Thanksgiving

by adustyframe ~ November 26th, 2014
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30
We have so much to be thankful for each and every day.
We have health and our needs are met.
We have a home and comforts.
We have food and necessities.
We have two precious sons.
We have friends and family.
We have freedom.
We have a God who loves us so very much.
No matter what other things are on my thankful list, I’m so thankful to know that God loves me and that He is always always always  good.
Lizzie

Pound Foolish Dave & Neta Jackson~ Book Review

by adustyframe ~ November 26th, 2014

 

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About the book: Pound Foolish | Book Four in the Windy City Neighbors series (Castle Rock Creative, October 2014)

Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and jet skis—macho toys for outdoor men like himself. But the job puts tremendous stress on his marriage with Nicole, who for the first time notices the handsome lawyer at the end of the block. “Greener pastures?” When the recession hits Greg’s industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each Sunday, and he steps out in bold faith . . . But is he being “pound foolish”?

The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, Pound Foolish explores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family. Intersecting with Penny Wise (book three), the Jacksons employ the innovating storytelling technique of “parallel novels.” Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters’ lives become intertwined and affect one another. Pound Foolish returns us to Beecham Street—a typical American neighborhood . . . where a growing friendship brings new meaning to prosperity.

 

About the authors: Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

My thoughts:

I really have enjoyed the Yada Yada Prayer Group books and the spin off books. I enjoyed the first two books in this Windy City Neighbors but these last two not so much. To me they just feel stressful.

I don’t typically go for “fluff” reading but day to day stresses and details are plenty in my own house. I don’t need to read about them.

I like the idea of the parallel novels but I just don’t really like this spin off series.

See other reviews here.

Disclaimer~I received a free e-book version of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own.

Lizzie

Madness Miracles Millions Joseph Semprevivo and Larry Semprevivo~Book Review

by adustyframe ~ November 24th, 2014


I was asked to review this book and said sure. I used to read a lot of business books in the days when I ran a brick and mortar store. I enjoy hearing how someone created their business and made it successful.

This book  is mostly family story and I enjoyed learning about the Semprevivo family.

The book’s overall theme is that no matter what happens to you, you can make something positive out of it if you never give up.

The family story starts with the father’s accident at work. His arm was caught in a machine and nearly killed him. My father had a hand caught in a machine at work so I could relate a little bit! Scary stuff!!

The family figured out how to make an income with the father severely injured by printing things for a local business. Later they moved across country and operated some restaurants. Then their son Joseph was diagnosed with diabetes and he eventually created a cookie that diabetic people could eat. They started selling them locally and then the business took off and became very successful.

I actually saw the cookies at the store the other day!

I enjoyed the story and appreciated their example of hard work and diligence. I also found the family’s deep love for each other very heartwarming!

If you like a good success story you may like to pick this one up. It’s an easy read!

 

Disclaimer~I received a free copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own.

Lizzie

Broccoli Fritters

by adustyframe ~ November 20th, 2014

I found this idea on Facebook and tweaked this recipe. (link not working for me—will try to fix later!)  I’m not a broccoli lover, but I always try to find new ways to get it in and I want the baby especially to learn to eat all sorts of things.

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Here’s what I did~

2 c. steamed broccoli

1/2 c. oatmeal

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3/4 c. parmesan cheese

 

1. Grind the oats to make oat flour.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender jar and blend until you have a smooth (ish) dough

3. Scoop by cookie dough scoop into a hot skillet pre-heated with olive oil

4. Fry til crispy

5. Serve by lightly salting and topping with a tiny bit more of parmesan cheese.

broc 1

**For baby, no salt and no cheese (only because it will just make a mess)

I froze the leftovers and reheated them in the skillet with a little butter and they were good!!

Pin It Lizzie

Call The Midwife~Book Review

by adustyframe ~ November 16th, 2014


A year or so ago, I got into watching Call the Midwife on PBS. I really enjoy it. There are some themes that are more for grown ups but overall I’ve found it interesting.

I decided to read the books recently and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I think that the TV shows are very firmly based on the books and it’s one of the few that I would say either the book or the show is great.

Jennifer Worth has a fascinating writing style. The books give a look into a bit of life that I have no idea about…..a nurse in the 1950′s in the slums of the East End of London.

The books contain a lot of history and information along with charming characters. I really learned a lot and enjoyed a peek into a time and place that no longer exists as it did then.

I found myself laughing, crying, angry, and holding my breath at different parts of the story. This alone should tell you that her writing is very engaging.

So far, I’ve read all 3 of her books about midwifery in the East End and am now reading her book about the time she spent working as a ward sister at a hospital caring for people who were dying.

Some of the book is more informational and thoughts of a nurse that are less of a story and would probably interest medical professionals more but much of it is the stories of people and her view on death and her thoughts on how it has changed and what she doesn’t like about it.

As I was reading, I was thinking, “Why am I reading a book about dying!?”  It’s not my favorite topic, but I’m finding it thought provoking and I’m enjoying the stories of the people she cared for.

Now, some thoughts to share with you.

1. These books are not for kids and probably not for teenagers. They are written for adults. They are not “bad”  but they are  not sanitized. She shares real stories, real people, real situations and as you can imagine working in the slums of London there was real life going on.

The things in the books are about birth and body functions and so you know there is mention of the aspect of life that give us children.

2. Jennifer Worth does not seem to write from a Christian perspective even though in one of them she mentions she was raised in the Church of England but didn’t believe. Her beliefs seem to have changed some and she talks more about faith in the book about dying. With this in mind, perhaps you won’t agree with her thoughts or you may not have included a particular story. However, they are still good books with a lot of history and I found them fascinating. These are definitely not anything you would read in Christian fiction! (ha!)

3. In the first book there IS a very shocking story. I mean VERY shocking. I bought this book for my pastor’s wife as a gift and then I bought it for myself and as I was reading and got to this VERY SHOCKING story, I thought, “oh no! I bought this for the pastor’s wife.” She and I talked about it. She said maybe she could have left the story out but that it was her life and what she dealt with and that’s what most of her books are…..just her real life. I said to my pastor’s wife that even though it was shocking, I couldn’t stop reading. She laughed and said “Well no way! I wasn’t going to just stop reading it!” The shocking story however, does add details about the client’s life and her choices and how she wanted to love her baby but wasn’t allowed to do so (and that’s all I’m going to say about this very shocking story…..)

4. Overall, I truly enjoyed these books and found them informative and enjoyable. I found out that Jennifer Worth probably passed away before her books became a TV series which actually made me sad!

So there you have my thoughts on Call The Midwife. Have you read them or watched the series?

Speaking of the series, I’m interested in how they’re going to keep this true to her books since it seems that the last season ended around the time her last midwife book ended. Perhaps it will go more into a fictionalized what could have happened series. Who knows!?

 

Lizzie

These Bones Will Sing

by adustyframe ~ November 13th, 2014
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We sang this song at church a few weeks ago.

I thought to myself that every time my back or neck is killing me, I should pretend they are singing to the Lord.
Well, I tried it and fooling myself didn’t work! But I think that perhaps whenever I’m hurting, I could ask the Lord to help me to sing to Him and not think about the pain.

What do you think? Do you have any tricks when you’re not feeling great to take your mind off of it?

Lizzie

16 Months

by adustyframe ~ November 10th, 2014

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This little guy is 16 months old already! I realized that I hadn’t shared a picture of him for awhile so I wanted to rectify that.

He wasn’t very cooperative with the photo taking. He grabbed his bear and said “Bee uh” (how he pronounces bear). He was throwing it around and crawling all over the couch.

Oh well that is pretty much what he does all the time.

He’s talking a lot and cracks us up. The other day, a friend was over and I owed her for picking something up for me. I handed her the money and he lunged over her shoulder and yelled, “money!” I didn’t know he knew that word.

He has a mouthful of teeth.

He loves food.

He loves music.

He takes steps but he hasn’t let go and walked on a regular basis yet.

He’s our precious little cutie pie and we’re so in love with him. So thankful God sent him to live with us!

Lizzie

I Hope It’s Ok To Ask….

by adustyframe ~ November 4th, 2014

A guy from James’ youth group said to him the other day, “I hope it’s ok to ask, but do you have a dad?”

James laughed! “Yes. He drives a semi and he’s not home a lot.”

“Oh. ok!”

James laughed while he was telling me this. He also laughed when he told me about a girl from youth group who said, “He does have a dad!” when Lee dropped James off for camp bright and early one morning last summer.

Lee IS gone most of the time but he also didn’t switch churches with us when we found a new church home a few years ago. So the kids at youth group just don’t see us with a dad.

They see James helping me with the baby and us 3 walking in or out together but they don’t see dad so I can see why they had questions.

I said to James, “Isn’t it awesome that we can say dad drives a truck and isn’t home a lot instead of ‘well….’ ”

James emphatically agreed. I think that having dad “away” and having friends ask questions would be so much more embarrassing for him as a teenager than it was as a little kid. It was plenty hard when he was a little kid!

We don’t love that daddy is gone so much but we sure love having a nice reason that he’s gone!

Lizzie

It’s Not What I Thought It Would Be

by adustyframe ~ October 28th, 2014

My life doesn’t look like what I thought it would. Does yours?

35 years ago, I thought it would be  a fairy tale. I’d be the princess mommy and have lots of sweet little babies all around and everything would be pink and roses and cake all day!

15 years ago, Lee and I were newly (ish)  married and I was hoping I’d get to be a mommy! Things were pretty great. I thought we’d have a houseful of children.

10 years ago, almost to the day Lee checked into the jail. I thought about this the other day and realized it was 10 years. I’m still grappling with all we’ve been through and how it’s changed our lives. But now, I’m thinking about how 10 years went by in the blink of an eye and yet it was the longest years of my life that have completely changed me in good ways and bad ways.

5 years ago, Lee was still incarcerated and I felt like it was never going to be over. A year in prison or jail feels like 5 or more normal years. I knew that a houseful of children was never going to happen.

When Lee came home, I began to think about how my life would look now. I thought about writing the a curriculum that’s been floating around in the back of my mind for ages. I thought that perhaps I’d go back to college and get my master’s degree. I thought that I’d become more involved in ministries. I looked into jail ministry. I thought about a few other ministries that needed helpers.

At first , we needed time to heal. To be honest, there are still times that we just need time to heal. I didn’t jump into any of the things I was thinking about.

And God gave us baby Nathan. I’m so happy and thankful and I’m enjoying how precious and crazy he is. Life with a toddler in the house is crazy and funny to say the least.

Life isn’t what I thought it would be 35, 15, 10, 5, or even 3 years ago. I didn’t think I’d be in my 40′s with a new little guy. I thought I’d have several more children. I thought I’d be busy serving in ministries or doing things perhaps in “bigger” ways than I’m able to do now.

Life isn’t what I thought it would be but life is good.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

 

Lizzie

What I’m Struggling With

by adustyframe ~ October 22nd, 2014

When I say “struggle” I don’t mean all out wrestling or emotional pain…just a now and then thing to pray about and deal with.

For the past several months, I’ve been struggling with the fact that our life is boring.

I see people I know doing all sorts of cool things.

*going on hikes

*taking cool trips (even just small cheap trips, I don’t mean big European vacations)

*having cool parties

*hanging out with groups of friends

*doing something every weekend that looks neat

*buying a new house, car, etc

 

I wonder why these things seem to cause me to struggle. I’m really not sure. If we were to be doing all those things, I would be exhausted. I’m not the personality that loves being out of the house running places all day every day.

I don’t even want to do some of the things that I see them doing.

One reason we don’t do those things is that my husband is rarely around and when he is, we rest and have “just us” family time. Another reason (house…) is that we’re working on living within our means and paying off things and being content with the things we have.

Recently, a group of friends shared updates in our lives and I must have been in one of these struggling moments because I said, “Nothing much is going on around here. Basically we’re boring.”

Someone said, “Hey for you boring must sound heavenly right?”

Then I realized that yes for us boring is wonderful. Having a calm quiet peaceful life without  drama, tragedy, trials, crisis, and emergencies is an amazing wonderful shift in our lives and I am going to ask for the Lord’s help to just embrace it.

Honestly, the struggling is/was plain silly because like I said I would be exhausted to always be going and doing stuff…..I don’t even WANT to do all that.

Amazing how our minds and hearts can get away from trusting God and enjoying the life we live when we put our eyes on others. To be clear, no one that I was watching live exciting lives was boasting or trying to make me feel boring! It was just my own silly self!

 

Lizzie