Sunday, May 22, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday & Menu Plan Monday for May 23rd, 2016

The weather outside is:::: Perfectly gorgeous.  70s and sunny.  Love. 

On the breakfast plate this morning:::: No breakfast this morning. 

As I look outside my window::: Lovely.  Green grass, blue sky, birds chirping and pink flowers. 

Right now I am:::: Feeling guilty for not getting enough housework done this weekend 

As I look around the house:::: See above.  Still way too much to get done. 

TO DO:::: 

  • One more load of clothes 
  • Cook breakfast ahead for the work week
  • Put clutter away 
  • Dinner 
  • Read
  • Water flowers
  • Plant the rest of flowers for backyard

Currently reading:::: Just finished "Dacey" by Shanna Hatfield and "Traces of Guilt" by Dee Henderson - you can see my review HERE
Now I am reading: Chasing Justice by Danielle Stewart, In This Place by Kim Abernathy, Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates.

On the TV today:::: Binge watching Charmed.  Also watching Dance Moms, The Voice and Empire. 

On the menu this week::::
Monday:Herb marinated grilled chicken with Greek 7-Layer Dip and pita bread

Tuesday:  Racheal Ray's Taco Pasta Toss 

Wednesday:  Dinner with parents

Thursday:  Cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole 

Friday:  Homemade pizza with salad 

Saturday:  Dinner with parents again! 

Sunday: Grilled shrimp with garlic cilantro sauce over pasta 

Lunches:  Simple ham and swiss sandwiches, Greek yogurt 

Favorite blog posts or pins from this week::: This blog shares pictures from an African safari - check out the great pictures of lions, elephants and hippos!  Amazing!  YIELD 

Currently Working On Or Creating: Still working on my book .... 

Favorite picture from the camera: 

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #36 May 21st, 2016

One of my favorite memes!  It's been far too long since I've participated!!  Head on over to our host, Tynga's Reviews, to read more!

First of all, I reviewed two books recently, Dee Henderson's Trace of Guilt and Delia Parr's The Midwife's Dilemma.

This week I added a plethora of new books to my collection!

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates.  I'm reading this one for the Paper and Glam Book Club.
I also received an ARC copy from Baker publishing of Angela Hunt's Delilah.

I finally purchased a book I've been wanting to read for quite some time now, House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt 

About the Night by Anat Talshir 

Saturday 9: May 21st, 2016

This is my first time participating in Saturday 9, hosted by Samantha @ Samantha Saturday 9 

Saturday 9: What Hurts the Most 

1)  Any aches and pains to report? 
Achy all over - but I'll take it over other pain! 

2) What's the last thing you misplaced? Did you find it?

A receipt my mom needs to return something she received for Mother's Day.  Have not found it yet! 

3) Lead singer Gary LeVox sings that he's not afraid to cry. When is the last time you shed a tear?

Earlier this week when I found out that an acquaintance of mine had passed of cancer.  It was very unexpected and she was just a wonderful woman! 

4) Tell us about something you thought you wanted, but later weren't sure?

Seat covers for my car - I've wanted them for the past couple of months, but once I put them on, I hated them and took them right off! 

5) What else is Ohio known for?
Losing to the Michigan Wolverines?  :) 

6) Would you prefer to have exceptional skills, a great personality, or a terrific body? 

I already have exceptional skills and a great personality - all that is left is the terrific body!  :D  lol 

7)  What's the last game you won? (Yes, Words with Friends counts.)  I won several rounds of a game I play where I pop bubbles.  I told you I have exceptional skills! 

8)  Who's your favorite TV detective?
Sherlock Holmes - especially on the BBC's version of Sherlock! 

9) Random question ... You've just won an all-expenses-paid trip but now you have to choose: Carnivale in Brazil, the Bordeaux Wine Festival in France
, or the Running of the Bulls in Spain?
I would choose one at random, trade the tickets in toward taking a missions trip to Rwanda!  But if I HAD to go to one of those places ....  I guess France?  I don't run.  I don't like crowds and I don't like wine.  It's a toss up. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hodgepodge Wednesday

1.  Tell us about a time you found yourself 'in the middle of nowhere'. Was this deliberate? 
When I was recovering from a major surgery, I went Up North (this is a Michigan term for pretty much anything North of mid-Michigan) to recover.  It was in the middle of winter and we got hit by a pretty bad snow storm.  The transmission on my car went out and it got towed to impound.  Then I started getting feverish and became really sick.  We called an ambulance, but between the bad weather and us being far out in the woods - they said they couldn't get emergency help to us.  I definitely felt alone, scared and out in the middle of nowhere! 

2. What's something you're in the middle of today or this week? 
I am in the middle of setting up my new A2 planner!  I am geeky excited about it! 

3. At what age do you think 'middle age' begins? What does it mean to be 'middle aged'? 
Well, I don't look at it as the middle of life, because for some people that would be under 40.  And that just seems wrong.  I'd say the 50s are "middle aged" - which means I only have a few years left! 

4. Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, peirogis, or a jelly donut...your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list? 
Ravioli - hands down! My two faves are spaghetti and pizza.  

5. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying,"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate. 
Yes, I believe this to be true.  You are shaped by difficulty and your response to it.  We grow through hard times and learn lessons that we would otherwise be unable to. 

6. What's a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still? 
One song?  Ugh, this is too hard.  Anything Journey.  And yes.  Still love. 

7. May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered? 
Well we are going to visit my parents a mile away - does that count?  If I could, I would go and visit my "sister" in New Hampshire - though not sister by blood.  

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
I am so excited that we have warmer weather and sunshine in the forecast for the next week!  I have more flowers to plant, a wreath to update and bird feeders to fill!  

Book Review - Traces of Guilt - 5 Stars!

About the author (from Goodreads) Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online.

From the back cover: 
She's turning up the heat on Carin County's cold cases . . .
Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job.

Gabriel Thane grew up in Carin County and is now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have. . . .

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force focused on unsolved crimes across the state. She will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she studies old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths surprising connections. One way or another, she knows Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to the answers she seeks.

My humble opinion:  I loved this book!  *****5 Stars  I'm so excited to have found a new Christian mystery author!  I will be reading everything she's published. 
A cold-case in the Midwest.  Strong female characters. A father with three grown sons all working together to set things right in their town.  
Evie Blackwell is a great character.  She is driven by her work to a fault.  She is smart, determined, competitive and most importantly, she loves what she does.  I'm hopeful that Dee Henderson will create an entire series around her.  
Evie comes to Carin, Illinois for vacation.  "Vacation" meaning siphoning through years of clues to help solve two cold cases that are very close to the hearts of the people of this town.  The Thane family work closely with her to unearth leads that were previously unseen.

This is a great read.  I highly recommend it.  The plot twists and turns coupled with great characters and an intriguing story-line kept me up later into the night reading.


*Traces of Guilt was given to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review* 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday Afternoon - May 17th, 2016

This is my first time sharing with Tuesday Afternoon hosted by A Spirit of Simplicity

I'm writing this Tuesday night because, you see, I slept the afternoon away.  I've been a little bit under the weather - two afternoons with a headache and fever. 

I summoned up enough energy this evening to plant a few flowers.  They are bright pink zinnias with a stray purple one sneaking in every now and then.  The vibrancy and richness of the flowers made me instantly happy.  

Other things making me happy today:  
*The thought of reading before going back to bed tonight
*Listening to Alisan Porter singing "Desperado" 
*Not having to cook dinner
*My cat
*Iced tea 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday for May 16th, 2016

The weather outside is:::: Ummm, crazy.  Yesterday was snaining and today it is going to be near 70. 

On the breakfast plate this morning:::: I splurged with a corned beef and swiss omelette!  It was amazing! 

As I look outside my window::: Lots of gorgeous pink flowers!!!! 

Right now I am:::: Listening to Jennah talk.  She really likes to talk! 

As I look around the house:::: I am happy to report that I got a lot done over the weekend!  Yay! 

TO DO:::: Work.  Homeschool.  Homework and studying for finals with Jake (graduation is just around the corner!)  Cook ahead, plant flowers. 

Currently reading:::: Just finished "Traces of Guilt" by Dee Henderson - loved it!  I'll be reviewing it later today :) 
Also finished "Rhinestone Jesus" by Kristen Welch - also LOVE. 
Reading Dacey by Shanna Hatfield (love her mail order bride books) 
Started Nos4A2 by Joe Hill (Stephen King's son) and also about to start "House of Leaves" by Mark Danielewski - supposed to be super terrifying! 

On the TV today:::: Binge watching Charmed.  Also watching Dance Moms, The Voice and Empire. 

On the menu this week::::
Monday: Getting Italian from a local restaurant. $20 feeds us all with leftovers!
Tuesday:  Rotisserie chicken, hummus and pita bread, salad
Wednesday:  Dinner with parents
Thursday:  Beef roast with potatoes, carrots and gravy
Friday:  Girls' night 
Saturday:  Dinner with parents again! 
Sunday: Greek chicken with lemon oregano rice 

Lunches:  Taco cabbage casserole (weightwatcher girl) 

Favorite blog posts or pins from this week:::
Kristen Welch from We are THAT Family - talking about a series about a missionary family.  I watched the 2 first episodes .... LOVE! 

Currently Working On Or Creating: Still working on my book.  I'll be saying the same thing for the next year or two lol.  Also re-planted my little cacti and succulents into a new terra cotta pot.  I'm working on getting the rest of my flowers potted up and planted! 

Favorite picture from the camera: 

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Five Things I am Loving Right Now


1. My Kindle Fire.  My sweetheart, Henry, gifted me with a new Fire just a couple of months ago. I read on it every single night before I go to bed.  In the dark.  I still read “real” books too – but most of my reading is done on my Fire.  I also watch Netflix and YouTube videos on it.  I read the Washington Post (free six month subscription).  I catch up on my e-mails, tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts.  I have three magazine subscriptions (Amazon had a bunch of emagazines on sale for $5 for a year!) I also go through many blogs through my Feedly site.  I <3 my Kindle Fire! 

2. My Inspire Bible.  A gift from my sister for my birthday last month.  It’s gorgeous.  It feels good in my hands.  It’s INSPIRING.  I love to relax by using colored pencils and turning the blank drawings into pretty pictures.  It is a great stress reliever.  

3. The Darlene Schacht (The Time-Warp Wife) Quieting Your Heart 6-Month Journal.  It’s a great way to jot down a little of what you are learning in your studies each day – and it’s pretty – and you can color it.  Win-win-win! 

4. My Roku.  I’m not sure what I would do without it!  I binge-watch more than I’d like to admit.  I listen to music on Pandora and YouTube.  There are free learning channels, weight loss channels, fashion channels, Christian channels – you like it you’ll find it channels.  

5. My new perfume.  Pure Grace Summer, by Philosophy.  Also a birthday gift from a dear friend.  It smells soft, clean, fresh with a hint of summer.  It’s perfect.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

5 After 5: Great Books Read in 2016 Edition

I’ve done a few Bible studies so far this year, and by far, these books have been my favorite.

I had a dream, more than once, that I wound up at work (and in other places) in my pajamas.  The meaning I got from these dreams was that I was not FULLY DRESSED IN GOD.  Shortly after, I started this study, and learned how to cover myself with God’s protection every day.  I recommend this book for every Christian woman! 

Fervent has changed my prayer life forever.  These two books have brought me closer to the Lord in the past four months than I have ever been before.  Priscilla floods you with information (this is a book to read, re-read and then re-read again!) along with humor.  You can tell that she really is just like you. 

Again, this book is life changing.  I can’t say enough about the way this book (along with the movie) will change the way you feel about prayer.

This is the second book in the Seeing Jesus series.  (Definitely read Seeing Jesus first – SO good)  It’s a pretty simple premise – an elderly woman starts seeing and hearing Jesus like he is right there next to her at all times.  Makes you realize in a more physical sense that Jesus truly IS next to us at all times!  Gives you a different view of your relationship with Christ. 

Set during the Revolutionary War, a young woman from a privileged family finds the world that she has always known slowly disappearing.  She adapts much better than most, showing strength and ingenuity.  Over the years, she falls deeply in love with one of her uncle’s slaves, who loves her in return.  With insurmountable difficulties surrounding their relationship they forge through distance, time, prejudices and much more in order to attempt to be together.  



Author: DeliaParr

Author bio:   Delia Parr is a pen name for the historical fiction author Mary Lechleidner.  Raised in Pennsuken Township, New Jersey, Parr graduated from Rutgers University. She is now a high school teacher who has won many prestigious awards for her historical fiction. She now devotes herself to writing inspirational historical romance.

My thoughts:  The Midwife’s Dilemma is the third in the “At Home in Trinity” series.  This is my first time reading Delia Parr, so obviously I did not read the two previous novels set in Trinity, which did put me at a slight disadvantage. 

The story starts in June of 1831 with the main character of Martha Cade, a seasoned midwife.  She is approximately 40 years old, but I couldn’t help but picture her as older.  This would be appropriate to the time period.  Martha is nearing the end of her career.  Physically, mentally and even spiritually she feels like the time has come to slow down the arduous pace of taking care of the women and children of Trinity, but she will not leave the profession until she finds the right woman to take over her practice.  In the beginning, she has lost her beloved horse, the bird she has been healing is close to the point where she will have to release him to nature, her relationship with her daughter is distant, she barely sees her grown son who lives hundreds of miles away and her best friends and her beau have been gone on a trip for months longer than planned and a new doctor in town has taken away some of her patients.  Martha seems alone, lonely and lost in the first part of this book.

Throughout the rest of the novel, bit by bit and piece by piece, Martha’s life comes together on all sides.  The town of Trinity grows in color and character.  Her friends and beau return.  New friends come into her life. A mysterious gift shows up at her back door. Big changes happen in her daughter and son’s lives. Everything around Martha is blooming.  Her big dilemma surrounds her beau – but I don’t want to ruin the ending! 

The first 1/3 of the book I kept thinking I really should have  read the first two of the series first – but as the characters  and the town worked their way into my heart, I realize d that this book is also excellent as a stand alone (This doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t be reading her the first two  in the series, because  I plan to!) 

If you like inspirational Christian historical fiction, definitely pick up this book.  I look forward to reading much more by Delia Parr!

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Happy Homemaker Monday - May 2nd, 2016

Welcome to Happy Homemaker Monday!  Please join the fun by visiting Sandra’s blog, Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom.

THE WEATHER OUTSIDE:  It is cloudy, damp and chilly.  :/ 

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE THIS MORNING:  I made ham and cheese omelets!

AS I LOOK OUT MY WINDOW:  Gray.  Gloomy.  But the birds are chirping and that makes me hopeful!  Also, my neighbor has some gorgeous tulips out front – so those are nice.

RIGHT NOW I AM:  I’m writing this on Sunday, so I am doing a little bit of everything.  I have red beans cooking on the stove top, chicken with gravy in the Crockpot and just finished making ham and eggs.  Cooking ahead for the week is HUGE in my life.  If I don’t, then I’m stopping at fast food or scrounging something up last minute. 

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE: I have floors to sweep and mop, dishes to finish and books to read! 

TODAY’S TO DO LIST:  As above – sweeping and mopping!  Laundry.  I need to fill the bird feeders and fill the bird bath – not sure about that it is sort of cold.  Brush Cat.  Work on my Bible studies.  Homeschool homework. Reading. 

READING:  I just finished “The Midwife’s Dilemma” by Delia Parr.  You can see my review HERE.  I’m also about 1/3 of the way through Dee Henderson’s “Traces of Guilt” – and it is awesome.  Also still working on “Rhinestone Jesus” by Kristen Welch.

  1. Joyce Meyer
  2. Currently binge watching Charmed
  3. Finishing up binge watching Fringe (only a few more episodes!)
  4. Dance Moms
  5. Grey’s anatomy
  6. Empire
  7. The Voice

  1. Lauren Daigle’s entire cd.  AMAZING!
  2. Watermark
  3. Kristene Dimarco
  4. Kelly Osbourne (yes, Ozzy’s daughter – it’s from many years ago, but resurfaced in my car’s cd player)
  5. Prince.  All things Prince.  L

SUNDAY:  Chicken and gravy over egg noodles with green beans
MONDAY:  Tilapia tacos and Spanish rice
TUESDAY:  Fish sticks and tator tots (pay day is tomorrow lol)
WEDNESDAY:  Family dinner at my parents’
THURSDAY:  Oven chicken fajitas
FRIDAY:  Bible study and dinner at a friend’s house
SATURDAY:  Emily Bites’ chicken parmesan casserole with broccoli
SUNDAY:  Mother’s day at my parents’ house – My Mom’s choice!

  1. It’s not super creative, but I decorate my Happy Planner every week!  J
  2. I have been coloring in my Inspire Bible (love, love, love)
  3. I’ve been doing research for a book.  I feel called to write, and I am FINALLY obeying!
  4. I hope to start creating a garden very soon!

NEW RECIPE I TRIED OR WANT TO TRY:  I am trying the quick cook method to cook beans right now.  I will update if it worked for me!

This is Cat and Sammy.  Cat is also known as apathetic cat.  She just doesn’t care!  LOL


The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his power word.    Hebrews 1:3A