Anticipation

Since the reveal post of our decision to move to SC we have been soooooo busy.  I have barely slept since February.  I am so excited.  Anticipation for this move is killing me.  I cannot wait.

Even when I go to bed at a normal hour I lay awake for hours thinking of all the things to do and wondering what life will be like in SC.  Often I get up and work for another couple of hours before finally becoming too weary to keep moving.

I made it through tax season. This involved long work days and working 6 or 7 days a week. When I came home brain dead I would grab a box or a drawer from the garage or other place in the house and sort it while watching tv.  Give away, throw away, keep.  Of course there is also the 4th category:  What in the world should I do with this?

During this phase I made it through all of the garage and most of the office and closets except the kitchen.  So now, I knew what was in my house.   Just when I thought I had been through everything, BC began bringing boxes down from the attic.  Oh my goodness.   Tax return info from 1984, all neatly stored away, out of sight, out of mind.  One funny thing he found was a suitcase from our Hungary trip last year.  It still had clothes in it.  Mostly socks.  We have been accusing k of losing her socks because we couldn’t find them anywhere.

Real Packing.    I bought boxes from the 1/2 price box store and had them delivered.   And we fill them, and fill them, and fill them.  And there is still more to pack.  Lots more.

God’s timing is great.  A friend was having a garage sale to raise money to go abroad to pick up their little girl they are adopting.  She took 4 loads of our things, dishes, games, clothes, junk.   I was so glad she could benefit from these items.

We also made arrangements to go visit SC.  Unfortunately, the details didn’t work out right and BC couldn’t go.  But k and I went.  It was so beautiful.  Just what I needed, when I needed it.  While the main purpose of the trip was to meet everyone and see what the space was like we were moving into, the biggest benefit to me was the time k and I had to rest.  She had been sick a few days the week before and needed some recovery time.  I just needed sleep.  We had a few rainy days where we just got cozy in bed and read and slept.   When is the last time you could actually lay in bed on a rainy day without feeling guilt?   It was marvelous.

We had some bonding time.  We saw Jurassic Park in 3D.  Okay, that wasn’t relaxing.   We got lost one night on our way home but we finally made it.  We thought we were in a movie because we kept coming to this same intersection no matter which road we took.   We found the local Sonic.  We spent time visiting with future friends.

It was a lovely trip.

We will live in this lovely home.  K told someone it was a mansion.

2013-04-25 14.17.48

k on the front porch.

k on the front porch.

I love azaleas

I love azaleas

View from our Front Porch

View from our Front Porch

After our visit the reality of the short amount of time versus the growing to do list set in.  There are days I’m a bit panicked.   Can I squeeze all these things into the remaining 3 weeks?    The excitement of going is protecting my heart from excessive panic.

Have you every looked forward to something this much?   I think the last time for me was when k was born and before that was our wedding and when BC came to visit me for the first time when we began our courtship.

I am looking forward to enjoying nature more.  I look forward to some time on that front porch.  I look forward to time off with just BC.  I look forward to developing a relationship with the girls.

Thank you God for this beautiful place.  Thank you for the beautiful hearts of the people who have paved the way provide service to children in need.  Bless the young people we will be serving.

What are you looking forward to?   As excited as I am about SC, its beauty and blessings will not compare to our heavenly home.

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”   2 Peter 3:13-14 (NIV)

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He Told Us To Go

If you have experienced a personal revelation from reading God’s word, an answered prayer like no other answered prayer, or a call from God, then you know what it is like to know how real it is and still be unable to explain it to someone else.  It wasn’t their call so they don’t get it.  But I have been so encouraged by how many people we have talked to who do get it.  Believers who are excited to see someone answering the call of God.

We have received so much encouragement as we begin to tell friends and family we are moving to South Carolina to take a position as houseparents of troubled teens.

I don’t know why something that has been dormant for almost a year is suddenly a blazing fire unless the Spirit is lighting the fire.    About a month ago I decided to browse some of the blogs I’m subscribed to.  One of them is a site that posts openings for Christian Children’s homes.  I found several postings for openings for houseparents.  All would require a major life decision.  All would require a move away from home.

We prayed about it and decided it was another prodding from God to go down a path we felt He was leading us on before.   You can read about that original prodding here, here, here, and here.

We decided to inquire and continue going through the doors as long as God kept opening them.  The doors kept opening.  Each place we talked with seemed like a great place to work and minister.  We finally accepted a position at Southestern Children’s Home in Duncan, South Carolina.

It all came to this:  We talk and sing and read about stepping out on faith all the time.  We decided having faith in God is more than just allowing Him to carry you through bad times.  I’m not knocking that we need Him to carry us then, but we hardly ever hear about people’s faith any time except when they are going through trials.  Can’t we show a little faith in other ways also?

There are many things to do before we go…many decisions, many unanswered questions, many concerns, but we know this:

God will provide, God will show the way, God will protect.

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”  Genesis 12:1 NIV

 

 

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Busy ≠ Important

The days and weeks go by so quickly.

I made a conscious decision to not blog during work hours as that is really not cool and reeks of no integrity.  So the result has been no blogging.  I have little to no interest in getting on a computer when I get home at the end of the day but I have greatly missed the Coffee Girls conversations.

Here is a bit of what I’ve been up to since my last post in December.

  • lovely Christmas break that included a visit to my sister in Florida.  I made her a chocolate cake with pink mint chocolate chip frosting for her birthday.  She said it might have been the only time she can remember someone making her a birthday cake.  I would guess my mom did when we were younger, but then again, with her birthday being 2 days after Christmas you never know.  The cake was pretty.
  • organized a welcome back to school lunch – taco bar for the teachers – they loved it.
  • began working overtime for tax season including Saturdays – don’t love working longer hours, but love the time and a half paychecks.
  • Just 2 weeks ago we decided we would all go as a family on a mission this summer to Hungary.   BC has been several times but we decided to all go so I’ve been busy with passports and fundraising for this.  More to come on this topic I’m sure.

A few weeks ago one of the points in our sermon was this:

Busy does not equal important.

It really hit me between the eyes, stepped on my toes, and all that.

So I’ve been trying to be less busy and be more deliberate in what I do.  I say this all the time.  It takes a while to wean yourself from all the things you think you have to do.   I have noticed a huge difference in my stress level between last year at this time and this year.   I haven’t been as preoccupied with what I think I should be doing to the detriment of who am I with and how can I be enjoying the moment.   I don’t have as many outside of the home responsibilities to be involved with this tax season.    I have been better at planning meals and not relying on last minute take out as I have many springs in the past.

I think perhaps some of my blogging (maybe all of it) is just a way to feel important because I’m telling how busy I am and all the things I do.   Am I boasting in busy-ness when I should be doing some other good I know about?

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”  James 4:12-17

Have a great weekend.  Link back to Company Girls.

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The Jar Project

Table decorations and teachers gifts from jars and Epsom salts.

We have been saving jars all semester.

We started with this initial idea from Mark Montano on Tip Junkie to make tea lights.

Then we also found this idea from Cleverly Inspired through Pinterest to use Epsom salts.  I was concerned about the durability of the salts and got some advice from Amber at Not Even Martha about the top coat.

I did about 30 jars with the yarn and flat white paint.   They looked nice but were taking forever to tape up with the yarn.  It kept sliding off.  So we decided to try the salts and thought they looked so nice we did the rest with that method and changed it up a bit with the red paint.

The flat paint didn’t look as exciting after we started using the salts so we added glitter to the yarn tied jars.

The red sticks came from a nearby field and are sprayed with red spray paint, spray adhesive, and glittered.

We used several variations of adhesive and top coat.  What we decided worked best for us was this:

  • 1 coat of spray paint, flat or gloss both worked fine (let dry)
  • sponge on the Modge Podge
  • roll in the salts (let dry)
  • spray with a heavy coat of clear spray paint which worked better than the more expensive acrylic sealers

Now I have glitter everywhere in my house and car.

Thank you to my faithful friends who collected jars, washed jars, modge podged jars, cut ribbon, and kept me sane.  We ended up with 101 jars and then…

I got to work after setting up this morning and discovered I left 2 boxes of jars (16 jars total) in my car and had forgotten to take them into the school.  Oh well.  Worse things could happen.

Have a great weekend and if I don’t see you before then…Merry Christmas!!!

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”  Luke 1:46-50

Linking up with Company Girls

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Thanksgiving 2011

Thank you Lord God Almighty for the sacrifice of your Son.

Thank you for the family you have given me.

Thank you for my loving father and mother.

Thank you for the Christian men you have blessed me and my sisters with.

For our children and their children.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”  Colossians 2:6-7

Link back to Company Girls Coffee.  Have a blessed week!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Lego Cake

Hello Company Girls!  Good to catch up with everyone.  I caught up my own blogging with a catch up post of Fall Fun earlier this week.

Then Wednesday night I made Cupcakes in a Cup for k’s 11th birthday.

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Last light I stayed up until 2:30 finishing her Lego cake.  Yikes.  I didn’t plan it that way.  Originally, I was going to make the cake on Wednesday and frost on Thursday, but it just didn’t happen.  So I baked and went to bed at 10:30 thinking I would frost tonight after supper, but after laying in the bed for 2 hours and still being wide awake I got up to finish the cake.  I’m glad I did.  These things always take longer than you think and I’m sure k and her friends aren’t going to want to wait around too long for cake and ice cream tonight.

Although I know its not Martha S. quality, its k quality.  She asked for a Lego cake and I delivered after looking all over the web for ideas.   I fell in love with this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake from Steph at Raspberri Cupcakes.  I used this pattern from Betty Crocker and their idea to use marshmallows as the knobs.

I was glad k was happy with one color of frosting.  I’m not sure I would have wanted to eat a cake that was bright red, blue, and yellow.  All the reviews and instructions I found about Lego cakes said how hard it was to get those little knobs frosted, so I did the best I could and didn’t worry too much if it was perfect.  The fact that the frosting had chocolate pieces in it didn’t help on the knobs, but it helped me not worry too much about it because I knew I couldn’t get it perfectly smooth.

One smart thing I did was to frost the initial crumb coat of all the cake parts before I added the chocolate, so I had a smooth surface to put the next coat.  After the crumb coat, I stuck it all in the fridge to stiffen up before applying the next coat.

I still might fill in some more buttercream at the seams, but then again, I probably won’t.

All in all I think it turned out great.  I can’t wait to have some tonight.  The icing has just a touch of mint, not too much to make you ill, but enough to go with the chocolate cake.  k said her classmates said I was the best cook ever when they had the mint chocolate cupcakes yesterday.   So there you have it.  I’m the best cook ever.  Take that Martha.

I feel like I did a good job of not being idle this week.  How about you?

“She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed…”  Proverbs 31: 27-28

Link Back to Company Girls

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My Favorite Chocolate Cake

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake – My Way

Ingredients

  1. Butter, for greasing the pans
  2. 1¾ cp all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  3. 2 cp sugar
  4. ¾ cp good cocoa powder
  5. 2 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 tsp kosher salt
  8. 1 cp buttermilk, shaken
  9. ½ cp vegetable oil
  10. 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  11. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  12. 1 cp freshly brewed hot coffee OR 1 cp hot water with 1/2 tsp espresso powder

Cooking Directions

Yield : two 8-inch x 2-inch round     or   24 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans.  Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.   For cupcakes place cupcake papers in baking tins.  (If cooking for cupcakes in a jar without paper, spray baking tins with cooking spray.  They came out nicely.)

Sift all the dry ingredients except the espresso powder into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk together or mix on low speed until combined. Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  This is a very runny batter.

Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

To cook cupcakes.  18 minutes at 350 degrees F. works in my oven.  Test with a toothpick to make sure.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Make ahead idea:  I usually measure all the dry ingredients up a few days ahead and keep in a zip up bag so all I have to do when ready to make is add the liquid ingredients (sort of like a box mix) and bake.

The original recipe for this can be found here at the Food Network.  I have not tried the Chocolate Buttercream recipe yet.  Let me know if you have.

Printable Recipe PDF

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Cauldron Cakes

Chocolate Cauldron Cakes with Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate with Chocolate Buttercream and German Chocolate Coconut Frosting

Beatty's Chocolate cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream and Pecan Coconut Frosting

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