Gingerbread Legacies

Our three new grand babies  and son in law gingerbread cookies

Our three new grand babies and son in law gingerbread cookies

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is our permanent gingerbread ornaments with family names on them.  This year, the Lord has graciously added to us three grandchildren and a son in law.

I love these ornaments because each one tells a story. I love to reflect on memories of the ones who have passed into their eternal home.

Great Grandma Rowley didn’t have any money.  She didn’t give presents or Christmas cards.  She never really spoke unless spoken to.   I’ll never forget my conversations with her.  She talked about Jesus like I’d never heard anyone talk.

The last time I saw her, she was in her late nineties and her mind and body were going.  She stayed awake all night and slept in the day.  It was hard on the family.  I walked into her room this particular night and she appeared not to be in her right mind until I asked her to tell me about Jesus.

Her face lit up like a Christmas tree.  Peace filled her countenance and a smile took over her confusion.  Her slumped over body straightened right up.  Tears filled her eyes and then it was like a fountain of living water came forth from her.  “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus oh I love His name. He is wonderful, He’s my Counselor, my Mighty God, He’s my Everlasting Father, my Prince of Peace…”

She radiated almost like she was in Heaven and not on Earth in her spirit. She didn’t stop talking!  She couldn’t! I eventually had to walk out of the room to take care of our children who were waiting to be put to bed.  When I finished, I came back in the room and she was still recounting His glory and majesty!

I’ve never forgotten that night.  She gave the best Christmas gift I could have ever received from her. What else do I know about her?  Did she keep a clean house?  I don’t know! Was she organized?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t matter.  What did she do in her spare time?  She read the Word.

None of us know if we will be here next Christmas…

A question that comes to my heart during this time of year, is “what story will be told of us?”  If our family in the distant future were hanging our gingerbread person on the tree and our story was being told, what would be said?

When I’m ninety-eight years old and my great, great grandchildren walk in the room and ask me to tell them about Jesus- I want Him to flow out like a river.  I want my love for Him to be a mighty rushing river flowing from that place within, that never grows old.  His Presence and life abiding inside of us is the gift that keeps on giving!

The gifts we buy will soon be forgotten but the gift that gives into our future generations is a living testimony of a life lived in “laid down love” for Jesus.

As I add my new gingerbread family to the garland today, I pray for my children to live a life dedicated to the Lord and that their life stories would be powerful and told for generations to come.

 

Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf never withers. . .” Ps 1

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…” Hebrews 12:1-2

Great Grandma Rowley on far left, me holding our daughter Heather and Grandma Gray

Christmas memories in the making- Great Grandma Rowley on far left, me holding our daughter Heather and Grandma Gray

Heather is the mother to three of our grand babies now!

Some years I hang the gingerbread people on a special tree, other times they hang on this garland in my kitchen

Some years I hang the gingerbread people on a special tree, other times they hang on this garland in my kitchen

Gift from God

Lydia June Easter and proud Grandma

Lydia June Easter- Gift from God-Proud Grandma

Margaret Morgan is the winner of the cornucopia basket!! Email me your address!

Our daughter Hannah and her husband, Jake had their first baby this past week. We have been thanking God everyday for Lydia.

Hannah’s labor was quick, but hard.  Immediately after Lydia was born she was taken to the NICU, she had Meconium aspiration. She was released to a normal room in less than 24 hours. I’ve been with Hannah most of the week and now preparing for a marriage conference tomorrow where Dale and I are the keynote speakers.

 

Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking in Buffalo, NY at the Women Standing Strong conference. The theme of the weekend was Breaking Down the Walls. Oh MY how the Lord ministered to us all.  Before the Israelites could come into the Promised Land the walls of Jericho HAD to come down. We all have walls that we build around ourselves from time to time. Sometimes we build them because of past disappointments, sometimes because we’re too afraid to trust God. . .

What walls have you built around yourself thinking you were protecting yourself when all along they are preventing you from the greater blessing? Lord, show us the walls and help us to take them down. We want everything You have for us and nothing less. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Still praying for last weeks prayer requests. I’ve got three prayer warriors praying over these. My heart breaks for you and the things you’re going through. May the Lord strengthen you and give you peace that passes all understanding.

 

Rachael’s Woodland Baby Shower

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Rachael’s baby shower was this past weekend!  Her baby is due November 4. It’s a boy! They haven’t announced his first name yet. Hence his last name “Curry”  strung at top of cake between two branches. Organic gluten free cake. Made with all natural dyes. I curled organic chocolate to make trees on the cake.  Wilton tip 233 piped frosting to look like grass for the animals to stand on and tree tops.  I used Wilton tip 48 for the rest of the frosting. We had lots of tree stumps ready for fall splitting and used one to set cake on.

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Rachael, her sisters, niece and me. Rachael’s the one in the red dress in the center! Her sister, Hannah is due to have  baby, Lydia- next week!!! We are SO excited!!!Her mother-in law gave Hannah’s baby shower last month. Hannah is on the end.

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Homemade Beatrix Potter flags decorated the table- thanks to Grandpa Dale!

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Hannah prepared the meat, cheese and fruit platter.

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Jennifer made buckeye acorns. The flower arrangements were freshly pulled carrots, radishes and fresh basil from the garden displayed in mason jars.

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Dairy free Punch. Pureed raspberries, pineapple juice, coconut milk and ginger-ale.

PIMG_0029 Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(15) Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(44) IMG_0010IMG_0015 Friends and family came from NYC, NC and all over VA to come to the shower!

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Chrissy- childhood best friend

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Mother-in-law, Barbara Curry, Rachael and her sister-in-law, Laura

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Rachael and Grandma Shanaberger

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Aunt Dawn, Rachael and Grandma Marilyn

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Aunt Susan, cousin Danielle, Rachael and cousin Lauren

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Selena and Rachael. Heather  hollowed cabbage out and filled with spinach dip- served with vegetables.

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Rachael due November 4 and her sister due Sept 18 and they didn’t plan it! Heather, their oldest sister had her baby in March. BLESSINGS!!!!

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Her friends and family showered her with blessings all day! It was a perfect shower!

The Royal Wedding and Reception

Our daughter, Jennifer Glasgow, married Alex Craig on June 7, 2014.  We thank the Lord every day for creating the best man ever, for her. Please enjoy a little of our glorious day with these photo’s and video!

The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding

Getting Ready in her childhood bedroom

Getting Ready in her childhood bedroom
Her Bridesmaids and flower girl

Her beautiful bridesmaids and flower girl

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Dale, Jennifer and me

Dale, Jennifer and me

Alex and his groomsmen

Alex and his handsome groomsmen

Prayer before going down the aisle

Prayer before going down the aisle- Thank You Jesus!!!

Most adorable ring bearers ever

Most adorable ring bearers ever

Adorable flower girl-Miss Felicity

Most adorable flower girl-Miss Felicity

Here comes the Bride!

Here comes the Beautiful Bride!

Both sets of parents prayed blessings over the marriage

Both sets of parents prayed blessings over the marriage

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The Princess and Prince united in Holy Matrimony

The Princess and Prince united in Holy Matrimony

The princess and the prince story here.

The Bridal Party

The Bridal Party was AMAZING

Alex's mom and dad with the newly weds!

Alex’s mom and dad with the newly weds!

 

Before the guest get arrive from church

Before the guest arrive from church

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The sweetheart table

The sweetheart table

Kids enthralled by the turkey

Kids enthralled by the turkey

 

All food made on the Glasgow Farm-exceptthe famous wood smoke grilled chicken by Jose!

All food made on the Glasgow Farm-except the famous wood smoke grilled chicken by Jose!

The first dance

The first dance

Head table- not everyone is seated yet

Head table- not everyone is seated

Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles

Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles

Homemade Raspberry Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows were the wedding favors-Recipe

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Watching the first dance

Watching the first dance

 

While others are entertained by "Edward" the French Alpine buck

“Edward” the French Alpine buck admired

Heidi and Heather looking pretty on the vintage furniture

Heidi and Heather looking pretty

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Deserts before the wedding cake! Oh yeah!

Deserts before the wedding cake! Oh yeah!

Homemade Mints

Homemade Mints- recipe here

Homemade Gluten Free donuts

Homemade Gluten Free donuts

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Wedding favors were homemade raspberry marshmallows dipped in chocolate- Recipe will be linked here by tomorrow

Wedding favors were homemade raspberry marshmallows dipped in chocolate- Recipe will be linked here by tomorrow

The cake was lowered from the barn ceiling for the unveiling. It was breath taking! Gluten free wedding cake recipe HERE!

The cake was lowered from the barn ceiling for the unveiling. It was breath taking! Gluten free wedding cake recipe HERE!

 I love the story of the cake being lowered from the ceiling. One morning Dale said to me that he had this great idea. He said he wanted Jennifer’s wedding cake to lower from the barn ceiling for her reception. I didn’t say a word, no facial expressions from me. I  pretended like he didn’t say it. It was too scary- lowering the wedding cake from the ceiling! We’d never done that! We never mentioned it again.

Then, Alex got here a week before the wedding.  In the first hour of his visit, he says to us that he would like to have their wedding cake lowered from the ceiling! I gasped. Dale looked at me, I looked at him. It was a done deal at that moment. Dale drew up the plans and gave them to Alex. We went to bed one night and the next morning we wake up to the entire plan finished, perfectly executed! He’s definitely a keeper.

Dancing

Dancing

 

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Tent for gifts

Tent for gifts

Tent for Guest Book

Tent for Guest Book

 

I wish you could see all the lightening bugs entertaining the children

I wish you could see all the lightening bugs entertaining the children!  A magical night!

The sparkler send off! It was truly "A Royal Wedding"

The sparkler send off! It was truly “A Royal Wedding”

Thank you Beverly Toves for photographs, the CAKE, arranging our flowers, the chocolate fountain, the portrait. . . YOU ARE AN AMAZING FRIEND! Thank you Forest for the video! Thank you Kim for Photographs!

Reception was held at The Glasgow Farm.

Here’s the wedding and reception video for you to watch! 

Tips for Traveling Cheap

Forth of July Picnic

Forth of July Picnic

We traveled 3000 miles in three days on $300.  It was an ADVENTURE!  Jennifer and I traveled from Virginia to L.A., CA.

I love a good challenge, don’t you?  Where do you want to go or need to go this summer? Does it seem impossible?  Then do it!

I’ve got my master’s degree in pinching pennies after raising five daughters. On top of raising them, we sent all five to college and have married four of them, so far.  Many days there’ve been no pennies to pinch.   So, we’ve had to work harder.

Several years ago Jennifer got an internship in L.A., CA.  She needed to get there with all her belongings- on the least amount of money possible.  We looked at the three big budget needs of travel: Mode of transportation, food, and lodging. We calculated every mode of travel meticulously- plus shipping her belongings. Every way we sliced it, we came up with car travel being the cheapest.

This is how we traveled 3000 miles on $300 in three days:

~Our VW Bug could go 45 miles to a gallon on the highway. We needed approximately 66 gallons of gas for 3000 miles. We mapped out the cheapest places to get gas and drove wisely on the highway.  We didn’t carry heavy luggage or coolers that would add drag to the fuel consumption.  We made the whole trip on $220 in gas.

~We calculated that we would need three nights of lodging.  We asked friends in TN (Micca Campbell) and OK (Tammy Dennis) if we could stay overnight with them on our journey. We made WONDERFUL memories with them.  Our last night we stayed at the cheapest hotel (THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED). It was definitely a memory which could be a post all on its own.

~We brought ALL of our own food. Loaves of organic bread, peanut butter, jelly, bananas, apples, boiled eggs and water.  Not once did we buy fast food.  Not once did we visit a convenience or grocery store and not once did we sit down in a restaurant. Not once did we buy a bottled water.  We filled up jars with water at home and refilled along the journey.

Traveling is expensive, if you aren’t careful.  In I Corinthians 4:2 We are told that, “it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” I want to have been found faithful with all the Lord provides for our family.

It’s a holiday weekend.  Yay!  Dale and I traveled to the beach to be with our children and grandchildren.  For the trip, I packed a picnic lunch.  I  poured chili in the bottom of mason jars, poured homemade corn bread batter on top of that and topped with shredded cheddar cheese.  I then baked the jars in the oven on 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let the jars cool before putting tops on.

To add live enzymes to our meal, I included my Cucumber Salad and watermelon stars.  I filled mason jars with water for drinking and added organic chips to the basket! YUM!

You can also make my Chicken& Dumpling cobbler in mason jars.  Where do you plan to go this summer or where do you wish you could go? I would love to hear what food you bring on trips to save money!

Happily Ever After

The Princess and Prince united in Holy Matrimony

The Princess and Prince united in Holy Matrimony-June 7, 2014

The wedding was glorious!  True love took center stage in the old country church.  Their purity combined with their passion- exploded our hearts with joy and peace.  It’s a breathtaking wonder for a couple madly in love to wait for their wedding day, to partake of all the pleasures God has for them.

I sat directly in front of Jennifer and Alex and wondered if angels filled the place and all of heaven as they watched them pronounce their sacred vows.  I could sense God’s pleasure coursing through every word and gesture.  When two combine as one in they way that He intended, it is an awesome wonder.

The possibilities of a Happily Ever After marriage are endless now. . .

True love becomes drunk with passion when Christ and unselfish love unite as one.

Thank You Lord for allowing Dale and I (your humble servants) the honor of raising your princess. You are worthy of all praise and honor!  You are the King of Kings.  You are the most High GOD.  The Great I AM!

 

The cake was lowered from the ceiling for the unveiling!

The cake was lowered from the ceiling for the unveiling while music played and all eyes watched! It was a  real life fairy- tale wedding and reception!

The humble servants of the Most High God are still cleaning up from all the festivities!I’ll be sharing all the wedding and reception photo’s in a couple weeks! Thank you for praying for us!

Raising Strong Willed Children

If you are joining me from Proverbs 31′s devotion, Losing The Battle is Not an Option- welcome!

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as fronts between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Watch video of our five daughters talking about discipline

High Calling of Motherhood

We need each others prayers. What can I pray for you today for your child? Your comment will enter your name in the drawing to win $50 of your choice of resources from Proverbs 31 Bookstore.

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

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Easter Traditions

The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses

The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses-

Directions for how to make The Empty Tomb and Cross centerpiece.

If you are visiting me today from Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion, welcome!

Jesus our Lord is risen! Because He died and rose on the third day;“He that believes in Him shall have everlasting life.” When we believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance. This is cause for uncontainable excitement!

We are filled with all the fullness of God! Oh my goodness, this is glorious!

Let’s worship Him without reserve.  Lets cleanse our homes of anything that doesn’t glorify Him. Lets give ourselves wholly to Him who bought us with His own blood. Lets love Him the way He loves us!

May your Easter be filled with all the fullness of God!Coconut Cream cake

Family Meal with yummy Coconut Cream cake
Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake

Here’s the link for this delicious Coconut Cake Recipe. Recipe is Gluten Free but you can make it with regular flour too.

Blown out eggs, decorated-these were made 15 years ago

Decorate blown eggs- these were made over 15 years ago by our children. Some have Jesus and cross painted on, another the three crosses. . .

Directions for making decorated blown out eggs here and storage of the treasures.

I laid an old basket with a flat back on the table. The Cross was made with two twigs tied together. I love how the basket handle resembles the crown of thorns.

Easter Devotions

 For more on Easter devotions by candlelight click here.

I divided the large batch into smaller jars- they'll be on the table for Easter

Pickled eggs are a family tradition passed down from my mom

 Link  to recipe for pickled eggs here.

 

Passover(Seder) Supper

Passover(Seder) Supper

One of the greatest traditions you can start with your family is a Passover(Seder) meal. Instructions, recipes, and verses on how to do prepare for a Passover(Seder)Meal.  

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”   Easter beckon’s us to share Christ’s  free gift of salvation to the lost. It beckon’s us to be overcome with His love for others.  Who do you know that doesn’t know Christ as their personal savior? Ask the Lord how He would like to use you to bring them to Him. Should you call them, invite them for Easter lunch? Send an Easter card? Stop by with a basket and invite them to church? In the comment section, leave the name of the one you’re praying for. Your comment enters you to win a $40 gift certificate to be used at the Proverbs 31 bookstore and we’ll pray for your lost family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker.

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

The Royal Bridal Shower

The Royal Shower

The Royal Shower

Wedding preparations and festivities have commenced. Jennifer’s royal shower was this past weekend.

My friend Beverly Toves took all the photos!

Invitation to Jennifer's royal bridal shower

Invitation to Jennifer’s royal bridal shower

The bride-to be with her sisters and mom

The bride-to be with her sisters and mom

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Gluten free cake with organic butter cream frosting

Gluten free cake with organic butter cream frosting, organic chocolate cups with raspberry mouse, dates, macaroons, homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate and coconut, homemade wedding mints (made by grandma) chocolate mouse, phyllo filled delicacies (made by Ellie)

 

Gluten free cupcakes- made by sisters- Rachael and Ellie

Gluten free cupcakes made by sisters- Rachael and Ellie

 

Coffee, raspberry punch lemon water and chocolate covered strawberries dipped by Rachael

Coffee, raspberry punch lemon water and chocolate covered strawberries dipped by Rachael

Heather brought the chocolate mouse

Heather brought the chocolate mouse

Fruit salad recipe here!

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Hannah brought the macaroons and made yummy organic goat cheese dip and vegetables

Pink pickled eggs, watermelon and cantaloupe balls

Pink pickled eggs, watermelon and cantaloupe balls

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Heather holding week and a half old Heidi. Grandma (my mom) seeing her for first time.

Heather holding week and a half old Heidi. Grandma (my mom) seeing her for first time.

 

Grandma (Dale's mom) congratulating Jennifer

Grandma (Dale’s mom) congratulating Jennifer

Jennifer cutting her cake

Jennifer cutting her cake

Recipe for cake here!

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The blessing

The blessing

Introducing friends and family

Introducing friends and family

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Friends from college and childhood

Friends from college and childhood

 

Rachael and Bethany (Bethany used to live at the Glasgow house for weeks at a time when she was little)

Rachael and Bethany (Bethany used to live at the Glasgow house for weeks at a time when she was little)

lauraLaura congratulating Jennifer and Alex. Laura and Jennifer have been friends since they were two years old.

Present opening

Present opening

 

Jennifer told her and Alex's Once upon a Time love story. Then everyone was quizzed on how well they listened to the story.

Jennifer told her and Alex’s Once upon a Time love story. Then everyone was quizzed on how well they listened to the story.

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Alex had been in Alaska filming for 10 days. He made a guest appearance for the shower! They had never been apart for that many days since they started dating

Alex had been in Alaska filming for 10 days. He made a guest appearance for the shower! They had never been apart for that many days since they started dating

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 Throughout each day this past week while we busily prepared for the wedding and shower we would stop, thank the Lord for providing such a godly and amazing man and then ball our eyes out. It’s worth waiting for the man that GOD provides. Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Marathon To-Do List w/ Children

listLast week our daughter and her husband had their fourth baby, Heidi Victoria! We’re still celebrating!  The first one, Grace is with the Lord, just in case you’re wondering where she is in the photo’s. Each baby born is a huge gift from the Lord, for which we are ever so grateful.

It is such an honor to be a grand parent. I’ll never forget those days after Grace died, when other grandparents held their  grandchildren and I ached for ours. When I hold ours now, oh my goodness- I cherish them. Every toe I kiss, every nose I wipe, every word they say is priceless. When you lose a life, it makes you more grateful for life. I want to cherish our grandchildren. I want to live life with them, teach them through our actions how to live and love like Jesus.

Before Heidi was born I made a list of things I could do with the grand children while Heather, their mom was in labor. Use the list as an idea bank for yourself, for your children or grandchildren.

Heather’s labor was only five hours, Heidi was born while the kids were still asleep. We decided to do the list anyway so Heather could rest from her night of labor. After hugging and admiring Heidi we ate breakfast and then began our marathon list. The object of the marathon was to complete it in one day. We only accomplished 3/4  by dinnertime! The snag in time that I didn’t account for was  the toy from Target- they didn’t want to move on to the next thing, they wanted to play with the toy.

  1. Dye Easter eggs
  2. Make craft
  3. Finger paint
  4. Read books
  5. Play game
  6. Nature walk
  7. Make Christmas ornament
  8. Pitch tent in family room- to play in
  9. Pray
  10. Tell story
  11. Go to store and buy a toy
  12. Watch movie and eat organic popcorn
  13. Make cookies
  14. Snug as a bug in the rug at bedtime
  15. Make scrape book
  16. Talk for an hour
  17. Take cookies to neighbor
  18. Hugs and say, “I love you!”
  19. Give organic candy
  20. Make yummy meal

game

Dying Easter eggs

Dying Easter eggs

 

Grandman and I took them shopping so they could each buy one toy

Grandman and I took them shopping so they could each buy one toy

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Made a craft

Made a craft

Made cookies- Lochlan choose a cross cookie cutter for Jesus-he told me all about Jesus and the cross

Made cookies- Lochlan choose a cross cookie cutter for Jesus-he told me all about Jesus and the cross

Felicity chose chicks and the cross cookie cutters

Felicity chose chicks and the cross cookie cutters

Took cookies they made to neighbor

Took cookies they made to neighbor

Nature walk

Nature walk

Made play dough- felicity enjoyed throwing it more than anything

Made play dough- felicity enjoyed throwing it more than anything

Read books

Read books

organic candy

Organic candy

Heidi was 7 hours old-we were at the breakfast table with the whole family

Heidi was 7 hours old in this photo-we were at the breakfast table with the whole family-before the marathon to-do-list

What a memorable day!

The Proposal to The Princess

The Prince Proposing to the Princess

The prince proposing to the princess

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived two humble servants in the kingdom reigned by the King, the One called the Great I Am. The King entrusted this couple with five of His most priceless gifts- His princesses. The humble servants bowed before the King in thanksgiving, that He would trust them with such a royal honor.

From the time of their conceptions, the weight of raising this Kings’ Daughters became all-encompassing. The couple prayed night and day for them.  They prayed that the daughter’s hearts would be enthralled by the King- and for their future princes. For they knew, that their time of raising them would be pivotal in their future in the kingdom.

The daughters grew up to be beautiful princesses.  The King impressed upon the servants’ hearts the necessity of each daughter to only choose the prince whom He had groomed- specifically for them. The intensity was great, for there were many in pursuit of the royal ones.

One by one, the daughters started to present potential princes to the servants for approval.

As each suitor was presented, the King  would immediately speak to the inner chambers of the couples’ hearts. The answers were quite clear.  It was either “Yes” or “No”- but never “maybe.”

Three out of the five daughters received their prince and married him.  These three received the prince that the King  had groomed especially for them.  It was quite a fairytale, except for the fact that one of the daughters was missing her prince.  He was nowhere to be found. The servants questioned the King and begged him for knowledge of where this prince might be found.

The King spoke to the inner chambers of their hearts, “the prince is still being groomed.”

Then the day that the servants had prayed for all the days of her life- came to be. The prince arrived!

The princess presented him before the servants of the King, to ask if he indeed was the one that the King had selected.

The King (the One called the Great I Am) spoke in the inner chambers of their hearts and said, “Yes, this is he.”  The servants smiled at Jennifer and gave her His approval.

On March 2, 2014 in a land far, far away (NYC), the prince, Alex Craig proposed to Princess Jennifer Glasgow. She cried, “Yes, I will marry thee.”

The consummation of this fairy tale will take place in June of 2014 at the home of the humble servants of the Most High King, Dale and Sharon Glasgow.  The King gave this precious princess to them, and now they will give her hand in marriage to the one He ordained for her.

The humble servants, her parents- haven’t stopped crying for joy.  For you see, every day (since the time that they knew she was conceived) have prayed for this little princess- that one day she would find her prince in shining armor.  What an honor to be entrusted with a child of the King.

We bow before Him today, thanking Him for this honor and weeping with grateful hearts.

The youngest of the five princesses, remains, and the servants pray for her night and day. . .

Winner of last weeks drawing for books and Target gift card is Christine who posted  2014/03/01 at 10:06 AM.

 

The princess at age four

The princess at age four

The Princess and me at the engagement party! This was taken after we composed ourselves from tears of JOY!

The princess and me(servant of the King) at the engagement party!

Alex(prince), Jennifer(princess) and Dale (humble servant of the King)

Alex(prince), Jennifer(princess) and Dale (humble servant of the King)

Our five princess's plus one

Our five princess’s plus one-at Rachael’s wedding last year

Twelfth Night Dinner

 

 

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on. . .

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on in our Home

If you’re visiting from Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today devotions, welcome!

It was the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended… It was a Twelfth Night Dinner.  The smell of roasted rib roast enveloped us as we walked through the front door. We were ushered through the bustling kitchen.  It was filled with homemade dishes.  Yorkshire pudding and mushroom pie were being taken out of the oven as we made our way to the family room adjacent to the dining-room.  Candles flickered all over the table.  Jars of homemade pickled watermelon rind and other delicacies adorned the table.

Their only daughter, Heidi (11 years old), was sitting on the sofa. We sat next to her.  A wig covered her sparse, thin hair. Cancer had taken a toll on her brainstem and she wasn’t who she used to be physically or mentally.  Slowly, she explained to us why her family celebrated Twelfth Night.

She looked off into the distance and recalled the beautiful story of the Magi following the star to find Jesus. The wise men were Gentiles (non-Jews) and were willing to go any distance to worship and adore Him with their finest gifts.  At the close of her story, her words got slower.  She took a long pause- we waited. Our daughters didn’t move a muscle nor did my husband or I.  It was as if she were listening to a voice we couldn’t hear. Our hearts melted when slowly she said “Come let us adore Him and give Him our best- just like the wise men.”

Clanging pots and dishes jolted us back into the twentieth century. Pat, our hostess invited us to gather ‘round the table. Her toddler started to cry. She said, “Please excuse Galen, his ear drum burst last night. He didn’t get much sleep, he’s a little grumpy.”  We joined hands and prayed.

I sat mesmerized that night, by this family.  While suffering, they served.  One child suffering the effects of brain stem cancer, another with a dreadful ear infection, a mom with no sleep, a third child that begged her attention and yet, she served us with joy. How ironic that her and her husband would host a night of worship in honor of the ultimate suffering servant, Jesus.

We ate our food with gladness and simplicity of heart, and praised God together.  Our children were young but even they could sense the sacredness of the night. No one said a word on our way home. Years have passed since then, but every 12th night after Christmas, I remember the Kastock family and that special dinner. Heidi went home to be with the Lord. But she lives on in my heart as the greatest story teller of Twelfth Night, that there ever was.

It was literally the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended. The food was incredible.  The fellowship sweet but the living example of a suffering servant is so indelibly etched in my heart and soul that it changed me forever.

Lord, help me to never wait until my circumstances are perfect to serve. Help me to serve when nothing is perfect, when life is hard and when it’s good.  May I celebrate You all the days of my life with the same tenacity and with my finest gifts just like the wise men, and the Kastock’s.

I don’t know about you but I’ve already got the family in mind I want to invite over. How about you? We can’t wait till things get easier.  It never does! To make it easier, you could have them over for just coffee and dessert.

The best  Coconut Cream Cake (Gluten Free) recipe ever to serve with the coffee!

A make ahead dinner, try- Chicken and Dumpling  Casserole (Gluten Free) I keep one of these in freezer at all times for unexpected company. You can bake it before you freeze it or freeze unbaked, both work.

Pat Kasktock’s Twelfth Night Yorkshire Pudding

2 Corinthians 12:9a, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

Who are you going to invite? Leave their name in the comment section to enter the drawing to win this amazing book, Everyday Confetti written by my dear friends, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer and a $30 Target gift card to get the baking pan you need! The book is being released January 21, 2014. I’ll pick the winner next Wednesday!! Everyday confetti

 

8 Christmas Cookie/Candy Gift Recipes

 

Cookie lead photo

A memorable Christmas tradition in our family is to bring goodies to the homes of hurting people on Christmas Eve. Notice I didn’t say our favorite Christmas tradition but a memorable one. The kids didn’t actually like this tradition when they were little. Just this week I got a call from one of our grown daughters, Hannah and she said even though it wasn’t one of her favorite traditions as a child, it is as an adult. She wants to carry the tradition on in her family. Throughout the year we would make a mental note of those who had lost loved ones, endured cancer, lost their jobs or husbands. Then on Christmas Eve we would deliver goodies to their homes and pray for them.

I’ll never forget one year in particular. We went into the home of a family who had lost their only teenage son. We didn’t call before we came. it was a surprise visit. The dad was drunk and he wasn’t a drinker.  The mom was crying.  The kids were sitting by the Christmas tree with no gifts. Sadness consumed the house. We gathered them into a circle, held hands and prayed. They didn’t want us to leave, we brought not just food- but the joy of the Lord. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Bringing good tidings of great joy to the poor and brokenhearted; Jesus came to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and open prison to those who are bound…To comfort all who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  We are His ambassadors carrying His anointing to the lost and hurting ones, He loves. Let’s be His hands and feet and bring joy where there is none.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes  to make for your goodie deliveries.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 180

Prepare your goodie containers. Save oatmeal, cocoa and coffee canisters throughout year. Wrap cans with paper you’ve saved  and have fun decorating with supplies on hand. The point is to spend the least amount of money and make it look better than anything you could buy.

Soft Baked Oreo Cookies

Soft Baked Oreo Cookies-GF

1 box of chocolate cake mix (we used a gluten free mix, any cake mix works)

1/3 cup water (depending on how many ounces the mix -you may need as much as ¾ cup)

3 tablespoons shortening or butter, softened

Mix all ingredients. It will be a little dry. If you can’t form it into a ball, you need more water. Add extra slowly. Dust the counter with a little cocoa powder, roll out dough and use cookie cutter to form circles.  If your dough is too sticky, form into silver dollar size patties by hand and flatten.

Bake on greased baking sheet for 6 minutes on 325 degrees.

Filling

3 ½ cups powdered sugar (organic)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup shortening or butter

3 tablespoons hot water

Mix well. After cookies have cooled squish a heaping wallop of frosting between two cookies! YUM

 

Candied Oranges

Candied Orange

6 thick sliced organic oranges (non-organic orange peel shouldn’t be eaten, chemicals are heavy)

4 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cups water

Wash oranges. Quarter and peel the skin and pith off. Slice peel into thin strips. Put orange peel into a pot of cold water, bring to boil over high heat. Pour water off and repeat 1-2 more times. This helps take  bitterness away. Remove orange peels from water.

Empty pot and now add your sugar and 1 ½ cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes, bringing the temperature up slowly to 234. Add the peels and simmer for 40 minutes. DON’T stir, it can make sugar crystals in your syrup. Drain the peels and roll in a little sugar if you desire. Let sit for several hours.

I actually used fermented oranges on one batch- OH MY GOODNESS—it was better than anything I’ve ever eaten. The oranges were soft inside and the outside was hardened candy. It was like eating heaven.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 196

Maple Walnut Fudge

2 cups organic brown sugar (all sugar not organic is genetically modified)

5 ounces whole milk (I used raw goat milk for my lactose sensitive family)

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups organic powdered sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (don’t use artificial, it cheats you of perfection)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Butter a 9×9 inch square pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat sugar, milk, butter and maple syrup. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Take off heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour into mixing bowl and beat on medium until thick—about 3 minutes. Fold in nuts and pour into greased pan.

Let cool overnight. Slice into 1-inch squares.

 

Pecan Toffee

Pecan Toffee- GF Not hard but a soft crunch- YUM

½ cup chopped toasted pecans

1 cup butter (don’t use margarine)

1 cup organic sugar

1 tablespoon corn syrup or maple syrup (if you can’t find organic corn syrup use maple syrup)

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup crushed toasted pecans

Line a 9 X 13ish baking pan with foil and grease. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts into bottom of pan evenly. In pot add butter, sugar and corn syrup or maple syrup. Cook over medium high heat to boiling.

Clip a candy thermometer onto side of pot. Cook and stir over medium heat. Stop stirring after sugar melts.  Cook until candy thermometer reaches 290 degree. Watch carefully, it can burn after 280. If it starts to turn too dark after 280 turn off heat. Pour mixture evenly over chopped nuts in greased pan.

Let stand for a few minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top. Let melt on top for a couple of minutes.  Spread chocolate over whole mixture. Sprinkle crushed nuts on top. Cool, when firm lift out of pan and break into pieces. Store in tightly covered container.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 189

Banana Bread Muffins- GF

1 ¾ cups self-rising flour (I use GF Pamela’s Baking Mix or dairy free Cherry

1 cup mashed bananas

½ cup milk ( you can substitute with yogurt)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup butter

1 cup organic sugar

2 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

If you use non-self-rising flour you’ll need 2 tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda and ¾ tsp salt

Mix all ingredients. Pour into muffin pan or loaf pan. Bake 350 degrees  for 25 minutes.

Muffin topping

½ cup sugar

½ finely chopping nuts

4 tablespoons melted butter

Mix sugar and nuts together in a bowl. Melted butter in another small bowl.

Dip cooled muffin top into melted butter, then dip into sugar and nut mixture.

Enjoy!

 Flourless Decadent Brownie- GF

24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (dairy free if you’re lactose intolerant)

1 ½ sticks butter

5 beaten eggs

½ cup organic sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

1 cup pecans

Melt chocolate chips and butter in bowl and stir. Add all other ingredients and pour into 9X9 pan. Bake on 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until done.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 138

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

½ cup butter

2 cups organic sugar

½ cup milk (lactose sensitive people most often can tolerate goat milk)

1/8 tsp salt

3 cups quick cooking oats

½ cup crunch peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix butter, sugar, milk and salt in pot. Stir and bring to rolling boil. Boil for one minute. Stir in oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla.

Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Work quickly it will start to harden!

Homemade Marshmallows dipped in chocolate are GREAT to giveaway.

Blondie’s frosted in Christmas colors

Caramel Pecan Pie Cake muffins

Marshmallow Fruit Salad- GF

Marshmallow Fruit Salad-No photo can capture the taste!!

Marshmallow Fruit Salad-No photo can capture the taste!!

Some recipes are so special that you use them only at  holidays and special occasions–this Marshmallow Fruit Salad  is one of those recipes! It’s a labor of love that’ll be passed down for generations. Serves 40 people-6 0z each or 20 people with leftovers for the next day.

Use organic ingredients when possible for longevity of your life.

2 cups of cooked Arborio rice

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour (I use GF)

½ tsp. salt

3 egg yolks- beaten

1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple

2 15 ounce cans mandarin oranges

1 ¾ cup of juice from pineapple and mandarin orange’s

7 cups homemade marshmallows -Homemade makes a huge difference, but you can use store bought. I actually wouldn’t make this without homemade marshmallows. It’s what makes it special.

2 ½ cups Truwhip (homemade whipped cream is the ultimate ingredient but lactose intolerant people can’t eat it. Most tolerate Truwhip which is 70% organic w/ trace amount of sodium caseinate. Cool Whip is genetically modified- don’t use it)

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Only use Arborio rice for this recipe.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, juice from fruit- stir well and cook on medium until thick. Stir into cooked rice. Refrigerate overnight- to absorb all the goodness into rice.
  3.  Next day, stir into rice mixture; Truwhip, marshmallows, pineapple and mandarin oranges. Mix well.
  4. I make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
    While rice is cooking make fruit dressing in skillet--fruit juice, egg yolks, sugar and flour- cook till slightly thick

    While rice is cooking make fruit dressing in skillet–fruit juice, egg yolks, sugar and flour- cook till slightly thick

    Thickened

    Thickened

    Add to cooked rice, stir- refrigerate over night so rice absorbs all the yumminess

    Add to cooked rice, stir- refrigerate over night so rice absorbs all the yumminess

    Stir into rice mixture- marshmallows, Truwhip and fruit

    Stir into rice mixture- marshmallows, Truwhip and fruit

    Marshmallow Fruit Salad- refrigerate until ready to serve

    Marshmallow Fruit Salad- refrigerate until ready to serve

     

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

In the olden days people decorated their homes with homemade treasures, often with resources grown on their own farms. I’m excited to share with you 10 nostalgic fall ideas we made this year from resources grown(mostly) our property.  I hope you make a few for your home! If you have any  old-fashioned ideas for fall decorating–I would love to hear them!

An industrious woman always plans for the future. Pin this post so you can plan for the things you’ll make next fall.  In the spring you’ll want to plant  flowers that you’ll dry at the end of summer for your fall arrangement. You’ll want to plant gourds and pumpkins if you have space. Back in the day even those who had little money purchased a few basic items in town at a store, like cloves and a lemon. I spent less than $10 on everything I made in this post.  I’m not sure how much money a grapevine wreath is in the store. You may find one at a yard sale or thrift store for a fraction of the cost of a new one.  A good resource to find free treasures to decorate wreaths would be in the forest. Go on a nature hike and return with bags of possibilities.

#1 Dried Zinnia Wreath

My summer Zinnia's dried--now I can enjoy them all year!

My summer Zinnia’s dried and made into a wreath! I enjoy them all year! I’m giving away zinnia seeds to 3 people! Just tell me you want seeds in comment section! I’ll pick 3 winners next week–save them for next spring!

Picked fresh Zinnia's multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

I picked fresh Zinnia’s of multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top.

Cover flowers with silica crystals. I've had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

Cover flowers with  crystals. I’ve had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

After the flowers come out of microwave- shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack

Put covered flowers  in microwave for a couple of minutes-shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack.

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

Let dry completely for a couple of days- these are ready!

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers into place

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers onto grapevine wreath

 

#2 Pinecone Tree- We have pine trees on our property, so pine cones are plentiful. If you don’t have any–ask someone who does to give you some. Most people who have pine cones have hundreds or thousands to share.

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We're putting lights on it tonight!

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We’re putting lights on it tonight!

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Pinecones_in_bowls

 

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Half opened

Half opened

Pinecones_in_oven_open

Fully open- you can turn heat up for faster opening or reduce to slow–they are dry and break more easily when to heated too high

 

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Pinecone_Christmas_tree_DG_101413_Hartwood_VA_SG_inside_1186x890

Pinecone_Christmas_tree_SG_102113_Hartwood_VA

 

 

#3 Cornucopia I bought our basket- but baskets are easy to make if you’d like to be 100% authentic!

I've had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it will fall produce

I’ve had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it with fall produce

#4 Pine cone garland

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

#5 Stained Glass Dried Leaf & Flower Art

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

 

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and inbetween

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and in-between Can you guess what these are?

 

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY 049

Pansy in the center

Fall Leaf Stained Glass

#6 Pomander- Clove Studded Lemon

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle oris root over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle orris root, cinnamon and ground cloves  over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. Every few days I shook the bag around making sure the powder covered it well.  The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

The blue bowl holding the cloves was made by my sweet nephew Thomas Killian, he makes  handmade pottery and has an online store.

Pomanders are wonderful smelling.  You can decorate them in patterns, wrap a ribbon around them and place in a bowl or cover completely and preserve them for years to come.

Supplies needed: small or medium size unblemished fruit. (Oranges, Apples or Lemons)

cloves

Spice mixture: 1 tablespoon each: cinnamon,  ground cloves and orris root

Knitting needle, toothpick or nail

#7 Corn Husk Garland

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2.  Pull the husks up over the corn--like in the photo

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2. Pull the husks up over the corn–like in the photo

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas_DIY_004_1186_890

Tied twine around each corn husk

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn't perfect, it overcooked the husks. You're supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn’t perfect, it overcooked the husks. You’re supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together with twine

 

 

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

 

#8 Natural Wreath

Fall wreath- Fall weeds and produce on a grapevine wreath–whatever you

find interesting in your part of the world that dry’s well- stick in the wreath

and hot glue into place. This only last one season. Next year it will be an

entirely different look depending on what I find interesting in our field.

 wreath1186X890

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Wreath_corn

#9 Pomegranate pumpkin face

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy-

#10 Retro Art

 

I'm going to send a copy of this retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m going to send a copy of my retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m giving away some of my zinnia seeds! Tell me your favorite color flower below to enter your name for the drawing. I’m picking three winners for the seeds. I’ll announce winners next week.

If you are a subscriber to my blog I’ll send you the retro Thanksgiving Day art next week!

Winner of $40 Target gift card and devotion book  from last week is Mary T. you posted on2013/10/14 at 12:09 PM! email me your address!