Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Cake Pictures

I posted a couple more wedding cake pictures on my Cake and Candy blog.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm all caked out...

What a busy day we've had!

We've been waiting for our neighbors to do something with their trees that are laying in our yard and on our trampoline and basketball hoop, but it appears they aren't too worried about it. These are trees that came down during the tornadoes two weeks ago. They do not live here, it is just a vacant lot that is never cared for. So Jeff and the girls got out there today and started the clean up.

I was busy all day making a wedding cake and grooms cake for a wedding tomorrow. Plus I made a carrot cake (you can get the recipe here) and lemon cake for a fellowship lunch, and some cupcakes for refreshments after church. Guess you can say I'm all caked out today!

The girls are such GREAT help! Here is Emma sugar coating some fruit for the grooms cake. Olivia coated some pansies.

They both helped doing all the little details to keep me going. Like the carrot strips to make these carrot rosettes.

We have a very small kitchen, with three of us in there and four-five projects going at one time it can get a bit crazy. Both of the girls have a great since of humor, but especially Emma. She is one of these that can say just about anything and crack you up. When we finally finished, she was like a tornado herself, except that she left the kitchen clean and in order in no time.

Mom's if you are not teaching your children to help in the kitchen (and the rest of the house) you're shooting yourself in the foot! It doesn't have to be done perfectly, but as they mature you'll be amazed at their ability to get the job done, which gives everyone more time for R&R!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Taking Advantage of the System/CVS???

Brent left this comment to my Equip Them to be Smart Shoppers post:

I've been thinking about this as well. Showing my children how to shop the deals and compare prices is something that I'm going to do.

However I don't feel right getting free, or almost free, things from CVS to just give away. These deals are to encourage shoppers to come and spend money at their store, not get free things to just give away. I'm pretty sure if that was the case they would do that themselves.

To each their own but to me this is taking advantage of the system far and beyond what it is intended. Some take it even further and claim a tax deduction on the "giving".

As I said though my children will learn about comparing and spending money wisely.

My Reply:

Thank you Brent for your comment.

We have had a CVS in our town for 10 years or more, I think I have shopped there twice and the prices were way too high. Since Wal Mart has run most of the grocery stores from our little town, I do almost all of my shopping at Wal Mart because of price and convenience.

CVS is a smart company and their ECB's are all about smart marketing, just like all those door-buster deals at Christmas that every store offers. They know how to bring the costumer in. They know that you will eventually buy additional products. I have found unadvertised deals also. CVS gets credit for the coupons used by costumers. Without the coupons the deals at CVS would be good, but not GREAT! As I stated earlier, I never really shopped CVS before, but now I have spent a good bit of money there that I would have spent at Wal Mart. They also put limits on the quantity that can be bought, so I doubt anyone will really take advantage of them.

Then there is the issue of relationship. At our CVS the lady that works nights is very friendly, this makes me want to go in there, but I avoid the grumpy day people.

I don't think CVS is offering these limited deals because they care about us, they are doing it because it is good business! And I doubt they care if we hoard our 25 tubes of toothpaste in a box under the bed or give it to battered women in a shelter. They don't care what we do with the product, they just want us to buy it!

It's smart marketing and it works, otherwise they wouldn't do it. Just as Wal Mart will let you use competitive pricing with an ad.

But each person must have a clear conscience. You sound like a very sensitive and compassionate person and I appreciate that! :o)

Frugal Friday

Frugal Friday's tip is to make your own cards, like I posted yesterday. :o)

For more ideas go to Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Heritage Greeting Card Tutorial

Although I say these are heritage greeting cards, you could do the same with any picture. I made these for my grandmother's 84th birthday this week. I also gave a pack to my mother for Easter and to my aunt for an upcoming birthday. Why buy store bought cards and stationary when you can give something truly personal?! This picture is of my grandmother when she was a new wife and farming it! The writing is my grandfather's handwriting, he died in 1979.

You will need:
card stock paper,
digital photos on your computer,
4 1/2 x 5 1/4 envelopes,
and a paper cutter (or you could scissors).

With MS Word, go to FILE, click PAGE SETUP, click LANDSCAPE, then click OK.

Go to FORMAT, click COLUMNS, click TWO, then OK.

This will divide your page in half, although you will not 'see' it until you start typing.

Go to INSERT, click PICTURE, click FROM FILE. This will open your picture folder.

Choose which picture you want to use, click on it, click INSERT. It will probably be much bigger than you want when inserted on your page. Right click on the corner of your picture and drag it to make it the size you want.

Place your pointer (arrow) on the left side of the picture and click the ENTER button until the picture moves down to the bottom of the page, staying on the left side of the page. You may need to hit the space bar some to get it centered where you want it, or click center in the tool bar.

Right click on picture, click FORMAT PICTURE if you need to adjust the color.

Right click on picture, click BOARDERS AND SHADING, under BOARDERS click BOX, choose STYLE, COLOR and/or WIDTH that you want. You'll have to play around to get what you like best.

You can add a caption if you'd like.

Right click on picture, click COPY, PASTE picture in the right hand column. Adjust to get your picture centered.

Go to FILE, click PRINT.

Using your paper cutter cut down the center. You could also use a ruler and scissors. I always end up having to trim alittle off after I do this to make it perfectly even.

Fold cards in half. If your picture does not get centered as you want, especially where the fold is, go back and adjust your margins. Print only one page at a time until you get it where you want it.

These will fit nicely in a 4 1/2 x 5 1/4 envelope. Wrap with a ribbon and they make a nice gift.

I also made some with a picture of their farm from 1950.

These would also make great Mother's Day gifts!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Peace in the Midst of Pain

Yesterday some of our closest friends lost their baby. It was a heartbreaking day. About a year and a half ago this same mother had a tubal pregnancy and almost died. Yesterday's loss was also very hard on her body, not to mention her breaking heart.

As I sat by her bedside I was so incredibly blessed and encouraged by her holy attitude! Although she wanted this baby so very much and spent the majority of the last 18 weeks in bed extremely sick, she still rejoiced in God's blessings on her.

God allows so many hard things to come into our lives and we just can't understand why. They rip at the very core of our being, but no matter what we MUST trust God.

I am reading the book What I learned in the Dark. It is the autobiography of a Jennifer Rothschild. She went blind at 14. Her wisdom that she shares in this book is so moving. Yesterday as I sat in the waiting room I read the following about receiving God's gifts with thanks, which was very fitting for the day:

"The only difference between becoming bitter and becoming better is the letter I. Approaching our difficulties from the standpoint of what I want, what I have lost,or what I think is fair will embitter us. Bitter eyes can perceive only the injustice and the sorrow in the situation. Grateful eyes however, will always see the grace of God, regardless of how difficult our circumstances might be. Grateful eyes allow us to see "the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13)."


THIS is what I saw in my friend yesterday.

I saw it again this morning when I awoke to my sweet daughter's blog post:
Heart of Hannah

Olivia was joined at my hip while we waited to see what we could do for this family. I loved it! Soon she will be busy with her own family and I'll miss her greatly. I woke up this morning and read her blog post she did last night after I went to bed. It brought a tear to my eye! I love that most of the things she listed were people, not things. May we all take time to see God's goodness even in the midst of heart ache.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Public Speaking

About 2 weeks ago the girls took part in our county 4-H Public Speaking competition. Unfortunately they were the only ones in their division. Olivia did Senior Persuasive (read it here) and Emma Junior Persuasive. The other two boys (dear friends of ours) presented Informative speeches. Even though there was not any competition they were still judged and the judges took time after the awards to encourage them and tell them how to improve.

Olivia LOVES Public Speaking, Emma doesn't! lol... But I have to say Emma has improved so much and she kind of liked doing it this time. This is such an important skill for children to learn. None of us know when we may HAVE to stand before a crowd and communicate effectively. The only way to learn how to handle the nerves is to practice it, over and over and over again! Even though Olivia loves it, she still turns bright red and her face starts to swell. :o) lol... But she too is getting better. When Josh would have to give oral presentations he would literately drip sweat!

For some, public speaking comes easily, for others, they have to really work at it. No matter what, being able to communicate clearly to large (or small) numbers, even under pressure is important!

Both of the girls and the Huie boys will go on to Regional Public Speaking in May. :o)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Marriage Covenant

Yesterday we went to one of the most BEAUTIFUL wedding ceremonies I have ever seen! Not only was the bride beautiful and all that goes with a wedding, but what was truly beautiful was the sacred ceremony. The emphasis was not only on the bride and groom but also on God and building His kingdom, carrying out His commands.

I wish all of you could have heard what the groom's father said to him before all the witnesses. It was very moving and encouraging! Then the father of the bride spoke to the groom , then his daughter. Oh my! I doubt there was a dry eye. I'm hoping to get a copy of what they said and post it.

Doug Phillips and Scott Brown did a great job with the ceremony.
It was a serious, yet joyful ceremony!

Most of the families in attendance were families that view children as blessings and not burdens. There were SO MANY young people helping, it was incredible! Above are two serving lines with the young ladies serving.

This side was two serving lines with young men serving. These young people were kind, RESPECTFUL, mature and a joy to be around!

This was just before hundreds of guest flooded the reception hall.

You can see a picture of the wedding cake HERE!
I made the mints (I didn't get a picture of) and helped a little with the cake.

Because I cater some and love to see how food is displayed so here is this picture!

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of Emma helping...sorry darlin!


Most of us probably started our married lives out pretty selfishly thinking that he (or she) was going to make ME happy, fulfill MY needs, etc... When the truth is marriage is all about dying to yourself and serving the other. Yes, happiness can follow, needs can be met, but marriage is mainly about seeking to fill your spouse's needs and working on building God's kingdom together as one. I believe if you seek God's will, obey His commands in all areas of life, but especially in marriage, that God will bless you with joy and peace.

Because it ain't about us,
it's about HIM!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Last Saturday our little, country community was hit by two F-2 tornadoes. The destruction was 6 miles long. We were under a severe storm warning, but no tornado warning, nor did the tornado siren go off. When I head the rain hitting hard and I looked out the window and saw everything was flying by us, I yelled to the girls to get in the hallway. We do not have a basement or storm shelter. When you can *see* the wind you know you have a problem.

Thankfully it lasted only minutes, when the rain stopped and we stepped outside we were in awe of what we saw.

Thank the Lord our home and other buildings were not damaged. It did rip our power box from the house and all the wires. It leveled our power pole at the ground and laid 53 trees across our quarter mile road! One tree was on the trampoline and one tree broke the basketball hoop. Our neighbor had much worse damage than we did. About a mile or so from us there was a whole farm wiped out, completely leveled, and several more badly damaged! Praise the Lord no one was hurt, except alot of chickens (chicken farms are big here) and six cows were killed.

We were without power for two days and no internet for seven days! Thus, no blog post!

God was so very gracious to us. We have a HUGE, OLD tree about 10-15 feet from our house. This tree lost a limb a year ago on a clam, sunny morning. We are praising God for choosing to keep that tree standing when hundreds of others were uprooted and snapped in half.

I'll try to get some pictures loaded tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Equip Them to Be Smart Shoppers

A very important aspect of running a home efficiently is to be able to shop wisely!

One of my New Year's resolutions was to be a better steward when it came to grocery shopping. I do consider myself a wise shopper, but I knew I could improve. So I chose to read and learn how to shop the CVS and Walgreens' deals. I have to tell you it is well worth the time! With the cost of groceries going up each time I walk through the doors of the grocery store every little bit helps!

In less than three months of shopping the CVS deals I have managed to stock up on most of our toiletries, over the counter medications and make up for pennies on the dollar, often getting things for free!

We live in a small town so shopping options are limited which makes me even more grateful for a CVS! When I made my trip this week the cashier said, "If I would take the time to learn how to do this (shop the deals) I'd probably save alot of money." I was SHOCKED! How can she work there and not shop the deals? She also told me that there are about 5-6 other people that come in and do what I do. I couldn't believe it. Only 5 or 6 out of our whole town shop the deals? When I say deals I mean getting the most form the ECB's.

My 13 year old daughter commented how there are so many needy people that could use the free soap and things. Oh how true! I thought of all the children that spend 2-4 hours a day just watching TV, listening to their Ipods, playing video games, and talking on the phone. What a blessing it would be if these young people would take a few hours a week and read Money Saving Mom or other blogs like that. What if they clipped the coupons from the Sunday paper and learned how to compare prices? Crystal (and others) do most of the leg work for us! Anyone that can read and do simple math can do this.

What if these same young people took on this task, invested a small amount of money to get started with their ECBs and took all of those toiletries and over the counter medications and donated them to needy people?

Possible places to give to:

Homeless Shelters
Hospice Groups
Ronald McDonald House
Senior Care Centers
Group Homes for Children
Foster Care Children
Care Baskets for the Military
Care Baskets for the elderly in your neighborhood
Fire Victims -People that loose their homes to a fire.
Disaster Victims - Keep a stock pile for times of natural disasters, not just for yourself, but for your neighbors.
Check with local churches to see of they have a food bank you can donate to.
Start a food bank at your church.
Overnight hospitality baskets for your house guest. We always place a basket next to the bed when we have guest overnight.

I'm sure there are other ways to share of your stockpile. The point is to be on a mission of blessing others.

Moms are busy, especially if you have several children it may be hard to find a couple hours a week to shop the deals. Why not teach one or more of your children to do it for you. This is a PERFECT way for them to learn to be a smart shopper and to have a ministry of giving right from home. They can do most of the research at home and then on shopping day they can have the list and coupons ready! A plan of action!

Does it take work? Yes! Will it improve math skills? Yes! Is it worth it? YES! When I walk through the door of my home and have $60 worth of merchandise and only spent $5-$6 (or less), oh yeah it is worth it!

Equip your children with this life long skill of smart shopping! One day they will be able to bring this skill into their marriage, and what a blessing that will be! Until then, they can be a blessing to their family now and to those that are truly needy!

For more frugal ideas go to Biblical Womanhood.

Blizzard in Alabama

Fifteen years ago I was preparing to cater a wedding for 300 people. It was the middle of March and we live in the deep south.

The afternoon before the wedding the weather man reported a "history making storm" on it's way. Now mind you, my husband and I were born and raised in the NORTH! We know what REAL snow is, but we also know how Southerners panic at the mention of snow. :o) You Northerner's would crack up if you saw the local news cast when there are just a few flakes in the air! People empty the store shelves of bread and's hilarious!

I called the Bride's family the day before the wedding and confirmed that the wedding would still be a go. They told me "Yes!" We drove into Birmingham to pick the rentals on all the dishes, fountains, table cloths, etc... When I got home I started my marathon of baking cake for 300 people and preparing the rest of the food.

At 10:00 pm I had the cake all baked and iced, but not decorated, then it happened! The lights went out. Another thing about living in the south, we have ALOT of beautiful, tall pine trees. When the wind blows hard it is very likely the power will go out due to falling trees. Our power did not come on for FIVE DAYS!

We woke up that Saturday morning with 18...yes, that's right, EIGHTEEN inches of snow! Our weatherman was was a "history making storm!" Now my fellow Northerners (notice I do not call myself a Yankee) may laugh and say "big deal". Well here in the south IT IS A BIG DEAL.

It was four days before we could even get out to go take a shower at a friend's house. At that time we had well water, no electricity means no pump to pump that water from the ground! I had never been so thankful for running water!

Although we had no power and no water we did have CAKE! Thus, all of our neighbors had cake too! lol Our pets also had CAKE! Our neighbor across the road had city water, so we were able to bater cake for water. lol It's all pretty funny now!

The wedding went off smoothly the next weekend! The only food I had to replace was the cake and fruit, everything else kept OK.

Last night I heard the weatherman talking about "The Storm of 1993!" He said everybody has a story of that weekend. I had to laugh and thought, 'Boy do I have a story!'

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Parental Rights!

I'm sure anyone that home educates their children has heard the OUTRAGEOUS court decision in California by now. It is all over the web, especially the blogs.

In a nut shell, a California appeals court has ruled that the state's parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their own children.

I like how Albert Mohler put it:

This is a controversy that demands the attention of all parents. After all, if parents have no constitutional right to educate their own children, what other aspects of the parent's choices for their own children lack protection? This question reaches far beyond educational decisions.

Kelly has some good points HERE.

Barbara has alot of good information also HERE.

Are you frustrated with the political situation? I AM! Are you disgusted with activist judges? I AM! Do you think your voice doesn't count? You can NOT give up! We have got to train up the next generation to know truth, to love truth, to seek truth! Teach your children the Bible, teach them real history, teach them politics!

May God grant us all wisdom and courage to do what needs to be done!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Disclaimer on Conviction

I thought this was a really good post! It kind of goes with my post yesterday and a series of comments I had with a woman on another blog last week. Just because we have an opinion and voice it, it does not mean that we are correct. We are only correct if it lines up with God's word. Neither should we have to give a disclaimer about our convictions. Some people are further along in their walk with God, so we cannot be quick to accuse. I know I have so much to learn. Anyway, this is a good read:

A Disclaimer on Conviction

Sunday, March 9, 2008

If You Love Me

So what do you do with people that sum up their faith with, "Jesus loves me." People who have a hard time calling anything sin. These same people that strut around proclaiming their freedom in Christ. These same people often do not show humility and love towards others. They are quick to cast stones at others accusing them of being judgmental and self-righteous.

These verses come to mind:
What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
Certainly not!
How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Romans 6: 1-2

He who says,
“I know Him,”
and does not keep His commandments,
is a liar,
and the truth is not in him.
1 John 2:4

Jesus said,
If you love Me,
keep My commandments.
John 14:15

Now I understand that NONE of us keep His commandments perfectly, that is why we need the blood and His grace. BUT, we do strive to keep the commands. It's not so much about Him loving us, but our responsibly in LOVING HIM!

If I tell my child that I love them, then lie to them, steal from them, never feed them, give them none of my affection or time and never talk to them, I wonder if they would doubt my love for them? How can one call them self a Christian and treat Christ this way continually? It makes no sense.

Jesus was all about loving people. He was all about serving others, not just the 12 He liked the most. Jesus was all about humility. He did not go around stomping His feet and flexing his muscles commanding everyone to take notice! He did not reject true authority. His was a life of sacrifice, not demanding rights. If anyone had a reason to demand respect, it was Jesus!

Those that run around shouting "Jesus loves you", yet have no regard for loving their neighbor, honoring their parents, fleeing from sin and the appearance of sin, respecting God ordained authority, continue to lie, then I cannot help but to think that they don't understand the Gospel, and what being a Christian is all about!

It's NOT US! It's about HIM, it's about obeying and loving Him enough to love others!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bib/Burpie Tutorial

At our church we LOVE families and we LOVE BABIES! Babies are viewed as blessings, not burdens. So very rarely do we have times with no new babies being born, Praise the Lord!

I wish I could make a quilt or crochet a blanket for every baby born at our church and circle of friends, but that is impossible.

But I did come up with this idea! If you set aside an afternoon you could make several of these to have on hand for baby gifts.

You can buy terry cloth ($5-$7 a yard), or you can go to the thrift store and buy a bathrobe. I found this high quality robe that looked like new for less than $3. I was able to make seven sets of bibs and burpies out of one robe. All the fabric was what I had on hand. :o)

I used a bib that I already had,
to draw out a pattern on a piece of card stock.

Fold your fabric only wide enough for the pattern,
which is folded in half.
Place the fold of the pattern on the fold of the fabric.

After cutting your robe to get as much as you can from it;
repeat the above with the terrycloth (robe).

Cut a piece of ribbon about 8-10" long;
curl up one end and place it on the bib,
right side of fabric facing up.

Carefully place the smoother side of the terrycloth to the right side of the fabric;
pin the curled part of the ribbons and both layers together.
Starting at the bottom of the bib, sew around using about 1/4-1/2" seam allowance.
Be careful not to sew the curled part of the ribbon in your seam,
but do sew in the part of the ribbon that is hanging out.
Leave about 2" for an opening at the bottom.

Trim close to the seam.

Remove pins and turn right side out.
It may help to press the opening raw edges in.
Hand stitch together with a blind stitch.

Do the same thing with a rectangle piece of fabric and terrycloth.
The size can vary, you just want it big enough to go over a shoulder.
Trim corners before you turn right side out.

I used a stippling stitch to quilt them together.
You could even add batting if you wanted to make them thicker.
Have fun with it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Guilty of a Hate Crime?

A pet peeve of mine is when people have the attitude that politics does not matter, that one vote does not make a difference. It is this attitude that has gotten us in the situation we are in in this country. We are more concerned about the almighty dollar bill than we are about protecting life. God help us.

Infanticide means to kill babies. HERE is an article that tells where Obama stands on this issue. How can ANYONE vote for someone that not only wants abortion to continue to be legal, but even worse, kill those babies that have been delivered ALIVE after a botched abortion? THAT is what Obama and Clinton are in favor of. Part of the Democratic platform is Pro-choice, which really means PRO DEATH to babies. Who gives those babies a choice?

How can anyone vote for a candidate that is pro-death? Now that all the Pro-Life candidates are gone I am just sick about it! Do we really think God will overlook this hate crime?

Why am I so serious about elections and voting? Because people's lives depend on it and one day I, and everyone else, will have to answer for what we did about it. Can *I* make a difference? I hope so, somewhere along the line. I hope I can influence others... that will influence others... and so on. Part of my prayer (and life purpose) is that my children and grandchildren will grow up and make a POWERFUL impact on our culture for Christ and for what is right. Protecting life is an important enough issue to fight for!

Monday, March 3, 2008

All Work and No Play

...makes for a pretty dull life!

I have been so busy with our DVD project, which stretches my brain to it's limits when it comes to computer techie stuff, that I have done nothing fun.

Every once in a while I just need to stop the "must do" work and do something I enjoy.

I started this project a few weeks ago and today I finished them. I made SIX sets of quilted bibs and burp cloths. I will post a tutorial later this week. This really is an easy and frugal gift idea.

OK... I feel better now...back to work.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

What's a Moms Biggest Job?

"Teaching my children to obey is not to make me look good in the grocery store and family reunions.

Teaching my children to obey will directly affect their relationship with God, and ultimately affects an entire society." Kelly Crawford

I cannot tell you how many times I get caught up in the actual offense and not address the heart issue. I don't want my kids to obey me "because I said so", I want them to love God enough to obey HIM, which means for a child to obey Mom. Being the mother of a prodigal is the most gut wrenching experience I have ever had. I sit back and pray for the day that this child, who is now a young adult, will LOVE GOD enough to obey HIM.

Kelly has a great post on her blog about what our biggest job as Moms is.

May we all call on God and ask for wisdom in our parenting and may He gracefully pour out His wisdom on our children.