Our family enjoys eating the new crop of apples each autumn, but one of the foods we most especially enjoy using apples is...Apple Pancakes!
We've made other types of unusual pancakes in the past, like Banana Pancakes, etc., but they haven't ever gone over as well as our favorite Apple Pancakes.
There are two things we do that help make Apple Pancakes so delicious:
First, we wash, peel,and grate an apple, and blend it into the pancake batter recipe of our choice, along with 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon.
Second, we make Apple Pancake Syrup!
The other day, I decided to make a quadruple batch of Apple Pancake Syrup so we could freeze three batches of it for other Saturday mornings. I noticed that when I make a single batch of the syrup, it's finished from start to end in under 10 minutes. Not too bad for a fruit syrup! But when making a quadruple batch, it definitely took longer for the syrup to come to a rolling boil. That's okay. I had the time to do that this last Saturday.
Interested in the recipe for Apple Pancakes with Apple Syrup? Here you go:
Apple Pancakes with Apple Syrup
Apple Pancakes: You may use any pancake recipe you prefer! We haven't tried this with pancake mixes, because we prefer homemade pancakes, but feel free to give it a try if you aren't used to making your own pancakes from scratch. Here's a fairly simple pancake batter recipe:
2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour (or combination of each)
1-1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 peeled, grated apple
Beat egg with hand beater until fluffy; beat in remaining ingredients, except for grated apple, just until smooth. With spatula, fold grated apple into mixed batter. For thinner pancakes, stir in additional 1/2 cup milk. Grease heated griddle if necessary. (To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles skitter around, heat is just about right.)
For each pancake, pour about 3 Tbsp. batter from tip of large spoon or from pitcher onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around edges. Flip pancakes and cook other sides until golden brown.
Makes eighteen 4-inch pancakes.
"Only God could tell a story this ludicrous and then claim that it’s true,” says Steven James, who penned Story, which makes the Bible come alive in provocative and poetic ways, encapsulating the mystery and beauty of the Christian story.
James, a professional storyteller from East Tennessee, grew up in the church but fell in love with Jesus at age 21 on Easter Sunday at his bosses’ church.
I couldn't really tell to what ages this book is geared, but I believe that high schoolers and adults would find it most appealing, although some jr. highers might also like it.
There were some phrases, occasionally, that really made me think. This is quite the philosophical book, one that takes a different glance at many parts of the Bible and places them into different perspectives than a person would typically hear about in Sunday School.
I think this would be a good book to read as a family, together, and discuss the many nuances and points that the author is trying to make. If you are interested in having family discussions about the Bible, Story will give you a great start in that direction.
Here's the excerpt:
If you are reading this via email or RSS, you may want to click on the title of this blog post to get back to my website so you can sign up for the giveaway.
The protagonist, Vitas, is reunited with his wife and retires to Alexandria, determined to live a quiet domestic life. But he can’t avoid the debts that he owes to the men who saved him, and he becomes a key figure in the plot to rid the empire of Nero. It sweeps him into the “year of the four emperors,” when the Roman Empire is nearly destroyed, and takes him back to Jerusalem as Titus lays siege to the great city. Only then, as the prophecy of Jesus begins to come to fulfillment, does Vitas discover the true mission set before him and the astounding conspiracy behind it.
Here's an excerpt from The Last Temple:
Joy In Our Journey's Review:
No swearing, no passionate love scenes, nothing inappropriate at all here for me to read. I feel very comfortable allowing my junior high and high school-aged daughters reading this book. Keep in mind, though, that nearly any book written at the time of Nero and this phase of the Roman Empire is going to be bloody. Crucifixions and mentions of other types of torture take place, so be aware of that. I felt that the details were described without overly tremendous amounts of blood and gore.
What I enjoyed most about this book is that the authors took great care to show the emotions and actions of the characters without telling me.
Now I need to find books 1 and 2 and begin reading them!
If your book club enjoys discussion guides as you read books together, you will find The Last Temple discussion guide HERE.
Meet the Authors:
Hank Hanegraaff serves as president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina–based Christian Research Institute International. He is also host of the Bible Answer Man radio program, which is broadcast daily across the United States and Canada as well as around the world through the Internet at http://www.equip.org.
Widely considered to be one of the world's leading Christian apologists, Hanegraaff is deeply committed to equipping Christians to be so familiar with truth that when counterfeits loom on the horizon, they recognize them instantaneously.
Sigmund Brouwer Whether writing youth or adult fiction, Sigmund Brouwer is a best-selling author of more than 40 fast-paced novels. Some of his works encourage young reluctant readers into the world of books, and others provide adults with riveting tales. Sigmund's diverse background surfaces in the characters of his books as he inspires kids to get excited about reading.
In 1993, he co-founded The Young Writers' Institute with home education expert and author Debra Bell and conducts writing camps and seminars for more than 10,000 children every year.
And now for the giveaway:
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation has been provided.
Learning from the County Fair
As a mom, I've learned that entering items into the county fair is a great motivator to help children hone their skills and develop interests. One of my daughters loves learning things just for the sake of learning. The other daughter is more of an entrepreneur and has a competitive spirit, so she enjoys entering things into the fair to earn a little bit of money from prize ribbons...and to receive verbal praise from others. This is just how God made them.
Whatever their motivation may be, I have found that when they are practicing baking something or arranging flowers or working on a sewing project, since they know it will be entered into the fair later, they are more dedicated and focused on "getting it right."
Letting our children make choices
Each year, I've allowed my girls to decide what they would like to enter into the fair for exhibits and contests. There have been years where I've encouraged them to do or make something different, but sometimes they end up sticking with their first choice, and that's okay.
Brittany joined a local 4-H cooking club this last fall. Her leader has been a friend of ours for many years. It was a great group of girls, and Brittany practiced cooking many recipes this year at home on her own that she hadn't tried before.
This spring, she decided that she wanted to enter the Tablesetting contest at the county fair. She has loved all things Japanese for a number of years now, so she decided to go through my box of Japanese articles that I was given when I spent ten days touring Japan and staying with host families many years ago when I was a teacher.
Below is the finished product! After the judge "judged" the appearance of the table setting, Brittany and the judge moved the table to a platform for county fair guests to view. This picture was taken after the table was moved, so a few items had jiggled out of place. But at least, you get the point!
Brittany was in the "Junior" category for 4-H Tablesetting, so her menu needed to be a breakfast menu. She chose traditional Japanese breakfast foods for her menu, so this is nothing like what you would see at a typical American's breakfast table!
We needed to purchase a few things for her table. Obviously, any prize money she would win from her ribbons for this contest will not compensate for any expenses we put into the tablesetting itself. But that's okay. Brittany learned a lot about how to arrange a table, and I even learned a thing or two from the experience! I didn't know that the area in which one person's tablesetting pieces are placed is called a "cover," and I didn't know that the length and width of the "cover" is supposed to be within certain guidelines. We learned a lot as we read about how to properly set a table.
For this table setting, we needed to purchase two white napkins, a stand for the menu, Japanese white tea cups, miso soup spoons, black lacquered miso bowls, a tall white stem of cherry blossoms (silk flowers), a vase ($1 from Dollar store), and a wooden Kokeshi doll. We'll use the white fabric napkins each year that she participates, and if she uses a Japanese theme again in the future, you can bet that some of these items will show up again! (We'll also use some of these items in our kitchen during the year!)
Next, she had fifteen minutes to set up and arrange her table. She's ready to go! She measured the sides of the tablecloth with a ruler to make sure that each side was evenly placed on the table. She wiped each dish and serving piece with a clean towel to remove smudges. She worked hard to keep her back facing away from the judges, so that they could clearly see her work. When she finished, she checked her time on the watch that she wore. If I remember correctly, she still had about a minute left when she finished. Great job, Brittany!
Now that her table setting was finished, it was time to sit down and chat with the judge. This particular judge regularly helps judge the State Fair competition, so she really knows what she is doing.
Brittany found her to be serious and yet kind. She had many helpful suggestions for Brittany, which we appreciated. One of the confusing aspects of this Japanese breakfast table setting is that it was difficult for us to figure out ahead of time how the chopsticks and other serving pieces should be arranged on the table. The competitors are given a packet that explains how to properly set the table, but it doesn't take into account foreign place settings. After researching on the internet, Brittany decided to place her chopsticks like you see in the photos above and below. I encouraged her to place them in a more traditional manner, as they would be placed in Japan, but she chose to place them where silverware would be placed.
The judge felt that Brittany should have placed the chopsticks in a more traditional manner, but her concept of this was very different from what we researched and viewed about Japanese tablesettings. The method in which the judge was explaining how to place the chopsticks was more like what a person would do in Thailand and China, not Japan.
If Brittany chooses to do a Japanese-themed table setting next year, we'll do more research into how to properly set a Japanese table.
Brittany was nervous as she started setting up her table, but she ended with a smile. She listened carefully to the judge's words, and took them to heart. Brittany ended up receiving a blue ribbon and a Reserve Champion ribbon for this particular contest. Way to go, Brittany!
Brittany, Part 2: The Mini-Meal Competition
The competitor, or team of two, has two hours to set up all of the equipment, supplies, and ingredients to make two recipes; prepare the foods; set a table for the judge; present the food to the judge; present samples to the audience; and clean up the kitchen. Whew! You can see the judge sitting outside the kitchen, viewing Brittany through the window. This was challenging for Brittany, to have the judge right there watching her, but she endured.
While the Mini-Meal competition was new to Brittany, it wasn't new to me. My twin sister and I competed in the Mini-Meal competition a number of times in our jr. high and high school years. It was always a great experience!
Brittany decided to continue the Japanese theme for the Mini-Meal competition. She selected two Japanese foods to prepare: okonomiyaki (Japanese veggie/meat "pancake"), and chicken yakisoba (chicken and noodle dish).
She had a lot to do to prepare for the contest. She observed YouTube videos to see how these foods were made, and to obtain recipes for them. We needed to purchase some of the ingredients in an Asian market about three hours away from our home. Thankfully, we drove past this city earlier in the summer when we were out of town.
Next, Brittany needed to practice the recipes. They were both time-consuming because they required lots of chopping of vegetables and meats. However, they were delicious, so we really enjoyed having her practice on us!
Brittany painstakingly wrote out a step-by-step set of directions for herself so she would stay on track. She also figured out the cost of each recipe as a whole, and as an individual serving. In addition, she studied 4-H's required nutrition guides, using the food pyramid, and MyPlate, even though our own family chooses not to follow the USDA's nutrition suggestions.
She also made a large poster that contained both recipes, one of the requirements for the contest. She filled out paperwork for the judge and brought it with her.
Here's what we learned from this experience:
1. Select foods that aren't so time-consuming to prepare.
2. Select recipes that aren't so expensive to prepare.
3. Have the child pack her boxes of supplies and foods so she is confident that everything is packed and brought to the county fair. (I packed her boxes this time because it was late at night and she needed to get some rest.)
How did it go? Well, Brittany had trouble finding a few items she needed at the beginning of the contest, so her nerves got the best of her for the first 30 minutes or so. However, she pulled herself together and was able to prepare her foods and finish well. I'm so proud of her participation in the Mini-Meal contest. There were only two other competitors this year. It is not an easy contest!
The judge had fabulous tips and pointers for Brittany. Most of these I've mentioned to Brittany in the past, but cooking and food safety skills take time to develop. The judge complimented her and told her that she sees Brittany doing great things in the future as a cook! Brittany was beaming by the time she finished chatting with the judge. I'm thrilled that even though Brittany was very nervous and almost overwhelmed at the beginning, she endured and came out with a smile! She won a blue ribbon for her participation in the Mini-Meal contest.
Kelsi's participation in our county fair:
Yeah, I know that's most people's #1 most hated thing to do - to get up and speak in front of others - but Kelsi thrives on public speaking.
So, I let her work on this for the summer instead of focusing on other learning projects.
She entered all three categories that she was allowed to enter for 4-H Public Speaking:
1. Illustrated Talk: Kelsi gave a 20-minute speech using PowerPoint about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the need for a Parental Rights amendment for the U.S. Constitution.
2. Public Speaking: Kelsi gave a 10-minute speech on the positive character qualities of Batman and why she admires this superhero.
3. Impromptu: Kelsi was handed a topic on which to speak for 3-5 minutes. She forgot to keep track with her stopwatch/wristwatch, so she accidentally spoke for over 7 minutes. Oops! I guess she has the opposite problem of most people who are attempting to give an impromptu speech!
What did we learn from Kelsi's participation in the fair?
1. She spent so much time researching, reading, and learning about her topics that she allowed herself almost no time for social interaction with her friends. While she was doing something positive and educational, social time with friends is also important. Next summer, we will work on including a lot more time with friends and possibly less time working on speeches.
2. This is Kelsi's gift! She loves public speaking, and God has gifted her.
Kelsi earned blue ribbons on all three speeches, as well as two reserve champion ribbons. She also earned the overall grand champion ribbon for the entire speech category. I loved listening to her speeches, and I can't wait to see how the Lord will use this in her life in the days to come!
Helping the girls to prepare for the county fair, even though they do most of work themselves, is exhausting to me. I am always so thankful when it is over! Yet each year, they continue to participate because they learn so much from what they enter and exhibit. I'm very thankful for our county's commitment to 4-H and encouraging teens and youth to participate in the county fair each year.
I've learned a lot as a parent, when it comes to entering the county fair contests:
1. For baked goods, no matter how much better the item will taste if it is a little bit underbaked (think gooey chocolate chip cookies), the judge will mark it down. Make certain the baked good completely fulfills the requirements of being 100% cooked thoroughly. Even though your family and friends prefer it otherwise. Trust me on this one!
2. For food exhibits, select less common recipes that will often have fewer entries. For example, if you enter chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies or brownies, there will usually be a lot of entries, especially in the open class/non-4-H competitions. Make a nutty cookie, or something with oatmeal or coconut. Place it in a different category that isn't so common.
3. Keep in mind that each year's judge will have different preferences. While the judge's dislike for coconut shouldn't influence her judging of baked goods containing coconut, it probably will. That's just how things go sometimes. If you find that the judge hates chocolate, you may find your baked item containing chocolate may not do as well. There's no way to determine ahead of time how this will all come into play, so just make what you enjoy making, and have fun entering it regardless of the outcome!
4. Allow children to make decisions on what they would like to enter at the county fair. If they love building with Legos, they can enter a Lego work that they've designed. Photography, sewing, hand crafts, collections, sketching, painting, cake decorating, baking - the sky is the limit!
5. Keep in mind that even though this will probably be a stressful few weeks in preparation and actual participation at the county fair, it will be well worth it. Your children will learn so much! They will grow from this experience! It's definitely worth it for both the children and the parent!
What kinds of things have your children entered in your local county fair? What have you, as a family, learned from this experience?
I played the piano and clarinet for many years; one of my daughters plays violin while the other plays piano.
This summer, I read an excellent book written by Marcia Washburn, called Talent to Treasure: Building a Profitable Music Teaching Business. I don't often read non-fiction books due to lack of time, but Marcia's book was perfect for my family's stage of life right now!
Marcia Washburn has written a top-notch book that teaches teens and adults how to build a profitable music teaching business. Keep on reading to learn about the new giveaway I'm having here at Joy In Our Journey.com for a copy of this book! (If you are reading this via RSS or an email feed, you'll want to click on the title to come back to my website so you may enter the giveaway!)
Marcia Washburn, BA, MME, is a seasoned piano teacher, writing with authority about a subject she knows intimately and loves passionately— connecting people with music. She has operated a successful piano studio in NE Colorado for over forty years.
In demand as a speaker at conferences and events across the nation, Marcia also writes columns for two magazines and has published several books and ebooks. You may learn more about Marcia's projects at www.MarciaWashburn.com.
Brittany, age 12, was asked to teach beginning piano lessons to the little violinist's sister, because her piano teacher doesn't teach piano during the summer.
Marcia's book, Talent to Treasure, arrived at our home just in time! The 141-page guide was easy to read and is very practical, unlike so many "how to" books these days. I read it quickly and gave my girls a few pointers as they began teaching lessons. While they aren't technically developing a music studio in our home and starting a business right away, they will both continue to teach beginning violin and beginning piano during this school year. They have enjoyed teaching music lessons very much - and they have learned a lot.
If you, one of your children, or someone you know is musical, and they may consider teaching music lessons in the future, I highly recommend that you consider reading Talent to Treasure. It's very much worth the purchase price. It will help the new music teacher start off her business right, without having to learn so many things by trial and error.
Here are some of the topics addressed in Talent to Treasure:
• How to recruit and retain students
• How much to charge for lessons (& how to be sure you get paid!)
• How to select a “balanced diet” of music for your students
• How and what to teach in the first lesson
• How to teach using learning styles—how to be a people teacher first!
• Great practicing tips—& strategies for dealing with students who don’t!
• How to deal with memorization, performance jitters, & more
• Reaching & teaching special needs students—from challenged to gifted
What we thought was helpful:
During the school year, I plan on having my girls read the various chapters in this book and discuss them with me, so they can see long-term reasons for developing a music studio or music business in specific ways. I think this book will benefit our family for years to come!
Talent to Treasure targets those who want to share their love of music with
others. It addresses the whys and hows of building a home business that blesses others without negatively impacting the family. It is proving to be a valuable resource for rookie and veteran teachers alike.
Now, for the giveaway:
If you'd like to go ahead and order a copy of this book for yourself, Marcia is offering a special price right now through August 31st, 2012. Talent to Treasure normally sells for $19.99 plus $4 for shipping/handling, but she is offering this very useful book for $15.99 (+$4 S/H) price, ending August 31st. If the winner has already ordered a book from Marcia this month, she will refund your purchase price and S/H, so the winner will have nothing to lose!
Seriously, if you or your children play musical instruments and are building toward the advanced level of the instrument, I do highly recommend purchasing Talent to Treasure. I don't say that for every book I review here on Joy In Our Journey, but this is a very practical, useful book that will benefit anyone who will ever teach music lessons to another student, whether it is a full-fledged music teaching business, or a person only has a couple of students.
Lorena McCourtney has published forty novels. Two of her novels, Invisible and On the Run, have received Daphne du Maurier Awards of Excellence. Two of her earlier novels, Forgotten and Whirlpool, were RITA finalists. She and her husband Jim live in southern Oregon.
You'll find a book excerpt and a book club guide
toward the bottom of this book review!
All she wanted was a paycheck. What she got was a murder.
Cate Kinkaid's life is . . . well, frankly, it's floundering. Her social life, her career, her haircut--they're all a mess. Unemployed, she jumps at the chance to work for her PI uncle, even though she has no experience and no instincts. After all, she is just dabbling in the world of private investigating until she can find a "real" job.
All she has to do for her first assignment is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? But when she reaches the dark Victorian house, she runs into a hungry horde of gray-haired mystery readers and a dead body. This routine PI job is turning out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?
I had an extremely busy week with the girls and their exhibits and contests at our local county fair, and then we had over 30 people at our home to visit some out-of-country guests on Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, by the time Monday morning rolled around, I was exhausted. I hadn't planned on reading Dying to Read in one day, but I was not feeling well most of the day and needed to sit down and rest.
At first, I wasn't really excited about Dying to Read. It wasn't boring, but it was a mystery, and I don't read a lot of mysteries. As well, this book had comedy and a slight bit of romance woven through it as well, and the level of words and paragraphs isn't quite like I'm used to (a bit deeper in content is more what I prefer...but not too deep!). Most of the characters were telling lies throughout the book, so as I got deeper into the story, it became fun to figure out who was telling the truth - and who wasn't. By the time I finished reading Dying to Read, I had a good laugh or two, figured out some of the "whodunit" before the last page, and just all in all enjoyed reading this book. It is light reading, but fun! And while there are a few romantic threads woven in the book, I love how the author, Lorena McCourtney, chose to leave it with a kiss on the cheek, a hug, and maybe one other quick kiss, and not cross the line into inappropriate romantic details. Well done! And a fun read!
An excerpt from Dying to Read:
Book Club Discussion Guide:
Dying to Read is available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller - from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received one paperback copy of Dying to Read in exchange for my honest review of this book. No other compensation was provided.
Almost Amish ~ Book Review
Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California. Visit her website:
Lisa wants to do a summer segment with a “typical” American family living near an Amish community and attempting to emulate the way the Amish people live. It is a challenge to most American families, but Susan persuades Julie and her children to join her in the venture. She feels it is her way to set herself up for many more opportunities in the future and thus, be able to keep her daughter in the best schools and maintain her life-style without having to depend on someone else.
The two women and three teenagers arrive at their appointed new home, which does little to meet their expectations in any way. But because of their commitment to the program, they set about to make the very best of it. They begin by cleaning the house meticulously (Susan is much, MUCH more particular about this than Julie), planting a garden in the space they have prepared, caring for the animals that come with the farm, and learning to cook and do laundry on primitive equipment. This becomes a huge challenge and one that leads to many conflicts and personality flare-ups. Amongst all this they are introduced to several interesting people who can make their lives miserable or become a special blessing. The children are extremely reluctant at times, but at other times, overcome their fears and learn to accept what they are doing for this short period of time.
This is a story about changing lives, changing attitudes, learning about forgiveness in a real way, and blessing others by their actions. At times the story is somewhat unbelievable, but at others, it sets a tone to be greatly admired and gives the reader much to think about. There are both tears and laughter throughout the book, but some very serious occasions occur which lead to extremely teachable moments for all the characters. A good read.
Here's an excerpt of "Almost Amish":
Would you like a Reading Group / Book Club Guide? Here you are:
Readers' Discussion Questions for Almost Amish:
- Amish life is much more difficult than modern life in so many ways. Why do you think many modern women envy this lifestyle?
- Name three things about modern life you would be more than happy to give up. Name three that you couldn't do without.
- Were your parents more like Julie, who trusts her kids to find their own way, or Susan, who believes that kids need to be pushed to achieve their potential? Which kind of parent are you (or which kind do you think you will be)?
- There is a fine line between pushing yourself (and your kids) too hard, and being lax. How do you try to differentiate between the two?
- Susan had always envisioned herself as the quintessential wife and mother. When her marriage fell apart, a large part of her self-esteem began to erode. From which of your strengths do you derive the most self-worth? What would happen if that suddenly fell apart?
- Do you consider yourself more of a Susan, type A, in control person, or a Julie, type B, pushed around by the type A's person?
- Can you think of a God-given gift or talent that you possess but have been too busy to use?
An interview with the author, Kathryn Cushman:
I was provided with one paperback copy of Almost Amish in exchange for Joy In Our Journey's honest review. No other compensation was provided.
Brand new: Comedian and author, Jeff Foxworthy hosts this studio-based game in which contestants compete based on their knowledge of the Bible. Utilizing current as well as historical references, questions will be drawn from the rich, dense narrative found in the world's best-selling book. The contestants will share their compelling back-stories, and each team will be playing for a charitable organization. The American Bible Challenge is produced by RelativityREAL for GSN, with RelativityREAL’s Tom Forman (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) and Embassy Row’s Michael Davies ("The Newlywed Game," "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire") serving as Executive Producers on the project.
You'll find a giveaway and links toward the bottom of this post, so if you are reading this through a reader or email, you'll want to click back to the actual post to enter the giveaway!
I was a bit suspect at first. Some people try to make the Bible uber-relevant by making it "so cool" that it's a turn-off to most people who know the Bible well. The key to having a successful show like this on television would be to demonstrate that the Bible is what it really is: the true words of God, relevant to our daily lives even in this day and age, and that it should be treated with respect.
Our family watched the preview tonight, and we were impressed that The American Bible Challenge has been specifically designed to be relevant without being disrespectful of God's intent of His words. While there is some very funny and creative humor during the show (how could there NOT be humor with Jeff Foxworthy hosting!), and we laughed numerous times, there are also poignant elements of the show that will cause a person to reflect and purpose to get involved in blessing others.
So. How does The American Bible Challenge work? Various teams have been selected to compete on the weekly series, but the neat thing is that if they win, they won't be walking away with a bunch of cash and prizes for themselves. Prize money that they win will go to a charity of the team's choice. What a fabulous idea! Instead of being self-serving, "all about me", it's designed to bless others. How could you get any better?
Our overall thought is that we wish we would be able to view this show at home this school year. Unfortunately, it's on a television channel we don't receive, but maybe we can visit their website during the year and watch a few episodes that have already viewed.
Other thoughts from my family? Funny! Creative! A high quality program!
About the host of The American Bible Challenge: Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is the largest selling comedy-recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy® Award nominee, and the best-selling author of 11 books. Widely known for his redneck jokes, his act goes beyond that to explore the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature.
The American Bible Challenge premieres Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 on the Game Show Network (GSN).
Here's a little video preview of The American Bible Challenge:
Meet this season's teams!
Now, for the giveaway of The American Bible Challenge t-shirt AND a Zondervan Quest Study Bible!
Adam and His Kin, by Ruth Beechick
Adam and His Kin: a worthwhile read - or not?
We've been educating our children at home for 11 years now, and I've heard of this book, Adam and His Kin for about 10.999998 years - almost as long as we've been homeschooling.
I've owned the book for at least five years, so this summer, we decided to read it together as a family alongside our evening family Bible time.
Why read it together? The girls are now 12 and 14, and they could have easily read it by themselves.
Well, we decided to read it together because I've heard a few people say over the years that Adam and His Kin is a made up, fictional story, and that it disrespects the Bible.
We decided to find out!
Before we read the book together, I decided to read the book by myself and match it up to the actual passages in Genesis that accompany each chapter:
| || |
Chapter 1: Genesis 1 and 2
Chapter 2: Genesis 3:1-7
Chapter 3: Genesis 3:8-24
Chapter 4: Genesis 4:1-16
Chapter 5: Genesis 4:17-24
Chapter 6: Genesis 4:25 - Gen. 5:21
Chapter 7: Genesis 5:22-31
Chapter 8: Genesis 5:32 - Gen. 6:22
Chapter 9: Genesis 7:1-17
Chapter 10: Genesis 7:18-24
Chapter 11: Genesis 8:1-17
Chapter 12: Genesis 8:18 - Gen. 9:17
Chapter 13: Genesis 9:18-29
Chapter 14: Genesis 10:1-9
Chapter 15: Genesis 10:10 - Gen. 11:9
Chapter 16: Genesis 11:10-19
Chapter 17: Genesis 11:20-26
Chapter 18: ---
Chapter 19: Genesis 11:27-32
Why so much controversy about this book?
Here's what I learned from those reviews:
1. Staunch Christians who are opposed to reading Adam and His Kin with their children do not believe it is okay to place any portion of the Scriptures into a narrative form. For example, we do not know all of the conversation that took place between Adam and Eve in the first few weeks of their lives, but Mrs. Beechick writes some conversation that could have realistically taken place between Adam and Eve. If you believe it is absolutely morally wrong to surmise what other details and conversations might have taken place between two biblical characters, then you won't want to read this book.
Mrs. Beechick explains: "Having spent thirteen years writing Sunday School lessons and hearing from concerned teachers that we were adding to the Scripture if the donkey went "clop, clop," it was difficult for me to begin this work. At first, I wrote that "maybe" Adam and Eve walked in the garden on their first day, "perhaps" they enjoyed the flowers, and so forth. Later I realized that I couldn't annoy my readers with "maybe" all through the story. So I have decided to say one big "maybe" here in the preface and hope that will suffice."
She also mentions: "Secular history books do not balk at guessing. It is common for a writer to say that several centuries must have passed because one artifact he examined is stone, while another is copper. Or an archeologist may say that several millennia of development must have preceded his findings because he uncovered some writing or sculpture, and people could not learn to write or sculpt like that in a short time. Events are moved around as needed to fit the preconceived evolutionary idea of history - that man began as a brute and slowly raised himself to a higher kind of life. So if we begin with the preconceived idea that man began as a God-like creature, [meaning he is] made in the very image of God, we, too, should set events in what we believe is their most likely position."
2. The other camp of people who don't like this book are those who don't believe in the 100% accuracy of the Bible, and admit that they are not Christian believers. They feel like this book is full of nonsense that goes against other historical ideas.
What did our family think?
While the style of writing doesn't flow quite as smoothly as some stories or narratives, it was interesting. (If your children are used to only reading the most popular, low-quality/low vocabulary books available on the market these days, they may have more difficulty with the style of this writing.) Mrs. Beechick brings out a lot of details that she has garnered from true historical writings. We recognized many facts and details that aren't necessarily found in the book of Genesis, but are found in historical writings. I remembered many details we read about in our history curriculum, The Mystery of History, Volume 1.
I would recommend that this book be used with children ages 12 and older, who are solidly grounded in their understanding of the book of Genesis. There are bits and pieces here and there which are suppositions, things we can't really know, and she has surmised and added parts in where we don't know all of the facts (the Nephilim, for example, and the "mighty men of old"). Children and teens who are new to Christianity and the Bible, or who don't know much about the true Genesis account, could get confused on which parts of Adam and His Kin are 100% truth, and which are surmised.
Some sections and chapters were more interesting than others. It took us about five weeks to read through the book, one chapter most nights (although we took some of the Olympics nights off).
I know that for me, I will never think of these phrases in the same way as I used to when I would read them in Genesis:
...This is the written account of Adam's line.
...This is the account of Noah...
...This is the account of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah's sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.
...This is the account of Shem...
...This is the account of Terah...
If you've read Adam and His Kin, then you will understand why I list those here. I'm so glad I read this book, and I plan to read it again in another couple of years. This book was on our list of literature books to read with our ancient history studies for this upcoming school year, but because of the controversy surrounding it, we decided to read it ahead of time, together. I'm really glad we did! It caused us to think deeply about what we read in the Bible. We had some good discussions!
Have you read Adam and His Kin? If so, what were your thoughts about this book?
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, The Keeper and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award nominee and is the host of an internet radio show called Amish Wisdom. She lives in California.
Visit her website at SuzanneWoodsFisher.com and follow her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
2 Kindle Fires and 2 Nook Colors
AND hosting a Live Video Chat!
(All the details are below.)
The Haven, by Suzanne Woods Fisher ~ SUMMARY
Schoolteacher Gideon Smucker has been crazy about Sadie since boyhood. But his response to her surprising decision undermines his own reputation--and his relationship with Sadie.
College student Will Stoltz is spending the spring at the Lapp farm as a guard for a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons--courtesy of the Lancaster County Game Warden. Will needs to get his life back on track, but his growing friendship with Sadie threatens his plans.
The lives of these three individuals intertwine, and then unravel as unexpected twists create ripples through the town of Stoney Ridge . . . and through Sadie's heart.
Joy In Our Journey's review:
The Haven is a sequel to The Keeper, which was a wonderful story of an Amish family living on Windmill Farm, near the small town of Stoney Ridge, Pennsylvania. This story has many very surprising twists, even from the first page!
Sadie, the oldest daughter living in the home with her younger sister (Mary Kate), her widowed father, Amos, and their housekeeper, Fern, has just returned from staying with her older sister, Julia and Julia’s husband, Roman, at their home in Ohio. Sadie has returned home with a secret, one not kept for long with a very curious little sister who somehow ferrets out secrets and answers very quickly! It begins by affecting the whole family, then all their friends and neighbors, and all the members of the local Amish community. Sadie feels completely misunderstood and is very sad that her friends have turned against her without even knowing the facts of the situation.
Will Stoltz, a young intern to the local Game Warden, has been appointed to keep track of a falcon family which is laying eggs and apparently will raise their new family on the farm. The falcons are an endangered species and have attracted huge public interest in their new habitat and activities. Will, who has some secrets of his own, is invited to live in a small cottage on the farm and, of course, ends up becoming very attracted to Sadie, a girl unlike any other he has ever known in his “English” world. In addition to his “falcon duties” he is ordered to be useful to Amos with the physical labor involved in keeping a farm up to snuff! He has never done physical labor before and has a lot to learn!
Gideon (Gid) Smucker is the schoolteacher at Twin Creeks Schoolhouse where Mary Kate (M.K.) is a student. He has always intended to eventually court and marry Sadie and is extremely happy she has returned home from her stay in Ohio. He, however, also turns against her as he believes the rumors and lies which have swirled about her since her return to her home.
This is a fast-moving story with much serious discussion over thought-provoking situations, and much humor due to the many antics of the younger sister and her friends (and of some of the adults, like elderly Uncle Hank). The secrets are slowly revealed and resolved in an amazing way. A huge part of the story involves forgiveness on the part and hearts of many of the characters; seeking God’s forgiveness for wrongs committed and discovering how relationships can change drastically when this has been properly practiced from the heart. A great read! The Haven is book #2 in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series.
The Haven is available beginning August 2012 at your favorite bookseller - from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
And now for the giveaway!
Win a Kindle Fire or Nook Color from Suzanne Woods Fisher.
RSVP for "The Haven" Video Chat on Thursday, August 30th, 2012!
Enter today ~ August 13 to August 30, 2012
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 29th. Winner will be announced at Suzanne's Live Author Chat Party on 8/30. Suzanne will be hosting an author chat (party will start on Facebook AND then be Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and several Burt's Bees® Nourishing Radiance Kits!!
So grab your copy of The Haven and join Suzanne on the evening of the August 30th for a fun chat (both on Facebook and via Live Video), trivia contest and lots of giveaways.
General Entry: http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/281849
Party chat: http://www.facebook.com/SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor/app_208195102528120
Video Portion: http://www.facebook.com/SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor/app_208195102528120
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
You'll find me in the kitchen
trying new Trim Healthy Mama recipes, loving God, and carrying out that love as I bless my husband and teen daughters.
Joy In Our Journey on:
Joy In Our Journey's
latest blog posts, freebies, and more!
Joy In Our Journey