Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review- Unexpected Love by Julie Coleman  

Unexpected Love: God's heart revealed in Jesus' conversations by Julie Coleman, is a book that dissects conversations Jesus had with 9 different women throughout the bible.  In each chapter the author takes an account from scripture where Jesus interacts with a woman. She retells the story in her own words, giving so much more detail. I will say, unless she has done countless research, I am going to assume some of the detail is given through inspiration of her imagination. Some scholars or theologians would probably devour such work, but really, this is all in speculation.You must take it with a grain of salt.

Being a fellow graduate of seminary, I did find myself wondering if "such detail" was actually accurate; however, I think seminary just scarred me in that sense. It taught me to challenge a lot concerning the context of scripture. This has it's pro's and con's. This would be no different than reading a commentary on a particular book of the bible. The author does it's best to give the context of the present time of that scripture. What's important is that we don't take away or add to the scripture or story. I don't think that happened here, but merely opinion of the account of the story was give. 

The second chapter resignated in my soul as she retold the account of Jesus and the woman with the issue of blood. Julie is sure to state the obvious story given, but with revelation.  I believe, she gives more possibilities that open your heart and mind to the Loving Characteristics of our Father in Heaven. For example, Jesus didn't just heal the woman when she touched his cloak, but he took time to acknowledge her and call her out in a crowd of people. The very same crowd who had socially banned her for 12 years. He not only called her, but gave her identity when He referred to her as "Daughter." Julie expounds on the true endearment He was showering upon her in that moment. As He gave identity, he not only healed her body, but healed her soul, and possibly healed her social status amongst the people. Men would not dare come near her, as she was considered, "unclean" but perhaps after this encounter, her re-installment into society, would now give her FULL healing, restoring her Body, Mind, Soul, and now LIFE to the fullest. As a reader, this resignated in my soul, giving me so much more understanding of who Jesus is. He not only wants to meet our needs, but He wants to restore us fully through His "unexpected love." 

In the conclusion of the book, Julie reiterates how each story given reminds us that Jesus is SO interested in our lives! He cares about the details, and that is how we encounter His love. 

Julie also goes the extra mile with giving us "Food For Thought" at the end of each chapter. These are questions that allow us to ponder the story even more and may even allow for discussion with a small group. She also includes a "Journaling" section at the end of each chapter. This allows the reader an opportunity to develop this "love relationship" with Jesus even more.

If you love hearing the bible retold in a story like manner (which this author is FABULOUS at), then I think you would enjoy this book, along with discovering a deeper love of Christ.

Author's Corner:
 Julie Coleman with Sasha
Julie Coleman loves to teach the Word of God! With contagious enthusiasm, she brings hope and encouragement to her audience through rich biblical teaching. Julie uses humor and personal stories to make her teaching entertaining as well as meaningful. Her warm and insightful messages make her an effective and well-received speaker.
During her 20 year teaching career, Julie received professional recognition including being named Anne Arundel County Teacher of the Year. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Capital Bible Seminary. Julie and her husband, Steve, have four grown children and make their home in the Annapolis, Maryland area.


To learn more about the author visit her homepage at

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free of charge from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book reviewer  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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Productive Morning

Are my days so unproductive that when I do have a productive morning I feel the urge to blog about it?
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law."


Anyways! Check out all these fun things we did this morning! LOL 

First we had school... (And the crowd goes wild! raaaaaaaaaa...)
 Abigail worked on tracing her letters. She's getting better. :-)

 I found this nifty worksheet on Confessions of a Homeschooler, as well as the one above that Abigail is tracing. This one is an Assessment to see how much your kiddos know from all those letters you've been drilling in their brain. 
Here I am calling out a lowercase letter and Jordan has to mark it with an x.

 I laminated it so we can reuse it for practice and so her darling sisters can be drilled on it as well. So after we were done recognizing our lowercase letters I then decided to work on some phonics. So here I am just saying the sound of a letter and she is coloring in the letter that sound makes. 

Here are some more worksheets. These are also Confessions of a Homeschooler. (Free printables by the way) She did this one on her own. She had to discover which item began with the corresponding letter sound. :-) 
(I like this job. I can give orders and then watch. lol)

While we did school this one played in the closet. 
Then played peek-a-boo with Abigail (who is now in the closet). The tracing doesn't last long. 

This is for the moms out there beginning Homeschooling like I am. I recently got this bin for six dollars to organize everything I am printing and laminating. Some of you pro's are probably saying, DUH! LOL But seriously I am just now figuring this out. I love it because I am not a lesson plan kind of Gal, well not now anyways. I know this will all change as Jordan gets older and we hit more structured schooling. But for now I just pull out a worksheet and we do it! Clean it and put it back. Not much effort on my part and its ready to go when Jordan has the sudden desire to be scholastic! 

While in our Nursery/School Room/Office (yes it has that many roles), Mommy was day dreaming as Jordan worked diligently, and we discovered a nest in the tree right outside our window. YAY! #morelearningfun, #spurofthemoment, 
#yesIwouldcallthiseducational, #thatswhathomeschoolingisallabout! and #hashtagsletmeformincompletesentencesandavoidspaces and #youhavetoworktoreadthem LOL
(P.S. I know hashtags are usually used for twitter, but I go against the grain, LOL)

Mean while, while my kids are diligently teaching themselves (just kidding) I decided to put dinner in the crockpot. I know this is a food blog after all, and well, there not much up here about food! LOL So here it is. I do ask that you refrain from making obsence guesses on what this is. 
You'll only make us all sick. 
Instead, I shall inform you.
It's a Pork Roast that I defrosted the night before, sprinkled a little Red Pepper Flake, Garlic, Onions on the bottom, some Balsamic Vinegar, and I then pour Root Beer in the Crock Pot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Walaa.. 
I will shred this with two forks for the pulled pork effect.
You can thank me later. :-) 
P.S.S. I just realized I have a lot of pork recipes on here. 
I promise you we only eat it about once a month! LOL

Sorry there is no finale picture as it is still cooking. 

I even took it a step further, I know, I know, I outdid myself when I made these! Completely NOT from Scratch but poured vigorously out of a box! Thank you Trader Joes for these Pumpkin Muffins! :-) 

Jordan was having a friend over for a tea party, thus the muffins. So here is a picture from her little shin dig. I must say, it was LOTS of fun!

So that was our fun day/morning! Hope you had a great day too, 
at least outside in the 70 degree weather! 

Disclaimer: These results are not typical....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Unglued Devotional Book Review

Ever have moments of being "Unglued"? Ha! Don't we all! This is a great devotional and companion that help us women put our overactive emotions in check! Emotions are good, as long as we are directing them positively and they aren't dictating our day.

Lysa may share moments of being unglued with her children, but she also shares moments with her friends, co-workers, and husband. So no matter what point you are at in your life, this book is sure to grab you! 

Within this book you will find stories of personal experiences that Lysa has endured herself. One thing I love about Lysa and her books is that she is not sharing anything she has not lived first. As women we can be very emotional creatures, and the chaos of our long days filled with many "to do's" leave us extra stressed and ready to blow. In this new devotional you will find moments of peace with encouraging scriptures and "thoughts for the day" that prepare you to tackle your day before your emotions tackle you.

Many may ask, "Must I read the book first or with this devotional?" I will say, you most certainly can, as I have read the book, "Unglued;" however, I have found that it is not necessary! Please note that she does share some of the same stories in the book as she does in this devotional.

My recommendation is that if you have already read the book, then this is a GREAT "review" and tool to practically apply all that you have learned. So, I would read it AFTER the book itself, if possible. I do know that many women just don't have time to read a chapter book, so this devotional would also be perfect and ideal to read by itself in lieu of the book, as you are getting the same tools in a shorter and more practical way. 

The whole concept of the book is "imperfect progress." We are imperfect creatures so no matter what, on some days that we are trying, we may still fail, but it's okay. Lysa reminds us of the Grace our Heavenly Father gives us. Within this 60 day devotional, Lysa also provides 5 Procedure Manuals mid-way to help you plan for those moments when we feel like coming unglued. These are great steps that help us think through over raging emotions and find the peace of God in a not so peaceful moment.

Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has led thousands to make their walk with God an invigorating journey.
Thank you to the publishers at Zondervan for allowing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to only write positive feedback, but allowed to give my honest opinion of the book.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chronicles of Homeschooling!

Wanted to post an update on some homeschooling.

I will be honest, I am not as "scheduled" as I should be concerning school, so one of my New Year Resolutions consisted of a more scheduled day with my girls and school being a intricate part of it. I guess I am trying to hold myself more accountable, if that is even possible.

To help me in this process I have forced my face off of facebook and well, I am attempting to reprioritize my life. (Less internet, more diligent with wifely/motherly duties)

What better time to do this than the New Year! :-) The stress of life can some times be overwhelming and I think shifting our focus to the things that really matter (God and Family) can only result in good things. :-)

SO, with all that said (or typed) that brings me to my actual post! HOME SCHOOL! YAY!

For Christmas she got a Hooked on Phonics "Learn to Read Kit" that she (Ahhheem, her Momma) really wanted. If you can remember in a previous post I was pretty excited about the "100 Easy Lessons To Teach Your Child To Read." Yeah that was great at first, but she really got bored with it. HOP has a lot more pictures, etc. and keeps it fun! We both love it and its not a drag at all!

HOP does say to watch a video with it after every lesson, and I will say we do NOT do this because, its just not a priority. I may put it on a different time of the day for all the little ones to watch, but it may not be right before or after we complete the lesson.

Anyways, here are some pictures from our lesson tonight...

She is really excellent at writing her name and we are working on writing lower case letters! (Another reason I love HOP because they focus on both upper case and lower case)

 I did the first line and she practiced underneath. Man, loving this easel for school!

 We also do a math worksheet every day with our lesson. This one cut out the squares and she matched them with the corresponding numbers. I believe I bought the workbook on clearance for a DOLLAR at a local teacher store. SCORE!
You also see her practicing more with writing her upper and lower case "A". 

The HOP workbook had her color a upper and lower case A, but I am attempting to preserve the workbook somehow for her younger siblings, so I just drew my own bubble letters and she colored them. 
No, I am not an artist! LOL

P.S. Calling on some homeschooling Momma's help... My girl is excellent at letter sounds, etc. so some of this does seem redundant (except for the writing) but I am afraid to jump the gun because I want to make sure she has a good foundation before I venture off to the K(4-6) kit for HOP. Any help and suggestions would be great! 

Below is a just a little bonus I am throwing in there for ya! The girls got a princess castle for Christmas and well, the Princesses insisted they sleep in their castle and I just couldn't say no. :-)

Peace, Love, and Blessings abound as we all begin 2013!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Farmers Market

In honor of Saturday, aka Farmers Market day here in Wilmington. I thought I would post about a recent Farmers Market Trip.

Since moving back to North Carolina, I have really developed a love for Farmers Markets. I enjoyed them while in Va Beach, however, the veggies here are way more inviting. They just seem larger, more fresh, and less bruised. I am sure being in much closer proximity to more farms may have something to do with that. 

Well, honestly, I have no clue. LOL

Take a look that this enormous, juicy, tomato.

My kiddos were even intrigued! 

I have a recipe post from our trip, Coming Soon!

Happy Saturday. :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School??? OOPPS!!!

So, as I checked my facebook it was flooded with pictures and posts of my homeschooling friends sharing their successes of their first day of homeschooling.... OOPPSS! 

Tuesdays are extremely busy for the Thornton Gang here... Our Tuesdays are filled with Prayers meetings for our One In Christ ministries beginning at 8am until 2pm. We try to make a point to take our girls so they soak up all this intercession as this young age... I love exposing them to those with zealous prayers! 

So with that said, homeschooling wasn't on the brain when I got up this morning... 

Can I just be honest for a moment? Some days I feel like I like the IDEA of homeschooling versus actually homeschooling... 

I know. Lame. But it's hard work, preparation included.

As I pondered how I was not schooling my girls all day today one little phrase that I had recently heard rang through my ears.


I had recently ran into an Educator who was giving me some pointers on homeschooling Pre-K and K.  Her advice and the phrase ringing through my ears...

KEEP IT SIMPLE! She said that this age is great! It's best to keep it simple for them... 

This helped to calm my anxieties a bit. 

So we all napped till 5pm today and I quickly made dinners and Hubby gave the girls baths. 

As Jordan urged me to do crafts, this mom acted on her initiative and we began a SIMPLE evening of school. :-)

 Then Sweet Cheeks came and joined us for some fun!

Jordan picked out each one that she liked and pasted it on this sheet. As she picked each item she told me what each one meant too her. The wagon she said, "I love the wagon because my Grandma use to pull me in it and take me too the park." Good Memories... Possibly my favorite is the baseball. She said, "Mommy I LIKE Baseball." I honestly insisted she didn't and well she insisted she did. I asked her, "have you ever played baseball?" She shouted, 'Oh YES Momma I have!!" I said, "When?" She exclaimed, "In my dreams at night!!!" Well I guess that is just as good baby! So as you see it made the sheet! LOL

 Here is my Sunshine with her First Day of School project (in her pajamas!)...

You all would be proud, because I did take it a step further and did the first lesson of "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons."
I've heard numerous things about this and I have to say, I am well pleased! It's approach is fantastic and seems pretty fool-proof for this Momma! It also incorporates writing your letters, which is something she needs to work on. So perfect!
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons 

So after all this wasn't a failed school day! Whew! (as I wipe my brow). I think I can... wait... I know WE can! God has called me to do this! So it shall be!! With His help! In Jesus Name!

Happy First Day of School Everybody!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A little announcement....

I can't believe I am typing this....

But I am... 

I am grateful... Oh so grateful...

Shocked? Absolutely!

But see, I trust God can see a way Bigger Plan than I could ever see.... 

So here it is folks.... 

Do you  need a closer look??


Yes, that's a positive... a little faint because of lighting and it's a dollar tree test! LOL But it was certainly there!!

Since I had taken the test after Mike went to bed, I decided Scripture to greet him the next morning with his coffee would be a great way to let him in on my little secret.

 Here in the bottom note card you can see I am letting him in on another secret. See a few weeks before I took the test, a lady at one of our weekly Love Feast prayer meetings Prophesied over me, saying... "The Fruit of Your Womb is Blessed." I was kinda hoping she meant the children in the flesh already. But it's just proof and reassurance too me that God's got this! WE CAN TRUST HIM and HIS Perfect Plan!!

This is the little note I left for Mike.... 

It stated "Enjoy your Coffee as you Ponder the Goodness of our Lord!" 


SO yes! Here we go again! Baby Number four is on it's way (scheduled to arrive late April)... Shocked? Yes, we are too, but so thankful for the gift of Life! 

God is soooooo GOOOD! 

And we are excited to be growing our family once again!!