Shadow Praise

Today we tried to capture the act of praising the Lord through our shadows and our camera, here are a few of the results. 

And then as always, the puppies thought it looked like we were having fun without them and wanted in on the action. 

I think we’ll explore playing with shadows again soon because this was fun. If you decide to play with shadows add a comment with a link to the pictures, we’d love to see them. 

If you want to see something amazing done with shadows, check out this video, keep the tissues handy though.  

Birthday Party Fun

Today we celebrated my daughters birthday. She wanted to have some friends over for tea and to have fun and play some games.

We made a tea cup shaped cake for her. I started by baking a chocolate cake (it was actually a recipe and a half) in a pie plate and in a stainless steel bowl which were well greased and floured. This is what it looked like just as I was beginning to frost the two pieces.

If you’ve never done a shaped cake before, it’s very simple, it’s more about the illusion than for the cake to look exactly like the item.  I know my cake has a hollow in the center in the top where the cake settled a bit, but we have a plan for that.

You’ll need to put on at least two coats of frosting. The first coat is a crumb coat and seals in any crumbs so don’t worry if it doesn’t look great after the first coat. After you put on the second coat, you need to let the cake sit awhile so the frosting firms up so you can smooth it out. Here’s the cake after the first coat of frosting. (If you usually use canned frosting, I do not know if that will firm up like it should to smooth it out. I use homemade frosting for this.)

After you get the second coat on, take a piece of wax paper gently rub the frosting with your finger through the wax paper to smooth the frosting. If the frosting sticks to the wax paper, you have not let the cake sit long enough. Smooth the frosting out to as smooth a texture as you desire. 

For my frosting, I use paste food colorings, they give great color and last forever. It is very convenient to store them in an egg carton. 

Here’s the finished cake.  My daughter had asked me if we could make it look like it had hot chocolate in it so I figured the marshmallows was a perfect solution to the hollow in the center. I made the handle out of card stock. It actually could have used another coat of frosting to cover some areas a bit more but I figured the flowers would hide or at least distract from that.

Then it was time for some dress up fun.  My girls had hauled down a mountain of their dress up stuff. The girls had a blast, they were all so cute. 

Then it was time for some games.   Now what you are about to see is quite possibly the most ridiculous game known to man and there is not anyone who plays it who can escape looking stupid…so just get over it and have fun.

This is a game my mother use to have us play at my birthday parties when I was a child, and we loved it. I have used this game with both children and adults and I have used at a townwide harvest event and it was well received. So if you are looking for something new and silly, give this a try. First, you tie some curling ribbon or twine around the victims, I mean the participants, waist. Then you tie a piece hanging down in the back kind of like a tail. At the end of the piece of twine, tie on a carrot. Have each player squat over a jar, I used wide mouth canning jars but smaller mouth jars are more challenging. Each player must squat down and try to be the first to get their carrot in the jar….pure silliness, guaranteed laughs. If you want to add more challenge to this: give the carrot a good swing just as you say “go”. The higher up you tie the carrot, the more challenging, but don’t tie it up so high that they can’t see it if they look through their legs or twist to the side. Like I said, you can’t escape looking silly playing this game. 

Then a game outside…the kids played an apple relay race where they had to carry an apple under their chins and when they passed the apple, they could not use their hands.   

My daughter and her friends had a wonderful time on this perfect fall day. Thank you Lord for good friends and good times.   

Fall Pumpkin Muffins

For those of you who have never been to New England in the fall, you’re missing out. All around us, the world bursts forth with color in a stunning visual symphony.  Every year at this time, as we begin to feel that fall crispness in the air, certain things get set in motion. First, the familiar smell of wood burning begins to come from chimneys as local homes are warmed within. Things like summer decor and patio furniture are being put away and homes are being decorated with pumpkins and cornstalks. Lawnmowers are put away and snowblowers are being tuned up.

But the very best part of fall in New England is the food. Around this time I start craving all those hearty fall recipes; beef stew, apple pie and pumpkin flavored anything. So this morning I made one of my favorite fall recipes: Fall Pumpkin Muffins. These are delicious! 

Whenever I bake, I double or triple the recipe. I do that for a few reasons; first, there are six of us, and because if I am going to bake, it doesn’t take any more time to make a bigger batch and then I have some to put in the freezer or for us to eat later or the following day (they don’t usually make it to the freezer).

Fall Pumpkin Muffins

1  2/3 Cup Flour

1/2 Cup Sugar

1  3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 Cup Pumpkin

1/2 Cup melted butter

1 Tbs. grated lemon peel

Add some mix ins:  1 Cup Walnuts – chopped,  1/2 Cup Raisins, 1/2 Cup Chopped Cranberries, etc. 

Grease Muffin cups. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together all dry ingredients in bowl. In separate bowl whisk the eggs then whisk in the pumpkin and the melted butte and the lemon peel. Stir in the dry ingredients and the mix ins.  Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. 

Now, I must admit I don’t make anything like the original recipe says. The above recipe is the muffins as I make them. The original recipe called for 1 cup of sugar, but in an effort to keep my family eating better, I reduce the sugar in anything I bake by at least half, and I don’t use white sugar but usually use evaporated cane juice crystals or other raw type of sugar. Also, for the mix ins, you can use what ever you want. Today I used chopped cranberries because it’s what I had on hand, you can omit the grated lemon peel if you don’t have any handy. If there is something you are trying to sneak in to your family’s diet, this is a great recipe for that, you can add things like sunflower seeds, flax seeds, or other things. Make these tomorrow, your family will be glad you did, if you do, let me know how you made them and how your family liked them.

 

Go Have Fun! Scripture Says To!

Yesterday we took the day off to go to the Fryeburg fair. Yup, smack dab in the midst of a work and school week, we took the day off and went to the fair…and wow did we need it. fair 2As a result of taking the day off, I woke this morning ready to face another work and school day head on (although my feet sure were tired last night). Do you ever go through times when all of a sudden you realize you just have to take a break from the routine of life or you’re going to snap. I know I’ve taken breaks before, or a vacation and only in the midst of it do I then realize how badly I needed it.  Things can get overwhelming if we never take time to slow down and enjoy life. P1060340 No matter what your work is; whether a job, housework, or dare we say, even ministry, it is easy to get totally consumed with work. As I mentioned in another post (here), we can get so consumed with work we neglect quiet time with the Lord, but the other thing we can neglect is just slowing down enough to enjoy life and the people around us. Do you know scripture speaks on just this subject?

“So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under then sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 8:15

Who doesn’t enjoy eating and drinking and being merry? In fact this verse says there is nothing better under the sun, but as I was reading this verse today one other part stood out to me; “for this will remain with him in his labor”. I thought, “what does that mean?” Then I thought, I think I just experienced what that means. I worked hard, as scripture encourages, then we took time off and enjoyed life and enjoyed each other, as scripture encourages. Then when I got up the next morning, I was ready to face more work because the time of rest “remained with me in my labor” just  as this passage says. I think God knew how we would tend to work and work and work and then burn out, so He, in His wisdom put in scripture a reminder for us to take time to enjoy life; “a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink and be merry” then He added, a note telling us if we enjoy life, we would be able to face the next work week because we would be refreshed, “it would remain with us in our labor”.

Do you know what being “merry” is…it’s having fun, enjoying life, or as Merriam Webster says “being happy and cheerful”.  So go take some time to do that. Go take time to have fun, play and be merry, and do it with those you love, those blessings the Lord has put in your life, and do it today. fair 1

Go Have Fun! Scripture Says To!

Yesterday we took the day off to go to the Fryeburg fair. Yup, smack dab in the midst of a work and school week, we took the day off and went to the fair…and wow did we need it.

 

fair 2
fair 2

As a result of taking the day off, I woke this morning ready to face another work and school day head on (although my feet sure were tired last night). Do you ever go through times when all of a sudden you realize you just have to take a break from the routine of life or you’re going to snap. I know I’ve taken breaks before, or a vacation and only in the midst of it do I then realize how badly I needed it.  Things can get overwhelming if we never take time to slow down and enjoy life.  No matter what your work is; whether a job, housework, or dare we say, even ministry, it is easy to get totally consumed with work. As I mentioned in another post (here), we can get so consumed with work we neglect quiet time with the Lord,

P1060340
P1060340

 but the other thing we can neglect is just slowing down enough to enjoy life and the people around us. Do you know scripture speaks on just this subject?

“So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under then sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 8:15

Who doesn’t enjoy eating and drinking and being merry? In fact this verse says there is nothing better under the sun, but as I was reading this verse today one other part stood out to me; “for this will remain with him in his labor”. I thought, “what does that mean?” Then I thought, I think I just experienced what that means. I worked hard, as scripture encourages, then we took time off and enjoyed life and enjoyed each other, as scripture encourages. Then when I got up the next morning, I was ready to face more work because the time of rest “remained with me in my labor” just  as this passage says. I think God knew how we would tend to work and work and work and then burn out, so He, in His wisdom put in scripture a reminder for us to take time to enjoy life; “a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink and be merry” then He added, a note telling us if we enjoy life, we would be able to face the next work week because we would be refreshed, “it would remain with us in our labor”.

 

fair 1
fair 1

Do you know what being “merry” is…it’s having fun, enjoying life, or as Merriam Webster says “being happy and cheerful”.  So go take some time to do that. Go take time to have fun, play and be merry, and do it with those you love, those blessings the Lord has put in your life, and do it today.