Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Old Christmas Question

Next Christmas there will be (God willing) 25+ family members at my house on Christmas Eve, so the old question comes to mind -how will 25 people handle the gift giving?
1. Everyone exchanges gifts.
2. Everyone draws names.
3. Give gifts only to those under 18 years of age.
4. Or something else?

We seem to always be mulling over this puzzle.

What is gift-giving like in your extended family? I would love to hear about your traditions and challenges. What seems to work best?

Wishing You A Merry Christmas And Many New Year Blessings!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Living Oprah / Review

Author: Robyn Okrant
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Center Street (January 4, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599952394

My Review:

Living Oprah is the story of one women's self-challenge to live one year with the suggestions she received from the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah's website, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Can she do it? How much will it cost? How will it change her life... or will it? These questions are answered in this amusing account. It is well written and enjoyable. I found that I identified with the author's journey on many levels. Recommended.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

FaceBook Members You Must Read This

Dear Friends,

If you are a member of FaceBook you must read this as soon as possible:

Blessings, Barbara

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dollars To Donuts / Review

Author: Dawn Welch with Raquel Pelzel
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books (November 10, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160529571X

Book Description:

Which meals are best for your family? The kind that taste great, don’t break the bank – and most importantly, don’t keep you chained to the stove all day. As the sole proprietor of her own restaurant and busy wife and mother of two, Dawn Welch has perfected the art of cooking smart, using short-order strategies and a little bit of advance planning to rack up huge savings of time, money, and effort at home on a daily basis, and now you can, too.

These days everyone is keeping an eye on the bottom line, and Dawn is no different; she shares her best tips and tactics for stretching your food budget without giving up the favorite foods and special treats that make mealtime the best part of the day. Who wants to live on a steady diet of pasta and canned tuna? In Dollars to Donuts you’ll find plenty of savvy ways to serve up steaks, seafood, even luscious chocolate desserts without letting costs spiral out of control. She also dishes up great ideas for transforming basic foods – baked ham, roast chicken, meatball mix – into sexy new offerings that no one will recognize as a leftovers and offers great advice on how to stock your pantry and freezer for last-minute drop-ins and impromptu entertaining.

Each recipe indicates cost per serving so you can choose the dishes that suit your budgetary needs, and a weekly meal planner helps streamline the process of pulling together menus and making the best use of your time and pantry. Icons throughout show which recipes are kid-friendly, which freeze like a dream, and much more.

Think cooking healthful, cost-effective, crowd-pleasing meals is beyond your reach? Take a page out of Dawn Welch’s info-packed book and dollars to donuts, your family will be eating better than ever before and having more fun in the process!

My review:

What more can I say? The book description just about says it all. This would make a wonderful
edition to any cookbook collection! Bon Appetit!!!
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tucker James Loves The Christmas Tree

Our big 20 lb. cat, Tucker James (he's our gentle giant), has found that ultimate serenity means hanging out under our new Christmas tree. He seems to think it is just for him and sleeps under it day and night. Tucker will have to move over when the presents start to arrive!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gifts of the Heart / Review

Author: Karen Boes Oman
Illustrator: Marilyn Brown
Ages: 4-9 years
2009 by Karen Oman
1st Printing
Web address

My Review:

When Grandma and Grandpa arrive at the home of their grandchildren on Christmas, they have a tale to tell.

On their way to the Christmas visit, Grandma and Grandpa encounter a terrible storm and end up in Mother Goose Land where they discover the secret of Christmas.

Told in verse, the story is one of the best I've read this season. The illustrations are also fresh and colorful, making this book an instant holiday favorite.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Remember Kendyl Grace?

Hello Friends,

Here is a little update on Kendyl Grace...our miracle baby. She is healthy, happy, and enjoying the Christmas season (as you can see in the photo), and is a constant reminder of God's perfect plan.
Happy Holiday to all.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The winner of the pashmina scarf is Sandy aka Doris the Great. Congratulations Sandy! Please email your address to me, so I can send the scarf right out.

Thanks to all who entered!