Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My birthday Gift

I'm so excited!  I just ordered my birthday gift from my mother!  I won't say what it is yet, but it cost $10.81.  That's over 90% off of what they usually are.

My birthday isn't until July 20.  I wonder when it arrives on Thursday if she'll let me have it.   Mom?  :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Memory nightshirt

I'll be the first to admit I was a little weird and my friends were also a little, um, unique back in high school.

Well, I was cleaning recently and found the nightshirt I added to for about a year back in the day.   I'd take fabric paint and we'd write quotes and such, and it's now like a fabric scrapbook, although after about 20 years some of the words are peeling.  The glow in the dark paint still works, though, and the night I tested it, I would see "Shelly Lynn" lit up in my dark bedroom.

The above photo is to represent one of my friends' saying "Pin a Rose on your nose", but I then started saying "Pin a flower on your face" because that's the way it looked to me after I painted it on the shirt.

There's well over 100 sayings and each one means something (though with some the meaning has seemed to fade).I won't list them all, but here's some of them:

Whatcha been up to for the last year  *  Electric Slide   *  taters  *  4 dictionaries  *  clip on shades  *  my nose itches  *  greening  *  Daryll's  *  Name Your Poison  *  Memorial Mausoleum  *  Why don't angels play bongo drums?  *  Pretty Good Fun  *  She's secular  *  Visdom -- no Wisdom   *  The 70s are alive and well in that bag  *  I didn't know meatloaf made a noise  *  RF 501 Radio  *  Life is Like a Plate of Chipped Ham  *  Loof  *  26 Baked Potatoes  *  trench coat  *  Ezra  *  chocolate thumbprint cookies  *  Lucas McGraw  *  Swabie  *  Helga's Dowry  *  All's Quiet on the Western Front *  NIPC  *  Guys are the chili powder of life (oh my!  Which of my friends coined that phrase!)  *  There goes a REGULAR guy  *  Fabric store on the beach  *  Lot's birdseed  *  Camp GoNoWhere  *  Your library card is stuck to my foot  *  It's a towel, no it feels like curtains, IT'S BELLBOTTOMS  *  easy cheese  *  1972 penny  *  One person eating a tart is not two people eating a tart  *  make sure the candles are out  *  I'm giving birth to a headache  *  chicken bone love offering  *  Someone's sleeping Lord, Kumbuya  *  T Rex on PMS  *  Heraldina  *  broccoli soup  *  Ten in a A Taurus  *  The Galley Buffet  *  The Fingernail that works Wonders  *  I love your Smile (which I drew complete with missing teeth for a funny effect)

I have videos of some of these events.  But more important I still have some of these friends.  I posted the recipe for the chocolate pudding thumbprint cookies on Facebook a couple years ago.  One of my friends made them and said they weren't as good as they were 20 years ago.  I kind of doubt they would be.  Carrying eggs (not even in a bag, just an egg in each hand) from another street to my house, then to make a parody of a Julia Child cookie show. 

We may have been a bit unique, but we had fun.  Been there, done that, and I still have the nightshirt to prove it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Surprise win this week

I've been entering contests and sweepstakes for about 13 years now.  I remember when it was easier to win, and also when you were rarely notified in advance of a win.  Now I often get an e-mail saying I won something.

I kind of miss the old days, it was fun finding a win I knew nothing about in the mailbox!

However, I had a taste of the older days this week.  I had UPS deliver a package.  Inside was two coffee mugs I won from an instant win game.  The surprise was every time I played I got a "sorry" screen.

So I guess one of those "Sorry"s was actually a win.

The cups are nice, but even nicer was the surprise!  :)  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: Gray Matter

When I first picked up Gray Matter: A Neurosurgeon Discovers the Power of Prayer . . . One Patient at a Time I thought the author must have used a lot of excess words since it is a 320 page book.  I wondered how could any one write such a lengthy book on just saying a short prayer with people.

I was surprised to find I was wrong about it being drawn out and it also surprised me how much I enjoyed the book.  He didn't talk about the prayer and how it helped in a more general sense, but we got to see a slice into the life of a neurosurgeon.  Dr. Levy takes you on a journey into the brain and some of the delicate procedures he preforms on a routine basis, even though to his patients it is nothing but routine. 

We meet his patients from an elderly lady to a toddler and everyone in between.  I almost felt like I was holding my breath at times when he was describing surgeries.  His writing style introduced us to his patients, and I was holding my breath as he was taking us into the ER with him. 

I loved how he described how forgiveness can make a huge difference in healing once people decided to let others off the hook.  While their unforgiveness may have seemed to be a totally separate issue, many times once the person quit being so bitter they improved in their physical health.

Dr. Levy doesn't shy away from the cases that were hard for him to accept.  He does what he can, but that doesn't always mean his surgeries go perfectly.  I thought it was very refreshing to hear a doctor talk about the cases where he felt he should have done something differently.  It gave me a different perspective on doctors in general.

I couldn't put this book down, but that didn't mean it was an easy read.  Some of the issues contained were a bit heavier than light hearted reading, but the book is very much worth reading and I do recommend it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thank you for voting!

I want to thank those who voted in the Sheetz's Greatest Sell Out contest on Facebook.  I was notified today I won Sheetz Lunch for a Year in the form of a $400 Sheetz card.  Since Sheetz sells gasoline I'm sure I'll be spending much of it on that.  It is very much appriciated!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today's the Day to Change your Toothbrush!

Because it is recommended to change your toothbrush 4 times a year, a great way to remember when to change it is the first day of summer, fall, winter, and spring.

So today's the day to break out a toothbrush from your stockpile and change that brush!

Of couse, I'm not feeling the best (that's why there was a lack of blog post from me yesterday) so I want to wait until I'm a bit better until I switch to my new Colgate 360.  :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 1989

Dad only went to church on occasion.  One of those "on occasions" was Father's Day 1989.

The church was one I did Bible quizzing with, a little more on the upscale side than those churches in my hometown.

As is custom in some congregations, all fathers were given a small gift.  Most churches I've attended will give a "soap on a rope" which my dad used to leave in the car for a few months until the summer sun made the "Wild Forest" scent a little much and Mom or I would move the box with the corded soap to a box of things to sell when we would have a garage sale.

Father's Day 1989, however, was a bit different.  The church handed out small wrapped gifts to each dad. Inside each was a tire gauge.  I was sitting with the teenagers and we were passing this picture of Dad down through the pew and each of us were trying to keep from laughing as it came to us.  (Passing pictures was as popular as passing notes, and often just as entertaining.)

I was passing a note to the pastor's son to tell him "That's my grandmother's dog upside down with it's legs in the air" when I noticed a lull in the proceedings.

Pastor K was going on "Someone must have it!  It is just a small piece of paper taped to the package that says 'Happy Father's Day'. "

Unknown to me, Mom was nudging Dad to raise his hand.  More description as to how "Happy Father's Day" was written from the pulpit.

Dad slightly slipped up his left index finger.  This was a standard greeting to people.  Like "We're #1" except he wouldn't raise his hand in the air to do so, only about shoulder height unless he was driving and then he would keep his hand on the wheel and "wave" by raising a digit or two.

Pastor K seemed THRILLED to find that someone really had won the big prize for the day.

Dad had to go to the pulpit to collect his winnings.  It was a $20 gift certificate to a local steak house.  Instead of "Thank you", my dad bellowed, "ALLLLLL RIGHHHHHTTTT!"

Dad left the pulpit area to resume sitting with Mom.  I was receiving a note from a friend that said, "Maybe he will start coming to church more often."  I glanced up and saw Dad high-five a deacon on his way back to his pew.

My last Father's Day with Dad was in 2006.  His gift that year came from my recent trip to Israel -- a Pittsburgh Steeler's t-shirt in Hebrew.  But I will never forget the year he high-fived a deacon visiting a church in which he barely knew anyone.  We laughed about that for years, and I still do.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just for Today!

Setting a goal that seems so far in the distance to achieve is often discouraging. That's where the concept of The One-Day Way: Today Is All the Time You Need to Lose All the Weight You Want
comes in. Instead of looking ahead to fit into a bikini for the beach next summer, look fantastic for your 20th high school reunion, or even be able to wear a certain dress to the company Christmas party, those goals are sometimes so long in the future or you have so much to lose that you give up before then.

What Chantel Hobbs teaches is taking one day at a time. Just for today you will eat healthy. Just for today you can fit in 30 minutes of cardio. It doesn't seem as daunting to think you will stay on track just for today. But when you start thinking of all those days between now and the bikini, that's often where failure lies, rarely in just today.

There are 31 exercises using a medicine ball included in this book as well as sample menus.
Overall, rather than a diet book, I would call this an encouragement to lose weight book. You can do this for today. Forget about yesterday, and don't worry about tomorrow. Just do this TODAY!

Here is a video about how the author lost weight:

Would you like to read chapter one?  You can do so right here! 

One Day Way by Chantel Hobbs (Chapter 1)

Like what you read?  You can buy it here:   The One-Day Way: Today Is All the Time You Need to Lose All the Weight You Want

FTC disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for a review. The opinions contained in this review are mine.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saying Goodbye again.

I have dear friends who live in Russia. They are from the USA but their job takes them overseas for three years at a time. 

This week was the event I tried to pretend all year that would not happen.  We said goodbye until I visit.  (I visited for two weeks in 2009.) 

There's just so many things they miss out on living overseas.  And there's so many things I miss out on, too.  In 2009 I was able to be at my "niece's" 4th birthday party.  That was so special to be able to share a party with them.  It is a rare thing.

I'm thankful for 8 cent a minute telephone rates through our telephone company.  I'm thankful for Skype.  I'm thankful for the Scrabble site where he and I make a Scrabble play almost daily and might include some small bit of information.  I'm thankful for Facebook.

But there are times I just wish they lived closer.

I'll miss picking up the phone and seeing it's them.  (With Skype it says 'unknown number').  I'll miss the phone calls saying "We're going to be in -- what day works for you?"  (His parents live near me.)

I'm going to miss hearing "Aunt Jenn".  I'm going to miss the hugs.  The smiles of total and complete joy my infant "nephew" gives everyone.

But I'm looking forward to Skype chats, photos, and visiting again in a couple years.

Somehow, though, it doesn't seem as hard this time.  I've visited Russia.  When they say, "Our new place is near the school" I know where the school is. 

Rich Mullins wrote in a song "Far away is just somewhere you've never been."  May be.  But right now, Russia seems a very long way away when five people I love so much are moving back there. 

This is the last photo I'll have taken with my "niece" and "nephew" for a few years.

Winner -- Toaster Strudel Giveaway

The winner has been chosen and he has been contacted!  Congratulations!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Couponing to a T.

I did an interesting deal today.

I noticed a while back I needed to replace some of my summer t-shirts.

And in the May issue of All You, there was a $5 coupon that was good on Just My Size shirts.

I had won a $50 gift card, so I used that to buy some extra All You magazines.

Today I purchased 5 t-shirts that were $6 each.  After coupons, today I paid $5 for ALL.  (Of course, I bought the magazines for the coupons, so at $1.88 each for those, I paid $2.88). 

But $2.88 for a new T-shirt isn't bad when you need them.  :)  I still have a few coupons left to use before they expire, too!  Might go with something more than just a plain t-shirt next time, but the plain ones were cheaper, and they are easier to pair with more items.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review: Wild Thing

Yesterday I blogged about the Tyndale Summer Reading Club and today I thought I'd post a review of the book Wild Thing (Winnie the Horse Gentler, Book 1) to show everyone how easy it is to earn a free book in the reading club!  (Not to mention chances at winning prizes.)

As an adult with no children, I decided to give this a read just because it looked like a fun book that I could read quickly. I wasn't disappointed. One thing I dislike in Christian fiction books is a preaching style, and I didn't find that. Winnie relates to God honestly. She blames herself for her mother's death and while that is not the focus of this book, she comes to terms with that in the book. She deals with moving excessively, kids who aren't very nice to her or their animals, and even the fact her family doesn't have a lot of extra money.

While it's geared at the age 9-12 age group, I believe younger children would enjoy this if they had it read to them (although depending on the child, you may want to edit about Winnie's mother dying.) Although the main characters are girls, there are boys involved to enough of an extent I think any boy with an interest in horses would enjoy this enough, but as we all know girls of the 9-12 age group adore horses, so while it's aimed at girls, I believe it's written in a style that would be interesting enough to boys.

Interested in this book?  You can download it for free for the Kindle here:  Wild Thing

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Reading Clubs -- One to join!

I was in a summer reading club when I was little.  Actually at three different libraries.  The ones in the towns on either side of mine did weekly activities.  I learned a little bit of sign language, we earned stickers or small prizes each week and had a huge end of the summer party complete with talent show.  (I can remember the two girls who cartwheeled throughout the library at the dismay of other patrons, but no one said anything because it was part of the talent show.)  I was lame and played the kazoo which, might I add, is the only musical instrument I can play proficiently.  The reading club in my town we just read, told the librarian what we read about and there was a party at the end of the summer.  One year my arch rival in EVERYTHING and I were neck and neck in the number of books we had read.  We were well in the lead and knew our only competition was each other.  So instead of the party, we stayed in the children's section of the library looking for the shortest books that were eligible for our grade level so we could out-do the other.  No cookies and punch for us that year!  We were determined.  Would you believe that I lost by one book.  ONE STINKIN' BOOK!  Of course, the librarians, in their great knowledge knew this exact thing would happen, so they planned to give us each a prize.  I got my picture in the paper as the stinkin' runner-up.  I lost the Great Reading Rivalry of '83.   (I say this in jest, she and I are still friends and pick on each other about things like this that happened all through school.  And if she happens to be reading this, I want to say "I got the better seat in 3rd grade!  Ha! Ha!")

Okay, let me act a little more mature! 

I was excited when I learned that Tyndale Christian publishers was doing a summer reading club for adults.  I cried when I was too old to play at summer reading club, so I was interested to learn details.

It's free to join, and you can sign up right here:

There is a list of books you can read that are program-eligible.  Once you have read one you need to post a short review online.  Places you can do this are Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Facebook, Twitter, or your blog.

What is the incentive?  Well, let's just say the grand prize is better than that book I won when I tried so hard to beat my friend so many years ago!  (I should have stuck with cookies and punch!)

Everyone who participates and reads at least one book is entered to win a  free e-reader.

For every five books you read and post links for, you earn one free book.  (And they have said they don't need to be read just this summer, so if you've already read some of them you are in luck!)  The book they send you is yours to keep!

And the top three with the most points at the end of the summer will get a $50 gift certificate for more books.  (Hey, that's still better than what I got for reading almost 60 books one summer!)

The only down side is you are required to find the books yourself.  However, don't forget about inter-library loan!

And here's one to get you started.  For a short while (so download it now) Wild Thing from the "Winnie The Horse Gentler" series is FREE on Kindle download.  (If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the program to have the Kindle program on your computer, so you can still get this book free and participate.)  This is a very fast read, and I'm nearly finished with it.  (It is a children's chapter book.)

There are also children's books so if you want to earn a free book for your littles, sign up and read children's books! 

They also said they will have various offers and promotions throughout the summer.  In fact, this is one of them.  If you sign up, please post you did in the comments.  I am earning a free book for telling people about it.  (I hope I can choose one of the books from the program I want to read, and can earn more points and have another chance to win that e-reader!)  So what are you waiting for? It's free to sign up, so just enroll in the program!  (And don't forget to tell me if you did!)

Book Review: Growing Up Amish

I felt a more appropriate name for “Growing Up Amish: A Memoir” would have been “Leaving the Amish: A Memoir”. I expected this memoir to be more about experiences as the author was a child, but I felt that instead he focused on the experience of trying to leave the Amish Church. Even so, it was an enjoyable read into the life of a culture that while they may live near me, I know little about them.

Ira Wagler was born in Canada as an Amish child. He recounts the moves, why they moved, and how the different Amish districts and bishops differed in what they allowed. The world was calling to him, and although he was afraid of what might happen if he left the Amish Church (meaning he would go to hell), the allure of the world beckoned.

He recounts tales of youthful reckless stunts and jobs across the western United States and into Canada.

He returns to the Amish Church. He gets baptized as a full member. His engagement is thought to be enough to settle him down. But it wasn't. He leaves. And returns. And leaves for good.

I appreciated he voiced his struggles. The Amish culture is all he knew growing up. Of course it has it's attractions, but so does the world with it's pick up trucks, radios, and blue jeans.

It may be considered another “Coming of Age” memoir, but this one is very different than any I've ever read. It is a good book, and I definitely enjoyed it.  It releases on July 1, 2011 and I encourage you to add it to your summer reading list.

FTC disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed about it are my own.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Guest Blog Post by: Anonymous Couponer

I received this as an e-mail last week.  I thought it was so funny and currently appropriate I asked if I could use it as an anonymous guest post!  I think you will enjoy!  I definately enjoy my bargains, but like my guest blogger, I like to do it ethically, honestly, and politely (i.e. not clearing shelves).


I went to Staples to get the $5.99 ream of copy paper, minus the $3 coupon. Then do the $3 rebate. The cashier was friendly and asked me if I did coupons. I said, "Yes, but I am not an extreme coupon person". She then asked what sites I liked.

Gosh, I almost feel embarrassed and don't want anything to do with the extreme couponer persona. Uggg. Now I try not to take my coupon binders in the store because so many people are trailing around trying to be "extremers". I just want to lay low.

I hate feeling crummy about using coupons! But, hey, I will just keep plugging along with my handful of coupons and maybe I can invent an invisible or camouflaged coupon holder!!

Ha, maybe I can hide the coupons and then just whip them out at the last minute. I could wear a dark pair of shades and a trench coat. That way I could get attention for wearing that outfit in 100 degree Texas heat rather than attention for the coupons! LOL

Or maybe I could throw them off by borrowing a small child and bribing them to go through the checkout for me. Ha... or how about wearing a pair of panty hose on my head and waving around that phone on tv that has such a clear picture of a tarantula. Then the cashier could scream hysterically while I quickly scan the coupons myself. Then my pantyhosed head shot will be unidentifiable on the homeland security tapes! LOL

Okay, I just thought I would vent to a fellow couponer that doesn't care for the extremes either!!

Happy couponing!! ( Saying that in a whisper)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My turkey sandwich Headache.

Welcome to another edition of "How do I do these things?".  I really wish this was a series I didn't need to write, but like developing TMJ from cleaning my purse, I've learned I have to either laugh or cry at the things I do, and personally I prefer to laugh.

The other day I bought some mesquite smoked turkey for sandwiches.   This morning, I decided to fix a sandwich and have chips for breakfast.  I open the drawer in the fridge where I put it.  I couldn't find it.  I took everything out of that drawer.  Cheeses, Mom's ham (and I hate ham.  It is one food I can't stand to eat, so that was not an option for my sandwich), hummus, hot dogs. . .

I asked Mom, who was in another room.  She claimed she hadn't done anything with it and she didn't know why I couldn't find it.

I inserted myself deeper into the fridge, still looking.  Not realizing how far inside the fridge I was, I raised up, and really clonked my head against the bottom of the freezer door, which was closed.  I had to sit down.  After seeing stars, even with an excruciating headache, I continued taking everything out of the fridge in search of my turkey.  I was not going to let a lunch meat get the best of me.

After a little bit, I said, "I can't find it anywhere.  I can find your ham, but I can't find my turkey."

Mom informed me that was not her ham, she had eaten it. 

In reality she made mesquite smoked turkey grilled cheese sandwiches.  When I informed her of that she said "I didn't think they tasted quite right."

And I didn't feel like my head felt quite right, so I went back to bed. 

It's now dinner time and I still have a bit of a headache but it's nothing compared to what it was. (And I'll live, I do think it's time for more Tylenol.)

A turkey sandwich did get the best of me after all.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Giveaway: FOUR boxes of Toaster Strudel

I was going through my coupons and saw these expire on July 7, 2011.  I have more, so I don't need as much Toaster Strudel as I could get free, so I thought I'd do a giveaway on my blog.  I'm trying to increase readers, so it's a win-win situation for everyone!  (For those who don't know a lot about blogging, the more readers I have, the more likely I'll be able to do more reviews and in turn host more giveaways!)


One winner will receive four coupons, each good for one free  six count box of Toaster Strudel up to $3 each.  The coupons expire 7/7/2011

The giveaway is open to the USA only, and ends on June 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm.  The winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning notice or another winner will be picked.

Be sure and leave a way I can contact you -- if your e-mail address is in your blogger profile, that's fine.  You may also leave your e-mail as name at serviceprovider dot com  to reduce spam.

Leave a comment for EACH of these you do so it makes it easier for me in picking a winner.  If you leave only one comment, you will have only one entry since I use random.org to pick the winner and it is based on number of comments.

First entry -- just tell me either what you had for breakfast this morning or what breakfast food you like!


  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect (to the left under where it says "followers")
  • Follow me on Networked Blogs
  • Be my friend on Facebook  me on Facebook
  • Rank either of these reviews.  The review ranking is the box at the bottom of the following posts.  You will need to confirm your e-mail address to do so.  (worth 2 points EACH so if you rank BOTH, that's an additional 4 entries, just leave two comments in this post for each one you rank.)
          Review: Praying for Your Future Husband
          Review: Out of a Far Country

That's a possible EIGHT entries! 

Good luck to everyone! :)

Why I could never be an extreme couponer

I think it's obvious I hate the couponing show.

I think it's rude to clear shelves, obnoxious to get stores to try and bend policies, and it's fraud to use coupons on items they were not meant to be used on.

But I decided because of good deals this week I was going to do three orders at a local store.

I trotted off to the toothbrush aisle.  Six of one type of toothbrush, two packages of another.  A box of some kind of herbal menopause stuff (wanted to be able to roll reward money to the store from a previous trip) and as the Extreme Couponing show calls it "Flavored Water"

So off to check out.  Something isn't right.  The cashier is confused, checks the curricular.  I thought the price was higher than I expected but sometimes I do underestimate the amount I'm paying out of pocket.

We pull the toothbrushes out, look at the sales paper.  I look at the sales slips.  There was the wrong type of toothbrush under the sale label on the shelves. 

Manager returns the six incorrect toothbrushes.  I buy the correct ones.  (All the while I'm humiliated that the first time I try three transactions this happens.  I have to say I was so happy the manager and cashier were so patient with me!)  Everything works as it should, finally, but I was embarrassed!

Then off to another store.  They were out of most of the stuff I wanted to buy which would be free, but they did have toothpaste.

So what I came home with (besides embarrassment):

NINE toothbrushes
TWO tubes of toothpaste
THREE bottles of Sobe
ONE menopausal supplement

I paid out of pocket (after coupons and rewards money from previous trips) $14.35.   Amount I received back in rewards money?  $24.97. 

So although I left the store "profiting"  $10.54  I don't want to do a repeat of last night any time soon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Christian Sex books shouldn't be something to giggle about.

Growing up in church, our "Christian Sex Education" was more like "Sex Mis-Information".  While I appreciate what the adults were attempting to do, I don't condone their methods of "keeping us pure" by frightening us with stories of those infected with HIV, abortions, and teen pregnancy.  Fear only works for so long.  I stayed in the teen group a little longer than most, and in the early 1990s I can remember all of the youth group being herded into the basement of the church.  The church's TV and VCR was down there.  We were not separated by gender, and we constantly giggled when the man on the Christian videos mispronounced "puberty".

Any questions?

Of course, any normal teenager wants to know EVERYTHING about sex even if they are not sexually active.  However, no normal teenager is going to ask questions in front of the youth leaders, their husbands, and 15 members of the opposite sex.  The adults may have even planned it this way so they wouldn't be caught off guard with any questions they didn't want to answer!

Twenty years later. . .

Dannah Gresh publishes the book  What Are You Waiting For?: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex .  I've been seeing links to CNN's religion blog with her article My Take: There's Nothing Brief About a Hookup .  In fact, this link was shared quite often by my Facebook friends, so when I had the opportunity to review her book, I jumped at the chance.

What you will NOT find in What Are You Waiting For?:

You will NOT find exaggerated facts to scare teens into not having sex.  You will NOT find mis-information.

What you WILL find in What Are You Waiting For?:

You WILL find honest facts.  You WILL find reasons (mainly spiritual and emotional) she believes teenagers and other singles should wait until marriage.  You WILL find honest talk about subjects my youth leaders shied away from 20 years ago. 

You can watch Dannah Gresh's book trailer here:

Obviously, with the content of the book, I would recommend it for high schoolers and above.  It is not for the faint of heart (and my youth leaders likely would have fainted with this book in the 1980s.)  But it's real!  I have a number of friends who are young adults, and this is common knowledge to them even if it wasn't so much talked about when I was their age?

Ready to dive into a frank discussion about God's plan for sex and why she believes people should wait until marriage?  You can read chapter one right here on my blog.

What Are You Waiting For by Dannah Gresh (Chapter 1)

Ready to buy this book to read to yourself or give to your daughter?  You can do so here:

This is a book I wish we would have had available to us in the 1980s.  Maybe we could have had our questions answered better with less giggling!  I'm glad to see there are books like this for this generation of young people!

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher.  In no way did that influence my opinion of the book.

If you could take a moment and rank my review (based on the quality of my review) that would be fantastic! Thank you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How many guinea pigs do you have?

I often get the question "How many guinea pigs do you have?"  Currently the answer is three, but these are the guinea pigs I've had over the years.  I have a photo of them in my room with the title "Guinea Pigs are Love with Fur".    Also listed is the years we had them, we give forever homes, but we have gotten pigs that had lived elsewhere for a while, so the dates are just from when they were with us, not how old they were.

Tilly aka Mr. Piggy Man
(Photo coming soon, I don't have one in my computer)

Hamlet (left)
Sherman (right)
2002 - 2004


2004 - 2008

2004 - 2008

2008 - 2010

Baby Crockett
2008 - present

Fuzzbutt (left)
Einstein (right)
2009 - present

Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review: Money Secrets of the Amish

I'm Amish.  Or at least my shopping habits are, at least to a large degree.

In Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving, Lorilee Cracker examines why even during economic downturns the Amish still are thriving financially.

There's no real secrets in this book, but I still enjoyed most of it.  She talks about bartering, paying off debt, not getting into debt using credit cards, buying in bulk, buying second hand, not spoiling children, waiting until you have the money for big purchases, and the like.

For someone who is already good at managing your money, there are no real savings hints here.  I did enjoy the stories about the Amish, such as the game night around the Trivial Pursuit game purchased second hand.  (Instead of the Arts and Entertainment category, they replaced that with Bible trivia!)  Also the story of the lady baking over a dozen pies was neat.

I totally had to agree with her on "Rethinking Gifts".  So many times people buy to just buy and don't consider the other person when buying.  There are times that something second hand or a gift of time would be so much more appriciated than a new sweater.

Would I recommend this book?  It depends on the person.  If they are already frugal, I'd say skip it.  If they are interested in the Amish, definately.  If they need to rethinking their spending habits, yes.

Buy it:

FTC Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Twenty Years Ago in The Radar Report -- Farm and Foliage

As I mentioned in my blog post Why "The Radar Report"? I have been "blogging" for 20 years, well before I was blogging online, I sent out an occasional newsletter to friends called "The Radar Report".  When I started blogging, it only seemed natural to use this name for my blog.

Because The Radar Report Vol. One Number One was released 20 years ago this month, I thought I'd take a few blog posts this month to revisit what was in that issue.  Today I will reproduce "The Farm and Foliage Report" from the very first issue.

  • I had to fight off a moth in the shower.
  • We had a fly in the house the size of Philadelphia.
  • Mom saw a possum that was walking by the front porch.
  • The baby robins have hatched and left the nest that is beside the house.
  • The rhododendron and lilacs have reached their peaks.  The azalea is in full bloom.
  • Front tree was treated with Growthstunt by the power company.
  • Our next door neighbor has taken up woodworking -- proven by 3 bears erected in their backyard near the horse shoe pit.
  • A total of six American flags are visible to the left of our front porch.

Wow!  Now just imagine if I had a blog as we know it now back then!  I could post photos of that possum, go into detail about the moth who was joining me in the shower, post video of the tree being treated with Growthstunt.  (That tree was eventually chopped down.  It wasn't us who did it, not sure which utility or if it was the town when they put in new water lines and cut down about a dozen trees from our yard.)

I really enjoyed publishing "The Radar Report" all those years ago, and enjoy blogging now!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil

I recently was given the opportunity to try Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil .  Prior to this opportunity, I had never known anything about coconut oil!  But Tropical Traditions gave me a link to learn about their coconut oil! It is all processed by hand and is USDA certified organic!

Finally, my jar of coconut oil arrived.

Of course, I wanted to know how it tasted when used!  I posted on Facebook when I got this review, and a friend of mine told me how wonderful popcorn tastes when you make it on the stove using coconut oil!  I bought a bag of popcorn to try that as well, but still haven't done so because I've not really wanted a snack of an evening since I received the oil.

So, I decided to use it in baking for my review.  After all, then I'd be able to take my finished product to church and share with friends and see what they think.

I visited the web page with lots of coconut oil recipes.  One thing I disliked was many of them required ingredients I don't think the average household would have.  I did find a recipe for Toasted Coconut Ginger Blondies and decided I would make that!  I didn't have any ginger, so I had to adapt it a little.

One thing I noticed is although I used the size pan the recipe called for, they seemed extremely thin, but that didn't hurt the taste any.

I thought they looked very yummy, but the real test is the taste.

I have to say I felt they were okay. I liked them but these would never be a favorite baked treat of mine. I might make them again in the future because they were rather simple to make for a home made treat, and they were a huge hit with my friends at church. 

When I say a huge hit, I'm basing it on the ones who were able to eat a blondie.  Six of the fourteen blondies I took to share were eaten by one of my friends.  One friend ate two, and the other seven were quickly eaten as well!  So these were very much enjoyed by my friends. 

This is my friend eating blondie number five.

Although I've so far only used it in blondies, I'm hoping to try it in more of my cooking! 

Want to try it yourself?  You can puchase it here:  http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/virgin_coconut_oil.htm and if you use referrer number 7762660 when placing an order, you will receive a complementary copy of their book about Virgin Coconut Oil.

FTC Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.

Could you please vote?

I'm in a voting contest for the gas station Sheetz.

The top ten vote getters will be judged and the entry they like the best will win $1000 to Sheetz, which is a regional gas station.  The nine who were not picked as the best entry will win $400 to Sheetz.  To win that much free gas would be fantastic.  Since there are 15 entries, and the top 10 win a prize, I am hoping I can win something! :)

You can vote here:

Sheetz is Part of My Family   http://apps.facebook.com/greatsheetzsellout/entry/171480

It is the picture of the Sheetz logo framed with family photos.

You can vote DAILY through 6/16.

Thanks so much!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Amazing Grace CD Winner!

I just used Random.org to pick the winner of the Amazing Grace Celtic Hymns CD.   She has been notified and as soon as I hear from her, I will send her information on to the sponsor!  Thank you all for participating!