Monday, August 22, 2011

A Sweet Summer Evening

Every year, my church ends the summer with an Ice Cream Social. It's a chance for everyone to get together over some ice cream before the busy fall activities, school, sports, etc. A couple years ago, my husband & his assistant came up with the idea to add a Talent Show to the mix. It was a hit! Then I suggested adding an art exhibit where our church family could show off their creativity. Score another hit. This year, we brought back something that was done many years ago - a baking contest! Oh my - get a napkin because you are going to drool...

My good friend entered this beautimous confection. Oh Sweet Mercy, this was some kind of chocolate magic. I don't remember what all was in it, but it went beyond a mere German Chocolate cake.Not that I got to taste anything (that darn diet again). My husband & other staff members were the judges.These cupcakes have a lemon or raspberry filling. I've had John's lemon filled cupcakes before and they are deee-vine. (They won 2nd place in the adult division).How I survived this night without falling off the vegetable wagon was only by the grace of God!
There was a category for teens and one for children. You would be amazed at what those young bakers can do.Kids & adults both were excitedly and anxiously hovering around the tables watching the judges' expressions for a clue as to what they thought. So much pressure! I think - not sure - but I think these are shortbread bars & won 1st place in the teen division.This little baker told us she worked all week experimenting with her fondant recipe to make it taste wonderful as well as look pretty. She pulled it off - it won 1st in the children's division.Not sure what these are but they were so pretty. They look like little snowballs with pink sparkles on top.
Aren't these cookies cute? The presentation looked like a miniature picnic.Another pretty presentation - cupcakes in individual boxes. Presentation is important! As you will see in the last photo....This probably tasted wonderful ......if you could get past the presentation. Only a kid could love this!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Birthdays Then & Now

Birthday Cake 2010. mmmmmm - my favorite dessert from my favorite local bakery. This cake must have weighed 5 lbs. Three decadant layers of chocolate, seperated by luscious chocolate cream then beautifully covered in chocolate buttercream and adorned with ruffles & roses.Birthday "Cake" 2011.Yes, you are seeing this right. A cucumber & five strawberries. Clearly, I should've timed this diet a little better. But bless my sweet, thoughtful & creative husband!On Birthday Morning I was greeted by about 50 color pictures of different birthday cakes & other decorations, all hanging from the hallway ceiling and taped to the wall. And a little balloon path to follow, leading the way to the Birthday Strawberries.Blu looks puzzled. Where's the cake & ice cream? Thoughtful hubby...some of the cakes had gift certificates attached to them. Something to look forward to!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pictures from VBS

Our summer "Vacation Bible School" had a theme the children were sure to love. Especially me! Well, ok I'm a little older than the average VBS attender. The theme was just my cup of tea: "A Royal Celebration!"The Lords & Ladies, Dukes & Duchesses had craft time - a VBS tradition I remember doing as a kid.They made crowns at The Artisans Nook. Of course they made crowns! They're children of The King of Kings!And they had healthy snacks at The Master's Eatery. One good thing about being a grownup~~We get to eat the un-healthy snacks!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hey Jude

"...clouds without water, carried along by winds..."Jude 1:12We've been seeing alot of these lately. Unfruitful clouds. Some have been quite impressive. Beautiful, even majestic. But unproductive, nonetheless. Everytime I see one, I think of that sentence in the scriptures. Interesting book, the book of Jude. It's only one chapter and, forgive me, I don't mean to be irreverent - but I always kinda smile when I read it because it sounds like a rant. And I always wonder what set Jude off? I understand the context of the epistle but you know that Something was the Last Straw. Jude had been concerned about some things, maybe just downright stewing, and finally somebody said the wrong thing and he went off.
Interesting also that the book of Jude, with his warnings and exhortations, immediately preceeds the Book of Revelation. Like a final warning. Jude. Twenty-five verses. Well worth pondering.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bragging Rights

I'm so proud of my little sister! She has just published her first children's book and it is wonderful. If you want a fresh, wholesome, family-values story for your kids, you need to add this book to their library. Click on the picture at right to order a copy or download the audio book. Also available on Amazon, Barnes, Lifeway, etc. Buy one for your family & one to give away!

Dog Days of Summer

Weather. No matter the season, the weather is always a popular topic here. It's so extreme! You've seen pictures of our winter drama. Now we're having summer drama. Almost the entire month of July saw temps in the 100s and no rain.Last week we had a little surprise. Guess what it was?The temp dropped about 10 degrees after this 15-minute shower. Who would have thought that 90 could feel so good?So here we are now at the first day of August and Mother Nature makes a Grand Entrance.See that little red line? Yes, it is approaching 110. One hundred ten, people. One One Zero.It's impossible to keep up with the yard and flower beds, but we're trying to save the newer plants.Don't these roses have a lovely vintage look? Unfortunately they're supposed to be red.There is one flowering shrub that thrives on heat, and it's not even a cactus. Good ol' crepe myrtles; although I've heard even some of these are struggling.
Oh yeah, there was something else outside enjoying the heat today. You're not gonna believe this...Blu was rolling around like it was the first blush of spring.Can you tell which end is up?

Harley, our dearly departed Newfoundland, would have had a nervous breakdown by now. That dog hated the heat.
Goofy Blu. I think he gets chilly in the indoor a/c. He loves a few minutes sunbathing every day. At least somebody does!