Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recipe: Lentil Soup

I decided to try to make Lentil Soup this afternoon with the help of my awesome husband.

I started by sauteing 7 strips of bacon (cut into small pieces) in a big pot until slightly cooked. Added 6 cups of water, 1 beef bullion cube, and 1 package of lentils. Once it started boiling, I added 2 tsp of thyme, 1/8 tsp of nutmeg, a couple dashes of black pepper and plenty of garlic powder (didn't have any fresh garlic). I chopped up a whole onion and added 1.5 cups of chopped carrots. Brought it to a boil and then simmered it.

My husband added some dashes of paprika, chili powder, Cajun seasoning, basil, oregano, and garlic salt. This is all to taste.

I simmered it for a good 40 minutes, and then another 20 minutes before serving.

This came out AMAZING!!! So delicious! It was a great science experiment, and look forward to experimenting more in the future!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

McClelland's Critters Zoo

Lions, Tigers, and Bears... OH MY! We visited the McClelland's Critter Zoo in Banks, AL yesterday!!! One of the COOLEST EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE! I got to hold a grizzly bear cub while my husband held a  12 pound snake! (Eww)

One of the coolest things... they had 2 ligers! Male lion bred with a female tiger! Beautiful tiger stripes (very light) and a fluffy lion head! 

They had both black bears and grizzly bears! Mr. Mike, the zoo founder/tour guide all the animals during our tour... for the black and grizzly bears, he fed them marshmallows from his mouth!

He hand fed the tigers, lions, ligers, cougars chicken!!!

The liger can do tricks for chicken! He catches it in his mouth!!

Did you know that tigers, lions, ligers, all use their paws as hands to help them get the food into their mouths? It was a sight to see!

As you can see, we had an incredible experience! A MUST DO FOR EVERYONE WHO VISITS THE LOWER ALABAMA AREA!!! I would rate this zoo a 4 star zoo... mostly because you can't get this up close and personal with these animals anywhere else! I have been to many zoos, the Detroit Zoo, Washington DC Zoo, Syracuse Zoo (NY), and none of them compared to this! Check it out for yourself!

For more info, please visit: http://mikeszoocritters.com/index.html.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Review: Love at Last Sight

Love at Last Sight by Kerry and Chris Shook is a book to be read in 30 days, to help readers create better relationships. Each day consists of 2 quotes from famous people, 5-6 pages of messages, and a "Love at Last Sight Challenge" section. The challenge section includes a few questions for readers to reflect and journal about.

The first question asks readers to think of 3 relationships that they would like to improve. Throughout the challenges, the reader reflects on external relationships and introspective/thought-provoking questions about how they interact with others.

The book includes some Biblical references, but not too preachy. The authors use examples that are interesting and definitely challenges you to rethink your approach to developing better and deeper relationships. I think this is a great book for women. It is in touch with women's feelings.  

Book Review: Desert Gift

I received Desert Gift from Tyndale House Publishers for free for review. Jillian Galloway is a Christian marriage writer, and her whole world gets turned upside down when her husband Jack drops a bomb on her stating he wants to get a divorce just before they were supposed to leave for a business trip/vacation celebrating their 25th anniversary! Each chapter is written is a view of one of the characters. 

Even though the book was a bit difficult to get into initially, mostly due to the way Jack dropped the bomb on Jill about divorce, the book did open my eyes to there are no guarantees in life, but in all things, God works for the good to drawl His people closer to Him in the time of hurt. I think women in all phases of marriages (separated, married, and divorced) can relate the various characters in the book. It definitely made me realize what communication really means. Just talking about every topic does not entail true communication. I felt challenged by the different characters in each of their own. 

I would recommend this book to women. I really enjoyed going through the emotional trials of each character throughout the book! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Review: Time with God for Fathers

I received the Time with God for Fathers devotional by Jack Countryman from Thomas Nelson Publishing!! This is a beautiful book. The hard maroon cover on the outside and cream colored pages on the inside gives the book a beautiful antique look.
The devotional is not date specific and covers an array of topics. Each devotional consists of a passage of Scripture and a message from the author. They are quick reads and each cover important aspects of being a father. This devotional provides the encouragement many fathers need daily. The focus of this book isn’t to teach a man how to be a father, but to bring him closer to God so that he may become a better father by following the example God sets for us. The book also includes a list of Biblical references for topics in the back of the book, as well as a section for notes at the back of the book.
This is a great gift for Father’s Day! I highly recommend this book for all dads, whether you are a new dad, or already have grandchildren… spending time with God will only make you a better dad, a better example to your children and grandchildren God’s true love for us!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Review: Breath of Angel

I received my free copy of Breath of Angel from Waterbook Press last week. This is the first book of The Angeleon Circle. When I first started reading this book, I was a bit lost about what was really happening. Nothing really started making sense until about chapter 6 (about 50 pages into the book).

Once I got further into the book, I couldn't put down the book! Melaia was an orphan child that was taken in by the High Priestess in Navia. Her world as a harp chantress gets turned upside down when she witnesses a gruesome murder of an angel. Prior to that evening, she didn't even know that angels still roamed the earth!

Going into more detail about the book would give too much away... but, if you enjoy fantasy books, this is definitely a great book! The author does use a lot of not so common language which younger readers may find a bit difficult, but still a great read! I would highly recommend this book for young teens and teens. A great gift!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Review: The Story of THE BIBLE

I received my copy of The Story of The Bible from booksneeze.com! I was surprised at the size of this beautiful hardcover book (9.5 inches x12 inches)!!! This book reminded me of a high school social studies book, with lots of pictures, references, and side notes. There are multiple wax-like paper folders throughout the book that holding various loose leaf pages of life-size images of other documents. For example, there is a copy of the Great Isaiah Scroll with contains Isaiah 52:13-57:2. The documents include details of where the documents were found, what they contain, and descriptions of the type of paper, etc. This book also includes a timeline on the inside front and back covers of the major events from 2100 BC to 2010.

This book does a great job covering both the changes and translations to the text and describing the actual historical context in which it took place. This is a great reference book for people who are interested in the historical creation of what we know today as the Holy Bible. I would highly recommend this book for any history buff. This is a beautifully created book!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Review: Little Star

I received Little Star by Anthony DeStefano from Water Book Multnomah Publishing for review. I absolutely loved this book. This is a great way to share the birth of Jesus. The story is a little outcast star that realizes that Jesus is born as a humble poor human baby, and that He humbled himself because He wanted to show everyone His love. Little star burns himself out shinning for Jesus. As a result, we honor the star by placing a star at the top of our Christmas trees every year.

The illustrations are very beautiful. The story is short enough and simple enough to read to a group of 3 year old kids, and also great for beginning readers. I would use this as a gift for youngsters during the Christmas season!

I highly recommend this book for all preschoolers - second graders.