Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving and a winner!

Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends.  We are blessed and have much to be thankful for.  I'll be working, but am thankful to have a job, and one that I enjoy!

I also have to share a winner for the ESV Men's Devotional Bible.  There were 15 entries.  I used my usual random number generator, and the winner is:


The winner is Nick Battjes!  I have to disclose that Nick is my nephew, but in case this looks suspicious I have to tell you that my 2 sisters and a niece were also among the 15 entries, and they didn't win.  Nick just commented at the right time.  :)
Congratulations Nick - I hope you enjoy the Bible as much as Uncle Bob does!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Welcome, Winter


We've had a wonderful Fall.  Last year by this time we had 29 inches of snow.  This year we've had 6 days in November, that the temperature made it to 60 or above, and not a bit of snow!
I think that's done now.  Winter arrived on Saturday.  There was snow on the ground when we got up and it snowed all day.
It was a beautiful snow, the type that clings to everything  and makes the countryside look like a fairy tale.  It was a reminder of the many ways God blesses us, giving us such beauty to enjoy!

I'm going to be taking a short blogging break.  I have some projects that I need to be working on, and not enough time to do it!   I will post the winner for the Men's Devotional Bible on Wednesday, but otherwise will be missing for a little bit.  Hopefully I'll make good progress and will be back soon!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mercy Me CD winner!

It's time to announce the Mercy Me Christmas Album winner, but before I announce the winner, I have to apologize!  I planned to draw a winner and post it on Thursday evening.  However, we ended up having both of our granddaughter overnight and I completely forgot!  Those of you with young kids know that even if I had remembered, I probably wouldn't have had time.  Hopefully you will all forgive me!   :)
There were 31 comments on the post, but there were some duplicate entries and a deleted post. That left 28 entries.  I numbered the valid entries and put them in the random number generator.

The winner is Phoebe, from Phoebe's World.  Congratulations Phoebe!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. E-mail me your address and it will be sent to you.

If you didn't win, you really need to go to Pizza Ranch and pick this one up, for only $5! It's also available on Amazon for $10.99.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Another giveaway!

I was given the opportunity to review a new ESV Men's Devotional Bible, published by Crossway.  I was interested, because our church just changed from the NSV version to the ESV.  Bob was also interested in checking it out.

It's a very nice, hard cover Bible....   but what's inside is more important!
Here's what the publishers say about this Bible:
" Our world presents daily distractions that can easily displace Christ as the center of a man's heart and life.  The goal of the ESV Men's Devotional Bible is to strengthen and encourage men through the life-giving Word of God and sound devotional content aimed at nurturing godliness.  With 365 theologically rich and gospel-centered devotions drawn directly from the Bible, this all-new resource was created under the editorial oversight of Dr. Sam Storms with contributions from over fifty Christian leaders.  Introductions orient men to each book of the Bible, exploring its unique contribution to a man's walk with God.  Thoughtful and instructive articles address the importance of sound doctrine, life in the local church, leadership, the heart, calling, and a host of other relevant issues for today.  The Men's Devotional Bible will strengthen men in their walk with Christ, helping them apply the gospel and the truths of God's Word in their homes, churches, and workplaces."

Bob and I have both enjoyed using the ESV version. This Bible is printed in an 8.5 font and is easy to read. Throughout the Bible are devotionals that can be read on their own, but can also be read along with the book of the Bible you are currently reading. Bob said he really appreciates the way these devotionals help you apply the reading to your life, and he highly recommends this Bible.  (It would make a great Christmas gift!)

- 365 brand-new devotions
- Brand new book introductions
- 14 brand-new articles
- Dictionary of key terms
- Ribbon marker
- Smyth-sewn binding
- Lifetime guarantee on TruTone edition
- Packaging: slipcase (TruTone), L-card (HC), permanent slipcase (Cloth over Board) 

Retail Price: $34.99

For more information check out these links:
ESV Men's Devotional Bible by Crossway Publishers.
You can purchase this Bible through Amazon.

You also have the chance to win it here!  The nice folks at Crossway and Flyby promotions have offered a copy for one of my readers. To sign up, all you have to do is leave a comment.  Make sure I have a way to contact you, if you are the winner!  I'll be drawing a winner and posting it on Wednesday.
*Giveaway is open to US and Canada only.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cooking Thursday

It's getting colder here and we have a snow storm predicted for this weekend.  That means it's soup time!  The recipe I'm sharing is for potato soup and it's a very easy version - you don't even have to peel potatoes!

Crock Pot  Loaded Baked Potato Soup 

1 30oz. bag of frozen diced hash browns
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup (10 oz)
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz, not fat free)
3 oz bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste 

Put the hash browns in the crockpot. Add in the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and half of the bacon bits. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until potatoes are tender.
An hour before serving, cut the cream cheese into small cubes. Place the cubes in the crock pot. Mix a few times throughout the hour before serving.
Once the cream cheese is completely mixed in, it's ready to serve.
Top with cheddar cheese and some additional bacon bits.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

The 12 Days of Christmas Adventure

My friend, Marianne Ball from Adventures in the Ballpark, has written a book called 'The 12 Days of Christmas Adventure'.   She asked me to read and review it, and I'm sharing it with you.
The idea for this book started over 20 years ago when someone gifted her family with a pear and a note inviting them to the 12 days of Christmas.  Small gifts arrived on the doorstep from the same anonymous giver for the next 11 days.  The Ball's loved this idea and started their own family tradition of choosing an individual or family that they thought would appreciate some extra Christmas cheer and doing the 12 days with them
After doing this for many years, Marianne decided to share the fun!  In this book, she goes through each of the 12 days and gives different ideas for each phrase, including gifts, crafts and even recipes.  She shares things that can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be.  The main idea is to brighten someones Christmas season.  Of course, you will have a great time in doing this, therefore brightening your own Christmas!
I thought the book was great, full of good ideas, and a fun way to spread joy during the Christmas season.
You can find this book at Smashwords or Barnes and Noble.
Thanks Marianne, for the chance to read this!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

It's a bumper crop!

In our area most of the leaves have fallen or been blown off the trees.  The trees in our yard are always a little slow though.  We have oak trees and the leaves usually don't come down until there is snow on the ground.

See all those leaves waiting to fall?

Something else has been falling though!

 Our yard has been covered in acorns!  The squirrels and chipmunks are very happy, but it's making a lot of work for Bob.

Here's a close up of a load of them in his wheel barrow.

One full wheelbarrow!  So far he's taken care of 8 full wheelbarrows from our front yard, and there are still acorns out there!  I'm thankful for all the work he does to maintain our yard.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mercy Me - It's Christmas... Review and a giveaway!

I have a personal policy about Christmas music.  I  love Christmas music, but I don't listen to it until after Thanksgiving.  Once I start, it's all I listen too!
This year I went against my policy.  I was offered the chance to review this Christmas CD: Mercy Me, It's Christmas!  When I saw it was by Mercy Me, and saw the list of songs, I decided to check it out.

This CD was put out with the Pizza Ranch restaurant.  If you purchase it through them, you get a version with 4 extra songs included.  Here's the list of songs:
1. Newborn
2. Christmastime Again
3. Sleigh Ride
4. I'll Be Home For Christmas
5. Hold On Christmas
6. A Holly Jolly Christmas
7. Go Tell It On The Mountain
8. Do You Hear What I Hear
9. Our Lullaby
10. Joy
11. O Come, O Come 
12. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Exclusive Bonus Track for Pizza Ranch)
13. O Holy Night (Exclusive Bonus Track for Pizza Ranch)
14. Silent Night (Exclusive Bonus Track for Pizza Ranch)
15. Joseph's Lullaby (Exclusive Bonus Track for Pizza Ranch) 

My sisters and I listened to this while on our shopping adventure.  I've listened to it since then too.  We all enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it!  It's the type of CD you can listen to over and over again, and not get sick of. It's hard to choose a favorite song, but if pressed, I'd have to say it's 'Go tell it on the mountain'.

Mercy Me It's Christmas CD will be available in Pizza Ranch locations beginning November 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. It has 4 exclusive songs that can only be found on the CD version being sold by Pizza Ranch.  Each CD will be sold for $5 plus tax.  Pizza Ranch will give away the CD with a $25 gift card purchase as well as sell the full album at each of its 200 locations throughout the Midwest and Great Plains states. "We are so excited to debut our new Christmas album, MercyMe, It’s Christmas, with Pizza Ranch” said Bart Millard with MercyMe. “Pizza Ranch is a fantastic restaurant with a great mission to glorify God. It's the perfect gift to give this Christmas season and the perfect CD to get you in the Christmas spirit.”

I think it's the perfect time to stop at Pizza Ranch for a good meal, and pick up a great CD for a bargain price. I know you'd enjoy the meal and the CD!

The good people at Propeller consulting have offered a CD to one lucky reader of my blog!  Just leave a comment, making sure there is a way for me to contact you.  I'll draw a winner next Thursday and post the winner!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cooking Thursday

Last week on the "A day in  my life" post, I showed a photo of the pizza burgers we had for supper.  Several of you asked that I share the recipe.  It's so easy, it's hardly a recipe...   but I'll share it!
I always make this ahead of time, then all I have to do is spread it on buns and broil it.  Enjoy!

Pizza Burger

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 can pizza sauce
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
8 hamburger buns

Stir together ground beef, pizza sauce and Italian seasoning, then stir in Mozzarella cheese.
Split buns in half, then spread meat mix evenly over each half.
Place buns under broiler until lightly browned.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Grandpa has been busy!

Bob's been working on a little project for Alaina and Ruby.  I had bought a few wooden kids chairs that I wanted to refinish and use when taking photos.  When the lady I bought them from advertised that she had a few more, Bob said he would sand and paint them, then make a kids table to go with them.  He finished the set so we made a delivery on Saturday evening.

 Here he is setting it up.  Alaina is pretty excited to see it put together.

Even Grandpa can sit at the table!

 Alaina didn't waste any time in getting out her kitchen stuff.

"What are you doing Grandma?"  I'm trying to play here!

They were 2 happy girls, which made us happy too!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Shopping Time

Every year my 2 sisters and I go out Christmas shopping together.  We usually do this in the beginning of November.  That way we have a head start on things, and we don't usually have to worry about bad roads due to snow.  We start out Friday morning and shop all day.  We spend the night in a hotel, and make a stop or two on our way home on Saturday. 
This past Friday was our shopping day this year.  It was cloudy and windy, but no rain or snow.  We shopped all day and I forgot to take pictures!

 Here's the first photo I took.  We had loaded most of our bags onto  luggage rack, to get everything to the room and sorted out.  When we got to the room the key didn't work, so Terri had to get that straightened out.  Cheri and I were left standing in the hall with all this stuff.

 Here's everything loaded onto the beds waiting for us to sort it.

 We always get a yummy dessert to go and take it to the hotel for a snack later in the evening.  This is Chocolate Mousse cake from Olive Garden.  It was yummy!

We stayed up late, talking and laughing.  On Saturday morning, Terri had to get home for her daughters softball game.  Cheri and I made a few stops on our way back home including a craft show which was so crowded we could hardly shop!

After I got home and unpacked, I did a little weekend baking and some laundry.  Then I started wrapping gifts.  This is such a fun way to accomplish that Christmas shopping!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Friday Funny

You may have seen this on Facebook already,  I thought it was so cute I shared it there, but had to share it with all of you.  Take a minute to watch this toddler who is helping with her church choir in Russia. She is adorable!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I made a bunch of cookies last week for a sale we were having to benefit our MOPS groups.  They are an old favorite and I thought I should share the recipe with you.
These are crispy chocolate cookies with just a hint of cinnamon.  Yum!

Mexican Chocolate Crinkles

3/4 cup Crisco
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar (to roll cookies in)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream shortening, sugar and egg. Add syrup and melted chocolate. Add flour, soda, salt and cinnamon to make a stiff dough.
Shape dough into walnut size balls and roll in sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Day in my Life

The months are just buzzing by!  I can't believe it's November already.
I'm going to share my first day of the month with you again.  It fell on a Sunday, so it's not my normal working day post.

The time change allowed me to get an extra hour of sleep, which was wonderful!
I got up at 7am and got ready for church and had breakfast.  It was a beautiful morning and before we left I stepped outside to get a picture.

 Our Japanese maple in the back yard is brilliant right now!

We were on the road a little after 8.  We drove about 35 minutes to get here:
 This is our daughter Heather and her husband Andrews church.  We  joined them because on this morning Heather was being baptized and joining the church.  She also gave her testimony.  It was a wonderful service and we enjoyed our time there.  Laura, Aaron and girls were also there to support Heather.

Then it was time for the drive home, and to work on lunch.
 We made these yummy panini's for lunch.  Mine was turkey, bacon, swiss with tomato.  Bob's was turkey, bacon and cheddar.

After lunch we relaxed a bit and read the paper.
One of the joys of Sunday afternoon is the time to relax and maybe get in a little nap!  After I took this photo of Bob napping, I took a short nap too.  It was so nice!

My sister Terri had asked if I would take some pictures of my niece Shaelyn, and since it was such a nice afternoon, I met them at a local park for some photo opportunities.

Here are a few of the pictures I took there.  Shaelyn was a good model!

Then it was back home and time to make supper.
We had pizza burgers, a quick and easy supper.
It was a calm and quiet evening, the perfect way to end a weekend.
Thanks for sharing another day with me!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Princess and the Pea

Halloween was a dreary night here.  It was cold, rainy and windy.  We didn't get a single trick or treater until a princess and a pea came by to visit.  They both looked adorable.  We did find out that there is some truth to that fairy tale - sometimes the pea does bother the princess!

 Here they are, looking so cute!  Laura made Alaina's princess dress and made her a tote bag to match.  She bought Ruby's pea outfit.

The princess was quite proud of her gloves!

 The pea was very smiley!

 The pricess' hairdresser had done her hair up fancy!

 The pea wasn't worried about her hair.  She knew she looked cute no matter what!

The princess and the pea had fun playing with Grandpa. 

It sure is fun to see them all dressed up!