18 December 2014

Inscribed Studies {a review}

I was pretty excited recently to have the opportunity to review the new set of books from InScribed Studies.  I have to admit that I was not at all familiar with InScribed Studies, but I was intrigued by these titles and subtitles.  I occasionally lead Bible studies for women at our church and am often overwhelmed--and underwhelmed--by the studies find.  So I was excited to check these out ...and I was not disappointed!

Just RISE UP! by Sarah Francis Martin is an incredible study focused on 'a call to make Jesus famous'.  Sarah writes in such a disarming and easy tone and shares from a very personal place.  She dives deep into Psalm 145 as she tackles topics like living a life of praise, having a kingdom perspective, humility, influence, and more.  Sarah challenges her readers to allow this study to be a 'catalyst toward meaningful conversations between you and the Lord'.  

I absolutely love how she has designed this book to guide you into those 'meaningful conversations'.  Each chapter contains five different journal prompts that are chock-full of meaty questions that go way below the surface.  Also included at the end of the journal prompts are prayer prompts to further encourage your time our Heavenly Father. 

Inseparable by Ashley Linne is a wonderful study all about 'who I am, was, and will be in Christ'.  This is an incredible study through the book of Romans.  Ashley actually has chapter/verses from Romans printed out right into her chapters, truly encouraging the reader to dig deeper into God's Word.  At the end of each chapter there is a section titled 'Step into the Story' where you are encouraged in five areas: prayer, the big picture, context, the original audience, and standout moments.  There are also great additional resources in the appendix.  

I love that Ashley looks at the Scriptures both from the original audience's point of view and also applies the Biblical truths to our lives today.  This is a great book for a new believer, but also wonderful for the mature Christian as well.  We all must remember and know our identity in Christ.  

Barren Among the Fruitful by Amanda Hope Haley is one deeply, heartfelt book that so many women can identify with.  It tackles the heartbreaking subject of infertility.  

My husband and I struggled with infertility for several years early in our marriage and I so wish I could have had a book like this to comfort my aching soul.  Infertility is not always a topic that is easy for people to share about.  It often seems shameful or just too painful to bring up.  When you do meet someone you can talk to it is such a relief and balm for your soul.  

In this study Amanda tackles some tough stuff and includes much in the way of practical advice as well as hope and encouragement to the reader.  I love that she titled her chapters with all of the cliche things that people often thoughtlessly say to those who are struggling with infertility.  Throughout each chapter there are also the stories of so many others sharing their own journey.  At the end of each chapter there are several thought-provoking questions for the reader.  


I have to say I am thoroughly impressed and excited to have found this incredible series by inScribed.  I am looking forward to sharing these book with the women in my life--at my church and even in my homeschool group--as I have the opportunity.  

If you are looking for a new study for yourself or possibly to lead others in, this would be a wonderful place to begin.  I would highly recommend checking out their website to see what all they have to offer!  

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Disclaimer: I received these book from BookLook Blogger in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.  No other compensation was received.  

16 December 2014

Tasty Tuesdays {easy shepherd's pie}

Hey there!  Just popping in on the Tasty Tuesday to share a quick and easy version of Shepherd's Pie--and a fantastic way to use up roast beef leftovers! 

I started making it in this way when I got tired of using my roast leftovers for beef-veggie soup and wanted to make something different with them.  This has been a hit with the whole family!

Step 1: Arrange your (leftover/cooked) roast beef 
in the bottom of a deep-dish pie pan.
I like to make sure mine is chopped or shredded into bite-sized pieces.  

Step 2: Arrange your (leftover/roasted) carrots on top of the beef.
I also cut these into smallish pieces.

Step 3: Arrange roasted or sauteed onions on top of the carrots.
I supposed you could skip this step if you don't like onions, 
but I can't even imagine that!
(I do keep my onions in large pieces so they can be easily removed from my onion-hating son's plate though).

Step 4: Pour over about 1/2 to 3/4 cup beef broth.  
If you add more than this it will bubble over while baking 
and make a mess in your oven.
Don't ask how I know that.

Step 5: Spread a nice, even, thick layer of mashed potatoes 
on top of it all.  Make sure to go all the way to the edge.  
You can used leftovers for this or simply make a fresh batch 
(this will take about 5-6 medium potatoes) 
in the usual way (seasoned and all).  

Step 6: Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes 
or until the potatoes begin to get
those pretty browned edges.  
Then dig in and enjoy!

15 December 2014

What's For Dinner {Dec 15th}

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

And the most busy, right?

So one of my main plans of action to keep me organized is to continue with my meal planning.  Knowing what we're having for dinner each night makes my days much less stressful and I can plan other activities so much better.

So here's what's for dinner this week:

Monday:  Shepherd's Pie

Tuesday:  Taco Cups ...or maybe Turkey Enchiladas

Wednesday:  Pizza at our church

Thursday:  Cookie Exchange at my house~I'm serving finger foods {more on that later}

Friday:  Tuna Croquets, Baked Potatoes, and a yet-to-be-decided veggie

Saturday:  Snacks/Leftovers

24 November 2014

What's For Dinner {the Thanksgiving edition}

It's almost time for the big day!  I love Thanksgiving and am really looking forward to it this year.  We'll be having our meal at my parents' house--which is very close by--with family and friends.  I've been busy the past few days finalizing our menu with my mom and sister and making my grocery list.  As usual, we have gone overboard and are preparing a ridiculous amount of food!  I can hardly wait! :)

Here is our menu (links are included for the recipes we'll be using):

Thanksgiving 2014

Pickles & Olive plate

Main Course
Roasted Turkey
Giblet Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Buttered Corn

Chocolate Cream Pie
Apple Pie

P.S. if you're looking for a great {free!}planner for Thanksgiving, check out this one from Beth at Eat Better Spend Less.  

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

20 November 2014

A Nonverbal Learning Disability and What It Means For Our Family

If you've been reading my blog for a while then you may have noticed that these past 9 months or so it has just basically limped along.  In fact, I even took a lengthy break for part of that time.

And that was nice.

I hesitate to say I was feeling "burnout".  But I guess maybe that was it in a way.  My husband likes to say that burnout doesn't happen because you have too many things going on, but instead it happens when you are not feeling fulfilled in all of the things you are doing.  And I think there's much truth in that.

It's easy to keep going full-steam-ahead when you're pumped about how things are going.  But when you feel like every day is sucking the life out of you it's a little harder.

Last winter we began the process of having our 9-yr-old son, Mr. B, tested for what we thought might be ADHD.  It seemed like it took forever.  In reality it took about 6 months.  So, yeah ....forever.

At least it feels like forever when you're dealing with near-daily meltdowns, dissolving into tears way more often that you'd like to admit, and just trying to survive some days.

As it turned out, our son does not have ADHD.  At least not in the full sense of that diagnosis.  He has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) with a Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD)--with features of both ADHD and Asperger's Disorder.  And he is on the Autism spectrum.

That was definitely not what I was expecting.  A learning disability.  That he will have forever.  That he must learn to cope with for the rest of his life.

That we, as a family, must learn to handle properly.  Successfully.

So these past few months have been filled with lots of reading on my behalf.  Lots of heart-to-hearts with my hubby.  And even more struggles with my son.

I love him so much.

And he is such an awesome kid.  He's incredibly creative and smart and funny.

It's just that often that awesomeness gets overwhelmed by his impulsiveness, his impatience...  Others often only see how he struggles socially--with being a team player, with sharing, with understanding how others feel...

I am also learning how to talk with other moms about it.  That's not always easy and lots of times they just look at me with that deer-in-the-headlights look.  But mostly they are sympathetic and understanding.  And here and there I meet a mom who really gets it because she has a kiddo who has special challenges as well.

And that is a sweet moment of grace when it happens.

I don't know how much I'll talk about this here, but as I learn more and process it more I'm sure it will come up.  I don't feel that total burnout feeling anymore, but it's a whole new learning curve for me (for all of us!).  But we are meeting the challenge, learning new normals for our family, learning new techniques for homeschooling ....just learning constantly!  I sort of feel like a student again myself these days.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a little about it here.  Thanks for listening.

17 November 2014

What's For Dinner {Nov 17th}

We are going into our second week back from our family vacation ...and I am still trying to get organized again and back in my routine.  We are already into the holiday season (last week we had our first-of-three Thanksgiving meal!) and the calendar is starting to really fill up.  

This week is super full, too, but I am still planning on dinner at home most evenings.  I love family dinners at home!

Monday:  Parmesan Chicken Cutlets, Steamed Broccoli, Sauteed Summer Squash, Salad

Tuesday:  {Thanksgiving potluck with our homeschool group}  Corn Casserole

Wednesday:  Potato Soup ....maybe {Mr. B is having oral surgery on this day so I'm sort of playing it by ear}

Thursday:  Taco Cups with Rice

Friday:  {not yet decided due to possible plans} maybe Homemade Pizza or Stromboli

Saturday:  {not yet decided due to possible plans}  maybe out??