Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sticky Note Holder at a "no sticky" price

Oh so cute, notepad!








I love this notepad idea.  It took me only 8 minutes to put it together.  I already had all of the necessities on hand in my scrap supply.  It's pretty self explanatory.  But, all you need is  one acrylic frame (dollar store), paper, ribbon, a post-it pad, scissors, and glue.  






This would make an awesome little "thinking of you" gift for a friend, secret sister, teacher, hostess, coach, mail carrier, etc.  


Have fun!  

Craft Storage Hiding in Full View...TV Armoire Redo

My Armoire Redo

What do you do when you've outgrown the humongous television armoire?  Mine is part of a beautiful bookcase/entertainment center and our new flatscreen wasn't going to be housed inside of the armoire.  

What would you do?

Well, I thought about it for quite some time.  At the same time, I was groaning within myself that I was without my much coveted "craft room" that I had in my former home.

So, I thought about the Proverbs 31 woman, who I am sure was a crafter.  And, I am sure she would know what to do with that piece of furniture.  

Then, it hit me!  Bammo!

"Self!", I said..."I will make it into a craft armoire," said I.  

So, off to the dollar store I went.  Most of the items I had on hand but a few things I purchased such as the little shower hangers that I have put on the doors to hold taperunners, scissors, etc.  I purchased the bulletin board at Staples (for $3) and placed that over the giant hole that was in the back for the wires.  The photo is pretty self explanatory.  But, with a little thinking outside of the box, oh what a wonderful new thing I have.

Bling!  I am soooo smiling right now!  

So, try it out yourself.  And, next time you are thrifting, you might just look at that old television armoire in a whole new light.  

Happy DIY!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Determine a Carnegie Unit?

This does not have to be a perplexing problem for homeschoolers.

A "Carnegie Unit" is a measure of credit assigned to a certain level and amount of high school work completed. The word is interchangeable with "Credit".

One credit is typically given for a full year course.  A 1/2 credit is typically given per semester. However, it is the amount of material that generally determines this in government schools.  If you complete the work sooner, you get the credit!

If you are creating your own curriculum, you must log the hours of study.  Usually, one full credit is given for yearly hours accumulating 120 - 180 hours of work.  Typical for electives is 120-149 hours.  Typical for college prep courses (such as math, english, science) is 150 hours per year and up.  Also, science classes with LABS should approach the 180 hour mark.  Its always better to do a little more, than not enough.

This is intended as a general help for you.  As always, please check with your state to find your requirements.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Power up < Clean up clutter hotspots: Workstation - AllYou.com

Power up < Clean up clutter hotspots: Workstation - AllYou.com


I absolutely love this idea of making a cute power station box. I may make one for my power strip and computer as well : )

A shoe box with some brads from Michaels should work as well! Now, that's thrifty!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Triple Decker Mega Fudge

Too many calories to count, but oooooh so worth it : )

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cans (14 oz. each) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups white chips
1/2 tsp almond extract
green food coloring gel
1/4 cup chopped, toasted unsalted pistachios (unshelled)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon extract (if you can find it)
red food coloring gel

Line 2 9x5 loaf pans with foil.  In a pot, combine semisweet chips and 1 can of milk.  Cook on low heat, stirring until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Divide between pans and smooth.

In CLEAN pot, combine white chips and other can of milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring until smooth.  Stir in remaining vanilla.  Remove from heat.  Spread one cup each of mixture evenly into each pan.

Transfer remaining white mixture to a bowl and stir in almond extract, TINY amount of green food coloring, and pistachios.  Drop by spoonfulls over white layer in 1 pan.  Make little tiny green dots of food coloring on the surface and use knife to swirl the dots through the green and white fudges.

Stir cinnamon extract and tiny amount of red food coloring into remaining white mixture in pot.  Drop by spoonfuls over white layer in remaining pan.  Using toothpick, make your food coloring dots and swirl them.

Cover and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What was it like to be a guest at Cornelius' house?

What was it like to be a guest at Cornelius' house?

In my daily Bible reading, I couldn't help but a get a chuckle that I know God inserted just for me. (I do believe God has a sense of humour...holy humour). I was in the book of Acts and came across Acts 10:1..There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band..." I cant help but notice that every time I read this verse, I thank God for reaching... out to non Jews and specifically noting he was Italian. Then my overactive imagination takes over and I picture the scene as if I am there.
First, I can hear it. I know that an Italian household is anything but dull and boring. I can hear the joyful sounds as I approach the door. The excitement is buzzing that the special man of God is coming to be a guest....Peter is on his way! Everyone is readying the house.
Cornelius tells his children, " Now kids, remember, when dad tells you to settle down, you best settle down...don't you make one peep or you'll be peeping quite a bit when he leaves. Capish?"
At the doorstep, my nose begins to be tantalized by the scents of culinary bliss. The spaghetti sauce is cooking on the stove, fresh Italian bread (with sesame seeds of course) baking in the oven....a little cheese, and fresh fruit ....homemade grape juice to wet the beak...... Cornelius puts on quite the spread and invites all the neighbors.



Then, after dinner, we all settle down for adult time over dessert. Peter gets down to the business to which he was summoned and pulls no punches. He gets right to the point. Everyone rejoices at learning of this Saviour and they all have cannolis for dessert.

Whoever says Christians have no fun, has not been doing it correctly : )

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dat's A Boooootiful Chinnecker!

I was putting the finishing touches on my outfit for an evening out with my husband.  To date, I do not remember where we went, what it was for, or what the evening was about.  What God does bring to my recollection as clear as crystal is something my son said.  Thank the Lord I stopped to listen to what he had to say.  It still brings a smile to my face years later. 

Steve was about 2 years old and a major chatterbox.  Today, he is a grown up guy, and still quite the chatterbox.  He always had a crazy way of expressing himself...and I always knew what he was talking about.

Well, he came into my room and was standing beside me as I was putting on my perfume.  His brown eyes were watching me quite intently.  I could tell he had a question and was wondering as to why those wheels in his little head were spinning.

"Mom?" he asked. 

"Yes, Stephen?"

"Mom, dat's a.....dat's a....."  as he was motioning a line around the base of his neck......

'What Stephen?  What's a....?." I asked.

He was looking so perplexed but kept motioning around his neck like he was drawing something.

"Dat's a, ....dat's a....."  He still wasn't finding the word in his little mental vocabulary. 

Then, the lights went on!  His eyes grew large and his pointer finger went up for the big statement.  The moment arrived.....

"Dat's a booooooootiful chinnecker!"  He said with a big smile.

I started to laugh inside....and it was bubbling over to the outside.

"Yes, it is a booooootiful chinnecker!"  I exclaimed. 

I never quite looked at my necklace the same.

Priceless!

To this day, when we see a lovely necklace, Steve will say..."Mom....that's a booooootiful chinnecker!"

Lovely Homestead Peppermint Foaming Handsoap

I love the smell of peppermint, dont you?  Actually, I love the scent of mint, period.  If someone made a "hint of mint" perfume, I would be one happy lady....JOY!

Anyway......here is recipe I came across online for homemade Peppermint Foaming Handsoap.  Some people are super crafty, and have figured out how to make a foaming dispenser with a canning jar.  I'm not so brilliant.  So, I saved a foaming dispenser I already had.  I just refill mine with this recipe.

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 
  • 1/4 parts peppermint scented castille soap  
  • 3/4 parts distilled water
  • a few (2-3) drops peppermint essential oil
  • a foaming soap dispenser
Method:
Mix soap and water. Drop in and mix in oils. Pour into a foaming soap dispenser. You're done!

Pistachio Layer Bars

I LOVE THIS RECIPE! 

Pistachio Raspberry Gem Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam, or cherry

Drizzle

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons milk

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and salt. Continue beating until well mixed.

Divide dough in half; press half into ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix chopped pistachios into remaining dough until well combined.

Spread jam over hot, partially baked crust to within 1/2 inch of edge. Sprinkle remaining dough mixture over jam. Bake for 30 to 33 minutes or until top is light golden brown. Cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar and enough milk in small bowl for desired consistency. Drizzle over bars. MUCHO YUMBO!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Keep it Together - Homeschool Organization Binder

Life is busy.  Life is busier with homeschooling as part of it!  I would say, I am busier now as I homeschool two children, than I was when I was a public official. 

Many ladies I interact with ask me the same question, "How do you stay so organized?"  My answer is always, prioritize and organize.

If an event is not necessary, I dont participate or obligate my family.  I have a set schedule we follow for school.  I write out my lesson plans every Sunday afternoon and adjust accordingly.  And, I always make room for downtime. 



I keep a large (3")  3 ring binder for each of my children. I keep it annually.  The first section is where my weekly lesson plans appear.  They are followed by my weekly assignment sheets that I complete and give to my children so they know what is expected of them.  I then keep this and file it back into my binder as documentation of what was completed. 

I then keep a High School Course of Study Plan where I document the classes we are completing.  Here I have Course Summaries with listings of curriculum used.  (I copy the summaries of the books or Scope and Sequence).

Next follows a Field Trip Log, List of Books Read, Lists of Volunteer Service, Lists of Special Awards and Commendations, and Copies of all extracurricular receipts from sports teams. etc.  I also file team schedules, etc.  In the case of my son, I keep letters and reviews from his baseball coaches. 

The next session is Grading.  I keep a separate grade log sheet for each course of study.  Here I list all quizzes, unit tests, exams, and project according to the class.  I also file any year end testing scores such as from the IOWAS, PSAT, etc. 

I keep a Where and How List that I made just in the event my husband needs to fill in.  I cant imagine how he would know where everything was and what was expected.  So, it lists where everything is kept and what needs to be done in case I am hospitalized, God forbid. 

Finally, I keep a miscellaneous area where I follow immunization records, letters from the school district, etc.

Let me mention, in the front pocket I keep paper reinforcements, grading markers, highlighters, and membership information to museums, HSLDA, co-ops, etc.  And, I cannot forget the stickers - my children still want stickers on their paper for good work : )  Some things never change. 

This enables me to keep everything handy and in one place.  The binder acts as a Command Center for each child and doubles as a portfolio as they enter the college preparatory years. 



Most forms I found online at sites such as  http://donnayoung.org/index.htm and http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/.  If I could not find what I needed online, I would create it myself. 

I hope this helps you in your homeschool years. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce - lightened up a bit

I Looooooove pasta!  Any type of pasta.  But, Pasta with Bolognese sauce is a little fattening to eat every week, if you know what I mean.  So, to give this the "GO TO" stamp of approval, I need to lighten it up and get it done quickly.  With a little tweeking, I was able to do it and my family requests is every week.  Don't tell them I was able to sneak the veggies in there...shhhhh

You will need:

2 Tbs.butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 lb. ground chuck
salt and pepper
1 tsp. nutmeg or allspice
1 cup 2% milk (or 1%)
1 cup white wine
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

Serve with 1.5-2 lbs of cooked linguine

1.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and carrot and cook it up, stirring it until veggies have softened up (about 5 minutes).  Turn heat to high and add the beef.  Cook it up while breaking it up with a spoon and until it is no longer pink.  Season with sale, pepper, and nutmeg/allspice. 

2.  Pour in milk and wine and bring to a slow boil..  Lower the heat and simmer until most of liquid has evaporated (about 15 minutes).  Stir in tomatoes.  Cover and cook for about 20 - 30 minutes.  Serve with linguine and fresh grated cheese. 

Note:  if you want to make it a more authentic Italian dish such as Sunday Sauce use whole milk instead of 2% milk.  Also, before adding the tomato sauce, transfer mixture to a slow cooker.  Stir in tomatoes, cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Remove cover and cook for 30 minutes longer.  Serve with your cooked pasta.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Primitive Ornies - Northern Recipe gone Southern

I love homemade items.  Candles, ornaments, and needful things are my delight.  Here is a simple and fun recipe for making ornies.  You can poke a hole and add a ribbon.  You can paint them and put them in a bowl with potpurri and candles.  Either way, they are delightful.



2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water (1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp cloves are optional)

mix well and form your shapes by hand or with a cookie cutter
and place on cookie sheet (poke your hole if its a hanging item)

....bake for 1 1/2 hours in a 325 degree oven.

let cool.  then add ribbon or paint.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Freely Educate Homeschool Site Kindle Giveaway!

I absolutely love this site.  Why?  They have wonderful ideas that I can incorporate into my homeschool.  Best of all, the ideas and resources are usually FREE!  And, we all know that my motto is "Free, is for me!"

So, I am passing this on to you my homeschooling friends around the world : )  Enjoy! 

Here is the link to their site. http://www.freelyeducate.com/.

National Treasure Visits Our Cottage

It was an absolutely lovely lowcountry day.  Fall was displaying its colors, leaves were beginning to fall, the nights were getting just a bit more crisp, and the migratory birds were passing through.  My feeders were not being visited as much and I wondered why that was.  My chickadees, cardinals, bluebirds and finches were not around quite as much.  I had not filled my feeder in weeks because it wasn't being touched.  I checked the feeder to see if something was wrong....but, all was well.  As I walked around my yard, I noticed the squirrels were still around and boy were they busy!  The acorns were everywhere and the squirrels were quite busy getting their fill.  I chuckled as I thought of my Bible, where it tells of the Israelites with Moses.  They were out everyday gathering the manna that God provided them everyday.  I watched as God provided for these little members and I was amazed at their diligence.  They worked as it was in teams...each collecting their nuts and depositing them into a hole in a tree trunk. 

As I watched them stash their bounty, I thought of the bounty God had provided for my family.  My husband reminded me that he hated to interrupt my contemplations; but, I needed to get the bounty on the table.  So, I fired up my stove and he fired up the grill.

My daughter ran in the kitchen, "Mom, mom.....there is a Bald Eagle flying around in our yard!"  I replied, mmhmm....sure...."  "Really, mom....you may want to see this!"  "Barbara, don't make things up," I said.  Then, she looked me in the eyes, "Mom, I am telling you...there is a Bald Eagle in our backyard." 

So, I walked out onto the patio.  There, in full life, was a Bald Eagle watching us grill our dinner!  I couldn't believe my eyes.  He, or she, looked just as amused with watching my crazy family as we did it.  It landed in a tree, and ate a fish it had caught.  I ran for the camera, Barbara ran for the video camera...the cats ran to windows, and Stephen ran outside.  It's not everyday one of these treasures drops by to visit.



It was one of the first time our family had actually been silent all at once.  This bird commanded our attention.  It was as if a prominent visitor had arrived unexpectedly.  It flew around over the the lagoon a few times putting on an air show that would rival any military airshow.  Then, it landed.  It hopped to the edge of the lagoon and pulled out a 3 foot catfish with one swipe of its claw. 

"Quick!  We've got an instant homeschool lesson right in front of us!" I thought. 

I said to my children, "Isn't it awesome how God designed this eagle!".  My son remarked about the strength of his claws and talons.  My daughter remarked on his ability to fly with such speed and precision.  We talked about its eyesight, size, and how God guides it.  It was then we realized that God guides those who know him, just as he guides the eagle. 

Job 39:27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?

God confirmed to us just how He commands everything in our lives and in the animal world.  He sent a guest to us that evening.  Our friend arrived the next day as well.  Then, it was gone.  We were happy that God chose us to witness this special treasure.  We were thankful we were aware of our gift. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

USC Beaufort King James Bible 400th Anniversary

It was a beautiful day in the low country area. We finished our homeschool day and decided to take a ride over to University of South Carolina Beaufort to view a very rare display. On display, in the campus library, was a most prized possession. This possession was once esteemed by kings; particularly James the First, King of England.



My, how times have changed.

There on display, in four, climate controlled cases, were various authentic collections of Scripture. As my children and I viewed them, we were in awe of how God had preserved the various pages. Some were dated to 1350 AD, written in Old English of which we could not comprehend.

We marveled at the amount of labor the transcribers must have went through, both mentally and physically, to present Scripture to the Glory of God. All the while knowing, they would be accountable to God who said

Revelation 22:18


 My son and I looked around in the library and all of the students going about their studies not even aware of the treasure that sat in their midst. There it was! A FIRST EDITION copy of The King James Bible, 1611. Priceless.
All the answers to life’s questions sat there, bound in leather, and very nondescript. It did not have a catchy title as did other books in the library. It was not on the “New Arrivals” shelf. The faculty did not include it on their “Required Reading” list. Oh, Lord help us!

My children and I discussed how this “book” blessed millions, guided nations, enlightened kings. And there it was.  Sitting as a regal king with all of the other "works" of man sitting on shelves around it. 

As we looked, and pondered the verses we knew were contained within it, my son said, “My sheep shall know my voice.” I smiled and understood exactly what he was saying. Quietly, within the library, one could hear a pin drop. But, we KNOW we heard God’s voice as it was alive within the pages of the KJV.
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.”

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How to Get White Marks off Dark Wood

This REALLY works!  It so works!  I couldn't believe it, but my curiosity got me.  It all started when someone in my home (who shall remain nameless)....um....ok, ME, put a serving plate on the table.  I did not pay too much attention to the fact that the potholder was a bit damp.  Well, it left a white ghost mark on my dining table.  I about died!

Well, I had once heard that ash, yes...ash from your grill will get rid of the mark.  So, I marched out to the barbecue grill (got some nicely charred ash) and brought it in.  I shook the ash onto the spot and rubbed it in with a soft cloth.  Sure enough...the mark disappeared.  I topped it off with a little olive oil because olive oil is good for everything, ya'll! 

I am happy, the kids are happy, the whole world is now happy because my table is restored! 

Glory!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Found our Happy at the 2011 South Carolina State Fair

We made the treck from Bluffton, SC to Columbia, SC to attend the 2001 South Carolina State Fair.  We had a big time!  There was so much to see, quite a bit to do (even if you did not go on the rides), and a lot to eat.  Our "What Not To Miss" highlights are:

The K-9 In Flight Frisbee Dogs:  I don't have any pics to share because my camera was not cooperating.....and the dogs were moving so fast.  It was a blast to watch them do their tricks.  Best of all, they were all adopted from animal shelters.  So, I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

The Pig Races:  The pigs were so adorable!  And they raced to finish line to attain the prize.....an OREO cookie




The Livestock shows:  We attended the day of the cattle, fowl, and bunnies.  Who knew there were so many different types?  And......best of all, it wasn't smelly....very clean : )






Good eats:  There was alot to eat...but, Ill warn you...it's pricey.  A bottle of water may go $3, an italian sausage was $8, and a Fried Dough/Elephant Ear was at least $5.  My advice, get a snack to share and do what we did.....eat out somewhere else.




The Flower Pavilion had a FANTASTIC sand sculpture (my picture does not represent the magnitude of the scale of this wonder). 


The commercial booths had some highlights.  A local beekeeper was on hand selling his honey....i cannot say enough about it.  It was so wonderful.  Not to sweet and not to thick.  Just perfect.  you can actually eat it off the spoon.  Pond Hollow Honey, from Timmonsville, SC was the name.  You need to stop by for a taste.

And, then there was the local dairy who was sampling their creamy Vanilla Milk.  Oh my!  It was like drinking vanilla ice cream.  Shumpert Milk and Ice Cream was worth a stop. 

In the last building, was the best buy (most frugal) place to get a treat.  They were selling chocolate chip cookies and a carton of milk for $1.50.  We stopped there too. 

And, last but not least.  The Elephant Ride!  Well worth $5 to see the smile on your child's face!  Located next to the petting zoo. 

There was a mega amount of rides.  The best way to go was to buy the all you can ride pass for $25.

I mentioned we ate off site.  Glad we did.  We went to Pawley's Front Porch Burgers located in Five Points section of the University of South Carolina campus area.  It was well worth the $9.95 per burger.  We first heard about when Guy Fieri featured it on Diner's Drive' In's, and Dives a few weeks ago.  My burger was topped with Pimento Cheese, Red Onion, Lettuce, Bacon.  It came with a side of Red Hot Onion Rings.  It was wonderful!  The burger was seasoned with a special blend of seasoning...i tasted Worcestershire and Black Pepper.  Mine was served on a sesame seed roll.  My son had the Washout Burger which was a hot and spicy burger.  His came on a homemade Pretzel roll!  Delicious.  Our friends had burgers as well and we all rolled out very happy campers.  I highly recommend it.



Pimento Cheese Burger with Red Hot Onion Rings (some Sweet Tater Fries I took from my friends plate in exchange for some of the rings, and a pickle!  Ooooohey!


All in all, it was a great day!  Can't wait to venture out again next year. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rare Wood Stork visits me everyday!

I LOVE my new yard!  I can't say enough about what a lovely location it is.  We downsized and purchased a lovely cape-cod which sits lagoon side in our community.  It is very, very peaceful. As I am writing this, the windows are open and the Carolina breeze is wafting through my room.  The smell of cedar and a southern Fall abounds.  Where my computer desk sits, I have a view of the lagoon; and many times, I have a front row seat to nature.   I enjoy sitting and looking out my window.  Apparently, my two cats do to; and I usually have to toss them off the window sill so I can actually take a peak as well. 


Geena in her window 
Sometimes, I watch turtles; other times, deer, and alligators.  I enjoy the bluebirds, ibises, and wrens.  Then, this ugly bird comes through.  Everyday, at the same time!  My beautiful view gets....well....it turns not so beautiful.  At first glance, I see a very tall birds which marches across my lawn and heads toward the lagoon.  It is very graceful.  At first, from far away, you may think "wow, that is certainly a lovely bird...."....NOT!  It has a face only a mother could love.  A lovely body, like a flamingo; and then, ugliness. It looks like a supermodel with Jimmy Durante's face.  



 I looked up this walking contradiction and found it to be a Wood Stork.  Wood Storks were almost extinct a few years ago and are from Florida.  However, the bird that once only had 11 breeding pairs in South Carolina a few years ago are making a comeback.  I am honored to have it making this comeback in my yard.....who knew? 

So, welcome my large friend!  May you enjoy it here. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Southern Take on Northern Cake - Apple Harvest Cake

I Love This Cake....it is so moist and delicious.  I saw it on this month's cover of Southern Living but I tweeked it a little to make it easier to make.  I dont care for many different bowls and if I can dump everything, I do.  So, here it goes:

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 8oz. brick of Reduced Fat Cream Cheese (never, ever non fat)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbs. flour
1 1/2  tsp. vanilla

Apple Cake Batter:
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. all spice (or, 1 tsp. nutmeg and 1 tsp. allspice)
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup appleasauce
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (gala, or grannies - or mixed)

Praline Frosting
1/2 cup light brown sugard
1/4 cup butter
3 TBS. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

To prepare the filling.  Beat the first three ingredients at medium speed.  Add egg, flour, and vanilla and beat until blended.  Set aside.



Meanwhile, toast your pecans.  Just put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 7-8 minutes.  Make sure you dont burn them...they catch very easy. 





In a BIG bowl, stir flour and your next seven ingredients.  Next throw in everything else with your apples being last.  Mix well. 

Spoon 1/2 of your apple batter into a bundt pan (well greased).  Place your cream cheese mixture over the apple batter.  Swirl with a paring knife (lightly).  Spoon remaining batter over the cream cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Cook cake for about an hour before you try to pop it out.  Make sure it is thoroughly cooled before adding frosting.

For the frosting:  Bring your butter, sugar, and milk to a boil over medium heat and whisking alot.  Boil one minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir gently for 3-5 minutes and let cool till it begins to thicken.  Pour over cooled cake.  Enjoy!  And make copies of this recipe because everyone is going to ask for it : )



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mushrooms Popping Up All Over the Place!

Well, it rained a bit yesterday....first all day rain I've seen in a while.  Reminded me very much of a normal day in New York.  I even had the sinus headache to go with it.  But, today I ventured outside.  The rain stopped, the birds were singing, and I went outside.  I was surprised to find mushrooms...lots of them...colonies of them.  The mushrooms were not there the day before yesterday....but today, they were standing fast as if they had always been there. 

I thought about them a minute.  They looked so cute.  But, I remembered that I had been taught that although they may be cute on the outside, they may be filled with a deadly poison.  I immediately thought of the "root of bitterness."  My KJV says " Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God' least any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;" Heb 12:15.  Those mushrooms made me aware that bitterness can "spring up" suddenly, from out of nowhere if the seed/spore is there.  It may be unseen, but it may be there waiting to take root.  So, I did a inventory of my spirit, cleaned it out through prayer and scripture reading, and moved on with the day.  Now, I think I'll get the lawnmower out to get rid of the little buggers.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Sweet Tea Conversion

"Ugh! Awwwww....blaaaah! This is awful!" My first experience tasting tap water in the south. It was a lovely day, and I decided I needed a glass of water. So, I took my pretty crystal glass out of the cupboard, placed some ice cubes in it, and opened that tap on the sink up. Pour, baby, pour. I put the refreshing glass to my lips........"Ugh! Awwwww......blaaaah! Spit.....

That's disgusting!" I cried aloud.

My children came running in wondering what all the commotion was. "Ma, what's the matter?," my son asked. "I just drank the water out of the tap and I think there is a sewer line crossed or something...I'd better call the sewer authorities," I said.

So, i looked up the telephone number and called. I was connected to a lovely lady, whose calm, southern drawl soothed my needy spirit. "Hi There! I'm calling because I just drew some water to drink from the tap at my sink and it smelled like rotten eggs and tasted even worse! Am I going to die? I think I've been poisoned!," I cried.

"Ma'am?  Youd from the north, aint you?" she asked. "Well, yes, yes I am, why?" I asked.

She kindly informed me, "Shuga, don't you know our watah will growd hair on your chest down here? That's why we'd drink Sweet Tea!"

And, thus; I have seen the light and been converted! Thank you to my Water Authority Angel.  Thank you!