Friday, April 17, 2015

Recipes: Two Amazingly Good Chocolate Ones

I tried a couple of new recipes this week, and I wanted to share both of them with you because they are amazingly good!  But I do not recommend making them in the same week (like I did) for the sake of your waistline and your tummy because both are very rich.

At the church we attend, there is a potluck lunch every Sunday.  Since I enjoy baking, I usually bring some kind of dessert.  This week I tried Rolo Fudge Brownies.  I don't remember who brought this recipe to my attention, and I wish I did so I could thank them properly.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.  I mean, Rolos and a brownie, caramel sauce and fudge -- what's not to love?  ;)

Mine isn't nearly as photogenic, but it sure was scrumptious!

I had a hankering for a chocolate mousse cake for my birthday, but all of the recipes I found online were too complicated, that is until I found this one.  While Chocolate Mousse Cake may not technically be a cake, it sure is good.  It's really not too hard to make, and I may want this every year for my birthday.

Yes, I've made my own birthday cakes for several years now.  I just can't justify paying a grocery store to make one; it's too expensive for cake that's not that good.  I can make exactly what I want for a lot less I do.  Sarah Beth has offered to make my cakes for me once she learns how.  Maybe that should be my goal for this year.  ;)

Have you tried an "amazingly good" recipe lately?  Do you make your own birthday cake?  Or am I just strange like that?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Another Year, Another Week

My birthday was Tuesday, and it was a big one, as far as birthdays go.  John had to work, but I had a quiet day at home with my children.  As I told one of my friends, we did a lot of nothing...which was nice for a change.  We read some books, played some video games, and watched a movie, and we did not do school.  ;)  Nothing great or wonderful, but it was a nice, quiet day at home.  And it was lovely.

Along with my getting another year older, I am thankful this week that:
  • John is feeling better; he hasn't been feeling well lately
  • silly children who were as excited about my birthday as I was
  • a new recipe for my birthday cake turned out wonderfully.  (I'll share it tomorrow.)
  • we had a couple of days of sun this week, even though they predicted rain for every single day
  • that CC is over although it's bittersweet since we love CC and seeing our friends
  • our end of the year CC party is happening today despite a change of venue because of the predicted rain
  • an upcoming supper with a friend, just the two of us, withOUT any children!
  • our chicks are getting big enough to go outside, so we can get rid of the box in the barn
Mostly, I am grateful for God's gracious provision through the past year, and I look forward to seeing what He has in store for my next year.

For what are you thankful this week?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday's Quote: When Do I Want my Reward? Now or in Heaven?

I've put Richard Baxter's Saints' Everlasting Rest on hold for a little while because I got a new book that I'm so excited to read.  A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas is chock-full of good stuff, so you'll be seeing lots of quotes from it in the upcoming weeks.

This quote reminds of Randy Alcorn's Heaven, and I love it!  I appreciate the reminder of where my real treasure is being stored up, and I enjoy the encouragement to store that real treasure up where moth and rust cannot destroy it.
When I live for reward in this life, when I seek primary happiness in the here and now, I'm discounting all the promises of God about what's to come.  Now, certainly, living a godly life produces many rewards in this life.  We rightfully celebrate those rewards and are thankful for those blessings.  But God has told us He is preparing an even better place; He has said that while there are many blessings on this good earth that we can receive with thanksgiving, our ultimate reward won't be found here.  Ultimate happiness and fulfillment won't be found here.  They are waiting for us in the new heavens and the new earth, so at the very least, let's live our lives here remembering the importance of preparing for life there.  (p. 55)
This earth is full of good things, but Heaven has even more, things so wonderful that we cannot even imagine.  Oh, I can't wait to get there and experience it!  And I want to live in such a way that, while I enjoy many things of this Earth, I realize that there is so much more to come!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Finished Object Friday

Daniel has been asking me to make him a blanket for a while, so I finally got around to it.  He picked out the colors and the pattern from this book.  I think it turned out well, although it is heavy which just means that it will be nice and warm.  Since it's a regular blanket (instead of a baby blanket), I figure I shouldn't have to make him another one until he heads off to college or gets married or something.  ;)

I finished this blanket from this book before I made Daniel's; I just never got around to posting it.  I used my iPhone so the picture isn't the best.  This was a fun blanket to make, although my mother suggested blocking it...and I'm sure that I should.  But it's a baby blanket, and whoever gets it will wash it as soon as they bring it home.  At least, I would.

I have a question for you, my faithful readers.  Do you enjoy seeing pictures of the things I knit and crochet?  Honestly, I feel a little like I'm bragging.  If you do, too, please let me know, and I'll stop posting them.  Thanks!

What have you been working on lately?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: The Berenstain Bears: God Bless Our Country

In this new book from Mike Berenstain, the cubs ask questions about our country's "birthday,"  the Fourth of July.  Mama and Papa tell them how and why our country was formed and how God has blessed it.  As the children hear this information, their pride in their country grows.

This book is different from the last few Berenstain books I've reviewed; instead of dealing with a moral situation, this book tackles history.  It's a nice introduction to how our country was founded and why, although it is pretty basic.  Parents can use it to help instill a pride for our country in their children and explain why we celebrate Independence Day, two things which are important for us as Americans.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review: Rasmus and the Vagabond

When Rasmus runs away from the orphanage, Oscar finds him, and they become a team, a team of tramps.  What Rasmus really wants, however, is a home, and they both know that he is only biding his time until he finds a family who wants him.  Along the way, they have an adventure with thieves, and then, finally Rasmus finds a home.  But is it really what he wants?  Will he stay?  Or will he keep wandering with Oscar?

I was so excited when I saw this book by Astrid Lindgren on my list!  I have such fond memories of reading Pippi Longstocking when I was a little girl that I knew that my children and I would love this book, too.  And we did.  Such a simple story with a lot of good, clean fun, we all enjoyed it, laughing out loud many times.  And I must admit that I was surprised by the ending, but it was a pleasant surprise.  I'm so glad that Plough Publishing has re-released this book!  My oldest daughter already wants to reread it!

I want to thank Plough Publishing for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March Review of Goals

March was a busy month for us.  I hope things calm down a little bit in April which they should.  My parents came for a week-long visit, and it was wonderful to spend that time with them.  Then we went   camping one weekend.  We all had dentist appointments, too, which take up time.  But it was a good month, an enjoyable one...other than the dentist appointments.

Personal Goals:
  • Read through my book list.  I didn't finish any books from my "to read" list, but I did read several other good books.
  • Walk on the treadmill three times a week for twenty minutes.  I took the week off while my parents were here because they were in the little girls' room, so the little girls were in the playroom where my treadmill is.  And honestly, it was nice sleeping in an extra half hour.  ;)
  • Write one letter or note a month.  Fail.
Goals as a Mother:
  • Do something (like a playdate) with someone (and her children) once a month, whether it's having someone over for lunch, going to someone else's house, or heading out for a field trip together.  We visited some friends one day for lunch and some playtime.  
  • Have one fun day in school a month.  Fail.  I'm not doing so well with this goal this year.
  • Take my children on one field trip a month.  We went camping.  Does that count?  Definitely!
  • Teach my children to do more around the house.  I'm still working on this one.
  • Read a book about motherhood.  I haven't done this one yet.
  • Read a chapter book with my children.  We started Swiss Family Robinson but put it aside for Rasmus and the Vagabond which I will review tomorrow.
Goals as a Wife:
  • Schedule monthly date nights for John and me.   Fail.
  • Read a book about being a godly wife.  I haven't done this yet.  
Goals as a Family:
  • Continue having another family over for supper once a month.  Does having my parents for a week count?  We seriously need to get back to this!
  • Continue our family devotional time.  Fail.
How are you doing on your goals for the year?