Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

O Holy Night!

I had intended on doing a few more posts about my favorite Christmas Carols, but the time just got away from me. I Love most Christmas songs, but their are a few that are my favorites. It is probably a tie between Silent Night and O Holy Night as my absolute favorites. It is so touching to my Heart to think of that night so long ago when our Savior was born. It truly was a Holy Night!

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
 It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
 Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
 Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
 A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
 Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
 O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
 O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

I pray you have a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sharing a Birthday Cake Recipe ~ # 4

Here is the fourth and final recipe from this Birthday Post.

We call it  Better Than Anything Cake, but it has been called a variety of names.  You can do a google search and find hundreds of different recipes for this cake. This is a very easy cake to make and pretty yummy too, However, I am not sure it lives up to its name!

 Here is the recipe I used. You can also find it here.

Better Than Anything Cake


1 German chocolate cake mix ( I used a Dark Chocolate Cake Mix)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
caramel topping
12 ounces Cool Whip
3 heath bars, crushed ( I buy a bag of Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee bits that are located in the baking aisle near where they sell chocolate chips, not all stores carry these)


Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 9 x 13 inch pan. Prepare cake mix as directed on package; pour into prepared pan. After 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Continue baking until cake is done.

While cake is still hot, poke holes in it with handle of wooden spoon. Pour sweetened condensed milk over cake; let cool. Top with caramel sauce, then whipped topping. Sprinkle with candy bars.

Here is Josh with the Better Than Anything Cake. I doubled the recipe and baked in a larger pan.

Now on to prepare for Jesus' Birthday!



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sharing a Birthday Cake Recipe ~ # 3

The next recipe that I will share from this Birthday Post, is the Chocolate Mint Layer Cake. I originally made this cake back a few years ago for Josh's Birthday. The Recipe for the mint filling calls for green food coloring. I told Josh he could pick any color he wanted. Back then his favorite color was orange, so we had orange mint filling!  (A little strange I know!)

I cannot find a picture of Josh's cake, but here is Sammy's. Yellow is Sammy's favorite color, so I decorated his cake with yellow M&M's and the filling is what else .......  Yellow!  Sorry, I did not take a picture after cutting it, so you cannot see the filling. I cheated this time while making this cake, Instead of following the recipe for the cake part, I used a chocolate fudge boxed cake mix and then continued with the rest of the recipe. It turned out great!


Chocolate Mint Layer Cake


1/2 cup butter, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 to 4 drops green food coloring, optional (or color of your choice!)


1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


Line two greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease and flour the paper; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate and vanilla. Combine milk and water. combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk mixture.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

For filling, in a small bowl, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and extract; beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in food coloring if desired. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with filling. top with second cake.

For icing, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt chips and butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Beat in evaporated milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Frost and decorate cake. Chill 2 hours before slicing. Yield: 12 servings
I found this recipe from Taste of Home and can be found here.
Here is their picture:
Picture Credit


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday



Yes, I slid into the mailbox! At least it was ours!

But No One Getting Hurt!




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Glory To God In The Highest!

I absolutely love Christmas Carols. Well actually, I love music in general, especially Christian Music. Praising God in song can be so uplifting to the soul.

I know a few people (who will remain nameless!) who do not like Christmas Music at all! I do not understand this, but pray that someday God will change their heart!

Anyway, back to Christmas Carols. The Christmas Season is so full of wonder and excitement, but celebrating the Birth of our Beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ, has got to be the best part! I enjoy the fun songs like Jingle Bells, but my absolute favorites are those that are sharing the Good News of Jesus!

I thought I would share a few of my favorite Carols between now and Christmas. Today I will share Angels We Have Heard On High.

I truly believe that the Angels were rejoicing on that Day of Jesus' Birth. How amazing was it that the Savior of the World was born.

The refrain of this song is "Gloria In Excelsis Deo!"  It means Glory to God in the Highest!  Yes, Glory to God in the Highest! God's only Son was born! Jesus was born to come and to die for us. None of us deserve it, but He did it anyway! Thank You Jesus for coming as a baby and living and dying for me! 

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

What is your favorite Christmas Carol?

Angels we have on heard high
Sweetly singing ore the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord the newborn King

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

See him in a manger laid
Whom the choirs of angels praise
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid
While our hearts in love we raise

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sharing a Birthday Cake Recipe ~ #2

The next Birthday Cake recipe I am going to share with you from this post is Blueberry Pound Cake. I originally found this recipe in the Cooking Light Magazine several years ago. I wrote down the recipe on an index card and eventually lost the magazine. I now see that this recipe was published in 1998.

My oldest son Jeremy has always been fond of this cake. He has requested it several times. He even learned to make it himself. He actually asked me to make it for his birthday last year, but I was rushed for time, so I talked him into me buying him a store-bought cake. I told him I would make it when life wasn't so busy. Time got away from me, so when I thought about it again, I could not find fresh blueberries. I never did make that cake.

Fast Forward to this year and we were out of town for his Birthday. His Birthday is in August and we finally coordinated our schedules for early November. Well, early November is not exactly the best time to find fresh blueberries! I decided to go ahead and use frozen. The frozen work really well too and this cake is light and delicious!

Blueberry Pound Cake


2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light butter

1/2 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened (sometimes I use regular cream cheese)

3 large eggs

1 large egg white

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (8-ounce) carton lemon low-fat yogurt ( I use whatever lemon yogurt I can find)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cooking spray

1/2 cup powdered sugar

4 teaspoons lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350°.

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and blueberries in a small bowl, and toss well. Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in blueberry mixture and vanilla; pour cake batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle over warm cake. Cut with a serrated knife.

You can also find this recipe here.

The finished product



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sharing a Birthday Cake Recipe ~ #1

I was asked if I was going to share the recipes from my recent  Birthday post.  I had planned on doing it, so here goes. I will do them one at a time.

I will start with The Banana Cake. This cake is usually requested at least once a year, if not more. Tim almost always asks for this one! 

This recipe comes from an old cookbook from the Church I grew up in. It was submitted by a dear woman who was a wonderful cook. I am quite thankful to have this recipe.

My Mom had a recipe from her Grandmother that she thought was the absolute best, but somewhere along the way she lost it. She says this recipe comes very close.

Banana Cake


1/2 cup of shortening

1 1/2 cups of sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups of sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

3/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup of buttermilk

1 cup of mashed bananas ( I usually do a little more, it makes it a little more moist.)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly after each one. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir flour mixture in alternately with the milk and bananas. Add vanilla. Pour into two 9 inch greased layer pans or a 13x9 pan and bake 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool completely and frost with buttercream frosting.

Here is the recipe I use for Buttercream Frosting. It comes from the Domino Confectioners Sugar box.

Buttercream Frosting

1 (1 -lb pkg) of Confectioner's Sugar ( approx. 3 3/4 cups)

1/2 cup of butter or margarine, softened

3 to 4 Tablespoons of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with mixer on low speed. Beat on medium speed 1-2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency. Makes enough to fill and frost a 2-layer cake, or a 13x9x2-inch sheet cake.

This Buttercream Frosting Recipe can also be found here.
I do not have any great pictures of this cake, but here is what I have.

Tim and Naomi on his Birthday with the Banana Cake

The icing was a little runny. I put the cake in the fridge and you can see after sitting out for a while, it is starting to run again!
This is a yummy, moist, cake. If you like bananas or banana bread, you will love this cake!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Birthdays, Birthdays, And More Birthdays!

I am so far behind on posting about the Birthdays around here. So, I decided to put them all together in one big post.

We could pretty much have a birthday a month around here except for, four of my boys were all born in November. Faith's actual due date was in November also.

 I still have a cake for each birthday, but it is getting to be a bit much.  I have usually let each child pick out their own cake from a bakery like Walmart, but the older they get, the more they want me to bake something special.

I will start with Jeremy. His birthday is in August, but we did not get to celebrate then.  We were actually traveling to Virginia for my sister-in-law's funeral on his birthday. I told him we would make up for it sometime. Well, it took longer than expected because, between his schedule and mine, it was hard to coordinate. I finally said let's do this! I found an evening he did not have to work and planned to have his Birthday dinner and a cake. It just happened to be early November!

Jeremy requested Lasagna for dinner and a Blueberry Pound cake for his cake. I haven't made homemade lasagna for many years until we were visiting my Mom in September. My two oldest son's were not there, so they wanted me to make it again.

So, the day arrived and I worked on making the cake and making lasagna. I had the children help me clean up so we could celebrate that evening. Well, when Jeremy came home from work , he was feeling pretty sick, so he went straight to bed. When it was time for dinner, he came up and laid on the couch. He was shivering and he had a fever. He could not eat anything, he felt so bad.  So we had Jeremy's dinner and cake without him. It was a few more days before he could eat, so we saved some cake for him. I felt so bad for him!

Jeremy's Blueberry Pound cake

 Here is a picture of Jeremy from his Birthday last year. I believe this is the most recent picture I have of him.


Anna's 9th Birthday


Luke's 7th Birthday

Here are our November Birthdays:

Matthew's 13th Birthday

Timothy's 22nd Birthday (Banana Cake)

Sammy's 11th Birthday (Chocolate Mint Layer Cake)

Josh's 19th Birthday (Better Than Anything Cake)

We are done with all the Birthdays for the year except the most important one, Jesus!




Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Parade

On Friday night Hubby and I ventured out with our five youngest children to the local Christmas Parade. We have lived here almost six years and have never been to the Parade. I actually did not even know that they had a Christmas Parade. Hubby just happen to read something about it and suggested we go.

I do not know when was the last time we have been to a parade. Back when we lived in Indiana, we used to go to the 4th of July Parade every year.  Our youngest five do not remember that. Well, two of them were not even born when we lived there.

Anyway, Friday we left about six and the parade started at seven. It was only about a ten minute drive, but we were not sure how hard it would be to get a parking space. It ends up, we probably did not need to be that early.

It was an incredibly cold night for us here in Kentucky. We bundled up really well. When we first got there we were right in front of the Court House. 

Anna and Micah and Luke

Matthew, Luke, and Samuel


See that tree behind Anna's head in the picture above? Well, it just so happens that this was the night that they were going to light that tree. We had no idea until about a minute before.

We heard singing and talking, but we did not pay a whole lot of attention to it. We were just trying to get a good spot for the Parade.There was a crowd gathered around back in that area. Well, the longer we were standing there I was trying to hear what they were saying. I finally realized they were getting ready to light the tree.

Samuel, Micah, and Matthew laying on the very cold ground!

The tree before being lit

The tree just after being lit

Matthew, Luke, Samuel, Micah, and Anna

Soon after the tree was lit, Hubby went walking down the street a little bit to see if it was less crowded. He came back and we decided to move.. As we were walking, we were able to get some hot chocolate. A local church was passing out free hot chocolate, and boy was it yummy!

Micah with a hot chocolate mustache!

Samuel with his Hot Chocolate

Anna with her Hot Chocolate

Here are a few pictures from the Parade. Sorry the quality of the pictures is not too great! I need to learn to use my camera better, especially at night. Most of the rest of my pictures were just too blurry.

My kids were really excited to see this one, Herbie, The Love Bug!

The one thing I found a bit strange was they allowed people to park along the street of the Parade Route. There is normally Street Parking, but to me it would make more sense to not allow that during the Parade. We had to go to the other side of the cars to watch the parade.  The up side to parking along the street is if you get one of those spots, you can sit in your car during the parade and stay warm. Hmm, maybe next year we could do that, and whoever wants to get out can, and whoever wants to stay in the car (me) can do that!

We had a good time, and survived the cold, but it did take us a while to warm up afterwards!  I am glad we went, because the children enjoyed themselves. I would generally just want to stay home and stay nice and snug in the warmth of my home, but I enjoyed the children having fun.



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Remembering At Christmas 2010


If you are missing someone you love this Christmas, someone of ANY age who is spending Christmas with Jesus this year, I hope you will join us on this very special Walking With You. We are sharing our Christmas memories and the ways that we remember our loved ones who have gone home to heaven at Christmas time.

You can click here to join in and link up too. There will be some giveaways too, so be sure not to miss it!

As Christmastime is coming upon us, I am finding I am missing Faith even more. I think about her being a two year old running around and wanting to pull ornaments off the tree.It would drive me crazy and I would love every minute of it!

She would love the lights and all the decorations and you could see the joy and delight in her eyes!

Well, she is not here, so I can only imagine these things. I miss her and wish I could just hold her. I think about her all the time and will always hold her in my heart. Those of you that have lost a child know exactly what I mean. It is like a piece of you is missing and always will.

I must admit, that I have found it hard to get into the spirit of the Season since losing Faith. I have always loved Christmas and all the sights and smells associated with it. I love the joy that the Children display with the different things we do at Christmastime. So, I try really hard for the kids, to participate and keep traditions alive.

It has taken most of the week, but we have our tree up with lights on and finally the ornaments.

Last night as we were putting on the ornaments, it was fun to see the kids remembering each one and showing such delight!  Of course, when Faith's ornaments came out everyone wanted to be the one to hang them on the tree. She is special to them also, and we hold on to whatever we can to remember her.

I find that I am missing my Dad and my Brother Doug a lot more at Christmas too.  I think Christmas was my Dad's favorite time of year. The wonderful thing was, is that he never expected anything.

In so many ways he was a simple man, and just about anything made him happy.  Just having the family around made him happy. He did not need anything else! By that, I mean, that by the world's standards, he was not a rich man. God did however, supply all his needs. But, his family meant more to him than anything money could buy, and oh, how he loved his grandchildren! I believe most of us could learn to be more like that!

I remember as a kid I would go with him up to the local Fire Department and pick out a tree. We would then bring it home and get the lights on and finally we could decorate. He had his favorite twinkle lights that he put in the window of the living room. As time marched on, he and my mom bought an artificial tree, but the twinkle lights were still in the window!  When he became too frail to do these things himself, others have pitched in to keep the lights burning and now a-days that is usually my niece Corrie and other helpers that she can recruit.

This is me with my new Swingy Doll. That is my Dad in the chair. He usually always wore a red sweater or vest on Christmas! That is my cousin Sandy standing nearby, who I absolutely adored!

 My brother Doug also enjoyed the Christmas Season. He usually helped my parents decorate their home. He was very efficient and very helpful.

Doug also enjoyed wonderful music. He could play the piano beautifully and he also appreciated listening to great music. He would often say, Karen, you have to hear this. Of course I enjoyed it too. I love music, but what I miss most, is Doug sharing a new song with me. Now sometimes when I hear a new song, I will think, Wow, Doug would love this! ( I know I have a picture of Doug playing the piano somewhere, but I cannot find it! For the sake of time, I will leave it out. : (    )

This year, there is another who we will all  miss at Christmas. My sister-in-law, Debbie passed away in August. She was another person who was just grateful for the simple things in life. She enjoyed her family, and her kids were the world to her. I know that they will feel this loss greatly, as well as my brother Rick. Please keep them in your prayers as they go through their first Christmas without her.

Christmas 1986 at my parents house. I am holding our oldest son Jeremy who was 4 months old. It is hard to believe that there were only 8 grandchildren at the time. There are now 24 grandchildren and 6 great grand children and 1 great grand child on the way!

One other person I am remembering is my grandmother, My Mom's Mom.

I have a large extended family and my Mom's side of the family all gathered at my Grandmother's house for Christmas. Just a few days ago my sister was asking little trivia questions on facebook about Christmas at Grandmother's house.  She asked where did Grandmother sit when we were passing out the presents? I was the first to respond and I got it right! She always sat on the piano bench.  In the picture below you can see me sitting with her on the piano bench.

We lived next door to her and she was a major part of my life growing up. She loved the Lord with all her heart and that was her biggest desire for all of the rest of us. She was known for praying for each of us, and I know that those prayers have carried our family through so much. She taught piano lessons and I took lessons for many years( but please so not ask me to play for you!)  It is such a Blessing to have such a wonderful heritage!

My Grandmother, Me with Jeremy, and my Mom
There are so many other loved ones that come to mind as I write this post. I am thankful to have the memories etched in my mind and will forever hold them in my heart! So as we are remembering those that have gone on before us, let us first remember the one who died for us, Jesus!

( I wrote this post before I went back and read last years post. There are a lot of similarities, so I guess it is quite obvious who I am missing more this time of year!)

You can read my post from last year here.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

These were part of our dessert for Thanksgiving. Jeremy's girlfriend, Leigh, made them for us.



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!  Enjoy each other and be Thankful! I pray you have a Blessed Day!

 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

 Worship the LORD with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

 Know that the LORD is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.

                                                                                                    Psalm 100



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

~ Hello There! ~

I am a bit behind updating on here. Life seems to keep moving so fast and sometimes I feel like I am just holding on for dear life! With 3 kids in TBQ and 4 in JBQ, that in itself can make for a busy schedule. JBQ has their meets on the first Saturday of the month and TBQ on the second.

This year I have been working on being more involved with the kids in Bible Quiz. The JBQers have practice on Sunday Mornings and so far I have never made it to a practice. The TBQers have their practice on Sunday afternoons. I have been helping out with the TBQ practices and I am learning as I go along.

My Hubby is the coordinator for JBQ at our church as well as for our part of the State. He has had me jump right in and officiate at the 2 meets we have had so far this year. The last meet I was the Quiz Master for the very first time in my life and I hope to never do that again, at least for quite a long time. I need to learn more about the rules and how things run. I am sure that the people that had to endure will agree with me!

I have been working on some different projects around here. I have needed to get some of my school things in better order, so I have been working on that. I still have a bit to do in the department.

On Saturday, Hubby and I worked on cleaning out the garage. We accomplished quite a bit and got rid of quite a lot of stuff, but we still have a ways to go. This was for two purposes. One was because it needed it badly and the other was so we could get to our Christmas Decorations. We are wanting to get lights up outside while it is still warm. In years passed we have always waited just a week too long and it was soooo cold! This year our goal is to get it done when it is warm. And no, I do not care that it is too early! Anyway, we probably won't put up our tree until after Thanksgiving.

It is such a busy season around here, so I do not know how much I will be posting. Besides Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, we have four Birthdays to celebrate in November. Having a large family sure keeps us busy in the Birthday department.

I have a couple of more posts in the works. One is sharing pictures from Faith's Birthday and the other is on all the other Birthdays that we have celebrated recently. So watch for them!

That's all for now, I just wanted to stop by and say Hi! Hopefully I will be back soon!



Welcome to Babies Ava and Lillian!

I am excited to share with you the birth of two babies!

Congratulations to Sarah and Michael on the birth of their identical twin daughters born on Monday, November 15, 2010. Ava Lynn weighed in at 5lbs 12 oz and was 19 inches long and Lillian Renee weighed in at 5lbs 07oz and was 20 inches long. They are also welcomed by their big brother Malakai and a large extended family. I hear that Mother and Babies are doing well!

Congratulations Sarah and Michael and Malakai! Ava and Lillian are just Beautiful!



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Just Another Visitor at Our Front Door!