Monday, April 30, 2012

B90 Day Complete!


Honestly, I didn't think I could do it.  I knew that reading the entire Bible in 90 days was going to take not only a time commitment, but a daily habit.  Last year I came upon Amy's blog Mom's Toolbox and learned about B90 (Bible in 90 Days).  I thought about doing it last summer, but it wasn't the right time.  In October when the B90 participants were finishing I read all of their blogs and I was lit on fire to do it when it was offered next.  So on February 1, 2012, I started reading with my accountability group on Aurie's blog.  I started off strong and even tried to read ahead a few days, but weekends really got me off track.  I spent at least an hour a day in the early morning reading.  About halfway through I was going through some personal problems and I decided to quit.  I really knew it was not a good choice and Aurie encouraged me to keep going and I'm glad that I did.  I finished reading the Bible on April 27.

One thing really stood out to me as I read the entire Bible in this short period of time: the presence of the Trinity.  I could see God the Father throughout the OT-walking with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, providing a ram for Abraham, talking to Moses in the burning bush, carrying Elijah up in the chariot of fire and closing the mouth's of the lions with Daniel.  I saw God the Son, Jesus, in the NT- performing miracles, healing, preaching, dying and coming back to life.  And I saw God the Holy Spirit come at Pentecost and anoint disciples and other believers and is still working in Christians today.

So my B90 day journey is not over, but has just begun, because I am truly excited to now slowly read through God's Word and gather treasures in a whole new way.  I would probably do this challenge again and hope that you pray about it too!  It's an adventure like no other!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baroness by Susan May Warren Book Review + Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Win Kindle Fire from Susan May Warren! Enter Today - 4/18-5/7!

Baroness Roaring 20s Kindle Fire Giveaway from @SusanMayWarren! 

Expected to marry well and to take the reins of the family empire, they have their lives planned out for them. But following their dreams -- from avant garde France, to Broadway, to the skies in the world of barnstormers and wing-walkers -- will take all their courage.  And if they find love, will they choose freedom or happily ever after?

Celebrate with Susan by entering her Roaring 20's Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Signed copies of Baroness and Heiress by Susan May Warren

But hurry, the giveaway ends on 5/7/12. The winner will be announced on 5/9/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles!

Just click one of the icons below to enter! Tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.
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Here's my review:
BARONESS:  DAUGHTERS OF FORTUNE by Susan May Warren is the story of Lilly and Rosie (daughters of Esme and Jinx from Heiress).  Rosie longs to be on the stage while Lilly wants to live in the plains of Montana.  They spend a month in Paris and both fall in love, but immediately get their hearts broken.  Back in New York with their parents, they devise ways to seek what they are truly after.  Lilly embarks on her journey to Montana but ends up traveling with air show.  Rosie gets tangled with a mobster who offers her stardom, but she falls head over heels for a baseball player.  Do these two young women truly achieve what they set out out to find?

Yet again, Susan delivers a stunning historical fiction story about the coming of age in the Roaring 20's.  The lives of daughters of the Price sisters are just as filled with twists and turns as their mothers.  Lilly and Rosie (cousins) are completely opposite, but learn they need each other.  Each have their own independent spirit which takes them down treacherous paths and leaves them still longing for true security in their relationships.  I love how Susan knows exactly how to thrill her readers to not put their books down.  This series will continue to enamor me as the next book features Rosie's story.

PS.  When I finish reading the entire series I will have a HUGE giveaway of all the books.  Check out my Heiress review too.

*This product was provided to me free of charge for purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this book and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 3 in 30 Challenge- Done!

3in30 Challenge

This month I chose 3 things to do that were not too hard, but needed to be done and I did them!

1. Clean up the loft area- 

2. Clean out my recipe book boxes.  Organization of recipes will come later.  I consolidated them all to one box.  I also have one more folder with all my loose paper recipes.

3.Make a preschool activity fun box for my 3 year old son with 10 activities.

So, I made 10 activities and I wish I could say they were truly successful (my goal was independence), but he really likes to play with me.  But some are educational.  I will start with these and hopefully swap out with other ideas.  I don't let him play with the same thing over and over.  He has to go through all of the games before he can play his favorite again.

 Here is my list with a few picture examples:
* Match magnet letters to flashcards.
*Candy heart game- match colors and correct #
*Animal puzzle
*Match animal cards
*Lids- See The Educators' Spin On It for 8 ideas
*Put stickers on toilet paper tubes that have black dots on them
*Play dough
*Markers and coloring pad
*Alphabet magnets on a magnetic whiteboard

And if you want any more kid friendly ideas, I have another blog exclusively for that: Milk N' Honey Learn and Grow. Thanks for visiting!

Why Can't He Be More Like Me? by Poppy Smith Book Review

Why Can't He Be More Like Me?: 9 Secrets to Understanding Your Husband by Poppy Smith is an engaging and practical book for wives as they consider this question.  Poppy gives 9 secrets to understanding your husband (chapter titles): He's not my clone!, We weren't raised in the same home, His brain isn't wired like mine, We don't have the same emotional needs, When I say this-he hears that, He handles conflict one way-I handle it another, I think "bargain"- he thinks "bankruptcy", We are not on the same page spiritually, We get "headaches" for different reasons.  Throughout each chapter Poppy provides some great questions and worksheets to get the perspective of both you and your husband.  At the end of every chapter she writes a heartfelt prayer just for you.  Poppy's insights are very helpful and give wives a better understanding of why they are made different from their husbands.

I was very interested to read this book because I feel that I am completely opposite from my husband.  I was very intrigued  at the way Poppy brought out personality differences (sanguine, choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic) and male/female differences.  I was better able to understand myself and my husband and celebrate the unique differences.  Just the other day I was grateful that my husband was not like me.  I was getting stressed about something and he gave me an alternative idea which immediately diffused the situation.  So be thankful that your husband is different, but use Poppy's book to help you understand how to make them work in your marriage.

You can visit Poppy Smith at

**I received a free copy of this book from the author, for my honest review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.**

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm guest posting at Hospitality Haven today!

About a month ago, my friend Alison (from Hospitality Haven) asked me to do a guest post. So we decided to both do guest posts for each other. She wrote a fabulous post on Kitchen Gadgets and I'm over at her blog today writing about Digging Deeper by memorizing Scripture. Stop on by and say hi! Be sure to check out Alison's great recipe section too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kitchen Gadgets by Alison (Guest Post)

Hello! My name is Alison and I am so excited to be guest posting for Shonda. Shonda and I "met" through the blog world and have enjoyed encouraging one another via the internet, so sharing on her blog is truly an honour.   I enjoy writing about life with my husband, including what we eat, where we travel, and much more!

The place in my home that I love the most is my kitchen. There is nothing overly special about it, other than the fact that it's "mine." It's a place where I can go to relax, create something new, and whip up something delicious to nourish myself, my husband and those who visit. As a part of loving my kitchen, there are a few kitchen "gadgets" (a loose term!) that I especially love using. It's not about the brand for me, but more about the function. And so I thought I'd share a couple of kitchen gadgets that I enjoy with a couple of recipes for each one so you can see how I use them.

1. The Crock Pot.
This should come as no surprise to most people, but the crock pot is an incredible tool that I LOVE. I use it in so many ways, but it's especially useful in the summer months when it's hot out and it's easier to barbecue than heat up your oven. The most common way that I use the crock pot is for cooking dried beans. It's so easy, not at all time consuming, and efficient. Another recipe that I love to make in my crock pot is vegetable stock. All you need to do is save up your veggie pieces (like the stubs of carrots or broccoli) and top them up with water and cook! So delicious, so easy. And last but not least, I also love making desserts in the crock pot. One of our family favourites is rice pudding!

2. Garlic Press.
My garlic press was a gift to me from my sister-in-law...and it's not really a press...but more of a garlic "twist." I put my garlic inside it, twist it back and forth and voila! Instant minced garlic. I love it because I use garlic in EVERYTHING. Literally. I must use at least one clove a day. Minimum. So what do I like to use garlic in? Well, anything really. But here are a couple of my favourites:
  • Canadian Wings
  • Guacamole
  • Hot Artichoke & Spinach Dip
  • Chickpea Curry

3. Hand Blender
The hand blender is also known as an immersion blender, and it was given to me as a wedding gift. It's so easy for pureeing soups. You just make your soup, allow it to simmer for a bit, and then puree it with the hand blender and you have a delicious smooth soup. One of the soups I enjoy doing this with is pumpkin soup.

Those are just a few of the items that I love to use on a regular basis. What kitchen "gadgets" or tools do you find handy in your kitchen?

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Five Love Languages for Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell Book Review and Giveaway!!

The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell is a book that describes the 5 love languages (words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time and gifts) as it pertains to children.  Children come into the world longing for one thing: love.  But they yearn to be loved in different ways and usually have 1-2 ways they most feel loved.  The job of parents is to discover those ways so that their child feels that love that only they can give.  What is very helpful is that at the end of every chapter is a host of ideas to get parents started speaking love to their child.  The authors also cover how love languages work with discipline and anger.  There is a also a very fun Love Language Mystery Game you could play with your child.

Wow!  In reading this book, my eyes were opened to my 3 year old even though it's a little early for me to truly identify his love language.  However, when he constantly asks "Will you play with me?, Can I ride in the truck with you? and Let's build a train track," all points to quality time.  I know he also enjoys words of affirmation and physical touch, but I want to love my son the best by giving him my time!  I'm so thankful to read a book that really helps me learn to love my child and you can too!

To be their best, children need to feel loved. But if you and your child speak different love languages, your affection might get lost in translation, affecting the child’s attitude, behavior, and development. Dr. Gary Chapman’s groundbreaking Five Love Languages series has helped millions of couples communicate love more clearly, and Dr. Ross Campbell M.D. has applied the innovative system to children as well. The 5 Love Languages of Children gives practical suggestions for learning how your children interpret love and creating a sense of security in which they can thrive.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it 
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally 
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance 
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the 
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Win it:  I am having a giveaway for this Book.  Open to US and giveaway ends Sunday, April 15.

To enter: Be sure to click on all the links before filling out the entry form.

1.(NEW)  Make a comment about my review in the comments below (you must then fill out the entry form for your entry to be counted!)
2. Be a follower on my blog
3. Subscribe to my blog by email (link on blog)
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DON'T FORGET- fill out the entry form after making a comment!  Comments only count if you have filled out the entry form.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012- This is the Day!!

Do you need a fresh start? This is the day when life begins! Check out this awesome song by Phil Wickham. Life is choosing God! Choose life!

Happy Easter from The Knowltons!

Friday, April 6, 2012

April: 3 in 30 Challenge

3in30 Challenge

I love making goals, but why do I hesitate?  Well, I procrastinate.  Yikes! I said it!  Ever since I started staying at home, I have lived in chaos.  Slowly, though, I am getting things accomplished.  So this month I am choosing 3 things to do:

1. Clean up the loft area-  we have a home group starting in a few weeks and the kids will be playing up there so that area needs some work.

2. Clean out my recipe book boxes.  Organization of recipes will come later.

3.Make a preschool activity fun box for my 3 year old son with 10 activities.

Jessna is 11 months old!

Jessna has had another stellar month of milestones.

*She has 4 teeth (2 top, 2 bottom, all in front).
*Rolling over and sitting up.
*She crawls EVERYWHERE.
*She climbs.
*She pulls up.
*She eats almost the same food as Shrade.

Teeth picture!

So, if you have been following Jessna since birth, you know that she was a very fussy baby from about 6 weeks on.  I am now proud to say that she is no longer that baby.  She is happy and laughing all the time.  She squeals when she sees Shrade running and she has lots of tickle places.  Besides the crying about teething, she has become a pleasant and playful little girl!  Yay!   It has been so fun to see her start moving and exploring.  I am sure on my toes now.  She is crawling swiftly around the house after Shrade.  And Shrade is also learning how to share and be gentle with his sister.

One thing that Jessna is really showing is her love for music.  She is starting to bounce, shake her head and wiggle her body when she hears music.  She also claps her hands, laughs and squeals. And she absolutely LOVES bath time.  I think I get as wet as she does after all that splashing.   She is so much fun!

Shrade is having fun playing peek a boo with Jessna.  Their squeals are priceless!

If you are reading this in an email click HERE to see the video:

Here is Shrade at 11 months!   Some of these pictures look so much like Jessna.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Recipe of the Week: "Raw" Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Well, I've developed a fairly good obsession with an addicting treat.  This "raw" cookie dough is not really raw.  It just looks this way because it's made with almond butter and honey and is not cooked and contains no raw ingredients (like eggs).  As of the writing, I have ONE left to eat.  Oh, my, these are SO good!  I got this recipe from The Nourishing Home.  There are also Gingersnap and Snickerdoodle bites!  I'm so ready to try those next.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
1/2 cup creamy raw almond butter (I made my own- see Heavenly Homemakers)
1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp Organic Raw Honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp Organic Coconut Flour
3 tbsp ground golden flaxseed meal

1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup fair-trade dark chocolate chips, carob chips or chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together the raw almond butter, honey and vanilla until creamy and well blended. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut flour, ground flax seed and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to combine. Use your hands to knead the dough to thoroughly combine. If it's too wet, add a bit more coconut flour. If the dough is too dry and doesn't hold together well, knead in one teaspoon of water. Fold in the dark chocolate chips or carob chips. Then, scoop out tablespoon-size portions and roll into one-inch balls using your hands to create a bite-sized treat. *Refrigerate truffles for 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 18 cookie bites. Recipe Variation: Use 100% all natural peanut butter (the kind you have to stir) instead of raw almond butter to make yummy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dough Bites.

I found the perfect ingredients at Tropical Traditions- raw honey and coconut flour.  And yes, you need to use coconut flour.

Organic Raw Honey - 17.6 oz. glass jar

1 Organic Coconut Flour - 2.2 lbs.