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Showing posts from July, 2012

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday: Caramel Frosting

My all time favorite cake frosting is a homemade caramel one that my grandma and mom have topped angel food cakes with my entire life.  It makes the kitchen smell so caramel-y wonderful!  And, the taste...oh, the taste compares to nothing else.
The next best thing to having it cover my all time favorite cake, is to make graham cracker cookies with the leftover frosting.  A.maz.ing!

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. milk
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
Melt butter in saucepan.  Stir in brown sugar.
Cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
Add milk; bring to a full boil.  Remove from heat.
Cool to lukewarm without stirring.  Add powdered sugar; beat well until spreadable consistency reached.  Thin with more milk if necessary.



Gentlemen...and Ladies...Start your engines!

It was not just another day at the track today.
For, today, I was in the driver's seat!
With the family there cheering me on, and encouraging me when I needed it the most to make it through the nervousness I had early on, I had a chance to drive 6 laps around Atlanta Motor Speedway in a real NASCAR car.
It was unlike anything else I have ever experienced.
There's a lot of horsepower in those engines...power just waiting to be seen, heard, felt.
I felt a mixture of emotions, beginning to end.
Nerves, excitement, anxiety, sheer adrenaline, exhilaration, fear, awe, enjoyment, satisfaction...
The driver instructor in the car with me had nothing but good things to say about how I drove the power packed machine around the 1.5 mile racetrack.  He gave me a thumbs up on several laps when I hit the marks...and kept the car right where it was supposed to be on the track.  (Insert big smile from me here.)
I had a sense of being totally out of control inside moments of confidence and…

flower vs. weeds

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6 Every summer when I am away for any amount of time, the weeds seem to sense this and take over the flower gardens.  This year hasn't been as bad as some, especially compared to last year, but somehow they thrive in the heat of the summer days with little to no rain.
When I arrived home from Alaska, I tried going out a little at a time and pulling weeds, but the earth was so dry it was quite a task.  I knew I wasn't getting the roots out, so I decided to postpone my efforts until it rained again.
On Friday of last week, a red Magic Lily appeared by our garden hose, just outside of our garage.  I snapped a few photos with my phone in my excitement over having a flower blooming in a spot where it has never before bloomed.  Six years and not once has this flower ever appeared …

Guest Post: "Me Time?"

Earlier this summer my blogger friend, Dorie, from "These Grace Filled Days" and "Homeschooling Just Next Door" asked me to write a guest post for her to be published over at "Growing Your Homeschool".
Today is the day!  I am so excited and thankful for this opportunity opened up to me.
Thank you, Dorie, for the invitation to guest post for you!
Please drop by and visit their blogs for encouragement along your homeschooling journey.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out,
and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there.
Simon and his companions went searching for Him.
They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!”
And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages
so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.”
So He went into all of Galilee,
preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Mark 1:35-39
A conversation that I had last week with another homeschooling mom finally gave…

Same one?

The drive up Hatcher Pass this summer reminded me so much of my first and only previous drive there...cloudier, rainier, and colder than I could ever hope for when trying to explore a new place in Alaska.  I headed my team in this direction, hoping that we could enjoy seeing Independence Mine together for the first time.  We did not drive up that far in 2009, so I was looking forward to something new.
I knew even if the weather didn't hold out as we reached the upper elevations, the drive up would offer great visuals.  Especially when crossing the Little Susitna River.
Honestly, my favorite memory of the scenery of July 2009 is this photo of Fireweed growing along the river's edge...

I was pleasantly surprised when I stood once again at the Little Susitna River's edge and found this...

Same beautiful Fireweed? I think so....just a month earlier than in 2009. It's probably blooming right about now. Hardy little flower...with the endurance of a champion. As you can tel…

a level path

"They will come with weeping;
they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
on a level path where they will not stumble..." Jeremiah 31:9
Being back home has been wonderful in that I am with my family again (and sleeping in my own bed and not standing in line for a shower), but in all other regards it has been difficult.  Coming home knowing that there is more ministry to be done in Anchorage and more teams to prepare for to do that ministry has been hard on me mentally. 
My heart is there and here...here and there. 
I cannot be both places. 
When in one, the other holds something special that draws me back toward it. 
Each day that I was home, my body seemed to readjust to the time just a little more, but my mind was still on what was happening in Alaska.  Each day I felt as if a little more weight was being added to my load instead of being lifted. 
Until Sunday.
That morning I was on the verge of tears most of the morning.  My heart l…

So long for now...

Post written early morning of July 10th while in the airport awaiting my flight.
I am at the airport and ready for take-off. Today was a long, busy, wonderful day! I was hoping to see Denali before leaving and this morning she was shining in full glory.  Such an awesome sight to behold from Anchorage!  One day I will see the mountain from a closer distance...all in due time.
Today I was given the privilege of helping train the new park host that will be in the park I've been in the past several weeks...first couple of weeks as a guest watching and learning the ins and outs of the kids and the park itself, then as team leader for my church group who came and served here last week.  It made my day to be busy and to be back in the park with the kiddos I have come to love so much!  Such cute smiles and big hugs...lonely hearts that need a Savior and hungry stomachs that need food.
Today in the park the kids were excited to see me again.  It was nice to have a familiar face among th…

Saturday's Sights

NBC in the Park: Day 5 Finale

Friday, July 6th

We had free time this morning, so a few of us not doing sandwiches or working for Mr. Billy went to the Alaska State Troopers Museum downtown.  It was fun seeing the boys so excited as they looked at the photos, badges, newspaper articles, and other memorabilia they had for people to view.  We had about an hour to spend there and the boys made sure they saw every square inch of the place, not missing a thing!  Alex and Tim were sworn in as honorary Troopers by a retired State Trooper, Mr. Howard.  They thought that was so cool...just like being a Jr. Ranger at all the National Parks last year.  Mr. Howard's stories and accounts of his years as a State Trooper were fascinating to say the least.  My favorite was the one where a person reported finding a body by a river's edge in the Mat-Su Valley.  Upon investigation, Mr. Howard said that what he found made him step back at first.  The body, dressed in pants, button-down shirt, socks, shoes, a tie, and a basebal…

NBC in the Park: Day 4

Thursday, July 5th
Our morning was spent divided, with part of us went grocery shopping to fill bags for a few families in our park community and the guys and boys going to do yard work at a few homes in our park community.  Service projects are always a favorite part of GraceWorks for me.  Keeps me busy and thinking of others instead of myself.
The afternoon at the park was just as fun as all the others.  A little girl who attached herself to Scott the second he came into the park last evening was asking for him, but he was helping Mr. Billy at the church again.  I promised her that he would come back and say goodbye before we left town.
The reality is setting in that our days are numbered with these adorable faces.  My boys, at separate times, came to me and mentioned that we only had one more day at the park and how sad they were about it.  My heart went out to them for I so understand how they feel!  They are wanting to return to Alaska and they aren't even finished here this w…

NBC in the Park: Day 3

Happy 4th of July!





I have now been in Alaska on the first day of summer and enjoyed the true midnight sun moment and been in Alaska for the 4th of July, complete with fireworks set off in downtown Anchorage at midnight the morning of the 4th.  I did miss out on the normal 4th of July festivities...cookout, watermelon, hot weather...yeah, especially the hot weather!
Another hike in the morning for some, I stayed back and worked on some staff stuff and Skyped with our Pastor back home, and lunch prep duty for others.
The afternoon found us back in the park with several fewer children due to the holiday activities with family and in the city.  However, we were blessed to have as many as we did and we enjoyed our time together!
The evening in the park was our community park party where everyone in the community is invited to come out and enjoy hot dogs, chips, punch, and games and hear the Gospel message.
We had a good turnout considering it was a holiday.  God gave the words to speak to…