Photo Booth

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This past weekend we had a Black and White themed costume party for our youth and college group.

It was a blast!

The best part of the evening (and most popular) was the Photo Booth.

I made some props and my husband hung a white sheet and adjusted the lighting in front of our Mac and we let the guests be creative!

We just used the Photo Booth software that came with the computer, so the quality isn’t that great.  I then posted the pics in an album on Facebook so everyone could tag themselves and get their pictures.

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Applesauce

There is almost nothing better than coming home to a house that smells good enough to eat…except for the realization that it is good enough to eat 🙂

Enter: Slow-Cooker Applesauce!

{what you need}

10-12 apples, peeled, cored, and cubed (you can use almost any variety, I have a friend who uses half granny smith, and half sweeter)

1/2 cup water

1/4-1/2 cup sugar (if you use any at all, it really isn’t that necessary)

cinnamon to taste (I sprinkle it liberally over the top, then mix it all in when the apples are reduced)

{what you do}

put everything in a crock pot, easy on the water (as the apples reduce, they create a lot of their own)

set crock pot on low, 6-8 hours

go to work, go to bed, go somewhere

come home (or wake up) to an apple-cinnamon scented house

I love Fall.

Brian the Bunny

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It is time.

baby bunny

He has to go.

Brian, you were a wonderful first pet for this married couple.

It is only fair to you that we find a good home with loving people who actually have time  to sit with you on their lap and scratch the top of your head and brush your fur.

bunny

I will never forget the time you dug a burrow in our back yard.  And Jason thought you were on the porch.  And filled in your burrow.  With you still in it.  You truly are an “Easter” bunny (back from the grave…)

dirty bunny

Or the time you wedged yourself under the fence and we chased you around the empty lot behind our house for 20 minutes.

chillin' bunny

Or the time you chewed through all the wires on our porch and that’s why we can’t have cable.

Or the time you chewed through the screen door and we found you huddled by the planter in the front yard (where you probably spent a harrowing night).

cute bunny

Or the time you ate our fake ficas tree.  Leaf by leaf.  Over the course of several months.

fake ficas tree

Or watching you push a ball around the porch with your nose.

bunny and baby

Or the time you ate half my Bible because I left it on the table on the porch.

Or the fact that you eat any paper/mail that finds its way onto the porch…

Or learning that bunnies like bananas (so cute!) and (thanks to my toddler) multi-grain Cheerios.

b + w bunny

Who wants him?

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UPDATE: 

We found a home for Brian! He has already gone to live with our good friend who will love him, and squeeze him, and hug him, and……..

Morning and Evening

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I fail miserably when it comes to doing a daily devotional.  I don’t exactly know why.  Okay, maybe I do.

They are usually about me.

How to better myself.

How to be a better Christian.

How to apply the Bible to my life so I can feel better about it.

They don’t all come out and say that this is what their purpose is.  On the contrary, they usually tout how this little book will revolutionize your time with God.

It sounds good, and there are, granted, many very good and helpful devotional books out there that meet all kinds of needs in peoples’ lives.  I know this has to be true, since I haven’t read every single one out there.

But I don’t need to work on me.  That work is already done.  And is being done.  What I need…Who I need, is Christ.  To know Him.  Live Him.  Love Him.

See, the more I learn about the One I am being perfected in, the more I learn about myself.  I don’t need to start with myself, I need to start with Him.

All this to say, I have found a daily devotional that I actually look forward to reading.

It is all about Jesus and who He is and what that means for me.

It is Charles Spurgeon’s, Morning and Evening.

It’s actually a twice daily devotional, so it is something I am reading when I wake up and before I go to bed.

I have to tell you, I am learning so much.  And I am inspired to learn more and read Scripture.

Here are some of my favorite quotes so far, I hope they do more than inspire you, but challenge you to dig deeper into the Man that is God who died for the sins of the world and is forever seated at the right hand of God, pleading the merit of His blood so that we can be called the children of God!

The hill of comfort is the hill of Calvary; the house of consolation is built with the wood of the cross; the temple of heavenly blessing is founded upon the riven rock-riven by the spear which pierced His side. No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like Calvary’s tragedy.

If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armour, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation.

We must sing of the finished work of the precious Saviour; and He who knows most of forgiving love will sing the loudest.

Nothing can be said in palliation or excuse of human guilt; and therefore, He who bore its whole weight stood speechless before His judge.

A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. Never blush to own your religion; your profession will never disgrace you: take care you never disgrace that. Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God.

We give to God pence when he deserveth pounds, nay, deserveth our heart’s blood to be coined in the service of his church and of his truth. But shall we continue thus? O Lord, after thou hast so richly blessed us, shall we be ungrateful and become indifferent to thy good cause and work? O quicken us that we may return to our first love, and do our first works!

 

Coffee Mug Chocolate Cake

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I found this recipe in Reader’s Digest for chocolate cake. made in the microwave. in a coffee mug.

so it’s legit, right?

Well, yes.  So, even though this isn’t an original recipe, I wanted to share it with you because I always trust tested recipes more than ones I just read from a magazine or cookbook (even though they are there because they are tried and what-not).  Plus I took pictures.

{what you need}

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa

2 Tbs whisked egg

3 Tbs milk

3 Tbs oil

3 Tbs chocolate chips -or- favorite candy bar pieces

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

{what you do}

mix flour, sugar, salt and cocoa in a large coffee mug

add egg and combine until paste forms

stir in milk and oil, then add chocolate chips (or candy pieces) and vanilla

microwave on medium for 3 minutes, or until cake starts to crown over top of mug

remove, top with chocolate sauce or ice cream, if desired

{what I learned}

We use really big coffee cups.  My cake didn’t crown over the mug, and I thought I was using one of our “medium” sized ones.  So by “big”, I’m thinking more like 12-14 oz mug.

Cake in a Mug

Even though my cake didn’t crown over the top, 3 minutes was plenty of time to cook it.  And I forgot to put my microwave on medium.

2 tablespoons of whisked egg was not enough to make the paste the recipe called for.  I was tempted to add more, but had already rinsed out the egg from the bowl.  Once I added the milk and oil though, it didn’t seem to matter.

One mug of chocolate cake was more than enough for my husband and I to split into 2 bowls with added ice cream.  However, once the cake is out of the mug, it kind of hardened while we were eating it (not sure if it’s because it was out of the mug, or because of the ice cream).  But it was cooked in a microwave, so what did I expect?

Overall, this was a very yummy, super easy dessert that was fun to make and didn’t require use of my oven (add 10 points).  But we didn’t have any leftover chocolate cake for me to enjoy with my coffee the next morning (minus 900 points).

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

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love this recipe for homemade pumpkin spice coffee creamer.  It’s not quite as sweet as what you find in the store, but you can find the ingredients year-round (you probably have most of them in your pantry already).

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{what you need}

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1-1/2 cups skim milk

3 Tbs canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract

{what you do}

Combine ingredients in a container with a lid.  Shake until combined.  You could also use an immersion blender.

Store, covered in the fridge, shake/stir before using.

-This makes a wonderful hostess gift for any Fall parties you may be attending.  I would make it up and put it in a pretty container with a homemade gift tag.

It’s a girl!

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Willow Elizabeth entered this world, 50 minutes into the month of September.

7 lb 5 oz, 19 and 3/4 in

So, this labor lasted a bit longer than my first (10 hours compared to 3).  Overall, I feel as though I am recovering from this delivery faster than my first.  The hardest adjustment has been keeping up and reconnecting with my 19-month-old, who’s whole world has just been turned upside-down.  She is already being a very helpful big sister, although she commandeered a couple pacifiers (this coming from a girl who wouldn’t take a pacifier…ever).  She rocks her baby sister in the swing, jams pacifiers in her mouth, and wants to hold her when she cries.  She loves rubbing her head and face, too.