Archive for March, 2012

FREE MONEY!

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That’s right, this post is all about finding free money. No strings attached, yours to keep free money. Sounds crazy & possibly like spam, but it’s not. For one thing, the words are spelled correctly & I haven’t thrown in any symbols that make no sense.

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Jammin’ Time!

Reading my newest issue of Better Homes & Gardens I ran across a tiny section in the know-how section about jam.

I love jam. Jam is delicious. Jam is tasty. Jam is flexible. 3 Jam tastic ideas in the magazine:
Jam-Champagne Glaze –
In a small saucepan heat ½ c seedless jam & 1 TBSP lemon juice until melted. Stir in 1-2 TBSP sparkling wine or 1 tsp vanilla. Spoon over cake layers or serve as a sauce with slices of coffeecake, pound cake, ice cream, fruit parfait, or flour less chocolate cake.

Strawberry Salad-
Heat ¼ c jam in the microwave 20-30 secs to melt. Whisk 1 TBSP vinegar, water & oil. Stir in 1-2 TBSP snipped fresh basil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Toss with salad & sliced strawberries.

Jam Pinwheels-
Preheat oven 400°. Thaw frozen puff pastry. On a lightly floured surface roll pastry sheet seams flat. Spread with 2-3TBSP jam. Roll up & slice ½” thick. Bake on parchment papered baking sheet 15 min until golden.
^an appetizer change up: beat plum jam & softened 6oz goat cheese in blender, spread over pastry & sprinkle chopped prosciutto. Then prepare as directed.

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Dailies

Every morning & evening I read Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening devotional/quiet time. It’s short focusing on one verse & the am & pm are connected thoughts.

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Weekend Extravaganza!

So, some of you know I’m nerdy. But I don’t believe most of you know to what extent. See, I like Star Wars, read old DC comics (Ka-Pow!!), in band in high school, & probably have way too much fun hosting themed parties.

But very few of you know what I’ll be doing this weekend. I do it every year, & ever since I was on TV at this event, I’ve worn make up there. (Maybe it’s maybelinne)

See… I go to the Hilton in Grapevine, Tax to the dank, dark, oddly lit by artificial LED lights full of disconnected whirling & dinging noises overlayed by popular 80s music.

Yes, that’s right, the Texas Pinball Festival.

(Cue nerdy music now)

Oh I know, even A-Kon isn’t subject to the basement of a massive hotel. But as one of the seminars states, we’re a lost pop icon. Hmm. Depressing.

Opens 5pm Friday the 23rd officially but the soft Tournament opening starts at 10. New machine is picked & tournament play begins! The cool thing about friday is that with the tournament soft opening you can see what of the 225 pinball machines available for play are going to be this year.
Saturday the swap meet starts out front of the hotel at 8 am sharp. The downstairs opens at 10 am & goes until 2 am. If you had children under 12 years old and they are 1 of the first 50 kids on saturday, they will receive a cowboy hat from the festival. The theme this year is a space cowboy pinball. (I love getting a shirt there every year!) on Saturday you can sit in on 1 of the following seminars:
Jack Guarnieri of Jersey Jack Pinball
Alan Lewis Bumper repair class
George Gomez pinball designer
Gerry Stellenberg & more!
Sunday 8 am playoffs for the tournament, 9 am open to the public, and on Sunday it closes at two thirty pm sharp.

Got swag? Go to TPF for shirts, goodies & limited edition hats.

Location: Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, Grapevine, Tx
Dates: March 23-25, 2012
Price: weekend pass $40 adults/$30 kids 5-12; 0-5 free. Individual day wristbands available at door.

Look for me on Saturday participating in a lost pop icon, the girl wearing makeup.

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies

Hello yall! As you might have noticed this isn’t my recipe or blog, but I had to talk up this site & recipe!

Dense, chewy warm child memories in a bar. Best thing is most likely you have all this on hand. 🙂

Please read her blog & eat these tasty blondies!

Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Every child’s favorite sandwich in blondie form-these Peanut Butter and Jelly Swirl Blondies are the perfect dessert for the kid in all of us! Are you a fan of peanut butter and jelly? I definitely am! Nothing is better than a big slice of bread smeared with creamy peanut butter and raspberry jam. I have eaten countless pb&j sandwiches over the years and they always bring back memories from school lunches, swimming pools, and picnics. If you have a peanut butter and jelly lover in your house, you really need to whip up a batch of these chewy blondies with swirls of creamy peanut butter and jam. Any jam will do: strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, grape. Whatever you happen to have in the fridge! Serve these up with a big glass of milk for a delicious afternoon snack that people of all ages will enjoy. 🙂

One Year Ago:New Orleans Pralines 

Peanut Butter…

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How to Write Your Story

My pastor a few years ago was so adamant that everyone know their story of salvation that we spent one  Sunday with a piece of computer paper and a pencil as he walked us through the process. I was one of those people that just didn’t know how to start writing my story, but it really wrote itself once we covered these 10 parts of Sin.

1) Ignorance (it isn’t bliss, I promise)

2) Self-righteousness (who isn’t self-righteous?)

3) Pride (we think way too much of ourselves)

4) Worldly values & ambitions (Money, power, Fame)

5) Rebellion & pleasure (hedonistic lifestyle)

6)  Error (We all make mistakes)

7) Fear (Fear of man, unknown & future)

8) Bitterness (How dare he, it’s not my fault, etc)

9) Intellectual questions (How could God allow hatred and anger?)

10) A Child (the fact of faith)

Here’s the 4 Questions you’ll answer when writing your story:

Question 1) Why were you not a Christian? How did you find out about your sin, when did this become important to you? What was your life like before Christ?

Question 2) What were you like? Did you learn & how did you start to apply it?

Question 3) How were you saved? Explain how God spoke to you. Where did God’s lightbulb light you up? What was your big moment of peace and relief?

Question 4) How have you changed? What in your life is so different after God stepped in?

 

 

**Shameless plug: One of my favorite stories of redemption is in this biography: And God Came In the story of Joy Davidman; the wife of C.S. Lewis.

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D-A-N-C-I-N-G

But if you feel your skills don’t match the couple above, you can always use the internet to get some special training. Ever wondered what is a shim-sham? The lesson not long enough for practicing your lindy hop? Want to snuggle up with a beau for the balboa? You can visit youtube sites for Dallas/Ft. Worth/Denton swing clubs or www.freeswingdancelessons.com

 

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What the Wookie?!

Here’s photos (& recipes) from this weekend’s Star Wars themed fun.
I found a font online to download for free! Star Jedi

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Chilled Tauntaun Salad (chicken salad)
1 1/2 lb chicken boneless skinless
Poultry seasoning
4 fresh Basil leaves
3 Tbsp dill relish
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 c mayo

Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. Salt & add basil. Add chicken, poultry seasoning & boil til white through. Drain, (save for broth if you like) and shred chicken with two forks. Add dill & mayo, stir till thoroughly mixed. If too dry add more mayo. Add garlic & blend. Chill over night. Serve with Alderaan suns (round crackers). Sub miracle whip if you like. Add more mayo for a dip like quality.

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Wookie Fingers (chocolate no bake cookies)
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 c sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 milk
3 c oats
1/2 peanut butter
1 tap vanilla
Peanut halves for decoration

Bring cocoa, sugar, butter, milk to a rolling boil for 2 minutes exactly. Take off heat, add oats, peanut butter & vanilla. Stir to blend completely. On wax paper drop ‘dough’ by teaspoonfuls in thin strips. Use all ‘dough’. Before cooling place peanut halves on tips of cookies. Cool & serve.

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Lightsabers (dipped pretzel rods)
40-50 long pretzel rods
4-5 cubes white almond bark
1 tsp oil
Sprinkles or food dye

Melt bark & oil over low in a double boiler. Stir until smooth. (You can microwave in 30 sec intervals but it’s grittier.) Remove from heat & coat pretzels 3/4. Tap tip in pan to shake off extra bark. Coat in sprinkles of light saber colors & cool on wax paper. Space evenly. If bark hardens rewarm on low until smooth. If dyeing blend color after removed from heat, dip & sprinkle.

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Thanks to all who made it out & celebrated Lucas’ only good Star Wars films!

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Faith like a Child

So I promised my story today, my biblical story, my salvation. It’s a hard story to write because it’s not happy (because I’m lacking Christ in the beginning) for all of it. But let me start trying to explain how I got here in the life I have now versus really how it could have been.
My story starts pretty young, try 18 months young when something shifted the orbit from focusing all on me to focusing on something much more important: my sister. Most kids have a change in lifestyle when younger siblings arrive but mine changed a little more drastically than most. My sister’s life started with a major side effect: hydrocephalus. This factor in my life has ripples in my life to this day. I learned sometimes the hard way that the world didn’t revolve around me.

I have always believed in God. I’ve always known he existed. I’ve never had that doubt of if he really existed. I’ve known long term Christians wrestle with this thought & idea because they don’t “feel” him. I found that when God talks about faith like a child… I see it here. You get older & can get too smart for your own good. You stop thinking of God as your all knowing father and you start trying to out do, out think, out smart the omnipresent/potent/scient Creator of the universes! But children can sense a father’s presence and let him lead if the child has been brought up by the father in the way. God’s first miracle in my life is a miracle most would openly deny of being a miracle and blessing. It’s been a hard road to hoe, but I never doubted that God wasn’t with us. I still disobeyed, sinned and failed to be selfless, but I could at the end of the day still trust God was my God.

I believed that Christ was my savior when I was young child, around 8 when I heard a sermon on my sin one Sunday. I went down after church and prayed with the preacher the prayer of repentance. I’ll say here that I was not baptized until a much later date. I went home and celebrated the decision, but still made a sinful fool of myself. I was smart, but almost too smart for my behind to handle! I never did Awanas, I never did Spark or attend every Sunday and memorize all the verses for smiley face stickers, because with a sibling who wasn’t provided a place to be at church, our family just couldn’t go every Sunday without rotating which parent got to go to church. This option at my church here is something that makes me so grateful for them. They have both inclusion options for the kids in their grade level Sunday school and a special classroom of volunteers for those who don’t want or can’t sit for a regular Sunday school class.

We moved to Missouri for a short while and never got connected in, I still believed in God but I never attended church those my neighbors offered once or twice, I just didn’t feel comfortable attending with them. When we moved back to Texas the following school year I found out  how little I relied on God to make my life something worth having. I struggled heavily with depression and fear in eighth grade and still can feel the scars when Satan presses the wounds through barbed or thoughtless comments I hear from friends and family. This is was probably the darkest period of my life. I was also becoming involved in a youth group and starting to make friends with other believers but I’m never sure they saw the real me versus Sunday school me. I was still introverted and most people who know me today say that’s a lie, but I still need down time to make up for the exhaustion being around others causes for me in my day to day. High school believe it or not was so much better. I was able to drive early due to a hardship license (transporting my sister was difficult if she didn’t feel like it that day), I attended church regularly, and school got easier. In junior year I left my church because of favoritism, greediness, and uncomfortable with how the direction of youth was going. It burned my faith in other Christians and I did not attend church until I left for college. I regret not finding another church, I could have truly used the influence in my daily mistakes.

College was where I decided I didn’t like how I was living and wanted to change it. When I moved to attend college I drove past this rather large church and looked up information on college services, beliefs, and times. I showed up to a college service during the week and met not a soul. I was just one in a swarm of hundreds. Everyone knew everyone and I felt so unwanted. In the past I would just shut down and hide in the back but college gave me such freedoms that I decided I didn’t want to just be the girl in the back who knew no one and no one knew her. I made a deal with myself for the semester (which with all the stress that happened, was a good thing) that I would make it one semester and meet new people. I would meet at least 5 people every week, and then add to it and go back and reintroduce myself to those people until I could consider them friends. My church offered female only lifegroups and that was something  I desparately needed. 7 girls, 1 older girl leading us through the swamp that is college. I wish I could say I still saw and knew them like I did then, but we all moved on after college and they have their own lives. I rededicated my live that fall and was finally baptized as one of God’s children Nov 14 2006. Hallelujah. I can say that college was not a time for me to fall away from my faith but to strengthen and finally feel that I was where God wanted me to be. I love this church and it’s desire to discipline and disciple, pour into and pour out into the community who drive past our church every day and don’t know the Savior who loves and lives. May the Lord of everlasting peace and joy bring meaning and value to all who are his children. I have not stopped growing and I am never going to be perfect, I’ll always tell you that, I’ll never be everything that I desire, but I will seek to fulfill God’s desires for me.

So yeah, what would I have been without Christ? A lot less kind, disciplined, promiscuous, violent or dead but Christ isn’t about making me or you moral he’s about changing our hearts, our idols, our whole way of thinking that we’re the most important person in the universe, to making us realize that others are more important than ourselves, we should worship no other before God & without Christ we’d never know how sinful & selfish our flesh is. We should always thank God that his mercy has found us.

Next week I’ll talk about to write out your story. It’s okay if its not dramatic to you because all of us are sinners & every story is unique to God as visuals if his grace & bountiful mercy.

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Party Like a Rockstar!

MMMM, start your musicfest with a well balanced 35 pancakes!

The Start of a Party… Weekend Music FEST

Welcome to the weekend of Music! It’s the 35 Denton Music Weekend, and it starts today!

You can still get tickets and bracelets so go here: www.35denton.com

I mentioned before how Denton was listed as the number 1 underground music hubbub, specifically this concert showcases our variety.

Got tickets but wanting to check the schedule? Go here specifically: Schedule

People are getting their buildings dusted up for the conferette. Can you spot them all?

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Not your cup of tea? Head on over to the Storyteller’s Festival this weekend also in Denton, Texas.

Denton's so cool, it's got TWO festivals this weekend. Oh yeah, feel the artsy love.

It’s located in the Civic Center off Mckinney & Bell Ave a little bit away from the 35 Denton Fest, and within easy distance of the DART train’s downtown drop off. This is the 27th Annual Conference and you should come out to it if you’re not into the local music scene!

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