Monday, December 11, 2017

Add butter

baking cookies, seeking God

Sometimes we make life harder than it needs to be.

Today I was thinking about all of the things I could tell you about how God has been at work in our lives - there are definitely a lot of them - but right now, you need to know that God offers grace, and sometimes the answer to the hard thing is simple.

Arlene was making some cookies today. The dough was not sticking quite right, so she read the directions. Guess what? The directions said add butter. She did, and the cookie dough was the perfect consistency.

Is there something in your life that needs a little fix? Maybe you need a little butter, or a little time spent in prayer.

God knows what you need - go seek Him.


Books With Bean ~ The Redheaded League

Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Sherlock Holmes, The Redheaded League

Title: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Redheaded League 

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Published: 1891

Genre: Mystery 

Summary: When Dr. Watson goes for a visit to see his friend Sherlock Holmes he finds Sherlock in the middle of talking to a client. The man's name is Mr. Wilson and he is telling Sherlock about a set of strange events that has happened to him recently. He joined a group of redheaded men and he was tasked with copying the Encyclopedia. It was easy and paid well but then he came one day to find the group of men dissolved. Not knowing what else to do he came to Sherlock. 

What I liked about it: Its interesting and clever, and like all of Doyle’s other Sherlock Holmes stories it keeps you interested and guessing until the end.

Language: None

Romance: None

Violence: I small scuffle when they capture the villain but nothing gory.

Magic: None 

Recommended Age: This is one of the interesting but clean Sherlock stories. I would say it is fine for 12-13 on up.

*** Note from Carol: I hope you saw Arlene stated this was one of the clean Sherlock stories, thus, appropriate for ages 12 and up. We would not recommend letting your teen loose on Sherlock Holmes stories in general until at least age 15.

Books With Bean

Friday, December 8, 2017


Today I'm back to joining up with my friends in the Five Minute Friday community where we write for five minutes on Kate's word prompt of the week.

five minute friday writing prompts, only

When I woke up this morning and saw that Kate's prompt was only, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. So here goes...

Only those who look for blessings find them.

Way too often, we, even Christians who are supposed to expect that God would want to bless us, do not see the blessings around us. We are so self-focused, or so busy that we are unfocused, that we do not see the amazing things happening all around us.

Earlier this week I was reflecting on a few of the many times I remember God blessing our family over the years. Let me share just a couple and hopefully they will inspire you to look for the blessings in your own life. It is a matter of our perspective. When we focus on the struggles - we miss the blessings. When we focus on the blessings - the struggles lessen.

Once, when the girls were still really little, a friend from church called me up. She asked if I was going to be home for an hour or so and could she drop something off? Sure, I replied, and then went back to whatever I was doing until the doorbell rang. My friend Jan showed up on our doorstep with two really full paper grocery bags full of frozen food. She told me that that morning while she was having her Bible reading time that God had impressed upon her that they had too much food in their freezer and that they were supposed to share it. When she asked God who, He pointed her to us. That was an amazing blessing! We had actually been going through a really low spot financially and I had decided that instead of trying to scrape together money for the grocery store, I would just be creative with whatever was left in the cabinets - which was mostly pasta. When we looked through the grocery bags while putting the food away - almost everything in the bag was something I had wanted to purchase, but did not have enough money for.

Another instance was November of last year, when a herb of Bison was relocated to a nature preserve in our state. Bison used to roam freely in Indiana, in fact, they are on our state seal, but it had been a really long time since there were any here (other than a couple of farmers who had brought some in to raise for meat.) We went to the nature preserve with hopes of getting to see the bison. The preserve is pretty big (1000+ acres just for the bison) and there was no telling if we would actually see the herd. When we got there - the herd was right along the edge of the prairie that faces the drive into the preserve. How amazing! Our girls got to see Bison up close and personal like. Kurt and I were pretty amazed too! We have since heard from friends that it is rare for them to be that easy to see.

There are so many instances of God providing just what we needed at just the right time. I think I'll have to write more about it soon, because now I'm out of time!