My Favorite Find of the Day: Cheap Photos with Snapfish

Snapfish has extended their special prices for photo prints until June 26–which is good, because I never got the time to order any prints last week!  Here are two deals that are going on right now:

1.  Great price on photo prints!


2.  50% off their entire site!

blog snips

Go here to order!

Here are the offer details (the fine print):

Offer details:
*Conditions of the 50JUNE13 offer:
1. Must use coupon 50JUNE13 to receive 50% off site-wide. Offer excludes Skin-it photo skins, pre-paid prints, stamps, gift certificates, Gallery Direct artwork, Disney, Nickelodeon Suites Resorts, Dr. Seuss, and DreamWorks themed products.
2. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. PT on  June 26, 2013, while supplies last.
3. Only one coupon or promotion can be applied per order, and either one account credit or one promo code can be applied per item.  Existing credits are honored first.
4. Offer  applies to mail-order purchases only and cannot be used for in-store pick up.  All taxes and shipping fees apply. Shipping and handling fees are charged per  product.
5. Coupon  may be used up to five times per customer. May not be used in conjunction with  any other offer.
6. Offer  valid for U.S. customers only.
7. Offer  is subject to change or cancellation at any time.
*Conditions of the DADPRINT100 offer:
1. Must  use coupon DADPRINT100 to receive 100 4″ x 6″ prints for $10,  including shipping. Offer applies to standard shipping and cannot be used for  upgraded shipping options. Additional prints will be charged at regular print  and delivery prices. Offer excludes collage prints, Disney, Nickelodeon Suites  Resorts, Dr. Seuss, and DreamWorks themed products.
2. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. PT on  June 26, 2013, while supplies last.
3. Only one coupon or promotion can be applied per order, and either one account credit or one promo code can be applied per item.  Existing credits are honored first.
4. Offer  applies to mail-order purchases only and cannot be used for in-store pick up.  All taxes apply.
5. Coupon may be used up to five times per customer. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer.
6. Offer  valid for U.S. customers only.
7. Offer  is subject to change or cancellation at any time.
*Conditions of the DADPRINT300 offer:
1. Must use coupon DADPRINT300 to receive 300 4″ x 6″ prints for $29, including shipping. Offer applies to standard shipping and cannot be used for upgraded shipping options. Additional prints will be charged at regular print and delivery prices. Offer excludes collage prints, Disney, Nickelodeon Suites Resorts, Dr. Seuss, and DreamWorks themed products.
2. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. PT on  June 26, 2013, while supplies last.
3. Only one coupon or promotion can be applied per order, and either one account credit or one promo code can be applied per item.  Existing credits are honored first.
4. Offer applies to mail-order purchases only and cannot be used for in-store pick up. All taxes apply.
5. Coupon may be used up to five times per customer. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer.
6. Offer valid for U.S. customers only.
7. Offer is subject to change or cancellation at any time.
*Conditions of the DADPRINT500 offer:
1. Must use coupon DADPRINT500 to receive 500 4″ x 6″ prints for $45, including shipping. Offer applies to standard shipping and cannot be used for upgraded shipping options. Additional prints will be charged at regular print and delivery prices. Offer excludes collage prints, Disney, Nickelodeon Suites Resorts, Dr. Seuss, and DreamWorks themed products.
2. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. PT on  June 26, 2013, while supplies last.
3. Only one coupon or promotion can be applied per order, and either one account credit or one promo code can be applied per item.  Existing credits are honored first.
4. Offer applies to mail-order purchases only and cannot be used for in-store pick up. All taxes apply.
5. Coupon may be used up to five times per customer. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer.
6. Offer valid for U.S. customers only.
7. Offer is subject to change or cancellation at any time.
Posted in My Favorite Finds of the Day | Tagged , | Leave a comment

My Favorite FREE Kindle Books of the Day: Berenstain Bear Book and More!

Please check to make sure these books are $0.00 before buying.  Prices are subject to change.

The Berenstain Bears Chapter Book: The G-Rex Bones [Kindle Edition] by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain

Description on Amazon:

There’s a mystery in Bear Country, and Actual Factual is just the bear to solve
it. Dr. Zoltan Bearish plays nemesis to Actual Factual and the cubs in this Bear
Country hugger-mugger, involving faked fossils, phony discoveries and a scandal
that threatens to dash the reputation of estimable Professor Actual Factual
before it’s all through.

Super Cowboy Rides [Kindle Edition] by Daris Howard

Description on Amazon:

This award-winning middle-grade novel by newspaper columnist, Daris Howard,
addresses issues such as friendship, bullying, caring for pets, and how to deal
with annoying and bossy brothers, all while making you laugh so hard you might
have an accident if you’re not careful. WARNING: Use the bathroom BEFORE reading
this book.

“SUPER COWBOY RIDES reminds me of when I was a boy and we
would visit my grandparents’ farm in Utah where my cousins would try, in a
loving way, to kill me. It has a ring of authenticity; I loved each chapter.”
~Jack Weyland, best-selling author of Charly and other YA novels

Meet six-year-old Tommy Johnson, Super Cowboy and Super Story-teller. His tale of why
a boy needs a dog for a pet instead of a cat typifies the down-to-earth,
humorous view of a Western farm boy. But once Tommy starts school, things get
complicated. He gets put in the lowest reading group and told to stay in the
back of the classroom. He’s picked on by his teacher and mocked by classmates.
When tragedy strikes, Tommy must carry a burden beyond what any first-grader
should have to face. In the process of dealing with his grief, this young cowboy
learns the meaning of true friendship.

Easy Slow Cooker Recipes For Busy Moms (Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes) [Kindle Edition] by Rachel Ryan

Description on Amazon:

Modern moms are constantly bouncing from place to place. After school activities, work, doctor’s appointments, even daily errands get in the way of the ability to cook a nutritious and tasty meal for the family. The ability to cook just about anything in a slow cooker can alter that imbalance.
Slow cookers are the most overlooked and valuable kitchen appliance in the modern home. Almost everyone has one, but most people don’t realize the versatility of slow cookers. This recipe collection provides just a brief introduction to what these appliances can do. The recipes contain ingredients found in most kitchens, and produce delicious and healthy results.
The goal of feeding a family is providing healthy food that you can feel good about preparing and serving. Processed foods are an easy answer, but their nutrient value is lower, and their sodium content is generally higher than home-cooked meals. This collection strives to provide a wide variety of options using very few processed items. That said, there are some items such as soup stocks and tomato sauce that are used. As a result, I’ve included a brief prologue with some basic recipes for kitchen staples that you can make ahead.
101 Kids Choice Knock Knock Jokes [Kindle Edition] by Darcy Sparkle

Description on Amazon:

101 Kids Choice Knock Knock jokes is a collection of the best knock knock
jokes chosen by children from public schools across Canada.
This book will not only make your kid laugh it will help them learn.
Knock knock jokes are known to:
– Help your child improve memory
– Instill confidence
– Develop a sense of humor
– Improve public speaking
All jokes are personal favorites from Children across Canada.
A fun way for a child to interact with friends and spread the
joy of laughter!
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Scattered Saturdays: Our Week in Review

Sunday was a great day.  Sunday always is a great day as it is the Lord’s Day–yet this past Sunday was also Father’s Day!  We try to give Daddy some “breakfast in bread” and give him his presents in the morning.  Then after the church service, my sister and her two teenager children and my mom and dad ate at our house.  I made the cake and the monkey bread and some of the mini-meatloaves.  I gave dad his 25 burritos for his present (actually they are still in my freezer awaiting his pick-up), and we had fun talking and playing UNO.

This week has been a week of weather extremes!  Yet even with a 55° morning, our outdoor swimming was not canceled!  Praise the Lord for heated pools.  We were very thankful as we wanted no canceled days so that we can go to my sister’s house to see her family this next week.  If they had to cancel any swimming days, then the make-up days would be this coming week.  Even on Friday, there came some periods of very heavy rainfall, but it did not start until 12:00 p.m.–15 minutes after their swimming was over!  We claim it as a direct answer to prayer, as we did pray for good weather!

Kaylin is now done with level 6.  There is one more level available that she can do, but it would mainly be endurance that she would be working on.  She can already swim much better than her momma. Karis did completely not pass level 5, but she can swim very well!  Kristi finished level 2, and Joshua will be ready to go to regular swimming classes next summer.

So every morning, we went to swimming classes which took a couple of hours of every day.  I babysat three days this week, and Tuesday I was able to go out to lunch with a good friend who is such an encouragement to me.

Thursday, I took Kristi for her check-up to her allergy doctor.  Both Karis and Kristi are getting weekly shots for their allergies to mold and dust.  After doing it for more than a year, they are now at the maintenance level, and off all their medicines.  Plus, they no longer have asthma attacks when they get colds!  So we are happy with the results, but they have to continue the shots for a while.  I can now give the shots at home, which is such a time and money saver!   Kristi has grown 1 1/2″ in the last six months!  She will be my tall girl.  Thursday night, Kristi and I finally started making her Kindergarten graduation Thank You cards–we are a little behind!

Working on her cards

Working on her cards

A big highlight of this week:  Joshua learned how to ride his bike without training wheels!  Yay for another independent bike rider!  I don’t know why we didn’t take pictures–Oh, I remember why we didn’t:  he’s the fourth kid, that’s why!  I’ll have to take pictures this week, and we’ll all pretend that it’s his first time riding a bike all by himself.

Friday, I was able to go garage saling again–which might be my last time until the end of July!  I was able to get some children’s presents and other miscellaneous items.  The morning was topped off with lunch with my mom and another friend that we go garage saling with.  Friday night’s t-ball games got canceled with all the rain, which made it easier for our schedule as Dave had to do a wedding rehearsal.  I stayed home with the kids and ate pizza and played some games.  It was fun!

Saturday promises to be a hot day around 90°.  It will be busy with a run to the grocery store, packing for my sister’s house, going to a wedding, and all the other little details that must get done.  Have a great day!

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My Favorite FREE Kindle Books of the Day and FREE Amazing Grace DVD


Saturday, June 22, 2013, 8 am–This looks like it still might be available.  The form to fill out comes up still, so you could try and see!

Okay–If you are reading this post, you may be frustrated!  I know I am!  I can get back to the links for the FREE Amazing Grace DVD.   (I took this off and now am putting it back on :))   This is a different offer than the one for just pastors.  By filling out your information and getting the DVD, “you agree that FEE can contact you about future initiatives. We will never sell your contact information.”  Maybe they are getting so many requests the servers just get busy at time.  I think this is only available today.  Go here to sign up for a free Amazing Grace DVD!

Product Description:

Amazing Grace, from acclaimed director, Michael Apted, tells the inspiring story of how one man’s passion and perseverance changed the world. Based on the true-life story of William Wilberforce (Gruffudd), a leader of the British abolition movement, the film chronicles his epic struggle to pass a law to end the slave trade in the late 18th century. Along the way, Wilberforce meets intense opposition from members of Parliament who feel the slave trade is tied to the stability of the British Empire. Several friends, including Wilberforce’s minister, John Newton (Finney), a reformed slave ship captain who penned the beloved hymn Amazing Grace, urge him to see the cause through. Rated PG. Approx. 111 Minutes.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom

FREE Kindle Books!

Please check the price and make sure they are $0.00.  Prices are subject to change.

Outlaw Heroes [Kindle Edition] by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Description on Amazon:

Twelve-year old Will Long loves the old west and his favorite stories are ones about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When he was younger, Will and his father watched old western movies together and read books about old-time outlaws and lawmen. His father worked on a ranch and he and Will would ride horses together, rope cattle and attend rodeos. Unfortunately, this all ended the day his dad died suddenly and Will and his mother had to leave the ranch and move into town. After three years, Will still struggles with the death of his father and doesn’t like the new man in his mother’s life.
Will and his mother head west to Spokane, Washington on an Amtrak train to attend a family reunion and the one-hundredth birthday celebration for his great-grandmother. During the train ride, Will is suddenly awakened to find he’s been transported back in time and the train is being robbed by none other than Butch and Sundance. Will joins in with the outlaws and jumps at the chance to follow along with them despite Sundance’s protests. Will follows the outlaws on some of their most famous robberies and also gets to meet the infamous Etta Place, Sundance’s wife. But when a bank robbery goes sour, Will begins to wonder if being an outlaw is as exciting as he’d once thought.
Join Will as he learns life lessons along the way and discovers a family secret that has been hidden for decades.

Great Kids In History [Kindle Edition] by Michael Williams

Description on Amazon:

Great Kids in History is a collection of 22 amazing stories of incredible kids who have accomplished many great feats. Throughout history children have played a significant role in key events. As incredible as it may seem it was a 14-year-old boy that invented television and it was a child that discovered the legendary Lost Sea.  Read about the child that invented a frozen treat that changed summer forever. Learn the amazing tale of the incredible Sybil Luddington, the teenage girl that rode more than 40 miles to rally soldiers to defend two towns during the American Revolution.     Read the tale of amazing Jackie Mitchell who struck out the two greatest baseball players in history. Learn of the courageous kids that organized the greatest labor strike in U.S. history. Read the story of the young girl that named a planet, and learn of the boy with learning disabilities who invented more than 1,000 inventions.     Marvel at the exploits of the Heroine of Lime Rock. Read about Joe Nuxhall, the youngest major leaguer who played professional baseball and stepped up on the pitcher’s mound at the age of 15.     Read about the precocious Tad Lincoln whose plea for mercy for a doomed animal started a holiday tradition.     These and other stories will inspire and entertain and amuse readers of all ages.

Delectable Desserts – 24 Yummy Cookie & Brownie Recipes [Kindle Edition] by Emily J. Daniels

Description on Amazon:

Delectable Desserts – 24 Yummy Cookie and Brownie Recipes is a collection of Emily J. Daniels’ favorite family recipes. You’ll find easy, step-by-step instructions for rich fudgy brownies, scrumptious chocolate chip butterscotch brownies, mouth-watering caramel cookies and many more.
All the recipes in this book are easy to make. Some of them are even no-bake! All of them are kitchen-tested – and yummy. So if you would like to become a baker your friends and family will applaud, Emily J. Daniels’ cookbook can show you how.
Here are the recipes you’ll find in this book:
Almond Bark Oreo Cookies Caramel Cookies Chocolate Cherry Brownies Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Brownies Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies Chocolate Chunk Brownies Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies Christmas Cookies Cream Cheese Brownies Crunchy Toffee Cookies Frosted Chocolate Brownies Fudgy Brownies M&M Brownies Minty Chocolate Brownies No-Bake Caramel Cookies No-Bake Chocolate Cookies No-Bake Corn Flake Chocolate Brownies No-Bake Oatmeal Apple Cookies No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies Peanut Butter Cookies Pumpkin Brownies Snowball Cookies White Chip Cookies

Understanding Diabetes Type 2: Recipes & Exercise Plans for the Newly Diagnosed (Physician Support Guides) [Kindle Edition] by Richard Young

Description on Amazon:

Today, on average, 1,700 people will be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. This guide is designed to reinforce information given to the newly diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes patient. Doctors have little time to go over what diabetes is and how to manage diabetes through diet and exercise for a long and healthy life. The goal of this guide is to put the doctor’s instructions in plain English.
Type 2 diabetes is initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification. If blood glucose levels are not adequately lowered by these measures, medications such as Metformin or insulin may be needed. There is typically the requirement to routinely check blood sugar levels.
Rates of diabetes have increased markedly over the last 50 years in parallel with obesity. As of 2010 there are approximately 285 million people with the disease compared to around 30 million in 1985. Long-term complications from high blood sugar can include heart disease, strokes, diabetic retinopathy where eyesight is affected, kidney failure which may require dialysis, and poor circulation of limbs leading to amputations.

Seeing through the Fog: Hope When Your World Falls Apart [Kindle Edition] by Ed Dobson

Description on Amazon:

An exploration of identity and faith, Seeing Through the Fog invites readers to a vibrant life, an expectant life, a life of joy in each new morning.
Pastor Ed Dobson has spent his life preaching sermons, but this book is not a sermon. He has spent more than ten years with a debilitating illness, but this book is not about grief. He has found joy in the midst of sorrow, but this book is not about looking on the bright side.
Seeing Through the Fog is about living well when you realize you can’t live forever. It is about having gratitude for each sunrise, birthday, and moment of knowing God more. It is about holding hope when circumstances hold pain.
With stories, wisdom and unique content distinct from the popular film series about Ed, Seeing Through the Fog will encourage readers in their own difficulties and give them hope for their future.
Posted in Freebies!, My Favorite Finds of the Day | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Freezer Friday: Monkey Bread

101_4687-1For our not-so-healthy, sugar-loving family, monkey bread is one of our ultimate favorite recipes. Especially since I found a recipe that uses Rhodes dinner rolls and is super easy! All it takes is 5-10 minutes the night before of prep time, bake the next morning–and it’s magic: beautiful, scrumptious monkey bread.

I found this recipe originally in our church’s cookbook. Church cookbooks are the best! I loved that I didn’t have to buy all these cans of biscuits, quarter each and every individual biscuit, roll each quarter in cinnamon-sugar–yes, it took all the fun out of monkey bread! This recipe is now our go-to recipe for birthday breakfasts!

Kaylin getting her birthday monkey bread.

Kaylin getting her birthday monkey bread.

The only drawback of this recipe is that Rhodes dinner rolls are expensive. So I got to thinking: Could I make my own? So I tried a recipe that I found on the internet that is supposed to be a copycat Rhodes dinner roll recipe. I have only used it for the monkey bread–and not as regular rolls, so I do not know whether or not it is a true copy-cat of the dinner rolls.

My dad requested monkey bread for Father’s Day dinner, so I made the copy-cat recipe for it. However, it was not a true copy-cat to the Rhodes dinner rolls when making monkey bread. They did rise nicely, and they looked great after the baking time. But I took them out–too early. The inside wasn’t quite done, so the monkey bread fell. I do want to try it again, and next time, I’ll stick a fork in it to see if the inside dough is done. It still tasted good, they just weren’t as “high.” It seems like the Rhodes dinner rolls are just lighter–not as doughy. When I use the Rhodes dinner rolls, 30 minutes is indeed the correct amount of time to bake the monkey bread.

So here’s the recipe for Monkey Bread using Rhodes Dinner Rolls, and at the bottom is the copycat recipe that I tried:

Recipe for Monkey Bread

Cooking Time Required: 30 minutes Preheat oven @ 350

Ingredients and Directions:

  • 18 to 24 frozen rolls
  • 3 ounce package of butterscotch or vanilla pudding (not instant)–I use butterscotch
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • chopped pecans to taste
  • raisins to taste

Spray Bundt pan with cooking spray. Place frozen rolls in pan. Sprinkle with pudding mix, raisins and nuts.

In a saucepan, combine butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook until dissolved and bubbly. Pour over rolls.

Spray foil with cooking spray and cover Bundt pan tightly.

Leave on counter overnight. Uncover and bake at 350 oven for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, and then invert on serving dish.

*The monkey bread at the top and with Kaylin was monkey bread made with Rhodes dinner rolls. All other pictures were the copy cat rolls.

**I will put this on the page Breakfast Foods and not freezer meals.

Recipe for Copy Cat Rhodes Dinner Rolls: (Found here on Passion for Savings blog)


  • 4½ cups flour
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ Tbsp. dry yeast
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • ½ cup melted mutter


  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix
  2. Cut in shortening into flour mixture
  3. Slowly add water while mixing gently
  4. Knead dough on a floured surface for about 10-15 minutes–I used my stand mixer for 2 minutes.
  5. Place in a bowl with a little oil in it. Flip bread and cover.
  6. Let Rise 1 Hour or until it doubles.
  7. Punch down dough and form small balls (about 1½ inches).
  8. FREEZE at this point on a pan, then place balls into a air tight bag to store.
  9. TO BAKE: Let rise 45 minutes on a baking sheet for fresh dough.
  10. Let frozen rolls rise about 3 hours.
  11. Bake at 400° for about 12 minutes.
  12. Brush with melted butter out of the oven.

Does anyone have a Copy Cat Rhodes dinner roll recipe that they love? I would LOVE to know about it if you do!

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My Favorite Find of the Day: FREE Shutterfly 8″ x 8″ photo book (plus shipping)

 *HOT* FREE 20 Page 8×8 Photo Book from Shutterfly (Reg. $29.99)A year or two ago, I was able to snag up several of these free 8″ x 8″ photo books, but I have not seen any of these deals for a while.  Today, I stumbled upon another FREE deal (plus $7.99 shipping and handling.)  There are couple of easy steps you have to do to get the code you need:

  1. Like Michael Phelp’s Facebook page.
  2. On that page, click “Get your code button.”  A new window will open up with your code.
  3. Either print out the page with the code, or copy the code and immediately paste it your account at shutterfly.  How do you do this?
  • Go to
  • Either sign in or sign up for an account with them.
  • Click on “my account” on the top right hand of the screen.
  • On the screen that comes on click on the bottom link that says “Enter special offer code.”
  • Paste the code that you got above.
  • They will save that code for you and when you order, you have to go to “my account” again, and click on “my special offers.”

Two details to remember:

  • Your book must be created and the code claimed by July 31, 2013.
  • I think this claiming of the offer is only available through tomorrow.  (Once you get it, you have until July 31 to make the book.)  The first screen told me, but when I claimed the offer, I can’t get back to the screen anymore.  SO DO IT NOW!

Thanks, Raining Hot Coupons!

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My Favorite Finds of the Day: BJU Children’s Reading Program and FREE Kindle Books (all child-based)

headerMy sister told me about this reading program from BJU press.  It is a great reading program that you can add on to Half Price Books, Barnes and Noble, and your local library reading programs.  Any child ages 4-17 could do this program.

Since there is no local BJU press location, it is all done online.  The forms can be printed out; and then when you are finished with the program, there is a link to the completion form that must be filled out.  The children only have to read forty days in total, and you pick the amount they should read on those forty days:  15 minutes or 10 pages a day, 20 minutes or 20 pages a day, 25 minutes or 25 pages a day. 

Prizes will be given:

Each child who completes the reading  requirements will receive a free completion prize while supplies last.  Within each age group, 3 children  will be selected to win a tote bag full of JourneyForth novels ($75 value).  Parents will be given the  opportunity to enter their family (one entrant per eligible child) for an  opportunity to win the grand prize drawing: a free Kindle Fire and $50 worth of  free JourneyForth eBooks (approximately $250 value).

FREE Kindle Books:  Please check to make sure the books are $0 before buying.  Prices are subject to change.

Teaching Kids to Clean (Teach Your Children Basic Cleaning Skills) [Kindle Edition] by Dana White  Now $0.99

Description on Amazon:

Cleaning skills are life skills.  One day your child will be living on his own and in order to function, he’ll need to know how to hold a broom properly.  Why not teach these skills now so you can one day rest easily knowing that the state of his bachelor-pad-toilet isn’t because you never taught him how to clean it?!
This e-book contains advice and tools to help you teach your children to clean.  Whatever your schedule, whatever the state of your home, you can use these checklists, charts, and ideas as resources to help you in your job as a parent who strives to prepare kids for life.
Based on my experiences teaching my own kids to clean, Teaching Kids to Clean contains general advice for teaching your kids to clean as well as lesson plans, printable instructions/checklists, lists of age-appropriate tasks, and ideas for making things fun for four basic cleaning tasks in your home.
The tasks include laundry, bathroom cleaning, dusting, vacuuming and mopping.
With your Kindle purchase, you’ll gain access to the printable checklists and charts from this e-book.

My Journey with Jesus Christ [Kindle Edition] by Corine Hyman

Description on Amazon:

My Journey with Jesus Christ is a personalized devotional designed to help a child grow in their relationship with Christ while teaching them the key principles of the Christian faith.

With places to write the child’s name and sections to paste photos, draw pictures, and write the child’s thoughts as they learn, the book is sure to be a life-long treasure in their heart.  Please note, this books works best if you print it out.  There are instructions at the end of the book on how to print it.

MYSTERY OF THE EGYPTIAN SCROLL (Secret Agent Zet Series #1) [Kindle Edition] by Scott Peters  (Age level:  11-12 years old)

Description on Amazon:

Siblings Zet and Kat are in charge, now that their father is off fighting the Hyksos. But keeping food on the table is easier said than done. Sales are slow at their family market stall. It seems adults don’t approve of two children running the place. One day, Zet spots a thief running through their market square. Chasing him are three medjay police. When the thief gets away, the medjay announce a reward for the man’s capture. In desperate need of money, the siblings set off on a dangerous investigation–an investigation that brings them into forbidden temples, into chapels whispering with the voices of ancient gods, drawing them ever closer to a frightening truth that threatens to crush their family forever.
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Wordy Wednesdays: Book Review on Make Way for Ducklings

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

If you can believe it, I never read this book until I went to college and took the class Children’s Literature.  I was an elementary education major, and it was a required class for me.  It was also my favorite class as the course requirements stated that we had to read a lot of children’s books–a certain number from about four different age levels.  What a breeze–and so much fun!  I also had to make sure that I read a certain amount of books that were Caldecott or Newberry award winners.  So for the preschool age group I read Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey as it fulfilled the requirement of being a Caldecott Medal winner.  For me, it was a book that I first thought didn’t deserve the medal as the illustrations are all brown (no color); but the more I read it, the more I liked the illustrations.   The illustrations are very realistic drawings with great attention to detail.  (The illustrations were originally executed in charcoal then lithographed on zinc plates.)

I always wanted to buy this book, but I never came across a used copy.  I finally struck gold at the homeschool convention I went to.  A used book table had a few used copies that looked new.  I paid about $2.50 which is more than I usually pay for used books, but I wanted to take home something for my kids.  Every day, I read a picture book to my children before they take a nap.  For the past week, Joshua has picked this book every single day!  I guess he agrees with the award!

101_7676As a mommy, I find reading it enjoyable as I can relate to the mother duck taking such good care of her babies.  However, I found myself wishing that my babies would obey immediately like her babies did!  I also did not envy her task of taking care of eight babies at once!  I have fun reading it when the mother duck and the babies are trying to cross the street and they keep quacking at the top of their voices!  It also has woven thoughout the story the endearing theme of 101_7677the policeman Michael who feds them and then came to the momma duck’s and the babies’ aid in crossing a busy street.  Of course, my children never asked the question, “How did Michael know that the ducks were going to go to the public park?” like I did–they just enjoyed the story!

Make Way for Ducklings was written in 1941 and won the Caldecott Medal in 1942.  It has sold more than 2 million copies, and there is a Make Way for Ducklings statue of a mommy duck and eight babies in the Public Garden.  I guess it has received criticism for having a loose plot as well as poor characterization–but Joshua doesn’t agree with this criticism!


At the age of 88, Robert McCloskey passed away in 2003.  He wrote and illustrated 8 books.  He illustrated another 12 books, two of which won the Caldecott Medal, another two were Caldecott runner-ups, and one was a Caldecott Honor book.  The other book of his that I really enjoy is Blueberries for Sal.

I would imagine that almost every library contains a copy of this book, so if you have a young child, go check it out!  I believe they would enjoy it.  Do you have a different book written or illustrated by Robert McCloskey that is one of your favorites?

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My Favorite FREE Kindle Books of the Day

Please make sure these prices are still $0 before you buy them!  Prices are subject to change.

The Last American Martyr [Kindle Edition] by Tom Winton

Description on Amazon:

Every now and then one small soul rises from the crowded depths of obscurity and causes the earth to wobble on its axis. This last happened in 2008 when an unemployed doorman stepped onto the worldwide stage in Stockholm and accepted The Nobel Prize for Literature.
In this me-me twenty-first century, Thomas Soles may very well be the last American martyr. This self-described “simple man” writes a book that is so powerful it brings back to life the all-but-dead international labor movement. The response to his thoughts and perceptions are astounding. Around the globe, from pole to pole, America to Zimbabwe, the footsteps of marching workers begin to tremor the earth. But not everyone is pleased.
There’s a tight-knit, elitist clique that is absolutely livid over the thoughts and ideals that fill the pages of Tom’s book. And when he and his wife, Elaina, return home from Sweden, they realize just how dangerous this profit-hungry mob can be.
Mortified by the horrible scene that awaits them inside their apartment, the Soles have no choice but to flee their longtime home. Hoping to find peace and anonymity, they bounce all over America in an RV. But they don’t find what they’re looking for. Instead they become moving targets. And everywhere they go they’re followed by a succession of life-threatening events.

High Tide: A Story of Football, Freefall, and Forgiveness [Kindle Edition] Bill Searcey (Author)

Description on Amazon:

On March 7, 2011, Bill Searcey appeared on the A&E television show “Heavy” and shared with its viewers his tale of football glory, substance abuse, personal devastation, debilitating obesity, hard-fought weight loss, and longed-for redemption. The audience response to Bill’s honesty and humility was overwhelmingly positive: his harrowing but ultimately uplifting true story propelled “Heavy” to its highest episode rating to date, with over 1.2 million viewers. But an hour-long show can only contain so much; Bill now feels ready to tell his story—his whole story—in HIGH TIDE: A STORY OF FOOTBALL, FREEFALL, AND FORGIVENESS.

Football fans will get their fill of wild and crazy adventures as he recounts his rise at the University of Alabama under the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and his years in the pros, but this book is about so much more than just football. It’s about a man’s quest for forgiveness after his life has spun out of control, and the peace he finally finds after decades of mental and emotional chaos.
Farm Girl [Kindle Edition] by Karen Jones Gowen

Description on Amazon:

FARM GIRL, the groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed folklore history by Karen Jones Gowen, is a 2012 top-rated AMAZON BESTSELLER.
“It concerns real life, relatively ordinary activities, drawn with the precision of a Norman Rockwell painting.”  ~The Omaha Reader
Set in the Dust Bowl of the American West, this true account of a child coming of age on a 1920’s Nebraska farm, recaptures an era. Young Lucille Marker experiences survival during the Depression, one of the worst dust storms in history, and finally the disintegration of the close-knit community in which she grows up. Readers who like the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder or Willa Cather will enjoy Farm Girl. It takes place on the Marker farm, located near Red Cloud, the locale of Willa Cather’s Nebraska novels. Farm Girl takes one back to a time and place that no longer exists in American culture. Richly photographed throughout with over sixty authentic photos documenting the people and places of the story, this historical, easy-to-read book is suitable for use in the classroom.

17 Places to Sell Your Crafts Online [Kindle Edition] by Julie Holland

Description on Amazon:

You want to sell your crafts online – but you don’t know where to start. Or, you already sell handmade items online but you want to expand your audience and reach more buyers. This book will open your eyes to 17 places you can sell your crafts online. Some may be familiar, but you are also sure to find some you have not considered before.
More than just a listing of online sales venues, this book also offers great advice on marketing your wares from someone who has been in the online handcrafts business for more than 7 years. Learn how to price your items, develop a following, choose where to sell and what to expect from each online marketplace.
If you want to succeed at selling your crafts online and creating your own homebased business, this is a valuable resource you’ll want in your library.

Homespun Bride (Love Inspired Historical) [Kindle Edition] by Jillian Hart

Description on Amazon:

Montana Territory in 1883 was a dangerous place – especially for a blind woman struggling to make her way through an early winter snowstorm. Undaunted, Noelle Kramer fought to remain independent. But then a runaway horse nearly plunged her into a rushing, ice-choked river, before a stranger’s strong, sure hand saved her from certain death.

And yet this was no stranger. Though she could not know it, her rescuer was rancher Thad McKaslin, the man who had once loved her more than life itself. Losing her had shaken all his most deeply held beliefs. Now he wondered if the return of this strong woman was a sign that somehow he could find his way home.


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Tasty Tuesdays: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

My sister and I make the meal for our mom and dad every year on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.   So this past Sunday was Father’s Day, and my dad asked for some of his favorite foods including his annual tradition of chocolate mayonnaise cake with peanut butter frosting for dessert.  I have eaten this cake every year ever since I was a little girl!  It is relatively easy to make and pretty fail-proof.  The frosting is rather sweet, which is just fine with me!  Try it and see if you like it!101_7672-2

Recipe for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Baking Time Required:  35 min. Preheat oven @ 350

Ingredients and Directions:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup of salad dressing (like Miracle Whip)–This makes the cake moist, but you don’t taste the salad dressing once it is baked.
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

    Greased and floured pan--I actually used cocoa instead of flour since it was a chocolate cake.

    Greased and floured pan–I actually used cocoa instead of flour since it was a chocolate cake.

Beat all ingredients together.  Pour into a greased and floured 13” x 9” cake pan. 

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.



We like to frost this cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.

Recipe for Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients and Directions:

  • 3-31/2 cups of powdered sugar 
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of milk (I probably used closer to 1/3 c. cup–but I also used 31/2 c. powdered sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients together with a mixer until smooth.  If too stiff, add more milk.  Only add a tiny bit of milk at a time until you get yourdesired consistency.

I had leftover chocolate frosting so I "decorated" it a little.

I had leftover chocolate frosting so I “decorated” it a little.

Posted in Desserts, Favorite Recipes | Tagged , , | 2 Comments