Friday, November 30, 2012

Count Your Blessings

About a week has passed since Thanksgiving, but we should not be thankful only one day out of the year but all! 

Monday was a get back into the saddle type of day. Added a new doodle/ quote to my History notebook, "HIStory is HERstory too!"

Tuesday- My grandma gave us some cinnamon raisin bagels, and since I don't like raisins I made myself a banana  shake for breakfast.

Wednesday- I love my Instagram friends! Hannah (hannahsandersfeld) posted about this movie she enjoyed. I started watching it and liked it too! The movie couldn't have come at a better time, since I'm learning about the industrial revolution in Europe.

Visited my grandma, and afterwards had some ice-cream.

Decembers almost here! Last Saturday, my immediate family+ my grandma+ my aunt and her family decided to do a gift exchange this Christmas! We all picked a name out of the empty tissue box and are excited come Christmas to reveal the secrets!

Yesterday I made a card for my dads coworker. She is retiring after 25 years of working in that job! What a beautiful example of a hardworking person! I think this is the best card I've ever made:)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2 out of 15

Number 5 was scratched off when I made a pumpkin pie from scratch minus the crust:) 

Number 14 (Draw something... beautiful) of my 15 before 16 list gets scratched off as well! So I have 2 out of 15 things completed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Day In Pictures

I have been wanting to do this for awhile now, and finally gotten the chance to do so. My life in pictures post was suggested to me by my mom.

Waking Up

Morning Chores




Praise the Lord for whiteout

Lunch and AIO

I am "doing" math

Trying to finish math:(

Bible Reading

Sister time read aloud

Finishing dinner and homeschool read aloud



I went to bed shortly before 10:30. 

That was basically how my day went by. Do we share any similarities?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review- Every Perfect Gift

Every Perfect Gift, book 3 to the Hickory Ridge series, was a great final to the series. Dorothy weaved a beautiful southern tale of love during the post Civil War period. There is a little bit of everything in this book for everyone, romance, mystery, suspense and laugh out loud moments (to name a few). 

Having read the previous book to this series, I was somewhat familiar to the goings on of the small Hickory Ridge town, but with the almost one-year lapse between I was bound to forget things. Time being a huge factor to the lack of connection to the second characters was also followed by with the fact that the author took out many of the old characters replacing them with new ones. I also thought the pace of the romance was too fast. It was a love at first glance type of romance, which seemed unrealistic to me.

Despite those two objections, Every Perfect Gift had many redeemable qualities. The lesson of the story was about healing after heartache, and choosing either to stay in the past or live anew. Overall Every Perfect Gift was a great novel that kept me turning the pages to see what happened next. I enjoyed my read, and I know you will too! This book makes a great holiday present to all those who enjoy southern tales of romance!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Since we all know Thanksgiving was yesterday (the day of thankfulness), I decided to do my "count your blessings" post a little bit different.

Anniversaries. September marked my parents 10th year anniversary since they became Christians. This December will mark their 10th anniversary of marriage.

Bible Reading Time. The early mornings cuddling in the couch with my Bible are superb. I am thankful to own a Bible and to freely read it whenever. 

Cookies. Finally making a good batch of cookies.

Dinner. Hearty home cooked meals.

Exercise. Enjoying my time in the gym sweating and working out.

Freebies. Finding the radio theatre drama of Oliver Twist for free online. Limited time only AIRING: Oct. 13, 2012 - Jan. 12, 2013

Giggles, smiles, and Lol moments.

Hair. Doing new hairstyles.

Instagram. Connecting with others through pictures, especially with our family-in-Christ in D.R.

Jesus Christ. My savior. My healer. My Everything.

Kneeling. The free access we have to kneel whenever.

Learning. This year has been, at least to me, a year of learning and growing. I'm learning new intellectual things and spiritual. I'm thankful for all the learning experiences I've encountered so far.

Math. Though its not my favorite, so far I am at an easy part.

New things. Learning new things, and getting new things!

Oatmeal. Eating it 3 times a week, and still loving it.

Photography. Reading and learning all I can about the subject. 

Quiet. Moments of silence are always the most refreshing times of the day.

Rambling. Whether in writing, drawing, or talking I enjoy it.

Scratching things off. Writing a list and measuring your success via the amount of scratched off things you have.

Tis' the season. Upcoming Christmas and New Year's celebrations.

Upstairs. Visiting my grandma means climbing one flight of steps.

Vacations. Going to Virginia was a blast. Hopefully we'll vacation somewhere new ever year.

Whit. Mr. Whitaker is filled with such a wise godly man. I've learned some valuable lessons from "him." Sometimes I wish there was a real Odyssey I could go to visit. I'm a true homeschooler:)

XOXO. Hugs and kisses from parents are the best.

Youtube. It has helped me in math, science. I have tried new recipes, and hairstyles through it. It is such a blessing to my life!

Zzz's. A good nights rest after a hardworking day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Review- In Too Deep

In Too Deep is the second book to The Kincaid Bride Series. I did not read the first book to this series, but after reading a couple of chapters, I was brought up to date of the previous happenings in the first book. This was a very edge of your seat novel. Most second books to a series are filed with fluff, but this one was a great read.

The plot was very fast and drama filled. The dangers lurk breathtakingly near, creating a total page turner. From beginning to end this book had me captivated. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The whole setting was placed around this mysterious cavern, that is depicted breathtakingly beautiful. I enjoyed the characters immensely. Audra was a very good addition to the characters. She is used to being hurt by others and loved by none. Ethan on the other hand is afraid to love, fearing he'll hurt everyone. When they marry out convenience, things turn interesting. We journey with these hardworking people as they learn to love, overcome fears, and trust God. Just when you think everything settles down, a shocking discovery is brought to light, making the next book a must read.

They were some mentions to life of a married couple, but overall was a good read. I rate In Too Deep a 4 out of 5.

I was provided this copy from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my independent unbiased review.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Another week has come and gone. Oh where has the time flown off to? To some far away place where all our missing hours abide? Enough with my poetic wannabe self:) As the saying goes Keep Calm and Count On...

Monday- After finishing our regular shampoo bottle, I was able to use the new natural one. It is so good, my hair felt so clean and curly. The curls were literally bouncing off the walls. I am so joking:)

Tuesday- Was our second service, since our church "re-opened."

I was able to help with the little ones. It was a joy to observe their different learning styles. One was painstakingly copying her work making sure she did it correctly. She even colored in the lines! What three year old does that? While the other rushes to do her work, scribbling and drawing big fishes on her copy work. She proceeded to cover her entire coloring sheet in blue scribbles.

Finished a really good book called The New Recruit. It was loaned to me by a dear friend. When she says that a book is good, I take her by her word.

Wednesday- Working on some art pieces. It is taking me a while to complete them but with art you can never truly be done. There is "always" some extra shading that can be done, and more details yet to be added. To finish one, I just need to buy some (craypaas?) oil crayons.

Worked on a fun post. Can't wait to share it.

Thursday- Received Oliver Twist the audio drama in the mail! I had been anticipating its arrival for some time. My family and I sat with our mouths open, sorrowful looking eyes, and even an occasional aww will burst from our lips.

Friday- I was so glad to have received a book that I was unsure if I was getting! Can't wait to read it!

We just had to see, I mean hear what happens to young Oliver Twist. Yes we finished it!

Cleaning the house of our ever growing pile of "to give." We sorted everything, folded and put into various bags to donate to the Salvation Army.

Entered this wonderful be thankful, Thanksgiving giveaway!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


About a year ago, I wrote here that I wanted to make a good batch of chocolate chip cookies. Sunday right before Hurricane Sandy came, I baked a batch of cookies that came out really good, much to my surprise!

Here is the recipe I used: Makes 12 servings (it makes more, but the recipe says that number)

-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon hot water
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
-2/3 cup and 1 tablespoonchopped walnuts

PREP:20 mins
COOK:10 mins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. 

 Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.

Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

I froze the rest of the cookie dough to be used for a later date. When I made the second batch of cookies they come out even better!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review- Beloved Enemy

Beloved Enemy was a Civil War tale of intrigue, romance, and God's faithfulness. The spiritual lessons throughout this book were a continuous blessing to this reader. To see how God worked everything out in the end for the good of the character, was very motivating. I was able to see God's goodness amiss the gruesome facts of war.

Being transported to the battle field was both interesting and saddening. Al Lacy wrote the battle scenes with such vivid actions you could easily picture the horrors of war. Though this was a somewhat fictional account, some things were based on true events, everyone felt real. You felt the characters losses. Though vivid as the author wrote, I wouldn't say it was pg-13 or anything. 

Not all was gloom and sorrows in this novel, there were some very thrilling and funny moments. I immensely enjoyed the sweet romance the author portrayed among the two characters, Buck and Jenny. Such clean romance that was found in this book is highly lacking in todays books. I enjoyed the fact that the author did not compromise his beliefs on writing the romantic scenes, but stood up for his convictions.

Overall this was a great read. Allowing you to meditate on deeper truths than just about fictional characters. It included many suspenseful moments that made this book a 5 out of 5 read. 

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Monday- getting a gas tank, which we call kataboom and 5 gallons of gas from our grandpa. This gas shortage is pretty serious, but Jesus has us covered. 

Tuesday- going to vote with my parents and grandma. We were all marveling that in the next presidential election I can vote! Woohoo!

Watching the election poll at grandma's house and sleeping over.

Our freshly painted radiators and window gate.

Being so cold in my house walking around with leggings, pajama pants, ankle length skirt, a long sleeve shirt and sweater.

Snow in November! 

Giving my grandma a texting lesson. How to add numbers and punctuation. She is such a cutie:)

Thursday- going to Kianna's house for a mini Bible study and prayer service.

Today NYC started an even and odd gas system. Since our license plat ends in even numbers we can only get gas on even numbered days.

Missing our church. Since our church is without light or heat, and because we haven't had gas to travel, we could not go to church. Thank the Lord for the house church services we have had! Can't wait until we go back. 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

oh hello, November.

oh hello, cold weather

oh hello, boots and jackets

oh hello, crunchy leaves

oh hello, fall scents

oh hello, cuddling

oh hello, getting things checked off my 15 before 16 list

oh hello, Thanksgiving 

oh hello, going to grandma's

oh hello, family time 

oh hello Black Friday shopping

oh hello, second to last month until 2013

Linking up here!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Book Review: Isle of Shadows

Tracy has done it again! Having previously read Garden of Madness, I had high expectations for this book. Not to my surprise Tracy has crafted a wonderfully intricate story including a beautiful enslaved woman, an assassination plot, and true freedom and redemption found only in God! 

Isle of Shadow was definitely a page turner. The first sentence drew me in like a fly, "In the deceitful calm of the days preceding disaster, while Rhodes still glittered like a white jewel in the Aegean, Tessa of Delos planned to open her wrists." I was instantly captivated and taken back to 227 BC to a beautiful island where ships came to and fro, the wealthy and poor mingling on the streets, and where God's love to both greek and jew was evident. 

Tessa of Delos was a woman of much sorrows. She had endured much cruelty in life that left her heart like bronze. Many people compared her to the goddess Athena, hard as a stone. On the outside she appears so, but it's just a cover. Having been hurt so much, she has decided to stop feeling, locking her heart away. What a deep and profound character Tessa was. With such hurt as hers you just couldn't wait to see how the Lord was going to touch her and turn that heart of stone to flesh. At one point of the book I teared up, showing just how emotionally drawn you can become to this book. Your heart went out to her from the start. She handled emotions the way many people do today allowing me to connect deeper with her. 

The glossary of words before the book was most helpful. It showed how detailed she was, remaining accurate to the time period. I enjoyed this book immensely and could sing its "greatness" to you, but to believe me you're going to have to read it yourself. I give Isle of Shadow a 5 out of 5!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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

Sunday, November 04, 2012

My Pumkin Pie Adventure

One of my 15 before sixteen goals was to try a new recipe. In this post, I shared some pictures of our pumpkin picking adventure. After you've picked the pumpking, you obviously have to make something with it. Here is my pumpkin pie adventure:

I used this recipe


-1 sugar pumpkin
-1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
-2 eggs

-1 cup packed light brown sugar
-1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
-1 (12 fluid ounce) canevaporated milk

1. Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds. I scraped the seeds out and then with a vegetable and finally a knife peeled away the pumkin fibers. ( The hairy looking things)

2. Gave the seeds to my grandmother, so she can give to my aunt in Ecuador.

3. After taking out the seeds and fibers, I proceeded to cut the pumpkin in chunks.

4. Put them into a pot of boing water

5. After letting it cool for a bit, I proceeded to peel the skin. Since it so soft it comes off easily

6. Once all is peeled, I put the pumpkin in the food processor, and made a vibrant puree. 

7. In a large bowl, slightly beat eggs. Add brown sugar, flour, salt, 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and evaporated milk. Stir well after each addition.

8. Pour mixture into the unbaked pastry shell. Place a strip of aluminum foil around the edge of the crust to prevent over browning.

9. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C), then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake an additional 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove the strip of foil about 20 minutes before the pie is done so that the edge of the crust will be a light golden brown. Cool pie, and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

10. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

So Sandy!

I begun this blog Sept. 01 not long before hurricane Irene came. Then I was thankful to the Lord for keeping my family and friends safe. Now about a year later, hurricane Sandy was announced to hit NYC. Though I thought it was going to be a strong storm, I did not think it was going to cause so much damage. The storm really started on Monday for us, with strong wind gusts and rain. My family was all gathered in the living room, doing different things, and unexpectedly we'd hear the strong winds beating and shaking the windows. We would just look at each other with wide eyes. As I write this, the storm no longer rages, but its effects are keenly felt.

Though we live in NYC our area was unaffected, besides this tree that fell in our courtyard. Many of our congregation, including our church is located in Far Rockaway, which was flooded, more than 50 houses burned down, and the electricity went down. Many of our brothers and sisters are without light, but are safe. One sister mentioned that her house was two steps from getting flooded. What you don't understand, is that she has at least 10 to 15 steps before you enter her house! Through all the devistation God is still faithful! 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3
The storm is over and the damage is great around the city. The death toll has reached 41 in NYC, subways were flooded, and the city is without gas. I pray that the Lord may continue to glorify himself throughout this time of need.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Book Review- Battle For Cannibal Island; Escaping to the Hiding Place

Book Review by little sister, Sara. Edited by me.

Battle for Cannibal Island is a very exciting book. After having read the first seven books to the Imagination Station Series, book 8 was much anticipated. Though the back cover shares some of what the book was about, it was not a spoiler, leaving me with plenty of surprises.

I enjoyed the exciting story line. From battling escape convicts, terrible storms, meeting the notorious cannibal king, Toki, your in for a ride of adventure and lots of imagination. The overall message of the book was showing kindness to those who are mean to you. One of my favorite examples of this principle was when after Patrick spoke meanly towards Beth she still decided to act like Jesus and try to rescue him, showing true kindness.

Escaping to the Hiding Place is a very action-filled book. Encountering plane crash, to meeting a German soldiers, and receiving a secret mission, you will journey with Beth and Patrick in the imagination station to WW||.

This story not only action-filled, was very informative, both intellectually and spiritually. I was able to learn about WW|| in a clear, fun, and imaginative way. The story taught me that even though I may be young, the Lord can still use me to help and make a difference.

I would have enjoyed knowing what happened in the end to certain characters, but overall I really enjoyed this book.

This series being  reccomended for ages 7 and up was just right for me. It being a chapter book, made the reading experience feel advanced, but with the occasional pictures it helped keep it kid friendly. The words are a nice big readable size for young children, but the words themselves are neither too hard, nor easy. Overall these were thrilling books and I highly recommend it, not only for young children, but to teens and parents too! I give Battle For Cannibal Island and Escape to the Hiding Place a 5 out of 5.

I received a complimentary copy of these books from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this influenced my opinion on the book or on the author.