"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Isaiah 30:21

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Random Recipes

Easy Toffee Bars

I got this recipe from my wonderful Mother-in-law.

Wanted to share it with y'all.

These are delectable and so easy to make.

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup butter
Saltine crackers (about a package and 1/2)
1 cup brown sugar
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips

And here's how to make them.....

Heat oven to 400*

Line a jelly roll pan with tinfoil and grease the foil with cooking spray.

Cover the entire pan with saltine crackers one layer deep, like this:
Then boil together butter and brown sugar until it's thick, like this:

Pour this mixture over the saltines, like this:

Bake at 400 for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly sprinkle with chocolate chips, like this:
Allow chips to melt, approximately 5-7 minutes. Then spread them out evenly with a knife, like this:
Cool in your fridge and break into bar pieces. Store in fridge.
Mmmmm! My family loves these! I hope you do too!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rock

Rock–noun def.
1. a large mass of stone forming a hill, cliff, promontory, or the like.
2. Geology.
a. mineral matter of variable composition, consolidated or unconsolidated, assembled in masses or considerable quantities in nature, as by the action of heat or water.
b. a particular kind of such matter: igneous rock.
3. stone in the mass: buildings that stand upon rock.
4. a stone of any size.
5. something resembling or suggesting a rock.


What do I think of when I hear the word Rock?

Well, obviously a hard pebble/stone like thing that's usually in the dirt, right?

Yup.

Recently though, I've been thinking of another meaning for the word Rock. And it was only reaffirmed last night.

Okay, back up a few.....

I was reading devotions a couple weeks ago and this was the scripture reference:

Psalm 62:5-6
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my ROCK and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken."

This verse clung to my soul. I am sure I had read it before, but it struck me that night.

God alone is my ROCK.

A rock, is solid, strong, sturdy. That's what my God is too.

Last night, our school held their Elementary Musical. Olivia had small solo, and did supberb I must say :) (And I'm a terrible mother and forgot my camera. Boo.)

The title of the musical was "Rock Solid". Basically about how God is our rock and is always there for us. "God's love is, rock solid......" was one of the songs. It was so awesome.

I just sat there thinking how cool my God is. He's been showing me in different ways this month how He is my rock.
He is always there.
He will not change.
He will not break.
He is solid, strong and sturdy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ah - sweet sunshine

We have been having unusually warm temps for March here in MI. The past few days it's been in the 60's.

Oh man, am I lovin it.

The mud is dryin up. The kids can play outside without all their winter duds on. Sunshine just lifts the spirits! I need me some Vitamin D!

Unfortunately, it sounds like it may come to and end here soon though. The forecast for this weekend is saying rain/snow mix and high of 40. YUCK! At least we know that spring and summer are right around the corner, and that white stuff I am sick of will not stay long!

I hung laundry on the line today for the first time this year. Gosh I love the smell of that.

Made me think of these pictures I took last year of my quilt on the line and the haybales in the field. I love these pics. Just wanted to share them.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Update on Luka

Here is an update on Luka.....keep praying!!

You can follow their blog for updates also.....


They've stopped the dialysis machine because it wasn't working as well as the doctor hoped it would. So, for now, they are doing dialysis manually, which works better in situations like this. They are hoping to be able to use the machine again soon. The following information was very discouraging to Josh and Mandy as parents, but the doctor was not discouraged and said it is all just a part of HUS:
--Luka has developed a low-grade fever which the doctor said is very common in kids with 8 tubes coming out of them, so he is on a high-dose antibiotic to combat that
--his oxygen levels are dropping so he is on oxygen some of the time, but the doctors do not want him to become dependent on it, so he's on it until his levels reach about 95 or so, then they take it off until the level drops to around 85 and then they put it back on etc...
--his kidneys are now swollen and have completely shut down; they had been working at about 7%, after 12 hours of dialysis had gone to 8%, but now are at 0% (again the doctor said this is just all a part of HUS)
--he is on morphine, but they are trying to wean him off this so he doesn't become addicted to this either (this along with a huge lack of sleep and everything else he's been through in the last week has made him very tired, so he sleeps a lot, but at least then he's not fighting the tubes etc...)
--the doctor did say that although it doesn't seem like it, it does appear that Luka has stabilized, even though it seems to be at a low point!
Josh and Mandy are able to rent a hospital room just down the hall from Luka, so that is where they are staying. The doctors and nurses, they said, are VERY tender, patient, willing to answer questions, never in a hurry etc...so they are very pleased with the care Luka is getting. Josh and Mandy have also been in contact with International Teams and their insurance company about how to file paperwork, what paperwork to file, what will be covered etc...Also, Mandy's mom is flying to Uganda on Saturday to spend some time with Lydia and Grace and Rebeka and Ryan (my sister and brother-in-law), through some major divine intervention, were able to get passports within 24 hours and are flying to Kenya on Sunday for 10 days to give Josh and Mandy (and Luka too) some much needed support, hugs, and distraction (Josh said as crazy as it sounds, the days are actually quite boring because they don't ever leave Luka's room).
That is all we know for now. Again, thank you all so much for your prayers. The prayers of righteous people are powerful and effective, this we know!

Field play

The boys had fun playing out in the field behind our house the other day.

Hard to believe this was only a week ago, as now, the snow is completely gone!

C'mon Spring!













Can you say....

HEARTBREAKER..............




Thursday, March 11, 2010

Luka needs our prayers

Please join me in prayer for baby Luka!

He is the 15 month old son of Josh & Mandy Shaarda, missionaries in Uganda. He recently became very ill with 2 rare infections. He is now on dialysis because his kidney's have completely shut down. He also had to have a blood transfusion.

Check out their
blog for updates, and more specifics on how to pray!

Let's lift that precious family up to our Heavenly Father - who can do ALL things!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Random Recipes

RED VELVET CUPCAKES

I made these for Olivia's birthday party - and they were a hit.

You gotta try them. They are so delicious and so easy to make.

Here's what you'll need:

1 pkg. red velvet cake mix
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar (i know - so healthy and good)
1 cup thawed cool whip
1 square baker's white chocolate, shaved into curls

Here's how to make them:

Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes, blending dry pudding mix into batter before spooning into prepared muffin cups. Cool completely.

After they are cool, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar. (I did a cup at a time). Whisk in cool whip. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of this mixture into a small ziplock bag and seal it. Duh. Cut a very small corner off the bottom of the bag. Insert tip of bag into top of each cupcake to pipe about 1 Tbsp. into center of cupcake.

Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting. Top with chocolate curls. Keep refrigerated.

Pig out.

Here's some pics. To get the hole in the cupcake, I used the end of a wooden spoon. Worked dandy!
Mmmm, scrumptious!



Double Digits!!!

On February 25, our firstborn daughter turned 10 years old.
I just can not believe that.

Where did the time go? I can't imagine how fast the next 10 are going to go...and she may be married by then??

Craziness.

We are so very proud of our daughter. She is doing so well in school, despite some difficulties in Math. She is excelling in her piano lessons. She will be starting Girls On The Run next week. She is a huge help to me around the house and with her younger brothers. She does her chores faithfully, and (most of the time) without grumbling :) She loves to read, and do crafts and decorate her face with make-up :)

Here are some pics of her birthday weekend!!

We got her a snowboard. She loves it! Let me tell ya somethin though...that sucker is heavy. It fell on my big toe and I will be losing a nail because of it. Ouch!

She's holding a letter I wrote her. We'll put it in her baby book for safe-keeping :) I couldn't write it without bawling. We also gave her that new tank - PEACE!
The big 1-0!!!!!!

Her good friend Ellie spent the night Friday. Ellie gave her this sweet shirt - totally goes w/ the tank we got her! Awesomeness! She gave Olivia new earrings to go with the shirt too - love them!

Thanks Ellie! You're a great friend!

This was at Olivia's party with our whole family.....Emmitt just LOVES Uncle Drew :)

Remember my previous post about Emmitt's creations? He was showing Uncle Drew where he drew on his belly :)

Uh oh, he's saying :)
Chillaxin....


Haha, love this one.

Eric holding sweet Myra - who is doing amazingly well!! She's super close to walking!

Olivia and her little cousin Franklin.

My precious nephew Urijah.

Olivia opening gifts.....this was a skirt made by Aunt Sue - so beautiful. She just loves it!

Any guesses on what this is??? I got one too!! I know, aren't I lucky? You'll have to wait till the end of this post to see!!! I screamed when I got it!!
A new fleece outfit from Grandma Kathy and Papa Steve.....gotta love Children's Place.

Mmmm, oh baby. This is the coconut cake I made for her party. Simply heaven.

Yay for 10!!!

Blowing out her 10 candles!

Emmitt had to help :)


Tradition....Uncle Matt giving birthday spankings :)


Cousing Madelyn helping!!
Here we are!!!! In our new matching aprons!!!!!

Aren't they the cutest things?? My sister Sue's mother-in-law is a phenomenal seamstress...she made these for us! We LOVE to bake together, and these will be perfect!!!! We just love them.

Happy 10th Birthday my sweet daughter!! I love you to pieces!! Muah!