Breakfast (or any other time) Smoothies

1 1/2 cups ice cubes

1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries (you could use fresh of course, but you may want to add more ice for a more frozen consistency?  I'm not sure....)
1/2 cup canned apricots
2 bananas (peeled of course)
1/3 cup frozen blueberries or blackberries
1/2 cup plain, cream top yogurt
1 Tbsp honey

Since I am using a food processor, I usually add my ice and chop/process that for about a minute, then add my frozen strawberries, and process until those are finely chopped.  Then I add everything else and process until smooth.  If you are using a blender, from what I understand, you can just add it all in there and blend away until smooth.  This makes about three tall glasses~about 30 ounces of smoothie.  

Chicken & White Bean Wrap

12 oz. shredded cooked chicken breast
2 cans white beans (Navy beans), drained & rinsed and slightly mashed
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 (6 oz) containers of Greek plain yogurt
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
3/4 cups cucumber, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
Salt and pepper

Mix everything but the tomato together and mix together.  Fold in tomatoes and serve with tortillas and lettuce.

Total calories for filling = 1460 calories
12 servings = 122 per serving
Filling + 100 calories wrap = 222 calories per wrap

2 Chicken & White Bean Wraps = 444 calorie dinner


{Litfuse Blog Tour} Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

Book Description:  Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in Englisch ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.

Although she is also in her rumschpringe years and not obligated to move, Marianna makes the journey to dutifully help her mother who is expecting another child. Surprisingly, from strangers on the cross-country train ride to the less rigid stance of the new Montana community, many Englisch influences awaken within Marianna—and even her father—the desire to pursue a deeper kind of joy and love for God.

After an accident, Marianna tells her friend Ben a defining story about the Sommer family, and his response further illumines the active relationship God seeks with His followers. In due time, she learns the move from Indiana was not about losing anything, but finding out who God really is. Despite all the shake-ups, Marianna feels a sweet peace, like still waters, in her soul.

My Review:  I'm a dyed-in-the-wool fan of Tricia Goyer's writing so jumped at the chance to read this novel, Beside Still Waters.  She had me at page one.  
The prologue begins with a sweet Amish family riding along on a calm evening.  Then disaster hits!  The family is hurting and devastated (so is the reader)!
Then the story jumps to chapter one where we meet Marianna and her Amish family.  We get a glimpse of Marianna's life as her family makes the decision to move Indiana to Montana-from a place where they know everyone and everyone knows them to completely starting over.  A decision that Marianna is not happy with. She knows/plans to move back to "her" community as soon as she can save enough money. She hurts at the thought that she must leave the "only" man she has ever loved but yet Aaron, her one and only, has yet to ask her if she wants to marry him.
Interestingly, Marianna doesn't have to move because she is in her rumschpringe (running around years) years and could stay if she so wished.  However, being a dutiful daughter and seeing how her older brother's rumschpringe to follow the world and not the Amish community has hurt her parents Marianna decides to move with her family and help her pregnant mother.
In Montana, of course, everything is very different but the Sommer family digs in and begins to adjust.  Marianna meets Ben.  Ben is patient, kind and forgiving.  Ben has a story all his own too.  A story that allows Marianna to catch a glimpse of what forgiveness and love is all about.
Marianna finds herself attracted to Ben and his peace.  But clings to to her love for Aaron Zook.  Unbeknowest to Marianna Aaron is fighting his own personal wars at home and learning that a long distance love is just that v.e.r.y long distance when there are other more willing girls right at his doorstep.
There are also some great Amish recipes posted in the back of the book.  The Haystacks look like a a fun and easy meal.  Can't wait to try them!
This is was a wonderful 5 star read!  Not just another Amish read but a thought provoking based on a real life story of Saretta and her family.  This book is not to be missed and you don't even have to be a fan of Amish reads!

*This book was provided for review by Litfuse Publicity Group*

About the Author:

Tricia Goyer has published over 150 articles for national publications such as Guideposts for Kids, Christian Parenting Today, and HomeLife, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia has founded programs to assist teens and teen moms through the Hope Pregnancy Center in Northwestern Montana, where she and her husband, John, live with their three children.


90 Days of God's Goodness Devotional by Randy Alcorn

Book Description:  Daily Assurance in the Face of Life’s Hardest Struggles

When life throws challenges at us, our view of God’s presence can become cloudy. If God is good, why is there so much evil and suffering? In times of hardship, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s purpose, goodness, and love. 

90 Days of God’s Goodness helps disperse the fog—little by little, discovery by discovery, day by day. Through these thoughtful, inspiring devotional readings, bestselling author Randy Alcorn brings clarity to the question of God’s goodness. 

For anyone who’s ever suffered, or shared in a loved one’s suffering…or for anyone who’s ever been painfully distressed by the prevalent evil in this world…90 Days of God’s Goodness opens a wide door to healing and the reassurance of a God whose love we can count on and always turn to.

My Review:  90 Days of God's Goodness by Randy Alcorn is another great devotional with daily reflections that shine light on personal darkness.
Best selling author, Randy Alcorn, offers his unique insights on the ups and downs of life.  
This nice, hardback book includes 90 devotionals with thoughtful mediations that will help one to see and recognize the wonderful works of God.
At times life throws us challenges.  Some times those challenges can lead us to a dark maybe depressive place; however, this devotional challenges us to rely  on the One who created us for a specific reason.
Chapter 6, Suffering Is No Accident, is one of my favorite chapters.  The chapter begins with Psalm 34:11-19, then a short devotional, and lastly a prayer to go with the devotional.  Each devotional is roughly two to three pages long and each devotional brings a thought provoking idea for the reader.
This is a great 5 star devotional for those going through a rough time or simply a devotional for those who want to draw closer to the Lord in times of learning.  This read would also make a great "Get Well Card" for someone who is learning to trust the Savior!
As Randy Alcorn tells us, "God is in charge."  What a grand thought!
*This book was provided for review by Reader's*


God Gave Us the World by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Book Description:  Little Cub’s trip to a special museum exhibit, “Bears Around the World,” sparks a flurry of questions from the young polar bear who is just beginning to learn about life beyond her North Pole home.  

As Mama Bear shares with her about the different types of places that God has put the various types of bears, with their different kinds of fur and food, Little Cub begins to wonder: Why didn’t God make us all the same?
With Mama’s loving guidance, Little Cub is taught to see the vastness of God’s wonderful creation; His abilities as an amazing, inventive Creator; His desire for us to care for our world, and especially the important lesson that…
“Every bear has a special place in God’s great, big world.”
This adorable story offers young children who are discovering their place in God’s big world an opportunity to learn about the wonder of diversity, the gift of creativity, the importance of caring for His gifts, and how each child-each creation-is special to God. 

My Review:  "The whole world is like a mirror of God's work."  Mama Bear tells cub.  And this is what the story, God Gave Us the World is all about. 
Little Cub is like most curious children. She asks questions about life, other bears and the world she lives in.  Being inquisitive and busy Little Cub is trying to find out why she exists.  Mama Bear is ever patient and explains God's ways to Little Bear.  
A visit to the zoo and museum allows Little Bear to glimpse at the vast world God has created for us all. But also brings about questions that include why there are other bears, where do they live and are they like me?
This is a great way to discuss God's plan and how God created the world for us.
Of course, there are other bears that Little Bear meets and other animals plus the different parts of the world that include snow, sand, rain forests and of course, home.
This a sweet book 4 star story geared toward the early reader.  The illustrations match with each page so the child can understand through pictures what is going on in the story.
*This book was provided for review by Reader's*

Other books also written by Lisa:



WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Chalupa Roast

3-5 lbs roast, coated in chili powder
Layer in crockpot as follows:
1 chopped onion
2 1/2 cups dry pinto beans
2 cans rotel
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can green chilies
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
1 cup water

DO NOT STIR.  Cook on low 16 hours.  After cooking, stir, shredding roast.  Serve with tortillas, cheese, sour cream, etc.


The DMZ a novel by Jeanette Windle

Book Description: More than a decade after the end of the cold war has chilled the Marxist rebel movements around the world, one hot spot remains: Colombia. Why a democratic country with a growing economy should still feel the brushfires of a civil war is a mystery to U.S. analysts, but not to certain parties on the other side of the world.

The inexplicable loss of three major U.S. assets draws the attention of the world to the Colombian demilitarized zone. Are the local Colombian rebels responsible? Or is a deadly Middle Eastern secret cloaked by the jungle canopy of the DMZ?

Among the contingent of politicians and media headed for the DMZ seeking answers is reporter Julie Baker, whose parents had been missionaries in Colombia. Old hurts and terrors surge as she revisits the place of her birth... and her parents' deaths. When Julie's own abduction by guerrillas triggers a time bomb that has been ticking under the feet of the U.S. for a decade, she is left with more questions than answers.

My Review:   My review of this incredible book,  The DMZ a novel by Jeanette Windle  needs to begin with the definition of DMZ: "demilitarized zone: a zone from which military forces or operations or installations are prohibited."  This is not only the title of this novel but an important aspect of the read itself.
Julie Baker is a journalist who, against her publisher uncle’s wishes, accepts a job covering the turmoil in Columbia. She returns to the country she vowed she’d never enter, after her missionary parents were murdered when she was sixteen. Now Julie finds herself in the DMZ!  Not a place most of want to find ourselves but for Julie this is where the road of life has led her.  Now, "The guerrilla commander’s glance was indifferent, and with it, Julie’s shoulders slumped with relief. Then this nightmare was all over, and they were all about to be released. But with his next words, his tone chilled to solid ice, and Julie’s stomach with it." 
This action packed adventure is also laced with some romance between Julie and her Special Forces officer, Captain Rick Martini.  If you enjoy politics and suspense then this thriller read is for you! 
This book was completed on September 11, 2001, and is somewhat prophetic in light of the events of the past decade.
This is a very thick read but worth the time. One of those reads that makes one pause to ponder.
*This book was provided for review by Litfuse Publicity Group*


APRIL FOOL'S DAY FUN! Leave a Caption-Contest! Win a Book!

I love this picture from National Geographic's Best of 2010!  
Leave a caption and win 

*For one extra entry be follower of this blog! 
Leave as a separate comment (possible 2 entries)

Contest ends April 15, 2011!
**Remember to leave your email address with your caption!**


EIN STEIN The Chipmunk Who Became an Engineer by Uncle Andy

Book Description:  Ein Stein, a most inquisitive chipmunk, is also a very frustrated chipmunk. He loves peanuts and there just happens to be a peanut farm just across the river from his home! Nuts! How can he get to it? The little chipmunk tries several different ways to cross the river. Ein uses a boat and a lily pad, but all of his attempts end in failure. Discouraged, he is about to give up, when his father tells him the story of Robert The Bruce, a Scottish king who watched a spider try and fail six times before it could weave its web. Encouraged by the story, Ein tries again. He engineers an overhead wire, similar to the one he uses to cross his busy street, as a bridge. But how can he get the wire bridge across the river? Ein is stumped. But just like Robert The Bruce, Ein decides to never give up. He too watches a spider spin its web, and is inspired by nature’s finest engineer. It is then that The Chipmunk Who Became an Engineer produces a step-by-step plan to cross the river. Will Project Peanuts succeed?

My Review:  One day, Ein Stein tells his parents why stones sink. They come with the name Ein Stein for this intelligent chipmunk.  Ein Stein's parents tell him that he is now named for the famous scientist.   Ein Stein is a cute play on words for a chipmunk's name.  Ein is determined to find a way across the busy road to the peanut farm. 
First, he decides that the road is too busy so he thinks of the gently flowing river that runs along the property.  He then draws plans for a grand boat that will carry him to the peanut farm.  But the current is too fast for the small boat and he must head home before he loses his life and his boat.  The next day he tries paddling closer to the stream's edge but again no go.  Then his father tells him a story about a knight who was hiding in a small hut and watched a spider build its nest over and over until it was just right.
So, Ein doesn't give up. The next day he decides to build a bridge.  He draws a plan but after trying to build the sticks break.  He goes home.
But the next day he tries again.  Ein doesn't give up on his dream.  And his father doesn't give ip on his son but continues to help Ein and encourage him in his endeavors.
A great 4 star book for children who love to think and build and a fantastic lesson in never giving up.  Keep trying and don't let go of your dreams!
*This book was provided for review by for Reader's*


WOW! Cranberry Butter

The Pioneer Woman has the most incredible recipe for Cranberry Butter.  
Go HERE to see recipe! I'm thinking this will make a great Easter spread!  


A Deeper Kind of Calm

Book Description: Through the Psalms, women can learn how to positively handle the disappointments of life, discern the comforting truth found in God’s Word, and be encouraged to deal with the waves of trials, depression, and discouragement.

• Includes a 4-week Bible study

My Review:  The Psalms are one of my favorite books of the Bible.  When I need comfort, peace or am in need of encouragement this is the book of the Bible that I immediately turn to.  
In a Deeper Kind of Calm Linda speaks from the heart.  Sometimes with humor, sometimes straight up and always with kindness.  
This is a short, four chapter book.  But filled with "gems" from the Scriptures.  The study guide provided at the back of the book is ideal for a short (four week) study on joy during difficult situations. The focus is on Psalm 77~ I remember, Psalm 46~ I hide, Psalm 63~I cling and Psalm 84~ I journey.
Through the soul.searching.words of Psalms we gain a Deeper Kind of Calm that comes from the Father of Love.
Even if you're not experiencing anxiety, depression, trials or discouragement this book and study will give you a faith lift and also will help you understand that even biblical heroes even had times of learning to trust more in God.
Even though this a short 103 page book (not including the Bible study pages) the depth of knowledge that one gleans from its pages is phenomenal.  
If you are longing for a Deeper Kind of Calm be sure to pick up this great-tastic book and start your study today!  You won't be disappointed!
*This book was provided for review by NavPress*

Click HERE; then at the Amazon page click 
on search this book(right side under book cover)--
 to read the first chapter of this book.


The Imagination Station: Attack at the Arena, Book 2

Book Description:  Lions and tigers and boars, oh my! 
“Stop the fighting—in the name of Christ—stop!”
Cousins Patrick and Beth are off on their second Imagination Station adventure. Mr. Whittaker’s mysterious invention takes them to ancient Rome, where they must find a special silver cup. Near the city gate, the cousins are separated when Beth is enslaved to the emperor and Patrick meets a wise monk named Telemachus. All three end up in the famous Roman arena. Telemachus wants to share an important message with the emperor. Beth wants to know how to get the cup. And Patrick just wants to escape with his life! 
The key to adventure lies within your imagination! What to join Patrick and Beth on their adventures? Visit You’ll find out more fun facts about Vikings and the animals of Greenland. Plus you’ll get the scoop on the next book, and much more! 

Recommended for ages 7 and up.

My Review:  Adventures In Odyssey has been one of my family's favorite ways of storytelling for generations! We began listening to the stories on radio, then VHS came out, finally dvds  and now these wonderful books.
Mr. Whitaker has a wonderfully safe place in his soda shoppe where children learn about the Bible and those heroes of faith.
Having read book 1, Voyage of the Vikings, we were thrilled to read the next book, Attack at the Arena.
Book 1 was great but, hands down, we all loved book 2!  Attack at the Arena places cousins, Beth and Patrick, in the realm of the christian persecution in Rome.  
Patrick and Beth begin the trip together but are separated once they enter the city.  Patrick heads into town determined to stay alive.  He meets a monk who imparts great wisdom.
Beth, on the other hand, becomes a slave in the emperor's home.  Beth also has some moments of fear and learns to rely on God.  Beth's story is parallel to Patrick's story but yet they both experience a one.of.a.kind adventure.
The excitement, the adventure and our imaginations took Beth and Patrick through an unforgettable trip that increased our faith.
Short, large font books with pencil like pictures are great reads for those kids (and parents!) who enjoy adventure filled trips that are both faith filled and brings biblical history to life!
*This book was provided for review by Tyndale*

Snow Melts In Spring (Seasons of the Tallgrass, Book 1) by Deborah Vogts

Book Description:  Mattie Evans, a young veterinarian in rural Kansas, saves a horse injured in a terrible accident. But she also finds herself tending the wounded relationship between a prodigal son and his ailing father. Love, conflict, forgiveness, and renewal drive the first book of the Seasons of the Tallgrass series. 

My Review:  Deborah Vogts brings a fresh new look at rural ranch life in Snow Melts In Spring. 
The main character, Mattie Evans struggles with insecurity because she is a young veterinarian trying to prove to the locals that she can and will make a go of this career she loves.  Mattie also struggles to prove self worth because her parents lost their ranch in an unscrupulous business deal.  Mattie's feelings of inadequacy are clearly portrayed and makes her seem so real.  
Then one evening Mattie comes upon a horrible accident where a horse has been severely injured.   She wants to leave and not get involved but she finds out that the horse belongs to an older man, John McCray, who is one of Mattie's best friends and supporters.  She decides she will save his horse!
Gil McCray, John's son, is having some issues of his own as a famous quarterback.  Gil is sent home with an injury and meets Mattie.  Not really wanting to enter into the "dark recesses" of his memories....Gil has secrets (but has good reasons for not sharing this info).  
Mattie wants Gil and his father, John, to let go of the past and forge a bridge of peace.
This is a fresh new author for  me.  A delightful, fast, fun read!  I truly enjoyed reading about Mattie, Gil and John.  My love of horses was ignited by Deborah's vast knowledge.  
Faith is not just a sideline but part of the "big picture" for these characters.  A truly wonderful, well written read!
*This book was provided for review by Zondervan*

Also check out:

  About the Author: 

 Deborah Vogts' debut release, Snow Melts in Spring, is the first in the Seasons of the Tallgrass series by Zondervan. Deborah and her husband live in SE Kansas and have three daughters. She enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and playing the piano. Some of her favorite activities include taking walks with their two golden retrievers, caring for their American Quarter horses and watching old movies. To learn more about Deborah, please visit her Country at Heart blog or her web site at


Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn

Book Description:  Marc Royce works for the State Department on special assignments, most of them rather routine, until two CIA operatives go missing in Iraq--kidnapped by Taliban forces bent on generating chaos in the region. Two others also drop out of sight--a high-placed Iraqi civilian and an American woman providing humanitarian aid. Are the disappearances linked? Rumors circulate in a whirl of misinformation. Marc must unravel the truth in a covert operation requiring utmost secrecy--from both the Americans and the insurgents. But even more secret than the undercover operation is the underground dialogue taking place between sworn enemies. Will the ultimate Reconciler between ancient enemies, current foes, and fanatical religious factions be heard?

My Review: Davis Bunn writes an intriguing thriller that could be ripped from today's news headlines.  
First, we meet Sameh who is working on a missing child case in Bagdad.  Then we meet Marc who hails from the U.S.  Marc and Sameh then meet in Bagdad as Marc is called into duty to find a fellow CIA operative.
Two cases intertwined in the closets of the grand underworld.  Two very different men with one common goal-free the captives!
Then we meet Leyla a young widow and mother of precocious, Bisan.  Leyla drives Marc around Bagdad. "Leyla's driving was as bad as the traffic.  She scooted around a corner, almost taking a cluster of pedestrians off at the knees."  Leyla is the kind of woman who isn't afraid to!
Unraveling clues to find the missing is hard to do in a land filled with danger at every turn.  But Marc feels that he has come back to life for the first time since his beloved wife has passed away.  He also feels an obligation to help Sameh.  Sameh feels an obligation to 
find the missing child(ren).  Integrity is not a by-word in this novel.  It is the essence of true men and women.
The history of Muslims in this fiction read is phenomenal.  Learning that the word Imam means the head of the Muslim community; the title is used in the Qurʾān several times to refer to leaders and to Abraham. Since 911 I've heard some of these terms but never, really, caught their true meaning.  Reading this novel gave me a better "picture" of the Muslim world and of the Christians who live amongst the Muslims.  Courage to face the impossible, prayer to see the mission through.
This is a great read filled with danger, intrigue and most of all Christ centered people in a land that seems Godless. 
Click HERE to view trailer to Lion of Babylon!
*This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers*
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209051
  • ASIN: B005X4AC06


{WOW! Warm Oven Wednesday} Cinnamon Dessert Enchiladas

Dessert Enchiladas
1- 21oz can pie filling (your choice...tonight I am using apple)
6- 8inch flour tortillas
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 c. margarine
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar (packed)
1/2 c. water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon pie filling evenly onto all tortillas. Sprinkle with cinnamon and roll up. Place on lightly greased 8x8 pan seam side down. Bring the margarine, sugars and whater to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Pour sauce evenly over tortillas, sprinkle with extra cinnamon. Bake for 20 minutes.


The Grandfathers DVD EGMfilms

From Sacrifice to Reconciliation, a young Man 
Discovers his Heritage in The Grandfathers.
Description:  EGM Films is pleased to announce the release of The Grandfathers, a motion-graphics film about the struggle and influence of a young man’s heritage. The Grandfathers completes a trilogy that includes End of the Spear and Beyond the Gates of Splendor. These first two films, also from award-winning director Jim Hanon and producer Mart Green, tell the unforgettable and inspiring story of the killing of five missionaries by an indigenous tribe, deep in the Amazon jungle. The impact of this tragic event lives on today, in the families of these slain men and among those responsible for their deaths.

My Review:  The Grandfathers is the third dvd in the mission trilogy that chronicles the lives of the five missionaries who gave their lives to reach the Waodani tribe. 
I've had the privilege of viewing End of the Spear and Beyond the Gates of Splendor.  So was happy to review the third and final dvd in this trilogy.  All of the dvds have been inspiring and informative.  If you read the book, Through the Gates of Splendor, like me, you may have followed the lives of the five missionary families who went on to follow through in the work of reaching the Waodani tribe.  
This dvd The Grandfathers was a grand conclusion.  The word, forgiveness, stands out in this dvd.  This is not a story it is a documentary given mainly by Jesse Saint the grandson of Nate Saint, the airplane pilot whom the Waodani speared to death.  Jesse is the son of Steve Saint who encouraged his family to continue to interact with the Waodani tribe.
The word grandfather is basically "nonexistent" in the Waodani tribe . . . in this dvd the word grandfathers is explained and the usage of 'grandfathers' is used by the Waodani tribe.  I found this explanation fascinating!
This faith lifting "story"  gives new meaning to reaching out to people for Christ.  Jesse tells of the life of his aunt Rachel Saint and of her continued work with the Waodani peoples.
The journey, the struggle, the legacy. . . don't miss this inspiring conclusion! 
*This dvd was provided for review by B & B Media Group*

Click HERE to view the trailer and purchase the dvd!