Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Family Fun

Yesterday we surprised our kids with a night's stay at the Great Wolf Lodge. What a blast! The kids had fun and we had fun too! Here's some pictures from our trip...

This is me in my new hair! :) Blonde. It's kind of fun.

My oldest boy... growing up! I'm proud of him.

..and this little angel is the reason Mommy didn't get much sleep. It was probably the mix of a different place to sleep and being too tired but, she kept me up all night. But it ended well because I spent a nice relaxing time in our room - alone - later. Bubble bath, Bible and worship sings. My kind of morning!

Aidan and Daddy. So very much alike!

A little tired, don't ya think?

Cheese-y happy grin!

Talia came splashing down to meet me!

One of my handsome boys.

I hope they love each other for all of their lives.

This was during our breakfast this morning. It was fun but I will be more frugal next time and pack a breakfast. You can't see above us but we were sitting in a "tent".
So, what was I reading this morning? Revelation. haha It might seem strange to read that during a "vacation" time but I did. Have you ever opened a Gideon Bible? I don't very often because I bring my own usually. So I was reading through the beginning and it gives many scriptures for different things. Hopelessness, salvation etc... I decided to read the last few chapters of Revelation and discovered more things to Revelation than I had known before. It was quite encouraging. Heaven will be magnificent! Jesus is Lord! He is the Winner in the end. If you are suffering or just need a good read about part of what we are living for.... read through it. "To him who has ears to hear, let him hear". Open your heart to what God reveals for the end of all time. It was not depressing but hopeful!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Amish Friendship Bread for Everyone!

Here's one of the small loaves. It has Pampered Chef's Sweet Caramel Sprinkles on top!

A friend gave me a starter for Amish Friendship Bread this week. If you haven't tried it, you might love it. But it might also soon become a love/hate relationship. (Relationship with bread? Maybe...)
The way it works is that you keep adding flour, sugar and milk to the bag when indicated and leave it on your counter- not in the fridge. The whole mixture ferments and on the Special Baking Day you mix it up with a pudding mix of your choice along with flavorings of your choice. I used Banana Cream Pudding with Maple flavoring, cinnamon and nutmeg. I must say, it's delicious and the kids have had several pieces! I also put in Spelt Flour and Brown Rice Flour instead of plain white. On the day you bake it, you separate the starter and give it away- if you can! LOL It gets to be hard to give away after awhile. But with all the possibilities, you could have a different flavor every 10 days!

Chocolate with vanilla flavor and chocolate chips
Lemon with vanilla and Pampered Chef Lemon Sprinkles
Chocolate with almond flavor
Vanilla pudding with vanilla
Oreo pudding with vanilla
Vanilla pudding with Raspberries
White Chocolate Pudding with Raspberries
Nuts, coconut, dried fruit, cranberries, pineapple.....

See what I mean? The possibilities are endless! So, just in case you are the delightful recipient of some Amish Friendship Bread starter... here's some ideas for you!

(I do believe you can google the recipe for the starter if you wanted it.... )

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Crossing Your Red Sea

The Red Sea, present time

This morning, my kids are at Grandma's and I have some much needed quiet time in my home- alone. It has been so refreshing and encouraging for me that I wanted to share it with you.

I have been reading through the Bible slowly and really soaking it in- not to just get through it in a year's time right now. I've never been able to read straight through it but this time I hope will be different. It's been amazing- the things God has revealed to me that I can apply for my life now, and they things that happened so many years ago in the O.T. .

I'm in Exodus 13, 14 and 15. The Israelites have been let go by Pharaoh and God is now leading them out of there.

Ex. 13:17 explains the way God led the people. He chose to lead them around a war and not through it, so that they did not see it and change their minds about leaving Egypt. So He led them through the wilderness TO the Red Sea. ha ha It struck me that God has good plans. He knows what will happen in the future. He knows the way we should go. The wilderness doesn't seem to be the best way for the people, for us even, but sometimes it's necessary. And leading them TO the Red Sea??? ha ha Doesn't He just always have a way of planning "the impossible" situations to display His power and glory?! He knew exactly where they were going.

Ex 13:21-22 God went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, to give them light so that they could travel day and night. "He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." How incredible! To have and KNOW that God's presence is going before them, guiding them. Again, He has such a way of making some impossible, hopeless situations in order to display more of Himself. (I thought of people that have been healed from things like cancer, or even just God bringing them through it and not healing them... He can still be glorified, either way.)

Red Sea, present day. Isn't it beautiful?

Ex 14:4 God's speaking..."I will [do these things] and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord." The answer to so many things God does is so that people will know He is God! This made me remember that in everything, He supplies all my need. Think of the ways you personally have been taken care of. The essential things to life maybe? A home, food, money. He supplies all of our needs. Somethings that I'm struggling with lately are the ways I'm lacking as a mom and wife. He supplies my need even there. I forget to ask Him to help me get through hard days. He can even give me the patience I need for a day doing school with the kids, during bad attitudes and bickering between siblings. Not to mention the many times that I'm a grouch through it all! He IS all I need.

Thank You Lord, for being everything I need in every way. You are sufficient. You are all I need!

Ex. 14:10 The Egyptians were chasing after the Israelites to bring them back... "And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, "Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word we spoke to you in Egypt saying, 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."

How easy it is for us to lose focus. When something hard happens, we often question God's faithfulness and we think that we know a better way. They wanted to keep serving the Egyptians?!? They didn't even get it. Little did they know what would soon happen and how it would change their lives forever.....or it should. :)

Ex 14:13-15 "But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again, forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land."

Wow. Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord. I know that God will not rescue me from every hard situation, but there's a beauty in that. We can rest in Him! We should rest in Him! We can not fear and be assured that He will not leave us in the midst of it. He will get us through.

Hopefully this will encourage you. Do you have a "wilderness or a red sea"? If you are going through something "impossible", you can know God's peace. You can have His salvation! He may not snatch you right out of the difficulty, but He WILL see you through!

Thank Him for the ways that He supplies your needs! Do not forget where He has called you from and what He has called you to! For me, I'm called to be a Mom and wife. He will give me what I need to accomplish that well.