Saturday, May 10, 2008

Recipe Swap

Today's recipe is one that we've learned to make only when we're asked to bring a dessert somewhere. That's because all five of us count this as one of our favorites. We want it for snack, dessert, breakfast and just a bite in between. Cassie made it a couple of years ago for her Spanish class's Cinco de Mayo celebration. Each year after, the students just sign her up to do it again! She made two in one night not too long ago. It's that easy. And that good. And that full of calories. So, do yourself a favor, don't make it until you need it to feed 20. But be sure to pinch off just a bite of the have to make sure it tastes good, right?

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 (8 oz) pkgs. Cream Cheese
2 (8 ct) cans Crescent Rolls
1 1/2 c sugar (divided)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter

Roll out one can crescent rolls into a lightly greased 9X13. Pinch lines to seal. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, vanilla and 1 c sugar. Spread over rolls in pan. Roll out second can of rolls, pinch any lines closed and place over filling. Melt butter and drizzle on top. Mix 1/2 c sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over all.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Notes: It's better warm from the oven. If I have to bake it ahead of time, I re-warm it in the oven for just a few minutes or heat the individual servings in the microwave.

Reduced fat crescent rolls and cream cheese work just as well.

The original recipe calls for a whole stick of butter to be drizzled over the top, but even I can't make myself do that!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Nice sweater, Darrell

Sermon Spice is where a lot of our pastors find those videos they show on Sundays. Today, I saw one that made me laugh. How is it that we can be perfectly competent adults until we get around our mothers? Click here and see.

If God gives you time

In case you missed it last week, please take some time this weekend to read through C. J. Mahaney's recent postings on modesty. They are worth more of my time than lots of other things I might be doing this weekend!

John MacArthur's website, Grace to You, has now begun hosting a free, weekly expositional study through a book of the Bible. There's an audio message to listen to that will be updated each week. It would be a great way to set aside an extended amount of time each week to learn more about God's word. Dr. MacArthur is a gifted teacher. You'll enjoy it.

Web Freebie: For those of you who drive a lot or just like to listen to books on tape (I don't own a tape myself, aren't I?)...the website,, gives away a free audio book each month. This month's selection is Martin Luther: In His Own Words by Martin Luther.

I thought this one might help explain why, for some, Mother's Day might not go off so well. Funny guy Mark Gungor on the difference between Men's Brains and Women's Brains...

I usually won't put two videos in one posting, but my family is so excited about the upcoming release, May 16th of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian! We also get very excited about anything that Switchfoot does. So, combining the two is this new song with movie clips:

Finally, as we go toward Mother's Day, let's remember that our love for our children and our love for our moms is but a shadow of the love of God. And let's give Him all the praise...

"God, who is the infinite glorious first-being, embraces them with an entire fatherly love. All the love that ever was in any parents towards children, is but as one drop of the infinite ocean of fatherly love that there is in God unto his people."

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Saints’ Happiness, Delivered in Divers Lectures on the Beatitudes. Reprint, Beaver Falls, Pa.: Soli Deo Gloria, 1988, 193–202.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

That mouse knows something we don't

Mother's Day thoughts Part 4

My girls loved the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. I read it dozens of times to them as they gathered their three books for us to read to them at night. They would repeat from memory the words on each page. Well, now, just in time for Mother's Day, a new story has been written! I'm just not sure we made out as well as the mouse did...

If You Give A Mom A Muffin

Original Author Unknown

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook ("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The check book is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two year old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are...
If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Mother's Day thoughts, Part 3

My sister and brother would attest to the fact that I have a lot of gaps in my childhood memories. Paula especially is forever pointing out people when I go home and saying things like: They were in every class you had. How could you not remember them?? Easy. At least for me.

She would also attest to the fact that my brain does recall a lot...just odd things to her. But I know there is one place she could bring up where memories come sharply into focus. That's Grannie's. We actually called it Grannie and Pop's. They were my dad's parents who lived in our town. The trip took half a day to travel. Well, now I realize that it was actually about 3 minutes! But at the time, it was all the way across town (it was a small town!). We were there what seemed to me to be at least a few times a week for one reason or another. Mostly just stop-by trips. But every so often, Mom and Dad would go on a date or to see a man about a dog (whatever that meant) and we'd get to spend the night with them.

But it's right there that Pop sort of drops out of view for me. Actually, my memory is pretty clear. It's just that it seemed he was literally out of the room. I'm sure the years have blurred sequences of events, but in my mind every evening he'd go lie down in their bed and Grannie would stay up with us until we fell asleep. That's when the fun began for us all. Sliding down the HUGE hill in back of the house on cardboard boxes. (Okay, it was about 15 feet long.) Playing dress up in Pop and Grannie's clothes to great applause. Playing with their dog, Lucky. Reading our uncle's college text books. (Well, maybe that last one was just me...and reveals more than I might want to!)

Grannie is also the reason that I can craft almost anything. I can macramé, crochet, knit, paint by numbers, weave beads, do string art and turn Sears Roebuck catalogs into works of art that are also useful for storing your bills and letters! Okay, I admit, I have no idea what that was about, but we folded hundreds of pages to make something! (Maybe Grannie was just filling time!)

In Grannie's house, time was slow. The night lasted forever because there was no bedtime. She'd pull out the bed from the couch and we'd eventually lay down to watch TV and drift off with her sitting in the recliner right next to us. We'd wake to the smell of pancakes in Mickey Mouse shapes...with vanilla ice cream if we asked nicely! Popsicles were usually the breakfast dessert!

As fun as all this was there was one thing that I remember most about Grannie, that I'll treasure about her forever. She made me feel completely accepted. No, maybe the words...delighted in...hit the mark more. I often felt very different from the crowd when I was growing up. Yes, I friends are saying to themselves that not much has changed! But Grannie's house was the place where that all faded away. I was wrapped up by a lady who beamed when she saw me...who thought everything I did was worth exclaiming over...who asked me over and over what I liked and made sure it was there to do. She was generous with her words, with her time, with her energy, with her possessions.

There was one day that stands out when I was still in elementary school. I've thought of it probably hundreds of times over the years. I was in the spare room on the right looking through that box of college text books. I found one that said "College Algebra". I had never heard the words, but once the book was opened, I was fascinated by it. It was like a puzzle I had to figure out. My dad passed down the hallway and looked in. When he realized what I was doing, he shook his head and told me to get out of there and go outside with the other kids. That's when I heard Grannie's voice. She told him to "let me alone", that I was fine right where I was. I remember him saying that it's not right that I'm in there reading stuff like that. She told him that this was her house and if I wanted to read old textbooks, I could. I remember the words she said last: She's fine. Just leave her alone.

Tears still come to my eyes as I write it. I was worth defending, standing up for...and more importantly, I was fine. I didn't often feel it at that age. I was different in school...different from family...different from friends. But not at Grannie's. There I was fine. Normal. Accepted. That day shaped me in ways that I can still see today. It is so important to me that my girls' oddities be accepted as just fine with me. I want them to feel delighted in, accepted, asked about, and I want them to know that they are worth standing up for.

I asked her years later if she remembered that day. She smiled at me and said no, but that she wouldn't doubt it. I was forever digging around in there, she said. And apparently my dad was forever trying to get me to join the family. The fact that she didn't remember just highlights the value of Grannie to me. It wasn't the extraordinary that made her such a treasure to me. It was the moments, all but lost by time, that made her days so normal to her...and so lifegiving to me.

I thank God for the gift of her as I think of Mother's Day. I'm grateful for the time I had. But I miss my Grannie.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

You mean your kids go to public school??

A much needed word for me (and maybe a few others!) from pastor Josh Harris of Covenant Life Church. He's addressing a general meeting of his congregation and spends 6 1/2 minutes on a topic that divides so many within the church. Prayerfully listen and ask God to change us all...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Not sure what the ratings would be like, but it'd be funny to watch

Mother's Day thoughts, Part 2

The gals at girl talk posted this a while back...

The next "Survivor" series:

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book and then pray with the children each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up. The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if...he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right to be called Mother!

Thinking about Mother's Day

Part 1

We had our final kid's choir practice at our church in preparation for Mother's Day. This has put me in the mom frame of mind. So, I thought this week I'd share some fun, some touching, some ironic, some challenging and some much needed reminders.

On the fun side, I read this posting at a blog called Ordinary Mother. She's a lot like most of us...esp. Angela since she's got three boys and one girl! She says herself that her blog is full of the musings of a Christian, wife, mother and homemaker. She's a touching writer. When I read her list (below) I thought through some of mine which I'll add at the end.

I've been thinking a lot about pride and humility. I thought this post captures one of the tragedies of my life in a way that is funny while it exposes. I am the person I don't want to who looks at others and think: What's wrong with them? Can't they see the right way? I want to become the woman who knows deep in her heart that I am the biggest sinner I will ever know. Credit that thought to C. J. Mahaney...I'll write more on that later...for now, enjoy...

I really wish I had been taught more about the doctrine of indwelling sin before I had kids. Perhaps an awareness of pride in my heart would have kept me from thinking the following: “I’ll never be one of those moms.” Oh how pride goes before the fall, and in my life it has looked a little like this.

  1. I became one of those moms when my toddler twins screamed bloody murder at the Target because they couldn’t have the bouncy ball they wanted.
  2. I became one of those moms when I just couldn’t keep up with the runny noses in February.
  3. I became one of those moms when my kids did eventually begin eating pop tarts for breakfast, and frozen chicken nuggets for dinner.
  4. I became one of those moms when after asking my son if he had changed his shirt today, he responded with, “no, this is only the second day I wore this one and it doesn’t have anything on it.” And I was okay with that.
  5. I became one of those moms when during my third trimester of pregnancy with Maggie I yelled to my boys, “If you make me get up off of this sofa, you are really going to be sorry!!!!” and then five minutes later, “I really mean it this time!” and then five minutes later “I am telling you boys – you are really going to regret it if you don’t obey mommy!” and then five minutes later “wait till your father gets home!”
  6. I became one of those moms when I was excited to be alone at Wal Mart on a Friday night.
  7. I became one of those moms when I owned at least seven pairs of pajama pants that aren’t worn just for pajamas.
  8. I became one of those moms when at 3pm I realized I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet.
  9. I became one of those moms when I was on a date with my husband and the “let down reflex” resulted in two wet spots in not so discreet places.
  10. I became one of those moms when I bribed my kids with lollipops every time I took them to the mall.

For me...I became one of those moms when:
  • nachos at a football game became dinner.
  • candy at 9:30pm on a Friday night while the band plays became a tradition.
  • sleeping in whatever they were wearing when I managed to get them inside the house later at 1 am was more than acceptable.
  • the three second rule applied to more than pacifiers.
  • asking my 6 year old to babysit so I could get a shower seemed like a perfectly logical thing to do.
  • anything that would keep them busy long enough to get dinner was good with me.
  • we skipped Brennan (our third) right past baby food and went almost straight to table food!
Got any you'd like to add?