Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I'm not a huge winter fan, but this past week has been absolutely fabulous!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

This past weekend I FINALLY pulled out some Christmas decor and spruced up the house just a bit. It doesn't seem like it should be Christmas time already and I'm having a hard time getting prepared!!

Today we had quite a bit of snowfall...
While the snow fell, I hunkered down inside and got serious about some baking!

I found the recipe for these cookies here. They looked delicious, so I had to give them a try.
I'm not really sure what this is, but it has lots of caramel, chocolate and white chocolate. Looks edible!!

I'm looking forward to the kids coming home from college this weekend and we're going to do some serious shopping...yes, I'm THAT far behind!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Two New Reviews

Aaahhhh! I have not been keeping up with this blog as I would like...

Since I started working this summer I cannot seem to accomplish as much as I would like, go figure! However, I have been doing a TON of reading ( new job is at the library). I have read nearly 50 books in the past 5 months. I received two books from Waterbrook Multnomah to review.

More Than A Match by Michael and Amy Smalley is an excellent read for any couple considering marriage. The Smalleys use many illustrations and stories from their own experiences. They are very straight forward and the reading is enjoyable. Beginning with 5 keys to compatibility, the authors move through several pertinent topics such as what to look for in a guy/girl, how to handle a relationship that is not working out, and a lot of time is spent addressing the physical relationship. There is also a section on divorce risk factors. At the end of each chapter, questions are given that provide a good review of what has been written. Because of their candor and easy style of writing, I believe that this book would be very appealing to young couples and I highly recommend it! If you know of an engaged or dating couple, perhaps you'd like to consider this for a Christmas gift!

The second book is 99 Ways to stretch Your Home Budget by Cheri Gillard. This is a handy book to have! Just as the title suggests, Gillard lists 99 money stretching ideas. Idea #1 is as simple as meal planning. Each idea comes with a paragraph or two of explanation ending with how much money could be saved per week/year. I must say though, that I didn't come across any major "aha" ideas. These were pretty much your standard budget stretching ideas. However, I plan on checking back with the book from time to time just as a reminder and to make sure that I'm keeping my budget in check! Waterbrook Multnomah offers a lot more "99 Ways" books. You can check out all of their books here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scavenger Hunt

Today I am playing along with She is having a Scavenger Hunt for women whose husbands are in the ministry, to help us get to know others. The idea is to read through the answers and be able to answer questions about other ministry wives. The first two to answer the questions correctly will win a copy of The Pioneer Woman's cookbook!! If you are not familiar with her, I suggest you take a peek at her sight and be prepared to stay for a loooong time. (Hint: you might want to start by looking at these apple dumplings. They are simply to die for! Just so you know, I stole this picture from her site and I hope that I haven't done something very illegal!!So here goes...
1. First Name: Cathy
2. State and Country of Residence: Wisconsin, USA
3. Husband's Ministry Title: Pastor
4. Length of time in Current Ministry Location: 17 years
5. Children: Girl, 23; Girl, 21; Boy 18
6. Number of unique homes in which you've lived during your marriage: We have lived in 11 homes in the 25 years of our marriage. But by far the most unique would have to be the apartment we lived in for a short time when beginning seminary. The hardwood floors were painted yellow and white stripes and the appliances were painted bright blue. :)
7. Cook Sunday lunch or eat out? We have a light lunch every Sunday at our church. This is done on a rotation basis, so I only have to bring food about every 6 weeks!!
8. Typically on time for Sunday School or not? Always on time!
9. Favorite TV show: Survivor and Chopped (the Food Network)
10. Something you watch/like/do that you would never tell the church people: Well, since some of them read this blog...I find this an unfair question. ;) (There's a clue in this answer as to one person I'm referring to...let's see if she catches it!! Ha!!
11. Most annoying church-related pet peeve: People who are not willing to serve (although we do not have too many of those.)
12. One thing you need to throw away but can't bring yourself to do it: Lots of paper accumulation from 17 years of homeschooling.
13. The one food you can not live without: Coffee
14. Parsonage or have your own home: Own home
15. Freak when the doorbell rings or always ready for a visitor? It's usually a half-freakish event!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Whenever I am on vacation and I find myself checking out the "tourist-trap shops," I always gravitate toward the mugs. I'm not really sure why, but there is just something about sitting down in the morning with a great cup of coffee with a mug from a favorite place. Each one has been carefully chosen...not only does it have to look right, it has to "feel" right, too. These are a few of my favorites!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Levi's Will - A Review

I had a scare when trying to log into my blog. Blogger said that the blog did not exist and that the name was available. Yikes!! Fortunately, it appeared as usual with my second attempt.

Today I would like to share a book with you that was provided to
me for review by Bethany House Publishers.
Levi's Will was an excellent read. Spanning 40 years, the book tells the story of Will, an Amish boy, who leaves behind his Amish life (including his pregnant Amish girlfriend). Keeping his past a secret, he enters WWII as a soldier, marries, and begins a new life. Levi believes that he can move forward; however, he begins to discover that he desperately desires his father's love and forgiveness. Will patiently seeks his father's forgiveness over a span of 30 years. During that time will is learning much about fatherhood as he raises two boys of his own. The author, W. Dale Cramer, sums up much of the book in one simple sentence 2/3 of the way into the book. "...every man's failure dips its roots into the previous generation and drops its seeds into the next." Levi's Will is the story of one man's realization of how that truth is working out in his own life.
The story line switches back and forth between different time periods, which at first seemed as if it would cause some confusion. I must admit that after reading a section in one time period, I was anxious to get back to the previous period to see how Will was faring there. Will is not a perfect character; he made poor choices many times. The author shows that God doesn't always work in the way we think He should and that there are consequences along with our choices. I will be looking for other books penned by W. Dale Cramer.
I so often wish that I had more time to read! I'm working on a journal so that I can keep track of the books that I actually do finish! What books are your favorites?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mackinac Island - Take 3!!

Two weeks ago, I went to Mackinac Island with my mom and a group of friends. (This was my third trip in just over a year!!) This time we actually stayed at the Grand Hotel. Our stay there included dinner and breakfast in their fabulous dining room, along with a concert by Legacy Five.
It was cold and rainy on our trip to the Island, but cleared up somewhat once we got there. It's a bit different visiting the island in October as opposed to June & July. Most boats have left the marina and the streets are a lot quieter.

The next two pictures are of the view from the balcony off of our room.

If you've never been to Mackinac, I highly recommend it! It's such a change of pace and so beautiful.
I've been trying to make links to references in this blog - but am not having success right now. I'll try again later.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fast and Frugal Cookbook

Recently I signed on to become a book reviewer with two publishers. It's a great way to receive new books and satisfy my desire to read! Then, I have the privilege of sharing my thoughts with others. (Don't we ALL want other people to know what we think!)
The first book that I received is "Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook" by Dawn Hall, published by Thomas Nelson. The following is my review:

I was excited to receive Dawn Hall’s Fast & Frugal Cookbook. In her introduction she explains her thoughts on making choices regarding ingredient cost. It’s not always best to use the cheapest ingredients. There is a great cost benefit in making healthy choices. Most of us know though, that the grocery budget can only be stretched so far and Dawn gives some great tips to help with that.
The book is divided into nine sections. At the beginning of each section, each recipe is indexed along with the amount of time needed to prepare it. In the sidebar of each page is a convenient listing of all supplies needed for each recipe as well as a detailed grocery list. Nearly every recipe comes with a “Helpful Hint.” These hints give ideas for substitutions, money saving ideas & practical cooking tips.
The recipes themselves are simple, comfort food type recipes. (I would have liked more chicken recipes - there seemed to be an emphasis on ham.) There are many pictures, but not quite enough for me. The book ends with a very detailed index making each recipe easy to find. I’m looking forward to cooking my way through this new cookbook!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October in Wisconsin

We're never quite sure what to expect!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Simple Stuff!

Here's a fun and simple idea for a great birthday gift. I made this one for my grandson. Start with an ordinary wooden puzzle and cut out pictures and glue them into the spaces. Hopefully this will help Lincoln remember us when we are apart!He had his own creative ideas for the puzzle pieces!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Spiritual Mothering - Chapter 1

The Simple Wife is having a discussion on the book Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt. I have owned this book for several years and have read it many times. It's one of those books that I like to frequently reread. I have found myself in different seasons of life during these rereads and am anxious to read through the thoughts of the various women who will be posting.

The following questions were given:
1. Susan Hunt defines spiritual mothering as this: "When a woman possessing faith and spiritual maturity enters into a nurturing relationship with a younger woman in order to encourage and equip her to live for God's glory." What stands out to you in this definition? Why? Does this seem different from a typical mentoring definition? Why, or why not? What stands out to me are the three words at the end - for God's glory. Those words are what make the difference in all that we do. So often we want quick and easy answers to our problems, a simpler life, happiness, etc., but our focus often needs to be redirected back to God's glory. We need less of "What's in it for me?" and more of "How can I bring glory to God?"
2. Beginning on page 18, Hunt talks about our need for mothering. How do you see this need among women you know? In your own life? In my own life I have been blessed to have been raised by a godly mother who has taught me a lot. Also, I am part of a close-knit church where the women share their lives with each other. This close contact has taught me many valuable lessons. We've had some dear elderly ladies who have been great examples to our whole church body. Unfortunately, many women do not see the need in their own lives or value the life experience of older women.
3. What's something that you underlined, highlighted, circled, starred, or drew arrows to in this chapter? Why did it stand out to you?
My attention was drawn to the portion under the heading "Our Capacity for Mothering." The author stated: "As a woman's growing desire to imitate God produces obedience to His Word, she develops mothering characteristics. Our femaleness gives us the capacity for mothering; our faith produces certain characteristics of mothering." These characteristics are such things as compassion, sacrifice, and desire to nurture. Interestingly, when a woman grows in her relationship with the Lord, the overflow of that is a growth in her relationship with others. (We are not an island!)
Hopefully you will have a chance to hop on over to The Simple Wife this week as the topic of Spiritual Mothering is discussed!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall Fun!

This week I spent a few days visiting my mom. We did some of the "touristy" things in my home-town. Northeastern Wisconsin has been having some amazing weather this fall. The sky has been clear and blue and the temps have been in the mid to upper 70s.
We toured the Botanical Gardens. If you have a garden near you, I would recommend that you go for a visit. It was gorgeous. (Tip: The Green Bay gardens are FREE to tour on Wednesdays!!)
This is my mom. She is pretty amazing (but that's another story). We had a great time.

Mr. McGregor lives in Green Bay!! :)

I loved this metal sculpture!!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 - "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."
Of course, one cannot "play the tourist" in Green Bay without visiting this place...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summer is Over!!

I am ready to enter the blogging world again. The summer was great fun and went by so quickly. It was nice to have ALL of my family home for the summer (grandson & all!!) We had so much fun.
Lots of work too, though. The kids were all busy working several jobs. I even got a part-time job at the local library! We worked together and cranked out eight craft shows. (Lots of busy weekends!!) For one of them we were able to take another trip to Mackinac Island. I love it there and am looking forward to another quick trip there this fall with my mom.

Summer ended with my oldest daughter and her family heading back on the road with Bible Revival Ministries. Three days later our nest was empty as my other two went off to college. It's been very different around here with a quiet house, but I'm looking forward to getting back into teaching a Ladies' Sunday School class & working with the children's groups on Wednesday nights. My new job is keeping some of my time filled and I'll be doing the pre-school story time at the library as well as regular library responsibilities...should be fun!
While I've been away I have kept up on some of my favorite blogs and have lots of ideas swirling in my head! I'm getting adjusted to my new schedule & plan to keep this blog updated!!
I had more pictures to share with you but blogger isn't letting me put them where I want right now. So...I'll end this short and be back shortly!!