Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Place Like Home!


Today was just one of those days where I was so thankful for my home. Everything about it...the smells, the food, the rooms, the family that fills it. Sometimes all the things we worry about and strive for cause us to forget that wonderful place called HOME. It can be a little heaven on earth, although most certainly not every home is. It's the place where you can be yourself and do the things you love without worrying about what anyone outside your door may think. Laura Ingalls Wilder describes home like no one else..."Home is the nicest word there is." So sweet and simple...but oh so true. For me home is like a warm sweater or a cozy pair of socks. It makes me feel warm inside and just the thought of being there is one of the best thoughts there is. I love my home!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christians are like Christmas Lights....WHAT!


So this year like every other year I pulled out the Christmas Lights and low and behold they were all arranged neatly and I was able to quickly get them up... and then I woke up from this wonderful dream and found myself holding a jumbled up mess that resembled something close to an explosion at a Christmas light factory. So this year like every other year I sat down to work on getting them in order only to find that they didn't work. I really love when that happens...makes me want to sing the Hallelujah Chorus! So leave it to my wonderful hubby to come up with an analogy about how Christians resemble Christmas lights. We ended up talking on the subject at length and I thought I would blog about it. So here I am and here you are reading what I decided to that...OK then...lets move on.

So here are some facts about Christmas lights:

1)They tend to always find themselves in a jumbled up mess.

2)They are much prettier when they are lit. You have to admit that lights really don't look that great when they are off during the day, but when you light those babies up they take on a whole new appearance.

3)One broken light affects all the rest. I had this happen to me two separate times this year. I put the lights on the tree, everything was looking good and then one day I noticed a whole section of my tree was not lit. Of course it was in the middle of the tree so my tree technically got trimmed three times this year if you count all the lights I had to fix and all the decorations I had to remove and replace to do it. Try it's a lot of fun. Let's move on shall we.

4)One single light is okay, but hundreds, thousands, millions...even better.

So now that we've established these simple facts...keep reading.

Christians like lights often times find themselves in a jumbled mess. Technically speaking...we all are a jumbled mess, but for the Grace of God and salvation in Christ. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are a direct result of choices we have made. Other times we may be going through trials and it is no fault of our own, just God's greater purpose. Point can't do anything with tangled up lights and as Christians we need to do our best to be "untangled" from the world. God can't use someone who is entangled with this life and the world's system and ways. Somewhere along the way you have to make the choice to keep yourself "untangled" from the world. I could give you a ton of quotes here, but what better quote than a verse. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a solider," II Timothy 2:4. Just about says it all don't you think.

Just like Christmas lights are much prettier when lit, Christians are much more attractive when they are "shining" with good works. Jesus was the Light of the World. He shined through the darkness and brought salvation to man. The sky turned black when he took man's sin upon him, but now heaven shines with his presence. He shined through the darkness in our hearts and gave us the light of the Gospel. You see...lights are always better when lit. How about me? How about you? Is our light shining for Christ or is it hiding behind a bushel? Christmas like no other time reminds us that time goes fast and life is a's here...then gone. Let's redeem the time and shine for Christ. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven," Matthew 5:16.

When one Christmas light isn't working it affects the rest, likewise when one Christian isn't "working" right it affects the rest. I really believe some people who call themselves Christians have just sort of "checked out." They have either lost all interest in the things of God or they are acting like broken lights. When people fall away or are involved in blatant sin, it is going to affect somebody. It always does. No man is an island unto himself. If you think for one minute that your choices in life don't affect anyone but you, you are sadly mistaken. On that note if we see a brother or sister in need or having a hard time let's help them. Let's admonish, encourage and pray for them to get back where they need to be. We all have been there at some time and somewhere there was someone praying for us or giving us words of wisdom and strength. Let's do the same. There is no's not about who's "light" is more effective or shines before the most people. Just shine! Lights are meant to shine.

Consider this...what if all the people who call themselves "born-again" Christians really let their light shine? This world would certainly be a lot different. What if all of us overflowed with good works? What if we all gave out the Gospel? What if we all helped to hold each other up? What if we all actually were different (not odd)than the world? What if we all really lived the things we speak about? What if when people talked to us they really didn't see us at all...what if they only saw Christ? What if we all really lived like the Light of the World is living in our hearts. What if??? What if??? What if???

Saturday, December 4, 2010

So many cookies so little time!

I know that a lot of people this time of year are hosting or attending cookie swaps. I have been part of several and have learned a few tips along the way. Whenever I start thinking about what kind of cookie I want to make I always am drawn to the ones that look fancy or have fancy about you? I know we all have plans to WOW everyone with our fancy cookie baking skills but then reality hits...I have to bake how many dozen? Pecans cost how much? Yes...I've been there done that. I write down all my ingredients go to the store to stock up only to realize that I could easily sink $30 or more dollars into making cookies. I don't know about all of you, but around this time of year...every little bit counts. So back to the drawing board where we finally settle on a more practical cookie that doesn't break the bank. So in line with that are a few more thoughts about choosing the perfect cookie for that cookie exchange.

1)When choosing a cookie look at how much the recipe yields...I always aim for 5 or more dozen per recipe. This not only saves time, but money as well.

2)Look at ingredients. Keep in mind that items like butter, nuts (especially pecans and hazelnuts) are expensive...especially this year. Even eggs are expensive this year. This may not be a problem if your only making a small amount, but once you start baking several adds up.

3)Consider baking time. I always aim for a cookie with a bake time around 10 minutes. This may not seems like a big deal but when baking large amounts it really adds up to lots of TIME, which I know we are all pressed for this time of year.

4)Determine the difficulty...Now I know that fancy cookies all dolled up look great, but I guarantee you that around 50-60 cookies your going to be wishing you had chosen a cookie that didn't have to be mixed, refrigerated, rolled, filled and sprinkled. Think simple...with great flavor.

5)Last but not least...pick a cookie that can be easily packed and transported. Keep in mind that frosting is going to be messy and very crispy, thin cookies are going to break very easily. Cookies that can be stacked and moved around without being ruined are a good choice.

So these are some things I learned along the way and I hope they can be a real help to you. Merry Christmas and happy baking.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's the Perfect Time...

Vintage Christmas Pictures, Images and Photos

Don't let this Holiday Season go by without creating some new memories with your family and loved ones. Traditions and memories are something your family (especially) children will keep with them through the years. They will for years to come bring to mind sweet thoughts of family and special times. I know they still do for me! We have some traditions that we do every year and have started some new ones even this year. Below is just a quick list of some ideas for creating special memories with your family.

1) Have a family tree decorating night complete with music and party food. It helps if ahead of time you put on the lights and garland as the kids can't always help with this job.

2) Go out around town and look at Christmas decorations. I know as soon as my kids see the Christmas Trees go up at Lowes they know Christmas is coming.

3) Make and decorate gingerbread men/cookies.

4) Bring out the special foods and snacks that you only have around the holidays. For us its smokies and smoked bolognas.

5) Buy each family member a new Christmas bulb for the tree. As the years go by you can think of all the fun you had picking them out.

6) Have some special Christmas music/movies that you listen to or watch year after year.

7) Think of something special you can do for those in need such as those in nursing homes or the elderly/sick. Teach your kids the true spirit of the season by singing carols, bringing food or just spreading some good cheer to those not as fortunate as you.

8) Read the Story of Jesus Birth before you open Christmas presents.

9) Set up a Christmas village/train set.

10) Have a special tradition when the first snow comes. Ours is making cinnamon bread from scratch. While it bakes we walk outside in the falling snow and then come in and have a slice of fresh bread out of the oven with lots of icing.

If you have some special traditions...I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Here is a recipe I made this morning for church. It is my own creation...I just sort of combined a bunch of recipes and this is what I came up with. I received lots of compliments, even from those who are not big fans of pumpkin. Give it a won't be disappointed!

Pumpkin Streusal Coffeecake

For the cake:
1 package of yellow cake mix
1 Cup of pumpkin
3 eggs
3T of Vegetable oil
1/3 cup of water
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

For the cinnamon filling:
1/3 cup of brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the Streusal (the BEST part):
1 Cup of flour
1 Cup of packed brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), softened

Do this:

Combine all the cake ingredients (by hand or mixer) until combined and pour 1/2 of the batter into a greased 13X9 pan. Combine the cinnamon filling and sprinkle over the cake batter in pan. Carefully spread the remaining cake batter over cinnamon filling. Combine the streusal ingredients with your hands until the consistency of soft sand. Spread evenly over the top of the cake. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes to start. Test with a toothpick. If not done keep testing in five minute increments until it comes out clean. You do not want to over bake. I think mine took 40 minutes total. Remember you may see a few crumbs from the topping thats fine...just no mushy cake! Serve warm or cold....either way it's sensational! Happy Autumn baking!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Today I had my first official "Fall" Apple. Now if you love apples like me you know exactly what I mean when I say "Fall" apple. Now throughout the year you can find apples, usually Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious, name just a few. But come early September, Apples take on a whole new dimension! You meet such beauties as Honey-crisp (my personal favorite), Roma, Stayman and Granny Smith. All these little lovelies only add to my obsession with fall! So in honor of the small, lovely and yet never understated apple...I give you....the Recipe for Butterscotch Apple Biscuits. Enjoy!!!

You will need:
3 Granny Smith apples
4 tubes of buttermilk biscuits (the small ones that sometimes come in four packs)
1 Package of Cook and Serve (not instant) Butterscotch pudding
1/2-3/4 Cup of sugar
1/2 t of cinnamon
1 Stick of Butter (you can use marg. but butter makes everything taste better.
Pecans or raisins if you so desire

Separate the biscuits and place them in a lightly greased 13X9 pan. Peel the apples and cut into slices. Place the apple slices throughout the biscuits. Mix the pudding, sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over biscuits and apples. Melt the stick of butter and pour it over all. Pop it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes to start and keep an eye on them not to over bake. Each oven is different. Just make sure they are not doughy. You can serve immediately...which I recommend... with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Super easy and Super good!'s to fall apples and all the yummy recipes that are waiting to be made with them.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I love aprons, but I REALLY love vintage aprons. While doing a Google search for vintage aprons, I came across this really neat Etsy Shop that sells homemade aprons. They are super cute and would make a great gift if you or someone you know loves aprons. Check it out if your interested.

While Aprons kind of became less of a norm after the 50's they are making a comeback...and with good reason...who doesn't like to keep their clothes looking nice!

Get ready for fall baking! In order to pay tribute to the pumpkin, today I am going to share with you one of my most requested recipes. It never fails, is super easy and yields a wonderfully fluffy and soft cookie that is to die for! Bet you can't eat just ten (forget one!). Clink the Link below to be a partaker of the goodness.

Here's my Pumpkin Tip of the day
If you're planning on making beef stew anytime this year, have you considered serving it in small hollowed out pumpkins? It is such a great idea and looks so festive! For an extra special touch you can even replace the circular piece you cut out for the opening (with the stem) back on after you fill the pumpkin with stew. This will delight your family and friends as they remove the stem to find steamy beef stew. Now that is pure Autumn comfort!

Below is a recipe/picture of what I just mentioned. This is not my beef stew recipe, I just put it here because I know a lot of people like to SEE what they are making! Also I noticed that you actually bake the stew right in the pumpkin as opposed to just filling it. There are so many versions, but you get the idea!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


This is my Ode to the Pumpkin!

How do I love thee let me count the ways!
From Pumpkin pie to cookies you fill my Autumn days.
In the center of my table or perched upon my porch,
You shine in brilliant shades of orange, like a flaming torch.
In many shapes and sizes, none distort your beauty...
I should fill many a book if I told what you mean to me.
I wait for three long summer months for you to arrive upon the scene,
And when at once you get here, I can't help but dance and sing,
So beautiful little pumpkin, whom I've anticipated all year long,
In my humble opinion you can do not wrong!

And tomorrow in honor of this lovely little creature I will post some of my favorite pumpkin recipes. And by the way I won't hold it against you if you dislike or despise the pumpkin in any way.

The table is the center of our home. We do everything from eating to school to artwork there. I have a big old farm table that I love and a trough much like this one in the center. Mine isn't as full as this, but now that I have this idea, I will be trying to get this same look. I love old rugged pieces of wood. They has so much character and they are so rustic and charming. Don't you just love all the colors in this center piece? I don't think I will ever tire of looking at this. So what are you all doing for your fall decor...Please share!

So I really LOVE fall. No surprise there! I saw this picture and I thought to myself...I could picture myself here, walking down this road, holding hands with my hubby. I imagine we're both wearing our favorite fleeces and talking about why we love this time of year. We were married in the fall (albeit that it we had a huge snowstorm on our wedding day...that's NY for you) and our wedding was decorated for fall, complete with a stone path and white bridge...just beautiful. So fall has a lot of really good memories for me. A cozy fire, a good book, the kids laughing and jumping in the hay, Fall Apples (one of life's simple pleasures) and of course a really good cup of coffee. Everything is just better with coffee and don't you forget it. There is nothing like waking up in the morning and feeling that "Fall chill" in the air. For me there is nothing cozier than fall colors...I could wrap myself in their warmth for the next 50 years and be just fine. So on that happy note...I will continue on down the path with my hubby and a picnic basket complete with a cozy fall blanket to sit on...Fall...there's nothing quite like it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hey Mom and are ya? Let me ask you a question...and be honest with yourself. When was the last time you felt like you weren't good enough? When was the last time you compared yourself to some other lady? When was the last time you criticized your looks or compared yourself to some other woman who was "prettier?" When was the last time you compared your situation to someone else's and felt "jealous?" If we're honest....we all do, and in fact I was guilty of it just last night. Seems so "high school" right??? Well let's face it...we women can be a bundle of emotions sometimes! Our poor husbands need a road map to work their way through our complicated emotions so they don't make a wrong turn! Two things on this point...our emotions can be really great at times. It's what makes a Mom want to fix a boo-boo, fix a great meal, hug a friend in need, kiss our hubby or just do something really unexpected and thoughtful...just "because." On the other hand they can be deceiving, conniving, inconsiderate, selfish, overly emotional and at times just flat out "neurotic." These are all TOXIC emotions and not unlike a container of poisonous chemicals they should have a hazard sign on them. They should be avoided at all cost. A quote I once read said something like this..."Acid does more damage in the vessel in which it's stored then to the vessel on which it is poured." Let's face it...when we don't keep our emotions in the right place it affects everyone....starting with you and working right down the line to all the people in your life. They are like a poison poured out on the ones you love! Sounds really gross and scary doesn't it. Just trying to keep things in perspective. Having said that, I want to share with you some thoughts on some of the emotions that trouble all of us women at some time or another. I will always point you back to the Bible, because I believe with all my heart that every answer to our problems can be found within it's pages. It never changes...UNLIKE our emotions. Put on your gas mask and follow me for a few minutes as we explore some of the "toxic emotions" that plague all of us at out....this "ain't" gonna be pretty!

1) Jealousy-No...not the "J" word! If you're a woman...I know you've had to battle this ugly emotion. It often rears it ugly head at the worst and most inopportune times. One minute your fine the next minute your examining your every flaw with a high-powered microscope. Suddenly how you look isn't right, what you do isn't good enough and on and on it goes. Let's grow up shall we? Myself included. First of all Psalms 139 says "We are fearfully and wonderfully made." Now which one of you reading this has the guts or audacity to look at God and say...."What were you thinking? Why have you made me thus (remember Job said that)? Do we really think that we know better than God how we should have been made? Obviously, unequivocally NO! I'm not going to give you or myself a bunch of "fluff" here. God knew exactly what he was doing when He made you and I...and let's not forget that He did it with a purpose and plan in mind. For you and I to get so caught up in silly things like looks or lots in life is nothing more than foolish. Consider Christ....God in flesh....come down to live among sinful men and he didn't even have "place to lay his head." He was born in a manger among smelly cattle and died on a rugged cross among two thieves. Now if anyone ever had a right to complain it certainly could have been our Lord, but He was always more concerned with others than himself. If we are becoming to preoccupied with comparing ourselves to others and what we have or don't have...consider Christ and get more concerned for others. "A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small package." That's free and I can't even remember who said it...but they were right. Let's have the right attitude! When we find ourself all distressed about things that don't mean a thing on this earth anyway....Consider! Not What...but whom....and that is Christ.

2) Insignificance-All of us want to feel important. Nothing wrong with the right perspective. We all want to be commended for a job well done or congratulated when we accomplish something. However, like most emotions when not kept in check we will always find ourselves feeling like we are a failure. Now from a worldly perspective this is completely understandable. There is always someone who does something better, faster, smarter etc...than us. However if we are children of God our perspective should be "out of this world." We are not looking for the praise of fact many times this leads people up the ladder of vanity...only to fall. We are looking for the Lord's approval! Consider this...God doesn't look on the pastor of the biggest church with more favor than the pastor of a congregation of 10. He looks at the heart! Yes, he may give some a bigger sphere of influence, but God is looking for quality of work not quantity. He sees a faithful and willing heart...and he will reward you thusly. Maybe sometimes you feel like all you do is chase kids, fill cups, change diapers, break up fights, play judge and jury to sibling disagreements...but it's not insignificant! Being a Mom and wife is the most rewarding job there is and far to many ladies don't give themselves the credit they deserve. Now this doesn't mean there aren't things we all need to work on...I know mine! Don't spend all your time looking for worldly the Lord's approval and spend your time making yourself "spiritually" significant.

3) Bitterness-Now here's an emotion everyone has had battle with at one time or another. We all have been wronged at some time. Maybe we have had a bad life growing up or disagreements with those around us. Bitterness is sometimes one of those things that can settle in and make itself at home, before we ever realize it came in the front door. Bitterness is like putting on a pair of glasses with the lenses painted black to read a book. You won't be able to see anything properly and after a while it's going to really mess up your point of view. That's what bitterness does. It makes everything in life distorted and after a while everything in life is seen through that distortion. The only sure cure for this is...1) Confess your sin of bitterness and 2) forgive and make things right. Now I know that sounds easy, but it's not easy to do...and you know it. Forgiveness is necessary and it is the first step in getting bitterness out the door. Now if you really want to give bitterness the boot, take whatever it is that you can't change and leave it at the Lord's feet. Let Him deal with the mess...He'll do much better than you! Don't try to pick up again all the things you can't possibly understand with your earthly mind...let God deal with it for you.

So that's it ladies. Some simple things to ponder and consider. Don't live a defeated life held captive by toxic emotions! There is a great freedom in the truth of God's word!

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." II Corinthians 10:5

Sunday, August 29, 2010

This is a devotional written by my good friend Jen. I thought it was very encouraging and maybe you will find it is just what you need today.

While reading through To Live is Christ by Beth Moore, I not only became more familiar with Paul, but also with his friend Barnabas. Barnabas' name means "son of encouragement or consolation". Paul comes across as a rough and tumble kind of man, so it seems almost odd to see him become good friends with someone such as Barnabas. Paul doesn't seem to be the type of person who needs encouragement, but he did, and God sent Barnabas into his life.
How often do we need a good friend and God sends a Barnabas into our life? Awhile back I needed some encouragement and God sent a Barnabas to me. I have several friends who I am able to depend on in the good times, as well as the bad times. Friends who let me know they're praying for me, who share Scripture with me, who just lend a listening ear (which that alone is important because those who know me know I like to talk...a lot).
Sometimes it's so easy to just tell someone "I'll be praying for you". But do we follow through with that promise? Samuel said, "Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you..." (I Samuel 12:23)

I have a friend who is going through a difficult time. I've been trying to think of ways that I can be an encouragement. Here are a few, maybe you can add more in the comments.

Promise to pray for them, and then be sure to take time to pray for them.
Share Scripture with them (even if you don't know what they're going through, there are many verses you can still share).
Listen...I always tell my daughter God gave us two ears so we can listen twice as much as we talk.
Send them a card reminding them that you are praying for you them (again, please be sure you are praying for them).
If you can afford it, send them some flowers, or go pick some wildflowers. What a nice reminder that they are special to you.
Lastly, don't share their burdens as "prayer requests" to others, unless the individual has specifically asked you to. Some times "sharing prayer request" is just another word for gossiping.
I'd also like to share some verses with you that I use in times when I'm discouraged or to share with others in their time of need.

Psalm 9:10 "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."
Psalm 18:6 "In my distress I called upon the LORD and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears."
Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
Psalm 30:5b "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Psalm 34:18 "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strenth, a very present help in trouble."
Psalm 61:2 "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
Psalm 62:8 "Trust in him at all times; ye people pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."
Psalm 86:5 "For thou, LORD, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee."
Psalm 119:71 "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn they statutes."
Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them."
Psalm 130:5 "I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope."
These are just a few from the Psalms, most written by David, a man of God. I love how God showed the weaknesses of His people. David was a man after God's own heart, but there were times when he was discouraged. Paul says in I Corinthians 1:4 "Who [God] comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." Sometimes God puts us through trials, so we may be able to comfort (and encourage!) others down the road who will go through the same thing. God is good!

There is good news for those discouraged! I Corinthians 10:13 says "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it."

I once saw this quote on a friend's facebook status: "Be kinder than necessary, everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." It's now one of my favorite quotes. I pray that each of us will be a Barnabas to someone today.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just some thoughts

Lamentations 3:22-26
"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."

These have always been some of my favorite verses. I'm not sure why but when I read them I just get this overwhelming sense of peace. It kind of reminds me of my place in life...just hanging on by God's Mercy...nothing else. If it wasn't so sad it would be almost humorous the way some people exalt themselves in life. If they only knew how truly lost they were and how utterly insignificant they are in comparison to our Lord. I think of the words to that song we sing so often...Great is they faithfulness, O God, my father...there is no shadow of turning of turning with thee...thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not, as thou hast been thou forever will be."

On that note I was also thinking about how the Bible is a book of opposites...think about this...In losing your life, you find it; in humbling yourself, you're lifted up; In coming to the Lord empty, you leave filled...if that isn't the complete opposite of the world's philosophy I don't know what is. The world says,"It's all about ME and fulfilling all MY dreams and MY desires." and God says, "put your life on the altar of MY will and lose yourself in me. Put your own wants and desires aside to follow me." Ironically enough the Christian who does that will find a peace and joy the world can never know. Not that I've "arrived" when it comes to these things. Sometimes I find myself "crawling" off the altar of God's will just to kind of take things in my own hands. We all do.. if we're honest. When we aren't getting the answers we are looking for...we start sneaking off the altar...when we don't understand why things are working out the way they are...we crawl off the altar. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just wait...quietly wait for the Lord to show himself mighty on our behalf.

We are small...God is great. We have finite minds...God is omnipotent. We own a few earthly possessions...God owns it ALL! We are dust...God is the one who made the dust a "living soul." We are sinners...He is the Saviour! We can't see into the next minute...God sees into eternity. Let's read our verse again..."It is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed...because his compassions fail not. If you have days when you feel like your barely hanging on...remember that you're only EVER hanging on by God's mercies.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No-Sew Cafe Curtains - Better Homes and Gardens

The other day I was contemplating making some new cafe curtains for my kitchen so I googled "cafe curtains" and found this super easy how to video. Anyone can do this so don't be afraid...even those of you who can't sew (or just plain despise it). C'mon give it a's a breeze! It is really rewarding to make your own decor items AND can save you some money. Check it out! By the way...if like me you're wondering where you get the clip on curtains hooks, you can get them at places like Ace hardware as well as online.

No-Sew Cafe Curtains - Better Homes and Gardens

A Few Changes!

Hey guys! Its been a while since I've blogged and I'm hoping to be back more faithfully. As soon as warmer weather comes it seems business is right behind it. We've been busy doing things aound the house and of course just the day to day things that Mom's know like sit around and eat bon-bons while the kids fan us...HA! Anyway...I've also been trying to figure out exactly where I wanted my blog to go as far as "the main thing" I wanted to get across to people who might read. I've decided that I really want it to be a resource for stay at home Mom's like myself. I know I find a lot of encouragement, as well as, really useful tools from other bloggers. So that being said, my blog is kind of lining up with one of the main burdens I have in ministry and that is "the older(mature...not necessarily just age)women teaching the younger women. It's lacking and I'm really hoping to help pick up some of that slack with the abilites God has given me. Along with my blog I've also been doing some serious writing and I'll keep you updated from time to time on that. So like I said...hoping to be on more faithfully and that I can offer you all some real encouragement...Lord knows we ALL need it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mothering as Ministry

For some reason today the idea of mothering as ministry came to my mind. I have heard this expression used many times and just never really "thought" about exactly what that means. It is very easy as a mother to get caught up in "the doing" of being a Mom and so easy to forget the "why." It's my observation that some people simply put a check mark next to the having kids item on their "checklist of life." Have their needs...grow them up...move on. I don't mean to sound harsh, but I know this is true. You meet so few Moms anymore who really have a purpose to their parenting. The bible says that children are like arrows. Arrows need to be pointed in the right direction. They don't just hit the target all by themselves. You can't just shoot up in the air and hope you hit the target. It takes thought, precision, good equipment etc... Seeing the target isn't good must aim for it and hit it for it to count for anything. Children are so much more important.

As the wife of an assistant Pastor I see a lot of things in ministry. I see the good, the bad and the down right ugly. As a Mom you see...the good, the bad and the ugly. Do you see where I'm going with this? Anytime you deal with people you have to deal with quirks, emotions, sensitivities etc.. A good leader knows how to handle these things and uses them to bring out the best in people. A mother should do the same. Every child has things that drive us crazy, things that we absolutely love and things that are ugly and we just want to do whatever we can to get rid of the "ugly" trait. This is what I'm your best as a Mom to treat your children as your ministry. Just as a good Pastor would strive to lead and bring out the best in his congregation a mother should do the same for her children. It's not always easy (in case you didn't notice), it's not always pretty and it certainly won't win you any popularity contest with your children...DO IT ANYWAY! Minister to them, meet their needs, capitalize on their strengths, help them with their weaknesses and most important, help them learn to tame that "ugly" sin nature we all have. And just like a good pastor's heart would be to make sure all his people are saved...make sure that your children know the Good News of Christ and do all that's in your power to keep their hearts tender to it. I've had more than one person tell me I'm strict (I hate terms like this) but whatever... you can think what you want about that. I like to think I'm a guardian of my kids hearts and mind. If I don't do it you better believe that satan will be more than willing to do it for me. I'd also like to add here that for every bad thing I don't allow, I replace it with something good and wholesome and the kiddos are happy and healthy and by God's grace their hearts are tender. I'm not going to let the world dictate to me what my kids "need." God tells me in His Word exactly what they need and I can say for sure it doesn't come from the poor excuses of entertainment on TV or the ridiculous role models out there. So be vigilant...satan sure is!

So this is just something that I had on my heart and just thought I'd type it out. Maybe it will encourage you to really be a mother who ministers and not just a mother who goes through the task of mothering. Blessings.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wonderful Alfredo!!!

I Love a good pasta dish...we eat a lot of it at our house. This is a recipe I found a long time ago that is "supposed to be" Olive Garden's recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo...which is still my favorite, with or without chicken (broc. too if you like). I will give you two versions. The first one is the original, but the sauce is quite heavy so I altered it a bit to suit our taste and so that we could still fit in our clothes:)

The Original

1 Pint of heavy cream
1 stick of butter
2 Tab. of cream cheese
1/2-3/4 cup of parm. cheese (use really makes it so much better)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (or more to your liking...I'm a garlic freak of nature)
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. of of fettuccine, cooked and drained

In a saucepan combine butter, heavy cream and cream cheese. Simmer this until all is melted and mixed well. Add the Parm cheese and garlic powder. Simmer this for
15-20 minutes over low heat. Toss Pasta lightly with sauce, coating well.

Now here's what I did...

2 Cups of 2% milk
1 stick of butter
2 Tab. of lowfat cream cheese (neuf.)

Follow all directions exactly the same. The only other thing I did different was I used a full pound of pasta. There was still more than enough sauce to coat everything, but if you like a lot of extra sauce you may only want to use the 8 oz. Here are my pics...I always dress up my food...I love how it looks. The fresh basil and the black of the pepper just looks so pretty against that white creamy sauce. Enjoy!

Somebody hold me back!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What to do with all those papers!

I'm sure like me (at least if your a Mom) you have enough drawings and crafts from your children to wallpaper just about everyroom in your house. I'm a neat freak, but yet I just can't bring myself to throw out a lot of things that my kids make. This is the idea I came up with. I have a rubbermaid container for each kiddo (you can make a cute label to go with it). I begin by always asking (especially my six year old)which pictures he wants to keep and which ones he doesn't mind throwing away. This really is a stupid question for me to ask, but morbid curiousity always wins. We usually end up keeping everything except the one little picture he scribbled on the back side of a juicy fruit wrapper. All the things he wants to keep go in the container which in turn leaves room for other things like eating and sleeping. We do have a rotating display of some of his favorites. We leave three or four on the fridge and rotate as he gets a new favorite. This minimizes clutter (which drives me insane) to say nothing of being able to see the door of my fridge while still letting the kiddos know that I love their work and am so happy to have it displayed for all to see. There are several other ideas for displaying...two that come to mind are frames and tables with glass covers that you can put the pictures underneath for all to see. Whatever your method for displaying you will appreciate not having papers all through the house! Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Best Chocolate Cake, Ever with The best Frosting I have ever had!

I'm at it again. I don't know why I spend so much time looking at recipes gets me in trouble every time. Since we are going on a picnic tonight I figured I would make a chocolate cake to bring along...what's a picnic without cake? So anyway, I found this recipe for chocolate cake on The Pioneer Woman's sight and the frosting that accompanies it I found at Tasty Kitchen. I was really satisfied with the results and the frosting is just awesome. It sounds very unconventional, but yields decadent results. It seriously would taste good on just about anything. I just made a basic cake and decorated it with spring sprinkles for the kiddies. They both LOVED it! I'm sure you will too!

Freshly frosted!

After we had a "few" pieces!

So give it a won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies!

As I said on facebook, this is one of the best recipes for chocolate chip cookies that I have found. I have tried many different ones and these take the top prize. I "grade" my cookies on the following things: 1)How they hold up to heat (do they get to flat) 2)How "gooey" they are 3)How brown they get (even at suggested cooking time) and 4)Overall flavor. So now that you know all that, these meet all my criteria! They are really easy to make...I use one bowl for everything! Let me know what you think if you make them!

1 cup of butter, softened (don't melt it)
3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 cup of sugar
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. of vanilla
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add pudding mix, eggs and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in choc. chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes (check at around 8 minutes) or until lightly browned. It's okay if the centers are not as brown as the edges. As they cool they will firm up and taste great. Cool on wire racks. Yields about 4 dozen.


It's no surprise that I really like funnel cakes. However, I try to temper my love for them with the fact that they are fried and high in fat. I only indulge once maybe twice a year. I mean c'mon...everyone needs a small coronary now and then. So I came across this recipe the other day for Funnel Cakes at Tasty Kitchen and I couln't resist giving them a try. WHAT was I thinking?! They were soooo good. They tasted just like the ones you spend like $5 for at the fair or fall festival. So with out any further they are.

Where have you been all my life?

Repeat after me..."I will not make you more than twice a year...I will not make you more than twice a year." Great now that we got that out of the as fast as your legs will take you and give them a try!!! You may or may not be sorry!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just a quick tip!

Maybe I'm in the dark ages and all of you who have been reading this are shaking your head at me, but I wanted to put in a little plug for the ETSY shop! There are some things I have been looking for and low and behold there they were the whole time! I have been looking high and low for girlie-girl headbands and bows for Megan and was starting to lose hope. Now there is this whole new wonderful world at my finger tips with the Etsy shop! I enjoy just browsing all the different hand-made products. So stop by and take a never know what you might find there:)

DISCLAIMER: I cannot be held personally responsible for any expense one may incur while browsing the Etsy shop. Do so at your own risk!

Cappuccino Cake Brownies

This is a great little brownie recipe. If you like a cake-like brownie with a hint of coffee and cinnamon these are a perfect choice. As far as brownies go, I would say this would be one of the lower fat ones, seeing as it doesn't call for a huge amount of butter or oil. So give them a try and let me know what you think!

1 Tab. of instant coffee granules
2 tea. of boiling water
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup of butter/marg., softened
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup of flour
1/4 tsp. of cinnamon

In a small bowl, dissolve coffee in water; set aside. In a mircrowave-safe bowl or saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips. In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, melted chocolate and coffee mixture. Combine flour and cinnamon; add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

Pour into a greased 8 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (my oven is always less). Check doneness with a toothpick in center of brownies. Don't overbake! Cool and cut into squares. I like to sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Death by Cinnamon Rolls

A couple of weeks ago I made The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls and let me just tell you...they were the best I've ever eaten. Seriously...they had just the right amount of cinnamon, maple and coffee flavors all working together to create a taste sensation! I am SO making these in the near future...or at least once I'm done working off the ones from this time. These are NOT low fat. Don't think about it, don't try to come up with some way to make them lower fat or more healthy. Some things are just better left alone...and this is just one of them...they are a sheer delight. Don't be put off by the fact its a yeast bread...they were easy to make and had lots of pictures to help along the way. So here is my finished product...if the pictures do them justice.

Check out the link to the Pioneer woman on my site...her blog is entertaining, educational and chock full of great recipes!

Kielbasa Bowtie Skillet

Another quick and easy recipe for you to enjoy. Comes together in 30 minutes or less and taste great!

8 oz of bowtie pasta (I have use up to 12 0z and have also used whole wheat rotini)
1 lb. of kielbasa cut into small slices (I used turkey smoked sausage)
1 Jar (4 1/2 oz.) mushrooms, drained
2 tsp. of minced garlic
2 Tab. of butter
1 Tab. of cornstarch
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups of frozen snow peas
1 cup (or more) of shredded cheddar cheese

Cook Pasta. Meanwhile in a skillet saute sausage, mushrooms and garlic in butter until heated through. Combine cornstarch and milk until smooth. Gradually add to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir until thickened. I usually add the peas at this point and turn heat to low. The peas don't need to cook want them crisp tender. When peas are done to your liking stir in pasta and cheese. I like to throw some extra cheese on top. Makes 4-6 servings depending on how much everyone eats.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Marvelous Invention!

I love being organized. Its something I do just about every day. I hate clutter! I don't like having drawers or closets filled with things I don't even know are there. I label anything that can be labeled and the rest is in a box, basket or whatever else I can find to make things look neater and easier to find. On that note I want to recommend a charging station. I'll explain and show pictures in case your wondering,"What in the world is that!?" Between my husband's phones (and I emphasize the plural form of this word) and mine, not to mention i pods and ham radios there are an abundance of things that need charging around this house. It would drive me absolutely insane to see cords all over my counter everyday. It was like a labyrinth of chargers! So...drum-roll please....Thank you Pottery Barn for fixing this dilemma! Below are some pics of the charging station I'm talking about. It conveniently holds up to four chargers (all hidden of course) in a rather fine looking leather box. It also has a built in power strip where all the chargers plug in and then the part that attaches to the phone goes up through a little hole where it is ready at all times for the phone to be attached. NO MORE MESS! It also has a small built in drawer!

This is what it looks like sitting on my counter.

Here is the handy little drawer!

This is where the phones etc...sit while they are charging
(the holes are for the cords).

I have more recently seen these at Target and a few other stores, but I really like the quality of the one from Pottery Barn. It seems very sturdy and made well.

So that's my organizing tip for the with it what you will and in the meantime I'll just keep enjoying my counter space free from "cord clutter!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Top 10 Reasons I Love Being a Mom and Wife

10) There are few things I like more than cleaning my house and then lighting a new candle.

9) I love the smell of clean laundry. Every time I fold a piece of laundry I think about the person who fills it and I am reminded of how much I love them.

8) I love fancy dishes, proper place settings and cloth napkins. I love making things special for the most special people in my life.

7) There is nothing more satisfying than making a good meal for my family. I love to watch them fill their belly's with food knowing all the while that I am filling their memories with so much more.

6) There is nothing sweeter than hearing "I Love You, Mommy" or "I love you, Vic."

5) I love the smell of my husbands neck after not seeing him all day.

4) I love seeing my kids "love on each other."

3) I love hearing my kids pray and talk about the Lord. Of all the things I do there is nothing greater than instilling a love for the Lord in my kids hearts.

2) I love knowing that I make my home a little bit of heaven on earth for my kids and husband. While the world outside is raging, home is a sweet retreat from it all.

And the number one reason I love being a Mom and wife? I feel the Lord spared me from going down a really bad path in my life. He used my husband to get me back on track and I am so thankful everyday for the mercy He's shown me. I am totally convinced that there is nothing better on this earth than the life I am living right now, with the precious people I have the privilege of calling my family!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beef Noodle Bowl

Here's another quick meal idea for your family. I suggest serving it with egg rolls. For extra fun you can even put it in Chinese takeout boxes (available at Michael's or AC Moore) and have a movie night. It's a lot cheaper than ordering out!

8 0z. linguine, uncooked ( I use whole wheat)
3 cups broccoli florets
3 medium carrots, peeled, sliced
2 tsp of veg. oil (I use olive)
1 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing (I also have used Asian Sesame)
1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. of ground ginger (optional)

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli and carrots to the cooking water for last 2-4 minutes of the pasta cooking time. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add meat; cook until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, teriyaki sauce and ginger; cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Toss Pasta and meat mixtures in large serving bowl.

Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each

Blueberry Cream Muffins

Some of you asked for this recipe so here it is!

2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of veg. oil
1/2 t. of vanilla
2 cups of flour
1/2 t of salt
1/2 t of baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Beat eggs, gradually add sugar. Slowly pour in oil and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add sour cream and egg mixture alternately. Fold in blueberries, thoroughly defrost if frozen, and spoon into sprayed muffin cups or paper liners. Sprinkle with topping.

2 T. sugar
1 t. of cinnamon

Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 18-20 muffins.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Greek Chicken and Pasta

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onions, sliced in rounds
1 plum tomato, chopped (I like to use more)
feta cheese (to your liking)
1 cup of Greek salad dressing
1 box of spaghetti, cooked

Cut chicken into chunks and stir fry in olive oil until cooked.
Add olives, red onion and green pepper; fry until softened.

Add spaghetti, dressing, feta cheese and tomato. Stir fry until thoroughly heated and combined (I usually just use a big pot for this).

Serve hot. Serves 4 generously.

Philly Cheese Steak Stombolis

Yes...these are every bit as good as they sound! This recipe calls for store bought dough but if you prefer to use your own go will work just fine!

2 lbs. frozen pizza dough, thawed
2/3 cup of chunky pasta sauce
1/2 to 2/3 cup pickled jalapeno slices
1/2 lb. of deli roast beef
2 cups of cheddar cheese

1. Heat oven to 450. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. On a well floured work surface, roll out 1 1b. of pizza dough into a
14X10 rectangle.

3. Spread 1/3 cup of pasta sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Scatter half of the jalapenos over the sauce. Cover with 1/4 pound of the roast beef and 1 cup of the cheese.

4. Starting at a long side, roll up jelly roll style. Pinch the ends and tuck underneath. Place on the prepared sheet, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make a second Stromboli

5. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until browned and hollow sounding when tapped. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Some "Faboulous" recipes

Sorry it has been so long! We have all been battling sickness here in our house since just before Christmas. Praise be to God we all seem to be better! I have some catching up to do with my study on Proverbs but I thought I would post some new recipes first. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to cook. I get requests for recipes a lot so I have been trying to slowly get up some of my favorites or "standbys." If there is something in particular that you are looking for let me know. If I don't know something off the top of my head, I'll create it or find it in my cookbook collection. Sorry there are no pictures with these. Hopefully it doesn't discourage anyone from trying them. Trust me...they all are wonderful!

Creamsicle Cake

1 Package orange supreme cake mix (or white will do fine)
1 Package of orange jello
1/2 Cup of boiling water
1/2 Cup of cold water
1 Small carton of whipped cream
1 1/2 Cups of milk
1 small packet of instant vanilla pudding
Orange flavoring (If you don't have this you can omit it)

Mix cake as directed on box and bake in 13X9 pan as directed. Cool. Punch holes with meat fork. Mix jello with boiling water until dissolved then add cold water. Pour over cake. Refrigerate cake for 1 hour to set.

Topping: Mix pudding with milk. Add a few drops of orange flavoring (if using) to taste. Fold in whip cream. Frost as thick as you like. I recommend letting sit overnight for best flavor.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Turkey Chili

This is a great, versatile recipe. It is not "chili" in the usual sense of the word but it is so good! You can eat it in a bowl, on a tortilla or over tortilla chips. Top it with some yummy Mexican blend cheese some sour cream and you have a one pan meal!

1 Tab. olive oil
1 1b lean ground turkey or beef, if you desire
1 Tab. minced garlic
2 1/2 tea. ground cumin
1/2 tea. each of salt and pepper
1 Can (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (19 oz.) of black beans (or kidney or pinto)
2 cups of frozen corn kernals
1/2 cup white rice ( I use brown rice for added health benenfits) uncooked
1 cup of chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro or a sprikling of dry cilantro

Heat oil in a deep, large skillet over high heat. Add turkey and garlic and cook, stirring to break up meat, 3-4 minutes until browned. Add cumin, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

Stir in broth, beans, corn and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes until rice is tender. *If you are using brown rice you may have to cook a little longer. The key to good rice is once most of the water has dissolved from simmering turn stove to lowest setting and keep covered. The steam cooks the rice keeping it light and fluffy.

Remove from heat; stir in onion and cilantro. Serve however you desire.

Creamy Spinach Sausage Pasta

Here is a super yummy recipe for all of you pasta lovers out there. It has been a hit everytime I make it...even the kids LOVE it!

3 Cups of uncooked rigatoni or large tube pasta
1 1b of bulk italian sausage ( I usually use ground beef)
1 Cup of finely chopped onion
1 Can of 14 1/2 oz. italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Package (10 oz) frozen creamed spinach, thawed
1 Package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 Cups of mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook Pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook sausage/beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, spinach, cream cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella. Transfer to a greased, 11x7 baking dish.

Cover and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Yields about 5 servings (doubles easily).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maple Cream Rolls

Here's a new recipe for you all to try. If you like cream cheese, maple syrup and brown sugar then these are sure to be a hit! It really is a sinful little treat. These are great for brunches and breakfast...and did I forget to tell you they're easy to make? Dig in!

1 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of chopped nuts
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of butter, melted
8 oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup of powedered sugar
2 tablespoons of butter
2 16.3 oz tubes of refrigerated big flaky biscuits

Mix together brown sugar, nuts, syrup and butter in an ugreased 13X9 dish; set aside. Blend cream cheese, powedered sugar and butter in a small bowl; set aside. Separate biscuits and flatten each into a 4 inch circle. Spoon one tablespoon of cream cheese mixture onto each biscuit; roll up and arrange in prepared pan, seam side down in two rows of 10. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes; turn out onto a serving plate. Makes 20 servings...or less depending on how many you eat:).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yummy Bread Bowls

Here are the bread bowls I made for supper. I filled them with beef stew but any thick soup would work well. The hubby gives it rave reviews and since he's the official beef stew pro, I'll take his word for it. These are pretty easy to make. Don't be afraid of trying to make yeast breads if you haven't done it before, it is fairly easy and rewarding. There is just something about homemade bread! It took me lots of practice to get the hang of making yeast breads but I'm so glad I kept at it. So here's the recipe I used. If you have any more questions let me know.
1 package of Active Dry yeast
1 cup of warm water (about 115-120 degrees)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of water
Dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar and salt. Add about 2 cups of flour to begin and work into a soft dough ( I have a kitchenaid so that's what I use). Add another 3/4-1 cup of flour until dough is "stretchy" and not sticky. Let rest for about 10 minutes. To make bowls, grease 6 oven safe custard cups. Divide dough into six portions and pat each into a 6 0r 7 inch circle. Form each piece around one of the cups, not too tightly and be careful not to get the dough under the edge of the cup. Let rest for about 15 minutes. Just before putting in oven, combine egg yolk and water and brush over bowls. Bake at 375 for about 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before removing from bowls (use a sharp knife if necessary). Be careful the bowls will be HOT. Serve warm filled with soup of your choice.

Something I Love

So anyone who knows me will tell you that I am huge fan of old movies and classic TV shows.
I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith, The Dick VanDyke show to name a few, are some of my favorites. There are a couple of reasons why I love the "oldies." For one I love the WWII generation. Now I know things weren't perfect and people weren't a whole lot different but society as a whole was still "old fashioned." There was a sense of right and wrong and community and sticking together that we just don't see fact we don't always see it a lot in Christian circles as well. Another reason I love this era is because people had class. Men were gentleman and ladies were feminine and classy (and I don't just mean in the way they dress). Class is something that is so lacking today. When I think of class I think of Lucille Ball, Audrey Hepburn, Rosemary Clooney and Maureen O'Hara. They always looked so lovely and made no apologies for being a lady and being feminine. Now while these ladies had class they didn't always have the best character so for that I turn to Elizabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael and other great Christian ladies. These ladies were so sold out to the Lord that every facet of their life showed it. They were tough and willing to carry their crosses and bear the burden of others. I said all that to say this, maybe you and I can strive for the best of both be classy and feminine with spiritual character to stand the test of time and to help us be the best wives and mothers we can be. I say don't let the world set the standard for us, but let us set the standard for the world. May we learn to let femininity, class, Godliness, character and a burden to help others weave themselves together to create a beautiful tapestry in our lives.

Recipe for Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 Cups of white whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of semi-sweet chips, dark chocolate or carob chips
Combine ingredients; set aside

3/4 cup of skim milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of honey
1 egg
Combine wet ingredients.

Slowly stir wet ingredients into flour mixture just until combined. Don't overmix. Pour into 12 greased (or lined) muffin cups. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes. They will be very golden in color from the honey so check often to avoid brurning. Let cool about 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm with coffee or milk.