items calling your name?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thrifty Tips for July 18, 2013

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I am always looking for new recipes that are tasty, inexpensive and a great substitute for more fattening snacks.  Recently a friend of mine in Maine has been posting about eating roasted chickpeas for a snack.  She also puts them on salads.  I was intrigued so I looked up some recipes, played a little and made some.  They make a great substitute for the salty potato chip kind of cravings and are much better for you. Check it out:

Try this:
1 can (12 oz) of chickpeas/garbanzo beans drained, rinsed and dry
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (totally could have gone with just 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Or this:
1 can (12 oz) of chickpeas/garbanzo beans drained, rinsed and dry 
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drain one 12 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinse with water and leave in bowl to dry a bit.  Add dry ingredients, olive oil and toss until coated.  Spread beans onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes stir the beans or even shake the pan.  Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes checking periodically.  Finished beans should be crunchy.  

My own tips:  Do not spend big money on the beans.  I bought Kroger canned garbanzo beans for 99 cents and a can of organic garbanzo beans for $1.29.  I tried both and there was no difference in quality or taste.  I have not tried this yet, but I read that you can dry roast the beans and add the seasoning after for an even lighter snack.  As far as seasonings go, you can really use just about anything you have in the cupboard so there is no need to run out the store to pick up extras.  


Eggs are on sale at Albertsons at 88 cents for a dozen (limit 2 dozen).  This made me think of yummy egg recipes as well as breakfast on the go.  With the kids going back to school soon, it can be a little crazy trying to get schedules back in sync.  This recipe for a do-it-yourself and freeze it Egg McMuffins from Money Saving Queen is super simple and a good money saver.  Follow this link to check it out.  You can also parlay some eggs into a nice quick quiche dinner and use the fresh broccoli crowns that are 99 cents a pound at Albertsons as well by following this recipe at All Recipes


While supplies last you can get three issues of Ladies Home Journal.  This offer will not last long though.  Get all the details here.  You will also get opportunities for other free things but are not obligated to take any. 

While supplies last you can also get a free subscription to Country Life.  I get this one and really like it.  I can't remember how many you get in a year, I think it is four.  Sign up at this link.

American Baby magazine is available for free as well.  Sign up at this link.  

FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS has two free downloads this week including Aaron Shust's song "Mighty Fortress."


Nature Made is providing free samples of their Vita Melts on their Facebook page.  Follow this link to get your sample while supplies last.


Lowe's Build & Grow Clinic has a fun activity coming up on July 27th and 28th.  The kids will be able to build a Toy Story RC car.  So very cute.  The spots are filling up fast.  Find your location and sign up today at this link.

FREE EBOOKS (Please remember that these books were free at the time of my posting, that can change.  Always look at the price before you commit to a download).

Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (AMAZON) (BARNES & NOBLE)



Fresh Boneless Tray Pack of Chicken Breasts or Thighs Assorted Varieties buy 1 get 2 free (reg $5.99 lb so roughly $1.97 lb -Everyone else has boneless chicken breasts for $1.99 so it is a smalls savings from that sale price)
Pork Back Ribs or St.  Louis Ribs Previously Frozen $2.77 lb
Albertsons Large Eggs 12 ct Grade AA 88 cents each (limit 2)
Hunt's Ketchup 24 oz $1
Jumbo Cantaloupe $1 each
Red, Green or romaine Leaf Lettuce $1 each


White Corn on the Cob 5/$1
Red Seedless Grapes 77 cents lb
Pantry Essentials Milk Gallon, Whole, 2%, 1% or Fat Free (limit 2) $1.89
Pantry Essentials Frozen Vegetables 12 oz 99 cents
Barilla Pasta 12 to 16 oz Selected Varieties 5/$5


Northwest Red Cherries $1.88 lb
California Yellow Peaches 99 cents
Kroger Bratwurst or Italian Sausage 18/ oz $2.99
Best Food Mayonnaise 30 oz $2.99
Capri Sun Select Varieties 10 pk 6 oz Pouches Buy 3 Get 1 Free (works out to $1.50 each when you buy 4)
Fry's Water 24 pack 16.9 oz Bottles Buy 3 Get 1 Free (works out to $1.86 each - Normally we try to stick with our filtered water, but my son cannot take refillable water bottles to school so this works out well)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Movie Review - The Book of Esther

Esther 4:14 
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

The Book of Esther
Pure Flix Entertainment
Starring: Thaao Penghlis, Marco Khan, Joel Smallbone, Jen Lilley, Mark Irvingsen, David Pires and Hadeel Sittu.

About the film (from Christian Movie Database):
The Book of Esther – Good battles evil in this timeless story of Biblical heroism.
When Ester becomes King Xerxes’ queen, her Cousin Mordecai and that despicable Haman engage in a dangerous game of intrigue for control of the young Persian King Xerxes.
It’s not secret that Haman plans to exterminate the Jews, but Haman’s plan include something horrible for Mordecai and his people.  It is up to Mordecai’s cousin Esther to win the affection of the King, unmask Haman’s treachery and save the Jewish people.
Can Esther convince her husband to spare her people – even though she may be putting her own life at risk?
Based upon the book of Esther, this delightful retelling emphasizes the value of courage, faith and obedience.

My Review: 

The movie "The Book of Esther"takes some liberties with the bible's "Book of Esther" but it truly does admit such and does stick with the purpose of the story.  Viewers are advised from the get go to read for themselves the whole story. My hope is that anyone seeing this film, would be so moved because although the book does honor the truth of the story, it is a bit diluted by the first half pretty much covering Esther and her overly strong desire to be married (literally she harps on it a tad too often) and some terribly corny jokes.  For example, a neighbor woman, Judith often jokes about her marriage to her husband Jacob.  Thankfully we never see Jacob enter the film for if he were, I am fairly certain it would be an "Everybody Loves Raymond" marriage of the bumbling husband and the long-suffering wife.  In my opinion, "The Book of Esther" suffers from these moments of comic relief. 

The second half of the film is far more redeeming.  God's purpose for Esther's marriage to King Xerxes is finally revealed during this part of the film, and it is very well done and well acted.  This is not to say that the first half isn't well acted, it is.  I really felt more that I was enduring the first half of the story while waiting for the good stuff. 

All in all, I am glad I watched the film.  I know there is another film on Esther, and I do plan on watching it as well.  I do admire Esther a great deal, and have learned much from that book in the Bible.  The truth in  Esther's actions being incredibly dangerous and heroic doesn't come out as strongly as I wish it would in this film.  Because of the position God placed Esther, she was able to literally thwart a plan of genocide against the Jewish people.  That is HUGE!  This is a good film.  There is just something lacking.  I felt more like I was watching a film of a play rather than a film that takes you into a different place and time.  I would give this film a light 3 stars.

Personal Pet Peeve:  I find bad wigs incredibly distracting in films.  It would be much better to see an actor with short hair or no hair have either their natural locks or lack of rather than see obvious wigs in a movie depicting this time period. 

Side Note:  I watched this film via Netflix streaming.  I am so thankful that Netflix has such a great selection of Christian films and family friendly films.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Celebrating A Victory

*Pic from our back deck.  I love an Arizona sunset.

It isn't always easy doing the hard stuff.  Well, I guess that is obvious, because that is why it is called the hard stuff after all.  Of course what is hard for me may not be hard for you and vice versa.  There are a few hard things that I am working on right now.

One hard thing for me is keeping organized.  Organization has never been my strong suit.  See, I had a very nosey mom, and the easiest way to keep her prying at bay was to make things hard for her to find.  Sadly this has become an ingrained trait that I battle with constantly.  For example, I have five work bags.  Yes.  Five bags that I use for work.  I have been whittling away at those bags in hopes to one day keep things up enough to just use one.  Ahhhh yes I dare to dream.  

Going to the gym at least five times a week is another tough one.  It is hard giving up free time in order to work out, but I know it is necessary and I appreciate the results (as slow as they come).  I often wish that I had some of the exercise equipment at home for those days when I just don't want to make the drive.  I'll get there though.  I am really appreciating the results I am starting to see.

Another difficulty and quite possibly my biggest is dealing with BUGS!  Oh man, oh man I cannot deal with bugs!  The problem with not being cool with bugs is you really can't get away from them.  This becomes a bigger problem when one lives in Arizona.  

Last night I decided to tackle this hard bug stuff.  I was on the computer and checking out email when my eye was drawn to the kitchen.  There it was.  A BIG black cricket!  I know. Big deal.  What can a cricket do to me?  Not much, but they are unpredictable.  They jump when you least expect it and they lose limbs way too easily!  Yes...I am even freaked out by bug limbs.  Now normally, I would just call out to my husband, and he will get the bug and take it outside.  Last night my wonderful husband was already in bed, and the big black cricket was vying for attention from me and my cat Dizzy.  Dizzy was eying the bug right along with me.  You might think that this would be no big deal for me.  Why not let the cat take care of it?  Because as much as I dislike bugs.  If they are harmless, I really don't want my cat noshing on them (not to mention there will be more bug limbs hanging about).  So it was up to me to take care of the buggy business.  

I picked up the cat and put him in my son's room, and then I grabbed a cup and an index card and did the whole cover and slide trick (cover the bug with the cup and slide paper between the floor and cup to capture the bug).  I ran to the door and let ole Jiminy out the door and into the front yard.

Now in the grand scheme of things this is a rather small victory.  But I think we should celebrate every victory.  Each time you do something difficult, it gives you more confidence for the next challenge.  Our courage builds each time we reach beyond our comfort zone.  How about you?  Have you any victories to celebrate today? 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thrifty Tips - July 11

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Pork chops are on sale at Albertsons this week.  These are bone in which actually make the meat much tastier.  Follow this link for a great pork chops and apples recipe from Betty Crocker or try this recipe for gluten free roasted pork chops and vegetables also from Betty Crocker.


I shared this tip a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share it again.  Make inexpensive ice packs with sponges.  All you need to do is soak a sponge in water.  Squeeze it just a bit so it isn't dripping and put it in a zip lock bag and freeze it.  You can use these to keep lunches cool, give yourself a cold compress or even to ice an injury.  The great thing is that as it melts, the sponge will absorb the water.  You can buy inexpensive sponges all over and reuse often, and if it breaks, you don't have to worry about chemicals oozing all over your lunch.


If you are baking a cake and find you are an egg short, substitute one teaspoon of cornstarch and bake away.

Make your own cooking spray oil by combining one part oil to five parts water in a spray bottle.  Yep...that's it.  You can use olive oil, canola oil, vegetable or corn oil.  Works like a charm.


FreeCCM has six free music downloads this week including "Take It Away" from Ashes Remain.


Rain Song (Heart of Carolina Book 1) by Alice J. Wisler (AMAZON) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (BARNES & NOBLE)

A Daughter's Inheritance (The Broadmoor Legacy Book #1) by Tracey Peterson (AMAZON) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (BARNES & NOBLE)

The Solitary Envoy (The Heirs of Acadia Book #1) by T. Davis Bunn (AMAZON) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (BARNES & NOBLE)


Tomatoes on the vine 88 cents lb
Rosina Meatballs 32 oz Selected Varieties Buy 1 Get 1 Free
Fresh All Natural Assorted Pork Loin Chops $1.59 lb
Green Onions, Red Radishes or Cilantro 2/$1.00
Kraft Salad Dressing 16 oz $1.29

-Boneless Half Pork Loin $1.99 lb
-Fry's Large Eggs Grade AA 99 cents (limit 2)
-Mangoes 2 for 99 cents
-Raspberries 6 oz 99 cents
-Iceberg, Romaine, Red or Green Leaf Lettuce or Celery 99 cents each

-Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.88 lb
-Blueberries 18 oz 2 for $4
-Assorted Bone-In Pork Chops $1.59 lb
-Red Ripe Roma Tomatoes 99 cents lb
-Langer's Juice 64 oz $1.49

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

God Speaking His Love

About two weeks ago, I watched a video of a little boy named Grayson.  Grayson is three years old and deaf.  Because Grayson was born without cochlear nerves, he was unable to get a cochlear implant, but he was able to receive a different device, an auditory brain stem implant.  In fact he was the youngest to get this implant.  The video I watched was shared all over the internet showing Grayson hearing his Dad for the first time.  His father said "Daddy Loves You!"  Grayson perked up when he heard his father's voice.  His father then tapped Grayson so he would turn around and then signed as well as said "Daddy Loves You!"  He also signed Grayson's name.  His father was making sure Grayson could fully understand what it was he was hearing.

This moment between father and son reminded me of our father in Heaven and how our lives are surrounded by His whispers and even shouts of His love for us.  He too has called us by name.

Isaiah 43:1
But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

God whispers His love for us in many ways.  He whispers his love when you bite into possibly the tastiest nectarine you have ever eaten.  He created this earth, these treats for you to enjoy, and He created you with what you need to enjoy them.

God whispers His love for you in a call from a friend exactly when you need someone to hear you showing you that you are not alone.

God whispers His love in a smile from a little baby when you are standing in line at the grocery store with a multitude of to-do lists running off in your head sharing that joy can be found in simple interaction.

God whispers His love when you get everything done that you needed to do (note the word needed) when you were sure that you could not.  He reminds you that He has equipped you to tackle anything.

God also shouts his love to us.

God shouted His love for us through the gift of His son.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

God shouts His love for us through His son's sacrifice.

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth (showed) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God shouts His love for us through His creation.  His people who give their gifts and even their lives for others unselfishly and bravely.

John 15:13
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

God shouts His love when a community asks "What can I do to help?"

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. 

God is reaching and God is speaking to us each and every day.  Just as Grayson's father reached out to share that dear truth that his daddy loves him, your Father in Heaven loves you too. We just need to slow down and listen.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; he will exult over you with loud singing. 

Mandisa God Speaking from sharri1 on GodTube.