Saturday, March 23, 2013


A couple of weeks ago, Dakota checked out a cookbook for teens from the library. She's been dying to try a recipe out of it, but we never seemed to have all the ingredients she needed or the time to experiment with something new. Finally, she found a recipe for crepes with strawberries and cream and I agreed we would try it on Saturday for breakfast.Neither of us had ever cooked or even eaten crepes before, but it seemed like an easy enough recipe, kind of like pancakes.

We started with the filling-cream cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar, and strawberries-yum!
Then we whipped up the batter in the blender and started making the crepes.
They actually turned out pretty close to the picture in the book!

And they got the thumbs up from most of the family.


Overall, the crepes were a success. The major drawback is that you have to cook them one at a time in the skillet, which takes forever when you have to feed a family of 6. It took about an hour and 15 minutes to  cook them and everyone else had been finished eating for about 20 minutes by the time I got to the table. I'd much rather make pancakes 4 at a time on the griddle so we can all eat together.

We saved the leftovers in the refrigerator for the kids to eat later this week. We also had a ton of the filling leftover, so we are going to have it on waffles in a day or two.

It was fun to try a new recipe. A friend suggested we try them with Nutella and bananas sometime. That sounds really yummy!

If anyone has any suggestions for how to cook crepes faster, I'd love to hear! Leave me a comment and let me know.

Pretty Packages

 Around our house, it is well known that Daniel is the gift-wrapper. His gifts are always perfect-the paper is exactly the right size, the edges are nice and straight, and the paper is smooth with no wrinkles or little tears. Mine, not so much. So when I can, I always get Daniel to do the gift wrapping for me. But sometimes, like on HIS birthday, I have to do it myself.
Sometimes I cut the paper too small and I end up having to make a kind of patchwork wrapping on the back to hide the gap. Sometimes, I cut the paper way too big and the ends are too long. But, what I do really well is I make the FRONT of the gift look good. Kind of like this

It may not be perfect, but it's pretty. Since I didn't have the right sized box, I had to put the gifts into a paper grocery bag and then wrap that, which made it a little odd shaped. I cut the paper a little big, so the sides are a little overlapped. But, it's presentable. Something I would gladly display on the gift table at a party, right?
Well, I might, as long as I could be sure that the only side that would be seen was the front and as long as I knew no one would look at it too closely. Because if you looked from a different angle
and got a little closer
you'd see that it's not quite as pretty as what I let you see from a distance.
Isn't that the way a lot of us are with our lives? We spend a lot of time making sure that the image we put out there for other people to see looks good. We are very careful which pictures of us make it to facebook and which ones are quickly deleted from the memory card. All of our posts are inspiring quotes or uplifting scriptures. We put on our smiling, happy faces when we go out and when someone asks us how we are, the answer is always "Couldn't be better."
And we keep everyone at arm's length so that's ALL they see.
We avoid invitations for dinner at friends' homes because our children may misbehave and we'd have to discipline them, thus shattering out image of being perfect parents with perfect children. We push aside the urge to invite friends over to our home because we don't want them to see that the floor hasn't been mopped or the furniture is a little worn. What would they think? And, for sure, we don't ever share a problem or ask for prayer from our friends. We don't want people to know we have problems and issues in our lives.
But, this is not the way God intended for us to live. He wants us to be connected to those around us. He wants us to be real. And the only way we can really be real is to let people in. We have to let them see our "not so pretty" side. We have to share with them when we have a problem so that they can help us.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 in the NIV says,
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. And, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
I hesitate to publish this post because I know these words are mostly speaking to me. This is on my mind for a reason-God is asking me to get out of my comfort zone and get connected with people more. I'm doing my best to do just that. I've recently joined a ladies' Bible study group on Saturday afternoons. We're studying the book of Luke and each week we read a chapter at home and answer some questions, then discuss what we read on Saturday. Of all the questions over the 3 weeks of the study so far, the hardest one was "Tell us about yourself."
So, if I can do it, you can too. My challenge to you is to do something this week to connect with someone in a real way. It may be inviting someone over for dinner, even though your house isn't "company ready". Or it may be that when someone asks how you are, you say "You know, I'm having kind of a hard day today and things just aren't going my way. Would you please pray for me?" Whatever it is, step out and do it. Take a chance and let God bless you for it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Last week, this awesome guy
                                                                                                                        had a birthday.

 His "real" birthday was on Monday but since he was going to be at work, we started the celebration early. We had dinner at one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants then came home for some cake and ice cream.
Let me tell you just how great he is. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. He said "How about some strawberry?" Strawberry cake happens to be MY favorite. Yes, I got a good one!
This may or may not be his actual age...okay and it may or may not be mine too.

Doesn't it look so much cooler in the dark?
We had a great time on Saturday, but the fun was not over yet. We had a surprise up our sleeves.
 On Monday, the kids and I surprised Daniel with a second birthday cake. They were so excited to show it to him.

The kids loved that we got to "shave" Daniel's beard.
Happy Birthday, Daniel! We love you!
Thank you to the Clumsy Crafter for the inspiration!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Good intentions

Has God ever asked you to do something and you had every intention of doing it, but just never got around to it? Maybe it was a phone call or a note to a friend that you meant to write "tomorrow" but when tomorrow came, you were just too busy and then you forgot about it. Maybe it was a kind word that you wanted to say to someone at church or at the store but you were afraid it would be too awkward and by the time you worked up the nerve to actually do it, the person was already gone. Maybe it was a project you wanted to do with your kids for a holiday that you just never found the time to do. Or just maybe, it was a blog post that you were supposed to write but didn't...

So many times over the past several months since I last posted to this blog, God has put something in my heart that I knew I needed to write. I would have the whole post going in my head and would be so excited to get the kids to bed so I could get to writing. But then, we'd have a 4-H meeting or Tae Kwon Do or church, then dinner and dishes, then showers, then tucking kids in...and by the time I did all that my brain was mush and I just wanted to check my facebook and go to bed. I didn't have the energy left to put two sentences together, much less a whole post. So I'd promise myself that I'd get up early in the morning and do it.

Then in the morning, I'd convince myself that I could sleep just 15 more minutes and still have time before the kids got up to get it done. Of course, that would be the day the kids would decide they also needed to get up early and the opportunity would be gone. No matter how good my intentions were, I just never seemed to get it done.

But this week, I had an experience that opened my eyes to something I'd been missing.

There had been a day a while back where God prompted me to pray for a friend of mine. I felt it so strongly but I resisted. She hadn't asked me to pray. In fact, it had been quite some time since I'd seen or even talked to her. But, when I was having my quiet time that morning, I began to write in my journal what God had put into my heart to ask for. Once I finished, I put my journal away and didn't really give it another thought...

...until last week when I read a post from my friend that brought tears to my eyes. God had done something amazing in her life and it was exactly the thing that I had prayed about months before. So awesome!

Then, I started to think-what if I hadn't followed the prompting I felt to pray for my friend? What if I had just rested on my good intentions of praying for her "later" without ever actually doing what I knew I needed to do?

 I am completely convinced that God would have still provided the miracle my friend received, for God doesn't need my prayers to "talk him into" anything. He already knew what He was going to do for her. It would have happened with or without my asking. Our prayers aren't for God, they're for us.

God prompted me to pray for my friend as a way of blessing ME. When I read my friend's post telling of what God had done, it was not just a cool story of what God had done for someone else. Instead, it was a personal and very real answer to my prayer. Through my prayer, my heart was opened to know God in an even deeper way. God hears my prayers and answers, they aren't just out there bouncing around in space where they MIGHT somehow get to God. How amazing to think that the creator of the universe is also so near that he hears even ME!

So, I've been many blessings have I missed out on because I had "good intentions" but no action to go with them. Have I missed out on making a new friend because I didn't give a word of encouragement to the new mom with the crying baby at the grocery store? Have I missed out on seeing God work in someone's life because I said, "I'll be praying for you about that" and then promptly forgot about it. How many people did I not reach with God's words of encouragement because I didn't take the time to write that blog post I had on my heart?

So, I'm back to Dancing with Cinderella. Will you join me? Let's move beyond just having good intentions! Let's put our intentions into action. I can't wait to see what God has in store!