Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day gift re-creation

Back in June of 2008 the kids and I came up with the idea to make a fun gift for their dad.  We dressed Makenzie up as weekend dad, which is a golfer.

and we dressed Kylan up as weekday dad, which is a UPS delivery man.  If you decide to do this for the man in your life please send me pics, we'd LOVE to see them!


It's so fun to look back and see how gigantic those clothes were on the kids.  Kylan was still only 6 years old and Makenzie had just turned 8 the day before.  Fun times!

Fast forward 7 years and Makenzie just turned 15 on Friday 


and Kylan is 13 years old and he looks like he could possibly be a UPS driver!

Here are the finished projects and a link to the 2008 Father's Day post

2008


 2015


Thanks for reading,
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Old Fashioned-the movie

Old Fashioned DVD
Old Fashioned comes out on DVD today!





My opinion:

My family and I watched this movie together and it did seem to start out a little bit slow but the story built and built and came together nicely.  My husband and 2 young teenagers all said they enjoyed it and thought it was refreshing to see that sweet spin on courtship and romance.  
Too often, we see people hopping into bed on the first date and that's not the type of movie I feel good about showing on family night or actually any night!  There is a need out there for wholesome movies that the entire family can enjoy together and not have to say cover your ears due to all of the cursing or close your eyes because of the nudity.  This is THAT movie, everyone from grandma down to the youngest member of your family can watch this and get something from it.  I walked away from it hoping to instill in my son just how much of a gentleman Clay was.  Chivalry is NOT dead and is making a comeback.  I think men and women are searching for something different and this goes to show that not doing the so called "normal" dating can turn out to bring the greatest joy!

Find Old Fashioned on:

Facebook


Twitter


Google +


YouTube




Synopsis:

Clay is well-known for his outdated theories on romance and love. When he meets Amber, a free-spirited, spontaneous young woman, he gives up his rational theories, while Amber overcomes her emotional wounds to engage in an old-fashioned courtship.

  1. Critic reviews
    A faith-based drama that looks as lovely as an expensive greeting card, but moves as slowly as a somnolent turtle.
    Joe Leydon·Variety
    Old Fashioned works hard to live up to its title. But it works just as hard to be a really good (in _every_ sense of that word) romance.
    Adam R. Holz·Plugged In
    It must be pretty neat to make a movie that mostly consists of people telling you how chivalrous and morally right you are and how much everybody loves you.
    Ignatiy Vishnevetsky·A.V. Club


I don't have a giveaway for you this time but keep reading and watching because I will have one that includes this movie toward the end of the month.

Thanks for reading,
 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Michael W Smith's video Sky Spills Over


As a youngster I used to listen to Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith all the time, they were some of my favorite christian music when I lived in Odessa, TX and Durango, CO.  Then, when our family moved to Tulsa, OK I had an opportunity to see them in concert together at the Maybee Center.  I was so excited, it was a double date with my best friend Lisa and our boyfriends. Fun concert and lots of great memories were made, I think I actually saw them both in concert many times separately too and guess what?  Michael W. Smith is still making great christian music today.  He released a new CD earlier this month called Sovereign.  Today, a brand new video was released called "When the Sky Spills Over" please check it out and tell me what you think about it.


"I’m really passionate about the song SKY SPILLS OVER.  It was fun creating it in the studio and I’ve been overwhelmed at the response it gets when we perform it live every night.  My son Ryan is a really talented filmmaker so I always enjoy working with him on a project.  But what made this project even more special was that 3 of my own grandkids were in the video.  This video was a lot of fun to make.  I hope people enjoy it!" 
~Michael W. Smith

Enter below to win your own CD of Sovereign!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thanks for reading,
 

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hillsong United's "Empires" CD review and giveaway



I've been patiently waiting  ok that's not true because I've actually been running out to the mailbox everyday anticipating the arrival of Hillsong United's newest album Empires that's being released on May 26th, 2015. Yippee skippee I get a copy of it to review and giveaway.  I absolutely love them, their music is amazing and always takes me to that place of worship.  I can play their song Oceans (Where Feet May Fall) over and over. Unbelievable, it's probably my all time favorite worship song EVER until I listened to the new CD EMPIRES and now I love Touch the Sky it's a song of redemption that moves me to my core.
Yesterday, Flyby Promotions gave some of us bloggers the amazing opportunity to chat with Taya Smith for an hour.  She really has a heart for worship and for choosing excellence in her music.  We were all blown away as she spoke about how it's our responsibility to be the very best that we can be in the house of God, for God.  She also said, "Don't put God in a box". Just because worship has been done one way or God has done something a certain way doesn't mean He always should and we shouldn't box Him in.  Taya also said, "The gift God has given me is my voice and it's my greatest weapon!"  Wow, our voice can be a weapon, I hadn't ever thought of it that way.  We were really inspired by everything Taya had to say and learned a lot from that fantastic opportunity.  Oh, Taya's all the way on the other side of the world from us so it was 4:00pm in Oklahoma and it was something like 7:00 am in Australia. Thanks for waking up to chat with us Taya!


OK, on to my thoughts on the newest album.  I'm sure you read that it's name is Empire's and the band is called Hillsong United.  There are 12 unbelievably amazing songs on this new CD and I love them all.  Another thing I really like is that they made the CD cover into a little book with all the words to the song in it.  I love it when they do that, sometimes I need to know what a specific word is and can't understand the singer.... yep I'm that girl that makes up lyrics if I don't know them.
Now for the giveaway, I normally do a Rafflecopter form but I just want you to comment and tell me what your favorite worship song is and who sings it.  I need that info people, if you don't leave who sings it I might not be able to find it and music rocks my world so I'll be checking all the songs out.
For an extra entry tweet something about the newest album and this giveaway using hashtags #Empires #Flyby and #Justwedeminute Giveaway ends 5/29/2015 at midnight CST


Connect with Hillsong United

Twitter: @HillsongUnited
@Taya_Smith
@Hillsong

Google+: +Hillsong United
+Hillsong Worship

Facebook: Hillsong United
Hillsong Church
Taya Smith

Instagram:
Hillsong United
Hillsong Church
Taya Smith


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thanks for reading,
 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Casey & Friends book and toy review and giveaway

Books for the youngest tractor fans
Real equipment and cartoon characters converge in new children's series that makes 
modern farming the hero.

One of my pics of Kevin's family's farm in Iowa

Here we are riding snowmobiles on the farm.  You can see the silver grain bin in the background.


My husband was born in Iowa and then moved to Oklahoma when he was just a little guy but he has continued to go back to Iowa to visit his family.  Almost all of his Iowa family are farmers.  I'm talking corn and beans people and not just a little garden patch in the back yard.  We head out and check the crops and we've taught our children how to drive at ages 12 and 13 on the farm roads.  We love going to the farms and riding four wheelers, driving tractors or the gigantic combines and just enjoying farm life away from the city noise and traffic.  I was so excited to see this series about tractor.  Even though my son Kylan is getting older he still wanted to look at the book and he brought up the fact that most of the tractors we've seen are green and not red but I told him I think it's just a different brand. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the books as much as we are!


Casey & Friends published by Octane Press 
Literature for little tractor fans just got smarter. A new series brings children interested in farming and farm equipment an educational and entertaining look at how tractors, combines and tillage equipment operate together on the farm.

Published by Octane Press, an independent publisher known for award-winning tractor books, the Casey & Friends series uses photographs of CASE IH equipment in real farming situations with cartoon characters to explain how modern farm equipment works in a factual and fun way. Holly Dufek, a seasoned educator and national curriculum writer, joins Pixar “Cars” artist Paul Nunn to help kids make the connection with the farm equipment they see in the countryside and the food on their table.

Readers follow Casey the farmer, Tillus the worm, Big Red the tractor, and a whole cast of cartoon equipment characters who teach important life lessons gleaned from the farm, like thinking ahead and working as a team. Each title is licensed by CASE IH and highlights a different aspect of farm equipment and technology with educational sidebars, picture glossaries and fun farming facts for added learning possibilities. 

A Year on the Farm (Jan. 2015) introduces children to the world of modern farming by teaching them about the different jobs a farmer does each season. Casey and her team show how tractors, combines and other equipment: plant and harvest crops, work in the farmyard, and care for animals. Learn how farming involves planning for the year, reacting to the weather, and working as a team.
Big Tractors (Apr. 2015) shows how the biggest, most powerful tractors handle the demanding jobs of pulling and powering on the farm. Find out how Big Red and Sammy – the biggest tractors on the farm – use their powerful muscles to work in the field with the rest of the team. Learn about the science of farming and discover how advanced technology makes Big Red and Sammy special.
Combines (June 2015) explains the step-by-step processes used to harvest crops by the most complex machines on the farm. Follow Cody and Kellie—the combines of Happy Skies Farm—as they do the work of three machines: gathering, separating, and unloading grain and corn.
Planters & Cultivators (Sept. 2015) features the specialized farm equipment used to cultivate, plant and spray crops. Learn how Tammi the Tiller, Evan the Early Riser Planter and Peter the Patriot Sprayer work together to make this year’s crop bigger than ever. Explore the science of soil and discover how Casey’s team keeps it healthy.



Meet the Author & Illustrator
Holly Dufek has spent nearly 15 years writing and working with educational curriculum for publishers such as Holt McDougal, National Geographic Education and Riverside Publishing. Holly has worked to develop content to enrich the National Common Core Standards for elementary through high school classrooms. She holds a master's degree in Education and lives in Kenosha, WI, with her husband, Matt, and their three children. 

Paul E. Nunn is a full-range artist who has worked for Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. He lives in Racine, WI, with his wife, Amy, and their two children.

Thanks for reading,
 

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Plumb "Exhale" CD Review and Giveaway




About PLUMB:
Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better-known by her stage name Plumb, is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author. Plumb has sold more than 500,000 albums and over two million singles worldwide, co-penned songs for numerous other artists, including Michelle Branch, Mandisa, Mandy Moore, Jaci Velasquez, and Natalie Grant, and had music placed in many films and television shows.Originally signed as a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) recording artist in 1997, Plumb is now known as well as or better in alternative rock, electronic dance music, and for the use of her music in film and television than she is in the CCM market.

About the album:
EXHALE, the seventh studio album from acclaimed multi-genre singer, songwriter and author PLUMB, expresses a new focus and vision. After the runaway success of NEED YOU NOW (the album, title track and book), which coincided with her own moving story of brokenness and ultimately healing, Exhale brims with worshipful songs of gratitude and hope.

The defining concept of EXHALE was born from a sermon at Plumb’s home church, wherein her pastor Pete Wilson expressed the notion that the Church doesn’t exist for itself. Rather, believers come to church to breathe in grace and truth, be changed, and then go out and “exhale” that hope into their surrounding community.

“That idea of exhaling hope hit me right away and I couldn’t get to the Notes section on my phone fast enough. I started writing the chorus of Exhale right then and there,” explains Plumb. “I have been made new by the ultimate hope, and I want to share and exhale that hope in everyway I can.” 


My Opinion

I enjoy listening to Christian music while I try to fall asleep at night, when I'm cleaning house or jamming out in the car. So, I was excited to receive Plumb's newest CD "Exhale" and as soon as I heard it I felt like I'd heard her somewhere before and then my daughter said she reminds her of Barlow Girl (another CD we love) and I agree. I was excited to find a new artist that I enjoy and can't wait to see what she has in store for the future. Oh, BTW my favorite song was Champion! Do you have a favorite Contemporary Christian band or singer?  When I was a teenager we mainly had Amy Grant and Petra, they were both great but CCM has really come a long way since my teen years.  Anyway, one of my readers will win a Plum CD of their very own just fill out the form below!








a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for reading,
 
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”



Chicken alfredo spaghetti squash

  • 2  Spaghetti Squash already cooked
  • 2 Medium Sized Chicken Breast, Cooked & Shredded
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic 
  • mushrooms
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • onion
  • 4-5 artichokes
  • 3 eggs-2 you just need the yolk 
  • 4 pieces no sugar bacon
  1. In a dutch oven or steamer, begin by fully steaming the spaghetti squash. Once it is steamed, scrape out the seeds with a fork. Then, use a fork to scrape out the remaining spaghetti squash and set aside.  I was in a hurry this time so I popped mine in the microwave for 5 minutes each and that was it.
  2. Next in a large skillet or large stock pot, cook bacon until crispy
  3. Next, add in the onions and garlic and after 1 minute add the mushrooms, artichokes and tomatoes (I simmered them in the bacon fat). 
  4. While everything is simmering I beat the 2 egg yolk and 1 full egg together and then added 1 cup Parmesan cheese to this mixture.
  5. Poor 1 full can of coconut milk into simmering mix after about 3-4 minutes of stirring I added the chicken and spaghetti squash into the pan and cooked until everything was piping hot.
  6. Now, turn off the stove top and pour your cheese and egg mix into pan but don't let the eggs curdle just keep stirring until everything comes together and forms a rich sauce.
 At dinner I asked my kids what they thought it was.  They said angel hair pasta.  Score 1 for mom!!  That's a boatload of veggies that I packed into one meal and they didn't even have any idea it wasn't pasta.  Next time I'm adding spinach, I think the green will really pop and give it an extra punch of nutrition.  I'm really enjoying the Paleo lifestyle and my body is thanking me (I know some don't use cheese but this recipe called for it).
Thanks for reading,
 

Monday, May 04, 2015

Lemon coconut copycat bars (Homemade Larabars)

Since I'm trying to stay away from processes foods and only eat whole, real food I've found Lara Bars.  These are Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, kosher and soy free bars that I keep in my purse in case we're out and about I feel hungry.  With one of these I'm less tempted to stop at a fast food joint and pick up a greasy cheeseburger and fries.  Plus, these bars taste great!  My favorites are the Key Lime Pie and the Coconut Creme.  I really enjoy the bars but I don't love the price, they can run about $2 each, but I've been finding them at Sprout's for $1.25 which isn't bad but I thought I could make them inexpensively and put my own twist on the flavors.


















If you're on the Whole30 meal plan then these are the only Lara Bars you should be eating.
Others have things that are not Whole30 compliant in them.

First gather all of the needed ingredients.  I found mine at Sprout's Farmer's Market but you might find them at
Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and maybe your local grocery store.

Printable Recipe click here

Lemon coconut bars



18 pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt (if needed)

Line a 8x8 baking dish with wax or parchment paper so that the paper drapes over the sides.

Pit the medjool dates by splitting open with a serrated knife and taking pit out.

Soak dates in bowl of warm or hot water for 5 minutes.
While the dates are soaking add the nuts to food processor or blender and chop (I reserve 1/2 a cup chopped nuts).

Next put dates, lemon in food processor and blend with the nuts.
You can add chia seeds if you want to and then pulse once or twice. 

At this time I add the 1/2 a cup of chopped nuts that I had reserved and 1/2 cup coconut
and hand mix it in the sticky dough.

Dump it out on your wax paper
I usually use a small piece of wax paper on top to spread and even the dough in the pan.
If you like coconut you can sprinkle a little more on top.
Pop in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes until the bars harden.

Store in a container with a lid at room temp or in the refrigerator. 




This is what the container of Medjool dates looks like and the price.  I used about 1/2 the container so I can make 2 different flavors.


This is what the date looks like cut open, just pluck that seed out.  You don't want to leave those in and end up breaking a tooth on it!

As you're pitting the dates drop them in some warm/hot water to they can soak.
While the dates are soaking I blend up the nuts


Make sure to reserve about 1/2 a cup of the blended up nuts for use later on.
 

Next I add the nuts and the blended up dates together. I found this works best in a high powered blender like a VitaMix.

Squeeze some lemon in and pulse.


I usually add  a scoop or 2 of Chia seeds.



I throw in coconut because I love it but it's just as good without it.

Then I hand mix it all together and it looks like this.



Make sure your pan is lined with parchment or wax paper and drop your dough in.  Then, I take another piece of wax paper on top and smash it around with my hands until it fits the paper and is nice and even.  Peel the top wax paper off and sprinkle with coconut...or not if you're not a fan of coconut.



Then, pop in the fridge for about 30 minutes so it'll harden up.  Slice and store in a container with a tight fitting lid.
















































Thanks for reading,

 


I was not compensated in any way for this blog post!