WOW! {Warm Oven Wednesday} Flag Cake


 *4 cups fresh strawberries
*1 pkg.  (12 oz.) frozen prepared pound cake,    thawed, cut into 14 slices 
OR one 9x 13 white cake
*1-1/3 cups blueberries, divided
*1 tub  (12 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

make it!

SLICE 1 cup strawberries; halve remaining strawberries.
COVER bottom of 13x9-inch dish with cake slices top with sliced strawberries and 1 cup blueberries. Spread COOL WHIP over berries.
OR if using one"solid" cake skip fruit and go to next step--
ARRANGE strawberry halves and remaining blueberries on COOL WHIP to resemble a US flag. Keep refrigerated.


The Narrow Path by Gail Sattler

The Narrow Path
Book Description:  Miranda feels like she’s been transported back to Little House On The Prairie, and Ted’s head spins when Miranda reads the Bible on her cell phone. Yet Miranda Klassen and Ted Wiebe must find a way to make peace to meet their common goal to open the doors of Ted’s Old Order Mennonite church and community. Will they also find love in the process?

My Review:  It's been a long time since I've seen a new book out by a favorite author, Gail Sattler.  So, when I saw this book I immediately grabbed it!  WOW!  I was hooked from page one.  
This is a refreshing read about old ways meeting new ways, man meets woman, man is NOT impressed, woman is too modern.  Gail actually writes in the tone of the Mennonite ways (not an easy feat).  It was surprising to learn that the Mennonites have the new, the old and the in-between sects.  
Miranda and Ted come from two different worlds but they share the same faith.  Ted is a "true" Mennonite in that he is very frugal and focused on the law of the Book.  Miranda loves her Mennonite heritage but enjoys the modern ways in which she was raised.  She lives by the grace of the Book.  Heart felt christianity and food (warning: wonderful smells emanate from the pages) were the main topics in this fabulous read with music and romance playing second fiddle.  
This read will increase your faith and make you laugh.  I read this book in one day . . . I simply couldn't put it down.  So good . . .  like eating a GREAT apple streusel!
A great-tastic 100 star read! 

*I reviewed this book from my home library*


Driftwood Lane by Denise Hunter

Driftwood Lane: A Nantucket Love Story
Book Description:  Meridith can handle anything: guardianship of three distant siblings, a dilapidated Bed-and-Breakfast, even an ever-present handyman who's dismantling more than her fireplace--or can she?

When the death of Meridith's estranged father leaves her with custody of three siblings she's never met, she reluctantly goes to Nantucket to care for them--but only until their uncle returns from his trip. Little does she know, the uncle is already there under the guise of her friendly handyman, with plans of his own.
Will the love that grows between them be strong enough to overcome the secrets that brought them both to Driftwood Lane?

My Review:  Wonderful, wonderful wonderful!  A story about forgiveness, letting go and finding love in all the right places.  This story is one of those heart-string-tuggers.  Meridith doesn't realize that she has siblings until her dad and stepmom pass away.  
Caring for two elementary school age kids and a young teen makes for an interesting mix when the "lost" uncle shows up and Meridith doesn't know who he is.  Meridith is trying to figure out how to make a "go" of it all with a not-so-romantic fiancee in the wings.  Learning to love and care for her siblings makes for a sweet story.  Jake, the "lost" uncle is in the picture and posing as the handyman who can fix "it all."  Can he help "fix" Meridith's heart?  
As God so gently heals the deep wounds of Meridith's heart, comforts the parentless children and causes Jake to take a second look at his rambling life this GREAT 10 star read (it really is worthy of more than 5 stars) will cause your heart to sigh and you'll wish the story would never end!  This story gets two thumbs up from me!  

*I reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson Publishing (BookSneeze)*

About the Author:  Denise Hunter is the nationally published author of bestsellers Sweetwater Gap and Surrender Bay. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist.
In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
When Denise isn't writing she's busy raising three heroes-in-the making with her husband.
You can learn more about Denise through her website or by joining her FaceBook group at

Winners of Tyson Chicken . . .

Tyson Chicken Winners are 

                                                                      1.  MAN

                                                                      2.  Westword

                                                                      3.  Robin

                                                                      4.  Martha

                                                                       5.  Brandi

Winners have been contacted by email!

Thanks to everyone who entered!  
And thanks Tyson for your wonderful chicken and giveaway!


Winner of the Paperback Swap Book Giveaway . . .



Who won Sisterchicks Down Under

(Winner has been contacted by email)


Midnight in Madrid {The Russian Trilogy} by Noel Hynd

Midnight in Madrid (The Russian Trilogy, Book 2)
Book Description:  When a mysterious relic is stolen from a Madrid museum, people are dying to discover its secrets. Literally. U.S. Treasury agent Alexandra LaDuca returns from Conspiracy in Kiev to track down the stolen artwork, a small carving called The Pieta of Malta. It seems to be a simple assignment, but nothing about this job is simple, as the mysteries and legends surrounding the relic become increasingly complex with claims of supernatural power. As aggressive, relentless, and stubborn as ever, Alex crisscrosses Europe through a web of intrigue, danger, and betrayal, joined by a polished, mysterious new partner. With echoes of classic detective and suspense fiction from The Maltese Falcon to The Da Vinci Code, Midnight in Madrid takes the reader on a nonstop spellbinding chase through a modern world of terrorists, art thieves, and cold-blooded killers.

My Review:  This is the second book in the Russian Trilogy by Noel Hynd and the series just keeps getting better!  
In Midnight In Madrid Alexander (Alex) leads one of the most exciting and thrilling lives most of us only dream of living.  Alex is sent on a case to Madrid to find the thief and the stolen artifact.  She struggles with the "right and wrong" of actions needed in her line of work.  Sometimes, the actions cause her to wonder about her faith and she struggles with forgiving those who betray and kill.
A spell bounding story interwoven with danger, intrigue, betrayal, God's mercy and a small dose of romance.  Alexander works to find the "cause" of the power behind the artifact.  This is an engrossing read with a lot of action and suspense.  Not for the faint of heart!
I did read Conspiracy in Kiev, Book 1; however, I believe that this is a stand alone read.   You will either like or dislike this read--no in between!  I  love reading this series by Noel Hynd.  Once again Noel Hynd gives us a five star read!  Looking forward to reading Book 3, Countdown in Cairo.

*I reviewed this book for Zondervan*

About the Author:  Noel Hynd is an American author who has more than four million books in print. Most of his books have been in the action-espionage-suspense genre (Conspiracy in Kiev, Midnight in Madrid, Countdown in Cairo, The Enemy Within) but others (Ghosts, The Prodigy, A Room For The Dead and Cemetery of Angels) were highly acclaimed ghost stories. He currently has a multi-book publishing contract with Zondervan/HarperCollins.
He is also a former contributor to Sports Illustrated and several other national magazines. His 1988 non-fiction book, The Giants of The Polo Grounds, was an Editor's Choice of The New York TIMES Review of Books in 1988. He has also written several produced screenplays.
Mr. Hynd was born in New York City, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylavnia, and lives in southern California with his wife Patricia.
The Kindle editions of Midnight in Madrid and Conspiracy in Kiev were simultaneously numbers 1 and 2 among all books on Amazon's Kindle Best Seller lists in December 2009.
Several dozen foreign editions of his books have been published over the years. Readers are welcomed to reach Mr. Hynd at


Great-Tastic DEAL!!

This is a HOT magazine subscription deal from Best Deal Magazines! You can get a 1-yr subscription to Taste of Home Magazine for only $3.75with no auto-renewal! Talk about a giant savings if you tend to pick this up while in line at the grocery store!
Go to Best Deal Magazines, go to cooking on the left sidebar, search “Taste of Home”, add it to your cart and apply the code: TASTE20 at checkout!

The Witness by Josh McDowell

The Witness
Book Description:  From Monte Carlo to Morocco to Egypt and into Petra, Marwan Accad is pursued by authorities for murders he did not commit. Tracked by advanced intelligence-surveillance technology, his every location is eventually found out, thrusting those he loves into danger. Nurtured by a bitter past that equipped him with what he needed for his company to thrive, Marwan Accad never looks back. Yet the way forward promises only uncertainty, and living each day is a lie in which corruption and greed play in the lives of man. For whose lie is he going through all of this? Even as Marwan races against time to find his pursuers and their motives, he must grapple with what is beyond his life, with what is eternal.

My Review:  This is the first book that I've had the pleasure of reading my Josh McDowell.  
Just a word of warning:  Don't begin this book expecting to put it down any time soon.  With that said . . . Grab your sweet tea and the most comfortable chair in the house because once you begin this book don't plan on stopping.
The main character is not a christian so with his unsavory lifestyle he meets other christians and begins to see the error of his ways.  A different but definitely well thought out plot.  What is a life without Christ?  One of always running, seeking and looking for the One who gives life.  
This story caused me to stop and take a look at the kind of witness I present to the unsaved world.  Do my actions, words, deeds let others see Christ in me?  Marwan is framed for a murder he didn't commit and runs all over the globe trying to elude danger and trying to "figure out" who is trying to ruin him.  The hunter becomes the hunted!  Can Marwan heal and find what is truly looking for?
This more.than.words action packed suspense thriller will have you perched on the edge of your seat.  A very arresting, can't put it down read especially for those of us who enjoy a good suspense novel packed with I'm-turning-the-pages-as fast-as-I-can-read.  
I read this book in one setting.  It's THAT great!  
Need an action packed novel for that summer afternoon that calls for a great-tastic read!  Check out The Witness!

*I reviewed this book for Tyndale Publishing*


WOW (Warm Oven Wednesdays)! Tyson Chicken . . . GIVEAWAY (5 winners)!!!

We eat ALOT of chicken at our house.  So, when the Tyson Chicken representative contacted me about reviewing the new grilled ready to use chicken strips I was excited!  

New Tyson Grilled Chicken Breast & Strips are fully cooked, 98% fat-free whole breast fillets without preservatives or breading. They're the quick and easy way to enjoy grilled chicken without the grill (back of package).  I found this statement to be accurate and true SO I this is what I made:

*A green salad: 
iceberg lettuce, mixed greens, mandarin orange slices, carrot swirls, cherry tomatoes and a few bacon bits.  
Then I put the Tyson grilled & ready chicken slices on top of the salad.  Note**I did place the chicken in a skillet and heated it for just about 4 minutes on each side.  From the freezer to the table in minutes. 
We topped our salad with blue cheese dressing...YUM!  It was a wonderful salad for these too-hot-to-cook-Texas-days.  My husband and I loved the flavors of the vegetables and chicken.  This is a fresh tasting chicken and a great asset for my summer cooking recipes.

There are many great chicken recipes that could be made with this chicken and the grilled and ready chicken breasts are nice for those great Sunday dinners when the family wants more than just a light meal.

How would you use the new Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken?  Have a tried and true recipe or a cool summer meal in minutes?

GIVEAWAY!    Leave me your chicken dish and email.  

Then on June 28 I'll randomly pick a 5 (FIVE) winners to 
win 2 coupons each for your Tyson Grilled& Ready Chicken Breast Strips
and/or Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Filets!

But if you don't win . . . hurry to WalMart to buy this wonderful Tyson chicken!

“Collective Bias & Tyson provided me with a $50 gift card and 10 free product coupons to distribute for this campaign”


Flight on Fire Mountain by Tim Lane with Janet Ware

Flight on Fire MountainBook Description:   Josh looked back at the valley. The fire was halfway up the mountain. He had noticed the smoke intensify in the clearing while he was adding weights to the harness, but knew time was too critical to check the progress the fire had made in the valley. It was coming whether he was ready to launch or not. He worked frantically while not looking up.
For Josh, a seventeen-year-old paraglider, the past year has been a time of change and adjustment. After his parents’ divorce, Josh struggles with his new relationships with his stepfamily and is torn by his loyalty to both parents.
On his way to deliver a paraglider for his father, Josh is caught in a raging forest fire as it blasts through the San Bernardino Mountains. He seeks refuge in a cabin, but the flames soon consume it. As a last resort, Josh is forced to take flight in high winds in a glider that was made for someone his father’s size. His frantic flight against time and the elements becomes even more complicated when he encounters a terrified eight-year-old camper, Theresa Rodriguez, who has been separated from her family and is trapped on a mountain trail.
Does Josh have the skills necessary to carry out the dangerous tandem flight before the raging inferno engulfs them?
My Review: Flight on Fire Mountain is an interesting YA story about paragliding. The story also deals with divorce and dealing with "steps." 
The one aspect of the story I thought was exceptional was the matter of ALWAYS wearing a helmet for sports . . . one clip in the story gives a visual of a young man's life G-O-N-E because he didn't think it looked cool to wear a helmet while skateboarding.  He now will be a paralyzed for life with death trying to close in on him  because of infections.  Life issues of parents divorcing is a secondary subject but coming of age and rescuing himself (Josh) and a young girl is the real story.  Josh is feeling misplaced and somewhat defeated because he feels that his dad shouldn't have left him and his mom to fend for themselves.  However, he and his dad paraglide together despite the life issues surrounding them. 
 I felt the use of slang terms were not necessary for this book (since it is geared towards 9-12 year olds) or that it was necessary for adults to drink wine and beer. For these reasons I give the book 3 stars.  A church camp is mentioned in this book as are indirect references to praying and God intervening; however, this read is not classified as a christian book.  The storyline is fine with some action but this is a short, not-much-meat book.  If slang terms don't bother you or that people drink liquor then you may enjoy this read.  Not a "bad" read just lacking that something "special."  

*I reviewed this book for Reader's Favorites*


The Secret Life of Jonathan Sperry {DVD} *GIVEAWAY*

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

Description: Best buddies Dustin, Albert and Mark are twelve year old boys looking forward to a summer of fun in 1970.  When Dustin mows the lawn of seventy-five year old Jonathan Sperry, a man he has seen at church, a unique friendship develops. What happens the rest of this summer is something Dustin and his friends will never forget.

MY REVIEW:  I rarely review a dvd but my ten year old son and I sat down last Saturday afternoon to watch The Secret Life of Jonathan Sperry.  I wasn't quite sure what kind of movie this would be BUT I was pleasantly surprised by the intriguing story.  There is an amazing cast of actors but it's the message of the movie that will really touch your heart.  I was so glad that my ten year old was watching it with me.  He laughed and cried (well he had tears in his eyes.).  This movie is based on a true story, or so I was told.  A story that will touch your soul.  It is not an action, fast moving picture show.  It is a slower make-you-sit-up-and-take-notice movie!  This movie reminds me of the quote by S. Truett Cathy  (founder of Chick-fil-A), "It's easier to build boys than to mend men." A wonderful movie for boys but it also gave "me pause" -- to think about the words I speak, about the people I (need) to tell about Jesus' love, about forgiveness and what a child learns today will stay with him for a lifetime.  Need a great family movie?  This is it!  A wonderful 5 star watch!

I know you're asking where can I get such a GREAT dvd? Well,
at Amazon, of course. :)  The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry  





A new Award!

What a nice surprise to receive this award from 

Thanks for your kind words, Brenda!

I can't help but share my awards for when I receive one I feel like 
a kid receiving a ribbon for doing a great job!  

I enjoy reading and reviewing books but what makes it SO great is 
that y'all are actually reading my blog.  

THANKS!  Readers make my day!

1.Thank and link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself
     a.  I love to read!
     b.  I enjoy baking and usually cooking!
     c.  Am a bargain hunter---can't remember the last time I paid full price.
     d.  Love the Lord with all my heart, soul & mind!
     e.  Have taught elementary school for 10 years.
     f.   Was (notice the past tense) a principal for 1 year.
     g.  Am a pastor's wife and mother of a fine son!
3. Pass this award along to 10 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason!
 In no particular order:
 1.  Molly at Book Reviews
   I haven't had time to journey through cyberspace so here are the 5 that I recently found or have liked.
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award. 

And a Happy Father's Day to All those great Dads!

Happy Father's day to our wonderful dads!
Who keep us all "tied" together!


Many, many, thanks to my helpful and sweet friend, Molly at Book Reviews, for this beautiful new Rose Blog Award! Thanks, Molly! This award is presented to people who encourage new and growing bloggers. I'm passing this award on to:

Abi @ 4 the Love of Books

Megan @ Inspired by Fiction

Casey @ Operation Encourage An Author

The rules for accepting this award:

1. Put the Rose Award either on a post or your blog. 

2. Pass this award on to 3 or more bloggers.

3. Link to the winners of this award in a post.

4. Leave an encouraging comment on three or more blogs. 

5. Add a link to the award from whom you were given it.


After my review of Every Woman's Marriage by Shannon Ethridge.  My friend, Kristen, at posted this link.  I read it AND knew I needed to share it with you.  It's great!  Go read and then leave a comment about what you think > > >

I think this is a great read:  5 Ways to Make Marriage Last

Book of Hours by T. Davis Bunn

by Davis Bunn (Author)The Book Of Hours (Paperback)

Book Description:  Brian thought he had no future. Now he has the chance to start over...if he can solve the mysteries of the past found inside Castle Keep.

After his wife’s death, Brian Blackstone’s days and hours had become a meaningless blur. He finally wills himself to go to the English village of Knightsbridge to confront the inheritance he doesn’t want to claim. His wife had insisted that Castle Keep was a place of enchantment, and urged him to hold on to the crumbling property. Impoverished and alone, Brian feels only the despair of trying to honor her dying wish.
Then a mysterious letter sends Brian on a search to find the secrets of the ancient estate. And the local doctor, Cecilia Lyons, soon becomes an ally in the fight to save Castle Keep before it can be auctioned off.
Before he comes to the end of his quest, Brian will unearth the crumbling English manor’s secrets as well as find his own life in jeopardy. But it is Brian’s internal quest that proves the most dificult as he desperately searches for renewal and healing.

My Review:  I love a good mystery/suspense read!  I almost didn't read this book because the cover was not attractive to me.  However, I read the back and the found a curious mixture of delight and excitement in regard to the book of hours that was used in the early centuries of the church.  I had never heard of the book of hours in history.  So, I began reading this page-turner-of-a-story.  I was quite involved in the history of this book as well as the mystery that develops when Brian finds a letter in his deceased wife's belongings.  Feeling somewhat despondent and out of sorts Brain decides to visit "this place" mentioned in his wife's letter.  Off Brian goes with suspense following at his every footstep.  Can Brain with his new found friend, Cecilia, save the Castle Keep?  What secrets are hounding Brian's life?  Don't know the answers....want to find out then read this fantastic book!  I absolutely LOVE this 5 star book. 

*This is one of the books on the giveaway list from Monday*

Friday Will you help?

A group of college students are raising money 
to rescue girls in India who have been sold into sex slavery. 

 Watch the clip and see if God is prompting you to be a partner in this endeavor.

Every Woman's Marriage by Shannon Ethridge

Every Woman's Marriage: Igniting the Joy and Passion You Both Desire (The Every Man Series)
Book Description:  Set Your Husband’s Heart Ablaze 

Are you a “desperate housewife,” committed to marriage yet longing for a deeper, more intimate connection with your husband? Believe it or not, you can have the marriage you long for–if you’re willing to take desperate measures. 

If you’re ready to stop the blame game and pursue the marriage of your dreams, let authors Shannon and Greg Ethridge show you how to reignite your relationship with spiritual, emotional, and physical passion. Drawing on real-life stories from both men and women, as well as lessons from their own less-than-satisfying early years of marriage, they offer provaocative insights about what it takes to nurture a dynamic marriage, including…

·what makes a husband’s heart grow cold–and how you can fan the embers into flame

·the difference between being “right” and being “righteous” 

·how to fight fair

·how to guard your heart against unhealthy comparisons

·the dynamic power of getting spiritually and emotionally naked

·what your husband really wants most (It’s not what you think!) 

Every Woman’s Marriage will give you practical tools and wise biblical counsel for transforming a listless marriage into a vibrant, exciting relationship. Get ready to set your husband’s heart ablaze!

My Review:  I picked this book, Every Woman's Marriage, simply because I want my marriage to be better and so that I can increase my knowledge on how God wants me to be the best wife possible for the man I chose as my husband.  Yes, I chose him with God's help.    God didn't make me marry him; therefore, I believe that I have the responsibility to create a great home atmosphere and, yes, I believe I need to be a helpmeet for my husband.  Shannon has many wise words for us wives but I really enjoyed the chapter "what men (really) want most."  Your husband really wants YOUR smiling face . . ."Your husband's greatest desire doesn't revolve around sex, sports, sandwiches, sitcoms, or success, but around your smiling face."  It helped me to put our lives in perspective.  I've gained some of those unwanted, middle-of-the-mile-pounds so I'm not quite as thin as my wedding photo.  I know my husband loves me because he shows me his love by keeping the bills paid, airing the tires on the van, helping me make our bed and putting the dishes away in the dishwasher.  
In our society thin is in but does thin always make a great wife?  I'm not so sure thin has anything to do with marriage. (shocker, I know!)  I enjoyed reading Shannon's short clip of "Wresting the Body Bear Image."  Our marriages are not just for us!  As Shannon writes at the ending of the book "These principals are the best way to affair-proof and divorce-proof marriages, the best way for families to live in harmony with one another, and the best way for children to grow up in homes where they can learn to respect, love and cherish others, including, some day, their own spouses." I love my husband and now I love him even more! Okay....if you're on the edge of divorce this book may not be the "fix it" you crave BUT it will help you to love and understand that wonderful man YOU chose to marry!  
This is a wonderful 5 star read for those who want to "help" their marriage with a workbook included at the back of the book.  
**I would caution that this book is probably best for those who are married or going to be married in the very NEAR future (intimacy in marriage material---not bad---just not for young eyes).

*I reviewed this book for Reader's Favorites*