Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Last night I saw the movie "Fireproof" with some friends. I highly recommend it. The acting was mediocre (at best)... but the message is powerful. And Kirk Cameron is cute as ever. :-) And just in general, as a christian, it's good to support christian movies that make it to the theaters. Scroll down and see an ad for the movie below!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hockey Boy and Rainbow Mountain

Here's my little man in his full hockey gear this (early) morning at evaluations. The only thing he is really missing are the appropriate socks... he had to wear his soccer socks because the hockey socks we ordered haven't arrived, yet. He also had to borrow the helmet and stick because those aren't here, yet, either. But- Doesn't he look cute?? I found the Nashville Predators jersey he is wearing at a consignment sale for $8!! :-) I was very proud of that find.... at least I was able to save a bit of money on his hockey outfit.
This is for Kristy... the view of Rainbow Mountain from my front yard. It's often hazy like that. It's pretty, huh?

Saturday Soccer Update: Jacob's team won 7-3 with Jacob scoring one of the goals!! Sarah's team won 3-2... the final goal was a beautiful left-footed shot by Sarah!! :-) I am so proud of my little soccer stars!
More good news: Libby starts a Ceramics class this Thursday at the art museum! Art is her thing right now... she particularly likes working with clay. I hope to feature Libby and her art on here very soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed

Today Johnny Appleseed turns .... 234!

In honor of his birthday, Jacob's class at school is celebrating today with a party and I had to send an "apple snack" this morning for their celebration. I looked through some cookbooks last night (no sense doing this any earlier than I had to) and found a Betty Crocker recipe for apple bars that looked easy... oh my... what a surprise!!! They are SOOOO good! So, even though I promise I never intended this blog to be a recipe exchange- I have to share the recipe. I didn't include the walnuts because of the allergy restrictions at school. Also, I wanted to note that when you get the dough stirred up, it is hard to spread in the pan. Just keep working with it and do the best you can do. It doesn't have to be perfect.

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled cooking apples (2 small)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Spice Glaze (below)
Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan. Mix brown sugar, oil, milk and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in apples and walnuts. Spread in pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. Drizzle with Spice Glaze. Cool completely. Cut into bars.
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 to 2 Tbsp. apple juice or milk
Mix all ingredient until smooth and spreadable.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


First, I tried the chocolate cake-in-a-mug last night without the chocolate chips and Sarah and I preferred it that way. The chocolate chips make it very rich.

Second, I wanted to say that the rumors you have always heard about HOCKEY being an expensive sport to play are completely true. Jacob is going to play on a team this year and I cannot believe the expense... not just the fee to play (which is very high), but also the equipment- even used equipment is expensive. And you have to have SO much of it. Helmet, mouth guard, pads- lots of them, pants, socks, skates, stick, gloves, the list goes on. Then there's the fact that the closest ice rink is 20 minutes away and the next closest (which we may get assigned to) is 30 minutes away. Practices are only once a week and there is only one game per week- but the season is almost 6 months long! I guess it will be cool to be a "hockey mom" in addition to a "soccer mom". But, you may get to hear lots of complaining in the coming months! :-)

Third, here is a verse I've been thinking about since bible class at church last night. It really seems God ought to be ashamed of us most of the time... but He's not. That just struck me as really good news!

Hebrews 11:15-16 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Decor

(This is my third post today... I'm not sure if that is allowed in the rules of blogging- but I just wanted to say it so everyone can scroll down and not miss anything).

I was reading my cousin's blog this morning and she had been doing some Fall decorating and had gotten a few new things... so I decided I would get my stuff (all three things) out and I wanted some new things, too. I had to go to Hobby Lobby for bead supplies, anyway, so I got a couple things while I was there- on sale. :-) I love Fall!!

I got this lamp candle holder:

And here it is again from farther away- with my stalk of "wheat" on the left, which I already had. The little jar is a cinnamon scented candle I got today. (The container in the middle is something that is always sitting on my cabinet, although I did get it in the Fall decor section at Hobby Lobby last year at this time).

I got this lovely candle holder with leaves painted all over it:

And this is my fall wreath that I already had (I kind-of miss my other one- but I will look forward to putting it back up next Spring):

And my autumn table cloth. :-)

Switching gears....
I had been wanting to post these pictures of the kids that Tim took at Williamsburg a year and a half ago because I just love them... I got the idea today to take a picture of the pictures since we have them in a frame on the mantle so I would only have to download them once.

I couldn't post pictures without including a picture of Sam. I think I am posting more pictures of him on my blog than his mom is posting on HIS blog. ;-)


My mom sent me this interesting recipe today- chocolate cake that you make in a mug in the microwave! I tried it just now and am eating the result... it's actually quite tasty! I didn't use the cake flour that it calls for- I used all-purpose. I only put in a few chocolate chips. I think it would be good with a dollop of whipped cream or some icing, but I don't have any. I actually think it makes enough for two people- not to say I am going to share mine. :-)

Oh- and I had an idea about this.... it could make a GREAT gift (I'm thinking teacher gifts)... buy a nice, big, pretty mug, put the dry ingredients in a plastic bag inside the mug, tied off with a pretty ribbon and the recipe attached!


1 coffee mug
4 Tbsp. cake flour (plain, not self-rising)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
Small splash of vanilla
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips, optional

Add dry ingredients to mug, mix well with a fork.
Add egg, mix thoroughly.
Pour in milk and oil and vanilla, mix well.
Add chips, if using.
Put mug in microwave and cook for three minutes (1000 watts).

Cake will rise over top of mug... do not be alarmed, it won't spill over.

Allow to cool a little; tip onto a plate or eat from mug.

A Legend

Well... I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but I actually enjoyed the B.B. King concert! :-) He really interacts with the audience and is hilarious! The music isn't my favorite- but he's very talented and has an incredible voice- especially considering he is 83 years old. I'm glad I was coerced into going.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sanctuary Poem

This is a repeat for Beth. I think I posted this on my blog before I deleted it and started over. We are in a class at church about the Jewish feasts (very interesting believe it or not!) and were talking about the tabernacle last night. I told her I wrote a poem about it once... this is the whole story:

I was in my daily bible reading in Exodus and read this:

Exodus 25:8-9 "Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you"

It was (and is) hard for me to get my mind around all the intricate detail that God demanded for the tabernacle (and later the temple) and I just wondered... why?

Then I wrote this in my journal:

Let me build for You
A holy sanctuary in my heart
A place where you can live and guide me
Love me, keep me,
Safely hide me.

A place with gold, bronze, pretty cloth- wove with bright threads
Dyed with Christ's blood
Made clean and fit for a king

According to Your plans.


It's funny when there's a baby around- you'd rather take pictures of them than your own children. :-) Here's my little pal, Sam, when we were going for a walk on Tuesday. It was kind-of chilly, so I put Jacob's Michigan State sweatshirt on him. He is such a sweetie!

Here's Sarah on the first day of school (over a month ago):

Jacob & Libby on the first day:

It's taking forever for my pictures to download, so that is all for now. More later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Brenda's Continuing Log of Misspellings on Church Signs

Well, I found another another "typo" on a church sign... this is very disheartening. Ha. Today's sign says:


I think I may have found a way to work this to my advantage, though. I could use a job and I've been thinking of calling all the area churches and offering my services as a sign proofreader. Given the recent trends, this could be profitable. I'll just have to be sure and not bragg about my English skills.

Anyway- I really don't want to spend my blog criticizing well-meaning christians on their mistakes. :-) Maybe some time soon I will have something worthwhile and thought-provoking to blog about. Or maybe I'll have some pictures soon.

In the meantime, here's your Saturday Soccer Update: Jacob's team won 7-0. Of the five goals actually scored by our team (the other team shot two goals into their own net!), Jacob scored one! Sarah's team won 4-2, but Sarah didn't score. She played well, though.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

They should've had a V8

I saw this on a church sign near my house a while ago:

Faith Defeats Worldlinees

First of all.... what?
Second of all...what?

I always find it weird when something is so blatantly mispelled on a church sign... I forgive typos because it is easy to make a typo, I do it msyelf all teh tiem... but how do you choose letters for a sign (particularly such a short phrase) one-by-one and make a mistake like this? Then, don't you step back and look at it, knowing that 1,000s of cars will drive by in a day and see it, and notice your obvious mistake? And then I wonder... surely no one thinks this is the right way to spell it??!

Secondly- let's assume it was spelled correctly. I still don't get it somehow... I'm not even sure why. It seems like alot of times we say "faith" when we mean "God". Of course, then I think about times when Jesus told people their faith had saved or healed them... so I think maybe it's okay to say that "faith" could defeat "worldliness". Does worldliness need to be defeated? I don't know... these are the things that puzzle me.

SATURDAY SOCCER UPDATE: Sarah's team tied 2-2 and she scored one of the two goals with a brilliant left-footed kick! Go Sarah! I missed Jacob's game this week, but they lost and he did not score. I love him, anyway. Coming soon- a blog post all about Libby.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I've been baking alot of cookies lately! :-)

This morning I am trying a new recipe and they are so delicious. (You will notice in the picture above that one is missing- this is how I know they are delicious!) I should call my blog "Brenda's Recipe Exchange" because I'm going to share the recipe. I got it from the Taste of Home "Best of Country Cookies" cookbook.

Double Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (I used quick-cooking)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate sprinkles

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Place oats in a blender or food processor; cover and process until finely ground. (This may seem like a pain, but it's worth it!) Combine oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts and sprinkles. (I left out the walnuts because Tim doesn't like them, but I'm sure they would be delicious). Roll into 1-1/2 in. balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 4 1/2 dozen.

The picture below is for Aunt Sharon, who wanted to see a picture of my kitchen. I couldn't take a picture of any of the rest of it because it's too messy! :-)

I like this....

The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Mysteries of the Reasoning Processes of a 12 year old

Sarah has a uniform that she is required to wear every day for P.E. I had to buy this uniform for $20 (t-shirt and shorts). (A topic for another day will be- Since when do we have to PAY to go to public school?) I was not given the option to buy more than one uniform, but I probably wouldn't have, anyway. She wears the uniform during P.E. and then stuffs it into a bag and carries it home every day. Some kids leave theirs in their P.E. locker, but she doesn't have a P.E. locker (another story for another day, the topic of which will be- Since when is it embarrassing to take a check to your homeroom teacher to pay for your P.E. locker?).

Anyway.... it occurred to me after about a week and a half of school that maybe the uniform needed to be washed, so I found it wadded up in her bag and washed it. I have tried to remember to wash it about once a week since then.

Sarah has always been the worst about using the phrase (or some variation of it), "But everyone else is doing it...." It's always driven us crazy.

This afternoon I was doing laundry and asked her to go get her P.E. uniform so I could wash it. I think she didn't want to go to the bother of going upstairs to her room and to get it, so she argued with me. And this is an exact quote.... (imagine the exasperation in her voice), "But, mom....... no one else washes theirs".

Oh.... okay. I see your point. If everyone else's P.E. uniform is filthy, yours should be, too. Definitely. I can't imagine how embarrassing it must be to be the only kid in 7th grade whose P.E. uniform is getting washed once a week. :-)