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Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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Cupcake Surprise – Chocolate Raspberry.

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Wednesday Wonderings – At the Picket Fence.

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I’m Back…

Well it’s been three long months since I posted on this blog. Let’s just say life got a little too busy and much too crazy! I did send out two notes of encouragement this week. The first went to my brother Scott and his wife Penny and the second went to a friend I miss dearly in Humboldt, Iowa…Char. Please read my “Notes of Encouragement” page for more about these awesome people I am honored to call family and friend.

So what have I been up to you ask? Well a little bit of this and a little bit of that combined with getting the kids through the end of the school year and a visit to Pittsburgh, PA. This past week was filled with some awesome time with my two youngest as their endeavors took them to tennis camp for the week. The worked hard for three hours every morning and learned a lot. It was great fun watching them play! I also took them to pick fresh blueberries. It was the first time for all of us, but well worth the effort as the berries were plump and sweet. As a result of this fun work, I made some homemade blueberry jam (also a first for me) and some great banana blueberry bread!

Today is the fourth of July and I am in the process of making some bar-b-que baby back ribs….I heard that…all your lips smacking together…lol! I also made what I hope to be a tasteful chocolate cake…another new recipe I’ve never tried. I’ll let you know the results soon. If they are good I’ll post the recipes and pictures!

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My Baking Basket

Well so much for the determination…I’m one tired chic! So what have I been up to to be so tired…let’s see…we celebrated my hubby’s birthday…and, no, I didn’t make the cake…

I worked the last two weeks as a substitue aide at a local elementary school…

My daughter celebrated her first communion…

I was a reader at the Good Friday service last night…

And this morning I did laundry and baked my cherry cheese danish for tomorrow!

I do have one great idea to share with you! It’s my baking basket! I just love this handy kitchen accessory! It has all my baking supplies in one place and I just take the whole basket out when I’m ready to bake.

 

The flour, sugar (spouted top to pour easily), brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, a bowl of extracts, packets of yeast, and my stash of chocolate chips!

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Determined

Despite working full-time this week…everyday…I want to make the time to keep writing on my blogs. This weekend I attended a wonderful talk about prayer. Anne, the speaker, did a beautiful job expressing how to pray in color. I’m going to order the book before the end of the week, Praying in Color, and read it for my book for the month of April. I can’t wait to share with all my friends this creative way to pray!

My “Note of Encouragement” this week goes to my sister in Christ, Heidi Foreman! She is a beautiful child of God who I met at Fleetwood Bible Church. I don’t see her as much these days, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think of her often. She has been on my heart the past few days and I do believe in need of a little lift of encouragement. A big hug to you Heidi if you are reading this post!

Well, I only have a few moments before I’m out the door…so have a wonderful day friends!

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They call me Mrs. “J”. The endearing lives of six children have touched the inner most part of my soul. I now pray for them every night and even throughout the day. I was called out to substitute this week at one of our local elementary schools. I’m in the Life Skills classroom consisting of six lovely children who vary in age. Some might say they are “special needs” children, but I just say they see the world a bit differently than most and have difficulty relating to others their needs and wants. It’s our job to understand them from their point of view and not make them conform to what we think is normal. What is normal anyways?

My heart is full of compassion for these little souls that our Lord esteems highly. I caught myself asking Jesus one day this past week as I watched with tears a child try to say “yes” or “no” to the question,

“Is it sunny outside?”

“Why God? Why?” I question in my own mind. But then a second thought occurred soon after the question. They are probably closer to God than we are…those of us who think we are normal. God loves them just as much as He loves me. He deems them just as important…maybe more important…in His mighty plan. I know God didn’t intend for a child to be born in such a way. It’s the bad and evil in the world that cause sadness. My God is full of joy and unspeakable glory. He takes that which seem so awful and terrible and He uses for His good and to further His kingdom. I have been more thankful and grateful this week. I’ve chosen not to complain when negative words want to spill from my lips. So good has come from these precious lives. I just know they will be in heaven with me and someday…someday…I’m going to tell them “thank you” and know they understand fully!

On another note, I did send my two “Notes of Encouragement” this week! I sent two because I forgot last week. This weeks “Notes of Encouragement” went to my sister-in-law Penny and my nephew and his wife Andy and Hillary. Actually, I guess that makes three, but only two cards…LOL! Please read more about how special these people are to me on my “Notes of Encouragement” page!

I have not volunteered anywhere this month. But I think the good Lord has me just where He wants me this month. As I continue to substitute at the school this week and the following week to end the month of March, I see clearly the Lord needs me to pray earnestly for these young lives and their parents as well. Even though I am getting paid for this job, I do volunteer freely to offer up prayers to the Lord on their behalf. I’ve never really thought of prayer as “volunteer” work, but it is…really…I set time aside for these kids in the quiet moments of the morning and evening before bed. 

Please be thankful friends…be grateful…and love well!

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