Monday, December 28, 2015

The Everywhere God

God, Giveway, The Everywhere God, Kindle, Fire

In today's day it's not unusual for a child to experience divorce, broken families, a loss of a parent or even for a child to be taken out of the household.  While all of these situations are completely out of the child's control, they often feel responsible as well as feel that they are completely alone in the world when these things happen.

Bob Nelsen understood how these children felt when he sat down and penned a poem for his niece during her parents divorce.  Over twenty years later, his daughter, Cricket Nelson Hater, dreamed of honored her deceased father by taking his words and publishing them as a children's book.   Through a successful Kickstart campaign, Cricket's dream has become reality her father's poem is now paired with amazing illustrations by Robin Tillman that reminds us all that God is always with us and surrounding us with love, even when the times are tough.

The first time I read this book to my children, the image of  another poem, "Footprints in the Sand" immediately popped into my mind.   While the wording and illustrations are nothing reminescent of that amazing poem,  I can't help but think of this as the "Footprints for the Younger Generations".  The message is much the same, even in hard times, God is there with you, walking beside you and he never forgets you.  However, the imagery and the words are more in tune to a child's imagination.  For example:

When things go all wrong and days seem too long, Bad spills or strange ills lead to Doctor’s pink pills, If you’re sent back to bed with a hot aching head...‘Cause your temperature’s high as a dinosaur’s eye. Can you then hear God say, “Hey! You’ll be O.K.”?"

The illustrations by Robin Tillman are amazing and work perfectly with the whimsical feeling of the prose.  The artwork is beautiful with gorgeous water color paintings of animals and scenery that children will love.  

Maybe you know a kid who's going through a tough time.  Maybe their parents are divorcing or maybe they are facing an illness that has them in the hospital more often than not. Regardless of the situation, this is a wonder book to give as a gift to a special child who might need this reminder that God is always with them.

Feel free to visit the website at or their Facebook page  to learn how you can order your own copy of this wonderful book.. 

Even better - read below and find out how you can enter to win a new Kindle Fire tablet with the Ebook version of The Everywhere God already loaded on it.  

The Everywhere God Giveaway

 This giveaway will have 4 winners. The grand prize winner will receive a new Fire 7" Tablet loaded with the Kindle edition of The Everywhere God.  The Fire tablet includes: 
  • Beautiful 7" IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600) and fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Rear and front-facing cameras.
  • All-new Amazon Underground, a one-of-a-kind app store experience where over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items are actually free - including extra lives, unlocked levels, unlimited add-on packs and more
  • Enjoy more than 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games
  • 8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
  • Updated user interface - Fire OS 5 designed for quick access to your apps and content plus personalized recommendations that make it easy to discover new favorites
  • Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching videos, and listening to music
  • Stay connected with fast web browsing, email, and calendar support
Three more winners will each win a print copy of The Everywhere God
The Everywhere God is a book about hope for children of all ages. Written for his young granddaughter during a particularly difficult time, the late Pastor Bob Nelson wanted to be sure she knew God was with her no matter what else was happening. Despite people and circumstances, his message is clear, God never leaves or forgets about us and His love never ends. Upon it's completion, he knew it was something special and wanted to make it a children's book. Unfortunately, time passed and things never fell into place for his vision to come to life. He passed away in 2008 before he could see it happen. More than 20 years after it's original writing, Bob Nelson's daughter remembered this treasured poem and like her father, felt it needed to be shared with the world. For many years she kept this special story in the back of her heart and always dreamed of making his vision for a children's book a reality.
To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter below after reading the terms and conditions.  a Rafflecopter giveaway Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. Entry into this giveaway will subscribe you to The Everywhere God email list.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones

Santa Rides a Firetruck

Christmas is in two days and the kids are super excited.. This particular season has had a lot of surprises for them as normally there's not much going on for the season on base.

Last week, the members of the Navy who are stationed here got together with the base Fire department to bring a lil bit of Christmas cheer to the base children.  Four fire trucks with lights and sirens along Santa and Christmas music made their way though the entire Housing community, waving hello and passing out goody bags to all the good Boys and girls :)

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life
Running Around Excited About Santa

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life
They Heard Sirens

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life
But Unfortunately, No Trucks yet (they were a few streets over)

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life
Starting to worry Santa Wasn't coming

Even Dad Came out When he Heard Sirens and Music (Gotta Love his Christmas Pants)

Still Waiting

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life
Turning on our Street

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life
There's Santa

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life
Navy Guys on the Fire Trucks

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life, EAFB
Santa Says Hi 

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life, EAFB
I love the Navy Anchor on his Santa Hat

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life, EAFB
More Fire Trucks

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones, Christmas, Navy, Air Force, Military Life, EAFB
All the Toys for Good Girls and Boys (They Visited EVERY house on Base!!!)

Have your own Wordless Wednesday post to add?? Be sure to click the button below and head over to Life at Rossmont to post your own or to view other Wordless Wednesday posts.

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

Monday, December 21, 2015

Advent Week 4 - LOVE

The Advent Season is coming to a close as the fourth candle was lit yesterday. The shortest week of advent (only 5 days as Christmas is on Friday),  this weeks candle represents LOVE.

Watching Last Years Service
Unfortunately, we won't be able to attend a Christmas service as the chapel here doesn't offer a Protestant Christmas service but we will be watching Celebration Church's service in our living room like we did last year.  We are fortunate that Celebration offers a live feed during their services and we are able to hook our computer up to the television and stream it.    While it is not the same as actually attending a service, it still makes be feel filled with the season as I listen to worship music and listen to His Word.

Wherever you are celebrating this year, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and let me wish you a Merry CHRISTmas with your family and friends.

For this week's verse, I can only think of one verse that shows God's love more than any other.. It is the reason we celebrate Christmas to begin with.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saves through Him.

John 3: 16-17

Weekly Linkup

Do you blog about a particular scripture or just about Christian Fellowship each week? If so, I would love to have you join me and my friend Tasha at ABC's and Sweet Tea and link up to help spread His word.

Counting Pinecones

Sunday, December 20, 2015

What Am I Reading (December)

I've been pretty busy with getting caught up with the books on my bookshelf this month..   While now I am out of reading material and must go through the painstaking process of finding something from the many selections on my Kindle to read, here are my thoughts on these particular reads. 

The Lost Heiress  
by Roseanna M. White

This was a first time read by this particular author for me and I must say, I was rather impressed with her writing style.  White pays much attention to the details as she weaves together a pretty complex story.

This particular story was part of the "Ladies of the Manor" Series, this being the first book of the series.  Set in the early 1900's, this particular book covers the story of Brook, a young woman who believed her life to be heading in one direction, only to find out after her mother died that her legacy is actually very different.  As she returns to the home and family she never knew before, she faces criticism and harshness. However, through everything, she has her faith and her own moral compass to guide her and all things fall into place.  This is a story of good vs evil and  faith vs spiritual corruption.

The characters are wonderfully written and you will really feel a bond with Brook, you will despise Pratt, you will be cheering for Justin and Brook and your heart will melt for the father/daughter moments written so well.

A great read that I would highly recommend and I look forward to reading the other books of this particular series.

Love Everlasting
by  Tracie Peterson 

Earlier in the summer, I reviewed Refining Fire, book two of the Brides of Seattle Series.  Love
Everlasting is the third and final book of this series and continues with the story of Abrianna Cunningham and Wade Ackerman, characters who played a very prominent roll in book two. 

I really didn't care for Abrianna in the second book and was very disappointed when the 2nd book focused more on Abrianna rather than on Millitine. It is obvious after reading the third book that the entire focus of this series is Abrianna and Wade.  I still found Abrianna to be very childish, selfish, smug and self righteous with every turn of the page.   I found myself wondering how this girl could allow herself to make so many decisions that she had to have known were not in her best interest.

The first half of this book drags on and is very difficult to read, very out of character for a Tracie Peterson novel.. The second half gets back to her familiar style but I just didn't feel this story had much redeeming qualities to allow me to suggest it to others.

A Mind of Her Own
by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

What would you do if you had an accident only to wake up believing yourself to be someone else, yet being told your not who you think you are.  That's basically the premises of this book. Louisa Copeland, wife to Collin and mother of three wakes up in the Emergency room believing she's Jazz Sweet, an Inspirational romance writer from Florida.  Secrets in her past hold the key to unlocking her memories and bringing Louisa back to her family for good.

I was very disappointed with this book.  First, repressed memories from childhood sexual trauma just don't belong in a book that seems to try to be a lighthearted inspirational novel.  The trauma was extremely glossed over and while it is hinted to in a few particular situations, it isn't discovered til the very last chapter of the book and then everything is fine.  I just felt that such a dark topic really wasn't used properly in this story and it left a bad taste in my mouth. As much of the book is Collin, the husband, discovering just how unhappy his wife was in their marriage, I honestly think that her unhappiness would have been a better trigger for her temporary amnesia rather than sexual abuse from a relative.

Even as an Inspirational book, there's not much to redeem this book.  God is mentioned a few times but even then, it feel as if it was thrown in as a required element for the publisher and doesn't really contribute anything at all to the story.  Situations occur that really have no flow and leave the reader a bit confused as to what is going on at times. 

This isn't a book I would recommend to others.  I just found it to be a disappointment all around. Shame too, as it had a lot of potential and a very interesting idea. Just poor execution by the author.

She's Almost a Teenager (Essential Conversations to Have Now)
By Peter and Heather Larson and David and Claudia Arp

A Non fiction selection, this very quick read is a great guide for ideas and suggestions as to how
to handle some of the more difficult discussions that all parents should be having with their pre-teen daughters.

Each chapter is dedicated to one particular conversation and covers topics such as becoming a teenager (and an adult), Boys, Faith, Technology and Body Images.  All together, there are 8 topics of conversation covered in this book.  Each chapter includes conversation starters to ease into the particular discussion with your pre-teen, as well as how to answer awkward questions and topics that might be embarrasing to both you and your daughter.. It's designed not just for mother/daughter discussions but also in such a way that a father would also be comfortable using these suggestions as well. 

This is a great book and while my oldest daughter is already a teenager, I did find it came in handy with other discussions that we had (especially involving boys).  I look forward to using many of their conversation starters and topics once my youngest is at this age.

 I would highly recommend this book from a parents perspective.

Glory Days: Living Your Promised Life Now
by Max Lucado

Yeah, I had to save my favorite for last..  Have I ever mentioned how much I absolutely love Max Lucado (yeah, I know I have.. haha).

If you've never read a Max Lucado book in the past, I encourage you to take a look at this one.

Glory Days is the latest offering from Max and uses the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho as his inspiration to explain why we shouldn't be wandering aimlessly through the wilderness of this life and instead should allow God to show us how to live life as if we were in Heaven right now.

I love how Max Lucado has a knack of taking everyday experiences and translating them into Biblical explainations.  Every single book I have read by him, I come away from it with a better understanding of Scripture, viewing it with eyes that were closed but have been opened.  This book is no different and I finished the final page with a firm foundation on the lessons Jericho could teach me for my everyday life.

Never a disappointment, I highly recommend this book (as well as any by Max Lucado) to everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Yeehaw for Gyros (Throwback Thursday)

Gyros, Gyro Recipe, Olga Bread, Greek Food

A year ago, I posted the Yeehaw for Gyros recipe and here I am now wondering what the heck was going through my mind to associate the word "Yeehaw", something associated with Cowboys and cattle driving, with Gyros - a Greek food.  *shrugs*  Obviously, I thought it was a good idea at the time.. lolHowever, with that said, this has been a pretty popular recipe so even with a strange name for the posting, it is Throwback Thursday Worthy ;)     But I have to say, it is very weird to see what I was eating a year ago.. LOL And please, if you do try my super easy crock pot gyros, drop me a comment and let me know what you thought of them :) 
This post is part of the Throwback Thursday linkup found at the "Tots and Me.. Growing up Together" Blog.   Do you have a Throwback Thursday post you'd like to share? Click the button below to add your link 

Tots and Me

Friday, December 19, 2014

Yeehaw for Gyros

crockpot, gyros, greek food, olga bread

We've managed to have a fairly productive week, all things considering. The closer we get to the Christmas holiday, the harder it is to get Ashleigh to pay attention. The last couple of days have been extremely bad, to the point that our poor Elf, Jack, did not come home for two nights in a row (I'm assuming he had a very lengthy report for Santa). Yesterday went much better than Tuesday and Wednesday so Jack did return, much to the kids delight.

Since we're in the homestretch for Christmas, we did a number of Christmas type activities for our schooling this week. First, we worked on some spelling words using a lesson we picked up from All this week, the kids worked on 10 words all having to do with the birth of Christ. This was alot of fun for them, as the daily lessons included dot to dots, coloring, code deciphering and putting together a nativity scene.  Ashleigh enjoys any activity that involves coloring (as you can tell by her artwork all over the marker box in the picture to the left), Garrett - not so much.. Garrett would much rather get done with things so he can play video games than to sit and color..  (We're having to really limit his game time and are now making him "earn" his 2 hours each day - but more on that in a few).

We also worked on alot of copy work this week out of our Apologia book.. Kids hate copy work, but there's really no way around it, is there?? Both have improved their writing so much from where we started at the beginning of the year.

We also worked on some artwork this week, as the kids got to draw
pictures of Santa Claus and other symbols associated with Santa.  This was a project Garrett actually liked.. Both pictures were interesting to see once finished as to how they both interpreted Santa.. (Traditional red suit, black belt and boots, long white beard, ect).

Now, poor Garrett has equated playing Little Big Planet with finishing school.. Which, I don't have a problem with, except for the fact that he usually tries to play ALL NIGHT!!  This was getting a bit out of hand as he would throw a fit anytime we would tell him he had to turn it off.. We have no implemented to two hour rule, but Garrett has to do extra work beyond just his school work in order to earn the two hours.. Garrett has to read a book.. lol  Now, he does not like this, not one little bit, but he does want to play the video game so he's reluctantly been reading his book out loud to mom in order to play..  This has also worked wonders in the avoiding of the fit when at 5pm he has to turn it off and we do other things..

Gyro Time


 Today the kids got to help me in the kitchen.. This is always one of their favorite activities, they enjoy helping mix items together, brown meat, put ingredients in pans or bowls.. Today we whipped out my ole bread machine and made some Olga bread as we were making homemade gyros for dinner..

Kids helping out.. Note Ash in the same shirt - she thinks if its backwards and inside out, its clean

When we lived in Michigan we had this nice lil mom and pop gyro shop that we liked to frequent. The place smelled absolutely amazing when you walked in, the bread was always soft and warm and the meat would melt in your mouth..  Then, one day, the owner had a medical issue and he became a patient of mine for about 3 weeks and I got to know him and his family really well. After that, every time I went into the lil shop, they loaded up my gyros with extra meat at no charge.. LOL

 I miss that place alot and unfortunately, there's not a lil gyro shop anywhere nearby for a quick dinner so we had to learn to make our own.. A friend of mine shared a crock pot gyro recipe some time back that was really good, but unfortunately required the traditional ground lamb, which I cannot get here (or when I can, they want almost 10 bucks a pound for it)..  I managed to tweak the original recipe and have made it work for our family..

So, I present to you our "Not so famous" gyro recipe :) 

 To make homemade gyros, you're gonna need four different recipes. The great thing is two of them take about 2 minutes total to make. The third is for the meat and the fourth is for the bread.. You can cut corners here if you can buy Olga bread at your nearby store - I don't have this option as the closest thing the commissary carries is Naan and its $3.99 for 1 piece.. LOL

Recipe #1 is for Greek seasoning.. Like the bread, this might be something you can buy at the store.. I've never found it so I make my own in a ziplock and save it for when I need it..

Greek Seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons salt                                              
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Once you have this, its time to start making the gyro meat.. For this, I use 1 lb of ground meat and 1 lb of ground pork... You can also use ground turkey if you want to cut down on some of the fat.

Crock Pot Gyro Meat

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork or turkey
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons Greek seasoning

First, slice up your onion and mince your garlic and cover the bottom of your cock pot..   

Mix together meat and Greek seasoning. Form into two tightly packed loaves and place on top of onions and garlic, like this.

Close that up and cook it on low for about 4-5 hours.. Yup.. its that simple... The reason you want the loafs to be pretty tightly packed is so that when you slice it, you get a very dense slice of meat as opposed to soemthing that resembled a hamburger. 

Olga Bread - Makes 8 Pieces

  In my opinion, this is probably the easiest bread to make. If you have a bread machine, just toss the ingredients in and use the dough cycle to mix it all up and allow it to rise in the machine.. Then follow the instructions for cooking :)  Without a machine, just mix the ingredients and kneed by hand and allow the dough to rise til it doubles in size.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast

Put in ingredients into the bread machine bowl starting with the milk and ending with the instant yeast on the top of the flour.  I typically proof the yeast in the warm water before adding but this step can be skipped).  Choose the dough function and press start. Dough should double in size..Punch down dough; divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece to a thin rough circle about 1/8 inch thick and 8-10 inches in diameter. 

I admit, I am not good at rolling in a circle.. I can attest to the fact that irregular shapped Olga breads taste just as wonderful as if they were perfect circles.. lol

Cooking these puppies is easy... Just heat a large dry skillet or an electric griddle, over medium-high heat. Don't use oil.. Cook 15 seconds, flip and bake about 10 seconds on other side, until mottled brown spots appear. Told ya it was easy..

Who knew it was that easy??

 Last step... This one doesn't take long either..

Cucumber Sauce

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 container (8oz) of greek style plain yogert
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Greek Seasoning that we made earlier
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt  (i actually leave out the salt but some people like it)
Mix it all up and then put it in the fridge to chill until you can no longer handle the wonderful aroma coming from your crock pot and must eat!!  LOL

The Grand Finale 

Take the meat out of the crock and put it on a plate.. slice into thin strips of absolute heaven.. Take one of your soft, warm Olga breads and add lettuce, tomato, onions and strips of meat.. Finish by topping with a bit of Cucumber sauce and enjoy :)    This would go great with a side of coucous or tabouli salad but I gotta admit, i forgot to get ingredients for both tonight, so you just get a nice picture of gyros instead :)

Bon Appetit


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

The Christmas Party

Well, of course, it was actually called the Holiday party, but either way, the kids went to the party hosted by the Base Housing and had a really great time.  We walked over to the school down the street and the kids had a blast doing woodworking crafts, eating cake and pizza and of course, meeting with Santa Claus.


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