29 November 2022

{ National Geographic's Birding Basics - TLC Book Tours }

 

 

About Birding Basics

• Publisher: National Geographic (November 15, 2022)
• Paperback: 256 pages

Targeted to beginners and beyond, National Geographic’s fun, inspiring guide to the art, craft, and science of bird-watching combines practical know-how and expert knowledge. Browsable and bursting with helpful illustrations and photographs, Birding Basics offers new ideas for when, where, and how to get to know the birds in your world.

Not a field guide but a primer in best practices, authored by birding expert Noah Strycker, this breezy book features easy-to-follow advice on what to look and listen for, how to use field guides and birding apps, the best equipment to start with, and ways to engage with other birders around the world. Filled with fun facts and seasoned advice, this useful book will help you attract birds to your backyard, master bird identification, name a bird by its song, and witness the magic of migration. Sidebars feature fun facts, identification tips, and easy projects for exploring the world on the wing.

For everyone who loves watching the birds, whether out the window or on the trail, this colorful, easy-to-use guide to better birding has everything you need.

 
My thoughts:
I have always been fascinated by birds.  I even have a full album of bird pictures on my Flickr account.  
 
When we were stationed in Arizona, I would often spend my afternoons out in my back yard, with my camera equipped with the zoom lens, just snapping photos of the birds around me.  
 
I don't know all the bird species, or even a fraction of them, so it's often hard for me to know what I'm looking at specifically, aside from the more known species like Cardinals, Blue Jays, Humingbirds and so on.
 
This book, has helped me so much.  I love just picking it up and browsing the pages, learning about the different birds, their coloring, what areas they are from and some really interesting information and fun tips as well.  If you're into bird watching, this book will definitely help you get started, and set you up with the right equipment etc.
 
Have you ever wondered what seasons you can see your favorite birds?  Or what their birdsongs mean?  This book has it all, along with some of the most stunning bird photographs, I only dream of being able to get.
 
It's on my bookshelf and will remain there for many years.  I love being able to quickly grab it and use it to check on a specific bird in my yard.
 
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and National Geographic, for providing me with a copy for this review.
 
 


28 November 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/28/2022 }

 Good morning sweet friends, welcome back to my blog.
 
I am happy to report that I am about 98% back to normal.  We all are.  This flu was horrendous, my word.  We still have lingering coughs and congestion, but thankfully nothing like it was in the beginning. 
 
We had a very quiet, low key Thanksgiving.  I managed to get a Turkey in the oven, and my sister in law and niece, brought over some sides for us.  I am very thankful for my family.  So, even though it wasn't the usual big Thanksgiving we are used to having, we still managed to have a little one.  I hope you had a wonderful one with your family.

Now, let's jump right into our Happy Homemaker Monday.  I will come by and visit you all either tonight, or tomorrow morning, to give everyone a chance to post.
 
Have a wonderful, blessed week friends,
Sandra

 
 


♥♥ The Weather ♥♥
It's been pretty cold, we've been waking up to icy windshields and beautiful white sparkly dewy grass.  Today however, we are hitting 70 degrees and tomorrow 75.  Go figure!!!
 




♥♥ As I look outside my window ♥♥
The sun is shining brightly, and it's reflecting off the ice on the grass, so it looks like a blanket of diamonds laid across my yard.   
 


♥♥ Right now I am ♥♥
I am working on this post, while sitting in bed.  Bed is already made, but I'm sitting on top with a blanket across my legs.  Elliott and Kaia are snuggled under blankets, sleeping.  I am also waiting for the Brazil vs Switzerland game at 10am. 



♥♥ Thinking and pondering ♥♥

About all I have to do today, and wanting to write it down so I don't forget. 

 

♥♥ How am I feeling ♥♥

I am doing well thankfully.  I still have a cough, and am a bit tired of having to blow my nose constantly.  But, I am doing well nonetheless.  You never think about your health, until you are unwell and wishing to feel good again.    
 
 
 
♥♥ Listening to ♥♥
A youtube crime channel discussing the horrifying murder of the 4 college students in Moscow, Idaho.    



♥♥ On the breakfast plate ♥♥

I just had a cup of coffee, but honestly guys, I am not enjoying coffee since getting this flu.  It just doesn't taste right to me.  However, I did have a cup of coffee, and some toast.    
               
  

♥♥ On the lunch plate ♥♥

Not sure, might do a chicken salad or have a sub sandwich (homemade of course).      
 
 

♥♥ On the dinner plate ♥♥

Olive Garden Five Cheese Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Knots.          

 
 
♥♥ What I'm wearing ♥♥
Grey leggings and a grey long sleeved v-neck sweater.            
 


♥♥ On my reading pile ♥♥

My Bible.



♥♥ On my TV this week ♥♥

We started Star Trek Picard, however, I am not enjoying it at all.  Hubby is watching it and he says it's ok, but I am not into it.  So, not sure what we will watch after this one. 
Homemaking, simple living, and quiet living vlogs
World Cup 2022 - Brazil and Portugal both play today, so my nerves are finished.



♥♥ On the menu ♥♥
Thankful to be getting back to cooking home cooked meals.  I've missed real food. 
 
Monday - Olive Garden Five Cheese Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Knots
Tuesday - Bangers and Mash, Roasted Butternut Squash
Wednesday - Chicken Stew, Steamed Broccoli
Thursday -   Saucy Hungarian Potato Goulash, Sauteed Spinach Greens with Bacon
Friday - Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
Saturday - Potato, Cheese and Onion Pasties, Fries
Sunday - Instant Pot Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Vanilla Cake, Sandwiches



♥♥ Looking around the house ♥♥

I managed to put up my white Christmas tree.  We usually have 2 trees up, one in the dining room and then the real tree in the living room.  However, we are skipping the two trees this year, and just sticking with one.   
 


♥♥ To Do List ♥♥

- Happy Homemaker Monday post 
- Pay bills
- Watch Brasil and Portugal Games
- Vacuum and dust
- Start Christmas list
 

 
♥♥ From the camera ♥♥
Got my oranges dried for the garland, just need to get them threaded and up on the fireplace. 
 

  
♥♥ What I'm creating ♥♥
I haven't crocheted in a while, but I really want to make myself a new blanket.  So I've decided to pull out my yarn and start a Charlotte's Dream blanket.  I made one a few years ago, for my sister in law as a Christmas present.

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♥♥  Devotional, Bible Verse ♥♥
The person next to you, doesn't need the gospel more than you do;  he just needs it differently than you do.  All people sin and fall short. - New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp


21 November 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/21/2022 }

 
 
 
Good morning friends.  Today's post is going to be a quick one.  We are extremely sick here at home, with Flu A.  And this just 2 weeks after the bad cold we got.   
 
Jasmine picked it up from one of her cowokers, and she's been sick all week.  I ended up having to take her to Urgent Care on Friday, and after testing for Covid, strep, RSV and Flu, it came back positive for Flu A.  She also has a bit of a chest infection.  Saturday morning, it hit me, and after a call to my doctor, I was told I have the same Flu as it's highly contagious.  At the moment, Flu and RSV are spreading like wildfire in our area.   I have been extremely sick, terrible high fevers, body aches, headaches and not able to eat much of anything.
 
Yesterday, my poor husband got hit with it too and he is home sick today.  Nick thankfully is ok, and I pray he doesn't get it.  We've had to cancel our Thanksgiving plans with the family because Dalton is not even 1 years old yet, and I would hate for him to catch the flu or RSV.   Please keep us in our prayers.
 
Have a wonderful, blessed week friends,
Sandra

 



♥♥ The Weather ♥♥
Cold in the mornings, not as bad in the afternoons.

Monday - Cloudy, 59
Tuesday - Sunny, 64
Wednesday - Cloudy, 58
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 60
Friday - Showers, 50
Saturday - Showers, 59  
Sunday - Sunday, 62



♥♥ As I look outside my window ♥♥
Laying in bed so can't see much at all from here.  
 


♥♥ Right now I am ♥♥
Laying in bed trying to work on this post.  Hubby is laying next to me, shivering with the fever and really unwell.     



♥♥ Thinking and pondering ♥♥

Just thanking God for our health, even in the middle of this horrible Flu.  Thinking about how our Thanksgiving will be so different this year, but it will be ok.  Our health has to come first. 

 

♥♥ How am I feeling ♥♥

I have a headache, and my body is really sore.  My high fevers seem to have left yesterday afternoon, and now I just feel slightly warm.  I am exhausted, I feel weak, and can't seem to find a comfortable position to lay.  
 
 
 
♥♥ Listening to ♥♥
Alexa playing Thunderstorms on my Echo machine.  



♥♥ On the breakfast plate ♥♥

I haven't been able to drink coffee since Friday, I'm just off coffee during this flu.  I have been living on hot tea with lemon and honey.  
               
  

♥♥ On the lunch plate ♥♥

Not sure I'll be up to eating anything.      
 
 

♥♥ On the dinner plate ♥♥

The past few days we have been eating sandwiches, or whatever we can find.  Everyone has been fending for themselves.  I really hope I am to cooking today, I think we could all do with some homemade food.         

 
 
♥♥ What I'm wearing ♥♥
Pajamas.            
 


♥♥ On my reading pile ♥♥

My Bible.



♥♥ On my TV this week ♥♥

We finished Star Trek Discovery, so moving on to Picard.  ne with the last season.  UGH!  We've been enjoying this one so much.  We will move onto Picard next.   
Homemaking, simple living, and quiet living vlogs
World Cup 2022



♥♥ On the menu ♥♥
Not really sure, I have my menu planned, but nothing looks appealing, and I can't seem to eat anything without feeling like I'll be sick.  I need to also work on the new menu, but not sure when I'll be able to do that.....so, I'm giving you the meal plan, but I can't say for sure if that's what we'll be eating or not.
 
Monday - Bacon Cheeseburger Tatertot Casserole, Broccoli
Tuesday - Cheesy Italian Sausage and Spinach Bake, Salad
Wednesday - Chicken Stew
Thursday -   Thanksgiving (hoping to be well enough to cook something for me and my family)
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday
Sunday



♥♥ Looking around the house ♥♥

It is in desperate need of some cleaning, but I just can't handle it at the moment.  I'm working around it very slowly, but that's all I can do. 
 


♥♥ To Do List ♥♥

- Get this post up 
- Hopefully cook dinner
- Get over this horrid Flu 's.
 

 
♥♥ From the camera ♥♥
Thankfully, I cooked all my Thanksgiving pies last week.    
 
 




19 November 2022

{ Loving God, Loving Others: 52 Devotions to Create Connections that Last - TLC Book Tours }

 

 

About Loving God, Loving Others: 52 Devotions to Create Connections That Last

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 15, 2022)
Hardcover: 208 Pages

Your longing for meaningful connection is a good and holy desire. God made us to love one another, and we love because He first loved us. In Loving God, Loving Others, the ladies of the Catholic community Blessed is She pour their hearts onto the page to invite you into a deeper relationship with the One who loves you in order that you may pour out His love into every relationship in your life and create connections that last.

Over the course of 52 weeks, you’re invited to reflect on six rungs of relationships in your life: your relationship with God, yourself, your family of origin, your family or loved ones today, your friendships, and your workplace. In each section, you’ll uncover:

  • God’s relentless pursuit of your heart
  • Evidence of His promise to heal our hurts
  • How to deepen your relationship with God through prayer and the sacraments
  • The value of healthy boundaries
  • The joy of vulnerability in Christian relationships
  • God’s plan to use community to edify our hearts
  • The importance of prioritizing different kinds of relationships

Six different women in the Blessed is She community share more about their personal stories to inspire you to find health and healing in your own relationships.

Each devotional entry includes:

  • A Scripture reference
  • A devotion written by one of six Blessed is She authors
  • Prompts for reflection
  • Designed full-color pages with original art

By the end of the 52 weeks, you will come away with greater clarity and self-knowledge of the One who loves you and how His love fills you with the compassion, self-control, and kindness you need for every other relationship in your life.

In these pages, may the lonely find comfort. May the tired find rest. May the betrayed find healing. And may the healed ones heal others. We were made to do this life with God and with one another, so come with the hopefulness of forming connections that matter, connections that last.

About Blessed Is She

Blessed Is She is a sisterhood of women who want to grow together in their Catholic faith. The founder, Jenna Guizar, is dedicated to creating beautiful and accessible resources, products, and experiences to foster community and deepen faith, both online and in person. She is supported by more than 40 bloggers and building an online community to foster Catholic community between women, no matter where they are on their walk with Christ.

 
 
My thoughts:
Ooohhhh a new devotional.  
 
I am so excited for this one.  Every year, I get a new devotional, and this year, I don't have to worry about that, because this beauty landed on my doorstep.
 
Loving God, Loving Others, is a 52 week devotional that invites us to take a closer look at our relationships, whether it be with God, our spouses, children, ourselves and friends.
 
Now, I haven't read the devotional, obviously, because I am keeping it to start January 1st, which is what I always do.  I did however flip through the pages, and I'm so eager to get started.
 
Each week features beautiful devotionals with scripture references, and a personal story by one of six wonderful Christian women.

I can tell that this devotional is going to become one of my go to's, and favorites.  

So, if you're looking for a new devotional, for yourself, or even as a gift for Christmas, make sure to grab yourself a copy of this beautiful book.  

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy for this review.



 

18 November 2022

{ Whistletop Tales by Krish and Miriam Kandiah - TLC Book Tours }

 

About Whistlestop Tales: Around the World in 10 Bible Stories

Publisher: Nav Press

Hardcover: 240 pages

 

Discover exciting Bible stories from around the world to inspire you on your own adventure with God!

The Bible is filled with stories featuring rich, cultural diversity. In the Bible, we meet an Iranian queen, a Syrian spy, an Italian soldier, and a Sudanese senator, to name just a few of the many ethnically diverse people that God has woven into his grand redemption story.

Whistlestop Tales features ten Bible stories that illustrate how God uses people from all over the world to accomplish his purposes. Each story begins with a closer look at the modern-day country where it took place to help anchor the characters in their original context and cultures, providing a new perspective on the lives of these brave men and women. These action-packed stories will encourage children to live out their own unique adventures with God.

About Krish Kandiah

Krish is the Founding Director of Home for Good, a young charity seeking to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable children. Together with his wife, Miriam he co-authored a catalytic book “Home for Good” which blends the Bible’s teaching on God’s heart for vulnerable children and inspiring practical stories. Krish is in demand as a speaker both nationally and internationally. He regularly speaks at larger conferences, corporate events and is a regular broadcaster on radio and television. Krish is an ambassador for Tearfund. He has a passion for engaging with contemporary culture theologically and is a prolific writer/blogger. Krish has authored 11 books including the award winning publication ‘Paradoxology’, explores why Christianity was never meant to be simple and “God is Stranger.” Krish has been providing theological and strategic consultancy to a wide range of organisations including: World Vision UK, The Baptist Union, Redcliffe College and Bible Society. Krish holds degrees in Chemistry, Missiology and Theology. His PhD is from Kings College London and he currently holds faculty positions at Portland Seminary, Regent College, Vancouver and Regents Park College, Oxford University.

 
My thoughts:
This was such a sweet book, and pretty funny too at times.  In Whistletop Tales, the authors chose a few different Bible stories showing how God sometimes chooses the most unlikely of people, to work through.
 
At times, the heroes are not who you think they would be, and same could be said for the villains in these Bible stories too.  Matter of fact, in real life we often see this happening as well.  
 
This book not only teaches about different countries, but also the people who God used from those specific areas, and how.  I think it's a fantastic way to teach little ones about Geography and the Bible, all at the same time. 

10 different stories, 10 different places, 10 different people, and at the end of each story, the reference to the Bible verse that you can then read along.  It is imperative that when you teach anyone about the Lord and His word, that you back it up with actual Bible verses, so this book does that extremely well.

I am planning on keeping this treasure for a future grandchild.  It's too sweet of a book to pass on.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Nav Press, for providing me with a review copy.



14 November 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/14/2022 }

 
 
 
Good morning everyone, welcome back to my little blog. 
 
I am coming to you this morning, from a very cold, rainy Texas.  We are even expecting some snow mixed in with the rain.  Crazy!
I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend.  Ours went too fast.  Friday we met up with Curt's aunt and cousin, in Oklahoma, for a catch up lunch, and to go visit my mother in law's grave.  It was great catching up, we hadn't seen each other since March.  Anyway, Saturday I went grocery shopping at the base commissary.  I have so missed shopping in store.  
If you missed my previous post, I gave an update on Kaia, she is well now, back to normal and thankfully over this gastro issue she had.  Thank the Lord!
 
And with that, I'm going to move right into our post for today.  Have a wonderful, blessed week friends,
Sandra

 



♥♥ The Weather ♥♥
Cold and hot.  That's the best way to describe this nonsense. 

Monday - Cloudy skies, 66
Tuesday - Cloudy, 77
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 81
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 81
Friday - Sunny, 54
Saturday - Sunny, 52  
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 56



♥♥ As I look outside my window ♥♥
Cloudy and really dreary this morning.  All the trees in our yard are a beautiful orange and yellow.  I always find that the contrast between the leaves being that color, and the cloudy skies, makes for such a beautiful picture. 
 



♥♥ Right now I am ♥♥
Sitting on my bed, typing up this post.     



♥♥ Thinking and pondering ♥♥

About Kaia.  I hate seeing one of our babies unwell.  I will tell you, it has brought up a lot of anxiety for me.  Marley's sickness traumatized me in ways I never thought possible.  It's so strange how our brains immediately go to some place, during different situations.  I am just trying to stay focused, and not allow my mind to shift back to those thoughts, because it sends my anxiety into a tail spin. 

 

♥♥ How am I feeling ♥♥

Really tired.  The past 3 nights, I haven't slept well, and am just feeling exhausted.
 
 
 
♥♥ Listening to ♥♥
A sermon on the tv.



♥♥ On the breakfast plate ♥♥

Just had a second cup of coffee, and some toast.  
                 
  

♥♥ On the lunch plate ♥♥

I have leftover steamed broccoli from dinner on Saturday, so I'll be adding a can of tuna to it, a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and that will be my lunch.     
 
 

♥♥ On the dinner plate ♥♥

Chicken Enchiladas, Tomato rice, Beans.         

 
 
♥♥ What I'm wearing ♥♥
I have a pair of black leggings on, and a love sleeved dark grey top.  Also have some warm socks on my feet, because it's quite cold right now.          
 


♥♥ On my reading pile ♥♥

My Bible.



♥♥ On my TV this week ♥♥

Star Trek Discovery.....we are almost done with the last season.  UGH!  We've been enjoying this one so much.  We will move onto Picard next.   
Homemaking, simple living, and quiet living vlogs
The Great British Bake Off 
All Creatures Great and Small
Christmas movies on Lifetime Youtube channel



♥♥ On the menu ♥♥
 
Monday - Chicken Enchiladas, Tomato Rice, Beans  
Tuesday - Spicy Pork Noodles
Wednesday - Instant Pot Chili Mac, Salad
Thursday -   Sausage Rice, Butternut Squash
Friday - Cheeseburgers, Fries
Saturday - Crockpot Mississippi Chicken Sandwiches
Sunday - Chicken Stew, Garlic Biscuits, Sauteed Spinach



♥♥ Looking around the house ♥♥

It is quite dark, as it's raining outside.  By the back patio door in the living room, area all my veggies from outside.  They are still thriving and producing, but we have been having frost in the morning, and I don't want them to die.
 
We potted them all and brought them in, until they're done producing veggies.  At the moment I have quite a lot of plants in my house, and that's ok, I love seeing all the green. 
 


♥♥ To Do List ♥♥

- Get this post up 
- Load of laundry to wash, plus 2 of Curt's work shirts to iron
- Finish cracking the bag of pecans on the kitchen counter
- Make Kaia's food
- Do the dishes
- Start another batch of french bread, in the bread machine
- Take out chicken for dinner
- Wash cilantro, parsley and lettuce to store in tupperware.  Cilantro and parsley will be chopped up and frozen, as I always do.
- Make my Thanksgiving list of to do's.
- Read the Bible and do devotionals
 

 
♥♥ From the camera ♥♥
I just love this photo and the colors.  So many different beautiful colors of fall in these leaves.  ♥  
 
IMG_4322
  


♥♥ Devotional ♥♥ 
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May our loving Father protect you in the time of trouble and surround you with songs of deliverance. Selah!


13 November 2022

{ A bit of a stressful week, but all things are back on track }

IMG_4329

Oh what a stressful week it was.

Monday morning, we woke up to Kaia being unwell, lethargic and running a fever.   What we assumed was just an upset stomach, quickly became a bit scary.  We took her to the vet that afternoon, and they did a Parvo test, as a precaution because she is under 1 year old.

Thankfully, it was negative, as the vet and we both suspected.

It turned out to be a gastrointestinal issue, due to her eating a pig bone.  One of Curt's students had given him a pig bone for her to chew on.  The thing is, Kaia chewed right through it and ate some of it.  I have never liked pig bones, or any bones for the dogs, I always worry about it splintering and creating shards.

The veterinary confirmed that pig bones are not to be given to your dogs, neither are rawhide bones, or any kind of bone that can splinter and shard.  We were horrified.  She set our minds at easy and told us that it wasn't our fault, that we didn't know, and she sees a lot of this at her office because people don't know.  But from that moment on, not to give her any.  

It was a slow week.  She was put on antibiotics with an added medicine to rectify and regulate her gastrointestinal system.  She was also put on anti nausea pills, because she was really nauseous.

She didn't full recover until Thursday afternoon.  Today she is back to her bubbly normal self, running, eating and being as sweet as can be.

So, I guess I just wanted to share that with you, to warn you of the pig bones and rawhide bones.  The vet suggest rather giving them a knuckle, which doesn't break apart or shard.  



IMG_4330

 
This sweet boy has been understanding, and for the most part left her alone, although Monday morning, he was trying to play with her and she got quite annoyed.  They usually play hide and seek, chase each other etc.  He didn't understand that she wasn't well, so when she came walking slowly into our bedroom, he came running out from under the bed and jumped on her.  

As I'm sure you can understand, she was not impressed.  Poor baby!

He quickly understood she wasn't well, and left her alone the rest of the week.
 

IMG_4320

 
The early mornings I spent with my sick girl, meant a lot of moments with my Bible and the Lord.  I love getting up long before everyone else, lighting a candle, grabbing a cup of coffee and just enjoying the stillness of dawn.

And then as the sun starts to shine, I step outside just to catch the magical light reflecting off the leaves and vines on the fence.  

IMG_4321

IMG_4322

IMG_4323

IMG_4324

 
With the days getting shorter, and colder, I have been making use of my clothesline even more.  I want to enjoy every minute that I can still hang my clothes out to dry.

So when I washed my kitchen towels, tablecloth, fall kitchen towels and placemats, they all went straight out on the line.  I think it's one of those timeless homemaking chores, that we as homemakers will always be connected by.  

IMG_4325

IMG_4328

 
I also removed and packed away all the Fall decorations.  If it were up to me, all the Christmas would come out, but I've had to hold off on it because hubby says "Only after Thanskgiving".  Hahaha

He's lucky I love him, so I'll just humor him.  But everything is ready to go.  

IMG_4332

 
And with the cold coming in, it also means I get to pull out my big fuzzy slippers, sweaters, long sleeves, scarves and hats.  I do love winter time.  I used to prefer summer, but with me inching ever more closer to menopause, I just can't handle the heat anymore.  
 
At least with the cold I can layer, and put on more, wrap myself in a blanket and so forth.  Love it! 

 IMG_4340

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I've slipped on the flannel sheets, and for some reason I sleep so much better in the winter, with the flannel sheets, than in the summer.  It's probably all psychological, but nonetheless, it is what it is.
 
As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I am full speed ahead with planning and lists.  I want to try and get as much done before the day, as possible.  This year, I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but the World Cup 2022, begins right around Thanksgiving, and both Portugal and Brasil are playing on Thanksgiving day.
 
My family and I are so thrilled, not only do we eat yummy food, but we get to watch something that we LOVE.  It is sure to be an amazing day. 
 

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Right now, I am going to watch a Christmas movie, while I continue to crack pecans.  Yes, I am still trying to get through the boxes we have.  But it's a blessing to have these many, especially since I can freeze them.

I will leave you with a picture of mine and Curt's gifts above, from our church, last weekend.  It was in celebration of Veteran's day and they gifted both the veteran and the wives.  It was extremely sweet of them.

Anyway, I hope you are all having a wonderful, restful weekend.  

I will see you all back here in the morning, for our Happy Homemaker Monday!!!

09 November 2022

{ Gather and Give by Amy Nelson - TLC Book Tour }


About Gather and Give: Sharing God’s Heart Through Everyday Hospitality

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 18, 2022)
Hardcover: 208 pages
 

Now more than ever, the world is hungry to gather and thirsty for connection.

Many of us wish to share a meal, share our faith, and share our lives with others. We want to open our home to friends and neighbors for the sake of meaningful community, but we’re overwhelmed with hospitality hang-ups. How do I extend an invitation? What will they think of my house or the food? Our welcome has been influenced by the messages of the world that tell us hospitality is about our ability to be, host, live, and cook a certain way.

In Gather & Give, Amy Hannon inspires you to embrace the simple hospitality of the Bible that values connection more than perfection and people more than presentation. Amy shares scriptural principles and practical ideas to make everyday hospitality a natural, joy-filled part of your life. You will feel encouraged and equipped to view your home as:

  • a holy wellspring of welcome to offer hope to a weary world;
  • a strategic springboard for ministering to those around you; and
  • the perfect platform for influencing others for Christ.

Find freedom in knowing that the hospitality of the Bible is uncomplicated and effortless, that a welcome can be used by God to share His love and hope with the world, and that there is abounding joy in following the Lord in His hospitality command. Whether preparing shrimp and grits for a crowd or picking up barbecue with new neighbors, you can invite with intention, plate with purpose, and love others well.

About the Author

Amy Nelson Hannon is a preacher’s wife, a mom of three, and the woman behind an influential andexpansive hospitality brand. She owns Euna Mae’s, a one-of-a-kind kitchen shop and gathering room named after her grandmother that is a special place to locals and has become a destination for many near and far. In addition to her brick-and-mortar store, Amy is the heart of a broad media platform that has included a daily cooking show on Northwest Arkansas’ NBC affiliate, a food blog, a cookbook, partnerships with national brands, and engaging social media. Amy uses every opportunity to share a message of simple, biblical hospitality.

Amy’s infectious personality and love for Jesus and the table are inspiring households from coast to coast to embrace the message of intentional kitchening based on 1 Peter 4:8-11.
 
 
My Thoughts:
I have not yet finished this one, but I am 3/4 of the way done, and I love every.single.page.  
 
I never used to like entertaining.  When I first got married, I avoided it like the plague.  I just found the whole idea of having people over, quite overwhelming and it gave me anxiety.  
 
I didn't know what to do, or I would drive myself sick preparing for the day, to the point that when it arrived, I just didn't enjoy it.  I felt overwhelmed and ready for it to be over, before the guests even arrived.

But as time went on, I started to try to enjoy the time spent with family and friends, and really began enjoying the whole process.

In Gather and Give, Amy Nelson shows us how to be hospitable, according to the Bible, focusing on sharing quality time with  people, not focusing so much on perfection, or worrying about what people will think of our food or our home.  Because really, in the end, that is not what it's all about.  It is about gathering, sharing, 

She offers tips, encouragement and even some recipes to share with our guests.

Hosting does not have to be this overwhelming, scary experience.  The world around us wants us to believe that in order to have someone over, you need the perfect home, the perfect food, the perfect conversation.  It is about ministering, talking about the Lord and sharing.
 
Keep it simple!!!
 
As I said above, I have not yet finished this one, but I can for certain tell you that it will be added to my favorite books pile.
 
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy for this review.



07 November 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/07/2022 }

 
 
Good morning from a crisp, cold Texas.
 
I stepped outside with Kaia and couldn't believe how cold I felt.  It's just the mornings though because in the afternoons, we are still reaching upper 70's and mid 80's.  
 
I don't need to go anywhere today, however, Kaia has been unwell this weekend, so I'm giving the Vet a call in about 30 minutes, to see if I need to bring her in.  I'm pretty certain it's her stomach.  She threw up her breakfast Friday morning, but nothing since then.  She's just been gassy, she seems to be running a low grade fever the past two days, and she's very lethargic and seems that her stomach is hurting her.  So, I know stomach issues often go away in a few days, but I would rather talk to the vet and see what she suggests. 
 
Poor pup is just not happy at all.  Please keep her in your prayers.  Anyway, let's get on with our post today, and see what is happening around our homes.
 
Have a wonderful, blessed week friends,
Sandra

 



♥♥ The Weather ♥♥
Cold and hot.  That's the best way to describe this nonsense. 

Monday - Cloudy skies, 66
Tuesday - Cloudy, 77
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 81
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 81
Friday - Sunny, 54
Saturday - Sunny, 52  
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 56



♥♥ As I look outside my window ♥♥
Cloudy and really dreary this morning.  All the trees in our yard are a beautiful orange and yellow.  I always find that the contrast between the leaves being that color, and the cloudy skies, makes for such a beautiful picture. 
 



♥♥ Right now I am ♥♥
Sitting on my bed, typing up this post.     



♥♥ Thinking and pondering ♥♥

About Kaia.  I hate seeing one of our babies unwell.  I will tell you, it has brought up a lot of anxiety for me.  Marley's sickness traumatized me in ways I never thought possible.  It's so strange how our brains immediately go to some place, during different situations.  I am just trying to stay focused, and not allow my mind to shift back to those thoughts, because it sends my anxiety into a tail spin. 

 

♥♥ How am I feeling ♥♥

Exhausted.  Was practically up all night with Kaia.  She wasn't feeling well, she was shivering from the fever and whining a bit, and just wanted our attention.  I'm just glad she is sleeping peacefully at the moment, and after I've talked to the vet, I may try and take a nap.   
 


♥♥ On the breakfast plate ♥♥

I made a cup of coffee at 6am, like I always do, but didn't drink it.  I'm so tired that I'm not even in the mood for coffee.  Good grief, that is a first.                 
  

♥♥ On the lunch plate ♥♥

I am not sure yet.  I made some ravioli for dinner last night, so may have some of that, but it depends on how I'm feeling at the time.   
 
 

♥♥ On the dinner plate ♥♥

Feijoada (Portuguese bean stew), Rice, Sauteed greens          

 
 
♥♥ What I'm wearing ♥♥
Still in my nightgown and robe.  If I have to take Kaia to the vet, then I'll change into jeans a tshirt, but if not, then I'll probably throw on some leggins.....and a tshirt of course.  Not gonna walk around with just leggings, that wouldn't be appropriate  LOL        
 


♥♥ On my reading pile ♥♥

My Bible.



♥♥ On my TV this week ♥♥

Star Trek Discovery.....we are LOVING this one too. 
Homemaking, simple living, and quiet living vlogs
The Great British Bake Off 
All Creatures Great and Small
Christmas movies



♥♥ On the menu ♥♥
 
Monday - Feijoada, Rice, Sauteed Greens  
Tuesday - Roast chicken legs with roast potatoes and mixed veggies 
Wednesday - Olive Garden's Angry Alfredo with Roasted Cauliflower
Thursday -   Olive Garden's Five Cheese Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread
Friday - *grocery shopping....new meal plan kicks in*
Saturday -
Sunday -



♥♥ Looking around the house ♥♥

The house is clean and tidy, I got it all done over the weekend, so I don't need to do anything today, aside from the usual daily maintenance and cooking.  
 
I am starting to bring down the Fall decorations, fabric pumpkins, wreaths etc.  I don't know if I'll put any Christmas decorations up this week, but definitely by this weekend they will show up.  One thing, I am hoping to put up this week though, is my Thanksgiving tree.
   


♥♥ To Do List ♥♥

- First on the list is to call the vet in a few minutes, when they open (just called and she has an appointment at 3pm
- Start the new meal plan and grocery list 
- Make chicken and rice for Kaia
- Write up the new monthly budget


 
♥♥ From the camera ♥♥
There is something so magical about Fall season and the light it creates on the world around it.  I always enjoy looking out every morning and seeing how everything looks, the grass, the trees. 
 
 

♥♥ Devotional ♥♥ 
 
God calls you to deny yourself and then blesses you with the indwelling Holy Spirit so you have the power to say no.  
 
From New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp