4 Days in Detroit, 2014

It’s a fantastic blend of summer youth camp and a missions trip.
We call it “4Days.”
Last week, teenagers & leaders from various places in Michigan,
Kansas and Iowa joined us in Detroit.
-The mornings provided excellent teaching for the students;
adult leaders were part of a mentorship session at the same time.

– Lunch was served by lovely volunteers from here in Detroit
and all the way from north Chicagoland!

– Teams went into several parks near our church building and
played games, told stories & testimonies, painted faces, laughed,
danced hugged, hosted a three day 3 vs. 3 soccer tournament, & we all made
friends with the lovely people in Southwest Detroit.

– After enjoying dinner at one of the glorious Detroit restaurants
(and I am NOT being sarcastic! We have great ones), everyone
met back at the building to have a meaningful evening service of
ministry, growth & change through the Holy Spirit.
Chilly spoke the 1st & 4th evenings, Dave Barringer & Kevin Berry
on nights two and three. Powerful, specific, life-changing!

The final evening ended with a service in the park and a number
of our neighbors accepted Jesus as their Savior & Lord! (One of those
new friends attended Courage Church Sunday morning and brought all
of her family!!!! Praise Jesus!)

Much of last week I happily captured on our Courage Church instagram,
so I didn’t have much opportunity to post things in my own instagram.
So now I will share some pictures with you…
I mean… I will bombard you with photos from last week!
(Hershal made an appearance in the park, too… but I didn’t get
a picture of that. Maybe I’ll track one down cuz I know my Mom
(and a few of you) would like to see his crazy face!

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Claudia & Stephanie (the wonderful lunch ladies) finishing out our week by eating Taco Truck food in the McDonald's play land with our kids!

Claudia & Stephanie (the wonderful lunch ladies) finishing out our week by eating Taco Truck food in the McDonald’s play land with our kids!

What a wonderful week! People met Jesus, we all enjoyed each other’s company and
lives (including everyone who attended) were changed!
Thank you to everyone who came, prayed, provided financing, etc!

Menu Plan Monday – July 4th week!


I LOVE, LOVE, Love patriotic holidays!
And this week is the Biggy! Yippee!
I wanna add fun food to more than Friday’s menu.

Lunch- Grape Chicken Salad
Dinner- Grilled Pork Chops & Peaches
Broccoli, Grilled Potato Wedges

Lunch- Tomato Salad
(cut cheese into star shapes)
Dinner- Slow Cooker Enchiladas (make extra beans for Friday’s dip)

Lunch- Do-Overs
Dinner-Grilled Sasuages, Zucchini Parmesan Chips ,
Layered Salad, Jello Stars
Treat – Baked Donuts (with berries)

Lunch- Fresh Veggie Plate, PB & J
Dinner- Summer Corn & Tomato Pasta

Brunch – Homemade Baked Berry Donuts
Celebration Meal –
Grilled Hamburgers
Fruit Salad
Sweet Corn with Parmesan
Crockpot Dip
Hershey’s Firecracker Cake
Jolly Rancher Lemonade

Lunch – Scrambled Eggs, Fruit
Dinner- Homemade W.Wheat Veggie Pizza

Lunch- Roast, Potato, Carrots in CrockPot
Dinner- TBA

More ideas at www.orgjunkie.com

Menu Plan Monday – June 16, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Lunch – Scrambled Eggs, Stove Bread, fruit
Dinner- Grilled Steaks, Potatoes, Gr. Beans

Lunch- Sandwiches, Fruit
Dinner- Pasta & Grilled veggies

Lunch- PB & J (celery & PB for me)
Dinner- Tacos

Lunch- Do-Overs
Dinner- Grilled Chicken, Corn Salad

Dinner- Homemade W. Wheat Pizza

Lunch – TBA
Dinner- Chicken & White Bean Soup

Lunch – Lasagna (with veggies all through-out)
Dinner- Cheesy Tortillas, fruit

Tricky Daughters, Book Review

My daughters played a horrible trick on me a couple
summers ago while we were on vacation!
Mariah & Courtney had been telling me for a long time
that I should read a wonderful series of books called,
“The Mark of the Lion” by Francine Rivers.  Since I
love other books by this author, I knew they were right.
So I grabbed book #1 and brought it on our family vacation
that year.

Moments into the book and I knew I couldn’t put it down.
I read  & read…. and then, turned that last page (which is
always kind of bittersweet for me) and …

A total cliff-hanger!!!!!
And I did NOT bring the second book in the series!!!
“Noooo!  Girls, why didn’t you TELL me to
bring the second book?  Why?  I’m going nuts!  Why?”

Their response:  giggles
(Now that I think of this… I “owe” them one! ha!)

I had to wait for several days before we returned home and
then accomplished nothing for the couple of days that followed
because all I could do was read!  SO GOOD!

So… keep these two things in mind if you’re going to read these books:

1. Make sure you do NOT read the summaries and reviews beforehand

2. Have book #2 within reach BEFORE you start reading #1


Summer Reads- book reviews

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged (about much of anything), so here’s a few
books I’ve enjoyed.



This little ebook provides lots of practical ideas, info and links.
It points out the sneaky marketing schemes that are used against us,
gives reasonable advice about couponing (not craziness), talks about
stockpiling your pantry (the smart way, not the hoarding way), and
lots of other useful things.  Links  and recipes are included.

Although this isn’t all brand new info to me, it was inspiring and
I’ve referred to the info & links several times in since reading it.
I gave it a 4 of 5 stars on my Good Reads account.





Biblical fiction grabs my attention so quickly!
This book takes place right after Jesus returns
to Heaven. The character’s are believable and
begin a search for the truth about Jesus.  It is
a great reminder of how crazy Christianity can
sound to those who haven’t yet met Jesus personally.
It’s the first of a series and I’ve ordered the next book
to read on our vacation.  I gave it 5/5 stars!




MICHAL is part of a series about the wives of King David.
Although this isn’t my favorite Biblical novel about David,
I did really enjoy learning more about the history of ancient
kings, wives and palace life. Authors like Smith do so much
research into history, geography and Biblical details, that
when I read the real stories in the Bible I have a bit more
understanding as well as reminders that these people are not
Biblical “characters” but REAL people… like us!
I rated this 4/5 stars and have ordered another book in
this series… Abigail.

Perhaps later this week I’ll tell you about a series that is in my
VERY top favorite of all time!!!!


Summer Sides – Netta’s Niche

My neighbors and I were talking about things that go well with
grilled meat during the summertime.  I mentioned the broccoli salad
that’s listed below, and since then I’ve also become somewhat addicted
to the tomato salad, too.


Broccoli Salad
(It’s similar to this recipe)

1 head of broccoli (chopped into small pieces)
2 or 3 slices of cooked turkey bacon, crumbled
1 or 2 spoonfuls of raisins (the yellow ones are yummy!)
2 or 3 spoonfuls of chopped nuts (usually walnuts or almonds)
1/2 cup (approx) of Mayo
few drops of balsamic vinegar
dash or sugar or sweetener
pepper & maybe a dash of salt

Mix all the mayo, vinegar & sweetener together in small bowl.
Add other ingredients in a larger bowl, stir.
Then pour the mayo mixture over top of broccoli mixture.
I like it best if it chills in the frig for 1/2 hr or so, but it can
be eaten immediately.


Tomato Salad

several small grape or cherry tomatoes
small chunks of mozzarella cheese
1 or 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
steak seasoning

Cut tomatoes in half & stir in chunks of cheese.
Mix oil, vinegar & seasonings together & pour
over the tomatoes & cheese.  Get a fork!  Mmm!

(Note:  I’m guessing at the quantity of the oil &
vinegar.  This is something I just mix up w/out
measuring. )

Books I read this Summer, Part 2 of 2

Earlier this week I posted quick reviews about 2 of the books I read this summer.
You can read that here.

How to Knock over a 7-Eleven by Michael Cheshire

The title sucked me in immediately,  and the same humor
that’s in the title remains throughout the book. The author,
who moved to Colorado to plant a new church, openly
shares the fantastic victories and the hilarious
not-s0-victorious moments of learning how to connect
with their community and share the love of Jesus.
On the day I started reading this, the fifteen people who
were sitting near me in a waiting room probably went home
to their families that night and told the story of some crazy
lady who kept smiling at her book and would them just
burst out laughing.I was most certainly “that lady”!
This book’s honesty encouraged my heart; it’s humor kept
my heart relating to every word.

Every person in ministry could TOTALLY read this in a
short time – it’s not long- and discover something that would
stir their efforts! Loved it!


A TIME TO DANCE by Karen Kingsbury

Yippee!  Another fictional book that spoke to my heart!
My sister-in-law gave this book (and it’s sequel) for my
birthday back in the spring… I saved it for vacation. Let’s
just say that the kleenx box got a work out. Timely truths
are shared in such an understandable way, and even
though I haven’t personally walked the road the main
characters traveled, the  story illuminated principles that
certainly have timeless value to everyone.

I’m thankful to have read this book and will happily read
the second book in the series… when I have some time
to cry and enjoy it!  (I know that sounds weird if you’re a guy! Ha!)


Books I read this Summer, Part 1 of 2

There was certainly a connecting theme to all the books I read… and I did not plan that…
apparently God did!  🙂  Funny how He does that! hee hee

by Mark Batterson

Little & easy to read,  I could’ve flown through this book;
but I didn’t want it. I’d read a section, then ponder it and
think how I should/would apply it. The powerful
reminders to pray specific scriptures & promises for my
children shot new life into my prayer time.  Practical and
true stories of real parents & answered prayer
encouraged and made me cry (wonderful tears, of course!).

Every parent will be better for having read this book… and
their children will CERTAINLY benefit, too!



THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS ROLLING (Book #6 in series) by Neta Jackson

I started this series years ago… it totally reflects the variety of woman in our church and the small group
that I attend every Saturday morning. I’ve had book #6 for a few years and totally forgot about it. On
vacation I completely enjoyed reading of the situations, prayers and miracles shared in this novel.
Although the story is fictional, every scenerio reflects a realistic situation. The answered prayer in the story
reminded me of the joy of praying for the each other, the endearing bonds it creates with those involved,
the faith that grows during tender times alone with Jesus, and the thrill of recognizing God’s hand at work!
At the end of this book I got so excited thinking that I’d actually completed a SIX book series… only to read
the epilogue and discover that there’s a BOOK SEVEN!  … but my friend has already purchased it and… and I’m gunna read it soon!


In a few days I’ll tell you about two more books!



Thoughtful Thursday

Summer break has officially ended at our house. School started today. As I think back over the summer I’m rejoicing over the lessons that have bounced around in my head & heart. Here’s a few:

Last day of summer Ice Cream Treat

I’m making a point to pray specific Bible scriptures for people… especially regarding my family & church.

I’m not my kids’ activities director. Yes, I provided a few unusual things to do each week, but their unscheduled time  brought out more creativity than a cart load of preplanned crafts or games.

Being together with the people you love can be such a good thing… even when it’s not super fun (and might even include times of tears and topics of deep sorrow).

Taking time away from the normal routines of life really manages to clear my head and encourage my heart.

I drove on the outside lane of the hugely tall Sunshine Bridge near St. Petersburg Florida… and amazingly I did NOT slide right off the edge! 
My ridiculously weird fear of driving on tall bridges is now a thing of the past! YIPPEE!


Self inflicted guilt does not make me better… it does the exact opposite. (and I think sometimes people actually take some sorta weird pleasure in
feeling guilty… when in actuality they should examine themselves. If something
needs to be changed, change it! If it’s unnecessary guilt then stop… and move on!)

And, after 44 years of being a chicken, I finally learned to dive into a swimming
pool. Yes!  Finally!  And my swim coach (aka- my husband) had me do it over &
over again!  Another fear, conquered!!!

Sleeping a little later in the summer months provides some lovely rest & a more relaxed feeling. But, never wondering if my kids will wake up while I’m still spending time with Jesus because I got up when it’s super dark… is even better!!

The joy of having HOME be your school… reading in a tree!


Is that BATMAN in that tree?




Recently Overheard, Summertime

If you’d been around our house in recent weeks you would’ve heard the following statements (along with many, many others) that my have cracked you up, amazed you or left you wondering.


Honey, please put this and this, oh, and this in the recycle bin.
OKAY! … My Mom is a hippy!


Did you go upstairs and brush your teeth?
No because Courtney is in the freakin’ bathroom taken a shower and that takes forever!


Ick, Mom. What is that?
It’s just cold bacon fat.
Uhhh, it looks like alien poop!


Can we run through the sprinkler? Can we run through the sprinkler? Can we run through the sprinkler?


Wait? This is homemade ice cream? It seems more like a … um… milkshake or something.


Hmm, this “easy little craft idea” you had for me, Mom,  has turned into quite a project.


Do you think people think I’m funny?  i want to be funny?


Please play a game with me? Will ya? Please? Will you play a game?


Why didn’t people used to wear clothes in the olympics back then? Why did they whip people in the olympics if they messed up?


Are you ever gunna teach me anything, Mom?


Quick and easy rarely ever is!


Ick. What in the world? Where did you get this music? … Oh, wait. I hate to admit it, but I kinda like it.


Look, Mom. My stomach muscles already have a four-pack. I only need two more.