Sunday, November 29, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #40: Send A Care Package

This week, send a care package to someone on your mind. If you need more information about care packages, or you need some ideas of things to include in one, check out these links:

Here is a blog post I wrote in January 2012:

A blog post from Redefined Mom written in September 2014:

An article from

You can also find a large collection of ideas for different kinds of care packages on: PINTEREST.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #39: Make A Thankful List

 It's Thanksgiving week in the United States of America.

For this week's ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE, the first thing I want you to do is make a list of 10 different things you are thankful for. Click below for a document you can print out and use for this exercise, or you can just write your list on regular notebook paper:

After your list is completed, do at least one of the following suggestions with it:
  • Include the list in a Thanksgiving card and mail it to someone this week.
  • Share the list with your family as you eat your Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Post the entire list on Facebook in one specific post.
  • If you don't do Facebook or Twitter, send your list out in an e-mail to several of your friends. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

REVIEW: Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

I have been hearing so much about the Trim Healthy Mama diet plan by sisters Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison. Their first book caught the attention of many mamas who were looking to eat healthier, control blood sugar, lose weight, and keep the weight off. Then, more recently, two new books by the sisters were published through Penguin Random House. One is the new updated THM plan book, Trim Healthy Mama Plan. And, the other is the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. 

I haven't read the "plan" book yet, but I did get a copy of the cookbook. I wanted to see what kinds of recipes can be made on this THM plan. As I read it, I found the sisters have a unique sense of humor that gives the book a fun, light tone; and it has some interesting recipes I am sure I will be trying in future months - things like Reuben in a Bowl, Fotato Soup, Taco Meatloaf, and the Pumpkin Pie Sip (a beverage that is meant to be sipped throughout the day to curb hunger). However, if you are wanting to know more about the THM plan, you will need more than the cookbook to really understand it. The cookbook is meant to supplement the "plan" book; and, if you want the recipes to really work for you, it is best to actually KNOW the plan first. Pearl and Serene even mention this in the introduction to the cookbook.

On its own, the cookbook is colorful, laid out well, and includes more than 350 recipes including one-pot meals, main dishes, sides, breakfasts, sweet treats, and beverages. If you are already doing the THM plan, and are wanting some new recipes to try, I recommend you get this cookbook.

NOTE:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #38: Send Encouraging Words

Share some golden apples this week by sending a favorite Bible verse, an encouraging quote, or just some words that come from your heart to 5 different people. You can send to one person each day, or do all five at once. The choice is yours.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I know its not even Thanksgiving yet, but I want to let you know about a new Christmas album you may want to consider this year. Pizza Ranch is helping to promote Mercy Me It's Christmas by the contemporary Christian band, Mercy Me. The album will be available for sale at each of the 200 Pizza Ranch locations throughout the Midwest and Great Plains states for only $5.00 plus tax. Sales begin November 1, 2015 and continue through December 31, 2015.  The CD has 4 exclusive songs that can only be found on the CD version being sold by Pizza Ranch.

Bard Millard from Mercy Me said, "We are so excited to debut our new Christmas album, MercyMe, It’s Christmas, with Pizza Ranch. [It is] a fantastic restaurant with a great mission to glorify God."

I love Mercy Me, and I love Christmas music. So, for me, this CD is GREAT! It has upbeat, traditional AND modern music that can be a help in bringing some Christmas cheer to your home  this year. 

When you enter below, you will have a chance at winning this exclusive CD. The giveaway ends Saturday, November 14, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. CST. One entry per mailing address. If you have won a prize from my sponsor, FlyBy Promotions, in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.

"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. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #37: Appreciate Our Military Personnel

Veteran's Day is this Wednesday, November 11th.

For this week's ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE, choose one or more of the following ways to show your appreciation for our military personnel:

1.  Display the American flag on your home or business.

2.  When you see a person in military uniform, or know of someone who was previously in a branch of the military, thank them for their service.

3.  Attend a Veteran's Day ceremony.

4.  Send a care package to a soldier on your own, or through a local organization.

5.  Click over to OPERATION WE ARE HERE to find many other ideas for thanking and encouraging Veterans. 

 Thankyou, Veterans, for serving!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Update on EL's Seizures

Last week, I told you that EL's SEIZURES KEEP RETURNING. So, we took a trip to St. Louis on Wednesday to have a sleep-deprived EEG. Her last one was 2 years ago, so they wanted to check for any changes and see if an additional medication would help to control her seizures.

I had to stay up with her until Midnight on Tuesday night before the test. Then, I had to wake her up again at 5:00 on Wednesday morning, and keep her awake during the car ride to St. Louis. After getting her prepped (which she hated), her testing finally began around 3:00 p.m. and she was able to fall asleep quickly (which worked out great to get the information needed.)

Today, the doctor's office called with the EEG results. It was considered abnormal, but it didn't have any significant changes compared to her previous EEG. That is good news. With this information, they are not going to add an additional medication. Instead, they have once again increased the dosage of her current meds, and we will see how things go. (Apparently, her bloodwork showed her medication level was still lower than it should be, so hopefully this will be the last increase needed... at least for awhile.)

We are grateful for the prayers you have said for our sweet girl. Our God is good to listen to our prayers, and to provide the strength we need in difficult times.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #36 - GUEST Daneille Snowden - Keep Giving!

This week's ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE comes from my friend, Daneille Snowden. She has some wonderful suggestions for giving to others, even when you don't think you have anything to give. Thank you, Daneille, for allowing me to share this today...


Money is most definitely tight these days; and for some the belt is quite snug! [Wink] But, no matter who you are: a child, parent, single mom, single dad, elderly, jobless or your budget is tied up in shoelaces - YOU STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO GIVE!  

Deuteronomy 16:17 - "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you." 

Tangible gifts are fun, yes? I like to receive them and give them as I am able. Yet, I will share with you that the gifts I treasure the most, are the one's from the heart; that were either words written on a paper from my husband and children, as well as home made crafty gifts from others. They seem to touch the deepest part of my soul and the gifts I truly treasure.

Allow me to share with you some ideas for you as the giver to give; even when your pockets are empty. 
1) A Letter / Poem that conveys your heart and care for the particular individual.

2) Love Tokens: Made of scrap materials such as wood, cloth or paper. On them you can write things like, "This is good for a walk in the park." Another can be for a cup of tea, etc...

3) Make a homemade card.

4) Do you have flowers in your yard, like roses and such? Dry them for potpourri; make sachets; or just cut some and give as a gift.

5) I have plants: I root new growths and start a new plant. Give a plant with a special note.

6) Food is a winner! Bake some cookies, zucchini bread, or a pie.

7) Clean their yard, or house for them.

8) Offer to babysit their children.

9) Listen, just listen - don't talk about you; let them just share their heart.

10) Make a prayer journal for them; and tell them that they are listed in your prayer journal too.

11) Design on your computer nifty scripture posters. If you can't do that; make them with crafts you have on hand.

12) Give your person a night off from cooking and prepare the meal.

13) Make a DVD of pictures of your friendship, or family whatever you know they would treasure.

14) Give a backrub (preferably if it's someone in your family).

15) Fix a picnic and go enjoy at a nice park or in the back yard.

16) Can you draw? My daughter is an artist; she has drawn portraits for people. If not, you can take a picture, print it out and frame it. I always have old frames around the house. Plus, you can make cute frames with just about anything.

17) Can ya sew? A cute handbag, or a pillow that is uniquely from you is a treasure.

18) Sing, sing a song! Especially to grandparents, uncles & aunts...etc.

19) Left-overs? Take a meal to a neighbor or someone you know would not just appreciate but need a thoughtful gesture.

20) Just think, what makes you as unique as you are. That is who the people in your life love; use that special character trait to share your heart to everyone.

21) Pray for people, and tell others about God's Love for them. It truly is the best gift of all, and it cost His Son His life!

I sure hope this helps ya out, and encourages you to give and give some more!

Lord bless,

Read more from Daneille over at: SNOWDEN WITH THE FAM'