Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What We're Thankful For

The big and the little, the holy and the mundane, here are just a few things our family is thankful for...

"I'm thankful for each other."

"Our Heavenly Father."

"Washing machines, cars, microwaves."

"An invitation to forever."

"I'm thankful for the Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ!"

"God's nature."

"For clean water and sinks and soap."

"I'm thankful for thanksgiving!!!"

"Music and colors."

"I'm thankful for my family's health!"

"God's promise of eternal life... a life MUCH better
 than this! (and this is a good life)"

"Being able to travel easily and talk to people far away
quickly; being able to see our grandparents."


"If I need help, everyone is usually willing."

"For a healthy body."

"Warm clothes."

"Warm sunshine, cool breezes."

"There are people willing and able to 
spread hope and the gospel."

"I'm thankful for strong legs and arms so 
that I can exercise and have good health."


"Kind smiles and encouraging words."

"The opportunity to spend most of my life
training the children I've been blessed with."

"Thankful for my brother's and sister's in Christ!"

"Thankful for my parent's health!"

"The Bible and our friends in our faith."

"Food and a family."

"That my family members will rub my 
neck when I get a headache!"

"A healthy family to share our lives with."

"The blessing and comfort to pray to the Creator of all."

"The nice fall weather."

"God's example of grace, mercy and patience;
Jesus' example of compassion."

"We never truly have to worry."

"A cozy bed, medicine."

What are you thankful for?
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and
don't forget Who we should be thankful to!

Monday, November 24, 2014

My brother, the chef.

My brother, Colton, is 15 years old and he loves to cook. I think his desire to cook is mainly based on his desire to eat delicious food. When he spots something yummy in a magazine, he often tries it out. Here is one of the fanciest ones he has made to date, a Yule Log. Good job Colton!

A heart! How cool

6 eggs, divided
1 16-oz box chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup each: water, amaretto and canola oil
Unsweetened cocoa powder

12 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp each: whipping cream and amaretto
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

1 10-oz bag dark chocolate chips
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp amaretto

Preheat oven to 375 and grease a jelly roll pan.  Beat eggs in large mixer for 5 minutes or until thickened and pale yellow.  Beat together cake mix, water, amaretto, oil and 2 of the eggs for two minutes, then lightly stir in remaining eggs. Spread batter onto prepared baking sheet and bake 11-12 minutes.

Let cake cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle a clean dishtowel with cocoa powder, then carefully invert cake onto towel.  Roll up the cake and the towel starting with the short side. Let cool completely.

For filling, beat mascarpone, powdered sugar and cream in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in amaretto and the extracts.

For frosting, place chocolate in a food processor and pulse on and off to chop. Bring cream, butter and amaretto to simmer in a small saucepan. With the motor running, slowly add cream mixture to chocolate and process until very smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until it has the consistency of frosting. 

To assemble, carefully unroll cake. Spread filling over entire surface and roll again.  Place two pieces of waxed paper in the center of a rectangular serving platter, side by side.  Place cake, seam side down, in the center.  Spread frosting over the top and sides, then lightly drag a fork along the surface until the frosting resembles tree bark; carefully pull away paper. Refrigerated until ready to serve. Let stand at room temp for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Colton didn't want to participate in his "interview" or in any picture taking.

My personal favorite

At least we caught him cooking!
Colton spent many hours making this fancy cake. He told me that he didn't want to make it look like a log because that was stupid... so no bark designs on his Yule Log (-:

Colton is always in the kitchen making himself fancy lunches.  He shared one of his favorite creations with me: Cut a hot dog in half lengthwise and marinate it in liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce and oregano for half an hour.  Grill it up and enjoy the best hot dog you've ever had!

As you can see from the cake, one of his favorite things to make is sweet treats. He says the best combo for a milkshake he has come up with is to use chocolate ice cream, banana, Ovaltine powder, milk, shredded coconut, and graham cracker crumbs. Sometimes he shares his milkshakes with me and they sure are delicious.

So someday, when Colton is a world-famous chef: you heard it here first!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


In a way, we all try to be different. But I think we try to be different while still fitting in with a certain group of people so that we won't be so different that we are actually alone. Take for example people who dance. If everyone was a ballerina, it wouldn't be very special. But because everyone isn't, people who dance have a different talent. But dancers automatically fit in with their own group of people who dance.  Or people who get lots of tattoos fit in with other people who love tattoo sleeves.  People who do crossfit fit in with other people who do crossfit.  I've learned well that Physical Therapy students also have their own "differentness." Often, these groups have their own lingo and style that others don't get.  

So can we really ever be "different"?  I'm not sure. In a sense, I don't think we can.  But in another sense, there is no one exactly like us. We are made uniquely by God. We have our own unique thoughts and feelings. These thoughts can lead us to act in a way that makes us irreplaceable to people.  We can be parents, leaders, siblings, lovers, friends that are absolutely irreplaceable. To do so we have to be, I think, unselfish. If we bury our head in the sand, doing and thinking only of ourselves, would we really be missed if we were gone?  

Most importantly, can our lives be irreplaceable to God? I don't mean to say that ever needs us, but I consider Abraham, who was called the friend of God. Or righteous King David or Paul or the myriads of people who were faithful. God didn't need them, but they were still irreplaceable servants. Let's try to make our service irreplaceable to God!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

April Fool's

It's not even close to April, but I recently was thinking of this funny prank and thought I'd share it. Maybe you can even use it on April Fool's day next year (-;

It was many years ago, when my dad has just bought his shiny new pickup truck that he had been wanting for years. He was going away on a business trip for the week and had left his car parked at the airport.  If you know my dad at all, you will know how protective he is of his car.  So my mom orchestrated a silly little prank to play on him.  

My mom called directly to his voice mail so that he wouldn't know it was us.  In her best creepy man voice, she told him that her name was Chuck from the airport security.  There was some major construction going on in the airport parking garage. Unfortunately, his car had been damaged in the construction and that if he had any concerns he should call his insurance. They would cover the damages after he paid his deductible.  

In the background, we all made noise so that it would sound like a busy airport. We made a recording that we played that announced that for security purposes bags must be attended at all times and any suspicious bags should be reported. 

We could hardly breathe because we were all laughing so much! 

As you can imagine, my dad was furious. He couldn't believe that Chuck told him that he would have to pay the deductible! He told my mom, "His name was Chuck, but it sounded like a woman! I can just see what she looks like." 

Turns out, Chuck was a woman!! Hehe, have you pulled any funny April Fool's pranks?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fall crafts

It's fall time, which means Thanksgiving.  And with Thanksgiving, the most wonderful holiday, comes Thanksgiving decorations!  Here are a few that I have done this year.

Our table decoration, complete with a crooked lampshade and chapstick (-:

I got this cute, free printable from Daisy Cottage Designs. Then I just glued some twine around it and framed it!

I made this little banner for over our door by cutting out squares of burlap and circles of white fabric. Then I painted letters onto them in maroon and gold, strung them together with twine, and boom!

My mom had bought this cute door hanger for me. I simply added a fabric "F" to make it a little more festive.

Happy Fall!  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Jesus for King

A Facebook friend wrote yesterday, "My candidate is not on the ballot today. Jesus for King, 2014."  I don't post this to be disrespectful to those to my readers who do vote, but simply to share why I didn't cast my vote yesterday.  While I am quite thankful for the country I live in and I respect the government, as we are commanded to in Romans 13, I believe my true citizenship lies in the future Kingdom of God.  

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1-2

We are told that we are strangers and sojourners in this land. We are seeking a kingdom that is not yet here. Just like Abraham and his descendants, we are looking to be part of something even greater than what this world can offer.  Governments ruled by humans will never be perfect, but a government where Jesus is King will be truly righteous and just!

For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 1 Chronicles 29:15

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:13-16

I think of it a bit like my husband, Daniel, who is applying to become a permanent resident of the United States. Permanent residents live in a country, but they are not citizens. They don't have the right to participate in the government and are living away from their true country.  I hope that someday soon, Jesus will come to earth and I can claim my citizenship in his kingdom!  

We are told that God places the rulers in their places. He has that power, and I certainly don't want to be voting for someone against God's will.  While I might try my best to vote for who God wants, I can't claim that I would truly be doing God's will. Whoever is in power is there because God has placed them there. I certainly wouldn't have voted for many of the wicked leaders throughout history, but God saw fit to put them in power to accomplish His plan.  I will leave that decision up to God.  

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. Daniel 2:21

Jesus for King!