Monday, February 28, 2011

Fudge Time~ Recipes by Heather Young

Making fudge is simple.  It doesn’t take long, and has directions that are easy to understand.  Four recipes for different types of fudge will be presented to you in this article…

Aunt Teen’s Creamy Chocolate Fudge (48 servings)


1 seven-ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 ½ cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
¼ cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Line an 8x8-inch pan with aluminum foil.  Set aside.
2.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and salt.  Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
3.  Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips.  Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
4.  Stir in nuts and vanilla.  Pour into prepared pan.  Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.

Peanut Butter Fudge (16 servings)


3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/8 cups peanut butter
2 cups marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Grease 8x8-inch pan.
2.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugar, and butter.  Bring to a rolling boil, and let boil 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, marshmallow cream, and vanilla until well incorporated.
3.  Spread into prepared dish.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Peanut Butter Fudge II (48 servings)


3 cups white sugar
¾ cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 ten-ounce package peanut butter chips
1 seven-ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Spray 9x13-inch baking pan with vegetable spray.
2.  In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, combine sugar, milk, and butter or margarine.  Heat to a full boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.
3.  Remove from heat, and add peanut butter chips.  Stir until chips have melted.
4.  Mix in marshmallow cream and vanilla until well blended .  Pour into prepared pan.  Cool.  Cut into pieces and enjoy.

Peanut Butter Fudge IV (24 servings)


2 cups white sugar
½ cup milk
1 seven-ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 1/3 cups peanut butter


1.  Boil milk and sugar in a medium saucepan for 3 minutes over medium-high heat.  Immediately stir in the marshmallow cream and peanut butter.
2.  Pour and spread into a 9x9 –inch glass baking dish.  Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.

            I hope you enjoy creating these delicious treats! I recommend trying them all and finding your favorite, then you can make that one again and again! J

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader~ A Movie Review by Kari Willinger

Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to narnia with their cousin eustace. They meet up with Prince Caspian and board the royal ship, the Dawn Treader. They face countless creatures along their journey to the edge of the world. Fighting dragons and saving lives, this is a clean and action dialed movie I think you will love.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heart into Clovers~ A Craft by Rachel Melillo

So, once upon a time, my mother was a kindergarten teacher.  If you’ve ever had a kindergarten teacher as a parent, you know that you end up knowing the crafts by heart since you always have to make the demo…

Well, this craft has come in handy time and time again when I’m looking for a way to use all those extra heart valentines instead of simply throwing them out.  I’ve always made my own valentines and I always end up making more hearts than necessary. 

So what you do is take three construction paper hearts (or four if you want the person to have extra good luck) and then take green construction paper and cut out three or four hearts out of green paper.  Glue a green heart onto the back of each red/pink heart.  Then take a pin that has a back (an earring might work as well, so this is also a time to get rid of all those unpaired earrings).  Take all three or four hearts and put them so it looks like only one heart.  Make sure that all the colors are facing the same direction.  Then stick the pin or earring into the bottom of the heart and put the back on it. 

At this point, if you separate the hearts out, you’ll notice that you have a three (or four) leaf clover.  Take the top pink heart and write a message on it, such as ‘I love you’ or an inside joke that is shared between you and a friend.  Then on each of the green hearts (or leaves), write something such as ‘Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!’  Add your own little flourish - perhaps a quick stem or something as such.

Have fun, be creative.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Makeup~ A Beauty Article by Renee Arnold

I obviously love the Exact Eyelights collection by CoverGirl but I already wrote about those! My favorite mascara is Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in very black. This mascara is the ultimate black mascara, it lengthens and volumizes your lashes all in one very affordable mascara.
 For a lip gloss to use of special occasions, I use Classic Lip Gloss with TimeStrip Technology from Cargo Cosmetics, it's rather pricey at $22 but it's a fabulous lip gloss! I actually bought it as part of a complete Cargo Cosmetics kit so I didn't pay normal price.
My very favorite blush can be bought at Wal-Mart or any drugstore for only $5! It is called Rimmel Lasting Finish Blendable Blush. This blush is well blendable so it doesn't give you harsh lines of color on your face so you can look more natural.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Never Alone~ A Spiritual Article by Hogan Stevens

Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?
These verses drift into my mind as I sit in the hospital waiting room, my worried father in the chair beside me. Looking around, I spot a small Bible lying on a nearby chair and I idly wonder if I should fetch it and look up the verses that I am thinking of.

It’s been a worrisome past week. My ninety-three year old Gran had a stoke just last weekend and is now unable to speak. It’s hard for me to see my beloved grandmother--always so strong, so loving--lying in that hospital bed, her light brown eyes showing her pain and confusion. I know it’s been even harder for my father to see her this way.
If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.
I silently pray that my Gran knows this, that she is not afraid of being along in these dark hours, that she feels God’s loving presence. I know He’s there with her and that His thoughts are always on her. Glancing at my dad, I can see the anxiety on his face and it makes me wonder what he is thinking.

Without a word, I rise and go to the Bible, bringing it back to my seat. I flip through its worn pages silently until I come to one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament, Psalm chapter 139. I read it slowly, allowing the familiar words to wash over me, and a small smile tugs at my lips.

“Here,” I say, handing the open Bible to my dad. “Read this. It’s one of my favorites.”

I watch him as he reads to himself, hoping the words will lift him up as they did me. When he is finished, he nods, and it seems to me that he might look a bit more reassured than he had been just a moment before.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the light hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee. (Psalm 139:9-12)

These verses have always warmed my heart because I know without a doubt that they are true. God never leaves us, not even when it seems like everything is dark and hopeless. We need to trust in Him, especially in these hard times, because it is in the dark that we can truly see His light.

He is always thinking about us. Isn’t that a great thought? It’s a big comfort for me to know that He cares for my Gran as she lays in the hospital bed, regaining her strength. He thinks of her and loves her way more than any of her earthly family ever could, and that’s saying something because Gran is loved and cherished by everyone in my family.
How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand. (Psalm 139:17-18a)
Later that day, I grip my grandmother’s hand between both of my own, my eyes taking in her face, a face that I have grown to love throughout my life.

“I love you, Gran.” I say, trying to keep my voice from shaking. I squeeze her hand a bit tighter. “I’ll see you soon, okay?”

Her eyes lock onto mine and I can see love and strength pouring out from them, filling my heart with hope. She says nothing, but I don’t need words to know what she means.

As I turn away from her and leave the hospital, I feel an emotion well deep inside of me. Not worry, but confidence. I know that whatever happens the Lord will be with my Gran, surrounding her with His all-encompassing love.

And I know that she knows it, too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Mr. Darcy's Diary" Amanda Grange~ A Book Review by Michelle Pell

Amanda Grange has written diaries for almost every Jane Austen male hero, but this is my personal favorite.
I love that she uses direct quotes from the book Pride and Prejudice, but still uses imagination in telling about the times when Darcy is away from Hertfordshire.
She skillfully depicts Darcy struggling with himself over the fact that he's falling madly in love with Elizabeth and the fact that she is so far below him and her family is unbearable.
I was very impressed with the way Amanda Grange wrote the book so that even those who have never heard the story of Pride and Prejudice would still be able to follow what is happening and still enjoy it immensely.
If you know the story of Pride and Prejudice, you know about how Mr. Darcy "broke up" the relationship of his friend and Elizabeth's sister. In reading this book you come to a better understanding of Darcy's reasoning and how he really believed Jane Bennet to be indifferent. He did it to protect his friend's heart.
You will experience pain as you share in Darcy's pain and overwhelming joy when he is successful.
The tone of the book will ring true for Pride and Prejudice fans, and will be a delightful read for a new crop of Jane Austen admirers .

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Old Navy~ A Store Review by Madeline Hunt

Old Navy is a fun store that has mostly modest clothing- no store is completely modest and things look different on individual people so make sure that you follow your modesty standards when shopping at any store.
This adorable light blue boat neck is modest and classy. The wide angle of the neckline is so cute and the three quarter length sleeves are fabulous - they balance the top perfectly. The best part is you can get it in like 15 colors the prices range from $15 and down. This color is $3.97- What a steel!
These jeans are so cute. I love the sparkly embellishment on the pockets. The color is very versatile and classic, with slight fading these jeans are perfect! They are not a super low rise either! They are only $24.97! When do you find cute jeans this cheep?
I love these earrings, if I was not currently broke I would buy them in a heartbeat! I love the shape and texture! They are the perfect addition to this outfit. You can grab them for $8.50
The print of this cute scarf dresses up this other wise simple outfit. The color is great! It would also be a versatile piece that would go great with allot of other tops. What a cute scarf for only $12.50
These light blue sneakers are so cute and they go great with the top! A perfect way to look cute and still be comfortable. You can get comfort and cuteness for only $16.97. For a cute pair of sneakers what a great deal!!
Total: $66.91
Cute modest outfit for just over 65 bucks!
Please don't use my words to convince your self to dress immodestly- these clothes may or may not be modest on you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Perfectly.. Inconsiderate~ An Issues Article by Emily Ciszewski

Arriving promptly five minutes early, the young gentleman parks as near to the house as he can, leaving his car running for extra warmth and turning up the heat on the cold night.
He walks to the door, patiently rapping softly three times. Mr. Miller opens the door, “Why hello Jack! Margret is just about ready, why don’t you come in?” Jack hands his hat to the man and sits when asked in the soft leather ‘company’ chair. Mrs. Miller offers him some tea, and he sips it while chatting with Mr. Miller. “Well, you’re a nice boy Jack - you and Margret have a nice night, remember, 11:30 at the latest.” Margret walks into the room then, at exactly 6:30, hair set and dress ironed. “Hello Jack, thank you for waiting, I’m ready now.”
“Just on time - you look wonderful as always. Good-night Mr. and Mrs. Miller, thank you for the tea!”
The two walk out to the car, Jack opening her door and softly closing it after she slides in.
“Hope it’s warm enough for you,”
“Oh, yes it’s perfect, thank you.”
Sounds perfectly lovely - doesn’t it? Jack is so patient, so thoughtful. Mr. and Mrs. Miller so relaxed and hospitable. Margret so lady-like and sweet. Everything seems so….so….old-fashioned? I wish I could think of a better word - but yet, that is how the little tale sounds, doesn’t it? But don’t you wish that’s how it still was? That people were still so considerate? If so many of us girls are enchanted by this picture of kindness, then how come it’s been disregarded like our Grandma’s doilies? Disrespect is a big issue in America, especially among teens. Where hats were taken off in homes and Church, men and boys don’t even think of removing them. Where doors were quickly held open for the ladies passing through, they’re now closed as the person in front of you walks on. Where women and girls offered hospitalities such as tea and cakes, we’ve cast aside even asking our guests to sit down.
Words such as ‘etiquette’ or ‘manners’ seem out-dated and foreign in our vocabulary. To me, it’s sad. I looked up the word etiquette in my dictionary and here is the definition;

Etiquette: “A high regard for and appreciation of worth; esteem.”

We see the word ‘worth’ in there. Worth. “A high regard for and appreciation of worth; esteem.” Though we may not think the people around us are ‘worthy’ of our respect and kindness, God did.

See Him on the cross - bleeding for everyone of us. God thinks we’re worth it. Who am I to defy God?

I’m not asking you to host a tea party and dress up in a colonial dress - (though that might sound like fun!) - the simple point is this;

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
(John 13:34)

To love as Jesus did….that is no easy task.
Jesus got on the floor and washed dirty feet. Jesus touched a leper. Jesus loved. Jesus died because you and I are worth it to Him.

Hospitality. Love. Kindness. Etiquette. It’s all about consideration for others. About treating others the way we want to be treated.

To open a door - it’s not an old-fashioned idea, it’s simply showing someone you think they’re worth it. To offer someone hot tea on a cold afternoon, or iced in the hot of the day - wouldn’t you appreciate the kind offer? To take off your hat in someone’s home or your Church - it shows you are in debt to them - that you acknowledge their authority in their home, as for Church - isn’t it God’s home?

Open the door for the people behind you, the older couple carrying groceries, the boy with his hands full of school papers.

Offer to help your mom in the kitchen, your sister with her homework, your dad with washing the car.

Avoid interrupting those talking around you, listen with your whole heart.
Ask people to sit down, offer them the best chair, give them extra attention at the table, even if they're not your company.

Make eye contact with the person talking to you, and talk back to them. (I hate it when people just listen but don't comment! :) )
Dress up when you know you'll be having company, even if it's just switching into nicer pants.
Lavish others with the kind of treatment you'd like.

So, the question; What is hospitality? What is etiquette? What are manners?
Answer; Treating others the way you’d like to be treated.

It’s as simple as that.
 “Thank you for a wonderful evening Jack, I had a nice time.”
“Thank you for allowing me the pleasure Margret.”
It’s 11:25, Jack hurries to open her door, then escorts her to the house. “I won’t come in, your parents might not be expecting me. Good-night Margret.”
“Thank you, good-night Jack.”
He pecks her cheek with a gentle kiss and she blushes.
He waits till the door opens to her, then slips to his car and drives away quietly.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We All Have Problems~ An Advise Column by Nadia

Dear Nadia,

 My boyfriend and I broke up a while ago and now he is starting to show interest in my best friend. I care for them both but I don't want them to be together. I know my best Friend wouldn't do anything but... I keep thinking she will! What should I do?

Caught in the Middle

Dear Caught In The Middle,
I'm sorry you're having a hard time with this. I know if it were me, at this point I would probably still be struggling with my feelings for my boyfriend. Maybe you guys ended the dating relationship on a good note, maybe not, but either way I'm sure it's tough to see your boyfriend starting to have feelings for your best friend.
You said that you know your best friend would never do anything and I agree - a true friend wouldn't do something to hurt you. I suggest that you talk to your friend about how you're feeling. Explain your emotions to her, not in a way that would make her feel bad or guilt her out of going out with your ex-boyfriend, but just be honest with her. As it says in Proverbs 18:24, a friend will stick closer than a sister. I also encourage you to take this to the very best Listener there is - our Father in Heaven. Pour out everything to Him and let Him see into your heart. Lay bear whatever is there - if there's any pain or regret, or even just tell Him how much you miss the good times you two had together. Maybe in talking it out, you'll realize that you are able to let go. Maybe it's time for you to let go of this guy, and just place everything in God's hands. You can "Lay aside any weight (anything that's holding you back or bringing you down)... and run with endurance the race that is set before you." (Hebrews 12:1)
This also might be a good time to put God in control of your love life if you haven't already. You can say a simple, heartfelt prayer committing your life to Him and asking Him to find you the perfect man sometime in the future. I read a quote that said, "Dance with God, He'll let the perfect man cut in." I think that is so true, and something all of us should do. I'll be praying for you as you work through this situation, and one thing to keep in mind is that no matter what happens, God is in control, He will work through it for the best, and it will all pass.
God bless,
Dear Nadia,
I want to start trusting God more but I'm not really sure how to or where to start. Do you have any tips or advice for me?
Trust in the Lord

Dear Trust in the Lord,

I really have a hard time trusting in God too! And I'm pretty sure we're not the only ones, either. It's super difficult to trust in someone you can't see, but there are some things we can start with in order to try to trust God more. Right now, I encourage you to look back on your life. Try to remember all those times that God has been faithful to you - the times He answered your prayers in little ways, the ways He has blessed you. When you're struggling at all in your walk with God, I think it helps to count your blessings. Also, read God's love letter to you (the Bible). He has given us tons of great verses that remind us that He's not going anywhere, that He's watching out for us, and that He loves us and has plans for us.
One of my favorites is Jeremiah 29:11 - "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.'" Another thing I've noticed about trusting God is that, for me, it's really easy to fall into the trap of depending on my friends or my achievements to tell me who I am. Then what happens is when that friend isn't there or when I don't get as good grades as someone else, I start to feel really insecure. I've finally decided that I'm through with that, and even though I have a feeling it's going to be a struggle quitting that bad habit, I've discovered that God is the ONLY one we can depend on. Trust in His faithfulness and commit yourself to Him. It will be hard, but you can rely on Him - look around at all the beauty He's put in this world, just for you :) And look at the incredible sacrifice He made by sacrificing His son for us. Do you believe that He is who He says He is? Because God NEVER breaks His promises, and He has told us and proved to us that He is powerful and faithful and loves us through everything.
"Since God assured us, 'I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,' we can boldly quote, 'God is there, ready to help; I'm fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me'" (Hebrews 13:5) Learning to completely trust God is, I think, a journey that all of us are on and one that will take a lifetime. God bless you and I'll be praying for you!

:) Nadia

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day~ A Single Article by Haley Oscar

Ever been to a roller rink, having a great time and then BAM couples skate? I remember so many times that happened to me, I'd stand there alone while all the "happy couples" danced their way to love. (So I thought, it was Jr. High everyone thought that way, right?) Valentine's Day always felt like that to me. I have never been in a relationship where we spent Valentine's Day together, I have always been single. I always hated it because all my friends would be out with their boyfriends and I sat at home with my family. I had the woe is me attitude and didn't really want much to do with the holiday.

If you’re single this Valentine's Day try to get out if you can! Chances are, you are not the only single person in the world. Being dateless can be fun, if you have the right mind set! Have a girls day, take each other out for dinner and then a movie, have girl dates! If that doesn't work out you can do a mother daughter date, or a sister’s date. Or better yet! Have a date with God, almost every year on Valentine's Day I spent my time with my head in my bible and in prayer. Valentine's Day is about showing love to others, not just the boy you've had on your mind. This year try to find some way to show God's true love to another person. Offer a couple with many kids to baby sit for free, so they can go out and have themselves a much needed date. Trust me, they will thank you! 

 Remember, being single is a good thing in your teen years, if you are in a relationship remember to be wise with how much you give your heart and mind to this person. The more you give the harder it is to let go, guard your heart! I'll leave you with something my youth pastor has said to me many times over the years, and something from my dad, who is also a pastor.

“Specifically, what would I wish guys could tell girls would be help us make the right choices by not letting us in. Song of Solomon says in three separate chapters (2, 3, & 8) to not “awaken love until it so desires.” Well the problem lies not in love, but in man; specifically boys. They think that they need to awaken love when it’s knocking at their door. They think that because they are “feeling” the need for love that they need to feed that desire. Well, like too much Thanksgiving dinner, too much love is painful.

Ladies, when the guys come around wanting to awaken love with you and date and be close, it’s your job to but the deadbolts on the door of your heart. You must not allow the young and foolish man to draw close to you. Friendship, group hangouts, and meaningful conversations are great, but once you open the gate to one cow (or dating exercise) the whole heard wants in as well.”- Pastor Nick Hubing

“One of the tragedy’s of modern culture is that they sell a bill of goods to a generation of young women that is possibly the most destructive ever seen. If I could tell all teenage girls something, it would be this- please don’t look to this world to tell you who you are, what you need for fulfillment, or how you should live to be happy. The world’s definition of all of these is a lie, and it’s a carefully crafted lie that although cleverly disguised, is meant to destroy you.

As you mature, use these years to allow Jesus to tell you who you are, what you need to do, and who you are meant to be. He loves you more than His own life, and will never lead you down the wrong path.

Prov 31:30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.” – Pastor John Oscar (Aka daddy!!)

I hope you take these words into your heart and dwell on them this Valentine’s Day.
I’m praying for you all!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Loving Yourself~ A Spiritual Article by Rachel Melillo

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  - Matthew 22:37-39

Love.  Love.  Love.  With Valentine’s day coming up sooner and sooner every day, Love is everywhere.  But these verses focus on a slightly different type of love, the agape kind of love, not the eras kind of love (‘Eras’ being the Greek word for romantic love). 

The first reference to love is used by the Greek word ‘agapeseis’ which translates (as literally as possible) to ‘you shall be loving’.  The root of the word, ‘Agape’ we often translate to ourselves to be something along the lines of ‘love unconditionally’.  The suffix “-seis” is the command form of the verb agape, adding in the ’you shall’.  Jesus didn’t say this as a ‘as a good idea, you should…’  No, he was very specific in what he said as it was a commandment. 

Normally, people focus on the fact that we should love God and then others…but I’ve noticed that they leave out the ‘love yourself’ part of the verse, and it’s super important.  When I think about it, if you cannot love yourself with the agape kind of love, it’s hard to love God with your entity, and it’s even harder to love those around you.  How many times have you said to yourself, “Ugh I wish I were skinnier.”?  -Raises hand- I know I have.  How many of you have said “Why can’t I be as skinny as her?”  Again, I’m guilty.  When it comes to that question, you’re guilty of breaking both the greatest commandments.  In one sense, you can’t love God because you’re not loving the person that he’s created you to be, and you can’t love the person that you’re envying because you begin to resent that person (and God) for being the way they are.  Whether its subconscious or conscious, it happens, and that’s a problem. 

So what do we do about it?  I’m sure we’ve all heard the ‘You’re perfect the way you are’ speech, but does that ever do any good?  Well, sometimes it does, but most of the time we simply brush it off and refuse to believe it.  I’m not going to claim to have all the answers.  That would be silly of me, considering I’m only eighteen and I’m still trying to figure out my life.  Advice I do have for you, however, is to become comfortable with who you are.  Stop envying other people.  I’m not the skinniest person on the planet (not even close!), but for the most part, I’m fairly comfortable with who I am.  And while I continuously struggle with loving myself, I can handle being comfortable with who I am.   

So this Valentine’s day, instead of focusing on the boyfriend you do or don’t have, focus on how you can love God, yourself, and others. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day Movie Night~ Movie Reviews by Kari Willinger

Valentine's Day is coming and for those of us who have boyfriends need a nice clean romantic movie right. Well, here are those perfect movies.

Sleepless in Seattle

A clean, romantic movie about love, loss and finding yourself. When Sam loses his wife Maggie he loses part of himself. Believing she was the only one out there for him, he doesn't even contemplate dating, but when his son Jonah forces Sam to express all of his feelings on air girls start falling in love with him. One of those girls include Annie. Who even though engaged falls in love. What will happen? Will they end up together? Watch and find out.

There is no sex scenes during the movie and there is minor cussing. 1 g**d****t and 2 s***.

Just Like Heaven

What happens if you fall in love with a spirit? Well that's what David does. When Elizabeth a doctor falls into a comma, artist David moves into her apartment. Then haunted by her ghost David agrees to find out more about her since she forgets everything. He finds love and her in such an amazing movie.

This movie has sexual references and mild language throughout the movie.

A Walk To Remember

One of my favorite movies of all time. Such an amazing story about the love one can show another. Not only is it an amazing love story, it is an amazing god story. When Landon falls in love with the preachers daughter of the local church he doesn't know everything. Jamie has a secret. Landon still loves her and it shows throughout this movie. I encourage you to watch it.

There is mild cussing throughout the movie but that is all.
For those girls who do not have a special someone to watch movies with, I suggest getting together with some of your girlfriends who don't have plans on Valentine's Day and make some! Plan a movie night! If you are not in the mood to watch romance movies, here are some other suggestions.

Revenge of the Bridesmaids

This comedy stars Raven Symone and Joanna Garcia. These two best friends return to there hometown for a wedding anniversary and soon discover that their enemy is soon to marry their best friend's ex boyfriend. In order to get them back together, they decide to befriend the bride to be and become her bridesmaids, all in order to ruin the most important day of her life. You'll laugh and cry in this movie, but mostly laugh.

This movie has very mild language.

Driving Miss Daisy

A classic movie about a man (Morgan Freeman) whose job is to drive Miss Daisy (Jessica Tandy) wherever she needs to go. Miss Daisy is a high spirited women who does not want a driver, but her son (Dan Aykroyd) insists on it. Together, Miss Daisy and Hoke learn that they have more in common than they thought.

Forever Strong

Star rugby player, Rick, lands in a reformatory after a DUI. Because of this, he can no longer play for his dad's rugby team, but Larry, coach of the rugby team at the reformatory, allows him to play for his team. Through this movie, you see how Rick changes his ways and how, after he is released, is faced with all of his old ways. This is a very inspiring movie, but also a great action movie! Who knew rugby was so cool?

This movie has mild language and has some teen alcohol and drug use in it, but do not turn away from this movie because of this. This is all part of the transformation of Rick.

For more information on these and other movies, go to Plugged In, brought to you by Focus on the Family Ministries.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valetine's Day Outfit Ideas~ By Madeline Hunt

Because Valentines Day is quickly approaching, some of you are probably contemplating what to wear.  Using nine pieces, I have created three outfits. One for if you are going on a date, one for hanging out with friends, and one for embracing the joy of being single!
Top row L to R. Embellished cardigan- Old Navy $29.50, Soft Drape T- American Eagle $19.50, Grey hoodie- Kohl's $12.99
Middle Row L to R Denim Pencil Skirt- Old Navy $29.50, Artist Jeans- American Eagle $39.50, Yoga pants- Aerie $29.50
Bottom Row L to R Romantic Lace Cami- Aerie $19.50, Fashion drop earrings- Old Navy $8.50, Febee bow flat- Payless $22.99
Outfit #1-"I'm going on a date"
For this outfit I chose the cream embellished cardi, denim pencil skirt, lace cami, circle earrings, and the brown flats. For a date on valentines day- I think dressing up is fun and especially if you are going to a nicer restaurant a must. This outfit totals at $109.99, but if you used some of your own pieces then it could cost allot less.For example subbing in a red or pink cami that you already own would be super cute! The point of this is to give you an idea of what to wear, not force you to spend tons of money! If you live in a cold weather state I would also suggest wearing brown tights.
Outfit # 2- "I'm hanging with my girls"
I think this outfit is cute and chic featuring the jeans, drape T, flats and silvery earrings. Even when you are hanging with your gal pals its still fun to dress a little nicer then normal. This outfit costs $90.49 but you could totally use a pair of jeans you already have. by the way I love the Artist jeans from AE they are so comfy!! Accessorizing is important when you wear a basic tee and jeans so make sure you pair this with a cute necklace and earrings or a cute scarf!
Outfit # 3 "I'm so happy I'm single right now so tonight is going to be a night of chocolate and Pride and Prejudice" 
Hoodie,check. Drape T,check. Yoga pants,check. Cute socks,sort of check.  This is night night to be comfy and be happy that you don't need a guy to fill you up. You probably noticed I didn't put a pair of socks in that first picture- well I looked but I couldn't find any cute ones online- Try Delia's in store they have tons of fun patterns! Total outfit cost comes to ..... $ 61.99. Again this is just an idea so your yoga pants are just fine. :) Have fun watching movies eating chocolate and reading the greatest love story ever written- God's word!
Have a very happy Valentine's Day!
Please remember that not all clothes are modest on everyone, please don't use my words as justification to go against your modesty standards!

Monday, February 7, 2011

"As Long As It Takes" Merideth Andrews~ A Music Review by Michelle Pell

In her second album (the first being "You Invite In"), Meredith sings about longing to hear God's voice, offering up everything to her Savior. Her songs have a pleasant mixture of worshipful lyrics and a pop sound. She reminds me a lot of Kari Jobe and Francesca Battistelli so if you enjoy listening to them, this is another lady to add to your list.

Meredith says, "These songs are very personal and my prayer for you is that these songs would reflect the truth of God's Word and draw the listener closer to Himself."

My hope is that as you listen to listen album it will remind you to wait on His will As Long As It Takes.

1. Never Move On
I interpreted this song as talking about the moment Meredith accepted Jesus. A beautiful song about a beautiful thing.

2. Only To Be Yours
A song of offering, she's giving all she's got for God's use.

3. Can Anybody Hear Me
In a time in her life when she's really struggling with hearing God's voice, she relies on her faith to get her through every trial.

4. As Long As It Takes
Waiting on the Lord can sometimes be very difficult, but when you put your complete trust in Him, He will carry you through.

5. Come Home
Singing to a lost friend, she expresses that no matter what they have done they will always be welcome back home.

6. All Will Fade Away
Even though the world right now feels like it's really wicked, we don't need to worry because soon, as Meredith reminds us, every thing will fade away when Jesus returns

7. What It Means To Love
God has shown us the true meaning of love, as expressed in this song.

8. Live Through Me
A pleading cry to Jesus to speak His words and to breathe His breath.

9. My Soul Sings
A song of wonder to the Man who redeemed her.

10. In Your Arms
Meredith reminds us that whenever the fears of the world get to much to handle, we can run to Jesus and he will hold us in His arms forever.

11. How Great Is The Love
The amazement at the love of Christ really comes out in this song.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Your True Valentine~ An Inner Beauty Article by Renee Arnold

With Valentines Day in the air you may be excited because you have a special someone in your life to share it with or you may be depressed because all your friends seem to have boyfriends and you don't. Either way you need to know that your relationship status doesn't determine your beauty. You may not feel beautiful but you definitely are in God's eyes. You are his princess and he wants you to know that.
  Feeling like you're unloved can make you feel miserable. Just know that God doesn't look at how many Valentine's Day's you were without dates, he doesn't measure you by the world's standards. The world may say that you need a boy in your life to be happy but you know that all you really need is God. 
  It is dangerous to base your worth on if you have a boyfriend or not because that's not what God intended for you. He wants you to lean on him for support and not relay on anyone else for your happiness.
So this Valentine's Day, remember that you are special even if you spend it single!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From Your Little Girl~ A Poem by Lea Sadler

The day of dread has come around
where the old might be forgotten and the new is unknown
where heart pounding worry is fully abound
and what might be reaped is what you’ve sown.

I betrayed your trust and defied your help
but you always forgave when you heard my pleas
Even through our screaming I could, no doubt, tell
that your love would always come with ease.

For the eighteen years of tragedies, trials, and troubles
there were kisses to calm what gave me a whirl
When I leave, I can see that your heart will severely crumble
But don't worry, Mommy, I'm still your little girl.

You always understood what life was putting me through
and never second guessed my made-up choices
When I say, "I love you," know it's the grateful truth
and yours is one I will always choose out of many voices.

We didn't always get along, and our battles silenced us both
but I knew you would listen to the things I kept personal
and you walked me through to the end of my growth
but don't worry, Daddy, I'm still your little girl.

So as an adult, here's what I will first say:
I'm grown up and moving on to a scary world
and you know you can trust me to do better than ok
but don't worry, Mommy and Daddy, I'll always be your little girl.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Kid That Stinks~ A Spiritual Article by Emily Ciszewski

You know how I’m talking about right? The one who loves to come over and sit down right beside you? Who’s breathe and clothes reek, and who’s teeth are yellowed over? Who everyone picks on and no one misses when they’re not there?
Yeah. I’m sure you know just who I’m talking about. It’s kinda hard to forget them.

If someone asked me, “Em, how do you treat that kid? Are you kind? Do you listen? Do you care what happens to him/her?”
If I was being a fake I’d say - “Oh yeah - we’re tight! We’re best buds!”
But to be honest I’d tell you this; “Well….we’re not exactly best friends….I hardly ever speak to him/her….it’s hard…because of the smell…..and no one else talks to him/her….”

I know - I might sound like a hypocrite, right? But that’s the truth. And I want to always be truthful with you. I’ve strived to be.
Now - maybe you have the same problem as I do - a pride issue. A deep, deep, deep pride issue! And maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re the kind of person who should be writing this…..but let me tell you , my goal this month is to be so open armed - to the kid that stinks to the girl coated in perfume. But sometimes, that is so hard. Especially over the smell.

1st Corinthians 13:4 says this; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not
proud.” Wow. That verse just kind of hit’s the nail on the head for me. It is not PROUD. Pride. We can’t even see it yet it’s so nosy!
I have known a lot of kids that just need love. They might stink, they might where the same clothes often, they might curse in Church - but deep down, they just need love. Often times, I’m just too prideful to show it…to love them they way the yearn for. But look at my Jesus, he loved with such great love - even the beggars were his friends. We all know that some beggars stink. Jesus loved the people who stunk.

So I should too.

When he walks up to me, to say hello, to chat, for some companionship - I want to smile and ignore the outside looks. Talk to him, ask about his week. Be a bud. When she wants a hug - and she’s still wearing the same clothes she was yesterday - I’ll hug her and give her some love.
But I can’t just love without some heart surgery. Jesus has been working on this heart of mine, sometimes it hurts - but so do the hearts of those kids who don’t understand why they aren’t loved.
They can’t understand why the kids at CHURCH even reject them. They hear “God is love.” They hope to find that in his house. And from his followers. Let’s show them they are so loved. That we care. Going up to them and telling them the gospel and then walking away doesn’t count. We need to love. Talk to them. Listen to them. Hug them. Invite them to parties. Yes. Even our parties. Because, when you truly care about your friends you have them over. You want them to have fun with you.
And I can’t do it just because I feel bad for them. In the beginning that might be why, but later on - I’m sure I’ll see a bigger reason to hang with that person. Everyone has some God given qualities. Everyone can be fun and anyone can surprise you.
That is a real challenge for me. That’s hard. That is a bigger challenge then just praying for them.
I hope I don’t come across as preaching at you. I’m preaching at myself - when I present something to you like this, it’s really a challenge for me. It helps for others to see my commitment.

So, next time I head to the movies, you just might see me sitting with them. Maybe we can make a party out of it. You want to bring the popcorn?