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, 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


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?