Monday, October 31, 2011

What's on My Nightstand?

We have returned! I have tons of photos and stories to share but it will be awhile before everything gets written and the photos are edited.

Note - this was supposed to be published while we were in Portland but Blogger was not cooperating. I tried to publish it several times but wasn't having any luck. So, I'm going to post it now! Better late than never.

What's On Your Nightstand

I've read quite a lot this month, though a good portion of it is children's classics. My husband and I are in Portland this entire week so I probably won't get much more reading done this month!

COMPLETED (links are to my full reviews)

Children's literature
  • Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace - 4 stars. Very cute story.
  • Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace - 4 stars. Cute but not quite as good as the original. Would make a good read aloud for young girls.
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - 4 stars. Another excellent book that somehow escaped my reading list as a child.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - 2 stars. Loved it as a kid but now have reservations about some of the spiritual aspects of the book.

  • Lady Susan by Jane Austen - 3 stars. Not as good as some of her other books.
  • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson - 3 stars. I would have hated this book as assigned high school reading.

Christian Fiction
  • Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom Davis - 4 stars. Heart wrenching story. Highly recommend.
  • Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes - 4 stars. Not your typical Christian fiction. It hurt to read this book but it was touching!

  • The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister - 3 stars. Not as good as I had hoped. Great story but the formatting of the story/book made it extremely difficult to read.


Secular Fiction
  • Spinning Forward by Terri DuLong - 2 stars. Dropped it. Would have been an alright story but for the explicit love scene 2/3 of the way through. Ugh.


Happy November reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On our way!

We are packed and ready to go. Portland, here we come!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Whole Bible Story - a book review

I really dislike giving negative reviews of books, especially when it's a book that has been "gifted" to me by a publisher. Unfortunately, I have to warn people away from The Whole Bible Story. An equally distressing fact is that I lost the note card I was using to write down places where the author presented information contradictory from the Bible.

The three biggest contradictions that I can recall:

1 - The author writes that "because the people had worn flashy jewelry and clothes while worshiping the golden calf, Moses said they were prohibited from ever dressing like that again" (pg 49). This instance is referring to Exodus 33:5 and 6 where God tells Moses to "'say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.' And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb."

Nowhere in this text does God or Moses say it is a permanent ban on jewelry and flashy clothing. As a matter of fact, God talks in Isaiah about dressing Israel in jewels as a sign of His favor.

2 - The author implies that the Bible itself commands a change of worship from Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday. Nowhere in the Bible does God or the early Christian church advocate such a change. The change to Sunday worship began several hundred years after Christ died (Council of Laodicea, Canon 29, 363–364 AD).

From the book: "In Troas, the church met on Sundays to honor the day that Jesus rose from the dead. They shared a meal together, which included the celebration of the Lord's Table, also known as Communion" (pg 281).

This meal, and Paul's sermon, was actually on the Sabbath and last until after midnight on Saturday evening/Sunday morning. The Bible does not state that Sunday is the Sabbath, nor does it state that worship should be on Sunday to honor the day Jesus rose from the dead. The Sabbath was instituted at Creation, as a memorial to the work God completed. It was established as an everlasting covenant with God's people, not a day that could be changed at will by man.

3 - The author states that "David eventually married Saul's oldest daughter, but he fell in love with Saul's other daughter, Michal" (pg 94).

However, the Bible says: "but it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife" (1 Samuel 18:19). The Bible never states that Merab and David were married, only that they were supposed to have been.

The premise of this book is interesting - "The purpose of this book is to tell the story of the Bible" (pg 11). It is not a paraphrase or a translation. It merely attempts to tell the story of the Bible while leaving out Old Testament laws, Psalms, Proverbs, the epistles, and the book of Revelation. The purpose of the book is to allow someone who is not familiar with the Bible stories to become acquainted with them while avoiding getting bogged down in some of the "more difficult" sections. That's all well and good, but in stripping the Bible of the Psalms, the epistles, and other books, The Whole Bible Story lacks a soul. The reading was extremely dry, "just the facts, ma'am."

Thank you, Bethany House, for allowing me to read and review this book. However, I cannot in good conscience recommend it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This week's menu

On Friday morning, we are headed to Portland OR for nine days. Our first vacation! A dear college friend of hubby's is getting married the second weekend we will be there. We are really excited! In light of being gone, we are spending the week trying to clear out our fridge.

Breakfast – Smoothies
Lunch – Avocado Sandwiches
Dinner – Pizza

Breakfast – Smoothies
Lunch – Homemade ramen - This was REALLY good. Definitely a keeper.
Dinner – Macaroni and cheese

Breakfast – Fruit
Lunch – Leftover mac&cheese
Dinner – Sloppy Joes
*soak almonds for tomorrow's tuna salad sandwiches*

Breakfast – Company Oatmeal (Newstart, pg. 20)
Lunch – Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Dinner – Spaghetti

Breakfast – Smoothies
Lunch – Tofu Cutlets (Newstart, pg. 117) made into sandwiches with BBQ sauce
Dinner – Burritos

Breakfast – not sure what to eat before the flight (10am and lunch won't be until 2)
Lunch – SushiBen2Go - Japanese food!
Dinner – Portland, tbd

Breakfast – Cold cereal and fruit, picked up from Food Fight Grocery on Friday
Lunch – A picnic lunch. We're spending Sabbath on the coast!
Dinner – ChixStix - Japanese food!

Monday, October 17, 2011

30 day challenge - get dressed!

I find it interesting how timing works. You see a mention of something specific in an email and then again a day or so later in a blog post. The two information sources are completely unrelated and yet they mention the same specific idea.

First my brother emailed me this video:

Then, I read a post on The Modest Mom about a 30 day Get Dressed! challenge. What a perfect start to the idea of 30 day challenges. I don't know about you, but being a housewife and not being required to see anyone most days allows me to dress down as much as I want. Fun, yes. Attractive, no. I spend most days in workout clothes or a denim skirt and t-shirt. I'm sure my husband would appreciate it if I looked nicer!

So, my first 30 day challenge - get dressed! Every day. All day. I will wear a skirt and a sweater/blouse, or a dress, and take a few minutes to style my hair. Some days I'll even put on some lipstick.

Want to join me?

The Get Dressed Challenge!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quilting update - two rows complete

My quilt top is finally coming together. Last week, I completed the last of the 20 blocks.

Today I sewed the first ten blocks into two rows.

I want to sew the other half of the blocks into rows before sewing these two rows together. The quilt is coming out a bit smaller than I had hoped. I think it was a problem with my seam allowances not being exact and having to cut each block down to the same size. If I have enough of the dark pink fabric or can find more at Joann, I will add a small border before putting together the quilt sandwich.

Hopefully I'll finish the top this weekend. I can't wait to finish this quilt and move on to my Christmas projects - table runners!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday


Breakfast – Smoothies
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Garbanzos A La King (Newstart, pg. 106)

Breakfast – Cereal; raspberry muffins
Lunch – Tofu Cutlets (Newstart, pg. 117)
Dinner – Spaghetti; garlic bread; salad

Breakfast – Smoothies
Lunch – Toasted Avocado Sandwiches
Dinner – Macaroni and cheese (Newstart)

Breakfast – Company Oatmeal (Newstart, pg. 20)
Lunch – Homemade Ramen
Dinner – Eating out with brother and family for our anniversary/hubby's birthday

Breakfast – Potato Pancakes (Newstart, pg. 31)
Lunch – Easy Vegan Pad Thai
Dinner – Spaghetti; garlic bread; salad

Breakfast – Smoothies
Lunch – Unsure; brother will be eating with us
Dinner – Homemade pizzas

Last week's successes:
Pumpkin pancakes

Macaroni and "cheese"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First spelunking trip - in photos!

Starting up the trail

We're hiking up there?

Almost to the cave!

Climbing down through the cave entrance

Hubby looking amazing

Tiny tunnel I was crazy enough to crawl through

What's on the ceiling?

Cool formations!

Massive stalagmite

It's taller than I am!

Most of the spelunking group

Light at the end of the tunnel

Colorful bug

Hubby and I at the top of the trail

View from the top

Hiking back down


Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - a failure and a few successes


I'm excited to do some real cooking this week but I've been feeling run down the last two days. Frustrating! My brain is active but my body is tired. We'll see what I can accomplish.

Breakfast – Waffles with homemade Strawberry spread
Lunch – Quesadillas
Dinner – Mac & cheese (Newstart, pg. 107)
*Make pumpkin pie! (Newstart, pg. 57)*

Breakfast – Smoothies – banana/strawberry
Lunch – Subs
Dinner – Better Burgers (Newstart, pg. 114); mashed potatoes; brown gravy (pg. 86)

Breakfast – Cereal and raspberry muffins
Lunch – Grilled avocado sandwiches
Dinner – Pasta with the yummy, yummy sauce; garlic bread; vegetable or salad

Breakfast – Smoothies – banana/raspberry
Lunch – Subs
*Make beans for dinner, pg. 118*
Dinner – Haystacks (Newstart, pg. 119)

Breakfast – Cereal; toast; apple or orange
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Pasta with the yummy, yummy sauce; garlic bread; vegetable or salad

Breakfast – Smoothies – banana/strawberry
Lunch – Subs
Dinner – Homemade ramen
*make Zucchini Spinach Lasagna for Sabbath, (Newstart, pg. 128)*

Breakfast – Smoothies
Lunch – Zucchini Spinach Lasagna
Dinner – Pizza!

Last week's successes:

Yummy Pad Thai

Hubby - "You said put the salsa and chips on the salad, right?"

Sexi Mexi Salad

My Sunday bummer:
Pumpkin pie

It looked really good. It smelled good while baking. But it tasted nasty. The entire thing was tossed out. It was a new recipe, one that used dates to sweeten the pie instead of brown sugar. It also had different spices than I'm used to (cardamom?). It was just an big failure.

Oh well! I still have these beauties to cook up.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October reading challenge - Maud Hart Lovelace

I found an event I have to participate in, the Maud Hart Lovelace reading challenge. I have seen Lovelace's books praised on a number of blogs but I have not yet read any of her books!

It looks like my library has at least the first three books, so I aim to read those three.
  • Betsy-Tacy (1940)
  • Betsy-Tacy and Tib (1941)
  • Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (1942)

I believe we are visiting the library on Tuesday evening so I will pick the books up that evening. I can't wait!