Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Then Sings My Soul

Then Sings My Soul

I love singing hymns and songs of praise to my Lord, and this was a great read for that! Then Sings My Soul is a book written containing many of the hymns we sing today. It not only has the hymn on one side of the page, but it also has the story behind the hymn and translations as applicable. I have found that I appreciate many of the songs that I sing everyday a bit more after reading this.

This is also a great book to incorporate into your devotional time. I have found that it has helped me to lavish and reflect on God’s love for me as a sinner and as His child. I look forward to sharing this book with my family and friends. I also look forward to continuing to use this book in my spiritual walk.

It is amazing to think of what went into not only writing the songs but also putting them to music so that they could be used for worship. The Lord is good and we should sing and praise His name!

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Then Sings My Soul through Book Sneeze. I received no compensation for my thought.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Baby Shower for Amanda

I have been so blessed to get to know this lady! Amanda is an amazing woman of God and has a true heart for everyone! She lifts my spirits every day, and I am thrilled to call her friend. We had an amazing Baby Shower for her yesterday. I was so excited to give her my gift, a baby book that I made into a scrapbook. Now I have to work on another one! :)

This is Amanda opening her baby book. I was so nervous, yet thrilled to give it to her!

Yeah for the Diaper cake and an amazing Chocolate Cake made by Teri....she is a true cake decorator extraordinare!

A beautiful blanket made by Kari....I am going to learn how to make this over Christmas break! December 17....please get here SOON!

Thanksgiving...A little Late....and Christmas!

I love decorating my house....I just wish I had more time to be a little more crafty! Here are some of my decorations from my Thanksgiving Extravaganza and a little Christmas Decor:


I had a lot of fun one evening making table settings. I got these ideas from a Martha Stewart magazine. I will definitely be saving these for next year!

This is the big table. I thought it turned out great! The centerpiece wire pumpkin I got from one of my students at worked perfectly! Thanks Madison!

When I made mini apple pies for my spin class, Victor, a membership counselor at the gym asked me to make him an apple pie for Thanksgiving....of course I said YES! And he paid me $20! Easiest money I have ever made!

I love my nativity set from Partylite. I wish they hadn't discontinued it! But it looks even more beautiful when it is lit up!

This hurricane looks good for any season, but I just love putting the Christmas balls in it!

Well, I can honestly say that the month of December is turning out quite well for many reasons! :) I am looking forward to my mom coming home from Africa and for my brother to come out for Christmas!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Taste of the Season

My husband has a tradition this time of year....making Chex Mix! So today when I was grocery shopping, I made sure I picked up the essential ingredients....he certainly doesn't need much persuasion to make this delicious snack.

Always taste testing....I think he gets it from me!

I thought his line up was just adorable...very organized cook!

Only use the best...the one and only Chex!

Finished product....DELICIOUS!

Now it is my turn to use the rest of the chex cereal to make my specialty....Puppy Chow! Anyone have a number 10 can and a fire?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A sight for all to see...

What a Sight! Today, the Carlson's, Fletcher's, and Raih's went to the Nellis Air Force Base Air Show, 2010! It was such a fun experience, especially for one who has never been before! Here are some of my amazing shots that I got! Enjoy!

All of us looking at the sky....It's a Plane! (Just please, don't ask me what kind of plane!)

Check out this great photo! Looks like it is RIGHT in front of to love the zoom!

The Thunderbirds doing an awesome formation.


This one was awesome...they flew straight up in a line, then made their diamond formation. Poof! There it is!

Just another great photo!

These two lovely ladies that I just adore! So glad we are friends!

God is Good. God is Love.

Dining with Joy

By Rachel Hauck

God is Good. God is Love. This is a theme throughout the novel Dining with Joy, by Rachel Hauck, that resonates within the main character of the story. Joy Ballard, a “chef” has no idea how to cook yet she is the host of a cooking show! This beautifully written novel shares her story about the ins and outs of hosting a cooking show and not actually being able to cook. She struggles throughout the story trying to figure out what the Lord’s will is for her when trials come at her from left and right. Many of us can relate to the struggles that Joy faces in our everyday life. This story is written in such a way that you simply don’t want to put it down because you are intrigued to find out what happens to the lovely Joy Ballard, cooking show host, who can’t cook.

This is a fun loving tale of friendship, love, and struggle. Joy reminds herself that God is Good and God is Love, which inevitably reminds us, the reader, of the same message. God is Good. God is Love. And that truly is all that matters!

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Dining With Joy through Book Sneeze. I received no compensation for my thought.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving Excitement and YO-YOs

I love Thanksgiving and I love decorating for the fall....not that I decorate that much, but these place mats are my favorite! This year for Thanksgiving, we are going to have a nice full house again....I am very sad that my original group will not be able to make it from last year, but I am great full that we will still have a wonderful gathering!

I also had the privilege of learning how to make these fun yo-yos from Amanda. I am not sure what I will be making yet, but I definitely want to make some throw pillows for my brown couches downstairs. I did decorate these fun beany hats with a yo-yo....super cute and super easy!

Baby Brag Book

This was a cute idea I found at Michaels. It is a baby brag book where you simply add pictures from each month of the baby's life and it even has a place to write down special things that happen that month....weight, length, new words, outings, etc.

I am giving this one to a friend who had a BOY! I hope she likes it and uses it to BRAG, BRAG, BRAG!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Love and Respect for a Lifetime

I found this one to be really encouraging! Read my review and borrow it from me if you want! Oh and first come first serve...they sent me an extra....Whoever wants it gets it!

Love and Respect for a Lifetime is an eye opening book for couples of all ages to read. It is uplifting and gives couples encouragement in their relationships and marriages.

For wives, Love and Respect focuses on our need for love in a relationship. Women desire to be loved and we need this love from our husbands or our significant other in order to feel desired in a relationship. For husbands, Love and Respect focuses on their need for respect in a relationship. Husbands desire respect from their wives or significant other in a relationship in order to feel desired. Dr. Eggerichs focuses on both Love and Respect in light of wives and husbands in order to encourage couples to make the most of their relationship.

One part in particular that I liked was the visual that wives are pink and husbands are blue, but when those two colors combine, they form purple, the color of Royalty, the color that reflect our Creator, God. We as wives and husbands are the image of God and what we do and say in our relationships should reflect God’s love.

This is a beautiful gift book for couples to read together. With quotes and scripture to encourage couples, it proves to be a great devotional.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Love and Respect for a Lifetime through Book Sneeze. I received no compensation for my thought

Friday, October 8, 2010


On my visit home, not only did I get to see one of my very best friends get married, but I also had time to go to my College, Huntington University, and see a beautiful Red changing tree! Too bad it was raining most of the time I was there....but I did get to have an AMAZING Coffee D'Vine good!!!
Below is a picture of where I grew up....Man I miss this house with all this land! I remember I used to practice Discus throws in our side yard and play volleyball in the backyard! Oh the memories!
The beautiful campus of Notre Dame....I think I spent about 2 hours just sitting on a bench reading a book, enjoying the beautiful fall weather! Doesn't this picture look like postcard material!
Yeah for leaves changing colors! I LOVE IT!!!!
Now we are just looking forward to planting our raspberry bushes in the backyard! Yum raspberries....hopefully they grow!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Beautiful Story

I had the great privilege to read this beautiful Christmas story today...I could read it over and over again because of the amazing pictures and the wonderful message! If you get a chance to read it, please do....or you can borrow it from me!

What is the greatest gift you can give someone? What is the greatest gift you have been given? What is the greatest gift you can give to our Lord? This beautiful story, The King’s Christmas List gives an answer to these questions in the most beautiful way. The wonderfully illustrated story is perfect for children at Christmas time and any time of year for that matter!

Emma, a young girl wants to bring the king a Christmas gift but along the way she has some surprises. She comes to the king’s party with nothing and learns a valuable lesson, one we should all hear over and over again, and one that we should teach our children every day of their lives.

Matthew 25:37-40 reads “When did we ever see you hungry and feed you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”

I cannot wait to read this story to my 3-6 year olds in Sunday school this Christmas, but why wait? This is a beautiful story with a beautiful message for all!

Disclosure: I received a review copy of The King’s Christmas List through Book Sneeze. I received no compensation for my thought

Saturday, September 18, 2010


With time being limited, I am jealous of friends being able to post on their blogs! I miss my summer vacation when I had all the time in the world!

But, I do have one new thing to look forward to...after 30 days of studying for my personal training exam, I passed with flying colors! I now get to start training clients....and hopefully changing lives! I am really excited about it....however, I will again have limited time for posting new things on my blog! :(

With football season here, I am thrilled to be watching the games on tv and going to the high school football games in town! My hubby coaches for Spring Valley, so they are our team of choice to root for....Go Grizzlies!

Continue to pray for me and my class this is a real challenge, but God knows his plans for me and he does not give me more than I can take (this is a lesson I am SLOWLY learning, as each day feels like I couldn't go on to save my life!)

Have a blessed day! :) GO ND!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Long Week and Two Reviews

Oh boy….

Long days make for long weeks and this has been probably the longest week at school! I am so glad to have had the chance to read two great Max Lucado books and write about them…here are my reviews!!!

Oh and PS…Notre Dame plays Michigan tomorrow! GO ND!

In the story, One Hand, Two Hands, Max Lucado has created a beautiful story about using our hands to be a good helper. Lucado always weaves his words together in a special way to touch the lives of each child and adult that reads his stories.

I have always loved Max Lucado’s children stories. As a camp counselor, I would read them nightly and weekly as they spoke volumes to my young campers. One Hand, Two Hands is the same way. It is a very simple story to read, but great for young audiences who love to hear a good rhyme and to hear a good read-aloud. I can see hand gestures being made for this story as toddlers big and small repeat the story to their moms and dads.

The illustrations are beautiful and will make a child smile and giggle. Not only does Lucado create a beautiful story, but he also provides children with some ideas at the end of the story for how to have helping hands, kind hands, and loving hands. Children will love coming up with their own ideas to add to the list! I loved the story and look forward to reading more of Lucado’s books!

Disclosure: I received a review copy of One Hand, Two Hands through Book Sneeze. I received no compensation for my thought

Guess what….here is another Max Lucado book review! I love getting free books!

Max Lucado has done it again! Inspirational as always! In his newest book Outlive Your Life, Lucado invites us to think about our position in life and to allow God to enter and take command. Lucado shares stories that not only make you think about your position in life and what you are doing now, but also what you could be doing. The big idea you can take away from reading this book is that “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something”. We are just one person, but we can make a difference in the lives of another person, which can create a butterfly effect in the world. Through different stories, Max Lucado opens our hearts to see that it is possible to be just one person and make a difference.

The best way to put it, is that Lucado invites us to get out of our comfort shell. This is one of the hardest lessons for me to learn, but when you read the words Lucado strings together it makes it hard to stay complacent. We all want to make a difference, we often don’t know how. Lucado gives us shining examples of how we can make a difference in our neighborhood, community, city, and world. He shares how one tiny thing we do can make a difference across the world to someone else. What a way to open our eyes to see a hurting world, one in which, we can make a difference in.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Outlive Your Life through Book Sneeze. I received no compensation for my thought

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It has been awhile

Since coming home from Michigan, I have not had the chance to post anything on my blog. Here is what I have been up to in a nutshell:

Intense studying for my Personal Training Test
Hanging out with Friends and Family with awesome game nights
Started school (boy was that a mistake!)
Teaching classes at the gym....I get my own Kickboxing class starting on September 20!
Loving my husband

I also had the chance to read this cute story which I got from Booksneeze! What an awesome way to add to my library...for FREE! Here is my review:

The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews is a sweet story that encourages kids young and old that everything they do can make a difference. We are each a child of God and we have each been given special talents, which can influence our lives in many incredible and unimaginable ways. The Boy Who Changed the World shows how the butterfly effect works by creating a story that shows four lives of four boys who inevitably changed the world by their desires.

The pictures in this story are beautifully illustrated. The writing in simple enough for students and kids to understand in a classroom or at home. The author has also bolded and enlarged certain sentences and phrases in the story to show that they are important. The story flows, however, one has to be careful to recall the different children mentioned. I found that if I had not been paying attention, I would have easily been lost by the author’s way of writing this story.

Andy Andrews did a good job of incorporating nonfiction elements into this fictional story about how God has a plan for all of us and desires to see us change the world. I enjoyed reading this book, and would enjoy reading it to my second grade class, utilizing the lesson plans that are provided with the story online.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of The Boy Who Changed the World through Book Sneeze. I received no compensation for my thought

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Favorite Place in the World

B-R-Double O-K, C-H-E-R-I-T-H, I-T-H
That's the only place to spend your summer, summer,
If you don't it's sure to be a bummer, bummer!
Brook Cherith Camp, a place of fond memories has reached it's end. After many years of spreading the good news about our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord took over debts and insecurities for those still involved with camp. Now it is being taken over by anothor ministry organization, which we can continue to pray for as they make changes for good to my beloved camp.
I spent 14 summers at this camp, 10 as a camper, 4 as a counselor/assistant director/cook/song leader/crazy woman....I committed my life to Christ at camp, met my best friend Aleisha at camp, met my husband at camp, and was even proposed to at camp.
While in Michigan visiting my in-laws, Aleisha and I went to camp for one last stroll down memory lane. Here are a few snapshots of my favorite place in the world.
These are the trailblazer a counselor it was my favorite age to counsel, plus we had the best camp song to sing....and boy oh boy could my trailblazers sing!

During the second summer that Jeremy and I were together, Jeremy was at basic training, and Aleisha and I spent a lot of time writing letters on this porch to him. "Dear Chipper....."
Not my favorite place in the world....but it was for Jeremy! This is the swimming area where he was the lifeguard that first summer. I am moving buddy tag number number.
Sitting on the old worn down steps....very uncomfortable...but also unforgettable!

A beautiful place....I am so greatful that the land will still be used for summer camp. I hope that many more kids have the time of their lives the way I did each and every summer!
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yummy Cookies with my Amazing Niece!

First day in Michigan and already I have made a pie crust, cookies, visited with cousins from North Carolina (Surprise Surprise) and seen it POUR DOWN RAIN! WOOHOO!

Heidi and I made the pie crust and cookies together. We enjoyed wearing aprons, putting flour on our faces and making a BIG MESS!

This is a silly picture of Heidi that she took with Grandma's camera....working on her photography skills.

Finally we started to make the cookies....Here is the delicious recipe:

Cranberry Crunch Cookies

2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
(add dry ingredients into a small bowl)
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
13 oz (one box-and actually you can do just a half box) of any whole grain cereal with cranberry, almonds, and cereal flakes (Post Selects Cranberry Almond Crunch)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add dry ingredients together.
3. Beat butter and sugars together. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
4. Stir in the cereal. Mix will be thick.
5. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Best the dough as you make it! Never fails, I can not make cookies without eating the dough...and Heidi helped me this time....she got the beaters, I got the bowl, and we shared the spoon!

Heidi using the pastry blender to mash the butter...she was such a good helper! (sorry, I can't figure out how to turn the picture!)

The delicious cookies...notice the wholes on the rack...yes there were cookies there....can't tell you how many have been eaten now!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

T-Shirt Quilt

I had so many t-=shirts from sports and camps that I decided I wanted to make a t-shirt quilt. And I did it! Here is my progress in pictures.... So many good memories!
Step One: Cut out all t-shirts into squares. This was a pretty easy process followed by ironing on interface to make it sturdy and strong.
Step two (or three or four): Sew on the fabric that is seen in between each t-shirt square. Now, if I didn't have the help of my great mother....I never would have been able to do this! This was lesson one in remembering how to sew! It has been since 8th grade since I have sewed anything on my own! Whew!
Step three: Unroll the batting! I think I could have bought a little less batting! But, as my mom kept saying, you can never go wrong with extra....and it was half off!
Step four ( get the idea... clearly this isn't really the fourth step, it takes much longer than that!): This is me pulling the entire quilt through the small hole at the bottom of the quilt, which I later had to sew together by hand!
Step five: Keep the whole thing together with string! This was tedious....and technically, I think I need to add more string in places (like on the t-shirts) but right now...I am done with it! It took about 3 hours just to do the ones I did...luckily I watched tv while doing it!
Last step: Lay out on bed and take a picture!
My Complete t-shirt quilt! Looks great doesn't it! GO ME! Again, I have to thank my mom for helping me with the whole thing and for spending so much time working on it with me!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Angel Song-Book Review

Angel Song, by Sheila Walsh and Kathryn Cushman is a tremendous book about love and second chances. Ann Fletcher, an interior designer from New York, travels to visit her baby sister in Charleston to celebrate her sister receiving her masters. After an enjoyable evening together, a tragic accident happens, and Ann finds herself alone, no family, no friends, in a house she hasn’t lived in or seen for over seven years.

As Ann prepares the house to be sold, she is welcomed into the neighborhood by Tammy and Keith, Sarah’s neighbors. These two characters are vivid and their faith is quite a contrast to Ann’s lack of faith. We see how broken Ann is by witnessing her life as she travels back and for to New York in order to perform her job as an interior designer. With a new client she is trying to score, and with work becoming overwhelming, she realizes that she can not make enough trips to Charleston.

I loved the characters in this story and the way they developed, the way they work their way into the hearts of the read and how believable they are. I can see how this story won novel of the year, and is part of the Women of Faith Series. For anyone that simply wants a good read or a chance to look deeper into their hearts this is the book for your. It is a beautiful book who has ever wondered about Angels and their role in our lives.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Angel Song through Book Sneeze. I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Peachy Keen....Peach Pie

This isn't my peach pie....obviously you can see the blueberries....but I just couldn't resist the picture! Too cute right!

Does anyone know how many pies I have made this summer? I am afraid the number does not fit on two hands! But it is such a joy to see Jeremy's face light up when there is a delicious pie sitting in front of him!

I wanted to try something this Peach pie was just the one for me...I get to use my same amazing crust and have a different filling to enjoy!

Peach Pie

(Getting Ready to make pie...)

2 pie crusts (Strawberry pie recipe previously written)
Check out the recipe picture...

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Cut peaches. Mix with 2 T. lemon juice.
3. Mix dry ingredients.
4. Mix dry ingredients with peach mixture. Add to the pie crust.
5. Lattice top the second crust.
6. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Drop the temperature to 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. 7. Let cool.

This is a before lattice crust topping picture. Still beautiful though right!

Don't forget to serve with ice cream or whip topping! And as always....pies are best when they can be enjoyed with friends.

It has been great seeing our friends Kacie and Eldon again! Dinners with them, my parents and JJ are always quite fun. Kacie loves the pie crust as much as I I made her two to take back to Reno with her....I don't believe there will be any pie fillings going into them...but they will be backed and eaten! Or just eaten raw....that is how I often do it, especially when I am in the preparation process. It's a good thing I manage to work out every day...and some days more than once to offset how much pie I eat!