Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A title eludes me...

I know, I know...I disappeared again. I'm sorry. Besides being very busy, I've been having really bad headaches and time on the computer doesn't exactly help much. I'm not sure what they are from...allergies, new medication, kidney issues, old age....who knows. Anyway, I've managed to get them under control for now, but I'm just getting started baking and decorating the cakes for a wedding this weekend, so I'm afraid I'll be scarce again for the next few days. If I can pop in occasionally I will. In the meantime. I did do a cake for my niece's birthday a couple of week's ago...she likes coffee, lol.

And then last week, I got a last minute call to do a couple of cakes for a friend who was throwing a double surprise party for one guy's 40th birthday and another guy's engagement. I wasn't completely happy with them, but they were a rush job, so I couldn't get too fancy. I really LOVED the idea of the engagement one, but I wish I'd been able to have more time to redo some things on it. Oh well...hindsight and all that!


So, headaches, cakes, and schoolwork are about all that's been happening around here for the past couple of weeks...exciting, I know. I did manage to find a few more cakes that I did a long time ago and never posted, but they need some cropping, and I don't have the time right now. I'll post them along with the wedding cake pictures soon.

One final note...the Third Day CDs, t-shirts, and coupons have been shipped and should arrive here any day now! So if you haven't signed up to enter to win yours, click the picture in my sidebar and "get 'er done" 'cause time is running out!



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Friday, July 18, 2008

Blood N Fire 2008

Hello everyone. Last month I mentioned that Ben and Benji were going on a sort of mission-trip to San Antonio. The youth group at our church goes to work with an organization called Blood N Fire every summer. Their projects change each year, but generally involve some time of construction project and neighborhood outreach. This year they did some work on the home of a single mother and did some clean-up work around the neighborhood as well. Reports are that just the act of helping out this woman has opened the door to ministry in this neighborhood that has been closed up to this point.

In between their community service projects, they have bible teaching and recreation times. This year the theme of their studies was "Rise Up, New Generation" and included lessons entitled; Clothe Yourself in Strength, Loose the Chains, and Shake Off the Dust. The lessons were based on Isaiah 52:1-3

"Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on
your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised
and defiled will not enter you again. Free yourself from the chains on
your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion. For this is what the LORD
says: 'You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be
redeemed.'"




Benji is working on a post about the trip that I will share with you when it's all finished. In the meantime, here is a little video from a previous trip to give you an idea of what they do.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I have no words...

I am not nearly as attentive to this blog as I once was, and hope to once again be. I used to post almost daily...DAILY! Now I'm finding that weekly is more the norm...yikes! I don't even realize that it's been so long between posts. I come back here to write and discover that it's been 4 or 5 days since my last post and I'm completely shocked. I just get caught up in the daily grind around here and I lose my grasp on the whole space-time continuum thingy.

Anyway, along with the sporadic blogging, I've also calmed down quite a bit on checking my referrals on the old Site-Meter. I used to check that thing almost daily to see what internet searches were bringing people to the blog....mainly I wanted to make sure there were no weirdos out there looking for their weirdo obsession materials here at my bloggy home. So, I decided that perhaps it was time to check the old Site-Meter this morning to see just how people were finding me these days, and I saw this:


Google Search: "Order bugs online to eat"



I about fell out of my chair laughing! I'm so hoping that this is not what people think of my cakes!!! ROFL!!!

But now you're curious right? You want to know why the amazing Google search engine sent them here to "order bugs online to eat", don't you? I know I did! So, I clicked on the search myself and it brought up this post from Halloween last year where I shared the story of my oldest boy eating a cricket for his team at a youth group event. Friends, if that story led anyone out there to go out and eat crickets themselves...I do deeply, deeply apologize...and I do mean deeply.

Bon Appetit, Y'all!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wiser Than Serpents...


I cannot believe I missed my date to review this book! I had it down as July 17, and I discovered yesterday, that my day was actually July 7....I'm so sorry that you have had to wait three whole days to find out that you need to read this book, lol.

Most of you know that I am an avid reader, and my first love is fiction. I like a variety of authors, and I read both Christian and non-Christian books. I am a huge fan of mysteries, and thrillers. I think I have read just about everything that Mary Higgins Clark and John Grisham have ever written. Can you imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered that there is a Christian writer who writes romantic thrillers??? My friends, I absolutely loved this book, and was very excited to find out that there have been two other books involving these same characters!
The story revolves around a human trafficking ring and covers the globe from Russia, to Taiwan, to here in the U.S.A. It has all the elements of a good spy novel...danger, intrigue, secret agents....but weaves in the truth of God's love for his people and His protection to those who call on Him. It's a great story that kept me on the edge of my seat while feeding my love for a good romance at the same time. I really recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction of any type.


About Wiser Than Serpents: When her sister vanishes into a human slave ring, FSB agent Yanna Andrevka is determined to rescue her. Unfortunately, she's in over her head, with no way out, especially after destroying the undercover operation of Delta Force Operative David Curtiss, who is deep undercover in the Twin Serpents crime syndicate. David has his hands full trying to save Yanna, and his operation -- one that could rescue hundreds of women from the Serpent, or cost he and Yana their lives. The thrilling next chapter of the Mission: Russia series!


And because she is so intent on ending the very real problem of human trafficking around the world, Susan is donating 15% of the books royalties to the International Justice Mission.


A note from Susan:
Did you know that there are 27 million people around the globe held as slaves today – more thank 80% of them women and children, and up to 50% minors. In fact, there are MORE slaves today than were in the time of William Wilberforce. That leaves me horrified, and it was those stats that compelled me to write a story with a human trafficking plotline.

Wiser than Serpents is a continuation of the Mission:Russia series, a thriller about Yanna, whose sister is snatched through a Russian dating service, and disappears. Yanna enlists the help of Delta Force Captain, David Curtiss to find and rescue her. Readers who’ve read, In Sheep’s Clothing and Sands of Time will recognize Yanna as the tech expert, and David as the solid Christian of the group. (Read the 5-Rose Review here!)

The book is written from the point of views of the rescuers, not the victims, and offers hope and empowerment, instead of feelings of helplessness. It raises awareness without lowering the standards of Christian fiction.
However, the world is real, and the need to get involved is great. I so greatly admire people who take their beliefs and put action to them –hence why a portion of the proceeds of Wiser than Serpents is going to help the International Justice Mission, (
http://www.ijm.org/), an organization dedicated to rescuing victims and fighting the scourge of slavery.


Although the story stands alone just fine, I did find myself wanting to go back and read the previous two books in this series. I tried to order them from my local bookstore, but unfortunately they were unavailable....sob. But guess what! I went to Susan May Warren's website and she has the books available to order right there!

And you know what's even better? She's giving away 3 SIGNED sets of the entire series on this Blog Book Tour!

Contest Info! Susan will be giving away 3 SIGNED sets of the Mission: Russia (In Sheep’s Clothing, Sands of Time, and Wiser Than Serpents) series. To enter the contest…click on over to Susan’s blog tour post here and tell us which ministries/charities you support and why! Susan will randomly select three winners!

About Susan: Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep’s Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader’s Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.



Book Link: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1028342&item_no=786206

Susan’s Website: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/

Susan’s Blog: http://susanmaywarren.typepad.com/scribbles/

Tour Schedule: http://susanmaywarren.typepad.com/scribbles/2008/06/wiser-than-serp.html

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Heartfelt Plea to the Makers of Lee Jeans and Lee Riders Clothing Lines

Dear Sirs,

I must tell you how much I absolutely LOVE your new "Instantly Slims You" collection of casual-wear. The princess darts on the polo shirts are attractive as well as slimming, and the tummy panels in the shorts and capris really do the trick without feeling tight or binding in anyway.

I am also a HUGE fan of your new "Comfort No-Gap Waistband". I have had trouble all of my life with my waistbands gapping at the small of my back and your new waistbands truly live up to their name. I feel comfortable and gap-less whenever I pull on my burmuda-length cargo shorts. So, I thank you.

However, I do have one small request...

Could you possibly, by any chance, put them both in the same garments???? I must choose each morning whether to be "Instantly Slim" or "Comfortably Gapless", and it is not an easy choice, my friends. If I could be both, I'd be most appreciative, and would sing your praises here on the world-wide-web with utter and reckless abandon.

Sincerely,
The Lady of the House of Kids and Cakes
(where both "instant slimming" and "comfortable gaplessness" are dire necessities.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reynold's Handi-Vac





I had a great idea to use the video-blog idea for my Works for Me Wednesday post. I thought how much cooler it would be to actually see something work than to just read about it. Sadly, my camera tri-pod is broken, so I had to try to hold the camera and demonstrate at the same time...not so easy to do. Not to mention the fact that when the camera is on me, it's a close-up shot that is way too close and I think my face looks a bit distorted...if you know me IRL and I alway look that way, please keep that information to yourself, and let me live in my non-distorted little fantasy please!

Anyway, I made this little video to demonstrate one of my favorite finds, the Reynold's Handi-Vac. I didn't realize until I went to Rocks in My Dryer to grab the new Works for Me Wednesday graphic, that today was supposed to be posts of meals that only take 5 ingredients or less...sigh. I probably could find some to post, but I don't have the time to go looking through my recipes right now, so I'm just going ahead with my original video-demonstration, and I hope that Shannon will forgive me!




video

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Brain, She is Dead

When asked during this season's American Idol what was his biggest challenge being on the show, Jason Castro answered "Probably the brain being dead." I'm with you J.C.. I'm totally with you.

I thought I'd sneak in here in between the kids and the dishes and the laundry....no cakes these days, to update you on me! I got a comment after all my updates on the kids asking about an update on me....aaawwww. So, I thought one might be in order.

If you've hung out here awhile, you know that I have a kidney disease and that I lost two babies to endometriosis before I had my sweet little Dave. I imagine that's what people are wanting updates on...especially since I've been gone so much lately. I have been having quite a bit of pain off and on for the past 5 or 6 months. It's normal for me to assume that the pain is kidney related, but the last time I did that, it turned out to be endometriosis and it took losing two babies to figure it out. So THIS time, I carefully monitored the symptoms and felt that the pain, at least, was possibly not the kidneys after all, but perhaps the endo rearing it's ugly head. So, I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago and he seemed to feel that the medicine I take to keep the endo away was not quite strong enough, and that was why I was still having so much pain. He changed my prescription to something a little stronger that would a) hopefully take the pain away, b) not mess with my head as much as the last one did, and c) might make me sick as a dog for awhile until my body got used to it. So far it's living up to all of the expectations! I've not hurt since I started it. I don't feel "strange". And I've been more nauseated than I've been since I was pregnant with little Dave....ugh! I still have another week before the real pain would normally set in, so the jury is still out on that, but the past two days have been much better in the nausea department, so that's good news!

As far as the cakes and cookies go. I've not been doing them for awhile because of my health and all. I do have some cookie orders that my friend C asked for a very, very long time ago that I need to get finished. Her first mistake was in telling me to "just do them when I had the time", ROFLOL!!! Her second mistake was that when I told her I wasn't feeling well, and I was cutting back on the cakes and cookies, she said "Well, you know my stuff can always wait." Big mistake...HUGE! On top of that, every time I think I'm going to get them done, she's out of town and I don't want them to go bad, or I get really sick, or the air-conditioner in my house dies and using the oven is NOT an option, or the refrigerator goes on the blink and my cookie dough spoils....and on and on and on! I'm really hoping to get those done soon...but I'm afraid of what might happen next if I start on them again! As soon as they are done, I'll get pictures up for you. In the meantime, I have some I did a long time ago that I never posted here, so you can have a little sugar fix...enjoy!

The backboard is a cookie, the basket is a mini-cupcake, and the basketball is chocolate!







And this one did make an appearance in the little video of Dave's birthday, but it was never officially posted.


This is one of my favorites. I got a call from someone who asked for a sheet cake with blue icing. They were having a pool party and she thought just blue icing would be fine. I laughed and asked her if she would like the cake to have a "Swimming Party" theme. I don't think she knew who she was talking to, lol. Anyway, I found this idea online and it was so much fun! I used a sea sponge to texture the concrete around the pool, each of the tiles around the edge of the pool are made of icing using a flat tip. I made little swimming suits on the Teddy Grahams out of icing, and used Gummy Life-Savers for the floaties. The towels, beach ball and rafts are fondant. The only thing that wasn't edible on this cake was the umbrella. For some reason, that little trick where you can click on the picture and it enlarges for you isn't working anymore...don't know why not. It's a shame really, because the details are really cool on this cake. I'm also going to load these on my Flicker in the sidebar, so if you really want to see it, you might try going to the Flicker album and see if you can make it bigger over there. Sorry about that.


So that's it for now. It's time to fix breakfast and then hit the books with the kids. Thanks for stopping by! And don't forget to check out the giveaways in my sidebar!