MAKING MY HOME A COZY PLACE TO LAND, ONE IDEA AT A TIME.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tyndale Book Review:Grumble Hallelujah


I’ve recently finished Grumble Hallelujah: Learning To Love Your Life Even When It Lets You Down by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira.

This book discusses how to let go of the life you have imagined and become contented and love the life God has placed you in. While I found the idea of the book a novel one, I must admit that this book was a difficult one for me to read. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not because my life is so messed up that I have a hard time loving it. I simply didn’t like this book. I found the way the author was open and honest about her life, her past and her hope for the future wonderful, but I found her words a bit off from the context in which scripture was written and the way she used it. I also found some of the ways she suggested for doing this inappropriate. But maybe that’s simply for me.

I really enjoyed the areas of the book that discuss judgment, envy, “stuff”, hope, and doubt. These are wonderful sections that talk about the need to let go of judging others, envying other people’s homes, belongings, etc. and letting go and learning to say “I have enough stuff”. These are things more people need to hear.

But there were 2 sections of the book in particular that I did not agree with. 2 sections that I found a bit hard to read because they were off. One section talked about being thankful for everything. I agree to a point that we must be thankful. However, she raised a point that we should be thankful for all situation and circumstances we are placed in. I simply disagree. I don't need to be thankful if I can't provide food for my family. Instead, I need to pray for God to send me a way to feed my family, whether that is in the form of someone bringing a meal or a new job that will provide means to buy food. I think that in all situations, however, there are things I can be thankful for. I also didn't like the section where she talks about expecting God to make His presence known. I believe that God always makes Himself known, we just can't always see it.


Anyway, I don't want to rant, but I wouldn't really recommend this book to friends. I would say it is lukewarm at best.

I received this book free from Tyndale for review. I was not paid to review this book. The above photo of the book cover is taken from google.com.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Long Time Coming

This post has been in the works for quite a while. I'm simply not happy with this blog. That said, I have been struggling with the idea of closing this blog and starting all over again. I don't know that I want to do that.

I haven't put a post on here in over 2 months. And I'm not quite sure I like that. I have decided, though, to keep this blog. I think what I will be doing is focusing this blog more on recipes and crafts and home life tips. I think I will be giving this blog a nice makeover.

My goal, ultimately, is to expand my reader base and to try to be more creative.

What does this mean for you, dear readers? Not a whole lot. I think I will be archiving the posts that I think fit along with this new style, and deleting the ones that don't. I'm going to also try to post more often. I've simply been in a slump.

That being said, please be patient. I'm currently working on my final book review for this blog (ok, ok...I'm still reading the book) and the holidays are quickly approaching. So, please hang out for a few weeks more, and hopefully we'll get this thing rolling.

Monday, August 22, 2011

DVD Review: Putting Others First (Paws and Tales)


I recently received a Paws and Tales DVD titled Putting Others First.

I was really excited to sit down and watch it with my daughter. Even though she's 1. She didn't do too much watching.

This DVD gives 2 short episodes about putting others first.

In the 1st episode, the main characters come across a stranded skunk who's wagon lost a wheel and tipped over. They were on their way to a school bake sale and wanted to get there before all the cake was gone, so they left him there to fend for himself, telling him they would send help. When they got to the bake sale, the cake was already gone and they never sent the help to the stranded skunk. Later, their grandfather (I think) finds out about it and sets them up on an errand. They must run to the school, stop by a customer, run to the store, and get to the lumber mill all within an hour. While at each place, the animals there have them do something for them, too. They get to the saw mill with 15 minutes to spare (they sure are a lot quicker than I would be!) after running into some trouble and having a little help themselves and run into the skunk again! He's had some more misfortune and the bears decide to help him this time and run late for the mill. When they get home and tell their pa that they helped the skunk but didn't get the wood, he tells them that he set them up and was proud that they put his skunk friend first this time.

In the 2nd episode, the main character finds out his dad is going to be employed by the towns wealthiest bear and his daughter has it out for all of the employees whose children she doesn't like. He decides to do as she wishes to save his father's job since all of his friends' parents have lost their jobs because she was upset with her schoolmates. She tries to get his dad fired after he refuses to carry her books to school but soon finds out that his dad is now the HR manager for her father's employees. He's rehired all of the other employees that lost their jobs and changes things at the hotel (her father's business). Then, he tells his son how much he appreciates that he would put him first.

In the first episode, I really liked the story and I liked the way that the episode linked to the Good Samaritan from Scripture. I found the story line suitable for children and something that they could relate to.

In the second episode, the father discusses blackmail with his son and I thought it a little inappropriate. I'm not sure that kids would "get it". I think they could have done a little bit better with the story line. Otherwise, I found the characters to be very relatable.

I thought the picture was a little jumpy, but I'm sure that has something to do with the fact that this is no VeggieTales production and that these film makers are on a limited budget. I enjoyed the extras included in the video, like the introductions and the sing-alongs.

All in all, I would recommend this DVD to a parent who has children in the 4-9 range that want to teach them about putting others ahead of ourselves.

I received this book free from Tyndale for review. I was not paid to review this book. The above photo of the book cover is taken from Amazon.com.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Basket Organization

Lately, I've been in a crafty mood. And a cleaning mood.

I cleared the clutter off of my counters and realized I needed a basket there to be the catch-all. But, it needed to be an organized basket. Frugalista that I am, I decided to find a basket around the house, and use some scrapbooking supplies.

Total cost: an hour of my time!

Oh! Please excuse the dark photos. This was done at 10:30 at night.

First, Find a basket. Then find a glass jar you are getting ready to send to the big green recycle bin. Mine was a jam jar.

Now, for the fun.

Gather your supplies. I used 2 manilla folders, 2 pieces of 12x12 scrapbooking paper, a ruler, a cutter, scissors, a pencil, a marker, a bone folder and glue dots. Just an FYI, I HATE glue dots, so I used them to gry to get them used up.

Use your cutter to cut off the very tops of the folders. This should make them rectangles. Then, unfold the folders and use your cutters to cut them in half on the fold.

Cut the squares down to the size you need. I needed them slightly bigger than a letter envelope, to fit bills and such.

Use the tops of the old folders that were cut off to create tabs on the new folders, if desired.

Use your ruler to mark the fold where the new folder will fold. Then use your bone folder to create a crease to ease the fold.

Now, cut your scrapbooking paper in half.

Put glue dots on the folder and place the paper on top. Use the bone folder to create a secure bond.

Now, cut down the paper to the size of the folder with your cutter.

Use scissors to cut the top off, where you marked the tabs.

Fold up the new folder and use your bone folder to create a nice fold.

Put labels on your tabs (I could only think of 2 at 11pm).

Put them in your basket.

Enjoy.

Just don't leave this for your spouse to find the next morning. I knew I had to take care of it right away.





Thursday, August 11, 2011

Frugal Finds: Boscov's

Thank goodness for my grandmother.

She and I went shopping with Girl to see what Fall goodies we could score with a gift card she gave for Norah's birthday.

We came to Boscov's (a local department store) and found a nice section of summer stuff and spring stuff on sale for 75% off. She got a handfull of stuff for N, all 75% off, and paid only $44 for everything below!

She got 2 shirts for next summer, a shirt for fall, spring capris, a rain coat (with a hood), a cute pink and orange outfit (also with a hood) for fall, a new swimsuit for next summer, 3 fall pajamas and a pair of summer pajamas. That's 11 pieces!

And did you see those original prices?!

Love her!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life Simplified: Puzzles

NOTE: I tried this with my daughter's puzzles and it only worked to a point. I think it would be a lot better for older kids who can open the bags by themselves and put the pieces back again.

Ok, on with the show!

  1. Gather your puzzles
  2. Gather your supplies: marker, labels, sandwich baggies, basket
  3. Put a label on a baggie and a label on your puzzle, marked the same way
  4. Remove the puzzle pieces and place them in the baggie
  5. Put the baggies in a basket and see the space saved
There you have it!

How do you keep organized?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Yummy Pintrest Recipe

I found this recipe on Pinterest. Is it ever wonderful!

I followed exactly, except I added cooked chicken chunks, took out the broccoli and added peas and carrots.

Now my mouth is watering all over again!

Plus, it's pretty low budget! Just my bowl of pasta, so to speak (errr, type?!).

ENJOY!