Monday, December 14, 2015

An Amish Christmas Gift {Three Amish Novellas}

Amish Christmas fiction is one of my favorite genres of books to read. The stories are so sweet and have a good moral compass. I was chosen (by Family Christian) to review a new book called An Amish Christmas Gift (Three Amish Novellas) written by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin.



 
 
Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston:
 
Naomi is a sweet Amish girl who doesn't think love is in her future. Caleb is a widower with a daughter who is eager to learn the Amish ways of life. Caleb's daughter, Susie, meets Naomi at a farmer's market and the two become instant friends. Once Caleb meets Naomi he becomes very intrigued by her. He wants to know more about her. A true Christmas love story is in store for both of them as they discover how much they have in common and how much they both care for Susie. Caleb has a decision to make about his own future that could lead him away from Naomi.
 
I loved this story because it was easy to read and had an easy flow to it. I am a sucker for love stories that end well and this one is a winner.
 
An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid:
 
Abigail has a problem that has led her husbandless for many years. She loves talking. She gabs about anything and everything. After realizing her problem she decides she will just be single and save her money to purchase a horse so that she can sell pies in town. Her neighbor Micah's elderly grandmother needs looking after and she steps in to help. Micah notices that she just never stops talking...ever. It hits him one day that he actually cares a lot for Abigail. Instead of revealing his feelings he leaves her devastated right before Christmas. It is then that he truly reveals his feelings toward her.
 
The twist in this Amish story is that the girl never stops talking. Typically, Amish women are quiet and reverent but Abigail is opposite. That is the reason I liked this story so much. It was different that any other Amish fiction I have ever read.
 
A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin:
 
Frannie is sent to live with her Aunt and Uncle in Bee County, Texas because of her love for an Englisch farmer named Rocky. Her parents send her away so that she can forget about him. Her Aunt and Uncle have good intentions when they begin inviting Joseph, an Amish boy, over for meals. They believe Frannie will forget about her love for Rocky and go for an Amish marriage. As Christmas gets closer Rocky shows up to see Frannie and plead his case.
 
This was a predictable story but very sweet nonetheless. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Through this story Frannie and Rocky learn about patience and love and God's timing.
 
There are discussion questions included at the back of the book for a book club. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction and Christmas stories.
 
 

*I was given this book by FamilyChristian.com in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas For The Whole Family

Every year I start brainstorming about what to put in our stockings for Christmas. This year I decided I would do a blog post with all of the ideas I have come up with for the entire family. Please feel free to print this list off and put it in your purse. Take it with you when you go shopping and check off everyone on your list.





Small Children:

Small metal cars (Matchbox or Hot Wheels)
Goldfish Crackers
Bubble Bath (These Veggie Tales Bath Toys are awesome)
Small Bath Toys
Hair Bows
Christmas Ornament (THIS one is my favorite this year)
Small Stuffed Animal (HERE are some ideas)
Board Books (HERE are a few from FamilyChristian.com)
Sippy Cup

Older Children:

Small Monster Trucks
Dum-Dum Suckers
Colored Pencils (The Twistable Ones are my favorite)
Paint Set (I like THIS set)
Doll Accessories
Themed Socks (Avengers, Disney Princess, Elmo, etc.)
Christmas Ornament
Card Games (HERE are a few ideas)
Flash Light
Reusable Water Bottle
Glow Sticks
Beginning Reader Books

Teenage Children:

Razors
Deodorant
Devotional (HERE is one for Girls and HERE is one for Boys)
Fun Socks (colorful or themed)
Nail Polish
Hair Accessories
Christmas Ornament
ITunes Gift Card
CD's (HERE is a list of Christian music that I love)
DVD's (Depending on your family's taste and guidelines, this category may vary)

Men:

Devotional (I love THIS ONE for my husband this year)
CD's
Books on CD (HERE is a list of my favorites this year)
Socks
Favorite Candy
Christmas Ornament (I was thinking of getting THIS ONE for my husband this year)
Tie
Travel Coffee Mug (I love THIS ONE for my husband this year)
K-Cups
Gloves

Women:

Chocolate (Of course!)
K-Cups
Coffee Mug (I am in love with THIS ONE)
Slippers
Panera/Starbucks GC
Christmas Ornament (I want THIS ONE!)
Earrings (Who doesn't love ARROWS?)
Christmas CD (I just purchased THIS Pentatonix one....it is the best!)
Bookmarks
Devotional (I want THIS ONE...hint, hint)
Scarf (I am loving this beautiful red SCARF)


Now, I know there are a lot of links here but I love FamilyChristian.com. They have everything you need for Christmas and more. It is one-stop shopping and it is a Christian organization that I trust. Some of these items can be found pretty much anywhere but ordering online (or you can look up your local store on their website) is so easy.

I pray you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!




Sunday, December 6, 2015

5 in 5 For Every Season (By: Michael Symon)


I love cookbooks and I love Food Network. I collect cookbooks and have so many I lost count. Michael Symon's new book 5 in 5 For Every Season (with Douglas Trattner) is a wonderful addition. I am a fan of Michael Symon's and love his way of cooking. In his new book, he goes through all four seasons plus the holidays. He uses 5 fresh ingredients plus 5 minutes of heat to equal 165 wonderful recipes for dinner, sides and more. They are all quick and healthy as well.

This book is organized by season with an entire section completely for the holidays. He has a section in the front of the book dedicated to the pantry. He lists all of the essential pantry items that he typically keeps on-hand. His use of fresh ingredients is the best part of this book. Using in-season fruits, veggies, and herbs keeps the recipe simple, delicious, and on a budget.

Some of my favorite recipes are:
  • Rigatoni with mushrooms & swiss chard (p. 20)
  • Four-egg omelet with ramps (p. 41)
  • Chicken breasts with strawberry & goat cheese salad (p. 72)
  • Breaded beef sirloin with zucchini & tomato salad (p. 82)
  • Grilled cheese with Havarti & apple (p. 116)
  • Mushroom philly cheesesteaks (p. 162)
  • Chicken breasts with bacon & brussel sprouts (p. 184)
  • Cheesy broccoli gratin (p. 216)
  • Leftover ham frittata with gruyere (p. 247)
Michael Symon includes different drink recipes as well. Some of them are alcoholic and some are not. They all sounded tasty. I am so glad I received this book. The recipes are delicious and I plan to make most of them in the future.

If you are a fan of Michael Symon's then you will love this new cookbook. Put it on your list for Christmas. It would make the perfect holiday gift.

*I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Prophecy Study Bible (John Hagee)



I have been watching John Hagee on television for a few years now. He preaches a lot about prophecies in the bible and what the future holds for those who believe in Christ and those who do not. He has recently come out with a Prophecy Study Bible (NKJV) that will help us to "understand God's message in the last days." I received a copy of this bible in exchange for my honest review.

I have not read it from cover to cover (because it takes a very long time to do that and this review would be long past overdue). I did thoroughly dig into each section and go through each of the special features. In this bible, John Hagee has written his own notes throughout to guide the reader in all of the prophecies of the bible. He answers the top questions about bible prophecy, has a devotional section, gives God's great promises, God's great salvation, gives evidence of the prophecies, gives details about God's spokesmen (those who God used to preach His messages of prophecy), biblical insights, and includes many biblical prophecy charts.

My favorite features are the biblical prophecy charts because they are so detailed. Some of the charts included are: Timetable of the Prophets, The Rapture and the Second Coming, The Tribulation, The Millennium, and so much more. John Hagee is very wise in the gift of detailing and preaching about the prophecies in the bible.

He gives many references and describes biblical events in great detail while also keeping the focus on telling the truth of the bible. I happen to love the NKJV. It is one of my favorite versions because I find it easy to read and understand. Pastor John Hagee serves as senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. He has written several other books including Jerusalem Countdown and Four Blood Moons. He is also founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel. His passion is to teach people about Christ before it's too late.

I recommend this bible to anyone interested in biblical prophecy and biblical insights about things told to us in the bible.

*I was given this book  by BookLookBloggers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*