Taryn and The Cake: Adventures In Baking

Mark's birthday was yesterday (his 47th...*sigh*) and every year he requests a homemade cake. So I asked Taryn if she'd like to bake one for her dad and she said happily, "Sure!" Mark likes carrot cakes so we purchased a "Decadent Carrot Cake" mix from the grocery store and a couple of those frosting-in-a-squirt-can with the plastic tips, to decorate with...

And that was the last thing I had to do with his cake. Until I found it on the counter Friday afternoon.

Apparently in the cake mix box, there contained a packet with shredded carrots and raisins in it. And Taryn doesn't like raisins. So she threw out the packet. The packet with the carrots in it. Because there were raisins in it. (This is just about how our conversation went later on that afternoon when I found the carrot/raisin packet in the garbage)

She mixed together the carrot cake (now without carrots) and couldn't find two of 238 cake pans I keep stacked in the cabinet so she used two pie pans. Into the oven they went, cake batter level with the rim of the pie pans and no cookie sheet underneath them. Oh, and the pie pans were two different sizes.

Next came the icing. Taryn said she wanted to make a cream cheese icing so I got her a couple of bricks of cream cheese and powdered sugar. She printed out her recipe for the icing and started mixing everything in the handy Kitchen Aid. I'm in the office with the door open next to the kitchen when I hear this question...

"What's confectioner's sugar?" "Um, that would be the powdered sugar we bought." "Oh, well I put in regular sugar, is that gonna mess it up?"

And then a few minutes later, as Taryn was icing the cake, I heard this...

"Oh no! I printed the wrong recipe! This is royal icing for gingerbread houses!"

Its Saturday afternoon, the carrot-less carrot cake has now begun to sink in the center from the weight of the white cement sitting on top of it and Mark can't wait to cut into it.

I just love that guy.


Keep It Up Gals!

We begin a new Bible study this week at church and I'm looking forward to getting together with other women and hearing what the Lord is doing in their lives. There is nothing sweeter than the testimonies of His children. We experience that blessing quite often on Sunday nights at our church. Our pastor encourages people to get up and "brag on Jesus".

Last night we heard from so many different people, testimonies about a recent mission trip, how a presentation a few weeks back from "Voice of the Martyrs" touched someone, what the Holy Spirit revealed to some during our revival last week.

That's one reason I like blogs so much. Instant testimonies. I can read about a friend's new insight from the Lord, or celebrate an answered prayer. I learn how people are serving others from nursing homes to jail cells. By reading the words of others, I see how He works in ways I could never imagine and His glory is spilled across my computer screen daily. The God stories of others never cease to strengthen and encourage me.

The Internet can be a good thing...


Taryn and The Road Trip: Next Time, Shorter College And The World's Biggest Ball Of Yarn

We took Taryn to Birmingham, Alabama this weekend for a preview day at Samford University. She has this college on her short list so we decided to take off Friday morning and head to northern Alabama (and btw, Birmingham and the small towns surrounding it are beautiful! who knew there were rolling green hills and mountains in Alabama? I sure didn't!)

Anyway we got to the college on Saturday morning, bright and early, and what an amazing campus! Grand Georgian buildings, stately gardens and landscaping, bell towers and wrought iron fences...stunning. Just what you'd imagine from a prestigious college campus. Here are some photos...

Notice someone missing in all these pictures? That person would be Taryn. She didn't want her picture taken along side the ivy, bricks and columns of higher education...no, she wanted her picture taken along side these gems...

The Golden Peanut in front of the Visitor Center of Doltham, Alabama

The AT&T Peanut of Doltham, Alabama

The Krispy Kreme Cowboy Peanut of Doltham, Alabama

The Four Branches of our Military Peanuts of Doltham, Alabama

and finally, the Patriotic Peanut in front of the Doltham, Alabama State Bank.

Yes, we have all the confidence in the world that Taryn is going to have a wonderful college experience, where ever the Lord takes her.


And Another College Search Begins...

We're taking Taryn on a little road trip this weekend, to take a tour of a college she is interested in...

and last night we ordered her senior pictures...sniff, sniff.

as time goes by...sniff, sniff...

naw, not gonna go there...


A Couple of "Tweets"

from Ergun Caner...

"Surveys & polls don't measure truth,
they measure response.
Jeremiah's poll numbers were always low,
but he was RIGHT."

and from Priscilla Shirer...

"Forget about what happened.
Don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present.
I'm about to do something
Isaiah 43:18-19


Next Time I'm Writing My Congressman!!!

I wrote a letter of complaint today...
(an email really)

and I actually sent it.

With my stomach in knots, my fingernails chewed and a worn spot on the floor from pacing, I composed an email about a concern I have about an problem at the kids high school.

But this post isn't about the problem, its about the email.

and it all boils down to this...I absolutely hate confrontations.

I was a people pleaser for alot of years, and if I'm not careful, I can easily fall right back into that same pattern. It has only been because of His grace, and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life that that bondage no longer has me in chains. But I still struggle with confrontations. I've been equipped by the Lord to handle any thing life throws at me but in this one area I still make the choice to allow fear to control me. He has equipped me. And yet I still fear.

But I even choose which confrontations I'm going to fear...weird huh? Certain situations, like dealing with pushy salespeople, I handle fine. But a face to face with a friend that has hurt me? I'm a quivering bowl of lemon jello. Or confronting someone in authority? I feel a little faint just writing it.

So I'd like to think that writing this email today was another small step towards being the daughter of Christ He knows I can be. I just have to keep reminding myself of who I am in Him. And as our senior pastor says, "you never have to apologize for doing the right thing"


From Bill Sturm

Am I a "Good for Nothing" church member?

That was the question posed to our congregation tonight as we came together for the second night of our revival.

And there are a few questions to ask ourselves to find out if we are one...

how faithful is my attendance?
am I tithing?
am I telling others about Jesus?
do I cause trouble at church?
what's my lifestyle like outside the church walls?
is it all about me?

Tough questions from a tough man...but ones that needed to be asked. And answered.


Life With Hayden: Hey, I Had Slippers On!

I've got great kids. As their mother, it seems as though I rarely freak them out, or embarrass them. Of course, I've been known to be delusional on occassion and this might be one of those times. Maybe they've been embarrassed so many times, they've mastered the art of hiding it from me. I don't know if that's true, but I do know that during the course of their lives, there have been an ample number of possible embarrassing moments.

For example...

last night I picked up Hayden in my nightgown and robe.

After every home high school football game in our county, a lot of teenagers go to a local church to hang out, eat pizza and play basketball. It's called "Fifth Quarter" and Hayden usually goes and meets up with friends, and stays until about midnight.

And since I'm the only night person living in our home at the present time (Kaitlin's the other), I got the blessing of picking him up last night at 12:10 in the a.m.

and I just couldn't bring myself to change my clothes.

Now the church is really only about a mile from home, and it's easy to get to by the back roads. But still, thoughts like the following did cross my mind...

1. what if I break down/run out of gas/hit a deer? (all valid concerns considering what I drive & where I live) The police might have to come get me and I'm driving the minivan in my nite-nite clothes...

2. hey, where'd I put my phone? Just in case I break down/run out of gas/hit a deer...

3. oh man, Kaitlin has my phone!

4. that girl had better get her act together and mail my phone to this week, I swear if I didn't remind her 50 times a day...

5. Is that a flashing blue light? (heart rate now at 159)

6. ok, ok its just a pair of headlights...ok they're turning down that side street (heart rate now slowly decreasing)

7. ok, I see the first entrance to the church parking lot...wait, are those cops standing outside the pick up door? (heart rate now climbing)

8. maybe if I go into the second entrance, Hayden will see me and he'll just come out to the parking lot and jump in the car...

9. what are you doing?!? (I'm mouthing this to the tired looking dad in the SUV pulling out of the second entrance) great, now I'm gonna have to circle around (now I'm smiling at the tired looking dad in the SUV as we pass each other, because I recognize him from church)

10. ok, finally, the right entrance...where are you son? c'mon son, I know you outside waiting on me...I know your not still inside, mingling, eating, whatevering...I wish I had my phone so I could call him, I can't believe she hasn't mailed my phone back to me, she is gonna hear about this in the morning...is that him? yes! alright, come on and get in the car...no! don't stop to talk to him! get in the car! getinthecar, getinthecar, getinthecar...

door opens, Hayden gets in, door closes.

"have fun tonight son?"

"yeah it was alright."

All the way home, he never once asked about the robe and nightgown. The boy is gonna be a great husband someday.


Love This Song!!!

A Question

from Francis Frangipane's "The House of the Lord"...

"The priority is this:
Will we lay aside our ideas,
return to the Gospels
and obey what Jesus commands?
Will we become objectively desperate
in our search and hunger
for God?"


Can You Buy Slimfast By The Pallet?

When will I stop eating?

...ok, I know that one day, that's it, no more eating, breathing, blinking, no more anything...that's not what I'm asking tonight...

no what I'm asking tonight is...when will I stop putting food in my mouth when I'm not hungry? will that day EVER come? when will be the day that enough is enough? next Tuesday? a week from Saturday? March 5th, 2027?

I don't think I can wait that long...the grazing has got to stop...if they still wired jaws shut, I'd consider it...maybe I can hire a guy to hit me with a bat every time I open the pantry door...or wire the fridge so that when I open it past 7:00 p.m., I get a REAL zap, not one of those rub-your-feet-on-the-carpet-and-zap-your-little-brother kind of zaps.

maybe that bald chick from the early 90's, Susan-somebody, the "stop the insanity" chick, maybe she's available to come yell at me...

nah...think I'll try Weight Watchers again, they're pretty nice over there, and they always remember me every time I join...



The internet is an amazing tool...what so many people use for bad, can be used for some very wonderful things...


hearing great music
looking at beautiful pieces of art
reading the words of a first-time poet
seeing your daughter's face

and finding a sister


David's Prayer of Gratitude

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said,

"Who am I O Lord God,
and what is my house,
that you have brought me thus far?

And yet this was a small thing in your eyes,
O Lord God.
You have spoken also of your servant's house
for a great while to come,
and this is instruction for mankind,
O Lord God!

And what more can David say to you?
For you know your servant
O Lord God!

Because of your promise,
and according to your own heart,
you have brought about all this greatness,
to make your servant know it.

Therefore you are great,
O Lord God.
For there is none like you,
and there is no God besides you,
according to all we have heard with our ears.

And who is like your people Israel,
the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem
to be his people,
making himself a name
and doing for them great and awesome things
by driving out before your people,
whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt,
a nation and its gods?

And you established for yourself
your people Israel to be your people forever.
And you, O Lord, became their God.

And now, O Lord God, confirm forever
the word that you have spoken concerning
your servant and concerning his house,
and do as you have spoken.

And your name will be magnified forever, saying,
'The Lord of hosts is God over Israel,'
and the house of your servant David
will be established before you.

For you, O Lord of hosts,
the God of Israel,
have made this revelation to your servant,
saying, 'I will build you a house.'
Therefore your servant has found courage
to pray this prayer to you.

And now, O Lord God, you are God,
and your words are true,
and you have promised this good thing to your servant.

Now therefore may it please you
to bless the house of your servant,
so that it may continue forever before you,
For you, O Lord God,
have spoken,
and with your blessing
shall the house of your servant
be blessed forever."

2 Samuel 7:18-29


Taryn And The Big City: Why Bother With Shoes?

My middle child has inherited a trait from her paternal grandmother (we called her Ma)...it's an aversion to footwear...if Taryn never had to wear another pair of shoes, her life would be just about perfect...

This afternoon Mark got home early from work (love those three day holiday weekends!) and since Hayden was going to the high school football game (which is away this week), we decided to take Taryn with us into town (the big city).

We needed to get a couple of things...
a front porch swing and a pinata...truly
(its never normal stuff with us)

Anyway, we were driving down a busy road in the big city and Taryn says, "Hey! That's the place you MADE me buy a pair of shoes from!" and she points to some shoe store I'm sure I've never been too. "What are you talking about Taryn?" I ask, and she says...inhale...

"you know, when we went bowling that time and I opened the door of the van and my shoes fell out and I didn't say anything so when we got done bowling and we were going to eat I said I didn't have any shoes so we stopped at that store and you made me use my own money to buy a pair of shoes at that store."

and exhale...

Now the only time I remember a situation close to this is about 7 years ago. I loaded all three of the kids into the minivan and drove 40 minutes to a craft store that I rarely went too. Interstate driving, traffic for miles, and August in Florida all made for a lovely afternoon drive. But we finally arrived and as we started to get out of the minivan, I hear a voice from the back say,

"Mommy, I don't have any shoes."

Now I don't remember the first 5 minutes after I heard those words, because I think I might have blacked out. But when I came too, I said, "Taryn, why don't you have your shoes?"... inhale...

"I didn't bring any, I didn't think I had to go in the store, I thought I could stay in the car."

and exhale...

The big city, 112 degrees outside and I'm gonna leave her in the car.

So as most moms would do, I piggy-backed my child, barefooted, into the Payless/Shoe City/ Famous Footwear store that was next to the craft store and bought some flip-flops (which, yes I made her pay for...aren't you glad I'm not your mom?)

So fast forward 7 or 8 years and this afternoon we hear the story of the missing shoes at the bowling alley...and I say to Taryn, "hon, I don't think that happened. I think your thinking about the time we were going to the craft store and..."

and she says, "no, I'm remembering right, it just happened twice."


A Quote...

from Eddie Griffis...

"It's kinda hard to worry joyfully.
Your either joyful or worrying,
you can't be both."

...from this evening's Bible study
of Philippians 4:4-7
at Raiford Road Church

A New Blog! And No, I Didn't Start Another One...

I wanted to recommend a new blog that began yesterday...

Long story short...

Our church has started providing a new daily devotion guide and in the back is a "Read Through the Bible in a Year" calendar...so as a church we are reading through the Word together. And we started a blog on our website for people to comment on the daily Scripture reading!

It is so cool knowing that you are reading along with your church family, and also having the added bonus of hearing how the Lord is speaking to them through His Word!

So if you get a few minutes today, check it out!


A "Tweet"

from Priscilla Shirer...

the pagan sailors obey God,
a fish obeys,
a plant, worm and wind obey.
Even the Ninevites obey.
Only disobedient soul-
is the preacher.

A simple shopping story...

Her cart was dripping. The grocery cart she was pushing around the produce section of the big box store I had just entered was drippin...