Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cranberry Bog Pie Anyone...

Some of my most favorite recipes have come from my friend Aamie. This girl knows how to cook! She also is the one I give credit to for getting me hooked on iced coffee - from Dunkin' Donuts of course. We don't get to exchange recipes as much anymore since she now lives in Connecticut. I suppose we could email recipes, but there was something special about being able to eat the food together and then sharing the recipe. Many meals were shared between our families. Dinners or desserts with our community group, our traditional Labor Day and Memorial Day cook-outs, or just getting together, we shared some good food along with lots of love and memories.

Christy, Liz, and Aamie

Just so you know, I don't like to mix black and white photos with color photos like what I am doing in this post. Sometimes, you just gotta go with one or the other for a particular picture. I like the girls better black and white and there was no way I was taking the color out of the Cranberry Bog Pie! Just wanted to clarify this with all of you because I know you care:)

Anyway, back to the pie...

I love those special "seasonal" recipes. Cranberry Bog Pie being one of them. I've already made two of them since Thanksgiving and I'm not kidding when I say that I will probably make many of these between now and Christmas. It is oh so good!!! If you are fortunate enough to have any leftover, it is wonderful for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

Cranberry Bog Pie

1- 9" pie crust (homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional - I've never used them)

In uncooked piecrust, put cranberries, sugar and walnuts.

Prepare batter as follows:

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 beaten eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and flour. Spread over cranberries.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

We are now bundling up to head out to Fulton Farms in search of the perfect Christmas tree!

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

I have my decorating done here on my blog... now off to do some things around the house. Turn your volume up so you can hear my Christmas playlist!

Don't you just love this time of year?

Monday, November 24, 2008

What I'm Thankful For...

With Thanksgiving being just a few days away now, I know that we are all taking the time to think of the blessings in our lives. The things for which we are thankful. What would our everyday lives be like if we lived everyday with a thankful heart instead of focusing on them just once Thanksgiving rolls around.

This week I am going to only concentrate on those things for which I am thankful. There will be no complaining. No complaining that I can't complain. Really, when it comes down to it, I have so much to be thankful for...

I'm thankful that my family is healthy.
I'm thankful for a husband who loves me so well. He knows how to encourage me, challenge me, and drive me crazy but yet still makes my heart skip a beat.
I'm thankful for sunrises and sunsets.
I'm thankful for how our youngest son, Ben, wakes up every morning a half an hour early so he can snuggle in bed with us.
I'm thankful for Godly parents who have been married for 39 years.
I'm thankful that God never gives up on me and that He finds me usable.
I'm thankful for friends that I've had in my life for a long time, new friends, and for friends I've met along the way through blogging.
I'm thankful that God's mercies are new everyday.
I'm thankful Jessica still asks me to bake homemade cookies for her.
I'm thankful for marriages and new babies.
I'm thankful that God covers all my mistakes that I make as a mom with grace.
I'm thankful for cell phones, free minutes and texting.
I'm thankful for three children that call me "Mom".
I'm thankful that there is a place called Heaven.
I'm thankful that are creative and gifted songwriters who make music just so that I can sing my heart out when no one is listening.
I'm thankful for the new things that are learned in marriage. For honesty and vulnerability-even when it's hard and uncomfortable.
I'm thankful for flavored creamers, iced tea, and Diet Coke.
I'm thankful that when I am on the phone with my parents, my sister, children or husband, that no matter how long or short the conversation is, it isn't good-bye until "I love you" has been said.
I'm thankful that the journey with God never ends.
I'm thankful for low gas prices.
I'm thankful that God makes Himself known to my children and that He watches over them when I can't.
I'm thankful for the time we will gather around the table this year at my in-laws and how each person in the family will share something that they are thankful for.
I'm thankful for the passion God has put in Jessica's heart to serve in full-time missions.
I'm thankful for our first year in ministry and all the things we've learned.
I'm thankful for boys who wrestle on the floor.
I'm thankful for the home God has provided for us.
I'm thankful for flip-flops.
I'm thankful that my husband always puts his family first.
I'm thankful for memories.
I'm thankful for my sister who is also my best friend.
I'm thankful that when we pray as a family, "Amen" is always followed by squeezing hands.
I'm thankful for new pajamas and all things warm and cozy.
I'm thankful for our dogs who are so happy to see their people when we get home. Whether we've been gone 5 minutes or 5 hours.
I'm thankful for hugs.
I'm thankful that I have a story. One that tells a story of a life that has been redeemed.
I'm thankful for the music Sam makes when playing his trumpet.
I'm thankful that I've made it to 100 posts on my blog!!!
I'm thankful that there is a season to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. ~ Psalm 107:1

I'm also joining Sarah Mae over at Like A Warm Cup Of Coffee for her 5 Am Club. This is such a fun, encouraging, and refreshing way to start the week.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Window & Picture Project...

The pictures in this project are my absolute favorite pictures of my children. I wanted to do something special with them. We have this big empty wall in our great room so I thought it would be the perfect place to hang these pictures. Because the wall is so big, I knew that just hanging the pictures by themselves wouldn't look right. When my parents got new windows in their previous home, they were way ahead of their time and saved the window panes. I was fortunate enough to inherit a couple of them. I've used them all over the house in different ways. I love them. I also love my pictures. So, what do you get when you put a window pane and a picture together?

I had my husband staple the ribbon to the back of the frame. I then used an upholstery tack to hang the ribbon...

There you go! How easy was that?!

There is no longer a big empty wall...

Just the smiles of my children! (You can click on the picture to see it better.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Humble Servant...

I am so enjoying myself during this little respite from my blog. I didn't realize how much time I was spending on the computer until the last few days not being on the computer. It's been a good thing. I did want to share this post that was written yesterday. A lot of the time my postings are what I would be writing in my journal. So is the case for this one. Be back in a few days...

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. ~Mark 10:43-44

This was the portion of scripture I was reading this morning. When you look back to the beginning of verse 43 it says , "Not so with you. Instead"... and then the verse continues. What strikes me about this is the fact that Jesus is overturning what would be common and typical. What our human nature really is - selfish and prideful.

Instead, our lives are to be marked as a disciple. One that models humble and loving service. Let me honest in telling you that this isn't always my first response to those around me. My heart isn't always willing to serve, or to be humble. Whether it's the people I encounter, people in need around me, or my family. I could even go so far as to say I'm not always coming to the Lord with a humble, teachable, and servant-like heart.

There are definitely areas in my life where I show immaturity and the servant mentality has a hard time getting through to me. Having a servant like heart means giving up what I want or what I think I need. Having a servant heart means I am going to the places that God has called me to. Answering His call. For me personally, it could be a range of places. Whether He is asking me to serve in a particular area of ministry, putting someone's needs above my own, making myself available, or doing those things that truly are serving my husband and family. In actions and words. Am I willing? Am I displaying a heart of a servant before my Lord? Do I come to Him with a heart that is moldable, teachable, and willing? A heart that desires His ways instead of my own?

My prayer is that God would teach me to do whatever it is He is asking. I want my humanity to be cloaked in humility. Experiencing His full measure of blessings in my life because I have completely given myself to Him so that He can use me however He sees fit. Coming to Him as just a sinner saved by grace. Coming to Him knowing and believing that He can and will work through me and in me to make me be a reflection of His love, grace, compassion, and mercy. Simply coming to Him as a servant with a humble heart.

When I sip from the cup of His suffering, and really understand what He did on the cross for me, I fall to my knees. My heart no longer is asking Him to do something for me. It is what can I do for You. Teach me Lord, show me how to be your servant. I believe Him enough to know He can and will equip me. He changes my heart to be one that isn't focused on me, but others. It is a heart that is focused on Him.

"Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave to all. "
(Mark 10:43-44)

"For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation."
(Psalm 149:4)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What Matters Most...

I am spending some time away from my blog for the next week or so. I need to be giving my attention to some other things in my life right now. 

Things like spending time with the One who is calling me to come...

Putting on my shoes and getting those runs and walks in again...

And spending time with the people who matter the most to me...

Show me your ways O LORD,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 25:4-5

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Yesterday when I was walking up to our back door, I noticed the little red tricycle sitting in our yard. My son, Sam got this trike when he was two. He is now 12. It's one of those toys that as a mom, I wanted him to have. It's a classic. I had a blue one when I was young. In fact I still have it and always will. Some things I have to hold onto. Tricycles being one of them.

Apparently, Sam and his brother, Ben decided it would be "fun" to pull it out and play with it. Leave it to a boy (and two at that!) to find an adventure in anything. For whatever reason, Sam thought it would be fun to ride down our driveway on it.

Two days later, it still sits in our backyard. I guess I'm being sentimental and having some memories played back in my mind. I like walking past the window and seeing it sit there. Were they really that small? They seemed so "big" on their bike. Their feet reaching the pedals and spinning so fast to make it go. Faster and further was all they wanted.

Just the other day, Sam and I were standing in front of a full-length mirror and I couldn't believe how tall he looked standing next to me. It's one thing to be standing and looking at him, but when I saw the two of us together, it completely took my breath away. My little man isn't so little anymore.

I treasure these moments in motherhood. When you look at your child and your heart feels like it is absolutely going to burst with love. Looking at them, remembering what they looked like as a tiny baby but anticipating how they are going to grow and change. I love when I look at them and because of the expression on their face it is if they were two again.

Moments. Moments that make everything around me come to a complete stand still. Embracing the fact that God has entrusted me to mother these three children that mean the world to me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Cloche...

I finally found a CLOCHE!

The thing is, I didn't know I wanted one so badly until I started seeing them show up all over blogs! I found this on my birthday when we were having lunch at Cracker Barrel with Steve's parents. Can you believe of all places I found a cloche and stand like this?

Ooh, la, la!!!

I can't wait to use it to display other items, especially for this time of the year! What items do you display in your cloche?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Home Sweet Home...

What a wonderful weekend Jessica and I had visiting my sister, Sarah and her husband Mike. We always have the best of times together, and it really is one of my favorite places to be because I come home feeling so rested.

This visit was filled with let's just say some really yummy things...

This is exactly what we did... got cupcakes, gave thanks, and boy were we blessed!

How could you not be with three inches of CHOCOLATE icing! This is a bakery in downtown Nashville that only sells cupcakes. How fun is that? We couldn't decide on just one so we got 8. That was so we could take some home to share with Mike of course.

Here is Sarah and Jessica with their "Miss Princess" cupcakes. White cake with real strawberries and butter cream icing...

The rest of the weekend was filled with shopping for Jessica and the new baby, going to see a performance of The Sound of Music at the school where Mike teaches, lots of laughing and coming up with a name for Sarah and Mike's new cat. They finally decided upon Georgia. She just showed up one morning last week and has been there since. I say she has found a really good home.

Sarah had this gift waiting for me...

Thanks again Sarah for the gift (they look great in my dining room!) and for the memories that were made this weekend. When you come home at Christmas, bring some cupcakes!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Teacher's Pet...

I've been working my way through Beth Moore's new book called John - 90 Days With The Beloved Disciple. I'm only on the 9th day. 81 to go, but who is counting. I say that because I can start a book with great intentions. I LOVE books. I LOVE to read. I read because I want to learn, grow, be challenged, or simply be entertained. God has shown me something in the last two months though. I needed to give up reading a lot of the books I was choosing to read. Not because they were bad choices or anything like that, but because I was to be spending more time reading the greatest book of all time. The Bible.

Over the years, I've become very dependent on my devotional books and bible studies. It's been easy and convenient to use these as my only reading during my time with God. There have been countless books that I've read that have grown me and that God has undoubtedly used to allow me to see Him and know Him more. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't because of some of the studies I've done. I have learned so much and there are a few that have totally changed my life. I've been in a place recently of being too reliant on other sources rather than simply being in His Word.

You see, I have this thing going on with Jesus right now. I'm learning and being challenged to know Him. More. Deeper. He is calling me and I am following. Some days are easier than others. There are days when I all I want to do is run with reckless abandon. Then there are the days that are filled with little steps. Steps of uncertainty. Questioning and wondering where He is taking me. I often drag my feet too because even though I know I want to follow, it's not something I can do all the time in my own strength.

This walk of faith is hard. Nothing gets me more weary, discouraged, and tired than the way life sneaks in sometimes. Busyness, sick children, and sometimes it's just the routine of the same old stuff. Day in and day out. I love the life God has blessed me with, don't get me wrong. I have so much to be thankful for. He has showered His grace and mercy on me and my family in incredible ways. I'm just a woman who loves Jesus with all of her heart but is attempting to balance family, ministry, and everything in between.

Today, once again, God met me where I was. I said earlier that I began this book, while at the same time knowing God had made it clear to me to let a lot of my reading material go to the wayside for now. This one I was to keep. I also told you that I'm only on the 9th day. I've had it for a couple months now. It's not something I read and journal in everyday. I would like to be more consistent in it because every time I read from it, I come away with so much.

The verses I read for today was from Mark 1:35-39. A little background on what is going is that Jesus' followers are searching for Jesus because He has gone off to a place of solitude. When they find Jesus, they seem a little put out with Him because He wasn't where all the people were. "Everyone is looking for you!" they say.

What happens later is that these followers that were basically chasing Jesus down, came to be a few of His disciples. Peter, James, and John. Jesus singled them out, and took them to an intimate place with Him. There were some lessons that needed to be learned. Beth Moore says, "I wonder if Jesus thought... So, you're not the boundaries types are you? Okay, I'll take you behind some ordinary boundaries, but I'll hold you responsible for what you learn while you're there."

These fellows were in for some major lessons. Right away, Jesus pulled them to the front of the class. Jesus knew what was in them and He was determined to find it. Did they think they were being singled out and becoming the favored Teacher's pet. Could it be perhaps, Jesus saw spiritual immaturity and wanted to teach them some great lessons. Invaluable lessons.

I love that even through God's discipline, it is with love. Jesus saw something in these men. There was a purpose and a plan for these few to follow Him. Closely. To leave everything behind.

After reading this, I realized that there is a place deep inside of me that longs to be the Teacher's pet. I need to sit at the very front so that I'm not distracted. I need my eyes and ears to stay focused on Him. I want to be right in the front row so that His eyes can catch mine. To be up close so that He can give me that little bit of encouragement. Maybe a steady push. To hear Him whisper in my ear, "Atta girl, you are on your way!"

The truth is, as God's children, we are the Teacher's pet. There isn't just one that He has singled out. He sees potential in all of us. He wants to pull us up front- to the head of the class. At times it is because we need His discipline, guidance, and direction. Maybe we need to be that close so that we are reminded of His authority. Other times, it's just so that we can be close. It's that simple.

My daughter, Jessica and I are off to see my sister, Sarah in Tennessee tomorrow. I'll be back Monday with much to share!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's A.....

Today was a big and important day. I know what many of you must be thinking. Of course it was a big day, it's Election Day. I totally agree with you about that. For a few minutes here, I want to talk about something that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with politics.

This is all about my sister, Sarah and her husband, Mike. Exactly fourteen months ago, Sarah and Mike's twin daughters, Allison and Emily were born and then almost immediately were taken into the arms of Jesus. The fourth day of each month will forever hold special meaning in our hearts until we are able to be with them in Heaven.

I've shared in a previous post that my sister is expecting again. Her journey with this pregnancy has been filled with anticipation, excitement, along with some worry and fear. I have been able to witness first hand though the complete faith and trust my sister has in our Savior. Together, Sarah and Mike have walked a long road as a couple newly married. They have stood strong, dependent, and held on to the promises of who God is. They have an amazing story, one that I know is going to touch and change the lives of so many.

This November 4th will be one that goes down filled with incredible joy and happiness. Today, Sarah and Mike found out at her routine ultrasound that they are having a baby GIRL! Please make a visit to Sarah's blog to hear her story from today and to see how beautiful she is!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Look What I Won!!!

A few weeks ago, I entered a give away that Carolina Mama was having. Guess what? I won!!! Can I just say that the only other time I have ever won anything was when I was in high school and I won a little portable T.V. and it wasn't even a color T.V. I was so excited when I found out that I had one this fun give away.

Stitches By April was offering this give away. Please go check out her website. She has so many fun and useful accessories and gifts. All that you can have monogramed! Her items would make really nice and special gifts. I was able to pick out the fabric of my choice as well as the font for the monogram. I love it don't you?