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*


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I love this picture from National Geographic's Best of 2010!  
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