Movie Monday: Switched for Christmas

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My favorite type of movie is one that has humor, romance, and a little bit of drama. Switched for Christmas fits the bill on all three counts.

Kate and Chris are identical twins with vastly different lives. Both are jealous of the other, so when one brings up the suggestion to switch places, it gets the ball rolling for a hilarious time of mischief.

Does the other twin have a better life? Kate and Chris are about to find out. Kate is a high-powered real estate developer in Denver, living in a fancy condo with stylish clothes. Chris is an art teacher and single mom living in suburban Littleton. Will they each be able to be the “other one” during the Christmas season with two big projects at stake?

Switched at Christmas is pretty close to the perfect holiday movie. Candace Cameron Bure does a great job playing both sisters. Her daughter, Natasha, is also in the movie as Chris’s daughter.

There were a couple of great themes throughout the movie including loving and appreciating your family, and not taking what you have for granted.

My only suggestion would  have been to “play up” on the lessons the children learned about not taking their mom for granted. It would have been great to see their disrespect at the beginning of the movie addressed more fully. However, if you’re watching this with your tweens and teens, this could be a great discussion starter.

So grab the entire family and enjoy this fun movie that will have you laughing and rooting for each sister. It’s appropriate for all ages, and there is nothing objectionable in it.

I give Switched for Christmas a full five stars out of five. 🙂

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tasty gluten-free chicken pot pie

GF CHicken Header

Before beginning the recipe, remove two packs of gluten free pie crusts (each pack contains two shells) from the freezer. (I use Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pie Crust).

Preheat oven to 350.

Vegetable filling:

In a large pot, mix in a 12 ounce bag each of frozen green beans and corn. Add 1/4 to 1/2 bag of frozen peas. Add water and put on medium heat.

Gravy filling:

1/4 c. butter

4 c. GF broth (I use Swanson’s 33% less sodium chicken broth).

1 1/2 c. milk (I substitute rice milk since our family has cow milk allergies).

3/4 c. gf flour (I like Pillsbury All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend)

Pinch of pepper (optional)

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly mix in milk and broth and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat. Mix in flour, and whisk constantly until thickened.

Add in 20 ounces of baked chicken. (I use Hormel Premium Chicken Breast).

Once the gravy filling and vegetable filling are complete, mix together in the large vegetable filling pot.

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Place two pie shells on a cookie sheet. Pour mixed fillings into two pie shells. Flip the remaining two pie shells over on top of the filled pie shells. Cover the filling completely and pinch the corners of the shells. Be sure to allow gaps for ventilation.

Cook for approximately 35 minutes.  Pies are done when their tops are golden brown.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy.

GF Chicken Pot Pie

What is your favorite gluten free dinner recipe?

 

 

 

Movie Monday – When Calls the Heart: My Heart is Yours

Movie Monday

For several seasons, avid fans of When Calls the Heart have anticipated the marriage between Elizabeth and Jack. Will it happen in this episode?

An order from Headquarters for Jack to assist in delivering a prisoner arrives. Bill decides to help out his friend by taking on the duty. Can he survive the awaiting ambush?

When an accident occurs at the church, will the wedding still continue? And what if Bill doesn’t arrive in time with the rings?

My Heart is Yours features all of the characters that fans have come to love: Elizabeth and Jack; Rosemary and Lee (my personal favorites); Abigail, Frank, Florence, Carson, Bill, Cody, Opal, and Clara, to name a few. Themes of love, courage, devotion, and helping each other in times of crisis abound.

Later in the movie, when  a seemingly “unimportant” mystery occurs, will Bill solve it? Or will he deem it as not worthy of his time? When Philip struggles with seeing the chalkboard in school, the doctor prescribes glasses, but will that cure the real problem?

Rosemary feels her marriage to Lee has hit a rough spot. This part of the movie is perhaps my favorite. It details that there is something special about loving the one God has chosen for you, whether your marriage is in the newlywed phase, a couple of years past that, or decades of long-lasting love spent together with ups and downs.  Marital bliss and satisfaction is not limited to those first “exciting” days and months directly after the wedding vows are spoken. Can Rosemary and Lee solve the rift between them?

My Heart is Yours is another great installment in the When Calls the Heart series. Some episodes are better than others, but all are family oriented, lack the usual distasteful Hollywood fare, and are appropriate for all ages. I give My Heart is Yours a hearty four stars.

Have you seen this movie? What did you think of it?

 

 

Kids write the funniest things!

kids write

Ahhhh….the life of a homeschool mom!

I was going back through some of my two daughters’ vocabulary sentence notebooks from a few years ago. Whether more serious like my oldest daughter, or a goofball like my youngest daughter (who takes after her mom!), their senses of humor certainly came out in their writing assignments.

Here is a compilation, in no particular order, are 13 of the “best of the best” guaranteed to make you laugh taken directly from the real-life vocabulary sentence notebooks…

1. She did not know that they do mathematics in the Delaware militia.

2. The tranquil tortoise uniquely remembers going to a unique university in a different universe to learn how to use a vacuum.

tranquil tortoise

3. The mischievous lieutenant (who had been causing mischief), caught pneumonia a day before he had to pay the mortgage.

4. She is afraid the physician will persist with insistence that she get a porcelain cat.

5. The literate mayor will carry a sapphire into a quagmire.

6. One potato makes a whole plate of french fries. (Very profound!)

7. The fierce flies forgot about the giant foot and their guide got stepped on.  (This one came complete with an illustration!)

8. The mayor looked awfully suspicious when we found him adjacent to the butte in our backyard.

9. The book which you just read (the one that gave you a headache) is substantial.

10. The elephant will be frightened by everybody in the grocery store.

11. The cashier was courteous enough to give me a free chicken.

chicken

12. The president’s spontaneous reaction while trying taxidermy while eating was not pleasant. (He threw up).

13. The laborious cavalier has a quarrelsome leopard that eats dandelions.

Thank you for traveling down memory lane with me. What are some of the funniest things your kids have written?

the importance of voting

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As we embark on yet another election, I’m reminded of why it’s important to vote.

  • Voting is a right not every country has. We are blessed to have a say in who governs us. It is our chance to have a voice in the topics that matter most to us.
  • Voting is our duty to our country. We thank those who died for our freedom to vote by utilizing that freedom.
  • Voting is a privilege. A right. A benefit of living in this wonderful country where men and women have given their lives for this right. I have an old saying that I say each year: “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the outcome.”

My grandma, Nanie, was the trusted investigator for our entire extended family, which included five families, all with the same political leanings. Months before the election, she would thoroughly investigate and see which candidates in all of the races, from local, to state, to federal, espoused our same belief system in the things that were important to our families. My mom and dad showed my siblings and me the importance of voting, as neither ever missed an election.

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So how do you model the importance of voting to your children or grandchildren?

  • From an early age, let your children go with you when you vote if possible. My girls, from the time they were in our double baby-jogger stroller, accompanied me to the voting venue.
  • Express your beliefs and values with your children. Discuss the criticality of voting for those who share your morals and beliefs. What’s most important to you? Where do you stand on life vs. abortion? The Second Amendment? Religious liberties? Taxes? The role of government? What type of candidate do you want to see in the role of leadership? Why?
  • Encourage your children to ask questions. When they are adults, they will have their own opinions, but you can set the foundation for the values you hope they will emulate.
  • Don’t shy away from the hard questions. Your kids are growing up in an increasingly difficult and hostile world. Things we’ve never seen before have suddenly become commonplace. Don’t be afraid to open up the lines of communication, especially with tweens and teens.
  • Go over the sample ballot with them. Our local newspaper prints a sample ballot each election year. Our family sits at the dining room table and discusses the objectives of the candidates, based on public forums, debates, and their websites. Our daughters weigh in on who they would vote for if given the chance.
  • Engage in a mock election. When I taught Constitutional Literacy at our local homeschool co-op two years ago, we had a mock election on everything from president to the city council. We conducted it like a real election – discussing the candidates’ views on the hot-button issues. Each of my students voted in private. We then tallied the scores and watched in coming weeks to see how closely they resembled the real outcome.

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Modeling truth and aligning your beliefs with the Word of God is critical. When your children are grown, they will make their own decisions. What they choose is not up to you, but how you give them the tools to make the right choices is.

Get out there and let your voice be heard!

 

 

the importance of relying on God

Relying on God

Everyday I rely on God for the big things: every breath, health and safety for my family, food, clothing, shelter, my husband’s job, help and healing for my mom, nephew, and niece for their chronic illnesses and pain; and the list goes on.

But what about the seemingly “small” things? The things that some people don’t even give a second thought to? What about relying on God for those things?

Take, for instance, my fear of needles. I have to prepare myself a week in advance for my annual wellness blood draw, and I have to lie down to avoid fainting during the procedure. It doesn’t help they can never find a vein, and that when they do, my little teeny selfish veins refuse to give up blood no matter how hydrated I am. Or the recent crown the dentist put on a cracked tooth. The several needles she used to numb me was traumatic.

But to others, needles are not a big deal. But for those of us with what I call “glitches in our systems” who have strange, but common fears like needles, relying on God to get us through the needle moments is huge.

Relying on God is an essential part of our faith. We need Him. Everyday. He tells us to trust Him, to rely on Him, that He will supply our needs and strengthen us.

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I’m thankful in a way that I do have needle phobia. When my recent crown was completed (my daughters called this my “coronation,” so I have officially been crowned, lol!) the gratitude and humility that washed over me was immense. Tears filled my eyes, as I praised God for yet again getting me through another “needle moment in life.”

Had I not struggled with the crown or the annual blood draw, or the times throughout my life when I’ve had IVs (pregnancy, appendicitis, and a dental surgery), then I would not have been overwhelmed with the gratitude of God’s provision for the small things as well as the big things.

So how do we show our gratitude to our Creator for all that we rely upon Him for?

  • Praise Him often. For everything we know about and everything that He has protected us from that we may not even have realized.
  • Praise Him with sincerity.  True devout humility to the One who gives us our every breath.
  • Praise Him with worship. Praise Him with a song and exalt His holy name. I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

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  • Praise His name when talking to others. Tell them of His wondrous works and how you relied on Him – and He came through for you.
  • Praise Him through a gratitude journal. Keeping track of answered prayers and the times you relied on Him is a good way to help remember all He has done.

What seemingly “small” things have you relied on God for lately?

Movie Monday: Where Love Found Me

Movie Monday

If you only watch a few movies this year, this should be one of them!

A touching story inspired by true events, “Where Love Found Me” takes the viewer into the realities of children living on the streets. When documentary director, Hudson, sets out to make a movie about street children in China, his plans take a different route when he discovers the lives these children live and the dismal futures they face. The truth tugs at his heart, and he seeks to make a change. But will the process threaten his life and the lives of those he seeks to protect?

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Faith, drama, and humor highlight this movie that will bring tears to your eyes, as well as prod you to make a difference in the world for the millions of children worldwide who dream of a forever home through adoption. This is definitely a family movie, and you will find yourself rooting for Hudson, Rubelyn, and the other street children. However, due to the nature of the film, this movie is for teens and up.

The parallel between a man who gives his life for the children and our Savior Jesus Christ is profound in this movie, and reminds us that we are here but for a short time. In that short time, what can we do to make an eternal difference in the lives of others?

My recommendation? Don’t just rent or stream this movie. It’s one to buy for the keeper shelf! I give it a hearty five starts out of five.

More information can be found at the “Where Love Found Me” website.

The trailer for this movie can be found on the website and also at