Our Favourite Things 2019

Ladies! I am very sorry for taking so long getting this done and thank you very much for your patience. It seems like life has been so very life-y for a very long time! Glad to have this checked off the list, and recipes will be coming asap. At long last, here are the links to the favourite things shared at this year’s conference.

Salsa Dip
Mix a softened block of cream cheese with your favourite salsa to taste. Start with equal parts cheese and salsa. Mom adds a few dried chile flakes, too. So easy and so good!

Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
Such a good read! My husband, a couple of my grown-up kids, my mother-in-law all really liked it, too. One of my favourite books. Gripping storyline, excellent characters, surprise ending!
It’s in our AVRL library system, available on amazon.ca. I saw it at Value Village in New Minas the other day!



Welcome to Clean Mama

If you need a little (or a lot) of help “looking well to the ways of your household”, Clean Mama is here for you! Lots of free printables, lots of practical help. The blog post that led me to the life-changing toilet brush (ha, ha): Toilet Brush Care 101: End the Gross Out

The toilet brush I bought: Hideaway Compact Toilet Brush
And the plunger caddy: Kleen Freak Twister Caddy
I have since seen the same or similar products in Winners and Walmart. After the conference, one of you told me about the combo caddy. Excellent option! OXO combo brush and plunger

Stomach Settler
1/2 tsp. baking soda in 1 cup of water, almost instant relief for digestive discomfort including nausea, heartburn, gas and bloating. It doesn’t taste very good, but it works!  My kids ask for it at the first sign of nausea or stomach ache.

Chiropractic Adjustments for Chronic Ear Infections/Congestion
After five years of going back and forth between pain and discomfort, my daughter’s ears have been clear and infection-free for nearly a year, thanks to the chiropractor! Definitely consider it if you or your child has these struggles. One of the ladies in the audience added that chiropractic adjustments have ended her sinus issues, and I have also found relief from the daily tension headaches I was experiencing.

51+xGDb9JYL._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
One of my favourite books as a child, now one of our favourite family read-alouds. Pick up a copy and enjoy it with your kids! (Spoiler alert: there is one intense scene where a side character dies. Be aware and read ahead if you have sensitive children. All that to say, I have some sensitive children and we were okay with it.) Request it through AVRL or order it on Amazon.



512ETmg2o3L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Love Your Life Not Theirs, by Rachel Cruze
This is one of Shannon’s favourites and Mom is reading it, and I really need to read it soon! In the meantime, I’m listening to their takeaways and being more intentional and careful with my spending. From Amazon: “…Rachel Cruze shines a spotlight on the most damaging money habit we have: comparing ourselves to others. Then she unpacks seven essential money habits for living the life we really want–a life in line with our values, where we can afford the things we want to buy without being buried under debt, stress, and worry.” Amazon: Love Your Life Not Theirs and Christian Book Distributors: Love Your Life Not Theirs


Fair Trade Friday & Mercy House Global
I learned about these great projects years ago through blogs I followed, but only in the last couple of years got personally involved. Such a great cause. This link takes you to a video describing how Mercy House came to be: Mercy House Global
This is where you can support a rescued girl as she transitions home after her time with Mercy House: Support a Graduate
And this is where you can buy fair trade products that are providing many people all over the world with a decent wage and hope: Fair Trade Friday

Tim Challies Links
2019 Christian Reading Challenge
This challenge provided lots of options for varying levels of readers: from one book a month to two per week. I found that not only did I read more, my book choices were more varied. Win-win, no matter how many boxes I checked off! Watch for a new challenge in January.
Reading the Bible Fast and Slow
It is a popular habit to read through the Bible each year, and maybe you do it but are ready to add more time with God’s Word into your day. Or maybe you are already spending longer periods in one book at a time, and you could add a one-year Bible reading plan into your schedule. I found this article’s insights helpful in how I approach all my reading. (But please remember that if you find your commentaries carry more weight than your Bible, set them aside!)

I am a convert! I love my paper books, especially hardcover, but listening to audiobooks is such a great way to ‘read’ at a time when you can’t be holding a book in your hand. It’s also a great way to give your kids some down time without sitting them in front of a screen. When the book is especially good, you’ll find the whole family gathering around. I have subscribed to Audible, and amazon.ca service, because I wanted to listen a particular book right away and already had an Amazon account. I’ve read that there are better bang-for-your-buck options out there. So look around and find one that suits your situation. Most have a free month trial subscription. I have heard good things about Christian Audio.

51YJS9EVP1L._SX469_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Nook Book, by Karen Hansgen
Make your home cozy – including those unused or neglected spaces. It’s on Amazon, but if it’s more than you want to spend, check out the used copies. I found a used one in great shape to give away at the conference, and also our AVRL library has it.
New on Amazon or used on Amazon


back-to-eden-dvd_2Back to Eden, with Paul Gautschi
Unique approach to gardening, based on spiritual principles, with amazing results. A Bible study and gardening seminar in one! The movie and more resources are free online here: www.backtoedenfilm.com
But if you’d like to own your own copy, you can order it from the official website above or from Amazon.com (US site):
Back to Eden DVD



chopin.jpegChopin: Nocturnes, by Arthur Rubenstein
My current favourite classical CD. I’m listening as I type! And I was so pleased to learn that my friend Skytha used to enjoy hearing Arthur Rubinstein in concert in Europe!
Chopin: Nocturnes



51+YvuW5hOL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgNew Morning Mercies, by Paul David Tripp
Shannon’s new favourite daily devotional, and she has sent us several awesome excerpts. Your day really isn’t about you! It’s about Jesus, and it is true encouragement to have that reminder each day.





Reading Through the Bible Chronologically
A different approach to reading through the Bible, reading the events in the Bible in the order Bible scholars believe the events to have taken place gave me a great sense of history and context. The online plan I started with in 2015 is no longer available, but if you search “Chronological Bible Reading Plan” you’ll find lots of options. If you’d like to buy a daily chronological Bible that you just read straight through, this is the one we gave away at the conference:

If you suffer from allergies, look into using local unpasteurized honey. We are obviously not doctors! A quick google search showed that lots of people are talking about using honey for allergies, but the clinical studies aren’t showing consistent results. All we know is people are doing it and it is working for them. Eat a spoonful of honey as soon as you feel symptoms starting. Stir a tablespoon or so into milk or water if you find it difficult to swallow it straight.

The Magnificent Defeat, by Don Sunukjian
I definitely recommend this excellent and challenging sermon: “I didn’t understand Jacob; I didn’t understand God; I didn’t understand myself… Is God bringing you to a defining moment where it will be your way or His?”
The Magnificent Defeat, Don Sunukjian

Francis Chan, Get Over Yourself
Here’s another good one. We all need to get over ourselves!
Francis Chan sermon

41HV850cxuL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgYou Who: Why You Matter and How to Deal with It, by Rachel Jankovic
This great little book packs a big punch.
“If we try to write our stories like the world does, composing our little plot points and shaping ourselves into what we think it would be neat to be, but we love Jesus, this is just making Him one more interesting plot point about us… But Christ will not be managed or contained like that. If He truly bought you with His blood, He did not do so in order to get a sponsorship position in your life. He is not here to look good next to your brand. He bought your life, and you are His.” Available on Amazon or CBD


412RIxHHmEL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgFit to Burst, by Rachel Jankovic
Another gem from Rachel, offering a fresh and Christ-centered perspective on mothering in the trenches. “I don’t pull punches or hold back in this book, because I am writing to myself as much as to you. If something in this book strikes a little close to home for you, know that it struck in my home first. I am not writing about other people’s problems, although I know many of them are common. I write about what I know, and what I know is the challenges, the joys, and the work involved in raising little people.” Buy it on Amazon or CBD.


The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Every story whispers His name! We love this book. Not just for our kids! We’ve learned a lot from it, too.



ally Clarkson Girls’ Club podcasts
I love all of Sally’s podcasts. These five were particularly meaningful on the subject of friendship.
How to Be a Friend Worth Having
Interview with Emily Ley
Interview with Elsie Iudicello
Interview with Kate Merrick
Kristen Kill with Sally: Cultivating Friendship with Teen Girls

Also, a favourite blog post by Sally: Sing a Beautiful Song, Mama!

41tKYDMD+EL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgEve in Exile, by Rebekah Merkle
My favourite book ever on biblical femininity! A game-changer! Everything fell into place for me. Move over tea parties, and please pass the theology. Don’t get me wrong: tea parties can be profound when your theology is biblical, but if your idea of femininity doesn’t include theology, you’re missing the point. Be the glory of the glory! I bought mine on Amazon.
Also by Bekah, two excellent women’s conference sessions on youtube:
How to Read the Infallible Word
Mothering the Mind


Adorned, by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
I gave this to my 24-year-old daughter for Christmas last year, and she learned a lot from it and passed it along to my mom, who also really liked it. I’m working my way through it now and I think it is very timely: more on biblical womanhood and how to live and learn and serve together. Amazon or CBD



Here Now, by Kate Merrick
I bought this book, thinking it would be about breaking device addiction, but it was so much more! Also very timely. Plenty to think about in this book, and it will affect more in your life than your screen time. AmazonCBD




Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible
My son gave me this for Christmas last year, after hearing me talk about reading it online for some time. A literal word-for-word translation from the original languages, it has clarified and provided insight for me again and again. I enjoy reading several translations at home. You can order it from Amazon.



God’s Chosen Fast, by Arthur Wallis
I wasn’t going to mention this one this year, but at the last minute I threw it in. I’m still processing the information in this one, and need to spend some time with my Bible and the passages he quotes to understand his interpretation, but even so, I gained many profound thoughts about our appetites, sin and our prayer life. So if you are curious about fasting, check it out here: Amazon or CBD



tgcwahk.jpegThe Gospel Comes with a House Key, by Rosaria Butterfield
Saved the best for last! This has been the most life-changing book outside of the Bible that I have read to date. I say that if you are only going to buy one book from this long list, get this one. Order it from Amazon or CBD, and be prepared to be challenged and stretched in the best way! Make your home an incubator and a hospital! Read the book to find out how Rosaria does this.

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