Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Review by Clare

(Copied and pasted from her blog by her pleased-as-punch mother!)

Book Review: ARAM
Cover for ARAM 2013This is a book review on ARAM, the first in the Deliverance trilogy.
This post is mainly what I thought of the book, not what it's about. If you want to know more on what it's about, Here is a good synopsis on the story.

ARAM was written by a Catholic, and has a Catholic writers' seal of approval or something like that inside the front cover, but I don't think it's exclusively Catholic so most Christians should also enjoy it. I also noticed some Pro-Life themes, which may or may not be considered a good thing for readers (it's considered awesome for us!). Age range is probably 10 and up, but parents should know what their kid is like. Ian (little brother) is eleven, but he is really sensitive and didn't like all the war, fighting, and scariness.
On the subject of that, the book can be violent. Bad guys are constantly attacking the good guys, and there's evil spirits and demons throughout (all seen in a bad light, though!). Many beloved characters die, often in horrible ways (Ian stopped reading after his favorite good guy was stabbed while asking
for peace).
But it's more than just killing and death. As I said before, it's written by a Catholic, so there's God, but thankfully it wasn't too preachy (I can't abide books like that). Here's an excerpt from the writer's website about ARAM:
Imagine hours of entertaining reading which helps you to experience life from a new
perspective, enhances your understanding of spiritual realities, and takes you
on an epic journey with characters who face terrifying fears, overcome
incredible temptations and are inspired to grow into better people delving into
life more profoundly.

One thing I would change with the series though, is a different editor, because there's some spelling and grammatical mistakes in it, but please don't let that deter you from reading it, because ARAM is awesome! Only . . . my favorite character turns into a nutcase by the end >:(
Ah, well.
I've already finished the second book (Ishtar's redemption: Trial by Fire), and am currently in the middle of the last book (Neb the Great: Shadows of the Past). I'll do some reviews on them next!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Better than Martha Stewart's

To my CF Mom friends,

I have managed to improve upon a Martha Stewart recipe for chocolate chip cookie bars. Here's the original recipe:

3 sticks butter
4 C  flour
2t  baking soda
3/4 t  salt
1C  white sugar
1 1/2 C  brown sugar
2  eggs
1T  vanilla
2 C  chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars; add eggs and vanilla; mix dry ingredients together and mix with wet stuff; mix in chips. Bake in buttered half sheet pan for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Here are my changes:

1.) For the creaming, I used 2 1/2 sticks of butter with 1/2 C peanut butter and 1/3 C (it didn't quite reach the top of the measuring cup because I ran out) of real maple syrup.

2.) I blended up oatmeal into flour and substituted 1C of regular flour for 1C of this oat flour.

3.) I only used 1 1/2 C of chocolate chips because we don't like the inside to be completely chocolate.

So good, you guys. They had something extra you couldn't quite put your finger on. I don't know if it was the PB, the syrup, the oat flour, or the combination but I'm not changing anything. I see no reason to put pans of chocolate chip cookies in and out of the oven. They have arrived.

Oats, flour, butter, eggs, sugar ~ add some milk for the kids and coffee for me and we've got breakfast!

Happy sunshine,

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mother's Day

I wrote two Mother's Day articles this past week:

This one for Catholic Sistas is a story about my own mother.

And this one for our local Frontiersman is about Mary the mother of Christ. You may have to answer a silly survey question to open the page.

CF mothers are the best, though. Love to you all!