Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Cookies

I was excited that Valentine's Day afforded me a wonderful opportunity to practice my newly acquired cake decorating skills.  I set out to bake and decorate sugar cookies for Crazy Horse and Rockstar's classes.  I was excited at the new venture.  I've baked sugar cookies before but never had the tools or knowledge to decorate them short of some frosting and sprinkles.  There is some real fun to be had while living in a small community where homemade treats are still allowed in school classrooms.  Monday I baked cookies, baked cookies and baked cookies.  I was going to package them for each student, so I wanted a couple cookies for each package.  I had no idea how exhausting it would be to bake so many sugar cookies!  I'm honestly not even sure how many I baked.  I'm guessing a rough estimate of 150.  I needed a dozen or so to take to my MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) meeting on Valentine's day and it is impossible to bake cookies around three children and not have to pass a few out to the kiddos in the process.  Monday night after the girls were in bed I began the decorating process.  I gave up around 12:30 a.m. with one large cookie decorated for each child, determined to finish after MOPS and before the classroom parties.  I strongly considered placing 2 unfrosted cookies in each bag with one large decorated cookie.  In the end, I managed to lightly design the remaining cookies for the parties and off Little Princess and I went to deliver the goods.  Each bag contained one large heart and arrow cookie and two other heart shaped cookies.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Discouragement Comes

This morning as I woke to my mess that I created yesterday during my creative processes, I quickly saw all that was undone and needed my attention.  The amount of energy that must be expended to maintain my family and my household is often daunting and sometimes discouraging.  Today began as one of those days.  As I began my discouraging self-talk and felt myself sinking, I suddenly had a new thought.  I thought to myself, "I will text my friend and ask her to pray for me today."  There is nothing wrong with that thought and I know my sweet friend would have prayed earnestly for my day; however, the "shocking" thought then occurred to me that I was capable of taking my concern to my God who is always bigger than my problem and most capable of cleaning up my messes.  As I turned my thoughts upward, my mood also followed.  During this time I searched my mind for a song that would fit my moment...my mind could not find a common song, but it led me to a poem my mother passed on to me a year or so ago written my her grandmother.

The Small Duty
written by Mrs. C. L. Conaway

Through all my life I've wished to make
Some little song or poem;
but all that I could ever do was wash and iron 
and bake and stew
to keep things daily going.

I've bathed wee baby hands and faces
and stitched on little frocks,
Lo- even have I done this thing
I've darned my husband's socks.

Yet Lord, if it should be thy wish
I do the trivial thing
Please grant me strength to do it right 
and let some other sing.

Perchance, who knows when life is done,
my record bad or good,
may read thus on the Book of Life - 
"She hath done what she could."

Dear Great-Grandma - Thank you for your words so real. I echo your request of ages past...please Lord, grant me strength to do it right.

~Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.  Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cake Decorating Class #4

Tonight was our final cake decorating class for course 1.  We learned a new flower, the ribbon rose.  We also worked on our writing skills.  For tonight's cake I baked a devil's food cake and layered it with a marshmallow cream filling and I topped it with a chocolate buttercream frosting.  It was like one giant, irresistible "Ho-Ho".

I was fairly satisfied with how my new ribbon roses were turning out which inspired me to use one of the designs in the book as my guide for my final cake.  

This one is dedicated to my wonderful husband and my girls who make it all possible.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: God Gave Us You

I've been reviewing books for almost a year now.  The very first book I requested was a three book treasury by Lisa Tawn Bergren titled, God Gave Us So Much.  My children enjoyed it and I enjoyed reading it to them.  I recently had the opportunity to request a copy of the children's board book, God Gave Us You, by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  

The book, God Gave Us You, tells the story of Little Cub's entrance into the world in response to her bedtime question, "Where did I come from?"  Mama Bear chronicles the happiness and excitement that Mama and Papa experienced the whole time Little Cub was growing inside Mama.  Mama tells Little Cub of the preparations they made for her birth and the prayers that Mama prayed for her little cub.  Throughout the story Mama and Little Cub return to the statement, "because God gave us you."

This story is fun and easy to read to children of all ages.  I've read it frequently to my little "cub" and I love how she turns the theme to "God gave you ME."  It is a great length for a story before bedtime or nap time.   The book does just as the back cover claims as it "assures each child that he or she truly is a treasured gift from the Lord."

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.