Wednesday

Cute Easter Cupcakes

I just wanted to share this darling idea with you for Easter!

This Easter, decorate this cute little cupcake basket with jelly beans.
Ingredients
  • 1 dozen cupcakes
  • 1 bag jelly beans
  • 2 cups white icing
  • Sweetened coconut, colored with green food coloring
This Easter, decorate this cute little cupcake basket with jelly beans.
Ingredients
  • 1 dozen cupcakes
  • 1 bag jelly beans
  • 2 cups white icing
  • Sweetened coconut, colored with green food coloring
Instructions
  1.   First, frost the cupcakes with white icing. Bend a pipe cleaner or a piece of red licorice into an arch and push the ends into the sides of each cupcake.
  2. Shake the shredded coconut in a stainless steel bowl. Sprinkle on food coloring bit by bit, mixing vigorously to distribute the color
  3. Place a pinch of shredded coconut on each iced cupcake. Now place three jelly beans on the "nest" of coconut.
  4. Tie a small ribbon bow on the pipe cleaner or licorice handle at a jaunty angle.
  5. Put one cupcake basket by each place setting at Easter brunch or give them as gifts.


















Tuesday

Tea With Tammy Every Tuesday (Lesson 6 brought by Mary)

Today Mary brings our lesson:



Week Seven
God of the House
Day One: The Embrace of Brothers
On this week Beth Moore notes, “We surmised that the best way to “face” something we deeply want to avoid is to have an honest face-to-face with God.” How many times I’ve had to do that in my own life. Sometimes I’ve been like Jonah (Jonah 1:3) and tried to avoid God so I wouldn’t have to “face” what I wanted to avoid, only to have God put me in a situation (Jonah 2:1) that all I could do is come to God face-to-face. Beth Moore says, “After Jacob wrestled with God, he had the courage to step ahead and take the lead, meeting his brother first. Though he was still terrified, he knew his place. An intense encounter with God can give us the courage to do the necessary things we wish we didn’t have to do We may still be afraid, but we’re more afraid of disobeying God than facing a mess we helped make.” After his encounter with God, Jacob was able to come out from behind the wall he and made with his herds, servants, wives, and children, and face Esau.
 After his encounter with God he was given a limp. Beth Moore points out, “We are to walk as people who have encountered God, and some of the most transforming encounters are wrestling matches.…the lost do not wrestle with God nearly as much as we who belong to Him….Though our humanity may be wounded (Jacob’s limp), our souls are made whole by the One with whom we wrestle.”
 Encountered God? Walk like it.
 Day Two: Nightmare in Shechem
Having never gone through something like Dinah (Jacob’s daughter) went through, nor knowing any one that has, I’m not sure that I can adequately comment on this subject.
I will say though that it is important as parents that we make sure of who our daughters (or sons) are spending time with and that we know the personality of the families we let them spend the night with. There were three different times in my life that a schoolmate invited me to spend the night and I was made to feel uncomfortable by the school mate’s older sibling. Sometimes our children are invited into homes of people we don’t know much about. We need to be careful of the situation we are unwittingly placing our children in. I was able to come home unscathed, but not all children are so fortunate.
Beth more points out that nothing was said about what Dinah felt, but when Tamar (King David’s daughter) was attacked we get a clear picture of how she felt. Tamar’s words and reaction can give us an idea of how Dinah may have reacted. II Samuel 13:12-20.
 Beth Moore: “the innermost part of my being, where the Spirit of Christ dwells (I Cor. 6:17 ---cannot be violated. Therefore, what defines me most has never been touched. …In my own healing process, God taught me that the more I allowed the Spirit of truth dwelling in me to take authority over my body and soul, the more the wholeness of Christ would overtake every part of me. In other words, God taught me to live from the inside out. I seek to allow the stronger, most invincible part of me—the spirit—to have dominion over all else, thereby sanctifying them just as I Thessalonians 5:23 suggests. …The Spirit of God dwelling with me has so overtaken my whole being that even my body no longer feels violated.” Again this is from Beth Moore.

“God can rebuild shattered lives.”
 Day: Three El Bethel
Jacob returns to Bethel where he had his first encounter with God through the dream of the ladder that reached to Heaven. Before he goes though it was time for some house cleaning, he tells his family in Genesis 35:2 “…Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments…” Beth Moore: “Like Jacob, we might start by looking for the cracks of compromise within the rock. As much as we’re able, we need to insist on a thorough housecleaning and re-consecration. If we’ve done something drastically uncharacteristic for a follower of Christ, we need to trace the cracks of compromise.”
 It is also important to check for cracks and the need for spiritual house cleaning in our spiritual lives. We need focused time with the Lord to stay spiritually healthy and to avoid a spiritual crisis in our lives. We say that we need to make time for God with out realizing that by making time for God we are also making time for ourselves to be cleaned from the sin of this world. Ephesians 5:26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” (This verse it is in reference to the church, but since the church is made up of individuals, it can apply to us.)
 Jacob goes from naming the place he first encountered God Bethel (God’s house) Genesis 28:19 to calling it El Bethel (God of the house of God) Genesis 35:6. Beth Moore states, “…the abiding presence of God…gradually shifted Jacob’s focus from the things of God—blessings, protection, land—to God Himself. This shift is the single most profound turning point toward spiritual maturity, for Jacob or for us.” She also says, “One of the most obscure traps the Devil sets for the deeply spiritual is to tempt us to love loving God more than we actually love God.”
“Without the El, Bethel is just an empty house.”
Day Four: But His Father
This day Beth Moore begins with the first born Reuben lying with Jacob’s concubine Bilhah. In light of the fact that Absalom did the same thing with his father King David’s concubines when he took over Jerusalem (II Samuel 16:21-23) I agree when Beth Moore quotes “Whatever his actual motives, Reuben’s deed represents a powerful challenge to Jacob’s authority.”
Included in our studies is a time of death. Jacob’s beloved Rachel dies.
What should be a joyful time becomes a time of sorrow Genesis 35:16-20.  Myself I’ve always thought this was one of the saddest stories. After having such a hard time having children and there being many years between the two sons, Rachel dies without having known her second/last son. She died doing the one thing she wanted so much, bearing children. In her grief, she names her baby Benoni “son of my trouble.” However, Jacob in his wisdom renamed him Benjamin “son of my right hand.” The “right hand” being the place of honor means that Jacob gave Benjamin a name of honor. Beth Moore says “Rachel did not know the breadth of repercussions her dying wish to name her baby Ben-oni could have. Jacob did. He would not have his son haunted by them.” As I study my Bible, I see where names are very important to God as well as Man. Several times God changes a persons name during spiritual transformations in that person’s life. Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul. I’ve seen how a name can label the child it has been given to and believe we need to give careful thought when naming our children. Beth Moore mentions Jabez who had to get past his name’s meaning “I bare him with sorrow”. He was able to get past it becoming “more honorable than his brethren.”
“A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches” Prov.22:1
Day Five: Public Dreams
Something I told my boys while they were growing up, all truths don’t need to be spoken. Or sometimes we just need to know when to keep our mouths shut. Joseph had a hard time with those two ideas. Of course so did his dad.
In Genesis 37:1-11 we find a recipe on how to alienate one son from all the rest. Beth more begins Joseph’s introduction as the main character by saying, “When partiality is an issue, everyone in a family pays. The chapters to come will show no one pays more than the one to whom partiality is steered.” In Genesis29:17 and Genesis 39:6 Rachel and Joseph are both called “well favored”. I wouldn’t at all be surprised as Beth Moore points out that Jacob was reminded of Rachel every time he looked at Joseph. Rachel was his favorite and beloved wife. Joseph was her son. Jacob in his great love and partiality for Joseph honors him with “a coat of many colors”. Beth Moore says, “Jacob anoints Joseph as his heir apparent….Jacob made a powerful statement when he robed Joseph differently, and the brothers did not misinterpret it.” The giving of the robe probably was a shock to the eldest (Rueben) who as was custom would have been the next in succession, so much for his “show” of power.
All of this partiality wasn’t lost on Joseph either, and his tattle telling on his brothers (Genesis 37:2) plus the telling of the dreams (Genesis 37: 5-11) was a symptom of that knowledge. With the bestowing of the coat, he probably felt he had the right to lord it over his brothers. It’s no wonder his brothers began to hate him. In Genesis 37:4, 8, 11 we can see their hatred getting stronger and stronger.
 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles. Prov.21:23

Monday

Bonhoeffer: A Biography by Eric Metaxas


Back of Book:  From the New York Times bestselling author of Amazing Grace, a groundbreaking biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century, the man who stood up to Hitler.
A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism.
After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double-agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the F├╝hrer, and was hanged in Flossenberg concentration camp at age 39. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the 20th century.
Bonhoeffer presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the 20th century, and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.

My Review:  This is a great book about one of the most amazing men who lived during the Third Reich.  Not a lot as been written or said about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer became a martyr because of his passion for truth and righteousness!  He visited the U. S. and found the true in living God in a Harlem church (an amazing story in itself).  After returning to Germany, he along with a few others, fought against the atrocities of Hitler.  Dietrich didn't plan his life to be a martyr but by following what he knew to be true and right he followed God's path thus also becoming an unplanned double-agent.  I love to read about WWII not because of the war but because of the great men and women who fought the injustices of Hitler and his trench men.  This book will captivate you and allow you to see the ultimate price that men and women paid so that others could be free.
Thomas Nelson (BookSneeze) sent me a copy of this book to review.

Saturday

Easter Basket Blog Hop

Hershey's has partnered with the Children's Miracle Network for over 20 years - and this year, in celebration of their Easter products being sold exclusively at Walmart - they are going to donate up to $5000 to the Children's Miracle Network with the help of none other than BLOGGERS!


How can you help? Glad you asked:
*Create a blog post with the specifics listed here.
*Hershey Company will donate $10 per each blog post to CMN, up to a total of $5000.
*One blog post per URL counts towards the donation, but you can give as many virtual Easter baskets as you want.
*The Hershey’s Better Basket Blog Hop will officially begin at 12 AM EST on March 18th and end at 12 PM EST on April 4th, 2010. Blog posts submitted to us before or after that time period will not be counted for.
*The blog post link has to be submitted to us for the donation to be counted. (Submit here)
*In addition copy and paste the following text in your blog post:

HERSHEY’S BETTER BASKET BLOG HOP RULES

* Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.

* Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.

* Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.

* Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.

* Leave your link at: http://betterbasket.info/BlogHop/ comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.

* Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).

* Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.


I received this Easter Basket from Molly @Book Reviews

I'm passing this on to:

Casey @ Operation Encourage An Author
Mimi@Woven By Words

Winner of Never Say Never Book

Congratulations to :
Edna #5
Winner will be contacted by email.
Check out the next book giveaway starting Monday, April 5!

Friday

Anne of Green Gables

Mary Engelbreit's Classic Library: Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables is one of my ALL time favorite books.  I especially like this book because the cover is illustrated by Mary Engelbreit.  There are no other illustrations in the book, just on the cover.  I love this story by L. M. Montgomery.  It's a sweet, true to life story of a young girl.  Anne (Anne spelled with an 'e') is an orphan who is adopted by a brother and sister who think they are getting a young boy.  After the surprise, Anne soon becomes the daughter they never had.   Sometimes Anne's imagination gets her in trouble and sometimes it's her quick wit.  It's a story for all ages.  Both girls and boys will enjoy Anne and her escapades.

Thursday

Book of Hours by Davis Bunn

The Book of Hours: Hardcover edition features newly revised contentI love a good mystery.  Not gory, unthinkable yuckiness! But a good mystery with suspense that works the mind.  Davis Bunn is a favorite author of mine and I've read quite a few of his books but, by far, Book of Hours, is one of my most favorite reads.  A mysterious letter is sent to widower and he goes in search of secrets on an ancient estate.  The estate aptly named Castle Keep is in need of someone to save it from destruction.  Brian in his search teams up with the local doctor, Cecilia Lyons.  Brian unearths secrets in the crumbling mansion and finds his own life in jeopardy.  But it's his own journey that proves to be the most difficult as he discovers secrets and treasure.  I also loved finding out about The Book of Hours.  This is a great book and as always can be found at Amazon for a reasonable prize.  The Book of Hours: Hardcover edition features newly revised content  I would almost guarantee that this will also become one of your favorite books to keep!

Tuesday

Tuesday's Tea With Tammy --- Week 6

Week Six    
For the Love of Jacob
Day One  When Jacob Saw Rachel
Last week we ended with Esau wanting to kill Jacob.  This week we lighten up with Jacob falling for Rachel.  Today's Scripture focus Genesis 29:1-14. Read this segment and write down any elements you find particularly interesting or out of the ordinary.  Genesis 28:10-22 tells us of Jacob embarking on a pilgrimage of sorts and facing a new life--how would this experience affect your journey?  As Jacob approaches the well Jacob's questions to the shepherds seem more like an interrogation than an interview.  He obviously couldn't resist telling them how to do their jobs (can anyone relate?).   When he told them to "water the sheep and take them back to pasture,"  the shepherds explained that they couldn't until all the flocks were gathered.  The stone at the mouth of the well was obviously very heavy and they needed more manpower.  This is where the story gets interesting.  Even humorous.  Review verses 9 & 10 and fill in the blanks.
*While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess.  When Jacob _________ Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and Laban's sheep, he went over and _________ the _____ away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle's sheep."
I have read this many times but until today I was struck with the thought that Jacob (a man in love) had the strength of 10 men (smile)!  I like Beth's simile, "Rachel to Jacob was like an opened can of spinach to Popeye (more smiling).  Ah, yes, Jacob was smitten indeed.  He will soon discover, however, that the cost of love is sometimes high when tallied on an in-law's ledger.

Day Two   An unexpected Bride
In today's lesson imagine that the music from "As the World Turns" is playing in the background.  Jacob is going to end up with several wives and eventually four (!) mothers for his children.  We'll discover today that Jacob received an unwanted push, but he made the decisions.  
As we study please note  that we do not support polygamy but it is stated as fact in these scriptures.  In studying God's Word, be careful NOT to confuse a statement of fact with divine support.  God's plan for marriage was and is one man and one woman (See Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:4-6, Eph. 5:31).  Remember that in Jacob's world commonly practiced polygamy and viewed multiple wives as the means to many children.
Please read Genesis 29:14-30.  Identify and describe both characters that follow on the information given in this text.  You might even describe what you are think they were like, creating a character of sorts.   
LEAH_____________________
RACHEL__________________
What excuse did Laban offer for deceiving Jacob (v. 26)?
In all, how many years did Jacob work for Laban to win Rachel?   
We miss a crucial point, however, if we paint Jacob as entirely the victim.  In Laban Jacob has met his match!  Yes, Jacob had a n encounter with God in Genesis 28, but God makes sure that Jacob reaps some of what he has sown.
Suspect an ulterior motive in everything Laban offers.  See v. 15.  As soon as business is concluded we are introduced to the other daughter.  Leah is compared to her sister, Rachel, but not in a favorable manner.  Rachel outshone Leah.  She seemed to have that "certain twinkle" in her eye and maybe a "saucy step."  We'll try to give Jacob a break for he obviously fell in love with Rachel at first sight having never seen Leah.  Speaking of Leah, imagine Jacob's surprise when she was the last face he expected to see the morning after!  Many have reasoned that the customary wedding veil-aided by the darkness-kept Jacob from seeing  his bride.  When the confetti was gone and the chalice was dry, the deceiver had been deceived.
Food for thought:  could Laban have done Leah a greater disservice in his attempt to honor custom?  After seven more years of promised labor, Laban allowed Jacob to wed Rachel.

Day Three    Winning Love
Search Genesis 29:31-30:24 carefully record the following:
*  The name of each child born to Jacob in birth order (12!)
*The birth mother's name
*Any coinciding statement regarding mother's feelings or the child's name
*Not every birth received a coinciding statement when one exists, specify who made it.
Look in Genesis 29:31-35.  Based on statements Leah made as she named her first four sons, explain the mindset by describing the process of emotions she experienced.
Rueben _____________
Simeon _____________
Levi _______________
Judah ______________
Leah WAS desperate for Jacob's love.  Until I married, I didn't realize the importance of this statement.  A wife needs and wants to be loved by her husband.  So, Leah became obsessed with having Jacob's children.  Oh, be careful!  For haven't some of us tried to manipulate just as Leah did to get someone to love us?  How about you? Can you relate?

Day Four          Speckled Blessings
"In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and manservants, and camels and donkeys."  Genesis 30:43
Read Genesis 30:25-43 and complete the following:
Why do you think Jacob was suddenly ready to go back to his homeland?
One of my son's favorite games is "Deal or No Deal."  This is what I see Laban and Jacob playing as Jacob longs to return home.  He wants to be released and take ALL that belongs to him.  I do feel for Jacob in this opening scene for we all just want a person to be reasonable.  The problem isn't that unreasonable don't understand.  They won't understand.  I do believe that this is where God intervenes.  He steps in and makes it right.  God blessed the flocks of Jacob more than Laban because He was faithful to His promises.  The method God chose and revealed ingeniously to Jacob meant the bleating of spotted sheep and goats would follow Jacob and his family all the way home.  As for the branches?  Mere accessories.  Save your trees and bow down to a sovereign God.

Day Five    Fleeing from Uncle
Today's lesson is all 55 verses of Genesis 31, but it's a great read!
In your own words what did God tell Jacob in Genesis 31:1-21?
What did Rachel steal from Laban?
Nothing like a little extra baggage in what was already a complicated mess! In all likelihood she probably stole the idols for the protection these "gods" were believed to bring.  In verse 20 the Hebrew phrase "Jacob deceived Laban" literally translates "Jacob stole Laban's heart."  Rachel, on the other hand, stole Laban's gods. Let's not be like Rachel.  Let's walk in truth, especially during the worst week-and the most convenient excuse of the month.  After Laban searched for the household gods to no avail, Jacob became furious and "took Laban to task" (v. 36).  The words poured forth from his mouth like a dam breaking under pressure of raging waters.  At the end of his tirade, Jacob called God an interesting name in connection with Isaac.  What is it (v.42)?
Jacob and Laban seem to offer us a prime example of restoration in terms of forgiveness and goodwill-but not togetherness.  "Sometimes God restores two people to one another on the basis of the cross.  Other times He restores them to Himself but stands between them as a witness for their protection and accountability."
I hope you enjoyed this lesson as much as I did.  
Let's walk in truth this week!
See you next Tuesday In the Parlor as Mary brings us Lesson 7!


Monday

Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate {GIVEAWAY}

NEVER SAY NEVER                                                                             By Lisa Wingate
Never Say Never
I read Lisa Wingate's book, Talk of the Town, so was excited to read and review Never Say Never.  I enjoy Lisa's writing and was quickly drawn into the story of Kai as she takes off on an unplanned adventure.  This is chick lit at it's best!  I love the entangled lives of those in Daily, Texas. Lisa captures the sense of a small, back-of-the-roads, Texas town with people who lovingly interfere in each other's lives.  Of course, what would a good chick lit read be without romance?  Kai has a wonderful aunt, Aunt Donettta, who feels it's in her best interest to help Kai find romance.  Actually, Aunt Donetta may do more than help.  She has the internal instinct of a wonderful mother and matchmaker which makes for a great recipe of love and laughter.  "Sometimes life's unexpected storms blow in unexpected possibilities.  Never Say Never!"  Need a light hearted, down home, fun read?  Want to read this book?  Enter giveaway.  See below:

Want to read this book?!?!  Leave a comment.  Remember to leave your email address and must be follower!  Giveaway ends March 26!


Saturday

Two of My Favorite Things

A great, tasting glass of sweet tea and a good book are two of my favorite things!  Try the sweet tea recipe below (adjust sugar according to your taste buds).  The baking soda clears the tea and makes it darker (baking soda leaves no taste).  So grab a good book and enjoy!




Ingredients

  • 6 regular tea bags
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2-2 cups sugar
  • 6 cups cold water

Directions


  1. 1
    In a large glass measuring cup, place the tea bags and add the baking soda.

  2. 2
    Pour the boiling water over the tea bags.

  3. 3
    Cover and steep for 15 minutes.

  4. 4
    Take out the tea bags and do not squeeze them.

  5. 5
    Pour the tea mixture into a 2-quart pitcher; add the sugar.

  6. 6
    Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

  7. 7
    Add in the cold water.

  8. 8
    Let cool; chill in the refrigerator and serve over ice.

Friday

WINNER OF UPRINTING GIVEAWAY


Congratulations, Mary!

Enjoy your nice, big picture!

Thursday

Queen of the Class (Ann Estelle Stories)

Queen of the Class (Ann Estelle Stories)
I love ALL things Mary Engelbreit.  I like the colors of the art work, the cute kid faces, the sweet stories.  So, here is another favorite story by Mary Engelbreit.  Queen of the Class is about finding what you can truly do well.  I liked the lesson that kids can take from this story (not a bad lesson for adults either).  Ann wants to do something great in the class play; however, the teacher sees an ability in Ann that Ann doesn't realize she possesses.  Ann makes the class play the best ever and Mary Engelbreit makes this another great story with her art work and sweet story.  A great gift book.

Wednesday

Going Green :)


Going Green Fun!


Instructions

Things You'll Need:

  • Milk
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Cookie Or White Cake Mix
  • Torani Lime Syrups
  • Alfredo Sauce
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Sprite
  • Bread Mixes
  • Carton Of Whipped Cream

  1. Step1
    Start off the morning by serving your kids a glass of green milk with their breakfast(a bowl of Lucky Charms, perhaps?).

  2. Step2
    Put a few drops of green food coloring in a clear citrus-based soda to make a fun, fizzy, green beverage. To improve the taste, you can also add lime-flavored syrup to the soda.

  3. Step3
    Impress your friends and family by making pasta and serving it with green Alfredo sauce or pesto sauce. Or serve chicken with green gravy and green mashed potatoes (with green vegetables, of course).

  4. Step4
    Bake a loaf of fresh green bread by adding a few drops of food coloring to your bread mix.

  5. Step5
    Make a traditional dessert more festive by preparing some green whipped cream as a topping. If you like, add a touch of mint extract to match the color with a mint flavor

  6. Step6
    Whip up a batch of sugar cookies, adding a couple of drops of green food coloring to the dough, or add green food coloring to a white cake mix.