Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, I am cultivating being thankful at this time of the year.
Celebrate what we have, whether it is family, friends, a warm home, enough to eat, knowing how much God loves us, and so many more possibilities.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Molasses Gingerbread Men

Run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man.

Did you know that Nove. 21 is National Gingerbread Day? I read that on Susan Wittig Albert's enewsletter "All About Thyme." This is the ideal day to share my family gingerbread cookie recipe with you.

It is so much fun to set aside a morning or afternoon and have a family event making gingerbread men cookies, and then decorating them with frosting and sprinkles.
This is a recipe from my step mother, Barb, who got it from her mom.

Molasses Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup dark molasses
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 and 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sour cream
Cream butter, add sugar and mix well.
Add beaten eggs, molasses, flour mixed and sifted with soda and spices, alternately with sour cream and the cream of tartar.
Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Chill.
Knead on floured surface and roll out about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut with cookie cutters. Use all the designs you like, including gingerbread boy and girl, reindeer, Christmas tree, star, camel, Santa Claus, and more.
Bake on greased sheet in 350 degree oven 15 or 20 minutes.

For frosting stir powdered sugar and a little margarine and milk until blended.
Add food coloring to several different bowls of frosting, and put on the work table all of the sprinkles you can buy. Chocolate sprinkles are our favorite and the green and red sugar sprinkles.

In my family we spread on the frosting and then add artistic touches of the sprinkles, making realistic gingerbread people, Christmas trees, candy canes, etc.
They are almost too gorgeous to eat! Almost but not quite.
Half the fun is tasting as you add the frosting and sprinkles.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brilliant Chronological Study Bible

I have found a book that so excellent that I want to shout about it: "The Chronological Study Bible", the New Kings James Version, by Thomas Nelson Publishers. The concept of publishing all the books of the Bible in the order that the events occurred is deeply meaningful to all of us who read the Bible.

In addition to this useful order, there is another bonus with this book: the beauty of the book itself. There is so much color in it, with maps, photos, charts, and insets with pertinent facts that it is a treasure for me.

In the back is a Scripture index, so I could quickly find out what page my favorite Scripture is on (Psalm 91).

This book combines all the best in a book: physical beauty and knowledge.
When I open it up, I am cajoled to start reading, learning, thinking and praying.

I reviewed about 50 books this year, and this is the most outstanding one.
Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishing for this treasure, which is already a blessing for me, and will be for thousands more readers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

win copy of my Christmas book

The owner of is Brenda King and she is giving away one copy of my book "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday."
Just go to her home page, click on the photo of the book cover, and enter to win. The contest runs until November 30.

You need to go to, your comment here won't enter you in this contest.

Good luck to all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two of the Cutest Cats in the World

Yes, these darlings are Big Boy in the top photo, and Miles in the bottom photo. Miles is nicely nestled into a pot of daffodils that are valiantly green and aiming to bloom. We think he reminds us of a porcupine in this photo.

These two boys have the world's best personalities. Miles is in heaven now, and my husband sometimes says "Miles, the cat who never lifted a paw in anger." Big Boy hangs out with the beautiful Jolie, "la principessa", princess and huntress.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Enjoy Nutcracker Ballet With Family

When my children were younger, our family would head out to watch a local production of the Nutcracker Ballet.

Seeing a live production is an anticipated event, and each time we see it we enjoy the new twists that each choreographer and company applies.
Many of the scenes center around a huge Christmas tree, and a family gathered round, and local productions have places on stage for lots of children, so you may spot someone you know up there.

There are dances for all different tastes, with exciting sword fights between the Nutcracker Prince and the Mouse King, and their allies, and humorous dances by Russian, Chinese and Spanish dancers. The Sugar Plum Fairy has a lovely starring role.

My family is always swept up in the drama, love, sweat and creativity of each staging.

Now the brilliant production starring and choreographed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, is available on DVD. This is the best selling ballet video of all time, with Gelsey Kirkland playing Clara, the young girl at the center of the drama.

If you want to try something new that will spark up your holiday, get tickets to a local production of the Nutcracker Ballet, and consider buying the DVD to watch at leisure.

Be careful, because like me, this might lead to a colorful collection of wooden Nutcrackers to display in your home!
Do any of you have favorite holiday events you and your family enjoy? I would love you to share here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Me, Myself and I AM book giveaway

The brand new book "Me, Myself and I Am" by Matthew Peters and Elisa Stanford, is having a blog tour this week, and one person who leaves a comment here by Nove. 7 will win a copy of this fun and thought-provoking little book.

You can open up this book to any page and find a question that intrigues you. I found Miracle of Miracles, Sticky Notes: Re My Funeral, and Oops! right for me, and there are 50 questions included, so you will find some or all helpful as thinking points.

A new experience of God comes one question at a time in this fun and provocative journal. Made up entirely of insightful, profound, and occasionally ridiculous questions, Me, Myself, and I AM invites you to open to any page, open yourself to God, and be the author of your own story.

Questions range from spiritually intriguing—

You overhear God talking about you. What do hear him saying?

to thought-provoking—

You are on a long car trip with a close friend who is not a Christian and the conversation turns to faith. What is your biggest fear about what your friend will ask or say?

to challenging—

Do you believe that all of Jesus’s followers have a responsibility to tell others about him?

to just plain fun—

If your life before you became a Christian were a movie, its title would be:

Animal House

As Good as It Gets

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s a Wonderful Life

Me, Myself, and I AM will entertain, inspire, and get you thinking about your spiritual life from brand new angles. Whether you use Me, Myself, and I AM as a reflective tool, a way to start conversations with friends and family, or as a spiritual time capsule to look back on years later, their own words will create a powerful journey of self-discovery.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Postcard with chocolate treat recipe

Did I tell you all that the publishers of my book created a gorgeous colorful postcard with book info on one side and a delicious recipe involving chocolate on the other side?
The recipe is easy and quick to make, and perfect to take to potlucks any time of the year.
If you want a free copy of the postcard with the recipe, leave a comment here and request one, and I will send it to you.