Category Archives: Celebrations

So many things in life to celebrate!

This is Amazing Grace; Happy Palm Sunday!

1-image (2)

Happy Palm Sunday!  Great church service this AM.  Following a tough week.  Nothing crazy, just frustrating.  Tired of waiting.  Waiting for our house to sell, so then we can pack, move, and work on getting settled in and most importantly get our family back together.  I have never felt so out of control, a slave to real estate.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21

BUT this morning I was reminded of something I know, something I pray about daily, but something I need to be told every second of every day.  I am NOT in control, but God is, and He is capable of miracles.  This morning Pastor David at Evergreen Church, preached about another life-changing event (part 6 or 7 in a series of life-changing events throughout the Bible).  Today was the blind man who Jesus made see (John 9.)

Jesus is capable of performing miracles, life-changing ones.  But in time.  And I’m not good at waiting.  Are you?  Probably not, but let’s chat if you are.  Some days I can be optimistic.  Other days I want to throw a tantrum and yell at anyone who will listen.  I know it could be worse but I find myself pleading with God.  And I keep being told to wait, a little longer.  I continue to go back to my guiding verse.  Jeremiah 29.  He knows the plans for ME, and they aren’t meant to harm me, He wants me to prosper, and have a future.  But when?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

I’m posting this more for me than anyone (but I hope you can use it too.)  He has proven time and time again, He will prevail, and IT WILL BE GOOD!  And this week as we enter into Holy week.  A week that defines everything we believe in.  I need to take a step back and put things in perspective.  Our LORD, sent His son JESUS to wear our crown, take our sins, and set us free.  And we can soon declare “HE IS RISEN!”  Wow.

This is Amazing Grace.  And love, and so much more.  This song came to mind today as the verses from the original Amazing Grace sang through my mind hearing the story of the blind man “I once was blind but now I see.”  I love this new take on it.  He can do amazing things that no one else can or can even imagine.  Meditate on this song today and this week.  I know I will be as I wait.

*And the picture at top was made by my LL of Jesus surrounded by Palms  – after what she learned at church today!  This makes my heart melt!

This is Amazing Grace
by Phil Wickham

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me

Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy, worthy, worthy



Filed under Calling, Celebrations, Children

And All The People Said AMEN!


Give thanks to the LORD for His love never ends!

Happy Monday!  I haven’t done a song in a while and if you’re like me, Mondays I could always use a bit extra encouragement.  We’ve been loving this newer Matt Maher song lately and even been ending our prayers with the chorus of this song.  It has such a good message that I wanted to share to anyone that needs a little extra push this Monday morning.  (For another Matt Maher favorite and constant prayer of mine – check out Lord, I Need You.)

Simple message – yet so profound and a great reminder each and every day. “We are all the same in need of mercy, To be forgiven and be free, It’s all you got to lean on, But thank God it’s all you need.”

The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop. Lamentations 3:22 (NCV)

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:19 (ESV)

That’s it for today.  Short and sweet.  Meditate on it, share it, live it!  Enjoy your week!  Amen!

“All The People Said Amen”
Matt Maher

You are not alone if you are lonely
When you’re feeling frail, you’re not the only
We are all the same in need of mercy
To be forgiven and be free
It’s all you got to lean on
But thank God it’s all you need

And all the people said Amen, whoa oh
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said Amen

If you’re rich or poor, well it don’t matter
Weak or strong, we know love is what we’re after
We’re all broken but we’re all in this together
God knows we stumble and fall
And He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all

And all the people said Amen, whoa oh
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said Amen

Blessed are
The poor in spirit who are torn apart
Blessed are
The prosecuted and the pure in heart
Blessed are
The people longing for another start
For this is the Kingdom
The Kingdom of God

And all the people said Amen, whoa oh
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said Amen

Praise the Lord! He is good.
    God’s love never fails.
Praise the God of all gods.
    God’s love never fails.
Praise the Lord of lords.
    God’s love never fails.
Psalm 136:1-3

One last shout out for the day – Happy 1st Birthday to Evergreen Church.  Amazing accomplishment and a great church home in the Peachtree City GA area.


Filed under Calling, Celebrations

My Life in Disney Songs

Hello my severely neglected blog and followers.  As you should know by now, we are in the process of moving.  Selling a house, travelling back and forth, and just figuring out the million little pieces and keeping them all in motion, has me a little stressed to say the least.  But in our free moments, we like to have Disney Dance Parties, and I’ve come to the realization that our life right now can be summed up using a variety of Disney songs. So I hope you enjoy this fun little glimpse into our lives as told by songs:

As we are preparing to move and enter into “A Whole New World“, the motto I’ve been trying hard to have is “Hakuna Matata” – you know how it goes – it means no worries!  Not quite that easy to “Let it Go“, but we’re trying.  (Check out a past post on that song specifically!)

We’re realizing we can get by some days with just the “Bare Necessities“, but each day it’s “Heigh Ho“, off to work we go.  While I wish we had a fairy godmother or a magic wand to say “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” and have it all be over with (the work that is!)

We are  “Almost There” and will soon be singing at last “I See the Light” when we can proudly say we’ve been able to “Go the Distance.”  .

I guess it’s all part of the “Circle of Life“.

But I will always be singing “You’ll be in My Heart” to all my beloved friends in Georgia and know that “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” always and forever.

And please know that everyone is always invited to Cleveland to “Be Our Guest” anytime!!

And finally just for fun – since I am out of words – here is one of the kids favorites these days “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious“!!

Thanks for stopping by today – any others I forgot?  What sums up your life these days?

The songs are from these movies referenced above are (in order):
The Lion King
The Jungle Book
Snow White
The Princess and the Frog
The Lion King
Toy Story
Beauty and the Beast
Mary Poppins
And pictures were all from this link. (Unless they link to their original source)


Filed under Calling, Celebrations, Children

Why they say Cleveland Rocks!

So you’ve heard by now, we are relocating up north, like way up north.  Take a pencil from Atlanta and go directly north as far as you can in the US and you’ll hit Cleveland, OH.  Not a foreign land to me, like it may be to many born and bred southerners, after all I am from Philadelphia and spend 19 years of my life in Pennsylvania.  But it may be to you, so that is why I am posting today things to look forward to in Cleveland.  This list is not only for my own reference, but also yours as we want you to come visit.

I think by now I have expressed how much I will miss everyone in GA (and the GA weather especially this time of year), so this list serves as my way of justifying that I can do this (and maybe convince you to come too!).  Atlanta will always hold a (large) piece of my heart and has so many great points too (in case I am too convincing for you!)  Ha!

I am excited to reconnect with family that I haven’t seen in a while.  And ofcourse to be closer to Penn State!  (Hoping to take Steven and the kids to their first game this fall!)  Cleveland is a bit smaller than Atlanta, so we are also hoping traffic will not be a huge stress for us, and most importantly, will allow us to find a MUCH better commute for Steven.  Like 15 miles (v. 55), one way!

Some fun Cleveland nicknames before I start are: Forest City, Metropolis of the Western Reserve, The Rock and Roll Capital of the World, The Plum City, C-Town, The Cleve, Sixth City, North Coast, Mistake on the Lake, Halle Berry’s Hometown, Comeback City, Land of tha Heartless (found from this fun blog here!)

Now onto some things my detailed research has found:

download download (2)

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – a place that I’d say at least 50% of the people I mention Cleveland to automatically mention.  With music being such a big part of our lives, I think we’ll soon become members!  Steven is excited to take the kids to teach them all about music, especially The Beatles exhibit, whose songs LL has been singing since she could talk.  It looks like they have preschool programs and many events that will keep us entertained all year round!  We’ll be sure to have some extra tickets on hand for your visit too!

download (1)

The Great Lakes Science Center looks like an awesome museum too, as Cleveland sits right on Lake Erie.  Home of the OmniMax, great exhibits, and even a Polymer Funhouse for the little ones.  This place is high on our list of things to do!

The West Side Market – I have seen this listed on every list of what Cleveland has to offer, and agree that it deserves a spot as this place looks awesome!  Cannot wait to make this a weekly stop.  Sounds perfect on my quest to eat cleaner and local!

  • Produce Is Fresh Daily
  • A Wide Selection of Organic Foods
  • Unique and Specialty Items Found No Where Else
  • Produce Costs an Average of 30% Less than Grocery Stores
  • Higher Quality & Better Selection of Meats
  • The Best Butchers in the Area
  • Family Owned Businesses, Operating as Long as 75 Years
  • Personal Service
  • Weekly Specials in All Areas of the Market for a Greater Value

“Today the market is home to over 100 vendors of great ethnic diversity. You can find not only fine meats and fresh vegetables, but also fresh seafood, baked goods, dairy and cheese products, and even fresh flowers. There are also booths that sell ready-to-eat foods, herbs, candy and nuts.”

Lots of other museums/places to go including (but not limited to):

download (3) imagesimages (1)download (9) thumb_CleMetZoo thumb_GCA_shark0

One local place (to where we will be staying for awhile) is the:


Lake Erie Science and Nature Center – This looks like it has programs and events geared toward the little ones.  Including being able to adopt your own animal!  And it even has a planetarium – I haven’t been to one of those in forever – I think the kids will love it!

download (4)

If none of those are convincing enough, behind the Rock & Roll HOF, the second most mentioned landmark is Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.  This amusement park, located on a Lake Erie peninsula, is less than an hour from Cleveland, and boasts some of the biggest, baddest roller coasters in the world!  Now if this doesn’t get you up our way – I don’t know what will!

“Cedar Point is known for a couple of things. It’s known as the roller coaster capital of the world. But some just refer to Cedar Point as the world’s best amusement park. Cedar Point is an amusement park that brings people together through thrills. With 120-mph roller coasters that have 80-degree drops. An amusement park that, on top of roller coasters, has exhilarating thrill rides. An amusement park that has rides for the entire family and gives you water rides that make you wonder why it’s simply only the roller coaster capital of the world. And, of course, Cedar Point amusement park gives you great dining. What else would you expect from the roller coaster capital of the world? Or, as some say, the best amusement park in the world. Cedar Point is the place to strengthen family bonds and stomachs.Cedar Point. Thrills Connect.”

Cleveland even offers all your professional sports and seems to have a lot of pride in them: (the Monsters are minor league hockey)

download (5) images (2) download (6) download (8)


There seem to be parks on every corner and even a few beaches along Lake Erie.  We are very much looking forward to getting the bikes back out, teaching LL to ride a bike, and even purchasing a bike trailer to tow the kids too!

And ofcourse if you know me – I love a good festival – so tons of those to visit too!

Skiing is not too far away, another plus for Steven as he loves to ski and can’t wait to get the kids on skis while they are little.

Lots of new local restaurants to try.  (I know every city has this – but we love eating out – so excited to try some new local places!)  Also included with eating is drinking – so looking forward to new local craft beers, like the Great Lakes Brewing Company and Rocky River Brewing Company!

And who knew – Superman was created in Cleveland too!

I could go on as I am finding out so much, I’ll save more for later, like restaurants, parks, and festivals I want to try.  (And hopefully some reviews of these places when we actually get up there!)   Please feel free to add your favorites here too, this list is just my attempt to organize some things that are on our Cleveland Bucket list, and like I said before, to get us excited about going to a brand new city.

Thanks for reading and please COME VISIT!!

Thanks to Positively Cleveland for many of these ideas!
And here’s another good list I found: 25 Reasons Why Cleveland Is The Best


Filed under Celebrations, Children

Let it Go and Defy Gravity


I can’t stop singing “Let it Go” from Frozen.  I took my LL to Frozen, her first movie (see above!) in December, and I can’t stop singing!  With no expectations, I was completely blown out of the water with this movie.  The soundtrack is Broadway worthy, and it took me a few weeks to put this together, but I’ve learned a few things.

  1. I may be Idina Menzel‘s biggest fan.  She has been in Rent, Wicked, and now Frozen.  Her voice and songs bring me goosebumps and tears.  I seriously love her. (picture pulled from her website)
  2. “Let it Go” has so much similarity to “Defying Gravity” (from Wicked), which is one of my all time favorite songs.  I pulled it up today to show the kids, and by the end, LL asked why I was crying.  I absolutely love this song, it’s meaning, Wicked, everything.  Take a listen – it’s amazing.

The two songs have such a similar message too, I guess I’m not the first to link these songs (check out the cool images I found above), but I thought I would put a little lesson together, as they both have such a great message for everyone, but especially the target of Frozen, young girls.

Elphaba from Wicked, is a misunderstood green-skinned girl.  Her love for animals is one of the many reasons I love her so much, but she already doesn’t conform to society in looks alone, so she embracing that, and her “coming out” song is “Defying Gravity”.

“Something has changed within me, Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules, Of someone else’s game”

Elsa from Frozen, has always been different and isolated from the outside world.  At an early age, she discovered powers that her parents told her to “conceal not feel.”  So “Let it Go” is her coming out song.

“I don’t care, What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on, The cold never bothered me anyway”

These two characters, unlike their peers, are finally “free”.  If you’ve seen the musical/movie, you will know this does not come without consequence, but they finally discover who they are, publicly declare that, and move on.  This is hitting me in two ways.

  1. As much of a “real” rule-follower as I am, I don’t “go with the flow” and I have a partner that is the same way.  Steven and I talked about that this weekend, our decisions don’t always line up with the norm, that is just how we roll (and you may see evidence of this coming soon!)
  2. And isn’t that what it is like to be a Christian?  Knowing that you a child of God, and in his eyes, you’re perfect.  And with only that knowledge you can be free, like really free.

A few verses, then I’ll let you enjoy the song.  The message is the same, do not conform to the world, be yourself, be comfortable in that, and my added message, if God is for you and you love and obey Him, you can’t be stopped! (But use your power for good please!)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy,let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
Romans 12:6-7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

Take a listen, I hope you enjoy as much as I do.  This has become my anthem.  Not only the message of being myself, even if that is different from everyone else, but also just letting go of the little stuff and putting God first.

As Elsa says:
It’s time to see what I can do, To test the limits and break through, No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free”

And as Elphaba says:
“It’s time to trust my instincts, Close my eyes and leap!”

Thanks for stopping by.  Please share, I had fun writing this post.  Amen.

(All images or videos link to the original source)
Lyrics from Wicked & Frozen



Filed under Calling, Celebrations, Children, Uncategorized

Happy 1-year Blogiversary to me!

Can it really be 1 year since I started this blog?  Wow, does not seem like that long.  I’ve had my ups and downs, figured a few things out, still working on quite a few others, but most days am glad I have stuck with it.  I wish I had some great, ground-breaking news to share, like I figured it all out, but not yet – probably not ever.  But I have come a long way – see my first post here – My dog-eared purpose.

But I’m okay with that, and I think that is what I am taking away from 2013 and this 1st year of blogging.  I may not have discovered my one “purpose”  and I may not ever, but have figured out a few along the way:

  • My purpose is to raise up my 2 precious children to know, love, and tell others about God.  Through both words and how they act and treat others.  And it’s my job to be a model of this.

1-Lane 2013-28

  • My purpose is to be a good, Godly wife.  To support and love my husband unconditionally as he works hard for us and has to make tough choices that aren’t always easy.

2-Lane 2013-63

  • My purpose is to love and raise my 3 (mostly) sweet dogs.  To show others that pets are part of a family and should also be treated as such.  And with all animals – to speak for those who cannot.  (Hoping to put more emphasis on this for 2014)


  • My purpose is to be comfortable in the skin (or clothes) I am in.  I may not be trendy (although I may try to be), I may wear clothes from Target, or last season, but if my family is loved, fed, and cared for, I’m good.  I know God does not care what I look like on the outside and although I do “try” to maintain a good outward appearance to feel good myself, it’s definitely not all that matters.
  • My purpose is NOT to have all the answers.  I want my kids to see I’m not always perfect.  I want them to see me accept blame if something is my fault and not be quick to point fingers at others.  I want them to know mistakes happen, and we need to apologize, try to make it right, learn from it, and move on.  (Still working on this!)
  • And in all these things my purpose is to love God unconditionally, thank Him everyday for the good and bad, and let His light shine through me, my family, and this blog.

I did update my tag-line to “taking it one book, song, and day at a time.”  That is all I can do, I can plan all I want, but things are not always going to go as planned, and although this is hard for me and will take a lot of prayer and disappointment, it’s all I can do to survive.  Life, kids, jobs, circumstances are always changing, but if I stay anchored in my faith with God as my guide, He will give me all that I need.

Lastly, I’ve seen on a lot of blogs and Facebook posts lately people choosing a word to represent their year ahead.  I never outright stated it, but I think my 2013 word was PURPOSE, and my word for 2014 is INTENTIONAL.  To be intentional in all my actions, words, blog posts, whatever.

in·tent : the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose
in·ten·tion·al: done on purpose; deliberate.

So stay tuned for more book reviews, more inspiring songs and verses, more vacations and family fun, more dog posts, and hopefully some surprises!  I have no idea what 2014 has in store, but I can’t wait to find out through being INTENTIONAL and faithful.

1-photo (12)

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless your 2014!


Filed under Calling, Canines, Celebrations, Chapters, Children

Fun afternoon at the #AtlantaBoatShow


Big thanks to The Uncoordinated Mommy for her review of the Atlanta Boat Show and the chance to win tickets.  I found her blog through Atlanta’s Frugal Mom blog (another new favorite) just yesterday and she had a quick contest and I’m happy to report I won!  So lucky for you – you can check out my review – along with hers here.  I never would have known there were so many things to do – so a great way to spend a wet weekend!  (Which actually turned out pretty nice and 60 by the afternoon!)

ATL-suaYou may remember, or if you are newer, be sure to check this out, my review of the Atlanta Camping & RV show.  We had a blast there.  While we actually may be in the market for an RV in the next few years, a boat is probably not on a list (we’ll stick to enjoying our friends – like this super fun one in AR).  My husband will be the first to tell you that our family is not “a sea-fairing folk!”  But its still fun to see how much you can customize a boat and see some other fun things too!


A view from one of the boats of the massive showroom of boats.  As the kids pointed out, big boats, little boats, fast boats, slow boats, party boats, you name it – they had it.  Our little princess especially liked the “glitter boats”, of which there were a ton!

Ofcourse, like any show there were tons of giveaways.  In my efforts to reduce clutter, we were actually very good and walked away with only a towel, keychain, and picture (at top) from the Progressive booth (which was huge since they were the sponsor!)  They also had a few little games, like throwing fish in bigger fishes mouths, for the kids which was fun!


We actually only set foot on one boat I believe.  There were lines wrapped around several of the larger boats (like the one pictured above with me and LM in front of.)  While it would have been nice to see how the rich and famous boat, we weren’t interested in waiting in line.

The only thing we waited for was our opportunity to trout fish.  They had little fishing poles and the kids attempted to fish in the middle of the boat showroom.  On a tip from the blog we won tickets from, I asked for a new brightly colored bait (not a fisher – so don’t mind my lack of knowledge of fishing terms!), and sure enough, me and my LM caught a fish!  Lucky for me, it’s catch and release, but it was fun for everyone to see!  As I was busy reeling it in (ok – I was just holding the poll looking for help!), I wasn’t able to snap a pic, so you’ll just have to take my word for it!

And what seemed to be the most popular of all was the Swampmaster Gator Show.  Seriously people we saving their spots an hour before show time.  We decided to grab a bite to eat first (which while there were some nice choices of food – it was far from affordable) and take our chances on seeing.  But lucky for us, we gave the kids “head-rides” and they could see just fine.  The guy was absolutely crazy tackling a wild alligator, but it was amusing and everyone seemed to enjoy.  I was really glad to hear and actually read before going, that they only use the alligators for 5 days and then they are released into the wild.  And as I promised the kids over the last day, at the end the baby alligator was revealed.  Unfortunately the line to see and hold and take pictures with him was way too long and we were ready to leave at that point, so no pictures to share of that.  But here are a few from the show:


11-IMG_1416 12-IMG_1414

Overall, so much to see, kept the kids and us entertained.  A few more highlights included were the fish tanks (pictured below), a random mermaid (I guess promoting one of the boat companies?), floating chairs (LL liked!), tons of bars, a few more kids activities (face painting, balloon animals, sand necklaces), demonstrations, contests, and I’m sure more that we didn’t even catch.

13-IMG_1417 10-IMG_1410

Crazy traffic, between the boat show and Monster Jam next door (possibly on the agenda for the kids in the future as it looks like a few of our friends went and had a blast!), but fun afternoon evening, and a great view of ATL after dark.  Thanks for stopping by!



Filed under Celebrations, Children

Cookies, Cookies, and more Cookies!

I’m not the first to dub Christmas as baking season.  But with 2 birthdays thrown in, one 20 days before and another 9 days after, December – early January really is baking season for me.  I have adopted a tradition my mom started for me of baking cookies in the shape of the number of years for each birthday.

I’m not taking credit for this recipe, as I’m sure it was adapted from a cookbook long ago (maybe Mom can tell you?), but I’m sharing it here for those who have asked.  A few years back I made them for a cookie exchange and my super creative husband printed it up on these cute recipe cards!  (I’ll type it out at the end too as it may be too small to read here.)

1-image (1)Among many other pictures for birthdays and Christmas that I will probably be sharing over the next month, here are a few to commemorate all the cookies I made!

First was LM’s 2nd Birthday in the beginning of December.  I actually changed up the recipe a little as I have been trying to eat more “clean” lately.  I used Bob’s Red Mill Pastry Flour Whole Wheat instead of the white flour.  I had read to use less because the whole wheat absorbs more liquid, so I only used 2 cups versus 2 1/2 cups.  And then I also used Sugar in the Raw.  They came out decent, I even got a great compliment from LM’s teacher who is a self-proclaimed cookie aficionado.  We opted for 2’s and trains!

1-IMG_0844 2-IMG_0795

And I also splurged on some all natural food dyes, here they are on Amazon (click picture), but I found them a little cheaper (still not cheap though) at our local Fresh Market.  For LM I tried to do orange and green, but I could not make green for the life of me, so I settled on a light bluish (looks more gray than anything.)  They may not look as pretty – but they are much better for you so that makes me feel good!

But for Christmas, I went back to the tried and true recipe.  I rationalized it in my head that as least they are still from scratch and I know what is in them (still better than buying from a store.)  I did still stick with the natural dyes as one of the things I am really trying to cut out of our lives is food dyes.  So we stuck with white and red (well maybe more of a dark pink).  While I tried to do only the white and chocolate sprinkles, some colored ones made their way out.  I did a double batch to share with friends and family and got the kids involved in decorating.  They decorated/ate maybe 10, leaving me to do the other 90!  We did candy canes, gingerbread men, gingerbread girls, trees, stockings, snowmen, and bells.

And finally, early January brought my LL’s 4th birthday.  Again sticking with the normal recipe, we made 4’s, hearts, and flowers.  We chose a light pink and light blue (again more gray) for her princess themed party.  (Also pictured are the cupcakes too that I baked decorated with princess and car rings.  They were both from a box, but the chocolate was gluten-free and I think the overall favorite!)

1-IMG_1287   4-IMG_1269

2-IMG_1267 3-IMG_1268

Thus concludes my baking season.  Over 300 sugar cookies and 4 dozen cupcakes.  I’m sure it won’t be too long until we do it again (Valentine’s day maybe?)  But for now I need a break!  My waist-line does too!

One last product plug – then the recipe!  Thanks for stopping by!

These are similar to the cookie cutters I have – it’s a big bucket including all letters and numbers and even color coated by holiday!  A great investment (anyone is always welcome to borrow too!)

Cookie Dough:
3/4 cup of shortening (or can use 1/2 margarine 1/2 shortening)
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt

Mix thoroughly the shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt.  Once mixed, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour (I do overnight).
Heat oven to 400 degrees (F).  Roll dough on a floured surface to 1/8th inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp light cream/half & half

Mix all ingredients until smooth and add food coloring as desired.

1 Comment

Filed under Celebrations, Children, Clean Eating

Seasons of Love: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year’s Eve!  As I was thinking about ending the year, one of my all time favorite songs came to mind and as I reflected on it, decided it was the perfect way to end this year.  The song is “Seasons of Love” from Rent.  (Below is a picture from the musical – I love how they stripped it down and just sang in spotlights – gives me chills!)

Rent is also one of my favorite Broadway plays, I think I’ve seen it 3-4 times.  The subject matter may not quite be happy and God may not be mentioned amid the sex, drugs, paying bills, AIDS, death, but He is there.  And in the song “Seasons of Love” is it quite clear that love conquers all, it never fails, and in the end is what matters, sound familiar, who told us that?

“Love Never Fails”
1 Corinthians 13:8

In efforts to keep this short, I’ll just say I’m thankful for this year, all 525,600 minutes of it.  For the ups, the downs, the laughter, the strife.  The opportunity to find an online voice and explore a new interest and share a glimpse of God’s love to you.  I’m thankful for the LOVE in my life, first and foremost my Savior, then my husband, kids, family, friends, neighbors, and ofcourse puppies.  Each and every event and person has helped shape who I am and who I hope to be as I strive to live with more purpose glorifying and praising the One who provided it all.

So thank you to everyone for your love and support – Happy New Year – may 2014 be filled with purpose driven by the One who first LOVED us.  And take time to enjoy your seasons of love.  Take a listen below and meditate on this great song.  Amen and God Bless!

Seasons of Love
Jonathan Larson

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

It’s time now, to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love
(Oh, you got to, you got to remember the love)
Remember the love
(You know that love is a gift from up above)
Remember the love
(Share love, give love, spread love)
Measure in love
(Measure, measure your life in love)

Seasons of love
Seasons of love
(Measure your life, measure your life in love)


Filed under Calling, Celebrations