“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”~Ernest Boyer, Jr.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might.~Deuteronomy 6:5

Monday, July 30, 2007

New Blog

I am addicted to food blogs, they are just soo much fun. So I have started a blog dedicated to the world of food and my place in that world.

I hope it will be informative and fun. Plus all my baking menus will be posed there.

Check it soon and often

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Bounty of our Garden

This year our garden did not do so well between the drought and a serious lack of "something" in our soil we did not get a whole lot. Our tomatoes did well as did the beets, carrots, peppers and a random pumpkin Caleb planted, I think we are a bit out of season I think beets should be early spring or fall.

I think with the tomatoes I am going to smoke dry them, just for fun. As I use the other things I will let you know how it goes.

So now it is clean up time and we will get ready to plant again...maybe the next garden will go a little better.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I have been looking for information on how much the average family spends on groceries, but there is no info out there.

So my question is how much does your family spend on groceries a week/month?

I am trying to figure out what is "normal" and if what I am budgeting is doable

One income family in a two income world

"Don’t bankrupt your future for gratification today, but don’t live so abstemiously that you cannot enjoy life now."
Joni Mc Coy's Miserly Moms

This is my thought for today...we have spent this week taking a close look at our spending looking for ways to save money. And like all things in life money is about balance,I thought this statement summed it up nicely.

Are we going to work on being better about our spending, YES are we still going to do things to enjoy life YES! We are not going to start eating all dry beans, but we are going to budget groceries

There are so many plans out there that make BIG promises for the future but until then life is no fun.I think it's we have the possiblity to be a millionare by 50, but we are not gauranteed tomorrow so live everday like it is the last but also remembering it may not be:)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Beautiful Buns

If you did a search for "beautiful buns" there is no telling what you might come up with:) but hopefully you would be directed to this blog. Last week I made some great hamburger buns, partially fuled out of the desire to eat better and the need to save money I decided to make my own buns.

I know you are thinking why make buns? Well for one they taste soooo much better than the mushy, pastey bread you can buy and they cost much less-OK there is the time factor but the reward is so worth it.

So if you want to make your own buns I've included the recipe

1C Water, lukewarm
2TB Butter at room temp
1 egg
3 1/4 C White Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 TB Yeast or 1pk

1) Sprinkle the yeast inot the water and leave for 5 min. Stir to dissolve

2) Combine all the ingredients and mix well

3)Knead by hand or in kitchen aid for about 10 min until the dough is soft and smooth

4)Place the dough in a clean lightly greased bowl.

5)Cover with a towl and let rise 1hour until doubled in size

6) Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a flattened ball

7)Place the buns on a greased or non-stick baking sheet, cover with a towel and let rise 30-40 min until quite puffy and doubled in size

8)Preheat oven to 375 degrees

9)Bake the buns for 12-15 minutes, until golden

10) Remove from the oven and cool them on a wire rack

This recipe also makes GREAT dinner rolls just change the shape or make smaller balls!

I know this might seem like a lot of work but oh the JOY baking brings ENJOY!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

We are so blessed

I know that our family has been blessed with God's grace and mercy everyday as I look at two beautiful, sweet, smart and I think perfect children. I try not to take this for granted but when you hear stories like this one you can't help but wonder why have you been so blessed. I ask that all of you will please pray for this family that God will give them peace, acceptance and the grace to get throught this difficult time and that God's will be done in their lives and through this He will be glorified.

The following e-mail is from a man Donnie works with

Prayer request for the family of Craig and Paige Stewart

This afternoon we met with Dr. Biggio at the Kirklin Clinic in Birmingham. After looking at an ultrasound for a few minutes he was able to confirm what we had already been told – that the babies are indeed conjoined twins. On the ultrasound, he could see two heads, but said that below the heads everything appears as one. It was too early (9.5 weeks) for him to
tell much about the organs, other than that he saw only one heartbeat. Separation would not be an option. He believes that if the babies live until and survive birth, they will be incompatible with life and not live long thereafter. He says there is nothing that doctors could do to help these babies. His recommendation was to terminate the pregnancy.

Believing that all life is in God's hands. we told him that we would continue with the pregnancy. Although for us we didn't really consider this a decision to be made, I must say that I now view the weight of that decision with a different perspective than I have in the past. I suppose we were as prepared for today as we could have been; what he told us
Was basically consistent with what we had already been told. Nonetheless, this has been a very difficult day.

Please continue to lift us up in your prayers. Without God in our lives and Godly people interceding for us, I can't imagine how we'd make it through the coming months. Paige will be living through the process of being pregnant without the expectation of a happy ending. Please pray that faith in the Lord will guide and sustain us through this process
As we move toward whatever conclusion He has planned.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Ok so we all know what to do when life gives us lemons....we make lemon bars of course:)
But what do you do when life gives you cucumbers,peppers and onions?
You make pickles!
Dan got some beautiful cucumbers from someone at work and our garden produced peppers and onions so I made a batch of pickles...sweet to many peoples objection but maybe I'll do some dill this fall. I also canned some salsa out of our bounty of tomatoes.
There is just someting about canning, it gives me such inner pleasure

Our Sweet Girl

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1) Ella finally let me give her pony tails...all over:)
2) Ella's first night in a "BIG Girl bed"
3) Ella all dressed up and ready to do some cooking-like mother like daughter
4) Enjoying some Starbucks-like mother like daughter:)
5)Mother's day
6)Just saying HI


So the last few posts have been about Caleb and what is going on with him, his diving, and turning 5 so I thought today I would update everyone on Ella and post some of her cute pics. At 2 Ella is soo cute and funny it almost kills me! For one she loves her big brother and copies everything he does weather good or bad :) She is all girl though she loves to dress up in her jewlery, paint her nails, and take care of her babies. I thank God for my girl she brings my life such JOY!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Caleb's 1st Dive Meet

Yesterday Caleb had his first dive meet, and he did very well for his first try. Of course he got out on the board and had to talk to the coach about actually doing the dive. He placed last in his age group but all he cares about is that he got a medal and his name was called first! :) We are proud of him for just trying and if he wants to keep doing it he will only get better. It was a fun day for all of us!
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More of Caleb's Birthday

I was not sure how I was going to do a Hot Wheels birthday cake when Caleb asked for it espically since he wanted FLAMES but this is what I came up with, I was very proud of it I thought it came out well and of course Caleb loved it. You can't really tell from the pic but that is a car with flames doing a wheelie with the "HotWheels" flames coming out the back. OH the things you will do for your kids :)

Monday, July 9, 2007

5 years with Caleb

5 Years Old!!

Caleb's Great Big Birthday Jump

On July 5th Caleb turned 5 years old...I still can't believe 5 years have gone by and it scares me for the future because I know we are going to look up and he will be 10,15...and on and on.

Caleb had a great birthday week it seems like his birthday lasts for days. He had popsicles with the dive team on his birthday, then his special birthday dinner of mini-hamburgers & curley fries, and finally on Saturday he had his Hot Wheels party.

It was supposed to be a pool party but due to much needed rain we had a day of fun and games at the church gym.

He had sooo much fun on his 5th birthday that when we were praying the other night he said "God I like being 5" that's the boy we love :)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Well it is fully summer and we are spending every day at the pool, it is the only way I can get my kids to play outside. We are all waaay to dark with bleach blond hair. Our lives have been quiet for the past week, but this week on the other hand is quite busy. We have the 4th celebrations, Caleb's birthday and it seems like something else thrown in there.

On these hot summer days my thoughts have turned to lemons and I have a new favorite I want to share with my fellow lemon lovers. I have always liked lemon bars but they have always been a little to sweet for me, last week I made a Luscious Lemon-Lime Bar that is the perfect tartness with a more creamy texture. The addition of cinnamon in the crust is just yummy!

Luscious Lemon-Lime Bar

For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For the filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 TB . finely grated lemon zest I use more because I just love the zest
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4cup limeade
3 Tbs. heavy cream
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

To make the crust, preheat an oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish, preferably glass.
In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Pulse briefly until blended.
Add the butter and pulse until the dough forms moist crumbs and sticks together when pinched, about 1 minute. There should be no trace of dryness.
Press the dough into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared baking dish, lightly flouring your fingertips if necessary to prevent them from sticking.
Bake the crust until pale golden, 20 to 22 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

To make the filling, in a bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, salt and lemon zest. Add the eggs, lemon juice and cream and whisk until just blended.
Carefully pour the mixture over the baked crust.
Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly when the dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes, or longer if using a metal pan.
Transfer the pan to the wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.
Run the tip of a small knife along the inside of the dish to loosen the crust from the sides, then let cool completely.
*Don't be tempted to let these bake any longer or you will loose the creamy texture.
* This recipe doubles easily and trust me you will want to :)