Monday, May 30, 2011

Recipe of the Month

You know the old saying . . .
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Well, I do not know if I fully agree with this statement but I will share this; over twenty years ago I made my sweet man a heart shaped brownie and to this day it is his favorite stand-by dessert.  Not to mention the best part, that he married me! :-)

Of course now we add vanilla ice cream on the side if we are really celebrating but I've never seen anything please him more then being served a nice fudgy, center of the pan, brownie. 


Interestingly, both of our boys delight in them too!

Here was my delimma . . . the only way that I could get those gooey fudgy type brownies that our guys just love is by making them from a box mix.  (By the way, in our family's opinion Hershey makes the best mix out there.) 

Well all that changed this month. After trying several new recipes, my husband says this one tops the box mix.  Wow!!  I do not like to share unhealthy recipes normally but I just had to share this one.   Being of such importance you know!

Hope your sweet man enjoys it too!  I am sure you will not disappoint him if you at least give it a try. :-)

Homemade Fudgy Brownies
1 cup cocoa
4 Tbsp. canola oil
3/4 C butter
2 C sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 C flour


Melt butter in a pan then add cocoa and oil. 

Stir in sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add flour; stir until well blended. Spread into greased 13x9 inch pan.

Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Cool in pan.

Knowing the Bible by Bob Jennings

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Making compost bins

Setting up the bins

video

Securing with wire

video

Base layers

video

What food can be used?

video

A final word

video

This year for Bell's birthday we purchased the Homestead Blessings DVD set for her.  One of the DVDs is on The Art of Gardening.  She was so inspired by watching them.  Not only did she want to implement some of the ideas but she also wanted to emulate the making of them.  So this is a little girls version of one of the ideas that saw by the West Ladies.  The entire collection is delightful.  If you would like to check them out CLICK HERE.

You Must Overcome!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Great ingredients to add into a family!

Girls add the sweetness . . .

Oh the preciousness of sisters!


Indeed indeed! 

and boys add the spice!

You have never peeled a potato until you peel one with Ti!


They are always making you laugh!


He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 113:9

Blessed Mom

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Poem Worth Reading

Good evening dear readers!  I hope each one of you have had a blessed Lord's Day, filled with meditation on the Word, time spent to meditate on Christ, and encouraging fellowship with precious brothers and sisters in Christ!  We were blessed to have had such a Lord's Day!  God is so faithful and good!

We discovered this precious poem on one of HeartCry's old magazines and we were so blessed by it that we wanted to share it with all of you.  I know it is a little lengthy, but please be assured, it is well worth taking the time to read it.  I hope you will be blessed by it!  What an awesome God we serve!

Facing South
by: Kathrine Lessor

Don’t worry about me, I’m saved.
God is what you want him to be.
What are you talking about “being well behaved,”
Quit trying to force it on me.

I thrive on the world, survive because of the world.
I love myself, and my guide isn’t the word.
I’m facing south, staring into the mouth of sin...
and I love it.

I don’t have time for scripture and that’s not a problem,
Didn’t you see that crazy Christian speaker,
and the crowds practically trying to mob him,
I’m not one of them, he’s clearly much weaker.

I surround myself with similar people,
to me all attention is paid,
Why do you ask? of course they’re all saved.
Talk to someone else about this deep hole you somehow
think I’ve made.

I know the Lord will take me, he wouldn’t turn me away
It doesn’t take that much
all it takes is believing one truth
You know “He died for me, and all that forgiveness stuff”

Days go fast, living for friday,
It’s then that everything goes completely my way,
You get ready for hours
just to throw the night away.

I love someone, I feel it completely
But tell me one thing, why do I hide it so discreetly?
I fight it, put my thoughts into it
I tell mself he’s godly
But really I don’t care because no matter what
Deep down, I know he’s got me

He says he believes, that’s all I need to hear,
Why does something inside me hate this,
Get that feeling out, make it disappear.
My body is my world, I make it work, almost bleed,
Hours and hours of training it
It’s gotta be perfect, that’s what I need.

But to me, these things are my life
my passions, what I do.
I spin in dark circles of what I think is true.
Of course God will still take me What else would he do?

Won’t he?
My routine has no escape
What I chose to join proved to be fake
I’m spinning and falling constantly calling... For what?

It started with one of those nights I usually threw away...

The wind started to blow my hair towards the north
the rest of me still wouldn’t go, My soul shook back and forth
Stop pulling me, stop pushing me, Just let me enjoy my life
Something’s creeping in, cutting my heart like a knife.

I need something different, Why am I hating this?
I feel like I’m trapped in a doorless abyss.

Get me out

So I went back to where I came from,
but I didn’t know why,
I wasn’t seeking God,
I didn’t even know how to try.

I hear about this narrow path, many choose not to take,
something moves inside of me, my soul starts to shake

The wind is blowing softly,
yet still more than before,
this time taking more,
and soaking all the way to my core.

I hear of false conversion, living a lie,
letting your worthless life pass by,
not really taking a chance, just doing the dance,
indirectly hating all that God commands.
The wind has picked up taking more still,
Over my whole body I feel an overwelming chill.
The tears flow as I begin to let go,
with only one half of my body still with a mind of it’s own.

I still have more to hear,
I listen as it grips me with fear
Do you fill your self with the word? No
Do you live a pure, righteous, godly life? No
Do you long to know everything about him? No.
Do you hate sin? No.
Do you love the world? Yes.

The wind roars and grabs my soul.
It grips me and pries at my flesh, My heart is full.
I scream in my head out to the Lord,
never have I done this ever before,
I hate myself; I don’t want to live this life any more.
Kill me, change me, take me I’m yours.

I open my eyes, the wind is calm,
and suddenly... I’m facing north.

Like a new born, my eyes open for the first time,
I see things more clearly. No more throwin pearls to swine,
Now life filters in me through Jesus.
Nothing is the same,
Conversations, people, and choices,
My old desires now cause me pain.

I couldn’t go back even if I wanted to.
I live for the Lord because it was by him, and to him
I was undeservingly drawn.

My heart is his. I pray everyday he fills me more,
I’m laughing, then angry at myself,
then crying at his mercy on my knees on the floor.
I am new everyday, different than the day before,
sunrise brings a new struggle, with my flesh I’m at war,
Just kill it more.

I hunger for his word, long for his word,
dig as deep as I can in his word,
Until it becomes reality,
and makes everything else seem absurd.

I am nothing without his guidance and love,
I can’t quench this thirst,
With anything not from above.

Why are we shown this mercy? I question everyday
I deserve filth and death in every cruel and torturous way,
Yet he died for me, for my miserable soul,
To make me clean and pure and with God completely whole.

I had no idea he was drawing me,
he came from somewhere I could not see,
it crept up on me,
he whispered truth in my ear,
held me in his arms as I shook with fear.
As I looked at the Bible, it became a mirror,
to see what I truly was,
but his gentle spirit,
still moved me because of his precious love.

No one else, not even myself,
Could have sped up or interfered with his Holy plan,
No one will take me away or steal me,
I am no longer a slave to sin or man.

So you see his miracles
of which to my last breath I’ll defend,
how the Lord saved my life
because the Holy Spirit is like the wind.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Random Pictures of the Day

Hello dear friends!  I know this is not our typical, to just post random pictures from the day, but we had the camera out a couple of times and got some sweet pictures, so I thought I would share some of our day with you all. 

First, we have our sweet little Essie with her hair all done up.  She felt so pretty and just had to come show Mommy, who just had to take some pictures of her looking so sweet!




What an absolute dolly!  Who could resist such a precious child?
(I'm not bias, am I?)


And of course, we did Bell's hair the same way as Essie's so they matched!
Two little sweeties!  I love to see them bonding as siblings!  
Siblings are such a blessing!



Next, we come to Dad and Tayter cleaning the truck together.
It sure needed it! 
Not to fear, it was so shiny and clean after they were done,
 that one could nearly eat off of it now!
Just kidding of course! 
Those two guys have fantastic work ethics! 



I really like this picture of Dad.
That smile just gives me so much delight!
He is such a precious guy! 
I love you sooooo much, Daddy!


Trying to capture this lovely daffodil! 
There is such beauty in God's creation!
If His creation is so beautiful and fascinating,
how much more the awesome Creator, who is more beautiful
and wonderful than these small and insignificant minds of
ours can ever even begin to imagine?
What an awesome God we serve!  "Oh for grace to love Him more!"


More of His marvelous handiwork!


Here we come to the great adventure of the night... catching the toad.
All three of these guys were so cute to watch as they desperetely tried
to catch this poor toad, but were not wanting to touch it!


Ta da!  Mr. Toad has been captured and was being held prisoner
in an egg bucket until the time when his new prison... oh, I mean house,
was completed. 


This barrel, that typically holds flowers in the summer,
is currently the home of Mr. Toad, well designed by
Mr. Ti, Miss Bell, and Miss Essie!
They are still trying to decide what they might feed their
little friend!
Simple pleasures for simple minds!
Love the simplicity of sweet, precious and innocent little minds!


Here's my sweet little buddy, Ti! 
Such an ornery little fella, but so sweet!
Ya, I have to admit that he probably does have this big sissies heart
wrapped around his little finger!  But with a smile like that, who could resist?
He's getting so big so fast!  It seems like not that long ago it
was just Dad, Mom, Britt, Tayter and I awaiting the arrival of Bell. 
And here we have Bell, Ti, Essie and Little Rose! 
After eight years between Tayter and Bell, who would have thought!
God has blessed us so richly, and we feel so delighted to have these little
ones in our home and lives!  Wouldn't know what to do without 'em!


In family devotions tonight we finished up John chapter eight.  We were challenged with the thought of showing love to all people and not being partial.   We can be so critical and put different one's out just because they are not like me and don't fit in my "box".   Oh, to love as Christ loved and loves!  If Christ Jesus were as critical of me as I can be of other's, I would be in such a terrible state!  May we learn to, as our Lord exampled, love one another without partiality.  Yes, speak and stand on truth, but love genuinely from the heart.

In closing, here is just a thought to ponder on, shared by Mr. Paul Washer on the Twitter account.

God's providence working through the years will gradually strip the believer of self-righteousness and leave him with nothing but grace.

May we all be stripped of our own self- righteousness and cling fully to Christ as our only hope and our all in all!

Well, my precious readers, the hour is drawing late and the morning will come quickly.
Good night and love to you all!

~Bree 

My God Answers Prayer

Ask...That Your Joy May Be Full




Good evening to all!  I was so blessed this evening by an answered prayer, that I thought I would share about it with all of you.

You know those times when you ask the Lord for something; something that seems so small and insignificant?  And then, He answers that prayer, and you are so blessed you feel like crying?  Well, I was blessed in such a way tonight.

This evening I began hanging up a few clothes on our hanging clothes rack that could not be hung out on the line.  (We found years ago that hanging certain things inside keeps them from fading as quickly.)  As I began hanging up these clothes, I realized that I was shy on hangers to complete the job.  Our family tends to not have too many extra hangers floating around in our closets, and I knew tonight would be no exception.  So, as I went upstairs to try to gather enough hangers to complete the job, I just prayed and asked the Lord if He would provide the hangers I needed to finish my task.  Needless to say, I came back downstairs with exactly enough hangers for the job.  And, on top of that, there was one specifically for a small skirt that I hadn't even realized that I needed!  I was so blessed!

I am constantly amazed at how the Lord will answer the smallest prayers about the most seemingly insignificant things.  Truly, we serve an awesome God, who delights to bless His people. 

This instance also made me think about a verse that we put to memory last week on prayer.

"Until now, you have asked nothing in my name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." - John 16:24

If we will just seek the Lord, giving Him our first attention in every situation, He is delighted to bless us, and to answer our prayers.  No matter how little it may seem.  I hope this blesses you as much as it did me.

~ Britt-Ann ~

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Alabama Relief Opportunity

Peter Bradrick has done an excellent job organizing a way for people to aid a few of the precious families in Alabama that were effected by the recent tornado.  We thought we would post the link so that if you are looking for a way to help you would have a resource to do so.


Here is a tid bit about each of the families but if you go to the above link you can hear the actual interviews with each of them. 

The Lee Family

Tom Lee died heroically protecting his family as their home collapsed around them. In God’s Mercy his wife and thirteen children survived after many hours of being trapped under rubble. Daughters Tiffany and Emily are in the hospital and suffered potentially severe nerve damage. Their insurance does not cover these medical bills, their father is dead, and their home and possessions are gone.

The Crawford Family

The home of Aaron and Kelly Crawford (of generationcedar.com) and their nine children was completely destroyed by a tornado on Wednesday night taking all of there earthly possessions including all of their vehicles and all of Aaron’s construction tools which are his source of livelihood.

The Boyd Family

Gary and Jane Boyd and their nine children survived without injury but their home was severely damaged by trees falling on it. Their home was the rendezvous point for the Lee and Crawford families in the hours following the tornado since it was the only one left standing.

Recipe of the Month...

...Well, that is, last month's recipe.  'Tis a little late, I know, but hopefully better late than never.  Besides, once you see what the recipe is for and how delicious it looks... I doubt you'd want to miss it!  It is a family favorite, a delicious classic breakfast, and could you get much better than...
Waffles


Honestly, what could be better than waffles, whether for breakfast, lunch or supper!  A hot sizzlin' and crispy, melt-in-your-mouth waffle, smothered with butter and your favorite toppings! Yummmy!

This is a recently new recipe that Mom discovered.  We liked them so much that we thought we would share the recipe with all of you, our dear readers, so that you too may hopefully enjoy! 



We have made waffles many times over the years, but have often had much trouble with them sticking to the waffle iron.   So frustrating!   About a year ago we discovered that our recipe needed to have oil in them to make them not stick.  Since then we have used recipes with oil in them and have  generously sprayed our iron and have not had any trouble with them sticking whatsoever! 

Here's how to make "World's Best Waffles!":
Yields: approximately 8 waffles

First, to give you a little heads up, so that proper preparation can prevent poor performance, these have to sit for about 45-60 minutes so that they can rise until doubled.  Mom has this highlighted in our cookbook.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together until dissolved:
2 cups warm milk or buttermilk (we like to use the buttermilk from making our butter)
1 package (equaling 1 Tbsp.) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sweetener (we like to use Evaporated Cane, but it's your choice)

Next, separate 4 eggs. 

Beat egg yolks lightly, then add to the yeast mixture along with 1 tsp. vanilla extract. 

Sift together in a separate bowl:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir flour mixture into the yeast mixture, just until combined.  You want to be very careful to not over mix your waffle batter. 

Add 1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil (coconut oil is our prefered) and mix well. 

Next, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold them into the waffle batter. 

Cover the bowl and let rise until doubled, which is about 45-60 minutes. 



Also, if serving a meat with the waffles, now is a great time to get them fryin'!


Once risen, preheat your waffle iron.  If using an iron like ours, we find that you must get the iron nice and hot or the waffles just don't turn out as well.  We just love our old fashioned waffle iron.  It is cast iron.  Mom found it on ebay several years ago.  It is sooo neat!  

 When iron is hot, pour batter into the iron and allow to cook until golden. 


Pop them out of the iron and onto a plate.  Our family likes to serve them as they come off the iron.  There is nothing better than fresh off the griddle or iron for pancakes and waffles.  Besides that then we can serve them exactly as everyone likes them best.   

This one is for Daddy as he does not like them crispy!

Smoother them with butter and add your toppings!  We like to add blueberry or cherry topping with a little maple syrup.  Also, ground flax seeds are a delicious complement, adding a nutty texture, not to mention the health benefits of the good oil and fiber it gives.  Yogurt is delicious on them too.  Just add your favorites!  Our family will never forget the very first time we were visiting some extremely good friends from Connecticut and they served  waffles one morning for breakfast.  They had several choices for toppings, one of them being a salmon pea gravy.  Britt and I were too shy to ask for the maple syrup to be passed from the other end of the table and just thought we'd try the salmon pea gravy.  Let me tell you.  . . that is one way to cure two young ladies of shyness!  I'm glad they enjoy it but well, lets just say that we did not ask for the recipe.  Oh, such sweet memories!  We love you Stover's.

We had such fun preparing these last week and taking pictures to share on the blog that even the boys added in their special touch.  I guess they take their waffles pretty serious! 




At ease solders!  You can eat them.  They are all yours!
Enjoy!