Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone has had a nice weekend

and has at some time this weekend made time to spend with family and friends. We’re mostly sitting around the house today enjoying my husband’s day off. We went to a nearby river this weekend with some of the extended family to have a picnic and let the kids wade in the water.

While like everyone else I enjoy the picnics and barbecues, the long weekend, and the extra family time I want to always remember what this holiday is really about. It’s a day to remember those who gave their lives in the service of our country. We have freedom because of them.

I don’t agree with some of the website but I liked this post by Oliver North about Memorial Day.

This Monday I’m not only remembering those who died to give us freedom. I’m saying a special prayer for the families of the American soldiers who have been killed in the last year who are facing their first Memorial Day without a loved one. I’m also saying an extra prayer for those who serve in our military and their families who are risking so much to protect our country and her friends.

Italian Turkey Burgers

I tried a new recipe a couple of weeks ago and am finally getting around to posting it. I chose this recipe because while I know lean turkey burgers are supposed to be better for you than hamburger, my family finds them too bland if you don’t add some flavorful extra ingredients.

Here is the recipe as it appeared in the April/May 2011 issue of Healthy Cooking Magazine.

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

¾ cup boiling water

1 egg white, beaten

½ cup dry bread crumbs

1 small onion, finely chopped

¼ cup ketchup

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 pound lean ground turkey

½ pound extra-lean ground turkey

3 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese, halved

6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split



  1. Place tomatoes in a small bowl; add boiling water. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the egg white, bread crumbs, onion, ketchup, basil, parsley, mustard, garlic, oregano and Italian seasoning. Drain and chop tomatoes; add to egg white mixture. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into six burgers.
  3. Place in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 and juices run clear. Top with cheese; bake 1-2 minutes longer or until melted. Serve on buns with ketchup and mustard if desired.

The only alteration I made was to use all lean ground turkey instead of part lean and part extra-lean. The family rated it as Good and it’s easy to make. I especially like the sun-dried tomatoes in them. I will make these burgers again.

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine. Find more great recipes at www.tasteofhome.com.

What’s on Your Nightstand – May 2011

This is my first time joining What’s on Your Nightstand hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

I’ve done a decent amount of reading this month but most of it has been light or fun reading. With my grandfather’s death earlier this month, the books I got free for review being of a serious nature, and a few issues with my extended family I wasn’t in the mood for too much heavy reading.


Books I’ve finished in the last month

I’ve read several young adult books.

Mysterious Benedict Society Collection by Trenton Lee Stewert. This was an electronic version that included all three books.  These books are about exceptional children (not all intellectually) being recruited as spies. These books are very adventurous and fun.  While they’re aimed at a fifth to eigth grade audience I think my teenagers, any adults who like well written kid’s books, and my 8 year old nephew (as a read aloud) will enjoy them also.

Hawksmaid: The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian by Kathryn Lasky. I’ve loved the Robin Hood legend since I was a kid and have read several books about it. This one start with them as tweens and puts a few of it’s own touches to the legend, most notably the idea of Marian and her father being expert falconers. I book is very well written and I enjoyed all of it except the out-of-body experience Marian has near the end.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. My teenagers and I read this as part of their school this year. It does a good job of portraying life in the Second Century A.D. and contrasting the Roman and the Briton way of life while telling an engaging story. I would recommend it especially, to homeschoolers Fourth Grade and up studying that period of history.

Pitch Black by Melody Carlson. The story of a girl dealing with her friend’s suicide. See my full review here.


I read two books that were free on my ereader

Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh. This is a fiction book is about the world as we know it coming to a slow end. I have to admit I didn’t finish it. It had too much foul language, was too depressing, and wasn’t well enough written to attempt putting up with either one.

The Value of Life by Andy Crowson. This is a mystery about children who are abducted but the kidnappings aren’t the normal kind, the parents aren’t wealthy and receive ransom demands with no specific dollar amount. I liked this book, It was well written and a little different from most mysteries I’ve read lately. It also got me thinking about how much a person’s life should be worth to others.


I love mysteries, especially cozies and have read several this month. I find fun mysteries a great thing to read after supper and before bed to help me relax.

Pizza Lover’s Mystery Series by Chris Cavender; A Slice of Murder, Pepperoni Pizza Can be Murder, and A Pizza to Die For.  I actually read the third book in this series first. I found it for a super pre-release price and thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did, I liked it so well I bought the other two and then reread the last one so I could read them in order. They are well written and fun. The Pizza theme fits well in the stories without being overdone. I don’t know if there are going to be more in this series but if there isn’t I might have to try one of the author’s other series (all written under other pseudonyms).

Hannah Swenson Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke; The Chocolate Chip Murder, The Strawberry Shortcake Murder, and The Blueberry Muffin Murder. I’ve read the first two books in this series before but it’s been quite a while.  I decided to start over at the beginning. I love Moishe, Hannah’s cat, and enjoy the interaction between the characters in these books.


Bible related books

Moments with the Master By Denzil Holman. I love all of Holman’s books on prayer and try to reread them every so often.

It’s All Good; Seeing All of Life As Worship. This is volume 4 of the Into the Word Bible study series for teens. This is actually a guide for a 4 week study at a Sunday school or youth group that we are using for part of my kid’s Bible class for homeschool. I preread it to be familiar with the material. It would probably work better with a group of more than two teens but the first lesson has started a good discussion with my kids.


Currently Reading

Shattered by Melody Carlson. I got this as part of the blogger program from Navpress. It’s one of the books from Carlson’s new Secrets series. I’m almost done with it and hope to have the review up before the end of the week.

Look for a Window by Denzil Holman. I just started this. It is the fourth book on prayer by Holman I’ve bought and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s supposed to talk with dealing with stress and overcoming adversity through prayer.


Planning to read this coming month.

I will be working on more of the Hannah Swensen mystery series and I’m planning on reading God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen by Walt Larimore. I know I’ll probably read I lot more than that but I haven’t decided what yet. I’m planning on going around to all the other participating blogs and hopefully I’ll find some good suggestions. I want to make sure I include more nonfiction this month and I’m planning to try to slowly increase the number of longer book reviews and other book related content I post in the coming months.

Until Next month, Happy Reading

Happy Homemaker Monday – May 16th, 2011

Happy Monday everyone.

For more Happy Homemaker Monday posts visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The weather in my neck of the woods: cloudy and cool with scattered rain showers. I don’t think it even reached 60 degrees today.

Things that make me happy: Reading a good book

Book I’m reading: The Bible

Miss Match by Erynn Mangum

Moments with the Master by Denzil Holman

What’s on my TV today: Nothing

On the menu for dinner: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan (The Chicken Parmesan was really good. the whole family liked it and the recipe will be added to our make again list.  note added 5/17)

On my To Do List:




New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: I haven’t found a new recipe to try this week yet.
In the craft basket. I’ve finally started back on my cross stitch Noah’s Ark.

Looking forward to this week: The one day of not too hot, not too cold and rainy weather we’re supposed to get this Thursday. I’m hoping we can do some work outside and have time for some family fun.

Tips and Tricks: Use white vinegar to kill weeds in your yard. Put it in an inexpensive spray bottle and spray it on the leaves and near the base of the plant you want to kill. Large weeds may take an extra application a few days later and it works best if you can time it so there won’t be rain for at least the next 12 to 24 hours. Not only is this cheaper than store bought weed killers it is also safer for your kids, your pets, and the environment.

My favorite blog post this week: Being a SAHM by Kristy at The Jensen Family Circus.

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
The Army Chaplain’s Wife

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days: That I need to worry less about other people’s opinions.

On my mind: Praying about whether or not my family and I should move. Trying to figure out what we have left to do to finish up our homeschooling year.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  John 4:24

Review: Pitch Black by Melody Carlson

The True Colors series by Melody Carlson each deal with a different issue facing today’s teenagers. Pitch Black is the fourth book in the series and deals with teen suicide.

TrueColors Series #4, Pitch Black: Color Me Lost


Morgan’s best friend Jason commits suicide leaving her feeling guilty, depressed, and confused. Why would Jason do such a thing and leave her all alone? Is there something she could have done to prevent it? If Jason couldn’t take the pressure, what chance do her and a few of Jason’s other friends have and should they just “check out” too? As Morgan struggles to deal with all these questions and emotions she learns that Jesus can help her through if she’ll let him and that to be a true friend sometimes you have to do difficult or unpopular things. She also learns that what you don’t know can kill you.

I have read several of the books in this well written series and think Carlson does a good job of dealing with tough issues without being too depressing or overly optimistic. While I don’t agree with Carlson’s views on the plan of salvation I find her portrayals of teens struggling to live a Christian life realistic and inspiring.

This book was more emotionally draining to read than some of the others in the series mostly due to the seriousness of the subject. Like they point out in the book, you don’t “try” suicide; it’s permanent.

I would recommend this book. It is not a “fun” read, but I believe it will help you understand what goes through the heads of some of the people who consider suicide and why it is not the answer.

I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Happy Homemaker Monday – May 9, 2011

Good day everyone. This is  a description of my Monday even though I didn’t get it posted until Tuesday. I wrote it and then had formatting and internet problems and couldn’t get it up on the right day.

For more Happy Homemaker Monday posts visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The weather in my neck of the woods: high in the 80’s, mostly sunny

Things that make me happy: Getting in touch with my Best Friend from High School for the first time in years.

Book I’m reading: The Bible

Pitch Black by Melody Carlson for review (I should have the review up by the end of the week)

A Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender

Moments with the Master by Denzil Holman

What’s on my TV today: Watching Yogi Bear on DVD. My husband’s uncle loaned it to us and I want to be sure and get it back to him quickly.

On the menu for dinner: Beef stir-fry and fried rice

On my To Do List:

Buy flowers for my Grandpa’s memorial service


Making Grocery List

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Italian Turkey Burgers

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

In the craft basket: I haven’t done any crafting this week.

Looking forward to this week: Catching up with family and my best friend from high school

Tips and Tricks: Can’t think of one

My favorite blog post this week: Things to teach our children: mealtime conversation by Mary at Owlhaven.

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
We may be poor, but we are happy

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days: If you are thinking about someone you don’t see very often take the time to call, email or text them. If you don’t do it now you might lose touch with them or even worse you might not get another chance.

On my mind: My grandpa’s memorial service

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: 10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.   Acts 4:10-12


Mexican Beef and Pasta Recipe

I tried a new recipe last night. Here’s the recipe as it appeared in the April/May 2011 edition of Healthy Cooking.

3 cups whole wheat spiral pasta

1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)

1 small onion, chopped

2 cans (14 ½ oz. each) no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup chunky salsa

1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies

1 can (2 ¼ oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained

3 tablespoons taco seasoning

½ cup reduced-fat sour cream (optional)

Crushed tortilla chips (optional)


Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

Stir in the pasta, tomatoes, beans, corn, salsa, green chilies, olives and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until heated through. Serve with sour cream and chips if desired.

I didn’t have a can of green chilies so I used 1 can of tomatoes with jalapeño peppers added in place of one of the cans of diced tomatoes. I also added a little extra corn (on purpose) and extra olives (I should have paid more attention to the size of the can in the recipe).

It was very easy to make and the entire family gave it a thumbs up. I will be adding this recipe to my list of possible quick meals especially since I already keep all the ingredients except for spiral pasta and canned chilies around most of the time.

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine. Find more great recipes at www.tasteofhome.com.

Happy Homemaker Monday – May 2nd, 2011

Happy Monday!

From: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom


The weather in my neck of the woods: It was around 80 for a high today and partly cloudy. We’re supposed to get rain, cooling temperatures, and possible thunderstorms tomorrow.
Things that make me happy: Getting back to my normal routine after a stressful couple of weeks.

Books I’m reading: The Bible

Moments with the Master by Denzil Holman

What’s on my TV today: Fox News

On the menu for dinner: Mexican Beef & Pasta (I’ll post the recipe and a picture tomorrow)

On my To Do List: Homeschool

Cleaning out storage area

Scrubbing Floors
New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Creme Filled Cupcakes

Chicken with Cherry Pineapple Sauce

In the craft basket: I haven’t been working on my crafts the last couple of weeks

Looking forward to this week: Hopefully a peaceful week

Tips and Tricks: You can make homemade fabric softener by mixing 6 parts Hot water, 3 parts white vinegar, a 2 parts conditioner. I found the recipe at http://www.thefrugalgirls.com/2010/10/homemade-fabric-softener.html

I used an orange scented conditioner and it turned out great.

My favorite blog post this week: I haven’t done a lot of blog hopping this week but I liked this one.

Modest Style Tips

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):

Bible Buying Guide


No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days:
Nothing I know how to put into words.

On my mind: The safety of all American people especially our troops as we wait for the Middle East’s reaction to Bin Ladin’s death. Hoping there will be a lot fewer tornados in May then there were in April.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6