Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate Brioche

While in Italy, Bailey discovered chocolate brioche. The local McDonald's had these along with their fabulous cappuccino and Bailey and her roommate would partake of them frequently. So she decided to try to create the brioche here. They are yummy and really easy!

Chocolate chips
Melt them...

Croissant rolls

Spread the melted chocolate on the ends of the croissant rolls...

Roll them up.

Bake as directed on croissant roll package.

Drizzle some of the melted chocolate and spinkle with powdered sugar.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

God's Encouragement

You wonder sometimes if what you are doing is making a difference. You wonder if the way you are living your life is helping others. You wonder if you are being an effective witness for Christ. (or is it only me?)

God has been so gracious the last couple of days to reward me...not that I am so worthy of rewarding...but He has done it anyway.

A few days ago, I received the sweetest and most humbling phone call from a sweet gal in Little Rock. She said some uber kind things to me about how the way I have lived my life has impacted her and helped her. Tears came to my eyes as God made me realize that what I do does make a difference! The little things do matter....and might not be so "little" after all. Of course, there is a bit of fear that sets in when you realize that it does make a difference and that the "little" things really do matter! That people really are watching....

Not long after that, I received a sweet email from someone else encouraging me and thanking me for what I am doing. Humbling....lovely....and again, fear-instilling!

The awesome thing is that God knew I was needing a bit of encouragement and provided it at just the right moment. He used two women whom I love to show me His love for me. I want to strive, with God's help, to continue to be that person who lives for Christ...who loves God and serves others...and who along the way, makes life better for other people.

Monday, January 25, 2010

God really overwhelmed me in church yesterday!

As an elder of the church, Ben was asked to say one of the prayers between the time of worship through music and the sermon. In the middle of the song, he gets up and gets ready to walk up to the front. I look over at him....and it hits me! BAM! Two things come to me:

1. How incredibly good looking Ben is! Wondering why he picked me all those years ago and really wondering why he still picks me!...

2. More importantly....amazed at how God has worked in him over the years. Ben was a non-believer when we married...fully convinced of evolution and man's own ability to be a "self made man".

To watch Ben waiting, as an elder of the church, to pray to the God of the universe....well....only tears could flow....only humbleness could be felt....only gratefulness could be expressed at how God has worked!

It was an amazing day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Baby is 4!

The baby of our family turned 4 today! How can that be?
He looks so big in this picture to me. He doesn't normally smile for pictures, but I am so grateful that he did this time.

Oma and Opa (my parents) came met us at McDonald's for lunch. That was where Rawley chose to eat. Then they came back to our house for cake and presents. Rawley loves Oma and Opa very much and it wouldn't be much of a birthday without them here!

These are the cupcakes we are bringing to Cubbies tonight for the class snacks. They are so cute!

Here is the whole herd of snowmen waiting for 36, 3 and 4 year olds to snatch them up!
Happy Birthday my sweet Rawley Roo!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spongebob Theology

Rainey and I were watching Spongebob just a minute ago and Mr. Krabbs makes a comment about how much he loves money. Rainey says, "Hey, Mom, him loving money so much is the root of all evil, isn't it?"

He gets it! I love when God shows up and teaches us at the weirdest moments.

Friday, January 15, 2010

First Day of School

Ben's first day of seminary is today!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Breakfast Cafe

After being at our friends' home over Thanksgiving and being offered a lovely breakfast buffet daily, Kally (who called the buffet a "cafe") has decided that she would provide a buffet daily for the two boys! She gets up and gets it started right away and it's a bit different every day.
Two boys love having this! I think if I play my cards right, I could find myself out of a job soon!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

80/20 Rule

Have you heard of the 80/20 Rule? It exists most everywhere and is true almost 100% of the time! Even without hearing of it, you are probably living it.

So...what is it? It's the theory that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. You can plug it in most everywhere!

My question is: what are the other 80% of the people doing?

Are you in the 80% or 20%? If you are in the 80%...why? Do you feel entitled? Do you think events and activities just magically happen all by themselves?

Just wondering....

Friday, January 8, 2010

ABC God Game

While in my quiet time this morning, my mind really started to wander. I tried to no avail. Don't really know why that happened today, but I did something about it. A trick I had learned years ago and had forgotten until God brought it back to mind this morning.

I closed my Bible and started to praise God with the ABC's. What? You are saying to yourself.'s how it works:

I go down the list of the alphabet and start saying words that describe God and continue through the whole alphabet!

Pretty easy, but by the time you get to "Z", you are in the right frame of mind again....focused on God and who He is and off of me and what I want!

Try it sometime when you either hear yourself asking for a lot of things or, like me this morning, find that your mind is wandering. It works!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

He Gives and Takes Away

One of my favorite songs says:

He gives and takes away.
He gives and takes away.
My heart will choose to say,
"Lord, blessed by your name."
This week we have had to really cling to that truth! We heard a few days ago of old friends of ours from Little Rock who had moved several years ago back to Oregon. We kept up via facebook and their life was going along just like ours...normal, fun, blessed, small trials, etc. Then we get a status saying that the wife wasn't feeling well and was driving herself to the hospital and her husband was meeting her there. The next day, she had died. So confusing, especially for her family. So she is now sitting at the feet of Jesus with full knowledge of all things. No worries. "He gives and takes away."
Yesterday we got word of a family in our SS class who brought their 5th child, a girl, into the world. So full of much joy. So she is now completely dependent upon them for everything. No more easy days for a quick exits from the more hands free outings. "He gives and takes away."
But with both of these, our family and both of these families have chosen to say "Lord, blessed by your name." A great way to start the new year, by seeing the power, majesty, and love of the Father and honoring Him with blessings and praise.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Globes of Gratefulness

I want to instill gratefulness in my children and am always on the lookout for various ideas to help me achieve that. So....the other day a friend sent the basic idea for this to me and I turned it into an activity on gratefulness.
I bought plain glass globe ornaments, provided scrapbook paper cut into narrow strips, and pens. We started out by taking out all the blessings that had been put into our blessing box throughout the year and reading them aloud. Then I handed out the globes and strips of paper to each person.
Each person wrote blessings and things they were grateful for from last year, one on each strip. Then I took the strips and rolled them up on a pencil and placed the curl in their globe. After they were finished, I replaced the tops of the ornaments and we placed them all on the stand in the picture that Bailey brought back from Italy and the IKEA store.
It will set on our mantle for the year and we will do it again next year and place these on the room for new ones!
My kids loved it...young and old....and I think it helped me achieve my goal of helping my kids remember that God has done an awful lot of great things for our family during the year.
I am not really one for New Year's resolutions....but this year one has been impressed upon me. It's more of a life resolution really.....

I want to know God more.
That's it. And it should take me the rest of my life.
What is your New Year's resolution? I'd love to hear it.
I hope all of you know that you are prayed for and loved dearly. You have made my years on earth the best and am sure that 2010 will be another stellar year.