A Piece of Cake!

A few months ago I made a cake for a friend who turned 40. I had in mind this beautiful, elegant, tall, black fondant cake with the number 40 placed on top.

Simple and beautiful, just like my friend.

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This was what I had in mind, except substitute black icing for the blue.

Black icing is a pain to make because it takes so much food coloring and even then has a purple hue to it. So I thought fondant would be easier and solve both of those problems.

Now, I haven’t used fondant much. My biggest undertaking would be this cake I made for my daughter’s 10th birthday party.

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Notice the whole cake is not covered with fondant. Only the duct tape is fondant.

Nevertheless, I barreled ahead full steam. I bought 3 packages of fondant and set to work baking the cakes. Cake #1 was from my Betty Crocker cookbook called Best Chocolate Cake, and cake #2 was a vanilla flavor called Best Party Cake Ever from my Family Fun cookbook. Only the best for my friend!

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The Power of “Come”

A few weekends ago my oldest son wanted to sleep outside. And when my oldest son wants to do something, he lets me know of his plans every chance he can. We could be talking about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and Caleb would insert a plug for his case to sleep outside.

Maybe it’s partly my fault. Being the mama that I am, I don’t tell him yes to everything, for if I did, we’d be fur trading in Alaska and eating bear soup for dinner. I make him work for his yeses. He must convince me as to why he needs to sleep outside in such a way that I understand his cause and want to say yes to him with joy.

So I had put him off for days but by Saturday night I had no more reasons to say no. He had convinced me and with a smile I said Yes.

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What Does 2017 Hold?

Dorothy was right…there is no place like home. We left for Arkansas on Christmas Day, visiting my parents and celebrating Christmas in Silver Dollar City and didn’t return home until New Year’s Eve. I actually want to unpack my suitcases, restock my kitchen and vacuum up the dirt tracked in on my floors. I’m even ready to think about school starting back up and I’m soooo thankful to sleep in my bed, with all my pillows next to my husband!

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Ringing in the New Year causes me to be nostalgic. (OK, really anything can cause me to be nostalgic, but especially when the calendar turns January 1st.) I think back to highlights and unfortunately low lights of 2016 and recall the lessons God taught me through them. Then I try to peer through the misty windows towards what’s ahead in 2017. I know God doesn’t see time like I do, so I try to align myself to His timetable.

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Living Peacefully in a Land of I-Should-Be-Doing

Last week was weird. It was our first week off of school and I scheduled to visit a list of friends we hadn’t seen in awhile. Two of them have new babies, which made it extra exciting to visit! But by Tuesday, my daughter was suffering from a sinus cold and by Wednesday, my stomach felt knives were digesting my food. Neither of which is appropriate to take among newborns!

So instead of hustling merrily around spreading Christmas joy, we were all stuck in the house. The cold, dreary weather outside merely mimicked my feelings and offered no motivation to do otherwise.

I easily said yes to my children’s petition to watch TV shows and movies. We may or may not have watched The Parent Trap and Fiddler on the Roof both in one day. Even after the kids went to bed, Adam and I perused Netflix and watched more Longmire episodes than I care to admit.

By Friday, I felt guilty for all my slothful indulgence, thinking about all the tasks gone undone.

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How Do We Deal with Haunting Memories?

I know it’s been quiet on this site lately. With school ending and the holidays beginning, I’ve propelled myself into the “spirit” by immersing myself in projects. That’s immersing, not burying!

I’ve crocheted boot cuffs till my giant ball of yarn dwindled to a tiny skeleton. I’ve made dish cloths, headbands and bows, cooked Reese’s peanut butter cupcakes, hot crackers and ginger-cinnamon chex mix.

In between all the crafting activity we also visited some family for the first time in their new house! We flicked our wrists at some bowling – which Adam won – and twisted our ankles at some ice skating. We huddled, shivering, around the gargantuan Christmas tree in the middle of town.

The holidays are here…ready or not!

I’ve written, but kept it all hidden away in my journal, mostly because I haven’t been ready to part with it yet. I’m as ready to share it now as I am for Christmas Day, but it’s the hope that my words will reach out a hand and help someone up that I share. I know there’s someone else who struggles with haunting memories around the holidays and I want to share the Source of freedom that I’ve found.

This time of year stirs up a whole lot of jumbled up emotions and memories for me. I am deeply nostalgic. Smells, songs, food, a certain color shirt, driving down a certain road can recall those memories in an instant. I remember someone I was talking to, what I was wearing, what I was thinking when I wore that shirt and instantly it’s as if I was there again. Sometimes this can make me smile like when I remember all the Christmases with my grandparents, but sometimes the memories also evoke shame.

It was this time of year when the struggle I share about in my book began. I’ve been awake at night recently remembering what it was like when I needed to talk to my husband…about something I really didn’t want to talk to him about. I remember driving down the road, this conversation burning in my gut, and praying God would give me words and the right opportunity to share them. I remember feeling guilty, condemned and ashamed of myself.

A couple weeks ago I was still awake at 2:00 in the morning remembering how a few years ago I was awake at the same hour because I had something on my mind that wouldn’t go away. I knew I needed to talk to Adam about it, but again I didn’t want to.

So I would wait as long as I could stand it, hoping the thoughts would dissipate into thin air. I remember how my heart would race, kicking adrenaline in my system and preventing any hope of immediate sleep. I never wanted to wake Adam up, so I would just lay there, with a conversation BURNING in my throat.

Then suddenly Adam would cough or turn over. It was like he knew I was struggling. I’d touch him and whisper if he was awake. And there, beneath a canopy of darkness, with tears streaming down my face I would unload the ugliness that plagued me. He would listen and hold me, pray for me and tell me he loved me and then hold me some more. Only then could I drift off to peaceful sleep.

A few years later, when Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around again, I would fear going back to that place. The memory of those sleepless nights and the conversations I needed to have made my palms sweat. I would do anything to NOT have to clean out that trunk again.

This year I’m not afraid of going back there again, I just remember what it was like. And because the memory is so vivid, maybe there’s someone else who needs to hear my story.

So in honor of that, I’m discounting my book. Starting today and running through December 21st, you can download my book through Amazon for only $.99!! Or purchase a paper back copy through me for only $5. 

NO MORE SECRETS FINAL WEDITS

And for anyone willing to help me share this exciting news, you can enter to win this beautiful necklace from Chelsey Alyse. She does beautiful, custom metal work on all her jewelry and I will draw one winner to receive this necklace on December 22.

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To enter the giveaway, simply do one of the following.

  1. If you’ve already read my book, leave a comment below on how the book impacted you. What did you take away from reading my story and why should others take time to read?
  2. Share either this post or my Amazon link with your friends via social media, email or text. Be sure and include (tag) me so I can enter your name in the drawing.
  3. Finally, buy the book! Send me an email or Facebook message letting me know you’ve purchased your copy.

*One entry per person (although you’re welcome to do all 3!)

*Must be 18 years old to participate

* Winner will be announced Thursday, December 22.

Thank you so much. I pray that through my story, you can find freedom from the memories that haunt you. May you have a Merry Christmas!

 

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Dear Mom

  

It’s Christmas time! In other words, that means, parties, tinsel, cooking, decorating, friends, laughter, candles, “sleigh rides”, and caroling.  Which then leads to, sleep deprivation, traveling, piled up laundry, extra dishes, schedule crunching, rushing here, line waiting, online shopping, stressing out, credit card charging, expensive, how-much-can-I-cram-into-one-day…..UGH! But smile for the camera, we have so much to be thankful for, besides, it’s the HOLIDAYS! Read more

True Gift

It started like it does every year. That looming feeling that I *need* to prepare some major, cutsie, crafty advent devotion to begin with my family starting Dec. 1. This idea of advent excites me. I’ve started many…and quit many.



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