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Looking Back

All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This post contains affiliate links.

All is Bright Christmas Devotional and Coloring Book

I’ve enjoyed coloring from a young age and get a kick out of the fact that adult coloring books are now all the rage. When we were still in the homeschooling years, I often used coloring as a way to help my girl focus during a lesson. We would sit down and color together while watching an educational program. It was a fun, enjoyable way to relax. I’m glad that others are now learning how relaxing coloring really can be for people of all ages.

I like to keep an eye out for unique coloring books or activity books, so when I saw this particular book, I was immediately interested. I liked the idea of having a Christmas devotional book that included coloring. Yes, it was a bit early in the year (and warm outside) to be looking at Christmas items, but I couldn’t help myself.

All is Bright daily devotional with coloring pages

All is Bright features a daily devotional with coloring page for the entire month of December. The devotional is a single page. The coloring page is on the other side of the 2-page spread. The pages are not perforated for removal. Plus, the next devotional is on the back of the coloring page. The pages are nice and thick like a light-weight cardstock. In general, the coloring pages are detailed, but not overly detailed. These devotionals and coloring pages are geared towards adults or teens, but they would be fine for the entire family.

All is Bright kids coloring page

The book also includes 12 family activities which included a verse, discussion starters, and prayer followed by 12 coloring pages/crafts that can be used with the activity pages. Once again, these are not perforated, so you’ll have to rip or cut out the pages. It would have been nice if these pages were easily removed. The coloring pages/activities are more simple and easier to color. They are geared towards children, but they would be fun for all ages.

Colorable faith stickers

If you’re looking for a little extra coloring fun, you could also pick up one or more of these colorable scripture sticker packets. They would be great for stocking stuffers, advent gifts, or just little pick-me-ups during the holidays or throughout the year. The that faith sticks colorable sticker packets include between 20 and 64 stickers depending on the size and style of the colorable stickers included in the packet. They are also nice for journaling, notebooking, or scrapbooking.

Crazy Chicken Life: Chicken Escape

Chickens begging to be fed

Every morning, before the sun rises, I fill the chickens’ feed bin with fermented feed and let them out of their coop. Some come running out while others swoop out with a flap of their wings. A few chickens tend to follow me to the run door. The others go for the feed or start looking for bugs.

Once the sun comes up, they get really active. Whether they’re getting excited about finding some bugs or they’re laying eggs and singing the egg laying song, they seem to always be making noise unless they are resting or sleeping. They get really loud when feeding time comes around. I guess that don’t want us to forget to feed them?

Chickens in their coop

On Friday, I went through my regular routine with the chickens and went on with my morning. Later in the morning, I let out the dogs and heard a very loud screech and a big commotion. I ran out to see Wyatt with one of my black hens pinned down. His nose was pushing down on her. I thought the worst. I told him to release her, and he immediately let her go. I scooped her up and realized that the chicken run door top was open. (We have a split door.) Wyatt went after a brown hen, but she was able to get to a spot where he couldn’t get her.

She was safe, so I stuck Wiley inside the house. The black hen was still in my arms as I hadn’t been able to check her over yet. I got the chicken run closed up tight and checked the hen over. She was perfectly fine other than being a little startled by it all. I put her in the coop and went to get the brown hen who was hiding from Wyatt. She was okay and happily went back into the coop.

Healthy Black Hen

It was then that I realized there were two more hens trying to free-range. At this point, I was able to get Wyatt into the house since my hands were empty. I rounded up the final two chickens (a grey and a brown) and got them safely back into the coop. I honestly expected to have a difficult time rounding up the grey chicken as both greys are normally very difficult to catch, but thankfully, they both recently started laying which made her much easier to catch. Whew!

Fresh Eggs

Once I knew that they were all okay with no injuries, I gave them a few extra treats. I thought for sure that I would have low egg production for a few days after that crazy morning, but it wasn’t a few minutes before one of them was already in the nesting box laying an egg.

I still don’t know how that door came to be opened as I know I latched it. I’m amazed that none of the chickens were harmed as both Wiley and Wyatt have extremely high prey drives. When I saw Wyatt with the one hen, I thought for sure that I had lost her. I’m so thankful that it ended the way that it did with healthy, happy hens.

The Complete Jewish Study Bible

Jewish Study Bible

When sitting down to study scripture, it is important to understand the culture and customs during the time period when the Bible was originally written. As I read more in this Jewish Study Bible, I realize that my education in Jewish history and customs is lacking. I have studied some Jewish history and a minimal amount of Hebrew, but I’ve never really dug into it like I wanted. This study Bible is a nice starting point for those studies.

While you can dive right into using the Bible, I found that I got more out of it by spending some time reading the entire introduction section as it dug deeper into the whys of using this as well as explaining more about the Bible and Jewish history. I went back and forth between being overwhelmed and fascinated by it all. I guess that comes with the territory when you’re learning about something new.

I admit that I was a bit puzzled by the “Illuminating the Jewishness of God’s Word” phrase on the front of the Bible. In fact, both my husband and daughter thought it was rather amusing. We understood the meaning behind it, but thought the phrasing was a bit odd. I think it would have been better to leave that particular phrase off the Bible, but that could just be my family’s perception of it.

The Bible has the books of the Bible using both Jewish and Christian names. It talks about different Jewish literature and gives additional resources and suggested readings to use if you want to dig deeper. Within the Bible, there are topical articles, study notes, full color maps, themed articles, Biblical book abbreviations, biographies of rabbis and sages, and more.

I look forward to learning more as I continue my studies with this Bible as I’m enjoying the new insights that I am gaining from it.

Jewish Study Bible

About The Complete Jewish Study Bible

ISBN: 9781619708679, $49.95; Hardback, pages 1728, ISBN 13: 9781619708679

Christians and Messianic Jews who are interested in the rich spiritual traditions of their faith will be thrilled with this brand new study Bible. The Complete Jewish Study Bible pairs the updated text of the Complete Jewish Bible with extra study material, to help readers understand and connect with the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.

The Complete Jewish Bible shows that the word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, is a unified Jewish book meant for everyone—Jew and non- Jew alike. Translated by David H. Stern with new, updated introductions by Rabbi Barry Rubin, it has been a best-seller for over twenty years. This translation, combined with beautiful, modern design and helpful features, makes this an exquisite, one-of-a-kind Bible.

Unique to The Complete Jewish Study Bible are a number of helpful articles and notes to aid the reader in understanding the Jewish context for the Scriptures, both in the Tanakh (the Old Testament) and the B’rit Hadashah (the New Testament).

  • Twenty-five contributors (both Jewish and Christian), including John Fischer, Patrice Fischer, Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Rabbi Russell Resnik, and more
  • Thirty-four topical articles ranging from topics such as the menorah (or “candelabra of God”) and repentance (t’shuvah) in the Bible, to Yeshua’s “Sermon on the Mount” and the Noachide Laws (the laws given by God to Noah and subsequent generations) and their applicability to Gentiles
  • In addition to these topical articles and detailed study notes, there are twelve tracks or themes running throughout the Bible with 117 articles, covering topics such as Jewish Customs, the Names of God, Shabbat, and the Torah
  • New Bible book introductions, written from a Jewish perspective
  • Bottom-of-page notes to help readers understand the deeper meanings behind the Jewish text
  • Sabbath and Holy Day Scripture readings

Offers the original Hebrew names for people, places, and concepts

Learn more at the:
Hendrickson The Complete Jewish Study Bible Website
Hendrickson Twitter Page
Hendrickson Facebook Page

Our Blooming Homestead

Homestead Pasture

Monsoon rains on the homestead mean life is abundant. While the temperatures are starting to feel like fall, the view looks more like spring. Prairie grasses are growing like crazy. Desert plants are blooming. Wildlife roams the grounds. In fact, I saw 2 beautiful does and a buck which is something I haven’t previously seen at our place. It all makes me smile.

Relaxing in the prairie grass

Last week, I spent some time on the homestead planning for future projects. We have all of these plans, but it will take some time to implement the changes and updates. We’re trying to set some priorities and find different ways to do things right without breaking the bank.

On the prowl

Some things don’t require money, but they do require hard work and time. I don’t mind the work as it’s always rewarding to see the end result. Setting up gardens, planting fruit trees, and moving around rock and soil take time. It’s hard to be patient as it slowly comes together. We’re also trying to figure out the best placement for the new gardens and small orchard.

Desert flowers

I’m still trying to decide where to set up the permanent chicken coop and yard. I also want to have a brooder area and quarantine area for the new birds. Since we plan on raising meat birds as well, I’ll probably want an area where they can be raised separately from our other chickens. Since I’m still fairly new to this whole chicken thing, I’m making some adjustments to plans and expectations as we go.

Arizona Sunset

Gardening in the high desert is interesting as you have a wide range of temperatures. The higher elevation means some things just don’t work. I’m still researching what plants and fruit trees will work best in our area. We have really rich soil, but it’s also rocky. I’m trying to decide if I should do all raised beds or a combination of raised beds and regular gardens.

Patience, hard work, and time will be our friends as we develop our homestead. It’s going to be a real adventure.

Topping First Boulder

Topping my first boulder in JT National Park

Learning to climb has been an adventure which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I’m sure a huge part of that enjoyment comes from the fact that learning to climb has also meant spending extra time with my husband which, to me, is always a good thing. He says that I’ve come a long way since I’ve started, but I don’t always see the improvements as I tend to see all the things that I can’t do. When I was able to push past the final moves of a boulder and top it, it was a pretty huge deal.

For me, it’s not always the going up part that is the most difficult. Yes, finding the finger and foot holds can be trying and sometimes, downright impossible on some of the slabs, but I always have that little nagging thought in the back of my mind that what goes up must come down. It’s that thought which makes it difficult for me to make the final moves to top a boulder. If I top it, that means I need to be able to find a way to get down. Down climbing prior to topping the boulder tends to be a bit easier – at least, it is on the lower end boulders that I’m working. 😉

Last week, we headed out to the park to do a little climbing. We found a boulder that wasn’t as tall and had some solid hand and foot holds. The goal was for me to move past the head games and top the boulder. I was able to immediately climb the boulder, but it took several tries and lots of coaxing from D for me to make the final moves and actually top it. Coming down was a whole other ball game that was not fun or easy, but thanks to an awesome husband, I got through it. 🙂

Topping my first boulder

It wasn’t a huge boulder. It wasn’t a difficult boulder. It was the first boulder that I topped. It will probably be a boulder that gets worked on more as a way for me to try to work through the whole “I don’t want to top it because then I have to find a way down” syndrome that I have right now. lol! And yes, I tend to deal with that in the rock climbing gym as well. There are certain holds that I won’t commit to going for which means I don’t top the route.

One step at a time, I’m getting better at climbing and achieving goals. Some things are physical accomplishments while others are mental accomplishments. Both are critical to my success as a climber. At this point, it’s all about pushing myself to do just a little bit more and climbing out of my comfort zone just enough to keep moving forward. I’m fortunate to have an amazing husband at my side cheering me on all along the way.

Several months ago, when I first started climbing, I did not imagine I would be doing what I am today. It felt like I’d never be able to make certain moves or grasp particular holds. Yet, I am getting better even if it doesn’t always feel like it. One hold at a time, I’m reaching new heights….