attic door photography

For those of you in the Dallas area, head on out to Canton this weekend and visit The Attic Door Photography. Some good friends of ours are responsible for the beautiful personalized signs you will see at this booth.

Wouldn’t a teen’s name or college initials be a great graduation present? Or how about these gorgeous inspirational photos for Mother’s Day!

You will find The Attic Door Photography in Trade Center II, space #35, every First Monday Canton Weekend.

roy the singing zebra

Little Prince has had the best time reading about Roy the Singing Zebra! He reads a part of the story out loud to me at the beginning of the week, and then does a worksheet each day. There are also interactive reading games to play.

And best of all? It’s free!

Ok, I take that back… the best of all is that my too-cool-for-baby-readers son asks to do this everyday!!

review – What Am I?

We reviewed and liked Beehive Reader 1, and now we get to enjoy What Am I?.

What Am I? is the newest reader from All About Spelling. It correlates with steps 1-14 of Level 2.

Just like the first book, this one is filled with adorable illustrations.

This reader is the perfect level for Little Prince (7). He does not like to read out loud. After making him read the first story to me, he now gets this book and reminds me that it is time to read!

You can read Matt the Musk Ox HERE.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • $19.95

Value: This a beautiful, high quality book that your children will cherish.

I received a free book for the purpose of writing an honest review. No other compensation was given.

what’s cookin’

As soon as the weather turns warm, I get in the mood to cook real food again. Maybe it is all the fresh ingredients available, or the longer days.

I’m spending the afternoon printing out new recipes to try. Here is what’s on the menu so far:

Stuffed Peppers

Pepper Steak

Guinness BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Salsa Verde Beef

Spicy Garlic Cashew Chicken

Chicken & Rice Casserole

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Mexican Rice

PW’s Macaroni & Cheese

Zucchini Cakes

Brown Lentil Casserole

Cauliflower Fritters

Cinnamon Streusel Biscuits

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

reading through the bible

Today I was reminded once again what a bad idea it is to read the book of Leviticus while eating lunch!! This is my sixth time through my Bible, so you’d think I would remember that.

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my strategy for reading through my Bible and I thought someone might find it helpful. :)

First some background info: Six years ago, I was 38 weeks pregnant with Sassyfrass. I don’t do pregnancy well and I was miserable. Jason had suddenly been laid off from his job, so no more insurance. I was calm about all of this on the outside, but the pressure was building up on the inside and I gave myself a lovely case of TMJ.

It was Sunday and my gang headed out to church, leaving me in bed with a heating pad on my jaw. I had plenty of time to think about all that was wrong in my world and what I needed to do to fix it. I knew the #1 change I had to make was to start regularly reading my Bible. I had a nice little list of reasons why I hadn’t done it up to that point (maybe some will sound familiar):

  • I wasn’t a morning person & had trouble getting up before my kiddos
  • I was too tired at night to concentrate
  • My memory is terrible, so I don’t retain a lot of what I read

I am not a disciplined person, so I needed some motivation. I decided that if I didn’t have time to read my Bible, then I didn’t have time to read anything else either. No books, no newspaper, no magazines, no internet, until I read 3 chapters (I just started in Genesis). Most of the time I read on Bible Gateway. I prefer the English Standard Version (ESV).

Now the important part: I made a promise to God that I would do this. It is easy to break a promise to myself, but I am not about to break a promise to God!

Every once in a while I have a day that is so crazy busy that I don’t get any reading done – maybe I’m taking care of sick kids, or it was just one of those days. I just start the next day where I left off, with a clean conscience because I didn’t break my promise. I’ve probably only missed a dozen two dozen days in the past six years.

The key to making this work for you is to recognize what it is during your day that you really enjoy and make time for:

  • reading
  • TV
  • internet
  • video games
  • chatting on the phone
  • crafts
  • working in the yard
  • exercising

Choose that one thing that you love and make a promise to not do it until your reading is done. I want to clarify that the point here is not to check reading your Bible off your daily To Do list. It is to get to know the One who made you and loves you… to discover His will for your life.

There are lots of different reading plans out there. Do you have a tried & true method that works for you? Share it in the comments – it just might work for someone else too!

Run on over to We Are That Family for tons of great tips!

review – Tales From Terrestria

Tales From Terrestria is a series from Christan author Ed Dunlop. Written for ages 10 & up, these books are allegories about Christ, His Kingdom, and His followers. We received The Quest for Thunder Mountain (bk 1) and The Isle of Dragons (bk 4).

I gave these to Funny Girl to read, but she couldn’t get into them (I do think they might appeal more to boys than to girls). I decided to read them myself. I was unsure how I liked it during the first chapter, but when I closed the book an hour & a half later I was pleasantly surprised – I really enjoyed it!

We will be using this series as a read-aloud with the whole family. There are so many things to discuss as you go along. I look forward to getting the rest of the books.

Some of the Crew received The Terrestria Chronicles, so be sure to check out their reviews.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • $7.99 each, paperback

Value: inexpensive food-for-thought

See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about the Terrestria series.

I received two free books for the purpose of writing an honest review. no other compensation was given.

review – Wiglington & Wenks

Wiglington and Wenks is the World’s Most Massive Virtual World for Kids. It is geared for ages 7-14. My kids love sites like this, so I didn’t have to twist any arms to get them to try it out.

WW is an impressive site – very well done. You create a virtual character and travel to different geographic locations. You are on a quest to help historical figures regain their memories. WW is free to play,  but you can purchase a membership to become an Elite Quest Traveler and gain access to a wider range of choices. You can view all of the features HERE.

Some things to know:

~Even though my kids loved this game, I had to ban them from playing it. I don’t worry too much about them playing online – we have very strict rules and they are good about adhering to them. The problem came with the chat feature. There was no opt-out or safe chat option. WW has safety features, but kids these days are smart & know how to get around them. One daughter witnessed some very foul language. Thankfully, WW has acknowledged the problem and has launched a safe chat beta. I will definitely let my kids back on once everything is set in place.

~Some families might not approve of a few of the historical figures, like Darwin and characters from Mythology. We enjoy discussing these things, but thought you might wanna know.

~I would not classify this as an educational game, even though some learning does take place. The way I look at it is that my kids play these types of games anyway, so I’m glad they are excited about one where they might learn something.

The Nitty Gritty:

Value: Free is good, and $5.99 a month is not too bad if your family is really into virtual worlds.

See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about Wiglington and Wenks!

I received a one month Elite Quest membership for the purpose of writing an honest review. No other compensation was given.

stuffed french toast

We love this recipe! I just threw a few things together one day and it has turned out to be one of our favorites.

Stuffed French Toast (makes 8 )

3 eggs

1 1/2 c. milk

1/4 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. vanilla

16 slices whole wheat bread

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

naturally sweetened jam or jelly

oil or butter


Beat eggs. Add milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

Make 8  jam & cream cheese sandwiches – jam on one slice, cream cheese on another, stick the two slices together.

Heat  1-2 T. of oil or butter over medium-high heat in a skillet or griddle. Quickly dip your sandwiches into your egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides. (Do not dip until you are ready to cook because the bread will get too soggy.) Cook approx. 3-4 min on each side, or until golden brown.

Top with syrup or powdered sugar.

Note: This is also delicious with cinnamon & sugar inside instead of jam.