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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Crockpot Lava Cake

I saw this recipe last week and had to try it as it looked so easy and delicious! Cake in the crockpot?! What could be better?
I really wish instead of snapping a photo I had taken a short video clip. This picture looks just "blah" but in reality that liquidy goo was bubbling and hissing and making all kinds of sounds (hence the name, Lava cake). Joe and Amy actually stood there watching it for some time before I did the serving. 
The lighting was bad in our kitchen at 8pm and this really should have been served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but look at that moist cake with runny sauce. Yummy!!
  • 1 package devil's food cake mix (regular size)
  • 1-2/3 cups water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, eggs and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Transfer to a greased 4-qt. slow cooker.
  • In another bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spoon over cake batter; sprinkle with chocolate chips. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in cake portion comes out with moist crumbs. Serve warm. Yield: 12 servings. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016


It's such a fine line to walk when writing a blog...between stating my opinion and coming across as a know it all. Or between writing about what I do and it coming across as the only way to do something. 

I've slowed on the blogging recently because of two things. One, I'm participating less online. While I've always known, it's become more apparent recently, how vicious the online world can be. With the Presidential race upon us and candidates all over the news  there have been so many more "I'm right, you're wrong" mentality posts on Facebook. I've seen sides of people I truly wish I had never caught a glimpse of. I've backed away from that world. 

Two: I was cleaning up some old posts and comments from this blog (like, years old) and saw some of my own statements that I cringed at. I'm not sure how I came across to you long time readers. I hope not as a know-it-all and more as just sharing my own life. But if I ever did come across as someone with a superiority complex, I apologize. I see that in some of my past posts. I wince at some of my blanket statements from years past. I could say that it's age that has matured me, but I know it's more having been to hell and back. I've changed because my life has changed and my soul (I meant sole but typed soul and will leave it...as that really IS what is at stake here) purpose is to be a better person.

I hope to continue on blogging as a small window into my life for you. If I write about homeschooling, or natural birthing, or being a penny pincher, or anything else that I do or I believe, it will never be to say that you should live that way or believe that way. It's just a peek into someone's life, which is why we all love to read blogs afterall.      


Friday, January 15, 2016

Identity Thief

Identity Thief by Robby Dawkins sounded like an adventerous read:
 "Since the Garden of Eden, our true identities have been hacked--stolen and reprogrammed by Satan.

We were made for great things . . . but we live as though we're powerless. We were made in the image of a limitless God . . . but we walk through our daily lives as though we're inadequate.

God has an amazing plan for us. And the enemy is short-circuiting it.

When we don't recognize who we really are, we limit God. But when we grasp the truth of who we are in Christ, we can walk with authority into the realm of power reserved for each of God's children. We can heal the sick, cast out demons and deliver the captives.

We can see miracles and make a lasting impact for the Kingdom."

I picked it up tonight, ready to delve into it. I flipped through it first and it fell open to page 91, where I read:

"Have You Experienced Power Like This?

    My son Judah was in a burger restaurant not long ago when he encountered another boy about his age with a broken leg."

To shorten this story, Judah asked the boy what happened, the boy answered that he broke a few days before, and Judah asked if it hurt and the boy answered it did.

"Well," Judah said, "if you let me pray for you right now, Jesus will completely heal your leg. He wants to show you how much He loves you and wants a relationship with you. So, can I pray for you?"
"Hey, everybody," Judah shouted, getting the attention of everyone in the restaurant. "You wanna see someone get healed? Come over here. A miracle is about to take place!"

Basically the author, Dawkins, is saying that his son was stepping out in faith. He was building an atmosphere of faith. 

This one page, that I read before reading any others, made me decide to not read the book at all. It may be a hasty decision, I may be missing out on a book filled with wisdom and truth. Instead, by this one page, I feel that Dawkins is one of those people who believes that God will do what you ask Him to do. You know, not HIS will...but instead your own will.

I do believe in miracles. I do believe in praying. I do believe that God is stronger than satan. But I do not believe that WE have the power to heal the sick. I don't believe that WE can tell God what he should do. Reading just that one page made me realize I didn't want to read any more of this book.

This book was given to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.   

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cats in Paris

Cats in Paris: A Magical Coloring Book by Won-Sun Jang is different than my typical coloring books.
It's a coloring book of the secret world of cats as they explore the city's famous parts.
I thought there would be more of Paris, but many of the pages are simple collages. Some pages are very detailed, 
whereas others are pretty simplistic.

I ordered this one to color with the kids so am very happy with the more simple illustrations on certain pages. The kids will learn a bit of history of Paris while coloring their favorite animal - cats! 

I will enjoy the more detailed pages, especially any involving books! That cover just spoke to me - cats and books being two of my favorite things!

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


This past weekend found me at a Yoga retreat, learning stillness. It was an overnight stay at the beautiful Shalom Retreat Center,
which has such a rich history of being a Motherhouse for sisters and later a boarding school. I walked around the building in awe several times.

The yoga room was relaxing and peaceful. Truly a place to just BE.
It was a spur of the moment decision for me to attend. I know the yoga instructor - she is an amazing woman and I would love to think of her as a mentor but don't feel worthy of that - and when I asked about the retreat next year, thinking it was full for this year, she mentioned having an opening due to a cancellation. The pieces just fell into place for me to be there.  
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." J.R.R. Tolkien 

I was swept off on adventure, beauty, and reflection. It was a much needed time of healing for me. 
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

The women there each had a story. Each had a beauty of their own, each had compassion and a heart lit from within. 

I'll write more on this soon; I'm still processing my own thoughts on this precious weekend. To really be alone with yourself is the perfect time to connect with God. It makes you realize why so many monks and sisters live a solitary lifestyle. It's funny that just when I was thinking about this my little sister posted this verse on Facebook:  
'Return to me,' declares the Lord Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the Lord Almighty. ~Zechariah 1:3
 I never lost God. But I did get better reacquainted with Him this past weekend.

Monday, January 4, 2016

In With the New...

While I didn't make New Year's Resolutions this year there are areas of my life that I am working on anew. 

*Clearing clutter. This has been my goal for years, as you all know. In a house that is filled with crafty homeschooled kids who love to read it is an ongoing issue. Books, papers, and projects are always around. Tying in with some of my other goals - a deep household purge is in order.

I started the year off right by cleaning out our chest freezer and listing it on a local buy/sell/trade sight. It sold immediately.
That cleared up a big space in the kitchen and is saving us money with less electricity used. We just haven't needed such a large freezer the past couple years so out with something that was no longer beneficial to our family. And a little extra into our savings account.

*Budgeting is in full swing. Every single purchase is being written down this month. Every single dollar spent, as well as every single dollar saved. It will be interesting for me to review it at the end of the month and figure out a wise budget for the year. 

*A more healthful year with eating and exercising. The motivation of being the maid of honor at my sister's upcoming summer wedding will be helpful. :)

It helps to just be more mindful of areas in my life. I'll update off and on with my progress in these areas!


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