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Friday, August 24, 2012

I have another son-in-law

August 19, 2012

What can I say
on this glorious day?

I'm filled with thanks to heaven above
for filling my heart with love

 God's added another son into my life
when my daughter became his wife

It's amazing what God has done
As two have become one


Congratulations Jeremy & Samantha


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just Almonds Review & Giveaway


Almonds are definitely my favorite nut. And now I've found a great place to buy them:


The name says it all...Just Almonds.  They sell almonds and almond flour...that's it!  BUT their website is filled with interesting tidbits about almonds.  It's an almond education for sure!

Here is some info from their site:
At Just Almonds Inc., we have perfected the buying process and now end-users can buy direct from the farm without having to know somebody in the business. 
Our family has been growing, processing, and handling wholesale almonds for nearly 30 years. We sell in quantities to meet everyone’s needs; from small 5 lbs boxes for samples and retail users, to largebulk wholesale almonds for large commercial users and international clients. 
Our ranch is located in the heart of the Central Valley of California, and our almonds ship straight from our ranch. We take great pride in offering the highest quality California almonds and the friendliest customer service. 

I was sent almonds and some almond flour.  These almonds are so crunchy and sweet.  I love them and so does my family.

Almond flour is a new adventure for me.  I never even new it existed so I wasn't sure what to make, so I googled, 'almond flour recipes' and came up with a chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Chocolate and almonds....YUM!

Here's the recipe I used from www.elanaspantry.com.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup grapeseed oil  (I used canola oil, but next time will use butter)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar (I used honey)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Mix dry, mix wet, mix dry & wet together.  
Form 1 inch balls. 
Bake 350 degrees for 7 - 10 minutes

These cookies were very good.  Even my 90 year old aunt loved them.  She ate 3 of them.  She said they were tasty and easy to chew with her few teeth.  She added that with a little less oil I would have gotten an A+---she used to be a teacher.  

After I made these I noticed a recipe section at the Just Almond's site.  I think I'll try the pancakes next.

Would you like to try some almonds or even be adventurous and try almond flour?  Just Almonds has offered all my readers a 10% discount on your order by using this coupon code: 

FOA

You can also win a 4 pound bag of almonds or almond flour by entering this giveaway.



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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Easter is About Jesus Review & Giveaway


In this little devotional book for the Easter season , Mukkove Johnson, the author, talks about the symbols of Easter to help you and your child remember all God has done for you.

The best part of this book is she uses symbols that really have nothing to do with the resurrection of Jesus-bunnies, candy, baskets, new clothes, to name a few-and relates them to Jesus.  The simple jelly bean will now make me think of Jesus and His love for me.

Each of the 15 devotions has a Bible verse, story to read, questions to answer and an activity to complete if you desire.

All in all I think this would be a wonderful resource to use during Easter to help your family focus on Jesus.  Really, isn't HE the reason Easter even exists?

Meet Mukkove Johnson

Hello from Alaska!
I am honored to be a guest here on Cindy’s blog. The reason for my visit is the release of a new book, Easter Is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season. This is my second book. The first is Christmas is About Jesus: An Advent Devotional.
My home is in Palmer, Alaska. I have been here since my parents moved here in the early 1980’s. It is home for sure. My husband’s family moved up around the same time and its home for him, too. Brian and I began dating in high school and just celebrated our 18th anniversary.  We have three children in our home and one in heaven. I have always home schooled my children. This year I’ll have two in middle school. It doesn’t seem possible. Where does the time go?
I wrote Easter is About Jesus to help families teach their children why they celebrate Easter. First I have to take you back a little. When my children were 1, 2, and 3 years old I began looking for a resource that would back me up when I said Christmas was celebrating Jesus. They were getting that message from me and church, but everywhere else seemed to be saying something else. I was looking for something that would count down the days until Christmas, too. After looking and looking I decided to create the resource I wanted. I wrote 24 devotions with different symbols of Christmas and how they can remind us of Jesus. I made ornaments for each day so the kids would have something to get out, and remind me to read the devotion. I learned, as an added bonus, when they were up we would see them and talk about them through the day- extra reinforcement.
After using our Christmas devotion for several years I pursued publishing. In part because of a great response and in part because Easter seemed to be surrounded in a similar confusion as Christmas in our society I wrote Easter is About Jesus. I came up with most of it during church one Sunday. That’s not as bad as it may sound because I was in the service for the second time that morning. It was many months later that I got inspired for the “More Time with God” portion. When that came together I knew I had another book worth publishing. I’m very excited to hear from families who use this devotion. It hasn’t had the same trial run as the first, it’s a little unnerving.
Blessings to you and your family as you focus on Jesus.
Mukkove Johnson

Click here to read the first 4 devotionals in this book.

To learn more about Mukkove and her 2 books, go here.

I'm sure you liked what you read...well I have great news for you:  
Mukkove has graciously offered to give one of you a FREE signed book. 

Enter below:

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Finding Hope Book Launch – Free Books and More!



Don’t miss out on this free Christian inspirational book!  FREE on Wednesday 8/8/12 and Thursday 8/9/12 "Finding Hope in the Midst of Tragedy" by Shelley Hitz.  
Not only will you be able to download Shelley’s book for free, but also three other Christian books during her special book launch.

About the Book “Finding Hope in the Midst of Tragedy”
Have you been through difficult times in your life? If so, you are not alone. Jesus says in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Notice that He doesn't say that we might have trouble or that if we have enough faith we will escape it. He clearly states that on this side of heaven we will walk through difficult times in our lives. 
And yet we have reason to hope. 
This book is Shelley’s own personal journey to finding hope after a tragedy hit her family. However, she did not want this book to be her story alone. Instead, she wants it to be a resource for you to find hope in the midst of your own difficulties. That is why she has added the sections that you will see through the book called, "From My Life to Yours," where she includes journaling prompts and reflection questions for you to apply what you are learning to your life. Her prayer is that God leads you to find His hope no matter what you are currently walking through.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

What Reviewers are Saying:
"A must read for anyone who has had storms in their life.  I laughed, cried and got so excited. This book gave me the answers to many of my prayers and showed me the right way to forgive." - TALoveRocks
"This is a book of hope, trust, faith, forgiveness, and so much more!  Highly Recommended!"  - Sandra McLeod Humphrey
"Wow! My eyes are full of tears and my heart is full of God's promises to the author and to each of us.  Great book!"  - Kristie
Download your free copy and let your friends know about this special offer here on 8/8/12 and 8/9/12: 

Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.  You can find more about Shelley at www.ShelleyHitz.com or invite her to speak at your event here:  www.ChristianSpeakers.tv

Monday, August 6, 2012

My version of freezer meals

Once a month cooking.  I read of it years and years ago and thought it was a grand idea, but waaay too much work.  In my head, I wanted to do it, but in the real world, I just never did.  


Until one day I came across a Pinterest idea that you can read about here.  This was a great success.  My hubby used these meals while I was away.  He was very happy to have something that was easy to prepare.


Out of the 4 that I made, we only really liked 2:  Beef Veggie Soup and Healthy BBQ Chicken.


SO........because I can't be closely involved with my daughter's wedding plans as she lives 4 hours away, I needed to do SOMETHING that had to do with the wedding.  How about have some freezer meals prepared for hubby and my son while I'm away the week before the big day?  


Great idea.


I shared my plans with a friend and she wanted to join me.  So grab a friend and get started!


Here is what we completed  in about 4 hours:
  • 4 Healthy BBQ Chicken Crock pot meals
  • 4 Beef Veggie Soup Crock Pot meals
  • 4 Macaroni and Cheese Casseroles
  • 6 Meatball meals--can be made into Sweet & Sour, Spaghetti & Meatballs, or meatball subs
18 meals to serve 4 people for approximately $110.  
Not bad, huh?




 Grocery list:
9 pounds ground beef
8 chicken breasts
2 bags baby carrots
1 bunch celery
4 green peppers
2 red peppers
1 large zucchini
10 pounds potatoes
2 pound bag onions
4 - 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 - 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 - 15 oz cans of green beans
2 cans beef broth
italian bread crumbs
1 gallon milk
1 large bar Velveeta cheese
2-16 oz bags (4 Cups) shredded cheddar cheese
3 pounds macaroni noodles
10 - 9 inch round tin pans for freezing
1 box freezer bags


on hand:
parsley
basil
thyme
salt
pepper
sugar
worcestershire sauce
tapioca
brown sugar
mustard
eggs
butter


If you'd like the recipes for the Crock Pot meals...this is where I found them: 
http://melissafallistestkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/09/freezer-cooking-slow-cooker-meals.html

Macaroni & Cheese 
makes 4 meals 
serving size each meal: 4


12 T Butter
8 Cups milk
8 T flour
a large onion
4 Cups Velveeta Cheese
4 Cups Cheddar Cheese
6 Cups uncooked macaroni noodles


Cook noodles according to package directions.


Melt butter and saute onions.  Slowly add milk and flour.  Stir until begins to thicken  (it takes a while...we divided the sauce recipe part in half and made 2 batches)


Add cheese, stir until melted.


Mix noodles and cheese together.  Divide evenly into 4-9" round tin pans.  Or 2 larger pans.


Meatballs
makes 4 meals
serving size each meal: 4


6 pounds of ground beef
4 Cups bread crumbs
2 Cups milk
4 eggs


Mix together and form meatballs


So HOW did we do all this?  We started with cooking the ground beef, boiling the noodles and making the cheese sauce.  While these things cooked, we mixed up the meatballs, formed them and flash froze.  Then we chopped and chopped...saving the potatoes until the very last minute so they would not turn brown.


All cooked food done, all veggies chopped..now to assemble the various meals.  


Mix macaroni with cheese sauce....divide between 4 pans.


Remove frozen meatballs from freezer...divide between 6 pans (approximately 26 meatballs in each pan)


Separate the ground beef into 4 bags, the chicken breast into 4 bags...then began adding the rest of the bagged ingredients.



Label & date!  
FREEZE!  


What we will do differently next time:  (yes, there will be a next time!)
Be sure to have a permanent black marker available or stickers for labeling. 
Label BEFORE filling the bags & pans
Be careful with bagged food---there is a lot of liquid that can spill if you don't keep the bags upright. (what a mess!)  My mom suggested to place the bags in bowls to keep them from toppling over....Mom's they always have the solution AFTER the fact.:)


Next we want to bulk freeze rolls/breads etc.  Then frozen cookie dough.  YUM!

HMMMM...I have a ton of zucchini that was given to me...let's see what I can make to freeze with all that!   (I think I'm hooked!)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

What's in the Bible DVD review

WITB
What's in The Bible website

When I received this DVD I first began to read the information on the back.  When I saw that it was from the creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer, I expected NOT to like it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Join the Party and win some prizes!



A blogging friend is a having a 2 year blogging anniversary party.  There's a link up to  make new blogging friends and 2 great giveaways.  


Check it out! 
http://www.jenifermetzger.org/2012/08/theres-party-going-on-over-here.html