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...

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons 
The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1)
by Paullina Simons 

I have to give it a five, because the book was so passionate, so beautiful, so vivid, that it drew me in and I wasn't able to put it down until I finished.

 I couldn't actually write about this book immediately after finishing it because it was such an emotional thing. I felt bereft when I'd finished the last page and actually kept flipping through the end pages because I couldn't believe it was really over! 

I'm afraid if I share a true review of the book that it will be a major spoiler, but I will tell you it was a powerful novel that made me laugh, that made me hope, that made me cry, and that made me smile, all the way through. If you read this, you will find yourself emotionally invested in the characters and you will have to live the story through to the end.

As far as I know, this is a very historically solid account of WWII Russia during Hitler's invasion, especially the siege of Leningrad.  It was horrific and amazing to live through it with the characters, to know the extent of what the people of Leningrad had gone through.  

For my PG readers, there is some "descriptive language" farther on in the book, but if you are a history buff, this will be a great read for you, because it is phenomenal.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Review of Breaking Point by C.J. Box

Breaking Point is the latest release of C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series.  If you are anything like my family (myself, my husband, my dad), then you have eagerly awaited the next installment, wondering what trouble Joe would find himself in this time!

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett has great love for his family, passion for his calling, and an integrity and honesty that shine through in the toughest situations.  Through each of Wyoming author Box's novels, Joe Pickett, his friends and family have grown in the hearts and minds of his readers, till they've come to life on the page.  You probably don't have to start at the beginning as each of his novels is a standout story all on its own, but I would, so you can get to know and love each character the way that I have.

Open Season (Joe Pickett, #1)Savage Run (Joe Pickett, #2)Winterkill (Joe Pickett, #3)Trophy Hunt (Joe Pickett, #4)Dull Knife (Joe Pickett, #4.5)Out Of Range (Joe Pickett, #5)In Plain Sight (Joe Pickett...Free Fire (Joe Pickett, #7)Blood Trail (Joe Pickett, #8)Below Zero (Joe Pickett, #9)Nowhere To Run (Joe Pickett...Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, #11)Force Of Nature (Joe Picket...The Master Falconer

Breaking Point (Joe Pickett, #13)

Breaking Point (Joe Pickett #13)

It was always good to see Butch Roberson, Joe thought—a hard-working, upright local business owner whose daughter was friends with his own. Little did he know that when he talked to Butch that day, the man was about to disappear. He was heading into the mountains to hunt, he said, but instead he was running. Two EPA employees had just been murdered, and all signs pointed to him as the killer.

As the manhunt organized itself, Joe heard more of the story—about the tract of land Butch and his wife had bought to build their retirement home on, until the EPA declared it a wetland. About the penalties they charged him when he balked, new ones piling up every day, until the family was torn apart by debt . . . and finally, it seems, the man just cracked.

It was an awful story. But was it the whole story? The more Joe looks into it, the more he begins to wonder—and the more he finds himself in the middle of a war he never expected and never wanted. Powerful forces want Butch not just caught, but dead . . . and the same goes for anyone who stands in their way.

My Goodreads Review of Breaking Point:
5 of 5 stars 
I need 6 stars here. C.J. Box is just phenomenal, and this latest Joe Pickett is the best yet. Loved it!

 C.J. Box has also written several novels that are not part of the Joe Pickett series, and they are great as well.  
Stand Alone:
Blue HeavenThree Weeks To Say Goodbye Pronghorns of the Third Reich(I haven't read this one yet)

Cody Hoyt Series:
Back Of Beyond (Cody Hoyt, #1)The Highway (Cody Hoyt, #2) (I haven't read this one yet!) 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

French Toast in a Mug!

Thank you CafeMom!  In this post, "Do You Blog?", I found this fabulous recipe for French Toast in a Mug on A Chick Who Can Cook!

Now, being me, you know I had edits on the board before I finished reading the recipe, because that's just what I do! :)

1 teaspoon room temperature Butter
1 egg
3 Tablespoons Milk
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Drop of Vanilla
2 Slices of Bread
My Adds:
Sprinkle of Nutmeg
Spoonful of Neufchatel (Cream Cheese would work)
2 Tablespoons full of frozen blueberries
Spoonful of Instant Coffee  (yes, I do seem to love that stuff, don't I?)

My butter was not even close to room temp, since I keep it in the freezer, so I cut off an estimated teaspoon, and popped it in the cup in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  It was still rock hard, so I went another 30 seconds, and spread it around the inside of the cup with a spatula.

 Then I added the egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, instant coffee, and nutmeg to the cup and mixed well with my fork 

before adding the cream cheese and blueberries.

Bread was last - I cubed it, then mashed it down and mixed it well with a fork till it was all gooey :).

I zapped it in the microwave for 1 minute, but it wasn't done (maybe because of the cream cheese?), so I put it in for almost another minute by the time it cooked.

I skipped the syrup since I had cream cheese and blueberries, and it was absolutely delicious! :)

 Definitely a quick and easy recipe, but great tasting as well!  Kudos for this one! :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Chicken, Black Bean, Pineapple Enchiladas

This recipe was adapted from one I found in Candace Cameron Bure's book, Reshaping It All:  Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness (co-author Darlene Schacht).  It looked so good that I had to try it, but I returned the book to the library yesterday, so I just remembered the basic ingredients and went from there.  I will mention that I absolutely hate red enchilada sauce.  Not sure why, but it has never been my favorite thing.  Therefore, when I make enchiladas, I generally invent my own sauce, and, healthy or no, I usually gravitate toward a cream based version. 

I really like the creaminess and flavor of enchilada sauce made with cream of mushroom soup, with plain yogurt instead of sour cream, and a little neufchatel cheese for some thickness and flavor.  One thing that I generally always cook with, especially when making enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, etc., is cilantro.  I love my cilantro and wield it generously throughout my kitchen, but I haven't been grocery shopping since we got back from vacation and we don't have any! :(  I think these are still going to be very good enchiladas, I am just a big fan of cilantro...ah well, next time they will be even better!

Chicken - I had probably 4 pounds of chicken to work with here
Black Beans - 2 cans
Pineapple Tidbits (Crushed would probably work too, would just have more juice), drained - 1 Large Can
Rice - I made 2 cups for the amount of chicken that I had
Olive Oil for sauteeing
 Garlic - I use the refrigerated kind from the grocery store because it keeps better than fresh

Green Chiles
Cream of Mushroom Soup - 1 can
Plain Yogurt - about 2 cups
Neufchatel - 1/2 - 1 package
Pepper (No salt because the soup is salty)
1/2 lid (a Tablespoon or two) of instant coffee - don't laugh, it adds a depth of flavor and I use it quite often
Milk to thin the sauce - to the consistency you want

I cooked my chicken ahead of time, actually boiling it in a little water till it was white and tender all the way through.  After it cooled, I transferred the pieces of meat into a bowl and double fork shredded them, using the chicken water to cook my rice, giving it a little extra flavor.

 I had pulled my tortillas from the freezer the night before so they could thaw, and I made sure they were ready before going on the rest of the prep work.  I chopped a green pepper (and a half, because we had an extra half just lying around), and dropped it in the skillet to take a spin through the olive oil.  I pulled it out and dropped it into the bowl with the chicken, then chopped my onion, cooking it in a little olive oil till translucent.  You can see where I added the garlic on top of the onions in the last picture.

 I really struggled to get a picture of the onions in the skillet, and the light was just too dark, so here they are, all cooked and ready to go!

I drained my pineapple (when cooking with pineapple, the juice is my favorite treat), and my beans, and dumped them all into the chicken mix. 

 Adding the rice, I mixed this all together really well, then set it aside to go make the sauce.

 I "borrowed" some of the onions for the sauce, and put them back into the skillet with some garlic, green chiles, a can of cream of mushroom soup, half a container of plain yogurt, a package of neufchatel (actually I only had a little over half a package), pepper (no salt needed because the soup is salty), paprika, and instant coffee, stirring until the cheese melted and it became thick and bubbly. 

 Then I added some milk to thin and smooth it out a little, mixing it and cooking it some more until it was well blended. 

 Sometimes I make "lasagna like" layers with my enchiladas, which is what I did in the freezer batch (yep, this recipe made enough that I made a huge pan for my family, and an aluminum steamer pan full to freeze for another time).  This time I filled each tortilla with the mixture, a little sauce, and some cheese, then I covered the whole pan with another layer of the mixture, some sauce, and some shredded cheese.

I'll try to post some pics of my family enjoying this meal if it isn't devoured to swiftly for photos!

Have a great time with this recipe, and share some comments about how your family liked it, or any tailoring that you did!