Friday, May 24, 2013

Appetizers in Abundance

We're already one week past our family's 3rd Annual Appetizer Weekend. What fun we had! That week I'd spent a lot of time in the kitchen making brownies ( here's the recipe from the Hershey's website), blondies and breads. Several friends earned their black belts in karate so I made them goodies to celebrate.

One of the moms gave me a bouquet of beautiful flowers. Even after a week these were still so pretty and cheerful in the dining room. I wish I'd gotten a picture with all the roses in it when they first arrived. 

On to appetizer weekend!It was our annual family party and I had such a good time planning for it. Here's what I madeFriday night we had Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps, Rotel cheese dip and chips, mini crab cakes and broccoli and cauliflower in dip. 
Saturday breakfast was French toast dipping sticks and syrup and strawberries.
At lunch I made Asiago cheese dip and glazed chicken wings, and Fidget's friend Sky came to sample the goodies.

Sunday at lunch we had a few spring rolls and steamed dumplings. Sunday night we had potato skins, more spring rolls and everything else that was left over. Somewhere in there I also made bacon crescents for the first time, which were a bit hit. They were tiny fiddly things made out of refrigerated crescent rolls smeared with a creamy spread made with fresh-cooked bacon. Somehow I never found time for the avacado-stuffed cherry tomatoes, spinach-parmesan dip, or the sweet fruity dip I was going to make. But the list gets more ambitious every year.

It is such a joy to plan this special weekend celebrating my family every year. God is good to us to give us loving family relationships. No matter what our struggles or differences we can celebrate the family God gave us.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

There's nothing like your own kid for making you feel special. I wrestled with myself long and hard before saying I'd start up at Fidget's karate dojo. And half the time I still feel like a geek out on the mat. But it looks like she doesn't see that at all. I like that  in the card she's made me look slightly malicious, as if I could really put the hurtin' to a bad guy. Maybe I could by now! After all I've been in karate for about 6 months now. But karate kickin' mama or no, it looks like Fidget loves me anyway. I think getting her perspective of me now and then is refreshing. How much better if I saw myself as Jesus sees me, every day. 

I am so blessed to be my little kid's mama, but I was blessed way before that: Jesus saved me from countless hurtful things and dangerous situations when I was young, just so He could bring me to a saving faith. Then He gave me a husband and a whole new life. Being a mom is just the icing on the cake. But the icing is oh so good!

Thanks, Lord Jesus, for making me a new creation, set apart to be conformed to your likeness, no matter how long it takes.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Exciting Summer Plans

Gracious, it's been over a month! We had a few weeks of sickness here in April. It was a busy month still, as I tested for my green belt- and passed. Yay! I'm in Fidget's class now and we're having so much fun. If I'd known karate was this much fun I would have started it sooner!

Looks like summer's almost here already. I've been working on some knitting and painting and have plans for opening an etsy shop in late August! I want to thank all my pen pals for participating in my one-for-one offer: If they send me a pretty postcard, I paint a picture of it and send it to them. Then my hope is to paint another and offer it at the etsy shop. So far they're such fun I've had a hard time not sending them off the minute they're painted. Here's another peek at my sketchbook and some new work.

The cool weather we've had lately is just gorgeous and our yard has gotten considerably better-looking than the sad and neglected state in which we found it upon move-in. Fidget and I have started running 2 miles in the mornings and are enjoying seeing all the new birds and squirrels in the neighborhood.

Fidget has exciting summer plans as well. After all, art and playing are great but her mind wants more work to do! So she is taking beginning Latin from a dear friend this summer. After the first class this week, she wanted to play Latin teacher when her friend came over later that day. So it looks like this class is a good fit for her. She is also planning to attend a Latin summer camp and a karate Olympics camp.

There have been sad and alarming things all over in the past month and this is something I want to address. Because just last fall God brought me out of a season of fear. I can testify that the past weeks God has been faithful to be my strength and my shield, a peaceful force to my soul that overcame any anxiety

I want to encourage you that no matter what you face personally, no matter what our country faces, God will always be enough. He is trustworthy, He is faithful. It is faith in Him that allows us to have joy even when things are sad. We know He will redeem everything bad one day. I hope you can see and appreciate that He gives us many great blessings here, but I also pray you say with me 'Come, Lord Jesus. Come!'