Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch

Bob's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is just right down the road from our house. I had such a fun time walking around the farm today, and even came home with some honey crisp apples and pretty gourds. I'm still such a country girl at heart. I really miss our donkey and goats and big garden that we had in Elgin. Maybe we'll have that again someday. For now, sit back with a nice warm cup of cider and enjoy the pumpkin patch!

Happy Fall, y'all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Burning Bush

So, this isn't actually on fire, but doesn't it look like it? I absolutely love this time of year. This is my favorite tree in our yard. The sun snuck out a couple of days ago and I couldn't resist taking another shot of this tree. (This time, I shot it in RAW, but had to convert to jpeg for the blog.)
I can't help but think of God talking to Moses through the burning bush (in Exodus 3). God instructed Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. What a humbling experience. And I believe Moses was humbled, because he hid his face from God (or tried to); he was afraid to look at God.

May my burning bush be a reminder to me of God's holiness. Lord, make me holy, for you are holy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


We had a nice evening strolling through Marymoor, our large off-leash dog park. Despite Bexar's behavior (I think he had some pride issues tonight), the weather was nice. We felt like cloud walkers, strolling through this hazy layer of fog. Isn't it cool?
After playing some hide-and-seek with Bex, I was in the middle of a field and looked up at the moon. Snap. Memory made.

I hope you can take time to stroll with your loved ones, be it on a sidewalk, in the woods, or in a dog park.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Banana Bundt Bread Treats

I had a surprise friend come over today and we had so much fun together! She decided at the last minute that she didn't want to go to the dentist with her mom, so she came to see me! We made banana bundt bread treats. She was such a big helper, smushing the nanners all by herself.

And here she is now, chopping the walnuts with my chopper. She couldn't get enough of the chopper!

And here are the little bundt beauties.
Aren't they cute?! Next time I'll put walnuts down on the bottom of the pan so they'll come out on top. :) I've been using the Starbucks Banana Walnut Bread recipe for a few weeks now and Mountain Man and I both love it. (And with the mini bundts, I think I ended up baking mine for about 40 minutes.)

Enjoy with a nice big cup of coffee!

Backboard Verse Revisited my last post, I went on somewhat of a rant about Jeremiah 29:11. I have taken a few days to read the surrounding text, specifically, Jeremiah 28-29 in the NIV, The Message, and The Reformation Study Bible, as well as Matthew Henry's commentary on Jeremiah 29:10-11.

In context, Jeremiah 29 is a letter from Jeremiah to the captives taken from Jerusalem to Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, who would reign for 70 years. In this letter, God tells the captives (through Jeremiah) to go ahead and build houses, marry, and plant gardens, and basically live as you would normally live, but don't be deceived by false prophets. At the end of 70 years, God will return to perform his good deeds, because...vs. 11. He knows how he feels toward the captives (and only He knows His own thoughts), and He has thoughts of peace and not of evil, plans to give them a future and a hope.

I can see how they may be tempted to lose hope after years and years in captivity. They may grow weary and forget the faithfulness of God. I sometimes feel that way and I have no reason for it!

Anyway, I'm over my rant. I'm done and done. What can I say? I think that sometimes a particular verse speaks to someone when they're in a particular place and they can't help but speak it. I'm sure I've done it. This is a good verse. It is good to place our hope in a faithful God, one that will deliver on His promises. He goes on to tell the captives in the following verses,
"Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity..." Yes! He is a faithful God and we can place our hope in Him and not be disappointed. He can be trusted to fulfill what He says.

Thank you, Lord for Your word, that applies to us today just as much as it did then, to the captives in Babylon. Help us to put our hope in you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Backboard Verse

I (tried to) play tennis in high school, and there was a guy, Keith Walker, who was what I called the "human backboard." It didn't matter where I hit the ball, he returned it. It was as if I was hitting the ball against a backboard, as it continuously came back to me.

Well, there's this Bible verse that I've heard so many times that it's as if my brain shuts off when it sees it. I don't even think about it anymore. I have heard it so many times, that I'm actually beginning to dislike it. It's like Keith Walker; it just keeps coming back to me. (Although I didn't dislike him. He was a very nice guy.)

I began thinking about how terrible it was that I was beginning to not like a Bible verse just because of its popularity. It's not a bad verse. If any of you read Karen Kingsbury (who is one of my favorites), you KNOW this verse!

Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (Amplified Bible)

11For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

10-11This is God's Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Jeremías 29:11 (La Biblia de las Américas)

11"Porque yo sé los planes que tengo para vosotros"--declara el SEÑOR--"planes de bienestar y no de calamidad, para daros un futuro y una esperanza.

Feeling like a backboard yet?

I found Kelligirl's blog just yesterday through Holy Experience and was reading some of her older posts, when I ran across this one with none other than backboard verse (BBV)! Later, I scooted on over to Biblegateway, where the verse of the day guessed it, BBV! I had just read it last night in a Biblical parenting book that I'm reading. I just feel bombarded by this verse. I don't know what the Lord wants me to know from it. SO...I'm going to read through a couple of chapters around it, do some research, and try to be back with some more insight. Maybe He wants me to stop ignoring it. I know He doesn't want me to dislike any of His word, because His word is truth!

Lord, give me Your eyes as I study. Give me a new perspective, a new attitude, and a receptive heart.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What do I want to be known for when I die?

I just returned home from a fabulous workshop, "Discovering Your Life Purpose." They mentioned our universal life purpose (as Christians), but this entire workshop focused on discovering our unique life purposes as invidividuals. What do I want to be known for by God and others when I die? Wow. Ummmmm.

I had actually forgotten about the invitation to this workshop until a friend called an hour before it started to tell me about something else, and I remembered that she had invited me and I never RSVPed with a final answer. I quickly decided to shirk my sanding and painting responsibilities and go. And I’m SO glad did! I met some sweet, wise women and was so encouraged!

I guess I have pondered this in the past as “I wonder what I’m supposed to be doing,” as if there’s a specific job that I’m supposed to do. I don’t believe that there’s a specific job (i.e. nursing, teaching, etc.) that I’m supposed to do, but now that the word “purpose” is inserted, it makes more sense. I could be doing a number of different activities or jobs and still accomplish the same purpose.

Lately, I’ve struggled with being productive around the house. Oh shoot, who am I kidding?! I’ve always struggled with laziness at home. I have never enjoyed keeping the house clean. I like the house clean, I just don’t enjoy the act of doing it! I guess that just lately I’ve felt more guilty when I’m not productive. I’ve realized that I spend way too much time on the computer (am I really typing this?) and not enough time taking care of business around here! I want to be a good wife, a Proverbs 31 woman, glorifying God in all things, but I don’t think that means sitting at the computer for 80% of the day (since I’m a homemaker).

The workshop today really reinforced the fact that I’m wasting too much of my day on meaningless tasks. It made me want to dive into Scriptures, searching for a life verse, something to keep me going day after day, pressing on and fighting the good fight. It made me want to learn how I can most effectively live for Jesus.

So now begins the journey...

“For my determined purpose is that I may know Him; that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly; and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death.” Philippians 3:10 (Amplified version)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mini Apple Pielets

Last Saturday night was a night for the record books. I actually baked. And baked. And baked. These things took me forever to make (because I'm so incredibly slow), but they were fun and I really enjoyed my time in the kitchen.

Our church had a potluck lunch on Sunday and we were assigned to bring a dessert. We don't attend the potlucks regularly, so this was a big thing for cook for an army of sorts. My definition of an army is more than 2. So...the big question was what to bake. I could have done cookies and brownies but that's my usual "baking from a box" and I didn't want to do that since I was actually preparing ahead of time.

That's when I went to Bakerella, my favorite baking site. She had done some mini pies on a stick back in August, and I was inspired by the mini pies, only I didn't want to include the sticks. I was also inspired by this gorgeous, chilly fall weather we're having and wanted to do something with apples, so there it was. The only thing I needed was a recipe. All of the apple pie recipes I found were for a full-sized pie and included large slices of the apple, but I knew my little pies couldn't handle that,'s what I did.

I started out with Braeburn apples. Here they are, lined up and ready to perform.

I cored, sliced, and peeled the apples.
Here they are naked, in all their glory. You can see that some are already starting to turn brown. This took me some time to do because as I said before, I'm extremely slow but detailed. Next time, I will keep the apple slices in a pot of water with some lemon juice to keep them fresher, but it really didn't matter since they were being covered and going directly to the oven.

Then, I used my chopper (my Pampered Chef one that I don't ever want to live without) to make quick work of them so they would fit into my tiny little pielets. I added butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt to the apples and it was quite tasty! I could have feasted on this mixture alone. (In fact, I had so much left over that Mountain Man consumed some while I finished baking.)

I put the mixture aside and began preparing my pie-lets. I could have made my own dough, but I was lazy and went to Safeway. I found this darling little apple cookie-cutter at Ben Franklin and what could be better for mini apple pielets than a mini apple cookie-cutter?!
I rolled the store-bought generic brand dough out a little to make more pies and I got 48 pielets (that's tops & bottoms) out of 2 packages (of two 9-inch pie rounds each).

I added the apple mixture to the middle, topped it with another apple, pinched the sides together and forked the edges.
I then brushed the tops with egg white to give them that pretty, rustic "Martha Stewart" finish.

And now, without further adieu, I present the pielet masterpieces....
Well, they're not masterpieces yet, but they turned out pretty and rustic and intended. There's still some perfecting to do, as the ratio of dough to apple mixture ratio was still a little much for me. I'm going to try something else tomorrow. (, officially "today.")

Off to bed. We have a long day of working around the house tomorrow.