Sunday, July 24, 2011

Christmas in July at The Craft Barn--until July 31

The Craft Barn

Yay!  Another sale at The Craft Barn!

I just love stocking up on gifts with sales.
Here are some great deals at The Craft Barn until July 31.

15% off everything
Coupon Code: 15july

Here are just a few things that I have purchased for gifts:

Now is the time to get a head start on birthday gifts and Christmas gifts for a loved one.

All orders will receive 15% off with coupon code: 15july until 7/31/11.

Start shopping today: The Craft Barn

**As an affiliate I receive a small percentage from each sale.  Thanks for shopping!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Warrior Prayers Ebook and upcoming challenge

I am SO excited to announce this great opportunity to bless our sons with prayer. Have you heard of the Warrior Prayers Challenge? Last April I discovered Brooke McGlothlin and her great resource to pray specific Biblical prayers for our sons. There is another challenge coming up this fall (September 6-26, 2011) that I am praying about leading a group over at my Milk N Honey blog. If you would like to begin this journey of praying for your sons with the power of God's Word, I invite you to get Brooke's book. Just click on the link below.

only $5.97

Robert Pierre "I'm All In" CD Review/Giveaway

I'm All In

First of all, isn't this high school graduate, Robert Pierre, good looking?  Not only that, he has an amazing voice and sold out love for God!!!  I was privileged to be given the opportunity to review his third and latest release that is coming out on July 26!  It's called I'm All in.  Robert spent the bulk of his senior year writing and recording this album along with leading Sunday worship at his church in Orlando, FL.  This summer he is touring and sharing his message with thousands of young people.  Robert is ALL IN for God.

The minute I popped in this CD and listened to the songs I could hear Robert's heart being completely vulnerable about his love for God and things he has gone through.  Many of his songs are prayers directly to God.  He has incredible maturity for a recently graduated high school student.  He wants his listeners to know that God is right there in all the highs and lows of life.  I love the title track, "I'm All In."  Another favorite is "Maker of the Stars."  His voice and style of music is very uplifting and exactly what I like listening to as I do my chores or while driving in the car.  The lyrics (all written by Robert with the exception of one song and some in collaboration with other songwriters) have a down to earth quality and the repeated phrases are reassuring to a heart that is yearning for God.

Be sure to visit Robert's website:  Listen to "Light the Way."

I'm thoroughly impressed with this young man's work and vision.  I'm excited to offer this CD for a giveaway!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services 
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I 
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: 
“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Win it:  I am having a giveaway for this CD.  Open to US only and giveaway ends Sunday, August 7.

To enter: Be sure to click on all the links before filling out the entry form.

1. Be a follower on my blog
2. Subscribe to my blog by email (link on blog)
3."Like" The Knowlton Nest on Facebook (link on my blog). 
4. "Like" Robert Pierre on Facebook and write something encouraging on his wall!
5. Post about this giveaway on another site (your blog, facebook,twitter, etc) (1 entry for every site) 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rent textbooks and save up to 90%

Do you or do you know of someone who needs books for college, but can't afford to buy them?  Well, is just the place for you.  You can rent textbooks and save up to 90%.  Who needs to buy and keep those textbooks?  I still have tons sitting around that I don't need and don't want.  I spent a chunk of money and could hardly get back what I paid for them.  Renting is just an easy way.  And guess what- FREE shipping both ways!  Sound great?  Check it out today!

Summertime Pantry Challenge #3

This is so much fun trying to come up with recipes with what I already have or using up what we stocked in the freezer:

*Special K Casserole- freezer meal
*Turkey Lasagna (Finding Joy in My Kitchen)- lasagna noodles and cottage cheese to use, homemade pasta sauce from the pantry,  spinach from the garden, I don't like mushrooms so I won't put them in
*Italian Chicken- freezer meal with fun noodles I got at Costco
*Quebecois Chicken (Hospitality Haven) with potatoes
*Cheesy Beef and Rice Casserole- (Hospitality Haven) made with ground turkey

*Honey-Oat Cookies (from Simple Bites)- I used chocolate chips and raw sunflower seeds and cooked for 10 min.  These will be great to take on our plane trip!
*Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies-  I added chocolate chips
*Dark Chocolate Cherry Dessert- (Finding Joy in my Kitchen) I will use semi-sweet chocolate chips,  my husband just picked a bunch a cherries this week!

*Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie-  got to use up some bananas, milk and yogurt

This will be the last of my Summertime Pantry Challenge posts.  I have WAY too much going on and I can't keep up, but I had fun.

5 Favorite Books Week: Day #5 (Love Comes Softly)

Love Comes Softly (Love Comes Softly Series, Book 1)

I think I was in junior high when my mom gave this book to me as a gift.  Love Comes Softly (Love Comes Softly Series, Book 1) is the first book in series of 8 that follows Marty and her family.  I could read this book in one day.  I love stories about life in the covered wagon days that were so simple, yet full of tough reality.  This book is no exception.  But it also contains a lot of emotion and I just love the way Janette Oke shares what her characters are thinking.  I love the "looks" that characters give to each other and this one has a very special love story.  I recommend this whole series and read each one in order.

There, that's it!  My 5 most favorite books.  Are there any that you would want to read?  I hope so.  I want to go back and read these all again real soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

5 Favorite Books Week: Day #4 (An Echo in the Darkness)

An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion #2)

An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion #2) was the first book I read in this series and of the 3, it's my most favorite.  I could actually do away with the other two.  This one makes me cry every time I read it.  This is true love at its best.  If you want to be swept away into another time and place, this is the book for you.  Read this one first!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

5 Favorite Books Week: Day #3 (Vienna Prelude)

Vienna Prelude (Zion Covenant, Book 1)

I'm thoroughly fascinated with European history.  I know it was a tough time for many people and reading about the horrors of WWII are not taken lightly by me, but with a heart that is thankful for the freedom I have.  However, I do enjoy the intrigue and adventure that fiction novels take in bringing this era to life.  Vienna Prelude (Zion Covenant, Book 1) is a much loved book not only for the great historical story, but also for the wonderful love story woven in between.  I actually have the whole series, but this first book is my favorite.  The main characters seem like they are unlikely match, but the romance is page turning!  So pick this book up today and enjoy a thrilling read and don't forget the whole series too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

5 Favorite Books Week: Day #2 (Jamie MacLeod)

Jamie MacLeod: Highland Lass (The Highland Collection, Book 1)

My best friend in high school gave this book to me and it is another one I just couldn't put down. The cover of my book, Jamie MacLeod: Highland Lass (The Highland Collection, Book 1) is very well worn because I have read it so often.  What draws me to a book like this so many times?  This one is about a young girl who grows up in the highlands and eventually starts to work for a wealthy man.  She is torn between two loves and has a desire to become a lady.  There is mystery and adventure.  I haven't read this in a while, hm, might pick it up again soon.  Psalm 121 is throughout this book, but written in the Scottish tongue.  You will really enjoy this book!

Monday, July 18, 2011

5 Favorite Books Week: Day #1 (Tisha)

Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness

This week I'm going to share my 5 favorite books with you.  I would say that Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness by Robert Specht and Anne Purdy is one my most favorite book to read.  I read it about once a year.  The very first sentence grabs me.  What I like about this book is that it is a true story and it's about a teacher.  I was a teacher for 12 years and I love reading about teachers.  There is also a wonderful love story and this book is full of adventure and colorful characters.  I guarantee that you will not be able to put this book down once you start.  I highly recommend that you go to the library and check this book out or just order it for your own.  After I first read this in high school I immediately went to the bookstore and got my own copy.  I now have 2 copies and I loan one out for others to read.  So just in case I don't get it back, I still have one!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Dream by Martha Rogers Book Review/Giveaway

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Realms (June 7, 2011)
***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***


Martha Rogers is the author of Becoming Lucy; Morning for Dove; Finding Becky; Caroline’s Choice; Not on the Menu, a part of a novella collection with DiAnn Mills, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y’Barbo; and River Walk Christmas, a novella collection with Beth Goddard, Lynette Sowell, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. A former schoolteacher and English instructor, she has a master’s degree in education and lives with her husband in Houston, Texas.

Visit the author's website.


This is a new series by Martha Rogers.

“Summer Dream is a sweet, heartfelt, and well-written story about faith in action and a love that never fails. I can't wait to read the rest of this series.”—Andrea Boeshaar, author of Unexpected Love and Undaunted Faith

A Heart in Need of Redemption. An Unlikely Love. And a God Who Can Bring Them Together.

As the daughter of a small-town minister in Connecticut, Rachel Winston fears that the only way she’ll ever find a husband is to visit her aunt in Boston for the social season. But when Nathan Reed arrives in town, she can’t help but wonder if he could be the one.

Although attracted to Rachel, Nathan has no desire to become involved with a Christian after experiences with his own family. What’s more, until he resolves his anger with God and his family, he has no chance of courting her.

When Nathan is caught in a devastating blizzard and lies near death in the Winston home, Rachel and her mother give him a lesson in love and forgiveness that leads him back to his home in the South. Will he make peace with his family and return before Rachel chooses a path that takes her away from him?

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Realms (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616383607
ISBN-13: 978-1616383602


Briar Ridge, Connecticut, February 5, 1888

Why did Papa have to be so stubborn? Rachel Winston stared at the gray clouds outside her window and fought the urge to stomp her foot like a spoiled child. However, young women of twenty years must behave as befitting their age, as Mama so often reminded her. Perhaps she should have shown the letter to her mother first. Too late for that now; Papa would tell Mama as soon as he had the opportunity.

The back door closed with a thud, and Rachel shuddered. Papa had left for the church. His departing meant she needed to finish dressing or she’d be late, and then Papa would be even more upset with her. It wouldn’t do for the preacher’s family to be late for the services.

The paper in her pocket crackled when she moved toward the bed to retrieve her boots. Rachel fingered the crumpled edges of Aunt Mabel’s letter. There was no need to read it again, for she knew the words by heart. Her aunt’s invitation to come to Boston for an extended visit had arrived at a most inopportune time with the winter weather in the northern states at its worst. Even so, she shared the letter with Papa, hoping he might be agreeable to the visit.

A metallic taste soured her mouth, and she swallowed hard in an attempt to squelch it. Papa argued that the unpredictable weather of February made travel from Connecticut to Boston dangerous. If only one of the many Boston trains came to Briar Ridge. Aunt Mabel meant well, but her timing left something to be desired. Papa didn’t even want her going to Hartford or Manchester to board a train. It took over three hours by horseback to make the journey to Hartford—longer in bad weather.

She grasped the wrinkled letter in her hand and pulled it from its resting place. “Oh, Auntie, why did you wait until now to invite me for a visit?” she said to the letter, as if Aunt Mabel could hear her. “Last spring when I graduated from the academy would have been perfect, but you had to travel abroad.” A deep sigh filled her, then escaped in a long breath and a slump of her shoulders.

Aunt Mabel believed that a young woman should go to finishing school before she thought of marriage and had offered to pay for Rachel’s tuition. Papa had frowned on the idea, but her mother finally prevailed. For that, Rachel was most grateful, and she wouldn’t have traded those years at the academy for marriage to anyone. But now that she was twenty, she found that the pool of eligible bachelors in her area was slim to nonexistent.

Going to Boston would have provided the opportunity to meet more young men.

Rachel sat on the bed to ease off her slippers and bent over for the winter boots thatwould protect her feet from the slush. The frozen ground outdoors called for them, but they were not the choice she would have liked to wear to church this morning. Rachel shoved her feet down into the sturdy boots designed for warmth, not attractive appearance.

Of the eligible young men in Briar Ridge, only one came to mind, but then Daniel Monroe didn’t count. His sister had been Rachel’s best friend since Papa came to be pastor of the Briar Ridge church nearly seventeen years ago. Daniel treated her more like his sister anyway. Two years older, and just starting out as a lawyer, he was far more knowledgeable than she, and keeping up a conversation with him took more effort than she deemed it to be worth. Rachel had finished at the seminary with good marks, but Daniel’s conversation interests leaned more toward science and new inventions like electricity and the telephone than things of interest to her.
Rachel’s anger subsided as she pulled on the laces of her boots. As she reflected on her father, she remembered that he loved her and wanted only the best for her. He had promised that when spring came, he’d talk to her about the trip. Until then she would be the obedient daughter he wanted her to be and dream of the trip ahead. The Lord would give her patience, even though that was not one of her virtues.

She smoothed her skirt down over her hips and picked up the letter to place it on the table beside her bed. A response to Aunt Mabel would go out with tomorrow’s mail to express her regrets in not being able to accept the invitation. Papa would probably write to her as well, but Rachel wanted her aunt to know how much she appreciated the invitation.

If Seth were here now, he could give her good counsel. He’d always been the one she’d turned to when things didn’t go well with Mama and Papa. She loved her older brother and missed him, but he’d be home from the seminary in May, and she could talk with him then. Since he studied to be a minister like Papa, he’d most likely leave Briar Ridge if his ministry took him elsewhere after his graduation.

She’d met a few young men while at school, but the strict rules and regulations set forth at Bainbridge Academy for Young Women in Hartford had given her few opportunities to develop a relationship. Not that she would have considered any of them, but she would have appreciated the chance.
Mama called to her, and Rachel hurried to the front hall. She noted the firm set of Mama’s jaw and braced for the scolding that would be in order. “I’m sorry to take so long, Mama.” She grabbed her cloak from its hook.
“You know how your father hates for us to be late to church. It is unseemly for the minister’s family to be the last to arrive.” Mama turned and walked outside, her back ramrod straight.

Rachel breathed a sigh of relief. No time for a scolding now. She set a dark blue bonnet firmly over her hair and fastened the ties. She followed her mother out to the carriage, where the rest of the family waited. As usual, Papa had gone on ahead to open the church and stoke the two stoves to provide heat on this cold winter morning. Rachel climbed up beside her sister, Miriam, and reached for the blanket.

“What delayed you, Rachel? There’s no excuse for not being ready with everyone else.” Mama settled in her seat beside Noah, who had taken over his brother’s responsibilities until his own departure for college next fall.
“Time slipped away from me.” No need to tell her everything now. Rachel tucked a blanket around her legs and glanced at Miriam beside her. Miriam’s eyebrows lifted in question, but Rachel shook her head.

Micah piped up from the front seat. “Did you make Papa angry?”

“Micah! Of course not.” Rachel glanced at her brother Noah and noted the smirk on his face. She frowned to let him know she didn’t approve.
His gaze slid to her now. “Oh, then why did he stomp through the kitchen and ride off without a word to anybody?”

Mama clucked her tongue. “Now, children, it’s the Sabbath. Papa was late and in a hurry to get to the church.” But the look in Mama’s eyes promised she’d speak to Rachel about it later, especially after Mama learned the real reason for the tardiness.

Even though his decision disappointed her, Papa simply wanted to protect her from danger. She should be grateful for his love and concern, not angry because he said no. The promise of a trip to Boston when the weather improved would have to be enough to get her through the remainder of winter.

A recent snowfall still covered the frozen ground. Most of it in the streets had melted into a hodgepodge of brown and black slush caused by carriages and buggies winding their way toward the church. Rachel breathed deeply of the clean, fresh air that seemed to accompany snow in winter and rain in the spring.
If not for the inconveniences caused by ice and snow, she would love this time of year, even when the leafless branches of the trees cracked and creaked with a coating of ice. She gazed toward the gray skies that promised more snow before the day ended. If it would wait until later in the day, she might manage a visit with her best friend Abigail this afternoon.
However, a warm house, a cup of hot tea flavored with mint from Mama’s herb garden, and a good book might entice her to stay home on this cold, winter afternoon. Tomorrow would bring the chores of keeping the woodpile stocked and the laundry cleaned. She enjoyed the winter months, although this year she wished them to hurry by.

Miriam snuggled closer. Rachel smiled at her sister, who had recently turned thirteen. “I see you’re wearing your Christmas dress today. Is there a special occasion?”
Miriam’s cheeks turned a darker shade of red. “Um, not exactly.”

“Then what is it . . . exactly?”
Miriam tilted her head to one side and peered up at Rachel. She whispered, “Jimmy Turner.”
So her little sister had begun to notice boys. “Well now, I think he’s a handsome lad. Has he shown an interest in you?”

Miriam nodded and giggled. Rachel wrapped an arm around her sister as the buggy slowed to enter the churchyard. She stepped down onto the snow-covered ground muddied by all the wagons crossing over it. Now she was thankful for the thick stockings and shoes she wore to protect her toes. She then reached up for Micah while Miriam raced ahead.

The little boy pushed her hands away. “I can get down by myself.”

Rachel couldn’t resist the temptation to laugh. At seven, her younger brother expressed his independence and insisted on doing things for himself. He jumped with his feet square in a pile of snow and looked first at his feet then up to Rachel. She shook her head and grabbed his hand to go inside the building. How that little boy loved the snow. He’d be out in it all day if Mama would let him.

When she entered the foyer with Micah, she spotted Miriam already sitting in their pew with Jimmy Turner in the row behind her. Rachel hastened to sit down beside her sister. Miriam stared straight ahead but twisted her hands together in her lap.

When had Miriam grown up? Even now she showed signs of the beauty she would one day be. Thick, dark lashes framed her brown eyes, and her cheeks held a natural pink glow. Papa would really have to keep an eye out for his younger daughter.
Rachel glanced around the assembly room and once again admired the beauty of the old church built not long after the turn of the century. Instead of the quarry stone and masonry of the churches in Boston and even New Haven, Briar Ridge’s church walls were of white clapboard with large stained-glass windows along the sides. On bright days, sunlight streamed through them to create patterns of color across the congregation.

Brass light fixtures hung from the high vaulted ceilings, and the flames from the gaslights danced in the breeze as the back doors opened to admit worshippers. As much as she loved her church here in Briar Ridge, she remembered the electric lights she’d enjoyed in Hartford, one of the first cities to have its own generating plant. How long before electricity would become as widespread in Briar Ridge as it was in the larger cities? Probably awhile since Briar Ridge wasn’t known for its progress.
When the family first came to town, Rachel had been three years old, so this was the only home and church she could remember before leaving for school. Familiar faces met her everywhere she gazed. A nod and smile greeted each one as she searched for her friend Abigail and the Monroe family.
Unexpectedly a new face came into view a few rows back. A young man with the most incredible brown eyes stared back at her. Rachel’s breath caught in her throat, and the heat rose in her cheeks.

She felt her mother’s hand on her arm. “Turn around, Rachel. It’s not polite to stare.”
With her heart threatening to jump right out of her chest, Rachel tore her gaze away from the stranger seated with the Monroe family. Papa entered from the side door and stepped up to the pulpit. The service began with singing, but Rachel could barely make a sound. Everything in her wanted to turn and gaze again at the mysterious person with the Monroe family, but that behavior would be unseemly for the daughter of the minister.

However, her thoughts refused to obey and skipped to their own rhythm. Rachel decided that whoever he was, he must be a friend of Daniel’s because Abigail had never mentioned any man of interest in her own life. In a town like Briar Ridge, everyone knew everyone’s business. She hadn’t heard any talk of a guest from Daniel or her other friends yesterday.
A prickling sensation crept along her neck as though someone watched her. She blinked her eyes and willed herself to look at Papa and concentrate on his message. However, her mind filled with images of the young man. Who was this stranger who had come to Briar Ridge?

Nathan Reed contemplated the dark curls peeking from beneath the blue bonnet. When she had turned and their eyes met, his heart leaped. He had never expected to see such a beauty in a town like Briar Ridge. His friend Daniel’s sister was attractive, but nothing like this raven-haired girl with blue eyes.
When she turned her head back toward the front, he stared at her back as if to will her to turn his way again. When she didn’t, he turned his sights to gaze around the church, so much like others he’d once attended. He wouldn’t be here this morning except out of politeness for the Monroe family. He’d arrived later than intended last evening and welcomed Mrs. Monroe’s offer to stay the night with them. The least he could do was attend the service today.

Nathan had no use for church or things of God. He believed God existed, but only for people who needed something or someone to lean on. God had forsaken the Reed family years ago, and Nathan had done quite well without any help these four years away from home.

He shook off thoughts of the past and concentrated once more on the blue bonnet several rows ahead. Perhaps Daniel would introduce him. She would be a nice diversion from the business he must attend to while in town. He blocked the words of the minister from his mind and concentrated on the girl’s back.
The little boy seated next to the young woman seemed restless, so she lifted him onto her lap. The child couldn’t be her son. She didn’t look old enough. Then the older woman next to them reached for the boy and settled him in her arms. In a few minutes the boy’s head nodded in sleep.
Nathan resisted the urge to pull his watch from his pocket and check the time. Surely the service would end soon. Potbellied stoves in the front and back of the church provided warmth, and the additional heat of so many bodies caused him to wish he had shed his coat. He fought the urge to nod off himself. Oh, to be like the young lad in his mother’s arms.
Finally the congregation rose, and the organ played the final hymn. It was none too soon for Nathan, for he had grown more uncomfortable by the minute. Long sermons only added to his distaste for affairs of the church. The singing ended and people began their exit, but he kept his eye on the girl in blue until the crowd blocked her from view.

He stayed behind the Monroe family, who stopped to greet the minister. Mrs. Monroe turned to Nathan. “Reverend Winston, this is Nathan Reed, our houseguest from Hartford this week and a friend of Daniel’s.”

The minister smiled in greeting and shook Nathan’s hand. “It’s very nice to have you in our services today, Mr. Reed. I hope you enjoy your stay in Briar Ridge and that we’ll see more of you.”

“Thank you, sir. I look forward to my visit here.” But the minister wouldn’t be seeing any more of him unless they possibly met in town.

When they reached the Monroe carriage, Nathan turned and spotted the girl coming down the steps. He watched as Daniel waved to the young woman and she waved back. Abigail ran to greet her, and the girls hurried over to where Nathan stood with Daniel. Abigail tucked her hand in the girl’s elbow.
“Nathan, this is my best friend, Rachel Winston. Rachel, this is Daniel’s former roommate in college, Nathan Reed.”

Rachel Winston? Nathan’s hopes dashed against the slushy ground on which he stood. Could she be the preacher’s daughter? He didn’t mind a young woman being Christian, but he drew the line at keeping company with one so close to the ministry.
When her blue eyes gazed into his, a spark of interest flamed, and it took him a few seconds before remembering his manners. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Winston.”
Her cheeks flushed red, and she glanced away slightly but still smiled. “Thank you. I’m pleased to meet you too, Mr. Reed. Perhaps we’ll see each other again if you’re in town long.”

Rachel’s smile sent a warmth into his heart that caused him to swallow hard. Although the length of his stay was uncertain, his desire to see the lovely Miss Winston again might just override his pledge to avoid anything or anyone with ties to the church.

Here's my review:
Rachel Winston is a lovely Christian young woman who longs to be married but has yet to find a man to share her life in Summer Dream (Seasons of the Heart) by Martha Rogers.  Rachel is just about ready to give up her longing until she meets Nathan Reed who is a good looking lawyer visiting friends in Rachel's town.  But when Rachel finds out that Nathan does not share her passion for Christ, she tries to hide her true feelings for him and instead agrees to be courted by her longtime friend, Daniel.  Nathan is drawn to Rachel, but due to some disturbing circumstances in his past, he has rejected God and knows a life with Rachel could never happen.  However, one day Nathan almost dies in a blizzard and Rachel's family nurses him back to health.  Nathan realizes his need for Christ's forgiveness and seeks to repair his past and holds out hope to ask Rachel to be his wife.

This was a sweet little story, but I felt that Rachel and Nathan's relationship was very shallow and they never really had any significant conversations until the very end.  And even though the book was called Summer Dream, most of the story took place in the winter.  I thought Rachel was a very idealistic girl that even though she was a very obedient and respectful daughter, she really had no foundation for cultivating good relationships with men.  The two men who actually were better suited for her in all respects were not given much of a chance and with no promises made by Nathan, Rachel held on to a thin string of  hope.  I also felt the book was more suited for a college age novel and even then I'm not sure I would want my daughter to follow Rachel's example. This book did not have the story I expected, but it might be worth reading if you enjoy a pure romance!

*This book was provided to me free of charge for purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this book and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Win it:  I am having a giveaway for this book.  Open to US only and giveaway ends Sunday, July 31.

To enter: Be sure to click on all the links before filling out the entry form.

1. Be a follower on my blog
2. Subscribe to my blog by email (link on blog)
3."Like" The Knowlton Nest on Facebook (link on my blog). 
4. Post about this giveaway on another site (your blog, facebook,twitter, etc) (1 entry for every site) 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tropical Traditions Organic Brown Rice Syrup Review/Giveaway!!

I love getting products from Tropical Traditions to try in my home.  I have tried food products, cleaning products and bath and beauty products.  I was intrigued with the Organic Brown Rice Syrup.  I hate using corn syrup in anything. But this product is very similar (in form, but not ingredients) and can be used in place of corn syrup or even honey!  I made some granola bars and also the Chewy Crispy Rice Bites (see below).   I like using products like this that are good and healthy for you.  Use this product with no regret!

Organic Brown Rice Syrup - 16 oz.


  • Gluten Free
  • Certified Organic
  • Ideal sweetener for hypoallergenic diets
  • Easy to digest
  • Great source of sustainable energy
  • Non-distinct flavor
  • Complements a wide variety of foods
"Tropical Traditions Certified Organic Brown Rice Syrup is a natural sweetener produced by steeping whole brown rice with a special enzyme preparation derived from “koji.” This process transforms the steamed grain into a smooth flavored, pleasantly sweet syrup. It is made without the use of any cane or beet sugars (no cane juice crystals), corn syrups, or other refined sweeteners of any kind. Organic Brown Rice Syrup is an excellent sweetener for all baked goods, in the preparation of sauces or marinades, and for general cooking purposes."
Shrade put the balls on the pan
We made Chewy Crispy Rice Bites.

Yield: approximately 2 dozen small balls
Preparation Time: 5 minutes

1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter of choice or coconut cream concentrate)
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups brown rice cereal (I just used Rice Crispies)
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Mix the almond butter and brown rice syrup together in a medium saucepan. Stir and heat until melted and bubbly; approximately 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.

Roll into small balls with oiled or wet hands to prevent sticking and chill in the refrigerator or freezer.


Recipe courtesy Sarah Shilhavy

I love these two products that I used in this recipe:
1-Pint (16-oz) - Coconut Cream Concentrate

1-Gallon Pail - Shredded Coconut

When you place your order please use my ID # to get your FREE book: 6015262 in the "Referred by a Friend".  (Thank you!) You can also obtain your own complimentary copy of Virgin Coconut Oil book through the Referral program if you are ordering for the first time.  Please click: for more info. The book will be automatically be added to your order.  I encourage you to look through the website for some great products.  I have already tried the Lavender Natural Deodorant (aluminum free), the Organic Shredded Coconut, the Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, Coconut Peanut Butter, Raw Honey, Unscented Coconut Soap, Powdered Laundry Detergent, Skin Exfoliator, Liquid Dish soap, Coconut Cream Concentrate, Oxygen Bleach and Anti Oxidant Natural Greens.  Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to get updated information on products and sales.

If you need any help in placing your order please click here:

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.

Win it:  One reader will receive 1 16 oz. jar Organic Brown Rice Syrup.  Giveaway ends Sunday, July 31.

To enter: Be sure to click on all the links before filling out the entry form.  Thanks!

1. Be a follower on my blog 
2. Visit Tropical Traditions and tell me another product you would like to try.
3. Subscribe to my blog by email. 
4."Like" The Knowlton Nest on Facebook (link on my blog). 
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6. Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter
7. Sign up for the Tropical Traditions Newsletter.
8. Make a purchase at Tropical Traditions using my referral code: 6015262 (+5)
9. Post about this giveaway on another site (your blog, facebook, twitter, etc) (1 entry for every site) 

Summertime Pantry Challenge Week #2

Here is what we ate this week:

*Breakfast Egg Casserole-  I had some extra sausage that needed to be used up.  This is yummy!  I made the 9x13 pan to last longer.
*Haystacks- similar to Taco salad except with beans
*Burritos- using the beans from Haystacks
*Parsley Parmesan Chicken- one of my favorite freezer meals!
*Fondue- used tomato soup, cheese, Johnny's Seasoning and milk, but had to buy everything else!

*One-Bowl Oatmeal Muffins (from Simple Bites)-  I made two batches of these.  My first batch I put in chocolate chips, chopped pecans and dried cranberries.  My second batch was made with coconut oil instead of butter and I put in coconut and peanut butter chips (from the pantry).  This is a very easy and yummy recipe.  You just have to wait one hour for the oats to soak.
*Yummy Banana Loaf- I added extra nuts and was this ever good!

52 Weeks of Organizing: Reorganizing!

After several weeks, like two months at least, I'm semi-back to decluttering and organizing.  I won't be up to snuff for a long while since I'm a mom of a 2 year old and 2 month old.  But I decided to clean up a few areas this week that have been bugging me: the teaching shelf and my son's room.  I am doing a bit of teaching with my son and I just seem to keep piling things up on the shelf rather than putting away, so now I will be sure to put things away so it's not messy.  Also, since my son and husband were out the other day all day, I did a bit of reorganizing in his room.  These two projects, although very small, made me feel accomplished.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pear Tree Greetings July Giveaway!! ($25 to spend)

It's Christmas in July! Pear Tree Greetings has so many great products that I've highlighted over the year, but there are so many more.

New baby collection

Find out about the great promotions for this month at the Promo Page.

Giveaway Time!
In a comment tell me what you would spend $25 on if you won.
That's the prize and that's it.
For US only and ends Sunday, July 31.
For an extra entry share this giveaway on another site.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Booking It: July 2011

To Win Her HeartSummer Dream (Seasons of the Heart)

Whew, it's been a slow reading month. I'm not able to read while nursing as I would like. I'll have to find other times in my busy schedule.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good Morning Girls: Giving the Gift of Faith Discussion Questions

The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children 
1. Read Psalm 119:105.  According to this verse, what will give our children a proper foundation and guidance on their path of life?  In what ways does this apply to our calling as ministers to our children?

God's Word gives a proper foundation and guidance on the path of life.  I am the one to share God's Word with my children.  I want to show them how God's Word is a lamp and a light.  I want to daily be in God's Word by myself and with my children as I can know what God's Word says and to give those nuggets to my children.

2. Make a list of five things you could do to incorporate God's Word more effectively into your everyday family life.  Pick one item from the list and commit to applying it faithfully for six weeks.

Ways to incorporate God's Word effectively in everyday life: 
*Memorize Scripture- use Seeds Family Worship (like Seeds of Character (Vol. 6)) and Songs for Saplings
*Read Bible stories together- see my Summer Worship Series
*Act out Bible stories
*Review what was taught at church
*Pray Scripture over my children- 31 Biblical Virtues and Warrior Prayers

3. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God.  What circumstances has God recently allowed in your own life that call for faith?  In what ways are you modeling faith before the eyes of your children so that they are learning how to have faith in God?

Faith is something I crave more of, but the more I experience life, the more my faith has grown.  Recent events like my dad getting a heart stent, my husband getting a biopsy for possible cancer (it wasn't), my mom finding a lump (benign) and my grandma having health issues all came when I was pregnant and going through many emotions.  The best way I know how is to stop and pray and read Scripture.  I know I'll have many opportunities to demonstrate my faith to my children. 
4. Think of a time in the past that you have had to walk by faith but now look back to see what God has done.  Tell your children about this experience in the form of a bedtime story.

Once upon a time mommy had a job and daddy didn't.  Daddy hurt his back and couldn't work for awhile and was getting some money from the government.  Well, mommy was going to have a baby and really wanted to stay home.  So daddy had to find a job to take care of mommy and baby.  The money from the government was going to end and someone needed to work.  Well, God worked it out perfectly.  The same day daddy got the last check from the government was the day he was hired to work and mommy was able to stay home with the baby!
5. According to Ephesians 2:8, what does God say is the source of our salvation?  What does faith have to do with this?  Do your children understand that God's love is a free gift with no strings attached?  Plan out how to communicate this principle to them.

The source of our salvation is God's grace.  Faith is believing that God gives us this gift even though we don't deserve it.  There is no easy way to explain this because sometimes I feel I need to earn God's love.  I think the best way for my kids to understand this is for me to show my love for my kids no matter what and tell them that God gives his love to us despite the bad things we do.  The only free gift that is most valuable to our lives is salvation!