Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

FIRST Tour: Spiritual Housekeeping: Sweep your life free from Satanic oppression and demonic strongholds by Kim Daniels

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today’s Wild Card author is:


Kim Daniels


and the book:


Spiritual Housekeeping: Sweep your life free from Satanic oppression and demonic strongholds

Charisma House (September 6, 2011)

***Special thanks to Kim Jones | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***


Kimberly Daniels is a sought-after conference speaker, preacher, and powerful prayer warrior. She pastors Spoken Word Ministries in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Ardell and is on the Jacksonville City Council. Daniels graduated from Florida State University and Jacksonville Theological Seminary and is the author of Inside Out; From a Mess to a Miracle; Clean House, Strong House; Delivered to Destiny; and Give It Back! and the coauthor of More Than Just The Catch.

Visit the author’s website.


Stay Prepared for Satan’s Unexpected Attacks

Do life’s challenges seem to throw you off balance? Do you struggle with the should haves, could haves, and would haves? In Spiritual Housekeeping, Kimberly Daniels outlines the keys to defeating the devil and putting your spiritual house in order.

Using numerous Bible passages and experiences from her own life, Daniels provides proven principles that give you the balance to live in the world while pleasing God by…

Avoiding compromise and ungodly tolerance
Discerning the difference between what is holy and what is not
Understanding the realms of spiritual authority
Keeping the occult out of your house

Discover how to become a gatekeeper to your home and receive God’s instructions for the spiritual traffic there. You can depend on the Holy Spirit to help you with the devil’s unexpected attacks and difficult situations.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (September 6, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616382384
ISBN-13: 978-1616382384


Delivered From

Social Intercourse

The Bible tells us that believers are “in” the world but not “of” it (John 17:11, 16). God has called us to be a light to the world. At the same time He has warned us not to be unequally yoked with people, places, and things that would hinder our walk with Him. So with this in mind, how do we run our businesses, educate our children, and relate to society in a way that will not displease God or cause us to be unequally yoked with the world?
The answer is simple—beware of social intercourse! Let’s start by reading 2 Corinthians 6:14–15 (kjv, emphasis added):

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

I have read this scripture many times over the past twenty years of my salvation. I found it very interesting that the Holy Spirit would open it up to me in a new way, as He did recently. Though the foundation of my deliverance is rooted in this scripture, until now I never recognized the standard that it sets for a victorious
lifestyle in Christ Jesus. Second Corinthians 6:14–15 represents the line that God has drawn in the Spirit to give us:
• Spiritual strength to avoid compromise and ungodly tolerance
• Stamina and endurance against opposition and persecution
• Discernment to know the difference between what is holy and what is unclean

The key words of this passage are:
• Fellowship—People (becoming one in Him)
• Communion—Places (gathering in His name)
• Concord—God (agreement with God)
• Part—Faith (having a belief that cannot be shaken)

Fellowship—righteousness vs. unrighteousness
The word fellowship is metochos (met’-okh-os) in the Greek, which means, “intercourse.” Intercourse is defined as: “connection or dealings between individuals or groups that causes a coupling or uniting that makes those who have come together one.” As I studied the word intercourse, I noticed the word interchange. When intercourse takes place, there is always an interchange. This means that the people who come together literally experience an exchange in the midst of their union. The word interchange means, “to put each in the place of the other; to cause to change places, or to give and receive things from each other reciprocally.” It also means to cause to follow one another. Based on the word study on fellowship, it is not difficult to see that when we fellowship or socialize with people on a continual basis, a union takes place in the spirit. This is why the Bible asks the question, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). The interchange involves everyone and enables each person to get something out of the relationship. This is why we must know those that we labor among. God commands that we “come out from among them” (2 Cor. 6:17)! If you do not want what other
people have, it would not be wise to hang out with them. On the other hand, when believers come together, there is a sweet communion that takes place. Where two touch and agree, Jesus comes into the midst. One believer can put a thousand demons to flight, but two can put ten thousand to flight (Deut. 32:30). The Word of the Lord asks: “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” Whenever the Word asks a question, an alarm should go off in our spirits to do a self-evaluation. We should ask ourselves questions like:

• What kind of inner circles am I a part of?
• Are the values of those who are closest to me committed
to righteousness or unrighteousness?
• What am I depositing into my closest relationships,
and what am I getting out of these relationships that influences me spiritually?

Pause and think on these questions! Is there anything in your life that you are in fellowship with that will stop you from being one with Jesus? If so, break fellowship with it now!

Communion—light vs. darkness
We are called to be in communion with our God. Let’s look at the word communion. The Greek word for communion is koinonia, which means: “partnership, participation, social intercourse, communication
and distribution.” I was knocked off of my feet when I found out that communion means social intercourse. When Paul refers to communion, he relates it to light and darkness. He is actually saying that light and darkness
will never commune or agree. Because of this, we must choose one side with which to commune. There will always be controversy, combat, and a battle in the spirit when dealing with light and darkness. Many people get discouraged when they experience this kind of warfare. This is the kind of warfare we should rejoice about!
The Bible says that we must be watchful when all men speak well of us. The truth of the matter is that not all men are supposed to agree with us. All men are not walking in the light of the truth, and when you are confronted with darkness, there is supposed to be a battle!

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would
love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will
also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. —John 15:18–20

The battle will rage when light and darkness collide. The only true light in the world is the light of Jesus Christ. The world hates Jesus! When believers get this down in their spirits, they will develop tougher skin. Those who represent Jesus must have tough skin and not take persecution from the world as a personal attack.
It is not personal; it is scriptural! The world is not supposed to love you when you love Jesus. When believers allow resistance and rejection from the world to get them down, it is a sin before God! Paraphrasing what Jesus said, He made it simple: “Who do you think you are? You are not greater than Me! They hated Me, and I
created them—I AM God! Do not be moved when they hate you.” This is the commandment of the Lord. Light cannot commune (be comfortable with) darkness.

No matter how good things may seem or how nice people may be, if you are a child of light, darkness will always oppose you. No matter how much you try to harmonize, there will be a screeching sound of discord in the spirit. We have Jesus on the inside of us, and demons will always be uncomfortable in His presence. When we step into a place, we bring Jesus with us. There are places where people do not want Jesus around. We should not be alarmed when we are barred and even kicked out of certain places. The power of manifested light in a dark place is a good thing. It reveals to the people that they are in darkness. It is a glorious thing when the children of God come together to let their light shine. When light connects with more light, the power of God is manifested in the earth realm.

The koinonia of God flows fluently in the midst of the saints. This is why the anointing of the saints increases with numbers. One can put one thousand to flight, but two . . . ten thousand! Koinonia promotes partnership, communication, and a balanced distribution among the people of God. It is a social intercourse that takes place to give birth to the will of God in the earth realm. Real communion causes God’s glory to radiate in the midst of a dark and lost world. There is something awesome that takes place when God’s anointed ones gather. We gain ground in the spirit, and the Lord has free course to move. On the other hand, because of negative agreement there were some places where even Jesus could not heal the sick. When we fellowship with people who are not children of light, we get stuck in a spiritual limbo. To be in limbo means to be caught between. Because light and darkness cannot agree, those who try to make them mingle always end up in limbo. The manifestations of limbo are the spirits of struggle, distraction, confusion, and heaviness. We are in the world but not of the world. We are commanded to go into the world to be witnesses for Jesus, but the approach and strategy we use means everything. We are called to influence and not to be influenced!

There is a difference between communion and compromise. Communion brings forth a unity that bonds believers together for God’s purpose. When we compromise there is no bonding, but a bowing that takes place. It causes a person to knowingly or subliminally submit to the spirit in charge.

Concord—Christ vs. Belial
The scripture also asks, “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” The word concord is sumphonesis (soom-fo’-nay-sis) in the Greek, and it is defined as: “to be in harmony with, agreement, to stipulate by compact; to concur and support.”
Agreement means everything! It affects every area of our lives. We need agreement within ourselves to achieve our everyday goals. Without agreement, our families are dysfunctional and our businesses will fail.

God showed me that agreement is a type of spiritual covering. I believe that this is why Paul used the analogy of Christ and Belial. When we agree with certain things, we come under the covering of a certain ruler. We cannot agree with Christ and Belial at the same time; only one will rule!

Let’s take a look at the meaning of Belial:
• A person considered morally worthless
• Good for nothing
• Diseased in the mind
• Hard-hearted
• One who promotes rebellion against God and constituted authority
• Another name for Satan
• Vile, lewd, licentious, corrupt
• That which works against and has no regard for God or the things of God

Understanding the meaning of Belial brings forth a greater understanding of why this spirit has no agreement with Christ. We can be effective in winning the lost in dark places and during dark times as long as we have the revelation that Christ has no agreement with Belial. This is what accursed means: “dedicated unto doom or
damned by God Himself.” If God has killed a thing, we cannot religiously resurrect it. If the root is holy, the fruit will be holy, but if the root is demonically dedicated, the fruit will be cursed. Christ and Belial simply cannot agree. A biblical meaning for the word agreement is, “to marry, betroth or to gather selves until they
become one.” We cannot attempt to attach Jesus to the accursed thing.

Part—believers vs. infidels
The Word of the Lord asks, “What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” The word part in the Greek is meris (mer-ece’), and it means, “to share, to be in the same province of or to participate with.” It comes from another Greek word, meros, which refers to a coast, portion, or to have respect of.

When Paul asked the question, “What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?,” it was serious! The word infidel refers to one who does not have faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. There is a difference between believing in Jesus and believing that Jesus is the one and only living God. Few deny that Jesus walked on the earth. Many
consider Him a great man or even a powerful prophet. The problem comes in when they deny His lordship! Putting it simple, an infidel is one who denies the lordship of Jesus Christ. What part does a true believer have with a person who does not believe that Jesus is the Lord and Creator of the universe? None! Believers should have no part in activities that give homage or even respect to other gods. We should not spiritually hang out in territories where demons are attempting to make us bow to the gongs of the land with the intent to overthrow them. The persecution of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is the perfect example of having no part with infidels. The king made a decree that whenever the gong sounded, everyone had to fall down and give homage to the pagan deity of the land. The Hebrew boys were put in the fiery furnace because they refused to bow. Yeah,
I know this is an old Bible story (in the minds of many), but the reality of this story will one day be grafted into the hearts of the saints in America. Many gongs are sounding, and many people who call themselves believers are bowing in our country. Jesus told Satan, “You have no part with Me” (John 13:8). In this same way we must not be a part of, have a portion with, or participate in modern-day idolatries. There are gongs going off in the spirit bidding Christians in America to bow. These are not ancient gongs as in the times of the Hebrew boys. These are gongs of economic trouble, disasters in the weather, seducing spirits from the rich and the famous, political unrest, peer pressure, idolatrous temptation, and compromise. During times like these we can remain steadfast in the things of God if we focus on our portion. Looking to the left or the right will make us lose the race. We can win if we stay in our lane and allow Jesus to be the author and finisher of our faith. We must be able to stand and declare, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” (Josh. 24:15). God is using His people to do a great work in the days in which we live, and we cannot come down off the wall.

Let’s take a look at how Nehemiah dealt with the temptation to bow to the dictates of the world.
Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with
fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?” So I answered them, and said to them, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem.” —Nehemiah 2:17–20

The people of God were in a bad situation, yet Nehemiah bragged on His God. His enemies mocked him and called him a rebel, but Nehemiah had a revelation; God was his portion! His source was not in man, so he did not have to bow to them. He also let his enemies know that they had no portion in what God had for him. When we (as believers) know our portion and in whom it is placed, we also know the portion (or legal right) the enemy has to get involved in it—none! The portion of the wicked has no agreement with what God has for us.
The twentieth chapter of Job describes the portion of the wicked. It describes the portion of the wicked to be like a basket filled with curses.

It includes the following curses:
• The triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment.
• He will perish forever like his own refuse.
• He will fly away like a dream and not be found; he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
• His children will seek the favor of the poor.
• His bones will lie down with him in the dust.
• His food in his stomach turns sour; it becomes cobra venom within him.
• He swallows down riches and vomits them up again.
• He will not see the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
• From the proceeds of business he will get no enjoyment.
• He knows no quietness in his heart; therefore his well-being will not last.
• In his self-sufficiency he will be in distress; every hand of misery will come against him.
• When he is about to fill his stomach, God will cast on him the fury of His wrath.
• A bronze bow will pierce him through.
• Terrors come upon him.
• An unfanned fire will consume him.
• The heavens will reveal his iniquity, and the earth will rise up against him.
• The increase of his house will depart, and his goods will flow away in the day of His wrath.

The scripture concludes by saying: “This is the portion from God for a wicked man, the heritage appointed to him by God” (Job 20:29). I praise the Lord because we have no portion in wickedness. Today, when the hearts of many are failing them for fear, we must continue to confess Psalm 73:26, which says: “God is the strength
of my heart and my portion forever.”

We must rebel against or disagree with the things or the ways of the wicked. This is the only way to avoid social intercourse. Social intercourse is the pathway to idolatry, which comes in the name of status quo social activities. God put the need to socialize on the inside of us, but we must do it according to the Word of God. There is a sweet anointing when the brethren dwell in peace under the covering of God’s covenant. We can operate in the midst of those who do not know Jesus, but we must lead and not follow. We must influence and not be
influenced. This is the calling we have as the salt of the earth. I call it blending without bending.


My Opinion:

I’m still reading this and will update with a review once I’m finished with it.  So far it’s bee good.

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Idle Hour Ranch – 10/8/11

On October 8, 2011 we went with my mom to a place called Idle Hour Ranch.  This is a ministry  about 40 minutes from us that has some exotic animals and allows visitors to get up close and personal with animals that wouldn’t survive in the wild.  My children and I enjoyed this trip very much, getting to see and even pet and feed some of God’s creation that normally we couldn’t do.

The macaw

Christian was bound and determined to catch and hold a bunny:

The see-saw (Bethanne ended up getting hurt on it when Christian jumped off right before we left for the day.)

The cougar:

The Patagodian Cavy (we found this neat as these animals are related to the domestic cavies commonly known as guinea pigs)

Feeding a giraffe:

Feeding a camel:

Feeding the goats:

Miniature ponies:

Hannah doing some gem mining (she found some really pretty gems):

The African elephant we got to ride:

This was an awesome and we topped it off with lunch at Bob Evans which was delicious.  I’m very blessed that my mom was willing to go with us otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to take in this very neat attraction – hopefully despite Ohio wanting to enact exotic animal laws – this will be around for years to come.

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BookSneeze: "Thank You, God, For Blessing Me" by Max Lucado

About the book:

Meet Little Hermie—the cutest baby caterpillar in the garden! Little Hermie’s thankful heart shows toddlers how to be thankful for God’s blessings.

Little Hermie is thankful for everything God has given him. He goes through his day thanking God for his many blessings in this adorable board book with flocking on the cover!

With over 5.5 million brands units sold, the new Little Hermie books open the wonderful world of the Hermie & Friends garden to an entirely new audience.

My Opinion:

I received the e-book version of the newest addition to the Hermie series, Little Hermie, so the pictures I viewed were in black and white but just by looking at the cover I can tell this book is alive with vivid color and illustrations.  If you are familiar with Hermie, he’s the catepillar who longs to have a heart after God and introduces children to God’s truths straight from the Bible.

This Little Hermie addition is no different, introducing an even younger crowed to the wonders of the Lord and giving them an understanding of God on their level so that as they grow their knowledge can grow as well.  It’s a child’s book written on a child’s level so if you’re looking for a deep theological book for your infant/young toddler this isn’t it, but if you’re looking for a book that can help to start opening the doors of faith and the wonder of being a Christian this is a great place to start.

**I was given this e-book from BookSneeze, a division of Thomas Nelson, in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given or implied.

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Bzz Review: Green Mountain Coffee


I enjoy my coffee – and so when I had the chance to jump on the Green Mountain Coffee Bzz Campaign I couldn’t turn it down!  I was sent the Pumpkin spice flavor (my favorite flavor, and Monday is Pumpkin Spice Day!) and the House Blend.  They are both totally awesome, there is no bitter taste and it all goes down smooth.

Another good thing about Green Mountain Coffee is that it is called Fair Trade coffee.  I hadn’t heard of this before but am glad I was made aware of it and am now thinking it will be well worth it to keep supporting this company.  What is Fair Trade?  Well it’s this:

  • Farmers are paid a fair price for their harvest
  • Farmers can invest their Fair Trade premiums in their communities and businesses
  • Farmers must adhere to a number of environmental standards
  • Fair Trade Certified farms must follow strict labor laws and practices
  • Fair Trade investments and requirements help create high-quality coffee

I like to think that when I purchase something at the store that I may be helping someone or a whole community.  While the coffee is a bit more than we usually pay for our other coffee canister, since it’s helping out the farms and farmers and not to mention the superior taste of this coffee, makes me feel better about spending a little more on coffee.

**I’m a BzzAgent and received the above coffee from BzzAgent to facilitate my review – no promise of favorable reviews was implied, only honesty.  No other compensation was given.

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Late birthday celebration – another trip to a museum

Well we were late in getting Bethanne’s birthday celebration where she gets to invite a friend to go with us to an area children’s museum, so we went on the 21st.  It was packed the day we went so it was somewhat crowded but the children still had fun and they had a couple new exhibits as well.

Bethanne inspecting the water samples in the all new permanent water exhibit:

Christian posing as something LOL:

Hannah and Christian seeing what it’d be like to use a pump and bucket to transport water:

All of the children on a turtle shell:

Seeing what it would be like to be a fly and how they can walk up walls:

Bethanne standing next to a display about jewelry (a traveling exhibit) from Ancient Egypt:

Hannah building a platypus:

Demonstrating how camouflage can work in the wild:

Cooking pizza:

Serving at the deli:

Getting up close with Madison, the bobcat:

The children participated in some hands-on science experiment.  This one was to take tubing and make loops and such and see who could get a little bb through it:

Normally I don’t let mine do the dance wall as the music isn’t always the best but this day’s was a decent selection and they had fun seeing their motions on the wall and got some good patterns going:

It was a fun day and we were all tuckered out but not enough apparently for the girls to plan an sleep over!  I’m so glad that we are fortunate enough to have some great children’s museums within driving distance that we can enjoy and get some educational stuff out of a visit – even if some of it doesn’t align with our beliefs.

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Kregel Review: Jumbo Bible Activity Book 3

About the Book:

Now there are even more games and activities to help children learn about their favorite Bible stories. The third in this popular series, Jumbo Bible Activity Book 3 is packed with puzzles, pictures, dot-to-dots, hidden objects, coloring pages, and fascinating Bible stories that will keep even the most inquisitive young minds busy! Fun for all the family as they learn and play.

My Opinion:

What child doesn’t love to color, find the hidden objects or do dot to dots?  Mine really enjoy the activities in this book and while the pages aren’t perforated I have to tear out the pages or else I’d probably have a riot on my hands.  Each child goes about the activities differently, my youngest needs help with the dot to dots but loves to color, my puzzle loving daughter enjoys finding the spot the differences and the mazes whereas my oldest just prefers to help her brother or just color.

The illustrations are whimsical and the book is oversized, 11.7 X 8.25 so there is plenty of space for coloring and completing the activities.  This would be great for long car rides or to provide something for children to do while you prepare dinner or even if one child finishes their school work and is waiting for more.  There are questions for each picture relating to the Bible story and the Scripture reference is also given so that children and their parents can find the answers and discover Biblical truths.

**I was provided a copy of this book through Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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Freezer/Batch cooking

I’m tired.

I’ve tried taking supplements, I’ve tried medications, I’ve tried exercising.

I’m still tired.

What you ask does that have to do with batch and freezer cooking?

Well when you’re so tired you don’t feel like making a nice dinner for your family that’s what it’s got to do with it.

We’d spend $80.00 (that is my grocery budget to feed 5 people for a week and it’s not easy – but I also know it’s more than others have) a week and I’ll plan a menu but come time to make them I can’t. Hubby could, but then that means he’d have to follow a recipe, and he’s more of a throw it together and see how it tastes later kind of guy. So we usually turn to eating out – keep in mind we have no extra money for this it comes out of other things that we actually need.

Now before anyone jumps all over me and begins saying “well I’m tired to but I still make dinner”, or “just get over it”, etc. I believe my tiredness doesn’t come from just being tired – I believe it’s a medical condition and I will be seeing a specialist – today in fact – to see if maybe we can get to the bottom of things.

After reading Kathi Lipp’s new book, The What’s For Dinner Solution I decided that that is what I’m going to do. Hubby was all on board – yes we spent more than usual, about $100 but I also came home with enough stuff to make 12 meals, some breakfast items, and a dessert! I don’t need to go shopping until late next week or maybe even the following week!

I spent Monday and Tuesday making the bulk of the dinner meals and freezing them. Tuesday was also the day I took 2 loaves of bread and turned them into French toast and froze what we didn’t eat that morning (leaving me with 2 – 2 gallon freezer bags of French Toast). Wednesday was pancake morning, but apparently I needed to make a batch bigger than triple as I only have 1 – 1 gallon bag of frozen pancakes. Thursday I made breakfast burritos, beef and cheese burritos, chocolate chip cookie dough and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

When it comes to cookie dough I use my handy dandy Pampered Chef scoop and scoop out balls of dough onto a pan lined with wax paper and freeze. Once frozen I pop them into a storage bag and when I need a cookie or two I just take out what I need and put them in the oven. I also make a double batch but save money by only putting 1 bag of chips in – yes there are plenty of chips and I used Stevia to cut back on carbs.

Muffins I bake ahead of time and leave in the paper wrapper, set out to thaw the night before or a couple hours before dinner and you have an easy, no mess, no warm up needed breakfast or dessert. Add a little flax seed and give it an extra kick of fiber. I double bag these and they stay good for up to 3 to 4 months. Also using Stevia to cut back on the carbs.

Kathi Lipp has given me permission to share a couple of the recipes that are in her book and that I’ve made. Please know that I have tried the baked ziti and the dreamy spaghetti and both were a big hit with my family.

Baked Ziti: (this is for one, if you want to make double, double the amounts)

1 pound ground beef
1/4 chopped onion
16 ounces penne pasta, parboiled and drain
6 cups spaghetti sauce
6 slices mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Prepare: brown ground beef and onions together. Add spaghetti sauce. Combine sauce and cooked pasta, mix well.

Freeze: spread pasta in 9 X 13 pan and cover with foil. Attach two small freezer bags to pan, one with the mozzarella cheese slices and one with grated Parmesan cheese. Freeze.

Serve: Thaw casserole and cheeses. Place mozzarella cheese slices over casserole. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over casserole. cover and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes. Serves 4 (I was able to feed all 5 of us and had some extras left)

Dreamy Spaghetti: again double or triple as needed
8 ounces spaghetti
15 ounces tomato sauce
8 ounces cream cheese
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound cottage cheese
1/4 sour cream
1/3 cup green onion, minced
Parmesan cheese

Prepare: Cook spaghetti and drain. Brown ground beef and drain. combine spaghetti, ground beef and tomato sauce and season to taste (I used some Kroger brand no salt added Italian seasoning). Remove from heat. Combine cheeses, sour cream, and onion in another dish. In casserole or 8 X 8 foil pan, spread one half of the spaghetti; cover with cheese mixture. cover with remaining spaghetti. Spread tomato sauce all over it (I skipped this step as I didn’t have any left over tomato sauce, but when I do the next one I will maybe add some spaghetti sauce to the top as my son said the top noodles were too dry, but he also had a sore throat).

Freeze: Cover pan with aluminum foil, spray foil with cooking oil so that acid from tomato sauce doesn’t touch the foil. (I skipped the oil step – oops)

Serve: Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 4. (I was able to fee all 4 of us plus two DD’s, DH and I all had enough for seconds)

I’ve also got Taco Soup, Amish County Casserole and Chicken and Chips in the freezer – so I’ll do another post when we have taste tested those. I have to admit this has been a lifesaver both in regards to my energy level and also knowing that I have saved us some money. The only thing we’d have to get at the store is milk, and other staple items until it’s time to do big shopping again.


TOS Crew Review: Marshall Publishing & Publications, Inc


Vendor Name: Marshall Publishing

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Age Range: All Ages

Other Products Available: George Washington Carver DVD, Educational Historical Documentary DVDs, Penguin DVDS, and more.

If you’re like me, you have to cover fire safety sometime in your homeschool years, and you may be trying to figure out how to get that in without having to visit a fire house but still keep it fun and keep your children’s attention. Look no further than the Lots and Lots of Fire Trucks and Firefighters book and DVD bundle!

The DVD has two segments, a classroom section which is suitable if you’re short on time or for teachers and other personnel who need a short 12 minute segment on fire safety. The second one is where you can select all or any individual segments to watch at your leisure, this gives 30 minutes of viewing time. You’ll find the following segments:

Lots and Lots of Fire Trucks
Call 911
Fireman Jim’s Safety Tips
Stop, Drop and Roll
Your Home Safety Plan
It’s An Emergency
Heroes Brave and Tall
Great Big Fire Trucks
Fire Trucks in Action

While I found some of the songs to be a bit young for my 9 year old, 4th grader (parents with 4th grades and up were asked to review this) they were right on target for my 7 year old, 2nd grader and my K/1st grade son. My son really thought it was great fun to watch this and he had empathy for the people who would eventually lose their home or business due to fire. I thought it was great to show children that you don’t need money for a pay phone, as most children overlook pay phones in public (it’s becoming harder to find one) but those who don’t have access to cell phones could find this information life saving.

The book that accompanies the DVD is probably my favorite of the bundle, although I do like that the DVD is educational and there is no objectionable content in it. With 124 full color, glossy pages children can read through or be read to about a firefighter’s gear, equipment, different trucks, fire science basics such as what type of extinguisher to use on what type of fire, greatest fires in history, fire house museums and more (including recipes).

The book was published in 2008 and most of the statistical information listed is from 2006 – given this there is probably now more up to date information available but without reprinting the whole book it still gives a great idea of information as it relates to fire safety. If you wanted more up to date reports it could be easily obtained, and I don’t think this detracts from the book or it’s educational value. My husband’s only complaint about the book was regarding the Old Time Fire Fighter’s Alphabet and that is because for the letter X it says “stands for Xmas, and pray do not forget they are happy as children, with the presents they get.” His opinion was it just didn’t fit but then again this is a dated alphabet and is not modern even though it’s re-printed in a modern book.

I really like that this can effectively cover fire safety for our year and I’ll be continuing in the use of this, especially the DVD as we need refreshing on the aspects of fire safety. All the lyrics to the music are located in the back of the book so if you want to sing along or teach the children the lyrics without music it’ll be easy to do so.

I was also sent a copy of the George Washington Carver DVD and that can be purchased during the web sale for $19.95.

**To read more reviews about Marshall Publishing & Publications, Inc visit the TOS Crew Homeschool Blog.

**This is a TOS Crew Review. I was provided a copy of this book and DVD from Marshall Publishing and Publications in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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Roller Skating…..

My children were invited to a roller skating birthday party and this being the first time they have ever been rolling skating I knew it’d be an enjoyable experience – for me it’s been probably 20 years since I’ve been on roller skates but it was fun. Christian took right to it, once Bethanne warmed up she also took to it but Hannah had a little more difficulty but she said she’d like to try it again.

Christian as he’s getting started:

Christian with a new-found friend:




Brittany Hargest CD – review and giveaway **CLOSED**


The winner of my contest is Stephanie over at


I used to choose the winner.  She will have 24 hours to get back with me after that I will choose another winner.

I enjoy some of the contemporary Christian music out today and with Brittany Hargest’s debut solo CD, Love All the Way, I can enjoy the music without worrying what I’m putting in my or my children’s head and heart. Originally from Jump5 Brittany has gone out on her own and the album is a hit with me and my children. It is lively and upbeat without being overpowering, and is something I would use in my own praise of the Lord. I really like the songs Critical, Miracle and You Met Me. With You Met Me I’m reminded that Christ will meet me where I am – I don’t have to be perfect – I just have to come to Him.

The album has 10 tracks and all are songs in praise to the Creator and His relationship with us.

Slow Motion
You Met Me
I Believe in You
He Can
Like a Fire
Bring the Party
Put It All Together

Now, that I’ve had a chance to enjoy this new album I want to extend the offer to you – so you can win your own copy of the CD for your own listening pleasure. Just leave me a comment for each way you enter along with a way to contact you – contest ends on Friday, November the 4th at 12:00 noon EST.

Tell me one reason why you’d like to win this CD
Follow me on GFC – see sidebar
Follow Brittany Hargest on Facebook
Follow Brittany on Twitter
Tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link to your tweet.
Share on Facebook about this contest and leave me the link to your share.

This contest is linked up at Hip Homeschooling Moms Giveaway Day.

**”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.”


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