Saturday, December 31, 2005


My husband and I were very pleased with our daughter's sleep over last night. The girls did not get very far into the movie and decided to interact instead. They spent the evening reading Shakespeare together and laughing. :) We were also pleased things went smoothly because two of the girls in attendance were girls that our daughter has witnessed to in the past. We made certain that the other girls (Christian homeschoolers) invited were strong in their faith and that they and their parents knew that this was an unusual sleep over because of the "mixed" group of girls. The whole evening was bathed in prayer, and things went very well. We hope that one of the girls will go to church with us soon. :)

In other news we are "fostering" a 7 week-old puppy this evening. Puppies are so sweet! :)

As I think about the beginning of a new year, my thoughts turn to resolutions. I haven't made a resolution in several years, but this year I am returning to the tradition. In 2006, it is my goal to:

read through the Bible
keep up with budget (surely we can do it this year)
(dare I say it?) lose some weight
eat at home more often (that's nice & vague)
relish being a homemaker (this one is easy)

I may think of some more resolutions as the evening progress, but for now I must close by wishing you a blessed new year! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A True Girl

Here is a passage from Mrs. Julia McNair Wright's The Complete Home:

A true girl, one who has the right to the name of lady does not desire to call public attention to herself. She must be sought for. She does not parade herself to general view. She is careful not to act or dress in a manner to make herself remarkable either for oddity, display, showy colors, or extravagance. Her dress and her manners are simple and refined. Her good taste regulates her tones, her words and her actions as well as her bonnets. She quietly does what she thinks she ought, and has a large reserve power of intelligence, wit, accomplishment, kind feeling. She does not show forth at one glance all her possessions, as some people who set all their silver forth on their tables at once, but she has an untold inheritance and acquistion of valuable things, which will only be discovered by a long acquaintance, when day by day she will surprise you by having a depth of strength, and culture, and lovingness beyond your pervious discerning. Such a girl is like an inexhaustible gold mine, while many girls are like the bogus mines, started by some crafty speculator, who has scattered a little gold and quartz along the surface. Posted by Picasa
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Christian! It is not the ship in the water,
but the water in the ship, which sinks it.
So it is not the Christian in the world,
but the world in the Christian,
which constitutes the danger.

Anything which dims my vision of Christ,
or takes away my taste for Bible study, or
cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian
work difficult, is wrong for me, and I must,
as a Christian, turn away from it!

--J. Wilbur Chapman

(From Slice of Laodicea)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

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Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest.
- Henry W. Longfellow, 1807 - 1882

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Red Velvet Cake

Anonymous said - could you please post the recipe? I have never had red velvet cake...what does it taste like?

Red Velvet Cake is a chocolate cake colored red with food coloring. I have two recipes. One is my mother's and one is the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel recipe. They are very similar in taste, but the Waldorf recipe uses a smaller cake pan and yields a "taller" cake. The Waldorf recipe can easily be found through an internet search. The link above will lead you to the one I found. Here is my mother's recipe:

Preheat oven to 350'
Grease and flour 3 - 9" inch round cake pans

1/2 Cup shortening
1 1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 ounces red food coloring
2 Tablespoons of cocoa (exact)
1 teaspoon salt (scant)
1 teaspoon soda
2 1/2 Cups cake flour

cream shortening, sugar and eggs
in a small bowl combine red food coloring and cocoa & add to creamed mixture
in a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and vanilla
in another bowl, combine flour, salt, and soda
fold in the buttermilk and flour alternately to the creamed mixture
pour into the 3 - 9" pans and bake for 30 minutes

Monday, December 19, 2005

T'was the Night Before Christmas

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‘T’was the night before Christmas and all through the
town Not a sign of Baby Jesus was anywhere to
be found.

The people were all busy with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking, and shopping in

No one sang “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed”.
Instead, they sang of Santa dressed-up in
bright red.

Mama watched Martha Stewart, Papa drank beer from a
tap. As hour upon hour the presents they’d wrap
When what from the T.V. did they suddenly hear?
‘Cept an ad.. which told of a big sale at Sears.
So away to the mall they all flew like a flash…
Buying things on credit… and others with

And, as they made their way home from their trip to
the mall, Did they think about Jesus? Oh, no… not at all.
Their lives were so busy with their Christmas-time
thing No time to remember Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap and cookies to bake. How
could they stop and remember who died for their

To pray to the Savior… they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time to “Shop til they

On Wal-mart! On K-mart! On Target! On Penneys! On
Hallmark! On Zales! A quick lunch at Dennys. From
the big stores downtown to the stores at the
mall, they would dash away, dash away, and
visit them all!

And up on the roof, there arose such a clatter As
grandpa hung icicle lights up on his brand new

He hung lights that would flash. He hung lights that
would twirl. Yet, he never once prayed to
Jesus… Light of the World.

Christ’s eyes… how they twinkle! Christ’s
Spirit… how merry! Christ’s love… how
enormous! All our burdens… He’ll carry!

So instead of being busy, overworked, and uptight
Let’s put Christ back in Christmas and enjoy
some good nights!

Hat tip to Melody from the Fruit of Her Hands!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Icing Problem Solved!

My family has a wonderful Red Velvet Cake recipe that has the most scrumptious icing. The last few years, I have had trouble with my icing's texture being rubbery in spots, so I decided to venture off on my own and try some new recipes. I finally decided to use one I found from Country Living magazine. It turned out wonderful. I highly recommend it. Here it is:

1/4 Cup, plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 Cups whole (I used 2%) milk
2 Cups unsalted butter, softened
2 Cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, whisk (important step) the flour and milk together until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick -- about 5+ minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature and set aside. In a medium bowl beat butter and sugar until light. Add the vanilla, reduce mixer speed to medium, and slowly (important step) add the cooled milk mixture. Beat for 1 more minute.

Enjoy! Posted by Picasa

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Are You Really a Keeper of the Home?

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Yesterday, while reading Excellent Wife, I was hit between the eyes with this thought: it is possible to be a stay-at-home wife and mother and NOT be a keeper at home. You can do this by either being too busy with outside activities or by being lazy. I have been guilty on both counts. Wow! What am I really teaching my daughter???

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I am very tempted to buy this book, but it is not necessary for life at the moment. Has anyone seen this book? It is a 1960's library book for children. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dealing With Loss at Christmas

Right now, I am tired of being an adult, especially as my father is in his final days of cancer. My dad was always a formidable man, someone to stand in fear and awe of. This is no longer true, and it scares even him. We had fun for five years saying that he was just "too stubborn to die" or that he was like a cockroach because you just couldn't kill him. Reality has now come quickly, and it has chosen a Christmas visit. My father was always good at catching me off my guard and finding that my room was not clean or my chores were not done, and now he has caught me off my guard again. I was not ready. I wonder, when Jesus comes, will I be truly ready for Him? Will I be one of the wise virgins with oil in my lamp, or will the cares of this temporal world consume my time and life? Are you ready? Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 05, 2005

Romantic Christmas Memories

One of my favorite Christmas presents from my husband was during the year we were courting. What made the gift so special was the meaning behind the gift. I did not have a great deal of money, and my loved one did not feel that I had a proper winter coat (which I did not). So, after consulting with my mother, he bought a beautiful coat to keep me warm during the cold winter months that lay ahead. That gift often reminded me of his love for me in a way that no piece of jewelry could. I knew that he desired to protect me and care for me. His love was, and still is, a selfless love. Posted by Picasa