Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Words

No words can express the sorrow, the pain, the tragedy, and the horror of the events that occurred on Friday.  The word of the elementary shooting spread rapidly and tears of the nation were shed for those in Newtown, Ct.  We are praying for the community, those who lost loved ones, and the little ones that had to endure this most horrific acts.   Isaiah 42:16 "And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do to them, and not forsake them."  He is our Peace and the only One we can count in on when this world makes no sense.  He will never forsake us.




This will be my last post until 2013. (That sounds so odd - twenty thirteen!)  I pray you have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year.  

Here are my thoughts on the stress that looms in the coming days...

When I want to pull my hair out because of all the cooking that needs to be done...I will be thankful I have food to cook.

When I want to yell at my children to stop bouncing off the walls...I will be thankful for these little miracles that God has entrusted to me.

When I want to give up because I have sooooo many presents to wrap...I will remember how much I love my huge family and every thing each person means to me.

When I want to get frustrated during this busy time of year...I will praise the One we are celebrating and all He has done for us.

Let's keep our eyes and hearts on the Reason for the season!


Today's Verse
 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts" Col 3:15a.


What's Cookin'...it's almost Wednesday!

I will be making a lot of appetizers for our Christmas Eve gathering.  I have actually already made my cheese ball and it is in the freezer.  I also plan to make my pizza bites, spinach dip and bacon smokies.  Here are the recipes and maybe you can use one.  I hope your family enjoys!

Cheese Ball

8 oz cream cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Whisk together first 5 ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least two hours and then form a ball or log and roll in pecans.  Serve with veggies and crackers.

Pizza bites

2 cans 8 count crescent rolls
1/3 cup pizza sauce (plus an additional 1 cup to serve with)
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
pepperonis
1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning

Press one can of crescents into a 9 in x 12 in rectangle.  Spread with sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  Place desired amount of pepperonis over cheese before topping with remaining can of crescents (which should also be pressed together in a rectangle).  Sprinkle with seasoning.  Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until desired brownness.  Serve with warm pizza sauce.

Spinach dip

8 oz cream cheese
2 cup mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
4 Tbsp melted butter
10 oz frozen spinach (defrosted and drained)
14 oz can artichoke hearts (drained)

Whisk together first 4 ingredients before adding spinach and artichokes.  Transfer to a small crock pot and cook on low for 3 hours.  Serve with veggies, pita chips, tortilla chips or crackers.


Bacon Smokies

1 lb bacon (cut into thirds)
14 oz smokies
3/4 cup brown sugar

Wrap each smokie with 1/3 slice of bacon and secure with toothpick.  Place brown sugar in ziplock bag and shake smokies in brown sugar.  Put on large baking sheet and sprinkle with all brown sugar.  Bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes.


Little bites for the Big night!  Merry Christmas!




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What's Cookin'

I am in prep mode for my Christmas cookin'.  Doing as much as I can ahead of time helps in those final days before the Big Day!  I was in the kitchen a lot yesterday and one of my tasks was browning several pounds of sausage and freezing for use in the weeks ahead.  I do this with my hamburger for sauces, tacos, and soups as well.  It works great to go ahead and brown, drain, and store in a freezer safe container.  This helps so much!  I do not have any recipe photos for today, but I do have some fabulous recipes that I will be using this sausage in and it includes our Christmas morning breakfast.  I hope your family enjoys...and maybe even for Christmas morning!

Mom's Breakfast Casserole - I assemble this the night before and store covered in the fridge.  Christmas morning I sneak in the kitchen and place in the oven before the first present is ripped into.  Then after opening presents and a little playing, breakfast is ready and ohhhhh soooooo yummy!!!

1 pkg. refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 lb. browned and drained sausage - crumbled
5 eggs or 1 and 1/4 cup egg beaters
1 and 3/4 cup milk
2 cups of cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice

Preheat oven to 375.  Glass dishes or stoneware work best for this dish.  Spray your 13x9 baking dish or 2 qt. casserole dish.  Press crescent dough into pan making sure all perforated seams are together.  Spread sausage over dough.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Whisk eggs and milk together with a pinch of salt and pepper.  I also add a dash of hot sauce, but this can be omitted.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until browned and the eggs are set to your liking.


Sausage Pinwheels  - 3 ingredients and incredible taste - I get more requests for this than for sausage balls now.  (If you do not know what a sausage ball is, then bless your heart and click here for the bisquick recipe.  It is a southern staple!)  http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/bisquick-sausge-balls/1e4b70e6-9fcf-40e7-baf8-57cfce15f2b6

2 pkg. refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 jar of cheese product (I use cheese wiz)
2 lbs. browned and drained sausage - crumbled

In a skillet, combine the cheese product and cooked and drained sausage.  Take crescents and half in the middle before unrolling dough.  Unroll and press seams together to make a 4in x 12 in rectangle.  After doing this with both packages you should have 4 rectangles of dough.  Spread the cheese and sausage mixture over dough.  Roll up jelly roll style and wrap in wax paper.  Place in freezer for about an hour or even two weeks in advance.  If frozen for longer than a few hours you may have to wait a few minutes before slicing.  Slice in 1/4 in slices and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes or until light brown.  So addictive and makes a ton to feed a crowd.


Hope you can use these in your Christmas menus!



Today's Verse
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts"  Colossians 3:15a




Monday, December 10, 2012

All About M.E.

One of my favorite verses that reminds me of this gift-giving season is Matthew 7:11, "If ye then, being evil (or sinful), know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him."  We as parents we want to provide gifts for our children, especially this time of year, and our heavenly Father desires to give us gifts as well.

I love to get the items on my girls' wish list, or at least the reasonable things.  My oldest daughter is asking for "bath goo"...something that turns your bath water into a gel like mess.  It supposedly has something that you pour in after playing and it turns back to water.  Well, thankfully after further research I have discovered this stuff can be a nightmare of clogged drains and messed up pipes.  We have forewarned her that this gift will not be making an appearance under our Christmas tree, but hopefully we will find a bath accessory that will be just as fun.  (I am researching bath fizzes and bath paints now!)

Although I know she is heart broken, she must learn the hard lesson that we don't always get what we want.  And for further teachable moments...this season is not all about the gifts...and not all about M.E.

The reason for my initial use is simple, for any that do not know, my daughter's names are Macie and Emmie... hence the M and the E.

I work so hard during the month of December.  I plan our days with fun activities...parades, crafts, parties, baking, gingerbread house making (which is scheduled for tomorrow - yikes!), church activities, family get togethers and so on and so on.  I try to make this time fun and memorable.

Then I got a big wake up call one day last week.  We bought the girls their own little pink Christmas tree to put up in the hall outside of their room.  Hanging near the top of the tree is two initial ornaments they received last year.  I was walking out of their room and I caught site of the word ME.  It hit me hard.  I felt that nudge at my heart...I am making Christmas too much about M and E.   I am getting caught up in making this time of year fun, and I need to make sure I am giving them the greatest gift I can as a mom.


No present, no toy, no latest fad, no trampoline, no pretty package could ever outweigh the gift of eternal life.  And the responsibility of teaching my girls of this precious gift and the One who cam so we might have it is left up to my husband and me.  Yes the fun things are exciting.  There are memories to be made and traditions to be handed down.  And our heavenly Father wants us to enjoy this time.  But there is nothing that can replace why we celebrate!

Today's Verses
"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."  Deuteronomy 6:5-7

We are to teach our children daily of God's love, His forgiveness, how we can accept His Son as our Savior, and how we are to love Him with our whole selves...not just at Christmas, not just when He answers a prayer, but always as He as loved us always.  This is the perfect time of year to start these lessons for our little ones if we haven't already done so.  Let's make this season and every season about HIM!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Everybody

How is the December Challenge going?  It is honestly helping me deal with the chaos of this busy season!  I had a really great experience yesterday...until I got caught.  

We tried to anonymously do a kind deed for someone we randomly met yesterday.  But as we were making our get-away, we got caught.  I was disappointed at being found out, but seeing the smile and hearing a heart-felt "thank-you so much!" made us feel good!  

I was contemplating the deed for today when I got a major wake-up call.  The girls' devotion this morning was entitled..."Pray for Everybody".  Uh-oh!  This was going to be one of those devotions that was probably meant more for me than the girls.  It happens, and it happens more than I would like to admit.  Did it really say "Everybody"????

When I announced the December Challenge I said one of my thinking of others moments might include..."spending extra time in prayer for someone in my life".  But, did I include everyone when that thought crossed my mind?  Did I include those who might have hurt my feelings?  Was I thinking about that person that rubs me the wrong way?  Can I truly say I wanted to do kind deeds for "Everybody"?

It's been on my mind a lot since this morning and I am praying about what God would have me to do.  We know the verses that come to mind when talking about forgiving others and loving our enemies.  But, I know that it is so hard to pray for blessings on someone that has hurt us.  It can be difficult to forgive someone who has wronged us.  It is tough, but it is possible.  And not only is it possible, but it is so freeing.  Peace will wash over us when we lift another in prayer.  Thankfulness will abound when we forgive someone and we realize how much our heavenly Father has forgiven us.  


Today's Verses

"For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.   And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.   But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.   Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."  Luke 6:32-36

I love my family and I love my friends, but I will also strive to love the stranger I meet, the acquaintance that hurt me, and the enemy that wronged me.  Not only do we challenge ourselves to do kind things for others this December, we include "Everybody" in that challenge!  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

Here are the reindeer graham crackers we made in my daughter's kindergarten class last week.  There are tons of ways to do this...homemade triangle sugar cookies or of course graham crackers.  We iced the whole cracker just for fun and because icing is so tasty to a 5 year old!  We used green MM's for eyes and a red one for the nose.  I also had the option to use red hot candies for the nose.  All the children tried the red hots, but nobody used for the nose.  That was a funny experience seeing their little faces after popping the candy in their mouths!  My one tip for not breaking the crackers when cutting is to use a serrated knife and cut in a sawing motion.  Have fun and be creative...I hope your family enjoys!!!


As my daughter's teacher said..."Jesus is 'deer' to me!"


Also, as requested, from Betty Crocker, here is the snickerdoodle bars I mentioned earlier.  I forgot to take a picture of my finished bars this week, and now they are all gone!!!  The only difference I have between the recipe and mine...I usually have to bake for 30-35 minutes; I add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the mixture to sprinkle in the middle.  I also reserve a tsp of the cinnamon/sugar mixture and mix in the icing.

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/snickerdoodle-bars/e2fc99ee-d389-434d-98e9-73bbf2527053

Snickerdoodle Bars

2 1/3
cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 1/4
teaspoons baking powder
1/2
teaspoon salt
3/4
cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4
cups granulated sugar
1/2
cup packed brown sugar
3
eggs
1
teaspoon vanilla
Cinnamon Filling
1
tablespoon granulated sugar
1
tablespoon cinnamon
Glaze
1
cup powdered sugar
1
to 2 tablespoons milk
1/4
teaspoon vanilla

  • Heat oven to 350° F. Spray or grease bottom only of a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  • 1 In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on high speed until creamy. Beat in sugars. Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla into sugar mixture until combined. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients until combined.
  • 2Spoon half the batter into pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over batter.
  • 3Dollop teaspoon size amounts of remaining batter evenly over cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • 4Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 5In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over bars. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Today's Verse
"Let thine heart retain my words:  keep my commandments, and live."  Proverbs 4:4b

Monday, December 3, 2012

No Tweaking

My oh my what an absolutely gorgeous day here in NC!!!  We are planning a trip to the park after picking up big sis from school and before heading to gymnastics!  I need to get in as much walking as possible considering all the sweets that were in my house this week.  With my husbands' b-day on Friday complete with cookie cake and ice cream cake,  (I hope you had a great birthday honey!!!), a Christmas celebration at my daughter's school with reindeer cookies, cupcakes and snickerdoodle bars, and I made a blueberry pound cake for our Sunday school class, the amount of sweets I consumed this weekend was unbelievable.  But oh how tasty!

I love to cook.  I love to take a recipe and make a small change here or there.  Or maybe I completely rethink the whole concept and make something totally different.  There are not many recipes that I see that I don't tweak.  Even the snickerdoodle bars and blueberry pound cake, which are perfect, I still make a small change to the icing and filling for the bars and add a little icing to the pound cake.  Tweaking just comes naturally when it comes to me and a recipe.

One thing I cannot tweak is the story of this Christmas season.  The Reason we are celebrating.  The Reason my kitchen will be even more of a buzz for the next few weeks.  The Reason I will be tweaking recipes.  The Reason for all the excitement is the birth of Jesus.  His birth, ministry on earth, death and resurrection cannot be tweaked.  There is no taking away from what He did for mankind.  There is no adding to what He did for you and me.  He was born, suffered, died and rose again for us.  There is nothing anyone can change about the facts.

Many will protest after seeing a nativity scene.  Many will frown when we happily say Merry Christmas.  Many will say the birth of our Savior isn't true.  But we know the Bible to be true.  We know many have tried to tweak the reason for this Christmas season, but let's stand firm in the fact that no tweaking is allowed.  Christ's birth is the Reason we celebrate...period!

Today's Verse
Matthew 1:23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."


I hope to share more tweaked recipes in the next few weeks, but as with last year, posts may be fewer as the days leading up to the 25th grow busier and busier!   May we keep our eyes focused on Him in the coming weeks and may you truly enjoy this Christmas season!




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

So technically this should be on the leftover page, but it turned out so good, leftovers was the last thing we were thinking of!!!!  I have seen recipes for enchilada soup, but have never tried it.  The Saturday after Thanksgiving I decided to pull out the leftover turkey and come up with a soup with what I had on hand.  It was scrumptious if I say so myself ;-)

I cooked this in the crockpot on high for about 3 1/2 hours, but it could be done on low for about 5-6 hours or on the stovetop on low for an hour or so.  For the toppings we added cheddar cheese, crushed tortillas and homemade guacamole.

Soup

19 oz can enchilada sauce
1 cup water or chicken stock
15 oz can whole corn
15 oz can tomatoes with chilies (I used chipotle chilies but you can use green chilies as well)
15 oz can black beans - rinsed and drained
15 oz can pinto beans - rinsed and drained
2 tsp cumin
1 - 1 1/2 tsp garlic, cilantro, onion powder, salt and lime juice
2 cups cooked and chopped turkey or chicken
2 diced and seeded jalapeno

I took out the girls' portions about 30 minutes before we ate and kept warm.  I then added the jalapeno for more heat.  The soup was good without the jalapenos, but we like heat.  You could also add pickled jalapenos or 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper.  You may want to adjust the seasonings to your families' liking.


Guacamole

2 avocados
1 chopped and seeded jalapeno or 2 Tbsp pickled jalapeno
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cilantro

I use an immersion blender which makes the guacamole creamy but with a few chunks.  It is fantastic with just chips, but it is super with this soup!



I hope your family enjoys...and definitely don't call it leftovers!!!!

Today's Verse and the girls' verse for the week...
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."  Romans 10:9



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keeping Secrets

It is secret keeping time and it is sooooo hard.  The secrets I am referring to is the presents that will begin to appear under the Christmas tree.  Somehow someway, I usually end up spoiling the "secret" presents I purchase for my husband.  His birthday is this week and all the surprises I had in store has been told in advance because of one reason or the other.  It always seems to happen, but thankfully he is not big on surprises anyway :-).

My girls love surprises, so I love keeping their Christmas presents a secret.  I am just as excited about Christmas morning as they are.  I know their faces will shine and the smiles will be huge when they see that trampoline.  It has been a wish for a while, and keeping the secret that we actually have purchased it (The first and hopefully last time I do the whole Black Friday thing!!!) is really difficult.  I hope when they begin talking about getting a trampoline that I don't smile too big or make a face that might spoil the secret.

I am also in the midst of keeping another big secret from my oldest daughter.  She is receiving a special award at school tomorrow.  I was told to keep it a secret from her, and boy has that been hard!!!  The excitement of seeing her little face when her name is called is the only thing that is helping to keep my lips sealed.

Surprise gifts are hard to keep secret when you know how much joy it will bring.

The ultimate present of this Christmas season, Christ's birth, was never meant to be kept a secret.  His love and forgiveness is the best gift anyone could receive this season.  While we may be hiding toys for our little ones, purchasing surprises for parents, or planning something special for our spouses, we cannot forget to be sharing the Good News.

Today's Verse
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."  
Luke 2:11

He was born to save the world, to save any who would accept His free gift.  It is not a secret gift, but a gift to all.   Share the good news this season.  Stand up for the reason we as Christians are celebrating Christmas.

Monday, November 26, 2012

December Challenge

I have to be brutally honest...I am already suffering from Christmas panic.  I am not sure why.  I am not sure how.  But I am anxious as the season approaches.  Buying gifts and parties, get togethers and cantatas, the packed calendar, and did I mention the shopping. (Which I know sounds crazy, but as a woman I don't enjoy it very much, and especially when it is so crazy in the stores this time of year!)

Our tree is up, our stockings hung, and every Christmas novelty that makes noise seems to be singing in my house right now.  Although I love the decorations and the Reason for the season, I still seem to be more and more stressed each year.  What if nobody likes what I got them?  What if I forgot somebody?  What if I have double booked us? (Which did happen last year - yikes!)

So today as we get back to school and work after a wonderful Thanksgiving break, I am trying to take deep breaths as I look at our already full calendar.  I am praying over the month ahead.  I am focusing on the fun and joy that comes with all the activities.  I am thanking our heavenly Father for the True Reason we celebrate this time of year.  I am challenging myself to consider others everyday.

Yes, here is my challenge to myself and I would love for you to join me...

Every day in December, I vow to think of someone else instead of stress over my chaos brought on by the hectic season.  It may be baking cookies for a friend, sending a text or email to a family member, helping out a stranger, spending extra time in prayer for someone in my life.  The list of acts of kindness for others is endless.  I pray for God's guidance in this area of my life.  I feel He has laid this plan on my heart and I pray He will lead me to know what He will have me do each day!  When I start to panic over an extra long to do list, I will focus on someone else.

Today's Verse
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS:  for he shall save his people from their sins."  Matthew 1:21

Jesus was sent to this earth for us.  He came to save us from our sins!  He came for our sakes.  Let's think of others this Christmas season and allow Christ's love to show through our lives!


Also, speaking of doing something everyday in December, there is a great Advent Calendar activity on the Thriving Family website.  If you have little ones, I definitely suggest checking it out.  My girls are counting down until they can begin our nativity Advent calendar.  It is hung and ready to go!  Check out the website for a hard copy of the devotions and activities for kids!
http://www.thrivingfamily.com/Features/Web/2012/advent-calendar.aspx



Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving

What a wonderful week!  I love Thanksgiving.  No presents!  Just giving thanks, good food, fun times, parades on TV, family, rest, decorating for Christmas, shopping, and the fun list goes on and on.  Hopefully during turkey day, we think extra hard about how thankful we are for all our blessings!

Thanksgiving should not be practiced one day a year, but every single day of our lives.  We can find at least one thing to thank the Lord for everyday.  It is nice to have a special day set aside to dwell on our thankfulness and teach our kids an extra lesson on the importance of being thankful.

It was awesome how God had me read 2 Corinthians chapter 9 yesterday, the first day of Thanksgiving week.  This chapter is most popular for verse 9 where we read the importance of being a cheerful giver.  Down further in the chapter we read, "Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving unto God;  For the administration of this service not only suplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God."  verses 11-12.

My prayer is to make sure my family shows "many thanksgivings unto God" this holiday week and the season ahead.  2012 has had many trials in our little family, as I am sure every family has faced trials, but we still have tons to be thankful for no matter what storms may be raging in our lives!  We could fill pages upon pages of blessings starting with the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus' life for the payment of our sins.  Let's make sure God knows just how truly thankful we are for His gift of salvation and the many blessings He has given us.

Today's Verse
"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."  2 Corinthians 9:15



I will be taking the rest of the week off to focus on time with family and extra time in the kitchen.  I wanted to share some fun thanksgiving ideas.  Some I am sure you have seen before, others may be new, so I hope your family enjoys!

Pilgrim Hat cookies

I have seen these many ways, but I used chocolate dipped marshmallows, fudge dipped Oreo's, and yellow decorating icing!  Simply dip your marshmallows and place on top of cookies.  Place in fridge to allow the chocolate to set.  Use yellow icing to make belt and buckle around cookie.  Yummy treat and perfect for school Thanksgiving functions!


Turkey Cookies

Again, I have seen these lots.  I simply use a boxed sugar cookie mix.  Bake as directed.  Use decorating icing to attach the candy corn.  Then use the yellow icing for eyes, beak, and feet.  Make sure you add a little red icing for the gobbler.  So cute!


Famous Pumpkin Roll - I have already made this twice this pumpkin season and will make another this week!  Yummy and so fancy looking, but yet easy!

cake 
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

filling
8 oz room temp cream cheese
4 Tbsp room temp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla ext
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Grease 15x8 pan and preheat oven to 350.  Beat eggs for 2 min then add sugar slowly.  Continue to beat for 3 1/2 minutes.  Fold in pumpkin and lemon.  Mix together flour and spices.  Fold into batter.  Batter will not be thick!  Spread in pan and bake for 12-16 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool to touch.  Immediately place on cotton towel and roll up.  Allow to completely cool.  While cooling make the filling by beating the 4 ingredients until icing like consistency.  Spread in cooled, unrolled cake.  Roll back up and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Store in refrigerator.  







Pumpkin Turkeys

We had so many mini pumpkins in our house this year it was unbelievable.  Instead of throwing them all away, we used them to make turkeys.  It would also be fun to write your blessings on the feathers as a family.  Simply cut out feathers, beak, gobbler, and feet from construction paper.  Paint on eyes, or you could purchase the craft googly eyes.  Cute turkey centerpieces for Thanksgiving!


Turkey Relay

We came up with this fun game to do at my daughter's school.  The kids had a blast.  I am sure any family would enjoy participating during turkey day.  Simply find two paper turkeys, two cups with rocks in the bottom to help from tipping, and craft feathers.  Split up into two equal teams.  Have the children run to the cups with the feathers inside while carrying the turkey.  Stick a feather in the turkey and run it back to the next player.  If the feather falls out, they must pick up the feather and replace it before moving on.  First team to have all the feathers in wins!  Nothing like a good competition at the family get together!






Thursday, November 15, 2012

Disconnected Grapes

I would love to know the hours I have logged washing and cutting grapes over the last 5 years!  I have posted before about my girls' love of the fruit.  Every morning I pick a few off the vine, I wash them and then cut them.  My oldest daughter likes them halved while my little one still needs them quartered. Everyday I spend large chunk of time preparing this part of breakfast.  One day this weeks, to my girls dismay, we were out of grapes.  I had not had a chance to run to the market the day before, so they had to settle for canned pineapple.  But I have to admit it was a nice break not to stand there and cut, cut, and cut some more!!!

There are so many Bible lessons that can be taught concerning the grape.  I think of the garden of Eden and all the wonderful fruits it must have had.  I know the grapes there were super sweet!  The air was so fresh and filled with all those yummy, fruity smells.  I think of the promised land.  I remember as a little girl imagining those giant grape clusters that were brought out of the promised land.  (Num 13:23) It took two men to carry the cluster.  Those were some good grapes I am sure!

My girls have such pickiness when it comes to grapes.  They definitely like the purple grapes instead of green.  They prefer for them to be seedless.  And most importantly, as I have told you before, they cannot be "squishy".  Something about a super soft inside makes both of my girls spit them back out.  So, as I cut the grapes when a 'squishy" grape is discovered, I either pop it in my mouth, save it for dad, or in the trash it goes.  It can be the best looking grape ever, but the inside of the fruit is what counts!

How do grapes get squishy?  The most squishy grapes are those found at the bottom of the bag.  Those grapes have been separated from the cluster.  They have nothing keeping them with the group.  They are disconnected! 

These grapes do not have the life source of the vine or the company of other grapes.  They are slowly becoming yucky inside.  Now if the grape has just become detached, there is still a chance it is edible.  But if it has been alone for too long, it can be really, really squishy and there is no chance anybody wants it!

When I cut into a squishy grape only one passage comes to mind, John 15:1-5 " I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:  and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you, As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the  branches:  He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:  for without me ye can do nothing."

Alone at the bottom of the bag, disconnect and getting squishy...that is what happens to us as Christians when we put God on the backburner.  When He is not number One in our lives.  When we are not spending time with Him praying and reading His Word.  When we are not actively attending church and fellow-shipping with other believers.  We are becoming mushy inside when we disconnect, just like that squishy grape.

Unlike that grape, we can be reconnected with The Vine.  We can never stick that grape back on.  That squishy grape can never be restored.  But oh how thankful I am that we can be restored when we have disconnected.

Today's Verse
""Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;"  2 Cor 3:5

Our sufficiency is of God and without Him we can do nothing.  Words to hide in our heart and remember always.  Re-connection is possible, we just have to ask!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesday

This was an absolute childhood favorite...Hamburger Turnovers!

I would love rolling out the biscuits and helping my mom prepare these little bundles of hamburger bliss.  I was a picky child, so I am sure she liked having something I would eat!  When I was younger we made these with two biscuits each, but now I only use one biscuit and have double the amount.  These freeze well or are great as next day lunch!  Also, I have an alternative to french fries...roasted asparagus.  My husband, who is a major french fry fanatic even loves my roasted asparagus.  And then finally, just in time for Thanksgiving, we have a chocolate chip pumpkin cookie.  I can take no credit for this recipe as it is from Taste of Home and I have not altered it in any way.  My mom prefers these without the chocolate chips, but my girls love love love these cookies.  A yummy meal that is super easy!  I hope your family enjoys!

Turnovers

8 large canned biscuits (like Grands Pilsbury)
1 - 1 1/2  lb browned hamburger (cooked with salt and onion powder and drained)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder or 1/2 of real onion cooked with hamburger if preferred
2 cups favorite shredded cheese (one of my girls prefers cheddar the other mozzerela so this can be altered for their specific likes)

Roll biscuits out until about 7-8 inches round.  Fill one half with about 1/3 cup hamburger meat and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.  Fold remaining half of dough over hamburger and press with fork.  Bake on cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes or until browned at 375 degrees.





Asparagus

Cut ends off of asparagus and rinse well.  Line a jelly roll pan with tin foil and spray with olive oil.  In a single layer place asparagus   Spay with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and italian seasoning.  (When I fix these with Chinese food I substitute the garlic and italian seasoning with ginger and they are delicious as well!)  Bake in 400 degree oven for 12-18 minutes!




Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies


Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • In a bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 4 dozen.




Today's Verses
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness...for when I am weak, then am I strong."  2 Corinthians 12:9a and 10b

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Armed to Go!

I am a firm believer that some things are just better as a name brand.  Don't get me wrong, I love a bargain and buy plenty of generic brands.  But some things just can't compare to the "real deal".  One of my examples is the Thermos brand.  My girls and I have thermos containers that truly keep water ice cold for 12 hours straight.  Even on the hottest of days, it stays cold.  I remember the first night we bought these amazing things.  My loving husband filled them up for us and placed them in the fridge the night before.  As we headed out the door, I grabbed our bottles and took a huge gulp expecting cold, refreshing water.  Instead I got a mouthful of luke warm water.  How in the world could this water be cold after being in the fridge all night?

The answer was simple, it was well protected.  The outside of the thermos was made to protect the inside contents from the outside elements.  Luke warm water was placed in the thermos, and even in a 36 degree fridge for 8 hours, it was kept luke warm.  Nothing could penetrate that barrier.

We learned to fill the thermos with ice water if we wanted ice cold water.

God's protective armor is like a thermos.  It can protect us from all outside elements of the world.  Are we putting on the protective armor of God that is discussed in Ephesians chapter 6?

That armor should be adorned everyday.  It can protect us from every sinful element the devil can throw at us...the darts of doubt, the arrows of destructive thoughts and attitudes, the temptations, and all the negatives in the world will fall away when it hits His armor.

My husband designs and makes bullet proof vests.  It is a very important job to protect those who are risking their lives to protect us.  The men and women who wear that armor depend on that armor daily to save their lives.  But one big thing has to happen in order for the armor to work...they have to be wearing it!

Same for goes for us!

If we want to resist the Devil, the armor has to be put on daily.  Our Bible can't sit on the table until Sunday; God should not only hear our praises on Sunday;  we cannot just pray when we are in crisis, and we cannot just think about the armor of Ephesians 6 when we hear a pastor preach on the subject. We daily must read our Bible and arm ourselves with the whole armor of God.



Today's Verses

Ephesians 6:10-18

King James Version (KJV)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;



Every morning as I walk down the hall towards our kitchen, the screen to our security system is lit up with the words..."Armed to stay".  My prayer as I punch in those numbers to disarm the system is that our family will put on the whole armor of God, and be armed to go...go out into the world and "stand against the wiles of the devil".   Let's pray and make sure we as Christians are armed to go as you leave every day!



This weekend we celebrated Veterans day.  Did you think about the sacrifices that have been made and are still being made today?  Do we pray for our current service men and women?  Are you thankful for those women and men that have given their lives for our freedom...freedom to worship and freedom to proudly wear our armor of God.  Did you think about the Ultimate sacrifice of our Savior?  A sacrifice that was made for the whole world!   I thank our soldiers past and present who have fought for this great nation.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

So with not much time and a hurt hand, I didn't really do much "cooking" last week.  So no brand new recipes to share :-(.

I did however make a fruit tray for a Friday meeting and I wanted to share a tip about that and my Nanny's delicious fruit dip recipe.  I had to call her and make sure I was getting the right ingredients!  I am so thankful for my Nanny, and I am especially thankful that she is such a great cook.  She and my mama, who is also an awesome cook, taught me everything I know!

Have you ever cut apples for a party only to have them turn brown before the party even started.  Well, for a fun and tasty treat that the kids and adults both love, try shaking your diced apples in jello.  Just wash and dice apples; place in large ziplock bag and add a few tsp of cherry, raspberry, or strawberry jello powder.  Shake it up (my girls love doing this part), and wha-la...you have yummy candy apple treats. They do not turn brown, and the kids will eat their apples for sure.  I pack these in my daughter's lunch box.  Every time I take these to an event, they are wiped out and I get a ton of people asking me how to do it.  My husband's family especially loves this treat, and requests it every Christmas.  There are a few diabetics in his family, so I use sugar-free jello powder and splenda.  Taste just as yummy and very healthy!


For my Nanny's fruit dip...

8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
3 Tbsp milk
7 oz jar marshmallow fluff
8 oz extra creamy cool whip

Beat the cream cheese and milk.  Once combined, add in marshmallow fluff and beat until smooth.  Slowly fold in cool whip with a spatula until well combined.  Refrigerate and enjoy with your favorite fruit.  It is so heavenly.  My girls also like to dip graham cracker sticks in it.  Yummy stuff!


I hope you will try these treats and your family enjoys!





Today's Verse
"For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED."  
Romans 10:11


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Voted

I voted!  Did you?

I am not going to get political today.  That is just not me.  I will say I voted and thankfully it didn't take me very long :-).

I think I heard it said best by a local radio personality on a Christian radio station yesterday...
"Pray.  Vote.   Pray."

Pray about your vote.  Go out and cast your vote.  Then, pray about the outcome and the direction our nation is headed.  It is a right and privilege to go out and vote today.  A privilege many men and women have died for and continue to fight for to this very day.  We are a blessed nation.  I am more than thankful to be able to worship my Lord freely and openly.  I am more than thankful that I have the right to vote for whom I choose to vote for.  I am more than thankful that I am an American.

No matter the outcome today, let's continue to pray for our nation, pray for the President that is voted in office for the next four years, and pray for every elected official.  We may not agree with those in office, but it is our job as Christians not to bad mouth them, but simply pray for them!

May God continue to bless America!

Today's Verse
"LET every soul be subject unto the higher powers (governing authorities).  For there is no power but of God:  the powers that be are ordained (appointed by) God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:"  Romans 13:1-2a

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stopping and Starting

Aren't you glad God has a sense of humor.  We are made in His image, and we all possess a sense of humor, well most of us anyway :~).  So you know He has to have one.  I heard a preacher say once, you know He has a sense of humor because He created men and women so differently!  Have you ever had something happen that you know could have only been orchestrated by God.  It could be miraculous or just plain funny!  Well I have had plenty of moments and one such event happened this weekend.  It was so funny, I couldn't stop laughing and I knew only God could make it happen...

I have a  bad habit, well in all honesty I have a few, but this one is something I have recently been trying to change.  I love to exercise, and, in the next breath... I hate to exercise also.   I start and stop all through the year.  It feels so good to get into a consistent exercise routine. I feel better about myself and can feel the benefits that come with exercise.  But, it feels good to skip the routine every now and then.  And suddenly every now and then becomes weeks, and there I am... right back to not exercising at all.   I am not proud of it, but I just keep stopping and starting every exercise plan I start.  I have been this way since college!

So this weekend I was trying to start again.  Starting can be so difficult.  The time.  The energy.  The effort.  The willpower.  So much has to be in place and arranged just to get in a few minutes of walking or an exercise video.  But as I lay on my floor after stretching, I started feeling bummed out.  I thought of all my starts and stops.  My beginnings then only to fail AGAIN.  I was feeling sorry for myself.  So, I cried.  I then began to pray.  I literally said outloud, "God, does the Bible even say anything about exercise?  I know we are suppose to take care of our bodies, but do You say anything about actual exercise in Your Word?"  I felt better after my little pity party, and I hopped up to proceed with the day.

Fast forward a few hours later, and I sit down with Bible in hand.  I was very blessed to have a devotion printed in a small daily devotion publication for Oct, Nov, and Dec.  I have been reading along as part of my quiet time.  I turned to that day and there it was..."Fit for Life" by Lisa Crayton.

"You have got to be kidding me."...I said outloud for nobody but God to hear!

I laughed so hard.  Only God could have allowed me to suffer and cry out to Him, ask those specific questions, and then two hours later put this in my hand.

I begin to read the suggested verses, 1 Timothy 4:6-16.  There it was in black and white..."But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.  For bodily exercise profiteth little:  but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."  1 Tim 4:7-8

I knew many books of the Bible spoke of strength, and I knew Paul wrote of running the race, but there it was...the actual word "exercise".  My KJV Women's Study Bible says this about the verse, "For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity."

So am I going to try to keep up with my exercise routine?  Yes.  I don't think God was trying to tell me it was ok not to exercise.  I do think He wants to make sure I am not starting and stopping my spiritual exercise.  There again, sitting down with God in His Word and praying takes time, effort, energy and willpower to have that One on one time with our Savior, but this is must for living the best life He has for us.  Yes there are many proven positive effects from exercise, but I can guarantee the positive effects of reading my Bible and praying are much greater for me.

Things might happen, and we might skip a day of reading our Bible, but let's not ever make it two days and never ever a week.  Stay in His Word everyday!  Our quiet times will aid us in fighting the temptations we face, brighten our outlook on life, provide wisdom, strengthen our faith, revive us, comfort us, and the list goes on and on and on!

Today's Verse
"Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."  1 Chronicles 16:11

Let's leave the stopping and starting behind and continually seek His face!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Let the goodies begin!

I am barely able to type this post as I am injured again!  :-)  What else is new?  I do have a serious infection in my finger which makes it very hard to type and write.  I am on an insane amount of antibiotics and will go back to the doctor on Wednesday.  But as for now, a lot of typing is so out of the question.  I did want to post the recipe for this week.  Whether you are headed to your church's fall festival or out to get the goodies by trick-or-treating, this is a quick easy supper you can have waiting when you get back or right before you take off.

This is a fun version of french dip sandwiches.  I hope your family enjoys!

In a small crock pot mix together one envelope of french onion soup mix, 3 cups of water, and 8-12 oz of deli sliced roast beef.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 2-3.  Right before serving take crescent rolls and lay them flat on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and bake in the triangle shapes for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown.  Place meat on the crescent and top with favorite sliced cheese.  We love cheddar, pepper jack, or provolone.  I also occasionally add bell peppers to the soup mix as well, for a little extra color and taste.  You can serve a with a small bowl of juice to dip the sandwich in if you would like.  Perfect for these chili fall nights!





Today's Verse
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  
2 Timothy 1:7

This is the verse I use for the girls around this time of year when things can look a little scary or spooky!  I love how there is a verse that can be used for every little thing we might face!  I hope to be back next week!

Don't go overboard on the sugar!  Let the holiday goodies begin!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesday

So here is a simple treat I made recently.  I know I have seen recipes out there for fruit salsa, but instead of looking one up, this is what I came up with just using what I had.  The girls loved it, and it was different and fun and most importantly...tasty!  This was just enough for us girls, but I am sure you could double or triple. Hope your family enjoys!

1 large flour tortilla
nonstick butter flavored spray
sugar
cinnamon

1 kiwi
2 slices fresh pineapple
6-8 small-medium strawberries
1 tsp orange juice
1/2 tsp sugar

Cut or tear tortillas into triangles.  Place on cookie sheet.  Spray w/ butter spray and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar; flip and repeat. (If tearing, this is great for the little ones to assist!) Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.  Meanwhile, finely dice fruit and mix with OJ and sugar.  Serve with warm chips.  Very Yummy!



Today's verse
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."  John 15:5

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Searching

So I did something crazy today.  And yes I do something crazy everyday, but I can honestly say I have never done this.  I was on the cordless house phone while getting ready to go pick up my kindergartner.  I was buckling in my toddler and still just chatting away.  I was almost ready to pull out when it occurred to me that my phone would cut off if I left the driveway.  I made the confession to the person on the other line, which thankfully was my husband who already knows I am a little crazy, and I told him I'd have to call him back on my cell.  I kept the house phone with me because I had already locked up the house.

The entire time I was away from home, the screen read "searching".  The phone was searching for that home signal that meant it could be used.  It wasn't usable without that signal.  If I had needed to make a call, I would have to use my cell phone.  The phone had everything needed to dial a number, but without that home power source, it was simply useless.

We are like that phone.  We are searching for what God will have us to do.  We want to be used.  We want to be an instrument for Him.  But our purpose and tasks have to be arranged by Him.  We can't take matters into our own hands and say, "I am going to be a great worker for God and this is how "I" am going to do it."  Without His power and His leading, we cannot carry out the job He has for us.  We will simply be lost and searching with no real use when we are not within His plan.

Do you pray before answering a call to serve?

I am guilty of not seeking God's guidance before volunteering for projects or taking on a huge task.  In the past I would immediately say, "Oh I would love to do that job!", only to feel overwhelmed a few days later.  I have learned through some heartache that I cannot do every job I feel I am called to do.  I have to be sure I am in range of His signal so that I am being useful and doing exactly what He wants me to do.  It's okay to say no when we feel the Holy Spirit is leading us in another direction.

Today's Verse
"Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go."  Isaiah 48:17

This is my daughter's memory verse for the week and I LOVE IT!  It kinda goes along with the post from yesterday as well.  He is our Redeemer and He will lead us in the way we should go!  We have to seek His guidance before we take on a task.  It is necessary to get His approval before saying yes.  Things will go so much more smoothly if we are in His range of signal and then we can truly be used.

My phone went right back to normal as soon as I pulled back into my driveway.  It had found its source of power and was no longer searching.  I am so glad I know my Source of Power as well, and I pray He will use me however He sees fit!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mazes and Maps

So here is an embarrassing story...

I was pregnant with my second daughter.  My husband and I thought it would be fun to take our oldest daughter to a pumpkin patch and corn maze one fall Saturday afternoon.  Now neither one of us have a great sense of direction.  We do not follow maps very easily, but it was a corn maze, how hard could it really be????  Well it ended up being one of the hottest October days ever.  After about an hour in the maze with my hands and feet swelling rapidly, and being at the water stop for the third time, it was time to give up and wave the help flag.  Yes, thankfully, we were equipped with a large flag that the spotters could see as we went through the maze.  We were to wave it if we wanted to be rescued, and wave it we did!  How embarrassing!!!!!

One of the farmers came in a truck to lead us out of the maze.  It ended up being fun getting a behind the scenes tour of the farm.  This farm girl was fascinated.  We were a little blue we didn't finish the 2 mile maze, (and yes it was 2 miles which should have been our first clue) but we were so glad not to be wondering in circles!

It is hard when you are lost and are not sure which way to turn and every turn looks the exact same!

Well I had flashbacks of the embarrassing day this weekend, when once again we headed to a corn maze.  And to my dismay, this one did not offer safety flags for those in trouble.  There was a more detailed map this time, but still, I had too many reservations.  We chickened out and just made one small loop and came right back out.  I was not about to relive the same scary event again!

In life we know we have a Watcher that is watching for us to wave our flag.  He is there to guide us out of the maze and to the finish line, but we have to wave the flag.  We have to ask for help.  We have to be willing to admit we cannot make it through the maze on our own.  It is not embarrassing.  It is freeing.  It is relying on God, just like He created us to do.  He may send guidance in His Word, through the Holy Spirit, or through a fellow Christian.  But no matter how He gets us out of the maze, we just know He will get us out.

One day I hope I hope our family can make it all the way through a corn maze.  Maybe our girls will be a little better with directions than their parents.  But I hope I am able to use these stories of getting lost in the corn maze to teach them to always rely on God to direct our steps.  To know wholeheartedly they cannot get anywhere in life without His guidance and His Word (our map).  To know they can call on Him day or night when they are feeling lost and anxious.  To teach them to have that relationship with Him so they never have to fret over where their life headed.

Today's Verse
"Order (direct) my steps in thy word:"  Psalms 119:133a

When decisions have to be made; when life is not going how we pictured it; when we seem to be turning around in circles, we must pick up His Word and wait for His answer.  He will direct our steps, we just can't take matters into our own hands.  We will not remain in His will if we are not willing to seek His guidance.  We want to stay on the path He has for us...which is always the best path of the maze!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Prayer Request

My oldest daughter asked to play during the time I usually post, so we played :-)

We worked on our costumes for the costume contest at church next Wednesday night.  I got the worse glue gun burn on my thumb that I have ever had :-(

But it was worth it.  The burn. The no writing.  It was all worth it!  Yeah, I had an idea for my post running through my brain, but I will try to remember it for later (which is usually impossible).

I will not reveal our costumes, but we are going to be a family with a theme!  We have never done that, so I am excited!  I will only say silver spray paint was involved!

Take the time to hug your family today!  Play a game together, pick up the phone, send a card, or even a text.  Make sure you take those moments to show how much you mean to each other.

Life is fragile.  Life is precious.  Life is a gift.

We have a new gift in our extended family.  His name is Brantley David.  He is tiny and precious.  I have a pic, but I do not want to post it without the parent's permission.  If you can please be in prayer for baby Brantley.  He was born shortly after 5:00 am yesterday morning.  He came through his first surgery this afternoon.  He has several health issues.  Please pray for healing for this new little bundle of joy and strength for his parents!  We thank our Heavenly Father for this precious little one and the fact that He holds Brantley in His loving hands!  Jesus was a healer of many while on the earth, but we know He still has the power to heal from heaven!

Today's Verse
Matthew 9:35 “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesday

When I think fall, I think comfort food.  Comfort food is different delicacies for different people.  Casseroles, chili, soups, anything cheesey and pumpkin desserts come to my mind.  But I have known several people who think Italian when they think comfort food.  So I decided to make homemade meatballs for a delicious spaghetti and meatball supper.  I have never made homemade meatballs, but I have to say they were super tasty and super easy.  Daddy didn't make it home in time from the airport to enjoy this meal, so we made him a to-go lunch for the next day to take to work.  I had to include his text pics because it was so sweet and funny!

Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain panko or bread crumbs
1/4 cup egg product or 1 egg
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Mix well with fork and roll into 1 in balls.  Place on parchment lined pan and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Shake the pan frequently to roll the meatballs around for even cooking.  Serve with favorite pasta and sauce.

Just a note...you can adjust the seasonings to your liking.  The reason I had two pans is I added fresh chopped chili pepper from my cousin's garden to half the batch.  If no fresh peppers are available but you want some heat, a pinch of red pepper flakes would be good too!  Hope your family enjoys!






Today's Verse
"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect (loyal) toward him."  2 Chronicles 16:9a

For any tired mommy's out there...rather you are parenting a toddler or a teenager...today's Proverbs 31 devo is so good!  Check it out if you have a chance...

http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/surviving-mommy-stress-2012-10/