Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dan & Bethany

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Dan & Bethany!

Let us give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love
and His wonderful deeds for men.
Psalms 107:8

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...


It's that special time of year when you get to pull out all those fun decorations:

Lights, ribbon, bells, wreaths, and all the other wonderful sights and smells. Reading all the Bible stories that tell the wonderful news that "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." 1 John 4:9

Picking out that special tree and then getting to decorated it!

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 14, 2012

Birthday Traditions

One of the blessings of a large family is that we get to celebrate a lot of birthdays in a year's time! 
 One of our traditions is that the birthday person gets to pick out the birthday "cake" of their choice.

In recent birthdays,  Elizabeth picked a cheesecake.

And Charissa, Alaythia, Nathanael and Kori picked our Mom's incredible ice cream cake!

What is so fun about Mom's ice cream cake is that it can be ANY flavor you desire...
chocolate chip cookie dough,  peanut butter, or a favorite candy bar!

We used to make plain old rectangle ice cream cakes. Till we discovered that our local library has oodles of different cake pans available for free!  So, our cake making has taken on new dimensions! :-)  The first thing to do is to pick your flavor.  I only have pictures of making the chocolate chip cookie dough cake, so that is what you'll see here.

First, we spread a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in the cake pan and popped it back in the freezer to keep it from melting. Then we made an egg-less recipe for cookie dough, added it as a layer in the cake pan on top of the ice cream, and popped it back in the freezer!  Next we topped it with a layer of chocolate ice cream, and popped it back in the freezer!

Then you are ready for the decorating, float the pan in a sink of warm water for about 10 seconds, place   on a cutting board, and tap lightly till the ice cream slips out. Frost it all with whipped topping, or cool whip.

To make the brown color we stir cocoa powder into the cool whip,
and if you'd like a different color you can use food coloring!

Each step has been done at a different time throughout the day, because the ice cream melts very fast! For best results you need to do a layer then put it in the freezer, layer, freezer, layer, freezer...!

For Kori's cake we tried something new: a monogramed cake! After melting some chocolate chips and  putting the melted chocolate in a bag, we piped it onto a sheet of wax paper, tracing her initials. (Under the wax paper we had placed a normal sheet of paper pre-printed by the computer with the initials: KJW.) Then we put it in the freezer to cool.

To finish the cake we sprinkled mini chocolate chips around the edge of the heart, we pealed the letters off the wax paper,  and then placed them on top of the 'cake'!


Another favorite option for the middle layer is to crush Oreo type chocolate cookies, stir in a bottle of chocolate fudge or chocolate sauce ice cream topping, and spread it between the two kinds of ice cream. (Actually any kind of cookie or candy bar works deliciously! :)
Or, to make it healthy, we've made it with our own homemade ice cream!

We hope you have as much fun with this as we have!!

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"
Psalms 34:8

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Farm Journal: Autumn

Greetings from the sunny, Kansas farm! I know its been awhile since you've heard from us. Alan and I are blissfully enjoying this season of marriage together. It is an incredible thing to serve the Lord and grow with the love of my life. In keeping with the season, here are just a few of the recent joys I'm thankful for: 

Beautiful Kansas weather - perfect for afternoon walks!

Learning to cook for two. It's splendid.

Have I mentioned that I enjoy my kitchen?

Getting to cuddle this adorable niece.

Listening to my family sound-check during the recent 'reunion' concert. They are doing so well musically and its exciting to watch the younger girls grow into their new responsibilities.

Visits from my sisters! 
We've actually had an abundance of overnight guests lately: 19 days out of 25, to be exact. Completely delightful! 

My new adventure: salve-making for moisturizing and skin-healing. 

A visit from a wonderful friend -- why did the week have to fly so quickly?!

Team-working with Anna to add curtains and other darling touches to our home. 

Directing the children's choir at our church. Right now we're eagerly preparing for our Christmas musical in a couple weeks!

And, of course, my handsome man...who daily loves me, prays with me, encourages me, and gives me a thousand reasons to admire him and thank God for the treasure of being his wife!

Oh yes -- and this picture is from our recent tree-cutting adventure. I'm looking forward to decorating for our first country-style Christmas together!

What are you thankful for today?! 

Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; 
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
PS 105:1