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I am a mother who works full-time but who is also a chauffer, chef, seamstress, fitness instructor, teacher, maid, gardener, runner, organization expert, salesperson, secretary and wife. I love my family and life is always busy but fun! Come along with me for the ride:-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Captured By Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah

Captured by Grace: No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God by Dr. David Jeremiah is a wonderful book that reminds us that God's grace is free to everyone - even when you are not searching for it. It is a book that would be a good read for new Christians as well as seasoned Christians.

Some people find it difficult to place their Faith in someone they don't yet know or can't see. However, God wants us to know him, He is there for us and we can "see" Him - just be reading our Bibles and learning everything about Him. I especially love the fact that Dr. Jeremiah uses my favorite song "Amazing Grace" to demonstrate the grace of God - what it is, where it is, how to find it, etc.

The book is divided into 3 sections - Grace in the past, present and in the future. He takes you through the Apostle Paul's life - and who can't relate to Paul. One of Jesus's most love disciples was once condemning Christianity but he found grace. He also uses John Newton's life - the author of "Amazing Grace" as another example.

To sum up this review - this book is very powerful and insightful. It is a wonderful reminder of what God's Grace is and even if you have been a Christian for years, it will increase your understanding about grace.

NOTE: I was provided this book for no charge by Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. In no way am I obligated to provide a positive review of the book.

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

Max Lucado lives up to his reputation as one of the most thought-provoking Christian authors today. This books gives you food for thought. Will anything you've done in your life outlive you - what will you be remembered for after you pass away? Will what you're doing today make a difference after you've gone? If you can not say "YES" to those questions, then this book is a good read for you!

Max Lucado uses fictional and real-life examples of ways to make your life count. His suggestions range from simple things such as having friends over for dinner and good conversation to living a missionary-type life. You are shown how even simple things demonstrate an example of Jesus's life - what He lived when he was here and what we should be doing in our everyday lives.

This is also a book of action. In the back of the book is a section for discussion with questions, actions, and plans to make your life count for more that just living on earth while waiting to go to Heaven one day. The author wants us to go and LIVE out the rest of our lives!

NOTE: Thomas Nelson Publishing has provided me a complimentary copy of this book for my review; however, the above opinion is my own. I have not been required to publish a positive review.

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball

I will admit I was unsure about the fact that this is a Christian fiction book that involves wizards and fairy tales. However, Chronicles of Narnia has a very Christian message and C S Lewis has the same elements in his books but at a much deeper level.

This book is a fun read, full of surprises and full of a wonderful underlying message - that Christ forgives us and that we are to forgive others. We may not agree with what they do in their lives but they deserve our love and our time - hopefully one day our example will help them become Christians as well.

Cora Crowder has left behind a very difficult childhood and her very un-Christian family. She is devoted to her job and "living" a good life. However, she has missed one fundamental thing about being a Christian - that you are to demonstrate your love for Christ and others to everyone - even if it is your own unlovable, hurtful family.

She receives a ticket to a Christmas Ball that begins to result in changes in her life that she, at times, is not ready for - but she has to adjust and go with the flow and the end result is worth all of the headache, worry and frustration. Along the way she meets some very unusual characters and people - and also finally meets a co-worker, Simon Derrick and his special sister, Sandy. She has worked with and for him for five years, but never really got to know him.

This is their story and you will enjoy seeing how Cora's eyes are opened to the possibility that there may just be more to life than avoiding her family and that maybe she has not really yet lived.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Texas Lizzies

I have not posted in a while - been sewing, reading, working, etc. I do have some books to read and review soon so those will be coming soon! Meanwhile, I hope that each of you has a very Merry Christmas. I am sharing my favorite Christmas cookie recipe below. I make these every year - they are better than most "fruit-cake cookies" so I hope that you try them and enjoy them.

Naomi Judd's Texas Lizzies (makes about 8 dozen - GREAT for gift giving)

1/2 cup butter, at room temp
1 - 16 oz box light brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 1/2 cups plain flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon grouond nutmet
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 cup whiskey
3/4 pound walnuts, chopped ( I use 1/2 pound walnuts)
3/4 pound pecans, chopped
1 - 15 oz box golden raisins
1 1/4 cups dark raisins (I use about 3/4 cup)
8 oz each of candied red an green cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray cookie sheets. You can use parchment paper too which saves cleanup.

In large bowl, beat butter at medium speed with a mixer until creamy. Beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time

Into another large bown, stir together flour, baking soda and spices.

On low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture - alternating with the whiskey but beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the nuts, raisins and cherries.

Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake until set in the center, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in tightly covered containers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

No More Christian Nice Girl

by Paul Coughlin & Jennifer D. Degler, PhD

No More Christian Nice Girl by Paul Coughlin & Jennifer D Degler, PhD is a wonderful read for the woman who does too much and is feeling stressed in life. If you are woman who has trouble saying "no" because you do not want to hurt other's feelings or have anyone disappointed in you, then this is the book for you. I am quite capable of saying "no" or "enough is enough" but I always feel guilty and do not want anyone upset with me. However, this book clearly shows that you can be nice but be firm in setting limit. The authors demonstrate that you can do good for others but also set limits on what you are willing to put up with from others – especially those needy people who seem to want and need constantly –which, in turn, literally sucks the life and energy from you every time you talk to them. The book touches on these issues in many situations – such as friends, family, marriage, work, and intimacy. They use Biblical examples of women who have walked before us who knew when it was okay to be tough in a situation. We forget that Jesus was not even "nice" all of the time - remember when he overturned the tables in the temple? I learned a lot about myself in this book and Bible Study (there are questions at the end of each chapter). I learned that it is okay to be who I am – a strong woman who helps others, is constantly busy but one who does say “no” and without guilt. NOTE: I received this book from Bethany House as part of their Book Reviewer program.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Peanut Cracker 8000

Here is my oldest daughter's fifth grade science project. She made it literally 90% by herself with Daddy's guidance. It had to fully perform a specified task and use at least three of the simple machines. She used four - she is so proud!

Here are pictures of her hard at work:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Prophecy Answer Book by David Jeremiah

Given the religion I was raised in which never preached Rapture, Jesus on earth for 1,000 years, etc, I was somewhat skeptical about this book. However, the book is very informative and well organized. It is a "FAQ" book. Questions are posed and clear, concise answers are given with scripture to back up and explain the answer. It is a very quick read and an excellent book to keep in your library for reference. Other people will ask questions, your children will ask questions and this book is an excellent tool for educational purposes. Dr. Jeremiah is an excellent writer whose words flow well and leave little doubt as to his expertise on the Bible and Christianity. I highly recommend this book - note: it would make an excellent gift too!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hearts Awakening

Elvira Kilmer has long ago left behind her dreams of marriage and a family of her own. After her parents pass away, she only has two cousins to help her. Eventually she winds up on Dillon's Island as Jackson Smith's housekeeper. Jackson's wife has passed away and he needs someone to keep up his home and care for his two young sons. Elvira is plain looking but Jackson offers her marriage in name only to help the both of them out of their current situations. She refuses at first but eventually marries him. There are many stories written of this same situation but I found that Delia Parr writes her story in a most unique way and it keeps the reader's attention. You feel so much empathy for Elvira and sometimes you want to just kick Jackson in the behind.

Other parts of the story are just as wonderful - the children, Gram, the townsfolk who are not very forgiving, etc. However, you will want to keep reading until the end to find out how these two people find their way to each other and how the Lord's hand is involved in the process. A really good book---well written historical romance---that you will enjoy from beginning to end! I am now a Delia Parr fan!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears

While I am not a history buff, I chose William Bennett’s new book, “A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears” as my next book to read and review for Thomas Nelson Books. It peaked my interest because the book’s purpose is to reveal more insight into the events of the past 20 years from 1988-2008. Mr. Bennett is a conservative writer and contributor to CNN and I have always liked his view points.

The book is mainly about politics but does cover other events during a twenty year span with each chapter beginning with a new presidency, President George H.W. Bush and ending with the second President Bush. President Barack Obama was elected in the year in which the book ends. When most people think of recent historical events, they usually relate it to a certain presidency so it seems right and logical that the book be written in this way too. The book does discuss other major events not related to politics – the O.J. Simpson trial, the King trial, etc.

Bennett leans towards a conservative view point which I like, but he is not trying to make an argument. He just fails, like a non-conservative writer would do, to leave out details that are pertinent to the events. He covers all events thoroughly and that gives a reader a bigger understanding of the “Big Picture”. Thoroughness is something that is severely lacking in the biased news media so most Americans get a skewed story when anything important happens.

I would recommend this book for everyone – not just for history buffs. I enjoyed the book and think it is important for all Americans (and non-Americans) to understand recent events so that we may learn from mistakes and grow towards a better future.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Help STOP SMA !!!

Please click on the widget to the right to vote for Pepsi to grant $250,000 to SMA research. It is a very worthy cause !!

Wanda M

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Giveaway Time !!

My friend Deanna is giving away a free class at the Viking Cooking School. I have been and it is GREAT fun. Go HERE to read how to enter - contest ends tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Little About Meme

I saw this meme over at Deanna's Corner. I haven't been blogging long enough to know that these meme things used to be a thing in blog world, but now they are an occasional thing. I usually get them on an email :-) This one had some interesting questions!

1. When was the last time you craved a food–what was it, and did you crave? This weekend I craved a cup of coffee from Cups - sometimes the brew at home just doesn't satisy the caffeine, cup o'Joe craving :-)

2. M & M’s or Skittles? Always M & Ms!

3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through? Yes but now I read it by subject that I'm studying and sometimes, I just open it and read - letting the Holy Spirit guide me to a subject the Good Lord knows I need to read.

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning? I'm usually either up or I'm not so I guess immediately!

5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to? Not yet and one day, yes, I'd like to.

6. Who is your favorite actress? It depends on the movie.

7. ______ is something that I will just never understand. A lot of things fit this category. But I guess if I had to pick one thing - it would be people.

8. How much of a technology junkie are you? A pretty big one.

9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural “have to” for you? I enjoy selecting them - when I remember to get them.

10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut? Every time I go - especially with the hair dresser I've used lately - she cuts it different every time.

11. What do you enjoy shopping for most? Books hands down !

12. What’s the last thing you think of before you leave the house? Are we on time ??

Thursday, January 7, 2010

And The Verdict Is............

I can only believe that 2010 is destined to get better with each day. This first week has not been fun so far. In Mississippi, it is colder than normal - and I mean FREEZING, DAMP, BONE-CHILLIN' COLD!! The present temperature is in the 30's. It will be in teens tonight after raining all day in Mid-Mississippi making for some driving fun in the morning I'm sure. I am taking my laptop home just in case school is cancelled and I have to work from home. We have had four doctor's appointments this week too. NOTE: This is highly unusual because we are almost never sick.

On Monday I had an MRI on my wrist because I injured it in October / November and it's not any better. I had to lay on my stomach for 30 minutes with my arm stretched out as far as it would go - I sort of felt like a rubber doll that a child is abusing, you know what I mean? Pull here - pull some more and then pull some MORE because the doll won't cooperate. Once they pulled me as long as my 5'2" self would stretch, the 30 minute test began. After 20-25 minutes, the tech voiced into the machine (you wear earplugs because of the loud noises the machine makes) and told me I would have to stay 5-10 minutes longer because one of my scans was "blurry" - and to "lie still and stop moving". My answer was that I was numb from my armpit down so how was I to know when I was moving ?!? Apparently I was still the second time because they let me up. I had to sit there for a few minutes until I could feel my upper body again. My wrist also began hurting continuously like it did originally when I injured myself.

Tuesday - I had a dental appointment. Then this morning Cassie had an orthodontist appointment only to be told she has to keep growing some teeth before they can advance to her outside wire. Needless to say she was not happy - I've never seen a child want braces so much!

Finally, I went to the orthopedic today. I have a torn TFC - I have no idea what that stands for but I am so glad to know that I am truly injured and not just getting OLD. They gave me an injection and a new brace. The doctor told me - and I quote - "that one the MEA clinic gave you is basically a piece of X&%$" (you can fill in the blank). Good to know that the one I've worn for two months has not really helped me at all.

I am to wear the brace all the time, ice my wrist, do no heavy lifting and take ibuprofen as needed for a month. If it's not better, I go back. If it is - then it's okay to begin using it slowly. However, it could flare up at any given time in the future and require my return which was not what I wanted to hear. I was also told that Laproscopic exploratory and repair surgery could be in my future at some point but that I really probably wanted to do all of this before going that route.

The moral of my injury (and some of you have heard this) - is to never beat your kids with your bare hands.....JK. I really hurt it in late September / early October dragging around a LARGE suitcase by my cheap, frugal self in Las Vegas. I am independent and stubborn to a fault - just ask Jeff or my co-workers. It got better until I swatted at Bailee's leg in a restaurant bathroom to get on to her in mid-November. She moved, I hit her at an awkward angle with my left hand, something snapped and I instantly felt SHARP pain. The doctor said that I probably already had a small tear that was torn much bigger with the swat at her leg. See - the moral may be true??? He said to use a wooden spoon next time instead ;) And, yes - he really said that.

In Mississippi, doctors tell you how to spank your kids. In other states, they would have called DHS and I would have been arrested and taken to jail without a hot or a brace and told to suffer though it.


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