Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gotta Love A Great Amish Book~ Becoming Bea

When the wind starts howling and the snow starts blowing there is nothing I like better than to curl up with a good Amish book. I loved this book. This is book #4 in The Courtships Of Lancaster County. I am an Amish book lover so I have read all the books. This one is as good as all the others. I love Leslie Gould's style~ she grabs your attention from the first line.
Beatrice Zook and Ben Rupp have known each other for a lifetime. And they have never gotten along all those years. He has a way of driving her mad. And he seems to do it on purpose. In fact ~they have been great rivals. I found him rather charming so I am not real sure why Bea had such a hard time liking poor Ben. 
However~ Beatrice is not a real patient person. She has been learning patience in dealing with others as she is helping take care of triplets. 
Will she and Ben stop fighting long enough to understand just what is the underneath this rivalry?

Becoming Bea | The Courtships of Lancaster County series
Can Bea and Ben Turn Rivalry Into Romance?
Beatrice Zook knows God wants her to learn patience toward others. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.
One person she’ll never be able to find peace with though is Ben Rupp. They’ve known each other forever, and Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her. What neither she nor Ben will admit is that beneath all their bickering, attraction awaits. When friends decide to try and bring the couple together, will the pair be able to find true love? Or will they damage their relationship beyond repair?
Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 CBA bestseller "The Amish Midwife," a 2012 Christy Award winner; ECPA bestseller "Courting Cate," first in the Courtships of Lancaster County series; and "Beyond the Blue," winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She and her familyl live in Portland, Oregon.Learn more at

Homemade Christmas Bath and Body Recipes

 Homemade Christmas Bath and Body Recipes

Christmas Tree Bath Salts~
 1 cup Epsom Salt
12 drops of pine tree essential oil
green food coloring~ 8 drops (optional)

Mix ingredients in small bowl until blended.
Use 1/4 cup per bath.

Candy Cane Bath Salts
1 Cup Epsom Salt
12 drops of peppermint essential oil
red drops~ 8 drops (optional)

Mix ingredients in small bowl until blended.
Mix 1/4 cup per bath.

Gingerbread Body Scrub
1 tsp. cocoa powder
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 drops gingerbread essential oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. ginger

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. 

*I buy all my essential oils from Natures Garden Candles.*

The Countdown Begins Today~ Week # 1 (8 week plan)

Today makes 4 weeks till Thanksgiving and 8 weeks until Christmas.  I am as excited as can because all the kids are coming home for Christmas. That means lots of shopping, wrapping, cleaning and decorating. With several more weeks of restrictions while I recovery from surgery I am planning my work in bite size pieces.

Here is my plan for this week.

Week #1

* Make Thanksgiving menu
* Make Christmas menu
* Fill in gift list
* Set up wrapping station

Do you have a plan?  How do you get it all done?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Think I Just Might Live~

Matthew 6:8 (KJV)

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
 The past few months have been a little difficult but I am so thankful when I couldn't even focus to read my Bible I could talk with Jesus. 
I am feeling much better and I am heading to KC to see the Oncologist. I am sure with the great news that the tumor was benign I will be released  back to my regular doctor. I am so very thankful. 
I have learned my greatest spiritual growth has sprung from my deepest human pain. No pain that we walk through in this life is ever wasted. God never wastes pain!
No tears go to waste~ no battle~ no heartache and no struggle. God takes it all and ultimately works it all our good. It is in the learning to be patient and not knowing what God knows that I find my biggest challenge. 
We have to learn to trust God enough to take care of what we don't' understand and trust Him enough to make reason out of what we do understand. Some things nay not seem clear to us right now but when we trust God to work out His plan in our lives we will have peace in the midst of the storms of life. He is faithful and His love endures forever even on the most difficult days! 

Psalm 138:8 (KJV)

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's The Little Things~

Psalm 100:4 

 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Sometimes we women have a hard time staying content. We are always wanting something new, something better, something brighter. How many times ~I have thought if I could just go to Walmart (  I am a practical girl.) fill up a shopping cart  and get everything I think I need for my house to organize and make life better and prettier. Have you ever echoed that thought before?

The Scriptures are clear that a thankful heart is a happy heart. To have complete happiness we must enter into the Lord's presence with thanksgiving.  True happiness can not be bought or sought! It only comes from spending time with God in a close relationship. Everything else will only leave us feeling empty inside. God made us this way~with a need for Him.

When we try to put our husbands, children or things in this spot we will be unhappy!  I have found in my own life that when I am appreciative for all I have my mental, physical, and spiritual dimensions are in balance with each other. My chores run smoother and the mood of my home is peaceful. I find I am excited to jump out of bed each day challenged for what may come my way. I am  more fun to be around.

In our material world ~we need to take our eyes off the "stuff" and become women of thanksgiving. When we remain thankful, the possessions will be in proper perspective and happiness will not elude us.
I want to focus today on the little things and be thankful.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Surviving Menopause Without HRT

 Due to sugary I have been thrown into surgical menopause. Let me say I am not giving any medical advice here~ only sharing what is working for me.  I have spent hours researching and made my choices as I recommend others to do. Finding the right choice is important and for me and it helped hearing other people's real life stories.

I am terribly afraid of HRT. If you are doing good with it I am very happy it is working for you. After major surgery I was giving myself blood thinner shots to keep from developing blood clots! (NO FUN!) Yet sent home with HRT patches that can carry the risk of producing  blood clots. I just could not wrap my mind around that. I studied all the risk verses the benefits~talked with my Doctor~ for me I just could not bring myself to take the HRT.

I am  handling menopause beautifully. Actually feeling better than I have in several years. I am celebrating that!

Here is my more natural approach to this roller coaster ride.

* Black Cohosh ~ If I could say it a thousand times this has been a miracle herb for me. I started it about a year ago and it relieved my hot flashes, mood swings, and horrible body aches. It even gave me more energy. I take 540MG a day. ( My doctor advised that 900 MG is an overdose.) What I found in my research and discussed with my doctor is that it may cause liver damage~ more testing needs to be done. My liver enzymes were perfect and I will have them checked again in six months as per my doctor's recommendation. I was so thrilled that my doctor was on board with me because for me this works.

* doTerra Oils~  I am a new believer in essential oils. NO REALLY! They are amazing. I am using the Clarycalm at night before I go to bed. I use others for different reasons but that is another post. You can read about it here! I am so sold on these oils !

* Water~ I am drinking water all day long. As much as I can drink. It is helping with dry skin and hot flashes and making me feel well in general. I keep an iced cold water bottle at all times. It helps me say no to all the other stuff .

*  Diet and Exercise~ There is nothing like the word cancer to shock you into better health. Mine did not turn out to be cancer but my  hysterectomy jolted me into taking my health more serious. We only get one body and we need to treat it well. I have found out that certain foods aid in this process and certain foods make symptoms worse. I would rather heal my body with food and exercise rather than taking medicine. Here is an article that says it best~ click here.

All of these things have helped me not only recover from major surgery but are managing this roller coaster in life called menopause. And that is reason to celebrate this beautiful day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Hardest Peace ~ Kara's Story

I think this is the hardest book I have ever read. My heart is still grieving and my tears are still flowing.
Kara is a young mother who shares her cancer story.  She shares how she is realizing she never really had faith or knew what grace was until she is facing day to day life knowing cancer is growing and spreading throughout her body.  My mother's heart just broke when she describes trying to make the best of each moment with her children. I will continue to pray for Kara and her sweet family. May God give them peace and comfort as they face this battle.

*** I have two books to give away. 
All you have to do is leave me a comment that you will pray for Kara to enter.
 I will draw the winners on November 1st.***

Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and lead a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cancer is only part of Kara's story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality. She blogs faithfully at

The Hardest Peace
A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.
Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.
In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.
Learn more and purchase a copy at Kara’s website,Mundane Faithfulness.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Homemade Fabric Softener

I have had a lot of questions on my Fabric Softener~so here are my steps and photos. 
Hope this clears up questions!

Fabric Softener Recipe

1 cup vinegar
2 cups hair conditioner  ( I used Suave's new Wild Cherry Blossom this time)
6 cups of water

Mix all this together. You may use this like any other Fabric Softener.

 If you prefer~I diluted this down with water~ 3 parts water, 1 part softener. I then poured it into this glass container.  Next I added  sponges.  For each load~ wring out the sponge and add to the dryer as you would fabric sheets.  I added a few drops of  Downy scent!  Smells wonderful!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Too Blessed To Be Stressed~

If you are  anything like me~you  watch the news and read the Internet headlines each morning. I get concerned for my children and now my grandchildren. I see moral decay on every hand.  It appears at times that our world is spinning out of control and Satan has finally tipped the scale to his side!

Then the Lord speaks to me~Psalms 37! Even when it may look like evil will overpower righteousness, God promises never to abandon His children (verse 25). Though we may experience the heartaches of a sinful world, God promises to never forsake us. He even promises the blessings will extend to the next generation. Praise the Lord!

Just thought I would spread some faith over fear this morning~

  Psalms 37:1   Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

  Psalms 37:2   For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

  Psalms 37:3   Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

  Psalms 37:4   Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

  Psalms 37:5   Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

  Psalms 37:6   And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

  Psalms 37:7   Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

  Psalms 37:8   Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

  Psalms 37:9   For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

  Psalms 37:10   For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

  Psalms 37:11   But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

  Psalms 37:12   The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

  Psalms 37:13   The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

  Psalms 37:14   The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

  Psalms 37:15   Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

  Psalms 37:16   A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

  Psalms 37:17   For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

  Psalms 37:18   The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

  Psalms 37:19   They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

  Psalms 37:20   But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

  Psalms 37:21   The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

  Psalms 37:22   For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

  Psalms 37:23   The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

  Psalms 37:24   Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

  Psalms 37:25   I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

  Psalms 37:26   He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

  Psalms 37:27   Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

  Psalms 37:28   For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

  Psalms 37:29   The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

  Psalms 37:30   The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

  Psalms 37:31   The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

  Psalms 37:32   The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

  Psalms 37:33   The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

  Psalms 37:34   Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

  Psalms 37:35   I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

  Psalms 37:36   Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

  Psalms 37:37   Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end ofthat man is peace.

  Psalms 37:38   But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

  Psalms 37:39   But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

Psalms 37:40   And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. 

 God gently reminds me it is my job to be reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Simply sharing the most wonderful gift I have ever been given~eternal life and a life walking with my Saviour right now here on earth. I want the whole world to know how wonderful life is when you are walking and talking with the Heavenly Father!

Homemade Apple Pie~

Apple Pie Filling Recipe  
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples
(about 2-1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 stick butter
1. In a small bowl mix the cinnamon and sugar together.
2. Add apples to the pastry-lined pie plate.
3. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mix evenly over apples. Then sprinkle the flour on top of the cinnamon and sugar mix~slice butter over the top.
4. Cover the filling with the remaining dough, pinch top and
bottom sections together with your fingers.
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 - 60 minutes or till top is golden brown.
6. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving
the best hot apple pie you‘ve ever had!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On~

Woo hoo~ I am feeling better each day. That was a rough surgery ~ I won't lie. I have been missing in blog land and I have tried to stay off the computer.While trying to recover from major surgery the news has been dismal. Even Facebook can be so negative and discouraging.  If there was ever a time for a Christian to fall on their knees~ it is today. Our world needs God and NOW!

"Keep Calm and Carry On" first appeared in Great Britain as World War II began in 1939. The officials of Britain made up posters designed to offset discouragement and fear during the war. I don't know about you but I need to hear these words today. 

My mind quickly goes to the children of Israel when they were trying to build the Temple after returning to Israel after being in captivity. Their oppressors did everything they could to keep them from building the Temple. They tried to convince government officials to keep them from completing God's will in their lives. Yet~ in the end King Darius issued a decree allowing them to finish their Temple. (Ezra 5:7-17)

Life has a way of throwing us some curve balls~ things that knock us down. Issues that make us afraid and scared to live life. Yet~ just as the children of Israel had setbacks we too will have setbacks. But we must put faith over fear and carry on.  Why? because as servants of God we have a job to do ~ a life to live~ A LIGHT TO SHINE. (In Jesus name) We are servants of God.  We must determine to be courageous and calm as we carry on doing God's will in our lives. 

Ezra 5: 11 a~And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth,

God does not give us the spirit of fear but a sound mind. 

2 Timothy 1:7~For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 Isaiah 26:3 ~Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

No matter what setbacks may come today we can "Keep Calm and Carry On" because God promised to never leave us or forsake us. That is something to celebrate this beautiful day.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Too Loved To Be Lost~ Book Review

What a wonderful book of encouragement. Just what the doctor ordered! As I was just released from the hospital after surgery I was blessed with this sweet little book. Debra Coty has a special way of using her humor to encourage women in all walks and stages of life to crawl up in Papa God's lap and be loved unconditionally. The book reads like a devotional/ Bible study but broken down in chapters and bite size pieces/topics. 

As women we have some tough roads to walk through and at times we can feel so alone and unloved. Yet~ our  Papa God does not ever want us to feel unworthy, unloved or defeated. This book offers great big advice to women. Debra explains how God sees us through eyes of affection and not criticism.  The God who is not fixed on a list of do's and don'ts but rather the condition of our heart longs to walk with us. Papa God's love is never too lost or never too late. He is always right on time. 

I so enjoyed reading this book.

This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.



Seattle—In a world where a woman’s acceptance so often seems contingent on her looks, behavior or talents, does anyone love her simply for who she is? Debora M. Coty answers that question with a resounding “yes” in her new book, Too Loved to Be Lost: Discovering God’s Intentional, Unconditional, Without-Limits Love (Barbour Books/October 1, 2014/ISBN: 978-1628369694 /$9.99).
“I believe that women today spend a lot of time feeling taken advantage of, judged unfairly and accepted only within certain boundaries,” Coty says. “We need to know — really KNOW —there is One who doesn’t condemn or critique us, but instead loves, forgives and accepts us — quirks, meltdowns, zits and all.”
Coty says as women fear loss of acceptance and try to outperform one another, they can begin to view God as a ruthless, judgmental, stern entity just waiting for us to crash and burn. “Sure, our heavenly Father is holy and just. He’s righteous and wants us to be too. But that doesn’t make Him a mean ole hulking principal stalking the halls with a big paddle. That is so not our loving Papa God.” Filled with Coty’s trademark quirky humor, Too Loved to Be Lost offers women simple, practical steps for finding healing, refreshment and revitalization of spirit, body and faith.
Coty chose to use a travel theme for her book to illustrate life’s journey. A self-professed, “directionally challenged” traveler, Coty believes most women will experience the hopeless feeling of being truly lost at some point in their lives. She knows because she’s been there herself, struggling with depression for two years following six heart-wrenching miscarriages. “My wounds were so painful and raw that I distanced myself from the Lord,” Coty admits. “At my lowest point, He reached down to me with His tender mercies and gently began chipping away at the rock that was my heart.”
Coty tells readers that God allows detours to happen in their lives to show them deeper and higher facets of his limitless love. Whether they’re struggling with issues related to trust, depression, patience, relationships, hurts or hopes,Too Loved to be Lost will bring readers back to a secure love that no one can take away.
Too Loved to Be Lost is the fourth installment in Coty’s “Take on Life” series. Much like her earlier releases in the series,Faith, Fear, and a Fistful of Chocolate, Too Blessed to be Stressed and More Beauty, Less Beast, this latest volume is filled with humor and will deliver a much-needed smile while equipping readers with simple-to-implement tips for attaining the kind of guidance and belonging they crave — the kind only found in the unconditional love of Papa God.
Learn more about Debora M. Coty and Too Loved to Be Lost at, on Facebook or Twitter(@deboracoty).

The Mason Jar Book Review~

My Review~

This was an unusual book to read~ it is written from a man's perspective. I had a hard time getting into his style but in the end enjoyed the story. 

Eden gets a call from her old college roommate to tell her that Clayton( her old college sweetheart) had written a book all about her. 

Eden and Clayton had a sad love story. They were inseparable from the start. She was a dark haired beauty from California and he was a farm boy from Tennessee. Clayton was raised by his grandfather. They had this special letter writing tradition where Clayton would ask questions and his grandfather would answer them and write words of affirmation. They would leave these letters in a Mason jar on the grandfather's desk.

 Eden and Clayton had fallen madly in love. But out of nowhere Eden disappears and leaves nothing but a letter behind ~ asking Clayton to not come find her. Clayton just never could get over the love of his life.

Both Eden and Clayton go on with their lives. Clayton broken hearted and Eden thinking that he would  hate her forever. That is until Eden finds out that the Best Selling Novel that Clayton wrote is all about her. 

Can he forgive her? Where had she gone? Why did she leave like without giving him any reasons? 
All this is in the Best Selling Novel~ The Mason Jar. This is one reunion you don't want to miss.

About The Book~
**Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jarinterweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with WolvesA River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall. -  Taken from the press release.
Catch the spark by entering James’ Kindle Fire giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at James Russell’s blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rejoicing This Happy October

Happy October~ I am so happy I live in a world full of Octobers. I know that may be a famous saying from someone but it could not be truer. I love this time of year and just everything about it.

I am home recovering from my surgery. I have been just a little too loopy to post until today. But I just could not resist. The biopsy has come back benign ! Praise the Lord. I won't lie for all those who have been down this road of a full hyster surgery~ you know it is a doozy. I am so glad it is behind me. Please continue to pray for me as I recover that no complications arise. I am feeling a little better each and every day. Giving myself shots has proven to be a humongous challenge for me. They burn like the dickens~ only have three more days left. I could use just a little more help in the courage department.

I will be back to blogging soon~



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