Freshwater Academy

Fresh Water Academy was founded in 2010. It is home to four lovely young ladies of learning and their dedicated teachers. Located in the wilds of Wyoming, the name Fresh Water Academy was chosen as a Western analogy to Christ. Just as He is the Living Water, and we must have Him to have eternal life, any desert dweller knows the importance of fresh water to life, both for self, and the nourishment of crops or livestock. By taking nourishment in God and His word, we strengthen our own relationship with Him, our faith, and the quality and abundance of our fruitfulness.

Our keystone verse is from Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 8: "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

The fruit that we speak of is mentioned in Galatians 5:22
"22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

And the heat could be anything we experience that might test our faith in God; trials and tribulations, relationships, anything that focuses our love and attention anywhere but on Him...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sharing a Link - Skeletons in the Closet

This morning I followed a link from a CafeMom post to an absolutely amazing blog entry.  I actually read them in reverse order, since I didn't find the blog till the second entry, but so powerful.

This morning I wanted to share with you 
and

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013 (playlist)

http://www.youtube.com/v/videoseries?list=PLojmBx5CcupkRMJKa7U8AcOfIY-QN54BI&version=3&attribution_tag=JlHFYaYE9TTYcYccqXJAJw&autoplay=0&feature=share&autohide=1&showinfo=1

Friday, October 25, 2013

Crockpot French Toast


I would love to give credit to the original source of this recipe, but that and all of my pictures are locked away in the non compliant computer and I haven't been able to find it again!  I did find this recipe on Pinterest, and it has become a family favorite!   We have had it for breakfast once, but I usually prep it in the morning and plug in the crockpot for an easy supper.

What you will need:
  • Crockpot
  • 1/2 loaf of bread
  • 6eggs
  • 2c. milk
  • 1tsp. cinnamon
  • 1Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1tsp. vanilla

Spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray and cut or crumble your loaf of bread into the pot (I double the recipe because I have a large family).   In a bowl, whisk eggs (I use at least a dozen), milk, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla.  If you add extra ingredients, you can add them here or chop them up and stir them into the crockpot. 

I usually add cream cheese, syrup, and a Tablespoon of instant coffee.  Sometimes we add fresh or frozen fruit or preserves, and this time we added bacon and ham so it was a meaty french toast.  Experiment with your family's favorite flavors and make your own variety!

Pour the mixture over the bread and stir till all the bread cubes are moistened.  This works with your stale, hard bread also.  Put the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for about 6 hours.  Overnight for a premade breakfast, or all day for a yummy breakfast for supper treat!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap

You might remember celebrating the release of The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap way back in September.  This has nothing to do with the book itself, but I was a little disappointed with Amazon, because I thought the point of pre-ordering a book was that it would arrive when it was released!  Finally, more than a week later, my pre-ordered book and my hold from the library arrived at the exact same time, so I went from having no books to having two copies! 

 
 
The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap is a Christmas Anthology, a trio of stories from three separate authors, brought together with a well crafted prologue and polished off with a satisfying epilogue.  I have never before read an anthology by several different authors that entwined the same characters and built upon the relationships and friendships between the stories (though I have read a series that was written this way).  It was absolutely delightful, but I am also one of those people who looks for connections in everything that I read and watch, and am absolutely excited by seeing people or things I have already "met"! 
 
 
I do have to add a caution, for those of you who are milder readers.  I read this book because a friend recommended it, and the stories were fantastic.  However, I generally stick to cozy mysteries, YA or children's novels, and Christian fiction, so there is a lot more steam and heat then I would usually have in a review!  If this offends you in any way, you don't want to read this book, because it is definitely there.


Where There's Smoke by Donna Kauffman

When flames from a recipe gone disastrously wrong send hunky fire-fighter Will Mason to pretty Clara Parker's rescue, the sparks really begin to fly! And once Will gets a taste of Clara, he aches for more than just a little sugar from the famously single food columnist...

The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell

Folks have always told fun-loving Abby Denton that her anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies are...impressive. But those erotic cookies have nothing on the sexy stranger Abby saves from a snowy country road. Could Lander Reynolds be the Christmas treat she's truly been longing for?

Sugar And Spice by Kimberly Kincaid

When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high - and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily's heart - and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?




The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart SwapThe Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, and Kimberly Kincaid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books where I'd like the option of more than five stars! Drawn in from the beginning of the prologue, I dove deeper and deeper into life in Pine Mountain and felt woven into the lives of the characters by the time I'd finished all three stories. I do have to tell you I fell in love with Tennyson, who you'll have to meet in The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell.

The book flamed to life with Clara's story (Donna Kauffman, Where There's Smoke), filled with lots of exciting twists and a lot of heat :). Cookies weren't the only thing heating up in The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell! And I absolutely loved Sugar and Spice by Kimberly Kincaid. I wasn't too sure about her hero, Pete, because he doesn't make a very good first impression when we meet him in the prologue, but she really does a great job bringing these two together!

View all my reviews



I lost a very special friend the week that I read this book, and my heart naturally gravitated toward Tennyson, who is my very favorite supporting character in this entire book, maybe my favorite of all.  It would be a spoiler to tell you who Tennyson is, so you'll just have to read the stories to meet him!







Monday, October 14, 2013

One of THOSE Books!

I had actually planned another review today, but this book embedded itself so deeply into my heart and brain that I couldn't put it aside and concentrate on anything else, so it jumped to the top of my list.

I first noticed this book on the YA shelf at my local library.  I was helping my eleven year old look for a book one day, running different descriptions by her to see if anything sounded interesting.  The cover caught my eye, and I picked it up to check out the blurb.  I thought "That looks interesting.  I'll have to remember it."  I put it back on the shelf that day and several more times, knowing that I had a huge stack of holds and a pretty full calendar to boot!

Thankfully, I have an amazing librarian who understands the siren call of a book and has seen me jump a book to the top of my hold pile more than once. 

Hero by Mike Lupica is one of those books that I would add extra stars to Goodreads for...I was incredibly drawn in, from the moment the book opened, with an impending fight in the middle of a snowstorm.  By the end of the second chapter I felt like I knew Zach Harriman, like I was Zach Harriman, I knew his thoughts, I knew his feelings, and I was part of the story.  I found myself wondering who to trust, trying to read between the lines so I could reach into the story and tell Zach who the real bad guy was!

My favorite line from the entire book had to be "The best liars always know how to use the truth to make their lies seem more real." In the classic battle of good and evil, sometimes the sides are clear and defined, and it is easy to know the truth, but sometimes it's hard to discern where the danger really lies.

This story was an incredible journey of a boy becoming a man, growing in knowledge, growing in strength, in character, and learning who to trust.  The story of his journey to become a Hero. 

 When I finished the book, I just sat there holding it to my chest for a moment, liked I'd run a marathon.  I had to savor my last moments before reality intruded, at which point I turned to my children and said "This is a YA book, it is totally age appropriate for any of you, and I highly recommend it."  But who knows, if they don't pick it up on their own, this could very well end up on our read-aloud list!

Have fun with your literary travels, and if you're up for action, adventure, and a really great read, check out Hero by Mike Lupica!  It's probably at your local library, but if you're in a hurry, here are links for Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Samson "Bubba" Brow

My dad said it very clearly the other day..."It doesn't matter if an animal has been part of your family for 19 years, like Frank (my brother's cat who we lost recently), or a week.  You love that animal and he's become part of your life, and it hurts when he's gone."

So today I take a moment to step back from the humor, the recipes, the book reviews, and anything else that is going on, and just say goodbye to a really wonderful young man who was part of our family for a little over a year.

Samson "Sammy" "Bubba" Brow was born July 12, 2012, to Lancelot and Guinevere.  His father was killed a little over a month before he was born, but there was no doubt in looks or personality that he was Lancelot's baby boy.

Sammy was nicknamed "Some Big Head" as a kitten because he had a huge, fuzzy head that seemed so much bigger than his body!  As he matured, he grew into that head, and his whole body began to look long and lean, like a lion with his flowing mane.

Bubba was definitely a Mama's Boy, cuddling in bed with Paul and I, and snuggling in my chair to "help" me write or type.  I often wore him across my shoulders like a scarf, or carried him draped over one arm like the tiny dogs you see on television.

He,  like Tab, the feline friend of my teen years, turned up his nose at a communal water bowl, and would drink from the tap, my cup, or his own personal cup.  Sammy endured endless teasing about his pretty pink teacup! 

He loved to be petted and cuddled and was almost as patient as his dad when it came to girl cooties and dress up clothes.  He was a purring machine, and was happiest when he was with his family, whom he loved. 

We loved him very much, and his passing leaves a hole in our hearts.  We thank God for his life, and for those furry and fuzzy family members who still bring joy to our lives with their presence. 



When they first arrived...Guinevere and babies, July 13, 2012
(The girls and I were at camp when the kittens were born on the 12th!)
Sammy's parents, Guinevere and Lancelot.  Lancelot was killed just a month or so before the babies were born.


I'm sure you can see why he was called "Some Big Head"!



 Sammy and Bogey were always a good brother team, though they had their moments of rivalry!

 There's a lion in that tree!


Every library needs at least one cat!

First snow of the season!
 

Checking out Nana's Rocking Chair!

"Helping" Mommy with her posts.

That's Mama's Boy!

Investigating the camera









We miss you Bubba.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Samson

Our family is heartbroken today.  I very much want to rant and rage, though I know he shouldn't have been there.  As I watch my girls' tears fall and as I tucked his pretty pink teacup at his side, all I felt was loss and sadness.  Please, please pay attention when you're driving.  Please, please obey the speed limit.  There are people who don't think that speed limits in small towns are important or that you should slow down for that bump in the highway, but what if it was a child?  Would you care then?


Monday, September 30, 2013

Technology

I thought I was finally getting back on track and getting posts up on a regular basis, then spent a week with sporadic on and off (mostly off) internet, and I realized just how much we depend on technology these days!
From my monthly CafeMom Mod goals, to my regularly scheduled blog posts, to looking up recipes, checking email or my bank account, weather, and logging information on My Fitness Pal, I felt very helpless!

How dependent are you on technology today?  If you lose your internet, computer, cell phone, television, are you able to change gears and carry on, or are there things that you actually cannot do, tasks that cannot be completed?


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap Available Today!

The fabulous Kimberly Kincaid's Christmas Anthology,  The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap is FINALLY Available Today!  You can check out the reviews here!

Amazon Description:
For friends Clara, Abby and Lily, only one thing is more delicious than the Pine Mountain holiday cookie exchange – finding the right man before they ring in the New Year!

Here's some information on the book from Goodreads!

Where There's Smoke by Donna Kauffman

When flames from a recipe gone disastrously wrong send hunky fire-fighter Will Mason to pretty Clara Parker's rescue, the sparks really begin to fly! And once Will gets a taste of Clara, he aches for more than just a little sugar from the famously single food columnist...

The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell

Folks have always told fun-loving Abby Denton that her anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies are...impressive. But those erotic cookies have nothing on the sexy stranger Abby saves from a snowy country road. Could Lander Reynolds be the Christmas treat she's truly been longing for?

Sugar And Spice by Kimberly Kincaid

When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high - and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily's heart - and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?



You can also check out Kimberly on Twitter, Facebook, and join the fun at her Release Party for THE SUGAR COOKIE SWEETHEART SWAP!

Feel free to go back and check out Kimberly's Guest Post from her visit in July!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Mandisa - Overcomer

I have heard this song quite a few times, but the video is just so powerful!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Good Morning! This is The Day!

Good Monday morning!  Oh what a beautiful day!  I just wanted to share a smile with you this morning before we all go out and about our days!

Psalm 118:24 

24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAakZ31lT7w


Friday, September 13, 2013

Aquatic Adventures

I've been able to make two visits to the Casper Aquatics Center this summer.  Once, the girls and David and I went swimming while Paul was on his ten days on, and one time the whole family was able to make the trip.

This is a great facility.  The kids love the slides, and I enjoy walking around the Lazy River, while they drift in and out.  I walked 3 miles on my first visit and 2 on my second!  The lap pool isn't really a very good place to swim laps during fun swim, but it's fun to play basketball, and the girls loved crawling on the alligator.

It is very well supervised, with lifeguards that were consistent with the rules and watching all the time.  That's a big point for me, having been a lifeguard, and it was nice to feel that I could relax my guard a little.  The other really great thing is that I can still keep an eye on the kids, while giving them a little freedom.  I can see every part of that complex from the Lazy River, except for when you loop around a tiny corner in the back, so as long as I keep moving and keep watching, I still know where they are and what they're up to!


Did I mention that "Hero Harry" accompanied us on our second visit? :)



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Friendship

Just a moment this morning to shout out a very special Happy Birthday to one of my best "Forever Friends", Michelle Sanecki.  I don't get to see you very often these days, and I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you and celebrating you today!


We've been friends since 3rd grade, when Michelle moved to the neighborhood and began attending Mountain View Elementary.  While there have been times we've lost touch for awhile, she's been my friend through thick and thin, for thirty years!  Thank you Michelle!

I don't have many way, way back photos around, but I thought I would share a few of this fabulous lady :).  I do have to tell you that she's lost over a hundred pounds since even the most recent of these pictures, so she looks a little different now!

We're both in this one!  Fourth Grade, with Mrs. Butts.




Playing on the playground equipment at the park in Laramie with Michelle and the other kids!


Showing Justice her apartment in Laramie...


 The lion and the wolf!  The Wyoming Game and Fish Expo has a lot of fun activities for kids of all ages! :)

Birthday dinner at 303 in Casper -
You can't have spent time with Michelle without learning a lot about canine agility training and spending some time at trials (and hiding in the woods for the dogs to practice air scenting or tracking).

 



Girls' night at the movies with some of my nieces!
All dressed up!  There was some serious dress shopping leading up to this event...

 All ready!








 And you can't think of Michelle, without thinking of this beautiful lady, who was such a special friend.

 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013 (playlist)

Despicable Me 2

We had a family day out on Saturday, and it was a fabulous adventure!  First of all, we headed out to see Despicable Me 2 at the Iris Theater downtown!

Absolutely loved, loved, loved this movie!  What a wonderful family friendly flick!  We laughed till our sides hurt and tears were rolling down our faces!